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CASES PENNED BY JUSTICE LUCAS

BERSAMIN
CASE TITLE PEOPLE v. ARCILLAS
CITATION G.R. No. 181491
PROMULGATIO
July 30, 2012
N DATE
DIGEST BY LUBAY, ANGELA
TOPIC CIVIL LAW; DAMAGES
COVERED

DOCTRINE: Civil indemnity is mandatory upon the finding of the fact of rape, while
moral damages are proper without need of proof other than the fact of rape by
virtue of the undeniable moral suffering of AAA due to the rapes.

FACTS:
May 12, 2000 at more or less 11:00 oclock in the evening thereof, at Brgy.
Magsaysay, Municipality of Uson, Province of Masbate, Philippines, and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, being then the step-
father of AAA, with deliberate intent, with lewd design and by means of force and
intimidation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal
knowledge with his own step-daughter, AAA, a 13-year-old girl, against her will.

RTC convicted Arcillas for the crime of QUALIFIED RAPE and sentenced him to
suffer death penalty. On appeal, the CA affirmed the finding of guilt against Arcillas
but downgraded the crime to simple rape on the ground that the information did not
allege that he was her mothers common-law husband, instead of the victims step-
father, the qualifying circumstance the information alleged.

ISSUE:
WON ARCILLAS IS LIABLE FOR DAMAGES.

RULING:
Civil indemnity is mandatory upon the finding of the fact of rape, while moral
damages are proper without need of proof other than the fact of rape by virtue of
the undeniable moral suffering of AAA due to the rapes. Arcillas was liable for
exemplary damages. According to the Civil Code, exemplary damages may be
imposed in criminal cases as part of the civil liability when the crime was
committed with one or more aggravating circumstances. The law permits such
damages to be awarded by way of example or correction for the public good, in
addition to the moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages.

The CA and the RTC should have recognized the entitlement of AAA to
exemplary damages on account of the attendance of her minority and the common-
law relationship between him and her mother. It did not matter that such qualifying
circumstances were not taken into consideration in fixing his criminal liability,
because the term aggravating circumstances as basis for awarding exemplary
damages under the Civil Code was understood in its generic sense.

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Unlike the criminal liability which is basically a State concern, the award of
damages, however, is likewise, if not primarily, intended for the offended party who
suffers thereby. It would make little sense for an award of exemplary damages to be
due the private offended party when the aggravating circumstance is ordinary but
to be withheld when it is qualifying. Withal, the ordinary or qualifying nature of an
aggravating circumstance is a distinction that should only be of consequence to the
criminal, rather than to the civil, liability of the offender. In fine, relative to the civil
aspect of the case, an aggravating circumstance, whether ordinary or qualifying,
should entitle the offended party to an award of exemplary damages within the
unbridled meaning of Article 2230 of the Civil Code.

The Court deems it appropriate to impose interest at the rate of 6% per


annum on the monetary awards reckoned from the finality of this decision to
complete the quest for justice and vindication on the part of AAA. This is upon the
authority of Article 2211 of the Civil Code, which states that in crimes and quasi-
delicts interest as a part of the damages may, in a proper case, be adjudicated in
the discretion of the court.

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CASE TITLE NUMERIANO P. ABOBON v. FELICITAS ABATA ABOBON and GELIMA


ABATA ABOBON
CITATION G.R. No. 155830
PROMULGATIO
AUGUST 15, 2012
N DATE
DIGEST BY LUBAY, ANGELA
TOPIC
CIVIL LAW; LTD
COVERED

DOCTRINE: a certificate of title serves as evidence of an indefeasible and


incontrovertible title to the property in favor of the person whose name appears
therein.

FACTS:
Respondents filed an action for recovery of possession and damages against
petitioner claiming that they were the registered owners of that parcel of unirrigated
Riceland which they inherited from their father and covered by transfer certificate of
title (TCT). That they had allowed their first cousin, the free use of the land out of
benevolence and that they now immediately needed the parcel of land for their own
use and had accordingly demanded that petitioner should vacate and return it to
them but he had refused.

ISSUE:
Who is the true owner of the land in question.

RULING:
A fundamental principle in land registration under the Torrens system is that a
certificate of title serves as evidence of an indefeasible and incontrovertible title to
the property in favor of the person whose name appears therein. The certificate of
tile thus becomes the best proof of ownership of a parcel of land; hence, anyone
who deals with property registered under the Torrens system may rely on the title
and need not go beyond the title. This reliance on the certificate of title rests on the
doctrine of indefeasibility of the land title, which has long been well-settled in this
jurisdiction. It is only when the acquisition of the title is attended with fraud or bad
faith that the doctrine of indefeasibility finds no application. The respondents
had the preferential right to the possession of the land in question. Their having
preferential right conformed to the age- old rule that whoever held a Torrens title in
his name is entitled to the possession of the land covered by the title. He may use
such force as may be reasonably necessary to repel or prevent an actual or
threatened unlawful physical invasion or usurpation of his property.

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CASE TITLE Spouses Teodoro and Nanette Perea vs Spouses Nicolas and
Teresita Zarate

CITATION G.R. No. 157917


PROMULGATIO
AUG. 29, 2012
N DATE
DIGEST BY LUBAY, ANGELA
TOPIC
Civil Law Common Carrier
COVERED

DOCTRINE: Private transport for schools are common carriers.

FACTS:
In June 1996, Nicolas and Teresita Zarate contracted Teodoro and Nanette Perea to
transport their (Zarates) son, Aaron Zarate, to and from school. The Pereas were
owners of a van being used for private school transport.
At about 6:45am of August 22, 1996, the driver of the said private van, Clemente
Alfaro, while the children were on board including Aaron, decided to take a short cut
in order to avoid traffic. The usual short cut was a railroad crossing of the Philippine
National Railway (PNR).
Alfaro saw that the barandilla (the pole used to block vehicles crossing the railway)
was up which means it was okay to cross. He then tried to overtake a bus. However,
there was in fact an oncoming train but Alfaro no longer saw the train as his view
was already blocked by the bus he was trying to overtake. The bus was able to cross
unscathed but the vans rear end was hit. During the collision, Aaron, was thrown off
the van. His body hit the railroad tracks and his head was severed. He was only 15
years old.
It turns out that Alfaro was not able to hear the train honking from 50 meters away
before the collision because the vans stereo was playing loudly.
The Zarates sued PNR and the Pereas (Alfaro became at-large). Their cause of
action against PNR was based on quasi-delict. Their cause of action against the
Pereas was based on breach of contract of common carriage.
In their defense, the Pereas invoked that as private carriers they were not
negligent in selecting Alfaro as their driver as they made sure that he had a drivers
license and that he was not involved in any accident prior to his being hired. In
short, they observed the diligence of a good father in selecting their employee.
PNR also disclaimed liability as they insist that the railroad crossing they placed
there was not meant for railroad crossing (really, thats their defense!).
The RTC ruled in favor of the Zarates. The Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC. In the
decision of the RTC and the CA, they awarded damages in favor of the Zarates for
the loss of earning capacity of their dead son.
The Pereas appealed. They argued that the award was improper as Aaron was
merely a high school student, hence, the award of such damages was merely
speculative. They cited the case of People vs Teehankee where the Supreme Court
did not award damages for the loss of earning capacity despite the fact that the
victim there was enrolled in a pilot school.

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ISSUE:
Whether or not the defense of due diligence of a good father by the Pereas is
untenable.
Whether or not the award of damages for loss of income is proper.

RULING:
Yes, in both issues.
Defense of Due Diligence of a Good Father
This defense is not tenable in this case. The Pereas are common carriers. They are
not merely private carriers. (Prior to this case, the status of private transport for
school services or school buses is not well settled as to whether or not they are
private or common carriers but they were generally regarded as private carriers).
Private transport for schools are common carriers. The Pereas, as the operators of
a school bus service were: (a) engaged in transporting passengers generally as a
business, not just as a casual occupation; (b) undertaking to carry passengers over
established roads by the method by which the business was conducted; and (c)
transporting students for a fee. Despite catering to a limited clientle, the Pereas
operated as a common carrier because they held themselves out as a ready
transportation indiscriminately to the students of a particular school living within or
near where they operated the service and for a fee.
Being a common carrier, what is required of the Pereas is not mere diligence of a
good father. What is specifically required from them by law is extraordinary
diligence a fact which they failed to prove in court. Verily, their obligation as
common carriers did not cease upon their exercise of diligently choosing Alfaro as
their employee.
(It is recommended that you read the full text, the Supreme Court made an
elaborate and extensive definition of common and private carriers as well as their
distinctions.)
Award of Damages for Aarons loss of earning capacity despite he being a high
school student at the time of his death
The award is proper. Aaron was enrolled in a reputable school (Don Bosco). He was
of normal health and was an able-bodied person. Further, the basis of the
computation of his earning capacity was not on what he would have become. It was
based on the current minimum wage. The minimum wage was validly used because
with his circumstances at the time of his death, it is most certain that had he lived,
he would at least be a minimum wage earner by the time he starts working. This is
not being speculative at all.
The Teehankee case was different because in that case, the reason why no damages
were awarded for loss of earning capacity was that the defendants there were
already assuming that the victim would indeed become a pilot hence, that made
the assumption speculative. But in the case of Aaron, there was no speculation as to
what he might be but whatever hell become, it is certain that he will at the least
be earning minimum wage.

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BERSAMIN

CASE TITLE Baez, Jr. v. Concepcion


CITATION G.R. No. 159508
PROMULGATIO August 29, 2012
N DATE
DIGEST BY LUBAY, ANGELA
TOPIC
CIVIL LAW; PRESCRIPTION
COVERED

DOCTRINE: an action to revive a judgment must be brought before it is barred by


prescription, which was ten years from the accrual of the right of action.

FACTS:
Leodegario B. Ramos discovered that a parcel of land with an area of 1,233 sqm,
which was a portion of a bigger tract of land with an area of 3,054 sqm in
Meycauayan, Bulacan that he had adjudicated solely to himself upon his mothers
death on November 16, 1982 had been earlier transferred by his mother to Ricardo
Asuncion, who had sold it to the late Rodrigo Gomez.

On February 1, 1990, Ramos, alleging that Gomez had induced him to sell the 1,233
square meters to Gomez on the understanding that Gomez would settle Ramos
obligation to three other persons, commenced in the RTC in Valenzuela an action
against Gomez, also known as Domingo Ng Lim, seeking the rescission of their
contract of sale and the payment of damages. On October 9, 1990, before the
Valenzuela RTC could decide on the merits, Ramos and Gomez entered into a
compromise agreement, assisted by herein petitioner as his counsel, "to finally
terminate this case."

Gomez meanwhile died on November 7, 1990. He was survived by his wife Tsui Yuk
Ying and their minor children. The Estate of Gomez sued Ramos and the petitioner
for specific performance to recover the balance of P 30,000.00. On February 28,
1994, however this was amicably settled through a compromise agreement,
whereby the petitioner directly bound himself to pay to the Estate of Gomez. The
Estate of Gomez performed the obligations of Gomez under the compromise
agreement of October 9, 1990 but Ramos failed to cause the registration of the
deed of absolute sale.

On July 6, 1995, the Estate of Gomez brought a complaint for specific performance
against Ramos and the petitioner in order to recover the 1,233 square meter lot.
The RTC dismissed the complaint upon the motion of Ramos and the petitioner on
the ground of improper venue. The Estate of Gomez appealed the dismissal to the
CA which affirmed the RTC and dismissed the appeal.

On September 20, 2002, the Estate of Gomez commenced to revive the judgment
by compromise rendered on October 9, 1990, praying that Ramos be ordered to

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execute the deed of absolute sale covering the 1,233 sqm. The petitioner was
impleaded as a party-defendant because of his having guaranteed the performance
by Ramos of his obligation and for having actively participated in the transaction.
Petioner moved for the dismissal of the revival, alleging that the action was already
barred by res judicata and by prescription.

On February 18, 2003, the RTC granted the petitioners motion to dismiss, finding
that the right of action had already prescribed due to more than 12 years having
elapsed from the approval of the compromise agreement on October 9, 1990, citing
Article 1143 (3) of the Civil Code (which provides a 10-year period within which a
right of action based upon a judgment must be brought from).

On March 24, 2003, the RTC reversed itself upon motion of the Estate of Gomez and
set aside its order of February 18, 2003, holding that the filing of the complaint for
specific performance on July 6, 1995 had interrupted the prescriptive period
pursuant to Article 1155 of the Civil Code.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the action to revive the judgment upholding the compromise
agreement has been barred by prescription.

RULING:
No. The Estate of Gomez alleged that the filing on July 6, 1995 of the action for
specific performance in the RTC in Valenzuela stopped the running of the
prescriptive period; that the period commenced to run again after the CA dismissed
that action on July 24, 2001; that the total elapsed period was only five years and
11 months; and that the action for the revival of judgment filed on September 20,
2002 was within the period of 10 years to enforce a final and executory judgment by
action.

Although commenced ostensibly for the recovery of possession and ownership of


real property, the case filed by the Estate of Gomez on September 20, 2002 was
really an action to revive the judgment by compromise dated October 9, 1990
because the ultimate outcome would be no other than to order the execution of the
judgment by compromise. Indeed, it has been held that "there is no substantial
difference between an action expressly called one for revival of judgment and an
action for recovery of property under a right adjudged under and evidenced by a
final judgment."

Article 1144 of the Civil Code requires, indeed, that an action to revive a judgment
must be brought before it is barred by prescription, which was ten years from the
accrual of the right of action. It is clear, however, that such a defense could not be
determined in the hearing of the petitioners motion to dismiss considering that the
complaint did not show on its face that the period to bring the action to revive had
already lapsed.

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At any rate, the mere lapse of the period per se did not render the judgment stale
within the context of the law on prescription, for events that effectively suspended
the running of the period of limitation might have intervened. In other words, the
Estate of Gomez was not precluded from showing such events, if any.

In computing the time limited for suing out of an execution, although there is
authority to the contrary, the general rule is that there should not be included the
time when execution is stayed, either by agreement of the parties for a definite
time, by injunction, by the taking of an appeal or writ of error so as to operate as a
supersedes, by the death of a party or otherwise. Any interruption or delay
occasioned by the debtor will extend the time within which the writ may be issued.

CASE TITLE <ALL CAPS>

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CASES PENNED BY JUSTICE LUCAS
BERSAMIN
CITATION G.R. No.
PROMULGATIO
N DATE
DIGEST BY <Last Name>, <First Name>

DOCTRINE: <Start here>

FACTS:
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ISSUE:
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RULING:
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