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FIRST DIVISION
RENATO S. GATBONTON, G.R. NO. 146779
Petitioner,
Present:
ARTEMIO V. PANGANIBAN, C.J., (Chairman)
YNARES-SANTIAGO,
- versus - AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ
CALLEJO, SR., and
NAZARIO, JJ.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS
COMMISSION, MAPUA INSTITUTE
OF TECHNOLOGY and JOSE
CALDERON, Promulgated:
Respondents. January 23, 2006
x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x
FACTS:
Petitioner Renato S. Gatbonton is an associate professor of respondent Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT), Faculty of
Civil Engineering. A civil engineering student of respondent MIT filed a letter-complaint against petitioner for
unfair/unjust grading system, sexual harassment and conduct unbecoming of an academician. Pending investigation of
the complaint, respondent MIT placed petitioner under a 30-day preventive. The committee believed that petitioners
continued stay during the investigation affects his performance as a faculty member, as well as the students learning; and
that the suspension will allow petitioner to prepare himself for the investigation and will prevent his influences to other
members of the community.
Thus, petitioner filed with the NLRC a complaint for illegal suspension, damages and attorneys fees.
Petitioner questioned the validity of the administrative proceedings with the Regional Trial Court of Manila in a
petition for certiorari but the case was terminated when the parties entered into a compromise agreement wherein
respondent MIT agreed to publish in the school organ the rules and regulations implementing Republic Act No.
7877 (R.A. No. 7877) or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act; disregard the previous administrative proceedings and
conduct anew an investigation on the charges against petitioner. Petitioner agreed to recognize the validity of the
published rules and regulations, as well as the authority of respondent to investigate, hear and decide the administrative
case against him.[5]
Labor Arbiter: Wherefore, premises considered, the thirty day preventive suspension of complainant is hereby
declared to be illegal. Accordingly, respondents are directed to pay his wages during the period of his preventive
suspension.
ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONERS PREVENTIVE SUSPENSION ON JULY 11, 1999 IS VALID WHEN
THE MAPUA RULES AND REGULATIONS WERE ONLY PROMULGATED ON FEBRUARY 23, 1999
RULING:
The petition is partly meritorious.
R.A. No. 7877 imposed the duty on educational or training institutions to promulgate rules and regulations in
consultation with and jointly approved by the employees or students or trainees, through their duly designated
representatives, prescribing the procedures for the investigation of sexual harassment cases and the administrative
sanctions therefor.[12] Petitioners preventive suspension was based on respondent MITs Rules and Regulations for the

Implemention of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995, or R.A. No. 7877. Rule II, Section 1 of the MIT Rules and
Regulations provides:
Section 1. Preventive Suspension of Accused in Sexual Harassment Cases. Any member of the
educational community may be placed immediately under preventive suspension during the pendency of
the hearing of the charges of grave sexual harassment against him if the evidence of his guilt is strong and
the school head is morally convinced that the continued stay of the accused during the period of
investigation constitutes a distraction to the normal operations of the institution or poses a risk or danger
to the life or property of the other members of the educational community.
It must be noted however, that respondent published said rules and regulations only on February 23, 1999.
In Taada vs. Tuvera,[13] it was ruled that:
all statutes, including those of local application and private laws, shall be published as a condition
for their effectivity, which shall begin fifteen days after publication unless a different effectivity is fixed
by the legislature.
Covered by this rule are presidential decrees and executive orders promulgated by the President in
the exercise of legislative powers whenever the same are validly delegated by the legislature or, at
present, directly conferred by the Constitution. Administrative rules and regulations must also be
published if their purpose is to enforce or implement existing law pursuant also to a valid
delegation.
Interpretative regulations and those merely internal in nature, that is, regulating only the personnel
of the administrative agency and not the public, need not be published. Neither is publication required of
the so-called letters of instructions issued by administrative superiors concerning the rules or guidelines to
be followed by their subordinates in the performance of their duties.
We agree that the publication must be in full or it is no publication at all since its purpose is to
inform the public of the contents of the laws. (Emphasis supplied)
The Mapua Rules is one of those issuances that should be published for its effectivity, since its purpose is to enforce and
implement R.A. No. 7877, which is a law of general application.[14] In fact, the Mapua Rules itself explicitly required
publication of the rules for its effectivity, as provided in Section 3, Rule IV (Administrative Provisions), which states that
[T]hese Rules and Regulations to implement the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 shall take effect fifteen (15) days
after publication by the Committee. Thus, at the time of the imposition of petitioners preventive suspension on January
11, 1999, the Mapua Rules were not yet legally effective, and therefore the suspension had no legal basis.
Moreover, even assuming that the Mapua Rules are applicable, the Court finds that there is no sufficient basis to justify
his preventive suspension. Under the Mapua Rules, an accused may be placed under preventive suspension during
pendency of the hearing under any of the following circumstances:
(a) if the evidence of his guilt is strong and the school head is morally convinced that the continued stay
of the accused during the period of investigation constitutes a distraction to the normal operations
of the institution; or
(b) the accused poses a risk or danger to the life or property of the other members of the educational
community.
In petitioners case, there is no indication that petitioners preventive suspension may be based on the foregoing
circumstances. Committee Resolution No. 1 (Re: Preventive Suspension of Engr. Renato Gatbonton) passed by the
Committee on Decorum and Investigation states the reasons for petitioners preventive suspension, to wit:

As previously stated, there is nothing on record which shows that respondent MIT imposed the preventive
suspension on petitioner as his continued employment poses a serious threat to the life or property of the employer or of
his co-workers; therefore, his preventive suspension is not justified.[16] Consequently, the payment of wages during his
30-day preventive suspension, i.e., from January 11, 1999 to February 10, 1999, is in order.
With regard to petitioners claim for damages, the Court finds the same to be without basis. While petitioners
preventive suspension may have been unjustified, this does not automatically mean that he is entitled to moral or other
damages.
This is the private respondent failed to do. Because no evidence was adduced to show that
petitioner company acted in bad faith or in a wanton or fraudulent manner in dismissing the private
respondent, the labor arbiter did not award any moral and exemplary damages in his decision. Respondent
NLRC therefore had no factual or legal basis to award such damages in the exercise of its appellate
jurisdiction.
The records of this case are bereft of any evidence showing that respondent MIT acted in bad faith or in a wanton or
fraudulent manner in preventively suspending petitioner, thus, the Labor Arbiter was correct in not awarding any
damages in favor of petitioner.
WHEREFORE, the petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED. The Decision dated November 10, 2000 and
Resolution dated January 16, 2001 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 57470 as well as the NLRC Decision
dated September 30, 1999 together with its Resolution dated December 13, 1999, are hereby SET ASIDE and the Labor
Arbiters Decision dated June 18, 1999 is REINSTATED.
SO ORDERED.
EN BANC G.R. No. 170236, August 31, 2006 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE,
VS. ROBERTO QUIACHON Y BAYONA, APPELLANT.
FACTS:
Roberto Quiachon was charged with the crime of qualified rape committed. The prosecution presented the following
witnesses: Rowel Quiachon, 11- year old son of appellant; Rowena Quiachon, the victim and appellant's daughter; Dr.
Miriam Sta. Romana Guialani; and SPO2 Noel Y. Venus. Rowel testified that he is appellant's son. He averred, however,
that he no longer wanted to use his father's surname describing him as "masama" for raping his (Rowel's) sister Rowena.
Rowel recounted that he used to sleep in
the same bedroom occupied by his father, sister and youngest sibling. Rowel slept beside his youngest sibling while their
father, appellant, and Rowena slept together in one bed. On the night of May 12, 2001, Rowel saw his father on top of
his sister Rowena and they were covered by a blanket or "kumot." His father's buttocks were moving up and down, and
Rowel could hear Rowena crying. He could not do anything, however, because he was afraid of their father. Rowel
remained in the room but the following morning, he, forthwith, told his mother's sister Carmelita Mateo, whom he called
Ate Lita, about what he had witnessed. Together, Carmelita and Rowel went to the police to report what had transpired.
WHEREFORE, finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape, he is hereby sentenced to
suffer the maximum penalty of DEATH, including its accessory penalties, and to indemnify the offended party in the
amount of P75,000.00 as compensatory damages, PI00,000.00 as moral damages, and P50,000.00 as exemplary
damages. SO ORDERED.[9] The case was automatically elevated to this Court by reason of the death penalty imposed
on appellant.
CA AFFIRMED.

ISSUE: WHETHER OR NOT RECLUSION PERPETUA AND NOT DEATH SHOULD BE IMPOSED TO
QUIACHON
RULING: YES. All told, the trial court and the CA correctly found appellant guilty of raping his daughter Rowena
pursuant to Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code. The special qualifying circumstances of the victim's minority and
her relationship to appellant, which were properly alleged in the Information and their existence duly admitted by the
defense on stipulation of facts during pretrial,[26] warrant the imposition of the supreme penalty of death on appellant.
However, in view of the enactment of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9346[27] on June 24, 2006 prohibiting the imposition of
the death penalty, the penalty to be meted on appellant is reclusion perpetua in accordance with Section 2 thereof which
reads: SECTION 2. In lieu of the death penalty, the following shall be imposed: (a) the penalty of reclusion perpetua,
when the law violated makes use of the nomenclature of the penalties of the Revised Penal Code; or (b) the penalty of
life imprisonment, when the law violated does not make use of the nomenclature of the penalties of the Revised Penal
Code. The aforequoted provision of R.A. No. 9346 is applicable in this case pursuant to the principle in criminal law,
favorabilia sunt amplianda adiosa restrigenda. Penal laws which are favorable to accused are given retroactive effect.
This principle is embodied under Article 22 of the Revised Penal Code, which provides as follows: Retroactive effect of
penal laws. - Penal laws shall have a retroactive effect insofar as they favor the persons guilty of a felony, who is not a
habitual criminal although at the time of the publication of such laws, a final sentence has been pronounced and the
convict is serving the same.
IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the Decision dated August 25, 2005 of the Court of Appeals finding appellant
Roberto Quiachon guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of qualified rape is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION
that the penalty of death meted on the appellant is reduced to reclusion perpetua pursuant to Republic Act No. 9346. SO
ORDERED.
FIRST DIVISION

MICHAEL C. GUY, G.R. No. 163707


Petitioner,
Present:
Panganiban, C.J. (Chairperson),

- versus - Ynares-Santiago,
Austria-Martinez,
Callejo, Sr., and
Chico-Nazario, JJ.
HON. COURT OF APPEALS,
HON. SIXTO MARELLA, JR.,
Presiding Judge, RTC, Branch 138,
Makati City and minors, KAREN
DANES WEI and KAMILLE DANES
WEI, represented by their mother, Promulgated:
REMEDIOS OANES,
Respondents. September 15, 2006
x ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- x

FACTS:
On June 13, 1997, private respondent-minors Karen Oanes Wei and Kamille Oanes Wei alleged that they are the
duly acknowledged illegitimate children of Sima Wei, who died intestate in Makati City, leaving an estate valued at
P10,000,000.00 consisting of real and personal properties. His known heirs are his surviving spouse Shirley Guy and
children, Emy, Jeanne, Cristina, George and Michael, all surnamed Guy. Private respondents prayed for the appointment
of a regular administrator for the orderly settlement of Sima Weis estate. They likewise prayed that, in the meantime,
petitioner Michael C. Guy, son of the decedent, be appointed as Special Administrator of the estate.
In his Comment/Opposition,[7] petitioner prayed for the dismissal of the petition. He asserted that his deceased father left
no debts and that his estate can be settled without securing letters of administration. He further argued that private
respondents should have established their status as illegitimate children during the lifetime of Sima Wei pursuant to
Article 175 of the Family Code.
The other heirs of Sima Wei filed a Joint Motion to Dismiss [8] on the ground that the certification against forum
shopping should have been signed by private respondents and not their counsel. They contended that Remedios should
have executed the certification on behalf of her minor daughters as mandated by Section 5, Rule 7 of the Rules of Court.
In a Manifestation/Motion as Supplement to the Joint Motion to Dismiss, [9] petitioner and his co-heirs alleged that private
respondents claim had been paid, waived, abandoned or otherwise extinguished by reason of Remedios June 7, 1993
Release and Waiver of Claim stating that in exchange for the financial and educational assistance received from
petitioner, Remedios and her minor children discharge the estate of Sima Wei from any and all liabilities.
The Regional Trial Court denied the Joint Motion to Dismiss as well as the Supplemental Motion to Dismiss. It ruled that
while the Release and Waiver of Claim was signed by Remedios, it had not been established that she was the duly
constituted guardian of her minor daughters. Thus, no renunciation of right occurred. Applying a liberal application of
the rules, the trial court also rejected petitioners objections on the certification against forum shopping.
ISSUE: whether the Release and Waiver of Claim precludes private respondents from claiming their successional
rights
RULING: NO. The petition lacks merit.
As regards Remedios Release and Waiver of Claim, the same does not bar private respondents from claiming
successional rights. To be valid and effective, a waiver must be couched in clear and unequivocal terms which leave no
doubt as to the intention of a party to give up a right or benefit which legally pertains to him. A waiver may not be
attributed to a person when its terms do not explicitly and clearly evince an intent to abandon a right.[14]
In this case, we find that there was no waiver of hereditary rights. The Release and Waiver of Claim does not
state with clarity the purpose of its execution. It merely states that Remedios received P300,000.00 and an educational
plan for her minor daughters by way of financial assistance and in full settlement of any and all claims of whatsoever
nature and kind x x x against the estate of the late Rufino Guy Susim.[15] Considering that the document did not
specifically mention private respondents hereditary share in the estate of Sima Wei, it cannot be construed as a waiver of
successional rights.
Moreover, even assuming that Remedios truly waived the hereditary rights of private respondents, such waiver
will not bar the latters claim. Article 1044 of the Civil Code, provides:
ART. 1044. Any person having the free disposal of his property may accept or repudiate an inheritance.

Any inheritance left to minors or incapacitated persons may be accepted by their parents or
guardians. Parents or guardians may repudiate the inheritance left to their wards only by judicial
authorization.

The right to accept an inheritance left to the poor shall belong to the persons designated by the
testator to determine the beneficiaries and distribute the property, or in their default, to those mentioned in
Article 1030. (Emphasis supplied)
Parents and guardians may not therefore repudiate the inheritance of their wards without judicial approval. This is
because repudiation amounts to an alienation of property[16]which must pass the courts scrutiny in order to protect the
interest of the ward. Not having been judicially authorized, the Release and Waiver of Claim in the instant case is void
and will not bar private respondents from asserting their rights as heirs of the deceased.
Furthermore, it must be emphasized that waiver is the intentional relinquishment of a known right. Where one
lacks knowledge of a right, there is no basis upon which waiver of it can rest. Ignorance of a material fact negates
waiver, and waiver cannot be established by a consent given under a mistake or misapprehension of fact.[17]
In the present case, private respondents could not have possibly waived their successional rights because they are
yet to prove their status as acknowledged illegitimate children of the deceased. Petitioner himself has consistently denied
that private respondents are his co-heirs. It would thus be inconsistent to rule that they waived their hereditary rights
when petitioner claims that they do not have such right. Hence, petitioners invocation of waiver on the part of private
respondents must fail.

G.R. No. 175822

October 23, 2013

CALIFORNIA CLOTHING INC. and MICHELLE S. YBAEZ, Petitioners,


vs.
SHIRLEY G. QUIONES, Respondent.
FACTS:
Respondent Shirley G. Quiones, a Reservation Ticketing Agent of Cebu Pacific Air in Lapu Lapu City, went inside the
Guess USA Boutique at the second floor of Robinsons Department Store (Robinsons) in Cebu City. She fitted four
items: two jeans, a blouse and a shorts, then decided to purchase the black jeans worth P2,098.00.4 Respondent allegedly
paid to the cashier evidenced by a receipt5 issued by the store.6
While she was walking through the skywalk connecting Robinsons and Mercury Drug Store (Mercury) where she was
heading next, a Guess employee approached and informed her that she failed to pay the item she got. She, however,
insisted that she paid and showed the employee the receipt issued in her favor.7 She then suggested that they talk about it
at the Cebu Pacific Office located at the basement of the mall. She first went to Mercury then met the Guess employees
as agreed upon.8
When she arrived at the Cebu Pacific Office, the Guess employees allegedly subjected her to humiliation in front of the
clients of Cebu Pacific and repeatedly demanded payment for the black jeans.9 They supposedly even searched her wallet
to check how much money she had, followed by another argument. Respondent, thereafter, went home.10

On the same day, the Guess employees allegedly gave a letter to the Director of Cebu Pacific Air narrating the incident,
but the latter refused to receive it as it did not concern the office and the same took place while respondent was off
duty.11 Another letter was allegedly prepared and was supposed to be sent to the Cebu Pacific Office in Robinsons, but
the latter again refused to receive it.12 Respondent also claimed that the Human Resource Department (HRD) of
Robinsons was furnished said letter and the latter in fact conducted an investigation for purposes of canceling
respondents Robinsons credit card. Respondent further claimed that she was not given a copy of said damaging
letter.13 With the above experience, respondent claimed to have suffered physical anxiety, sleepless nights, mental
anguish, fright, serious apprehension, besmirched reputation, moral shock and social humiliation.14 She thus filed the
Complaint for Damages15 before the RTC against petitioners California Clothing, Inc. (California Clothing), Excelsis
Villagonzalo (Villagonzalo), Imelda Hawayon (Hawayon) and Ybaez.
In their Answer,17 petitioners and the other defendants admitted the issuance of the receipt of payment. They claimed,
however, that instead of the cashier (Hawayon) issuing the official receipt, it was the invoicer (Villagonzalo) who did it
manually. They explained that there was miscommunication between the employees at that time because prior to the
issuance of the receipt, Villagonzalo asked Hawayon " Ok na ?," and the latter replied " Ok na ," which the former
believed to mean that the item has already been paid.18 Realizing the mistake, Villagonzalo rushed outside to look for
respondent and when he saw the latter, he invited her to go back to the shop to make clarifications as to whether or not
payment was indeed made. Instead, however, of going back to the shop, respondent suggested that they meet at the Cebu
Pacific Office. Villagonzalo, Hawayon and Ybaez thus went to the agreed venue where they talked to
respondent.19 They pointed out that it appeared in their conversation that respondent could not recall whom she gave the
payment.20 They emphasized that they were gentle and polite in talking to respondent and it was the latter who was
arrogant in answering their questions.21As counterclaim, petitioners and the other defendants sought the payment of
moral and exemplary damages, plus attorneys fees and litigation expenses.22
ISSUE:
WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE LETTER SENT TO THE CEBU
PACIFIC OFFICE WAS MADE TO SUBJECT HEREIN RESPONDENT TO RIDICULE, HUMILIATION AND
SIMILAR INJURY.
RULING: YES..
Respondents complaint against petitioners stemmed from the principle of abuse of rights provided for in the Civil Code
on the chapter of human relations. Respondent cried foul when petitioners allegedly embarrassed her when they insisted
that she did not pay for the black jeans she purchased from their shop despite the evidence of payment which is the
official receipt issued by the shop. The issuance of the receipt notwithstanding, petitioners had the right to verify from
respondent whether she indeed made payment if they had reason to believe that she did not. However, the exercise of
such right is not without limitations. Any abuse in the exercise of such right and in the performance of duty causing
damage or injury to another is actionable under the Civil Code. The Courts pronouncement in Carpio v. Valmonte31 is
noteworthy:
In the sphere of our law on human relations, the victim of a wrongful act or omission, whether done willfully or
negligently, is not left without any remedy or recourse to obtain relief for the damage or injury he sustained. Incorporated
into our civil law are not only principles of equity but also universal moral precepts which are designed to indicate
certain norms that spring from the fountain of good conscience and which are meant to serve as guides for human
conduct. First of these fundamental precepts is the principle commonly known as "abuse of rights" under Article 19 of
the Civil Code. It provides that " 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."x x x32The elements of abuse of rights are as
follows: (1) there is a legal right or duty; (2) which is exercised in bad faith; (3) for the sole intent of prejudicing or
injuring another.33
In this case, petitioners claimed that there was a miscommunication between the cashier and the invoicer leading to the
erroneous issuance of the receipt to respondent. When they realized the mistake, they made cash count and discovered
that the amount which is equivalent to the price of the black jeans was missing. They, thus, concluded that it was
respondent who failed to make such payment. It was, therefore, within their right to verify from respondent whether she
indeed paid or not and collect from her if she did not. However, the question now is whether such right was exercised in
good faith or they went overboard giving respondent a cause of action against them.
Under the abuse of rights principle found in Article 19 of the Civil Code, a person must, in the exercise of legal right or
duty, act in good faith. He would be liable if he instead acted in bad faith, with intent to prejudice another.34 Good faith
refers to the state of mind which is manifested by the acts of the individual concerned. It consists of the intention to
abstain from taking an unconscionable and unscrupulous advantage of another.35Malice or bad faith, on the other hand,
implies a conscious and intentional design to do a wrongful act for a dishonest purpose or moral obliquity.36
Initially, there was nothing wrong with petitioners asking respondent whether she paid or not. The Guess employees were
able to talk to respondent at the Cebu Pacific Office. The confrontation started well, but it eventually turned sour when
voices were raised by both parties. As aptly held by both the RTC and the CA, such was the natural consequence of two
parties with conflicting views insisting on their respective beliefs. Considering, however, that respondent was in
possession of the item purchased from the shop, together with the official receipt of payment issued by petitioners, the
latter cannot insist that no such payment was made on the basis of a mere speculation. Their claim should have been
proven by substantial evidence in the proper forum.
It is evident from the circumstances of the case that petitioners went overboard and tried to force respondent to pay the
amount they were demanding. In the guise of asking for assistance, petitioners even sent a demand letter to respondents
employer not only informing it of the incident but obviously imputing bad acts on the part of
respondent.1wphi1 Petitioners claimed that after receiving the receipt of payment and the item purchased, respondent
"was noted to hurriedly left (sic) the store." They also accused respondent that she was not completely being honest
when she was asked about the circumstances of payment, thus:
x x x After receiving the OR and the item, Ms. Gutierrez was noted to hurriedly left (sic) the store. x x x
When I asked her about to whom she gave the money, she gave out a blank expression and told me, "I cant remember."
Then I asked her how much money she gave, she answered, "P2,100; 2 pcs 1,000 and 1 pc 100 bill." Then I told her that
that would (sic) impossible since we have no such denomination in our cash fund at that moment. Finally, I asked her if
how much change and if she received change from the cashier, she then answered, "I dont remember." After asking
these simple questions, I am very certain that she is not completely being honest about this. In fact, we invited her to
come to our boutique to clear these matters but she vehemently refused saying that shes in a hurry and very busy.37
Clearly, these statements are outrightly accusatory. Petitioners accused respondent that not only did she fail to pay for the
jeans she purchased but that she deliberately took the same without paying for it and later hurriedly left the shop to evade
payment. These accusations were made despite the issuance of the receipt of payment and the release of the item
purchased. There was, likewise, no showing that respondent had the intention to evade payment. Contrary to petitioners
claim, respondent was not in a rush in leaving the shop or the mall. This is evidenced by the fact that the Guess
employees did not have a hard time looking for her when they realized the supposed non-payment.

It can be inferred from the foregoing that in sending the demand letter to respondents employer, petitioners intended not
only to ask for assistance in collecting the disputed amount but to tarnish respondents reputation in the eyes of her
employer. To malign respondent without substantial evidence and despite the latters possession of enough evidence in
her favor, is clearly impermissible. A person should not use his right unjustly or contrary to honesty and good faith,
otherwise, he opens himself to liability.38
The exercise of a right must be in accordance with the purpose for which it was established and must not be excessive or
unduly harsh.39 In this case, petitioners obviously abused their rights.
Complementing the principle of abuse of rights are the provisions of Articles 20 and 2 of the Civil Code which read:40
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 a manner that is contrary to morals or good
customs, or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.
In view of the foregoing, respondent is entitled to an award of moral damages and attorney s fees. Moral damages may
be awarded whenever the defendant s wrongful act or omission is the proximate cause of the plaintiffs physical suffering,
mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation and
similar injury in the cases specified or analogous to those provided in Article 2219 of the Civil Code.41 Moral damages
are not a bonanza. They are given to ease the defendant s grief and suffering. They should, thus, reasonably approximate
the extent of hurt caused and the gravity of the wrong done.42 They are awarded not to enrich the complainant but to
enable the latter to obtain means, diversions, or amusements that will serve to alleviate the moral suffering he has
undergone.43 We find that the amount ofP50,000.00 as moral damages awarded by the CA is reasonable under the
circumstances. Considering that respondent was compelled to litigate to protect her interest, attorney s fees in the amount
of ofP20,000.00 is likewise just and proper.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The Court of Appeals Decision dated
August 3, 2006 and Resolution dated November 14, 2006 in CA-G.R. CV No. 80309, are AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.
[G.R. No. 154259. February 28, 2005]
NIKKO HOTEL MANILA GARDEN and RUBY LIM, petitioners, vs. ROBERTO REYES, a.k.a. AMAY
BISAYA, respondent.
FACTS:
Roberto Reyes, more popularly known by the screen name Amay Bisaya, alleged that at around 6:00 oclock in the
evening, while he was having coffee at the lobby of Hotel Nikko, [5] he was spotted by his friend of several years, Dr.
Violeta Filart, who then approached him.[6] Mrs. Filart invited him to join her in a party at the hotels penthouse in
celebration of the natal day of the hotels manager, Mr. Masakazu Tsuruoka. [7] Mr. Reyes asked if she could vouch for him
for which she replied: of course.[8] Mr. Reyes then went up with the party of Dr. Filart carrying the basket of fruits which
was the latters present for the celebrant.[9] At the penthouse, they first had their picture taken with the celebrant after
which Mr. Reyes sat with the party of Dr. Filart. [10]After a couple of hours, when the buffet dinner was ready, Mr. Reyes

10

lined-up at the buffet table but, to his great shock, shame and embarrassment, he was stopped by petitioner herein, Ruby
Lim, who claimed to speak for Hotel Nikko as Executive Secretary thereof. [11] In a loud voice and within the presence
and hearing of the other guests who were making a queue at the buffet table, Ruby Lim told him to leave the party
(huwag ka nang kumain, hindi ka imbitado, bumaba ka na lang).[12] Mr. Reyes tried to explain that he was invited by Dr.
Filart.[13] Dr. Filart, who was within hearing distance, however, completely ignored him thus adding to his shame and
humiliation.[14] Not long after, while he was still recovering from the traumatic experience, a Makati policeman
approached and asked him to step out of the hotel.[15] Like a common criminal, he was escorted out of the party by the
policeman.[16] Claiming damages, Mr. Reyes asked for One Million Pesos actual damages, One Million Pesos moral
and/or exemplary damages and Two Hundred Thousand Pesos attorneys fees.[17]
Ruby Lim, for her part, admitted having asked Mr. Reyes to leave the party but not under the ignominious
circumstance painted by the latter. Ms. Lim narrated that she was the Hotels Executive Secretary for the past twenty (20)
years.[18] One of her functions included organizing the birthday party of the hotels former General Manager, Mr.
Tsuruoka.[19] The year 1994 was no different. For Mr. Tsuruokas party, Ms. Lim generated an exclusive guest list and
extended invitations accordingly.[20] The guest list was limited to approximately sixty (60) of Mr. Tsuruokas closest
friends and some hotel employees and that Mr. Reyes was not one of those invited. [21] At the party, Ms. Lim first noticed
Mr. Reyes at the bar counter ordering a drink. [22]Mindful of Mr. Tsuruokas wishes to keep the party intimate, Ms. Lim
approached Mr. Boy Miller, the captain waiter, to inquire as to the presence of Mr. Reyes who was not invited. [23] Mr.
Miller replied that he saw Mr. Reyes with the group of Dr. Filart. [24] As Dr. Filart was engaged in conversation with
another guest and as Ms. Lim did not want to interrupt, she inquired instead from the sister of Dr. Filart, Ms. Zenaida
Fruto, who told her that Dr. Filart did not invite Mr. Reyes. [25] Ms. Lim then requested Ms. Fruto to tell Mr. Reyes to
leave the party as he was not invited.[26] Mr. Reyes, however, lingered prompting Ms. Lim to inquire from Ms. Fruto who
said that Mr. Reyes did not want to leave. [27] When Ms. Lim turned around, she saw Mr. Reyes conversing with a Captain
Batung whom she later approached.[28] Believing that Captain Batung and Mr. Reyes knew each other, Ms. Lim requested
from him the same favor from Ms. Fruto, i.e., for Captain Batung to tell Mr. Reyes to leave the party as he was not
invited.[29] Still, Mr. Reyes lingered. When Ms. Lim spotted Mr. Reyes by the buffet table, she decided to speak to him
herself as there were no other guests in the immediate vicinity.[30] However, as Mr. Reyes was already helping himself to
the food, she decided to wait.[31] When Mr. Reyes went to a corner and started to eat, Ms. Lim approached him and
said: alam ninyo, hindo ho kayo dapat nandito. Pero total nakakuha na ho kayo ng pagkain, ubusin na lang ninyo at
pagkatapos kung pwede lang po umalis na kayo.[32] She then turned around trusting that Mr. Reyes would show enough
decency to leave, but to her surprise, he began screaming and making a big scene, and even threatened to dump food on
her.[33]
Dr. Violeta Filart, the third defendant in the complaint before the lower court, also gave her version of the story to
the effect that she never invited Mr. Reyes to the party.[34] According to her, it was Mr. Reyes who volunteered to carry
the basket of fruits intended for the celebrant as he was likewise going to take the elevator, not to the penthouse but to
Altitude 49.[35] When they reached the penthouse, she reminded Mr. Reyes to go down as he was not properly dressed
and was not invited.[36] All the while, she thought that Mr. Reyes already left the place, but she later saw him at the bar
talking to Col. Batung.[37] Then there was a commotion and she saw Mr. Reyes shouting. [38] She ignored Mr. Reyes.
[39]
She was embarrassed and did not want the celebrant to think that she invited him.[40]
ISSUE:
Whether or not Ruby Lim acted abusively in asking Roberto Reyes, a.k.a. Amay Bisaya, to leave the party where he was
not invited by the celebrant thereof thereby becoming liable under Articles 19 and 21 of the Civil Code
RULING:

11

NO.
Article 19, known to contain what is commonly referred to as the principle of abuse of rights, [59] is not a panacea for
all human hurts and social grievances. Article 19 states:
Art. 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.
Elsewhere, we explained that when a right is exercised in a manner which does not conform with the norms enshrined in
Article 19 and results in damage to another, a legal wrong is thereby committed for which the wrongdoer must be
responsible.[60] The object of this article, therefore, is to set certain standards which must be observed not only in the
exercise of ones rights but also in the performance of ones duties. [61] These standards are the following: act with justice,
give everyone his due and observe honesty and good faith. [62] Its antithesis, necessarily, is any act evincing bad faith or
intent to injure. Its elements are the following: (1) There is a legal right or duty; (2) which is exercised in bad faith; (3)
for the sole intent of prejudicing or injuring another.[63] When Article 19 is violated, an action for damages is proper
under Articles 20 or 21 of the Civil Code. Article 20 pertains to damages arising from a violation of law [64] which does
not obtain herein as Ms. Lim was perfectly within her right to ask Mr. Reyes to leave. Article 21, on the other hand,
states:
Art. 21. 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 damage.
Article 21[65] refers to 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) it is done with intent to injure.[66]
A common theme runs through Articles 19 and 21,[67] and that is, the act complained of must be intentional.[68]
As applied to herein case and as earlier discussed, Mr. Reyes has not shown that Ms. Lim was driven by animosity
against him. These two people did not know each other personally before the evening of 13 October 1994, thus, Mr.
Reyes had nothing to offer for an explanation for Ms. Lims alleged abusive conduct except the statement that Ms. Lim,
being single at 44 years old, had a very strong bias and prejudice against (Mr. Reyes) possibly influenced by her
associates in her work at the hotel with foreign businessmen. [69] The lameness of this argument need not be belabored.
Suffice it to say that a complaint based on Articles 19 and 21 of the Civil Code must necessarily fail if it has nothing to
recommend it but innuendos and conjectures.
All told, and as far as Ms. Lim and Hotel Nikko are concerned, any damage which Mr. Reyes might have suffered
through Ms. Lims exercise of a legitimate right done within the bounds of propriety and good faith, must be his to bear
alone.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition filed by Ruby Lim and Nikko Hotel Manila Garden is
GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals dated 26 November 2001 and its Resolution dated 09 July 2002 are
hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 104, dated 26
April 1999 is hereby AFFIRMED. No costs.
SO ORDERED.

12

G.R. No. 102007 September 2, 1994


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
ROGELIO BAYOTAS y CORDOVA, accused-appellant.
FACTS:
Rogelio Bayotas y Cordova was charged with Rape and eventually convicted. Pending appeal of his conviction, Bayotas
died at the National Bilibid Hospital due to cardio respiratory arrest secondary to hepatic encephalopathy secondary to
hipato carcinoma gastric malingering. Consequently, the Supreme Court in its Resolution of May 20, 1992 dismissed the
criminal aspect of the appeal. However, it required the Solicitor General to file its comment with regard to Bayotas' civil
liability arising from his commission of the offense charged.
In his comment, the Solicitor General expressed his view that the death of accused-appellant did not extinguish his civil
liability as a result of his commission of the offense charged.
Counsel for the accused-appellant, on the other hand, opposed the view of the Solicitor General arguing that the death of
the accused while judgment of conviction is pending appeal extinguishes both his criminal and civil penalties. In support
of his position, said counsel invoked the ruling of the Court of Appeals in People v. Castillo and Ocfemia 2 which held
that the civil obligation in a criminal case takes root in the criminal liability and, therefore, civil liability is extinguished
if accused should die before final judgment is rendered.
ISSUE: Does death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguish his civil liability?
RULING: YES
From this lengthy disquisition, we summarize our ruling herein:
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. Corollarily, the claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding the death of accused, if the same may also be
predicated on a source of obligation other than delict. 19 Article 1157 of the Civil Code enumerates these other sources of
obligation from which the civil liability may arise as a result of the same act or omission:
a) Law 20
b) Contracts
c) Quasi-contracts
d) . . .
e) Quasi-delicts

13

3. Where the civil liability survives, as explained in Number 2 above, 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. In such case, the statute of limitations on the civil liability is deemed
interrupted during the pendency of the criminal case, conformably with provisions of Article 1155 21 of the Civil Code,
that should thereby avoid any apprehension on a possible privation of right by prescription. 22
Applying this set of rules to the case at bench, we hold that the death of appellant Bayotas extinguished his criminal
liability and the civil liability based solely on the act complained of, i.e., rape. Consequently, the appeal is hereby
dismissed without qualification.
WHEREFORE, the appeal of the late Rogelio Bayotas is DISMISSED with costs de oficio.
SO ORDERED.
[G.R. No. 145823. March 31, 2005]
OSCAR MACCAY and ADELAIDA POTENCIANO, petitioners, vs. SPOUSES PRUDENCIO NOBELA and
SERLINA NOBELA, respondents.
FACTS:
Adelaida E. Potenciano went to the public market of Pasig, Metro Manila, to look for a prospective buyer or mortgagee
of a parcel of land belonging to Oscar Maccay. She was introduced by a vendor, Lydia Reyes, to the spouses Prudencio
and Serlina Nobela who were engaged in lending money to market vendors on a daily basis.
Potenciano introduced herself as Angelita N. Barba, wife of Oscar Maccay, who desired to sell or mortgage any of his
two parcels of land, one in Guadalupe and one in Antipolo. She went to the Nobelas. She brought with her many titles.
She became friendly with the spouses. Potenciano went on to brag about her connections, that she is related to the late
President Ferdinand E. Marcos; and that the PCGG is after her so she has to dispose of her properties.
After two (2) days, she called Oscar Maccay, who came. They comported themselves as husband and wife. Maccay was
in uniform. He is a police colonel who had jurisdiction over Mandaluyong, according to Potenciano. The Nobelas were
impressed. They were pleased when the couple became very close to them. They confided their family problems. They
even went to the office of Maccay in Fort Bonifacio.
In this setting, the relationship flourished. Potenciano persuaded the spouses that they should be the ones to buy the
property because it will only cost P300,000.00. They would be able to make a profit because the current price
was P1,500.00 per square meter.
Potenciano used to call Maccay to join her in the Nobela residence. They partook of the hospitality of the accused
spouses almost two to three times a week. Potenciano was treated like a queen. She was fanned and massaged. She was
served her meals in the sala.

14

After pooling together their savings, the Nobelas decided to purchase the property. They advised Maccay and Potenciano
that they were ready to buy the property.
Potenciano with Serlina went to Barbas lawyer, Atty. Alfonso Jimenez, at Las Pias where she had the Deed of Sale (Exh.
1) prepared and notarized. She signed it there. They were riding in the jeep of the Nobelas and passed by the office of
Maccay ar (sic) Fort Bonifacio. Potenciano went alone to his office and returned with him. They then proceeded to the
house of both accused at Buayang Bato, Mandaluyong. Serlina paid the P300,000.00 to the couple and in turn she was
given the Deed of Sale, the tax declaration, the tax receipt and other documents. When she offered to take them, they
declined saying they were going home to their Magallanes house.
Maccay and Potenciano continued to frequent the house of the accused spouses where they were given VIP treatment.
Potenciano slept, bathed and was allowed to use the phone for her transactions and to drive the couples jeep.
xxx
The taxes to the purchased property had to be paid. The title had not been transferred to the names of the Nobelas.
Serlina and Potenciano with the latter driving, rode the Nobela jeep to Antipolo. On the way to town, the jeep broke
down. The engine fell off. Potenciano volunteered to go to Antipolo herself, pay the taxes and bring a mechanic to repair
the jeep. The taxes had been paid.
The good relationship continued until June 30, 1990, Prudencio Nobela suffered a stroke. He was brought to the
Polymedic Hospital. That same afternoon, Potenciano called and talked to Prudencios doctor. She had Prudencio
transferred to a suite and confided to Serlina that she is also known as Adelaida Potenciano; that the owners of the
hospital are her mother and father. Serlina need not worry about the bill. Potenciano started sleeping in the hospital.
After one week, Prudencio was to be discharged, Potenciano went to the accounting department. She tried to pay with
her dollars and yens but the hospital would not accept. She asked Serlina to go with her to a money changer at Kalentong
to change the money to pesos but the foreign exchange dealer refused saying the foreign currency was fake.
Serlina had to go back to the house to borrow from the son of her husband by his first marriage. Maccay drove the sick
man and two women home in the Nobela jeep.
At this time, the trust and confidence on the Maccay couple by the Nobelas was beginning to slip off. The Polymedic
Hospital incident was a letdown. It was then that Potenciano, who has boasted of being not only wealthy but also
influential, invited Serlina to engage in the buy and sell of appliances which she claimed were brought by her nephew
from Japan. To Serlinas dismay, she was only brought to a store in the pier where she had to pay for the appliances
herself. She had receipts from De Lara Merchandising (Exhs. 15 to 15-C) showing her payments. The last receipt is
dated July 29, 1990. Serlina brought the appliances home. Naturally, when Potenciano saw Serlina selling the appliances
herself, her pretensions having been exposed, the relationship began to sour.
Before the last purchase of appliances, without the knowledge of the accused couple, Potenciano executed an Affidavit
of Loss. She related that when she went to Antipolo on June 19, 1990 in her stainless steel jeep, the jeep broke down. She
got a mechanic and when she returned the jeep was gone or carnapped.
In the meantime, Serlina was beginning to doubt Potenciano. She heard that Potenciano was trying to sell their jeep. She
inquired at the NBI and was told that Potenciano had a string of cases against her.

15

In the meantime, Prudencio and Serlina, who had not been able to register the sale to them because of the ailment of
Prudencio asked a real estate agent, Anita de la Vega, to help them in the registration of Deed of Sale (Exh. 1, Exh. B.).
They knew de la Vega as she used to frequent a real estate agent living in their place. When they were told that for
the P300,000.00 consideration, they would need aroundP20,000.00 to include capital gains taxes, she gave P21,000.00.
The mother of de la Vega was supposed to know many people in the Register of Deeds. The new title (Exh. C) was
delivered on August 10, 1990 to Serlina. She had to give an additional 2,000.00 to de la Vega for other expenses.
Prudencio and Serlina Nobela were surprised to receive an invitation from Col. Nestor E. Cruz (Exh. 5) on August 17,
1990, to go to his office regarding the complaint of Potenciano for Estafa and Theft.
When they went to Col. Cruz nothing happened but they were shocked to receive a subpoena from the Fiscals Office.
Maccay was not there and Prudencio was quite sick.
Serlina went to the Register of Deeds of Marikina to find out why they were accused and she was astonished to
discover (Exh. 6) as the Deed of Sale registered by de la Vega under the name of Linda Cruz. She also found the
payments of the capital gains tax as only P1,000.00 plus. Then she realized the reason for the alleged falsification charge
of Potenciano alias Angelita Barba and Oscar Maccay. The deed of sale given to them (Exh. 1) for P300,000.00 which
they paid the Maccays was not the one registered but one which obviously was forged by de la Vega and her mother
Juanita Magcaling in order to make more money from the registration transaction. They filed a complaint against de la
Vega and Juanita Magcaling which is still pending in court at Judge Alfredo Flores sala.[2]
Petitioner Maccay filed the criminal complaint against respondent spouses for Estafa through Falsification of Public
Document before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Rizal. The Provincial Prosecutor of Rizal filed the
Information for Estafa with the Regional Trial Court, Pasig, Branch 70, docketed as Criminal Case No. 85961.
After trial, the trial court found respondent spouses innocent and ordered petitioners to reimburse respondent
spouses P300,000 and to pay damages and attorneys fees. Petitioners appealed the civil aspect of the case to the Court of
Appeals. The appellate court denied petitioners appeal and affirmed the trial courts decision. The appellate court also
denied petitioners Motion for Reconsideration.
Hence, this petition.
ISSUE: WHETHER THE TRIAL COURT MAY RULE ON THE CIVIL LIABILITY OF COMPLAINANT IN A
CRIMINAL CASE WHERE THE CIVIL ACTION WAS NOT RESERVED OR FILED SEPARATELY;
RULING: No.
A court trying a criminal case cannot award damages in favor of the accused. The task of the trial court is limited to
determining the guilt of the accused and if proper, to determine his civil liability. A criminal case is not the proper
proceedings to determine the private complainants civil liability, if any.
The trial court erred in ordering complainant petitioner Maccay and prosecution witness Potenciano, as part of the
judgment in the criminal case, to reimburse the P300,000 and pay damages to the accused respondent spouses. This
Court ruled in Cabaero v. Hon. Cantos[7] that a court trying a criminal case should limit itself to the criminal and civil
liability of the accused, thus:

16

[Thus,] the trial court should confine itself to the criminal aspect and the possible civil liability of the accused arising out
of the crime. The counterclaim (and cross-claim or third-party complaint, if any) should be set aside or refused
cognizance without prejudice to their filing in separate proceedings at the proper time.
The Court recently reiterated this ruling in Casupanan v. Laroya[8] and Republic v. Court of Appeals.[9]
The appellate court erred in affirming the trial courts award of damages by justifying it as a counterclaim. Nothing in
the records shows that respondent spouses filed or attempted to file a counterclaim. The 2000 Rules on Criminal
Procedure prohibit counterclaims in criminal cases. Section 1 of Rule 111 provides:
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.
This paragraph addresses the lacuna mentioned in Cabaero on the absence of clear-cut rules governing the prosecution
of impliedly instituted civil action and the necessary consequences and implications thereof. In the present case, the civil
liability of petitioners for swindling respondent spouses and for maliciously filing a baseless suit must be litigated in a
separate proceeding.
The trial court also erred in holding prosecution witness petitioner Potenciano, together with complainant petitioner
Maccay, liable for damages to respondent spouses. A judgment cannot bind persons who are not parties to the action.
[10]
A decision of a court cannot operate to divest the rights of a person who is not a party to the case. [11] The records
clearly show that petitioner Potenciano is not a party to this case. The Information filed by the prosecutor had only
petitioner Maccay as its complainant.[12] The Verification attached to the Information had only petitioner Maccay signing
as complainant. Nothing in the records shows that petitioner Potenciano played a role other than being a witness for the
prosecution. To rule otherwise would violate petitioner Potencianos constitutional right to due process.
Petitioners admit that title to the lot is now in the name of respondent spouses. Petitioners admit the validity of the
cancellation of TCT No. 473584 and the issuance of TCT No. 188289 in favor of respondent spouses. Petitioners argue
that since respondent spouses already acquired the lot in exchange for P300,000, there is no basis for the order requiring
petitioners to reimburse respondent spouses the P300,000.[13]
However, petitioners also argue that respondent spouses acquired their title through fraud. Petitioners must decide
which version they want to advance. Petitioners cannot argue that the title of respondent spouses is valid to avoid
reimbursing respondent spouses, at the same time claim that respondent spouses acquired their title through fraud to turn
the tables on respondent spouses who might sue petitioners for swindling. Petitioners inconsistent arguments reveal their
dishonesty even to the courts. Petitioners should not forget that the trial and appellate courts found that petitioners
perpetrated a vicious scam on respondent spouses who are clearly the hapless victims here.
Respondent spouses have suffered enough. Respondent Prudencio died while trying to defend their property.
Respondent Serlina is ailing and suffering from severe complications due to the strain of litigation. While this Court is
constrained to grant the instant petition due to the trial courts procedural error, we stress that the trial court adjudicated
correctly the substantive matter of the case. Petitioners unconscionably used their intelligence and position to swindle the
respondent spouses of their life savings, abusing their hospitality and kindness in the process. Petitioners have the

17

temerity to turn the tables on the poor couple by abusing the legal processes. This Court will not allow the legal
processes to serve as tool for swindlers. We promulgate this Decision without prejudice to the filing by respondent
Serlina of a claim for damages against petitioners.
WHEREFORE, we GRANT the instant petition. The Decision of the Regional Trial Court, Pasig, Branch 70 dated
26 January 1995 in Criminal Case No. 85961 is AFFIRMED with the following MODIFICATIONS:
1. The order to reimburse the P300,000 to respondent spouses Prudencio and Serlina Nobela is deleted;
2. The award of P50,000 as moral damages and the award of P40,000 as attorneys fees are likewise deleted.
SO ORDERED.

JOSELITO R. PIMENTEL, G.R. No. 172060


Petitioner,
Present:
CARPIO, J., Chairperson,
- versus - PERALTA,
BERSAMIN,*
ABAD, and
VILLARAMA, JR.,** JJ.
MARIA CHRYSANTINE
L. PIMENTEL and PEOPLE Promulgated:
OF THE PHILIPPINES,
Respondents. September 13, 2010
x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x
FACTS:
Maria Chrysantine Pimentel y Lacap filed an action for frustrated parricide against Joselito R. Pimentel (petitioner).
Petitioner received summons to appear before the Regional Trial Court of Antipolo City for the pre-trial and trial of Civil
Case (Maria Chrysantine Lorenza L. Pimentel v. Joselito Pimentel) for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage under Section
36 of the Family Code on the ground of psychological incapacity.
Petitioner filed an urgent motion to suspend the proceedings before the RTC Quezon City on the ground of the existence
of a prejudicial question. Petitioner asserted that since the relationship between the offender and the victim is a key
element in parricide, the outcome of Civil Case would have a bearing in the criminal case filed against him before the
RTC Quezon City.
ISSUE:
The only issue in this case is whether the resolution of the action for annulment of marriage is a prejudicial question that
warrants the suspension of the criminal case for frustrated parricide against petitioner.
RULING:
NO.
Annulment of Marriage is not a Prejudicial Question
in Criminal Case for Parricide

18

Further, the resolution of the civil action is not a prejudicial question that would warrant the suspension of the criminal
action.
There is a prejudicial question when a civil action and a criminal action are both pending, and there exists in the civil
action an issue which must be preemptively resolved before the criminal action may proceed because howsoever the
issue raised in the civil action is resolved would be determinative of the guilt or innocence of the accused in the criminal
case.[10] A prejudicial question is defined as:
x x x one that arises in a case the resolution of which is a logical antecedent of the issue involved therein,
and the cognizance of which pertains to another tribunal. It is a question based on a fact distinct and
separate from the crime but so intimately connected with it that it determines the guilt or innocence of the
accused, and for it to suspend the criminal action, it must appear not only that said case involves facts
intimately related to those upon which the criminal prosecution would be based but also that in the
resolution of the issue or issues raised in the civil case, the guilt or innocence of the accused would
necessarily be determined.[11]
The relationship between the offender and the victim is a key element in the crime of parricide, [12] which punishes any
person who shall kill his father, mother, or child, whether legitimate or illegitimate, or any of his ascendants or
descendants, or his spouse.[13] The relationship between the offender and the victim distinguishes the crime of parricide
from murder[14] or homicide.[15] However, the issue in the annulment of marriage is not similar or intimately related to the
issue in the criminal case for parricide. Further, the relationship between the offender and the victim is not determinative
of the guilt or innocence of the accused.
The issue in the civil case for annulment of marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code is whether petitioner is
psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations. The issue in parricide is whether the
accused killed the victim. In this case, since petitioner was charged with frustrated parricide, the issue is whether he
performed all the acts of execution which would have killed respondent as a consequence but which, nevertheless, did
not produce it by reason of causes independent of petitioners will. [16] At the time of the commission of the alleged crime,
petitioner and respondent were married. The subsequent dissolution of their marriage, in case the petition in Civil Case
No. 04-7392 is granted, will have no effect on the alleged crime that was committed at the time of the subsistence of the
marriage. In short, even if the marriage between petitioner and respondent is annulled, petitioner could still be held
criminally liable since at the time of the commission of the alleged crime, he was still married to respondent.
In view of the foregoing, the Court upholds the decision of the Court of Appeals. The trial in Criminal Case No. Q-04130415 may proceed as the resolution of the issue in Civil Case No. 04-7392 is not determinative of the guilt or
innocence of petitioner in the criminal case.
WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition. We AFFIRM the 20 March 2006 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
SP No. 91867.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. L-16439

July 20, 1961

ANTONIO GELUZ, petitioner,


vs.
THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS and OSCAR LAZO, respondents.
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

19
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 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 foetus,
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.
Since an action for pecuniary damages on account of personal injury or death pertains primarily to the one injured, it is easy
to see that if no action for such damages could be instituted on behalf of the unborn child on account of the injuries it
received, no such right of action could derivatively accrue to its parents or heirs. In fact, even if a cause of action did accrue
on behalf of the unborn child, the same was extinguished by its pre-natal death, since no transmission to anyone can take
place from on that lacked juridical personality (or juridical capacity as distinguished from capacity to act). It is no answer to
invoke the provisional personality of a conceived child (conceptus pro nato habetur) under Article 40 of the Civil Code,
because that same article expressly limits such provisional personality by imposing the condition that the child should be
subsequently born alive: "provided it be born later with the condition specified in the following article". In the present case,
there is no dispute that the child was dead when separated from its mother's womb.
The prevailing American jurisprudence is to the same effect; and it is generally held that recovery cannot had for the death of
an unborn child.
This is not to say that the parents are not entitled to collect any damages at all. But such damages must be those inflicted
directly upon them, as distinguished from the injury or violation of the rights of the deceased, his right to life and physical
integrity. Because the parents cannot expect either help, support or services from an unborn child, they would normally be
limited to moral damages for the illegal arrest of the normal development of the spes hominis that was the foetus, i.e., on
account of distress and anguish attendant to its loss, and the disappointment of their parental expectations (Civ. Code Art.
2217), as well as to exemplary damages, if the circumstances should warrant them (Art. 2230). But in the case before us,
both the trial court and the Court of Appeals have not found any basis for an award of moral damages, evidently because the
appellee's indifference to the previous abortions of his wife, also caused by the appellant herein, clearly indicates that he was
unconcerned with the frustration of his parental hopes and affections. The lower court expressly found, and the majority
opinion of the Court of Appeals did not contradict it, that the appellee was aware of the second abortion; and the probabilities
are that he was likewise aware of the first. Yet despite the suspicious repetition of the event, he appeared to have taken no
steps to investigate or pinpoint the causes thereof, and secure the punishment of the responsible practitioner. Even after
learning of the third abortion, the appellee does not seem to have taken interest in the administrative and criminal cases
against the appellant. His only concern appears to have been directed at obtaining from the doctor a large money payment,
since he sued for P50,000.00 damages and P3,000.00 attorney's fees, an "indemnity" claim that, under the circumstances of
record, was clearly exaggerated.
The dissenting Justices of the Court of Appeals have aptly remarked that:
It seems to us that the normal reaction of a husband who righteously feels outraged by the abortion which his wife
has deliberately sought at the hands of a physician would be highminded rather than mercenary; and that his primary
concern would be to see to it that the medical profession was purged of an unworthy member rather than turn his
wife's indiscretion to personal profit, and with that idea in mind to press either the administrative or the criminal cases
he had filed, or both, instead of abandoning them in favor of a civil action for damages of which not only he, but also
his wife, would be the beneficiaries.
It is unquestionable that the appellant's act in provoking the abortion of appellee's wife, without medical necessity to warrant
it, was a criminal and morally reprehensible act, that cannot be too severely condemned; and the consent of the woman or
that of her husband does not excuse it. But the immorality or illegality of the act does not justify an award of damage that,
under the circumstances on record, have no factual or legal basis.

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The decision appealed from is reversed, and the complaint ordered dismissed. Without costs.
Let a copy of this decision be furnished to the Department of Justice and the Board of Medical Examiners for their information
and such investigation and action against the appellee Antonio Geluz as the facts may warrant.