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L-42699 to L-42709; May 26, 1981 FACTS: The lower court dismissed 11 complaints for recovery of parcel of land. Plaintiff dies pending appeal. Counsel notifies the court of appellant’s death, and prayed for suspension of the period for filing an appellant’s brief pending appointment of an executor. The Court of Appeals denies extension and dismisses the appeal. ISSUE: Whether or not the death of one of the parties in a pending case is a proper recourse in dismissing the same. RULING: The Rules of Court requires appearance of the deceased legal representatives instead of dismissing the case. Dismissal of an appeal on the ground of failure to file appellant’s brief must be in accordance with the tenets of justice and fair play. The extension should have been granted. Gashem Shookat Baksh vs. Court of Appeals GR No. 97336 - February 19, 1993 FACTS: Petitioner was a medicine student at Lyceum Northwestern Colleges at Dagupan City. He was an Iranian exchange student and was 29 years old. Respondent was a former waitress on a luncheonette, and was 22 years old. Petitioner was allegedly the lover of the respondent, and was said to promise marriage to the latter, which convinced her to live with him in his apartment. It was even alleged that the petitioner went to the house of the respondent to inform her family about the marriage on the end of the semester. However, the marriage did not materialize, with several beatings and maltreatment experienced by the respondent from the petitioner. The case was filed in the RTC of Pangasinan, and the decision was held in favor of the respondent. However, the petitioner claimed that the judgment of the RTC was an error, for the claims of the respondent are not true, and that he did not know about the custom of the Filipinos; his acts were in accordance of his custom. The decision of the RTC was affirmed in toto by the Court of Appeals. Hence, the petitioner filed an appeal to the Supreme Court.
Whether or not the respondent could claim payment for the damages incurred by the petitioner. RULING: Mere breach of marriage is not punishable by law. However, since the respondent was proved to have a good moral character, and that she had just let her virginity be taken away by the petitioner since the latter offered a promise of marriage, then she could ask for payment for damages. Furthermore, since she let her lover, the petitioner, “deflowered” her since she believed that his promise to marry was true, and not due to her carnal desire, then she could have her claims against the petitioner. Moreover, the father of the respondent had already looked for pigs and chicken for the marriage reception and the sponsors for the marriage, and then damages were caused by the petitioner against the respondents, which qualified the claims of the respondent against the petitioner. University of the East vs. Jader GR No. 132344 - February 17, 2000 FACTS: Romeo Jader, a law student of the University of the East, failed to take his regular examination in Practice Court I in his first semester of his last school year. However, he was able to remove the incomplete mark when the Dean of his college approved his application to take a removal examination. In the 2nd semester, his name appeared in the tentative list of candidates for graduation for the Decree of Bachelor of Laws and in the invitation for the 35th Investiture and Commencement Ceremonies, the plaintiff’s name appeared. Thus, he attended the investiture ceremonies and graduated. On April to September 1998, he took a leave of absence from his work and enrolled at the pre-bar review class in Far Eastern University. To his dismay upon knowing that he incurred a deficiency, he dropped his review class and was not able to take the bar examinations. He then filed a suit against UE praying for moral and exemplary damages arising from the latter’s negligence. The trial court ruled in his favor and was granted for actual damages. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision with modification. The CA awarded moral damages. On account of
suffering moral shock, mental anguish, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings and sleepless nights and ultimately for not having to take the bar exam. ISSUE: Whether or not Jader may validly claim for damages. RULING: In view of the foregoing issue, the Supreme Court emphatically enunciated that moral damages cannot be awarded to Romeo Jader. It cannot believe that he suffered shock, trauma, and pain. Along this vein, the Supreme Court held Jader negligent. It opined that as a student, he should have been responsible enough to ensure that all his affairs, especially those appertaining to his academics, are in order. If respondent was indeed humiliated by his failure to take the bar, he brought this upon himself by not verifying if he has satisfied all the requirements. While the Court held the University of the East negligent and therefore liable for actual damages in favor of Jader, the latter was also held liable for negligence thereby no moral damages can be awarded in his favor. The decision was affirmed with modification. Noel Buenaventura vs. Court of Appeals G.R. Nos. 127358 - G.R. Nos. 127449; March 31, 2005 FACTS: Noel Buenaventura filed a position for the declaration of nullity of marriage on the ground that both he and his wife were psychologically incapacitated. The RTC in its decision, declared the marriage entered into between petitioner and respondent null and violation ordered the liquidation of the assets of the conjugal partnership property; ordered petitioner a regular support in favor of his son in the amount of 15,000 monthly, subject to modification as the necessity arises, and awarded the care and custody of the minor to his mother. Petitioner appealed before the CA. While the appeal was pending, the CA, upon respondent’s motion issued a resolution increasing the support pendants like to P20, 000. The CA dismissal petitioner appeal for lack of merit and affirmed in to the RTC decision. Petitioner motion for reconsideration was denied, hence this petition. ISSUE: Whether or not co-ownership is applicable to valid marriage.
RULING: Since the present case does not involve the annulment of a bigamous marriage, the provisions of article 50 in relation to articles 41, 42 and 43 of the Family Code, providing for the dissolution of the absolute community or conjugal partnership of gains, as the case maybe, do not apply. Rather the general rule applies, which is in case a marriage is declared void ab initio, the property regime applicable to be liquidated, partitioned and distributed is that of equal co-ownership. Since the properties ordered to be distributed by the court a quo were found, both by the RTC and the CA, to have been acquired during the union of the parties, the same would be covered by the co-ownership. No fruits of a separate property of one of the parties appear to have been included or involved in said distribution. Jesus B. Ruiz vs. Encarnacion Ucol G.R. No. L-45404, August 7, 1987
FACTS: The laundrywoman for plaintiff-appellant Ruiz filed an administrative charge against defendant-appellee Ucol. Ucol, in her answer, alleged that Tagaca was merely used as a tool by Ruiz who wanted to get back at the Ucol's because of a case filed by respondent’s husband against Ruiz. She was also alleged to have made remarks that Ruiz instigated the complaint and fabricated the charges. When the administrative case was dismissed, the petitioner filed his own criminal complaint for libel against Ucol based on the alleged libelous portion of Ucol's answer. The lower court acquitted Ucol on the ground that her guilt was not established beyond reasonable doubt. The trial court as to the civil liability of the accused made no pronouncement. Instead of appealing, Ruiz filed a separate complaint for damages based on the same facts upon which the libel case was founded. Ucol filed a motion to dismiss stating that the action had prescribed and that the cause of action was barred by the decision in the criminal case for libel. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss on the ground of res judicata. On appeal, the appellate court certified the case to the Supreme Court. ISSUE: Whether or not the civil action for damages was already barred by the criminal case of libel.
RULING: The contentions of the petitioner have no merit. Art. 33 of the Civil Code, independently of a criminal action for defamation, a civil suit for the recovery of damages arising therefrom may be brought by the injured party. The civil liability arising from the crime charged may still be determined in the criminal proceedings if the offended party does not waive to have it adjudged, or does not reserve his right to institute a separate civil action against the defendant. The Supreme Court did not find any defamatory imputation, which causes dishonor, or discredit to the complainant. She was the victim of an unprovoked, unjustified and libelous attack against her honor, honesty, character and reputation; she has a right to selfdefense, which she did in her answer, to protect her honesty and integrity and the very job upon which her family depend for their livelihood. Bellis vs. Bellis G.R. No. L-23678 FACTS: Amos G. Bellis was a citizen and resident of Texas at the time of his death. Before he died, he made two wills, one disposing his Texas properties, the other disposing his Philippine properties. In both wills, the recognized illegitimate children were not given any share. Texas has no conflict rule (Rule of Private International Law) governing successional rights. Furthermore, under Texas law, there are no compulsory heirs. ISSUE: Whether or not such illegitimate children of Bellis be entitled to successional rights. RULING: The said illegitimate children are not entitled to their legitimes. Under Texas law, there are no legitimes. Even if the other will was executed in the Philippines, his national law, still, will govern the properties for succession even if it is stated in his testate that it shall be governed by the Philippine law. US vs. Bull 15 PHIL 7 FACTS:
H.N Bull, who was the master of a vessel transporting cattle, carabao and other animals from Formosa to Manila, failed to provide suitable means for securing the animals while they are in transit. Such neglect was a violation of Act. No. 275 of the Philippine Commission, which reads: “The owners or masters of steam, sailing, or other vessels, carrying or transporting cattle, sheep, swine, or other animals, from one port in the Philippine Islands to another, or from any foreign port to any port within the Philippine Islands, shall carry with them, upon the vessels carrying such animals, sufficient forage and fresh water to provide for the suitable sustenance of such animals during the ordinary period occupied by the vessel in passage from the port of shipment to the port of debarkation, and shall cause such animals to be provided with adequate forage and fresh water at least once in every twenty-four hours from the time that the animals are embarked to the time of their final debarkation.” Bull contends that the Philippine courts have no jurisdiction over his offense. ISSUE: case. RULING: When a vessel comes within 3 miles from the headlines which embrace the entrance of Manila Bay, the vessel is within the territorial waters and thus, the laws of the Philippines shall apply. A crime committed on board a Norwegian merchant vessel sailing to the Philippines is within the jurisdiction of the courts of the Philippines if the illegal conditions existed during the time the ship was within the territorial waters – regardless of the fact that the same conditions existed when the ship sailed from the foreign port and while it was on the high seas. In light of the above restriction, the defendant was found guilty, and sentenced to pay a fine of two hundred and fifty pesos, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs. People vs. Bayotas G.R. No. 102007 (236 SCRA 239) FACTS: Whether or not the Philippines has jurisdiction over this
Rogelio Bayotas was charged with rape and eventually convicted on June 19, 1991. While the appeal was pending, Bayotas died. The Supreme Court dismissed the criminal aspect of the appeal; however, it required the Solicitor-General to comment with regard to Bayotas’ civil liability arising from his commission of the offense charged. In his comment, the Solicitor-General expressed his view that the death of accused-appellant did not extinguish his civil liability as a result of his commission of the offense charged. This comment was opposed by the counsel of accused-appellant, arguing that the death of the accused while judgment of the conviction is pending appeal extinguishes both criminal and civil penalties, he cited in support and invoked the ruling of the Court of Appeals in People v. Castillo, which was held that the civil obligation in a criminal case takes root in the criminal responsibility and therefore civil liability is extinguished if accused should die before final judgment is rendered. ISSUE: Whether or not the death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his civil liability. RULING: Yes, the death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his civil liability because tire liability is based solely on the criminal act committed. Corollarily, the claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding the death of the accused, if the same may also be predicated from another source of obligation other than delict, such as law, contract, quasi-contract or quasi-delict. Where civil liability survives, an action for recovery may be pursued but only by way of filing a separate civil action and subject to Section 1. Rule 11 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended. This separate civil action may be enforced either against the executor/administrator or the estate of the accused depending on the source of obligation upon which the same is based. Donato vs. Hon. Luna G.R. No. L-54598; April 15, 1988 FACTS: On January 23, 1979, the City Fiscal of Manila acting thru Assistant City Fiscal Amado Cantor, filed information for bigamy against Leonila Donato with the Court of First Instance. The private respondent filed a civil action for declaration of nullity of her
marriage with petitioner. Respondent had no previous knowledge of petitioner’s existing marriage to Rosalinda Maluping. Donato interposed in her answer the defense that his second marriage was void and since it was solemnized without a marriage license and that force, violence, intimidation and undue influence were employed by respondent. Petitioner filed a motion to suspend the proceedings of the criminal case contending that the civil case seeking the annulment of the second marriage raise a prejudicial question which must be determined or decided before the criminal case can proceed. ISSUES: Whether or not the issue raised in the civil case is a prejudicial question which must be determined before the criminal case can proceed; and whether or not the petitioner lacked the legal capacity to contract the second marriage. RULING: Donato cannot apply the rule on prejudicial question because a case for annulment of marriage can only be considered as a prejudicial question on the condition that it must be proven that the petitioner’s consent to the marriage was obtained through intimidation, violence and undue influence in order to establish that his act in the subsequent marriage was done involuntarily. In the petitioner’s argument that the second marriage should have been declared null and void on the ground of force, intimidation and violence allegedly employed against him by respondent only sometime later cannot be considered relevant.
Eugenio Domingo vs. Court of Appeals G.R. No. 127540 - October 17, 2001 FACTS: Paulina Rigonan owned three parcels of land including the house and warehouse on one parcel. She allegedly sold them to private respondents, the spouses Felipe and Concepcion Rigonan, who claim to be her relatives amounting to P850.00. The petitioners Eugenio Domingo, Crispin Mangabat and Samuel Capalungan, who claim to be her closest surviving relatives, allegedly took possession of the properties by means of stealth, force and intimidation, and refused to vacate the same. The respondent filed a complaint for reinvindicacion against petitioners. The petitioners stated that the
sale was spurious and they are the legitimate owner of the land being the nearest kin of Paulina. The respondents shown a carbon copy of the deed of sale not bearing the signature of Paulina only allege thumb mark of the latter and the deed was tainted with alterations, defects and irregularities. The trial court found the deed “fake” and rendered judgment in favor of the petitioners. The appellate court, however, reversed the decision and declared the respondents the owner of the properties. On appeal, the petitioners asserted that there was abundant evidence at the time of the execution of the sale, the deceased was already senile. She could have not consented to the sale by merely imprinting her thumbmark on the deed. ISSUE: Whether or not the vendor has the capacity to act on the alleged sale of her property. RULING: The Supreme Court reinstated the decision of the trial court. There is a serious doubt that the seller consented to the sale of and the price for her parcels of land. The time of the execution of the alleged contract, Paulina Rigonan was already of advanced age and senile. She died an octogenarian barely over a year when the deed was allegedly executed but before copies of the deed were entered in the registry. The general rule is that a person is not incompetent to contract merely because of advanced years or by reason of physical infirmities. However, when such age or infirmities have impaired the mental faculties so as to prevent the person from properly, intelligently, and firmly protecting her property rights then she is undeniably incapacitated. The unrebutted testimony of Zosima Domingo shows that at the time of the alleged execution of the deed, Paulina was already incapacitated physically and mentally. She narrated that Paulina played with her waste and urinated in bed.
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