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[G.R. No. 70890. September 18, 1992.

]

CRESENCIO LIBI * and AMELIA YAP LIBI, Petitioners, v. HON. INTERMEDIATE
APPELLATE COURT, FELIPE GOTIONG and SHIRLEY GOTIONG, Respondents.

Alex Y. Tan, for Petitioners.

Mario D. Ortiz and Danilo V. Ortiz for Private Respondents.

SYLLABUS

1. CIVIL LAW; QUASI DELICT; LIABILITY OF PARENTS FOR CIVIL LIABILITY ARISING FROM
CRIMINAL OFFENSES COMMITTED BY THEIR MINOR CHILDREN; RULE. — The parents are
and should be held primarily liable for the civil liability arising from criminal offenses
committed by their minor children under their legal authority or control, or who live in their
company, unless it is proven that the former acted with the diligence of a good father of a
family to prevent such damages. That primary liability is premised on the provisions of
Article 101 of the Revised Penal Code with respect to damages ex delicto caused by their
children 9 years of age or under, or over 9 but under 15 years of age who acted without
discernment; and, with regard to their children over 9 but under 15 years of age who acted
with discernment, or 15 years or over but under 21 years of age, such primary liability shall
be imposed pursuant to Article 2180 of the Civil Code. Under said Article 2180, the
enforcement of such liability shall be effected against the father and, in case of his death or
incapacity, the mother. This was amplified by the Child and Youth Welfare Code which
provides that the same shall devolve upon the father and, in case of his death or incapacity,
upon the mother or, in case of her death or incapacity, upon the guardian, but the liability
may also be voluntarily assumed by a relative or family friend of the youthful offender.
However, under the Family Code, this civil liability is now, without such alternative
qualification, the responsibility of the parents and those who exercise parental authority
over the minor offender. For civil liability arising from quasi-delicts committed by minors,
the same rules shall apply in accordance with Articles 2180 and 2182 of the Civil Code, as
so modified.

DECISION

REGALADO, J.:

One of the ironic verities of life, it has been said, is that sorrow is sometimes a touchstone
of love. A tragic illustration is provided by the instant case, wherein two lovers died while
still in the prime of their years, a bitter episode for those whose lives they have touched.
While we cannot expect to award complete assuagement to their families through seemingly
prosaic legal verbiage, this disposition should at least terminate the acrimony and rancor of
an extended judicial contest resulting from the unfortunate occurrence.

In this final denouement of the judicial recourse the stages whereof were alternately
initiated by the parties, petitioners are now before us seeking the reversal of the judgment
of respondent court promulgated on January 2, 1985 in AC-G.R. CV No. 69060 with the
following decretal portion:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"WHEREFORE, the decision of the lower court dismissing plaintiff’s complaint is hereby
reversed; and instead, judgment is hereby rendered sentencing defendants, jointly and
solidarily, to pay to plaintiffs the following amounts:chanrobles.com : virtual law library

1. Moral damages, P30,000.000;

2. Exemplary damages, P10,000.00;

3. Attorney’s fees, P20,000.00, and costs.

However, denial of defendants-appellees’ counterclaims is affirmed." 1

Synthesized from the findings of the lower courts, it appears that respondent spouses are
the legitimate parents of Julie Ann Gotiong who, at the time of the deplorable incident which
took place and from which she died on January 14, 1979, was an 18-year old first year
commerce student of the University of San Carlos, Cebu City; while petitioners are the
parents of Wendell Libi, then a minor between 18 and 19 years of age living with his
aforesaid parents, and who also died in the same event on the same date.

For more than two (2) years before their deaths, Julie Ann Gotiong and Wendell Libi were
sweethearts until December, 1978 when Julie Ann broke up her relationship with Wendell
after she supposedly found him to be sadistic and irresponsible. During the first and second
weeks of January, 1979, 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 stayed in the house of her best friend, Malou Alfonso, at the
corner of Maria Cristina and Juana Osmeña Streets, Cebu City, from January 7 to 13, 1978.

On January 14, 1979, Julie Ann and Wendell died, each from a single gunshot wound
inflicted with the same firearm, a Smith and Wesson revolver licensed in the name of
petitioner Cresencio Libi, which was recovered from the scene of the crime inside the
residence of private respondents at the corner of General Maxilom and D. Jakosalem streets
of the same city.

Due to the absence of an eyewitness account of the circumstances surrounding the death of
both minors, their parents, who are the contending parties herein, posited their respective
theories drawn from their interpretation of circumstantial evidence, available reports,
documents and evidence of physical facts.

Private respondents, bereaved over the death of their daughter, submitted that Wendell
caused her death by shooting her with the aforesaid firearm and, thereafter, turning the gun
on himself to commit suicide. On the other hand, Petitioners, puzzled and likewise
distressed over the death of their son, rejected the imputation and contended that an
unknown third party, whom Wendell may have displeased or antagonized by reason of his
work as a narcotics informer of the Constabulary Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), must have
caused Wendell’s death and then shot Julie Ann to eliminate any witness and thereby avoid
identification.chanrobles.com:cralaw:red

As a result of the tragedy, the parents of Julie Ann filed Civil Case No. R-17774 in the then
Court of First Instance of Cebu against the parents of Wendell to recover damages arising
from the latter’s vicarious liability under Article 2180 of the Civil Code. After trial, the court
below rendered judgment on October 20, 1980 as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"WHEREFORE, premises duly considered, judgment is hereby rendered dismissing plaintiffs’
complaint for insufficiency of the evidence. Defendants’ counterclaim is likewise denied for
lack of sufficient merit." 2

On appeal to respondent court, said judgment of the lower court dismissing the complaint of
therein plaintiffs-appellants was set aside and another judgment was rendered against
defendants-appellees who, as petitioners in the present appeal by certiorari, now submit for
resolution the following issues in this case:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

1. Whether or not respondent court correctly reversed the trial court in accordance with
established decisional laws; and

2. Whether or not Article 2180 of the Civil Code was correctly interpreted by respondent
court to make petitioners liable for vicarious liability. 3

In the proceedings before the trial court, Dr. Jesus P. Cerna, Police Medico-Legal Officer of
Cebu, submitted his findings and opinions on some postulates for determining whether or
not the gunshot wound was inflicted on Wendell Libi by his own suicidal act. However,
undue emphasis was placed by the lower court on the absence of gunpowder or tattooing
around the wound at the point of entry of the bullet. It should be emphasized, however,
that this is not the only circumstance to be taken into account in the determination of
whether it was suicide or not.

It is true that said witness declared that he found no evidence of contact or close-contact of
an explosive discharge in the entrance wound. However, as pointed out by private
respondents, the body of deceased Wendell Libi must have been washed at the funeral
parlor, considering the hasty interment thereof a little after eight (8) hours from the
occurrence wherein he died. Dr. Cerna himself could not categorically state that the body of
Wendell Libi was left untouched at the funeral parlor before he was able to conduct his
autopsy. It will also be noted that Dr. Cerna was negligent in not conducting a paraffin test
on Wendell Libi, hence possible evidence of gunpowder residue on Wendell’s hands was
forever lost when Wendell was hastily buried.cralawnad

More specifically, Dr. Cerna testified that he conducted an autopsy on the body of Wendell
Libi about eight (8) hours after the incident or, to be exact, eight (8) hours and twenty (20)
minutes based on the record of death; that when he arrived at the Cosmopolitan Funeral
Homes, the body of the deceased was already on the autopsy table and in the stage of rigor
mortis; and that said body was not washed, but it was dried. 4 However, on redirect
examination, he admitted that during the 8-hour interval, he never saw the body nor did he
see whether said body was wiped or washed in the area of the wound on the head which he
examined because the deceased was inside the morgue. 5 In fact, on cross-examination, he
had earlier admitted that as far as the entrance of the wound, the trajectory of the bullet
and the exit of the wound are concerned, it is possible that Wendell Libi shot himself. 6

He further testified that the muzzle of the gun was not pressed on the head of the victim
and that he found no burning or singeing of the hair or extensive laceration on the gunshot
wound of entrance which are general characteristics of contact or near-contact fire. On
direct examination, Dr. Cerna nonetheless made these clarification:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"Q Is it not a fact that there are certain guns which are so made that there would be no
black residue or tattooing that could result from these guns because they are what we call
clean?

A Yes, sir. I know that there are what we call smokeless powder.

ATTY. ORTIZ:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Q Yes. So, in cases, therefore, of guns where the powder is smokeless, those indications
that you said may not rule out the possibility that the gun was closer than 24 inches, is that
correct?

A If the . . . assuming that the gun used was .. the bullet used was a smokeless powder.

Q At any rate, doctor, from . . . disregarding those other matters that you have noticed, the
singeing, etc., from the trajectory, based on the trajectory of the bullet as shown in your
own sketch, is it not a fact that the gun could have been fired by the person himself, the
victim himself, Wendell Libi, because it shows a point of entry a little above the right ear
and point of exit a little above that, to be very fair and on your oath?

A As far as the point of entrance is concerned and as far as the trajectory of the bullet is
concerned and as far as the angle or the manner of fire is concerned, it could have been
fired by the victim." 7

As shown by the evidence, there were only two used bullets 8 found at the scene of the
crime, each of which were the bullets that hit Julie Ann Gotiong and Wendell Libi,
respectively. Also, the sketch prepared by the Medico-Legal Division of the National Bureau
of Investigation, 9 shows that there is only one gunshot wound of entrance located at the
right temple of Wendell Libi. The necropsy report prepared by Dr. Cerna states:chanrob1es
virtual 1aw library

x x x

"Gunshot wound, ENTRANCE, ovaloid, 0.5 x 0.4 cm., with contusion collar widest inferiorly
by 0.2 cm., edges inverted, oriented upward, located at the head, temporal region, right,
2.8 cms. behind and 5.5 cms. above right external auditory meatus, directed slightly
forward, upward and to the left, involving skin and soft tissues, making a punch-in fracture
on the temporal bone, right, penetrating cranial cavity, lacerating extensively along its
course the brain tissues, fracturing parietal bone, left, and finally making an EXIT wound,
irregular, 2.0 x 1.8 cms., edges (e)verted, parietal region, left, 2.0 cms. behind and 12.9
cms. above left external auditory meatus.chanrobles virtualawlibrary
chanrobles.com:chanrobles.com.ph

x x x

"Evidence of contact or close-contact fire, such as burning around the gunshot wound of
entrance, gunpowder tatooing (sic), smudging, singeing of hair, extensive laceration or
bursting of the gunshot wound of entrance, or separation of the skin from the underlying
tissue, are absent." 10

On cross-examination, Dr. Cerna demonstrated his theory which was made of record,
thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"Q Now, will you please use yourself as Wendell Libi, and following the entrance of the
wound, the trajectory of the bullet and the exit of the wound, and measuring yourself 24

inches, will you please indicate to the Honorable Court how would it have been possible for
Wendell Libi to kill himself? Will you please indicate the 24 inches?

WITNESS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

A Actually, sir, the 24 inches is approximately one arm’s length.

ATTY. SENINING:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

I would like to make of record that the witness has demonstrated by extending his right arm
almost straight towards his head." 11

Private respondents assail the fact that the trial court gave credence to the testimonies of
defendants’ witnesses Lydia Ang and James Enrique Tan, the first being a resident of an
apartment across the street from the Gotiongs and the second, a resident of the house
adjacent to the Gotiong residence, who declared having seen a "shadow" of a person at the
gate of the Gotiong house after hearing shots therefrom.

On cross-examination, Lydia Ang testified that the apartment where she was staying faces
the gas station; that it is the second apartment; that from her window she can see directly
the gate of the Gotiongs and, that there is a firewall between her apartment and the gas
station. 12 After seeing a man jump from the gate of the Gotiongs to the rooftop of the
Tans, she called the police station but the telephone lines were busy. Later on, she talked
with James Enrique Tan and told him that she saw a man leap from the gate towards his
rooftop. 13

However, James Enrique Tan testified that he saw a "shadow" on top of the gate of the
Gotiongs, but denied having talked with anyone regarding what he saw. He explained that
he lives in a duplex house with a garden in front of it; that his house is next to Felipe
Gotiong’s house; and he further gave the following answers to these
questions:chanrobles.com : virtual law library

"ATTY. ORTIZ: (TO WITNESS).

Q What is the height of the wall of the Gotiong’s in relation to your house?

WITNESS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

A It is about 8 feet.

ATTY. ORTIZ: (TO WITNESS)

Q And where were you looking from?

WITNESS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

A From upstairs in my living room.

ATTY. ORTIZ (TO WITNESS)

Q From Your living room window, is that correct?

WITNESS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

A Yes, but not very clear because the wall is high." 14

Analyzing the foregoing testimonies, we agree with respondent court that the same do not
inspire credence as to the reliability and accuracy of the witnesses’ observations, since the
visual perceptions of both were obstructed by high walls in their respective houses in
relation to the house of herein private respondents. On the other hand, witness Manolo
Alfonso, testifying on rebuttal, attested without contradiction that he and his sister, Malou
Alfonso, were waiting for Julie Ann Gotiong when they heard her scream; that when Manolo
climbed the fence to see what was going on inside the Gotiong house, he heard the first
shot; and, not more than five (5) seconds later, he heard another shot. Consequently, he
went down from the fence and drove to the police station to report the incident. 15 Manolo’s
direct and candid testimony establishes and explains the fact that it was he whom Lydia Ang
and James Enrique Tan saw as the "shadow" of a man at the gate of the Gotiong house.

We have perforce to reject petitioners’ effete and unsubstantiated pretension that it was
another man who shot Wendell and Julie Ann. It is significant that the Libi family did not
even point to or present any suspect in the crime nor did they file any case against any
alleged "John Doe." Nor can we sustain the trial court’s dubious theory that Wendell Libi did
not die by his own hand because of the overwhelming evidence — testimonial, documentary
and pictorial — the confluence of which point to Wendell as the assailant of Julie Ann, his
motive being revenge for her rejection of his persistent pleas for a
reconciliation.chanrobles.com:cralaw:red

Petitioners’ defense that they had exercised the due diligence of a good father of a family,
hence they should not be civilly liable for the crime committed by their minor son, is not
borne out by the evidence on record either.

Petitioner Amelita Yap Libi, mother of Wendell, testified that her husband, Cresencio Libi,
owns a gun which he kept in a safety deposit box inside a drawer in their bedroom. Each of
these petitioners holds a key to the safety deposit box and Amelita’s key is always in her
bag, all of which facts were known to Wendell. They have never seen their son Wendell
taking or using the gun. She admitted, however, that on that fateful night the gun was no
longer in the safety deposit box. 16 We, accordingly, cannot but entertain serious doubts
that petitioner spouses had really been exercising the diligence of a good father of a family
by safely locking the fatal gun away. Wendell could not have gotten hold thereof unless one
of the keys to the safety deposit box was negligently left lying around or he had free access
to the bag of his mother where the other key was.

The diligence of a good father of a family required by law in a parent and child relationship
consists, to a large extent, of the instruction and supervision of the child. Petitioners were
gravely remiss in their duties as parents in not diligently supervising the activities of their
son, despite his minority and immaturity, so much so that it was only at the time of
Wendell’s death that they allegedly discovered that he was a CANU agent and that
Cresencio’s gun was missing from the safety deposit box. Both parents were sadly wanting
in their duty and responsibility in monitoring and knowing the activities of their children
who, for all they know, may be engaged in dangerous work such as being drug informers,
17 or even drug users. Neither was a plausible explanation given for the photograph of
Wendell, with a handwritten dedication to Julie Ann at the back thereof, 18 holding upright
what clearly appears as a revolver and on how or why he was in possession of that firearm.

In setting aside the judgment of the court a quo and holding petitioners civilly liable, as
explained at the start of this opinion, respondent court waved aside the protestations of

Cadano. no liability would attach if the damage is caused with criminal intent. . and in case of his death or incapacity. are responsible for the damages caused by their minor children who live in their company. .diligence on the part of petitioners and had this to say:jgc:chanrobles. "." chanrobles lawlibrary : rednad x x x "Based on the foregoing discussions of the assigned errors. this Court holds that the lower court was not correct in dismissing herein plaintiffs-appellants’ complaint because as preponderantly shown by evidence. Julie Ann Gotiong. et. they could have prevented Wendell from killing Julie Ann Gotiong. 1961. 3 SCRA 361-367). and under Article 101 of the Revised Penal Code. Wendell. 31. This vicarious liability of herein defendants-appellees has been reiterated by the Supreme Court in many cases. (L-14409. Therefore. the mother. defendants-appellees are subsidiarily liable for the natural consequence of the criminal act of said minor who was living in their company. because to hold that the former only covers obligations which arise from quasi-delicts and not obligations which arise from criminal offenses. It is still the duty of parents to know the activity of their children who may be engaged in this dangerous activity involving the menace of drugs. .) 19 We agree with the conclusion of respondent court that petitioners should be held liable for . appellants are liable under Article 2180 of the Civil Code which provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library ‘The father. would result in the absurdity that while for an act where mere negligence intervenes the father or mother may stand subsidiarily liable for the damages caused by his or her son.ph "." (Emphases ours.’ "Having been grossly negligent in preventing Wendell Libi from having access to said gun which was allegedly kept in a safety deposit box. N. al. minor son of herein defendants-appellees.C.’ (3 SCRA 361-362). Had the defendants-appellees been diligent in supervising the activities of their son. in keeping up with his supposed role of a CANU agent . . In the instant case. also since then. Wendell Libi was said to have kept said gun in his car. . Oct. defendants-appellees utterly failed to exercise all the diligence of a good father of the family in preventing their minor son from committing this crime by means of the gun of defendants-appellees which was freely accessible to Wendell Libi for they have not regularly checked whether said gun was still under lock. Wendell Libi somehow got hold of the key to the drawer where said gun was kept under lock without defendant- spouses ever knowing that said gun had been missing from that safety box since 1978 when Wendell Libi had) a picture taken wherein he proudly displayed said gun and dedicated this picture to his sweetheart. which held that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library ‘The subsidiary liability of parents for damages caused by their minor children imposed by Article 2180 of the New Civil Code covers obligations arising from both quasi-delicts and criminal offenses. but learned that it was missing from the safety deposit box only after the crime had been committed.’ ‘The subsidiary liability of parent’s arising from the criminal acts of their minor children who acted with discernment is determined under the provisions of Article 2180.com.C. and in keeping said gun from his reach. . prominent of which is the case of Fuellas v.

the mother. . Our concern stems from our readings that if the liability of the parents for crimes or quasi-delicts of their minor children is subsidiary. who has acted without discernment. . respondent court cites Fuellas v.the civil liability based on what appears from all indications was a crime committed by their minor son. a person under nine years of age. In cases of subdivisions . unless it appears that there was no fault or negligence on their part. 20 which supposedly holds that" (t)he subsidiary liability of parents for damages caused by their minor children imposed by Article 2180 of the New Civil Code covers obligations arising from both quasi-delicts and criminal offenses. not subsidiary. is primary and not subsidiary. We take this opportunity. as contemplated in Article 2180 of the Civil Code."cralaw virtua1aw library We are also persuaded that the liability of the parents for felonies committed by their minor children is likewise primary. are solidarily liable. that is. Et. or by one over nine but under fifteen years of age. The quoted passages are set out two paragraphs back. 2. and also subject to the defense of lack of fault or negligence on their part. Al. . then the parents can neither invoke nor be absolved of civil liability on the defense that they acted with the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damages. the parents liable. shall devolve upon those having such person under their legal authority or control.com." followed by an extended quotation ostensibly from the same case explaining why under Article 2180 of the Civil Code and Article 101 of the Revised Penal Code parents should assume subsidiary liability for damages caused by their minor children.ph "ARTICLE 101. Cadano. however. if such liability imputed to the parents is considered direct and primary. under the foregoing provision the civil liability of the parents for crimes committed by their minor children is likewise direct and primary. In fact. In imposing sanctions for the so-called vicarious liability of petitioners. but the categorization of their liability as being subsidiary. to digress and discuss its ratiocination therefor on jurisprudential dicta which we feel require clarification. such parental liability is primary and not subsidiary. that diligence would constitute a valid and substantial defense. We believe that the civil liability of parents for quasi-delicts of their minor children. in this case the minor and the father and. the persons responsible for the act or omission. — x x x First. Article 101 of the Revised Penal Code provides:jgc:chanrobles. On the other hand. if we apply Article 2194 of said code which provides for solidary liability of joint tortfeasors." (Emphasis supplied. Accordingly. the exercise of the diligence of a good father of a family.) 21 Accordingly. . just like the rule in Article 2180 of the Civil Code. in case of his death of incapacity. in nature requires a hard second look considering previous decisions of this court on the matter which warrant comparative analyses. the civil liability for acts committed by . . hence the last paragraph of Article 2180 provides that" (t)he responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damages. and not primary. with pertinent underscoring for purposes of the discussion hereunder. and 3 of Article 12. we do not have any objection to the doctrinal rule holding.chanrobles law library Now. Rules regarding civil liability in certain cases.

Revised Penal Code. said .com. legal guardianship or control. been the subject of a number of cases adjudicated by this Court. primary liability was imposed in a separate civil action in Araneta on the parents and their 14-year old son who was found guilty of frustrated homicide.ph "Should there be no person having such . for civil liability ex quasi delicto of minors.. Bangkili. etc. Article 2182 of the Civil Code states that" (i)f the minor causing damage has no parents or guardian. Hill." it . Et. . However. who was over 15 but less than 18 years of age. excepting property exempt from execution. and also of minors 15 years of aye or over. v. an equivalent provision is found in the third paragraph of Article 101 of the Revised Penal Code. 26 Parenthetically. where the 15-year old minor was convicted of double homicide through reckless imprudence. Et Al. in cases involving either crimes or quasi-delicts of their minor children. aside from the aforecited case of Fuellas. Et. In said cases. or if such person be insolvent. Balce. the petitioners herein were also held liable but supposedly in line with Fuellas which purportedly declared the parents subsidiarily liable for the civil liability for serious physical injuries committed by their 13-year old son. who acted with discernment. Al.: Exconde v. the father was declared subsidiarily liable for damages arising from the conviction of his son. In Exconde. although the son was acquitted in a homicide charge due to "lack of intent. In both instances. the aforesaid cases were basically on the issue of the civil liability of parents for crimes committed by their minor children over 9 but under 15 years of age. is primary or subsidiary. shall be answerable with his own property in an action against him where a guardian ad litem shall be appointed. Arreglado. Capuno. 22 Araneta v. Al. . the minor ."cralaw virtua1aw library The civil liability of parents for felonies committed by their minor children contemplated in the aforesaid rule in Article 101 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Article 2180 of the Civil Code has. in a separate civil action arising from the crime the minor and his father were held jointly and severally liable for failure of the latter to prove the diligence of a good father of a family. . however. in Elcano. coupled with mistake. Et Al. 23 Salen. 24 Paleyan. Al. in accordance with civil law. The same liability in solidum and. since these situations are not covered by Article 101. by applying Article 2180 but. minor shall respond with (his) own property. Finally. . in Salen." For civil liability ex delicto of minors.That in both quasi-delicts and crimes the parents primarily respond for such damages is buttressed by the corresponding provisions in both codes that the minor transgressor shall be answerable or shall respond with his own property only in the absence or in case of insolvency of the former. minor under his authority. Et. On the other hand. to wit:jgc:chanrobles.. Thus. as already explained. therefore. this Court held that the issue of parental civil liability should be resolved in accordance with the provisions of Article 2180 of the Civil Code for the reasons well expressed in Salen and adopted in the cases hereinbefore enumerated that to hold that the civil liability under Article 2180 would apply only to quasi-delicts and not to criminal offenses would result in the absurdity that in an act involving mere negligence the parents would be liable but not where the damage is caused with criminal intent. v. but on the authority of Article 2194 of the Civil Code providing for solidary responsibility of two or more persons who are liable for a quasi-delict. . v.. this time. there are unfortunate variances resulting in a regrettable inconsistency in the Court’s determination of whether the liability of the parents. viz. 25 and Elcano. in Paleyan. et al. . In the present case. disregarding Article 2194 of the Civil Code. the mother and her 19-year old son were adjudged solidarily liable for damages arising from his conviction for homicide by the application of Article 2180 of the Civil Code since this is likewise not covered by Article 101 of the Revised Penal Code.

Araneta and Salen and the discussions in said cases of Article 101 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Article 2180 of the Civil Code. A careful scrutiny shows that what respondent court quoted verbatim in its decision now on appeal in the present case. 32 However. was living with his father and getting subsistence from him at the time of the occurrence. in case of his death or incapacity. the case at bar was decided by the Court of Appeals on the basis of evidence submitted therein by both parties. with regard to their children over 9 but under 15 years of age who acted with discernment. the mother. and having in mind the reasons behind the law as heretofore stated. such primary liability shall be imposed pursuant to Article 2180 of the Civil Code. upon the mother or. 28 employers. we hereby rule that the parents are and should be held primarily liable for the civil liability arising from criminal offenses committed by their minor children under their legal authority or control. however. that the Revised Penal Code provides for subsidiary liability only for persons causing damages under the compulsion of irresistible force or under the impulse of an uncontrollable fear. as a matter of equity" the father was only held subsidiarily liable. unless it is proven that the former acted with the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent such damages. However. "although married. therefore. this civil liability is now. without such alternative qualification. as so modified. And responsibility for fault or negligence under Article 2176 upon which the present action was instituted. after reviewing therein the cases of Exconde. accomplices and accessories for the unpaid civil liability of their co-accused in the other classes."cralaw virtua1aw library Under the foregoing considerations.was ruled that while under Article 2180 of the Civil Code there should be solidary liability for damages. teachers. was the syllabus on the law report of said case which spoke of "subsidiary" liability. In fact. and." but "is now of age. since the son. whether the death of the hapless Julie Ann Gotiong was caused by a . in case of her death or incapacity. 33 For civil liability arising from quasi-delicts committed by minors. or who live in their company. and which it attributed to Fuellas. 31 Under said Article 2180. this Court concluded its decision in this wise:jgc:chanrobles. tavernkeepers and proprietors of establishments. or 15 years or over but under 21 years of age. persons and corporations engaged in industry. 30 Also. the same rules shall apply in accordance with Articles 2180 and 2182 of the Civil Code. it is not exactly accurate to say that Fuellas provided for subsidiary liability of the parents therein. such categorization does not specifically appear in the text of the decision in Fuellas. the enforcement of such liability shall be effected against the father and. 29 and principals. upon the guardian. in case of his death or incapacity. In the case at bar. 27 innkeepers.ph "Moreover. It bears stressing. the responsibility of the parents and those who exercise parental authority over the minor offender. under the Family Code. is entirely separate and distinct from the civil liability arising from fault or negligence under the Penal Code (Art. coming back to respondent court’s reliance on Fuellas in its decision in the present case. independent of the criminal case. That primary liability is premised on the provisions of Article 101 of the Revised Penal Code with respect to damages ex delicto caused by their children 9 years of age or under. or over 9 but under 15 years of age who acted without discernment.com. but the liability may also be voluntarily assumed by a relative or family friend of the youthful offender. any discussion as to the minor’s criminal responsibility is of no moment. This was amplified by the Child and Youth Welfare Code which provides that the same shall devolve upon the father and. 2177).

SO ORDERED. . we conjoin in its findings that said petitioners failed to duly exercise the requisite diligentissimi patris familias to prevent such damages. the instant Petition is DENIED and the assailed judgment of respondent Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED.felony or a quasi-delict committed by Wendell Libi. with costs against petitioners. ACCORDINGLY. Subject to the preceding modifications of the premises relied upon by it therefor and on the bases of the legal imperatives herein explained. respondent court did not err in holding petitioners liable for damages arising therefrom.

Reverente for petitioner. he was met by Rico.000. Rico rode on his left side. When Pepito had just gone down of the schoolhouse. petitioner. Instead of accepting the proffer to shake hands. Mary's High School. Tumale and Roberto R. who held the neck of Pepito and pushed him to the floor. 1961 AGAPITO FUELLAS. 1954.R. told the two to shake hands. Valerio V. 1954. Rico took the pencil of one Ernesto Cabanok and surreptitiously placed it inside the pocket of Pepito." On May 25. Pepito Cadano and Rico Fuellas. In the afternoon of September 16. Pepito fell on his right side with his right arm under his body. placed Pepito out of balance and pushed him to the ground. father of the minor Rico Fuellas. Feliciano C.. Pepito suddenly cried out "My arm is broken. 1954. for damages against Agapito Fuellas. 1954. Rovira for respondents." Rico then got up and went away. finding Rico Fuellas guilty of the offense charged. Pepito extended his hand to Rico. The Court of Appeals modified the judgment by reducing the moral damages to P3. 1956. Villamira. liable under Art. They were classmates at St. respondents.G. No pronouncement as to his civil liability was made.00 Total P9. When Ernesto asked Rico to return the pencil. 583 of this Court. against Rico Fuellas. No. 1956. 1765. while Pepito was studying his lessons in the classroom. were both 13 years old. Pepito was helped by others to go .: For serious physical injuries sustained by Pepito Cadano. for serious physical injuries.00 with 6% annual interest thereon until paid. etc. rendered judgment in the civil case making defendant therein. still in an angry mood.600. son of plaintiff-appellee Elpidio Cadano. 583. ELPIDIO CADANO. two separate actions were instituted. vs. Ambrosio Padilla. L-14409 October 31. whereupon. on September 16. filed on October 1. They were tried jointly. Rico went ahead.00 For moral damages 6. 2180 of the new Civil Code for the following damages: — For medicine. who caused the injuries. Dansalan City. filed on November 11. with Pepito following.00 As exemplary 2.000. now appellant Agapito Fuellas.000. a classmate. it was Pepito who returned the same. While Rico was in such position.000. Rico held Pepito by the neck and with his leg. and Criminal Case No.00. an act which angered Rico. ET AL. Angelito Aba. a judgment of conviction in the criminal case was rendered. J. the same court. the trial judge having ruled that the same "shall be determined in Civil Case No.00 damages As attorney's fees 600. PAREDES. On May 18. a teacher. separated Rico and Pepito and told them to go home. P1. Civil Case No. son of defendant-appellant Agapito Fuellas. An appeal was taken to this tribunal solely on questions of law.

000. In the case of Araneta vs. there being fault or negligence is obliged to pay for the damage done. G. therefore. 80 of the Revised Penal Code). The Court of First Instance sentenced the Arreglados to pay P3. submits that the appellate Court erred in holding him liable for damages for the deliberate criminal act of his minor son. 2176 of the same Code. No.00 as damages and attorney's fees. Benjamin Araneta was talking with other students of the Ateneo de Manila. xxx xxx xxx (Article 2180). That same evening Pepito was brought to the Lanao General Hospital for treatment (Exh. fired the same at Araneta. L-11394. 1954. if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this chapter. the above mentioned articles are not applicable. Such fault or negligence.home. And this was the logical consequence of the case. The father and. the plaster cast was removed. the right forearm of Pepito was seen to be shorter than the left forearm.943. The Aranetas appealed in view of the meager amount of indemnity awarded. action was instituted by Araneta and his father against Juan Arreglado. 23). more than a month after Pepito's release from the hospital. (Article 2176) The obligations imposed by article 2176 is demandable not only for one's own acts or omissions. The above-mentioned provisions of the Civil Code states: — Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another. A. the act of the minor must be one wherein "fault or negligence" is present. It is contended that in the decision of the Court of Appeals.00. 2 of Art. and that if an injury is caused by the fault or negligence of his minor . Arreglado. This tribunal affirmed the decision but increased the indemnity to P18. 2180 of the Civil Code. the petitioner-appellant was ordered to pay damages for the deliberate injury caused by his son. still in bandage and could not be fully used. chanced to pass by. Appellant. seated atop a low ruined wall. that the said court held the petitioner liable pursuant to par. but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible. An X-Ray taken showed that there was a complete fracture of the radius and ulna of the right forearm which necessitated plaster casting (Exhs. Arreglado. Dario was indicted for frustrated homicide and pleaded guilty. he being only 14 years of age. but deliberate intent. B and D). resenting the banter. 4). are responsible for the damages caused by the minor children who live in their company.R. September 9. that according to the last article. 1958. On November 20. pulled a Japanese luger pistol (licensed in the name of his father Juan Arreglado). The boys twitted him on his leaving the Ateneo and enrolling in the De la Salle College. hitting him in the lower jaw. in connection with Art. moral and exemplary damages. a former student of the Ateneo. Thereafter. the Court suspended the proceedings (Art. considering the fact that the civil law liability under Article 2180 is not respondeat superior but the relationship of pater familias which bases the liability of the father ultimately on his own negligence and not on that of his minor son (Cuison vs. in case of his death or incapacity. But in view of his youth. the mother. Dario Arreglado. 55 Phil. This decision was predicated upon the fact that Arreglado's father had acted negligently in allowing his son to have access to the pistol used to injure Benjamin. prom. And up to the last day of hearing of the case. for the existence of deliberate intent in the commission of an act negatives the presence of fault or negligence in its commission. his wife and their son Dario to recover material. and that there being no fault or negligence on the part of petitioner-appellant's minor son. Norton & Harrison.

holding the defendants jointly and severally liable with his minor son Dante for damages. the mother. p. 101. G. This is a necessary consequence of the parental authority they exercise over them which imposes upon the parents the "duty of supporting them. could have been applied. 2. 1903.. 2 and 3 of Article 12. Jose Balce. Civil Code). but having acted with discernment. April 27. Spanish Civil Code). 2. gives them the "right to correct and punish them in moderation" (Arts. the law presumes that there was negligence on the part of his father (Bahia vs. The trial court rendered judgment dismissing the case. in case of his death or incapacity. 6603. And a noted Spanish commentator said: — Since children and wards do not yet have the capacity to govern themselves. below 18 years of age who was living with him. If the parents and guardians fail to comply with this duty. 57 Off. June 29. September 11. 37. 12.son. No. for any damages that may be caused by the minor children who live with them. is obvious. that the minor Fuellas having been convicted of serious physical injuries at the age of 13. Gumersindo was found guilty of homicide for having killed Carlos Salen. minor son of plaintiffs." the appellant concluded that this provision covers only a situation where a minor under 15 but over 9 years old commits a criminal act "without discernment. stating that the civil liability of the minor son of defendant arising from his criminal liability must be determined under the provisions of the . 30 Phil. the law imposes upon the parents and guardians the duty of exercising special vigilance over the acts of their children and wards in order that damages to third persons due to the ignorance. No. prom. This. shall devolve upon those having such person under their legal authority or control. of Art. the civil liability for acts committed by an imbecile or insane person and by a person under nine years of age or by one over nine but under fifteen years of age. they should suffer the consequences of their abandonment or negligence by repairing the damage caused" (12 Manresa. Art. arising from the criminal act committed by the latter. in cases of subdivisions 1. who has acted without discernment. L-14414. Revised Penal Code. Capuno. Spanish Civil Code). the provisions of par. 625).R. 311 and 316. lack of foresight or discernment of such children and wards may be avoided. The only way by which they can relieve themselves of this liability is if they prove that they exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage (Art. It is further argued that the only way by which a father can be made responsible for the criminal act of his son committed with deliberate intent and with discernment. Litonjua y Leynes. 1961. is an action based on the provisions of the Revised Penal Code on subsidiary liability of the parents. 101 of the same Code can not include him. states that "the exemption from criminal liability established in subdivisions 1. 11 of this Code does not include exemption from civil liability. keeping them in their company. 649-650). 1960. while on the other hand. 134 and 135. educating them in proportion to their means". 3. Gaz. unless it appears that there was no fault or negligence on their part. the defendant Balce was the father of a minor Gumersindo Balce. 1957). G. No. which shall be enforced subject to the following rules: First.R. And as par. last paragraph. 3 of Art. defendants failed to prove. this tribunal gave the following reasons for the rule: — The civil liability which the law imposes upon the father and. 5 and 6 of Article 12 and in subdivision 4 of Art. et al." In the recent case of Salen and Salbanera vs.. In an earlier case (Exconde vs. L-10132. (See also Arts.

L. 101 of the Revised Penal Code.. 2177). This is because a son who commits the act under any of those conditions is by law exempt from criminal liability (Article 12. with costs against the petitioner.Revised Penal Code and not under Art. or over 9 but under 15 years of age. no liability would attach if the damage is caused with criminal intent. Bengzon. an insane. In that case.B. this tribunal held: — It is true that under Art. and having in mind the reasons behind the law as heretofore stated. The idea is not to leave the act entirely unpunished but to attach certain civil liability to the person who has the delinquent minor under his legal authority or control." To hold that this provision does not apply to the instant case because it only covers obligations which arise from quasi-delicts and not obligations which arise from criminal offenses. Concepcion. the void apparently exists in the Revised Penal Code is subserved by this particular provision of our Civil Code. . IN VIEW HEREOF. Reyes.. Padilla. J. took no part.J. unless it appears that there is no fault or negligence on his part.. In reversing the decision. the decision appealed from is affirmed. Dizon and De Leon. 2180 of the new Civil Code. for which reason the Code is silent as to the subsidiary liability of his parents should he stand convicted. the mother. the case at bar was decided by the Court of Appeals on the basis of the evidence submitted therein by both parties. independently of the criminal case. as may be gleaned from some recent decisions of this Court which cover equal or identical cases. But a minor over 15 who acts with discernment is not exempt from criminal liability. a father is made civilly liable for the acts committed by his son only if the latter is an imbecile. The particular law that governs this case is Article 2180. JJ. Revised Penal Code). Verily. C. JJ. Moreover. is entirely separate and distinct from the civil liability arising from fault of negligence under the Penal Code (Art. concur.. And responsibility for fault or negligence under Article 2176 upon which the action in the present case was instituted. are responsible for damages caused by the minor children who live in their company. subdivisions 1. who acts without discernment. Bautista and Barrera. any discussion as to the minor's criminal responsibility is of no moment. resort should be had to the general law which is our Civil Code. the pertinent portion of which provides: "The father and. the petition is dismissed. in case of his death or incapacity. Labrador. under 9 years of age. would result in the absurdity that while for an act where mere negligence intervenes the father or mother may stand subsidiarily liable for the damage caused by his or her son. 2 and 3.

plaintiffs demanded upon defendant. vs. 101 of the Penal Code. 103 of the same Penal Code.00. 102. 1960 SEVERINO SALEN and ELENA SALBANERA. therefore.00. thus causing plaintiffs to institute the present action. Gumersindo Balce was also Single. defendant-appellee. 102 shall apply only to . the only heirs of the deceased. JOSE BALCE. a writ of execution was issued for the payment of the indemnity but it was returned unsatisfied because Gumersindo Balce was insolvent and had no property in his name. the payment of the indemnity the latter has failed to pay. Severino Balce for appellee.: On February 5. for appellants. a legitimate son of defendant. the trial court made the following observation: The law provides that a person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable (Art. At the time. 1957. father of Gumersindo. plaintiffs brought this action against defendant before the Court of First Instance of Camarines Norte to recover the sum of P2. Plaintiffs are the legitimate parents of Carlos Salen who died single from wounds caused by Gumersindo Balce. Jr. with legal interest thereon from July 18. Under Art. After trial. the subsidiary liability established in Art. Defendant.000. the father is civilly liable for the acts committed by his son if the latter is an imbecile. set up the defense that the law upon which plaintiffs predicate their right to recover does not here apply for the reason that law refers to quasi-delicts and not to criminal cases.00 which his son was sentenced to pay in the criminal case filed against him. or insane.000. J. BAUTISTA ANGELO.G. and was living with defendant.000. No. Upon petition of plaintiff. Thereupon. Gumersindo Balce accused and convicted of homicide and was sentenced to imprisonment and to pay the heirs of the deceased an indemnity in the amount of P2. but defendant refused. and not under Article 2180 of the new Civil Code which only applies to obligations which arise from quasi-delicts. Dating. L-14414 April 27. plus attorney' fees and other incidental expenses. Hence the present appeal. or under 9 years of age or over 9 but under 15. the court sustained the theory of defendant and dismissed the complaint with costs.R. In holding that the civil liability of the son of appellee arises from his criminal liability and. The question for determination is whether appellee can be held subsidiary liable to pay the indemnity of P2. a minor below 18 years of age. in his answer. plaintiffs-appellants. But there is no law which holds the father either primarily or subsidiarily liable for the civiliability inccured by the son who is a minor of 8 years. Marciano C. 1952. 100 of the Revised Penal Code). As a result of Carlos Salen's death. Under Art. who has acted without discernment. the subsidiary liability of appellee must be determined under the provisions of the Revised Penal Code. only in keepers and tavern-keepers are held subsidiarily liable and under Art.

. no liability would attach if the damage is caused with criminal intent." To hold that this provision does not apply to the instant case because it only covers obligations which arise from quasi-delicts and not obligations which arise from criminal offenses. for that would leave the transgression of certain right without any punishment or sanction in the law. under 9 years of age. unless it appears that there is no fault or negligence on his part. While we agree with the theory that. pupils. Revised Penal Code). And according to Art. And obligations arising from quasi-delict (Commissioner's note). 2 and 3. the 'responsibility for fault of negligence under Art. 843. . . Verily. Art. an insane. the civil liability arising from a crime shall be governed by the provisions of the Revised Penal Code. as may be gleaned from some recent decisions of this Court which cover equal or identical cases. It applies to obligations which arise from quasi-delicts and not obligations which arise from criminal offenses. the mother." By the principle of exclusio unus exclusio ulterius. the defendant in this case cannot be held subsidiary liable for the civil liability of Gumersindo Balce who has been convicted of homicide for the killing of the plaintiff's son Carlos Salen. 2176 of the New Civil Code expressly refers to obligations which arise from quasi-delicts. resort should be had to the general law which is our Civil Code. is not applicable to the case at bar. "employers. as a rule. the void that apparently exists in the Revised Penal Code is subserved by this particular provision of our Civil Code. subdivisions 1. This is because a son who commits the act under any of those conditions is by law exempt from criminal liability (Article 12. the pertinent portion of which provides: "The father and. Civil liability arising from criminal negligence or offenses is governed by the provisions of the Penal Code and civil liability arising from civil negligence is governed by the provision of the Civil Code. 2176 is entirely separate and distinct from the civil liabilty arising from negligence under the Penal Code. The idea is not to leave the act entirely unpunished but to attach certain civil liability to the person who has the deliquent minor under his legal authority or control. over 9 but under 15 years of age. workmen. a father is made civilly liable for the acts committed by his son only if the latter is an imbecile. relied by the plaintiff's. The obligation imposed by Art. It is true that under Article 101 of the Revised Penal Code. A case in point is Exconde vs. Such would be the case if we would uphold the theory of appellee as sustained by the trial court. 101 Phil. who act without discernment. . for which reason the Code is silent as to the subsidiary liability of his parents should he stand convicted. would result in the absurdity that while for an act where mere negligence intervenes the father or mother may stand subsidiarily liable for the damage caused by his or her son. In that case. The particular law that governs this case is Article 2180. But a minor over 15 who acts with discernment is not exempt from criminal liability. 2180 of the Civil Code. persons and corporations engaged in any kind of industry for felonies committed by their servants. in case of his death or incapacity. we disagree with the contention that the subsidiary liability of persons for acts of those who are under their custody should likewise be governed by the same Code even in the absence of any provision governing the case. the facts of which are as follows: . 2177. are responsible for damages caused by the minor children who lived in their company. apprentices or employees in the discharge of their duties. Capuno. teachers.

During the trial. Dante Capuno was found guilty of the criminal offense charged against him. [9] 1961. On Marcy 31. Delfin Capuno. The vigor of youth came to his rescue. the injured lad was taken first to the school infirmary and later to the Singian Hospital. He is a student of the Balintawak Elementary School in the City of San Pablo and a member of the Boy Scout Organization of his school. a minor of 15 years of age. Spanish Civil Code. In line with said reservation of Sabina Exconde. 1903. Dante Capuno was one of those instructed by the City School Supervisor to join the parade. the mother. Dante Capuno took hold of the wheel and drove it while the driver sat on his left side. 1951. boarded a jeep. reserved her right to bring a separate civil action for damages against the accused. where the bullet had plowed through. In holding Delfin Capuno jointly and severally liable with his minor son Dante Capuno arising from the criminal act committed by the latter. together with other students. while plaintiff Benjamin Araneta was talking with the other students of the Ateneo de Manila while seated atop a low ruined wall bordering the Ateneo grounds along Dakota Street. 55 Off. The behavior of Benjamin was likewise affected. Another case in point is Araneta vs. is obvious. bleeding profusely. he becoming inhibited and morose after leaving the hospital. They have not gone far when the jeep turned turtle and two of its passengers. Arreglado resented the banter and suddenly pulling from his pocket a Japanese Luger pistol (licensed in the name of his father Juan Arreglado). 1949. lives in the company of his father. the corresponding civil action for damages was filed against Delfin Capuno. on the occasion of a certain parade in honor of Dr. Sabina Exconde. fired the same at Araneta. in case of his death or incapacity. where he lay hovering between life and death for three days. chanced to pass by. this Court made the following ruling: The civil liability which the law imposes upon the father and.) This defendants failed to prove. hitting him in the lower jaw. while. Those on the wall called Dario and conversed with him. Arreglado 104 Phil. Apparently. From the school. educating them in proportion to their means". the gunshot would left him with a degenerative injury to the jawbone (mandible) and a scar in the lower portion of the face. 524. Dante Capuno and others. last paragraph. Spanish Civil Code). Helped by his friends. he rallied and after sometime finally recovered. causing him to drop backward. Amando Ticson and Isidro Caperina died as a consequence. The only way by which they can relieved themselves of this liability is if they prove that they exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage (Art. gives them the "right to correct and punish them in moderation" (Arts. This is a necessary consequence of the parental authority they exercise over them which imposes upon the parents the "duty of supporting them. for any damages that may be caused by the minor children who live with them. The corresponding criminal action for double homicide through reckless imprudence was instituted against Dante Capuno. twitted him on his leaving the Ateneo and enrolling in the De La Salle College. 134 and 135. Dante Capuno. Gaz. keeping them in their company.. in the City of Manila. a former student of the Ateneo. . Dante Capuno. The facts of this case are as follows: On March 7. and in the course of their talk. When the jeep started to run. Jose Rizal in the City of San Pablo. as mother of the deceased Isidro Caperina. on the other hand. Dario Arreglado.

Dario Arreglado was indicted for frustrated homicide and pleaded guilty. . after trial. This is a typical case of parental subsidiary liability arising from the criminal act of a minor son.00. and their son Dario. to recover material.943. and the costs.00 as damages and attorney's fees. he being only 14 years of age. his wife. Judgement is hereby rendered ordering appellee to pay appellants the sum of P2.00. an action was instituted by Araneta and his father against Juan Arreglado. but in view of his youth. This Court affirmed the decision but increased the indemnity to P18. moral and exemplary damages. the court suspended the proceedings as prescribed by Article 80 of the Revised Penal Code.000. the Araneta appealed in view of the meager amount of indemnity awarded. sentenced the Arreglados to pay P3. with legal interest thereon from the filing of the complaint. From this decision. Thereafter. Wherefore. The court of first instance.000. the decision appealed from is reversed.

In the civil suit subsequently instituted by the parents in behalf of their minor daughter against Alfonso Monfort. plaintiffs-appellees. defendant-appellant.00 as moral damages. Rodolfo J. decided by the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental favorably to the plaintiffs and appealed by the defendant to the Court of Appeals. she rubbed the injured part and treated it with some powder. to weed the grass in the school premises. and Maria Teresa Monfort. together with three other classmates. J. July 10. Luis G. is called a quasi-delict and is governed by provisions of this Chapter. plus the costs of the suit. At that precise moment the latter turned around to face her friend. 13.: This is an action for damages based on quasi-delict. and P2. The legal issue posed in this appeal is the liability of a parent for an act of his minor child which causes damage to another under the specific facts related above and the applicable provisions of the Civil Code. the defendant was ordered to pay P1. Maria Teresa Cuadra. an ornamental object commonly worn by young girls over their hair. which certified the same to us since the facts are not in issue. evidently to frighten the Cuadra girl. Such fault or negligence. CUADRA. particularly Articles 2176 and 2180 thereof.000. ET AL. Herman for plaintiffs-appellees. On July 9. for all of which the parents spent the sum of P1. if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties. first on July 20 and again on August 4.G. MAKALINTAL.000. While thus engaged Maria Teresa Monfort found a plastic headband. however. ART 2180. Maria Teresa Monfort's father. Tionko for defendant-appellant.75. 12.. the eye became swollen and it was then that the girl related the incident to her parents. there being fault or negligence. Torres and Abraham E. The next day. minor represented by her father ULISES P. The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is demandable not only for one's own acts or omissions. . Jokingly she said aloud that she had found an earthworm and. ALFONSO MONFORT.00 as attorney's fees. 1962. 2176. Smarting from the pain. tossed the object at her. Despite the medical efforts. P20. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another. CUADRA.R. who thereupon took her to a doctor for treatment. but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible. 1970 MARIA TERESA Y.703. 1962 their teacher assigned them. No. which read: ART. vs. Maria Teresa Cuadra completely lost the sight of her right eye. L-24101 September 30. were classmates in Grade Six at the Mabini Elementary School in Bacolod City. and the object hit her right eye.703.00 as actual damages. and stayed in the hospital for a total of twenty-three days. is obliged to pay for the damage done. She underwent surgical operation twice.

This is the clear and logical inference that may be drawn from the last paragraph of Article 2180. such as that of the father or the mother under the circumstances above quoted. Nor did it reveal any mischievous propensity. The father and. or that he was in any way remiss in the exercise of his parental authority in failing to foresee such damage. . and when the law simply refers to "all the diligence of a good father of the family to prevent damage. in case of his death or incapacity are responsible for the damages caused by the minor children who live in their company. as in Article 2176. in the different cases enumerated therein. The victim. however careful. The underlying basis of the liability imposed by Article 2176 is the fault or negligence accompanying the act or the omission. In the present case there is nothing from which it may be inferred that the defendant could have prevented the damage by the observance of due care. xxx xxx xxx The responsibility treated of in this Article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. as he had the right to expect her to be. no doubt. would have any special reason to anticipate much less guard against. where it was his duty to send her and where she was. although primary. to determine whether or not by the exercise of such diligence the damage could have been prevented. but only the moral compulsion of good conscience. liability is. and how does a parent prove it in connection with a particular act or omission of a minor child. there being no willfulness or intent to cause damage thereby." Since the fact thus required to be proven is a matter of defense. the obligation has no legal sanction enforceable in court. which is presumed from that which accompanied the causative act or omission. The basis of this vicarious. his child was at school. But what is the exact degree of diligence contemplated." it implies a consideration of the attendant circumstances in every individual case. which states "that the responsibility treated of in this Article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. And as far as the act which caused the injury was concerned. or the act which caused it. without pronouncement as to costs. the latter then becomes himself liable under Article 2180. But if the defendant is at all obligated to compensate her suffering. fault or negligence. the burden of proof necessarily rests on the defendant. When the act or omission is that of one person for whom another is responsible. especially when it takes place in his absence or outside his immediate company? Obviously there can be no meticulously calibrated measure applicable. under the care and supervision of the teacher. or indeed any trait in the child's character which would reflect unfavorably on her upbringing and for which the blame could be attributed to her parents. The decision appealed from is reversed. it was an innocent prank not unusual among children at play and which no parent. and the complaint is dismissed. deserves no little commiseration and sympathy for the tragedy that befell her. The presumption is merely prima facie and may therefore be rebutted. On the contrary.

concur. Fernando. Concepcion.Reyes. Actg. J. JJ. Teehankee. Villamor and Makasiar..J.B. .. C. Dizon.L.J... Zaldivar. C. is on leave. Castro. took no part.. J.

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Branch 20. Accordingly. respondent spouses Bundoc. Vigan. Jennifer's adopting parent. after Adelberto had shot and killed Jennifer. . 1722-V] against Adelberto Bundoc. or on 10 December 1981. THE HON. however. were indispensable parties to the action since parental authority had shifted to the adopting parents from the moment the successful petition for adoption was filed. however. and that said notice shall state the time and place of hearing — both motions were denied by the trial court in an Order dated 18 April 1988. ruling that respondent natural parents of Adelberto indeed were not indispensable parties to the action. No. a criminal information or Homicide through Reckless Imprudence was filed [Criminal Case No. VICTOR BUNDOC. but rather the adopting parents. reciting the result of the foregoing petition for adoption. Petitioners received a copy of the trial court's Decision on 7 December 1987. It appearing. Ilocos Sur. COURT OF APPEALS.G. Adelberto Bundoc. that is. or on 14 December 1987. The trial court on 3 December 1987 dismissed petitioners' complaint. 3457-V. ARISTON L. vs. and CLARA BUNDOC. petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration followed by a supplemental motion for reconsideration on 15 January 1988. In addition to this case for damages. then a minor of 10 years of age. Adelberto's natural parents. This petition for adoption was grunted on. that the motions failed to comply with Sections 4 and 5 of Rule 15 of the Revised Rules of Court — that notice of the motion shall be given to all parties concerned at least three (3) days before the hearing of said motion. namely the spouses Sabas and Felisa Rapisura. parental authority had not ceased nor been relinquished by the mere filing and granting of a petition for adoption. Jennifer's natural parents against respondent spouses Victor and Clara Bundoc. claimed that not they. 18 November 1982. Prior to the incident. this time ruling that the notice had been filed beyond the 15-day reglementary period ending 22 December 1987. respondents. 1992 MACARIO TAMARGO. a civil complaint for damages was filed with the Regional Trial Court. the spouses Sabas and Felisa Rapisura had filed a petition to adopt the minor Adelberto Bundoc in Special Proceedings No. by petitioner Macario Tamargo. Petitioners in their Reply contended that since Adelberto Bundoc was then actually living with his natural parents. HON. Branch 20. 0373-T before the then Court of First Instance of Ilocos Sur. was acquitted and exempted from criminal liability on the ground that he bad acted without discernment. petitioners filed a notice of appeal. FELICIANO. Adelberto. Ilocos Sur. In their Answer. RTC Judge. RUBIO. Vigan. In its Order dated 6 June 1988. CELSO TAMARGO and AURELIA TAMARGO. and petitioner spouses Celso and Aurelia Tamargo.R. shot Jennifer Tamargo with an air rifle causing injuries which resulted in her death. docketed as Civil Case No. Within the 15- day reglementary period. petitioners. Adelberto's natural parents with whom he was living at the time of the tragic incident. J. On 28 April 1988. the trial court dismissed the notice at appeal.: On 20 October 1982. 85044 June 3.

had become useless pieces of paper which did not interrupt the reglementary period. petitioners' motion (and supplemental motion) for reconsideration filed before the trial court. notwithstanding loss of their right to appeal. may still file the instant Petition. Resolution of this Petition hinges on the following issues: (1) whether or not petitioners. . however. there being fault or negligence. Rule 15. not having contained a notice of time and place of hearing. the Court. It is not disputed that Adelberto Bundoc's voluntary act of shooting Jennifer Tamargo with an air rifle gave rise to a cause of action on quasi-delict against him. in case of his death or incapacity. substantial justice. for any damages that may be caused by a minor child who lives with them. when actual custody was yet lodged with the biological parents. whether the Court may still take cognizance of the case even through petitioners' appeal had been filed out of time. 1 As in fact repeatedly held by this Court. 4 2. ruling that petitioners had lost their right to appeal. purely on technical grounds is frowned upon where the policy of the courts is to encourage hearings of appeal on their merits. The Court of Appeals dismissed the petition. and in order that substantial justice may be served. is obliged to pay for the damage done. is called a quasi-delict . Upon the other hand. As the Court held in Gregorio v. the law imposes civil liability upon the father and. . Article 2180 of the Civil Code reads: . As Article 2176 of the Civil Code provides: Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another. Rule 41. if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties. petitioners once again contend that respondent spouses Bundoc are the indispensable parties to the action for damages caused by the acts of their minor child. if d technical and rigid enforcement of the rules is made their aim would be defeated. The rules of procedure ought not be applied in a very rigid technical sense. Petition. In the present Petition for Review. elects to treat the notice of appeal as having been seasonably filed before the trial court. of the nature of the issue raised in the instant. rules of procedure are used only to help secure not override. and (2) whether or not the effects of adoption. not having complied with the requirements of Section 13. It will be recalled that. 2 In view. Adelberto Bundoc. invoking its right to suspend the application of technical rules to prevent manifest injustice. insofar as parental authority is concerned may be given retroactive effect so as to make the adopting parents the indispensable parties in a damage case filed against their adopted child. conversely. and the motion (and supplemental motion) for reconsideration filed by petitioner in the trial court as having interrupted the reglementary period for appeal. the mother. 1. Court of Appeals: 3 Dismissal of appeal. what is mandatory is the service of the motion on the opposing counsel indicating the time and place of hearing.Petitioners went to the Court of Appeals on a petition for mandamus and certiorari questioning the trial court's Decision dated 3 December 1987 and the Orders dated 18 April 1988 and 6 June 1988. of the Revised Rules of Court. Such fault or negligence. and Section 4. for acts committed by the latter. were considered pro forma and hence did not interrupt and suspend the reglementary period to appeal: the trial court held that the motions.

5 The basis for the doctrine of vicarious liability was explained by the Court in Cangco v. by a legal fiction. Thus. Manila Railroad Co. The civil law assumes that when an unemancipated child living with its parents commits a tortious acts. in case of his death or incapacity. for reasons of public policy. or the doctrine of "imputed negligence" under Anglo-American tort law. This moral responsibility may consist in having failed to exercise due care in one's own acts. but also for torts committed by others with whom he has a certain relationship and for whom he is responsible. or in having failed to exercise due care in the selection and control of one's agent or servants. The legislature which adopted our Civil Code has elected to limit extra-contractual liability — with certain well-defined exceptions — to cases in which moral culpability can be directly imputed to the persons to be charged. 6 in the following terms: With respect to extra-contractual obligation arising from negligence. may be seen to be based upon the parental authority vested by the Civil Code upon such parents. The father and. it is competent for the legislature to elect — and our Legislature has so elected — to limit such liability to cases in which the person upon whom such an obligation is imposed is morally culpable or. but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible. on the contrary. the natural parents of the . the parents were negligent in the performance of their legal and natural duty closely to supervise the child who is in their custody and control. are responsible for the damages caused by the minor children who live in their company. to extend that liability. The parental dereliction is. the mother. to others who are in a position to exercise an absolute or limited control over them. only presumed and the presumption can be overtuned under Article 2180 of the Civil Code by proof that the parents had exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage. xxx xxx xxx The responsibility treated of in this Article shall cease when the person herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. controlling and disciplining of the child. Parental liability is. In the instant case. (Emphasis supplied) This principle of parental liability is a species of what is frequently designated as vicarious liability. 7 (Emphasis Supplied) The civil liability imposed upon parents for the torts of their minor children living with them. so as to include responsibility for the negligence of those persons whose acts or omissions are imputable. parental liability is made a natural or logical consequence of the duties and responsibilities of parents — their parental authority — which includes the instructing. where a person is not only liable for torts committed by himself. without regard to the lack of moral culpability. in other words. or in the control of persons who. the shooting of Jennifer by Adelberto with an air rifle occured when parental authority was still lodged in respondent Bundoc spouses. occupy a position of dependency with respect to the person made liable for their conduct. of course. whether of act or omission. The obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable not only for one's own acts or omissions. anchored upon parental authority coupled with presumed parental dereliction in the discharge of the duties accompanying such authority. by reasons of their status.

and educate the child. that the trial custody period has been completed. 36. care for. The natural parents of Adelberto. re-enacted this rule: Article 58 Torts — Parents and guardians are responsible for the damage caused by the child under their parental authority in accordance with the civil Code. are the indispensable parties to the suit for damages. Effect of Adoption. Respondent Bundoc spouses rely on Article 36 of the Child and Youth Welfare Code 8 which reads as follows: Art. Article 58 of the Child and Youth Welfare Code. which shall be effective he date the original petition was filed. except where the adopter is the spouse of the surviving natural parent. under the Civil Code. — The adoption shall: xxx xxx xxx (2) Dissolve the authority vested in the natural parents. The decree shall state the name by which the child is thenceforth to be known. the law presumes. before Adelberto had shot Jennifer which an air rifle. xxx xxx xxx (Emphasis supplied) and urge that their Parental authority must be deemed to have been dissolved as of the time the Petition for adoption was filed. It would thus follow that the natural parents who had then actual custody of the minor Adelberto. As earlier noted. the basis of parental liability for the torts of a minor child is the relationship existing between the parents and the minor child living with them and over whom. Decree of Adoption. the parents exercise supervision and control.minor Adelberto. parental authority was vested in the latter as adopting parents as of the time of the filing of the petition for adoption that is. stoutly maintain that because a decree of adoption was issued by the adoption court in favor of the Rapisura spouses. the court is satisfied that the petitioner is qualified to maintain. after considering the report of the Department of Social Welfare or duly licensed child placement agency and the evidence submitted before it. (Emphasis supplied) The Bundoc spouses further argue that the above Article 36 should be read in relation to Article 39 of the same Code: Art. — If. however. 39. a decree of adoption shall be entered. The Court is not persuaded. (Emphasis supplied) . and that the best interests of the child will be promoted by the adoption. The Bundoc spouses contend that they were therefore free of any parental responsibility for Adelberto's allegedly tortious conduct.

Such a result. actual custody of Adelberto was then with his natural parents.A. 221. WHEREFORE. (Emphasis supplied) We do not believe that parental authority is properly regarded as having been retroactively transferred to and vested in the adopting parents. constituted grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. to hold that parental authority had been retroactively lodged in the Rapisura spouses so as to burden them with liability for a tortious act that they could not have foreseen and which they could not have prevented (since they were at the time in the United States and had no physical custody over the child Adelberto) would be unfair and unconscionable.-G. the Rapisura spouses. the Petition for Review is hereby GRANTED DUE COURSE and the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated 6 September 1988. . doer of the tortious act. Trial Custody. the indispensable parties being already before the court. were indispensable parties to the suit for damages brought by petitioners. No. parental authority is provisionally vested in the adopting parents during the period of trial custody.e. — No petition for adoption shall be finally granted unless and until the adopting parents are given by the courts a supervised trial custody period of at least six months to assess their adjustment and emotional readiness for the legal union.. Article 35 provides as follows: Art. not the adopting parents. premises considered. Article 35 of the Child and Youth Welfare Code fortifies the conclusion reached above. (Emphasis supplied) Under the above Article 35. precisely because the adopting parents are given actual custody of the child during such trial period. During the period of trial custody. and that the dismissal by the trial court of petitioners' complaint. 35. the Rapisura spouses. moreover. however. We do not consider that retroactive effect may be giver to the decree of adoption so as to impose a liability upon the adopting parents accruing at a time when adopting parents had no actual or physically custody over the adopted child. Parents and other persons exercising parental authority shall be civilly liable for the injuries and damages caused by the acts or omissions of their unemancipated children living in their companyand under their parental authority subject to the appropriate defenses provided by law. shall have beer in the actual custody of the parents sought to be held liable for the ensuing damage: Art.R. in C. could have arisen since Adelberto was not in fact subject to their control at the time the tort was committed. the trial custody period either had not yet begun or bad already been completed at the time of the air rifle shooting. before the issuance of a decree of adoption. parental authority shall be vested in the adopting parents. Accordingly. in any case. i. In the instant case. no presumption of parental dereliction on the part of the adopting parents. we conclude that respondent Bundoc spouses. Retroactive affect may perhaps be given to the granting of the petition for adoption where such is essential to permit the accrual of some benefit or advantage in favor of the adopted child. would be inconsistent with the philosophical and policy basis underlying the doctrine of vicarious liability. In the instant case. Put a little differently. Adelberto's natural parents. at the time the air rifle shooting happened.Article 221 of the Family Code of the Philippines 9 has similarly insisted upon the requisite that the child.

. SO ORDERED.SP-15016 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Costs against respondent Bundoc spouses. This Decision is immediately executory. Petitioners' complaint filed before the trial court is hereby REINSTATED and this case is REMANDED to that court for further proceedings consistent with this Decision.

ST. JJ. In the middle of the experiment. At that instance. NACHURA.R. MIRANDA. Present: CARPIO. J. for which he had to undergo surgery and had to spend for his medication. [Jaysons] eyes were chemically burned. . Joseph Colleges [SJCs] premises. The facts. at around 1:30 in the afternoon inside St. 68367. SFIC. as found by the CA. checked the result of the experiment by looking into the test tube with magnifying glass. CV No. The adviser of [Jaysons] class is x x x Estefania Abdan. June 29. The test tube was being held by one of his group mates who moved it close and towards the eye of [Jayson]. 182353 AMBATALI. the compound in the test tube spurted out and several particles of which hit [Jaysons] eye and the different parts of the bodies of some of his group mates. Petitioners. who was the assistant leader of one of the class groups. PERALTA. JOSEPHINI G. SR. Quezon City.. Upon filing of this . she being the subject teacher and employee of [petitioner] SJC. JAYSON MIRANDA. Tabugo left her class while it was doing the experiment without having adequately secured it from any untoward incident or occurrence. Promulgated: Respondent. and MENDOZA. Q-95-22889. and ROSALINDA TABUGO.: This petition for review on certiorari seeks to set aside the Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. the class to which [respondent Jayson Val Miranda] belonged was conducting a science experiment about fusion of sulphur powder and iron fillings under the tutelage of [petitioner] Rosalinda Tabugo. J. Branch 221. 1994. follow: On November 17.versus . JOSEPHS COLLEGE. Chairperson. ABAD. RODOLFO S. in Civil Case No. represented by his father. [Jayson]. 2010 x------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x DECISION NACHURA.R. particularly his left eye. which affirmed in toto the decision[2] of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). No. As a result thereof.

Also. In a letter dated December 14. who was working abroad. as required in the written procedure for the experiment and as repeatedly explained by the teacher. On November 17. a small particle hitting one of [Jaysons] eyes. Before the science experiment was conducted. therefore. [Jayson] and his parents suffered sleepless nights. [Jayson] was pronounced ready for discharge and an eye test showed that his vision had not been impaired or affected. without waiting for the heated compound to cool off.000. too. at about 1:30 in the afternoon. SFIC. about fusion of sulphur powder and iron fillings by combining these elements in a test tube and heating the same. the parents of [Jayson]. [Jaysons] father. [Jaysons] mother. 1994. 1994. when Tabago visited [Jayson]. the class to which [Jayson] belong[s] was conducting a science experiment under the guidance and supervision of Tabugo. . Josephini Ambatali.176. SJC acceded to the request. violated such instructions and took a magnifying glass and looked at the compound. had to rush back home for which she spent P36. wrote SJC a letter demanding that it should shoulder all the medical expenses of [Jayson] that had been incurred and will be incurred further arising from the accident caused by the science experiment. Jayson was rushed by the school employees to the school clinic and thereafter transferred to St. represented by Sr. On the other hand. [Jayson]. which at that moment spurted out of the test tube. the counsel for SJC. Sr. [Petitioners]. Then.00. however. Rodolfo S. 1994. [Jayson] was constrained to file the complaint for damages.070. [Jayson] sent a demand letter to [petitioners] for the payment of his medical expenses as well as other expenses incidental thereto. After the treatment. however. [Jayson] and his classmates were given strict instructions to follow the written procedure for the experiment and not to look into the test tube until the heated compound had cooled off.00 for her fares and had to forego her salary from November 23. [Jaysons] wound had not completely healed and still had to undergo another surgery. Josephini Ambatali. which the latter failed to heed. At the hospital. they should be held liable for moral damages. Upon learning of the incident and because of the need for finances. 1994. in the amount of at least P40. [petitioners SJC. In order to avoid additional hospital charges due to the delay in [Jaysons] discharge. should likewise compensate [Jayson] for litigation expenses. requested SJC to advance the amount of P26. Hence. 1994 to December 26. and Tabugo] alleged that [Jayson] was a grade six pupil of SJC in the school year 1994- 1995. SFIC.35 representing [Jaysons] hospital bill until his wife could arrive from abroad and pay back the money. through counsel. a person of sufficient age and discretion and completely capable of understanding the English language and the instructions of his teacher. Lukes Medical Center for treatment.case [in] the lower court. including attorneys fees. On December 6. the class science teacher. Miranda. the latter cried and apologized to his teacher for violating her instructions not to look into the test tube until the compound had cooled off. mental anguish and wounded feelings as a result of his injury due to [petitioners] fault and failure to exercise the degree of care and diligence incumbent upon each one of them. Thus.

petitioners appealed to the CA. Costs against [petitioners]. 3. Jaysons father. to wit: WHEREFORE.176. petitioners appealed` by certiorari to this Court.338. premises considered. on Jaysons behalf.00 as reasonable attorneys fees.36 from the P77.36 representing the advances given to pay [Jaysons] initial hospital expenses or in the alternative to deduct said amount of P26. [Jayson] is ordered to reimburse [petitioner] St. THE COURT OF APPEALS GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN NOT FINDING THAT THE PROXIMATE CAUSE OF JAYSONS INJURY WAS HIS OWN ACT OF LOOKING AT THE HEATED TEST TUBE BEFORE THE COMPOUND HAD COOLED IN COMPLETE DISREGARD OF INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN PRIOR TO THE EXPERIMENT. in view of the foregoing.000. thus: I.00 as mitigated moral damages. as previously adverted to. thus: WHEREFORE.[4] Aggrieved.25 actual damages herein awarded by way of legal compensation. 4. To pay [Jayson] the sum of P30. To pay [Jayson] the sum of P50.176. explained that the school cannot accede to the demand because the accident occurred by reason of [Jaysons] failure to comply with the written procedure for the experiment and his teachers repeated warnings and instruction that no student must face. the assailed decision of the RTC of Quezon City. adamant that the CA grievously erred. This Court orders and holds the [petitioners] joint[ly] and solidarily liable to pay [Jayson] the following amount: 1.[5] Undaunted. To pay the costs of suit.338. However. However.000. Branch 221 dated September 6. Joseph College the amount of P26. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of [Jayson] and against [petitioners]. much less look into. After trial. sued petitioners for damages. the opening of the test tube until the heated compound has cooled.25 as actual damages. the RTC rendered judgment. Rodolfo.[3] Since SJC did not accede to the demand. 2000 is hereby AFFIRMED IN TOTO. To pay [Jayson] the amount of P77. . the CA affirmed in toto the ruling of the RTC. SO ORDERED. 2.

II. if properly considered. MARYS COLLEGE V. prudence.[7] A review of such findings by this Court is not warranted except for highly meritorious circumstances when: (1) the findings of a trial court are grounded entirely on speculation. [8] None of the foregoing exceptions which would warrant a reversal of the assailed decision obtains in this instance. Marys Academy from liability for the untimely death of its student during a school sanctioned activity. Yet. THE LOWER COURT GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN AWARDING MORAL DAMAGES TO [JAYSON]. will justify a different conclusion. III. are accorded the highest degree of respect and are considered conclusive between the parties. THE COURT OF APPEALS GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE AWARD OF ATTORNEYS FEES TO [JAYSON]. caution and foresight to prevent or avoid injuries to the students. or are contradicted by evidence on record. (4) the findings of the appellate court go beyond the issues of the case. . WILLIAM CARPITANOS. IV. petitioners maintain that the proximate cause of Jaysons injury was his own negligence in disregarding the instructions given by Tabugo prior to the experiment and peeking into the test tube. Petitioners invoke our ruling in St. Marys Academy v. (5) there is a misappreciation of facts. Marys Academy was only a remote cause of the accident. x x x JAYSONS CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE OF PEEKING INTO THE TEST TUBE WAS IN FACT THE PROXIMATE CAUSE OF HIS INJURY FOR WHICH THE PETITIONERS SHOULD NOT BE HELD LIABLE. THE COURT OF APPEALS GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE AWARD OF ACTUAL DAMAGES DESPITE THE ABSENCE OF PROOF TO SUPPORT THE SAME. VI. Carpitanos[9] which absolved St. or fail to notice certain relevant facts which. absurd or impossible. THE COURT OF APPEALS FAILED TO APPRECIATE THAT. (3) there is grave abuse of discretion in the appreciation of facts. surmises or conjectures. (6) the findings of fact are conclusions without mention of the specific evidence on which they are based. V. are premised on the absence of evidence.[6] We find no reason to depart from the uniform rulings of the lower courts that petitioners were negligent since they all failed to exercise the required reasonable care. THE LOWER COURT GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN DENYING THE PETITIONERS COUNTERCLAIM. (2) a lower courts inference from its factual findings is manifestly mistaken. especially when affirmed by the appellate court. Jurisprudence dictates that factual findings of the trial court. declaring that the negligence of petitioner St. IN LIGHT OF THE RULING IN THE CASE OF ST.

caution and foresight to prevent or avoid injuries to the students. Based on the facts presented before this Court. Both courts correctly concluded that the immediate and proximate cause of the accident which caused injury to Jayson was the sudden and unexpected explosion of the chemicals. The assailed Decision of the CA quotes with favor the RTC decision. The Court. The Court is inclined to believe that [petitioner] subject teacher Tabugo was not inside the classroom at the time the accident happened. however. prudence. was presented to establish that [petitioner] Tabugo was inside the classroom for the whole duration of the experiment. It was unnatural in the ordinary course of events that [Jayson] was brought to the school clinic for immediate treatment not by [petitioner] subject teacher Rosalinda Tabugo but by somebody else. but the sudden and unexpected explosion of the chemicals independent of any intervening cause. Contrary to petitioners assertions. The court a quo correctly ruled that: All of the [petitioners] are equally at fault and are liable for negligence because all of them are responsible for exercising the required reasonable care. independent of any intervening cause.We are not convinced. understands that these other students cannot testify for [Jayson] because [Jayson] is no longer enrolled in said school and testifying for [Jayson] would incur the ire of school authorities. It was her obligation to insure that nothing would go wrong and that the science experiment would . the lower courts conclusions are borne out by the records of this case. No evidence. however. [Petitioner] subject teacher Rosalinda Tabugo was inside the classroom when the class undertook the science experiment although [Jayson] insisted that said [petitioner] left the classroom. [Petitioners] could have prevented the mishap if they exercised a higher degree of care. these [petitioners] were remiss in their responsibilities and lacking in the degree of vigilance expected of them. Estefania Abdan is equally at fault as the subject adviser or teacher in charge because she exercised control and supervision over [petitioner] Tabugo and the students themselves. thus: In this case. caution and foresight. [petitioners] failed to show that the negligence of [Jayson] was the proximate cause of the latters injury. The individual [petitioners] are persons charged with the teaching and vigilance over their students as well as the supervision and ensuring of their well-being. The Court is also perplexed why none of the other students (who were eyewitnesses to the incident) testified in Court to corroborate the story of the [petitioners]. We find that the immediate cause of the accident was not the negligence of [Jayson] when he curiously looked into the test tube when the chemicals suddenly exploded which caused his injury.

the liability of teachers does not extend to the school or university itself. The negligent acts of the other individual [petitioners] were done within the scope of their assigned tasks. Petitioners would allocate all liability and place all blame for the accident on a twelve (12)-year-old student. [Petitioner] school is still liable for the wrongful acts of the teachers and employees because it had full information on the nature of dangerous science experiments but did not take affirmative steps to avert damage and injury to students. which the CA affirmed. We disagree. . Ordinarily. herein respondent Jayson. xxxx The defense of due diligence of a good father of a family raised by [petitioner] St. petitioners make much of the fact that Tabugo specifically instructed her students. Josephini Ambatali is likewise culpable under the doctrine of command responsibility because the other individual [petitioners] were under her direct control and supervision. not to look into the heated test tube before the compound had cooled off. Nonetheless.[10] Under the foregoing circumstances. we are hard pressed to disturb the findings of the RTC. [Petitioner] Sr. at the start of the experiment. direct and immediate and not conditioned upon the insolvency of or prior recourse against the negligent employee. More importantly. It has also been held that the liability of the employer for the [tortuous] acts or negligence of its employees is primary and solidary. Schools should not simply install safety reminders and distribute safety instructional manuals. be conducted safely and without any harm or injury to the students. The fact that there has never been any accident in the past during the conduct of science experiments is not a justification to be complacent in just preserving the status quo and do away with creative foresight to install safety measures to protect the students. schools should provide protective gears and devices to shield students from expected risks and anticipated dangers. Joseph College will not exculpate it from liability because it has been shown that it was guilty of inexcusable laxity in the supervision of its teachers (despite an apparent rigid screening process for hiring) and in the maintenance of what should have been a safe and secured environment for conducting dangerous experiments. including Jayson. although an educational institution may be held liable under the principle of RESPONDENT SUPERIOR.

Petitioners negligence and failure to exercise the requisite degree of care and caution is demonstrated by the following: 1. Petitioners were negligent by failing to exercise the higher degree of care. Petitioner school did not install safety measures to protect the students who conduct experiments in class. so long as they remain in their custody. 2180. The school. specifically goggles. bestows special parental authority on the following persons with the corresponding obligation. to shield students from expected risks and dangers. thus: Art. the proximate cause of Jaysons injury was the concurrent failure of petitioners to prevent the foreseeable mishap that occurred during the conduct of the science experiment. caution and foresight incumbent upon the school. The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is demandable not only for ones own acts or omissions. Article 218 of the Family Code. 3. entity or institution engaged in child care shall have special parental authority and responsibility over the minor child while under their supervision. xxxx Lastly. Petitioner school did not take affirmative steps to avert damage and injury to its students although it had full information on the nature of dangerous science experiments conducted by the students during class. its administrators and teachers. Art. instruction or custody. but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible. 2.As found by both lower courts. or the individual. 218. its administrators and teachers. in relation to Article 2180 of the Civil Code. Petitioner school did not provide protective gears and devices. Authority and responsibility shall apply to all authorized activities whether inside or outside the premises of the school. entity or institution. and . teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades shall be liable for damages caused by their pupils and students or apprentices.

Marys Academy] to be liable. thus: Significantly. was the proximate cause of the damage and injury to Jayson. petitioners cannot simply deflect their negligence and liability by insisting that petitioner Tabugo gave specific instructions to her science class not to look directly into the heated compound. and. Marys is not in point. In that case.[11] In marked contrast. to drive the jeep at the time of the accident. As we have held in St. Unfortunately for petitioners. the size of the classfifty (50) students conducting the experiment is difficult to monitor. there intervened the negligence of the minors parents or the detachment of the steering wheel guide of the jeep. a minor. in driving the jeep. for petitioner [St. The negligence of petitioner St. 4. Petitioner Tabugo was not inside the classroom the whole time her class conducted the experiment. specifically. must be pinned on the minors parents primarily. It was Ched Villanueva. Marys preclude their liability in this case. respondents thereat admitted the documentary exhibits establishing that the cause of the accident was a mechanical defect and not the recklessness of the minor. whether caused by the negligence of the minor driver or mechanical detachment of the steering wheel guide of the jeep. We held. Neither does our ruling in St. Hence. liability for the accident. In any event. both the lower courts similarly concluded that the mishap which happened during the science experiment was foreseeable by the school. ultimately. This neglect in preventing a foreseeable injury and damage equates to neglect in exercising the utmost degree of diligence required of schools. or the reckless driving of James Daniel II. x x x. Marys Academy was only a remote cause of the accident. who had possession and control of the jeep. there must be a finding that the act or omission considered as negligent was the proximate cause of the injury caused because the negligence must have a causal connection to the accident. when the accident involving Jayson occurred. He was driving the vehicle and he allowed James Daniel II. its administrators and teachers.[12] . Between the remote cause and the injury. St. there was no evidence that petitioner school allowed the minor James Daniel II to drive the jeep of respondent Vivencio Villanueva. its officials and teachers. Marys. Further. respondents did not present any evidence to show that the proximate cause of the accident was the negligence of the school authorities. grandson of respondent Vivencio Villanueva. James Daniel II. Moreover.

The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. he should not be entitled to recover damages in full but must likewise bear the consequences of his own negligence. . Costs against petitioners. SO ORDERED. given our foregoing ruling. CV No. and grant of attorneys fees. should be held liable only for the damages actually caused by their negligence. hence.As regards the contributory negligence of Jayson. therefore. The negligence on the part of [petitioner] Tabugo in not making sure that the science experiment was correctly conducted was the proximate cause or reason why the heated compound exploded and injured not only [Jayson] but his classmates as well. However. we likewise affirm the lower courts award of actual and moral damages.R. [Petitioners]. we see no need to disturb the lower courts identical rulings thereon: As earlier discussed. WHEREFORE. [13] Lastly. the petition is DENIED. the proximate cause of [Jaysons] injury was the explosion of the heated compound independent of any efficient intervening cause. [Jayson] is partly responsible for his own injury. The denial of petitioners counterclaim is also in order. 68367 is AFFIRMED.

she told the child to stay where he was on that spot of the room and finish copying the notes on the blackboard while seated on the floor. This time. and SR.. January 26. J. respondents Jose and Victoria Inton (the Intons) filed an action for damages on behalf of their son Jose Luis against Yamyamin and Aquinas before the . unable to tolerate the childs behavior. INTON. OP.x DECISION ABAD. JOSE LUIS S. VICTORIA S. She also pulled and shoved his head on the classmates seat. PERALTA. taught Jose Luis grade three religion class. The Facts and the Case In 1998 respondent Jose Luis Inton (Jose Luis) was a grade three student at Aquinas School (Aquinas). 1998. Chairperson. After a while. INTON. SPS. while Yamyamin was writing on the blackboard. Respondents. on their behalf and on behalf of their minor child. Present: CARPIO. Jose Luis left his assigned seat and went over to a classmate to play a joke of surprising him. On July 14. JOSE INTON and MA. 2011 x --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------. Yamyamin noticed this and sent Jose Luis back to his seat. Respondent Sister Margarita Yamyamin (Yamyamin).AQUINAS SCHOOL.: This case is about the private schools liability for the outside catechists act of shoving a student and kicking him on the legs when he disobeyed her instruction to remain in his seat and not move around the classroom. J. No. MARGARITA Promulgated: YAMYAMIN. JJ. Finally. Yamyamin approached Jose Luis and kicked him on the legs several times. Jose Luis got up again and went over to the same classmate. a religion teacher who began teaching at that school only in June of that year. G.versus . and MENDOZA. As a result of the incident. ABAD.R. 184202 Petitioner.NACHURA. .

The RTC dismissed Victorias personal claims but ruled in Jose Luis favor.[3] Jose Luis moved for partial reconsideration but this was denied. whether actually exercised or reserved. for its part. The Court has consistently applied the four-fold test to determine the existence of an employer-employee relationship: the employer (a) selects and engages the employee. the CA found them solidarily liable to Jose Luis. Finding that an employer-employee relation existed between Aquinas and Yamyamin.Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasig City in Civil Case 67427. Of these. however. Aquinas contests this. appealed directly to this Court from the CA decision through a petition for review on certiorari. and attorneys fees of P10. exemplary damages of P25.00.00 plus the costs of suit. the Intons sought to recover actual. holding Yamyamin liable to him for moral damages of P25. The Intons also filed a criminal action against Yamyamin for violation of Republic Act 7610 to which she pleaded guilty and was sentenced accordingly. and exemplary damages. declined to increase the award of damages. and (d) has control over his work. The CA. for the hurt that Jose Luis and his mother Victoria suffered. (b) pays his wages. the Intons elevated the case to the Court of Appeals (CA). The Courts Ruling The CA found Aquinas liable to Jose Luis based on Article 2180 of the Civil Code upon the CAs belief that the school was Yamyamins employer.000. the most crucial is the element of control. as well as attorneys fees. Control refers to the right of the employer. to control the work of the employee as well as the means and methods by which he accomplishes the same. With regard to the action for damages.00. moral. Aquinas.[4] .[1] Not satisfied.[2] They asked the CA to increase the award of damages and hold Aquinas solidarily liable with Yamyamin. (c) has power to dismiss him.000. The Issue Presented The sole issue presented in this case is whether or not the CA was correct in holding Aquinas solidarily liable with Yamyamin for the damages awarded to Jose Luis.000.

And fifth. Of course. Aquinas insists that it was not the school but Yamyamins religious congregation that chose her for the task of catechizing the schools grade three students. [8] It cannot be said that Aquinas was guilty of outright neglect. Aquinas did not have sufficient opportunity to observe her methods. the congregation would send religion teachers to Aquinas to provide catechesis to its students. Aquinas still had the responsibility of taking steps to ensure that only qualified outside catechists are allowed to teach its young students. In this regard. Under the circumstances. In this case. Yamyamins transcript of records. the Court finds no justification for this since they did not appeal from the decision of the CA. the school pre-approved the content of the course she was to teach [6] to ensure that she was really catechizing the students. It also required her to attend a teaching orientation before she was allowed to teach beginning that June of 1998. the school directress testified that Aquinas had an agreement with a congregation of sisters under which. the school had a program for subjecting Yamyamin to classroom evaluation. the school gave Yamyamin a copy of the schools Administrative Faculty Staff Manual that set the standards for handling students. given her Christian training.[7] Unfortunately. and diplomas showed that she was qualified to teach religion. Regarding the Intons plea for an award of greater amounts of damages. Second. certificates. At any rate. Consequently. in order to fulfill its ministry. The Intons had not refuted the school directress testimony in this regard. it acted promptly to relieve her of her assignment as soon as the school learned of the incident. the school had reason to assume that she would behave properly towards the students. there is no question that Aquinas ascertained that Yamyamin came from a legitimate religious congregation of sisters and that. since she was new and it was just the start of the school year. much like the way bishops designate the catechists who would teach religion in public schools.[5] Fourth. The Intons . First. it cannot be said that Aquinas took no steps to avoid the occurrence of improper conduct towards the students by their religion teacher. it was error for the CA to hold Aquinas solidarily liable with Yamyamin. it was quite evident that Aquinas did not have control over Yamyamins teaching methods. Third.

They thus cannot obtain from this Court any affirmative relief other than those that the CA already granted them in its decision. and HOLDS petitioner Aquinas School not liable in damages to respondent Jose Luis Inton.R. CV 88106 dated August 4.prayed for the increase only in their comment to the petition. SO ORDERED. the Court GRANTS the petition. SETS ASIDE the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. .[9] WHEREFORE. 2008.

It also held that the students were not in the custody of the school at the time of the incident as the semester had already ended. AMADORA. AMADORA. DLMASO JR. LUCY A. After trial.G. costs of litigation. and while in its auditorium was shot to death by Pablito Daffon. The complaint against the students was later dropped. VICTOR LLUCH SERGIO P. NORMA A. AMADORA. representing death compensation. and attorney's fees . Pablito Damon. had exercised the necessary diligence in preventing the injury. 1972. however. Amadora & Associates for petitioners. through their respective parents. exemplary damages. ROSALINDA A. and ROLANDO VALENCIA..984. its rector the high school principal. AMADORA. VICENTE A.00. while they were in the auditorium of their school. the dean of boys. AMADORA JR. 4 In its decision. as the victim's parents. CELESTINO DICON. . fate would intervene and deny him that awaited experience. thru his guardian. A. and the physics teacher. FRANCISCO ALONSO. AMADORA and MARIA TISCALINA A.. AMADORA. MR.3 On appeal to the respondent court. On the implications and consequences of these facts. Alfredo Amadora was looking forward to the commencement exercises where he would ascend the stage and in the presence of his relatives and friends receive his high school diploma. JOSE A. the decision was reversed and all the defendants were completely absolved . filed a civil action for damages under Article 2180 of the Civil Code against the Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos. the Court of First Instance of Cebu held the remaining defendants liable to the plaintiffs in the sum of P294. SERREC A. No. 1972. the Colegio de San Jose- Recoletos. 2 Additionally. On April 13. 1972. AMADORA. petitioners vs.: Like any prospective graduate. YLAYA PANTALEON A. respondents. AMADORA III. loss of earning capacity. a classmate. PABLITO DAFFON thru his parents and natural guardians. which is now the subject of this petition for certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. Padilla Law Office for respondents. ending all his expectations and his life as well. L-47745 April 15. funeral expenses. fired a gun that mortally hit Alfredo. and MRS. CRUZ. J. 1 Daffon was convicted of homicide thru reckless imprudence . NICANOR GUMBAN. the respondent court found that Article 2180 was not applicable as the Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos was not a school of arts and trades but an academic institution of learning. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS. As it turned out. AMADORA.R. together with Daffon and two other students. 5 The basic undisputed facts are that Alfredo Amadora went to the San Jose-Recoletos on April 13. PERFECTO A. JOSE A. moral damages. Jose S. that there was no clear identification of the fatal gun and that in any event the defendant. the parties sharply disagree. AMADORA. COLEGIO DE SAN JOSE-RECOLETOS. These ceremonies were scheduled on April 16. ANIANO ABELLANA. 1988 JOSE S. The victim was only seventeen years old. LORETA A. a classmate. though. the herein petitioners.

resulting in the death of two of its passengers. Capuno 7 Mercado v. with whom Justices Sabino Padilla and Alex Reyes concurred.The petitioners contend that their son was in the school to show his physics experiment as a prerequisite to his graduation. however. he said. dissented. attended a Rizal Day parade on instructions of the city school supervisor. 9 These will be briefly reviewed in this opinion for a better resolution of the case at bar. a student of the Balintawak Elementary School and a Boy Scout.6 As Gumban was one of the companions of Daffon when the latter fired the gun that killed Alfredo. the petitioners contend that this was the same pistol that had been confiscated from Gumban and that their son would not have been killed if it had not been returned by Damaso. which was penned by Justice Bautista Angelo on June 29. Dante Capuno. took over its wheel and drove it so recklessly that it turned turtle. the custody requirement had not been proved as this "contemplates a situation . The private respondents submit that Alfredo Amadora had gone to the school only for the purpose of submitting his physics report and that he was no longer in their custody because the semester had already ended. Jr. and the parents of the victim sued the culprits parents for damages. 1972. The pertinent part of this article reads as follows: Lastly. the Court declared in another obiter (as the school itself had also not been sued that the school was not liable because it was not an establishment of arts and trades. the boy boarded a jeep. arguing that it was the school authorities who should be held liable Liability under this rule. It is not denied by the respondents that on April 7. was imposed on (1) teachers in general.B. his father was held solidarily liable with him in damages under Article 1903 (now Article 2180) of the Civil Code for the tort committed by the 15-year old boy. 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. The modifying clause "of establishments of arts and trades" should apply only to "heads" and not "teachers. A student cut a classmate with a razor blade during recess time at the Lourdes Catholic School in Quezon City. exculpated the school in an obiter dictum (as it was not a party to the case) on the ground that it was riot a school of arts and trades. he was then under the custody of the private respondents. This decision. In the Exconde Case. Justice J. In the separate civil action flied against them. After the parade. 8 and Palisoc v. and with an elaboration. that there is no proof that the gun was the same firearm that killed Alfredo. The respondents say. Brillantes. as it happens. to wit: Exconde v.L. Three cases have so far been decided by the Court in connection with the above-quoted provision." Exconde was reiterated in the Mercado Case. hence. Through Justice Labrador. Court of Appeals. Sergio Damaso. Dante was found guilty of double homicide with reckless imprudence. Reyes. Moreover. Resolution of all these disagreements will depend on the interpretation of Article 2180 which. is invoked by both parties in support of their conflicting positions.1957.. confiscated from Jose Gumban an unlicensed pistol but later returned it to him without making a report to the principal or taking any further action . There is also the question of the identity of the gun used which the petitioners consider important because of an earlier incident which they claim underscores the negligence of the school and at least one of the private respondents. and (2) heads of schools of arts and trades in particular. the dean of boys.

There is nothing in the law that requires that for such liability to attach. Where the school is academic rather than technical or vocational in nature. Justice Teehankee said he agreed with Justice Reyes' dissent in the Exconde Case but added that "since the school involved at bar is a non-academic school.B. academic as well as non-academic. In Palisoc vs. following the first part of the provision. In a footnote. The Court declared through Justice Teehankee: The phrase used in the cited article — "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. in which case it is the head thereof who shall be answerable. Although the wrongdoer — who was already of age — was not boarding in the school. including recess time. when the offending student is supposed to be "in its custody.where the student lives and boards with the teacher. it is the head thereof. teachers in general shall be liable for the acts of their students except where the school is technical in nature. 1960. responsibility for the tort committed by the student will attach to the teacher in charge of such student. In the case of establishments of arts and trades. direction and influences on the pupil supersede those of the parents. Unlike in Exconde and Mercado.L. a 16-year old student was killed by a classmate with fist blows in the laboratory of the Manila Technical Institute. such that the control. Reyes did not take part but the other members of the court concurred in this decision promulgated on May 30. in answer to the dissenting opinion. Reyes. Dissenting with three others. This is the general rule. as erroneously held by the lower court. the pupil or student who commits the tortious act must live and board in the school.B. In other words. must now be deemed to have been set aside by the present decision. Brillantes." After an exhaustive examination of the problem.11 Justice Makalintal was for retaining the custody interpretation in Mercado and submitted that the rule should apply only to torts committed by students not yet of age as the school would be acting only in loco parentis. the Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos has been directly impleaded and is sought to be held liable under Article 2180. and unlike in Palisoc. the question as to the applicability of the cited codal provision to academic institutions will have to await another case wherein it may properly be raised. if so. it is not a school of arts and trades but an academic institution of learning. The parties herein have also directly raised the question of whether or not Article 2180 covers even establishments which are technically not schools of arts and trades. the Court has come to the conclusion that the provision in question should apply to all schools. and only he. This decision was concurred in by five other members. 10 including Justice J. 1971. and.L. the head thereof and the teacher in charge were held solidarily liable with him." Justice J. and the dicta in Mercado (as well as in Exconde) on which it relied. Following the canon of reddendo singula . who shall be held liable as an exception to the general rule." This is the case. who stressed. decided on October 4. that even students already of age were covered by the provision since they were equally in the custody of the school and subject to its discipline.

Notably. teachers. the teacher or the head of the academic school would be absolved whereas the teacher and the head of the non-academic school would be held liable. The teacher certainly should not be able to excuse himself by simply showing that he is teaching in an academic school where.singulis"teachers" should apply to the words "pupils and students" and "heads of establishments of arts and trades" to the word "apprentices. should be the one answerable for the torts committed while under his custody. as conceded by all commentators. whatever the nature of the school where he is teaching. the head would be held liable if the school were non- academic. are supposed to have incurred in the exercise of their authority. no liability would attach to the teacher or the school head. And if there is no authority. All other circumstances being the same." The phrase is only an updated version of the equivalent terms "preceptores y artesanos" used in the Italian and French Civil Codes. If. there can be no responsibility. the basis of the presumption of negligence of Art.L. The suggestion in the Exconde and Mercado Cases is that the provision would make the teacher or even the head of the school of arts and trades liable for an injury caused by any student in its custody but if that same tort were committed in an academic school. There does not seem to be any plausible reason for relaxing that vigilance simply because the school is academic in nature and for increasing such vigilance where the school is non-academic. it would seem clear that where the parent places the child under the effective authority of the teacher. 1903 in some culpa in vigilando that the parents. Reyes in Exconde where he said in part: I can see no sound reason for limiting Art." The Court thus conforms to the dissenting opinion expressed by Justice J. . on the other hand. What substantial difference is there between them insofar as concerns the proper supervision and vice over their pupils? It cannot be seriously contended that an academic teacher is exempt from the duty of watching that his pupils do not commit a tort to the detriment of third Persons. and not the parent. The injury contemplated may be caused by any student regardless of the school where he is registered. 1903 of the Old Civil Code to teachers of arts and trades and not to academic ones. In my opinion. for the very reason/that the parent is not supposed to interfere with the discipline of the school nor with the authority and supervision of the teacher while the child is under instruction. The same vigilance is expected from the teacher over the students under his control and supervision. There is really no substantial distinction between the academic and the non-academic schools insofar as torts committed by their students are concerned. in the phrase "teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades" used in Art. and simply because the latter is a school of arts and trades.B. etc. the injury subject of liability is caused by the student and not by the school itself nor is it a result of the operations of the school or its equipment. so long as they are in a position to exercise authority and Supervision over the pupil. the words "arts and trades" does not qualify "teachers" but only "heads of establishments. 1903 of the old Civil Code. The Court cannot see why different degrees of vigilance should be exercised by the school authorities on the basis only of the nature of their respective schools. the latter.

These questions. why is it the head of the school only who is held liable where the injury is caused in a school of arts and trades? And in the case of the academic or non. who usually even boarded with him and so came under his constant control. the head of the academic school was not as involved with his students and exercised only administrative duties over the teachers who were the persons directly dealing with the students. sees fit to enact the necessary amendment. Brillantes. such as submission of reports. because of his closer ties with them. taking into account the charges in the situation subject to be regulated. to repeat Palisoc v. and in the case of graduating students. and excluding the time before or after such period. could be so blamed. Article 2180. the provision must be interpreted by the Court according to its clear and original mandate until the legislature. the student is still subject to the disciplinary . may be asked: If the teacher of the academic school is to be held answerable for the torts committed by his students. The other matter to be resolved is the duration of the responsibility of the teacher or the head of the school of arts and trades over the students. whether the semester has not yet begun or has already ended. the period before the commencement exercises. During such periods. In the view of the Court. custody be co-terminous with the semester. the head of the school of arts and trades. It is conceded that the distinction no longer obtains at present in view of the expansion of the schools of arts and trades. though. The old schools of arts and trades were engaged in the training of artisans apprenticed to their master who personally and directly instructed them on the technique and secrets of their craft. the student is in the custody of the school authorities as long as he is under the control and influence of the school and within its premises.technical school. term papers. beginning with the start of classes and ending upon the close thereof. it is clear that while the custody requirement. the consequent increase in their enrollment. This does not necessarily mean that such. The head of the school of arts and trades was such a master and so was personally involved in the task of teaching his students. Consequently. such as the period of registration. why not apply the rule also to the head thereof instead of imposing the liability only on the teacher? The reason for the disparity can be traced to the fact that historically the head of the school of arts and trades exercised a closer tutelage over his pupils than the head of the academic school. The head of the academic school had then (as now) only a vicarious relationship with the students. it does signify that the student should be within the control and under the influence of the school authorities at the time of the occurrence of the injury. does not mean that the student must be boarding with the school authorities. Neither should such discipline be deemed ended upon the last day of classes notwithstanding that there may still be certain requisites to be satisfied for completion of the course. supervision and influence. however. remains unchanged. In its present state. as contended by the respondents and impliedly admitted by the petitioners themselves? From a reading of the provision under examination. clearances and the like. It is too tenuous to argue that the student comes under the discipline of the school only upon the start of classes notwithstanding that before that day he has already registered and thus placed himself under its rules. Is such responsibility co-extensive with the period when the student is actually undergoing studies during the school term. while he could not be directly faulted for the acts of the students. By contrast. and the corresponding diminution of the direct and personal contract of their heads with the students.

it should be observed that the teacher will be held liable not only when he is acting in loco parentis for the law does not require that the offending student be of minority age. he can exonerate himself from the liability imposed by Article 2180. the teacher and not the parent shag be held responsible if the tort was committed within the premises of the school at any time when its authority could be validly exercised over him. principal. and even in the enjoyment of a legitimate student right. he is still within the custody and subject to the discipline of the school authorities under the provisions of Article 2180. During all these occasions. it is obviously the teacher-in-charge who must answer for his students' torts. If at all. Custody does not connote immediate and actual physical control but refers more to the influence exerted on the child and the discipline instilled in him as a result of such influence. In this connection. The Court is not unmindful of the apprehensions expressed by Justice Makalintal in his dissenting opinion in Palisoc that the school may be unduly exposed to liability under this article in view of the increasing activism among the students that is likely to cause violence . also available to the teacher or the head of the school of arts and trades directly held to answer for the tort committed by the student. the teacher be physically present and in a position to prevent it. Indeed. but then it may exculpate itself from liability by proof that it had exercised the diligence of a bonus paterfamilias. Unlike the parent. As long as the defendant can show that he had taken the necessary precautions to prevent the injury complained of. Thus. the responsibility of the school authorities over the student continues. Such defense is. The teacher-in-charge is the one designated by the dean.authority of the school and cannot consider himself released altogether from observance of its rules. As long as it can be shown that the student is in the school premises in pursuance of a legitimate student objective. in the exercise of a legitimate student right. In any event. who wig be liable only if his child is still a minor. in the Palisoc Case. for the injuries caused by the student. Thus. It is not necessary that at the time of the injury. even if the student should be doing nothing more than relaxing in the campus in the company of his classmates and friends and enjoying the ambience and atmosphere of the school. of course. whatever its nature. may be held to answer for the acts of its teachers or even of the head thereof under the general principle of respondeat superior. in practically the same way that the parents are responsible for the child when he is in their custody. the teacher is held answerable by the law for the act of the student under him regardless of the student's age. liability attached to the teacher and the head of the technical school although the wrongdoer was already of age. the school. or other administrative superior to exercise supervision over the pupils in the specific classes or sections to which they are assigned. which also states that: The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the Persons herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damages. it should be noted that the liability imposed by this article is supposed to fall directly on the teacher or the head of the school of arts and trades and not on the school itself. In this sense. Article 2180 treats the parent more favorably than the teacher. and even in the enjoyment of a legitimate student privilege.

2. It need not be stressed that such dependence includes the child's support and sustenance whereas submission to the teacher's influence. And if it is also considered that under the article in question. The rector. the parent can expect more obedience from the child because the latter's dependence on him is greater than on the teacher. It was immaterial if he was in the school auditorium to finish his physics experiment or merely to submit his physics report for what is important is that he was there for a legitimate purpose. besides being coterminous with the period of custody is usually enforced only because of the students' desire to pass the course. it should be repeated that. Ms should bolster the claim of the school that it has taken adequate steps to prevent any injury that may be committed by its students. Obviously. in fact. if the parent himself is no longer liable for the student's acts because he has reached majority age and so is no longer under the former's control. he was still in the custody of the authorities of Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos notwithstanding that the fourth year classes had formally ended. Applying the foregoing considerations. Each of them was exercising only a general authority over the student body and not the direct control and influence exerted by the teacher placed in charge of particular classes or sections and thus immediately involved in its discipline. As previously observed. it is not the school that will be held directly liable. A fortiori. In almost all cases now. At the time Alfredo Amadora was fatally shot. to be sure. That is a valid fear. the Court has arrived at the following conclusions: 1. the teacher or the head of the school of arts and trades is responsible for the damage caused by the student or apprentice even if he is already of age — and therefore less tractable than the minor — then there should all the more be justification to require from the school authorities less accountability as long as they can prove reasonable diligence in preventing the injury. Nevertheless. the high school principal and the dean of boys cannot be held liable because none of them was the teacher-in-charge as previously defined. the defense of due diligence is available to it in case it is sought to be held answerable as principal for the acts or omission of its head or the teacher in its employ. The mere fact that Alfredo Amadora had . After all. In this respect. Moreover.and resulting injuries in the school premises. The school can show that it exercised proper measures in selecting the head or its teachers and the appropriate supervision over them in the custody and instruction of the pupils pursuant to its rules and regulations for the maintenance of discipline among them. The evidence of the parties does not disclose who the teacher-in-charge of the offending student was. there is then all the more reason for leniency in assessing the teacher's responsibility for the acts of the student. the teacher himself may invoke this defense as it would otherwise be unfair to hold him directly answerable for the damage caused by his students as long as they are in the school premises and presumably under his influence. even the mere savoring of the company of his friends in the premises of the school is a legitimate purpose that would have also brought him in the custody of the school authorities. the Court is disposed not to expect from the teacher the same measure of responsibility imposed on the parent for their influence over the child is not equal in degree. under the present ruling. The parent can instill more las discipline on the child than the teacher and so should be held to a greater accountability than the teacher for the tort committed by the child. these measures are effected through the assistance of an adequate security force to help the teacher physically enforce those rules upon the students.

Yap. Padilla and Teehankee. there is no showing that Dicon was negligent in enforcing discipline upon Daffon or that he had waived observance of the rules and regulations of the school or condoned their non-observance. the petition is DENIED. Narvasa. In sum. Fernan. JJ. the teacher-in-charge of Alfredo's killer. in maintaining that discipline. Cortes and Griño-Aquino. the private respondents have proved that they had exercised due diligence. 5. as previously observed.gone to school that day in connection with his physics report did not necessarily make the physics teacher. At any rate. without any pronouncement as to costs. Feliciano. C. we nevertheless are unable to extend them the material relief they seek.. it is probably the dean of boys who should be held liable especially in view of the unrefuted evidence that he had earlier confiscated an unlicensed gun from one of the students and returned the same later to him without taking disciplinary action or reporting the matter to higher authorities. 4. Bidin. Finally.. JJ. On the contrary. Paras. the Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos cannot be held directly liable under the article because only the teacher or the head of the school of arts and trades is made responsible for the damage caused by the student or apprentice. took no part. While this was clearly negligence on his part. the Court finds under the facts as disclosed by the record and in the light of the principles herein announced that none of the respondents is liable for the injury inflicted by Pablito Damon on Alfredo Amadora that resulted in the latter's death at the auditorium of the Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos on April 13. it has not been established that it was caused by his laxness in enforcing discipline upon the student. as a balm to their grief. assuming that he was the teacher-in-charge. it does not necessarily link him to the shooting of Amador as it has not been shown that he confiscated and returned pistol was the gun that killed the petitioners' son.J. . His absence when the tragedy happened cannot be considered against him because he was not supposed or required to report to school on that day. respondent Celestino Dicon. WHEREFORE. Sarmiento. concur. through the enforcement of the school regulations. under the law they have invoked. While we deeply sympathize with the petitioners over the loss of their son under the tragic circumstances here related. In the absence of a teacher-in-charge. And while it is true that the offending student was still in the custody of the teacher-in-charge even if the latter was physically absent when the tort was committed. 3. 1972. for which he deserves sanctions from the school. It is so ordered. Gancayco. Neither can it be held to answer for the tort committed by any of the other private respondents for none of them has been found to have been charged with the custody of the offending student or has been remiss in the discharge of his duties in connection with such custody.

00 and attorney's fees in the amount of P15. it was Ferdinand himself who drowned.R. petitioners. Francis High School. moral damages of P20. represented by the Spouses Fernando Nantes and Rosario Lacandula. did not allow their son to join but merely allowed him to bring food to the teachers for the picnic.000. and Benjamin Illumin. because of short notice. together with their respective counterclaims. Luna in Sariaya.00 are hereby awarded to plaintiffs.G. for petitioners.000. His body was recovered but efforts to resuscitate him ashore failed. 1991 ST. Ferdinand's parents. Romulo Castillo and Lilia Cadiz Castillo. SO ORDERED. Jovito E. is hereby ordered dismissed. BENJAMIN ILUMIN. He was brought to a certain Dr. During the picnic and while the students. LUISITO VINAS. J. No. were in the water. respondents. 60.: This is a petition for review of the decision * of the Court of Appeals. . because of persuasion of the teachers. with the directive that he should go back home after doing so. moral damages. Rollo) The complaint alleged that Ferdinand Castillo. Luisito Vinas and Patria Cadis for the payment to plaintiffs of the abovementioned actual damages. FERNANDO NANTES AND ROSARIO LACANDULA. PARAS. then a freshman student of Section 1-C at the St. Sariaya. and the case against them. and for costs.000. Francis High School. ELEVENTH DIVISION and DR. vs. are hereby held jointly and severally liable with defendants Connie Arquio. CONNIE ARQUIO AND PATRIA CADIZ. but in the process. including Ferdinand. Quezon and later to the Mt. one of the female teachers was apparently drowning. However. Ferdinand went on with them to the beach. FRANCIS HIGH SCHOOL. with the following modifications: (1) Exemplary damages in the amount of P20. Cannel General Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. exemplary damages and attorney's fees. Flores. Tirso de Chaves.00 awarded to plaintiffs in the decision under appeal. as represented by SPS. and (3) Defendants Yoly Jaro and Nida Aragones are hereby absolved from liability. Some of the students. ROMULO CASTILLO and LILIA CADIZ. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. Talabong for private respondents. TIRSO DE CHAVEZ. came to her rescue.000. wanted to join a school picnic undertaken by Class I-B and Class I- C at Talaan Beach. the decision under appeal is hereby affirmed. in addition to the actual damages of P30. Jose C. (p. respondents spouses Dr. including Ferdinand. (2) St. 82465 February 25. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS. Quezon.00. Jr.

000. (pp. Benjamin Illumin and Aurora Cadorna. in the Regional Trial Court. represented by the spouses Fernando Nantes and Rosario Lacandula. attorney's fees and expenses for litigation. Said the court a quo: As shown and adverted to above. against the St. Rollo) The students. Yet. the trial court dismissed the case against the St. Aragones. And not only that. such fact does not and cannot excuse them from their liability. Contending that the death of their son was due to the failure of the petitioners to exercise the proper diligence of a good father of the family in preventing their son's drowning. and Patria Cadiz. they could have found out that the area where the children were swimming was indeed dangerous. Vinas. this Court cannot find sufficient evidence showing that the picnic was a school sanctioned one. Francis High School. While the defendants-teachers admitted that some parts of the sea where the picnic was held are deep. Yoly Jaro. Luisito Vinas.00 as attorney's fees. It has been .000. young as they were then (12 to 13 years old).00 as actual damages. they were remiss in their duty to safeguard the students. this Court believes that the defendant teachers namely: Connie Arquio. 55-56. The court a quo reasoned: Taking into consideration the evidence presented.000. Yoly Jaro. (p. for Damages which respondents allegedly incurred from the death of their 13-year old son. the male teachers who according to the female teachers were there to supervise the children to ensure their safety were not even at the area where the children were swimming. 2930. ordering all of them jointly and severally to pay respondents the sum of P30. Jaro and Cadiz. respondent spouses filed a complaint docketed as Civil Case No. Benjamin Illumin (its principal). the drowning incident had already occurred.00 as moral damages. Nida Aragones and Patria Cadiz had failed to exercise the diligence required of them by law under the circumstances to guard against the harm they had foreseen. In fact. Ferdinand Castillo. the supposed lifeguards of the children did not even actually go to the water to test the depth of the particular area where the children would swim. Had the defendant teachers made an actual and physical observation of the water before they allowed the students to swim. P15. it could be said that by coming late. Similarly no evidence has been shown to hold defendants Benjamin Illumin and Aurora Cadorna responsible for the death of Ferdinand Castillo together with the other defendant teachers. were easily attracted to the sea without aforethought of the dangers it offers.Thereupon. P20. Nida Aragones. They were somewhere and as testified to by plaintiffs' witness they were having a drinking spree. and to pay the costs. respondents prayed of actual. Connie Arquio. Rollo) On the other hand. Luisito Vinas. the precautions and reminders allegedly performed by the defendants-teachers definitely fell short of the standard required by law under the circumstances. (pp. Rollo) xxx xxx xxx While it is alleged that when defendants Yoly Jaro and Nida Aragones arrived at the picnic site. Francis High School. Tirso de Chaves. The trial court found in favor of the respondents and against petitioners-teachers Arquio. 30. Branch LVIII of Lucena City. and the teachers: Tirso de Chaves. 8834. de Chaves. And indeed the fears of the plaintiffs that the picnic area was dangerous was confirmed by the fact that three persons during the picnic got drowned at the same time. moral and exemplary damages.

30. the defendant school and defendant school principal must be found jointly and severally liable with the defendants-teachers for the damages incurred by the plaintiffs as a result of the death of their son. It is the rule that in cases where the above-cited provisions find application. Francis High School and the school principal. supra. Respondents-spouses assigned the following errors committed by the trial court: 1. the school principal had knowledge of the picnic even from its planning stage and had even been invited to attend the affair." We find from the evidence that. (pp. On the other hand. . Rollo) The Court of Appeals ruled: We find plaintiffs-appellants' submission well-taken. The lower court erred in not declaring the St. We must find that the school and the responsible school officials. Rollo) Both petitioners and respondents appealed to the Court of Appeals. Considering that the court a quo found negligence on the part of the six defendants-teachers who. Francis High School and principal Benjamin Illumin as jointly and solidarily liable with their co-defendants-teachers Rosario Lacandula. nonetheless it cannot be gainsaid that the same was held under the supervision of the teachers employed by the said school. for the tragic death of Ferdinand Castillo in a picnic at Talaan Beach.. defendant Aurora Cadorna had then her own class to supervise and in fact she was not amongst those allegedly invited by defendant Connie Arquio to supervise class I-C to which Ferdinand Castillo belongs. as such. and yet he did not express any prohibition against undertaking the picnic. nor did he prescribe any precautionary measures to be adopted during the picnic. Francis High School. (p. et als. 2. 56-57. They cannot escape liability on the mere excuse that the picnic was not an "extra-curricular activity of the St. last March 20. 3. are liable under Article 2176 taken together with the 1st. Francis High School and its administrator/principal Benjamin Illumin as equally liable not only for its approved co-curricular activities but also for those which they unreasonably failed to exercise control and supervision like the holding of picnic in the dangerous water of Talaan Beach. The lower court erred in not declaring higher amount for actual and moral damages for the untimely and tragic death of Ferdinand Castillo in favor of plaintiffs- appellants against all the defendants. Quezon. Sariaya. 1982. had acquiesced to the holding of the picnic. the St. sufficiently shown that Benjamin Illumin had himself not consented to the picnic and in fact he did not join it. and those whom she invited to help her in supervising the class during the picnic. particularly the principal. 4th and 5th paragraphs of Article 2180 of the Civil Code. Benjamin Illumin. Sariaya. as claimed by plaintiffs-appellants. Benjamin Illumin. particularly the teacher in charge of Class I-C to whom the victim belonged. Under Article 2180. were charged with the supervision of the children during the picnic. At the least. Even were We to find that the picnic in question was not a school-sponsored activity. the negligence of the employees in causing the injury or damage gives rise to a presumption of negligence on the part of the owner and/or manager of the establishment (in the present case. Quezon. The lower court erred in not declaring the defendant St.

an affirmative reply to this question has been satisfactorily established by the evidence. We sustain defendants-appellants insofar as two of the defendants- teachers. the defendants-teachers). are concerned. ". as correctly found by the trial court. in dismissing the counterclaim interposed by the defendants. . . We agree with the trial court in its finding that whether or not the victim's parents had given such permission to their son was immaterial to the determination of the existence of liability on the part of the defendants for the damage incurred by the plaintiffs- appellants as a result of the death of their son. respectively) are reasonable and are those which are sustained by the evidence and the law. As to the third assigned error interposed by plaintiffs-appellants. . Francis High School and its principal from liability under the above-cited provisions. 2. according to appellants. Nida Aragones. ". respondent Court ruled: The main thrust of defendants-appellants appeal is that plaintiffs. Rollo) On the other hand. it may be overthrown only by clear and convincing proof that the owner and/or manager exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and/or supervision of the employee or employees causing the injury or damage (in this case. Tirso de Chavez. especially the victim's mother who. Rollo) On this score. 57-59. However. in finding the defendants Connie Arquio. Yoly Jaro and Nida Aragones. The record does not disclose such evidence as would serve to overcome the aforesaid presumption and absolve the St. However. 59. while We cannot but commiserate with the plaintiffs for the tragedy that befell them in the untimely death of their son Ferdinand Castillo and understand their suffering as parents. St. the drowning incident had already occurred. What is material to such a determination is whether or not there was negligence on the part of defendants vis- a-visthe supervision of the victim's group during the picnic. . suffered a nervous breakdown as a result of the tragedy. as it is hereby. were not able to prove by their evidence that they did not give their son consent to join the picnic in question.000. As to them. pursuant to Article 2229 of the Civil Code. and while this presumption is not conclusive. Luisito Vinas. However. We believe that exemplary or corrective damages in the amount of P20. We find that the amounts fixed by the court a quo as actual damages and moral damages (P30.00. and. (pp. as already pointed out. imposed in the present case by way of example of correction for the public good.00 may and should be.000. petitioners-teachers assigned the following errors committed by the trial court: 1.000. Yoly Jaro and Patria Cadiz guilty of negligence and jointly and severally liable for damages such finding not being supported by facts and evidence. the parents of the victim Ferdinand Castillo. Francis High School and its principal).00 and P20. (p. the trial court found: While it is alleged that when defendants Yoly Jaro and Nida Aragones arrived at the picnic site. such fact does .

it cannot be said that they had any participation in the negligence attributable to the other defendants-teachers who failed to exercise diligence in the supervision of the children during the picnic and which failure resulted in the drowning of plaintiffs' son. (pp. as to make them liable for the injury caused to the plaintiffs because of the death of their son resulting from his drowning at the picnic. by Atty. The issues presented by petitioners are: A) Whether or not there was negligence attributable to the defendants which will warrant the award of damages to the plaintiffs. In fact. Testimony of Dr. B) Whether or not Art. they were remiss in their duty to safeguard the students. namely. as will be shown hereunder. The petition is impressed with merit. The evidence shows that these two defendants had satisfactorily explained why they were late in going to the picnic site. Since they were not at the picnic site during the occurrence in question. Yoly Jaro and Nida Aragones. As to the second assigned error raised by defendants-appellants. Rollo) In the resolution of January 16. this petition. Flores . We may not attribute any act or omission to the two teachers. that they had to attend to the entrance examination being conducted by the school which is part of their duty as teachers thereof. We agree with the court a quo that the counterclaim must be dismissed for lack of merit. petitioners are neither guilty of their own negligence or guilty of the negligence of those under them. 2180. Thus. 59- 60. 2176 of the New Civil Code is applicable to the case at bar. In the instant case however. At the outset. (pp. it cannot be said that they are guilty at all of any negligence. this is because of their own negligence or the negligence of people under them. Hence. it could be said that by coming late. parents of the victim Ferdinand. not and cannot excuse them from their liability. C) Whether or not the award of exemplary and moral damages is proper under the circumstances surrounding the case at bar. Consequently they cannot be held liable for damages of any kind. We gave due course to the petition and required the parties to submit their respective memoranda. it should be noted that respondent spouses. in relation to Art. If at all petitioners are liable for negligence. Rollo) Hence. 1989. 81-82. they must be absolved from any liability. Accordingly. Castillo on cross exam. allowed their son to join the excursion.

and when I asked him where. sir. 1984 witness Romulo Castillo) The fact that he gave money to his son to buy food for the picnic even without knowing where it will be held. did you not ask him where he will bring this? A I asked him where he was going. sir. sir. when your son asked you for money to buy food. sir. sir. sir. Q And after that you just learned that your son join the picnic? A Yes. Q And during that time you were too busy that you did not inquire whether your son have joined that picnic? A Yes. he answered. you did not tell him anything more? A No more. sir. Lazaro on cross examination: Q How did you conduct this mental and physical examination? . Q You did not ask your wife? A I did not. he did not answer. sir. 16-17. sir. Furthermore. Q Did you not look for your son during that time? A I am too busy with my profession. Q From 8:00 o'clock in the morning up to 12:00 o'clock noon of March 20. (TSN. Q Now. Q And you came to know of it after the news that your son was drowned in the picnic came to you. pp. Q And after giving the money. is a sign of consent for his son to join the same. hearing of April 2. I am going to the picnic. I did not know. 1982. you did not know that your son join the picnic? A No. that is why I was not able. Q And neither did your wife tell you that your son join the picnic? A Later on after 12:00. Testimony of Dr. is that correct? A Yes.

not on a school day and most importantly while the teachers and students were holding a purely private affair. hearing of April 30. The application therefore of Article 2180 has no basis in law and neither is it supported by any jurisprudence. a picnic. As earlier pointed out by the trial court. par. it is clear that before an employer may be held liable for the negligence of his employee. xxx xxx xxx Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks. She was very sorry had she not allowed her son to join the excursion her son would have not drowned. employers wig forever be exposed to the risk and danger of being hailed to Court to answer for the misdeeds or omissions of the employees even if such act or omission he committed while they are not in the performance of their duties. A I have interviewed several persons and the patient herself She even felt guilty about the death of her son because she cooked adobo for him so he could join the excursion where her son died of drowning. Q Why were you able to say she was feeling guilty because she was the one who personally cooked the adobo for her son? A It was during the interview that I had gathered it from the patient herself. The incident happened not within the school premises. no negligence could be attributable to the petitioners-teachers to warrant the award of damages to the respondents-spouses. the teachers/petitioners were not in the actual performance of their assigned tasks. Article 2180. 4 states that: The obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable not only for one's own acts or omissions. Lazaro — witness). but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible. It is clear from the beginning that the incident happened while some members of the I-C class of St. Dr. p. (Emphasis Supplied) (TSN. Finally. 19. . I don't know if she actually permitted her son although she said she cooked adobo so he could join. the act or omission which caused damage or prejudice must have occurred while an employee was in the performance of his assigned tasks. Francis High School were having a picnic at Talaan Beach. Benjamin Illumin because this picnic is not a school sanctioned activity neither is it considered as an extra-curricular activity. mere knowledge by petitioner/principal Illumin of the planning of the picnic by the students and their teachers does not in any way or in any manner show acquiescence or consent to the holding of the same. Respondent Court of Appeals committed an error in applying Article 2180 of the Civil Code in rendering petitioner school liable for the death of respondent's son. If we were to affirm the findings of respondent Court on this score. 1984. This picnic had no permit from the school head or its principal. Under this paragraph. even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry. In the case at bar.

85.Petitioners Connie Arquio the class adviser of I-C." (p. sir. because we were attending to the application of first aid that we were doing. sir. sir. sir. testified that "the defendants (petitioners herein) had life savers especially brought by the defendants in case of emergency. Moreover. even respondents' witness. Q For how many minutes have you applied the back to back pressure? A From 9 to 11 times. sir. were you not disturb anyway? A I was disturbed during that time. sir. In fact. Testimony of Luisito Vinas on cross examination. sir. Q And while you were applying the so called first aid. Q Despite the fact that the boy was no longer responding to your application of first aid? A Yes. "nababahala" in the process of your application of the first aid on the body of Ferdinand Castillo? A No. Q You were rattled at that time. sir. Q You mean you were in calm and peaceful condition? A Yes. Ferdinand Castillo. you approached the boy and claim also having applied first aid on him? A Yes. the children were covering you up or were surrounding you? A Yes. Q You have never been disturbed. Q And when you saw the boy. did her best and exercised diligence of a good father of a family to prevent any untoward incident or damages to all the students who joined the picnic. Q After you have applied back to back pressure and which you claimed the boy did not respond. . is it not? A No. the section where Ferdinand belonged. Connie invited co-petitioners Tirso de Chavez and Luisito Vinas who are both P.E. sir. Rollo) The records also show that both petitioners Chavez and Vinas did all what is humanly possible to save the child. Segundo Vinas. instructors and scout masters who have knowledge in First Aid application and swimming.

(pp. sir. sir. sir. Q What about Mr. Q After you noticed that the boy was not responding. what did you do next? A The first thing that we did. We placed the feet in a higher position." (TSN. was that after putting the child in that position. sir. sir. sir. Q You mean 9 to 11 times of having applied the pressure of your body on the body of Ferdinand Castillo? A Yes. sir. 32-35. for 15 seconds. Rollo) . pp. that of the head of the child. Vinas? A Almost the same a little longer. hearing of July 30. but I noticed that the boy was not responding. particularly myself. I applied the back to back pressure and started to massage from the waistline up. where the feet were on a higher level than that of the head. Q How did you apply the first aid to the guy? A The first step that I took. we changed the position of the boy by placing the child facing upwards laying on the sand then we applied the mouth to mouth resuscitation. was I applied back to back pressure and took notice of the condition of the child. Q For how long did you apply this back to back pressure on the boy? A About 10 seconds. FLORES: Q Who actually applied the first aid or artificial respiration to the child? A Myself. with the help of Mr. 1984) Testimony of Tirso de Chavez on direct examination ATTY. sir. Luisito Vinas. Q After you have placed the boy in that particular position. then the face was a little bit facing right and doing it by massaging the back of the child. what did you do? A When we noticed that the boy was not responding. 92-93. Q Will you please describe how you applied a single act of back to back pressure? A This has been done by placing the boy lay first downwards.

But in the case at bar. concur. to my mind. as adopted by the ponencia from the record. hence. 2217. The issues. wounded feelings. besmirched reputation. Sarmiento and Regalado. JJ. been wronged. they have.With these facts in mind. this does not mean that the petitioners were already relieved of their duty to observe the required diligence of a good father of a family in ensuring the safety of the children. fright. the questioned decision dated November 19. PREMISES CONSIDERED. For this and other reasons stated hereunder. moral shock. the claim for moral or exemplary damages becomes baseless. finding petitioners herein guilty of negligence and liable for the death of Ferdinand Castillo and awarding the respondents damages. I dissent. I believe that the reversal of respondent appellate court's decision gives rise to a situation which was neither contemplated nor intended by the applicable laws. The case at bar does not fall under any of the grounds to grant moral damages. . no moral nor exemplary damages may be awarded in favor of respondents-spouses. Moreover. J. I refer more particularly to the fact that the ponencia has left private respondents-spouses with no one to hold liable for the untimely demise of their son. petitioners were able to prove that they had exercised the required diligence. Art. social humiliation. Moral Damages include physical suffering. dissenting: I regret that I can not concur with the majority. While it is true that respondents-spouses did give their consent to their son to join the picnic. petitioners are not guilty of any fault or negligence. but the portion of the said decision dismissing their counterclaim. is hereby SET ASIDE insofar as the petitioners herein are concerned. mental anguish. serious anxiety. is hereby AFFIRMED. On the other hand. moral damages may be recovered if they are the proximate result of the defendant's wrongful act or omission. The Lawphil Project . and similar injury. Hence. there being no merit. are as follows: A) Whether or not there was negligence attributable to the defendants which will warrant the award of damages to the plaintiffs..Arellano Law Foundation Separate Opinions PADILLA. Though incapable of pecuniary computation. no moral damages can be assessed against them.. SO ORDERED. and they should at least be recompensed for their sufferings. as already pointed out hereinabove. 1987.

so to speak." The Court a quo even went as far as to say that "they were somewhere and as testified to by plaintiffs' witness they were having a drinking spree!"4 It thus appears that the petitioners-teachers failed to exercise the proper diligence or what I may refer to as DILIGENCE BEFORE THE FACT. to ensure which parts thereof were safe for swimming purposes. C) Whether or not the award of exemplary and moral damages is proper under the circumstances surrounding the case at bar.1 In my opinion. what I find most disturbing is the fact that at the time the trouble arose. with the exception of Aragones and Jaro. I may concede. et al. Even if they were not actually informed of the possible dangers which the area posed. in relation to Art. were nowhere within the immediate vicinity but were. this was not the case for as testified to by petitioner de Chavez." 3 At best. But I also agree with the respondent court in its finding that Tirso de Chavez. 2176 of the New Civil Code is applicable to the case at bar. and would like to emphasize the demonstrated lack of diligence on the part of the petitioners-teachers BEFORE the unfortunate incident took place. respondent court absolved them from liability for their having satisfactorily demonstrated lack of participation in the negligence of their colleagues. B) Whether or not Art. it appears that only oral safety instructions were imparted to the young excursionists. despite my reservations. the test in determining whether or not a person is negligent in doing an act whereby injury or damage results to the person or property of another is this: Would a prudent man in the position of the person to whom negligence is attributed foresee harm to the person injured as a reasonable consequence of the course . I am really disturbed about. As to these two. petitioners. However. petitioners-teachers should have first "tested the waters". This concession. Their application of first-aid measures may have failed to revive him but the petitioners had fully exhausted their efforts to save the deceased. but the over-all lack of diligence on the part of petitioners-teachers suffices to put them within the standards set by this Court in determining the existence of negligence. Despite awareness that the waters in the area were deep. however. I refer to the trial court's finding that "it still took the jeep which brought Ferdinand Castillo to the poblacion six (6) minutes before it finally moved to await the other teachers. Court of Appeals. that the afore-mentioned petitioners may not have been negligent in finding ways and means to revive the young Castillo AFTER the drowning incident. As earlier mentioned. As held in Hedy Gan y Yu vs.teachers did not take concrete steps to make sure their wards did not stray too far and too deeply. being physical education instructors. in fact."2 All this aside. But. I am in agreement with said conclusion. the male teachers who were supposed to ensure the children's safety.. is given with hesitation. "at his house getting some foods (sic) and thinks. albeit with reservation. "they admitted that they did not even go to the water to check its depth although they were aware that some parts of it were deep. for there is indication in the record that petitioner petitioners may have tarried too long in securing immediate medical attention for the deceased. Luisito Viñas. 2180. the record clearly shows negligence on the part of the petitioners-teachers. Connie Arguio and Patria Cadiz failed to exercise DILIGENT SUPERVISION over the children during the ill-fated excursion. the steps taken to revive the deceased may be considered adequate. Viñas and de Chavez. as admitted by the latter.

so long as the latter have no knowledge of.about to be pursued? If so. a view which I do not accept. Having preferred to remain silent. the presence or stamp of authority of the school nevertheless pervaded by reason of the participation not of one but of several teachers. school principal. Such institutions. petitioner Illumin acted as the agent of his principal (the school) or its representatives. as correctly held by the respondent court. as school principal. the law imposes the duty on the doer TO TAKE PRECAUTION against its mischievous results and the failure to do so constitutes negligence. particularly the primary and secondary schools. in fact. But it is precisely his silence and negligence in performing his role as principal head of the school that must be construed as an implied consent to such activity. petitioner St. such knowledge does not in any manner show acquiescence or consent to the holding of the excursion. Although the excursion may not have been attended by the appropriate school authorities. or give consent to. I take exception to this proposition. paragraphs (1) and (5) are applicable to the situation. While this presumption is not conclusive." 6 Moreover. Consequently. by invoking the absence of approval on their part for activities that may be held outside school premises or held on a day not a school day. he now seeks excuse from such omission by invoking his alleged lack of consent to the excursion. been invited to attend. which need not arise on the part of employers. petitioner Illumin. Francis High School. such schools avoid liabilities. knew of the excursion and had. the petitioners-spouses Nantes and Lacandula. herein petitioners-spouses Nantes and Lacandula. should have taken appropriate measures to ensure the safety of his students. The majority view appears to be apprehensive that employers will be continuously held accountable for misdeeds of their employees committed even when the same are done not in the actual exercise of their duties. It is about time that such schools realize that theirs is not a . acceded. the petitioners. any act or omission caused by them cannot bind their employer. for the students and to which the student. Francis High School as represented by petitioners-spouses Fernando Nantes and Rosario Lacandula. and as found by the respondent court. they too must be accountable for the death of Ferdinand Castillo. hold the tremendous responsibility of exercising supervision over young children. Too often. as in the instant cage. NATURALLY. As found by the court a quo. the teachers involved therein were not in the actual performance of their assigned tasks. As administrative head (principal) of St. and Illumin. The majority would like to emphasize the fact that the unfortunate incident having occurred during a purely private affair. I fail to appreciate such apprehensions. the negligence of the employee in causing injury or damage gives rise to a presumption of negligence on the part of the owner and/or manager of the establishment. In the application of these provisions. It seems to me that having known of the forthcoming activity. 5 The next issue to be addressed pertains to the liability of the petitioner St. As the majority see it. the record indicates that petitioner Benjamin Illumin. Thus. Educational institutions have responsibilities which cannot be equated with those of the ordinary employer or business establishment. the excursion was an activity "organized by the teachers themselves. it may be overcome only by clear and convincing evidence that the owner and/or manager exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and/or supervision of the employees causing the injury or damage. and even indifferent.1âwphi1 Article 2176 in conjunction with Article 2180. Francis High School. such act or omission on the part of their employee. Consequently. I agree with the respondent court that no proof was presented to absolve the owner and/or manager.

entitles the claimant to an award of moral damages.G. Caro. Melencio-Herrera.R. Quasi-delicts causing physical injuries. the death of private respondents' son as a result of petitioners' negligence gives rise to an action for quasi-delict which. (G. Santiago (51 O. I only wish to point out the basis for moral damages which is found in Article 2219 of the Civil Code. . Thus. . J. . In the light of the foregoing. 21 December 1983. concur. 2878) and Madeja vs. . xxx xxx xxx It should be noted that the term "physical injuries" must not be construed in its penal sense alone but rather in its generic sense. No. . 126 SCRA 293). continuing attention and guidance." They must consider that their students are children of tender years who are in need of adequate care.. 2. 51183. et al. to wit: Moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases: 1. as provided. I vote to AFFIRM the decision of the respondent court and thus hold the petitioners jointly and severally liable for the death of Ferdinand Castillo. in the spirit of this Court's rulings in Carandang vs.mere moneymaking entity or one impersonally established for the sole task of teaching the rudimentary skills of "reading. writing and 'rithmetic. Anent the issue of damages.. from the foregoing discussion the award thereof is clearly proper.

: The Case The case is an appeal via certiorari from the decision[1] of the Court of Appeals as well as the resolution denying reconsideration. Vivencio Villanueva and St. Carpitanos. Marys Academy of Dipolog City.. SR.000. 1995 a case against James Daniel II and his parents. On 20 February 1997. The Facts The facts. vs. are as follows: Claiming damages for the death of their only son. James Daniel Sr. DECISION PARDO. defendants James Daniel. and Guada Daniel.000.00) actual damages incurred by plaintiffs for burial and related expenses. is hereby ordered to pay plaintiffs William Carpitanos and Luisa Carpitanos. J. Marys Academy of Dipolog City.00) indemnity for the loss of life of Sherwin S.000. c. petitioner. .000.ST. JAMES DANIEL. CARPITANOS. and VIVENCIO VILLANUEVA. and to pay costs. b. as found by the Court of Appeals. FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P50. the vehicle owner. respondents. holding petitioner liable for damages arising from an accident that resulted in the death of a student who had joined a campaign to visit the public schools in Dipolog City to solicit enrollment. Sr. the following sums of money: a. GUADA DANIEL. spouses William Carpitanos and Lucia Carpitanos filed on June 9. WILLIAM CARPITANOS and LUCIA S. TEN THOUSAND PESOS (P10. Their liability being only subsidiary. Sherwin Carpitanos. Defendant St.00) for moral damages. d. Branch 6 of the Regional Trial Court of Dipolog City rendered its decision the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: WHEREFORE. Marys Academy before the Regional Trial Court of Dipolog City. 2. judgment is hereby rendered in the following manner: 1. FORTY THOUSAND PESOS (P40.00) for attorneys fees. JAMES DANIEL II. MARYS ACADEMY. PREMISES CONSIDERED. and Guada Daniel are hereby ordered to pay herein plaintiffs the amount of damages above-stated in the event of insolvency of principal obligor St. FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P500.

on May 22. Marys Academy. However.[5] Hence. defendant-appellant St. Sherwin Carpitanos was part of the campaigning group. Accordingly. Dapitan City. His counterclaim not being in order as earlier discussed in this decision. Allegedly.[4] On February 29. this appeal. along with other high school students were riding in a Mitsubishi jeep owned by defendant Vivencio Villanueva on their way to Larayan Elementary School. As a student of St. [2] In due time. on the fateful day. Larayan. 2000. same being adjudged against defendants St. Marys Academy. Marys academy appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals. The Courts Ruling We reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals. 32-33. (Decision.[3] On February 29. From the records it appears that from 13 to 20 February 1995. 2) Whether the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the award of moral damages against the petitioner. is ABSOLVED from paying the above-stated damages. petitioner St. Records.000. being a minor at the time of the commission of the tort and who was under special parental authority of defendant St. is hereby DISMISSED. 2000. IT IS SO ORDERED. petitioner St. A facet of the enrollment campaign was the visitation of schools from where prospective enrollees were studying. Sherwin Carpitanos died as a result of the injuries he sustained from the accident. Defendant Vivencio Villanueva is hereby ABSOLVED of any liability. against his parents. Sherwin.3. 205-206). pointing out that petitioner was negligent in allowing a minor to drive and in not having a teacher accompany the minor students in the jeep. 2000. . Marys Academy of Dipolog City conducted an enrollment drive for the school year 1995- 1996. Marys Academy filed a motion for reconsideration of the decision. the Court of Appeals promulgated a decision reducing the actual damages to P25.[6] The Issues 1) Whether the Court of Appeals erred in holding the petitioner liable for damages for the death of Sherwin Carpitanos. the latter drove the jeep in a reckless manner and as a result the jeep turned turtle.00 but otherwise affirming the decision a quo. Marys Academy liable for the death of Sherwin Carpitanos under Articles 218[7] and 219[8] of the Family Code. the Court of Appeals denied the motion. in toto. and subsidiarily. 4. pp. Marys Academy. Defendant James Daniel II. The jeep was driven by James Daniel II then 15 years old and a student of the same school. pp. The Court of Appeals held petitioner St.

It was Ched Villanueva. or the reckless driving of James Daniel II. negligence.[10] However. unbroken by any efficient intervening cause. it must be shown that the injury for which recovery is sought must be the legitimate consequence of the wrong done. unbroken by intervening efficient causes. Respondents Daniel spouses and Villanueva admitted that the immediate cause of the accident was not the negligence of petitioner or the reckless driving of James Daniel II. And the proximate cause of an injury is that cause. respondents did not present any evidence to show that the proximate cause of the accident was the negligence of the school authorities. Respondents. to drive the jeep at the time of the accident. in natural and continuous sequence. parents of the deceased Sherwin Carpitanos. did not dispute the report and testimony of the traffic investigator who stated that the cause of the accident was the detachment of the steering wheel guide that caused the jeep to turn turtle. In other words. the cause of the accident was not the recklessness of James Daniel II but the mechanical defect in the jeep of Vivencio Villanueva. and without which the result would not have occurred. those exercising special parental authority are principally and solidarily liable for damages caused by the acts or omissions of the unemancipated minor while under their supervision. no matter in what it consists. instruction. Further. instruction or custody: (1) the school. whether inside or outside the premises of the school. entity or institution engaged in child care. This special parental authority and responsibility applies to all authorized activities. if the person under custody is a minor.[9] Under Article 219 of the Family Code. Hence. He was driving the vehicle and he allowed James Daniel II. for petitioner to be liable. cannot create a right of action unless it is the proximate cause of the injury complained of. there must be a finding that the act or omission considered as negligent was the proximate cause of the injury caused because the negligence must have a causal connection to the accident. the respondents reliance on Article 219 of the Family Code that those given the authority and responsibility under the preceding Article shall be principally and solidarily liable for damages caused by acts or omissions of the unemancipated minor was unfounded. In their comment to the petition.[11] In order that there may be a recovery for an injury. there was no evidence that petitioner school allowed the minor James Daniel II to drive the jeep of respondent Vivencio Villanueva. who had possession and control of the jeep. however. the respondents failed to show that the negligence of petitioner was the proximate cause of the death of the victim. the connection between the negligence and the injury must be a direct and natural sequence of events. or custody. grandson of respondent Vivencio Villanueva.[12] In this case. Hence. or (2) the individual. a minor. excursions and other affairs of the pupils and students outside the school premises whenever authorized by the school or its teachers. entity or institution. Under Article 218 of the Family Code. which. respondents Daniel spouses and Villanueva admitted the documentary exhibits establishing that the cause of the accident was the detachment of the steering wheel guide of the jeep. the negligence must be the proximate cause of the injury. the following shall have special parental authority over a minor child while under their supervision. . produces the injury. its administrators and teachers. For. such authority and responsibility applies to field trips. including the spouses Carpitanos. Significantly. but the detachment of the steering wheel guide of the jeep. Thus.

00 awarded by the trial court and affirmed by the Court of Appeals. whether caused by the negligence of the minor driver or mechanical detachment of the steering wheel guide of the jeep. legal and equitable justification. produces the injury. and which was the proximate cause of the accident.. C. Consequently. Dipolog City.000. Marys Academy was only a remote cause of the accident. the proximate cause of the accident was not attributable to petitioner.[19] The Court remands the case to the trial court for determination of the liability of defendants. Marys Academy. we find that petitioner likewise cannot be held liable for moral damages in the amount of P500. Marys Academy had no control. Kapunan. the grant of attorneys fees against the petitioner is likewise deleted. it is not the school.[13] Considering that the negligence of the minor driver or the detachment of the steering wheel guide of the jeep owned by respondent Villanueva was an event over which petitioner St. even if not used for public service. No costs. Puno. Jr.[17] Hence. in the result. For the reason that petitioner was not directly liable for the accident. Though incapable of pecuniary computation. Davide. and Ynares-Santiago. (Chairman). the Court REVERSES and SETS ASIDE the decision of the Court of Appeals[18] and that of the trial court. concur. unbroken by any efficient intervening cause. there intervened the negligence of the minors parents or the detachment of the steering wheel guide of the jeep. The Fallo WHEREFORE. The proximate cause of an injury is that cause.. He never denied and in fact admitted this fact. the decision of the Court of Appeals ordering petitioner to pay death indemnity to respondent Carpitanos must be deleted. moral damages may be recovered if they are the proximate result of the defendants wrongful act or omission.. Moreover.. J. Between the remote cause and the injury. [14] In this case. but the registered owner of the vehicle who shall be held responsible for damages for the death of Sherwin Carpitanos. and without which the result would not have occurred. in natural and continuous sequence.[16] Thus. the grant of attorneys fees as part of damages is the exception rather than the rule. JJ. would primarily be responsible to the public or to third persons for injuries caused the latter while the vehicle was being driven on the highways or streets. SO ORDERED. must be pinned on the minors parents primarily. We have held that the registered owner of any vehicle.J. The negligence of petitioner St. there was no question that the registered owner of the vehicle was respondent Villanueva. petitioner may not be held liable for the death resulting from such accident. . with the overwhelming evidence presented by petitioner and the respondent Daniel spouses that the accident occurred because of the detachment of the steering wheel guide of the jeep. Incidentally. which. excluding petitioner St. liability for the accident.[15] The power of the court to award attorneys fees under Article 2208 of the Civil Code demands factual. Hence.

.

. defendant Virgilio L. defendants-appellees. Daffon were classmates. QUIBULUE.1 the defendant Teodosio Valenton. He never regained consciousness. Daffon made a remark to the effect that Palisoc was acting like a foreman. at the time when the incident which gave rise to his action occurred was a member of the Board of Directors of the institute. the defendant Santiago M. a fellow student of the deceased. 1966." . and a student in automotive mechanics at the Manila Technical Institute. instructor of the class to which the deceased belonged. Desiderio Cruz and Virgilio L. vs. Quezon Boulevard. PALISOC. Reyes for appellee Brillantes.: An appeal in forma pauperis on pure questions of law from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila. Dominador Palisoc. et al. the lone witness to the incident. Daffon. at the laboratory room of the said Institute. the action below for damages arising from the death on March 10. per the trial court's decision. gave Palisoc a strong flat blow on the face. which was followed by other fist blows on the stomach. At that time the classes were in recess. ANTONIO C. 1966. VIRGILIO L.G. Villareal. respectively. Daffon. 1966 of their son at the hands of a fellow student. L-29025 October 4. . and on the afternoon of March 10. Daffon. At the beginning the Manila Technical Institute was a single proprietorship. between two and three o'clock. finally he died.T. DAFFON and SANTIAGO M. Palisoc retreated apparently to avoid the fist blows. they. Almacen Navarra & Amores for appellee Daffon. but lately on August 2. of a school of arts and trades. BRILLANTES and TEODOSIO V. Brillantes. . the president thereof. No. owner and President.). J. Quibulue. Agustin for plaintiffs-appellants.R. Because of this remark Palisoc slapped slightly Daffon on the face. Defendants. plaintiffs-appellants. Leovillo C. TEEHANKEE. Manila. Daffon were working on a machine while Dominador Palisoc was merely looking on at them. First aid was administered to him but he was not revived. VALENTON.I. Honorato S. and the defendant Virgilio L. known under the name and style of "Manila Technical Institute" (M. . The foregoing is the substance of the testimony of Desiderio Cruz. ." The facts that led to the tragic death of plaintiffs' son were thus narrated by the trial court: "(T)he deceased Dominador Palisoc and the defendant Virgilio L. in retaliation. had filed on May 19. 1962. 1971 Spouses MOISES P. Plaintiffs-appellants as parents of their sixteen-year old son. together with another classmate Desiderio Cruz were in the laboratory room located on the ground floor. Palisoc became pale and fainted. but Daffon followed him and both exchanged blows until Palisoc stumbled on an engine block which caused him to fall face downward. PALISOC and BRIGIDA P. are: "(T)he defendant Antonio C. it was duly incorporated. so he was immediately taken to a hospital.

. G. May 30. In the opinion of the Court. the Court of Appeals. Desiderio Cruz..R. a classmate of the protagonists.3 It held that "(T)he act.5 There is no evidence that the accused Daffon lived and boarded with his teacher or the other defendant officials of the school. L-14862." the trial court found defendant Daffon liable for the quasi delict under Article 2176 of the Civil Code. this article of the Code is not applicable to the case at bar. Mercado. .. Jr.. et al. as that of a disinterested witness who "has no motive or reason to testify one way or another in favor of any party" and rejected the self-exculpatory version of defendant Daffon denying that he had inflicted any fist blows on the deceased. since this contemplates the situation where the control or influence of the teachers and heads of school establishments over the conduct and actions by the pupil supersedes those of the parents. NEW CIVIL CODE CONSTRUED: — The clause "so long as they remain in their custody" contained in Article 2180 of the new civil code contemplated a situation where the pupil lives and boards with the teacher. so long as they remain in their custody. of the accused Daffon in giving the deceased strong fistblows in the stomach which ruptured his internal organs and caused his death falls within the purview of this article of the Code. No. absolved from liability the three other defendants-officials of the Manila Technical Institute. (Ciriaco L..The trial court expressly gave credence to this version of the incident. In those circumstances the control or influence over the conduct and actions of the pupil as well as the responsibilities for their sort would pass from the father and mother to the teachers. therefore. however. These defendants cannot therefore be made responsible for the tort of the defendant Daffon. such that the control or influence on the pupil supersedes those of the parents. Judgment was therefore rendered by the trial court as follows: . Lastly. Angelo Singian of the Manila Police Department who performed the autopsy re "Cause of death: shock due to traumatic fracture of theribs (6th and 7th. as testified to by the lone eyewitness. respondents.. Petitioner vs. Their liabilities are based on the provisions of Article 2180 of the New Civil Code which reads: Art.." and his testimony that these internal injuries of the deceased were caused "probably by strong fist blows. With the postmortem findings of Dr. in this wise: . Manuel Quisumbing."4 The trial court. 2180. contusion of the pancreas and stomach with intra-gastric hemorrhage and slight subarachnoid hemorrhage on the brain. teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades shall be liable for damages caused by their pupils and students and apprentices. CIVIL LAW: DAMAGES ART 2180. left. . 1960).

8 where the only issue involved as expressly stated in the decision. (d) P10. Capuno.000.000. (c) P5. Lourdes Catholic School at Kanlaon. which expressly hold "teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades . The lower court absolved defendants-school officials on the ground that the provisions of Article 2180. 1. to be meritorious.00 for actual and compensatory expenses. teachers or directors of arts and trades are liable for any damage caused by their pupils or apprentices while they are under . Plaintiffs' appeal raises the principal legal question that under the factual findings of the trial court. .000. . since the wound left no scar." contemplates a situation where the pupil lives and boards with the teacher. and in good health when he died. such that the control. Quezon City [which was not a party to the case] should be held responsible. ." The lower court based its legal conclusion expressly on the Court's dictum in Mercado vs. Civil Code. rather than him as father. Sentencing the defendant Virgilio L. since "there is no evidence that the accused Daffon [who inflicted the fatal fistblows]6 lived and boarded with his teacher or the other defendants-officials of the school. Court of Appeals. for awarding moral damages had been established. Civil Code.. the trial court erred in absolving the defendants-school officials instead of holding them jointly and severally liable as tortfeasors. Absolving the other defendants.00 for moral damages. for the moral damages of P2. (which issue was resolved adversely against the father). the dictum in such earlier case that "It is true that under the law abovequoted. The dictum in Mercado was based in turn on another dictum in the earlier case of Exconde vs. so long as they remain in their custody. considering that the deceased was only between sixteen and seventeen years.] The moral damages award was after all set aside by the Court on the ground that none of the specific cases provided in Article 2219.375. 1. for the damages awarded them as a result of their son's death. Nevertheless.000. Daffon to pay the plaintiffs as heirs of the deceased Dominador Palisoc (a) P6. (b) P3. in the main. the pupils appear to go to school during school hours and go back to their homes with their parents after school is over. 2. which are now beyond review. and (e) P2. These defendants cannot therefore be made responsible for the tort of the defendant Daffon. direction and influence on the pupil supersedes those of the parents. and so would the responsibility for the torts of the pupil. with defendant Daffon.00 by way of medical expenses to treat and cure.00 for attorney's fee. Such a situation does not appear in the case at bar. In these circumstances the control or influence over the conduct and actions of the pupil would pass from the father and mother to the teacher. ." This dictum had been made in rejecting therein petitioner father's contention that his minor son's school. [A cut on the right cheek with a piece of razor which costs only P50. petitioner's son being only nine years old and not having been shown to have "acted with discernment" in inflicting the injuries on his classmate.7 that "(I)t would seem that the clause "so long as they remain in their custody.00 for loss of earning power..00 for the death of Dominador Palisoc. The Court finds the appeal. Dismissing the defendants' counterclaim for lack of merit.000. was whether the therein defendant-father could be civilly liable for damages resulting from a death caused in a motor vehicle accident driven unauthorizedly and negligently by his minor son. 3.00 adjudged against him for the physical injury inflicted by his son on a classmate. plus the costs of this action. liable for damages caused by their pupils and students and apprentices." are not applicable to to the case at bar.

defendants head and teacher of the Manila Technical Institute (defendants Valenton and Quibulue. While plaintiffs sought to so implead it. and hence. since Daffon was already of age at the time of the tragic incident. to a certain extent. it becomes their obligation as well as that of the school itself to provide proper supervision of the students' activities during the whole time that they are at attendance in the school. Brillantes is not the registered owner/head of the "Manila Technical Institute" which is now a corporation and is not owned by any individual person. Justice J. including injuries that some student themselves may inflict willfully or through negligence on their fellow students."11 This is expressly provided for in Articles 349. including recess time.12 In the law of torts. only if the student who inflicted the fatal fistblows on his classmate and victim "lived and boarded with his teacher . The school itself cannot be held similarly liable.9 the Manila Technical Institute being admittedly a technical vocational and industrial school. either. since it has not been properly impleaded as party defendant. 2. the parents of the student at fault.their custody. "the basis of the presumption of negligence of Art. for damages caused by their pupils and students against fellow students on the school premises. Reyes in his dissenting opinion in Exconde. as to their pupils and students. 350 and 352 of the Civil Code. The Court holds that under the cited codal article. and therefore the school itself. for the very reason that the parent is not supposed to interfere with the discipline of the school nor with the authority and supervision of the teacher while the child is under instruction. The lower court therefore erred in law in absolving defendants-school officials on the ground that they could be held liable under Article 2180. likewise. etc. 1903 [now 2180] is some culpa in vigilando that the parents. respectively) are liable jointly and severally for damages to plaintiffs-appellants for the death of the latter's minor son at the hands of defendant Daffon at the school's laboratory room. 14 5. should be the one answerable for the torts committed while under his custody. notwithstanding that Brillantes and his co- defendants in their reply to plaintiffs' request for admission had expressly manifested and made of record that "defendant Antonio C.L. are supposed to have incurred in the exercise of their authority" 13 and "where the parent places the child under the effective authority of the teacher. is that they stand. should have been brought in as party defendant. but this provision only applies to an institution of arts and trades and not to any academic educational institution" was expressly cited and quoted in Mercado. . The rationale of such liability of school heads and teachers for the tortious acts of their pupils and students." The school itself. so long as they remain in their custody. as well as to take the necessary precautions to protect the students in their custody from dangers and hazards that would reasonably be anticipated. No liability attaches to defendant Brillantes as a mere member of the school's board of directors. defendant Daffon.B. and not the parent. There is no question. the governing principle is that the protective custody of the school heads and teachers is mandatorily substituted for that of the parents. Civil Code. has to respond for the fault or negligence of its school head and teachers under the same cited article. in loco parentis and are called upon to "exercise reasonable supervision over the conduct of the child. . its former single proprietor. 4. The case at bar was instituted directly against the school officials and squarely raises the issue of liability of teachers and heads of schools under Article 2180. Here. Civil Code. as thus incorporated. the lower court found that it had been incorporated since August 2. are not involved. by impleading improperly defendant Brillantes. teachers. the latter. 1962. . As tersely summarized by Mr."10 3. that the school involved is a non-academic school. Plaintiffs failed to do so.

damages.00 as set by the Court in People vs.16 Decisive here is the touchstone provision of Article 2231. and the dicta in Mercado (as well as in Exconde) on which it relied. .000. besides increasing the award of attorney's fees all concern matters that are left by law to the discretion of the trial court and the Court has not been shown any error or abuse in the exercise of such discretion on the part of the trial court. the law holds them liable unless they relieve themselves of such liability.000.000. as well as of interest and increased attorney's fees. from the old stated minimum of P3. Civil Code. plus the costs of this action in both instances.00 for loss of earning power and (e) P2.000. 2. TeodosioV. in Pantoja. 1. in compliance with the last paragraph of Article 2180.000.00. Plaintiffs-appellees' contention that the award of P6. as erroneously held by the lower court. by "(proving) that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. Brillantes from the complaint.000.00 for moral. had expressed its "considered opinion that the amount of award of compensatory damages for death caused by a crime or quasi-delict should now be P12.00 to P12. ACCORDINGLY. must now be deemed to have been set aside by the present decision. (d) P10. Civil Code.000.00 as indemnity for the death of their son should be increased to P12. which amount is to be awarded "even though there may have been mitigating circumstances" pursuant to the express provisions of said codal article." No gross negligence on the part of defendants was found by the trial court to warrant the imposition of exemplary damages. whether at the hands of fellow students or other parties.15 and observed in all death indemnity cases thereafter is well taken. dismissing defendants' counterclaims. said defendants failed to prove such exemption from liability. Quibulue jointly and severallyto pay plaintiffs as heirs of the deceased Dominador Palisoc (a) P12. and the Court has not been shown in this appeal any compelling reason to disturb such finding.00. There is nothing in the law that requires that for such liability to attach the pupil or student who commits the tortious act must live and board in the school.00 for attorney's fee.00 for actual and compensatory expenses. . Plaintiffs-appellees' other claims on appeal that the lower court should have awarded exemplary damages and imposed legal interest on the total damages awarded. that "In quasi-delicts. The unfortunate death resulting from the fight between the protagonists-students could have been avoided. Daffon.00 for the death of Dominador Palisoc." The Court thereby adjusted the minimum amount of "compensatory damages for death caused by a crime or quasi-delict" as per Article 2206. .000. after noting the decline in the purchasing power of the Philippine peso. Pantoja.or the other defendants officials of the school. 7." In the light of the factual findings of the lower court's decision." As stated above. absolving defendant Antonio C. (b) P3. and 3. . Sentencing the defendants Virgilio L. The Court.000. 6. Civil Code. 8. Defendants Valenton and Quibulue as president and teacher-in-charge of the school must therefore be held jointly and severally liable for the quasi-delict of their co-defendant Daffon in the latter's having caused the death of his classmate.375. (c) P5. Valenton and Santiago M. the judgment appealed from is modified so as to provide as follows: . . including recess time. At any rate. . exemplary damages may be granted if the defendant acted with gross negligence. had said defendants but complied with their duty of providing adequate supervision over the activities of the students in the school premises to protect their students from harm. the deceased Dominador Palisoc. the phrase used in the cited article — "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.

so long as they remain in their custody. . the article expressly so provides. concurring: . it would have expressly so stated. . Article 2180 of the Civil Code of the Philippines is to the following effect: . I concur with the opinion of Mr. J. The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned prove that they observe all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damages. Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks.. the mother. it is not without significance that the teachers and heads of scholarly establishments are not grouped with parents and guardians but ranged with owners and managers of enterprises.L. The owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise are likewise responsible for damages caused by their employees in the service of the branches in which the latter are employed or on the occasion of their functions. employers and . Dizon. Guardians are liable for damages caused by the minors or incapacitated persons who are under their authority and live in their company. The fact that it has not done so indicates an intent that the liability be not restricted to the case of persons under age.. Lastly. REYES. . but not when the damage has been caused by the official to whom the task done properly pertains.. concur. teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades shall be liable for damages caused by their pupils and students or apprentices. are responsible for the damages caused by the minor children who live in their company. . but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible. Villamor and Makasiar.B. J. J. The obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable not only for one's own acts or omissions. . The State is responsible in like manner when it acts through a special agent. It is natural to expect that if the law had intended to similarly restrict the civil responsibility of the other categories of persons enumerated in the article. as in the case of the parents and of the guardians.Concepcion. Further. Justice Teehankee but would like to clarify that the argument of the dissenting opinion of the effect that the responsibility of teachers and school officers under Articles 2180 should be limited to pupils who are minors (below the age of majority) is not in accord with the plain text of the law. C. . . in case of his death or incapacity. JJ. .J. The father and. even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry.. took no part. Examination of the article shows that where the responsibility prescribed therein is limited to illegal acts during minority.. in which case what is provided in article 2176 shall be applicable.

272 (Sp. Por otra parte. no es siempre argumento seguro para interpreter la ley. al par de los padres. debiendo manisfestar nuestra opinion. Ante esta variedad de opiniones. the authority and custodial supervision over pupils exist regardless of the age of the latter. Aun respecto a los menores variara segun la edad. by enrolling and attending a school. el art. puede dudarse de la oportunidad de semajante diferencia. . acepten voluntariamente la entera vigilancia de su preceptor mientras dura la educacion. .153. J. . Personas de quien responde. aunque mayores de edad. committed while under such authority. places himself under the custodial supervision and disciplinary authority of the school authorities. pero. in their "Droit Civil Pratique. Similarly. Y tal es el art. observes with considerable cogency that — 272. Lo que haya establecido important poco si. Volume 5. 1. Planiol-Ripert. porque la voluntad cierta del legislador prevalece in iure condito a cualquier otra consideracion. extremo que tendra que ternese en ceunta a los fines de apreciar si el maestro ha podido impedir el acto nocivo o no. in his well-known "Teoria de las Obligaciones en el Derecho Moderno". that while in the case of parents and guardians. responder civilmente de los daños comitidos por sus discipulos. but that circumstance can only affect the decree of the responsibility but cannot negate the existence thereof. nos acercamos a la de los que no estiman necesaria la menor edad del discipulo o del aprendiz. I submit. It is only a factor to be appreciated in determining whether or not the defendant has exercised due diligence in endeavoring to prevent the injury." Volume VI. 635 (Spanish version). si bien se considera. as prescribed in the last paragraph of Article 2180. porque si el aforismo ubi voluit dixit. page 404. which is the basis of the latter's correlative responsibility for his torts.. A student over twenty-one. ubi noluit tacuit. the teachers' control is not as plenary as when the student is a minor. aun cuando estos esten faltos de discernimiento. Ed. — Si bien la responsibilidad del maestro es originalmente una estension de la de los padres (1). Esto no obstante. ninguna de las cuales se funds en argumentos merecedores de seria ponderacion. after noting the split among commentators on the point it issue.). la vigilancia no tendra que ser ejercida en iguales terminos. Giorgi. their authority and supervision over the children and wards end by law upon the latter reaching majority age. as to whom no reason is discernible to imply that they should answer only for minors. No. . no es facil tomar un partido. elevandones a los principios de razon. concurs. 1384 no especifica que los alumnos y aprendices han de ser menores de edad. por lo que la presuncion de culpa funcionara aun cuando sean mayores (2). Ni parece dudoso desde el momento que los artesanos y los preceptores deben. no puede parecer extrano o absurdo el suponer que un discipulo y un aprendiz. finally. es infalible cuanto se refiere a una misma disposicion relative a varios casos. Barredo.the state. Of course. No. say that — 635.

Castro and Fernando. . Zaldivar. If. 414. I believe the restrictive interpretation of the aforesaid provision enunciated in Mercado should be maintained. would be bad law. as stated also in the opinion of the majority." This statement is of course in accordance with Article 2180. such as suspension or outright expulsion of the offending students. rendering teachers and school heads open to damage suits for causes beyond their power to control. With particular reference to the case at bar. Court of Appeals." Article 2180. since Daffon was already of age at the time of the tragic incident. Present conditions being what they are. beleaguered and attacked." then it stands to reason that (1) the clause "so long as they remain in their custody" as used in reference to teachers and school heads should be equated with the phrase "who live in their company" as used in reference to parents. It would demand responsibility without commensurate authority.. is that they stand. it flies in the face of logic and reality to consider such students. where the clause "so long as they remain in their custody" used in Article 2180 of the Civil Code was construed as referring to a "situation where the pupil lives and boards with the teacher." Note that for parental responsibility to arise the children must be minors who live in their company. the mother. I see no reason to depart from the doctrine laid down by this Court in Mercado v. defendant Daffon. considering the size of the enrollment in many of our educational institutions. in loco parentis and are called upon to exercise reasonable supervision over the conduct of the child. to a certain extent. are responsible for the damages caused by the minor children who live in their company. JJ. one other factor constrains me to dissent. When even the school authorities find themselves besieged. . to hold their teachers and/or the administrative heads of the schools directly liable for torts committed by them. in case of his death or incapacity. are not involved. if applied as appellants construe it. as to their pupils and students. which says that "the father and. such that the (latter's) control. so long as they remain in their custody. attitudes and often destructive activism of the students." I think it is highly unrealistic and conducive to unjust results. the parents of the student at fault. J. as well as the temper. The opinion of the majority states: "Here. as "in the custody" of the teachers or school heads within the meaning of the statute. 108 Phil. either in the law itself or in justice and equity. I find no justification. concur. dissenting: I vote to affirm the decision appealed from. academic and non-academic. and unable to impose the traditional disciplinary measures formerly recognized as available to them. "the rationale of (the) liability of school heads and teachers for the tortious acts of their pupils and students.Separate Opinions MAKALINTAL. direction and influence on the pupil supersedes those of the parents. to make a substitute parent liable where the real parent would be free from liability. and to hold the latter liable unless they can prove that they have exercised "all the diligence of a good father of the family to prevent damage. so should teachers and school heads be exempt from liability for the tortious acts of their students in the same age category. merely from the fact of enrollment and class attendance.. and (2) that just as parents are not responsible for damages caused by their children who are no longer minors. .

.

126395.R. Rosales and Lily R. PEDRO A. Rosales from the decision. hit her. this Court. No. Liza Rosalie was taken to the Philippine Heart Center. respondents. FELICIANA CELEBRADO and THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM. ROSALES. hit Liza Rosalie who was then crossing Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City. respondents. holds that the accused. and the costs of suit for the death of the latters daughter. petitioners. to 6 years. 1994. MMTC and Musa in G. by the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. therefore. CONRADO TOLENTINO. J. as maximum. by the Metro Manila Transit Corporation (MMTC) and Pedro Musa and. November 16.R. a third-year high school student at the University of the Philippines Integrated School. is criminally responsible for the death of the girl victim in violation of Article 365(2) of the Revised Penal Code. The spouses Rosales were parents of Liza Rosalie. No. MUSA.[2] She fell to the ground upon impact. At around a quarter past one in the afternoon of August 9. ROSALES and LILY ROSALES. Pedro Musa was found guilty of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of 2 years and 4 months. which affirmed with modification the judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City holding MMTC and Musa liable to the spouses Rosales for actual. in the light of the evidence that the girl victim was already . moral. 1998] RODOLFO V. MUSA. SPS. No. and was run over by the left rear tires thereof. No. CONRADO TOLENTINO. petitioners. PEDRO A. An eye witness said the girl was already near the center of the street when the bus. [G. and exemplary damages. DECISION MENDOZA.[3] Her body was dragged several meters away from the point of impact. November 16. then bound for the south. 27. 1986.[5] The trial court found: All told. while the spouses Rosales in G. 116617. [G. Musa was its driver assigned to MMTC Bus No. rolled between the two front wheels of the bus. 116617 appeal insofar as they are held liable for damages. The facts are as follows: MMTC is the operator of a fleet of passenger buses within the Metro Manila area.[1] dated August 5. 126395 appeal insofar as the amounts awarded are concerned. by the spouses Rodolfo V. For. 1998] METRO MANILA TRANSIT CORPORATION (MMTC). MMTC Bus No. who was then the driver of MMTC Bus No. RODOLFO V.: These are appeals brought. of the Court of Appeals.[4] but efforts to revive her proved futile. METRO MANILA TRANSIT CORPORATION (MMTC). vs. attorneys fees. THE COURT OF APPEALS. on the one hand. vs. COURT OF APPEALS. as minimum.R.R. on the other. FELICIANA CELEBRADO and THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM. which was driven by Musa. 027. 27. ROSALES and LILY R.

[8] In a decision rendered on March 6. Rosales as follows: 1.[6] The spouses Rosales filed an independent civil action for damages against MMTC. he ran over the girl victim who died as a result thereof. judgment is hereby rendered ordering defendant Metro Manila Transit Corporation primarily and defendant Pedro Musa subsidiarily liable to plaintiffs-spouses Rodolfo V. Moral damages in the amount of P500. this Court would not be in the position. Musa.000. 4.000. and.00. already past the right lane when the MMTC Bus No. and he did not even know that he had bumped the girl victim and had ran over her.[10] . and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court with the following modification: WHEREFORE. as follows: WHEREFORE. consequently. 027. The counsel of MMTC and Musa attempted to introduce testimony that Musa was not negligent in driving Bus No. and. 1990.000.000. which is made more evident by the circumstance that the accused did not blow his horn at the time of the accident. and 5. demonstrating thereby that he did not exercise diligence and take the necessary precaution to avoid injury to persons in the operation of his vehicle. the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City found MMTC and Musa guilty of negligence and ordered them to pay damages and attorneys fees. Exemplary damages in the amount of P100.00 as death indemnity.00 as actual damages and awarding in lieu thereof the amount of P30. 3.000. in all other aspects. Actual damages in the amount of P150. You can now limit your question to the other defendant here but to re-try again the actual facts of the accident.[9] Both parties appealed to the Court of Appeals. in fact. Costs of suit. You ask questions only regarding the civil aspect as to the other defendant but not as to the accused. Attorneys fees in the amount of P50. sufficient proof to show that the accused was careless.[7] The counsel submitted to the ruling of the court. as a defendant therein. hereby AFFIRMED.00. except for the modification deleting the award of P150. a dispatcher of the MMTC. They subsequently amended their complaint to include Feliciana Celebrado. since the said bus was then running at a speed of about 25 kilometers per hour which is inappropriate since Katipunan road is a busy street. MMTC Acting General Manager Conrado Tolentino. It would be improper for this Court to make any findings with respect to the negligence of herein driver. 027 was supposed to have passed. therefore. the decision appealed from is. 2. reckless and imprudent in the operation of his MMTC Bus No. 1994. Rosales and Lily R.00. 27 but was told by the trial judge: COURT: That is it.000. as. there is.at the center of the Katipunan Road when she was bumped. foregoing premises considered.00. On August 5.

OVERLOOKED THE FACT THAT PETITIONER MMTC. and arbitrary can they be overturned. 1996. therefore. in G. in a resolution. A GOVERNMENT-OWNED CORPORATION. the spouses Rosales contend: The Court of Appeals erred in: First.00 IN FAVOR OF PRIVATE RESPONDENTS- APPELLEES. THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS.000 BY WAY OF DEATH INDEMNITY. considering that death indemnity which this Honorable Court set at P50. COMMITTED NO FRAUD. 126395. In G.000. Only where it is shown that such findings are whimsical. 27 and whether its . [11] Not only can they not do this as the rule is that an appellant may not be heard on a question not specifically assigned as error. MALICE.00. and even finality. capricious. their petition contains discussions which cast doubts on this point.[12] Indeed. as already stated. but the rule giving great weight. FRAUDULENT.R. dated September 12.000.00 is akin to actual damages.000 AS EXEMPLARY DAMAGES AND P30. THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE COURT A QUOS DECISION IN RENDERING JUDGMENT FOR ATTORNEYS FEES IN THE AMOUNT OF P50.000. On the other hand. NOR WANTON. THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE COURT A QUOS DECISION TO HOLD PETITIONER-APPELLANT MMTC PRIMARILY LIABLE TO PRIVATE RESPONDENTS-APPELLEES IN THE AMOUNT OF P500. P100. refusing to hold all the defendants. The spouses Rosales filed a motion for reconsideration. OPPRESSIVE AND MALEVOLENT ACTUATIONS AGAINST HEREIN RESPONDENTS-APPELLEES. Hence. 116617. 27. petitioners counsel submitted to the ruling of the court that the finding of the trial court in the criminal case was conclusive on them with regard to the questions of whether Liza Rosalie was hit by MMTC Bus No. not increasing the amount of damages awarded. JUST LIKE THE COURT A QUO. the findings of both the Court of Appeals and the Regional Trial Court are solidly anchored on the evidence submitted by the parties. MMTC and Musa do not specifically question the findings of the Court of Appeals and the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City that Liza Rosalie was hit by MMTC Bus No. THIS BEING THE CASE. We. No.000. BAD FAITH.R. Nonetheless. MMTC and Musa assail the decision of the Court of Appeals on the following grounds: PUBLIC RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE COURT A QUOS DECISION PARTICULARLY IN NOT HOLDING THAT PETITIONER- APPELLANT MMTC EXERCISED THE DILIGENCE OF A GOOD FATHER OF A FAMILY IN THE SELECTION AND SUPERVISION OF ITS DRIVERS. Second.000 AS MORAL DAMAGES. to the factual conclusions of the Court of Appeals which affirm those of the trial court bars a reversal of the finding of liability against petitioners MMTC and Musa. regard them as conclusive in resolving the petitions at bar. Third. now private respondents. partly granted by increasing the indemnity for the death of Liza Rosalie from P30. To the contrary.00 to P50. APPELLANT MMTC IS ENTITLED TO BE ABSOLVED FROM ANY LIABILITY OR AT LEAST TO A REDUCTION OF THE RECOVERABLE DAMAGES. which the appellate court. No. solidarily liable. these appeals.

and so to shift them to society. having engaged in an enterprise. the injured party may recover from the employers directly. regardless of the solvency of their employees. Added to this is the makeweight argument that an employer who is held strictly liable is under the greatest incentive to be careful in the selection. The losses caused by the torts of employees. and to distribute them. it is just that he.[17] On the other hand. which as a practical matter are sure to occur in the conduct of the employers enterprise. have the opportunity to observe the conduct of all possible car owners therein. are placed upon that enterprise itself. which provides that employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks. as a required cost of doing business. reflexes.[19] In this case. to undergo tests of their driving skills. instruction and supervision of his servants. employers are required to examine them as to their qualifications. It is indeed difficult for any person injured by the carelessness of a driver to prove the negligence or lack of due diligence of the owner of the vehicle in the choice of the driver.driver was negligent. and to take every precaution to see that the enterprise is conducted safely. through prices. Rather. rates or liability insurance. and vision. Camarote. In the selection of prospective employees. Employers may be relieved of responsibility for the negligent acts of their employees within the scope of their assigned tasks only if they can show that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. [18] To establish these factors in a trial involving the issue of vicarious liability. They are placed upon the employer because. and clearances from the National Bureau of Investigation. Were we to require the injured party to prove the owners lack of diligence. [14] In Campo v. So the law imposes the burden of proof of innocence on the vehicle owner. employers should formulate standard operating procedures. MMTC sought to prove that it exercised the diligence of a good father of a family with respect to the selection of employees by presenting mainly testimonial evidence on its hiring procedure. the issue in this case turns on Art. the law presumes that the owner was negligent and imposes upon him the burden of proving the contrary. both in the selection of the employee who committed the quasi-delict and in the supervision of the performance of his duties.[15] we explained the basis of the presumption of negligence in this wise: The reason for the law is obvious. monitor their implementation. should bear them. to the public. a deliberate allocation of a risk. concentration. especially in the cities. 2180 of the Civil Code. they have the burden of proving that they have indeed exercised such diligence. The responsibility of employers for the negligence of their employees in the performance of their duties is primary. as seldom does a person in the community. to the community at large. and service records. [16] For this purpose. rather than the innocent injured plaintiff. and impose disciplinary measures for breaches thereof. employers must submit concrete proof. and because he is better able to absorb them. . with respect to the supervision of employees. certifications of work experience. that is. and sought to profit by it. including documentary evidence. According to MMTC. experience. If the driver is negligent and causes damage.[13] The rationale for the rule on vicarious liability has been adumbrated thus: What has emerged as the modern justification for vicarious liability is a rule of policy. which will on the basis of all past experience involve harm to others through the tort of employees. applicants are required to submit professional driving licenses. even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry. the right will in many cases prove illusory.

Albert also testified that he kept records of the preliminary and final tests given by him as well as a record of the qualifications and experience of each of the drivers of the company. Ex-Meralco Employees Transportation Corporation [24] applies to this case: This witness spoke of an affidavit of experience which a driver-applicant must accomplish before he is employed by the company. notwithstanding the calls therefor by both the trial court and the opposing counsel. we cannot consider the same as sufficiently persuasive proof that there was observance of due diligence in the selection and supervision of employees. v. (2) that the maintenance department daily inspects the engines of the vehicles. a written time schedule for each bus. was held to be insufficient to overcome the presumption of negligence against it... of the results of his examinations. inasmuch as the witnesses testimonies dwelt on mere generalities. (3) that for infractions of company rules there are corresponding penalties. therefore. What was said in Central Taxicab Corporation v. The failure of the defendant company to produce in court any record or other documentary proof tending to establish that it had exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of its drivers and buses. It is rather strange. and driving skills and claimed that applicants are given tests to determine driving skills.[20] MMTCs evidence consists entirely of testimonial evidence (1) that transport supervisors are assigned to oversee field operations in designated areas. and standard operating procedures during emergency cases. vehicle maintenance. testimonial evidence of identical content. In Metro Manila Transit Corp. Court of Appeals. MMTC submitted brochures and programs of seminars for prospective employees on vehicle maintenance. must be corroborated by documentary evidence. argues strongly against its pretensions. Normally. the driver involved in this case. employers keep files concerning the qualifications.[23] but there is no record that Musa attended such training programs and passed the said examinations before he was employed. despite the fact that they were obviously in the possession and control of the defendant company. yet no attempt was ever made to present in evidence any of these documents. in another case involving MMTC. traffic regulations. which MMTC presented to show that it exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of employees and thus avoid vicarious liability for the negligent acts of its employees. that he failed to produce in court the all important record of Roberto. and a record of the inspections and thorough checks pertaining to each bus before it leaves the car barn. to complete training programs on traffic rules. [25] this Court said: Coming now to the case at bar. ever presented. to hold sway. No proof was presented that Musa did not have any record of traffic violations. It is noteworthy that. and vision. Petitioners attempt to prove . reflexes.. and discipline of their employees.[21] Although testimonies were offered that in the case of Pedro Musa all these precautions were followed. allegedly conducted by supervisors. and of his service were not presented. and. or even object evidence for that matter. concentration.and. . evaluation. [22] the records of his interview. The failure of MMTC to present such documentary proof puts in doubt the credibility of its witnesses. work experience. Nor were records of daily inspections. while there is no rule which requires that testimonial evidence. training.

00 Printing of invitation cards 7.00 in its resolution.000. the spouses Rosales. Actual Damages. object or documentary.226.245. No.935. we now consider the question of damages which her parents. during the trial. The spouses Rosales are claiming actual damages in the amount of P239.00.977.000. the Court of Appeals correctly increased the indemnity it had originally ordered the spouses Rosales to be paid from P30.00 to P50.125. 1996. one is entitled to an adequate compensation only for such pecuniary loss suffered by him as he has duly proved. the amount of the indemnity has through the years been gradually increased based on the value of the peso.00 Obituaries 7. Under Art. Indemnity for Death.65 Funeral Services 5. it is fixed at P50. Initially fixed in said article of the Civil Code at P3. and interment of Liza Rosalie amounted only to P60. Moral Damages.65 Hence.00 Expenses during wake 14. the spouse.its diligentissimi patris familias in the selection and supervision of employees through oral evidence must fail as it was unable to buttress the same with any other evidence. apart from the indemnity for death.000.000. However. are entitled to recover.226. Art. 2199 provides that except as provided by law or by stipulation. 126395.00 TOTAL 60.00 Mourning clothes 5.65 itemized as follows: [27] Medical Attendance P 739. the spouses Rosales are entitled to recover the above amount as actual damages. At present.R. which might obviate the apparent biased nature of the testimony. 2206.40.350.00 Wreaths 2.000.00. Art.[26] To conform to this new ruling. which is the subject of the appeal in G.00 Embalment 1.100.00 Photography 3. 1986. 2206 provides for the payment of indemnity for death caused by a crime or quasi-delict.000.500.000.00 Video Coverage 10. legitimate and illegitimate descendants and ascendants of the deceased may demand moral damages for mental anguish by reason . Having found both MMTC and its driver Pedro Musa liable for negligence for the death of Liza Rosalie on August 9.500.00 Interment fees 2. wake. they submitted receipts showing that expenses for the funeral. dated September 12.

come home. . Rosales. my husband and I. as she was the youngest. My husband works very hard.000. Rodolfo Rosales recounted the place of Liza Rosalie in the family and their relationship with her in the following words: Q: Mr. . how was Liza to you as a daughter? A: Well. or my son and another one. . your life without Liza.[28] In the instant case.00 as moral damages for the death of Liza Rosalie. .[30] Lily Rosales described life without Liza Rosalie thus: Q: Now. within the limits of the possible. But before her death we would always be together..00. whether he or she was a victim of a crime or a quasi- delict. we hold that the MMTC and Musa are solidarily liable to the spouses Rosales in the amount of P1. we go to the cemetery one at a time. Now. there is something hollow in our family. she was our pride. and she still slept with us at night although she had her own room. the whole family on weekends and on our days off. The family was broken apart. the award of moral damages is aimed at a restoration. The intensity of the pain experienced by the relatives of the victim is proportionate to the intensity of affection for him and bears no relation whatsoever with the wealth or means of the offender. They study very hard. . Sometimes in the middle of the night she would open our door and ask if she could sleep with us. We could not go together because we remember Liza.[31] The spouses Rosales claim moral damages in the amount of P5. Rosales? A: You know it is very hard to describe. of the spiritual status quo ante. the spouses Rosales presented evidence of the intense moral suffering they had gone through as a result of the loss of Liza Rosalie who was their youngest child. . if any.000. I am missing. . Jr. it must be proportionate to the suffering inflicted. did you feel in your family? A: Well. Dr.all her brothers and sisters . I do not feel like going home early. and therefore.[29] The death of Liza Rosalie left a void in their lives.000. Teehankee. So. Every time we go to the cemetery we try as much as possible not to go together. you know. Rodolfo Rosales testified on the devastating effect of the death of Liza Rosalie: Q: And after she died.of the death of the deceased. This amount seems reasonable to us as moral damages for the loss of a minor child. Liza as a daughter was the greatest joy of the family. Now we cannot go together on outings because of the absence of Liza. Hence. . sometimes. She used to greet me when I came home and smell if I was drunk and would tell me to dress up and take a shower before her mommy could see me. So we let her sleep with us.because she was sweet and unspoiled. what changes. how would you describe it. something is missing. The reason for the grant of moral damages has been explained thus: . please help me with my homework.[32] this Court awarded P1 million as moral damages to the heirs of a seventeen-year-old girl who was murdered. I also work very hard and my children go to school. Sometimes my wife would complain and ask: Where did you go? But I cannot explain to her how I feel. all these things. and everybody loved her . but we never go together because we remember Liza. She would call me up at the office and say: Daddy. In People v. She was soft-spoken to all of us. .000.

000. we conclude that we should not disturb the award. as in the instant case. .[35] Evidence must be presented that the victim. he had an unusual talent for creating numerous cartoons and other drawings. Art. we held an award of P50.[38] But compensation should be allowed for loss of earning capacity resulting from the death of a minor who has not yet commenced employment or training for a specific profession if sufficient evidence is presented to establish the amount thereof.[40] the court allowed the heirs of a seven-year-old boy who was killed in a car accident to recover compensation for loss of earning capacity: Considerable evidence was presented by plaintiffs in an effort to give the jury a foundation on which to make an award. This circumstance obtains in the instant case. attorneys fees may be recovered when. Attorneys Fees. Upon analysis of the record.000. however. 2206 of the Civil Code provides that in addition to the indemnity for death caused by a crime or quasi delict. the defendant shall be liable for the loss of the earning capacity of the deceased. . Compensation for Loss of Earning Capacity.[39] Thus. Court of Appeals. was reasonably certain to complete training for a specific profession.000 has support in the evidence. Ford Motor Co. Under the circumstances. Exemplary Damages. Teehankee.000.00 as attorneys fees to be reasonable.00).[33] The evidence also shows that he failed to stop his vehicle at once even after eye witnesses shouted at him. there was a pending criminal case against Musa for reckless imprudence resulting in slight physical injuries with another branch of the Regional Trial Court. 2208. in Haumersen v. Pursuant to Art.00. . we deem it reasonable to award the spouses Rosales exemplary damages in the amount of five hundred thousand pesos (P500. He was described as very intelligent and all-American.. . . In the recent case of Sulpicio Lines. The traditional approach was to award no or merely nominal damages in such cases. some of which plaintiffs introduced at trial.[36] In People v. The spouses Rosales claim exemplary damages in the amount of P5. Compensation of this nature is awarded not for loss of earnings but for loss of capacity to earn money. exemplary damages are awarded. often with children older than himself. Hence. Briefly stated. the old. . we affirm the award of attorneys fees made by the Court of Appeals to the spouses Rosales in that amount. and others who do not have market income so that there is no pecuniary loss to survivors or to the estate of the decedent. The record does not disclose passion and prejudice. Inc. The records indicate that at the time of the mishap. The key question is whether the verdict of $100. In the United States it has been observed: This raises the broader question of the proper measure of damages in death cases involving children. In addition. .[37] no award of compensation for loss of earning capacity was granted to the heirs of a college freshman because there was no sufficient evidence on record to show that the victim would eventually become a professional pilot. this evidence showed Charles Haumersen was a seven-year-old of above average characteristics. housewives.000. He received high marks in school. . and the indemnity shall be paid to the heirs of the latter. 2231 provides that exemplary damages may be recovered in cases involving quasi-delicts if the defendant acted with gross negligence. Art. if not yet employed at the time of death.[34] which involved the death of a minor child in the sinking of a vessel. He was active in church affairs and participated in recreational and athletic events. v. Quezon City. courts allow expert testimony to be used to project those lost earnings. Increasingly.

be held vicariously liable .[43] Cleofe Chi. It is true that the majority of these decisions deal with students who are studying for a specific occupation or profession. who organized workshops which Liza Rosalie attended in 1982 and 1983. Teehankee.[44] Professor Alfredo Rebillon.[46] Neither MMTC nor Pedro Musa controverted this evidence. The argument for allowing compensation for loss of earning capacity of a minor is even stronger if he or she was a student.[48] Since Liza Rosalie was 16 at the time of her death. Feliciana Celebrado.[42] A survey taken in 1984 when Liza Rosalie was twelve years old showed that she had good study habits and attitudes. and the GSIS of liability. whether already training for a specific profession or still engaged in general studies. therefore.870. stated as follows: There are numerous cases that have held admissible evidence of prospective earnings of a student or trainee. as Acting General Manager of the MMTC.[54] Finally. She consistently performed well in her studies since grade school.Hence. where the prosecution merely presented evidence to show the fact of the victims graduation from high school and the fact of his enrollment in a flying school.Living Capacity = Expectancy Income Expenses Life expectancy is equivalent to two thirds (2/3) multiplied by the difference of eighty (80) and the age of the deceased. The appellants contend that such evidence is not admissible unless the course under study relates to a given occupation or profession and it is shown that the student is reasonably certain to follow that occupation or profession. a faculty member of the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts. extra-curricular activities.000.[41] the court. not one of these cases indicate that evidence of ones education as a guide to future earnings is not admissible where the student is engaged in general studies or whose education does not relate to a specific occupation. computed based on the minimum wage for workers in the non-agricultural sector in effect at the time of her death. Dahl.[50] then fixed at P37. However.630.[51] is P14. and pencil drawings submitted as exhibits by the spouses Rosales.12. were charged with the supervision of Musa and should. and with a balanced personality. as a dispatcher thereof.46. charcoal. in affirming the award by the jury of $85. and varied interests.[49] Her projected gross annual income. In Krohmer v.[52] Allowing for necessary living expenses of fifty percent (50%) of her projected gross annual income. In sharp contrast with the situation obtaining in People v.[53] her total net earning capacity amounts to P321.00. guidance counselor of the University of the Philippines Integrated School. The spouses Rosales alleged that Tolentino. . to wit: Gross Necessary Net Earning Life x Annual . it is proper that compensation for loss of earning capacity should be awarded to her heirs in accordance with the formula established in decided cases[47] for computing net earning capacity.00 to the heirs of an eighteen-year-old college freshman who died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Considering her good academic record. and Celebrado. .[45] Professor Rebillons testimony is more than sufficiently established by the 51 samples of Liza Rosalies watercolor. described Liza Rosalie as personable. the spouses Rosales did not content themselves with simply establishing Liza Rosalies enrollment at UP Integrated School. They presented evidence to show that Liza Rosalie was a good student. and obedient child. . promising artist. the spouses Rosales argue that the Court of Appeals erred in absolving Conrado Tolentino. testified that Liza Rosalie had the potential of eventually becoming an artist. well-liked. it is reasonable to assume that Liza Rosalie would have enjoyed a successful professional career had it not been for her untimely death. her life expectancy was 44 more years.

4) exemplary damages in the amount of five hundred thousand pesos (P500. . Although the fourth paragraph of Art. We ruled in Gelisan v. it can recover from its employee what it may pay.[59] Hence. for damages arising from the tortious acts of the driver is primary. In Baliwag Transit.000. v. . subject to reimbursement from the former to the extent of the insurance coverage. As already stated. Court of Appeals[61]it was held that to escape solidary liability for a quasi-delict committed by an employee. Inc. Rosales and ORDERING them as such to pay to the spouses Rodolfo V. Court of Appeals [62] that the liability of the registered owner of a public service vehicle .000.00). Tolentino and Celebrado cannot be held liable for the tort of Pedro Musa. Finally. This does not make the employees liability subsidiary. the decision of the Court of Appeals is SET ASIDE and another one is RENDERED holding the Metro Manila Transit Corporation and Pedro Musa jointly and severally liable for the death of Liza Rosalie R.00).[56] it was ruled that an insurer in an indemnity contract for third party liability is directly liable to the injured party up to the extent specified in the agreement. . MMTC is primarily liable for damages for the negligence of its employee in view of Art.00). the spouses Rosales have the option of enforcing the judgment against either MMTC or Musa. It was error for the appellate court to affirm this aspect of the trial courts decision.000. 3) moral damages in the amount of one million pesos (P1. v. Alday[60] that the registered owner/operator of a public service vehicle is jointly and severally liable with the driver for damages incurred by passengers or third persons as a consequence of injuries sustained in the operation of said vehicle. Inc.00.00). Rosales the following amounts: 1) death indemnity in the amount of fifty thousand pesos (P50. it is settled that this term is used in the said provision in the sense of employers. 2180 mentions managers among those made responsible for the negligent acts of others. 2) actual damages in the amount of sixty thousand two hundred twenty six pesos and sixty five centavos (P60. 27 to the extent of P50.000. 2180. and joint and several or solidary with the driver. The Regional Trial Court of Quezon City erred in holding MMTC primarily and Musa secondarily liable for damages arising from the death of Liza Rosalie.[55] Thus. From another point of view. WHEREFORE. Consolacion. de Maglana v. but it cannot be held solidarily liable beyond that amount. Rosales and Lily R. 2194 provides that the responsibility of two or more persons who are liable for a quasi-delict is solidary.000. The GSIS admitted in its answer that it was the insurer of the MMTC for third party liability with respect to MMTC Bus No. Art. the employer must adduce sufficient proof that it exercised such degree of care. the spouses Rosales have the option either to claim the said amount from the GSIS and the balance of the award from MMTC and Musa or to enforce the entire judgment against the latter.000. In Vda.226. they contend that it was the insurer in a contract for third party liability it had with the MMTC.[57] Hence. With respect to the GSIS. Pursuant to Art. direct. 2180 of the Civil Code. 5) attorneys fees in the amount of fifty thousand pesos (P50. [58] One last word. we held in the recent case of Philtranco Service Enterprises.65). 2181. It only means that if the judgment for damages is satisfied by the common carrier. the latter has a right to recover what it has paid from its employee who committed the fault or negligence which gave rise to the action based on quasi-delict.under Art.

6) compensation for loss of earning capacity in the amount of three hundred twenty- one thousand eight hundred seventy pesos and twelve centavos (P321.12). . SO ORDERED.870. and 7) the costs of suit.

in a decision rendered on July 17. P50. J. who was resting in a nearby waiting shed after working on his farm. d.00 as exemplary damages. at around 7:00 p. Baguio City..[8] which. In so doing. HEIRS OF ANDRES MALECDAN. . Petitioner and its driver were held liable for damages. Malecdan sustained a wound on his left shoulder. also guilty of gross negligence in the selection and supervision of Joson.VICTORY LINER.. P200.000. b. driven by Ricardo C. Andres Malecdan was a 75 year-old farmer residing in Barangay Nungnungan 2. Joson. Virginia. Mary Pauline.. respondent hit the old man and the carabao on which he was riding. [7] On October 5. c. a Dalin Liner bus on the southbound lane stopped to allow him and his carabao to pass. Ricardo Joson. private respondents brought this suit for damages in the Regional Trial Court. Arthur. while Andres was crossing the National Highway on his way home from the farm.[6] Lorena executed a sworn statement before the police authorities. 3082-R. 2000. Inc. ordering petitioner and its driver. As a result.: This is a petition for review of the decision[1] of the Eighth Division of the Court of Appeals.339. to pay damages to the heirs of Andres Malecdan. Isabela.00 for actual damages. respondents. Jr. Jr. while the Dalin bus proceeded to its destination without helping him. However. in Civil Case No. Province of Isabela. Jr.00 as death indemnity.m. Subsequently. P50. while private respondents Veronica. 1994. Jr. a criminal complaint for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and damage to property was filed against the Victory Liner bus driver Ricardo Joson.00 for moral damages. vs. Municipality of Cauayan. Viola.[4] The Victory Liner bus sped past the old man. a bus of petitioner Victory Liner. Branch 5. [5] The carabao also died soon afterwards. The dispositive portion of the trial courts decision reads: WHEREFORE. who had been killed after being hit by a bus while attempting to cross the National Highway in Barangay Nungnungan 2 in Cauayan. Andres Malecdan was thrown off the carabao. jointly and severally to the plaintiffs the amounts of: a. The incident was witnessed by Andres Malecdans neighbor. Private respondent Elena Malecdan is the widow of the deceased. He was taken by Lorena and another person to the Cagayan District Hospital where he died a few hours after arrival. petitioner. Branch 5. while the beast toppled over. found the driver guilty of gross negligence in the operation of his vehicle and Victory Liner. 1994. DECISION MENDOZA.[3] On July 15.000. Virgilio Lorena. Manuel and Valentin Malecdan are their children. as Andres was crossing the highway. The facts of the case are as follows: Petitioner is a common carrier. which affirmed the decision[2] of the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City.000. from which bone fragments protruded. INC. bypassed the Dalin bus. judgment is hereby rendered ordering the defendants to pay. P88.

WHETHER OR NOT THE AFFIRMATION BY THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE APPEALED DECISION OF THE TRIAL COURT THAT IS CONTRARY TO LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE CONSTITUTES GRAVE ABUSE AND EXCESS OF JURISDICTION. the decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. the regular periodic conducting of safety and defensive driving [training sessions] for its drivers are concrete and physical proofs of the formulated operating standards. the periodic monitoring and checking of the trips from one station to another through a trip ticket from station to station. IS IN ACCORD WITH LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE. and f.000. the assignment of three inspectors to check and remind the drivers of petitioner Victory Liner of its policies in a two-and-a-half hour driving distance. What petitioner now questions is the finding that it (petitioner) failed to exercise the diligence of a good father of the family in the selection and supervision of its employee.00 AS MORAL DAMAGES WHICH IS DOUBLE THE P100. Inc. [12] . The costs of the suit.00. designed for the exercise of due diligence of a good father of a family in the supervision of its employees. no longer questions the findings of the Regional Trial Court that Andres Malecdan was injured as a result of the gross negligence of its driver. the implementation and monitoring of the same. OR STATED DIFFERENTLY. WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE APPEALED DECISION OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT GRANTING P200. Petitioner argues. First. Inc. Victory Liner. SO ORDERED. the installation of tachometers to monitor the speed of the bus all throughout the trip. against the plaintiffs and the third- party complaint of the same defendant against the Zenith Insurance Corporation are dismissed.000. WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE APPEALED DECISION OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT WHICH DISREGARDED THE APPELLANTS TESTIMONIAL AND DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE THAT IT HAS EXERCISED EXTRAORDINARY DILIGENCE IN THE SELECTION AND SUPERVISION OF ITS EMPLOYEES. II. WHETHER OR NOT THE AFFIRMATION BY THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE APPEALED DECISION OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT GRANTING THE AWARD OF MORAL AND EXEMPLARY DAMAGES AND ATTORNEYS FEES WHICH WERE NOT PROVED AND CONSIDERING THAT THERE IS NO FINDING OF BAD FAITH AND GROSS NEGLIGENCE ON THE PART OF THE PETITIONER WAS NOT ESTABLISHED. with the modification that the award of attorneys fees was fixed at P50.00 AS PRAYED FOR BY THE PRIVATE RESPONDENTS IN THEIR COMPLAINT AND IN GRANTING ACTUAL DAMAGES NOT SUPPORTED BY OFFICIAL RECEIPTS AND SPENT WAY BEYOND THE BURIAL OF THE DECEASED VICTIM. Jr. III. With all due respect.[9] On appeal.e.[10] Hence.000. Ricardo Joson. this appeal raising the following issues: I. Thirty percent (30%) as attorneys fees of whatever amount that can be collected by the plaintiff. The counterclaim of the defendant Victory Liner.[11] We find the appealed decision to be in order.

They are placed upon the employer because. Article 2176 provides: Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another.[20] In the instant case. through prices. if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties. rather than the innocent injured plaintiff. It explained that it did not present bus driver Joson. Jr.[28] student driver training. [14] The rationale for the rule on vicarious liability has been explained thus: What has emerged as the modern justification for vicarious liability is a rule of policy.[17] In the selection of prospective employees. employers must formulate standard operating procedures. are placed upon that enterprise itself. [24] NBI clearance. for allowing him to plough their field by himself. to the community at large. and so to shift them to society. Article 2180 provides for the solidary liability of an employer for the quasi-delict committed by an employee. the injured party may recover from the employers directly. which as a practical matter are sure to occur in the conduct of the employers enterprise. The responsibility of employers for the negligence of their employees in the performance of their duties is primary and.[21] actual driving tests. Andres Malecdan. Such fault or negligence. Jr. employers are required to examine them as to their qualifications. is obliged to pay for the damage done. and sought to profit by it.[30] birth certificate. [16] For this purpose. experience and service records. including documentary evidence. The losses caused by the torts of employees.[34] . petitioner presented the results of Joson.[27] urinalysis. there being fault or negligence. and to take every precaution to see that the enterprise is conducted safely. regardless of the solvency of their employees.[15] Employers may be relieved of responsibility for the negligent acts of their employees acting within the scope of their assigned task only if they can show that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage.[31] high school diploma[32] and reports from the General Maintenance Manager and the Personnel Manager showing that he had passed all the tests and training sessions and was ready to work as a professional driver. which will on the basis of all past experience involve harm to others through the tort of employees. [25] physical examination. petitioner did not present proof that Joson. as a required cost of doing business.[19] These facts must be shown by concrete proof. to the public. is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter.[18] With respect to the supervision of employees.[23] psychological examination. monitor their implementation and impose disciplinary measures for breaches thereof. instruction and supervision of his servants. both in the selection of the employee and in the supervision of the performance of his duties.[13] The contention has no merit.[29] shop training. should bear them. they have the burden of proving that they have indeed exercised such diligence. a deliberate allocation of a risk. rates or liability insurance. it is just that he. which it found was a breach in the company regulations. who was already 75 years old. having engaged in an enterprise. on the witness stands because he had been dismissed from the company after the incident. therefore. Added to this is the makeweight argument that an employer who is held strictly liable is under the greatest incentive to be careful in the selection. and because he is better able to absorb them and to distribute them. Jr.[33] However.[22] x-ray examination.s written examination.Petitioner blames private respondents for the death of their father.[26]hematology examination. as the trial court noted. had nine years of driving experience.

we hold that the trial court did not err in finding petitioner to be negligent in the supervision of its driver Joson. was grossly negligent in driving at such a high speed along the national highway and overtaking another vehicle which had stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross. did not stop the bus to help the victim. there should be proof of the actual amount of loss incurred in connection with the death. Death indemnity in the amount of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50. however. This item cannot be allowed. WHEREFORE. private respondents are entitled to attorneys fees.00 as attorneys fees to be reasonable.00). Under the circumstances of this case an award of P100.[42] In this case.00 as exemplary damages is proper. In the recent case of Metro Manila Transit Corporation v.000.00 for indemnity is in accordance with current rulings of the Court.00 would be in keeping with the purpose of the law in allowing moral damages. 40th day and 1st year death anniversaries. 2231 provides that exemplary damages may be recovered in cases involving quasi- delicts if the defendant acted with gross negligence. reduce the amount of actual damages to P82. Finally. with the MODIFICATION that petitioner Victory Liner. We.[35] Again. Second.339.00 for moral damages should likewise be reduced. petitioners driver Joson. after the accident. Moral damages in the amount of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100.000. Court of Appeals. such as expenses relating to the 9th day. the cost of one pig which had been butchered for the 9 th day death anniversary of the deceased. the decision of the Court of Appeals. legitimate children and illegitimate descendants and ascendants of the deceased may demand moral damages for mental anguish by reason of the death of the deceased. 2008 of the Civil Code. To justify an award of actual damages. Actual damages in the amount of Eighty-Two Thousand Four Hundred Thirty-Nine Pesos (P82. exemplary damages are awarded. we believe that the trial courts award of P50. Jr.00).000. [36] Petitioner likewise failed to establish the speed of its buses during its daily trips or to submit in evidence the trip tickets.000. therefore. Under Art.439.00 as actual damages. 3.[41] Art. 2002. the spouse. as the trial court noted there is no record of Joson. the award of P50.00. Jr. 2206 of the Civil Code. The finding of the trial court that petitioners bus was running at a very fast speed when it overtook the Dalin bus and hit the deceased was not disputed by petitioner. [37] We cannot take into account receipts showing expenses incurred some time after the burial of the victim. the trial court awarded P88. The trial court found that the wife and children of the deceased underwent intense moral suffering as a result of the latters death. Joson.00. speed meters and reports of field inspectors. wake or burial of the victim.439. Exemplary damages are imposed not to enrich one party or impoverish another but to serve as a deterrent against or as a negative incentive to curb socially deleterious actions. The award of P200. While these were duly supported by receipts. these included the amount of P5.[43] we held an award of P50. attorneys fees may be recovered when. Hence.00.000. dated January 17.00).[39] Under Art. Under the circumstances. Worse. .000. ever attending such a seminar. 2.[40] On the other hand. as in the instant case. For these reasons.000. Jr.900.[38] In this case. is hereby AFFIRMED. Inc. Jr. is ordered to pay the following amounts to the respondent heirs of Andres Malecdan: 1. Petitioner also presented testimonial evidence that drivers of the company were given seminars on driving safety at least twice a year. private respondents are entitled to attorneys fees in that amount.

4.00). Attorneys fees in the amount of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50. Exemplary damages in the amount of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50. 5. Costs of suit.000. SO ORDERED. and 6.000. .00).

Inc. defendants-appellees.51.£îhqw⣠ART. and FELIX PANGALANGAN. Such fault or negligence. Inc.. Tomas. it was alleged that on November 24. Inc. As already stated. . is not the manager of an establishment contemplated in article 2180 of the Civil Code (Civil Case No. ARCHIMEDES J. Fidel Zosimo U. which together with Fernando Pineda and Balingit. Sison for plaintiffs-appellants. Angel A. L-25142 March 25. dismissing their complaint against Archimedes J. Pangalangan suffered injuries and the bus was damaged and could not be used for seventy-nine days. Canilao for defendants-appellees. thus depriving the company of earnings amounting to P8. The truck bumped the bus driven by Pangalangan. if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties. was sued for damages in an action based on quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana.R. No. 3865). owned by Phil-American Forwarders.£ªwph!1 Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines. Pampanga. The bus company and its driver appealed. there being fault or negligence.. Balingit and Pineda.. In the complaint for damages filed by the bus company and Pangalangan against Phil- American Forwarders. vs.665. The dismissal was based on the ground that Balingit as the manager of Phil-American Forwarders. Among the defenses interposed by the defendants in their answer was that Balingit was not Pineda's employer. which was owned by Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines. INC.:ñé+. Pineda drove recklessly a freight truck. along the national highway at Sto. 1962. is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter. Inc. 1975 PHILIPPINE RABBIT BUS LINES. The Civil Code provides:têñ. J. the lower court dismissed the action as to Balingit. and Felix Pangalangan appealed on pure questions of law from the order of the Court of First Instance of Tarlac.G. Balingit was the manager of Phil-American Forwarders. Inc. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another. As a result of the bumping. Inc.. INC. plaintiffs- appellants. BALINGIT and FERNANDO PINEDA. Balingit. Balingit moved that the complaint against him be dismissed on the ground that the bus company and the bus driver had no cause of action against him. 2176. AQUINO. is obliged to pay for the damage done. PHIL-AMERICAN FORWARDERS.

porque cualquiera que sea su jerarquia y aunque Ileve la direccion de determinadas convicciones politicas no por eso deja de estar subordinado a la superior autoridad de la Empresa" (Decision of Spanish Supreme Court dated December 6. Hence. formerly article 1903 of the old Code. 662. Codigo Civil Español 5th Ed. the reckless operation of which allegedly resulted in the vehicular accident from which the damage arose. even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry. is merely a business conduit of Balingit because out of its capital stock with a par value of P41. respectively. under the allegations of the complaint.. Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks. in their appellants' brief. it was held "que es dependiente. Ponciano Caparas and Rafael Suntay paid P250. no tortious or quasi-delictual liability can be fastened on Balingit as manager of Phil-American Forwarders. 2180.000 on their subscription. (1903a) The novel and unprecedented legal issue in this appeal is whether the terms "employers" and "owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise" (dueños o directores de un establicimiento o empresa) used in article 2180 of the Civil Code. Phil-American Forwarders. The bus company and its driver. 1912 cited in 12 Manresa. Inc. They argue that Phil. a los efectos de la responsabilidad subsidiaria establecida en el num 3. while the other incorporators. Inc. embrace the manager of a corporation owning a truck.) 1903.0 del (art. . We are of the opinion that those terms do not include the manager of a corporation. el director de un periodico explotado por una sociedad.200. 1913 Enciclopedia Juridica Española 992). Rodolfo Limjuco. Balingit and his wife had subscribed P40. namely. injected a new factual issue which was not alleged in their complaint. xxx xxx xxx The owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise are likewise responsible for damages caused by their employees in the service of the branches in which the latter are employed or on the occasion of their functions.000 and they paid P10. It may be gathered from the context of article 2180 that the term "manager" ("director" in the Spanish version) is used in the sense of "employer". in connection with the vehicular accident already mentioned because he himself may be regarded as an employee or dependiente of his employer. but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible.American Forwarders. The obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable not only for one's own acts or omissions. ART. xxx xxx xxx The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. Inc. Thus.25 and P25.

The legal issue. which the plaintiffs-appellants can ventilate in this appeal. It was not raised in the lower court.. Rules of Court). Rule 46. Inc.That argument implies that the veil of corporate fiction should be pierced and that Phil- American Forwarders. concur. Barredo. is one which was raised in the lower court and which is within the issues framed by the parties (Sec. p. When a party deliberately adopts a certain theory and the case is decided upon that theory in the court below. to permit him to do so. SO ORDERED.1äwphï1. 18. and Balingit and his wife should be treated as one and the same civil personality. 505). Inc. could be unfair to the adverse party (2 Moran's Comments on the Rules of Court. We cannot countenance that argument in this appeal. Fernando (Chairman). 1970 Ed. JJ.ñët . The case has to be decided on the basis of the pleadings filed in the trial court where it was assumed that Phil-American Forwarders. WHEREFORE. the lower court's order of dismissal is affirmed. Antonio and Fernandez. Costs against the plaintiffs- appellants. he will not be permitted to change his theory on appeal because. has a personality separate and distinct from that of the Balingit spouses.

but the Municipality of Koronadal.: MAY a municipal mayor be held solidarily liable for the negligent acts of the driver assigned to him. LOZANO.SPS. Branch 39.versus . insofar as defendant Mayor Fernando Q.T. MIGUEL. ERNESTO SIMBULAN. which resulted in the death of a minor pedestrian? Challenged in this petition for review on certiorari is the Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals (CA) which reversed and set aside the decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC).. November 27. J. 2008 x--------------------------------------------------x DECISION REYES.YNARES-SANTIAGO. MUNICIPALITY OF KORONADAL (NOW CITY OF KORONADAL). The Facts . Petitioners. MIGUEL. CotabatoCity. Chairperson. NACHURA. INC. and THE FIRST INTEGRATED Promulgated: BONDING AND INSURANCE COMPANY.. REYES. JJ. and MAYOR FERNANDO Q. BUENAVENTURA JAYME G. that was the employer of the negligent driver.R. R. PROVINCE OF SOUTH COTABATO. The CA absolved Mayor Miguel from any liability since it was not he. Polomolok. AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. FIDEL CHICO-NAZARIO. . No. represented by the MUNICIPAL TREASURER and/or MUNICIPAL MAYOR FERNANDO Q. 163609 AND ROSARIO JAYME. Miguel is concerned. Respondents. RODRIGO APOSTOL. Present: . J.

Apostol and Simbulan averred that Lozano took the pick-up truck without their consent. attorneys fees. In their respective Answers. but it was then in the possession of Ernesto Simbulan.[4] The pick-up truck accidentally hit Marvin C. and litigation expenses.[8] Due to the seriousness of his injuries. The Municipality of Koronadal adopted the answer of Lozano and Miguel.[10] Petitioners spouses Buenaventura and Rosario Jayme. RTC Disposition . a minor. Miguel and Lozano pointed out that Marvins sudden sprint across the highway made it impossible to avoid the accident.. 1989. filed a complaint for damages with the RTC against respondents.[2] The pick-up truck was registered under the name of Rodrigo Apostol. an employee of the Municipality of Koronadal. the vehicle insurer. South Cotabato. As for First Integrated Bonding and Insurance Company.[11] In their complaint. Marvin expired six (6) days after the accident. who was then crossing the National Highway in Poblacion. South Cotabato was on board the Isuzu pick-up truck driven by Fidel Lozano. a clear indication that Lozano was driving at a very high speed at the time of the accident. he was airlifted to the Ricardo Limso Medical Center in Davao City for more intensive treatment. Polomolok. they prayed that all respondents be held solidarily liable for their loss.On February 5. Mayor Miguel of Koronadal.[3] Lozano borrowed the pick-up truck from Simbulan to bring Miguel to BuayanAirport at General Santos City to catch his Manila flight. Yet. Miguel denied being on board the vehicle when it hit Marvin.[7] He was initially treated at the Howard Hubbard Memorial Hospital. They pointed out that that proximate cause of Marvins death was Lozanos negligent and reckless operation of the vehicle.[9] Despite medical attention. it insisted that its liability is contributory and is only conditioned on the right of the insured. Jayme. all respondents denied liability for Marvins death. They prayed for actual.[5] The intensity of the collision sent Marvin some fifty (50) meters away from the point of impact. Likewise. and exemplary damages.[6] Marvin sustained severe head injuries with subdural hematoma and diffused cerebral contusion. any cause of action against it had prescribed. Since the insured did not file a claim within the prescribed period. moral. the parents of Marvin. Inc.

SO ORDERED. the dispositive portion of which reads: WHEREFORE. Twenty Thousand (P20. The complaint against defendant First Integrated Bonding Insurance Company. he is absolved of any liability. 3. and 7. 1989 until fully paid. The incident. 5.000.00) Pesos as exemplary damages. One Hundred Seventy Three Thousand One Hundred One and Forty Centavos (P173.101.40) Pesos as actual damages with legal interest of 12% per annum computed from February 11. 4.000.000. To pay the cost of this suit.00) Pesos as Attorneys fees. are hereby ordered jointly and severally to pay the plaintiff (sic) the following sums: 1. CA Disposition In his appeal. solidarily liable for the latters negligent act. Three Thousand (P3. not being the owner of the subject vehicle. On January 25. is hereby ordered dismissed there being no cause of action against said insurance company. Fifty Thousand (P50.[12] Dissatisfied with the RTC ruling. and Mayor Fernando Miguel of Koronadal. hence. Mayor Miguel also denied that he did not exercise due care and diligence in the supervision of Lozano. The same with defendant Hermogenes Simbulan. South Cotabato. the RTC rendered judgment in favor of spouses Jayme. the CA granted the appeal. 2. Mayor Miguel contended that the RTC erred in ruling that he was Lozanos employer and. defendants Fidel Lozano. 1999. although unfortunate. Fifty Thousand (P50. On October 22. the defendant Municipality of Koronadal cannot be held liable for the damages incurred by other defendant (sic) being an agency of the State performing a (sic) governmental functions. Twenty Thousand (P20. in view of the foregoing.00) Pesos for the death of Marvin Jayme.00) Pesos as moral damages. Rodrigo Apostol. Inc. Mayor Miguel interposed an appeal to the CA. However. 2003. 6.000.00) as litigation expenses.000. Records showed that the Municipality of Koronadal was the drivers true and lawful employer. was unexpected and cannot be attributed to him. disposing as follows: .

Mayor Miguel could not thus be held liable for the damages caused by the former. the Decision appealed from is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. II. Miguel is concerned. Issues The spouses Jayme have resorted to the present recourse and assign to the CA the following errors: I. MOREOVER. Thus. paragraph 9 of the complaint alleged that the Municipality of Koronadal was the employer of both Mayor Miguel and Lozano. THE FINDINGS OF FACTS OF THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ARE CONTRARY TO THE FINDINGS OF THE TRIAL COURT AND ARE CONTRADICTED BY THE EVIDENCE ON RECORD. Mayor Miguel was a mere passenger in the Isuzu pick-up at the time of the accident.[13] The CA held that Mayor Miguel should not be held liable for damages for the death of Marvin Jayme.[15] Our Ruling . IT IS SO ORDERED. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT MAYOR FERNANDO MIGUEL CANNOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR THE DEATH OF MARVIN JAYME WHICH CONCLUSION IS CONTRARY TO LAW AND THE SETTLED PRONOUNCEMENTS OF THIS HONORABLE TRIBUNAL. Said the appellate court: Moreover. Not being the employer of Lozano. WHEREFORE. insofar as defendant-appellant Mayor Fernando Q.[14] (Emphasis supplied) The CA also reiterated the settled rule that it is the registered owner of a vehicle who is jointly and severally liable with the driver for damages incurred by passengers or third persons as a consequence of injuries or death sustained in the operation of the vehicle. THE CONCLUSIONS DRAWN BY THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ARE ALL BASED ON CONJECTURES AND SURMISES AND AGAINST ACCEPTED COURSE OF JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS WHICH URGENTLY CALL FOR AN EXERCISE OF THIS HONORABLE COURTS SUPERVISION. and the complaint against him is DISMISSED. plaintiffs-appellees admitted that Mayor Miguel was not the employer of Lozano.

To sustain claims against employers for the acts of their employees.[20] . Mayor Miguel. it must be established that the injurious or tortuous act was committed at the time the employee was performing his functions. the employer-employee relationship cannot be assumed. to make the employee liable under paragraphs 5 and 6 of Article 2180.[17] Significantly. This liability is popularly known as vicarious or imputed liability. the element of direct control is not negated by the fact that Lozanos employer was the Municipality of Koronadal. and that if he fails satisfactorily to show the facts upon which he bases his claim. Article 2180[16] of the Civil Code provides that a person is not only liable for ones own quasi-delictual acts. that vicarious liability attaches to Mayor Miguel. In Belen v. inter alia. but instead one who had direct control and supervision over Lozano during the time of the accident. Spouses Jayme contend. The defendant is under no obligation to prove the negative averment. (2) That the service to be rendered in accordance with orders which the employer has the authority to give at all times. This Court said: It is an old and well-settled rule of the courts that the burden of proving the action is upon the plaintiff. and (3) That the illicit act of the employee was on the occasion or by reason of the functions entrusted to him. According to petitioners. He was not a mere passenger. Belen. the defendant is under no obligation to prove his exceptions. still had control over the manner the vehicle was operated.[19] this Court ruled that it was enough for defendant to deny an alleged employment relationship.The doctrine of vicarious liability or imputed liability finds no application in the present case. being Lozanos superior. the following requisites must be established: (1) That the employee was chosen by the employer personally or through another.[18] Furthermore. This rue is in harmony with the provisions of Section 297 of the Code of Civil Procedure holding that each party must prove his own affirmative allegations. etc. It is incumbent upon the plaintiff to prove the relationship by preponderant evidence. but also for those persons for whom one is responsible for.

Tuazon. We rely on the four-fold test. (3) the employers right to control the method of doing the work. the employer of Lozano and therefore liable for the negligent acts of the latter. does not. Those instructions or directions are ordinarily no more than requests commonly envisaged in the contract for services entered into with the security agency. the CA correctly held that it was the Municipality of Koronadal which was the lawful employer of Lozano at the time of the accident. the drivers negligence . This involves: (1) the employers power of selection. however. Neither does it render one the employer of the driver. in Soliman. Sorrell.[24] ruled in a similar vein. In Benson v. v. x x x[25](Emphasis supplied) Significantly. In resolving the present controversy. no negligence may be imputed against a fellow employee although the person may have the right to control the manner of the vehicles operation. indeed. it is imperative to find out if Mayor Miguel is. Spouses Jayme argued that Mayor Miguel had at least supervision and control over Lozano and how the latter operated or drove the Isuzu pick-up during the time of the accident. [26] In the absence of an employer-employee relationship establishing vicarious liability.[21] Applying the foregoing test. It is uncontested that Lozano was employed as a driver by the municipality. Even assuming arguendo that Mayor Miguel had authority to give instructions or directions to Lozano. They. and (4) the employers right of suspension or dismissal. to wit: x x x The fact that a client company may give instructions or directions to the security guards assigned to it. This Court. This Court has. To determine the existence of an employment relationship. Jr. failed to buttress this claim. held that an employer-employee relationship still exists even if the employee was loaned by the employer to another person or entity because control over the employee subsists. (2) payment of wages or other remuneration. render the client responsible as an employer of the security guards concerned and liable for their wrongful acts and omissions.[22] In the case under review. he still can not be held liable.[23] the New England Supreme Court ruled that mere giving of directions to the driver does not establish that the passenger has control over the vehicle. on several occasions. That he was subsequently assigned to Mayor Miguel during the time of the accident is of no moment. by itself. the Municipality of Koronadal remains to be Lozanos employer notwithstanding Lozanos assignment to Mayor Miguel.

or direct or encourage it. Jur. Pacific Elec.. 535 [61 A. 425]. Co. App. C. and particularly that part commencing at p..[33] The court went on to rule that the only exception is when they cooperate in the act complained of.[32] a case involving a military officer who happened to be riding in a car driven by a subordinate later involved in an accident. the rule is well settled both in this state and elsewhere that the negligence of a subordinate employee or subagent is not to be imputed to a superior employee or agent. R. R. There existed no causal relationship between him and Lozano or the vehicle used that will make him accountable for Marvins death. 829. but only by virtue of the fact that they were both employed by Kruse. His power to direct and control the driver was not as master. 464 [2 L. This being so. Thurman v. (N. Copper Co. 277. the Colorado Supreme Court adhered to the general rule that a public official is not liable for the wrongful acts of his subordinates on a vicarious basis since the relationship is not a true master-servant situation. 141 [108 Pac. x x x In the case of actionable negligence. it has been held that the failure of a passenger to assist the driver. McQuown. 297. Co. p.) We can see no logicalreason for drawing any distinction in this regard between actionable negligence and contributory negligence. Parenthetically. Pittsburg & M. 52 S. A. 290. Oliver.[30] and again in Sichterman v. (Hilton v.[36] . but only to the master or principal. Guild v. Ry. Handley v. 72 S.[35] The drivers duty is not one that may be delegated to others.[34] In the case at bar.[31] In Swanson v. 374 [1 Pac. Ellis v. Mayor Miguel was neither Lozanos employer nor the vehicles registered owner. 269 Pac. 228]. L. L. and the further fact that as Kruses agent he was delegated Kruses authority over the driver. x x x[29] The rule was reiterated in Bryant v. R. S. E. 41 Mont. 2 Cor. Mayor Miguel was a mere passenger at the time of the accident. 204 Cal. the doctrine of respondeat superior or qui facit per alium is not properly applicable to him.) 378.[27] Whatever right of control the occupant may have over the driver is not sufficient by itself to justify an application of the doctrine of vicarious liability. 588]. by providing him warnings or by serving as lookout does not make the passenger liable for the latters negligent acts. Brown. Southern Ry. (2d) 528]. Hollingshead Co. 115 Cal. Lombardi[28] is instructive on this exception to the rule on vicarious liability: Plaintiff was not the master or principal of the driver of the truck.. and see the elaborate note in 61 A.should not be attributed to a fellow employee who only happens to be an occupant of the vehicle. but only an intermediate and superior employee or agent.

. liability attaches to the registered owner. Regardless of who the actual owner of the vehicle is. hence. In permitting such entities to be sued. the municipality may not be sued because it is an agency of the State engaged in governmental functions and. Nevertheless. immune from suit. Unfortunately for Spouses Jayme.As correctly held by the trial court. the petition is DENIED and the appealed Decision AFFIRMED. the claimant cannot recover. the State merely gives the claimant the right to show that the defendant was not acting in governmental capacity when the injury was committed or that the case comes under the exceptions recognized by law. the true and lawful employer of Lozano is the Municipality of Koronadal. The law on the matter is clear: only the negligent driver.[38] Verily. they are generally not liable for torts committed by them in the discharge of governmental functions and can only be held answerable only if it can be shown that they were acting in proprietary capacity. WHEREFORE. and the registered owner of the vehicle are liable for the death of a third person resulting from the negligent operation of the vehicle. Firme. SO ORDERED.[37] where this Court held: It has already been remarked that municipal corporations are suable because their charters grant them the competence to sue and be sued. justice demands that only those liable under our laws be held accountable for Marvins demise. The CA observation along this line are worth restating: Settled is the rule that the registered owner of a vehicle is jointly and severally liable with the driver for damages incurred by passengers and third persons as a consequence of injuries or death sustained in the operation of said vehicles. the drivers employer. However. the operator of record continues to be the operator of the vehicle as regards the public and third persons. and as such is directly and primarily responsible for the consequences incident (sic) to its operation x x x. La Union v. This immunity is illustrated in Municipality of San Fernando. the negligent driver and his direct employer.[39] The accidental death of Marvin Jayme is a tragic loss for his parents. Failing this. Justice can not sway in favor of petitioners simply to assuage their pain and loss.

while being driven by Nestor Martin. Meralco subsequently demanded reparation from Ernesto Martin. it crashed into a Meralco electric post on Valley Golf Road.: This case turns on the proper application of the familiar rule that he who alleges must prove his allegation. HON. The petitioner's main defense was that Nestor Martin was not his employee. Reonal for private respondent. At around 2 o'clock in the morning of May 11. vs. The car was wrecked and the pole severely damaged. the driver of the car at the time of the accident. awarding him the amount claimed. but the demand was rejected. even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry.R. and P4. CRUZ. In the decision dated August 27.352. The case was considered submitted for decision with the express waiver by the defendant of his right to present his own evidence. Roberto M. 1982. which requires that the employer be . 1988. providing in part that: Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks. After the plaintiff had rested. It thereupon sued him for damages in the Regional Trial Court of Pasig. 2 prompting this petition for review. 1985. NPA-930. respondents. The defendant thus did not rebut the plaintiff's allegation that he was Nestor Martin's employer. plus costs. The petition has merit. which affirmed it in toto on February 22. Ernesto Martin was the owner of a private car bearing license plate No. with 12% interest. the defendant moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that no evidence had been adduced to show that Nestor Martin was his employee. The motion was denied. Judge Eutropio Migriño held in favor of the plaintiff.000. in Antipolo. J. Rizal. Benjamin R. Cabangis for petitioner. The above rule is applicable only if there is an employer-employee relationship although it is not necessary that the employer be engaged in any business or industry. It is important to stress that the complaint for damages was filed by the private respondent against only Ernesto Martin as alleged employer of Nestor Martin.00 plus attorney's fees and litigation costs as the employer of Nestor Martin.00 attorney's fees. 82248 January 30. It differs in this sense from Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code. No. Nestor Martin was not impleaded. COURT OF APPEALS and MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY. 1992 ERNESTO MARTIN. The action was based on tort under Article 2180 of the Civil Code.1 The decision was seasonably elevated to the Court of Appeals. alleging inter alia that he was liable to it in the sum of P17. petitioner.G.

As above adverted to. Since neither plaintiff nor defendant has presented any evidence on the status of Nestor Martin. may consider it an unnecessary expense and inconvenience. 4 or a conjecture based on past experience as to what course human affairs ordinarily take. the employer under Article 2180 is liable for the torts committed by his employees within the scope of their assigned task. and even if they could. Such deduction is not among the conclusive presumptions under Section 2 or the disputable presumptions under Section 3 of Rule 131 of the Rules of Court. are not enough bases for the inference that the petitioner is the employer of Nestor Martin. as employer. A presumption is defined as an inference as to the existence of a fact not actually known. an employee of the defendant. "he did not present any proof to substantiate his allegation." As the trial court put it: There is no need to stretch one's imagination to realize that a car owner entrusts his vehicle only to his driver or to anyone whom he allows to drive it. 5 It is either a presumption juris. 6 There is no law directing the deduction made by the courts below from the particular facts presented to them by the parties. But it is necessary first to establish the employment relationship. or of law. that the employee was acting within the scope of his assigned task when the tort complained of was committed. the ownership of the car and the circumstances of the accident. the Court can proceed on the presumption that one who drives the motor vehicle is an employee of the owner thereof. arising from its usual connection with another which is known. the plaintiff must show. no evidence whatsoever was adduced by the plaintiff to show that the defendant was the employer of Nestor Martin at the time of the accident. Neither is it a presumption hominis. Many cannot afford this luxury. Defendant alleges that Nestor Martin was not his employee but he did not present any proof to substantiate his allegation. which is a reasonable deduction from the facts proved without an express direction of law to that effect. it is not a presumption juris. Once this is done. or of fact. While it is true plaintiff did not present evidence on its allegation that Nestor Martin was defendant's employee. or a presumption hominis. most male persons know how to drive and do not have to employ others to drive for them unless this is needed for business reasons. may find it necessary to interpose the defense of due diligence in the selection and supervision of the employee as allowed in that article. or not denied. It is only then that the defendant. In other words. The trial court merely presumed the existence of the employer-employee relationship and held that the petitioner had not refuted that presumption. 7 The facts proved.. 3 In the case at bar. Whether or not engaged in any business or industry. the more plausible assumption is that Nestor Martin is a . viz. to hold the employer liable. It is elementary that he who makes an allegation is required to prove the same. It noted that although the defendant alleged that he was not Nestor Martin's employer. In the present case.engaged in an industry to be subsidiarily liable for the felony committed by his employee in the course of his employment. In the modern urban society. the Court presumes that he was at the time of the incident. that there was no need for such evidence. the Court believes and so holds.

JJ. Court of Appeals. Failure to do this was fatal to its action. The decision of the respondent court is REVERSED. It was enough for the defendant to deny the alleged employment relationship. 11 the owner of the jeep involved in the accident was absolved from liability when it was shown that the driver of the vehicle was not employed as such by the latter but was a "working scholar" as that term is defined by the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code. Griño-Aquino and Medidialdea. fails to show in a satisfactory manner the facts upon which he bases his claim. The vehicle involved in that case was a six-by-six truck. the private respondent merely relying on its mere allegation that Nestor Martin was the petitioner's employee. It is so ordered. As the employment relationship between Ernesto Martin and Nestor Martin could not be presumed. non qui negat. with costs against the respondent. The above observations make it unnecessary to examine the question of the driver's alleged negligence or the lack of diligence on the part of the petitioner in the selection and supervision of his employee. Allegation is not synonymous with proof. or the duty "to present evidence on the fact in issue necessary to establish his claim" as required by Rule 131. C. Meralco had the burden of proof. Significantly. and Civil Case No. concur. it was necessary for the plaintiff to establish it by evidence. Soberano. The case at bar involves a private vehicle as its license plate indicates.. Evidence was introduced to establish the employment relationship but it failed nonetheless to hold the owner responsible. Nestor would probably not have been accommodated if he were a mere employee for employees do not usually enjoy the use of their employer's car at two o'clock in the morning. Narvasa. Section 1 of the Revised Rules of Court. for he was not under obligation to prove this negative averment. the petition is GRANTED.. 48045 in the Regional Trial Court of Pasig. was misapplied by the respondent court in support of the petitioner's position. . without more. its driver at the time of the accident was an employee of the petitioner. which reasonably raised the factual presumption that it was engaged in business and that its driver was employed by the owner of the vehicle.close relative of Ernesto Martin and on the date in question borrowed the car for some private purpose. no similar evidence was even presented in the case at bar. is DISMISSED. Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit." 9 The case of Amor v. upon whom rests the burden of proving his cause of action.J. 12 He was assigned to janitorial duties. These questions have not arisen because the employment relationship contemplated in Article 1860 of the Civil Code has not been established. It is worth mentioning in this connection that in Filamer Christian Institute v. in any case. 8 This Court has consistently applied the ancient rule that "if the plaintiff. Branch 151. No evidence was ever offered that it was being used for business purposes or that. 10 a Court of Appeals decision not elevated to this Court. WHEREFORE. the defendant is under no obligation to prove his exception or defense.

plaintiff Zacarias Carticiano was on his way home to Imus. Plaintiff Zacarias was driving his fathers (plaintiff Rosendo Carticiano) Ford Laser car.000. which disposed as follows: WHEREFORE. CARTICIANO. 3) The amount of P173. it is enough to prove that the latter was hired to drive the formers motor vehicle. 1999 Decision[2] of the Court of Appeals (CA)[3] in CA-GR CV No. traversing the coastal roads of Longos.000. On the same date and time. defendant Nuvals owner-type Jeep. Statement of the Case Before this Court is a Petition for Review on Certiorari[1] under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.00 for the damages sustained by the Ford Laser. Defendant-appellant Nuval is hereby absolved of any civil liability and the complaint against him is hereby DISMISSED. Bacoor. With costs.00 to compensate the income and opportunities plaintiff Zacarias lost as a result of the incident. assailing the November 10.00 as attorneys fees and expenses of litigation. Once the driver is shown to be negligent.000. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of plaintiffs and against defendants. Cavite. 6) The amount of P100.000. the burden of proof to free the employer from liability shifts to the latter. respondent. ordering the latter to pay the former jointly and severally the following: 1) The amount of P160. that the employers children were aboard the jeep when the accident happened. J. SO ORDERED. Cavite. the trial court[5] ruled in this wise: ACCORDINGLY. The Facts The facts are summarized succinctly by the Court of Appeals as follows: "On September 3. 5) The amount of P100.715.19 as actual damage for the medical treatment so far of plaintiff Zacarias Carticiano. 52316. CARTICIANO and ZACARIAS A. in addition. then driven by defendant Darwin was traveling on the opposite direction going to Paraaque. 4) The amount of P200. 1992 at about 9:30 in the evening.00 as moral damages.00 as exemplary damages.: To hold an employer liable for the negligent acts of the employee.788. MARIO NUVAL. the appealed decision is hereby AFFIRMED insofar as defendant Darwin is concerned and REVERSED and SET-ASIDE as it pertains to defendant-appellant Nuval. . It is not necessary to show. DECISION PANGANIBAN. petitioners. [the] foregoing considered.[4] On the other hand.ROSENDO C. vs. 2) The amount of P100.

Defendant Darwin [h]as failed to file his answer within the reglementary period. it was not shown that the former was acting within the scope of his assigned task when the incident happened. a Narcom agent who happened to pass by the place. Plaintiffs refused to accept the amount. this appeal.[6] Ruling of the Court of Appeals The Court of Appeals explained that in order to hold an employer liable for the negligent acts of an employee under Article 2180 of the Civil Code. that on account of said recklessness of defendant Darwin. that defendants should he held liable for damages.When the two cars were about to pass one another.000. Consequently.00 as compensation for the injuries caused. Plaintiff Zacarias suffered multiple fracture on his left leg and other injuries in his body. Plaintiffs alleged that the proximate cause of the accident is defendants Darwin recklessness in driving defendant Nuvals jeep. defendant Darwin veered his vehicle to his left going to the center island of the highway and occupied the lane which plaintiff Zacarias was traversing. defendant Darwin was no longer connected with defendant Nuvals company. even assuming arguendo that Darwin was in fact an employee of Nuval. Plaintiffs also filed this present civil suit against defendants for damages. appellants did not present evidence showing that the driver was indeed an employee of respondent at the time the accident occurred. Thus. Defendant Nuval offered P100. Trial of the case proceeded. Plaintiff Zacarias underwent a leg operation and physical therapy to repair the damaged leg. Plaintiff Zacarias was taken out [of] the car by residents of the area and was brought to the hospital by Eduard Tangan. he was declared in default. that defendant Darwin was not an employee of defendant Nuval at the time of the accident. First. cannot be held liable for the tort committed by Darwin. plaintiff suffered damages. that defendant Nuval tried to locate defendant Darwin but the latter could no longer be found. As a result thereof. that at the time of the accident. the requisites for holding an employer liable for the tort committed by an employee were not satisfied. On this account. plaintiffs filed a criminal suit against defendant Darwin.[8] Issues . Hence.[7] The employer in this case. that defendant Darwin was not authorized to drive the vehicle of defendant Nuval. it must be shown that the employee was acting within the scope of his assigned task when the tort complained of was committed. And second. that defendant Darwin was hired only as casual and has worked with defendant Nuvals company only for five days. that defendant Nuval did not exercise due diligence in the supervision of his employee. that defendant Nuval cannot be held liable for damages. Respondent Mario Nuval. that defendant Darwin was an employee of defendant Nuval at the time of accident. plaintiff Zacarias Ford Laser collided head-on with defendant Nuvals Jeep. Defendant Darwin immediately fled from the scene. Defendant Nuval on the other hand insisted that he cannot be held answerable for the acts of defendant Darwin.

nobody questioned the fact that the former had freely entered respondents house where the keys to the vehicle were kept. He had not reported the alleged theft of his vehicle. First. respondent had other employees working for him who were not listed in the payroll either. he testified that his employees had told him that the keys and the vehicle had merely probably been stolen by Darwin. Neither did he search nor ask his employees to search for the supposedly stolen vehicle. while B. [and] E. To substantiate this claim. Nuval adds that Darwin was hired for a period of only four to six days.Petitioners present the following issues: A. However. [11] The rather easy access which Darwin had to the keys to the vehicle of Nuval further weakened the latters cause. It is obviously an afterthought concocted to present some semblance of a defense. . both respondent and his employees who testified did not act as if the vehicle had been stolen. Whether or not Defendant Darwin was in fact an employee of Defendant Nuval. First Issue: No Proof That Employment Was Terminated Respondent maintains that on the date[10] the accident happened. We disagree. The Courts Ruling The Petition is meritorious. In fact.[9] For brevity. Bobadilia: Did you ask among your employees who gave the key to Darwin? Mario Nuval: I asked them. B. the former presented payroll and employment records showing that the latter was no longer his employee. Whether or not respondent must be held liable for the damages and injuries suffered by appellees. since they all directly pertain to respondents vicarious liability. C. Atty. The only proof proferred by Respondent Nuval to show that Darwin was no longer his employee was the payroll in which the latters name was not included. Second. Darwin was no longer his employee because the latters services had already been terminated. D and E will be discussed together as the second issue. sir. Whether or not Defendant Nuval was grossly negligent in the safekeeping of the key to his owner-type jeep and of said vehicle itself. C. The theory of Nuval that Darwin must have stolen the keys as well as the vehicle is rather farfetched and not supported by any proof whatsoever. Whether or not Defendant Nuval was negligent in the selection and supervision of his employees. Item A will be taken up as the first issue. Whether or not findings of facts of the Court of Appeals are subject to exceptions. D. as revealed by the testimonies of the witnesses presented during trial. The trial court explained as follows: It surfaced that the payroll and daily time records presented by defendant Nuval [were] not reliable proofs of the names and number of employees that defendant Nuval had at the time of the incident in view of the testimonies of witnesses for defendant Nuval tending to show that there were more employees of defendant Nuval who were not in the payroll.

we are convinced that Darwin was Nuvals driver at the time of the accident. Guardians are liable for damages caused by the minors or incapacitated persons who are under their authority and live in their company. Court: So. are responsible for the damages caused by the minor children who live [in] their company. The owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise are likewise responsible for damages caused by their employees in the service of the branches in which the latter are employed or on the occasion of their functions. or perhaps Darwin stole the key to the jeep. so long as they remain in their custody. Article 2180 of the Civil Code provides that employers shall be liable for damages caused by their employees acting within the scope of their assigned tasks. 2180. the mother. Bobadilla: What was the reply of your employees? M. but not when the damage has been caused by the official to whom the task done properly pertains. Nuval: According to my employees he stole the key of the jeepney at home. The obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable not only for ones own acts or omissions.[13] (Italics supplied) . in case of his death or incapacity.[12] From the totality of the evidence. teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades shall be liable for damages caused by their pupils and students or apprentices. Interpreter: I agree. in which case what is provided in article 2176 shall be applicable. Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks. Abas: I disagree with the interpretation of the interpreter because the answer of the witness is ninanak yata. The State is responsible in like manner when it acts through a special agent.Atty. but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible. The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. Atty. The said provision is reproduced below: ART. Second to Fourth Issues: Employers Liability The CA agreed with the theory of respondent that he could not be held liable for the negligent acts of his employee because Darwin was not acting within the scope of his assigned tasks when the damage occurred. Respondent adds that he observed the diligence of a good father of a family and was not negligent in safeguarding the keys to the said vehicle. Lastly. what is the correct interpretation? A: According to my employees perhaps the key was stolen. even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry. The father and. your Honor.

It is thus necessary for this Court to pore over the evidence adduced.[14] Respondent failed to show that he had satisfactorily discharged this burden. That he had been hired only to bring respondents children to and from school must be rejected. this may have been one of his assigned tasks. The resolution of both of these pivotal factual issues is determinative of respondents vicarious liability for the injuries caused by Darwin. Nuval utterly failed to present sufficient evidence to show that Zacarias could have evaded the jeep. Such loophole is easy to concoct and is simply unacceptable. the above rule is subject to certain exceptions. His main defense that at the time of the accident Darwin was no longer his employee. Such conflict hinges on whether it was sufficiently proven that the employment of Darwin had indeed been terminated by respondent. one of which is when the two lower courts findings oppose each other.The facts established in the case at bar show that Darwin was acting within the scope of the authority given him when the collision occurred. Third parties are not bound by the allegation that the driver was authorized to operate the jeep only when the employers children were on board the vehicle. thus making it difficult if not impossible for petitioner to avoid the head-on collission. The claim of respondent that he had exercised the diligence of a good father of a family is not borne out by the evidence. Both the trial and the appellate courts found that the accident was caused by the fact that Darwins jeep suddenly veered towards Zacarias lane when the vehicles were about to pass each other. True. and whether the former was acting within the scope of his assigned tasks at the time the collision occurred. No Proof of Contributory Negligence Respondent Nuvals accusation that Petitioner Zacarias Carticiano is guilty of contributory negligence by failing to stop his car or to evade the oncoming jeep is untenable. but no convincing proof was presented showing that it was his only task. as it did already. His authority was to drive Nuvals vehicle. However. Neither is it supported by logic. Given the distance between the vehicles and the speed at which they were travelling. the former was not able to demonstrate convincingly that the latter could have minimized the damage complained of. Damages Article 2199 of the Civil Code allows the aggrieved party to recover the pecuniary loss that he has suffered. the factual findings of lower courts are accorded great respect by this Court. the law presumes the vehicle owner equally negligent and imposes upon the latter the burden of proving proper selection of employee as a defense. having been merely hired for a few days. Giving credence to this outlandish theory would enable employers to escape their legal liabilities with impunity. . there is a clear conflict between the findings of the trial court and those of the CA.[15] In the present case. is inconsistent with his other argument of due diligence in the selection of an employee. Review of Factual Findings Generally. Once a driver is proven negligent in causing damages.

In case liquidated damages have been agreed upon. besmirched reputation. 2234. moral damages may be recovered if they are the proximate result of the defendants wrongful act or omission. nevertheless. ART. In the same vein. the plaintiff must show that he is entitled to moral. as testified to by Dr. moral damages are in order.19 for his medical treatment. social humiliation. Except as provided by law or by stipulation. although no proof of loss is necessary in order that such liquidated damages may be recovered. based on Articles 2217 and 2219 of the Civil Code which respectively provide: ART.[18] . is solidarily liable. 2229. moral shock.[16] The Civil Code allows indemnification for lost profit or income. However. liquidated or compensatory damages. Though incapable of pecuniary computation. Exemplary damages and attorneys fees are likewise authorized by the following provisions of the Civil Code: ART. serious anxiety. 2219. ART.ART. cannot be recovered. 2208.715. petitioner suffered physically. attorneys fees and expenses of litigation. Based on the above. Moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases: xxxxxxxxx (2) Quasi-delicts causing physical injuries x x x As a direct result of the collision. the plaintiff must show that he would be entitled to moral. temperate. Respondent Nuval.788. Such compensation is referred to as actual or compensatory damages. other than judicial costs. we agree with the trial court that Petitioner Zacarias is entitled to an award of moral damages. And as found by the trial court. For the above. one is entitled to an adequate compensation only for such pecuniary loss suffered by him as he has duly proved. Petitioner Zacarias is entitled to indemnification for actual damages caused by the negligence of Darwin. before the court may consider the question of granting exemplary in addition to the liquidated damages. fright. It is also true that he experienced and will continue to experience social humiliation and ridicule for having his left leg shorter than the right which causes him to limp when walking. temperate or compensatory damages before the court may consider the question of whether or not exemplary damages should be awarded. While the amount of the exemplary damages need not be proved. temperate or compensatory damages were it not for the stipulation for liquidated damages. 2217. petitioner is entitled to P160. ART. except: (1) When exemplary damages are awarded x x x. for which the latters employer. mental anguish. and similar injury.[17] but petitioners failed to adduce sufficient proof of such loss. In the absence of stipulation. both petitioners are also entitled to P173. which represents the costs incurred for the repair of the damaged vehicle. Eduardo Arandia. Moral damages include physical suffering. Exemplary or corrective damages are imposed. 2199. by way of example or correction for the public good. wounded feelings. in addition to the moral.

And to serve as an example for the public good.000 for lost income or opportunities is DELETED. (Chairman). exemplary damages are affirmed.As held by the trial court. except that the award of P100.. Purisima. SO ORDERED. Vitug. Melo. concur. JJ. respondents refusal to answer adequately for the damages forced petitioners to litigate and incur expenses. the Petition is hereby GRANTED. The assailed Decision is REVERSED and SET ASIDE and the trial courts Decision REINSTATED. WHEREFORE. since Petitioner Zacarias has already shown that he is entitled to compensatory and moral damages in accordance with Article 2234 of the Civil Code. . and Gonzaga-Reyes.

G.R. No. 66207 May 18, 1992

MAXIMINO SOLIMAN, JR., represented by his judicial guardian VIRGINIA C.
SOLIMAN, petitioner,
vs.
HON. JUDGE RAMON TUAZON, Presiding Judge of Branch LXI, Regional Trial Court
of Region III, Angeles City, and the REPUBLIC CENTRAL COLLEGES, represented by
its President, respondents.

Mariano Y. Navarro for Republic Central Colleges.

RESOLUTION

FELICIANO, J.:

On 22 March 1983, petitioner Soliman, Jr. filed a civil complaint for damages against private
respondent Republic Central Colleges ("Colleges"), the R.L. Security Agency Inc. and one
Jimmy B. Solomon, a security guard, as defendants. The complaint alleged that:

. . . on 13 August 1982, in the morning thereof, while the plaintiff was in the
campus ground and premises of the defendant, REPUBLIC CENTRAL
COLLEGES, as he was and is still a regular enrolled student of said school
taking his morning classes, the defendant, JIMMY B. SOLOMON, who was on
said date and hour in the premises of said school performing his duties and
obligations as a duly appointed security guard under the employment,
supervision and control of his employer-defendant R.L. SECURITY AGENCY,
INC., headed by Mr. Benjamin Serrano, without any provocation, in a wanton,
fraudulent, reckless, oppressive or malevolent manner, with intent to kill,
attack, assault, strike and shoot the plaintiff on the abdomen with a .38
Caliber Revolver, a deadly weapon, which ordinarily such wound sustained
would have caused plaintiff's death were it not for the timely medical
assistance given to him. The plaintiff was treated and confined at Angeles
Medical Center, Angeles City, and, as per doctor's opinion, the plaintiff may
not be able to attend to his regular classes and will be incapacitated in the
performance of his usual work for a duration of from three to four months
before his wounds would be completely healed. 1

Private respondent Colleges filed a motion to dismiss, contending that the complaint stated
no cause of action against it. Private respondent argued that it is free from any liability for
the injuries sustained by petitioner student for the reason that private respondent school
was not the employer of the security guard charged, Jimmy Solomon, and hence was not
responsible for any wrongful act of Solomon. Private respondent school further argued that
Article 2180, 7th paragraph, of the Civil Code did not apply, since said paragraph holds
teachers and heads of establishment of arts and trades liable for damages caused by their
pupils and students or apprentices, while security guard Jimmy Solomon was not a pupil,
student or apprentice of the school.

In an order dated 29 November 1983, respondent Judge granted private respondent
school's motion to dismiss, holding that security guard Jimmy Solomon was not an
employee of the school which accordingly could not be held liable for his acts or omissions.
Petitioner moved for reconsideration, without success.

In this Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition, it is contended that respondent trial judge
committed a grave abuse of discretion when he refused to apply the provisions of Article
2180, as well as those of Articles 349, 350 and 352, of the Civil Code and granted the
school's motion to dismiss.

Under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, the obligation to respond for damage inflicted by one
against another by fault or negligence exists not only for one's own act or omission, but also
for acts or omissions of a person for whom one is by law responsible. Among the persons
held vicariously responsible for acts or omissions of another person are the following:

xxx xxx xxx

Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and
household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks, even
though the former are not engaged in any business or industry.

xxx xxx xxx

Lastly, teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades shall be liable
for damages caused by their pupils, their students or apprentices, so long as
they remain in their custody.

xxx xxx xxx

The first paragraph quoted above offers no basis for holding the Colleges liable for the
alleged wrongful acts of security guard Jimmy B. Solomon inflicted upon petitioner Soliman,
Jr. Private respondent school was not the employer of Jimmy Solomon. The employer of
Jimmy Solomon was the R.L. Security Agency Inc., while the school was the client or
customer of the R.L. Security Agency Inc. It is settled that where the security agency, as
here, recruits, hires and assigns the work of its watchmen or security guards, the agency is
the employer of such guards or watchmen. 2 Liability for illegal or harmful acts committed
by the security guards attaches to the employer agency, and not to the clients or customers
of such agency. 3 As a general rule, a client or customer of a security agency has no hand
in selecting who among the pool of security guards or watchmen employed by the agency
shall be assigned to it; the duty to observe the diligence of a good father of a family in the
selection of the guards cannot, in the ordinary course of events, be demanded from the
client whose premises or property are protected by the security guards. The fact that a
client company may give instructions or directions to the security guards assigned to it,
does not, by itself, render the client responsible as an employer of the security guards
concerned and liable for their wrongful acts or omissions. Those instructions or directions
are ordinarily no more than requests commonly envisaged in the contract for services
entered into with the security agency. There being no employer-employee relationship
between the Colleges and Jimmy Solomon, petitioner student cannot impose vicarious
liability upon the Colleges for the acts of security guard Solomon.

Since there is no question that Jimmy Solomon was not a pupil or student or an apprentice
of the Colleges, he being in fact an employee of the R.L. Security Agency Inc., the other
above-quoted paragraph of Article 2180 of the Civil Code is similarly not available for
imposing liability upon the Republic Central Colleges for the acts or omissions of Jimmy
Solomon.

The relevant portions of the other Articles of the Civil Code invoked by petitioner are as
follows:

Art. 349. The following persons shall exercise substitute parental authority:

xxx xxx xxx

(2) Teachers and professors;

xxx xxx xxx

(4) Directors of trade establishments with regard to apprentices;

xxx xxx xxx

Art. 350. The persons named in the preceding article shall exercise
reasonable supervision over the conduct of the child.

xxx xxx xxx

Art. 352. The relations between teacher and pupil, professor and student are
fixed by government regulations and those of each school or institution. In no
case shall corporal punishment be countenanced. The teacher or professor
shall cultivate the best potentialities of the heart and mind of the pupil or
student.

In Palisoc v. Brillantes, 4 invoked by petitioner, the Court held the owner and president of a
school of arts and trades known as the "Manila Technical Institute," Quezon Blvd., Manila,
responsible in damages for the death of Dominador Palisoc, a student of Institute, which
resulted from fist blows delivered by Virgilio L. Daffon, another student of the Institute. It
will be seen that the facts of Palisoc v. Brillantes brought it expressly within the 7th
paragraph of Article 2180, quoted above; but those facts are entirely different from the
facts existing in the instant case.

Persons exercising substitute parental authority are made responsible for damage inflicted
upon a third person by the child or person subject to such substitute parental authority. In
the instant case, as already noted, Jimmy Solomon who committed allegedly tortious acts
resulting in injury to petitioner, was not a pupil, student or apprentice of the Republic
Central Colleges; the school had no substitute parental authority over Solomon.

Clearly, within the confines of its limited logic, i.e., treating the petitioner's claim as one
based wholly and exclusively on Article 2180 of the Civil Code, the order of the respondent
trial judge was correct. Does it follow, however, that respondent Colleges could not be held
liable upon any other basis in law, for or in respect of the injury sustained by petitioner, so
as to entitle respondent school to dismissal of petitioner's complaint in respect of itself?

The very recent case of the Philippine School of Business Administration (PSBA) v. Court of
Appeals, 5 requires us to give a negative answer to that question.

In PSBA, the Court held that Article 2180 of the Civil Code was not applicable where a
student had been injured by one who was an outsider or by one over whom the school did

not exercise any custody or control or supervision. At the same time, however, the Court
stressed that an implied contract may be held to be established between a school which
accepts students for enrollment, on the one hand, and the students who are enrolled, on
the other hand, which contract results in obligations for both parties:

When an academic institution accepts students for enrollment, there is
established a contract between them, resulting in bilateral obligations which
parties are bound to comply with. For its part, the school undertakes to
provide the student with an education that would presumably suffice to equip
him with the necessary tools and skills to pursue higher education or a
profession. On the other hand, the student covenants to abide by the school's
academic requirements and observe its rules and regulations.

Institutions of learning must also meet the implicit or "built-in" obligation of
providing their students with an atmosphere that promotes or assists in
attaining its primary undertaking of imparting knowledge. Certainly, no
student can absorb the intricacies of physics or higher mathematics or explore
the realm of the arts and other sciences when bullets are flying or grenades
exploding in the air or where there looms around the school premises a
constant threat to life and limb. Necessarily, the school must ensure that
adequate steps are taken to maintain peace and order within the campus
premises and to prevent the breakdown thereof. 6

In that case, the Court was careful to point out that:

In the circumstances obtaining in the case at bar, however, there is, as yet,
no finding that the contract between the school and Bautista had been
breached thru the former's negligence in providing proper security measures.
This would be for the trial court to determine. And, even if there be a finding
of negligence, the same could give rise generally to a breach of contractual
obligation only. Using the test of Cangco, supra, the negligence of the school
would not be relevant absent a contract. In fact, that negligence becomes
material only because of the contractual relation between PSBA and Bautista.
In other words, a contractual relation is a condition sine qua non to the
school's liability. The negligence of the school cannot exist independently of
the contract, unless the negligence occurs under the circumstances set out in
Article 21 of the Civil Code.

The Court is not unmindful of the attendant difficulties posed by the obligation
of schools, above-mentioned, for conceptually a school, like a common
carrier, cannot be an insurer of its students against all risks. This is specially
true in the populous student communities of the so-called "university belt" in
Manila where there have been reported several incidents ranging from gang
wars to other forms of hooliganism. It would not be equitable to expect of
schools to anticipate all types of violent trespass upon their premises, for
notwithstanding the security measures installed, the same may still fail
against an individual or group determined to carry out a nefarious deed inside
school premises and environs. Should this be the case, the school may still
avoid liability by proving that the breach of its contractual obligation to the
students was not due to its negligence, here statutorily defined to be the
omission of that degree of diligence which is required by the nature of

obligation and corresponding to the circumstances of person, time and
place. 7

In the PSBA case, the trial court had denied the school's motion to dismiss the complaint
against it, and both the Court of Appeals and this Court affirmed the trial court's order. In
the case at bar, the court a quo granted the motion to dismiss filed by respondent Colleges,
upon the assumption that petitioner's cause of action was based, and could have been
based, only on Article 2180 of the Civil Code. As PSBA, however, states, acts which are
tortious or allegedly tortious in character may at the same time constitute breach of a
contractual, or other legal, obligation. Respondent trial judge was in serious error when he
supposed that petitioner could have no cause of action other than one based on Article 2180
of the Civil Code. Respondent trial judge should not have granted the motion to dismiss but
rather should have, in the interest of justice, allowed petitioner to prove acts constituting
breach of an obligation ex contractu or ex lege on the part of respondent Colleges.

In line, therefore, with the most recent jurisprudence of this Court, and in order to avoid a
possible substantial miscarriage of justice, and putting aside technical considerations, we
consider that respondent trial judge committed serious error correctible by this Court in the
instant case.

ACCORDINGLY, the Court Resolved to GRANT DUE COURSE to the Petition, to TREAT the
comment of respondent Colleges as its answer, and to REVERSE and SET ASIDE the Order
dated 29 November 1983. This case is REMANDED to the court a quo for further
proceedings consistent with this Resolution.

Gutierrez, Jr., Bidin, Davide, Jr. and Romero, JJ., concur.

G.R. No. L-12986 March 31, 1966

THE SPOUSES BERNABE AFRICA and SOLEDAD C. AFRICA, and the HEIRS OF
DOMINGA ONG, petitioners-appellants,
vs.
CALTEX (PHIL.), INC., MATEO BOQUIREN and THE COURT OF
APPEALS, respondents-appellees.

Ross, Selph, Carrascoso and Janda for the respondents.
Bernabe Africa, etc. for the petitioners.

MAKALINTAL., J.:

This case is before us on a petition for review of the decision of the Court of Appeals, which
affirmed that of the Court of First Instance of Manila dismissing petitioners' second amended
complaint against respondents.

The action is for damages under Articles 1902 and 1903 of the old Civil Code. It appears
that in the afternoon of March 18, 1948 a fire broke out at the Caltex service station at the
corner of Antipolo street and Rizal Avenue, Manila. It started while gasoline was being hosed
from a tank truck into the underground storage, right at the opening of the receiving tank
where the nozzle of the hose was inserted. The fire spread to and burned several
neighboring houses, including the personal properties and effects inside them. Their owners,
among them petitioners here, sued respondents Caltex (Phil.), Inc. and Mateo Boquiren, the
first as alleged owner of the station and the second as its agent in charge of operation.
Negligence on the part of both of them was attributed as the cause of the fire.

The trial court and the Court of Appeals found that petitioners failed to prove negligence and
that respondents had exercised due care in the premises and with respect to the supervision
of their employees.

The first question before Us refers to the admissibility of certain reports on the fire prepared
by the Manila Police and Fire Departments and by a certain Captain Tinio of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines. Portions of the first two reports are as follows:

1. Police Department report: —

Investigation disclosed that at about 4:00 P.M. March 18, 1948, while
Leandro Flores was transferring gasoline from a tank truck, plate No. T-5292
into the underground tank of the Caltex Gasoline Station located at the corner
of Rizal Avenue and Antipolo Street, this City, an unknown Filipino lighted a
cigarette and threw the burning match stick near the main valve of the said
underground tank. Due to the gasoline fumes, fire suddenly blazed. Quick
action of Leandro Flores in pulling off the gasoline hose connecting the truck
with the underground tank prevented a terrific explosion. However, the
flames scattered due to the hose from which the gasoline was spouting. It
burned the truck and the following accessorias and residences.

2. The Fire Department report: —

In connection with their allegation that the premises was (sic) subleased for the
installation of a coca-cola and cigarette stand, the complainants furnished this Office
a copy of a photograph taken during the fire and which is submitted herewith. it
appears in this picture that there are in the premises a coca-cola cooler and a rack
which according to information gathered in the neighborhood contained cigarettes
and matches, installed between the gasoline pumps and the underground tanks.

The report of Captain Tinio reproduced information given by a certain Benito Morales
regarding the history of the gasoline station and what the chief of the fire department had
told him on the same subject.

The foregoing reports were ruled out as "double hearsay" by the Court of Appeals and hence
inadmissible. This ruling is now assigned as error. It is contended: first, that said reports
were admitted by the trial court without objection on the part of respondents; secondly,
that with respect to the police report (Exhibit V-Africa) which appears signed by a Detective
Zapanta allegedly "for Salvador Capacillo," the latter was presented as witness but
respondents waived their right to cross-examine him although they had the opportunity to
do so; and thirdly, that in any event the said reports are admissible as an exception to the
hearsay rule under section 35 of Rule 123, now Rule 130.

The first contention is not borne out by the record. The transcript of the hearing of
September 17, 1953 (pp. 167-170) shows that the reports in question, when offered as
evidence, were objected to by counsel for each of respondents on the ground that they were
hearsay and that they were "irrelevant, immaterial and impertinent." Indeed, in the court's
resolution only Exhibits J, K, K-5 and X-6 were admitted without objection; the admission of
the others, including the disputed ones, carried no such explanation.

On the second point, although Detective Capacillo did take the witness stand, he was not
examined and he did not testify as to the facts mentioned in his alleged report (signed by
Detective Zapanta). All he said was that he was one of those who investigated "the location
of the fire and, if possible, gather witnesses as to the occurrence, and that he brought the
report with him. There was nothing, therefore, on which he need be cross-examined; and
the contents of the report, as to which he did not testify, did not thereby become competent
evidence. And even if he had testified, his testimony would still have been objectionable as
far as information gathered by him from third persons was concerned.

Petitioners maintain, however, that the reports in themselves, that is, without further
testimonial evidence on their contents, fall within the scope of section 35, Rule 123, which
provides that "entries in official records made in the performance of his duty by a public
officer of the Philippines, or by a person in the performance of a duty specially enjoined by
law, are prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated."

There are three requisites for admissibility under the rule just mentioned: (a) that the entry
was made by a public officer, or by another person specially enjoined by law to do so; (b)
that it was made by the public officer in the performance of his duties, or by such other
person in the performance of a duty specially enjoined by law; and (c) that the public officer
or other person had sufficient knowledge of the facts by him stated, which must have been
acquired by him personally or through official information (Moran, Comments on the Rules
of Court, Vol. 3 [1957] p. 398).

Of the three requisites just stated, only the last need be considered here. Obviously the
material facts recited in the reports as to the cause and circumstances of the fire were not

within the personal knowledge of the officers who conducted the investigation. Was
knowledge of such facts, however, acquired by them through official information? As to
some facts the sources thereof are not even identified. Others are attributed to Leopoldo
Medina, referred to as an employee at the gas station were the fire occurred; to Leandro
Flores, driver of the tank truck from which gasoline was being transferred at the time to the
underground tank of the station; and to respondent Mateo Boquiren, who could not,
according to Exhibit V-Africa, give any reason as to the origin of the fire. To qualify their
statements as "official information" acquired by the officers who prepared the reports, the
persons who made the statements not only must have personal knowledge of the facts
stated but must have the duty to give such statements for record. 1

The reports in question do not constitute an exception to the hearsay rule; the facts stated
therein were not acquired by the reporting officers through official information, not having
been given by the informants pursuant to any duty to do so.

The next question is whether or not, without proof as to the cause and origin of the fire, the
doctrine of res ipsa loquitur should apply so as to presume negligence on the part of
appellees. Both the trial court and the appellate court refused to apply the doctrine in the
instant case on the grounds that "as to (its) applicability ... in the Philippines, there seems
to he nothing definite," and that while the rules do not prohibit its adoption in appropriate
cases, "in the case at bar, however, we find no practical use for such doctrine." The
question deserves more than such summary dismissal. The doctrine has actually been
applied in this jurisdiction, in the case of Espiritu vs. Philippine Power and Development Co.
(CA-G.R. No. 3240-R, September 20, 1949), wherein the decision of the Court of Appeals
was penned by Mr. Justice J.B.L. Reyes now a member of the Supreme Court.

The facts of that case are stated in the decision as follows:

In the afternoon of May 5, 1946, while the plaintiff-appellee and other companions
were loading grass between the municipalities of Bay and Calauan, in the province of
Laguna, with clear weather and without any wind blowing, an electric transmission
wire, installed and maintained by the defendant Philippine Power and Development
Co., Inc. alongside the road, suddenly parted, and one of the broken ends hit the
head of the plaintiff as he was about to board the truck. As a result, plaintiff received
the full shock of 4,400 volts carried by the wire and was knocked unconscious to the
ground. The electric charge coursed through his body and caused extensive and
serious multiple burns from skull to legs, leaving the bone exposed in some parts
and causing intense pain and wounds that were not completely healed when the case
was tried on June 18, 1947, over one year after the mishap.

The defendant therein disclaimed liability on the ground that the plaintiff had failed to show
any specific act of negligence, but the appellate court overruled the defense under the
doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. The court said:

The first point is directed against the sufficiency of plaintiff's evidence to place
appellant on its defense. While it is the rule, as contended by the appellant, that in
case of noncontractual negligence, or culpa aquiliana, the burden of proof is on the
plaintiff to establish that the proximate cause of his injury was the negligence of the
defendant, it is also a recognized principal that "where the thing which caused injury,
without fault of the injured person, is under the exclusive control of the defendant
and the injury is such as in the ordinary course of things does not occur if he having

such control use proper care, it affords reasonable evidence, in the absence of the
explanation, that the injury arose from defendant's want of care."

And the burden of evidence is shifted to him to establish that he has observed due
care and diligence. (San Juan Light & Transit Co. v. Requena, 244, U.S. 89, 56 L. ed.
680.) This rule is known by the name of res ipsa loquitur (the transaction speaks for
itself), and is peculiarly applicable to the case at bar, where it is unquestioned that
the plaintiff had every right to be on the highway, and the electric wire was under
the sole control of defendant company. In the ordinary course of events, electric
wires do not part suddenly in fair weather and injure people, unless they are
subjected to unusual strain and stress or there are defects in their installation,
maintenance and supervision; just as barrels do not ordinarily roll out of the
warehouse windows to injure passersby, unless some one was negligent. (Byrne v.
Boadle, 2 H & Co. 722; 159 Eng. Reprint 299, the leading case that established that
rule). Consequently, in the absence of contributory negligence (which is admittedly
not present), the fact that the wire snapped suffices to raise a reasonable
presumption of negligence in its installation, care and maintenance. Thereafter, as
observed by Chief Baron Pollock, "if there are any facts inconsistent with negligence,
it is for the defendant to prove."

It is true of course that decisions of the Court of Appeals do not lay down doctrines binding
on the Supreme Court, but we do not consider this a reason for not applying the particular
doctrine of res ipsa loquitur in the case at bar. Gasoline is a highly combustible material, in
the storage and sale of which extreme care must be taken. On the other hand, fire is not
considered a fortuitous event, as it arises almost invariably from some act of man. A case
strikingly similar to the one before Us is Jones vs. Shell Petroleum Corporation, et al., 171
So. 447:

Arthur O. Jones is the owner of a building in the city of Hammon which in the year
1934 was leased to the Shell Petroleum Corporation for a gasoline filling station. On
October 8, 1934, during the term of the lease, while gasoline was being transferred
from the tank wagon, also operated by the Shell Petroleum Corporation, to the
underground tank of the station, a fire started with resulting damages to the building
owned by Jones. Alleging that the damages to his building amounted to $516.95,
Jones sued the Shell Petroleum Corporation for the recovery of that amount. The
judge of the district court, after hearing the testimony, concluded that plaintiff was
entitled to a recovery and rendered judgment in his favor for $427.82. The Court of
Appeals for the First Circuit reversed this judgment, on the ground the testimony
failed to show with reasonable certainty any negligence on the part of the Shell
Petroleum Corporation or any of its agents or employees. Plaintiff applied to this
Court for a Writ of Review which was granted, and the case is now before us for
decision.1äwphï1.ñët

In resolving the issue of negligence, the Supreme Court of Louisiana held:

Plaintiff's petition contains two distinct charges of negligence — one relating to the
cause of the fire and the other relating to the spreading of the gasoline about the
filling station.

Other than an expert to assess the damages caused plaintiff's building by the fire, no
witnesses were placed on the stand by the defendant.

Taking up plaintiff's charge of negligence relating to the cause of the fire, we find it
established by the record that the filling station and the tank truck were under the
control of the defendant and operated by its agents or employees. We further find
from the uncontradicted testimony of plaintiff's witnesses that fire started in the
underground tank attached to the filling station while it was being filled from the
tank truck and while both the tank and the truck were in charge of and being
operated by the agents or employees of the defendant, extended to the hose and
tank truck, and was communicated from the burning hose, tank truck, and escaping
gasoline to the building owned by the plaintiff.

Predicated on these circumstances and the further circumstance of defendant's
failure to explain the cause of the fire or to show its lack of knowledge of the cause,
plaintiff has evoked the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. There are many cases in which
the doctrine may be successfully invoked and this, we think, is one of them.

Where the thing which caused the injury complained of is shown to be under the
management of defendant or his servants and the accident is such as in the ordinary
course of things does not happen if those who have its management or control use
proper care, it affords reasonable evidence, in absence of explanation by defendant,
that the accident arose from want of care. (45 C.J. #768, p. 1193).

This statement of the rule of res ipsa loquitur has been widely approved and adopted
by the courts of last resort. Some of the cases in this jurisdiction in which the
doctrine has been applied are the following, viz.: Maus v. Broderick, 51 La. Ann.
1153, 25 So. 977; Hebert v. Lake Charles Ice, etc., Co., 111 La. 522, 35 So. 731, 64
L.R.A. 101, 100 Am. St. Rep. 505; Willis v. Vicksburg, etc., R. Co., 115 La. 63, 38
So. 892; Bents v. Page, 115 La. 560, 39 So. 599.

The principle enunciated in the aforequoted case applies with equal force here. The gasoline
station, with all its appliances, equipment and employees, was under the control of
appellees. A fire occurred therein and spread to and burned the neighboring houses. The
persons who knew or could have known how the fire started were appellees and their
employees, but they gave no explanation thereof whatsoever. It is a fair and reasonable
inference that the incident happened because of want of care.

In the report submitted by Captain Leoncio Mariano of the Manila Police Department (Exh.
X-1 Africa) the following appears:

Investigation of the basic complaint disclosed that the Caltex Gasoline Station
complained of occupies a lot approximately 10 m x 10 m at the southwest corner of
Rizal Avenue and Antipolo. The location is within a very busy business district near
the Obrero Market, a railroad crossing and very thickly populated neighborhood
where a great number of people mill around t

until

gasoline

tever be theWactjvities of these peopleor lighting a cigarette cannot be excluded and
this constitute a secondary hazard to its operation which in turn endangers the entire
neighborhood to conflagration.

Furthermore, aside from precautions already taken by its operator the concrete walls
south and west adjoining the neighborhood are only 2-1/2 meters high at most and
cannot avoid the flames from leaping over it in case of fire.

Records show that there have been two cases of fire which caused not only material
damages but desperation and also panic in the neighborhood.

Although the soft drinks stand had been eliminated, this gasoline service station is
also used by its operator as a garage and repair shop for his fleet of taxicabs
numbering ten or more, adding another risk to the possible outbreak of fire at this
already small but crowded gasoline station.

The foregoing report, having been submitted by a police officer in the performance of his
duties on the basis of his own personal observation of the facts reported, may properly be
considered as an exception to the hearsay rule. These facts, descriptive of the location and
objective circumstances surrounding the operation of the gasoline station in question,
strengthen the presumption of negligence under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, since on
their face they called for more stringent measures of caution than those which would satisfy
the standard of due diligence under ordinary circumstances. There is no more eloquent
demonstration of this than the statement of Leandro Flores before the police investigator.
Flores was the driver of the gasoline tank wagon who, alone and without assistance, was
transferring the contents thereof into the underground storage when the fire broke out. He
said: "Before loading the underground tank there were no people, but while the loading was
going on, there were people who went to drink coca-cola (at the coca-cola stand) which is
about a meter from the hole leading to the underground tank." He added that when the
tank was almost filled he went to the tank truck to close the valve, and while he had his
back turned to the "manhole" he, heard someone shout "fire."

Even then the fire possibly would not have spread to the neighboring houses were it not for
another negligent omission on the part of defendants, namely, their failure to provide a
concrete wall high enough to prevent the flames from leaping over it. As it was the concrete
wall was only 2-1/2 meters high, and beyond that height it consisted merely of galvanized
iron sheets, which would predictably crumple and melt when subjected to intense heat.
Defendants' negligence, therefore, was not only with respect to the cause of the fire but
also with respect to the spread thereof to the neighboring houses.

There is an admission on the part of Boquiren in his amended answer to the second
amended complaint that "the fire was caused through the acts of a stranger who, without
authority, or permission of answering defendant, passed through the gasoline station and
negligently threw a lighted match in the premises." No evidence on this point was adduced,
but assuming the allegation to be true — certainly any unfavorable inference from the
admission may be taken against Boquiren — it does not extenuate his negligence. A
decision of the Supreme Court of Texas, upon facts analogous to those of the present case,
states the rule which we find acceptable here. "It is the rule that those who distribute a
dangerous article or agent, owe a degree of protection to the public proportionate to and
commensurate with a danger involved ... we think it is the generally accepted rule as
applied to torts that 'if the effects of the actor's negligent conduct actively and continuously
operate to bring about harm to another, the fact that the active and substantially
simultaneous operation of the effects of a third person's innocent, tortious or criminal act is
also a substantial factor in bringing about the harm, does not protect the actor from
liability.' (Restatement of the Law of Torts, vol. 2, p. 1184, #439). Stated in another way,
"The intention of an unforeseen and unexpected cause, is not sufficient to relieve a

wrongdoer from consequences of negligence. namely. since it was entered into shortly before the expiration of the one-year period it was intended to operate. This retroactivity provision is quite significant. but made effective as of January 1. if such negligence directly and proximately cooperates with the independent cause in the resulting injury. Caltex admits that it owned the gasoline station as well as the equipment therein. Termination of the contract was therefore a right granted only to Caltex but not to Boquiren. which paid the license fees.W. Instead. of Caltex. or an agent of Caltex. (3) Caltex exercised control over Boquiren in the management of the state. if one there was. There must have been one in existence at that time. in the light of the facts not controverted. but claims that the business conducted at the service station in question was owned and operated by Boquiren. 153 S. This issue depends on whether Boquiren was an independent contractor. such that he could not have incurred personal liability. Maintenance of the station and its equipment was subject to the approval. In Boquiren's amended answer to the second amended complaint. 1948. vs. Exhibit X-6 Africa. March 18. This so-called license agreement (Exhibit 5- Caltex) was executed on November 29. 1948. and/or the owners of the gasoline station. Exhibit Y-Africa)." (MacAfee. But Caltex did not present any contract with Boquiren that would reveal the nature of their relationship at the time of the fire. the driver being an employee of the Caltex (Phil. in the judgment of Caltex. Boquiren can hardly be considered an independent contractor. These facts are: (1) Boquiren made an admission that he was an agent of Caltex. (2) at the time of the fire Caltex owned the gasoline station and all the equipment therein. Under that agreement Boquiren would pay Caltex the purely nominal sum of P1." It is true that Boquiren later on amended his answer. was not in his employ. as shown by the clause that Caltex "shall not be liable for any injury to person or property while in the property herein licensed. Caltex could at any time cancel and terminate the agreement in case Boquiren ceased to sell Caltex products. Exhibit U-Africa. But then again." But even if the license agreement were to govern.00 for the use of the premises and all the equipment therein. and (5) the license to store gasoline at the station was in the name of Caltex. This question. and that among the changes was one to the effect that he was not acting as agent of Caltex. (Exhibit T-Africa. (4) the delivery truck used in delivering gasoline to the station had the name of CALTEX painted on it. et al. Boquiren could not assign or transfer his rights as licensee without the consent of Caltex.) The next issue is whether Caltex should be held liable for the damages caused to appellants. it being understood and agreed that LICENSEE (Boquiren) is not an employee.) Inc. A motion to dismiss on this ground is deemed to be an admission of the facts alleged in the complaint. and thereafter until terminated by Caltex upon two days prior written notice. 1948 so as to cover the date of the fire. 2nd 442. and gives rise to the conclusion that it was designed precisely to free Caltex from any responsibility with respect to the fire. what was presented was a license agreement manifestly tailored for purposes of this case. as held by the Court of Appeals. in other words control. 1948 to December 31. in his motion to dismiss appellants' second amended complaint the ground alleged was that it stated no cause of action since under the allegations thereof he was merely acting as agent of Caltex. Traver's Gas Corporation. He could sell only Caltex Products. representative or agent of LICENSOR (Caltex). Exhibit X-5 Africa. he denied that he directed one of his drivers to remove gasoline from the truck into the tank and alleged that the "alleged driver. or did not conduct the business with due diligence. These provisions of the contract show the extent . is one of law and hence may be passed upon by this Court. The license agreement was supposed to be from January 1. 1948.

and proceeded to direct the method by which the work contracted for should be performed. that the equipment used by the operator belonged to the company and were just loaned to the operator and the company took charge of their repair and maintenance. it must be held liable for the negligence of those performing service under its direction. 57 S. that the service station belonged to the company and bore its tradename and the operator sold only the products of the company. The deduction is now challenged as erroneous on the ground that Article 2207 of the New Civil Code. To determine the nature of a contract courts do not have or are not bound to rely upon the name or title given it by the contracting parties.00 was adjudged by the lower court on the basis of the assessed value of the property destroyed. Neither was there a sales contract to prove the same.500. 100 Phil.00. Caltex further argues that the gasoline stored in the station belonged to Boquiren. otherwise the principle prohibiting unjust enrichment would be violated. Ltd. The written contract was apparently drawn for the purpose of creating the apparent relationship of employer and independent contractor. The evidence shows that it immediately assumed control. However. was not yet in effect when the loss took place. 757). disregarding the testimony of one of the Ong children that said property was worth P4. regardless of the silence of the law on this point at that time. should thereby a controversy as to what they really had intended to enter into.of the control of Caltex over Boquiren. The control was such that the latter was virtually an employee of the former.500. By reserving the right to terminate the contract at will. since it is of common knowledge that the assessment for taxation purposes is not an . As found by the trial court the Africas sustained a loss of P9. the former must prevail over the latter.00 collected by them on the insurance of the house. but the company was not satisfied to allow such relationship to exist. (Shell Company of the Philippines. 2d.000. it retained the means of compelling submission to its orders. the finding of the Court of Appeals that the operator was an agent of the company and not an independent contractor should not be disturbed.00. (Gulf Refining Company v.W. With respect to the claim of the heirs of Ong P7.005. Taking into consideration the fact that the operator owed his position to the company and the latter could remove him or terminate his services at will. and that the receipts signed by the operator indicated that he was a mere agent. which provides for the subrogation of the insurer to the rights of the insured. but the way the contracting parties do or perform their respective obligations stipulated or agreed upon may be shown and inquired into. that an employee of the company supervised the operator and conducted periodic inspection of the company's gasoline and service station. and should such performance conflict with the name or title given the contract by the parties. Having elected to assume control and to direct the means and methods by which the work has to be performed. and of avoiding liability for the negligence of the employees about the station. We agree that the court erred. New Jersey. We think the evidence was sufficient to sustain the verdict of the jury. after deducting the amount of P2. P1. vs. that the price of the products sold by the operator was fixed by the company and not by the operator.000. the amount that should be recovered be measured by the damages actually suffered. namely. But no cash invoices were presented to show that Boquiren had bought said gasoline from Caltex. Rogers.80. Firemens' Insurance Company of Newark. 183).

Bedona & Bedona Law Office for petitioner. SUPLICO. The Court ruled that the petitioner is not liable for the injuries caused by Funtecha on the grounds that the latter was not an authorized driver for whose acts the petitioner shall be directly and primarily answerable. at the time of the incident.. We reinstate the Court of Appeals' . Bautista Angelo. J. SR. C. took no part. The private respondents maintain that under Article 2180 an injured party shall have recourse against the servant as well as the petitioner for whom. The private respondents assert that the circumstances obtaining in the present case call for the application of Article 2180 of the Civil Code since Funtecha is no doubt an employee of the petitioner. Court of Appeals. concur... GUTIERREZ. Rhodora G. petitioner. Bengzon. respectively. the Court reconsiders its decision. Barrera.: The private respondents.R.000.J. Dizon.. and ordered to pay them the aforesaid sum of P9. Kapunan for private respondents. seek reconsideration of the decision rendered by this Court on October 16.accurate gauge of fair market value. Rule X. and costs. ENRIQUE P. No. and in this case should not prevail over positive evidence of such value. JJ. HON.005. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT.00. Reyes. respondents.L. Funtecha allegedly did not steal the school jeep nor use it for a joy ride without the knowledge of the school authorities. JR. heirs of the late Potenciano Kapunan. 1990 (Filamer Christian Institute v. Bengzon. J. G. Wherefore. Roxas City and POTENCIANO KAPUNAN.B. under Section 14. 75112 August 17.P.. 190 SCRA 477) reviewing the appellate court's conclusion that there exists an employer-employee relationship between the petitioner and its co-defendant Funtecha.. Branch XIV. Concepcion.00. J. the servant was performing an act in furtherance of the interest and for the benefit of the petitioner. Book III of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Labor Code is not considered an employee of the petitioner. vs. with interest from the filing of the complaint. and that Funtecha was merely a working scholar who. the decision appealed from is reversed and respondents-appellees are held liable solidarily to appellants. The heirs of Ong are therefore entitled to P10. HON. J.80 and P10. Regala. 1992 FILAMER CHRISTIAN INSTITUTE. After a re-examination of the laws relevant to the facts found by the trial court and the appellate court..000. in his capacity as Judge of the Regional Trial Court. Zaldivar and Sanchez.

In learning how to drive while taking the vehicle home in the direction of Allan's house. and viewing that the road was clear. 80 ALR 722 [1932]. 1 D. Allan Masa. Moreover. the Court is constrained to conclude that the act of Funtecha in taking over the steering wheel was one done for and in behalf of his employer for which act the petitioner-school cannot deny any responsibility by arguing that it was done beyond the scope of his janitorial duties. they heard a sound as if something had bumped against the vehicle. v.L. Campos.M. the school president. It is undisputed that Funtecha was a working student. Therefore. Having a student driver's license. It is significant to note that the place where Allan lives is also the house of his father.000. 1983. P4. to take over the vehicle while the latter was on his way home one late afternoon. P10.000. he still had to go back to school and then drive home using the same vehicle. and was allowed.000. Applying Civil Code provisions. 78-79) According to Allan's testimony. for the service for which the jeep was intended by the petitioner school. The clause "within the scope of their assigned tasks" for purposes of raising the presumption of liability of an . Upon swerving. and P3. Can SC 144. negotiating a sharp dangerous curb. p. Camilon. 124 SCRA 618 [1983]). Inc. It is indubitable under the circumstances that the school president had knowledge that the jeep was routinely driven home for the said purpose. and Serafin E. the jeep had only one functioning headlight. Funtecha definitely was not having a joy ride. it is not improbable that the school president also had knowledge of Funtecha's possession of a student driver's license and his desire to undergo driving lessons during the time that he was not in his classrooms. (TSN. (Ibid. See also Association of Baptists for World Evangelism. 577. Allan testified that he was the driver and at the same time a security guard of the petitioner-school. Moreover. Agustin Masa. Fieldmen's Insurance Co. being a part-time janitor and a scholar of petitioner Filamer. it is also the house where Funtecha was allowed free board while he was a student of Filamer Christian Institute.decision penned by the late Justice Desiderio Jurado and concurred in by Justices Jose C. Jr. April 4. Allan's job demands that he drive home the school jeep so he can use it to fetch students in the morning of the next school day. Thomas. but they did not stop to check.00 attorney's fees. pp. Driving the vehicle to and from the house of the school president where both Allan and Funtecha reside is an act in furtherance of the interest of the petitioner-school..R. a fast moving truck with glaring lights nearly hit them so that they had to swerve to the right to avoid a collision.00 liability in the Zenith Insurance Corporation policy. in relation to the school.) in Roxas City. He further said that there was no specific time for him to be off-duty and that after driving the students home at 5:00 in the afternoon. Funtecha was not driving for the purpose of his enjoyment or for a "frolic of his own" but ultimately. Inc. the appellate court affirmed the trial court decision which ordered the payment of the P20. Funtecha requested the driver. (See L. Allan affirmed that Funtecha followed his advise to swerve to the right. an employee even if he was assigned to clean the school premises for only two (2) hours in the morning of each school day. 79) At the time of the incident (6:30 P.. and hit him.00 moral damages. Potenciano Kapunan who was walking in his lane in the direction against vehicular traffic. Allan Masa turned over the vehicle to Funtecha only after driving down a road.000. the Pinoy jeep swerved towards the pedestrian. Actually. Battistoni v. He was.00 litigation and actual expenses.

In other words. the employee driving the vehicle derived some benefit from the act. Rule X of Book III provides guidelines on the manner by which the powers of the Labor Secretary shall be exercised. An implementing rule on labor cannot be used by an employer as a shield to avoid liability under the substantive provisions of the Civil Code. 210 NW 643. and inclusion of resident physicians in the employment coverage as far as compliance with the substantive labor provisions on working conditions. Hence. 190 Va 906. (Kohlman v. The present case does not deal with a labor dispute on conditions of employment between an alleged employee and an alleged employer. Book III of the Rules implementing the Labor Code. against both doer- employee and his employer. is concerned. includes any act done by an employee. and wages. 30 Phil. the fact that Funtecha was not the school driver or was not acting within the scope of his janitorial duties does not relieve the petitioner of the burden of rebutting the presumption juris tantum that there was negligence on its part either in the selection of a servant or employee. The Court." (Bahia v. on what records should be kept. Particularly. Hence. makes the distinction and so holds that Section 14. it being sufficient that the act of driving at the time of the incident was for the benefit of the petitioner. (Manuel Casada. The Court reiterates that supervision includes the formulation of suitable rules and regulations for the guidance of its employees and the issuance of proper instructions intended for the protection of the public and persons with whom the employer has relations . was promulgated by the Secretary of Labor and Employment only for the purpose of administering and enforcing the provisions of the Labor Code on conditions of employment. Book III of the Rules is not the decisive law in a civil suit for damages instituted by an injured person during a vehicular accident against a working student of a school and against the school itself. Jameson v. on payroll. rest periods.employer. in furtherance of the interests of the employer or for the account of the employer at the time of the infliction of the injury or damage. There is evidence to show that there exists in the present case an extra-contractual obligation arising from the negligence or reckless imprudence of a person "whose acts or omissions are imputable. 59 SE 2d 47 [1950]) Even if somehow. 50 ALR 1437 [1926]. thus. Rule X is merely a guide to the enforcement of the substantive law on labor. Rule X. Gavett. 71 P 2d 937 [1937]) Section 14. He need not have an official appointment for a driver's position in order that the petitioner may be held responsible for his grossly negligent act. by a legal fiction. the reliance on the implementing rule on labor to disregard the primary liability of an employer under Article 2180 of the Civil Code is misplaced. maintained and preserved. 624 [1915]) Funtecha is an employee of petitioner Filamer. Rule X. on which the petitioner anchors its defense. or in the supervision over him. to other(s) who are in a position to exercise an absolute or limited control over (him). It invokes a claim brought by one for damages for injury caused by the patently negligent acts of a person. The petitioner has failed to show proof of its having exercised the required diligence of a good father of a family over its employees Funtecha and Allan. the existence of a presumptive liability of the employer is determined by answering the question of whether or not the servant was at the time of the accident performing any act in furtherance of his master's business. Hyland. Litonjua and Leynes. and on the exclusion of working scholars from.

the motion for reconsideration of the decision dated October 16. This is quite understandable considering that as far as the injured pedestrian.. C. has an obligation to pay damages for injury arising from the unskilled manner by which Funtecha drove the vehicle. INC. CASTILEX INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION. Pantranco North Express.. 772 [1918]). Baesa. it was Funtecha who was the one driving the vehicle and presumably was one authorized by the school to drive. JR. However. v. Franco v. Bacani. 38 Phil. 148 SCRA 353 [1987]) An employer is expected to impose upon its employees the necessary discipline called for in the performance of any act indispensable to the business and beneficial to their employer. VICENTE VASQUEZ.through his employees. plaintiff Potenciano Kapunan. DECISION DAVIDE. Fabros. 69 SCRA 263 [1976]. Litonjua and Leynes. SO ORDERED. the petitioner has not shown that it has set forth such rules and guidelines as would prohibit any one of its employees from taking control over its vehicles if one is not the official driver or prohibiting the driver and son of the Filamer president from authorizing another employee to drive the school vehicle. JR. Intermediate Appellate Court. supra. 628. and CEBU DOCTORS HOSPITAL.: . Allan Masa. It is an admitted fact that the actual driver of the school jeep. For the purpose of recovering damages under the prevailing circumstances. v. Poblete v. thus. The plaintiff and his heirs should not now be left to suffer without simultaneous recourse against the petitioner for the consequent injury caused by a janitor doing a driving chore for the petitioner even for a short while.J. In the present case. 178 SCRA 331 [1989]. vs. (Bahia v. 1990 is hereby GRANTED. petitioner. the petitioner has failed to prove that it had imposed sanctions or warned its employees against the use of its vehicles by persons other than the driver. (Umali v. WHEREFORE. under Article 2180. Inc. The petitioner. A position of responsibility on the part of the petitioner has thus been satisfactorily demonstrated. 768. Manila Railroad Co. the employer shall have recourse against the negligent employee for whatever damages are paid to the heirs of the plaintiff. (Cangco v.. Furthermore. was concerned. Coronado. 179 SCRA 384 [1989]) The liability of the employer is. 176 SCRA 792 [1989]. primary and solidary. Intermediate Appellate Court. In the absence of evidence that the petitioner had exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the supervision of its employees. respondents. Kapalaran Bus Liner v. at p. it is enough that the plaintiff and the private respondent heirs were able to establish the existence of employer-employee relationship between Funtecha and petitioner Filamer and the fact that Funtecha was engaged in an act not for an independent purpose of his own but in furtherance of the business of his employer. was not made a party defendant in the civil case for damages. 93 SCRA 200 [1979]. The decision of the respondent appellate court affirming the trial court decision is REINSTATED. the law imposes upon it the vicarious liability for acts or omissions of its employees. Phoenix Construction. and LUISA SO VASQUEZ.

[2] CASTILEX and ABAD separately appealed the decision. Upon CASTILEXs motion for reconsideration. or to Belvic St.00 as moral damages. Abad drove the said company car out of a parking lot but instead of going around the Osmea rotunda he made a short cut against [the] flow of the traffic in proceeding to his route to General Maxilom St. It reduced the award of damages representing loss of earning capacity from P778. and P778. professional fees and other incidental charges Vasquez may incur. at around 1:30 to 2:00 in the morning.000. Romeo So Vasquez. P50. He was traveling counter- clockwise. the motorcycle of Vasquez and the pick-up of Abad collided with each other causing severe injuries to the former. and the interest on the hospital and medical bills. (b) deleting the award of attorneys fees for . He was also only carrying a Students Permit to Drive at the time.00 as attorneys fees. Cebu Doctors Hospital intervened to collect unpaid balance for the medical expense given to Romeo So Vasquez. the Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling of the trial court holding ABAD and CASTILEX liable but held that the liability of the latter is only vicarious and not solidary with the former.00 for loss of earning capacity.00 for burial expenses. against Jose Benjamin Abad and Castilex Industrial Corporation. Jr. (the normal flow of traffic in a rotunda) but without any protective helmet or goggles. and (2) Cebu Doctors Hospital.[1] The trial court ruled in favor of private respondents Vicente and Luisa Vasquez and ordered Jose Benjamin Abad (hereafter ABAD) and petitioner Castilex Industrial Corporation (hereafter CASTILEX) to pay jointly and solidarily (1) Spouses Vasquez. as succinctly summarized by the Court of Appeals. The antecedents. the amounts of P8. parents of the deceased Romeo So Vasquez. P10. GBW- 794. the present action for damages was commenced by Vicente Vasquez. After the police authorities had conducted the investigation of the accident.927.000 in view of the deceaseds contributory negligence. a Criminal Case was filed against Abad but which was subsequently dismissed for failure to prosecute.000 to P30. On the same date and time. In its decision[3] of 21 May 1997. are as follows: On 28 August 1988. Vasquez died at the Cebu Doctors Hospital. the Court of Appeals modified its decision by (1) reducing the award of moral damages from P50. plus the costs of litigation. the sum of P50. It was there that Abad signed an acknowledgment of Responsible Party (Exhibit K) wherein he agreed to pay whatever hospital bills.752. So.752. from 3% per month to 12% per annum from 5 September 1988 until fully paid.000. registered owner [of] a Toyota Hi-Lux Pick-up with plate no. was driving a Honda motorcycle around Fuente Osmea Rotunda. The pivotal issue in this petition is whether an employer may be held vicariously liable for the death resulting from the negligent operation by a managerial employee of a company-issued vehicle.80.83 for unpaid medical and hospital bills at 3% monthly interest from 27 July 1989 until fully paid. 1988. In the same action.156. On September 5. Abad stopped his vehicle and brought Vasquez to the Southern Islands Hospital and later to the Cebu Doctors Hospital. and Luisa So Vasquez. Upon the other hand.000. In the process.00 to P214. Benjamin Abad [was a] manager of Appellant Castilex Industrial Corporation.

(2) that as a managerial employee. Private respondents contention of petitioners violation of Section 11 of Rule 13 and Section 4 of Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure holds no water. .Whenever practicable. Priorities in modes of service and filing. a resort to other modes must be accompanied by a written explanation why the service or filing was not done personally. A violation of this Rule may be cause to consider the paper as not filed. as the latters employer. and (3) ruling that petitioner had the burden to prove that the employee was not acting within the scope of his assigned task. who was on his way home from taking snacks after doing overtime work for petitioner. CASTILEX filed the instant petition contending that the Court of Appeals erred in (1) applying to the case the fifth paragraph of Article 2180 of the Civil Code. ABAD was deemed to have been always acting within the scope of his assigned task even outside office hours because he was using a vehicle issued to him by petitioner. since petitioner adopted the evidence adduced by ABAD. Jose Benjamin ABAD merely adopted the statement of facts of petitioner which holds fast on the theory of negligence on the part of the deceased. and that petitioner is thus liable for the resulting injury and subsequent death of their son on the basis of the fifth paragraph of Article 2180. respondents Spouses Vasquez argue that their sons death was caused by the negligence of petitioners employee who was driving a vehicle issued by petitioner and who was on his way home from overtime work for petitioner. as required under Section 11. they point out that the petition is procedurally not acceptable on the following grounds: (1) lack of an explanation for serving the petition upon the Court of Appeals by registered mail. For its part.lack of evidence. Rule 13 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. it cannot. and is thus estopped by the records of the case. They moreover argue that the Court of Appeals erred in reducing the amount of compensatory damages when the award made by the trial court was borne both by evidence adduced during the trial regarding deceaseds wages and by jurisprudence on life expectancy. -. respondent Cebu Doctors Hospital maintains that petitioner CASTILEX is indeed vicariously liable for the injuries and subsequent death of Romeo Vasquez caused by ABAD. Even if the fourth paragraph of Article 2180 were applied. and (c) reducing the interest on hospital and medical bills to 6% per annum from 5 September 1988 until fully paid. the service and filing of pleadings and other papers shall be done personally. On the other hand. Except with respect to papers emanating from the court. Section 11 of Rule 13 provides: SEC. 11. We shall first address the issue raised by the private respondents regarding some alleged procedural lapses in the petition. inveigle itself from the ambit of liability.[4] Hence. Moreover. instead of the fourth paragraph thereof. Moreover. which it failed to refute. and (2) lack of a statement of the dates of the expiration of the original reglementary period and of the filing of the motion for extension of time to file a petition for review. Although the incident occurred when ABAD was not working anymore the inescapable fact remains that said employee would not have been situated at such time and place had he not been required by petitioner to do overtime work. petitioner cannot escape liability therefor.

But it is necessary to establish the employer-employee relationship. They perform functions which are beyond their office. admittedly. once this is done. The explanation why service of a copy of the petition upon the Court of Appeals was done by registered mail is found on Page 28 of the petition. the petition need not indicate the dates of the expiration of the original reglementary period and the filing of a motion for extension of time to file the petition. to hold the employer liable. Petitioners interpretation of the fifth paragraph is not accurate. employees oftentimes wear different hats. Both provisions apply to employers: the fourth paragraph. if any. Instead. while the fifth paragraph encompasses negligent acts of employees acting within the scope of their assigned task. Since it is engaged in the business of manufacturing and selling furniture it is therefore not covered by said provision. aside from the material dates required under Section 4 of Rule 45. the fourth paragraph should apply. Now on the merits of the case. Petitioner contends that the fifth paragraph of Article 2180 of the Civil Code should only apply to instances where the employer is not engaged in business or industry. there has been compliance with the aforequoted provision. be faulted in applying the said paragraph of Article 2180 of the Civil Code to this case. Negligent acts of employees. nevertheless. Contrary to private respondents claim. At any rate. title or designation but which. and the fifth paragraph. to employers in general.[7] The Court of Appeals cannot. For.[5] A distinction must be made between the two provisions to determine what is applicable. even though committed neither in the service of the branches nor on the occasion of their functions. the plaintiff must show. The negligence of ABAD is not an issue at this instance. Petitioner CASTILEX presumes said negligence but claims that it is not vicariously liable for the injuries and subsequent death caused by ABAD. are covered so long as they were acting within the scope of their assigned task. (2) the date of filing of a motion for new trial or reconsideration. The fourth paragraph covers negligent acts of employees committed either in the service of the branches or on the occasion of their functions. and (3) the date of receipt of the notice of the denial of the motion. whether or not engaged in any business or industry. to owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise. As regards the allegation of violation of the material data rule under Section 4 of Rule 45. are still within the call of duty. Under the fifth paragraph of Article 2180. petitioner CASTILEX also stated in the first page of the petition the date it filed the motion for extension of time to file the petition. whether or not engaged in any business or industry. therefore. The latter is an expansion of the former in both employer coverage and acts included. The phrase even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry found in the fifth paragraph should be interpreted to mean that it is not necessary for the employer to be engaged in any business or industry to be liable for the negligence of his employee who is acting within the scope of his assigned task. Thus. whether or not the employer is engaged in a business or industry. the same is unfounded. This court has applied the fifth paragraph to cases where the employer was engaged in a business or industry such as truck operators[6] and banks. The material dates required to be stated in the petition are the following: (1) the date of receipt of the judgment or final order or resolution subject of the petition. that . an employer is liable for the torts committed by employees within the scope of his assigned tasks.

testified that at the time of the incident. which the court a quo and the Court of Appeals resolved in the affirmative. It was enough for petitioner CASTILEX to deny that ABAD was acting within the scope of his duties. The court a quo and the Court of Appeals were one in holding that the driving by a manager of a company-issued vehicle is within the scope of his assigned tasks regardless of the time and circumstances. petitioner was not under obligation to prove this negative averment. or conjectures. the defendant is under no obligation to prove his exception or defense. Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit. He was then leaving the restaurant where he had some snacks and had a chat with his friends after having done overtime work for the petitioner. that the petitioner did not present evidence that ABAD was not acting within the scope of his assigned tasks at the time of the motor vehicle mishap. an employee is engaged in his employers business in the operation of a motor vehicle. No absolutely hard and fast rule can be stated which will furnish the complete answer to the problem of whether at a given moment. [8] It is undisputed that ABAD was a Production Manager of petitioner CASTILEX at the time of the tort occurrence. not he who denies. but rather. The mere fact that ABAD was using a service vehicle at the time of the injurious incident is not of itself sufficient to charge petitioner with liability for the . fails to show in a satisfactory manner facts which he bases his claim. so as to fix liability upon the employer because of the employees action or inaction. The Court has consistently applied the ancient rule that if the plaintiff.the employee was acting within the scope of his assigned task when the tort complained of was committed. it was not incumbent upon the petitioner to prove the same. must prove). Intermediate Appellate Court. we shall first take up the other reason invoked by the Court of Appeals in holding petitioner CASTILEX vicariously liable for ABADs negligence. registered under the name of petitioner. upon whom rests the burden of proving his cause of action. and even finality at times. We do not agree. This rule is. i.e.[9] Such exception obtain in the present case to warrant review by this Court of the finding of the Court of Appeals that since ABAD was driving petitioners vehicle he was acting within the scope of his duties as a manager. the result varies with each state of facts. surmises. It is only then that the employer may find it necessary to interpose the defense of due diligence in the selection and supervision of the employee. subject to exceptions such as when the conclusion is grounded on speculations. ABAD. who was presented as a hostile witness. he was driving a company-issued vehicle..[12] this Court had the occasion to hold that acts done within the scope of the employees assigned tasks includes any act done by an employee in furtherance of the interests of the employer or for the account of the employer at the time of the infliction of the injury or damages.[11] In Filamer Christian Institute v. Contrary to the ruling of the Court of Appeals. Before we pass upon the issue of whether ABAD was performing acts within the range of his employment. Well-entrenched in our jurisprudence is the rule that the factual findings of the Court of Appeals are entitled to great respect. As to whether he was acting within the scope of his assigned task is a question of fact. however.[10] Now on the issue of whether the private respondents have sufficiently established that ABAD was acting within the scope of his assigned tasks. non qui negat (He who asserts.

even where the employer contemplates that a regularly assigned motor vehicle will be used by the employee for personal as well as business purposes and there is some incidental benefit to the . Hence. Operation of Employers Motor Vehicle in Going to or from Meals It has been held that an employee who uses his employers vehicle in going from his work to a place where he intends to eat or in returning to work from a meal is not ordinarily acting within the scope of his employment in the absence of evidence of some special business benefit to the employer. traveling to and from the place of work is ordinarily a personal problem or concern of the employee. and not a part of his services to his employer. presumably. The following are principles in American Jurisprudence on the employers liability for the injuries inflicted by the negligence of an employee in the use of an employers motor vehicle: I. However. III. in the absence of some special benefit to the employer other than the mere performance of the services available at the place where he is needed. or to go to and from his home to various outside places of work. Evidence that by using the employers vehicle to go to and from meals. the employee has left the direct route to his work or back home and is pursuing a personal errand of his own. be liable where he derives some special benefit from having the employee drive home in the employers vehicle as when the employer benefits from having the employee at work earlier and. Operation of Employers Vehicle in Going to or from Work In the same vein. the courts have frequently applied what has been called the special errand or roving commission rule. Use of Employers Vehicle Outside Regular Working Hours An employer who loans his motor vehicle to an employee for the latters personal use outside of regular working hours is generally not liable for the employees negligent operation of the vehicle during the period of permissive use. under which it can be found that the employee continues in the service of his employer until he actually reaches home. Where the employees duties require him to circulate in a general area with no fixed place or hours of work. even if the employee be deemed to be acting within the scope of his employment in going to or from work in his employers vehicle. spending more time at his actual duties.negligent operation of said vehicle unless it appears that he was operating the vehicle within the course or scope of his employment. an employee is enabled to reduce his time-off and so devote more time to the performance of his duties supports the finding that an employee is acting within the scope of his employment while so driving the vehicle. however.[13] II. the employee is not acting within the scope of his employment even though he uses his employers motor vehicle. and his employer furnishes him with a vehicle to use in his work. the employer is not liable for his negligence where at the time of the accident.[14] The employer may.

His being at a place which. Since there is paucity of evidence that ABAD was acting within the scope of the functions entrusted to him. for ABAD was only 29 years old at the time. as petitioner put it. it has been held that he has not resumed his employment. It was when ABAD was leaving the restaurant that the incident in question occurred. Appellant. [G. pimps. Plaintiffs-Appellees. L-9147. prostitutes. That same witness for the private respondents testified that at the time of the vehicular accident. his overtime work had already been completed. or merely gives rise to the presumption juris tantum of negligence on the part of the employer as in ours. ABAD took some snacks and had a chat with friends. petitioner CASTILEX had no duty to show that it exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in providing ABAD with a service vehicle. a sidewalk vendor. he went to Goldies Restaurant in Fuente Osmea. Thereafter. November 29. ROSALINA GILUANO.[15] The foregoing principles and jurisprudence are applicable in our jurisdiction albeit based on the doctrine of respondeat superior. JUAN CAMAROTE. and FELIX GILUANO. REMEDIOS GILUANO. Even where the employees personal purpose in using the vehicle has been accomplished and he has started the return trip to his house where the vehicle is normally kept. SO ORDERED. Jose Benjamin Abad. 1956. neither had it any relation to his duties as a manager.[17] A witness for the private respondents.R. Moreover. was known as a haven for prostitutes. which was located in Cabangcalan.employer. the petition is GRANTED. who then shouted: Daddy. Mandaue City. had no connection to petitioners business.[16] In the case at bar. It was then about 2:00 a.] RAFAELA CAMPO. it is undisputed that ABAD did some overtime work at the petitioners office. which is about seven kilometers away from petitioners place of business. Defendants. Daddy![19] This woman could not have been ABADs daughter.[18] At the Goldies Restaurant. vs.m. way beyond the normal working hours. and the employer is not liable for the employees negligent operation of the vehicle during the return trip.[20] WHEREFORE. . Rather. and the appealed decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED with the modification that petitioner Castilex Industrial Corporation be absolved of any liability for the damages caused by its employee. ABAD was with a woman in his car. ABADs working day had ended. To the mind of this Court. JUAN CAMAROTE and GREGORIO GEMILGA. No. of 28 August 1988. not on the principle of bonus pater familias as in ours. ERNESTO GILUANO. it is indispensable that the employee was acting in his employers business or within the scope of his assigned task. Cebu City. testified that Fuente Osmea is a lively place even at dawn because Goldies Restaurant and Back Street were still open and people were drinking thereat. and drug addicts littered the place. justice and equity require that petitioner be relieved of vicarious liability for the consequences of the negligence of ABAD in driving its vehicle. ABAD was engaged in affairs of his own or was carrying out a personal purpose not in line with his duties at the time he figured in a vehicular accident. and drug pushers and addicts. pimps. using his service vehicle even for personal purposes was a form of a fringe benefit or one of the perks attached to his position. Thus. Whether the fault or negligence of the employee is conclusive on his employer as in American law or jurisprudence.

The principal contentions of the Defendants Juan Camarote are:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary (1) that his liability as owner of the jeep is only subsidiary. was his driver. Article 1903 of said code provides as follows:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary “The obligation imposed by the next preceding article is enforcible. So on October 26 a criminal information was filed against Gemilga. — The obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable not only for one’s own acts or omissions. and Gemilga.000 as damages and P500 as attorney’s fee. The case was submitted for judgment upon a stipulation of facts. and (2) that if the action is against him for his negligence. but on December 5.) The law which defines the scope of the liability of a car owner in relation to accidents and injuries caused by the vehicle driven by another is Article 2180 of the Civil Code which provides:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary “Art. On August 30. 1953 Gemilga pleaded guilty to the information and was sentenced to imprisonment and indemnity of P3. On the basis of the stipulation. not only for personal acts and omissions. As a result of the impact Felix Giluano suffered many physical injuries and he later died. but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible. 2180. Under the civil code of Spain the provisions governing the case were articles 1903 to 1910. 77675. 1953. even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry. he is not guilty of such negligence but exercised the diligence of a good father of a family because he was not in the jeep at the time of the accident and the driver of the jeep whom he employed is a competent driver. as Gemilga drove the jeep along the road in Davao. xxx xxx xxx Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks. Thus the complaint alleges — “ cralaw and neither the operator (owner) observed the due care and diligence of a good father of a family in the employment of the driver Gregorio Gamilga cralaw” (Paragraph 5. the owner of the jeep.”. J. it bumped against the rear of another which two passengers had just boarded.: Juan Camarote was in 1953 the registered owner of a jeep with plate license DV-807 while Gregorio Gemilga. No execution of the indemnity was asked for and none was issued. There is no question that the basis of the action is the supposed negligence or lack of good diligence on the part of the owner of the vehicle. xxx xxx xxx The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. 1953. Against this judgment this appeal was presented. judgment was entered for Plaintiff against Defendants sentencing them to pay Plaintiff P6. DECISION LABRADOR. The trial was scheduled for December 11.000. the driver. the most important of which are set forth in the above statement. 1953. but also for those of persons for whom another is responsible. On October 19. before Gemilga entered his plea of guilty the present action was instituted in the Court of First Instance of Davao by the heirs of the deceased Giluano against Juan Camarote. a duly licensed (professional) driver with license No. .

teachers or directors of arts and trades are liable for any damages caused by their pupils or apprentices while they are under their custody. however. In accordance with this paragraph the owner of the vehicle is responsible unless he proves that he exercised the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage. We think that this is a mistaken view of the law. But in the case at bar. Guardians are liable for damages done by minors or incapacitated persons subject to their authority and living with them. the owner of the vehicle is included among the persons who may respond for the acts of their employees who cause damage to third persons in the course of their employment. chan roblesvirtualawlibraryhe should have carefully examined the applicant for employment as to his qualifications.” Rulings under the old provision (Article 1903) are to the effect that the owner of a vehicle will not be liable if at the time of the accident causing injury to a third person the owner of the vehicle is not present therein. in which case the provisions or the next preceding article shall be applicable. No. Under the new Civil Code. liable for any damages caused by their employees while engaged in the branch of the service in which employed. the jeepney owner. is liable for any damages caused by the minor children who live with them. taking into account the fact. The State is subject to the same liability when it acts through a special agent. 5 Phil. Did he satisfy the requirement of the law in this case? Defendant Juan Camarote argues that the mere fact that the driver was a professional driver is a sufficient exercise of the diligence required of a good father of a family. chan roblesvirtualawlibraryand the only manner in which he could have avoided damage to third persons would have been by the exercise by him of the diligence of a good father of a family in the choice or selection of his driver. Castillo. he should not have been satisfied with the mere possession of a professional driver’s license. in the same way. Gaz. 40 Off. chan roblesvirtualawlibraryMarquez vs. even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry. the mother. This paragraph reads as follows:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary “Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks. that licenses are easy to obtain and no strict examination is required before professional driver’s licenses are given. but not if the damage shall have bean caused by the official upon whom properly devolved the duty of doing the act performed. because he does not fall within the list of persons enumerated in Article 1903 of the Civil Code (Johnson vs. and that the holding of a driver’s license is no guarantee or assurance of the carefulness of the holder of the license. By reason of this newly inserted provision the owner of a jeep driven by another becomes responsible for the driver’s negligence under the terms and circumstances specified in the last paragraph of article 2180. chan roblesvirtualawlibraryChapman vs. or in case of his death. 5.” A comparison between the above Article and Article 2180 of the Civil Code of the Philippines shows that paragraph 5 of the latter is not contained in the former. 204). or incapacity. David. 27 Phil. or on occasion of the performance of their duties. Owners or directors of any establishment or business are. was not in the jeep. 374. of which we take judicial notice. Underwood. which would exempt him from responsibility.The father. In order that the Defendantmay be considered as having exercised all diligence of a good father of a family. Camarote. 663. Finally. The liability imposed by this article shall cease in case the persons subject thereto prove that they exercise all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage. his experience and record of .

* * Respondent. and FILWRITERS GUARANTY ASSURANCE CORPORATION. If the driver is negligent and causes damage. with costs against Defendant-Appellant. . JJ. Were we to require the injured party to prove the owner’s lack of diligence.R. Finding that the conclusion of the trial judge as to Defendant. JR. Present: CARPIO. PERALTA.. PONCIANO TAPALES. the law presumes that the owner was negligent and imposes upon him the burden of proving the contrary. and we must hold that he has failed to exercise all due diligence required of a good father of a family in the choice or selection of his driver.Appellant’s responsibility is correct.. ABAD. which are considered essential. Defendant-Appellant did not take these steps. we hereby affirm the decision. have the opportunity to observe the conduct of all possible car owners therein. especially in the cities. JOSE GUBALLA.versus . THE HEIRS OF THE LATE RUBEN G. It is indeed difficult for any person injured by the carelessness of a driver to prove the negligence or lack of due diligence of the owner of the vehicle in the choice of the driver. No. Promulgated: July 18. the right will in many cases prove illusory.. as seldom does a person in the community. COURT OF APPEALS. represented by Ruben Reinoso Jr. and MENDOZA.* J. VELASCO. 2011 x -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x . Chairperson. 116121 REINOSO. Petitioners.service. The reason for the law is obvious. So the law imposes the burden of proof of innocence on the vehicle owner. SR.

1994 Decision [1] and June 30. CV No.00 only per year) & victim then being 55 at death had ten (10) years life expectancy 3.R.. reads: In favor of herein plaintiffs and against defendant Jose Guballa: 1. The dispositive portion of the CA decision reads: IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING.000. 1979. DECISION MENDOZA. Loss of earnings (monthly income at the time of death 120.00 5.00 only per month (or ₱12. 19395. SO ORDERED.00 (₱2. 50. the decision appealed from is SET ASIDE and REVERSED and the complaint in this case is ordered DISMISSED. the heirs of Reinoso (petitioners) filed a complaint for damages against Tapales and Guballa. J. Rodriguez Avenue. Quezon City. in CA-G. The decision in part. As a result. On March 22.000. Sr. Sr. 1979 along E. Exemplary damages 25.000. while the truck was owned by Jose Guballa (Guballa) and driven by Mariano Geronimo (Geronimo). Mortuary. No costs pronouncement. a passenger of the jeepney.: Before the Court is a petition for review assailing the May 20.000. 1988.00 expenses in the wake in serving those who condoled. 1994 Resolution[2] of the Court of Appeals (CA). The passenger jeepney was owned by Ponciano Tapales (Tapales) and driven by Alejandro Santos (Santos).000. ₱30. Branch 8.000.000. (Reinoso). Medical & funeral expenses and all incidental 15.00 2.00 Court used ₱1.000. Moral damages . Ruben Reinoso. The complaint for damages arose from the collision of a passenger jeepney and a truck at around 7:00 oclock in the evening of June 14. which set aside the March 22. In turn. Manila (RTC) for non-payment of docket fees. the RTC rendered a decision in favor of the petitioners and against Guballa.. Guballa filed a third party complaint against Filwriters Guaranty Assurance Corporation (FGAC) under Policy Number OV-09527. For the death of Ruben Reinoso. 1988 Decision of the Regional Trial Court. On November 7. was killed.00 . 4.

respectively.₱60. Sr. 10.00 7. In favor of defendant Ponciano Tapales due to damage of his passenger jeepney.00 4. Totality of evidence preponderance in their favor. Costs of suit. Moral damages . RTC- Malolos.000. Attorneys fees 15.000.000. cannot recover twice. 10. defendant Ponciano Tapales and 3rd Party plaintiff Jose Guballa established their claims as specified above.000.00.000. Attorneys fees 25.00 Or a total of ₱250. 139 SCRA 260. OV-09527 in the amount of ₱50. For all the foregoing. and finally.000. 2. OV- 09527.000. in view of the foregoing. 3.000.. JUDGMENT WHEREFORE. 6. it is the well considered view of the Court that plaintiffs. hence.00 and for two (2) months jeepney stayed at the repair shop.00. judgment is hereby rendered as follows: In favor of plaintiffs for the death of Ruben Reinoso.00 undertaking plus ₱10. Exemplary damages .00 Under the 3rd party complaint against 3rd party defendant Filwriters Guaranty Assurance Corporation. Compensatory damages (earnings at ₱150.00 as and for attorneys fees. the Court hereby renders judgment in favor of said 3rd party plaintiff by way of 3rd party liability under policy No. Litigation expenses .00 5.₱250. 1-G-Tapales)..[3] . Actual damages for repair is already awarded to defendant-cross-claimant Ponciano Tapales by Br. 15..000.₱44.000. In favor of defendant Jose Guballa under Policy No.00 For damages to property: In favor of defendant Ponciano Tapales and against defendant Jose Guballa: 1..000. Tomol.00. 9. All the specified accounts with 6% legal rate of interest per annum from date of complaint until fully paid (Reformina vs. Bulacan (Vide: Exh..00 per day) ₱9.000. SO ORDERED.00 or a total of ₱44.000.

The rule is that payment in full of the docket fees within the prescribed period is mandatory. They plead that though this Court stated that failure to state the correct amount of damages would lead to the dismissal of the complaint. The Court finds merit in the petition. petitioners could no longer pay the required docket fees.[4] In addition. Court of Appeals to this case. CA. The strict application of this rule was.[8] In Manchester v. Court of Appeals. 1994. Finally.[6] Hence. however. set aside and reversed the RTC decision and dismissed the complaint on the ground of non-payment of docket fees pursuant to the doctrine laid down in Manchester v.[9] it was held that a court acquires jurisdiction over any case only upon the payment of the prescribed docket fee. The issues of the case revolve around the more substantial issue as to the negligence of the private respondents and their culpability to petitioners. Moreover. [5] Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration of the CA decision but it was denied in a resolution dated June 30. because the amount of the lost income would still be finally determined in the course of the trial of the case. The issue on the specification of the damages appearing in the prayer of the Complaint was NEVER PLACED IN ISSUE BY ANY OF THE PARTIES IN THE COURT OF ORIGIN (REGIONAL TRIAL COURT) NOR IN THE COURT OF APPEALS. since it was filed prior to the promulgation of the Manchester decision in 1987. B. in its Decision dated May 20.[7] The petitioners argue that the ruling in Manchester should not have been applied retroactively in this case. the petitioners assert that at the time of the filing of the complaint in 1979. this appeal. the CA. 1994. The Court of Appeals MISAPPLIED THE RULING of the Supreme Court in the case of Manchester Corporation vs. They claim that the jurisdiction of the trial court remains even if there was failure to pay the correct filing fee as long as the correct amount would be paid subsequently. relaxed two (2) years after in the case of Sun Insurance . anchored on the following GROUNDS: A.On appeal. said doctrine should be applied prospectively. C. the petitioners stress that the alleged defect was never put in issue either in the RTC or in the CA. the CA ruled that since prescription had set in. they were not certain of the amount of damages they were entitled to.

failure to pay those fees within the reglementary period allows only discretionary. Ltd. such power should be used by the court in conjunction with its exercise of sound discretion in accordance with the tenets of justice and fair play. [15] for it is far better to dispose of a case on the merit which is a primordial end. [11] Thus. the general objective of procedure is to facilitate the application of justice to the rival claims of contending parties.[13] the Court stated: Notwithstanding the mandatory nature of the requirement of payment of appellate docket fees.Office. in the more recent case of United Overseas Bank v. for. the liberal doctrine enunciated in Sun Insurance Office.[12] the Court explained that where the party does not deliberately intend to defraud the court in payment of docket fees. Ltd. the court may allow payment of the fee within a reasonable period of time. liberality . in several instances. indeed. In this case.[14] While there is a crying need to unclog court dockets on the one hand. rather than on a technicality that may result in injustice. It was only the CA which motu propio dismissed the case for said reason. Ros.[10] wherein the Court decreed that where the initiatory pleading is not accompanied by the payment of the docket fee.[16] The Court also takes into account the fact that the case was filed before the Manchester ruling came out. and not the strict regulations set in Manchester. In the case of La Salette College v. on the other. but in no case beyond the applicable prescriptive or reglementary period. not automatic. as well as with a great deal of circumspection in consideration of all attendant circumstances. v. dismissal. second. Pilotin. a greater demand for resolving genuine disputes fairly and equitably. Asuncion. bearing always in mind that procedure is not to hinder but to promote the administration of justice. allowed the relaxation of the rule on non-payment of docket fees in order to afford the parties the opportunity to fully ventilate their cases on the merits. will apply. Even if said ruling could be applied retroactively. it cannot be denied that the case was litigated before the RTC and said trial court had already rendered a decision. there is a need to suspend the strict application of the rules so that the petitioners would be able to fully and finally prosecute their claim on the merits at the appellate level rather than fail to secure justice on a technicality. It has been on record that the Court. Considering the foregoing. While it was at that level. there is. we also recognize that its strict application is qualified by the following: first.. This ruling was made on the premise that the plaintiff had demonstrated his willingness to abide by the rules by paying the additional docket fees required. the matter of non- payment of docket fees was never an issue. and manifests its willingness to abide by the rules by paying additional docket fees when required by the court.

the party concerned shall pay the additional fees which shall constitute a lien on the judgment in satisfaction of said lien. It was established that the primary cause of the . it is always within the power of the Court to suspend the Rules. Thus. Reinoso.[19] it was stated that the intent of the Court is clear to afford litigants full opportunity to comply with the new rules and to temper enforcement of sanctions in view of the recency of the changes introduced by the new rules. Quezon City. died as a result of the collision of a jeepney and a truck on June 14. however.[18] In the case of Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority v. Court of Appeals[17] and Spouses Jimmy and Patri Chan v. are liable for the difference between the actual fees paid and the correct payable docket fees to be assessed by the clerk of court which shall constitute a lien on the judgment pursuant to Section 2 of Rule 141 which provides: SEC. the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) also failed to pay the correct docket fees on time. under ordinary circumstances. or more than that claimed in the pleading. however. Courts are not slaves to or robots of technical rules. RTC of Zamboanga. The facts are beyond dispute. In rendering justice. shorn of judicial discretion. Rodriguez Avenue. In the higher interest of substantial justice and to spare the parties from further delay. that the case at bench has been pending for more than 30 years and the records thereof are already before this Court.[20] The petitioners. Where the court in its final judgment awards a claim not alleged. conscientiously guided by the norm that. We held in another case: x x x It bears stressing that the rules of procedure are merely tools designed to facilitate the attainment of justice. 2. They were conceived and promulgated to effectively aid the court in the dispensation of justice. as they ought to be. or a relief different from.should be accorded to the petitioners in view of the recency then of the ruling. As the Court has taken the position that it would be grossly unjust if petitioners claim would be dismissed on a strict application of the Manchester doctrine. would be for the Court to remand the case to the CA. 1979 at around 7:00 oclock in the evening along E. if the application of the Rules would tend to frustrate rather than promote justice. on the balance. Fees in lien. courts have always been. technicalities take a backseat against substantive rights. the appropriate action. In Mactan. and not the other way around. the Court will resolve the case on the merits. the jeepney passenger. Considering. Mangubat (Mactan). The clerk of court shall assess and collect the corresponding fees. or except a particular case from its operation. a remand of the case to the CA would only unnecessarily prolong its resolution. Leniency because of recency was applied to the cases of Far Eastern Shipping Company v.

per hour (63-64 tsn. Driving on right side of highway. Unless a different course of action is required in the interest of the safety and the security of life. The analysis of the RTC appears in its decision as follows: Perusal and careful analysis of evidence adduced as well as proper consideration of all the circumstances and factors bearing on the issue as to who is responsible for the instant vehicular mishap convince and persuade this Court that preponderance of proof is in favor of plaintiffs and defendant Ponciano Tapales. The left side of the jeepney suffered considerable damage as seen in the picture (Exhs. (29 tsn. No. Sept. records) taken while at the repair shop. 1985) in the process hitting them (Jeepney passenger) at the left side up to where the reserve tire was in an oblique manner pahilis (57 tsn. (plaintiffs and Tapales witness) that while running on lane No. The jeepney after it was bumped by the truck due to the strong impact was thrown resting on its right side while the left side was on top of the Bangketa (side walk). the left side portion of the road in an attempt to avoid a wooden barricade. 4136). the collision was brought about because the truck driver suddenly swerved to. 6. The greater mass of evidence spread on the records and its influence support plaintiffs plaint including that of defendant Tapales. 4 & 5-Tapales. Having in mind the foregoing provision of law.A. Jan. the jeepney was running on its right lane No. The Land Transportation and Traffic Rule (R. the headlights of which the former had seen while still at a distance of about 30-40 meters from the wooden barricade astride lanes 1 and 2. hitting the passenger jeepney as a consequence. reads as follows: Sec. this Court is convinced of the veracity of the version of the passenger jeepney driver Alejandro Santos. or because of unreasonable difficulty of operation in compliance therewith. every person operating a motor vehicle or an animal drawn vehicle on highway shall pass to the right when meeting persons or vehicles coming toward him. 4 westward bound towards Ortigas Avenue at between 30-40 kms. upon reaching said wooden block suddenly swerved to the left into lanes 3 and 4 at high speed napakabilis po ng dating ng truck. 1984) the sand & gravel truck from the opposite direction driven by Mariano Geronimo. person or property. Sept. and to the left when overtaking persons or vehicles going the same direction.injury or damage was the negligence of the truck driver who was driving it at a very fast pace. pages 331-332. At the time of the bumping. The Court is convinced of the narration of Santos to the effect that the gravel & sand truck was running in high speed on the good portion of E. and encroached on. The passengers of the jeepney and its driver were injured including two passengers who died. Rodriguez Avenue (lane 1 & 2) before the wooden barricade and (having in mind that it had just delivered its load at the Corinthian Gardens) so that when suddenly confronted with the wooden obstacle before it had to avoid the same in a manner of a reflex reaction or knee-jerk response by forthwith swerving to his left into the right lanes (lanes 3 & 4). 26. every vehicle shall be conducted to the right of the center of the intersection of the highway. 4 and even during the moments . 26. and when turning to the left in going from one highway to another. 1985). 37. Based on the sketch and spot report of the police authorities and the narration of the jeepney driver and his passengers.

[21] While ending up on the opposite lane is not conclusive proof of fault in automobile collisions. provides: Art. Guballa. R-a30. certified copy of which is on page 594. there being fault or negligence is obliged to pay for the damage done. marked as Exh. Rodriguez. as depicted in the sketch of the police officers. R-131. 8-Tapales on page 169. heading towards Santolan Street. 2176. if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties. F. NPD. Their story is forfeited and confirmed by the sketch drawn by the investigating officer Pfc.[22] the position of the two vehicles. 38. 166-168. Rules of Court) there being no evidence adduced and made of record to the contrary is that said circumstance involving the two vehicles had been the result of an official investigation and must be taken as true by this Court. with the attached police sketch of Pfc. ibid) indicating the fact that the bumping indeed occurred at lane No. Rodriguez Avenue was under repair and a wooden barricade was placed in the middle thereof. The evidentiary records disclosed that the truck was speeding along E. is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter. The obligation imposed by Art. in relation to Article 2180 of the Civil Code. while the passenger jeepney was coming from the opposite direction. 4 and showing how the gavel & sand truck is positioned in relation to the jeepney. at that time. and also Sec. pp. The truck driver should have been more careful. worthy to be relied upon. 2176 is demandable not only for ones own acts or omissions but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible. the Certified Copy found on pages 598-600. 7. xxxx . 2180. because. The said police sketch having been made right after the accident is a piece of evidence worthy to be relied upon showing the true facts of the bumping-occurrence. clearly shows that it was the truck that hit the jeepney. records. Traffic Division. The Court likewise sustains the finding of the RTC that the truck owner. before said bumping. the front portion of the truck hit the left middle side portion of the passenger jeepney. The rule that official duty had been performed (Sec. xxxx Art. Reyes marked as Exhs. failed to rebut the presumption of negligence in the hiring and supervision of his employee. moving at moderate speed thereon since lane No. Quezon City who rushed to the scene of the mishap (Vide: Resolution of Asst fiscal Elizabeth B. ibid. Amaba. When the truck reached a certain point near the Meralco Post No. 3 was then somewhat rough because being repaired also according to Mondalia who has no reason to prevaricate being herself one of those seriously injured. Rev. causing damage to both vehicles and injuries to the driver and passengers of the jeepney. Such fault or negligence. ibid. a portion of E. 7-B-Tapales. Article 2176. 7-A. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another. The narration of Santos and Mondalia are convincing and consistent in depicting the true facts of the case untainted by vacillation and therefore.5(m). Amaba. J9-450.

1988 Decision of the Regional Trial Court. This was all which he considered as selection and supervision in compliance with the law to free himself from any responsibility. is REINSTATED. there instantly arises a presumption juris tantum that the employer failed to exercise diligentissimi patris families in the selection or supervision of his employee. Branch 8. brakes. gasoline. As expected. the petition is GRANTED. Employers shall be liable for the damage caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry. and that Geronimo had been driving for him sometime in 1976 until the collision in litigation came about (5- 6 tsn. These facts must be shown by concrete proof. it is always accompanied with two (2) helpers (16-17 tsn. 1994 Resolution of the Court of Appeals are REVERSED and SET ASIDE and the March 22. horn (9 tsn. ibid). including documentary evidence. and impose disciplinary measures for breaches thereof. July 17. The May 20. in the selection of prospective employees. 1994 Decision and June 30. defendant Jose Guballa. [25] WHEREFORE. xxxx The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. attempted to overthrow this presumption of negligence by showing that he had exercised the due diligence required of him by seeing to it that the driver must check the vital parts of the vehicle he is assigned to before he leaves the compound like the oil. SO ORDERED. the RTC committed no error in finding that the evidence presented by respondent Guballa was wanting. employers must formulate standard operating procedures. Manila. Whenever an employees negligence causes damage or injury to another. This Court then cannot consider the foregoing as equivalent to an exercise of all the care of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of his driver Mariano Geronimo. 1986). monitor their implementation. that whenever his trucks gets out of the compound to make deliveries. experience and service record. It ruled: x x x. ibid). .[24] Thus. water.[23] Thus. employers are required to examine them as to their qualification. With respect to the supervision of employees.

The factual antecedents are as follows: The vehicles involved in this case are: (1) Philippine Rabbit Bus No. D-10086. charging petitioner Manliclic with Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property with Physical Injuries. was on his way to Manila from Pangasinan on board his owner-type jeep. 2. respondent Calaunan. docketed as Civil Case No. The criminal case was tried ahead of the civil case. owned by respondent Modesto Calaunan and driven by Marcelo Mendoza. The Philippine Rabbit Bus was likewise bound for Manila from Concepcion. a criminal case was filed before the RTC of Malolos. 684-M-89. D-10086. Case No. The bus veered to the left and stopped 7 to 8 meters from point of collision. CV No.G. He was first brought for treatment to the Manila Central University Hospital in Kalookan City by Oscar Buan. Bulacan. The front right side of the Philippine Rabbit Bus hit the rear left side of the jeep causing the latter to move to the shoulder on the right and then fall on a ditch with water resulting to further extensive damage. Respondent suffered minor injuries while his driver was unhurt. Branch 42. DECISION CHICO-NAZARIO. 353 with plate number CVD-478. The identity of the drivers and the fact that they are duly licensed. and (2) owner-type jeep with plate number PER-290. the parties admitted the following: 1. Plaridel.. docketed as Crim. Respondent. Inc. and was later transferred to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center. J.: Assailed before Us is the decision1 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. The parties agreed on the capacity of the parties to sue and be sued as well as the venue and the identities of the vehicles involved. In the civil case (now before this Court). together with Marcelo Mendoza. (PRBLI) solidarily liable to pay damages and attorney’s fees to respondent Modesto Calaunan. Among those who testified in the criminal case were respondent Calaunan. 150157 January 25. 2007 MAURICIO MANLICLIC and PHILIPPINE RABBIT BUS LINES. At approximately Kilometer 40 of the North Luzon Expressway in Barangay Lalangan. At around 6:00 to 7:00 o’clock in the morning of 12 July 1988. No. the two vehicles collided. .R. in Civil Case No. Petitioners. 55909 which affirmed in toto the decision2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Dagupan City. owned by petitioner PRBLI and driven by petitioner Mauricio Manliclic. the conductor of the Philippine Rabbit Bus. Tarlac. finding petitioners Mauricio Manliclic and Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines. vs. By reason of such collision. INC. MODESTO CALAUNAN. Bulacan. respondent filed a complaint for damages against petitioners Manliclic and PRBLI before the RTC of Dagupan City. Subsequently on 2 December 1991. Marcelo Mendoza and Fernando Ramos.R.

5. Bulacan. RTC.5 Marcelo Mendoza6 and Fernando Ramos7 in said case. 4. investigator of the PRBLI. in Criminal Case No. petitioner Manliclic and bus conductor Oscar Buan testified. when he did not return after one month. Francisco Tuliao testified that his brother-in-law. She narrated that she thought her husband went to his hometown in Panique. The date and place of the vehicular collision. 684-M-89. together with other documentary evidence marked therein. Court Interpreter. respondent Calaunan. counsel for petitioners compromised that said TSNs and documents could be offered by counsel for respondent as rebuttal evidence. who appeared before the court and identified the TSNs of the three afore-named witnesses and other pertinent documents he had brought.1awphil. That both vehicles were going towards the south. The extent of the injuries suffered by plaintiff Modesto Calaunan and the existence of the medical certificate. Marcelo Mendoza. the TSNs 10 of the testimonies of Donato Ganiban. the court where Criminal Case No. left for abroad sometime in November. left for Amman. She went to her husband’s hometown to look for him but she was informed that he did not go there. Instead of the Branch Clerk of Court. 6.8 Counsel for respondent wanted to mark other TSNs and documents from the said criminal case to be adopted in the instant case. Marcelo Mendoza and Fernando Ramos in the criminal case be received in evidence in the civil case in as much as these witnesses are not available to testify in the civil case. Jordan. Respondent further marked.net The trial court subpoenaed the Clerk of Court of Branch 8. to work. 684-M-89 was marked and allowed to be adopted in the civil case on the ground that he was already dead. as rebuttal evidence. counsel for respondent prayed that the transcripts of stenographic notes (TSNs)4 of the testimonies of respondent Calaunan. Tarlac. the private jeep being ahead of the bus. 3 When the civil case was heard. it was Enrique Santos Guevara. Rosalia Mendoza testified that her husband. but since the same were not brought to the trial court. 1989 and has not returned since then. although there was a ditch on the right side where the jeep fell into. For the defendants. The disagreement arises from the question: Who is to be held liable for the collision? Respondent insists it was petitioner Manliclic who should be liable while the latter is resolute in saying it was the former who caused the smash up. Fernando Ramos. The versions of the parties are summarized by the trial court as follows: . 684-M-89 was tried. among other documents. left their residence to look for a job. Malolos. 3. Rogelio Ramos took the stand and said that his brother. That the weather was fair and the road was well paved and straight. The TSN 9 of the testimony of Donato Ganiban. Oscar Buan and petitioner Manliclic in Criminal Case No. to bring the TSNs of the testimonies of respondent Calaunan.

meaning they stopped in front of the Philippine Rabbit Bus. Oscar Buan admitted that the Philippine Rabbit Bus bumped the jeep in question.00 as moral damages and another P100. would be determinative of who between the two drivers was negligent in the operation of their respective vehicles. According to the plaintiff and his driver.838. the Court of Appeals. After that. Both Mauricio Manliclic and his driver. The Philippine Rabbit Bus stopped and they overtook the Philippine Rabbit Bus so that it could not moved (sic). including appearance fees of the lawyer. Fernando Ramos corroborated the testimony of the plaintiff and Marcelo Mendoza. they explained that when the Philippine Rabbit bus was about to go to the left lane to overtake the jeep.00 as actual damages for the towing as well as the repair and the materials used for the repair of the jeep in question. the trial court rendered its decision in favor of respondent Calaunan and against petitioners Manliclic and PRBLI. affirmed it in all respects. In other words.The parties differed only on the manner the collision between the two (2) vehicles took place. 13 In a decision dated 28 September 2001. In addition. he heard a loud sound. which of the two versions of the manner how the collision took place was correct. However. The bus also overtook the jeep in which he was riding. The dispositive portion of its decision reads: WHEREFORE.000. [Thus. On 22 July 1996.]11 Petitioner PRBLI maintained that it observed and exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of its employee. the jeep was cruising at the speed of 60 to 70 kilometers per hour on the slow lane of the expressway when the Philippine Rabbit Bus overtook the jeep and in the process of overtaking the jeep. He said that he was on another jeep following the Philippine Rabbit Bus and the jeep of plaintiff when the incident took place. the Philippine Rabbit Bus was still at the back of the jeep when the jeep was hit. the defendants are also to pay costs.00 as exemplary damages and P15. finding no reversible error in the decision of the trial court. He testified that the jeep of plaintiff swerved to the right because it was bumped by the Philippine Rabbit bus from behind. He said. P100. it was about to overtake the jeep. the jeep of the plaintiff overtook them and the said jeep of the plaintiff was followed by the Philippine Rabbit Bus which was running very fast.00 as attorney’s fees. At the time the Philippine Rabbit Bus hit the jeep.14 Petitioners are now before us by way of petition for review assailing the decision of the Court of Appeals. He saw the jeep of the plaintiff swerved to the right on a grassy portion of the road. Such was their testimony before the RTC in Malolos in the criminal case and before this Court in the instant case. They assign as errors the following: I . judgment is rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendants ordering the said defendants to pay plaintiff jointly and solidarily the amount of P40. specifically petitioner Manliclic. the latter jeep swerved to the left because it was to overtake another jeep in front of it.12 Petitioners appealed the decision via Notice of Appeal to the Court of Appeals. the Philippine Rabbit Bus hit the rear of the jeep on the left side.000.000.

the following requisites must be satisfied: (a) the witness is dead or unable to testify. they are not parties to the criminal cases instituted against their employees. Petitioner PRBLI. (c) the former case involved the same subject as that in the present case. we granted the Motion for the Substitution of Respondent filed by his wife. Mrs. Rule 13021 to apply. Evelyn Calaunan. The cases dealing with the subsidiary liability of employers uniformly declare that. and children. had no opportunity to cross-examine the three witnesses in said case. Virgilio Calaunan. (b) his testimony or deposition was given in a former case or proceeding. respondent failed to show the concurrence of all the requisites set forth by the Rules for a testimony given in a former case or proceeding to be admissible as an exception to the hearsay rule. III THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED ON A QUESTION OF LAW IN AFFIRMING THE TRIAL COURT’S UNFAIR DISREGARD OF HEREIN PETITIONER PRBL’s DEFENSE OF EXERCISE OF DUE DILIGENCE IN THE SELECTION AND SUPERVISION OF ITS EMPLOYEES. (d) the issue testified to by the witness in the former trial is the same issue involved in the present case. and (e) the adverse party had an opportunity to cross-examine the witness in the former case. For Section 47. petitioner PRBLI’s employee. The criminal case was filed exclusively against petitioner Manliclic. Marko Calaunan and Liwayway Calaunan. Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. strictly speaking. petitioners informed this Court of a Decision 16 of the Court of Appeals acquitting petitioner Manliclic of the charge17 of Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property with Physical Injuries attaching thereto a photocopy thereof. between the same parties or those representing the same interests. Carmelita Honeycomb. judicial or administrative. Precila Zarate Vda. not being a party in Criminal Case No. petitioners argue that the TSNs containing the testimonies of respondent Calaunan. although on different causes of action. 684-M-89. II THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED ON A QUESTION OF LAW IN AFFIRMING THE TRIAL COURT’S RELIANCE ON THE VERSION OF THE RESPONDENT ON HOW THE ACCIDENT SUPPOSEDLY OCCURRED.23 .15 In their Reply to respondent’s Comment. IV THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED ON A QUESTION OF LAW IN AFFIRMING THE TRIAL COURT’S QUESTIONABLE AWARD OF DAMAGES AND ATTORNEY’S FEE.18Marcelo Mendoza19 and Fernando Ramos20 should not be admitted in evidence for failure of respondent to comply with the requisites of Section 47. With the passing away of respondent Calaunan during the pendency of this appeal with this Court.THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED ON A QUESTION OF LAW IN AFFIRMING THE TRIAL COURT’S QUESTIONABLE ADMISSION IN EVIDENCE OF THE TSN’s AND OTHER DOCUMENTS PRESENTED IN THE CRIMINAL CASE. On the first assigned error.22 Admittedly. De Calaunan.

Notwithstanding the fact that petitioner PRBLI was not a party in said criminal case, the
testimonies of the three witnesses are still admissible on the ground that petitioner PRBLI
failed to object on their admissibility.

It is elementary that an objection shall be made at the time when an alleged inadmissible
document is offered in evidence; otherwise, the objection shall be treated as waived, since
the right to object is merely a privilege which the party may waive. Thus, a failure to except
to the evidence because it does not conform to the statute is a waiver of the provisions of
the law. Even assuming ex gratia argumenti that these documents are inadmissible for
being hearsay, but on account of failure to object thereto, the same may be admitted and
considered as sufficient to prove the facts therein asserted.24 Hearsay evidence alone may
be insufficient to establish a fact in a suit but, when no objection is made thereto, it is, like
any other evidence, to be considered and given the importance it deserves. 25

In the case at bar, petitioner PRBLI did not object to the TSNs containing the testimonies of
respondent Calaunan, Marcelo Mendoza and Fernando Ramos in the criminal case when the
same were offered in evidence in the trial court. In fact, the TSNs of the testimonies of
Calaunan and Mendoza were admitted by both petitioners. 26 Moreover, petitioner PRBLI
even offered in evidence the TSN containing the testimony of Donato Ganiban in the
criminal case. If petitioner PRBLI argues that the TSNs of the testimonies of plaintiff’s
witnesses in the criminal case should not be admitted in the instant case, why then did it
offer the TSN of the testimony of Ganiban which was given in the criminal case? It appears
that petitioner PRBLI wants to have its cake and eat it too. It cannot argue that the TSNs of
the testimonies of the witnesses of the adverse party in the criminal case should not be
admitted and at the same time insist that the TSN of the testimony of the witness for the
accused be admitted in its favor. To disallow admission in evidence of the TSNs of the
testimonies of Calaunan, Marcelo Mendoza and Fernando Ramos in the criminal case and to
admit the TSN of the testimony of Ganiban would be unfair.

We do not subscribe to petitioner PRBLI’s argument that it will be denied due process when
the TSNs of the testimonies of Calaunan, Marcelo Mendoza and Fernando Ramos in the
criminal case are to be admitted in the civil case. It is too late for petitioner PRBLI to raise
denial of due process in relation to Section 47, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, as a ground
for objecting to the admissibility of the TSNs. For failure to object at the proper time, it
waived its right to object that the TSNs did not comply with Section 47.

In Mangio v. Court of Appeals,27 this Court, through Associate Justice Reynato S.
Puno,28 admitted in evidence a TSN of the testimony of a witness in another case despite
therein petitioner’s assertion that he would be denied due process. In admitting the TSN,
the Court ruled that the raising of denial of due process in relation to Section 47, Rule 130
of the Rules of Court, as a ground for objecting to the admissibility of the TSN was belatedly
done. In so doing, therein petitioner waived his right to object based on said ground.

Petitioners contend that the documents in the criminal case should not have been admitted
in the instant civil case because Section 47 of Rule 130 refers only to "testimony or
deposition." We find such contention to be untenable. Though said section speaks only of
testimony and deposition, it does not mean that documents from a former case or
proceeding cannot be admitted. Said documents can be admitted they being part of the
testimonies of witnesses that have been admitted. Accordingly, they shall be given the
same weight as that to which the testimony may be entitled.29

On the second assigned error, petitioners contend that the version of petitioner Manliclic as
to how the accident occurred is more credible than respondent’s version. They anchor their
contention on the fact that petitioner Manliclic was acquitted by the Court of Appeals of the
charge of Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property with Physical Injuries.

To be resolved by the Court is the effect of petitioner Manliclic’s acquittal in the civil case.

From the complaint, it can be gathered that the civil case for damages was one arising
from, or based on, quasi-delict.30 Petitioner Manliclic was sued for his negligence or reckless
imprudence in causing the collision, while petitioner PRBLI was sued for its failure to
exercise the diligence of a good father in the selection and supervision of its employees,
particularly petitioner Manliclic. The allegations read:

"4. That sometime on July 12, 1988 at around 6:20 A.M. plaintiff was on board the
above-described motor vehicle travelling at a moderate speed along the North Luzon
Expressway heading South towards Manila together with MARCELO MENDOZA, who
was then driving the same;

"5. That approximately at kilometer 40 of the North Luzon Express Way, the above-
described motor vehicle was suddenly bumped from behind by a Philippine Rabbit
Bus with Body No. 353 and with plate No. CVD 478 then being driven by one
Mauricio Manliclic of San Jose, Concepcion, Tarlac, who was then travelling recklessly
at a very fast speed and had apparently lost control of his vehicle;

"6. That as a result of the impact of the collision the above-described motor vehicle
was forced off the North Luzon Express Way towards the rightside where it fell on its
driver’s side on a ditch, and that as a consequence, the above-described motor
vehicle which maybe valued at EIGHTY THOUSAND PESOS (P80,000) was rendered a
total wreck as shown by pictures to be presented during the pre-trial and trial of this
case;

"7. That also as a result of said incident, plaintiff sustained bodily injuries which
compounded plaintiff’s frail physical condition and required his hospitalization from
July 12, 1988 up to and until July 22, 1988, copy of the medical certificate is hereto
attached as Annex "A" and made an integral part hereof;

"8. That the vehicular collision resulting in the total wreckage of the above-described
motor vehicle as well as bodily (sic) sustained by plaintiff, was solely due to the
reckless imprudence of the defendant driver Mauricio Manliclic who drove his
Philippine Rabbit Bus No. 353 at a fast speed without due regard or observance of
existing traffic rules and regulations;

"9. That defendant Philippine Rabbit Bus Line Corporation failed to exercise the
diligence of a good father of (sic) family in the selection and supervision of its
drivers; x x x"31

Can Manliclic still be held liable for the collision and be found negligent notwithstanding the
declaration of the Court of Appeals that there was an absence of negligence on his part?

In exonerating petitioner Manliclic in the criminal case, the Court of Appeals said:

To the following findings of the court a quo, to wit: that accused-appellant was negligent
"when the bus he was driving bumped the jeep from behind"; that "the proximate cause of
the accident was his having driven the bus at a great speed while closely following the
jeep"; x x x

We do not agree.

The swerving of Calaunan’s jeep when it tried to overtake the vehicle in front of it was
beyond the control of accused-appellant.

xxxx

Absent evidence of negligence, therefore, accused-appellant cannot be held liable for
Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property with Physical Injuries as defined in
Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code.32

From the foregoing declaration of the Court of Appeals, it appears that petitioner Manliclic
was acquitted not on reasonable doubt, but on the ground that he is not the author of the
act complained of which is based on Section 2(b) of Rule 111 of the Rules of Criminal
Procedure which reads:

(b) Extinction of the penal action does not carry with it extinction of the civil, unless the
extinction proceeds from a declaration in a final judgment that the fact from which the civil
might arise did not exist.

In spite of said ruling, petitioner Manliclic can still be held liable for the mishap. The afore-
quoted section applies only to a civil action arising from crime or ex delicto and not to a civil
action arising from quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana. The extinction of civil liability referred to
in Par. (e) of Section 3, Rule 111 [now Section 2 (b) of Rule 111], refers exclusively to civil
liability founded on Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, whereas the civil liability for the
same act considered as a quasi-delict only and not as a crime is not extinguished even by a
declaration in the criminal case that the criminal act charged has not happened or has not
been committed by the accused.33

A quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana is a separate legal institution under the Civil Code with a
substantivity all its own, and individuality that is entirely apart and independent from a
delict or crime – a distinction exists between the civil liability arising from a crime and the
responsibility for quasi-delicts or culpa extra-contractual. The same negligence causing
damages may produce civil liability arising from a crime under the Penal Code, or create an
action for quasi-delicts or culpa extra-contractual under the Civil Code.34 It is now settled
that acquittal of the accused, even if based on a finding that he is not guilty, does not carry
with it the extinction of the civil liability based on quasi delict.35

In other words, if an accused is acquitted based on reasonable doubt on his guilt, his civil
liability arising from the crime may be proved by preponderance of evidence only. However,
if an accused is acquitted on the basis that he was not the author of the act or omission
complained of (or that there is declaration in a final judgment that the fact from which the
civil might arise did not exist), said acquittal closes the door to civil liability based on the
crime or ex delicto. In this second instance, there being no crime or delict to speak of, civil
liability based thereon or ex delicto is not possible. In this case, a civil action, if any, may be
instituted on grounds other than the delict complained of.

As regards civil liability arising from quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana, same will not be
extinguished by an acquittal, whether it be on ground of reasonable doubt or that accused
was not the author of the act or omission complained of (or that there is declaration in a
final judgment that the fact from which the civil liability might arise did not exist). The
responsibility arising from fault or negligence in a quasi-delict is entirely separate and
distinct from the civil liability arising from negligence under the Penal Code. 36 An acquittal or
conviction in the criminal case is entirely irrelevant in the civil case37 based on quasi-delict
or culpa aquiliana.

Petitioners ask us to give credence to their version of how the collision occurred and to
disregard that of respondent’s. Petitioners insist that while the PRBLI bus was in the process
of overtaking respondent’s jeep, the latter, without warning, suddenly swerved to the left
(fast) lane in order to overtake another jeep ahead of it, thus causing the collision.

As a general rule, questions of fact may not be raised in a petition for review. The factual
findings of the trial court, especially when affirmed by the appellate court, are binding and
conclusive on the Supreme Court.38 Not being a trier of facts, this Court will not allow a
review thereof unless:

(1) the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation, surmise and conjecture; (2)
the inference made is manifestly mistaken; (3) there is grave abuse of discretion; (4) the
judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts; (5) the findings of fact are conflicting; (6)
the Court of Appeals went beyond the issues of the case and its findings are contrary to the
admissions of both appellant and appellees; (7) the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals
are contrary to those of the trial court; (8) said findings of fact are conclusions without
citation of specific evidence on which they are based; (9) the facts set forth in the petition
as well as in the petitioner's main and reply briefs are not disputed by the respondents; and
(10) the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are premised on the supposed absence of
evidence and contradicted by the evidence on record.39

After going over the evidence on record, we do not find any of the exceptions that would
warrant our departure from the general rule. We fully agree in the finding of the trial court,
as affirmed by the Court of Appeals, that it was petitioner Manliclic who was negligent in
driving the PRBLI bus which was the cause of the collision. In giving credence to the version
of the respondent, the trial court has this say:

x x x Thus, which of the two versions of the manner how the collision took place was
correct, would be determinative of who between the two drivers was negligent in the
operation of their respective vehicle.

In this regard, it should be noted that in the statement of Mauricio Manliclic (Exh. 15) given
to the Philippine Rabbit Investigator CV Cabading no mention was made by him about the
fact that the driver of the jeep was overtaking another jeep when the collision took place.
The allegation that another jeep was being overtaken by the jeep of Calaunan was testified
to by him only in Crim. Case No. 684-M-89 before the Regional Trial Court in Malolos,
Bulacan and before this Court. Evidently, it was a product of an afterthought on the part of
Mauricio Manliclic so that he could explain why he should not be held responsible for the
incident. His attempt to veer away from the truth was also apparent when it would be
considered that in his statement given to the Philippine Rabbit Investigator CV Cabading
(Exh. 15), he alleged that the Philippine Rabbit Bus bumped the jeep of Calaunan while the
Philippine Rabbit Bus was behind the said jeep. In his testimony before the Regional Trial
Court in Malolos, Bulacan as well as in this Court, he alleged that the Philippine Rabbit Bus

was already on the left side of the jeep when the collision took place. For this inconsistency
between his statement and testimony, his explanation regarding the manner of how the
collision between the jeep and the bus took place should be taken with caution. It might be
true that in the statement of Oscar Buan given to the Philippine Rabbit Investigator CV
Cabading, it was mentioned by the former that the jeep of plaintiff was in the act of
overtaking another jeep when the collision between the latter jeep and the Philippine Rabbit
Bus took place. But the fact, however, that his statement was given on July 15, 1988, one
day after Mauricio Manliclic gave his statement should not escape attention. The one-day
difference between the giving of the two statements would be significant enough to
entertain the possibility of Oscar Buan having received legal advise before giving his
statement. Apart from that, as between his statement and the statement of Manliclic
himself, the statement of the latter should prevail. Besides, in his Affidavit of March 10,
1989, (Exh. 14), the unreliability of the statement of Oscar Buan (Exh. 13) given to CV
Cabading rear its "ugly head" when he did not mention in said affidavit that the jeep of
Calaunan was trying to overtake another jeep when the collision between the jeep in
question and the Philippine Rabbit bus took place.

xxxx

If one would believe the testimony of the defendant, Mauricio Manliclic, and his conductor,
Oscar Buan, that the Philippine Rabbit Bus was already somewhat parallel to the jeep when
the collision took place, the point of collision on the jeep should have been somewhat on the
left side thereof rather than on its rear. Furthermore, the jeep should have fallen on the
road itself rather than having been forced off the road. Useless, likewise to emphasize that
the Philippine Rabbit was running very fast as testified to by Ramos which was not
controverted by the defendants.40

Having ruled that it was petitioner Manliclic’s negligence that caused the smash up, there
arises the juris tantum presumption that the employer is negligent, rebuttable only by proof
of observance of the diligence of a good father of a family.41 Under Article 218042 of the New
Civil Code, when an injury is caused by the negligence of the employee, there instantly
arises a presumption of law that there was negligence on the part of the master or
employer either in the selection of the servant or employee, or in supervision over him after
selection or both. The liability of the employer under Article 2180 is direct and immediate; it
is not conditioned upon prior recourse against the negligent employee and a prior showing
of the insolvency of such employee. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the private respondents
to prove that they exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and
supervision of their employee.43

In the case at bar, petitioner PRBLI maintains that it had shown that it exercised the
required diligence in the selection and supervision of its employees, particularly petitioner
Manliclic. In the matter of selection, it showed the screening process that petitioner Manliclic
underwent before he became a regular driver. As to the exercise of due diligence in the
supervision of its employees, it argues that presence of ready investigators (Ganiban and
Cabading) is sufficient proof that it exercised the required due diligence in the supervision of
its employees.

In the selection of prospective employees, employers are required to examine them as to
their qualifications, experience and service records. In the supervision of employees, the
employer must formulate standard operating procedures, monitor their implementation and
impose disciplinary measures for the breach thereof. To fend off vicarious liability,

employers must submit concrete proof, including documentary evidence, that they complied
with everything that was incumbent on them.44

In Metro Manila Transit Corporation v. Court of Appeals,45 it was explained that:

Due diligence in the supervision of employees on the other hand, includes the formulation of
suitable rules and regulations for the guidance of employees and the issuance of proper
instructions intended for the protection of the public and persons with whom the employer
has relations through his or its employees and the imposition of necessary disciplinary
measures upon employees in case of breach or as may be warranted to ensure the
performance of acts indispensable to the business of and beneficial to their employer. To
this, we add that actual implementation and monitoring of consistent compliance with said
rules should be the constant concern of the employer, acting through dependable
supervisors who should regularly report on their supervisory functions.

In order that the defense of due diligence in the selection and supervision of employees may
be deemed sufficient and plausible, it is not enough to emptily invoke the existence of said
company guidelines and policies on hiring and supervision. As the negligence of the
employee gives rise to the presumption of negligence on the part of the employer, the latter
has the burden of proving that it has been diligent not only in the selection of employees
but also in the actual supervision of their work. The mere allegation of the existence of
hiring procedures and supervisory policies, without anything more, is decidedly not
sufficient to overcome such presumption.

We emphatically reiterate our holding, as a warning to all employers, that "the formulation
of various company policies on safety without showing that they were being complied with is
not sufficient to exempt petitioner from liability arising from negligence of its employees. It
is incumbent upon petitioner to show that in recruiting and employing the erring driver the
recruitment procedures and company policies on efficiency and safety were followed." x x x.

The trial court found that petitioner PRBLI exercised the diligence of a good father of a
family in the selection but not in the supervision of its employees. It expounded as follows:

From the evidence of the defendants, it seems that the Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines has a
very good procedure of recruiting its driver as well as in the maintenance of its vehicles.
There is no evidence though that it is as good in the supervision of its personnel. There has
been no iota of evidence introduced by it that there are rules promulgated by the bus
company regarding the safe operation of its vehicle and in the way its driver should manage
and operate the vehicles assigned to them. There is no showing that somebody in the bus
company has been employed to oversee how its driver should behave while operating their
vehicles without courting incidents similar to the herein case. In regard to supervision, it is
not difficult to observe that the Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. has been negligent as an
employer and it should be made responsible for the acts of its employees, particularly the
driver involved in this case.

We agree. The presence of ready investigators after the occurrence of the accident is not
enough to exempt petitioner PRBLI from liability arising from the negligence of petitioner
Manliclic. Same does not comply with the guidelines set forth in the cases above-mentioned.
The presence of the investigators after the accident is not enough supervision. Regular
supervision of employees, that is, prior to any accident, should have been shown and
established. This, petitioner failed to do. The lack of supervision can further be seen by the
fact that there is only one set of manual containing the rules and regulations for all the

000. CV No. We now go to the award of damages.00 awarded by the trial court as moral damages must be reduced to P50.000. The P100. must be modified. 49 The amount awarded by the trial court must. The trial court correctly awarded the amount of P40. and (2) the award of exemplary damages shall be lowered to P50.00 as actual damages representing the amount paid by respondent for the towing and repair of his jeep. the instant petition for review is DENIED.000. likewise.00 for attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation is in order and authorized by law.R. same.drivers of PRBLI.47 As regards the awards for moral and exemplary damages.50 The award of P15.00.000. Costs against petitioners.838.00. 46 How then can all the drivers of petitioner PRBLI know and be continually informed of the rules and regulations when only one manual is being lent to all the drivers? For failure to adduce proof that it exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of its employees. petitioner PRBLI is held solidarily responsible for the damages caused by petitioner Manliclic’s negligence.000. The decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. .000.00.48 Exemplary damages are imposed by way of example or correction for the public good. SO ORDERED. 55909 is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that (1) the award of moral damages shall be reduced to P50. 51 WHEREFORE. premises considered. under the circumstances.00. be lowered to P50.

No.: The three cases dealt with in this decision differ in their facts only with respect to the injury suffered by the respective plaintiffs. MORELAND. 1913.R.R. for that reason. Plaintiffs claim damages against both the railroad and the garage company because of injuries suffered by them in a collision between a train owned by and operated over tracks belonging to the railroad company and an automobile the property of the Bachrach Garage & Taxicab Co. instructed by the taxicab company to approach and pass over railroad tracks in the manner and form followed and observed on the occasion in question. defendant. that the driver of the automobile drove his machine upon the railroad tracks without observing the precautions which ordinary care and prudence would require. Defendant-Appellant. The taxicab company appealed. and was found by the trial court.. No. THE MANILA RAILROAD CO. municipality of Cavite Viejo. the plaintiffs.. The trial court accordingly found that the driver was guilty of gross negligence and that said negligence was the proximate cause of the accident. Rohde and Wright for appellees.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library It appears from the record. 1915 KENJIRO KARABAYASHI. and that. The journey to Cavite Viejo was made without incident but. they will be decided at the same time. J.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The trial court dismissed the complaint on the merits as to the Manila Railroad Company and held the defendant taxicab company liable for damages to the plaintiffs in various amounts. on the return trip. vs. Defendant-Appellant. the taxicab company was liable for the damages caused. the automobile was struck by a train and the plaintiffs injured. The law applicable to them is the same and. THE MANILA RAILROAD CO. and BACHRACH GARAGE & TAXICAB CO. Plaintiff-Appellee. G. without reducing speed and without taking any precaution looking to determining whether there was danger from a train or locomotive.. defendant.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library On January 2. Williams for appellant. L-10074 December 24.. in effect. The automobile was secured at a certain price hour and was driven and controlled by a chauffeur supplied by the taxicab company. It also found that the driver had been. vs.R. G. hired an automobile from the defendant taxicab company for a trip to Cavite Viejo. 1915 TAKUTARU UYEHARA. D. and BACHRACH GARAGE & TAXICAB CO.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library . L-10075 December 24. Plaintiff-Appellee. together with three companions. at the request of counsel. while crossing the tracks of defendant railroad company in the barrio of San Juan.

It is the law that a person must use ordinary care and prudence in passing over a railroad crossing. The degree of care differs in different cases. What acts are necessary to constitute such care and diligence must depend on the circumstances of each particular case. If that were the case. the chauffeur drove upon the tracks without investigation or precaution of any kind. we may say that it is always incumbent on him to use ordinary care and diligence. It is very possible that where.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library In the case at bar the appellant's own showing is to the effect that the view of the track in the direction from which the train was coming was obstructed in such manner that neither the track nor a train could be seen as a traveler approached the crossing. While we are not prepared to lay down any absolute rule as to what precise acts of precaution are necessary to be done or left undone by a person who may have need to pass over a railroad crossing. or do any other act necessary to determine that a train is not in dangerous proximity to the crossing... he proceeded with reckless speed and regardless of possible or threatened danger. on approaching the railroad crossing from the direction in which the automobile was travelling at the time. Greater care is necessary in crossing a road where the cars are running at a high rate of speed and close together than where they are running at less speed and remote from one another.Several errors are assigned by the appellant. which was fast. rather. to give his senses no opportunity to protect him or his passengers and drove on the track at full speed with all the noise which an automobile produces at such speed on an upgrade and the sense . upon approaching the railroad crossing. on approaching a crossing. which was clearly visible and had to be approached on an upward grade. where the view of the tracks is obstructed. The very fact that a train was approaching and was so near as to collide with the automobile is strong evidence of the fact that no precautions were taken to determine that fact. the view of the railroad tracks in both directions was obstructed by bushes and trees growing alongside thereof. if any. if necessary. It is undoubted that if the driver had taken the simplest means of permitting his own faculties to exercise themselves fairly. On the other hand.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The appellant contended on the trial and offered evidence to prove that. but he chose. and I can but conclude that the driver of the automobile was grossly negligent and careless in not taking such precaution as would have notified him of the coming of the train. to look and to listen. them it is driver's duty to slacken speed. and yet. in spite of that fact. The first one relates to the finding of the trial court: "That the driver of the automobile did not slacken speed. On the contrary. and that it was impossible for a person approaching the crossing even though on guard. as the presence of the train would have been discovered in an instant."chanrobles virtual law library The argument of the appellant which is devoted to this findings seems to admit impliedly at least that the driver of the automobile maintained his rate of speed as he approached and went upon the railroad crossing. it was clearly the duty of the driver to reduce the speed of his car and the noise thereof to such an extent that he would be able to determine from the unrestricted and uninterrupted use of all his faculties whether or not a train was near. to detect by sight the approach of a train. But in every case due care should be exercised. . If he had been driving the automobile at a proper rate of speed for going over railroad crossing he could easily have stopped before going over the railroad crossing after seeing the train. to reduce the noise. there would have been no accident. or take any other precaution to avert accident. and that he took no precaution to ascertain the approach of a train. of the vehicle. the view of the tracks in both directions is unobstructed for such a distance as to render it perfectly safe to pass over without the use of any other faculty than sight. such use alone is sufficient and it is not necessary to stop or even to slacken speed or listen.

chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Under the second error assigned. is not responsible for acts of negligence of the latter or prevented from recovering for injuries suffered from a collision between the automobile and a train.of hearing impaired by the rush of the wind. the decision in Thorogood vs.S. proceeds as he and others engaged in a like occupation have been accustomed to proceed. (Little vs. Bryan rests upon indefensible ground. 115) was decided. he was considered a party thereto. Counsel also cites the testimony of the witness Palido.. With this contention we cannot agree. in Little vs. if any. To go upon a railroad crossing without making any effort to ascertain the approach of a train is so hazardous an act and one so dangerous to life. and the driver or the servant of the passenger. and having made no effort to caution or instruct him or compel him to take reasonable care in making the crossing. is a gratuitous assumption. generally speaking. for the moment admitting the existence of the custom. however.. as a general rule. caused by the negligence either of the locomotive engineer or the automobile driver. the plaintiff so far identified himself with the owner and his servants that. 116 U."chanrobles virtual law library . Railroad trains rarely pass over tracks without noise and their presence. The identification of the passenger with the negligent driver or the owner. who testified on the trial that all of his drivers." To this the obvious reply may be made. i. is that a person who hires a public automobile and gives the driver direction as to the place to which he wishes to be conveyed. the action cannot be characterized as reckless. strictly speaking as negligent. Bryan (8 C. One who performs an act so inherently dangerous cannot. Hackett (116 U. and his asserted identity with them is contradicted by the daily experience of the world. We think the better rule. living near the scene of the accident. the appellant contends with much vigor that the plaintiffs cannot recover for the reason that the negligence of the driver of the automobile. that a practice which is dangerous to human life cannot ripen into a custom which will protect anyone who follows it. The Supreme Court of the United States. Hackett. This testimony was corroborated by the defendant company's driver who had the automobile in charge at the time of the occurrence. The owner of public conveyance is a carrier.. e. when an accident occurs. provided injury result. was imputable to them. There is no such identity. that no one may be permitted to excuse himself who does it. operated cars in that manner and that it was the custom among automobile drivers generally. Mr. To prove that custom counsel presents the evidence of the president of the defendant company. The parties are not in the same position. they having permitted the driver to approach and pass over the railroad crossing without the use of ordinary care and diligence to determine the proximity of a train or locomotive. This was the theory upon which the case of Thorogood vs. and one more consonant with the weight of authority. 366. is easily detected by persons who take ordinary precautions. automobiles passed over the railroad crossing without changing speed. nor. had this to say concerning the ground on which the Thorogood case was decided: "The truth is. in case of injury resulting from their negligence.S. having trusted the driver by selecting the particular conveyance. without his personal cooperation or encouragement. which is the leading case in favor of the principle contended for by appellant. who testified that. Basing himself on this alleged custom counsel contends that "When a person does what is usual and customary.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Under this assignment the appellant's main effort is being to the demonstration of the fact that there was a custom established among automobile drivers of Manila by which they habitually drove their cars over railroad crossings in the manner in which the automobile was driven by defendant's servant on the occasion in controversy.) The theory on which the negligence of the driver has in some instances been imputed to the occupant of the vehicle is that. 366). Bachrach. take refuge behind the plea that others have performed the same act safely.. including the one in charge of the car on the night of the accident. but exercise no other control over the conduct of the driver.B.

There is evidence in the record showing that the locomotive engineer gave due and timely signals on approaching the crossing in question. Rep. R. 134 N. the railroad company in nowise .. for the consequences of an injury which was the product of the cooperating wrongful acts of the driver and of a third person. or be on a hack hired from a public stand in the street for a drive. 99 Minn. The party hiring or riding must in some way have cooperated in producing the injury complained of before he incur any liability for it. from a coach stand.. Railroad Co. or be put for remedy exclusively to an action against the irresponsible driver or equally irresponsible owner of a coach taken. Detroit etc. The trial court found that the employees of the railroad company fully performed their duty as the train approached the crossing on the night in question and that. Co. Ordinarily where one rides in public vehicle with the driver thereof and is injured by the negligence of a third person.. From the simple fact of hiring the carriage or riding in it no such liability can arise.)chanrobles virtual law library The appellant assigns as the third error the finding of the trial court "that the defendant Manila Railroad Company was not guilty of negligence which contributed to the causing of the accident complained of. Cotton vs.Further discussing the same question the court said: "There is no distinction in principle whether the passenger be on public conveyance like a railroad train or an omnibus. [18 Vroom]. Wilson vs.."chanrobles virtual law library In this connection it appears that. 'If the law were otherwise. and (2) a civil action for damages by the garage and taxicab company. C. 161. as we have already stated. Old Colony Street Ry. to which negligence that of the driver contributes his contributory negligence is not imputable to the passenger unless said passenger has or is in the position to have and exercise some control over the driver with reference to the matter wherein he was negligent. therefore. 522. 442. (Duval vs. Steinbrenner.L. R... Co. R. Whether the person injured exercises any control over the conduct of the driver further than to indicate the place to which he wishes to drive is a question of fact to be determined by the trial court on all of the evidence in the case.)"chanrobles virtual law library We are of the opinion. 275. so far as the management of the carriage is concerned. Puget Sound Elec. Co. Justice Depue in his elaborate opinion in the latest case in New Jersey. Co. 237 Ill. R. 209 Mass. Coey.. 'not only the hirer of the coach but also all the passengers in it would be under a constraint to mount the box and superintend the conduct of the driver in the management and control of his team. for damages to the automobile which was destroyed as a result of the accident. prior to the beginning of the action now before us. 171. and of the responsibility of the owner of the team. he must be their agent in all other respects.. Shultz vs. Hinduvs. it may be. both growing out of the accident which forms the basis of the actions before us: (1) A criminal action against the engineer of the train. against the defendant railroad company. But. 331. in which judgment was for defendant. Steere.J. therefore..' (New York. 47 N. in which the engineer was acquitted. the appellant herein. within any recognized rules of law. that the rule is as we have stated it.. responsibility cannot. 309. 110 Am. St. though the passengers were ignorant of the character of the driver. 366.. be fastened upon one who has in no way interfered with and the with and controlled in the matter causing the injury. Johnson vs. Ry. If he is their agent so that his negligence can be imputed to them to prevent their recovery against a third party. and that too. and strangers to the route over which they were to be carried. and responsibility to third parties would attach to them for injuries caused by his negligence in the course of his employment. 52 Wash. Hampel vs.' as said by Mr. 193 Mass. Lake Erie & Western Railroad vs. 88. Those on a hack do not become responsible for the negligence of the driver if they exercise no control over him further than to indicate the route they wish to travel or the places to which they wish to go. Willmar etc. two actions were instituted.

chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library As to the other facts set forth on which appellant predicates negligence on the part of the railroad company. in such manner as to obstruct the view of persons approaching the railroad track until within a few meters thereof. We do not believe that the record will justify us in a reversal of this finding. in a populous community. It is not negligence on the part of the railroad company to maintain grade crossing. we find them. within approximately one hundred meters of the railroad station. On the contrary. while the sign "Railroad Crossing" was broken on the side toward the road. We find nothing in the record which materially impairs the credibility of these witnesses or to show that their evidence is improbable or unreasonable. was testified to not only by servants of the corporation but by passengers on the train.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The appellant under this assignment of error presents other facts which he claims show necessarily that the company was negligent. It is true that a railroad company is held to greater caution in the more thronged streets of the . while defendant company contended and offered evidence to show that no such growth existed at the time of the accident. he proceeded with reckless speed and regardless of possible or threatened danger. to be insufficient to establish negligence."chanrobles virtual law library With respect to the existence of trees and undergrowth on the railroad company's right of way. which conflict has been resolved by the trial court in favor of the witnesses for the defendant railroad company. while the preponderance of the evidence discloses that for a distance of twelve or fifteen meters from the a view of the track for a considerable distance is wholly unobstructed. Counsel for appellant has failed to give any reason why we should we should accept the testimony of appellant's witnesses rather than those of the railroad company and he has also neglected to point out any error committed by the trial court in making its finding in this regard. so far as appears. On this conflict of evidence the trial court found: "Evidence on the part of the defendant Bachrach Garage & Taxicab Co. and I can but conclude that the driver of the unobstructed. (2) that the railroad company did not maintain either a flagman or protecting gates at the grade crossing where the accident occurred. that is."chanrobles virtual law library Here again we are met with a contradiction in the evidence of witnesses who. There is abundant evidence to support it and we have nothing before us by which that evidence may be impeached.contributed to the accident. is to the effect that the view from the crossing along the track towards Manila was obstructed by bushes growing on the railroad right to way along the track. (3) that trees and undergrowth had been permitted to grow on and adjoining the right of way and houses were constructed thereon. and (4) that the approach to the crossing is twisting. He asserts: "(1) That this accident occurred in the heart of the barrio of San Juan (Cavite Viejo). and on either side thereof are ditches about two meters deep. are equally entitled to credit. the evidence is conflicting. plaintiff maintaining and attempting to prove that such trees and undergrowth existed. giving due and timely warning to all persons approaching. That the bell was rung and the whistle was blown on nearing the crossing. nor is it negligence not to maintain a flagman at such crossing. and I can but conclude that the driver of the automobile was grossly negligent and careless in not taking such precaution as would have notified him of the coming of the train. A careful examination of the record discloses no reason why the judgment of the trial court on this point should be disturbed. and we would be going far under such circumstances in discarding it and reversing a judgment based thereon. even if admitted. there appearing nothing on which we could base a judgment declaring that the trial court erred in making its decision. even in populous district.

David to the facts before us:chanrobles virtual law library The Civil Code. 663). and was found by the trial court. David (5 Phil. therefore. together with the preceding article. makes a distinction between private individuals and public enterprises. repeat what we have already said. Rep. A person who by an act or omission causes damage to another when there is fault or negligence shall be obliged to repair the damage so done. in law. He made substantially no effort toward ascertaining whether there was danger from a train or locomotive. In supporting of this argument the case of Johnson vs.densely populated portions of the city than in the less frequented streets in suburban parts or in towns. but also to supervise and. It is maintained that up to the time the accident occurred the defendant taxicab company had fully performed its duty to the public. at the opening of his discussion on this branch of the case. (Art. Civil Code. having driven cars for the defendant for 5 or 6 years without accident or misadventure. The appellant. having denied the fact of negligence.) That article. in attempting to pass over the crossing on the occasion before us. to a sanction of the custom established among its automobile drivers in passing over railroad crossings. is as follows: ART 1902. if any. David to the facts before us.. with the question: Did the defendant taxicab company fully discharge its duty when it furnished a suitable and proper car and selected driver who had been with the company for 5 or 6 years and who had not had an accident or misadventure before? We think not. amounted. instruct him properly. It simply means that the company in operating its trains over such crossings must exercise care commensurate with the use of crossings in any given locality. that it appears from the record. that the driver was guilty of gross negligence and that such negligence was the proximate cause of the accident. where necessary. Counsel is met. It was the duty of the company not only to furnish a suitable and proper car and select a competent operator.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Returning now to the applicability of the case of Johnson vs. the appellant is not liable. it being undisputed in the record that the driver was competent and had a long and satisfactory record. before entering on a discussion of the applicability of the principles enunciated in Johnson vs. we might. as was quite necessary under the facts.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library . cannot legally be imputed to the taxicab company so as to make it liable for the damages resulting therefrom. The trial court found. for that reason. however. that the driver of the automobile drove his machine upon the railroad tracks without observing the precautions which ordinary care and prudence would have required. We are of the opinion that the trial court is fully supported in the finding that the conduct of the officials of the taxicab company. 1903. and that his negligence. It also found that the taxicab company had permitted its drivers to approach and pass over railroad tracks in the manner and form followed and observed on the occasion in question until it had become a custom among its drivers. even admitting as proved all of the facts alleged by the plaintiffs. and that. but this does not mean that it is negligence to maintain grade crossing in such densely populated portions or that it is negligence not to maintain a flagman at crossings located in such districts.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The main contention of the appellant is based on the claim that. known and sanctioned by the company. the taxicab company was liable for the damages caused. and notably the president thereof. in dealing with the liability of a master for the negligent acts of his servant. is cited as determinative of the question under consideration..

" "by the fall of trees.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Finally." 1907. but also for the persons for whom they should be responsible. when constructed without precautions proper for the place where they are located." 1906." and "the head of a family who dwells in a house. dealing with "obligations which arise from fault or negligence." "by excessive smoke. but not when the damage should have been caused by the official to whom properly it pertained to do the act performed. As is seen from a reading of article 1903.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The State is liable in this sense when it acts through a special agent.ART. which states that "owners shall be liable for damages caused by the explosion of machines which may not have been cared for with due diligence. which declares that "the owner of a game preserve shall be liable for damages caused by the game to neighboring estates. These two articles are found under chapter 2.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Guardians are liable for the damages caused by minors or incapacitated persons who are under their authority and live with them. which provides for the liability of the owner of a building "for damages which may result from the collapse of the whole or a part thereof. should he not have done what may have been necessary to avoid increase of the same or should he have hindered the efforts of the owners of said estates to hunt." but that this liability shall cease "in the case the damage should arise from force majeure or from the fault of the person who may have suffered it. in which the master is liable for the acts of his servant. in which case the provisions of the proceeding article shall be applicable. is liable for the damages it may cause even when said animal escapes from him or strays." 1908. not only for personal acts and omissions. which may be noxious to persons of property. 1903." "by the emanations of sewers or deposits of infectious matters. generally speaking. of the Civil Code. and on his death or incapacity the mother is liable for the damages caused by the minors who live with them. which provides that "the possessor of an animal." and set out the cases. if it should occur through the absence of necessary repairs."chanrobles virtual law library These are the only cases under the Civil Code in which damages may be recovered from the master for the negligent of his servant. The obligation imposed by the preceding article is demandable. or in a part of the same. a person . or the one who uses it. among them 1905. and been placed in a safe and proper place.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Owners or directors of an establishment or enterprise are equally liable for the damages caused by their employees in the service of the branches in which the latter may be employed or on account of their duties. is liable for the damages by the things which may be thrown or which may fall therefrom. master or directors of arts and trades are liable for the damages caused by their pupils or apprentices while they are under their custody.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The liability referred to in this articles shall cease when the persons mentioned therein prove that they employed all the diligence of a good father of a family to avoid the damage. That chapter also contains articles providing for liability for negligent acts of servants in special cases. when not caused by force majeure.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The father. located in places of transit. title 16.

supra.. as would naturally be expected. 374) was similar in its facts and the principles governing it.) On the other hand. . 1905. Rep. becomes himself . that it was not a public conveyance driven for hire or as a part of a business or enterprise. The automobile was in charge of the servant of the owner. unless the negligent acts of the driver are continued for such a length of time as to give the owner a reasonable opportunity to observe them and to direct his driver to desist therefrom. David. after he has had a reasonable opportunity to observe them and to direct that the driver. that the obligation to respond for the negligent acts of another was limited to the particular cases mentioned. 663). we held that the defendant was not liable for the acts of his servant in negligently driving a horse and carriage against plaintiff. supra. by the decisions of this court. David. 374. 1904. while about to board a street car. (27 Phil. we are of the opinion and so hold that it was the intention of the legislature in enacting said chapter 2 to enumerate all the persons for whose negligent acts third persons are responsible.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The distinction made in the Code has been observed. In that case we said: "It would seem. at the time. David. it was."chanrobles virtual law library These case of Chapman vs. was being driven on the wrong side of the street. was struck by an automobile which.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Although in the David case the owner of the vehicle was not present at the time the alleged negligent acts were committed by the driver. Johnson vs. . however. throwing him to the ground and injuring him and his bicycle.... (Chapman vs. An owner who sits in his automobile. 27 Phil. xxx xxx xxx These sections do not include a liability on the part of the plaintiff for injuries resulting from acts of negligence such as are complained of in the present cause . 1906. 1908. and was so declared by this court. In the case of Johnson vs. Articles 1903. held that the master was not liable for the results of the act. and 1910 provide when a person shall be liable for injuries caused. from an examination of these various provisions. Although the act of the driver was negligent. As we have said in the case of Johnson vs. Rep. and permits his driver to continue in a violation of the law by the performance of negligent acts. in other words. or other vehicle. Rep. Article 1902 provides when a person himself is liable for negligence. nevertheless. 1907.being driven about by his servant's negligent acts except under certain circumstances. It appeared in that case that the vehicle was owned by the defendant. the driver does not fall within the list of person in article 1903 of the Civil Code for whose acts the defendant would be responsible. is not responsible for the negligence of his driver. In that case the plaintiff. David (5 Phil. . the same rule applies where the owner is present. The automobile was not a part of defendant's business nor was it being used at the time as a part or adjunct of any business or enterprise owned or conducted by him. who was at the time riding a bicycle in the streets of Manila. under the facts and circumstances of this case. the master is liable for the negligent acts of his servant where he is the owner or director of a business or enterprise and the negligent acts are committed while the servant is engaged in his master's employment as such owner. We said: The defendant. that it was being driven by the defendant's coachman on the private affairs of the owner. Underwood.. who was present in the automobile at the time the accident occurred. Underwood. to that of Johnson vs.. not by his own negligence but by the negligence of other persons or things.

" and the acts complained of are committed within the scope of the servant's employment in such business. the court in that case said: From this article two things are apparent: (1) That when an injury is caused by the negligence of a servant or employee there instantly arises a presumption of law that there was negligence on the part of the master or employer either in the selection of the selection of the servant or employee or in supervision over him after the selection. regulations and instruction are necessary. the machine. the owner of the automobile. or both. There an automobile was being operated by the defendant as a public vehicle carrying passengers from Balayan to Tuy (Province of Batangas) and return for hire. 624). and (2) that that presumption is juris tantum and not juris et de jure and consequently may be rebutted. as we have seen. although present therein at the time the act was committed. The case of Bahia vs. In the case under discussion we held that. if the driver. as is seem at a glance. Litonjua and Leynes (30 Phil. not only established liability in case of negligence but also provides when that liability ceases. as a result a child was run over and killed. and this is the particular distinction which is made in article 1903 of the Civil Code which holds the masters responsible for the negligent acts of the servant when the master is the owner "of an establishment or enterprise. On the other hand. it was the duty of a person or corporation operating automobiles for hire to exercise ordinary care and diligence in the selection of the drivers of his or its automobiles and in supervision over them while in his or its employ. in that the automobile was operated as a business or enterprise on which the defendant had entered for gain. regulations and the formulation and due publication of proper instructions for their guidance in cases where such rules. including the promulgation of proper rules and regulations and the formulation and due publication of proper instructions for their guidance in cases where such rules. Instead. which. The owner of an automobile who permits his chauffeur to drive up the Escolta. Underwood. by reason of a defect in the steering gear. makes his driver's act his own. it appears with fair clearness that the interval between the turning out to meet and pass the street car and the happening of the accident was so short as not to be sufficient to charge defendant with the negligence of the driver. therefor. becomes himself responsible. It follows necessarily that if the employer shows to the satisfaction of the court that in selection and supervision he has exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a family.responsible for such acts. On one to the trips. is quite different from the case of Johnson vs.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library In the case before us it does not appear from the record that. is not responsible.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library . from the time the automobile took the wrong side of the road to the commission of the injury. David and that of Chapman vs. was a case of a different character. without any effort to stop him. injures a person or violates the criminal law. by his acquiescence. sufficient time intervened to afford the defendant an opportunity correct the act of his driver. refused to respond to the guidance of the driver and. the presumption is overcome and he is relieved from liability... and without the owner having a reasonable opportunity to prevent the act or its continuance. in addition to the requirement to furnish and use proper and safe machines. both criminally and civilly. Rep. at a speed of 60 miles an hour. although he has had a reasonable opportunity to do so. by a sudden act of negligence. The act complained of must be continued in the presence of the owner for such a length of time that the owner. Discussion article 1903 of the Civil Code. for the results produced by the acts of his chauffeur. for example. That case. either civilly or criminally.

to approach and pass over railroad crossings without any effort to ascertain the proximity of a train. Not only has the defendant taxicab company failed to rebut the presumption of negligence arising from the carelessness of its servant. no matter of what nature. It failed to comply with one of the essential requirements of the law of negligence in this jurisdiction. the president of the company testifying that none of its drivers. the negligence of the servant is conclusively the negligence of the master. remove it from that class of cases governed by Johnson vs. including the promulgation of proper rules and regulations and the formulation and publication of proper instructions for their guidance in cases where such rules and regulations and instructions are necessary.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library We are of the opinion that the trial court erred in fixing the amount of damages which the plaintiffs suffered. unless they heard "the signal of a car. It was caused by a defect in the machine as to which the defendant has shown himself free from responsibility. In that case we further said: "From the commencement of the use of the machine until the accident occurred sufficient time had not elapsed to require an examination of the machine by the defendant as a part of his duty of inspection and supervision. made those negligent acts its own by having observed and known the custom of its drivers without disapproving it and without issuing instructions designed to supersede it. in relations with strangers. is entitled to recover the time. were accustomed to stop or even reduce speed or take any other precaution in approaching and passing over railroad crossings. each of the plaintiffs. see that taxicab company did not perform its full duty when it furnished a safe and proper car and a driver with a long and satisfactory record. therefore. in striking contrast to the American doctrine that. and that such custom was known to and had been sanctioned by the officials of the taxicab company. as we have seen." He testified that he himself had ridden behind several of his drivers. that it was the custom of the driver who operated the machine on the night of the accident. of course. Under the law."chanrobles virtual law library We.This theory bases the responsibility of the master ultimately on his own negligence and not on that of his servant. To repeat. While it does not appear that the defendant formulated rules and regulations for the guidance of the drivers and gave them proper instructions. that of supervision and instruction. David. it was found by the trial court. but it has. and that it was settled practice. and any other item of . and that finding is fully sustained by the record. among them the one who handled the automobile on the night of the accident. These facts and circumstances bring the case within the doctrine enunciated in the Litonjua case to which reference has already been made. designed for the protection of the public and the passengers. especially the one who operated the car on the night of the accident. at the same time. It is. and. to approach and pass over railroad crossings without adequate precautions. in effect. the evidence shows. doctors' bills and hospital bills and hospital bills and medicines.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library In the case before us the death of the child caused by a defect in the steering gear of the automobile immediately raised the presumption that Leynes was negligent in selecting a defective automobile or in his failure to maintain it in good condition after selection and the burden of proof was on him to show that he had exercised the care of a good father of a family. This is the notable peculiarity of the Spanish law of negligence. that the death of the child was not caused by a failure to promulgate rules and regulations. to which he made no objection and as to which he gave no instructions.

went to Japan. According to the testimony of Dr. He was quite recovered in 3 months. he should be held rather strictly to presenting the best evidence that the circumstances permit. He was also allowed P150 alleged by him to have been paid to a Japanese doctor in Manila. We are satisfied from the record that he is entitled to P600 for 3 months' loss of wages and to P350 for hospital expenses and medical attendance. claiming he still felt pains. The trial court allowed him for certain alleged fees of doctors and expenses in hospitals and at hot springs in Japan. was P350.no name. his hospital bill of P49 and his doctor's bill of P50. Concerning his condition we have substantially the same testimony by the same doctor that we had in the case of Yamada.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library With respect to the plaintiff Takutaru Uyehara. we have in substance the same circumstances found in connection with the claim of the plaintiff Yamada.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library . It seems to us that where the sources of knowledge are to so large an extent within the knowledge and control of the person who presents the evidence. It appears that he was earning P200 a month at the time of his injury and that his hospital expense. . It is worthy of note also that both this plaintiff and plaintiff Yamada claim to have paid exactly the same amount to Japanese doctors in Manila. no date. no receipt.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The plaintiff Butaro Yamada is entitled to be reimbursed for his hospital bill of P49.expense which it was found necessary to undergo by reason of the damages sustained. no memorandum.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library We are accordingly of the opinion that the judgment in favor of this plaintiff should consist simply of the loss of time. All of his testimony relating to the items which constitute his damage was based on a memorandum made from memory on the morning of the trial. the matter would have borne quite a different aspect. for the P50 which he paid to Dr. the judgment in his favor must be also modified. We do not believe that we ought to accept the plaintiff's bare statement as to his physical condition after leaving the Philippine Islands in defiance of the testimony of Dr. The plaintiff suffered merely from shock and bruises. As to the claim for P150 paid to a Japanese doctor. we may say that the injury occurred to plaintiff on the 2nd of January and he remained in Manila for nearly 6 months before going to Japan. We do not believe that the record warrants these allowances. As to the P150 alleged to have been paid to a Japanese doctor in Manila. including attendance of a physician. nothing but the testimony of the plaintiff himself based upon date prepared from memory. we have grave doubts whether he had sufficiently proved that item of expenditure. and that he would be ready for his usual occupation in about 3 months. His testimony is to the effect that the plaintiff suffered no permanent injuries. the damage being limited to temporary shocks and bruises. There were no permanent injuries. Strahan. and for the loss of time which he suffered at the rate of P100 a month. According to plaintiff's own testimony he went back to work 2 months after the injury. Strahan the plaintiff was in good physical condition long before he left this country for Japan. amounting to 2 months at P100 a month. with costs. As to the expenses in Japan. Strahan as to his physical condition 3 months after the injury was received and particularly in view of the fact that he returned to work at the end of 2 months. in all P299. If he had offered the Japanese doctor as a witness or if he had even produced receipts from him. He made no memorandum of the payment at the time or of the person to whom he paid it or of the date on which it was paid. but. He does not give the name of the physician to whom he paid the money and he presents no receipt or voucher from the person whom he paid.

Judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff Takutaru Uyehara for the sum of P950. and that his services were worth P160 a month. and this caution was commenced in October of the same year. It nowhere appears in the decision of the trial court or elsewhere in the record that it took any of those facts and circumstances into consideration. indeed. by reason of shock. He alleges that he paid to Japanese doctors P310 and to massage doctors P130. The injury was received on the 2d of January. as he himself admitted. however. his physical condition at the time of the trial being apparently perfect and there being at that time no evidence. who were so badly injured that they were carried in a semiconscious condition to the hospital and were unable to move without assistance for some days. that we are in no way interfering with the rule so many times laid down by this court that we will not interfere with the judgment of the trial court as to the credibility of witnesses except where it appears that the court overlooked or misapplied facts or circumstances of weight and influence appearing in the case. So ordered. and that he paid P365 for medicines. This plaintiff was able. under this testimony. He testified that he lost two and one-half months' time. and he shows no receipts and produces no evidence except his own statement with respect to the amount paid out for medicines. It is clear. for P400 is hereby decreed. Here the trial court seems to have overlooked those facts and circumstances top which we have adverted and which we have made the basis of the modification. or. we are clear that it must be reduced in amount. so far as appeared. during which he did not work at all. is modified and judgment in his favor and against the Bachrach Garage & Taxicab Co. 1913. he may have been unable to render active service. He presents no evidence of such loss of memory except his own statement. We believe that. with costs. to move about readily an to assist his injured companions. That sum exceeds the sums claimed to have been paid out by the other plaintiffs. and costs. who suffered and suffers from no physical injury testified to by any physician. immediately after the accident occurred. It seem to us incredible that the plaintiff. He did not go to a hospital. the evidence as to the damages sustained being uncontradicted and the trial court having based its judgment thereon. of loss of memory.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library The judgment of the Court of First Instance with respect to this plaintiff. he does not even furnish the name of the person to whom the money was paid. should have paid out during that time more than P800 for medicines and doctors.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library It may be urged that the reductions in the amounts allowed the several plaintiffs by the trial court are arbitrary. consult a physician until some time after the accident. Kenjiro Karabayashi. He presented no doctor to testify as to services rendered.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library With respect to the judgment in favor of the plaintiff Kenjiro Karabayashi.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library .chanroblesvirtualawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library This plaintiff complains of loss of memory as the only result of his injuries and claims that he is unable to obtain a salary equivalent to that which he was receiving before the accident. no damages should be allowed to this plaintiff except possibly salary for the short period during which.

. INC. ID. — Plaintiff’s failure to present documentary evidence to support their claim for damages for loss of earning capacity of the deceased victim does not bar recovery of the damages.. — A finding of negligence on the part of the driver establishes a presumption that the employer has been negligent and the latter has the burden of proof that it has exercised due negligence not only in the selection of its employees but also in adequately supervising their work.000.R. ID.. 79050-51. CIVIL LAW. ID. FE O. EDMUNDO and SHARON ICO..: .. in her behalf and in behalf of her minor children. ID. NOT APPLICABLE TO PERSON ACTING INSTANTANEOUSLY OR BY AVAILABLE MEANS. OLIVE. — Section 43 (c). ID. 1989. Article III. ICO. LAST CLEAR CHANCE DOCTRINE. MARICAR BASCOS BAESA. v. ID. PROVISION OF R. if such loss may be based sufficiently on their testimonies. Petitioner. DAMAGES.. ID. NO.. Efren N. ID. 4136 RE VEHICLE ENTERING A THROUGH HIGHWAY OR A STOP INTERSECTION.. Nos. the jeepney had already crossed the intersection. NEGLIGENCE. SYLLABUS 1. Respondents. ID.] PANTRANCO NORTH EXPRESS. INDEMNITY FIXED AT P30.. — The doctrine of last clear chance applies only in a situation where the defendant.A. and if the injury cannot be avoided by using all means available after the peril is or should have been discovered. becomes liable for all the consequences of the accident notwithstanding the prior negligence of the plaintiff. Micu for Respondents. ID. 1436 cannot apply to case a bar where at the time of the accident. ID. 4.. WHEN APPLICABLE. thru her personal guardian FRANCISCA O. it must be shown that the person who allegedly had the last opportunity to avert the accident was aware of the existence of the peril or with exercise of due care should have been aware of it. ID. 6. BURDEN OF PROOF LIES ON THE EMPLOYER. J. Ambrosio & Associates for petitioner PNEI. 5. CONDITION TO MAKE DOCTRINE APPLICABLE.000... — In order that the doctrine of last clear chance may be applied. 3. 2. DECISION CORTES.. ID. ID... namely ERWIN. having the last fair chance to avoid the impending harm and failed to do so. November 14. BASCOS. Emiliano S. — This doctrine of last chance has no application to a case where a person is to act instantaneously. FAILURE TO PRESENT EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT CLAIM FOR DAMAGES. 7. [G. — The indemnity for the death of a person was fixed by this Court at (P30. Chapter IV of Republic Act No.00).

(PANTRANCO). taking the highway going to Malalam River. Maricar Baesa through her guardian Francisca O.chanrobles virtual lawlibrary The pertinent fact are as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library At about 7:00 o’clock in the morning of June 12.647. the cases were consolidated and the Court of Appeals modified the decision of the trial court by ordering PANTRANCO to pay the total amount of One Million One Hundred Eighty-Nine Thousand Nine Hundred Twenty Seven Pesos (P1. Ico with their son Erwin Ico and seven other persons. plus 10% thereof as attorney’s fees and costs to Maricar Baesa in Civil Case No. Pantranco North Express Inc. On appeal. and collided with it.In this Petition.304. the jeepney turned right and proceeded to Malalam River at a speed of about 20 kph. Harold Jim and Marcelino Baesa. numbering fifteen (15) persons. While they were proceeding towards Malalam River. From Ilagan.189. plus 10% thereof as attorney’s fees and costs to Fe Ico and her children in Civil Case No.00) as damages.927. Isabela. the spouses Ceasar and Marilyn Baesa and their children Harold Jim. Bascos and Fe O. The jeepney was extensively damaged.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary On July 3. plus Twenty Thousand . Ramirez has never been seen and has apparently remained in hiding. As a result of the accident David Ico. Isabela. the CFI of Pangasinan rendered a decision against PANTRANCO awarding the total amount of Two Million Three Hundred Four Thousand Six Hundred Forty-Seven (P2. filed separate actions for damages arising from quasi-delict against PANTRANCO. encroached on the jeepney’s lane while negotiating a curve. boarded a car and proceeded to Santiago. Marcelino and Maricar. respectively docketed as Civil Case No. and the total amount of Six Hundred Fifty Two Thousand Six Hundred Seventy-Two Pesos (P652. Ilagan. PANTRANCO. together with spouses David Ico and Fe O. to celebrate the fifth wedding anniversary of Ceasar and Marilyn Baesa. The group. 561-R. 561-R and 589-R of the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan. 1984. who was also the registered owner thereof. were aboard a passenger jeepney on their way to a picnic at Malalam River.672. they proceeded to Barrio Capayacan to deliver some viands to one Mrs. After the accident the driver of the PANTRANCO Bus. Upon reaching the highway. asks the Court to review the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. spouses Ceasar Baesa and Marilyn Baesa and their children. aside from pointing to the late David Ico’s alleged negligence as the proximate cause of the accident. 561-R and Civil Case No. All the victims and/or their surviving heirs except herein private respondents settled the case amicably under the "No Fault" insurance coverage of PANTRANCO. 589-R. on its regular route to Manila.00) as damages. Ico for herself and for her minor children. Ambrosio Ramirez. 589-R wherein PANTRANCO was ordered to pay damages and attorney’s fees to herein private respondents. Isabela. 05494-95 which affirmed the decisions of the Court of First Instance of Rosales. 1981. a speeding PANTRANCO bus from Aparri. Ambrosio Ramirez.R.00) as damages. No. died while the rest of the passengers suffered injuries. invoked the defense of due diligence in the selection and supervision of its driver. Pangasinan in Civil Case No. In its answer. From that time on up to the present. Bascos and thenceforth to San Felipe. rode in the passenger jeepney driven by David Ico.

The plaintiffs in Civil Case No.00. and the medical expenses in the sum of P3.00) as attorney’s fees to Maricar Baesa. Inc. E) For the hospitalization of Fe Ico — P12.000.727.000. D) For the loss of earnings of Ceasar Baesa — P630. The dispositive portion of the assailed decision reads as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library WHEREFORE. C) As compensatory damages for the death of Harold Jim Baesa and Marcelino Baesa — P30. pp. F) For the burial expenses of the deceased Ceasar and Marilyn Baesa — P41. C) As moral damages for the death of David Ico and the injury of Fe Ico — P30.200.00. The amount of P25. and the total amount of Three Hundred Forty-Four Thousand Pesos (P344.000. B) As compensatory damages for the death of Marilyn Baesa — P30. Rollo. pp.00.000. 561-R.000.000.00.00.000.00 D) As payment for the jeepney — P20. Maricar Bascos Baesa. II.00.000 paid to Maricar Bascos Baesa. 57-58.273.00) as attorney’s fees to Fe Ico and her children.00.000. The plaintiff in Civil Case No. plaintiff in Civil Case No.00. I) As attorney’s fees — P20.000.00. to pay:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library I.00.00.000.] .Pesos (P20.000. the following damages:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library A) As compensatory damages for the death of David Ico — P30. 561-R.000. F) And for attorney’s fees — P10. should be deducted from the award in her favor.000.chanrobles virtual lawlibrary All the foregoing amounts herein awarded except the costs shall earn interest at the legal rate from date of this decision until fully paid.000.000. and to pay the costs in both cases. 14-15. B) For loss of earning capacity of David Ico — P252. [CA Decision. the decision appealed from is hereby modified by ordering the defendant PANTRANCO North Express.00) plus Ten Thousand Pesos (P10.00.55.000.00. and to pay the costs in both cases. E) For the loss of earnings of Marilyn Bascos Baesa — P375. H) As moral damages — P50.000. G) For hospitalization expenses of Maricar Baesa — P3. 589-R. the following damages:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library A) As compensatory damages for the death of Ceasar Baesa — P30.

Cecilia Alferez Vda. 397 (1958). The doctrine applies only in a situation where the plaintiff was guilty of prior or antecedent negligence but the defendant. Al. de Calibo. May 18.chanrobles lawlibrary : rednad To avoid liability for the negligence of its driver. Generally. although it may also be raised as a defense to defeat claim for damages. Smith. 37 Phil. The above contention of petitioner is manifestly devoid of merit. It is petitioner’s position that even assuming arguendo. The subsequent negligence of the defendant in failing to exercise ordinary care to avoid injury to plaintiff becomes the immediate or proximate cause of the accident which intervenes between the accident and the more remote negligence of the plaintiff. No. the doctrine of "last clear chance" finds no application in this case. might have avoided injurious consequences to claimant notwithstanding his negligence. with exercise of due care. Petitioner claims that under the circumstances of the case. Contrary to the petitioner’s contention.PANTRANCO filed a motion for reconsideration of the Court of Appeal’s decision. the last clear chance doctrine is invoked for the purpose of making a defendant liable to a plaintiff who was guilty of prior or antecedent negligence. One cannot be expected to avoid an accident or injury if he does not know or could not have . 104 Phil. it denied the same for lack of merit. The doctrine of the last clear chance was defined by this Court in the case of Ong v. 70493. 1989].R. supra]. it is necessary to show that the person who allegedly had the last opportunity to avert the accident was aware of the existence of the peril or should. Glan People’s Lumber and Hardware. who had the last fair chance to avoid the impending harm and failed to do so. Intermediate Appellate Court. Et Al. Et. G. have been aware of it. the driver of the latter could have swerved the jeepney towards the spacious dirt shoulder on his right without danger to himself or his passengers. that the bus encroached into the lane of the jeepney. PANTRANCO then filed the instant petition for review. 809 (1918). by exercising reasonable care and prudence. 1987. Metropolitan Water District. v. but on June 26.. petitioner claims that the original negligence of its driver was not the proximate cause of the accident and that the sole proximate cause was the supervening negligence of the jeepney driver David Ico in failing to avoid the accident. it was the driver of the passenger jeepney who had the last clear chance to avoid the collision and was therefore negligent in failing to utilize with reasonable care and competence his then existing opportunity to avoid the harm. Smith. is made liable for all the consequences of the accident notwithstanding the prior negligence of the plaintiff [Picart v. means that the negligence of a claimant does not preclude a recovery for the negligence of defendant where it appears that the latter. thus making the defendant liable to the plaintiff [Picart v. I Petitioner faults the Court of Appeals for not applying the doctrine of the "last clear chance" against the jeepney driver. For the doctrine to be applicable. in this wise:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library The doctrine of the last clear chance simply.

Considering the foregoing. This Court has held that the last clear chance doctrine "can never apply where the party charged is required to act instantaneously. Petitioner itself cited Fe Ico’s testimony that the accident occurred after the jeepney had travelled a distance of about two (2) meters from the point of intersection [Petition p. 10. BLTB. 50]. Rollo. Article III Chapter IV of Republic Act No. an alternate driver of the Pantranco bus who was seated beside the driver Ramirez at the time of the accident.known the existence of the peril. both the trial court and the Court of Appeals found that at the time of the accident the Pantranco bus was speeding towards Manila [CA Decision. 45]. When he saw at a distance that the approaching bus was encroaching on his lane. 45]. testified that both vehicles were coming from opposite directions [CA Decision. 2. August 31. The speed at which the approaching bus was running prevented David Ico from swerving the jeepney to the right shoulder of the road in time to avoid the collision. 1970. p. p. the Court finds that the negligence of petitioner’s driver in encroaching into the lane of the incoming jeepney and in failing to return the bus to its own lane immediately upon seeing the jeepney coming from the opposite direction was the sole and proximate cause of the accident without which the collision would not have occurred. Rollo. 50].R. Rollo. and if the injury cannot be avoided by the application of all means at hand after the peril is or should have been discovered" [Ong v. . a motorist who is properly proceeding on his own side of the highway is generally entitled to assume that an approaching vehicle coming towards him on the wrong side. he had no opportunity to avoid it. Thus. p. 7. No. even assuming that the jeepney driver perceived the danger a few seconds before the actual collision. it was already too late to swerve the jeepney to his right to prevent an accident. p. G. the jeepney had already crossed the intersection and was on its way to Malalam River. he did not immediately swerve the jeepney to the dirt shoulder on his right since he must have assumed that the bus driver will return the bus to its own lane upon seeing the jeepney approaching from the opposite direction. There was no supervening or intervening negligence on the part of the jeepney driver which would have made the prior negligence of petitioner’s driver a mere remote cause of the accident. In this case. p. 2. Rollo. 4136 * which provides that the driver of a vehicle entering a through highway or a stop intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles approaching in either direction on such through highway. Leo Marantan. However. By the time David Ico must have realized that the bus was not returning to its own lane. Leo Marantan. In fact. supra]. Rollo. will return to his proper lane of traffic. clearly indicating that the jeepney had already crossed the intersection. De Bonifacio v. even the witness for the petitioner. As held by this Court in the case of Vda. 7. The cited law itself provides that it applies only to vehicles entering a through highway or a stop intersection. L-26810. there is nothing to show that the jeepney driver David Ico knew of the impending danger. Moreover. At the time of the accident. Petitioner’s misplaced reliance on the aforesaid law is readily apparent in this case.com : virtual law library Petitioner likewise insists that David Ico was negligent in failing to observe Section 43 (c). p. There was nothing to indicate to David Ico that the bus could not return to its own lane or was prevented from returning to the proper lane by anything beyond the control of its driver. 27]. p. Metropolitan Water District. p.chanrobles. 34 SCRA 618. p. testified that Ramirez had no choice but to swerve the steering wheel to the left and encroach on the jeepney’s lane because there was a steep precipice on the right [CA Decision. this is belied by the evidence on record which clearly shows that there was enough space to swerve the bus back to its own lane without any danger [CA Decision.

his weight and the fact that he is married or not. Manila Railroad Company. 758 (1934). The mere issuance of rules and regulations and the formulation of various company policies on safety. Rollo. 37]. 51- 52]. His NBI or police clearances and clearances from previous employment were not marked in evidence. June 30. have been submitted in evidence [sic]. among other tests. this Court believes that the evidence submitted by the defendant to show that it exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the case of Ramirez. The drivers must also pass written examinations. There is also no proof as to his educational attainment. Bacani. psychological and physical test. Neither are the result of the written test. On this point. There is no proof that he is between 25 to 38 years old. II On the issue of its liability as an employer. Umali v. his age. 1976. It is argued by the petitioner that unless proven otherwise. inspectors and supervisors at a frequency rate of at least two (2) seminars a month. If such records are not available. The professional driver’s license of Ramirez has not been produced. there instantly arises a presumption that the employer has been negligent either in the selection of his employees or in the supervision over their acts. petitioner’s Training Coordinator. Rodrigo San Pedro. conformably to the last paragraph of Article 2180 of the Civil Code. it is presumed that petitioner observed its usual recruitment procedure and company polices on safety and efficiency [Petition. 69 SCRA 623].R. there is no presumption that the usual recruitment procedures and safety standards were observed. No.chanrobles law library Petitioner contends that the fact that Ambrosio Ramirez was employed and remained as its driver only means that he underwent the same rigid selection process and was subjected to the same strict supervision imposed by petitioner on all applicants and employees. G. Vital evidence should have been the certificate of attendance or certificate of participation or evidence of such participation like a logbook signed by the trainees when they attended the seminars. are . p. No evidence was presented that Ramirez actually and really attended the seminars. interviews and practical driving tests. pp. Petitioner adduced evidence to show that in hiring its drivers. petitioner claims that it had observed the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. testified on petitioner’s policy of conducting regular and continuing training programs and safety seminars for its drivers. The Court finds the above contention unmeritorious. 59 Phil. pp. The finding of negligence on the part of its driver Ambrosio Ramirez gave rise to the presumption of negligence on the part of petitioner and the burden of proving that it exercised due diligence not only in the selection of its employees but also in adequately supervising their work rests with the petitioner [Lilius v. the Court quotes with approval the following findings of the trial court which was adopted by the Court of Appeals in its challenged decision:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library When an injury is caused by the negligence of an employee. 20. Rollo. L-40570. as a company driver is far from sufficient. the latter are required to have professional driver’s license and police clearance. Contrary to petitioner’s claim. No support evidence has been adduced. and are required to undergo a six-month training period. without showing that they are being complied with. conductors. p. Although this presumption is only a disputable presumption which could be overcome by proof of diligence of a good father of a family. 8-9. the testimony of the classmates that Ramirez was their classmate in said seminar (should have been presented) [CA Decision.

39]. pay-rolls. Respondent court awarded to plaintiff (private respondent) Maricar Baesa Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30. the Court finds no cogent reason to disturb the finding of both the trial court and the Court of Appeals that the evidence presented by the petitioner.00) as indemnity for the death of Harold Jim Baesa and another Fifteen Thousand Pesos (P15.000. together with the uncontradicted testimonies of Fe Ico and Francisca Bascos. 22. the Court of Appeals awarded only Fifteen Thousand Pesos (P15. David Ico was thirty eight (38) years old at the time of his death in 1981 and was driving his own passenger jeepney. 21-22. is insufficient to overcome the presumption of negligence against petitioner.] It is petitioner’s contention that the evidence presented by the private respondent does not meet the requirements of clear and satisfactory evidence to prove actual and compensatory damages.com:cralaw:red However. in fixing the amount of damages for the loss of earning capacity of David Ico and the spouses Baesa. the recruitment procedures and company policies on efficiency and safety were followed.cralawnad III On the question of damages. 38-39. While it is true that private respondents should have presented documentary evidence to support their claim for damages for loss of earning capacity of the deceased victims. It is incumbent upon petitioner to show that in recruiting and employing the erring driver. Isabela. Ceasar Baesa was a commerce degree holder and the proprietor of the Cauayan Press. and the spouses Baesa. In other words. personnel manager. petitioner claims that the Court of Appeals erred in fixing the damages for the loss of earning capacity of the deceased victims. the court can consider the nature of his occupation.not sufficient to exempt petitioner from liability arising from the negligence of its employee. pay slips or invoices obtained in the usual course of business. the absence thereof does not necessarily bar the recovery of the damages in question. his educational attainment and the state of his health at the time of death.000. Hence. in fixing the damages for loss of earning capacity of a deceased victim. have no probative value to sustain in law the Court of Appeals’ conclusion on the respective earnings of the deceased victims. Isabela. it should be pointed out that the Court of Appeals committed error in fixing the compensatory damages for the death of Harold Jim Baesa and Marcelino Baesa.00) as "compensatory damages for the death of Harold Jim Baesa and Marcelino Baesa. Petitioner failed to do this.chanrobles. The spouses Ceasar and Marilyn Baesa were both thirty (30) years old at the time of their death. was the company nurse. In the instant case. 57]. pp. treasurer and cashier of the Ilagan Press at Ilagan. were presented [Petition. p. Moreover. The testimony of Fe Ico and Francisca Bascos as to the earning capacity of David Ico. . . The Court finds that the Court of Appeals committed no reversible error in fixing the amount of damages for the loss of earning capacity of the deceased victims. This is . Respondent court duly considered these factors. Rollo." [Petition. such as income tax returns. Petitioner argues that the "bare and self- serving testimonies of the wife of the deceased David Ico and the mother of the deceased Marilyn Baesa . respectively. pp. p. are sufficient to establish a basis from which the court can make a fair and reasonable estimate of the damages for the loss of earning capacity of the three deceased victims.00) for the death of Marcelino Baesa. Rollo. 14. which consists mainly of the uncorroborated testimony of its Training Coordinator. p. Petitioner assails respondent court’s findings because no documentary evidence in support thereof.000. printer of the Cauayan Valley Newspaper and the Valley Times at Cauayan. Marilyn Baesa graduated as a nurse in 1976 and at the time of her death." [CA Decision. Rollo.

Feliciano and Bidin. 126 SCRA 518. the indemnity for the death of a person was fixed by this Court at Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30. JJ.000. WHEREFORE.chanrobles law library SO ORDERED. In the case of People v. G. Nos.J. The other items of damages awarded by respondent court which were not challenged by the petitioner are hereby affirmed. Jr. Plaintiff Maricar Baesa should therefore be awarded Sixty Thousand Pesos (P60. the petition is DENIED.000..clearly erroneous. concur. and the decision of respondent Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED with the modification that the amount of compensatory damages for the death of Harold Jim Baesa and Marcelino Baesa are increased to Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30.00) for the death of each brother. Gutierrez.000. 1983.00) each.00).000. December 29.R. .00) as indemnity for the death of her brothers.. 63251-52. premises considered. de la Fuente. Fernan (C. Harold Jim Baesa and Marcelino Baesa or Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30.).

DECISION YNARES-SANTIAGO. he bumped the motorcycle causing Francisco to fall. Erwin Suarez Francisco. Branch 20. the court a quo rendered a decision in favor of herein respondents. When Secosa overtook the sand and gravel truck. an eighteen year old third year physical therapy student of the Manila Central University.000. Traveling behind the motorcycle driven by Francisco was a sand and gravel truck. 61868. Inc. 3.00 as moral damages. The sum of P500. On June 19. 96-79554 of the RTC of Manila. The sum of P50. petitioner.000. El Buenasucenso Sy. Fearing for his life. J. which in turn was being tailed by the Isuzu truck driven by Secosa.00 as exemplary damages.00 for the repair of the motorcycle. CV No. 4. the parents of Erwin Francisco.RAYMUNDO ODANI SECOSA.000. The sum of P50. respondents. thus filed an action for damages against Raymond Odani Secosa. 1998 decision[2] of Branch 20 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila in Civil Case No. vs.00 as actual and compensatory damages.00 as attorneys fees plus cost of suit.R. The sum of P100. 1998. EL BUENASENSO SY and DASSAD WAREHOUSING and PORT SERVICES. 2003 in CA-G.000. 2. petitioner Secosa left his truck and fled the scene of the collision. INCORPORATED. 96-79554. .000. The sum of P20. premised on the foregoing. The three vehicles were traversing the southbound lane at a fairly high speed.000. which affirmed in toto theJune 19. near the Veteran Shipyard Gate in the City of Manila. [3] Respondents. the dispositive portion of which states: WHEREFORE. and Dassads president. was riding a motorcycle along Radial 10 Avenue. Raymundo Odani Secosa. The rear wheels of the Isuzu truck then ran over Francisco.The complaint was docketed as Civil Case No. The truck was owned by petitioner. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiffs ordering the defendants to pay plaintiffs jointly and severally: 1. was driving an Isuzu cargo truck with plate number PCU-253 on the same road. Dassad Warehousing and Port Services. 6. after a full-blown trial. petitioners.: This is a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking the reversal of the decision[1] of the Court of Appeals dated February 27. The sum of P55. which resulted in his instantaneous death.m. At the same time. 5. 1996. SO ORDERED. at around 4:00 p. Inc. Dassad Warehousing and Port Services.00 for the loss of earning capacity.. HEIRS OF ERWIN SUAREZ FRANCISCO. The facts are as follows: On June 27.

Such fault or negligence. THE JUDGMENT OF THE TRIAL COURT AS AFFIRMED BY THE COURT OF APPEALS AWARDING P500. Article 2180. we find the assailed decision to be in full accord with pertinent provisions of law and established jurisprudence. states: The obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable not only for ones own acts or omissions. MISTAKEN AND UNJUST. Article 2176 of the Civil Code provides: Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another.000. but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible x x x. On the issue of whether petitioner Dassad Warehousing and Port Services.00 AS MORAL DAMAGES IS MANIFESTLY ABSURD. even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry x x x. Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks. II. THE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED WHEN IT AFFIRMED THE DECISION OF THE TRIAL COURT THAT PETITIONER DASSAD DID NOT EXERCISE THE DILIGENCE OF A GOOD FATHER OF A FAMILY IN THE SELECTION AND SUPERVISION OF ITS EMPLOYEES WHICH IS NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE 2180 OF THE NEW CIVIL CODE AND RELATED JURISPRUDENCE ON THE MATTER.[4] Hence the present petition. The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter.[5] The petition is partly impressed with merit. exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of its employees. based on the following arguments: I. there being fault or negligence. if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties. in pertinent part. Inc. THE COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED WHEN IT AFFIRMED THE DECISION OF THE TRIAL COURT IN HOLDING PETITIONER EL BUENASENSO SY SOLIDARILY LIABLE WITH PETITIONERS DASSAD AND SECOSA IN VIOLATION OF THE CORPORATION LAW AND RELATED JURISPRUDENCE ON THE MATTER. Petitioners appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals. On the other hand. which affirmed the appealed decision in toto. is obliged to pay for the damage done. . III.

it is paramount that the best and most complete evidence is formally entered. must be corroborated by documentary evidence. there instantly arises a presumption that there was negligence on the part of the employer either in the selection of his employee or in the supervision over him after such selection. The presumption. who asserts the affirmative of the issue has the burden of presenting at the trial such amount of evidence required by law to obtain a favorable judgment[8] . to hold sway.[10] Our view that the evidence for petitioner MMTC falls short of the required evidentiary quantum as would convincingly and undoubtedly prove its observance of the diligence of a good father of a family has its precursor in the underlying rationale pronounced in the earlier case of Central Taxicab Corp. vs. The above-quoted ruling was reiterated in a recent case again involving the Metro Manila Transit Corporation. We are fully aware that there is no hard-and-fast rule on the quantum of evidence needed to prove due observance of all the diligence of a good father of a family as would constitute a valid defense to the legal presumption of negligence on the part of an employer or master whose employee has by his negligence. Hence. while there is no rule which requires that testimonial evidence. object or documentary. Court of Appeals[7] is instructive: In fine. . therefore. In making proof in its or his case. may be rebutted by a clear showing on the part of the employer that it exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of his employee. . to evade solidary liability for quasi-delict committed by an employee. however. notwithstanding the calls therefor by both the trial court and the opposing counsel.[6] How does an employer prove that he indeed exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of his employee? The case of Metro Manila Transit Corporation v.[11] set amidst an almost identical factual setting. argues strongly against its pretensions.. we do not have enough trustworthy evidence left to go by. We are of the considered opinion. caused damage to another. Based on the foregoing provisions.[12] thus: . Petitioners attempt to prove its deligentissimi patris familias in the selection and supervision of employees through oral evidence must fail as it was unable to buttress the same with any other evidence. when an injury is caused by the negligence of an employee. Ex-Meralco Employees Transportation Co. et al. where we held that: The failure of the defendant company to produce in court any record or other documentary proof tending to establish that it had exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of its drivers and buses. the party. that the believable evidence on the degree of care and diligence that has been exercised in the selection and supervision of Roberto Leon y Salazar. which might obviate the apparent biased nature of the testimony. is not legally sufficient to overcome the presumption of negligence against the defendant company.. inasmuch as the witnesses testimonies dwelt on mere generalities. we cannot consider the same as sufficiently persuasive proof that there was observance of due diligence in the selection and supervision of employees. whether plaintiff or defendant. the employer must adduce sufficient proof that it exercised such degree of care. x x x (R)educing the testimony of Albert to its proper proportion.[9] Coming now to the case at bar.

of the results of his examinations. certifications of work experience. including documentary evidence. However. applicants are required to submit professional driving licenses.In the selection of prospective employees. such fact is not by itself sufficient to hold him solidarily liable for the liabilities adjudged against his co-petitioners. but he must also support such testimonial evidence with concrete or documentary evidence. Dassad can be rightfully held solidarily liable with its co- petitioner Raymundo Secosa for the damages suffered by the heirs of Erwin Francisco. and impose disciplinary measures for breaches thereof. The reason for this is to obviate the biased nature of the employers testimony or that of his witnesses. experience. . Inc. To establish these factors in a trial involving the issue of vicarious liability. Inc. employers must submit concrete proof. to complete training programs on traffic rules. and vision. and that he believed petitioner to be physically and mentally fit for he had undergone rigid training and attended the PPA safety seminar..[15] Petitioner Dassad Warehousing and Port Services. . Edilberto Duerme. employers are required to examine them as to their qualifications.[14] Applying the foregoing doctrines to the present case. The failure of MMTC to present such documentary proof puts in doubt the credibility of its witnesses. Jurisprudentially. In this case. vehicle maintenance. to support its position that it had exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of its employees. . we find that petitioner El Buenasenso Sy cannot be held solidarily liable with his co-petitioners. the employer must not merely present testimonial evidence to prove that he observed the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of his employee. Inc. According to MMTC. Nor were records of daily inspections. and clearances from the National Bureau of Investigation. therefore. with respect to the supervision of employees. While it may be true that Sy is the president of petitioner Dassad Warehousing and Port Services. monitor their implementation. to undergo tests of their driving skills. that it was his duty to scrutinize the capabilities of drivers. we hold that petitioner Dassad Warehousing and Port Services. reflexes. Inc. and standard operating procedures during emergency cases. allegedly conducted by supervisors. the lone witness presented by Dassad Warehousing and Port Services.. and of his service were not presented. failed to support the testimony of its lone witness with documentary evidence which would have strengthened its claim of due diligence in the selection and supervision of its employees. ever presented. Inc. concentration.[13] On the other hand. failed to conclusively prove that it had exercised the requisite diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of its employees. the records of his interview. [T]here is no record that Musa attended such training programs and passed the said examinations before he was employed. Such an omission is fatal to its position. employers should formulate standard operating procedures. and service records. . on account of which. . No proof was presented that Musa did not have any record of traffic violations. and. MMTC sought to prove that it exercised the diligence of a good father of a family with respect to the selection of employees by presenting mainly testimonial evidence on its hiring procedure. testified that he was the one who recommended petitioner Raymundo Secosa as a driver to Dassad Warehousing and Port Services. xxxxxxxxx Although testimonies were offered that in the case of Pedro Musa all these precautions were followed.

.000. are entitled to recover. Under Article 2206. the law will regard the corporation as an association of persons.00 for being manifestly absurd. justify wrong. of the spiritual status quo ante. within the limits possible. a son whose untimely death came at that point when the latter was nearing the culmination of every parents wish to educate their children. and not in the name of El Buenasenso Sy.[17] A corporations authority to act and its liability for its actions are separate and apart from the individuals who own it. unless and until sufficient reason to the contrary appears. point toward El Buenasenso Sys exclusion from liability for damages arising from the death of Erwin Francisco.[20] It cannot be presumed. solidarily liable with it. [18] The so-called veil of corporation fiction treats as separate and distinct the affairs of a corporation and its officers and stockholders. [16] It has a personality separate and distinct from those of the persons composing it as well as from that of any other entity to which it may be related. We are not persuaded. there must have been fraud and proof of it. legitimate and illegitimate descendants and ascendants of the deceased may demand moral damages for mental anguish for the death of the deceased.[21] The records of this case are bereft of any evidence tending to show the presence of any grounds enumerated above that will justify the piercing of the veil of corporate fiction such as to hold the president of Dassad Warehousing and Port Services. it must be proportionate to the suffering inflicted. In both instances. mistaken and unjust. and not of El Buenasenso Sy.[22] In the instant case. When the notion of legal entity is used to defeat public convenience. and therefore. we now consider the question of moral damages which his parents. That pain was highly evident in the testimony of the father who was forever deprived of a son. a corporation will be looked upon as a legal entity. the spouses Francisco presented evidence of the searing pain that they felt when the premature loss of their son was relayed to them. involving no rights of the public or third persons. Petitioners assail the award of moral damages of P500. liable for negligence for the death of Erwin Francisco on June 27. [19] Also. Having both found Raymundo Secosa and Dassad Warehousing and Port Services. Francis. The Isuzu cargo truck which ran over Erwin Francisco was registered in the name of Dassad Warehousing and Port Services. . the corporate entity may be disregarded in the interest of justice in such cases as fraud that may work inequities among members of the corporation internally. For the separate juridical personality of a corporation to be disregarded. Inc. The death of Francis has indeed left a void in the lives of the respondents. Inc. when taken collectively. or defend crime. The intensity of the pain experienced by the relatives of the victim is proportionate to the intensity of affection for him and bears no relation whatsoever with the wealth or means of the offender. . Inc. 1996. Raymundo Secosa is an employee of Dassad Warehousing and Port Services. the award of moral damages is aimed at a restoration. protect fraud. All these things. in this manner: . the wrongdoing must be clearly and convincingly established. Inc. The reason for the grant of moral damages has been explained in this wise: . Antonio Francisco testified on the effect of the death of his son. As a general rule. herein respondents. Mere ownership by a single stockholder or by another corporation of all or nearly all of the capital stock of a corporation is not in itself sufficient ground for disregarding the separate corporate personality. the spouse. It is a settled precept in this jurisdiction that a corporation is invested by law with a personality separate from that of its stockholders or members.

116617 November 16. Witness. Costs against petitioners. WHEREFORE. and Azcuna. RODOLFO V. FELICIANA CELEBRADO and THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM. No. [23] Moral damages are emphatically not intended to enrich a plaintiff at the expense of the defendant.[24] We have previously held as proper an award of P500. xxxxxxxxx Q: How did your family react to the death of Erwin Suarez Francisco? A: All of my family and relatives were felt (sic) sorrow because they knew that my son is (sic) good. be proportional to the suffering inflicted.J.R. SPS. how did you feel when you learned of the untimely death of your son. but since you are now in court and if you were to ask this court how much would you and your family compensate? (sic) A: Even if they pay me millions. MUSA. CONRADO TOLENTINO. ROSALES. Jr. SO ORDERED.000. JJ. they cannot remove the anguish of my son (sic). In our 2002 decision in Metro Manila Transit Corporation v. ROSALES and LILY R. Q: We know that it is impossible to put money terms(s) [on] the life of [a] human. perforce. who died from injuries she sustained when a bus driven by an employee of the petitioner hit her. Carpio. Davide. (Chairman).[25] we affirmed the award of moral damages of P500. G. respondents. Nio telling why this happened to us.00 as moral damages to the heirs of a deceased family member who died in a vehicular accident. a mother. Court of Appeals. Its really hard for me.. concur. No.. The assailed decision is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that petitioner El Buenasenso Sy is ABSOLVED from any liability adjudged against his co-petitioners in this case. Panganiban. Balanag): What did you do when you learned that your son was killed on June 27. They are awarded to allow the former to obtain means.R.. 1998 . we affirm the award of these damages to the respondents.. COURT OF APPEALS. Q: (Atty.00 to the heirs of the victim. In the case at bar. petitioners. C. diversion or amusements that will serve to alleviate the moral suffering he has undergone due to the defendants culpable action and must. PEDRO A. G. Q: Mr.000. 1996? A: (ANTONIO FRANCISCO): I boxed the door and pushed the image of St. Since the petitioners did not question the other damages adjudged against them by the court a quo. the petition is DENIED. the thought that my son is dead. 126395 November 16. et al. 1998 METRO MANILA TRANSIT CORPORATION (MMTC). Erwin Suares (sic)? A: Masakit po ang mawalan ng anak. vs. we likewise affirm the portion of the assailed decision awarding the moral damages.

4 but efforts to revive her proved futile. since the said bus was then running at a speed of about 25 kilometers per hour which is inappropriate since Katipunan road is a busy street. ROSALES. attorney's fees. The spouses Rosales were parents of Liza Rosalie. and. sufficient proof to show that the accused was careless.RODOLFO V. J. moral. No. there is. CONRADO TOLENTINO. therefore. At around a quarter past one in the afternoon of August 9. An eye witness said the girl was already near the center of the street when the bus. to 6 years. vs. . 27. 1986. Pedro Musa was found guilty of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of 2 years and 4 months. and LILY R. THE COURT OF APPEALS. by the spouses Rodolfo V. Liza Rosalie was taken to the Philippine Heart Center. 2 She fell to the ground upon impact. in the light of the evidence that the girl victim was already at the center of the Katipunan Road when she was bumped. Musa was its driver assigned to MMTC Bus No. by the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. a third-year high school student at the University of the Philippines Integrated School. which was driven by Musa. as minimum. 027 was supposed to have passed. while the spouses Rosales in G. holds that the accused. this Court. petitioners. MENDOZA. FELICIANA CELEBRADO and THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM. For. (MMTC) PEDRO A. on the one hand. hit Liza Rosalie who was then crossing Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City. The facts are as follows: MMTC is the operator of a fleet of passenger buses within the Metro Manila area. rolled between the two front wheels of the bus. 027. ROSALES.1 dated August 5. already past the right lane when the MMTC Bus No.5 The trial court found: All told. consequently. by the Metro Manila Transit Corporation (MMTC) and Pedro Musa and.R. and exemplary damages. respondents.3 Her body was dragged several meters away from the point of impact. reckless and imprudent in the operation of his MMTC Bus No. Rosales from the decision. 27. MUSA. who was then. and. hit her. is criminally responsible for the death of the girl victim in violation of Article 365 (2) of the Revised Penal Code. of the Court of Appeals.R. 027. 116617 appeal insofar as they are held liable for damages. the driver of MMTC Bus No. 1994. MMTC Bus No. METRO MANILA TRANSIT CORPORATION. then bound for the south.: These are appeals brought. as maximum. therefore. No. MMTC and Musa in G. and was run over by the left rear tires thereof. Rosales and Lily R. on the other. and the costs of suit for the death of the latter's daughter. which affirmed with modification the judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City holding MMTC and Musa liable to the spouses Rosales for actual. 126395 appeal insofar as the amounts awarded are concerned.

4.00 as actual damages and awarding in lieu thereof the . this Court would not be in the position. 7 The counsel submitted to the ruling of the court. MMTC Acting General Manager Conrado Tolentino. 6 The spouses Rosales filed an independent civil action for damages against MMTC. as follows: WHEREFORE. Rosales and Lily R. which is made more evident by the circumstance that the accused did not blow his horn at the time of the accident. Attorney's fees in the amount of P50.000.000.00.000. 3.00. You can now limit your question to the other defendant here but to re-try again the actual facts of the accident. and 5. in fact.9 Both parties appealed to the Court of Appeals. judgment is hereby rendered ordering defendant Metro Manila Transit Corporation primarily and defendant Pedro Musa subsidiarily liable to plaintiffs- spouses Rodolfo V. It would be improper for this Court to make any findings with respect to the negligence of herein driver.00. as. the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court with the following modification: WHEREFORE. 1990. except for the modification deleting the award of P150. Musa.00. and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). 27 but was told by the trial judge: COURT: That is it. The counsel of MMTC and Musa attempted to introduce testimony that Musa was not negligent in driving Bus No. On August 5. a dispatcher of the MMTC.000. as a defendant therein. demonstrating thereby that he did not exercise diligence and take the necessary precaution to avoid injury to persons in the operation of his vehicle. and he did not even know that he had bumped the girl victim and had ran over her. he ran over the girl victim who died as a result thereof. 1994. Costs of suit. foregoing premises considered. 2.000. Rosales as follows: 1. Moral damages in the amount of P500. Actual damages in the amount of P150. Exemplary damages in the amount of P100. the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City found MMTC and Musa guilty of negligence and ordered them to pay damages and attorney's fees. They subsequently amended their complaint to include Feliciana Celebrado. You ask questions only regarding the civil aspect as to the other defendant but not as to the accused. 8 In a decision rendered on March 6.

the spouses Rosales contend: The Court of Appeals erred in: First.00 IN FAVOR OF PRIVATE RESPONDENTS-APPELLEES.00. Hence.R.000 BY WAY OF DEATH INDEMNITY. in all other aspects.00 is akin to actual damages.00 to P50. OPPRESSIVE AND MALEVOLENT ACTUATIONS AGAINST HEREIN RESPONDENTS- APPELLEES. THIS BEING THE CASE.000. In G. THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE COURT A QUO'S DECISION IN RENDERING JUDGMENT FOR ATTORNEY'S FEES IN THE AMOUNT OF P50. 1996. 116617. Third. MMTC and Musa assail the decision of the Court of Appeals on the following grounds: PUBLIC RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE COURT A QUO'SDECISION PARTICULARLY IN NOT HOLDING THAT APPELLANT MMTC EXERCISED THE DILIGENCE OF A GOOD FATHER OF A FAMILY IN THE SELECTION AND SUPERVISION OF ITS DRIVERS. A GOVERNMENT-OWNED CORPORATION. JUST LIKE THE COURT A QUO. MALICE. hereby AFFIRMED. P100. FRAUDULENT. OVERLOOKED THE FACT THAT PETITIONER MMTC.00 as death indemnity. dated September 12. No. considering that death indemnity which this Honorable Court set at P50.000. 10 The spouses Rosales filed a motion for reconsideration. THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS. which the appellate court. 126395. APPELLANT MMTC IS ENTITLED TO BE ABSOLVED FROM ANY LIABILITY OR AT LEAST TO A REDUCTION OF THE RECOVERABLE DAMAGES. Second. now private respondents.000 AS EXEMPLARY DAMAGES AND P30. BAD FAITH.R.000 AS MORAL DAMAGES. THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE COURT A QUO'SDECISION TO HOLD PETITIONER-APPELLANT MMTC PRIMARILY LIABLE TO PRIVATE RESPONDENTS-APPELLEES IN THE AMOUNT OF P500. No. the decision appealed from is. MMTC and Musa do not specifically question the findings of the Court of Appeals and the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City that Liza Rosalie was hit by MMTC Bus .000. amount of P30. NOR WANTON. COMMITTED NO FRAUD.000. these appeals. in G. refusing to hold all the defendants. partly granted by increasing the indemnity for the death of Liza Rosalie from P30. solidarily liable. in a resolution. On the other hand.000. not increasing the amount of damages awarded.

it is just that he. as seldom does a person in the community. 13 The rationale for the rule on vicarious liability has been adumbrated thus: What has emerged as the modern justification for vicarious liability is a rule of policy. and arbitrary can they be overturned. and even finality. We. the issue in this case turns on Art. and because he is better able to absorb them. Camarote. are placed upon that enterprise itself. capricious." The responsibility of employers for the negligence of their employees in the performance of their duties is primary. especially in the cities. should bear them. regardless of the solvency of their employees. the right will in many cases prove illusory. the law . Added to this is the makeweight argument that an employer who is held strictly liable is under the greatest incentive to be careful in the selection. Rather. The losses caused by the torts of employees. 15 we explained the basis of the presumption of negligence in this wise: The reason for the law is obvious. which will on the basis of all past experience involve harm to others through the tort of employees. a deliberate allocation of a risk. instruction and supervision of his servants. and to distribute them. So the law imposes the burden of proof of innocence on the vehicle owner. that is. through prides. and so to shift them to society. 27. have the opportunity to observe the conduct of all possible car owners therein. If the driver is negligent and causes damage. and to take every precaution to see that the enterprise is conducted safely. as already stated. rather than the innocent injured plaintiff. Were we to require the injured party to prove the owner's lack of diligence. 2180 of the Civil Code. and sought to profit by it. 27 and whether its driver was negligent. Only where it is shown that such findings are whimsical. the injured party may recover from the employers directly. having engaged in an enterprise.No. even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry. petitioners' counsel submitted to the ruling of the court that the finding of the trial court in the criminal case was conclusive on them with regard to the questions of whether Liza Rosalie was hit by MMTC Bus No. to the public. 11 Not only can they not do this as the rule is that an appellant may not be heard on a question not specifically assigned as error. To the contrary. the findings of both the Court of Appeals and the Regional Trial Court are solidly anchored on the evidence submitted by the parties. 14 In Campo v. It is indeed difficult for any person injured by the carelessness of a driver to prove the negligence or lack of due diligence of the owner of the vehicle in the choice of the driver. regard them as conclusive in resolving the petitions at bar. as a required cost of doing business. Nonetheless. rates or liability insurance. but the rule giving great weight. which as a practical matter are sure to occur in the conduct of the employer's enterprise. their petition contains discussions which cast doubts on this point. therefore. to the factual conclusions of the Court of Appeals which affirm those of the trial court bars a reversal of the finding of liability against petitioners MMTC and Musa. to the community at large. They are placed upon the employer because. which provides that "employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks. 12 Indeed.

and discipline of their employees. 19 In this case. of the results of his examinations. MMTC submitted brochures and programs of seminars for prospective employees on vehicle maintenance. reflexes. and vision. presumes that the owner was negligent and imposes upon him the burden of proving the contrary. to complete training programs on traffic rules. allegedly conducted by supervisors. Normally. 20 MMTC's evidence consists entirely of testimonial evidence (1) that transport supervisors are assigned to oversee field operations in designated areas. and. 21Although testimonies were offered that in the case of Pedro Musa all these precautions were followed. The failure of MMTC to present such documentary proof puts in doubt the credibility of its witnesses."16 For this purpose. Ex-Meralco Employees Transportation Corporation 24 applies to this case: This witness spoke of an affidavit of experience which a driver- applicant must accomplish before he is employed by the company. reflexes. and standard operating procedures during emergency cases. to undergo tests of their driving skills. No proof was presented that Musa did not have any record of traffic violations. procedures. traffic regulations. employers should formulate standard operating. and vision. and service records. work experience. concentration. training evaluation. Nor were records of daily inspections. In the selection of prospective employees. both in the selection of the employee who committed the quasi-delict and in the supervision of the performance of his duties. concentration. and driving skills and claimed that applicants are given tests to determine driving skills. and a record of the inspections . including documentary evidence. vehicle maintenance. they have the burden of proving that they have indeed exercised such diligence. 18 To establish these factors in a trial involving the issue of vicarious liability. with respect to the supervision of employees. MMTC sought to prove that it exercised the diligence of a good father of a family with respect to the selection of employees by presenting mainly testimonial evidence on its hiring procedure. experience. 23 but there is no record that Musa attended such training programs and passed the said examinations before he was employed. and of his service were not presented. 22 the records of his interview. certifications of work experience. According to MMTC. employers' keep files concerning the qualifications. ever presented. 17 On the other hand. (2) that the maintenance department daily inspects the engines of the vehicles. and impose disciplinary measures for breaches thereof. a written time schedule for each bus. What was said in Central Taxicab Corporation v. employers are required to examine them as to their qualifications. and. monitor their implementation. and clearances from the National Bureau of Investigation. applicants are required to submit professional driving licenses. employers must submit concrete proof. Employers may be relieved of responsibility for the negligent acts of their employees within the scope of their assigned tasks only if they can show that "they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. (3) that for infraction of company rules there are corresponding penalties.

and thorough checks pertaining to each bus before it leaves the car barn. object or documentary. must be corroborated by documentary evidence. Petitioner's attempt to prove its diligentissimi patris familias in the selection and supervision of employees through oral evidence must fail as it was unable to buttress the same with any other evidence. It is rather' strange. .000. v. we cannot consider the same as sufficiently persuasive proof that there was observance of due diligence in the selection and supervision of employees. therefore. despite the fact that they were obviously in the possession and control of the defendant company. notwithstanding the calls therefor by both the trial court and the opposing counsel. was held to be insufficient to overcome the presumption of negligence against it. the amount of the indemnity has through the years been gradually increased based on the value of the peso. dated September 12.000. or even object evidence for that matter. Court of Appeals. 1986. which might obviate the apparent biased nature of the testimony. are entitled to recover. it is fixed at P50. which is the subject of the appeal in G.00. 126395. argues strongly against its pretensions. yet no attempt was ever made to present in evidence any of these documents.000. Initially fixed in said article of the Civil Code at P3.00. At present. In Metro Manila Transit Corp. inasmuch as the witnesses' testimonies dwelt on mere generalities. 25 this Court said: Coming now to the case at bar.000.. 2206 provides for the payment of indemnity for death caused by a crime or quasi-delict.. which MMTC presented to show that it exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of employees and thus avoid vicarious liability for the negligent acts of its employees. The failure of the defendant company to produce in court any record or other documentary proof tending to establish that it had exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of its drivers and buses. that he failed to produce in court the all important record of Roberto. we now consider the question of damages which her parents. It is noteworthy that. testimonial evidence of identical content. Art. Having found both MMTC and its driver Pedro Musa liable for negligence for the death of Liza Rosalie on August 9. . in another case involving MMTC. while there is no rule which requires that testimonial evidence.00 in its resolution. the driver involved in this case. 1996. the Court of Appeals correctly increased the indemnity it had originally ordered the spouses Rosales to be paid from P30. Indemnity for Death. to hold sway. Albert also testified that he kept records of the preliminary and final tests given by him as well as a record of the qualifications and experience of each of the drivers of the company.R. No. 26 To conform to this new ruling. the spouses Rosales..00 to P50.

000. wake.65 itemized as follows: 27 Medical Attendance P 739." The reason for the grant of moral damages has been explained thus: .00 Photography 3. Art.65 Funeral Services 5. 2206. the "spouse. The intensity of the pain experienced by the relatives of the victim is proportionate to the intensity of affection for him and bears no relation whatsoever with the wealth or means of the offender.500. apart from the indemnity for death. and therefore.00 Mourning clothes 5. the award of moral damages is aimed at a restoration. Moral Damages.00 Obituaries 7.100.935.125.00 Video Coverage 10. during the trial.977. within the limits of the possible.500. of the spiritual status quo ante.00 Expenses during wake 14.00 TOTAL 60. 2199 provides that "except as provided by law or by stipulation.65 Hence.226.350.Actual Damages. Under Art.000. Rodolfo Rosales recounted the place of Liza Rosalie in the family and their relationship with her in the following words: .40. the spouses Rosales are entitled to recover the above amount as actual damages. the spouses Rosales presented evidence of the intense moral suffering they had gone through as a result of the loss of Liza Rosalie who was their youngest child.00 Embalment 1. However.00 Printing of invitation cards 7. it must be proportionate to the suffering inflicted. they submitted receipts showing that expenses for the funeral. and interment of Liza Rosalie amounted only to P60. . .00 Interment fees 2. 28 In the instant case.245. one is entitled to an adequate compensation only for such pecuniary loss suffered by him as he has duly proved.226. legitimate and illegitimate descendants and ascendants of the deceased may demand moral damages for mental anguish by reason of the death of the deceased." The spouses Rosales are claiming actual damages in the amount of P239.000.00 Wreaths 2.

32this Court awarded P1 million as moral damages to the heirs of a seventeen-year-old girl who was murdered. I also work very hard and my children go to school. how was Liza to you as a daughter? A: Well. Rodolfo Rosales testified on the devastating effect of the death of Liza Rosalie: Q: And after she died. 31 The spouses Rosales claim moral damages in the amount of P5.. come home. and she still slept with us at night although she had her own room. Rosales? A: You know it is very hard to describe. there is something hollow in our family. She used to greet me when I came home and smell if I was drunk and would tell me to dress up and take a shower before her mommy could see me. if any. . what changes. Sometimes in the middle of the night she would open our door and ask if she could sleep with us. but we never go together because we remember Liza.000.000. Hence. Liza as a daughter was the greatest joy of the family. you know. They study very hard. She was soft-spoken to all of us. as she was the youngest. This amount seems reasonable to us as moral damages for the loss of a minor child. or my son and another one.00. your life without Liza. Sometimes my wife would complain and ask: "Where did you go?" But I cannot explain to her how I feel. . we go to the cemetery one at a time." Now. Now we cannot go together on outings because of the absence of Liza. my husband and I. we hold that the MMTC and Musa . did you feel in your family? A: Well. The family was broken apart. sometimes. So we let her sleep with us. Every time we go to the cemetery we try as much as possible not to go together. 30 Lily Rosales described life without Liza Rosalie thus: Q: Now. Dr. how would you describe it. We could not go together because we remember Liza. So. something is missing. 29 The death of Liza Rosalie left a void in their lives. whether he or she was a victim of a crime or a quasi-delict. and everybody loved her — all her brothers and sisters — because she was sweet and unspoiled. the whole family on weekends and on our days off. . I am missing. please help me with my homework. In People v. . I do not feel like going home early. . But before her death we would always be together. Q: Mr. she was our pride. Teehankee. She would call me up at the office and say: "Daddy. all these things. Jr. Rosales. My husband works very hard.

as in the instant case. and others who do not have market income so that there is no pecuniary loss to survivors or to the estate of the decedent. attorney's fees may be recovered when. Increasingly. however.000. 2231 provides that exemplary damages may be recovered in cases involving quasi-delicts if "the defendant acted with gross negligence. The records indicate that at the time of the mishap. we affirm the award of attorney's fees made by the Court of Appeals to the spouses Rosales in that amount. . 40 the court allowed the heirs of a seven- year-old boy who was killed in a car accident to recover compensation for loss of earning capacity: Considerable evidence was presented by plaintiffs in an effort to give the jury a foundation on which to make an award. Teehankee 37 no award of compensation for loss of earning capacity was granted to the heirs of a college freshman because there was no sufficient evidence on record to show that the victim would eventually become a professional pilot. courts allow expert testimony to be used to project those lost earnings. in Haumersen v. 34 which involved the death of a minor child in the sinking of a vessel. Art. Pursuant to Art. Court of Appeals. this evidence showed Charles Haumersen was a seven-year-old of above average characteristics. In the recent case of Sulpicio Lines. He was described as "very intelligent" and . Compensation for Loss of Earning Capacity. Quezon City.are solidarily liable to the spouses Rosales in the amount of P1. there was a pending criminal case against Musa for reckless imprudence resulting in slight physical injuries with another branch of the Regional Trial Court. . 35Evidence must be presented that the victim. the "defendant shall be liable for the loss of the earning capacity of the deceased. Exemplary Damages. Art. and the indemnity shall be paid to the heirs of the latter. 38 But compensation should be allowed for loss of earning capacity resulting from the death of a minor who has not yet commenced employment or training for a specific profession if sufficient evidence is presented to establish the amount thereof.00). 36 In People v. Inc.000. Hence. exemplary damages are awarded." Compensation of this nature is awarded not for loss of earnings but for loss of capacity to earn money.00 as moral damages for the death of Liza Rosalie. Under the circumstances.00. Attorney's Fees. 33 The evidence also shows that he failed to stop his vehicle at once even after eye witnesses shouted at him.000. Ford Motor Co. . .00 as attorney's fees to be reasonable. v." This circumstance obtains in the instant case. if not yet employed at the time of death. the old. 2206 of the Civil Code provides that in addition to the indemnity for death caused by a crime or quasi delict. housewives.000. Briefly stated. In the United States it has been observed: This raises the broader question of the proper measure of damages in death cases involving children. The spouses Rosales claim exemplary damages in the amount of P5.000. . 39 Thus. The traditional approach was to award no or merely nominal damages in such cases. was reasonably certain to complete training for a specific profession.000. . 2208. we deem it reasonable to award the spouses Rosales exemplary damages in the amount of five hundred thousand pesos (P500. we held an award of P50..

and varied interests.000 has support in the evidence. She consistently performed well in her studies since grade school. and pencil drawings submitted as exhibits by the spouses Rosales. 41 the court. it is reasonable to assume that Liza Rosalie would have enjoyed a successful professional career had it not been for her untimely death. The argument for allowing compensation for loss of earning capacity of a minor is even stronger if he or she was a student. testified that Liza Rosalie had the potential of eventually becoming an artist. InKrohmer v. in affirming the award by the jury of $85. a faculty member of the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts. charcoal. 43 Cleofe Chi. However. spouses Rosales did not content themselves with simply establishing Liza Rosalie's enrollment at UP Integrated School. promising artist. "all-American. They presented evidence to show that Liza Rosalie was a good student.00 to the heirs of an eighteen-year-old college freshman who died of carbon monoxide poisoning. guidance counselor of the University of the Philippines Integrated School. In sharp contrast with the situation obtaining in People v. Teehankee. Upon analysis of the record. . He was active in church affairs and participated in recreational and athletic events. 42 A survey taken in 1984 when Liza Rosalie was twelve years old showed that she had good study habits and attitudes. . 46 Neither MMTC nor Pedro Musa controverted this evidence. children older than himself. described Liza Rosalie as personable. we conclude that we should not disturb the award. where the prosecution merely presented evidence to show the fact of the victim's graduation from high school and the fact of his enrollment in a flying school. In addition. 45 Professor Rebillon's testimony is more than sufficiently established by the 51 samples of Liza Rosalie's watercolor. The record does not disclose passion and prejudice. Dahl. some of which plaintiffs introduced at trial. not one of these cases indicate that evidence of one's education as a guide to future earnings is not admissible where the student is engaged in general studies or whose education does not relate to a specific occupation. well-liked. whether already training for a specific profession or still engaged in general studies. 44 Professor Alfredo Rebillon. The key question is whether the verdict of $100. It is true that the majority of these decisions deal with students who are studying for a specific occupation or profession. it is proper that compensation for loss of earning capacity should be awarded to her .000. extra-curricular activities. Hence. who organized workshops which Liza Rosalie attended in 1982 and 1983. Considering her good academic record. . he had an unusual talent for creating numerous cartoons and other drawings. stated as follows: There are numerous cases that have held admissible evidence of prospective earnings of a student or trainee. often with. and obedient child. The appellants contend that such evidence is not admissible unless the course under study relates to a given occupation or profession and it is shown that the student is reasonably certain to follow that occupation or profession. and with a balanced personality." He received high marks in school.

As already stated.46. computed based on the minimum wage for workers in the non-agricultural sector in effect at the time of her death. The Regional Trial Court of Quezon City erred in holding MMTC primarily and Musa secondarily liable for damages arising from the death of Liza Rosalie. 51 is P14. and the GSIS of liability. were charged with the supervision of Musa and should.48 Since Liza Rosalie was 16 at the time of her death. her life expectancy was 44 more years. 49 Her projected gross annual income. be held vicariously liable under Art. 52 Allowing for necessary living expenses of fifty percent (50%) of her projected gross annual income. 53 her total net earning capacity amounts to P321. 58 One last word. 2180 of the Civil Code. 57 Hence. subject to reimbursement from the former to the extent of the insurance coverage. the spouses Rosales have the option either to claim the said amount from the GSIS and the balance of the award from MMTC and Musa or to enforce the entire judgment against the latter. In Vda.00.heirs in accordance with the formula established in decided cases 47 for computing net earning capacity. Pursuant to Art.12. but it cannot be held solidarily liable beyond that amount. the latter has a right to recover what it has paid from its employee who committed . therefore.630. to wit: Net Earning = Life [Gross Necessary Capacity Expectancy x [Annual — Living [Income Expenses Life expectancy is equivalent to two thirds (2/3) multiplied by the difference of eighty (80) and the age of the deceased. as a dispatcher thereof. Feliciana Celebrado. 2180. the spouses Rosales argue that the Court of Appeals erred in absolving Conrado Tolentino.000. With respect to the GSIS. Although the fourth paragraph of Art. 50 then fixed at P37. It was error for the appellate court to affirm this aspect of the trial court's decision. they contend that it was the insurer in a contract for third party liability it had with the MMTC.870. Tolentino and Celebrado cannot be held liable for the tort of Pedro Musa. 56 it was ruled that an insurer in an indemnity contract for third party liability is directly liable to the injured party up to the extent specified in the agreement.00. as Acting General Manager of the MMTC. it can recover from its employee what it may pay. MMTC is primarily liable for damages for the negligence of its employee in view of Art. It only means that if the judgment for damages is satisfied by the common carrier. 54 Finally. Consolacion. The GSIS admitted in its answer that it was the insurer of the MMTC for third party liability with respect to MMTC Bus No." 55 Thus. it is settled that this term is used in the said provision in the sense of "employers. This does not make the employee's liability subsidiary. 2181. The Spouses Rosales alleged that Tolentino. 27 to the extent of P50. and Celebrado. de Maglana v. 2180 mentions "managers" among those made responsible for the negligent acts of others.

000. Rosales the following amounts: 1) death indemnity in the amount of fifty-thousand pesos (P50. . Alday 60 that "the registered owner/operator of a public service vehicle is jointly and severally liable with the driver for damages incurred by passengers or third persons as a consequence of injuries sustained in the operation of said vehicle. 5) attorney's fees in the amount of fifty thousand pesos (P50. From another point of view. Court of Appeals 62 that "the liability of the registered owner of a public service vehicle . the employer must adduce sufficient proof that it exercised such degree of care. Rosales and ORDERING them as such to pay to the spouses Rodolfo V. and 7) the costs of suit. we held in the recent case of Philtranco Service Enterprises. Art. the decision of the Court of Appeals is SET ASIDE and another one is RENDERED holding the Metro Manila Transit Corporation and Pedro Musa jointly and severally liable for the death of Liza Rosalie R.226.870. and joint and several or solidary with the driver. Inc. . .00). 3) moral damages in the amount of one million pesos (P1." We ruled in Gelisan v.00). direct. 4) exemplary damages in the amount of five hundred thousand pesos (P500. the spouses Rosales have the option of enforcing the judgment against either MMTC or Musa. 2194 provides that "the responsibility of two or more persons who are liable for a quasi-delict is solidary.65).00). Rosales and Lily R.000.the fault or negligence which gave rise to the action based on quasi- delict.000.12)." In Baliwag Transit Inc. Court of Appeals 61 it was held that "to escape solidary liability for a quasi-delict committed by an employee. 6) compensation for loss of earning capacity in the amount of three hundred twenty-one thousand eight hundred seventy pesos and twelve centavos (P321.000. for damages arising from the tortious acts of the driver is primary. v.00)." Finally.000. 2) actual damages in the amount of sixty thousand two hundred twenty six pesos and sixty five centavos (P60. SO ORDERED." WHEREFORE. v. 59 Hence.

filed an action for damages and attorney's fees against operator Patricio Destrajo and the Afisco Insurance Corporation (AFISCO for brevity) before the then Court of First Instance of Davao. LOPE. Branch II.R. vs. as minimum. From the investigation conducted by the traffic investigator. HONORABLE FRANCISCO Z. He died on the spot.00) in the concept of moral and exemplary damages with costs. CONSOLACION. here petitioners. An information for homicide thru reckless imprudence was also filed against Pepito Into. and to indemnify the heirs of Lope Maglana.000. FIGURACION VDA. operated and owned by defendant Destrajo. the PUJ jeep of defendant Destrajo running abreast with the overtaken jeep. as maximum. .000. with all the accessory penalties provided by law. 2 . During the pendency of the civil case. MALLARI. Jose B. the PUJ jeep was overtaking another passenger jeep that was going towards the city poblacion. DE MAGLANA. bumped the motorcycle driven by the deceased who was going towards the direction of Lasa. On December 20. No appeal was interposed by accused who later applied for probation. in the amount of twelve thousand pesos (P12. Sr. Branch II. and ELVIRA. to four (4) years. 1978. Into was sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of one (1) year. Lanang. The PUJ jeep that bumped the deceased was driven by Pepito Into. The facts as found by the trial court are as follows: . respondents. JR.. Guyo for petitioners. GILDA ANTONIO and the minors LEAH. eight (8) months and one (1) day of prision correccional.: The nature of the liability of an insurer sued together with the insured/operator-owner of a common carrier which figured in an accident causing the death of a third person is sought to be defined in this petition for certiorari. While overtaking. Lope Maglana was on his way to his work station. No. 7. he met an accident that resulted in his death. plus five thousand pesos (P5. Davao City. 60506 August 6.. 1992 FIGURACION VDA. the heirs of Lope Maglana. herein represented by their mother. Fernandez for private respondent. ROMERO. LEONILA M. here in Davao City. DE MAGLANA. J. The point of impact was on the lane of the motorcycle and the deceased was thrown from the road and met his untimely death.G. driving a motorcycle owned by the Bureau of Customs. early morning. nine (9) months and eleven (11) days of prision correccional. petitioners.00) with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. Presiding Judge of Davao City. Sr. all surnamed MAGLANA. . At Km. 1 Consequently. Angel E. and AFISCO INSURANCE CORPORATION. EDITHA M. Lope Maglana was an employee of the Bureau of Customs whose work station was at Lasa. CRUZ. ERLINDA M. MASESAR.

accused Into. 1982.00 which amount shall be deducted in the event judgment in Criminal Case No. The defendant insurance company is ordered to reimburse defendant Destrajo whatever amounts the latter shall have paid only up to the extent of its insurance coverage.00 as attorney's fees and to pay the costs of suit. is a stipulation pour autrui. the lower court rendered a decision finding that Destrajo had not exercised sufficient diligence as the operator of the jeepney. the Court finds judgment in favor of the plaintiffs against defendant Destrajo.On December 14." 4 Hence.00 coverage of the insurance policy issued by AFISCO. 3527-D against the driver.000. prays for the setting aside or modification of the second paragraph of the dispositive portion of said decision. In its Order of February 9. In its comment on the motion for reconsideration. in effect.000. Hence.000.70 representing funeral and burial expenses of the deceased. petitioners filed the instant petition for certiorari which. 6 This motion was likewise denied for lack of merit.901. then the liability of the insurer is secondary only up to the extent of the insurance coverage. 1981. although only up to the extent of the insurance coverage. should have been awarded in their favor. The particular provision of the insurance policy on which petitioners base their claim is as follows: . to pay plaintiffs the sum of P5. 3 Petitioners filed a motion for the reconsideration of the second paragraph of the dispositive portion of the decision contending that AFISCO should not merely be held secondarily liable because the Insurance Code provides that the insurer's liability is "direct and primary and/or jointly and severally with the operator of the vehicle. the lower court denied the motion for reconsideration ruling that since the insurance contract "is in the nature of suretyship. accused Into. they argued that the P20.000. to pay plaintiffs the sum of P12. although it does not seek the reversal of the lower court's decision in its entirety. ordering him to pay plaintiffs the sum of P28. shall have been enforced.000." 5 Petitioners filed a second motion for reconsideration reiterating that the liability of the insurer is direct. The dispositive portion of the decision reads: WHEREFORE. Petitioners reassert their position that the insurance company is directly and solidarily liable with the negligent operator up to the extent of its insurance coverage. to pay plaintiffs the sum of P5.00 as moral damages which shall be deducted in the event judgment (sic) in Criminal Case No. the presumption is that the obligation is joint. SO ORDERED. We grant the petition.00 for loss of income. primary and solidary with the jeepney operator because the petitioners became direct beneficiaries under the provision of the policy which. 3527-D against the driver. to pay plaintiffs the sum of P3. AFISCO argued that since the Insurance Code does not expressly provide for a solidary obligation.

Inc. is liable to respondent Vallejos (the injured third party). However. 75. that of the insured is based on tort.000. AFISCO's liability is now limited to P15. namely respondents Sio Choy and San Leon Rice Mill. . however. . . be made "solidarily" liable with the two principal tortfeasors. we cannot agree that AFISCO is likewise solidarily liable with Destrajo. The liability of the insurer is based on contract.00 under the no-fault clause. We categorically ruled thus: While it is true that where the insurance contract provides for indemnity against liability to third persons. . The Company will. and to give such injured person a certain beneficial interest in the proceeds of the policy . pay all sums necessary to discharge liability of the insured in respect of (a) death of or bodily injury to any THIRD PARTY (b) . Judge. the insurer's liability accrues immediately upon the occurrence of the injury or even upon which the liability depends. and subject to the terms and conditions hereof. petitioner as insurer of Sio Choy. Inc. as incorrectly held by the trial court. 10 this Court had the opportunity to resolve the issue as to the nature of the liability of the insurer and the insured vis-a-vis the third party injured in an accident. (emphasis supplied) . In Malayan Insurance Co. Court of Appeals. . the Company will. "[w]here an insurance policy insures directly against liability. 7 The above-quoted provision leads to no other conclusion but that AFISCO can be held directly liable by petitioners. For if petitioner-insurer were solidarily liable with said. . RTC of Olongapo City. Sec. 2. 3. 1 — LIABILITY TO THE PUBLIC 1. As this Court ruled in Shafer vs. . two (2) respondents by reason of the indemnity contract against third party liability — under which an insurer can be directly sued by a third party — this will result in a violation of the principles underlying solidary obligation and insurance contracts. in respect of the liability incurred to such person indemnify his personal representatives in terms of. . . v. but it cannot.00." 8 The underlying reason behind the third party liability (TPL) of the Compulsory Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance is "to protect injured persons against the insolvency of the insured who causes such injury." 9 Since petitioners had received from AFISCO the sum of P5. such third persons can directly sue the insurer. subject to the Limits of Liability. In the case at bar. Br. and does not depend on the recovery of judgment by the injured party against the insured.. In the event of the death of any person entitled to indemnity under this Policy. the direct liability of the insurer under indemnity contracts against third party liability does not mean that the insurer can be held solidarily liable with the insured and/or the other parties found at fault.000.

000. SO ORDERED. which..901.013.00 otherwise there would result "an evident breach of the concept of solidary obligation. concur. we conclude that the liability of AFISCO based on the insurance contract is direct. the death indemnity is hereby increased to P50. petitioner therein.000. the correct amount is P192.00. the present petition is hereby GRANTED.800.800. Bidin and Davide.000 from AFISCO and the balance from Destrajo or enforce the entire judgment from Destrajo subject to reimbursement from AFISCO to the extent of the insurance coverage.00.000. 13 Upon recomputation. the creditor may enforce the entire obligation against one of the solidary debtors. but not solidary with that of Destrajo which is based on Article 2180 of the Civil Code. damage or liability arising from an unknown or contingent event.000. petitioners herein cannot validly claim that AFISCO. can not be made solidarily liable with the insured for the entire obligation of P29..00.00. What should have been clearly stressed as to leave no room for doubt was the liability of AFISCO under the explicit terms of the insurance contract.000. AFISCO's liability is only up to P20. Jr. 15 WHEREFORE.00.00 to P50. While in solidary obligations. Jr. The award of P28. premises considered. 12 As such. the insurer undertakes for a consideration to indemnify the insured against loss. can be held solidarily liable with Destrajo for the total amount of P53. under the insurance contract is liable only up to P20.The Court then proceeded to distinguish the extent of the liability and manner of enforcing the same in ordinary contracts from that of insurance contracts.00 representing loss of income is INCREASED to P192. JJ. While the petition seeks a definitive ruling only on the nature of AFISCO's liability. in an insurance contract.00 and the death indemnity of P12. whose liability under the insurance policy is also P20. it awarded P28.00. in accordance with prevailing jurisprudence. petitioners have the option either to claim the P15. Since under both the law and the insurance policy.000." Similarly.70 in accordance with the decision of the lower court. . we noticed that the lower court erred in the computation of the probable loss of income. In fine. Gutierrez." we opt to correct the same.00.000.000. Being a "plain error.00..000. the second paragraph of the dispositive portion of the decision in question may have unwittingly sown confusion among the petitioners and their counsel. 11 Thus. 14 Furthermore. Using the formula: 2/3 of (80-56) x P12.

). the Government and all persons affected by the representation had the right to rely on his declaration of ownership and registration. Manila. The circumstances material to the case are stated by the court in its decision. however. registered the vehicles in his name. the manager of the corporation.. No.G. It. Rule 123. of which defendant-appellant was merely a broker. The driver was prosecuted for homicide through reckless negligence in criminal case No.R. 50 Off. R.8561. of which he was the broker at the time of the accident. We find no merit or justice in the above contention. [10]. 1957 GAUDIOSO EREZO. . He.000 on the death of Ernesto Erezo. son of plaintiff Gaudioso Erezo. 52 Off. Gaz.000. it hit Ernesto Erezo and another. vs. 99 Phil. de Medina vs. while the same was being driven by Rodolfo Espino y Garcia. Matti and Custodio for appellees. 108. Vda. admitted that the arrangement was not known to the Motor Vehicle Office. J.1955. Defendant-appellant is the registered owner of a six by six truck bearing plate No. We already have held that the registered owner of a certificate of public convenience is liable to the public for the injuries or damages suffered by passengers or third persons caused by the operation of said vehicle. Ignacio. No.. 182. On August.: Appeal from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of Manila ordering defendant to pay plaintiff Gaudioso Erezo P3.1 G. November 18. Gaz. ET AL. Aguedo Y. The trial court held that as the defendant-appellant represented himself to be the owner of the truck and the Motor Vehicle Office. Roque vs. Against the judgment. plaintiff-appellee. and his explanation was corroborated by Policarpio Franco. Cresencia. The defendant does not deny at the time of the fatal accident the cargo truck driven by Rodolfo Espino y Garcia was registered in his name. the defendant-appellant. however. Gesolgon. defendant-appellant. (Section 68 [a]. 1949. therefore. He explained.. New Civil Code. the defendant has prosecuted this appeal claiming that at the time of the accident the relation of employer and employee between the driver and defendant- appellant was not established. it collided with a taxicab at the intersection of San Andres and Dakota Streets. As the truck went off the street.. it having been proved at the trial that the owner of the truck was the Port Brokerage. plaintiff brought this action against the registered owner of the truck. relying on his representation. The accused pleaded guilty and was sentenced to suffer imprisonment and to pay the heirs of Ernesto Erezo the sum of P3. 9. AGUEDO JEPTE. Jepte in his own behalf. TC-1253. 1431. L-9605 September 30.. and Art. 10663 of the Court of First Instance of Manila. and the former suffered injuries. even though the same had been transferred to a third person. Malibay Transit Inc. 94 Phil. As the amount of the judgment could not be enforced against him. Franco. (Montoya vs. claims that the vehicle belonged to the Port Brokerage. In previous decisions.. that the trucks of the corporation were registered in his name as a convenient arrangement so as to enable the corporation to pay the registration fee with his backpay as a pre-war government employee. 506. L. LABRADOR. held that the defendant- appellant is liable because he cannot be permitted to repudiate his own declaration. as a result of which he died.

is one of the precautions taken to reduce the danger of injury to pedestrians and other travelers from the careless management of automobiles. as amended. the trial court held the negative. responsibility therefore can be fixed on a definite individual. 3992. but that dealers in motor vehicles shall furnish the Motor Vehicles Office a report showing the name and address of each purchaser of motor vehicle during the previous month and the manufacturer's serial number and motor number. (Section 5 [c]. 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. How would the public or third persons know against whom to enforce their rights in case of subsequent transfers of the vehicles? We do not imply by this doctrine. 39 Phil. even if not used for a public service. regulating the speed and operation of machines upon the highways (2 R. Rafael and Verdaguer.The main aim of motor vehicle registration is to identify the owner so that if any accident happens. that the registered owner may not recover whatever amount he had paid by virtue of his liability to third persons from the person to whom he had actually sold. or with very scant means of identification. L. Act No. so inconvenient or prejudicial to the public. There is a presumption that the owner of the guilty vehicle is the defendant-appellant as he is the registered owner in the Motor Vehicle Office. or that any damage or injury is caused by the vehicles on the public highways. as amended) provides that no vehicle may be used or operated upon any public highway unless the same is properly registered. the registered owner. 888). as amended). 1176). should primarily be responsible to the public or to third persons for injuries caused the latter while the vehicle is being driven on the highways or streets. as in land registration cases. 3992. C. The Revised Motor Vehicle Law (Act No. 3992. that the motor vehicle registration is primarily . but to permit the use and operation of the vehicle upon any public highway (section 5 [a]. Should he not be allowed to prove the truth. conspicuously displayed.4606.). What is the legal basis for his (defendant-appellant's) liability?. assigned or conveyed the vehicle. that he had sold it to another and thus shift the responsibility for the injury to the real and actual owner? The defendant holds the affirmative of this proposition. Act. It is to forestall those circumstances. Not only are vehicles to be registered and that no motor vehicles are to be used or operated without being properly registered for the current year. It has been stated that the system of licensing and the requirement that each machine must carry a registration number. the public has the right to assume or presume that the registered owner is the actual owner thereof. and to furnish a means of ascertaining the identity of persons violating the laws and ordinances. The members of the Court are in agreement that the defendant-appellant should be held liable to plaintiff- appellee for the injuries occasioned to the latter because of the negligence of the driver even if the defendant-appellant was no longer the owner of the vehicle at the time of the damage because he had previously sold it to another. however. Registration is required not to make said registration the operative act by which ownership in vehicles is transferred. Under the same principle the registered owner of any vehicle.)The principle upon which this doctrine is based is that in dealing with vehicles registered under the Public Service Law. for it would be difficult for the public to enforce the actions that they may have for injuries caused to them by the vehicles being negligently operated if the public should be required to prove who the actual owner is. because the administrative proceeding of registration does not bear any essential relation to the contract of sale between the parties (Chinchilla vs. No.

the question that defendant-appellant poses is: should not be registered owner be allowed at the trial to prove who the actual and real owner is. A victim of recklessness on the public highways is usually without means to discover or identify the person actually causing the injury or damage. and the displayed number becomes a "snare and delusion.nêt The above policy and application of the law may appear quite harsh and would seem to conflict with truth and justice. One of the principal purposes of motor vehicles legislation is identification of the vehicle and of the operator. we hold that the registered owner. 145 S. to escape said responsibility and transfer the same to an indefinite person. it is subordinate at the last to the primary purpose of rendering it certain that the violator of the law or of the rules of safety shall not escape because of lack of means to discover him. Whatever purpose there may be in these statutes. If the policy of the law is to be enforced and carried out.) With the above policy in mind. Brenham Automobile Co. in the same action brought against him to recover for the damage or injury done. and in accordance with such proof escape or evade responsibility and lay the same on the person actually owning the vehicle? We hold with the trial court that the laws does not allow him to do so. with its aim and policy in mind. does not relieve him directly of the responsibility that the law fixes and places upon him as an incident or consequence of registration.nêt . or to one who possesses no property with which to respond financially for the damage or injury done. We do not think it is so. so that he may thereby be relieved of the responsibility to the injured person. to prove that a third person or another has become the owner.ordained. The inconvenience of the suit is no justification for relieving him of liability.1âwphïl." if courts will entertain such defenses as that put forward by appellee in this case." The purpose of the statute is thwarted. (King vs. and another is that the knowledge that means of detection are always available may act as a deterrent from lax observance of the law and of the rules of conservative and safe operation. it would be easy for him. The protection that the law aims to extend to him would become illusory were the registered owner given the opportunity to escape liability by disproving his ownership. A registered owner who has already sold or transferred a vehicle has the recourse to a third-party complaint. if they should be allowed to place a "middleman" between them and the public.. W. No responsible person or corporation could be held liable for the most outrageous acts of negligence. in case of accident. the defendant-appellant herein. 278. by collusion with others or otherwise. He has no means other than by a recourse to the registration in the Motor Vehicles Office to determine who is the owner.1âwphïl.279. Were a registered owner allowed to evade responsibility by proving who the supposed transferee or owner is. the registered owner should be allowed to prove the contrary to the prejudice of the person injured that is. the law. is primarily responsible for the damage caused to the vehicle of the plaintiff-appellee. against the vendee or transferee of the vehicle. and escape liability by the manner in which they recompense their servants. but he (defendant-appellant) has a right to be indemnified by the real or actual owner of the amount that he may be required to pay as damage for the injury caused to the plaintiff- appellant. in the interest of the determination of persons responsible for damages or injuries caused on public highways. In synthesis. said inconvenience is the price he pays for failure to comply with the registration that the law demands and requires.

Concepcion. concur. . concurs in the result. Paras. and Felix... Reyes. L. Bautista Angelo. J. B. J. Montemayor.. JJ. C.Bengzon.J..

FABIAN. [4] In her Answer. Rodel Ganelo. Caesar Santos. San Fernando. alleged as among her Affirmative Defenses that she is not the real party-in-interest and. THERESA Q. Inc. therefore. GANELO. hence. 1998. No. respectively filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Caloocan City a complaint (Civil Case No. The driver of the Franco Transit bus likewise died in the accident. INC. Catherine C. Ganelo. CARPIO MORALES. SANTOS. MA. 1998. THE COURT OF APPEALS. G. Fabian (Ma.[5] petitioner. a Franco Transit bus bearing license plate number AVC 228 collided with the rear portions of a bus and truck wrecker both owned by respondent Victory Liner.versus . (Victory Liner) which were stalled along kilometer 63. must be dismissed. 1998. Pampanga. after denying the material allegations of the Complaint. BRION. Promulgated: September 17. and Manuel Fabian. QUISUMBING.. the complaint stated no cause of action against her. JR. and Ma.. Theresa) the surviving spouses of Rodel Ganelo. and LINER. Present: . LIZA FRANCO-CRUZ.: On January 4. Chairperson. J. Victory Liner and respondents Marites M. 2008 x--------------------------------------------------x DECISION CARPIO MORALES. North Expressway. and Michael Figueroa. 172238 Petitioner. VICTORY VELASCO. Caesar Santos. On February 11.R.. C-18212). that the owner and the management of the bus involved in the case have always exercised the due . Santos. CATHERINE C. Respondents. The collision damaged both vehicles of Victory Liner and killed Manuel Fabian.[1] for damages against Maria[2] Liza Franco-Cruz (petitioner). Theresa Q. JJ. TINGA. MARITES M. alleged to be the registered owner and operator of public transportation utilities and whose bus is known as and by the name of FRANCO TRANSIT and which she has been operating prior to January 4.[3] Respondents claimed that petitioner failed to exercise the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of the driver of the Franco Transit bus. J. and MA. San Felipe.

Respondents at once started presenting evidence ex-parte. the motion was not even verified. in support of which she attached a Certificate of Registration issued on October 28. the driver of a Philippine Rabbit bus. The motion was denied.diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of their employees. alleging that. inter alia.[14] After respondents rested their case. she had meritorious defenses that included her not being the real party-in-interest as she is not the registered owner of the Franco Transit bus[9] but Felicisima R.[6] Petitioner and her counsel failed to appear during the pre-trial scheduled on June 5. [she] nevertheless failed to submit an Affidavit of Merit. 1988 in the name of Felicisima R. inter alia.[10] Petitioners Motion for Reconsideration was denied by the trial court by Order[11] of July 20. 1998. While the movant alleged that [she] has a meritorious defense which would justify the granting of [her] motion. the negligence of the driver of the Franco Transit bus resulted in the accident which the defendant [-herein petitioner] failed to .[12] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Petitioner thereafter filed an Omnibus Motion[13] alleging that it was error to declare her as in default for the declaration as in default of a defendant who fails to attend pre-trial had been eliminated in the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. 1999. Worst. 1998 in this wise: Indeed. found that. a cursory examination of the instant motion will readily show that it was filed in patent violation of the provision of the rules. 1998 despite due notice thereof. by Decision[15] dated March 30. Franco. however.[7] On June 23. and that the proximate cause of the collision was the negligence and recklessness of a third party. and petitioner was declared as in default [sic]. The Omnibus Motion was denied for failure of petitioners counsel to appear at the hearing thereon. 1998 order declaring her as in default. Franco. She thus prayed that she be allowed to participate in the proceedings and to present evidence on her affirmative defenses. albeit her counsel filed on even date an urgent motion to postpone. petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration[8] of the June 5. Branch 121 of the Caloocan City RTC.

2) To pay moral damages to the above-named plaintiffs in the amount of P100. the trial court denied the same for having been filed beyond the 15-day reglementary period.000. Theresa Q. premises considered.[21] Respecting petitioners Motion for Reconsideration of the decision. Fabian. 1999. By Order[20] dated June 25.00 to plaintiff Victory Liner.[22] . Theresas partial motion for reconsideration but clarified that the attorneys fees should be divided according to the following proportion: three-fourths (3/4) for Atty. [18] Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration [19] of the trial courts decision reiterating her plea that she is not the real party-in-interest against whom the action should be brought. the trial court denied Ma.000. Ganelo.00 each by way of actual damages and lost income to plaintiffs Marites M. disposing as follows: WHEREFORE. 4) To pay attorneys fees of P50. the defendant [-herein petitioner] totally failed to present evidence to overthrow the presumption of negligence against her pursuant to Article 2180 of the Civil Code. Franco. Fabian.000.00. operator of FRANCO TRANSIT.[17] Respondent Ma.00 and the costs of the suit. ordering her: 1) To pay P50. she again submitting the Certification of Registration of the bus in the name of Felicisima R. and lost income in the amount of P50. it having been filed only on the 18th day (May 17. Roberto A. Unciano who represented plaintiff Ma. 1999. Atilano Huaben B. together with an Official Receipt of payment as Annex A to the motion. judgment is hereby rendered against MARIA LIZA FRANCO-CRUZ.rebut and that.631. Theresa filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration and Clarification.000. Inc..[16] It thus rendered judgment in favor of respondents. moreover.00. Lim who represented three of the plaintiffs and one-fourth (1/4) for Atty. 3) To pay actual damages in the amount of P515. 1999) following the receipt by petitioners counsel of a copy of the decision on April 29. Catherine C. Theresa Q. Santos and Ma. SO ORDERED.

Testate Estate of Manuel v. however. the records show that petitioners counsel indeed received notice of the trial courts decision on April 29. Fabian which prayed for the modification and clarification of the Decision dated March 30. [25] Her Motion for Reconsideration[26] of the appellate courts Decision having been denied. 2005. The appellate court thus held that the trial courts decision had become final and executory. 1999 that the Petitioner had lost her right to appeal is a patent nullity. On petitioners appeal. 1999. 1999. As a general rule. respondent Ma. appeal. With the filing of such Partial Motion for Reconsideration by respondent Ma. the said decision did not become final. Section 1 vis--vis Rule 41.00 as to its awardees and its division. or any plain. and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. that: The ruling of the respondent Court of Appeals contained in its questioned Decision dated March 30. She filed a motion for reconsideration on May 17. petitioner had 15 days or until May 14. Theresa Q. [29] Any judgment which finally disposes of a case.[30]Petitioners remedy is. Section 3 of the Rules of Court.[23] the Court of Appeals.[35] Following Rule 37. 1999. but also jurisdictional. the requirements for perfecting an appeal within the reglementary period specified in law must be strictly followed. 1999.[34] (Underscoring supplied) In the case at bar. leaving nothing more for the court to do in respect thereto such as the judgment of the Court of Appeals dismissing petitioners appeal as she had lost the right thereto is appealable.[32] The perfection of an appeal in the manner and within the period permitted by law is thus not only mandatory. speedy. Fabian filed a Partial Motion for Reconsideration of the Decision of the lower court dated March 30.[33] Petitioner argues. dismissed the same after noting that her motion for reconsideration of the trial courts decision was filed only on the 18th day following receipt by her counsel of a copy of the decision. 1999 to file a motion for reconsideration or notice of appeal. therefore. Biascan[36] so teaches: .[27] petitioner filed the present Petition for Certiorari. which motion asserted that the lower court erred in not awarding indemnity for the death of each victims [sic] to the plaintiffs and that it failed to clarify the award of attorneys fees of P50. Theresa Q. then. by Decision[24] of September 22. thus rendering the trial courts decision as to her final and executory.[28] One of the requirements for certiorari to lie is that there is no appeal. What the respondent Court of Appeals missed is the fact that before the period to appeal or file a Motion for Reconsideration expire[d].000. not certiorari.[31] appeal not being a constitutional right but a mere statutory privilege.

Theresa within the reglementary period prevented. all of them received their copies on the same date and none filed a motion for reconsideration. [38] this Court. each party has a different period within which to appeal. In Bank of the Philippine Islands v. this Court has recognized the following exceptions to this rule: (1) where reckless or gross negligence of counsel deprives the client of due process of . but not with respect to petitioner. Therefore. Far East Molasses Corporation. held: x x x the commencement of the period to appeal x x x should x x x be reckoned x x x from the respective dates each of the parties received a copy of the decision. Ordinarily.[40] However. the trial court could not even validly entertain a motion for reconsideration after the lapse of the period for taking an appeal. her Motion for Reconsideration of the trial courts decision was filed three days after the expiration of the reglementary period for the purpose. of course. the decision from becoming final. finality of a judgment becomes a fact upon the lapse of the reglementary period of appeal if no appeal is perfected or [no] motion for reconsideration or new trial is filed. in failing to file a timely motion for reconsideration should not be taken against her. passing on Section 3. unless. In petitioners case. Rule 41 of the Rules of Court which provides that [t]he appeal shall be taken within fifteen (15) days from notice of the judgment or final order appealed from (underscoring supplied). however. the negligence of counsel binds the client. Thus. The faux pas or negligence of petitioners counsel. with respect to her.[37] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) The filing of a motion for reconsideration by respondent Ma. hence. In fact. the Court of Appeals dismissal of her appeal was in order. x x x The subsequent filing of a motion for reconsideration cannot disturb the finality of the judgment or order.[39] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Since each party has a different period within which to appeal. It is well-settled that judgments or orders become final and executory by operation of law and not by judicial declaration. the timely filing of a motion for reconsideration by one party does not interrupt the other or another partys period of appeal. The trial court need not even pronounce the finality of the order as the same becomes final by operation of law.

[49] the marriage certificate of respondent Marites Ganelo. not a real party-in-interest-ground to dismiss the complaint for lack of cause of action. hence. of course. Balajadia (Balajadia) who investigated the site of the accident right after it happened.[42] The trial court denied her motion for reconsideration of its order declaring her as in default on the ground that she failed to submit an affidavit of merit respecting her claim that she had meritorious defenses.law. for an affidavit of merit is not required to support a motion for reconsideration of an order allowing the ex-parte presentation of evidence by the plaintiff. She raised it again in her Motion for Reconsideration from the order declaring her as in default. on the part of any of the witnesses for respondents.[50] Balajadias Traffic Accident Report.[51] photographs of the damaged vehicles.[53] There was no attempt. Compounding petitioners plight is the trial courts procedural error which precluded petitioner from presenting evidence in her behalf.[44] On the merits of the case. [45] And they presented the Victory Liner bus inspector. to controvert petitioners affirmative defense that there is no cause of action against her. however. erroneous. Franco. the application of the rule would result in petitioner being held liable for the damages suffered by respondents even without them having established the basis of her liability. to which motion she in fact attached the Certificate of Registration showing that the bus was registered in the name of Felicisima R. [47] the Victory Liner maintenance foreman regarding the damage sustained by the Victory Liner vehicles.[46] SPO2 Edgardo F. [48] the death certificates of Rodel Ganelo and Caesar Santos. the defenses having already been laid down in the answer[43] as in petitioners case. Thus.[52] and the damage report showing the expenses incurred in repairing both damaged vehicles. (2) when its application will result in outright deprivation of the clients liberty or property. she . a review of the evidence for respondents shows that individual respondents took the witness stand to testify on the damages they suffered. thus depriving her of due process of law. petitioner had alleged and shown her meritorious defense by submitting the Certificate of Registration of the bus. or that something would be gained by setting aside the order declaring her as in default. which is evidence that she is not the registered owner of the bus. early on in the Affirmative Defenses segment of her Answer. This ratio is.[41] In the case at bar. Petitioner. or (3) where the interests of justice require. already disclaimed the allegation in respondents complaint that she is the registered owner of the bus.

he did not indicate in his Report. are prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated. in maintaining their cause of action against petitioner. Franco which is conclusive proof of ownership. or by a person in the performance of a duty specially enjoined by law.[57] (Underscoring supplied) Balajadias statement that the Franco Transit bus was [r]egistered under the name of Marializa Franco-Cruz of Batac. Respondents. even despite her submission of the bus Certificate of Registration in the name of Felicisima R. . who conducted a spot investigation after the occurrence of the accident. which must have been acquired by him personally or through official information.[55] wherein he stated that the Franco Transit bus was [r]egistered under the name of Marializa Franco-Cruz of Batac. 1999. Ilocos Norte. It bears emphasis that the presentation by respondents of evidence ex-parte did not relieve them of the burden of proving their claims against petitioner. however.[56] Rule 130. (Italics in the original) For the entries in Balajadias Report to qualify as prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated. or by another person specially enjoined by the law to do so. (b) that it was made by the public officer in the performance of his duties or by such other person in the performance of a duty enjoined by law.not being the registered owner of the Franco Transit bus. (Emphasis supplied) How Balajadia arrived at such statement. Neither did he pass on it when he took the witness stand on February 11. Entries in official records made in the performance of his duty by a public officer of the Philippines. 44. the following conditions must be present: x x x (a) that the entry was made by a public officer. Section 44 of the Rules of Court. and (c) that the public officer or other person had sufficient knowledge of the facts by him stated. Entries in official records. 1998 Traffic Accident Report[54] of Balajadia. Ilocos Norte was not shown. relied on the January 4. to have been based on his personal knowledge or that he had sufficient knowledge thereof acquired by him personally or officially. provides: SEC.

Indeed. asserts an affirmative issue. .Favorable relief can be granted only after the court is convinced that the facts proven by the plaintiff warrant such relief. this Court resolves to remand the case to the trial court to afford petitioner her right to due process. at the time of the accident. Civil Case No. The trial courts decision in favor of respondents must thus be set aside. the party alleging a fact has the burden of proving it and a mere allegation is not evidence. The decision of the Court of Appeals dated September 22. The plaintiff is not automatically entitled to the relief prayed for. the plaintiff was allowed to present evidence ex parte. This applies with more vigor where. C-18212 is REMANDED to Branch 121 of the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City which is hereby directed to allow petitioner to present evidence on her affirmative defenses and/or rebut respondents evidence and to allow respondents to submit additional evidence if necessary and/or they so desire. it was error for the trial court to credit respondents evidence. 2005 dismissing petitioners appeal from the decision of Branch 121 of the Caloocan City Regional Trial Court is SET ASIDE. the burden of proof rests upon the party who. SO ORDERED. in the interest of justice. the petition is GRANTED. as in the instant case. Contentions must be proved by competent evidence and reliance must be had on the strength of the partys own evidence and not upon the weakness of the opponents defense. the registered owner of the bus. The decision of the trial court is vacated. Just as it was error for it to hold that the defendant [-herein petitioner] failed 1) to rebut the evidence showing the accident was the result of the negligence of the Franco Transit bus driver and 2) to present evidence to overthrow the presumption of negligence against her pursuant to Article 2180 of the Civil Code in light of its order allowing respondents to present evidence ex-parte and denying petitioners pleas to be allowed to participate in the proceedings and present evidence on her affirmative defenses. As in other civil cases. Given the attendant facts and circumstances. as determined by the pleadings or nature of the case. WHEREFORE. The law gives the defendant some measure of protection as the plaintiff must still prove the allegations in the complaint.[58] (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Respondents having failed to discharge the onus of proving that petitioner was.

.

G. Respondent. SERENO. Upon reaching the intersection of Leon Guinto and President Quirino Streets. 174156 Petitioner. and REYES. After verifying with the Land Transportation Office. Promulgated: JOSE A.. BRION.. but Espinas was able to get its plate number. he proceeded to cross the intersection. at around 6:30 p. Espinas was driving his car along Leon Guinto Street in Manila. 1998. On November 22. SP No. are briefly summarized below. ESPINAS. Espinas learned that the owner of the other car. FILCAR TRANSPORT SERVICES. When the signal light turned green. . Espinas stopped his car. suddenly hit and bumped his car. gathered from the records. . respondent Jose A. JJ.R. with plate number UCF-545. J. No.versus . PEREZ. As a result of the impact.m. 2012 x------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x DECISION BRION. Present: CARPIO. traversing President Quirino Street and going to Roxas Boulevard.: We resolve the present petition for review on certiorari[1] filed by petitioner Filcar Transport Services (Filcar).R. J. is Filcar. Chairperson. He was already in the middle of the intersection when another car. The other car escaped from the scene of the incident. June 20. 86603. Espinas car turned clockwise. The facts of the case. challenging the decision[2] and the resolution[3] of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.

Espinas demanded that Filcar and Carmen Flor pay the amount of P97. Espinas filed a complaint for damages against Filcar and Carmen Flor before the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of Manila. In the complaint. and ordered Filcar and Carmen Flor. alleged that when the incident occurred. and P20. Flor. The MeTC ruled that Filcar. Candido Flor.00 as exemplary damages.[4] ruled in favor of Espinas. in its decision dated January 20. with interest at 6% per annum from the date the complaint was filed.910. the car was being driven by Atty. The MeTC Decision The MeTC.000. Atty. Manila. jointly and severally. Filcar denied any liability to Espinas and claimed that the incident was not due to its fault or negligence since Floresca was not its employee but that of Atty. demanding payment for the damages sustained by his car.000.[5] The RTC ruled that Filcar failed to prove that . P20. Filcar and Carmen Flor both said that they always exercised the due diligence required of a good father of a family in leasing or assigning their vehicles to third parties.00 as attorneys fees.00. Filcar argued that while it is the registered owner of the car that hit and bumped Espinas car.00 as moral damages. On seeing the dent and the crack. he was attending a birthday celebration at a nearby hotel. for his part. Atty. in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction. representing the cost of repair. Flor allegedly asked Floresca what happened. 2001. and the case was raffled to Branch 13. the husband of Carmen Flor. is primarily responsible for damages resulting from the vehicles operation. Flors personal driver. P50. affirmed the MeTC decision. to pay Espinas P97.00 as actual damages. and the driver replied that it was a result of a hit and run while the car was parked in front of Bogota on Pedro Gil Avenue. Flor.910. Timoteo Floresca. Branch 20.000. 2004. representing actual damages sustained by his car. On May 31. Filcar further stated that when the incident happened. and it was only later that night when he noticed a small dent on and the cracked signal light of the car.Espinas sent several letters to Filcar and to its President and General Manager Carmen Flor. The RTC Decision The Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila. the car was assigned to its Corporate Secretary Atty. as the registered owner of the vehicle.

Jepte. the CA cited the case . The RTC added that the victim of recklessness on the public highways is without means to discover or identify the person actually causing the injury or damage. subject to recognized exceptions.[7] The CA did not accept Filcars argument that it cannot be held liable for damages because the driver of the vehicle was not its employee.R.Floresca was not its employee as no proof was adduced that Floresca was personally hired by Atty. the Court said that the main aim of motor vehicle registration is to identify the owner. the former can be held liable under the registered owner rule. The RTC agreed with the MeTC that the registered owner of a vehicle is directly and primarily liable for the damages sustained by third persons as a consequence of the negligent or careless operation of a vehicle registered in its name. 86603. affirmed the liability of Filcar to pay Espinas damages.[6] the CA said that the rationale behind the rule is to avoid circumstances where vehicles running on public highways cause accidents or injuries to pedestrians or other vehicles without positive identification of the owner or drivers. v. through the vehicles registration. The CA relied on the rule that the registered owner of a vehicle is directly and primarily responsible to the public and to third persons while the vehicle is being operated. the CA concluded that the liability for damages cannot attach to Carmen Flor. The appellate court pointed out that. or with very scant means of identification. The CA. President and General Manager of Filcar. even assuming that there had been no employer-employee relationship between Filcar and the driver of the vehicle. Since the circumstances in the case at bar do not fall under the exceptions recognized by law. so that if a vehicle causes damage or injury to pedestrians or other vehicles. responsibility can be traced to a definite individual and that individual is the registered owner of the vehicle. however. and to hold him responsible for the damages. et al. In Erezo. the CA partly granted the petition in CA-G. Citing Erezo. the liability of a corporation is not the liability of its corporate officers because a corporate entity subject to well-recognized exceptions has a separate and distinct personality from its officers and shareholders. Thus. SP No. Flor. the only recourse is to determine the owner. The CA Decision On appeal. According to the CA. Floresca. In so ruling. is not personally liable to Espinas. it modified the RTC decision by ruling that Carmen Flor.

which provides to wit: Article 2176. is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter. Such fault or negligence. and it is on the basis of this fact that we hold Filcar primarily and directly liable to Espinas for damages. the present petition. [9] Thus. As a general rule. Filcar filed a motion for reconsideration which the CA denied in its Resolution dated July 6. is deemed the employer of the driver.of Villanueva v. one is only responsible for his own act or omission. The Issue Simply stated. . as registered owner of the motor vehicle which figured in an accident. is obliged to pay for the damage done. Floresca. injuries and deaths caused by the operation of his vehicle. may be held liable for the damages caused to Espinas. Hence. 2006. if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties. and is thus vicariously liable under Article 2176 in relation with Article 2180 of the Civil Code It is undisputed that Filcar is the registered owner of the motor vehicle which hit and caused damage to Espinas car. a person will generally be held liable only for the torts committed by himself and not by another. Domingo[8] where the Court said that the question of whether the driver was authorized by the actual owner is irrelevant in determining the primary and direct responsibility of the registered owner of a vehicle for accidents. Our Ruling The petition is without merit. there being fault or negligence. the issue for the consideration of this Court is: whether Filcar. This general rule is laid down in Article 2176 of the Civil Code. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another. as registered owner. Filcar.

Filcar contends that Article 2176. however. Although the employer is not the actual tortfeasor. of the Civil Code is inapplicable because it presupposes the existence of an employer-employee relationship. Under Article 2176. Article 2180 of the Civil Code states: Article 2180. [10] In the last paragraph of Article 2180 of the Civil Code. i.. provides for exceptions when it makes certain persons liable for the act or omission of another. the obligation to indemnify another for damage caused by ones act or omission is imposed upon the tortfeasor himself. xxxx Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks. an action predicated on an employees act or omission may be instituted against the employer who is held liable for the negligent act or omission committed by his employee. As its core defense. The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is demandable not only for ones own acts or omissions. in relation with Article 2180. even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry. of the Civil Code. the employer may invoke the defense that he observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage.Based on the above-cited article. the law makes him vicariously liable on the basis of the civil law principle of pater familias for failure to exercise due care and vigilance over the acts of ones subordinates to prevent damage to another. but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible. the person who committed the negligent act or omission. it cannot be held liable under the subject provisions because . The law. xxxx The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage.e. One exception is an employer who is made vicariously liable for the tort committed by his employee. According to Filcar. in relation with Article 2180.

In Equitable Leasing Corporation v. Tutors actual employer. Atty. in relation with Article 2180. which agreement has been overtaken by a Deed of Sale entered into by Equitable and Ecatine Corporation (Ecatine).[13] Thus. the registered owner of the motor vehicle is considered as the employer of the tortfeasor-driver. as the registered owner of the tractor. the registered owner of the motor vehicle is the employer of the negligent driver.the driver of its vehicle at the time of the accident. the registered owner is the lawful operator insofar as the public and third persons are concerned. Equitable. of the Civil Code. it is directly and primarily responsible for the consequences of its operation. Equitable argued that it cannot be held liable for damages because the tractor had already been sold to Ecatine at the time of the accident and the negligent driver was not its employee but of Ecatine. as registered owner of the tractor. Flor. the owner/operator of record is the employer of the driver. and is made primarily liable for the tort committed by the latter under Article 2176. this Court said that regardless of sales made of a motor vehicle. Thus. killing and seriously injuring several persons. is not required. Ecatine. As part of its defense. it is clear that for the purpose of holding the registered owner of the motor vehicle primarily and directly liable for damages under Article 2176. It is well settled that in case of motor vehicle mishaps. as it is understood in labor relations law. [12] The Court further stated that [i]n contemplation of law. Suyom. is not its employee but that of its Corporate Secretary.[11] we ruled that in so far as third persons are concerned. was deemed merely as an agent of Equitable. the actual operator and employer being considered as merely its agent. a tractor registered in the name of Equitable Leasing Corporation (Equitable) figured in an accident. of the Civil Code. the existence of an employer-employee relationship. Raul Tutor. Edwin Lim under a Lease Agreement. Equitable claimed that the tractor was initially leased to Mr. We cannot agree. and the actual employer is considered merely as an agent of such owner. In upholding the liability of Equitable. . was considered under the law on quasi delict to be the employer of the driver. It is sufficient to establish that Filcar is the registered owner of the motor vehicle causing damage in order that it may be held vicariously liable under Article 2180 of the Civil Code. consequently. In that case. in relation with Article 2180. Floresca.

the general public policy involved in motor vehicle registration is the protection of innocent third persons who may have no means of identifying public road malefactors and. by fixing the person held primarily and directly liable for the damages sustained by victims of road mishaps. We take note that some motor vehicles running on our roads are driven not by their registered owners. which has been discussed by this Court in Erezo. It is to forestall these circumstances.Rationale for holding the registered owner vicariously liable The rationale for the rule that a registered owner is vicariously liable for damages caused by the operation of his motor vehicle is explained by the principle behind motor vehicle registration. whether there is an employer-employee relationship between the registered owner and the driver is irrelevant in determining the liability of the registered owner who the law holds primarily and directly responsible for any accident. thereby defeating the claims of victims of road accidents. injuries and other damages. and cited by the CA in its decision: 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 caused by the vehicle on the public highways. the registered owner. or with very scant means of identification. but by employed . so inconvenient or prejudicial to the public. responsibility therefor can be fixed on a definite individual. in the interest of the determination of persons responsible for damages or injuries caused on public highways. [emphasis ours] Thus. the law ensures that relief will always be available to them. 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. To identify the person primarily and directly responsible for the damages would also prevent a situation where a registered owner of a motor vehicle can easily escape liability by passing on the blame to another who may have no means to answer for the damages caused. would find it difficult if not impossible to seek redress for damages they may sustain in accidents resulting in deaths. As explained by this Court in Erezo. injury or death caused by the operation of the vehicle in the streets and highways. that the motor vehicle registration is primarily ordained. therefore.

the agreement between Filcar and Atty. Just recently. Flor to assign the motor vehicle to the latter does not bind Espinas who was not a party to and has no knowledge of the agreement. Thus. do not have the financial means to pay for the damages caused in case of accidents. such pervasive recklessness among most drivers took the life of a professor of our state university. We are not unaware of news of road accidents involving reckless drivers victimizing our citizens.because the motor vehicle registration law. An effective administration and enforcement of the laws must be ensured to reinforce discipline among drivers and to remind owners of motor vehicles to exercise due diligence and vigilance over the acts of their drivers to prevent damage to others. We understand that the solution to the problem does not stop with legislation. Floresca. . of the Civil Code imposes an obligation upon Filcar. modified Article 2180 of the Civil Code by making these defenses unavailable to the registered owner of the motor vehicle.that the employee acts beyond the scope of his assigned task or that it exercised the due diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage .drivers who. 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code does not contain any provision on the liability of registered owners in case of motor vehicle mishaps. in relation with Article 2180. in this case. While Republic Act No. to answer for the damages caused to Espinas car. it could not escape primary liability for the damages caused to Espinas. Following our reasoning in Equitable. its Corporate Secretary. The public interest involved in this case must not be underestimated. for as long as Filcar is the registered owner of the car involved in the vehicular accident. is an employee of Filcar is irrelevant in arriving at the conclusion that Filcar is primarily and directly liable for the damages sustained by Espinas. Filcar should not be permitted to evade its liability for damages by conveniently passing on the blame to another party. Atty.[14] What is most disturbing is that our existing laws do not seem to deter these road malefactors from committing acts of recklessness. These same principles apply by analogy to the case at bar. This interpretation is consistent with the strong public policy of maintaining road safety. to a certain extent. Neither can Filcar use the defenses available under Article 2180 of the Civil Code . as registered owner. Floresca. whether the driver of the motor vehicle. Thus. Road safety is one of the most common problems that must be addressed in this country. in most instances. and whose only recourse is to the motor vehicle registration. Article 2176. Flor and his alleged driver.

thereby reinforcing the aim of the State to promote the responsible operation of motor vehicles by its citizens. the petition is DENIED. WHEREFORE. that Filcar is left without any recourse against the actual employer of the driver and the driver himself. the registered owner of the motor vehicle has a right to be indemnified by the actual employer of the driver of the amount that he may be required to pay as damages for the injury caused to another. Under the civil law principle of unjust enrichment. The set-up may be inconvenient for the registered owner of the motor vehicle. The decision dated February 16. This does not mean. 2006 and the resolution dated July 6. Costs against petitioner Filcar Transport Services. SO ORDERED. but the inconvenience cannot outweigh the more important public policy being advanced by the law in this case which is the protection of innocent persons who may be victims of reckless drivers and irresponsible motor vehicle owners. however. . 2006 of the Court of Appeals are AFFIRMED.

J. which is the registered owner. of the Regional Trial Court of Manila.000. September 5. 55474. MARISSA ENANO.R.000. 2000 Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals[2] (CA) in CA-GR CV No. the sale -.000.00 for the death of Felmarie Oledan. dated May 5. B. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendant Equitable Leasing Corporation ordering said defendant to pay to the plaintiffs the following: A.00 for the damage to the store and its contents. 95-73522. 143360. respondents. 2. Unless registered with the Land Transportation Office. the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila (Branch 14) had earlier disposed in this wise: WHEREFORE. 1997. and funeral expenses. 2002] EQUITABLE LEASING CORPORATION. especially the victims of accidents involving the said transport equipment. is hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION that the award of attorneys fees is DELETED. LUCITA SUYOM.000. Thus.: In an action based on quasi delict. is liable for the acts of the driver employed by its former lessee who has become the owner of that vehicle by virtue of an unregistered Deed of Sale.[3] On the other hand. . the sum of P50. in the present case. The assailed decision. the instant appeal is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit.does not affect third parties. No.00 for the death of Reniel Tamayo.00 as moral damages. the sum of P50. premises considered.while valid and binding between the parties -. in Civil Case No. petitioner. in spite of the fact that the vehicle may have already been the subject of an unregistered Deed of Sale in favor of another person. P56. DECISION PANGANIBAN. vs. assailing the May 12. 95-73522. and 3. petitioner. MYRNA TAMAYO and FELIX OLEDAN. The decretal portion of the Decision reads as follows: WHEREFORE. P50. the registered owner of a motor vehicle is solidarily liable for the injuries and damages caused by the negligence of the driver. TO FELIX OLEDAN 1. TO MYRNA TAMAYO 1. in Civil Case No. [G. Branch 14. Statement of the Case Before us is a Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

and Respondent Felix Oledans daughter.000. a Fuso Road Tractor driven by Raul Tutor rammed into the house cum store of Myrna Tamayo located at Pier 18. Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila. On April 15.000. Manila. the legal owner was still Equitable. Branch 12.[12] Ruling of the Court of Appeals . The sum of P5.[4] The Facts On July 17.2. 296094-SA. Branch 14. After trial on the merits. Pinned to death under the engine of the tractor were Respondent Myrna Tamayos son.[7] showing that the registered owner of the tractor was Equitable Leasing Corporation/leased to Edwin Lim.00 for the medical treatment of her two sons. TO MARISSA ENANO 1. The trial court. TO LUCITA SUYOM 1. and two sons of Respondent Lucita Suyom. not of Equitable.000. and 3.00 as actual damages D. 95-73522 in the RTC of Manila. issued an Order dropping Raul Tutor.00 as moral damages. Ecatine Corporation (Ecatine) and Equitable Leasing Corporation (Equitable) a Complaint[8] for damages docketed as Civil Case No.000.[5] Upon verification with the Land Transportation Office. Vitas. 62204139[6] and Certificate of Registration No. the RTC rendered its Decision ordering petitioner to pay actual and moral damages and attorneys fees to respondents.000. respondents were furnished a copy of Official Receipt No. Ecatine and Edwin Lim from the Complaint. Tutor was charged with and later convicted of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and multiple physical injuries in Criminal Case No. P30. P50. because they could not be located and served with summonses. respondents filed against Raul Tutor. A portion of the house was destroyed. and funeral expenses. but of Ecatine. Injured were Respondent Oledan himself.It also claimed that Tutor was an employee. Reniel Tamayo.00 as and for attorneys fees. C. 1995. 1994. in its Answer with Counterclaim. Tondo.00 for medical expenses.[11] Thus.[10] petitioner alleged that the vehicle had already been sold to Ecatine and that the former was no longer in possession and control thereof at the time of the incident. Felmarie Oledan. It held that since the Deed of Sale between petitioner and Ecatine had not been registered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO).[9] On the other hand. Respondent Marissa Enano. petitioner was liable to respondents. upon motion of plaintiffs counsel. 08262797. P7. The sum of P120.

the CA held that petitioner was still to be legally deemed the owner/operator of the tractor. for civil liability ex delicto. II Whether or not the Court of Appeals and the trial court gravely erred when they awarded moral damages to private respondents despite their failure to prove that the injuries they suffered were brought by petitioners wrongful act. it must be duly recorded in the LTO.[16] Issues In its Memorandum.[18] We are not persuaded.[15] Hence. the driver of the tractor. The reason cited by the CA was that the Certificate of Registration on file with the LTO still remained in petitioners name. Not having employed Raul Tutor. employers may be held subsidiarily liable for felonies committed by their employees in the discharge of the latters duties. 1992. for civil liability ex quasi delicto.[22] This liability attaches when the employees who are convicted of crimes . or (2) under Article 2176[20] of the Civil Code. under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code. even if that vehicle had been the subject of a Deed of Sale in favor of Ecatine on December 9. to be an agent of the registered owner/operator. Sustaining the RTC. this Petition.[17] This Courts Ruling The Petition has no merit. the driver of the vehicle. petitioner raises the following issues for the Courts consideration: I Whether or not the Court of Appeals and the trial court gravely erred when they decided and held that petitioner [was] liable for damages suffered by private respondents in an action based on quasi delict for the negligent acts of a driver who [was] not the employee of the petitioner. First Issue: Liability for Wrongful Acts Petitioner contends that it should not be held liable for the damages sustained by respondents and that arose from the negligence of the driver of the Fuso Road Tractor.[21] Furthermore. In negligence cases. [13] In order that a transfer of ownership of a motor vehicle can bind third persons. the aggrieved party may sue the negligent party under (1) Article 100[19] of the Revised Penal Code. [14] The CA likewise upheld respondents claim for moral damages against petitioner because the appellate court considered Tutor. it could not have controlled or supervised him. which it had already sold to Ecatine at the time of the accident.

[38] The Court has consistently ruled that.[35] the monthly rental for the tractor was stipulated. in the Lease Schedule. In any event.[33] Under such scheme. Jepte. The main aim of motor vehicle registration is to identify the owner so that if any accident happens. 1991. the Deed was not registered with the LTO. but is subject to the defense of due diligence in the selection and supervision of the employee. (b) fault or negligence of the defendant.[26] To sustain a claim based on quasi delict.[40] The same principle applies even if the registered owner of any vehicle does not use it for public service. responsibility therefor can be fixed on a definite individual. We hold petitioner liable for the deaths and the injuries complained of. The liability for the negligent conduct of the subordinate is direct and primary. the Lease Agreement [32] between petitioner and Edwin Lim stipulated that it is the intention of the parties to enter into a FINANCE LEASE AGREEMENT.[36] Thus.committed in the performance of their work are found to be insolvent and are thus unable to satisfy the civil liability adjudged. consequently. under Article 2176 in relation to Article 2180[24] of the Civil Code. an action predicated on quasi delict may be instituted against the employer for an employees act or omission. the registered . 1992. 1992. since the liability of the former is solidary -. the registered owner is the lawful operator insofar as the public and third persons are concerned. Lim completed the payments to cover the full price of the tractor. a Deed of Sale[37] over the tractor was executed by petitioner in favor of Ecatine represented by Edwin Lim.[29] Since these two civil liabilities are distinct and independent of each other. or that any damage or injury is caused by the vehicle on the public highways. it does not bind third persons.having failed to recover anything in the criminal case -. [42] The finance-lease agreement between Equitable on the one hand and Lim or Ecatine on the other has already been superseded by the sale. until the value of the vehicle has been fully paid by Edwin Lim. on December 9. it is directly and primarily responsible for the consequences of its operation. However. Dated June 4. After a few months. 1994.[30] In the instant case. the failure to recover in one will not necessarily preclude recovery in the other. because it was the registered owner of the tractor at the time of the accident on July 17. the following requisites must be proven: (a) damage suffered by the plaintiff.[25] The enforcement of the judgment against the employer for an action based on Article 2176 does not require the employee to be insolvent.[43] which we quote hereunder: x x x. The rationale for this rule has been aptly explained in Erezo v. and (c) connection of cause and effect between the fault or negligence of the defendant and the damage incurred by the plaintiff. [41] Since Equitable remained the registered owner of the tractor.[31] The evidence is clear that the deaths and the injuries suffered by respondents and their kins were due to the fault of the driver of the Fuso tractor. ownership of the subject tractor was to be registered in the name of petitioner. the actual operator and employer being considered as merely its agent. regardless of sales made of a motor vehicle.[34] Further.[27] These two causes of action (ex delicto or ex quasi delicto) may be availed of. subject to the caveat[28] that the offended party cannot recover damages twice for the same act or omission or under both causes. the owner/operator of record is the employer of the driver. respondents -.the latter being statutorily considered a joint tortfeasor. [39] In contemplation of law. and the term of the Lease was scheduled to expire on December 4.[23] On the other hand. based on quasi delict under Article 2176 of the Civil Code. it could not escape primary liability for the deaths and the injuries arising from the negligence of the driver.elected to file a separate civil action for damages.

1992. it definitely binds petitioner because. [46] In this case. which is engaged in the business of financing motor vehicle acquisitions. moral shock. has actually sold the truck to Ecatine.[45] First. not to impose a penalty on the wrongdoer. the registered vehicle owner. which in turn employed Tutor.[51] Although incapable of pecuniary computation. besmirched reputation. while the actual operator is deemed to be its agent. Second Issue: Moral Damages Petitioner further claims that it is not liable for moral damages. This will effectively prevent respondents from recovering their losses on the basis of the inaction or fault of petitioner in failing to register the sale. moral damages must nevertheless be somehow proportional to and in approximation of the suffering inflicted. v. the registered owner of the tractor is considered under the law to be the employer of the driver. and similar injury unjustly caused a person. if any. in FGU Insurance. the registered owner of the vehicle was not held responsible for the negligent acts of the person who rented one of its cars. the registered owner of the truck. because respondents failed to establish or show the causal connection or relation between the factual basis of their claim and their wrongful act or omission.[53] . in FGU Insurance.the employer of Raul Tutor. between petitioner and Ecatine. Court of Appeals is misplaced.[47] Thus. Ecatine. It is to forestall these circumstances. which should thus face the legal consequences thereof. 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. We held that no vinculum juris as employer and employee existed between the owner and the driver. social humiliation. serious anxiety.owner. so inconvenient or prejudicial to the public. rented out the car. We must stress that the failure of Equitable and/or Ecatine to register the sale with the LTO should not prejudice respondents. Petitioner cannot hide behind its allegation that Tutor was the employee of Ecatine. unlike them. petitioners insistence on FGU Insurance Corp. [49] Moral damages are not punitive in nature. dated 5/31/91. Equitable. because Article 2180 of the Civil Code was not applicable. is deemed as merely an agent of Equitable. fright.for purposes of the law on quasi delict -. is -. Tutors actual employer. The non-registration is the fault of petitioner. who have the legal right to rely on the legal principle that the registered vehicle owner is liable for the damages caused by the negligence of the driver. In this case. the LTO Certificate of Registration. mental anguish. While this Deed does not affect respondents in this quasi delict suit. Second. wounded feelings. that the motor vehicle registration is primarily ordained. which was engaged in a rent-a-car business. But the lease agreement between Equitable and Lim has been overtaken by the Deed of Sale on December 9.[44] Further. qualifies the name of the registered owner as EQUITABLE LEASING CORPORATION/Leased to Edwin Lim.[48] True. in the interest of the determination of persons responsible for damages or injuries caused on public highways. or with very scant means of identification. the driver of the tractor. the registered owner of the tractor.[52] This is so because moral damages are in the category of an award designed to compensate the claimant for actual injury suffered. but are designed to compensate [50] and alleviate in some way the physical suffering. it is a party to it.

.[59] Further. (Chairman). on leave. the amount of indemnity being left to the discretion of the court. the present case falls squarely within the purview of Article 2219 (2). and Carpio-Morales.. Corona.[55] Having established the liability of petitioner as the registered owner of the vehicle. JJ. Sandoval-Gutierrez.[61] The award is in fact consistent with the rule that moral damages are not intended to enrich the injured party.[58] Indeed. no proof of pecuniary loss is necessary in order that moral damages may be awarded. SO ORDERED. but to alleviate the moral suffering undergone by that party by reason of the defendants culpable action. the Petition is DENIED and the assailed Decision AFFIRMED. Puno. J. concur. the damages and injuries suffered by respondents were the proximate result of petitioners tortious act or omission.. [60] The evidence gives no ground for doubt that such discretion was properly and judiciously exercised by the trial court.[54] which provides for the payment of moral damages in cases of quasi delict. who is deemed as petitioners employee. Viewed as an action for quasi delict.[62] WHEREFORE. Costs against petitioner.[56] respondents have satisfactorily shown the existence of the factual basis for the award[57] and its causal connection to the acts of Raul Tutor.

G. 1990 at about 10:30 p. respondent. PJE-737 and Trailer Plate No.R. seeking a reversal of the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) dated December 12. (SUGECO) and driven by its employee. it was SUGECO. No.m. (SUGECO). the driver defendant-appellant Gonzaga continued on its [sic] way to its [sic] destination and did not bother to bring his victims to the hospital. no payment was made. however. the RTC rendered its Decision dated April 15. plaintiff-appellee filed the instant case on March 13. jointly and severally. (petitioner) interposed the defense that it could not be held liable for the collision. and not petitioner..]. defendant appellant Renato Gonzaga. Manager of said bank.. 2003 affirming with modification the Decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City which ordered petitioner and Renato Gonzaga (Gonzaga) to pay. then driven by Flaviano Isaac with Conrado Geronimo. 162267 July 4. Lipa City. respondent the amount of P244. a Mitsubishi Lancer car with Plate Number PHD-206 owned by United Coconut Planters Bank was traversing the Laurel Highway. the Asst.3 PCI Leasing and Finance. admitted that it was the owner of the truck in question.00 representing the insurance coverage of the damaged car. However. Inc. Barangay Balintawak.500.: Before the Court is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. The impact caused heavy damage to the Mitsubishi Lancer car resulting in an explosion of the rear part of the car. repeated demands were made by plaintiff-appellee for the payment of the aforesaid amounts.. and the CA Resolution 2 dated February 18.. The facts. The car was insured with plantiff-appellee [UCPB General Insurance Inc. was hit and bumped by an 18-wheeler Fuso Tanker Truck with Plate No.. 2008 PCI LEASING AND FINANCE. J. was not its employee. as found by the CA. INC. Gonzaga. The driver and passenger suffered physical injuries. vs. that was the actual operator of the truck. pursuant to a Contract of Lease signed by petitioner and SUGECO. petitioner. Inc. INC.6 After trial.00 plus interest. UCPB GENERAL INSURANCE CO. Plaintiff-appellee paid the assured UCPB the amount of P244. Inc. are undisputed: On October 19. As the 18-wheeler truck is registered under the name of PCI Leasing. 2004 denying petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration.5 Petitioner.500. 1999. Thus. NVM-133..7 the dispositive portion of which reads: . Inc.4 In fact. 1991. However. owned by defendants- appellants PCI Leasing & Finance.. allegedly leased to and operated by defendant-appellant Superior Gas & Equitable Co. DECISION AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. but that of its co-defendant Superior Gas & Equitable Co. since the driver of the truck.

500. 2004. petitioner appealed to the CA. to pay jointly and severally the former the following amounts: the principal amount of P244. since the said law applies only to cases involving common carriers. 1999 is hereby AFFIRMED with modification that the award of attorney's fees is hereby deleted and the rate of interest shall be six percent (6%) per annum computed from the time of the filing of the complaint in the trial court until the finality of the judgment. the interest rate shall be twelve percent (12%) per annum computed from the time the judgment becomes final and executory until it is fully satisfied.000. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of plaintiff UCPB General Insurance [respondent]. jointly and severally. the case before this Court involves a private commercial vehicle for business use. ordering the defendants PCI Leasing and Finance. premises considered. [petitioner] and Renato Gonzaga. the CA found petitioner liable for the damage caused by the collision since under the Public Service Act. herein Petition for Review. is absolved from liability by the enactment of Republic Act (R. and P20.000. with certain modifications. the grantee continues to be responsible under the franchise in relation to the operation of the vehicle. If the adjudged principal and the interest remain unpaid thereafter.10 Petitioner claims that the CA's reliance on the Public Service Act is misplaced..) No. as follows: WHEREFORE. The issues raised by petitioner are purely legal: Whether petitioner. such as damage or injury to third parties due to collisions. the CA affirmed the RTC's decision. Inc. Whether petitioner. Anent the first issue. with the driver thereof. In its Decision dated December 12. which is not offered for service to the general public. the appealed decision dated April 15. or the Financing Company Act of 1998. if the property covered by a franchise is transferred or leased to another without obtaining the requisite approval. SO ORDERED.8 Aggrieved by the decision of the trial court. SO ORDERED.00 with 12% interest as of the filing of this complaint until the same is paid. 8556.00 as costs of suit. Hence. as registered owner of a motor vehicle that figured in a quasi- delict may be held liable. in contemplation of law. In contrast.A. as a financing company. P50. 2003.00 as attorney's fees. WHEREFORE. or those which have franchises to operate as public utilities. the transfer is not binding on the Public Service Commission and.11 . for the damages caused to third parties.9 Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration which the CA denied in its Resolution dated February 18.

' The purpose of the statute is thwarted. Rafael and Verdaguer. by collusion with others or otherwise. Whatever purpose there may be in these statutes. the law. with its aim and policy in mind. 888). No responsible person or corporation could be held liable for the most outrageous acts of negligence. The principle of holding the registered owner of a vehicle liable for quasi-delicts resulting from its use is well-established in jurisprudence. but to permit the use and operation of the vehicle upon any public highway (section 5 [a]. 278. as amended. in the interest of the determination of persons responsible for damages or injuries caused on public highways. Jepte. 39 Phil. 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.12 with Justice Labrador as ponente. if they should be allowed to place a 'middleman' between them and the public. or with very scant means of identification. Erezo v.Petitioner's contention has partial merit. because the administrative proceeding of registration does not bear any essential relation to the contract of sale between the parties (Chinchilla vs. 145 S. and escape liability by the manner in which they recompense their servants. However. the registered owner. or to one who possesses no property . "'One of the principal purposes of motor vehicles legislation is identification of the vehicle and of the operator. or that any damage or injury is caused by the vehicle on the public highways. thus: Registration is required not to make said registration the operative act by which ownership in vehicles is transferred." (King vs. and another is that the knowledge that means of detection are always available may act as a deterrent from lax observance of the law and of the rules of conservative and safe operation. Act No. to escape said responsibility and transfer the same to an indefinite person. Were a registered owner allowed to evade responsibility by proving who the supposed transferee or owner is. 279. it is subordinate at the last to the primary purpose of rendering it certain that the violator of the law or of the rules of safety shall not escape because of lack of means to discover him. as in land registration cases. as indeed. and the displayed number becomes a 'snare and delusion.W. so inconvenient or prejudicial to the public.' if courts would entertain such defenses as that put forward by appellee in this case. It is to forestall these circumstances. wisely explained the reason behind this principle. and in accordance with such proof escape or evade responsibility and lay the same on the person actually owning the vehicle? We hold with the trial court that the law does not allow him to do so. responsibility therefor can be fixed on a definite individual. which makes the Public Service Act inapplicable. it would be easy for him. does not relieve him directly of the responsibility that the law fixes and places upon him as an incident or consequence of registration.) The main aim of motor vehicle registration is to identify the owner so that if any accident happens.. that the motor vehicle registration is primarily ordained. in case of accident. the vehicles involved in the case at bar are not common carriers.) With the above policy in mind. the registered owner of the vehicle driven by a negligent driver may still be held liable under applicable jurisprudence involving laws on compulsory motor vehicle registration and the liabilities of employers for quasi-delicts under the Civil Code. 3992. the question that defendant-appellant poses is: should not the registered owner be allowed at the trial to prove who the actual and real owner is. Brenham Automobile Co.

we hold that the registered owner. so that he may thereby be relieved of the responsibility to the injured person. the long-standing principle is that the registered owner of a motor vehicle is primarily and directly responsible for the consequences of its operation. A registered owner who has already sold or transferred a vehicle has the recourse to a third-party complaint. there is no good reason to depart from its tenets.19 The public has the right to conclusively presume that the registered owner is the real owner. which remained unregistered up to the time of the occurrence of the quasi- delict that gave rise to the case. A victim of recklessness on the public highways is usually without means to discover or identify the person actually causing the injury or damage. We do not think it is so. being considered as merely the owner's agent. For damage or injuries arising out of negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle. 14 Thus. the registered owner may be held civilly liable with the negligent driver either 1) subsidiarily. if the complainant seeks relief based on a quasi- delict under Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code. to prove that a third person or another has become the owner. and may sue accordingly. is primarily responsible for the damage caused to the vehicle of the plaintiff-appellee. if the aggrieved party seeks relief based on a delict or crime under Articles 100 and 103 of the Revised Penal Code. against the vendee or transferee of the vehicle. In synthesis. with the actual operator and employer. or 2) solidarily.18 This being the case.20 In the case now before the Court. even if a sale has been executed before a tortious incident. the registered owner of a motor vehicle is the employer of its driver. Since a lease. with respect to the public and all third persons. said inconvenience is the price he pays for failure to comply with the registration that the law demands and requires. He has no means other than by a recourse to the registration in the Motor Vehicles Office to determine who is the owner. that is.16 In case a separate civil action is filed. The protection that the law aims to extend to him would become illusory were the registered owner given the opportunity to escape liability by disproving his ownership. in the same action brought against him to recover for the damage or injury done. or institute it with the criminal action. the sale. but he (defendant-appellant) has a right to be indemnified by the real or actual owner of the amount that he may be required to pay as damage for the injury caused to the plaintiff-appellant. the defendant-appellant herein. If the policy of the law is to be enforced and carried out. The above policy and application of the law may appear quite harsh and would seem to conflict with truth and justice. unlike a sale. or file it separately or independently of a criminal action. but the mere use or enjoyment of property.13 The case is still good law and has been consistently cited in subsequent cases. the registered owner should not be allowed to prove the contrary to the prejudice of the person injured. The inconvenience of the suit is no justification for relieving him of liability. does not even involve a transfer of title or ownership. but a mere lease. if unregistered.17 In contemplation of law. such as a lessee. there is more . there is not even a sale of the vehicle involved. has no effect as to the right of the public and third persons to recover from the registered owner. with which to respond financially for the damage or injury done.15 his only limitation is that he cannot recover damages twice for the same act or omission of the defendant. including the negligence of the driver. It is the option of the plaintiff whether to waive completely the filing of the civil action.

8556. equipment or other property is operated by the financing company. which is to protect the unwitting public and provide it with a definite person to make accountable for losses or injuries suffered in vehicular accidents. indeed.21 This is and has always been the rationale behind compulsory motor vehicle registration under the Land Transportation and Traffic Code and similar laws. it considered a financial lease or financing lease a legal contract.23 In earlier cases. No. 22 The Court recognizes that the business of financing companies has a legitimate and commendable purpose. It is also important to emphasize that such principles apply to all vehicles in general.25 In previous cases.28 which provides: Section 12. is deemed to have absolved petitioner from liability. to wit: . appliances. otherwise known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.1avvphi1 Petitioner's argument that the enactment of R.24 though subject to the restrictions of the so-called Recto Law or Articles 1484 and 1485 of the Civil Code. not just those offered for public service or utility. No part of the law expressly repeals Section 5(a) and (e) of R. which apparently tends to favor absolving financing companies from liability for the consequences of quasi-delictual acts or omissions involving financially leased property. R. 12 to the old law. 26 Petitioner presented a lengthy discussion of the purported trend in other jurisdictions. aircraft. business and office machines. especially its addition of the new Sec. including any incidental expenses and a margin of profit over an obligatory period of not less than two (2) years during which the lessee has the right to hold and use the leased property. 8556. as amended. 8556. machinery or other property leased to a third person or entity except when the motor vehicle. which. No. and other movable or immovable property in consideration of the periodic payment by the lessee of a fixed amount of money sufficient to amortize at least seventy (70%) of the purchase price or acquisition cost. vessel.reason. notwithstanding developments in foreign jurisdictions.A. equipment.Financing companies shall not be liable for loss. however. its employees or agents at the time of the loss. aircraft. point to a seeming emancipation of financing companies from the obligation to compensate claimants for losses suffered from the operation of vehicles covered by their lease. Liability of lessors. are not applicable to petitioner and do not exonerate it from liability in the present case. The new law. as early as Erezo. has been guiding the courts in their disposition of cases involving motor vehicular incidents. These developments. equipment.) No. do not supersede or repeal the law on compulsory motor vehicle registration. vessel. at the instance of the lessee. as: [A] mode of extending credit through a non-cancelable lease contract under which the lessor purchases or acquires. in this instance to uphold the policy behind the law. . therefore. fails to convince the Court. No.A. machinery. motor vehicles.A. x x x but with no obligation or option on his part to purchase the leased property from the owner- lessor at the end of the lease contract.A. the Court adopted the statutory definition of a financial lease or financing lease. damage or injury caused by a motor vehicle. 4136.27 The petition adds that these developments have been legislated in our jurisdiction in Republic Act (R. Such. damage or injury.

or financial lease. and in the absence of such cancellation. Voluntary transactions or voluntary encumbrances shall likewise be properly recorded on the face of all outstanding copies of the certificates of registration of the vehicle concerned. no certificate of registration shall be issued without the corresponding notation of mortgage. lease. to the prejudice of innocent victims. for that matter.30 A lease such as the one involved in the instant case is an encumbrance in contemplation of law. in order to be valid against third parties must be recorded in the Bureau (now the Land Transportation Office). xxxx (e) Encumbrances of motor vehicles. Cancellation or foreclosure of such mortgages. 4136. The non-registration of the lease contract between petitioner and its lessee precludes the former from enjoying the benefits under Section 12 of R. They may resort to third-party complaints against their lessees or whoever are the actual operators of their vehicles. 8556. No. .29 There is nothing in R. attachments. 1987.A. damages.A. the rule remains the same: a sale.31 Under this policy. Thus. that is not registered with the Land Transportation Office. but the Court believes that petitioner and other companies so situated are not entirely left without recourse. 5. attachments. should not benefit the parties responsible. per Executive Order No. The failure to register a lease. in fact. Compulsory registration of motor vehicles.A. April 13. repeal by implication is frowned upon. suits.(a) All motor vehicles and trailer of any type used or operated on or upon any highway of the Philippines must be registered with the Bureau of Land Transportation (now the Land Transportation Office. there is. sale. 1987) for the current year in accordance with the provisions of this Act.Mortgages. and other encumbrances shall likewise be recorded. unless there is clear showing that the later statute is so irreconcilably inconsistent and repugnant to the existing law that they cannot be reconciled and made to stand together. . Sec. No. A contrary ruling will not serve the ends of justice. and other encumbrances of motor vehicles. which needs to be registered in order for it to bind third parties. . the evil sought to be avoided is the exacerbation of the suffering of victims of tragic vehicular accidents in not being able to identify a guilty party. claims or judgments" arising from the latter's use of the motor vehicle. This ruling may appear too severe and unpalatable to leasing and financing companies. for the latter need only to rely on the public registration of a motor vehicle as conclusive evidence of ownership. January 30. 4136 that is inconsistent and incapable of reconciliation. As a rule. x x x x (Emphasis supplied) Neither is there an implied repeal of R. attachment and/or other encumbrances. and Executive Order No. still does not bind third persons who are aggrieved in tortious incidents. 125. In the case at bar. transfer or encumbrance. No. 32 Whether petitioner would act against SUGECO based on this provision is its own option. a provision in the lease contract between petitioner and SUGECO to the effect that the latter shall indemnify and hold the former free and harmless from any "liabilities. 125-A.

2003 and Resolution dated February 18.. Reyes. concur. 2004 of the Court of Appeals are AFFIRMED. The Decision dated December 12. Nachura.The burden of registration of the lease contract is minuscule compared to the chaos that may result if registered owners or operators of vehicles are freed from such responsibility. JJ. Chairperson. . SO ORDERED. Ynares-Santiago. Chico-Nazario. WHEREFORE. the petition is DENIED. Petitioner pays the price for its failure to obey the law on compulsory registration of motor vehicles for registration is a pre-requisite for any person to even enjoy the privilege of putting a vehicle on public roads. Costs against petitioner.

At the trial.000. to pay to the plaintiff the following: 1. Aguilar was thrown upwards and smashed against the windshield of the Lancer.00 representing actual expenses incurred by the plaintiff. at around 11:15 P. The facts in this case are uncomplicated.. vs.000. 1984. DECISION QUISUMBING. reversing the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Makati. Branch 59. Borja did not file his answer within the reglementary period. which did not stop. The sum of P20.00 representing moral damages. CV No. The amount of P100. SR. Branch 59. judgment is hereby rendered ordering the defendants. The amount of P50. petitioner. of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Defendant banks counterclaim is ordered DISMISSED for lack of merit.00 representing attorneys fees. In so doing.: This petition[1] seeks to annul and set aside the decision dated October 16. had just finished their snack at the Uncle Watts Bakery along Zapote- Alabang Road. but driven by co-respondent Ferdinand G. Jr. As they crossed the road. Aguilar and Semella were then brought to the Perpetual Help Hospital at Pamplona. Petitioners counsel also showed that Borja was negligent in driving the car.900.00 representing loss of earning capacity of the deceased victim. J. the victim in a vehicular accident involving a Lancer car registered in the name of respondent bank. 3. 2. jointly and severally. NNP 349 and driven by Ferdinand Borja. Jr. Petitioner Conrado Aguilar. in its decision that reads: Premises considered. overtook a passenger jeepney. 4. respondent bank admitted that the Lancer was registered in its name at the time of the incident. a Lancer with plate no. Conrado Aguilar. is the father of Conrado Aguilar. where Aguilar was pronounced dead on arrival. . he was declared in default by the trial court. respondents. 1996.. and 5.000. hence.M. On June 14. 1985. With costs against the defendants. On September 8. COMMERCIAL SAVINGS BANK and FERDINAND BORJA. Las Pias.R. among them Nestor Semella. Sr. The amount of P18. 1991.CONRADO AGUILAR. Aguilar. and dismissing the complaint insofar as respondent Commercial Savings Bank is concerned. the trial court held defendants (herein respondents) liable for Aguilars death. 48793.. petitioner filed a complaint for damages against respondents in the Regional Trial Court of Makati. the Lancer hit Aguilar and Semella. Borja. Jr. and his companions. On July 29.

Further. Hence. and that respondent bank failed to exercise due diligence in the selection of its employees.On the cross-claim of the defendant bank.[6] He insists that the existence or absence of employer-employee relationship between the bank and Borja is immaterial in this case for the registered owner of a motor vehicle is legally liable for the damages incurred by third persons for injuries sustained in the operation of said vehicle. the negligence of the employee is presumed to be that of the employer. when the negligent employee commits the act outside the actual performance of his assigned tasks or duties. petitioner must first establish that Borja acted on the occasion or by reason of the functions entrusted to him by his employer. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial courts decision. whose liability is primary and direct. the cross-defendant Ferdinand Borja is hereby ordered to pay the cross-claimant Comsavings Bank whatever amount the latter may have paid or is required to pay to the plaintiff by virtue of this decision. The appellate court found no evidence that Borja had acted as respondent banks assistant vice-president at the time of the mishap. According to respondent bank.[4] Petitioners motion for reconsideration was denied. Petitioner states that the Court of Appeals erred when it disregarded the fact that respondent bank was the registered owner of the car and concluded that the bank was not liable since there was no iota of evidence that Borja was performing his assigned task at the time of the incident. No costs. 2180 on which private respondent anchored its claim of the banks negligence. No award of damages on said appellants counterclaim. SO ORDERED. is liable for damages. It said that before it can apply Art. The Court of Appeals found the appeal meritorious.[5] The sole issue is whether or not respondent bank. IS CONTRARY TO LAW AND EXISTING JURISPRUDENCE. COUPLED WITH THE DISMISSAL OF THE COMPLAINT AGAINST RESPONDENT COMSAVINGS. thus: WHEREFORE. under Article 2180 of the Civil Code. the employer has no vicarious liability. the bank insists that it is not liable .[2] The trial court declared that Borjas negligence. this petition where petitioner avers that: THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN FINDING THAT RESPONDENT COMSAVINGS IS NOT LIABLE FOR DAMAGES DESPITE THE ESTABLISHED FACT THAT RESPONDENT COMSAVINGS IS THE REGISTERED OWNER OF THE CAR THAT HIT AND KILLED PETITIONERS SON WHICH FINDING. 2180[3] of the Civil Code. Respondent bank appealed to the Court of Appeals. SO ORDERED. The complaint against it is DISMISSED. It also found that Borja was an assistant vice president of respondent bank at the time of the incident. It held that under Art. carelessness and imprudence caused the victims death. Respondent bank counters that the appellate courts decision is well supported by law and jurisprudence. as the Lancers registered owner. the appealed decision is reversed only insofar as defendant-appellant bank is concerned.

in case of accident. The Court held petitioner liable as the trucks registered owner. J. In that case. 103. the Court through Labrador. despite the absence of employer-employee relationship between petitioner and the driver. Jepte. As early as Erezo vs. Neither the driver nor Lino Castro was connected to petitioner. Act No.. because the administrative proceeding of registration does not bear any essential relation to the contract of sale between the parties (Chinchilla vs. 102 Phil. made clear petitioner remained legally responsible to the victim of vehicular mishap on the basis of jurisprudential dogmas. 215 SCRA 715.) With the above policy in mind. 145 S. 278. as in land registration cases. the bank concluded it was no longer the owner of the car. It goes against established jurisprudence. as amended. injuries and damages it caused. if they should be allowed to place a middleman between them and the public. Borja already bought the car on installment basis. the truck was on lease to Rock Component Philippines. 888). responsibility therefor can be fixed on a definite individual. and escape liability by the manner in which they recompense their servants. even if not for public service. Brenham Automobile Co. Court of Appeals. but to permit the use and operation of the vehicle upon any public highway (section 5 [a]. the Court per Melo. Additionally. is primarily responsible to third persons for deaths. at the time of the incident. if courts would entertain such defenses as that put forward by appellee in this case. in the interest of the determination of persons responsible for damages or injuries caused on public highways. (King vs.[7] We are. and in accordance with such proof escape or evade responsibility and lay the same on the . unimpressed by respondent banks disquisition. Hence. Rafael and Verdaguer. the registered owner. The purpose of the statute is thwarted. had synthesized the rationale for holding the registered owner of a vehicle directly liable. or that any damage or injury is caused by the vehicle on the public highways. for at the time of the incident. Whatever purpose there may be in these statutes. One of the principal purposes of motor vehicles legislation is identification of the vehicle and of the operator. It is to forestall these circumstances. There we said: Registration is required not to make said registration the operative act by which ownership in vehicles is transferred. or with very scant means of identification. Borja was driving the Lancer in his private capacity and was not performing functions in furtherance of the interest of Comsavings Bank. so inconvenient or prejudicial to the public. 3992. In BA Finance Corporation vs. No responsible person or corporation could be held liable for the most outrageous acts of negligence. and the displayed number becomes a snare and delusion.W. 279. however. Inc. petitioners Isuzu ten-wheeler truck driven by an employee of a certain Lino Castro met an accident. This is true even if the vehicle is leased to third persons. 39 Phil. the question that defendant-appellant poses is: should not the registered owner be allowed at the trial to prove who the actual and real owner is. 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.) The main aim of motor vehicle registration is to identify the owner so that if any accident happens. that the motor vehicle registration is primarily ordained. J. we had already held that the registered owner of any vehicle.since at the time of the accident. according to the bank. Though petitioner in said case had a right of reimbursement against Rock Component for the total amount of its liability. and another is that the knowledge that means of detection are always available may act as a deterrent from lax observance of the law and of the rules of conservative and safe operation. it is subordinate at the last to the primary purpose of rendering it certain that the violator of the law or of the rules of safety shall not escape because of lack of means to discover him.

according to respondent bank. The assailed decision of the Court of Appeals dated October 16. Thus far no change in jurisprudence has been brought to our attention. Branch 59 in Civil Case No. we hold that the registered owner. 1996 in CA-G. is primarily responsible for the damage caused to the vehicle of the plaintiff-appellee. it would be easy for him. For as long as the respondent bank remained the registered owner of the car involved in the vehicular accident. the defendant-appellant herein. The protection that the law aims to extend to him would become illusory were the registered owner given the opportunity to escape liability by disproving his ownership. 11231 is UPHELD. The judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Makati. the registered owner should not be allowed to prove the contrary to the prejudice of the person injured. Bellosillo (Chairman). WHEREFORE. that is.s death. Jr.R. the petition is GRANTED. is primarily liable for Aguilar. said inconvenience is the price he pays for failure to comply with the registration that the law demands and requires. Jr. 48793 is REVERSED. already bought the car at the time of the mishap. SO ORDERED.. or to one who possesses no property with which to respond financially for the damage or injury done. with its aim and policy in mind. A victim of recklessness on the public highways is usually without means to discover or identify the person actually causing the injury or damage. does not relieve him directly of the responsibility that the law fixes and places upon him as an incident or consequence of registration. . CV No. In synthesis.[8] The rationale well postulated in Erezo applies in the present case.person actually owning the vehicle? We hold with the trial court that the law does not allow him to do so. and (b) Borja had. the law. The above policy and application of the law may appear quite harsh and would seem to conflict with truth and justice. in the same action brought against him to recover for the damage or injury done. He has no means other than by a recourse to the registration in the Motor Vehicles Office to determine who is the owner. Costs against respondent bank. Buena. respondent bank. JJ. If the policy of the law is to be enforced and carried out. by collusion with others or otherwise. The inconvenience of the suit is no justification for relieving him of liability. so that he may thereby be relieved of the responsibility to the injured person. it could not escape primary liability for the death of petitioners son. The Court of Appeals erred when it concluded that the bank was not liable simply because (a) petitioner did not prove that Borja was acting as the banks vice president at the time of the accident.. In our view. to prove that a third person or another has become the owner. A registered owner who has already sold or transferred a vehicle has the recourse to a third-party complaint. We do not think it is so. but he (defendant-appellant) has a right to be indemnified by the real or actual owner of the amount that he may be required to pay as damage for the injury caused to the plaintiff- appellant. as the registered owner of the vehicle. against the vendee or transferee of the vehicle. Were a registered owner allowed to evade responsibility by proving who the supposed transferee or owner is. to escape said responsibility and transfer the same to an indefinite person. and De Leon. concur. Mendoza.

CV No. 144274. [Petitioner] Nostradamus Villanueva claimed that he was no longer the owner of the car at the time of the mishap because it was swapped with a Pajero owned by Albert Jaucian/Auto Palace Car Exchange. As a result of the impact. The original complaint was amended twice: first. the second hitting another parked car in front of it. PHK 201 91. For her part. Renato dela Cruz Ocfemia was driving with expired license and positive for alcoholic breath. are as follows: [Respondent] Priscilla R. NDW 781 91 with [co-respondent] Leandro Luis R. impleading Albert Jaucian as principal defendant doing business under the name and style of Auto Palace Car Exchange. Auto Palace Car Exchange represented by Albert Jaucian claimed that he was not the registered . PRISCILLA R. On 22 October 1991 at about 9:45 in the evening. SO ORDERED. [Petitioner] Nostradamus Villanueva was then the registered owner of a green Mitsubishi Lancer bearing Plate No. 52203 affirming in turn the decision of the trial court finding petitioner liable to respondent for damages. The dispositive portion read: WHEREFORE. Manila Assistant City Prosecutor Oscar A.[2] The facts of the case. DECISION CORONA. Hence. 2004] NOSTRADAMUS VILLANUEVA petitioner. impleading Auto Palace Car Exchange as commercial agent and/or buyer-seller and second. following a green traffic light. [respondent] Priscilla Domingos silver Lancer car with Plate No. Acido.: This is a petition to review the decision[1] of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Suddenly. Domingo is the registered owner of a silver Mitsubishi Lancer Car model 1980 bearing plate No. DOMINGO and LEANDRO LUIS R. Except for Ocfemia.R. vs. NDW 781 91 then driven by [co-respondent] Leandro Luis R. J. September 20. [G.R. DOMINGO. No. the appealed decision is hereby AFFIRMED except the award of attorneys fees including appearance fees which is DELETED. Linda Gonzales declared that her presence at the scene of the accident was upon the request of the actual owner of the Mitsubishi Lancer (PHK 201 91) [Albert Jaucian] for whom she had been working as agent/seller. NDW 781 91 hit two (2) parked vehicles at the roadside. PHK 201 91 driven by Renato Dela Cruz Ocfemia darted from Vito Cruz Street towards the South Superhighway directly into the path of NDW 781 91 thereby hitting and bumping its left front portion. as summarized by the Court of Appeals. Per Traffic Accident Report prepared by Traffic Investigator Pfc. all the defendants filed separate answers to the complaint. On the other hand. a green Mitsubishi Lancer with plate No. Domingo as authorized driver. Domingo was cruising along the middle lane of South Superhighway at moderate speed from north to south. Patrocinio N. Pascua recommended the filing of information for reckless imprudence resulting to (sic) damage to property and physical injuries. respondents.

even if not used for a public service. SO ORDERED. even if the defendant-appellant was no longer the owner of the vehicle at the time of the . should primarily be responsible to the public or to third persons for injuries caused the latter while the vehicle is being driven on the highways or streets. Albert Jaucian is hereby ordered to indemnify Nostradamus Villanueva for whatever amount the latter is hereby ordered to pay under the judgment.00 per hearing with legal interest counted from the date of judgment. The members of the Court are in agreement that the defendant-appellant should be held liable to plaintiff- appellee for the injuries occasioned to the latter because of the negligence of the driver. Jepte[7]: The principle upon which this doctrine is based is that in dealing with vehicles registered under the Public Service Law. Under the same principle the registered owner of any vehicle.00 plus appearance fees of P500.[4] The CA upheld the trial courts decision but deleted the award for appearance and attorneys fees because the justification for the grant was not stated in the body of the decision. that the registered owner may not recover whatever amount he had paid by virtue of his liability to third persons from the person to whom he had actually sold. the public has the right to assume or presume that the registered owner is the actual owner thereof. [6] The rationale behind such doctrine was explained way back in 1957 in Erezo vs.[3] After trial. moral and exemplary damages plus appearance and attorneys fees: WHEREFORE. the trial court found petitioner liable and ordered him to pay respondent actual.00 as exemplary damages and attorneys fees in the amount of P10.00 as moral damages. judgment is hereby rendered for the plaintiffs. for it would be difficult for the public to enforce the actions that they may have for injuries caused to them by the vehicles being negligently operated if the public should be required to prove who the actual owner is.owner of the car. assigned or conveyed the vehicle. Court of Appeals (supra). P25. ordering Nostradamus Villanueva to pay the amount of P99.580 as actual damages. this petition for review which raises a singular issue: MAY THE REGISTERED OWNER OF A MOTOR VEHICLE BE HELD LIABLE FOR DAMAGES ARISING FROM A VEHICULAR ACCIDENT INVOLVING HIS MOTOR VEHICLE WHILE BEING OPERATED BY THE EMPLOYEE OF ITS BUYER WITHOUT THE LATTERS CONSENT AND KNOWLEDGE?[5] Yes. P25. Thus. We have consistently ruled that the registered owner of any vehicle is directly and primarily responsible to the public and third persons while it is being operated. however.000.000.000. Moreover. Neither was Ocfemia performing a duty related to his employment. In conformity with the law on equity and in accordance with the ruling in First Malayan Lending and Finance Corporation vs. it could not be held subsidiary liable as employer of Ocfemia because the latter was off-duty as utility employee at the time of the incident. How would the public or third persons know against whom to enforce their rights in case of subsequent transfers of the vehicles? We do not imply by his doctrine.

if courts would entertain such defenses as that put forward by appellee in this case.. Rafael and Verdaguer. (Section 5(c). responsibility therefore can be fixed on a definite individual. No responsible person or corporation could be held liable for the most outrageous acts of negligence. in case of accident.W. Not only are vehicles to be registered and that no motor vehicles are to be used or operated without being properly registered for the current year. Brenham Automobile Co. And to furnish a means of ascertaining the identity of persons violating the laws and ordinances. 1176). What is the legal basis for his (defendant-appellants) liability? There is a presumption that the owner of the guilty vehicle is the defendant-appellant as he is the registered owner in the Motor Vehicles Office. The purpose of the statute is thwarted. the question that defendant-appellant poses is: should not the registered owner be allowed at the trial to prove who the actual and real owner is. regulating the speed and operation of machines upon the highways (2 R. Act No. 3992. as amended. conspicuously displayed. the trial court held the negative. as amended). 145 S. it is subordinate at the last to the primary purpose of rendering it certain that the violator of the law or of the rules of safety shall not escape because of lack of means to discover him. It has been stated that the system of licensing and the requirement that each machine must carry a registration number. 279. as amended) provides that no vehicle may be used or operated upon any public highway unless the same is property registered. and another is that the knowledge that means of detection are always available may act as a deterrent from lax observance of the law and of the rules of conservative and safe operation. if they should be allowed to pace a middleman between them and the public. but that dealers in motor vehicles shall furnish thee Motor Vehicles Office a report showing the name and address of each purchaser of motor vehicle during the previous month and the manufacturers serial number and motor number. in the interest of the determination of persons responsible for damages or injuries caused on public highways: One of the principal purposes of motor vehicles legislation is identification of the vehicle and of the operator.damage because he had previously sold it to another. or that any damage or injury is caused by the vehicle on the public highways. but to permit the use and operation of the vehicle upon any public highway (section 5 [a]. The main aim of motor vehicle registration is to identify the owner so that if any accident happens. Whatever purpose there may be in these statutes. so inconvenient or prejudicial to the public.C.) With the above policy in mind. as in land registration cases. and the displayed number becomes a share and delusion. 3992. the registered owner. because the administrative proceeding of registration does not bear any essential relation to the contract of sale between the parties (Chinchilla vs. 3992. Should he not be allowed to prove the truth. 39 Phil. that the motor vehicle registration is primarily ordained. and . 278.) Registration is required not to make said registration the operative act by which ownership in vehicles is transferred. The Revised Motor Vehicle Law (Act No. 888). 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. and escape liability by the manner in which they recompense servants. Inc. (King vs. Act No. is one of the precautions taken to reduce the danger of injury to pedestrians and other travelers from the careless management of automobiles. or with very scant means of identification.L. It is to forestall these circumstances. that he had sold it to another and thus shift the responsibility for the injury to the real and actual owner? The defendant holds the affirmative of this proposition.

He further argues that this was the underlying theory behind Duavit vs. against the vendee or transferee of the vehicle. To require the driver of the vehicle to be authorized by the actual owner before the registeredowner can be held accountable is to defeat the very purpose why motor vehicle legislations are enacted in the first place. We do not think it is so.[8] Petitioner insists that he is not liable for damages since the driver of the vehicle at the time of the accident was not an authorized driver of the new (actual) owner of the vehicle.in accordance with such proof escape or evade responsibility by and lay the same on the person actually owning the vehicle? We hold with the trial court that the law does not allow him to do so. that is. by collusion with others or otherwise. the defendant-appellant herein. injury or death caused by the operation of the vehicle in the streets and highways. In synthesis. or to one who possesses no property with which to respond financially for the damage or injury done. in the same action brought against him to recover for the damage or injury done. the driver of the vehicle must have been authorized. does not relieve him directly of the responsibility that the law fixes and places upon him as an incident or consequence of registration. is primarily responsible for the damage caused to the vehicle of the plaintiff-appellee. CA [9] implies that to hold the registered owner liable for damages. so that he may thereby be relieved of the responsibility to the injured person. CA[10] wherein the court absolved the registered owner from liability after finding that the vehicle was virtually stolen from the owners garage by a person who was neither authorized nor employed by the owner. said inconvenience is the price he pays for failure to comply with the registration that the law demands and requires. Petitioner concludes that the ruling in Duavit and not the one in First Malayan should be applicable to him. to escape said responsibility and transfer the same to an indefinite person. He claims that the ruling in First Malayan Leasing and Finance Corporation vs. the law. The protection that the law aims to extend to him would become illusory were the registered owner given the opportunity to escape liability by disproving his ownership. Whether the driver is authorized or not by the actual owner is irrelevant to determining the liability of the registered owner who the law holds primarily and directly responsible for any accident. allowed and permitted by its actual owner to operate and drive it. with its aim and policy in mind. . Petitioners argument lacks merit. Thus. The above policy and application of the law may appear quite harsh and would seem to conflict with truth and justice. If the policy of the law is to be enforced and carried out. The inconvenience of the suit is no justification for relieving him of liability. it would be easy for him. A victim of recklessness on the public highways is usually without means to discover or identify the person actually causing the injury or damage. to prove that a third person or another has become the owner. but he (defendant-appellant) has a right to be indemnified by the real or actual owner of the amount that he may be required to pay as damage for the injury caused to the plaintiff- appellant. we hold that the registered owner. He has no means other than by a recourse to the registration in the Motor Vehicles Office to determine who is the owner. A registered owner who has already sold or transferred a vehicle has the recourse to a third-party complaint. Were a registered owner allowed to evade responsibility by proving who the supposed transferee or owner is. then the registered owner cannot be held liable for damages. the registered owner should not be allowed to prove the contrary to the prejudice of the person injured. if the vehicle is driven without the knowledge and consent of the actual owner.

who could have raised the defense of theft to prove that he was not liable for the acts of his employee Ocfemia. . Langcay. The ruling in First Malayan has been reiterated in BA Finance Corporation vs. Vda. categorically admitted that he took the jeep from the garage of defendant Duavit without the consent and authority of the latter. We find no reason to deviate from these decisions. the owner/operator of record is the employer of the driver. was that the vehicle was practically stolen from his garage by Oscar Sabiano. Thus. the registered owner. It is even not necessary to prove who the actual owner of the vehicle and the employer of the driver is. the registered owner is the operator of the same with respect to the public and third persons. the vehicle was leased by another party and was driven by the lessees employee. we held the registered owner liable even if. the actual operator and employer being considered merely as his agent (MYC-Agro- Industrial Corporation vs. the Duavit ruling is not applicable to petitioners case since the circumstance of unauthorized use was not present. as claimed by the Bank. Commercial Savings Bank. the registered owner-bank answered for damages for the accident even if the vehicle was being driven by the Vice- President of the Bank in his private capacity and not as an officer of the Bank. He testified further that Duavit even filed charges against him for the theft of the jeep but which Duavit did not push through as his (Sabianos) parents apologized to Duavit on his behalf. [12] As correctly pointed out by the CA. to give effect to this policy of law as enunciated in the above cited decisions of this Court.[14] In BA Finance. the registered and the actual owner was one and the same person. in this case. Thus. was held liable for damages arising from the accident even if the vehicle involved was already owned by another party: This Court has consistently ruled that regardless of who the actual owner is of a motor vehicle might be. 105 Phil. at the time of the accident. Aquino. de Caldo. in Duavit. He in fact voluntarily delivered his car to Albert Jaucian as part of the downpayment for a vehicle he purchased from Jaucian. there is no reason to apply the Duavit ruling to this case. Furthermore. [11] Contrary to petitioners position. in contemplation of law. the father of the driver is the actual owner and that he is the actual employer. as regards the public and third person. following the well-settled principle that the operator of record continues to be the operator of the vehicle in contemplation of law. In contemplation of law. Granting that. First Malayan Corporation. Gilberto Duavit. It was the latter. there is nothing in First Malayan which even remotely suggests that the driver must be authorized before the registered owner can be held accountable. CA[13] and more recently in Aguilar. of the driver. In Aguilar. Besides. we must hold and consider such owner-operator of record as the employer. in his testimony. we must now extend the same and consider the actual operator and employer as the agent of the operator of record. the First Malayan ruling is applicable to him since the case involves the same set of facts ― the registered owner had previously sold the vehicle to someone else and was being driven by an employee of the new (actual) owner. and as such. In First Malayan. and as such is responsible for the consequences incident to its operation. vs. 6 SCRA 174. the defense of the registered owner. Duavit is inapplicable since the vehicle there was not transferred to another. as affirmed by the latter: Defendant Sabiano. 132 SCRA 10. We believe that it is immaterial whether or not the driver was actually employed by the operator of record. Tamayo vs. citing Vargas vs. Sr. And. 949). directly and primarily responsible for the consequences of its operation. he could not claim that the vehicle was stolen from him since he voluntarily ceded possession thereof to Jaucian. as the new (actual) owner.

JJ. damage or injury caused by the vehicle. the petition is hereby DENIED.. Easy identification prevents inconvenience and prejudice to a third party injured by one who is unknown or unidentified. . WHEREFORE. on leave. the issue of whether or not the driver of the vehicle during the accident was authorized is not at all relevant to determining the liability of the registered owner.. Finally. This must be so if we are to comply with the rationale and principle behind the registration requirement under the motor vehicle law. 2000 decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED. SO ORDERED. The main purpose of vehicle registration is the easy identification of the owner who can be held responsible for any accident. J. Carpio-Morales. The January 26. concur. Panganiban (Chairman) and Sandoval-Gutierrez. To allow a registered owner to escape liability by claiming that the driver was not authorized by the new (actual) owner results in the public detriment the law seeks to avoid.

GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. after passing the center thereof. instead of P6. J. turned suddenly and unexpectedly and long before reaching the center of the street. the plaintiff was so severely injured that.000 as claimed in the complaint. defendant-appellant. into the right side of Taft Avenue. Saleeby. the General Hospital ambulance. riding on a motorcycle.741. L-11154 March 21. together with the costs of the cause. was going toward the western part of Calle Padre Faura.: This is an appeal by both parties from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila in favor of the plaintiff for the sum of P14.741.000 as claimed by plaintiff in his complaint. Attorney-General Avanceña for defendant. At ten o'clock of the night in question. (b) in holding that the Government of the Philippine Islands is liable for the damages sustained by the plaintiff as a result of the collision. according to Dr. without having sounded any whistle or horn. upon reaching said avenue. plaintiff-appellant. which was the time set for performing the operation." and (2) "in limiting the time when plaintiff was entirely disabled to two months and twenty-one days and fixing the damage accordingly in the sum of P2. By reason of the resulting collision. MERRITT. are as follows: It is a fact not disputed by counsel for the defendant that when the plaintiff.G. a would in the same place and in the back part of his head. and (c) in rendering judgment against the defendant for the sum of P14. his pulse was so weak . 1916 E. while blood issued from his nose and he was entirely unconscious. The marks revealed that he had one or more fractures of the skull and that the grey matter and brain was had suffered material injury.R. No." The Attorney-General on behalf of the defendant urges that the trial court erred: (a) in finding that the collision between the plaintiff's motorcycle and the ambulance of the General Hospital was due to the negligence of the chauffeur. vs. so that it would be on the left side of said avenue. which are fully supported by the record. Crossfield and O'Brien for plaintiff. who was already six feet from the southwestern point or from the post place there. passing along the west side thereof at a speed of ten to twelve miles an hour. TRENT. by which movement it struck the plaintiff. The trial court's findings of fact.666. who examined him on the very same day that he was taken to the General Hospital. upon crossing Taft Avenue and when he was ten feet from the southwestern intersection of said streets. instead of turning toward the south. instead of P25. he was suffering from a depression in the left parietal region. even if it be true that the collision was due to the negligence of the chauffeur.000. Counsel for the plaintiff insist that the trial court erred (1) "in limiting the general damages which the plaintiff suffered to P5.. as is prescribed by the ordinance and the Motor Vehicle Act.

which the plaintiff was actually confined in the hospital. that the plaintiff's services as a contractor were worth P1. In this we think there was error. however. without any fault on his part. The two items which constitute a part of the P14. as he had before done.741 and which are drawn in question by the plaintiff are (a) P5. the inquiry at once arises whether the Government is legally-liable for the damages resulting therefrom. he could no longer. The court. and the trial court so found. for he had lost the agility. We. and so irregular that. and he had to give up a contract he had for the construction of the Uy Chaco building. and (b) the P2. This latter weakness was always noticed when the plaintiff had to do any difficult mental labor. According to the various merchants who testified as witnesses. . he had to dissolved the partnership he had formed with the engineer. the record shows. because it was clearly established that the plaintiff was wholly incapacitated for a period of six months. climb up ladders and scaffoldings to reach the highest parts of the building. As to the second. energy. because he was incapacitated from making mathematical calculations on account of the condition of his leg and of his mental faculties. At another examination six days before the day of the trial.075. Dr. As the negligence which caused the collision is a tort committed by an agent or employee of the Government. Wilson. As a consequence of the loss the plaintiff suffered in the efficiency of his work as a contractor. for which reason it was of the most serious nature." We may say at the outset that we are in full accord with the trial court to the effect that the collision between the plaintiff's motorcycle and the ambulance of the General Hospital was due solely to the negligence of the chauffeur. and that after having received the injuries that have been discussed. The patient apparently was slightly deaf. and ability that he had constantly displayed before the accident as one of the best constructors of wooden buildings and he could not now earn even a half of the income that he had secured for his work because he had lost 50 per cent of his efficiency. there was little hope that he would live. is P18. Examination of his head revealed a notable readjustment of the functions of the brain and nerves. his physical condition had undergone a noticeable depreciation. His right leg was broken in such a way that the fracture extended to the outer skin in such manner that it might be regarded as double and the would be exposed to infection. in his opinion. had a light weakness in his eyes and in his mental condition.000 per month. As a contractor.666. the plaintiff's mental and physical condition prior to the accident was excellent. The mere fact that he remained in the hospital only two months and twenty-one days while the remainder of the six months was spent in his home. Saleeby noticed that the plaintiff's leg showed a contraction of an inch and a half and a curvature that made his leg very weak and painful at the point of the fracture. find that the amount of damages sustained by the plaintiff. especially when he attempted to use his money for mathematical calculations. therefore. the award awarded for permanent injuries. the amount allowed for the loss of wages during the time the plaintiff was incapacitated from pursuing his occupation. We find nothing in the record which would justify us in increasing the amount of the first.000. would not prevent recovery for the whole time. limited the time to two months and twenty-one days.

to which Mr. if any. The plaintiff was authorized to bring this action against the Government "in order to fix the responsibility for the collision between his motorcycle and the ambulance of the General Hospital and to determine the amount of the damages. and to determine the amount of the damages. . All admit that the Insular Government (the defendant) cannot be sued by an individual without its consent. The Act was passed "in order that said questions may be decided. E. SEC. that: SECTION 1. Did the defendant. Merritt is entitled on account of said collision. for damages resulting from a collision between his motorcycle and the ambulance of the General Hospital on March twenty-fifth. and we have also fixed the amount of . simply waive its immunity from suit or did it also concede its liability to the plaintiff? If only the former. and render judgment accordingly." These were the two questions submitted to the court for determination. if any. Merritt to bring suit in the courts against the Government. It is also admitted that the instant case is one against the Government. Merritt. be it enacted by the Philippine Legislature. E. to which Mr. it is our duty to look carefully into the terms of the consent. This Act shall take effect on its passage. then it cannot be held that the Act created any new cause of action in favor of the plaintiff or extended the defendant's liability to any case not previously recognized. to which the claimant is entitled. who was at the time an employee of the defendant. Enacted." We have "decided" that the accident was due solely to the negligence of the chauffeur.Act No. . in order that said questions may be decided: Now. E. nineteen hundred and thirteen. Whereas it is not known who is responsible for the accident nor is it possible to determine the amount of damages. Whereas a claim has been filed against the Government of the Philippine Islands by Mr. As the consent of the Government to be sued by the plaintiff was entirely voluntary on its part. February 3. effective February 3. By authority of the United States. 2. E. Merritt is hereby authorized to bring suit in the Court of First Instance of the city of Manila against the Government of the Philippine Islands in order to fix the responsibility for the collision between his motorcycle and the ambulance of the General Hospital. 1915. and the Attorney-General of the Philippine Islands is hereby authorized and directed to appear at the trial on the behalf of the Government of said Islands. . reads: An Act authorizing E. Merritt to bring suit against the Government of the Philippine Islands and authorizing the Attorney-General of said Islands to appear in said suit. 1915. in enacting the above quoted Act. Merritt is entitled on account of said collision. if any. . to defendant said Government at the same. and Whereas the Director of Public Works and the Attorney-General recommended that an Act be passed by the Legislature authorizing Mr. E. therefore. 2457. of Manila.

Clodfelter vs. and the mill property of Evan Humphrey at the lower end of Nagawicka Lake. Ed. Authority is hereby given to George Apfelbacher. Story on Agency. 51. or extend its liability to any cause not previously recognized. 93 Cal. 43 Am. 86 N. Bourn vs. is well settled. Chapman vs. 8 Wall. a state institution created by the legislature for the purpose of improving agricultural and kindred industries... 53. except when expressly made so by legislative enactment." says Justice Story. thus: By consenting to be sued a state simply waives its immunity from suit. Does the Act authorize us to hold that the Government is legally liable for that amount? If not. which would be subversive of the public interest." we may look to the decisions of the high courts of that country for aid in determining the purpose and scope of Act No. 103 Minn. 29. if it exists.. 41 Am.. 199. or unauthorized exercise of powers by its officers or agents. The Government of the Philippine Islands having been "modeled after the Federal and State Governments in the United States. citing U. 690. to disseminate information calculated to educate and benefit the industrial classes. 491. State. Rep. 16). 144. 6 L. 915. 27 Am." (Claussen vs. State.. St. 15 L. 20 How. Rep. and Beers vs. the fish hatchery of the State of Wisconsin on the Bark River. 104 Cal. of the town of Summit. subject to its right to interpose any lawful defense.damages sustained by the plaintiff as a result of the collision.. 319. In Apfelbacher vs. U. to bring suit in such court or courts and in such form or forms as he may be advised for the purpose of settling and determining all controversies which he may now have with the State of Wisconsin. 203. (Citing Gibbons vs..) As to the scope of legislative enactments permitting individuals to sue the state where the cause of action arises out of either fort or contract. vs. S. by reason of the misfeasance. or its duly authorized officers and agents.. 720. City of Luverne. sec. the plaintiff sought to recover damages from the state for personal injuries received on account of the negligence of the state officers at the state fair. advanced sheets).) In the case of Melvin vs..... Rep. laches. 269. Ed. It merely gives a remedy to enforce a preexisting liability and submits itself to the jurisdiction of the court. or create any cause of action in his favor. 527. and relative to . 1915. relative to the mill property of said George Apfelbacher. 73 Cal. State. the rule is stated in 36 Cyc. difficulties and losses. Kirkpatrick. C. Wisconsin. decided April 16. being objects similar to those sought by the public school system. which authorized the bringing of this suit... St. Green vs. S. It does not thereby concede its liability to plaintiff. 2457. and to advance by such means the material interests of the state. the court said: No claim arises against any government is favor of an individual. W. since that would involve it in all its operations in endless embarrassments. we must look elsewhere for such authority. the Act of 1913.. read: SECTION 1. States. 321. "does not undertake to guarantee to any person the fidelity of the officers or agents whom it employs. Hart. State (121 Cal. 158.. 9 Wheat. In the United States the rule that the state is not liable for the torts committed by its officers or agents whom it employs. Waukesha County. 440. 991. In passing upon the question of the state's liability for the negligent acts of its officers or agents. "The Government. State (152 N.

A. or that the amount of damages is the only question to be settled. vs. And the court said: This statute has been considered by this court in at least two cases. It is difficult to see how the act does. 854. 28). (Chapman vs. The act opened the door of the court to the plaintiff. State. The rules of practice in civil cases shall apply to such suits.. and prosecute the same to final judgment. State. State (99 N. the provisions of the Act of 1893. in Murdock Grate Co. where the board of the canal claims had. 104 Cal. Nowhere in the act is there a whisper or suggestion that the court or courts in the disposition of the suit shall depart from well established principles of law. In Sipple vs. or was intended to do. vs. 399. all in the county of Waukesha.) In Denning vs." with an exception not necessary to be here mentioned.. but would have done so in express terms.. 690. by the terms of the statute of New York. relied upon and considered.. Rep.. 121 Cal. Commonwealth. St.E. 316). Y. In construing this statute the court. 152 Mass. State (123 Cal. more than remove the state's immunity from suit. are as follows: All persons who have. but only an intention to provide a judicial tribunal where well recognized existing liabilities can be adjudicated. but left the suit just where it would be in the absence of the state's immunity from suit. and in both it was held that said statute did not create any liability or cause of action against the state where none existed before.. said: The statute we are discussing disclose no intention to create against the state a new and heretofore unrecognized class of liabilities. the court said: Plaintiff claims that by the enactment of this law the legislature admitted liability on the part of the state for the acts of its officers. 24 N. 284).. R.) A statute of Massachusetts enacted in 1887 gave to the superior court "jurisdiction of all claims against the commonwealth. Commonwealth (152 Mass. except as herein otherwise provided. whether at law or in equity. on the terms and conditions herein contained. it would not have left so important a matter to mere inference. It did not pass upon the question of liability. the use of the waters of said Bark River and Nagawicka Lake. and that the suit now stands just as it would stand between private parties. Melvin vs. but merely gave an additional remedy to enforce such liability as would have existed if the statute had not been enacted. jurisdiction of claims for damages for injuries in the management .. Wisconsin. In determining the scope of this act. to bring suit thereon against the state in any of the courts of this state of competent jurisdiction. arising under different facts. 43 Am. are hereby authorized. 16. (Murdock Grate Co. If the Legislature had intended to change the rule that obtained in this state so long and to declare liability on the part of the state. claims on contract or for negligence against the state not allowed by the state board of examiners. It simply gives authority to commence suit for the purpose of settling plaintiff's controversies with the estate.. 8 L. 28. 158. or shall hereafter have.

and among these persons. as held in the last paragraph of article 1903. is not responsible for the damages suffered by private individuals in consequence of acts performed by its employees in the discharge of the functions pertaining to their office. Chief Justice Ruger remarks: "It must be conceded that the state can be made liable for injuries arising from the negligence of its agents or servants. where the general principle is laid down that where a person who by an act or omission causes damage to another through fault or negligence. which is the original basis of this kind of objections. responsibility for acts of third persons ceases when the persons mentioned in said article prove that they employed all the diligence of a good father of a family to avoid the damage. on that the person obligated. 24. because. takes part in the act or omission of the third party who caused the damage. only by force of some positive statute assuming such liability. Paragraph 5 of article 1903 of the Civil Code reads: The state is liable in this sense when it acts through a special agent. January 7. Civ. because neither fault nor even negligence can be presumed on the part of the state in the organization of branches of public service and in the appointment of its agents. and employees. no relations of a private nature governed by the civil law can arise except in a case where the state acts as a judicial person capable of acquiring rights and contracting obligations. No. regulates the obligations which arise out of fault or negligence. we will now examine the substantive law touching the defendant's liability for the negligent acts of its officers. by his own fault or negligence.. the following articles refers to this persons and imposes an identical obligation upon those who maintain fixed relations of authority and superiority over the authors of the damage. reference is made to acts or omissions of the persons who directly or indirectly cause the damage. but not when the damage should have been caused by the official to whom properly it pertained to do the act performed. on the contrary. the fault or negligence. the state. 83 Jur. The supreme court of Spain in defining the scope of this paragraph said: That the obligation to indemnify for damages which a third person causes to another by his fault or negligence is based. (Supreme Court of Spain. by virtue of such provisions of law. 1898.of the canals such as the plaintiff had sustained. but not always. . and whereas in the first article thereof. Partida 7. in addition to the mother or the father in a proper case. 1902. 2457 does not operate to extend the Government's liability to any cause not previously recognized. except when it acts through the agency of a special agent. because the law presumes that in consequence of such relations the evil caused by their own fault or negligence is imputable to them. in which case the provisions of the preceding article shall be applicable. however.) That the Civil Code in chapter 2. as is evidenced by the same Law 3. Between these latter and the state. doubtless because and only in this case. This legal presumption gives way to proof. shall be obliged to repair the damage so done. are found." It being quite clear that Act No. must be presumed to lie with the state. called upon to answer in a direct and not a subsidiary manner. book 4. Title 15. we must presuppose all foresight humanly possible on its part in order that each branch of service serves the general weal an that of private persons interested in its operation. agents. guardians and owners or directors of an establishment or enterprise. title 16. therefore. It follows therefrom that the state.

concur.. . and that the chauffeur of the ambulance of the General Hospital was not such an agent. in the sense in which these words are employed. 98 Jur. is one who receives a definite and fixed order or commission. Consequently. JJ. 389. evidence that the State (the Government of the Philippine Islands) is only liable. the responsibility of the state is limited to that which it contracts through a special agent. 1904." (Supreme Court of Spain. acting in the exercise of his powers. Whether the Government intends to make itself legally liable for the amount of damages above set forth. we are not called upon to determine. foreign to the exercise of the duties of his office if he is a special official) so that in representation of the state and being bound to act as an agent thereof. without costs in this instance.) That according to paragraph 5 of article 1903 of the Civil Code and the principle laid down in a decision. and not where the claim is based on acts or omissions imputable to a public official charged with some administrative or technical office who can be held to the proper responsibility in the manner laid down by the law of civil responsibility. July 30. For the foregoing reasons. has by erroneous interpretation infringed the provisions of articles 1902 and 1903 of the Civil Code. 122 Jur. Civ. supra.) It is. yet said article is not applicable in the case of damages said to have been occasioned to the petitioners by an executive official. Johnson. which the plaintiff has sustained by reason of the negligent acts of one of its employees. the trial court in not so deciding and in sentencing the said entity to the payment of damages. by legislative enactment and by appropriating sufficient funds therefor. for the acts of its agents. Civ. in proceedings to enforce the collections of certain property taxes owing by the owner of the property which they hold in sublease. officers and employees when they act as special agents within the meaning of paragraph 5 of article 1903. This matter rests solely with the Legislature and not with the courts. duly empowered by a definite order or commission to perform some act or charged with some definite purpose which gives rise to the claim. according to the above quoted decisions of the Supreme Court of Spain. Torres. the judgment appealed from must be reversed. May 18. 1911. That although in some cases the state might by virtue of the general principle set forth in article 1902 respond for all the damage that is occasioned to private parties by orders or resolutions which by fault or negligence are made by branches of the central administration acting in the name and representation of the state itself and as an external expression of its sovereignty in the exercise of its executive powers.. Arellano. (Supreme Court of Spain. C. 390. in a damage case. he executes the trust confided to him. among others. This concept does not apply to any executive agent who is an employee of the acting administration and who on his own responsibility performs the functions which are inherent in and naturally pertain to his office and which are regulated by law and the regulations. therefore. That the responsibility of the state is limited by article 1903 to the case wherein it acts through a special agent(and a special agent. of the 18th of May.. 1904.. J. 146. and Moreland. caused by an official of the second class referred to.

Ordering the defendants jointly and severally to pay the plaintiff P436. Ordering the defendants jointly and severally to pay exemplary damages in the amount of P50.511. (PNR) coming from San Fernando. Rollo.03 as reimbursement for the damages paid by the plaintiff to death.52 as actual damages. through the Fourth Civil Cases Division (Sison. which was on its way to Hagonoy. Bulacan at about 1:30 in the afternoon . respondents. p. 70547 January 22. Leopoldo Sta. 000.). Ordering the dismissal of the defendants' counterclaim for lack of factual and legal basis. jointly and severally to pay the plaintiff the amount of P179. Bulacan. JJ.642. 3. Bidin (P). Ordering the defendants jointly and severally to pay the plaintiff attorney's fees in the amount of P5. from Manila. Ordering the defendants to pay the cost of this suit. 1974. bound for Manila from La Union. Calumpit. Bulacan on August l0. 000.) Culled from the text of the assailed disposition are the facts of the case at bar which are hereunder adopted verbatim: The case arose from a collision of a passenger express train of defendant Philippine National Railways. vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT. but upon reaching the railroad crossing at Barrio Balungao.G. (p. The Solicitor General for petitioner. Ordering the defendants. MELO.. No.: The imputation of culpa on the part of herein petitioners as a result of the collision between its strain. INC. and BALIWAG TRANSIT. is the subject of the petition at bar directed against the judgment of affirmance rendered by respondent court. 1993 PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RAILWAYS and HONORIO CABARDO.R. 1974 until fully paid. 7.00. with a Baliwag transit bus at the railroad crossing on the road going to Hagonoy. vis-a-vis the decretal portion handed down by the court of origin in: 1. 5. Record on Appeal. 101. Ordering the defendants. 6. petitioners.00 to the plaintiff. Inc. J. Veloso. 4. Maria for private respondents. 2. injury and damage claimants. 103. jointly and severally to pay the plaintiff interest at the legal rate on the above amounts due the plaintiff from August 10. La Union and bound for Manila and a passenger bus of Baliwag Transit.

Bulacan. and signal lights that . imprudence and lack of foresight of plaintiff's bus driver. 1974. Bulacan was under construction. 1976. At the pre-trial conference held on June 23. Bulacan at about 1:30 o'clock in the afternoon. Bulacan. at about 1:20 o'clock in the afternoon. 1976. 1974. La Union and Manila particularly Passenger Express Train with Body No. said passenger train No. Quezon City. 3. semaphores. 73 hit and bumped the right mid portion of the plaintiff's passenger bus No. the parties agreed on a partial stipulation of facts and issues which as amplified at the continuation of the pre-trial conference. on July 12. La Union from Manila and return. 1066. Romeo Hughes. l974 passing thru the town of Calumpit Bulacan. are as follows: 1 That plaintiff is a duly constituted corporation registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission engaged in the business of transportation and operating public utility buses for the public with lines covering Manila. 4. Calumpit. Rizal. Bulacan. Bulacan and return in the month of August. 741. while the rear portion of said bus was at the railroad track and its direction was towards Hagonoy. Pampanga and Nueva Ecija. in going to San Fernando.of August 10. That on August 10. and is likewise engaged in transporting passengers and cargoes by trains and buses and that. 73 was operated by Train Engineer Honorio Cabardo alias Honorio Cirbado and at the railroad intersection at Barrio Balungao. XS-929 PUB-Bulacan '74 was driven by its authorized driver Romeo Hughes and PNR Train No. and particularly from Manila to Hagonoy. Plaintiff alleging that the proximate cause of the collision was the negligence and imprudence of defendant PNR and its locomotive engineer. passing along the intersection of Barrio Balungao. temporarily while the bridge at Hagonoy. semaphores. in operating its passenger train in a busy intersection without any bars. Caloocan City. 1066 and Plate No. a Baliuag Transit Bus with Body No. eighteen (18) of whom died and fifty-three (53) others suffered physical injuries. signal lights. flagman or switchman to warn the public of approaching train that would pass through the crossing. Malabon. Calumpit. with capacity to sue and be sued. Honorio Cirbado. The defendants. 2 That defendant Philippine National Railways is a purely government owned and controlled corporation duly registered and existing virtue of Presidential Decree No. 73. That at the time of the collision there was a slight rainfall in the vicinity of the scene of the accident and that there was at said intersection no bars. filed the instant action for Damages against defendants. it operates a train line between San Fernando. got stalled and was hit by defendant's express train causing damages to plaintiff's bus and its passengers. in their Answer traversed the material allegation of the Complaint and as affirmative defense alleged that the collision was caused by the negligence.

1066 driven by Romeo Hughes was damaged and eighteen (18) of its passengers died and the rest who were more than fifty three (53) passengers suffered physical injuries. 6. Bulacan. the Baliuag Transit Bus with Body No. That immediately after the said accident Major Manuel A. Chief of the Municipal Police of Calumpit. That at the railroad crossing in Calumpit. while the train Engineer Honorio Cabardo alias Honorio Cirbado was not included as an accused in said case. 73 driven by Train Engineer Honorio Cabardo alias Honorio Cirbado stopped after passing the railroad crossing at a distance of about 50 meters from the said intersection after the collision on August. 73 was the one that hit and bumped the right rear portion of the said bus. driver of the Baliuag Transit bus docketed under Crim. 1974. 5. Case No.M. 2392. Bulacan.M.M. 10. Bulacan. 7. during the pre-war days there was a railroad crossing bar at said intersection. La Union was 9:00 A. La Union and back. Bulacan and that after the said railroad track there was a designated jeep parking area at the right side in the direction from the Highway to Hagonoy Bulacan. Bulacan where the accident took place there is no railroad crossing bar. Bulacan was 1:41 P. That on account of said collision.would warn the public of the approaching train that was about to pass through the intersection and likewise there was no warning devices to passing trains showing that they were about to pass an intersection in going to Manila from San Fernando. together with some of his policemen conducted an investigation of the accident. Look and Listen" placed on a concrete slab and attached to a concrete post existing at the approach of the railroad track from the Highway going towards Hagonoy. SIMPLIFICATION OF ISSUES . however. Macam. That after the investigation the Chief of Police of Calumpit. 73 in Manila was 2:41 P. 9. that. although his train No. with no stop at Calumpit. and its expected arrival at Calumpit. That the train No. 8. That the expected time of arrival of said Train No. and its departure time from San Fernando. there was only one sign of railroad crossing "Stop. however. filed a criminal case of Reckless Imprudence Causing Multiple Homicide with Multiple Physical Injuries and Damage to Property against Romeo Hughes y Parfan.

specifically Exhibits 2. 85-87. train Engineer of the Philippine National Railways was negligent in the operation of their respective vehicles. Record on Appeal). That the principal issue in the instant case is who between the driver Romeo Hughes of Baliuag Transit. 18 and 19. 16. 42 Phil. that likewise which of said companies was negligent at said railroad intersection. before crossing the railtrack. that it is incumbent upon him to take the necessary precautions at the intersection because the railroad track is in itself a warning. at most they be taken as proof only of the fact that statements of said persons were taken and that investigation was conducted of the incident. and listen" at the intersection. the Court is at a loss as to why the persons who gave the said statements were not presented as witnesses during the trial of the case.G. 144). ( Annex A. otherwise known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code for failure to "stop. Rollo) In addition.S. Note that he first noticed the bus when it was only 15 meters away from him. 79- 82. that the bus driver was in fact violating Section 42(d) of R. respondent court deemed it necessary to reflect the salient findings of the case for damages as formulated by the trial court: Posed for resolution are the following issues: Who between the driver Romeo Hughes of the Baliuag Transit Incorporated and Honorio Cabardo. 5. (pp. That another additional issue is whether the Baliuag Transit Incorporated has exercised the diligence of a good father of the family in the selection and supervision of its employees. Defendants endeavored to show that the proximate and immediate cause of the collision was the negligence of the bus driver because the driver did not make a stop before ascending the railtrack. 13. the statements are hearsay evidence (Azcueta v. and the bus driver ignored such a warning and must assume the responsibility for the result of the motion taken by him (U. Petition. . or whether or both were negligent? Could either of the companies Baliuag Transit Incorporated and the Philippine National Railways be held accountable for the collision because of negligence? The defendants presented several statements or affidavits of alleged witnesses to the collision. 17. he could not have possibly noticed the position of the bus before negotiating the track. 15. Incorporated and the train engineer Honorio Cabardo alias Honorio Cirbado of the Philippine National Railways was negligent or whether or not both are negligent. pp. v. 4. there is no admissible evidence to show that indeed. 12. 90) Except the testimony of the train engineer Cabardo. as aptly said. — 45 O. 3. Cabangbang. the Court cannot consider the averments in said statements as testimonies or evidence of truth.A. he did not heed the warning or shoutings of bystanders and passengers and proceeded in traversing the railtrack at a fast speed. 11. the bus driver did not take the necessary precaution in traversing the track. look. 11. 14. 4136. Mananquil. 6.

stalls abound in the vicinity and bystanders congregate nearby. upon impact. 253 App. but it does not follow that a train will be permitted to run fast under all conditions at any rate of speed it may choose. 109. September 23. La Union and expected in Manila at 2:41 P. 81).On the other hand. Moreover.M. it would not run some 190 meters after impact and throw the bus at quite a distance especially so when it is claimed that the train's emergency brakes were applied.M. several passengers were injured and at least 20 died. Co. Delaware L. the train engineer had testified that before reaching the station of Calumpit the terrain was downgrade and levelled only after passing the Calumpit bridge (TSN. he could have noticed that it is a very busy intersection because the crossroad leads to the Calumpit Poblacion as well as to the neighboring town of Hagonoy. 14 ). the train was an express train. there was a parking lot by the side of the track whereat passengers board jeepneys for the neighboring barrios and towns. the collision occurred at 1:30 P. . October 2l. because if it were moving at moderate speed. considering the surrounding circumstances particularly the nature of the locality (Atchinson. v. It may be argued that a railroad is not subject to the same restrictions to the speed of its train as a motorists (Mckelvey v. 2d 167). coming from a high point is to accelerate as the gravity will necessarily make it so. the train could have not negotiated such a distance in so short a time if it were not running at fast speed. the train had stopped only after the engine portion was about 190 meters away from the fallen bus. 288 p. surely. July 28. the conductor had done just that and made a signal to proceed when he did not see any oncoming train. Cabardo's route included the passage over the said intersection. the tendency of the train. Southern Pacific Company (Cal. D. such facts conclusively indicate that the train was speeding.M. 4). slacken his speed almost for the protection of motorists and pedestrians. its departure was 9:00 A.R. The evidence disclosed that the train was running fast because by his own testimony. It must regulate its speed with proper regard for the safety of human life and property (Johnson v. not only when a collision is inevitable but even if no hindrance is apparent on the way. T. especially when it is pulling seven coaches loaded with goods and passengers.V. or 4 1/2 hours after it left La Union. 1976. Nicks (Arts) 165 p. The bus driver had stopped before traversing the track and in fact asked the conductor to alight and made a "Look and Listen" before proceeding. p. 26-27). (TSN. under the circumstances. at San Fernando. and SFR Co. it was shown by plaintiff that the bus driver Romeo Hughes took the necessary precautions in traversing the track. 1976. and W. 300 NYS 1263 ). (TSN. pp. plaintiff's bus drivers and conductors are enjoined to observe such a precautionary measure in seminars conducted by the company. App. A prudent train operator must. Further. 1976. p. the bus loaded with passengers was dragged and thrown into a ditch several meters away..

the vicinity is utilized as a parking and waiting area for passengers of jeepneys that ply between the barrios. flagman or switchman. to see approaching trains (see photographs). Ry. Co. there was an intermittent rain at the time of the collision (see stipulation of facts and photographs). This was evident because the part of the bus hit by the train was the rear since the bus fell on a nearby ditch. if not impossible. his bus stalled in view of the obstructions in his front where a sand and gravel truck stopped because of a jeep maneuvering into a garage up front. trains pass over it frequently. it was for reasons beyond the control of the bus driver because he had no place to go. the plaintiff contended and the defendants did not deny. 8. that there were no signal lights. Los Angeles. Contributory negligence may not be ascribed to the bus driver. A portion of the intersection is being used as a parking area with stalls and other obstructions present making it difficult. if the bus was really hit in mid-body. if the bus was hit. the bus could have been halved into two because of the force of the impact. the flow of vehicular traffic thereat is huge. since there is no other railtrack going North except that one passing at Calumpit. 2d 795. Swdyk v. semaphores. Indiana Harbor Belt R.Moreover. It can be said also that. All the wheels at the bus have already passed the rail portion of the track and only the rear portion of the bus' body occupied or covered the railtrack. only at such places reasonably necessary. A railroad is not required to have a gate (crossing bar) or a flagman. even if there is no law or ordinance requiring it. because public safety demands that said devices or equipments . he should have taken extra precaution by considerably slackening its speed. the condition of the weather was such that even if for this reason alone. the frequency with which trains pass over it and the view which could be obtained of trains as they approach the crossing. what is considered reasonably necessary will depend on the amount of travel upon the road. there were vehicles to his left which prevented him in swerving towards that direction. or signal light. the train engineer should have foreseen that danger of collision lurked because of poor visibility of slippery road. This he failed to do even if the nature of his job required him to observe care exercised by a prudent man. flagman or switchman thereat. The stipulation of facts between the parties show that there was no crossing bar at the railroad intersection at Calumpit. or semaphores is evidence of negligence and disregard of the safety of the public. Otherwise. Corporation (Cal A2d) 128 p2d 563. Stipulation of Facts). Bulacan at the time of collision (par. As has been amply discussed. 148 F. it leads to the Poblacion at Calumpit and other barrios as well as the town of Hagonoy. or to maintain signals at every intersection. the plaintiff argues constitute negligence on the part of the Philippine National Railways. clearly. and others). the crossroad at the intersection at Calumpit is one which is a busy thoroughfare. the absence of such devices. and other conditions (Pari v. it was evident that he had taken the necessary precautions before passing over the railway track. The failure of the Philippine National Railways to put a cross bar.

Co. and pipelines. in the said intersection. The parties likewise have stipulated that during the pre-war days. Stipulation of Facts). This being so. In the opinion of this Court the X sign or the presence of "STOP. PNR was perforce estopped from disavowing the prejudicial repercussion of an admission in judicio. R A. apart from the fact that the lawyer of petitioner agreed to stipulate inter alia that the railroad company had capacity to sue and be sued. mail and property between any points in the Philippines. respondent court continued. 198 ARDC 290. 39 Phil. respondent court initially noted that an exculpation of this nature that was raised for the first time on appeal may no longer be entertained in view of the proscription under Section 2. In a case it was held that where the use of a flagman was self imposed. 6366: Sec. in conjunction with Section 2(b) of Presidential Decree No. Rollo). in the light of aforesaid jurisprudence. (Decision. 128 S. as its installation has become imperative. 1082 SCRWARTZ. A railroad company has been adjudged guilty of negligence and civilly liable for damages when it failed to install semaphores. to exercise all powers of a railroad corporation under the Corporation law. for the purpose of transporting for consideration. Similarly. 4 General Powers — The Philippine National Railways shall have the following general powers: (a) To do all such other things and to transact all such business directly or indirectly necessary. passengers. be installed.W. Vol. because of the prevailing circumstances in the place. or where it does not see to it that its flagman or switchman comply with their duties faithfully. 83- 89. Ry. 2d 286 and others. It appears that it was a self imposed requirement which has been abandoned. and other kinds of land transportation. to motorist injured by a crossing train as long as he had crossed without negligence on his part (Lilius vs. Missouri and A. respondent court nonetheless opined that such prerogative was implied from the general power to transact business pertinent or indispensable to the attainment of the goals of the railroad company under Section 4 of Republic Act No. Rule 9 of the Revised Rules of Court. 2). the abandonment by the PNR of the use of the crossing bar at the intersection at Calumpit constitutes negligence. cited in Sec. LOOK. MRR. the abandonment thereof may constitute negligence. subways. trucklines. (Fleming v. pp. and (b) Generally. bus lines. 758). . LISTEN" warnings would not be sufficient protection of the motoring public as well as the pedestrians. 741: (b) To own or operate railroad transways. pages 94-100. vessels.. incidental or conducive to the attainment of the purpose of the corporation. Even as the laws governing the creation and rehabilitation of the PNR were entirely mute on its power to sue and be sued. there was a railroad crossing bar at the said intersection (Par-8. 4156 as amended by Republic Act No. On the aspect of whether the Philippine National Railways enjoys immunity from suit.

Philippine Political Law. not to mention the fact that such plea in avoidance was not asserted in the answer and was thus belatedly raised on appeal. incorporates similar disputations anent PNR's immunity from suit and the attempt to toss the burden of negligence from the train engineer to the bus driver of herein private respondent. Of course. Apart from these considerations. page 33.Thus. and thus barred from invoking immunity from suit. respondent court utilized the doctrine of implied powers announced in National Airports Corporation vs. (91 Phil. Section 3. the petition before Us which. knowing fully well that the vehicles following the jeep could not move away from the path of the train. signal light. 1991 edition. 1962. cited by Cruz. Hence. Sr. In brushing aside petitioners' asseveration that the bus driver outraced the train at the crossing. or indicated implicitly. respondent court blamed the train engineer who admitted to have seen the maneuvering jeep at a distance (TSN. it is deemed to have descended from its superior position to the level of an ordinary citizen and thus virtually opens itself to judicial process. Inc. Bulacan earlier than its expected time of arrival thereat. page 34). following the ruling in the 1985 case of United States of America vs. equally conceded is the legal proposition that the acquiescence of the State to be sued can be manifested expressly through a general or special law. But the restrictive interpretation laid down therein is of no practical worth nor can it give rise to herein . supra at pages 36-37). but respondent court was far from persuaded. At any rate. Sinco. Petitioner moved to reconsider. as when the State commences litigation for the purpose of asserting an affirmative relief or when it enters into a contract (Cruz. to operate a transport service which is essentially a business concern. Under these tight conditions. respondent court expressed the view that PNR was remiss on this score since it allowed Honorio Cabardo. Eleventh Edition. among other things. However. and Philippine Airlines. When the State participates in a covenant. We realize that this Court qualified this form of consent only to those contracts concluded in a proprietary capacity and therefore immunity will attach for those contracts entered into in a governmental capacity. respondent court observed that the bus was hit by the train at its rear portion then protruding over the tracks as the bus could not move because another truck at its front was equally immobile due to a jeep maneuvering into a nearby parking area. July 28. 1976. Manila Railroad Company (59 Phil 758 [1934]). is insulated from suits without its consent (Article 16. Concerning the exercise of diligence normally expected of an employer in the selection and supervision of its employees. The bone of contention for exculpation is premised on the familiar maxim in political law that the State. respondent court agreed with the conclusion reached by the trial court that the absence of a crossing bar. 203 [1952]). in essence. Moreover. who finished only primary education and became an engineer only through sheer experience. 1987 Constitution). Teodoro. to operate the locomotive. by virtue of its sovereign nature and as reaffirmed by constitutional precept. it was perceived below that the train was running fast during the entire trip since the train stopped 190 meters from the point of impact and arrived at Calumpit. Ruiz (136 SCRA 487 [1985]. flagman or switchman to warn the public of an approaching train constitutes negligence per the pronouncement of this Court in Lilius vs. respondent court characterized the railroad company as a private entity created not to discharge a governmental function but. page 18) and had the last clear chance to apply the brakes.Philippine Political Law. to the effect that the power to sue and be sued is implicit from the faculty to transact private business.

as amended by Republic Act No. to exercise all powers of a railroad corporation under the Corporation Law. — The Philippine National Railways shall have the following general powers: (a) To do all such other things and to transact all such business directly or indirectly necessary. not reproduced in the Corporation Code. 4156.petitioner PNR's exoneration since the case of Malong vs. General powers. Republic Act No. declared: The Manila Railroad Company. 6366 and Presidential Decree No. page 644). 3 Padilla. 4. while aiming at its greatest utility by the public.) Section 36 of the Corporation Code provides that every corporation has the power to sue and be sued in its corporate name. 1-a. Statement of policy. the economy of operation must be ensured so that service can be rendered at the minimum passenger and freight prices possible. being a factor for socio-economic development and growth. its charter. 1510. The Philippine National Railways must be administered with the view of serving the interests of the public by providing them the maximum of service and. not because of any formal conception or obsolete theory. 1987 Constitution with Comments and Cases. The PNR Charter. as a common carrier. — The Philippine National Railways. (This refers to Sections 81 to 102 of the Corporation Law on railroad corporations. was not immune from suit under Act No. A sovereign is exempt from suit. decided three months after Ruiz was promulgated. Philippine National Railways (138 SCRA 63. incidental or conducive to the attainment of the purpose of the corporation. It is under the Office of the President of the Philippines. provides that the PNR is a government instrumentality under government ownership during its 50-year term. the PNR's predecessor. 6366 provides: Sec. Justice Aquino. Section 13(2) of the Corporation Law provides that every corporation has the power to sue and be sued in any court. Republic Act No. 741. but on the logical and practical ground that there can be no legal right as against the authority that makes the law on which the right . 1991 edition. [1985]). was categorical enough to specify that the Philippine National Railways "is not performing any governmental function" (supra. at page 68). 1964 to 2014. The charter also provides: Sec. shall be a part of the infrastructure program of the government and as such shall remain in and under government ownership during its corporate existence. and (b) Generally. speaking for the Court en banc. In Malong.

Immunity from suit is determined by the character of the objects for which the entity was organized. 206. 51 L. 19 L. The PNR did not become immune from suit. vs. . 296 SW 418. Dodge. and by implicating consents to suits against the corporation.. Santos vs. cited in National Airports case). 91 Phil. although the State may own the stock or property of such a corporation. 353.S. (at pp. whether corporate or noncorporate. The latter is true. USA. Airports Corp. controlled in the use and disposition of the means required for the proper administration of the Government (The Siren vs. U. 1319). Suits against State agencies with relation to matters in which they have assumed to act in a private or nongovernmental capacity. Inc. It did not remove itself from the operation of Articles 1732 to 1766 of the Civil Code on common carriers. To the pivotal issue of whether the State acted in a sovereign capacity when it organized the PNR for the purpose of engaging in transportation. 26 SW 2nd 879 and State Highway Commission of Missouri vs. . . are immune from suits. (81 C.S. 27 Fed. The foregoing rule was applied to State Dock Commissions carrying on business relating to pilots.S. Polyblank. and various suits against certain corporations created by the State for public purposes. 3d 834). 281. and public safety endangered. depends (Justice Holmes in Kawananakoa vs. 104 Phil. 7 Wall.S. Malong continued to hold that: . vs. Santos. Harry Lyons. if the supreme authority could be subjected to suit at the instance of every citizen and. 129). 205 U. Teodoro and Phil. 65-66).S.J. 1319). Suits against State agencies with respect to matters in which they have assumed to act in a private or nongovernmental capacity are not suits against the State (81 C. U. Inc. 593). The public service would be hindered. the Manila Railroad Company. but to engage in matters partaking more of the nature of ordinary business rather than functions of a governmental or political character. Airlines.J. for by engaging in business operations through a corporation the State divests itself so far of its sovereign character. The correct rule is that "not all government entities. ed. terminals and transportation (Standard Oil Co. 152. 285. are not regarded as suits against the State.. 2nd 370) and to State Highways Commissions created to build public roads and given appropriations in advance to discharge obligations incurred in their behalf (Arkansas State Highway Commission vs. 203.. 92 Phil. of New Jersey vs. in the instant case the State divested itself of its sovereign capacity when it organized the PNR which is no different from its predecessor." (Nat. Bates. consequently.

cited in Manila Hotel Employees Association vs. whenever the contract in any form comes before the courts. July 25. 71 N. the National Development Company is not immune from suit. The Manila Hotel case also relied on the following rulings: By engaging in a particular business through the instrumentality of a corporation. National Development Company vs. It does not exercise sovereign functions. 388). 904. 1983. 374. 26). 705 and cases cited therein. L-31948. Union de Maquinistas. 120 SCRA 707) and the Philippine National Bank (Republic vs. 1978. The point is that when the government enters into a commercial business it abandons its sovereign capacity and is to be treated like any other private corporation (Bank of the U. it was held that the PNR funds could be garnished at the instance of a labor union. It would be unjust if the heirs of the victim of an alleged negligence of the PNR employees could not sue the PNR for damages. It should be noted that in Philippine National Railways vs. 66 SCRA 18l. 6 L ed. 703. vs. February 21. et al. Philippine National Bank. it is amenable to all the rules of law which bind private individuals. Both stand upon equality before the law. Tobias. Court of Appeals. When the State acts in its proprietary capacity.Y. but when the sovereign engages in business and the conduct of business enterprises. 549). We come now to the question of whether respondent court properly agreed with the trial court in imputing negligence on the part of the train engineer and his employer. proprietary or business functions (National Development Company vs. (at pp. Thus. and the sovereign is merged in the dealer. It was demonstrated beyond cavil in the course of the pre-trial hearings held for the purpose of stipulating on crucial facts that the bus was hit on the rear portion thereof after . L-32387. etc. and contracts with individuals. Planters' Bank. so as to render the corporation subject to the rules of law governing private corporations. 73 Phil. Like any private common carrier. the government divests itself pro hac vice of its sovereign character. 244. the PNR is subject to the obligations of persons engaged in that private enterprise. L-41299. 84 SCRA 223. 121 Phil. August 19. contractor and suitor (People vs.S. Manila Hotel Company. NDC Employees and Workers' Union. 117 Phil. It is an agency for the performance of purely corporate. 9 Wheat. Other government agencies not enjoying immunity from suit are the Social Security System (Social Security System vs. Stephens. 66-68).. the rights and obligation of the contracting parties must be adjusted upon the same principles as if both contracting parties were private persons. It is not performing any governmental function. There is not one law for the sovereign and another for the subject.. 1975. 184).

. it becomes the duty of the company to use such precautions. Bidin. J. or when in the exercise of reasonable diligence commensurate with the surroundings it should be apparent.R. 37 Phil. these considerations were addressed to the trial judge who. 758 [1934]). correct conclusion that the train engineer was negligent who. SO ORDERED. taken collectively. as may be reasonably necessary to avoid injury to him. to post a flagman or watchman to warn the public of the passing train amounts to negligence (Lilius vs. Jr. engendered the concrete and yes. Second Edition. No. Davide. indicating that the train was travelling more than the normal speed of 30 kilometers per hour. 206 [1991]). and Romero. it was established that the weather condition was characterized with intermittent rain which should have prompted the train engineer to exercise extra precaution. or otherwise. 809 [1918]). Manila Railroad Company. Amigo vs. too the train engineer was frank enough to say that he saw the jeep maneuvering into a parking area near the crossing which caused the obstruction in the flow of traffic such that the gravel and sand truck including the bus of herein private respondent were not able to move forward or to take the opposite lane due to other vehicles.it crossed the railroad tracks. (65 Am. Court of Appeals. page 353). Smith. 649).. concur. Jr. What exacerbates against petitioners' contention is the authority in this jurisdiction to the effect that the failure of a railroad company to install a semaphore or at the very least. WHEREFORE. Fifth edition. Bulacan ahead of scheduled arrival thereat. 193 SCRA 198.. Having resolved the question of negligence between the train engineer and the bus driver after collating the mass of evidence. despite the last opportunity within his hands vis-a-vis the weather condition including the presence of people near the intersection. was in a better position to assign weight on factual questions. Teves. Remedial Law Compendium. to the company that a person on its track or to get on its track is unaware of his danger or cannot get out of the way. could have obviated the impending collision had he slackened his speed and applied the brakes (Picart vs. The unmindful demeanor of the train engineer in surging forward despite the obstruction before him is definitely anathema to the conduct of a prudent person placed under the same set of perceived danger. by warnings. G.Withal. Indeed: When it is apparent. the petition is hereby DISMISSED and the decision of respondent court AFFIRMED. the conclusion reached thereafter thus commands great respect especially so in this case where respondent court gave its nod of approval to the findings of the court of origin (Co vs. If the train were really running at 30 kilometers per hour when it was approaching the intersection. the train reached Calumpit. Brief for Petitioners). applying brakes. it would probably not have travelled 190 meters more from the place of the accident (page 10. 59 Phil. 61516 March 21. Also. unlike appellate magistrates. 50 O. took no part.G. Likewise. Regalado. Then. JJ. All of these factors.. 1989 . Gutierrez. p. 5799. moreover. Jur.

CFI--Dagupan City. P 150. and P 3.00 as exemplary damages. as other receipts were either lost or misplaced. to the present.924 (namely P8. respondents. H to H-60]. 1978 up to the present. and the HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS. from July 25 to August 3. P 7.00 as lost income for one (1) year [Exh. (2) Dismissing plaintiffs complaint as against defendant City Engr. From the time of the mishap on July 25. a Court Interpreter of Branch III. CITY OF DAGUPAN. confined. petitioner.00 as moral damages. 1978. GUILATCO. 1978. while she was about to board a motorized tricycle at a sidewalk located at Perez Blvd. The City Legal Officer for respondents. medical and other expenses [Exhs. SARMIENTO. operated on. Tangco.00 as attorney's fees. Alfredo G. for lack of merit. Evangelista for petitioner. plaintiff suffered severe or excruciating pain not only on her right leg which was fractured but also on all parts of her body.420. H to H-60) or a total of P 10. Despite her discharge from the Hospital plaintiff is presently still wearing crutches and the Court has actually observed that she has difficulty in locomotion. she had to be hospitalized.65 (Exh.053. Nolan R. as she has .FLORENTINA A.00 as hospital. plus costs and to appropriate through its Sangguniang Panglunsod (City Council) said amounts for said purpose. medication and other expenses to the tune of P 8. the pain has persisted even after her discharge from the Medical City General Hospital on October 9. She also incurred hospitalization. F] and P 450. vs. 1978 (or for a period of 16 days).00 in all.000. As a result thereof. (a National Road. Guilatco. 2 The facts found by the trial court are as follows: 3 It would appear from the evidences that on July 25.: In a civil action 1 for recovery of damages filed by the petitioner Florentina A. the following judgment was rendered against the respondent City of Dagupan: xxx (1) Ordering defendant City of Dagupan to pay plaintiff actual damages in the amount of P 15.000.00 as bonus). Alfredo G. thereby causing her right leg to be fractured. herein plaintiff. under the control and supervision of the City of Dagupan) accidentally fell into a manhole located on said sidewalk. Tangco. P 50. and (3) Dismissing the counterclaims of defendant City of Dagupan and defendant City Engr. at first at the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital. during the period of her confinement in said two hospitals.000.054.000. plaintiff has not yet reported for duty as court interpreter. J. and litigation expenses.

City Engineer of the Public Works and Building Official for Dagupan City. located near the city hall in Dagupan City. admitted the existence of said manhole along the sidewalk in Perez Blvd. where the incident happened. long by 1 1/2 feet wide or 42 cms.) is owned by the National Government and the sidewalk on which they are found along Perez Blvd. and other activities which she used to do prior to the incident. Ernesto Solermo also a maintenance Engineer. Hence. see also Exhs. as well as the arguments presented by the parties. we grant the petition. she has been unable to perform her religious. C and sub-exhibits) on the sidewalk along Perez Blvd. Mr. Dr. In his answer defendant Tangco expressly admitted in par. A. But as City Engineer of Dagupan City. no liability should attach to the city. admittedly a National Road in front of the Luzon Colleges. B. wide by 75 cms. Antonio Sison of the Medical City General Hospital in Mandaluyong Rizal (Exh. and the job is specifically done by his subordinates. City Engineer of Dagupan City and admittedly ex- officio Highway Engineer. He also admitted that said manhole (there are at least 11 in all in Perez Blvd. the appellate court 4 reversed the lower court findings on the ground that no evidence was presented by the plaintiff. She earns at least P 720. 1978 up to the present she has been deprived of said income as she has already consumed her accrued leaves in the government service. but since July 25. are also owned by the National Government. Norberto Felix and Dr. is held concurrently by the same person who is also the City Engineer of Dagupan. that in his capacity as ex-officio Highway Engineer for Dagupan City he exercises supervision and control over National roads. as well as Dr. Patrolman Claveria. he supervises the maintenance of said manholes or drainage system and sees to it that they are properly covered. we agree with those of the trial court and of the petitioner. Hence. social. .appellee to prove that the City of Dagupan had "control or supervision" over Perez Boulevard. by mere coincidence. 5 The city contends that Perez Boulevard. G-1 to G-19) have confirmed beyond shadow of any doubt the extent of the fracture and injuries sustained by the plaintiff as a result of the mishap. D and D-1). deep (see Exhs. F. 7-1 thereof.. She has lost several pounds as a result of the accident and she is no longer her former jovial self. Defendant Alfredo Tangco. After examination of the findings and conclusions of the trial court and those of the appellate court. It submits that it is actually the Ministry of Public Highways that has control or supervision through the Highway Engineer which. G. Dominado Manzano of the Provincial Hospital. On appeal by the respondent City of Dagupan.. including the Perez Blvd. is a national road that is not under the control or supervision of the City of Dagupan. Santiago de Vera (Maintenance Foreman) and Engr. I. 1978 which was partially covered by a concrete flower pot by leaving gaping hole about 2 ft.00 a month consisting of her monthly salary and other means of income. at the time of the incident on July 25. where the fatal drainage hole is located. long by 150 cms. On the other hand. difficulty of locomotion in going up the stairs of her office. De Asis and Cerezo corroborated the testimony of the plaintiff regarding the mishap and they have confirmed the existence of the manhole (Exhs.

He shall have the following duties: xxx (j) He shall have the care and custody of the public system of waterworks and sewers. and regulation of the use thereof.In this review on certiorari. we have simplified the errors assigned by the petitioner to a single issue: whether or not control or supervision over a national road by the City of Dagupan exists. The City Engineer--His powers. Provinces. and shall control. public buildings. avenues and alleys and sidewalks. in effect binding the city to answer for damages in accordance with article 2189 of the Civil Code. streets. and other public works under their control or supervision. as in the case at bar. public buildings and other public works. bridges. xxx The same charter of Dagupan also provides that the laying out. any person by reason of the defective condition of roads. He shall receive a salary of not exceeding three thousand pesos per annum. The express provision in the charter holding the city not liable for damages or injuries sustained by persons or property due to the failure of any city officer to enforce the provisions of the charter.8 The charter only lays down general rules regulating the liability of the city. or injuries suffered by. shall inspect and regulate the use of all private systems for supplying water to the city and its inhabitants. duties and compensation-There shall be a city engineer. 22. cities and municipalities shall be liable for damages for the death of. and their connection with the public sewer system. The liability of public corporations for damages arising from injuries suffered by pedestrians from the defective condition of roads is expressed in the Civil Code as follows: Article 2189. 6 In the case at bar. construction and improvement of streets. who shall be in charge of the department of Engineering and Public Works. On the other hand article 2189 applies in particular to the liability arising from "defective streets. in accordance with the ordinance relating thereto. city or municipality for liability to attach. 7 Thus the charter clearly indicates that the city indeed has supervision and control over the sidewalk where the open drainage hole is located. and all sources of water supply. can not be used to exempt the city. The article only requires that either control or supervision is exercised over the defective road or street. It is not even necessary for the defective road or street to belong to the province. may be legislated by the Municipal Board . this control or supervision is provided for in the charter of Dagupan and is exercised through the City Engineer who has the following duties: Sec." 9 . and all private sewers. maintain and regulate the use of the same.

no doubt that the City Engineer exercises control or supervision over the public works in question. conjecture or guess work" as to the amount. She refrained from attending social and civic activities. 16 In the case at bar.00 from the Ministry of Public Highways. moral damages may be awarded even without proof of pecuniary loss. the physical suffering and mental anguish suffered by the petitioner were proven.000.11 Although these last two officials are employees of the National Government. 12 On the other hand. the liability of the city to the petitioner under article 2198 of the Civil Code is clear. The trial court should not have rounded off the amount. last but not the least.053.65 only. as Building Official for Dagupan City. Witnesses from the petitioner's place of work testified to the degeneration in her disposition-from being jovial to depressed. public buildings. respectively. Tangco "(i)n his official capacity as City Engineer of Dagupan. However. as Ex. receives the following monthly compensation: P 1.D. therefore. We do not agree. admits that he exercises control or supervision over the said road.00 from the Bureau of Public Works and P 500. the following should be taken into consideration: (1) First." 10 This function of supervision over streets.00 should be reduced to the proven expenses of P 8. his salary from the city government substantially exceeds the honorarium.00 by virtue of P. the proximate cause of the injury must be the claimee's acts. Alfredo G. Tangco. there must be compensatory or actual damages as satisfactory proof of the factual basis for damages. In determining actual damages. P 200. inasmuch as the determination of the amount is discretionary on the court. Mr. This is because while he is entitled to an honorarium from the Ministry of Public Highways. the award of actual damages becomes erroneous. moral damages are in the nature of an award to compensate the claimant for actual injury suffered but which for some reason can not be proven. as Ex-Officio City Engineer of the Bureau of Public Works. P 100.15 (3) Third. Alfredo G. Without the actual proof of loss.13 Though incapable of pecuniary estimation.Officio Highway Engineer.17 . Hence. There is. the actual damages awarded to the petitioner in the amount of P 10. and.The City Engineer. the award of moral damages must be predicated on any of the cases enumerated in the Civil Code.66 from Dagupan City. 1096.810. Be all that as it may.14 (2) Second. and other public works pertaining to the City Engineer is coursed through a Maintenance Foreman and a Maintenance Engineer. they are detailed with the City of Dagupan and hence receive instruction and supervision from the city through the City Engineer. But the city can not be excused from liability by the argument that the duty of the City Engineer to supervise or control the said provincial road belongs more to his functions as an ex-officio Highway Engineer of the Ministry of Public Highway than as a city officer. the court can not rely on "speculation. in awarding moral damages.

Hon. P 20.00 as bonus). medical and other expenses. should serve warning to the city or cities concerned to be more conscious of their duty and responsibility to their constituents. through this case. 1979 and amended on March 13.00 as moral damages and P 10. The assailed decision and resolution of the respondent Court of Appeals are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and the decision of the trial court. the petitioner was able to secure an order for garnishment of the funds of the City deposited with the Philippine National Bank. Though evidence of moral loss and anguish existed to warrant the award of damages.000.00. and became the basis for the petitioner's motion for reconsideration which was also denied.22 Too often in the zeal to put up "public impact" projects such as beautification drives.000. Her handicap was not permanent and disabled her only during her treatment which lasted for one year. SO ORDERED.000.000. Willelmo Fortun. Pending appeal by the respondent City of Dagupan from the trial court to the appellate court. in order to minimize or prevent accidents to the poor pedestrians. The Court has time and again called attention to the reprehensible propensity of trial judges to award damages without basis. the amount of moral damages should be reduced to P 20. .924 (namely P 8. P 7.19 resulting in exhorbitant amounts. to immediately cover the same. Hon. The attorney's fees of P 3. 23 We rule that the execution of the judgment of the trial court pending appeal was premature. the trial court correctly pointed out the basis: To serve as an example for the public good.420. We do not find any good reason to justify the issuance of an order of execution even before the expiration of the time to appeal .054.000. is hereby REINSTATED with the indicated modifications as regards the amounts awarded: (1) Ordering the defendant City of Dagupan to pay the plaintiff actual damages in the amount of P 15. 1979. especially when they are engaged in construction work or when there are manholes on their sidewalks or streets which are uncovered.00 as lost income for one (1) year and P 450.24 WHEREFORE. causing public inconvenience and inviting accidents.00 as exemplary damages. the petition is GRANTED.18 the moderating hand of the law is called for.Nevertheless the award of moral damages at P 150.00 remain the same. Because of this obsession for showing off. Magat. dated March 12.00 is excessive. it is high time that the Court. Romeo D.20 Although the assessment of the amount is better left to the discretion of the trial court 21 under preceding jurisprudence. As for the award of exemplary damages. This order for garnishment was revoked subsequently by the succeeding presiding judge. from the then presiding judge.00 as hospital. the end is more important than the manner in which the work is carried out. such trivial details as misplaced flower pots betray the careless execution of the projects.

(Chaiperson). JJ. Paras. . Padilla and Regalado. concur..Melencio-Herrera.

affirming with modification an earlier decision of the Regional Trial Court at Pasig City in an action for damages thereat commenced by private respondent Laura Biglang-awa against..R. 121920 MANILA.R. the herein petitioner. METRO G. 38906. among others. transfer location of tapping to the nearest main. and GARCIA.C. 2005 (MWSS). . No. x-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x DECISION GARCIA. THIRD DIVISION THE MUNICIPALITY OF SAN JUAN. CV No. petitioner Municipality of San Juan urges us to annul and set aside the decision dated 08 September 1995[1] of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. J. and KWOK CHEUNG. for short). Waterworks System Construction (KC. JJ. METROPOLITAN WATERWORKS AND SEWERAGE SYSTEM August 9.: In this appeal by way of a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. undertake separation of service . COURT OF APPEALS. Chairman SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ. CARPIO MORALES. Petitioner. the former engaged the services of the latter to install water service connections. THE HON.01 of the agreement provides: 2.versus . J. Respondents. The material facts are not at all disputed: Under a Contract For Water Service Connections[2] entered into by and between the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and Kwok Cheung as sole proprietor of K. paragraph 2. Present: PANGANIBAN. Article 11 (Scope of Work).01 The CONTRACTOR agrees to install water service connections. CORONA. LAURA Promulgated: BIGLANG-AWA.

he did not see any barricades at the scene when he arrived less than an hour later. Ramos. for the laying of water pipes and tapping of water to the respective houses of water concessionaires. change rusted connections. As a result. between 10 oclock and 11 oclock in the evening of 31 May 1988. . the humerus on the right arm of Prosecutor Biglang- awa was fractured. the left front wheel of the car fell on a manhole where the workers of KC had earlier made excavations. connection. At that time. KC dispatched five (5) of its workers under Project Engineer Ernesto Battad. San Juan. Metro Manila. from the water main up to the installation of the verticals. at the area where the digging is to take place. According to this police officer. a national road. within the service area of the MWSS specified in each job order covered by this Contract.3 meters wide and 1. Dispatched to the scene of the accident to conduct an investigation thereof. Suddenly. KC was given a Job Order by the South Sector Office of MWSS to conduct and effect excavations at the corner of M. PDK 991 at a speed of thirty (30) kilometers per hour on the right side of Santolan Road towards the direction of Pinaglabanan. On 20 May 1988. That same day. Thereupon. to conduct the digging operations in the specified place. The workers dug a hole one (1) meter wide and 1. Tapping of the service pipe connection and mounting of water meter shall be undertaken exclusively or solely by the MWSS. Paterno and Santolan Road. Meanwhile. saw Priscilla Chans car already extracted from the manhole and placed beside the excavated portion of the road. San Juan. Pfc. The digging operations started at 9 oclock in the morning and ended at about 3 oclock in the afternoon.2 meters high. upon arriving thereat. Jr. Metro Manila. after which they refilled the excavated portion of the road with the same gravel and stone excavated from the area. With her on board the car and seated on the right front seat was Assistant City Prosecutor Laura Biglang-awa.5 meters deep. A Traffic Accident Investigation Report[3] was thereafter prepared and signed by Pfc. only of the job was finished in view of the fact that the workers were still required to re-excavate that particular portion for the tapping of pipes for the water connections to the concessionaires. Felix Ramos of the Traffic Division of the San Juan Police Station. Priscilla Chan was driving her Toyota Crown car with Plate No. The road was flooded as it was then raining hard. The workers installed four (4) barricades made up of two-inch thick GI pipes welded together. Priscilla Chan contacted Biglang-awas husband who immediately arrived at the scene and brought his wife to the Cardinal Santos Hospital. 1.

Dated 29 February 1992. 38906. the attending physician. (b) P15.389. SO ORDERED.00. thus: WHEREFORE. the injury she suffered was expected to heal in four (4) to six (6) weeks. Consequent to the foregoing incident. Barring complications. Unable to accept the judgment. both Biglang-awa and the Municipality of San Juan went to the Court of Appeals via ordinary appeal under Rule 41 of the Rules of Court. and (e) to pay the costs. Biglang-awa filed before the Regional Trial Court at Pasig. for actual damages suffered by the plaintiff.000. for moral damages. . (d) P5. Antonio Rivera. Biglang-awa amended her complaint twice. CV No. she included KC as one of the defendants.00. the decision[5] dispositively reads in full. the trial court rendered judgment in favor of Biglang-awa adjudging MWSS and the Municipality of San Juan jointly and severally liable to her. which appeal was thereat docketed as CA-G. A Medical Certificate[4] on her injuries was issued by Dr. Later. Biglang-awa sustained no deformity and no tenderness of the area of the injury but she could not sleep on her right side because she still felt pain in that portion of her body. (c) P10. At the hospital. After due proceedings.55. for exemplary damages. the plastic cast was removed. judgment is hereby rendered declaring the Municipality of San Juan. Both defendants are ordered to pay plaintiff the amounts of: (a) P18. after having performed a close reduction and application of abduction splint on Biglang-awa. foregoing considered. placed a plastic cast on her right arm. Metro Manila and the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System jointly and severally liable to the plaintiff [Biglang-awa].R. for attorneys fees. After some time.00.000. although she must revisit her doctor from time to time for check-up and rehabilitation. In her second amended complaint. the Municipality of San Juan and a number of San Juan municipal officials. Metro Manila a complaint for damages against MWSS.000.

petitioner essentially anchored its defense on two provisions of laws.000. the Court shall limit itself to the liability or non-liability of petitioner municipality for the injury sustained by Biglang-awa. THE RESPONDENT APPELLATE COURT HAS DECIDED A QUESTION PROBABLY NOT IN ACCORD WITH THE LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE. petitioner Municipality of San Juan came to this Court thru the present recourse. of the Metropolitan Manila Commission. to [Biglang-awa] the amounts of P50. to wit: IN THE LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING. The Appellees KC and MWSS and the Appellant San Juan are hereby ordered to pay. in a decision dated 08 September 1995. With no similar recourse having been taken by the other parties. In denying liability for the subject accident. Therefrom.00 by way of exemplary damages and P5. THE RESPONDENT APPELLATE COURT HAS DECIDED A QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE NOT HEREFORE DECIDED BY THE SUPREME COURT. the Decision appealed from is AFFIRMED but modified as follows: 1. Exhibit 3-MWSS: 2. otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1983. [1][z] of Batas Pambansa Blg. affirmed with modification that of the trial court. namely: (1) Section 149. II. and (2) Section 8. Without pronouncement as to costs. SO ORDERED. without prejudice to the right of the Appellee MWSS for reimbursement from the Appellee KC under the Contract. Ordinance 82- 01. The counterclaims of the Appellees and Appellant San Juan and the cross-claim of the latter are DISMISSED.000.000. jointly and severally. P50. the appellate court. 337. . As stated at the outset hereof.00 by way of moral damages.00 by way of attorneys fees. on its submissions that: I. (Words in bracket supplied).

streets. is not a controlling factor. Ordinance No. Additionally. This. sidewalks. What said article requires is that the province. under Article 2189 of the Civil Code. Teotico. Petitioner maintains that under Section 149. of the Metropolitan Manila Commission. injury and/or damages caused by the non-completion of such works and/or failure of one undertaking the work to adopt the required precautionary measures for the protection of the general public or violation of any of the terms or conditions of the permit. [1][z] of the Local Government Code. bridges. petitioner has control or supervision only over municipal and not national roads. which reads: In the event of death. public buildings and other public works. it is not necessary for the liability therein established to attach that the defective roads or streets belong to the province. that under Section 149. bridges. injury or damage arising therefrom. . city or municipality has control or supervision thereof. city or municipality have either "control or supervision" over said street or road. avenues. ownership of the roads. since Santolan Road is concededly a national and not a municipal road. it being sufficient that a province. the excavator/permittee shall purchase insurance coverage to answer for third party liability. only the Project Engineer of KC and MWSS can be held liable for the same accident. parks and other public places. like Santolan Road. et al[9]: At any rate. x x x It is argued. city or municipality from which responsibility is exacted. however. Ergo.[6] it is obliged to provide for the construction. petitioner contends that under Section 8. it cannot be held liable for the injuries suffered by Biglang-awa on account of the accident that occurred on said road. [1][z] of the Local Government Code. The petition must have to be denied. For this purpose. improvement. repair and maintenance of only municipal streets. the permittee/excavator shall assume fully all liabilities for such death. we made clear in City of Manila vs. 82-01. Jurisprudence[7] teaches that for liability to arise under Article 2189[8] of the Civil Code. alleys.

of the Local Government Code. . Powers and Duties. are not modified by the term municipal road. and provide just compensation or relief for persons suffering from them. water. the building and repair of tunnels. water. and other pipes. To our mind. more particularly the following: Section 149. erecting of poles and the use of crosswalks. water. sewer. attaches regardless of whether the drilling or excavation is made on a national or municipal road. or. live wires and other similar hazards to life and property. the term regulate found in the aforequoted provision of Section 149 can only mean that petitioner municipality exercises the power of control. water. for as long as the same is within its territorial jurisdiction. manholes. petitioner failed to take note of the other provisions of Section 149 of the same Code. and adopt measures to ensure public safety against open canals. supervision over all excavations for the laying of gas. sewer and other pipes within its territory. Doubtless. live wires and other similar hazards to life and property. and other pipes. sewer. water. the municipalitys liability for injuries caused by its failure to regulate the drilling and excavation of the ground for the laying of gas. at the very least. (Underscoring supplied) Clear it is from the above that the Municipality of San Juan can regulate the drilling and excavation of the ground for the laying of gas.Sadly. supra. manholes. And neither can it be fairly inferred from the same provision of Section 149 that petitioners power of regulation vis--vis the activities therein mentioned applies only in cases where such activities are to be performed in municipal roads. curbs and gutters therein. sewers. We must emphasize that under paragraph [1][bb] of Section 149. and other pipes within its territorial jurisdiction. and other pipes. sewer. (1) The sangguniang bayan shall: (bb) Regulate the drilling and excavation of the ground for the laying of gas. the phrases regulate the drilling and excavation of the ground for the laying of gas. and adopt measures to ensure public safety against open canals. sewer. drains and other similar structures.

the Appellant San Juan was mandated to undertake the necessary precautionary measures to avert accidents and insure the safety of pedestrians and commuters: xxx The [petitioner] cannot validly shirk from its obligation to maintain and insure the safe condition of the road merely because the permit for the excavation may have been issued by a government entity or unit other than the Appellant San Juan or that the excavation may have been done by a contractor under contract with a public entity like the Appellee MWSS. Municipal Corporations. the [petitioner] San Juan is mandated to effect a constant and unabated monitoring of the conditions of the roads to insure the safety of motorists. that even if the Department of Public Works and Highways failed to effect the requisite refilling. Evangeline Alfonso. Neither is the [petitioner] relieved of liability based on its purported lack of knowledge of the excavation and the condition of the road during the period from May 20. (Words in bracket supplied). After all. the witness for the Appellant San Juan unabashedly [sic] admitted. They cannot fold their arms and shut their eyes and say they have no notice. page 65). the Appellant San Juan is not thereby relieved of its liability to [Biglang-awa] for its own gross negligence. San Juan. It must be borne in mind that the obligation of the [petitioner] to maintain the safe condition of the road within its territory is a continuing one which is not suspended while a street is being repaired (CorpusJuris Secundum. It is enough that the authorities should have known of the aforesaid circumstances in the exercise of ordinary care (City of Louiseville versus Harris. (Todd versus City of Troy. page 120). . The gaping hole in the middle of the road of Santolan Road could not have been missed by the authorities concerned. Persuasive authority has it that: It is the duty of the municipal authorities to exercise an active vigilance over the streets. 61 New York 506). Nor can petitioner seek shelter on Section 8 of Ordinance 82-01 of the Metropolitan Manila Commission. Santolan Road and the Greenhills area coming from Ortigas Avenue going to Pinaglabanan. Metro Manila is a busy thoroughfare. We are thus in full accord with the following pronouncements of the appellate court in the decision under review: While it may be true that the Department of Public Works and Highways may have issued the requisite permit to the Appellee KC and/or concessionaires for the excavation on said road. Knowledge of the condition of the road and the defects and/or obstructions on the road may be actual or constructive. 180 Southwestern Reporter. when she testified in the Court a quo. to see that they are kept in a reasonably safe condition for public travel. In the present recourse. 1988 up to May 30. 1988 when the accident occurred. Indeed.

Afortiori. the instant petition is DENIED and the assailed decision of the appellate court AFFIRMED.Concededly. . nowhere can it be found in said Ordinance any provision exempting municipalities in Metro Manila from liabilities caused by their own negligent acts. SO ORDERED. WHEREFORE. Costs against petitioner. Section 8 of the Ordinance makes the permittee/excavator liable for death. Significantly. injury and/or damages caused by the non-completion of works and/or failure of the one undertaking the works to adopt the required precautionary measures for the protection of the general public. nothing prevents this Court from applying other relevant laws concerning petitioners liability for the injuries sustained by Biglang-awa on that fateful rainy evening of 31 May 1988. however.

The Case .-. not to impose a penalty on the wrongdoer.-. Carpio Morales.-.-. Hence. J.QUEZON CITY GOVERNMENT G. TIAMZON. Under the circumstance. J. 150304 and Engineer RAMIR J.-. Sandoval-Gutierrez. Petitioners.-.-. this Court will not analyze or weigh evidence all over again. No.x DECISION PANGANIBAN. Furthermore.: he review of cases under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court is limited to errors of law. June 15. JJ Promulgated: FULGENCIO DACARA.-. Present: Panganiban.-.R. this Court reiterates the principle that moral damages are designed to compensate the claimant for actual injury suffered.-.-.-. .-.. Unless there is a showing that the findings of the lower court are totally devoid of support or are T glaringly erroneous.-.-.-.versus .-.-.-. 2005 x -. theories.-.-. absent any definite finding as to what they consist of.Corona. Chairman.-.-.-. well-entrenched is the rule that points of law.-. Finally.-. and Garcia. issues and arguments not brought to the attention of the trial court cannot be raised for the first time on appeal or certiorari. the factual findings and conclusions of the Court of Appeals affirming those of the trial courts will be conclusive upon the Supreme Court.-.* Respondent. the alleged moral damages suffered would become a penalty rather than a compensation for actual injury suffered.

yielded negative results. Jr. defendants claimed that they exercised due care by providing the area of the diggings all necessary measures to avoid accident.000. docketed as Civil Case No. defendants admitted the occurrence of the incident but alleged that the subject diggings was provided with a moun[d] of soil and barricaded with reflectorized traffic paint with sticks placed before or after it which was visible during the incident on February 28. FULGENCIO prayed that the amount of not less than P20. while driving the said vehicle. Before us is a Petition for Review[1] under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.00 actual or compensatory damages. 877 (sic).M. Q-88-233 should be AFFIRMED. the reason why Fulgencio Dacara.[4] The assailed Resolution denied petitioners Motion for Reconsideration.00 attorneys fees and costs of the suit be awarded to him.. 22). p.000.. rammed into a pile of earth/street diggings found at Matahimik St. and owner of 87 Toyota Corolla 4-door Sedan with Plate No.000.. In an Answer with Affirmative and/or Special Defenses (Record. Indemnification was sought from the city government (Record. P150. Branch 101. Q-88-233. premises considered. 1990 in Civil Case No. son of Fulgencio P. Fulgencio Dacara. Hence. with costs against the appellants. 2001 Resolution[3] of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-GR CV No. 29392.00 moral damages. Quezon City.00 exemplary damages. Sr. Ramir Tiamzon. 1988 at about 1:00 A. Dacarra (sic). for and in behalf of his minor son. Dacara. p. p. 1988 at 1:00 A. P30..M. 2001 Decision[2] and the October 9. The challenged Decision disposed as follows: WHEREFORE. Jr. the Decision dated June 29. Fulgencio P. 11). Dacara (hereinafter referred to as FULGENCIO). As a result. which was then being repaired by the Quezon City government. before the Regional Trial Court. National Capital Judicial Region. and P20. assailing the February 21. allegedly sustained bodily injuries and the vehicle suffered extensive damage for it turned turtle when it hit the pile of earth. The Facts The CA summarized the facts in this manner: Sometime on February 28. fell into the diggings was precisely because of the latters negligence and failure to exercise due care. as defendants. Jr. 1) for damages against the Quezon City and Engr.[5] . Jr.000. Consequently. which however. Quezon City. filed a Complaint (Record. In short.

[9] Noting the failure of petitioners to present . Ruling of the Court of Appeals The CA agreed with the RTCs finding that petitioners negligence was the proximate cause of the damage suffered by respondent. Quezon City. 1990. The evidence proffered by the complainant (herein respondent) was found to be sufficient proof of the negligence of herein petitioners. based on the quantum of evidence presented by the plaintiff which tilts in their favor elucidating the negligent acts of the city government together with its employees when considered in the light of Article 2189. P10. the Regional Trial Court (RTC).00 as attorneys fees and other costs of suit. not for damage to property. the lower court allegedly erred in using Article 2189 of the Civil Code.[8] In their appeal to the CA. Branch 101. Moreover. Under Article 2189 of the Civil Code.00 as moral damages.00 as exemplary damages.000.000. which supposedly applied only to liability for the death or injuries suffered by a person. P5. premises above considered.After trial on the merits. P10. judgment is hereby rendered ordering the defendants to indemnify the plaintiff the sum of twenty thousand pesos as actual/compensatory damages.000.[7] the latter were held liable as follows: WHEREFORE. rendered its Decision[6] dated June 29. and that it was in fact the plaintiff who had failed to exercise prudence by driving too fast to avoid the diggings. petitioners maintained that they had observed due diligence and care in installing preventive warning devices.

or impairment. Jr. one must have exercised the diligence of a good father of a family which [petitioners] failed to establish in the instant case. applying to an act or result involving an impairment or destruction of right.[10] Further upholding the trial courts finding of negligence on the part of herein petitioners. harms or hurts and mean in common as the act or result of inflicting on a person or thing something that causes loss. soundness. health. More importantly. lost control of his driven car and finally turned-turtle causing substantial damage to the same. gasera which was buried so that its light could not be blown off by the wind and barricade. Sadly. the CA gave this opinion: x x x. namely Engr. As a defense against liability on the basis of quasi-delict. freedom.[12] Hence.evidence to support their contention that precautionary measures had indeed been observed. the CA ruled in the affirmative: x x x. the negligence of [petitioners] was clear based on the investigation report of Pfc. As observed by the trial court. we find it illogical to limit the liability to death or personal injury only as argued by appellants in the case at bar applying the foregoing provisions.[13] Issues . Villafranca stating to the effect that the subject vehicle rammed into a pile of earth from a deep excavation thereat without any warning devi[c]e whatsoever and as a consequence thereof. it ruled thus: x x x.[11] Whether Article 2189 is applicable to cases in which there has been no death or physical injury. pain. none was ever presented to stress and prove the sufficiency and adequacy of said contention. Ramir Tiamzon. William P. For. Injury is the most comprehensive. Ernesto Landrito and Eduardo Castillo. or loss of something of value. the evidence indicates that [petitioners] failed to show that they placed sufficient and adequate precautionary signs at Matahimik Street to minimize or prevent the dangers to life and limb under the circumstances. Dacara. this Petition. Contrary to the testimony of the witnesses for the [petitioners]. that there were signs. injury is an act that damages. distress.

[14] Because the issues regarding the liability of petitioners for moral and exemplary damages presuppose that their negligence caused the vehicular accident.or (sic) had acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack and/or excess of jurisdiction when it refused to hold that respondents son in the person of Fulgencio Dacara. The Honorable Court of Appeals decided a question of law/substance contrary to applicable law and jurisprudence when it affirmed the award of exemplary damage sin (sic) the amount of P5. The Honorable Court of Appeals gravely erred and/. 2. 3.000. Jr. was negligent at the time of incident.00. The Courts Ruling The Petition is partly meritorious.000. we first resolve the question of negligence or the proximate cause of the incident.00. The Honorable Court of Appeals decided a question of law/substance contrary to applicable law and jurisprudence when it affirmed the award of moral damage suit (sic) the amount of P10.Petitioners raise the following issues for our consideration: 1. First Issue: Negligence Maintaining that they were not negligent. petitioners insist that they placed all the necessary precautionary signs to alert the public of a roadside construction.000.00 and attorneys fee in the [a]mount of P10. They argue that .

common sense.[19] They have not sufficiently demonstrated any special circumstances to justify a factual review. The function of this Court is limited to the review of the appellate courts alleged errors of law. [17] The unanimity of the CA and the trial court in their factual ascertainment that petitioners negligence was the proximate cause of the accident bars us from supplanting their findings and substituting these with our own. absent any whimsical or capricious exercise of judgment by the lower courts or an ample showing that they lacked any basis for their conclusions. policy and precedent. unbroken by any efficient intervening cause. .[15] Proximate cause is determined from the facts of each case. such that the result would not have occurred otherwise.the driver (Fulgencio Dacara Jr. [16] What really caused the subject vehicle to turn turtle is a factual issue that this Court cannot pass upon. and that his own negligence was therefore the sole cause of the incident.) of respondents car was overspeeding.[18] Petitioners have not shown that they are entitled to an exception to this rule. upon a combined consideration of logic. Proximate cause is defined as any cause that produces injury in a natural and continuous sequence. It is not required to weigh all over again the factual evidence already considered in the proceedings below.

when his car turned turtle was the existence of a pile of earth from a digging done relative to the base failure at Matahimik Street nary a lighting device or a reflectorized barricade or sign perhaps which could have served as an adequate warning to motorist especially during the thick of the night where darkness is pervasive. Contrary to the testimony of the witnesses for the defense that there were signs. how then could it be explained that according to the report even of the policeman which for clarity is quoted again. none was found at the scene of the accident. when not designated through streets. Jr. xxxxxxxxx The provisions of Article 2189 of the New Civil Code capsulizes the responsibility of the city government relative to the maintenance of roads and bridges since it exercises the control and supervision over the same. as provided under the Land Transportation and Traffic Code (Republic Act . Harsh application of the law ensues as a result thereof but the state assumed the responsibility for the maintenance and repair of the roads and bridges and neither exception nor exculpation from liability would deem just and equitable. the greater is the degree of care required to be observed. which we quote: Facts obtaining in this case are crystal clear that the accident of February 28. Failure of the defendant to comply with the statutory provision found in the subject-article is tantamount to negligence per se which renders the City government liable. xxxxxxxxx Negligence of a person whether natural or juridical over a particular set of events is transfixed by the attending circumstances so that the greater the danger known or reasonably anticipated. gasera which was buried so that its light could not be blown off by the wind and barricade. This speed was allegedly well above the maximum limit of 30 kph allowed on city streets with light traffic. 1988 which caused almost the life and limb of Fulgencio Dacara.[20] (Emphasis supplied) Petitioners belatedly point out that Fulgencio Jr.That the negligence of petitioners was the proximate cause of the accident was aptly discussed in the lower courts finding. none was ever presented to stress the point that sufficient and adequate precautionary signs were placed at Matahimik Street. If indeed signs were placed thereat. was driving at the speed of 60 kilometers per hour (kph) when he met the accident.

both the trial and the appellate courts findings.4136). petitioners contend that moral damages are not recoverable. or psychological -. [25] Indeed. 2001. however.clearly sustained by the claimant. having violated a traffic regulation. a court must be satisfied with proof of the following requisites: (1) an injury -. (2) a culpable act or omission factually established. Second Issue: Moral Damages Petitioners argue that moral damages are recoverable only in the instances specified in Article 2219[26] of the Civil Code. (3) a wrongful act or . It is evident from the records that they brought up for the first time the matter of violation of RA 4136 in their Motion for Reconsideration[23] of the CA Decision dated February 21. It is too late in the day for them to raise this new issue.[27] To award moral damages. clearly point to petitioners negligence as the proximate cause of the damages suffered by respondents car. theories or arguments not brought out in the original proceedings cannot be considered on review or appeal. not raised by petitioners at any time during the trial..whether physical. which are amply substantiated by the evidence on record. No adequate reason has been given to overturn this factual conclusion. mental. Thus.[24] To consider their belatedly raised arguments at this stage of the proceedings would trample on the basic principles of fair play. should be presumed negligent pursuant to Article 2185[21] of the Civil Code. It is well-settled that points of law. and due process. justice. because no evidence of physical injury were presented before the trial court.[22] These matters were. petitioners assert that Fulgencio Jr. Although the instant case is an action for quasi-delict.

34 and 35 on the chapter on human relations (par. however. the Complaint alleged that respondents son Fulgencio Jr.s bare assertion of physical injury. 29. It is apparent from the Decisions of the trial and the appellate courts. 21. 9. Thus.[29] This rule was enunciated in Malonzo v.omission of the defendant as the proximate cause of the injury sustained by the claimant. 28. 32. as an instance when moral damages may be allowed. sustained physical injuries. 2219). 309 (par. The Decision . Article 2219 specifically mentions quasi-delicts causing physical injuries. In the present case. Besides. there was no credible proof that would justify an award of moral damages based on Article 2219(2) of the Civil Code. 2219) and in Arts. Art. provided that the act or omission caused physical injuries. There can be no recovery of moral damages unless the quasi-delict resulted in physical injury. Art. thereby implying that all other quasi-delicts not resulting in physical injuries are excluded. Galang[30] as follows: x x x. Moreover. 26. the Decisions are conspicuously silent with respect to the claim of respondent that his moral sufferings were due to the negligence of petitioners. [28] Article 2219(2) specifically allows moral damages to be recovered for quasi- delicts. 10. 27. the special torts referred to in Art. that no other evidence (such as a medical certificate or proof of medical expenses) was presented to prove Fulgencio Jr. and (4) the award of damages predicated on any of the cases stated in Article 2219. excepting of course. 30. The son testified that he suffered a deep cut on his left arm when the car overturned after hitting a pile of earth that had been left in the open without any warning device whatsoever.

social humiliation. they must be substantiated by clear and convincing proof.[35] The award of moral damages must be solidly anchored on a definite showing that respondent actually experienced emotional and mental sufferings. such as mental anguish. or similar injury. Moral damages are not punitive in nature. wounded feelings. not to impose a penalty on the wrongdoer. fright. makes no mention of any statement regarding moral suffering. moral shock. social humiliation. For the court to arrive upon a judicious approximation of emotional or moral injury. mental anguish. competent and substantial proof of the suffering experienced must be laid before it.[32] Furthermore. the award of moral damages is designed to compensate emotional injury suffered. Mere allegations do not suffice. wounded feelings.of the trial court. moral shock. serious anxiety. [36] Third Issue: . but are designed to compensate and alleviate in some way the physical suffering. fright. wounded feelings. and similar injury unjustly inflicted on a person. Essential to this approximation are definite findings as to what the supposed moral damages suffered consisted of. besmirched reputation. otherwise.in the absence of proof of physical suffering.[31] Intended for the restoration of the psychological or emotional status quo ante. well-settled is the rule that moral damages cannot be awarded -. besmirched reputation. mental anguish. social humiliation and the like. serious anxiety.whether in a civil[33] or a criminal case[34] -. such damages would become a penalty rather than a compensation for actual injury suffered. besmirched reputation. which summarizes the testimony of respondents four witnesses.

[38] While granting them is subject to the discretion of the court.[41] The negligence must amount to a reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property.[37] Exemplary damages cannot be recovered as a matter of right. they can be awarded only after claimants have shown their entitlement to moral. Exemplary Damages Petitioners argue that exemplary damages and attorneys fees are not recoverable. thereby establishing his right to actual or compensatory damages. exemplary damages may be recovered if the defendant acted with gross negligence. Allegedly. and that they must have nevertheless been indifferent (or worse) to the danger of injury to the person or property of others. We quote from the RTC Decision: Sad to state that the City Government through its instrumentalities have (sic) failed to show the modicum of responsibility. [40] Gross negligence means such utter want of care as to raise a presumption that the persons at fault must have been conscious of the probable consequences of their carelessness. Article 2231 of the Civil Code mandates that in cases of quasi-delicts. A finding of gross negligence can be discerned from the Decisions of both the CA and the trial court. temperate or compensatory damages. care expected of . the RTC and the CA did not find that petitioners were guilty of gross negligence in the performance of their duty and responsibilities.[39] In the case before us. The question that remains. much less. He has adduced adequate proof to justify his claim for the damages caused his car. respondent sufficiently proved before the courts a quo that petitioners negligence was the proximate cause of the incident. Such a circumstance obtains in the instant case. is whether exemplary damages may be awarded in addition to compensatory damages. therefore.

there is sufficient factual basis for a finding of gross negligence on their part. Considering further that the street was dimly lit. considering that there was no warning device whatsoever[43] at the excavation site. The facts of the case show a complete disregard by petitioners of any adverse consequence of their failure to install even a single warning device at the area under renovation. The award of these damages is meant to be a deterrent to socially deleterious actions.[46] It must be emphasized that local governments and their employees should be responsible not only for the maintenance of roads and streets. the February 28. By carrying on the road diggings without any warning or barricade. Indeed. 1988 incident was bound to happen due to their gross negligence. them (sic) by the constituents of this City.[42] The CA reiterated the finding of the trial court that petitioners negligence was clear. petitioners demonstrated a wanton disregard for public safety. Article 2229 of the Civil Code provides that exemplary damages may be imposed by way of example or correction for the public good.[44] the need for adequate precautionary measures was even greater. but .[45] Public policy requires such imposition to suppress wanton acts of an offender. It is clear that under the circumstances. It is even more deplorable that it was a case of a street digging in a side street which caused the accident in the so-called premier city.

. local governments have the paramount responsibility of keeping the interests of the public foremost in their agenda. The Decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED.also for the safety of the public. the Petition is hereby PARTLY GRANTED. SO ORDERED. Not only is the work of petitioners impressed with public interest. For these reasons. No costs. their very existence is justified only by public service. with the MODIFICATION that the award of moral damages is DELETED. it is most disturbing to note that the present petitioners are the very parties responsible for endangering the public through such a rash and reckless act. Hence. WHEREFORE. Thus. they must secure construction areas with adequate precautionary measures.

73928 August 31. Roxas City. GUTIERREZ. Adarle. SPS. Exhibits for the plaintiff-appellant. . Adarle was rushed to the St. Anthony Hospital. No. The above residual damage is permanent 2nd to the injury incurred by Mr..00 a month. vs. 00783 on the ground that the findings of the respondent Court of Appeals are based on misapprehension of facts and conflict with those of the trial court and that the conclusions drawn therefrom are based on speculations and conjectures. he is still confined in the Hospital. A. respondents. 1987 JOSE E. the payloader operator. the petitioner put up the defense that he had no knowledge of or participation in the accident and that. Private respondent Eduardo Adarle was hired as a laborer by Arbatin to gather and take away scrap iron from the said compound with a daily wage of P12. GENSON. on a Saturday and a non-working day. petitioner. On September 8. 1979. Buensalido.00 or about 312. Original Records. he was not present in the government compound. his employer. at 4:00 o'clock in the morning. EDUARDO ADARLE and SHERLITA MARI-ON. During the trial on the merits. inability to defecate and urinate.G. 2) Cord compression 2nd to the injury with paralysis of the lower extremity.R. J. while the private respondent was tying a cable to a pile of scrap iron to be loaded on a truck inside the premises of the compound. and petitioner. the Highway District Engineer. Arturo Arbatin was the successful bidder in the sale at public auction of junk and other unserviceable government property located at the compound of the Highway District Engineer's Office of Roxas City. (E Exh. No. Candelario Marcelino.) The medical certificate also reported that: The patient recovered the use of his urinary bladder and was able to defecate 2 months after surgery. and INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT. the bucket suddenly fell and hit Adarle on the right back portion of his head just below the nape of his neck. He can only sit on a wheel chair. According to the medical certificate issued by the attending physician.: This is a Petition for review which seeks to set aside the decision in CA-G. when it happened. and while the bucket of the payloader driven by Ramon Buensalido was being raised. Apart from the fact that it was a Saturday and a non-working day. JR. the private respondent instituted the action below for damages against Arbatin. the civil engineer. He is paralyzed from the knee down to his toes. (idem) While still in the hospital.R. the private respondent suffered the following injuries: 1) Comminuted fracture of the vertebral body of 13 with extreme Kyphosis of the segment by x-ray.

00 as attorney's fees. Genson.000.410. (pp. We have noted that Genson testified that his office does not authorize work on Saturdays. Thereabouts. As part of his evidence. Ordering the defendants jointly and severally to pay the plaintiff the sum of P5. 1). However. a Saturday.000. Ordering the defendants jointly and severally to pay the plaintiff the sum of at least P100. should not have been operated that Saturday. Orlando Panaguiton ordering the latter to take charge of the district until his return (Exh. . the appellate court ruled: That payloader owned by the Government. Thus. this court orders the defendants to pay to plaintiff the amounts stated in the complainant's prayer as follows: Ordering the defendants jointly and severally to pay the plaintiff the sum of 312.00 monthly from September 8. 1979 until his release from the hospital.00 as moral damages and another sum for exemplary damages which we leave to the sound discretion of the Honorable Court. however. There is no official order from the proper authorities authorizing Arbatin and plaintiff to work and Buensalido to operate the payloader on that day inside the Highway compound. Original Records). a non-working holiday.130. 129.00 as actual and compensatory damages. Defendant Candelario Marcelino was. absolved from liability.he was in Iloilo. 1979. And allowed him. In its decision.00 exemplary damages. Ordering the defendants jointly and severally to pay the plaintiff the sum of P7. Ordering the defendants jointly and severally to pay the plaintiff the sum of P20. with the exception of the petitioner. The dispositive portion of the decision reads: WHEREFORE. it still adjudged the petitioner liable for damages because the petitioner was supposed to know what his men do with their government equipment within an area under his supervision. the trial court rendered a decision finding all the defendants liable for damages under Articles 1172 and 2176 of the New Civil Code. we can logically deduce that Arbatin and plaintiff went to the compound to work with the previous knowledge and consent of Highway District Engineer Jose E.000.000. probably upon the request of Arbatin. as found by the lower court. September 8. considering that plaintiff Eduardo Adarle is totally incapacitated for any employment for life.63 for hospital expenses up to January 14. 1980 and an additional amount for further hospitalization until the release of plaintiff from the hospital. 1982. The petitioner appealed to the Intermediate Appellate Court which affirmed the decision of the trial court and further ordered the defendants to pay P5. on January 19. all of the defendants were present at the Highway's compound when the accident occurred. The trial court found that. the petitioner presented a memorandum directed to a certain Mr.

While the equipment used belongs to the Government. . Jimena v. 453) There being no proof that the making of the tortious inducement was authorized.R. a suit against the government and. a non-working day. Palacio (23 SCRA 899. In Belizar v. Genson testified that he was in Iloilo from September 9 and 10. ..15. Rosete v. the work was private in nature. In his answer. The accident occurred on September 8. pursuant to a previous understanding with Arbatin for plaintiff to work on the scrap iron and for Buensalido to operate the payloader inside the compound. Arbatin and plaintiff would not go to the compound on that Saturday. neither the State nor its funds can be made liable therefor. We fully concur with the lower court's conclusions regarding the physical presence of appellants inside the compound on that fateful day. 11. Brazas. therefore.. intentional and voluntary or negligent (Eleano v. in contravention of his office' rules and regulations outlawing work on Saturdays. we hold that the petitioner's Identification as the Highway District Engineer in the complaint filed by the private respondent did not result in the said complaint's becoming a suit against the government or state. xxx xxx xxx the ISU liability thus arose from tort and not from contract. Insular Government. for the benefit of a purchaser of junk. plaintiff and Buensalido to work on Saturday. is without basis. Hill. The liability of Genson is based on fault. As we have held in the case of Republic v. Genson did not allege his presence in Iloilo on September 9 and 10 . 63 O. we ruled that "the fact that the duties and positions of the defendants are indicated does not mean that they are being sued in their official capacities. supra. such a conclusion. that the State is liable only for torts caused by its special agents. The petitioner argues that considering these were the facts relied upon by the said court in holding that he was negligent and thus liable for damages. He gave permission to Arbatin. A. 2567). Lincallo. The petitioner further contends that the appellate court erred in not holding that the suit against the petitioner was. the accident in the case at bar happened on a non-working day and there was no showing that the work performed on that day was authorized by the government. (pp. in effect. specially commissioned to carry out the acts complained of outside of such agent's regular duties (Merritt v. especially as the present action is not one against the Government." Furthermore. 29-30. and it is a well- entrenched rule in this jurisdiction. 81 Phil. (2 SCRA 526). in the morning. 1979. the petitioner contends that the appellate court committed a palpable error when it ruled that the petitioner was present when the accident happened and that he had given permission to the other defendants to work on a Saturday.. should be dismissed under the principle of non-suability of the state. Rollo) In this present petition. Auditor General. if there was no previous understanding with Genson and Buensalido.G. As regards the petitioner's second contention. 77 SCRA 106. a non- working day.906). embodied in Article 2180 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. 8 C.

Since the evidence fails to establish petitioner Genson's presence when the payloader's bucket fell on the head of Mr. With regard to the main contention of the petitioner that the appellate court based its conclusions on an erroneous finding of fact. any liability on his part would be based only on his alleged failure to exercise proper supervision over his subordinates (See Umali v. either verbally or in writing. Genson never knew or met Arbatin until the trial of the case. did Arbatin ask you to go to the compound in the Highway? A. sir. 1979. to enter the work inside the Highways Compound on September 8. Bacani. 1979. No evidence on record exists that Genson gave authority to Adarle and Arbatin. gave him the instructions to enter the compound. Are you sure of that? A. Yes. thus: Q.Therefore. We went to the Highway compound for many times already and that was the time when I met the incident. The particular day in question September 8. Genson authorized work on a Saturday when no work was supposed to be done. 69 SCRA 263. his employer. This fact was never denied by Arbatin nor rebutted by Adarle. 2. Q. Now particularly on September 8. Yes sr. the defense of the petitioner that he cannot be made liable under the principle of non-suability of the state cannot be sustained. The petitioner contends that: 1. 1979. Where did he say that to you? A. we agree with him that the appellate court's finding that he was present within the premises when the accident happened is not supported by evidence indisputably showing that he was indeed there. Adarle. Q. did you see Arturo Arbatin and he asked you to go the compound on that day? . It stated that the petitioner should know what his men do with their government equipment and he should neither be lax nor lenient in his supervision over them. According to the trial court. 267-268). Mr. Q. How then could Genson have ordered or allowed Arbatin to enter the Highways Compound with Adarle? 3. Adarle himself repeatedly admitted that Arbatin.

32. G. 1980) (Emphasis supplied) (pp. 12-13. it may be presumed that all the parties were in agreement regarding the use of equipment already there for that purpose. Of course. 6 SCRA 814) or beyond the scope of his authority or jurisdiction. The issue before us is subsidiary liability for tort comitted by a government employee who is moonlighting on a non-working day. 1960) The question. The regular work of the District Engineer's office would not be disturbed or prejudiced by a private bidder bringing in his trucks and obstructing the smooth flow of traffic and the daily routine within the compound. "Through the instruction of Arturo Arbatin" (pp. Court of Appeals (114 SCRA 247. No. It is doubtful if the district engineer can be considered an "employer" for purposes of tort liability who may be liable even if he was not there. There is likewise no sufficient basis for the "master-servant" doctrine in tort law to apply. August 31. This Court ruled in Dumlao v. 10. therefore. Obviously. . 25-26.. (Mindanao realty Corp. Kintanar. The items were formerly government property. Oct. No evidence was presented to show that an application for overtime work or a claim for overtime pay from the district engineer's office was ever filed. it would be different if the junk pile is in a compound where there is no equipment for loading or unloading and the cranes or payloaders have to be brought there. it would also be safer for all concerned to effect the clearing of the junk pile when everything is peaceful and quiet. tsn. Arbatin brought his own payloader operator and perhaps. There is no showing from the records that it is against regulations to use government cranes and payloaders to load items sold at public auction on the trucks of the winning bidder. it is a well-settled principle of law that a public official may be liable in his personal private capacity for whatever damage he may have caused by his act done with malice and in bad faith. It would have been preferable if Mr. his own equipment but we are not dealing with sound office practice in this case. Bonifacio. That date was included on the first day when "he instructed us to gather scrap iron until that work could be finished. It is more logical to presume that Buensalido." (pp. tsn. As a matter of fact. we see nothing wrong in the petitioner's authorizing work on that day. it could even be required that the hauling of junk and unserviceable equipment sold at public auction must be done on non-working days. is whether petitioner did act in any of the manner aforesaid.. From the records of this case. A.R. October 10. Buensalido was not working overtime as a government employee. L-11844. and assuming Mr. Insofar as work on a Saturday is concerned. we are not disposed to rule that a supervisor who tolerates his subordinates to moonlight on a non- working day in their office premises can be held liable for everything that happens on that day. 251): Nevertheless. Genson verbally allowed it. Who told you to work there? A. was trying to earn a little money on the side from the junk buyer and that his presence in the compound on that Saturday was a purely private arrangement. the operator of the payloader. Rollo). v. Unless the contract specifies otherwise. 1980) (Emphasis supplied) Q. (the Philippine Racing Club v.

this is not imputation of bad faith or malice. Feliciano.. the decision of the Intermediate Appellate Court is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. At any rate." (p." It is possible that he permitted work on a Saturday to accomodate an acquaintance but it is more plausible that he simply wanted to clear his compound of junk and the best time for the winning bidder to do it was on a non-working day. Fernan (Chairman). Rollo). WHEREFORE. "Genson and Buensalido divested themselves of their public positions and privileges to accomodate an acquaintance or probably for inordinate gain. Examining the allegations of the complaint and reviewing the evidence it would indeed be correct to say that petitioner was sued in his official capacity. 31. inefficiency and gross indifference in the performance of his official duties. concur. and what is more was not convincingly proven. JJ. as the respondent court made no such finding of malice or bad faith. Neither was malice or bad faith alleged against him in the complaint. but in his official capacity. . he was not sued in his personal capacity. Petitioner contends that. contrary to the holding of the respondent Court of Appeals. The complaint against Jesus Genson is DISMISSED. There is no showing from the records that Genson received anything which could be called "inordinate gain. and that the most that was imputed to him is act of culpable neglect. much less proven by the evidence. SO ORDERED. or gross negligence on the part of Genson to hold him liable for the acts of Buensalido and Arbatin. Verily. According to the respondent court. we see no malice. bad faith. Bidin and Cortes.

dismissing the complaint filed before it. 1959. and against this order. Article 2180 of the Civil Code provides for the liability of an employer for the tortuous acts of his employees. LUCIO BALDONILO. or if there is proof of the existence of negligence on their part. On May 14. Acting upon the motions to dismiss. defendant Felix Hilario. FELIX BALATO. After an opposition thereto was filed by the plaintiff. plaintiff-appellant. on his own behalf. So the injured party can bring an action directly against the author of the negligent act or omission. because of the absence of safety devices. J. This. Quimbo for plaintiff-appellant. LABRADOR. Bohol for defendants-appellees. The only issue before this Court is the correctness of the order appealed from. FELIX HILARIO. the remaining defendant Florencio Brazas filed another motion to dismiss on May 20. claiming that the plaintiff has no cause of action against the defendants because they are being sued in their official capacities and therefore the claim for damages should be directed against the State. On May 19. that defendants are being used in their capacity as employees (of the Bureau of Public Highways). from which plaintiffs truck fell. 1959. 1959. however. Artemio A. On April 21. Felix Balato. L-15992 May 31. defendants Lucio Baldonilo. he suffered actual and moral damages and had to hire counsel to prosecute this action. TEODORO BALATO and TODESCO CEBUANO. fell into the river and was submerged in water for over 30 hours. quoted in V Tolentino. vs. the plaintiff has prosecuted this appeal directly to this Court. dismissed the complaint. Taft. the lower court on June 6. He therefore prays for payment to him by the defendants of said damages and attorney's fees. Lope C. Felix Hilario. the plaintiff has elected to sue the defendant employees personally for their negligent acts under the doctrine of quasi-delict. that as a consequence thereof. does not exempt the employees from personal liability. Teodoro Balato and Todesco Cebuano filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that the complaint states no cause of action and that they are not the real parties in interest. one of his auto- trucks. 1959. denying the material allegations of the complaint and alleging as special defense that he is working only under the instructions of his superiors. although he may sue as joint defendants such author and the person responsible for him (7 Salvat 80. Samar. It is apparent from the records that although the Government is the one operating the ferry boat. defendants-appellees. Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Civil . that due to their gross negligence in not providing the ferry boat with safety devices. 1959. FLORENCIO BRAZAS. while being transported from one bank of the Taft River. filed his answer. especially if there are no persons having direct supervision over them. 1959. to the other. 1961 PEDRO TY BELIZAR. No. Lucio Baldonilo alleging that he is operating the Samar Express Transit. Pedro Ty Belizar filed a complaint against Florencio Brazas.G.R.: This is an appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of Samar dated June 6. Docena and Jacinto R.

. Bengzon. Barrera. In view of the foregoing we find that the dismissal of complaint is not justified. cited in the order appealed from refer to an order based upon a contract of transportation. 38 Phil... 520). The fact that the duties and positions of the defendants are indicated does not mean that they are being sued in their official capacities. p. Reyes.. The provisions of Article 1733 of the Civil Code and the decision in the case of the Manila Railroad Co. La Compania Trasatlantica and Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Co. Dizon. Paredes. The present action being based on torts. C. J.J. especially as the present action is not one against the Government. vs.Code of the Philippines. JJ.. and for this reason.L. Padilla. 875. Concepcion.B. concur. we hereby set aside the order of dismissal appealed from and remanded the case to the court of origin for further proceedings. 1959 edition. Bautista Angelo. De Leon and Natividad. With costs against the defendants-appellees. said authorities are not applicable thereto.

if these surmises. and specific charges of wrongdoing set out in the complaint. The complaint specifically charges the defendant. J. and for convenience will be identified as marginal note A. A copy of the complaint. William Tutherly & Wm. conjectures. maliciously. and that had we any discretion so to do. We need hardly say that in sitting in judgment upon a complaint which thus boldly attacks the good name and fame of one of our associates. according to the best of our ability and understanding. and is further changed. But our duty. demands that in this case. as members of the court of last resort in these Islands. No. FINLEY JOHNSON. vs. to "administer to justice without respect to persons. 1912 EMILIA ALZUA and IGNACIO ARNALOT. omitting the voluminous exhibits thereto Attached. an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands. conjectures. L-7317 January 31. Kincaid & Thomas L. must have signed the opinion with no personal knowledge of the contents of the record submitted to them for adjudication. Hartigan for appellee. that this was but one of series of malicious and wrongful acts whereby the defendant succeeded in deceiving his associates. we would decline to take part in the discussion and decision of the questions submitted on the appeal. A. As necessary corollary to the surmises. we keenly recognize the delicacy of our position. and induced them to sign the order directing the entry of the alleged erroneous judgment. is set out in full in the margin. and with equal right to the rich and to the poor" and that we "faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon us. with corruption and misconduct in office of the gravest character. defendant-appellee. and which indirectly reflects upon the credit and reputation of the whole court. we proceed. in the language of our solemn oath of office. is attributed to the alleged false and misleading statement of the facts of the case which is set out in the written opinion upon which the judgment of the court was based. relying wholly upon the alleged false and misleading statement of the facts prepared by the defendant as the basis for the judgment which it is alleged was erroneously entered by the court. and without having read the briefs of counsel. the writer of that opinion. with having willfully. the four members of this court whose signatures are attached to that opinion together with that of the defendant." . as in all other cases duly submitted to us for adjudication.1 The complaint charges the defendant. J.R. Rohde for appellants. W. and specific charges are well founded. E. plaintiffs-appellants. The error which is alleged was committed by the court in entering that judgment. CARSON. perverted and misstated the facts set out therein for the purpose of deceiving the other members of the court to whom the opinion was submitted for signature. and in bad faith. agreeably to the laws of the Philippine Islands.: This is an appeal from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of Manila sustaining a demurrer to the complaint filed in this action on the ground that the facts stated therein do not constitute a cause of action.G. as members of the court. The damages which plaintiff Alzua seeks to recover in this section are alleged to have resulted from the entry by the court of an alleged erroneous judgment in a former action to which Alzua was a party defendant.

even if the truth of all her charges of official misconduct and wrongdoing on the part of the defendant be admitted. clearly discloses that even if plaintiff could be permitted to maintain this action. clearly discloses facts which justify us in holding that the defendant was not guilty of any misconduct or wrongdoing in connection with the entry of the judgment in question or the litigation in the course of which it was rendered. aided only by those additional facts of which the court below might and should be taken judicial notice. . or any damages whatever. without any doubts or misgivings as to the correctness of our conclusions. inferential allegation and specific charges of misconduct on the part of the defendant contained therein: that on the contrary the complaint. without being called upon to decide any difficult. (2) By the fact that counsel. we are unanimously of opinion not only that the plaintiff has no legal right to maintain this action. this case having been submitted to us for a review of the action of the court below in sustaining a demurrer to the complaint. and because. that she did not as alleged. that his intervention in the adjudication of the causes mentioned in the complaint was had in the due and proper performance of his duty. and adjudicated the issues involved in each of them "according to the very right of the cause" and agreeably to the laws of the Philippine Islands. conjectures. Certainly no one can be in better position than are the members of this court to interpret correctly the various incidents of that litigation as they are disclosed by our own records. which are alleged to have been erroneously entered at the instigation of the defendant. as it does.We are. however. and (3) Because the case is before us in such form that we can fully and completely disposed off all the issues involved. not upon any matter of our own knowledge which could not have been known to the court below. in some sort relieved of the extreme embarrassment to which we might otherwise be subjected by the exceptional character of the allegations and charges set out in the complaint: (1) By the knowledge that our action herein is subject to review by a higher court. that the material and relevant facts well pleaded in the complaint do not sustain or justify the surmises. read with the exhibits and court files which are incorporated therein. and that demurrer admitting. the truth of all the material and relevant facts which are well pleaded." It is hardly possible that any one can be better informed than are we as to the truth in regard to the extended litigation in this court which culminated in the alleged erroneous judgment. but strictly upon the facts discloses by the complaint. that the two separate final judgments entered by this court in the causes referred to in the complaint. but that an examination of the complaint. together with the exhibits incorporated therein. formally advised the court that it was submitted for judgment without any object to the participation therein of any of the members of the court whose signatures are here to attached. she has no just claim against the defendant. that a failure or neglect on his part to do each and all of the acts complained of substantially in manner and form as he did in fact do them. doubtful or certain questions of fact. upon submitting the case on appeal. would have rendered him liable to a well-founded charge dereliction in the performance of the duties of his office as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands. Nevertheless. we have taken scrupulous care to decide the appeal thus submitted. were justly and lawfully entered. finally. and. suffer the damages complained of.

and who will be referred to hereinafter as the 'plaintiff. Counsel contend that the truth of these allegation being admitted by the demurrer. amounting to some P65. as counsel contend. at the same time. on the contrary. it appears that she suffered damages. We shall.000 as actual damages. of directions to the clerk of the court to suspend the execution of the order thus amended. bad faith. We hold that. thereafter. thus unlawfully and maliciously intervening in the proceedings of the court upon the appeals in the two above-mentioned causes. as she alleges. this erroneous judgment was rendered by the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands as a result of the unlawful and malicious intervention of the defendant in the various proceedings had in this court leading up to its entry.Counsel for Alzua. we are unanimously of opinion. and intent to injure the plaintiff . We do not think that these contentions of counsel for appellant are supported by the facts well pleaded in the complaint. actual and special. the real plaintiff and appellant in this action. to sell certain valuable real estate at a great sacrifice. and of all the surmises. and.000 by way of special damages because of the loss of profits from this property of which she was thus deprived from the date of its sale to the date of the institution of this action. upon which the judgments in those cases were entered. apparently on the ground of the malicious character of the alleged wrong done her by the defendant. and with intent to injure the plaintiff in this action. until the further order of the court. that the demurrer to the complaint was properly sustained by the court below. and a like misstatement of the facts developed in the record which is set out in his written opinion in a prior case intimately connected therewith. The alleged unlawful acts of the defendant to which the complaint directs the attention of the court consists of an alleged misstatement and perversion of the facts developed by the record which is set out in his written opinion in the case wherein the alleged erroneous judgment was entered.000 as the result of the entry of an erroneous judgment against her for the sum of P12." was made by the defendant surreptitiously. which plaintiff claims. judgment should be rendered against the defendant for damages: P40. admitting the truth of all the allegation set out in the complaint.000. and. and P50. The complaint charges that the intervention by the defendant in these proceedings was actuated throughout by an intent to injure the plaintiff in this action. and the issuance by him.000 by the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands in a certain action to which she was a party defendant. without consulting with associates. and specific charges of official misconduct and wrong doing. unlawfully. procured the entry of the erroneous judgment from which sprung the damages complained of by the plaintiff in this action. that being the alleged value of the real estate which plaintiff Alzua was compelled to sell in order to satisfy the alleged erroneous judgment against her for P12. set out the various grounds on which our judgment rests very summarily in the fist place. and of malice. Our conclusions are based on several grounds. if the truth of the allegations contained in the complaint be admitted. we shall examine each of them in greater detail and under separate heads. inferenial allegations. that the statement of facts set out in the opinions written by him. and because. therefore. and that the defendant. conjectures. that it constituted a willful and deliberate falsification of the records of this court by the defendant in this action. each of which is sufficient in itself to sustain the action of the trial judge. were false." contend that the judgment of the lower court sustaining the demurrer should be reversed because. to satisfy which she was compelled. First. and made by the defendant knowing them to be false. P25. also the striking out with pen and ink by the defendant of the word "affirmed" and the substitution therefor of the word "revoked" in the original order directing entry of judgment in the earlier case. as counsel contend. and so hold. that the amendment made to the order directing to the entry of judgment in the first cause by striking out the word "affirmed" and substituting therefor the word "revoked.000 by way of punitive damages.

by the specific averments of facts set out in the complaint when read together with the court records specially referred to therein. perhaps. . inferential allegations. and wicked intent set out therein. and indeed. is not liable to respond in a civil action for the damages which it is alleged were occasioned thereby. the writer of that opinion carefully directs attention to the fact that the doctrine a to nonliability of judge therein announced is. and specific charges of official misconduct and wrongdoing directed against the defendant in the complaint are not well founded. that the rule of judicial liability on which we propose to rely is not in conflict with the doctrine laid down in the occuring opinion in the Forbes case. We conclude. even though there is in reality an absolute failure of jurisdiction over the subject matter. I In support of the proposition that defendant is not liable to respond in a civil action for the damages alleged in the complaint. or in other words. We hold that the complaint itself. therefore. but is included therein. to rest our conclusion upon a much narrower and more restricted proposition touching the liability of judicial officers. Second. out of which plaintiff claims that the alleged damages sprung. nor shall we in any wise rely upon the reasoning or the conclusions contained in the concurring opinion in the Forbes case. We hold also. that the facts set out in the complaint do not constitute a cause of action. he will not personally liable in civil damages for the result of the actions. read together with the exhibits and court records which are incorporated therein. If such question is one of determination of which requires the exercise of judicial functions. at least a statement of the doctrine in a form which has not yet received universal judicial recognition and acceptance. the defendant. Rep. clearly discloses that the judgment. there could be no question as to the nonliability of the defendant to respond in this action for the alleged damages. merely observing in passing. rest our decision in this case upon the doctrine thus enunciated. wherein the writer undertakes to establish that "whenever and wherever a judge of a court of superior jurisdiction exercises judicial functions. and therefore that the plaintiff has no claim for damages against the defendant. in this connection. which on plaintiff's own theory of the case must be shown to exist she can establish a cause of action. was not erroneously entered as alleged in the complaint." Applying this test to the allegations contained in the complaint. since the facts in this case permit us to do so. conjectures. if not a step in advance of the doctrine generally recognized in English and American courts. We prefer. the judge is not liable. malice. bad faith. We hold the complaint itself.contained therein. therefore. which have never been seriously questioned by any court of last resort in England or the United States. however. We shall not. but such liability depends wholly upon the nature of the question which is being determined when the error complained of is committed by the court. The doctrine as to nonliability of judges therein set forth has not been uniformly and unquestioningly accepted by all the courts which have been called upon to consider the principles involved. 534)." and that "the test of judicial liability is not jurisdiction. and on the contrary are directly controverted. we might. read together with the exhibits and court records which are incorporated therein. so that the grounds of public policy on which the broader doctrine rests necessarily sustain the more restricted statement of the rule upon which we purpose to rely. rely upon the reasoning of the concurring opinion in the case of Forbes vs. that proof of the material and relevant facts well pleaded in the complaint would not sustain the charges of bad faith. and intent on the part of the defendant to injure the plaintiff are not sustained. sets forth facts which clearly demonstrate that the surmises. nevertheless. that the allegations in the complaint of malice. that the facts set out in the complaint do not constitute a cause of action.. in other words. Chuoco Tiaco (16 Phil. Third.

and is a settled principle of law as applied by the courts of England and the United States." in the exercise of the judicial functions. and with much reason many authorities have held that upon the same grounds of public policy the protecting mantle of this rule should be thrown around judges with inferior jurisdiction as well as those of superior jurisdiction. But at the time the defendant was acting as vacation justice. 336) will be found a full statement of the grounds of public policy on which it rests. lays down the still broader rule above cited. and an extensive citation from the opinion of the Supreme Court of the Unite States written by Chief Justice Field in the case of Bradley vs. it sets forth facts which fully sustain the averment contained therein that these acts were done on or about the 8th day of April. The complaint expressly alleges that all of these acts were done during the judicial vacation of the court in the year 1907: and furthermore. and in joining with them in the issuance of the necessary orders for the entry of the final judgments rendered by the court. But for the purposes of this decision we desire to limit ourselves to the restricted statement of the rule as just laid down. in preparing the written opinions therein and submitting them to other members of the court for signature. designated to remain on duty during the vacation period of the year 1907. because as we believe and will undertake hereinafter to establish. in carrying the reasoning on which this rule rests to what the conceives to be its legal conclusion. It need not no citation of authorities to sustain it. pp. under the provisions of section 421 of the Code of Civil Procedure. supra. quoted from Mr. Fisher. 1907. The only question. We hold that if it be admitted that the court itself had legal powers and jurisdiction thus to amend its own order and to suspend the execution thereof until the further order of the court. in discussing the issues involved therein with his associates. therefore. with full legal powers and jurisdiction to each an all of these acts if the court itself would have had such powers and jurisdiction to do them when in regular session. and an . and that in doing these acts he was clearly and undoubtedly acting within his legal powers and jurisdiction. an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands.We hold that under the law as it now exists in these Islands judges of superior and general jurisdiction are not liable to respond in civil action for damages for what they may do in the exercise of their judicial functions when acting within their legal powers and jurisdiction. and we shall not burden the body of this opinion with the arguments which are advanced in its support. So the writer of the concurring opinion in the Forbes case. then the facts alleged in the complaint conclusively establish the legal powers and jurisdiction of the defendant so to do. 334. Cooley's work on Torts. True the complaint studiously refrains from mentioning the fact that at the time when these acts were done by the defendant was on duty as vacation judge of the court. There can be no argument to demonstrate that the defendant. and in giving directions to the clerk of the court not to execute the original order nor the order as amended until the further order of the court. This restricted statement of the rule of judicial liability in civil actions is universally asserted by the text-writers. was acting within the limits of his legal powers and jurisdiction in taking part in the adjudication of the appeals in the two cases referred to in the complaint. The grounds of public policy upon which these proposition rests have been held by the very highest authority to protect judges. but we hold that this court as well as the court below may and should take judicial notice of the fact. he was acting "as a judge. as to the legal powers and jurisdiction of the defendant to do the various acts mentioned in the complaint which need be considered. But in the margin (Notes C and D. there can be no question that whatever may have been the motives of the defendant. even when acting in excess of jurisdiction.2 in which the rule is discussed at length. the allegation of the complaint disclose that in doing each and all of the acts complained of. arises in connection with his action in amending the order directing the entry of judgment in the earlier cae referred to in the complaint.

867. which was furnished to all the courts of the Islands. that in doing each and all of the acts complained of. and complete legal powers and jurisdiction to amend it. it is that this rule of the common law of England. principles. and as such not in force in the Philippines. Rep." But counsel for appellants. had full legal powers and jurisdiction to do likewise. as of course. and indeed this proposition is so apparent that it is hardly necessary to set forth the reasoning on which it rests. will be shown further on in this opinion. in the very language of the statute. since judges of superior and general jurisdiction are not liable to respond in civil actions for damages for what they may do in the exercise of judicial functions when acting within legal powers and jurisdiction. and to issue orders to the clerk directing suspension of its execution until further orders. and that to breathe the breath of life into many of the institutions introduced in these Islands under American sovereignty recourse must be had to . as vacation justice of the court. and doctrines of the common law have. for it will be found that many of these laws can only be construed and applied with the aid of the common law from which they are derived. becomes very clear from a reading of the provisions of subsections (c) and (d) of section 5 of Act No.3 That the court itself had plenary control over the order in question. As we understand their contention. to all intents and purposes. and are not in conflict with existing law" (U. and it clearly in the exercise of judicial functions. 241). in the exercise of his judicial functions. while they do not deny that the rule on law which we rely is universally recognized and applied in the courts of England and the United States.4 which confer and define the legal powers and jurisdiction of justices of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands designated for duty during judicial vacations. these acts being essentially interlocutory in their nature. as a justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands. were done by the defendant." The allegations of the complaint setting forth that all the acts complained of therein. will be found in marginal B. as a judicial functions. 12 Phil. insists that it is not a correct statement of the law in force in these Islands. 136 as amended by section 1 of Act No. "not final in their character" and not involving "a decision of the case pending on the merits.. as a result of the enactment of new laws and the organization and establishment of new institutions by the Congress of the United States or under its authority. To this we answer that while it is true that the body of the common la was known to Anglo- American jurisprudence is not in force in these Islands. nevertheless many of the rules. been imported into jurisdiction. vs. that he cannot be held to respond in this action for the damages which it is alleged were occasioned thereby. it follows.extract from the official copy of the administrative order designate him for that duty. and. a court of superior and general jurisdiction. Under the rulings and practice of this court in construing these provisions of the law. S. a court of superior and general jurisdiction. set out in marginal note. and it clearly appearing from the complaint. save only in so far as they are founded on sound principles applicable to local conditions. he was acting in the limits of his legal powers and jurisdiction. Cuna. That the defendant. as a justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands. and to direct the suspension of its execution until the further orders of the court. and that the doctrine as to the liability of judicial officers in civil actions is to be derived from the Spanish substantive law in force in these Islands at the time of their transfer to American sovereignty. modified only by the provisions of section 9 of the Code of Civil Procedure. "nor are the doctrines derived therefrom binding upon our courts. it cannot be doubted that the interlocutory jurisdiction thus conferred by law upon vacation justices of this court clothed the defendant with full legal powers and jurisdiction to make the provisional amendment of the order directing the entry of the judgment.

principles. S. numbers of cases might be sighted wherein recourse has been had to the rules. was the enactment on June 11. "An Act providing the organization of courts in the Philippine Islands. Rep. It is a well-settled rule of construction that language used in a statute which has a settled and well-known meaning. 1902.. it must be construed with reference to the common law from which it was taken. 11 Phil. The majority of the members of the body which enacted it were able American lawyers." This Act in express terms abolished the then existing Audiencia or Supreme Court and Court of First Instance. with a new system modeled in all its essential characteristics upon the judicial systems of the United States.. 58 of April 23. and doctrines of the common law in ascertaining the true meaning and scope of the legislation enacted in and for the Philippine Islands since they passed under American sovereignty. the Supreme Court of the United States declared that: The expressed declarations of the President in Military Order. and substituted in their place the courts provided therein. 1901. principles. Among the earliest measures of the Philippine Commission. with its incidents and traditions drawn from Spanish sources. that any incident of the former system which conflicts with the essential . and powers of the new courts and their judges. is presumed to be in that sense by the legislative body. and indeed it very language and terminology would be unintelligible without some knowledge of the judicial systems of England and the United States. In the case of Kepner vs. In ascertaining the meaning of a phrase in the Constitution taken from the Bill of Rights. and doctrines of the common law under whose protecting aegis the prototypes of these institutions had their birth. of Act No. So in Serra vs.the rules. No. duties. and in the Act of July 1. and those expressions were used in the sense which has been placed upon them in construing the instrument from which they were taken. And it is safe to say in every volume of the Philippine Reports. It sets out in general terms the jurisdiction. It cannot be doubted. after the establishment of the Civil Government under American sovereignty. 136. both adopting with little alteration the provisions of the Bill of Rights. 669).. 762) the same court held that: The guaranties extended by Congress to the Philippine Islands are to be interpreted as meaning what the like provisions meant when Congress made them applicable to whose Islands. The spirits with which it is informed.. 11 Phil. 1900. therefore. Rep. S. show that it was intended to carry to the Philippine Islands those principles or our Government which the President declared to the established as rules of law for the maintenance of individual freedom. 470. establishing a civil government in the Philippine Islands. privileges. United Sates (195 U. sanctioned by judicial decision. 100. Mortiga (204 U. It is a well-settled principle of construction that specific terms covering the given subject matter will prevail over general language of the same or another statute which might otherwise prove controlling. Its manifest purpose and object was to replace the old judicial system.

supra. Indeed. that we are of. It has been the settled doctrine of the English courts for many centuries. upon the authority of the reasoning in the case of Bradley vs. 126 the doctrine as to the liability of judges must be laid down in accordance with principles derived from Anglo. supra." (Bradley vs. Fisher. therefore. . any substantial conflict between the two systems in this regard. as set out in the margin (Notes C and D5) leaves no room for doubt that a failure to recognize it as an incident to the new judicial system would materially impair its usefulness.principles and settled doctrines on which the new system rests. and would destroy that independence without which no judiciary can be either respectable or useful. But while we hold that since the enactment of Act No. shall be free to act upon his own convictions. Cooley in his work on Torts for the universal recognition of the rule in the United States. therefore. to at least t