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TORTS

CASE TITLE: Eustaquio Mayo Y Agpaoa v. People of the Philippines
G.R. No. 91201
December 5, 1991
GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:
PRINCIPLE: MORAL DAMAGES
FACTS: Petitioner Mayo was charged with the crime of “Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to
Property with Multiple Serious, Less Serious, and Slight Physical Injuries”. This charge arose from an
Information which states that sometime in August of 1982 at 4pm, Mayo was driving a Philippine Rabbit
bus along the McArthur Hway in Mabalacat, Pampanga. Private respondent (PR) Linda Navarette, on the
other hand, was aboard a Mitsubishi Lancer along with several others including two children. The
Lancer was driven by June Navarette and was cruising steadily at the right lane of the road while the
Rabbit bus was trailing closely behind the Lancer. Behind the bus is a Tamaraw jeep. At first, the
Tamaraw jeep was ahead, followed by the Lancer, and behind it is the Rabbit bus, all travelling towards
Manila. The Lancer as well as the Rabbit bus following one after the other overtook the Tamaraw jeep.
As the vehicles approached the Mabalacat Institute, the Rabbit bus, picked up speed and swerved to
the left lane to overtake the Lancer however an oncoming vehicle from the opposite lane appeared and
flashed its headlights to warn the Rabbit bus to give way. The Rabbit bus then suddenly swerved to the
right in an effort to return to the correct lane and avoid collision with the oncoming vehicle. In the
process however, it hit and bumped the left rear side of the Lancer causing its driver to lose control of
the wheel and it swerved across the left lane and hit a bystander then crashed against a concrete fence
of another person. The Lancer was heavily damaged and the passengers including the driver sustained
physical injuries in varying degrees.
RTC RULING: Mayo was convicted and charged and the civil aspect of the case was heard in the
criminal case. The complainants therein including PR Navarette were awarded damages wherein the
amount of moral damages awarded to her was Php700,000.00 (while to others ranged from 5k to 60k).
CA RULING: Mayo appealed with the CA which affirmed the RTC Decision with the modification only
with respect to the imprisonment aspect. Mayo’s MR denied, hence, the Petition.
Mayo’s contention was that the CA did not discuss the specific factual circumstances which would
justify the award of arbitrary and exorbitant amount of moral damages and instead stated only general
terms.
The CA, on the other hand, cited the provisions of the NCC, specifically Arts. 2217 and 2219 to justify
the legal basis of moral damages and based thereon concluded that the amount is not excessive and is
in accord with the law and the facts of the case.
ISSUE/s: The sole issue in this case is whether or not the findings of the lower court justify the award of
Php700k as moral damages in favor of PR Navarette.
SC RULING: To arrive at its Decision, the SC examined the records of the case and established that
prior to the accident, PR Navarette was an Economist by profession and a graduate of BS Home
Economics at UP. She was an Asst VP and Resident Manager of Club Solviento in QC as well as a Food
consultant receiving a gross income of Php17k. As a result of the accident, she suffered from a
permanent partial facial disfigurement and total loss of vision of her right eye which was replaced by a
false eye.
According to the doctor, PR Navarette’s right eye could not be saved since the right eyeball needed to
be removed as it was heavily lacerated and there was a necessity of an artificial eye placement in the
socket. Upon advice of her doctor in Makati Med, she had to go to San Francisco, USA for further
treatment. She went twice to San Francisco and incurred expenses around Php60k to 80k.
Furthermore, PR Navarette declared that she had a boyfriend whom she lost after the accident. She
broke down over the misfortune and placed a value of her mental, psychological, and moral sufferings

rape or other lascivious acts. Though incapable of pecuniary computation. 2219. slander or any other form of defamation. SC further rejects Navarette’s claim for . 8. Acts and actions referred to in articles 21. However. wounded feelings. there is no clear evidence on record to show that her boyfriend left her after the accident due to her physical injuries. the SC finds no justification to award moral damages to PR Navarette for the loss of her boyfriend. moral shock. 27. her injuries resulting in a permanent scar at her forehead and the loss of her right eye undoubtedly gave her mental anguish. besmirched reputation. Moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases: 1. She suffered injuries as a result of the criminal offense by Mayo. This discretion is. the loss of her eyesight resulted to her giving up her job not only because of her prolonged absences but because of the physical handicap she suffered. however. Libel. 3. there is no question that moral damages include physical suffering. 26. Neither can it be categorized as an analogous case. 4.” Applying these principles in the instant case. the actual losses sustained by the aggrieved party and the gravity of the injuries must be considered. 6. The psychological effect on her as regards the scar and her false eye must have devastated her considering that women in general are fastidious on how they look. They are awarded only to enable the injured party to obtain means. 5. fright. 29. we still find no legal basis for the award of moral damages in her favor because of the loss of a boyfriend. A criminal offense resulting in physical injuries. 2219 of the NCC provides that: Art. 30. Malicious prosecution. Acts mentioned in article 309. The foregoing findings form the only basis for the award of moral damages in favor of PR Navarette by the RTC and the CA. Quasi-delicto causing physical injuries. RATIO PART: According to the SC. the loss of her boyfriend after the accident added to her mental and emotional sufferings and psychologically affected and disturbed her. More importantly. SC agrees that PR Navarette is entitled to moral damages. Finally. wounded feelings and shock. diversion or amusements that will serve to alleviate the moral suffering he has undergone. Loss of a boyfriend as a result of physical injuries after an accident is not one of them. 32. 7. the SC finds that the award of Php700k as moral damages in favor of PR Navarette is unconscionable and excessive. 2. In determining the amount of moral damages. Art.in the amount of Php500k as moral damages and asked the lower court to double the amount making it Php1M stating as reason that her boyfriend would have been her lifetime partner and her guide of her eye forever had she not lost him. Moreover. serious anxiety. Heading on to the propriety of the amount of Php700k as moral damages. the SC ruled that the wellentrenched principle is that moral damages depend upon the discretion of the trial courts based on the facts and circumstances of each case. Moreover. The reasons for the break-up of a courtship are too many and too complicated such that they should not form the basis of damages arising from a vehicular accident. Illegal search. and 35. 28. “moral damages are emphatically not intended to enrich a complainant at the expense of the defendant. Art. Adultery or concubinage. Nevertheless. Seduction. moral damages may be recovered if they are the proximate result of the defendant’s wrongful act or omission. conditioned in that the “amount awarded should not be palpably and scandalously excessive” so as to indicate that it was the result of prejudice or corruption on the part of the trial court. social humiliation and similar injury. granting that her boyfriend left her due to her physical injuries. by reason of the defendant’s culpable action. 2219 quoted above enumerates cases wherein moral damages may be granted. abduction. He may have left her even if she did not suffer the slightest injury. Moreover. No doubt. 9. 34. mental anguish.

DISPOSITIVE PORTION: WHEREFORE. . just and fair. The questioned decision of the CA is MODIFIED in that the amount of Php700k as moral damages granted to complainant Navarette is reduced to Php200k. The SC notes that she asked for the amount of Php500k as moral damages for her physical injuries and therefore. the award for moral damages should not exceed such amount. the amount of Php200k as moral damages in favor of PR Navarette is reasonable.Php1M for the loss of her boyfriend. the instant petition is partly GRANTED. The SC rules that under the circumstances of the instant case.