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2011 Bar Exams Legal Opinion Essay

on April 9, 2012


Instruction: Assuming that you are Atty. Sales, identify the problems confronting your client, Teresa.
After having done so, sort out the facts that are relevant to the opinions you would render on those
problems then write down your advice to her with supporting laws and court rulings (95% credit). Use
the attached little library of laws and rulings. Be warned, however, that like any library, not all such
laws and rulings apply to the case. Look for the right ones.

Legal Form: Prepare along with your legal opinion a PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT between Roy and Teresa
(5% credit).

Teresa Campos came to see Atty. Elmer Sales at his law office to consult with him. Their conversation
went this way:

TERESA: Attorney, I have a serious problem.

ATTY. SALES: Before you begin, can you tell me Teresa where you live?

TERESA: Yes, Attorney, at 95 Tindalo Street, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

ATTY. SALES: Now, tell me your problem.

TERESA: About last year, I met Roy Lopez and fell in love with him. He was a salesman in his uncles
sewing machine company and I met him when he tried to sell us their machines. I work in my fathers
garments company, which manufactures the Baro brand of ready-to-wear clothes. Our products are
well known. We have branches in several high-end malls in the Metro.

ATTY. SALES: Can you tell me the address of Roy for my record?
TERESA: Yes, he lives at 297 Dian Street, Palanan, Makati City.

ATTY. SALES: Go ahead with your story.

TERESA: Roy is really a nice person and we have been seriously thinking of getting married. A few
months ago, in January, however, Roy confessed to me that five years ago he had a relationship with
Ester Salva, a former employee in his uncles company. He never told me about Ester because when we
started dating, we agreed that with us, past is past.

He also kept that relationship secret from his uncle and his family because they were seriously trying to
match him with other girls they knew. Roy was especially concerned with his mother who suffered a
stroke in 2004. She wanted a say on whom he would marry and Roy did not want to worry or disappoint
her. But, with her idea of a wife for Roy, he knew she would never approve of Ester. Unfortunately, Ester
became pregnant with his child during their affair.

ATTY. SALES: Did Roy love Ester?

TERESA: That is also the point. Roy told me that he was not sure that he did. He was young and
adventurous. He said that he dated Ester until they had an affair. When she got pregnant, she wanted to
marry him. But he was honest enough to tell her that they were not meant for each other and that he
was afraid that it would break his Moms heart if he did.

ATTY. SALES: How did Ester take it?

TERESA: Roy said that she was not happy about it but she accepted his decision. They had since broken
up their relationship but he has consistently given support to their child whom they named Melinda.

ATTY. SALES: Did Roy register Melinda as his daughter?

TERESA: He said that it was Ester who registered their daughter, using his surname Lopez. She told Roy
about the registration long afterwards.

ATTY. SALES: So what happened?

TERESA: Roy and I decided to get married and got the blessings of our parents. In fact, we have set it
next month on December 17. The preparations for it have been on-going. All the suppliers have been
booked and the invitations have been sent out. Then, last month, I received by mail copies of a marriage
license issued by the Civil Registrars office of Imus, Cavite, dated September 17, 2005 in favor of Roy
and Ester and a certificate of marriage showing that they were married at the office of some religious
pastor at the back of Manila City Hall on August 4, 2005.

ATTY. SALES: Oh, so did you show these to Roy?

TERESA: Yes, I did. He was really shocked by those documents and insisted that he never married Ester.
And I believe him because the handwritten details on the marriage license application form were clearly
not Roys writing. The information about where he lived and the names of his parents were all wrong. I
had a handwriting expert examine the documents and Roys specimen handwritings and signatures. The
expert said that the writings and signatures on the documents were definitely not those of Roy.

ATTY. SALES: So what did you and Roy do?

TERESA: Roy confronted Ester about it and she confessed that in 2005 out of sheer desperation, she got
the marriage license from Cavite with someones help and paid for the marriage certificate from an office
near the city hall of Manila.

ATTY. SALES: Was it Ester who sent you those documents?

TERESA: She said no but she suspects that it was her father who resented the fact that Roy would be
getting married to someone else. Esters father appeared to have said that he would file charges of
bigamy against Roy if he marries me. The documents are forgeries but they are part of the official
records of the Manila Civil Registry and the National Statistics Office. I am afraid for Roy and myself.
Could he really be charged with bigamy if he marries me? Someone said that we cannot get married until
Roys supposed marriage with Ester has been annulled in court. But our wedding in December has been
set. Can we still continue with the wedding? If ever, would it be valid? What should we do Attorney?

ATTY. SALES: There are several issues that we are dealing with here. I have to study the matter first.
Give me a little time and I will prepare an opinion for you.

TERESA: Theres another problem Attorney. My family is quite concerned about Roys illegitimate child. I
come from a well-off family and I want to protect my properties from the possibility that Roys illegitimate
child would someday make a claim on my properties. I dont mind Roy, I know hes marrying me for love.
But I am concerned about the rights of my future children. What remedies should I take?

ATTY. SALES: Well, if you get married, it would be best that you have a prenuptial agreement.
TERESA: Can you make one for us, Attorney? ATTY. SALES. Oh, yes.



Art. 349. Bigamy. The penalty of prision mayor shall be imposed upon any person who shall contract a
second or subsequent marriage before the former marriage has been legally dissolved, or before the
absent spouse has been declared presumptively dead by means of a judgment rendered in the proper
The elements of bigamy are: (1) the offender has been legally married; (2) the first marriage has not
been legally dissolved, or in case his or her spouse is absent, the absent spouse has not been judicially
declared presumptively dead; (3) the offender contracts a subsequent marriage; (4) the subsequent
marriage would have been valid had it not been for the existence of the first. (People v. Dumpo, 62 Phil.
246 (1935))
Art. 350. Marriage contracted against provisions of laws. The penalty of prision correccional in its
medium and maximum periods shall be imposed upon any person who, without being included in the
provisions of the next preceding article, shall contract marriage knowing that the requirements of the law
have not been complied with or that the marriage is in disregard of a legal impediment.
If either of the contracting parties shall obtain the consent of the other by means of violence, intimidation
or fraud, he shall be punished by the maximum period of the penalty provided in the next preceding

Art. 2. No marriage shall be valid, unless these essential requisites are present:

(1) Legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female; and

(2) Consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer.

Art. 3. The formal requisites of marriage are: (1) Authority of the solemnizing officer;

(2) A valid marriage license except in the cases provided for in Chapter 2 of this Title;


(3) A marriage ceremony which takes place with the appearance of the contracting parties before the
solemnizing officer and their personal declaration that they take each other as husband and wife in the
presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age.

Art. 4. The absence of any of the essential or formal requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio,
except as stated in Article 35 (2).
A defect in any of the essential requisites shall not affect the validity of the marriage but the party or
parties responsible for the irregularity shall be civilly, criminally and administratively liable.


Art. 35. The following marriages shall be void from the beginning:

xxx xxx xxx

(2) Those solemnized by any person not legally authorized to perform marriages unless such marriages
were contracted with either or both parties believing in good faith that the solemnizing officer had the
legal authority to do so;

(3) Those solemnized without license, except those covered the preceding Chapter;

xxx xxx xxx

Art. 40. The absolute nullity of a previous marriage may be invoked for purposes of remarriage on the
basis solely of a final judgment declaring such previous marriage void.

It is now settled that the fact that the first marriage is void from the beginning is not a defense in a
bigamy charge. As with a voidable marriage, there must be a judicial declaration of the nullity of a
marriage before contracting the second marriage. Article 40 of the Family Code states that x x x. The
Code Commission believes that the parties to a marriage should not be allowed to assume that their
marriage is void, even if such is the fact, but must first secure a judicial declaration of nullity of their
marriage before they should be allowed to marry again. x x x. (Mercado vs. Tan, G.R. 137110, August 1,
2000, 337 SCRA 122)
The present case is analogous to, but must be distinguished from Mercado vs. Tan. In the latter
case, the judicial declaration of nullity of the first
marriage was likewise obtained after the second marriage was already celebrated. We held therein
that: A judicial declaration of nullity of a previous marriage is necessary before a subsequent one can be
legally contracted. One who enters into a subsequent marriage without first obtaining such judicial
declaration is guilty of bigamy. This principle applies even if the earlier union is characterized by statutes
as void.
It bears stressing though that in Mercado, the first marriage was actually solemnized not just once, but
twice: first before a judge where a marriage certificate was duly issued and then again six months later
before a priest in religious rites. Ostensibly, at least, the first marriage appeared to have transpired,
although later declared void ab initio.
In the instant case, however, no marriage ceremony at all was performed by a duly authorized
solemnizing officer. Petitioner and Lucia Barrete merely signed a marriage contract on their own. The
mere private act of signing a marriage contract bears no semblance to a valid marriage and thus, needs
no judicial declaration of nullity. Such act alone, without more, cannot be deemed to constitute an
ostensibly valid marriage for which petitioner might be held liable for bigamy unless he first secures a
judicial declaration of nullity before he contracts a subsequent marriage. (Morigo v. People, G.R. No.
145226, February 6, 2004, 422 SCRA 376)

Art. 75. The future spouses may, in the marriage settlements, agree upon the regime of absolute
community, conjugal partnership of gains, complete separation of property, or any other regime. In the
absence of a marriage settlement, or when the regime agreed upon is void, the system of absolute
community of property as established in this Code shall govern.

Art. 77. The marriage settlements and any modification thereof shall be in writing, signed by the parties
and executed before the celebration of the marriage. They shall not prejudice third persons unless they
are registered in the local civil registry where the marriage contract is recorded as well as in the proper
registries of properties.
Art. 91. Unless otherwise provided in this Chapter or in the marriage settlements, the community
property shall consist of all the property owned by the spouses at the time of the celebration of the
marriage or acquired thereafter.

Art. 92. The following shall be excluded from the community property:

(1) Property acquired during the marriage by gratuitous title by either spouse, and the fruits as well as
the income thereof, if any, unless it is expressly provided by the donor, testator or grantor that they shall
form part of the community property;

(2) Property for personal and exclusive use of either spouse. However, jewelry shall form part of the
community property;

(3) Property acquired before the marriage by either spouse who has legitimate descendants by a former
marriage, and the fruits as well as the income, if any, of such property.

Art. 93. Property acquired during the marriage is presumed to belong to the community, unless it is
proved that it is one of those excluded therefrom.

Art. 94. The absolute community of property shall be liable for:

(1) The support of the spouses, their common children, and legitimate children of either spouse;
however, the support of illegitimate children shall be governed by the provisions of this Code on Support;

xxx xxx xxx

Art. 106. Under the regime of conjugal partnership of gains, the husband and wife place in a common
fund the proceeds, products, fruits and income from their separate properties and those acquired by
either or both spouses through their efforts or by chance, and, upon dissolution of the marriage or of the
partnership, the net gains or benefits obtained by either or both spouses shall be divided equally between
them, unless otherwise agreed in the marriage settlements.

Art. 109. The following shall be the exclusive property of each spouse:

(1) That which is brought to the marriage as his or her own;

(2) That which each acquires during the marriage by gratuitous title;
(3) That which is acquired by right of redemption, by barter or by exchange with property belonging to
only one of the spouses; and

(4) That which is purchased with exclusive money of the wife or of the husband. (148a)

Art. 110. The spouses retain the ownership, possession, administration and enjoyment of their exclusive

Either spouse may, during the marriage, transfer the administration of his or her exclusive property to the
other by means of a public instrument, which shall be recorded in the registry of property of the place
the property is located.

Art. 116. All property acquired during the marriage, whether the acquisition appears to have been made,
contracted or registered in the name of one or both spouses, is presumed to be conjugal unless the
contrary is proved.

Art. 121. The conjugal partnership shall be liable for:

(1) The support of the spouse, their common children, and the legitimate children of either spouse;
however, the support of illegitimate children shall be governed by the provisions of this Code on Support;

xxx xxx xxx

Art. 144. Separation of property may refer to present or future property or both. It may be total or
partial. In the latter case, the property not agreed upon as separate shall pertain to the absolute

Art. 197. In case of legitimate ascendants; descendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate; and brothers
and sisters, whether legitimately or illegitimately related, only the separate property of the person obliged
to give support shall be answerable provided that in case the obligor has no separate property, the
absolute community or the conjugal partnership, if financially capable, shall advance the support, which
shall be deducted from the share of the spouse obliged upon the liquidation of the absolute community or
of the conjugal partnership.
2011 Bar Exams Trial Memorandum
on April 8, 2012

Jonna Bueno filed an action for damages of P500,000.00 against Gloria Supermart, Inc. before the Regional Trial
Court of Quezon City for the injuries that her son, Ricky, suffered at its supermarket, for the expense, and for the
emotional pain that it brought to him and his mother.

Consider the following testimonies that the witnesses from either side presented at the trial of the case. Assume that
you are the lawyer either for Bueno or for Gloria Supermart and write a trial memorandum for the side you have
chosen to represent. You would want to convince the trial court to decide the case in your clients favor.

Excerpts from Transcript of Stenographic Notes
Bueno vs. Gloria Supermart, Inc., Civil Case No. 27-112011, Hearing of June 7, 2011.


COURT STAFF: (After swearing in the witness) State your name and personal circumstances.

WITNESS: I am Jonna Bueno, 35 years old, married, and a resident of 89 Little

Baguio St., San Juan City, Metro Manila. I am an accountant.

ATTY. REX BELTRAN: Your Honor, we are offering the testimony of Ms. Bueno to prove that her son, Ricky,
slipped on the wet floor of Gloria Supermart by reason of the gross negligence of its management and employees,
causing him to suffer excruciating pain from a fractured arm and undergo great discomfort and depression. Ms.
Bueno herself incurred an enormous medical expense and suffered from mental stress.

COURT: What do you say counsel?

ATTY. EMIL SUNGA: Subject to cross, Your Honor.

COURT: Proceed, Atty. Beltran.


Q. Ms. Bueno, do you know the defendant Gloria Supermart?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Why do you know it?

A. I have been buying our groceries and other things from Gloria Supermart for the past 20 years.

Q. Where is Gloria Supermart located?

A. On Ortigas Avenue, San Juan, Metro Manila, just two blocks from our condominium.

Q. Do you remember where you were at about 10 a.m. on May 11, 2010?

A. Yes, Sir.

Q. Where were you?

A. I was at Gloria Supermart.

Q. What were you doing there?

A. I was about to cook spaghetti for my son Ricky when I realized I didnt have any tomato sauce so I went to
Gloria Supermart to buy tomato sauce and some other things we needed in the house.

Q. Did you have any companion?

A. Yes, my boy Ricky.

Q. How old was Ricky at that time?

A. His birthday is May 2, 2005. He was 5 years old already.

Q. How did you do your shopping for groceries with Ricky on tag?
A. I had a cart. He would sometimes ride on it or walk along the aisles with me. At times, I will ask him to pick
safe things from the shelves and put them in the cart. He also grabs goodies that he likes.

Q. Do you remember anything unusual that happened while you and Ricky were picking up groceries at the

A. Yes, a small ball rolled along the aisle and Ricky ran after it.

Q. Was he able to catch the ball?

A. No. Although Ricky had gone some distance down the aisle from where I stood, I saw him slip with a heavy
bang on a wet section of the aisle.

Q. What happened to him after he slipped?

A. He shrieked from pain in his right wrist which he used to stop his fall.

Q. What did you do after you saw Ricky fall down the floor, looking hurt?

A. I immediately came to his side to help him. I also asked a store clerk who came around to help me carry
Ricky to my car so I could bring him to the hospital. I did not get to finish my shopping.

Q. Did the store clerk help you?

A. Yes, Sir. But he was not very friendly. Afterwards, I brought Ricky to the

Philippine Orthopedic Hospital.

Q. You said that Ricky slipped on a wet floor section of the aisle. How did you know that the section you
referred to was wet?

A. I saw the puddle of liquid on the floor.

Q. Did you get to know what kind of liquid it was?

A. It was syrup that seeped out from a leaking bottle in a nearby shelf.

Q. Was there any supermarket cleaner nearby when you came near that puddle of syrup?

A. None sir.
Q. Did you see any supermarket grocery clerk around?

A. None, Sir. There should have been someone to warn people of that puddle of syrup on the floor.

Q. Did you see any sign near that puddle or around it, warning customers of the danger it presents?

A. None, Sir, although I heard someone shout, Hoy, bata, ingat! May basa diyan!

ATTY. SUNGA: I move to strike out that testimony. It is hearsay.

ATTY. BELTRAN: It is admissible as a res gestae statement, Your Honor.

COURT: Strike out the answer.

Q. You said that you brought your son, Ricky, to the Philippine Orthopedic Hospital, who attended to your son
at the hospital?

A. Dr. John D. Lim, an orthopedic surgeon. He was the physician at the emergency room. I think he is in his

Q. You said it was his right wrist that Ricky complained of. How did you know that?

A. He pointed to it while crying from pain. After we brought him to the Philippine Orthopedic Hospital, I saw
the doctor operate on his right wrist to restore the position of a fractured bone. Later, the doctor showed me an x-ray
picture of the wrist bone before and after the operation.

Q. How long did Ricky stay in the hospital?

A. The doctor required Ricky to stay overnight at the hospital for pain management and care. He ordered his
release on the following day.

Q. Based on your observation, how long did it take for Ricky to recover the use of his right wrist?

A. About six weeks.

Q. How did your son take these things that happened to him?

A. He complained of great pain at the beginning. Later, he moved with discomfort and difficulty, unable to use
both hands.
Q. How about you, Ms. Bueno? How did you take these events?

A. He is my son. I mentally suffered more pain than he did. He is my only son. I dont know what I would do if
I lose him. My husband and I waited for years before we had Ricky. And then this happens.

Q. How much expense, if any, did you incur for the hospitalization and medical treatment of Ricky?

A. I spent P22,840.00 for doctors fee, hospitalization, and medicine. We also bought toys for Ricky to distract
him from the pain that he suffered. We spent approximately P5,000.00.

Q. Do you have evidence of these expenses?

A. Yes, Sir, here are my receipts

[Note: Assume that the marking and presentation of the receipts for the expenses mentioned above, although omitted
here, were done right.]
ATTY. BELTRAN: That is all for the witness.

COURT: Cross.



Q. Ms. Bueno, you said that you brought your son Ricky to Gloria Supermart on May

11, 2010. Did you need him to be there whenever you buy your groceries?

A. No, Sir, but I did not have anyone to leave him home with.

Q. But when you took him there, you of course are aware that the supermarket did not have a leave-your-child

A. Yes, Sir.
Q. Consequently, you were aware that the responsibility for looking after Rickys needs and safety while in the
supermarket is primarily in your hands as his mother?

A. Yes, Sir, but supermarkets always expect children to come with their parents and so it has to make sure that
the place is safe for children.

Q. But do you agree that, as his mother, he is safer when he stays by your side in a public place like a

A. Yes, Sir.

Q. Still, you let him slip away from your control, when he ran after that ball?

A. Yes, Sir, but the supermarket should keep their eyes open for things like loose balls running down their
aisles, drawing children away from their parents, and letting them slip on carelessly spilled liquids.

Q. But did you not notice that the aisles of Gloria Supermart have sales clerks that attend to inquiries and needs
of its customers?

A. Not all the time. When my son had his accident, no one was around to prevent it from happening.

ATTY. SUNGA: That is all, Your Honor.

Excerpts from Transcript of Stenographic Notes

Bueno vs. Gloria Supermart, Inc., Civil Case No. 27-112011, Hearing of June 14, 2011


COURT STAFF: (After swearing in the witness) State your name and personal circumstances.

WITNESS; I am Rene Castro, 55 years old, married, and a resident of 12 V.G. Cruz, Sampaloc, Manila. I am a
supermarket supervisor.

ATTY. EMIL SUNGA: Your Honor, we are offering the testimony of Mr. Castro to prove that Gloria Supermart
exercised proper diligence in making its premises safe for its customers; that the accident involving Ricky was
something it could not reasonably anticipate and so beyond its control; that, in any event, Ricky and her mother
contributed to Ricky slipping on the floor and suffering physical injury and pain; and that Gloria Supermart provided
immediate help and assistance to Ricky and her mother.

COURT: What do you say counsel?

ATTY. BELTRAN: Subject to cross, Your Honor.

COURT: Proceed Atty. Sunga.


Q. Mr. Castro, you said that you are a supermarket supervisor. For whom do you work as supermarket

A. I have been with Gloria Supermart for 5 years already, Sir.

Q. Do you know the plaintiff Jonna Bueno?

A. Yes, Sir, she has been a customer at our supermarket.

Q. Do you recall seeing her at your supermarket about 10 a.m. on May 11, 2010?

A. Yes, Sir.

Q. Why do you recall seeing her there at that time and on that date?

A. Because her son Ricky had an accident and I was around.

Q. Did you see how the accident happened?

A. No, Sir, but I was just at the next aisle fixing the new stocks of instant noodles. When I heard the
commotion, I quickly walked down there and saw Ricky lying on the floor, crying with pain. Her mother, Ms.
Bueno, was trying to minister to him.

Q. What else did you see?

A. Some items from a nearby shelf had fallen down the floor.

Q. What were these items?

A. There were a couple of bottles of syrup, mostly in plastic bottles, except one glass bottle that had broken and
spilled part of its contents on the floor.

Q. To what do you account this?

A. I could infer from the position of Ricky that he bumped into the shelf containing syrup bottles and knocked
off some of them.

Q. Did you speak to Ms. Bueno about it?

A. I talked to her at the hospital while we were waiting for Rickys treatment to be finished and I asked her
what happened.

Q. What did she say?

A. She said that Ricky saw a ball rolling down the aisle and he ran after it. Somehow, he slipped on the floor
and hurt his arm. She was so flustered.

Q. Are children allowed in your supermarket?

A. All supermarkets allow customers to bring their children into the store. It is often a necessity for them. It is
understood of course that their parents would look after them, preventing them from misbehaving, causing damage
to the merchandise, or getting injured.

Q. Ms. Bueno said that Ricky slid on the floor because some syrup seeped out of a leaking bottle in one of the
shelves. Do you know anything about it?

A. Yes, sir. What she said is not true. The syrup must have come from one of the

bottles that Ricky knocked off from the shelf when he ran wild down the aisle, supposedly running after a loose ball.
There can be no other explanation.

Q. What did you do then?

A. I helped Ms. Bueno pick up Ricky, intending to bring him to a hospital but his mom insisted that we take
him to her car so she can drive him quickly to the hospital. I carried Ricky to her car and accompanied them to the

Q. Did Ms. Bueno tell you anything while you were in the car?
A. She was blaming the supermarket for the accident.

Q. Did you reply to her?

A. No, Sir, I said nothing to upset her because she was driving and was worried about her child.

ATTY. SUNGA: That is all, Your Honor.



Q. Mr. Castro, You said that you did not actually see the accident when it happened, is that right?

A. Yes, Sir.

Q. In fact, you were in another aisle at that time?

A. Yes, Sir.

Q. So when you said that Ricky bumped into the shelf containing syrup bottles and knocked off some of them,
you were merely speculating on what could have happened, right?

A. Yes, Sir, but the scene suggested it.

Q. Since you did not see what actually happened at that aisle, is it possible for some other person to have
knocked off those bottles?

A. Yes, Sir, that is possible but not likely since I did not see any person leave the place in haste.

Q. So, it is also possible that the syrup on the floor, spilled by someone else, caused

Ricky to slip as he was running after some ball before you showed up?

A. Yes, that is possible, but unlikely. The shelves are carefully stocked.

Q. Do accidents resulting in injury happen in your supermarkets?

A. Yes but not so often; about one accident a year, if I remember right. These things are unavoidable because
hundreds of people come to the supermarket everyday.

Q. How about shoplifting, does this happen often?

A. Every now and then, Sir. Its normal for supermarkets.

Q. So naturally you must have some procedure for dealing with events like accidents or shoplifting?

A. Yes, Sir.

Q. To protect your rights and interests, is that correct?

A. Yes, Sir.

Q. Since Ricky had this serious accident that you claim was not your fault as the scene suggested, did your
supermarket bother to take pictures of the puddle on the floor and the bottles of syrup that you said Ricky had
knocked off?

A. No, Sir.

ATTY. BELTRAN: That is all for the witness.




ART. 209. Pursuant to the natural right and duty of parents over the person and property of their unemancipated
children, parental authority and responsibility shall include the caring for and rearing of such children for civic
consciousness and efficiency and the development of their moral, mental and physical character and well-being.
Art. 20. Parental authority and responsibility may not be renounced or transferred except in the cases authorized by

Art. 220. The parents and those exercising parental authority shall have with respect to their unemancipated children
or wards the following rights and duties:

(1) To keep them in their company, to support, educate and instruct them by right precept and good example, and to
provide for their upbringing in keeping with their means;

xxx xxx xxx

(8) To impose discipline on them as may be required under the circumstances; and

(9) To perform such other duties as are imposed by law upon parents and guardians.

Art. 221. Parents and other persons exercising parental authority shall be civilly liable for the injuries and damages
caused by the acts or omissions of their unemancipated children living in their company and under their parental
authority subject to the appropriate defenses provided by law.

Art. 20. Every person who, contrary to law, willfully or negligently causes damage to another, shall indemnify the
latter for the same.

Art. 694. A nuisance is any act, omission, establishment, business, condition of property, or anything else which:

(1) Injures or endangers the health or safety of others; or xxx xxx xxx

Art. 697. The abatement of a nuisance does not preclude the right of any person injured to recover damages for its
past existence.

Attractive Nuisance
One who maintains on his premises dangerous instrumentalities or appliances of a character likely to attract
children in play, and who fails to exercise ordinary care to prevent children from playing therewith or resorting
thereto, is liable to a child of tender years who is injured thereby, even if the child
is technically a trespasser in the premises. (Hidalgo Enterprises, Inc., v. Balandan, et al., L-3422, June 13,
1952, 91 Phil. 488)
Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay
for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties, is
called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter.

An accident pertains to an unforeseen event in which no fault or negligence attaches to the defendant. xxx

On the other hand, negligence is the omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided by those
considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do, or the doing of something which a
prudent and reasonable man would not do. xxx

Accident and negligence are intrinsically contradictory; one cannot exist with the other. Accident occurs when the
person concerned is exercising ordinary care, which is not caused by fault of any person and which could not have
been prevented by any means suggested by common prudence. (Jarco Marketing Corporation v. Court of Appeals,
G.R. No. 129792, December 21, 1999, 321 SCRA 375)
The doctrine of res ipsa loquitor applies where (1) the accident was of such character as to warrant an inference that
it would not have happened except for the defendants negligence; (2) the accident must have been caused by an
agency or instrumentality within the exclusive management or control of the person charged with the negligence
complained of; and (3) the accident must not have been due to any voluntary action or contribution on the part of the
person injured. (Child Learning Center, Inc. v. Tagorio, G.R. No. 150920, November 25, 2005, 476 SCRA 236)
The test for determining whether a person is negligent in doing an act whereby injury or damage results to the
person or property of another is this: could a prudent man, in the position of the person to whom negligence is
attributed, foresee harm to the person injured as a reasonable consequence of the course actually
pursued? (Philippine National Construction Corporation v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 159270, August 22, 2005,
467 SCRA 569)
Art. 2179. When the plaintiffs own negligence was the immediate and proximate cause of his injury, he cannot
recover damages. But if his negligence was only contributory, the immediate and proximate cause of the injury
being the defendants lack of due care, the plaintiff may recover damages, but the courts shall mitigate the damages
to be awarded.

Contributory negligence is conduct on the part of the injured party, contributing as a legal cause to the harm he has
suffered, which falls below the standard which he is required to conform for his own protection.
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It is an act or omission amounting to want of ordinary care on the part of the person injured which, concurring with
the defendants negligence, is the proximate cause of the injury. (National Power Corporation v. Heirs of
Noble Casionan, G.R. No. 165969, November 27, 2008, 572 SCRA 71)
Proximate cause is defined as that cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any
efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the result would not have occurred. (Ramos v.
C.O.L. Realty Corporation, G.R. No. 184905, August 28, 2009, 597 SCRA 526)
Art. 2180. The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is demandable not only for ones own acts or omissions, but also
for those of persons for whom one is responsible.

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The owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise are likewise responsible for damages caused by their
employees in the service of the branches in which the latter are employed or on the occasion of their functions.

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The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned prove that they observed
all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage.

Art. 2197. Damages may be:

(1) Actual or compensatory;

(2) Moral;

(3) Nominal;

(4) Temperate or moderate;

(5) Liquidated; or

(6) Exemplary or corrective.

Art. 2199. Except as provided by law or by stipulation, one is entitled to an adequate compensation only for such
pecuniary loss suffered by him as he has duly proved. Such compensation is referred to as actual or compensatory

Art. 2203. The party suffering loss or injury must exercise the diligence of a good father of a family to minimize the
damages resulting from the act or omission in question.

Art. 2214. In quasi-delicts, the contributory negligence of the plaintiff shall reduce the damages that he may recover.

The underlying precept on contributory negligence is that a plaintiff who is partly responsible for his own injury
should not be entitled to recover damages in full but must bear the consequences of his own negligence. (National
Power Corporation v. Heirs of Noble Casionan, G.R. No. 165969, November 27, 2008, 572 SCRA 71)
In Phoenix Construction, Inc., v. Intermediate Appellate Court, where we held that the legal and proximate cause of
the accident and of Dionisios injuries was the wrongful and negligent manner in which the dump truck was parked
but found Dionisio guilty of contributory negligence on the night of the accident, we allocated most of the damages
on a 20-80 ratio. In said case, we required Dionisio to bear 20% of the damages awarded by the appellate court,
except as to the award of exemplary damages, attorneys fees and costs. (Estacion v. Bernardo, G.R. No.
144723, February 27, 2006, 483 SCRA 222)
Art. 2217. Moral damages include physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation,
wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, and similar injury. Though incapable of pecuniary computation,
moral damages may be recovered if they are the proximate result of the defendants wrongful act for omission.

Art. 2219. Moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases:

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(2) Quasi-delicts causing physical injuries;

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Sec. 36.Testimony generally confined to personal knowledge; hearsay excluded. A witness can testify only to
those facts which he knows of his personal knowledge; that is, which are derived from his own perception, except as
otherwise provided in these rules.
Where the statements or writings attributed to a person who is not on the witness stand are being offered not to
prove the truth of the facts stated therein but only to prove that those statements were actually made or those
writings were executed, such evidence is not covered by the hearsay evidence rule.(Cornejo, Sr., vs. Sandiganbayan,
G.R. No. 58831, July 31, 1987, 152 SCRA 559)
Under the doctrine of independently relevant statements, only the fact that such statements were made is relevant,
and the truth or falsity thereof is immaterial. The hearsay rule does not apply. (People v. Gumimba et al., G.R. No.
174056, February 27, 2007, 517 SCRA 25)
Sec. 42. Part of res gestae. Statements made by a person while a startling occurrence is taking place or
immediately prior or subsequent thereto with respect to the circumstances thereof, may be given in evidence as part
of res gestae. xxx
A declaration made spontaneously after a startling occurrence is deemed as part of the res gestae when (1) the
principal act, theres gestae is a startling occurrence; (2) the statements were made before the declarant had time to
contrive or devise; and (3) the statements concern the occurrence in question and its immediately attending
circumstances. (Zarate v. Regional Trial Court, Branch 43, Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental, G.R. No. 152263, July
3, 2009, 591 SCRA 510)
Sec. 48. General rule. The opinion of witness is not admissible, except as indicated in the following sections.
Sec. 3. Disputable presumptions. The following presumptions are satisfactory if uncontradicted,
but may be contradicted and overcome by other evidence:

(d) That a person takes ordinary care of his concerns;

(q) That the ordinary course of business has been followed;

(y) That things have happened according to the ordinary course of nature and ordinary nature habits of life;

In every tort case filed under Article 2176 of the Civil Code, plaintiff has to prove by a preponderance of evidence:
(1) the damages suffered by the plaintiff; (2) the fault or negligence of the defendant or some other person for whose
act he must respond; and (3) the connection of cause and effect between the fault or negligence and the damages
incurred. (Child Learning Center, Inc. v. Tagorio, G.R. No. 150920, November 25, 2005, 476 SCRA 236)