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G.R. No.

L-48006

July 8, 1942

FAUSTO BARREDO, petitioner,


vs.
SEVERINO GARCIA and TIMOTEA ALMARIO, respondents.
Celedonio P. Gloria and Antonio Barredo for petitioner.
Jose G. Advincula for respondents.
BOCOBO, J.:
This case comes up from the Court of Appeals which held the petitioner herein, Fausto Barredo,
liable in damages for the death of Faustino Garcia caused by the negligence of Pedro Fontanilla,
a taxi driver employed by said Fausto Barredo.
At about half past one in the morning of May 3, 1936, on the road between Malabon and
Navotas, Province of Rizal, there was a head-on collision between a taxi of the Malate Taxicab
driven by Pedro Fontanilla and a carretela guided by Pedro Dimapalis. The carretela was
overturned, and one of its passengers, 16-year-old boy Faustino Garcia, suffered injuries from
which he died two days later. A criminal action was filed against Fontanilla in the Court of First
Instance of Rizal, and he was convicted and sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of one year
and one day to two years of prision correccional. The court in the criminal case granted the
petition that the right to bring a separate civil action be reserved. The Court of Appeals affirmed
the sentence of the lower court in the criminal case. Severino Garcia and Timotea Almario,
parents of the deceased on March 7, 1939, brought an action in the Court of First Instance of
Manila against Fausto Barredo as the sole proprietor of the Malate Taxicab and employer of
Pedro Fontanilla. On July 8, 1939, the Court of First Instance of Manila awarded damages in
favor of the plaintiffs for P2,000 plus legal interest from the date of the complaint. This decision
was modified by the Court of Appeals by reducing the damages to P1,000 with legal interest
from the time the action was instituted. It is undisputed that Fontanilla 's negligence was the
cause of the mishap, as he was driving on the wrong side of the road, and at high speed. As to
Barredo's responsibility, the Court of Appeals found:
... It is admitted that defendant is Fontanilla's employer. There is proof that he exercised
the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. (See p. 22, appellant's
brief.) In fact it is shown he was careless in employing Fontanilla who had been caught
several times for violation of the Automobile Law and speeding (Exhibit A) violation
which appeared in the records of the Bureau of Public Works available to be public and to
himself. Therefore, he must indemnify plaintiffs under the provisions of article 1903 of
the Civil Code.

The main theory of the defense is that the liability of Fausto Barredo is governed by the Revised
Penal Code; hence, his liability is only subsidiary, and as there has been no civil action against
Pedro Fontanilla, the person criminally liable, Barredo cannot be held responsible in the case.
The petitioner's brief states on page 10:
... The Court of Appeals holds that the petitioner is being sued for his failure to exercise
all the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of Pedro
Fontanilla to prevent damages suffered by the respondents. In other words, The Court of
Appeals insists on applying in the case article 1903 of the Civil Code. Article 1903 of the
Civil Code is found in Chapter II, Title 16, Book IV of the Civil Code. This fact makes
said article to a civil liability arising from a crime as in the case at bar simply because
Chapter II of Title 16 of Book IV of the Civil Code, in the precise words of article 1903
of the Civil Code itself, is applicable only to "those (obligations) arising from wrongful
or negligent acts or commission not punishable by law.
The gist of the decision of the Court of Appeals is expressed thus:
... We cannot agree to the defendant's contention. The liability sought to be imposed upon
him in this action is not a civil obligation arising from a felony or a misdemeanor (the
crime of Pedro Fontanilla,), but an obligation imposed in article 1903 of the Civil Code
by reason of his negligence in the selection or supervision of his servant or employee.
The pivotal question in this case is whether the plaintiffs may bring this separate civil action
against Fausto Barredo, thus making him primarily and directly, responsible under article 1903
of the Civil Code as an employer of Pedro Fontanilla. The defendant maintains that Fontanilla's
negligence being punishable by the Penal Code, his (defendant's) liability as an employer is only
subsidiary, according to said Penal code, but Fontanilla has not been sued in a civil action and his
property has not been exhausted. To decide the main issue, we must cut through the tangle that
has, in the minds of many confused and jumbled together delitos and cuasi delitos, or crimes
under the Penal Code and fault or negligence under articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code. This
should be done, because justice may be lost in a labyrinth, unless principles and remedies are
distinctly envisaged. Fortunately, we are aided in our inquiry by the luminous presentation of the
perplexing subject by renown jurists and we are likewise guided by the decisions of this Court in
previous cases as well as by the solemn clarity of the consideration in several sentences of the
Supreme Tribunal of Spain.
Authorities support the proposition that a quasi-delict or "culpa aquiliana " is a separate legal
institution under the Civil Code with a substantivity all its own, and individuality that is entirely
apart and independent from delict or crime. Upon this principle and on the wording and spirit
article 1903 of the Civil Code, the primary and direct responsibility of employers may be safely
anchored.

The pertinent provisions of the Civil Code and Revised Penal Code are as follows:
CIVIL CODE
ART. 1089 Obligations arise from law, from contracts and quasi-contracts, and from acts
and omissions which are unlawful or in which any kind of fault or negligence intervenes.
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ART. 1092. Civil obligations arising from felonies or misdemeanors shall be governed by
the provisions of the Penal Code.
ART. 1093. Those which are derived from acts or omissions in which fault or negligence,
not punishable by law, intervenes shall be subject to the provisions of Chapter II, Title
XVI of this book.
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ART 1902. Any person who by an act or omission causes damage to another by his fault
or negligence shall be liable for the damage so done.
ART. 1903. The obligation imposed by the next preceding article is enforcible, not only
for personal acts and omissions, but also for those of persons for whom another is
responsible.
The father and in, case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are liable for any damages
caused by the minor children who live with them.
Guardians are liable for damages done by minors or incapacitated persons subject to their
authority and living with them.
Owners or directors of an establishment or business are equally liable for any damages
caused by their employees while engaged in the branch of the service in which employed,
or on occasion of the performance of their duties.
The State is subject to the same liability when it acts through a special agent, but not if
the damage shall have been caused by the official upon whom properly devolved the duty
of doing the act performed, in which case the provisions of the next preceding article
shall be applicable.
Finally, teachers or directors of arts trades are liable for any damages caused by their
pupils or apprentices while they are under their custody.

The liability imposed by this article shall cease in case the persons mentioned therein
prove that they are exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the
damage.
ART. 1904. Any person who pays for damage caused by his employees may recover from
the latter what he may have paid.
REVISED PENAL CODE
ART. 100. Civil liability of a person guilty of felony. Every person criminally liable for
a felony is also civilly liable.
ART. 101. Rules regarding civil liability in certain cases. The exemption from
criminal liability established in subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 of article 12 and in
subdivision 4 of article 11 of this Code does not include exemption from civil liability,
which shall be enforced to the following rules:
First. In cases of subdivision, 1, 2 and 3 of article 12 the civil liability for acts committed
by any imbecile or insane person, and by a person under nine years of age, or by one over
nine but under fifteen years of age, who has acted without discernment shall devolve
upon those having such person under their legal authority or control, unless it appears
that there was no fault or negligence on their part.
Should there be no person having such insane, imbecile or minor under his authority,
legal guardianship, or control, or if such person be insolvent, said insane, imbecile, or
minor shall respond with their own property, excepting property exempt from execution,
in accordance with the civil law.
Second. In cases falling within subdivision 4 of article 11, the person for whose benefit
the harm has been prevented shall be civilly liable in proportion to the benefit which they
may have received.
The courts shall determine, in their sound discretion, the proportionate amount for which each
one shall be liable.
When the respective shares can not be equitably determined, even approximately, or when the
liability also attaches to the Government, or to the majority of the inhabitants of the town, and, in
all events, whenever the damage has been caused with the consent of the authorities or their
agents, indemnification shall be made in the manner prescribed by special laws or regulations.
Third. In cases falling within subdivisions 5 and 6 of article 12, the persons using violence or
causing the fear shall be primarily liable and secondarily, or, if there be no such persons, those

doing the act shall be liable, saving always to the latter that part of their property exempt from
execution.
ART. 102. Subsidiary civil liability of innkeepers, tavern keepers and proprietors of
establishment. In default of persons criminally liable, innkeepers, tavern keepers, and
any other persons or corporation 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 regulation shall have been committed by them or their employees.
Innkeepers are also subsidiarily liable for the restitution of goods taken by robbery or
theft within their houses lodging therein, or the person, 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 against or
intimidation of persons unless committed by the innkeeper's employees.
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.
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ART. 365. Imprudence and negligence. Any person who, by reckless imprudence,
shall commit any act which, had it been intentional, would constitute a grave felony, shall
suffer the penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its
minimum period; if it would have constituted a less grave felony, the penalty of arresto
mayor in its minimum and medium periods shall be imposed.
Any person who, by simple imprudence or negligence, shall commit an act which would
otherwise constitute a grave felony, shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor in its
medium and maximum periods; if it would have constituted a less serious felony, the
penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed."
It will thus be seen that while the terms of articles 1902 of the Civil Code seem to be broad
enough to cover the driver's negligence in the instant case, nevertheless article 1093 limits cuasidelitos to acts or omissions "not punishable by law." But inasmuch as article 365 of the Revised
Penal Code punishes not only reckless but even simple imprudence or negligence, the fault or
negligence under article 1902 of the Civil Code has apparently been crowded out. It is this

overlapping that makes the "confusion worse confounded." However, a closer study shows that
such a concurrence of scope in regard to negligent acts does not destroy the distinction between
the civil liability arising from a crime and the responsibility for cuasi-delitos or culpa extracontractual. The same negligent act causing damages may produce civil liability arising from a
crime under article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, or create an action for cuasi-delito or culpa
extra-contractual under articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code.
The individuality of cuasi-delito or culpa extra-contractual looms clear and unmistakable. This
legal institution is of ancient lineage, one of its early ancestors being the Lex Aquilia in the
Roman Law. In fact, in Spanish legal terminology, this responsibility is often referred to as culpa
aquiliana. The Partidas also contributed to the genealogy of the present fault or negligence under
the Civil Code; for instance, Law 6, Title 15, of Partida 7, says: "Tenudo es de fazer emienda,
porque, como quier que el non fizo a sabiendas en dao al otro, pero acaescio por su culpa."
The distinctive nature of cuasi-delitos survives in the Civil Code. According to article 1089, one
of the five sources of obligations is this legal institution of cuasi-delito or culpa extracontractual: "los actos . . . en que intervenga cualquier genero de culpa o negligencia." Then
article 1093 provides that this kind of obligation shall be governed by Chapter II of Title XVI of
Book IV, meaning articles 1902-0910. This portion of the Civil Code is exclusively devoted to
the legal institution of culpa aquiliana.
Some of the differences between crimes under the Penal Code and the culpa aquiliana or cuasidelito under the Civil Code are:
1. That crimes affect the public interest, while cuasi-delitos are only of private concern.
2. That, consequently, the Penal Code punishes or corrects the criminal act, while the Civil Code,
by means of indemnification, merely repairs the damage.
3. That delicts are not as broad as quasi-delicts, because the former are punished only if there is a
penal law clearly covering them, while the latter, cuasi-delitos, include all acts in which "any
king of fault or negligence intervenes." However, it should be noted that not all violations of the
penal law produce civil responsibility, such as begging in contravention of ordinances, violation
of the game laws, infraction of the rules of traffic when nobody is hurt. (See Colin and Capitant,
"Curso Elemental de Derecho Civil," Vol. 3, p. 728.)
Let us now ascertain what some jurists say on the separate existence of quasi-delicts and the
employer's primary and direct liability under article 1903 of the Civil Code.
Dorado Montero in his essay on "Responsibilidad" in the "Enciclopedia Juridica Espaola" (Vol.
XXVII, p. 414) says:

El concepto juridico de la responsabilidad civil abarca diversos aspectos y comprende a


diferentes personas. Asi, existe una responsabilidad civil propiamente dicha, que en
ningun casl lleva aparejada responsabilidad criminal alguna, y otra que es consecuencia
indeclinable de la penal que nace de todo delito o falta."
The juridical concept of civil responsibility has various aspects and comprises different
persons. Thus, there is a civil responsibility, properly speaking, which in no case carries
with it any criminal responsibility, and another which is a necessary consequence of the
penal liability as a result of every felony or misdemeanor."
Maura, an outstanding authority, was consulted on the following case: There had been a collision
between two trains belonging respectively to the Ferrocarril Cantabrico and the Ferrocarril del
Norte. An employee of the latter had been prosecuted in a criminal case, in which the company
had been made a party as subsidiarily responsible in civil damages. The employee had been
acquitted in the criminal case, and the employer, the Ferrocarril del Norte, had also been
exonerated. The question asked was whether the Ferrocarril Cantabrico could still bring a civil
action for damages against the Ferrocarril del Norte. Maura's opinion was in the affirmative,
stating in part (Maura, Dictamenes, Vol. 6, pp. 511-513):
Quedando las cosas asi, a proposito de la realidad pura y neta de los hechos, todavia
menos parece sostenible que exista cosa juzgada acerca de la obligacion civil de
indemnizar los quebrantos y menoscabos inferidos por el choque de los trenes. El titulo
en que se funda la accion para demandar el resarcimiento, no puede confundirse con las
responsabilidades civiles nacidas de delito, siquiera exista en este, sea el cual sea, una
culpa rodeada de notas agravatorias que motivan sanciones penales, mas o menos
severas. La lesion causada por delito o falta en los derechos civiles, requiere
restituciones, reparaciones o indemnizaciones, que cual la pena misma ataen al orden
publico; por tal motivo vienen encomendadas, de ordinario, al Ministerio Fiscal; y claro
es que si por esta via se enmiendan los quebrantos y menoscabos, el agraviado excusa
procurar el ya conseguido desagravio; pero esta eventual coincidencia de los efectos, no
borra la diversidad originaria de las acciones civiles para pedir indemnizacion.
Estas, para el caso actual (prescindiendo de culpas contractuales, que no vendrian a
cuento y que tiene otro regimen), dimanan, segun el articulo 1902 del Codigo Civil, de
toda accion u omision, causante de daos o perjuicios, en que intervenga culpa o
negligencia. Es trivial que acciones semejantes son ejercitadas ante los Tribunales de lo
civil cotidianamente, sin que la Justicia punitiva tenga que mezclarse en los asuntos. Los
articulos 18 al 21 y 121 al 128 del Codigo Penal, atentos al espiritu y a los fines sociales
y politicos del mismo, desenvuelven y ordenan la materia de responsabilidades civiles
nacidas de delito, en terminos separados del regimen por ley comun de la culpa que se
denomina aquiliana, por alusion a precedentes legislativos del Corpus Juris. Seria

intempestivo un paralelo entre aquellas ordenaciones, y la de la obligacion de indemnizar


a titulo de culpa civil; pero viene al caso y es necesaria una de las diferenciaciones que en
el tal paralelo se notarian.
Los articulos 20 y 21 del Codigo Penal, despues de distribuir a su modo las
responsabilidades civiles, entre los que sean por diversos conceptos culpables del delito o
falta, las hacen extensivas a las empresas y los establecimientos al servicio de los cuales
estan los delincuentes; pero con caracter subsidiario, o sea, segun el texto literal, en
defecto de los que sean responsables criminalmente. No coincide en ello el Codigo Civil,
cuyo articulo 1903, dice; La obligacion que impone el articulo anterior es exigible, no
solo por los actos y omisiones propios, sino por los de aquellas personas de quienes se
debe responder; personas en la enumeracion de las cuales figuran los dependientes y
empleados de los establecimientos o empresas, sea por actos del servicio, sea con ocasion
de sus funciones. Por esto acontece, y se observa en la jurisprudencia, que las empresas,
despues de intervenir en las causas criminales con el caracter subsidiario de su
responsabilidad civil por razon del delito, son demandadas y condenadas directa y
aisladamente, cuando se trata de la obligacion, ante los tribunales civiles.
Siendo como se ve, diverso el titulo de esta obligacion, y formando verdadero postulado
de nuestro regimen judicial la separacion entre justicia punitiva y tribunales de lo civil, de
suerte que tienen unos y otros normas de fondo en distintos cuerpos legales, y diferentes
modos de proceder, habiendose, por aadidura, abstenido de asistir al juicio criminal la
Compaia del Ferrocarril Cantabrico, que se reservo ejercitar sus acciones, parece
innegable que la de indemnizacion por los daos y perjuicios que le irrogo el choque, no
estuvo sub judice ante el Tribunal del Jurado, ni fue sentenciada, sino que permanecio
intacta, al pronunciarse el fallo de 21 de marzo. Aun cuando el veredicto no hubiese sido
de inculpabilidad, mostrose mas arriba, que tal accion quedaba legitimamente reservada
para despues del proceso; pero al declararse que no existio delito, ni responsabilidad
dimanada de delito, materia unica sobre que tenian jurisdiccion aquellos juzgadores, se
redobla el motivo para la obligacion civil ex lege, y se patentiza mas y mas que la accion
para pedir su cumplimiento permanece incolume, extraa a la cosa juzgada.
As things are, apropos of the reality pure and simple of the facts, it seems less tenable
that there should be res judicata with regard to the civil obligation for damages on
account of the losses caused by the collision of the trains. The title upon which the action
for reparation is based cannot be confused with the civil responsibilities born of a crime,
because there exists in the latter, whatever each nature, a culpa surrounded with
aggravating aspects which give rise to penal measures that are more or less severe. The
injury caused by a felony or misdemeanor upon civil rights requires restitutions,
reparations, or indemnifications which, like the penalty itself, affect public order; for this
reason, they are ordinarily entrusted to the office of the prosecuting attorney; and it is

clear that if by this means the losses and damages are repaired, the injured party no
longer desires to seek another relief; but this coincidence of effects does not eliminate the
peculiar nature of civil actions to ask for indemnity.
Such civil actions in the present case (without referring to contractual faults which are not
pertinent and belong to another scope) are derived, according to article 1902 of the Civil
Code, from every act or omission causing losses and damages in which culpa or
negligence intervenes. It is unimportant that such actions are every day filed before the
civil courts without the criminal courts interfering therewith. Articles 18 to 21 and 121 to
128 of the Penal Code, bearing in mind the spirit and the social and political purposes of
that Code, develop and regulate the matter of civil responsibilities arising from a crime,
separately from the regime under common law, of culpa which is known as aquiliana, in
accordance with legislative precedent of the Corpus Juris. It would be unwarranted to
make a detailed comparison between the former provisions and that regarding the
obligation to indemnify on account of civil culpa; but it is pertinent and necessary to
point out to one of such differences.
Articles 20 and 21 of the Penal Code, after distriburing in their own way the civil
responsibilities among those who, for different reasons, are guilty of felony or
misdemeanor, make such civil responsibilities applicable to enterprises and
establishments for which the guilty parties render service, but with subsidiary character,
that is to say, according to the wording of the Penal Code, in default of those who are
criminally responsible. In this regard, the Civil Code does not coincide because article
1903 says: "The obligation imposed by the next preceding article is demandable, not only
for personal acts and omissions, but also for those of persons for whom another is
responsible." Among the persons enumerated are the subordinates and employees of
establishments or enterprises, either for acts during their service or on the occasion of
their functions. It is for this reason that it happens, and it is so observed in judicial
decisions, that the companies or enterprises, after taking part in the criminal cases
because of their subsidiary civil responsibility by reason of the crime, are sued and
sentenced directly and separately with regard to the obligation, before the civil courts.
Seeing that the title of this obligation is different, and the separation between punitive
justice and the civil courts being a true postulate of our judicial system, so that they have
different fundamental norms in different codes, as well as different modes of procedure,
and inasmuch as the Compaa del Ferrocarril Cantabrico has abstained from taking part
in the criminal case and has reserved the right to exercise its actions, it seems undeniable
that the action for indemnification for the losses and damages caused to it by the collision
was not sub judice before the Tribunal del Jurado, nor was it the subject of a sentence,
but it remained intact when the decision of March 21 was rendered. Even if the verdict
had not been that of acquittal, it has already been shown that such action had been

legitimately reserved till after the criminal prosecution; but because of the declaration of
the non-existence of the felony and the non-existence of the responsibility arising from
the crime, which was the sole subject matter upon which the Tribunal del Jurado had
jurisdiction, there is greater reason for the civil obligation ex lege, and it becomes clearer
that the action for its enforcement remain intact and is not res judicata.
Laurent, a jurist who has written a monumental work on the French Civil Code, on which the
Spanish Civil Code is largely based and whose provisions on cuasi-delito or culpa extracontractual are similar to those of the Spanish Civil Code, says, referring to article 1384 of the
French Civil Code which corresponds to article 1903, Spanish Civil Code:
The action can be brought directly against the person responsible (for another), without
including the author of the act. The action against the principal is accessory in the sense
that it implies the existence of a prejudicial act committed by the employee, but it is not
subsidiary in the sense that it can not be instituted till after the judgment against the
author of the act or at least, that it is subsidiary to the principal action; the action for
responsibility (of the employer) is in itself a principal action. (Laurent, Principles of
French Civil Law, Spanish translation, Vol. 20, pp. 734-735.)
Amandi, in his "Cuestionario del Codigo Civil Reformado" (Vol. 4, pp. 429, 430), declares that
the responsibility of the employer is principal and not subsidiary. He writes:
Cuestion 1. La responsabilidad declarada en el articulo 1903 por las acciones u omisiones
de aquellas personas por las que se debe responder, es subsidiaria? es principal? Para
contestar a esta pregunta es necesario saber, en primer lugar, en que se funda el precepto
legal. Es que realmente se impone una responsabilidad por una falta ajena? Asi parece a
primera vista; pero semejante afirmacion seria contraria a la justicia y a la maxima
universal, segun la que las faltas son personales, y cada uno responde de aquellas que le
son imputables. La responsabilidad de que tratamos se impone con ocasion de un delito o
culpa, pero no por causa de ellos, sino por causa del causi delito, esto es, de la
imprudencia o de la negligencia del padre, del tutor, del dueo o director del
establecimiento, del maestro, etc. Cuando cualquiera de las personas que enumera el
articulo citado (menores de edad, incapacitados, dependientes, aprendices) causan un
dao, la ley presume que el padre, el tutor, el maestro, etc., han cometido una falta de
negligencia para prevenir o evitar el dao. Esta falta es la que la ley castiga. No hay,
pues, responsabilidad por un hecho ajeno, sino en la apariencia; en realidad la
responsabilidad se exige por un hecho propio. La idea de que esa responsabilidad sea
subsidiaria es, por lo tanto, completamente inadmisible.
Question No. 1. Is the responsibility declared in article 1903 for the acts or omissions of
those persons for who one is responsible, subsidiary or principal? In order to answer this

question it is necessary to know, in the first place, on what the legal provision is based. Is
it true that there is a responsibility for the fault of another person? It seems so at first
sight; but such assertion would be contrary to justice and to the universal maxim that all
faults are personal, and that everyone is liable for those faults that can be imputed to him.
The responsibility in question is imposed on the occasion of a crime or fault, but not
because of the same, but because of the cuasi-delito, that is to say, the imprudence or
negligence of the father, guardian, proprietor or manager of the establishment, of the
teacher, etc. Whenever anyone of the persons enumerated in the article referred to
(minors, incapacitated persons, employees, apprentices) causes any damage, the law
presumes that the father, guardian, teacher, etc. have committed an act of negligence in
not preventing or avoiding the damage. It is this fault that is condemned by the law. It is,
therefore, only apparent that there is a responsibility for the act of another; in reality the
responsibility exacted is for one's own act. The idea that such responsibility is subsidiary
is, therefore, completely inadmissible.
Oyuelos, in his "Digesto: Principios, Doctrina y Jurisprudencia, Referentes al Codigo Civil
Espaol," says in Vol. VII, p. 743:
Es decir, no responde de hechos ajenos, porque se responde solo de su propia culpa,
doctrina del articulo 1902; mas por excepcion, se responde de la ajena respecto de
aquellas personas con las que media algun nexo o vinculo, que motiva o razona la
responsabilidad. Esta responsabilidad, es directa o es subsidiaria? En el orden penal, el
Codigo de esta clase distingue entre menores e incapacitados y los demas, declarando
directa la primera (articulo 19) y subsidiaria la segunda (articulos 20 y 21); pero en el
orden civil, en el caso del articulo 1903, ha de entenderse directa, por el tenor del articulo
que impone la responsabilidad precisamente "por los actos de aquellas personas de
quienes se deba responder."
That is to say, one is not responsible for the acts of others, because one is liable only for
his own faults, this being the doctrine of article 1902; but, by exception, one is liable for
the acts of those persons with whom there is a bond or tie which gives rise to the
responsibility. Is this responsibility direct or subsidiary? In the order of the penal law, the
Penal Code distinguishes between minors and incapacitated persons on the one hand, and
other persons on the other, declaring that the responsibility for the former is direct (article
19), and for the latter, subsidiary (articles 20 and 21); but in the scheme of the civil law,
in the case of article 1903, the responsibility should be understood as direct, according to
the tenor of that articles, for precisely it imposes responsibility "for the acts of those
persons for whom one should be responsible."
Coming now to the sentences of the Supreme Tribunal of Spain, that court has upheld the
principles above set forth: that a quasi-delict or culpa extra-contractual is a separate and distinct

legal institution, independent from the civil responsibility arising from criminal liability, and that
an employer is, under article 1903 of the Civil Code, primarily and directly responsible for the
negligent acts of his employee.
One of the most important of those Spanish decisions is that of October 21, 1910. In that case,
Ramon Lafuente died as the result of having been run over by a street car owned by the
"compaia Electric Madrilea de Traccion." The conductor was prosecuted in a criminal case but
he was acquitted. Thereupon, the widow filed a civil action against the street car company,
paying for damages in the amount of 15,000 pesetas. The lower court awarded damages; so the
company appealed to the Supreme Tribunal, alleging violation of articles 1902 and 1903 of the
Civil Code because by final judgment the non-existence of fault or negligence had been declared.
The Supreme Court of Spain dismissed the appeal, saying:
Considerando que el primer motivo del recurso se funda en el equivocado supuesto de
que el Tribunal a quo, al condonar a la compaia Electrica Madrilea al pago del dao
causado con la muerte de Ramon La fuente Izquierdo, desconoce el valor y efectos
juridicos de la sentencia absolutoria deictada en la causa criminal que se siguio por el
mismo hecho, cuando es lo cierto que de este han conocido las dos jurisdicciones bajo
diferentes as pectos, y como la de lo criminal declrao dentro de los limites de su
competencia que el hecho de que se trata no era constitutivo de delito por no haber
mediado descuido o negligencia graves, lo que no excluye, siendo este el unico
fundamento del fallo absolutorio, el concurso de la culpa o negligencia no califacadas,
fuente de obligaciones civiles segun el articulo 1902 del Codigo, y que alcanzan, segun el
1903, netre otras perosnas, a los Directores de establecimientos o empresas por los daos
causados por sus dependientes en determinadas condiciones, es manifesto que la de lo
civil, al conocer del mismo hehco baho este ultimo aspecto y al condenar a la compaia
recurrente a la indemnizacion del dao causado por uno de sus empleados, lejos de
infringer los mencionados textos, en relacion con el articulo 116 de la Ley de
Enjuciamiento Criminal, se ha atenido estrictamente a ellos, sin invadir atribuciones
ajenas a su jurisdiccion propia, ni contrariar en lo mas minimo el fallo recaido en la
causa.
Considering that the first ground of the appeal is based on the mistaken supposition that
the trial court, in sentencing the Compaia Madrilea to the payment of the damage
caused by the death of Ramon Lafuente Izquierdo, disregards the value and juridical
effects of the sentence of acquittal rendered in the criminal case instituted on account of
the same act, when it is a fact that the two jurisdictions had taken cognizance of the same
act in its different aspects, and as the criminal jurisdiction declared within the limits of its
authority that the act in question did not constitute a felony because there was no grave
carelessness or negligence, and this being the only basis of acquittal, it does no exclude
the co-existence of fault or negligence which is not qualified, and is a source of civil

obligations according to article 1902 of the Civil Code, affecting, in accordance with
article 1903, among other persons, the managers of establishments or enterprises by
reason of the damages caused by employees under certain conditions, it is manifest that
the civil jurisdiccion in taking cognizance of the same act in this latter aspect and in
ordering the company, appellant herein, to pay an indemnity for the damage caused by
one of its employees, far from violating said legal provisions, in relation with article 116
of the Law of Criminal Procedure, strictly followed the same, without invading attributes
which are beyond its own jurisdiction, and without in any way contradicting the decision
in that cause. (Emphasis supplied.)
It will be noted, as to the case just cited:
First. That the conductor was not sued in a civil case, either separately or with the street car
company. This is precisely what happens in the present case: the driver, Fontanilla, has not been
sued in a civil action, either alone or with his employer.
Second. That the conductor had been acquitted of grave criminal negligence, but the Supreme
Tribunal of Spain said that this did not exclude the co-existence of fault or negligence, which is
not qualified, on the part of the conductor, under article 1902 of the Civil Code. In the present
case, the taxi driver was found guilty of criminal negligence, so that if he had even sued for his
civil responsibility arising from the crime, he would have been held primarily liable for civil
damages, and Barredo would have been held subsidiarily liable for the same. But the plaintiffs
are directly suing Barredo, on his primary responsibility because of his own presumed
negligence which he did not overcome under article 1903. Thus, there were two liabilities
of Barredo: first, the subsidiary one because of the civil liability of the taxi driver arising from
the latter's criminal negligence; and, second, Barredo's primary liability as an employer under
article 1903. The plaintiffs were free to choose which course to take, and they preferred the
second remedy. In so doing, they were acting within their rights. It might be observed in passing,
that the plaintiff choose the more expeditious and effective method of relief, because Fontanilla
was either in prison, or had just been released, and besides, he was probably without property
which might be seized in enforcing any judgment against him for damages.
Third. That inasmuch as in the above sentence of October 21, 1910, the employer was held liable
civilly, notwithstanding the acquittal of the employee (the conductor) in a previous criminal case,
with greater reason should Barredo, the employer in the case at bar, be held liable for damages in
a civil suit filed against him because his taxi driver had been convicted. The degree of negligence
of the conductor in the Spanish case cited was less than that of the taxi driver, Fontanilla,
because the former was acquitted in the previous criminal case while the latter was found guilty
of criminal negligence and was sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of one year and one day
to two years of prision correccional.

(See also Sentence of February 19, 1902, which is similar to the one above quoted.)
In the Sentence of the Supreme Court of Spain, dated February 14, 1919, an action was brought
against a railroad company for damages because the station agent, employed by the company,
had unjustly and fraudulently, refused to deliver certain articles consigned to the plaintiff. The
Supreme Court of Spain held that this action was properly under article 1902 of the Civil Code,
the court saying:
Considerando que la sentencia discutida reconoce, en virtud de los hechos que consigna
con relacion a las pruebas del pleito: 1., que las expediciones facturadas por la compaia
ferroviaria a la consignacion del actor de las vasijas vacias que en su demanda relacionan
tenian como fin el que este las devolviera a sus remitentes con vinos y alcoholes; 2., que
llegadas a su destino tales mercanias no se quisieron entregar a dicho consignatario por el
jefe de la estacion sin motivo justificado y con intencion dolosa, y 3., que la falta de
entrega de estas expediciones al tiempo de reclamarlas el demandante le originaron daos
y perjuicios en cantidad de bastante importancia como expendedor al por mayor que era
de vinos y alcoholes por las ganancias que dejo de obtener al verse privado de servir los
pedidos que se le habian hecho por los remitentes en los envases:
Considerando que sobre esta base hay necesidad de estimar los cuatro motivos que
integran este recurso, porque la demanda inicial del pleito a que se contrae no contiene
accion que nazca del incumplimiento del contrato de transporte, toda vez que no se funda
en el retraso de la llegada de las mercancias ni de ningun otro vinculo contractual entre
las partes contendientes, careciendo, por tanto, de aplicacion el articulo 371 del Codigo
de Comercio, en que principalmente descansa el fallo recurrido, sino que se limita a pedir
la reparaction de los daos y perjuicios producidos en el patrimonio del actor por la
injustificada y dolosa negativa del porteador a la entrega de las mercancias a su nombre
consignadas, segun lo reconoce la sentencia, y cuya responsabilidad esta claramente
sancionada en el articulo 1902 del Codigo Civil, que obliga por el siguiente a la
Compaia demandada como ligada con el causante de aquellos por relaciones de caracter
economico y de jurarquia administrativa.
Considering that the sentence, in question recognizes, in virtue of the facts which it
declares, in relation to the evidence in the case: (1) that the invoice issued by the railroad
company in favor of the plaintiff contemplated that the empty receptacles referred to in
the complaint should be returned to the consignors with wines and liquors; (2) that when
the said merchandise reached their destination, their delivery to the consignee was
refused by the station agent without justification and with fraudulent intent, and (3) that
the lack of delivery of these goods when they were demanded by the plaintiff caused him
losses and damages of considerable importance, as he was a wholesale vendor of wines

and liquors and he failed to realize the profits when he was unable to fill the orders sent
to him by the consignors of the receptacles:
Considering that upon this basis there is need of upholding the four assignments of error,
as the original complaint did not contain any cause of action arising from non-fulfillment
of a contract of transportation, because the action was not based on the delay of the goods
nor on any contractual relation between the parties litigant and, therefore, article 371 of
the Code of Commerce, on which the decision appealed from is based, is not applicable;
but it limits to asking for reparation for losses and damages produced on the patrimony of
the plaintiff on account of the unjustified and fraudulent refusal of the carrier to deliver
the goods consigned to the plaintiff as stated by the sentence, and the carrier's
responsibility is clearly laid down in article 1902 of the Civil Code which binds, in virtue
of the next article, the defendant company, because the latter is connected with the person
who caused the damage by relations of economic character and by administrative
hierarchy. (Emphasis supplied.)
The above case is pertinent because it shows that the same act may come under both the Penal
Code and the Civil Code. In that case, the action of the agent was unjustified and fraudulent and
therefore could have been the subject of a criminal action. And yet, it was held to be also a
proper subject of a civil action under article 1902 of the Civil Code. It is also to be noted that it
was the employer and not the employee who was being sued.
Let us now examine the cases previously decided by this Court.
In the leading case of Rakes vs. Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Co. (7 Phil., 359, 362-365 [year 1907]),
the trial court awarded damages to the plaintiff, a laborer of the defendant, because the latter had
negligently failed to repair a tramway in consequence of which the rails slid off while iron was
being transported, and caught the plaintiff whose leg was broken. This Court held:
It is contended by the defendant, as its first defense to the action that the necessary
conclusion from these collated laws is that the remedy for injuries through negligence lies
only in a criminal action in which the official criminally responsible must be made
primarily liable and his employer held only subsidiarily to him. According to this theory
the plaintiff should have procured the arrest of the representative of the company
accountable for not repairing the track, and on his prosecution a suitable fine should have
been imposed, payable primarily by him and secondarily by his employer.
This reasoning misconceived the plan of the Spanish codes upon this subject. Article
1093 of the Civil Code makes obligations arising from faults or negligence not punished
by the law, subject to the provisions of Chapter II of Title XVI. Section 1902 of that
chapter reads:

"A person who by an act or omission causes damage to another when there is fault
or negligence shall be obliged to repair the damage so done.
"SEC. 1903. The obligation imposed by the preceeding article is demandable, not
only for personal acts and omissions, but also for those of the persons for whom
they should be responsible.
"The father, and on his death or incapacity, the mother, is liable for the damages
caused by the minors who live with them.
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"Owners or directors of an establishment or enterprise are equally liable for the


damages caused by their employees in the service of the branches in which the
latter may be employed or in the performance of their duties.
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"The liability referred to in this article shall cease when the persons mentioned
therein prove that they employed all the diligence of a good father of a family to
avoid the damage."
As an answer to the argument urged in this particular action it may be sufficient to point
out that nowhere in our general statutes is the employer penalized for failure to provide or
maintain safe appliances for his workmen. His obligation therefore is one 'not punished
by the laws' and falls under civil rather than criminal jurisprudence. But the answer may
be a broader one. We should be reluctant, under any conditions, to adopt a forced
construction of these scientific codes, such as is proposed by the defendant, that would
rob some of these articles of effect, would shut out litigants against their will from the
civil courts, would make the assertion of their rights dependent upon the selection for
prosecution of the proper criminal offender, and render recovery doubtful by reason of
the strict rules of proof prevailing in criminal actions. Even if these articles had always
stood alone, such a construction would be unnecessary, but clear light is thrown upon
their meaning by the provisions of the Law of Criminal Procedure of Spain (Ley de
Enjuiciamiento Criminal), which, though never in actual force in these Islands, was
formerly given a suppletory or explanatory effect. Under article 111 of this law, both
classes of action, civil and criminal, might be prosecuted jointly or separately, but while
the penal action was pending the civil was suspended. According to article 112, the penal
action once started, the civil remedy should be sought therewith, unless it had been
waived by the party injured or been expressly reserved by him for civil proceedings for
the future. If the civil action alone was prosecuted, arising out of a crime that could be

enforced only on private complaint, the penal action thereunder should be extinguished.
These provisions are in harmony with those of articles 23 and 133 of our Penal Code on
the same subject.
An examination of this topic might be carried much further, but the citation of these
articles suffices to show that the civil liability was not intended to be merged in the
criminal nor even to be suspended thereby, except as expressly provided in the law.
Where an individual is civilly liable for a negligent act or omission, it is not required that
the injured party should seek out a third person criminally liable whose prosecution must
be a condition precedent to the enforcement of the civil right.
Under article 20 of the Penal Code the responsibility of an employer may be regarded as
subsidiary in respect of criminal actions against his employees only while they are in
process of prosecution, or in so far as they determine the existence of the criminal act
from which liability arises, and his obligation under the civil law and its enforcement in
the civil courts is not barred thereby unless by the election of the injured person.
Inasmuch as no criminal proceeding had been instituted, growing our of the accident in
question, the provisions of the Penal Code can not affect this action. This construction
renders it unnecessary to finally determine here whether this subsidiary civil liability in
penal actions has survived the laws that fully regulated it or has been abrogated by the
American civil and criminal procedure now in force in the Philippines.
The difficulty in construing the articles of the code above cited in this case appears from
the briefs before us to have arisen from the interpretation of the words of article 1093,
"fault or negligence not punished by law," as applied to the comprehensive definition of
offenses in articles 568 and 590 of the Penal Code. It has been shown that the liability of
an employer arising out of his relation to his employee who is the offender is not to be
regarded as derived from negligence punished by the law, within the meaning of articles
1902 and 1093. More than this, however, it cannot be said to fall within the class of acts
unpunished by the law, the consequence of which are regulated by articles 1902 and 1903
of the Civil Code. The acts to which these articles are applicable are understood to be
those not growing out of pre-existing duties of the parties to one another. But where
relations already formed give rise to duties, whether springing from contract or quasi
contract, then breaches of those duties are subject to articles 1101, 1103, and 1104 of the
same code. A typical application of this distinction may be found in the consequences of a
railway accident due to defective machinery supplied by the employer. His liability to his
employee would arise out of the contract of employment, that to the passengers out of the
contract for passage, while that to the injured bystander would originate in the negligent
act itself.

In Manzanares vs. Moreta, 38 Phil., 821 (year 1918), the mother of the 8 of 9-year-old child
Salvador Bona brought a civil action against Moreta to recover damages resulting from the death
of the child, who had been run over by an automobile driven and managed by the defendant. The
trial court rendered judgment requiring the defendant to pay the plaintiff the sum of P1,000 as
indemnity: This Court in affirming the judgment, said in part:
If it were true that the defendant, in coming from the southern part of Solana Street, had
to stop his auto before crossing Real Street, because he had met vehicles which were
going along the latter street or were coming from the opposite direction along Solana
Street, it is to be believed that, when he again started to run his auto across said Real
Street and to continue its way along Solana Street northward, he should have adjusted the
speed of the auto which he was operating until he had fully crossed Real Street and had
completely reached a clear way on Solana Street. But, as the child was run over by the
auto precisely at the entrance of Solana Street, this accident could not have occurred if
the auto had been running at a slow speed, aside from the fact that the defendant, at the
moment of crossing Real Street and entering Solana Street, in a northward direction,
could have seen the child in the act of crossing the latter street from the sidewalk on the
right to that on the left, and if the accident had occurred in such a way that after the
automobile had run over the body of the child, and the child's body had already been
stretched out on the ground, the automobile still moved along a distance of about 2
meters, this circumstance shows the fact that the automobile entered Solana Street from
Real Street, at a high speed without the defendant having blown the horn. If these
precautions had been taken by the defendant, the deplorable accident which caused the
death of the child would not have occurred.
It will be noticed that the defendant in the above case could have been prosecuted in a criminal
case because his negligence causing the death of the child was punishable by the Penal Code.
Here is therefore a clear instance of the same act of negligence being a proper subject-matter
either of a criminal action with its consequent civil liability arising from a crime or of an entirely
separate and independent civil action for fault or negligence under article 1902 of the Civil Code.
Thus, in this jurisdiction, the separate individually of a cuasi-delito or culpa aquiliana under the
Civil Code has been fully and clearly recognized, even with regard to a negligent act for which
the wrongdoer could have been prosecuted and convicted in a criminal case and for which, after
such a conviction, he could have been sued for this civil liability arising from his crime.
Years later (in 1930) this Court had another occasion to apply the same doctrine. In Bernal and
Enverso vs. House and Tacloban Electric & Ice Plant, Ltd., 54 Phil., 327, the parents of the fiveyear-old child, Purificacion Bernal, brought a civil action to recover damages for the child's
death as a result of burns caused by the fault and negligence of the defendants. On the evening of
April 10, 1925, the Good Friday procession was held in Tacloban, Leyte. Fortunata Enverso with
her daughter Purificacion Bernal had come from another municipality to attend the same. After

the procession the mother and the daughter with two others were passing along Gran Capitan
Street in front of the offices of the Tacloban Electric & Ice Plant, Ltd., owned by defendants J. V.
House, when an automobile appeared from the opposite direction. The little girl, who was
slightly ahead of the rest, was so frightened by the automobile that she turned to run, but
unfortunately she fell into the street gutter where hot water from the electric plant was flowing.
The child died that same night from the burns. The trial courts dismissed the action because of
the contributory negligence of the plaintiffs. But this Court held, on appeal, that there was no
contributory negligence, and allowed the parents P1,000 in damages from J. V. House who at the
time of the tragic occurrence was the holder of the franchise for the electric plant. This Court
said in part:
Although the trial judge made the findings of fact hereinbefore outlined, he nevertheless
was led to order the dismissal of the action because of the contributory negligence of the
plaintiffs. It is from this point that a majority of the court depart from the stand taken by
the trial judge. The mother and her child had a perfect right to be on the principal street of
Tacloban, Leyte, on the evening when the religious procession was held. There was
nothing abnormal in allowing the child to run along a few paces in advance of the mother.
No one could foresee the coincidence of an automobile appearing and of a frightened
child running and falling into a ditch filled with hot water. The doctrine announced in the
much debated case of Rakes vs. Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Co. ([1907]), 7 Phil., 359), still
rule. Article 1902 of the Civil Code must again be enforced. The contributory negligence
of the child and her mother, if any, does not operate as a bar to recovery, but in its strictest
sense could only result in reduction of the damages.
It is most significant that in the case just cited, this Court specifically applied article 1902 of the
Civil Code. It is thus that although J. V. House could have been criminally prosecuted for
reckless or simple negligence and not only punished but also made civilly liable because of his
criminal negligence, nevertheless this Court awarded damages in an independent civil action for
fault or negligence under article 1902 of the Civil Code.
In Bahia vs. Litonjua and Leynes (30 Phil., 624 [year 1915), the action was for damages for the
death of the plaintiff's daughter alleged to have been caused by the negligence of the servant in
driving an automobile over the child. It appeared that the cause of the mishap was a defect in the
steering gear. The defendant Leynes had rented the automobile from the International Garage of
Manila, to be used by him in carrying passengers during the fiesta of Tuy, Batangas. Leynes was
ordered by the lower court to pay P1,000 as damages to the plaintiff. On appeal this Court
reversed the judgment as to Leynes on the ground that he had shown that the exercised the care
of a good father of a family, thus overcoming the presumption of negligence under article 1903.
This Court said:

As to selection, the defendant has clearly shown that he exercised the care and diligence
of a good father of a family. He obtained the machine from a reputable garage and it was,
so far as appeared, in good condition. The workmen were likewise selected from a
standard garage, were duly licensed by the Government in their particular calling, and
apparently thoroughly competent. The machine had been used but a few hours when the
accident occurred and it is clear from the evidence that the defendant had no notice, either
actual or constructive, of the defective condition of the steering gear.
The legal aspect of the case was discussed by this Court thus:
Article 1903 of the Civil Code not only establishes liability in cases of negligence, but
also provides when the liability shall cease. It says:
"The liability referred to in this article shall cease when the persons mentioned
therein prove that they employed all the diligence of a good father of a family to
avoid the damage."
From this article two things are apparent: (1) That when an injury is caused by the
negligence of a servant or employee there instantly arises a presumption of law that there
was negligence on the part of the matter or employer either in the selection of the servant
or employee, or in supervision over him after the selection, or both; and (2) that
presumption is juris tantum and not juris et de jure, and consequently, may be rebutted. It
follows necessarily that if the employer shows to the satisfaction of the court that in
selection and supervision he has exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a
family, the presumption is overcome and he is relieve from liability.
This theory bases the responsibility of the master ultimately on his own negligence and
not on that of his servant.
The doctrine of the case just cited was followed by this Court in Cerf vs. Medel (33 Phil., 37
[year 1915]). In the latter case, the complaint alleged that the defendant's servant had so
negligently driven an automobile, which was operated by defendant as a public vehicle, that said
automobile struck and damaged the plaintiff's motorcycle. This Court, applying article 1903 and
following the rule in Bahia vs. Litonjua and Leynes, said in part (p. 41) that:
The master is liable for the negligent acts of his servant where he is the owner or director
of a business or enterprise and the negligent acts are committed while the servant is
engaged in his master's employment as such owner.
Another case which followed the decision in Bahia vs. Litonjua and Leynes was Cuison vs.
Norton & Harrison Co., 55 Phil., 18 (year 1930). The latter case was an action for damages

brought by Cuison for the death of his seven-year-old son Moises. The little boy was on his way
to school with his sister Marciana. Some large pieces of lumber fell from a truck and pinned the
boy underneath, instantly killing him. Two youths, Telesforo Binoya and Francisco Bautista, who
were working for Ora, an employee of defendant Norton & Harrison Co., pleaded guilty to the
crime of homicide through reckless negligence and were sentenced accordingly. This Court,
applying articles 1902 and 1903, held:
The basis of civil law liability is not respondent superior but the relationship of pater
familias. This theory bases the liability of the master ultimately on his own negligence
and not on that of his servant. (Bahia vs. Litonjua and Leynes [1915], 30 Phil., 624;
Cangco vs. Manila Railroad Co. [1918], 38 Phil., 768.)
In Walter A. Smith & Co. vs. Cadwallader Gibson Lumber Co., 55 Phil., 517 (year 1930) the
plaintiff brought an action for damages for the demolition of its wharf, which had been struck by
the steamer Helen C belonging to the defendant. This Court held (p. 526):
The evidence shows that Captain Lasa at the time the plaintiff's wharf collapsed was a
duly licensed captain, authorized to navigate and direct a vessel of any tonnage, and that
the appellee contracted his services because of his reputation as a captain, according to F.
C. Cadwallader. This being so, we are of the opinion that the presumption of liability
against the defendant has been overcome by the exercise of the care and diligence of a
good father of a family in selecting Captain Lasa, in accordance with the doctrines laid
down by this court in the cases cited above, and the defendant is therefore absolved from
all liability.
It is, therefore, seen that the defendant's theory about his secondary liability is negatived by the
six cases above set forth. He is, on the authority of these cases, primarily and directly responsible
in damages under article 1903, in relation to article 1902, of the Civil Code.
Let us now take up the Philippine decisions relied upon by the defendant. We study first, City of
Manila vs. Manila Electric Co., 52 Phil., 586 (year 1928). A collision between a truck of the City
of Manila and a street car of the Manila Electric Co. took place on June 8, 1925. The truck was
damaged in the amount of P1,788.27. Sixto Eustaquio, the motorman, was prosecuted for the
crime of damage to property and slight injuries through reckless imprudence. He was found
guilty and sentenced to pay a fine of P900, to indemnify the City of Manila for P1,788.27, with
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. Unable to collect the indemnity from Eustaquio,
the City of Manila filed an action against the Manila Electric Company to obtain payment,
claiming that the defendant was subsidiarily liable. The main defense was that the defendant had
exercised the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage. The lower court
rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff. This Court held, in part, that this case was governed
by the Penal Code, saying:

With this preliminary point out of the way, there is no escaping the conclusion that the
provisions of the Penal Code govern. The Penal Code in easily understandable language
authorizes the determination of subsidiary liability. The Civil Code negatives its
application by providing that civil obligations arising from crimes or misdemeanors shall
be governed by the provisions of the Penal Code. The conviction of the motorman was a
misdemeanor falling under article 604 of the Penal Code. The act of the motorman was
not a wrongful or negligent act or omission not punishable by law. Accordingly, the civil
obligation connected up with the Penal Code and not with article 1903 of the Civil Code.
In other words, the Penal Code affirms its jurisdiction while the Civil Code negatives its
jurisdiction. This is a case of criminal negligence out of which civil liability arises and
not a case of civil negligence.
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Our deduction, therefore, is that the case relates to the Penal Code and not to the Civil
Code. Indeed, as pointed out by the trial judge, any different ruling would permit the
master to escape scot-free by simply alleging and proving that the master had exercised
all diligence in the selection and training of its servants to prevent the damage. That
would be a good defense to a strictly civil action, but might or might not be to a civil
action either as a part of or predicated on conviction for a crime or misdemeanor. (By
way of parenthesis, it may be said further that the statements here made are offered to
meet the argument advanced during our deliberations to the effect that article 0902 of the
Civil Code should be disregarded and codal articles 1093 and 1903 applied.)
It is not clear how the above case could support the defendant's proposition, because the Court of
Appeals based its decision in the present case on the defendant's primary responsibility under
article 1903 of the Civil Code and not on his subsidiary liability arising from Fontanilla's
criminal negligence. In other words, the case of City of Manila vs. Manila Electric Co., supra, is
predicated on an entirely different theory, which is the subsidiary liability of an employer arising
from a criminal act of his employee, whereas the foundation of the decision of the Court of
Appeals in the present case is the employer's primary liability under article 1903 of the Civil
Code. We have already seen that this is a proper and independent remedy.
Arambulo vs. Manila Electric Co. (55 Phil., 75), is another case invoked by the defendant. A
motorman in the employ of the Manila Electric Company had been convicted o homicide by
simple negligence and sentenced, among other things, to pay the heirs of the deceased the sum of
P1,000. An action was then brought to enforce the subsidiary liability of the defendant as
employer under the Penal Code. The defendant attempted to show that it had exercised the
diligence of a good father of a family in selecting the motorman, and therefore claimed
exemption from civil liability. But this Court held:

In view of the foregoing considerations, we are of opinion and so hold, (1) that the
exemption from civil liability established in article 1903 of the Civil Code for all who
have acted with the diligence of a good father of a family, is not applicable to the
subsidiary civil liability provided in article 20 of the Penal Code.
The above case is also extraneous to the theory of the defendant in the instant case, because the
action there had for its purpose the enforcement of the defendant's subsidiary liability under the
Penal Code, while in the case at bar, the plaintiff's cause of action is based on the defendant's
primary and direct responsibility under article 1903 of the Civil Code. In fact, the above case
destroys the defendant's contention because that decision illustrates the principle that the
employer's primary responsibility under article 1903 of the Civil Code is different in character
from his subsidiary liability under the Penal Code.
In trying to apply the two cases just referred to, counsel for the defendant has failed to recognize
the distinction between civil liability arising from a crime, which is governed by the Penal Code,
and the responsibility for cuasi-delito or culpa aquiliana under the Civil Code, and has likewise
failed to give the importance to the latter type of civil action.
The defendant-petitioner also cites Francisco vs. Onrubia (46 Phil., 327). That case need not be
set forth. Suffice it to say that the question involved was also civil liability arising from a crime.
Hence, it is as inapplicable as the two cases above discussed.
The foregoing authorities clearly demonstrate the separate individuality of cuasi-delitos or culpa
aquiliana under the Civil Code. Specifically they show that there is a distinction between civil
liability arising from criminal negligence (governed by the Penal Code) and responsibility for
fault or negligence under articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code, and that the same negligent act
may produce either a civil liability arising from a crime under the Penal Code, or a separate
responsibility for fault or negligence under articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code. Still more
concretely, the authorities above cited render it inescapable to conclude that the employer in
this case the defendant-petitioner is primarily and directly liable under article 1903 of the
Civil Code.
The legal provisions, authors, and cases already invoked should ordinarily be sufficient to
dispose of this case. But inasmuch as we are announcing doctrines that have been little
understood in the past, it might not be inappropriate to indicate their foundations.
Firstly, the Revised Penal Code in article 365 punishes not only reckless but also simple
negligence. If we were to hold that articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code refer only to fault or
negligence not punished by law, according to the literal import of article 1093 of the Civil Code,
the legal institution of culpa aquiliana would have very little scope and application in actual life.
Death or injury to persons and damage to property through any degree of negligence even the

slightest would have to be indemnified only through the principle of civil liability arising
from a crime. In such a state of affairs, what sphere would remain for cuasi-delito or culpa
aquiliana? We are loath to impute to the lawmaker any intention to bring about a situation so
absurd and anomalous. Nor are we, in the interpretation of the laws, disposed to uphold the letter
that killeth rather than the spirit that giveth life. We will not use the literal meaning of the law to
smother and render almost lifeless a principle of such ancient origin and such full-grown
development as culpa aquiliana or cuasi-delito, which is conserved and made enduring in
articles 1902 to 1910 of the Spanish Civil Code.
Secondly, to find the accused guilty in a criminal case, proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt is
required, while in a civil case, preponderance of evidence is sufficient to make the defendant pay
in damages. There are numerous cases of criminal negligence which can not be shown beyond
reasonable doubt, but can be proved by a preponderance of evidence. In such cases, the
defendant can and should be made responsible in a civil action under articles 1902 to 1910 of the
Civil Code. Otherwise, there would be many instances of unvindicated civil wrongs. Ubi jus ibi
remedium.
Thirdly, to hold that there is only one way to make defendant's liability effective, and that is, to
sue the driver and exhaust his (the latter's) property first, would be tantamount to compelling the
plaintiff to follow a devious and cumbersome method of obtaining relief. True, there is such a
remedy under our laws, but there is also a more expeditious way, which is based on the primary
and direct responsibility of the defendant under article 1903 of the Civil Code. Our view of the
law is more likely to facilitate remedy for civil wrongs, because the procedure indicated by the
defendant is wasteful and productive of delay, it being a matter of common knowledge that
professional drivers of taxis and similar public conveyance usually do not have sufficient means
with which to pay damages. Why, then, should the plaintiff be required in all cases to go through
this roundabout, unnecessary, and probably useless procedure? In construing the laws, courts
have endeavored to shorten and facilitate the pathways of right and justice.
At this juncture, it should be said that the primary and direct responsibility of employers and
their presumed negligence are principles calculated to protect society. Workmen and employees
should be carefully chosen and supervised in order to avoid injury to the public. It is the masters
or employers who principally reap the profits resulting from the services of these servants and
employees. It is but right that they should guarantee the latter's careful conduct for the personnel
and patrimonial safety of others. As Theilhard has said, "they should reproach themselves, at
least, some for their weakness, others for their poor selection and all for their negligence." And
according to Manresa, "It is much more equitable and just that such responsibility should fall
upon the principal or director who could have chosen a careful and prudent employee, and not
upon the injured person who could not exercise such selection and who used such employee
because of his confidence in the principal or director." (Vol. 12, p. 622, 2nd Ed.) Many jurists
also base this primary responsibility of the employer on the principle of representation of the

principal by the agent. Thus, Oyuelos says in the work already cited (Vol. 7, p. 747) that before
third persons the employer and employee "vienen a ser como una sola personalidad, por
refundicion de la del dependiente en la de quien le emplea y utiliza." ("become as one personality
by the merging of the person of the employee in that of him who employs and utilizes him.") All
these observations acquire a peculiar force and significance when it comes to motor accidents,
and there is need of stressing and accentuating the responsibility of owners of motor vehicles.
Fourthly, because of the broad sweep of the provisions of both the Penal Code and the Civil
Code on this subject, which has given rise to the overlapping or concurrence of spheres already
discussed, and for lack of understanding of the character and efficacy of the action for culpa
aquiliana, there has grown up a common practice to seek damages only by virtue of the civil
responsibility arising from a crime, forgetting that there is another remedy, which is by invoking
articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code. Although this habitual method is allowed by our laws, it
has nevertheless rendered practically useless and nugatory the more expeditious and effective
remedy based on culpa aquiliana or culpa extra-contractual. In the present case, we are asked to
help perpetuate this usual course. But we believe it is high time we pointed out to the harm done
by such practice and to restore the principle of responsibility for fault or negligence under
articles 1902 et seq. of the Civil Code to its full rigor. It is high time we caused the stream of
quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana to flow on its own natural channel, so that its waters may no
longer be diverted into that of a crime under the Penal Code. This will, it is believed, make for
the better safeguarding of private rights because it re-establishes an ancient and additional
remedy, and for the further reason that an independent civil action, not depending on the issues,
limitations and results of a criminal prosecution, and entirely directed by the party wronged or
his counsel, is more likely to secure adequate and efficacious redress.
In view of the foregoing, the judgment of the Court of Appeals should be and is hereby affirmed,
with costs against the defendant-petitioner.
G.R. No. L-32599 June 29, 1979
EDGARDO E. MENDOZA, petitioner
vs.
HON. ABUNDIO Z. ARRIETA, Presiding Judge of Branch VIII, Court of First
Instance of Manila, FELINO TIMBOL, and RODOLFO SALAZAR, respondents.
David G. Nitafan for petitioner.
Arsenio R. Reyes for respondent Timbol.
Armando M. Pulgado for respondent Salazar.

MELENCIO-HERRERA, J:
Petitioner, Edgardo Mendoza, seeks a review on certiorari of the Orders of respondent
Judge in Civil Case No. 80803 dismissing his Complaint for Damages based on quasidelict against respondents Felino Timbol and Rodolfo Salazar.
The facts which spawned the present controversy may be summarized as follows:
On October 22, 1969, at about 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon, a three- way vehicular
accident occurred along Mac-Arthur Highway, Marilao, Bulacan, involving a Mercedes
Benz owned and driven by petitioner; a private jeep owned and driven by respondent
Rodolfo Salazar; and a gravel and sand truck owned by respondent Felipino Timbol and
driven by Freddie Montoya. As a consequence of said mishap, two separate
Informations for Reckless Imprudence Causing Damage to Property were filed against
Rodolfo Salazar and Freddie Montoya with the Court of First Instance of Bulacan. The
race against truck-driver Montoya, docketed as Criminal Case No. SM-227, was for
causing damage to the jeep owned by Salazar, in the amount of Pl,604.00, by hitting it
at the right rear portion thereby causing said jeep to hit and bump an oncoming car,
which happened to be petitioner's Mercedes Benz. The case against jeep-owner-driver
Salazar, docketed as Criminal Case No. SM 228, was for causing damage to the
Mercedes Benz of petitioner in the amount of P8,890.00
At the joint trial of the above cases, petitioner testified that jeep-owner- driver Salazar
overtook the truck driven by Montoya, swerved to the left going towards the poblacion of
Marilao, and hit his car which was bound for Manila. Petitioner further testified that
before the impact, Salazar had jumped from the jeep and that he was not aware that
Salazar's jeep was bumped from behind by the truck driven by Montoya. Petitioner's
version of the accident was adopted by truck driver Montoya. Jeep-owner-driver
Salazar, on the other hand, tried to show that, after overtaking the truck driven by
Montoya, he flashed a signal indicating his intention to turn left towards the poblacion of
Marilao but was stopped at the intersection by a policeman who was directing traffic;
that while he was at a stop position, his jeep was bumped at the rear by the truck driven
by Montova causing him to be thrown out of the jeep, which then swerved to the left and
hit petitioner's car, which was coming from the opposite direction.
On July 31, 1970, the Court of First Instance of Bulacan, Branch V, Sta. Maria, rendered
judgment, stating in its decretal portion:
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, this Court finds the accused Freddie Montoya GUILTY
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of damage to property thru reckless imprudence in

Crime. Case No. SM-227, and hereby sentences him to pay a fine of P972.50 and to
indemnify Rodolfo Salazar in the same amount of P972.50 as actual damages, with
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, both as to fine and indemnity, with costs.
Accused Rodolfo Salazar is hereby ACQUITTED from the offense charged in Crime.
Case No. SM-228, with costs de oficio, and his bond is ordered canceled
SO ORDERED. 1

Thus, the trial Court absolved jeep-owner-driver Salazar of any liability, civil and
criminal, in view of its findings that the collision between Salazar's jeep and petitioner's
car was the result of the former having been bumped from behind by the truck driven by
Montoya. Neither was petitioner awarded damages as he was not a complainant
against truck-driver Montoya but only against jeep-owner-driver Salazar.
On August 22, 1970, or after the termination of the criminal cases, petitioner filed Civil
Case No. 80803 with the Court of First Instance of Manila against respondents jeepowner-driver Salazar and Felino Timbol, the latter being the owner of the gravel and
sand truck driven by Montoya, for indentification for the damages sustained by his car
as a result of the collision involving their vehicles. Jeep-owner-driver Salazar and truckowner Timbol were joined as defendants, either in the alternative or in solidum allegedly
for the reason that petitioner was uncertain as to whether he was entitled to relief
against both on only one of them.
On September 9, 1970, truck-owner Timbol filed a Motion to Dismiss Civil Case No.
80803 on the grounds that the Complaint is barred by a prior judgment in the criminal
cases and that it fails to state a cause of action. An Opposition thereto was filed by
petitioner.
In an Order dated September 12, 1970, respondent Judge dismissed the Complaint
against truck-owner Timbol for reasons stated in the afore- mentioned Motion to Dismiss
On September 30, 1970, petitioner sought before this Court the review of that dismissal,
to which petition we gave due course.
On January 30, 1971, upon motion of jeep-owner-driver Salazar, respondent Judge also
dismissed the case as against the former. Respondent Judge reasoned out that "while it
is true that an independent civil action for liability under Article 2177 of the Civil Code
could be prosecuted independently of the criminal action for the offense from which it
arose, the New Rules of Court, which took effect on January 1, 1964, requires an
express reservation of the civil action to be made in the criminal action; otherwise, the
same would be barred pursuant to Section 2, Rule 111 ... 2 Petitioner's Motion for
Reconsideration thereof was denied in the order dated February 23, 1971, with

respondent Judge suggesting that the issue be raised to a higher Court "for a more
decisive interpretation of the rule. 3
On March 25, 1971, petitioner then filed a Supplemental Petition before us, also to
review the last two mentioned Orders, to which we required jeep-owner-driver Salazar
to file an Answer.
The Complaint against
truck-owner Timbol
We shall first discuss the validity of the Order, dated September 12, 1970, dismissing
petitioner's Complaint against truck-owner Timbol.
In dismissing the Complaint against the truck-owner, respondent Judge sustained
Timbol's allegations that the civil suit is barred by the prior joint judgment in Criminal
Cases Nos. SM-227 and SM-228, wherein no reservation to file a separate civil case
was made by petitioner and where the latter actively participated in the trial and tried to
prove damages against jeep-driver-Salazar only; and that the Complaint does not state
a cause of action against truck-owner Timbol inasmuch as petitioner prosecuted jeepowner-driver Salazar as the one solely responsible for the damage suffered by his car.
Well-settled is the rule that for a prior judgment to constitute a bar to a subsequent
case, the following requisites must concur: (1) it must be a final judgment; (2) it must
have been rendered by a Court having jurisdiction over the subject matter and over the
parties; (3) it must be a judgment on the merits; and (4) there must be, between the first
and second actions, Identity of parties, Identity of subject matter and Identity of cause of
action.
It is conceded that the first three requisites of res judicata are present. However, we
agree with petitioner that there is no Identity of cause of action between Criminal Case
No. SM-227 and Civil Case No. 80803. Obvious is the fact that in said criminal case
truck-driver Montoya was not prosecuted for damage to petitioner's car but for damage
to the jeep. Neither was truck-owner Timbol a party in said case. In fact as the trial
Court had put it "the owner of the Mercedes Benz cannot recover any damages from the
accused Freddie Montoya, he (Mendoza) being a complainant only against Rodolfo
Salazar in Criminal Case No. SM-228. 4 And more importantly, in the criminal cases, the
cause of action was the enforcement of the civil liability arising from criminal negligence
under Article l of the Revised Penal Code, whereas Civil Case No. 80803 is based on
quasi-delict under Article 2180, in relation to Article 2176 of the Civil Code As held in
Barredo vs. Garcia, et al. 5

The foregoing authorities clearly demonstrate the separate in. individuality of cuasidelitos or culpa aquiliana under the Civil Code. Specifically they show that there is a
distinction between civil liability arising from criminal negligence (governed by the Penal
Code) and responsibility for fault or negligence under articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil
Code, and that the same negligent act may produce either a civil liability arising from a
crime under the Penal Code, or a separate responsibility for fault or negligence under
articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code. Still more concretely, the authorities above cited
render it inescapable to conclude that the employer in this case the defendant- petitioner
is primarily and directly liable under article 1903 of the Civil Code.

That petitioner's cause of action against Timbol in the civil case is based on quasi-delict
is evident from the recitals in the complaint to wit: that while petitioner was driving his
car along MacArthur Highway at Marilao, Bulacan, a jeep owned and driven by Salazar
suddenly swerved to his (petitioner's) lane and collided with his car That the sudden
swerving of Salazar's jeep was caused either by the negligence and lack of skill of
Freddie Montoya, Timbol's employee, who was then driving a gravel and sand truck iii
the same direction as Salazar's jeep; and that as a consequence of the collision,
petitioner's car suffered extensive damage amounting to P12,248.20 and that he
likewise incurred actual and moral damages, litigation expenses and attorney's fees.
Clearly, therefore, the two factors that a cause of action must consist of, namely: (1)
plaintiff's primary right, i.e., that he is the owner of a Mercedes Benz, and (2)
defendant's delict or wrongful act or omission which violated plaintiff's primary right, i.e.,
the negligence or lack of skill either of jeep-owner Salazar or of Timbol's employee,
Montoya, in driving the truck, causing Salazar's jeep to swerve and collide with
petitioner's car, were alleged in the Complaint. 6
Consequently, petitioner's cause of action being based on quasi-delict, respondent
Judge committed reversible error when he dismissed the civil suit against the truckowner, as said case may proceed independently of the criminal proceedings and
regardless of the result of the latter.
Art. 31. When the civil action is based on an obligation not arising from the act or
omission complained of as a felony, such civil action may proceed independently of the
criminal proceedings and regardless of the result of the latter.

But it is truck-owner Timbol's submission (as well as that of jeep-owner-driver Salazar)


that petitioner's failure to make a reservation in the criminal action of his right to file an
independent civil action bars the institution of such separate civil action, invoking
section 2, Rule 111, Rules of Court, which says:
Section 2. Independent civil action. In the cases provided for in Articles 31, 32, 33,
34 and 2177 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, an independent civil action entirely
separate and distinct from the criminal action may be brought by the injured party during
the pendency of the criminal case, provided the right is reserved as required in the

preceding section. Such civil action shau proceed independently of the criminal
prosecution, and shall require only a preponderance of evidence.

Interpreting the above provision, this Court, in Garcia vs. Florida 7 said:
As we have stated at the outset, the same negligent act causing damages may produce a
civil liability arising from crime or create an action for quasi-delict or culpa extracontractual. The former is a violation of the criminal law, while the latter is a distinct and
independent negligence, having always had its own foundation and individuality. Some
legal writers are of the view that in accordance with Article 31, the civil action based upon
quasi-delict may proceed independently of the criminal proceeding for criminal
negligence and regardless of the result of the latter. Hence, 'the proviso in Section 2 of
Rule 111 with reference to ... Articles 32, 33 and 34 of the Civil Code is contrary to the
letter and spirit of the said articles, for these articles were drafted ... and are intended to
constitute as exceptions to the general rule stated in what is now Section 1 of Rule 111.
The proviso, which is procedural, may also be regarded as an unauthorized amendment
of substantive law, Articles 32, 33 and 34 of the Civil Code, which do not provide for the
reservation required in the proviso ... .

In his concurring opinion in the above case, Mr. Justice Antonio Barredo further
observed that inasmuch as Articles 2176 and 2177 of the Civil Code create a civil
liability distinct and different from the civil action arising from the offense of negligence
under the Revised Penal Code, no reservation, therefore, need be made in the criminal
case; that Section 2 of Rule 111 is inoperative, "it being substantive in character and is
not within the power of the Supreme Court to promulgate; and even if it were not
substantive but adjective, it cannot stand because of its inconsistency with Article 2177,
an enactment of the legislature superseding the Rules of 1940."
We declare, therefore, that in so far as truck-owner Timbol is concerned, Civil Case No.
80803 is not barred by the fact that petitioner failed to reserve, in the criminal action, his
right to file an independent civil action based on quasi-delict.
The suit against
jeep-owner-driver Salazar
The case as against jeep-owner-driver Salazar, who was acquitted in Criminal Case No.
SM-228, presents a different picture altogether.
At the outset it should be clarified that inasmuch as civil liability co-exists with criminal
responsibility in negligence cases, the offended party has the option between an action
for enforcement of civil liability based on culpa criminal under Article 100 of the Revised
Penal Code, and an action for recovery of damages based on culpa aquiliana under
Article 2177 of the Civil Code. The action for enforcement of civil liability based on culpa

criminal under section 1 of Rule 111 of the Rules of Court is deemed simultaneously
instituted with the criminal action, unless expressly waived or reserved for separate
application by the offended party. 8
The circumstances attendant to the criminal case yields the conclusion that petitioner
had opted to base his cause of action against jeep-owner-driver Salazar on culpa
criminal and not on culpa aquiliana as evidenced by his active participation and
intervention in the prosecution of the criminal suit against said Salazar. The latter's civil
liability continued to be involved in the criminal action until its termination. Such being
the case, there was no need for petitioner to have reserved his right to file a separate
civil action as his action for civil liability was deemed impliedly instituted in Criminal
Case No. SM-228.
Neither would an independent civil action he. Noteworthy is the basis of the acquittal of
jeep-owner-driver Salazar in the criminal case, expounded by the trial Court in this wise:
In view of what has been proven and established during the trial, accused Freddie
Montoya would be held able for having bumped and hit the rear portion of the jeep driven
by the accused Rodolfo Salazar,
Considering that the collision between the jeep driven by Rodolfo Salazar and the car
owned and driven by Edgardo Mendoza was the result of the hitting on the rear of the
jeep by the truck driven by Freddie Montoya, this Court behaves that accused Rodolfo
Salazar cannot be held able for the damages sustained by Edgardo Mendoza's car. 9

Crystal clear is the trial Court's pronouncement that under the facts of the case, jeepowner-driver Salazar cannot be held liable for the damages sustained by petitioner's
car. In other words, "the fact from which the civil might arise did not exist. " Accordingly,
inasmuch as petitioner's cause of action as against jeep-owner-driver Salazar is exdelictu, founded on Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, the civil action must be held
to have been extinguished in consonance with Section 3(c), Rule 111 of the Rules of
Court 10 which provides:
Sec. 3. Other civil actions arising from offenses. In all cases not included in the
preceding section the following rules shall be observed:
xxx xxx xxx
c) Extinction of the penal action does not carry with it extinction of the civil, unless the
extinction proceeds from a declaration in a final judgment that the fact from which the civil
night arise did not exist. ...

And even if petitioner's cause of action as against jeep-owner-driver Salazar were not
ex-delictu, the end result would be the same, it being clear from the judgment in the

criminal case that Salazar's acquittal was not based upon reasonable doubt,
consequently, a civil action for damages can no longer be instituted. This is explicitly
provided for in Article 29 of the Civil Code quoted here under:
Art. 29. When the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted on the ground that his
guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt, a civil action for damages for the
same act or omission may be instituted. Such action requires only a preponderance of
evidence ...
If in a criminal case the judgment of acquittal is based upon reasonable doubt, the court
shall so declare. In the absence of any declaration to that effect, it may be inferred from
the text of the decision whether or not the acquittal is due to that ground.

In so far as the suit against jeep-owner-driver Salazar is concerned, therefore, we


sustain respondent Judge's Order dated January 30, 1971 dismissing the complaint,
albeit on different grounds.
WHEREFORE, 1) the Order dated September 12, 1970 dismissing Civil Case No.
80803 against private respondent Felino Timbol is set aside, and respondent Judge, or
his successor, hereby ordered to proceed with the hearing on the merits; 2) but the
Orders dated January 30, 1971 and February 23, 1971 dismissing the Complaint in Civil
Case No. 80803 against respondent Rodolfo Salazar are hereby upheld.
No costs.
SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. L-30612 April 27, 1972


THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINFS, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
BONIFACIO ALISON, JUANITO ALERTA, ENRICO CABATINGAN, AQUINO
ALVAREZ, PABLO MENDOZA, ROMULO CABATINGAN AND PEDRO GALOPO,
defendants-appellants, IN RE BONIFACIO ALISON (Deceased)
RESOLUTION

FERNANDO, J.:p
Among the appellants sentenced to life imprisonment by the Court of First Instance of
Quezon, Branch IV, for robbery in band with double murder was a certain Bonifacio
Alison. On February 14, 1972, the following communication, addressed to the Clerk of
Court, was received from the Administrative Officer of the Bureau of Prisons: "This is to
inform the Honorable Court of the death of prisoner [Bonifacio Alison] on January 26,
1972 at the New Bilibid Prisons Hospital, Bureau of Prisons, Muntinlupa, Rizal, due to

Pulmonary Tuberculosis. Prisoner Alison was sentenced to Life imprisonment by the


Court of First Instance of Quezon, Branch IV, Calauag, Quezon in criminal case No. C351, (G.R. No. L-30612) for Robbery in Band Double Murder and Attempted Murder." 1
Under date of February 22, 1972, a resolution of the following tenor was adopted by this
Court: "The Solicitor General is required to comment, within ten (10) days from notice
hereof, on the letter of Exequiel Santos, Administrative Officer of the Bureau of Prisons,
informing this Court of the death of prisoner Bonifacio Alison on January 26, 1972 at the
New Bilibid Prisons Hospital due to Pulmonary Tuberculosis." 2
Such a comment was received on March 27, 1972. According to the then Solicitor
General, now Associate Justice, Felix Q. Antonio: "On March 15, 1972, the Director of
Prisons, pursuant to the letter-request of the undersigned, submitted to the Office of the
Solicitor General a copy of the certificate of death of Bonifacio Alison, Prisoner No.
9486, 45 years old, male, with address at Bo. Pasig, Claveria, Masbate; The data
appearing in the aforesaid death certificate and those in the records of the case
(handwritten notes of the proceedings by the Presiding Judge of the trial court, pp. 320321, rec.) show that the Bonifacio Alison mentioned therein are one and the same
person; The death of accused-appellant Bonifacio Alison having been established, and
considering that there is as yet no final judgment in view of the pendency of the appeal,
the criminal and civil liability of the said accused-appellant Alison was extinguished by
his death (Art. 89, Revised Penal Code; Reyes' Criminal Law, 1971. Rev. Ed., p. 717,
citing People vs. Castillo and Ofemia C.A., 56 O.G. 4045); consequently, the case
against him should be dismissed." 3
WHEREFORE, in line with the prayer of the then Solicitor General, this case against
appellant, the late Bonifacio Alison, is dismissed with costs de oficio.
Reyes, J.B.L., Actg. C.J., Makalintal, Zaldivar, Castro, Teehankee, Barredo and
Makasiar, JJ., concur.
Antonio, J., took no part.
Concepcion, C.J., is on leave.

G.R. No. 102007 September 2, 1994


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
ROGELIO BAYOTAS y CORDOVA, accused-appellant.
The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
Public Attorney's Office for accused-appellant.

ROMERO, J.:
In Criminal Case No. C-3217 filed before Branch 16, RTC Roxas City, Rogelio Bayotas
y Cordova was charged with Rape and eventually convicted thereof on June 19, 1991 in

a decision penned by Judge Manuel E. Autajay. Pending appeal of his conviction,


Bayotas died on February 4, 1992 at
the National Bilibid Hospital due to cardio respiratory arrest secondary to hepatic
encephalopathy secondary to hipato carcinoma gastric malingering. Consequently, the
Supreme Court in its Resolution of May 20, 1992 dismissed the criminal aspect of the
appeal. However, it required the Solicitor General to file its comment with regard to
Bayotas' civil liability arising from his commission of the offense charged.
In his comment, the Solicitor General expressed his view that the death of accusedappellant did not extinguish his civil liability as a result of his commission of the offense
charged. The Solicitor General, relying on the case of People v. Sendaydiego 1 insists
that the appeal should still be resolved for the purpose of reviewing his conviction by the
lower court on which the civil liability is based.
Counsel for the accused-appellant, on the other hand, opposed the view of the Solicitor
General arguing that the death of the accused while judgment of conviction is pending
appeal extinguishes both his criminal and civil penalties. In support of his position, said
counsel invoked the ruling of the Court of Appeals in People v. Castillo and Ocfemia 2
which held that the civil obligation in a criminal case takes root in the criminal liability
and, therefore, civil liability is extinguished if accused should die before final judgment is
rendered.
We are thus confronted with a single issue: Does death of the accused pending appeal
of his conviction extinguish his civil liability?
In the aforementioned case of People v. Castillo, this issue was settled in the
affirmative. This same issue posed therein was phrased thus: Does the death of Alfredo
Castillo affect both his criminal responsibility and his civil liability as a consequence of
the alleged crime?
It resolved this issue thru the following disquisition:
Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code is the controlling statute. It reads, in part:
Art. 89. How criminal liability is totally extinguished. Criminal liability is
totally extinguished:
1. By the death of the convict, as to the personal penalties; and as to the
pecuniary penalties liability therefor is extinguished only when the death
of the offender occurs before final judgment;
With reference to Castillo's criminal liability, there is no question. The law is plain.
Statutory construction is unnecessary. Said liability is extinguished.

The civil liability, however, poses a problem. Such liability is extinguished only when the
death of the offender occurs before final judgment. Saddled upon us is the task of
ascertaining the legal import of the term "final judgment." Is it final judgment as
contradistinguished from an interlocutory order? Or, is it a judgment which is final and
executory?
We go to the genesis of the law. The legal precept contained in Article 89 of the Revised
Penal Code heretofore transcribed is lifted from Article 132 of the Spanish El Codigo
Penal de 1870 which, in part, recites:
La responsabilidad penal se extingue.
1. Por la muerte del reo en cuanto a las penas personales siempre, y
respecto a las pecuniarias, solo cuando a su fallecimiento no hubiere
recaido sentencia firme.
xxx xxx xxx
The code of 1870 . . . it will be observed employs the term "sentencia firme." What is
"sentencia firme" under the old statute?
XXVIII Enciclopedia Juridica Espaola, p. 473, furnishes the ready answer: It says:
SENTENCIA FIRME. La sentencia que adquiere la fuerza de las
definitivas por no haberse utilizado por las partes litigantes recurso
alguno contra ella dentro de los terminos y plazos legales concedidos al
efecto.
"Sentencia firme" really should be understood as one which is definite. Because, it is only
when judgment is such that, as Medina y Maranon puts it, the crime is confirmed "en
condena determinada;" or, in the words of Groizard, the guilt of the accused becomes
"una verdad legal." Prior thereto, should the accused die, according to Viada, "no hay
legalmente, en tal caso, ni reo, ni delito, ni responsabilidad criminal de ninguna clase."
And, as Judge Kapunan well explained, when a defendant dies before judgment
becomes executory, "there cannot be any determination by final judgment whether or not
the felony upon which the civil action might arise exists," for the simple reason that "there
is no party defendant." (I Kapunan, Revised Penal Code, Annotated, p. 421. Senator
Francisco holds the same view. Francisco, Revised Penal Code, Book One, 2nd ed., pp.
859-860)
The legal import of the term "final judgment" is similarly reflected in the Revised Penal
Code. Articles 72 and 78 of that legal body mention the term "final judgment" in the sense
that it is already enforceable. This also brings to mind Section 7, Rule 116 of the Rules of
Court which states that a judgment in a criminal case becomes final "after the lapse of the
period for perfecting an appeal or when the sentence has been partially or totally satisfied
or served, or the defendant has expressly waived in writing his right to appeal."

By fair intendment, the legal precepts and opinions here collected funnel down to one
positive conclusion: The term final judgment employed in the Revised Penal Code means
judgment beyond recall. Really, as long as a judgment has not become executory, it
cannot be truthfully said that defendant is definitely guilty of the felony charged against
him.
Not that the meaning thus given to final judgment is without reason. For where, as in this
case, the right to institute a separate civil action is not reserved, the decision to be
rendered must, of necessity, cover "both the criminal and the civil aspects of the case."
People vs. Yusico (November 9, 1942), 2 O.G., No. 100, p. 964. See also: People vs.
Moll, 68 Phil., 626, 634; Francisco, Criminal Procedure, 1958 ed., Vol. I, pp. 234, 236.
Correctly, Judge Kapunan observed that as "the civil action is based solely on the felony
committed and of which the offender might be found guilty, the death of the offender
extinguishes the civil liability." I Kapunan, Revised Penal Code, Annotated, supra.
Here is the situation obtaining in the present case: Castillo's criminal liability is out. His
civil liability is sought to be enforced by reason of that criminal liability. But then, if we
dismiss, as we must, the criminal action and let the civil aspect remain, we will be faced
with the anomalous situation whereby we will be called upon to clamp civil liability in a
case where the source thereof criminal liability does not exist. And, as was well
stated in Bautista, et al. vs. Estrella, et al., CA-G.R.
No. 19226-R, September 1, 1958, "no party can be found and held criminally liable in a
civil suit," which solely would remain if we are to divorce it from the criminal proceeding."

This ruling of the Court of Appeals in the Castillo case 3 was adopted by the Supreme
Court in the cases of People of the Philippines v. Bonifacio Alison, et al., 4 People of the
Philippines v. Jaime Jose, et al. 5 and People of the Philippines v. Satorre 6 by
dismissing the appeal in view of the death of the accused pending appeal of said cases.
As held by then Supreme Court Justice Fernando in the Alison case:
The death of accused-appellant Bonifacio Alison having been established, and
considering that there is as yet no final judgment in view of the pendency of the appeal,
the criminal and civil liability of the said accused-appellant Alison was extinguished by his
death (Art. 89, Revised Penal Code; Reyes' Criminal Law, 1971 Rev. Ed., p. 717, citing
People v. Castillo and Ofemia C.A., 56 O.G. 4045); consequently, the case against him
should be dismissed.

On the other hand, this Court in the subsequent cases of Buenaventura Belamala v.
Marcelino Polinar 7 and Lamberto Torrijos v. The Honorable Court of Appeals 8 ruled
differently. In the former, the issue decided by this court was: Whether the civil liability of
one accused of physical injuries who died before final judgment is extinguished by his
demise to the extent of barring any claim therefore against his estate. It was the
contention of the administrator-appellant therein that the death of the accused prior to
final judgment extinguished all criminal and civil liabilities resulting from the offense, in

view of Article 89, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code. However, this court ruled
therein:
We see no merit in the plea that the civil liability has been extinguished, in view of the
provisions of the Civil Code of the Philippines of 1950 (Rep. Act No. 386) that became
operative eighteen years after the revised Penal Code. As pointed out by the Court
below, Article 33 of the Civil Code establishes a civil action for damages on account of
physical injuries, entirely separate and distinct from the criminal action.
Art. 33. In cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries, a civil action
for damages, entirely separate and distinct from the criminal action, may
be brought by the injured party. Such civil action shall proceed
independently of the criminal prosecution, and shall require only a
preponderance of evidence.
Assuming that for lack of express reservation, Belamala's civil action for damages was to
be considered instituted together with the criminal action still, since both proceedings
were terminated without final adjudication, the civil action of the offended party under
Article 33 may yet be enforced separately.
In Torrijos, the Supreme Court held that:
xxx xxx xxx
It should be stressed that the extinction of civil liability follows the extinction of the
criminal liability under Article 89, only when the civil liability arises from the criminal act as
its only basis. Stated differently, where the civil liability does not exist independently of the
criminal responsibility, the extinction of the latter by death, ipso facto extinguishes the
former, provided, of course, that death supervenes before final judgment. The said
principle does not apply in instant case wherein the civil liability springs neither solely nor
originally from the crime itself but from a civil contract of purchase and sale. (Emphasis
ours)
xxx xxx xxx

In the above case, the court was convinced that the civil liability of the accused
who was charged with estafa could likewise trace its genesis to Articles 19, 20
and 21 of the Civil Code since said accused had swindled the first and second
vendees of the property subject matter of the contract of sale. It therefore
concluded: "Consequently, while the death of the accused herein extinguished
his criminal liability including fine, his civil liability based on the laws of human
relations remains."
Thus it allowed the appeal to proceed with respect to the civil liability of the accused,
notwithstanding the extinction of his criminal liability due to his death pending appeal of
his conviction.

To further justify its decision to allow the civil liability to survive, the court relied on the
following ratiocination: Since Section 21, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court 9 requires the
dismissal of all money claims against the defendant whose death occurred prior to the
final judgment of the Court of First Instance (CFI), then it can be inferred that actions for
recovery of money may continue to be heard on appeal, when the death of the
defendant supervenes after the CFI had rendered its judgment. In such case, explained
this tribunal, "the name of the offended party shall be included in the title of the case as
plaintiff-appellee and the legal representative or the heirs of the deceased-accused
should be substituted as defendants-appellants."
It is, thus, evident that as jurisprudence evolved from Castillo to Torrijos, the rule
established was that the survival of the civil liability depends on whether the same can
be predicated on sources of obligations other than delict. Stated differently, the claim for
civil liability is also extinguished together with the criminal action if it were solely based
thereon, i.e., civil liability ex delicto.
However, the Supreme Court in People v. Sendaydiego, et al. 10 departed from this longestablished principle of law. In this case, accused Sendaydiego was charged with and
convicted by the lower court of malversation thru falsification of public documents.
Sendaydiego's death supervened during the pendency of the appeal of his conviction.
This court in an unprecedented move resolved to dismiss Sendaydiego's appeal but
only to the extent of his criminal liability. His civil liability was allowed to survive although
it was clear that such claim thereon was exclusively dependent on the criminal action
already extinguished. The legal import of such decision was for the court to continue
exercising appellate jurisdiction over the entire appeal, passing upon the correctness of
Sendaydiego's conviction despite dismissal of the criminal action, for the purpose of
determining if he is civilly liable. In doing so, this Court issued a Resolution of July 8,
1977 stating thus:
The claim of complainant Province of Pangasinan for the civil liability survived
Sendaydiego because his death occurred after final judgment was rendered by the Court
of First Instance of Pangasinan, which convicted him of three complex crimes of
malversation through falsification and ordered him to indemnify the Province in the total
sum of P61,048.23 (should be P57,048.23).
The civil action for the civil liability is deemed impliedly instituted with the criminal action
in the absence of express waiver or its reservation in a separate action (Sec. 1, Rule 111
of the Rules of Court). The civil action for the civil liability is separate and distinct from the
criminal action (People and Manuel vs. Coloma, 105 Phil. 1287; Roa vs. De la Cruz, 107
Phil. 8).

When the action is for the recovery of money and the defendant dies before final
judgment in the Court of First Instance, it shall be dismissed to be prosecuted in the
manner especially provided in Rule 87 of the Rules of Court (Sec. 21, Rule 3 of the Rules
of Court).
The implication is that, if the defendant dies after a money judgment had been rendered
against him by the Court of First Instance, the action survives him. It may be continued
on appeal (Torrijos vs. Court of Appeals, L-40336, October 24, 1975; 67 SCRA 394).
The accountable public officer may still be civilly liable for the funds improperly disbursed
although he has no criminal liability (U.S. vs. Elvina, 24 Phil. 230; Philippine National
Bank vs. Tugab, 66 Phil. 583).
In view of the foregoing, notwithstanding the dismissal of the appeal of the deceased
Sendaydiego insofar as his criminal liability is concerned, the Court Resolved to continue
exercising appellate jurisdiction over his possible civil liability for the money claims of the
Province of Pangasinan arising from the alleged criminal acts complained of, as if no
criminal case had been instituted against him, thus making applicable, in determining his
civil liability, Article 30 of the Civil Code . . . and, for that purpose, his counsel is directed
to inform this Court within ten (10) days of the names and addresses of the decedent's
heirs or whether or not his estate is under administration and has a duly appointed
judicial administrator. Said heirs or administrator will be substituted for the deceased
insofar as the civil action for the civil liability is concerned (Secs. 16 and 17, Rule 3, Rules
of Court).

Succeeding cases 11 raising the identical issue have maintained adherence to our ruling
in Sendaydiego; in other words, they were a reaffirmance of our abandonment of the
settled rule that a civil liability solely anchored on the criminal (civil liability ex delicto) is
extinguished upon dismissal of the entire appeal due to the demise of the accused.
But was it judicious to have abandoned this old ruling? A re-examination of our decision
in Sendaydiego impels us to revert to the old ruling.
To restate our resolution of July 8, 1977 in Sendaydiego: The resolution of the civil
action impliedly instituted in the criminal action can proceed irrespective of the latter's
extinction due to death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction, pursuant to
Article 30 of the Civil Code and Section 21, Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Court.
Article 30 of the Civil Code provides:
When a separate civil action is brought to demand civil liability arising from a criminal
offense, and no criminal proceedings are instituted during the pendency of the civil case,
a preponderance of evidence shall likewise be sufficient to prove the act complained of.

Clearly, the text of Article 30 could not possibly lend support to the ruling in
Sendaydiego. Nowhere in its text is there a grant of authority to continue exercising

appellate jurisdiction over the accused's civil liability ex delicto when his death
supervenes during appeal. What Article 30 recognizes is an alternative and separate
civil action which may be brought to demand civil liability arising from a criminal offense
independently of any criminal action. In the event that no criminal proceedings are
instituted during the pendency of said civil case, the quantum of evidence needed to
prove the criminal act will have to be that which is compatible with civil liability and that
is, preponderance of evidence and not proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Citing or
invoking Article 30 to justify the survival of the civil action despite extinction of the
criminal would in effect merely beg the question of whether civil liability ex delicto
survives upon extinction of the criminal action due to death of the accused during
appeal of his conviction. This is because whether asserted in
the criminal action or in a separate civil action, civil liability ex delicto is extinguished by
the death of the accused while his conviction is on appeal. Article 89 of the Revised
Penal Code is clear on this matter:
Art. 89. How criminal liability is totally extinguished. Criminal liability is totally
extinguished:
1. By the death of the convict, as to the personal penalties; and as to pecuniary penalties,
liability therefor is extinguished only when the death of the offender occurs before final
judgment;
xxx xxx xxx

However, the ruling in Sendaydiego deviated from the expressed intent of Article 89. It
allowed claims for civil liability ex delicto to survive by ipso facto treating the civil action
impliedly instituted with the criminal, as one filed under Article 30, as though no criminal
proceedings had been filed but merely a separate civil action. This had the effect of
converting such claims from one which is dependent on the outcome of the criminal
action to an entirely new and separate one, the prosecution of which does not even
necessitate the filing of criminal proceedings. 12 One would be hard put to pinpoint the
statutory authority for such a transformation. It is to be borne in mind that in recovering
civil liability ex delicto, the same has perforce to be determined in the criminal action,
rooted as it is in the court's pronouncement of the guilt or innocence of the accused.
This is but to render fealty to the intendment of Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code
which provides that "every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable." In
such cases, extinction of the criminal action due to death of the accused pending appeal
inevitably signifies the concomitant extinction of the civil liability. Mors Omnia Solvi.
Death dissolves all things.
In sum, in pursuing recovery of civil liability arising from crime, the final determination of
the criminal liability is a condition precedent to the prosecution of the civil action, such

that when the criminal action is extinguished by the demise of accused-appellant


pending appeal thereof, said civil action cannot survive. The claim for civil liability
springs out of and is dependent upon facts which, if true, would constitute a crime. Such
civil liability is an inevitable consequence of the criminal liability and is to be declared
and enforced in the criminal proceeding. This is to be distinguished from that which is
contemplated under Article 30 of the Civil Code which refers to the institution of a
separate civil action that does not draw its life from a criminal proceeding. The
Sendaydiego resolution of July 8, 1977, however, failed to take note of this fundamental
distinction when it allowed the survival of the civil action for the recovery of civil liability
ex delicto by treating the same as a separate civil action referred to under Article 30.
Surely, it will take more than just a summary judicial pronouncement to authorize the
conversion of said civil action to an independent one such as that contemplated under
Article 30.
Ironically however, the main decision in Sendaydiego did not apply Article 30, the
resolution of July 8, 1977 notwithstanding. Thus, it was held in the main decision:
Sendaydiego's appeal will be resolved only for the purpose of showing his criminal
liability which is the basis of the civil liability for which his estate would be liable. 13

In other words, the Court, in resolving the issue of his civil liability, concomitantly made
a determination on whether Sendaydiego, on the basis of evidenced adduced, was
indeed guilty beyond reasonable doubt of committing the offense charged. Thus, it
upheld Sendaydiego's conviction and pronounced the same as the source of his civil
liability. Consequently, although Article 30 was not applied in the final determination of
Sendaydiego's civil liability, there was a reopening of the criminal action already
extinguished which served as basis for Sendaydiego's civil liability. We reiterate: Upon
death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction, the criminal action is
extinguished inasmuch as there is no longer a defendant to stand as the accused; the
civil action instituted therein for recovery of civil liability ex delicto is ipso facto
extinguished, grounded as it is on the criminal.
Section 21, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court was also invoked to serve as another basis for
the Sendaydiego resolution of July 8, 1977. In citing Sec. 21, Rule 3 of the Rules of
Court, the Court made the inference that civil actions of the type involved in
Sendaydiego consist of money claims, the recovery of which may be continued on
appeal if defendant dies pending appeal of his conviction by holding his estate liable
therefor. Hence, the Court's conclusion:
"When the action is for the recovery of money" "and the defendant dies before final
judgment in the court of First Instance, it shall be dismissed to be prosecuted in the

manner especially provided" in Rule 87 of the Rules of Court (Sec. 21, Rule 3 of the
Rules of Court).
The implication is that, if the defendant dies after a money judgment had been rendered
against him by the Court of First Instance, the action survives him. It may be continued
on appeal.

Sadly, reliance on this provision of law is misplaced. From the standpoint of procedural
law, this course taken in Sendaydiego cannot be sanctioned. As correctly observed by
Justice Regalado:
xxx xxx xxx
I do not, however, agree with the justification advanced in both Torrijos and Sendaydiego
which, relying on the provisions of Section 21, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, drew the
strained implication therefrom that where the civil liability instituted together with the
criminal liabilities had already passed beyond the judgment of the then Court of First
Instance (now the Regional Trial Court), the Court of Appeals can continue to exercise
appellate jurisdiction thereover despite the extinguishment of the component criminal
liability of the deceased. This pronouncement, which has been followed in the Court's
judgments subsequent and consonant to Torrijos and Sendaydiego, should be set aside
and abandoned as being clearly erroneous and unjustifiable.
Said Section 21 of Rule 3 is a rule of civil procedure in ordinary civil actions. There is
neither authority nor justification for its application in criminal procedure to civil actions
instituted together with and as part of criminal actions. Nor is there any authority in law for
the summary conversion from the latter category of an ordinary civil action upon the
death of the offender. . . .

Moreover, the civil action impliedly instituted in a criminal proceeding for recovery of civil
liability ex delicto can hardly be categorized as an ordinary money claim such as that
referred to in Sec. 21, Rule 3 enforceable before the estate of the deceased accused.
Ordinary money claims referred to in Section 21, Rule 3 must be viewed in light of the
provisions of Section 5, Rule 86 involving claims against the estate, which in
Sendaydiego was held liable for Sendaydiego's civil liability. "What are contemplated in
Section 21 of Rule 3, in relation to Section 5 of Rule 86, 14 are contractual money claims
while the claims involved in civil liability ex delicto may include even the restitution of
personal or real property." 15 Section 5, Rule 86 provides an exclusive enumeration of
what claims may be filed against the estate. These are: funeral expenses, expenses for
the last illness, judgments for money and claim arising from contracts, expressed or
implied. It is clear that money claims arising from delict do not form part of this exclusive
enumeration. Hence, there could be no legal basis in (1) treating a civil action ex delicto
as an ordinary contractual money claim referred to in Section 21, Rule 3 of the Rules of
Court and (2) allowing it to survive by filing a claim therefor before the estate of the

deceased accused. Rather, it should be extinguished upon extinction of the criminal


action engendered by the death of the accused pending finality of his conviction.
Accordingly, we rule: if the private offended party, upon extinction of the civil liability ex
delicto desires to recover damages from the same act or omission complained of, he
must subject to Section 1, Rule 111 16 (1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended)
file a separate civil action, this time predicated not on the felony previously charged but
on other sources of obligation. The source of obligation upon which the separate civil
action is premised determines against whom the same shall be enforced.
If the same act or omission complained of also arises from quasi-delict or may, by
provision of law, result in an injury to person or property (real or personal), the separate
civil action must be filed against the executor or administrator 17 of the estate of the
accused pursuant to Sec. 1, Rule 87 of the Rules of Court:
Sec. 1. Actions which may and which may not be brought against executor or
administrator. No action upon a claim for the recovery of money or debt or interest
thereon shall be commenced against the executor or administrator; but actions to recover
real or personal property, or an interest therein, from the estate, or to enforce a lien
thereon, and actions to recover damages for an injury to person or property, real or
personal, may be commenced against him.

This is in consonance with our ruling in Belamala 18 where we held that, in recovering
damages for injury to persons thru an independent civil action based on Article 33 of the
Civil Code, the same must be filed against the executor or administrator of the estate of
deceased accused and not against the estate under Sec. 5, Rule 86 because this rule
explicitly limits the claim to those for funeral expenses, expenses for the last sickness of
the decedent, judgment for money and claims arising from contract, express or implied.
Contractual money claims, we stressed, refers only to purely personal obligations other
than those which have their source in delict or tort.
Conversely, if the same act or omission complained of also arises from contract, the
separate civil action must be filed against the estate of the accused, pursuant to Sec. 5,
Rule 86 of the Rules of Court.
From this lengthy disquisition, we summarize our ruling herein:
1. Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal
liability as well as the civil liability based solely thereon. As opined by Justice Regalado,
in this regard, "the death of the accused prior to final judgment terminates his criminal
liability and only the civil liability directly arising from and based solely on the offense
committed, i.e., civil liability ex delicto in senso strictiore."

2. Corollarily, the claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding the death of accused, if
the same may also be predicated on a source of obligation other than delict. 19 Article
1157 of the Civil Code enumerates these other sources of obligation from which the civil
liability may arise as a result of the same act or omission:
a) Law 20
b) Contracts
c) Quasi-contracts
d) . . .
e) Quasi-delicts

3. Where the civil liability survives, as explained in Number 2 above, an action for
recovery therefor may be pursued but only by way of filing a separate civil action and
subject to Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended.
This separate civil action may be enforced either against the executor/administrator or
the estate of the accused, depending on the source of obligation upon which the same
is based as explained above.
4. Finally, the private offended party need not fear a forfeiture of his right to file this
separate civil action by prescription, in cases where during the prosecution of the
criminal action and prior to its extinction, the private-offended party instituted together
therewith the civil action. In such case, the statute of limitations on the civil liability is
deemed interrupted during the pendency of the criminal case, conformably with
provisions of Article 1155 21 of the Civil Code, that should thereby avoid any
apprehension on a possible privation of right by prescription. 22
Applying this set of rules to the case at bench, we hold that the death of appellant
Bayotas extinguished his criminal liability and the civil liability based solely on the act
complained of, i.e., rape. Consequently, the appeal is hereby dismissed without
qualification.
WHEREFORE, the appeal of the late Rogelio Bayotas is DISMISSED with costs de
oficio.