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HUMAN DIGNITY negligence on the part of Sansio and Datuin, Gregorio never imputed to

them any bad faith in her complaint.


How does human dignity relate to intentional torts? Remember, there
are three main family of torts: Negligence; Intentional Tort; Strict Liability, In every tort case filed under Article 2176 of the Civil Code, the plaintiff
although it does not specifically states, human dignity falls under has to prove by a preponderance of evidence: (1) the damages suffered by
intentional torts, not negligence, since in negligence there is no intention him; (2) the fault or negligence of the defendant or some other person to
to commit a wrong to others; not strict liability because it is strict as to whose act he must respond; (3) the connection of cause and effect
the scenarios and strict as well as to persons who will be held liable. between the fault or negligence and the damages incurred; and (4) that
there must be no preexisting contractual relation between the parties.
ARTICLE 26. Every person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy
and peace of mind of his neighbors and other persons. The following and On the other hand, Article 26 of the Civil Code grants a cause of action for
similar acts, though they may not constitute a criminal offense, shall damages, prevention, and other relief in cases of breach, though not
produce a cause of action for damages, prevention and other relief: necessarily constituting a criminal offense, of the following rights: (1)
࿿࿿࿿8縢ᐡ࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿9埐焇࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿:촚倕࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿; right to personal dignity; (2) right to personal security; (3) right to family
秚䉄࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿<鹨࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿=╪䝞࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿>덾㚍࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿
?煌樻࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿@兾㉻࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿A࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿45J㨰±࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿ TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS
K閘摂࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿Lᚐ挟࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿M㸲▗࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿N潖ອ࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿
O Prying into the privacy of another’s residence;
࿿࿿࿿8縢ᐡ࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿9埐焇࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿:촚倕࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿;
秚䉄࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿<鹨࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿=╪䝞࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿>덾㚍࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿
?煌樻࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿@兾㉻࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿A࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿46J㨰±࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿
K閘摂࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿Lᚐ挟࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿M㸲▗࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿N潖ອ࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿
O Meddling with or disturbing the private life or family relations of
another;
࿿࿿࿿8縢ᐡ࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿9埐焇࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿:촚倕࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿;
秚䉄࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿<鹨࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿=╪䝞࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿>덾㚍࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿
?煌樻࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿@兾㉻࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿A࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿47J㨰±࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿
K閘摂࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿Lᚐ挟࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿M㸲▗࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿N潖ອ࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿
O Intriguing to cause another to be alienated from his friends;
࿿࿿࿿8縢ᐡ࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿9埐焇࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿:촚倕࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿;
秚䉄࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿<鹨࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿=╪䝞࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿>덾㚍࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿
?煌樻࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿@兾㉻࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿A࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿48J㨰±࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿
K閘摂࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿Lᚐ挟࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿M㸲▗࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿N潖ອ࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿࿿
O Vexing or humiliating another on account of his religious beliefs,
lowly station in life, place of birth, physical defect, or other personal
condition.

========================================================
Gregorio v. CA
0 The case arose from the filing of an Affidavit of Complaint for violation
of B.P. 22 against petitioner Gregorio and one Vito Belarmino, as
proprietors of Alvi Marketing, allegedly for delivering insufficiently
funded bank checks as payment for the numerous appliances bought by
Alvi Marketing from Sansio. As the address stated in the complaint was
incorrect, Gregorio was unable to controvert the charges against her.

The MeTC issued a warrant for her arrest, and it was served upon her by
the armed operatives of the Public Assistance and Reaction Against Crime
(PARAC) of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG),
while she was visiting her husband and their 2 daughters at their city
residence. Gregorio was brought to the PARAC-DILG Office where she
was subjected to fingerprinting and mug shots, and was detained.
She was released in the afternoon of the same day when her husband
posted a bond for her temporary liberty.

Defendants Sansio and Datuin filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground


that the complaint, being one for damages arising from malicious
prosecution, failed to state a cause of action, as the ultimate facts
constituting the elements thereof were not alleged in the complaint.

0 Whether the complaint, a civil suit filed by Gregorio, is based on quasi-


delict or malicious prosecution?

HELD: A perusal of the allegations of Gregorios complaint for damages


readily shows that she filed a civil suit against Sansio and Datuin for filing
against her criminal charges for violation of B.P. Blg. 22; that respondents
did not exercise diligent efforts to ascertain the true identity of the person
who delivered to them insufficiently funded checks as payment for the
various appliances purchased; and that respondents never gave her the
opportunity to controvert the charges against her, because they stated an
incorrect address in the criminal complaint. Gregorio claimed damages
for the embarrassment and humiliation she suffered when she was
suddenly arrested at her city residence in Quezon Citywhile visiting her
family. She was, at the time of her arrest, a respected Kagawad in Oas,
Albay. Gregorio anchored her civil complaint on Articles 26, 2176, and
2180 of the Civil Code. Noticeably, despite alleging either fault or
relations; (4) right to social intercourse; (5) right to privacy; and (6) right
to peace of mind.

A scrutiny of Gregorios civil complaint reveals that the averments thereof,


taken together, fulfill the elements of Article 2176, in relation to Article 26
of the Civil Code. It appears that Gregorios rights to personal dignity,
personal security, privacy, and peace of mind were infringed by
Sansio and Datuin when they failed to exercise the requisite
diligence in determining the identity of the person they should
rightfully accuse of tendering insufficiently funded checks. This fault
was compounded when they failed to ascertain the correct address of
petitioner, thus depriving her of the opportunity to controvert the
charges, because she was not given proper notice. Because she was not
able to refute the charges against her, petitioner was falsely indicted for
three (3) counts of violation of B.P. Blg. 22. Although she was never found
at No. 76 Pearanda St., Legaspi City, the office address of Alvi Marketing as
stated in the criminal complaint, Gregorio was conveniently arrested by
armed operatives of the PARAC-DILG at her city residence at 78 K-2 St.,
Kamuning, Quezon City, while visiting her family. She suffered
embarrassment and humiliation over her sudden arrest and detention
and she had to spend time, effort, and money to clear her tarnished name
and reputation, considering that she had held several honorable positions
in different organizations and offices in the public service, particularly her
being a Kagawad in Oas, Albay at the time of her arrest. There exists no
contractual relation between Gregorio and Sansio. On the other hand,
Gregorio is prosecuting Sansio, under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, for its
vicarious liability, as employer, arising from the act or omission of its
employee Datuin.

These allegations, assuming them to be true, sufficiently constituted a


cause of action against Sansio and Datuin. Thus, the RTC was correct
when it denied respondents motion to dismiss.

Sansio and Datuin are in error when they insist that Gregorios complaint
is based on malicious prosecution. In an action to recover damages for
malicious prosecution, it must be alleged and established that Sansio and
Datuin were impelled by legal malice or bad faith in deliberately initiating
an action against Gregorio, knowing that the charges were false and
groundless, intending to vex and humiliate her.[27] As previously
mentioned, Gregorio did not allege this in her complaint. Moreover, the
fact that she prayed for moral damages did not change the nature of her
action based on quasi-delict. She might have acted on the mistaken notion
that she was entitled to moral damages, considering that she suffered
physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched
reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, and social humiliation on
account of her indictment and her sudden arrest.
========================================================

1. RIGHT TO PRIVACY
Right to Privacy is protected in the bill of rights, however, the bill of rights
are a person’s rights vs. the State, one cannot use the bill of rights in filing
a case for a private person. If one is filing a case for a private person, then,
Article 26 should be invoked.
0 Right to privacy must be reconciled with the right to free speech,
religion, expression etc. because, you have rights but also other
people have rights also, just because somebody said something
may disturbed you, that does not automatically mean that you
already have a right of action against him.

Reasonableness of a person’s expectation of privacy depends on a


two-part test:
0 Whether by his conduct, the individual has exhibited an
expectation of privacy.
1 Whether this expectation is one that the society recognizes as
reasonable.

0 Constitutional Right to Privacy


5888 Scope of Protection
Protected by the Due Process Clause, the protection includes the right
against unreasonable search and seizures, the right to privacy of one’s
communication and correspondence, and the right against self-
incrimination.

Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without


due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of
the laws.

DE VERA-YALUNG | 1
NOTE: There are instances where the school might be called upon to
Section 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, exercise its power over its student for acts committed outside the school
papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever premises and beyond school hours in the following:
nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or 5888In cases of violation of school policies or regulations occurring
warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined in connection with school sponsored activity off campus; or
personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the 5889In cases where the misconduct of the student involves his
complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing status as a student or affects the good name and reputation of
the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. the school.

Section 3. (1) The privacy of communication and correspondence shall be RIGHT TO INFORMATION
inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or Article III, Constitution
order requires otherwise, as prescribed by law. Section 7. The right of the people to information on matters of public
(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the preceding concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents
section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding. and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as
to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall
0 Basis of Liability for Damages be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by
Violation of the constitutional right to privacy that causes damage to law.
another makes the actor liable under Article 32 of the Civil Code. The
claim for damages may be anchored on deprivation of due process, There is no intrusion into the right of privacy of another if the information
violation of the right against unreasonable searches and seizure or the sought are matters of public record. This is especially true in case the
privacy of communication and correspondence and other related rights persons who are invoking the right to privacy are public officers and the
specified in Article 32. matter involved is of public concern. Thus, there is no violation of the
right to privacy if a citizen will ask from the Government Service
B. Violation of the Right to Privacy as Independent Tort Insurance System a list of legislators who secured clean loans therefrom.
0 Persons entitle to Relief (Valmonnte v. Belmonte)
GR: The right to privacy can be invoked only by natural persons. Juridical
persons cannot invoke such right because the entire basis of the right to ========================================================
privacy is an injury to the feelings and sensibilities of the party; a Valmonte v. Belmonte
corporation would have no such ground for relief. 23 Petitioner Ricardo Valmonte wrote a letter to Hon. Feliciano
XPN: A corporation is entitled to the constitutional right against Belmonte, GSIS General Manager, requesting that he be furnished with the
unreasonable searches and seizure under Article 32, CC. list of names of the opposition members of (the) Batasang Pambansa who
were able to secure a clean loan. Belmonte replied through the Deputy
GR: The right is purely personal in nature, hence: General Counsel of the GSIS whose opinion is that is that a confidential
23 It may be invoked only by the person whose privacy is claimed relationship exists between the GSIS and all those who borrow from it;
to have been violated; and that it would not be proper for the GSIS to breach this confidentiality
24 Can be subject to waiver of the person whose zone of privacy is unless so ordered by the courts.
sought to be intruded into;
25 The right ceases upon the death of the person. 23 WON they are entitled to the documents sought, by virtue of
XPN: A privilege may be given to the surviving relatives of a deceased their constitutional right to information? YES!
person to protect his memory but the privilege exist for the benefit of the
living, to protect their feelings and to prevent the violation of their own HELD: The information sought by petitioners in this case is the truth of
rights in the character and memory of the deceased. reports that certain Members of the Batasang Pambansa belonging to the
opposition were able to secure "clean" loans from the GSIS immediately
23 Standard Applied: In determining if there was a violation of before the February 7, 1986 election through the intercession of th
the right is that of a person with ordinary sensibilities. It is eformer First Lady, Mrs. Imelda Marcos.
relative to the customs of time and place and is determined by
the norm of an ordinary person. The GSIS is a trustee of contributions from the government and its
employees and the administrator of various insurance programs for the
Four Types of Invasion of Privacy: benefit of the latter. Undeniably, its funds assume a public character. More
23 Intrusion upon the plaintiff’s solitude or into his private particularly, Secs. 5(b) and 46 of P.D. 1146, as amended, provide for
affairs; annual appropriations to pay the contributions, premiums, interest and
23 Protects a person’s sense of locational and psychological other amounts payable to GSIS by the government, as employer, as well as
privacy. the obligations which the Republic of the Philippines assumes or
24 It is not limited to cases where the defendant physically guarantees to pay. Considering the nature of its funds, the GSIS is
trespassed into another’s property. It includes cases when the expected to manage its resources with utmost prudence and in strict
defendant invades one’s privacy by looking from outside compliance with the pertinent laws or rules and regulations. Thus, one of
(Example: “peeping-tom”) the reasons that prompted the revision of the old GSIS law was the
necessity "to preserve at all times the actuarial solvency of the funds
GR: There is no invasion of right to privacy when a journalist records administered by the System". Consequently, as respondent himself admits,
photographs or writes about something that occurs in public places. XPN: the GSIS "is not supposed to grant 'clean loans.'" It is therefore the
When the acts of the journalist should be to such extent that it constitutes legitimate concern of the public to ensure that these funds are managed
harassment or overzealous shadowing. properly with the end in view of maximizing the benefits that accrue to
23 The freedom of the press has never been construed to accord the insured government employees. Moreover, the supposed borrowers
newsmen immunity from tort or crimes committed during the were Members of the defunct Batasang Pambansa who themselves
course of the newsgathering. appropriated funds for the GSIS and were therefore expected to be the
24 There is no intrusion when an employer investigates an first to see to it that the GSIS performed its tasks with the greatest degree
employee or when the school investigates its student. of fidelity and that and its transactions were above board.
25 RA 4200 makes it illegal for any person not authorized by all
the parties to any private communication to secretly record In sum, the public nature of the loanable funds of the GSIS and the
such communication by means of a tape recorder (Ramirez vs public office held by the alleged borrowers make the information
CA, Sept. 28, 1995) sought clearly a matter of public interest and concern.
26 Use of a telephone extension for purposes of overhearing a
private conversation without authorization does not violate RA The Court is convinced that transactions entered into by the GSIS, a
4200. government-controlled corporation created by special legislation are
within the ambit of the people's right to be informed pursuant to the
constitutional policy of transparency in government dealings.

TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 2


23 WON Enrile’s right to privacy was violated? NO!
In fine, petitioners are entitled to access to the documents
evidencing loans granted by the GSIS, subject to reasonable regulations HELD: The subject matter of "The Four Day Revolution" relates to the non-
that the latter may promulgate relating to the manner and hours of bloody change of government that took place at EDSA in February 1986,
examination, to the end that damage to or loss of the records may be and the train of events which led up to that denouement. Clearly, such
avoided, that undue interference with the duties of the custodian of the subject matter is one of public interest and concern. Indeed, it is,
records may be prevented and that the right of other persons entitled to petitioners' argue, of international interest. The subject thus relates to a
inspect the records may be insured. highly critical stage in the history of this country and as such, must be
======================================================== regarded as having passed into the public domain and as an appropriate
subject for speech and expression and coverage by any form of mass
PRIVACY OF GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS media. The subject matter, as set out in the synopsis provided by the
23 Publication of embarrassing private facts; petitioners, does not relate to the individual life and certainly not to the
REQUISITES: private life of Ponce Enrile. Unlike in the case of Lagunzad, which
5888Publicity is given to any private or purely personal information concerned the life story of Moises Padilla necessarily including at least his
about a person; immediate family, what we have here is not a film biography, more or less
5889Without the latter’s consent; and fictionalized, of private respondent Ponce Enrile. "The Four Day
5890Regardless of whether or not such publicity constitutes a Revolution" is not principally about, nor is it focused upon, the man
criminal offense, like libel or defamation, the circumstance that Juan Ponce Enrile' but it is compelled, if it is to be historical, to refer to
the publication was made with intent of gain or for commercial the role played by Juan Ponce Enrile in the precipitating and the
and business purposes invariably serves to aggravate the constituent events of the change of government in February 1986.
violation of the right.
The extent of the instrusion upon the life of Juan Ponce Enrile that would
PUBLIC FIGURE - a person, who by his accomplishments, fame or mode of be entailed by the production and exhibition of "The Four Day Revolution"
living or by adopting a profession or calling which gives the public a would, therefore, be limited in character. The extent of that intrusion, as
legitimate interest in his doings, his affairs and his character. this Court understands the synopsis of the proposed film, may be generally
described as such intrusion as is reasonably necessary to keep that film a
NOTE: Public figures, most especially those holding responsible positions truthful historical account. Enrile does not claim that petitioners
in government enjoy a more limited right to privacy compared to ordinary threatened to depict in "The Four Day Revolution" any part of the private
individuals. life of private respondent or that of any member of his family.
5888The interest sought to be protected is the right to be free from
unwarranted publicity, from the wrongful publicizing of the At all relevant times, during which the momentous events, clearly of public
private affairs and activities of an individual which are outside concern, that petitioners propose to film were taking place, private
the realm of legitimate public concern. respondent was what Profs. Prosser and Keeton have referred to as a
5889The publication of facts derived from the records of official "public figure:"
proceedings which are not otherwise declared by law as
confidential, cannot be considered a tortious conduct. A public figure has been defined as a person who, by his accomplishments,
fame, or mode of living, or by adopting a profession or calling which gives
======================================================== Ayer the public a legitimate interest in his doings, his affairs, and his character,
Productions Pty. Ltd. v. Capulong has become a 'public personage.' He is, in other words, a celebrity. Obviously
23 Petitioner Hal McElroy an Australian film maker, and his movie to be included in this category are those who have achieved some degree of
production company, Petitioner Ayer Productions envisioned for reputation by appearing before the public, as in the case of an actor, a
commercial viewing and for Philippine and international release, the professional baseball player, a pugilist, or any other entertainment. The list
historic peaceful struggle of the Filipinos at EDSA. Petitioners discussed is, however, broader than this. It includes public officers, famous inventors
this Project with local movie producer who suggested they consult with and explorers, war heroes and even ordinary soldiers, an infant prodigy, and
the appropriate government agencies and also with General Fidel V. Ramos no less a personage than the Grand Exalted Ruler of a lodge. It includes, in
and Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who had played major roles in the events short, anyone who has arrived at a position where public attention is focused
proposed to be filmed. The proposed motion picture entitled "The Four upon him as a person.
Day Revolution" was endorsed by the Movie Television Review and
Classification Board as well as the other government agencies consulted. Enrile is a "public figure" precisely because, inter alia, of his
Ramos also signified his approval of the intended film production, and participation as a principal actor in the culminating events of the change
private respondent Juan Ponce Enrile was informed about the projected of government in February 1986. Because his participation therein was
motion picture enclosing a synopsis of it. major in character, a film reenactment of the peaceful revolution that fails
to make reference to the role played by private respondent would be
Enrile replied that "[he] would not and will not approve of the use, grossly unhistorical. The right of privacy of a "public figure" is necessarily
appropriation, reproduction and/or exhibition of his name, or picture, or narrower than that of an ordinary citizen. Private respondent has not
that of any member of his family in any cinema or television production, retired into the seclusion of simple private citizenship. He continues to
film or other medium for advertising or commercial exploitation" and be a "public figure." After a successful political campaign during which
further advised petitioners that 'in the production, airing, showing, his participation in the EDSA Revolution was directly or indirectly
distribution or exhibition of said or similar film, no reference whatsoever referred to in the press, radio and television, he sits in a very public place,
(whether written, verbal or visual) should not be made to [him] or any the Senate of the Philippines.
member of his family, much less to any matter purely personal to them. It ========================================================
appears that petitioners acceded to this demand and the name of Enrile
was deleted from the movie script, and petitioners proceeded to film the FALSE LIGHT
projected motion picture. 23 Publicity which places a person in a false light in the public
eye;
However, Enrile filed a complaint, it alleged that petitioners' production of The interest to be protected in this tort is the interest of the individual in
the mini-series without private respondent's consent and over his not being made to appear before the public in an objectionable false light
objection, constitutes an obvious violation of his right of privacy. or false position. E.g. Defendant was held liable for damages when he
published an unauthorized biography of a famous baseball player
Ayer’s claim that in producing and "The Four Day Revolution," they are exaggerating his feats on the baseball field, portraying him as a war hero.
exercising their freedom of speech and of expression protected under our (Spahn vs. Messner)
Constitution. Enrile, upon the other hand, asserts a right of privacy and 23 If the publicity given to the plaintiff is defamatory, hence an
claims that the production and filming of the projected mini-series would action for libel is also warranted; the action for invasion of
constitute an unlawful intrusion into his privacy which he is entitled to privacy will afford an alternative remedy.
enjoy. 24 May be committed by the media by distorting a news report.

TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 3


Tort of placing another in False Defamation 0 With respect to celebrities, however, the right of publicity is
Light often treated as a separate right that overlaps but is distinct
As to gravamen of Claim from the right of privacy. They treat their names and likeness
as property and they want to control and profit therefrom.
The gravamen of claim is not the The gravamen of claim is the
reputational harm but rather the reputational harm.
24 INTERFERENCE WITH FAMILY RELATIONS
embarrassment of a person being
The gist of the tort is an interference with one spouse’s mental attitude
made into something he is not. RATIO: It is something that puts
toward the other and the conjugal kindness of marital relations resulting
you in a bad light, it makes you less
in some actual conduct which materially affects it.
RATIO: It is a little bit broader, as tha you are.
23 It extends to all cases of wrongful interference in the family
long as it is false, not just that it is E.g. you are valedictorian of your
affairs of others whereby one spouse is induced to leave the
defamatory. class, and someone said that you
other spouse or conduct himself or herself that the comfort of
E.g. being portrayed as a war hero, were only valedictorian because
married life is destroyed.
you were called a war hero even if you paid all aircon.
24 If the interference is by the parents of the spouse, malice must
you are not.
be proven.
MALI YUNG SINABI
As to Publication NOTE: The law recognizes the right of the parent to advise the son or
The statement should be actually Publication is satisfied if a letter is daughter, and when such advice is given in good faith, and results in
made in public. sent to a third person. separation, the act does not give the injured party a right of action. In
As to the defamatory character of the statements such a case, malice must be established, and it must appear that
Defendant may still be held liable What is published lowers the defendant’s acts were the controlling cause of the loss of affection; but to
even if the statements tells esteem in which the plaintiff is accomplish this it is not necessary that ill will or spite towards the wife
something good about the plaintiff. held. be shown. The malice consists of intentional doing of the wrongful act to
the injury of the plaintiff.”
======================================================== St.
Louis Realty Corp. v. CA N.B. The requirement of malice is likewise necessary if the defendant is
0 This case is about the recovery of damages for a wrongful not a relative of a spouse whose affection was said to have been
advertisement in the Sunday Times where Saint Louis Realty Corporation alienated.
misrepresented that the house of Doctor Conrado J. Aramil belonged to
Arcadio S. Arcadio. St. Louis Realty caused to be published with the ========================================================
permission of Arcadio S. Arcadio (but without permission of Doctor Tenchavez v. Escano
Aramil) in the issue of the Sunday Times of December 15, 1968 an 0 Vicenta Escano who belong to a prominent Filipino Family of Spanish
advertisement with the heading "WHERE THE HEART IS". Below that ancestry and got married with Pastor Tenchavez, before Catholic
heading was the photograph of the residence of Doctor Aramil and the chaplain Lt. Moises Lavares. The marriage was a culmination of the love
Arcadio family and below the photo written is their family background. affair of the couple and was duly registered in the local civil registry. A
letter purportedly coming from San Carlos college students and
disclosing an amorous relationship between Pastor Tenchavez and one
The same advertisement appeared in the Sunday Times. Doctor Aramil a Pacita Noel; Vicenta translated the letter to her father, and thereafter
neuropsychiatrist and a member of the faculty of the U. E. Ramon would not agree to a new marriage. Vicenta continued leaving with her
Magsaysay Memorial Hospital, noticed the mistake. He then wrote St. parents in Cebu while Pastor went back to work in Manila.
Louis Realty a letter of protest. The letter was received by Ernesto
Magtoto, an officer of St. Louis Realty in charge of advertising. He Vicenta applied for a passport indicating that she was single and when it
stopped publication of the advertisement. He contacted Doctor Aramil was approved she left for the US and filed a complaint for divorce against
and offered his apologies. However, no rectification or apology was Pastor which was later on approved and issued by the Second Judicial
published. Court of the State of Nevada. She then sought for the annulment of her
marriage to the Archbishop of Cebu. Vicenta married an American, in
St. Louis Realty claimed that there was an honest mistake and that if Nevada and has begotten children. Petitioner filed a complaint against
Aramil so desired, rectification would be published in the Manila Times. Vicenta and her parents whom he alleged to have dissuaded Vicenta
It published in the issue of the Manila Times of March 18, 1969 a new from joining her husband and alienating her affections, and against the
advertisement with the Arcadio family and their real house. But it did not Roman Catholic Church, for having, through its Diocesan Tribunal,
publish any apology to Doctor Aramil and an explanation of the error. decreed the annulment of the marriage, and asked for legal separation
and one million pesos in damages.
0 WON there was a violation of a right to privacy under Article 26? YES!
0 WON Vicenta’s parents were the real reason for the annulment? NO!
HELD: It was observed that St. Louis Realty should have immediately
published a rectification and apology. He found that as a result of St. Louis HELD: Tenchavez’ charge that his wife’s parents, Dr. Mamerto Escanñ o
Realty's mistake, magnified by its utter lack of sincerity, Doctor Aramil and his wife, the late Donñ a Mena Escanñ o, alienated the affection of their
suffered mental anguish and his income was reduced by about P1,000 to daughter and influenced her conduct toward her husband are not
P1,500 a month. Moreover, there was violation of Aramil's right to supported by credible evidence. The testimony of Pastor Tenchavez
privacy (Art. 26, Civil Code). about the Escanñ o’s animosity toward him strikes us to be merely
conjecture and exaggeration, and are belied by Pastor’s own letters
St. Louis Realty's employee was grossly negligent in mixing up the Aramil written before this suit was begun.
and Arcadio residences in a widely circulated publication like the Sunday
Times. To suit its purpose, it never made any written apology and In these letters he expressly apologized to the defendants for
explanation of the mix-up. It just contented itself with a cavalier “misjudging them” and for the “great unhappiness” caused by his
"rectification ". “impulsive blunders” and “sinful pride” “effrontery and audacity”.
Plaintiff was admitted to the Escanñ o house to visit and court Vicenta, and
Persons, who know the residence of Doctor Aramil, were confused by the the record shows nothing to prove that he would not have been accepted
distorted, lingering impression that he was renting his residence from to marry Vicenta had he openly asked for her hand, as good manners and
Arcadio or that Arcadio had leased it from him. Either way, his private life breeding demanded. Even after learning of the clandestine marriage, and
was mistakenly and unnecessarily exposed. He suffered diminution of despite their shock at such unexpected event, the parents of Vicenta
income and mental anguish. proposed and arranged that the marriage be recelebrated in strict
======================================================== conformity with the canons of their religion upon advice that the
previous one was canonically defective. If no recelebration of the
0 Commercial appropriation of likeness of others. marriage ceremony was had it was not due to defendants Mamerto
The unwarranted publication of a person’s name or the unauthorized use Escanñ o and his wife, but to the refusal of Vicenta to proceed with it. That
of his photograph or likeness for commercial purposes is an invasion of the spouses Escanñ o did not seek to compel or induce their daughter to
privacy. assent to the recelebration but
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS
DE VERA-YALUNG | 4
respected her decision, or that they abided by her resolve, does not card thus making it appear that she was in the office when in fact she was
constitute in law an alienation of affections. Neither does the fact that not; (d) for allegedly failing to process the ATM applications of her nine
Vicenta’s parents sent her money while she was in the United States; for it (9) co-employees with the Bank.
was natural that they should not wish their daughter to live in penury Then, a third memorandum was issued to Cortez, informing her of her
even if they did not concur in their decision to divorce Tenchavez. termination from the service effective 7 November 1994 on grounds of
gross and habitual neglect of duties, serious misconduct and fraud or
There is no evidence that the parents of Vicenta, out of improper motives, willful breach of trust.
aided and abetted her original suit for annulment, or her subsequent Explanation as to the first charge: Respondent Cortez claims that as early
divorce; she appears to have acted independently and being of age, she as her first year of employment her Plant Manager, William Chua, already
was entitled to judge what was best for her and ask that her decisions be manifested a special liking for her, she was receiving special treatment
respected. Her parents, in so doing, certainly cannot be charged with from him and oftentimes invite her "for a date, he would make sexual
alienation of affections in the absence of malice or unworthy motives, advances. The special treatment and sexual advances continued during
which have not been shown, good faith being always presumed until the her employment for four (4) years but she never reciprocated his
contrary is proved. flirtations, until finally, she noticed that his attitude towards her changed.
He made her understand that if she would not give in to his sexual
Tenchavez, in falsely charging Vicenta’s aged parents with racial or social advances he would cause her termination from the service; and he made
discrimination and with having exerted efforts and pressured her to seek good his threat when he started harassing her. One day that her table
annulment and divorce, unquestionably caused them unrest and anxiety, which was equipped with telephone and intercom units and containing
entitling them to recover damages. While his suit may not have been her personal belongings was transferred without her knowledge to a
impelled by actual malice, the charges were certainly reckless in the face place with neither telephone nor intercom, for which reason, an argument
of the proven facts and circumstances. ensued when she confronted William Chua resulting in her being charged
======================================================== with gross disrespect.

3. VEXATION 5888 Whether Cortez is entitled to moral and exemplary damages


Discrimination against a person on account of his physical defect, which for being illegally dismissed, being sexually harassed and thus
causes emotional distress, may result in liability on the part of the experiencing anxiety all throughout her employment
offending party.
0 Sexual Harassment falls under this category. A civil action HELD: YES. The gravamen of the offense in sexual harassment is not the
separate and distinct from the criminal action may be violation of the employee's sexuality but the abuse of power by the
commenced under RA 7877. employer. Any employee, male or female, may rightfully cry "foul"
1 Public humiliation due to lowly station in life may likewise provided the claim is well substantiated. There is no time period within
result in liability. E.g. a department store manager who which he or she is expected to complain through the proper channels. The
searched a person in public for no other reason than the fact time to do so may vary depending upon the needs, circumstances, and
that such person looked poor will be held liable for damages. more importantly, the emotional threshold of the employee.
Private respondent admittedly allowed four (4) years to pass before
1 Infliction of Emotional Distress finally coming out with her employer's sexual impositions. This
0 To recover for the intentional infliction of emotional distress the uneasiness in her place of work thrived in an atmosphere of tolerance for
plaintiff must show that: (a) The conduct of the defendant was intentional four (4) years, and one could only imagine the prevailing anxiety and
or in reckless disregard of the plaintiff; (b) The conduct was extreme and resentment, if not bitterness, that beset her all that time.
outrageous; (c) There was a causal connection between the defendant’s Anxiety was gradual in private respondent's five (5)-year employment. It
conduct and the plaintiff’s mental distress; and, (d) The plaintiff’s mental began when her plant manager showed an obvious partiality for her
distress was extreme and severe. which went out of hand when he started to make it clear that he would
0 Any party seeking recovery for mental anguish must prove terminate her services if she would not give in to his sexual advances.
more than mere worry, anxiety, vexation, embarrassment, or Sexual harassment is an imposition of misplaced "superiority" which is
anger. enough to dampen an employee's spirit in her capacity for advancement.
1 Liability does not arise from mere insults, indignities, threats, It affects her sense of judgment; it changes her life. If for this alone private
annoyances, petty expressions, or other trivialities. In respondent should be adequately compensated. Thus, for the anxiety, the
determining whether the tort of outrage had been committed, a seen and unseen hurt that she suffered, petitioners should also be made
plaintiff is necessarily expected and required to be hardened to to pay her moral damages, plus exemplary damages, for the oppressive
a certain amount of criticism, rough language, and to manner with which petitioners effected her dismissal from the service,
occasional acts and words that are definitely inconsiderate and and to serve as a forewarning to lecherous officers and employers who
unkind. take undue advantage of their ascendancy over their employees.
WHEREFORE, the Decision of NLRC finding the dismissal of private
NOTE: The mere fact that the actor knows that the other will regard the respondent Rosalinda C. Cortez to be without just cause and ordering
conduct as insulting, or will have his feelings hurt, is not enough. petitioners PAACU and/or Francis Chua to pay her back wages computed
from the time of her dismissal, which should be full back wages, is
B. SEXUAL HARRASMENT AFFIRMED. However, in view of the strained relations between the
0 types: adverse parties, instead of reinstatement ordered by public respondent,
0 Quid pro quo cases – defendant in these cases, conditions petitioners should pay private respondent separation pay equivalent to
employment benefits, honors, awards, or privileges on sexual one (1) month salary for every year of service until finality of this
favors. Sexual favors are elicited in return for something else. judgment. In addition, petitioners are ordered to pay private respondent
1 Hostile environment cases – involve the allegation that P25,000.00 for moral damages and P10,000.00 for exemplary damages.
employees or students work or study in offensive or abusive Costs against petitioners.
environment.

======================================================== Concepcion vs. CA


Philippine Aeolus Atumotive United Corp. vs. NLRC 0 Spouses Nestor and Allem Nicolas resided in an apartment leased to
23Francis Chua the president of Petitioner (PAAUC) a corporation duly them by the owner Florence "Bing" Concepcion. Nestor Nicolas was then
organized and existing under Philippine laws, while private respondent engaged in the business of supplying office equipment, appliances and
Rosalinda C. Cortez was a company nurse thereat until her termination on other fixtures on a cash purchase or credit basis. Florence joined this
7 November 1994. venture.
Two memoranda were a issued addressed to private respondent Rodrigo Concepcion, brother of the deceased husband of Florence, angrily
requiring her to explain why no disciplinary action should be taken accosted Nestor at the latter's apartment and accused him of conducting
against her (a) for throwing a stapler at Plant Manager William Chua, her an adulterous relationship with Florence. He shouted, "Hoy Nestor, kabit
superior, and uttering invectives against him (b) for losing the money ka ni Bing! . . . Binigyan ka pa pala ni Bing Concepcion ng P100,000.00
entrusted to her; and, (c) for asking a co-employee to punch-in her time
DE VERA-YALUNG | 5
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS
para umakyat ng Baguio. Pagkaakyat mo at ng asawa mo doon ay bababa
ka uli para magkasarilinan kayo ni Bing."
The same accusation was hurled by Rodrigo against Nestor when the two
0 confronted Florence at the terrace of her residence. Florence denied
the imputations and Rodrigo backtracked saying that he just heard the
rumor from a relative. Thereafter, however, Rodrigo called Florence over
the telephone reiterating his accusation and threatening her that should
something happen to his sick mother, in case the latter learned about the
affair, he would kill Florence.
As a result of this incident, Nestor Nicolas felt extreme embarrassment
and shame to the extent that he could no longer face his neighbors.
Florence Concepcion also ceased to do business with him.
To make matters worse, Allem Nicolas started to doubt Nestor's fidelity
resulting in frequent bickerings and quarrels. Consequently, Nestor was
forced to write Rodrigo demanding public apology and payment of
damages. Rodrigo pointedly ignored the demand, for which reason the
Nicolas spouses filed a civil suit against him for damages.
Rodrigo denied that he maligned Nestor by accusing him publicly of being
Florence's lover. He reasoned out that he only desired to protect the name
and reputation of the Concepcion family which was why he sought an
appointment with Nestor through Florence's son Roncali to ventilate his
feelings about the matter.

0 Whether there is basis in law for the award of damages to private


respondents (Nicolas spouses)

HELD: YES, there is. It does not need further elucidation that the incident
charged of petitioner was no less than an invasion on the right of
respondent Nestor as a person. The philosophy behind Art. 26
underscores the necessity for its inclusion in our civil law. Thus, under
this article, the rights of persons are amply protected, and damages are
provided for violations of a person's dignity, personality, privacy and
peace of mind.
It is petitioner's position that the act imputed to him does not constitute
any of those enumerated in Arts 26 and 2219. In this respect, the law is
clear. The violations mentioned in the codal provisions are not exclusive
but are merely examples and do not preclude other similar or analogous
acts. Damages therefore are allowable for actions against a person's
dignity, such as profane, insulting, humiliating, scandalous or abusive
language. Under Art. 2217 of the Civil Code, moral damages which include
physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched
reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, and similar
injury, although incapable of pecuniary computation, may be recovered if
they are the proximate result of the defendant's wrongful act or omission.
There is no question that private respondent Nestor Nicolas suffered
mental anguish, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings and social
humiliation as a proximate result of petitioner's abusive, scandalous and
insulting language.
We cannot help noting this inordinate interest of petitioner to know the
truth about the rumor and why he was not satisfied with the separate
denials made by Florence and Nestor. He had to confront Nestor face to
face, invade the latter's privacy and hurl defamatory words at him in the
presence of his wife and children, neighbors and friends, accusing him —
a married man — of having an adulterous relationship with Florence.
This definitely caused private respondent much shame and
embarrassment that he could no longer show himself in his neighborhood
without feeling distraught and debased. This brought dissension and
distrust in his family where before there was none. This is why a few days
after the incident, he communicated with petitioner demanding public
apology and payment of damages, which petitioner ignored.
WHEREFORE, in light of the foregoing premises, the assailed Decision of
the CA affirming the judgment of the RTC holding Rodrigo Concepcion
liable to the spouses Nestor Nicolas and Allem Nicolas for F50,000.00 as
moral damages, P25,000.00 for exemplary damages, P10,000.00 for
attorney's fees, plus costs of suit, is AFFIRMED.
========================================================

TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 6


STRICT LIABILITY contract with Petitioner for and in behalf of its foreign principal.
When the person is made liable independent of fault or negligence upon Teringtering claimed that the deceased underwent a pre-employment
submission of proof of certain facts specified by law. medical examination wherein he was pronounced as "fit to work." Thus,
“When neither care nor negligence, neither good nor bad faith, neither her husband joined his vessel of assignment and performed his duties as
knowledge nor ignorance will save the defendant.” Oiler.
On or about April 18, 2001, a death certificate was issued wherein it was
NOTE: Strict liability tort can be committed even if reasonable care was stated that Jacinto died on April 9, 2001 due to asphyxia of drowning.
exercised and regardless of the state of mind of the actor at that time. Later on, an embalming and sealing certificate was issued after which the
remains of Jacinto was brought back to the Philippines.
REQUISITES: Respondent claimed from petitioners the payment of death compensation
0 There is a duty to make safe or to do no harm; and burial expenses as well as additional death compensation for the
1 Breach; minor Eimaereach Rose de Gracia Teringtering but was refused without
2 Injury; and any valid cause. Hence, a complaint was filed against the petitioners.
3 Causation Respondent claimed that in order for her husband's death to be
compensable it is enough that he died during the term of his contract and
(i.) FALLING OBJECTS while still on board. Respondent asserted that Jacinto was suffering from
Article 2193. The head of a family that lives in a building or a part thereof a psychotic disorder, or Mood Disorder Bipolar Type, which resulted to
is responsible for damages caused by things thrown or falling from the his jumping into the sea and his eventual death. Respondent further
same. asserted that her husband’s death was not deliberate and not of his own
0 The term “head of the family” is not limited to the owner of the will, but was a result of a mental disorder, thus, compensable.
building, and it may even include the lessee thereof. (Dingcong Petitioner asserted that Teringtering was not entitled to the benefits
vs. Kanaan) being claimed, because Jacinto committed suicide because the deceased
1 One doesn’t need to be negligent, there is no excuse. jumped into the sea not just once but twice, the second time he was
recovered and revived, he was already dead from drowning. Despite the
NOTE: Liability is absolute. It does not indicate a presumption or admit non-entitlement, however, Teringtering was even given burial assistance.
proof of care. She likewise received donations from the GMS staff and crew. Petitioner
likewise argued that Teringtering is not entitled to moral and exemplary
(ii.) EMPLOYERS damages, because petitioner had nothing to do with her late husband's
Article 1711. Owners of enterprises and other employers are obliged to untimely demise as the same was due to his own doing.
pay compensation for the death of or injuries to their laborers, workmen,
mechanics or other employees, even though the event may have been purely Ȁ㨀ĀᜀĀᜀĀᜀĀᜀĀᜀĀᜀĀᜀĀᜀऀऀ̀̀ĀȀ㨀ĀᜀĀᜀĀᜀĀᜀĀᜀĀᜀĀᜀĀ0
accidental or entirely due to a fortuitous cause, if the death or personal Whether the rule that the employer becomes liable once it is established
injury arose out of and in the course of the employment. The employer is that his employee(seaman) died during the effectivity of his employment
also liable for compensation if the employee contracts any illness or disease contract is absolute
caused by such employment or as the result of the nature of the
employment. If the mishap was due to the employee's own notorious HELD: NO.
negligence, or voluntary act, or drunkenness, the employer shall not be Under No. 6, Section C, Part II of the (POEA-SEC), it is provided that:
liable for compensation. When the employee's lack of due care contributed x x x x 6. No compensation shall be payable in respect of any injury,
to his death or injury, the compensation shall be equitably reduced. incapacity, disability or death resulting from a willful act on his own life
by the seaman, provided, however, that the employer can prove that such
0 Article 1711 imposes an obligation on owners of enterprises injury, incapacity, disability or death is directly attributable to him.
and other employers to pay for the death or injuries to their Indeed, in order to avail of death benefits, the death of the employee
employees. should occur during the effectivity of the employment contract. The death
1 Liability is strict because it exists even if the cause is purely of a seaman during the term of employment makes the employer liable to
accidental. his heirs for death compensation benefits. This rule, however, is not
2 If the mishap was due to the employee’s own notorious absolute. The employer may be exempt from liability if it can successfully
negligence, or voluntary act or drunkenness, the employer shall prove that the seaman's death was caused by an injury directly
not be liable for compensation. attributable to his deliberate or willful act. In the instant case, petitioner
3 When the employee’s lack of due care contributed to his death was able to substantially prove that Jacinto's death was attributable to his
or injury, the compensation shall be equitably reduced. deliberate act of killing himself by jumping into the sea.
4 If the death or injury is due to the negligence of a fellow- Otherwise slated, while it is true that labor contracts are impressed with
workman the latter and the employer shall be solidarily liable public interest and the provisions of the POEA-SEC must be construed
for compensation. logically and liberally in favor of Filipino seamen in the pursuit of their
5 If a fellow-worker’s intentional or malicious act is the only employment on board ocean-going vessels, still the rule is that justice is
cause of the death or injury, the employer shall not be in every case for the deserving, to be dispensed with in the light of
answerable unless it should be shown that the latter did not established facts, the applicable law, and existing jurisprudence.
exercise due diligence in the selection or supervision of the WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED.
plaintiff’s fellow-worker. ========================================================
6 There should be no excuse because if there will be an excuse
then it will be the same as negligence torts. (iii.) ANIMALS
7 This strict liability tort, this only covers the ,liability of Article 2183. The possessor of an animal or whoever may make use of the
employer in his employees, it does not cover liability of same is responsible for the damage which it may cause, although it may
employer to third persons (if the employee is negligent, he can escape or be lost. This responsibility shall cease only in case the damage
prove that it is SS) should come from force majeure or from the fault of the person who has
suffered damage. (1905)
INTENTIONAL ACT – in general the employer is not liable, unless it is
proved failed to prove SS of employee  not a defense, it will just be the GR: The possessor of an animal or whoever may make use of the same is
basis for liability. responsible for the damages which it may cause although it may escape or
be lost.
======================================================== XPN: When the damage was caused by force majeure or by the person
Crewlink, Inc vs. Teringtering who suffered the damage. (Article 2183)
Respondent Editha Teringtering spouse of deceased Jacinto filed a ========================================================
complaint against petitioner Crewlink, Inc. (Crewlink), and its foreign Vestil v. IAC
principal Gulf Marine Services for the payment of death benefits, benefit 0 A 3 yr old Theness Tan Uy was bitten by a dog while she was playing
for minor child, burial assistance, damages and attorney's fees. She with a child of the petitioners in the house of the late Vicente Miranda, the
alleged that her husband Jacinto entered into an overseas employment father of Petitioner Purita Vestil. She was rushed to the hospital, where
she was treated for "multiple lacerated wounds on the forehead" and
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS
DE VERA-YALUNG | 7
administered an anti-rabies vaccine. She was discharged after 9 days but NOTE: The Civil Code makes the protection against nuisance a legal
was readmitted one week later due to "vomiting of saliva." The following easement.
day, the child died. The cause of death was certified as broncho-
pneumonia. 7 months later, the Uys sued for damages, alleging that the KINDS:
Vestils were liable to them as the possessors of "Andoy," the dog that bit PUBLIC NUISANCE – affects a community or neighborhood or any
and eventually killed their daughter. The Vestils rejected the charge, considerable number of persons, although the extent of the
insisting that the dog belonged to the deceased Vicente Miranda, that it annoyance, danger or damage upon individuals may be
was a tame animal, and that in any case no one had witnessed it bite unequal.
Theness. Hence this petition where Purita Vestil insists that she is not the PRIVATE NUISANCE – is one that is not included in the foregoing
owner of the house or of the dog left by her father as his estate has not yet definition.
been partitioned and there are other heirs to the property. NUISANCE PER SE – is a nuisance under any and all circumstances.
E.g. A construction without provision for accumulation or
disposal of waste matters and constructed without
0 Whether the Vestils were considered possessors of the house at the
building permits contiguously to and therefore liable
time of the incident, hence, also of dog that admittedly was staying in the to pollute one of the main water pipelines which
house and are expected to exercise remote control of the dog supplies potable water to the Greater Manila area. As
such it may be abated without judicial proceedings
HELD: YES. There are factual evidence that the occupants of the house, under the Civil Code.
were boarders who paid the petitioners for providing them with meals NUISANCE PER ACCIDENS – becomes such under certain conditions
and accommodations. Purita Vestil had hired a maid who did the cooking and circumstances.
and cleaning in the said house for its occupants. Another witness testified E.g. certain business establishments. Commercial and
that the Vestils were maintaining the house for business purposes. The industrial activities which are lawful in themselves
application for water connection with the Cebu Water District was in the may become nuisances if they are so offensive to the
name of Purita, which strongly suggested that she was administering the senses that they render the enjoyment of life and
house in question. property uncomfortable. a business of building cars
While it is true that she is not really the owner of the house, which was may be considered under certain circumstances as
still part of Vicente Miranda's estate, there is no doubt that she and her nuisance per accidens. It is not nuisance per se
husband were its possessors at the time of the incident in question. She because it becomes a nuisance only on account of its
was the only heir residing in Cebu City and the most logical person to take location.
care of the property, which was only six kilometers from her own house.
Moreover, there is evidence showing that she and her family regularly Strict Liability and Person Liable
went to the house, once or twice weekly, and used it virtually as a second There is strict liability on the part of the owner or possessor of the
house. Interestingly, her own daughter was playing in the house with property where a nuisance is found because he is obliged to
Theness when the little girl was bitten by the dog. The dog itself remained abate the same irrespective of the presence or absence of fault
in the house even after the death of Vicente Miranda in 1973 and until or negligence.
1975, when the incident in question occurred. It is also noteworthy that Every successive owner or possessor of property who fails or
the petitioners offered to assist the Uys with their hospitalization refuses to abate a nuisance in that property started by a former
expenses although Purita said she knew them only casually. owner or possessor is liable therefore in the same manner as
the one who created it. (Article 686, CC)
In fact, Article 2183 of the Civil Code holds the possessor liable even if the
animal should "escape or be lost" and so be removed from his control. The Abatement
law does not speak only of vicious animals but covers even tame ones as a. Public Nuisance – Art. 699 of the Civil Code states that the remedies
long as they cause injury. As for the alleged provocation, Theness was only against a public nuisance are prosecution under the Penal Code or any
three years old at the time she was attacked and can hardly be faulted for local ordinance, or a civil action or abatement, without judicial
whatever she might have done to the animal. proceedings.
According to Manresa the obligation imposed by Article 2183 of the Civil
Code is based on natural equity and on the principle of social interest that NOTE: A private person may file an action on account of a public
he who possesses animals for his utility, pleasure or service must answer nuisance, if it is especially injurious to himself. (Art. 703, Civil Code). Such
for the damage which such animal may cause. private person may abate a public nuisance which is especially injurious
WHEREFORE, the challenged decision is AFFIRMED as above modified. to him by removing, or if necessary, by destroying the thing which
The petition is DENIED, with costs against the petitioners. It is so ordered. constitutes the same, without committing a breach of the peace, or doing
======================================================== unnecessary injury.

(iv.) NUISANCE Before a private person can abate a public nuisance, he must comply
Under the Civil Code, a nuisance is any act, omission, establishment, with the following requirements:
business, condition of property, or anything else which: That demand be first made upon the owner or possessor of the
Injures or endangers the health or safety of others; or property to abate the nuisance;
Annoys or offends the senses; or That such demand has been rejected;
Shocks, defies or disregards decency or morality; or That the abatement be approved by the district health officer and
Obstructs or interferes with the free passage of any public highway executed with the assistance of the local police; and
or street, or any body of water; or That the value of the destruction does not exceed three thousand
Hinders or impairs the use of property. (Art. 694). pesos.

Code of Sanitation of the PH, it considers the ff nuisance: Private Nuisance – remedies against a private nuisance are a civil action
Public or private premises maintained and used in a manner and abatement, without judicial proceedings. Any person injured by a
injurious to health; private nuisance may abate it by removing, or if necessary, by destroying
Breeding places and harborages of vermin; the thing which constitutes the nuisance, without committing a breach of
Animals and their carcasses which are injurious to health; the peace or doing unnecessary injury. However, it is indispensable that
Accumulation of refuse; the procedure for extrajudicial abatement of a public nuisance by a
Noxious matter or waste water discharged improperly in streets; private person be followed.
Animals stockage maintained in a manner injurious to health;
Excessive noise; and A private person or a public official extrajudicially abating a
Illegal shanties in public or private properties. (Section 85, P.D. No. nuisance shall be liable for damages in two cases:
856) If he causes unnecessary injury; or

TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 8


If an alleged nuisance is later declared by the courts to be not a real P5,000.00 for attorney's fees. In all other respects, the appealed decision
nuisance. (Article 707, CC) is affirmed. No costs.
========================================================
======================================================== PRODUCT AND SERVICE LIABILITY
Velasco vs. Manila Electric Company Sec. 9, Art. XVI of the 1987 PH Constitution:
In 1948, Velasco bought three (3) adjoining lots situated in Diliman, QC. The State shall protect consumers from trade malpractices and from
These lots are within an area zoned out as a "first residence" district by substandard or hazardous products.
the City Council of QC. Subsequently, Velasco sold two (2) lots to the State policy: To protect consumers “is intended not only against traders
Meralco, but retained the third lot, which was farthest from the street- but also manufacturers who dump defective, substandard or even
corner, whereon he built his house. hazardous products in the market”
In September, 1953, the Meralco started the construction of the sub-
station in question and finished it the following November, without prior Republic Act No. 7394
building permit or authority from the PSC. The facility reduces high THE CONSUMER ACT OF THE PHILIPPINES
voltage electricity to a current suitable for distribution to the company's Article 2. Declaration of Basic Policy. – It is the policy of the State to
consumers, numbering not less than 8,500 residential homes, over 300 protect the interests of the consumer, promote his general welfare and to
commercial establishments and about 30 industries. It was constructed establish standards of conduct for business and industry. Towards this
at a distance of 10 to 20 meters from the appellant's house. The company end, the State shall implement measures to achieve the following
built a stone and cement wall at the sides along the streets but along the objectives:
side adjoining the Velasco's property it put up a sawale wall but later protection against hazards to health and safety;
changed it to an interlink wire fence. protection against deceptive, unfair and unconscionable sales acts and
It is undisputed that a sound unceasingly emanates from the substation. practices;
Velasco contends that the sound constitutes an actionable nuisance provision of information and education to facilitate sound choice and the
under Article 694 of the Civil Code of the PH, reading as follows: proper exercise of rights by the consumer;
A nuisance is any act, omission, establishment, business condition of provision of adequate rights and means of redress; and
property or anything else which: involvement of consumer representatives in the formulation of social
(1) Injuries or endangers the health or safety of others; or and economic policies.
(2) Annoys or offends the senses;
xxx xxx xxx because subjection to the sound since 1954 had disturbed PRODUCT LIABILITY LAW
the concentration and sleep of said Velasco, and impaired his health and Law that governs the liability of manufacturers and sellers for damages
lowered the value of his property. Wherefore, he sought a judicial decree resulting from defective products.
for the abatement of the nuisance and asked that he be declared entitled
Article 33. In cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries a civil
to recover compensatory, moral and other damages under Article 2202
action for damages, entirely separate and distinct from the criminal
of the Civil Code.
action, may be brought by the injured party. Such civil action shall
proceed independently of the criminal prosecution, and shall require
Whether this sound constitutes an actionable nuisance or not is the
only a preponderance of evidence.
HELD: YES
Article 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another,
GR: Everyone is bound to bear the habitual or customary inconveniences
there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done.
that result from the proximity of others, and so long as this level is not
Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation
surpassed, he may not complain against them. But if the prejudice
between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the
exceeds the inconveniences that such proximity habitually brings, the
provisions of this Chapter. (1902a)
neighbor who causes such disturbance is held responsible for the
Article 2187. Manufacturers and processors of foodstuffs, drinks, toilet
resulting damage, being guilty of causing nuisance.
articles and similar goods shall be liable for death or injuries caused by
Thus, the impartial and objective evidence points to the sound emitted
any noxious or harmful substances used, although no contractual
by the Meralco's substation transformers being of much higher level than
relation exists between them and the consumers. (n)
the ambient sound of the locality. The measurements taken by Dr.
Almonte, who is not connected with either party, and is a physician to
boot appear more reliable. The conclusion must be that the noise CONSUMER ACT
continuously emitted, day and night, constitutes an actionable nuisance RA No. 7394 – Consumer Act of the PH
for which the appellant is entitled to relief, by requiring the Meralco to It is a law that is meant to protect the consumers by providing for certain
adopt the necessary measures to deaden or reduce the sound at the safeguards when they purchase or use consumer products.
plaintiff's house, by replacing the interlink wire fence with a partition It covers only consumer products and services that is “goods, services
made of sound absorbent material, since the relocation of the substation and credits, debts or obligations which are primarily for personal, family,
is manifestly impracticable and would be prejudicial to the customers of household or agricultural purposes, which shall include but not limited
the Electric Company who are being serviced from the substation. to food, drugs, cosmetics, and devices.”
Since there is no evidence upon which to compute any loss or damage
allegedly incurred by the Velasco by the frustration of the sale on account ALTERNATIVE THEORIES
of the noise, his claim therefore was correctly disallowed by the trial 5 different causes of action that may justify the award of damages for the
court. It may be added that there is no showing of any further attempts injuries sustained because of defective products.
on the part of Velasco to dispose of the house, and this fact suffices to Fraud of Misrepresentation
raise doubts as to whether he truly intended to dispose of it. He had no Breach of Warranty
actual need to do so in order to escape deterioration of his health, as Negligence
heretofore noted. Civil Liability arising from Criminal Liability and
Despite the wide gap between what was claimed and what was proved, Strict Liability
the Velasco is entitled to damages for the annoyance and adverse effects
suffered by him since the substation started functioning in January, 1954. STRICT LIABILITY UNDER THE STRICT LIABILITY UNDER THE
Considering all the circumstances disclosed by the record, as well as CIVIL CODE CONSUMER ACT
appellant's failure to minimize the deleterious influences from the - Only provision in the NCC wc - The strict liability provision
substation, this Court is of the opinion that an award in the amount of imposes strict liability for defective under Consumer Act is clear and
P20K by way of moderate and moral damages up to the present, is products is Art. 2187 unmistakable, Art. 97 of the statute
reasonable. - Privity of contract is not reqd expressly provides for liability for
The Manila Electric Company is hereby ordered to either transfer its under Art. 2187 bec. it allows defective products “independently
substation at South D and South 6 Streets, Diliman, Quezon City, or take recovery although no contractual of fault”
appropriate measures to reduce its noise at the property line between relation exists - Strict liability even extends to
the defendant company's compound and that of the Velasco to an - “shall” indicates that the liability services under Art. 99 of the
average of forty (40) to fifty (50) decibels within 90 days from finality of of the manufacturer and the Consumer Act that imposes
this decision; and to pay the said Velasco P20,000.00 in damages and processor is strict. liability for defective service
”independently of fault” – Service
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 9
“with respect to repair and service First, plaintiff claimants are all residents of the Philippines, either in
firms, services supplied in General Santos or in Davao. Second, the specific areas where they were
connection with a contact for allegedly exposed to the chemical DBCP are within the territorial
construction, maintenance, repair, jurisdiction of the courts a quo wherein NAVIDA, et al., and ABELLA, et al.,
processing, treatment or cleaning initially filed their claims for damages. Third, the testimonial and
of goods or of fixtures on land, or documentary evidence from important witnesses, such as doctors, co-
distribution of goods, or workers, family members and other members of the community, would be
transportation of goods.” easier to gather in the Philippines. Considering the great number of
plaintiff claimants involved in this case, it is not far-fetched to assume that
======================================================== voluminous records are involved in the presentation of evidence to
Navida vs Hon. Dizon support the claim of plaintiff claimants. Thus, these additional factors,
336 plaintiffs from GenSan referred to as NAVIDA, et al. filed a Joint coupled with the fact that the alleged cause of action of NAVIDA, et al., and
Complaint in the RTC of GenSan named as defendants therein were: SHEL; ABELLA, et al., against the defendant companies for damages occurred in
DOW; OCCIDENTAL; DOLE; CHIQUITA; DEL MONTE; defendants are the Philippines, demonstrate that, apart from the RTC of General Santos
collectively referred to as defendant companies. City and the RTC of Davao City having jurisdiction over the subject matter
Navida, et al., prayed for the payment of damages in view of the illnesses in the instant civil cases, they are, indeed, the convenient fora for trying
and injuries to the reproductive systems which they allegedly suffered these cases.
because of their exposure to DBCP, they were exposed to this chemical WHEREFORE, the Court hereby GRANTS the petitions for review on
during the early 1970’s up to the early 1980’s when they used the same in certiorari in G.R. Nos. 125078, 126654, and 128398. We REVERSE and
the banana plantations where they worked at; and/or when they resided SET ASIDE the Order of the RTC of GenSan, and the Order RTC of Davao,
within the agricultural area where such chemical was used. Navida, et al., and its subsequent Order denying reconsideration in Civil Case No.
claimed that their illnesses and injuries were due to the fault or 24,251-96, and REMAND the records of this case to the respective
negligence of each of the defendant companies in that they produced, sold Regional Trial Courts of origin for further and appropriate proceedings in
and/or otherwise put into the stream of commerce DBCP-containing line with the ruling herein that said courts have jurisdiction over the
products. According to NAVIDA, et al., they were allowed to be exposed to subject matter of the amended complaints in Civil Case Nos. 5617 and
the said products, which the defendant companies knew, or ought to have 24,251-96.
known, were highly injurious to the former’s health and well-being. ========================================================
Another joint complaint for damages against SHELL, DOW, OCCIDENTAL,
DOLE, DEL MONTE, and CHIQUITA was filed before RTC of Davao by 155 BUSINESS TORTS
plaintiffs from Davao referred to as ABELLA, et al. they alleged that, as Business torts known as interference with contractual relations,
workers in the banana plantation and/or as residents near the said interference with prospective advantage, unfair competition,
plantation, they were made to use and/or were exposed to nematocides, and securities related fraud.
which contained the chemical DBCP, such exposure resulted in "serious
and permanent injuries to their health, including, but not limited to, Article 2200. Indemnification for damages shall comprehend not only
sterility and severe injuries to their reproductive capacities, they claimed the value of the loss suffered, but also that of the profits which the obligee
that the defendant companies manufactured, produced, sold, distributed, failed to obtain.
used, and/or made available in commerce, DBCP without warning the
The provision also recognizes the existence of liability for various
users of its hazardous effects on health, and without providing
interference with business interests.  Interference may be in
instructions on its proper use and application, which the defendant the form of negligent or intentional acts or omissions. – It may
companies knew or ought to have known, had they exercised ordinary arise from diff. sources of obligation like delict, quasi-delict or
care and prudence. breach of contract.
Whether the RTC of GenSan and Davao have respective jurisdictions over
the subject matter of the complaints filed by NAVIDA et al and ABELLA et
al since Art. 2176 and 2187 of the NCC are broad enough to cover the acts CONTRACTUAL INTERFERENCE
complained of and to support their claims for damages I2: Whether INTERFERENCE WITH CONTRACT
HELD1: YES. Clearly then, the acts and/or omissions attributed to the GR: Only parties to a contract are bound by the terms of the contract and
defendant companies constitute a quasi-delict which is the basis for the only a party can file an action for breach of contract or for rescission or
claim for damages filed by NAVIDA, et al., and ABELLA, et al., with annulment thereof. – Only parties to the contract can file an action based
individual claims of approximately ₱2.7 million for each plaintiff claimant, thereon.
which obviously falls within the purview of the civil action jurisdiction of XPNs: Contracts containing a stipulation in a favor of a third person and
the RTCs. Moreover, the injuries and illnesses, which NAVIDA, et al., and contracts intended to defraud creditors.
ABELLA, et al., allegedly suffered resulted from their exposure to DBCP Contracting parties cannot sue 3rd persons for breach of contract. 3rd
while they were employed in the banana plantations located in the person cannot possibly be sued for breach of contract bec. only
Philippines or while they were residing within the agricultural areas also parties can breach contractual provisions.
located in the Philippines. The factual allegations in the Amended Joint-
Complaints all point to their cause of action, which undeniably occurred NB: A contracting party may sue a 3rd person not for breach but for
in the Philippines. The RTC of GenSan and RTC of Davao obviously have inducing another to commit such breach.
reasonable basis to assume jurisdiction over the cases.
All parties voluntarily, unconditionally and knowingly appeared and Article 1314. Any third person who induces another to violate his
submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the courts a quo. Thus, the contract shall be liable for damages to the other contracting party.
RTC of GenSan and the RTC of Davao have validly acquired jurisdiction Art. 1314 is known as interference with contractual relations.
over the persons of the defendant companies, as well as over the subject Such interference is considered tortuous bec. it violates the rights of
matter of the instant case. What is more, this jurisdiction, which has been the contracting parties to fulfill the contract and to have
acquired and has been vested on the courts a quo, continues until the fulfilled, to reap the profits resulting therefrom, and to compel
termination of the proceedings. the performance by the other party.
RE: Territoriality Right is derived from a contract is a property right that entitles each
Certainly, the cases below are not criminal cases where territoriality, or party to protection against the entire world and any damage to
the situs of the act complained of, would be determinative of jurisdiction said property should be compensated.
and venue for trial of cases. In personal civil actions, such as claims for An agreement that prohibits interference (w/ existing contracts) is a
payment of damages, the Rules of Court allow the action to be contact that is not contrary to public policy. Thus, a contract is
commenced and tried in the appropriate court, where any of the plaintiffs valid if it amounts simply to an agreement that those executing
or defendants resides, or in the case of a non-resident defendant, where the contract will not induce the EEs of those w/ whom the
he may be found, at the election of the plaintiff. contract is made to leave their service.
In a very real sense, most of the evidence required to prove the claims of ELEMENTS
NAVIDA, et al., and ABELLA, et al., are available only in the Philippines. 1. Existence of a valid contract; [Contract]

TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS


DE VERA-YALUNG | 10
Knowle4dge on the part of the third person of the existence of the Australia with Go, Landicho and Go’s family members. But what is
contract; and [Malice] appalling is the fact that even as Go, Landicho and Tecson secretly
Interference of the third person without legal justification or excuse. negotiated with Robinson for the purchase of a second vessel, Landicho
[Procurement] and Tecson continued to demand and receive from Cordero their
======================================================== "commission" or "cut" from Cordero’s earned commission from the sale of
Go vs Cordero the first SEACAT 25.
F: In 1996, Mortimer F. Cordero, VP of Pamana Marketing Corporation Cordero was practically excluded from the transaction when Go,
(Pamana), ventured into the business of marketing inter-island passenger Robinson, Tecson and Landicho suddenly ceased communicating with
vessels. Cordero met Tony Robinson, who is the Managing Director of him, without giving him any explanation. Go, Robinson, Tecson and
Aluminium Fast Ferries Australia (AFFA). Robinson signed documents Landicho clearly connived not only in ensuring that Cordero would have
appointing Cordero as the exclusive distributor of AFFA catamaran and no participation in the contract for sale of the second SEACAT 25, but also
other fast ferry vessels in the PH. As such, Cordero offered for sale to that Cordero would not be paid the balance of his commission from the
prospective buyers the catamaran known as the SEACAT 25. sale of the first SEACAT 25. This, despite their knowledge that it was
After negotiations with Landicho and Tecson, lawyers of Allan C. Go who commission already earned by and due to Cordero. Thus, the trial and
is the owner/operator of ACG Express Liner of Cebu, a single appellate courts correctly ruled that the actuations of Go, Robinson,
proprietorship, Cordero was able to close a deal for the purchase of two Tecson and Landicho were without legal justification and intended solely
(2) SEACAT 25 as evidenced by the MOA. Accordingly, the parties to prejudice Cordero.
executed Shipbuilding Contract No. 7825 for one (1) high-speed The rule is that the defendant found guilty of interference with
catamaran (SEACAT 25) for the price of US$1,465,512.00. Per agreement contractual relations cannot be held liable for more than the amount for
between Robinson and Cordero, the latter shall receive commissions which the party who was inducted to break the contract can be held
totalling US$328,742.00, or 22.43% of the purchase price, from the sale of liable. Respondents Go, Landicho and Tecson were therefore correctly
each vessel. However, Cordero later discovered that Go was dealing held liable for the balance of petitioner Cordero’s commission from the
directly with Robinson, Cordero tried to contact Go and Landicho to sale of the first SEACAT 25, in the amount of US$31,522.09 or its peso
confirm the matter but they were nowhere to be found, while Robinson equivalent, which AFFA/Robinson did not pay in violation of the exclusive
refused to answer his calls. Cordero immediately flew to Australia to distributorship agreement, with interest at the rate of 6% per annum
clarify matters with Robinson, only to find out that Go and Landicho were from June 24, 1998 until the same is fully paid.
already there in Brisbane, Australia negotiating for the sale of the second ========================================================
SEACAT 25. Despite repeated follow-up calls, no explanation was given by
Robinson, Go, Landicho and Tecson who even made Cordero believe there (ii) INTERFERENCE WITH PROSPECTIVE ADVANTAGE
would be no further sale between AFFA and ACG Express Liner. If there is no contract yet and defendant is only being sued for inducing
Cordero instituted a Civil Case seeking to hold Robinson, Go, Tecson and another not to enter into a contract w/ the plaintiff, the tort committed is
Landicho liable jointly and solidarily for conniving and conspiring appropriately called interference w/ prospective advantage.
together in violating his exclusive distributorship in bad faith and wanton
disregard of his rights, thus depriving him of his due commissions and Tuttle vs Buck
causing him actual, moral and exemplary damages, including expenses for “When a man starts an opposition place of business, not for the sake of
airplane travel to Australia, telecommunications bills and entertainment, profit himself, but regardless of loss to himself, and for the sole purpose
on account of AFFA’s untimely cancellation of the exclusive of driving his competitor out of business, and with the intention of
distributorship agreement. Cordero also prayed for the award of moral himself retiring upon the accomplishment of his malevolent purpose, he
and exemplary damages, as well as attorney’s fees and litigation expenses. is guilty of a wanton wrong and an actionable tort. In such a case he
I: Whether there is Breach of Exclusive Distributorship, Contractual would not be exercising his legal right, or doing an act which can be
Interference on the part of the Respondents and hence liable for Damages judged separately from the motive which actuated him. To call such
HELD: YES. Although there was no sufficient evidence that respondents conduct competition is a perversion of terms. It is simply the application
actually purchased a second SEACAT 25 directly from AFFA, this of force without legal justification, which in it6s moral quality may be no
circumstance will not absolve respondents from liability for invading better that highway robbery”
Cordero’s rights under the exclusive distributorship. Respondents clearly
acted in bad faith in bypassing Cordero as they completed the remaining (iii) SECURITIES-RELATED TORTS
payments to AFFA without advising him and furnishing him with copies of A person who, contrary to law, caused damage to another is liable under
the bank transmittals as they previously did, and directly dealt with AFFA Art. 21 of the NCC.
through Robinson regarding arrangements for the arrival of the first
SEACAT 25 in Manila and negotiations for the purchase of the second Implicit from any violation of the provisions of the Securities
vessel pursuant to the MOA which Cordero signed in behalf of AFFA. As a Regulation Code of RA No. 8799 is the liability for damages caused by
result of respondents’ actuations, Cordero incurred losses as he was not such violation.
paid the balance of his commission from the sale of the first vessel and his Civil liability arising from delict follows such violation bec. Sec. 73 of the
exclusive distributorship revoked by AFFA. law imposes criminal liability on any person who violates any of the rules
While it is true that a third person cannot possibly be sued for breach of and regulations promulgated by SEC or any person who, in the
contract because only parties can breach contractual provisions, a registration statement makes untrue statement of or omits to state any
contracting party may sue a third person not for breach but for inducing material fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the
another to commit such breach. statements therein not misleading.
Article 1314 of the Civil Code provides:
Art. 1314. Any third person who induces another to violate his contract (iii) UNFAIR COMPETITION
shall be liable for damages to the other contracting party.
The act of Go, Landicho and Tecson in inducing Robinson and AFFA to UNFAIR COMPETITION
enter into another contract directly with ACG Express Liner to obtain a Article 28. Unfair competition in agricultural, commercial or industrial
lower price for the second vessel resulted in AFFA’s breach of its enterprises or in labor through the use of force, intimidation, deceit,
contractual obligation to pay in full the commission due to Cordero and machination or any other unjust, oppressive or highhanded method shall
unceremonious termination of Cordero’s appointment as exclusive give rise to a right of action by the person who thereby suffers damage.
distributor. Following our pronouncement in Gilchrist v. Cuddy (supra),
such act may not be deemed malicious if impelled by a proper business INTERFERENCE
interest rather than in wrongful motives. The attendant circumstances, Unfair competition includes cases involving the tort of interference w/
however, demonstrated that respondents transgressed the bounds of contractual relations and interference w/ prospective advantage.
permissible financial interest to benefit themselves at the expense of Businessman who maliciously interferes w/ the contract of his
Cordero. Respondents furtively went directly to Robinson after Cordero competitor w/ the latter’s clients in order to get them as his
had worked hard to close the deal for them to purchase from AFFA two own may be guilty of interference w/ contractual relations.
(2) SEACAT 25, closely monitored the progress of building the first vessel Businessmen through force, intimidation, or any other means
sold, attended to their concerns and spent no measly sum for the trip to prevents the customers from entering into a contract w/ the
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS
DE VERA-YALUNG | 11
competitor, the same way amount to interference w/ Consequently, the employer cannot escape liability by claiming that he
prospective advantage. exercised due diligence in the selection or supervision of the employee.

GR: In the Philippines, vicarious liability is generally not governed by the


doctrine of respondeat superior. The employers or the parents are being
THE DEFENDANTS made liable not only because of the negligent or wrongful act of the
Who may be sued for tort, particularly those who may be held liable for person for whom they are responsible but also because of their own
quasi-delict under Art. 2176.  Both natural and juridical persons may negligence.
be held liable for quasi-delict. Liability is imposed on the employer because he failed to exercise
due diligence in the selection and supervision of his employee
JURIDICAL PERSONS – liability is always imputed bec. artificial beings Parents are made liable because they failed to exercise diligence in
act only though their officers, employees agents. State and political the supervision of their child who lives in their company.
subdivisions may be subject to civil liability.
NOTE: The liability is still vicarious or imputed because there is no direct
CONCURRENT NEGLIGENCE OR ACTS link between their act or omission and the injury. The employers or the
A. JOINT TORTFEASORS parents, no matter how negligent in supervising their employee or child,
would not be liable were it not for the act or omission of the said
Article 2194. The responsibility of two or more persons who are liable employee or child. The operative act or omission is still the act or
for quasi-delict is solidary. (n) omission of the employee or child and the negligence or wrongful
conduct is imputed to the person responsible for them.
Joint tort feasors are all the persons who command, instigate,
promote, encourage, advise, countenance, cooperate in, aid or XPN: The Doctrine is applicable in:
abet the commission of a tort, or who approve of it after it is Liability of employer is applicable under Article 103, RPC;
done, if done for their benefit. They are each liable as Liability of a partnership for the tort committed by a partnership.
principals, to the same extent and in the same manner as if
they had performed the wrongful act themselves. RESPONDEAT SUPERIOR BONUS PATER FAMILIAS
Joint tort feasors are jointly and severally liable for the tort which Let the master answer Good father of a family
they commit. The person injured may sue all of them, or any An American Doctrine whereby the Good father of a family, whereby
number less than all. Each is liable for the whole damage negligence of the employee is the employer ultimately becomes
caused by all, and all together are jointly liable for the whole conclusively presumed to be liable on his own negligence
damage. It is no defense for one sued alone, that the others negligence of the employer
who participated in the wrongful act are not joined with him It is the Latin phrase which It means that the employer is liable
as defendants; nor is it any excuse for him that his literally means, “let the master or upon a finding that has been
participation in the tort was insignificant as compared with superior answer or let the negligent in the selection of his
that of the others. principal answer for the acts of his employees (culpa in elgiendo) or in
Joint tort feasors are not liable pro rata. The damages can not be agents.” the supervision of his employees
apportioned among them, except among themselves. (culpa in vigilando)
If the proximate causes of the injury are 2 causal sets, both persons It is a legal doctrine which means Juris tantum – disputable
who are responsible for the two separate causes are liable that the employer is responsible presumption; Jure et de Jure –
jointly and severally. Solidary liability exists not only if the for his employees actions within conclusive presumption
defendants conspired to bring about the result but also in the course of employment.
cases where causes are independent of each other. Thus, if a
passenger was injured in a vehicular accident involving the
RATIO: In respondeat superior, one is liable merely because he is the
public utility vehicle where he was riding and another vehicle,
employer and the mere fact that his employee was negligent. While in
the drivers of both vehicles are solidarily liable if it can be
bonus pater familias, one is liable because the employer is personally
established that their respective negligence are the proximate
negligent in the selection and supervision. (Both Vicarious)
causes of the injury.
N.B. Concurrent Negligence is separate from Vicarious Liability, one can
MOTOR VEHICLE MISHAPS
go against, say, in a vehicular accident where 2 vehicles caused the
mishap, one can go against either the drivers. While Vicarious Liability
Article 2184. In motor vehicle mishaps, the owner is solidarily liable means that there is one negligent while the other is sabit lang.
with his driver, if the former, who was in the vehicle, could have, by the
use of the due diligence, prevented the misfortune. It is disputably NOTE: In the PH, bonus pater familias is common.
presumed that a driver was negligent, if he had been found guilty or
reckless driving or violating traffic regulations at least twice within the VICARIOUS LIABILITY
next preceding two months.
Art. 2180. The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is demandable not
only for one's own acts or omissions, but also for those of persons for
If the owner was not in the motor vehicle, the provisions of Article 2180
whom one is responsible.
are applicable. (n)
The father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are
Solidary liability is imposed on the owner of the vehicle not
responsible for the damages caused by the minor children who live in
because of his imputed liability but because his own omission
their company.
is a concurring proximate cause of the injury. (Chapman v.
Undewood)
Guardians are liable for damages caused by the minors or incapacitated
persons who are under their authority and live in their company.
VICARIOUS LIABILITY
A person is not only liable for torts committed by himself, but also for
The owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise are
torts committed by others with whom he has a certain relationship and
likewise responsible for damages caused by their employees in the
for whom he is responsible. (Tamargo vs. Court of Appeals)
service of the branches in which the latter are employed or on the
Also called, Doctrine of Imputed Negligence
occasion of their functions.
RESPONDEAT SUPERIOR vs BONUS PATER FAMILIAS RESPONDEAT
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees
SUPERIOR – liability is strictly imputed, that is, the employer is liable not
and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks,
because of his act or omission but because of the act or omission of the
even
employee. What is material is not whether the employer exercised due
care but the conduct of the employee. DE VERA-YALUNG | 12

TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS


though the former are not engaged in any business or industry. himself at the wheel. And even when he did see it at that distance, he
could not have anticipated his driver's sudden decision to pass the
The State is responsible in like manner when it acts through a special carretela on its left side in spite of the fact that another car was
agent; but not when the damage has been caused by the official to whom approaching from the opposite direction. The time element was such that
the task done properly pertains, in which case what is provided in Article there was no reasonable opportunity for Yu Khe Thai to assess the risks
2176 shall be applicable. involved and warn the driver accordingly. The thought that entered his
mind, he said, was that if he sounded a sudden warning it might only
Lastly, teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades shall be make the other man nervous and make the situation worse. It was a
liable for damages caused by their pupils and students or apprentices, so thought that, wise or not, connotes no absence of that due diligence
long as they remain in their custody. required by law to prevent the misfortune.
I2: Whether the test of imputed negligence under Article 2184 of the Civil
The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons Code is, to a great degree, necessarily subjective.
herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good HELD2: YES. Car owners are not held to a uniform and inflexible standard
father of a family to prevent damage. (1903a) of diligence as are professional drivers. In many cases they refrain from
driving their own cars and instead hire other persons to drive for them
Art. 2181. Whoever pays for the damage caused by his dependents or precisely because they are not trained or endowed with sufficient
employees may recover from the latter what he has paid or delivered in discernment to know the rules of traffic or to appreciate the relative
satisfaction of the claim. (1904) dangers posed by the different situations that are continually
encountered on the road. What would be a negligent omission under
Art. 2182. If the minor or insane person causing damage has no aforesaid Article on the part of a car owner who is in the prime of age and
parents or guardian, the minor or insane person shall be answerable with knows how to handle a motor vehicle is not necessarily so on the part,
his own property in an action against him where a guardian ad litem shall say, of an old and infirm person who is not similarly equipped.
be appointed. (n) 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
Caedo vs Yu Khe Thai intelligence, within the meaning of Article 2184, is his omission to do that
The mishap occurred on Highway 54 in the vicinity of San Lorenzo which the evidence of his own senses tells him he should do in order to
Village. Marcial was driving his Mercury car on his way to the airport, avoid the accident. And as far as perception is concerned, absent a
Coming from the opposite direction was the Cadillac of Yu Khe Thai, with minimum level imposed by law, a maneuver that appears to be fraught
his driver Rafael Bernardo at the wheel, taking the owner to Wack Wack with danger to one passenger may appear to be entirely safe and
for his regular round of golf. The two cars were traveling at fairly commonplace to another. Were the law to require a uniform standard of
moderate speeds, considering the condition of the road and the absence perceptiveness, employment of professional drivers by car owners who,
of traffic — the Mercury at 40 to 50 kilometers per hour, and the Cadillac by their very inadequacies, have real need of drivers' services, would be
at approximately 30 to 35 miles (48 to 56 kilometers). Their headlights effectively proscribed.
were mutually noticeable from a distance. Ahead of the Cadillac, going in We hold that the imputation of liability to Yu Khe Thai, solidarily with
the same direction, was a caretella towing another horse by means of a Rafael Bernardo, is an error.
short rope coiled around the rig's vertical post on the right side. The WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is modified in the sense of
carretela was provided with two lights, one on each side, and they should declaring defendant-appellant Yu Khe Thai free from liability, and is
have given Bernardo sufficient warning to take the necessary precautions, otherwise affirmed with respect to defendant Rafael Bernardo, with costs
the carretela should have been visible to him from afar if he had been against the latter.
careful, as it must have been in the beam of his headlights for a ========================================================
considerable while.
In the meantime the Mercury was coming on its own lane from the (ii) PARENTS
opposite direction. Bernardo, instead of slowing down or stopping
altogether behind the carretela until that lane was clear, veered to the left LIABILITY FOR THE ACTS OF MINORS A.
in order to pass. As he did so the curved end of his car's right rear bumper BASIS OF LIABILITY
caught the forward rim of the rig's left wheel, wrenching it off and The basis of liability of parents for the acts or omissions of their
carrying it along as the car skidded obliquely to the other lane, where it minor children is the parental authority that they exercise over
collided with the oncoming vehicle. Caedo, confronted with the them.
unexpected situation, tried to avoid the collision at the last moment by Their liability is a necessary consequence of the parental authority
going farther to the right, but was unsuccessful. which imposes upon them the duty of supporting their
There is no doubt at all that the collision was directly traceable to Rafael children, keeping them in their company and educating them in
Bernardo's negligence and that he must be held liable for the damages proportion to their means.
suffered by the plaintiffs.
I1: Whether or not Yu Khe Thai, as owner of the Cadillac, is solidarily B. PERSONS LIABLE
liable with the driver on the basis of respondeat superior Liability based on parental authority is not limited to parents; the
HELD1: NO. The basis of the master's liability in civil law is not same is also imposed on those exercising substitute parental
respondent superior but rather the relationship of paterfamilias. The authority and special parental authority.
theory is that ultimately the negligence of the servant, if known to the NOTE: Parents have the natural right and duty over the person and
master and susceptible of timely correction by him, reflects his own property of their unemancipated children. They exercise their authority
negligence if he fails to correct it in order to prevent injury or damage. jointly and in the absence or death of either parent, the parent present
Rafael Bernardo had been Yu Khe Thai's driver since 1937, and before shall continue exercising parental authority.
that had been employed by a company before in the same capacity for
over ten years. He had no record of violation of traffic laws and In default of the parents or a judicially appointed guardian, parental
regulations during that period. No negligence for having employed him at authority shall be exercised by the following persons in the order
all may be imputed to his master. Negligence on the part of the latter must indicated (Articles 214 and 216, FC):
be sought in the immediate setting and circumstances of the accident, The surviving grandparents;
that is, in his failure to detain the driver from pursuing a course which not The oldest brother or sister, over twenty-one years of age, unless
only gave him clear notice of the danger but also sufficient time to act unfit or disqualified; and
upon it. We do not see that such negligence may be imputed. The child’s actual custodian, over twenty-one years of age, unless
The car was running at a reasonable speed. The road was wide and open, unfit or disqualified.
and devoid of traffic that early morning. There was no reason for the car
owner to be in any special state of alert. He had reason to rely on the skill Nature of Liability: Both parents are primarily liable for the damages
and experience of his driver. He became aware of the presence of the caused by their child. It should be emphasized that the liability is primary
carretela when his car was only twelve meters behind it, but then his and not subsidiary.
failure to see it earlier did not constitute negligence, for he was not

TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 13


LIABILITY FOR ACTS OF CHILDREN OF MAJORITY AGE Cuadra vs Monfort
Emancipation takes place by the attainment of the age of majority. Maria Teresa Cuadra, 12, and Maria Teresa Monfort, 13, were classmates
(Article 234,CC). Emancipation shall terminate parental in Grade 6 at the Mabini Elementary School in Bacolod City. Their teacher
authority over the person and property of the child who shall assigned them to weed the grass in the school premises. Maria Teresa
then be qualified and responsible for all acts of civil life. Monfort found a plastic headband, jokingly she said aloud that she had
(Article 236, FC). Similarly, the power of guardians over minors found an earthworm and, evidently to frighten the Cuadra girl, tossed the
shall likewise cease when the said minors reach the age of object at her. At that precise moment the latter turned around to face her
majority. friend, and the object hit her right eye. Smarting from the pain, she
rubbed the injured part and treated it with some powder. The next day,
Article 201 of the Child and Youth Welfare Code: 15 under 18 with or the eye became swollen and it was then that the girl related the incident
without discernment, the parent or guardian are liable. to her parents, who thereupon took her to a doctor for treatment. She
Article 2180, CC: 15 under 21, the parents of guardians are still liable. underwent surgical operation twice, and stayed in the hospital for a total
of 23 days, for all of which the parents spent the sum of P1,703.75.
NOTE: Parents and other persons exercising parental authority can Despite the medical efforts, however, Maria Teresa Cuadra completely lost
escape liability by proving that they observed all the diligence of a good the sight of her right eye.
father of a family to prevent damage. In the civil suit subsequently instituted by the parents in behalf of their
minor daughter against Alfonso Monfort, Maria Teresa Monfort's father,
FAMILY CODE the defendant was ordered to pay P1,703.00 as actual damages;
Art. 129. Those given the authority and responsibility under the P20,000.00 as moral damages; and P2,000.00 as attorney's fees, plus the
preceding Article shall be principally and solidarily liable for damages costs of the suit.
caused by the acts or omissions of the unemancipated minor. The parents, Whether there is liability that may be imputed on the part of Monfort’s
judicial guardians or the persons exercising substitute parental authority parents for the act of his their child which causes damage to another
over said minor shall be subsidiarily liable. HELD: In the present case there is nothing from which it may be inferred
The respective liabilities of those referred to in the preceding paragraph that the defendant could have prevented the damage by the observance of
shall not apply if it is proved that they exercised the proper diligence due care, or that he was in any way remiss in the exercise of his parental
required under the particular circumstances. authority in failing to foresee such damage, or the act which caused it. On
All other cases not covered by this and the preceding articles shall be the contrary, his child was at school, where it was his duty to send her and
governed by the provisions of the Civil Code on quasi-delicts. (n) where she was, as he had the right to expect her to be, under the care and
supervision of the teacher. And as far as the act which caused the injury
Art. 221. Parents and other persons exercising parental authority shall be was concerned, it was an innocent prank not unusual among children at
civilly liable for the injuries and damages caused by the acts or omissions play and which no parent, however careful, would have any special reason
of their unemancipated children living in their company and under their to anticipate much less guard against. Nor did it reveal any mischievous
parental authority subject to the appropriate defenses provided by law. propensity, or indeed any trait in the child's character which would reflect
unfavorably on her upbringing and for which the blame could be
Art. 236. Emancipation for any cause shall terminate parental authority attributed to her parents.
over the person and property of the child who shall then be qualified and The victim, no doubt, deserves no little commiseration and sympathy for
responsible for all acts of civil life. the tragedy that befell her. But if the defendant is at all obligated to
compensate her suffering, the obligation has no legal sanction enforceable
RPC in court, but only the moral compulsion of good conscience.
Art. 101. Rules regarding civil liability in certain cases. — The exemption The decision appealed from is reversed, and the complaint is dismissed,
from criminal liability established in subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 of Article without pronouncement as to costs.
12 and in subdivision 4 of Article 11 of this Code does not include
exemption from civil liability, which shall be enforced subject to the Tamargo vs CA
following rules: On 20 October 1982, Adelberto Bundoc, 10yrs old, shot Jennifer Tamargo
First. In cases of subdivisions 1, 2, and 3 of Article 12, the civil liability for with an air rifle causing injuries which resulted in her death. A civil
acts committed by an imbecile or insane person, and by a person under complaint for damages was filed with the RTC of Ilocos Sur by petitioner
nine years of age, or by one over nine but under fifteen years of age, who Macario Tamargo, Jennifer's adopting parent, and petitioner spouses
has acted without discernment, shall devolve upon those having such Celso and Aurelia Tamargo, Jennifer's natural parents against respondent
person under their legal authority or control, unless it appears that there spouses Victor and Clara Bundoc, Adelberto's natural parents with whom
was no fault or negligence on their part.chanrobles virtual law library he was living at the time of the tragic incident.
Should there be no person having such insane, imbecile or minor under Prior to the incident, or on 10 December 1981, the spouses Sabas and
his authority, legal guardianship or control, or if such person be insolvent, Felisa Rapisura had filed a petition to adopt the minor Adelberto Bundoc
said insane, imbecile, or minor shall respond with their own property, before the CFI of Ilocos Sur. This petition for adoption was grunted on, 18
excepting property exempt from execution, in accordance with the civil November 1982, that is, after Adelberto had shot and killed Jennifer.
law. Respondent spouses Bundoc, Adelberto's natural parents, reciting the
Second. In cases falling within subdivision 4 of Article 11, the persons for result of the foregoing petition for adoption, claimed that not they, but
whose benefit the harm has been prevented shall be civilly liable in rather the adopting parents, namely the spouses Sabas and Felisa
proportion to the benefit which they may have received. Rapisura, were indispensable parties to the action since parental
authority had shifted to the adopting parents from the moment the
The courts shall determine, in sound discretion, the proportionate successful petition for adoption was filed.
amount for which each one shall be liable. Petitioners contended that since Adelberto Bundoc was then actually
When the respective shares cannot be equitably determined, even living with his natural parents, parental authority had not ceased nor
approximately, or when the liability also attaches to the Government, or to been relinquished by the mere filing and granting of a petition for
the majority of the inhabitants of the town, and, in all events, whenever adoption.
the damages have been caused with the consent of the authorities or their Whether the shooting of Jennifer by Adelberto w/ an air rifle occurred
agents, indemnification shall be made in the manner prescribed by when parental authourity was still lodged in respondent Bundoc spouses
special laws or regulations. HELD: YES. In the instant case, the shooting occurred when parental
authority was still lodged in respondent Bundoc spouses, the natural
Third. In cases falling within subdivisions 5 and 6 of Article 12, the parents of the minor Adelberto. It would thus follow that the natural
persons using violence or causing the fears shall be primarily liable and parents who had then actual custody of the minor Adelberto, are the
secondarily, or, if there be no such persons, those doing the act shall be indispensable parties to the suit for damages.
liable, saving always to the latter that part of their property exempt from The civil liability imposed upon parents for the torts of their minor
execution. children living with them, may be seen to be based upon the parental
authority vested by the Civil Code upon such parents. The civil law
======================================================== assumes that when an unemancipated child living with its parents
commits a tortious acts, the parents were negligent in the performance of
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS
DE VERA-YALUNG | 14
their legal and natural duty closely to supervise the child who is in their HELD: All YES. Court cannot but entertain serious doubts that petitioner
custody and control. Parental liability is, in other words, anchored upon spouses had really been exercising the diligence of a good father of a
parental authority coupled with presumed parental dereliction in the family by safely locking the fatal gun away. Wendell could not have gotten
discharge of the duties accompanying such authority. The parental hold thereof unless one of the keys to the safety deposit box was
dereliction is, of course, only presumed and the presumption can be negligently left lying around or he had free access to the bag of his mother
overtuned under Article 2180 of the Civil Code by proof that the parents where the other key was. The diligence of a good father of a family
had exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the required by law in a parent and child relationship consists, to a large
damage. extent, of the instruction and supervision of the child.
The basis of parental liability for the torts of a minor child is the Petitioners were gravely remiss in their duties as parents in not diligently
relationship existing between the parents and the minor child living with supervising the activities of their son, despite his minority and
them and over whom, the law presumes, the parents exercise supervision immaturity, so much so that it was only at the time of Wendell’s death that
and control. they allegedly discovered that he was a CANU agent and that Cresencio’s
We do not believe that parental authority is properly regarded as having gun was missing from the safety deposit box.
been retroactively transferred to and vested in the adopting parents, the We believe that the civil liability of parents for quasi-delicts of their minor
Rapisura spouses, at the time the air rifle shooting happened. We do not children, as contemplated in Article 2180 of the Civil Code, is primary and
consider that retroactive effect may be given to the decree of adoption so not subsidiary. We are also persuaded that the liability of the parents for
as to impose a liability upon the adopting parents accruing at a time when felonies committed by their minor children is likewise primary, not
adopting parents had no actual or physically custody over the adopted subsidiary.
child. Retroactive affect may perhaps be given to the granting of the Just like the rule in Article 2180 of the Civil Code, under the foregoing
petition for adoption where such is essential to permit the accrual of provision the civil liability of the parents for crimes committed by their
some benefit or advantage in favor of the adopted child. In the instant minor children is likewise direct and primary, and also subject to the
case, to hold that parental authority had been retroactively lodged in the defense of lack of fault or negligence on their part, that is, the exercise of
Rapisura spouses so as to burden them with liability for a tortious act that the diligence of a good father of a family.
they could not have foreseen and which they could not have prevented Under the foregoing considerations, therefore, we hereby rule that the
(since they were at the time in the United States and had no physical parents are and should be held primarily liable for the civil liability
custody over the child Adelberto) would be unfair and unconscionable. arising from criminal offenses committed by their minor children under
Such a result, moreover, would be inconsistent with the philosophical and their legal authority or control, or who live in their company, unless it is
policy basis underlying the doctrine of vicarious liability. Put a little proven that the former acted with the diligence of a good father of a
differently, no presumption of parental dereliction on the part of the family to prevent such damages. Under said Article 2180, the enforcement
adopting parents, the Rapisura spouses, could have arisen since Adelberto of such liability shall be effected against the father and, in case of his
was not in fact subject to their control at the time the tort was committed. death or incapacity, the mother. However, under the Family Code, this civil
Accordingly, we conclude that respondent Bundoc spouses, Adelberto's liability is now, without such alternative qualification, the responsibility
natural parents, were indispensable parties to the suit for damages of the parents and those who exercise parental authority over the minor
brought by petitioners, and that the dismissal by the trial court of offender. 33 For civil liability arising from quasi-delicts committed by
petitioners' complaint, the indispensable parties being already before the minors, the same rules shall apply in accordance with Articles 2180 and
court, constituted grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of 2182 of the Civil Code, as so modified.
jurisdiction. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petition for Review is
hereby GRANTED DUE COURSE. In the case at bar, whether the death of the hapless Julie Ann Gotiong was
caused by a felony or a quasi-delict committed by Wendell Libi,
Libi vs IAC respondent court did not err in holding petitioners liable for damages
Respondent spouses are the legitimate parents of Julie Ann Gotiong 18- arising therefrom. Subject to the preceding modifications of the premises
year old first year commerce student who, at the time of the deplorable relied upon by it therefor and on the bases of the legal imperatives herein
incident which took place and from which she died on January 14, 1979,; explained, we conjoin in its findings that said petitioners failed to duly
while petitioners are the parents of Wendell Libi, then a minor between exercise the requisite diligentissimi patris familias to prevent such
18 and 19 years of age living with his aforesaid parents, and who also damages.
died in the same event on the same date. Julie Ann Gotiong and Wendell ACCORDINGLY, the instant Petition is DENIED and the assailed judgment
Libi were sweethearts until when Julie Ann broke up her relationship of respondent Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED, with costs against
with Wendell after she supposedly found him to be sadistic and petitioners.
irresponsible. Wendell kept pestering Julie Ann with demands for ========================================================
reconciliation but the latter persisted in her refusal, prompting the
former to resort to threats against her. In order to avoid him, Julie Ann (iii) SCHOOLS
stayed in the house of her best friend, Malou Alfonso, at the corner of
Maria Cristina and Juana Osmenñ a Streets, Cebu City, from January 7 to 13, Art. 218. The school, its administrators and teachers, or the individual,
1978. On January 14, 1979, Julie Ann and Wendell died, each from a single entity or institution engaged in child are shall have special parental
gunshot wound inflicted with the same firearm, a Smith and Wesson authority and responsibility over the minor child while under their
revolver licensed in the name of petitioner Cresencio Libi, which was supervision, instruction or custody.
recovered from the scene of the crime inside the residence of private
respondents at the corner of General Maxilom and D. Authority and responsibility shall apply to all authorized activities
Jakosalem streets of the same city. Private respondents submitted that whether inside or outside the premises of the school, entity or institution.
Wendell caused her death by shooting her with the aforesaid firearm and, (349a)
thereafter, turning the gun on himself to commit suicide. Petitioners
rejected the imputation and contended that an unknown third party, Article 129, FC, Supra
whom Wendell may have displeased or antagonized by reason of his work
as a narcotics informer of the Constabulary Anti-Narcotics Unit must have PERSONS LIABLE
caused Wendell’s death and then shot Julie Ann to eliminate any witness The Code makes the school liable without distinguishing if it is a
and thereby avoid identification. non-academic or academic school.
Hence, a school, whether academic or non-academic is civilly liable
As a result of the tragedy, the parents of Julie Ann filed Civil Case in the for the acts of minors in their custody, instruction or
then CFI of Cebu against the parents of Wendell to recover damages supervision.
arising from the latter’s vicarious liability under Article 2180 of the Civil Administrators and teachers include the principal and other persons
Code. who are involved in the supervision of the child.
Whether the petitioner parents failed to exercise due diligence of a good If the school is being sued together with administrators and
father of a family and be vicariously liable with their deceased son’s civil teachers, the liability is joint and solidary.
liability, hence, primary liable In an apprenticeship, the head of a school of art and trade is the one
directly responsible. In a regular school, one cannot go all

TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS


DE VERA-YALUNG | 15
the way to the top, because there are a lot of layers, hence, it claim underscores the negligence of the school and at least one of the
will be the teacher in charge. private respondents. It is not denied by the respondents that on April 7,
1972, Sergio Damaso, Jr., the dean of boys, confiscated from Jose Gumban
Schools, Teachers, and Administrators are liable for the damages an unlicensed pistol but later returned it to him without making a report
caused by: to the principal or taking any further action. As Gumban was one of the
Pupils and Students or Apprentices while in their custody companions of Daffon when the latter fired the gun that killed Alfredo, the
Statutory Basis: petitioners contend that this was the same pistol that had been
If student is minor – Article 219, FC confiscated from Gumban and that their son would not have been killed if
If student is no longer a minor – Article 2180, CC it had not been returned by Damaso. The respondents say, however, that
there is no proof that the gun was the same firearm that killed Alfredo.
RULES UNDER ARTICLE 2180
Article 2180 makes teachers and heads liable for acts of students WON the school is liable?
and apprentices whether the latter are minors or not.
The teacher-in-charge is liable for the acts of his students. The HELD: Three cases have so far been decided by the Court in connection
school and administrators are not liable. with the above-quoted provision, to wit: Exconde vs. Capuno, Mercado vs.
By way of exception, it is only the head of the school, not the teacher, Court of Appeals, and Palisoc vs. Brillantes.
who is held liable where the injury is caused in a school of arts In the Exconde Case, the school was exculpated (as it was not a party to
and trade. the case) on the ground that it was not a school of arts and trades.
The liability of the teacher subsists whether the school is academic Exconde was reiterated in the Mercado Case, the Court declared (as the
or non-academic. school itself had also not been sued) that the school was not liable
Liability is imposed only if the pupil is already in the custody of the because it was not an establishment of arts and trades. Morever, the
teacher or head. The student is in the custody of the school custody requirement had not been proved as this “contemplates a
authorities as long as he is under the control and influence of situation where the student lives and boards with the teacher, such that
the school and within its premises, whether the semester has the control, direction and influences on the pupil supersede those of the
not yet begun or has already ended. parents.” In Palisoc vs. Brillantes, the Court declared, ‘so long as (the
OTHER BASIS OF LIABILITY OF SCHOOLS students) remain in their custody’ — means the protective and
Vicarious liability of an employer for negligence, the school can supervisory custody that the school and its heads and teachers exercise
escape liability if it can establish that it exercised due diligence over the pupils and students for as long as they are at attendance in the
in the selection and supervision of their employees (including school, including recess time. There is nothing in the law that requires
teachers) under Article 2180. that for such liability to attach, the pupil or student who commits the
Liability may be based on contract, the school as employer or as tortious act must live and board in the school, as erroneously held by the
contracting party may be held liable even if the injury was lower court, and the dicta in Mercado (as well as in Exconde) on which it
inflicted by a non-student. relied, must now be deemed to have been set aside by the present
decision.”
Liability of teachers under Article 103 of the RPC:
Subsidiary liability of the employer under Article 102 shall also Unlike in Exconde and Mercado, the Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos has
apply to teachers for felonies committed by their pupils. been directly impleaded and is sought to be held liable under Article
NOTE: Article 103 does not distinguish if the teacher is a teacher in an 2180; and unlike in Palisoc, it is not a school of arts and trades but an aca-
academic or non-academic school. Hence, a teacher is liable whether he is demic institution of learning. The parties herein have also directly raised
employed in an academic or non-academic institution and whether the the question of whether or not Article 2180 covers even establishments
pupil is a minor or not. which are technically not schools of arts and trades, and, if so, when the
offending student is supposed to be “in its custody.”
GR: The teacher-in-charge is liable for the acts of his students. The school The Court has come to the conclusion that the provision in question
and administrators are not liable. should apply to all schools, academic as well as non-academic. Where the
XPN: It is only the head of the school, not the teacher who is held liable school is academic rather than technical or vocational in nature,
where the injury is caused in a school of arts and trade. responsibility for the tort committed by the student will attach to the
Liability is imposed only if the pupil is already in the custody of the teacher in charge of such student, following the first part of the provision.
teacher or head. The student is the custody of the school This is the general rule. In the case of establishments of arts and trades, it
authorities as long as he is under the control and influence of is the head thereof, and only he, who shall be held liable as an exception
the school and within its premises whether the semester had to the general rule. In other words, teachers in general shall be liable for
not yet begun of has already ended. the acts of their students except where the school is technical in nature, in
The victim of negligence is likewise required to exercise due care in which case it is the head thereof who shall be answerable. Following the
avoiding injury to himself. canon of reddendo singula singulis, “teachers” should apply to the words
“pupils and students” and “heads of establishments of arts and trades” to
======================================================== the word “apprentices.”
Amadora v. CA
Alfredo Amadora who is waiting for his graduation when on April 13, These questions, though, may be asked: If the teacher of the academic
1972, while they were in the auditorium of their school, the Colegio de school is to be held answerable for the torts committed by his students,
San Jose-Recoletos, a classmate, Pablito Daffon, fired a gun that mortally why is it the head of the school only who is held liable where the injury is
hit Alfredo, which casued his death. The victim was only seventeen years caused in a school of arts and trades? And in the case of the academic or
old. non-technical school, why not apply the rule also to the head thereof
Daffon was convicted of homicide thru reckless imprudence. Additionally, instead of imposing the liability only on the teacher?
the herein petitioners, as the victim’s parents, filed a civil action for
damages under Article 2180 of the Civil Code against the Colegio de San The reason for the disparity can be traced to the fact that historically the
Jose-Recoletos, its rector, the high school principal, the dean of boys, and head of the school of arts and trades exercised a closer tutelage over his
the physics teacher, together with Daffon and two other students, through pupils than the head of the academic school. The old schools of arts and
their respective parents. The complaint against the students was later trades were engaged in the training of artisans apprenticed to their
dropped. master who personally and directly instructed them on the technique and
The petitioners contend that their son was in the school to finish his secrets of their craft. The head of the school of arts and trades was such a
physics experiment as a prerequisite to his graduation; hence, he was master and so was personally involved in the task of teaching his
then under the custody of the private respondents. The private students, who usually even boarded with him and so came under his
respondents submit that Alfredo Amadora had gone to the school only for constant control, supervision and influence. By contrast, the head of the
the purpose of submitting his physics report and that he was no longer in academic school was not as involved with his students and exercised only
their custody because the semester had already ended. administrative duties over the teachers who were the persons directly
There is also the question of the identity of the gun used which the dealing with the students. The head of the academic school had then (as
petitioners consider important because of an earlier incident which they now) only a vicarious relationship with the students. Consequently, while

TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 16


he could not be directly faulted for the acts of the students, the head of the enforcing discipline upon the student. On the contrary, the
school of arts and trades, because of his closer ties with them, could be so private respondents have proved that they had exercised due
blamed. diligence, through the enforcement of the school regulations, in
maintaining that discipline.
The other matter to be resolved is the duration of the responsibility of the In the absence of a teacher-in-charge, it is probably the dean of boys
teacher or the head of the school of arts and trades over the students. Is who should be held liable, especially in view of the unrefuted
such responsibility co-extensive with the period when the student is evidence that he had earlier confiscated an unli-censed gun
actually undergoing studies during the school term, as contended by the from one of the students and returned the same later to him
respondents and impliedly admitted by the petitioners themselves? without taking disciplinary action or reporting the matter to
higher authorities. While this was clearly negligence on his
As long as it can be shown that the student is in the school premises in part, for which he deserves sanctions from the school, it does
pursuance of a legitimate student objective, in the exercise of a legitimate not necessarily link him to the shooting of Amador as it has not
student right, and even in the enjoyment of a legitimate student right, and been shown that he confiscated and returned pistol was the
even in the enjoyment of a legitimate student privilege, the responsibility gun that killed the petitioners’ son.
of the school authorities over the student continues. Indeed, even if the Finally, as previously observed, the Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos
student should be doing nothing more than relaxing in the campus in the cannot be held directly liable under the article because only the
company of his classmates and friends and enjoying the ambience and teacher or the head of the school of arts and trades is made
atmosphere of the school, he is still within the custody and subject to the responsible for the damage caused by the stu-dent or
discipline of the school authorities under the provisions of Article 2180. apprentice. Neither can it be held to answer for the tort
committed by any of the other private respondents for none of
During all these occasions, it is obviously the teacher-in-charge who must them has been found to have been charged with the custody of
answer for his students’ torts, in practically the same way that the parents the offending student or has been remiss in the discharge of his
are responsible for the child when he is in their custody. The teacher-in- duties in connection with such custody.
charge is the one designated by the dean, principal, or other
administrative superior to exercise supervision over the pupils in the In sum, none of the respondents is liable for the injury inflicted by Pablito
specific classes or sections to which they are assigned. It is not necessary Daffon on Alfredo Amadora that resulted in the latter’s death at the
that at the time of the injury, the teacher be physically present and in a auditorium of the Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos.
position to prevent it.
PSBA v. CA
The school can show that it exercised proper measures in selecting the A stabbing incident on 30 August 1985 which caused the death of Carlitos
head or its teachers and the appropriate supervision over them in the Bautista while on the second-floor premises of the Philippine School of
custody and instruction of the pupils pursuant to its rules and regulations Business Administration (PSBA) prompted the parents of the deceased to
for the maintenance of discipline among them. In almost all cases now, in file suit in the RTC of Manila, for damages against the said PSBA and its
fact, these measures are effected through the assistance of an adequate corporate officers. At the time of his death, Carlitos was enrolled in the
security force to help the teacher physically enforce those rules upon the third year commerce course at the PSBA. It was established that his
students. This should bolster the claim of the school that it has taken assailants were not members of the school’s academic community but
adequate steps to prevent any injury that may be committed by its were elements from outside the school.
students. A fortiori, the teacher himself may invoke this defense as it
would otherwise be unfair to hold him directly answerable for the Defendants a quo (now petitioners) sought to have the suit dismissed,
damage caused by his students as long as they are in the school premises alleging that since they are presumably sued under Article 2180 of the
and presumably under his influence. Civil Code, the complaint states no cause of action against them, as
jurisprudence on the subject is to the effect that academic institutions,
Applying the foregoing considerations, the Court has arrived at the such as the PSBA, are beyond the ambit of the rule in the afore-stated
following conclusions: article.
At the time Alfredo Amadora was fatally shot, he was still in the
custody of the authorities of Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos WON the school is liable? YES! The school was held liable because under
notwithstanding that the fourth year classes had formally the Civil Code, the damage should not be caused by the student of the
ended. It was immaterial if he was in the school auditorium to school. When you talk about vicarious liability (quasi-delict) you can be
finish his physics experiment or merely to submit his physics held liable. You cannot use Article 2180 because the accused are
report for what is important is that he was there for a outsiders.
legitimate purpose. As previously observed, even the mere
savoring of the company of his friends in the premises of the HELD: Article 2180, in conjunction with Article 2176 of the Civil Code,
school is a legitimate purpose that would have also brought establishes the rule in in loco parentis. This Court discussed this doctrine
him in the custody of the school authorities. in the afore-cited cases of Exconde, Mendoza, Palisoc and, more recently,
2. The rector, the high school principal and the dean of boys cannot in Amadora vs. Court of Appeals. In all such cases, it had been stressed that
be held liable because none of them was the teacher-in-charge the law (Article 2180) plainly provides that the damage should have been
as previously defined. Each of them was exercising only a caused or inflicted by pupils or students of the educational institution
general authority over the student body and not the direct sought to be held liable for the acts of its pupils or students while in its
control and influence exerted by the teacher placed in charge of custody. However, this material situation does not exist in the present
particular classes or sections and thus immediately involved in case for, as earlier indicated, the assailants of Carlitos were not students
its discipline. The evidence of the parties does not disclose who of the PSBA, for whose acts the school could be made liable.
the teacher-in-charge of the offending student was. The mere
fact that Alfredo Amadora had gone to school that day in When an academic institution accepts students for enrollment, there is
connection with his physics report did not necessarily make established a contract between them, resulting in bilateral obligations
the physics teacher, respondent Celestino Dicon, the teacher-in- which both parties are bound to comply with. For its part, the school
charge of Alfredo’s killer. undertakes to provide the student with an education that would
At any rate, assuming that he was the teacher-in-charge, there is no presumably suffice to equip him with the necessary tools and skills to
showing that Dicon was negligent in enforcing discipline upon pursue higher education or a profession. On the other hand, the student
Daffon or that he had waived observance of the rules and covenants to abide by the school’s academic requirements and observe its
regulations of the school or condoned their non-observance. rules and regulations.
His absence when the tragedy happened can not be considered
against him because he was not supposed or required to report In the circumstances obtaining in the case at bar, however, there is, as yet,
to school on that day. And while it is true that the offending no finding that the contract between the school and Bautista had been
student was still in the custody of the teacher-in-charge even if breached thru the former’s negligence in providing proper security
the latter was physically absent when the tort was committed, measures. This would be for the trial court to determine. And, even if
it has not been established that it was caused by his laxness in there be a finding of negligence, the same could give rise generally to a

TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 17


breach of contractual obligation only. Using the test of Cangco Case, the (although not necessarily) with the corporation may so validly
negligence of the school would not be relevant absent a contract. In fact, attach, as a rule, only when - (1) he assents to a patently
that negligence becomes material only because of the contractual relation unlawful act of the corporation, or when he is guilty of bad
between PSBA and Bautista. In other words, a contractual relation is a faith or gross negligence in directing its affairs, or when there
condition sine qua non to the school’s liability. The negligence of the is a conflict of interest resulting in damages to the corporation,
school cannot exist independently on the contract, unless the negligence its stockholders or other persons; (2) he consents to the
occurs under the circumstances set out in Article 21 of the Civil Code. issuance of watered down stocks or who, having knowledge
thereof, does not forthwith file with the corporate secretary his
This Court is not unmindful of the attendant difficulties posed by the written objection thereto; (3) he agrees to hold himself
obligation of schools, above-mentioned for conceptually a school, like a personally and solidarily liable with the corporation; or (4) he
common carrier, cannot be an insurer of its students against all risks. This is made by a specific provision of law personally answerable
is specially true in the populous student communities of the so-called for his corporate action.
“university belt” in Manila where there have been reported several
incidents ranging from gang wars to other forms of hooliganism. It would None of the foregoing exceptions was established in the instant case;
not be equitable to expect of schools to anticipate all types of violent hence, respondent De Jesus should not be held solidarily liable with
trespass upon their premises, for notwithstanding the security measures respondent FEU. Incidentally, although the main cause of action in the
installed, the same may still fail against an individual or group instant case is the breach of the school-student contract, petitioner, in the
determined to carry out a nefarious deed inside school premises and alternative, also holds respondents vicariously liable under Article 2180
environs. Should this be the case, the school may still avoid liability by of the Civil Code, which provides:
proving that the breach of its contractual obligation to the students was Art. 2180. The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is demandable not only
not due to its negligence, here statutorily defined to be the omission of for one's own acts or omissions, but also for those of persons for whom
that degree of diligence which is required by the nature of the obligation one is responsible.
and corresponding to the circumstances of persons, time and place. xxxx
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and
Saludaga v. Far Eastern University household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks, even
Petitioner Joseph Saludaga was a sophomore law student of respondent though the former are not engaged in any business or industry. x x x x
FEU when he was shot by Alejandro Rosete (Rosete), one of the security
guards on duty at the school premises on August 18, 1996. Petitioner The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons
thereafter filed a complaint for damages against respondents on the herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good
ground that they breached their obligation to provide students with a safe father of a family to prevent damage.
and secure environment and an atmosphere conducive to learning.
Petitioner is suing respondents for damages based on the alleged breach We agree with the findings of the CA that respondents cannot be held
of student-school contract for a safe learning environment. In turn, FEU liable for damages under Art. 2180 of the Civil Code because respondents
filed a Third-Party Complaint against Galaxy Development and are not the employers of Rosete. The latter was employed by Galaxy. The
Management Corporation (Galaxy), the agency contracted by respondent instructions issued by respondents' Security Consultant to Galaxy and its
FEU to provide security services within its premises security guards are ordinarily no more than requests commonly
envisaged in the contract for services entered into by a principal and a
security agency. They cannot be construed as the element of control as to
In order to avoid liability, however, respondents aver that the shooting treat respondents as the employers of Rosete.
incident was a fortuitous event because they could not have reasonably
foreseen nor avoided the accident caused by Rosete as he was not their For these acts of negligence and for having supplied respondent FEU with
employee; and that they complied with their obligation to ensure a safe an unqualified security guard, which resulted to the latter's breach of
learning environment for their students by having exercised due diligence obligation to petitioner, it is proper to hold Galaxy liable to respondent
in selecting the security services of Galaxy. FEU for such damages equivalent to the above-mentioned amounts
awarded to petitioner.
WON the school is solidarily liable with the Security Agency? NO! The Unlike respondent De Jesus, we deem Imperial to be solidarily liable with
school was not the employer of the guard. Galaxy for being grossly negligent in directing the affairs of the security
agency. It was Imperial who assured petitioner that his medical expenses
HELD: It is settled that in culpa contractual, the mere proof of the will be shouldered by Galaxy but said representations were not fulfilled
existence of the contract and the failure of its compliance justify, prima because they presumed that petitioner and his family were no longer
facie, a corresponding right of relief. In the instant case, we find that, interested in filing a formal complaint against them.
when petitioner was shot inside the campus by no less the security guard
who was hired to maintain peace and secure the premises, there is a St. Joseph’s College v. Miranda
prima facie showing that respondents failed to comply with its obligation On November 17, 1994, inside St. Joseph Colleges premises, the class to
to provide a safe and secure environment to its students. which respondent Miranda belonged was conducting a science
experiment under supervision of the petitioner Rosalinda Tabugo, she
Respondents also failed to show that they undertook steps to ascertain being the subject teacher and employee of SJC. The adviser of Jayson’s
and confirm that the security guards assigned to them actually possess class is Estefania Abdan. Tabugo left her class while it was doing the
the qualifications required in the Security Service Agreement. It was not experiment without having adequately secured it from any untoward
proven that they examined the clearances, psychiatric test results, 201 incident or occurrence. In the middle of the experiment, Jayson, who was
files, and other vital documents enumerated in its contract with Galaxy. the assistant leader of one of the class groups, checked the result of the
Total reliance on the security agency about these matters or failure to experiment by looking into the test tube with magnifying glass. The test
check the papers stating the qualifications of the guards is negligence on tube was being held by one of his group mates who moved it close and
the part of respondents. A learning institution should not be allowed to towards the eye of Jayson. At that instance, the compound in the test tube
completely relinquish or abdicate security matters in its premises to the spurted out and several particles of which hit Jayson’s eye and the
security agency it hired. To do so would result to contracting away its different parts of the bodies of some of his group mates. As a result
inherent obligation to ensure a safe learning environment for its students. thereof, Jayson’s eyes were chemically burned, particularly his left eye, for
which he had to undergo surgery and had to spend for his medication.
Re: Solidary Liability
In Powton Conglomerate, Inc. v. Agcolicol,26 we held that: WON the teacher-in-charge is liable? YES! She did no exercise due
corporation is invested by law with a personality separate and diligence in supervising the experiment.
distinct from those of the persons composing it, such that, save
for certain exceptions, corporate officers who entered into HELD: In this case, petitioners failed to show that the negligence of
contracts in behalf of the corporation cannot be held [Jayson] was the proximate cause of the latters injury. We find that the
personally liable for the liabilities of the latter. Personal immediate cause of the accident was not the negligence of Jayson when he
liability of a corporate director, trustee or officer along curiously looked into the test tube when the chemicals suddenly
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 18
exploded which caused his injury, but the sudden and unexpected accident involving Jayson occurred. In any event, the size of the
explosion of the chemicals independent of any intervening cause. classfifty (50) students conducting the experiment is difficult
[Petitioners] could have prevented the mishap if they exercised a higher to monitor.
degree of care, caution and foresight. The court a quo correctly ruled that: Moreover, petitioners cannot simply deflect their negligence and liability
All of the petitioners are equally at fault and are liable for negligence by insisting that petitioner Tabugo gave specific instructions to her
because all of them are responsible for exercising the required reasonable science class not to look directly into the heated compound.
care, prudence, caution and foresight to prevent or avoid injuries to the
students. The individual petitioners are persons charged with the Aquinas School v. Sps. Inton
teaching and vigilance over their students as well as the supervision and Jose Luis Inton Jose Luis was a grade three student at Aquinas School.
ensuring of their well-being. Based on the facts presented before this Respondent Sister Margarita Yamyamin (Yamyamin), a religion teacher
Court, these petitioners were remiss in their responsibilities and lacking who began teaching at that school only in June of that year, taught Jose
in the degree of vigilance expected of them. [Petitioner] subject teacher Luis grade three religion class. On July 14, 1998, while Yamyamin was
Rosalinda Tabugo was inside the classroom when the class undertook the writing on the blackboard, Jose Luis left his assigned seat and went over
science experiment although Jayson insisted that said petitioner left the to a classmate to play a joke of surprising him. Yamyamin noticed this and
classroom. No evidence, however, was presented to establish that sent Jose Luis back to his seat. After a while, Jose Luis got up again and
petitioner Tabugo was inside the classroom for the whole duration of the went over to the same classmate. This time, unable to tolerate the childs
experiment. It was unnatural in the ordinary course of events that Jayson behavior, Yamyamin approached Jose Luis and kicked him on the legs
was brought to the school clinic for immediate treatment not by several times. She also pulled and shoved his head on the classmates seat.
petitioner subject teacher Rosalinda Tabugo but by somebody else. The Finally, she told the child to stay where he was on that spot of the room
Court is inclined to believe that petitioner subject teacher Tabugo was not and finish copying the notes on the blackboard while seated on the floor.
inside the classroom at the time the accident happened. The Court is also
perplexed why none of the other students (who were eyewitnesses to the As a result of the incident, respondents Sps. Inton filed an action for
incident) testified in Court to corroborate the story of the petitioners. The damages on behalf of their son Jose Luis against Yamyamin and Aquinas
Court, however, understands that these other students cannot testify for before the RTC. The Intons also filed a criminal action against Yamyamin
Jayson because Jayson is no longer enrolled in said school and testifying for violation of Republic Act 7610 to which she pleaded guilty and was
for Jayson would incur the ire of school authorities. Estefania Abdan is sentenced accordingly.
equally at fault as the subject adviser or teacher in charge because she
exercised control and supervision over petitioner Tabugo and the WON Aquinas solidarily liable with Yamyamin?
students themselves. It was her obligation to insure that nothing would go
wrong and that the science experiment would be conducted safely and HELD: The CA found Aquinas liable to Jose Luis based on Article 2180 of
without any harm or injury to the students. Petitioner Sr. Josephini the Civil Code upon the CA’s belief that the school was Yamyamins
Ambatali is likewise culpable under the doctrine of command employer.
responsibility because the other individual petitioners were under her
direct control and supervision. The negligent acts of the other individual The Court has consistently applied the four-fold test to determine the
petitioners were done within the scope of their assigned tasks. existence of an employer-employee relationship: the employer (a) selects
xxxx and engages the employee; (b) pays his wages; (c) has power to dismiss
The defense of due diligence of a good father of a family raised by him; and (d) has control over his work. Of these, the most crucial is the
petitioner St. Joseph College will not exculpate it from liability because it element of control. Control refers to the right of the employer, whether
has been shown that it was guilty of inexcusable laxity in the supervision actually exercised or reserved, to control the work of the employee as well
of its teachers (despite an apparent rigid screening process for hiring) as the means and methods by which he accomplishes the same.
and in the maintenance of what should have been a safe and secured In this case, the school directress testified that Aquinas had an agreement
environment for conducting dangerous experiments. Petitioner school is with a congregation of sisters under which, in order to fulfill its ministry,
still liable for the wrongful acts of the teachers and employees because it the congregation would send religion teachers to Aquinas to provide
had full information on the nature of dangerous science experiments but catechesis to its students. Aquinas insists that it was not the school but
did not take affirmative steps to avert damage and injury to students. Yamyamins religious congregation that chose her for the task of
catechizing the schools grade three students, much like the way bishops
The fact that there has never been any accident in the past during the designate the catechists who would teach religion in public schools.
conduct of science experiments is not a justification to be complacent in Under the circumstances, it was quite evident that Aquinas did not have
just preserving the status quo and do away with creative foresight to control over Yamyamins teaching methods. The Intons had not refuted the
install safety measures to protect the students. Schools should not simply school directress testimony in this regard. Consequently, it was error for
install safety reminders and distribute safety instructional manuals. More the CA to hold Aquinas solidarily liable with Yamyamin.
importantly, schools should provide protective gears and devices to shield
students from expected risks and anticipated dangers. Of course, Aquinas still had the responsibility of taking steps to ensure
that only qualified outside catechists are allowed to teach its young
Ordinarily, the liability of teachers does not extend to the school or students. In this regard, it cannot be said that Aquinas took no steps to
university itself, although an educational institution may be held liable avoid the occurrence of improper conduct towards the students by their
under the principle of RESPONDENT SUPERIOR. It has also been held that religion teacher.
the liability of the employer for the [tortuous] acts or negligence of its First, Yamyamins transcript of records, certificates, and diplomas showed
employees is primary and solidary, direct and immediate and not that she was qualified to teach religion.
conditioned upon the insolvency of or prior recourse against the Second, there is no question that Aquinas ascertained that Yamyamin
negligent employee. came from a legitimate religious congregation of sisters and that, given
her Christian training, the school had reason to assume that she would
Petitioners negligence and failure to exercise the requisite degree of care behave properly towards the students.
and caution is demonstrated by the following: Third, the school gave Yamyamin a copy of the schools Administrative
Petitioner school did not take affirmative steps to avert damage and Faculty Staff Manual that set the standards for handling students. It also
injury to its students although it had full information on the required her to attend a teaching orientation before she was allowed to
nature of dangerous science experiments conducted by the teach beginning that June of 1998.
students during class; Fourth, the school pre-approved the content of the course she was to
Petitioner school did not install safety measures to protect the teach to ensure that she was really catechizing the students.
students who conduct experiments in class; And fifth, the school had a program for subjecting Yamyamin to
Petitioner school did not provide protective gears and devices, classroom evaluation. Unfortunately, since she was new and it was just
specifically goggles, to shield students from expected risks and the start of the school year, Aquinas did not have sufficient opportunity to
dangers; and observe her methods. At any rate, it acted promptly to relieve her of her
Petitioner Tabugo was not inside the classroom the whole time her assignment as soon as the school learned of the incident. It cannot be said
class conducted the experiment, specifically, when the that Aquinas was guilty of outright neglect.

TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS


DE VERA-YALUNG | 19
(iv.) EMPLOYERS
PRESUMPTION OF NEGLIGENCE (Juris tantum not Juris et de jure)
REVISED PENAL CODE ER is presumed to be negligent and the presumption flows from the
Article 102. Subsidiary civil liability of innkeepers, tavernkeepers and negligence of the EE. The premise for the ER’s liability is the negligence or
proprietors of establishments. - In default of the persons criminally liable, fault on the part of the EE, once such fault is established, the ER can then
innkeepers, tavernkeepers, and any other persons or corporations shall be made liable on the basis of the presumption that the ER failed to
be civilly liable for crimes committed in their establishments, in all cases exercise diligentissimi patris familia in the selection and supervision of its
where a violation of municipal ordinances or some general or special EEs.  “When an EE causes damage due to his own negligence while
police regulation shall have been committed by them or their employees.
performing his own duties, there arises a presumption that his ER is
Innkeepers are also subsidiarily liable for the restitution of goods taken
by robbery or theft within their houses from guests lodging therein, or for negligent”
the payment of the value thereof, provided that such guests shall have The presumption of negligence on the part of the ER is rebuttable
notified in advance the innkeeper himself, or the person representing only by proof of observance of the diligence of a good father of
him, of the deposit of such goods within the inn; and shall furthermore a family in the selection and supervision of the EE.
have followed the directions which such innkeeper or his representative
may have given them with respect to the care and vigilance over such DEFENSES OF EMPLOYER
goods. No liability shall attach in case of robbery with violence against or ER can establish that he exercised proper diligence in the selection and
intimidation of persons unless committed by the innkeeper's employees. supervision of his negligent EE.
Article 103. Subsidiary civil liability of other persons. - The subsidiary Facts indicating exercised of due diligence must be shown by concrete
liability established in the next preceding article shall also apply to proof, including documentary evidence.
employers, teachers, persons, and corporations engaged in any kind of
industry for felonies committed by their servants, pupils, workmen,
1. Diligence in Selection
apprentices, or employees in the discharge of their duties.
Requires the examination of the applicants as to their qualifications,
experience and service records. [Submit necessary license, clearances,
Primary responsibility of ERs for the negligence of their EEs in the
performance of their duties  the injured party may recover from the underwent examination, tests and training]
ERs directly, regardless of the solvency of their EEs. 2. Diligence in Supervision
Promulgation of proper rules and regulations and the formulation and
LIABILITY OF THE ERs UNDER THE NCC publication of proper instructions for the EEs’ guidance in case where
ART. 2180 par. 4 - The owners and managers of an establishment or such rules and regulations and instructions are necessary.
enterprise are likewise responsible for damages caused by their
employees in the service of the branches in which the latter are employed SOLIDARY LIABILITY
or on the occasion of their functions. The weight of authority is to hold the ER and the EE solidarily liable. The
The ERs shall be liable for the damages caused by their EEs and aggrieved party may choose to sue either of them or both of them.
household helpers acting w/in the scope of their assigned tasks, If only ER is sued and made liable for the damages caused by his EE,
even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry. he may recover from the EE what he has paid or delivered in
Liability is direct and primary and likewise solidary with the EE. satisfaction of his claim.
EE is not an indispensable part in a case against the ER nor
If plaintiff decides to sue only the EE, no right of reimbursement
necessary party bec. complete relief is available from either.
accrues.
Liability of ER can be established by proving the existence of An
ER-EE relationship w/ the actor and that the latter caused the injury If offended party sues both of them, court may hold them solidarily
while performing his assigned task or functions.  ER can escape liable subject to the same right of reimbursement given to the
liability by establishing that he exercised due diligence in the ER under Art. 2181 of NCC.
selection and supervision of the EE.
========================================================
REQUISITES: Filamer vs CA
EE was chosen by the ER personally or through another; Funtecha was a working student, a part-time janitor and a scholar of
The service to be rendered in accordance w/ orders wc the ER has petitioner Filamer. Funtecha requested and was allowed by the driver and
authority to give at all times; security guard of petitioner-school, Allan Masa, to take over the vehicle
while the latter was on his way home, (Allan's job demands that he drive
The illicit act of the EE was on the occasion or by reason of the functions
home the school jeep so he can use it to fetch students in the morning of
entrusted to him.
the next school day.) Allan turned over the vehicle to Funtecha only after
driving down a road, negotiating a sharp dangerous curb, and viewing
ELEMENTS ESTABLISHED UNDER ART. 2180 OF THE NCC, WHEN that the road was clear, then a fast moving truck with glaring lights nearly
VICARIOUS LIABILITY WILL ATTACH: hit them so that they had to swerve to the right to avoid a collision. Upon
ER-EE relationship bet. the person sought to be made vicariously liable swerving, they heard a sound as if something had bumped against the
and the negligent EE; vehicle, but they did not stop to check. Actually, the Pinoy jeep swerved
Liability for quasi-delict of the EE; and [The offended party must establish towards the pedestrian, Potenciano Kapunan who was walking in his lane
fault or negligence on the part of the EE wc was the proximate cause of his in the direction against vehicular traffic, and hit him. Allan affirmed that
(offended party’s) damage or loss] Funtecha followed his advise to swerve to the right. At the time of the
Performance by the EE of the task assigned by the ER or the latter’s incident (6:30 P.M.) in Roxas City, the jeep had only one functioning
authorized representative or EE when damage or injury was inflicted headlight.
through fault of negligence was committed. In learning how to drive while taking the vehicle home in the direction of
Allan's house, Funtecha definitely was not having a joy ride. Funtecha was
not driving for the purpose of his enjoyment or for a "frolic of his own"
If EE was not liable for negligence, the ER will not liable as well.
but ultimately, for the service for which the jeep was intended by the
petitioner school. Therefore, the Court is constrained to conclude that the
DETERMINATION OF ER-EE RELATIONSHIP act of Funtecha in taking over the steering wheel was one done for and in
Presence of ER-EE may be established by using what is known as the behalf of his employer for which act the petitioner-school cannot deny
control test, any responsibility by arguing that it was done beyond the scope of his
Control test – a person can still be considered ER even if he does not janitorial duties. The clause "within the scope of their assigned tasks" for
consider another who works for him as his EE. purposes of raising the presumption of liability of an employer, includes
Worker is the contractor – if the person for whom the services are to be any act done by an employee, in furtherance of the interests of the
performed controls only the result or the end to be achieved; Employee - employer or for the account of the employer at the time of the infliction of
if the person controls not only the end but also the manner and means to the injury or damage. Hence, there is this claim brought by one for
be used. DE VERA-YALUNG | 20
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS
damages for injury caused by the patently negligent acts of a person, representing his company with its clients, meetings with clients were
against both doer-employee and his employer. both social as well as work-related functions. The service car assigned to
Whether or not the Funtecha was at the time of the accident performing Li by Alexander Commercial, Inc. therefore enabled both Li - as well as the
any act in furtherance of his petitioner-school even if it is not in line with corporation - to put up the front of a highly successful entity, increasing
his job? the latter's goodwill before its clientele. It also facilitated meeting
HELD: YES. Funtecha is an employee of petitioner Filamer. He need not between Li and its clients by providing the former with a convenient
have an official appointment for a driver's position in order that the mode of travel.
petitioner may be held responsible for his grossly negligent act, it being In fine, Alexander Commercial, inc. has not demonstrated, to our
sufficient that the act of driving at the time of the incident was for the satisfaction, that it exercised the care and diligence of a good father of the
benefit of the petitioner. Hence, the fact that Funtecha was not the school family in entrusting its company car to Li. No allegations were made as to
driver or was not acting within the scope of his janitorial duties does not whether or not the company took the steps necessary to determine or
relieve the petitioner of the burden of rebutting the presumption juris ascertain the driving proficiency and history of Li, to whom it gave full
tantum that there was negligence on its part either in the selection of a and unlimited use of a company car. Not having been able to overcome the
servant or employee, or in the supervision over him. The petitioner has burden of demonstrating that it should be absolved of liability for
failed to show proof of its having exercised the required diligence of a entrusting its company car to Li, said company, based on the principle of
good father of a family over its employees Funtecha and Allan. bonus pater familias, ought to be jointly and severally liable with the
The Court reiterates that supervision includes the formulation of suitable former for the injuries sustained by Ma. Lourdes Valenzuela during the
rules and regulations for the guidance of its employees and the issuance accident. WHEREFORE, decision of CA is modified w/ the effect of
of proper instructions intended for the protection of the public and reinstating judgment of RTC.
persons with whom the employer has relations through his employees.
An employer is expected to impose upon its employees the necessary Castilex Indurstries vs Vasquez
discipline called for in the performance of any act indispensable to the Romeo So Vasquez, was driving a Honda motorcycle around Fuente
business and beneficial to their employer. Osmenñ a Rotunda. He was traveling counter-clockwise, (the normal flow of
In the present case, the petitioner has not shown that it has set forth such traffic in a rotunda) but without any protective helmet or goggles. He was
rules and guidelines as would prohibit any one of its employees from also only carrying a Student's Permit to Drive at the time. Upon the other
taking control over its vehicles if one is not the official driver or hand, Benjamin Abad [was a] manager of Appellant Castilex Industrial
prohibiting the driver and son of the Filamer president from authorizing Corporation, registered owner [of] a Toyota Hi-Lux Pick-up. Abad drove
another employee to drive the school vehicle. Furthermore, the petitioner the said company car out of a parking lot but instead of going around the
has failed to prove that it had imposed sanctions or warned its employees Osmenñ a rotunda he made a short cut against [the] flow of the traffic in
against the use of its vehicles by persons other than the driver. proceeding to his route to General Maxilom St. or to Belvic St.
The petitioner, thus, has an obligation to pay damages for injury arising In the process, the motorcycle of Vasquez and the pick-up of Abad collided
from the unskilled manner by which Funtecha drove the vehicle. with each other causing severe injuries to the former. Abad stopped his
In the absence of evidence that the petitioner had exercised the diligence vehicle and brought Vasquez to the hospital.
of a good father of a family in the supervision of its employees, the law Vasquez died. Hence, the present action for damages was commenced by
imposes upon it the vicarious liability for acts or omissions of its the parents of the deceased Romeo So Vasquez, against Jose Benjamin
employees. The liability of the employer is, under Article 2180, primary Abad and Castilex Industrial Corporation.
and solidary. However, the employer shall have recourse against the Whether CASTILEX may be held vicariously liable for the death resulting
negligent employee for whatever damages are paid to the heirs of the from the negligent operation by a managerial employee (ABAD) of a
plaintiff. company-issued vehicle.
HELD: NO. It is undisputed that ABAD was a Production Manager of
Valenzuela vs CA petitioner CASTILEX at the time of the tort occurrence and he was acting
Plaintiff Ma. Lourdes Valenzuela was driving a blue Mitsubishi lancer from within the scope of his assigned task, however, the mere fact that ABAD
her restaurant to her home, heading towards the direction of Manila. She was using a service vehicle at the time of the injurious incident is not of
noticed something wrong with her tires; she stopped at a lighted place itself sufficient to charge petitioner with liability for the negligent
where there were people, to verify whether she had a flat tire and to operation of said vehicle unless it appears that he was operating the
solicit help if needed, she parked along the sidewalk, about 1-1/2 feet vehicle within the course or scope of his employment.
away, put on her emergency lights, alighted from the car, and went to the In the case at bar, it is undisputed that ABAD did some overtime work at
rear to open the trunk. She was standing at the left side of the rear of her the petitioner's office, thereafter, he went to Goldie's Restaurant, where
car pointing to the tools to a man who will help her fix the tire when she ABAD took some snacks and had a chat with friends. It was when ABAD
was suddenly bumped by a 1987 Mitsubishi Lancer driven by defendant was leaving the restaurant that the incident in question occurred. That a
Richard Li and registered in the name of defendant Alexander witness testified that at the time of the vehicular accident, ABAD was with
Commercial, Inc. Because of the impact plaintiff was thrown against the a woman in his car, who then shouted: "Daddy, Daddy!" This woman could
windshield of the car of the defendant, which was destroyed, and then fell not have been ABAD's daughter, for ABAD was only 29 years old at the
to the ground. She was pulled out from under defendant's car. Plaintiff's time.
left leg was severed up to the middle of her thigh, with only some skin and To the mind of this Court, ABAD was engaged in affairs of his own or was
sucle connected to the rest of the body. She was brought to a medical carrying out a personal purpose not in line with his duties at the time he
center where she was found to have a "traumatic amputation, leg, left up figured in a vehicular accident. It was then about 2:00 a.m. of 28 August
to distal thigh (above knee)". She was confined in the hospital for twenty 1988, way beyond the normal working hours. ABAD's working day had
(20) days and was eventually fitted with an artificial leg. Plaintiff filed a ended; his overtime work had already been completed. His being at a
complaint or an action to recover damages based on quasi-delict, for place which, as petitioner put it, was known as a "haven for prostitutes,
serious physical injuries sustained in the vehicular accident., Defendant pimps, and drug pushers and addicts," had no connection to petitioner's
Richard Li denied that he was negligent. business; neither had it any relation to his duties as a manager. Rather,
using his service vehicle even for personal purposes was a form of a fringe
Whether Li’s employer Alexander Commercial should be jointly and benefit or one of the perks attached to his position.
solidarily liable for the damage caused by the subject accident Since there is paucity of evidence that ABAD was acting within the scope
HELD: YES. Utilizing the bonus pater familias standard expressed in of the functions entrusted to him, petitioner CASTILEX had no duty to
Article 2180 of the Civil Code, we are of the opinion that Li's employer, show that it exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in
Alexander Commercial, Inc. is jointly and solidarily liable for the damage providing ABAD with a service vehicle. Thus, justice and equity require
caused by the accident of June 24, 1990. that petitioner be relieved of vicarious liability for the consequences of
In the instant case, Li was an Assistant Manager of Alexander Commercial, the negligence of ABAD in driving its vehicle.
Inc. In his testimony, he admitted that his functions as Assistant Manager WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED, and the appealed decision and
did not require him to scrupulously keep normal office hours as he was resolution of the CAis AFFIRMED with the modification that petitioner
required quite often to perform work outside the office, visiting Castilex Industrial Corporation be absolved of any liability for the
prospective buyers and contacting and meeting with company clients. damages caused by its employee, Jose Benjamin Abad.
These meetings, clearly, were not strictly confined to routine hours
because, as a managerial employee tasked with the job of Jose vs CA

TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 21


Petitioner Manila Central Bus Lines Corporation (MCL) is the operator- arising from a quasi-delict. The choice of remedy, whether to sue for a
lessee of a public utility bus (Bus 203) owned by the Metro Manila Transit delict or a quasi-delict, affects the procedural and jurisdictional issues of
Corporation and is insured with the GSIS. the action. Tuazon chose to file an action for damages based on a quasi-
Bus 203, then driven by petitioner Armando Jose, collided with a red Ford delict. In his complaint, Tuazon alleged that Mrs. Cerezo, "without
Escort driven by John Macarubo on MacArthur Highway, in Marulas, exercising due care and diligence in the supervision and management of
Valenzuela, Metro Manila. As a result of the collision, the left side of the her employees and buses," hired Foronda as her driver. Tuazon became
Ford Escort's hood was severely damaged while its driver, John Macarubo, disabled because of Foronda’s "recklessness, gross negligence and
and its lone passenger, private respondent Rommel Abraham, were imprudence," aggravated by Mrs. Cerezo’s "lack of due care and diligence
seriously injured. The driver and conductress of Bus 203 rushed in the selection and supervision of her employees, particularly Foronda."
Macarubo and Abraham to the nearby hospital where Macarubo lapsed Mrs. Cerezo’s liability as an employer in an action for a quasi-delict is not
into a coma. Despite surgery, Macarubo failed to recover and died five only solidary, it is also primary and direct. Foronda is not an
days later. Abraham survived, but he became blind on the left eye which indispensable party to the final resolution of Tuazon’s action for damages
had to be removed. In addition, he sustained a fracture on the forehead against Mrs. Cerezo. The responsibility of two or more persons who are
and multiple lacerations on the face, which caused him to be hospitalized liable for a quasi-delict is solidary. Where there is a solidary obligation on
for a week. the part of debtors, as in this case, each debtor is liable for the entire
Rommel Abraham, represented by his father, Felixberto, instituted a Civil obligation. Hence, each debtor is liable to pay for the entire obligation in
Case for damages against petitioners MCL and Armando Jose in the RTC of full. There is no merger or renunciation of rights, but only mutual
Valenzuela while spouses Jose and Mercedes Macarubo, parents of the representation.41 Where the obligation of the parties is solidary, either of
deceased John Macarubo, filed their own suit for damages in the same the parties is indispensable, and the other is not even a necessary party
trial court against MCL alone. On the other hand, MCL filed a third-party because complete relief is available from either. Therefore, jurisdiction
complaint against Juanita Macarubo, registered owner of the Ford Escort over Foronda is not even necessary as Tuazon may collect damages from
on the theory that John Macarubo was negligent and that he was the Mrs. Cerezo alone.
"authorized driver" of Juanita Macarubo. Moreover, an employer’s liability based on a quasi-delict is primary and
I1: Whether proof of due diligence in the selection and supervision of direct, while the employer’s liability based on a delict is merely
employees on the part of MCL is required subsidiary. Although liability under Article 2180 originates from the
I2: Whether the burden upon MCL to prove that Juanita Macarubo is one negligent act of the employee, the aggrieved party may sue the employer
of those specified persons who are vicariously liable for the negligence of directly. When an employee causes damage, the law presumes that the
the deceased John Macarubo was duly proven employer has himself committed an act of negligence in not preventing or
HELD1: NO. Before the presumption of the employer's negligence in the avoiding the damage. This is the fault that the law condemns. While the
selection and supervision of its employees can arise, the negligence of the employer is civilly liable in a subsidiary capacity for the employee’s
employee must first be established. While the allegations of negligence criminal negligence, the employer is also civilly liable directly and
against the employee and that of an employer-employee relation in the separately for his own civil negligence in failing to exercise due diligence
complaint are enough to make out a case of quasi-delict under Art. 2180 in selecting and supervising his employee. The idea that the employer’s
of the Civil Code, the failure to prove the employee's negligence during the liability is solely subsidiary is wrong.
trial is fatal to proving the employer's vicarious liability. In this case, There is no need in this case for the trial court to acquire jurisdiction over
private respondents failed to prove their allegation of negligence against Foronda. The trial court’s acquisition of jurisdiction over Mrs. Cerezo is
driver Armando Jose who, in fact, was acquitted in the case for criminal sufficient to dispose of the present case on the merits. WHEREFORE, we
negligence arising from the same incident. DENY the instant petition for review.
HELD2: NO. MCL alleged that Juanita Macarubo was the registered owner
of the Ford Escort car and that John Macarubo was the "authorized Phil. Rabbit vs Phil-Am Forwarders
driver" of the car. Nowhere was it alleged that John Macarubo was the son, In the complaint for damages filed by the bus company and Pangalangan
ward, employee or pupil of private respondent Juanita Macarubo so as to against Phil-American Forwarders, Inc., Balingit and Pineda, it was alleged
make the latter vicariously liable for the negligence of John Macarubo. that on November 24, 1962, Pineda drove recklessly a freight truck,
The allegation that John Macarubo was "the authorized driver" of the Ford owned by PAFI, along the national highway at Sto. Tomas, Pampanga. The
Escort is not equivalent to an allegation that he was an employee of truck bumped the bus driven by Pangalangan, which was owned by PRBL,
Juanita Macarubo. That John Macarubo was the "authorized driver" of the Inc. As a result of the bumping, Pangalangan suffered injuries and the bus
car simply means that he drove the Ford Escort with the permission of was damaged and could not be used for 79 days thus depriving the
Juanita Macarubo. Nor did MCL present any evidence to prove that Juanita company of earnings amounting to P8,665.51. Balingit was the manager
Macarubo was the employer of John Macarubo or that she is in any way of Phil-American Forwarders, Inc. Among the defenses interposed by the
liable for John Macarubo's negligence under Art. 2180 of the Civil Code. defendants in their answer was that Balingit was not Pineda's employer.
For failure to discharge its burden, MCL's third-party complaint should be Balingit moved that the complaint against him be dismissed on the
dismissed. ground that the bus company and the bus driver had no cause of action
WHEREFORE, the decision of the CA is REVERSED and the complaints against him.
filed in Civil Cases against MCLand Armando Jose, as well as the third- Whether the terms "employers" and "owners and managers of an
party complaint filed in Civil Case against Juanita Macarubo, are hereby establishment or enterprise" used in article 2180 of the Civil Code,
DISMISSED. embrace the manager of a corporation owning a truck, the reckless
operation of which allegedly resulted in the vehicular accident from
Cerezo vs Tuazon which the damage arose
A Country Bus Lines passenger bus collided with a tricycle bearing plate HELD: NO. Terms do not include the manager of a corporation. It may be
number along Captain M. Palo Street, Sta. Ines, Mabalacat, Pampanga. On gathered from the context of article 2180 that the term "manager"
1 October 1993, tricycle driver Tuazon filed a complaint for damages ("director" in the Spanish version) is used in the sense of "employer".
against Mrs. Cerezo, as owner of the bus line, her husband Attorney Juan Hence, under the allegations of the complaint, no tortious or quasi-
Cerezo, and bus driver Danilo A. Foronda ("Foronda"). delictual liability can be fastened on Balingit as manager of PAFI, in
The records show that the Cerezo spouses participated in the proceedings connection with the vehicular accident already mentioned because he
before the trial court by filing a comment with motion for bill or himself may be regarded as an employee or dependiente of his employer,
particulars. PAFI, PAFI. has a personality separate and distinct from that of the
Whether the trial court should also acquire jurisdiction over Fronda to Balingit spouses. WHEREFORE, the lower court's order of dismissal is
validly render a judgment affirmed. Costs against the plaintiffs-appellants. SO ORDERED.
HELD: NO. the basis of the present action of Tuazon is quasi-delict under
the Civil Code, not delict under the Revised Penal Code. The same Sps Jayme vs Apostol
negligent act may produce civil liability arising from a delict under Article Mayor Miguel of Koronadal, South Cotabato was on board the Isuzu pick-
103 of the Revised Penal Code, or may give rise to an action for a quasi- up truck driven by Fidel Lozano, an employee of the Mun. of
delict under Article 2180 of the Civil Code. An aggrieved party may Koronadal.The pick-up truck was registered under the name of Rodrigo
choose between the two remedies. An action based on a quasi-delict may Apostol, but it was then in the possession of Ernesto Simbulan. Lozano
proceed independently from the criminal action.36There is, however, a borrowed the pick-up truck from Simbulan to bring Miguel to Buayan
distinction between civil liability arising from a delict and civil liability Airport at General Santos City to catch his Manila flight. The pick-up truck

TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 22


accidentally hit Marvin C. Jayme, a minor, who was then crossing the Article 2003. The hotel-keeper cannot free himself from responsibility by
National Highway in Poblacion, Polomolok, South Cotabato. The intensity posting notices to the effect that he is not liable for the articles brought by
of the collision sent Marvin some fifty (50) meters away from the point of the guest. Any stipulation between the hotel-keeper and the guest
impact, a clear indication that Lozano was driving at a very high speed at whereby the responsibility of the former as set forth in articles 1998 to
the time of the accident. Marvin sustained severe head injuries with 2001 is suppressed or diminished shall be void. (n)
subdural hematoma and diffused cerebral contusion. Despite medical ========================================================
attention, Marvin expired six (6) days after the accident. Makati Shangri-la Hotel vs Harper
Petitioners spouses Buenaventura and Rosario Jayme, the parents of In the first week of November 1999, Christian Harper came to Manila on a
Marvin, filed a complaint for damages with the RTC against respondent, business trip. He checked in at the Shangri-La Hotel and was billeted at
they prayed that all respondents be held solidarily liable for their loss. Room 1428. He was due to check out on November 6, 1999. In the early
In their respective Answers, all respondents denied liability for Marvin's morning of that date, however, he was murdered inside his hotel room by
death. Apostol and Simbulan averred that Lozano took the pick-up truck still unidentified malefactors. He was then 30 years old.
without their consent. Miguel and Lozano pointed out that Marvin's It appears that at around 11:00 am of November 6, 1999, a Caucasian
sudden sprint across the highway made it impossible to avoid the male expressed interest in purchasing a Cartier lady’s watch with the use
accident. Yet, Miguel denied being on board the vehicle when it hit of two Mastercard credit cards and an American Express credit card
Marvin. The Mun. of Koronadal adopted the answer of Lozano and Miguel. issued in the name of Harper. But the customer’s difficulty in answering
Whether Mayor Miguel was Lozano's employer and, hence, solidarily the queries phoned in by a credit card representative sufficiently aroused
liable for the latter's negligent act, hence, should have exercised due care the suspicion of saleslady, probably sensing trouble for himself, the
and diligence in the supervision of Lozano customer hurriedly left the store, and left the three credit cards and the
HELD: NO. In the case at bar, Mayor Miguel was neither Lozano's passport behind.
employer nor the vehicle's registered owner. There existed no causal In the meanwhile, Harper’s family in Norway must have called him at his
relationship between him and Lozano or the vehicle used that will make hotel room to inform him about the attempt to use his American Express
him accountable for Marvin's death. Mayor Miguel was a mere passenger card. Not getting any response from the room, his family requested
at the time of the accident. Parenthetically, it has been held that the failure Raymond Alarcon, the Duty Manager of the Shangri-La Hotel, to check on
of a passenger to assist the driver, by providing him warnings or by Harper’s room. Alarcon and a security personnel went to Room 1428 at
serving as lookout does not make the passenger liable for the latter's 11:27 a.m., and were shocked to discover Harper’s lifeless body on the
negligent acts. The driver's duty is not one that may be delegated to bed. The police investigation actually commenced, they found Harper’s
others. The true and lawful employer of Lozano is the Municipality of body on the bed covered with a blanket, and only the back of the head
Koronadal. Unfortunately for Spouses Jayme, the municipality may not be could be seen. Lifting the blanket, Mendoza saw that the victim’s eyes and
sued because it is an agency of the State engaged in governmental mouth had been bound with electrical and packaging tapes, and his hands
functions and, hence, immune from suit. and feet tied with a white rope. The body was identified to be that of hotel
Verily, liability attaches to the registered owner, the negligent driver and guest Christian Fredrik Harper.
his direct employer. Respondents commenced this suit in the RTC to recover various damages
The accidental death of Marvin Jayme is a tragic loss for his parents. from petitioner.
However, justice demands that only those liable under our laws be held Whether petitioner Makati Shangri-la Hotel was liable due to its own
accountable for Marvin's demise. Justice can not sway in favor of negligence
petitioners simply to assuage their pain and loss. The law on the matter is HELD: YES. Petitioner failed to provide the basic and adequate security
clear: only the negligent driver, the driver's employer, and the registered measures expected of a five-star hotel; and that its omission was the
owner of the vehicle are liable for the death of a third person resulting proximate cause of Harper’s death. The testimony of Col. De Guzman
from the negligent operation of the vehicle. revealed that the management practice prior to the murder of Harper had
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED and the appealed Decision been to deploy only one security or roving guard for every three or four
AFFIRMED. SO ORDERED. floors of the building; that such ratio had not been enough considering
======================================================== the L-shape configuration of the hotel that rendered the hallways not
visible from one or the other end; and that he had recommended to
(v.) INKEEPERS AND HOTELKEEPERS management to post a guard for each floor, but his recommendation had
ART. 102 of the RPC provides that innkeepers, tavernkeepers and any been disapproved because the hotel "was not doing well" at that
other persons or corporations shall be civilly liable for the crimes particular time.
committed in their establishments, in all cases where a violation of The hotel business is imbued with public interest. Catering to the public,
municipal ordinances or some general or special police regulation shall hotelkeepers are bound to provide not only lodging for their guests but also
have been committed by them or their employees, in default of the security to the persons and belongings of their guests. The twin duty
persons criminally liable. constitutes the essence of the business. Applying by analogy Article 2000
Article 2001 and Article 2002 of the Civil Code (all of which concerned the
hotelkeepers’ degree of care and responsibility as to the personal effects of
Innkeepers are also subsidiarily liable for the restitution of goods taken
their guests), we hold that there is much greater reason to apply the same if
by robbery or theft within their houses from guests lodging therein, or for not greater degree of care and responsibility when the lives and personal
the payment of the value thereof, provided that such guests shall have safety of their guests are involved. Otherwise, the hotelkeepers would simply
notified in advance the innkeeper himself or the person representing him, stand idly by as strangers have unrestricted access to all the hotel rooms on
of the deposit of such goods within the inn; and shall furthermore have the pretense of being visitors of the guests, without being held liable should
followed the directions which such innkeeper or his representative may anything untoward befall the unwary guests. That would be absurd, something
have given them wrt the care and vigilance over such goods, that no good law would ever envision. In fine, the Court sees no reversible-
No liability shall attach in case of robbery w/ violence against or error on the part of the CA.
intimidation of persons unless committed by the innkeeper’s WHEREFORE, the Court AFFIRMS the judgment of the Court of Appeals;
EEs. and ORDERS petitioner to pay the costs of suit.
Article 2000. The responsibility referred to in the two preceding articles
shall include the loss of, or injury to the personal property of the guests Sps. Mamaril vs The Boy Scout of the Philippines
caused by the servants or employees of the keepers of hotels or inns as Sps. Mamaril are jeepney operators since 1971. They would park their
well as strangers; but not that which may proceed from any force 6 passenger jeepneys every night at the Boy Scout of the Philippines'
majeure. The fact that travellers are constrained to rely on the vigilance of (BSP) compound. On May 26, 1995 at 8 o'clock in the evening, all these
the keeper of the hotels or inns shall be considered in determining the vehicles were parked inside the BSP compound. The following morning,
degree of care required of him. (1784a) however, one of the vehicles was missing and was never recovered.
Article 2001. The act of a thief or robber, who has entered the hotel is not According to the security guards Penñ a and Gaddi of AIB Security Agency,
deemed force majeure, unless it is done with the use of arms or through Inc. with whom BSP had contracted for its security and protection, a male
an irresistible force. (n) person who looked familiar to them took the subject vehicle out of the
Article 2002. The hotel-keeper is not liable for compensation if the loss is compound.
due to the acts of the guest, his family, servants or visitors, or if the loss
arises from the character of the things brought into the hotel. (n)
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 23
Sps. Mamaril filed a complaint for damages before RTC against BSP, AIB, Future spouses may agree in the marriage settlement that the regime of
Penñ a and Gaddi. In support thereof, Sps. Mamaril averred that the loss of CPG shall govern their property relations during marriage instead of the
the subject vehicle was due to the gross negligence of the above-named ACP regime.  In the absence of any marriage settlement or if the
security guards on-duty who allowed the subject vehicle to be driven out marriage settlement agreed upon is void, the system of CPG governs the
by a stranger despite their agreement that only authorized drivers duly property relations of those who were married prior to the effectivity of
endorsed by the owners could do so. BSP denied any liability contending the Family Code.
that not only did Sps. Mamaril directly deal with AIB with respect to the GR: Pecuniary indemnities imposed upon the husband or wife are not
manner by which the parked vehicles would be handled, but the parking chargeable against the CPG but against the separate properties of the
ticket itself expressly stated that the "Management shall not be wrongdoer.
responsible for loss of vehicle or any of its accessories or article left
therein." It also claimed that Sps. Mamaril erroneously relied on the Guard SC: Juaniza vs Jose: imposes liability on the conjugal partnership for the
Service Contract. Apart from not being parties thereto, its provisions tort committed by the driver of a vehicle who was hired in furtherance of
cover only the protection of BSP's properties, its officers, and employees. the husband’s business. Since the profits inured to the benefit of the
partnership, the liabilities to it must also be born by the partnership.
WON the BSP is liable in the instant case due to the negligence of the CPG should be made liable if one of the spouses committed the tort while
Security guards? NO! performing a business or if the act was supposed to benefit the
partnership.
HELD: It is undisputed that the proximate cause of the loss of Sps. Art. 122 of the Family Code “the payment of personal debts contracted
Mamaril's vehicle was the negligent act of security guards Penñ a and Gaddi by the husband or the wife before or during the marriage shall not be
in allowing an unidentified person to drive out the subject vehicle. charged to conjugal partnership XPT insofar as they redounded to the
Moreover, Penñ a and Gaddi failed to refute Sps. Mamaril's contention that
benefit of the family” Tort indemnity may be enforced against the
they readily admitted being at fault during the investigation that ensued.
partnership assets provided that liabilities mentioned in Art. 121 are
As it was ruled by the CA: There was negligence on the part of security satisfied.
guards Penñ a and Gaddi. However, it absolved BSP from any liability,
holding that the Guard Service Contract is purely between BSP and AIB REGIME OF SEPARATION OF PROPERTY
and that there was nothing therein that would indicate any obligation If separation of property was agreed upon in the marriage settlement or
and/or liability on the part of BSP in favor of third persons, such as Sps. approved by the court, each spouse shall own, dispose of, possess,
Mamaril. Nor was there evidence sufficient to establish that BSP was administer and enjoy his or her own separate estate.
negligent. It further ruled that the agreement between Sps. Mamaril and To each spouse shall belong all earnings from his/her profession,
BSP was substantially a contract of lease whereby the former paid business or industry and all fruits, natural, industrial or civil due or
parking fees to the latter for the lease of parking slots. As such, the lessor, received during the marriage from his or her separate property.
BSP, was not an insurer nor bound to take care and/or protect the lessees' Each spouse is responsible for his/her separate obligation. This includes
vehicles. obligation arising from quasi-delict for the act or omission committed by
one of the spouses.
Neither will the vicarious liability of an employer under Article 2180 of
the Civil Code apply in this case. It is uncontested that Penñ a and Gaddi (vii.) REGISTERED OWNER RULE
were assigned as security guards by AIB to BSP pursuant to the Guard RATIONALE
Service Contract. Clearly, therefore, no employer-employee relationship RULE: Person who is the registered owner of a vehicle is liable for any
existed between BSP and the security guards assigned in its premises. damages caused by the negligent operation of the vehicle although the
Consequently, the latter's negligence cannot be imputed against BSP but same was already sold.  Registered owner is liable to the injured party
should be attributed to AIB, the true employer of Penñ a and Gaddi. subject to his right of recourse against the transferee or the buyer.

Nor can it be said that a principal-agent relationship existed between BSP PROOF
and the security guards Penñ a and Gaddi as to make the former liable for In all cases when the registered owner rule is invoked, the person
the latter's complained act. The basis for agency therefore is invoking the rule a particular defendant must prove that the said
representation which element is absent in the instant case. Records show defendant is the registered owner of the vehicle. [Best evidence is the
that BSP merely hired the services of AIB, which, in turn, assigned certificate of registration]
security guards, solely for the protection of its properties and premises.
Nowhere can it be inferred in the Guard Service Contract that AIB was LIABILITY OF TRANSFEREE
appointed as an agent of BSP. Instead, what the parties intended was a If registered owner is made liable despite the transfer of the vehicle, the
pure principal-client relationship whereby for a consideration, AIB transferee is liable to the registered owner for the damages caused to the
rendered its security services to BSP. passenger.  He has the right to be reimbursed by the transferee.
======================================================== 3rd party complaint against the transferee may be appropriate in a
case filed by the injured passenger against the registered
(vi.) SPOUSES owner.
ABSOLUTE COMMUNITY PROPERTY
FC: In the absence of a marriage settlement or when the marriage QUASI-DELICT CASES
settlement agreed upon is void, the system of absolute community The rule is usually applied to common carriers but the SC already
property shall govern. extended the rule to quasi-delict cases involving private vehicles.
ACP – Spouses jointly own all properties of the marriage or acquired Registered owner rule had been applied to cases involving
thereafter subject only to few XPNs. enforcement of liability against an ER under Art. 2180 of the
Specie of vicarious liability is imposed under the system of ACP bec. it is NCC even if the ER is not engaged in business.
expressly provided in par. 9 of the Art. 94 of the FC that the ACP shall be
liable for “liabilities incurred by either spouses by reason of a crime or a ======================================================== Del
quasi-delict, in the case of absence or insufficiency of the exclusive Carmen vs Bacoy
property of the debtor-spouse. Payments made shall be considered At dawn on New Years Day of 1993, Emilia Bacoy Monsalud along with
advances to be deducted from the share of the debtor-spouse upon her spouse Leonardo Monsalud, Sr. and their daughter Glenda Monsalud,
liquidation of the community” were on their way home from a Christmas party they attended. Upon
reaching Purok Paglaom in Sominot, they were run over by a Fuso
passenger jeep that was being driven by Allan Maglasang. The jeep was
CONJUGAL PARTNERSHIP OF GAINS registered in the name of petitioner Oscar del Carmen, Jr. and used as a
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS
DE VERA-YALUNG | 24
public utility vehicle. Because of the unfortunate incident, for Reckless Espinas learned that the owner of the other car, is Filcar. Espinas sent
Imprudence Resulting in Multiple Homicide was filed against Allan. several letters to Filcar and to its President and General Manager Carmen
During the pendency of said criminal case, Emilias father, Geronimo Flor, demanding payment for the damages sustained by his car. Filcar
Bacoy (Geronimo), an independent civil action for damages based on denied any liability to Espinas and claimed that the incident was not due
culpa aquiliana. Aside from Allan, also impleaded therein were his alleged to its fault or negligence since Floresca was not its employee but that of
employers, namely, the Spouses del Carmen and the registered owner of Atty. Flor. Filcar and Carmen Flor both said that they always exercised the
the jeep, their son Oscar Jr. Geronimo. Defendants refused to assume civil due diligence required of a good father of a family in leasing or assigning
liability for the victims deaths. Oscar Sr. averred that the Monsaluds have their vehicles to third parties.
no cause of action against them because he and his wife do not own the
jeep and that they were never the employers of Allan. For his part, Oscar Whether Filcar, as registered owner of the motor vehicle which figured in
Jr. claimed to be a victim himself. He alleged that Allan and his friends an accident, may be held liable for the damages caused to Espinas?
stole his jeep while it was parked beside his drivers rented house to take
it for a joyride. Both he and a vehicle mechanic testified that the subject HELD: Filcar, as registered owner, is deemed the employer of the driver,
jeep can easily be started by mere pushing sans the ignition key. The Floresca, and is thus vicariously liable under Article 2176 in relation with
vehicles engine shall then run but without any headlights on. And Article 2180 of the Civil Code. It is undisputed that Filcar is the registered
implying that the vehicle was illegally taken. owner of the motor vehicle which hit and caused damage to Espinas car;
and it is on the basis of this fact that we hold Filcar primarily and directly
WON the registered owner Oscar Geronimo is also liable? YES! liable to Espinas for damages. As a general rule, one is only responsible
for his own act or omission. Thus, a person will generally be held liable
HELD: Negligence is presumed under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. only for the torts committed by himself and not by another. This general
Assuming arguendo that Allan stole the jeep by having the same pushed rule is laid down in Article 2176 of the Civil Code. One exception is an
by a group, the ignition key should then be with Rodrigo as he was employer who is made vicariously liable for the tort committed by his
entrusted with the jeeps possession. Thus, at the time Rodrigo faced his employee is under Article 2180 of the Civil Code.
employer hours after the incident, it is reasonable to expect that the
driver should have also returned the key to the operator together with the Under Article 2176, in relation with Article 2180, of the Civil Code, an
Official Receipt and Certificate of Registration. Notably, Rodrigo did not do action predicated on an employees act or omission may be instituted
so and instead, the key was allegedly handed over to the police for against the employer who is held liable for the negligent act or omission
reasons unexplained and not available from the records. Interestingly, committed by his employee. Although the employer is not the actual
Oscar Jr. never presented Rodrigo as his witness. Neither was he able to tortfeasor, the law makes him vicariously liable on the basis of the civil
attest on cross-examination that Allan really stole the jeep by pushing or law principle of pater familias for failure to exercise due care and
that the key was handed over to him by Rodrigo. vigilance over the acts of ones subordinates to prevent damage to another.
While Oscar Jr. highlights that the headlights were not on to support his In the last paragraph of Article 2180 of the Civil Code, the employer may
claim that his jeep was stolen, this circumstance by itself will not prove invoke the defense that he observed all the diligence of a good father of a
that it really was stolen. family to prevent damage. As its core defense, Filcar contends that Article
2176, in relation with Article 2180, of the Civil Code is inapplicable
What this Court instead finds worthy of credence is the CAs conclusion because it presupposes the existence of an employer-employee
that Oscar Jr. gave his implied permission for Allan to use the jeep. This is relationship. According to Filcar, it cannot be held liable under the subject
in view of Oscar Jr.s failure to provide solid proof that he ensured that the provisions because the driver of its vehicle at the time of the accident,
parking area is well secured and that he had expressly imposed Floresca, is not its employee but that of its Corporate Secretary, Atty. Flor.
restrictions as to the use of the jeep when he entrusted the same to his We cannot agree. It is well settled that in case of motor vehicle mishaps,
driver Rodrigo. As fittingly inferred by the CA, the jeep could have been the registered owner of the motor vehicle is considered as the
endorsed to Allan by his brother Rodrigo since as already mentioned, employer of the tortfeasor-driver, and is made primarily liable for the
Oscar Jr. did not give Rodrigo any specific and strict instructions on tort committed by the latter under Article 2176, in relation with Article
matters regarding its use. Rodrigo therefore is deemed to have been given 2180, of the Civil Code.
the absolute discretion as to the vehicles operation, including the
discretion to allow his brother Allan to use it. The main aim of motor vehicle registration is to identify the owner
so that if any accident happens, or that any damage or injury is
The operator on record of a vehicle is primarily responsible to third caused by the vehicle on the public highways, responsibility therefor
persons for the deaths or injuries consequent to its operation, regardless can be fixed on a definite individual, the registered owner. Thus,
of whether the employee drove the registered owners vehicle in whether there is an employer-employee relationship between the
connection with his employment. The main aim of motor vehicle registered owner and the driver is irrelevant in determining the liability
registration is to identify the owner so that if any accident happens, or of the registered owner who the law holds primarily and directly
that any damage or injury is caused by the vehicle on the public highways, responsible for any accident, injury or death caused by the operation of
responsibility therefor can be fixed on a definite individual, the registered the vehicle in the streets and highways.
owner. Instances are numerous where vehicles running on public ========================================================
highways caused accidents or injuries to pedestrians or other vehicles
without positive identification of the owner or drivers, or with very scant (viii.) RENT-A-CAR BUSINESS
means of identification. It is to forestall these circumstances, so LEASED VEHICLES
inconvenient or prejudicial to the public, that the motor vehicle The registered owner rule applies even if the registered owner leased the
registration is primarily ordained, in the interest of the determination of vehicle to another who is the actual operator. – Registered owner is
persons responsible for damages or injuries caused on public highways. directly liable.
To be free from liability, the lessor-owner should register the lease
Absent the circumstance of unauthorized use or that the subject vehicle contract w/ the LTO. The lease should be annotated in the cert.
was stolenwhich are valid defenses available to a registered owner, Oscar of registration in order that there will be notice to 3 rd parties
Jr. cannot escape liability for quasi-delict resulting from his jeeps use. that the lessee and not the registered owner who is in
possession and operating the vehicle.
Filcar Transport Services vs Espinas
Respondent Jose A. Espinas was driving his car along Leon Guinto Street ========================================================
in Manila. Upon reaching the intersection of Leon Guinto and President FGU Insurance Corp vs CA
Quirino Streets, Espinas stopped his car. When the signal light turned This was a two-car collision at dawn. At around 3 o'clock of 21 April 1987,
green, he proceeded to cross the intersection. He was already in the 2 vehicles, both Mitsubishi Colt Lancers, figured in a traffic accident. The
middle of the intersection when another car, traversing President Quirino car bearing Plate No. PDG 435 owned by Lydia F. Soriano was being driven
Street and going to Roxas Boulevard, suddenly hit and bumped his car. As at the outer lane of the highway by Benjamin Jacildone, while the other
a result of the impact, Espinas car turned clockwise. The other car car, with Plate No. PCT 792, owned by respondent FILCAR and driven by
escaped from the scene of the incident, but Espinas was able to get its Peter Dahl-Jensen as lessee, was at the center lane, left of
plate number. After verifying with the Land Transportation Office,
DE VERA-YALUNG | 25
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS
the other vehicle. Upon approaching the corner of Pioneer Street, the car vehicle operates by reason of a motor engine unlike a non-motorized
owned by FILCAR swerved to the right hitting the left side of the car of vehicle, which runs as a result of a direct exertion by man or beast of
Soriano. At that time Dahl-Jensen, a Danish tourist, did not possess a burden of direct physical force. A motorized vehicle, unimpeded by the
Philippine driver's license. Petitioner FGU Insurance Corporation, in view limitations in physical exertion. is capable of greater speeds and
of its insurance contract with Soriano, paid the latter P25,382.20. By way acceleration than non-motorized vehicles. At the same time, motorized
of subrogation it sued Dahl-Jensen and respondent FILCAR as well as vehicles are more capable in inflicting greater injury or damage in the
respondent Fortune Insurance Corporation as insurer of FILCAR for event of an accident or collision. This is due to a combination of factors
quasi-delict. peculiar to the motor vehicle, such as the greater speed, its relative
greater bulk of mass, and greater combustability due to the fuels that they
WON the registered owner FILCAR is liable for damages suffered by third use.
persons although the vehicle is leased to another? NO! As admitted by appellant Aonuevo, he first saw appellee Villagracia at a
distance of about 10 meters before the accident. Corrolarily, therefore, he
HELD: The liability imposed by Art. 2180 arises by virtue of a could have avoided the accident had he stopped alongside with an earlier
presumption juris tantum of negligence on the part of the persons made jeep which was already at a full stop giving way to appellee. But according
responsible thereunder, derived from their failure to exercise due care to eyewitness Sorsano, he saw appellant Aonuevo umaarangkada and hit
and vigilance over the acts of subordinates to prevent them from causing the leg of Villagracia. This earlier jeep at a full stop gave way to Villagracia
damage. Yet, as correctly observed by respondent court, Art. 2180 is to proceed but Aonuevo at an unexpected motion came out hitting
hardly applicable because none of the circumstances mentioned Villagracia. Aonuevo admitted that he did not blow his horn when he
therein obtains in the case under consideration. Respondent FILCAR crossed Boni Avenue. By Aonuevos own admission, he had seen
being engaged in a rent-a-car business was only the owner of the car Villagracia at a good distance of 10 meters. Had he been decelerating, as
leased to Dahl-Jensen. As such, there was no vinculum juris between he should, as he made the turn, Aonuevo would have had ample
them as employer and employee. Respondent FILCAR cannot in any way opportunity to avoid hitting Villagracia. Moreover, the fact that Aonuevo
be responsible for the negligent act of Dahl-Jensen, the former not being had sighted Villagracia before the accident would negate any possibility
an employer of the latter. that the absence of lights on the bike contributed to the cause of the
accident. A motorist has been held liable for injury to or death of a
We now correlate par. 5 of Art. 2180 with Art. 2184 of the same Code bicyclist where the motorist turned suddenly into the bicyclist so as to
which provides: "In motor vehicle mishap, the owner is solidarily liable cause a collision. Neither does Aonuevo attempt before this Court to
with his driver, if the former, who was in the vehicle, could have by the use establish a causal connection between the safety violations imputed to
of due diligence, prevented the misfortune . . . . If the owner was not in the Villagracia and the accident itself. Instead, he relied on a putative
motor vehicle, the provisions of article 2180 are applicable." Obviously, this presumption that these violations in themselves sufficiently established
provision of Art. 2184 is neither applicable because of the absence of negligence appreciable against Villagracia.
master-driver relationship between respondent FILCAR and Dahl-Jensen. As between Anñ onuevo and Villagracia, the lower courts adjudged
Clearly, petitioner has no cause of action against respondent FILCAR on Aonuevo as solely responsible for the accident. The petition does not
the basis of quasi-delict; logically, its claim against respondent FORTUNE demonstrate why this finding should be reversed. It is hard to imagine
can neither prosper. Petitioner's insistence on MYC-Agro-Industrial that the same result would not have occurred even if Villagracias bicycle
Corporation is rooted in a misapprehension of our ruling therein. In that had been equipped with safety equipment. Aonuevo himself admitted
case, the negligent and reckless operation of the truck owned by having seen Villagracia from 10 meters away, thus he could no longer
petitioner corporation caused injuries to several persons and damage to claim not having been sufficiently warned either by headlights or safety
property. Intending to exculpate itself from liability, the corporation horns. The fact that Aonuevo was recklessly speeding as he made the turn
raised the defense that at the time of the collision it had no more control likewise leads us to believe that even if Villagracias bicycle had been
over the vehicle as it was leased to another; and, that the driver was not equipped with the proper brakes, the cyclist would not have had
its employee but of the lessee. The trial court was not persuaded as it opportunity to brake in time to avoid the speeding car. Moreover, it was
found that the true nature of the alleged lease contract was nothing more incumbent on Aonuevo to have established that Villagracias failure to
than a disguise effected by the corporation to relieve itself of the burdens have installed the proper brakes contributed to his own injury. The fact
and responsibilities of an employer. We upheld this finding and affirmed that Aonuevo failed to adduce proof to that effect leads us to consider
the declaration of joint and several liability of the corporation with its such causal connection as not proven.
driver. ========================================================
========================================================
(x.) STATE
(ix.) ART. 2185 NCC STATE LIABILITY
Article 2185. Unless there is proof to the contrary, it is presumed that a Constitution: State cannot be sued without its consent. Consent of the
person driving a motor vehicle has been negligent if at the time of the State to be sued can be manifested through a special law or general law
mishap, he was violating any traffic regulation. (n) allowing the State to be sued.

======================================================== SPECIAL AGENTS


Añonuevo vs CA Par. 5 of Art. 2180 The State is responsible in like manner when it acts
Villagracia was traveling along Boni Avenue on his bicycle, while Aonuevo, through a special agent; but not when the damage has been caused by the
traversing the opposite lane was driving his Lancer car. Aonuevo was in official to whom the task done properly pertains, in which case what is
the course of making a left turn towards Libertad Street when the provided in article 2176 shall be applicable.
collision occurred. Villagracia sustained serious injuries as a result, which The liability is limited to acts of special agents. A special agent is one
necessitated his hospitalization several times. Villagracia instituted an
who receives definite and fixed order or commission, foreign to the
action for damages against Procter and Gamble Phils. (owner of the car),
exercise of the duties of his office is he is a special official.
Inc. and Aonuevo. Aonuevo claims that Villagracia violated traffic
regulations when he failed to register his bicycle or install safety gadgets
thereon. He posits that Article 2185 of the New Civil Code applies by MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS
analogy. The liability of public corporations for damages arising from injuries
suffered by pedestrians from the defective condition of roads is expressed
Whether Article 2185 NCC, which presumes the driver of a motor vehicle in:
negligent if he was violating a traffic regulation at the time of the mishap,
should apply by analogy to non-motorized vehicles? NO! Article 2189. Provinces, cities and municipalities shall be liable for
damages for the death of, or injuries suffered by, any person by reason of
HELD: There is a fundamental flaw in Aonuevos analysis of Art. 2185, as the defective condition of roads, streets, bridges, public buildings, and
applicable today. He premises that the need for the distinction between other public works under their control or supervision. (n)
motorized and non-motorized vehicles arises from the relative mass of
number of these vehicles. The more pertinent basis for the segregate
classification is the difference in type of these vehicles. A motorized
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 26
It is not necessary for the defective street to belong to the province, city or jeepney to take him down town. After waiting for about five minutes, he
municipality for liability to attach. The article only requires that either managed to hail a jeepney that came along to a stop. As he stepped down
control or supervision is exercised over the defective road or street. from the curb to board the jeepney, and took a few steps, he fell inside an
LGC cannot escape liability by claiming that its officials do not have uncovered and unlighted catch basin or manhole on P. Burgos Avenue.
knowledge or the existence of excavations on its road; the obligation to Due to the fall, his head hit the rim of the manhole breaking his eyeglasses
make the road safe is a continuing obligation. and causing broken pieces thereof to pierce his left eyelid. As a
consequence of the foregoing occurrence, Teotico filed, with the Court of
First Instance of Manila, a complaint.
========================================================
Meritt vs Govt of the PH
The first issue raised by the latter is whether the present case is governed
Plaintiff, riding on a motorcycle, was going toward the western part of
by Section 4 of Republic Act No. 409 (Charter of the City of Manila)
Calle Padre Faura, passing along the west side thereof at a speed of ten to
reading:
twelve miles an hour, upon crossing Taft Avenue and when he was ten feet
The city shall not be liable or held for damages or injuries to
from the southwestern intersection of said streets, the General Hospital
persons or property arising from the failure of the Mayor, the
ambulance, upon reaching said avenue, turned suddenly and Municipal Board, or any other city officer, to enforce the
unexpectedly without having sounded any whistle or horn, by which provisions of this chapter, or any other law or ordinance, or from
movement it struck the plaintiff. By reason of the resulting collision, the negligence of said Mayor, Municipal Board, or other officers
plaintiff was so severely injured. As the negligence which caused the while enforcing or attempting to enforce said provisions.
collision is a tort committed by an agent or employee of the Government, or by Article 2189 of the Civil Code of the Philippines which provides:
the inquiry at once arises whether the Government is legally-liable for the Provinces, cities and municipalities shall be liable for damages
damages resulting therefrom. for the death of, or injuries suffered by, any person by reason of
defective conditions of road, streets, bridges, public buildings,
WON the Government is also liable due to the negligence of the chauffeur? and other public works under their control or supervision.?
NO!
HELD: The Court of Appeals, however, applied the Civil Code, and, we
HELD: All admit that the Insular Government (the defendant) cannot be think, correctly. It is true that, insofar as its territorial application is
sued by an individual without its consent. It is also admitted that the concerned, Republic Act No. 409 is a special law and the Civil Code a
instant case is one against the Government. The plaintiff was authorized general legislation; but, as regards the subject-matter of the provisions
to bring this action against the Government "in order to fix the above quoted, Section 4 of Republic Act 409 establishes a general rule
responsibility for the collision between his motorcycle and the ambulance regulating the liability of the City of Manila for: "damages or injury to
of the General Hospital and to determine the amount of the damages, if persons or property arising from the failure of" city officers "to enforce
any, to which Mr. E. Merritt is entitled on account of said collision. The Act the provisions of" said Act "or any other law or ordinance, or from
(An Act authorizing E. Merritt to bring suit against the Government of the negligence" of the city "Mayor, Municipal Board, or other officers while
Philippine Islands and authorizing the Attorney-General of said Islands to enforcing or attempting to enforce said provisions." Upon the other hand,
appear in said suit.) was passed "in order that said questions may be Article 2189 of the Civil Code constitutes a particular prescription making
decided." We have "decided" that the accident was due solely to the "provinces, cities and municipalities . . . liable for damages for the death
negligence of the chauffeur, who was at the time an employee of the of, or injury suffered by any person by reason" — specifically — "of
defendant, and we have also fixed the amount of damages sustained by the defective condition of roads, streets, bridges, public buildings, and
the plaintiff as a result of the collision. other-public works under their control or supervision." In other words, said
section 4 refers to liability arising from negligence, in general, regardless
The supreme court of Spain in defining the scope of this paragraph said: of the object thereof, whereas Article 2189 governs liability due to
That the obligation to indemnify for damages which a third person causes "defective streets," in particular. Since the present action is based upon
to another by his fault or negligence is based, as is evidenced by the same, the alleged defective condition of a road, said Article 2189 is decisive
on that the person obligated, by his own fault or negligence, takes part in thereon.
the act or omission of the third party who caused the damage. It follows
therefrom that the state, by virtue of such provisions of law, is not It is urged that the City of Manila cannot be held liable to Teotico for
responsible for the damages suffered by private individuals in damages: 1) because the accident involving him took place in a national
consequence of acts performed by its employees in the discharge of the highway; and 2) because the City of Manila has not been negligent in
functions pertaining to their office, because neither fault nor even connection therewith.
negligence can be presumed on the part of the state in the organization of As regards the first issue, we note that it is based upon an allegation of
fact not made in the answer of the City. Moreover, Teotico alleged in his
branches of public service and in the appointment of its agents.
complaint, as well as in his amended complaint, that his injuries were due
That the responsibility of the state is limited by article 1903 to the case
to the defective condition of a street which is "under the supervision and
wherein it acts through a special agent and a special agent, in the sense in control" of the City. In its answer to the amended complaint, the City, in
which these words are employed, is one who receives a definite and fixed turn, alleged that "the streets aforementioned were and have been
order or commission, foreign to the exercise of the duties of his office if he constantly kept in good condition and regularly inspected and the storm
is a special official) so that in representation of the state and being bound drains and manholes thereof covered by the defendant City and the officers
to act as an agent thereof, he executes the trust confided to him. This concerned" who "have been ever vigilant and zealous in the performance of
concept does not apply to any executive agent who is an employee of the their respective functions and duties as imposed upon them by law." Thus,
acting administration and who on his own responsibility performs the the City had, in effect, admitted that P. Burgos Avenue was and is under its
functions which are inherent in and naturally pertain to his office and control and supervision.
which are regulated by law and the regulations." Moreover, the assertion to the effect that said Avenue is a national
highway was made, for the first time, in its motion for reconsideration of
the decision of the Court of Appeals. Such assertion raised, therefore, a
It is, therefore, evidence that the State (the Government of the Philippine
question of fact, which had not been put in issue in the trial court, and
Islands) is only liable, according to the above quoted decisions of the
cannot be set up, for the first time, on appeal, much less after the
Supreme Court of Spain, for the acts of its agents, officers and employees rendition of the decision of the appellate court, in a motion for the
when they act as special agents within the meaning of paragraph 5 of reconsideration thereof.
article 1903, supra, and that the chauffeur of the ambulance of the At any rate, under Article 2189 of the Civil Code, it is not necessary for the
General Hospital was not such an agent. liability therein established to attach that the defective roads or streets
belong to the province, city or municipality from which responsibility is
City of Manila vs Teotico exacted. What said article requires is that the province, city or
Genaro N. Teotico was at the corner of the Old Luneta and P. Burgos municipality have either "control or supervision" over said street or road.
Avenue, Manila, within a "loading and unloading" zone, waiting for a

TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 27


HELD: The basis of petitioner's liability is its insurance contract with
GSIS vs Deang respondent Sio Choy. If petitioner is adjudged to pay respondent Vallejos
Spouses Deang obtained a housing loan from the GSIS. Under the in the amount of not more than P20,000.00, this is on account of its being
agreement, the loan was to mature on December 23, 1979. The loan was the insurer of respondent Sio Choy under the third party liability clause
secured by a real estate mortgage constituted over the spouses' property included in the private car comprehensive policy existing between
covered by a TCT issued by the Register of Deeds of Pampanga. As petitioner and respondent Sio Choy at the time of the complained
required by the mortgage deed, the spouses Daeng deposited the owner's vehicular accident.
duplicate copy of the title with the GSIS. 11 months before the maturity of While it is true that where the insurance contract provides for indemnity
against liability to third persons, such third persons can directly sue the
the loan, the spouses Deang settled their debt with the GSIS 8 and
insurer, however, the direct liability of the insurer under indemnity
requested for the release of the owner's duplicate copy of the title.
contracts against third party liability does not mean that the insurer can
However, personnel of the GSIS were not able to release the owner's be held solidarily liable with the insured and/or the other parties found
duplicate of the title as it could not be found despite diligent search. at fault. The liability of the insurer is based on contract; that of the
spouses Deang filed a complaint against GSIS for damages, claiming that insured is based on tort.
as result of the delay in releasing the duplicate copy of the owner's title, In the case at bar, petitioner as insurer of Sio Choy, is liable to respondent
they were unable to secure a loan. GSIS, citing the sixth paragraph of Vallejos, but it cannot, as incorrectly held by the trial court, be made
Article 2180 of the Civil Code argues that as a GOCC, it falls within the "solidarily" liable with the two principal tortfeasors namely respondents
term "State" and cannot be held vicariously liable for negligence Sio Choy and San Leon Rice Mill, Inc. For if petitioner-insurer were
committed by its employee acting within his functions. solidarily liable with said two (2) respondents by reason of the indemnity
contract against third party liability-under which an insurer can be
Whether the GSIS, as a GOCC primarily performing governmental directly sued by a third party — this will result in a violation of the
functions, is liable for a negligent act of its employee acting within the principles underlying solidary obligation and insurance contracts.
scope of his assigned tasks? YES! In solidary obligation, the creditor may enforce the entire obligation
against one of the solidary debtors. On the other hand, insurance is
HELD: Under the facts, there was a pre-existing contract between the defined as "a contract whereby one undertakes for a consideration to
parties. GSIS and the spouses Deang had a loan agreement secured by a indemnify another against loss, damage, or liability arising from an
unknown or contingent event."
real estate mortgage. The duty to return the owner's duplicate copy of
title arose as soon as the mortgage was released. GSIS insists that it was
Petitioner upon paying respondent Vallejos the amount of riot exceeding
under no obligation to return the owner's duplicate copy of the title P20,000.00, shall become the subrogee of the insured, the respondent Sio
immediately. This insistence is not warranted. Negligence is obvious as Choy; as such, it is subrogated to whatever rights the latter has against
the owners' duplicate copy could not be returned to the owners. Since respondent San Leon Rice Mill, Inc. Article 1217 of the Civil Code gives to
good faith is presumed and bad faith is a matter of fact which should be a solidary debtor who has paid the entire obligation the right to be
proved,29 we shall treat GSIS as a party who defaulted in its obligation to reimbursed by his co-debtors for the share which corresponds to each. In
return the owners' duplicate copy of the title. As an obligor in good faith, accordance with Article 1217, petitioner, upon payment to respondent
GSIS is liable for all the "natural and probable consequences of the breach Vallejos and thereby becoming the subrogee of solidary debtor Sio Choy,
of the obligation." The inability of the spouses Deang to secure another is entitled to reimbursement from respondent San Leon Rice Mill, Inc.
loan and the damages they suffered thereby has its roots in the failure of ========================================================
the GSIS to return the owners' duplicate copy of the title.
======================================================== CIVIL LIABILITY ARISING FROM DELICT
BASIS OF LIABILITY
(xi.) LIABILITTY OF INSURER The basic rule is that every person criminally liable for a felony is
======================================================== also civilly liable. (Article 100, RPC)
Malayan Insurance vs CA Civil liability arising from criminal liability is expressly recognized
Malayan Insurance Co., Inc., issued in favor of private respondent Sio Choy as a source of obligation under the Civil Code although it
Private Car Comprehensive Policy, effective from 18 April 1967 to 18 April provides that civil obligations arising from criminal offenses
1968, covering a Willys jeep. The insurance coverage was for "own shall be governed by penal laws.
damage" not to exceed P600.00 and "third-party liability" in the amount What gives rise to the civil liability is really the obligation of
of P20,000.00. During the effectivity of said insurance policy, the insured everyone to repair or to make whole the damage caused to
jeep, while being driven by one Juan P. Campollo an employee of the another by reason of his act or omission, whether done
respondent San Leon Rice Mill, Inc., collided with a passenger bus intentionally or negligently and whether or not punishable by
belonging to the respondent Pangasinan Transportation Co., Inc. at the law.
national highway in Barrio San Pedro, Rosales, Pangasinan, causing
However, not all offenses give rise to civil liability. Thus, begging in
damage to the insured vehicle and injuries to the driver, Juan P. Campollo,
contravention of ordinances, violation of game laws, and
and the respondent Martin C. Vallejos, who was riding in the ill-fated jeep.
Defendant Sio Choy and the petitioner insurance company, in their infraction of the rules of traffic when nobody is hurt, do not
answer, also denied liability to the plaintiff, claiming that the fault in the produce civil responsibility.
accident was solely imputable to the PANTRANCO. Sio Choy, however,
later filed a separate answer with a cross-claim against the herein When a criminal action is instituted normally the civil action for recovery
petitioner wherein he alleged that he had actually paid the plaintiff, of civil liability arising from the crime is impliedly instituted, unless:
Martin C. Vallejos, the amount of P5,000.00 for hospitalization and other Offended party waives the civil action
expenses, and, in his cross-claim against the herein petitioner, he alleged When he reserves the right to institute it
that the petitioner had issued in his favor a private car comprehensive When he institutes the civil action before the criminal action.
policy wherein the insurance company obligated itself to indemnify Sio
Choy, as insured, for the damage to his motor vehicle, as well as for any PERSONS LIABLE
liability to third persons arising out of any accident during the effectivity The persons who are criminally liable under the RPC are the
of such insurance contract, which policy was in full force and effect when
principals, accomplices and accessories defined under Articles
the vehicular accident complained of occurred. He prayed that he be
16 to 20 thereof. Consequently, the same persons are also
reimbursed by the insurance company for the amount that he may be
ordered to pay. civilly liable under Article 100 of the same law.
Death of the person liable after final judgment extinguishes the
Whether petitioner is entitled to be reimbursed by respondent San Leon criminal liability but will not extinguish the civil liability.
Rice Mill, Inc. for whatever amount petitioner has been adjudged to pay
respondent Vallejos on its insurance policy? YES! WHAT IS INCLUDED IN CIVIL LIABILITY
Restitution, reparation of the damage caused and
indemnification for consequential damages.
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 28
such. lt is from this Court order embodying that determination that an
======================================================== appeal should be taken; and it is from notice of this order that the 15-day
Ozoa v. Madula period of appeal must be counted.
Petitioner Ozoa was the employer of Policarpio Balatayo, who was Ozoa's subsidiary civil responsibility has been duly established by the
convicted by the Court of First Instance of Bukidnon of homicide with evidence. That evidence was presented at a hearing at which Ozoa was
serious physical injuries thru reckless imprudence. The judgment of given opportunity to submit, as he did submit proofs in his behalf. We
conviction having become final, a writ of execution issued at the instance agree that the facts proven adequately demonstrate the existence of the
of the widow of the deceased (Caridad Madula, herein private requisites for holding Ozoa subsidiarily liable as an employer under
respondent), for the enforcement of the defendant's civil liability. The writ Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code
was however returned unsatisfied by reason of the insolvency of the
accused. Sps. Santos v. Pizardo
The widow Madula then moved for the issuance of a writ of execution Dionisio M. Sibayan (Sibayan) was charged with Reckless Imprudence
against the accused's employer, Ozoa. Ozoa opposed the motion. He stated Resulting to Multiple Homicide and Multiple Physical Injuries in
that the widow had executed an "Affidavit of Desistance" acknowledging connection with a vehicle collision between a southbound Viron Transit
full satisfaction of civil liability; and a separate civil case "should and must bus driven by Sibayan and a northbound Lite Ace Van. After trial, Sibayan
be ventilated .. in order that the Court can acquire jurisdiction over .. (his) was convicted and sentenced to suffer the penalty of imprisonment. .
person .. so that the employer-employee relationship could be established However, as there was a reservation to file a separate civil action, no
and to afford .. (him) the opportunity to prove his defense. pronouncement of civil liability was made by the municipal circuit trial
Upon these facts, the Court a quo directed execution against Ozoa. In court in its decision. petitioners filed a complaint for damages against
support of its ruling the Court placed reliance on Article 103, in relation Sibayan, Viron Transit and its President/Chairman, Virgilio Q. Rondaris,
to Article 102, of the Revised Penal Code, declaring the employer with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, pursuant to their reservation
subsidiarily responsible for the civil liability of his employee when the to file a separate civil action. They cited therein the judgment convicting
latter is insolvent; to Miranda v. Malate Garage, etc., holding that the Sibayan. The trial court dismissed the complaint on the principal ground
conviction of the employee is binding and conclusive upon the employer that the cause of action had already prescribed. Petitioners filed a motion
not only with regard to the civil liability but also as to its amount because for reconsideration pointing out yet again that the complaint is not based
the employer's liability is inseparable from and indeed follows that of the on quasi delict but on the final judgment of conviction in the criminal case
employee; and to Pajarito v. Seneris, holding that in substance and in which prescribes ten (10) years from the finality of the judgment. The
effect, the employer is a party to the criminal action where his employee's trial court denied petitioners motion for reconsideration reiterating that
civil liability is adjudged. petitioners cause of action was based on quasi delict and had prescribed
under Article 1146 of the Civil Code because the complaint was filed more
WON an employer may appeal from an order finding him subsidiarily than four (4) years after the vehicular accident. Petitioners insist that the
civilly liable in the same criminal proceeding and in the same manner as liability sought to be enforced in the complaint arose ex delicto and is not
in appeals in criminal cases? based on quasi delict. However, respondents, point out that the averments
in the complaint make out a cause of action for quasi delict under Articles
HELD: A person criminally liable is also civilly liable; and upon the 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code. As such, the prescriptive period of four
institution of the criminal action, the civil action for the recovery of the (4) years should be reckoned from the time the accident took place.
civil liability arising from the crime is also impliedly instituted unless Viron Transit also alleges that its subsidiary liability cannot be enforced
waived, or the filing of a separate action therefor is reserved. The since Sibayan was not ordered to pay damages in the criminal case. It is
employer is subsidiarily answerable for the adjudicated civil liability ex Viron Transits contention that the subsidiary liability of the employer
delito of his employee in the event of the latter's insolvency; and the contemplated in Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code presupposes a
judgment in the criminal action pronouncing the employee to be also situation where the civil aspect of the case was instituted in the criminal
civilly liable is conclusive on the employer not only as to the actuality of case and no reservation to file a separate civil case was made.
that liability but also as to its amount. But the foregoing statement does
not exhaust the entirety of the rules relevant and applicable to the WON the petitioners can still recover liability by virtue of the reservation
juridical situation under consideration. There is the additional precept, of of their right to file a separate civil action? YES!
which sight should not be lost because essential due process, that before
the employer's subsidiary liability is exacted, there must be adequate HELD: Our Revised Penal Code provides that every person criminally
evidence establishing that (1) he is indeed the employer of the convict; liable for a felony is also civilly liable. Such civil liability may consist of
that he is engaged in some kind of industry; (3) the crime was committed restitution, reparation of the damage caused and indemnification of
by the employee in the discharge of his duties; and (4) execution against consequential damages. When a criminal action is instituted, the civil
the employee is unsatisfied. The determination of these issues need not liability arising from the offense is impliedly instituted with the criminal
be done in a separate civil action. But a determination there must be, on action, subject to three notable exceptions: first, when the injured party
the basis of evidence that the offended party and the employer may fully expressly waives the right to recover damages from the accused; second,
and freely present; and this may be done in the same criminal action at when the offended party reserves his right to have the civil damages
which the employee's liability, criminal and civil, has been pronounced. determined in a separate action in order to take full control and direction
The more logical step then is to apply the corresponding rules in criminal of the prosecution of his cause; and third, when the injured party actually
cases, which provide that an appeal is taken simply by filing a notice of exercises the right to maintain a private suit against the offender by
appeal within fifteen (15) days from notice or promulgation of the instituting a civil action prior to the filing of the criminal case.
judgment. There is no occasion to speak of enforcing the employer's Section 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions.When a
subsidiary civil liability until and unless it appears that the employee's criminal action is instituted, the civil action for the recovery of
primary liability cannot in the first instance be satisfied by reason of civil liability is impliedly instituted with the criminal action,
insolvency. This fact cannot, in the very nature of things, be known until unless the offended party waives the civil action, reserves his
sometime after the verdict of conviction shall have become final. And even right to institute it separately, or institutes the civil action prior
if it appears prima facie that execution against the employee cannot be to the criminal action.
satisfied, execution against the employer will not issue as a matter of A waiver of any of the civil actions extinguishes the others. The institution
course. There must first be, as above pointed out, a determination that the of, or the reservation of the right to file, any of said civil actions separately
convict was in truth in the employ of the employer, that the latter is waives the others. The reservation of the right to institute the separate
engaged in some kind of industry, and the employee committed the crime civil actions shall be made before the prosecution starts to present its
to which civil liability attaches while in the performance of his duties as evidence and under circumstances affording the offended party a
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS reasonable opportunity to make such reservation. In no case may
DE VERA-YALUNG | 29
the offended party recover damages twice for the same act or omission of include exemption from civil liability, which shall be enforced subject to
the accused. the following rules:
First. In cases of subdivisions 1, 2, and 3 of Article 12, the civil liability for
Petitioners expressly made a reservation of their right to file a separate acts committed by an imbecile or insane person, and by a person under
civil action as a result of the crime committed by Sibayan. On account of nine years of age, or by one over nine but under fifteen years of age, who
this reservation, the municipal circuit trial court, in its decision convicting has acted without discernment, shall devolve upon those having such
Sibayan, did not make any pronouncement as to the latters civil liability. person under their legal authority or control, unless it appears that there
A reading of the complaint reveals that the allegations therein are was no fault or negligence on their part.
Should there be no person having such insane, imbecile or minor under
consistent with petitioners claim that the action was brought to recover
his authority, legal guardianship or control, or if such person be insolvent,
civil liability arising from crime. Although there are allegations of
said insane, imbecile, or minor shall respond with their own property,
negligence on the part of Sibayan and Viron Transit, such does not
excepting property exempt from execution, in accordance with the civil
necessarily mean that petitioners were pursuing a cause of action based law.
on quasi delict, considering that at the time of the filing of the complaint, Second. In cases falling within subdivision 4 of Article 11, the persons for
the cause of action ex quasi delicto had already prescribed. Besides, in whose benefit the harm has been prevented shall be civilly liable in
cases of negligence, the offended party has the choice between an action proportion to the benefit which they may have received. The courts shall
to enforce civil liability arising from crime under the Revised Penal Code determine, in sound discretion, the proportionate amount for which each
and an action for quasi delict under the Civil Code. one shall be liable.
When the respective shares cannot be equitably determined, even
At the time of the filing of the complaint for damages in this case, the approximately, or when the liability also attaches to the Government, or to
cause of action ex quasi delicto had already prescribed. Nonetheless, the majority of the inhabitants of the town, and, in all events, whenever
petitioners can pursue the remaining avenue opened for them by their the damages have been caused with the consent of the authorities or their
reservation, i.e., the surviving cause of action ex delicto. This is so because agents, indemnification shall be made in the manner prescribed by
the prescription of the action ex quasi delicto does not operate as a bar to special laws or regulations.
Third. In cases falling within subdivisions 5 and 6 of Article 12, the
an action to enforce the civil liability arising from crime especially as the
persons using violence or causing the fears shall be primarily liable and
latter action had been expressly reserved.
secondarily, or, if there be no such persons, those doing the act shall be
The dismissal of the action based on culpa aquiliana is not a bar to the liable, saving always to the latter that part of their property exempt from
enforcement of the subsidiary liability of the employer. Once there is a execution.
conviction for a felony, final in character, the employer becomes
subsidiarily liable if the commission of the crime was in the discharge of ii. EFFECT OF ACQUITTAL
the duties of the employees. This is so because Article 103 of the Revised The offender shall continue to be obliged to satisfy the civil liability
Penal Code operates with controlling force to obviate the possibility of the resulting from the crime committed by him, notwithstanding the fact that
aggrieved party being deprived of indemnity even after the rendition of a he has served his sentence consisting of deprivation of liberty or other
final judgment convicting the employee. rights, or has not been required to serve the same by reason of amnesty,
Seen in this light, the trial court should not have dismissed the complaint pardon, commutation of sentence or any other reason. (Art. 113, RPC)
on the ground of prescription, but instead allowed the complaint for
damages ex delicto to be prosecuted on the merits, considering petitioners ========================================================
allegations in their complaint, opposition to the motion to dismiss and Padilla v. CA
motion for reconsideration of the order of dismissal, insisting that the The petitioners was convicted of the crime of grave coercion by acting
action was to recover civil liability arising from crime. without authority of law prevented Antonio Vergara and his family to
This does not offend the policy that the reservation or institution of a close their stall located at the Public Market, Building No. 3, Jose
separate civil action waives the other civil actions. The rationale behind Panganiban, Camarines Norte, and by subsequently forcibly opening the
this rule is the avoidance of multiple suits between the same litigants door of said stall and thereafter brutally demolishing and destroying said
arising out of the same act or omission of the offender. However, since the stall and the furnitures therein by axes and other massive instruments,
stale action for damages based on quasi delict should be considered and carrying away the goods, wares and merchandise, to the damage and
waived, there is no more occasion for petitioners to file multiple suits prejudice of the said Antonio Vergara and his family. That in committing
against private respondents as the only recourse available to them is to the offense, the accused took advantage of their public positions: Roy
pursue damages ex delicto. This interpretation is also consistent with the Padilla, being the incumbent municipal mayor, and the rest of the accused
bar against double recovery for obvious reasons. being policemen, except Ricardo Celestino who is a civilian, all of Jose
======================================================== Panganiban, Camarines Norte, and that it was committed with evident
premeditation. Hence, was convicted by the CA. The petitioners appealed
i. JUSTIFYING AND EXEMPTING CIRCUMSTANCES the judgment of conviction to the Court of Appeals. They contended that
Justifying Circumstance the trial court's finding of grave coercion was not supported by the
GR: NO Civil liability evidence. According to the petitioners, the town mayor had the power to
These are circumstances which make the act of the accused order the clearance of market premises and the removal of the
legal. The person is deemed not to have transgressed the law complainants' stall because the municipality had enacted municipal
and is free from criminal liability. ordinances pursuant to which the market stall was a nuisance per se.
XPN: 2nd paragraph of Article 101, RPC which imposes liability on the CA: WHEREFORE, we hereby modify the judgment appealed from in the
persons who obtained benefit because he performed an act in a state of sense that the appellants are acquitted on ground of reasonable doubt.
necessity. The liability is similar to those imposed under Article 432, CC, but they are ordered to pay jointly and severally to complainants the
Exempting circumstances amount of P9,600.00, as actual damages.
Merely exempt the person from punishment.
Do not erase civil liability. Civil liability is expressly provided for in The petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration contending that the
the first and the third paragraphs of Article 101, RPC. acquittal of the defendants-appellants as to criminal liability results in the
Mitigating and aggravating circumstances extinction of their civil liability.
Reduce the criminal liability or compels the court to impose the
penalty to the maximum provided by law. WON the acquittal of the defendants-appellants as to criminal liability
results in the extinction of their civil liability? NO!
RPC
Art. 101. Rules regarding civil liability in certain cases. — The HELD: In Barredo v. Garcia, et at., the SC laid down the rule that the same
exemption from criminal liability established in subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 5 and punishable act or omission can create two kinds of civil liabilities against
6 of Article 12 and in subdivision 4 of Article 11 of this Code does not the accused and, where provided by law, his employer. 'There is the civil
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 30
liability arising from the act as a crime and the liability arising from the Bunag, Jr. brought plaintiff-appellant to a motel or hotel where they had
same act as a quasi-delict. Either one of these two types of civil liability sexual intercourse. Later that evening, said defendant-appellant brought
may be enforced against the accused, However, the offended party cannot plaintiff-appellant to the house of his grandmother, where they lived
recover damages under both types of liability. For instance, in cases of together as husband and wife for 21 days, or until September 29, 1973.
criminal negligence or crimes due to reckless imprudence, Article 2177 of On September 10, 1973, Bunag, Jr. and plaintiff-appellant filed their
the Civil Code. respective applications for a marriage license with the Office of the Local
Section 3 (c) of Rule 111 specifically provides that: Civil Registrar. On October 1, 1973, after leaving plaintiff-appellant,
Sec. 3. Other civil actions arising from offenses. — In all cases not defendant-appellant Bunag, Jr. filed an affidavit withdrawing his
included in the preceding section the following rules shall be application for a marriage license. However, Plaintiff-appellant contends
observed: that Bunag, Jr., together with an unidentified male companion, abducted
Extinction of the penal action does not carry with it extinction of her in the vicinity of the San Juan de Dios Hospital in Pasay City and
the civil, unless the extinction proceeds from a declaration in a brought her to a motel where she was raped.
final judgment that the fact from which the civil might arise did A complaint for damages for alleged breach of promise to marry was filed
not exist. In other cases, the person entitled to the civil action by private respondent Zenaida B. Cirilo against petitioner Conrado Bunag,
may institute it in the Jurisdiction and in the manner provided by Jr. and his father, Conrado Bunag, Sr., On August 20, 1983, on a finding,
law against the person who may be liable for restitution of the that petitioner had forcibly abducted and raped private respondent, the
thing and reparation or indemnity for the damage suffered. trial court rendered a decision ordering petitioner Bunag, Jr. to pay
The judgment of acquittal extinguishes the liability of the accused for private respondent damages. Petitioner Bunag, Jr. first contends that both
damages only when it includes a declaration that the facts from which the the trial and appellate courts failed to take into consideration the alleged
civil might arise did not exist. Thus, the civil liability is not extinguished fact that he and private respondent had agreed to marry, and that there
by acquittal where the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt (PNB v. was no case of forcible abduction with rape, but one of simple elopement
Catipon, 98 Phil. 286) as only preponderance of evidence is required in and agreement to marry.
civil cases; where the court expressly declares that the liability of the
accused is not criminal but only civil in nature (De Guzman v. Alvia, 96 WON since action involves a breach of promise to marry, there is no basis
Phil. 558; People v. Pantig, supra) as, for instance, in the felonies of estafa, of awarding damages?
theft, and malicious mischief committed by certain relatives who thereby
incur only civil liability (See Art. 332, Revised Penal Code); and, where the HELD: Under the circumstances obtaining in the case at bar, the acts of
civil liability does not arise from or is not based upon the criminal act of petitioner in forcibly abducting private respondent and having carnal
which the accused was acquitted. knowledge with her against her will, and thereafter promising to marry
When the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted on the her in order to escape criminal liability, only to thereafter renege on such
ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable promise after cohabiting with her for twenty-one days, irremissibly
doubt, a civil action for damages for the same act or omission constitute acts contrary to morals and good customs. These are grossly
may be instituted. Such action requires only a preponderance of insensate and reprehensible transgressions which indisputably warrant
evidence. Upon motion of the defendant, the court may require and abundantly justify the award of moral and exemplary damages,
the plaintiff to file a bond to answer for damages in case the pursuant to Article 21 in relation to paragraphs 3 and 10, Article 2219,
complaint should be found to be malicious. and Article 2229 and 2234 of Civil Code.
If in a criminal case the judgment of acquittal is based upon Petitioner would, however, belabor the fact that said damages were
reasonable doubt, the court shall so declare. In the absence of awarded by the trial court on the basis of a finding that he is guilty of
any declaration to that effect, it may be inferred from the text of forcible abduction with rape, despite the prior dismissal of the complaint
the decision whether or not the acquittal is due to that ground. therefor filed by private respondent with the Pasay City Fiscal's Office.
(Article 29,CC) Generally, the basis of civil liability from crime is the fundamental
More recently, we held that the acquittal of the defendant in the criminal postulate of our law that every person criminally liable for a felony is also
case would not constitute an obstacle to the filing of a civil case based on civilly liable. In other words, criminal liability will give rise to civil liability
the same acts which led to the criminal prosecution. We see no need to ex delicto only if the same felonious act or omission results in damage or
amend Article 29 of the Civil Code in order to allow a court to grant injury to another and is the direct and proximate cause thereof. Hence,
damages despite a judgment of acquittal based on reasonable doubt. extinction of the penal action does not carry with it the extinction of civil
What Article 29 clearly and expressly provides is a remedy for the liability unless the extinction proceeds from a declaration in a final
plaintiff in case the defendant has been acquitted in a criminal judgment that the fact from which the civil might arise did not exist. In the
prosecution on the ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond instant case, the dismissal of the complaint for forcible abduction with
reasonable doubt. It merely emphasizes that a civil action for damages is rape was by mere resolution of the fiscal at the preliminary investigation
not precluded by an acquittal for the same criminal act or omission. The stage. There is no declaration in a final judgment that the fact from which
Civil Code provision does not state that the remedy can be availed of only the civil case might arise did not exist. Consequently, the dismissal did not
in a separate civil action. A separate civil case may be filed but there is no in any way affect the right of herein private respondent to institute a civil
statement that such separate filing is the only and exclusive permissible action arising from the offense because such preliminary dismissal of the
mode of recovering damages. penal action did not carry with it the extinction of the civil action.
A separate civil action may be warranted where additional facts have to In a criminal action, the State must prove its case by evidence which
be established or more evidence must be adduced or where the criminal shows the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt, while in a civil
case has been fully terminated and a separate complaint would be just as action it is sufficient for the plaintiff to sustain his cause by
efficacious or even more expedient than a timely remand to the trial court preponderance of evidence only. Thus, in Rillon, et al. vs. Rillon, we
where the criminal action was decided for further hearings on the civil stressed that it is not now necessary that a criminal prosecution for rape
aspects of the case. The offended party may, of course, choose to file a be first instituted and prosecuted to final judgment before a civil action
separate action. These do not exist in this case. Considering moreover the based on said offense in favor of the offended woman can likewise be
delays suffered by the case in the trial, appellate, and review stages, it instituted and prosecuted to final judgment.
would be unjust to the complainants in this case to require at this time a ========================================================
separate civil action to be filed. With this in mind, we therefore hold that EFFECT OF DEATH
the respondent Court of Appeals did not err in awarding damages despite Death of the accused before final judgment, relieves the accused of
a judgment of acquittal. both criminal and civil liability arising from criminal liability.
However, the aggrieved party in a libel or physical injuries case
Banag, Jr. v. CA (including homicide or murder) who initially opted to claim
DE VERA-YALUNG | 31
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS
damages in the criminal case can file another case to enforce To an ICA, there may be a corresponding criminal action, eg. Article
his claim under Article 33, CC. 32, which are violation of the basic rights, hence, there
is a corresponding crime. If one filed a criminal action, and it is
Effect of Pardon one of the torts under Artticle 32, 33, & 34, then he can file a
Pardon does not erase civil liability. civil action independent of that.
It is not one of the grounds recognized under the Civil Code that ========================================================
extinguishes civil liability. Civil liability subsists Casupanan v. Laroya
notwithstanding service of sentence or for any reason the Two vehicles, one driven by respondent Laroya and the other owned by
sentence is not served by pardon or commutation of sentence. petitioner Capitulo and driven by petitioner Casupanan figured in an
While pardon has generally been regarded as removing the accident. As a result, two cases were filed with the MCTC Court. Laroya
existence of guilt so that in the eyes of the law, the offender is filed a criminal case against Casupanan for reckless imprudence resulting
deemed innocent and treated as though he never committed in damage to property. On the other hand, Casupanan and Capitulo filed a
the offense, it does not operate to remove all the effects of the civil case against Laroya for quasi-delict. When the civil case was filed, the
previous conviction. criminal case was then at its preliminary investigation stage. Laroya,
Pardon looks to the future. It makes no amends of the past. It affords defendant in the civil case, filed a motion to dismiss the civil case on the
no relief for what has been suffered by the offended party. ground of forum-shopping considering the pendency of the criminal case.
On Motion for Reconsideration, Casupanan and Capitulo insisted that the
======================================================== civil case is a separate civil action which can proceed independently of the
People v. Bayotas criminal case. They contend that an action on quasi-delict is different
Rogelio Bayotas was charged with Rape and eventually convicted Pending from an action resulting from the crime of reckless imprudence, and an
appeal of his conviction, Bayotas died. The Solicitor General expressed his accused in a criminal case can be an aggrieved party in a civil case arising
view that the death of accused-appellant did not extinguish his civil from the same incident. They maintain that under Articles 31 and 2176 of
liability as a result of his commission of the offense charged. Counsel for the Civil Code, the civil case can proceed independently of the criminal
the accused-appellant, on the other hand, opposed the view of the action. Finally, they point out that Casupanan was not the only one who
Solicitor General arguing that the death of the accused while judgment of filed the independent civil action based on quasi-delict but also Capitulo,
conviction is pending appeal extinguishes both his criminal and civil the owner-operator of the vehicle, who was not a party in the criminal
penalties. case.

WON the criminal liability of the accused was extinguished by reason of Whether an accused in a pending criminal case for reckless imprudence
his death while judgment of conviction is pending appeal? YES! can validly file, sinmultaneously and independently, a separate civil action
for quasi-delict against the private complainant in the criminal case? YES!
HELD: Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes
his criminal liability as well as the civil liability based solely thereon. As HELD: Under Section 1 of the present Rule 111, the independent civil
opined by Justice Regalado, in this regard, "the death of the accused prior action in Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code is not deemed
to final judgment terminates his criminal liability and only the civil instituted with the criminal action but may be filed separately by the
liability directly arising from and based solely on the offense committed, offended party even without reservation. The commencement of the
i.e., civil liability ex delicto in senso strictiore." Corollarily, the claim for civil criminal action does not suspend the prosecution of the independent civil
liability survives notwithstanding the death of accused, if the same may action under these articles of the Civil Code. The suspension in Section 2
also be predicated on a source of obligation other than delict. Article 1157 of the present Rule 111 refers only to the civil action arising from the
of the Civil Code enumerates these other sources of obligation from which crime, if such civil action is reserved or filed before the commencement of
the civil liability may arise as a result of the same act or omission: a) Law; the criminal action. Thus, the offended party can file two separate suits
b) Contracts; c) Quasi-contracts; d) . . .;e) Quasi-delicts. Where the civil for the same act or omission. The first a criminal case where the civil
liability survives, as explained in Number 2 above, an action for recovery action to recover civil liability ex-delicto is deemed instituted, and the
therefor may be pursued but only by way of filing a separate civil action other a civil case for quasi-delict - without violating the rule on non-forum
and subject to Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal shopping. The two cases can proceed simultaneously and independently
Procedure as amended. This separate civil action may be enforced either of each other. The commencement or prosecution of the criminal action
against the executor/administrator or the estate of the accused, will not suspend the civil action for quasi-delict. The only limitation is that
depending on the source of obligation upon which the same is based as the offended party cannot recover damages twice for the same act or
explained above. omission of the defendant. In most cases, the offended party will have no
Finally, the private offended party need not fear a forfeiture of his right to reason to file a second civil action since he cannot recover damages twice
file this separate civil action by prescription, in cases where during the for the same act or omission of the accused. In some instances, the
prosecution of the criminal action and prior to its extinction, the private- accused may be insolvent, necessitating the filing of another case against
offended party instituted together therewith the civil action. In such case, his employer or guardians.
the statute of limitations on the civil liability is deemed interrupted Similarly, the accused can file a civil action for quasi-delict for the same act
during the pendency of the criminal case, conformably with provisions of or omission he is accused of in the criminal case. This is expressly allowed
Article 1155 of the Civil Code, that should thereby avoid any in paragraph 6, Section 1 of the present Rule 111 which states that the
apprehension on a possible privation of right by prescription. Applying counterclaim of the accused may be litigated in a separate civil action.
this set of rules to the case at bench, we hold that the death of appellant This is only fair for two reasons. First, the accused is prohibited from
Bayotas extinguished his criminal liability and the civil liability based setting up any counterclaim in the civil aspect that is deemed instituted in
solely on the act complained of, i.e., rape. Consequently, the appeal is the criminal case. The accused is therefore forced to litigate separately his
hereby dismissed without qualification. counterclaim against the offended party. If the accused does not file a
======================================================== separate civil action for quasi-delict, the prescriptive period may set in
since the period continues to run until the civil action for quasi-delict is
TORTS WITH INDEPENDENT CIVIL ACTION filed.
INDEPENDENT CIVIL ACTIONS – include actions for damages for Second, the accused, who is presumed innocent, has a right to invoke
violation of civil and political rights, defamation, fraud, physical injuries Article 2177 of the Civil Code, in the same way that the offended party can
and neglect of public officers. avail of this remedy which is independent of the criminal action. To
Civil action which the Civil Code provisions allow to be filed disallow the accused from filing a separate civil action for quasi-delict,
(particularly Article 33) is ex-delicto, that is, civil liability while refusing to recognize his counterclaim in the criminal case, is to
arising from delict. deny him due process of law, access to the courts, and equal protection of
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 32
the law. Thus, the civil action based on quasi-delict filed separately by defendant's act or omission constitutes a criminal offense, the aggrieved
Casupanan and Capitulo is proper. party has a right to commence an entirely separate and distinct civil
action for damages, and for other relief. Such civil action shall proceed
RE: Suspension of the Separate Civil Action independently of any criminal prosecution (if the latter be instituted), and
Under Section 2, Rule 111 of the amended 1985 Rules, a separate civil mat be proved by a preponderance of evidence.
action, if reserved in the criminal action, could not be filed until after final The indemnity shall include moral damages. Exemplary damages may
judgment was rendered in the criminal action. If the separate civil action also be adjudicated.
was filed before the commencement of the criminal action, the civil The responsibility herein set forth is not demandable from a judge unless
his act or omission constitutes a violation of the Penal Code or other
action, if still pending, was suspended upon the filing of the criminal
penal statute.
action until final judgment was rendered in the criminal action. This rule
applied only to the separate civil action filed to recover liability ex-delicto.
Provides for an independent civil action for damages for violation of
The rule did not apply to independent civil actions based on Articles 32,
civil and political rights.
33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code, which could proceed independently
regardless of the filing of the criminal action.
RATIONALE: It is for the effective maintenance of democracy
The amended provision of Section 2, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules
How Committed
continues this procedure, to wit:
Involves intentional acts, the tort of violation of civil and
SEC. 2. When separate civil action is suspended. After the criminal action
political rights can also be committed through negligence.
has been commenced, the separate civil action arising therefrom cannot
Rule is that good faith on the part of the defendant does
be instituted until final judgment has been entered in the criminal action.
not necessarily excuse such violation.
If the criminal action is filed after the said civil action has already
NOTE: It is not necessary that there should be malice of bad faith. To
been instituted, the latter shall be suspended in whatever stage it may
make such a requisite would defeat the main purpose of Article 32 which
be found before judgment on the merits. The suspension shall last
is the effective protection of individual rights.
until final judgment is rendered in the criminal action. Nevertheless,
before judgment on the merits is rendered in the civil action, the same
c. Persons Liable
may, upon motion of the offended party, be consolidated with the
Directed against public officers or employees
criminal action in the court trying the criminal action. In case of
The coverage was expanded to cover even private individuals – who
consolidation, the evidence already adduced in the civil action shall be
obstructs, defeat, violate or in any manner impede or impair
deemed automatically reproduced in the criminal action without
the rights and liberties of another.
prejudice to the right of the prosecution to cross-examine the witnesses
presented by the offended party in the criminal case and of the parties to
Direct and Indirect Participation
present additional evidence. The consolidated criminal and civil actions
A person may be held liable whether his participation is direct or
shall be tried and decided jointly. indirect
========================================================
Superior officers of the law enforcers who conducted the raid
The person who actually conducted illegal search and seizure.
i. ART. 32 CIVIL CODE/SEARCHES AND SEIZURES NOTE: Not demandable from a judge unless his act or omission
NCC constitutes a violation of the Penal Code or other Penal Statute.
Art. 32. Any public officer or employee, or any private individual, who
directly or indirectly obstructs, defeats, violates or in any manner
State Immunity
impedes or impairs any of the following rights and liberties of another
person shall be liable to the latter for damages: A public officer who is the defendant in a case for damages under
Freedom of religion; Article 32 cannot escape liability under the doctrine of state
Freedom of speech; immunity.
Freedom to write for the press or to maintain a periodical publication; The doctrine of state immunity applies only if the acts involved are
Freedom from arbitrary or illegal detention; acts done by officers in the performance of official duties
Freedom of suffrage; within the ambit of their powers. Obviously, officers do not act
The right against deprivation of property without due process of law; within the ambit of their powers if they would violate the
The right to a just compensation when private property is taken for public constitutional rights of other persons.
use;
The right to the equal protection of the laws; Suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus
The right to be secure in one's person, house, papers, and effects against Does not destroy every person’s right and cause of action for
unreasonable searches and seizures; damages for illegal arrest and detention and other violations of
The liberty of abode and of changing the same;
Consti rights.
The privacy of communication and correspondence;
The right to become a member of associations or societies for purposes What is suspended is merely the right of the individual to seek
not contrary to law; release from his detention as a speedy means for obtaining his
The right to take part in a peaceable assembly to petition the government liberty.
for redress of grievances;
The right to be free from involuntary servitude in any form; ========================================================
The right of the accused against excessive bail; Aberca v. Ver
The right of the accused to be heard by himself and counsel, to be Task Force Makabansa (TFM) was ordered by General Fabian Ver to
informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a conduct pre-emptive strikes against Communist- Terrorist underground
speedy and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have houses. TFM raided several houses, employing in most cases defectively
compulsory process to secure the attendance of witness in his behalf; judicial search warrants, arrested people without warrant of arrest,
Freedom from being compelled to be a witness against one's self, or from denied visitation rights, and interrogated them with the use of threats and
being forced to confess guilt, or from being induced by a promise of tortures. A motion to dismiss was filed by defendants, stating that 1)
immunity or reward to make such confession, except when the person
plaintiffs may not cause a judicial inquiry about their detention because
confessing becomes a State witness;
the writ of habeas corpus was suspended; 2) defendants are immune
Freedom from excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishment, unless
the same is imposed or inflicted in accordance with a statute which has from liability for acts done in their official duties; 3) there was no cause of
not been judicially declared unconstitutional; and action. On Nov 8, 1983, Judge Fortun granted the motion to dismiss, which
Freedom of access to the courts. prompted plaintiffs to file a MR on Nov 18, 1983. He later inhibited
In any of the cases referred to in this article, whether or not the himself and was replaced Judge Lising, who denied the MR for being filed

TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS


DE VERA-YALUNG | 33
out of time. Another MR was filed, and was only modified to include Maj. detention of plaintiffs without warrant or under irregular, improper and
Aguinaldo and MSgt. Balaba for officers accountable in the said complaint. illegal circumstances; detention of plaintiffs at several undisclosed places
of 'safehouses" where they were kept incommunicado and subjected to
1 Whether or not immunity from suit may be invoked? NO! physical and psychological torture and other inhuman, degrading and
Whether petitioners have the right to question the alleged violation of brutal treatment for the purpose of extracting incriminatory statements.
their rights in the constitution? YES! The complaint contains a detailed recital of abuses perpetrated upon the
Whether the superior officers who gave the orders are liable? YES! plaintiffs violative of their constitutional rights.
Secondly, neither can it be said that only those shown to have participated
HELD: 1. It may be that the respondents, as members of the Armed "directly" should be held liable. Article 32 of the Civil Code encompasses
Forces of the Philippines, were merely responding to their duty, as they within the ambit of its provisions those directly, as well as indirectly,
claim, "to prevent or suppress lawless violence, insurrection, rebellion responsible for its violation.
and subversion" in accordance with Proclamation No. 2054 of President ========================================================
Marcos, despite the lifting of martial law on January 27, 1981, and in
pursuance of such objective, to launch pre- emptive strikes against alleged ii. ART. 33 CIVIL CODE/DEFAMATION
communist terrorist underground houses. But this cannot be construed Art. 33. In cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries a civil action
as a blanket license or a roving commission untramelled by any for damages, entirely separate and distinct from the criminal action, may
constitutional restraint, to disregard or transgress upon the rights and be brought by the injured party. Such civil action shall proceed
liberties of the individual citizen enshrined in and protected by the independently of the criminal prosecution, and shall require only a
Constitution. The Constitution remains the supreme law of the land to preponderance of evidence.
which all officials, high or low, civilian or military, owe obedience and
allegiance at all times. Provides that in case of defamation, fraud or physical injuries, an
Article 32 of the Civil Code which renders any public officer or employee action separate and distinct from the criminal action may be
or any private individual liable in damages for violating the Constitutional maintained by the injured party.
rights and liberties of another, as enumerated therein, does not exempt
the respondents from responsibility. Only judges are excluded from DEFAMATION
liability under the said article, provided their acts or omissions do not Includes libel and slander, means the offense of injuring a person’s
constitute a violation of the Penal Code or other penal statute. character, fame or reputation through false and malicious
We find merit in petitioners' contention that the suspension of the statements, it is that which tends to injure reputation or to
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus does not destroy petitioners' right diminish the esteem, respect, good will or confidence in the
and cause of action for damages for illegal arrest and detention and other plaintiff or to excite derogatory feelings or opinions about the
violations of their constitutional rights. The suspension does not render plaintiff.
valid an otherwise illegal arrest or detention. What is suspended is It is a publication of anything or tends to bring him into disrepute.
merely the right of the individual to seek release from detention through It is an invasion of a relational interest, since it involves the opinion
the writ of habeas corpus as a speedy means of obtaining his liberty. which others in the community may have or tend to have of the
Petitioners have a point in contending that even assuming that the plaintiff.
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus suspends Prosser: an invasion of the interest in reputation and good name, by
petitioners' right of action for damages for illegal arrest and detention, it communication to others which tends to diminish the esteem
does not and cannot suspend their rights and causes of action for injuries in which the plaintiff is held, or to excite adverse feelings or
suffered because of respondents' confiscation of their private belongings, opinion against him.
the violation of their right to remain silent and to counsel and their right Publication of a statement which tends to lower a person in the
to protection against unreasonable searches and seizures and against estimation of right-thinking members of society generally or
torture and other cruel and inhuman treatment. which tends to make them shun or avoid that person.
Respondents contend that the doctrine of respondent superior is It tends to injure the plaintiff in his trade, profession, or community
applicable to the case. We agree. The doctrine of respondent superior has standing, or lower him in the estimation of the community.
been generally limited in its application to principal and agent or to
master and servant (i.e. employer and employee) relationship. No such REQUISITES:
relationship exists between superior officers of the military and their It must be defamatory;
subordinates. It must be malicious;
Be that as it may, however, the decisive factor in this case, in our view, is It must be given publicity; and
the language of Article 32. The law speaks of an officer or employee or The victim must be identifiable.
person 'directly' or "indirectly" responsible for the violation of the
constitutional rights and liberties of another. Thus, it is not the actor LIBEL
alone (i.e. the one directly responsible) who must answer for damages Art. 353. Definition of libel. — A libel is public and malicious imputation
under Article 32; the person indirectly responsible has also to answer for of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission,
the damages or injury caused to the aggrieved party. condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor,
By this provision, the principle of accountability of public officials under discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the
the Constitution 5 acquires added meaning and asgilrnes a larger memory of one who is dead.
dimension. No longer may a superior official relax his vigilance or
abdicate his duty to supervise his subordinates, secure in the thought that REQUISITES:
he does not have to answer for the transgressions committed by the latter The imputation of a discreditable act or condition to another;
against the constitutionally protected rights and liberties of the citizen. Publication of the imputation;
Only Major Rodolfo Aguinaldo and Master Sgt. Bienvenido Balaba were Identity of the person defamed; and
kept as defendants on the ground that they alone 'have been specifically Existence of malice.
mentioned and Identified to have allegedly caused injuries on the persons
of some of the plaintiff which acts of alleged physical violence constitute a LIBEL AND SLANDER UNDER THE RPC
delict or wrong that gave rise to a cause of action. The complaint speaks Libel – written defamation
of, among others, searches made without search warrants or based on Slander – oral defamation
irregularly issued or substantially defective warrants; seizures and
confiscation, without proper receipts, of cash and personal effects
belonging to plaintiffs and other items of property which were not DE VERA-YALUNG | 34
subversive and illegal nor covered by the search warrants; arrest and
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS
NOTE: The RPC considers a statement defamatory if it is an imputation of seized articles, sent a letter dated April 29,1976, to the Chairman of the
circumstance “tending to cause dishonor, discredit or contempt of a ASAC in which he complained about the conduct of the raid and
natural or juridical person or to blacken the memory of the one who is demanded that the persons responsible therefore be investigated. After
dead. the demanded investigation, a decision exonerated all of the said agents
that is why the petitioner then filed a complaint for robbery against the
RPC same agents w/ the OCF of Manila but was later withdrawn. The owners
Art. 355. Libel means by writings or similar means. — A libel of the seized articles then instituted a civil complaint for damages which
committed by means of writing, printing, lithography, engraving, radio, the petitioner filed for them in the CFI of Manila on June 7,1976. Three
phonograph, painting, theatrical exhibition, cinematographic exhibition, days later, there appeared in the issue of the Bulletin Today the following
or any similar means, shall be punished by prision correccional in its report: TOURISTS SUE AGENTS, OFFICIAL. On the basis of facts in the
minimum and medium periods or a fine ranging from 200 to 6,000 pesos, news report, an information for libel was filed against the petitioner, Lee
or both, in addition to the civil action which may be brought by the Kee Ming and Ng Woo Hay in the CFI of Rizal. In the information, it was
offended party.
alleged that petitioner had committed the crime of libel by writing the
Art. 356. Threatening to publish and offer to present such publication
letter of April 29, 1976and by causing the publication of the news item in
for a compensation. — The penalty of arresto mayor or a fine from 200
to 2,000 pesos, or both, shall be imposed upon any person who threatens the Bulletin Today.
another to publish a libel concerning him or the parents, spouse, child, or The subject of this petition is the order of the respondent judge denying
other members of the family of the latter or upon anyone who shall offer the motion to quash filed by the petitioner, who had claimed that his
to prevent the publication of such libel for a compensation or money letter to the ASAC Chairman was not actionable because it was a
consideration. privileged communication; that the news report in the Bulletin Today was
Art. 358. Slander. — Oral defamation shall be punished by arresto mayor not based on the letter-complaint; and that in any case it was a fair and
in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period if it true report of a judicial proceeding and therefore also privileged.
is of a serious and insulting nature; otherwise the penalty shall be arresto Petitioner now seeks relief from this Court against what he claims as the
menor or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos. grave abuse of discretion committed by the respondent judge in
Art. 359. Slander by deed. — The penalty of arresto mayor in its sustaining the information.
maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period or a fine Whether the subject letter or the news report appeared in the Bulletin
ranging from 200 to 1,000 pesos shall be imposed upon any person who Today is libelous and thus not covered with Privilege Communication
shall perform any act not included and punished in this title, which shall HELD: Neither is libelous, hence, covered w/ Privilege Comm.
cast dishonor, discredit or contempt upon another person. If said act is The applicable provision in the Revised Penal Code reads as follows:
not of a serious nature, the penalty shall be arresto menor or a fine not Article 354. Requirement for publicity. — Every defamatory imputation is
exceeding 200 pesos. presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if no good intention and
justifiable motive for making it is shown, except in the following cases:
Test in determining the defamatory character of the imputation: A 1. A private communication made by any person to another in the
charge is sufficient if the words are calculated to induce the hearers to performance of any legal, moral or social duty; and
2. A fair and true report, made in good faith, without comments or
suppose and understand that the person or persons against whom they
remarks, of any judicial, legislative or other official proceedings which are
were uttered were guilty of certain offense, or are sufficient to impeach
not of confidential nature, or of any statement, report or speech delivered
their honesty, virtue, or reputation, or to hold the person or persons up to in said proceedings, or of any other act performed by public officers in the
public ridicule. exercise of their functions.
Dissemination to a number of persons in not required; The letter comes under Item 1 as it was addressed by the petitioner to the
communication to a single individual is sufficient publication. ASAC Chairman to complain against the conduct of his men when they
GR: Every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it raided the Chinese tourists' rooms in the Tokyo Hotel. It was sent by the
be true, if no good intention or justifiable motive for making it is shown. petitioner mainly in his capacity as a lawyer in the discharge of his legal
XPN: duty to protect his clients. While his principal purpose was to vindicate
A private communication made by any person to another in the his clients' interests against the abuses committed by the ASAC agents, he
performance of any legal, moral or social duty; and could also invoke his civic duty as a private individual to expose
Fair and true report, made in good faith, without any comments or anomalies in the public service. The complaint was addressed to the
remarks, of any judicial, legislative or other official proceedings official who had authority over them and could impose the proper
disciplinary sanctions. Significantly, as an index of good faith, the letter
which are not of confidential nature, or any statement, report,
was sent privately directly to the addressee, without any fanfare or
or speech delivered in said proceedings or of any other act publicity.
performed by public officers in the exercise of As for the news report, it is difficult to believe that the petitioner could
their functions. have by himself caused the publication of such an explosive item. There is
It is not sufficient that the offended party recognized himself as the no prima facie showing that, by some kind of influence he had over the
person attacked or defamed, it must be shown that at least a 3 rd periodical, he succeeded in having it published to defame the ASAC
person could identify him as the object of the libelous agents. It does not appear either that the report was paid for like an
publication. advertisement. This looks instead to be the result of the resourcefulness
In order to escape liability, the defendant may claim that the of the newspaper in discovering matters of public interest for dutiful
statements are privileged. disclosure to its readers. It should be presumed that the report was
included in the issue as part of the newspaper's coverage of important
Two kinds of privileged communication: current events as selected by its editorial staff. At any rate, the news item
comes under Item 2 of the above quoted article as it is a true and fair
ABSOLUTE PRIVILEGE – those which are not actionable even if the
report of a judicial proceeding, made in good faith and without comments
author acted in bad faith.
or remarks. This is also privileged.
QUALIFIED PRIVILEGE – not actionable unless found to have been The matters mentioned in Article 354 as XPNs to the GR are not
made without good intention or justifiable motive; fair absolutely privileged and are still actionable. However, since what is
comment. presumed is not malice but in fact lack of malice, it is for the prosecution
to overcome that presumption by proof that the accused was actually
======================================================== motivated by malice. Absent such proof, the charge must fail.
Manuel v. Cruz-Pano Also, it appears from the allegations in the information itself that the
On April 21, 1976, a raid was conducted by the agents of the now defunct accused acted in good faith and for justifiable ends in making the
ASAC on two rooms in the Tokyo Hotel in Binondo, Manila, pursuant to a allegedly libelous imputations, and in pertinent pleadings, there is no
warrant of seizure and detention and such raid resulted in the seizure of need to prolong the proceedings to the prejudice of the defendant. The
several articles allegedly smuggled but most of them were ordered Court can and should dismiss the charge without further ado.
released upon proof that the customs duties and other charges thereon We are convinced that the information against the petitioner should never
had been duly paid. Petitioner, as counsel for the owners of the have been filed at all and that the respondent judge committed
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 35
grave abuse of discretion in denying the motion to quash the information counterclaim for damages is likewise DISMISSED for lack of merit. No
on the ground that the allegation petitions therein did not constitute an costs. SO ORDERED.
offense. The petitioner is entitled to the relief he seeks from those who in
the guise of law and through the instrumentality of the trial court would International Flavors and Fragrances v. Argos
impose upon him this warrant tyranny. ACCORDINGLY, the petition is Petitioner International Flavors and Fragrances Inc., (IFFI) is a
GRANTED. corporation organized and existing under Philippine laws. Respondents
Merlin J. Argos and Jaja C. Pineda are the general manager and
Borjal v. CA commercial director, respectively, of the Fragrances Division of IFFI.
Between May and July 1989 a series of articles written by petitioner In 1992, the office of managing director was created to head the
Borjal was published on different dates in his column Jaywalker. The corporation's operation in the Philippines. Hernan H. Costa was
articles dealt with the alleged anomalous activities of an "organizer of a appointed managing director. Consequently the general managers
conference" without naming or identifying private respondent. Neither reported directly to Costa.
did it refer to the FNCLT as the conference therein mentioned. Costa and respondents had serious differences. When the positions of the
Private respondent reacted to the articles. He sent a letter to The general managers became redundant, respondents agreed to the
Philippine Star insisting that he was the "organizer" alluded to in termination of their services. They signed a "Release, Waiver and
petitioner Borjal's columns. Thereafter, private respondent filed a Quitclaim" on December 10, 1993. On the same date, Costa issued a
complaint with the National Press Club (NPC) against petitioner Borjal for "Personnel Announcement" which described respondents as "persona
unethical conduct. Apparently not satisfied with his complaint with the non grata" and urged employees not to have further dealings with them.
NPC, private respondent filed a criminal case for libel against petitioners Respondents filed a criminal complaint for libel resulting in the filing of
Borjal and Soliven, among others but was dismissed. two Informations against Costa with the MTC of Taguig, Metro Manila.
Private respondent instituted against petitioners a civil action for Respondents filed a civil case for damages filed at the RTC of Pasig against
damages based on libel subject of the instant case. Costa and IFFI, in its subsidiary capacity as employer. Herein petitioner
Whether the subject articles are within the exceptions of Art. 354 of the IFFI moved to dismiss the complaint.
RPC I: Could private respondents sue petitioner for damages based on
HELD: NO. In order to maintain a libel suit, it is essential that the victim subsidiary liability in an independent civil action under Article 33 of the
be identifiable although it is not necessary that he be named. It is also not Civil Code, during the pendency of the criminal libel cases against
sufficient that the offended party recognized himself as the person petitioner's employee?
attacked or defamed, but it must be shown that at least a third person HELD: Respondents' suit based on subsidiary liability of petitioner is
could identify him as the object of the libelous publication. Regrettably, premature.
these requisites have not been complied with in the case at bar. They are Article 33 of the Civil Code provides specifically that in cases of
neither private communications nor fair and true report without any defamation, a civil action for damages, entirely separate and distinct from
comments or remarks. However this does not necessarily mean that they the criminal action, may be brought by the injured party. Such civil action
proceeds independently of the criminal prosecution and requires only a
are not privileged. To be sure, the enumeration under Art. 354 is not an
preponderance of evidence.
exclusive list of qualifiedly privileged communications since fair However, we note that by invoking the principle of respondeat superior,
commentaries on matters of public interest are likewise privileged. respondents tried to rely on Art. 33 to hold IFFI primarily liable for its
To reiterate, fair commentaries on matters of public interest are employee's defamatory statements. But we also find that respondents did
privileged and constitute a valid defense in an action for libel or slander. not raise the claim of primary liability as a cause of action in its complaint
The doctrine of fair comment means that while in general every before the trial court. On the contrary, they sought to enforce the alleged
discreditable imputation publicly made is deemed false, because every subsidiary liability of petitioner as the employer of Costa, the accused in
man is presumed innocent until his guilt is judicially proved, and every pending criminal cases for libel, prematurely.
false imputation is deemed malicious, nevertheless, when the Having established that respondents did not base their civil action on
discreditable imputation is directed against a public person in his public petitioner IFFI's primary liability under Art. 33 but claimed damages from
capacity, it is not necessarily actionable. In order that such discreditable IFFI based on its subsidiary liability as employer of Costa, prematurely,
imputation to a public official may be actionable, it must either be a false we need not delve further on the other errors raised by petitioner. Plainly
allegation of fact or a comment based on a false supposition. If the both the trial and the appellate courts erred in failing to dismiss the
complaint against herein petitioner by respondents claiming subsidiary
comment is an expression of opinion, based on established facts, then it is
liability while the criminal libel cases against IFFI's employee, Costa, were
immaterial that the opinion happens to be mistaken, as long as it might pending before the metropolitan trial court. Nothing herein said, however,
reasonably be inferred from the facts. ought to prejudice the reliefs that respondents might seek at the
Primarily, private respondent failed to substantiate by preponderant appropriate time.
evidence that petitioner was animated by a desire to inflict unjustifiable To reiterate, nothing could be clearer than that herein respondents are
harm on his reputation, or that the articles were written and published suing IFFI civilly in its subsidiary capacity for Costa's alleged defamatory
without good motives or justifiable ends. On the other hand, we find acts. Moreover, the appellate court could not convert allegations of
petitioner Borjal to have acted in good faith. Moved by a sense of civic subsidiary liability to read as averments of primary liability without
duty and prodded by his responsibility as a newspaperman, he proceeded committing a fundamental unfairness to the adverse party.
to expose and denounce what he perceived to be a public deception. WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED.
Surely, we cannot begrudge him for that. Every citizen has the right to
enjoy a good name and reputation, but we do not consider that petitioner MVRS Publication v. Islamic Da’Wah Council of the PH
Borjal has violated that right in this case nor abused his press freedom. ISLAMIC DA'WAH COUNCIL OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., a local federation
of more than seventy (70) Muslim religious organizations, and individual
Muslims filed in the RTC of Manila a complaint for damages in their own
Also, the questioned articles written by Borjal do not identify private
behalf and as a class suit in behalf of the Muslim members nationwide
respondent Wenceslao as the organizer of the conference. The first of the
against MVRS PUBLICATIONS, INC., MARS C. LACONSAY, MYLA C. AGUJA
Jaywalker articles yielded nothing to indicate that private respondent was and AGUSTINO G. BINEGAS, JR., arising from an article published in the 1
the person referred to therein. No less than private respondent himself August 1992 issue of Bulgar, a daily tabloid. The complaint alleged that
admitted that the FNCLT had several organizers and that he was only a the libelous statement was insulting and damaging to the Muslims; that
part of the organization. Identification is grossly inadequate when even these words alluding to the pig as the God of the Muslims was not only
the alleged offended party is himself unsure that he was the object of the published out of sheer ignorance but with intent to hurt the feelings, cast
verbal attack. insult and disparage the Muslims and Islam, as a religion in this country,
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of in violation of law, public policy, good morals and human relations; that
Appeals of 25 March 1996 and its Resolution of 12 September 1996 on account of these libelous words Bulgar insulted not only the Muslims
denying reconsideration are, REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and the in the Philippines but the entire Muslim world, especially every Muslim
complaint for damages against petitioners is DISMISSED. Petitioners' individual in non-Muslim countries.
MVRS PUBLICATIONS, INC., and AGUSTINO G. BINEGAS, JR., in their
defense, contended that the article did not mention respondents as the
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 36
object of the article and therefore were not entitled to damages; and, that HELD: In this case, there is no controversy as to the existence of the three
the article was merely an expression of belief or opinion and was elements. The respondent’s name and address were clearly indicated in
published without malice nor intention to cause damage, prejudice or the article ascribing to him the questionable practice of shooting the
injury to Muslims. wayward pets of his neighbors. The backlash caused by the publication of
Whether the subject article published in the tabloid constitutes as an the article was in fact such that stones had been thrown at their house,
actionable act in the form of defamation and thus may be the basis for breaking several flower pots, and daily and nightly calls compelled him to
asking of damages request a change of their telephone number. These facts are not contested
HELD: NO. It must be stressed that words which are merely insulting are by the petitioners.
not actionable as libel or slander per se, and mere words of general abuse The article is not a privileged communication.
In the instant case, even if we assume that the letter written by the
however opprobrious, ill-natured, or vexatious, whether written or
spurious Atty. Angara is privileged communication, it lost its character as
spoken, do not constitute a basis for an action for defamation in the
such when the matter was published in the newspaper and circulated
absence of an allegation for special damages. The fact that the language is among the general population. A written letter containing libelous matter
offensive to the plaintiff does not make it actionable by itself. cannot be classified as privileged when it is published and circulated in
Declarations made about a large class of people cannot be interpreted to public, which was what the petitioners did in this case.
advert to an identified or identifiable individual. Absent circumstances Neither is the news item a fair and true report without any comments or
specifically pointing or alluding to a particular member of a class, no remarks of any judicial, legislative or other official proceedings; there is in
member of such class has a right of action without at all impairing the fact no proceeding to speak of. Nor is the article related to any act
equally demanding right of free speech and expression, as well as of the performed by public officers in the exercise of their functions, for it
press, under the Bill of Rights. concerns only false imputations against Thoenen, a private individual
In the present case, there was no fairly identifiable person who was seeking a quiet life.
allegedly injured by the Bulgar article. Since the persons allegedly We must point out that Lee’s brief news item contained falsehoods on two
defamed could not be identifiable, private respondents have no individual levels. On its face, her statement that residents of BF Homes had "asked
causes of action; hence, they cannot sue for a class allegedly disparaged. the Bureau of Immigration to deport a Swiss who allegedly shoots
Private respondents must have a cause of action in common with the class neighbors’ pets" is patently untrue since the letter of the spurious Atty.
to which they belong to in order for the case to prosper. Angara was a mere request for verification of Thoenen’s status as a
In the instant case, the Muslim community is too vast as to readily foreign resident. Lee’s article, moreover, is also untrue, in that the events
ascertain who among the Muslims were particularly defamed. The size of she reported never happened. The respondent had never shot any of his
the group renders the reference as indeterminate and generic as a similar neighbors’ pets, no complaints had been lodged against him by his
attack on Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists or Mormons would do. The neighbors, and no deportation proceedings had been initiated against
him. Worse, the author of Lee’s main source of information, Atty. Efren
word "Muslim" is descriptive of those who are believers of Islam, a
Angara, apparently either does not exist, or is not a lawyer. Petitioner Lee
religion divided into varying sects, such as the Sunnites, the Shiites, the
would have been enlightened on substantially all these matters had she
Kharijites, the Sufis and others based upon political and theological but tried to contact either Angara or Thoenen.
distinctions. "Muslim" is a name which describes only a general segment WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals of 17 January 2000
of the Philippine population, comprising a heterogeneous body whose reversing the Decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 62, Makati City,
construction is not so well defined as to render it impossible for any of 31 August 1994 is hereby AFFIRMED, subject to the modification that
representative identification. petitioners are ordered to pay, jointly and severally, moral damages in the
Our conclusion therefore is that the statements published by petitioners sum of ₱100,000.00, exemplary damages of ₱30,000.00, and legal fees of
in the instant case did not specifically identify nor refer to any particular ₱20,000.00. No costs. SO ORDERED.
individuals who were purportedly the subject of the alleged libelous ========================================================
publication. Respondents can scarcely claim to having been singled out
for social censure pointedly resulting in damages. ART. 33 CIVIL CODE/FRAUD
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. ELEMENTS:
The defendant must have made false representation to the plaintiff;
Philippine Journalist, Inc. v. Theonen The representation must be one of fact;
On 30 September 1990, the a news item appeared in the People’s The defendant must know that the representation is false or be
Journal, a tabloid of general circulation. The subject of the article, Francis reckless about whether it is false;
Thoenen, is a retired engineer permanently residing in this country with The defendant must have acted on the false representation;
his Filipina wife and their children. Claiming that the report was false and The defendant must have intended that the representation should
defamatory, and that the petitioners acted irresponsibly in failing to verify be acted on;
the truth of the same prior to publication, he filed a civil case for damages The plaintiff must have suffered damage as a result of acting on the
against herein petitioners Philippine Journalists, Inc., Zacarias Nuguid, Jr., representation.
its publisher, and reporter Cristina Lee. Thoenen claimed that the article
destroyed the respect and admiration he enjoyed in the community, and
False representation contemplated in the first requisite can be made by
that since it had been published, he and his wife received several queries
and angry calls from friends, neighbors and relatives. For the impairment spoken or written words. It can also be made by conduct. A
of his reputation and standing in the community, and his mental anguish. representation is not confined to words or positive assertions; it may
It was proven at trial that the news article contained several inaccuracies. consist as well of deeds, acts or artifices of a nature calculated to mislead
Moreover, it is immediately apparent from a comparison between the another and thereby to allow the defendant to obtain undue advantage
letter and the news item in question that while the letter is a mere over them.
request for verification of Thoenen’s status, Lee wrote that residents of BF Half-truths are likewise included. It is actionable if it is “such a
Homes had "asked the Bureau of Immigration to deport a Swiss who partial and fragmentary statement of fact, as that the
allegedly shoots neighbors’ pets." No complaints had in fact been lodged withholding of that which is not stated makes that which is
against him by any of the BF Homeowners, 6 nor had any pending stated absolutely false.”
deportation proceedings been initiated against him in the Bureau of NOTE: Misrepresentation upon a mere matter of opinion is not an
Immigration. Thoenen also submitted a Certification from the Office of the actionable deceit
Bar Confidant that there was no lawyer in its rolls by the name of Efren
Angara, earlier cited by petitioner Lee as the author of the letter on which
========================================================
she based her article. Finally, the trial also showed that despite the fact
Heirs of Simon v. Chan
that respondent’s address was indicated in the letter, Cristina Lee made
no efforts to contact either him or the purported letter-writer, Atty. OCP of Manila filed in the MeTC an information charging the late Eduardo
Angara. Simon (Simon) with a violation of BP 22 docketed and entitled as PP vs
Whether the subject article is a form of privileged communication - NO Sikmon.

TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 37


More than three years later, or on August 3, 2000, respondent Elvin Chan payee uses the intimidating effect of a criminal charge to collect his credit
commenced in the MeTC in Pasay City a civil action for the collection of gratis and sometimes, upon being paid, the trial court is not even
the principal amount of ₱336,000.00, coupled with an application for a informed thereof. The inclusion of the civil action in the criminal case is
writ of preliminary attachment. expected to significantly lower the number of cases filed before the courts
MeTC in Pasay City issued a writ of preliminary attachment, which was for collection based on dishonored checks. It is also expected to expedite
implemented on August 17, 2000 through the sheriff attaching a Nissan the disposition of these cases. Instead of instituting two separate cases,
vehicle of Simon. one for criminal and another for civil, only a single suit shall be filed and
Simon filed an urgent motion to dismiss with application to charge tried. It should be stressed that the policy laid down by the Rules is to
plaintiff’s attachment bond for damages on the ground of litis pendentia, discourage the separate filing of the civil action. The Rules even prohibit
that is, as a consequence of the pendency of another action between the the reservation of a separate civil action, which means that one can no
instant parties for the same cause before the MeTCof Manila. longer file a separate civil case after the criminal complaint is filed in
While the instant case is civil in nature and character as court. The only instance when separate proceedings are allowed is when
contradistinguished from the said Criminal Case in the MeTC of Manila, the civil action is filed ahead of the criminal case. Even then, the Rules
the basis of the instant civil action is the herein plaintiff’s criminal encourage the consolidation of the civil and criminal cases. We have
complaint against defendant arising from a charge of violation of Batas previously observed that a separate civil action for the purpose of
Pambansa Blg. 22 as a consequence of the alleged dishonor in plaintiff’s recovering the amount of the dishonored checks would only prove to be
hands upon presentment for payment with drawee bank a Land Bank costly, burdensome and time-consuming for both parties and would
Check No. 0007280 dated December 26, 1996 in the amount of ₱336,000- further delay the final disposition of the case. This multiplicity of suits
drawn allegedly issued to plaintiff by defendant who is the accused in said must be avoided. Where petitioners’ rights may be fully adjudicated in the
case. proceedings before the trial court, resort to a separate action to recover
Chan opposed Simon’s urgent motion to dismiss with application to civil liability is clearly unwarranted. In view of this special rule governing
charge plaintiff’s attachment bond for damages stating that the case is actions for violation of B.P. 22, Article 31 of the Civil Code cited by the trial
one that falls under Art. 33 of NCC as it is based on fraud, thus, the action court will not apply to the case at bar.
may be prosecuted independently of the criminal action. To repeat, Chan’s separate civil action to recover the amount of the check
Whether or not Chan’s civil action to recover the amount of the unfunded involved in the prosecution for the violation of BP 22 could not be
check was an independent civil action – IT IS NOT independently maintained under both Supreme Court Circular 57-97 and
HELD: There is no independent civil action to recover the value of a the aforequoted provisions of Rule 111 of the Rules of Court,
bouncing check issued in contravention of BP 22. This is clear from Rule notwithstanding the allegations of fraud and deceit.
111 of the Rules of Court, effective December 1, 2000, which relevantly It is clear, therefore, that the MeTC in Pasay City properly dismissed Civil
provides: Case No. 915-00 on the ground of litis pendentia through its decision
Section 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. - (a) When a criminal dated October 23, 2000; and that the RTC in Pasay City did not err in
action is instituted, the civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising affirming the MeTC.
from the offense charged shall be deemed instituted with the criminal Wherefore, we grant the petition for review on certiorari, and,
action unless the offended party waives the civil action, reserves the right accordingly, we reverse and set aside the decision promulgated by the
to institute it separately or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal Court of Appeals on June 25, 2002. We reinstate the decision rendered on
action. October 23, 2000 by the Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 45, in Pasay
The reservation of the right to institute separately the civil action shall be City. Costs of suit to be paid by the respondent. SO ORDERED.
made before the prosecution starts presenting its evidence and under ========================================================
circumstances affording the offended party a reasonable opportunity to
make such reservation.
The criminal action for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 shall be
deemed to include the corresponding civil action. No reservation to file
such civil action separately shall be allowed.
Upon filing of the aforesaid joint criminal and civil actions, the offended
party shall pay in full the filing fees based on the amount of the check
involved, which shall be considered as the actual damages claimed. Where
the complaint or information also seeks to recover liquidated, moral,
nominal, temperate or exemplary damages, the offended party shall pay
the filing fees based on the amounts alleged therein. If the amounts are
not so alleged but any of these damages are subsequently awarded by the
court, the filing fees based on the amount awarded shall constitute a first
lien on the judgment.
Where the civil action has been filed separately and trial thereof has not
yet commenced, it may be consolidated with the criminal action upon
application with the court trying the latter case. If the application is
granted, the trial of both actions shall proceed in accordance with section
2 of the Rule governing consolidation of the civil and criminal actions.
The aforequoted provisions of the Rules of Court, even if not yet in effect
when Chan commenced Civil Case No. 915-00 on August 3, 2000, are
nonetheless applicable.
Moreover, the application of the rule would not be precluded by the
violation of any assumed vested right, because the new rule was adopted
from Supreme Court Circular 57-97 that took effect on November 1, 1997.
Supreme Court Circular 57-97 states:
Any provision of law or Rules of Court to the contrary notwithstanding,
the following rules and guidelines shall henceforth be observed in the
filing and prosecution of all criminal cases under Batas Pambansa Blg. 22
which penalizes the making or drawing and issuance of a check without
funds or credit:
1. The criminal action for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 shall
be deemed to necessarily include the corresponding civil action, and
no reservation to file such civil action separately shall be allowed or
recognized.
This rule was enacted to help declog court dockets which are filled with
B.P. 22 cases as creditors actually use the courts as collectors. Because
ordinarily no filing fee is charged in criminal cases for actual damages, the

TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 38


DAMAGES INCONVENIENCE OF LITIGATION
NCC expressly provides: the provisions of this Title (on Damages) shall be Qui jure suo utitur nullum damnum facit – one who exercises a right
respectively applicable to all obligations mentioned in Art. 1157, that is does no injury – maxim is often applied to cases where the Court rejects
obligations arising from delict, quasi-delict, contract and quas-contract. claims for damages of the winning defendant in a case.
Court reiterates the rule that the adverse result of an action does not per
Article 2195. The provisions of this Title shall be respectively applicable se make an action wrongful and subject the actor to payment of damages.
to all obligations mentioned in article 1157
Article 2196. The rules under this Title are without prejudice to special KINDS OF DAMAGES
provisions on damages formulated elsewhere in this Code. Compensation Article 2197. Damages may be:
for workmen and other employees in case of death, injury or illness is Actual or compensatory;
regulated by special laws. Rules governing damages laid down in other Moral;
laws shall be observed insofar as they are not in conflict with this Code. Nominal;
Article 2198. The principles of the general law on damages are hereby Temperate or moderate;
adopted insofar as they are not inconsistent with this Code. Liquidated; or
Exemplary or corrective.
Escriche: Damages – “the detriment, injury or loss which are occasioned
by reason of fault of another in the property or person” PROOF OF PECUNIARY LOSS WHEN NOT NECESSARY
Proof of pecuniary loss is necessary to successfully recover actual
Whatsoever nature the damage be, and from whatsoever cause it damages from the defendant.
may proceed, the person who has done the injury ought to repair it
by an indemnity proportionate to his fault and to the loss caused Article 2216. No proof of pecuniary loss is necessary in order that moral,
thereby. nominal, temperate, liquidated or exemplary damages, may be
adjudicated. The assessment of such damages, except liquidated ones, is
SC: Damages - the pecuniary compensation, recompense or satisfaction left to the discretion of the court, according to the circumstances of each
for an injury sustained, or as otherwise expressed, the pecuniary case.
consequences which the law imposes for the breach of some duty or
violation of some rights. ========================================================
the loss, hurt or harm which results from injury, and Diaz v. Davao Light and Power Co.
damages are the recompense or compensation awarded for the damage F: DLPC supplied the Doa Segunda Building (Imperial Hotel Building),
suffered. owned by Diaz, with electricity service. DLPC sent a Notice of
Disconnectionto Diaz and Co., Inc. Since Diaz and Co., Inc. ignored the
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES IS PERSONAL ACTION letter, Meter No. 36510 was disconnected. Diaz filed an application for
It may be commenced and tried where the defendant or any of the preliminary injunction in Sp. Civil Case No. 18,288 to enjoin DLPC from
defendant resides or may be found, or here the plaintiff or any of the disconnecting the electric connections to Meter No. 84738. It was
plaintiffs resides at the election of the plaintiff. however denied, DLPC then removed its single-phase meter on November
20, 1987, which rendered almost half of the building without power. That
AWARD MUST BE MONETARY same day, Diaz went to the DLPC building and threw stones at it, breaking
In an action for damages, courts should award an amount to the four glass windows in the process. .
winning party and not its equivalent in property. RTC &CA: The CA affirmed the decision of the RTC. It concluded that the
The damages should be awarded should be the money value of such evidence on hand showed good faith on the part of DLPC in filing the
damages. subject complaints. It pointed out that Diaz had been using the electrical
services of DLPC without its consent. As to the effect of the compromise
(i) DAMNUM ABSQUE INJURIA agreement, the CA ruled that it did not bar the filing of the criminal action.
Almost all conduct may be considered tortuous. – presence of damage Thus, under the principle of damnum absque injuria, the legitimate
caused to the defendant is required. It does not mean however that a exercise of a persons right, even if it causes loss to another, does not
person is always liable in each and every case that there is damage. automatically result in an actionable injury
Petitioner insisted that the compromise agreement as well as the decision
Damnum Absque Injuria - there is no liability even if there is damage based on it already settled the controversies between them; yet, DLPC
because there is no injury. instituted the theft case against petitioner, and worse, instituted another
Where the case is one of damnum absque injuria, the conjunction of action for violation of P.D. 401, as amended by B.P. 876.
damages and wrong is absent. There can be no actionable wrong if either
one or the other is wanting. Thus, if the damage resulted because a WON Diaz is entitled to damages? NO!
person exercised his legal rights (like the filing of a Complaint in good
faith) – DAI. HELD: Article 2028 of the Civil Code defines a compromise as a contract
whereby the parties, by making reciprocal concessions, avoid litigation or
J. Regalado: Mere damage without injury does not result in liability. put an end to one already commenced. The purpose of compromise is to
Custodio vs CA: settle the claims of the parties and bar all future disputes and
However, there is a material distinction between damages and injury. controversies. However, criminal liability is not affected by compromise
Injury is the illegal invasion of a legal right; damage is the loss, hurt or for it is a public offense which must be prosecuted and punished by the
harm which results from the injury; and damages are the recompense or Government on its own motion, though complete reparation should have
compensation awarded for the damage suffered. Thus, there can be been made of the damages suffered by the offended party. A criminal case
damage without injury in those instances in which the loss or harm was is committed against the People, and the offended party may not waive or
not the results of a violation of a legal duty. In such cases, the extinguish the criminal liability that the law imposes for the commission
consequences must be borne by the injured person alone, the law affords of the offense.
no remedy for damages resulting from an act which does not amount to a
legal injury or wrong. These situations are often called damnum absque We find that petitioner is not entitled to damages under Articles 19, 20
injuria. and 21, and Articles 2217 and 2219(8) of the New Civil Code.
In other words, in order that the plaintiff may maintain an action for the The evidence presented by respondents negates malice or bad faith.
injuries of which he complaints, he must establish that such injuries Petitioner himself alleged in his complaint that he unilaterally installed
resulted from a breach of duty which the defendant owed to the plaintiff a Meter No. 86673509 to replace Meter No. 84738 after it was removed by
concurrence of injury to the plaintiff and legal responsibility by the DLPC. No less than this Court, in G.R. No. 85445, admonished petitioner
person causing it. The underlying basis for the award of tort damages is and reminded him that connections of electrical service and installations
the premise that an individual was injured in contemplation of law. Thus, of electric meters should always be upon mutual contract of the parties,
there must first be a breach of some duty and the imposition of liability and that payments for electrical consumption should also be made
for that breach before damages may be awarded; and the breach of such promptly whenever due. Based on these established
duty should be the proximate cause of the injury.
DE VERA-YALUNG | 39
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS
facts, petitioner has not shown that the acts of respondent were done Claimant is duty-bound to point out specific facts that afford a basis for
with the sole intent of prejudicing and injuring him. measuring whatever compensatory damages are borne.
Petitioner may have suffered damages as a result of the filing of the Burden of proof is on the party who would be defeated if no evidence
complaints. However, there is a material distinction between damages would be presented on either side.  He must establish his case by a
and injury. Injury is the illegal invasion of a legal right; damage is the loss, preponderance of evidence wc means that evidence, as a whole, adduce
hurt or harm which results from the injury; and damages are the by one side is superior to that of the other.
recompense or compensation awarded for the damage suffered. Thus, Damages cannot be presumed.
there can be damage without injury in those instances in which the loss
or harm was not the result of a violation of a legal duty. In such cases, the ABSENCE OF PROOF OF PRECISE AMOUNT
consequences must be borne by the injured person alone; the law affords Uncertainty as to the precise amount is not necessarily fatal.
no remedy for damages resulting from an act which does not amount to a Mere difficulty in the assessment of damages is not sufficient reason for
legal injury or wrong. These situations are often called damnum absque refusing to award damages where the right to them has been established.
injuria. Whatever damages Diaz may have suffered would have to be
borne by him alone since it was his acts which led to the filing of the CIVIL INDEMNITY
complaints against him. Proof of actual loss is not also necessary where the law or jurisprudence
allows the award of civil indemnity.
======================================================== E.g Civil indemnity wc is in the nature of actual or compensatory
damages is mandatory upon the finding of the fact of rape.
(ii) ACTUAL OR COMPENSATORY DAMAGES Proof of actual damages is also not necessary for the award of civil
Article 2199. Except as provided by law or by stipulation, one is entitled indemnity in tort cases or criminal case where the victim died.
to an adequate compensation only for such pecuniary loss suffered by him However, this civil indemnity is in addition to any actual or
as he has duly proved. Such compensation is referred to as actual or compensatory damages that may be awarded in favor of the
compensatory damages. victim’s heirs.
Statutory rule allowing recovery of damages proceeds from a sense of
natural justice and designed to repair the wrong that has been done, to PERSONAL INJURY AND LOSS OF EARNING CAPACITY
recompense for the injury inflicted and not to impose penalty. PERSONAL INJURY
a. ACTUAL MEDICAL AND OTHER EXPENSES
KINDS OF ACTUAL DAMAGES If the plaintiff is asking for damages for his own injury, said plaintiff is
Indemnification for damages shall comprehend not only the value of the entitled to the amount of medical expenses as well as other reasonable
loss suffered, but also that of the profits that the obligee failed to obtain. expenses that he incurred to treat his or his relative’s injuries.
Indemnification is meant to compensate for the injury inflicted and not to
impose a penalty. b. PLASTIC SURGERY
The award of damages may likewise include the amount spent for he
Actual or compensatory damages: plastic surgery of the plaintiff or any procedure to restore the part of the
The loss of what a person already possesses (danñ o emergente) body that was affected.
The failure to receive as a benefit that would have pertained to him (lucro
cesante)—this type includes those mentioned in Art. 2205 of NCC. c. FUTURE MEDICAL EXPENSES AND LIFE CARE COST
Courts may also award monthly payments to the person who was injured
Article 2205. Damages may be recovered: to answer for his future medical expenses.
For loss or impairment of earning capacity in cases of temporary or SC: If the victim did not die but he or she will require medical attendance
permanent personal injury; for the rest of his/her life, it is proper to award life care cost because the
For injury to the plaintiff's business standing or commercial credit. tortfeasor is liable for all damages wc are natural and probable
consequences of the act or omission complained of.
EXTENT AND MEASURES OF DAMAGES
LOSS OF EARNING CAPACITY
NCC expressly provides for the rule regarding the limit of liability in cases
Plaintiff is also entitled to damages for loss of earning capacity when the
involving quasi-delicts.
defendant’s act or omission resulted in his permanent incapacity.
Article 2202. In crimes and quasi-delicts, the defendant shall be liable for
DAMAGES IN CASE OF DEATH
all damages which are the natural and probable consequences of the act
or omission complained of. It is not necessary that such damages have Article 2206. The amount of damages for death caused by a crime or
been foreseen or could have reasonably been foreseen by the defendant. quasi-delict shall be at least three thousand pesos, even though there may
have been mitigating circumstances. In addition:
Note: Rule in crimes and quasi-delcts is the same as the rule in breach
The defendant shall be liable for the loss of the earning capacity of the
of contracts and quasi-contracts where the breach was accompanied by
deceased, and the indemnity shall be paid to the heirs of the latter; such
fraud, bad faith, malice or wanton attitude on the part of the obligor.
indemnity shall in every case be assessed and awarded by the court,
unless the deceased on account of permanent physical disability not
RESTITUTIO IN INTEGRUM
caused by the defendant, had no earning capacity at the time of his death;
Basic principle for the measure of damages in tort is that there should be
If the deceased was obliged to give support according to the provisions of
restitution in integrum.
article 291, the recipient who is not an heir called to the decedent's
The amount to be awarded to the plaintiff should be that sum of money
inheritance by the law of testate or intestate succession, may demand
wc will put the party who has been injured or who has suffered in the
support from the person causing the death, for a period not exceeding five
same position as he would have been in if he had not sustained the wrong
years, the exact duration to be fixed by the court;
for wc he is now getting his compensation or reparation. The spouse, legitimate and illegitimate descendants and ascendants of the
The primary object of an award in civil action and the fundamental deceased may demand moral damages for mental anguish by reason of
principle or theory on wc it is based is just compensation, indemnity or the death of the deceased.
reparation for the loss or injury sustained by the injured party so that he
may be made whole or restored as nearly as possible prior to the injury. DAMAGES THAT CASE BE AWARDED
When death occurs due to a negligent act or a crime, the ff damages may
CERTAINTY OF DAMAGES be recovered:
A party is entitled to adequate compensation only for such pecuniary loss Civil Indemnity ex delicto for death of the victim;
actually suffered and duly proved. Actual or compensatory damages;
Basic rule: To recover damages, the amount of loss must not only be Moral damages;
capable of proof but must actually be proven with a reasonable degree of Exemplary damages;
certainty, premised upon competent proof or best evidence obtainable of Attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation;
the actual amount thereof. Interest in proper cases.
BURDEN OF PROOF DE VERA-YALUNG | 40
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS
Temperate damages may also be awarded in lieu of actual damages in to the right and struck the terrace of the commercial apartment owned by
proper cases. Valdellon located along Kamuning Road. Upon Valdellons request, the
court ordered Sergio Pontiveros, the Senior Building Inspection Officer of
ACTUAL EXPENSES the City Engineers Office, to inspect the damaged terrace. He
In case of death, the plaintiff is entitled not only to reimbursement for recommended that since the structural members made of concrete had
medical expenses but also to the amount that he spent during the wake been displaced, the terrace would have to be demolished to keep its
and funeral of the deceased, -- It has been ruled that expenses after the monolithicness, and to insure the safety and stability of the building. In a
burial are not compensable. letter addressed to the bus company and Suelto, Valdellon demanded
payment of P148,440.00, within 10 days from receipt thereof, to cover the
FIXED DAMAGES OF CIVIL INDEMNITY cost of the damage to the terrace. Valdellon filed a criminal complaint for
Law also requires payment of P3K (minimum) to the heirs of the reckless imprudence resulting in damage to property against Suelto.
deceased in addition to any damage that may have resulted bec. the act or Valdellon also filed a separate civil complaint against Suelto and the bus
omission of the defendant including medical expenses and loss of earning company for damages. Moreover, Engr. Jesus Regal, Jr., the proprietor of
capacity. the SSP Construction, declared that he inspected the terrace and
Current amount of fixed damages as increased by the Court is P50K. estimated the cost of repairs, including labor, at P171,088.46. Architect
Murder cases: award of civil indemnity was increased from P50k to Arnulfo Galapate testified that the cost of the repair of the damaged
P75K. terrace amounted to P55,000.00.
P75K civil indemnity is also justified so long as the crime was The trial court rendered judgment finding Suelto guilty beyond
committed under the circumstances that would justify the imposition of reasonable doubt of reckless imprudence resulting in damage to property,
death penalty. and ordered MALTC and Suelto to pay, jointly and severally, P150,000.00
to Valdellon, by way of actual and compensatory damages, as well as
LOSS OF EARNING CAPACITY attorneys fees and costs of suit.
This item of recoverable damages is also applicable if the victim was
rendered permanently incapacitated. Petitioners insist that private respondent was able to prove only the
amount of P35,000.00 by way of actual damages; hence, the award of
FORMULA P100,000.00 is barren of factual basis.
Villa Rey Transit vs CA
SC: Important variables taken into account in determining the HELD: We agree with the contention of petitioners that respondents
compensable amount of lost earnings are: failed to prove that the damages to the terrace caused by the incident
The number of years for wc the victim would otherwise have lived (life amounted to P100,000.00. The only evidence adduced by respondents to
expectancy); and prove actual damages claimed by private respondent were the summary
The rate of loss sustained by the heirs of the deceased (net income) computation of damage made by Engr. Jesus R. Regal, Jr. amounting to
P171,088.46 and the receipt issued by the BB Construction and Steel
Net Earning Capacity = Life Expectancy x [Gross Annual Income – Fabricator to private respondent for P35,000.00 representing cost for
(less) Necessary Living Expenses] carpentry works, masonry, welding, and electrical works. Respondents
failed to present Regal to testify on his estimation. In its five-page
LIFE EXPECTANCY decision, the trial court awarded P150,000.00 as actual damages to
Life expectancy is computed by applying the formula: private respondent but failed to state the factual basis for such award.
(2/3 x [80 – age at death]) adopted in the American Expectancy Table of Indeed, the trial court merely declared in the decretal portion of its
Mortality or Actuarial Combined Experience Table of Mortality. decision that the sum of P150,000.00 as reasonable compensation
sustained by plaintiff for her damaged apartment. The appellate court, for
LIFE EXPECTANCY OF VICTIM its part, failed to explain how it arrived at the amount of P100,000.00 in
It Is the life of the deceased or victim that is the element of the formula for its three-page decision.
computing loss of earning capacity and not that of the heirs. Under Article 2199 of the New Civil Code, actual damages include all the
natural and probable consequences of the act or omission complained of,
RATIONALE FOR TABLE OF MORTALITY classified as one for the loss of what a person already possesses (dao
The table being used by insurance companies is adopted bec. “there is a emergente) and the other, for the failure to receive, as a benefit, that which
link here with actuarial tables, wc were created by life assurance would have pertained to him (lucro cesante).
companies for the purpose of determining what capital sum should be The burden of proof is on the party who would be defeated if no evidence
charged for an annuity, since the insurer is obviously vitally concerned to would be presented on either side. The claimant must prove the actual
make the estimate of the annuitant’s life expectancies” amount of loss with a reasonable degree of certainty premised upon
competent proof and on the best evidence obtainable. The Court further
FACTORS THAT REDUCE LIFE EXPECTANCY declared that where goods are destroyed by the wrongful act of
The multiplier that corresponds to the life expectancy of the victim may defendant, the plaintiff is entitled to their value at the time of the
be reduced depending on the circumstances. destruction, that is, normally, the sum of money which he would have to
Reduction is usually made for 2 reasons: pay in the market for identical or essentially similar goods, plus in a
Some allowance must be made for the general vicissitudes of life, that is to proper case, damages for the loss of the use during the period before
say, damaging events like early death or unemployment wc might have replacement.
affected the plaintiff even if the defendant had not injured him. We note, however, that petitioners adduced evidence that, in their view,
Account must also be taken of the fact that the lump sum of damage will the cost of the damage to the terrace of private respondent would amount
itself produce an investment income. Theoretical aim of the process is to to P55,000.00. Accordingly, private respondent is entitled to P55,000.00
provide a lump sum sufficient, if invested, to produce an income equal to actual damages.
the lost income when the interest is supplemented by withdrawal of RULING: IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is PARTIALLY
capital. GRANTED. The joint decision of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City is
AFFIRMED WITH THE MODIFICATION that petitioner Suelto is
NET EARNINGS sentenced to pay a fine of P55,000.00 with subsidiary imprisonment in
Court considered as an important element in measuring loss of earning case of insolvency. Petitioners are ORDERED to pay to Erlinda V.
capacity, the net earnings of the deceased as well as the latter’s Valdellon, jointly and severally, the total amount of P55,000.00 by way of
potentiality and capacity to increase his future income. actual damages, and P20,000.00 by way of exemplary damages.

======================================================== Mercury Drug v. Huang


Marikina Auto Line Transport Corp. v. People – Case of mere Petitioner Mercury Drug Corporation is the registered owner of a six-
estimation only, estimation must be one that is acceptable to the wheeler 1990 Mitsubishi Truck. It has in its employ petitioner Rolando J.
court. del Rosario as driver. Respondent spouses Richard and Carmen Huang are
Suelto was driving the a passenger bus along Kamias Road, Kamuning, the parents of respondent Stephen Huang and own the red 1991 Toyota
Quezon City, going towards EDSA. The bus suddenly swerved Corolla GLI Sedan. These two vehicles figured in a road accident,

TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 41


Respondent Stephen Huang was driving the car, while petitioner Del proportionate to the suffering inflicted. The amount of the award bears no
Rosario was driving the truck. The car, valued at P300,000.00, was a total relation whatsoever with the wealth or means of the offender.
wreck. Respondent Stephen Huang sustained massive injuries to his In the instant case, respondent Stephen Huang and respondent spouses
spinal cord, head, face, and lung. Despite a series of operations, Richard and Carmen Huang testified to the intense suffering they
respondent Stephen Huang is paralyzed for life from his chest down and continue to experience as a result of the accident. Stephen recounted the
requires continuous medical and rehabilitation treatment. Respondents nightmares and traumas he suffers almost every night when he relives the
fault petitioner Del Rosario for committing gross negligence and reckless accident. He also gets depression when he thinks of his bleak future. He
imprudence while driving, and petitioner Mercury Drug for failing to feels frustration and embarrassment in needing to be helped with almost
exercise the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and everything and in his inability to do simple things he used to do. Similarly,
supervision of its driver. respondent spouses and the rest of the family undergo their own private
RTC: found petitioners Mercury Drug and Del Rosario jointly and suffering. They live with the day-to-day uncertainty of respondent
severally liable to pay respondents actual, compensatory, moral and Stephen Huangs condition. They know that the chance of full recovery is
exemplary damages, attorneys fees, and litigation expenses. nil. Moreover, respondent Stephen Huangs paralysis has made him prone
(P2,973,000.00) actual damages;As compensatory damages: to many other illnesses. His family, especially respondent spouses, have to
(P23,461,062.00) for life care cost of Stephen; b. (P10,000,000.00) as and make themselves available for Stephen twenty-four hours a day. They
for lost or impaired earning capacity of Stephen; (P4,000,000.00) as have patterned their daily life around taking care of him, ministering to
moral damages; P2,000,000.00) as exemplary damages; and his daily needs, altering the lifestyle to which they had been accustomed.
(P1,000,000.00) as attorneys fees and litigation expense. On the matter of exemplary damages, Art. 2231 of the Civil Code
CA: affirmed the decision of the trial court but reduced the award of provides that in cases of quasi-delicts, exemplary damages may be
moral damages to P1,000,000.00. granted if the defendant acted with gross negligence. The records show
that at the time of the accident, petitioner Del Rosario was driving
WON the award for damages was proper? without a license because he was previously ticketed for reckless driving.
The evidence also shows that he failed to step on his brakes immediately
HELD: With regard to actual damages, Art. 2199 of the Civil Code after the impact. Had petitioner Del Rosario done so, the injuries which
provides that except as provided by law or by stipulation one is entitled to respondent Stephen sustained could have been greatly reduced. Wanton
an adequate compensation only for such pecuniary loss suffered by him acts such as that committed by petitioner Del Rosario need be
as he has duly proved x x x. In the instant case, we uphold the finding that suppressed; and employers like petitioner Mercury Drug should be more
the actual damages claimed by respondents were supported by receipts. circumspect in the observance of due diligence in the selection and
The amount of P2,973,000.00 represented cost of hospital expenses, supervision of their employees. The award of exemplary damages in favor
medicines, medical services and supplies, and nursing care services of the respondents is therefore justified.
provided respondent Stephen from December 20, 1996, the day of the With the award of exemplary damages, we also affirm the grant of
accident, until December 1998. attorneys fees to respondents. In addition, attorneys fees may be granted
Petitioners are also liable for all damages which are the natural and when a party is compelled to litigate or incur expenses to protect his
probable consequences of the act or omission complained of. The doctors interest by reason of an unjustified act of the other party.
who attended to respondent Stephen are one in their prognosis that his RULING: IN VIEW THEREOF, the petition is DENIED. The Decision and
chances of walking again and performing basic body functions are nil. For Resolution of the Court of Appeals dated February 16, 2006 and March
the rest of his life, he will need continuous rehabilitation and therapy to 30, 2006, respectively, in CA-G.R. CV No. 83981, are AFFIRMED.
prevent further complications such as pneumonia, bladder and rectum
infection, renal failure, sepsis and severe bed sores, osteoporosis and Nacar v. Gallery Frames
fractures, and other spinal cord injury-related conditions. He will be HELD: Anent the payment of legal interest. In the landmark case of
completely dependent on the care and support of his family. We thus Eastern Shipping Lines, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, the Court laid down the
affirm the award of P23,461,062.00 for the life care cost of respondent guidelines regarding the manner of computing legal interest, to wit:
Stephen Huang, based on his average monthly expense and the actuarial With regard particularly to an award of interest in the concept of actual
computation of the remaining years that he is expected to live; and the and compensatory damages, the rate of interest, as well as the accrual
conservative amount of P10,000,000.00, as reduced by the trial court, for thereof, is imposed, as follows:
the loss or impairment of his earning capacity, considering his age, 1. When the obligation is breached, and it consists in the payment of a
probable life expectancy, the state of his health, and his mental and sum of money, i.e., a loan or forbearance of money, the interest due should
physical condition before the accident. He was only seventeen years old, be that which may have been stipulated in writing. Furthermore, the
nearly six feet tall and weighed 175 pounds. He was in fourth year high interest due shall itself earn legal interest from the time it is judicially
school, and a member of the school varsity basketball team. He was also demanded. In the absence of stipulation, the rate of interest shall be 12%
class president and editor-in-chief of the school annual. He had shown per annum to be computed from default, i.e., from judicial or extrajudicial
very good leadership qualities. He was looking forward to his college life, demand under and subject to the provisions of Article 1169 of the Civil
having just passed the entrance examinations of the University of the Code.
Philippines, De La Salle University, and the University of Asia and the 2. When an obligation, not constituting a loan or forbearance of money, is
Pacific. The University of Sto. Tomas even offered him a chance to obtain breached, an interest on the amount of damages awarded may be
an athletic scholarship, but the accident prevented him from attending imposed at the discretion of the court at the rate of 6% per annum. No
the basketball try-outs. Without doubt, he was an exceptional student. He interest, however, shall be adjudged on unliquidated claims or damages
excelled both in his academics and extracurricular undertakings. He is except when or until the demand can be established with reasonable
intelligent and motivated, a go-getter, as testified by Francisco Lopez, certainty. Accordingly, where the demand is established with reasonable
respondent Stephen Huangs godfather and a bank executive. Had the certainty, the interest shall begin to run from the time the claim is made
accident not happened, he had a rosy future ahead of him. He wanted to judicially or extrajudicially (Art. 1169, Civil Code) but when such
embark on a banking career, get married and raise children. Taking into certainty cannot be so reasonably established at the time the demand is
account his outstanding abilities, he would have enjoyed a successful made, the interest shall begin to run only from the date the judgment of
professional career in banking. But, as Mr. Lopez stated, it is highly the court is made (at which time the quantification of damages may be
unlikely for someone like respondent to ever secure a job in a bank. To his deemed to have been reasonably ascertained). The actual base for the
knowledge, no bank has ever hired a person suffering with the kind of computation of legal interest shall, in any case, be on the amount finally
disability as Stephen Huangs. adjudged.
We likewise uphold the award of moral and exemplary damages and 3. When the judgment of the court awarding a sum of money becomes
attorneys fees. final and executory, the rate of legal interest, whether the case falls under
The award of moral damages is aimed at a restoration, within the limits of paragraph 1 or paragraph 2, above, shall be 12% per annum from such
the possible, of the spiritual status quo ante. Moral damages are designed finality until its satisfaction, this interim period being deemed to be by
to compensate and alleviate in some way the physical suffering, mental then an equivalent to a forbearance of credit.
anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings,
moral shock, social humiliation, and similar injury unjustly caused a Serra v. Mumar
person. Although incapable of pecuniary computation, they must be

DE VERA-YALUNG | 42
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS
At around 6:30 in the evening of 3 April 2000, there was a vehicular Interest on the total monetary award at the rate of 12% per annum from
accident along the National Highway in Barangay Apopong, General the finality of this decision until the award is fully satisfied.
Santos City, which resulted in the death of Armando Mumar (Mumar),
husband of respondent Nelfa T. Mumar (respondent). Subsequently, People v. Tibon
respondent filed a complaint against petitioner for Damages by Reason of Accused-appellant and his common-law wife Gina Sumingit lived together
Reckless Imprudence resulting to Homicide. as husband and wife since 1994. They had two children, Kenken and
RTC: judgment is rendered against defendant Paulita Sierra, her co- Reguel. Gina went to Hong Kong to work as a domestic helper, leaving
defendant and to pay: 1. P65,000.00 for burial damages; accused-appellant with custody of their two children. After some time,
P300,000.00 for loss of income; 3. P50,000.00 as moral damages; and 4. accused-appellant heard from his sister who was also working in Hong
P50,000.00 as exemplary damages. Kong that Gina was having an affair with another man. After the
The RTC said that Nelfa testified that her husband was earning about revelation, he was spotted drinking a lot and was seen hitting his two
P6,000.00 a month without presenting any documentary evidence to children. On the night of December 12, 1998, accused-appellants mother
prove her claim, but nonetheless awarded her P300,000.00 for damages and his siblings, went to accused-appellants room. They saw accused-
due to loss of income. appellant with KenKen and Reguel. The two children appeared lifeless
CA: 1. Civil indemnity in the amount of P50,000.00; 2. Indemnity for loss and bore wounds on their bodies. Accused defense was insanity and also
of earning capacity in the amount of P1,224,000.00; 3. Temperate argues that the reduction of civil indemnity from PhP 75,000 to PhP
damages amounting to P25,000.00 in lieu of the award for burial 50,000 is recommended, since the crimes were not attended by any
expenses; 4. Moral damages in the amount of P50,000.00. 5. The total aggravating circumstances.
amount of damages shall bear an interest of 12% per annum from the
finality of this Decision until fully paid. WON the reduction of civil indemnity is proper? NO!
The CA adopted the factual findings of the RTC. It also ruled that the RTC
erred in awarding burial expenses and actual damages for loss of earning HELD: The commission of parricide is punished more severely than
capacity despite lack of proof. Based on the wifes claim that the victim homicide since human beings are expected to love and support those who
earned not less than P6,000.00 a month and his age at the time of death, are closest to them. The extreme response of killing someone of ones own
based on his birth certificate (29), the CA applied the formula: flesh and blood is indeed unnatural and tragic. Tibon must thus be
Net earning capacity = 2/3 x (80 less the age of the victim handed down the harshest penalty for his crimes against his innocent
at time of death) x [Gross Annual Income less the children.
Reasonable and Necessary Living Expenses (50% of gross Penalty Imposed
income)] In view of RA 9346, the appellate court correctly modified the sentence of
Tibon to reclusion perpetua.
WON the CA erred in awarding to herein respondent loss of earning Pecuniary Liability
capacity despite complete absence of documentary evidence that the When death occurs due to a crime, the following damages may be
deceased Mumar was self-employed and earning less than the minimum awarded: (1) civil indemnity ex delicto for the death of the victim; (2)
wage under current labor laws in force at the time of his death actual or compensatory damages; (3) moral damages; (4) exemplary
damages; and (5) temperate damages.
HELD: Damages for loss of earning capacity is in the nature of actual The Solicitor General recommended the reduction of civil indemnity from
damages, which as a rule must be duly provenby documentary evidence, PhP75,000 to PhP50,000. However, recent jurisprudence pegs civil
not merely by the self-serving testimony of the widow. indemnity in the amount of PhP75,000, which is automatically granted to
By way of exception, damages for loss of earning capacity may be the offended party, or his/her heirs in case of the formers death, without
awarded despite the absence of documentary evidence when (1) the need of further evidence other than the fact of the commission of murder,
deceased is self-employed earning less than the minimum wage under homicide, parricide and rape. People v. Regalariohas explained that the
current labor laws, and judicial notice may be taken of the fact that in the said award is not dependent on the actual imposition of the death penalty
deceaseds line of work no documentary evidence is available; or (2) the but on the fact that qualifying circumstances warranting the imposition of
deceased is employed as a daily wage worker earning less than the the death penalty attended the commission of the offense.
minimum wage under current labor laws. According to Art. 2199 of the Civil Code, one is entitled to adequate
Based solely on Nelfas testimony, the CA determined that the deceased compensation for pecuniary loss suffered by him that is duly proved. This
falls within one of these exceptions. Nelfa testified that her husband was compensation is termed actual damages. The party seeking actual
in the business of contracting and manufacturing grills, fences and gates, damages must produce competent proof or the best evidence obtainable,
and his earnings exceed P6,000.00 per month prior to his death. She such as receipts, to justify an award therefor. We note that the trial court
presented no documentary proof of her claims. failed to award actual damages in spite of the presentation of receipts
It was error for the CA to have awarded damages for loss of earning showing wake and funeral expenses (Exhibits R, R-1, R-2, R-4, and R-5)
capacity based on Nelfas testimony alone. amounting to PhP173,000. We therefore grant said amount.
First, while it is conceded that the deceased was self-employed, the Court Moral damages are also in order. Even in the absence of any allegation
cannot accept that in his line of work there was no documentary proof and proof of the heirs emotional suffering, it has been recognized that the
available to prove his income from such occupation. There would have loss of a loved one to a violent death brings emotional pain and anguish,
been receipts, job orders, or some form of written contract or agreement more so in this case where two young children were brutally killed while
between the deceased and his clients when he is contracted for a job. their mother was away. The award of PhP75,000.00 is proper pursuant to
Second, and more importantly, decedent was not earning less than the established jurisprudence holding that where the imposable penalty is
minimum wage at the time of his death. death but reduced to reclusion perpetua pursuant to RA 9346, the award
Respondent testified that her husband was earning not less than of moral damages should be increased from P50,000.00 to P75,000.00.
P6,000.00 per month. On the other hand, the highest minimum wage rate
at the time of the accident, based on Wage Order No. RTWPB-XI-07, was Pursuant to prevailing jurisprudence, the trial court should have made
P148.00. At that rate, the monthly minimum wage would be P3,256.00, accused-appellant account for PhP30,000 as exemplary damages on
clearly an amount less than what respondent testified to as her husbands account of relationship, a qualifying circumstance, which was alleged and
monthly earnings. The deceased would not fall within the recognized proved, in the crime of parricide.
exceptions. There is therefore no basis for the CAs RULING: WHEREFORE, the appeal is DENIED. The Decision of the Court
computation for Mumars supposed net earning capacity and the of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR-H.C. No. 01406 convicting accused-appellant
subsequent award of damages due to loss of earning capacity. Honorio Tibon y Deiso of parricide is AFFIRMED with the
RULING: WHEREFORE, we GRANT IN PART the petition. MODIFICATION that accused-appellant should pay the heir of the
We AFFIRM WITH MODIFICATION the Decision of the Court of Appeals victims:
dated 31 July 2009 and Resolution dated 27 July 2010 in CA-G.R. CV No. Civil indemnity of PhP 75,000 for each victim;
00023-MIN. We ORDER petitioner to pay respondent the following: Actual damages of PhP 173,000;
Civil indemnity of P50,000.00; Moral damages of PhP 75,000 for each victim; and
Temperate damages of P25,000.00, in lieu of the award for burial Exemplary damages of PhP 30,000 for each victim.
expenses;
Moral damages of P50,000.00; and

TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 43


People v. Combate TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS
The charge against accused-appellant stemmed from two Informations:
That Jose Pepito D. Combate armed with a firearm, with treachery, with
intent to kill and taking advantage of nighttime, did then and there,
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and shoot on
EDMUND PRAYCO y OSABEL and LEOPOLDO GUIRO, JR. y PEREZ
respectively, thereby inflicting gunshot wounds upon the body of the two
which caused the death of the said victims, accused-appellant pleaded
"not guilty" to both charges.
What are the proper moral and compensatory award of damages in
criminal cases where the imposable penalty for the crime is reclusion
perpetua or death?
As a rule, the Court awards three kinds of damages in these types of
criminal cases: civil indemnity and moral and exemplary damages.
RE: Moral Damages
The second type of damages the Court awards are moral damages, which
are also compensatory in nature. Del Mundo v. Court of Appeals
explained the nature and purpose of moral damages, viz:
Moral damages, upon the other hand, may be awarded to compensate
one for manifold injuries such as physical suffering, mental anguish,
serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings and social
humiliation. These damages must be understood to be in the concept
of grants, not punitive or corrective in nature, calculated to
compensate the claimant for the injury suffered. Although incapable
of exactness and no proof of pecuniary loss is necessary in order that
moral damages may be awarded, the amount of indemnity being left to
the discretion of the court, it is imperative, nevertheless, that (1) injury
must have been suffered by the claimant, and (2) such injury must have
sprung from any of the cases expressed in Article 2219 and Article 2220
of the Civil Code.

The rationale for awarding moral damages has been explained in


Lambert v. Heirs of Rey Castillon: "[T]he award of moral damages is
aimed at a restoration, within the limits possible, of the spiritual status
quo ante; and therefore, it must be proportionate to the suffering
inflicted."31
And lastly, the Court awards exemplary damages as provided for in Arts.
2229 and 2230 of the Civil Code, viz:
Before awarding any of the above-mentioned damages, the Court,
however, must first consider the penalty imposed by law. Thus, in order
to impose the proper penalty, especially in cases of indivisible penalties,
the court has the duty to ascertain the presence of any mitigating or
aggravating circumstances. Accordingly, in crimes where the imposable
penalty is reclusion perpetua to death, the court can impose either
reclusion perpetua or death, depending on the mitigating or aggravating
circumstances present.
In addition to this, the Court likewise awards moral damages. In People v.
Arizapa, PhP 50,000 was awarded as moral damages without need of
pleading or proving them, for in rape cases, it is recognized that the
victim’s injury is concomitant with and necessarily results from the
odious crime of rape to warrant per se the award of moral damages.
Subsequently, the amount was increased to PhP 75,000 in People v.
Soriano.
RE: RA 9346
The enactment of Republic Act No. (RA) 9346 or An Act Prohibiting the
Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines, the imposition of death
penalty is now prohibited. It provides that in lieu of the death penalty,
the penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be imposed when the law violated
makes use of the nomenclature of the penalties of the RPC.
As a result, courts now cannot impose the penalty of death. Instead, they
have to impose reclusion perpetua. Despite this, the principal
consideration for the award of damages, following the ruling in People v.
Salome and People v. Quiachon, is "the penalty provided by law or
imposable for the offense because of its heinousness, not the public
penalty actually imposed on the offender."
When the circumstances surrounding the crime would justify the
imposition of the penalty of death were it not for RA 9346, the Court
has ruled, as early as July 9, 1998 in People v. Victor, that the award of
civil indemnity for the crime of rape when punishable by death
should be PhP 75,000. Such reasoning also applies to all heinous
crimes found in RA 7659.
Essentially, despite the fact that the death penalty cannot be
imposed because of RA 9346, the imposable penalty as provided by
the law for the crime, such as those found in RA 7569, must be used
as the basis for awarding damages and not the actual penalty
imposed.
On the other hand, when the circumstances surrounding the crime
call for the imposition of reclusion perpetua only, the Court has
ruled that the proper amounts should be PhP 50,000 as civil
indemnity, PhP 50,000 as moral damages, and PhP 30,000 as MD awarded only to enable the injured party to obtain means,
exemplary damages. diversions or amusement that will serve to alleviate the moral suffering
RE: Deletion of Compensatory damages he has undergone by reason of the defendant’s culpable action.
Moreover, the deletion of the award of compensatory damages for
unearned income by the CA in Criminal Case No. 95-17071 is proper. DE VERA-YALUNG | 44
This Court pronounced in People v. Mallari:
The rule is that documentary evidence should be presented to
substantiate a claim for damages for loss of earning capacity. By
way of exception, damages therefore may be awarded despite the
absence of documentary evidence provided that there is
testimony that the victim was either (1) self-employed earning
less than the minimum wage under current labor laws, and
judicial notice may be taken of the fact that in the victim’s line of
work no documentary evidence is available; or (2) employed as a
daily-wage worker earning less than the minimum wage under
current labor laws.
In this case, neither of the exemption applies. Likewise, the deletion of
the award of compensatory damages by the CA in Criminal Case No.
95-17070 is proper for lack of any basis. The trial court did not
discuss why it awarded compensatory damages to the heirs of
Edmund.
FOR ALL THE FOREGOING, judgment is hereby rendered finding the
accused Jose Combate, Jr. y Dallarte alias Peping, GUILTY beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of HOMICIDE as Principal thereof.
There being no modifying circumstances, the accused is sentenced to
suffer the penalty of RECLUSION TEMPORAL in its medium period.
Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the accused shall serve a
prison term of Eight (8) Years and One (1) Day of Prision Mayor to
Fifteen (15) years of Reclusion Temporal.
By way of civil liability, the accused is condemned to pay the heirs of
the late Leopoldo Guiro the following:
The sum of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity; and
The sum of P56,319.59 as reimbursement for the burial expenses.
In addition, the accused is ordered to pay Shenette Guiro the sum of
P50,000.00 as moral damages and P30,000.00 as exemplary damages.
The accused is also declared GUILTY of MURDER for the death of
Edmund
Prayco as charged in the Information in Criminal Case No. 95-17070 as
Principal thereof. There being no modifying circumstances, the accused
is
sentenced to suffer the penalty of RECLUSION PERPETUA. He is
condemned to pay the heirs of the late Edmund Prayco the sum of
P50,000.00 as civil indemnity, P50,000.00 as moral damages and
P30,000.00 as exemplary damages.
Finally, interest at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum shall be
applied to the award of civil indemnity, moral damages and exemplary
damages from the finality of judgment until fully paid in the two (2)
aforementioned criminal cases. SO ORDERED.
======================================================
==

DOCTRINE OF AVOIDABLE CONSEQUENCES


Article 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.

The principle is that a party cannot recover damages flowing from


consequences wc the party could reasonably avoided.
Reasonable Corollary: A person who reasonably attempts to
minimize his damages can recover the expenses that he incurred.

CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE DOCTRINE OF AVOIDABLE


- Plaintiff’s act or omission occurs CONSEQUENCES
before or at the time of the act or - Plaintiff’s acts occur after the act
omission of the defendant. or omission of the defendant.

MORAL DAMAGES CONCEPT


OF MORAL DAMAGES
Article 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 defendant's wrongful
act for omission.

The award of moral damages is designed to compensate the


claimants for actual injury and is not meant to enrich the complainant
at the expense of the defendant.
Its aim is the restoration within the limits of the possible the
spiritual status quo ante. No moral damages may be awarded in the absence of a wrongful act of
To be in the concept of grants not punitive or corrective in nature, omission or of fraud of bad faith.
calculated to compensate the claimant for the injury suffered.
 MD are not awarded to punish the defendant but to compensate the Expert Travel & Tours Inc vs The Hon. CA and Lo:
victim. 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
EFFECT OF DEATH psychological, clearly sustained by the claimant; (2) second, there must be
A claim for moral damages does not survive the death of the plaintiff. a culpable act or omission factually established; (3) third, the wrongful act
The right to moral damages is not transmissible to the injured party’s or omission of the defendant is the proximate cause of the injury
substitutes bec. it was extremely personal to the injured party. sustained by the claimant; and (4) fourth, the award of damages is
The question as to whether an action survives or not depends on the predicated on any of the cases stated in Article 2219.
nature of the action and the damage sued for.
- In the cause of action wc survive, the wrong complained of affects FACTORS IN DETERMINING AMOUNT
primarily and principally property and property rights, the injuries to the While trial courts are given discretion to determine the amount of moral
person being merely incidental damages, the award should not be palpably and scandalous and excessive;
- In the causes of action wc do not survive, the injury complained of is to it must always reasonably approximate the extent of injury and be
the person, the property and rights of property affected being incidental. proportional to the wrong committed.
a. Extent of Humiliation
PROOF AND CAUSATION b. Pain and Suffering
No proof of pecuniary loss is necessary in order that moral damages may c. Official, Political and Financial Standing
be adjudicated. The assessment of such damages is left to the discretion of Credit Standing
the court, accdg to the circumstances of each case. Financial Standing
However, there must be proof that the defendant caused physical Domingding and Aranas vs Ng:
suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, In cases like the present, the social and financial standings of the offender
wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation and similar injury to and the offended party are additional elements which should be taken
the plaintiff.  Without allegation and proof of such sufferings, no moral into account in the determination of the amount of moral damages. While
it is true that social dignity does not depend upon the wealth or poverty
damages can be awarded.
of a person the amount necessary to repair the damage thereto depends
upon her owned social and financial means. The financial and means the
The language of the law need not be used to warrant the award of offender is also a convenient gauges for the determination of the amount
moral damages. So long as there is satisfactory proof or necessary to repair the injury caused.
psychological and mental trauma actually suffered by a party, . . . While the fundamental rule of the law is to award compensation, yet
the grant to him of moral damages is warranted. rules for ascertaining the amount of compensation to be awarded are
There is need for the claimant to satisfactorily prove the existence of formed with reference to the just rights of both parties, and the standard
the factual basis of the damages, it is also necessary to prove its fixed for estimating damages ought to be determined, not only what might
causal relation to the defendant’s act. be right for plaintiff to receive in order to afford just compensation, but also
While moral damages are incapable of pecuniary estimation, they by what is just to compel defendant to pay.
are recoverable if they are the proximate cause of the d. Age
defendant’s wrongful act or omission.
FIXED AMOUNT (Court awarded moral damages)
WHEN NO ALLEGATION AND PROOF ARE REQUIRED Murder cases: P50K
Moral damages may be awarded to the victim in criminal proceedings in Separated civil actions for quasi-delict where victim died: P50K
such amount as the court deems just w/o the need for pleading or proof Conviction of rape qualified by circumstances warranting the imposition
of the basis thereof. of death penalty: P75K
Moral damages are mandatory in cases of murder w/o need of to allege
and prove such damages. PERSONS WHO MAY RECOVER (GR)
Moral damages are automatically granted to a rape victim without Person who endured physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious
presentation of further proof other that the commission of the crime. anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social
humiliation and similar injury is the person who can recover moral
CASES WHEN MORAL DAMAGES MAY BE AWARDED damages.
Article 2219. Moral damages may be recovered in the following and If the basis of the claim is physical suffering, only the one who suffered
analogous cases: and not his or her spouse may recover.  a person who sympathized w/
A criminal offense resulting in physical injuries; an injured relative is not entitled to recover for the physical suffering of
Quasi-delicts causing physical injuries;
another.
Seduction, abduction, rape, or other lascivious acts;
Adultery or concubinage;
Illegal or arbitrary detention or arrest; RELATIVES (XPN)
Illegal search; Last two par. of Art. 2219:
Libel, slander or any other form of defamation; The parents of the female seduced, abducted, raped, or abused, referred
Malicious prosecution; to in No. 3 of this article, may also recover moral damages [(3) Seduction,
Acts mentioned in article 309; abduction, rape, or other lascivious acts;]
Acts and actions referred to in articles 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, The spouse, descendants, ascendants, and brothers and sisters may
34, and 35. bring the action mentioned in No. 9 of this article, in the order named.
The parents of the female seduced, abducted, raped, or abused, referred [(9) Acts mentioned in article 309;  Article 309. Any person who shows
to in No. 3 of this article, may also recover moral damages. disrespect to the dead, or wrongfully interferes with a funeral shall be liable
The spouse, descendants, ascendants, and brothers and sisters may bring to the family of the deceased for damages, material and moral.]
the action mentioned in No. 9 of this article, in the order named.
Article 2220. Willful injury to property may be a legal ground for
awarding moral damages if the court should find that, under the Article 2206. The amount of damages for death caused by a crime or
circumstances, such damages are justly due. The same rule applies to quasi-delict shall be at least three thousand pesos, even though there may
breaches of contract where the defendant acted fraudulently or in bad have been mitigating circumstances. In addition:
faith.
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 45
The spouse, legitimate and illegitimate descendants and ascendants of the For failure of PVE, a division of respondent Solid Distributors, Inc., to
deceased may demand moral damages for mental anguish by reason of comply with its obligation under the video tape coverage contract,
the death of the deceased. petitioners are entitled to actual damages at least in the amount of One
Thousand Four Hundred Twenty-Three Pesos (P1,423.00) representing
======================================================== their downpayment in that contract.
Herbosa vs CA Ordinarily, moral damages cannot be recovered in an action for
The case stemmed from the failure of PVE to record on video the breach of contract because such an action is not among those
petitioners' wedding celebration allegedly due to the gross negligence of expressly mentioned in Article 2219 45 of the New Civil Code.
its crew as well as the lack of supervision on the part of the general However, moral damages are recoverable for breach of contract
manager of the PVE. Petitioners also alleged that said failure on the part where the breach was wanton, reckless, malicious or in bad faith,
of PVE to perform its obligation caused deep disappointment, anxiety and oppressive or abusive. The wanton and reckless failure and neglect
an irreparable break in the continuity of an established family tradition of to timely check and remedy the video tape recorder by the PVE crew
recording by film or slide historical and momentous family events who are all employees of respondent Solid Distributors, Inc.
especially wedding celebrations and for which they were entitled to be indicates a malicious breach of contract and gross negligence on the
paid actual, moral and exemplary damages including attorney's fees. part of said respondent in the discharge of its contractual
Accordingly, on October 11, 1980 at around 6:30 o'clock in the morning obligations. Consequently, the petitioners who suffered mental
the PVE crew composed of the cameraman, Vedastro Sulit, VTR (video anguish and tortured feelings thereby, are entitled to an award of
tape recorder) operator, Michael Rodriguez, and the driver and lightman, One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00) as moral damages.
Felix Baguio, arrived at the residence of the bride at 1694 M. H. Del Pilar
Street, Ermita, Manila. They recorded the pre-departure activities of the Buenaventura vs Buenaventura
bride before leaving for the Malate Church along Mabini Street, Malate, These cases involve a petition for the declaration of nullity of marriage,
Manila where the wedding ceremonies were held at 9:00 o'clock in the which was filed by petitioner Noel Buenaventura on the ground that both
morning. Thereafter, the crew proceeded to the Manila Hotel in he and his wife were psychologically incapacitated to comply with the
Intramuros, Manila, where the wedding reception followed at 10:30 essential obligations of marriage. In response, respondent denying the
o'clock in the morning. allegation that she was psychologically incapacitated.
On October 13, 1980, however, Ben Zarate, studio manager of PVE, The lower court found that plaintiff-appellant deceived the defendant-
informed the petitioners that the videotape coverage of their wedding appellee into marrying him by professing true love instead of revealing to
celebration was damaged due to mechanical defect in their equipment. her that he was under heavy parental pressure to marry; that he was not
Deeply aggrieved, the petitioners rejected both of the proposed ready to enter into marriage; that he was unable to relate not only to
alternatives since, according to them, a video tape production through defendant-appellee as a husband but also to his son, Javy, as a father; that
photographs was not going to compensate for the betamax or film he had no desire to keep defendant-appellee and their son as proved by
coverage of their actual wedding celebration and that there could be no his reluctance and later, refusal to reconcile after their separation; that
event of similar significance insofar as petitioners are concerned. the aforementioned caused defendant-appellee to suffer mental anguish,
PVE, a division of respondent Solid Distributors, Inc., disclaimed any anxiety, besmirched reputation, sleepless nights not only in those years
liability for the damaged videotape by invoking force majeure or the parties were together but also after and throughout their separation.
fortuitous event and asserted that a defective transistor caused the Plaintiff-appellant assails the trial court’s decision on the ground that
breakdown in its video tape recorder. However, said respondent failed to unlike those arising from a breach in ordinary contracts, damages arising
substantiate its bare allegation by presenting in evidence the alleged as a consequence of marriage may not be awarded. While it is correct that
defective transistor before the trial court. Instead, it presented another there is, as yet, no decided case by the Supreme Court where damages by
component of the same kind. Having invoked fortuitous event, it was reason of the performance or non-performance of marital obligations
incumbent upon said respondent to adduce sufficient and convincing were awarded, it does not follow that no such award for damages may be
proof to establish its defense. made.
Whether or not the petitioners are entitled to award of damages arising Defendant-appellee, in her amended answer, specifically prayed for moral
from breach of contract of services – YES! and exemplary damages in the total amount of 7 million pesos. The lower
HELD: In order that fortuitous event may exempt PVE or respondent court, in the exercise of its discretion, found full justification of awarding
Solid Distributors, Inc. from liability, it is necessary that it be free from at least half of what was originally prayed for. We find no reason to
negligence. The record shows, however, that the alleged malfunctioning of disturb the ruling of the trial court.
the video tape recorder occurred at the beginning of the video coverage at Whether the award of moral damages based on Articles 2217 and 21 of
the residence of the bride. The PVE crew miserably failed to detect the the Civil Code is proper – NO!
defect in the video tape recorder and that they discovered the same HELD: The Court of Appeals and the trial court considered the acts of the
rather too late after the wedding reception at the Manila Hotel. petitioner after the marriage as proof of his psychological incapacity, and
There appeared to be no valid reason why the alleged defect in the video therefore a product of his incapacity or inability to comply with the
tape recorder had gone undetected. There was more than sufficient time essential obligations of marriage. Nevertheless, said courts considered
for the PVE crew to check the video tape recorder for the reason that they these acts as willful and hence as grounds for granting moral damages. It
arrived at the bride's residence at 6:30 o'clock in the morning while they is contradictory to characterize acts as a product of psychological
departed for the wedding ceremonies at the Malate Church at 9:00 o'clock incapacity, and hence beyond the control of the party because of an innate
in the morning. Besides, PVE was admittedly furnished earlier by the inability, while at the same time considering the same set of acts as
petitioners with a copy of the scrip of the scenes to be recorded so that it willful. By declaring the petitioner as psychologically incapacitated, the
could prepare and organize its contracted task. PVE studio manager Ben possibility of awarding moral damages on the same set of facts was
Zarate even testified that ordinarily, the standard playback test to monitor negated. The award of moral damages should be predicated, not on the
the functioning of the video tape recorder was required at every mere act of entering into the marriage, but on specific evidence that it was
opportunity. In the instant case, a playback test on three (3) occasions, done deliberately and with malice by a party who had knowledge of his or
preferably at the beginning, middle and towards the end portions of the her disability and yet willfully concealed the same. No such evidence
video coverage would have been sufficient. appears to have been adduced in this case.
The misfortune that befell the then newly-wed couple, petitioners herein, For the same reason, since psychological incapacity means that one is
could have been avoided by a timely exercise of minimum prudence by truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants that one must assume and
the crew of PVE who are all employees of respondent Solid Distributors, discharge as a consequence of marriage, it removes the basis for the
Inc. to check any possible mechanical defect in the video tape recorder. contention that the petitioner purposely deceived the private respondent.
The defect could have been detected earlier and remedial measures could If the private respondent was deceived, it was not due to a willful act on
have been made to ensure full video tape coverage of the petitioners' the part of the petitioner. Therefore, the award of moral damages was
wedding celebration. But PVE or respondent Solid Distributors, Inc. did without basis in law and in fact.
not. The failure to record on videotape the wedding celebration of Since the grant of moral damages was not proper, it follows that the grant
the petitioners constitutes malicious breach of contract as well as of exemplary damages cannot stand since the Civil Code provides that
gross negligence on the part of respondent Solid Distributors, Inc. exemplary damages are imposed in addition to moral, temperate,
liquidated or compensatory damages.

TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 46


WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated October 8, 1996 Fulgencio Dacara, Jr., son of Fulgencio P. Dacara, Sr. and owner of a car
and its Resolution dated December 10, 1996 which are contested in the while driving the said vehicle, rammed into a pile of earth/street diggings
Petition for Review (G.R. No. 127449), are hereby MODIFIED, in that the found at Matahimik St., Quezon City, which was then being repaired by the
award of moral and exemplary damages, attorney’s fees, expenses of Quezon City government. As a result, Dacarra Jr. allegedly sustained
litigation and costs are deleted. No costs. SO ORDERED. bodily injuries and the vehicle suffered extensive damage for it turned
turtle when it hit the pile of earth.
Immaculate Conception Academy vs AMA Computer College "Indemnification was sought from the city government which however,
Aside from seeking the dismissal of the complaint, ICA and Dr. Campos yielded negative results. Consequently, Fulgencio P. Dacara (hereinafter
separately seek moral and exemplary damages in the amount of P90 referred to as FULGENCIO), for and in behalf of his minor son, Jr., filed a
million and P10 million plus attorneys fees and cost of suit. Complaint for damages against the Quezon City and Engr. Ramir Tiamzon,
To be entitled to moral damages, ICA needed to prove that it had a as defendants, before the RTC, Quezon City. FULGENCIO prayed that the
good reputation and that AMAs action besmirched the same. Such amount of not less than ₱20,000.00 actual or compensatory damages,
proof is wanting in this case. As for Dr. Campos, he has amply proved ₱150,000.00 moral damages, ₱30,000.00 exemplary damages, and
that he suffered mental anguish, serious anxiety, and social ₱20,000.00 attorney's fees and costs of the suit be awarded to him.
humiliation following AMAs unfounded accusation that he Whether the alleged body injuries incurred by Fulgencio Jr may be
fraudulently misled AMA regarding the structural condition of ICAs indemnified in form of moral damages – NO!
building. However, due to his untimely demise before the finality of HELD: Article 2219(2) specifically allows moral damages to be recovered
this case, his claim for moral damages does not survive and is not for quasi-delicts, provided that the act or omission caused physical
transmissible to his substitutes, for being extremely personal to him. injuries. There can be no recovery of moral damages unless the quasi-
delict resulted in physical injury. This rule was enunciated in Malonzo v.
ABS CBN vs CA Galang as follows:
Moral damages are in the category of an award designed to compensate "x x x. Besides, Article 2219 specifically mentions 'quasi-delicts causing
the claimant for actual injury suffered. and not to impose a penalty on the physical injuries,' as an instance when moral damages may be allowed,
wrongdoer. The award is not meant to enrich the complainant at the thereby implying that all other quasi-delicts not resulting in physical
expense of the defendant, but to enable the injured party to obtain means, injuries are excluded, excepting of course, the special torts referred to in
diversion, or amusements that will serve to obviate then moral suffering Art. 309 (par. 9, Art. 2219) and in Arts. 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34 and
he has undergone. It is aimed at the restoration, within the limits of the 35 on the chapter on human relations (par. 10, Art. 2219)."
possible, of the spiritual status quo ante, and should be proportionate to In the present case, the Complaint alleged that respondent's son
the suffering inflicted. Trial courts must then guard against the award of Fulgencio Jr. sustained physical injuries. The son testified that he suffered
exorbitant damages; they should exercise balanced restrained and a deep cut on his left arm when the car overturned after hitting a pile of
measured objectivity to avoid suspicion that it was due to passion, earth that had been left in the open without any warning device
prejudice, or corruption on the part of the trial court. whatsoever.
The award of moral damages cannot be granted in favor of a It is apparent from the Decisions of the trial and the appellate courts,
corporation because, being an artificial person and having existence however, that no other evidence (such as a medical certificate or proof of
only in legal contemplation, it has no feelings, no emotions, no medical expenses) was presented to prove Fulgencio Jr.'s bare assertion of
senses, It cannot, therefore, experience physical suffering and physical injury. Thus, there was no credible proof that would justify an
mental anguish, which call be experienced only by one having a award of moral damages based on Article 2219(2) of the Civil Code.
nervous system. The statement in People v. Manero and Mambulao Moreover, the Decisions are conspicuously silent with respect to the claim
Lumber Co. v. PNB that a corporation may recover moral damages if it of respondent that his moral sufferings were due to the negligence of
"has a good reputation that is debased, resulting in social petitioners. The Decision of the trial court, which summarizes the
humiliation" is an obiter dictum. On this score alone the award for testimony of respondent's four witnesses, makes no mention of any
damages must be set aside, since RBS is a corporation. statement regarding moral suffering, such as mental anguish, besmirched
reputation, wounded feelings, social humiliation and the like.
Filipinas Broadcasting Netwrok vs AMEC For the court to arrive upon a judicious approximation of emotional or
Whether AMEC is entitled to moral damages- YES! moral injury, competent and substantial proof of the suffering
A juridical person is generally not entitled to moral damages experienced must be laid before it. Essential to this approximation are
because, unlike a natural person, it cannot experience physical definite findings as to what the supposed moral damages suffered
suffering or such sentiments as wounded feelings, serious anxiety, consisted of; otherwise, such damages would become a penalty rather
mental anguish or moral shock. than a compensation for actual injury suffered.
Mambulao Lumber Co. v. PNB, et al. to justify the award of moral Furthermore, well-settled is the rule that moral damages cannot be
damages. However, the Court’s statement in Mambulao that "a awarded -- whether in a civil or a criminal case -- in the absence of proof
corporation may have a good reputation which, if besmirched, may also of physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched
be a ground for the award of moral damages" is an obiter dictum. reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, or similar
Nevertheless, AMEC’s claim for moral damages falls under item 7 of injury.35 The award of moral damages must be solidly anchored on a
Article 2219 of the Civil Code. This provision expressly authorizes definite showing that respondent actually experienced emotional and
the recovery of moral damages in cases of libel, slander or any other mental sufferings. Mere allegations do not suffice; they must be
form of defamation. Article 2219(7) does not qualify whether the substantiated by clear and convincing proof.
plaintiff is a natural or juridical person. Therefore, a juridical person WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby PARTLY GRANTED. The Decision of
such as a corporation can validly complain for libel or any other the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED, with the MODIFICATION that the
form of defamation and claim for moral damages. award of moral damages is DELETED. No costs.
Moreover, where the broadcast is libelous per se, the law implies damages. ========================================================
In such a case, evidence of an honest mistake or the want of character or
reputation of the party libeled goes only in mitigation of damages. Neither (iv.) TEMPERATE OR MODERATE DAMAGES
in such a case is the plaintiff required to introduce evidence of actual Art. 2224. Temperate or moderate damages, which are more than
damages as a condition precedent to the recovery of some damages. In nominal but less than compensatory damages, may be recovered when
this case, the broadcasts are libelous per se. Thus, AMEC is entitled to the court finds that some pecuniary loss has been suffered but its amount
moral damages. can not, from the nature of the case, be provided with certainty.
However, we find the award of ₱300,000 moral damages unreasonable. Art. 2225. Temperate damages must be reasonable under the
The record shows that even though the broadcasts were libelous per se, circumstances.
AMEC has not suffered any substantial or material damage to its
reputation. Therefore, we reduce the award of moral damages from Temperate damages should be awarded to meet pecuniary loss certain to
₱300,000 to ₱150,000. be suffered but which could not, from the nature of the case, be made
with certainty. In other words, temperate damages can and should be
QC Govt vs Dacara
awarded on top of actual or compensatory damages in instances where
the injury is chronic and continuing. And because of the unique nature of
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS
DE VERA-YALUNG | 47
such cases, no incompatibility arises when both actual and temperate CA: held that although the Contractor deviated from the plan, CIACs
damages are provided for. award of actual damages was not proper inasmuch as De Guzman failed to
In cases where the resulting injury must be continuing and possible establish its extent with reasonable certainty. The CA, however, found it
future complications directly arising from the injury, while certain to appropriate to award temperate damages considering that De Guzman
occur are difficult to predict, temperate damages can and should be suffered pecuniary loss as a result of the collapse of the perimeter fence
awarded on top of actual or compensatory damages; in such cases due to the Contractors negligence and violation of his undertakings in the
there is no incompatibility between actual and temperate damages. Agreement.

======================================================== WON De Guzman is entitled to temperate damages? YES!


Araneta v. Bank of America
Leopoldo Araneta, the petitioner herein, was a local merchant engaged in HELD: There is no doubt that De Guzman incurred damages as a result of
the import and export business. On June 30, 1961 he issued a check for the collapse of the perimeter fence. The Contractor is clearly guilty of
$500 payable to cash and drawn against the San Francisco main office of negligence and, therefore, liable for the damages caused. CIACs award of
the Bank of America, where he had been maintaining a dollar current actual damages, however, is indeed not proper under the circumstances
account since 1948. Upon inquiry by Araneta as to why his check had as there is no concrete evidence to support the plea. De Guzman failed to
been dishonored, the Bank of America acknowledged that it was an error. adduce evidence to satisfactorily prove the amount of actual damage
Consequently, two checks were also issued by Araneta, however, despite incurred. Contrary to her assertion, the handwritten calculation of
the sufficiency of Araneta's deposit balance to cover both checks, they reconstruction costs made by Engineer Santos and attached to his
were again stamped with the notation "Account Closed" and returned to affidavit cannot be given any probative value because he never took the
the respective clearing banks. In view of the foregoing incidents, Araneta, witness stand to affirm the veracity of his allegations in his affidavit and
through counsel, sent a letter to the Bank of America demanding damages be cross-examined on them.
in the sum of $20,000. While admitting responsibility for the Nevertheless, De Guzman is indeed entitled to temperate damages as
inconvenience caused to Araneta, the bank claimed that the amount provided under Article 2224 of the Civil Code for the loss she suffered.
demanded was excessive, and offered to pay the sum of P2,000.00. The When pecuniary loss has been suffered but the amount cannot, from the
offer was rejected. The petitioner maintains that in an action by a nature of the case, be proven with certainty, temperate damages may be
depositor against a bank for damages resulting from the wrongful recovered. Temperate damages may be allowed in cases where from the
dishonor of the depositor's checks, temperate damages for injury to nature of the case, definite proof of pecuniary loss cannot be adduced,
business standing or commercial credit may be recovered even in the although the court is convinced that the aggrieved party suffered some
absence of definite proof of direct pecuniary loss to the plaintiff, a finding pecuniary loss.[15] Undoubtedly, De Guzman suffered pecuniary loss
— as it was found by the Court of Appeals — that the wrongful acts of the brought about by the collapse of the perimeter fence by reason of the
respondent had adversely affected his credit being sufficient for the Contractors negligence and failure to comply with the specifications. As
purpose. she failed to prove the exact amount of damage with certainty as required
The judgment of the trial court awarded all the item prayed for, but on by law, the CA was correct in awarding temperate damages, in lieu of
appeal by the defendant the Court of Appeals eliminated the award of actual damages. However, after weighing carefully the attendant
compensatory and temperate damages and reduced the moral damages to circumstances and taking into account the cost of rebuilding the damaged
P8,000.00, the exemplary damages to P1,000.00 and the attorney's fees to portions of the perimeter fence, the amount of ₱100,000.00 awarded to
P1,000.00. De Guzman should be increased. This Court, in recognition of the
pecuniary loss suffered, finds the award of ₱150,000.00 by way of
Whether or not on the basis of the findings of the Court of Appeals, there temperate damages as reasonable and just under the premises.
is reason to conclude that the petitioner did sustain some pecuniary loss RULING: WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision of the Court
although no sufficient proof of the amount thereof has been adduced? of Appeals dated February 24, 2009 and its Resolution dated May 26,
2009 are AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the award of
HELD: The financial credit of a businessman is a prized and valuable ₱100,000.00 as temperate damages is increased to ₱150,000.00. The
asset, it being a significant part of the foundation of his business. Any award shall earn interest at the rate of 12% per annum reckoned from the
adverse reflection thereon constitutes some material loss to him. As finality of this judgment until fully paid.
stated in the case Atlanta National Bank vs. Davis, supra, citing 2 Morse ========================================================
Banks, Sec. 458, "it can hardly be possible that a customer's check can be
wrongfully refused payment without some impeachment of his credit, (v.) NOMINAL DAMAGES – STANDS ALONE
which must in fact be an actual injury, though he cannot, from the nature Art. 2221. Nominal damages are adjudicated in order that a right of the
of the case, furnish independent, distinct proof thereof. The petitioner, as plaintiff, which has been violated or invaded by the defendant, may be
found by the Court of Appeals, is a merchant of long standing and good vindicated or recognized, and not for the purpose of indemnifying the
reputation in the Philippines. Some of his record is cited in the decision plaintiff for any loss suffered by him.
appealed from. We are of the opinion that his claim for temperate Art. 2222. The court may award nominal damages in every obligation
damages is legally justified. Considering all the circumstances, including arising from any source enumerated in Article 1157, or in every case
the rather small size of the petitioner's account with the respondent, the where any property right has been invaded.
Art. 2223. The adjudication of nominal damages shall preclude further
amounts of the checks which were wrongfully dishonored, and the fact
contest upon the right involved and all accessory questions, as between
that the respondent tried to rectify the error soon after it was discovered,
the parties to the suit, or their respective heirs and assigns.’
although the rectification came after the damage had been caused, we
believe that an award of P5,000 by way of temperate damages is
The allowance of nominal damages is generally based on the ground that
sufficient.
every injury from its very nature legally imports damage, or that the
RULING: WHEREFORE, the judgment of the Court of Appeals is modified
injury complained of would in the future be evidence in favor of the
by awarding temperate damages to the petitioner in the sum of P5,000
wrongdoer, especially where, if continued for a sufficient length of time,
and increasing the attorney's fees to P4,000; and is affirmed in all other
the invasion of the plaintiff’s rights would ripen into a prescriptive right
respects. Costs against the respondent.
in favor of the defendant.
Nominal damages are damages in name only and not in fact, and are
De Guzman v. Tumolba
allowed, not as an equivalent of wrong inflicted, but simply in recognition
De Guzman and respondent Antonio Tumolva, doing business under the of the existence of a technical injury.
name and style A.M. Tumolva Engineering Works (the Contractor),
entered into a Construction Agreement for the construction of an
GR: Nominal damages by their nature are small sums fixed by the court
orphanage
without regard to the extent of the harm done to the injured party.
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS
DE VERA-YALUNG | 48
XPN: Substantial claim, if based upon the violation of a legal right; in such support an award of nominal damages.Conversely, so long as there is a
case, the law presumes damage although actual or compensatory showing of a violation of the right of the plaintiff, an award of nominal
damages are not proven. damages is proper. It is also settled that the amount of such damages is
addressed to the sound discretion of the court, taking into account the
Law presumes damage although actual or compensatory damages are not relevant circumstances.
proven. In this case, we deem that the respondents are entitled to an award of
These are damages in name only and are allowed simply in recognition of P5,000.00 as nominal damages in recognition of their confirmed
a technical injury based on a violation of a legal right. reservation for the free use of an FLP villa on April 1, 1999 which was
It cannot co-exist with actual or compensatory damages. inexcusably cancelled by petitioner on March 3, 1999.
REASON: In Temperate damages there is pecuniary loss, in In sum, the respondents Complaint sufficiently alleged a cause of action
nominal damages there is an injury but no pecuniary loss. for the annulment or rescission of the contract of sale of FRCCI class D
The idea in nominal is that there is only a wrong but there is no loss, shares by petitioners to respondents; however, respondents were unable
nobody got hurt, there is no damage to be computed, at the same to establish by preponderance of evidence that they are entitled to said
time, in recognition of the fact that something not so right was done, annulment or rescission.
violation of his right occurred. It is not meant to compensate you, it RULING: Petitioners are ORDERED to pay respondents the amount of
is merely to recognize that you are correct, you just want to say to P5,000.00 as nominal damages for their negligence as regards
the Court that you are right. respondents cancelled reservation for April 1, 1999, but respondents
When you are comparing temperate and actual, it is more on the proof, in Complaint, in so far as the annulment or rescission of the contract of sale
both cases, there is an actual loss. In actual and temperate the of the FRCCI class "D shares of stock is concerned, is DISMISSED for lack
violation of a legal right is tantamount to something that must be of merit.
compensated; you can face a monetary violation. The only difference
is that, in actual, you have to give the exact amount. In temperate, Almeda v. Carino
you are able to show that you need to be compensated, but there is Almeda and Carinñ o, entered into two agreements to sell, one covering
something lacking in proof that you presented. eight titled properties 4 and another three untitled properties. The agreed
======================================================== price of the eight titled properties was was to be paid upon the signing
Fontana Resort v. Sps. Tan – Injury without Pecuniary Loss and execution of the agreement. On the other hand, the purchase price of
Sps. Tan bought from petitioner RN Development Corporation (RNDC) the three untitled properties of which was to be paid upon the signing and
two class D shares of stock in petitioner Fontana Resort and Country Club, execution of the agreement.
Inc. (FRCCI), worth P387,300.00, enticed by the promises of petitioners Consequently, Almeda asked Carinñ o for the execution of a Deed of
sales agents that petitioner FRCCI would construct a park with first-class Absolute Sale over the eight titled properties although they had not been
leisure facilities and that FRCCI class D shareholders would be admitted fully paid. Carinñ o granted the request and executed the deed of sale over
to one membership in the country club, which entitled them to use park the eight titled lots in favor of Almeda, Inc. Then, Almeda executed an
facilities and stay at a two-bedroom villa for 5 ordinary weekdays and 2 undertaking to pay Carinñ o the balance of the purchase price. Deeds of sale
weekends every year for free. respondents filed before the SEC a for two of the three untitled lots were also executed.
Complaint for refund of the P387,300.00 they spent to purchase FRCCI Subsequently, Carinñ o made demands for the full and final payment of the
shares of stock from petitioners. Respondents alleged that they had been balance due him and the interests thereon. Despite demand letters sent to
deceived into buying FRCCI shares because of petitioners fraudulent Almeda however, the balance was not paid. Hence, Carinñ o filed before the
misrepresentations. Construction of FLP turned out to be still unfinished RTC a complaint against Almeda and Almeda, Inc., in whose name the
and the policies, rules, and regulations of the country club were obscure. titles to the properties had been transferred. Carinñ o prayed that Almeda
Respondents additionally alleged the unreasonable cancellation of their and/or Almeda, Inc. be ordered to pay to him the balance of P477,589.47,
confirmed reservation for the free use of an FLP villa. According to the legal interests thereon from demand until full payment, 15% of all the
respondents, their reservation was confirmed by a Mr. Murphy Magtoto, amounts due, including interests as attorney’s fees, P10,000.00 as
only to be cancelled later on by a certain Shaye. Petitioners countered that litigation expenses, P100,000.00 as moral, exemplary and nominal
April 1, 1999 was a Holy Thursday and FLP was already fully-booked. damages and the costs of suit. The RTC granted.
Petitioners, however, do not deny that Murphy Magtoto and Shaye are FLP Ponciano Almeda and Almeda, Inc. appealed to the CA for a modification
employees who dealt with respondents. The absence of any confirmation of judgment, contending that the lower court erred in awarding nominal
number issued to respondents does not also discount the possibility that damages and attorney’s fees in favor of Carinñ o. They maintained that they
the latters reservation was mistakenly confirmed by Murphy Magtoto were not guilty of any unfair treatment or reckless and malevolent actions
despite FLP being fully-booked. so as to justify an award of nominal damages. They claimed that they
refused to pay the remaining balance because the proceeds of certain
WON the Sps. Tan are entitled to nominal damages even though the harvests from the lands in question and liquidated damages were also
transaction they had with Fontana resort was mere negligence only? due them.

HELD: At most, we perceive a mix-up in the reservation process of WON THE RTC ERRED IN AWARDING NOMINAL DAMAGES IN THE
petitioners. This demonstrates a mere negligence on the part of AMOUNT OF P150,000.00?
petitioners, but not willful intention to deprive respondents of their
membership benefits. It does not constitute default that would call for HELD: Nominal damages may be awarded to a plaintiff whose right has
rescission of the sale of FRCCI shares by petitioners to respondents. For been violated or invaded by the defendant, for the purpose of vindicating
the negligence of petitioners as regards respondents reservation for April or recognizing that right, and not for indemnifying the plaintiff for any
1, 1999, respondents are at least entitled to nominal damages in loss suffered by him.12 Its award is thus not for the purpose of
accordance with Articles 2221 and 2222 of the Civil Code. indemnification for a loss but for the recognition and vindication of a
Nominal damages may be awarded to a plaintiff whose right has been right.13 Indeed, nominal damages are damages in name only and not in
violated or invaded by the defendant, for the purpose of vindicating or fact. When granted by the courts, they are not treated as an equivalent of
recognizing that right, and not for indemnifying the plaintiff for any loss a wrong inflicted but simply a recognition of the existence of a technical
suffered by him. Its award is thus not for the purpose of indemnification injury.14 A violation of the plaintiff’s right, even if only technical, is
for a loss but for the recognition and vindication of a right. Indeed, sufficient to support an award of nominal damages. Conversely, so long as
nominal damages are damages in name only and not in fact. When there is a showing of a violation of the right of the plaintiff, an award of
granted by the courts, they are not treated as an equivalent of a wrong nominal damages is proper.
inflicted but simply a recognition of the existence of a technical injury. A Applying such principles to the instant case, we have on record the fact
violation of the plaintiff's right, even if only technical, is sufficient to that petitioners have an unpaid balance on the purchase price of lots sold
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS to them by respondents. Their refusal to pay the remaining balance of the
DE VERA-YALUNG | 49
purchase price despite repeated demands, even after they had sold the Liquidated damages are those agreed upon by the parties to a contract, to
properties to third parties, undoubtedly constitutes a violation of be paid in case of breach thereof. (Article 2226, Civil Code).
respondents’ right to the said amount under their agreements. The facts GR: The court cannot change the amount of liquidated damages agreed
show that the right of the vendor to receive the unpaid balance to the lots upon by the parties.
sold was violated by petitioners, and this entitles respondents at the very XPN: Article 2227 provides that liquidated damages, whether intended as
least to nominal damages. an indemnity or a penalty, shall be equitably reduced if they are
Deed of Absolute Sale – fully paid iniquitous or unconscionable.
Contract to Sell – must be proved Article 2228 provides that when the breach of the contract
committed by the defendant is not the one contemplated by the
Agabon v. NLRC parties in agreeing upon the liquidated damages, the law shall
Private respondent Riviera Home Improvements, Inc. is engaged in the determine the measure of damages, and not the stipulation.
business of selling and installing ornamental and construction materials. Whether intended as an indemnity or penalty shall be equitably reduced
It employed petitioners Virgilio Agabon and Jenny Agabon as gypsum if they are iniquitous or unconscionable.
board and cornice installers, however, they were dismissed for Normally intended for breach of obligation, some in certain contracts you
abandonment of work. Petitioners then filed a complaint for illegal have liquidated damage and penalty, in penalty, normally provided
dismissal and payment of money claims. The Labor Arbiter rendered a for something other what the other than what
decision declaring the dismissals illegal and ordered private respondent the liquidated damages covers.
to pay the monetary claims. Accordingly, the CA, after a careful review of ========================================================
the facts, ruled that petitioners dismissal was for a just cause. They had Radiowealth Finance Co vs Del Rosario
abandoned their employment and were already working for another Spouses Vicente and Maria Sumilang del Rosario jointly and severally
employer. executed in favor of Radiowealth Finance Company a Promissory Note for
₱138,948. It is agreed that if default be made in the payment of any of the
WON PET was validly dismissed? YES! But w/o due process installments or late payment charges thereon as and when the same
becomes due and payable the total principal sum then remaining unpaid,
HELD: The rule thus evolved: where the employer had a valid reason to
together with the agreed late payment charges thereon, shall at once
dismiss an employee but did not follow the due process requirement, the
become due and payable without need of notice or demand and, in
dismissal may be upheld but the employer will be penalized to pay an
addition, a further sum of ten per cent (10%) of said amount which
indemnity to the employee. This became known as the Wenphil or Belated
in no case shall be less than (P500.00), as and for liquidated
Due Process Rule. This means that the termination is illegal only if it is not
damages.”
for any of the justified or authorized causes provided by law. Payment of
Thereafter, respondents defaulted on the monthly installments. Despite
backwages and other benefits, including reinstatement, is justified only if
repeated demands, they failed to pay their obligations under their
the employee was unjustly dismissed. Promissory Note. Petitioner filed a Complaint for the collection of a sum
In cases involving dismissals for cause but without observance of the twin of money before the RTC of Manila, Petitioner, in its Complaint, prayed for
requirements of notice and hearing, the better rule is to follow Wenphil by "14% interest per annum from May 6, 1993 until fully paid."
holding that the dismissal was for just cause but imposing sanctions on Whether the prayed interest per annum should be granted – NO! HELD: It
the employer. Such sanctions, however, must be stiffer than that imposed should be stressed that respondents do not contest the amount of the
in Wenphil. By doing so, this Court would be able to achieve a fair result by principal obligation. While the specific date on which each installment
dispensing justice not just to employees, but to employers as well. would be due was left blank, the Note clearly provided that each
installment should be payable each month. Their liability as expressly
It must be stressed that in the present case, the petitioners committed a stated in the Promissory Note and found by the CA is "₱13[8],948.00
grave offense, i.e., abandonment, which, if the requirements of due which is payable in twelve (12) installments at ₱11,579.00 a month for
twelve (12) consecutive months." In addition, the
process were complied with, would undoubtedly result in a valid
Note also provided that the debtors would be liable for attorney’s fees
dismissal.
equivalent to 25 percent of the amount due in case a legal action was
Where the dismissal is for a just cause, as in the instant case, the lack of instituted and 10 percent of the same amount as liquidated damages.
statutory due process should not nullify the dismissal, or render it illegal, Liquidated damages, however, should no longer be imposed for
or ineffectual. However, the employer should indemnify the employee for being unconscionable. Such damages should also be deemed
the violation of his statutory rights. The sanction should be in the nature included in the 2.5 percent monthly penalty. Since the Note already
of indemnification or penalty and should depend on the facts of each case, stipulated a late payment penalty of 2.5 percent monthly to be added to
taking into special consideration the gravity of the due process violation each unpaid installment until fully paid. Payment of interest was not
of the employer. Under the Civil Code, nominal damages is adjudicated in expressly stipulated in the Note. Thus, it should be deemed included in
order that a right of the plaintiff, which has been violated or invaded by such penalty.
the defendant, may be vindicated or recognized, and not for the purpose Convincingly, petitioner has established not only a cause of action against
of indemnifying the plaintiff for any loss suffered by him. As enunciated the respondents, but also a due and demandable obligation. The
by this Court in Viernes v. National Labor Relations Commissions, an obligation of the respondents had matured and they clearly defaulted
when their checks bounced. Per the acceleration clause, the whole debt
employer is liable to pay indemnity in the form of nominal damages to an
became due one month (April 2, 1991) after the date of the Note because
employee who has been dismissed if, in effecting such dismissal, the
the check representing their first installment bounced.
employer fails to comply with the requirements of due process. WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED. The appealed Decision is
The violation of the petitioners right to statutory due process by the MODIFIED in that the remand is SET ASIDE and respondents are ordered
private respondent warrants the payment of indemnity in the form of TO PAY ₱138,948, plus 2.5 percent penalty charge per month beginning
nominal damages. The amount of such damages is addressed to the sound April 2, 1991 until fully paid, and 10 percent of the amount due as
discretion of the court, taking into account the relevant circumstances. attorney’s fees. No costs.
Considering the prevailing circumstances in the case at bar, we deem
it proper to fix it at P30,000.00. We believe this form of damages would Continental Cement Corporation vs Asea Brown Boveri Inc
serve to deter employers from future violations of the statutory due Petitioner Continental Cement Corporation (CCC), a corporation engaged
process rights of employees. At the very least, it provides a vindication or in the business of producing cement, obtained the services of respondents
recognition of this fundamental right granted to the latter under the Asea Brown Boveri, Inc. (ABB) and BBC Brown Boveri, Corp. to repair its
Labor Code and its Implementing Rules. 160 KW Kiln DC Drive Motor (Kiln Drive Motor).
======================================================== Due to the repeated failure of respondents to repair the Kiln Drive Motor,
petitioner filed with RTC of QC a Complaint for sum of money and
damages against respondent corporations
(vi.) LIQUIDATED DAMAGES
Respondents, however, claimed that under Clause 7 of the General
Conditions, attached to the letter of offer issued by respondent ABB to
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 50
petitioner, the liability of respondent ABB "does not extend to Exemplary damages are required by public policy to suppress wanton
consequential damages either direct or indirect." Petitioner reiterates that acts. When there is gross carelessness or negligence amounting to wanton
the General Conditions cannot exculpate respondents because petitioner misconduct.
never agreed to be bound by it nor did petitioner receive a copy of it. Imposed, by way of example or correction for the public good, in addition
Respondents insist that petitioner is bound by the General Conditions. By to the moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages.
issuing Purchase Order Nos. 17136-37, petitioner in effect The terms punitive or vindictive damages are often used to refer to those
accepted the General Conditions appended to respondent ABB’s letter of species of damages that may be awarded against a person to punish him
offer. Respondents also deny liability for damages claiming that they for his outrageous conduct. In either case, these damages are intended in
performed their obligation in good faith. However, it was proven that good measure to deter the wrongdoer and others like him from similar
respondent ABB not only incurred delay in performing its obligation but conduct in the future.
likewise failed to repair the Kiln Drive Motor; thus, prompting petitioner
to sue for damages. REQUISITES:
Whether the Purchase Order Nos. 17136-37 will bind the petitioner and They may be imposed by way of example in addition to
hence will exculpate the respondent from payment for damages– NO! compensatory damages, and only after the claimant’s right to
HELD: Respondents failed to show that petitioner was duly furnished them has been established;
with a copy of said General Conditions. Hence, it is not binding on They cannot be recovered as a matter of right, their de-termination
petitioner. Having breached the contract it entered with petitioner, depending upon the amount of compensatory damages that
respondent ABB is liable for damages pursuant to Articles 1167, 1170, may be awarded to the claimant;
and 2201 of the Civil Code,. Based on the foregoing, a repairman who fails The act must be accompanied by bad faith or done in wanton,
to perform his obligation is liable to pay for the cost of the execution of
fraudulent, oppressive or malevolent manner.
the obligation plus damages. Though entitled, petitioner in this case is not
========================================================
claiming reimbursement for the repair allegedly done by Newton
Contractor, but is instead asking for damages for the delay caused by Cathay Pacific Airways ;td vs Vasquez
respondent ABB. Cathay is a common carrier engaged in the business of transporting
As per Purchase Order Nos. 17136-37, petitioner is entitled to penalties passengers and goods by air. As part of its marketing strategy, Cathay
in the amount of ₱987.25 per day from the time of delay, August 30, 1990, accords its frequent flyers membership in its Marco Polo Club. The
up to the time the Kiln Drive Motor was finally returned to petitioner. members enjoy several privileges, such as priority for upgrading of
Records show that although the testing of Kiln Drive Motor was done on booking without any extra charge whenever an opportunity arises. Thus,
March 13, 1991, the said motor was actually delivered to petitioner as a frequent flyer booked in the Business Class has priority for upgrading to
early as January 7, 1991. The installation and testing was done only on First Class if the Business Class Section is fully booked. Respondents-
March 13, 1991 upon the request of petitioner because the Kiln was spouses Dr. Daniel Earnshaw Vazquez and Maria Luisa Madrigal Vazquez
under repair at the time the motor was delivered; hence, the load testing are frequent flyers of Cathay and are Gold Card members of its Marco Polo
had to be postponed. Club. On 24 September 1996, the Vazquezes, together with their maid and
Under Article 1226 of the Civil Code, the penalty clause takes the place of two friends, went to Hongkong for pleasure and business. For their return
indemnity for damages and the payment of interests in case of non- flight to Manila they were booked on Cathay’s Flight CX-905. Vazquezes
compliance with the obligation, unless there is a stipulation to the and their companions checked in at Cathay’s check-in counter and were
contrary. In this case, since there is no stipulation to the contrary, the given their respective boarding passes, to wit, Business Class boarding
penalty in the amount of ₱987.25 per day of delay covers all other passes for the Vazquezes and their two friends, and Economy Class for
damages (i.e. production loss, labor cost, and rental of the crane) claimed their maid. A ground attendant by the name of Ms. Chiu saw a message
by petitioner. that there was a "seat change" from Business Class to First Class for the
In sum, we find petitioner entitled to penalties in the amount of ₱987.25 Vazquezes. approached and told the Vazquezes’ accommodations were
per day from August 30, 1990 up to January 7, 1991 (131 days) or a total upgraded to First Class. Dr. Vazquez refused the upgrade, reasoning that it
amount of ₱129,329.75 for the delay caused by respondent ABB. would not look nice for them as hosts to travel in First Class and their
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. guests, in the Business Class; and moreover, they were going to discuss
business matters during the flight. Ms. Chiu told them that if they would
(vii.) EXEMPLARY DAMAGES not avail themselves of the privilege, they would not be allowed to take
Art. 2230. In criminal offenses, exemplary damages as a part of the civil the flight. Eventually, after talking to his two friends, Dr. Vazquez gave in.
liability may be imposed when the crime was committed with one or He and Mrs. Vazquez then proceeded to the First Class Cabin.
more aggravating circumstances. Such damages are separate and distinct Upon their return to Manila, the Vazquezes, in a letter addressed to
from fines and shall be paid to the offended party. Cathay’s Country Manager, demanded that they be indemnified in the
Art. 2231. In quasi-delicts, exemplary damages may be granted if the amount of P1million for the "humiliation and embarrassment" caused by
defendant acted with gross negligence.
its employees. They also demanded "a written apology. After Cathay’s
Art. 2232. In contracts and quasi-contracts, the court may award
failure to give them any feedback within its self-imposed deadline, the
exemplary damages if the defendant acted in a wanton, fraudulent,
reckless, oppressive, or malevolent manner. Vazquezes instituted before the RTC of Makati City an action for damages
Art. 2233. Exemplary damages cannot be recovered as a matter of right; against Cathay, praying for the payment to each of them the amounts of
the court will decide whether or not they should be adjudicated. P250,000 as temperate damages; P500,000 as moral damages; P500,000
Art. 2234. While the amount of the exemplary damages need not be as exemplary or corrective damages; and P250,000 as attorney’s fees.
proved, the plaintiff must show that he is entitled to moral, temperate or Whether (1) by upgrading the seat accommodation of the Vazquezes from
compensatory damages before the court may consider the question of Business Class to First Class Cathay breached its contract of carriage with
whether or not exemplary damages should be awarded. In case liquidated the Vazquezes; (2) the upgrading was tainted with fraud or bad faith; and
damages have been agreed upon, although no proof of loss is necessary in (3) the Vazquezes are entitled to damages. – YES, NO, YES [NOMINAL
order that such liquidated damages may be recovered, nevertheless, NOT EXEMPLARY]
before the court may consider the question of granting exemplary in addi- HELD: Just like other privileges, such priority could be waived. The
tion to the liquidated damages, the plaintiff must show that he would be Vazquezes should have been consulted first whether they wanted to avail
entitled to moral, temperate or compensatory damages were it not for the themselves of the privilege or would consent to a change of seat
stipulation for liquidated damages.
accommodation before their seat assignments were given to other
Art. 2235. A stipulation whereby exemplary damages are renounced in
passengers. Normally, one would appreciate and accept an upgrading, for
advance shall be null and void.’
it would mean a better accommodation. But, whatever their reason was
and however odd it might be, the Vazquezes had every right to decline the
PUNITIVE or VINDICATIVE DAMAGES
upgrade and insist on the Business Class accommodation they had
booked for and which was designated in their boarding passes. They
clearly waived their priority or preference when they asked that other
TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 51
passengers be given the upgrade. It should not have been imposed on was fit to work on the day of his scheduled departure, yet he was not
them over their vehement objection. By insisting on the upgrade, Cathay allowed to leave allegedly for medical reasons. Further, the Court agrees
breached its contract of carriage with the Vazquezes. with the CA that petitioner BMC is liable to respondent for exemplary
We find no persuasive proof of fraud or bad faith in this case. The damages, which are imposed by way of example or correction for the
Vazquezes were not induced to agree to the upgrading through insidious public good in view of petitioner’s act of preventing respondent from
words or deceitful machination or through willful concealment of being deployed on the ground that he was not yet declared fit to work on
material facts. Upon boarding, Ms. Chiu told the Vazquezes that their the date of his departure, despite evidence to the contrary. Such act, if
accommodations were upgraded to First Class in view of their being Gold tolerated, would prejudice the employment opportunities of our seafarers
Card members of Cathay’s Marco Polo Club. She was honest in telling who are qualified to be deployed, but prevented to do so by a manning
them that their seats were already given to other passengers and the agency for unjustified reasons. Exemplary damages are imposed not to
Business Class Section was fully booked. Ms. Chiu might have failed to enrich one party or impoverish another, but to serve as a deterrent
consider the remedy of offering the First Class seats to other passengers. against or as a negative incentive to curb socially deleterious actions. In
But, we find no bad faith in her failure to do so, even if that amounted to this case, petitioner should be held liable to respondent for exemplary
an exercise of poor judgment. Neither was the transfer of the Vazquezes damages in the amount of ₱50,000.00.
effected for some evil or devious purpose. ========================================================
In this case, we have ruled that the breach of contract of carriage, which
consisted in the involuntary upgrading of the Vazquezes’ seat (viii.) ATTORNEY’S FEES
accommodation, was not attended by fraud or bad faith. The CA’s award of Art. 2208. In the absence of stipulation, attorney’s fees and expenses of
moral damages has, therefore, no leg to stand on. It is a requisite in the litigation, other than judicial costs, cannot be recovered, except:
grant of exemplary damages that the act of the offender must be When exemplary damages are awarded;
accompanied by bad faith or done in wanton, fraudulent or malevolent When the defendant’s act or omission has compelled the plaintiff to
manner. Such requisite is absent in this case. Moreover, to be entitled litigate with third persons or to incur expenses to protect his interest;
thereto the claimant must first establish his right to moral, temperate, or In criminal cases of malicious prosecution against the plaintiff;
In case of a clearly unfounded civil action or proceeding against the
compensatory damages. Since the Vazquezes are not entitled to any of
plaintiff;
these damages, the award for exemplary damages has no legal basis. And
Where the defendant acted in gross and evident bad faith in refusing to
where the awards for moral and exemplary damages are eliminated, so satisfy the plaintiff’s plainly valid, just and demandable claim;
must the award for attorney’s fees In actions for legal support;
The most that can be adjudged in favor of the Vazquezes for Cathay’s In actions for the recovery of wages of household helpers, laborers and
breach of contract is an award for nominal damages under Article 2221 of skilled workers;
the Civil Code. Nonetheless, considering that the breach was intended to In actions for indemnity under workmen’s compensation and employer’s
give more benefit and advantage to the Vazquezes by upgrading their liability laws;
Business Class accommodation to First Class because of their valued In a separate civil action to recover civil liability arising from a crime;
status as Marco Polo members, we reduce the award for nominal damages When at least double judicial costs are awarded;
to P5,000. In any other case where the court deems it just and equitable that
attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation should be recovered.
Bright Maritime Corporation vs Fantonial In all cases, the attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation must be
reasonable.
Respondent filed a complaint against petitioners for illegal dismissal,
payment of salaries for the unexpired portion of the employment contract
and for the award of moral, exemplary, and actual damages as well as The amount of attorney’s fees to be awarded is left to the discretion of the
attorney’s fees before the Regional Arbitration of the NLRC in Cebu. courts. Necessarily, the award must be reasonable under the
Petitioners assert that respondent’s failure to join the vessel on January circumstances.
17, 2000 should not be attributed to it for it was a direct consequence of The amount agreed upon by the plaintiff and his counsel does not control
the delay in the release of the medical report. Respondent was not yet the amount of attorney’s fees that should be awarded. In the same vein,
declared fit to work at the time when he was supposed to be deployed on the plaintiff’s counsel does not have a right to enforce the award of
January 17, 2000, as instructed by petitioners’ principal. Respondent’s attorney’s fees because, as stated earlier, the same is due to the plaintiff
fitness to work is a condition sine qua non for purposes of deploying an and not to his counsel.
overseas contract worker. Since respondent failed to qualify on the date
designated by the principal for his deployment, petitioners had to find a KINDS:
qualified replacement considering the nature of the shipping business ORDINARY – attorney’s fees given to the counsel. (Legal
where delay in the departure of the vessel is synonymous to
Ethics)
demurrage/damages on the part of the principal and on the vessel’s
charterer. Without a clean bill of health, the contract of employment EXTRAORDINARY – not really given to the counsel, rather it is meant
cannot be considered to have been perfected as it is wanting of an to indemnify the party, for whatever cost he paid his lawyer. It
important requisite. is possible that the party had to pay 5000.00, the award of
Whether petitioners’ reason for preventing respondent from leaving attorney’s fees was 10,000.00, the award will not be given
Manila and joining the vessel M/V AUK in Germany on January 17, 2000 is wholly to the counsel.
valid. – NO!
HELD: Respondent’s Medical Certificate dated January 17, 2000, stamped ========================================================
with the words "FIT TO WORK," proves that respondent was medically fit Kaisahan at Kapatiiran ng mga Manggawa vs Manila Water Co Inc
to leave Manila on January 17, 2000 to join the vessel M/V AUK in The Union is the duly-recognized bargaining agent of the rank-and-file
Germany. The Affidavit of physician that respondent was declared fit to employees of the respondent Manila Water Company, Inc. (Company)
work only on January 21, 2000 cannot overcome the evidence in the while Borela is the Union President. The Metropolitan Waterworks and
Medical Certificate dated January 17, 2000, which already stated that Sewerage System (MWSS) entered into a Concession Agreement
respondent had "Class-B Non-Infectious Hepatitis-B," and that he was fit (Agreement) with the Company to privatize the operations of the MWSS.
Article 6.1.3 of the Agreement provides that the Concessionaire shall
to work. Petitioners’ act of preventing respondent from leaving and
grant [its] employees benefits no less favorable than those granted to
complying with his contract of employment constitutes breach of contract
MWSS employees at the time of [their] separation from MWSS. Among the
for which petitioner BMC is liable for actual damages to respondent for benefits enjoyed by the employees of the MWSS were the amelioration
the loss of one-year salary as provided in the contract. The monthly salary allowance (AA) and the cost-of-living allowance (COLA) granted in August
stipulated in the contract is US$670, inclusive of allowance. 1979, pursuant to Letter of Implementation No. 97 issued by the Office of
The Court upholds the award of moral damages in the amount of the President.
₱30,000.00, as the CA correctly found petitioners’ act was tainted with The payment of the AA and the COLA was discontinued pursuant to
bad faith, considering that respondent’s Medical Certificate stated that he Republic Act No. 6758, otherwise known as the Salary Standardization

TORTS & DAMAGES – ATTY. BELTRAN-ANGELES | FINALS DE VERA-YALUNG | 52


Law. Nonetheless, in 2001, the Union demanded from the Company the implementation and interpretation of the provisions of [the Labor Code],
payment of the AA and the COLA during the renegotiation of the parties including its implementing rules and regulations, shall be resolved in
Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) The Company initially turned favor of labor") and Article 1702 of the Civil Code (which provides that
down this demand, however, it subsequently agreed to an amendment of "[i]n case of doubt, all labor legislation and all labor contracts shall be
the CBA on the matter, which provides: construed in favor of the safety and decent living for the laborer)
The Company shall implement the payment of the AA and COLA Properly viewed from this perspective, the award cannot be taken to
retroactive August 1, 1997 should the MWSS decide to pay its employees mean an additional grant of attorneys fees, in violation of the ten percent
and all its former employees or upon award of a favorable order by the (10%) limit under Article 111 of the Labor Code since it rests on an
MWSS Regulatory Office or upon receipt of [a] final court judgment. entirely different legal obligation than the one contracted under the MOA.
Thereafter, the Company integrated the AA into the monthly payroll of all Simply stated, the attorneys fees contracted under the MOA do not
its employees beginning August 1, 2002, payment of the AA and the COLA refer to the amount of attorneys fees awarded by the NLRC; the MOA
after an appropriation was made and approved by the MWSS Board of provision on attorneys fees does not have any bearing at all to the
Trustees. The Company, however, did not subsequently include the COLA attorneys fees awarded by the NLRC under Article 111 of the Labor
since the Commission on Audit disapproved its payment because the Code. Based on these considerations, it is clear that the CA erred in ruling
Company had no funds to cover this benefit. that the LAs award of attorneys fees violated the maximum limit of ten
As a result, the Union and Borela filed on a complaint against the percent (10%) fixed by Article 111 of the Labor Code.
Company for payment of the AA, COLA, moral and exemplary damages, WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is
legal interest, and attorneys fees before the National Labor Relations hereby GRANTED.The assailed decision dated March 6, 2006 and the
Commission (NLRC). resolution dated August 15, 2006 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No.
Whether the awarding of 10% attorney’s fees to petitioners is proper - 83654 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Labor Arbiters award of
YES! attorneys fees equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the total judgment
HELD: In RTG Construction, Inc. v. Facto and in Ortiz v. San Miguel award is hereby REINSTATED.
Corporation. In RTG Construction, we specifically stated:
Settled is the rule that in actions for recovery of wages, or where an
employee was forced to litigate and, thus, incur expenses to protect his
rights and interests, a monetary award by way of attorneys fees is
justifiable under Article 111 of the Labor Code; Section 8, Rule VIII, Book
III of its Implementing Rules; and paragraph 7, Article 2208 of the Civil
Code. The award of attorneys fees is proper, and there need not be
any showing that the employer acted maliciously or in bad faith
when it withheld the wages.There need only be a showing that the
lawful wages were not paid accordingly.
In the present case, we find it undisputed that the union members are
entitled to their AA benefits and that these benefits were not paid by the
Company. That the Company had no funds is not a defense as this was not
an insuperable cause that was cited and properly invoked. As a
consequence, the union members represented by the Union were
compelled to litigate and incur legal expenses. On these bases, we find no
difficulty in upholding the NLRCs award of ten percent (10%) attorneys
fees.
The more significant issue in this case is the effect of the MOA provision
that attorneys fees shall be deducted from the AA and CBA receivables. In
this regard, the CA held that the additional grant of 10% attorneys fees by
the NLRC violates Article 111 of the Labor Code, considering that the MOA
between the parties already ensured the payment of 10% attorneys fees
deductible from the AA and CBA receivables of the Unions members. In
addition, the Company also argues that the Unions demand, together with
the NLRC award, is unconscionable as it represents 20% of the amount
due or about P21.4 million.
In the present case, the ten percent (10%) attorneys fees awarded by the
NLRC on the basis of Article 111 of the Labor Code accrue to the Unions
members as indemnity for damages and not to the Unions counsel as
compensation for his legal services, unless, they agreed that the award
shall be given to their counsel as additional or part of his
compensation; in this case the Union bound itself to pay 10% attorneys
fees to its counsel under the MOA and also gave up the attorneys fees
awarded to the Unions members in favor of their counsel. This is
supported by Borelas affidavit which stated that [t]he 10% attorneys fees
paid by the members/employees is separate and distinct from the
obligation of the company to pay the 10% awarded attorneys fees which
we also gave to our counsel as part of our contingent fee agreement. The
limit to this agreement is that the indemnity for damages imposed by
the NLRC on the losing party (i.e., the Company) cannot exceed ten
percent (10%).
We also held in PCL Shipping that Article 111 of the Labor Code, as
amended, contemplates the extraordinary concept of attorneys fees and
that Article 111 is an exception to the declared policy of strict
construction in the award of attorneys fees. Although an express
finding of facts and law is still necessary to prove the merit of the
award, there need not be any showing that the employer acted
maliciously or in bad faith when it withheld the wages. In carrying out
and interpreting the Labor Code's provisions and implementing
regulations, the employee's welfare should be the primary and paramount
consideration. This kind of interpretation gives meaning and substance to
the liberal and compassionate spirit of the law as embodied in Article 4 of
the Labor Code (which provides that "[a]ll doubts in the

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