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1G.R. No.

L-54357 April 25, 1988


REYNALDO PASCO, assisted by his father PEDRO PASCO, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF BULACAN, BRANCH V, STA. MARIA and ARANETA
UNIVERSITY, respondents.

PARAS, J.:

Facts
On August 24, 1979 at about 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon, petitioner, together with two
companions, while walking inside the campus of the private respondent Araneta University, after
attending classes in said university, was accosted and mauled by a group of Muslim students led
by Abdul Karim Madidis alias "Teng." Said Muslim group were also students of the Araneta
University. Petitioner was subsequently stabbed by Abdul and as a consequence he was
hospitalized at the Manila Central University (MCU) Hospital where he underwent surgery to save
his life.

On October 5, 1979, petitioner, assisted by his father Pedro Pasco, filed a complaint for damages
against Abdul Karim Madidis and herein private respondent Gregorio Araneta University. Said
school was impleaded as a party defendant based on the aforementioned provision of the Civil
Code.

Araneta Univ argues the ff:

a. The penultimate paragraph of Article 2180 of the New Civil Code under which it was sued
applies only to vocational schools and not to academic institutions;
b. That every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable under Article 100 of the
Revised Penal Code. Hence, the civil liability in this case arises from a criminal action which the
defendant university has not committed;
c. Since this is a civil case, a demand should have been made by the plaintiff, hence, it would be
premature to bring an action for damages against defendant University.

On May 12, 1980, respondent court issued an Order in favor of the University. Petitioner moved
to reconsider the Order of Dismissal but the motion was likewise denied on the ground that there
is no sufficient justification to disturb its ruling.
Hence, this instant Petition for certiorari under Republic Act No. 5440, praying that judgment be
rendered setting aside the questioned order of May 12, 1980 dismissing the complaint as against
respondent school and the order of July 17, 1980 denying the reconsideration of the questioned
order of dismissal, with costs against respondent school.

Issue
The sole question of law raised by petitioner in this case is whether the provision of the
penultimate paragraph of Article 2180 of the Civil Code which states:
Lastly, teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades shall be liable for damages caused
by their pupils and students or apprentices, so long as they remain in their custody.
is equally applicable to academic institutions.

Ruling
We find no necessity of discussing the applicability of the Article to educational institutions (which
are not schools of arts and trades) for the issue in this petition is actually whether or not, under
the article, the school or the university itself (as distinguished from the teachers or heads) is liable.
We find the answer in the negative, for surely the provision concerned speaks only of "teachers
or heads."
WHEREFORE, this Petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit.
SO ORDERED.
Yap, C.J. and Padilla, JJ., concur.

2G.R. No. L-33722 July 29, 1988


FEDERICO YLARDE and ADELAIDA DORONIO petitioners,
vs.
EDGARDO AQUINO, MAURO SORIANO and COURT OF APPEALS, respondents.

GANCAYCO, J.:
Facts
In 1963, private respondent Mariano Soriano was the principal of the Gabaldon Primary School,
a public educational institution located in Tayug, Pangasinan-Private respondent Edgardo Aquino
was a teacher therein. At that time, the school was fittered with several concrete blocks which
were remnants of the old school shop that was destroyed in World War II. Realizing that the huge
stones were serious hazards to the schoolchildren, another teacher by the name of Sergio Banez
started burying them one by one as early as 1962. In fact, he was able to bury ten of these blocks
all by himself.

Deciding to help his colleague, private respondent Edgardo Aquino gathered eighteen of his male
pupils, aged ten to eleven, after class dismissal on October 7, 1963. Being their teacher-in-charge,
he ordered them to dig beside a one-ton concrete block in order to make a hole wherein the stone
can be buried. The work was left unfinished. The following day, also after classes, private
respondent Aquino called four of the original eighteen pupils to continue the digging. These four
pupils — Reynaldo Alonso, Francisco Alcantara, Ismael Abaga and Novelito Ylarde, dug until the
excavation was one meter and forty centimeters deep. At this point, private respondent Aquino
alone continued digging while the pupils remained inside the pit throwing out the loose soil that
was brought about by the digging.

When the depth was right enough to accommodate the concrete block, private respondent Aquino
and his four pupils got out of the hole. Then, said private respondent left the children to level the
loose soil around the open hole while he went to see Banez who was about thirty meters away.
Private respondent wanted to borrow from Banez the key to the school workroom where he could
get some rope. Before leaving. , private respondent Aquino allegedly told the children "not to
touch the stone."

A few minutes after private respondent Aquino left, three of the four kids, Alonso, Alcantara and
Ylarde, playfully jumped into the pit. Then, without any warning at all, the remaining Abaga jumped
on top of the concrete block causing it to slide down towards the opening. Alonso and Alcantara
were able to scramble out of the excavation on time but unfortunately fo Ylarde, the concrete
block caught him before he could get out, pinning him to the wall in a standing position.

As a result thereof, Ylarde sustained the following injuries:


1. Contusion with hematoma, left inguinal region and suprapubic region.
2. Contusion with ecchymosis entire scrotal region.
3. Lacerated wound, left lateral aspect of penile skin with phimosis
4. Abrasion, gluteal region, bilateral.
5. Intraperitoneal and extrapertitoneal extravasation of blood and urine about 2 liters.
6. Fracture, simple, symphesis pubis
7. Ruptured (macerated) urinary bladder with body of bladder almost entirely separated from its
neck.

Three days later, Novelito Ylarde died.


Ylarde's parents, petitioners in this case, filed a suit for damages against both private respondents
Aquino and Soriano.

The lower court dismissed the complaint on the following grounds: (1) that the digging done by
the pupils is in line with their course called Work Education; (2) that Aquino exercised the utmost
diligence of a very cautious person; and (3) that the demise of Ylarde was due to his own reckless
imprudence.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the Decision of the lower court.

Issue
The issue to be resolved is whether or not under the cited provisions, both private respondents
can be held liable for damages.

Ruling
As regards the principal, We hold that he cannot be made responsible for the death of the child
Ylarde, he being the head of an academic school and not a school of arts and trades. This is in
line with Our ruling in Amadora vs. Court of Appeals, 4 wherein this Court thoroughly discussed
the doctrine that under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, it is only the teacher and not the head of an
academic school who should be answerable for torts committed by their students. This Court went
on to say that in a school of arts and trades, it is only the head of the school who can be held
liable. In the same case, We explained:
After an exhaustive examination of the problem, the Court has come to the conclusion that the
provision in question should apply to all schools, academic as well as non-academic. Where the
school is academic rather than technical or vocational in nature, responsibility for the tort
committed by the student will attach to the teacher in charge of such student, following the first
part of the provision. This is the general rule. In the case of establishments of arts and trades, it
is the head thereof, and only he, who shall be held liable as an exception to the general rule. In
other words, teachers in general shall be liable for the acts of their students except where the
school is technical in nature, in which case it is the head thereof who shall be answerable.

Hence, applying the said doctrine to this case, We rule that private respondent Soriano, as
principal, cannot be held liable for the reason that the school he heads is an academic school and
not a school of arts and trades. Besides, as clearly admitted by private respondent Aquino, private
respondent Soriano did not give any instruction regarding the digging.
From the foregoing, it can be easily seen that private respondent Aquino can be held liable under
Article 2180 of the Civil Code as the teacher-in-charge of the children for being negligent in his
supervision over them and his failure to take the necessary precautions to prevent any injury on
their persons.
However, as earlier pointed out, petitioners base the alleged liability of private respondent Aquino
on Article 2176 which is separate and distinct from that provided for in Article 2180.
With this in mind, were there acts and omissions on the part of private respondent Aquino
amounting to fault or negligence which have direct causal relation to the death of his pupil Ylarde?
Our answer is in the affirmative. He is liable for damages.

Left by themselves, it was but natural for the children to play around. Tired from the strenuous
digging, they just had to amuse themselves with whatever they found. Driven by their playful and
adventurous instincts and not knowing the risk they were facing three of them jumped into the
hole while the other one jumped on the stone. Since the stone was so heavy and the soil was
loose from the digging, it was also a natural consequence that the stone would fall into the hole
beside it, causing injury on the unfortunate child caught by its heavy weight.

3G.R. No. 70458 October 5, 1988


BENJAMIN SALVOSA and BAGUIO COLLEGES FOUNDATION, petitioners,
vs.
THE INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, EDUARDO B. CASTRO, DIOMEDES B. CASTRO,
VIRGINIA B. CASTRO and RODOLFO B. CASTRO., respondents.

PADILLA, J.:

Facts
Baguio Colleges Foundation (BCF, hereafter) is an academic institution and also an institution of
arts and trade. It has so advertised itself, as its own evidence shows. Its brochure (Exh. 2) shows
that BCF has a full-fledged technical-vocational department offer Communication, Broadcast and
Teletype Technician courses as well as Electronics Serviceman and Automotive Mechanics
courses... these courses divest BCF of the nature or character of being purely or exclusively an
academic institution.

Within the premises of the BCF is an ROTC Unit, the Baguio Colleges Foundation Reserve
Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Unit, which is under the fifth control of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines. The ROTC Unit, by way of accommodation to the Armed Forces of the Philippines
(AFP), pursuant to Department Order No. 14, Series of 1975 of the Department of Education and
Culture, 5 is provided by the BCF an office and an armory located at the basement of its main
building. 6

The Baguio Colleges Foundation ROTC Unit had Jimmy B. Abon as its duly appointed armorer.
7 As armorer of the ROTC Unit, Jimmy B. Abon received his appointment from the AFP. Not being
an employee of the BCF, he also received his salary from the AFP, 8 as well as orders from
Captain Roberto C. Ungos, the Commandant of the Baguio Colleges Foundation ROTC Unit,
concurrent Commandant of other ROTC units in Baguio and an employee (officer) of the AFP.

Jimmy B. Abon was also a commerce student of the BCF.

On 3 March 1977, at around 8:00 p.m., in the parking space of BCF, Jimmy B. Abon shot
Napoleon Castro a student of the University of Baguio with an unlicensed firearm which the former
took from the armory of the ROTC Unit of the BCF. 11 As a result, Napoleon Castro died and
Jimmy B. Abon was prosecuted for, and convicted of the crime of Homicide by Military
Commission No. 30, AFP.
Subsequently, the heirs of Napoleon Castro sued for damages, impleading Jimmy B. Abon,
Roberto C. Ungos (ROTC Commandant Benjamin Salvosa (President and Chairman of the Board
of BCF), Jesus Salvosa (Executive Vice President of BCF), Libertad D. Quetolio (Dean of the
College of Education and Executive Trustee of BCF) and the Baguio Colleges Foundation Inc. as
party defendants.

After hearing, the Trial Court rendered a decision, sentencing defendants Jimmy B. Abon,
Benjamin Salvosa and Baguio Colleges Foundation, Inc., jointly and severally, to pay private
respondents, as heirs of Napoleon Castro.

On appeal by petitioners, the respondent Court affirmed with modification the decision of the Trial
Court.
Hence, this petition.

Issue
The central issue in this case is whether or not petitioners can be held solidarity hable with Jimmy
B. Abon for damages under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, as a consequence of the tortious act
of Jimmy B. Abon.

Ruling
Under the penultimate paragraph of Art. 2180 of the Civil Code, teachers or heads of
establishments of arts and trades are hable for "damages caused by their pupils and students or
apprentices, so long as they remain in their custody." The rationale of such liability is that so long
as the student remains in the custody of a teacher, the latter "stands, to a certain extent, in loco
parentis [as to the student] and [is] called upon to exercise reasonable supervision over the
conduct of the [student].

Likewise, the phrase used in [Art. 2180 — 'so long as (the students) remain in their custody means
the protective and supervisory custody that the school and its heads and teachers exercise over
the pupils and students for as long as they are at attendance in the school, including recess time.

A student not "at attendance in the school" cannot be in "recess" thereat. A "recess," as the
concept is embraced in the phrase "at attendance in the school," contemplates a situation of
temporary adjournment of school activities where the student still remains within call of his mentor
and is not permitted to leave the school premises, or the area within which the school activity is
conducted. Recess by its nature does not include dismissal.

Likewise, the mere fact of being enrolled or being in the premises of a school without more does
not constitute "attending school" or being in the "protective and supervisory custody' of the school,
as contemplated in the law.
Upon the foregoing considerations, we hold that Jimmy B. Abon cannot be considered to have
been "at attendance in the school," or in the custody of BCF, when he shot Napoleon Castro.

Logically, therefore, petitioners cannot under Art. 2180 of the Civil Code be held solidarity liable
with Jimmy B. Abon for damages resulting from his acts.

Besides, the record shows that before the shooting incident, Roberto B. Ungos ROTC Unit
Commandant, AFP, had instructed Jimmy B. Abon "not to leave the office and [to keep the armory]
well guarded."
Apart from negating a finding that Jimmy B. Abon was under the custody of the school when he
committed the act for which the petitioners are sought to be held liable, this circumstance shows
that Jimmy B. Abon was supposed to be working in the armory with definite instructions from his
superior, the ROTC Commandant, when he shot Napoleon Castro.

WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby REVERSED in so far as it holds petitioners
solidarily liable with Jimmy B. Abon for his tortious act in the killing of Napoleon Castro. No costs.
SO ORDERED.