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MANILA STEAMSHIP CO., INC., V.

INSA ABDULHAMAN from liability by reason of the sinking and total loss of his
FACTS: vessel (M/L Consuelo V) and ordered Manila Steamship
 This case was filed by Insa Abdulhaman against the Co., owner of M/S Bowline Knot, to pay all damages due
Manila Steamship Co., owner of the M/S “Bowline Knot”, to the plaintiff
and Lim Hong To, owner of the M/L “Consuelo V”, to
recover damages for the death of his (Plaintiff’s) five  Petitioner Manila Steamship Co. pleads that it is
children and loss of personal properties on board the M/L exempt from any liability to Plaintiff under Article 1903
“Consuelo V” as a result of a maritime collision between of the Civil Code because it had exercised the
said vessel and the M/S “Bowline Knot” on May 4, 1948, diligence of a good father of a family in the
a few kilometers distant from San Ramon Beach, selection of its employees, particularly Third Mate
Zamboanga City. Simplicio Ilagan, the officer in command of its vessels,
 From 7: 00 to 8: 00 o’clock in the evening of May 4, the M/S “Bowline Knot”, at the time of the collision. =
1948, the M/L “Consuelo V”, laden with cargoes and UNTENABLE
passengers left the port of Zamboanga City bound for
ISSUE:
Siokon under the command of Faustino Macrohon. She
was then towing a kumpit, named “Sta. Maria Bay”. The Whether or not petitioner Manila Steamship Co. is exempt from
weather was good and fair. any liability under Art. 1903 of the Civil Code?
 On that same night the M/S “Bowline Knot” was
navigating from Maribojoc towards Zamboanga. NO.
 9:30-10:00 pm – rain began to fall, wind strengthened,
 Plaintiff’s action against Petitioner is based on a tort
waves became choppy and the sea was roaring. This
or quasi-delict, the tort in question is not a civil tort
weather lasted for around an hour. Rain showers
under the Civil Code but a maritime tort resulting in
continued but visibility was good enough.
a collision at sea, governed by Articles 826-939 of the
 All of a sudden, M/L Consuelo V collided with M/S Code of Commerce.
Bowline Knot. M/L Consuelo V capsized. 9 passengers
died and went missing, and all cargoes were lost. Among ARTICLE 827 “in case of collision between two
those who died were the 5 Inasa children. The body of vessels imputable to both of them, each vessel shall
Abdula Inasa was never recovered. suffer her own damage and both shall be solidarily
COURT OF APPEALS: liable for the damages occasioned to their cargoes.”

 Both commanding officers were negligent in operating ARTICLE 618 “the captain shall be civilly liable to the
their respective vessels. Held owners of both vessels ship agent, and the latter is the one liable to third
solidarily liable for damages; but exempted Lim Hong To persons”

2.. the liability of Lim Hong To and Manila Steamship Co. that shipowners and ship agents are civilly liable for the acts of the captain and for the indemnities due the third persons ryso that injured parties may immediately look for reimbursement to the owner of the ship. That the Manila Steamship Co. is directly and primarily responsible in tort for the injuries caused to the Plaintiff by the collision of said vessel with the launch “Consuelo V”. well established maritime law and custom. to the Plaintiff herein is in solidum. 3. That both vessels being at fault. having caused the same to sail without licensed officers. as prescribed by Article 827 of the Code of Commerce. through the negligence of the crews of both vessels. is liable for the injuries caused by the collision over and beyond the value of said launch. it being universally recognized that the ship master or captain is primarily the representative of the owner  The court held that: 1. . That Lim Hong To. it is a general principle. as owner of the motor launch “Consuelo V”. and it may not escape liability on the ground that it exercised due diligence in the selection and supervision of the officers and crew of the “Bowline Knot”. owner of the M/S “Bowline Knot”.