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KINDS OF NEGLIGENCE

CIVIL LIABILITY ARISING FROM CRIME

Case # 1

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, vs. ROGELIO BAYOTAS y CORDOVA

G.R. No. 102007; September 2, 1994

FACTS:

In a criminal case, Rogelio Bayotas y Cordova was charged with Rape and
eventually convicted thereof. Pending appeal of his conviction, Bayotas died.
Consequently, the Supreme Court in its Resolution 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. The Solicitor General expressed that the death of
accused-appellant did not extinguish his civil liability as a result of his
commission of the offense charged. Counsel for the accused-appellant, on
the other hand, argued that the death of the accused while judgment of
conviction is pending appeal extinguishes both his criminal and civil
penalties.

ISSUE:

Whether death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes


his civil liability?

RULING:

Yes. The death of accused-appellant while 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 is extinguished by his death; the case against him should
be dismissed. 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." 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. 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; b) Contracts; c) Quasi-contracts; d) Quasi-delicts.

If the civil liability survives, 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. 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.

Case #2

PHILIPPINE RABBIT BUS LINES, INC., vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

G.R. No. 147703; April 14, 2004

FACTS:

Accused [Napoleon Roman y Macadangdang] was found guilty and convicted


of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting to triple homicide, multiple
physical injuries and damage to property and was sentenced to suffer
imprisonment and to pay damages. The court further ruled that [petitioner],
in the event of the insolvency of accused, shall be liable for the civil liabilities
of the accused. Evidently, the judgment against accused had become final
and executory. The accused had jumped bail and remained at-large. Section
8, Rule 124 of the Rules of Court authorizes the dismissal of appeal when
appellant jumps bail. Counsel for accused, on behalf of petitioner, filed a
notice of appeal which was denied by the trial court and affirmed by the
appellate court.

ISSUE:
Whether or not an employer, who dutifully participated in the defense of its
accused-employee, may appeal the judgment of conviction independently of
the accused?

RULING:

No. The appellate court may, upon motion or motu proprio, dismiss an
appeal during its pendency if the accused jumps bail. In the case, the
accused-employee has escaped and refused to surrender to the proper
authorities; thus, he is deemed to have abandoned his appeal. Consequently,
the judgment against him has become final and executory. Thus far, we have
clarified that petitioner has no right to appeal the criminal case against the
accused-employee; that by jumping bail, he has waived his right to appeal;
and that the judgment in the criminal case against him is now final.
Undisputedly, petitioner as employer is not a direct party to the criminal
case, which was filed solely against Napoleon M. Roman, its employee. The
cases dealing with the subsidiary liability of employers uniformly declare
that, strictly speaking, they are not parties to the criminal cases instituted
against their employees. Although in substance and in effect, they have an
interest therein, this fact should be viewed in the light of their subsidiary
liability. While they may assist their employees to the extent of supplying the
latters lawyers, as in the present case, the former cannot act independently
on their own behalf, but can only defend the accused.

To allow employers to dispute the civil liability fixed in a criminal case would
enable them to amend, nullify or defeat a final judgment rendered by a
competent court. By the same token, to allow them to appeal the final
criminal conviction of their employees without the latters consent would also
result in improperly amending, nullifying or defeating the judgment. The
liability of an employer cannot be separated from that of the employee.
Before the employers subsidiary liability is exacted, however, there must be
adequate evidence establishing that (1) they are indeed the employers of
the convicted employees; (2) that the former are engaged in some kind of
industry; (3) that the crime was committed by the employees in the
discharge of their duties; and (4) that the execution against the latter has not
been satisfied due to insolvency.

The subsidiary liability of petitioner is incidental to and dependent on the


pecuniary civil liability of the accused-employee. Since the civil liability of the
latter has become final and enforceable by reason of his flight, then the
formers subsidiary civil liability has also become immediately enforceable.

CIVIL LIABILITY ARISING FROM CONTRACT

Case #3

AIR FRANCE, vs. RAFAEL CARRASCOSO and COURT OF APPEALS

G.R. No. L-21438; September 28, 1966

FACTS:

Plaintiff was a member of a group of 48 Filipino pilgrims that left Manila for
Lourdes. Defendant, Air France, through its authorized agent, Philippine Air
Lines, Inc., issued to plaintiff a "first class" round trip airplane ticket from
Manila to Rome. From Manila to Bangkok, plaintiff travelled in "first class",
but at Bangkok, the Manager of the defendant airline forced plaintiff to
vacate the "first class" seat that he was occupying because, in the words of
the witness Ernesto G. Cuento, there was a "white man", who, the Manager
alleged, had a "better right" to the seat. Plaintiff reluctantly gave his "first
class" seat in the plane and was forced to transfer to tourist class to his
humiliation. Aggrieved, plaintiff now seeks recourse for damages against Air
France.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the carrier is liable for damages?

RULING:

Yes. As substantially averred: First, That there was a contract to furnish


plaintiff a first class passage covering, amongst others, the Bangkok-Teheran
leg; Second, That said contract was breached when petitioner failed to
furnish first class transportation at Bangkok; and Third, that there was bad
faith when petitioner's employee compelled Carrascoso to leave his first
class accommodation berth "after he was already, seated" and to take a seat
in the tourist class, by reason of which he suffered inconvenience,
embarrassments and humiliations, thereby causing him mental anguish,
serious anxiety, wounded feelings and social humiliation, resulting in moral
damages. It is true that there is no specific mention of the term bad faith in
the complaint. But, the inference of bad faith is there, it may be drawn from
the facts and circumstances set forth therein. The contract was averred to
establish the relation between the parties. But the stress of the action is put
on wrongful expulsion.

For the willful malevolent act of petitioner's manager, petitioner, his


employer, must answer. A contract to transport passengers is quite different
in kind and degree from any other contractual relation. And this is because
of the relation which an air-carrier sustains with the public. Its business is
mainly with the travelling public. Passengers do not contract merely for
transportation. They have a right to be treated by the carrier's employees
with kindness, respect, courtesy and due consideration. They are entitled to
be protected against personal misconduct, injurious language, indignities
and abuses from such employees. So it is, that any rule or discourteous
conduct on the part of employees towards a passenger gives the latter an
action for damages against the carrier. Petitioner's contract with Carrascoso
is one attended with public duty. The stress of Carrascoso's action is placed
upon his wrongful expulsion. This is a violation of public duty by the
petitioner air carrier a case of quasi-delict. Damages are proper, thus:
P25,000.00 as moral damages; P10,000.00, by way of exemplary damages,
and P3,000.00 as attorneys' fees.

CIVIL LIABILITY ARISING FROM TORT


Case # 4

NATIVIDAD V. ANDAMO and EMMANUEL R. ANDAMO, vs.


INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and MISSIONARIES OF OUR LADY
OF LA SALETTE, INC., G.R. No. 74761 November 6, 1990

FACTS:

Petitioner spouses Andamo are the owners of a parcel of land which is


adjacent to that of private respondent, Missionaries of Our Lady of La
Salette, Inc., a religious corporation. Within the land of respondent
corporation, waterpaths and contrivances, including an artificial lake, were
constructed, which allegedly inundated and eroded petitioners' land, caused
a young man to drown, damaged petitioners' crops and plants, washed away
costly fences, endangered the lives of petitioners and their laborers during
rainy and stormy seasons, and exposed plants and other improvements to
destruction. Consequently, petitioners instituted a criminal action against
officers and directors of herein respondent for destruction by means of
inundation under the Revised Penal Code. Subsequently, petitioners filed
another action against respondent this time a civil case, for damages. The
trial court, acting on respondent corporation's motion to dismiss or suspend
the civil action, issued an order suspending further hearings in civil case No,
until after judgment in the related criminal case. Resolving respondent's
motion to dismiss, the trial court issued the disputed order dismissing civil
case for lack of jurisdiction, as the criminal case which was instituted ahead
of the civil case was still unresolved. On appeal, respondent Appellate Court,
affirmed the questioned order of the trial court.

ISSUE:

Whether a corporation can be held civilly liable for damages based on quasi-
delict which can proceed independently of the criminal case?

RULING:

It is axiomatic that the nature of an action filed in court is determined by the


facts alleged in the complaint as constituting the cause of action. A careful
examination of the complaint shows that the civil action is one on quasi-
delict. All the elements of a quasi-delict are present, to wit: (a) damages
suffered by the plaintiff, (b) fault or negligence of the defendant, or some
other person for whose acts he must respond; and (c) the connection of
cause and effect between the fault or negligence of the defendant and the
damages incurred by the plaintiff.

Clearly, from petitioner's complaint, the water paths and contrivances built
by respondent are alleged to have inundated the land of petitioners. There is
therefore, an assertion of a causal connection between the act of building
these water paths and the damage sustained by petitioners. Such action if
proven constitutes fault or negligence which may be the basis for the
recovery of damages. Indeed, the recitals of the complaint, the alleged
presence of damage to the petitioners, the act or omission of respondent
supposedly constituting fault or negligence, and the causal connection
between the act and the damage, with no pre-existing contractual obligation
between the parties make a clear case of a quasi delict or culpa aquiliana.

It must be stressed that the use of one's property is not without limitations.
Article 431 of the Civil Code provides that "the owner of a thing cannot make
use thereof in such a manner as to injure the rights of a third person." SIC
UTERE TUO UT ALIENUM NON LAEDAS. Moreover, adjoining landowners have
mutual and reciprocal duties which require that each must use his own land
in a reasonable manner so as not to infringe upon the rights and interests of
others. WHEREFORE, the assailed decision of the then Intermediate Appellate
Court is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE.

Case # 5

JEROME CASTRO, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

G.R. No. 180832; July 23, 2008

FACTS:

Reedley International School (RIS) dismissed Tans son, Justin Albert (then a
Grade 12 student), for violating the terms of his disciplinary probation. Upon
Tans request, RIS reconsidered its decision but imposed "non-appealable"
conditions such as excluding Justin Albert from participating in the
graduation ceremonies. Aggrieved, Tan filed a complaint in the Department
of Education (Dep-Ed) for violation of the Education Act of 1982 and Article
19 of the Civil Code against RIS. He alleged that the dismissal of his son was
undertaken with malice, bad faith and evident premeditation. After
investigation, the Dep-Ed found that RIS code violation point system allowed
the summary imposition of unreasonable sanctions (which had no basis in
fact and in law). The system therefore violated due process. Hence, the Dep-
Ed nullified it. Meanwhile, the Dep-Ed ordered RIS to readmit Justin Albert
without any condition. Thus, he was able to graduate from RIS and
participate in the commencement ceremonies.

After the graduation ceremonies, Tan met Bernice C. Ching, a fellow parent at
RIS. In the course of their conversation, Tan intimated that he was
contemplating a suit against the officers of RIS in their personal capacities,
including petitioner. Ching telephoned petitioner and told him that Tan was
planning to sue the officers of RIS in their personal capacities. Before they
hung up, petitioner told Ching: Okay, you too, take care and be careful
talking to [Tan], thats dangerous. Ching then called Tan and informed him
that petitioner said "talking to him was dangerous." Insulted, Tan filed a
complaint for grave oral defamation against petitioner. The MeTC found that
Chings statements in her affidavit and in open court were consistent and
that she did not have any motive to fabricate a false statement. Petitioner,
on the other hand, harbored personal resentment, aversion and ill-will
against Tan since the Dep-Ed compelled RIS to readmit his son. Thus, the
MeTC was convinced that petitioner told Ching talking to Tan was dangerous
and that he uttered the statement with the intention to insult Tan and tarnish
his social and professional reputation.

In a decision the MeTC found petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of


grave oral defamation. On appeal, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) affirmed the
factual findings of the MeTC with modification finding petitioner guilty only of
slight oral defamation. But because Tan filed his complaint almost five
months from discovery, the RTC ruled that prescription had already set in; it
therefore acquitted petitioner on that ground. The CA found that the RTC
committed grave abuse of discretion when it misapprehended the totality of
the circumstances and found petitioner guilty only of slight oral defamation.
Thus, the CA reinstated the MeTC decision.

ISSUE:

Whether plaintiff-appellant is liable for damages?

RULING:

No. Although petitioner could have been liable for damages under Article 26
of the Civil Code: Article 26. Every person shall respect the dignity,
personality, privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors and other
persons. However, instead of an action for damages, criminal case was filed.
The following and similar acts, though they may not constitute a criminal
offense, shall produce a cause of action for damages, prevention and other
relief: xxx (3) Intriguing to cause another to be alienated from his friends.
Petitioner is reminded that, as an educator, he is supposed to be a role
model for the youth. As such, he should always act with justice, give
everyone his due and observe honesty and good faith. WHEREFORE, the
petition is hereby GRANTED. Petitioner Jerome Castro is ACQUITTED of slight
oral defamation.

CULPA AQUILIANA/CONTRACTUAL/CRIMINAL

Case # 6
MR. & MRS. ENGRACIO FABRE, JR. and PORFIRIO CABIL vs. COURT OF
APPEALS
G.R. No. 111127, July 26, 1996

FACTS:

Petitioners Engracio Fabre, Jr. and his wife were owners of a Mazda minibus
principally used as a bus service for school children which they operated in
Manila. The couple had a driver, Porfirio J. Cabil, whom they hired in 1981,
after trying him out for two weeks. His job was to take school children to and
from their school in Manila. In 1984 private respondent Word for the World
Christian Fellowship Inc. (WWCF) arranged with petitioners for the
transportation of 33 members of its Young Adults Ministry from Manila to La
Union and back in consideration of P3,000.00. Petitioner Porfirio Cabil drove
the minibus. The usual route to Caba, La Union was through Carmen,
Pangasinan. However, the bridge at Carmen was under repair, so that
petitioner Cabil, who was unfamiliar with the area (it being his first trip to La
Union), was forced to take a detour through Lingayen, Pangasinan. At 11:30
that night, petitioner Cabil came upon a sharp curve on the highway. The
road was slippery because it was raining, causing the bus, which was running
at the speed of 50 kilometers per hour, to skid to the left road shoulder. The
bus hit the left traffic steel brace and sign along the road and rammed the
fence of one Jesus Escano, then turned over and landed on its left side,
coming to a full stop only after a series of impacts. Several passengers were
injured particularly private respondent Amyline Antonio was thrown on the
floor of the bus and pinned down.

Petitioners Fabre paid Jesus Escano P1,500.00 for the damage to the latters
fence. On the basis of Escanos affidavit of desistance the case against
petitioners Fabre was dismissed. Amyline Antonio, who was seriously injured,
brought this case in the RTC of Makati, Metro Manila. As a result of the
accident, she is now suffering from paraplegia and is permanently paralyzed
from the waist down. In its decision, the trial court rendered judgment
against defendants Fabre and Cabil pursuant to articles 2176 and 2180 of the
Civil Code of the Philippines and said defendants are ordered to pay jointly
and severally to the plaintiff damages. The Court of Appeals affirmed the
decision of the trial court with respect to Amyline Antonio but dismissed it
with respect to the other plaintiffs on the ground that they failed to prove
their respective claims.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the bus operator is liable for damages to private respondent?

RULING:

Yes. The finding that Cabil drove his bus negligently, while his employer, the
Fabres, who owned the bus, failed to exercise the diligence of a good father
of the family in the selection and supervision of their employee is fully
supported by the evidence on record. Considering the foregoing the fact that
it was raining and the road was slippery, that it was dark, that he drove his
bus at 50 kilometers an hour when even on a good day the normal speed
was only 20 kilometers an hour, and that he was unfamiliar with the terrain,
Cabil was grossly negligent. Petitioner Fabres, in allowing Cabil to drive the
bus to La Union, apparently did not consider the fact that Cabil had been
driving for school children only from their homes to school in Metro Manila
considering that the trip to La Union was his first.

Petitioners are liable under Arts. 2176 and 2180 for quasi delict, fully justify
finding them guilty of breach of contract of carriage under Arts. 1733, 1755
and 1759 of the Civil Code. The Court sustained the award of damages in
favor of Amyline Antonio. The award of P500,000.00 for compensatory
damages which the Regional Trial Court made is reasonable considering the
contingent nature of her income as a casual employee of a company and as
distributor of beauty products. As an action for quasi delict, this case
provides for the payment of moral damages since Cabils gross negligence
amounted to bad faith. The award of exemplary damages and attorneys fees
was also properly made. WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals is
AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION as to the award of damages. Petitioners are
ORDERED to PAY jointly and severally the private respondent Amyline
Antonio damages.

Case # 7
VICENTE CALALAS, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ELIZA JUJEURCHE SUNGA
and FRANCISCO SALVA, G.R. No. 122039. May 31, 2000

FACTS:

In1989, private respondent Eliza Jujeurche G. Sunga, then a college


freshman, took a passenger jeepney owned and operated by petitioner
Vicente Calalas. As the jeepney was filled to capacity, Sunga was given by
the conductor an "extension seat," a wooden stool at the back of the door at
the rear end of the vehicle. On the way, the jeepney stopped to let a
passenger off. Sunga gave way to the outgoing passenger, just as she was
doing so, an Isuzu truck driven by Iglecerio Verena and owned by Francisco
Salva bumped the left rear portion of the jeepney injuring Sunga.
Consequently, Sunga filed a complaint for damages against Calalas, alleging
violation of the contract of carriage. Calalas, on the other hand, filed a third-
party complaint against Francisco Salva, the owner of the Isuzu truck.

The lower court rendered judgment against Salva as third-party defendant


and absolved Calalas of liability, holding that it was the driver of the Isuzu
truck who was responsible for the accident. On appeal to the Court of
Appeals, the ruling of the lower court was reversed on the ground that
Sungas cause of action was based on a contract of carriage, not quasi-delict,
and that the common carrier failed to exercise the diligence required under
the Civil Code. The appellate court dismissed the third-party complaint
against Salva and adjudged Calalas liable for damages to Sunga.

ISSUE:

Whether or not petitioner is liable for damages arising from quasi-delict?

RULING:

No, the action in this case is based on breach of contract of carriage not
quasi-delict. Quasi-delict, also known as culpa aquiliana or culpa extra
contractual, has as its source the negligence of the tortfeasor. The second,
breach of contract or culpa contractual, is premised upon the negligence in
the performance of a contractual obligation. Consequently, in quasi-delict,
the negligence or fault should be clearly established because it is the basis
of the action, whereas in breach of contract, the action can be prosecuted
merely by proving the existence of the contract and the fact that the obligor,
in this case the common carrier, failed to transport his passenger safely to
his destination.

It is immaterial that the proximate cause of the collision between the jeepney
and the truck was the negligence of the truck driver. The doctrine of
proximate cause is applicable only in actions for quasi-delict, not in actions
involving breach of contract. The doctrine is a device for imputing liability to
a person where there is no relation between him and another party. In such a
case, the obligation is created by law itself. But, where there is a pre-existing
contractual relation between the parties, it is the parties themselves who
create the obligation, and the function of the law is merely to regulate the
relation thus created. Upon the happening of the accident, the presumption
of negligence at once arose, and it became the duty of petitioner to prove
that he had to observe extraordinary diligence in the care of his passengers.
As found by the Court of Appeals, the jeepney was not properly parked, its
rear portion being exposed about two meters from the broad shoulders of the
highway, also it was overload with passengers, which are violations of the
Traffic Code.

In this case, there is no legal basis for awarding moral damages since there
was no factual finding by the appellate court that petitioner acted in bad
faith in the performance of the contract of carriage. Hence, the decision of
the Court of Appeal is affirmed with modifications.

CONCEPT OF QUASI DELICT

Case # 8

PORFIRIO P. CINCO vs. HON. MATEO CANONOY


G.R. No. L-33171 May 31, 1979

FACTS:

Petitioner filed a Complaint for the recovery of damages on account of a


vehicular accident involving his automobile and a jeepney driven by Romeo
Hilot and operated by Valeriana Pepito and Carlos Pepito, the last three being
the private respondents in this suit. Subsequent thereto, a criminal case was
filed against the driver, Romeo Hilot, arising from the same accident. At the
pre-trial in the civil case, counsel for private respondents moved to suspend
the civil action pending the final determination of the criminal suit. The Court
ordered the suspension of the civil case. Petitioner's Motion for
Reconsideration thereof, having been denied on, petitioner elevated the
matter on certiorari, however respondent Judge dismissed the Petition on
gound that the damage to property is not one of the instances when an
independent civil action is proper; that petitioner has another plain, speedy,
and adequate remedy under the law, which is to submit his claim for
damages in the criminal case; and that the resolution of the City Court is
interlocutory and, therefore, certiorari is improper. Hence this Petition for
Review.

ISSUE:

Whether or not there can be an independent civil action for damage to


property during the pendency of the criminal action?

RULING:
From the Complaint filed by petitioner, it is evident that the nature and
character of his action was quasi-delict. Liability being predicated on quasi-
delict the civil case may proceed as a separate and independent civil action.
There is crucial distinction between criminal negligence and quasi-delict. 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 cannot 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 otherwise there would
be many instances of unvindicated civil wrongs. Also, to hold that there is
only one way to make defendants 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 a relief. 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.

In all, the trial court erred in placing reliance on section 3 (b) of Rule 111 of
the Rules of Court. Stated otherwise, the civil action referred to in Secs. 3(a)
and 3(b) of Rule 111 of the Rules of Court, which should be suspended after
the criminal action has been instituted is that arising from the criminal
offense not the civil action based on quasi-delict. WHEREFORE, granting the
Writ of certiorari prayed for, the Decision of the Court of First Instance of
Cebu sought to be reviewed is hereby set aside.

Case # 9

PHILIPPINE RABBIT BUS LINES, INC., vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


G.R. No. 147703; April 14, 2004

FACTS:

Accused [Napoleon Roman y Macadangdang] was found guilty and convicted


of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting to triple homicide, multiple
physical injuries and damage to property and was sentenced to suffer
imprisonment and to pay damages. The court further ruled that [petitioner],
in the event of the insolvency of accused, shall be liable for the civil liabilities
of the accused. Evidently, the judgment against accused had become final
and executory. The accused had jumped bail and remained at-large. Section
8, Rule 124 of the Rules of Court authorizes the dismissal of appeal when
appellant jumps bail. Counsel for accused, on behalf of petitioner, filed a
notice of appeal which was denied by the trial court and affirmed by the
appellate court.

ISSUE:

Whether or not an employer may appeal the judgment of conviction


independently of the accused?

RULING:

No. The appellate court may, upon motion or motu proprio, dismiss an
appeal during its pendency if the accused jumps bail. In the case, the
accused-employee has escaped and refused to surrender to the proper
authorities; thus, he is deemed to have abandoned his appeal. Consequently,
the judgment against him has become final and executory. Thus far, we have
clarified that petitioner has no right to appeal the criminal case against the
accused-employee; that by jumping bail, he has waived his right to appeal;
and that the judgment in the criminal case against him is now final.
Undisputedly, petitioner as employer is not a direct party to the criminal
case, which was filed solely against Napoleon M. Roman, its employee. The
cases dealing with the subsidiary liability of employers uniformly declare
that, strictly speaking, they are not parties to the criminal cases instituted
against their employees. Although in substance and in effect, they have an
interest therein, this fact should be viewed in the light of their subsidiary
liability. While they may assist their employees to the extent of supplying the
latters lawyers, as in the present case, the former cannot act independently
on their own behalf, but can only defend the accused.
To allow employers to dispute the civil liability fixed in a criminal case would
enable them to amend, nullify or defeat a final judgment rendered by a
competent court. By the same token, to allow them to appeal the final
criminal conviction of their employees without the latters consent would also
result in improperly amending, nullifying or defeating the judgment. The
liability of an employer cannot be separated from that of the employee.
Before the employers subsidiary liability is exacted, however, there must be
adequate evidence establishing that (1) they are indeed the employers of
the convicted employees; (2) that the former are engaged in some kind of
industry; (3) that the crime was committed by the employees in the
discharge of their duties; and (4) that the execution against the latter has not
been satisfied due to insolvency.

The subsidiary liability of petitioner is incidental to and dependent on the


pecuniary civil liability of the accused-employee. Since the civil liability of the
latter has become final and enforceable by reason of his flight, then the
formers subsidiary civil liability has also become immediately enforceable.
Respondent is correct in arguing that the concept of subsidiary liability is
highly contingent on the

Case # 10

FAR EAST BANK AND TRUST COMPANY vs. THE HONORABLE COURT
OF APPEALS, LUIS A. LUNA and CLARITA S. LUNA,

G.R. No. 108164; February 23, 1995

FACTS:

Private respondent Luis A. Luna applied for, and was accorded, a


FAREASTCARD issued by petitioner Far East Bank and Trust Company. Upon
his request, the bank also issued a supplemental card to private respondent
Clarita S. Luna. In August 1988, Clarita lost her credit card. The Bank was
forthwith informed. In order to replace the lost card, Clarita submitted an
affidavit of loss. In cases of this nature, the bank's internal security
procedures and policy would appear to be to meanwhile so record the lost
card, along with the principal card, as a "Hot Card" or "Cancelled Card" in its
master file. Meanwhile, Luis tendered a despedida lunch for a close friend, a
Filipino-American, and another guest in a certain Restaurant. To pay for the
lunch, Luis presented his FAREASTCARD, however the card was not honored.
Luis was forced to pay in cash the bill to his embarrassment.
In a letter, private respondent Luis Luna, through counsel, demanded from
FEBTC the payment of damages. The vice-president of the bank, expressed
the bank's apologies to Luis. Still evidently feeling aggrieved, private
respondent filed a complaint for damages. The trial court rendered a decision
ordering FEBTC to pay private respondents moral damages, exemplary
damages; and attorney's fees. On appeal to the Court of Appeals, the
appellate court affirmed the decision of the trial court.

ISSUE:

Whether FEBTC is liable for damages based on the acts complained of?

RULING

Yes. In culpa contractual, moral damages may be recovered where the


defendant is shown to have acted in bad faith or with malice in the breach of
the contract. The Court finds, therefore, the award of moral damages devoid
of legal basis. Exemplary or corrective damages, in turn, are intended to
serve as an example or as correction for the public good in addition to moral,
temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages. In quasi-delicts, such
damages are granted if the defendant is shown to have been so guilty of
gross negligence as to approximate malice. In contracts and quasi-contracts,
the court may award exemplary damages if the defendant is found to have
acted in a wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive, or malevolent manner.
Given the factual circumstances, the Court deletes the award of exemplary
damages.

Nevertheless, the bank's failure, even perhaps inadvertent, to honor its


credit card issued to private respondent Luis should entitle him to recover a
measure of nominal damages, in order that a right of the plaintiff, which has
been violated or invaded by the defendant, may be vindicated or recognized,
and not for the purpose of indemnifying the plaintiff for any loss suffered by
him. Reasonable attorney's fees may be recovered where the court deems
such recovery to be just and equitable. The appealed decision is MODIFIED
by deleting the award of moral and exemplary damages to private
respondents; in its stead, petitioner is ordered to pay private respondent Luis
A. Luna an amount of P5,000.00 by way of nominal damages.

Case # 11
VICENTE CALALAS vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. 122039. May 31, 2000
FACTS:

Private respondent Eliza Sunga, then a college freshman, took a passenger


jeepney owned and operated by petitioner Vicente Calalas. As the jeepney
was filled to capacity of about 24 passengers, Sunga was given by the
conductor an "extension seat," a wooden stool at the back of the door at the
rear end of the vehicle. Later the jeepney stopped to let a passenger off. As
she was seated at the rear of the vehicle, Sunga gave way to the outgoing
passenger. Just as she was doing so, an Isuzu truck driven by IglecerioVerena
and owned by Francisco Salva bumped the left rear portion of the jeepney. As
a result, Sunga was injured. Sunga filed a complaint for damages against
Calalas, alleging violation of the contract of carriage. Calalas, on the other
hand, filed a third-party complaint against Francisco Salva, the owner of the
Isuzu truck. The lower court rendered judgment against Salva as third-party
defendant and absolved Calalas of liability, holding that it was the driver of
the Isuzu truck who was responsible for the accident. It took cognizance of
another civil case filed by Calalas against Salva and Verena, for quasi-delict,
the same court held Salva and his driver Verena jointly liable to Calalas for
the damage to his jeepney.

On appeal to the Court of Appeals, the ruling of the lower court was reversed
on the ground that Sungas cause of action was based on a contract of
carriage, not quasi-delict, and that the common carrier failed to exercise the
diligence required under the Civil Code. The appellate court dismissed the
third-party complaint against Salva and adjudged Calalas liable for damages
to Sunga. Hence, this petition where petitioner contends that negligence of
Verena was the proximate cause of the accident negates his liability.

ISSUE:

Whether petitioner is liable for damages?

RULING:

The first, quasi-delict, also known as culpa aquiliana or culpa extra


contractual, has as its source the negligence of the tortfeasor. The second,
breach of contract or culpa contractual, is premised upon the negligence in
the performance of a contractual obligation. Consequently, in quasi-delict,
the negligence or fault should be clearly established because it is the basis
of the action, whereas in breach of contract, the action can be prosecuted
merely by proving the existence of the contract and the fact that the obligor,
in this case the common carrier, failed to transport his passenger safely to
his destination.

The doctrine of proximate cause is applicable only in actions for quasi-delict,


not in actions involving breach of contract. The doctrine is a device for
imputing liability to a person where there is no relation between him and
another party. In such a case, the obligation is created by law itself. But,
where there is a pre-existing contractual relation between the parties, it is
the parties themselves who create the obligation, and the function of the law
is merely to regulate the relation thus created. Insofar as contracts of
carriage are concerned, some aspects regulated by the Civil Code are those
respecting the diligence required of common carriers with regard to the
safety of passengers as well as the presumption of negligence in cases of
death or injury to passengers.

As found by the Court of Appeals, the jeepney was not properly parked, its
rear portion being exposed about two meters from the broad shoulders of the
highway, and facing the middle of the highway in a diagonal angle. This is a
violation of the Land Transportation and Traffic Code. Also, it is undisputed
that petitioners driver took in more passengers than the allowed seating
capacity of the jeepney. The fact that Sunga was seated in an "extension
seat" placed her in a peril greater than that to which the other passengers
were exposed. Therefore, not only was petitioner unable to overcome the
presumption of negligence imposed on him for the injury sustained by
Sunga, but also, the evidence shows he was actually negligent in
transporting passengers.

As a general rule, moral damages are not recoverable in actions for damages
predicated on a breach of contract for it is not one of the items enumerated
under Art. 2219 of the Civil Code. As an exception, such damages are
recoverable: (1) in cases in which the mishap results in the death of a
passenger; and (2) in the cases in which the carrier is guilty of fraud or bad
faith, as provided in Art. 2220. In this case, there is no legal basis for
awarding moral damages since there was no factual finding by the appellate
court that petitioner acted in bad faith in the performance of the contract of
carriage. Sungas contention that petitioners admission in open court that the
driver of the jeepney failed to assist her in going to a nearby hospital cannot
be construed as an admission of bad faith. The fact that it was the driver of
the Isuzu truck who took her to the hospital does not imply that petitioner
was utterly indifferent to the plight of his injured passenger. If at all, it is
merely implied recognition by Verena that he was the one at fault for the
accident. WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED,
with the MODIFICATION.

CONCEPT OF NEGLIGENCE

Case # 12
AMADO PICART vs. FRANK SMITH, JR.
G.R. No. L-12219; March 15, 1918
FACTS:

The occurrence which gave rise to the institution of this action took place
Carlatan Bridge, at San Fernando, La Union. It appears that the plaintiff was
riding on his pony over said bridge. Before he had gotten half way across,
the defendant approached from the opposite direction in an automobile,
going at the rate of about ten or twelve miles per hour. As the defendant
neared the bridge he saw a horseman on it and blew his horn to give warning
of his approach. The plaintiff, it appears, saw the automobile coming and
heard the warning signals. However, being perturbed by the rapidity of the
approach, he pulled the pony closely up against the railing on the right side
of the bridge instead of going to the left. He says that the reason he did this
was that he thought he did not have sufficient time to get over to the other
side. As the automobile approached, the defendant guided it toward his left,
that being the proper side of the road for the machine. In so doing the
defendant assumed that the horseman would move to the other side. The
defendant, instead of veering to the right while yet some distance away or
slowing down, continued to approach directly toward the horse without
diminution of speed. When he had gotten quite near, there being then no
possibility of the horse getting across to the other side, the defendant
quickly turned his car sufficiently to the right to escape hitting the horse
alongside of the railing where it as then standing; but in so doing the
automobile passed in such close proximity to the animal that it became
frightened and turned its body across the bridge with its head toward the
railing. In so doing, it struck on the hock of the left hind leg by the flange of
the car and the limb was broken. The horse fell and its rider was thrown off
with some violence. As a result of its injuries the horse died. Consequently,
this case was instituted for damages.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the defendant is liable for damages?

RULING:

Yes. As the defendant started across the bridge, he had the right to assume
that the horse and the rider would pass over to the proper side; but as he
moved toward the center of the bridge it was demonstrated to his eyes that
this would not be done; and he must in a moment have perceived that it was
too late for the horse to cross with safety in front of the moving vehicle. The
control of the situation had then passed entirely to the defendant; and it was
his duty either to bring his car to an immediate stop or, seeing that there
were no other persons on the bridge, to take the other side and pass
sufficiently far away from the horse to avoid the danger of collision. Instead
of doing this, the defendant ran straight on until he was almost upon the
horse. When the defendant exposed the horse and rider to this danger he
was, negligent in the eye of the law.
It goes without saying that the plaintiff himself was not free from fault, for he
was guilty of antecedent negligence in planting himself on the wrong side of
the road. But as we have already stated, the defendant was also negligent;
and in such case the problem always is to discover which agent is
immediately and directly responsible. It will be noted that the negligent acts
of the two parties were not contemporaneous, since the negligence of the
defendant succeeded the negligence of the plaintiff by an appreciable
interval. Under these circumstances the law is that the person who has the
last fair chance to avoid the impending harm and fails to do so is chargeable
with the consequences, without reference to the prior negligence of the
other party.

From what has been said it results that the judgment of the lower court must
be reversed, and judgment is her rendered that the plaintiff recover of the
defendant the sum of two hundred pesos (P200), with costs of other
instances. The sum here awarded is estimated to include the value of the
horse, medical expenses of the plaintiff, the loss or damage occasioned to
articles of his apparel, and lawful interest on the whole to the date of this
recovery.

NEGLIGENCE AS PROXIMATE CAUSE

Case # 13
BENGUET ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC. vs. COURT OF APPEALS et.al.
G.R. No. 127326. December 23, 1999

FACTS:

This case involves a review on certiorari of the Decision of the Court of


Appeals[1]affirming with modification the decision of the Regional Trial Court
of Baguio City, and ordering petitioner Benguet Electric Cooperative Inc.
(BENECO) to pay Caridad O. Bernardo, as guardian ad litem of the three (3)
minor children of the late Jose Bernardo P50,000.00 as indemnity for his
death, with interest thereon at the legal rate from February 6, 1985, the date
of the filing of the complaint, until fully paid, P100,000.00 for moral
damages, P20,000.00 for exemplary damages, another P20,000.00 for
attorney's fees, P864,000.00 for net income loss for the remaining thirty (30)
years of the life expectancy of the deceased, and to pay the costs of suit.
The appellate court dismissed for lack of merit the counterclaim of BENECO
against the Bernardos and its third party complaint against Guillermo
Canave, Jr., as well as the latter's counterclaim.

For five (5) years up to the time of his death, Jose Bernardo managed a stall
at the Baguio City meat market. One morning, Jose together with other meat
vendors went out of their stalls to meet a jeepney loaded with slaughtered
pigs in order to select the meat they would sell for the day. Jose was the very
first to reach the parked jeepney. Grasping the handlebars at the rear
entrance of the vehicle, and as he was about to raise his right foot to get
inside, Jose suddenly stiffened and trembled as he was electrocuted. The
other vendors rushed to Jose and they discovered that the antenna of the
jeepney bearing the pigs had gotten entangled with an open electric wire at
the top of the roof of a meat stall. Jose died shortly in the hospital. Caridad O.
Bernardo, widow of Jose Bernardo, filed a complaint against BENECO before
the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City for a sum of money and damages.
BENECO filed a third-party complaint against Guillermo Canave, Jr., the
jeepney owner.

In its decision, the trial court ruled in favor of the Bernardos and ordered
BENECO to pay them damages. Both petitioner and private respondents
herein appealed to the Court of Appeals. The appellate court affirmed the
Decision which BENECO now assails. BENECO alleged that it was third-party
defendant Canave's fault or negligence which was the proximate and sole
cause, or at least the principal cause, of the electrocution and death of Jose
Bernardo.

ISSUE:

Whether BENECO was solely responsible for the untimely death of Jose
Bernardo through accidental electrocution?

RULING:

Through a registered master electrician, the plaintiffs adduced proof tending


to show that the defendant BENECO installed a No. 2 high voltage main wire
distribution line and a No. 6 service line to provide power at the temporary
meat market on Hilltop Road. It put up a three-inch G.I. pipe pole to which
the No. 2 main line was strung on top of a stall where a service drop line was
connected. The height of the electrical connection from the No. 2 line to the
service line was barely eight (8) to nine (9) feet which is in violation of the
Philippine Electrical Code which requires a minimum vertical clearance of
fourteen (14) feet from the level of the ground since the wiring crosses a
public street. Another violation is that the main line connected to the service
line was not of rigid conduit wiring but totally exposed without any safety
protection, worse, the open wire connections were not insulated. The jeep's
antenna which was more than eight (8) feet high from the ground ( It is
about six to seven feet long and mounted on the left fender which is about
three feet above the ground) got entangled with the open wire connections,
thereby electrically charging its handlebars which Bernardo held on to enter
the vehicle resulting in his electrocution.

There is no question that as an electric cooperative holding the exclusive


franchise in supplying electric power to the towns of Benguet province, its
primordial concern is not only to distribute electricity to its subscribers but
also to ensure the safety of the public by the proper maintenance and
upkeep of its facilities. It is clear to us then that BENECO was grossly
negligent in leaving unprotected and un-insulated the splicing point between
the service drop line and the service entrance conductor, which connection
was only eight (8) feet from the ground level, in violation of the Philippine
Electrical Code. BENECO's contention that the accident happened only on
January 14, 1985, around seven (7) years after the open wire was found
existing in 1978, far from mitigating its culpability, betrays its gross neglect
in performing its duty to the public. By leaving an open live wire unattended
for years, BENECO demonstrated its utter disregard for the safety of the
public. Indeed, Jose Bernardo's death was an accident that was bound to
happen in view of the gross negligence of BENECO.

As to lost earnings, the court finds the allegations of the plaintiffs,


particularly Caridad Bernardo contradictory and untrustworthy. The amount
corresponding to the loss of earning capacity is based mainly on two factors:
(a) the number of years on the basis of which the damages shall be
computed; and, (b) the rate at which the losses sustained by the widow and
her children should be fixed. The deceased was married with three (3)
children and thirty-three (33) years old at the time of his death. By applying
the formula: 2/3 x (80 - 33) = Life Expectancy, the normal life expectancy of
the deceased would be thirty-one and one-third (31-1/3) years and not thirty
(30) as found by the respondent court. By taking into account the nature and
quality of life of a meat vendor, it is hard to conceive that Jose would still be
working for the full stretch of the remaining thirty-one (31) years of his life;
and therefore it is but reasonable to make allowances and reduce his life
expectancy to twenty-five (25) years.

In all, Jose's daily gross income at P150.00 or his annual gross income at
P54,000.00. After deducting personal expenses, household and other family
obligations, we can safely assume that his annual net income at the time of
death was P27,000.00 or 50% of his yearly gross earnings of P54,000.00.
Accordingly, in determining the indemnity for the loss of earning capacity, we
multiply the life expectancy of the deceased as reduced to twenty-five (25)
years by the annual net income of P27,000.00 which gives us P675,000.00.
Reduced to simpler form:

Net Earning = Life x Gross Annual - Necessary Capacity Expectancy Income


Living Expenses

= 2 (80 - 33) x (P54,000 - P27,000)

= 31-1/3 (reduced to 25) x 27,000 = 675,000.00

=P675,000.00 NET INCOME LOSS (as reduced)

WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals ordering


petitioner Benguet Electric Cooperative, Inc., to pay private respondent,
P20,000.00 as exemplary damages, another P20,000.00 for attorney's fees,
and P50,000.00 as indemnity for the death of Jose Bernardo, is AFFIRMED
with the MODIFICATION that the P864,000.00 as net income loss is reduced
to P675,000.00 and the P100,000.00 as moral damages is also reduced to
P50,000.00.

PROOF OF NEGLIGENCE

Case # 14
PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE CO., INC., vs. COURT OF
APPEALS et.al.
G.R. No. L-57079; September 29, 1989

FACTS:

This case had its inception in an action for damages instituted by private
respondent spouses against petitioner PLDT, for the injuries they sustained
when their jeep ran over a mound of earth and fell into an open trench, an
excavation allegedly undertaken by PLDT for the installation of its
underground conduit system. The complaint alleged that respondent Antonio
Esteban failed to notice the open trench which was left uncovered because of
the creeping darkness and the lack of any warning light or signs. As a result
of the accident, respondent Gloria Esteban allegedly sustained injuries on her
arms, legs and face, leaving a permanent scar on her cheek, while the
respondent husband suffered cut lips. In addition, the windshield of the jeep
was shattered. PLDT, in its answer, denies liability on the contention that the
injuries sustained by respondent spouses were the result of their own
negligence and that the entity which should be held responsible, if at all, is
L.R. Barte and Company, an independent contractor which undertook the
construction of the manhole and the conduit system. Accordingly, PLDT filed
a third-party complaint against Barte alleging that, under the terms of their
agreement, PLDT should in no manner be answerable for any accident or
injuries arising from the negligence or carelessness of Barte or any of its
employees. The trial court rendered a decision in favor of private
respondents, ordering defendant Philippine Long Distance Telephone
Company to pay the plaintiffs damages. Also, The third-party defendant is
hereby ordered to reimburse whatever amount the defendant-third party
plaintiff has paid to the plaintiff. The CA absolved PLDT from any liability.
Upon motion for reconsideration, the appellate court reinstated the trial
courts decision.

ISSUE:

Whether petitioner is liable for damages?

RULING:

Yes. There is no error in the findings of the respondent court in its original
decision that the accident which befell private respondents was due to the
lack of diligence of respondent Antonio Esteban and was not imputable to
negligent omission on the part of petitioner PLDT. Plaintiff's jeep was running
along the inside lane of Lacson Street. If it had remained on that inside lane,
it would not have hit the ACCIDENT MOUND. The accident was not due to the
absence of warning signs, but to the unexplained abrupt swerving of the jeep
from the inside lane. That may explain plaintiff-husband's insistence that he
did not see the ACCIDENT MOUND for which reason he ran into it. Plaintiff's
jeep was not running at 25 kilometers an hour as plaintiff-husband claimed.
At that speed, he could have braked the vehicle the moment it struck the
ACCIDENT MOUND. The jeep must have been running quite fast. Then
plaintiff-husband had not exercised the diligence of a good father of a family
to avoid the accident. With the drizzle, he should not have run on dim lights,
but should have put on his regular lights which should have made him see
the ACCIDENT MOUND in time. The above findings clearly show that the
negligence of respondent Antonio Esteban was not only contributory to his
injuries and those of his wife but goes to the very cause of the occurrence of
the accident, as one of its determining factors, and thereby precludes their
right to recover damages. A person claiming damages for the negligence of
another has the burden of proving the existence of such fault or negligence
causative thereof. WHEREFORE, the resolutions of respondent Court of
Appeals are hereby SET ASIDE. Its original decision is hereby REINSTATED
and AFFIRMED.

RES IPSA LOQUITOR

Case # 15
PEDRO T. LAYUGAN vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, et.al
G.R. No. 73998; November 14, 1988

FACTS:
Pedro T. Layugan filed an action for damages against Godofredo Isidro,
alleging that while the Plaintiff and a companion were repairing the tire of
their cargo truck which was parked along the right side of the National
Highway; that defendant's truck driven recklessly by Daniel Serrano bumped
the plaintiff, that as a result, plaintiff was injured and hospitalized that he
spent Pl0,000.00. That because of said injuries he would be deprived of a
lifetime income of P70,000.00; and lawyers fee of Pl0,000.00. The trial court
rendered its decision ordering defendant to indemnify plaintiff. However, the
IAC reversed the decision of the trial court. Hence this petition.

ISSUE:

Whether or not defendant is liable for damages?

RULING:

The crux of the controversy lies in the correctness or error of the decision of
the respondent court finding the petitioner negligent under the doctrine of
Res ipsa loquitur (The thing speaks for itself). Corollary thereto, is the
question as to who is negligent, if the doctrine is inapplicable. Respondent
Isidro posits that any immobile object along the highway, like a parked truck,
poses serious danger to a moving vehicle which has the right to be on the
highway. He argues that since the parked cargo truck in this case was a
threat to life and limb and property, it was incumbent upon the driver as well
as the petitioner, who claims to be a helper of the truck driver, to exercise
extreme care so that the motorist negotiating the road would be properly
forewarned of the peril of a parked vehicle. Isidro submits that the burden of
proving that care and diligence were observed is shifted to the petitioner, for,
as previously claimed, his (Isidro's) Isuzu truck had a right to be on the road,
while the immobile cargo truck had no business, so to speak, to be there.
Likewise, Isidro proffers that the petitioner must show to the satisfaction of a
reasonable mind that the driver and he (petitioner) himself, provided an
early warning device, like that required by law, or, by some other adequate
means that would properly forewarn vehicles of the impending danger that
the parked vehicle posed considering the time, place, and other peculiar
circumstances of the occasion. Absent such proof of care, as in the case at
bar, Isidro concludes, would, under the doctrine of Res ipsa loquitur, evoke
the presumption of negligence on the part of the driver of the parked cargo
truck as well as his helper, the petitioner herein, who was fixing the flat tire
of the said truck.

Whether the cargo truck was parked along the road or on half the shoulder of
the right side of the road would be of no moment taking into account the
warning device consisting of the lighted kerosene lamp placed three or four
meters from the back of the truck. But despite this warning which we rule as
sufficient, the Isuzu truck driven by Daniel Serrano, an employee of the
private respondent still bumped the rear of the parked cargo truck. As a
direct consequence of such accident the petitioner sustained injuries on his
left forearm and left foot. His left leg was later amputated from below the
knee when gangrene had set in. It is clear from the foregoing disquisition
that the absence or want of care of Daniel Serrano has been established by
clear and convincing evidence. It follows that in stamping its imprimatur
upon the invocation by respondent Isidro of the doctrine of Res ipsa loquitur
to escape liability for the negligence of his employee, the respondent court
committed reversible error.

Res ipsa loquitur. The thing speaks for itself Rebuttable presumption or
inference that defendant was negligent, which arises upon proof that
instrumentality causing injury was in defendant's exclusive control, and that
the accident was one which ordinarily does not happen in absence of
negligence. Res ipsa loquitur is rule of evidence whereby negligence of
alleged wrongdoer may be inferred from mere fact that accident happened
provided character of accident and circumstances attending it lead
reasonably to belief that in absence of negligence it would not have occurred
and that thing which caused injury is shown to have been under
management and control of alleged wrongdoer. Under doctrine of "res ipsa
loquitur" the happening of an injury permits an inference of negligence
where plaintiff produces substantial evidence that injury was caused by an
agency or instrumentality under exclusive control and management of
defendant, and that the occurrence was such that in the ordinary course of
things would not happen if reasonable care had been used. WHEREFORE, the
petition is hereby GRANTED.

Case # 16
DR. VICTORIA L. BATIQUIN and ALLAN BATIQUIN vs. COURT OF
APPEALS, SPOUSES QUEDO D. ACOGIDO and FLOTILDE G.
VILLEGAS, G.R. No. 118231. July 5, 1996

FACTS:

Dr. Batiquin was a Resident Physician at the Negros Oriental Provincial


Hospital. Mrs. Villegas is a married woman who submitted to Dr. Batiquin for
prenatal care as the latter's private patient sometime. In 1988 Dr. Batiquin,
with the assistance of Dr. Doris Teresita Sy who was also a Resident Physician
at the same Hospital, C.I. and O.R. Nurse Arlene Diones and some student
nurses performed a simple cesarean section on Mrs. Villegas and after 45
minutes Mrs. Villegas delivered her first child, Rachel Acogido. Thereafter,
Plaintiff remained confined at the Hospital during which period of
confinement she was regularly visited by Dr. Batiquin. Mrs. Villegas checked
out of the Hospital . . . and on the same day she paid Dr. Batiquin, thru the
latter's secretary, the amount of P1,500.00 as "professional fee. Soon after
leaving the Hospital Mrs. Villegas began to suffer abdominal pains and
complained of being feverish.

In the meantime, Mrs. Villegas was given a Medical Certificate by Dr. Batiquin
certifying to her physical fitness to return to her work thereafter Mrs. Villegas
returned to her work at the Rural Bank. The abdominal pains and fever kept
on recurring and bothered Mrs. Villegas no end and despite the medications
administered by Dr. Batiquin. She consulted Dr. Ma. Upon examination she
felt an abdominal mass one finger below the umbilicus which she suspected
to be either a tumor of the uterus or an ovarian cyst, either of which could be
cancerous. Dr. Kho suggested that Mrs. Villegas submit to another surgery to
which the latter agreed. When Dr. Kho opened the abdomen of Mrs. Villegas
she found a piece of rubber material which Dr. Kho described as a "foreign
body" looked like a piece of a "rubber glove". And this foreign body was the
cause of the infection of the ovaries and consequently of all the discomfort
suffered by Mrs. Villegas. The trial court refused to give weight to Dr. Kho's
testimony regarding the subject piece of rubber, it ruled in favor of the
petitioners herein. The CA reversed the same.

ISSUE:

Whether or not petitioners are liable for damages?

RULING:

Yes. After deciphering the cryptic petition, the focal point of the instant
appeal is the appreciation of Dr. Kho's testimony. The petitioners prefer the
trial court's interpretation of the above testimony, i.e., that Dr. Kho's
knowledge of the piece of rubber was based on hearsay. While the
petitioners claim that contradictions and falsities punctured Dr. Kho's
testimony, a reading of the said testimony reveals no such infirmity and
establishes Dr. Kho as a credible witness. Dr. Kho was frank throughout her
turn on the witness stand. Furthermore, no motive to state any untruth was
ever imputed against Dr. Kho, leaving her trustworthiness unimpaired. As
such, the rule of res ipsa loquitur comes to fore. This Court has had occasion
to delve into the nature and operation of this doctrine: This doctrine [res ipsa
loquitur] is stated thus: "Where the thing which causes injury is shown to be
under the management of the defendant, and the accident is such as in the
ordinary course of things does not happen if those who have the
management use proper care, it affords reasonable evidence, in the absence
of an explanation by the defendant, that the accident arose from want of
care."
In the instant case, all the requisites for recourse to the doctrine are
present. First, the entire proceedings of the caesarean section were under
the exclusive control of Dr. Batiquin. In this light, the private respondents
were bereft of direct evidence as to the actual culprit or the exact cause of
the foreign object finding its way into private respondent Villegas' body,
which, needless to say, does not occur unless through the intervention of
negligence. Second, since aside from the caesarean section, private
respondent Villegas underwent no other operation which could have caused
the offending piece of rubber to appear in her uterus, it stands to reason that
such could only have been a by-product of the caesarean section performed
by Dr. Batiquin. The petitioners, in this regard, failed to overcome the
presumption of negligence arising from resort to the doctrine of res ipsa
loquitur. Dr. Batiquin is therefore liable for negligently leaving behind a piece
of rubber in private respondent Villegas' abdomen and for all the adverse
effects thereof. WHEREFORE, the challenged decision is AFFIRMED in toto.

RESPONDEAT SUPERIOR
CASE # 17
CASTILEX INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION vs. VICENTE VASQUEZ, JR. and
LUISA SO VASQUEZ, and CEBU DOCTORS HOSPITAL, INC., G.R. No.
132266. December 21, 1999

FACTS:

Romeo Vasquez was driving a Honda motorcycle around Fuente Osmea


Rotunda. He was traveling counter-clockwise, (the normal flow of traffic
in a rotunda) but without any protective helmet or goggles. He was also
only carrying a Students Permit to Drive at the time. Upon the other
hand, Benjamin Abad [was a] manager of a Corporation, registered
owner of a Toyota Pick-up. Abad drove the said company car out of a
parking lot but instead of going around the Osmea rotunda he made a
short cut against [the] flow of the traffic in proceeding. In the process,
the motorcycle of Vasquez and the pick-up of Abad collided with each
other causing severe injuries to the former. Abad stopped his vehicle and
brought Vasquez to the Hospital. Vasquez died.
Criminal Case was filed against Abad but which was subsequently
dismissed for failure to prosecute. So, the present action for damages
was commenced by Vicente Vasquez, Jr. and Luisa So Vasquez, parents
of the deceased against Jose Benjamin Abad and Castilex Industrial
Corporation. The trial court ruled in favor of private respondents and
ordered Jose Benjamin Abad and petitioner Castilex Industrial
Corporation to pay jointly and solidarily (1) Spouses Vasquez, the
amounts of P8,000.00 for burial expenses; as moral damages; attorneys
fees; and loss of earning capacity; and (2) Cebu Doctors Hospital, for
unpaid medical and hospital bills at 3% monthly interest. The Court of
Appeals affirmed the ruling of the trial court holding ABAD and CASTILEX
liable but held that the liability of the latter is only vicarious and not
solidary with the former.

ISSUE:
Whether an employer may be held vicariously liable for the death
resulting from the negligent operation by a managerial employee of a
company-issued vehicle?

RULING:

The negligence of ABAD is not an issue at this instance. Petitioner


CASTILEX presumes said negligence but claims that it is not vicariously
liable for the injuries and subsequent death caused by ABAD. A
distinction must be made between the two provisions to determine what
is applicable. Both provisions apply to employers: the fourth paragraph,
to owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise; and the fifth
paragraph, to employers in general, whether or not engaged in any
business or industry. The fourth paragraph covers negligent acts of
employees committed either in the service of the branches or on the
occasion of their functions, while the fifth paragraph encompasses
negligent acts of employees acting within the scope of their assigned
task. The latter is an expansion of the former in both employer coverage
and acts included. Negligent acts of employees, whether or not the
employer is engaged in a business or industry, are covered so long as
they were acting within the scope of their assigned task, even though
committed neither in the service of the branches nor on the occasion of
their functions. For, admittedly, employees oftentimes wear different
hats. They perform functions which are beyond their office, title or
designation but which, nevertheless, are still within the call of duty.

The court has applied the fifth paragraph to cases where the employer
was engaged in a business or industry such as truck operators and
banks. The Court of Appeals cannot, therefore, be faulted in applying the
said paragraph of Article 2180 of the Civil Code to this case. It is
undisputed that ABAD was a Production Manager of petitioner CASTILEX
at the time of the tort occurrence. As to whether he was acting within
the scope of his assigned task is a question of fact, which the court a
quo and the Court of Appeals resolved in the affirmative. The mere fact
that ABAD was using a service vehicle at the time of the injurious
incident is not of itself sufficient to charge petitioner with liability for the
negligent operation of said vehicle unless it appears that he was
operating the vehicle within the course or scope of his employment. The
employer may, however, be liable where he derives some special benefit
from having the employee drive home in the employers vehicle as when
the employer benefits from having the employee at work earlier and,
presumably, spending more time at his actual duties. Where the
employees duties require him to circulate in a general area with no fixed
place or hours of work, or to go to and from his home to various outside
places of work, and his employer furnishes him with a vehicle to use in
his work, the courts have frequently applied what has been called the
special errand or roving commission rule, under which it can be found
that the employee continues in the service of his employer until he
actually reaches home. However, even if the employee be deemed to be
acting within the scope of his employment in going to or from work in his
employers vehicle, the employer is not liable for his negligence where at
the time of the accident, the employee has left the direct route to his
work or back home and is pursuing a personal errand of his own.

In the case at bar, it is undisputed that ABAD did some overtime work at
the petitioners office, which was located in Cabangcalan, Mandaue
City. Thereafter, he went to Goldies Restaurant in Fuente Osmea, Cebu
City, which is about seven kilometers away from petitioners place of
business. A witness for the private respondents, a sidewalk vendor,
testified that Fuente Osmea is a lively place even at dawn because
Goldies Restaurant and Back Street were still open and people were
drinking thereat. Moreover, prostitutes, pimps, and drug addicts littered
the place. WHEREFORE, the appealed decision and resolution of the
Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED with the modification that petitioner
Castilex Industrial Corporation be absolved of any liability for the
damages caused by its employee, Jose Benjamin Abad.

VIOLATION OF TRAFFIC RULES

Case # 18
MARCIAL T. CAEDO, JUANA SANGALANG CAEDO, et.al. vs. YU KHE
THAI and RAFAEL BERNARDO, G.R. No. L-20392; December 18, 1968

FACTS:

Marcial was driving his Mercury car on his way from his home in Quezon City
to the airport, where his son Ephraim was scheduled to take a plane for
Mindoro. With them in the car were Mrs. Caedo and three daughters. Coming
from the opposite direction was the Cadillac of Yu Khe Thai, with his driver
Rafael Bernardo at the wheel. The two cars were traveling at fairly moderate
speeds, considering the condition of the road and the absence of traffic.
Ahead of the Cadillac, going in the same direction, was a caretella owned by
a certain Pedro Bautista. Rafael Bernardo testified that he was almost upon
the rig when he saw it in front of him, only eight meters away. This is the first
clear indication of his negligence. Bernardo, instead of slowing down or
stopping altogether behind the carretela until that lane was clear, veered to
the left in order to pass. As he did so the curved end of his car's right rear
bumper caught the forward rim of the rig's left wheel, wrenching it off and
carrying it along as the car skidded obliquely to the other lane, where it
collided with the oncoming vehicle. On his part Caedo had seen the Cadillac
on its own lane; he slackened his speed, judged the distances in relation to
the carretela and concluded that the Cadillac would wait behind. Bernardo,
however, decided to take a gamble beat the Mercury to the point where it
would be in line with the carretela, or else squeeze in between them in any
case. Its rear bumper, as already stated, caught the wheel of
the carretela and wrenched it loose. There is no doubt at all that the collision
was directly traceable to Rafael Bernardo's negligence and that he must be
held liable for the damages suffered by the plaintiffs.
As a result of a vehicular accident in which plaintiff Marcial Caedo and
several members of his family were injured they filed this suit for recovery of
damages from the defendants. The judgment, rendered by the Court of First
Instance is in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendants, Yu Khe Thai
and Rafael Bernardo, jointly and severally, to pay to plaintiffs Marcial Caedo,
et al., damages. The judgment was amended so as to include an additional
award of P3,705.11 in favor of the plaintiffs for the damage sustained by
their car in the accident.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Yu Khe Thai, as owner of the Cadillac, is solidarily liable with
the driver?

RULING:

In the present case the defendants' evidence is that Rafael Bernardo had
been Yu Khe Thai's driver since 1937, and before that had been employed by
Yutivo Sons Hardware Co. in the same capacity for over ten years. That such
negligence should not be imputed. The car, as has been stated, was not
running at an unreasonable speed. The law does not require that a person
must possess a certain measure of skill or proficiency either in the
mechanics of driving or in the observance of traffic rules before he may own
a motor vehicle. The test of his intelligence, within the meaning of Article
2184, is his omission to do that which the evidence of his own senses tells
him he should do in order to avoid the accident. And as far as perception is
concerned, absent a minimum level imposed by law, a maneuver that
appears to be fraught with danger to one passenger may appear to be
entirely safe and commonplace to another. Were the law to require a uniform
standard of perceptiveness, employment of professional drivers by car
owners who, by their very inadequacies, have real need of drivers' services,
would be effectively proscribed.

We hold that the imputation of liability to Yu Khe Thai, solidarily with Rafael
Bernardo, is an error. As to damages, the nature and extent of the injuries,
the amounts of moral damages granted by the trial court are not excessive.
WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is modified in the sense of
declaring defendant-appellant Yu Khe Thai free from liability, and is otherwise
affirmed with respect to defendant Rafael Bernardo.

Case # 19

BATANGAS LAGUNA TAYABAS BUS COMPANY, INC., et.al. vs.


BENJAMIN M. BITANGA, et.al G.R. No. 137934; August 10, 2001
x---------------------------------------------------------x

DANILO L. CONCEPCION, FE ELOISA GLORIA et.al vs. THE COURT OF


APPEALS, et.al. G.R. No. 137936; August 10, 2001

FACTS:

These cases involve a Bus Company, Inc., which has been owned Potenciano
family. In 1997, Dolores A. Potenciano, Max Joseph A. Potenciano, Mercedelin
A. Potenciano, Delfin C. Yorro, and Maya Industries, Inc., entered into a Sale
and Purchase Agreement, whereby they sold to BMB Property Holdings, Inc.,
their 21,071,114 shares of stock in BLTB. The said shares represented
47.98% of the total outstanding capital stock of BLTB. The purchase price for
the shares of stock was P72,076,425.00 the downpayment of which, in the
sum of P44,354,723.00, was made payable upon signing of Agreement, while
the balance of P27,721,702.00 was payable on November 26, 1997.
Furthermore, the buyer guaranteed that it shall take over the management
and operations of BLTB but shall immediately surrender the same to the
sellers in case it fails to pay the balance of the purchase price. Barely a
month after the Agreement was executed, and new officers were elected.

During a meeting of the Board of Directors, the newly elected directors of


BLTB scheduled the annual stockholders' meeting, to be held at the principal
office of BLTB in San Pablo, Laguna. Before the scheduled meeting, Michael
Potenciano wrote Benjamin Bitanga, requesting for a postponement of the
stockholders' meeting due to the absence of a thirty-day advance notice.
However, there was no response from Bitanga on whether or not the request
for postponement was favorably acted upon. On the scheduled date of the
meeting, a notice of postponement of the stockholders' meeting was
published in the Manila Bulletin. Inasmuch as there was no notice of
postponement prior to that, a total of two hundred eighty six stockholders,
representing 87% of the shares of stock of BLTB, arrived and attended the
meeting. The majority of the stockholders present rejected the
postponement and voted to proceed with the meeting. The Potenciano group
was re-elected to the Board of Directors, and a new set of officers was
thereafter elected. However, the Bitanga group refused to relinquish their
positions and continued to act as directors and officers of BLTB. The conflict
between the Potencianos and the Bitanga group escalated to levels of unrest
and even violence among laborers and employees of the bus company. The
Bitanga group filed with the SEC a Complaint for Damages and Injunction.
Likewise, the Potenciano group filed a Complaint for Injunction and Damages
with Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order with the SEC.
SEC Chairman issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the Bitanga
group from acting as officers and directors of BLTB.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the order of SEC resolved the main case or it merely acted in
preliminary evaluation?

RULING:

Contrary to the findings of the Court of Appeals, the Bitanga group was not
deprived of due process when the SEC En Banc issued its Order dated July
21, 1998.

Due process, in essence, is simply an opportunity to be heard. It cannot be


denied that in the case at bar, a hearing on the prayer for injunction was
held on July 9, 1998. Both parties were represented at the said hearing, and
the Bitanga group presented its arguments in opposition to the injunctive
relief. A reading of the said Order readily reveals that it merely delved on the
propriety of granting a writ of preliminary injunction against the Bitanga
group. The main case is far from being disposed of as there are several
issues still awaiting resolution, including, whether or not the Bitanga group
has taken funds and assets of BLTB and if so, in what amount and consisting
of what assets; and whether or not the Potenciano group is entitled to the
payment of exemplary damages, attorney's fees and costs of suit. There is
no merit, therefore, in the statement that the SEC En Banc's ruling is a
prejudgment of the main case, as several matters need yet to be addressed.
In the case at bar, it cannot be said that the July 21, 1998 Order of the SEC
En Banc terminated the Potenciano group's petition in its entirety. As
mentioned above, there remain several issues which have yet to be resolved
and adjudicated upon by the SEC.

In light of all the foregoing, we find that the Court of Appeals erred in
granting the extraordinary remedy of certiorari to the Bitanga group. It is
elementary that a special civil action for certiorari is limited to correcting
errors of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion. None of these have been
found to obtain in the petition before the Court of Appeals. What is more, it is
also settled that the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction as an
ancillary or preventive remedy to secure the rights of a party in a pending
case is entirely within the discretion of the court taking cognizance of the
case, the only limitation being that this discretion should be exercised based
upon the grounds and in the manner provided by law. The exercise of sound
judicial discretion by the lower court in injunctive matters should not be
interfered with except in cases of manifest abuse. WHEREFORE, in view of all
the foregoing, the instant petitions for review are GRANTED. The Decision of
the Court of Appeals is SET ASIDE.

CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE

Case # 20

M. H., RAKES, vs. THE ATLANTIC, GULF AND PACIFIC COMPANY

G.R. No. 1719; January 23, 1907

FACTS:

The plaintiff, one of a gang of eight negro laborers in the employment of the
defendant, was at work transporting iron rails from a barge in the harbor to
the company's yard near the malecon in Manila. Plaintiff claims that but one
hand car was used in this work. The defendant has proved that there were
two immediately following one another, upon which were piled lengthwise
seven rails, each weighing 560 pounds, so that the ends of the rails lay upon
two crosspieces or sills secured to the cars, but without side pieces or guards
to prevent them from slipping off. According to the testimony of the plaintiff,
the men were either in the rear of the car or at its sides. According to that
defendant, some of them were also in front, hauling by a rope. At a certain
spot at or near the water's edge the track sagged, the tie broke, the car
either canted or upset, the rails slid off and caught the plaintiff, breaking his
leg, which was afterwards amputated at about the knee. This first point for
the plaintiff to establish was that the accident happened through the
negligence of the defendant.

ISSUE:

Whether or not defendant is liable for damages?

RULING:

Yes. According to plaintiffs witnesses, a depression of the track, varying from


one half inch to one inch and a half, was thereafter apparent to the eye, and
a fellow workman of the plaintiff swears that the day before the accident he
called the attention of McKenna, the foreman, to it and asked by simply
straightening out the crosspiece, resetting the block under the stringer and
renewing the tie, but otherwise leaving the very same timbers as before. It
has not proven that the company inspected the track after the typhoon or
had any proper system of inspection. In order to charge the defendant with
negligence, it was necessary to show a breach of duty on its part in failing
either to properly secure the load on iron to vehicles transporting it, or to
skillfully build the tramway or to maintain it in proper condition, or to
vigilantly inspect and repair the roadway as soon as the depression in it
became visible. It is upon the failure of the defendant to repair the weakened
track, after notice of its condition, that the judge below based his judgment.

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 law " and falls under civil
rather than criminal jurisprudence. Another contention of the defense is that
the injury resulted to the plaintiff as a risk incident to his employment and,
as such, one assumed by him. It is evident that this cannot be the case if the
occurrence was due to the failure to repair the track or to duly inspect, it for
the employee is not presumed to have stipulated that the employer might
neglect his legal duty. Nor may it be excused upon the ground that the
negligence leading to the accident was that of a fellow-servant of the injured
man. It is not apparent to us that the intervention of a third person can
relieve the defendant from the performance of its duty nor impose upon the
plaintiff the consequences of an act or omission not his own. Sua cuique
culpa nocet. This doctrine, known as "the fellow-servant, rule," is not
disposed to introduce into our jurisprudence. It has since been effectually
abrogated by "the Employers' Liability Acts" and the "Compensation Law."

To this event, the act of the plaintiff in walking by the side of the car did not
contribute, although it was an element of the damage which came to himself.
Had the crosspiece been out of place wholly or partly thorough his act of
omission of duty, the last would have been one of the determining causes of
the event or accident, for which he would have been responsible. Where he
contributes to the principal occurrence, as one of its determining factors, he
cannot recover. Where, in conjunction with the occurrence, he contributes
only to his own injury, he may recover the amount that the defendant
responsible for the event should pay for such injury, less a sum deemed a
suitable equivalent for his own imprudence. Accepting, the judgment of the
trial court, fixing the damage incurred by the plaintiff at 5,000 pesos, the
equivalent of 2,500 dollars, United States money, we deduct therefrom 2,500
pesos, the amount fairly attributable to his negligence, and direct judgment
to be entered in favor of the plaintiff for the resulting sum of 2,500 pesos.

ASSUMPTION OF RISK

Case # 21

MARGARITA AFIALDA vs. BASILIO HISOLE and FRANCISCO HISOLE


G.R. No. L-2075; November 29, 1949

FACTS:

This is an action for damages arising from injury caused by an animal. The
complaint alleges that the now deceased, Loreto Afialda, was employed by
the defendant spouses as caretaker of their carabaos at a fixed
compensation. That while tending the animals he was gored by one of them
and later died as a consequence of his injuries. Before filing their answer,
defendants moved for the dismissal of the complaint for lack of a cause of
action, and the motion having been granted by the lower court, plaintiff has
taken this appeal. Plaintiff seeks to hold defendants liable under article 1905
of the Civil Code, which reads: The possessor of an animal, or the one who
uses the same, is liable for any damages it may cause, even if such animal
should escape from him or stray away. This liability shall cease only in case,
the damage should arise from force majeure or from the fault of the person
who may have suffered it.

ISSUE:

Whether the owner of the animal is liable when damage is caused to its
caretaker?

RULING:

No. In the present case, the animal was in custody and under the control of
the caretaker, who was paid for his work as such. Obviously, it was the
caretaker's business to try to prevent the animal from causing injury or
damage to anyone, including himself. And being injured by the animal under
those circumstances was one of the risks of the occupation which he had
voluntarily assumed and for which he must take the consequences. In a
decision of the Spanish Supreme Court, cited by Manresa in his
Commentaries (Vol. 12, p. 578), the death of an employee who was bitten by
a feline which his master had asked him to take to his establishment was by
said tribunal declared to be "a veritable accident of labor" which should
come under the labor laws rather than under article 1905 of the Civil Code.
The present action, however, is not brought under the Workmen's
Compensation Act, there being no allegation that, among other things,
defendant's business, whatever that might be, had a gross income of
P20,000. As already stated, defendant's liability is made to rest on article
1905 of the Civil Code but action under that article is not tenable for the
reasons already stated. On the other hand, if action is to be based on article
1902 of the Civil Code, it is essential that there be fault or negligence on the
part of the defendants as owners of the animal that caused the damage. But
the complaint contains no allegation on those points. There being no
reversible error in the order appealed from, the same is hereby affirmed.

LAST CLEAR CHANCE

Case # 22

AMADO PICART vs. FRANK SMITH, JR.,

G.R. No. L-12219; March 15, 1918

FACTS:

The occurrence which gave rise to the institution of this action took place the
Carlatan Bridge, at San Fernando, La Union. It appears that upon the
occasion in question the plaintiff was riding on his pony over said bridge.
Before he had gotten half way across, the defendant approached from the
opposite direction in an automobile, going at the rate of about ten or twelve
miles per hour. As the defendant neared the bridge he saw a horseman on it
and blew his horn to give warning of his approach. He continued his course
and after he had taken the bridge he gave two more successive blasts, as it
appeared to him that the man on horseback before him was not observing
the rule of the road.
The plaintiff, it appears, saw the automobile coming and heard the warning
signals. Surprised, he pulled the pony closely up against the railing on the
right side of the bridge instead of going to the left. As the automobile
approached, the defendant guided it toward his left, that being the proper
side of the road for the machine. The defendant, instead of veering to the
right while yet some distance away or slowing down, continued to approach
directly toward the horse without diminution of speed. When he had gotten
quite near, there being then no possibility of the horse getting across to the
other side, the defendant quickly turned his car sufficiently to the right to
escape hitting the horse alongside of the railing where it as then standing;
but in so doing the automobile passed in such close proximity to the animal
that it became frightened and turned its body across the bridge with its head
toward the railing. In so doing, it was struck on the hock of the left hind leg
by the flange of the car and the limb was broken. The horse fell and its rider
was thrown off with some violence. As a result of its injuries the horse died.
The plaintiff received contusions which caused temporary unconsciousness
and required medical attention for several days.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the defendant was guilty of negligence such as gives rise to a
civil obligation to repair the damage done?

RULING:

Yes. The control of the situation had then passed entirely to the defendant;
and it was his duty either to bring his car to an immediate stop or, seeing
that there were no other persons on the bridge, to take the other side and
pass sufficiently far away from the horse to avoid the danger of collision.
Instead of doing this, the defendant ran straight on until he was almost upon
the horse. When the defendant exposed the horse and rider to this danger
he was, negligent in the eye of the law.

It goes without saying that the plaintiff himself was not free from fault, for he
was guilty of antecedent negligence in planting himself on the wrong side of
the road. But as stated, the defendant was also negligent; and in such case
the problem always is to discover which agent is immediately and directly
responsible. It will be noted that the negligent acts of the two parties were
not contemporaneous, since the negligence of the defendant succeeded the
negligence of the plaintiff by an appreciable interval. Under these
circumstances the law is that the person who has the last fair chance to
avoid the impending harm and fails to do so is chargeable with the
consequences, without reference to the prior negligence of the other party.

From what has been said it results that the judgment of the lower court must
be reversed, and judgment is her rendered that the plaintiff recover of the
defendant the sum of two hundred pesos (P200), with costs of other
instances. The sum here awarded is estimated to include the value of the
horse, medical expenses of the plaintiff, the loss or damage occasioned to
articles of his apparel, and lawful interest on the whole to the date of this
recovery. The other damages claimed by the plaintiff are remote or otherwise
of such character as not to be recoverable.

Case # 23

MR. AND MRS. AMADOR C. ONG vs. METROPOLITAN WATER DISTRICT

G.R. No. L-7664; August 29, 1958

FACTS:

Defendant owns and operates three recreational swimming pools, to which


people are invited and for which a nominal fee is charged. The main pool it
between two small pools of oval shape known as the "Wading pool" and the
"Beginners Pool". The care and supervision of the pools and the users thereof
is entrusted to a recreational section composed a chief, a male nurse, and six
lifeguards. Defendant has also on display in a conspicuous place certain rules
and regulations governing the use of the pools, one of which prohibits the
swimming in the pool alone or without any attendant. In the afternoon of July
5, 1952, Dominador Ong, a 14-year old high school student and boy scout,
and his brothers Ruben and Eusebio, went to defendant's swimming pools.
This was not the first time that the three brothers had gone to said
natatorium for they had already been there four or five times before. After
paying the requisite admission fee, they immediately went to one of the
small pools where the water was shallow. Dominador Ong told his brothers
that he was going to the locker room in an adjoining building to drink a bottle
of coke. Upon hearing this, Ruben and Eusebio went to the bigger pool
leaving Dominador in the small pool and so they did not see the latter when
he left the pool to get a bottle of coke. In that afternoon, there were two
lifeguards on duty in the pool compound. Between 4:00 to 5:00 that
afternoon, there were about twenty bathers inside the pool area and Manuel
Abao as the assigned lifeguard was going around the pools to observe the
bathers in compliance with the instructions of his chief.

Between 4:40 to 4:45 p.m., some boys who were in the pool area informed a
bather by the name of Andres Hagad, Jr., that somebody was swimming
under water for quite a long time. Another boy informed lifeguard Manuel
Abao of the same happening and Abao immediately jumped into the big
swimming pool and retrieved the apparently lifeless body of Dominador Ong
from the bottom. The body was placed at the edge of the pool and Abao
immediately applied manual artificial respiration. Soon after, male nurse
came to render assistance, followed by sanitary inspector Vicente who
injected the boy with camphorated oil. Not long thereafter, Dr. Ayuyao
arrived with another resuscitator, but the same became of no use because
he found the boy already dead. The death was due to asphyxia by
submersion in water. After trial, the lower court dismissed the complaint.
Plaintiffs took the case on appeal directly to this Court because the amount
involved exceeds the sum of P50,000.

ISSUE:

Whether the death of minor Dominador Ong can be attributed to the


negligence of defendant and/or its employees so as to entitle plaintiffs to
recover damages?

RULING:

NO. Since the present action is one for damages founded on culpable
negligence, the principle to be observed is that the person claiming damages
has the burden of proving that the damage is caused by the fault or
negligence of the person from whom the damage is claimed, or of one of his
employees. There is sufficient evidence to show that appellee has taken all
necessary precautions to avoid danger to the lives of its patrons or prevent
accident which may cause their death. Thus, it has been shown that the
swimming pools of appellee are provided with a ring buoy, toy roof, towing
line, oxygen resuscitator and a first aid medicine kit. The bottom of the pools
is painted with black colors so as to insure clear visibility. There is on display
in a conspicuous place within the area certain rules and regulations
governing the use of the pools. Appellee employs six lifeguards who are all
trained as they had taken a course for that purpose and were issued
certificates of proficiency. These lifeguards work on schedule prepared by
their chief and arranged in such a way as to have two guards at a time on
duty to look after the safety of the bathers. There is a male nurse and a
sanitary inspector with a clinic provided with oxygen resuscitator. And there
are security guards who are available always in case of emergency. All of the
foregoing shows that appellee has done what is humanly possible under the
circumstances to restore life to minor Ong and for that reason it is unfair to
hold it liable for his death.

As contended by appellees the doctrine of "last clear chance" cannot apply


considering that the record does not show how minor Ong came into the big
swimming pool. The doctrine of last clear chance simply means that the
negligence of a claimant does not preclude a recovery for the negligence of
defendant where it appears that the latter, by exercising reasonable care and
prudence, might have avoided injurious consequences to claimant
notwithstanding his negligence. Or, "As the doctrine usually is stated, a
person who has the last clear chance or opportunity of avoiding an accident,
notwithstanding the negligent acts of his opponent or the negligence of a
third person which is imputed to his opponent, is considered in law solely
responsible for the consequences of the accident". There is (also) a strong
suggestion coming from the expert evidence presented by both parties that
Dominador Ong might have dived where the water was only 5.5 feet deep,
and in so doing he might have hit or bumped his forehead against the
bottom of the pool, as a consequence of which he was stunned, and which to
his drowning. As a boy scout he must have received instructions in
swimming. He knew, or had known that it was dangerous for him to dive in
that part of the pool." Wherefore, the decision is affirmed.

PRESCRIPTION

Case # 24

MR. AND MRS. ROMEO FERRER and ANNETTE FERRER vs. HON.
VICENTE G. ERICTA, G.R. No. L-41767; August 23, 1978

FACTS:

Defendants Mr. and Mrs. Francis Pfleider, were the owners or operators of a
Ford pick-up car. Their son, defendant Dennis Pfleider, who was then only
sixteen (16) years of age, without proper official authority, drove the above-
described vehicle, met an accident and was overturned, causing physical
injuries to plaintiff Annette Ferrer, who was then a passenger therein, which
injuries paralyzed her and required medical treatment and confinement for
more than two (2) years. Consequently, a suit was instituted praying that
defendants be ordered to reimburse them for actual expenses as well as
other damages. In due time, defendants filed their answer, putting up the
affirmative defense that defendant Dennis Pfleider exercised due care and
utmost diligence in driving the vehicle aforementioned and alleging that
Annette Ferrer and the other persons aboard said vehicle were not
passengers in the strict sense of the term, but were merely joy riders and
that, consequently, defendants had no obligation whatsoever to plaintiffs.
Respondent Judge rendered judgment against private respondents, finding
that the minor Dennis Pfleider, was allowed by his parents to operate a Ford
pick-up car and because of his reckless negligence caused the accident in
question, resulting in injuries to Annette, and ordering the defendants, as a
result thereof, to pay jointly and severally the plaintiffs damages.

ISSUE:

Whether the defense of prescription had been deemed waived by private


respondents' failure to allege the same in their answer?

RULING:

The have Court sustained in several cases the dismissal of a counterclaim on


the ground of prescription, although such defense was not raised in the
answer of the plaintiff. Thus, this Court held that where the answer does not
take issue with the complaint as to dates involved in the defendant's claim of
prescription, his failure to specifically plead prescription in the answer does
not constitute a waiver of the defense of prescription. It was explained that
the defense of prescription, even if not raised in a motion to dismiss or in the
answer, is not deemed waived unless such defense raises issues of fact not
appearing upon the preceding pleading.

Again, in Philippine National Bank v. Pacific Commission House, where the


action sought to revive a judgment rendered by the Court of First Instance of
Manila on February 3, 1953 and it was patent from the stamp appearing on
the first page of the complaint that the complaint was actually filed on May
31, 1963, this Court sustained the dismissal of the complaint on the ground
of prescription, although such defense was not raised in the answer,
overruling the appellants' invocation of Section 2 of Rule 9 of the Rules of
Court that "defenses and objections not pleaded either in a motion to dismiss
or in tile answer are deemed waived." We held therein that "... the fact that
the plaintiff's own allegation in tile complaint or the evidence it presented
shows clearly that the action had prescribed removes this case from the rule
regarding waiver of the defense by failure to plead the same." In the present
case, there is no issue of fact involved in connection with the question of
prescription. The complaint in Civil Case alleges that the accident which
caused the injuries sustained by plaintiff Annette Ferrer occurred on
December 31, 1970. It is undisputed that the action for damages was only
filed on January 6, 1975. Actions for damages arising from physical injuries
because of a tort must be filed within four years. The four-year period begins
from the day the quasi-delict is committed or the date of the accident.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition for mandamus is hereby DISMISSED.

Case # 25

ERNESTO KRAMER, JR. and MARIA KRAMER vs. HON. COURT OF


APPEALS

G.R. No. L-83524 October 13, 1989

FACTS:

In1976, the F/B Marjolea, a fishing boat owned by the petitioners Kramer,
was navigating its way from Marinduque to Manila. The boat figured in a
collision with an inter-island vessel, the M/V Asia Philippines owned by the
private respondent Trans-Asia Shipping Lines, Inc. As a consequence of the
collision, the F/B Marjolea sank, taking with it its fish catch. After the mishap,
the captains of both vessels filed their respective marine protests with the
Board of Marine Inquiry of the Philippine Coast Guard. The Board conducted
an investigation for the purpose of determining the proximate cause of the
maritime collision.

The Board concluded that the loss of the F/B Marjolea and its fish catch was
attributable to the negligence of the employees of the private respondent
who were on board the M/V Asia Philippines during the collision. The
petitioners instituted a Complaint for damages against the private
respondent. The private respondent filed a Motion seeking the dismissal of
the Complaint on the ground of prescription. He argued that under Article
1146 of the Civil Code, the prescriptive period for instituting a Complaint for
damages arising from a quasi-delict like a maritime collision is four years.
The petitioners argued that the running of the prescriptive period was tolled
by the filing of the marine protest and that their cause of action accrued only
on the date when the Decision ascertaining the negligence of the crew of the
M/V Asia Philippines had become final, and that the four-year prescriptive
period under Article 1146 of the Civil Code should be computed from the said
date. In an Order, the trial court denied the Motion filed by the private
respondent. The trial court went on to say that the four-year prescriptive
period provided in Article 1146 of the Civil Code should begin to run only
from the date when the negligence of the crew of the M/V Asia Philippines
had been finally ascertained. On appeal, the Court of Appeals granted the
Petition filed by the private respondent and ordered the trial court to dismiss
the Complaint.

ISSUE:

Whether or not a Complaint for damages instituted by the petitioners against


the private respondent arising from a marine collision is barred by the
statute of limitations?

RULING:

Under Article 1146 of the Civil Code, an action based upon a quasi-delict
must be instituted within four (4) years. The prescriptive period begins from
the day the quasi-delict is committed. The right of action accrues when there
exists a cause of action, which consists of 3 elements, namely: a) a right in
favor of the plaintiff by whatever means and under whatever law it arises or
is created; b) an obligation on the part of defendant to respect such right;
and c) an act or omission on the part of such defendant violative of the right
of the plaintiff ... It is only when the last element occurs or takes place that it
can be said in law that a cause of action has arisen ... .

It is clear that the prescriptive period must be counted when the last element
occurs or takes place, that is, the time of the commission of an act or
omission violative of the right of the plaintiff, which is the time when the
cause of action arises. It is therefore clear that in this action for damages
arising from the collision of two (2) vessels the four (4) year prescriptive
period must be counted from the day of the collision. The aggrieved party
need not wait for a determination by an administrative body like a Board of
Marine Inquiry that the collision was caused by the fault or negligence of the
other party before he can file an action for damages. The ruling in Vasquez
does not apply in this case. Immediately after the collision the aggrieved
party can seek relief from the courts by alleging such negligence or fault of
the owners, agents or personnel of the other vessel. Thus, the respondent
court correctly found that the action of petitioner has prescribed.

FORCE MAJUERE

Case # 26

GOTESCO INVESTMENT CORPORATION vs. GLORIA E. CHATTO and


LINA DELZA CHATTO, G.R. No. L-87584; June 16, 1992

FACTS:

Plaintiff Gloria E. Chatto, and her 15-year old daughter, plaintiff Lina Delza E.
Chatto went to see the movie "Mother Dear" at Superama I theater, owned
by defendant Gotesco Investment Corporation. They bought balcony tickets
but even then were unable to find seats considering the number of people
patronizing the movie. Hardly ten (10) minutes after entering the theater,
the ceiling of its balcony collapsed. The theater was plunged into darkness
and pandemonium ensued. Shocked and hurt, plaintiffs managed to crawl
under the fallen ceiling. As soon as they were able to get out to the street
they walked the nearby FEU Hospital where they were confined and treated
for one (1) day. Due to continuing pain in the neck, headache and dizziness,
plaintiff went to Illinois, USA for further treatment. She stayed in the U.S. for
about three (3) months during which time she had to return to the Cook
County Hospital five (5) or, six (6) times. Defendant tried to avoid liability by
alleging that the collapse of the ceiling of its theater was done due to force
majeure.

The trial court ordered the defendant, herein petitioners to pay the plaintiff
Lina Delza E. Chatto the sum of P10,000.00 as moral damages and the
plaintiff Gloria E. Chatto the sum of P49,050.00 as actual and consequential
damages, P75,000.00 as moral damages and P20,000.00 as attorney's fees,
plus the cost of the suit.

ISSUE:

Whether or not petitioners are liable for damages?

RULING:
The lower court did not also err in its finding that the collapse of the ceiling
of the theater's balcony was due to construction defects and not to force
majeure. It was the burden defendant-appellant to prove that its theater did
not suffer from any structural defect when it was built and that it has been
well maintained when the incident occurred. Petitioner could have easily
discovered the cause of the collapse if indeed it were due to force
majeure. The real reason why Mr. Ong could not explain the cause or reason
is that either he did not actually conduct the investigation or that he is, as
the respondent Court impliedly held, incompetent. He is not an engineer, but
an architect who had not even passed the government's examination. Verily,
post-incident investigation cannot be considered as material to the present
proceedings. What is significant is the finding of the trial court, affirmed by
the respondent Court that the collapse was due to construction defects.
There was no evidence offered to overturn this finding. Besides, even
assuming for the sake of argument that, as petitioner vigorously insists, the
cause of the collapse was due to force majeure, petitioner would still be
liable because it was guilty of negligence, which the trial court denominated
as gross. All told, the instant petition is without merit.

Case # 27

NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION, ET AL vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS,


GAUDENCIO C. RAYO, ET AL., G.R. Nos. 103442-45; May 21, 1993

FACTS:

This present controversy traces its beginnings to four (4) separate


complaints for damages filed against the NPC and Benjamin Chavez before
the trial court. The plaintiffs therein, now private respondents, sought to
recover actual and other damages for the loss of lives and the destruction to
property caused by the inundation. The flooding was purportedly caused by
the negligent release by the defendants of water through the spillways of the
Angat Dam. In said complaints, the plaintiffs alleged, inter alia, that: 1)
defendant NPC operated and maintained a multi-purpose hydroelectric plant
in the Angat River at Hilltop, Norzagaray, Bulacan; 2) defendant Benjamin
Chavez was the plant supervisor at the time of the incident in question; 3)
despite the defendants' knowledge, as early as 24 October 1978, of the
impending entry of typhoon "Kading," they failed to exercise due diligence in
monitoring the water level at the dam; 4) when the said water level went
beyond the maximum allowable limit at the height of the typhoon, the
defendants suddenly, negligently and recklessly opened three (3) of the
dam's spillways, thereby releasing a large amount of water which inundated
the banks of the Angat River; and 5) as a consequence, members of the
household of the plaintiffs, together with their animals, drowned, and their
properties were washed away. The lower court rendered its decision
dismissing the complaints "for lack of sufficient and credible evidence." On
appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the appealed decision and awarded
damages in favor of the private respondents.

ISSUE:

Whether the appellate court erred in holding that the damage was not
damnum absque injuria?

RULING:

These same errors were raised by herein petitioners in G.R. No. 96410,
entitled National Power Corporation, et al., vs. Court of Appeals, et al., which
this Court decided on 3 July 1992. The said case involved the very same
incident subject of the instant petition. As declared therein that the
proximate cause of the loss and damage sustained by the plaintiffs therein
who were similarly situated as the private respondents herein was the
negligence of the petitioners, and that the "early warning notice" supposedly
sent to the affected municipalities, the same notice involved in the case at
bar, was insufficient. We thus cannot now rule otherwise not only because
such a decision binds this Court with respect to the cause of the inundation
of the town which resulted in the loss of lives and the destruction to property
in both cases, but also because of the fact that on the basis of its meticulous
analysis and evaluation of the evidence adduced by the parties, public
respondent found as conclusively established that indeed, the petitioners
were guilty of "patent gross and evident lack of foresight, imprudence and
negligence in the management and operation of Angat Dam," and that "the
extent of the opening of the spillways, and the magnitude of the water
released, are all but products of defendants-appellees' heedlessness,
slovenliness, and carelessness."
Accordingly, petitioners cannot be heard to invoke the act of God or force
majeure to escape liability for the loss or damage sustained by private
respondents since they, the petitioners, were guilty of negligence. The event
then was not occasioned exclusively by an act of God or force majeure; a
human factor negligence or imprudence had intervened. The effect
then of the force majeure in question may be deemed to have, even if only
partly, resulted from the participation of man. Thus, the whole occurrence
was thereby humanized, as it were, and removed from the laws applicable to
acts of God. WHEREFORE, petition is hereby DISMISSED.

EXERCISE OF DILIGENCE

Case # 28

PLACIDO C. RAMOS and AUGUSTO L. RAMOS vs. PEPSI-COLA


BOTTLING CO. OF THE P.I. and ANDRES BONIFACIO, G.R. No. L-22533;
February 9, 1967

FACTS:

On June 30, 1958 Placido and Augusto Ramos sued Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of
the P.I. and Andres Bonifacio as a consequence of a collision involving the car
of Placido Ramos and a tractor-truck and trailer of PEPESI-COLA. Said car was
at the time of the collision driven by Augusto Ramos, son and co-plaintiff of
Placido. PEPSI-COLA's tractor-truck was then driven by its driver and co-
defendant Andres Bonifacio.

After trial the Court rendered judgment finding Bonifacio negligent and
declaring that PEPSI-COLA had not sufficiently proved its having exercised
the due diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage and
thus they are liable for damages. On appeal, the Court affirmed the trial
court's judgment insofar as it found defendant Bonifacio negligent, but
modified it by absolving defendant PEPSI-COLA from liability, finding that,
contrary to the plaintiffs' contention, PEPSI-COLA sufficiently proved due
diligence in the selection of its driver Bonifacio.

ISSUE:

Whether or not PEPSI-COLA is liable for damages?

RULING:
The uncontradicted testimony of Juan T. Anasco, personnel manager of
defendant company, was to the effect that defendant driver was first hired
as a member of the bottle crop in the production department; that when he
was hired as a driver, 'we had size [sic] him by looking into his background,
asking him to submit clearances, previous experience, physical examination
and later on, he was sent to the pool house to take the usual driver's
examination, and that the defendant company was a member of the Safety
Council. Appellants herein seek to assail the foregoing portion of the decision
under review by taking issue with the testimony of Anasco upon which the
findings of due diligence are rested. Stated differently, Aascos credibility is
not for this Court now to re-examine. And said witness having been found
credible by the Court of Appeals, his testimony, as accepted by said Court,
cannot at this stage be assailed. From all this it follows that for the purposes
of this appeal, it must be taken as established that, as testified to by Aasco,
PEPSI-COLA did in fact carefully examine the driver-applicant Bonifacio as to
his qualifications, experiences and record of service, taking all steps
mentioned by the Court of Appeals in its decision already quoted. Such being
the case, there can be no doubt that PEPSI-COLA exercised the required due
diligence in the selection of its driver.

Appellants' other assignment of errors are likewise outside the purview of


this Court's reviewing power. Thus, the question of whether PEPSI- COLA
violated the Revised Motor Vehicle Law and rules and regulations related
thereto, not having been raised and argued in the Court of Appeals, cannot
be ventilated herein for the first time. 6 And the matter of whether or not
PEPSI-COLA did acts to ratify the negligent act of its driver is a factual issue
not proper herein. Wherefore, the decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby
affirmed.

MISTAKE AND WAIVER

Case # 29
DANILO F. GATCHALIAN vs. COURT OF APPEALS, JUDGE IBARRA S.
VIGILIA
G.R. No. 107979 June 19, 1995

FACTS:

Danilo F. Gatchalian and Gregorio N. Aruelo, Jr. were rival candidates for the
office of the Vice Mayor of Balagtas, Bulacan in 1992 elections. The Municipal
Board of Canvassers proclaimed Gatchalian as the duly elected Vice Mayor
by a margin of four votes. In August, Aruelo filed with the COMELEC a verified
petition seeking to annul the proclamation of Gatchalian. In June, Aruelo filed
with the Regional Trial Court an election protest alleging that the protest was
filed ex abundante cautela, there being a pending pre-proclamation case
before the COMELEC. It likewise contained a claim for damages in the
amount of P100,000.00 by way of attorney's fees.

Instead of filing an answer, Gatchalian filed a motion to dismiss on the


following grounds: (a) the petition was filed out of time; (b) there was a
pending pre-proclamation case before the COMELEC, and hence the protest
was premature; and (c) Aruelo failed to pay the prescribed filing fees and
cash deposit upon filing of the petition. Meanwhile, the COMELEC denied
Aruelo's pre-proclamation case. In its Order the trial court denied
Gatchalian's motion to dismiss and ordered him to file his answer.
Gatchalian, instead of filing his answer, filed a motion for a Bill of Particulars.
This motion was denied. Gatchalian filed before the Court of Appeals, a
petition for certiorari alleging grave abuse of discretion on the part of the
trial court. Gatchalian claims that the election protest was filed only on June
2, 1992 or nineteen days after his proclamation on May 13, 1992 as Vice
Mayor of Balagtas, Bulacan in violation of Section 3, Rule 35 of the COMELEC
Rules of Procedure.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the petition is with merit?

RULING:

Yes. Section 3, Rule 35 of COMELEC provides that a petition shall be filed


within ten (10) days following the date of proclamation of the results of the
election. Under the above-cited section, Aruelo had ten days from May 13,
1992 to file an election protest. Instead of filing an election protest, Aruelo
filed with the COMELEC a pre-proclamation case against Gatchalian on May
22, 1992, or nine days after May 13, 1992. The filing of the pre-proclamation
case suspended the running of the period within which to file an election
protest or quo warranto proceedings (B.P. Blg. 881, Sec. 248). Aruelo
received the COMELEC resolution denying his pre-proclamation petition on
June 22, 1992. Hence, Aruelo had only one day left after June 22, 1992 within
which to file an election protest. However, it will be noted that Aruelo filed on
June 2, 1992 with the trial court an election protest ex abundante cautela.
Gatchalian further contends that the Court of Appeals should have dismissed
the election protest for failure of Aruelo to pay the filing fee of P300.00 as
required by Rule 35, Section 9 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure. It is clear
that Aruelo failed to pay the filing fee of P300.00 for the election protest
prescribed by the COMELEC Rules of Procedure.
The trial court cannot simply deduct from the P600.00 the filing fee of
P300.00 because the former amount is specifically allocated by law (P.D. No.
1949) and by Supreme Court Administrative Circular to the Judiciary
Development Fund and the General Fund. A separate set of receipts is used
for the collection of docket fees. It is the payment of the filing fee that vests
jurisdiction of the court over the election protest, not the payment of the
docket fees for the claim of damages and attorney's fees. For failure to pay
the filing fee prescribed under COMELEC Rules of Procedure, the election
protest must be dismissed. WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED.

DAMNUM ABSQUE INJURIA

Case # 30
NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION vs. HONORABLE COURT OF
APPEALS and ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION, INC., G.R. No. L-47379
May 16, 1988
ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION, INC. vs. COUTRT OF APPEALS and
NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION, G.R. No. L-47481 May 16, 1988

FACTS:

Plaintiff Engineering Construction, Inc., being a successful bidder, executed a


contract with NAWASA, whereby the former undertook to furnish all tools,
labor, equipment, and materials (not furnished by Owner), and to construct
the proposed 2nd lpo-Bicti Tunnel, Intake and Outlet Structures, and
Appurtenant Structures, and Appurtenant Features, at Norzagaray, Bulacan,
and to complete said works within eight hundred (800) calendar days from
the date the Contractor receives the formal notice to proceed. The project
involved two (2) major phases: the first phase comprising, the tunnel work
covering a distance of seven (7) kilometers, passing through the mountain,
where the Ipo Dam of the defendant National Power Corporation is located.
The plaintiff corporation already had completed the first major phase of the
work, namely, the tunnel excavation work.The record shows that typhoon
'Welming' hit Central Luzon, passing through defendant's Angat Hydro-
electric Project and Dam at lpo, Norzagaray, Bulacan. Strong winds struck
the project area, and heavy rains intermittently fell. Due to the heavy
downpour, the water in the reservoir of the Angat Dam was rising perilously.
To prevent an overflow of water from the dam, since the water level had
reached the danger height, the defendant corporation caused the opening of
the spillway gates."
The appellate court sustained the findings of the trial court that the evidence
preponderantly established the fact that due to the negligent manner with
which the spillway gates of the Angat Dam were opened, an extraordinary
large volume of water rushed out of the gates, and hit the installations and
construction works of ECI at the lpo site with terrific impact, as a result of
which the latter's stockpile of materials and supplies, camp facilities and
permanent structures and accessories either washed away, lost or destroyed.
The appellate court likewise rejected the award of unrealized bonus from
NAWASA in the amount of P120,000.00 (computed at P4,000.00 a day in
case construction is finished before the specified time, i.e., within 800
calendar days), considering that the incident occurred after more than three
(3) years or one thousand one hundred seventy (1,170) days. The court also
eliminated the award of exemplary damages as there was no gross
negligence on the part of NPC and reduced the amount of attorney's fees
from P50,000.00 to P30,000.00.

ISSUE:

Whether the appellate court's decision was erroneous on the ground that the
destruction and loss of the ECI's equipment and facilities were due to force
majeure?

RULING:

Yes. It is clear from the appellate court's decision that based on its findings of
fact and that of the trial court's, petitioner NPC was undoubtedly negligent
because it opened the spillway gates of the Angat Dam only at the height of
typhoon "Welming" when it knew very well that it was safer to have opened
the same gradually and earlier, as it was also undeniable that NPC knew of
the coming typhoon at least four days before it actually struck. And even
though the typhoon was an act of God or what we may call force majeure,
NPC cannot escape liability because its negligence was the proximate cause
of the loss and damage. Therefore, the respondent Court of Appeals did not
err in holding the NPC liable for damages.

Likewise, it did not err in reducing the consequential damages from


P333,200.00 to P19,000.00. As shown by the records, while there was no
categorical statement or admission on the part of ECI that it bought a new
crane to replace the damaged one, a sales contract was presented to the
effect that the new crane would be delivered to it by Asian Enterprises within
60 days from the opening of the letter of credit at the cost of P106,336.75.
The offer was made by Asian Enterprises a few days after the flood.
Therefore, it included the said amount in the award of compensatory
damages, but not the value of the new crane. Nothing is erroneous in the
decision of the appellate court that the consequential damages should
represent only the service of the temporary crane for one month. A contrary
ruling would result in the unjust enrichment of ECI.

The P120,000.00 bonus was also properly eliminated as the same was
granted by the trial court on the premise that it represented ECI's lost
opportunity "to earn the one month bonus from NAWASA ... ." As stated
earlier, the loss or damage to ECI's equipment and facilities occurred long
after the stipulated deadline to finish the construction. No bonus, therefore,
could have been possibly earned by ECI at that point in time. WHEREFORE,
the petitions are both DISMISSED for LACK OF MERIT. The decision appealed
from is AFFIRMED.