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G.R. No.

119063 January 27, 1997


JOSE G. GARCIA, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and ADELA TEODORA P. SANTOS, respondents.

DAVIDE, JR., J.:


The issue here is whether the Court of Appeals committed reversible error in affirming the trial court's order granting the motion to
quash the information for bigamy based on prescription.
On 28 August 1991, petitioner Jose G. Garcia filed with the (Quezon City Prosecutor's Office an "Affidavit of Complaint" 1 charging
his wife, private respondent Adela Teodora P. Santos alias "Delia Santos," with Bigamy, Violation of C.A. No. 142, as amended by
R.A. No. 6085, and Falsification of Public Documents. However, in his letter of 10 October 1991 to Assistant City Prosecutor George
F. Cabanilla, the petitioner informed the latter that he would limit his action to bigamy. 2
After appropriate proceedings, Assistant Prosecutor Cabanilla filed on 8 January 1992 with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
(Quezon City an information, 3 dated 15 November 1991, charging the private respondent with Bigamy allegedly committed as
follows:
That on or before the 2nd day of February, 1957, in Quezon City, Philippines, and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, being previously united in lawful
marriage with REYNALDO QUIROCA, and without the said marriage having been dissolved, (or
before the absent spouse has been declared presumptively dead by a judgment rendered in the
proper proceedings), did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously contract a second
marriage with JOSE G. GARCIA, which marriage has [sic] discovered in 1989, to the damage and
prejudice of the said offended party in such amount as may be awarded under the provisions of the
Civil Code.
CONTRARY TO LAW.
The information was docketed as Criminal Case No. Q-92-27272 and assigned to Branch 83 of the said court. On 2 March 1992, the
private respondent filed a Motion to Quash alleging prescription of the offense as ground therefor. She contended that by the
petitioner's admissions in his testimony given on 23 January 1991 in Civil Case No. 90-52730, entitled "Jose G. Garcia v. Delia S.
Garcia," and in his complaint filed with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) on 16 October 1991, the petitioner discovered the
commission of the offense as early as 1974. Pursuant then to Article 91 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), 4 the period of
prescription of the offense started to run therefrom. Thus, since bigamy was punishable by prision mayor, 5 an afflictive penalty 6
which prescribed in fifteen years pursuant to Article 92 of the RPC, then the offense charged prescribed in 1989, or fifteen years
after its discovery by the petitioner.
The private respondent quoted 7 the petitioner's testimony in Civil Case No. 90-52730 as follows:
Q No, no, just answer. What did you learn from her (Eugenia) about the private
respondent?
A That she has been married previously in case I don't know it. But she said she
has been previously married, in fact I saw her husband Rey, a few days ago
and they said, "Baka magkasama pa silang muli."
xxx xxx xxx
A'ITY. EVANGELISTA:
Q When did Eugenia R. Balingit told [sic] that private respondent was already
married to another man?
A That was when I told her that we are Separating now. I told her in tagalog, "na
maghihiwalay na kami ni Delia ngayon." "Ang unang tanong niya sa akin, "si Rey

ba ang dahilan," ang alam ko po, Rey ang dating boyfriend niya, kaya ang sabi
ko, "hindi po, Mario, ang panga!an," napabagsak po siya sa upuan, sabi niya,
"hindi na nagbago."
Q When was that when you came to know from Eugenia Balingit, the judicial
guardian, that private respondent was already married to another man when she
married you?
A That was when the affair was happening and I found out.
Q What year?
A 1974. 8
The portion of the complaint filed on 16 October 1991 before the CSC which the private respondent alluded to, reads as follows:
5. At the time the respondent married the herein complainant she never informed him that she was
previously married to a certain REYNALDO QUIROCA" on December 1, 1951 wherein she used the
name of "ADELA SANTOS" which was part of her true name "ADELA TEODORA P. SANTOS" as per
her genuine Baptismal Certificate issued by the Parish of San Guillermo, Bacolor, Pampanga, a copy
of the said Baptismal Certificate is hereto attached as ANNEX "D";
6. . . .
7. These facts were discovered only by the herein complainant in the year 1974 where they
separated from each other because of her illicit relations with several men continued use of her alias
name "DELIA", without proper authority from the Courts; and committing a series of fraudulent acts;
her previous marriage to a certain "Reynaldo Quiroca" is evidenced by a certification issued by the
Local Civil Registrar of Manila, a copy of which is hereto attached as ANNEX "F", 9
In its 29 June 1992 order, 10 the trial court granted the motion to quash and dismissed the criminal case, ruling in this wise:
This court believes that since the penalty prescribed under Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code for
the offense of bigamy is prision mayor, which is classified as an afflictive penalty under Article 25 of
the same Code, then said offense should prescribe in fifteen (15) years as provided in Article 92 of
the Code. The complainant having discovered the first marriage of the accused to one Reynaldo
Quiroca in 1974 when he was informed of it by one Eugenia Balingit, the offense charged has already
prescribed when the information was filed in this case on November 15, 1991. The argument
presented by the prosecution that i was difficult for the complainant to obtain evidence of the alleged
first marriage, hence, the prescriptive period should be counted from the time the evidence was
secured will not hold water. Article 91 of the Revised Penal Code specifically provides, thus:
"The period of prescription shall commence to run from the day on which the
crime is discovered. . . ."
it did not state "on the day sufficient evidence was gathered," thus this Court
cannot change the requirements of the law.
The petitioner moved for reconsideration of the above order on 26 August 1992, 11 to which he filed "numerous" supplements
thereto, focusing on the private respondent's many trips abroad which the petitioner claimed suspended the running of the
prescriptive period. These trips were enumerated in the certification 12 issued by Associate Commissioner Ramon M. Morales of the
Bureau of Immigration (BID), which reads as follows:
This is to certify that the name GARCIA/DELIA/S. appears in the Bureau's files of Arrivals and
Departures as having the following travel records:
Departed for HKG on 06/03/77 aboard PR
Arrived from HKG on 07/02/77 aboard PA
Arrived from SYD on 07/09/77 aboard PR
Arrived from GUM on 06/14/80 aboard PA
Arrived from MEL on 07/17/81 aboard PR
Arrived from TYO on 05/20/83 aboard PA

Departed for HKG on 09/22/83 aboard PR


Arrived from SIN on 09/28/83 aboard PR
Departed for TYO on 04/30/84 aboard PA
Arrived from SFO on 07/03/84 aboard PA
Departed for TYO on 11/19/84 aboard PA
Departed for TYO on 08/05/85 aboard PA
Departed for TYO on 11/1 7/86 aboard UA
Arrived from LAX on 12/12/87 aboard UA
Departed for LAX on 11/30/87 aboard UA
Departed for CHI on 11/14/88 aboard UA
The trial court disallowed reconsideration of its 29 June 1992 order, finding "no urgent or justifiable reason to
disturb or set [it] aside." As to the sojourns abroad of the private respondent as shown in the certification, the
trial court held that the same "is not that kind of absence from the Philippines which will interrupt the period of
prescription of the offense charged. . ." 13
The petitioner then appealed to the Court of Appeals which docketed the appeal as CA-G.R. CR No. 14324. He contended therein
that: (a) the trial court erred in quashing the information on the ground of prescription; and (b) the counsel for the accused was
barred from filing the motion to quash the information against the accused. 14 As to the first, the petitioner argued that bigamy was a
public offense, hence "the offended party is not the first or second (innocent) spouse but the State whose law/policy was
transgressed." He tried to distinguish bigamy from private offenses such as adultery or concubinage "where the private complainant
is necessarily the offended party," thus, the prescriptive period for the former should commence from the day the State, being the
offended party, discovered the offense, which in this case was on 28 August 1991 when the petitioner filed his complaint before the
Prosecutor's Office. The petitioner added that the "interchanging use" in Article 91 of the RPC of the terms "offended party,"
"authorities," and "their agents" supports his view that the State is the offended party in public offenses.
Additionally, the petitioner referred to the general rule stated in People v. Alagao 15 "that in resolving the motion to quash a criminal
complaint or information[,] the facts alleged in the complaint or information should be taken as they are." The information in this case
mentioned that the bigamy was discovered in 1989. He admitted, however, that this rule admits of exceptions, such as when the
ground for the motion to quash is prescription of the offense, as provided in Section 4 of the old Rule 117 of the Rules of Criminal
Procedure. Nonetheless, he advanced the view that this exception is no longer available because of the implied repeal of Section 4,
as the amended Rule 117 no longer contains a similar provision under the rule on motions to quash; and that granting there was no
repeal, the private respondent failed to introduce evidence to "support her factual averment in her motion to quash," which is
required by Rule 117. He further asserted that the factual bases of the motion to quash, viz., the petitioner's testimony in Civil Case
No. 90-52730 and his complaint filed with the CSC are not conclusive because the testimony is hearsay evidence, hence
inadmissible, while the complaint is vague, particularly the following portion quoted by the private respondent:
7. These facts where discovered only by the herein complainant in the year 1974
when they separated from each other because of her illicit relations with several
men continued use of her alias name "DELIA", without proper authority from the
Courts; and committing a series of fraudulent acts; her previous marriage to a
certain "Reynaldo Quiroca" is evidenced by a certification issued by the Local
Civil Registrar of Manila, a copy of which is hereto attached a ANNEX "F";
The petitioner alleged that the phrase "These facts" in said paragraph 7 does not clearly refer to his discovery of
the private respondent's first marriage. Moreover, he doubted whether the term "discovered" in the said
paragraph was used in the sense contemplated by law. At best, the petitioner theorized, the discovery only
referred to the "initial, unconfirmed and uninvestigated raw, hearsay information" which he received from
Balingit.
Finally, the petitioner reiterated that the prescriptive period was interrupted several times by the private respondent's numerous trips
abroad.
As regards his second contention, the petitioner argued that the counsel for the private respondent had already stated that he
represented only Delia S. Garcia and not Adela Teodora P. Santos. Consequently, the private respondent's counsel could not ask for
the quashal of the information in favor of Adela Teodora P. Santos alias Delia Santos. The petitioner opined that the counsel for the
private respondent should have sought a dismissal of the case in favor of Delia Garcia alone.
The Court of Appeals gave credence to the private respondent's evidence and concluded that the petitioner discovered the private
respondent's first marriage in 1974. Since the information in this case was filed in court only on 8 January 1992, or eighteen years
after the discovery of the offense, then the 15-year prescriptive period had certainly lapsed. 16 It further held that the quashal of an
information based on prescription of the offense could be invoked before or after arraignment and even on appeal, 17 for under
Article 89(5) of the RPC, the criminal liability of a person is "totally extinguish[ed]' by the prescription of the crime, which is a mode of
extinguishing criminal liability." Thus, prescription is not deemed waived even if not pleaded as a defense. 18

Undaunted, the petitioner is now before us on a petition for review on certiorari to annul and set aside the decision of the Court of
Appeals and to compel the respondent court to remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings. He submits the following
assignment of errors:
I
BIGAMY IS A PUBLIC OFFENSE, CONSEQUENTLY, PRESCRIPTION SHOULD
HAVE BEEN COUNTED FROM THE TIME THE STATE DISCOVERED ITS
COMMISSION;
II
A MOTION TO QUASH CANNOT ALSO GO BEYOND WHAT IS STATED IN
THE INFORMATION;
III
BY THEMSELVES, THE FACTUAL BASES OF THE MOTION TO QUASH ARE
NOT ALSO CONCLUSIVE;
IV
ASSUMING THE PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD STARTED IN 1974, SAID PERIOD
HOWEVER WAS INTERRUPTED SEVERAL TIMES.
We notice that except for the first two pages of the petition, the deletion of a few paragraphs, the substitution of the term "petitioner"
for "appellant," and the deletion of the contention on the' counsel for the private respondent being barred from filing a motion to
quash, the herein petition is a reproduction of the Appellant's Brief filed by the petitioner with the Court of Appeals. Verily then, the
instant petition is a rehash of an old tale. However, the Court of Appeals failed to sufficiently address several issues raised by the
petitioner, most probably prompting him to seek redress from this Court.
We resolved to give due course to the petition and required the parties to submit their respective memoranda. The Office of the
Solicitor General was the last to submit a Memorandum for the public respondent. Both the private and public respondents ask for
the dismissal of this petition and the affirmance of the challenged decision.
Petitioner's position is untenable. Denial then of this petition is all it merits.
We shall take up the assigned errors in seriatim.
I
It is true that bigamy is a public offense. But, it is entirely incorrect to state, as the petitioner does, that only the State is the offended
party in such case, as well as in other public offenses, and, therefore; only the State's discovery of the crime could effectively
commence the running of the period of prescription therefor. Article 91 of the RPC provides that "[t]he period of prescription shall
commence to run from the day on which the crime is discovered by the offended party, the authorities, or their agents. . . ." This rule
makes no distinction between a public crime and a private crime. In both cases then, the discovery may be by the "offended party,
the authorities, or their agents."
Article 91 does not define the term "offended party." We find its definition in Section 12, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court as "the
person against whom or against whose property, the offense was committed. 19 The said Section reads as follows:
Sec. 12. Name of the offended party. A complaint or information must state the name and surname
of the person against whom or against whose property the offense was committed, or any appellation
or nickname by which such person has been or is known, and if there is no better way of identifying
him, he must be described under a fictitious name.
More specifically, it is reasonable to assume that the offended party in the commission of a crime, public or
private, is the party to whom the offender is civilly liable, in light of Article 100 of the RPC, which expressly
provides that [e]very person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable." 20 Invariably then, the private
individual to whom the offender is civilly liable is the offended party.

This conclusion is strengthened by Section 1, Rule 111 of the Rules of Court which reads:
Sec. 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. When a criminal action is instituted, the civil action
for the recovery of civil liability is impliedly instituted with a criminal action, unless the offended party
waives the civil action, reserves his right to institute it separately, or institutes the civil action prior to
the criminal action.
Such civil action includes recovery of indemnity under the Revised Penal Code, and damages under
Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines arising from the same act or omission
of the accused. . . .
It is settled that in bigamy, both the first and the second spouses may be the offended parties depending on the
circumstances. 21
The petitioner even admits that he is the offended party in Criminal Case No. (Q-92-27272. The information therein, 22 which he
copied in full in the petition in this case, describes him as the "offended party" who suffered "damage and prejudice . . . in such
amount as may be awarded under the provisions of the Civil Code." 23
The distinction he made between public crimes and private crimes relates not to the discovery of the crimes, but to their prosecution.
Articles 344 and 360 of the RPC, in relation to Section 5, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court, are clear on this matter.
II
The petitioner's contention that a motion to quash cannot go beyond the information in Criminal Case No. Q-92-27272 which states
that the crime was discovered in 1989, is palpably unmeritorious. Even People v. Alaga, 24 which he cites, mentions the exceptions
to the rule as provided in paragraphs (f) and (h) of Section 2, and Sections 4 and 5 of the old Rule 117, viz., (a) extinction of criminal
liability, and (b) double jeopardy. His additional claim that the exception of extinction can no longer be raised due to the implied
repeal of the former Section 4, 25 Rule 117 of the Rules of Court occasioned by its non-reproduction after its revision, is equally
without merit. No repeal, express or implied, of the said Section 4 ever took place. While there is no provision in the new Rule 117
that prescribes the contents of a motion to quash based on extinction of criminal liability, Section 2 thereof encapsulizes the former
Sections 3, 4, and 5 of the old Rule 117. The said Section 2 reads as follows:
Sec. 2. Foms and contents. The motion to quash shall be in writing signed by the accused or his
counsel. It shall specify distinctly the factual and legal grounds therefor and the court shall consider
no grounds other than those stated therein, except lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged. (3a,
4a, 5a). (underscoring supplied for emphasis)
It is clear from this Section that a motion to quash may be based on factual and legal grounds, and since extinction of criminal
liability and double jeopardy are retained as among the grounds for a motion to quash in Section 3 of the new Rule 117, it
necessarily follows that facts outside the information itself may be introduced to grove such grounds. As a matter of fact, inquiry into
such facts may be allowed where the ground invoked is that the allegations in the information do not constitute the offense charged.
Thus, in People v. De la Rosa, 26 this Court stated:
As a general proposition, a motion to quash on the ground that the allegations of the information do
not constitute the offense charged, or any offense for that matter, should be resolved on the basis
alone of said allegations whose truth and veracity are hypothetically admitted. However, as held in the
case of People vs. Navarro, 75 Phil. 516, additional facts not alleged in the information, but admitted
or not denied by the prosecution may be invoked in support of the motion to quash. Former Chief
justice Moran supports this theory. 27
In Criminal Case No. 92-27272, the trial court, without objection on the part of the prosecution, allowed the private respondent to
offer evidence in support of her claim that the crime had prescribed. Consequently, the trial court, upon indubitable proof of
prescription, correctly granted the motion to quash. It would have been, to quote De la Rosa, "pure technicality for the court to close
its eyes to [the fact of prescription) and still give due course to the prosecution of the case" a technicality which would have
meant loss of valuable time of the court and the parties.
As noted by Dr. Fortunato Gupit, Jr., consultant of the Rules of Court Revision Committee, the aforequoted Section 2 of the new
Rule 117 on "factual and legal grounds" of a motion to quash is based on the De la Rosa case. 28
III
The petitioner likewise claims that the factual bases of the private respondent's motion to quash are inconclusive. The petitioner
cannot be allowed to disown statements he made under oath and in open court when it serves his purpose. This is a contemptible

practice which can only mislead the courts and thereby contribute to injustice. Besides, he never denied having given the pertinent
testimony. He did, however, term it vague in that it was not clear whether the prior marriage which Eugenia Balingit disclosed to him
was that entered into by the private respondent with Reynaldo Quiroca. It is immaterial to whom the private respondent was first
married; what is relevant in this case is that the petitioner was informed of a prior marriage contracted by the private respondent.
Neither may the petitioner be heard to cast doubt on the meaning of his statements in his sworn complaint filed before the CSC. We
find no hint of vagueness in them. In any event, he has not denied that he in fact discovered in 1974 that the private respondent had
been previously married.
Finally, the petitioner draws our attention to the private respondent's several trips abroad as enumerated in the certification of the
Bureau of Immigration, and cites the second paragraph of Article 91 of the RPC, viz.: "[t]he term of prescription shall not run when
the offender is absent from the Philippine Archipelago." We agree with the Court of Appeals that these trips abroad did not constitute
the "absence" contemplated in Article 91. These trips were brief, and in every case the private respondent returned to the
Philippines. Besides, these were made long after the petitioner discovered the offense and. even if the aggregate number of days of
these trips are considered, still the information was filed well beyond the prescriptive period.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED for lack of merit and the challenged decision of 13 February 1995 of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 14324 is AFFIRMED.
Costs against the petitioner.
SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. 143380. April 11, 2005


OLIMPIO PANGONOROM and METRO MANILA TRANSIT CORPORATION, Petitioners,
vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.
DECISION
CARPIO, J.:
The Case
This is a petition for review1 to annul the Decision2 dated 29 November 1999 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 14764, as
well as its Resolution3 dated 5 May 2000 denying the motion for reconsideration. The Court of Appeals affirmed in toto the 5
February 1993 Decision4 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 79 in Criminal Case No. Q-90-11397.
The Charge
On 21 March 1990, Assistant City Prosecutor Rosario U. Barias filed an Information charging Olimpio Pangonorom ("Olimpio") with
reckless imprudence resulting in damage to property with multiple slight physical injuries, committed as follows:
That on or about the 10th day of July, 1989, in Quezon City, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
abovenamed accused, being then the driver and person in charge of a motor vehicle (MMTC-passenger bus) with plate No. NVJ999 TB Pil. 89, did, then and there unlawfully and feloniously drive, manage and operate the same along E. de los Santos Ave.,
Quezon Avenue this City, in a careless, reckless and imprudent manner, by then and there driving the same without due regard to
traffic laws and regulations and without taking the necessary precautions to prevent accident to person and damage to property,
causing by such carelessness, recklessness and imprudence said motor vehicle so driven by him to strike and collide with an [I]suzu
[G]emini car with plate No. NAR-865 L Pil. 89, belonging to Mary Berba and driven by Carlos Berba y Remulla, thereby causing
damages in the total amount of P42,600.00, Philippine Currency; as a consequence thereof said Carlos Berba sustained physical
injuries for a period of less than nine (9) days and incapacitated him from performing his customary labor for the same period of time
and also his passengers namely: Mary Berba y Matti and Amelia Berba y Mendoza sustained physical injuries for a period of less
than nine (9) days and incapacitated them from performing their customary labor for the same period of time, thereafter, abandoned
said offended parties without aiding them, to the damage and prejudice of the said offended parties in such amount as may be
awarded to them under the provisions of the Civil Code.
CONTRARY TO LAW.5

Arraignment and Plea


When arraigned on 26 June 1990, Olimpio, with the assistance of counsel, entered a plea of not guilty.6
The Trial
The prosecution presented five witnesses: (1) Carlos R. Berba; (2) Mary M. Berba; (3) Amelia Berba; (4) Edward Campos; and (5)
Enrico B. Estupigan.
On the other hand, the defense presented three witnesses: (1) Olimpio himself; (2) Milagros Garbo; and (3) Nenita Amado.
The facts, as summarized by the trial court, are as follows:
The evidence of the prosecution shows that on July 10, 1989 at around 9:00 P.M. Carlos R. Berba was driving an Isuzu Gemini car
bearing Plate No. NAR-865 L Pil. 89 belonging to his mother Mary Berba. With him inside the car were his mother Mary Berba who
was seated in front beside him and his auntie Amelia Berba who was at the back seat. They were cruising along EDSA coming from
the direction of Makati and headed towards the intersection of EDSA and Quezon Boulevard but upon nearing 680 Appliances along
EDSA, Quezon City, their car was bumped from behind by MMTC Passenger Bus bearing Plate No. NVJ-999 TB Pil. 89 driven by
herein accused Olimpio Pangonorom thereby causing damages to their car which was estimated at P42,600.00 (Exhs. F, F-1). The
front and rear portions of their car incurred damages because by reason of the strong impact at the rear portion of their car, it was
pushed forward and bumped the car in front of it, then it rested near the island. The bus driven by the accused still travelled a
distance of 20 meters from the point of impact. The accused left his bus but they came to know his name is Olimpio Pangonorom.
Their car was a total wreck as shown in its photographs (Exhs. B and C).
Carlos Berba noticed this bus following them closely at Nepa Q-Mart up to the point of collision. His car was running along the
second lane of EDSA from the island. The MMTC bus driven by the accused was running very fast, kept on switching lane until it
finally occupied the second lane and bumped his car. Carlos Berba sustained cuts on his shoulder and back because of broken
glasses and was treated at East Avenue Medical Center. He incurred P1,000.00 for medication (Exhs. G to G-3). Mary Berba
sustained contusion, hematoma and abrasion (Exh. H). Amelia Berba sustained abrasion on his right elbow (Exh. K). Both were also
treated at East Avenue Medical Center.
Edward Campos and Enrico Bantique Estupigan, passengers of MMTC Bus driven by the accused explained that their bus was
running at 70-80 kph when it swerved to the right to avoid hitting a van stranded at the left side of the island but in the process it hit
and bumped an Isuzu Gemini car in front of it. The rear portion of the Isuzu Gemini car was smashed and the front part was also
damaged as it hit the Lancer car running ahead. The bus driver, herein accused, fled from the scene.
It was a rainy day, road was slippery, the rain had just stopped but was still drizzling.
The defense on the other hand presented accused Olimpio Pangonorom, Milagros Garbo, Nenita Amado and documents marked as
Exhs. 1 to 15 with sub-markings.
Accused Olimpio Pangonorom testified that he was a driver since 1976, having worked as a truck driver in Mindanao, then
employed as driver of Silangan Transit up to 1981 and from 1981 up to the present is a driver of Metro Manila Transit. He is a holder
of professional drivers license with OR No. 15160307 (Exhs. 1, 1-A). On July 10, 1989 he drove MMTC bus from Monumento to
Baclaran and vice-versa. He was driving MMTC bus between 7:00 8:00 P.M. along EDSA headed towards Monumento when upon
reaching infront of 680 Appliances his bus was involved in a vehicular accident. It was drizzling, his bus was running at a speed of
70 kph along the third lane of EDSA going to Monumento and an Isuzu Gemini car ahead of him was on his left side running along
the second lane of EDSA at a distance of 30 meters away. When the car was at a distance of 20 meters away and before reaching
the stalled vehicle, it swerved to the right without signal light, so he blew his horn, stepped on his brakes, but since the street was
downgrade, it was raining and slippery, his brakes failed to control his bus, thus hit and bumped the Isuzu Gemini car. He identified
the Isuzu Gemini car and damages sustained by the car in the photograph marked as Exh. C. His bus slided after he applied his
brakes because the street was slippery. He reported at their garage after the accident, left his vehicle and went back at the scene
with a wrecker. The passengers of the Isuzu car were brought to the hospital.
The training officer of MMTC, Milagros Garbo, testified on the procedure of the company in hiring an applicant driver and the
requirements to be submitted by the applicant. An applicant for a driver of MMTC as what had been done to the accused before he
was admitted as company driver of MMTC must pass an interview, seminars, written examination, actual driving test, psychophysical test, road test, line familiarization test, defensive driving seminar, drivers familiarization seminar, and traffic rules and
environment seminar. Documents they required to be submitted by an applicant driver were NBI Clearance, Residence Certificate,
Professional Drivers License, and Official Receipts of payment of required fees for drivers license (Exhs. 1 to 15).
The internal control relative to the supervision of their drivers was explained by witness Nenita Amado, a transport supervisor of
MMTC. She supervises and gives instructions and recommendations on bus rules and regulations to their drivers. They have ten

(10) comptrollers, thirty-six (36) dispatchers, seven (7) field supervisors, sixty (60) inspectors and four (4) service wreckers who
helped in the supervision of the drivers and conductors of MMTC. They have centralized radio that monitor the activities of their
drivers during their travel. Her instructions to the drivers were to avoid accident, obey traffic rules and regulations and to be
courteous to passengers.7
On 5 February 1993, the trial court rendered its Decision with the following dispositive portion:
PREMISES CONSIDERED, the Court finds accused Olimpio Pangonorom guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of reckless
imprudence resulting in multiple slight physical injuries and sentences him to suffer an imprisonment of thirty (30) days of arresto
menor, to indemnify the offended parties of the damages incurred by their Isuzu Gemini car in the sum of P42,600.00 and to
reimburse the medical expenses of Carlos R. Berba in the sum of P182.50, Amelia Berba in the sum of P217.50 and Mary Berba in
the sum of P45.00.
SO ORDERED.8
Petitioners appealed the trial courts decision to the Court of Appeals.9
The Ruling of the Court of Appeals
The Court of Appeals ruled that the finding that Olimpio drove the passenger bus in a negligent manner, considering the
circumstances of weather and road condition, is a finding of fact of the trial court that is entitled to respect. The Court of Appeals
stated that it is a settled rule that factual findings of trial courts are accorded great respect unless it can be shown that they
overlooked some circumstances of substance which, if considered, will probably alter the result. The Court of Appeals held that no
such circumstance was overlooked in this case.
The Court of Appeals ruled that even if it were true, as Olimpio claimed, that the car Carlos Berba ("Carlos") was then driving
occupied Olimpios lane while the car was 20 meters away, it is a safe distance for a vehicle to switch lanes. The Court of Appeals
held that if only Olimpio did not drive very fast and considered that the street was downgrade and slippery, he could have easily
avoided the accident by applying his brakes.
The Court of Appeals also ruled that the testimonies of Edward Campos ("Edward") and Enrico Bantigue, who were passengers of
the MMTC bus, are worthy of credence. The Court of Appeals stated that they are neutral witnesses who had no motive to testify
against Olimpio. They testified that: (1) the MMTC bus was running at 70-80 kilometers per hour; (2) the bus swerved to the right to
avoid hitting a van stranded at the left side of the island; and (3) in the process, the bus hit and bumped the Gemini car ahead of it.
Edward further testified that Olimpio earlier overtook another bus. Edward stated that it was for this reason that the MMTC bus went
into the lane where the stalled van was located. The Court of Appeals held that the MMTC bus was the one switching lanes.
The dispositive portion of the decision of the Court of Appeals reads:
WHEREFORE, the judgment herein appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED in toto.
SO ORDERED.10
On 28 December 1999, petitioners filed with the Court of Appeals a motion for reconsideration of the assailed decision. Petitioners
asserted that the Court of Appeals erred in finding Olimpio negligent in driving the subject bus. Petitioners also asserted that Carlos
was the one switching lanes and was therefore the one negligent in driving his car. Petitioners stated that the Court of Appeals erred
in not holding that the MMTC was not subsidiarily liable for Olimpios civil liability in the instant case. Petitioners stated that the
testimonies of witnesses Milagros Garbo and Nenita Amado, as well as Exhibits 1 to 15, proved that the MMTC exercised due
diligence in the selection and supervision of its drivers.11
On 5 May 2000, the Court of Appeals issued a Resolution12 denying the motion for reconsideration. With the assailed decision
having "amply discussed, considered and ruled upon" the issues that petitioners raised in their motion for reconsideration, the Court
of Appeals held that there was no cogent reason for it to reverse the assailed decision. The Court of Appeals also held that the
MMTC was already estopped in assailing the trial courts decision considering that the MMTC never appealed the decision within
the reglementary period.
The Issues
Petitioners have presented the following for our consideration:
1. The Court of Appeals gravely abused its discretion in sustaining the trial courts findings of facts instead of considering certain
facts and circumstance raised by petitioners that properly cast an element of reasonable doubt.

2. Whether Estoppel applies to MMTC.13


The Ruling of the Court
The petition is without merit.
In criminal cases, an appeal throws the entire case wide open for review and the reviewing tribunal can correct errors, though
unassigned in the appealed judgment, or even reverse the trial courts decision based on grounds other than those that the parties
raised as errors.14
Petitioners fault the Court of Appeals for having sustained the trial courts findings of fact. Petitioners assert that the Court of
Appeals failed to consider certain circumstances that would warrant a reversal of the factual findings of the trial court.
Petitioners claim that Carlos negligence in switching lanes to avoid hitting a stranded van caused the collision. Petitioners assert
that Carlos was negligent because he transferred to the lane where Olimpio was then driving along without first blinking his signal
light and with his car only 20 meters away from the bus. This being so, petitioners assert that they should not be held responsible for
Carlos negligence.
Petitioners assertions have no merit. The issue of whether a person is negligent is a question of fact. 15 Findings of fact of the Court
of Appeals, when they affirm the findings of fact of the trial court, are binding on this Court, unless the findings of the trial and
appellate courts are palpably unsupported by the evidence on record or unless the judgment itself is based on misapprehension of
facts.16 We hold that the Court of Appeals committed no reversible error in upholding the factual findings of the trial court.
Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code states that reckless imprudence consists in voluntarily, but without malice, doing or failing to
do an act from which material damage results by reason of inexcusable lack of precaution on the part of the person performing or
failing to perform such act, taking into consideration (1) his employment or occupation; (2) his degree of intelligence; (3) his physical
condition; and (4) other circumstances regarding persons, time and place.
Olimpio is a professional driver who has been in the employ of the MMTC since 1984.17 As a public utility driver, Olimpio should
have as his primary concern the safety not only of himself or of his passengers, but, also the safety of his fellow motorists.
Considering that it had just rained, it was still drizzling and the road was slippery when the subject incident took place, 18 Olimpio
should have been more cautious and prudent in driving his passenger bus.
Based on Olimpios testimonial admission, he was driving at 70 kilometers per hour. He testified he was familiar with the road. 19
Therefore, he ought to have known the downhill slope coming from the Nepa-Q Mart.20 As the bus was moving downhill, Olimpio
should have slowed down since a downhill drive would naturally cause his vehicle to accelerate. However, instead of slowing down,
Olimpio admitted he was "running very fast." Thus, Olimpio testified:
Atty. ANTONIO:
Q It was nighttime Mr. Witness, will you tell us whether you were able to see this vehicle you were following?
A Yes, sir.
Q Will you tell us how did you notice this vehicle?
A Because I saw its tail light, sir.
Q Before this vehicle you were following reached the place where this stalled vehicle was, do you know where was this vehicle
proceeded?
FISCAL:
I think he is incompetent, Your Honor.
COURT:
Sustained.
Atty. ANTONIO:

Q Before your vehicle reached the place where this stalled vehicle was, what did you notice if any?
A I noticed that the vehicle I was following Isuzu Gemini before reaching the stalled vehicle suddenly swerved to the right and I was
already approaching, sir.
Q Before this Isuzu Gemini car you were following suddenly swerved to the right, how far were you?
A About twenty (20) meters, sir. It suddenly swerved to the right and I was running very fast because it was downward.
Q And when you noticed this Isuzu Gemini suddenly swerved to the right, what if any did you do?
A I blew my horn and stepped on my brakes, sir. Considering that it was raining and slippery I cannot control.
Q And after your were not able to control your vehicle despite the precaution you made, what happened?
A I bumped him, sir.21 (Emphasis supplied)
The only conclusion that we can draw from the factual circumstances is that Olimpio was negligent. He was hurrying to his
destination and driving faster than he should have. The fact that after Olimpio stepped on the brake, the bus still traveled a distance
of 20 meters before it finally stopped, and the car, after it was hit, was thrown 10 to 15 meters away,22 only prove that Olimpios bus
was running very fast.
Olimpios claim that Carlos suddenly transferred to his lane to avoid hitting a van stranded at the left side of the island could hardly
carry the day for him. Olimpio says that the distance between the car and the bus before the car allegedly swerved to the bus lane
was 20 meters. Therefore, at that point, Olimpio still had the opportunity to avoid the collision by slowing down or by stepping on the
brake. However, what Olimpio did was to continue running very fast.
Another telling proof of Olimpios negligence is the testimony of Edward, a passenger of the MMTC bus who was seated at the right
front seat nearest to the door of the bus.23 Edward recounted the incident, thus:
Q You said that there was a van parked which the Metro Manila Transit tried to avoid. Where was that van parked?
A It was stranded above the middle island of the road, sir.
COURT:
Q When you said of the road you are referring to EDSA?
A Yes, Your Honor.
FISCAL:
Q So when it swerved to avoid hitting the parked van, what happened?
A It was too late, sir, when he noticed that there was a car slowly cruising EDSA so when he swerved he was very fast so it
was too late to avoid the car. He just braked, the road was slippery so he could not swerve because the bus might turn over.
xxx
Q Mr. Witness, did you notice this stalled vehicle before you reached the place where it was stalled?
A No, sir.
Q Even when the lights of the Metro Manila Transit were on, you did not notice it?
A Actually, sir, he was overtaking another bus so thats why he did not notice this stalled van.

Q Who was overtaking another bus?


A MMTC bus, sir, because it stopped at the MMC office near Timog and then it overtook another moving bus. He went to the left
side overtaking that bus.
xxx
Atty. ANTONIO:
Q Are you a driver?
A Yes, sir.
Q And if circumstances similar to that incident that happened, it would be prudent for you to swerve also, is it not?
A At that condition, sir, Id rather brake than swerve, it is slippery.
Q Mr. Witness, will you tell how far was this MMTC bus when it swerved in relation to the place where the stalled vehicle was?
A I guess, sir, it was a few seconds before too late because when it swerved the bus was already tilting, so it is a matter of
seconds.
Atty. ANTONIO:
Q It was a matter of seconds?
A Yes, sir.
Q So if you were in this position stopping would not be sufficient precautionary measure, was it not?
A Before that, sir, he overtook that bus so if he did not overtake that bus he would have seen the parked van. Being a driver
myself the way he overtook was dangerous, it was so close that you could not see the other lane.
xxx
Q Will you please explain Mr. Witness, how this MMTC bus hit the car when you claimed that the car was running ahead of the bus?
A There was this stalled van and there was this bus, now this was the Gemini car, this slowed down to avoid also the stalled van, it
swerved so the bus was here running very fast and then noticed the van so it swerved also and the Gemini here was of course
slowed down to avoid that van, the bus was still running fast then after swerving it was too late for him to notice that there was
this car running slowly by the bus, he stepped on the brake.
Q Do you mean to say Mr. Witness, that both the Isuzu vehicle and the MMTC bus were running on the same course?
A Yes, sir.24 (Emphasis supplied).
Edwards declarations that "the bus was running very fast" and that Olimpio did not see the stranded van because he earlier
overtook another bus are clear and categorical. There is no evidence of any ill or improper motive on Edwards part that would
discredit his testimony. He was not in any way related to the complainants. Neither was the defense able to show that some form of
consideration induced Edward to testify for the prosecution. The defense did not even try to rebut Edwards testimony.
When there is nothing to indicate that a witness was actuated by improper motives, his positive and categorical declarations on the
witness stand under solemn oath deserve full faith and credit.25
Petitioners likewise fault the Court of Appeals for having ruled that the MMTC is already estopped from assailing the trial courts
decision considering that the MMTC "never appealed the same within the reglementary period."

We have carefully gone over the records of this case and found that when petitioners filed their Notice of Appeal with the trial court
on 8 March 1993, the MMTC already appealed the civil aspect of this case. We quote petitioners Notice of Appeal:
The ACCUSED and his employer, Metro Manila Transit Corporation, by their undersigned counsel, unto this Honorable Court, most
respectfully give notice that they are appealing, as they hereby appeal, the Decision dated February 5, 1993, which was received on
February 23, 1993, to the Court of Appeals on the ground that the Decision is contrary to the facts, law and settled jurisprudence.
Metro Manila Transit Corporation likewise interposes an appeal with respect to the civil aspect of this case because of its subsidiary
liability as employer of the accused under the Revised Penal Code.26
It is therefore not correct for the Court of Appeals to state in its Resolution27 dated 5 May 2000 that the MMTC failed to appeal
seasonably the issue of its alleged "non-subsidiary liability" 28 as Olimpios employer.
However, due diligence in the selection and supervision of employees is not a defense in the present case. The law involved in the
present case is Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, in relation to Articles 10029 and 10230 of the same Code, which reads thus:
Art. 103. Subsidiary civil liability of other persons. The subsidiary liability established in the next preceding article shall also apply
to employers, teachers, persons, and corporations engaged in any kind of industry for felonies committed by their servants, pupils,
workmen, apprentices, or employees in the discharge of their duties.
Pursuant to Article 103, an employer may be subsidiarily liable for the employees civil liability in a criminal action when there is
adequate evidence establishing (1) that he is indeed the employer of the convicted employee; (2) that he is engaged in some kind of
industry; (3) that the employee committed the offense in the discharge of his duties; and (4) that the execution against the employee
has not been satisfied due to insolvency.31
The provisions of the Revised Penal Code on subsidiary liability Articles 102 and 103 are deemed written into the judgments in
cases to which they are applicable. Thus, in the dispositive portion of its decision, the trial court need not expressly pronounce the
subsidiary liability of the employer.32
The subsidiary liability of the employer arises only after conviction of the employee in the criminal action. 33 In the present case, there
exists an employer-employee relationship between petitioners, the MMTC is engaged in the transportation industry,34 and Olimpio
has been adjudged guilty of a wrongful act and found to have committed the offense in the discharge of his duties.35 However, there
is no proof here of Olimpios insolvency. The judgment of conviction against Olimpio has not attained finality. This being so, no writ
of execution can issue against him to satisfy his civil liability. Only after proof of the accused-employees insolvency may the
subsidiary liability of his employer be enforced.36
In short, there is as yet no occasion to speak of enforcing the employers subsidiary civil liability unless it appears that the accusedemployees primary liability cannot in the first instance be satisfied because of insolvency. This fact cannot be known until some time
after the verdict of conviction shall have become final. And even if it appears prima facie that execution against the employee cannot
be satisfied, execution against the employer will not issue as a matter of course.37 The procedure for the enforcement of a judgment
will have to be followed. Once the judgment of conviction against Olimpio becomes final and executory, and after the writ of
execution issued against him is returned unsatisfied because of his insolvency, only then can a subsidiary writ of execution be
issued against the MMTC after a hearing set for that precise purpose. It is still too early to hold the MMTC subsidiarily liable with its
accused-employee considering that there is no proof yet of Olimpios insolvency.
WHEREFORE, we DENY the instant petition. The Decision dated 29 November 1999 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No.
14764 finding petitioner Olimpio Pangonorom GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple slight
physical injuries, as well as its Resolution dated 5 May 2000 denying the motion for reconsideration, are AFFIRMED. No
pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. 112346 March 29, 1996

EVELYN YONAHA, petitioner,


vs.
HON. COURT OF APPEALS and HEIRS OF HECTOR CAETE, respondents.

VITUG, J.:p
From the decision of the Court of Appeals dismissing for lack of merit the petition for certiorari, with prayer for preliminary injunction,
filed by Evelyn Yonaha against an order, dated 29 May 1992, of the Regional Trial Court 1 which had granted private respondent
motion for the issuance of a writ of subsidiary execution, the instant appeal was taken.
In Criminal Case No. 01106-L, Elmer Ouano was charged with the crime of "Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Homicide" in an
information which averred
That on April 14, 1990, at or about 11:45 A.M. in Basak, Lapulapu City, Philippines, within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the aforenamed accused, while driving a Toyota Tamaraw
sporting Plate No. GCX-237 duly registered in the name of Raul Cabahug and owned by EK SEA
Products, did then and there unlawfully and feloniously maneuver and operate it in a negligent and
reckless manner, without taking the necessary precaution to avoid injuries to person and damage to
property, as a result thereof the motor vehicle he was then driving bumped and hit Hector Caete,
which caused the latter's instantaneous death, due to the multiple severe traumatic injuries at
different parts of his body. 2
When arraigned, the accused pleaded "guilty" and, on 09 March 1992, the trial court pronounced its judgment
Finding therefore the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense charged against him and
taking into account the mitigating circumstances of voluntary surrender and plea of guilty which the
prosecuting fiscal readily accepted, the Court hereby sentences the accused to suffer and undergo an
imprisonment of 1 year and 1 day to 1 year and 8 months and to pay the heirs of the victim the sum of
P50,000.00 for the death of the victim; P30,000.00 for actual damages incurred in connection with the
burial and the nightly prayer of the deceased victim and P10,000.00 as attorney's fees. 3
On 27 April 1992, a writ of execution was issued for the satisfaction of the monetary award. In his Return of Service, dated 07 May
1992, the MTCC Deputy City Sheriff stated that he had served the writ on accused Elmer Ouano but that the latter had manifested
his inability to pay the money obligation.
Forthwith, private respondents presented a "motion for subsidiary execution" with neither a notice of hearing nor notice to petitioner.
Acting on the motion, nevertheless, the trial court issued an order, dated 29 May 1992, directing the issuance of a writ of subsidiary
execution. The sheriff went to petitioner's residence to enforce the writ, and it was then, allegedly for the first time, that petitioner
was informed of Ouano's conviction. Petitioner filed a motion to stay and to recall the subsidiary writ of execution principally
anchored on the lack of prior notice to her and on the fact that the employer's liability had yet to be established. Private respondents
opposed the motion.
On 24 August 1992, the trial court denied petitioner's motion. On 23 September 1992, petitioner's plea for reconsideration of the
denial was likewise rejected.
Petitioner promptly elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals (CA-GR SP No. 29116) for review. The appellate court initially
restrained the implementation of the assailed orders and issued a writ of preliminary injunction upon the filing of a P10,000.00 bond.
Ultimately, however, the appellate court, in its decision of 28 September 1993, dismissed the petition for lack of merit and thereby
lifted the writ of preliminary injunction. The Court of Appeals ratiocinated:
We are not unmindful of the ruling in the aforecited case of Lucia Pajarito vs. Seeris, supra. that
enforcement of the secondary or subsidiary liability of employer maybe done by motion in the same
criminal case, a recourse which presupposes a hearing. But even assuming that issuance of writ of
subsidiary execution requires notice and hearing, we believe a hearing in the present case would be
sheer rigmarole, an unnecessary formality, because, as employer, petitioner became subsidiarily
liable upon the conviction of her accused driver, Elmer Ouano, and proof of the latter's insolvency.
And if she had any defense to free herself from such subsidiary liability, she could have ventilated and
substantiated the same in connection with her (petitioner's) motion to stay and recall the writ of
subsidiary execution in question. But from her said motion, it can be gleaned that except for the
protestation of violation of due process, and absence of notice to her of the motion for issuance of a
writ of subsidiary execution, petitioner intimated no defense which could absolve her of subsidiary
liability under the premises. Then, too, after the denial of her motion to stay and recall subject writ,

petitioner moved for reconsideration but in her motion for reconsideration, she averred no exculpatory
facts which could save her from subsidiary liability, as employer of the convicted Elmer Ouano. 4
In the instant appeal, petitioner additionally reminds the Court that Ouano's conviction was not the result of a finding of proof beyond
reasonable doubt but from his spontaneous plea of guilt.
We find merit in the petition.
The statutory basis for an employer's subsidiary liability is found in Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code. 5 This Court has since
sanctioned the enforcement of this subsidiary liability in the same criminal proceedings in which the employee is adjudged guilty, 6
on the thesis that it really is a part of, and merely an incident in, the execution process of the judgment. But, execution against the
employer must not issue as just a matter of course, and it behooves the court, as a measure of due process to the employer, to
determine and resolve a priori, in a hearing set for the purpose, the legal applicability and propriety of the employer's liability. The
requirement is mandatory even when it appears prima facie that execution against the convicted employee cannot be satisfied. The
court must convince itself that the convicted employee is in truth in the employ of the employer; that the latter is engaged in an
industry of some kind; that the employee has committed the crime to which civil liability attaches while in the performance of his
duties as such; and that execution against the employee is unsuccessful by reason of insolvency. 7
The assumption that, since petitioner in this case did not aver any exculpatory facts in her "motion to stay and recall," as well as in
her motion for reconsideration, which could save her from liability; a hearing would be a futile and a sheer rigmarole is unacceptable.
The employer must be given his full day in court.
To repeat, the subsidiary liability of an employer under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code requires (a) the existence of an
employer-employee relationship; (b) that the employer is engaged in some kind of industry; (c) that the employee is adjudged guilty
of the wrongful act and found to have committed the offense in the discharge of his duties (not necessarily any offense he commits
"while" in the discharge of such duties); and (d) that said employee is insolvent. The judgment of conviction of the employee, of
course, concludes the employer 8 and the subsidiary liability may be enforced in the same criminal case, but to afford the employer
due process, the court should hear and decide that liability on the basis of the conditions required therefor by law. 9
WHEREFORE, finding the order, dated 29 May 1992, as well as the order of 24 August 1992 to have been improvidently issued,
said orders are hereby SET ASIDE. Petitioner shall be given the right to a hearing on the motion for the issuance of a writ of
subsidiary execution filed by private respondents, and the case is REMANDED to the trial court for further proceedings conformably
with our foregoing opinion. No costs.
Padilla, Bellosillo, Kapunan and Hermosisima, Jr., JJ., concur.

G.R. No. 160355

May 16, 2005

PHILIPPINE RABBIT BUS LINES, INC., petitioner,


vs.
HEIRS OF EDUARDO MANGAWANG and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.
DECISION
CALLEJO, SR., J.:
This is a petition for review of the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CV No. 78149 affirming the Decision 2 of the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Criminal Case No. 743-C(93) convicting the accused Ernesto Ancheta of reckless imprudence
resulting in homicide.
The Antecedents
Ernesto Ancheta was employed by the Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. (PRBLI) as driver of one of its passenger buses. On July
23, 1993, an Information was filed with the RTC of Capas, Tarlac, Branch 66, charging Ancheta with reckless imprudence resulting
in homicide. The inculpatory portion of the Information reads:
That on November 23, 1992 at around 11:50 oclock (sic) in the morning, at Brgy. Dolores, Municipality of
Capas, Province of Tarlac, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused,
being then the driver and person-in-charge of a Philippine Rabbit Bus bearing Plate No. CVE-707 with MVRR

No. 63044987, registered in the name of the Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. of Tarlac, Tarlac, did then and
there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously and with reckless imprudence and managed the said Philippine Rabbit
Bus at Brgy. Dolores, Capas, Tarlac, in a careless, negligent and imprudent manner, without due regard to laws,
regulations, ordinances and traffic code and without taking the necessary precaution to prevent accident to
persons and damage to property and in violation of the Land Transportation Laws, said bus driven by the
accused while cruising the MacArthur Highway towards the south direction, bumped the left rear side of a
Toyota jeep with Plate No. TAB 929 with MVRR No. 64284647 owned by Zenaida B. Dizon of 193 M. Santos
St., Pasay City, Metro Manila, and driven by Eduardo Mangawang towards the north direction, and as a result
thereof said Eduardo Mangawang ultimately died and the jeep he was then driving sustained damages of an
undetermined amount, to the damage and prejudice of the deceased and the owner thereof.
Contrary to law.3
The accused was assisted by Atty. Crispiniano Lamorena, Jr., whom the PRBLI assigned as counsel de parte. Atty. Andres
Pangilinan entered his appearance as private prosecutor.
The trial court rendered judgment on November 12, 1999, convicting the accused of the crime charged. The fallo of the decision
reads:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered finding the accused, ERNESTO ANCHETA,
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Reckless Imprudence Resulting to Homicide.
Accordingly, the said accused is hereby sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of two
(2) years and four (4) months of prision correccional in its minimum period as minimum to six (6) years of
prision correccional in its maximum period as maximum.
For the civil liability of the accused, Ernesto Ancheta is hereby ordered to indemnify the heirs of Eduardo
Mangawang the amounts of P28,600.00 as actual or compensatory damages and P1,436,466.30 representing
loss of earning capacity. The accused is similarly ordered to pay the amounts of P50,000.00 by way of
indemnification for the death of Eduardo Mangawang and another P50,000.00 as moral damages.
SO ORDERED.4
The accused appealed the decision to the CA. On November 10, 2000, the appellate court issued a Resolution dismissing the
appeal due to Anchetas failure to file his brief as accused-appellant. 5 The resolution of the CA dismissing the appeal became final
and executory, thus, entry of judgment was made of record on December 7, 2000. After the transmission of the records to the RTC,
it issued an Order on June 5, 2001 for the arrest of the accused.6
On June 29, 2001, the PRBLI, as Anchetas employer, filed a Notice of Appeal of the decision of the RTC. On July 18, 2001, the
RTC issued an Order denying due course to the notice of appeal, on its finding that the notice was filed long after the judgment of
the RTC had become final and executory.7 The PRBLI filed a motion for the reconsideration of the order, claiming that it was not
served with a copy of the decision of the RTC convicting the accused of the crime charged; hence, could not have appealed the
same. On August 1, 2001, the trial court issued an Order denying the said motion. The PRBLI filed an urgent motion, this time for
clarification of the said order, which the trial court denied in an Order dated August 31, 2001. Undaunted, the PRBLI filed a
manifestation with motion, citing the ruling of this Court in Ozoa v. Vda. de Madula.8 On October 17, 2001, the trial court issued an
Order, this time, granting the motion and giving due course to the appeal of the PRBLI. The trial court, likewise, ordered the records
to be transmitted to the CA for the consideration of the appeal, where the latter made the following assignment of errors:
I
THE TRIAL COURT SERIOUSLY ERRED IN THE APPRECIATION OF THE FACTS AND THE EVIDENCE.
II
THE TRIAL COURT SERIOUSLY ERRED IN ATTRIBUTING SUPPOSED NEGLIGENCE AND LACK OF
FORESIGHT ON THE PART OF THE ACCUSED ANCHETA.
III
THE TRIAL COURT SERIOUSLY ERRED IN SO GENEROUSLY AWARDING UNCONSCIONABLE AMOUNTS
IN SUPPOSED DAMAGES TO THE HEIRS OF EDUARDO MANGAWANG.9

On October 10, 2003, the CA rendered judgment affirming with modification the decision of the RTC. The fallo of the decision reads:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Decision dated November 12, 1999 of the Regional Trial Court of
Capas, Tarlac, Branch 66, in Criminal Case No. 743-C(93) is hereby AFFIRMED with the correction that the
actual damages to be awarded should only be P5,000.00. All other respects remain. Costs against appellant.
SO ORDERED.10
The appellate court dismissed the appeal on the ground that the decision of the RTC had long become final and executory when the
PRBLI appealed the decision. It ruled that the PRBLI was bound by the said decision against the accused therein. 11 Nevertheless,
the appellate court resolved the appeal on its merits and affirmed the decision of the RTC, but with modification. 12
The PRBLI forthwith filed the present petition for review on certiorari, assailing the decision of the CA on the following grounds:
A.
THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE CONVICTION OF THE ACCUSED HAS
ATTAINED FINALITY AS AGAINST PETITIONER.
B.
PETITIONER MUST BE AFFORDED THE STANDING AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO QUESTION THE
ACCUSEDS CONVICTION.13
The petitioner submits the ruling of this Court in Pajarito v. Seneris14 and Miranda v. Malate Garage & Taxicab, Inc.,15 that "the
decision of the trial court convicting the employee is binding and conclusive upon the employer not only with regard to the civil
liability but also, with regard to its amount," should not apply to it. It avers that unlike in Pajarito and Miranda, the counsel of the
accused therein was given ample opportunity to defend the accused during the trial and on appeal in the CA. The petitioner laments
that in this case, the counsel it provided to defend the accused was remiss in the performance of his duties and failed to notify it of
the RTC decision, the November 10, 2000 Resolution of the CA, as well as the June 5, 2001 Order of the RTC; consequently, it was
not apprised of its civil liability to the heirs of the deceased, thus depriving the petitioner of its right to due process. It avers that it
was only on account of its own diligence that it discovered the decision of the RTC, the November 10, 2000 Resolution of the CA
and the June 5, 2001 Order of the RTC.
The petitioner further avers that it was not furnished with a copy of the said CA Resolution, and of the Arrest Order of the RTC dated
June 5, 2001. The petitioner posits that until it is furnished with such copies, the period within which to assail the decision of the
RTC on its civil liability to the heirs of the deceased had not commenced to run.
The petitioner submits that it is unjust and unreasonable for the CA to deprive it of its right to question its civil liability to the heirs of
the deceased, considering the gross negligence of the counsel that it had provided the accused.
By way of comment on the petition, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) contends that the decision of the RTC convicting
Ancheta of the crime charged had become final and executory, following the dismissal of his appeal before the CA. The decision of
the RTC was conclusive on the petitioner, not only with regard to its civil liability but also as to the amount thereof, absent any
collusion between the accused-employee and the private complainant. The petitioner was not a direct party in the criminal case;
hence, was not entitled to a copy of the decision of the RTC or to appeal therefrom; it was, likewise, not entitled to be furnished a
copy of the CA Resolution dated November 10, 2000 and the Order of the RTC dated June 5, 2001. Hence, according to the OSG, it
cannot complain of denial of its right to due process. The OSG further asserts that the petition at bar is premature, considering that
no writ of execution has yet been issued by the RTC, and cites the ruling of this Court in Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. v. People16
to buttress its stance.
The petition is denied for lack of merit.
The ruling of the CA dismissing the petitioners appeal of the RTC decision convicting Ancheta of reckless imprudence resulting in
homicide is correct. However, the Court of Appeals erred in modifying the decision of the RTC.
The petitioner, as the employer of the said accused, had no right to appeal from the said decision because, in the first place, it was
not a party in the said case. While the subsidiary liability provided for by Articles 102 and 103 of the Revised Penal Code may render
the petitioner a party in substance and, in effect, it is not, for this reason, entitled to be furnished a copy of the decision of the RTC,
as well as the resolution and decision of the CA.

Indeed, the petitioner was entitled to protect its interest by taking actual participation in the defense of its employee, Ancheta, by
providing him with counsel. It cannot leave its employee to his own fate because his failure is its failure. 17 The petitioner, as the
employer of the accused, would thereby be apprised of the progress of the case and the outcome thereof from time to time through
the said counsel. The failure of such counsel to apprise the petitioner of the progress of the case is thus not equivalent to lack of due
process. The pronouncement of the Court in Miranda v. Malate Garage & Taxicab, Inc. 18 is instructive on this score:
It is true that an employer, strictly speaking, is not a party to the criminal case instituted against his employee
but in substance and, in effect, he is considering the subsidiary liability imposed upon him by law. It is his
concern, as well as of his employee, to see to it that his interest be protected in the criminal case by taking
virtual participation in the defense of his employee. He cannot leave him to his own fate because his failure is
also his. And if because of his indifference or inaction the employee is convicted and damages are awarded
against him, he cannot later be heard to complain, if brought to court for the enforcement of his subsidiary
liability, that he was not given his day in court. It was not without purpose that this Court sounded the following
stern warning:
"It is high time that the employer exercised the greatest care in selecting his employees, taking real
and deep interest in their welfare; intervening in any criminal action brought against them by reason
of or as a result of the performance of their duties, if only in the way of giving them the benefit of
counsel; and, consequently, doing away with the practices of leaving them to their fates. If these be
done, the American rule requiring notice on the part of the employer shall have been satisfied."
(Martinez v. Barredo, supra.)19
In Ozoa v. Vda. de Madula,20 the Court explained the effect of a judgment of conviction against the employee on the subsidiary
liability of the employer, as follows:
To be sure, the correctness of the legal principles cited by the Court a quo cannot be gainsaid. 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
delicto of his employee in the event of the latters insolvency; and the judgment in the criminal action
pronouncing the employee to be also civilly liable is conclusive on the employer not only as to the actuality of
that liability but also as to its amount.21
Since the petitioner was not a party in the RTC and in the CA on the appeal of its employee (Ancheta), the petitioner cannot
justifiably claim that it was deprived of its right to due process. As explained by this Court in Martinez v. Barredo:22
The employer cannot be said to have been deprived of his day in court, because the situation before us is not
one wherein the employer is sued for a primary liability under Article 1903 of the Civil Code, but one in which
enforcement is sought of a subsidiary civil liability incident to and dependent upon his drivers criminal
negligence which is a proper issue to be tried and decided only in a criminal action. In other words, the
employer becomes ipso facto subsidiarily liable upon his drivers conviction and upon proof of the latters
insolvency, in the same way that acquittal wipes out not only the employees primary civil liability but also his
employers subsidiary liability for such criminal negligence. (Almeida, et al. v. Abaroa, 8 Phil. 178, affirmed in
218 U.S. 476; 54 Law ed., 1116; Wise & Co. v. Larion, 45 Phil. 314, 320; Francisco v. Onrubia, 46 Phil. 327;
Province of Ilocos Sur v. Tolentino, G.R. No. 34186, 56 Phil. 829; Moran, Comments on the Rules of Court, Vol.
II, p. 403.)23
Besides, as gleaned from the brief of the petitioner, as appellant in the CA, in CA-G.R. CV No. 78149, it sought the reversal of the
decision of the RTC and the acquittal of its employee. In Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. v. People,24 this Court held that such an
appeal would be impermissible for the following reasons:
An appeal from the sentence of the trial court implies a waiver of the constitutional safeguard against double
jeopardy and throws the whole case open to a review by the appellate court. The latter is then called upon to
render judgment as law and justice dictate, whether favorable or unfavorable to the appellant. This is the risk
involved when the accused decides to appeal a sentence of conviction. Indeed, appellate courts have the power
to reverse, affirm or modify the judgment of the lower court and to increase or reduce the penalty it imposed.
If the present appeal is given [due] course, the whole case against the accused-employee becomes open to
review. It thus follows that a penalty higher than that which has already been imposed by the trial court may be
meted out to him. Petitioners appeal would thus violate his right against double jeopardy, since the judgment
against him could become subject to modification without his consent.25
Indeed, to allow an employer to dispute its civil liability in the criminal case via an appeal from the decision of the RTC would be to
annul, nullify or defeat a final judgment rendered by a competent court. 26

The Court cannot second guess whether Anchetas failure to file his brief as appellant in the CA was through the negligence of his
counsel or because of the belief that, indeed, he was guilty of the crime charged and it was purposeless and futile for him to still file
such brief.
We agree with the contention of the OSG that the right of the petitioner as the employer of the accused to due process occurs
during the hearing of the motion for the issuance of an alias writ of execution, on the basis of the sheriffs return that the writ of
execution issued by the court for the enforcement of its decision on the civil liability of the accused was not satisfied because of the
latters insolvency, the sheriff being unable to locate any property in the name of the accused. Such return is prima facie evidence of
the insolvency of the accused.27
During the hearing of the motion for the issuance of an alias writ of execution, the prosecution must prove that (a) the petitioner
PRBLI was the employer of the accused; (b) it was engaged in some kind of industry; (c) the crime was committed by the employee
in the discharge of his duties; and (d) execution against the employee is unsatisfied.28 The prosecution may offer in evidence the
sheriffs return as prima facie evidence of the insolvency of the accused.
The petitioner, as the employer of the accused, may adduce evidence on questions which may be involved in the execution since
the trial court which rendered the decision has a general supervisory control over the process of execution. 29
From a ruling adverse to the employer, it may appeal by writ of error on questions of facts, or mixed questions of facts and of law, or
by certiorari on questions of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion of the trial court, thus:
It goes without saying that the determination thus made as regards the employers subsidiary civil liability is not
conclusive in the sense of being non-reviewable by higher judicial authority. It may be appealed to a higher
court at the instance of the aggrieved party either the offended party or the employer by writ of error seeking
review of questions of fact or mixed questions of fact and law, or through a petition for review on certiorari,
limited to a consideration only of questions of law. Or review may be sought by the institution of a special civil
action of certiorari, upon the theory that the determination was made by the trial court without or in excess of its
jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion.30
Hence, the Court of Appeals erred in modifying the decision of the RTC which had long become final and executory. A final and
executory decision, even if erroneous, can no longer be modified.
IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The Resolution of the Court of Appeals dismissing
the appeal of the petitioner is AFFIRMED. However, that portion of the Decision of the Court of Appeals modifying the decision of the
Regional Trial Court, dated November 12, 1999, is SET ASIDE.
SO ORDERED.

L.G. FOODS CORPORATION and VICTORINO GABOR, Vice-President and General Manager, petitioners,
vs.
HON. PHILADELFA B. PAGAPONG-AGRAVIADOR, in her capacity as Presiding Judge of Regional Trial Court, Branch 43,
Bacolod City, and SPS. FLORENTINO and THERESA VALLEJERA, respondents.
DECISION
GARCIA, J.:
Assailed and sought to be set aside in this petition for review on certiorari is the Decision1 dated April 25, 2003 of the Court of
Appeals (CA), as reiterated in its Resolution of July 10, 2003,2 in CA-G.R. SP No. 67600, affirming an earlier Order of the Regional
Trial Court (RTC) of Bacolod City, Branch 43, which denied the petitioners' motion to dismiss in Civil Case No. 99-10845, an action
for damages arising from a vehicular accident thereat instituted by the herein private respondents - the spouses Florentino Vallejera
and Theresa Vallejera - against the petitioners.
The antecedent facts may be briefly stated as follows:

On February 26, 1996, Charles Vallereja, a 7-year old son of the spouses Florentino Vallejera and Theresa Vallejera, was hit by a
Ford Fiera van owned by the petitioners and driven at the time by their employee, Vincent Norman Yeneza y Ferrer. Charles died as
a result of the accident.
In time, an Information for Reckless Imprudence Resulting to Homicide was filed against the driver before the Municipal Trial Court
in Cities (MTCC), Bacolod City, docketed as Criminal Case No. 67787, entitled People of the Philippines v. Vincent Norman Yeneza.
Unfortunately, before the trial could be concluded, the accused driver committed suicide, evidently bothered by conscience and
remorse. On account thereof, the MTCC, in its order of September 30, 1998, dismissed the criminal case.
On June 23, 1999, in the RTC of Bacolod City, the spouses Vallejera filed a complaint3 for damages against the petitioners as
employers of the deceased driver, basically alleging that as such employers, they failed to exercise due diligence in the selection
and supervision of their employees. Thereat docketed as Civil Case No. 99-10845, the complaint was raffled to Branch 43 of the
court.
In their Answer with Compulsory Counterclaim,4 the petitioners as defendants denied liability for the death of the Vallejeras' 7-year
old son, claiming that they had exercised the required due diligence in the selection and supervision of their employees, including
the deceased driver. They thus prayed in their Answer for the dismissal of the complaint for lack of cause of action on the part of the
Vallejera couple.
During pre-trial, the defendant petitioners insisted that their dismissal prayer be resolved. Hence, the trial court required them to file
within ten days a memorandum of authorities supportive of their position.
Instead, however, of the required memorandum of authorities, the defendant petitioners filed a Motion to Dismiss, principally arguing
that the complaint is basically a "claim for subsidiary liability against an employer" under the provision of Article 103 5 of the Revised
Penal Code. Prescinding therefrom, they contend that there must first be a judgment of conviction against their driver as a condition
sine qua non to hold them liable. Ergo, since the driver died during the pendency of the criminal action, the sine qua non condition
for their subsidiary liability was not fulfilled, hence the of lack of cause of action on the part of the plaintiffs. They further argue that
since the plaintiffs did not make a reservation to institute a separate action for damages when the criminal case was filed, the
damage suit in question is thereby deemed instituted with the criminal action. which was already dismissed.
In an Order dated September 4, 2001,6 the trial court denied the motion to dismiss for lack of merit and set the case for pre-trial.
With their motion for reconsideration having been denied by the same court in its subsequent order 7 of September 26, 2001, the
petitioners then went on certiorari to the CA in CA-G.R. SP No. 67600, imputing grave abuse of discretion on the part of the trial
judge in refusing to dismiss the basic complaint for damages in Civil Case No. 99-10845.
In the herein assailed decision8 dated April 25, 2003, the CA denied the petition and upheld the trial court. Partly says the CA in its
challenged issuance:
xxx

xxx

xxx

It is clear that the complaint neither represents nor implies that the responsibility charged was the petitioner's
subsidiary liability under Art. 103, Revised Penal Code. As pointed out [by the trial court] in the Order of
September 4, 2001, the complaint does not even allege the basic elements for such a liability, like the conviction
of the accused employee and his insolvency. Truly enough, a civil action to enforce subsidiary liability separate
and distinct from the criminal action is even unnecessary.
xxx

xxx

xxx

Specifically, Civil Case No. 99-10845 exacts responsibility for fault or negligence under Art. 2176, Civil Code,
which is entirely separate and distinct from the civil liability arising from negligence under the Revised Penal
Code. Verily, therefore, the liability under Art. 2180, Civil Code, is direct and immediate, and not conditioned
upon prior recourse against the negligent employee or prior showing of the latter's insolvency. (Underscoring in
the original.)
In time, the petitioners moved for a reconsideration but their motion was denied by the CA in its resolution 9 of July 10, 2003. Hence,
the petitioners' present recourse on their submission that the appellate court committed reversible error in upholding the trial court's
denial of their motion to dismiss.
We DENY.

As the Court sees it, the sole issue for resolution is whether the spouses Vallejeras' cause of action in Civil Case No. 99-10845 is
founded on Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, as maintained by the petitioners, or derived from Article 2180 10 of the Civil Code,
as ruled by the two courts below.
It thus behooves us to examine the allegations of the complaint for damages in Civil Case No. 99-10845. That complaint alleged,
inter alia, as follows:
xxx

xxx

xxx

3. That defendant [LG Food Corporation] is the registered owner of a Ford Fiera Van with Plate No. NMS 881
and employer sometime February of 1996 of one Vincent Norman Yeneza y Ferrer, a salesman of said
corporation;
4. That sometime February 26, 1996 at around 2:00 P.M. at Rosario St., Bacolod City, the minor son of said
plaintiffs [now respondents], Charles Vallejera, 7 years old, was hit and bumped by above-described vehicle
then driven by said employee, Vincent Norman Yeneza y Ferrer;
5. That the mishap was due to the gross fault and negligence of defendant's employee, who drove said vehicle,
recklessly, negligently and at a high speed without regard to traffic condition and safety of other road users and
likewise to the fault and negligence of the owner employer, herein defendants LG Food Corporation who failed
to exercise due diligence in the selection and supervision of his employee, Vincent Norman Yeneza y Ferrer;
6. That as a result of said incident, plaintiffs' son suffered multiple body injuries which led to his untimely demise
on that very day;
7. That a criminal case was filed against the defendant's employee, docketed as Criminal Case No. 67787,
(earlier filed as Crim. Case No. 96-17570 before RTC) before MTC-Branch III, entitled "People v. Yeneza" for
"Reckless Imprudence resulting to Homicide," but the same was dismissed because pending litigation, then
remorse-stricken [accused] committed suicide;
xxx xxx xxx
8. That the injuries and complications as well as the resultant death suffered by the late minor Charles Vallejera
were due to the negligence and imprudence of defendant's employee;
9. That defendant LG Foods Corporation is civilly liable for the negligence/imprudence of its employee
since it failed to exercise the necessary diligence required of a good father of the family in the selection
and supervision of his employee, Vincent Norman Yeneza y Ferrer which diligence if exercised, would
have prevented said incident. (Bracketed words and emphasis ours.)
Nothing in the foregoing allegations suggests, even remotely, that the herein petitioners are being made to account for their
subsidiary liability under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code. As correctly pointed out by the trial court in its order of September 4,
2001 denying the petitioners' Motion to Dismiss, the complaint did not even aver the basic elements for the subsidiary liability of an
employer under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, such as the prior conviction of the driver in the criminal case filed against
him nor his insolvency.
Admittedly, the complaint did not explicitly state that plaintiff Vallejeras were suing the defendant petitioners for damages based on
quasi-delict. Clear it is, however, from the allegations of the complaint that quasi-delict was their choice of remedy against the
petitioners. To stress, the plaintiff spouses alleged in their complaint gross fault and negligence on the part of the driver and the
failure of the petitioners, as employers, to exercise due diligence in the selection and supervision of their employees. The spouses
further alleged that the petitioners are civilly liable for the negligence/imprudence of their driver since they failed to exercise the
necessary diligence required of a good father of the family in the selection and supervision of their employees, which diligence, if
exercised, could have prevented the vehicular accident that resulted to the death of their 7-year old son.
Section 2, Rule 2, of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure defines cause of action as the "act or omission by which a party violates the
right of another." Such act or omission gives rise to an obligation which may come from law, contracts, quasi contracts, delicts or
quasi-delicts.11
Corollarily, an act or omission causing damage to another may give rise to two separate civil liabilities on the part of the offender,
i.e., 1) civil liability ex delicto;12 and 2) independent civil liabilities, such as those (a) not arising from an act or omission complained
of as felony (e.g., culpa contractual or obligations arising from law;13 the intentional torts;14 and culpa aquiliana15); or (b) where the
injured party is granted a right to file an action independent and distinct from the criminal action.16 Either of these two possible
liabilities may be enforced against the offender.17

Stated otherwise, victims of negligence or their heirs have a choice between an action to enforce the civil liability arising from culpa
criminal under Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, and an action for quasi-delict (culpa aquiliana) under Articles 2176 to 2194 of
the Civil Code. If, as here, the action chosen is for quasi-delict, the plaintiff may hold the employer liable for the negligent act of its
employee, subject to the employer's defense of exercise of the diligence of a good father of the family. On the other hand, if the
action chosen is for culpa criminal, the plaintiff can hold the employer subsidiarily liable only upon proof of prior conviction of its
employee.18
Article 116119 of the Civil Code provides that civil obligation arising from criminal offenses shall be governed by penal laws subject to
the provision of Article 217720 and of the pertinent provision of Chapter 2, Preliminary Title on Human Relation, and of Title XVIII of
this Book, regulating damages. Plainly, Article 2177 provides for the alternative remedies the plaintiff may choose from in case the
obligation has the possibility of arising indirectly from the delict/crime or directly from quasi-delict/tort. The choice is with the plaintiff
who makes known his cause of action in his initiatory pleading or complaint, 21 and not with the defendant who can not ask for the
dismissal of the plaintiff's cause of action or lack of it based on the defendant's perception that the plaintiff should have opted to file
a claim under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code.
Under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, the liability of the employer is direct or immediate. It is not conditioned upon prior recourse
against the negligent employee and a prior showing of insolvency of such employee.22
Here, the complaint sufficiently alleged that the death of the couple's minor son was caused by the negligent act of the petitioners'
driver; and that the petitioners themselves were civilly liable for the negligence of their driver for failing "to exercise the necessary
diligence required of a good father of the family in the selection and supervision of [their] employee, the driver, which diligence, if
exercised, would have prevented said accident."
Had the respondent spouses elected to sue the petitioners based on Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, they would have
alleged that the guilt of the driver had been proven beyond reasonable doubt; that such accused driver is insolvent; that it is the
subsidiary liability of the defendant petitioners as employers to pay for the damage done by their employee (driver) based on the
principle that every person criminally liable is also civilly liable.23 Since there was no conviction in the criminal case against the
driver, precisely because death intervened prior to the termination of the criminal proceedings, the spouses' recourse was, therefore,
to sue the petitioners for their direct and primary liability based on quasi-delict.
Besides, it is worthy to note that the petitioners, in their Answer with Compulsory Counter-Claim,24 repeatedly made mention of
Article 2180 of the Civil Code and anchored their defense on their allegation that "they had exercised due diligence in the selection
and supervision of [their] employees." The Court views this defense as an admission that indeed the petitioners acknowledged the
private respondents' cause of action as one for quasi-delict under Article 2180 of the Civil Code.
All told, Civil Case No. 99-10845 is a negligence suit brought under Article 2176 - Civil Code to recover damages primarily from the
petitioners as employers responsible for their negligent driver pursuant to Article 2180 of the Civil Code. 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.
Thus, the employer is liable for damages caused by his employees and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned
tasks, even though the former is not engaged in any business or industry.
Citing Maniago v. CA,25 petitioner would argue that Civil Case No. 99-10845 should have been dismissed for failure of the
respondent spouses to make a reservation to institute a separate civil action for damages when the criminal case against the driver
was filed.
The argument is specious.
To start with, the petitioners' reliance on Maniago is obviously misplaced. There, the civil case was filed while the criminal case
against the employee was still pending. Here, the criminal case against the employee driver was prematurely terminated due to his
death. Precisely, Civil Case No. 99-10845 was filed by the respondent spouses because no remedy can be obtained by them
against the petitioners with the dismissal of the criminal case against their driver during the pendency thereof.
The circumstance that no reservation to institute a separate civil action for damages was made when the criminal case was filed is
of no moment for the simple reason that the criminal case was dismissed without any pronouncement having been made therein. In
reality, therefor, it is as if there was no criminal case to speak of in the first place. And for the petitioners to insist for the conviction of
their driver as a condition sine qua non to hold them liable for damages is to ask for the impossible.
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the instant petition is DENIED for lack of merit.
Costs against the petitioners.
SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. 181084

June 16, 2009

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,


vs.
BARTOLOME TAMPUS1 and IDA MONTESCLAROS, Defendants.
IDA MONTESCLAROS, Appellant.
DECISION
PUNO, C.J.:
On appeal is the decision2 of the Court of Appeals, Visayas Station, dated September 29, 2006 in CA-G.R. CR-HC No. 00215. The
Court of Appeals affirmed, with modification, the decision3 of the Regional Trial Court of Lapu-lapu City in Criminal Case No.
013324-L, finding appellant Ida Montesclaros (Ida) guilty as an accomplice in the commission of rape.
The present appeal stems from two criminal cases: (1) Criminal Case No. 013324-L charging Bartolome Tampus (Tampus) and Ida
as conspirators in the rape of ABC4 on April 1, 1995 at 4:30 p.m.; and (2) Criminal Case No. 013325-L charging Tampus of raping
ABC on April 4, 1995 at 1:00 a.m.
The Information5 in each case reads as follows:
CRIM. CASE NO. 013324-L6
That on the 1st day of April 1995, at about 4:30 oclock [sic] in the afternoon, in Looc, Lapulapu City, Philippines, within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, accused Bartolome Tampus, taking advantage that [ABC] was in deep slumber due to
drunkenness, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge with [sic] the latter, who was at that time
thirteen (13) years old, against her will, in conspiracy with the accused Ida Montesclaros who gave permission to Bartolome Tampus
to rape [ABC].
CONTRARY TO LAW.
CRIM. CASE NO. 013325-L7
That on the 3rd day of April, 1995,8 at about 1:00 oclock [sic] dawn, in Looc, Lapulapu City, Philippines, within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the above-named accused, armed with a wooden club (poras), by means of threat and intimidation, did then and
there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge with [sic] [ABC], who was at that time thirteen (13) years old,
against her will.
CONTRARY TO LAW.
The offended party, ABC, is the daughter of appellant Ida, and was 13 years old at the time of the incident. Ida worked as a waitress
in Bayanihan Beer House in Mabini, Cebu City. On February 19, 1995, Ida and ABC started to rent a room in a house owned by
Tampus, a barangay tanod. On April 1, 1995, about 4:30 p.m., ABC testified that she was in the house with Ida and Tampus 9 who
were both drinking beer at that time. They forced her to drink beer10 and after consuming three and one-half (3 ) glasses of beer,
she became intoxicated and very sleepy.11 While ABC was lying on the floor of their room, she overheard Tampus requesting her
mother, Ida, that he be allowed to "remedyo"12 or have sexual intercourse with her.13 Appellant Ida agreed and instructed Tampus to
leave as soon as he finished having sexual intercourse with ABC. Ida then went to work, leaving Tampus alone with ABC. ABC fell
asleep and when she woke up, she noticed that the garter of her panties was loose and rolled down to her knees. She suffered pain
in her head, thighs, buttocks, groin and vagina, and noticed that her panties and short pants were stained with blood which was
coming from her vagina.14 When her mother arrived home from work the following morning, she kept on crying but appellant Ida
ignored her.15
ABC testified that on April 4, 1995 around 1:00 a.m., she was left alone in the room since her mother was at work at the beer
house.16 Tampus went inside their room and threatened to kill her if she would report the previous sexual assault to anyone. 17 He
then forcibly removed her panties. ABC shouted but Tampus covered her mouth and again threatened to kill her if she shouted. 18 He
undressed himself, spread ABCs legs, put saliva on his right hand and he applied this to her vagina; he then inserted his penis into
ABCs vagina and made a push and pull movement.19 After consummating the sexual act, he left the house. When ABC told
appellant Ida about the incident, the latter again ignored her.20
On May 4, 1995, after being maltreated by her mother, ABC sought the help of her aunt, Nellie Montesclaros (Nellie). She told Nellie
about the rape and that her mother sold her.21 ABC, together with Nellie and Norma Andales, a traffic enforcer, reported the incident
of rape to the police. On May 9, 1995, Nestor A. Sator , M.D. (Dr. Sator), head of the Medico-Legal Branch of the Philippine National

Crime Laboratory Services, Regional Unit 7, conducted a physical examination of ABC and issued a Medico-Legal Report. 22 Dr.
Sator testified that the result of his examination of ABC revealed a deep healed laceration at the seven (7) oclock position and a
shallow healed laceration at the one (1) oclock position on ABCs hymen.
On September 22, 1995, ABC filed two Complaints. She accused Tampus of taking advantage of her by having carnal knowledge of
her, against her will, while she was intoxicated and sleeping on April 1, 1995 at 4:30 p.m. She declared in her Complaint that this
was done in conspiracy with accused Ida who gave permission to Tampus to rape her. And again, she stated that on April 3, 1995,
she was threatened with a wooden club by Tampus, who then succeeded in having sexual intercourse with her, against her will.
Tampus denied raping ABC on April 1, 1995. He claimed that at 4:00 p.m. of April 1, 1995, he left the house to go to the public
market of Lapu-lapu City. When he arrived home at 6:00 p.m., ABC and Ida were not there as they usually go to the beer house at
4:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m.23 He denied forcing ABC to drink beer. He also denied asking Ida to allow him to have sexual intercourse with
ABC.24 Appellant Ida also testified that she and ABC left for the beer house at 4:00 p.m. of April 1, 1995 and they came back at 6:00
a.m. the following day.25 She said that she always brought her daughter to the beer house with her and there was never an instance
when she left her daughter alone in the house.26 She denied forcing ABC to drink beer at 4:30 p.m. of April 1, 1995, and she denied
giving permission to Tampus to have sexual intercourse with ABC.27
Tampus also denied raping ABC on April 4, 1995. He testified that he arrived at the Barangay Tanod Headquarters between 7:00
p.m. and 8:00 p.m. of April 3, 199528 and that his actual duty time shift was from midnight to 5:00 a.m. of April 4, 1995. Guillermo
Berdin (Berdin), a defense witness, testified that on April 3, 1995, Tampus reported for duty at the police outpost at 8:00 p.m. and left
at 5:00 a.m. of April 4, 1995, as reflected in the attendance logbook. However, on cross-examination, Berdin could not tell whether
the signature appearing on the logbook really belonged to Tampus. It was noted by the trial court that the handwriting used by
Tampus in the logbook entry on April 2, 1995 is different from his handwriting appearing on April 3, 1995. 29 It was also revealed that
the house of Tampus is just 500 meters away or just a three-minute walk from the barangay tanod outpost and that the barangay
tanod on duty could leave the outpost unnoticed or without permission.30
Agustos B. Costas, M.D.31 (Dr. Costas), the Head of the Department of Psychiatry of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center,
issued a Medical Certification,32 which showed that appellant Ida was treated as an outpatient at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical
Center Psychiatry Department from November 11, 1994 to January 12, 1995 and was provisionally diagnosed with Schizophrenia,
paranoid type.
The trial court convicted Tampus of two counts of rape, as principal in Criminal Case No. 013324-L and Criminal Case No. 013325L. Appellant Ida was found guilty as an accomplice in Criminal Case No. 013324-L. The trial court appreciated in Idas favor the
mitigating circumstance of illness which would diminish the exercise of will-power without depriving her of the consciousness of her
acts, pursuant to Article 13(9) of the Revised Penal Code.33 The dispositive portion of the trial courts decision states, viz.:
WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing considerations, the Court finds accused Bartolome Tampus GUILTY BEYOND
REASONABLE DOUBT of two counts of rape, as principals [sic], in Criminal Case No. 013324-L and Criminal Case No. 013325-L
and he is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua in each of the aforementioned cases.
The Court also finds accused Ida Montesclaros GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT as an accomplice in Criminal Case No.
013324-L, and she is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of twelve (12) years and one (1) day to fourteen (14) years, and eight
(8) months of Reclusion Temporal.
Both accused are hereby ordered, jointly and severally, to indemnify the offended party, [ABC], the sum of P50,000.00 in Criminal
Case No. 013324-L.
With costs against the accused.
SO ORDERED. 34
Pending resolution of the appeal before the Court of Appeals, accused Tampus died on November 16, 2000 35 and his appeal was
dismissed by the Third Division of this Court.36 Thus, the appeal before the Court of Appeals dealt only with that of appellant Ida. The
appellate court gave credence to the testimony of ABC and affirmed the trial courts decision with modification. It appreciated the
mitigating circumstance of illness in favor of Ida, but found that Ida failed to prove that she was completely deprived of intelligence
on April 1, 1995. On the basis of the medical report and the testimony of the attending physician, Idas schizophrenia was
determined by both the trial court and the Court of Appeals to have diminished the exercise of her will-power though it did not
deprive her of the consciousness of her acts. The dispositive portion of the decision of the Court of Appeals states:
WHEREFORE, the instant appeal is DISMISSED for lack of merit. The assailed decision is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION.
Appellant Ida Montesclaros is guilty beyond reasonable doubt as accomplice in the commission of rape and hereby sentenced to
suffer the indeterminate penalty of ten (10) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as minimum, to twelve (12) years and one (1) day
of reclusion temporal as maximum. Further, she is ORDERED to pay moral damages in the amount of fifty thousand pesos (Php
50,000.00) and exemplary damages in the amount of twenty-five thousand pesos (Php 25,000.00).37

We find the findings of the lower courts to be well-taken.


The finding of guilt of Ida as an accomplice in the rape of ABC is dependent on proving the guilt of the principal accused. Upon
examination of the records of the case, we agree with the ruling of the trial and appellate courts that the testimony of ABC is clear
and straightforward, and is sufficient to conclude that Tampus is guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principal in the rape of ABC, in
Criminal Case No. 013324-L, as well as to convict appellant Ida as an accomplice in the same criminal case.
The findings of the trial courts carry great weight and respect and, generally, appellate courts will not overturn said findings unless
the trial court overlooked, misunderstood or misapplied some facts or circumstances of weight and substance which will alter the
assailed decision or affect the result of the case.38 The rule finds an even more stringent application where the said findings are
sustained by the Court of Appeals.39
The trial court has carefully scrutinized the testimony of complainant ABC and has given full faith and credence to her testimony.
Both the trial and appellate courts found that the rape of ABC by Tampus on April 1, 1995 has been established beyond reasonable
doubt. Indeed, it is highly inconceivable for a young girl to impute the crime of rape, implicate her own mother in such a vile act,
allow an examination of her private parts and subject herself to public trial if she has not been a victim of rape and was impelled to
seek justice for the defilement of her person. Testimonies of child-victims are normally given full credit. 40
Tampus was positively identified by ABC as the person who had carnal knowledge of her against her will on April 1, 1995. The denial
of Tampus cannot prevail over the positive and direct identification by the victim, ABC. Although ABC was asleep and unconscious at
the time the sexual debasement was committed by Tampus, circumstantial evidence established beyond doubt that it is Tampus who
raped ABC. Circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if: (a) there is more than one circumstance; (b) the facts from which
the inferences are derived are proven; and (c) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond
reasonable doubt.41 In cases like the one at bar, the Court takes into consideration the events that transpired before and after the
victim lost consciousness in order to establish the commission of the act of coitus.42
The trial court correctly determined, thus:
The prosecution has clearly established by its evidence that accused Bartolome Tampus had carnal knowledge of [ABC] on April 1,
1995 under the circumstance set forth in Article 335 (2) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended; that is, when the woman is
deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious.
xxxx
The Court cannot accept accused Bartolome Tampus defense of denial and alibi. His denial pales in effect against the positive
evidence given by [ABC] that he ravished her [on] two occasions.
xxxx
It is true that in the first incident on April 1, 1995, [ABC] did not see Tampus lie down with her. What she saw was the aftermath of
her deflowering upon waking up. Nevertheless, the Court has taken note of the following circumstances: (1) The drinking session
where the complainant was forced to drink beer by both accused; (2) The conversation between the two accused when accused
Tampus requested accused Ida Montesclaros, and was granted by the latter, permission to have sexual intercourse with the
complainant; (3) Accused Tampus and the complainant were the only persons left in the house when Ida Montesclaros went to work
after acceding to the request of Tampus; (4) The bloodstained pants, the pain and blood in complainants vagina and the pain in her
head, groin and buttocks; (5) The threat made by accused Tampus on the complainant in the dawn of April 4, 1995 that he would kill
her if she would tell about the previous incident on April 1, 1995; and (6) The second incident of rape that immediately ensued.
These circumstances form a chain that points to accused Bartolome Tampus as the person who had carnal knowledge of [ABC]
when she was asleep in an inebriated condition. 43
After establishing the guilt of Tampus as principal, the trial court then determined the guilt of Ida. Although Ida was charged as a
conspirator, the trial court found her liable as an accomplice. The trial court ruled that her act of forcing or intimidating ABC to drink
beer and then acceding to the request of co-accused Tampus to be allowed to have sexual intercourse with ABC did not prove their
conspiracy.44 Hence, it held that, "[u]ndoubtedly, Ida Montesclaros participated in the commission of the crime by previous acts but
her participation, not being indispensable, was not that of a principal. She is liable as an accomplice." 45
In her appeal, appellant Ida argued that it is against human nature for a mother to allow her daughter to be raped. She maintained
that there was no instance when she left ABC alone in the house. The Court of Appeals dismissed appellant Idas appeal as it also
gave credence to the testimony of ABC.
In her appeal brief filed before this Court, Ida raises the following assignment of errors:
I

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING THE ACCUSED BARTOLOME TAMPUS OF THE CRIMES OF
RAPE DESPITE FAILURE OF THE PROSECUTION TO PROVE HIS GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT.
II
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN CONVICTING IDA MONTESCLAROS AS ACCOMPLICE TO THE CRIME OF
RAPE DESPITE FAILURE OF THE PROSECUTION TO PROVE HER GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE
DOUBT.46
We affirm the trial and appellate courts in ruling that Ida is liable as an accomplice in the rape of her daughter, ABC.
Accomplices are persons who, not being included in Article 17 of the Revised Penal Code, cooperate in the execution of the offense
by previous or simultaneous acts.47 The following requisites must be proved in order that a person can be considered an
accomplice:
(a) community of design, i.e., knowing that criminal design of the principal by direct participation, he concurs
with the latter in his purpose;
(b) he cooperates in the execution of the offense by previous or simultaneous acts; and,
(c) there must be a relation between the acts done by the principal and those attributed to the person charged
as accomplice.48
The testimony of ABC establishes that Ida cooperated in the execution of the rape by Tampus when prior to the act of rape by
Tampus, she forced ABC to drink beer and she agreed to Tampus request for him to have sexual intercourse with ABC. Idas acts
show that she had knowledge of and even gave her permission to the plan of Tampus to have sexual intercourse with her
daughter.1avvphi1
During the cross-examination by the defense counsel, Atty. Paulito Cabrera, of witness ABC, she testified that:
Q Before this date, April 1, 1995, did you already usually drink beer?
A No, sir.
Q So, you are telling the Honorable Court that it was only on April 1, 1995 that you first drank beer?
A Yes, sir.
Q What did you say, you were forced to drink beer?
A Yes, sir.
Q Who forced you to drink beer in that afternoon of April 1, 1995?
A Bartolome Tampus and "Nanay", my mother.49
xxxx
Q By the way, your mother proposed to you to drink beer?
A Yes, sir.
Q Before you concede to her proposition, did you not complain that you had not been used to drinking beer and
then, why suddenly, she would let you drink beer at that time?
A No, sir.
Q Did you not tell her that, "I am not used to drinking beer, so, I would not drink beer"?

A Because the beer was mixed with Coke.


Q So, you mean that you also agreed to drink beer at that time?
A I just agreed to the proposal of my mother.
Q But you never voiced any complaint or any refusal to her at that time?
A No, sir because I was afraid that she might maltreat me.
Q At that time when she proposed to you to drink beer, was she already threatening to maltreat you if you would
not drink that beer?
A Not yet.
Q And how were you able to conclude that she might maltreat you if you would not drink that beer that she
proposed for you to drink?
A Because "Nanay" stared at me sharply and she had a wooden stick prepared.
Q Are you sure that she was doing that while she was offering the glass of beer to you?
A Yes, sir.50
xxxx
Q While you were drinking beer, your mother and Bartolome went out of the house and you overheard
Bartolome asking or proposing to your mother that he would have sexual intercourse with you which you term in
the Visayan dialect "remedyo", Bartolome would want to have a "remedyo" with you. When [sic], particular
moment did you allegedly hear this statement, while you were drinking beer or after you had finished drinking
beer?
A When I was already lying on the floor of the room we were renting. 51
xxxx
Q And, of course, as you have stated now, it was you, you were quite sure that it was you who was being
referred by Bartolome Tampus when he said to your mother in the Visayan dialect that "gusto siya moremedyo
nimo", he wants to have sexual intercourse with you?
A Yes, sir, but I dont know the meaning of "remedyo".
Q At that time, you did not know the meaning of "remedyo"?
A Not yet, sir.52
xxxx
Q Was that the very first time that you ever heard of the word "remedyo"?
A Yes, sir53
xxxx
Q And when your mother came back from work at about 7:00 oclock [sic] in the morning of April 2, 1995, did
you not also bother to tell her of what you suspected that something serious or bad had happened to you in the
previous day?

A Because she already knew, sir.


Q How did you know that she already knew?
A Because I heard her telling Omeng,54 "After you have sexual intercourse with her, leave her immediately!"55
xxxx
Q Considering that you never knew what is the meaning of the word, "remedyo", when your mother arrived in
the morning of April 2, 1995, did you not confront your mother, did you not tell her that, "Is this what you mean
by "remedyo", as what you had agreed with Bartolome Tampus that he would do something to my genitals?
A No sir, because when she arrived, she kept on laughing.56
All the requisites concur in order to find Ida guilty as an accomplice to Tampus in the rape of ABC. The testimony of ABC shows that
there was community of design between Ida and Tampus to commit the rape of ABC. Ida had knowledge of and assented to
Tampus intention to have sexual intercourse with her daughter. She forced ABC to drink beer, and when ABC was already drunk,
she left ABC alone with Tampus, with the knowledge and even with her express consent to Tampus plan to have sexual intercourse
with her daughter.
It is settled jurisprudence that the previous acts of cooperation by the accomplice should not be indispensable to the commission of
the crime; otherwise, she would be liable as a principal by indispensable cooperation. The evidence shows that the acts of
cooperation by Ida are not indispensable to the commission of rape by Tampus. First, because it was both Ida and Tampus who
forced ABC to drink beer, and second because Tampus already had the intention to have sexual intercourse with ABC and he could
have consummated the act even without Idas consent.
The acts of Ida are closely related to the eventual commission of rape by Tampus. They both forced ABC to drink beer; when ABC
was already drunk, Tampus asked Ida if he could have sexual intercourse with ABC and Ida gave her consent; and lastly, Ida left
ABC alone with Tampus so that he proceed with his plan to rape ABC.
Circumstances affecting the liability of the Appellant as an Accomplice
We agree with both the trial and appellate courts in their appreciation of the mitigating circumstance of illness as would diminish the
exercise of willpower of Ida without depriving her of the consciousness of her acts, pursuant to Article 13(9) of the Revised Penal
Code.
Dr. Costas testified that Ida was provisionally treated for schizophrenia a few months before the incident, from November 11, 1994
to January 12, 1995. Based on his expert opinion, Ida was not totally deprived of intelligence at the time of the incident; but, she
may have poor judgment. On Direct Examination of Dr. Costas by City Prosecutor Celso V. Espinosa, he testified as follows:
Q Doctor, taking into consideration your diagnosis, as you said, is provisional, would you say that the patient
[sic] totally deprived of intelligence or reason?
A Not totally.
Q She will be conscious of her acts?
A She may be, that is possible, for certain cause.
Q And there will be loss of intelligence?
A There could be.
Q Now, Doctor, she is charged her [sic] as one of the principals in the commission of the crime of rape for
having given her daughter to be sexually abused by her co-accused, allegedly convinced by her co-accused on
the first day of April, 1995. Now, if she was then under treatment, Doctor, from November 11, 1994 to January
12, 1995, would you say, Doctor, that having taken this diagnosis for [sic] schizophrenic patient, at the time,
after January 12, 1995, she must have acted with discernment?

A It is possible because you are this kind of mental illness even with the treatment, and even without any
medication, it may be what we called spontaneous, really it will get back.
Q At that time it will loss the intelligence? [sic]
A I think because it might be back, the treatment should be yearly.
Q Doctor, in your opinion, since our office is very much concern [sic] on this, if a person is totally deprived of
intelligence, he has still discernment, she is unconscious of her act, she or he may be exempted from any
criminal liability, please tell, Doctor, in your personal opinion for the purpose of this proceedings she may be
acting with discernment and with certain degree of intelligence?
A It is possible but I think of a mother feeding her own daughter to somebody, I think there is a motive, she
wants to gain financial or material things from the daughter if no material gain, then perhaps it was borne out of
her illness. This is my opinion.57
xxxx
Q Doctor, is this schizophrenic person can distinguish the right or wrong? [sic]
A If they are in the [sic] state of illness, judgment is impaired to discern between right or wrong.
Q In the case of this particular accused, what would you say at the state of her ailment?
A When she was brought to the hospital, Your Honor, I think, although the mother alleged that the sickness
could be more than one year duration, it is in acute stage because she was allegedly destroying everything in
the house according to the mother, so she was in acute stage.58
On cross-examination by Atty. Paulito Cabrera, Dr. Costas testified thus:
Q Would you say, Doctor, that that particular ailment of Ida Montesclaros affected her sense of judgment?
A I think, so.
Q And that being scizophronic [sic] somehow, it has, while in that stage, the patient lost contact with reality?
A Yes, that is possible.
Q In your opinion, Doctor, granting, for the sake of argument, the alleged accusation against her is true, being
an expert on scizophrania, could you tell the Honorable Court as a mother, who would allegedly do such an
offense to her daughter, is it still in her sound mind or proper mental sane [sic]?
A I think, as I said, one thing to be considered is the motivation if she want [sic] to gain some material things, if
not, it is because of her judgment.
Q If she would not gain anything from allowing her daughter allegedly to be rubbished by another person, then
there must be something wrong?
A There must be something wrong and it came up from scizpphrania.
A It is the judgment, in the case of the schizophrenic.59
We have previously held that Schizophrenia may be considered mitigating under Art. 13(9) if it diminishes the exercise of the
willpower of the accused.60 In this case, the testimony of Dr. Costas shows that even though Ida was diagnosed with schizophrenia,
she was not totally deprived of intelligence but her judgment was affected. Thus, on the basis of the Medical Certification that Ida
suffered from and was treated for schizophrenia a few months prior to the incident, and on the testimony of Dr. Costas, Idas
schizophrenia could be considered to have diminished the exercise of her willpower although it did not deprive her of the
consciousness of her acts.

We note that in the case at bar, the undisputed fact that Ida is the mother of ABCwho was 13 years old at the time of the incident
could have been considered as a special qualifying circumstance which would have increased the imposable penalty to death,
under Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, viz.:
ARTICLE 266-B. Penalties.
xxxx
The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed with any of the following aggravating/qualifying
circumstances:
1) When the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by
consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim;
xxxx
Both the circumstances of the minority and the relationship of the offender to the victim, either as the victims parent, ascendant,
step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent of
the victim, must be alleged in the information and proved during the trial in order for them to serve as qualifying circumstances under
Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code.61
In the case at bar, although the victim's minority was alleged and established, her relationship with the accused as the latter's
daughter was not properly alleged in the Information, and even though this was proven during trial and not refuted by the accused, it
cannot be considered as a special qualifying circumstance that would serve to increase the penalty of the offender. Under the 2000
Rules of Criminal Procedure, which should be given retroactive effect following the rule that statutes governing court proceedings
will be construed as applicable to actions pending and undetermined at the time of their passage, 62 every Information must state the
qualifying and the aggravating circumstances attending the commission of the crime for them to be considered in the imposition of
the penalty.63 Since in the case at bar, the Information in Criminal Case No. 013324-L did not state that Ida is the mother of ABC, this
circumstance could not be appreciated as a special qualifying circumstance. Ida may only be convicted as an accomplice in the
crime of simple rape, which is punishable by reclusion perpetua. In any event, Republic Act No. 9346, entitled an "An Act Prohibiting
the Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines," which was signed into law on June 24, 2006 prohibits the imposition of the death
penalty.
Civil indemnity imposed against the appellant
The dispositive portion of the trial court's decision ordered Tampus and Ida "jointly and severally, to indemnify the offended party,
[ABC], the sum of P50,000.00 in Criminal Case No. 013324-L."64 The Court of Appeals, however, did not award any civil indemnity to
ABC, and only awarded moral and exemplary damages. We deem it necessary and proper to award ABC civil indemnity of
P50,000.00. Civil indemnity ex delicto is mandatory upon finding of the fact of rape. This is distinct from moral damages awarded
upon such finding without need of further proof, because it is assumed that a rape victim has actually suffered moral injuries entitling
the victim to such award.65
Consistent with prevailing jurisprudence, the victim in simple rape cases is entitled to an award of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity ex
delicto and another P50,000.00 as moral damages. 66 However, Tampus civil indemnity ex delicto has been extinguished by reason
of his death before the final judgment, in accordance with Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code.67 Thus, the amount of civil indemnity
which remains for accomplice Ida to pay is put at issue.
It becomes relevant to determine the particular amount for which each accused is liable when they have different degrees of
responsibility in the commission of the crime and, consequently, differing degrees of liability. When a crime is committed by many,
each one has a distinct part in the commission of the crime and though all the persons who took part in the commission of the crime
are liable, the liability is not equally shared among them. Hence, an accused may be liable either as principal, accomplice or
accessory.
The particular liability that each accused is responsible for depends on the nature and degree of his participation in the commission
of the crime. The penalty prescribed by the Revised Penal Code for a particular crime is imposed upon the principal in a
consummated felony.68 The accomplice is only given the penalty next lower in degree than that prescribed by the law for the crime
committed69 and an accessory is given the penalty lower by two degrees.70 However, a felon is not only criminally liable, he is
likewise civilly liable. 71 Apart from the penalty of imprisonment imposed on him, he is also ordered to indemnify the victim and to
make whole the damage caused by his act or omission through the payment of civil indemnity and damages.
Civil liability arising from the crime is shared by all the accused. Although, unlike criminal liabilityin which the Revised Penal Code
specifically states the corresponding penalty imposed on the principal, accomplice and accessorythe share of each accused in the
civil liability is not specified in the Revised Penal Code. The courts have the discretion to determine the apportionment of the civil

indemnity which the principal, accomplice and accessory are respectively liable for, without guidelines with respect to the basis of
the allotment.
Article 109 of the Revised Penal Code provides that "[i]f there are two or more persons civilly liable for a felony, the courts shall
determine the amount for which each must respond." Notwithstanding the determination of the respective liability of the principals,
accomplices and accessories within their respective class, they shall also be subsidiarily liable for the amount of civil liability
adjudged in the other classes. Article 110 of the Revised Penal Code provides that "[t]he principals, accomplices, and accessories,
each within their respective class, shall be liable severally (in solidum) among themselves for their quotas, and subsidiarily for those
of the other persons liable."72
As courts are given a free hand in determining the apportionment of civil liability, previous decisions dealing with this matter have
been grossly inconsistent.
In People v. Galapin,73 People v. Continente,74 United States v. Lasada,75 People v. Mobe,76 People v. Irinea,77 People v. Rillorta,78
People v. Cagalingan,79 People v. Villanueva,80 People v. Magno,81 People v. del Rosario,82 People v. Yrat,83 People v. Saul,84 and
People v. Tamayo,85 the principal and accomplice were ordered to pay jointly and severally the entire amount of the civil indemnity
awarded to the victim. In People v. Sotto,86 the accomplice was ordered to pay half of the amount of civil indemnity imposed by the
trial court, while the principal was liable for the other half. In People v. Toring,87 the principal, accomplice and the accessory were
made jointly and severally liable for the entire amount of the civil indemnity.
In the cases mentioned above, the principal and accomplice were made to pay equal shares of the civil indemnity. This makes the
accomplice who had less participation in the commission of the crime equally liable with the principal for the civil indemnity. The
degree of their participation in the crime was not taken into account in the apportionment of the amount of the civil indemnity. This is
contrary to the principle behind the treble division of persons criminally responsible for felonies, i.e., that the liability must be
commensurate with the degree of participation of the accused in the crime committed. In such a situation, the accomplice who just
cooperated in the execution of the offense but whose participation is not indispensable to the commission of the crime is made to
pay the same amount of civil indemnity as the principal by direct participation who took a direct part in the execution of the criminal
act. It is an injustice when the penalty and liability imposed are not commensurate to the actual responsibility of the offender; for
criminal responsibility is individual and not collective, and each of the participants should be liable only for the acts actually
committed by him.88 The proportion of this individual liability must be graduated not only according to the nature of the crime
committed and the circumstances attending it, but also the degree and nature of participation of the individual offender.
In Garces v. People,89 People v. Flores,90 People v. Barbosa,91 People v. Ragundiaz,92 People v. Bato,93 and People v. Garalde,94 the
accomplice was held to be solidarily liable with the principal for only one-half (1/2) of the amount adjudged as civil indemnity. In
Garces, the accomplice was held solidarily liable for half of the civil indemnity ex delicto but was made to pay the moral damages of
P50,000.00 separately from the principal. In Flores, Ragundiaz, Bato, and Garalde, the accomplice was held solidarily liable for half
of the combined amounts of the civil indemnity ex delicto and moral damages. In Ragundiaz, the accomplice was also made
solidarily liable with the principal for half of the actual damages, and in Garalde the accomplice was also held solidarily liable with
the principal for half of the exemplary damages, aside from the civil and moral damages.
In these cases, the accomplice was made jointly and severally liable with the principal for only half of the amount of the civil
indemnity and moral damages, only for purposes of the enforcement of the payment of civil indemnity to the offended party. When
the liability in solidum has been enforced, as when payment has been made, the person by whom payment has been made shall
have a right of action against the other persons liable for the amount of their respective shares.95 As against each other, whoever
made the payment may claim from his co-debtors only the share that corresponds to each, with interest for the payment already
made.96 In these cases, therefore, payment is made by either the principal or the accomplice, the one who made the payment to the
victim could demand payment of the part of the debt corresponding to his co-debtor. If for example the principal paid the victim the
entire amount of the civil indemnity, he could go against the accomplice for one-fourth (1/4) of the total amount of civil indemnity and
damages. The principal was primarily liable for only one-half (1/2) of the total amount of civil indemnity and he was solidarily liable
with the accomplice for the other half. Since the principal paid for the half which the accomplice is solidarily liable with, he could
claim one-half (1/2) of that amount from the accomplice. Thus, the principal would have become ultimately liable for three-fourths
(3/4) of the total amount of the civil indemnity and damages, while the accomplice would have become liable for one-fourth (1/4) of
such amount.
In People v. Cortes,97 People v. Budol,98 People v. Nulla,99 and People v. Madali,100 the principal was ordered to pay twice the share
of the accomplice in the civil indemnity. In Nulla, the Court determined the respective amounts for which the principal, accomplice
and accessory were liable for. The principal was ordered to pay P20,000.00, the accomplice was ordered to pay P10,000.00, and
the accessory was ordered to pay P2,000.00. Unlike the cases cited above where the principal and accomplice were held solidarily
liable for the entire amount of the civil indemnity or half of it, in Nulla, the court particularly determined the amount for which each
shall respond. This is consistent with Article 109 and Article 110 of the Revised Penal Code, which require that the courts should
determine the amount for which the principals, accomplices and accessories must respond to and upon specifying this amount, the
principals are solidarily liable within their class for their quota, the accomplices are solidarily liable among themselves for their quota
and the accessories are solidarily liable for their quota. If any one of the classes is unable to pay for its respective quota, it becomes
subsidiarily liable for the quota of the other classes, which shall be enforced first against the property of the principals; next, against
that of the accomplices; and lastly, against that of the accessories.101

There are also cases where the principal was ordered to pay more than double the amount that the accomplice is liable for. In
Lumiguis v. People,102 the civil liability of P6,000.00 was apportioned as follows: the sole principal was primarily liable for P3,000.00,
the four accomplices were primarily liable in solidum among themselves for the other half of the indemnity, or P3,000.00. Thus, each
accomplice was answerable for one-fourth (1/4) of P3,000.00 or one-eighth (1/8) of the entire amount of civil indemnity, which is
P750.00.
Similarly in People v. Bantagan,103 the principal was required to indemnify the heirs of the deceased in the amount of P500.00. In
case of his insolvency, his three accomplices should be jointly and severally liable. The three accomplices were jointly and severally
liable for the other P500 and in case of their insolvency the principal was secondarily liable for such amount.
In People v. Castillo,104 the accomplice was ordered to pay one-fourth (1/4) of the amount of the civil indemnity, while the principal
was liable for the remaining three-fourths (3/4).
In People v. Cariaga,105 the total amount of indemnity and damages due to the heirs of the victim amounted to P601,000.00. The
sole accomplice was ordered to pay P101,000.00 which is roughly one-sixth (1/6) of the entire civil indemnity, while the two
principals were ordered to pay the rest of the indemnity and damages amounting to P500,000.00.
The cases cited above demonstrate the ad hoc method by which the ratio of shares of the civil indemnity and damages among the
principal, accomplice and accessory is determined. Though the responsibility to decide the respective shares of persons liable for a
felony is left to the courts, this does not mean that this amount can be decided arbitrarily or upon conjecture. The power of the
courts to grant indemnity and damages demands factual, legal and equitable justification, and cannot be left to speculation and
caprice.
The entire amount of the civil indemnity, together with the moral and actual damages, should be apportioned among the persons
who cooperated in the commission of the crime according to the degree of their liability, respective responsibilities and actual
participation in the criminal act. Salvador Viada, an authority in criminal law, is of the opinion that there are no fixed rules which are
applicable in all cases in order to determine the apportionment of civil liability among two or more persons civilly liable for a felony,
either because there are different degrees of culpability of offenders, or because of the inequality of their financial capabilities. 106 On
this note, he states in his commentaries on the 1870 Penal Code of Spain that the law should leave the determination of the amount
of respective liabilities to the discretion of the courts.107 The courts have the competence to determine the exact participation of the
principal, accomplice, and accessory in the commission of the crime relative to the other classes because they are able to directly
consider the evidence presented and the unique opportunity to observe the witnesses.
We must stress, however, that the courts discretion should not be untrammelled and must be guided by the principle behind
differing liabilities for persons with varying roles in the commission of the crime. The person with greater participation in the
commission of the crime should have a greater share in the civil liability than those who played a minor role in the crime or those
who had no participation in the crime but merely profited from its effects. Each principal should shoulder a greater share in the total
amount of indemnity and damages than every accomplice, and each accomplice should also be liable for a greater amount as
against every accessory. Care should also be taken in considering the number of principals versus that of accomplices and
accessories. If for instance, there are four principals and only one accomplice and the total of the civil indemnity and damages is
P6,000.00, the court cannot assign two-thirds (2/3) of the indemnity and damages to the principals and one-third (1/3) to the
accomplice. Even though the principals, as a class, have a greater share in the liability as against the accomplice-- since one-third
(1/3) of P6,000.00 is P2,000.00, while two-thirds (2/3) of P6,000.00 is P4,000.00-- when the civil liability of every person is
computed, the share of the accomplice ends up to be greater than that of each principal. This is so because the two-thirds (2/3)
share of the principalsor P4,000.00is still divided among all the four principals, and thus every principal is liable for only
P1,000.00.
In the case at bar, the trial court ruled that the accomplice is solidarily liable with the principal for the entire amount of the civil
indemnity of P50,000.00. This is an erroneous apportionment of the civil indemnity. First, because it does not take into account the
difference in the nature and degree of participation between the principal, Tampus, versus the accomplice, Ida. Idas previous acts of
cooperation include her acts of forcing ABC to drink beer and permitting Tampus to have sexual intercourse with her daughter. But
even without these acts, Tampus could have still raped ABC. It was Tampus, the principal by direct participation, who should have
the greater liability, not only in terms of criminal liability, but also with respect to civil liability. Second, Article 110 of the Revised
Penal Code states that the apportionment should provide for a quota amount for every class for which members of such class are
solidarily liable within their respective class, and they are only subsidiarily liable for the share of the other classes. The Revised
Penal Code does not provide for solidary liability among the different classes, as was held by the trial court in the case at
bar.lavvphi1
Thus, taking into consideration the difference in participation of the principal and accomplice, the principal, Tampus, should be liable
for two-thirds (2/3) of the total amount of the civil indemnity and moral damages and appellant Ida should be ordered to pay onethird (1/3) of the amount. Civil indemnity for simple rape was correctly set at P50,000.00 and moral damages at P50,000.00. The
total amount of damages to be divided between Tampus and Ida is P100,000.00, where Tampus is liable for P66,666.67 (which is
two-thirds [2/3] of P100,000.00) and Ida is liable for P33,333.33 (which is one-third [1/3] of P100,000.00). This is broken down into
civil indemnity of P16,666.67 and moral damages of P16,666.67. However, since the principal, Tampus, died while the case was
pending in the Court of Appeals, his liability for civil indemnity ex delicto is extinguished by reason of his death before the final
judgment.108 His share in the civil indemnity and damages cannot be passed over to the accomplice, Ida, because Tampus share of

the civil liability has been extinguished. And even if Tampus were alive upon the promulgation of this decision, Ida would only have
been subsidiarily liable for his share of the civil indemnity of P66,666.67. However, since Tampus civil liability ex delicto is
extinguished, Idas subsidiary liability with respect to this amount is also eliminated, following the principle that the accessory follows
the principal. Tampus obligation to pay P66,666.67 his quota of the civil indemnity is the principal obligation, for which Ida is
only subsidiarily liable. Upon the extinguishment of the principal obligation, there is no longer any accessory obligation which could
attach to it; thus, the subsidiary liability of Ida is also extinguished.
On the matter of exemplary damages, we find that exemplary damages were incorrectly awarded by the Court of Appeals.
In criminal cases, exemplary damages are imposed on the offender as part of the civil liability when the crime was committed with
one or more aggravating circumstances.109 Also known as "punitive" or "vindictive" damages, exemplary or corrective damages are
intended to serve as a deterrent to serious wrongdoings, and as a vindication of undue sufferings and wanton invasion of the rights
of an injured or a punishment for those guilty of outrageous conduct.110 Exemplary damages may be awarded only when one or
more aggravating circumstances are alleged in the information and proved during the trial.111
In the case at bar, no qualifying or aggravating circumstance was appreciated against Ida. Although, the minority of the victim
coupled with the fact that the offender is the parent of the victim could have served to qualify the crime of rape, the presence of
these concurring circumstances cannot justify the award of exemplary damages since the relationship of the offender, Ida, to the
victim, ABC, was not alleged in the Information.112 The minority of the rape victim and her relationship with the offender must both be
alleged in the information and proved during the trial in order to be appreciated as an aggravating/qualifying circumstance. 113 While
the information in the instant case alleged that ABC was a minor during the incident, there was no allegation that Ida was her parent.
Since the relationship between ABC and appellant was not duly established, the award of exemplary damages is not warranted.
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the Decision of the Court of Appeals, Visayas Station, dated September 29, 2006, in CA-G.R. CR-HC No.
00215, finding appellant Ida Montesclaros guilty beyond reasonable doubt as accomplice in the crime of rape and sentencing her to
suffer the indeterminate penalty of ten (10) years and one (1) day of prision mayor, as minimum, to twelve (12) years and one (1)
day of reclusion temporal, as maximum, is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. Appellant Ida Montesclaros is ORDERED to pay civil
indemnity in the amount of sixteen thousand, six hundred sixty-six pesos and sixty-seven centavos (P16,666.67), and moral
damages in the amount of sixteen thousand, six hundred sixty-six pesos and sixty-seven centavos (P16,666.67). The award of
exemplary damages is DELETED.
SO ORDERED.