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G.R. No. 84698
February 4,
Carlitos Bautista was a third year student at the Philippine School of
Business Administration. Assailants, who were not members of the schools
academic community, while in the premises of PSBA, stabbed Bautista to
death. This incident prompted his parents to file a suit against PSBA and its
corporate officers for damages due to their alleged negligence, recklessness
and lack of security precautions, means and methods before, during and
after the attack on the victim.
The defendants filed a motion to dismiss, claiming that the compliant states
no cause of action against them based on quasi-delicts, as the said rule does
not cover academic institutions. The trial court denied the motion to
dismiss. Their motion for reconsideration was likewise dismissed, and was
affirmed by the appellate court. Hence, the case was forwarded to the
Supreme Court.
Whether or not PSBA is liable for the death of the student.
Because the circumstances of the present case evince a contractual
relation between the PSBA and Carlitos Bautista, the rules on quasi-delict
do not really govern. A perusal of Article 2176 shows that obligations
arising from quasi-delicts or tort, also known as extra-contractual
obligations, arise only between parties not otherwise bound by contract,
whether express or implied. However, this impression has not prevented
this Court from determining the existence of a tort even when there obtains
a contract.
Article 2180, in conjunction with Article 2176 of the Civil Code,
establishes the rule in in loco parentis. Article 2180 provides that the
damage should have been caused or inflicted by pupils or students of the
educational institution sought to be held liable for the acts of its pupils or
students while in its custody. However, this material situation does not exist
in the present case for, as earlier indicated, the assailants of Carlitos were
not students of the PSBA, for whose acts the school could be made liable.
But it does not necessarily follow that PSBA is absolved form liability.
When an academic institution accepts students for enrollment, there
is established a contract between them, resulting in bilateral obligations

which both parties is bound to comply with. For its part, the school
undertakes to provide the student with an education that would presumably
suffice to equip him with the necessary tools and skills to pursue higher
education or a profession. This includes ensuring the safety of the students
while in the school premises. On the other hand, the student covenants to
abide by the school's academic requirements and observe its rules and
Failing on its contractual and implied duty to ensure the safety of
their student, PSBA is therefore held liable for his death.
Petition denied.