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G.R.No.132344.February17,2000.

UNIVERSITYOFTHEEAST,petitioner,vs.ROMEOA.JADER,
respondent.
*

CivilLaw;Damages;Itisthecontractualobligationoftheschooltotimelyinformandfurnish
sufficientnoticeandinformationtoeachandeverystudentastowhetherheorshehadalready
compliedwithalltherequirementsfortheconfermentofadegreeorwhethertheywouldbe
included among those who will graduate.The Court takes judicial notice of the traditional
practiceineducationalinstitutionswhereintheprofessordirectlyfurnisheshis/herstudentstheir
grades.Itisthecontractualobligationoftheschooltotimelyinformandfurnishsufficientnotice
andinformationtoeachandeverystudentastowhetherheorshehadalreadycompliedwithall
therequirementsfortheconfermentofadegreeorwhethertheywouldbeincludedamongthose
whowillgraduate.Althoughcommencementexercisesarebutaformalceremony,itnonetheless
________________
*FIRSTDIVISION.
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UniversityoftheEastvs.Jader
is not an ordinary occasion, since such ceremony is the educational institutions way of
announcing to the whole world that the students included in the list of those who will be
conferredadegreeduringthebaccalaureateceremonyhavesatisfiedalltherequirementsforsuch
degree.Priororsubsequenttotheceremony,theschoolhastheobligationtopromptlyinformthe
studentofanyprobleminvolvingthelattersgradesandperformanceandalsomostimportantly,
oftheproceduresforremedyingthesame.
Same;Same;Absenceofgoodfaithmustbesufficientlyestablishedforasuccessfulprosecution
bytheaggrievedpartyinasuitforabuseofrightunderArticle19oftheCivilCode. Petitioner,
inbelatedlyinformingrespondentoftheresultoftheremovalexamination,particularlyatatime
whenhehadalreadycommencedpreparingforthebarexams,cannotbesaidtohaveactedin
goodfaith.Absenceofgoodfaithmustbesufficientlyestablishedforasuccessfulprosecutionby
theaggrievedpartyinasuitforabuseofrightunderArticle19oftheCivilCode.Goodfaith
connotesanhonestintentiontoabstainfromtakingundueadvantageofanother,eventhoughthe
formsandtechnicalitiesofthelaw,togetherwiththeabsenceofallinformationorbeliefoffacts,
wouldrenderthetransactionunconscientious.
Same;Same;Thenegligentactofaprofessorwhofailstoobservetherulesoftheschool,for
instancebynotpromptlysubmittingastudentsgrade,isnotonlyimputabletotheprofessorbut
isanactoftheschool,beinghisemployer.Thecollegedeanistheseniorofficerresponsiblefor
theoperationofanacademicprogram,enforcementofrulesandregulations,andthesupervision
offacultyandstudentservices.Hemustseetoitthathisownprofessorsandteachers,regardless
oftheirstatusorpositionoutsideoftheuniversity,mustcomplywiththerulessetbythelatter.
Thenegligentactofaprofessorwhofailstoobservetherulesoftheschool,forinstancebynot
promptlysubmittingastudentsgrade,isnotonlyimputabletotheprofessorbutisanactofthe
school,beinghisemployer.
Same; Same; Want of care to the conscious disregard of civil obligations coupled with a
consciousknowledgeofthecausenaturallycalculatedtoproducethemwouldmaketheerring
partyliable.Educationalinstitutionsaredutyboundtoinformthestudentsoftheiracademic
statusandnotwaitforthelattertoinquirefromthe

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UniversityoftheEastvs.Jader
former.Theconsciousindifferenceofapersontotherightsorwelfareoftheperson/personswho
maybeaffectedbyhisactoromissioncansupportaclaimfordamages.Wantofcaretothe
conscious disregard of civil obligations coupled with a conscious knowledge of the cause
naturallycalculatedtoproducethemwouldmaketheerringpartyliable.
Same;Same;Themoderntendencyistograntindemnityfordamagesincaseswherethereis
abuse of right, even when the act is not illicit.Petitioner cannot pass on its blame to the
professorstojustifyitsownnegligencethatledtothedelayedrelayofinformationtorespondent.
Whenoneoftwoinnocentpartiesmustsuffer,hethroughwhoseagencythelossoccurredmust
bearit.Themoderntendencyistograntindemnityfordamagesincaseswherethereisabuseof
right,evenwhentheactisnotillicit.Ifmerefaultornegligenceinonesactscanmakehimliable
fordamagesforinjurycausedthereby,withmorereasonshouldabuseorbadfaithmakehim
liable.Apersonshouldbeprotectedonlywhenheactsinthelegitimateexerciseofhisright,that
is,whenheactswithprudenceandingoodfaith,butnotwhenheactswithnegligenceorabuse.
Same;Same;Whilepetitionerwasguiltyofnegligenceandthusliabletorespondentforthe
latters actual damages, Court holds that respondent should not have been awarded moral
damages.Whilepetitionerwasguiltyofnegligenceandthusliabletorespondentforthelatters
actualdamages,weholdthatrespondentshouldnothavebeenawardedmoraldamages.Wedo
notagreewiththeCourtofAppealsfindingsthatrespondentsufferedshock,traumaandpain
when he was informed that he could not graduate and will not be allowed to take the bar
examinations.Attheveryleast,itbehoovedonrespondenttoverifyforhimselfwhetherhehas
completedallnecessaryrequirementstobeeligibleforthebarexaminations.Asaseniorlaw
student,respondentshouldhavebeenresponsibleenoughtoensurethatallhisaffairs,specifically
thosepertainingtohisacademicachievement,areinorder.Giventheseconsiderations,wefailto
seehowrespondentcouldhavesuffereduntoldembarrassmentinattendingthegraduationrites,
enrollinginthebarreviewclassesandnotbeingabletotakethebarexams.Ifrespondentwas
indeedhumiliatedbyhisfailuretotakethebar,hebroughtthisuponhimselfbynotverifyingif
hehassatisfiedalltherequirementsincludinghisschoolrecords,beforepreparinghimselfforthe
barexamination.
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PETITIONforreviewoncertiorariofadecisionoftheCourtofAppeals.
ThefactsarestatedintheopinionoftheCourt.
PunoandPunoforpetitioner.
ThelmaA.Jaderforprivaterespondent.
YNARESSANTIAGO,J.:
Mayaneducationalinstitutionbeheldliablefordamagesformisleadingastudentinto
believingthatthelatterhadsatisfiedalltherequirementsforgraduationwhensuchisnot
thecase?Thisistheissueintheinstantpetitionforreviewpremisedonthefollowing
undisputedfactsassummarizedbythetrialcourtandadoptedbytheCourtofAppeals
(CA), towit:
1

PlaintiffwasenrolledinthedefendantsCollegeofLawfrom1984upto1988.Inthefirst
semesterofhislastyear(Schoolyear19871988),hefailedtotaketheregularfinalexamination
inPracticeCourtIforwhichhewasgivenanincompletegrade(Exhibits2,alsoExhibitH).
Heenrolledforthesecondsemesterasfourthyearlawstudent(ExhibitA)andonFebruary1,
1988hefiledanapplicationfortheremovaloftheincompletegradegivenhimbyProfessor
Carlos Ortega (Exhibits H2, also Exhibit 2) which was approved by Dean Celedonio
Tiongsonafterpaymentoftherequiredfee.HetooktheexaminationonMarch28,1988.OnMay
30,1988,ProfessorCarlosOrtegasubmittedhisgrade.Itwasagradeoffive(5).(ExhibitsH4,
alsoExhibits2L,N).
Inthemeantime,theDeanandtheFacultyMembersoftheCollegeofLawmettodeliberateon
whoamongthefourthyearstudentsshouldbeallowedtograduate.Theplaintiffsnameappeared
intheTentativelistofCandidatesforgraduationfortheDegreeofBachelorofLaws(LL.B)asof
SecondSemester(19871988)withthefollowingannotation:
_________________
1 Court of Appeals (CA) Decision promulgated October 10, 1997 penned by Justice Barcelona, with
JusticesMabutas,Jr.andAquino,concurring,pp.56;Rollo,pp.1213.

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UniversityoftheEastvs.Jader

JADERROMEOA.
Def.ConflictofLawsx18788,PracticeCourtIInc.,18788.C1tosubmittranscriptwith
S.O.(Exhibits3,3C1,3C2)
The35thInvestitures&CommencementCeremoniesforthecandidatesofBachelorofLaws
wasscheduledonthe16thofApril1988at3:00oclockintheafternoon,andintheinvitationfor
thatoccasionthenameoftheplaintiffappearedasoneofthecandidates.(ExhibitsB,B6,B
6A).Atthefootofthelistofthenamesofthecandidatesthereappearedhoweverthefollowing
annotation:
This is a tentative list. Degrees will be conferred upon these candidates who satisfactorily
completerequirementsasstatedintheUniversityBulletinandasapprovedoftheDepartmentof
Education,CultureandSports(ExhibitB7A).
The plaintiff attended the investiture ceremonies at F. dela Cruz Quadrangle, U.E., Recto
Campus,duringtheprogramofwhichhewentupthestagewhenhisnamewascalled,escorted
byher(sic)motherandhiseldestbrotherwhoassistedinplacingtheHood,andhisTasselwas
turnedfromlefttoright,andhewasthereafterhandedbyDeanCeledonioarolledwhitesheetof
papersymbolicaloftheLawDiploma.Hisrelativestookpicturesoftheoccasion(ExhibitsCto
C6,D3toD11).
Hetenderedablowoutthateveningwhichwasattendedbyneighbors,friendsandrelativeswho
wishedhimgoodluckintheforthcomingbarexamination.Therewerepicturestakentooduring
theblowout(ExhibitsDtoD1).
Hethereafterpreparedhimselfforthebarexamination.Hetookaleaveofabsencewithoutpay
fromhisjobfromApril20,1988toSeptember30,1988(ExhibitG)andenrolledattheprebar
reviewclassinFarEasternUniversity(ExhibitsFtoF2).Havinglearnedofthedeficiencyhe
droppedhisreviewclassandwasnotabletotakethebarexamination.
2

Consequently,respondentsuedpetitionerfordamagesallegingthathesufferedmoral
shock,mentalanguish,serious
________________
2AcheckwiththeAttorneysListintheCourtshowsthatprivaterespondentisnotamember,of

thePhilippineBar.(http.//www.supremecourt.gov.ph).
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UniversityoftheEastvs.Jader
anxiety,besmirchedreputation,woundedfeelingsandsleeplessnightswhenhewasnot
abletotakethe1988barexaminationsarisingfromthelattersnegligence.Heprayedfor
anawardofmoralandexemplarydamages,unrealizedincome,attorneysfees,andcosts
ofsuit.
Initsanswerwithcounterclaim,petitionerdeniedliabilityarguingmainlythatitnever
ledrespondenttobelievethathecompletedtherequirementsforaBachelorofLaws
degreewhenhisnamewasincludedinthetentativelistofgraduatingstudents.Aftertrial,
thelowercourtrenderedjudgmentasfollows:
WHEREFORE,inviewoftheforegoingjudgmentisherebyrenderedinfavoroftheplaintiffand
againstthedefendantorderingthelattertopayplaintiffthesumofTHIRTYFIVETHOUSAND
FOURHUNDREDSEVENTYPESOS(P35,470.00)withlegalrateofinterestfromthefilingof
the complaint until fully paid, the amount of FIVE THOUSAND PESOS (P5,000.00) as
attorneysfeesandthecostofsuit.
Defendantscounterclaimis,forlackofmerit,herebydismissed.
SOORDERED.
3

which on appeal by both parties was affirmed by the Court of Appeals (CA) with
modification.ThedispositiveportionoftheCAdecisionreads:
WHEREFORE,inthelightoftheforegoing,thelowerCourtsDecisionisherebyAFFIRMED
withtheMODIFICATIONthatdefendantappellee,inadditiontothesumadjudgedbythelower
courtinfavorofplaintiffappellant,isalsoORDEREDtopayplaintiffappellanttheamountof
FIFTYTHOUSAND(P50,000.00)PESOSformoraldamages.Costsagainstdefendantappellee.
SOORDERED.
_________________
3DecisionofRegionalTrialCourt(RTCManilaBranchIX)datedSeptember4,1990pennedby
JudgeEdilbertoSandoval,pp.89;RTCRecords,pp.192193;Rollo,pp.89.
4CADecision,p.24;Rollo,p.31.
810
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UniversityoftheEastvs.Jader
Uponthedenialofitsmotionforreconsideration,petitionerUEelevatedthecasetothis
CourtonapetitionforreviewunderRule45oftheRulesofCourt,arguingthatithasno
liabilitytorespondentRomeoA.Jader,consideringthattheproximateandimmediate
causeoftheallegeddamagesincurredbythelatteraroseoutofhisownnegligenceinnot
verifyingfromtheprofessorconcernedtheresultofhisremovalexam.
Thepetitionlacksmerit.
When a student is enrolled in any educational or learning institution, a contract of
education is entered into between said institution and the student. The professors,
teachers or instructors hired by the school are considered merely as agents and
administratorstaskedtoperformtheschoolscommitmentunderthecontract.Sincethe
contractingpartiesaretheschoolandthestudent,thelatterisnotdutyboundtodealwith

theformers agents,suchastheprofessorswithrespecttothestatusorresultofhis
grades,althoughnothingpreventseitherprofessorsorstudentsfromsharingwitheach
other such information. The Court takes judicial notice of the traditional practice in
educational institutions wherein the professor directly furnishes his/her students their
grades. It is the contractual obligation of the school to timely inform and furnish
sufficientnoticeandinformationtoeachandeverystudentastowhetherheorshehad
alreadycompliedwithalltherequirementsfortheconfermentofadegreeorwhether
they would be included among those who will graduate. Although commencement
exercisesarebutaformalceremony,itnonethelessisnotanordinaryoccasion,since
suchceremonyistheeducationalinstitutionswayofannouncingtothewholeworldthat
the students included in the list of those who will be conferred a degree during the
baccalaureate ceremony have satisfied all the requirements for such degree. Prior or
subsequenttotheceremony,theschoolhastheobligationtopromptlyinformthestudent
ofanyprobleminvolvingthelattersgradesandperformanceandalsomostimportantly,
oftheproceduresforremedyingthesame.
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UniversityoftheEastvs.Jader
Petitioner,inbelatedlyinformingrespondentoftheresultoftheremovalexamination,
particularlyatatimewhenhehadalreadycommencedpreparingforthebarexams,
cannotbesaidtohaveactedingoodfaith.Absenceofgoodfaithmustbesufficiently
establishedforasuccessfulprosecutionbytheaggrievedpartyinasuitforabuseofright
underArticle19oftheCivilCode.Goodfaithconnotesanhonestintentiontoabstain
fromtakingundueadvantageofanother,eventhoughtheformsandtechnicalitiesofthe
law,togetherwiththeabsenceofallinformationorbeliefoffacts,wouldrenderthe
transactionunconscientious. Itistheschoolthathasaccesstothoseinformationanditis
onlytheschoolthatcancompelitsprofessorstoactandcomplywithitsrules,regulations
and policies with respect to the computation and the prompt submission of grades.
Students do not exercise control, much less influence, over the way an educational
institutionshouldrunitsaffairs,particularlyindiscipliningitsprofessorsandteachers
andensuringtheircompliancewiththeschoolsrulesandorders.Beingthepartythat
hiredthem,itistheschoolthatexercisesgeneralsupervisionandexclusivecontrolover
theprofessorswithrespecttothesubmissionofreportsinvolvingthestudentsstanding.
Exclusive control means that no other person or entity had any control over the
instrumentalitywhichcausedthedamageorinjury.
The college dean is the senior officer responsible for the operation of an academic
program,enforcementofrulesandregulations,andthesupervisionoffacultyandstudent
services. Hemustseetoitthathisownprofessorsandteachers,regardlessoftheirstatus
orpositionoutsideoftheuniversity,mustcomplywiththerulessetbythelatter.The
negligentactofaprofessorwhofailstoobservetherulesoftheschool,
5

_______________
5Tolentino,NewCivilCodeofthePhilippines,Vol.I,(1960ed.)citingWoodv.Conrad,2,S.B.
83,5dN.W.95.
6Mahowaldv.MinnesotaGasCo.(Minn)344NW2d856.SeealsoJacksonv.H.H.Robertson

Co.,118Ariz29,574P2d82;Cumminsv.WestLinn,21Or.App643,536P2d455.
7HawesandHawes,TheConciseDictionaryofEducation,p.62,1982ed.citedinSarmiento,
Manual,p.164.
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UniversityoftheEastvs.Jader
forinstancebynotpromptlysubmittingastudentsgrade,isnotonlyimputabletothe
professorbutisanactoftheschool,beinghisemployer.
Consideringfurther,thattheinstitutionoflearninginvolvedhereinisauniversitywhich
isengagedinlegaleducation,itshouldhavepracticedwhatitinculcatesinitsstudents,
morespecificallytheprincipleofgooddealingsenshrinedinArticles19and20ofthe
CivilCodewhichstates:
Art.19.Everypersonmust,intheexerciseofhisrightsandintheperformanceofhisduties,act
withjustice,giveeveryonehisdue,andobservehonestyandgoodfaith.
Art.20.Everypersonwho,contrarytolaw,wilfullyornegligentlycausesdamagetoanother,
shallindemnifythelatterforthesame.

Article19wasintendedtoexpandtheconceptoftortsbygrantingadequatelegalremedy
for the untold number of moral wrongs which is impossible for human foresight to
providespecificallyinstatutorylaw. Incivilizedsociety,menmustbeabletoassume
that others will do them no intended injury that others will commit no internal
aggressionsuponthem;thattheirfellowmen,whentheyactaffirmativelywilldosowith
duecarewhichtheordinaryunderstandingandmoralsenseofthecommunityexactsand
thatthosewithwhomtheydealinthegeneralcourseofsocietywillactingoodfaith.The
ultimatethinginthetheoryofliabilityisjustifiablerelianceunderconditionsofcivilized
society. Schoolsandprofessorscannotjusttakestudentsforgrantedandbeindifferentto
them,forwithoutthelatter,theformerareuseless.
Educationalinstitutionsaredutyboundtoinformthestudentsoftheiracademicstatus
andnotwaitforthelatterto
8

________________
8PNBv.CA,83SCRA237(1978)citedinSeaCommercialCompanyv.CA,G.R.No.122823,
November25,1999;319SCRA210.
9DeanRoscoePound,IntroductiontothePhilosophyofLaw.
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VOL.325,FEBRUARY17,2000
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UniversityoftheEastvs.Jader
inquirefromtheformer.Theconsciousindifferenceofapersontotherightsorwelfareof
theperson/personswhomaybeaffectedbyhisactoromissioncansupportaclaimfor
damages. Wantofcaretotheconsciousdisregardofcivilobligationscoupledwitha
consciousknowledgeofthecausenaturallycalculatedtoproducethemwouldmakethe
erringpartyliable. Petitioneroughttohaveknownthattimewasoftheessenceinthe
performanceofitsobligationtoinformrespondentofhisgrade.Itcannotfeignignorance
thatrespondentwillnotpreparehimselfforthebarexamssincethatispreciselythe
immediateconcernaftergraduationofanLL.B.graduate.Itfailedtoactseasonably.
10

11

Petitionercannotjustgiveoutitsstudentsgradesatanytimebecauseastudenthasto
comply with certain deadlines set by the Supreme Court on the submission of
requirementsfortakingthebar.Petitionersliabilityarosefromitsfailuretopromptly
inform respondent of the result of an examination and in misleading the latter into
believing that he had satisfied all requirements for the course. Worth quoting is the
followingdisquisitionoftherespondentcourt:

ItisapparentfromthetestimonyofDeanTiongsonthatdefendantappelleeUniversityhadbeen
informedduringthedeliberationthattheprofessorinPracticeCourtIgaveplaintiffappellanta
failing grade. Yet, defendantappellee still did not inform plaintiffappellant of his failure to
completetherequirementsforthedegreenordidtheyremovehisnamefromthetentativelistof
candidates for graduation. Worse, defendantappellee university, despite the knowledge that
plaintiffappellant failed in Practice Court I, again included plaintiffappellants name in the
tentativelistofcandidatesforgraduationwhichwaspreparedafterthedeliberationandwhich
becamethebasisforthecommencementritesprogram.Dean

_______________
10TexasPacific&OilCo.v.Robertson,125Tex4,79SW2d830,98ALR262.
11SeeHelmsv.UniversalAtlasCementCo.,(CA5Tex)202F2d421certde346US858,98Led372,74
SCt74;OttoKuehnePreservingCo.v.Allen(CA8Mo)148F166;SeealsoAlabamaG.S.R.Co.v.Hill,
93Ala514,9So722;Richmond&P.R.Co.v.Vance,93Ala144,9So574.

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UniversityoftheEastvs.Jader
Tiongsonreasonsoutthatplaintiffappellantsnamewasallowedtoremaininthetentativelistof
candidatesforgraduationinthehopethatthelatterwouldstillbeabletoremedythesituationin
theremainingfewdaysbeforegraduationday.DeanTiongson,however,didnotexplainhow
plaintiffappellant Jader could have done something to complete his deficiency if defendant
appelleeuniversitydidnotexertanyefforttoinformplaintiffappellantofhisfailinggradein
PracticeCourtI.
12

Petitionercannotpassonitsblametotheprofessorstojustifyitsownnegligencethatled
tothedelayedrelayofinformationtorespondent.Whenoneoftwoinnocentpartiesmust
suffer,hethroughwhoseagencythelossoccurredmustbearit. Themoderntendencyis
tograntindemnityfordamagesincaseswherethereisabuseofright,evenwhentheact
isnotillicit. Ifmerefaultornegligenceinonesactscanmakehimliablefordamages
forinjurycausedthereby,withmorereasonshouldabuseorbadfaithmakehimliable.A
personshouldbeprotectedonlywhenheactsinthelegitimateexerciseofhisright,that
is,whenheactswithprudenceandingoodfaith,butnotwhenheactswithnegligenceor
abuse.
However,whilepetitionerwasguiltyofnegligenceandthusliabletorespondentforthe
lattersactualdamages,weholdthatrespondentshouldnothavebeenawardedmoral
damages.WedonotagreewiththeCourtofAppealsfindingsthatrespondentsuffered
shock,traumaandpainwhenhewasinformedthathecouldnotgraduateandwillnotbe
allowedtotakethebarexaminations.Attheveryleast,itbehoovedonrespondentto
verifyforhimselfwhetherhehascompletedallnecessaryrequirementstobeeligiblefor
thebarexaminations.Asaseniorlawstudent,respondentshouldhavebeenresponsible
enoughtoensurethatallhisaffairs,
13

14

15

________________
12CADecision,pp.22223;Rollo,pp.2930.
13OhioFarmers,Ins.Co.v.Norman,(App)122Ariz330,594P2d1026.
14SeaCommercialCompanyv.CA,G.R.No.122823,November26,1999,319SCRA210.
15Tolentino,CivilCode,1990ed.,Vol.I,p.61.
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VOL.325,FEBRUARY17,2000
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UniversityoftheEastvs.Jader
specifically those pertaining to his academic achievement, are in order. Given these
considerations,wefailtoseehowrespondentcouldhavesuffereduntoldembarrassment
inattendingthegraduationrites,enrollinginthebarreviewclassesandnotbeingableto
takethebarexams.Ifrespondentwasindeedhumiliatedbyhisfailuretotakethebar,he
brought this upon himself by not verifying if he has satisfied all the requirements
includinghisschoolrecords,beforepreparinghimselfforthebarexamination.Certainly,
takingthebarexaminationsdoesnotonlyentailamentalpreparationonthesubjects
thereof;therearealsoprerequisitesofdocumentationandsubmissionofrequirements
whichtheprospectiveexamineemustmeet.
WHEREFORE,theassaileddecisionoftheCourtofAppealsisAFFIRMEDwith
MODIFICATION.PetitionerisORDEREDtoPAYrespondentthesumofThirtyFive
Thousand Four Hundred Seventy Pesos (P35,470.00), with legal interest of 6% per
annumcomputedfromthedateoffilingofthecomplaintuntilfullypaid;theamountof
FiveThousandPesos(P5,000.00)asattorneysfees;andthecostsofthesuit.Theaward
ofmoraldamagesisDELETED.
SOORDERED.
Davide,Jr.(C.J.,Chairman),KapunanandPardo,JJ.,concur.
Puno,J.,Nopart.
Judgmentaffirmedwithmodification.
Note.Thelawexplicitlyauthorizestheawardofmoraldamagesinbreachesof
contractwherethedefendantactedfraudulentlyorinbadfaith.(DelRosariovs.Courtof
Appeals,267SCRA158[1997])
o0o