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Torts November 20, 2018


CONSUELO TAN, respondent.
A judicial declaration of nullity of a previous marriage is necessary before a subsequent one
can be legally contracted. One who enters into a subsequent marriage without first obtaining
such judicial declaration is guilty of bigamy. This principle applies even if the earlier union is
characterized by statute as “void.”
The Case
Before us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari assailing the July 14, 1998 Decision of the Court
of Appeals (CA)1in CA-GR CR No. 19830 and its January 4, 1999 Resolution denying
reconsideration. The assailed Decision affirmed the ruling of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Bacolod City in Criminal Case No. 13848, which convicted herein petitioner of bigamy as
“WHEREFORE, finding the guilt of accused Dr. Vincent Paul G. Mercado a.k.a. Dr. Vincent G.
Mercado of the crime of Bigamy punishable under Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code to
have been proven beyond reasonable doubt, [the court hereby renders] judgment imposing
upon him a prison term of three (3) years, four (4) months and fifteen (15) days of prision
correccional, as minimum of his indeterminate sentence, to eight (8) years and twenty-one (21)
days of prision mayor, as maximum, plus accessory penalties provided by law.
Costs against accused.”2
The Facts
The facts are quoted by Court of Appeals (CA) from the trial court’s judgment, as follows: “From
the evidence adduced by the parties, there is no dispute that accused Dr. Vincent Mercado and
complainant Ma. Consuelo Tan got married on June 27, 1991 before MTCC-Bacolod City Br. 7
Judge Gorgonio J. Ibañez [by reason of] which a Marriage Contract was duly executed and
signed by the parties. As entered in said document, the status of accused was ‘single’. There is
no dispute either that at the time of the celebration of the wedding with complainant, accused
was actually a married man, having been in lawful wedlock with Ma. Thelma Oliva in a
marriage ceremony solemnized on April 10, 1976 by Judge Leonardo B. Cañares, CFI-Br. XIV,
Cebu City per Marriage Certificate issued in connection therewith, which matrimony was
further blessed by Rev. Father Arthur Baur on October 10, 1976 in religious rites at the Sacred
Heart Church, Cebu City. In the same manner, the civil marriage between accused and
complainant was confirmed in a church ceremony on June 29, 1991 officiated by Msgr.
Victorino A. Rivas, Judicial Vicar, Diocese of Bacolod City. Both marriages were consummated
when out of the first consortium, Ma. Thelma Oliva bore accused two children, while a child,
Vincent Paul, Jr. was sired by accused with complainant Ma. Consuelo Tan.
“On October 5, 1992, a letter-complaint for bigamy was filed by complainant through counsel
with the City Prosecutor of Bacolod City, which eventually resulted [in] the institution of the
present case before this Court against said accused, Dr. Vincent G. Mercado, on March 1, 1993
in an Information dated January 22, 1993.
“On November 13, 1992, or more than a month after the bigamy case was lodged in the
Prosecutor’s Office, accused filed an action for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage against Ma.
Thelma V. Oliva in RTC-Br. 22, Cebu City, and in a Decision dated May 6, 1993 the marriage
between Vincent G. Mercado and Ma. Thelma V. Oliva was declared null and void.
“Accused is charged [with] bigamy under Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code for having
contracted a second marriage with herein complainant Ma. Consuelo Tan on June 27, 1991

Torts November 20, 2018

when at that time he was previously united in lawful marriage with Ma. Thelma V. Oliva on
April 10, 1976 at Cebu City, without said first marriage having been legally dissolved. As
shown by the evidence and admitted by accused, all the essential elements of the crime are
present, namely: (a) that the offender has been previously legally married; (2) that the first
marriage has not been legally dissolved or in case the spouse is absent, the absent spouse
could not yet be presumed dead according to the Civil Code; (3) that he contract[ed] a second
or subsequent marriage; and (4) that the second or subsequent marriage ha[d] all the essential
requisites for validity. x x x
“While acknowledging the existence of the two marriage[s], accused posited the defense that his
previous marriage ha[d] been judicially declared null and void and that the private complainant
had knowledge of the first marriage of accused.
“It is an admitted fact that when the second marriage was entered into with Ma. Consuelo Tan
on June 27, 1991, accused’s prior marriage with Ma. Thelma V. Oliva was subsisting, no
judicial action having yet been initiated or any judicial declaration obtained as to the nullity of
such prior marriage with Ma. Thelma V. Oliva. Since no declaration of the nullity of his first
marriage ha[d] yet been made at the time of his second marriage, it is clear that accused was a
married man when he contracted such second marriage with complainant on June 27, 1991.
He was still at the time validly married to his first wife.”3
Ruling of the Court of Appeals
Agreeing with the lower court, the Court of Appeals stated:
“Under Article 40 of the Family Code, ‘the absolute nullity of a previous marriage may be
invoked for purposes of remarriage on the basis solely of a final judgment declaring such
previous marriage void.’ But here, the final judgment declaring null and void accused’s
previous marriage came not before the celebration of the second marriage, but after, when the
case for bigamy against accused was already tried in court. And what constitutes the crime of
bigamy is the act of any person who shall contract a second subsequent marriage ‘before’ the
former marriage has been legally dissolved.” 4
Hence, this Petition.5
The Issues
In his Memorandum, petitioner raises the following issues:
Whether or not the element of previous legal marriage is present in order to convict petitioner.
Whether or not a liberal interpretation in favor of petitioner of Article 349 of the Revised Penal
Code punishing bigamy, in relation to Articles 36 and 40 of the Family Code, negates the guilt
of petitioner.
Whether or not petitioner is entitled to an acquittal on the basis of reasonable doubt.” 6
The Court’s Ruling
The Petition is not meritorious.
Main Issue: Effect of Nullity of Previous Marriage
Petitioner was convicted of bigamy under Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code, which
“The penalty of prision mayor shall be imposed upon any person who shall contract a second or
subsequent marriage before the former marriage has been legally dissolved, or before the

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absent spouse has been declared presumptively dead by means of a judgment rendered in the
proper proceedings.”
The elements of this crime are as follows:
“1. That the offender has been legally married;
2. That the marriage has not been legally dissolved or, in case his or her spouse is absent, the
absent spouse could not yet be presumed dead according to the Civil Code;
3. That he contracts a second or subsequent marriage;
4. That the second or subsequent marriage has all the essential requisites for validity.”7
When the Information was filed on January 22, 1993, all the elements of bigamy were present.
It is undisputed that petitioner married Thelma G. Oliva on April 10, 1976 in Cebu City. While
that marriage was still subsisting, he contracted a second marriage, this time with Respondent
Ma. Consuelo Tan who subsequently filed the Complaint for bigamy.
Petitioner contends, however, that he obtained a judicial declaration of nullity of his first
marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code, thereby rendering it void ab initio. Unlike
voidable marriages which are considered valid until set aside by a competent court, he argues
that a void marriage is deemed never to have taken place at all. 8 Thus, he concludes that there
is no first marriage to speak of. Petitioner also quotes the commentaries 9 of former Justice Luis
Reyes that “it is now settled that if the first marriage is void from the beginning, it is a defense
in a bigamy charge. But if the first marriage is voidable, it is not a defense.”
Respondent, on the other hand, admits that the first marriage was declared null and void
under Article 36 of the Family Code, but she points out that that declaration came
only after the Information had been filed. Hence, by then, the crime had already been
consummated. She argues that a judicial declaration of nullity of a void previous marriage
must be obtained before a person can marry for a subsequent time.
We agree with the respondent.
To be sure, jurisprudence regarding the need for a judicial declaration of nullity of the previous
marriage has been characterized as “conflicting.”10 In People v. Mendoza,11 a bigamy case
involving an accused who married three times, the Court ruled that there was no need for such
declaration. In that case, the accused contracted a second marriage during the subsistence of
the first. When the first wife died, he married for the third time. The second wife then charged
him with bigamy. Acquitting him, the Court held that the second marriage was void ab
initio because it had been contracted while the first marriage was still in effect. Since the
second marriage was obviously void and illegal, the Court ruled that there was no need for a
judicial declaration of its nullity. Hence, the accused did not commit bigamy when he married
for the third time. This ruling was affirmed by the Court in People v. Aragon,12 which involved
substantially the same facts.
But in subsequent cases, the Court impressed the need for a judicial declaration of nullity.
In Vda de Consuegra v. GSIS,13 Jose Consuegra married for the second time while the first
marriage was still subsisting. Upon his death, the Court awarded one half of the proceeds of
his retirement benefits to the first wife and the other half to the second wife and her children,
notwithstanding the manifest nullity of the second marriage. It held: “And with respect to the
right of the second wife, this Court observes that although the second marriage can be
presumed to be void ab initio as it was celebrated while the first marriage was still
subsisting, still there is need for judicial declaration of such nullity.”
In Tolentino v. Paras,14 however, the Court again held that judicial declaration of nullity of a
void marriage was not necessary. In that case, a man married twice. In his Death Certificate,
his second wife was named as his surviving spouse. The first wife then filed a Petition to
correct the said entry in the Death Certificate. The Court ruled in favor of the first wife, holding
that “the second marriage that he contracted with private respondent during the lifetime of the

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first spouse is null and void from the beginning and of no force and effect. No judicial decree is
necessary to establish the invalidity of a void marriage.”
In Wiegel v. Sempio-Diy,15 the Court stressed the need for such declaration. In that case, Karl
Heinz Wiegel filed an action for the declaration of nullity of his marriage to Lilia Olivia Wiegel
on the ground that the latter had a prior existing marriage. After pretrial, Lilia asked that she
be allowed to present evidence to prove, among others, that her first husband had previously
been married to another woman. In holding that there was no need for such evidence, the
Court ruled: “x x x There is likewise no need of introducing evidence about the existing prior
marriage of her first husband at the time they married each other, for then such a marriage
though void still needs, according to this Court, a judicial declaration of such fact and for all legal
intents and purposes she would still be regarded as a married woman at the time she
contracted her marriage with respondent Karl Heinz Wiegel; x x x.”
Subsequently, in Yap v. CA,16 the Court reverted to the ruling in People v. Mendoza, holding
that there was no need for such declaration of nullity.
In Domingo v. CA,17 the issue raised was whether a judicial declaration of nullity was still
necessary for the recovery and the separation of properties of erstwhile spouses. Ruling in the
affirmative, the Court declared: “The Family Code has settled once and for all the conflicting
jurisprudence on the matter. A declaration of the absolute nullity of a marriage is now explicitly
required either as a cause of action or a ground for defense; in fact, the requirement for a
declaration of absolute nullity of a marriage is also for the protection of the spouse who,
believing that his or her marriage is illegal and void, marries again. With the judicial
declaration of the nullity of his or her first marriage, the person who marries again cannot be
charged with bigamy.”18
Unlike Mendoza and Aragon, Domingo as well as the other cases herein cited was not a criminal
prosecution for bigamy. Nonetheless, Domingo underscored the need for a judicial declaration
of nullity of a void marriage on the basis of a new provision of the Family Code, which came
into effect several years after the promulgation of Mendoza and Aragon.
In Mendoza and Aragon, the Court relied on Section 29 of Act No. 3613 (Marriage Law), which
“Illegal marriages. — Any marriage subsequently contracted by any person during the lifetime
of the first spouse shall be illegal and void from its performance, unless:
(a) The first marriage was annulled or dissolved;
(b) The first spouse had been absent for seven consecutive years at the time of the second
marriage without the spouse present having news of the absentee being alive, or the absentee
being generally considered as dead and believed to be so by the spouse present at the time of
contracting such subsequent marriage, the marriage as contracted being valid in either case
until declared null and void by a competent court.”
The Court held in those two cases that the said provision “plainly makes a subsequent
marriage contracted by any person during the lifetime of his first spouse illegal and void from
its performance, and no judicial decree is necessary to establish its invalidity, as distinguished
from mere annulable marriages.“19
The provision appeared in substantially the same form under Article 83 of the 1950 Civil Code
and Article 41 of the Family Code. However, Article 40 of the Family Code, a new provision,
expressly requires a judicial declaration of nullity of the previous marriage, as follows:
“ART. 40. The absolute nullity of a previous marriage may be invoked for purposes of
remarriage on the basis solely of a final judgment declaring such marriage void.”
In view of this provision, Domingo stressed that a final judgment declaring such marriage void
was necessary. Verily, the Family Code and Domingo affirm the earlier ruling in Wiegel. Thus, a
Civil Law authority and member of the Civil Code Revision Committee has observed:

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“[Article 40] is also in line with the recent decisions of the Supreme Court that the marriage of
a person may be null and void but there is need of a judicial declaration of such fact before
that person can marry again; otherwise, the second marriage will also be void (Wiegel v.
Sempio-Diy, Aug. 19/86, 143 SCRA 499, Vda. De Consuegra v. GSIS, 37 SCRA 315). This
provision changes the old rule that where a marriage is illegal and void from its performance, no
judicial decree is necessary to establish its validity (People v. Mendoza, 95 Phil. 843; People v.
Aragon, 100 Phil. 1033).“20
In this light, the statutory mooring of the ruling in Mendoza and Aragon – that there is no need
for a judicial declaration of nullity of a void marriage — has been cast aside by Article 40 of the
Family Code. Such declaration is now necessary before one can contract a second marriage.
Absent that declaration, we hold that one may be charged with and convicted of bigamy.
The present ruling is consistent with our pronouncement in Terre v. Terre,21 which involved an
administrative Complaint against a lawyer for marrying twice. In rejecting the lawyer’s
argument that he was free to enter into a second marriage because the first one was void ab
initio, the Court ruled: “for purposes of determining whether a person is legally free to contract
a second marriage, a judicial declaration that the first marriage was null and void ab
initio is essential.” The Court further noted that the said rule was “cast into statutory form by
Article 40 of the Family Code.” Significantly, it observed that the second marriage, contracted
without a judicial declaration that the first marriage was void, was “bigamous and criminal in
Moreover, Justice Reyes, an authority in Criminal Law whose earlier work was cited by
petitioner, changed his view on the subject in view of Article 40 of the Family Code and wrote in
1993 that a person must first obtain a judicial declaration of the nullity of a void marriage
before contracting a subsequent marriage:22
“It is now settled that the fact that the first marriage is void from the beginning is not a defense in
a bigamy charge. As with a voidable marriage, there must be a judicial declaration of the nullity
of a marriage before contracting the second marriage. Article 40 of the Family Code states that x
x x. The Code Commission believes that the parties to a marriage should not be allowed to
assume that their marriage is void, even if such is the fact, but must first secure a judicial
declaration of nullity of their marriage before they should be allowed to marry again. x x x.”
In the instant case, petitioner contracted a second marriage although there was yet no judicial
declaration of nullity of his first marriage. In fact, he instituted the Petition to have the first
marriage declared void only after complainant had filed a letter-complaint charging him with
bigamy. By contracting a second marriage while the first was still subsisting, he committed the
acts punishable under Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code.
That he subsequently obtained a judicial declaration of the nullity of the first marriage was
immaterial. To repeat, the crime had already been consummated by then. Moreover, his view
effectively encourages delay in the prosecution of bigamy cases; an accused could simply file a
petition to declare his previous marriage void and invoke the pendency of that action as a
prejudicial question in the criminal case. We cannot allow that.
Under the circumstances of the present case, he is guilty of the charge against him.
In her Memorandum, respondent prays that the Court set aside the ruling of the Court of
Appeals insofar as it denied her claim of damages and attorney’s fees. 23
Her prayer has no merit. She did not appeal the ruling of the CA against her; hence, she
cannot obtain affirmative relief from this Court.24 In any event, we find no reason to reverse or
set aside the pertinent ruling of the CA on this point, which we quote hereunder:
“We are convinced from the totality of the evidence presented in this case that Consuelo Tan is
not the innocent victim that she claims to be; she was well aware of the existence of the

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previous marriage when she contracted matrimony with Dr. Mercado. The testimonies of the
defense witnesses prove this, and we find no reason to doubt said testimonies.
xxx xxx xxx
“Indeed, the claim of Consuelo Tan that she was not aware of his previous marriage does not
inspire belief, especially as she had seen that Dr. Mercado had two (2) children with him. We
are convinced that she took the plunge anyway, relying on the fact that the first wife would no
longer return to Dr. Mercado, she being by then already living with another man.
“Consuelo Tan can therefore not claim damages in this case where she was fully conscious of
the consequences of her act. She should have known that she would suffer humiliation in the
event the truth [would] come out, as it did in this case, ironically because of her personal
instigation. If there are indeed damages caused to her reputation, they are of her own willful
WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED and the assailed Decision AFFIRMED. Costs against

G.R. No. 148974 : July 2, 2010




On August 4, 1995, at about 3:00 pm, an Isuzu private tanker with plate no. PCH 612, owned
by and registered in the name of petitioner OMC Carriers, Inc. and then being driven by its
employee Jerry P. Añalucas, was cruising along Quirino Highway towards the general direction
of Largo, Quezon City. At Barangay Pasong Putik, Novaliches, Quezon City, the aforesaid
private tanker hit a private vehicle, an Isuzu Gemini with plate no. NDF 372, which was
making a left turn towards a nearby Caltex Gasoline station. The impact heavily damaged the
right side portion of the latter motor and mortally injured its 18-year-old driver, Reggie T.
Nabua, who was later pronounced dead on arrival at the Fairview Polymedic Hospital.

Respondent spouses Berlino and Rosario Nabua, the parents of the victim, filed a Complaint
for damages against petitioners and the General Manager of OMC Carriers, Chito Calauag,
before the RTC of Quezon City, Branch 224. On January 19, 1998, the RTC rendered a
decision of which was in favor of the plaintiffs. The petitioners then appealed the RTC Decision
to the CA. On December 28, 1999, the CA rendered a decision which affirmed the decision of
the RTC with modifications.

ISSUES: (1) WON the OMC Carriers, Inc demonstrated the diligence of good father of a

(2) WON the Court of Appeals erred when it affirmed the RTC’s award of ₱60, 000.00 as
death indemnity and ₱100,000.00 as moral damages. In addition that the award of
attorney’s fees was without legal basis.


(1) No. the defendant company failed 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

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family in the selection and supervision of its drivers and buses, notwithstanding the
calls therefore by both the trial court and the opposing counsel, argues strongly against
its pretensions.
(2) Death indemnity has been fixed by jurisprudence at ₱50,000.00. Hence, the amount
awarded by the RTC and the CA must be reduced accordingly. On the issue of moral
damages, prevailing jurisprudence fixes moral damages of ₱50,000.00 for death. The
rule on the award of attorney’s fees is that there must be a justification for the same.
On this note, after reading through the text of the CA decision, this Court finds that the
same is bereft of any findings of fact and law to justify the award of attorney’s fees.


1. Respondent Rico Umuyon was driving the owner-type jeep owned by Spouses Lomotan.
a. The jeep was cruising at a moderate speed of 20 to 30 kmph.
b. Suddenly, at the opposite lane, the speeding ten-wheeler truck driven by Onofre
Rivera overtook a car by invading the lane being traversed by the jeep and rammed
into the jeep.
c. The jeep was a total wreck
d. Umuyon suffered an injury which entailed his hospitalization for 19 days.
e. Due to the injuries he sustained, Umuyon could no longer drive, reducing his daily
income fromP150 to P100
2. *RTC: Respondents instituted a separate and independent civil action for damages against
BF Metal Corporation and Rivera.
a. The complaint alleged that Rivera’s gross negligence and recklessness was the
immediate and proximate cause of the vehicular accident and that petitioner failed to
exercise the required diligence in the selection and supervision of Rivera.
b. The complaint prayed for the award of actual, exemplary and moral damages and
attorney’s fees in favor of respondents.
3. BF Metal and Rivera averred that:
a. Respondents were not the proper parties-in-interest to prosecute the action since
they were not the registered owner of the jeep.
b. the sole and proximate cause of the accident was the fault and negligence of
c. Petitioner exercised due diligence in the selection and supervision of its employees.
4. During the trial, respondents presented:
a. The testimonies of Umuyon, SPO1 Rico Canaria, SPO4 Theodore Cadaweg and
Nicanor Fajardo, the auto-repair shop owner who gave a cost estimate for the repair
of the wrecked jeep.
b. Document showing the cost estimate of Pagawaan Motors, Inc. which pegged the
repair cost of the jeep at P96,000, and the cost estimate of Fajardo Motor Works
done which reflected an increased repair cost at P130,655.
c. A copy of the Decision in Criminal Case No. 4742 finding Rivera guilty of reckless
imprudence resulting in damage to property with physical injuries.
5. The court declared Rivera negligent
a. When he failed to determine with certainty that the opposite lane was clear before
overtaking the vehicle in front of the truck he was driving.
b. Also negligent in the selection and supervision of its employees when it failed to
prove the proper dissemination of safety driving instructions to its drivers.
6. *CA: Petitioner and Rivera appealed the decision
a. The court affirmed the RTC’s finding that Rivera’s negligence was the proximate
cause of the accident and that petitioner was liable under Article 2180 of the Civil
Code for its negligence in the selection and supervision of its employees.
b. However, it modified the amount of damages awarded to respondents.
7. Motion for reconsideration denied by CA.

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8. *SC: Only petitioner filed the instant petition, expressly stating that it is assailing only the
damages awarded by the appellate court
ISSUE#1: W/N the amount of actual damages based only on a job estimate should be lowered
Except as provided by law or by stipulation, one is entitled to an adequate compensation only for
such pecuniary loss suffered by him as he has duly proved. Such compensation is referred to as
actual or compensatory damages. Actual damages are such compensation or damages for an injury that
will put the injured party in the position in which he had been before he was injured. They pertain to such
injuries or losses that are actually sustained and susceptible of measurement. To justify an award of
actual damages, there must be competent proof of the actual amount of loss. Credence can be given only
to claims which are duly supported by receipts.

In the instant case, no evidence was submitted to show the amount actually spent for the repair or
replacement of the wrecked jeep. Spouses Lomotan presented two different cost estimates to prove the
alleged actual damage of the wrecked jeep. Exhibit "B," is a job estimate by Pagawaan Motors, Inc.,
which pegged the repair cost of the jeep at P96,000.00, while Exhibit "M," estimated the cost of repair
at P130,655.00. An estimate is competent to prove actual damages. Courts cannot simply rely on
speculation, conjecture or guesswork in determining the fact and amount of damages.

As correctly pointed out by petitioner, the best evidence to prove the value of the wrecked jeep is
reflected in Exhibit "I," the Deed of Sale showing the jeep’s acquisition cost at P72,000.00. However, the
depreciation value of equivalent to 10% of the acquisition cost cannot be deducted from it in the absence
of proof in support thereof.

ISSUE#2: W/N respondents also entitled to moral and exemplary damages

HELD: Only Spouses Lomotan are not entitled to moral damages
Petitioner argues that the award of moral damages was premised on the resulting physical injuries arising
from the quasi-delict; since only respondent Umuyon suffered physical injuries, the award should pertain
solely to him. Correspondingly, the award of exemplary damages should pertain only to respondent
Umuyon since only him was entitled to moral damages.

In the case of moral damages, recovery is more an exception rather than the rule. Moral damages are not
punitive in nature but are designed to compensate and alleviate the physical suffering, mental anguish,
fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, and
similar harm unjustly caused to a person. In order that an award of moral damages can be aptly justified,
the claimant must be able to satisfactorily prove that he has suffered such damages and that the injury
causing it has sprung from any of the cases listed in Articles 2219 and 2220 of the Civil Code. Then, too,
the damages must be shown to be the proximate result of a wrongful act or omission. The claimant must
establish the factual basis of the damages and its causal tie with the acts of the defendant. In fine, an
award of moral damages would require, firstly, evidence of besmirched reputation or physical, mental or
psychological suffering sustained by the claimant; secondly, a culpable act or omission factually
established; thirdly, proof that the wrongful act or omission of the defendant is the proximate cause of the
damages sustained by the claimant; and fourthly, that the case is predicated on any of the instances
expressed or envisioned by Article 2219 and Article 2220 of the Civil Code.

In culpa aquiliana, or quasi-delict, (a) when an act or omission causes physical injuries, or (b) where the
defendant is guilty of intentional tort, moral damages may aptly be recovered. This rule also applies to
breaches of contract where the defendant acted fraudulently or in bad faith. In culpa criminal, moral
damages could be lawfully due when the accused is found guilty of physical injuries, lascivious acts,
adultery or concubinage, illegal or arbitrary detention, illegal arrest, illegal search, or defamation.

Undoubtedly, petitioner is liable for the moral damages suffered by respondent Umuyon. Its liability is
based on a quasi-delict or on its negligence in the supervision and selection of its driver, causing the

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vehicular accident and physical injuries to respondent Umuyon. Rivera is also liable for moral damages to
respondent Umuyon based on either culpa criminal or quasi-delict. Since the decision in the criminal
case, which found Rivera guilty of criminal negligence, did not award moral damages, the same may be
awarded in the instant civil action for damages.

Jurisprudence show that in criminal offenses resulting to the death of the victim, an award within the
range ofP50,000.00 to P100,000.00 as moral damages has become the trend. Under the circumstances,
because respondent Umuyon did not die but had become permanently incapacitated to drive as a result
of the accident, the award of P30,000.00 for moral damages in his favor is justified.

However, there is no legal basis in awarding moral damages to Spouses Lomotan whether arising from
the criminal negligence committed by Rivera or based on the negligence of petitioner under Article 2180.
Article 2219 speaks of recovery of moral damages in case of a criminal offense resulting in physical
injuries or quasi-delicts causing physical injuries, the two instances where Rivera and petitioner are liable
for moral damages to respondent Umuyon. Article 2220 does speak of awarding moral damages where
there is injury to property, but the injury must be willful and the circumstances show that such damages
are justly due. There being no proof that the accident was willful, Article 2220 does not apply.

Exemplary or corrective damages are imposed, by way of example or correction for the public good, in
addition to moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages. Exemplary damages cannot be
recovered as a matter of right; the court will decide whether or not they should be adjudicated. In quasi-
delicts, exemplary damages may be granted if the defendant acted with gross negligence.While the
amount of the exemplary damages need not be proved, the plaintiff must show that he is entitled to moral,
temperate or compensatory damages before the court may consider the question of whether or not
exemplary damages should be awarded.

To serve as an example for the public good, the Court affirms the award of exemplary damages in the
amount of P100,000.00 to respondents. Because exemplary damages are awarded, attorney’s fees may
also be awarded in consonance with Article 2208 (1). The Court affirms the appellate court’s award of
attorney’s fees in the amount of P25,000.00.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition for certiorari is PARTIALLY GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 58655 is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. The award of actual damages for
the cost of repairing the owner-type jeep is hereby REDUCED to P72,000.00 while the moral damages
of P30,000.00 is awarded solely to respondent Umuyon. All other awards of the Court of Appeals
are AFFIRMED. full satisfaction.

Heirs of Redentor Completo, and Elpidio Abiad v. Sgt. Amando Albayda, Jr.

2010 / Nachura [Negilgence > Standard of conduct > Special circumstance]


Albayda is a Master Sergeant of the PH Air Force, and Completo was the taxi driver of a Toyota
Corolla which was owned by Abiad. Albayda was riding a bike on his way to the office, when
Completo's taxi bumped and sideswept him, causing serious physical injuries. He [Albayda]
was brought to the PH Air Force General Hospital, but he was transferred to the AFP Medical
Center because he sustained a fracture and there was no orthopedic doctor available in the
first hospital. He was confined from 27 Aug 1997 to 11 Feb 1998, and again in 23 Feb to 22
Mar 1998 [approx. 7 months].

Conciliation before the barangay failed, so Albayda filed a complaint for physical injuries
through reckless imprudence against Completo before the Office of the City Prosecutor of

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Pasay. Completo filed a counter-charge of damage to property through reckless imprudence

against Albayda. The Office of the City Prosecutor recommended the filing of an information for
Albayda's complaint, and Completo's complaint [against Albayda] was dismissed. Albayda
manifested his reservation to file a separate civil action for damages against Completo and

Albayda alleged that Completo's negligence is the proximate cause of the incident. He
demanded the following damages and their respective amounts: Actual damages -
276,550; Moral damages - 600,000; Exemplary damages - 200,000; Attorney's fees - 25,000 +
1,000 per court appearance.

On the other hand, Completo alleged that he was carefully driving the taxicab when he
heard a strange sound from the taxicab's rear right side. He found Albayda lying on the road,
holding his left leg, so he brought Albayda to PH Air Force General Hospital. Completo asserted
that he was an experienced driver, and that he already reduced his speed to 20km even before
reaching the intersection. In contrast, Albayda rode his bicycle at high speed, causing him to
lose control of the bicycle. Completo said that Albayda had no cause of action.

Several people testified for each side, but here are some notes on the testimony of the owner
of the taxi driver, Abiad. Abiad said that aside from being a soldier, he also held franchises of
taxicabs and passenger jeepneys, and being a taxicab operator, he would wake up early to
personally check the taxicabs. When Completo applied as a taxicab driver, Abiad required him
to show his bio-data, NBI clearance, and driver's license. Completo never figured in a vehicular
accident since he was employed, and according to Abiad, he [Completo] was a good driver and
good man.

RTC rendered judgment in favor of Albayda, and the defendants are ordered to pay actual
[46k] and moral [400k] damages, and attorney's fees [25k]. Upon appeal at the CA, the court
affirmed RTC's decision with modifications [no more actual damages; awarded temperate
damages [40k]; moral damages only 200k; Completo and Abiad are solidarily liable to pay
Albayda; added legal interest].

Issues and Holding

1. WON CA erred in finding that Completo was the one who caused the collision. NO

2. WON Abiad failed to prove that he observed the diligence of a good father of the family.

3. WON the award of moral and temperate damages and attorney's fees for Albayda had no
basis. NO / NO / YES


On Negligence

It is a rule in negligence suits that the plaintiff has the burden of proving by a
preponderance of evidence the motorist's breach in his duty of care owed to the plaintiff,
that the motorist was negligent in failing to exercise the diligence required to avoid injury to the
plaintiff, and that such negligence was the proximate cause of the injury suffered. NCC 2176
quoted, and said that the question of the motorist's negligence is a question of fact. Usually,
more will be required of a motorist [25mi/hr = 37ft/sec] than a bicyclist [10mi/hr = 15ft/sec]

Torts November 20, 2018

in discharging the duty of care because of the physical advantages the former has over the

It was proven by a preponderance of evidence that Completo failed to exercise reasonable


 He was overspeeding at the time he hit Albayda's bicycle; he did not slow down even
when he approached the intersection

 Such negligence was the sole and proximate cause of the injuries sustained by Albayda

 It was proven that Albayda had the right of way since he reached the intersection ahead
of Completo

NCC 2180 cited - obligation imposed by NCC 2176 is demandable also for those persons for
whom one is responsible. Employers are liable for damage caused by employees, but the
responsibility ceases upon proof that employers observed the diligence of the good father of the
family in the selection and supervision of employees. The burden of proof is on the
employer. The responsibility of two or more persons who are liable for QD is
solidary. The employer's civil liability for his employee's negligent acts is also primary
and direct, owing to his own negligence in selecting and supervising them, and this liability
attaches even if the employer is not in the vehicle at the time of collision.

In the selection of employees, employers are required to examine them as to their

qualifications, experience, and service records. With respect to supervision, employers
should formulate SOPs and monitor their implementation, and impose disciplinary measures
for breaches. To establish these factors in a trial involving the issue of vicarious
[secondary] liability, employers must submit concrete proof, including documentary



On Damages

CA rightfully deleted the award of actual damages because Albayda failed to present
documentary evidence to establish the amount incurred. Temperate damages may be recovered
when the court finds that some pecuniary loss has been suffered but its amount cannot be
proved with certainty. Moral damages are awarded in QDs causing physical injuries, so the
award is proper. The award of attorney's fees is deleted for failure to prove that petitioners
acted in bad faith in refusing to satisfy respondent's just and valid claim.