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ORIENTAL ASSURANCE V.

MANUEL ONG RULING:


OCT. 11, 2017 | G.R. 189524 Petition Granted - Asian Terminals is ordered to pay
Oriental Assurance.
FACTS:
1. JEA Steel Industries, Inc. imported from RATIO:
South Korea 72 steel sheets in coils that were
transported to Manila on board M/V Even not assigned error, the SC can resolve based on
Dooyang Glory - Matters not specifically assigned as errors on
appeal but raised in the trial court and are
2. The 72 coils were discharged and stored in matters of record having some bearing on the
Pier 9 in custody of arrestre contractor, Asian issue submitted which the parties failed to
Terminals raise or which the lower court ignored

3. 11 of these coils were found to be in - Matters not assigned as errors on appeal but
damaged condition, dented or their closely related to an error assigned
normal round shape deformed when
delivered to JEA Steel’s plant Substantive Issues:

4. JEA claimed with Oriental for the value of 11 The Oriental argues that he is not aware of the 15-
damaged coils pursuant to Marine Insurance day presctiption.
Policy.
However, the event that Oriental is not a party to the
5. Oriental now filed a complaint. Asian Gate Pass and the Manageemnt contract doesn’t
Terminals further argued that Oriental’s mean that they cannot be bound by it, based on art.
claim was barred for the latter’s failure to file 2207 [legal subrogation on insurer-insured]
a notice of claim within the 15-day period
provided in the Management Contract bet. The reckoning of the 15-day period. Is from June 17
PH Ports Authority and Asian Terminals. – when they found out of the damage and they had
until July 2 to file its claim. They filed July 4
6. Asian Terminals added that its liability, if There is no need of the contractor’s certificate of loss
any, should not exceed Php5,000 pursuant to to run the prescription period
Sec. 7 of the Management Contract
The Section 7.01
7. CA dismissed the case saying the claimed has - The loss shall be filed within 15 daus from
prescribed. day of issuance of certificate
- The certificate shall be deemed issued 15
8. RTC failed discuss who is responsible for the days from the request of its issuance
damaged coils. - Provided within 30 days the request shall be
made
ISSUES:
New Zealand case citing Fireman’s fund – being lax
WON the CA gravely erred in passing upon the issue with the 15 day period: substantial compliance with
of prescription even though it was not an assigned the 15-day time limitation is allowed provided that
error in the appeal the consignee has made a provisional claim thru a
request for bad order survey or examination report
WON the claim against Asian Terminals inc is barred
by prescription However this cases presents new situation in that
unlike the previous cases there is no bad order survey
WON Manuel Ong is not liable for the damage of the made by the consignee.
cargo
Based on the Section 7 – the consignee had 45 to 60
days from the date of the goods within which to
submit a formal claim to the arrestre operator
This Court finds that whether the consignee files a
claim letter or requests for a certificate of loss or bad
order examination, the effect would be the same, in
that either would afford the arrastre contractor
knowledge that the shipment has been damaged and
an opportunity to examine the nature and extent of
the injury. Under the Management Contract, the 30-
day period is considered reasonable for the
contractor to make an investigation of a claim.

Hence, the consignee's claim letter is regarded as


substantial compliance with the condition precedent
set forth in the Management Contract to hold the
arrastre operator liable.

The surveyor prepared and submitted to Asian


Terminals a Final Report dated June 29, 2002.

Although its representative was not present during


the inspections, the fact that Asian Terminals
requested for the cargo survey shows that it had
knowledge of the damage of the shipment while in
its possession and that the survey was sought
specifically to ascertain the nature and extent of the
damage. Thus, respondent cannot escape liability for
the damaged coils, simply by its own act of not
sending a representative, after it had contracted for
the survey of the shipment.

There was no proof of Ong's bad faith. Mere


allegation cannot take the place of evidence. Besides,
Ong's assertion that the loading of the cargo on the
trucks was undertaken by Asian Terminals and the
unloading of the same cargo was undertaken by the
consignee at its warehouse remains unrebutted. In
fact, Asian Terminals caused the inspection of the
shipment before they were loaded on Ong's trucks on
June 17, 2002. Moreover, at the consignee's
warehouse, the inspection was done in the presence
of the consignee's authorized representative.

Thus, Ong is not obliged to inform the consignee or


Asian Terminals about the damaged coils as they
would have presumably known about them