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Special Agent is one who receives a definite and fixed order or commission, foreign to the exercise of the duties
of his office if he is a special official.

2. Art. 2189


Article 2189. Provinces, cities and municipalities shall be liable for damages for the death of, or injuries suffered
by, any person by reason of the defective condition of roads, streets, bridges, public buildings, and other public works
under their control or supervision.

*It is not even necessary for the defective road or street to belong to the province, city or municipality for liability
to attach. The article only requires that either control or supervision is exercised over the defective road or street


At any rate, under Article 2189 of the Civil Code, it is not necessary for the liability therein established to attach
that the defective roads or streets belong to the province, city or municipality from which responsibility is exacted. What
said article requires is that the province, city or municipality have either "control or supervision" over said street or road



Article 2189 of the Civil Code, supposedly applied only to liability for the death or injuries suffered by a person,
not for damage to property.

Whether Article 2189 is applicable to cases in which there has been no death or physical injury, the CA ruled in
the affirmative:

"x x x. More importantly, we find it illogical to limit the liability to death or personal injury only as argued by
appellants in the case at bar applying the foregoing provisions. For, injury is an act that damages, harms or hurts and
mean in common as the act or result of inflicting on a person or thing something that causes loss, pain, distress, or
impairment. Injury is the most comprehensive, applying to an act or result involving an impairment or destruction of
right, health, freedom, soundness, or loss of something of value."

"The provisions of Article 2189 of the New Civil Code capsulizes the responsibility of the city government relative
to the maintenance of roads and bridges since it exercises the control and supervision over the same. Failure of the
defendant to comply with the statutory provision found in the subject-article is tantamount to negligence per se which
renders the City government liable. Harsh application of the law ensues as a result thereof but the state assumed the
responsibility for the maintenance and repair of the roads and bridges and neither exception nor exculpation from liability
would deem just and equitable.


A. An award of moral damages would require certain conditions to be met; to wit:

(1) First, there must be an injury, whether physical, mental or psychological, clearly sustained by the claimant;

(2) second, there must be a culpable act or omission factually established;

(3) third, the wrongful act or omission of the defendant is the proximate cause of the injury sustained by the claimant;

(4) fourth, the award of damages is predicated on any of the cases stated in Article 2219.
Under the provisions of this law, in culpa contractual or breach of contract, moral damages may be recovered
when the defendant acted in bad faith or was guilty of gross negligence (amounting to bad faith) or in wanton disregard
of his contractual obligation and, exceptionally, when the act of breach of contract itself is constitutive of tort resulting in
physical injuries. By special rule in Article 1764, in relation to Article 2206, of the Civil Code, moral damages may also be
awarded in case the death of a passenger results from a breach of carriage.In culpa aquiliana, or quasi-delict,

(a) When an act or omission causes physical injuries, or

(b) Where the defendant is guilty of intentional tort, moral damages may aptly be recovered.

This rule also applies, as aforestated, to contracts when breached by tort. In culpa criminal, moral damages could
be lawfully due when the accused is found guilty of physical injuries, lascivious acts, adultery or concubinage, illegal or
arbitrary detention, illegal arrest, illegal search, or defamation. Malicious prosecution can also give rise to a claim for
moral damages. The term "analogous cases," referred to in Article 2219, following the ejusdem generis rule, must be held
similar to those expressly enumerated by the law.

Although the institution of a clearly unfounded civil suit can at times be a legal justification for an award of
attorney's fees, such filing, however, has almost invariably been held not to be a ground for an award of moral
damages. The rationale for the rule is that the law could not have meant to impose a penalty on the right to litigate. The
anguish suffered by a person for having been made a defendant in a civil suit would be no different from the usual worry
and anxiety suffered by anyone who is haled to court, a situation that cannot by itself be a cogent reason for the award
of moral damages. If the rule were otherwise, then moral damages must every time be awarded in favor of the prevailing
defendant against an unsuccessful plaintiff.

B. Can Moral Damages be awarded in quasi-delict?

Article 2219(2) specifically allows moral damages to be recovered for quasi-delicts, provided that the act or omission
caused physical injuries. There can be no recovery of moral damages unless the quasi-delict resulted in physical

This rule was enunciated in Malonzo v. Galang30 as follows:

"x x x. Besides, Article 2219 specifically mentions 'quasi-delicts causing physical injuries,' as an instance when moral
damages may be allowed, thereby implying that all other quasi-delicts not resulting in physical injuries are excluded,
excepting of course, the special torts referred to in Art. 309 (par. 9, Art. 2219) and in Arts. 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34
and 35 on the chapter on human relations (par. 10, Art. 2219)."

In the present case, the Complaint alleged that respondent's son Fulgencio Jr. sustained physical injuries. The son
testified that he suffered a deep cut on his left arm when the car overturned after hitting a pile of earth that had been left
in the open without any warning device whatsoever.

It is apparent from the Decisions of the trial and the appellate courts, however, that no other evidence (such as a medical
certificate or proof of medical expenses) was presented to prove Fulgencio Jr.'s bare assertion of physical injury. Thus,
there was no credible proof that would justify an award of moral damages based on Article 2219(2) of the Civil Code.

Moreover, the Decisions are conspicuously silent with respect to the claim of respondent that his moral sufferings were
due to the negligence of petitioners. The Decision of the trial court, which summarizes the testimony of respondent's four
witnesses, makes no mention of any statement regarding moral suffering, such as mental anguish, besmirched
reputation, wounded feelings, social humiliation and the like.

Moral damages are not punitive in nature, but are designed to compensate and alleviate in some way the physical
suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social
humiliation, and similar injury unjustly inflicted on a person. 31 Intended for the restoration of the psychological or
emotional status quo ante, the award of moral damages is designed to compensate emotional injury suffered, not to
impose a penalty on the wrongdoer.
For the court to arrive upon a judicious approximation of emotional or moral injury, competent and substantial proof of
the suffering experienced must be laid before it. Essential to this approximation are definite findings as to what the
supposed moral damages suffered consisted of; otherwise, such damages would become a penalty rather than a
compensation for actual injury suffered.32

Furthermore, well-settled is the rule that moral damages cannot be awarded -- whether in a civil33 or a criminal case34 --
in the absence of proof of physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded
feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, or similar injury. 35 The award of moral damages must be solidly anchored on a
definite showing that respondent actually experienced emotional and mental sufferings. Mere allegations do not suffice;
they must be substantiated by clear and convincing proof.


the requirements of an award of exemplary damages are: (1) they may be imposed by way of example in addition to
compensatory damages, and only after the claimants right to them has been established; (2) that they cannot be
recovered as a matter of right, their determination depending upon the amount of compensatory damages that may be
awarded to the claimant; and (3) the act must be accompanied by bad faith or done in a wanton, fraudulent, oppressive
or malevolent manner.

Exemplary damages in civil actions for libel may always be recovered if the defendant or defendants are actuated by
malice. In the present case there was not the slightest effort on the part of the defendants to show the existence of
probable cause or foundation whatever for the facts contained in said editorial. Malice, hatred, and ill will against the
plaintiff are seen throughout the record. The said editorial not only attempted to paint the plaintiff as a villain, but upon
every occasion, the defendants resorted to ridicule of the severest kind. (Worcester)

The right of a plaintiff to recover exemplary damages exists wherever a tortious injury has been inflicted recklessly or
wantonly, and it is not limited to cases where the injury resulted from personal malice or recklessness of the defendant.

As to exemplary damages, Article 2229 of the Civil Code provides that such damages may be imposed by way of
example or correction for the public good. While exemplary damages cannot be recovered as a matter of right, they need
not be proved, although plaintiff must show that he is entitled to moral, temperate or compensatory damages before the
court may consider the question of whether or not exemplary damages should be awarded.

Article 2231 of the Civil Code mandates that in cases of quasi-delicts, exemplary damages may be recovered if the
defendant acted with gross negligence.40 Gross negligence means such utter want of care as to raise a presumption that
the persons at fault must have been conscious of the probable consequences of their carelessness, and that they must
have nevertheless been indifferent (or worse) to the danger of injury to the person or property of others. 41 The
negligence must amount to a reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property. ( Quezon City Case)

Article 2229 of the Civil Code provides that exemplary damages may be imposed by way of example or correction for
the public good. The award of these damages is meant to be a deterrent to socially deleterious actions.

5. WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS (Aberca case)

Whether the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus bars a civil action for damages for illegal
searches conducted by military personnel and other violations of rights and liberties guaranteed under the Constitution. If
such action for damages may be maintained, who can be held liable for such violations: only the military personnel
directly involved and/or their superiors as well.

We do not find merit in respondents' suggestion that plaintiffs' cause of action is barred by the suspension of the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus does not destroy petitioners' right and cause of action for
damages for illegal arrest and detention and other violations of their constitutional rights. The suspension does not render
valid an otherwise illegal arrest or detention. What is suspended is merely the right of the individual to seek release from
detention through the writ of habeas corpus as a speedy means of obtaining his liberty.

Moreover, as pointed out by petitioners, their right and cause of action for damages are explicitly recognized in
P.D. No. 1755 which amended Article 1146 of the Civil Code by adding the following to its text:

However, when the action (for injury to the rights of the plaintiff or for a quasi-delict) arises from or out of any
act, activity or conduct of any public officer involving the exercise of powers or authority arising from Martial Law
including the arrest, detention and/or trial of the plaintiff, the same must be brought within one (1) year.

Petitioners have a point in contending that even assuming that the suspension of the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus suspends petitioners' right of action for damages for illegal arrest and detention, it does not and cannot
suspend their rights and causes of action for injuries suffered because of respondents' confiscation of their private
belongings, the violation of their right to remain silent and to counsel and their right to protection against unreasonable
searches and seizures and against torture and other cruel and inhuman treatment.

However, we find it unnecessary to address the constitutional issue pressed upon us. On March 25, 1986, President
Corazon C. Aquino issued Proclamation No. 2, revoking Proclamation Nos. 2045 and 2045-A and lifting the suspension of
the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. The question therefore has become moot and academic.


This brings us to the crucial issue raised in this petition. May a superior officer under the notion of respondent
superior be answerable for damages, jointly and severally with his subordinates, to the person whose constitutional rights
and liberties have been violated?

Respondents contend that the doctrine of respondent superior is applicable to the case. We agree. The doctrine
of respondent superior has been generally limited in its application to principal and agent or to master and servant (i.e.
employer and employee) relationship. No such relationship exists between superior officers of the military and their

Be that as it may, however, the decisive factor in this case, in our view, is the language of Article 32. The law speaks
of an officer or employee or person 'directly' or "indirectly" responsible for the violation of the constitutional rights and
liberties of another. Thus, it is not the actor alone (i.e. the one directly responsible) who must answer for damages under
Article 32; the person indirectly responsible has also to answer for the damages or injury caused to the aggrieved party.

By this provision, the principle of accountability of public officials under the Constitution 5 acquires added meaning
and asgilrnes a larger dimension. No longer may a superior official relax his vigilance or abdicate his duty to supervise his
subordinates, secure in the thought that he does not have to answer for the transgressions committed by the latter
against the constitutionally protected rights and liberties of the citizen. Part of the factors that propelled people power in
February 1986 was the widely held perception that the government was callous or indifferent to, if not actually
responsible for, the rampant violations of human rights. While it would certainly be go naive to expect that violators of
human rights would easily be deterred by the prospect of facing damage suits, it should nonetheless be made clear in no
ones terms that Article 32 of the Civil Code makes the persons who are directly, as well as indirectly, responsible for the
transgression joint tortfeasors.

In the case at bar, the trial court dropped defendants General Fabian Ver, Col. Fidel Singson, Col. Rolando Abadilla,
Col. Gerardo Lantoria, Jr., Col. Galileo Kintanar, Col. Panfilo Lacson, Capt. Danilo Pizarro, lst Lt. Pedro Tango, Lt. Romeo
Ricardo and Lt. Ricardo Bacalso from the acts of their subordinates. Only Major Rodolfo Aguinaldo and Master Sgt.
Bienvenido Balaba were kept as defendants on the ground that they alone 'have been specifically mentioned and
Identified to have allegedly caused injuries on the persons of some of the plaintiff which acts of alleged physical violence
constitute a delict or wrong that gave rise to a cause of action. But such finding is not supported by the record, nor is it in
accord with law and jurisprudence.

SECTION 1. Rules governing civil actions arising from offenses. — Except as otherwise provided by law,
the following rules shall be observed:

xxx xxx xxx

(d) Extinction of the penal action does not carry with it extinction of the civil, unless the extinction
proceeds from a declaration in a final judgment that the fact from which the civil might arise did not
exist. In the other cases, the persons entitled to the civil action may institute it in the jurisdiction and in
the manner provided by law against the person who may be liable for restitution of the thing and
reparation or indemnity for the damages suffered.

As held in Corpus vs. Paje, supra, reckless imprudence or criminal negligence is not one of the three crimes
mentioned in Article 33 of the Civil Code, which provides:

ART. 33. In cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries, a civil action for damages, entirely separate
and distinct from the criminal action may be brought by the injured party. Such civil action shall proceed
independently of the criminal prosecution, and shall require only a preponderance of evidence.

The above article speaks only of defamation, fraud and physical injuries. The injuries suffered by herein
petitioners were alleged to be the result of criminal negligence; they were not inflicted with malice. Hence, no
independent civil action for damages may be instituted in connection therewith. (Maximo Marcia, v. CA)

Further, Section 3 (c), Rule 111 of the Rules of Court states that "(c) Extinction of the penal action does not carry
with it extinction of the civil, unless the extinction proceeds from a declaration in a final judgment that the fact from
which the civil might arise did not exist." Otherwise stated, unless the act from which the civil liability arises is declared to
be nonexistent in the final judgment, the extinction of the criminal liability will not carry with it the extinction of the civil
liability. Thus, if a person is charged with homicide and successfully pleaded self-defense, his acquittal by reason thereof
will extinguish his civil liability. He has not incurred any criminal liability. On the other hand, if his acquittal is, for
instance, due to the fact that he was not sufficiently Identified to be the assailant, a civil action for damages may be
maintained. His acquittal is not due to non-existence of the crime from which civil liability might arise, but because he
was not, in the eyes of the court, sufficiently Identified as the perpetrator of the crime. (Maximo Marcia, v. CA)

In People vs. Buan, 22 SCRA 1383, this Court, speaking through Mr. Justice J.B.L. Reyes, said that "the essence
of the quasi offense of criminal negligence under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code lies in the execution of an
imprudent or negligent act that, if intentionally done, would be punishable as a felony. The law penalizes the negligent or
careless act, not the result thereof. The gravity of the consequence is only taken into account to determine the penalty; it
does not qualify the substance of the offense. (Maximo Marcia, v. CA)

The charge against Felardo Paje was not for homicide and physical injuries but for reckless imprudence or
criminal negligence resulting in homicide (death of Clemente Marcia) and physical injuries suffered by Edgar Marcia and
Renato Yap. They are not one of the three (3) crimes mentioned in Article 33 of the Civil Code and, therefore, no civil
action shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution. (Maximo Marcia, v. CA)

Corpus vs. Paje, L-26737, July 31, 1969, 28 SCRA 1062, which states that reckless imprudence or criminal
negligence is not included in Article 33 of the Civil Code is not authoritative. Of eleven justices only nine took part in the
decision and four of them merely concurred in the result.(madeja)

Although in the Marcia case (supra), it was held that no independent civil action may be filed under Article 33
where the crime is the result of criminal negligence, it must be noted however, that Torzuela, the accused in the case at
bar, is charged with homicide, not with reckless imprudence, whereas the defendant in Marcia was charged with reckless
imprudence. Therefore, in this case, a civil action based on Article 33 lies. (Dulay case)