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G.R. No.

129029 April 3, 2000


PETITIONER/S RAFAEL REYES TRUCKING CORPORATION
RESPONDENT/S PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and ROSARIO P. DY (for
herself and on behalf of the minors Maria Luisa, Francis Edward,
Francis Mark and Francis Rafael, all surnamed Dy)
PONENTE PARDO

FACTS:

Romeo Dunca, driver of a Trailer Truck Tractor owned by Rafael Reyes Trucking Corporation,
was charged with reckless imprudence resulting in double homicide and damage to property for
hitting and bumping a Nissan Pick-up driven by Feliciano Balcita and Francisco Dy, Jr., causing
the death of the said two, and damages to the Nissan Pick-Up.

The offended parties (Rosario P. Dy and minor children and Angelina M. Balcita and minor son
Paolo) made a reservation to file a separate civil action against the accused arising from the
offence charged and thereafter filed a complaint against petitioner Rafael Reyes Trucking
Corporation, as employer of driver Romeo Dunca, based on quasi delict.

However, private respondents withdrew the reservation to file a separate civil action against the
accused and manifested that they would prosecute the civil aspect ex delicto in the criminal
action without withdrawing the separate civil action based on quasi delict against Rafael Reyes
Trucking Corporation already filed. Though, it was agreed that the on-going criminal and civil
cases were consolidated and jointly heard. Romeo Dunca was found guilty beyond reasonable
doubt by the trial court and awarded the damages.

In a Supplemental Decision to the above judgment, the trial court held Reyes Trucking
Corporation subsidiarily liable for all the damages awarded to the heirs of Francisco Dy, Jr., in
the event of insolvency of the accused.

On appeal, CA affirmed the decision of the trial court.

Hence, this petition.

ISSUE/S:

1. May Reyes Trucking Corporation as owner of the truck involved in the accident be held
subsidiarily liable for the damages awarded to the offended parties in the criminal action against
the truck driver despite the filing of a separate civil action by the offended parties against the
employer of the truck driver?

2. May the Court award damages to the offended parties in the criminal case despite the filing of
a civil action against the employer of the truck driver?

RULING:
1. No, Reyes Trucking Corporation cannot be held subsidiarily liable for the damages awarded to
the offended parties in the criminal action against the truck driver.

2. No, the award of damages in the criminal case was improper because the civil action for the
recovery of civil liability was waived in the criminal action by the filing of a separate civil action
against the employer.

RATIO DECIDENDI:

1. Rafael Reyes Trucking Corporation, as employer of the accused, cannot be held subsidiarily
liable since there was already a filing of the separate civil action based on quasi-delict against it.
In view of the reservation to file, and the subsequent filing of the civil action for recovery of civil
liability, the same was not instituted with the criminal action.

In civil actions based on quasi-delict, the liability of employer and employee is solidary. Hence,
employer has direct and primary liability to injured party.

Under the Rules on Criminal Procedure, when private respondents, as complainants in the
criminal action, reserved the right to file the separate civil action, they waived other available
civil actions predicated on the same act or omission of the accused-driver specifically including
the civil action for recovery of indemnity under the RPC. The separate civil action against the
employer based on quasi delict resulted in the waiver of the civil action ex delicto.

The withdrawal made previously is ineffective to reverse the effect of the reservation already
made because private respondents did not withdraw the civil action against petitioner based on
quasi delict.

The Court ruled that the trial court erred in awarding civil damages in the criminal case and in
dismissing the civil action. Apparently satisfied with such award, private respondent did not
appeal from the dismissal of the civil case. However, petitioner did appeal. Hence, this case
should be remanded to the trial court so that it may render decision in the civil case awarding
damages as may be warranted by the evidence.

2. The pronouncement for the award of damages in the criminal action was void because the
action for recovery of the civil liability arising from the crime has been waived in said criminal
action.