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G.R. No.

190696

August 3, 2010

ROLITO
CALANG
and
PHILTRANCO
vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

SERVICE

ENTERPRISES,

INC., Petitioners,

NOTE: Philtranco was made solidarily liable even if it is not party to the criminal case. That is erroneous.
BRION, J.:
We resolve the motion for reconsideration filed by the petitioners, Philtranco Service Enterprises, Inc. (Philtranco)
and Rolito Calang, to challenge our Resolution of February 17, 2010. Our assailed Resolution denied the petition
for review on certiorari for failure to show any reversible error sufficient to warrant the exercise of this Courts
discretionary appellate jurisdiction.
Antecedent Facts
Calang a driver of a bus
Rear left part of bus hit a jeep in front of opposite direction.
Cresencio Pinohermoso, the jeeps driver, bumped and killed Jose Mabansag, a bystander
2 passengers were instantly killed. Some sustained injuries.
The prosecution charged Calang with multiple homicide, multiple serious physical injuries and damage to
property thru reckless imprudence before the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 31, Calbayog City.
RTC convicted calang.
CA affirmed. Calang avoided a pushcart and was driving fast.
The CA added that the RTC correctly held Philtranco jointly and severally liable with petitioner Calang, for failing
to prove that it had exercised the diligence of a good father of the family to prevent the accident.
The petitioners filed with this Court a petition for review on certiorari. In our Resolution dated February 17, 2010,
we denied the petition for failure to sufficiently show any reversible error in the assailed decision to warrant the
exercise of this Courts discretionary appellate jurisdiction.
The Motion for Reconsideration
In the present motion for reconsideration, the petitioners claim that there was no basis to hold Philtranco jointly
and severally liable with Calang because the former was not a party in the criminal case (for multiple homicide
with multiple serious physical injuries and damage to property thru reckless imprudence) before the RTC.
The petitioners likewise maintain that the courts below overlooked several relevant facts, supported by
documentary exhibits, which, if considered, would have shown that Calang was not negligent, such as the affidavit
and testimony of witness Celestina Cabriga; the testimony of witness Rodrigo Bocaycay; the traffic accident sketch
and report; and the jeepneys registration receipt. The petitioners also insist that the jeeps driver had the last
clear chance to avoid the collision.
We partly grant the motion.
Liability of Calang
We see no reason to overturn the lower courts finding on Calangs culpability. The finding of negligence on his
part by the trial court, affirmed by the CA, is a question of fact that we cannot pass upon without going into factual
matters touching on the finding of negligence. In petitions for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised
Rules of Court, this Court is limited to reviewing only errors of law, not of fact, unless the factual findings
complained of are devoid of support by the evidence on record, or the assailed judgment is based on a
misapprehension of facts.
Liability of Philtranco
We, however, hold that the RTC and the CA both erred in holding Philtranco jointly and severally liable with
Calang. We emphasize that Calang was charged criminally before the RTC. Undisputedly, Philtranco was not a
direct party in this case. Since the cause of action against Calang was based on delict, both the RTC
and the CA erred in holding Philtranco jointly and severally liable with Calang, based on quasi1
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delict under Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code. Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil
Code pertain to the vicarious liability of an employer for quasi-delicts that an employee has
committed. Such provision of law does not apply to civil liability arising from delict.
If at all, Philtrancos liability may only be subsidiary. Article 102 of the Revised Penal Code states the subsidiary
civil liabilities of innkeepers, tavernkeepers and proprietors of establishments, as follows:

In default of the persons criminally liable, innkeepers, tavernkeepers, and any other persons or corporations shall
be civilly liable for crimes committed in their establishments, in all cases where a violation of municipal ordinances
or some general or special police regulations shall have been committed by them or their employees.1avvphil
Innkeepers are also subsidiary liable for the restitution of goods taken by robbery or theft within their houses from
guests lodging therein, or for the payment of the value thereof, provided that such guests shall have notified in
advance the innkeeper himself, or the person representing him, of the deposit of such goods within the inn; and
shall furthermore have followed the directions which such innkeeper or his representative may have given them
with respect to the care of and vigilance over such goods. No liability shall attach in case of robbery with violence
against or intimidation of persons unless committed by the innkeepers employees.
The foregoing subsidiary liability applies to employers, according to Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, which
reads:
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.
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
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need not expressly pronounce the subsidiary liability of the employer. Nonetheless, before the employers
subsidiary liability is enforced, adequate evidence must exist establishing that (1) they are indeed the employers
of the convicted employees; (2) they are engaged in some kind of industry; (3) the crime was committed by the
employees in the discharge of their duties; and (4) the execution against the latter has not been satisfied due to
insolvency. The determination of these conditions may be done in the same criminal action in which the
employees liability, criminal and civil, has been pronounced, in a hearing set for that precise purpose, with due
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notice to the employer, as part of the proceedings for the execution of the judgment.
WHEREFORE, we PARTLY GRANT the present motion. The Court of Appeals decision that affirmed in toto the RTC
decision, finding Rolito Calang guilty beyond reasonable doubt of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple
homicide, multiple serious physical injuries and damage to property, is AFFIRMED, with the MODIFICATION that
Philtrancos liability should only be subsidiary. No costs.

G.R. No. L-55138 September 28, 1984


ERNESTO
V.
vs.
HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS AND ANTONIO P. SO, respondents.

RONQUILLO, petitioner,

Antonio so (respondent) filed a collection suit in the RTC against petitioner evinced by a dishonored check in
payment of foodstuffs.
RTC rendered a judgment based on a compromise agreement.
1. Plaintiff agrees to reduce its total claim of P117,498-95 to only P11,000 .00 and defendants
agree to acknowledge the validity of such claim and further bind themselves to initially pay out of
the total indebtedness of P10,000.00 the amount of P55,000.00 on or before December 24,
1979, the balance of P55,000.00, defendants individually and jointly agree to pay within a
period of six months from January 1980, or before June 30, 1980; (Emphasis supplied)
Respondent filed a motion for execution for failure to pay
During the hearing, petitioner offered to pay his prorata share. Respondent wanted them to pay the whole
amount. This prompted petitioner and pilar tan to deposit the said amount.
Lower court issued a resolution ordering all defendants to pay their prorata share.
MR was filed by respondent in not ordering that the liability of the debtors are solidary.
On March 17, 1980, the lower court issued an Order reading as follows:
ORDER
Regardless of whatever the compromise agreement has intended the payment whether jointly or
individually, or jointly and severally, the fact is that only P27,500.00 has been paid. There appears
to be a non-payment in accordance with the compromise agreement of the amount of P27,500.00
on or before December 24, 1979. The parties are reminded that the payment is condition sine qua
non to the lifting of the preliminary attachment and the execution of an affidavit of desistance.
WHEREFORE, let writ of execution issue as prayed for
On March 17, 1980, petitioner moved for the reconsideration of the above order, and the same was set for
hearing on March 25,1980.
Later a writ of execution was issued for the satisfaction of the sum of P82,500.00 as against the properties of the
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defendants (including petitioner), "singly or jointly liable."
On March 20, 1980, Special Sheriff Eulogio C. Juanson of Rizal, issued a notice of sheriff's sale, for the sale of
certain furnitures and appliances found in petitioner's residence to satisfy the sum of P82,500.00. The public sale
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was scheduled for April 2, 1980 at 10:00 a.m.
Petitioner raised the question of the validity of the order of execution, the writ of execution and the notice of
public sale of his properties to satisfy fully the entire unpaid obligation payable by all of the four (4) defendants,
when the lower court's decision based on the compromise agreement did not specifically state the liability of the
four (4) defendants to be solidary.
On April 2, 1980, the lower court denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration but the scheduled public sale in
that same day did not proceed in view of the pendency of a certiorari proceeding before the then Court of
Appeals.
CA dismissed the petition because it was premature for not availing of all available remedies.
ISSUE: What is the nature of the liability of the defendants (including petitioner), was it merely joint, or The other
issue raised refers to the nature of the liability of petitioner, as one of the defendants in Civil Case No. 33958, that
is whether or not he is liable jointly or solidarily.
In this regard, Article 1207 and 1208 of the Civil Code provides
Art. 1207. The concurrence of two or more debtors in one and the same obligation does not imply
that each one of the former has a right to demand, or that each one of the latter is bound to
render, entire compliance with the prestation. Then is a solidary liability only when the obligation
expressly so states, or when the law or the nature of the obligation requires solidarity.
Art. 1208. If from the law,or the nature or the wording of the obligation to which the preceding
article refers the contrary does not appear, the credit or debt shall be presumed to be divided into

as many equal shares as there are creditors and debtors, the credits or debts being considered
distinct from one another, subject to the Rules of Court governing the multiplicity of quits.
HELD: the defendants obligated themselves to pay their obligation "individually and jointly".
The term "individually" has the same meaning as "collectively", "separately", "distinctively", respectively or
"severally". An agreement to be "individually liable" undoubtedly creates a several obligation, 14 and a "several
obligation is one by which one individual binds himself to perform the whole obligation. 15
In the case of Parot vs. Gemora 16 We therein ruled that "the phrase juntos or separadamente or in the
promissory note is an express statement making each of the persons who signed it individually liable for the
payment of the fun amount of the obligation contained therein." Likewise in Un Pak Leung vs. Negorra 17 We held
that "in the absence of a finding of facts that the defendants made themselves individually hable for the debt
incurred they are each liable only for one-half of said amount
The obligation in the case at bar being described as "individually and jointly", the same is therefore enforceable
against one of the numerous obligors.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED. Cost against
petitioner.
SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. L-36413 September 26, 1988


MALAYAN
INSURANCE
CO.,
INC., petitioner,
vs.
THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS (THIRD DIVISION) MARTIN C. VALLEJOS, SIO CHOY, SAN LEON
RICE MILL, INC. and PANGASINAN TRANSPORTATION CO., INC., respondents.
PADILLA, J.:
Malayan insurance/petitioner issued a policy covering a willys jeep of respondent for:

a) Own damage
b) Third party liability.
Campollo, the driver of the jeep with martin Vallejos(respondent) as passenger, collided with a bus belonging to
PANTRANCO.
Vallejos filed a case against Malayan and sio choy and pantranco.
PANTRANCO claimed that the jeep of Sio Choy was then operated at an excessive speed and bumped the
PANTRANCO bus which had moved to, and stopped at, the shoulder of the highway in order to avoid the jeep;
and that it had observed the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage, especially in the selection
and supervision of its employees and in the maintenance of its motor vehicles. It prayed that it be absolved from
any and all liability.
Defendant Sio Choy and the petitioner insurance company, in their answer, also denied liability to the plaintiff,
claiming that the fault in the accident was solely imputable to the PANTRANCO.
Sio Choy, however, later filed a separate answer with a cross-claim against the herein petitioner wherein he
alleged that he had actually paid the plaintiff, Martin C. Vallejos, the amount of P5,000.00 for hospitalization and
other expenses, and, in his cross-claim against the herein petitioner, he alleged that the petitioner had issued in
his favor a private car comprehensive policy wherein the insurance company obligated itself to indemnify Sio
Choy, as insured, for the damage to his motor vehicle, as well as for any liability to third persons arising out of any
accident during the effectivity of such insurance contract, which policy was in full force and effect when the
vehicular accident complained of occurred. He prayed that he be reimbursed by the insurance company for the
amount that he may be ordered to pay.
Also later, the herein petitioner sought, and was granted, leave to file a third-party complaint against the San Leon
Rice Mill, Inc. for the reason that the person driving the jeep of Sio Choy, at the time of the accident, was an
employee of the San Leon Rice Mill, Inc. performing his duties within the scope of his assigned task, and not an
employee of Sio Choy; and that, as the San Leon Rice Mill, Inc. is the employer of the deceased driver, Juan P.
Campollo, it should be liable for the acts of its employee, pursuant to Art. 2180 of the Civil Code. The herein
petitioner prayed that judgment be rendered against the San Leon Rice Mill, Inc., making it liable for the amounts
claimed by the plaintiff and/or ordering said San Leon Rice Mill, Inc. to reimburse and indemnify the petitioner for
any sum that it may be ordered to pay the plaintiff.
After trial, judgment was rendered as follows:
RTC adjudged the ff liable:

a) Sio choy
b) Malayan insurance
c) San leon rice mill
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing findings of this Court judgment is hereby rendered in favor
of the plaintiff and against Sio Choy and Malayan Insurance Co., Inc., and third-party defendant
San Leon Rice Mill, Inc., as follows:
(a) P4,103 as actual damages;
(b) P18,000.00 representing the unearned income of plaintiff Martin C. Vallejos for the period of
three (3) years;
(c) P5,000.00 as moral damages;
(d) P2,000.00 as attomey's fees or the total of P29,103.00, plus costs.
The above-named parties against whom this judgment is rendered are hereby held jointly and
severally liable. With respect, however, to Malayan Insurance Co., Inc., its liability will be up to
only P20,000.00.

As no satisfactory proof of cost of damage to its bus was presented by defendant Pantranco, no
award should be made in its favor. Its counter-claim for attorney's fees is also dismissed for not
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being proved.
CA AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION. It ruled, however, that the San Leon Rice Mill, Inc. has no obligation to
indemnify or reimburse the petitioner insurance company for whatever amount it has been ordered to pay on its
policy, since the San Leon Rice Mill, Inc. is not a privy to the contract of insurance between Sio Choy and the
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insurance company.
Hence, the present recourse by petitioner insurance company.
ISSUE: WON san leon rice mill has the obligation to reimburse Malayan insurance co.
The petitioner prays for the reversal of the appellate court's judgment, or, in the alternative, to order the San Leon
Rice Mill, Inc. to reimburse petitioner any amount, in excess of one-half (1/2) of the entire amount of damages,
petitioner may be ordered to pay jointly and severally with Sio Choy.
in order to determine the alleged liability of respondent San Leon Rice Mill, Inc. to petitioner, it is important to
determine first the nature or basis of the liability of petitioner to respondent Vallejos, as compared to that of
respondents Sio Choy and San Leon Rice Mill, Inc.
Therefore, the two (2) principal issues to be resolved are (1) whether the trial court, as upheld by the Court of
Appeals, was correct in holding petitioner and respondents Sio Choy and San Leon Rice Mill, Inc. "solidarily liable"
to respondent Vallejos; and (2) whether petitioner is entitled to be reimbursed by respondent San Leon Rice Mill,
Inc. for whatever amount petitioner has been adjudged to pay respondent Vallejos on its insurance policy.
As to the first issue, it is noted that the trial court found, as affirmed by the appellate court, that petitioner and
respondents Sio Choy and San Leon Rice Mill, Inc. are jointly and severally liable to respondent Vallejos.
We do not agree with the aforesaid ruling. We hold instead that it is only respondents Sio Choy and San Leon Rice
Mill, Inc, (to the exclusion of the petitioner) that are solidarily liable to respondent Vallejos for the damages
awarded to Vallejos.
It must be observed that respondent Sio Choy is made liable to said plaintiff as owner of the ill-fated Willys jeep,
pursuant to Article 2184 of the Civil Code which provides:
Art. 2184. In motor vehicle mishaps, the owner is solidarily liable with his driver, if the former, who
was in the vehicle, could have, by the use of due diligence, prevented the misfortune it is
disputably presumed that a driver was negligent, if he had been found guilty of reckless driving or
violating traffic regulations at least twice within the next preceding two months.
If the owner was not in the motor vehicle, the provisions of article 2180 are applicable.
On the other hand, it is noted that the basis of liability of respondent San Leon Rice Mill, Inc. to plaintiff Vallejos,
the former being the employer of the driver of the Willys jeep at the time of the motor vehicle mishap, is Article
2180 of the Civil Code which reads:
Art. 2180. The obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable not only for one's own acts or
omissions, but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible.
xxx xxx xxx
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers
acting within the scope of their assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged ill any
business or industry.
xxx xxx xxx
The responsibility treated in this article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned proved
that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage.
It thus appears that respondents Sio Choy and San Leon Rice Mill, Inc. are the principal tortfeasors who are
primarily liable to respondent Vallejos. The law states that the responsibility of two or more persons who are liable
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for a quasi-delict is solidarily.
On the other hand, the basis of petitioner's liability is its insurance contract with respondent Sio Choy. If petitioner
is adjudged to pay respondent Vallejos in the amount of not more than P20,000.00, this is on account of its being
the insurer of respondent Sio Choy under the third party liability clause included in the private car comprehensive
policy existing between petitioner and respondent Sio Choy at the time of the complained vehicular accident.
While it is true that where the insurance contract provides for indemnity against liability to third
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persons, such third persons can directly sue the insurer, however, the direct liability of the

insurer under indemnity contracts against third party liability does not mean that the insurer can
be held solidarily liable with the insured and/or the other parties found at fault. The liability of
the insurer is based on contract; that of the insured is based on tort.
In the case at bar, petitioner as insurer of Sio Choy, is liable to respondent Vallejos, but it cannot, as incorrectly
held by the trial court, be made "solidarily" liable with the two principal tortfeasors namely respondents Sio Choy
and San Leon Rice Mill, Inc. For if petitioner-insurer were solidarily liable with said two (2) respondents by reason
of the indemnity contract against third party liability-under which an insurer can be directly sued by a third party
this will result in a violation of the principles underlying solidary obligation and insurance contracts.
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In solidary obligation, the creditor may enforce the entire obligation against one of the solidary debtors. On the
other hand, insurance is defined as "a contract whereby one undertakes for a consideration to indemnify another
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against loss, damage, or liability arising from an unknown or contingent event."
In the case at bar, the trial court held petitioner together with respondents Sio Choy and San Leon Rice Mills Inc.
solidarily liable to respondent Vallejos for a total amount of P29,103.00, with the qualification that petitioner's
liability is only up to P20,000.00. In the context of a solidary obligation, petitioner may be compelled by
respondent Vallejos to pay the entire obligation of P29,013.00, notwithstanding the qualification made by the trial
court. But, how can petitioner be obliged to pay the entire obligation when the amount stated in its insurance
policy with respondent Sio Choy for indemnity against third party liability is only P20,000.00? Moreover, the
qualification made in the decision of the trial court to the effect that petitioner is sentenced to pay up to
P20,000.00 only when the obligation to pay P29,103.00 is made solidary, is an evident breach of the concept of a
solidary obligation. Thus, We hold that the trial court, as upheld by the Court of Appeals, erred in holding
petitioner, solidarily liable with respondents Sio Choy and San Leon Rice Mill, Inc. to respondent Vallejos.
As to the second issue, the Court of Appeals, in affirming the decision of the trial court, ruled that petitioner is not
entitled to be reimbursed by respondent San Leon Rice Mill, Inc. on the ground that said respondent is not privy
to the contract of insurance existing between petitioner and respondent Sio Choy. We disagree.
The appellate court overlooked the principle of subrogation in insurance contracts. Thus
... Subrogation is a normal incident of indemnity insurance (Aetna L. Ins. Co. vs. Moses, 287 U.S.
530, 77 L. ed. 477). Upon payment of the loss, the insurer is entitled to be subrogated pro tanto to
any right of action which the insured may have against the third person whose negligence or
wrongful act caused the loss (44 Am. Jur. 2nd 745, citing Standard Marine Ins. Co. vs. Scottish
Metropolitan Assurance Co., 283 U.S. 284, 75 L. ed. 1037).
The right of subrogation is of the highest equity. The loss in the first instance is that of the insured
but after reimbursement or compensation, it becomes the loss of the insurer (44 Am. Jur. 2d, 746,
note 16, citing Newcomb vs. Cincinnati Ins. Co., 22 Ohio St. 382).
Although many policies including policies in the standard form, now provide for subrogation, and
thus determine the rights of the insurer in this respect, the equitable right of subrogation as the
legal effect of payment inures to the insurer without any formal assignment or any express
stipulation to that effect in the policy" (44 Am. Jur. 2nd 746). Stated otherwise, when the insurance
company pays for the loss, such payment operates as an equitable assignment to the insurer of the
property and all remedies which the insured may have for the recovery thereof. That right is not
dependent upon , nor does it grow out of any privity of contract (emphasis supplied) or upon
written assignment of claim, and payment to the insured makes the insurer assignee in equity
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(Shambley v. Jobe-Blackley Plumbing and Heating Co., 264 N.C. 456, 142 SE 2d 18).
It follows, therefore, that petitioner, upon paying respondent Vallejos the amount of riot exceeding P20,000.00,
shall become the subrogee of the insured, the respondent Sio Choy; as such, it is subrogated to whatever rights
the latter has against respondent San Leon Rice Mill, Inc. Article 1217 of the Civil Code gives to a solidary debtor
who has paid the entire obligation the right to be reimbursed by his co-debtors for the share which corresponds to
each.
Art. 1217. Payment made by one of the solidary debtors extinguishes the obligation. If two or more
solidary debtors offer to pay, the creditor may choose which offer to accept.
He who made the payment may claim from his co-debtors only the share which corresponds to
each, with the interest for the payment already made. If the payment is made before the debt is
due, no interest for the intervening period may be demanded.
xxx xxx xxx

In accordance with Article 1217, petitioner, upon payment to respondent Vallejos and thereby becoming the
subrogee of solidary debtor Sio Choy, is entitled to reimbursement from respondent San Leon Rice Mill, Inc.
To recapitulate then: We hold that only respondents Sio Choy and San Leon Rice Mill, Inc. are solidarily liable to
the respondent Martin C. Vallejos for the amount of P29,103.00. Vallejos may enforce the entire obligation on
only one of said solidary debtors. If Sio Choy as solidary debtor is made to pay for the entire obligation
(P29,103.00) and petitioner, as insurer of Sio Choy, is compelled to pay P20,000.00 of said entire obligation,
petitioner would be entitled, as subrogee of Sio Choy as against San Leon Rice Mills, Inc., to be reimbursed by the
latter in the amount of P14,551.50 (which is 1/2 of P29,103.00 )
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The decision of the trial court, as affirmed by the Court of Appeals, is
hereby AFFIRMED, with the modification above-mentioned. Without pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. L-28046 May 16, 1983


PHILIPPINE
NATIONAL
BANK, plaintiff-appellant,
vs.
INDEPENDENT PLANTERS ASSOCIATION, INC., ANTONIO DIMAYUGA, DELFIN FAJARDO,
CEFERINO VALENCIA, MOISES CARANDANG, LUCIANO CASTILLO, AURELIO VALENCIA, LAURO
LEVISTE, GAVINO GONZALES, LOPE GEVANA and BONIFACIO LAUREANA, defendants-appellees.
PLANA, J.:
PNB sued several defendants. During the pendency of the case, one of the defendants died. CFI dismissed the
case saying that the claim should be prosecuted in the settlement proceeding pursuant to Section 6 of Rule 86 of
the Rules of Court which reads:
SEC. 6. Solidary obligation of decedent. the obligation of the decedent is solidary with another
debtor, the claim shall be filed against the decedent as if he were the only debtor, without
prejudice to the right of the estate to recover contribution from the other debtor. In a joint
obligation of the decedent, the claim shall be confined to the portion belonging to him.
The appellant assails the order of dismissal, invoking its right of recourse against one, some or all of its solidary
debtors under Article 1216 of the Civil Code
ART. 1216. The creditor may proceed against any one of the solidary debtors or some or all of
them simultaneously. The demand made against one of them shall not be an obstacle to those
which may subsequently be directed against the others, so long as the debt has not been fully
collected.
The sole issue thus raised is whether in an action for collection of a sum of money based on contract against all
the solidary debtors, the death of one defendant deprives the court of jurisdiction to proceed with the case
against the surviving defendants.
It is now settled that the quoted Article 1216 grants the creditor the substantive right to seek satisfaction of his
credit from one, some or all of his solidary debtors, as he deems fit or convenient for the protection of his
interests; and if, after instituting a collection suit based on contract against some or all of them and, during its
pendency, one of the defendants dies, the court retains jurisdiction to continue the proceedings and decide the
case in respect of the surviving defendants. Thus in Manila Surety & Fidelity Co., Inc. vs. Villarama et al. , 107 Phil.
891 at 897, this Court ruled:
Construing Section 698 of the Code of Civil Procedure from whence the aforequoted provision
(Sec. 6, Rule 86) was taken, this Court held that where two persons are bound in solidum for the
same debt and one of them dies, the whole indebtedness can be proved against the estate of the
latter, the decedent's liability being absolute and primary; and if the claim is not presented within
the time provided by the rules, the same will be barred as against the estate. It is evident from the
foregoing that Section 6 of Rule 87 (now Rule 86) provides the procedure should the creditor
desire to go against the deceased debtor, but there is certainly nothing in the said provision
making compliance with such procedure a condition precedent before an ordinary action against
the surviving solidary debtors, should the creditor choose to demand payment from the latter,
could be entertained to the extent that failure to observe the same would deprive the court
jurisdiction to take cognizance of the action against the surviving debtors. Upon the other hand,
the Civil Code expressly allows the creditor to proceed against any one of the solidary debtors or
some or all of them simultaneously. There is, therefore, nothing improper in the creditor's filing of
an action against the surviving solidary debtors alone, instead of instituting a proceeding for the
settlement of the estate of the deceased debtor wherein his claim could be filed.
Similarly, in PNB vs. Asuncion, 80 SCRA 321 at 323-324, this Court, speaking thru Mr. Justice Makasiar, reiterated
the doctrine.
A cursory perusal of Section 6, Rule 86 of the Revised Rules of Court reveals that
nothing therein prevents a creditor from proceeding against the surviving solidary
debtors. Said provision merely sets up the procedure in enforcing collection in
case a creditor chooses to pursue his claim against the estate of the deceased
solidary, debtor.

It is crystal clear that Article 1216 of the New Civil Code is the applicable provision
in this matter. Said provision gives the creditor the right to 'proceed against
anyone of the solidary debtors or some or all of them simultaneously.' The choice
is undoubtedly left to the solidary, creditor to determine against whom he will
enforce collection. In case of the death of one of the solidary debtors, he (the
creditor) may, if he so chooses, proceed against the surviving solidary debtors
without necessity of filing a claim in the estate of the deceased debtors. It is not
mandatory for him to have the case dismissed against the surviving debtors and
file its claim in the estate of the deceased solidary debtor . . .
As correctly argued by petitioner, if Section 6, Rule 86 of the Revised Rules of
Court were applied literally, Article 1216 of the New Civil Code would, in effect, be
repealed since under the Rules of Court, petitioner has no choice but to proceed
against the estate of Manuel Barredo only. Obviously, this provision diminishes the
Bank's right under the New Civil, Code to proceed against any one, some or all of
the solidary debtors. Such a construction is not sanctioned by the principle, which
is too well settled to require citation, that a substantive law cannot be amended by
a procedural rule. Otherwise stared, Section 6, Rule 86 of the Revised Rules of
Court cannot be made to prevail over Article 1216 of the New Civil Code, the
former being merely procedural, while the latter, substantive.
WHEREFORE the appealed order of dismissal of the court a quo in its Civil Case No. 46741 is hereby set aside in
respect of the surviving defendants; and the case is remanded to the corresponding Regional Trial Court for
proceedings. proceedings. No costs.
SO ORDERED.