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dreamer Bar Review Notes

Torts and Damages1


TORTS
Sources of Philippine Tort Law
Chapter on Quasi-Delicts (Arts. 2176-2194);
Chapter on Quasi-Contracts (Arts. 2144-2148,
2150, 2151, 2159);
Chapter on Human Relations (Arts. 19-36);
Arts. 1172-1174; 1723; 2003; 309; and, 1314 of
the NCC;
Arts. 2195-2235 of the NCC (Title XVIII;
Damages);
Chapter on Nuisance (Arts. 694-707);
Chapter III, Section 4, on Common Carriers (Arts.
1755-1763);
Family Code of the Philippines;
Arts. 100-103 of the RPC;
R.A. No. 7877 (Anti-Sexual Harassment Act);
Supreme Court decisions;
American law and jurisprudence; and,
Opinion of legal authors.
NOTE: primary statute that governs torts in the
Philippines is the New Civil Code. Art. 1157 of the NCC
includes Quasi-Delict as a source of obligation (extracontractual obligation). The Supreme Court likewise
borrows heavily from decisions of the Courts in other
countries especially Spain and the United States.
PERTINENT NEW CIVIL CODE PROVISIONS
Article 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another,
there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done.
Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation
between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the
provisions of this Chapter. (1902a)
Article 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 or omission of the defendant. (n)
Article 2178. The provisions of articles 1172 to 1174 are also applicable
to a quasi-delict. (n)
Article 2179. When the plaintiff's own negligence was the immediate and
proximate cause of his injury, he cannot recover damages. But if his
negligence was only contributory, the immediate and proximate cause of
the injury being the defendant's lack of due care, the plaintiff may recover
damages, but the courts shall mitigate the damages to be awarded. (n)
Article 2180. The obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable not
only for one's own acts or omissions, but also for those of persons for
whom one is responsible.
The father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are
responsible for the damages caused by the minor children who live in
their company.
Guardians are liable for damages caused by the minors or incapacitated
persons who are under their authority and live in their company.
The owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise are likewise
responsible for damages caused by their employees in the service of the
branches in which the latter are employed or on the occasion of their
functions.

1 Mainly patterned from Atty. Marianne

Elizabeth Beltran-Angeles discussions


on the subject Torts and Damages and from the discussions of Atty. Timoteo
Aquino in his book, Torts and Damages (2013 ed.) hereinafter referred to as
Aquino (unless otherwise stated, the source is Aquino). Other sources: Civil
Code of the Philippines Annotated Volume V (2013 ed.) by Justice Edgardo

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[Torts and Damages]


Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees
and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks,
even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry.
The State is responsible in like manner when it acts through a special
agent; but not when the damage has been caused by the official to whom
the task done properly pertains, in which case what is provided in article
2176 shall be applicable.
Lastly, teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades shall be
liable for damages caused by their pupils and students or apprentices, so
long as they remain in their custody.
The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons
herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good
father of a family to prevent damage. (1903a)
Article 2181. Whoever pays for the damage caused by his dependents
or employees may recover from the latter what he has paid or delivered
in satisfaction of the claim. (1904)
Article 2182. If the minor or insane person causing damage has no
parents or guardian, the minor or insane person shall be answerable with
his own property in an action against him where a guardian ad litem shall
be appointed. (n)
Article 2183. The possessor of an animal or whoever may make use of
the same is responsible for the damage which it may cause, although it
may escape or be lost. This responsibility shall cease only in case the
damage should come from force majeure or from the fault of the person
who has suffered damage. (1905)
Article 2184. In motor vehicle mishaps, the owner is solidarily liable with
his driver, if the former, who was in the vehicle, could have, by the use of
the due diligence, prevented the misfortune. It is disputably presumed
that a driver was negligent, if he had been found guilty of reckless driving
or violating traffic regulations at least twice within the next preceding two
months.
If the owner was not in the motor vehicle, the provisions of article 2180
are applicable. (n)
Article 2185. Unless there is proof to the contrary, it is presumed that a
person driving a motor vehicle has been negligent if at the time of the
mishap, he was violating any traffic regulation. (n)
Article 2186. Every owner of a motor vehicle shall file with the proper
government office a bond executed by a government-controlled
corporation or office, to answer for damages to third persons. The amount
of the bond and other terms shall be fixed by the competent public official.
(n)
Article 2187. Manufacturers and processors of foodstuffs, drinks, toilet
articles and similar goods shall be liable for death or injuries caused by
any noxious or harmful substances used, although no contractual relation
exists between them and the consumers. (n)
Article 2188. There is prima facie presumption of negligence on the part
of the defendant if the death or injury results from his possession of
dangerous weapons or substances, such as firearms and poison, except
when the possession or use thereof is indispensable in his occupation or
business. (n)
Article 2189. Provinces, cities and municipalities shall be liable for
damages for the death of, or injuries suffered by, any person by reason
of the defective condition of roads, streets, bridges, public buildings, and
other public works under their control or supervision. (n)
Article 2190. The proprietor of a building or structure is responsible for
the damages resulting from its total or partial collapse, if it should be due
to the lack of necessary repairs. (1907)
Article 2191. Proprietors shall also be responsible for damages caused:
(1) By the explosion of machinery which has not been taken care of with
due diligence, and the inflammation of explosive substances which have
not been kept in a safe and adequate place;
(2) By excessive smoke, which may be harmful to persons or property;
(3) By the falling of trees situated at or near highways or lanes, if not
caused by force majeure;
(4) By emanations from tubes, canals, sewers or deposits of infectious
matter, constructed without precautions suitable to the place. (1908)
Article 2192. If damage referred to in the two preceding articles should
be the result of any defect in the construction mentioned in article 1723,
the third person suffering damages may proceed only against the

Paras, hereinafter referred to as Paras; Comments and Jurisprudence on the


Civil Code of the Philippines Volume V (1992 ed.) by Dr. Arturo Tolentino,
hereinafter referred to as Tolentino; and, Torts and Damages Civil Code Book
VIII (2006 ed.) by Usec. Ernesto Pineda, hereinafter referred to as Pineda.

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[Torts and Damages]


engineer or architect or contractor in accordance with said article, within
the period therein fixed. (1909)
Article 2193. The head of a family that lives in a building or a part thereof,
is responsible for damages caused by things thrown or falling from the
same. (1910)
Article 2194. The responsibility of two or more persons who are liable for
quasi-delict is solidary. (n)

General Considerations
Torts; Origin taken directly from the French; a
derivation of the Latin word torquere which means to
twist.2 This was not used as a technical term of law until
the beginning of the 19th century (Pineda, pp. 3)
Torts; Concept an unlawful violation of private right,
not created by contract, and gives rise to an action for
damages (Aquino, pp. 1). It is an act or omission of a
person which causes some injury or damage directly or
indirectly to another person (Pineda, pp. 2), without any
previous existing lawful relation of which the said act or
omission may be said to be a natural outgrowth or
incident.3 It is a legal wrong committed upon the person
or property independent of contract. It may either be (1)
a direct invasion of some legal right of the individual; (2)
the infraction of some public duty by which special
damage accrues to the individual; (3) the violation of
some private obligation by which like damage accrues
to the individual.4
NOTE: There is no universal formula for tort liability.5
Tortious acts cannot be listed exhaustively (Pineda, pp.
3)
Quasi-Delict; Concept - Whoever by act or omission
causes damage to another, there being fault or
negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such
fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual
relation between the parties (Art. 2176, NCC).

dreamer Bar Review Notes


contracts. However, the case of Barredo v. Garcia6,
in effect, followed the English Law on torts which
makes no distinction between intentional and
negligent injuries (Pineda, pp. 5).
Furthermore, in Elcano v. Hill7, the Court ruled that the
Art. 2176 of the NCC no longer uses the phrase not
punishable by law for according to Justice Bocobo, then
Chairman of the Civil Code Commission, that such
phrase could lead to an undesirable construction or
interpretation of the letter of the law that killeth, rather
than the spirit that giveth life. By deleting such phrase,
it was made clear that the concept of culpa aquiliana
includes acts which are criminal in character or in
violation of the penal law, whether voluntary or negligent
(Aquino, pp. 8-9).
Explanation of Concepts
Damage the loss, hurt or harm which results
from injury. It differs from damages which term
refers to the recompense or compensation
awarded for the damage suffered.
Fault that condition where a person acts in a
way or manner contrary to what normally should
have been done. It is a positive act but the act
was done contrary to the normal way of doing it,
and causing damage or injury to another.
Negligence consists in the omission to do acts
required under the attendant circumstances
resulting in damage or injury to another (Pineda,
pp. 7-8).
Kinds of Tort Liabilities includes liability for legal
wrongs encompassing three types of conduct, namely:
intentional torts, negligence and strict liability.

TORTS
Reason for the Use of Quasi-Delict instead of Tort in
NCC the term quasi-delict was deliberately used to
designate obligations which do not arise from law,
contracts, quasi-contracts, or criminal offenses. The
term tort was not used because it is broader in coverage
as it covers, in common law countries, acts which are
intentional or malicious, which latter acts in the general
plan of the Philippine legal system are governed by the
Revised Penal Code (Pineda, pp. 4). However, there is
an intent to adopt the expanded concept of tort (Aquino,
pp. 6).

Quasi-Delict covers both Punishable and NonPunishable Negligence traditional concept of quasidelict is one that excludes acts which are intentional or
malicious and acts which arise from pre-existing

Aquino, pp. 1, citing Robles v. Castillo, 61 O.G. 1220 and The Law of Torts, 7th
Ed. by John G. Fleming.
3 Aquino, pp. 1, citing Robles v. Castillo, 61 O.G. 1220.
4 Aquino, pp. 1, and Pineda, pp. 2, citing Blacks Law Dictionary.
5 Aquino, pp. 2 citing Torts (1988 ed.) pp. 92, by Edward Kionka.
6 73 Phil. 607.
7 77 SCRA 98.

Negligence
Intentional Torts
Strict Liability

Defendants
Damages

Negligence involves voluntary acts or


omissions that result in injury of others, without
intending to cause the same (Aquino, pp. 2).8 The
failure to observe for the protection of the
interests of another person, that degree of care,
precaution
and
vigilance
which
the
circumstances justly demand, whereby such
other person suffers injury (Pineda, pp. 8).
Intentional Torts conduct where the actor
desires to cause the consequences of his acts or
believe the consequences are substantially
certain to result from it (Aquino, pp. 2); actor
intended to do what the law has declared wrong
(Pineda, pp. 9). It includes assault and battery,

Note, however, that Art. 1173 of the Civil Code provides: 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, of the time and of the place. (Pineda, pp. 8). The
same author observed further that the said article should be amended for it
does not seem to distinguish between fault and negligence.

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[Torts and Damages]

dreamer Bar Review Notes

false imprisonment, defamation, invasion of


privacy, and interference of property.
Strict Liability a person is made liable
independent of fault or negligence upon
submission of proof of certain facts. The conduct
is generally not wrongful in itself but the wrong
consists in causing harm by engaging in certain
types of risky activities (Aquino, pp. 2).

Torts vs. Quasi-Delict9


Torts common law concept; broader as a term.
Quasi-Delict civil law concept; narrow
coverage.
NOTE: Our laws incorporate the common law concept
of torts in quasi-delict. Thus, delict may also give rise to
an action for damages under quasi-delict. For the law no
longer speaks of not punishable by law.

Illustrative Cases
Dulay v. CA10
FACTS: Torzuela, a security guard of Safeguard
Investigation and Security Co. and/or Superguard Security
Corp., intentionally killed Atty. Dulay with a revolver
belonging to his employers, after an altercation ensued
between the two.
Maria Dulay filed an action for damages against Torzuela,
Safeguard and Superguard alleging that the incident was due
to their concurring negligence. Afterwards, an Information
charging Torzuela with Homicide was filed before the RTC.
HELD: Although Torzuela is being prosecuted for homicide,
Maria Dulay still has the right to file an independent civil
action to recover damages for the fatal shooting of Atty.
Dulay, under Sec. 1, Rule 111 of the Rules of Court.
Safeguard and Superguard contends that the civil action is
founded on a delict (homicide) and not on a quasi-delict as the
shooting was not attended by negligence.
This is misplaced. There is no justification for limiting the
scope of Art. 2176 of the Civil Code to acts of omissions
resulting from negligence, as held in the case of Elcano v.
Hill, wherein the SC held that fault or negligence, covers
not only acts not punishable by law but also acts criminal in
character.
Furthermore, in Art. 2180, when an injury is caused by the
negligence of the employee, there instantly arises a
presumption of law that there was negligence on the part of
the master or employer either in the selection of the employee
or servant, or in the supervision over him. Such liability of the
employer under Art. 2180 is direct and immediate.

Atty. Beltran-Angeles discussion last November 3, 2014.


G.R. No. 108017, April 3, 1995.

10

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Therefore, it is incumbent upon Safeguard and Superguard to


prove that they exercised the diligence of a good father of a
family in the selection and supervision of their employee.
Catch All Provisions the intent to adopt the
expanded common law concept of intentional and
unintentional tort is more evident in Arts. 19, 20 and 21.
Article 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in
the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his
due, and observe honesty and good faith.
Article 20. Every person who, contrary to law, willfully or negligently
causes damage to another, shall indemnify the latter for the same.
Article 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another
in manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy
shall compensate latter for the damage.

They introduce malice in the commission of torts.


Moreover, these articles were intended to expand the
concept of torts in this jurisdiction by granting adequate
legal remedy for the untold number of moral wrongs
which is impossible for human foresight to specifically
provide in the statutes.11
Under such broad concept, the following are included:
Defamation;
Fraud;
Physical injuries;
Violation of Constitutional Rights;
Negligence;
Interference with Contractual Relations;
Violation of Privacy;
Malicious Prosecution;
Product liability;
Strict liability for possession of animals;
Abuse of Right; and,
Acts which violate good morals and customs.
Quasi-Delict vs. Contract
Contracts are governed by the Civil Code
provisions on Obligations and Contracts,
particularly Arts. 1170-1174; however, by
express provision of Art. 2178, Arts. 1172 to 1174
are also applicable to quasi-delict cases (Aquino,
pp. 36).

Illustrative Cases
Air France v. Carrascoso12
FACTS: Carrascoso was with a group of pilgrims leaving for
Lourdes. He was issued a first class round trip ticket from
Manila to Rome, but was later forced by the Manager of Air
France to vacate the seat that he was occupying because there
was a white man who allegedly had a better right over the
seat.
HELD: Passengers do not contract merely for transportation
as they have a right to be treated by the employees with
kindness, respect, courtesy and consideration. What happened
11
12

Aquino, pp. 7 citing PNB v. CA, et. al., 83 SCRA 237.


G.R. No. L-21438, September 28, 1966.

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was a violation of public duty by the Air France a case of
quasi-delict, so damages are proper.
The same act that causes the breach of contract may also be
considered as a tort.
Neglect or malfeasance of the carriers employees could give
ground for an action for damages. The wrongful expulsion is
a violation of a public duty a case of quasi-delict.
Viloria v. Continental Airlines13
FACTS: Viloria agreed to buy airline tickets on board CAI
after Mager of Holiday Travel Agency informed him that
there were no available seats at Amtrak. Later on, Viloria
requested that their flight be rescheduled, but Mager instead
suggested an alternative flight via Frontier Air. Since Viloria
knew such flights will be more costly, Viloria requested for a
refund which Mager declined.
Viloria sent a demand letter with CAI which CAI Micronesia
denied but advised him that he may take said tickets to any
CAI ticketing location for re-issuance of new tickets.
HELD: In actions based on quasi-delict, a principal can only
be held liable for the tort committed by its agents employees
if it has been established by preponderance of evidence that
the principal was also at fault or negligent or that the principal
exercise control and supervision over them.
If the passengers cause of action against the airline company
is premised on culpa aquiliana or quasi-delict for a tort
committed by the employee of the airline companys agent,
there must be an independent showing that the airline
company was at fault or negligent or has contributed to the
negligence or tortious conduct committed by the employee of
its agent.

Purposes of Tort Law (Aquino, pp. 10-13)


Major Purposes

To provide a peaceful means for adjusting


the rights of parties who might otherwise
take the law into their own hands;

To deter wrongful conduct;

To encourage socially responsible behavior;


and,

To restore injured parties to their original


condition, insofar as the law can do this, by
compensating them for their injury.
Balancing of Conflicting Interest the interests
protected under the Civil Code and examples of
provisions that protect such interests are:
Interests Protected
Person

13

Torts and/or Provisions


Involved

dreamer Bar Review Notes


Freedom
contact
Freedom
distress
Dignity
Reputation
Privacy

from
from

Freedom
from
wrongful actions
Property
Real Property

Physical Injuries (Art. 32);


Quasi-Delict (Art. 2176)
Moral Damages (Arts.
2217-2220)
Defamation (Art. 33)
Violation of Privacy (Art.
26)
Malicious
Prosecution
(Arts. 20 and 21)
Nuisance (Arts. 694-770);
Quasi-Delict (Art. 2176)

Economic/Pecuniary
Contracts
Interference
with
contractual rights (Art.
1314)
Freedom
from Fraud (Art. 33)
Deception
Specific Purposes specific statutes may
provide for tort liability such as strict liability for
defective products, or malpractice statutes.
Fundamental Principles of Tort (Aquino, pp. 13-16)
Equity and Justice

Juris Praecepta Sunt Hec, Honeste Vivere,


Alterum Non Laedare, Suum Cuique
Tribuere the precepts of law are these, to
live honestly, not to injure another, and to
give to each one his due;

Justicia Est Constans et Perpetua Voluntas


Jus Suum Justice is a steady and
unceasing disposition to render every man
his due;

Social Level Distributive Justice and


Retributive Justice;

Individual Level Corrective Justice


(primary concern of Tort Law and the Civil
Code provisions on damages) and
Commutative Justice;

Equity justice according to natural law and


right; often invoked in justifying the rule
regarding mitigation of liability if the plaintiff
was guilty of contributory negligence.
Democracy Article 32 provides for
independent civil action for damages against
any public officer or employee, or any private
individual, who directly and indirectly obstructs,
defeats, violates or in any manner impedes or
impairs the civil rights and liberties of another
person.
Human Personality inclusion of Art. 26 and
moral damages provisions in the Civil Code so as
to exalt human personality properly.
Justification of Tort Liability (Aquino, pp. 17-21)
Moral Perspective because conduct is
considered a moral wrong. Arts. 19 and 20
provide adequate legal remedy for moral wrongs.

G.R. No. 188288, January 16, 2012.

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[Torts and Damages]

dreamer Bar Review Notes

Consistent with this is the maxim ubi jus ibi


remedium or there is no wrong without remedy.

Natural Law there is a higher law


revealed through reason. These are the
rules governing correct human conduct are
logically connected with immanent truths
concerning human nature. It is believed to be
a rational foundation for moral judgment.
These are infused in the Civil Code because
it was the aim of the drafters to remain
faithful to natural law since their view is that
every good law draws its breath of life from
morals, from those principles which are
written in the conscience of man. In Algarra
v. Sandejas, it was held that, the abstract
rules for determining negligence and the
measure of damages are rules of natural
justice rather than man-made law, and are
applicable under any enlightened system of
jurisprudence.

Corrective Justice the obligation to


compensate the victim of harm is one that is
imposed by corrective justice to recover for
his losses.
Social and Economic Perspective liability
may be provided for certain tortious conduct
because of the good that it will do to the society
as a whole and its function of encouraging
socially responsible behavior.

Economic Perspective focused on the


allocation of the risks of loss due to the
destruction of property or injury to persons
created by those activities. Tort law may thus
be viewed as a system of rules designed to
maximize the costs associated with
engaging in daily activities.

Persons Who Can Sue and be Sued for Tort (Aquino,


pp. 22-23)
Plaintiffs the person entitled to damages; can
be a natural or artificial person. The knowledge of
the defendant as to the plaintiffs identity is
immaterial. An unborn child, however, is not
entitled to damages because birth determines
personality and for civil purposes, the fetus is
only considered born if it is alive at the time it is
completely delivered from the mothers womb.
Defendants persons who may be held liable;
can either be natural or artificial beings.

Close Corporation and Corporation by


Estoppel stockholders who are personally
involved in the operation of the corporation
may be personally liable for corporate torts;
for corporation by estoppel, all persons who
assume to act as a corporation knowing it to

14

See also Art. 167 to 208, Labor Code.


Note, however, that Art. 1173 of the Civil Code provides: 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
15

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be without authority to do so shall be liable


as general partners for all debts, liabilities
and damages incurred or arising as a result
thereof.
Partnerships solidarily liable with the
partner if the latter commit tortious acts while
acting in pursuit of partnership business.
State this is subject to rules regarding
waiver of immunity from suits; however,
there are statutory provisions which
expressly provide for such liability of the
State
and
provinces,
cities
and
municipalities such as Articles 2180 and
2189 of the Civil Code.

Remedies are either preventive or compensatory.


Preventive every remedy in a certain sense is
preventive because it threatens certain
undesirable consequences to those who violate
the rights of others (e.g. injunction, writ of
preliminary injunction, temporary restraining
order);
Compensatory primary purpose of tort action;
an action for damages.
Alternative Compensation Schemes
Insurance - Art. 378 of the Insurance Code
provides that any claim not exceeding five
thousand pesos (P5,000.00) for death or injury to
any passenger or third party shall be paid without
the necessity of proving fault or negligence of any
kind.
Workers Compensation Art. 166 of the Labor
Code provides that the State shall promote and
develop a tax-exempt employees compensation
program whereby employees and their
dependents may promptly secure adequate
income benefits and medical or related benefits
in the event of work connected disability or
injury.14

Negligence
(as a Kind of Tort Liability)
Negligence - involves voluntary acts or omissions that
result in injury of others, without intending to cause the
same (Aquino, pp. 2).15 The failure to observe for the
protection of the interests of another person, that degree
of care, precaution and vigilance which the
circumstances justly demand, whereby such other
person suffers injury (Pineda, pp. 8).
Kinds of Actionable Negligence
Culpa Aquiliana or quasi-delict or tortious
conduct; characterized as substantive and
circumstances of the persons, of the time and of the place. (Pineda, pp. 8). The
same author observed further that the said article should be amended for it
does not seem to distinguish between fault and negligence.

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independent, which of itself constitutes the


source of an obligation between persons not
formerly connected by any legal tie;
Culpa Contractual or contractual negligence or
breach of contract; negligence considered as an
incident in the performance of an obligation
already existing;
Criminal Negligence primarily governed by Art.
365 of the Revised Penal Code.

Culpa Aquiliana or Quasi-Delict


Article 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to
another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the
damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing
contractual relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and
is governed by the provisions of this Chapter. (1902a)

Requisites for a Quasi-Delict


Act or omission;
Presence of fault or negligence (lack of due
care);
Damage to another;
Causal connection between the fault or
negligence and the damage (Paras, pp. 11741175; Aquino, pp. 28; and, Pineda, pp. 7).
No Pre-existing Contract Between the Parties if
there exist a contractual relation between the parties
and the same is violated, the proper action is not
anchored on quasi-delict, but breach of contract or culpa
contractual (Pineda, pp. 15).
Except where tort is that which breaches the
contract (Aquino, pp. 29 citing American Express
International v. Cordero, G.R. No. 138550, Oct.
14, 2005) such as when the violation of the
contract was deliberate and malicious (Pineda,
pp. 15, citing Air France v. Carrascoso, 18 SCRA
155); or, that the breach was palpably wanton,
reckless, malicious, or in bad faith, oppressive or
obscure (Ibid., citing Go v. CA, 272 SCRA 752).
Duty Need Not be Alleged and Proved it is not a
pre-requisite to liability that the courts in the Philippines
determine, since negligence is in fact a breach of legal
duty of care to the whole world, as contemplated by the
New Civil Code (Aquino, pp. 30-31).
Can there be a Tort/Quasi-Delict in Breach of
Contract generally, no. However, the existence of a
contractual relation does not bar the commission of a
tort by one against the other and the consequent
recovery of damages. Where the act that breaks the
contract may also be a tort, the contractual relation of
the parties does not bar the recovery of damages
(Pineda, pp. 15-16 citing Singson v. BPI, 132 Phil. 597).
Culpa
Aquiliana
Separate source
of
obligation,

Basis
Definition

Culpa
Contractual
Foundation of
liability
is
contract

dreamer Bar Review Notes


independent of
contract
Substantive and
independent
There may or
may not be a
pre-existing
contractual
relationship
Defendants
negligent act or
omission
Negligence of
the defendant

Characteristic
or Nature of
Negligence
Party
relationship

Incident of the
performance of
an obligation
There is preexisting
contractual
relation

Source
obligation

Breach
of
contractual
relation
Existence of the
contract and its
breach
There
is
presumption of
negligence as
long as it can be
proved
that
there
was
breach of the
contract.
The
defendant must
prove that there
was
no
negligence
in
the carrying out
of the terms of
the
contract
(Pineda, pp. 19).
Proof
of
diligence is not a
defense

of

Needs to be
Proven

There is no
presumption of
negligence. The
injured
party
must
prove
negligence
of
the defendant.

Presumption
of Negligence

Proof
of
required
diligence is a
valid, complete
and
proper
defense

Availability of
diligence as a
defense

Interference with Contractual Relations constitutes


tort as when a person induced to violate the latters
contract with a third person (Pineda, pp. 16 citing
Peoples Bank and Trust Co. v. Dahl-can Lumber and
Co.).
Tort/Quasi-Delict vs. Crime (Pineda, pp. 4; 18)
Tort
Basis
Crime
A private wrong or As a concept
An
offense
injury;
an
against
the
infringement of the
public;
a
private or civil
punishable
rights of another
act
There can be a As to legal There can be
quasi-delict
as basis
of no
crime
long as there is liability
unless there
fault or negligence
is
a
law
resulting
in
clearly
damage or injury
punishing the
to another. It is
act.
broader in scope
than crime

Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

All Rights Reserved

[Torts and Damages]

dreamer Bar Review Notes


Criminal intent is
generally
not
necessary
for
quasi-delict
(except
for
intentional torts) to
exist. Fault or
negligence without
intent will suffice.
Private individual
Indemnity
for
damage or injury
sustained without
seeking
the
imprisonment of
the tortfeasor

As to criminal
intent

Every quasi-delict
gives rise to a
liability
for
damages

As to liability
for damages

Preponderance of
evidence

As
to
quantum
of
evidence
As
to
governing law
As to the
employer

New Civil Code


Liability of the
employer is direct
and primary

As to pursuer
As to what it
seeks

All Rights Reserved

Criminal
intent
essential
criminal
liability
exist.

is
for
to

State
Curtailment of
the liberty or
imprisonment
of
the
offender with
possible civil
liability
Some crimes
(like
contempt,
illegal
possession of
firearm)
do
not give rise
to liability for
damages
Proof beyond
reasonable
doubt
Revised
Penal Code
Liability of the
employer is
subsidiary

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]


Emergency Rule principal defense in actions based
on negligence (Pineda, pp. 73). An actor who is
confronted with an emergency is not to be held up to the
standard of conduct normally applied to an individual
who is in no such situation; an individual who suddenly
finds himself in a situation of danger and is required to
act without much time to consider the best means that
may be adopted to avoid the impending danger, is not
guilty of negligence if he fails to undertake what
subsequently and upon reflection may appear to be a
better solution, unless the emergency was brought by
his own negligence.16
Emergency Rule; When Not Applicable if the
person who is invoking it found himself in danger which
he himself created through his own negligence17
(Aquino, pp. 59-60 citing Delsan Transport v. C&A
Construction).

Illustrative Cases
Valenzuela v. CA and Li18
FACTS: Valenzuela, driving from her restaurant at Araneta
Avenue at around 2AM, noticed that she had her rear right tire
flat. She stopped at a lighted area where there were people, to
verify if there was a flat tire and if she could solicit some help
if needed, until she was hit by another car, driven by Richard
Li (car owned by Alexander Commercial, Inc.), resulting to
Valenzuelas left leg being amputated (she was pulled out
from under Lis car).
Apparently, Li was drunk while driving his company issued
car. Hospital expenses were paid by Alexander Commercial,
through the car insurance.
Valenzuela filed a complaint for damages: P1M moral
damages, P100K exemplary damages, P180K for other
medical expenses and expected earning lost.
Li contended the following: (1) driving at 55kph only; (2) it
was raining; (3) he was confronted with a car coming from the
opposite direction, travelling at 80kph with full bright
lights. He was temporarily blinded and instinctively swerved
and hit Valenzuela.
Rodriguez: Valenzuela parked very near the sidewalk,
parallel, and Li was approaching very fast.
RTC: Lis guilty of gross negligence (Art. 2176) and
Alexander Commercial is jointly and severally liable (Art.
2180).
CA: Alexander Commercial, not guilty. P1M too much,
reduced to P500K.

dreamer Bar Review Notes


HELD: Li is guilty of gross negligence; company is jointly
and severally liable, and Valenzuela is not guilty of
contributory negligence.
Contributory Negligence conduct on the part of the injured
party, contributing as a legal cause to the harm he has
suffered, which falls below the standard to which he is
required to conform for his own protection. Emergency rule
is applied. A woman driving a vehicle suddenly crippled by
a flat tire on a rainy night will not be faulted for stopping at a
point which is both convenient for her to do so and which is
not a hazard to other motorists. She is not expected to run the
entire boulevard in search for a parking zone or turn on a dark
Street or alley where she would likely find no one to help her.
It would be hazardous for her not to stop and assess the
emergency (simply because the entire length of Aurora
Boulevard is a no-parking zone) because the hobbling vehicle
would be both a threat to her safety and to other motorists. In
the instant case, Valenzuela, upon reaching that portion
of Aurora Boulevard close to A. Lake St., noticed that she had
a flat tire. To avoid putting herself and other motorists in
danger, she did what was best under the situation.
Negligence on the part of Li conduct which creates an
undue risk of harm to others.
Bonus Pater Familias Alexander Commercial was not able
to overcome the burden of demonstrating that it should be
absolved of liability for entrusting its company car to Li, said
company, based on the principle of bonus pater
familias, ought to be jointly and severally liable with the
former for the injuries sustained by Ma. Lourdes Valenzuela
during the accident.
Delsan Transport v. C&A Construction19
FACTS: C & A Construction, Inc. was engaged by the
National Housing Authority (NHA) to construct a deflector
wall at the Vitas Reclamation Area.
M/V Delsan Express anchored at the Navotas Fish Port for the
purpose of installing a cargo pump and clearing the cargo oil
tank. At around 12:00 midnight, Capt. Jusep of M/V Delsan
Express received a report from his radio head operator in
Japan that a typhoon was going to hit Manila in about eight
(8) hours.
At approximately 8:35AM next day, Capt. Jusep tried to seek
shelter at the North Harbor but could not enter the area
because it was already congested. At 10:00 a.m., Capt. Jusep
decided to drop anchor at the vicinity of Vitas mouth, 4 miles
away from a Napocor power barge. At that time, the waves
were already reaching 8 to 10 feet high. Capt. Jusep ordered
his crew to go full ahead to counter the wind which was
dragging the ship towards the Napocor power barge. To avoid
collision, Capt. Jusep ordered a full stop of the vessel. He
succeeded in avoiding the power barge, but when the engine

16

18

17

19

Aquino, pp. 90 citing Gan v. CA (G.R. No. L-44264, Sept. 19, 1988).
Aquino, pp. 59-60 citing Delsan Transport v. C&A Construction (G.R. No.
156034. October 1, 2003).

G.R. No. 115024, February 7, 1996.


G.R. No. 156034. October 1, 2003.

Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

All Rights Reserved

dreamer Bar Review Notes


was re-started and the ship was maneuvered full astern, it hit
the deflector wall constructed by respondent. The damage
caused by the incident amounted to P456,198.24.
The trial court ruled that petitioner was not guilty of
negligence because it had taken all the necessary precautions
to avoid the accident. Applying the emergency rule, it
absolved petitioner of liability because the latter had no
opportunity to adequately weigh the best solution to a
threatening situation. It further held that even if the maneuver
chosen by petitioner was a wrong move, it cannot be held
liable as the cause of the damage sustained by respondent was
typhoon Katring, which is an act of God.
Court of Appeals, the decision of the trial court was reversed
and set aside.
HELD: Capt. Jusep was negligent in deciding to transfer the
vessel only at 8:35 in the morning of October 21, 1994. As
early as 12:00 midnight of October 20, 1994, he received a
report from his radio head operator in Japan that a typhoon
was going to hit Manila after 8 hours. This, notwithstanding,
he did nothing, until 8:35 in the morning of October 21, 1994,
when he decided to seek shelter at the North Harbor, which
unfortunately was already congested. The finding of
negligence cannot be rebutted upon proof that the ship could
not have sought refuge at the North Harbor even if the transfer
was done earlier. It is not the speculative success or failure of
a decision that determines the existence of negligence in the
present case, but the failure to take immediate and appropriate
action under the circumstances.
When he ignored the weather report notwithstanding
reasonable foresight of harm, Capt. Jusep showed an
inexcusable lack of care and caution which an ordinary
prudent person would have observed in the same
situation. Had he moved the vessel earlier, he could have had
greater chances of finding a space at the North Harbor
considering that the Navotas Port where they docked was very
near North Harbor. Even if the latter was already congested,
he would still have time to seek refuge in other ports.
Delsan Transport is vicariously liable for the negligent act of
Capt. Jusep. Under Article 2180 of the Civil Code an
employer may be held solidarily liable for the negligent act of
his employee.
Violation of Rules, Statutes, Practice and Custom
may be treated either as (1) a circumstance which
establishes a presumption of negligence, (2) negligence
per se, or (3) a circumstance which should be
considered together with other circumstances as
evidence of negligence (AQUINO, pp. 114-115).
Violation of a statutory duty = Negligence per se
because the statute or ordinance becomes the standard
of care or conduct to which the reasonably prudent
person is held.

All Rights Reserved

[Torts and Damages]


When Not Negligence Per Se when unusual
conditions occur, strict observance may defeat the
purpose of the rule and may even lead to adverse
results.
Violation Gives Rise to Presumption in Motor
Vehicle Mishaps Arts. 2184 to 2185 of the NCC.
Violation of Administrative Rules not negligence
per se but may be evidence of negligence.
Violation of Private Rules of Conduct rules imposed
by private individuals such as the employer, the same
rule applies.
Proximate Cause proximate cause of his injury is the
negligence of the defendant; proof must be presented
that there was causal connection between the
negligence or violation of statute and the injury.
Violation Establishes Proximate Cause when the
damage to the plaintiff is the damage that is sought to
be prevented by the statute. So if the damage sought to
be prevented is the damage to the plaintiff, no more test.
Practice and Custom what usually is done may be
evidence of what ought to be done, but what ought to be
done is fixed by a standard of reasonable prudence,
whether it usually is complied with or not.

Illustrative Cases
Martinez v. Buskirk
FACTS: On Spetember 11, 1908, Martinez was riding a
carromata in Ermita along the left side of the street when a
delivery wagon belonging to the defendant to which a pair of
horses was attached came along the street in the opposite
direction at great speed. The horses ran into the carromata
and wounded Martinez severely. The defendant presented
evidence that the cochero was a good servant and a reliable
and safe cochero. And that he was delivering stuff so he tied
the driving lines of the horses to the front end of the delivery
wagon and went inside the wagon to unload the stuff to be
delivered. But while unloading, another vehicle drove by
whose driver cracked a whip and made some noises which
frightened the horses and which made it ran away. The
cochero was thrown from the inside of the wagon and was
unable to stop the horses. The horses collided with the
carromata.
HELD: Defendant not liable. Cochero was not negligent.
What happened was an accident. It has been a custom or a
matter of common knowledge and universal practice of
merchants to leave horses in the manner which the cochero
left it during the accident. This is the custom in all cities. The
public, finding itself unprejudiced by such practice has
acquiesced for years.

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]


It appears from the undisputed evidence that the horses which
caused the damage were gentle and tractable; that the cochero
was experienced and capable; that he had driven one of the
horses several years and the other five or six months; that he
had been in the habit, during all that time, of leaving them in
the condition in which they were left on the day of the
accident; that they had never run away up to that time and
there had been, therefore, no accident due to such practice;
that to leave the horses and assist in unloading the
merchandise in the manner described on the day of the
accident was the custom of all cochero who delivered
merchandise of the character of that which was being
delivered by the cochero of the defendant on the day in
question, which custom was sanctioned by their employers.
Tison v. Sps. Pomasin20
FACTS: A tractor-trailer, driven by Jabon and a jitney,
driven by Pomasin, figured in a vehicular mishap along
Maharlika Highway in Barangay Agos, Polangui, Albay.
POMASINS STORY curve going downward, saw a
tractor-trailer encroaching their lane.
JABONS STORY - while he was driving the tractor-trailer,
he noticed a jitney on the opposite lane falling off the shoulder
of the road. Thereafter, it began running in a zigzag manner
and heading towards the direction of the truck. To avoid
collision, Jabon immediately swerved the tractor-trailer to the
right where it hit a tree and sacks of palay. Unfortunately, the
jitney still hit the left fender of the tractor-trailer before it was
thrown a few meters away. The tractor-trailer was likewise
damaged.
Multiple deaths occurred on the part of the jitney passengers.
Tison, the owner of the truck, extended financial assistance to
respondents by giving them P1,000.00 each immediately after
the accident and P200,000.00 to Cynthia Pomasin (Cynthia),
one of Gregorios daughters. Cynthia, in turn, executed an
Affidavit of Desistance.
Pomasin filed a case against Tison and Jabon. RTC ruled for
Tison, but was reversed by CA. The appellate court noted that
the restriction in Jabons drivers license was violated,
thus, giving rise to the presumption that he was negligent
at the time of the accident. Tison was likewise held liable
for damages for his failure to prove due diligence in
supervising Jabon after he was hired as driver of the truck.
HELD: The trial court found that the jitney driver was
negligent. We give weight to this finding greater than the
opposite conclusion reached by the appellate court that the
driver of the tractor-trailer caused the vehicular collision.
The testimony of Pomasin was not consistent (from downhill
and curve, to uphill) as opposed to Jabons which was
consistent.

20

dreamer Bar Review Notes


Clearly, the negligence of Gregorios daughter, Laarni was
the proximate cause of the accident.
We did not lose sight of the fact that at the time of the incident,
Jabon was prohibited from driving the truck due to the
restriction imposed on his drivers license, i.e.,restriction code
2 and 3. As a matter of fact, Jabon even asked the Land
Transportation Office to reinstate his articulated license
containing restriction code 8 which would allow him to drive
a tractor-trailer. The Court of Appeals concluded therefrom
that Jabon was violating a traffic regulation at the time of the
collision.
A causal connection must exist between the injury received
and the violation of the traffic regulation. It must be proven
that the violation of the traffic regulation was the proximate
or legal cause of the injury or that it substantially contributed
thereto. Negligence, consisting in whole or in part, of
violation of law, like any other negligence, is without legal
consequence unless it is a contributing cause of the injury.
In the instant case, no causal connection was established
between the tractor-trailer drivers restrictions on his license
to the vehicular collision. Furthermore, Jabon was able to
sufficiently explain that the Land Transportation Office
merely erred in not including restriction code 8 in his license.
Burden of Proof the duty of a party to present
evidence on the facts in issue necessary to establish his
claim or defenses by the amount of evidence required
by law.
Plaintiff has the burden of proving that defendant is
negligent, except in cases where theres a presumption
of negligence, example of which is in cases of common
carriers.
Presumption of Negligence party invoking a
presumption must still establish certain factual
preconditions before the presumption can operate.
Traffic Rules and Law of the Road speeding is
indicative of imprudent behavior. Driver must slow down
before negotiating a curve.
Contractual Relationships in common carriers.
Presumption does not apply in Non-Motorized
Vehicles bicycles.
Res Ipsa Loquitur the thing speaks for itself.
Requisites:
The accident is of a kind which ordinarily does not
occur in the absence of someones negligence;

G.R. No. 173180, August 24, 2011.

Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

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[Torts and Damages]

dreamer Bar Review Notes

It is caused by an instrumentality within the


exclusive control of the defendant or defendants;
The possibility of contributing conduct which
would make the plaintiff responsible is
eliminated.

Read book: pp. 140-154.

Illustrative Cases

block and platform but without a safety lock. Luckily, Jessie


and Delso jumped out of safety.
PO3 Rogelio Villanueva of the Eastern Police District
investigated the tragedy and filed report dated Nov. 25, 1990.
Maria Juergo, Joses widow filed a complaint on May 9, 1991
for damages in the RTC and was rendered a favorable
decision to receive support from DM Consunji amounting to
P644,000.

Malayan Insurance v. Alberto

DM Consunji seeks reversal of the CA decision.

FACTS: 4 car collision, Alberto, the driver of Fuzo Cargo


Truck, bumped a Mitsubishi Galant, damaging the 2 other
vehicles (Isuzu Tanker and Nissan Bus).

HELD: The respondent is not precluded from recovering


damages under the civil code. Maria Juergo was unaware of
petitioners negligence when she filed her claim for death
benefits from the State Insurance Fund. She filed the civil
complaint for damages after she received a copy of the police
investigation report and the Prosecutors Memorandum
dismissing the criminal complaint against petitioners
personnel.

In the case at bar, aside from the statement in the police report,
none of the parties disputes the fact that the Fuzo Cargo Truck
hit the rear end of the Mitsubishi Galant, which, in turn, hit
the rear end of the vehicle in front of it. Respondents,
however, point to the reckless driving of the Nissan Bus driver
as the proximate cause of the collision, which allegation is
totally unsupported by any evidence on record. And assuming
that this allegation is, indeed, true, it is astonishing that
respondents never even bothered to file a cross-claim against
the owner or driver of the Nissan Bus.
Res Ipsa Loquitur applies, the 3 requisites are present.
In the instant case, the Fuzo Cargo Truck would not have had
hit the rear end of the Mitsubishi Galant unless someone is
negligent. Also, the Fuzo Cargo Truck was under the
exclusive control of its driver, Reyes. Even if respondents
avert liability by putting the blame on the Nissan Bus driver,
still, this allegation was self-serving and totally unfounded.
Finally, no contributory negligence was attributed to the
driver of the Mitsubishi Galant. Consequently, all the
requisites for the application of the doctrine of res ipsa
loquitur are present, thereby creating a reasonable
presumption of negligence on the part of respondents.

Supreme Court remanded to the RTC of Pasig City to


determine whether the award decreed in its decision is more
than that of the Employees Compensation Commission
(ECC). Should the award decreed by the trial court be greater
than that awarded by the ECC, payments already made to
private respondent pursuant to the Labor Code shall be
deducted therefrom.
Jarcia v. People
FACTS:

HELD:

D.M. Consunji v. CA
FACTS: Around 1:30PM of November 2, 1990, Jose Juergo,
a construction worker of D.M. Consunji Inc. fell 14 floors
from the Renaissance Tower, Pasig City.
He was
immediately rushed to Rizal Medical Center in Pasig City.
The attending physician, Dr. Errol de Yzo, pronounce Jose
dead on arrival (DOA) at around 2:15PM.
Jose Juergo, together with Jessie Jaluag and Delso Destajo,
performing their work as carpenter at the elevator core of the
14th floor of Tower D, Renaissance Tower Building were on
board a platform. Jose was crushed to death when the
platform fell due to removal or looseness of the pin, which
was merely inserted to the connecting points of the chain

21
22

Rule 18.01, Canon 18, Code of Professional Responsibility.


Rule 18.02, Canon 18, Code of Professional Responsibility.

All Rights Reserved

AFFIRMATIVE DUTIES
Negligence of Lawyers
Basis of Responsibility Canon 18 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility provides that A lawyer shall
serve his clients with competence and diligence.
Not to undertake legal service he knows or
should know that he is not qualified to render;21
Not to handle any legal matter without adequate
preparation;22
Not to neglect a legal matter entrusted to him and
his negligence in connection therewith shall
render him liable.23

23

Rule 18.03, Canon 18, Code of Professional Responsibility.

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]


NOTE: an attorney is not bound to exercise
extraordinary diligence, but only a reasonable
degree of care and skill, having reference to the
character of the business he undertakes to do.
He is not answerable to every error or mistake,
and will be protected as long as he acts honestly
and in good faith to the best of his skill and
knowledge.24
Loss and Error of Judgment Not Bases of Liability
it would be to place an intolerable burden on a member
of the bar if just because a client failed to obtain what is
sought by her after due exertion of the required effort on
his part, he would be held accountable.25
Proof of Damage Necessary where a judgment
became final through the fault of the lawyer who did not
appeal therefrom, that fact alone is not sufficient ground
for the losing party to recover damages from his lawyer
since the action for damages rests on the
unsubstantiated and arbitrary supposition of the
injustice of the decision which became final through the
fault and negligence of the lawyer.26

Illustrative Cases
Franco-Cruz v. CA27
FACTS: Franco Transit bus collided with the rear portions of
a bus and truck wrecker both owned by Victory Liner. The
collision damaged both vehicles of Victory Liner and killed
Manuel Fabian, Rodel Ganelo, Caesar Santos, and Michael
Figueroa. The driver of the Franco Transit bus likewise died
in the accident.
Victory Liner and the surviving spouses of those killed filed
a complaint for damages against Franco-Cruz, the registered
owner of the buses under Franco Transit. They alleged that
Franco-Cruz failed to exercise the diligence of a good father
of a family in the selection and supervision of the driver of the
Franco Transit bus.
Franco-Cruz failed to appear during the pre-trial scheduled on
June 5, 1998 despite due notice thereof, albeit her counsel
filed on even date an urgent motion to postpone. The motion
was denied, however, and petitioner was declared as in
default [sic]. Victory Liner, et. al. at once started presenting
evidence ex-parte.
RTC found that the negligence of the driver of Franco Transit
resulted in the accident which Franco-Cruz failed to rebut and
that, moreover, Franco-Cruz totally failed to present evidence
to overthrow the presumption of negligence against her
pursuant to Article 2180 of the Civil Code.
HELD: The filing of a motion for reconsideration by
respondent Ma. Theresa within the reglementary period

dreamer Bar Review Notes


prevented, with respect to her, the decision from becoming
final, but not with respect to petitioner.
The faux pas or negligence of petitioners counsel, however,
in failing to file a timely motion for reconsideration should
not be taken against her. Ordinarily, the negligence of counsel
binds the client. However, this Court has recognized the
following exceptions to this rule: (1) where reckless or gross
negligence of counsel deprives the client of due process of
law; (2) when its application will result in outright
deprivation of the clients liberty or property; or (3) where the
interests of justice require. In the case at bar, the application
of the rule would result in Franc-Cruz being held liable
for the damages suffered by respondents even without
them having established the basis of her liability, thus
depriving her of due process of law.
Compounding petitioners plight is the trial courts procedural
error which precluded petitioner from presenting evidence in
her behalf. The trial court denied her motion for
reconsideration of its order declaring her as in default on
the ground that she failed to submit an affidavit of merit
respecting her claim that she had meritorious defenses. This
ratio is, of course, erroneous, for an affidavit of merit is not
required to support a motion for reconsideration of an order
allowing the ex-parte presentation of evidence by the plaintiff,
the defenses having already been laid down in the answer as
in petitioners case.
Petitioner, early on in the Affirmative Defenses segment of
her Answer, already disclaimed the allegation in respondents
complaint that she is the registered owner of the bus, hence,
not a real party-in-interest-ground to dismiss the complaint for
lack of cause of action.
Jacot v. Dal28
FACTS: Nestor Jacot assails the Resolution of COMELEC
disqualifying him from running for the position of ViceMayor of Catarman, Camiguin, in the 14 May 2007 National
and Local Elections, on the ground that he failed to make a
personal renouncement of US citizenship. He was a natural
born citizen of the Philippines, who became a naturalized
citizen of the US on 13 December 1989. He sought to
reacquire his Philippine citizenship under Republic Act No.
9225.
HELD: Jacot did not effectively renounce his US citizenship.
It bears to emphasize that the oath of allegiance is a general
requirement for all those who wish to run as candidates in
Philippine elections; while the renunciation of foreign
citizenship is an additional requisite only for those who
have retained or reacquired Philippine citizenship under
Republic Act No. 9225 and who seek elective public posts,
considering their special circumstance of having more
than one citizenship.

24

27

25

28

Aquino, pp. 230, citing Adarne v. Aldaba, 83 SCRA 734, 739 (1978).
Aquino, pp. 230, citing Atienza v. Evangelista, 80 SCRA 338, 341-342 (1977).
26 Aquino, pp. 231, citing Roque v. Guigundo, 89 SCRA 178 (1979).

G.R. No. 172238, September 17, 2008.


G.R. No. 179848, November 27, 2008

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[Torts and Damages]

dreamer Bar Review Notes


The justification offered by Jacot, that his counsel had advised
him against presenting this crucial piece of evidence, is lame
and unconvincing. If the Affidavit of 7 February 2007 was in
existence all along, Jacots counsel, and even Jacot himself,
could have easily adduced it to be a crucial piece of evidence
to prove compliance with the requirements of Section 5(2) of
Republic Act No. 9225. There was no apparent danger for
Jacot to submit as much evidence as possible in support of his
case, than the risk of presenting too little for which he could
lose.
And even if it were true, Jacots excuse for the late
presentation of the Affidavit of 7 February 2007 will not
change the outcome of Jacots case.
It is a well-settled rule that a client is bound by his counsels
conduct, negligence, and mistakes in handling the case, and
the client cannot be heard to complain that the result might
have been different had his lawyer proceeded differently. The
only exceptions to the general rule -- that a client is bound by
the mistakes of his counsel -- which this Court finds
acceptable are when the reckless or gross negligence of
counsel deprives the client of due process of law, or when the
application of the rule results in the outright deprivation of
ones property through a technicality. These exceptions are
not attendant in this case.
The Court cannot sustain petitioners averment that his
counsel was grossly negligent in deciding against the
presentation of the Affidavit of 7 February 2007 during the
proceedings before the COMELEC. Mistakes of attorneys as
to the competency of a witness; the sufficiency, relevancy or
irrelevancy of certain evidence; the proper defense or the
burden of proof, failure to introduce evidence, to summon
witnesses and to argue the case -- unless they prejudice the
client and prevent him from properly presenting his case -- do
not constitute gross incompetence or negligence, such that
clients may no longer be bound by the acts of their counsel.
Also belying petitioners claim that his former counsel was
grossly negligent was the fact that petitioner continuously
used his former counsels theory of the case. Even when the
COMELEC already rendered an adverse decision, he
persistently argues even to this Court that his oaths of
allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines before the Los
Angeles PCG and in his Certificate of Candidacy amount to
the renunciation of foreign citizenship which the law requires.
Having asserted the same defense in the instant Petition,
petitioner only demonstrates his continued reliance on and
complete belief in the position taken by his former counsel,
despite the formers incongruous allegations that the latter has
been grossly negligent.
Petitioner himself is also guilty of negligence. If indeed he
believed that his counsel was inept, petitioner should have
promptly taken action, such as discharging his counsel earlier
and/or insisting on the submission of his Affidavit of 7
February 2007 to the COMELEC, instead of waiting until a
29

decision was rendered disqualifying him and a resolution


issued dismissing his motion for reconsideration; and,
thereupon, he could have heaped the blame on his former
counsel. Petitioner could not be so easily allowed to escape
the consequences of his former counsels acts, because,
otherwise, it would render court proceedings indefinite,
tentative, and subject to reopening at any time by the mere
subterfuge of replacing counsel.
Negligence of Banks

The banking business is affected by public


interest.
The bank is under obligation to treat the accounts
of its depositors with meticulous care, always
having in mind the fiduciary nature of their
relationship.
The depositor expects the bank to treat his
account with utmost fidelity, whether such
account consists of only a few hundred pesos or
of millions.
The bank must record every single transaction
accurately, down to the last centavo, and as
promptly as possible.
The bank is also liable if it wrongfully dishonors
the check issued by the depositor even if there
are sufficient funds in the account and even if
there is no other valid justification to do so. The
depositor, not the payee, can maintain an action
based on breach of contract or on quasi-delict.

Illustrative Cases
Phil. Bank of Commerce v. CA29
FACTS: Rommels Marketing Corporation (RMC)
maintained two separate current accounts with PBC in
connection with its business of selling appliances. The RMC
General Manager Lipana entrusted to his secretary, Irene
Yabut, RMC funds amounting to P300,000+ for the purpose
of depositing the same to RMCs account with PBC.
However, it turned out that Yabut deposited the amounts in
her husbands account instead of RMC. Lipana never checked
his monthly statement of accounts regularly furnished by PBC
so that Yabuts modus operandi went on for the span of more
than one year.
ISSUE: What is the proximate cause of the loss Lipanas
negligence in not checking his monthly statements or the
banks negligence through its teller in validating the deposit
slips?
HELD: The bank teller was negligent in validating, officially
stamping and signing all the deposit slips prepared and
presented by Yabut, despite the glaring fact that the duplicate
copy was not completely accomplished contrary to the selfimposed procedure of the bank with respect to the proper
validation of deposit slips, original or duplicate.

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The bank tellers negligence, as well as the negligence of the
bank in the selection and supervision of its bank teller, is the
proximate cause of the loss suffered by the private respondent,
not the latters entrusting cash to a dishonest employee. Xxx
Even if Yabut had the fraudulent intention to misappropriate
the funds, she would not have been able to deposit those funds
in her husbands current account, and then make plaintiff
believe that it was in the latters accounts wherein she had
deposited them, had it not been for the bank tellers aforesaid
gross and reckless negligence.
Metropolitan Bank v. Tobias30
FACTS: Rosella A. Santiago, then the OIC-Branch Head of
Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company (METROBANK) in
Valero Street, Makati City, was introduced to respondent
Antonino O. Tobias III (Tobias) by one Jose Eduardo
Gonzales, a valued client of METROBANK.
Tobias applied for a loan from METROBANK, which in due
course conducted trade and credit verification of Tobias that
resulted in negative findings. METROBANK next proceeded
to appraise the property Tobias offered as collateral by asking
him for a photocopy of the title and other related documents.
The property consisted of four parcels of land located in
Malabon City, Metro Manila with a total area of 6,080 square
meters and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No.
M-16751. Based on the financial statements submitted by
Tobias, METROBANK approved a credit line for
P40,000,000.00. On August 15, 1997, Joselito Bermeo
Moreno,
Lead
Internal Affairs
Investigator
of
METROBANK, proceeded to the Registry of Deeds of
Malabon to cause the annotation of the deed of real estate
mortgage on TCT No. M-16751. The annotation was Entry
No. 26897.
When the certificate of sale was presented for registration to
the Registry of Deeds of Malabon, no corresponding original
copy of TCT No. M-16751 was found in the registry vault.
Atty. Sarah Principe-Bido, Deputy Register of Deeds of
Malabon, went on to verify TCT No. M-16751 and learned
that Serial No. 4348590 appearing therein had been issued for
TCT No. M-15363 in the name of one Alberto Cruz; while
TCT No. 16751 (now TCT No. 390146) appeared to have
been issued in the name of Eugenio S. Cruz and Co. for a
parcel of land located in Navotas.
Prosecutor found probable cause for estafa through
falsification of public documents, however, upon appeal to the
DOJ, both Gutierrez and Gonzales dismissed the appeal for
lack of probable cause. It was said that handling the same was
a disputable presumption of authorship.
HELD: METROBANK, a commercial bank dealing in real
property, had the duty to observe due diligence to ascertain
the existence and condition of the realty as well as the validity
and integrity of the documents bearing on the realty.

30

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Its duty included the responsibility of dispatching its
competent and experience representatives to the realty to
assess its actual location and condition, and of investigating
who was its real owner.
Yet, it is evident that METROBANK did not diligently
perform a thorough check on Tobias and the circumstances
surrounding the realty he had offered as collateral. As such, it
had no one to blame but itself. Verily, banks are expected to
exercise greater care and prudence than others in their
dealings because their business is impressed with public
interest. Their failure to do so constitutes negligence on its
part.
Side: Metrobank urges the application of the presumption of
authorship against Tobias based on his having offered the
duplicate copy of the spurious title to secure the loan, and
posits that there is no requirement that the presumption shall
apply only when there is absence of a valid explanation from
the person found to have possessed, used and benefited from
the forged document. Metrobanks theory was not sustained
here. First, a presumption affects the burden of proof that is
normally lodged in the State. The effect is to create the need
of presenting evidence to overcome the prima facie case that
shall prevail in the absence of proof to the contrary. As such,
a presumption of law is material during the actual trial of the
criminal case where in the establishment thereof the party
against whom the inference is made should adduce evidence
to rebut the presumption and demolish the prima facie case.
This is not so in a preliminary investigation, where the
investigating prosecutor only determines the existence of a
prima facie case that warrants the prosecution of a criminal
case in court. Second, the presumption of authorship, being
disputable, may be accepted and acted upon where no
evidence upholds the contention for which it stands. It is not
correct to say, consequently, that the investigating prosecutor
will try to determine the existence of the presumption during
preliminary investigation, and then to disregard the evidence
offered by the respondent. Moreover, the presumption that
whoever possesses or uses a spurious document is its forger
applies only in the absence of a satisfactory explanation.
CAUSATION
Proximate Cause that cause which, in natural and
continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient
intervening cause, produces the injury, and without
which the result would not have occurred; the procuring
efficient and predominant cause.
Is that acting first and producing the injury, either
immediately or by settling other events in motion,
all constituting a natural and continuous chain of
events, each having a close causal connection
with its immediate predecessor, the final even in
the chain immediately affecting the injury as a
natural and probable result of the cause which
first acted, under such circumstances that the
person responsible for the first event should, as
an ordinarily prudent and intelligent person,

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having reasonable ground to expect at the
moment his act or default that an injury to some
person might probably result therefrom.31

Illustrative Cases
Vda. De Bataclan v. Medina32
FACTS: Medina is the owner and operator of a bus. This bus,
on Sept. 13, 1952 around 2:00AM somewhere in Imus,
Cavite, crashed and fell into a ditch. Apparently, its front tire
burst, zig-zagged and turned turtle into the ditch. Bataclan
was one of the 18 passengers. Most of the passengers were
able to get out, but Bataclan and 3 others were trapped. It
appears that the bus drivers and the passengers who already
got out did not try to help Bataclan et al get out, instead, about
10 of the locals in the area came to their aid, they were
carrying a burning torch for illumination, but then a fierce fire
started and engulfed the bus and killed Bataclan et al. It
appears that there was a gas leak from the bus and it caught
fire from the torch the would-be rescuers were using.
The heirs of Bataclan sued Medina.
The trial court found that there was a breach of a contract of
carriage where Medina undertook to take Bataclan to his
destination safely. The trial court also found that there was
negligence on the part of Medina since at the time of the blowout, the bus was speeding. There is no question that under the
circumstances, the defendant carrier is liable. The only
question is to what degree. The trial court argued that Medina
is only liable for the injuries suffered by Bataclan and not by
his death, the proximate cause of which was the fire, which
was not caused by Medina.
ISSUE: Whether or not it was the negligence of Medina,
owner of the bus company, which was the proximate cause of
the death of Bataclan.
HELD: Yes. In this case, the proximate cause of the death
was the overturning of the bus, because of the overturning, it
leaked gas which is not unnatural or unexpected. The locals
coming to the aid of the trapped passengers was most likely
because the driver and the conductor went out looking for
help. It is only natural that the would-be rescuers bring with
them a torch because it was 2:30AM and the place was unlit.
The fire could also be attributed to the bus driver and
conductor because he should have known, from the
circumstances, and because he should have been able to smell
gasoline and therefore he should have warned the rescuers not
to bring the torch. Said negligence on the part of the agents of
the carrier come under the codal provisions abovereproduced, particularly, Articles 1733, 1759 and 1763.
Proximate Cause that cause, which, in natural and
continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening
cause, produces the injury, and without which the result
31 Aquino, pp. 317-318, citing Vda. De Bataclan v. Medina, 102 Phil. 181 (1957).
32

would not have occurred. And more comprehensively, the


proximate legal cause is that acting first and producing the
injury, either immediately or by setting other events in
motion, all constituting a natural and continuous chain of
events, each having a close causal connection with its
immediate predecessor, the final event in the chain
immediately effecting the injury as a natural and probable
result of the cause which first acted, under such circumstances
that the person responsible for the first event should, as an
ordinarily prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable
ground to expect at the moment of his act or default that an
injury to some person might probably result therefrom.
Mercury Drug v. Baking33
FACTS: Sebastian M. Baking went to the clinic of Dr. Cesar
Sy for a medical check-up. After undergoing an ECG, and
several examininations, Dr. Sy found the respondents blood
sugar and triglyceride were above normal. The doctor then
prescribed two medical prescriptions- Diamicron for the
blood sugar and Benalize for his triglyceride. Respondent
then proceeded to Mercury Drug Alabang to buy the
prescribed medicines. The sales lady misread the prescription
for Diamicron as a prescription for Dormicum. Thus what was
sold was Dormicum, a potent sleeping tablet. Unaware of the
wrong medicine, he took one pill on three consecutive days.
On the third day he took the medicine, he met an accident
while driving his car. He fell asleep while driving. He could
not remember anything about the collision nor felt its impact.
Suspecting the tablet he took, respondent went back to Dr. Sy
who was shocked after finding that what was sold was
Dormicum instead of Diamicron. He filed the present
complaint for damages against petitioner. The trial court
favored the defendant which was affirmed by the CA hence
this petition.
ISSUE: Is petitioner negligent, and if so, is the negligence
was the proximate cause of the accident?
HELD: YES. Art. 2176 provide the requisites of negligence:
1. damage suffered by the plaintiff, 2. fault or negligence of
the defendant, 3. connection of cause and effect between the
fault or negligence of the defendant and the damage incurred
by the plaintiff. It is generally recognized that the drugstore
business is imbued with public interest. Obviously,
petitioners employee was grossly negligent in selling the
wrong prescription. Considering that a fatal mistake could be
a matter of life and death for a buying patient, the said
employee should have been very cautious in dispensing
medicines. She should have verified whether the medicine she
gave respondent was indeed the one prescribed by the
physician. Petitioner contends that the proximate cause of the
accident was respondents negligence in driving his car.
Proximate cause is that cause, which in natural and continuous
sequence unbroken by any efficient intervening cause,
produces the injury, and without which the result would not
have occurred Proximate cause is determined from the facts

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of each case, upon a combined consideration of logic,
common sense, policy, and precedent. Here, the vehicular
accident could not have occurred had petitioners employee
been careful in reading the prescription. Without the potent
effect of Dormicum, a sleeping tablet, it was unlikely that
respondent would fall asleep while driving his car, resulting
in collision. Petition DENIED.
Remote Cause that cause which some independent
force merely took advantage of to accomplish
something not the natural effect thereof. A remote cause
cannot be considered the legal cause of the damage.

Illustrative Cases
Gabeto v. Araneta34
FACTS: In 1918, Basilio Ilano and Proceso Gayetano took a
carromata with a view to going to a cockpit. When the driver
of the carromata had started in the direction indicated, the
defendant, Agaton Araneta, stopped the horse, at the same
time protesting to the driver that he himself had called this
carromata first. The driver, Julio Pagnaya, replied that he had
not heard or seen the call of Araneta. Pagnaya pulled on the
reins of the bridle to free the horse from the control of
Araneta, in order that the vehicle might pass on. Owing to the
looseness of the bridle on the horse's head or to the rottenness
of the material of which it was made, the bit came out of the
horse's mouth; and it became necessary for the driver to get
out in order to find the bridle. Meanwhile one of the
passengers, Ilano, had alighted but the other, Gayetano, had
unfortunately retained his seat, and after the runaway horse
had proceeded up the street Gayetano jumped or fell from the
rig, and in so doing received injuries from which he soon died.
ISSUE: W/N the proximate cause of the accident was the
stopping
of
the
horse
by
Araneta.
RULING: Judgement reversed and defendant absolved from
the
complaint.
RATIO: The stopping of the rig by Araneta was too remote
from the accident that presently ensued to be considered the
legal or proximate cause thereof. Moreover, by getting out
and taking his post at the head of the horse, the driver was the
person primarily responsible for the control of the animal, and
the defendant cannot be charged with liability for the accident
resulting from the action of the horse thereafter. The evidence
indicates that the bridle was old, and the leather of which it
was made was probably so weak as to be easily broken.
According to the witnesses for the defendant, it was Julio who
jerked the rein, thereby causing the bit to come out of the
horse's mouth; and that after alighting, led the horse over to
the curb, and proceeded to fix the bridle; and that in so doing
the bridle was slipped entirely off, when the horse, feeling
himself free from control, started to go away as previously
stated.

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Nearest Cause the last link in the chain of events. Not
necessarily the proximate cause.
Ex: house burning because of embers negligently
emitted by the train.
Concurrent Causes other causes of the injury
brought about by acts or omissions of third persons. The
actor is not protected from liability even if the active and
substantially simultaneous operation of the effects of a
third persons innocent, tortious or criminal act is also a
substantial factor in bringing about the harm so long as
the actors negligent conduct actively and continuously
operate to bring about harm to another.
Doctrine of Last Clear Chance not applicable in
this cases. The joint tortfeasors are solidarily
liable.
If Plaintiffs Negligence is Concurrent Proximate
Cause plaintiff cannot recover damages.

Illustrative Cases
Philippine National Construction Corporation v. CA35
FACTS: PASUDECO transports sugarcane from Mabalacat
and Magalang, Pampanga. When the Mount Pinatubo
eruption of 1991 heavily damaged the national bridges along
Abacan-Angeles and Sapang Maragul via Magalang,
Pampanga, it requested permission from the Toll Regulatory
Board (TRB) for its trucks to enter and pass through NLEX.
They entered into a MOA that allowed PASUDECO to enter
and pass through NLEX:
1. PASUDECO trucks should move in convoy;
2. Said trucks will stay on the right lane;
3. A vehicle with blinking lights should be assigned at the
rear end of the convoy with a sign which should read as
follows: Caution: CONVOY AHEAD!!!;
4. Tollway safety measures should be properly observed;
5. Accidents or damages to the toll facilities arising out of
any activity related to this approval shall be the responsibility
of PASUDECO;
6. PASUDECO shall be responsible in towing their stalled
trucks immediately to avoid any inconvenience to the other
motorists;
7.
This request will be in force only while the national
bridges along Abacan-Angeles and Sapang Maragul via
Magalang remain impassable.
One day, the patrols of PNCC saw a pile of sugarcane in the
middle portion of the north and southbound lanes of the road
and suspected that the same are from PASUDECO.
Later on, thinking that the pile was already cleared on the side
of the street, they left, only for Rodrigo S. Arnaiz, who was
driving at 65kph, with his sister Regina Latagan, and his
friend Ricardo Generalao to have a vehicular mishap and their
car turned turtle several times.

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Hence, they filed action for damages.
PNCC averred that the mishap was due to the unreasonable
speed at which Arnaizs car was running, causing it to turn
turtle when it passed over some pieces of flattened
sugarcane. It claimed that the proximate cause of the mishap
was PASUDECOs gross negligence in spilling the
sugarcane, and its failure to clear and mop up the area
completely. It also alleged that Arnaiz was guilty of
contributory negligence in driving his car at such speed.
RTC rendered its decision in favor of Latagan, dismissing that
of Arnaiz and Generalao for insufficiency of evidence. The
case as against the PNCC was, likewise, dismissed.
CA rendered judgment, affirming the RTC decision with
modification. The appellate court ruled that Arnaiz was
negligent in driving his car, but that such negligence was
merely
contributory
to
the
cause
of
the
mishap, i.e., PASUDECOs failure to properly supervise its
men in clearing the affected area. Its supervisor, Mallari,
admitted that he was at his house while their men were
clearing Km. 72. Thus, the appellate court held both
PASUDECO and PNCC, jointly and severally, liable to
Latagan.
HELD: There are three elements of a quasi-delict: (a)
damages suffered by the plaintiff; (b) fault or negligence of
the defendant, or some other person for whose acts he must
respond; and (c) the connection of cause and effect between
the fault or negligence of the defendant and the damages
incurred by the plaintiff.
Negligence is the omission to do something which a
reasonable man, guided by those considerations which
ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do, or
the doing of something which a prudent and reasonable man
would do.
In the case at bar, it is clear that the petitioner failed to
exercise the requisite diligence in maintaining the NLEX safe
for motorists. The lighted cans and lane dividers on the
highway were removed even as flattened sugarcanes lay
scattered on the ground. The highway was still wet from the
juice and sap of the flattened sugarcanes. The petitioner
should have foreseen that the wet condition of the highway
would endanger motorists passing by at night or in the wee
hours of the morning.
PASUDECOs negligence in transporting sugarcanes without
proper harness/straps, and that of PNCC in removing the
emergency warning devices, were two successive negligent
acts which were the direct and proximate cause of Latagans
injuries. As such, PASUDECO and PNCC are jointly and
severally liable.
Anent respondent Arnaizs negligence in driving his car, both
the trial court and the CA agreed that it was only contributory,
36

[Torts and Damages]


and considered the same in mitigating the award of damages
in his favor as provided under Article 2179 of the New Civil
Code. Contributory negligence is conduct on the part of the
injured party, contributing as a legal cause to the harm he has
suffered, which falls below the standard to which he is
required to conform for his own protection. Even the
petitioner itself described Arnaizs negligence as
contributory. In its Answer to the complaint filed with the
trial court, the petitioner asserted that the direct and
proximate cause of the accident was the gross negligence of
PASUDECO personnel which resulted in the spillage of
sugarcane and the apparent failure of the PASUDECO
workers to clear and mop up the area completely, coupled
with the contributory negligence of Arnaiz in driving his car
at an unreasonable speed. However, the petitioner changed
its theory in the present recourse, and now claims that the
proximate and immediate cause of the mishap in question was
the reckless imprudence or gross negligence of respondent
Arnaiz. Such a change of theory cannot be allowed. When a
party adopts a certain theory in the trial court, he will not be
permitted to change his theory on appeal, for to permit him to
do so would not only be unfair to the other party but it would
also be offensive to the basic rules of fair play, justice and due
process.
Loadmasters Customs Services v. Glodel Brokerage
Corporation36
FACTS: The case is a petition for review on certiorari under
Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court assailing the August
24, 2007 Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R.
CV No. 82822.
On August 28, 2001, R&B Insurance issued Marine Policy
No. MN-00105/2001 in favor of Columbia to insure the
shipment of 132 bundles of electric copper cathodes against
All Risks. On August 28, 2001, the cargoes were shipped on
board the vessel "Richard Rey" from Isabela, Leyte, to Pier
10, North Harbor, Manila. They arrived on the same date.
Columbia engaged the services of Glodel for the release and
withdrawal of the cargoes from the pier and the subsequent
delivery to its warehouses/plants. Glodel, in turn, engaged the
services of Loadmasters for the use of its delivery trucks to
transport the cargoes to Columbias warehouses/plants in
Bulacan and Valenzuela City.
The goods were loaded on board twelve (12) trucks owned by
Loadmasters, driven by its employed drivers and
accompanied by its employed truck helpers. Of the six (6)
trucks route to Balagtas, Bulacan, only five (5) reached the
destination. One (1) truck, loaded with 11 bundles or 232
pieces of copper cathodes, failed to deliver its cargo.
Later on, the said truck, was recovered but without the copper
cathodes. Because of this incident, Columbia filed with R&B
Insurance a claim for insurance indemnity in the amount
ofP1,903,335.39. After the investigation, R&B Insurance paid

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Columbia the amount
indemnity.

ofP1,896,789.62

as

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insurance

R&B Insurance, thereafter, filed a complaint for damages


against both Loadmasters and Glodel before the Regional
Trial Court, Branch 14, Manila (RTC), It sought
reimbursement of the amount it had paid to Columbia for the
loss of the subject cargo. It claimed that it had been
subrogated "to the right of the consignee to recover from the
party/parties who may be held legally liable for the loss."
On November 19, 2003, the RTC rendered a decision holding
Glodel liable for damages for the loss of the subject cargo and
dismissing Loadmasters counterclaim for damages and
attorneys fees against R&B Insurance.
Both R&B Insurance and Glodel appealed the RTC decision
to the CA.
On August 24, 2007, the CA rendered that the appellee is an
agent of appellant Glodel, whatever liability the latter owes to
appellant R&B Insurance Corporation as insurance indemnity
must likewise be the amount it shall be paid by appellee
Loadmasters. Hence, Loadmasters filed the present petition
for review on certiorari.
ISSUE: Whether or not Loadmasters and Glodel are common
carriers to determine their liability for the loss of the subject
cargo.
RULING: The petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED.
Judgment is rendered declaring petitioner Loadmasters
Customs Services, Inc. and respondent Glodel Brokerage
Corporation jointly and severally liable to respondent
Under Article 1732 of the Civil Code, common carriers are
persons, corporations, firms, or associations engaged in the
business of carrying or transporting passenger or goods, or
both by land, water or air for compensation, offering their
services to the public. Loadmasters is a common carrier
because it is engaged in the business of transporting goods by
land, through its trucking service. It is a common carrier as
distinguished from a private carrier wherein the carriage is
generally undertaken by special agreement and it does not
hold itself out to carry goods for the general public. Glodel is
also considered a common carrier within the context of
Article 1732. For as stated and well provided in the case of
Schmitz Transport & Brokerage Corporation v. Transport
Venture, Inc., a customs broker is also regarded as a common
carrier, the transportation of goods being an integral part of its
business.

the Civil Code provides that the exercise of extraordinary


diligence lasts from the time the goods are unconditionally
placed in the possession of, and received by, the carrier for
transportation until the same are delivered, actually or
constructively, by the carrier to the consignee, or to the person
who has a right to receive them.
The Court is of the view that both Loadmasters and Glodel are
jointly and severally liable to R & B Insurance for the loss of
the subject cargo. Loadmasters claim that it was never privy
to the contract entered into by Glodel with the consignee
Columbia or R&B Insurance as subrogee, is not a valid
defense.
For under ART. 2180. The obligation imposed by Article
2176 is demandable not only for ones own acts or omissions,
but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible.
xxxx
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their
employees and household helpers acting within the scope of
their assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged
in any business or industry.
It is not disputed that the subject cargo was lost while in the
custody of Loadmasters whose employees (truck driver and
helper) were instrumental in the hijacking or robbery of the
shipment. As employer, Loadmasters should be made
answerable for the damages caused by its employees who
acted within the scope of their assigned task of delivering the
goods safely to the warehouse.
Glodel is also liable because of its failure to exercise
extraordinary diligence. It failed to ensure that Loadmasters
would fully comply with the undertaking to safely transport
the subject cargo to the designated destination. Glodel should,
therefore, be held liable with Loadmasters. Its defense of
force majeure is unavailing.
For the consequence, Glodel has no one to blame but itself.
The Court cannot come to its aid on equitable grounds.
"Equity, which has been aptly described as a justice outside
legality, is applied only in the absence of, and never against,
statutory law or judicial rules of procedure." The Court cannot
be a lawyer and take the cudgels for a party who has been at
fault or negligent.

Loadmasters and Glodel, being both common carriers, are


mandated from the nature of their business and for reasons of
public policy, to observe the extraordinary diligence in the
vigilance over the goods transported by them according to all
the circumstances of such case, as required by Article 1733 of
the Civil Code. When the Court speaks of extraordinary
diligence, it is that extreme measure of care and caution which
persons of unusual prudence and circumspection observe for
securing and preserving their own property or rights. With
respect to the time frame of this extraordinary responsibility,

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dreamer Bar Review Notes

[Torts and Damages]

Efficient Intervening Cause one that destroys the


causal connection between the negligent act and injury
and thereby negatives liability; sometimes called novus
actus interviens.
There is no efficient intervening cause if the force
created by the negligent act or omission have either:
Remained active itself;
Created another force which remained active
until it directly caused the result; or,
Created a new active risk being acted upon by
the active force that caused the result;
Test of Sufficiency of Intervening Cause can be
found in the manner in which it affects the continuity of
operation of the primary cause or connection between it
and the injury.

All Rights Reserved

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]


Introduction to Special Torts37
Special Torts are those acts and actions covered by
the following nine (9) articles found in the Chapter on
Human Relations which are expressly mentioned in
paragraph 10 of Article 2219, to wit:
Article 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another
in manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy
shall compensate the latter for the damage.
xxx
xxx
xxx
Article 26. Every person shall respect the dignity, personality,
privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors and other persons. The
following and similar acts, though they may not constitute a criminal
offense, shall produce a cause of action for damages, prevention
and other relief:
(1) Prying into the privacy of another's residence;
(2) Meddling with or disturbing the private life or family relations of
another;
(3) Intriguing to cause another to be alienated from his friends;
(4) Vexing or humiliating another on account of his religious beliefs,
lowly station in life, place of birth, physical defect, or other
personal condition.
Article 27. Any person suffering material or moral loss because a
public servant or employee refuses or neglects, without just cause,
to perform his official duty may file an action for damages and other
relief against the latter, without prejudice to any disciplinary
administrative action that may be taken.
Article 28. Unfair competition in agricultural, commercial or
industrial enterprises or in labor through the use of force,
intimidation, deceit, machination or any other unjust, oppressive or
highhanded method shall give rise to a right of action by the person
who thereby suffers damage.
Article 29. When the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted
on the ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable
doubt, a civil action for damages for the same act or omission may
be instituted. Such action requires only a preponderance of
evidence. Upon motion of the defendant, the court may require the
plaintiff to file a bond to answer for damages in case the complaint
should be found to be malicious.
If in a criminal case the judgment of acquittal is based upon
reasonable doubt, the court shall so declare. In the absence of any
declaration to that effect, it may be inferred from the text of the
decision whether or not the acquittal is due to that ground.
Article 30. When a separate civil action is brought to demand civil
liability arising from a criminal offense, and no criminal proceedings
are instituted during the pendency of the civil case, a
preponderance of evidence shall likewise be sufficient to prove the
act complained of.
xxx
xxx
xxx
Article 32. Any public officer or employee, or any private individual,
who directly or indirectly obstructs, defeats, violates or in any
manner impedes or impairs any of the following rights and liberties
of another person shall be liable to the latter for damages:
(1) Freedom of religion;
(2) Freedom of speech;
(3) Freedom to write for the press or to maintain a periodical
publication;
(4) Freedom from arbitrary or illegal detention;
(5) Freedom of suffrage;
(6) The right against deprivation of property without due process of
law;
(7) The right to a just compensation when private property is taken
for public use;
(8) The right to the equal protection of the laws;
(9) The right to be secure in one's person, house, papers, and
effects against unreasonable searches and seizures;
(10) The liberty of abode and of changing the same;
(11) The privacy of communication and correspondence;
(12) The right to become a member of associations or societies for
purposes not contrary to law;

dreamer Bar Review Notes


(13) The right to take part in a peaceable assembly to petition the
Government for redress of grievances;
(14) The right to be a free from involuntary servitude in any form;
(15) The right of the accused against excessive bail;
(16) The right of the accused to be heard by himself and counsel,
to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation
against him, to have a speedy and public trial, to meet the
witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to
secure the attendance of witness in his behalf;
(17) Freedom from being compelled to be a witness against one's
self, or from being forced to confess guilt, or from being
induced by a promise of immunity or reward to make such
confession, except when the person confessing becomes a
State witness;
(18) Freedom from excessive fines, or cruel and unusual
punishment, unless the same is imposed or inflicted in
accordance with a statute which has not been judicially
declared unconstitutional; and
(19) Freedom of access to the courts.
In any of the cases referred to in this article, whether or not the
defendant's act or omission constitutes a criminal offense, the
aggrieved party has a right to commence an entirely separate and
distinct civil action for damages, and for other relief. Such civil action
shall proceed independently of any criminal prosecution (if the latter
be instituted), and may be proved by a preponderance of evidence.
The indemnity shall include moral damages. Exemplary damages
may also be adjudicated.
The responsibility herein set forth is not demandable from a judge
unless his act or omission constitutes a violation of the Penal Code
or other penal statute.
xxx
xxx
xxx
Article 34. When a member of a city or municipal police force
refuses or fails to render aid or protection to any person in case of
danger to life or property, such peace officer shall be primarily liable
for damages, and the city or municipality shall be subsidiarily
responsible therefor. The civil action herein recognized shall be
independent of any criminal proceedings, and a preponderance of
evidence shall suffice to support such action.
Article 35. When a person, claiming to be injured by a criminal
offense, charges another with the same, for which no independent
civil action is granted in this Code or any special law, but the justice
of the peace finds no reasonable grounds to believe that a crime
has been committed, or the prosecuting attorney refuses or fails to
institute criminal proceedings, the complaint may bring a civil action
for damages against the alleged offender. Such civil action may be
supported by a preponderance of evidence. Upon the defendant's
motion, the court may require the plaintiff to file a bond to indemnify
the defendant in case the complaint should be found to be
malicious.
If during the pendency of the civil action, an information should be
presented by the prosecuting attorney, the civil action shall be
suspended until the termination of the criminal proceedings.

The injured party under the said articles may file a


criminal case against the offender if the act
constitutes a crime. In addition, he is entitled to
recover moral damages (Art. 2219).
The other articles in the Chapter on Human
Relations such as Articles 19, 20, 23 and 33 also
involve torts or quasi-delicts. Although they are not
included in Article 2219 (10), moral damages may
still be recovered therefrom in the absence of any
prohibition, especially so, when they are analogous
to those enumerated (Pineda, pp. 314-318).
Concept of Tort or Quasi-Delict Applicable to Both
Persons and Property as a general rule, the concept
of tort or quasi-delict applies to persons. Thus, the
Chapter on quasi-delict generally speaks of physical

37

For purposes of this Bar Review Notes, Special Torts includes the two other
types of Tort Liabilities, namely (1) Intentional Torts; and, (2) Strict Liability
Torts.

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All Rights Reserved

[Torts and Damages]

dreamer Bar Review Notes


injuries or death caused to persons. This tort is referred
to as personal tort. There are, however, articles which
speaks of property particularly the following:

interests and to secure a rightful relationship between


human beings and for the stability of the social order.38

Article 22. Every person who through an act of performance by


another, or any other means, acquires or comes into possession of
something at the expense of the latter without just or legal ground,
shall return the same to him.
Article 23. Even when an act or event causing damage to another's
property was not due to the fault or negligence of the defendant, the
latter shall be liable for indemnity if through the act or event he was
benefited.
Article 24. In all contractual, property or other relations, when one
of the parties is at a disadvantage on account of his moral
dependence, ignorance, indigence, mental weakness, tender age
or other handicap, the courts must be vigilant for his protection.
xxx
xxx
xxx
Article 27. Any person suffering material or moral loss because a
public servant or employee refuses or neglects, without just cause,
to perform his official duty may file an action for damages and other
relief against the latter, without prejudice to any disciplinary
administrative action that may be taken.
xxx
xxx
xxx
Article 34. When a member of a city or municipal police force
refuses or fails to render aid or protection to any person in case of
danger to life or property, such peace officer shall be primarily liable
for damages, and the city or municipality shall be subsidiarily
responsible therefor. The civil action herein recognized shall be
independent of any criminal proceedings, and a preponderance of
evidence shall suffice to support such action.
xxx
xxx
xxx
Article 694. A nuisance is any act, omission, establishment,
business, condition of property, or anything else which:
(1) Injures or endangers the health or safety of others; or
(2) Annoys or offends the senses; or
(3) Shocks, defies or disregards decency or morality; or
(4) Obstructs or interferes with the free passage of any public
highway or street, or any body of water; or
(5) Hinders or impairs the use of property.
xxx
xxx
xxx
Article 696. Every successive owner or possessor of property who
fails or refuses to abate a nuisance in that property started by a
former owner or possessor is liable therefor in the same manner as
the one who created it.
xxx
xxx
xxx
Article 2191. Proprietors shall also be responsible for damages
caused:
(1) By the explosion of machinery which has not been taken care
of with due diligence, and the inflammation of explosive
substances which have not been kept in a safe and adequate
place;
(2) By excessive smoke, which may be harmful to persons or
property;
(3) By the falling of trees situated at or near highways or lanes, if
not caused by force majeure;
(4) By emanations from tubes, canals, sewers or deposits of
infectious matter, constructed without precautions suitable to
the place. (1908)

Concept of Intent in Torts:


Restatement (Second) of Torts the actor
desires to cause consequences of his act, or that
he believes that the consequences are
substantially certain to result from it;39
Prosser and Keeton (1) it is a state of mind (2)
about consequences of an act or omission and
not about the act itself, and (3) it extends not only
to having in the mind a purpose or desire to bring
about given consequences but also to having in
mind a belief or knowledge that given
consequences are substantially certain to result
from the act;
Professor John Finnis a deliberate adoption of
a course of action or means which is wrongful in
relation to the plaintiff or adoption of a course of
action in order to cause a harmful end (Aquino,
pp. 384-385).

The above enumerations are referred to as property


torts (Ibid., pp. 319-321).

Human Relations: Intentional Torts


(as a Kind of Tort Liability)
Human Relations, Concept refers to the rules
needed to govern the inter-relationships of human
beings in a society for the purpose of maintaining social
order. This is to balance opposing or crisscrossing

38

Ibid., pp. 322, citing Report of the Code Commission, pp. 39.

All Rights Reserved

Intentional Tort vs. Negligence Tort (Ibid., pp. 385)


Intentional Tort
Negligence Tort
Involves CERTAINTY of Involves
the harm
FORESEEABILITY
of
the risk
There is a KNOWLEDGE There is a KNOWLEDGE
which
is which is SHORT of
SUBSTANTIALLY
substantial certainty
CERTAIN
Manifestations of Intent in most cases, intent
appears by way of malice, bad faith or fraud.
Bad faith involves a dishonest purpose or some
moral obloquy and conscious doing of wrong, a
breach of known duty due to some motives or
interests or ill will that partakes the nature of
fraud;
Malice connotes ill will or spite and speaks not
in response to duty. It implies an intention to do
ulterior and unjustifiable harm. It is bad faith or
bad motive.
Fraud refers to all kinds of deception that would
lead an ordinarily prudent person into error after
taking the circumstances into account.
NOTE: There are, however, some tort cases that
requires intent as a content specific. For example, in
interference with contract, the persuasion is used for the
indirect purpose of injuring the plaintiff or benefitting the
defendant at the expense of the plaintiff (Aquino, pp.
386-387). It is not just ill-will or spite, like in malicious
prosecution, but the fact of benefitting on one end and
injuring in the other.

39

Substantially the same definition of intent provided by Blacks Law


Dictionary.

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]


Catch-All Provisions
Article 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in
the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his
due, and observe honesty and good faith.
Article 20. Every person who, contrary to law, willfully or negligently
causes damage to another, shall indemnify the latter for the same.
Article 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another
in manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy
shall compensate latter for the damage.

Concept of Catch-All Provisions expands the


coverage of torts which renders it impossible that a
person who suffers damage because another has
violated some legal provision, should find himself
without relief.40 The above provisions provide the legal
bedrock for the award of damages to a party who suffers
damage whenever one commits an act in violation of
some legal provision, or an act which though not
constituting a transgression of positive law,
nevertheless violates certain rudimentary rights of the
party aggrieved.41
ART. 19 Principle of Abuse of Right
Article 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in
the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his
due, and observe honesty and good faith.

Abuse of Right refers to acts performed which are not


illegal but nevertheless make the actor liable for
damages, if in so acting or in exercising his right, his
purpose is to prejudice or injure another. This is a
complete departure from the old Spanish doctrine he
who uses a right injures no one (Pineda, pp. 323).
COMMENT: A contradiction in terms because if a
person acts with abuse, his right to act ceases, and his
act becomes illicit, giving rise to liability.42

dreamer Bar Review Notes


underlying an award of damages under Article 21 of the
Civil Code is to compensate the injured party for the
moral injury caused upon his person.44
Good Faith as a Defense
Aquino defendant may likewise be guilty of tort
under Articles 19 and 21 even if the tortfeasor did
not act with ill-will. In those cases, liability to pay
exemplary damages may not be imposed on the
defendant who acted in good faith. (Evil ends are
not necessarily controlling.45
Pineda the absence of good faith is essential to
abuse of right. When a person exercises his
rights but does so arbitrarily or unjustly or
performs his duties in a manner that is not in
keeping with honesty and good faith, he opens
himself to liability. 46
COMMENT: It is submitted that the latter rule is more
correct. This answer is based from the elements of
abuse of right as stated below.
Elements of Abuse of Right under Art. 19, the
elements of abuse of right are:
There is a legal right or duty;
Which is exercised in bad faith;
For the sole intent of prejudicing or injuring
another.47
Abuse of Right vs. Damnum Absque Injuria
Abuse of Rights when the conjunction of
damage and wrong is wanting, there is no
damnum absque injuria.
Damnum Absque Injuria a person who only
exercises his legal rights does no injury (Pineda,
pp. 328)

Rationale the exercise of a right ends when the right


disappears, and it disappears when it is abused,
especially to the prejudice of others. The mask of a right
without the spirit of justice which gives it life, is
repugnant to the modern concept of social justice.43

Art. 19, Not a Panacea for All Human Hurts and


Social Grievances the object of the article is to set
certain standards which must be observed not only in
the exercise of ones right but also in the performance
of ones duty (Ibid.).

Damage as an Essential Element of Cause of Action


based on Abuse of Right it can only prosper when
the plaintiff suffers damage (material or otherwise).
However, it is not necessary that there are actual
damages. Moral damages may be awarded in
appropriate cases referred to in the Chapter on Human
Relations of the Civil Code (Arts. 19 to 36), without need
of proof that the wrongful act complained of had caused
any physical injury upon the complainant. It is clear from
the report of the Code Commission that the reason

ART. 20 Indemnification

40

the Court categorically said that there exist a bad faith, although no ill-will or
grudge. In the Grand Union Supermarket Case, Atty. Aquino likewise believed
that there was no good faith in the case because Espino was paraded to be
humiliated.
46 Pineda, pp. 324, citing Sea Commercial Company, Inc., 319 SCRA 211; BPI
Express Card Corp. v. CA, 296 SCRA 260; and Nikko Hotel Manila Garden v.
Reyes, 452 SCRA 532.
47 Pineda, pp. 325; and Aquino, pp. 395, both citing Nikko Hotel Manila Garden
v. Reyes, 452 SCRA 532; and Carpio vs. Valmonte, G.R. No. 151866, September
9, 2004, among others.

Aquino, pp. 388, citing Report of the Code Commission, pp. 39.
Ibid., citing Carpio vs. Valmonte, G.R. No. 151866, September 9, 2004.
42 Ibid., citing 3 Camus 550.
43 Ibid., pp. 325, citing Borrel Macia, pp. 87-89.
44 Aquino, pp. 391, citing Patricio v. Hon. Leviste, G.R. No. 51832, April 26,
1989.
45 Aquno, pp. 392-394, citing Llorente v. Court of Appeals, 202 SCRA 309; and,
Grand Union Supermarket v. Espino, Jr., G.R. No. L-48250, December 28, 1979.
NOTE: Atty. Aquino, however, seems to contradict himself or it seems he is in
disagreement with the decisions of the SC. He said in the Llorente Case that
41

Article 20. Every person who, contrary to law, wilfully or negligently


causes damage to another, shall indemnify the latter for the same.

Coverage of the Article provides a general sanction


(the indemnification for damages) for cases wherein the
law does not provide its own sanctions. The article is
broad enough to cover even legal wrongs not
constitutive of breach of contract, as well as torts based

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[Torts and Damages]

dreamer Bar Review Notes


on malice (Art. 20) and torts based on negligence (Art.
2176) (Pineda, pp. 330).
Right Must be Impaired it is essential that some right
of his is impaired (Ibid.).
ART. 21 Injury Based from Acts Contrary to
Morals, Good Customs or Public Policy
Article 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another
in manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy
shall compensate latter for the damage.

Rationale of the Article to fill in the gaps in statutes


which leave so many victims of moral wrongs helpless,
even though they have actually suffered material and
moral injury. This is common in business practices, and
certain acts of landlords and employers.48
Requisites for Recovery of Damages necessary
that the act should have been willfully done and more it
is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy.
There should be loss or injury, material or otherwise,
which one may suffer as a result of such violation (Ibid.).

Illustrative Cases
Garciano V. CA49
LESSON: There is no abuse of right if the defendants
(teachers allegedly threatening to resign en masse) are
legitimately exercising their constitutional rights (in this
case, their right to free speech).
FACTS: The petitioner was hired to teach during the 198182 school year in the Immaculate Concepcion Institute in the
Island of Camotes. On January 13, 1982, or before the school
year ended, she applied for an indefinite leave of absence
because her daughter was taking her to Austria where her
daughter was employed. The application was recommended
for approval by the school principal, Emerito O. Labajo, and
approved by the President of the school's Board of Directors.On June 1, 1982, Emerito Labajo addressed a letter to the
petitioner through her husband, Sotero Garciano(for she was
still abroad), informing her of the decision of Fr. Joseph
Wiertz, the school's founder, concurred in by the president of
the Parent-Teachers Association and the school faculty, to
terminate her services as a member of the teaching staff
because of: (1) the absence of any written contract of
employment between her and the school due to her refusal to
sign one; and (2) the difficulty of getting a substitute for heron
a temporary basis as no one would accept the position without
a written contract. Upon her return from Austria in the later
part of June, 1982, she received the letter informing her that
her services at the Immaculate Concepcion Institute had been
terminated. She made inquiries from the school about the
matter and, on July 7, 1982, the members of the Board of

48

Pineda, pp. 331, citing Report of the Code Commission, pp. 39-40.
212 SCRA 436 (1992). Case digest courtesy of Mr. Antonio Antonio Santos
and Mr. Rommelito Francisco Macarayo.
49

All Rights Reserved

Directors of the school, with the exception of Fr. Joseph


Wiertz, signed a letter notifying her that she was "reinstated
to report and do your usual duties as Classroom Teacher . . .
effective July 5, 1982," and that" any letter or notice of
termination received by you before this date has no sanction
or authority by the Board of Directors of this Institution,
therefore it is declared null and void."- On July 9, 1982, the
president, vice president, secretary, and three members of the
Board of Directors, out of a membership of nine (9), resigned
their positions from the Board "for the reason that the ICI
Faculty, has reacted acidly to the Board's deliberations for the
reinstatement of Mrs. Esteria F. Garciano, thereby
questioning the integrity of the Board's decision".- On
September 3, 1982, petitioner filed a complaint for damages
in the Regional Trial Court, Cebu, Branch XI, against Fr.
Wiertz, Emerito Labajo, and some members of the faculty of
the school for discrimination and unjust and illegal dismissal.
ISSUE: WON the defendants prevented the petitioner from
reporting to the school and thus making them liable for
damages
HELD: NO. The Court of Appeals was correct in finding that
petitioner's discontinuance from teaching was her own choice.
While the respondents admittedly wanted her service
terminated, they actually did nothing to physically prevent her
from reassuming her post, as ordered by the school's Board of
Directors. That the school principal and Fr. Wiertz disagreed
with the Board's decision to retain her, and some teachers
allegedly threatened to resign en masse, even if true, did not
make them liable to her for damages. They were simply
exercising their right of free speech or their right to dissent
from the Board's decision. Their acts were not contrary to law,
morals, good customs or public policy. They did not "illegally
dismiss" her for the Board's decision to retain her prevailed.
She was ordered to report for work on July 5, 1982, but she
did not comply with that order. Consequently, whatever loss
she may have incurred in the form of lost earnings was selfinflicted. Volenti nonfit injuria (Assumption of risk)
RATIO: Liability for damages under Articles 19, 20 and21
of the Civil Code arises only from unlawful, willful or
negligent acts that are contrary to law, or morals, good
customs or public policy.
Petrophil Corporation v. CA50
LESSON: There was abuse of right when Petrophil
terminated its hauling contract with Dr. Cruz, without
hearing her side of the story, because Dr. Cruz
sympathized with the picketing workers of Petrophil.
FACTS: Petitioner Petrophil Corporation (Petrophil) entered
into contract with private respondent Dr. Amanda TernidaCruz, allowing the latter to haul and transport any and all
packages and/or bulk products of Petrophil.
50

G.R. No. 122796, December 10, 2001. Case digest courtesy of Mr. Antonio
Antonio Santos and Mr. Rommelito Francisco Macarayo.

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The contract provided among others, that Petrophil could
terminate the contract for breach, negligence, discourtesy,
improper and/or inadequate performance or abandonment.
Dr. Cruz was also required to reserve the use of at least two
(2) units of tank trucks solely for the hauling requirements of
Petrophil. It likewise stipulates that the contract shall be for
an indefinite period, provided that Petrophil may terminate
said contract at any time with 30 days prior written notice
In a letter dated May 21, 1987, Petrophil, through its
Operations Manager, advised Dr. Cruz that it was terminating
her hauling contract. Dr. Cruz appealed to Petrophil for
reconsideration but said appeal was denied.
On June 5, 1987-On June 23, 1987, Dr. Cruz filed with the
RTC a complaint against Petrophil seeking the nullity of the
termination of the contract.
On March 11, 1988, the other private respondents herein all
tank truck drivers of Dr. Cruz, also filed a complaint for
damages against Petrophil. RTC ordered Petrophil to pay the
plaintiffs as unearned hauling charges.
Dr. Cruz alleges in her appeal that the RTC erred in not
awarding actual damages and asks the court to award
compensatory, exemplary, and moral damages.
CA modified the decision, adding legal interest in the award.
The termination of the contract was for cause, and that the
procedures set forth in petitioners policy guidelines should
be followed. Hence this petition.
ISSUE/HELD: W/N petitioner is guilty of arbitrary
termination of contract / YES
W/N defendant is entitled to damages / YES
RATIO: On the first issue, we agree with petitioner that the
contract clearly provided for two ways of terminating the
contract (for cause as per Par. 7 and without cause as per
Par. 11) and, one mode does not exclude the other
Although the contract provided for causes for termination, it
also stated in paragraph 11 that the contract was for an
indefinite term subject to the right of Petrophil to terminate it
any time after a written notice of 30days. When the language
of a contract is clear, it requires no interpretation
Thus, the finding that the termination of the contract was for
cause, is immaterial. When petitioner terminated the contract
without cause, it was required only to give Dr. Cruz a 30day prior written notice, which it did in this case.
However Recall that before Petrophil terminated the contract
on May 25, 1987, there was a strike of its employees at the
Pandacan terminal. Dr. Cruz and her husband were seen at the
picket line and were reported to have instructed their truck
drivers not to load petroleum products. At the resumption of
the operation in Pandacan terminal, Dr. Cruzs contract was
suspended for one week and eventually terminated.
Nowhere in the record do we find that petitioner asked her to
explain her actions. Petrophil simply terminated her contract

dreamer Bar Review Notes


In terminating the hauling contract of Dr. Cruz without
hearing her side on the factual context above described,
petitioner opened itself to a charge of bad faith. While
Petrophil had the right to terminate the contract, petitioner
could not act purposely to injure private respondents.
There is an abuse of right under Article 19 if the following
elements are present: 1) There is a legal right or duty; 2) It is
exercised in bad faith; 3) For the sole purpose of prejudicing
or injuring another All these 3 elements are present in the case
at bar.
Petitioner contends that the Court of Appeals erred when it
imposed a tortious liability where the requisites therefor were
not established by the evidence, that there is no other evidence
that the termination of the contract was done with deliberate
intent to harm or for the sole purpose of prejudicing the
respondent-drivers.
Article 20 of the Civil Code provides that every person who,
contrary to law, willfully or negligently causes damage to
another, shall indemnify the latter for the damage done.
Petitioner might not have deliberately intended to injure the
respondent-drivers. But as a consequence of its willful act
directed against Dr. Cruz, respondent-drivers lost their jobs
and consequently suffered loss of income.
Note that under Article 20, there is no requirement that the act
must be directed at a specific person, but it suffices that a
person suffers damage as a consequence of a wrongful act of
another in order that indemnity could be demanded from the
wrongdoer.
The appellate court did not err, given the circumstances of this
case, in awarding damages to respondent-drivers.

Malicious Prosecution - an action for damages


brought by one against another whom a criminal
prosecution, civil suit, or other legal proceedings has
been instituted maliciously and without probable cause,
after the termination of such prosecution, suit or
proceeding in favor of the defendant therein. The gist of
the action is the putting of legal process in force,
regularly, for the mere purpose of vexation or injury.
Elements of Malicious Prosecution
(1) The fact of the prosecution and the further fact that
the defendant was himself the prosecutor, and that the
action was finally terminated with an acquittal;
(2) That in bringing the action, the prosecutor acted
without probable cause;
(3) The prosecutor was actuated or impelled by legal
malice.
Malice as a Requisite - The presence of malice should
therefore be established by going over the
circumstances of each case.
Concept of Malice - inexcusable intent to injure,
oppress, vex, annoy or humiliate; presence of probable

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All Rights Reserved

[Torts and Damages]

dreamer Bar Review Notes


cause signifies absence of malice; a mistake in a
doubtful and difficult question of law is a ground for good
faith.
Acquittal if the case was dismissed and refiled again,
that constitutes malicious prosecution.

Illustrative Cases
Globe Mckay v. CA51
LESSON: Prior acquittal, to justify that there exist
malicious prosecution, may include dismissal by the
prosecutor after preliminary investigation.
FACTS: 10 November 1972, herein private respondent
Restituto Tobias, a purchasing agent and administrative
assistant to the engineering operations manager, discovered
fictitious purchases and other fraudulent transactions, which
caused Globe Mackay Cable and Radio Corp loss of several
thousands of pesos. He reported it to his immediate superior
Eduardo T. Ferraren and to the Executive Vice President and
General Manager Herbert Hendry. A day after the report,
Hendry told Tobias that he was number one suspect and
ordered him one week forced leave. When Tobias returned to
work after said leave, Hendry called him a crook and a
swindler, ordered him to take a lie detector test, and to
submit specimen of his handwriting, signature and initials for
police investigation. Moreover, petitioners hired a private
investigator. Private investigation was still incomplete; the
lie detector tests yielded negative results; reports from
Manila police investigators and from the Metro Manila
Police Chief Document Examiner are in favor of Tobias.
Petitioners filed with the Fiscals Office of Manila a total of
six (6) criminal cases against private respondent Tobias, but
were dismissed.
Tobias received a notice of termination of his employment
from petitioners in January 1973, effective December 1972.
He sought employment with the Republic Telephone
Company (RETELCO); but Hendry wrote a letter to
RETELCO stating that Tobias was dismissed by Globe
Mackay due to dishonesty. Tobias, then, filed a civil case for
damages anchored on alleged unlawful, malicious,
oppressive, and abusive acts of petitioners. The Regional Trial
Court of Manila, Branch IX, through Judge Manuel T. Reyes
rendered judgment in favor of private respondent, ordering
petitioners to pay him eighty thousand pesos (P80,000.00) as
actual damages, two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00)
as moral damages, twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) as
exemplary damages, thirty thousand pesos (P30,000.00) as
attorney's fees, and costs; hence, this petition for review on
certiorari.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners are liable for damages to
private respondent.

51

G.R. No. 81262, August 1989. Case digest courtesy of Mr. Antonio Antonio
Santos and Mr. Rommelito Francisco Macarayo.

All Rights Reserved

HELD: Yes. The Court, after examining the record and


considering certain significant circumstances, finds that all
petitioners have indeed abused the right that they invoke,
causing damage to private respondent and for which the latter
must now be indemnified: when Hendry told Tobias to just
confess or else the company would file a hundred more cases
against him until he landed in jail; his (Hendry) scornful
remarks about Filipinos ("You Filipinos cannot be trusted.)
as well as against Tobias (crook, and swindler); the
writing of a letter to RETELCO stating that Tobias was
dismissed by Globe Mackay due to dishonesty; and the filing
of six criminal cases by petitioners against private respondent.
All these reveal that petitioners are motivated by malicious
and unlawful intent to harass, oppress, and cause damage to
private respondent. The imputation of guilt without basis and
the pattern of harassment during the investigations of Tobias
transgress the standards of human conduct set forth in Article
19 of the Civil Code.
Drilon v. CA52
LESSON: Prior acquittal and writ of habeas corpus, not
the same. Prior acquittal is the dismissal of a case
against a person. Habeas corpus cannot justify that
there exist malicious prosecution.
FACTS: In a letter-complaint to then Secretary of Justice
Franklin Drilon, General Renato de Villa, who was then the
Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,
requested the Department of Justice to order the investigation
of several individuals named therein, including herein private
respondent Homobono Adaza, for their alleged participation
in the failed December 1989 coup detat.
The letter-complaint was based on the affidavit of Brigadier
General Alejandro Galido, Captain Oscarlito Mapalo,
Colonel Juan Mamorno, Colonel Hernani Figueroa and Major
Eduardo Sebastian
Panel released its findings holding that there is probable cause
to hold herein respondents for trial for the crime of
REBELLION WITH MURDER AND FRUSTRATED
MURDER.
This resolution served as the basis for the filing of the
corresponding information against them charging them with
the crime of rebellion with murder and frustrated murder
before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, with no
recommendation as to bail.
Feeling aggrieved by the institution of these proceedings
against him, private respondent Adaza filed a complaint for
damages
Adaza charged petitioners with engaging in a deliberate,
willful and malicious experimentation by filing against him a

52

G.R. No. 107019, 1997. Case digest courtesy of Mr. Antonio Antonio Santos
and Mr. Rommelito Francisco Macarayo.

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]


charge of rebellion complexed with murder and frustrated
murder when petitioners, according to Adaza, were fully
aware of the non-existence of such crime in the statute books
Petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss Adazas complaint on
the ground that said complaint states no actionable wrong
constituting a valid cause of action against petitioners
RTC denied Motion to Dismiss
petitioners filed a
petition for certiorari under Rule 65 before the Court of
Appeals alleging grave abuse of discretion on the part of the
respondent Judge in ruling that sufficient cause of action
exists to warrant a full-blown hearing of the case filed by
Adaza and thus denying petitioners Motion to Dismiss
Appellate court dismissed the petition for lack of merit and
ordered respondent Judge to proceed with the trial of Civil
Case
ISSUE: WON There was malice in this case.
HELD: NO. The complaint likewise does not make any
allegation that the prosecution acted without probable cause
in filing the criminal information for rebellion with murder
and frustrated murder. Probable cause is the existence of such
facts and circumstances as would excite the belief, in a
reasonable mind, acting on the facts within the knowledge of
the prosecutor, that the person charged was guilty of the crime
for which he was prosecuted.
It is well-settled that one cannot be held liable for
maliciously instituting a prosecution where one has acted
with probable cause. Elsewise stated, a suit for malicious
prosecution will lie only in cases where a legal prosecution
has been carried on without probable cause. The reason for
this rule is that it would be a very great discouragement to
public justice, if prosecutors, who had tolerable ground of
suspicion, were liable to be sued at law when their indictment
miscarried
In the case at bar, the decision of the Special Team of
Prosecutors to file the information for rebellion with murder
and frustrated murder against respondent Adaza, among
others, cannot be dismissed as the mere product of whim or
caprice on the part of the prosecutors who conducted the
preliminary investigation. Said decision was fully justified in
an eighteen (18)-page Resolution.
While it is true that the petitioners were fully aware of the
prevailing jurisprudence enunciated in People v. Hernandez,
which proscribes the complexing of murder and other
common crimes with rebellion, petitioners were of the honest
conviction that the Hernandez Case can be differentiated from
the present case. In the Hernandez case, the common crimes
of murder, arson, etc. were found by the fiscal to have been
committed as a necessary means to commit rebellion, or in
furtherance thereof. Thus, the fiscal filed an information for
rebellion alleging those common crimes as a necessary means
of committing the offense charged under the second part of
Article 48, RPC.

dreamer Bar Review Notes


The prosecutors, however, find no occasion to apply the
Hernandez ruling since as intimated above, the crimes of
murder and frustrated murder in this case were absolutely
unnecessary to commit rebellion although they were the
natural consequences of the unlawful bombing. Hence, the
applicable provision is the first part of Article 48 of the RPC.
Enrile v Salazar was also cited saying Hernandez ruling is still
a good law but part of it needs clarification.
In line with Enrile case, SC held that a doubtful or difficult
question of law may become the basis of good faith and, in
this regard, the law always accords to public officials the
presumption of good faith and regularity in the performance
of official duties. Any person who seeks to establish otherwise
has the burden of proving bad faith or ill-motive. Here, since
the petitioners were of the honest conviction that there was
probable cause to hold respondent Adaza for trial for the
crime of rebellion with murder and frustrated murder, and
since Adaza himself, through counsel, did not allege in his
complaint lack of probable cause, we find that the petitioners
cannot be held liable for malicious prosecution. Probable
cause was not wanting in the institution of Criminal Case
against Adaza.
As to the requirement that the prosecutor must be impelled by
malice in bringing the unfounded action, suffice it to state that
the presence of probable cause signifies, as a legal
consequence, the absence of malice. At the risk of being
repetitious, it is evident in this case that petitioners were not
motivated by malicious intent or by a sinister design to unduly
harass private respondent, but only by a well-founded belief
that respondent Adaza can be held for trial for the crime
alleged in the information.
Inhelder Corporation v. CA53
LESSON: Malice and purpose to vex as elements of
malicious prosecution. Collection cases where check
was used to pay; there exist no malicious prosecution if
the check was not yet cashed.
FACTS: On December 29, 1972, DOCTOR's CLINIC
purchased medicines and drugs from INHELDER in the
amount of P1,385.10, payable in installments. The
PANGANIBANS were able to pay the amount of P824.10 for
that purchase, leaving a balance of P561.00 which had
remained unpaid for approximately two years.
On December 2, 1974, Atty. Fajardo sent a letter to the
PANGANIBANS requesting settlement of the said amount of
P561.00. In their reply, the PANGANIBANS requested a
statement of account which was sent to them on January 17,
1975 with a follow-up letter, again, requesting remittance of
the outstanding balance of P561.00.
(a) On January 28, 1975, the PANGANIBANS, as stated by
them, "sent PNB Check No. 32058 to (INHELDER) in the
amount of P561.00, dated January 28, 1975, and said check

53

G.R. No. L-52358, May 30, 1983. Case digest courtesy of Mr. Antonio
Antonio Santos and Mr. Rommelito Francisco Macarayo.

Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

All Rights Reserved

dreamer Bar Review Notes


was received by (INHELDER) on or before February 5.
1975".
(b) The check must have been sent by mail. If it was
personally delivered, the PANGANIBANS would know the
specific date when the check was received, which then would
not be "on or before February 5, 1975."
(c) It can be presumed that the PNB Check was drawn on the
PNB Branch in Calapan.
On February 8, 1975, Atty. Fajardo prepared the complaint in
the COLLECTION CASE, which was filed with the
MANDALUYONG COURT on February 12, 1975.
(a) On February 19, 1975, INHELDER sent a letter to the
PANGANIBANS "acknowledging the receipt of the PNB
Check No. 32058 in the amount of P561.00 representing full
payment of the ('PANGANIBANS') account with
INHELDER".
(b) For the payment made by the PANGANIBANS to be
effective, the PNB Check must first be cleared with the PNB
Branch in Calapan, which could have been completed only on
February 19, 1975.
ISSUE: WON the Collection Case is unfounded.
HELD: NO, it is not. It is a valid case. It should be difficult
to conclude that the COLLECTION CASE was a clearly
unfounded civil action. It is not clear that the account of the
PANGANIBANS had already been paid as of February 12,
1975. Under Article 1249 of the Civil Code, payment should
be held effective only when PNB Check No. 32058 was
actually cashed by, or credited to the account of, INHELDER.
If that did not eventuate on or before February 12, 1975, and
there is no proof that it did, the account would still be unpaid,
and the complaint in the COLLECTION CASE, technically,
could not be considered as substantially unfounded.
It is true that when the check of the PANGANIBANS was
received on February 5, 1975, the better procedure would
have been to withhold a complaint pending determination of
whether or not the check was good. If dishonored, that would
be the time to file the complaint. That procedure was not
followed because of the failure of the corresponding advice
which could have been given to Atty. Fajardo by the
INHELDER Credit and Collection Manager. But the lack of
that advice should not justify qualifying the COLLECTION
CASE as clearly unfounded. If the check had bounced, the
COLLECTION CASE would have been tried and acted upon
by the MANDALUYONG COURT on the merits.
Neither may it be said that the COLLECTION CASE was
malicious. Malicious prosecution, to be the basis of a suit,
requires the elements of malice and want of probable
cause. There must be proof that the prosecution was prompted
by a sinister design to vex and humiliate a person, and that it
was initiated deliberately knowing that the charge was false
and groundless.

[Torts and Damages]


In the present case, there is no evidence on record, clearly
establishing these two elements. Although there may be want
of probable cause, there is no proof that petitioner deliberately
initiated the COLLECTION CASE knowing that the same
was false and groundless.
It should also be stressed that the mere filing of a suit does
'not render a person liable for malicious prosecution should he
be unsuccessful. The law could not have meant to impose a
penalty on the right to litigate. Sound principles of justice and
public policy demand that persons shall have free resort to
Courts of law for redress of wrongs and vindication of their
rights without fear of later on standing trial for damages
should their actions lose ground.

Public Humiliation - The Revised Penal Code


punishes similar acts known as slander by deed. This
crime is committed by any person who performs an act
that costs dishonor, discredit or contempt upon the
offended party in the presence of other person or
persons.

Illustrative Cases
Carpio v. Valmonte54
FACTS: Respondent Valmonte is a wedding coordinator.
Michelle del Rosario and Jon Sierra engaged her services for
their church wedding. On that day, Valmonte went to the
Manila Hotel to where the bride and her family were billeted.
When she arrived at the Suite, several persons were already
there including the petitioner Soledad Carpio, an aunt of the
bride who was preparing to dress up for the occasion. After
reporting to the bride, Valmonte went out of the suite carrying
the items needed for the wedding rites and the gifts from the
principal sponsors. She proceeded to the Maynila Restaurant
where the reception was to be held. She went back to the suite
after, and found several people staring at her when she
entered. . It was at this juncture that petitioner allegedly
uttered the following words to Valmonte: Ikaw lang ang
lumabas ng kwarto, nasaan ang dala mongbag? Saan ka
pumunta? Ikaw lang and lumabas ng kwarto, ikaw ang
kumuha.
Petitioner then ordered one of the ladies to search Valmontes
bag.
It turned out that after Valmonte left the room to attend to her
duties, petitioner discovered that the pieces of jewelry which
she placed inside the comfort room in a paper bag were lost.
A few days after the incident, petitioner received a letter from
Valmonte demanding a formal letter of apology which she
wanted to be circulated to the newlyweds relatives and guests
to redeem her smeared reputation as a result of petitioners
imputations against her. Petitioner did not respond to the

54

G.R. No. 151866, September 9, 2004. Case digest courtesy of Mr. Antonio
Antonio Santos and Mr. Rommelito Francisco Macarayo.

All Rights Reserved

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]


letter. Thus, on 20February 1997, Valmonte filed a suit for
damages against petitioner.
ISSUE: W/N respondent Valmonte is entitled to damages
RULING: Valmonte is entitled to damages. In the case at bar,
petitioners verbal reproach against respondent was certainly
uncalled for considering that by her own account nobody
knew that she brought such kind and amount of jewelry inside
the paper bag. True, petitioner had the right to ascertain the
identity of the malefactor, but to malign respondent without
an iota of proof that she was the one who actually stole the
jewelry is an act which, by any standard or principle of law is
impermissible. Petitioner had willfully caused injury to
respondent in a manner which is contrary to morals and good
customs. She did not act with justice and good faith for
apparently, she had no other purpose in mind but to prejudice
respondent. Certainly, petitioner transgressed the provisions
of Article 19 in relation to Article 21 for which she should be
held accountable.

Contra Bonus Mores (see Art. 21)


Breach of promise to marry - generally not actionable
because the right to marry is a personal one and is not
subject to judicial compulsion.
Exceptions when breach of promise to marry may
give rise to damages:
there was financial damage;
social humiliation was caused to one of the
parties; and,
where there was moral seduction.
NOTE: In such cases, either moral or actual damages
can be recovered, based from the circumstances.
Moral Damages, When Applicable When there is
seduction. Seduction may be criminal or mere moral
seduction. Moral seduction, although not punishable,
connotes essentially the idea of deceit, enticement,
superior power or abuse of confidence on the part of the
seducer to which the woman has yielded.
Actual Damages, When Applicable if suffered by
breach of promise to marry; example is when a teacher
resigned her position because of the mans promise to
marry.

Illustrative Cases
Wassmer v. Velez55
LESSON: Actual damages can be recovered for actual
wedding expenses; Moral damages can be recovered
because there exist fraud in the promise to marry.

55

G.R. No. L-20089. Case digest courtesy of Mr. Antonio Antonio Santos and
Mr. Rommelito Francisco Macarayo.

dreamer Bar Review Notes


FACTS: Francisco Velez and Beatriz, following their
promise to love, decided to get married. Two days before their
marriage Francisco wrote Beatriz telling her that their
marriage had to be postponed as his mother opposes it. A day
before his marriage he sent a telegram informing her nothing
changed rest assured returning soon. Francisco was never
heard from again. Beatriz sued for damages for breach of
promise to marry.
ISSUE: Is breach of promise to marry an actionable wrong?
HELD: The extent to which acts not contrary to law may be
perpetrated with impunity, is not limitless for Article 21 of the
Civil Code provides that any person who willfully causes
loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals,
good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for
the damages.
This is not a case of mere breach to marry. As stated, mere
breach of promise to marry is not an actionable wrong. But to
formally set a wedding and go through all the preparation and
publicity, only to walk out of it when the matrimony is about
to be solemnized, is quite different. This is palpably and
unjustifiably contrary to good customs for which defendant
must be held answerable in damages in accordance with
Article 21 of the Civil Code.
When a breach to marry is actionable under Article 21 of the
Civil Code, moral damages may be awarded under Article
2219(10) of the said Code. Exemplary damages may also be
awarded under Article 2232 of said Code where it is proven
that the defendant clearly acted in a wanton, reckless and
oppressive manner.
Baksh v. CA56
LESSON: Moral damages can be recovered if there is
seduction, thus, the existence of fraud; Pari delicto rule
does not apply if accompanied by seduction.
FACTS: Private respondent, Marilou Gonzales, filed a
complaint dated October 27, 1987 for damages against the
petitioner for the alleged breach of their agreement to get
married. She met the petitioner in Dagupan where the latter
was an Iranian medical exchange student who later courted
her and proposed marriage. The petitioner even went to
Marilous house to secure approval of her parents. The
petitioner then forced the respondent to leave with him in his
apartment. Marilou was a virgin before she lived with him.
After a week, she filed a complaint because the petitioner
started maltreating and threatening her. He even tied the
respondent in the apartment while he was in school and
drugged her. Marilou at one time became pregnant but the
petitioner administered a drug to abort the baby.
Petitioner repudiated the marriage agreement and told
Marilou to not live with him since he is already married to
someone in Bacolod. He claimed that he never proposed
56

G.R. No. 97336, February 17, 1993. Case digest courtesy of Mr. Antonio
Antonio Santos and Mr. Rommelito Francisco Macarayo.

Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

All Rights Reserved

[Torts and Damages]

dreamer Bar Review Notes


marriage or agreed to be married neither sought consent and
approval of Marlious parents. He claimed that he asked
Marilou to stay out of his apartment since the latter deceived
him by stealing money and his passport. The private
respondent prayed for damages and reimbursements of actual
expenses.
ISSUE: Whether breach of promise to marry can give rise to
cause for damages.
HELD: The existing rule is that breach of promise to marry
per se is not an actionable wrong. The court held that when a
man uses his promise of marriage to deceive a woman to
consent to his malicious desires, he commits fraud and
willfully injures the woman. In that instance, the court found
that petitioners deceptive promise to marry led Marilou to
surrender her virtue and womanhood.
Moral damages can be claimed when such promise to marry
was a deceptive ploy to have carnal knowledge with the
woman and actual damages should be paid for the wedding
preparation expenses. Petitioner even committed deplorable
acts in disregard of the laws of the country.
Therefore, SC affirms RTC and CA.

Seduction and Sexual Assault - Seduction, by itself,


without breach of promise to marry is also an act which
is contrary to morals, good customs and public policy.
When Liable - The defendant is liable if he employed
deceit, enticement, superior power or abuse of
confidence in successfully having sexual intercourse
with another. He is liable even if he satisfied his lust
without promising to marry the offended party. It may not
even matter that the plaintiff and the defendant are of
the same gender. The defendant would be liable for all
forms of sexual assault. These include the crimes
defined under the Revised Penal Code as rape, acts of
lasciviousness and seduction. Thus, liability may be
imposed under Article 21 of the Civil Code if a married
man forced a woman not his wife to yield to his lust.

Illustrative Cases
Pe v. Pe57
LESSON: There exist trickery fraud; moral damages
can be recovered.
FACTS: Plaintiffs are the parents, brothers and sisters of one
Lolita Pe. At the time of her disappearance on April 14, 1957,
Lolita was 24 years old and unmarried. Defendant is a married
man and works as agent of the La Perla Cigar and Cigarette
Factory. Defendant was an adopted son of a Chinaman named
Pe Beco, a collateral relative of Lolita's father. Because of
such fact and the similarity in their family name, defendant
57

G.R. No. L- 17396, May 30, 1962. Case digest courtesy of Mr. Antonio
Antonio Santos and Mr. Rommelito Francisco Macarayo.

All Rights Reserved

became close to the plaintiffs who regarded him as a member


of their family. Sometime in 1952, defendant frequented the
house of Lolita on the pretext that he wanted her to teach him
how to pray the rosary. The two eventually fell in love with
each other and conducted clandestine trysts and exchanged
love notes The rumors about their love affairs reached Lolita's
parents sometime, in 1955, and since then defendant was
forbidden from going to their house and from further seeing
Lolita. The plaintiffs even filed deportation proceedings
against defendant. The affair between defendant and Lolita
continued nonetheless. On April 14, 1957, Lolita disappeared
from their house but her brothers and sisters found a note
written by the defendant.
ISSUE: Whether the defendant is liable according to Article
21 of the Civil Code
HELD: Alfonso committed an injury to Lolitas family in a
manner contrary to morals, good customs and public policy
contemplated in Article 20 of the civil code. The defendant
took advantage of the trust of Cecilio and even used the
praying of rosary as a reason to get close with Lolita. The
wrong caused by Alfonso is immeasurable considering the
fact that he is a married man.
The circumstances under which defendant tried to win Lolita's
affection cannot lead to any other conclusion than that it was
he who, thru an ingenious scheme or trickery, seduced the
latter to the extent of making her fall in love with him. This is
shown by the fact that defendant frequented the house of
Lolita on the pretext that he wanted her to teach him how to
pray the rosary.
Trespass58
NOTE: Remember Dean Navarros lengthy discussion
about the circumstances contemplated in Article 448
Discussion from PROPERTY:
Real Property
A owns a land, and B built a building on As land in good
faith. A, the land owner, is in good faith and discovered
about it when the building was already constructed. His
rights are:
1) To appropriate as his own the works, sowing or
planting + indemnity.
2) To oblige the one who built or planted to pay the price
of the land, and the one who sowed, the proper rent.
Can they compel each other? NO.
a) He LO cannot be compelled to buy the building, as
his right is OLDER.
Before the building has been built, the owner
already owns the land.

58

Notes of Dean Domingo Navarro in the subject Property; Transcription


courtesy of Ms. Czarina Bantay.

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]


By his right of accession.
Thats why the option to choose is given to him.
b) B can be compelled to pay the price of the land.
EXCEPTION: when the value of the land if
CONSIDERABLY MORE than that of the
building.
Ex: A (GF) built a building on Bs land. The value of the
building is P1.9M and the land is valued P2M (there is a
difference of P100K).
- Can B be compelled? YES, as it is not considerably
more.
- When is it considerably more? Example: when the land
is valued at P2M and the building was for P300K only.
- In this case, B cannot be compelled.
A, in GF, built a house on Bs land in 1985. It was only
in 2005 when B accosted A and told A that A built on his
(Bs) land. After which, B demanded him to VACATE the
house.
- Can B do that? NO, it is not one of the options given to
him by law.
- What if B said I dont want to buy your house and I
dont want to sell my land to you either?
Can the LO refuse to exercise those options and
simply ask the B to vacate? NO.
- What if the option selected by the B is to
APPROPRIATE As building?
Payment of indemnity.
VALUE OF THE BUILDING PRESENT
VALUE.
Can B demand the payment of rent from 1985
to 2005? NO, since he is in GF, he has the right
of retention until fully reimbursed.
o The builder in good faith cannot be
compelled to pay rents during the period
of retention.
- What if the option selected by B is to SELL HIS LAND
to A, since the value of the land is not considerably more
than the building? Can B compel A to pay rent from 1985
to 2005?
YES, until when? Until A hasnt fully paid the
value of the land.
If A has already paid the land in full, then he
need not have to pay rent. He is the owner of
the land already.
- What if the option chosen is the BUY As BUILDING,
from that point on, is A required to pay rent?
NO, because of As right of retention and it
implies tenancy.
If you are compelled to pay rent, then that
would defeat your right of retention.
- Supposing that the building produces fruits in the form
of rent because you are leasing units in the building to
tenants. Who is entitled to those fruits / rents in the
meantime? If indemnity is not yet paid when the option
chosen is to APPROPRIATE THE BUILDING
TWO SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT according to the
decisions of the SC

dreamer Bar Review Notes


and
SAN
From the moment the TECSON
builder becomes aware of DIEGO: the builder still
the defect / flaw of his title has the rights over the
or mode of acquisition, fruits during the period of
technically, he ceases to retention.
Retention
be in good faith. At that implies tenancy, so he is
moment, then he has no still entitled to the fruits.
rights over the rents.
RECONCILE: that fact that A was now aware that he
is the rightful owner of the land will NOT DETRACT
from the fact that he is in good faith. He is still entitled
to the rights of a builder in good faith he does not
cease to be in GF.
How do we reconcile that with the doctrine that once
good faith ceases, you are no longer entitled to the
fruits? When you are in bad faith, one is no longer
entitled to the fruits.
DEAN: WE HAVE TO MAKE A DISTINCTION WON
those fruits are produced by the LAND itself, or by the
BUILDING.
TECSON: if it is fruits produced by the BUILDING
itself, then the fruits belong to the builder, prior to the
payment of indemnity as he is still the owner of the
building, making him entitled to receive such fruits.
What if before A can pay B for the value of the land, the
building was totally lost due to caso fortuito? EFFECT:
no right of retention anymore.

Even under the law on possession, the person


who recovers possession is not entitled to pay
for improvements that had ceased to exist.

B does not have to pay A anything.

A loses his right of retention.


MANOTOK: if the improvements ceased to exist, then
there is no right of retention.
- Let us assume that the option availed by B is for A to
buy the land, but A was unable to pay. What are Bs
options?
1) To lease.
2) Removal or demolition.
3) Sale of both land and the building, and the proceeds
will go first to the value of the land, then to the value of
the building.
- Assuming that the owner of the land chose the option
to appropriate, but before paying the builder, he already
sold the property to C. Who will pay the indemnity to the
builder?
1) If C paid the value of the land AND the building to the
land owner, then the land owner will pay the builder.
2) If C only paid the value of the land, then whoever
benefits from the building will pay the builder.
Personal Property
With respect to personal property, the commission of the
crimes of theft or robbery is obviously trespass. In the
field of tort, however, trespass extends to all cases
where a person is deprived of his personal property
even in the absence of criminal liability.

Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

All Rights Reserved

[Torts and Damages]

dreamer Bar Review Notes


Disconnection of Service - A usual form of deprivation
of access to property is the unjustified disconnection of
electricity service. An electric company certainly has the
right to disconnect the electricity service of a customer
if the latter unreasonably fails to pay his bills. However,
the right to disconnect and deprive the customer of
electricity should be exercised in accordance with law
and rules. For instance, if the company disconnect the
electricity service without prior notice as required by the
rules promulgated by duly authorized government
agency, the company commits a tort under Article 21.

Illustrative Cases

use of electricity. However, any action must be done in strict


observance of the rights of the people. Under the law, the
Manila Electric Company (Meralco) may immediately
disconnect electric service on the ground of alleged meter
tampering, but only if the discovery of the cause is personally
witnessed and attested to by an officer of the law or by a duly
authorized representative of the Energy Regulatory Board.
During the inspection, no government official or ERB
representative was present.
Petitioners claim for actual damages was not granted for
failure to supply proof and was premised only upon Lornas
testimony. These are compensation for an injury that will put
the injure position where it was before it was injured.

Quisumbing v. Meralco59
LESSON: Moral damages are recoverable when rights
of individuals including right against the deprivation of
property without due process of law are violated as in
this case, the disconnection of their electric service.

Public Officer Refuses to Perform his Duty


Article 27. Any person suffering material or moral loss because a
public servant or employee refuses or neglects, without just cause,
to perform his official duty may file an action for damages and other
relief against the latter, without prejudice to any disciplinary
administrative action that may be taken.
xxx
xxx
xxx
Article. 34. When a member of a city or municipal police force
refuses or fails to render aid or protection to any person in case of
danger to life or property, such peace officer shall be primarily liable
for damages, and the city or municipality shall be subsidiarily
responsible therefor. The civil action herein recognized shall be
independent of any criminal proceedings, and a preponderance of
evidence shall suffice to support such action.

FACTS: The plaintiff, spouses Antonio and Lorna


Quisumbing are the owners of a house located at #94
Greenmeadows Avenue, Quezon City. Around 9AM on
March 3, 1995, defendants inspectors headed by Emmanuel
C. Orlino were assigned to conduct a routine on the spot
inspection of all single phase meters at the house and observed
as standard operating procedure to ask permission and was
granted by the plaintiffs secretary. After the inspection, it
was found that the meter had been tampered with. The result
was relayed to the secretary who conveyed the information to
the owners of the house. The inspectors advised that the meter
be brought in their laboratory for further verifications. In the
event that the meter was indeed tampered, defendant had to
temporarily disconnect the electric services of the couple.
After an hour, inspectors returned and informed the findings
of the laboratory and asked the couple that unless they pay the
amount of P178,875.01 representing the differential bill their
electric supply will be disconnected. The plaintiff filed
complaint for damages with a prayer for the issuance of a writ
of preliminary injunction despite the immediate reconnection.

Javellana v. Tayo60

ISSUE: Whether or not MERALCO acted maliciously and


malevolent manner done without due process, lack of regard
for QUISUMBINGs rights, feelings, social and business
reputation and therefore held them accountable and plaintiff
be entitled for damages.

On February 8, 1960 the Municipal Council of the


Municipality of Buenavista, Iloilo, unanimously approved
Resolution No. 5, Series of 1960. On June 1, 1960, at the time
and place set for the regular session of the Municipal Council,
the Mayor, Vice-Mayor, No. 1 and No. 2 Councilors, and the
Secretary were absent

HELD: Supreme Court partly granted the petition and


ordered plaintiff to pay respondent the billing differential of
P193,332.96 while latter is ordered to pay petitioners moral
and exemplary damages including attorneys fees. Moral
damages may be recovered when rights of individuals
including right against the deprivation of property without due
process of law are violated. Exemplary damages on the other
hand are imposed by way of example or correction for public.
SC recognized the effort of MERALCO in preventing illegal
59

G.R. No.142943, April 3, 2002. Case digest courtesy of Mr. Antonio Antonio
Santos and Mr. Rommelito Francisco Macarayo.

All Rights Reserved

Illustrative Cases

FACTS: The petitioners are duly elected and qualified a


members of the Municipal Council of the Municipality of
Buenavista, Province of Iloilo, Philippines; and that the
respondent at the time the acts herein below complained of
took place, was and still is the duly-elected and qualified
Mayor of the Municipality of Buenavista, Province of Iloilo
Philippines where he resides and may be served with
summons.

The six councilors, who are the petitioners in this case, were
present and they proceeded to elect among themselves a
temporary presiding officer and Acting Secretary to take notes
of the proceedings. Having thus elected a temporary presiding
officer and a secretary of the Council, they proceeded to do
business.

60

G.R. L-18919 December 29, 1962. Case digest courtesy of Mr. Antonio
Antonio Santos and Mr. Rommelito Francisco Macarayo.

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]


On June 15, 1960 at the time and place designated in
Resolution No. 5, series of 1960, dated February 8, 1960
above referred to, the petitioners acting as duly elected and
qualified councilors were present and again, in view of the
absence of the Mayor, Vice-Mayor said to councilor and the
Secretary proceeded to elect a temporary presiding officer and
temporary secretary from among them, and did business as a
Municipal Council of Buenavista.
When the minutes of the proceedings of June 1, June 15. July
6, July 20, August 17, September 7, and September 21, 1960
of the Municipal Council were presented to the respondent for
action, the respondent Mayor refused to act upon said
minutes, or particularly to approve or disapprove the
resolution as approved by the municipal Council, the Mayor
declaring the sessions above referred to as null and void and
not in accordance with.
Petitioners made repeated demands for payment of their per
diems for the of June1, June 15, July 6, July 20, August 3,
August 17, September 7, 1960, by representing the payrolls;
Provincial Forms No. 38(A) to the respondent Mayor for the
latter signature, but that the respondent refused to affix his
signature to the payrolls thus presented, covering the per
diems of the petitioner alleging that the proceedings were
illegal due to his absence.
The Honorable Provincial Fiscal of the Province of Iloilo in
his indorsement, rendered an opinion upholding the validity
of the controverted sessions of the Municipal Council, despite
the opinion of the Provincial Fiscal, the respondent Mayor
refused and still refuses to act upon the resolution petitions
presented to him and to sign the payrolls covering the per
diems of the herein petitioners.
ISSUE: Whether petitioners entitled damages?
HOLDING & RATIONALE: Yes. Article 27 provides as
follows: 'Any person suffering material or moral loss because
a public servant or employee refuses or neglects, without just
cause, to perform his official duty may file an action for
damages and other relief against the latter, without prejudice
to any disciplinary administrative action that my be taken.'
Only petitioner Exequiel Golez was presented as a witness
who proved moral damages he suffered as a consequence of
the refusal the respondent Susano Tayo to perform his official
duty. such, of all the petitioners, only Exequiel Golez is
entitled receive moral damages in the sum of P100.00.
Respondent-appellant claims, in this appeal, that the trial
court erred in holding that the sessions held by petitionersappellees during his absence and during the absence of his
Vice-Mayor and the No. 1 and No. 2 Councilors the
Municipal Council of Buenavista, Iloilo were valid an legal.
The claim is untenable. In the first place, there is no question
that the sessions at issue were held on the days set for regular
sessions of the council, as authorized an approved in a
previous resolution. Secondly, it is not disputed that a

dreamer Bar Review Notes


majority of the members of the council (six out of ten) were
present in the sesessions.
Appellant asserts that while under Section 2221 of the
Revised Administrative Code, the majority of the members of
the council constitutes a quorum to do business, the council
"shall be presided by the Mayor and no one else", inasmuch
as it is one of the duties imposed upon him under Section
2194(d) of the Revised Administrative Code.
The argument would be correct if the mayor (herein appellant)
were present at the sessions in question and was prevented
from presiding therein, but not where, as in the instant case,
he absented himself therefrom. We find said award proper
under Article 27 of the new Civil Code, considering that
according to the trial court, he (Golez) was able to prove that
he suffered the same, as a consequence of appellant's refusal
to perform his official duty, notwithstanding the action taken
by the Provincial Fiscal and the Provincial Board upholding
the validity of the session in question. WHEREFORE, the
decision appealed from is hereby affirmed with costs against
respondent-appellant. So ordered.

Abortion - The Supreme Court recognized the right to


recover damages against a physician who caused an
abortion. Damages are available to both spouses if the
abortion was caused through the physicians
negligence. Both spouses may also recover damages if
the abortion was done intentionally without their
consent.
NOTE: It should be recalled that a doctor who performs
an illegal abortion is criminally liable under Article 259 of
the Revised Penal Code. It imposes imprisonment upon
any physician or midwife who, taking advantage of their
scientific knowledge or skill, shall cause an abortion or
assent in causing the same. Even parents may be
criminally liable for such offense. (Article 258, Revised
Penal Code). In fact, criminal and civil liability will also
result even if the abortion is unintentional.

Illustrative Cases
Geluz v. Court Of Appeals61
FACTS: Nita Villanueva came to know the defendant
(Antonio Geluz) for the first time in 1948 through her aunt
Paula Yambot. In 1950 she became pregnant by her present
husband before they were legally married. Desiring to conceal
her pregnancy from her parent, and acting on the advice of her
aunt, she had herself aborted by the defendant. After her
marriage with the plaintiff, she again became pregnant. As she
was then employed in the Commission on Elections and her
pregnancy proved to be inconvenient, she had herself aborted
again by the defendant in October 1953. Less than two years
later, she again became pregnant. On February 21, 1955,
accompanied by her sister Purificacion and the latter's
daughter Lucida, she again repaired to the defendant's clinic

61

G.R. No. L-16439, July 20, 1961. Case digest courtesy of Mr. Antonio
Antonio Santos and Mr. Rommelito Francisco Macarayo.

Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

All Rights Reserved

dreamer Bar Review Notes


on Carriedo and P. Gomez streets in Manila, where the three
met the defendant and his wife. Nita was again aborted, of a
two-month old fetus, in consideration of the sum of fifty
pesos, Philippine currency. The plaintiff was at this time in
the province of Cagayan, campaigning for his election to the
provincial board; he did not know of, nor gave his consent, to
the abortion. It is the third and last abortion that constitutes
plaintiff's basis in filing this action and award of damages.
Upon application of the defendant Geluz we granted
certiorari.
ISSUE: Did the Plaintiff have the right for damages in behalf
of his unborn child?
HELD: No. The fetus was not yet born and thus does not have
civil personality. According to Article 40, birth determines
personality. In this case, the fetus does not yet possess a
personality to speak of because it was aborted in uterus. The
child should be born before the parents can seek any recovery
for damages. Action for pecuniary damages on account of
personal injury or death pertains primarily to the one injured.
There could be no action for such damages that can be
instituted on behalf of the unborn child for the injuries it
received because it lacked juridical personality. The damages
which the parents of an unborn child can recover are limited
to moral damages, in this case, for the act of the appellant
Geluz to perform the abortion. However, moral damages
cannot also be recovered because the wife willingly sought
the abortion, and the husband did not further investigate on
the causes of the abortion. Furthermore, the husband did
not seem to have taken interest in the administrative and
criminal cases against the appellant, but was more
concerned in obtaining from the doctor a large money
payment.
Although we live in a world of noisy self-confession, privacy
allows us to keep certain facts to ourselves if we choose. The
right to privacy, it seems, is what makes us civilized.
(Alderman and Kennedy, The Right to Privacy, 1997)
So terrifying are the possibilities of a law such as Administrative Order No. 308 in making inroads into the private
lives of the citizens, a virtual Big Brother looking over our
shoulders, that it must, without delay, be slain upon sight
before our society turns totalitarian with each of us, a
mindless robot. (Justice Romero, Ople v. Torres)

Human Dignity
Right to Privacy (the Right to be Let Alone)
Article 26. Every person shall respect the dignity, personality,
privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors and other persons. The
following and similar acts, though they may not constitute a criminal
offense, shall produce a cause of action for damages, prevention
and other relief:
(1) Prying into the privacy of another's residence:
(2) Meddling with or disturbing the private life or family relations of
another;
(3) Intriguing to cause another to be alienated from his friends;
(4) Vexing or humiliating another on account of his religious beliefs,
lowly station in life, place of birth, physical defect, or other personal
condition.

All Rights Reserved

[Torts and Damages]


Right to Privacy, Concept right to be let alone; right
of a person to be free from unwarranted publicity; and
right to live without unwarranted interference by the
public in matters with which the public is not necessarily
concerned.
Invasion of Privacy unwarranted appropriation or
exploitation of ones personality, publicizing ones
private affairs with which the public has no legitimate
concern, or wrongful intrusion into ones private
activities, in such a manner as to cause mental suffering,
shame or humiliation to person of ordinary sensibilities.
Constitutional Right - the right to privacy is protected
by:
the due process clause of the Constitution.
right against unreasonable searches and
seizures,
the right to privacy of ones communication and
correspondence, and
the right against self-incrimination.
Bill of Rights
Question: For Celebrities? Facebook?
Answer: The reasonableness of a persons
expectation of privacy depends on a two-part test: (1)
whether by his conduct, the individual has exhibited an
expectation of privacy; and (2) whether this expectation
is one that society recognizes as reasonable. The
factual circumstances of the case determine the
reasonableness of the expectation. However, other
factors, such as customs, physical surroundings and
practices of a particular activity, may serve to create or
diminish this expectation. (The Supreme Court, Morfe
v. Mutuc)
Tort Actions for Invasion of Privacy
Intrusion upon the plaintiffs seclusion or solitude
or into his private affairs;
Public disclosure of embarrassing private facts
about the plaintiff;
Publicity which places the plaintiff in a false light
in the public eye; and
Appropriation for the defendants advantage, of
plaintiffs likeness or name.
NOTE:
generally invoked by natural persons (basis of
right is injury to feelings and sensibilities)
corporations can invoke right against illegal
search and seizures
personal right (may be waived)
ceases upon death (the law provides for the
heirs, however)
The standard to be applied in determining if there
was violation of the right is that of a person of
ordinary sensibilities. It is relative to the customs
of time and place, and is determined by the norm
of an ordinary person

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]


Intrusion- involves the following:
prying into the privacy of anothers residence
Criminal trespass
The law has long held that it is illegal to peep,
snoop, or eavesdrop on people in private places.
Generally, there is no invasion of the right to
privacy when a journalist records, photographs or
writes about something that occurs in public
places. (one does not automatically make public
everything he does in public.)
public persons or private persons are protected
right to privacy is superior to freedom of press in
most instances (exception: matter of public
importance)
no intrusion in an administrative investigation
in technological sense, hacking, wiretapping and
the like are violations
matters of public record are not intrusion
Publication of private facts - right to be free from
unwarranted publicity, from the wrongful publicizing of
the private affairs and activities of an individual which
are outside the realm of legitimate public concern.
Elements of Publication of Private Facts
publicity is given to any private or purely personal
information about a person,
without the latters consent,
regardless of whether or not such publicity
constitutes a criminal offense, like libel or
defamation, the circumstance that the
publication was made with intent of gain or for
commercial and business purposes invariably
serves to aggravate the violation of the right.
NOTE:
Newsworthiness of information about a public
figure is a defense. (unless with reckless
disregard for the truth.
The publication of facts derived from the records
of official proceedings, which are not otherwise
declared by law as confidential, cannot be
considered a tortious conduct
There can be no invasion of privacy if what is
sought to be divulged is a product of action
undertaken in the course of the performance of
official functions.
False Light
Defamatory (The tort of putting another in false
light may be distinguished from defamation
primarily because in the former the gravamen of
the claim is not reputational harm but rather the
embarrassment of a person in being made into
something he is not)
Libel

dreamer Bar Review Notes


Commerical Appropriation of Likenes
The tort of commercial appropriation of likeness
has been held to protect various aspects of an
individuals identity from commercial exploitation:
name, likeness, achievements, identifying
characteristics, actual performances and
fictitious characters created by a performer.

Illustrative Cases
Valmonte vs. Belmonte62
LESSON: Although they are required to disclose public
information, they are NOT REQUIRED to give out
alphabetically-arranged information. It is the duty of the
requester to do that, not the corporation.
FACTS: Ricardo Valmonte wrote Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on
4 June 1986, requesting to be "furnished with the list of names
of the opposition members of (the) Batasang Pambansa who
were able to secure a clean loan of P2 million each on
guaranty (sic) of Mrs. Imelda Marcos" and also to "be
furnished with the certified true copies of the documents
evidencing their loan. Expenses in connection herewith shall
be borne by" Valmonte, et. al. Due to serious legal
implications, President & General Manager Feliciano
Belmonte, Jr. referred the letter to the Deputy General
Counsel of the GSIS, Meynardo A. Tiro. Tiro replied that it is
his opinion "that a confidential relationship exists between the
GSIS and all those who borrow from it, whoever they may be;
that the GSIS has a duty to its customers to preserve this
confidentiality; and that it would not be proper for the GSIS
to breach this confidentiality unless so ordered by the courts."
On 20 June 1986, apparently not having yet received the reply
of the Government Service and Insurance System (GSIS)
Deputy General Counsel, Valmonte wrote Belmonte another
letter, saying that for failure to receive a reply "(W)e are now
considering ourselves free to do whatever action necessary
within the premises to pursue our desired objective in
pursuance of public interest." On 26 June 1986, Ricardo
Valmonte, Oswaldo Carbonell, Doy Del Castillo, Rolando
Bartolome, Leo Obligar, Jun Gutierrez, Reynaldo Bagatsing,
Jun "Ninoy" Alba, Percy Lapid, Rommel Corro, and Rolando
Fadul filed a special civil action for mandamus with
preliminary injunction invoke their right to information and
pray that Belmonte be directed: (a) to furnish Valmonte, et.
al. the list of the names of the Batasang Pambansa members
belonging to the UNIDO and PDP-Laban who were able to
secure clean loans immediately before the February 7 election
thru the intercession/marginal note of the then First Lady
Imelda Marcos; and/or (b) to furnish petitioners with certified
true copies of the documents evidencing their respective
loans; and/or (c) to allow petitioners access to the public
records for the subject information.
ISSUE: Whether Valmonte, et. al. are entitled as citizens and
taxpayers to inquire upon GSIS records on behest loans given
by the former First Lady Imelda Marcos to Batasang

62

G.R. No. 74930, 1989. Case digest courtesy of Mr. Antonio Antonio Santos
and Mr. Rommelito Francisco Macarayo.

Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

All Rights Reserved

[Torts and Damages]

dreamer Bar Review Notes


Pambansa members belonging to the UNIDO and PDP-Laban
political parties.
HELD: The GSIS is a trustee of contributions from the
government and its employees and the administrator of
various insurance programs for the benefit of the latter.
Undeniably, its funds assume a public character. More
particularly, Secs. 5(b) and 46 of PD 1146, as amended (the
Revised Government Service Insurance Act of 1977), provide
for annual appropriations to pay the contributions, premiums,
interest and other amounts payable to GSIS by the
government, as employer, as well as the obligations which the
Republic of the Philippines assumes or guarantees to pay.
Considering the nature of its funds, the GSIS is expected to
manage its resources with utmost prudence and in strict
compliance with the pertinent laws or rules and regulations.
Thus, one of the reasons that prompted the revision of the old
GSIS law (CA 186, as amended) was the necessity "to
preserve at all times the actuarial solvency of the funds
administered by the Systems [Second Whereas Clause, PD
1146.] Consequently, as Feliciano Belmonte himself admits,
the GSIS "is not supposed to grant 'clean loans.'" It is therefore
the legitimate concern of the public to ensure that these funds
are managed properly with the end in view of maximizing the
benefits that accrue to the insured government employees.
Moreover, the supposed borrowers were Members of the
defunct Batasang Pambansa who themselves appropriated
funds for the GSIS and were therefore expected to be the first
to see to it that the GSIS performed its tasks with the greatest
degree of fidelity and that all its transactions were above
board. In sum, the public nature of the loanable funds of the
GSIS and the public office held by the alleged borrowers
make the information sought clearly a matter of public interest
and concern. Still, Belmonte maintains that a confidential
relationship exists between the GSIS and its borrowers. It is
argued that a policy of confidentiality restricts the
indiscriminate dissemination of information. Yet, Belmonte
has failed to cite any law granting the GSIS the privilege of
confidentiality as regards the documents subject of the present
petition. His position is apparently based merely on
considerations of policy. The judiciary does not settle policy
issues. The Court can only declare what the law is, and not
what the law should be. Under our system of government,
policy issues are within the domain of the political branches
of the government, and of the people themselves as the
repository of all State power.
Ayer v. Capulong63
LESSON: Public Figures Generally, public figures
public lives are NOT SUBJECT to the right to privacy.
Their private lives, however, are applicable to the
protection.

the movie "The Four Day Revolution," a documentary of the


EDSA Revolution in 1986 on the ground that it violated his
right to privacy. Petitioners contended that the movie would
not involve his private life not that of his family. But the trial
court issued a writ of preliminary injunction and ordered
petitioners to desist from making the movie making reference
whatsoever to Ponce Enrile. This, this action for certiorari.
HELD: Freedom of speech and expression includes freedom
to produce motion pictures and to exhibit them. What is
involved is a prior restraint by the Judge upon the exercise of
speech and of expression by petitioners. Because of the
preferred character of speech and of expression, a weighty
presumption of invalidity vitiates measures of prior restraint.
The Judge should have stayed his hand considering that the
movie was yet uncompleted and therefore there was no "clear
and present danger." The subject matter of the movie does not
relate to the private life of Ponce Enrile. The intrusion is no
more than necessary to keep the film a truthful historical
account. He is, after all, a public figure. The line of
equilibrium in the specific context of the instant case between
freedom of speech and of expression and the right of privacy
may be marked out in terms of a requirement that the proposed
motion picture must be fairly truthful and historical in its
presentation of facts. There must be no showing of a reckless
disregard of truth.
Notes: Ayer sought to produce a movie on the 4-day
revolution. Enrile, who had previously been asked for the use
of his character in the movie and had refused the offer, sued
to enjoin the filming because he did not want any mention of
his and his family's name. The SC lifted the injunction issued
by the lower court on the ground that it amounted to prior
restraint, which is no better if imposed by the courts than if
imposed by administrative bodies or by ecclesiatical officials.
In Ayer, the reference to Enrile is unavoidable because his
name is part of history and this cannot be changed or altered;
thus his name can be used so long as only his public life is
dwelled only. But in Lagunzad, although Moises Padilla was
also a public figure, the movie dealt with both the public and
private lives of Moises Padilla.
St. Louis Realty Corp. vs CA64
LESSON: False Light Wrongful advertisement.
Private life was mistakenly and unnecessarily exposed.
FACTS: Dr. Conrado Aramil, a neuropsychiatrist and
member of the faculty of UE Ramon Magsaysay Medical
Center, seek to recover damage for a wrongful advertisement
in the Sunday Times where St Louis Realty Corp.
misrepresented his house with Mr. Arcadio.

FACTS: Pivate respondent Juan Ponce Enrile filed an action


in the RTC of Makati to enjoin the petitioners from producing

St. Louis published an ad on December 15, 1968 with the


heading where the heart is. This was republished on
January 5, 1969. In the advertisement, the house featured was

63

64

G.R. No. L-82380, April 29, 1988. Case digest courtesy of Mr. Antonio
Antonio Santos and Mr. Rommelito Francisco Macarayo.

All Rights Reserved

G.R. No. L-46061, 1984. Case digest courtesy of Mr. Antonio Antonio
Santos and Mr. Rommelito Francisco Macarayo.

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]


Dr Aramils house and not Mr. Arcadio with whom the
company asked permission and the intended house to be
published. After Dr Aramil noticed the mistake, he wrote a
letter to St. Louis demanding an explanation 1 week after such
receipt. No rectification or apology was published despite
that it was received by Ernesto Magtoto, the officer in charge
of the advertisement. This prompted Dr. Aramils counsel to
demand actual, moral and exemplary damages. On March 18,
1969, St Louis published an ad now with Mr. Arcadios real
house but nothing on the apology or explanation of the error.
Dr Aramil filed a complaint for damages on March 29.
During the April 15 ad, the notice of rectification was
published.
ISSUE: Whether St. Louis is liable to pay damages to Dr.
Aramil.
HELD: St Louis was grossly negligent in mixing up
residences in a widely circulated publication. Furthermore, it
never made any written apology and explanation of the mixup. It just contented itself with a cavalier "rectification".
The trial court awarded Aramil P8,000 as actual damages,
P20,000 as moral damages and P2,000 as attorney's fees.
When St. Louis Realty appealed to the Court of Appeals, CA
affirmed the judgement for the reason that St. Louis Realty
committed an actionable quasi-delict under articles 21 and 26
of the Civil Code because the questioned advertisements
pictured a beautiful house which did not belong to Arcadio
but to Doctor Aramil who, naturally, was annoyed by that
contretemps.
Either way, his private life was mistakenly and unnecessarily
exposed. He suffered diminution of income and mental
anguish.

and at the same time awarded a P45,000.00 worth of counterclaim by the Escaos.
ISSUE: Whether or not damages should be awarded to either
party in the case at bar
HELD: Yes.
On the part of Tenchavez:
His marriage with Escao was a secret one and the failure of
said marriage did not result to public humiliation; that they
never lived together and he even consented to annulling the
marriage earlier (because Escao filed for annulment before
she left for the US but the same was dismissed due to her nonappearance in court); that he failed to prove that Escaos
parents dissuaded their daughter to leave Tenchavez and as
such his P1,000,000.00 claim cannot be awarded.
HOWEVER, by reason of the fact that Escao left without the
knowledge of Tenchavez and being able to acquire a divorce
decree; and Tenchavez being unable to remarry, the SC
awarded P25,000.00 only by way of moral damages and
attorneys fees to be paid by Escao and not her parents.
On the part of Escaos parents:
It is true that the P1,000,000.00 for damages suit by
Tenchavez against the Escaos is unfounded and the same
must have wounded their feelings and caused them anxiety,
the same could in no way have seriously injured their
reputation, or otherwise prejudiced them, lawsuits having
become a common occurrence in present society. What is
important, and has been correctly established in the decision
of the lower court, is that they were not guilty of any improper
conduct in the whole deplorable affair. The SC reduced the
damages awarded from P45,000.00 to P5,000.00 only.

Philippine Aeolus Automotive United Corporation vs.


NLRC and Cortez66

Tenchavez V. Escano65
LESSON: Interference will only bear fruit if it is proven
by substantial evidence.
FACTS: In February 1948, Tenchavez and Escao secretly
married each other and of course without the knowledge of
Escaos parents who were of prominent social status. The
marriage was celebrated by a military chaplain. When
Escaos parents learned of this, they insisted a church
wedding to be held but Escao withdrew from having a
recelebration because she heard that Tenchavez was having
an affair with another woman. Eventually, their relationship
went sour; 2 years later, Escao went to the US where she
acquired a decree of absolute divorce and she subsequently
became an American citizen and also married an American.
In 1955, Tenchavez initiated a case for legal separation and
further alleged that Escaos parents dissuaded their daughter
to go abroad and causing her to be estranged from him hence
hes asking for damages in the amount of P1,000,000.00. The
lower court did not grant the legal separation being sought for

65

dreamer Bar Review Notes

G.R. No. L-19671, November 29, 1965.

LESSON: The gravamen of sexual harassment is NOT


the violation of the victims sexuality BUT the abuse of
power. Sexual Harassment is a TORTIOUS act.
FACTS: Rosalinda Cortez was the company nurse at
Philippine Aeolus. As early as her first year of employment,
her Plant Manager, William Chua, already manifested a
special liking for her, that she was receiving special treatment
from him who would oftentimes invite her for a date, which
she would as often refuse. On many occasions, he would make
sexual advances touching her hands, putting his arms around
her shoulders, running his fingers on her arms and telling her
she looked beautiful. The special treatment and sexual
advances continued during her employment for four (4) years
but she never reciprocated his flirtations, until finally, she
noticed that his attitude towards her changed. He made her
understand that if she would not give in to his sexual advances
he would cause her termination from the service; and he made
good his threat when he started harassing her. She just found
out one day that her table which was equipped with telephone
and intercom units and containing her personal belongings
66

G.R. No. 124617, April 28, 2000. Case digest courtesy of Mr. Antonio
Antonio Santos and Mr. Rommelito Francisco Macarayo.

Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

All Rights Reserved

dreamer Bar Review Notes


was transferred without her knowledge to a place with neither
telephone nor intercom, for which reason, an argument ensued
when she confronted Chua resulting in her being charged with
gross disrespect. The company then dismissed her for
throwing a stapler and throwing invectives, among others, at
her Plant Manager, Chua. Rosalinda, thereafter, filed an
illegal dismissal case and explained that the incident arose
when she had been trying to refuse the sexual advances of
Chua. The Labor Arbiter and the National Labor Relations
Commission ruled in her favor, holding that the dismissal was
illegal and ordering the company to pay her moral damages.
The corporation elevated the case on certiorari to the Supreme
Court alleging grave abuse of discretion.
HELD: The Supreme Court declared Rosalindas dismissal
illegal and affirmed the award of moral damages. It did not
give merit to the companys argument that it is unbelievable
that it took her four (4) years before she reacted violently in
defense of her womanhood. The court recognized Mr. Chuas
acts as sexual harassment and explained that there is no time
period for reporting such crime saying:
Public respondent in thus concluding appears baffled why it
took private respondent more than four (4) years to expose
William Chuas alleged sexual harassment. It reasons out that
it would have been more prepared to support her position if
her act of throwing the stapler and uttering invectives on
William Chua were her immediate reaction to his amorous
overtures. In that case, according to public respondent, she
would have been justified for such outburst because she
would have been merely protecting her womanhood, her
person and her rights.
We are not persuaded. The gravamen of the offense in sexual
harassment is not the violation of the employees sexuality but
the abuse of power by the employer. Any employee, male or
female, may rightfully cry foul provided the claim is well
substantiated. Strictly speaking, there is no time period within
which he or she is expected to complain through the proper
channels. The time to do so may vary depending upon the
needs, circumstances, and more importantly, the emotional
threshold of the employee.
Private respondent admittedly allowed four (4) years to pass
before finally coming out with her employers sexual
impositions. Not many women, especially in this country, are
made of the stuff that can endure the agony and trauma of a
public, even corporate, scandal. If petitioner corporation had
not issued the third memorandum that terminated the services
of private respondent, we could only speculate how much
longer she would keep her silence. Moreover, few persons are
privileged indeed to transfer from one employer to another.
The dearth of quality employment has become a daily
monster roaming the streets that one may not be expected
to give up ones employment easily but to hang on to it, so to
speak, by all tolerable means. Perhaps, to private respondents
mind, for as long as she could outwit her employers ploys she

[Torts and Damages]


would continue on her job and consider them as mere
occupational hazards. This uneasiness in her place of work
thrived in an atmosphere of tolerance for four (4) years, and
one could only imagine the prevailing anxiety and resentment,
if not bitterness, that beset her all that time. But William Chua
faced reality soon enough. Since he had no place in private
respondents heart, so must she have no place in his office.
So, he provoked her, harassed her, and finally dislodged her;
and for finally venting her pent-up anger for years, he found
the perfect reason to terminate her.
Sexual harassment is an imposition of misplaced
superiority which is enough to dampen an employees spirit
in her capacity for advancement. It affects her sense of
judgment. It changes her life, if for this alone private
respondent should be adequately compensated.
Conception vs. CA67
LESSON: the enumerations in Article 26 and 1219 are
not exclusive but are merely examples and do not
preclude other similar or analogous acts. Damages
therefore are allowable for actions against a person's
dignity, such as profane, insulting, humiliating,
scandalous or abusive language.
FACTS: This case is a result of defamatory remarks made by
petitioner Rodrigo Conception against private respondent
Nestor Nicolas. Rodrigo angrily accosted Nestor at the latter's
apartment and accused him of conducting an adulterous
relationship with Florence, his sister-in-law. He shouted,
"Hoy Nestor, kabit ka ni Bing! . . . Binigyan ka pa pala ni Bing
Concepcion ng P100,000.00 para umakyat ng Baguio.
Pagkaakyat mo at ng asawa mo doon ay bababa ka uli para
magkasarilinan kayo ni Bing."
Nestor explained that he and Bing are business partners but
Rodrigo did not believe and continued to spread rumors that
Rodrigo and Bing are lovers. The acts of Rodrigo resulted to
the severance of business ties between Bing and Rodrigo. It
also affected the business of the spouses Nicolas and Allem
[Rodrigo's spouse] began to doubt Rodrigo's affection to her.
A case was filed in court. Moral, exemplary damges and
attorney's fees were awarded. Petitioner questioned the
decision since it has no legal basis, neither Art. 26 nor Art.
1219 is applicable.
ISSUE: Whether or not the damages awarded made by the
court is proper.
HELD: Yes, the award of damages is proper. The Supreme
Court ratiocinated: findings provide enough basis in law for
the award of damages by the Court of Appeals in favor of
respondents. We reject petitioner's posture that no legal
provision supports such award, the incident complained of

67

G.R. No. 120706, January 31, 2000. Case digest courtesy of Mr. Antonio
Antonio Santos and Mr. Rommelito Francisco Macarayo.

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[Torts and Damages]


neither falling under Art. 2219 nor Art. 26 of the Civil Code.
It does not need further elucidation that the incident charged
of petitioner was no less than an invasion on the right of
respondent Nestor as a person. The philosophy behind Art. 26
underscores the necessity for its inclusion in our civil law. The
Code Commission stressed in no uncertain terms that the
human personality must be exalted. The sacredness of human
personality is a concomitant consideration of every plan for
human amelioration. The touchstone of every system of law,
of the culture and civilization of every country, is how far it
dignifies man. If the statutes insufficiently protect a person
from being unjustly humiliated, in short, if human personality
is not exalted then the laws are indeed defective. Thus,
under this article, the rights of persons are amply protected,
and damages are provided for violations of a person's dignity,
personality, privacy and peace of mind.
Moreover, the enumerations in Article 26 and 1219 are not
exclusive but are merely examples and do not preclude other
similar or analogous acts. Damages therefore are allowable
for actions against a person's dignity, such as profane,
insulting, humiliating, scandalous or abusive language.

Strict Liability
(as a Kind of Tort Liability)
Strict Liability Torts - liability without fault. A case is
one of strict liability when neither care nor negligence,
neither good nor bad faith, neither knowledge nor
ignorance will save the defendant.
Falling Objects
Article 2193. The head of a family that lives in a building or a part
thereof, is responsible for damages caused by things thrown or
falling from the same.

NOTE: Even lesses (even co-lessees); No provision on


force majeure it is not a defense.
Employers
Article 1711. Owners of enterprises and other employers are
obliged to pay compensation for the death of or injuries to their
laborers, workmen, mechanics or other employees, even though
the event may have been purely accidental or entirely due to a
fortuitous cause, if the death or personal injury arose out of and in
the course of the employment. The employer is also liable for
compensation if the employee contracts any illness or disease
caused by such employment or as the result of the nature of the
employment. If the mishap was due to the employee's own
notorious negligence, or voluntary act, or drunkenness, the
employer shall not be liable for compensation. When the
employee's lack of due care contributed to his death or injury, the
compensation shall be equitably reduced.

Animals
Article 2183. The possessor of an animal or whoever may make
use of the same is responsible for the damage which it may cause,
although it may escape or be lost. This responsibility shall cease
only in case the damage should come from force majeure or from
the fault of the person who has suffered damage.

68

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Illustrative Cases
Vestil v. IAC and Uy68
LESSON: Possessor of animal, immediately liable
FACTS: On July 29, 1915, Theness Tan Uy was bitten by a
dog while she was playing with a child of the petitioners in
the house of the late Vicente Miranda, the father of Purita
Vestil, at F. Ramos Street in Cebu City. She was rushed to the
Cebu General Hospital, where she was treated for "multiple
lacerated wounds on the forehead" 1 and administered an antirabies vaccine by Dr. Antonio Tautjo. She was discharged
after nine days but was readmitted one week later due to
"vomiting of saliva." The following day, on August 15, 1975,
the child died. The cause of death was certified as bronchopneumonia.
Seven months later, the Uys sued for damages, alleging that
the Vestils were liable to them as the possessors of "Andoy,"
the dog that bit and eventually killed their daughter. The
Vestils rejected the charge, insisting that the dog belonged to
the deceased Vicente Miranda, that it was a tame animal, and
that in any case no one had witnessed it bite Theness. After
trial, Judge Jose R. Ramolete of the Court of First Instance of
Cebu sustained the defendants and dismissed the complaint.
ISSUE:In the proceedings now before us, Purita Vestil insists
that she is not the owner of the house or of the dog left by her
father as his estate has not yet been partitioned and there are
other heirs to the property.
RULING: Pursuing the logic of the Uys, she claims, even her
sister living in Canada would be held responsible for the acts
of the dog simply because she is one of Miranda's heirs.
However, that is hardly the point. What must be determined
is the possession of the dog that admittedly was staying in the
house in question, regardless of the ownership of the dog or
of the house.
Article 2183 reads as follows:
The possessor of an animal or whoever may make use of the
same is responsible for the damage which it may cause,
although it may escape or be lost. 'This responsibility shall
cease only in case the damages should come from force
majeure from the fault of the person who has suffered
damage.
Thus, in Afialda v. Hisole, a person hired as caretaker of a
carabao gored him to death and his heirs thereupon sued the
owner of the animal for damages. The complaint was
dismissed on the ground that it was the caretaker's duty to
prevent the carabao from causing injury to any one, including
himself.
While it is true that she is not really the owner of the house,
which was still part of Vicente Miranda's estate, there is no
doubt that she and her husband were its possessors at the time
of the incident in question. She was the only heir residing in

G.R. No. 74431, November 6, 1989.

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dreamer Bar Review Notes


Cebu City and the most logical person to take care of the
property, which was only six kilometers from her own house.
Moreover, there is evidence showing that she and her family
regularly went to the house, once or twice weekly, according
to at least one witness, and used it virtually as a second house.
Interestingly, her own daughter was playing in the house with
Theness when the little girl was bitten by the dog. The dog
itself remained in the house even after the death of Vicente
Miranda in 1973 and until 1975, when the incident in question
occurred. It is also noteworthy that the petitioners offered to
assist the Uys with their hospitalization expenses although
Purita said she knew them only casually.
ISSUE: The petitioners also argue that even assuming that
they were the possessors of the dog that bit Theness there was
no clear showing that she died as a result thereof.
RULING: On the contrary, the death certificate declared that
she died of broncho-pneumonia, which had nothing to do with
the dog bites for which she had been previously hospitalized.
The Court need not involve itself in an extended scientific
discussion of the causal connection between the dog bites and
the certified cause of death except to note that, first, Theness
developed hydrophobia, a symptom of rabies, as a result of
the dog bites, and second, that asphyxia broncho-pneumonia,
which ultimately caused her death, was a complication of
rabies. That Theness became afraid of water after she was
bitten by the dog is established by the testimony of Dr. Tautjo.
On the strength of the testimony, the Court finds that the link
between the dog bites and the certified cause of death has beep
satisfactorily established. We also reiterate our ruling in Sison
v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, 20 that the death
certificate is not conclusive proof of the cause of death but
only of the fact of death. Indeed, the evidence of the child's
hydrophobia is sufficient to convince us that she died because
she was bitten by the dog even if the death certificate stated a
different cause of death. The petitioner's contention that they
could not be expected to exercise remote control of the dog is
not acceptable. In fact, Article 2183 of the Civil Code holds
the possessor liable even if the animal should "escape or be
lost" and so be removed from his control. And it does not
matter either that, as the petitioners also contend, the dog was
tame and was merely provoked by the child into biting her.
The law does not speak only of vicious animals but covers
even tame ones as long as they cause injury. As for the alleged
provocation, the petitioners forget that Theness was only three
years old at the time she was attacked and can hardly be
faulted for whatever she might have done to the animal.
According to Manresa the obligation imposed by Article 2183
of the Civil Code is not based on the negligence or on the
presumed lack of vigilance of the possessor or user of the
animal causing the damage. It is based on natural equity and
on the principle of social interest that he who possesses
animals for his utility, pleasure or service must answer for the
damage which such animal may cause.
We sustain the findings of the Court of Appeals and approve
the monetary awards except only as to the medical and
hospitalization expenses, which are reduced to P2,026.69, as

All Rights Reserved

[Torts and Damages]


prayed for in the complaint. While there is no recompense that
can bring back to the private respondents the child they have
lost, their pain should at least be assuaged by the civil
damages to which they are entitled.
Nuisance - Under the Civil Code, a nuisance is any act,
omission, establishment, business, condition of
property, or anything else which:
Injures or endangers the health or safety of
others; or
Annoys or offends the senses; or
Shocks, defies or disregards decency or morality;
or
Obstructs or interferes with the free passage of
any public highway or street, or any body of
water; or
Hinders or impairs the use of property.

Illustrative Cases
Velasco v. Manila Electric Co
LESSON: Noise may constitute a nuisance but it must
be of such character as to produce actual physical
discomfort and annoyance to a person of ordinary
sensibilities.
FACTS: Velasco bought three (3) adjoining lots. He sold two
(2) of these to Meralco and maintained the last one as his
residence. Meralco constructed on their lots a sub-station at a
distance of 10-20 meters away from appellants house. The
company also built a concrete wall at the sides along the
streets but put up only an interlink wire fence (previously a
sawali wall) on the boundary with appellant. An unceasing
sound emanates from the substation, caused by transformers.
Such, appellent contends, constitute a nuisance which has
worsened his health condition and has lowered the value of
his property. Several witnesses came forth but their
testimonies were vague and imprecise. Resort was made to a
sound level meter. The audible sound from different areas in
Velasos property was measured in terms of decibels. It was
found that the sound exceeded the average intensity levels of
residences.
ISSUE: Can there be a nuisance caused by noise or sound?
HELD: Yes. Several American decisions are cited showing
that noise is an actionable nuisance. In fact, Kentucky v.
Anderson dealt with noise emanating from electrical
machinery and appliances. The determining factor, however,
is not just intensity or volume. It must be of such character as
to produce actual physical discomfort and annoyance to a
person of ordinary sensibilities. However, appellants
testimony is too plainly biased. Nor are the witnesses
testimonies revealing on account of different perceptions.
Consequently, sound level meters were used. As stated above,
the sound exceeds average residential decibels. Also, the
testimonies of appellants physicians (which were more
reliable since they actually treated him, unlike the appellees)
point to the noise as having caused appellant loss of sleep,

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]


irritation and tension weakening his constitution. Notable
lastly is the fact that in the Kentucky case, where the nuisance
was ordered abated, the average reading was 44 decibels
while in the instant, the readings include 52, 54, and 55. The
decision goes on to discuss the proper award of damages. But
Meralco was ordered either to transfer the facilities or reduce
the produced sound to around.

Product and Service Liability


(Annotation to follow)

Illustrative Cases
Navida vs. Hon. Dizon69
LESSON:According to SC: Article 2176, according to
Maam Marcy Art. 19, 20, 21 = Broad enough to cover
liability involving product
FACTS: Several petitioners filed cases for damages against
defendant companies for injuries (reproductive system)
allegedly because their exposure to dibromochloropropane
(DBCP), a chemical used to kill worms while working on
farms. NAVIDA, et al., (plaintiffs from General Santos City)
claimed that their illnesses and injuries were due to the fault
or negligence of each of the defendant companies in that they
produced, sold and/or otherwise put into the stream of
commerce DBCP-containing products. According to
NAVIDA, et al., they were allowed to be exposed to the said
products, which the defendant companies knew, or ought to
have known, were highly injurious to the formers health and
well-being.

dreamer Bar Review Notes


issued by respondent ABB to petitioner, the liability of
respondent ABB does not extend to consequential damages
either direct or indirect.
ISSUE: WON petitioners are entitled to the award of damages
HELD: YES. Respondents contend that under Clause 7 of the
General Conditions their liability does not extend to
consequential damages either direct or indirect. This
contention, however, is unavailing because respondents
failed to show that petitioner was duly furnished with a
copy of said General Conditions. Hence, it is not binding on
petitioner. Having breached the contract it entered with
petitioner, respondent ABB is liable for damages pursuant to
Articles 1167, 1170, and 2201 of the Civil Code
RULING: Granted.
NOTE: Although there is no written contract it can still be
actionable because of implied warranty. For implied warranty
to have a limit it should be communicated to the other party.

Business Torts
(Annotation to follow)

Illustrative Cases
Go vs. Cordero71
LESSON: 3 elements of Tort interference 1.) Valid
contract; 2.) Knowledge of the 3rd person; 3.)
Interference of 3rd person w/o legal justification

HELD: YES. Clearly then, the acts and/or omissions


attributed to the defendant companies constitute a quasidelict which is the basis for the claim for damages filed by
NAVIDA et al., with individual claims of approximately P2.7
million for each plaintiff claimant, which obviously falls
within the purview of the civil action jurisdiction of the RTCs.

FACTS: Cordero was an exclusive distributor of a shipping


company is Brisbane. After incurring travel expenses and
closing his first deal with Go, he found out that the latter was
directly dealing with the shipping company for the second
transaction, cutting off his commissions. Worse, his lawyers
also connived with the client and the shipping company to
take him out of the picture. He sued them all for conspiring in
violating his exclusive distributorship in bad faith and wanton
disregard of his rights.

Continental Cement Corp. vs. Asea Brown Boveri, Inc.70

ISSUE: WON there is tort interference;

LESSON: For implied warranty to have a limit it should


be communicated to the other party

HELD: YES. First two elements are obviously present. As to


the third element, to sustain a case for tortuous interference,
the defendant must have acted with malice or must have been
driven by purely impure reasons to injure the plaintiff. In the
case, herein petitioner Go acted in bad faith and with malice
as supported by evidences.

ISSUE: WON plaintiffs are entitled to the award of damages.

FACTS: Petitioner Continental Cement Corporation (CCC),


a corporation engaged in the business of producing cement,
obtained the services of respondents Asea Brown Boveri, Inc.
(ABB) and BBC Brown Boveri, Corp. to repair its 160 KW
Kiln DC Drive Motor but the respondent failed to repair it
three times, hence petitioner filed for damages. Respondents,
however, claimed that under Clause 7 of the General
Conditions, attached to the letter of offer dated July 4, 1990
69

G.R. No. 125598, May 30, 2011. Case digest courtesy of Ms. Janice Tiglao.
G.R. No. 171660, October 17, 2011. Case digest courtesy of Ms. Janice
Tiglao.
71 G.R. No. 164703, May 4, 2010. Case digest courtesy of Ms. Janice Tiglao.

RULING: Denied.
Shell Company of the Phil. Ltd. vs. Insular Petroleum
Refining Co. Ltd.72
72

G.R. No. L-19441, June 30, 1964.. Case digest courtesy of Ms. Janice Tiglao.

70

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dreamer Bar Review Notes


LESSON: The element of Passing off must be present
to consider it as unfair competition.
FACTS: Petitioner, Shell Co. of the Phil., Ltd. is a
corporation engaged in the sale of petroleum products,
including lubricating oil. The packages and containers of its
goods bear its trademark, labeled or stenciled thereon.
Defendant Insular Petroleum Refining Co., Ltd. is a registered
limited partnership, whose principal business is collecting
used lubricating oil which, thru a scientific process, is refined
and marketed to the public at a price much lower than that of
new lubricating oil. Respondent uses miscellaneous drum for
the low grade lubricating oil and one of those miscellaneous
containers are the Shell containers but according to
respondent ...but before filling the empty drums we obliterate
the markings of the drums. n one transaction, however, the
low-grade oil that was sold to said operator was contained in
a drum with the petitioner's mark or brand "Shell" still
stenciled without having been erased.
ISSUE: WON there is unfair competition;
HELD: No. Not just because a manufacturer used a container
still bearing a competitor's marking in the sale of one's
products, irrespective of to whom and how the sale is made,
can there be a conclusion that the buying public has been
misled or will be misled, and, therefore, unfair competition is
born.
It was found by the Court of Appeals that in all transactions
of the low-grade Insoil, except the present one, all the marks
and brands on the containers used were erased or obliterated.
The drum in question did not reach the buying public. It was
merely a shell dealer or an operator of a Shell Station who
purchased the drum not to be resold to the public, but to be
sold to the petitioner company, with a view of obtaining
evidence against someone who might have been committing
unfair business practices, for the dealer had found that his
income was dwindling in his gasoline station.
RULING: Decision of CA AFFIRMED.

The Defendants
SCHOOLS, TEACHERS and ADMINISTRATORS
Vicarious Liability under the Family Code under
Art. 218 of the Family Code, school, its administrators,
and teachers or the individual, entity or institution
engaged in child care (Complete Annotation to follow)
Respondeat superior - "let the master answer" is a
legal doctrine which states that, in many circumstances,
an employer is responsible for the actions of employees
performed within the course of their employment. This
rule is also called the "Master-Servant Rule", recognized
in both common law and civil law jurisdictions. Employer

[Torts and Damages]


CANNOT escape liability by claiming that he exercised
due diligence in the selection or supervision of the
employee.
When Applied:
1. Criminal Acts (Art. 103 RPC)
2. Partnership both natural & juridical persons
may be held liable for quasi-delict
Bonus Pater Familias - Good father of a family,
whereby the employer ultimately becomes liable on his
own negligence. It means that the employer is liable
upon a finding that he has been negligent in the
selection of his employees (culpa in elgiendo) or in the
supervision of his employees (culpa in vigilando).

Illustrative Cases
Caedo v. Yu Khe Thai and Bernardo73
LESSON: Employer (Yu) NOT LIABLE for driver even if
he was inside the vehicle BECAUSE he COULD NOT
HAVE FORESEEN the overtaking maneuver from
happening.
FACTS: Caedo and family were traveling Highway 54 on the
way to the airport. Private respondents were traveling on the
opposite direction. Bernardo was the personal river of Yu.
Both vehicles were running at moderate speeds when a
carritela was traveling the same direction as Bernardos. The
latter overtook the caritella and took the lane Caedos were
traveling and caused multiple injuries and damage to the
Caedos. Bernardo was held liable.
ISSUE: Whether or not the owner of the vehicle who was
riding with the driver at the time of the accident be held
solidarily liable.
RULING: The court ruled that if the causative factor was the
drivers negligence, the owner of the vehicle who was present
is likewise held liable if he could have prevented the mishap
by the existence of due diligence. The basis of the master's
liability in civil law is not respondent superior but rather the
relationship of paterfamilias. The theory is that ultimately the
negligence of the servant, if known to the master and
susceptible of timely correction by him, reflects his own
negligence if he fails to correct it in order to prevent injury or
damage.
Version 2:
FACTS: Yu was riding in his Cadillac driven by Bernardo
saw a carratela about 8 meters away. Instead of slowing down
veered to the left to overtake and in so doing the car hit the
carratellas left wheel and skidded obliquely hitting the on
coming car of Caedo who despite slackened speed to avoid
the collision was hit resulting to the injuries of Caedo and his
passengers. Yus driver was negligent. Was Yu liable?
HELD: The basis of the master/employers liability in civil

73

G.R. No. L-20392, 1968. Case digest courtesy of Mr. Antonio Antonio
Santos and Mr. Rommelito Francisco Macarayo.

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[Torts and Damages]


law is not respondent superior but rather the relationship of
Pater Familias. The theory is that ultimately the negligence
of the servant, if known to the master and susceptible of
timely correction, reflects the masters negligence if he fails
to correct it in order to prevent the injury or damage (J.
Makalintal)
The owner of the car Yu was not liable because he did not see
the carretela at a distance, however, he could not have
anticipated his drivers sudden decision to pass the carretela.
The time element was such that there was no reasonable
opportunity for Yu to assess the danger involved and warn the
driver accordingly.
*Former owner of Motor Vehicle are liable for the tortuous
acts of the new owner.

Person Vicariously Liable for Acts of Others (Art


2180) - The basis of vicarious liability is responsibility of
a person over other persons under their legal authority,
control or influence. Violation or remission of duty
arising from such relationship makes them liable for
damages caused by other person under their care or
charge.
1.Parent father, if dead or incapacitated, mother are
responsible for damages caused by minor children living in
their
company
(Art
2180
NCC)
2.Guardians are liable for damages caused by the minors or
incapacitated person who are under their authority and live in
their company. (ibid)

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that they have exercise the diligence of a good father of
a family (Exconde vs Capuno, 101 Phil 843) to prevent
damage.
RPC Art. 101. Rules regarding civil liability in certain cases. The
exemption from criminal liability established in subdivisions 1, 2, 3,
5 and 6 of Article 12 and in subdivision 4 of Article 11 of this Code
does not include exemption from civil liability, which shall be
enforced subject to the following rules:
First. In cases of subdivisions 1, 2, and 3 of Article 12, the civil
liability for acts committed by an imbecile or insane person, and by
a person under nine years of age, or by one over nine but under
fifteen years of age, who has acted without discernment, shall
devolve upon those having such person under their legal authority
or control, unless it appears that there was no fault or negligence
on their part.
Should there be no person having such insane, imbecile or minor
under his authority, legal guardianship or control, or if such person
be insolvent, said insane, imbecile, or minor shall respond with their
own property, excepting property exempt from execution, in
accordance with the civil law.
Second. In cases falling within subdivision 4 of Article 11, the
persons for whose benefit the harm has been prevented shall be
civilly liable in proportion to the benefit which they may have
received.
The courts shall determine, in sound discretion, the proportionate
amount for which each one shall be liable.
When the respective shares cannot be equitably determined, even
approximately, or when the liability also attaches to the
Government, or to the majority of the inhabitants of the town, and,
in all events, whenever the damages have been caused with the
consent of the authorities or their agents, indemnification shall be
made in the manner prescribed by special laws or regulations.
Third. In cases falling within subdivisions 5 and 6 of Article 12, the
persons using violence or causing the fears shall be primarily liable
and secondarily, or, if there be no such persons, those doing the act
shall be liable, saving always to the latter that part of their property
exempt from execution.

Art. 219. Those given the authority and responsibility under the
preceding Article shall be principally and solidarily liable for
damages caused by the acts or omissions of the unemancipated
minor. The parents, judicial guardians or the persons exercising
substitute parental authority over said minor shall be subsidiarily
liable.
The respective liabilities of those referred to in the preceding
paragraph shall not apply if it is proved that they exercised the
proper diligence required under the particular circumstances.
All other cases not covered by this and the preceding articles shall
be governed by the provisions of the Civil Code on quasi-delicts.

Cuadra vs Monfort

FC Art. 221. Parents and other persons exercising parental


authority shall be civilly liable for the injuries and damages caused
by the acts or omissions of their unemancipated children living in
their company and under their parental authority subject to the
appropriate defenses provided by law.

FACTS: Grade 6 pupil Maria C and Maria M were assigned


by teacher to weed the grass in the school premises. M found
a plastic headband which she aloud she found an earthworm
and tossed it to C hitting the latter right eyes resulting to loss
of said eye.

FC Art. 236. Emancipation shall terminate parental authority over


the person and property of the child who shall then be qualified and
responsible for all acts of civil life, save the exceptions established
by existing laws in special cases.
Contracting marriage shall require parental consent until the age of
twenty-one.
Nothing in this Code shall be construed to derogate from the duty
or responsibility of parents and guardians for children and wards
below twenty-one years of age mentioned in the second and third
paragraphs of Article 2180 of the Civil Code.

The Basis of the civil liability which is primary-direct and


solidary imposed by law is the necessary consequence
of parental authority exercise over their children. This
authority imposed a duty upon parents to support them,
keep them company, educate and instruct them, and
grand the right to correcting punish with moderation.
The parents are relieved of this liability only upon proof

Illustrative Cases

LESSON: The father COULD NOT HAVE exercised due


diligence inside the school.

HELD: The underlying basis of the liability imposed by Art


2176 is the fault or negligence accompanying the act or
omission there being no willfulness or intent to cause damage
thereby and in Art 2180 providing vicarious liability of parent
although primarily.
It was not shown that the parent could have prevented the
damage as their child was in school and they have the right to
expect their child to be under the care and supervision of the
teacher. Beside the act was an innocent prank and unusual
among children at play and which no parent could have any
special reason to anticipate much less guard against. Parent
not
held
liable.
Where the minor or insane person causing damage to others

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dreamer Bar Review Notes


has no parent or guardian/ the minor or insane persons
property shall answer the damage caused. (Art 2182)
Tamargo vs. CA there would be NO retroactive effect
because of adoption if child was guilty of quasi-delict
FACTS: Adelberto Bundoc, then a minor of 10 years of age,
shot Jennifer Tamargo with an air rifle causing injuries which
resulted in her death. Accordingly, a civil complaint for
damages was filed with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 20,
Vigan, Ilocos Sur, docketed as Civil Case No. 3457-V, by
petitioner Macario Tamargo, Jennifer's adopting parent, and
petitioner spouses Celso and Aurelia Tamargo, Jennifer's
natural parents against respondent spouses Victor and Clara
Bundoc, Adelberto's natural parents with whom he was living
at the time of the tragic incident. In addition to this case for
damages, a criminal information or Homicide through
Reckless Imprudence was filed [Criminal Case No. 1722-V]
against Adelberto Bundoc. Adelberto, however, was acquitted
and exempted from criminal liability on the ground that he
bad acted without discernment.
Prior to the incident, or on 10 December 1981, the spouses
Sabas and Felisa Rapisura had filed a petition to adopt the
minor Adelberto Bundoc in Special Proceedings No. 0373-T
before the then Court of First Instance of Ilocos Sur. This
petition for adoption was granted on, 18 November 1982, that
is, after Adelberto had shot and killed Jennifer.
ISSUE: WON the natural parents or the adoptive parents are
to be held liable.
HELD: Bundoc spouses contend that the parental authority
of the adoptive parents started upon the filing of the petition
for adoption. Respondent Bundoc spouses rely on Article 36
of the Child and Youth Welfare Code which reads as follows:
Art. 36. Decree of Adoption. If, after considering the report
of the Department of Social Welfare or duly licensed child
placement agency and the evidence submitted before it, the
court is satisfied that the petitioner is qualified to maintain,
care for, and educate the child, that the trial custody period
has been completed, and that the best interests of the child will
be promoted by the adoption, a decree of adoption shall be
entered, which shall be effective on the date the original
petition was filed. The decree shall state the name by which
the child is thenceforth to be known.
The Bundoc spouses further argue that the above Article 36
should be read in relation to Article 39 of the same Code:
Art. 39. Effect of Adoption. The adoption shall:
xxx xxx xxx (2) Dissolve the authority vested in the natural
parents, except where the adopter is the spouse of the
surviving natural parent; xxx xxx xxx
(Emphasis supplied)
and urge that their Parental authority must be deemed to have
been dissolved as of the time the Petition for adoption was
filed.
The Court is not persuaded. Article 58 of the Child and Youth
Welfare Code, re-enacted this rule: Article 58 Torts

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[Torts and Damages]


Parents and guardians are responsible for the damage caused
by the child under their parental authority in accordance with
the civil Code.
Article 221 of the Family Code of the Philippines has
similarly insisted upon the requisite that the child, doer of the
tortious act, shall have beer in the actual custody of the parents
sought to be held liable for the ensuing damage: Art. 221.
Parents and other persons exercising parental authority shall
be civilly liable for the injuries and damages caused by the
acts or omissions of their unemancipated children living in
their company and under their parental authority subject to the
appropriate defenses provided by law.
We do not believe that parental authority is properly regarded
as having been retroactively transferred to and vested in the
adopting parents, the Rapisura spouses, at the time the air rifle
shooting happened. We do not consider that retroactive effect
may be giver to the decree of adoption so as to impose a
liability upon the adopting parents accruing at a time when
adopting parents had no actual or physically custody over the
adopted child. Retroactive affect may perhaps be given to the
granting of the petition for adoption where such is essential to
permit the accrual of some benefit or advantage in favor of the
adopted child. In the instant case, however, to hold that
parental authority had been retroactively lodged in the
Rapisura spouses so as to burden them with liability for a
tortious act that they could not have foreseen and which they
could not have prevented (since they were at the time in the
United States and had no physical custody over the child
Adelberto) would be unfair and unconscionable. Such a result,
moreover, would be inconsistent with the philosophical and
policy basis underlying the doctrine of vicarious liability. Put
a little differently, no presumption of parental dereliction on
the part of the adopting parents, the Rapisura spouses, could
have arisen since Adelberto was not in fact subject to their
control at the time the tort was committed.
Libi vs. IAC Parents are liable since they were negligent in
the secure placing of the gun.
FACTS: Julie Ann Gotiong and Wendell Libi were a
sweetheart until the former broke up with the latter after she
found out the Wendell was irresponsible and
sadistic. Wendell wanted reconciliation but was not granted
by Julie so it prompted him to resort to threats. One day, there
were found dead from a single gunshot wound each coming
from the same gun. The parents of Julie herein private
respondents filed a civil case against the parents of Wendell
to recover damages. Trial court dismissed the complaint for
insufficiency of evidence but was set aside by CA.
ISSUE: WON the parents should be held liable for such
damages.
HELD: The subsidiary liability of parents for damages
caused by their minor children imposed under Art 2180 of the
Civil Code and Art. 101 of Revised Penal Code covered
obligations arising from both quasi-delicts and criminal
offenses. The court held that the civil liability of the parents

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]


for quasi-delict of their minor children is primary and not
subsidiary and that responsibility shall cease when the persons
can prove that they observe all the diligence of a good father
of a family to prevent damage. However, Wendells mother
testified that her husband owns a gun which he kept in a safety
deposit box inside a drawer in their bedroom. Each of the
spouses had their own key. She likewise admitted that during
the incident, the gun was no longer in the safety deposit
box. Wendell could not have gotten hold of the gun unless
the key was left negligently lying around and that he has free
access of the mothers bag where the key was kept. The
spouses failed to observe and exercise the required diligence
of a good father to prevent such damage.
FC Art. 218. The school, its administrators and teachers, or the
individual, entity or institution engaged in child are shall have
special parental authority and responsibility over the minor child
while under their supervision, instruction or custody.
Authority and responsibility shall apply to all authorized activities
whether inside or outside the premises of the school, entity or
institution

dreamer Bar Review Notes


within the premises of the school at any time when its
authority could be validly exercised over him.
In any event, the school may be held to answer for the acts of
its teacher or the head thereof under the general principle of
respondent superior, but it may exculpate itself from liability
by proof that it had exercised the diligence of a bonus
paterfamilias. Such defense they had taken necessary
precautions to prevent the injury complained of and thus be
exonerated from liability imposed by Art 2180.
Basis of teachers vicarious liability is, as such, they acting in
Loco Parentis (in place of parents). However teachers are not
expected to have the same measure of responsibility as that
imposed on parent for their influence over the child is not
equal in degree. x x x The parent can instill more lasting
discipline more lasting disciple on the child than the teacher
and so should be held to a greater accountability than the
teacher or the head for the tort committed by the child.
Philippine School of Business Administration vs. CA

Illustrative Cases
Amadora vs CA
LESSON: School DID NOT have custody over the
student. Head NOT liable.
FACTS: It was summer of 1972 Alfredo Amadora about to
graduate at the Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos was shot to
death by his classmate Pablito Daffon. Alfredo went to the
school to submit his Report in Physic.
Held: Art 2180 NCC applies to all schools, academic or nonacademic. Teachers are liable for acts of their student except
where the school is technical in nature (arts and trade
establishment) in which case the head thereof shall be
answerable.
There is really no substantial difference distinction between
the academic and non-academic schools in so far as torts
committed by their students are concerned. The same
vigilance is expected from the teacher over the student under
their control and supervision, whatever the nature of the
school where he is teaching. x x x x The distinction no
longer obtains at present. x x x
The student is in the custody of the school authorities as long
as he is under the control and influence of the school and
within its premises, whether the semester has not ended, or
has ended or has not yet begun. The term custody signifies
that the student is within the control and influence of the
school authorities. The teacher in charge is the one designated
by the dean, principal, or other administrative superior to
exercise supervision over the pupils or students in the specific
classes or sections to which they are assigned. It is not
necessary that at the time of the injury, the teacher is
physically present and in a position to prevent it.
Thus, for injuries caused by the student, the teacher and not
the parent shall be held responsible if the tort was committed

LESSON: School is NOT LIABLE for actions of persons


NOT ASSOCIATED with the school. However, School is
LIABLE for BREACH OF CONTRACT for NOT
PROVIDING a safe and secure learning environment for
their students.
FACTS: Carlitos Bautista was stabbed while on the second
floor premises of the schools by assailants who were not
members of the schools academic community. This prompted
the parents of the deceased to file a suit in the RTC of Manila
for damages against PSBA and its corporate officers.
The defendant schools (now petitioner) sought to have the suit
dismissed on the ground of no cause of action and not within
the scope of the provision of Art 2180 since it is an academic
institution. The trial court overruled the petitioners
contention and its decision was later affirmed by the appellate
court.
ISSUE: Whether the decision of the appellate court primarily
anchored on the law of quasi-delicts is valid.
HELD: Although the Supreme Court agreed to the decision
of the Court of Appeals to deny the petition of motion to
dismiss by the PSBA, they do not agree to the premises of the
appellate courts ruling.
Art 2180, in conjunction with Art 2176 of the civil code
establishes the rule of in loco parentis, they can not be held
liable to the acts of Carlitos assailants which were not
students of the PSBA and because of the contractual
relationship.
The school and the students, upon registration established a
contract between them, resulting in bilateral obligations. The
institution of learning must provide their students with an
atmosphere that promotes or assists its primary undertaking
of imparting knowledge, and maintain peace and order within
its premises.

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dreamer Bar Review Notes


The SC dismissed the petition and the case was remanded to
the trail court to determine if the school neglected its
obligation to perform based on the contractual relation of
them and the students.
St. Joseph's College v. Miranda
LESSON: Higher degree of care by teachers.
FACTS: On November 17, 1994, at around 1:30 in the
afternoon inside St. Joseph Colleges premises, the class to
which Jayson Val Miranda belonged was conducting a
science experiment about fusion of sulphur powder and iron
fillings under the tutelage of Rosalinda Tabugo, she being the
subject teacher and employee of SJC. The adviser of
[Jaysons] class is Estefania Abdan. Tabugo left her class
while it was doing the experiment without having adequately
secured it from any untoward incident or occurrence. In the
middle of the experiment, [Jayson], who was the assistant
leader of one of the class groups, checked the result of the
experiment by looking into the test tube with magnifying
glass. The test tube was being held by one of his group mates
who moved it close and towards the eye of [Jayson]. At that
instance, the compound in the test tube spurted out and several
particles of which hit [Jaysons] eye and the different parts of
the bodies of some of his group mates. As a result thereof,
[Jaysons] eyes were chemically burned, particularly his left
eye, for which he had to undergo surgery and had to spend for
his medication. Upon filing of this case [in] the lower court,
[Jaysons] wound had not completely healed and still had to
undergo another surgery.
Upon learning of the incident and because of the need for
finances, [Jaysons] mother, who was working abroad, had to
rush back home for which she spent P36,070 for her fares and
had to forego her salary from November 23, 1994 to
December 26, 1994, in the amount of at least P40,000.
On the other hand, [petitioners SJC, Sr. Josephini Ambatali,
SFIC, and Tabugo] alleged that [Jayson] was a grade six pupil
of SJC. On November 17, 1994, before the science
experiment was conducted, [Jayson] and his classmates were
given strict instructions to follow the written procedure for the
experiment and not to look into the test tube until the heated
compound had cooled off. [Jayson], however, a person of
sufficient age and discretion and completely capable of
understanding the English language and the instructions of his
teacher, without waiting for the heated compound to cool off,
as required in the written procedure for the experiment and as
repeatedly explained by the teacher, violated such instructions
and took a magnifying glass and looked at the compound,
which at that moment spurted out of the test tube, a small
particle hitting one of [Jaysons] eyes.
Jayson was rushed by the school employees to the school
clinic and thereafter transferred to St. Lukes Medical Center
for treatment. At the hospital, when Tabago visited [Jayson],
the latter cried and apologized to his teacher for violating her
instructions not to look into the test tube until the compound
had cooled off. After the treatment, [Jayson] was pronounced

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[Torts and Damages]


ready for discharge and an eye test showed that his vision had
not been impaired or affected. In order to avoid additional
hospital charges due to the delay in [Jaysons] discharge,
Rodolfo S. Miranda, [Jaysons] father, requested SJC to
advance the amount of P26,176.35 representing [Jaysons]
hospital bill until his wife could arrive from abroad and pay
back the money. SJC acceded to the request. On December 6,
1994, however, the parents of [Jayson], through counsel,
wrote SJC a letter demanding that it should shoulder all the
medical expenses of [Jayson] that had been incurred and will
be incurred further arising from the accident caused by the
science experiment. RTC in favor of Jayson. CA affirmed.
ISSUE: W/N petitioners are liable. YES
RATIO: Both courts correctly concluded that the immediate
and proximate cause of the accident which caused injury to
Jayson was the sudden and unexpected explosion of the
chemicals, independent of any intervening cause. The assailed
Decision of the CA quotes with favor the RTC decision, thus:
In this case, [petitioners] failed to show that the negligence of
[Jayson] was the proximate cause of the latters injury. We
find that the immediate cause of the accident was not the
negligence of [Jayson] when he curiously looked into the test
tube when the chemicals suddenly exploded which caused his
injury, but the sudden and unexpected explosion of the
chemicals independent of any intervening cause. [Petitioners]
could have prevented the mishap if they exercised a higher
degree of care, caution and foresight. The court a quo
correctly ruled that: "All of the [petitioners] are equally at
fault and are liable for negligence because all of them are
responsible for exercising the required reasonable care,
prudence, caution and foresight to prevent or avoid injuries to
the students. The individual [petitioners] are persons charged
with the teaching and vigilance over their students as well as
the supervision and ensuring of their well-being. Based on the
facts presented before this Court, these [petitioners] were
remiss in their responsibilities and lacking in the degree of
vigilance expected of them. [Petitioner] subject teacher
Rosalinda Tabugo was inside the classroom when the class
undertook the science experiment although [Jayson] insisted
that said [petitioner] left the classroom. No evidence,
however, was presented to establish that [petitioner] Tabugo
was inside the classroom for the whole duration of the
experiment. It was unnatural in the ordinary course of events
that [Jayson] was brought to the school clinic for immediate
treatment not by [petitioner] subject teacher Rosalinda
Tabugo but by somebody else. The Court is inclined to
believe that [petitioner] subject teacher Tabugo was not inside
the classroom at the time the accident happened. The Court is
also perplexed why none of the other students (who were
eyewitnesses to the incident) testified in Court to corroborate
the story of the [petitioners]. The Court, however, understands
that these other students cannot testify for [Jayson] because
[Jayson] is no longer enrolled in said school and testifying for
[Jayson] would incur the ire of school authorities. Estefania
Abdan is equally at fault as the subject adviser or teacher in
charge because she exercised control and supervision over
[petitioner] Tabugo and the students themselves. It was her
obligation to insure that nothing would go wrong and that the

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[Torts and Damages]


science experiment would be conducted safely and without
any harm or injury to the students. [Petitioner] Sr. Josephini
Ambatali is likewise culpable under the doctrine of command
responsibility because the other individual [petitioners] were
under her direct control and supervision. The negligent acts of
the other individual [petitioners] were done within the scope
of their assigned tasks. "The defense of due diligence of a
good father of a family raised by [petitioner] St. Joseph
College will not exculpate it from liability because it has been
shown that it was guilty of inexcusable laxity in the
supervision of its teachers (despite an apparent rigid screening
process for hiring) and in the maintenance of what should
have been a safe and secured environment for conducting
dangerous experiments. [Petitioner] school is still liable for
the wrongful acts of the teachers and employees because it
had full information on the nature of dangerous science
experiments but did not take affirmative steps to avert damage
and injury to students. The fact that there has never been any
accident in the past during the conduct of science experiments
is not a justification to be complacent in just preserving the
status quo and do away with creative foresight to install safety
measures to protect the students. Schools should not simply
install safety reminders and distribute safety instructional
manuals. More importantly, schools should provide
protective gears and devices to shield students from expected
risks and anticipated dangers. "Ordinarily, the liability of
teachers does not extend to the school or university itself,
although an educational institution may be held liable under
the principle of RESPONDEANT SUPERIOR. It has also
been held that the liability of the employer for the [tortuous]
acts or negligence of its employees is primary and solidary,
direct and immediate and not conditioned upon the insolvency
of or prior recourse against the negligent employee."
As found by both lower courts, the proximate cause of
Jaysons injury was the concurrent failure of petitioners to
prevent the foreseeable mishap that occurred during the
conduct of the science experiment. Petitioners were negligent
by failing to exercise the higher degree of care, caution and
foresight incumbent upon the school, its administrators and
teachers.
SALUDAGA vs. FAR EASTERN UNIVERSITY
LESSON: Security Agency is liable for quasi-delict but
school is liable for contractual breach for not providing a
safe and secure learning environment for their students.
FEU is liable for contractual breach BUT NOT for torts.
FACTS: Petitioner Joseph Saludaga was a sophomore law
student of respondent Far Eastern University when he was
shot by Alejandro Rosete, one of the security guards on duty
at the school premises on August 18, 1996. Rosete was
brought to the police station where he explained that the
shooting was accidental. He was eventually released
considering that no formal complaint was filed against him.
Respondents, in turn, filed a Third-Party Complaint against
Galaxy Development and Management Corporation
(Galaxy), the agency contracted by respondent FEU to
provide security services within its premises and Mariano D.

dreamer Bar Review Notes


Imperial (Galaxys President), to indemnify them for
whatever would be adjudged in favor of petitioner.
Petitioner is suing respondents for damages based on the
alleged breach of student-school contract for a safe and secure
environment and an atmosphere conducive to learning.
ISSUE: WON FEU was not negligent and such shooting was
tantamount to a caso fortuito? NO, it was negligent and such
is not a fortuitous case.
HELD: When an academic institution accepts students for
enrollment, there is established a contract between them,
resulting in bilateral obligations which both parties are bound
to comply with. For its part, the school undertakes to provide
the student with an education that would presumably suffice
to equip him with the necessary tools and skills to pursue
higher education or a profession. On the other hand, the
student covenants to abide by the schools academic
requirements and observe its rules and regulations.
Respondent FEU failed to discharge the burden of proving
that they exercised due diligence in providing a safe learning
environment for their students. It failed to show that they
undertook steps to ascertain and confirm that the security
guards assigned to them actually possess the qualifications
required in the Security Service Agreement. It was not proven
that they examined the clearances, psychiatric test results, 201
files, and other vital documents enumerated in its contract
with Galaxy. Total reliance on the security agency about these
matters or failure to check the papers stating the qualifications
of the guards is negligence on the part of respondents. A
learning institution should not be allowed to completely
relinquish or abdicate security matters in its premises to the
security agency it hired. To do so would result to contracting
away its inherent obligation to ensure a safe learning
environment for its students.
Respondent FEU is liable to petitioner for damages.
FEU cannot be held liable for damages under Art. 2180 of the
Civil Code because respondents are not the employers of
Rosete. The latter was employed by Galaxy. The instructions
issued by respondents Security Consultant to Galaxy and its
security guards are ordinarily no more than requests
commonly envisaged in the contract for services entered into
by a principal and a security agency. They cannot be
construed as the element of control as to treat respondents as
the employers of Rosete. It had no hand in selecting
thesecurity guards. Thus, the duty to observe the diligence of
a good father of a family cannot be demanded from the said
client
FALLO: For these acts of negligence and for having
supplied respondent FEU with an unqualified security guard,
which resulted to the latters breach of obligation to petitioner,
it is proper to hold Galaxy liable to respondent FEU for such
damages equivalent to the above-mentioned amounts
awarded to petitioner. Unlike respondent De Jesus, we deem
Imperial to be solidarily liable with Galaxy for being grossly
negligent in directing the affairs of the security agency.

Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

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dreamer Bar Review Notes


Employers: Master
a. Owner and Manager of establishment or
enterprises are liable for damage caused by their
employees in the service of employment or on the
occasion of their functions..
b. Employer of household helper though not
engaged in any business or industry are liable for
damages caused by helper acting within the scope
of their assigned tasks.

[Torts and Damages]


Issue: Whether or not the term employer as used in Article
2180 is applicable to petitioner Filamer with reference to
Funtecha.

The term Manager in Art 2180 is used in the sense of


employer, not employee.

Ruling: The Court ruled that even if we were to concede the


status of an employee on Funtecha, still the primary
responsibility for his wrongdoing cannot be imputed to
petitioner Filamer for the plain reason that at the time of the
accident, it has been satisfactorily shown that Funtecha was
not acting within the scope of his supposed employment. His
duty was to sweep the school passages for two hours every
morning before his regular classes. Taking the wheels of the
Pinoy jeep from the authorized driver at 6:30 in the evening
and then driving the vehicle in a reckless manner resulting in
multiple injuries to a third person were certainly not within
the ambit of his assigned tasks. At the time of the injury,
Funtecha was not engaged in the execution of the janitorial
services for which he was employed, but for some purpose of
his own. It is but fair therefore that Funtecha should bear the
full brunt of his tortious negligence. Petitioner Filamer cannot
be made liable for the damages he had caused. Furthermore,
the Court cited Section 14, Rule X of Book III of the Labor
Code, under the Labor Code, petitioner Filamer cannot be
considered as Funtechas employer. Funtecha belongs to that
special category of students who render service to the school
in exchange for free tuition Funtecha worked for petitioner for
two hours daily for five days a week. He was assigned to clean
the school passageways from 4:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. with
sufficient time to prepare for his 7:30 a.m. classes. As
admitted by Agustin Masa in open court, Funtecha was not
included in the company payroll.

Filamer v. CA

VALENZUELA vs. COURT OF APPEALS

Facts: Private respondent Potenciano Kapunan, Sr., an


eighty-two-year old retired schoolteacher (now deceased),
was struck by the Pinoy jeep owned by petitioner Filamer and
driven by its alleged employee, Funtecha, as Kapunan, Sr.
was walking along Roxas Avenue, Roxas City at 6:30 in the
evening of October 20, 1977. As a result of the accident,
Kapunan, Sr. suffered multiple injuries for which he was
hospitalized for a total of twenty (20) days. At the time of the
vehicular accident, only one headlight of the jeep was
functioning. Funtecha, who only had a student drivers
permit, was driving after having persuaded Allan Masa, the
authorized driver, to turn over the wheels to him. The two fled
from the scene after the incident. A tricycle driver brought the
unconscious victim to the hospital. The trial court rendered
judgment finding not only petitioner Filamer and Funtecha to
be at fault but also Allan Masa, a non-party. Only petitioner
Filamer and third-party defendant Zenith Insurance
Corporation appealed the lower courts judgment to the Court
of Appeals and as a consequence, said lower courts decision
became final as to Funtecha. For failure of the insurance firm
to pay the docket fees, its appeal was dismissed on September
18, 1984. On December 17, 1985, the Appellate Court
rendered the assailed judgment affirming the trial courts
decision in toto. Hence the present recourse by petitioner
Filamer.

Facts: At around 2:00 in the morning of June 24, 1990,


plaintiff Ma. Lourdes Valenzuela was driving a blue
Mitsubishi lancer from her restaurant at Marcos highway to
her home. While travelling along Aurora Blvd., she noticed
something wrong with her tires; she stopped at a lighted place
where there were people, to verify whether she had a flat tire
and to solicit help if needed. Having been told by the people
present that her rear right tire was flat and that she cannot
reach her home in that cars condition, she parked along the
sidewalk, about 1 feet away, put on her emergency lights,
alighted from the car, and went to the rear to open the trunk.

Basis of Liability is not Respondent Superior (AngloAmerican doctrine where the negligence of the
employee is conclusively presumed to be the
negligence of the employer) but on the relationship of
Pater-Familias, (master-servant) a theory basing the
liability of the master ultimately on his own negligence
and not that of the servant as manifested in his
negligence in the selection of their employee-servant
(culpa eligiendo) or in the supervision over their
employee-servants (culpa in vigilando). This negligence
is prima facie presumption juris tantum- overcome or
rebutted by proof that they have observed and exercised
all the diligence of a good father of a family
(diligantissimi bonus fater familias). The theory is
deduced from the last par of Art 2180 NCC providing the
responsibility shall cease upon proof of exercise of the
diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the
damage.

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She was standing at the left side of the rear of her car pointing
to the tools to a man who will help her fix the tire when she
was suddenly bumped by a 1987 Mitsubishi Lancer driven by
defendant Richard Li and registered in the name of defendant
Alexander Commercial, Inc. Because of the impact plaintiff
was thrown against the windshield of the car of the defendant,
which was destroyed, and then fell to the ground. She was
pulled out from under defendants car. Plaintiffs left leg was
severed up to the middle of her thigh, with only some skin and
sucle connected to the rest of the body. She was brought to
the UERM Medical Memorial Center where she was found to
have a traumatic amputation, leg, left up to distal thigh
(above knee). She was confined in the hospital for twenty
(20) days and was eventually fitted with an artificial leg.

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[Torts and Damages]


Issues:
1.) Whether or not Li was negligent.
2.) Whether or not Valenzuela was contributory negligent.
3.) Whether or not Alexander Commercial, Inc. Lis employer
is liable.
Held:
1.) Yes. A witness testified that Lis car was being driven at
a very fast speed, racing towards the general direction of
Araneta Avenue. He also saw the car hit Valenzuela, hurtling
her against the windshield of the defendants Mitsubishi
Lancer, from where she eventually fell under the defendants
car. Moreover the witness declared that he observed
Valenzuelas car parked parallel and very near the sidewalk,
contrary to Lis allegation that Valenzuelas car was close to
the center of the right lane.
2.) No. The Court held that Valenzuela was not negligent
applying the emergency rule.
Under the emergency rule, an individual who suddenly
finds himself in a situation of danger and is required to act
without much time to consider the best means that may be
adopted to avoid the impending danger, is not guilty of
negligence if he fails to undertake what subsequently and
upon reflection may appear to be a better solution, unless the
emergency was brought by his own negligence.
Valenzuela did exercise the standard reasonably dictated by
the emergency and could not be considered to have
contributed to the unfortunate circumstances which
eventually led to the amputation of one of her lower
extremities. The emergency which led her to park her car on
a sidewalk in Aurora Boulevard was not of her own making,
and it was evident that she had taken all reasonable
precautions. Obviously, the only negligence ascribable was
the negligence of Li on the night of the accident.
3.) Yes. Alexander Commercial, Inc. has not demonstrated, to
the Courts satisfaction, that it exercised the care and
diligence of a good father of the family in entrusting its
company car to Li. No allegations were made as to whether or
not the company took the steps necessary to determine or
ascertain the driving proficiency and history of Li, to whom it
gave full and unlimited use of a company car. Not having been
able to overcome the burden of demonstrating that it should
be absolved of liability for entrusting its company car to Li,
said company, based on the principle of bonus pater familias,
ought to be jointly and severally liable with the former for the
injuries sustained by Ma. Lourdes Valenzuela during the
accident.
Li was an Assistant Manager of Alexander Commercial, Inc.
He admitted that his functions as Assistant Manager did not
require him to scrupulously keep normal office hours as he
was required quite often to perform work outside the office,
visiting prospective buyers and contacting and meeting with
company clients. These meetings, clearly, were not strictly
confined to routine hours because, as a managerial employee
tasked with the job of representing his company with its
clients, meetings with clients were both social as well as
work-related functions. The service car assigned to Li by
Alexander Commercial, Inc. therefore enabled both Li as
well as the corporation to put up the front of a highly
successful entity, increasing the latters goodwill before its

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clientele. It also facilitated meeting between Li and its clients
by providing the former with a convenient mode of travel.
CASTILEX INDUSTRIAL VS VASQUEZ
FACTS: On Aug. 28, 1988, around 1:30-2 am, Romeo
Vasquez was driving his motorcycle around the Osmea
Rotunda in the normal flow and collided with the company
pick-up driven by Benjamin Abad who was going against the
flow of the the traffic in the same Rotunda. Vasquez died at
the hospital on Sept. 5, 1988. Abad signed an
acknowledgement of Responsible party wherein he would pay
all the expenses. Vasquez parents commenced an action for
damages against Abad and Castilex. TC held that both must
pay jointly and solidarily. CA affirmed but held that the
liability of Castilex is only vicarious and not solidary.
ISSUE: WON an employer may be held vicariously
(subsidiarily) liable for the death resulting from the negligent
operation by a managerial employee of a company-issued
vehicle
HELD: NO
RATIO: Art 2180 par 5 says that WON engaged in any
business or industry, an employer is liable for the torts
committed by employees within the scope of his assigned
tasks. But it is necessary to first establish the employeeemployer relnship. Then the plaintiff must show, to hold
employer liable, that the employee was acting within the
scope of his assigned task when the tort complained of was
committed. It is only then that the employer can interpose the
defense of due diligence in the selection and supervision of its
employee. In the case at bar, it is undisputed that Abad was
production manager of Castilex. At the night of the incident,
he did some overtime work at petitioners office. Thereafter
he went to a restaurant at a place known as a haven for
prostitutes, pimps, and drug pushers and addicts. The Court
finds that Abad was engaged in affairs of his own (had a
woman in the car with him not young enough to call him
Daddy!! ) or was carrying out a personal purpose not in line
with his duties at the time he figured in a vehicular accident.
It was 2 am and way beyond normal working hours. His
overtime had ended. Since there is a paucity (scarcity,
insufficiency) of evidence that Abad was acting within the
scope of the functions entrusted to him, Castilex had no duty
to show that it exercised the diligence of a good father of a
family in providing Abad with a service vehicle. Thus, justice
and equity require that Castilex be relieved of vicarious
liability for the consequences of the negligence of Abad in
driving its vehicle.
AFRICA vs. CALTEX
LESSON: Agent of the company and not independent
contractor
FACTS: A fire broke out at the Caltex service station at the
corner of Antipolo street and Rizal Avenue, Manila. It started
while gasoline was being hosed from a tank truck into the
underground storage, right at the opening of the receiving tank
where the nozzle of the hose was inserted, when an unknown

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dreamer Bar Review Notes


bystander threw a matchstick into the nozzle after lighting a
cigarette. The fire spread to and burned several neighboring
houses, including the personal properties and effects inside
them. Their owners, among them petitioners here, sued
respondents Caltex (Phil.), Inc. and Mateo Boquiren, the first
as alleged owner of the station and the second as its agent in
charge of operation. Negligence on the part of both of them
was attributed as the cause of the fire.
Trial court and the Court of Appeals found that petitioners
failed to prove negligence and that respondents had exercised
due care in the premises and with respect to the supervision
of their employees.
Both courts refused to apply the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur
on the grounds that as to its applicability xxx in the
Philippines, there seems to be nothing definite, and that
while the rules do not prohibit its adoption in appropriate
cases, in the case at bar, however, we find no practical use
for such docrtrine.
Issue: WON Caltex and Boquiren should be held liable for
the damages caused to the appellants.
Held: Decision was REVERSED. Caltex and Boquiren were
held solidary liable.
The Supreme Court applying the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor,
found that there was negligence on the part of Boquiren.
Also, it affirmed the findings of the Court of Appeals that the
operator (Boquiren) was an agent of the company and not an
independent contractor. Taking into considerations of the
following: (1) Caltex has control over Baquiren and the
company could remove him or teminate his services; (2) he
only sells the products of the company; (3) equipment in the
station belonged to the company and loaned only to him; (4)
repairs and maintenance were conducted by Caltex; (5) prices
were fixed by Caltex; and (6) the receipt he signed indicated
only that he was a mere agent.
PILIPINAS SHELL PETROLEUM CORPORATION vs.
COURT OF APPEALS
LESSON: Independent Contractor is liable for his own
acts
Facts: Private respondent Clarita T. Camacho was the
operator of a gasoline station in Naguilian Road, Baguio City,
wherein she sells petitioner Shell's petroleum products.
Camacho requested petitioner to conduct a hydro-pressure
test on the underground storage tanks of the said station in
order to determine whether or not the sales losses she was
incurring for the past several months were due to leakages
therein. Petitioner acceded to the said request and one Jesus
"Jessie" Feliciano together with other workers, came to
private respondent's station with a Job Order from petitioner
to perform the hydro-pressure test.
On the same day, Feliciano and his men drained the
underground storage tank which was to be tested of its

All Rights Reserved

[Torts and Damages]


remaining gasoline. After which, they filled the tank with
water through a water hose from the deposit tank of private
respondent. Then, after requesting one of private respondent's
gasoline boys to shut off the water when the tank was filled,
Feliciano and his men left. At around 2:00 a.m. the following
day, private respondent saw that the water had reached the lip
of the pipe of the underground storage tank and so, she shut
off the water faucet.
At around 5:30 a.m., private respondent's husband opened the
station and started selling gasoline. But at about 6:00 a.m., the
customers who had bought gasoline returned to the station
complaining that their vehicles stalled because there was
water in the gasoline that they bought. On account of this,
private respondent was constrained to replace the gasoline
sold to the said customers. However, a certain Eduardo
Villanueva, one of the customers, filed a complaint with the
police against private respondent for selling the adulterated
gasoline. In addition, he caused the incident to be published
in two local newspapers.
Feliciano, who arrived later that morning, did not know what
caused the water pollution of the gasoline in the adjacent
storage tank. So he called up Nick Manalo, Superintendent of
Shell's Poro Point Installation at San Fernando, La Union, and
referred the matter to the latter. Manalo went up to Baguio in
the afternoon to investigate. Thereafter, he and Feliciano
again filled with water the underground storage tank
undergoing hydro-pressure test whereat they noticed that the
water was transferring to the other tanks from whence came
the gasoline being sold. Manalo asked permission from Shell's
Manila Office to excavate the underground pipes of the
station. Upon being granted permission to do so, Feliciano
and his men began excavating the driveway of private
respondent's station in order to expose the underground
pipeline. The task was continued by one Daniel "Danny"
Pascua who replaced Feliciano, Pascua removed the corroded
pipeline and installed new independent vent pipe for each
storage tank.
Meanwhile, petitioner undertook to settle the criminal
complaint filed by Villanueva. Subsequently, Villanueva filed
an Affidavit of Desistance. Thereafter, private respondent
demanded from petitioner the payment of damages in the
amount of P10,000.00. Petitioner, instead, offered private
respondent additional credit line and other beneficial terms,
which offer was, however, rejected.
Subsequently, or on October 12, 1983, private respondent
filed before the trial court a complaint for damages against
petitioner due to the latter's alleged negligence in the conduct
of the hydro-pressure test in her gasoline station. For its part,
petitioner denied liability because, according to it, the hydropressure test on the underground storage tanks was conducted
by an independent contractor.
The trial court dismissed the complaint of private respondent
for the reason that the hydro-pressure test which brought
about the incident was conducted by Jesus Feliciano, who was
neither an employee nor agent nor representative of the

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[Torts and Damages]


defendant. Jesus Feliciano is responsible for his own acts and
omissions. While the CA reversed the decision of the trial
court
Issue: WON Pilipinas Shell Petroleum should be held liable
for the damage to private respondent due to the hydropressure test conducted by Feliciano.
Held: SC set aside the decision of CA and REINSTATED the
decision of the Trial Court.
Pilipinas Shell is not liable because Feliciano was not its
employee. It was shown that Phil Shell has no control over
Feliciano who do business of his own, used his own tools and
worked on his own time charging a fixed lump sum for every
piece of work. Feliciano was an independent contractor and
not an employee and thus he alone is liable.
Being an independent contractor, Feliciano is responsible
for his own acts and omissions. As he alone was in control
over the manner of how he was to undertake the hydropressure test, he alone must bear the consequences of his
negligence, if any, in the conduct of the same.
It is firmly settled that the existence or non-existence of the
employer-employee relationship is commonly to be
determined by examination of certain factors or aspects of that
relationship. These include: (a) the manner of selection and
engagement of the putative employee; (b) the mode of
payment of wages; (c) the presence or absence of a power to
control the putative employee's conduct, although the latter is
the most important element . . .
As aptly held by the trial court, petitioner did not exercise
control and supervision over Feliciano with regard to the
manner in which he conducted the hydro-pressure test. All
that petitioner did, through its Field Engineer, Roberto Mitra,
was relay to Feliciano the request of private respondent for a
hydro-pressure test, to determine any possible leakages in the
storage tanks in her gasoline station. The mere hiring of
Feliciano by petitioner for that particular task is not the form
of control and supervision contemplated by law which may be
the basis for establishing an employer-employee relationship
between petitioner and Feliciano. The fact that there was no
such control is further amplified by the absence of any shell
representative in the job site at the time when the test was
conducted. Roberto Mitra was never there. Only Feliciano and
his men were. True, it was petitioner who sent Feliciano to
private respondent's gasoline station to conduct the hydropressure test as per the request of private respondent herself.
But this single act did not automatically make Feliciano an
employee of petitioner. As discussed earlier, more than mere
hiring is required. It must further be established that petitioner
is the one who is paying Feliciano's salary on a regular basis;
that it has the power to dismiss said employee, and more
importantly, that petitioner has control and supervision over
the work of Feliciano. The last requisite was sorely missing in
the instant case.
There is job contracting permissible under the Code if the
following conditions are met:

dreamer Bar Review Notes


(1) The contractor carries on an independent business and
undertakes the contract work on his own account under his
own responsibility according to his own manner and method,
free from the control and direction of his employer or
principal in all matters connected with the performance of the
work except as to the results thereof; and
(2) The contractor has substantial capital or investment in the
form of tools, equipment, machineries, work premises, and
other materials which are necessary in the conduct of his
business.
Feliciano is independently maintaining a business under a
duly registered business name, "JFS Repair and Maintenance
Service," and is duly registered with the Bureau of Domestic
Trade. He does not enjoy a fixed salary but instead charges a
lump sum consideration for every piece of work he
accomplishes. If he is not able to finish his work, he does not
get paid, as what happened in this case. Further, Feliciano
utilizes his own tools and equipment and has a complement of
workers. Neither is he required to work on a regular basis.
Instead, he merely awaits calls from clients such as petitioner
whenever repairs and maintenance services are requested.
Moreover, Feliciano does not exclusively service petitioner
because he can accept other business but not from other oil
companies. All these are the hallmarks of an independent
contractor.
CEREZO vs. TUAZON
LESSON: Employers liability based on a quasi-delict is
not only solidary but is primary and direct.
Facts: A Country Bus Lines passenger bus collided with a
tricycle. Tricycle driver Tuazon filed a complaint for
Damages against Foronda, the bus driver, Mrs. Cerezo, the
owner of the bus line, and Atty. Cerezo her husband.
Summons was never served against Foronda, and thus, the
Court never acquired jurisdiction over him.
Tuazon failed to show that the business benefitted the family
pursuant to Art. 121(3) of the Family Code, hence Atty.
Cerezo was not held liable and Mrs. Cerezo was held to be the
only one liable. Instead of an appeal, Mrs. Cerezo filed an
action for relief of judgment. When such was denied, the
Cerezo spouses filed certiorari before the CA. And
subsequently, certiorari before the SC.
One of Mrs. Cerezos contentions is that the court did not
acquire jurisdiction over Foronda whose negligence was the
main issue and that he was an indispensible party whose
presence was compulsory.
ISSUE: WON Mrs. Cerezo may be held to be solely liable as
the employer with the negligent employee impleaded in the
case.
HELD: Petition was Denied. Decision of CA was affirmed
with Modification with regards to the legal interest rates.
Yes, Mrs. Cerezos liability is not only solidary but also
primary and direct, as an employer

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dreamer Bar Review Notes


The same negligent act may produce civil liability arising
from a delict under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, or
may give rise to an action for a quasi-delict under Article 2180
of the Civil Code. An aggrieved party may choose between
the two remedies. An action based on a quasi-delict may
proceed independently from the criminal action.
Tuazon chose to file an action based on quasi-delict. In his
complaint, Tuazon alleged that Mrs. Cerezo, without
exercising due care and diligence in the supervision and
management of her employees and buses, hired Foronda as
her driver. Tuazon became disabled because of Forondas
recklessness, gross negligence and imprudence, aggravated
by Mrs. Cerezos lack of due care and diligence in the
selection and supervision of her employees, particularly
Foronda.
Art. 2180 states that Employers shall be liable for the damages
caused by their employees and household helpers acting
within the scope of their assigned tasks, even though the
former are not engaged in any business or industry.
An employers liability based on a quasi-delict is primary
and direct, while the employers liability based on a delict
is merely subsidiary. Contrary to Mrs. Cerezos assertion,
Foronda is not an indispensable party to the case. An
indispensable party is one whose interest is affected by the
courts action in the litigation, and without whom no final
resolution of the case is possible.
The words "primary and direct," as contrasted with
"subsidiary," refer to the remedy provided by law for
enforcing the obligation rather than to the character and limits
of the obligation. Although liability under Article 2180
originates from the negligent act of the employee, the
aggrieved party may sue the employer directly. When an
employee causes damage, the law presumes that the employer
has himself committed an act of negligence in not preventing
or avoiding the damage. This is the fault that the law
condemns. While the employer is civilly liable in a subsidiary
capacity for the employees criminal negligence, the
employer is also civilly liable directly and separately for his
own civil negligence in failing to exercise due diligence in
selecting and supervising his employee. The idea that the
employers liability is solely subsidiary is wrong.
The responsibility of two or more persons who are liable for
a quasi-delict is solidary. Where there is a solidary obligation
on the part of debtors, each debtor is liable for the entire
obligation. Therefore, jurisdiction over Foronda is not even
necessary as Tuazon may collect damages from Mrs. Cerezo
alone.
PHILIPPINE RABBIT BUS LINES, INC. vs. PHILAMERICAN FORWARDERS, INC.

[Torts and Damages]


Facts: An action for damages was brought against Phil Am
Forwarded and its Manager Balingit for negligent act of their
driver Pineda.
Pineda drove recklessly a freight truck, owned by PhilAmerican Forwarders, Inc., along the national highway at Sto.
Tomas, Pampanga. The truck bumped the bus driven by
Pangalangan, which was owned by Philippine Rabbit Bus
Lines, Inc. As a result of the bumping, Pangalangan suffered
injuries and the bus was damaged and could not be used for
seventy-nine days, thus depriving the company of earnings
amounting to P8,665.51. Balingit moved to dismiss the action
against him for though he was manager, however, he was just
an employee of the company.
Issue: WON Balingit is liable for the damages.
Held: SC AFFIRMED the lower courts order of dismissal.
Balingit is not liable because he was just a mere employee
though designated as Manager. The relationship of
employer-employee or master-servant must first be
established to exist before the employer/master will be held
liable.
The Civil Code provides:
ART. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to
another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for
the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no preexisting contractual relation between the parties, is called a
quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter.
ART. 2180. The obligation imposed by article 2176 is
demandable not only for one's own acts or omissions, but also
for those of persons for whom one is responsible.
xxx xxx xxx
The owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise
are likewise responsible for damages caused by their
employees in the service of the branches in which the latter
are employed or on the occasion of their functions.
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their
employees and household helpers acting within the scope of
their assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged
in any business or industry.
The Court is in the opinion that those terms do not include the
manager of a corporation. It may be gathered from the context
of article 2180 that the term "manager" ("director" in the
Spanish version) is used in the sense of "employer". Hence,
under the allegations of the complaint, no tortious or quasidelictual liability can be fastened on Balingit as manager of
Phil-American Forwarders, Inc., in connection with the
vehicular accident already mentioned because he himself may
be regarded as an employee or dependiente of his employer,
Phil-American Forwarders, Inc.
Sps. Mamaril vs The Boy Scout of the Philippines

LESSON: Manager is also an employee


Facts: Sps. Mamaril would park every night their 6 passenger
jeepneys at BSP Compund. However, one of the vehicle was
missing and was never recovered.

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[Torts and Damages]


ISSUE: Did BSPs negligence allow for the loss of the
vehicle, such that a valid claim for damages can be made
against them?
HELD: No. Article 20 of the Civil Code provides that every
person, who, contrary to law, willfully or negligently causes
damage to another, shall indemnify the latter for the same.
Similarly, Article 2176 of the Civil Code states:
Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to
another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for
the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no
preexisting contractual relation between the parties, is called
a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this
Chapter.
In this case, it is undisputed that the proximate cause of the
loss of Sps. Mamaril's vehicle was the negligent act of
security guards Pea and Gaddi in allowing an unidentified
person to drive out the subject vehicle. Proximate cause has
been defined as that cause, which, in natural and continuous
sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause,
produces the injury or loss, and without which the result
would not have occurred.
XXX On the other hand, the records are bereft of any finding
of negligence on the part of BSP. Hence, no reversible error
was committed by the CA in absolving it from any liability
for the loss of the subject vehicle based on fault or negligence.
Neither will the vicarious liability of an employer under
Article 218017 of the Civil Code apply in this case. It is
uncontested that Pea and Gaddi were assigned as
security guards by AIB to BSP pursuant to the Guard
Service Contract. Clearly, therefore, no employeremployee relationship existed between BSP and the
security guards assigned in its premises. Consequently,
the latter's negligence cannot be imputed against BSP but
should be attributed to AIB, the true employer of Pea
and Gaddi.
Sps. Jayme vs Apostol
Facts: Mayor Migue;; was on board the Isuzu pick-up truck
driven by Fildel Lozano, an employee of the Municipality of
Koronadal- the truck then figured an accident. RTC held
Mayor Miguel to be liable with others for being employer of
Lozano.
Issue: Whether the mayor should be held vicariously liable
Held: NO. Employer is the MUNICIPALITY. The doctrine
of vicarious liability or imputed liability finds no application
in the present case.
To sustain claims against employers for the acts of their
employees, the following requisites must be established:
(1) That the employee was chosen by the employer
personally or through another;
(2) That the service to be rendered in accordance with
orders which the employer has the authority to give
at all times;and

dreamer Bar Review Notes


(3) That the illicit act of the employee was on the
occasion or by reason of the functions entrusted to
him.
To make the employee liable under paragraphs 5 and 6 of
Article 2180, it must be established that the injurious or
tortuous act was committed at the time the employee was
performing his functions. The employer-employee
relationship cannot be assumed. It is incumbent upon the
plaintiff to prove the relationship by preponderant evidence.
To determine the existence of an employment relationship, we
rely on the four-fold test: (1) the employers power of
selection; (2) payment of wages or other remuneration; (3) the
employers right to control the method of doing the work; and
(4) the employers right of suspension or dismissal.
The liability attaches to the registered owner, the
negligent driver and his direct employer.
Settled is the rule that the registered owner of a vehicle
is jointly and severally liable with the driver for damages
incurred by passengers and third persons as a
consequence of injuries or death sustained in the
operation of said vehicles. Regardless of who the actual
owner of the vehicle is, the operator of record continues to
be the operator of the vehicle as regards the public and
third persons, and as such is directly and primarily
responsible for the consequences incident (sic) to its
operation
The law on the matter is clear: only the negligent driver,
the drivers employer, and the registered owner of the
vehicle are liable for the death of a third person resulting
from the negligent operation of the vehicle.
Duavit vs CA
FACTS: The jeep being driven by defendant Sabiniano
collided with another jeep, which had then two (2) passengers
on it. Duavit admitted ownership of the jeep but denied that
Sabiniano was his employee. Duavit even filed charges
against him for theft of the jeep, but which Duavit did not push
through as the parents of Sabiniano apologized to Duavit on
his behalf.
ISSUE: Won the owner of a private vehicle which figured in
an accident can be held liable under Article 2180 of the CC
when the said vehicle was neither driven by an employee of
the owner nor taken with the consent of the latter.
HELD: NO. In Duquillo v Bayot (1939), SC ruled that an
owner of a vehicle cannot be held liable for an accident
involving a vehicle if the same was driven without his consent
or knowledge and by a person not employed by him.
CAs reliance on the cases of Erezo v Jepte and Vargas v
Langcay is misplaced and cannot be sustained.
In Erezo v Jepte case, defendant Jepte was held liable for the
death of Erezo even if he was not really the owner of the truck
that killed the latter because he represented himself as its
owner to the Motor Vehicles Office and had it registered
under his name; he was thus estopped from later on denying
such representation.

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dreamer Bar Review Notes

In Vargas, Vargas sold her jeepney to a 3rd person, but she


did not surrender to the Motor Vehicles Office the
corresponding AC plates. So when the jeepney later on
figured in an accident, she was held liable by the court.
holding that the operator of record continues to be the operator
of vehicle in contemplation of law, as regards the public and
3rd persons.
The circumstances of the above cases are entirely
different from those in the present case. Herein petitioner does
not deny ownership of vehicle but denies having employed or
authorized the driver Sabiniano. The jeep was virtually stolen
from the petitioners garage.
CASE: Equitable Leasing vs Suyom
Facts: A Fuso Road Tractor driven by Raul Tutor rammed
into house/store of Tamayo in Tondo. The RTC holds that
since the Deed of Sale between petitioner and Ecatine had not
been registered with the LTO, the legal owner was still
Equitable.
Issue: Whether or not Equitable is liable for the negligent acts
of Tutor despite the fact that he was not its employee.
Held: YES. In negligence cases, the aggrieved party may sue
the negligent party under (1) Article 100 of the RPC, for civil
liability ex delicto; or (2) under Article 2176 of the Civil
Code, for civil liability ex quasi delicto. Employees may also
be held subsidiarily liable for felonies committed by their
employees in the discharge of the latters duties under Article
103 of the RPC. This applies when the employee/s convicted
of the crime are found to be insolvent.
Under Article 2176 in relation to Article 2180, an action may
be instituted against the employer for an employees act or
omission, in which case the liability of the employee is direct
and primary subject to the defense of due diligence. It does
not require that the employee is insolvent in this case.
These two causes of action (ex delicto or ex quasi delicto) may
be availed of, subject to the caveat that the offended party
cannot recover damages twice for the same act or omission
or under both causes. Since these two civil liabilities are
distinct and independent of each other, the failure to
recover in one will not necessarily preclude recovery in the
other.
Since respondents failed to recover anything in the criminal
case, they elected to file a separate civil action for damages
based on quasi delict under Article 2176 of the Civil Code. It
is clear that the damages caused were due to the fault of the
driver of the tractor.
Equitable is liable since the deed of sale evidencing the sale
of the tractor was not registered with the LTO. The court
has held that regardless of sales made of a motor vehicle, the
registered owner is the lawful operator insofar as the public
and third persons are concerned; consequently, it is directly
and primarily responsible for the consequences of its
operation. Since Equitable remained the registered owner of
the tractor, it could not escape primary liability for the
deaths and the injuries arising from the negligence of the
driver. In the instant case, the registered owner is considered
under the law to be the employer of the driver while the actual
operator is deemed to be its agent. The same goes for purposes

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[Torts and Damages]


of the law on quasi-delict. Additionally since respondents
have proved the factual bases of the their right to their claim
and that the present case falls under Article 2219 (2) which
provides for the payment of moral damages in cases of quasidelict, petitioners are thus entitled to the same.
Rent-a-car business
FGU Insurance Corp v. CA, GR 118889, March 23, 1998
FACTS:
Car owned by FILCAR Transport, Inc. driven by lessee Peter
Dahl-Jensen, swerved to the right and hit the car of Lydia
Soriano. At the time of accident, the Danish tourist did not
possess a Philippine drivers license. FGU, the insurer of
Soriano paid over P25K and by way of subrogation, it sued
Dahl-Jensen and FILCAR and Fortune Insurance Corp, the
insurer of FILCAR for quasi-delict.
ISSUE: WON FILCAR or Fortune can be held liable for
damages suffered by third persons although the vehicle is
leased to another.
HELD: NO. Article 2176 states: Whoever by act or
omission causes damage to another, there being fault or
negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault
or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation
between the parties, is called a quasi-delict . . . .
To sustain a claim, the following requisites must concur: (a)
damage suffered by the plaintiff; (b) fault or negligence of the
defendant; and, (c) connection of cause and effect between the
fault or negligence of the defendant and the damage incurred
by the plaintiff.
We agree with respondent court that petitioner failed to prove
the existence of the second requisite, i.e., fault or negligence
of defendant FILCAR, because only the fault or negligence of
Dahl-Jensen was sufficiently established, not that of FILCAR.
It should be noted that the damage caused on the vehicle of
Soriano was brought about by the circumstance that DahlJensen swerved to the right while the vehicle that he was
driving was at the center lane. It is plain that the negligence
was solely attributable to Dahl-Jensen thus making the
damage suffered by the other vehicle his personal liability.
Respondent FILCAR did not have any participation therein.
Article 2180 of the same Code which deals also with quasidelict provides:
The obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable not
only for one's own acts or omissions, but also for those of
persons for whom one is responsible.

The father and, in case of his death or incapacity,


the mother, are responsible for the damages caused
by the minor children who live in their company.

Guardians are liable for damages caused by the


minors or incapacitated persons who are under their
authority and live in their company.

The owners and managers of an establishment or


enterprise are likewise responsible for damages
caused by their employees in the service of the

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[Torts and Damages]


branches in which the latter are employed or on the
occasion of their functions.

Employers shall be liable for the damages caused


by their employees and household helpers acting
within the scope of their assigned tasks, even
though the former are not engaged in any business
or industry.

The State is responsible in like manner when it acts


through a special agent; but not when the damage
has been caused by the official to whom the task
done properly pertains, in which case what is
provided in article 2176 shall be applicable.

Lastly, teachers or heads of establishments of arts


and trades shall be liable for damages caused by
their pupils and students or apprentices, so long as
they remain in their custody.
The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when
the persons herein mentioned prove that they observed all the
diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage.
The liability imposed by Art. 2180 arises by virtue of a
presumption juris tantum of negligence on the part of the
persons made responsible thereunder, derived from their
failure to exercise due care and vigilance over the acts of
subordinates to prevent them from causing damage. Yet, as
correctly observed by respondent court, Art. 2180 is hardly
applicable because none of the circumstances mentioned
therein obtains in the case under consideration. Respondent
FILCAR being engaged in a rent-a-car business was only the
owner of the car leased to Dahl-Jensen. As such, there was
no vinculum juris between them as employer and employee.
Respondent FILCAR cannot in any way be responsible for the
negligent act of Dahl-Jensen, the former not being an
employer of the latter.
We now correlate par. 5 of Art. 2180 with Art. 2184 of the
same Code which provides: "In motor vehicle mishap, the
owner is solidarily liable with his driver, if the former, who
was in the vehicle, could have by the use of due diligence,
prevented the misfortune . . . . If the owner was not in the
motor vehicle, the provisions of article 2180 are applicable."
Obviously, this provision of Art. 2184 is neither applicable
because of the absence of master-driver relationship between
respondent FILCAR and Dahl-Jensen. Clearly, petitioner has
no cause of action against respondent FILCAR on the basis
of quasi-delict; logically, its claim against respondent
FORTUNE can neither prosper.
________
Article 2185 Civil Code
Anonuevo v. CA, GR 130003, October 20, 2004
FACTS:
Villagracia was traveling along Boni Avenue on his bicycle,
while Aonuevo, traversing the opposite lane was driving his
car. The car was owned by Procter and Gamble Inc., the
employer of Aonuevos brother, Jonathan. Aonuevo was
in the course of making a left turn towards Libertad Street
when the collision occurred. Villagracia sustained serious
injuries as a result, which necessitated his hospitalization
several times in 1989, and forced him to undergo four (4)
operations.

dreamer Bar Review Notes


Aonuevo points out that Villagracias bicycle had no safety
gadgets such as a horn or bell, or headlights, as invoked by a
1948 municipal ordinance. Nor was it duly registered with the
Office of the Municipal Treasurer, as required by the same
ordinance. Finally, as admitted by Villagracia, his bicycle did
not have foot brakes. Before this Court, Villagracia does not
dispute these allegations, which he admitted during the trial,
but directs our attention instead to the findings of Aonuevos
own negligence. Villagracia also contends that, assuming
there was contributory negligence on his part, such would not
exonerate Aonuevo from payment of damages. The Court
of Appeals likewise acknowledged the lack of safety gadgets
on Villagracias bicycle, but characterized the contention as
off-tangent and insufficient to obviate the fact that it was
Aonuevos own negligence that caused the accident.
Aonuevo claims that Villagracia violated traffic regulations
when he failed to register his bicycle or install safety gadgets
thereon. He posits that Article 2185 of the New Civil Code
applies by analogy. The provision reads:
Article 2185. Unless there is proof to the contrary, it is
presumed that a person driving a motor vehicle has been
negligent if at the time of the mishap he was violating any
traffic regulation.
ISSUE: WON Article 2185 of the New Civil Code, which
presumes the driver of a motor vehicle negligent if he was
violating a traffic regulation at the time of the mishap,
should apply by analogy to non-motorized vehicles.
HELD: NO
At the time Article 2185 was formulated, there existed a
whole array of non-motorized vehicles ranging from humanpowered contraptions on wheels such as bicycles, scooters,
and animal-drawn carts such as calesas and carromata. These
modes of transport were even more prevalent on the roads of
the 1940s and 1950s than they are today, yet the framers of
the New Civil Code chose then to exclude these alternative
modes from the scope of Article 2185 with the use of the
term motorized vehicles. If Aonuevo seriously contends
that the application of Article 2185 be expanded due to the
greater interaction today of all types of vehicles, such
argument contradicts historical experience. The ratio of
motorized vehicles as to non-motorized vehicles, as it stood
in 1950, was significantly lower than as it stands today. This
will be certainly affirmed by statistical data, assuming such
has been compiled, much less confirmed by persons over
sixty. Aonuevos characterization of a vibrant intra-road
dynamic between motorized and non-motorized vehicles is
more apropos to the past than to the present.
As admitted by appellant Aonuevo, he first saw appellee
Villagracia at a distance of about ten (10) meters before the
accident. Corrolarily, therefore, he could have avoided the
accident had he [stopped] alongside with an earlier jeep
which was already at a full stop giving way to appellee. But
according to [eyewitness] Sorsano, he saw appellant
Aonuevo umaarangkada and hit the leg of
Villagracia. This earlier jeep at a full stop gave way to
Villagracia to proceed but Aonuevo at an unexpected motion

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dreamer Bar Review Notes


(umarangkada) came out hitting Villagracia. Appellant
Aonuevo admitted that he did not blow his horn when he
crossed Boni Avenue.
The fact that Aonuevo was recklessly speeding as he made
the turn likewise leads us to believe that even if Villagracias
bicycle had been equipped with the proper brakes, the cyclist
would not have had opportunity to brake in time to avoid the
speeding car.
_______
State
Merritt v. Govt of the Phil., GR L-11154, 34 Phil 311
(March 21, 1916)
FACTS:
Merritt, riding on a motorcycle, was going toward the western
part of Calle Padre Faura, passing along the west side thereof
at a speed of ten to twelve miles an hour, upon crossing Taft
Avenue and when he was ten feet from the southwestern
intersection of said streets, the General Hospital ambulance,
upon reaching said avenue, instead of turning toward the
south, turned suddenly and unexpectedly and long before
reaching the center of the street, into the right side of Taft
Avenue, without having sounded any whistle or horn, by
which movement it struck the plaintiff, who was already six
feet from the southwestern point or from the post place there.
ISSUE: WON for a Tort committed by a government
employee (in this case the chauffeur of the General
Hospital ambulance), the government is legally liable for
damages.

[Torts and Damages]


In the United States the rule that the state is not liable for the
torts committed by its officers or agents whom it employs,
except when expressly made so by legislative enactment, is
well settled.
As to the scope of legislative enactments permitting
individuals to sue the state where the cause of action arises
out of either tort or contract, the rule is stated in 36 Cyc., 915,
thus:
By consenting to be sued a state simply waives its immunity
from suit. It does not thereby concede its liability to plaintiff,
or create any cause of action in his favor, or extend its liability
to any cause not previously recognized. It merely gives a
remedy to enforce a preexisting liability and submits itself to
the jurisdiction of the court, subject to its right to interpose
any lawful defense.
It being quite clear that Act No. 2457 does not operate to
extend the Government's liability to any cause not previously
recognized, we will now examine the substantive law
touching the defendant's liability for the negligent acts of its
officers, agents, and employees. Paragraph 5 of article 1903
of the Civil Code reads:
The state is liable in this sense when it acts through a special
agent, but not when the damage should have been caused by
the official to whom properly it pertained to do the act
performed, in which case the provisions of the preceding
article shall be applicable.

HELD: NO.
All admit that the Insular Government (the defendant) cannot
be sued by an individual without its consent. As the consent
of the Government to be sued by the plaintiff was entirely
voluntary on its part, it is our duty to look carefully into the
terms of the consent, and render judgment accordingly.

That the responsibility of the state is limited by article 1903


to the case wherein it acts through a special agent(and a
special agent, in the sense in which these words are employed,
is one who receives a definite and fixed order or commission,
foreign to the exercise of the duties of his office if he is a
special official) so that in representation of the state and being
bound to act as an agent thereof, he executes the trust confided
to him. The chauffeur of the ambulance of the General
Hospital was not such an agent.

Merritt was authorized to bring this action against the


Government "in order to fix the responsibility for the collision
between his motorcycle and the ambulance of the General
Hospital and to determine the amount of the damages, if any,
to which Mr. E. Merritt is entitled on account of said collision,
. . . ." These were the two questions submitted to the court for
determination. The Act was passed "in order that said
questions may be decided." We have "decided" that the
accident was due solely to the negligence of the chauffeur,
who was at the time an employee of the defendant, and we
have also fixed the amount of damages sustained by the
plaintiff as a result of the collision. Does the Act authorize us
to hold that the Government is legally liable for that amount?
If not, we must look elsewhere for such authority, if it exists.

_________
State
City of Manila v. Teotico, GR L-23052, January 29, 1968
FACTS:
Genaro N. Teotico was at the corner of the Old Luneta and P.
Burgos Avenue, Manila, within a "loading and unloading"
zone, waiting for a jeepney to take him down town. After
waiting for about five minutes, he managed to hail a jeepney
that came along to a stop. As he stepped down from the curb
to board the jeepney, and took a few steps, he fell inside an
uncovered and unlighted catch basin or manhole on P. Burgos
Avenue. Due to the fall, his head hit the rim of the manhole
breaking his eyeglasses and causing broken pieces thereof to
pierce his left eyelid.

The Government of the Philippine Islands having been


"modeled after the Federal and State Governments in the
United States," we may look to the decisions of the high courts
of that country for aid in determining the purpose and scope
of Act No. 2457.

Teotico filed, with the Court of First Instance of Manila, a


complaint which was, subsequently, amended for
damages against the City of Manila, its mayor, city engineer,
city health officer, city treasurer and chief of police.
ISSUE: WON the City of Manila is liable.

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[Torts and Damages]


HELD: YES.
Section 4 of Republic Act No. 409 (Charter of the City of
Manila) reading:
The city shall not be liable or held for damages or injuries to
persons or property arising from the failure of the Mayor, the
Municipal Board, or any other city officer, to enforce the
provisions of this chapter, or any other law or ordinance, or
from negligence of said Mayor, Municipal Board, or other
officers while enforcing or attempting to enforce said
provisions.
Or by Article 2189 of the Civil Code of the Philippines which
provides:
Provinces, cities and municipalities shall be liable for
damages for the death of, or injuries suffered by, any person
by reason of defective conditions of road, streets, bridges,
public buildings, and other public works under their control
or supervision.
Manila maintains that the former provision should prevail
over the latter, because Republic Act 409, is a special law,
intended exclusively for the City of Manila, whereas the Civil
Code is a general law, applicable to the entire Philippines.
The Court of Appeals, however, applied the Civil Code, and,
we think, correctly. It is true that, insofar as its territorial
application is concerned, Republic Act No. 409 is a special
law and the Civil Code a general legislation; but, as regards
the subject-matter of the provisions above quoted, Section 4
of Republic Act 409 establishes a general rule regulating the
liability of the City of Manila for: "damages or injury to
persons or property arising from the failure of" city officers
"to enforce the provisions of" said Act "or any other law or
ordinance, or from negligence" of the city "Mayor, Municipal
Board, or other officers while enforcing or attempting to
enforce said provisions." Upon the other hand, Article 2189
of the Civil Code constitutes a particular prescription
making "provinces, cities and municipalities . . . liable for
damages for the death of, or injury suffered by any person
by reason" specifically "of the defective condition of
roads, streets, bridges, public buildings, and other-public
works under their control or supervision." In other words,
said section 4 refers to liability arising from negligence, in
general, regardless of the object thereof, whereas Article 2189
governs liability due to "defective streets," in particular. Since
the present action is based upon the alleged defective
condition of a road, said Article 2189 is decisive thereon.

_________
State
GSIS v. Deang, GR 135644, September 17, 2001
FACTS:
Spouses Deang obtained a housing loan from the GSIS. As
required by the mortgage deed, the spouses Daeng deposited
the owner's duplicate copy of the title with the GSIS.
Eleven (11) months before the maturity of the loan, the
spouses Deang settled their debt with the GSIS and requested
for the release of the owner's duplicate copy of the title since
they intended to secure a loan from a private lender and use

dreamer Bar Review Notes


the land covered by it as collateral security for the loan which
they applied for with one Milagros Runes. They would use the
proceeds of the loan applied for the renovation of the spouses'
residential house and for business.
However, personnel of the GSIS were not able to release the
owner's duplicate of the title as it could not be found despite
diligent search. On June 26, 1979 (five months later), after
the completion of judicial proceedings, GSIS finally secured
and released the reconstituted copy of the owner's duplicate
of Transfer Certificate of Title No. 14926-R to the spouses
Deang.
On July 6, 1979, the spouses Deang filed with the Court of
First Instance, Angeles City a complaint against GSIS for
damages, claiming that as result of the delay in releasing the
duplicate copy of the owner's title, they were unable to secure
a loan from Milagros Runes, the proceeds of which could
have been used in defraying the estimated cost of the
renovation of their residential house and which could have
been invested in some profitable business undertaking.
ISSUE: WON GSIS, as a GOCC primarily performing
governmental functions, is liable for a negligent act of its
employee acting within the scope of his assigned tasks.
HELD: YES.
Under the facts, there was a pre-existing contract between the
parties. GSIS and the spouses Deang had a loan agreement
secured by a real estate mortgage. The duty to return the
owner's duplicate copy of title arose as soon as the mortgage
was released. GSIS insists that it was under no obligation to
return the owner's duplicate copy of the title immediately.
This insistence is not warranted. Negligence is obvious as the
owners' duplicate copy could not be returned to the owners.
Thus, the more applicable provisions of the Civil Code are:

"Article 1170. Those who in the performance


of their obligations are guilty of fraud,
negligence, or delay and those who in any
manner contravene the tenor thereof are liable
for damages."

"Article 2201. In contracts and quasicontracts, the damages for which the obligor
who acted in good faith is liable shall be those
that are the natural and probable consequences
of the breach of the obligation, and which the
parties have foreseen or could have reasonably
foreseen at the time the obligation was
constituted x x x."
Since good faith is presumed and bad faith is a matter of fact
which should be proved, we shall treat GSIS as a party who
defaulted in its obligation to return the owners' duplicate copy
of the title. As an obligor in good faith, GSIS is liable for all
the "natural and probable consequences of the breach of the
obligation." The inability of the spouses Deang to secure
another loan and the damages they suffered thereby has its
roots in the failure of the GSIS to return the owners' duplicate
copy of the title.

Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

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dreamer Bar Review Notes


Civil Liability Arising from Delict
Every person criminally liable is also civilly liable. (Art.
100, RPC)
Basis of Liability - underlying this legal principle is the
traditional theory that when a person commits a crime
he offends two entities, namely:
The society in which he lives in or the political
entity called the State whose law he had violated;
and,
The individual member of that society whose
person, right, honor, chastity or property was
actually or directly injured or damaged by the
same punishable act or omission.
NOTE: Dual character of crimes is present not only in
felonies under the RPC but also in cases governed by
special laws.
When there is No Liability Even if there is Delict
Contravention of ordinances, violations of game
laws, and infraction of the rules of traffic when
nobody is hurt, do not produce civil responsibility;
Crimes of treason, rebellion, espionage,
contempt and other similar crimes do not result in
civil liability.
NOTE: The crime being public or private is immaterial.
Persons Liable principals, accomplices and
accessories as defined under Articles 16 to 20 of the
RPC.
NOTE: If there are 2 or more persons civilly liable for a
felony, the courts shall determine the amount for which
each must respond.
(Complete Annotation to follow)
OZOA V. MADULA (GR L-62955, Dec. 22, 1987)
Ozoa was the employer of Policarpio Balatayo (a driver of
Weapons Carrier truck), who was convicted by CFI of
Bukidnon for homicide with serious physical injuries through
reckless imprudence. Balatayo was sentenced to 6 month to
3 years in prison and damages of P12,000 for the deceased
heir, whom he ran over and died, and another P3,000 to
another victim who suffered physical injuried.
Upon writ of execution, the writ was returned unsatisfied
because Balatayo was insolvent. Ozoa moved for the
issuance of the writ against Ozoa, the employer. Ozoa
opposed the writ alleging that the widow already executed an
Affidavit of Desistance acknowledging full satisfaction of
civil liability and that a civil case had to be filed in order to
establish the presence of employer-employee relationship and
that a separate civil action is required for this.
It was later adequately proven by evidence that Ozoa
promised P6,000 to the spouse of the victim and thus
persuaded her to sign an affidavit of desistance when in fact,
he only paid her P1,500.
ISSUE: WON employer can be held subsidiarily civilly
liable.

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[Torts and Damages]


HELD: Yes. Ozoa was found liable based on Article 102
and 103 of the RPC declaring the employer subsidiarily
responsible for the civil liability of the employee when the
latter is insolvent.
There is no need to file a separate civil action because a person
criminally liable is also civilly liable; and upon the institution
of the criminal action, the civil action for the recovery of the
civil liability arising from the crime is also impliedly
instituted unless waived, or the filing of a separate action
therefor is reserved.
The employer is subsidiarily answerable for the adjudicated
civil liability ex delito of his employee in the event of the
latters insolvency; and the judgement in the criminal action
pronouncing the employee to be also civilly liable is
conclusive on the employer not only as to the actuality of the
liability but also as to its amount.
REQUISITES
FOR
EMPLOYERS
SUBSIDIARY
LIABILITY:
1. He is the employer of the convict,
2. He is engaged in some kind of industry,
3. The crime was committed by the employee in the
discharge of his duties, and
4. Execution against the employee is unsatisfied.
The SC ruled that all of the following were satisfied by
evidence and directed the Trial Court to cause execution
against the properties of Ozoa to satisfy his subsidiary civil
liability.
Justifying and exempting circumstances
TAN V. STANDARD VACUUM OIL CO. (GR. L-4160,
July 29, 1952)
Julito Sto. Domingo and Igmidio Rico were drivers and
helpers of Standard Vacuum Oil Company. While the
gasoline was being discharged to the underground tank, it
caught fire. Sto. Domingo then drove the truck across Rizal
Avenue Extension and upon reaching the middle of the street,
he abandoned the truck which continued moving to the
opposite side causing the buildings on that side to be burned
including the house of Anita Tan, petitioner.
Both Sto. Domingo and Rico were acquitted of arson through
reckless imprudence as the CFI ruled it was caso fortuito.
Tan brought a civil action against Standard, Rural Transit and
including the 2 employees, seeking to recover the damage she
suffered (repair of P12,000) for the destruction of her house.
Defendants alleged res judicata, that they were barred by prior
judgement.
ISSUE: WON Standard and Rural Transit have civil liability
against Tan.
HELD: YES. Res judicata does not apply to them because
they were not party to the criminal case where Sto. Domingo
and Rico were acquitted. Allegation against Standard is
failure to observe the degree of care, precaution, and vigilance
which the circumstances justly demanded, thereby causing the
gasoline they were unloading to catch fire.
As to Rural Transit, its liability is based on Article 101, Rule
2:
Article 101 Rules regarding civil liability in certain cases.
The exemption from civil liability established in subdivisions
1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 of article 12 and in subdivision 4 of article 11

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[Torts and Damages]


of this Code does not include exemption from civil liability,
which shall be enforced to the following rules:
Second. In cases falling within subdivision of article 11, the
persons for whose benefit the harm has been prevented shall
be civilly liable in proportion to the benefit which they have
received.
The cause of action against the Rural Transit Company can
hardly be disputed, it appearing that the damage caused to the
plaintiff was brought about mainly because of the desire of
the driver to avoid greater evil or harm, which would have
been the case had he not brought the tank-truck to the middle
of the street.
It cannot be denied that Rural Transit is one of those for whose
benefit a greater harm has been prevented, and as such it
comes within the purview of said penal provision.
Effect of Acquittal
PADILLA V. CA (GR L-39999, May 31, 1984)
Roy Padilla, an incumbent municipal mayor of Panganiban,
Ilocos Norte, together with 3 others were accused of grave
coercion for forcibly opening the stall in the public market of
Antonio Vergara and his family, destroying the furnitures
with axes and carrying away the goods, wares and
merchandise. Due to reasonable doubt, the CA reversed their
conviction for grave coercion but they were ordered to pay
jointly and severally the sum of P9,600 for actual damages.
Padilla filed an MR contending that the acquittal in the
criminal liability results in the extinction of their civil
liability.
ISSUE: WON civil liability could be imposed once there is
acquittal of the criminal charge.
HELD: Yes.
The judgment of acquittal extinguishes the liability of the
accused for damages ONLY when it includes a declaration
that the facts from which the civil liability might arise did not
exist.
Thus, the civil liability is not extinguished by acquittal where:
1) the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt because only
preponderance of evidence is required in civil cases;
2) the court expressly declares that the liability of the accused
is not criminal but only civil in nature as in felonies of estafa,
theft, and malicious mischief committed by certain relatives
who thereby incur only civil liability; and
3) the civil liability does not arise from or is not based upon
the criminal act of which the accused was acquitted.
Article 29 of the Civil Code states:
When the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted on
the ground that his guilt has been proved beyond reasonable
doubt, a civil action for damages for the same act or omission
may be instituted. Such action requires only a preponderance
of evidence. Upon motion of the defendant, the court may
require the plaintiff to file a bond to answer for damages in
case the complaint should be found to be malicious.
In the criminal case, the judgment of acquittal is based upon
reasonable doubt, the court shall so declare. In the absence of
any declaration to that effect, it may be inferred from the text
of the decision whether or not the acquittal is due to that
ground.
In the case at bar, no separate civil action is required since
civil liability in the is proven by preponderance of evidence.
A separate civil action may be warranted where additional
facts have to be established or more evidence must be adduced

dreamer Bar Review Notes


or where the criminal case has been fully terminated and a
separate complaint would be just as efficacious or even more
expedient than a timely remand to the trial court where the
criminal action was decided for further hearings on the civil
aspect of the case.
SC affirmed the decision of CA; pay damages of P9,600 to
Vergara.
Effect of acquittal
BUNAG JR. V. CA (GR 101749, July 10, 1992)
A complaint for damages for alleged breach of promise to
marry was filed by Zenaida Cirilo against Conrado Bunag Jr.
and his father Conrado Bunag Sr. with the RTC of Bacoor
Cavite. The court order Bunag Jr. to pay private respondent
P80K as moral damages, P20K as exemplary damages, P20K
as temperate damages and P10K for attorneys fees. Contrado
Bunag Sr. was absolved from liability.
Cirilo appealed the decision disculpating Conrado Bunag
from civil liability while the Bunags appealed the decision in
finding Bunag Jr. forcibly abducting and raping Cirilo and
awarding damages for breach of promise to marry.
CA dismissed both appeals and affirmed in toto the decision
of the RTC hence this petition for review.
ISSUE: WON the dismissal of the criminal case in Pasay for
forcible abduction with rape warrants the award for civil
damages.
HELD: YES.
Generally, the basis of civil liability from crime is the
fundamental postulate of our law that every person criminally
liable for felony is also civilly liable. In other words, criminal
liability will give rise to civil liability ex delicto only if the
same felonious act or omission results in damage or injury to
another and is the direct and proximate cause thereof. Hence,
the extingction of the penal action does not carry with it the
extinction of the civil liability unless the extinction proceeds
from a declaration of final judgement that the fact from which
the civil might arise did not exist.
In the instant case, the dismissal of the complaint for forcible
abduction with rape was mere resolution of the fiscal at the
preliminary investigation stage. There is no declaration in a
final judgement that the fact from which the civil case might
arise did not exist. Consequently, the dismissal did not in any
way affect the right of herein private respondent to institute
civil action arising from the offense because such preliminary
dismissal of the penal action did not carry with it the
extinction of the civil action.
SC denied the certiorari for lack of merit and assailed that the
judgment and resolution of CA are affirmed.
Effect of Death
PEOPLE V. BAYOTAS (GR. 102007, Sept. 2, 1994)
Rogelio Bayotas was charged rape and eventually convicted
but he died while his case was pending appeal of his
conviction (died of hipato carcinoma gastric malingering).
ISSUE: WON the death of the accused pending appeal of his
conviction extinguish his civil liability.
HELD:
Article 89 RPC How a criminal liability is totally
extinguished. Criminal liability is totally extinguished:
1. By the death of the convict, as to the personal
penalties; and as to pecuniary penalties, liability

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thereafter is extinguished only when the death of the
offender occurs before final judgment;
The term final judgment employed in the RPC means
judgment beyond recall. Really, as long as a judgment had
not become executor, it cannot be truthfully said that
defendant is definitely guilty of the felony charged against
him.
The SC ruled that:
1. Death of the accused pending appeal of his
conviction extinguishes his criminal liability as
well as the civil liability based solely thereon. As
opined by Justice Regalado, in this regard, the
death of the accused prior to final judgment
terminates his criminal liability and only the civil
liability directly arising from and based solely on
the offense committed, i.e. civil liability ex delicto
in senso strictiore.
2. The claim for civil liability survives
notwithstanding the death of the accused, if the
same may also be predicted on a source of
obligation other than delict. Article 1157 of the CC
enumerates these sources of obligation from which
the civil liability may arise as a result of the same
act or omission: law, contracts, quasi-contracts, and
quasi-delict.
3. Where the civil liability survives, as explained in
number 2, an action for recovery therefor may be
pursued but only by way of filing a separate civil
action and subject to Section 1, Rule 111 of the
1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended.
This separate civil action may be enforced either
against the executor/administrator or the estate of
the accused, depending on the source of obligation
upon which the same is based as explained above.
4. Finally, the private offended party need not fear a
forfeiture of his right to file this separate civil action
by prescription, in cases where during the
prosecution of the criminal action and prior to its
extinction, the private-offended party instituted
together therewith the civil action.
Based on these rules, the civil case against Bayotas is
extinguished for it is based solely on the act complained in the
criminal case already extinguished rape. Case dismissed.

Torts with Independent Civil Action


Concept of Independent Civil Action, Two Views
Dr. Tolentino the civil action, which the Civil
Code provisions allow to be filed (particularly Art.
33) is ex-delicto, or civil liability arising from
delict.74 The said articles create an exception to
the rule that no civil action can commence
independent of a criminal action if said right is not
reserved. It creates an exception when the
offense is defamation, fraud, or physical injuries.

74

Aquino, pp. 577, citing Madeja v. Caro, 126 SCRA 293 (1983).
Aquino, pp. 578. The author submits that this is the better view as it is
consistent with the purpose of the independent civil actions explained by the
Code Commission.

Justice Caguioa independent civil actions


granted under Articles 32, 33 and 34 are not civil
liability arising from crime. The basis is said to be
tortious actions more of the nature of culpa
aquiliana and, therefore, separate and distinct
from the civil liability arising from crime.75

Illustrative Cases
Casupanan v. Laroya76
FACTS: Casupanan and Laroya figured a car collision at
Capas, Tarlac. Laroya instituted a criminal case against
Casupanan and the owner of the other vehicle, while
Casupanan filed a civil case for quasi-delict against Laroya,
pending the preliminary investigation stage of the criminal
case. The civil case was dismissed because of forum shopping
by the MCTC of Capas, but Casupanan filed an MR arguing
that what they filed was an independent civil action which can
proceed independently of the criminal case. The same was
denied.
HELD: The independent civil action arising from quasi-delict
may prosper.
Laroya filed the criminal case for reckless imprudence
resulting in damage to property based on the Revised Penal
Code while Casupanan and Capitulo filed the civil action for
damages based on Article 2176 of the Civil Code. Although
these two actions arose from the same act or omission, they
have different causes of action. The criminal case is based on
culpa criminal punishable under the Revised Penal Code
while the civil case is based on culpa aquiliana actionable
under Articles 2176 and 2177 of the Civil Code.
Any aggrieved person can invoke these articles provided he
proves, by preponderance of evidence, that he has suffered
damage because of the fault or negligence of another. Either
the private complainant or the accused can file a separate civil
action under these articles. There is nothing in the law or rules
that state only the private complainant in a criminal case may
invoke these articles.
Moreover, paragraph 6, Section 1, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules
on Criminal Procedure (2000 Rules for brevity) expressly
requires the accused to litigate his counterclaim in a separate
civil action, to wit:
SECTION 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. (a) x x x.
No counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint may be filed
by the accused in the criminal case, but any cause of action which
could have been the subject thereof may be litigated in a separate
civil action. (Emphasis supplied)

Since the present Rules require the accused in a criminal


action to file his counterclaim in a separate civil action, there
can be no forum-shopping if the accused files such separate
civil action.
76

G.R. No. 145391, August 26, 2002.

75

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Under Section 1 of the present Rule 111, what is deemed
instituted with the criminal action is only the action to
recover civil liability arising from the crime or ex-delicto. All
the other civil actions under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of
the Civil Code are no longer deemed instituted, and may be
filed separately and prosecuted independently even without
any reservation in the criminal action. The failure to make a
reservation in the criminal action is not a waiver of the right
to file a separate and independent civil action based on these
articles of the Civil Code. The prescriptive period on the civil
actions based on these articles of the Civil Code continues to
run even with the filing of the criminal action. Verily, the
civil actions based on these articles of the Civil Code are
separate, distinct and independent of the civil action deemed
instituted in the criminal action.
Under Section 1 of the present Rule 111, the independent civil
action in Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code is not
deemed instituted with the criminal action but may be filed
separately by the offended party even without
reservation. The commencement of the criminal action does
not suspend the prosecution of the independent civil action
under these articles of the Civil Code. The suspension in
Section 2 of the present Rule 111 refers only to the civil action
arising from the crime, if such civil action is reserved or filed
before the commencement of the criminal action.

dreamer Bar Review Notes


(18) Freedom from excessive fines, or cruel and unusual
punishment, unless the same is imposed or inflicted in accordance
with a statute which has not been judicially declared
unconstitutional; and
(19) Freedom of access to the courts.
In any of the cases referred to in this article, whether or not the
defendant's act or omission constitutes a criminal offense, the
aggrieved party has a right to commence an entirely separate and
distinct civil action for damages, and for other relief. Such civil action
shall proceed independently of any criminal prosecution (if the latter
be instituted), and may be proved by a preponderance of evidence.
The indemnity shall include moral damages. Exemplary damages
may also be adjudicated.
The responsibility herein set forth is not demandable from a judge
unless his act or omission constitutes a violation of the Penal Code
or other penal statute.

Rationale of the Inclusion for the effective


maintenance of democracy (Aquino, pp. 581). It could
be said that the Civil Code and the Revised Penal Code
are some of the implementing laws for the protection of
Civil Liberties (Pineda, pp. 380).
NOTE: Art. 32 of the Civil Code provides for the
imposition of damages upon any public officer or public
employee or any private person, who directly or
indirectly obstructs, defeats, violates or in any manner
impedes or impairs the 19 listed rights and liberties. The
1987 Constitution enumerated 22 rights under the Bill of
Rights, and such additional rights should be governed
by the same principle under Art. 32 of the Civil Code
(Ibid.).

Petition is GRANTED.
Article 32: Violation of Civil and Political Rights77 or
Constitutional Torts78
Article 32. Any public officer or employee, or any private individual,
who directly or indirectly obstructs, defeats, violates or in any
manner impedes or impairs any of the following rights and liberties
of another person shall be liable to the latter for damages:
(1) Freedom of religion;
(2) Freedom of speech;
(3) Freedom to write for the press or to maintain a periodical
publication;
(4) Freedom from arbitrary or illegal detention;
(5) Freedom of suffrage;
(6) The right against deprivation of property without due process of
law;
(7) The right to a just compensation when private property is taken
for public use;
(8) The right to the equal protection of the laws;
(9) The right to be secure in one's person, house, papers, and
effects against unreasonable searches and seizures;
(10) The liberty of abode and of changing the same;
(11) The privacy of communication and correspondence;
(12) The right to become a member of associations or societies for
purposes not contrary to law;
(13) The right to take part in a peaceable assembly to petition the
Government for redress of grievances;
(14) The right to be a free from involuntary servitude in any form;
(15) The right of the accused against excessive bail;
(16) The right of the accused to be heard by himself and counsel,
to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against
him, to have a speedy and public trial, to meet the witnesses face
to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance
of witness in his behalf;
(17) Freedom from being compelled to be a witness against one's
self, or from being forced to confess guilt, or from being induced by
a promise of immunity or reward to make such confession, except
when the person confessing becomes a State witness;

77
78

Aquino, pp. 580.


Pineda, pp. 379.

How Committed normally involves intentional acts,


but can also be committed through negligence. Good
faith on the part of the defendant does not necessarily
excuse such violation.

Illustrative Cases
Lim v. De Leon79
FACTS: On April 29, 1961, Jikil Taha sold to a certain
Timbangcaya of Palawan a motor launch named M/L "SAN
RAFAEL". A year later Timbangcaya filed a complaint with
the Office of the Provincial Fiscal of Palawan alleging that
after the sale Jikil Taha forcibly took away the motor launch
from him.
On May 14, 1962, after conducting a preliminary
investigation, Fiscal de Leon in his capacity as Acting
Provincial Fiscal of Palawan, filed with the CFI of Palawan
the corresponding information for Robbery with Force and
Intimidation upon Persons against Jikil Taha.
On June 15, 1962, Fiscal de Leon, upon being informed that
the motor launch was in Balabac, Palawan, wrote the
Provincial Commander of Palawan requesting him to direct
the detachment commander-in Balabac to impound and take
custody of the motor launch. But the same was already sold
to the third person, herein petitioner Lim.

79

G.R. No. L-22554, August 29, 1975.

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On July 15, 1962 Lim pleaded with Provincial Commander
Maddela to return the motor launch but the latter refused.
Likewise, on September 20, 1962, Jikil Taha through his
counsel made representations with Fiscal de Leon to return
the seized property to Lim but Fiscal de Leon refused, on the
ground that the same was the subject of a criminal offense.
Such other efforts to recover the launch were futile. Thus,
Lim and Jikil Taha filed with the CFI of Palawan a complaint
for damages against Fiscal de Leon and Maddela.
HELD: The search and seizure made was illegal for lack of
search warrant, further, the seizure made entitles Lim for
damages.
Defendants-appellees admitted that when Orlando Maddela
entered the premises of Delfin Lim and impounded the motor
launch he was not armed with a search warrant; that he
effected the seizure of the motor launch in the absence of and
without the consent of Delfin Lim. There can be no question
that without the proper search warrant, no public official has
the right to enter the premises of another without his consent
for the purpose of search and seizure. 6 And since in the
present case defendants-appellees seized the motor launch
without a warrant, they have violated the constitutional right
of plaintiffs-appellants against unreasonable search and
seizure.
Pursuant to Art. 32 and Art. 2219 of the Civil Code, a person
whose constitutional rights have been violated or impaired is
entitled to actual and moral damages from the public officer
or employee responsible therefor. In addition, exemplary
damages may also be awarded. In the instant case, plaintiffappellant Delfin Lim claimed that he purchased the motor
launch from Jikil Taha in consideration of P3,000.00, having
given P2,000.00 as advanced payment; that since or seizure
on July 6, 1962 the motor launch had been moored at Balabac
Bay and because of exposure to the elements it has become
worthless at the time of the filing of the present action; that
because of the illegality of the seizure of the motor launch, he
suffered moral damages in the sum of P1,000.00; and that
because of the violation of their constitutional rights they
were constrained to engage the services of a lawyer whom
they have paid P1,500.00 for attorney's fees. We find these
claims of Delfin Lim amply supported by the evidence and
therefore should be awarded the sum of P3,000.00 as actual
damages; P1,000.00 as moral damages and P750.00 for
attorney's fees. However, with respect co plaintiff Jikil Taha,
he is not entitled to recover any damage which he alleged he
had suffered from the unlawful seizure of the motor launch
inasmuch as he had already transferred the ownership and
possession of the motor launch to Delfin Lim at the time it
was seized and therefore, he has no legal standing to question
the validity of the seizure.

order of his superior officer. While a subordinate officer may


be held liable for executing unlawful orders of his superior
officer, there are certain circumstances which would warrant
Maddela's exculpation from liability. The records show that
after Fiscal Ponce de Leon made his first request to the
Provincial Commander on June 15, 1962 Maddela was
reluctant to impound the motor launch despite repeated orders
from his superior officer. It was only after he was furnished a
copy of the reply of Fiscal Ponce de Leon, dated June 26,
1962, to the letter of the Provincial Commander, justifying the
necessity of the seizure of the motor launch on the ground that
the subsequent sale of the launch to Delfin Lim could not
prevent the court from taking custody of the same, that he
impounded the motor launch on July 6, 1962. With said letter
coming from the legal officer of the province, Maddela was
led to believe that there was a legal basis and authority to
impound the launch. Then came the order of his superior
officer to explain for the delay in the seizure of the motor
launch.
Aberca v. Ver80
FACTS: This case stems from alleged illegal searches and
seizures and other violations of the rights and liberties of
plaintiffs by various intelligence units of the Armed Forces of
the Philippines, known as Task Force Makabansa (TFM)
ordered by General Fabian Ver "to conduct pre-emptive
strikes against known communist-terrorist (CT) underground
houses in view of increasing reports about CT plans to sow
disturbances in Metro Manila," Plaintiffs allege, among
others, that complying with said order, elements of the TFM
raided several places, employing in most cases defectively
issued judicial search warrants; that during these raids, certain
members of the raiding party confiscated a number of purely
personal items belonging to plaintiffs; that plaintiffs were
arrested without proper warrants issued by the courts; that for
some period after their arrest, they were denied visits of
relatives and lawyers; that plaintiffs were interrogated in
violation of their rights to silence and counsel; that military
men who interrogated them employed threats, tortures and
other forms of violence on them in order to obtain
incriminatory information or confessions and in order to
punish them; that all violations of plaintiffs constitutional
rights were part of a concerted and deliberate plan to forcibly
extract information and incriminatory statements from
plaintiffs and to terrorize, harass and punish them, said plans
being previously known to and sanctioned by defendants.
Plaintiffs sought actual/compensatory damages amounting to
P39,030.00; moral damages in the amount of at least
P150,000.00 each or a total of P3,000,000.00; exemplary
damages in the amount of at least P150,000.00 each or a total
of P3,000,000.00; and attorney's fees amounting to not less
than P200,000.00.

As to the liability of Maddela


But defendant-appellee Orlando Maddela cannot be held
accountable because he impounded the motor launch upon the
80

A motion to dismiss was filed by defendants, through their


counsel, then Solicitor-General Estelito Mendoza, alleging
that (1) plaintiffs may not cause a judicial inquiry into the

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circumstances of their detention in the guise of a damage suit
because, as to them, the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus
is suspended; (2) assuming that the courts can entertain the
present action, defendants are immune from liability for acts
done in the performance of their official duties; and (3) the
complaint states no cause of action against the defendants.
Opposition to said motion to dismiss was filed by plaintiffs
Marco Palo, Danilo de la Fuente, Benjamin Sesgundo, Nel
Etabag, Alfredo Mansos and Rolando Salutin on July 8, 1983,
and by plaintiffs Edwin Lopez, Manuel Mario Guzman, Alan
Jasminez, Nestor Bodino, Carlos Palma, Arturo Tabara,
Joseph Olayer, Rodolfo Benosa, Belen Diaz, Flores, Rogelio
Aberca, Alex Marcelino and Elizabeth Marcelino on July 21,
1983. On November 7, 1983, a Consolidated Reply was filed
by defendants' counsel.
Then, on November 8, 1983, the Regional Trial Court,
National Capital Region, Branch 95, Judge Willelmo C.
Fortun, Presiding, issued a resolution granting the motion to
dismiss stating among others that the action cannot prosper
because of the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus.
ISSUES:
1. WON the suspension of the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus bars a civil action for damages for illegal
searches conducted by military personnel and other
violations of rights and liberties guaranteed under the
Constitution.
2. If such action for damages may be maintained, who can
be held liable for such violations: only the military
personnel directly involved and/or their superiors as
well?
3. WON the accused are covered by the mantle of state
immunity
HELD:
1. We do not find merit in respondents' suggestion that
plaintiffs' cause of action is barred by the suspension of
the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. Respondents
contend that "Petitioners cannot circumvent the
suspension of the privilege of the writ by resorting to a
damage suit aimed at the same purpose-judicial inquiry
into the alleged illegality of their detention. While the
main relief they ask by the present action is
indemnification for alleged damages they suffered, their
causes of action are inextricably based on the same claim
of violations of their constitutional rights that they
invoked in the habeas corpus case as grounds for release
from detention. Were the petitioners allowed the present
suit, the judicial inquiry barred by the suspension of the
privilege of the writ will take place. The net result is that
what the courts cannot do, i.e. override the suspension
ordered by the President, petitioners will be able to do by
the mere expedient of altering the title of their action."
We do not agree. We find merit in petitioners' contention that
the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus
does not destroy petitioners' right and cause of action for
damages for illegal arrest and detention and other violations
of their constitutional rights. The suspension does not render
valid an otherwise illegal arrest or detention. What is
suspended is merely the right of the individual to seek release

dreamer Bar Review Notes


from detention through the writ of habeas corpus as a speedy
means of obtaining his liberty.
Moreover, as pointed out by petitioners, their right and cause
of action for damages are explicitly recognized in P.D. No.
1755 which amended Article 1146 of the Civil Code by
adding the following to its text:
However, when the action (for injury to the rights of the plaintiff
or for a quasi-delict) arises from or out of any act, activity or
conduct of any public officer involving the exercise of powers or
authority arising from Martial Law including the arrest, detention
and/or trial of the plaintiff, the same must be brought within one
(1) year.

Petitioners have a point in contending that even assuming that


the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus
suspends petitioners' right of action for damages for illegal
arrest and detention, it does not and cannot suspend their
rights and causes of action for injuries suffered because of
respondents' confiscation of their private belongings, the
violation of their right to remain silent and to counsel and their
right to protection against unreasonable searches and seizures
and against torture and other cruel and inhuman treatment.
2.

Respondents contend that the doctrine of respondent


superior is applicable to the case. We agree. The doctrine
of respondent superior has been generally limited in its
application to principal and agent or to master and
servant (i.e. employer and employee) relationship. No
such relationship exists between superior officers of the
military and their subordinates.

Be that as it may, however, the decisive factor in this case, in


our view, is the language of Article 32. The law speaks of an
officer or employee or person 'directly' or "indirectly"
responsible for the violation of the constitutional rights and
liberties of another. Thus, it is not the actor alone (i.e. the one
directly responsible) who must answer for damages under
Article 32; the person indirectly responsible has also to
answer for the damages or injury caused to the aggrieved
party.
3.

We find respondents' invocation of the doctrine of state


immunity from suit totally misplaced. The cases invoked
by respondents actually involved acts done by officers in
the performance of official duties written the ambit of
their powers. As held in Forbes, etc. vs. Chuoco Tiaco
and Crossfield:
No one can be held legally responsible in damages or otherwise for
doing in a legal manner what he had authority, under the law, to
do. Therefore, if the Governor-General had authority, under the
law to deport or expel the defendants, and circumstances justifying
the deportation and the method of carrying it out are left to him,
then he cannot be held liable in damages for the exercise of this
power. Moreover, if the courts are without authority to interfere in
any manner, for the purpose of controlling or interferring with the
exercise of the political powers vested in the chief executive
authority of the Government, then it must follow that the courts
cannot intervene for the purpose of declaring that he is liable in
damages for the exeercise of this authority.

It may be that the respondents, as members of the Armed


Forces of the Philippines, were merely responding to their

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duty, as they claim, "to prevent or suppress lawless violence,
insurrection, rebellion and subversion" in accordance with
Proclamation No. 2054 of President Marcos, despite the
lifting of martial law on January 27, 1981, and in pursuance
of such objective, to launch pre- emptive strikes against
alleged communist terrorist underground houses. But this
cannot be construed as a blanket license or a roving
commission untramelled by any constitutional restraint, to
disregard or transgress upon the rights and liberties of the
individual citizen enshrined in and protected by the
Constitution. The Constitution remains the supreme law of the
land to which all officials, high or low, civilian or military,
owe obedience and allegiance at all times.
Article 32 of the Civil Code which renders any public officer
or employee or any private individual liable in damages for
violating the Constitutional rights and liberties of another, as
enumerated therein, does not exempt the respondents from
responsibility. Only judges are excluded from liability under
the said article, provided their acts or omissions do not
constitute a violation of the Penal Code or other penal statute.
This is not to say that military authorities are restrained from
pursuing their assigned task or carrying out their mission with
vigor. We have no quarrel with their duty to protect the
Republic from its enemies, whether of the left or of the right,
or from within or without, seeking to destroy or subvert our
democratic institutions and imperil their very existence. What
we are merely trying to say is that in carrying out this task and
mission, constitutional and legal safeguards must be
observed, otherwise, the very fabric of our faith will start to
unravel. In the battle of competing Ideologies, the struggle for
the mind is just as vital as the struggle of arms. The linchpin
in that psychological struggle is faith in the rule of law. Once
that faith is lost or compromised, the struggle may well be
abandoned.
MHP Garments v. CA81
FACTS: MHP Garments was awarded the exclusive
franchise to sell and distribute official uniforms and supplies
of the BSP. It was also given authority to undertake the
prosecution in court of all illegal sources of scouting uniforms
and other scouting supplies. MHP Garments then tasked its
employee, Larry De Guzman, to undertake surveillance and
PC report to the activities of Villacruz, et. al., who were
reported to be selling scout uniforms and paraphernalia
without authority. Then they sought the aid of the PC. PC men
and De Guzman went to the stalls and seized the goods and
caused a commotion, all without a warrant.

HELD: We hold that the evidence did not justify the


warrantless search and seizure of private respondents' goods.
Petitioner corporation received information that private
respondents were illegally selling Boy Scouts items and
paraphernalia in October 1983. The specific date and time are
not established in the evidence adduced by the parties.
Petitioner de Guzman then made a surveillance of the stores
of private respondents. They reported to the Philippine
Constabulary and on October 25, 1983, the raid was made on
the stores of private respondents and the supposed illicit
goods were seized. The progression of time between the
receipt of the information and the raid of the stores of private
respondents shows there was sufficient time for petitioners
and the PC raiding party to apply for a judicial warrant.
Despite the sufficiency of time, they did not apply for a
warrant and seized the goods of private respondents. In doing
so, they took the risk of a suit for damages in case the seizure
would be proved to violate the right of private respondents
against unreasonable search and seizure. In the case at bench,
the search and seizure were clearly illegal. There was no
probable cause for the seizure.
Under the above provision and as aforediscussed, petitioners
miserably failed to report the unlawful peddling of scouting
goods to the Boy Scouts of the Philippines for the proper
application of a warrant. Private respondents' rights are
immutable and cannot be sacrificed to transient
needs. 15 Petitioners did not have the unbridled license to
cause the seizure of respondents' goods without any warrant.
And thirdly, if petitioners did not have a hand in the raid, they
should have filed a third-party complaint against the raiding
team for contribution or any other relief, 16 in respect of
respondents' claim for Recovery of Sum of Money with
Damages. Again, they did not.
We have consistently ruled that moral damages are not
awarded to penalize the defendant but to compensate the
plaintiff for the injuries he may have suffered. 17 Conformably
with our ruling in Lim vs. Ponce de Leon, op. cit., moral
damages can be awarded in the case at bench. There can be
no doubt that petitioners must have suffered sleepless nights,
serious anxiety, and wounded feelings due the tortious raid
caused by petitioners. Private respondents' avowals of
embarrassment and humiliation during the seizure of their
merchandise were supported by their testimonies.
Article 33: Defamation, Fraud and Physical Injuries
Article 33. In cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries a
civil action for damages, entirely separate and distinct from the
criminal action, may be brought by the injured party. Such civil
action shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution, and
shall require only a preponderance of evidence.

Subsequently, a criminal complaint for unfair competition


was filed against Villacruz, et. al. Fiscal dismissed the
complaint and ordered the return of the seized articles.
Thereafter, Villacruz, et. al, filed a civil case against MHP
Garments for sums of money and damages. RTC ordered
MHP Garments to pay. CA affirmed.

NOTE: This is similar to the action in tort for liber or


slander, deceit, and assault and battery under the
American law.82

81

82

G.R. No. 86720, September 2, 1994.

All Rights Reserved

Defamation includes libel and slander; means the


offense of injuring a persons character, fame or
Aquino, pp. 599.

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[Torts and Damages]


reputation through false and malicious statements. It is
that which tends to injure reputation or to diminish the
esteem, respect, good will or confidence in the plaintiff
or to excite derogatory feelings or opinions about the
plaintiff. It is the publication of anything which is injurious
to the good name or reputation of another or tends to
bring him into disrepute. It is an invasion of a relational
interest since it involves the opinion which others in the
community may have, or tend to have, of the offended
party.
Libel under the Revised Penal Code
Article 353. Definition of libel. A libel is public and malicious
imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or
any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to
cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical
person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead.

NOTE: defamation in this jurisdiction, includes the


crimes of libel and slander. Libel is written defamation
while slander is oral defamation.
Requisites of Liability
The imputation of a discreditable act or condition
to another;
Publication of the imputation;
Identity of the person defamed;
Existence of malice.

Illustrative Cases
Manuel v. Cruz-Pano83
FACTS: This case goes back to April 21, 1976, when a raid
was conducted by the agents of the now defunct AntiSmuggling Action Center on two rooms in the Tokyo Hotel
in Binondo, Manila, pursuant to a warrant of seizure and
detention issued by the Acting Collector of Customs of
Manila on April 20, 1976. The raid resulted in the seizure of
several articles allegedly smuggled into the country by their
owners, three of whom were tourists from Hongkong. These
articles subsequently became the subject of seizure
proceedings in the Bureau of Customs but most of them were
ordered released upon proof that the customs duties and other
charges thereon had been duly paid as evidenced by the
corresponding official receipts. Only a few items "of no
commercial value" were ordered confiscated.
While the seizure proceedings were pending, the petitioner, as
counsel for the owners of the seized articles, sent a letter dated
April 19,1976, to the Chairman of the ASAC in which he
complained about the conduct of the raid and demanded that
the persons responsible therefore be investigated.
The Chairman of the ASAC ordered the investigation as
demanded, but the agents charged were all exonerated in a
decision dated August 25, 1976. Not satisfied with what he
later described as a "home town decision," the petitioner, on
behalf of his clients, filed a complaint for robbery against the
same agents with the Office of the City Fiscal of Manila. This

83

dreamer Bar Review Notes


was later withdrawn, however, on advice of the inquest fiscal
who said that the case might come under the jurisdiction of
the military tribunal. The petitioner says he then went to
Camp Aguinaldo but was discouraged from filing the
complaint there when lie was told that it would take about a
year to complete the preliminary investigation alone. The
owners of the seized articles then instituted a civil complaint
for damages which the petitioner filed for them in the Court
of First Instance of Manila on June 7, 1976.
Three days later, there appeared in the June 10, 1976 issue of
the Bulletin Today the following report:
TOURISTS SUE AGENTS, OFFICIAL
Four Chinese, three of whom were tourists from Hongkong, have
filed a case for damages against a customs official and 11 agents
of the government's anti-smuggling action center ASAC in
connection with a raid conducted in their hotel rooms, more than a
month ago.
The case was docketed in Manila's court of first instance (CFI) as
Civil Case No. 102694.
The complaints also alleged they lost assorted materials amounting
to P46,003.40.
Named respondents in the case were acting customs collector
Ramon Z. Aguirre, Rolando Gatmaitan, Antonio Baranda, Amado
M. Tirol, Francisco C. Santos, Edsel Labayen, Jose Robles, Nestor
Eusebio, Freddie Ocnila, Renato Quiroz, Pedro Cunanan, Jr., and
Enrique Perez, all of ASAC
The acting customs collector was impleaded in the case in his
official capacity for having issued the warrant that led to the
criminal offenses complained of.
Aquirre, ASAC vice-chairman, was named as defendant for
soliciting the issuance of a warrant of seizure and detention
reportedly on the basis of charges contained in an affidavit
executed by Gatmaitan, another ASAC agent.
Esteban Manuel filed the case in behalf of the plaintiffs composed
of Manila resident Ng Tee, and Hong Kong visitors Ng Woo Hay,
Cheng Pik Ying and Lee Kee Ming who came to the Philippines to
visit their relatives and friends.
The agents allegedly subjected Ng Woo Hay to indignities and
took her necklace, bracelet and wrist watch. They allegedly seized
many articles valued at P27,000 which have remained unaccounted
for in the list submitted by the defendants as the inventory of the
items confiscated.

On the basis of these antecedent facts, an information for libel


was filed against the petitioner, Lee Kee Ming and Ng Woo
Hay in the Court of First Instance of Rizal. 9 A reading of the
information does not show why the two Chinese were
included in the charge; all it said was that they were the clients
of the petitioner. As for the petitioner himself, it was alleged
that he had committed the crime of libel by writing the letter
of April 29, 1976 (which was quoted in full) and by causing
the publication of the news item in the Bulletin Today.
HELD: From the viewpoint of substantive law, the charge is
even more defective, if not ridiculous. Any one with an
elementary I knowledge of constitutional law and criminal
law would have known that neither the letter nor the news
account was libelous.
The applicable provision in the Revised Penal Code reads as
follows:

G.R. No. L-46079, April 17, 1989.

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[Torts and Damages]

dreamer Bar Review Notes


Article 354. Requirement for publicity. Every defamatory
imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if
no good intention and justifiable motive for making it is
shown, except in the following cases:
1.
A private communication made by any person to
another in the performance of any legal, moral or social duty;
and
2.
A fair and true report, made in good faith, without
comments or remarks, of any judicial, legislative or other
official proceedings which are not of confidential nature, or
of any statement, report or speech delivered in said
proceedings, or of any other act performed by public officers
in the exercise of their functions.
The letter comes under Item 1 as it was addressed by the
petitioner to the ASAC Chairman to complain against the
conduct of his men when they raided the Chinese tourists'
rooms in the Tokyo Hotel. It was sent by the petitioner mainly
in his capacity as a lawyer in the discharge of his legal duty to
protect his clients. While his principal purpose was to
vindicate his clients' interests against the abuses committed by
the ASAC agents, he could also invoke his civic duty as a
private individual to expose anomalies in the public service.
The complaint was addressed to the official who had authority
over them and could impose the proper disciplinary sanctions.
Significantly, as an index of good faith, the letter was sent
privately directly to the addressee, without any fanfare or
publicity.
As for the news report, it is difficult to believe that the
petitioner, an ordinary citizen without any known ties to the
newspapers, could have by himself caused the publication of
such an explosive item. There is no prima facie showing that,
by some kind of influence he had over the periodical, he
succeeded in having it published to defame the ASAC agents.
It does not appear either that the report was paid for like an
advertisement. This looks instead to be the result of the
resourcefulness of the newspaper in discovering matters of
public interest for dutiful disclosure to its readers. It should be
presumed that the report was included in the issue as part of
the newspaper's coverage of important current events as
selected by its editorial staff.
At any rate, the news item comes under Item 2 of the
abovequoted article as it is a true and fair report of a judicial
proceeding, made in good faith and without comments or
remarks. This is also privileged. Moreover, it is not correct to
say, as the Solicitor General does, that Article 354 is not
applicable because the complaint reported as filed would not
by itself alone constitute a judicial proceeding even before the
issues are joined and trial is begun.
It is true that the matters mentioned in Article 354 as
exceptions to the general rule are not absolutely privileged
and are still actionable. However, since what is presumed is
not malice but in fact lack of malice, it is for the prosecution
84

to overcome that presumption by proof that the accused was


actually motivated by malice. Absent such proof, the charge
must fail.
The respondents contend that the letter was written by the
petitioner to influence the seizure proceedings which were
then pending. Even assuming that to be true, such purpose did
not necessarily make the letter malicious, especially if it is
considered that the complaint against the ASAC agents could
not be raised in the said proceedings. The ASAC Chairman,
not the Collector of Customs, had jurisdiction to discipline the
agents.
It should also be noted, as further evidence of lack of malice,
that even after the seizure proceedings had been concluded in
favor of the petitioner's clients, he pursued their complaint
against the ASAC agents in the fiscal's office in Manila and
then with the military authorities in Camp Aguinaldo, ending
with the filing of the civil case for damages in the court of first
instance of Manila.
Borjal v. CA84
FACTS: Arturo Borjal and Maximo Soliven are among the
incorporators of Philippines Today, Inc. (PTI), now
PhilSTAR Daily, Inc., owner of The Philippine Star, a daily
newspaper. At the time the complaint was filed, Borjal was
its President while Soliven was (and still is) Publisher and
Chairman of its Editorial Board. Among the regular writers
of The Philippine Star is Borjal who runs the
column Jaywalker.
Francisco Wenceslao, on the other hand, is a civil engineer,
businessman, business consultant and journalist by
profession. In 1988 he served as a technical adviser of
Congressman Fabian Sison, then Chairman of the House of
Representatives Sub-Committee on Industrial Policy.
During the congressional hearings on the transport crisis
sometime in September 1988 undertaken by the House SubCommittee on Industrial Policy, those who attended agreed to
organize the First National Conference on Land
Transportation (FNCLT) to be participated in by the private
sector in the transport industry and government agencies
concerned in order to find ways and means to solve the
transportation crisis. More importantly, the objective of the
FNCLT was to draft an omnibus bill that would embody a
long-term land transportation policy for presentation to
Congress. The conference which, according to private
respondent, was estimated to cost around P1,815,000.00
would be funded through solicitations from various sponsors
such as government agencies, private organizations, transport
firms, and individual delegates or participants.
On 28 February 1989, at the organizational meeting of the
FNCLT, private respondent Francisco Wenceslao was elected
Executive Director. As such, he wrote numerous solicitation

G.R. No. 126466, January 14, 1999.

All Rights Reserved

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]


letters to the business community for the support of the
conference.
Between May and July 1989 a series of articles written by
petitioner Borjal was published on different dates in his
column Jaywalker. The articles dealt with the alleged
anomalous activities of an "organizer of a conference"
without naming or identifying private respondent. Neither did
it refer to the FNCLT as the conference therein
mentioned. Quoted hereunder are excerpts from the articles
of petitioner together with the dates they were published
Private respondent reacted to the articles. He sent a letter
to The Philippine Star insisting that he was the organizer
alluded to in petitioner Borjals columns.
Private respondent filed a criminal case for libel against
petitioners Borjal and Soliven, among others. However, in a
Resolution dated 7 August 1990, the Assistant Prosecutor
handling the case dismissed the complaint for insufficiency of
evidence. The dismissal was sustained by the Department of
Justice and later by the Office of the President.

dreamer Bar Review Notes


Spokesman and not as a conference organizer. The printout
and tentative program of the conference were devoid of any
indication of Wenceslao as organizer. The printout which
contained an article entitled "Who Organized the NCLT?" did
not even mention private respondent's name, while the
tentative program only denominated private respondent as
"Vice Chairman and Executive Director," and not as
organizer.
No less than private respondent himself admitted that the
FNCLT had several organizers and that he was only a part of
the organization, thus I would like to clarify for the record
that I was only a part of the organization. I was invited then
because I was the head of the technical panel of the House of
Representatives Sub-Committee on Industrial Policy that took
care of congressional hearings.
Significantly, private respondent himself entertained doubt
that he was the person spoken of in Borjal's columns. The
former even called up columnist Borjal to inquire if he
(Wenceslao) was the one referred to in the subject articles.
Is Wenceslao a public figure?

On 31 October 1990 private respondent instituted against


petitioners a civil action for damages based on libel subject of
the instant case. In their answer, petitioners interposed
compulsory counterclaims for actual, moral and exemplary
damages, plus attorneys fees and costs.
After due
consideration, the trial court decided in favor of private
respondent Wenceslao and ordered petitioners Borjal and
Soliven to indemnify private respondent P1,000,000.00 for
actual and compensatory damages, in addition to P200,000.00
for moral damages, P100,000.00 for exemplary
damages, P200,000.00 for attorneys fees, and to pay the costs
of suit.
HELD: In order to maintain a libel suit, it is essential that the
victim be identifiable although it is not necessary that he be
named. It is also not sufficient that the offended party
recognized himself as the person attacked or defamed, but it
must be shown that at least a third person could identify him
as the object of the libelous publication. Regrettably, these
requisites have not been complied with in the case at bar.
The questioned articles written by Borjal do not identify
private respondent Wenceslao as the organizer of the
conference. The first of the Jaywalker articles which
appeared in the 31 May 1989 issue of The Philippine
Star yielded nothing to indicate that private respondent was
the person referred to therein. Surely, as observed by
petitioners, there were millions of "heroes" of the EDSA
Revolution and anyone of them could be "self-proclaimed" or
an "organizer of seminars and conferences." As a matter of
fact, in his 9 June 1989 column petitioner Borjal wrote about
the "so-called First National Conference on Land
Transportation whose principal organizers are not specified"
(italics supplied).
Neither did the FNCLT letterheads disclose the identity of the
conference organizer since these contained only an
enumeration of names where private respondent Francisco
Wenceslao was described as Executive Director and

In the present case, we deem private respondent a public


figure within the purview of the New York Times ruling. At
any rate, we have also defined "public figure" in Ayers
Production Pty., Ltd. v. Capulong as x x x x a person who, by his accomplishments, fame, mode of
living, or by adopting a profession or calling which gives the public
a legitimate interest in his doings, his affairs and his character, has
become a public personage. He is, in other words, a
celebrity. Obviously, to be included in this category are those who
have achieved some degree of reputation by appearing before the
public, as in the case of an actor, a professional baseball player, a
pugilist, or any other entertainer. The list is, however, broader than
this. It includes public officers, famous inventors and explorers,
war heroes and even ordinary soldiers, infant prodigy, and no less
a personage than the Great Exalted Ruler of the lodge. It includes,
in short, anyone who has arrived at a position where the public
attention is focused upon him as a person.

The FNCLT was an undertaking infused with public


interest. It was promoted as a joint project of the government
and the private sector, and organized by top government
officials and prominent businessmen. For this reason, it
attracted media mileage and drew public attention not only to
the conference itself but to the personalities behind as
well. As its Executive Director and spokesman, private
respondent consequently assumed the status of a public
figure.
But even assuming ex-gratia argumenti that private
respondent, despite the position he occupied in the FNCLT,
would not qualify as a public figure, it does not necessarily
follow that he could not validly be the subject of a public
comment even if he was not a public official or at least a
public figure, for he could be, as long as he was involved in a
public issue. If a matter is a subject of public or general
interest, it cannot suddenly become less so merely because a
private individual is involved or because in some sense the
individual did not voluntarily choose to become
involved. The publics primary interest is in the event; the

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dreamer Bar Review Notes


public focus is on the conduct of the participant and the
content, effect and significance of the conduct, not the
participant's prior anonymity or notoriety
MVRS Publications v. Islamic DaWah Council of the
Phils.85
FACTS: ISLAMIC DA'WAH COUNCIL OF THE
PHILIPPINES, INC., a local federation of more than seventy
(70) Muslim religious organizations, and individual Muslims
ABDULRAHMAN R.T. LINZAG, IBRAHIM F.P.
ARCILLA, ABDUL RASHID DE GUZMAN, AL-FARED
DA SILVA and IBRAHIM B.A. JUNIO, filed in the Regional
Trial Court of Manila a complaint for damages in their own
behalf and as a class suit in behalf of the Muslim members
nationwide against MVRS PUBLICATIONS, INC., MARS
C. LACONSAY, MYLA C. AGUJA and AGUSTINO G.
BINEGAS, JR., arising from an article published in the 1
August 1992 issue of Bulgar, a daily tabloid. The article
reads:
"ALAM BA NINYO?
Na ang mga baboy at kahit anong uri ng hayop sa Mindanao ay
hindi kinakain ng mga Muslim?
Para sa kanila ang mga ito ay isang sagradong bagay. Hindi nila
ito kailangang kainin kahit na sila pa ay magutom at mawalan ng
ulam sa tuwing sila ay kakain. Ginagawa nila itong Diyos at
sinasamba pa nila ito sa tuwing araw ng kanilang pangingilin
lalung-lalo na sa araw na tinatawag nilang Ramadan."

The complaint alleged that the libelous statement was


insulting and damaging to the Muslims; that these words
alluding to the pig as the God of the Muslims was not only
published out of sheer ignorance but with intent to hurt the
feelings, cast insult and disparage the Muslims and Islam, as
a religion in this country, in violation of law, public policy,
good morals and human relations; that on account of these
libelous words Bulgar insulted not only the Muslims in the
Philippines but the entire Muslim world, especially every
Muslim individual in non-Muslim countries.
MVRS PUBLICATIONS, INC., and AGUSTINO G.
BINEGAS, JR., in their defense, contended that the article did
not mention respondents as the object of the article and
therefore were not entitled to damages; and, that the article
was merely an expression of belief or opinion and was
published without malice nor intention to cause damage,
prejudice or injury to Muslims.
RTC dismissed the case. CA reversed.
HELD: It must be stressed that words which are merely
insulting are not actionable as libel or slander per se, and mere
words of general abuse however opprobrious, ill-natured, or
vexatious, whether written or spoken, do not constitute a basis
for an action for defamation in the absence of an allegation
for special damages. The fact that the language is offensive to
the plaintiff does not make it actionable by itself.

85

[Torts and Damages]


In the present case, there was no fairly identifiable person who
was allegedly injured by the Bulgar article. Since the persons
allegedly defamed could not be identifiable, private
respondents have no individual causes of action; hence, they
cannot sue for a class allegedly disparaged. Private
respondents must have a cause of action in common with the
class to which they belong to in order for the case to prosper.
An individual Muslim has a reputation that is personal,
separate and distinct in the community. Each Muslim, as part
of the larger Muslim community in the Philippines of over
five (5) million people, belongs to a different trade and
profession; each has a varying interest and a divergent
political and religious view -some may be conservative,
others liberal. A Muslim may find the article dishonorable,
even blasphemous; others may find it as an opportunity to
strengthen their faith and educate the non-believers and the
"infidels." There is no injury to the reputation of the
individual Muslims who constitute this community that can
give rise to an action for group libel. Each reputation is
personal in character to every person. Together, the Muslims
do not have a single common reputation that will give them a
common or general interest in the subject matter of the
controversy.
In the instant case, the Muslim community is too vast as to
readily ascertain who among the Muslims were particularly
defamed. The size of the group renders the reference as
indeterminate and generic as a similar attack on Catholics,
Protestants, Buddhists or Mormons would do.
The
word "Muslim" is descriptive of those who are believers of
Islam, a religion divided into varying sects, such as the
Sunnites, the Shiites, the Kharijites, the Sufis and others based
upon political and theological distinctions. "Muslim" is a
name which describes only a general segment of the
Philippine population, comprising a heterogeneous body
whose construction is not so well defined as to render it
impossible for any representative identification.
he foregoing are in essence the same view scholarly expressed
by Mr. Justice Reynato S. Puno in the course of the
deliberations in this case.
We extensively reproduce
hereunder his comprehensive and penetrating discussion on
group libel Defamation is made up of the twin torts of libel and slander the
one being, in general, written, while the other in general is oral. In
either form, defamation is an invasion of the interest in reputation
and good name. This is a relational interest since it involves the
opinion others in the community may have, or tend to have of the
plaintiff. The law of defamation protects the interest in reputation
the interest in acquiring, retaining and enjoying ones reputation
as good as ones character and conduct warrant.
Rule on Group Libel:
The rule in libel is that the action must be brought by the person
against whom the defamatory charge has been made. In the
American jurisdiction, no action lies by a third person for damages
suffered by reason of defamation of another person, even though
the plaintiff suffers some injury therefrom. For recovery in
defamation cases, it is necessary that the publication be of and
concerning the plaintiff. Even when a publication may be clearly

G.R. No. 135306, January 28, 2003.

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[Torts and Damages]


defamatory as to somebody, if the words have no personal
application to the plaintiff, they are not actionable by him. If no
one is identified, there can be no libel because no ones reputation
has been injured x x x x
In fine, in order for one to maintain an action for an alleged
defamatory statement, it must appear that the plaintiff is the person
with reference to whom the statement was made. This principle is
of vital importance in cases where a group or class is defamed
since, usually, the larger the collective, the more difficult it is for
an individual member to show that he was the person at whom the
defamation was directed.
If the defamatory statements were directed at a small, restricted
group of persons, they applied to any member of the group, and an
individual member could maintain an action for defamation. When
the defamatory language was used toward a small group or class,
including every member, it has been held that the defamatory
language referred to each member so that each could maintain an
action. This small group or class may be a jury, persons engaged
in certain businesses, professions or employments, a restricted
subdivision of a particular class, a society, a football team, a
family, small groups of union officials, a board of public officers,
or engineers of a particular company.
In contrast, if defamatory words are used broadly in respect to a
large class or group of persons, and there is nothing that points, or
by proper colloquium or innuendo can be made to apply, to a
particular member of the class or group, no member has a right of
action for libel or slander. Where the defamatory matter had no
special, personal application and was so general that no individual
damages could be presumed, and where the class referred to was
so numerous that great vexation and oppression might grow out of
the multiplicity of suits, no private action could be maintained.
This rule has been applied to defamatory publications concerning
groups or classes of persons engaged in a particular business,
profession or employment, directed at associations or groups of
association officials, and to those directed at miscellaneous groups
or classes of persons.
Distinguishing a small group-which if defamed entitles all its
members to sue from a large group which if defamed entitles no
one to sue is not always so simple. Some authorities have noted
that in cases permitting recovery, the group generally has twenty
five (25) or fewer members. However, there is usually no
articulated limit on size. Suits have been permitted by members of
fairly large groups when some distinguishing characteristic of the
individual or group increases the likelihood that the statement
could be interpreted to apply individually. For example, a single
player on the 60 to 70 man Oklahoma University football team was
permitted to sue when a writer accused the entire team of taking
amphetamines to hop up its performance; the individual was a
fullback, i.e., a significant position on the team and had played in
all but two of the teams games.
A prime consideration, therefore, is the public perception of the
size of the group and whether a statement will be interpreted to
refer to every member. The more organized and cohesive a group,
the easier it is to tar all its members with the same brush and the
more likely a court will permit a suit from an individual even if the
group includes more than twenty five (25) members. At some
point, however, increasing size may be seen to dilute the harm to
individuals and any resulting injury will fall beneath the threshold
for a viable lawsuit.
x x x x There are many other groupings of men than those that are
contained within the foregoing group classifications. There are all
the religions of the world, there are all the political and ideological
beliefs; there are the many colors of the human race. Group
defamation has been a fertile and dangerous weapon of attack on
various racial, religious and political minorities. Some states,
therefore, have passed statutes to prevent concerted efforts to
harass minority groups in the United States by making it a crime
86

dreamer Bar Review Notes


to circulate insidious rumors against racial and religious groups.
Thus far, any civil remedy for such broadside defamation has been
lacking.
There have been numerous attempts by individual members to seek
redress in the courts for libel on these groups, but very few have
succeeded because it felt that the groups are too large and poorly
defined to support a finding that the plaintiff was singled out for
personal attack x x x x (citations omitted).

Our conclusion therefore is that the statements published by


petitioners in the instant case did not specifically identify nor
refer to any particular individuals who were purportedly the
subject of the alleged libelous publication. Respondents can
scarcely claim to having been singled out for social censure
pointedly resulting in damages.
Justice Carpio pushes the opinion that the case is imbued by
an emotional distress tort. The Court did not agree and said,
Primarily, an "emotional distress" tort action is personal in
nature, i.e., it is a civil action filed by an individual to assuage
the injuries to his emotional tranquility due to personal attacks
on his character. It has no application in the instant case since
no particular individual was identified in the disputed article
of Bulgar. Also, the purported damage caused by the article,
assuming there was any, falls under the principle of relational
harm - which includes harm to social relationships in the
community in the form of defamation; as distinguished from
the principle of reactive harm - which includes injuries to
individual emotional tranquility in the form of an infliction of
emotional distress. In their complaint, respondents clearly
asserted an alleged harm to the standing of Muslims in the
community, especially to their activities in propagating their
faith in Metro Manila and in other non-Muslim communities
in the country. It is thus beyond cavil that the present case falls
within the application of the relational harm principle of tort
actions for defamation, rather than the reactive harm
principle on which the concept of emotional distress properly
belongs.
Philippine Journalist Inc. v. Theonen86
FACTS: On 30 September 1990, the following news item
appeared in the Peoples Journal, a tabloid of general
circulation:
Swiss Shoots Neighbors Pets
RESIDENTS of a subdivision in Paraaque have asked the Bureau
of Immigration to deport a Swiss who allegedly shoots wayward
neighbors pets that he finds in his domain.
The BF Homes residents through lawyer Atty. Efren Angara
complained that the deportation of Francis Thoenen, of 10 Calcutta
BF Homes Phase III, could help prevent the recurrence of such
incident in the future.
Angara explained that house owners could not control their dogs
and cats when they slip out of their dwellings unnoticed.
An alleged confrontation between Thoenen and the owner of a pet
he shot recently threatens to exacerbate the problem, Angara said.
Cristina Lee

The subject of this article, Francis Thoenen, is a retired


engineer permanently residing in this country with his Filipina

G.R. No. 143372, December 13, 2005.

Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

All Rights Reserved

dreamer Bar Review Notes


wife and their children. Claiming that the report was false and
defamatory, and that the petitioners acted irresponsibly in
failing to verify the truth of the same prior to publication, he
filed a civil case for damages against herein petitioners
Philippine Journalists, Inc., Zacarias Nuguid, Jr., its
publisher, and reporter Cristina Lee.
Thoenen claimed that the article destroyed the respect and
admiration he enjoyed in the community, and that since it had
been published, he and his wife received several queries and
angry calls from friends, neighbors and relatives. For the
impairment of his reputation and standing in the community,
and his mental anguish, Thoenen soughtP200,000.00 in moral
damages,
P100,000.00
in
exemplary
damages,
and P50,000.00 in attorneys fees.
The petitioners admitted publication of the news item,
ostensibly out of a social and moral duty to inform the public
on matters of general interest, promote the public good and
protect the moral public (sic) of the people, and that the story
was published in good faith and without malice.
It was proven at trial that the news article contained several
inaccuracies. The headline, which categorically stated that
the subject of the article engaged in the practice of shooting
pets, was untrue. Moreover, it is immediately apparent from a
comparison between the above letter and the news item in
question that while the letter is a mere request for verification
of Thoenens status, Lee wrote that residents of BF Homes
had asked the Bureau of Immigration to deport a Swiss who
allegedly shoots neighbors pets. No complaints had in fact
been lodged against him by any of the BF Homeowners, nor
had any pending deportation proceedings been initiated
against him in the Bureau of Immigration.
RTC ruled in favor of Peoples Journal. CA reversed.
HELD: The petitioners argue that this case is one for
damages arising from libel, and not one for abuse of rights
under the New Civil Code. They further claim the
constitutional protections extended by the freedom of speech
and of the press clause of the 1987 Constitution against
liability for libel, claiming that the article was published in
fulfillment of its social and moral duty to inform the public
on matters of general interest, promote the public good and
protect the moral [fabric] of the people. They insist that the
news article was based on a letter released by the Bureau of
Immigration, and is thus a qualifiedly privileged
communication. To recover damages, the respondent must
prove its publication was attended by actual malice - that is,
with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of
whether it was false or not.
For the reasons stated below, we hold that the constitutional
privilege granted under the freedom of speech and the press
against liability for damages does not extend to the petitioners
in this case.
In this case, there is no controversy as to the existence of the
three elements. The respondents name and address were

All Rights Reserved

[Torts and Damages]


clearly indicated in the article ascribing to him the
questionable practice of shooting the wayward pets of his
neighbors. The backlash caused by the publication of the
article was in fact such that stones had been thrown at their
house, breaking several flower pots, and daily and nightly
calls compelled him to request a change of their telephone
number. These facts are not contested by the
petitioners. What the petitioners claim is the absence of proof
of the fourth element - malice.
As a general rule, malice is presumed. Article 354 of the
Revised Penal Code states:
ART. 354. Requirement of Publicity. - Every defamatory
imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if no
good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown,
except in the following cases:
1.
A private communication made by any person to another in
the performance of any legal, moral or social duty; and
2.
A fair and true report, made in good faith, without any
comments or remarks, of any judicial, legislative or other official
proceedings which are not of confidential nature, or of any
statement, report or speech delivered in said proceedings, or of any
other act performed by public officers in the exercise of their
functions.

Neither is the news item a fair and true report without any
comments or remarks of any judicial, legislative or other
official proceedings; there is in fact no proceeding to speak
of. Nor is the article related to any act performed by public
officers in the exercise of their functions, for it concerns only
false imputations against Thoenen, a private individual
seeking a quiet life.
The petitioners also claim to have made the report out of a
social and moral duty to inform the public on matters of
general interest.
In Borjal v. Court of Appeals, we stated that the enumeration
under Art. 354 is not an exclusive list of qualifiedly privileged
communications since fair commentaries on matters of
public interest are likewise privileged. We stated that the
doctrine of fair commentaries means that while in general
every discreditable imputation publicly made is deemed false,
because every man is presumed innocent until his guilt is
judicially proved, and every false imputation is deemed
malicious, nevertheless, when the discreditable imputation is
directed against a public person in his public capacity, it is not
necessarily actionable. In order that such discreditable
imputation to a public official may be actionable, it must
either be a false allegation of fact or a comment based on a
false supposition.
Again, this argument is unavailing to the petitioners. As we
said, the respondent is a private individual, and not a public
official or public figure. We are persuaded by the reasoning
of the United States Supreme Court in Gertz v. Robert Welch,
Inc., that a newspaper or broadcaster publishing defamatory
falsehoods about an individual who is neither a public
official nor a public figure may not claim a constitutional
privilege against liability, for injury inflicted, even if the
falsehood arose in a discussion of public interest.

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]


Lim v. Kou Co Ping87
FACTS: In February 1999, FR Cement Corporation (FRCC),
owner/operator of a cement manufacturing plant, issued
several withdrawal authorities for the account of cement
dealers and traders, Fil-Cement Center and Tigerbilt. These
withdrawal authorities state the number of bags that the
dealer/trader paid for and can withdraw from the plant. Each
withdrawal authority contained a provision that it is valid for
six months from its date of issuance, unless revoked by FRCC
Marketing Department.
Fil-Cement Center and Tigerbilt, through their administrative
manager, Gail Borja (Borja), sold the withdrawal authorities
covering 50,000 bags of cement to Co for the amount of P3.15
million or P63.00 per bag. On February 15, 1999, Co sold
these withdrawal authorities to Lim allegedly at the price of
P64.00 per bag or a total of P3.2 million.
Using the withdrawal authorities, Lim withdrew the cement
bags from FRCC on a staggered basis. She successfully
withdrew 2,800 bags of cement, and sold back some of the
withdrawal authorities, covering 10,000 bags, to Co.
Sometime in April 1999, FRCC did not allow Lim to
withdraw the remaining 37,200 bags covered by the
withdrawal authorities. Lim clarified the matter with Co and
Borja, who explained that the plant implemented a price
increase and would only release the goods once Lim pays for
the price difference or agrees to receive a lesser quantity of
cement. Lim objected and maintained that the withdrawal
authorities she bought were not subject to price fluctuations.
Lim sought legal recourse after her demands for Co to resolve
the problem with the plant or for the return of her money had
failed.
Lim filed a complaint against Co for estafa. The RTC
rendered a decision acquitting Co. After the trial on the civil
aspect of the criminal case, the Pasig City RTC also relieved
Co of civil liability to Lim in its December 1, 2004 Order.
Lim sought a reconsideration of the above Order, arguing that
she has presented preponderant evidence that Co committed
estafa against her. RTC denied.
On April 19, 2005, Lim filed a complaint for specific
performance and damages before Branch 21 of the RTC of
Manila. The defendants in the civil case were Co and all other
parties to the withdrawal authorities, Tigerbilt, Fil-Cement
Center, FRCC, Southeast Asia Cement, and La Farge
Corporation. Lim prayed for Co to honor his contractual
commitments either by delivering the 37,200 bags of cement,
making arrangements with FRCC to allow Lim to withdraw
the cement, or to pay for their value. She likewise asked that
the defendants be held solidarily liable to her for the damages
she incurred in her failed attempts to withdraw the cement and
for the damages they inflicted on her as a result of their abuse
of their rights.

87

dreamer Bar Review Notes


Co maintains that Lim is guilty of forum shopping because
she is asserting only one cause of action in CA-G.R. CV No.
85138 (the appeal from the civil aspect of Criminal Case No.
116377) and in Civil Case No. 05-112396, which is for Cos
violation of her right to receive 37,200 bags of cement.
Likewise, the reliefs sought in both cases are the same, that is,
for Co to deliver the 37,200 bags of cement or its value to
Lim. That Lim utilized different methods of presenting her
case a criminal action for estafa and a civil complaint for
specific performance and damages should not detract from
the fact that she is attempting to litigate the same cause of
action twice.
HELD: A single act or omission that causes damage to an
offended party may give rise to two separate civil liabilities
on the part of the offender (1) civil liability ex delicto, that is,
civil liability arising from the criminal offense under Article
100 of the Revised Penal Code, and (2) independent civil
liability, that is, civil liability that may be pursued
independently of the criminal proceedings.
The independent civil liability may be based on an obligation
not arising from the act or omission complained of as a
felony, as provided in Article 31 of the Civil Code (such as
for breach of contract or for tort). It may also be based on an
act or omission that may constitute felony but, nevertheless,
treated independently from the criminal action by specific
provision of Article 33 of the Civil Code (in cases of
defamation, fraud and physical injuries).
Because of the distinct and independent nature of the two
kinds of civil liabilities, jurisprudence holds that the offended
party may pursue the two types of civil liabilities
simultaneously or cumulatively, without offending the rules
on forum shopping, litis pendentia, or res judicata.
Since civil liabilities arising from felonies and those arising
from other sources of obligations are authorized by law to
proceed independently of each other, the resolution of the
present issue hinges on whether the two cases herein involve
different kinds of civil obligations such that they can proceed
independently of each other. The answer is in the affirmative.
The first action is clearly a civil action ex delicto, it having
been instituted together with the criminal action.
On the other hand, the second action, judging by the
allegations contained in the complaint, is a civil action arising
from a contractual obligation and for tortious conduct (abuse
of rights).

G.R. No. 175256, August 23, 2012.

Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

All Rights Reserved

[Torts and Damages]

dreamer Bar Review Notes

DAMAGES
Damnum Absque injuria
(Annotation to follow)
DAMAGES DAMNUM ABSQUE INJURIA
SPS. CUSTODIO V. CA (GR 116100, 1996)
Facts:

The plaintiff (Pacifico Mabasa) owns a parcel of land


with a two-door apartment erected thereon situated at
Interior P. Burgos St., Palingon, Tipas, Tagig, Metro
Manila. Said property may be described to be surrounded
by other immovables pertaining to respondents herein.

Taking P. Burgos Street as the point of reference, on the


left side, going to plaintiff's property, the row of houses
will be as follows: That of defendants Cristino and
Brigido Custodio, then that of Lito and Maria Cristina
Santos and then that of Ofelia Mabasa. On the right side
(is) that of defendant Rosalina Morato and then a Septic
Tank (Exhibit "D").

As an access to P. Burgos Street from respondents


property, there are two possible passageways. The first
passageway is approximately one meter wide and is
about 20 meters from Mabasas residence to P. Burgos
Street. Such path is passing in between the previously
mentioned row of houses of the petitioners. The second
passageway is about 3 meters in width and length from
Mabasas residence to P. Burgos Street; it is about 26
meters. In passing thru said passageway, a less than a
meter wide path through the septic tank and with 5-6
meters in length, has to be traversed.

When said property was purchased by Mabasa, there


were tenants occupying the premises and who were
acknowledged by Mabasa as tenants. However,
sometime in February, 1982, one of said tenants vacated
the apartment and when Mabasa went to see the
premises, he saw that there had been built an adobe fence
in the first passageway making it narrower in width. Said
adobe fence was first constructed by Petitioners Santoses
along their property which is also along the first
passageway. Defendant Morato constructed her adobe
fence and even extended said fence in such a way that
the entire passageway was enclosed. And it was then that
the remaining tenants of said apartment vacated the area.

Petitioner Ma. Cristina Santos testified that she


constructed said fence because of some other
inconveniences of having (at) the front of her house a
pathway such as when some of the tenants were drunk
and would bang their doors and windows.

Trial court rendered a decision ordering the Petitioners


Custodios and Santoses to give Respondent Mabasa
permanent access ingress and egress, to the public street
and Mabasa to pay the Custodios and Santoses the sum
of Eight Thousand Pesos (P8,000) as indemnity for the
permanent use of the passageway.

Respondent Mabasa went to the CA raising the sole issue


of whether or not the lower court erred in not awarding
damages in their favor.

All Rights Reserved

The CA rendered its decision affirming the judgment of


the trial court with modification only insofar as the grant
of damages by Mabasa. The motion for reconsideration
filed by the petitioners was denied.

WHEREFORE, the appealed decision of the lower court is


hereby AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION only insofar as
the herein grant of damages to plaintiffs-appellants. The Court
hereby orders defendants-appellees to pay plaintiffsappellants Mabasa the sum of Sixty Five Thousand (P65,000)
Pesos as Actual Damages, Thirty Thousand (P30,000) Pesos
as Moral Damages, and Ten Thousand (P10,000) Pesos as
Exemplary Damages. The rest of the appealed decision is
affirmed to all respects.
Issues:
1) WON the grant of right of way to Mabasa is proper.
2) WON the award of damages is in order.
Held:
1) Yes.

Herein petitioners (Custodios and Santoses) are already


barred from raising the same. Petitioners did not appeal
from the decision of the court a quo granting Mabasa the
right of way, hence they are presumed to be satisfied
with the adjudication therein. With the finality of the
judgment of the trial court as to petitioners, the issue of
propriety of the grant of right of way has already been
laid to rest.
2) No.

A reading of the decision of the CA will show that the


award of damages was based solely on the fact that the
plaintiff, Mabasa, incurred losses in the form of
unrealized rentals when the tenants vacated the leased
premises by reason of the closure of the passageway.
However, the mere fact that the plaintiff suffered losses
does not give rise to a right to recover damages.

There is a material distinction between damages and


injury. Injury is the illegal invasion of a legal right;
damage is the loss, hurt, or harm which results from the
injury; and damages are the recompense or
compensation awarded for the damage suffered. Thus,
there can be damage without injury in those instances in
which the loss or harm was not the result of a violation
of a legal duty. These situations are often called damnum
absque injuria.

In order that a plaintiff may maintain an action for the


injuries of which he complains, he must establish that
such injuries resulted from a breach of duty which the
defendant owed to the plaintiff a concurrence of injury
to the plaintiff and legal responsibility by the person
causing it. The underlying basis for the award of tort
damages is the premise that an individual was injured in
contemplation of law. Thus, there must first be the
breach of some duty and the imposition of liability for
that breach before damages may be awarded; it is not
sufficient to state that there should be tort liability merely
because the plaintiff suffered some pain and suffering.

In order that the law will give redress for an act causing
damage, that act must be not only hurtful, but wrongful.
There must be damnum et injuria. If, as may happen in

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]


many cases, a person sustains actual damage, that is,
harm or loss to his person or property, without sustaining
any legal injury, that is, an act or omission which the law
does not deem an injury, the damage is regarded
as damnum absque injuria.

In the case at bar, although there was damage, there was


no legal injury. Contrary to the claim of private
respondents, petitioners could not be said to have
violated the principle of abuse of right. In order that the
principle of abuse of right provided in Article 21 of the
Civil Code can be applied, it is essential that the
following requisites concur: (1) The defendant should
have acted in a manner that is contrary to morals, good
customs or public policy; (2) The acts should be willful;
and (3) There was damage or injury to the plaintiff.

The act of petitioners in constructing a fence within their


lot is a valid exercise of their right as owners, hence not
contrary to morals, good customs or public policy. The
law recognizes in the owner the right to enjoy and
dispose of a thing, without other limitations than those
established by law. It is within the right of petitioners, as
owners, to enclose and fence their property. Article 430
of the Civil Code provides that "(e)very owner may
enclose or fence his land or tenements by means of walls,
ditches, live or dead hedges, or by any other means
without detriment to servitudes constituted thereon."

To repeat, whatever injury or damage may have been


sustained by private respondents by reason of the rightful
use of the said land by petitioners is damnum absque
injuria.
WHEREFORE, under the compulsion of the foregoing
premises, the appealed decision of respondent Court of
Appeals is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and the
judgment of the trial court is correspondingly
REINSTATED.
DIAZ V. DAVAO LIGHT AND POWER CO. (GR
160959, APRIL 3, 2007)
FACTS:

Diaz was the pres of Diaz and Co., Inc. and the vice
pres of Diaz Realty Inc, which in turn, owned the
Doa Segunda Hotel formerly known as Davao
Imperial Hotel

Davao Light and Power Co. (DLPC) is a public


utility duly franchised to provide light, heat, and
power to its customers in Davao and other
municipalities

DLPC supplied Doa Segunda Bldg with electricity

DLPC sent a Notice of Disconnection to Diaz and


Co., Inc. informing it of its unpaid electric
consumption bill amounting to P190,111.02

It also warned that if the amount would not be paid,


DLPC would be obliged to discontinue service

Diaz ignored the letter its meter was


disconnected

DLPC filed a complaint for collection before the


RTC

Meanwhile, NFA established its KADIWA store in


Davao

It leased a portion of the ground floor of Imperial


Hotel in Davao

dreamer Bar Review Notes

KADIWA also applied for elec service with DLPC


and a contract was later executed between the
parties meter installed
KADIWA subsequently closed and vacated the
Doa Segunda Bldg
KADIWA informed DLPC that the light and power
connection would be left behind and its right to the
connection would be transferred to Diaz; also
informed DLPC that the deposit for power
connection had been refunded to it by Diaz
Diaz informed Manuel Orig that he had leased the
untenanted portions of the Doa Segunda Bldg
from Diaz and Co and requested that a new elec
connection be installed, separate from the one
assigned to him by NFA
Diaz and Co. sent a letter to DLPC declaring that it
had assumed the electrical bills of NFA/KADIWA
and requested that bills be sent to it
DLPC rejected the request and declared that it was
not aware that Diaz and Co. had refunded to
NFA/KADIWA its deposit
Diaz filed a petition for mandamus alleging that as
a hoder of a certificate of public convenience,
DLPC is mandated by law to provide him with
electric service; the grounds relied by Orig in
denying its application are anchored on bias and
prejudice since he is one of the stockholders of Diaz
and Co., the owner of Davao Imperial Hotel; and
the civil case is against Diaz and Co and not
personally against him.
Meanwhile, the portion of the bldg formerly leased
by NFA/KADIWA was leased to Mendiola
needed more electricity than what could be
provided by the existing elec wirings, Mendiola
opted to change the elec installation from one-phase
meter to a three-phase meter connection
approved by DLPC service contract executed
Diaz filed an application for prelim injunction to
enjoin DLPC from disconnecting the elec
connections
Also, an inter-office memo signed by officer in
charge was issued to all guards of Doa Segunda
who were ordered to prevent anyone from
disturbing meter
DLPC failed to substitute its single-phase meter
with a three-phase meter DLPCs linemen thus
installed the three-phase meter without removing
the single-phase meter
RTC denied motion for prelim investigation
MFR also denied
DLPC then removed its single-phase meter which
rendered almost half of the bldg without power
Diaz went to DLPC threw stones at it, breaking
four glass windows in the process
Diaz bought his own elec meter and unilaterally
replaced meter electricity in the bldg was then
restored
Diaz filed a Complaint for Damages with Prayer for
Prelim Prohibitory and Mandatory Injunction and
Restraining Order before the RTC

Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

All Rights Reserved

[Torts and Damages]

dreamer Bar Review Notes

Diaz claimed that DLPC arbitrarily and illegally


removed meter in violation of their business
franchise and Art 19 of the Civil Code.
DLPC filed counterclaim for prelim injunction to
compel the removal of the meter which Diaz
installed without DLPCs consent and authority
granted by RTC ordered Diaz to remove meter
MFR denied Diaz filed petition for certiorari
before the CA
CA rendered a decision granting Diazs petition
DLPC filed petition for certiorari before the SC
Meanwhile, the parties in Civil Case for collection
of sum of money and damages for the unpaid elec
consumption executed a Compromise Agreement
stipulating that DLPC reduces its total claims and
waives any claim in excess as well as its
counterclaims; that DLPC, upon receipt of
payment, shall install electric service in favor of
Diaz; and that parties agree to the dismissal of the
Civil Case compromise approved by RTC
Parties also filed in Sp. Civil Case a Joint Motion to
Dismiss based on the Compromise Agreement and
RTC thereafter ordered the dismissal of the case
SC issued resolution dismissing petition for
certiorari of CAs decision for being moot and
academic it appearing that petitioner is now
providing electrical service to private respondents
entire building
Court makes the admonition, however, that
connections of electrical service and installations of
electric meters should always be upon mutual
contract of the parties, and that payments for
electrical consumption should also be made
promptly whenever due.
RTC rendered a Decision60 in Civil Case
dismissing the case filed by Diaz.
Diaz appealed the decision with the which appeal is
still pending before the appellate court
Based on the aforestated facts, on July 11, 1988,
DLPC filed a complaint for theft of electricity
against Diaz with the City Prosecutors Office
submitted an Affidavit to support the charge.
In defense, Diaz alleged the following: (1) that the
complaint was intended to harass him; (2) he was
entitled to electric service by virtue of his
subrogation to the right of NFA/KADIWA; (3) the
installation of Meter was made with the knowledge
and consent of DLPC; (4) there is a pending case
between the parties regarding 2 Meter Nos. and (5)
the filing of the action is premature.
Asst. City Prosecutor, City Prosecutor issued a
Resolution recommending the dismissal of the
charge. He opined that the correspondence to DLPC
Manager Orig negated DLPCs claim of lack of
consent and knowledge, and since the issue is still
pending litigation in court, the determination of
whether there is theft of electricity is premature (Sp.
Civil Case and Civil Case).

All Rights Reserved

DLPC filed a Motion for Reconsideration which the


City Prosecutor denied on the ground that DLPC
failed to establish the elements of unlawful taking
and intent to gain.
DLPC appealed the dismissal to the Secretary of
Justice, who, however, dismissed the appeal in a
letter.
The Motion for Reconsideration filed by DLPC was
likewise denied
Undaunted, DLPC filed a criminal complaint
against Diaz for Violation of P.D. 401, as amended
by B.P. Blg. 87672 with the City Prosecutors
Office
In his counter-affidavit dated September 19, 1992,
Diaz alleged that a similar complaint had been filed
by DLPC against him.
In a Resolution 2nd Asst. City Prosecutor,
dismissed the case.
The Public Prosecutor likewise denied the motion
for reconsideration of DLPC
Meanwhile Diaz, Ramos, and Arguellas, as
complainants, filed a criminal complaint with the
Office of the Provincial Fiscal charging the officers
of DLPC with estafa through falsification of public
documents. They also alleged that the officers of
DLPC exacted additional and illegal profits from its
consumers by devising a deceptive Varying
Discount Formula; based on the alleged
misrepresentation of said officers, the Board of
Energy (BOE) granted DLPC provisional authority
to apply the formula, thereby resulting in losses of
more or less P300,000.00 to Diaz, Ramos, and
Arguelles.
As regards the charge of falsification, the
complainants alleged that DLPC had its properties
appraised by the Technical Management Services,
Philippines, Inc. (TAMSPHIL), and included nonexistent properties that did not belong to it; it also
recorded the TAMSPHIL appraisal in its books of
account even before it had been approved by the
BOE; and submitted financial statements
containing the appraisal to the Securities and
Exchange Commission and the BOE
The Investigating Prosecutor found probable cause
against the respondents. An Information was filed
before the then Court of First Instance (CFI)
Respondents appealed the resolution of the public
prosecutor finding probable cause against them.
The appeal was granted. On motion of the
Prosecutor, the RTC dismissed the case
officers of DLPC, Eduardo J. Aboitiz, Luis Aboitiz,
Jr., Roberto E. Aboitiz, Jon R. Aboitiz, and Edson
H. Canova, as plaintiffs, filed a Complaint against
Diaz, Isagani T. Fuentes (Provincial Fiscal of
Davao del Norte), Petronilo D. Ramos (Municipal
Mayor of Carmen, Davao del Norte), Gabriel
Arguelles (Municipal Attorney of Panabo, Davao
del Norte) before the RTC, Cebu City, for damages
and attorneys fees against the defendants for
malicious prosecution

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]

RTC dismissed complaint CA affirmed SC


also dismissed case for lack of merit
DLPC instituted a civil action for Damages, before
the RTCagainst Diaz for defamatory and libelous
remarks and for abuse of rights.
The plaintiff alleged that Diaz, motivated by malice
and ill-will, had taken it upon himself to find fault
in DLPCs acts and oppose all its application with
the BOE, using the media to assault its good name
by circulating or publishing libelous and false
statements in the newspapers DLPC suffered
besmirched reputation and public humiliation, and
damage to its business standing.
RTC 11843 rendered a Decision in favor of DLPC
and against Diaz, awarding more than
P1,500,000.00 in damages to DLPC and dismissing
the counterclaim of Diaz.
Diaz, as plaintiff, filed a complaint for Damages,
Injunction with Writ of Preliminary Injunction and
Temporary Restraining Order, Plus Attorneys Fee
against DLPC before the RTC.
Diaz alleged that DLPCs filing of criminal cases,
for theft of electricity and for violation of P.D. 401,
as amended by B.P. Blg. 876), were intended to
harass and humiliate him before the public and
government authorities and ruin his image; he was
seriously prejudiced by the filing of an P11.6
Million damage suit in Civil Case and a P10.8
Million damage suit in Civil Case; defendants, by
their common and joint acts, were motivated by
evident bad faith and intentionally caused injustice
to his person in violation of Article 19 of the New
Civil Code
RTC issued a TRO in favor of Diaz, directing
DLPC or any person acting for and in its behalf, to
desist and refrain from committing any unlawful,
tortuous and inequitable conduct which may affect
the former for a period of twenty (20) days.

ISSUES:
(1) WON the compromise agreement entered into between
DLPC and Diaz barred the former from instituting further
actions involving the subject electric Meter NO
(2) WON DLPC acted in bad faith in instituting the criminal
cases against Diaz; NO
(3) WON Diaz is entitled to damages. NO
HELD: Petition is without merit.
1. Article 2028 of the Civil Code defines a compromise as
a contract whereby the parties, by making reciprocal
concessions, avoid litigation or put an end to one already
commenced. The purpose of compromise is to settle the
claims of the parties and bar all future disputes and
controversies. However, criminal liability is not affected
by compromise for it is a public offense which must be
prosecuted and punished by the Government on its own
motion, though complete reparation should have been
made of the damages suffered by the offended party. A
criminal case is committed against the People, and the
offended party may not waive or extinguish the criminal
liability that the law imposes for the commission of the
offense. Moreover, a compromise is not one of the

dreamer Bar Review Notes


grounds prescribed by the Revised Penal Code for the
extinction of criminal liability.
As can be inferred from the compromise agreement, Diaz and
DLPC merely agreed to (1) reduce the latters total claims to
only P385,000.00; (2) for DLPC to waive its counterclaims
against Diaz; and (3) upon receipt of the amount, for DLPC
to immediately install the necessary electric service to the
building. The parties likewise agreed to the dismissal of Sp.
Civil Case for being moot and academic. Nowhere in said
agreement did the parties agree that DLPC was barred from
instituting any further action involving the subject electric
Meter.
2.

The evidence presented by respondents negates malice


or bad faith. Based on these established facts, petitioner
has not shown that the acts of respondent were done with
the sole intent of prejudicing and injuring him.

Petitioner may have suffered damages as a result of the filing


of the complaints. However, there is a material distinction
between damages and injury. Injury is the illegal invasion of
a legal right; damage is the loss, hurt or harm which results
from the injury; and damages are the recompense or
compensation awarded for the damage suffered. Thus, there
can be damage without injury in those instances in which the
loss or harm was not the result of a violation of a legal duty.
In such cases, the consequences must be borne by the injured
person alone; the law affords no remedy for damages resulting
from an act which does not amount to a legal injury or wrong.
These situations are often called damnum absque injuria.
Whatever damages Diaz may have suffered would have to be
borne by him alone since it was his acts which led to the filing
of the complaints against him.
On the other hand, malicious prosecution has been defined as
an action for damages brought by or against whom a criminal
prosecution, civil suit or other legal proceeding has been
instituted maliciously and without probable cause, after the
termination of such prosecution, suit, or other proceeding in
favor of the defendant therein. It is an established rule that in
order for malicious prosecution to prosper, the following
requisites must be proven by petitioner: (1) the fact of
prosecution and the further fact that the defendant
(respondent) was himself the prosecutor, and that the action
finally terminated with an acquittal; (2) that in bringing the
action, the prosecutor acted without probable cause; and (3)
that the prosecutor was actuated or impelled by legal malice,
that is, by improper or sinister motive. The foregoing are
necessary to preserve a persons right to litigate which may
be emasculated by the undue filing of malicious prosecution
cases. From the foregoing requirements, it can be inferred that
malice and want of probable cause must both be clearly
established to justify an award of damages based on malicious
prosecution.
While the institution of separate criminal actions under the
provisions of P.D. 401, as amended by B.P. Blg. 876, and
under the provisions of the Revised Penal Code on theft may
refer to identical acts committed by petitioner, the prosecution
thereof cannot be limited to one offense because a single
criminal act may give rise to a multiplicity of offenses; and

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[Torts and Damages]

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where there is variance or difference between the elements of
an offense in one law and another law, as in the case at bar,
there will be no double jeopardy because what the rule on
double jeopardy prohibits refers to identity of elements in the
two (2) offenses. Otherwise stated, prosecution for the same
act is not prohibited; what is forbidden is prosecution for the
same offense. Hence, no fault could be attributed to
respondent DLPC when it instituted the two separate actions.
3.

SC finds that petitioner is not entitled to damages under


Articles 19,20 and 21, and Articles 2217 and 2219(8) of
the New Civil Code.

The elements of abuse of rights are the following: (a) the


existence of a legal right or duty; (b) which is exercised in bad
faith; and (c) for the sole intent of prejudicing or injuring
another. Thus, malice or bad faith is at the core of the above
provisions. Good faith refers to the intention to abstain from
taking an unconscionable and unscrupulous advantage of
another. Good faith is presumed and he who alleges bad faith
has the duty to prove the same. Bad faith, on the other hand,
does not simply connote bad judgment to simple negligence,
dishonest purpose or some moral obloquy and conscious
doing of a wrong, a breach of known duty due to some
motives or interest or ill-will that partakes of the nature of
fraud. Malice connotes ill-will or spite and speaks not in
response to duty. It implies an intention to do ulterior and
unjustifiable harm. Malice is bad faith or bad motive.
A claim for damages based on malicious prosecution will
prosper only if the three elements aforecited are shown to
exist. We find that none of the requisites are attendant here.
First. Although respondent DLPC initiated before the
prosecutors office Inv. Sheet No. 593 July/1988 for theft of
electricity, and I.S. No. 92-4590 for Violation of P.D. 401, as
amended by B.P. Blg. 876, no information was ever filed in
court. The cases were eventually dropped or dismissed before
they could be filed in court. Ultimately, both actions could not
end in an acquittal.
Second. It cannot be concluded that respondent DLPC acted
without probable cause when it instituted the actions. The
events which led to the filing of the complaints are
undisputed, and respondent DLPC cannot be faulted for filing
them.

the reason for the rule as stated by Blackstone, is that it would


be a very great discouragement to public justice if
prosecutors, who had a tolerable ground of suspicion, were
liable to be sued at law when their indictments miscarried.
Thus, the element of malice and the absence of probable cause
must be proved. In the instant case, it is evident that
respondent DLPC was not motivated by malicious intent or
by a sinister design to unduly harass petitioner, but only by a
well-founded anxiety to protect its rights. Respondent DLPC
cannot therefore be faulted in availing of the remedies
provided for by law.

Actual Damages
Personal Injury damages in the form of personal
injury can be asked for actual medical and other
expenses, or in proper cases, it may likewise include the
amount spent for the plastic surgery of the plaintiff.
Courts may also award monthly payments to the person
who was injured to answer for his future medical
expenses.88
Alternative Approaches of Providing Compensation
to Disabled Victims for Future Medical Expenses it
could be given in periodic payments (monthly payments)
as provided for in Ramos v. CA89 or could be given as a
lump-sum payment as provided for in Mercury Drug v.
Huang90. Aquino believes that the lump-sum rule is the
better rule as the enforcement of periodic payments is
administratively problematic. Furthermore, in reality, the
case will not be closed and terminated unless the victim
dies. However, there were arguments that support
periodic payments such as that lump-sum awards often
are dissipated by improvident expenditures or
investments before the injured person actually incurs
the future medical expenses.91
Damages in Case of Death when due to a negligent
act or a crime, the following damages may be recovered:
Civil indemnity ex delicto for death of the victim;
Actual and compensatory damages;
Moral damages;
Exemplary damages;
Attorneys fees and expenses of litigation;
Interests, in proper cases

Probable cause is the existence of such facts and


circumstances as would excite the belief, in a reasonable
mind, acting on the facts within the knowledge of the
prosecutor, that the person charged was guilty of the crime for
which he was prosecuted. The general rule is well settled that
one cannot be held liable in damages for maliciously
instituting a prosecution where he acted with probable cause.
In other words, a suit will lie only in cases where a legal
prosecution has been carried on without probable cause. And

Actual Expenses includes medical expenses, wake


and funeral expenses, but does not include expenses
incurred relating to the 9th day, 40th day and 1st year
death anniversaries.92

88

91

Aquino, pp. 948 citing Gatchalian v. Delim, 203 SCRA 126; Spouses Renato
Ong v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 117103 January 21, 1999.
89 G.R. No. 124354, December 29, 1999 cited in Aquino, pp. 949.
90 G.R. No. 172122, June 22, 2007 cited in Aquino, pp. 949.

All Rights Reserved

Fixed Damages or Civil Indemnity Php. 3,000.00


minimum payment to the heirs of the deceased as a
fixed amount in addition to any damage that may have
resulted because of the act or omission of the
Aquino, pp. 949, citing American Bank & Trust Co., v. Superior Court 36 Cal.
3d 1984.
92 Aquino, pp. 951 citing Victory Liner v. Heirs of Malecdan, G.R. No. 154278,
December 27, 2002; and, People v. Mangahas, 311 SCRA 384 (1999).

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]


defendant. The current amount of fixed damages as
increased by the Court reflecting the current value of
currency and prevailing inflation is Php. 50,000.00
Loss of Earning Capacity when the defendants act
or omission resulted in plaintiffs permanent incapacity
(Aquino, pp. 950) or death (Ibid., pp. 952).
Formula for the Computation of the Awarded
Damages for Loss of Earning Capacity the
important variables taken into account in determining
the compensable amount of lost earnings are:
The number of years for which the victim would
otherwise have lived (life expenctancy); and,
The rate of loss sustained by the heirs of the
deceased (net income). Thus, the formula:
Net Earning Capacity = Life Expectancy x (Gross
Annual Income Necessary Living Expenses)

Illustrative Cases
MARIKINA AUTO LINE TRANSPORT CORP. V.
PEOPLE (GR 152040, March 31, 2006)
FACTS:

Erlinda V. Valdellon is the owner of a two-door


commercial apartment located at No. 31 Kamias Road,
Quezon City. TheMarikina Auto Line Transport
Corporation (MALTC) is the owner-operator of a
passenger bus, its employee, was assigned as the regular
driver of the bus.2.

At around 2:00 p.m. on October 3, 1992, Suelto was


driving the passenger bus along Kamias Road,
Kamuning, Quezon City, going towards EDSA. The bus
suddenly swerved to the right and struck the terrace of
the commercial apartment owned by Valdellon. Upon
Valdellons request, the court ordered Sergio Pontiveros,
the Senior Building Inspection Officer of the City
Engineers Office, to inspect the damaged terrace.

He recommended that since the structural members


made of concrete had been displaced, the terrace would
have to be demolished "to keep its monolithicness, and
to insure the safety and stability of the building."

In a letter addressed to the bus company and Suelto,


Valdellon demanded payment of P148,440.00, within 10
days from receipt thereof, to cover the cost of the damage
to the terrace. he bus company and Suelto offered a
P30,000.00 settlement which Valdellon refused.

Valdellon filed a criminal complaint for reckless


imprudence resulting in damage to property against
Suelto. After therequisite preliminary investigation, an
Information was filed with the RTC of Quezon City.

Valdellon also filed a separate civil complaint against


Suelto and the bus company for damages. She prayed
that after due proceedings, judgment be rendered in her
favor.
ISSUE:
WON Suelto is guilty of reckless imprudence which resulted
in the damage of Valdellons property

dreamer Bar Review Notes


HELD: YES.

Respondent People of the Philippines was able to prove


beyond reasonable doubt that petitioner Suelto swerved
the bus to the right with recklessness, thereby causing
damage to the terrace of private respondents apartment.

Although she did not testify to seeing the incident as it


happened, petitioner Suelto himself admitted this in his
answer to the complaint and when he testified in the civil
case. Suelto narrated that he suddenly swerved the bus to
the right of the road causing it to hit the column of the
terrace of private respondent. Petitioners were burdened
to prove that the damage to the terrace of private
respondent was not the fault of petitioner Suelto. We
have reviewed the evidence on record and find that
petitioners failed to prove that petitioner acted on an
emergency caused by the sudden intrusion of a passenger
jeepney into the lane of the bus he was driving.

It was the burden of petitioners herein to prove petitioner


Sueltos defense that he acted on an emergency, that is,
he had to swerve the bus to the right to avoid
colliding with a passenger jeep coming from
EDSA that had overtaken another vehicle and
intruded into the lane of the bus.

EMERGENCY RULE: One who suddenly finds himself


in a place of danger, and is required to act without time
to consider the best means that may be adopted to avoid
the impending danger, is not guilty of negligence if he
fails to adopt what subsequently and upon reflection may
appear to have been a better method unless the
emergency in which he finds himself is brought about by
his own negligence.

In relation thereto, Article 2185 of the New Civil Code


provides that unless there is proof to the contrary, it is
presumed that a person driving a motor vehicle has been
negligent, if at the time of mishap, he was violating any
traffic regulation. By his own admission, petitioner
Suelto violated the Land Transportation and Traffic
Code when he suddenly swerved the bus to the right,
thereby causing damage to the property of private
respondent.

It is clear from the photographs submitted by the


prosecution that the commercial apartment of Dr.
Valdellon sustained heavy damage caused by the bus
being driven by Suelto. "It seems highly improbable that
the said damages were not caused by a strong impact.
And, it is quite reasonable to conclude that, at the time
of the impact, the bus was traveling at a high speed when
Suelto tried to avoid the passenger jeepney." The
damages could not have been caused except by a
speeding bus. Had the accused not been speeding, he
could have easily reduced his speed and come to a full
stop when he noticed the jeep. If he were more prudent
in driving, he could have avoided the incident or even if
he could not avoid the incident, the damages would have
been less severe. The severe damages sustained could
not have resulted had the accused acted as a reasonable
and prudent man would. The accused was not diligent as
he claims to be. What is more probable is that the
accused had to swerve to the right and hit the commercial
apartment of the plaintiff because he could not make a

Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

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dreamer Bar Review Notes


full stop as he was driving too fast in a usually crowded
street.
AS TO DAMAGES:

Under Article 2199 of the New Civil Code, actual


damages include all the natural and probable
consequences of the act or omission complained of,
classified as one for the loss of what a person already
possesses (dao emergente) and the other, for the failure
to receive, as a benefit, that which would have pertained
to him (lucro cesante). As expostulated by the Court
in PNOC Shipping and Transport Corporation v. Court
of Appeals: Under Article 2199 of the Civil Code, actual
or compensatory damages are those awarded in
satisfaction of, or in recompense for, loss or injury
sustained. They proceed from a sense of natural justice
and are designed to repair the wrong that has been done,
to compensate for the injury inflicted and not to impose
a penalty. In actions based on torts or quasi-delicts,
actual damages include all the natural and probable
consequences of the act or omission complained
of. There are two kinds of actual or compensatory
damages: one is the loss of what a person already
possesses (dao emergente), and the other is the failure
to receive as a benefit that which would have pertained
to him (lucro cesante).

The burden of proof is on the party who would be


defeated if no evidence would be presented on either
side. The burden is to establish ones case by a
preponderance of evidence which means that the
evidence, as a whole, adduced by one side, is superior to
that of the other.
Actual damages are not
presumed. The claimant must prove the actual amount
of loss with a reasonable degree of certainty premised
upon competent proof and on the best evidence
obtainable. Specific facts that could afford a basis for
measuring whatever compensatory or actual damages
are borne must be pointed out. Actual damages cannot
be anchored on mere surmises, speculations or
conjectures.

The Court further declared that where goods are


destroyed by the wrongful act of defendant, the plaintiff
is entitled to their value at the time of the destruction,
that is, normally, the sum of money which he would have
to pay in the market for identical or essentially similar
goods, plus in a proper case, damages for the loss of the
use during the period before replacement.

In the present case, the only damage caused by


petitioner Sueltos act was to the terrace of private
respondents
apartment,
costing P55,000.00.
Consequently, petitioners
contention that the CA erred in awarding P100,000.00 by
way of actual damages to private respondent is
correct. We agree that private respondent is entitled to
exemplary damages, and find that the award given by the
trial court, as affirmed by the CA, is
reasonable. Considering the attendant circumstances,
we rule that private respondent Valdellon is entitled to
only P20,000.00 by way of exemplary damages.
IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition
is PARTIALLY GRANTED. The joint decision of the

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[Torts and Damages]


Regional Trial Court of Quezon City is AFFIRMED WITH
THE MODIFICATION that petitioner Suelto is sentenced
to pay a fine of P55,000.00 with subsidiary imprisonment in
case of insolvency. Petitioners are ORDERED to pay to
Erlinda V. Valdellon, jointly and severally, the total amount
of P55,000.00 by way of actual damages, and P20,000.00 by
way of exemplary damages.
VILLA REY V. CA (GR L-25499, February 18, 1970)
FACTS:

At about 1:30 in the morning of March 17, 1960, an


Izuzu First Class passenger bus owned and operated by
the defendant, bearing Plate No. TPU-14871-Bulacan
and driven by Laureano Casim, left Lingayen,
Pangasinan, for Manila. Among its paying passengers
was the deceased, Policronio Quintos, Jr. who sat on the
first seat, second row, right side of the bus. At about 4:55
o'clock a.m. when the vehicle was nearing the northern
approach of the Sadsaran Bridge on the national highway
in barrio Sto. Domingo, municipality of Minalin,
Pampanga, it frontally hit the rear side of a bullcart filled
with hay. As a result the end of a bamboo pole placed on
top of the hayload and tied to the cart to hold it in place,
hit the right side of the windshield of the bus. The
protruding end of the bamboo pole, about 8 feet long
from the rear of the bullcart, penetrated through the glass
windshield and landed on the face of Policronio Quintos,
Jr. who, because of the impact, fell from his seat and was
sprawled on the floor. The pole landed on his left eye and
the bone of the left side of his face was fractured. He
suffered other multiple wounds and was rendered
unconscious due, among other causes to severe cerebral
concussion. A La Mallorca passenger bus going in the
opposite direction towards San Fernando, Pampanga,
reached the scene of the mishap and it was stopped by
Patrolman Felino Bacani of the municipal police force of
Minalin who, in the meantime, had gone to the scene to
investigate. Patrolman Bacani placed Policronio
Quintos, Jr. and three other injured men who rode on the
bullcart aboard the La Mallorca bus and brought them to
the provincial hospital of Pampanga at San Fernando for
medical assistance. Notwithstanding such assistance,
Policronio Quintos, Jr. died at 3:15 p.m. on the same day,
March 17, 1960, due to traumatic shock due to cerebral
injuries.

Policronio Quintos Jr. was single and the case for


damages was filed by his 3 surviving sisters.

The trial court awarded damages in the amount of


P63,750, which the CA affirmed.
ISSUE:
WON the award for damages is correct.
HELD: NO.

At this juncture, it should be noted, also, that We are


mainly concerned with the determination of the losses or
damages sustained by the private respondents, as
dependents and intestate heirs of the deceased, and that
said damages consist, not of the full amount of his
earnings, but of the support, they received or would have
received from him had he not died in consequence of the
negligence of petitioner's agent. In fixing the amount of

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]


that support, We must reckon with the "necessary
expenses of his own living", which should be deducted
from his earnings. Thus, it has been consistently held that
earning capacity, as an element of damages to one's
estate for his death by wrongful act is necessarily his net
earning capacity or his capacity to acquire money, "less
the necessary expense for his own living.3Stated
otherwise, the amount recoverable is not loss of the
entire earning, but rather the loss of that portion of the
earnings which the beneficiary would have received. In
other words, only net earnings, not gross earning, are to
be considered5 that is, the total of the
earnings less expenses necessary in the creation of such
earnings or income6 and less living and other incidental
expenses.
All things considered, We are of the opinion that it is fair and
reasonable to fix the deductible living and other expenses of
the deceased at the sum of P1,184.00 a year, or about P100.00
a month, and that, consequently, the loss sustained by his
sisters may be roughly estimated at P1,000.00 a year or
P33,333.33 for the 33-1/3 years of his life expectancy. To this
sum of P33,333.33, the following should be added: (a)
P12,000.00, pursuant to Arts. 104 and 107 of the Revised
Penal Code, in relation to Article 2206 of our Civil Code, as
construed and applied by this Court; (b) P1,727.95, actually
spent by private respondents for medical and burial expenses;
and (c) attorney's fee, which was fixed by the trial court, at
P500.00, but which, in view of the appeal taken by petitioner
herein, first to the Court of Appeals and later to this Supreme
Court, should be increased to P2,500.00. In other words, the
amount adjudged in the decision appealed from should be
reduced to the aggregate sum of P49,561.28, with interest
thereon, at the legal rate, from December 29, 1961, date of the
promulgation of the decision of the trial court.
Mercury Drug Corporation v. Spouses Huang and Stephen
Huang93
FACTS: There was a collision of two vehicles, a car driven
by Stephen Huang and a truck driven by Del Rosario (owned
by Mercury Drug). Both were traversing the C-5 Highway,
north bound, coming from the general direction of Alabang
going to Pasig City. The car was on the left innermost lane
while the truck was on the next lane to its right, when the truck
suddenly swerved to its left and slammed into the front right
side of the car. The collision hurled the car over the island
where it hit a lamppost, spun around and landed on the
opposite lane. The truck also hit a lamppost, ran over the car
and zigzagged towards, and finally stopped in front of Buellah
Land Church.
Stephen Huang sustained massive injuries to his spinal cord,
head, face, and lung. Despite a series of operations, Stephen
Huang is paralyzed for life from his chest down and requires
continuous medical and rehabilitation treatment.
Sps. Huang fault Del Rosario for committing gross negligence
and reckless imprudence while driving, and Mercury Drug for
failing to exercise the diligence of a good father of a family in

93

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the selection and supervision of its driver. On the other hand,
Del Rosario faults Stephen Huang as the immediate and
proximate cause of the accident.
The RTC rendered a decision in Huangs favor, and ordered
Mercury Drug and Del Rosario as solidarily liable to pay:
1. P2,973,000.00 as actual damages;
2. As compensatory damages:
a. P23,461,062.00 for life care cost of Stephen;
b. P10,000,000.00 as and for lost or impaired
earning capacity of Stephen;
3. P4,000,000.00 as moral damages;
4. P2,000,000.00 as exemplary damages; and
5. P1,000,000.00 as attorneys fees and litigation
expense.
The CA affirmed the decision but modified the award of
moral damages to P1,000,000.00.
HELD: Aside from being held negligent based from a
research conducted by a physics expert and from the solidary
liability of Mercury Drug for failure to exercise due diligence
in the hiring and supervision of its employee pursuant to Art.
2180 because (1) the test conducted with Del Rosario was that
for a Delivery Man and not for Truck Man; (2) when tested,
instead of using a truck, Del Rosario was made to drive a
Gallant (sedan); (3) his driving seminars were at least 12 years
ago before the incident; and (4) he was driving without license
because the same was confiscated for reckless driving. Thus,
the Court upheld all the award for damages.
As to the award of damages, the Court held as follows:
Actual Damages:

Current Expenses - pursuant to Art. 2199, the


Court upheld the award for actual damages
because the claim by Sps. Huang were supported
by receipts. The amount of P2,973,000.00
represented cost of hospital expenses, medicines,
medical services and supplies, and nursing care
services provided Stephen from December 20,
1996, the day of the accident, until December
1998;

Future Medical Expenses and Life Care Costs The doctors who attended to Stephen are one in
their prognosis that his chances of walking again
and performing basic body functions are nil. For
the rest of his life, he will need continuous
rehabilitation and therapy to prevent further
complications such as pneumonia, bladder and
rectum infection, renal failure, sepsis and severe
bed sores, osteoporosis and fractures, and other
spinal cord injury-related conditions. He will be
completely dependent on the care and support of
his family. The Court thus affirm the award
of P23,461,062.00 for the life care cost of
Stephen Huang, based on his average monthly
expense and the actuarial computation of the
remaining years that he is expected to live;

Lost or Impaired Earning Capacity - and the


conservative amount of P10,000,000.00, for the
loss
or impairment
of his
earning

G.R. No. 172122, June 22, 2007.

Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

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dreamer Bar Review Notes


capacity, considering his age, probable life
expectancy, the state of his health, and his mental
and physical condition before the accident. He
was only seventeen years old, nearly six feet tall
and weighed 175 pounds. He was in 4th year
high school, and a member of the school varsity
basketball team. He was also class president and
editor-in-chief of the school annual. He had
shown very good leadership qualities. He was
looking forward to his college life, having just
passed the entrance examinations of the UP,
DLSU and the UA&P. The UST even offered
him a chance to obtain an athletic scholarship,
but the accident prevented him from attending
the basketball try-outs. Without doubt, he was an
exceptional student. He excelled both in his
academics and extracurricular undertakings. Had
the accident not happened, he had a rosy future
ahead of him. He wanted to embark on a banking
career, get married and raise children.
NOTE: Other kinds of damages were also upheld by the
Court, however, theyre deemed no longer relevant for the
topic specific to this case.

[Torts and Damages]

As a consequence of the losses sustained, Eastern Shipping


was compelled to pay the consignee P19,032.95 under the
aforestated marine insurance policy, so that it became
subrogated to all the rights of action of said consignee against
defendants.

award of interest. Nonetheless, it may not be unwise, by way


of clarification and reconciliation, to suggest the following
rules of thumb for future guidance.
I. When an obligation, regardless of its source, i.e., law,
contracts, quasi-contracts, delicts or quasi-delicts is breached,
the contravenor can be held liable for damages. The
provisions under Title XVIII on "Damages" of the Civil Code
govern in determining the measure of recoverable damages.
II. With regard particularly to an award of interest in the
concept of actual and compensatory damages, the rate of
interest, as well as the accrual thereof, is imposed, as follows:
1. When the obligation is breached, and it consists in
the payment of a sum of money, i.e., a loan or
forbearance of money, the interest due should be
that which may have been stipulated in
writing. Furthermore, the interest due shall itself
earn legal interest from the time it is judicially
demanded. In the absence of stipulation, the rate of
interest shall be 12% per annum to be computed
from default, i.e., from judicial or extrajudicial
demand under and subject to the provisions of
Article 1169 of the Civil Code.
2. When an obligation, not constituting a loan or
forbearance of money, is breached, an interest on
the amount of damages awarded may be imposed at
the discretion of the court at the rate of 6% per
annum. No interest, however, shall be adjudged on
unliquidated claims or damages except when or
until the demand can be established with reasonable
certainty. Accordingly, where the demand is
established with reasonable certainty, the interest
shall begin to run from the time the claim is made
judicially or extrajudicially (Art. 1169, Civil Code)
but when such certainty cannot be so reasonably
established at the time the demand is made, the
interest shall begin to run only from the date the
judgment of the court is made (at which time the
quantification of damages may be deemed to have
been reasonably ascertained). The actual base for
the computation of legal interest shall, in any case,
be on the amount finally adjudged.
3. When the judgment of the court awarding a sum of
money becomes final and executory, the rate of
legal interest, whether the case falls under
paragraph 1 or paragraph 2, above, shall be 12% per
annum from such finality until its satisfaction, this
interim period being deemed to be by then an
equivalent to a forbearance of credit.

The RTC and CA rendered a decision ordering Eastern


Shipping to pay the amount of P19,032.95, with the present
legal interest of 12% per annum from October 1, 1982, the
date of filing of this complaints, until fully paid.

For an obligation, not constituting a loan or forbearance of


money, is breached, an interest on the amount of damages
awarded may be imposed at the courts discretion with 6% per
annum.

HELD: The ostensible discord is not difficult to explain. The


factual circumstances may have called for different
applications, guided by the rule that the courts are vested with
discretion, depending on the equities of each case, on the

With the court judgment awarding a sum of money becomes


final and executory, the rate of legal interest shall be 12% per
annum for such finality until its satisfaction, this interim

Interests; How Computed: pp. 970 to 973 of Aquino


book.

Illustrative Cases
Eastern Shipping Lines v. CA94
FACTS: Two fiber drums of riboflavin were shipped from
Yokohama, Japan for delivery vessel "SS EASTERN
COMET" owned by Eastern Shipping Lines. The shipment
was insured under Mercantile Insurance Company - Marine
Insurance Policy. The shipment arrived in Metro Port Service,
Inc., with one drum, said to be in bad order.
Eastern Shipping contended that due to the losses/damage
sustained by said drum, the consignee suffered losses totaling
P19,032.95, due to the fault and negligence of defendants.

94

G.R. No. 97412, July 12, 1994.

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dreamer Bar Review Notes

period being deemed to be by then an equivalent to


forbearance of credit.
3.
BSP Circular 799 (July 2013) dissolves the
distinction 6% per annum for loan or forbearance of
money in the absence of an express contract as to such
rate interest.
COMMENT: BSP Circular 799 is ultra vires and should
be declared void ab initio. It cannot repeal laws such as
the Civil Code and the pronouncement of the Court (Sta.
Maria).
NOTE: It is submitted that unless otherwise stated by
the Court, the BSP Circular stands as a lawful action by
the BSP. Furthermore, the Court, speaking through
Justice Peralta, declared in the case of Nacar v. Gallery
Frames95 that:
To recapitulate and for future guidance, the guidelines laid
down in the case of Eastern Shipping Lines are accordingly
modified to embody BSP-MB Circular No. 799, as follows:
I. When an obligation, regardless of its source, i.e., law,
contracts, quasi-contracts, delicts or quasi-delicts is
breached, the contravenor can be held liable for
damages. The provisions under Title XVIII on
Damages of the Civil Code govern in determining the
measure of recoverable damages.
II. With regard particularly to an award of interest in the
concept of actual and compensatory damages, the rate of
interest, as well as the accrual thereof, is imposed, as
follows:
1. When the obligation is breached, and it consists in
the payment of a sum of money, i.e., a loan or
forbearance of money, the interest due should be
that which may have been stipulated in writing.
Furthermore, the interest due shall itself earn legal
interest from the time it is judicially demanded. In
the absence of stipulation, the rate of interest shall
be 6% per annum to be computed from default, i.e.,
from judicial or extrajudicial demand under and
subject to the provisions of Article 1169 of the Civil
Code.
2. When an obligation, not constituting a loan or
forbearance of money, is breached, an interest on
the amount of damages awarded may be imposed at
the discretion of the court at the rate of 6% per
annum. No interest, however, shall be adjudged on
unliquidated claims or damages, except when or
until the demand can be established with reasonable
certainty. Accordingly, where the demand is
established with reasonable certainty, the interest
shall begin to run from the time the claim is made
judicially or extrajudicially (Art. 1169, Civil Code),
but when such certainty cannot be so reasonably
established at the time the demand is made, the
interest shall begin to run only from the date the
judgment of the court is made (at which time the
quantification of damages may be deemed to have
been reasonably ascertained). The actual base for
95

G.R. No. 189871, August 13, 2013. A Court En Banc decision which was
unanimously concurred in by all of the justices.

the computation of legal interest shall, in any case,


be on the amount finally adjudged.
When the judgment of the court awarding a sum of
money becomes final and executory, the rate of
legal interest, whether the case falls under
paragraph 1 or paragraph 2, above, shall be 6% per
annum from such finality until its satisfaction, this
interim period being deemed to be by then an
equivalent to a forbearance of credit.
And, in addition to the above, judgments that have
become final and executory prior to July 1, 2013,
shall not be disturbed and shall continue to be
implemented applying the rate of interest fixed
therein.

Prevailing Indemnity for Death

Illustrative Cases
People v. Aminola96
FACTS: This case involves a robbery with homicide through
the use of unlicensed firearm made by Aminola. The
Information alleged as follows: On or about August 31, 1999
in Taguig, Metro Manila and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the accused, conspiring and confederating
together and all of them mutually helping and aiding one
another, armed with an unlicensed gun, with intent to gain,
did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously take,
rob and divest one Nestor Aranas Gabuya cash amounting to
P150,000.00, placed inside the bag of the said victim which
was forcibly taken by the respondents, necklace worth
P35,000.00, Timex watch worth P4,000.00 and a licensed 9
mm. Bernardelli gun with serial number 302617-50 worth
P45,000.00; that by reason or on the occasion of the crime of
robbery, accused, Datu Ban Ampatuan y Panaguilan, Abdul
Aminola y Omar, a.k.a. Roy, Alimudin Laminda y
Macacua, a.k.a. Modin, Abdulan Sandaton y Sangcopan,
a.k.a. Kulem and Mike Batimbang y Abubakar, a.k.a.
Nuke with intent to kill, did then and there willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and shot Nestor
Aranas Gabuya with the gun into the different parts of his
body, thereby inflicting upon him mortal gunshot wounds
which directly caused his death.
Consequently, he was likewise charged of Illegal Possession
of Firearms.
Prosecutions Version At around 5pm of August 31, 1999,
Nestor Gabuya closed shop at his motorcycle and bicycle
spare parts store. He then headed home on his bike.
Unbeknownst to him, Aminola and co-accused Alimudin
Laminda were observing him from a nearby basketball court.
Aminola proceeded to follow Gabuya. Upon catching up with
Gabuya, Aminola put his arms around Gabuya and wrestled
for the bag Gabuya was carrying. Gabuya refused to let go of
his bag, whereupon Aminola pulled out a gun and shot
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him. Gabuya fell to the ground but still resisted, prompting
Aminola to take another shot.
In the evening of September 1, 1999, Major Miganos team
went to the hideout, where Abdul (informant) identified four
of Gabuyas assailants. One of them, Aminola, was found in
possession of an unlicensed .45 caliber gun with one (1)
magazine and two (2) ammunitions.
Defenses Version - Maitimbang testified that he was arrested
on September 2, 1999 after arriving home from work due to a
grenade found in his possession. At the police precinct, he
was not informed that his arrest was made in connection with
the death of Gabuya. It was only during the inquest, according
to him, that he saw his fellow accused for the first time. He
further averred that Gabuyas widow pinpointed him as one
of the suspects when she learned he was a Muslim. He
claimed his name was only included and superimposed on the
list of suspects.
RTC ruled that Aminola is GUILTY of the crime of Robbery
with Homicide and were sentenced to suffer Death Penalty.
They were ordered to indemnify the heirs of Gabuya as
follows:
The accused Abdul Aminola y Omar and Mike Maitimbang y
Abubakar are likewise sentenced, separately:
a) To indemnify the heirs of NESTOR ARANAS
GABUYA in the amount of P50,000.00 as death
indemnity.
b) The amount of P50,000.00 each as moral damages.
c) The amount of P30,000.00 each as exemplary
damages.
HELD: As to the issue of amount of damages, the Court held:
We modify the damages awarded by the lower court. Civil
indemnity of PhP 50,000 is given without need of proof other
than the fact of death as a result of the crime and proof of the
accuseds responsibility for it. If, however, the commission
of robbery with homicide is attended by a qualifying
aggravating circumstance, as here, that requires the
imposition of the death penalty (such as the use of an
unlicensed firearm), the civil indemnity for the victim shall be
PhP 75,000. Moral damages awarded in the amount of PhP
50,000 must also be increased to PhP 75,000 pursuant to
current jurisprudence.
The exemplary damages of PhP 30,000 was correctly
awarded, since under Article 2230 of the Civil Code,
exemplary damages may be imposed when the crime was
committed with one or more aggravating circumstances, as in
the instant case.

97

[Torts and Damages]


Moral Damages
Illustrative Cases
(Annotation to follow)
Buenaventura v. CA and Buenaventura97
FACTS: This case involves two consolidated cases for
petition for declaration of nullity of marriage based from
psychological incapacity of Noel Buenaventura.
The RTC ruled, among others, as follows:
xxx xxx xxx
2) Ordering Noel to pay Isabel moral damages in the amount
of 2.5 million pesos and exemplary damages of 1 million
pesos with 6% interest from the date of this decision plus
attorneys fees of P100,000.00;
3) Ordering Noel to pay the Isabel expenses of litigation
of P50,000.00, plus costs;
xxx xxx xxx
5) Ordering him to give a regular support in favor of his son
Javy Singh Buenaventura in the amount of P15,000.00
monthly, subject to modification as the necessity arises;
xxx xxx xxx
The CA affirmed the decision of the RTC in toto, while
another Resolution of CA increased the amount of monthly
support to Javy from P15,000.00 to P20,000.00.
HELD: The award of moral damages, exemplary damages
and attorneys fees are without merit.
As to moral damages, the Court held: The CA and the TC
considered the acts of Noel after the marriage as proof of his
psychological incapacity, and therefore a product of his
incapacity or inability to comply with the essential obligations
of marriage. Nevertheless, said courts considered these acts
as willful and hence as grounds for granting moral
damages. It is contradictory to characterize acts as a product
of psychological incapacity, and hence beyond the control of
the party because of an innate inability, while at the same time
considering the same set of acts as willful. By declaring the
petitioner as psychologically incapacitated, the possibility of
awarding moral damages on the same set of facts was
negated. The award of moral damages should be predicated,
not on the mere act of entering into the marriage, but on
specific evidence that it was done deliberately and with
malice by a party who had knowledge of his or her disability
and yet willfully concealed the same. No such evidence
appears to have been adduced in this case. For the same
reason, since psychological incapacity means that one is truly
incognitive of the basic marital covenants that one must
assume and discharge as a consequence of marriage, it
removes the basis for the contention that the petitioner
purposely deceived the private respondent. If the private
respondent was deceived, it was not due to a willful act on the
part of the petitioner. Therefore, the award of moral damages

G.R. No. 127358. March 31, 2005.

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was without basis in law and in fact. NOTE: Psychological
incapacity is something beyond the control of the party; Moral
damages is something that is willful. They contradict each
other.
As to exemplary damages: Since the grant of moral damages
was not proper, it follows that the grant of exemplary damages
cannot stand since the Civil Code provides that exemplary
damages are imposed in addition to moral, temperate,
liquidated or compensatory damages.
As to attorneys fees: The acts or omissions of petitioner
which led the lower court to deduce his psychological
incapacity, and his act in filing the complaint for the
annulment of his marriage cannot be considered as unduly
compelling the private respondent to litigate, since both are
grounded on petitioners psychological incapacity, which as
explained above is a mental incapacity causing an utter
inability to comply with the obligations of marriage. Hence,
neither can be a ground for attorneys fees and litigation
expenses. Furthermore, since the award of moral and
exemplary damages is no longer justified, the award of
attorneys fees and expenses of litigation is left without basis.
As to the issue of support: Moot and academic, Javy has
already attained the age of majority during the issuance of this
case (hes already 25 years old).
NOTE: I no longer delved with the partition issue as that is
no longer a part of the topic at hand.
ABS-CBN v. CA98
FACTS: In this case, there was an exchange of offers and
counter-offers between ABS-CBN, through Ms. SantosConcio, and VIVA, through Mr. Del Rosario in televising
VIVAs films. ABS-CBN has the right of first refusal. During
this period, when ABS-CBN rejected VIVAs offer of a film
package of 104 films (52 films and 52 re-runs) in the amount
of P60M and instead presented another counter-offer of
having 14 films in the amount of P36M, VIVA had a deal with
RBS (now GMA), which agreed to the film package.
Thus, ABS-CBN filed before the RTC a complaint for
specific performance with a prayer for a writ of preliminary
injunction and/or temporary restraining order against RBS,
VIVA, and Del Rosario, wherein the RTC issued the said
TRO, starting with the film Maging Sino Ka Man, which was
scheduled to be shown on RBS channel 7 at 7PM of May 28,
1992. However, the case was resolved by the RTC in RBS and
VIVAs favor, and ruled as follows:
(1) The complaint is hereby dismissed;
(2) ABS-CBN is ordered to pay RBS the following:
a) P107,727.00 the amount of premium paid by RBS to the
surety which issued defendants RBSs bond to lift the
injunction;
b) P191,843.00 for the amount of print advertisement for
Maging Sino Ka Man in various newspapers;
c) Attorneys fees in the amount of P1 million;
d) P5 million as and by way of moral damages;

98

dreamer Bar Review Notes


e) P5 million as and by way of exemplary damages;
(3) For VIVA, ABS-CBN is ordered to pay P212,000.00 by
way of reasonable attorneys fees.
(4) The cross-claim of RBS against VIVA is dismissed.
(5) ABS-CBN to pay the costs.
HELD: Though there was no perfected contract between
ABS-CBN and VIVA in this case, the Court held that the
award of actual, moral and exemplary damages to RBS are
not correct.
The Court further ratiocinated:
As to actual damages: The claim of RBS for actual damages
did not arise from contract, quasi-contract, delict, or quasidelict. It arose from the fact of filing of the complaint despite
ABS-CBNs alleged knowledge of lack of cause of
action.
Thus paragraph 12 of RBSs Answer with
Counterclaim and Cross-claim under the heading
COUNTERCLAIM specifically alleges:
12. ABS-CBN filed the complaint knowing fully well that it
has no cause of action against RBS. As a result thereof, RBS
suffered actual damages in the amount of P6,621,195.32.
Needless to state the award of actual damages cannot be
comprehended under the above law on actual damages. RBS
could only probably take refuge under Articles 19, 20, and 21
of the Civil Code, which read as follows:
ART. 19. Every person must, in the exercise of hid rights and
in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give
everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith.
ART. 20. Every person who, contrary to law, wilfully or
negligently causes damage to another shall indemnify the
latter for the same.
ART. 21. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to
another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs
or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.
It may further be observed that in cases where a writ of
preliminary injunction is issued, the damages which the
defendant may suffer by reason of the writ are recoverable
from the injunctive bond. In this case, ABS-CBN had not yet
filed the required bond; as a matter of fact, it asked for
reduction of the bond and even went to the Court of Appeals
to challenge the order on the matter. Clearly then, it was not
necessary for RBS to file a counterbond. Hence, ABS-CBN
cannot be held responsible for the premium RBS paid for the
counterbond.
Neither could ABS-CBN be liable for the print advertisements
for Maging Sino Ka Man for lack of sufficient legal
basis. The RTC issued a temporary restraining order and
later, a writ of preliminary injunction on the basis of its
determination that there existed sufficient ground for the
issuance thereof. Notably, the RTC did not dissolve the
injunction on the ground of lack of legal and factual basis, but
because of the plea of RBS that it be allowed to put up a
counterbond.

G.R. No. 128690. January 21, 1999

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dreamer Bar Review Notes


As to moral damages: Moral damages are in the category of
an award designed to compensate the claimant for actual
injury suffered and not to impose a penalty on the
wrongdoer. The award is not meant to enrich the complainant
at the expense of the defendant, but to enable the injured party
to obtain means, diversion, or amusements that will serve to
obviate the moral suffering he has undergone. It is aimed at
the restoration, within the limits of the possible, of the
spiritual status quo ante, and should be proportionate to the
suffering inflicted. Trial courts must then guard against the
award of exorbitant damages; they should exercise balanced
restrained and measured objectivity to avoid suspicion that it
was due to passion, prejudice, or corruption or the part of the
trial court.
The award of moral damages cannot be granted in favor of a
corporation because, being an artificial person and having
existence only in legal contemplation, it has no feelings, no
emotions, no senses. It cannot, therefore, experience physical
suffering and mental anguish, which can be experienced only
by one having a nervous system. The statement in People v.
Manero and Mambulao Lumber Co. v. PNB that a corporation
may recover moral damages if it has a good reputation that
is debased, resulting in social humiliation is an obiter
dictum. On this score alone the award for damages must be
set aside, since RBS is a corporation.
As to exemplary damages: These are imposed by way of
example or correction for the public good, in addition to
moral, temperate, liquidated, or compensatory damages. They
are recoverable in criminal cases as part of the civil liability
when the crime was committed with one or more aggravating
circumstances; in quasi-delicts, if the defendant acted with
gross negligence; and in contracts and quasi-contracts, if the
defendant acted in a wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive,
or malevolent manner.
It may be reiterated that the claim of RBS against ABS-CBN
is not based on contract, quasi-contract, delict, or quasidelict. Hence, the claims for moral and exemplary damages
can only be based on Articles 19, 20, and 21 of the Civil Code.
The elements of abuse of right under Article 19 are the
following: (1) the existence of a legal right or duty, (2) which
is exercised in bad faith, and (3) for the sole intent of
prejudicing or injuring another. Article 20 speaks of the
general sanction for all provisions of law which do not
especially provide for their own sanction; while Article 21
deals with acts contra bonus mores, and has the following
elements: (1) there is an act which is legal, (2) but which is
contrary to morals, good custom, public order, or public
policy, and (3) and it is done with intent to injure.
Verily then, malice or bad faith is at the core of Articles 19,
20, and 21. Malice or bad faith implies a conscious and
intentional design to do a wrongful act for a dishonest purpose
or moral obliquity. Such must be substantiated by evidence.

[Torts and Damages]


There is no adequate proof that ABS-CBN was inspired by
malice or bad faith. It was honestly convinced of the merits
of its cause after it had undergone serious negotiations
culminating in its formal submission of a draft
contract. Settled is the rule that the adverse result of an action
does not per se make the action wrongful and subject the actor
to damages, for the law could not have meant impose a
penalty on the right to litigate. If damages result from a
persons exercise of a right, it is damnum absque injuria.
Quezon City Government v. Dacara99
FACTS: Fulgencio Dacara, Jr., a minor, while driving a
sedan, rammed into a pile of earth/street diggings found at
Matahimik St., Quezon City, which was then being repaired
by the Quezon City government. As a result, Dacara, Jr. (for
easy navigation, Ill call him Jun) allegedly sustained
bodily injuries and the vehicle suffered extensive damage for
it turned turtle when it hit the pile of earth.
Dacara, Sr. (hereinafter referred to as Fulgencio) sought
indemnification which yielded negative results. Fulgencio, in
behalf of his son, filed a complaint against QC Govt and
Engr. Tiamzon. Fulgencio prayed that the amount of not less
than
P20,000.00
actual
or
compensatory
damages, P150,000.00 moral damages, P30,000.00
exemplary damages, and P20,000.00 attorneys fees and costs
of the suit be awarded to him.
In an Answer with Affirmative and/or Special Defenses, QC
Govt admitted the occurrence of the incident but claimed that
they exercised due care by providing the area of the diggings
all necessary measures to avoid accident. Hence, the reason
why Jun fell into the diggings was precisely because of the
latters negligence and failure to exercise due care.
RTC and CA ruled in Fulgencios favor, and awarded them
the following: the sum of P20,000.00 as actual/compensatory
damages, P10,000.00 as moral damages, P5,000.00 as
exemplary damages, P10,000.00 as attorneys fees and other
costs of suit.
HELD: To award moral damages, a court must be satisfied
with proof of the following requisites: (1) an injury - whether
physical, mental, or psychological - clearly sustained by the
claimant; (2) a culpable act or omission factually established;
(3) a wrongful act or omission of the defendant as the
proximate cause of the injury sustained by the claimant; and
(4) the award of damages predicated on any of the cases stated
in Article 2219.
Article 2219(2) specifically allows moral damages to be
recovered for quasi-delicts, provided that the act or omission
caused physical injuries. There can be no recovery of moral
damages unless the quasi-delict resulted in physical injury.
In the present case, the Complaint alleged that Fulgencios
son sustained physical injuries. The son testified that he

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suffered a deep cut on his left arm when the car overturned
after hitting a pile of earth that had been left in the open
without any warning device whatsoever, however, no other
evidence (such as a medical certificate or proof of medical
expenses) was presented to prove Juns bare assertion of
physical injury. Thus, there was no credible proof that would
justify an award of moral damages based on Article 2219(2)
of the Civil Code.
Moreover, the Decisions are conspicuously silent with respect
to the claim of Fulgencio that his moral sufferings were due
to the negligence of QC Govt. The Decision of the trial court,
which summarizes the testimony of Fulgencios four
witnesses, makes no mention of any statement regarding
moral suffering, such as mental anguish, besmirched
reputation, wounded feelings, social humiliation and the like.
Moral damages are not punitive in nature, but are designed to
compensate and alleviate in some way the physical suffering,
mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched
reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social
humiliation, and similar injury unjustly inflicted on a
person. Intended for the restoration of the psychological or
emotional status quo ante, the award of moral damages is
designed to compensate emotional injury suffered, not to
impose a penalty on the wrongdoer.
For the court to arrive upon a judicious approximation of
emotional or moral injury, competent and substantial proof of
the suffering experienced must be laid before it. Essential to
this approximation are definite findings as to what the
supposed moral damages suffered consisted of; otherwise,
such damages would become a penalty rather than a
compensation for actual injury suffered.
Furthermore, well-settled is the rule that moral damages
cannot be awarded -- whether in a civil or a criminal case -in the absence of proof of physical suffering, mental anguish,
fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded
feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, or similar injury.
The award of moral damages must be solidly anchored on a
definite showing that respondent actually experienced
emotional and mental sufferings. Mere allegations do not
suffice; they must be substantiated by clear and convincing
proof.
SPOUSES HERBOSA V. PVE (GR 119086, Jan. 25, 2002)
FACTS:

The facts show that on January 25, 1982 petitioner


spouses sued Professional Video Equipment (PVE for
brevity), a division of private respondent Solid
Distributors, Inc., for breach of contract with
damages. The case stemmed from the failure of PVE to
record on video the petitioners wedding celebration
allegedly due to the gross negligence of its crew as well
as the lack of supervision on the part of the general
manager of the PVE. Petitioners also alleged that said
failure on the part of PVE to perform its obligation
caused deep disappointment, anxiety and an irreparable
break in the continuity of an established family tradition
of recording by film or slide historical and momentous

dreamer Bar Review Notes


family events especially wedding celebrations and for
which they were entitled to be paid actual, moral and
exemplary damages including attorneys fees.

In its Answer, PVE claimed that it had diligently


supervised its VTR crew in the video recording of
petitioners wedding and reception and that its crew
acted in good faith and with due care and proper
diligence of a good father of a family.

PVE, a division of respondent Solid Distributors, Inc.,


disclaimed any liability for the damaged videotape by
invoking forcemajeure or fortuitous event and asserted
that a defective transistor caused the breakdown in its
video tape recorder. However, said respondent failed to
substantiate its bare allegation by presenting in evidence
the alleged defective transistor before the trial
court. Instead, it presented another component[ of the
same kind.
ISSUE: WON spouses Herbosa are entitled to award of
damages for breach of contract.
HELD: YES.

At any rate, in order that fortuitous event may exempt


PVE or respondent Solid Distributors, Inc. from liability,
it is necessary that it be free from negligence. The record
shows, however, that the alleged malfunctioning of the
video tape recorder occurred at the beginning of the
video coverage at the residence of the bride. The PVE
crew miserably failed to detect the defect in the video
tape recorder and that they discovered the same rather
too late after the wedding reception at the Manila Hotel.

There appeared to be no valid reason why the alleged


defect in the video tape recorder had gone
undetected. There was more than sufficient time for the
PVE crew to check the video tape recorder for the reason
that they arrived at the brides residence at 6:30 oclock
in the morning while they departed for the wedding
ceremonies at the Malate Church at 9:00 oclock in the
morning. Besides, PVE was admittedly furnished earlier
by the petitioners with a copy of the script of the scenes
to be recorded so that it could prepare and organize its
contracted task. PVE studio manager Ben Zarate even
testified that ordinarily, the standard playback test to
monitor the functioning of the video tape recorder was
required at every opportunity. In the instant case, a
playback test on three (3) occasions, preferably at the
beginning, middle and towards the end portions of the
video coverage would have been sufficient.

Based on the investigation allegedly conducted by its


officers, PVE or respondent Solid Distributors, Inc.
claimed that its crew, whom it never presented to testify
during the trial of the case, allegedly conducted a
playback test at the residence of the bride and that the
next playback test was conducted after the wedding
reception at the Manila Hotel where the defect in the
video tape recorder was allegedly discovered for the first
time. A review of the records however, raised doubts as
to whether the crew actually conducted a playback test
at the residence of the bride. A very minimal portion,
lasting only for two and one half (2 ) minutes, of the
pre-departure activities at the residence of the bride had
been recorded while the rest of the video tape was
damaged. This strongly suggests that any alleged defect

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dreamer Bar Review Notes


in the video tape recorder could have easily been
detected by the PVE crew at the residence of the bride
had a sufficient playback test been conducted therein
prior to their departure for the wedding ceremonies at the
Malate Church.

The failure to record on videotape the wedding


celebration of the petitioners constitutes malicious
breach of contract as well as gross negligence on the part
of respondent Solid Distributors, Inc.

PVE or respondent Solid Distributors, Inc. cannot


seek refuge under Article 2180 of the New Civil Code
by claiming that it exercised due care in the selection
and supervision of its employees and that its
employees are experienced in their respective
trade.
That defense, as provided in the last
paragraph of Article 2180 of the New Civil Code, may
be availed of only where the liability arises from culpa
aquilana and not from culpa contractual such as in the
case at bar.

However, the award of damages to the petitioners cannot


be lumped together as was done by the trial court. It is
basic that the claim for actual, moral and exemplary
damages as well as attorneys fees must each be
independently identified and justified. In this
connection, Article 1170 of the New Civil Code
provides that those who in the performance of their
obligations are guilty of fraud, negligence or delay,
and those who in any manner contravene the tenor
thereof, are liable for damages. For failure of PVE, a
division of respondent Solid Distributors, Inc., to comply
with its obligation under the video tape coverage
contract, petitioners are entitled to actual damages at
least in the amount of One Thousand Four Hundred
Twenty-Three Pesos (P1,423.00) representing their
downpayment in that contract.

Ordinarily, moral damages cannot be recovered in an


action for breach of contract because such an action is
not among those expressly mentioned in Article 2219 of
the New Civil Code. However, moral damages are
recoverable for breach of contract where the breach
was wanton, reckless, malicious or in bad faith,
oppressive or abusive. The wanton and reckless failure
and neglect to timely check and remedy the video tape
recorder by the PVE crew who are all employees of
respondent Solid Distributors, Inc. indicates a malicious
breach of contract and gross negligence on the part of
said respondent in the discharge of its contractual
obligations. Consequently, the petitioners who suffered
mental anguish and tortured feelings thereby, are entitled
to an award of One Hundred Thousand Pesos
(P100,000.00) as moral damages.
The award of exemplary damages which is hereby fixed in the
amount of Forty Thousand Pesos (P40,000.00) is justified,
under the premises, to serve as a warning to all entities
engaged in the same business to observe good faith and due
diligence in the fulfillment of their contractual
obligations. Additionally, the award of attorneys fees in the
amount of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) is also proper in
accordance with Article 2208 of the Civil Code.

All Rights Reserved

[Torts and Damages]


IMMACULATE CONCEPTION ACADEMY V. AMA
COMPUTER COLLEGE, INC. (GR. 173575, Feb. 2,
2011)
FACTS:

This case is about the rescission of a lease contract on the


ground that the building turned out to be structurally
unsafe even as the lessee had previously inspected the
same.

Immaculate Conception Academy (ICA) owned a threestorey building in Dasmarias, Cavite. The property
caught the eye of AMA Computer College, Inc. (AMA)
and it sought to buy the same but did not
succeed. Subsequently, after inspecting the building,
AMA settled on leasing it. The parties signed a contract
of lease for 10 years from September 22, 1997 to
September 21, 2007. The agreed rent was P561,000.00
plus VAT per month. In accordance with the contract,
AMA paid ICA P500,000.00 in earnest money, three
months advance rentals, and security deposit.

After the signing of the contract, officials of AMA reinspected the building and began renovating it for the
upcoming school year. But during an inspection, AMAs
Chief Operating Officer for its Cavite Campus noted
several cracks on the floor and walls of the buildings
second
storey.
This
prompted
more
inspections.
Eventually, AMA applied with the
municipal engineers office for an occupancy
permit. After inspection, Municipal Engineer Gregorio
C. Bermejo wrote AMA a letter dated September 29,
1997, detailing his findings and conclusion that the
building is unsafe for human occupancy.

On the same date, September 29, 1997, AMA


wrote ICA demanding the return of all that it paid within
24 hours from notice. AMA cited the buildings
structural deficiency, which it regarded as a violation
of ICAs implied warranty against hidden defects. AMA
did not pursue the lease contract and instead leased
another property from a different party.

When its request for reimbursement remained unheeded,


AMA filed an action for breach of contract and damages
with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary
attachment against ICA before the Regional Trial Court
(RTC) of Dasmarias, Cavite. In its complaint, AMA
alleged that ICA (represented by the late Dr. Paulo C.
Campos) fraudulently entered into the lease agreement,
fraudulently breached the same, and violated its implied
warranty against hidden defects; that despite knowledge
of the instability of the building, ICA insisted on offering
it to AMA; and that ICA had been unable to produce the
buildings certificate of occupancy. AMA prayed for
restitution of the amounts it paid to ICA with interest and
award of exemplary damages and attorneys fees.

RTC ruled in favor of AMA and awarded the return of 5


months deposit with interest of 6% per annum and
exemplary damage of P300K and P200K for attorneys
fees. CA affirmed the decision of RTC but removed the
award for exemplary damage and attorneys fees.

ICA and Dr. Campos filed a certiorari praying for


dismissal of the case and moral and exemplary damage

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]


in the amount of P90M and P10M and attorneys fees on
the basis of besmirched reputation.
ISSUE: (1) WON AMA was justified in rescinding the
contract of lease.
(2) WON ICA is entitled to damages.
HELD: (1) NO; (2) NO, because he Dr. Campos died .
1. Per SC, AMA was not justified in immediately
rescinding the lease contract because the lease provides
that major repairs or those affecting the structural
condition of the building and those due to fortuitous
event shall be for the account of the LESSOR. Instead
of demanding the return of its deposit within 24 hours
and accusing ICA of fraudulent representation as to the
condition of the building, AMA should have gone to ICA
to enforce the lease as for ICA to make the necessary
repairs. AMA belatedly invoke Article 1660, even it
may be deemed to have initially waived its rights.
Art. 1660. If a dwelling place or any other building
intended for human habitation is in such a condition that
its use brings imminent and serious danger to life or
health, the lessee may terminate the lease at once by
notifying the lessor, even if at the time the contract was
perfected the former knew of the dangerous condition or
waived the right to rescind the lease on account of this
condition.
To be entitled to moral damages, ICA needed to prove that it
had a good reputation and that AMAs action besmirched the
same. Such proof is wanting in this case. As for Dr. Campos,
he has amply proved that he suffered mental anguish, serious
anxiety, and social humiliation following AMAs unfounded
accusation that he fraudulently misled AMA regarding the
structural condition of ICAs building. However, due to his
untimely demise before the finality of this case, his claim for
moral damages does not survive and is not transmissible to his
substitutes, for being extremely personal to him.
FILIPINAS BROADCASTING NETWORK V. AGO
MEDICAL AND EDUCATIONAL CENTER-BICOL
CHRISTIAN COLLEGE OF MEDICINE (GR. 141994,
Jan. 17, 2005)
FACTS:

Expos is a radio documentary program hosted by


Carmelo Mel Rima (Rima) and Hermogenes Jun
Alegre (Alegre). Expos is aired every morning over
DZRC-AM which is owned by Filipinas Broadcasting
Network, Inc. (FBNI). Expos is heard over Legazpi
City, the Albay municipalities and other Bicol areas.

In the morning of 14 and 15 December 1989, Rima and


Alegre exposed various alleged complaints from
students, teachers and parents against Ago Medical and
Educational Center-Bicol Christian College of Medicine
(AMEC) and its administrators. Claiming that the
broadcasts were defamatory, AMEC and Angelita Ago
(Ago), as Dean of AMECs College of Medicine, filed
a complaint for damages against FBNI, Rima and Alegre
on 27 February 1990.

Among the allegations were: if you fail one subject in


medicine, you need to repeat the entire semester; that the
school was charging tuition fee (example in Anatomy),
even though there was no teacher to teach it; that the
school is a dumping ground for morally unfit teachers.

dreamer Bar Review Notes


ISSUE: WON Alegre, Rima and FBNI (their employer)
are liable for damages.
HELD: YES.

The SC affirmed the CA decision that Alegre, Rima nd


FBNI are solidary liable for damages but reduced the
award from P300K to P150K and removed the attorneys
fees.

This is a civil action for damages as a result of the


allegedly defamatory remarks of Rima and Alegre
against AMEC. While AMEC did not point out clearly
the legal basis for its complaint, a reading of the
complaint reveals that AMECs cause of action is based
on Articles 30 and 33 of the Civil Code. Article
30 authorizes a separate civil action to recover civil
liability arising from a criminal offense. On the other
hand, Article 33 particularly provides that the injured
party may bring a separate civil action for damages in
cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries. AMEC
also invokes Article 19[ of the Civil Code to justify its
claim for damages. AMEC cites Articles 2176 and
2180 of the Civil Code to hold FBNI solidarily liable
with Rima and Alegre.

A libel is a public and malicious imputation of a crime,


or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act or
omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to
cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or
juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is
dead.

There is no question that the broadcasts were made


public and imputed to AMEC defects or circumstances
tending to cause it dishonor, discredit and
contempt. Rima and Alegres remarks such as greed for
money on the part of AMECs administrators; AMEC
is a dumping ground, garbage of xxx moral and physical
misfits; and AMEC students who graduate will be
liabilities rather than assets of the society are
libelous per se. Taken as a whole, the broadcasts suggest
that AMEC is a money-making institution where
physically and morally unfit teachers abound.

Every
defamatory
imputation
is
presumed
malicious. Rima and Alegre failed to show adequately
their good intention and justifiable motive in airing the
supposed gripes of the students. As hosts of a
documentary or public affairs program, Rima and Alegre
should have presented the public issues free
from inaccurate and misleading information. Hearing
the students alleged complaints a month before the
expos, they had sufficient time to verify their sources
and information. However, Rima and Alegre hardly
made a thorough investigation of the students alleged
gripes. Neither did they inquire about nor confirm the
purported irregularities in AMEC from the Department
of Education, Culture and Sports. Alegre testified that he
merely went to AMEC to verify his report from an
alleged AMEC official who refused to disclose any
information. Alegre simply relied on the words of the
students because they were many and not because there
is proof that what they are saying is true. This plainly
shows Rima and Alegres reckless disregard of whether
their report was true or not.

Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

All Rights Reserved

[Torts and Damages]

dreamer Bar Review Notes

FBNI argues vigorously that malice in law does not


apply to this case. Citing Borjal v. Court of Appeals,
FBNI contends that the broadcasts fall within the
coverage of qualifiedly privileged communications for
being commentaries on matters of public interest. Such
being the case, AMEC should prove malice in fact or
actual malice. Since AMEC allegedly failed to prove
actual malice, there is no libel. The SC dismissed this
contention because unlike the Borjal case, the broadcast
were not based on established facts.

AS TO MORAL DAMAGES: FBNI contends that


AMEC is not entitled to moral damages because it is a
corporation.

A juridical person is generally not entitled to moral


damages because, unlike a natural person, it cannot
experience physical suffering or such sentiments as
wounded feelings, serious anxiety, mental anguish or
moral shock. The Court of Appeals cites Mambulao
Lumber Co. v. PNB, et al to justify the award of moral
damages.
However, the Courts statement
in Mambulao that a corporation may have a good
reputation which, if besmirched, may also be a ground
for the award of moral damages is an obiter dictum.

Nevertheless, AMECs claim for moral damages falls


under item 7 of Article 2219[43] of the Civil Code. This
provision expressly authorizes the recovery of moral
damages in cases of libel, slander or any other form of
defamation. Article 2219(7) does not qualify whether the
plaintiff is a natural or juridical person. Therefore, a
juridical person such as a corporation can validly
complain for libel or any other form of defamation and
claim for moral damages.

On FBNIs CLAIM THAT IT EXERCISED DUE


DILIGENCE IN THE SELETION OF ITS
EMPLOYEES: The SC states that basis of the present
action is a tort. Joint tort feasors are jointly and severally
liable for the tort which they commit. 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. Thus, AMEC correctly
anchored its cause of action against FBNI on Articles
2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code.

An employer and employee are solidarily liable for a


defamatory statement by the employee within the course
and scope of his or her employment, at least when the
employer authorizes or ratifies the defamation. In this
case, Rima and Alegre were clearly performing their
official duties as hosts of FBNIs radio program Expos
when they aired the broadcasts. FBNI neither alleged
nor proved that Rima and Alegre went beyond the scope
of their work at that time. There was likewise no showing
that FBNI did not authorize and ratify the defamatory
broadcasts.
FBNI claims that it has taken all the precaution in
the selection of Rima and Alegre as broadcasters, bearing in
mind their qualifications. However, no clear and convincing
100
101

Pineda, pp. 283, citing Ventanilla v. Centeno, 1 SCRA 215.


Art. 2216; Ibid. pp. 284.

All Rights Reserved

evidence shows that Rima and Alegre underwent FBNIs


regimented process of application. Furthermore, FBNI
admits that Rima and Alegre had deficiencies in their KBP
accreditation, which is one of FBNIs requirements before it
hires a broadcaster. Significantly, membership in the KBP,
while voluntary, indicates the broadcasters strong
commitment to observe the broadcast industrys rules and
regulations. Clearly, these circumstances show FBNIs lack
of diligence in selecting and supervising Rima and Alegre.
Hence, FBNI is solidarily liable to pay damages together with
Rima and Alegre.

Nominal Damages
Article 2221. Nominal damages are adjudicated in order that a right
of the plaintiff, which has been violated or invaded by the defendant,
may be vindicated or recognized, and not for the purpose of
indemnifying the plaintiff for any loss suffered by him.
Article 2222. The court may award nominal damages in every
obligation arising from any source enumerated in article 1157, or in
every case where any property right has been invaded.
Article 2223. The adjudication of nominal damages shall preclude
further contest upon the right involved and all accessory questions,
as between the parties to the suit, or their respective heirs and
assigns.

Basis, Nature and Purpose not for indemnification of


loss but for vindication of a right violated.100 Every injury
from its very nature legally imports damages, or that the
injury complained of would in the future be evidence in
favor of the wrongdoer, especially where, if continued
for a sufficient length of time, the invasion of the
plaintiffs rights would ripen into a prescriptive right in
favor of the defendant. The Code Commission further
justified this stating that, there are instances when
vindication or recognition of the plaintiffs right is of the
utmost importance to him.
Assessment of Nominal Damages left to the sound
discretion of the court in accordance with the
circumstances of each case.101
Cannot Co-exist with Compensatory Damages
where the court has already awarded compensatory and
exemplary damages that is already a juridical
recognition that plaintiffs right was violated. Hence, the
award of nominal damages is unnecessary and
improper.102
Can Co-exist with Attorneys Fees as attorneys
fees are not compensatory damages.
De minimis non curate lex the law does not cure or
bother with trifles
All Sources of Obligation May Give Rise to Nominal
Damages the court may award nominal damages in
any obligation arising from any of the five (5) sources. In
addition, nominal damages may be awarded where any
102

Pineda, pp. 284, citing Vda. De Medina v. Cresencia, 99 Phil. 506.

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]


property right has been invaded such as in trespass
upon property (Art. 2222, last clause).
(Complete Annotation to follow)

Illustrative Cases
Fontana Resort v. Sps. Tan
FACTS: Sometime in March 1997, Sps. Tan bought from
RNDC two class D shares of stock in Fontana Resort and
Country Club, Inc., enticed by the promises of RNDCs sales
agents that Fontana would construct a park with first-class
leisure facilities in Clark Field, Pampanga, to be called
Fontana Leisure Park; that FLP would be fully developed and
operational by the first quarter of 1998; and that FRCCI class
D shareholders would be admitted to one membership in the
country club, which entitled them to use park facilities and
stay at a two-bedroom villa for five (5) ordinary weekdays
and two (2) weekends every year for free.
Two years later, Sps. Tan filed before the SEC a
Complaint for refund of the P387,300.00 they spent to
purchase Fontana shares of stock from RNDC. Sps. Tan
alleged that they had been deceived into buying Fontana
shares because of RNDCs fraudulent misrepresentations.
Sps. Tan narrated that they were able to book and avail
themselves of free accommodations at an FLP villa on
September 5, 1998, a Saturday. They requested that an FLP
villa again be reserved for their free use on October 17, 1998,
another Saturday, for the celebration of their daughters
18th birthday, but were refused because according to Fontana,
the Sps. Tan were only entitled to free accommodations at
Fontana for one week annually consisting of five (5)
ordinary days, one (1) Saturday and one (1) Sunday[,] and
that Sps. Tan had already exhausted their free Saturday pass
for the year. According to Sps. Tan, they werent informed of
such rule.
The next year, Sps. Tan attempted once more to book and
reserve a Fontana villa for their free use on April 1, 1999, a
Thursday. Their reservation was confirmed by a certain
Murphy Magtoto. However, on March 3, 1999, another
country club employee named Shaye called Sps. Tan to say
that their reservation for April 1, 1999 was cancelled because
the FLP was already fully booked.
Thus, Sps. Tan filed a Complaint with the SEC sometime in
March 1997 for a refund of the amount they paid for the said
shares. SEC-SICD
Almeda v. Carino
Carino-Seller
Almeda- Buyer
8 titled land, 3 untitled,
Nominal Damages- Almeda claims he did not act
malevolently or otherwise
Court says he didnt need to: Its award is thus
not for the purpose of indemnification for a loss
but for the recognition and vindication of a right,

dreamer Bar Review Notes


also, they are not treated as an equivalent of a
wrong inflicted but simply a recognition of the
existence of a technical injury
Attorneys Fees- attorney's fees and litigation expenses
can berecovered in cases where the court deems it just
and equitable.
See number 11 on attorneys fees, they were
forced to litigate after 2 demands and 2 lawyers
for A DECADE. (Almeda had 16, but only to delay
the trial)
Interest Rate- they stipulated on 12%, actually. And
when the judgment of the court awarding the sum of
money becomes final and executory, a 12% legal
interest per annum shall also be imposed from such
finality until satisfaction thereof, this interim period being
deemed to be by then an equivalent to a forbearance of
credit.
Agabon V. Riviera Inc
Illegal dismissal their dismissal was for just cause but
had a procedural infirmity: they were not notified. The
dismissal should be upheld but the employer is liable.
Nominal Damages- the violation of petitioners right to
statutory due process. (30k in this case)
Temperate Damages
Araneta V. Bank of America
Aranetas checks for 500 and 150 dollars were
wrongfully dishonored. It happened before when a
check for 500 was also dishonored. After the last
checks, he filed a case against the Bank of America. He
asked for Actual, moral, temperate, exemplay and
attorneys fees as damages, all given by the RTC. When
on appeal, the CA removed actual and temperate, and
lessened the others, he appealed to the SC where the
temperate was returned (but not the actual, because it
was not of appellate jurisdiction and was evidence for
the lower courts.)
For instance, injury to one's commercial credit or to the
goodwill of a business firm is often hard to show with
certainty in terms of money-temperate damages
Yes, besmirched rep is moral damages, but BOA did its
best to repair the damages.
Considering the fact that it went all the way to the SC,
attorneys fees.
DeGuzman V. Tumolva
Deguzman had an orphanage with a perimeter fence
made. Contractor Tumolva made it with deviations.
When milenyo struck, the fence was destroyed, tumolva
claimed act of God and wanted negotiations, elder lady
Degz didnt want to talk.
As to actual damages, SC: heck noooo. Engineer
should take the stand and swear as witness. Not just
calculations and affidavits.
As to temperate damages:
Undoubtedly, De Guzman suffered pecuniary loss
brought about by the collapse of the perimeter
fence by reason of the Contractor's negligence and
failure to comply with the specifications. As she

Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

All Rights Reserved

[Torts and Damages]

dreamer Bar Review Notes


failed to prove the exact amount of damage with
certainty as required by law, the CA was correct in
awarding temperate damages, in lieu of actual
damages.
As to moral damages:
Her testimony, however, did not provide specific details
of the suffering she allegedly went through after the
fence collapsed while she was miles away in the United
States
As to exemplary:
there is negligence on the part of Contractor, but it is
neither wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive,
nor malevolent.
The Court regards the deviations as excusable due to
the unavailability of the approved
construction materials. Besides, these were made
known to De Guzman's project manager who was
present all the time during the construction. Indeed, no
deliberate intent on the part of the Contractor to
defraud the orphanage's benefactors was ever shown,
much less proved.
Liquidated Damages
Radio Wealth Finance
Sps. Del Rosario borrowed money and failed to pay it.
THERE WAS NO DATE OF PAYMENT ON PN.
A late payment penalty charge of two and a half (2.5%)
percent per month shall be added to each unpaid
installment from due date thereof until fully paid.
On the contrary, the Note expressly stipulated that the
debt should be amortized monthly in installments
of P11,579 for twelve consecutive months. While the
specific date on which each installment would be
due was left blank, the Note clearly provided that each
installment should be payable each month.
Furthermore, it also provided for an acceleration clause
and a late payment penalty, both of which
showed the intention of the parties that the installments
should be paid at a definite date. Had they
intended that the debtors could pay as and when they
could, there would have been no need for these
two clauses.
25% liquidated damages was inuquitous and
unconscionable.
Exemplary Damages
Cathay Pacific v. Vasquez
LESSON: Excessive awards of Damages
Facts:
Respondents-spouses Dr. Daniel Earnshaw Vazquez
and Maria Luisa Madrigal Vazquez are frequent flyers of
Cathay and are Gold Card members of its Marco Polo
Club. The Vazquezes, together with their maid and 2
friends Pacita Cruz and Josefina Vergel de Dios, went
to Hongkong for pleasure and business. For their return

All Rights Reserved

flight to Manila, the Vazquezes were given Business


Class boarding passes but when boarding time was
announced, the ground stewardess approached Dr.
Vazquez and told him that their accommodations were
upgraded to First Class. Dr. Vazquez refused the
upgrade, reasoning that it would not look nice for them
as hosts to travel in First Class and their guests, in the
Business Class; and moreover, they were going to
discuss business matters during the flight. He also told
the stewardess that she could have other passengers
instead transferred to the First Class Section. The
stewardess informed them that the Business Class was
fully booked, and that since they were Marco Polo Club
members they had the priority to be upgraded to the
First Class. Dr. Vazquez continued to refuse, so the
stewardess told them that if they would not avail
themselves of the privilege, they would not be allowed
to take the flight. Eventually, after talking to his two
friends, Dr. Vazquez gave in. Upon their return to
Manila, the Vazquezes, demanded that they be
indemnified in the amount of 1M for the "humiliation and
embarrassment" caused by its employees. They also
demanded "a written apology from the management of
Cathay, preferably a responsible person with a rank of
no less than the Country Manager, as well as the
apology from the stewardess.
After Cathays failure to give them any feedback, the
Vazquezes instituted before the RTC an action for
damages against Cathay, praying for the payment to
each of them the amounts of P250,000 as temperate
damages; P500,000 as moral damages; P500,000 as
exemplary or corrective damages; and P250,000 as
attorneys fees. The Trail Court rendered decision in
favor of the Vazquezes and decreed as follows:
a) Nominal damages in the amount of P100,000.00 for
each plaintiff;
b) Moral damages in the amount of P2,000,000.00 for
each plaintiff;
c) Exemplary damages in the amount of P5,000,000.00
for each plaintiff;
d) Attorneys fees and expenses of litigation in the
amount of P1,000,000.00 for each plaintiff; and
e) Costs of suit.
On appeal by the petitioners, the CA deleted the award
for exemplary damages; and it reduced the awards for
moral and nominal damages and the attorneys fees and
litigation expenses.
The Vazquezes and Cathay separately filed motions for
a reconsideration of the decision, both of which were
denied by the Court of Appeals. Cathay seasonably filed
with us this petition in this case.
Issue: Whether or not respondent spouses are entitled
to Exemplary damages?
Held: NO

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]


Moral damages predicated upon a breach of contract of
carriage may only be recoverable in instances where the
carrier is guilty of fraud or bad faith or where the mishap
resulted in the death of a passenger. Where in
breaching the contract of carriage the airline is not
shown to have acted fraudulently or in bad faith, liability
for damages is limited to the natural and probable
consequences of the breach of the obligation which the
parties had foreseen or could have reasonably
foreseen. In such a case the liability does not include
moral and exemplary damages.
In this case, we have ruled that the breach of contract of
carriage, which consisted in the involuntary upgrading of
the Vazquezes seat accommodation, was not attended
by fraud or bad faith. The Court of Appeals award of
moral damages has, therefore, no leg to stand on.
The deletion of the award for exemplary damages by
the Court of Appeals is correct. It is a requisite in the
grant of exemplary damages that the act of the
offender must be accompanied by bad faith or done
in wanton, fraudulent or malevolent manner. Such
requisite is absent in this case. Moreover, to be entitled
thereto the claimant must first establish his right to
moral, temperate, or compensatory damages. Since
the Vazquezes are not entitled to any of these
damages, the award for exemplary damages has no
legal basis. And where the awards for moral and
exemplary damages are eliminated, so must the award
for attorneys fees.
The most that can be adjudged in favor of the
Vazquezes for Cathays breach of contract is an award
for nominal damages under Article 2221 of the Civil
Code, which reads as follows:
Article 2221 of the Civil Code provides:
Article 2221. Nominal damages are adjudicated in order
that a right of the plaintiff, which has been violated or
invaded by the defendant, may be vindicated or
recognized, and not for the purpose of indemnifying the
plaintiff for any loss suffered by him.
Nonetheless, considering that the breach was intended
to give more benefit and advantage to the Vazquezes
by upgrading their Business Class accommodation to
First Class because of their valued status as Marco Polo
members, we reduce the award for nominal damages to
P5,000.
Final Ruling: the instant petition is hereby partly
GRANTED. The awards for moral damages and
attorneys fees are set aside and deleted, and the award
for nominal damages is reduced to P5,000.
- K, Macasieb
(sermon ni SC sa TC! For info lang..)

dreamer Bar Review Notes


Before writing finis to this decision, we find it well-worth
to quote the apt observation of the Court of Appeals
regarding the awards adjudged by the trial court:
We are not amused but alarmed at the lower courts
unbelievable alacrity, bordering on the scandalous, to
award excessive amounts as damages. In their
complaint, appellees asked for P1 million as moral
damages but the lower court awarded P4 million; they
asked for P500,000.00 as exemplary damages but the
lower court cavalierly awarded a whooping P10 million;
they asked for P250,000.00 as attorneys fees but were
awarded P2 million; they did not ask for nominal
damages but were awarded P200,000.00. It is as if the
lower court went on a rampage, and why it acted that
way is beyond all tests of reason. In fact the
excessiveness of the total award invites the suspicion
that it was the result of "prejudice or corruption on the
part of the trial court."
The presiding judge of the lower court is enjoined to
hearken to the Supreme Courts admonition in Singson
vs. CA (282 SCRA 149 [1997]), where it said:
The well-entrenched principle is that the grant of moral
damages depends upon the discretion of the court
based on the circumstances of each case. This
discretion is limited by the principle that the amount
awarded should not be palpably and scandalously
excessive as to indicate that it was the result of
prejudice or corruption on the part of the trial
court.
and in Alitalia Airways vs. CA (187 SCRA 763 [1990],
where it was held:
Nonetheless, we agree with the injunction expressed by
the Court of Appeals that passengers must not prey on
international airlines for damage awards, like "trophies
in a safari." After all neither the social standing nor
prestige of the passenger should determine the extent
to which he would suffer because of a wrong done, since
the dignity affronted in the individual is a quality inherent
in him and not conferred by these social indicators.
Bright Maritime Corporation v. Fantonial
Attorneys Fees
Art. 2208. In the absence of stipulation, attorneys fees
and expenses of litigation, other than judicial costs,
cannot be recovered, except:
(1) When exemplary damages are awarded;
(2) When the defendants act or omission has compelled
the plaintiff to litigate with third persons or to incur
expenses to protect his interest;
(3) In criminal cases of malicious prosecution against
the plaintiff;
(4) In case of a clearly unfounded civil action or proceeding against the plaintiff;
(5) Where the defendant acted in gross and evident bad
faith in refusing to satisfy the plaintiffs plainly valid, just
and demandable claim;

Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

All Rights Reserved

dreamer Bar Review Notes

[Torts and Damages]

(6) In actions for legal support;


(7) In actions for the recovery of wages of household
helpers, laborers and skilled workers;
(8) In actions for indemnity under workmens compensation and employers liability laws;
(9) In a separate civil action to recover civil liability arising from a crime;
(10) When at least double judicial costs are awarded;
(11) In any other case where the court deems it just and
equitable that attorneys fees and expenses of litigation
should be recovered.
In all cases, the attorneys fees and expenses of
litigation must be reasonable.
Kaisahan at Kapatiran ng mga Manggagawa at Kawani
v. Manila Water Company

All Rights Reserved

| Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

[Torts and Damages]

dreamer Bar Review Notes

Intellectual Property of Michael Joseph Nogoy, AUF-SOL

All Rights Reserved