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MERRITT vs.

GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS naturally pertain to his office and which are regulated by law and the
regulations. The driver of the ambulance of the General Hospital was
FACTS: Merrit was riding a motorcycle along Padre Faura Street not a special agent; thus the Government is not liable. (Merritt vs
when he was bumped by the ambulance of the General Hospital. Government of the Philippine Islands, G.R. No. L-11154, March 21
Merrit sustained severe injuries rendering him unable to return to 1916, 34 Phil. 311)
work. The legislature later enacted Act 2457 authorizing Merritt to file
a suit against the Government in order to fix the responsibility for the
collision between his motorcycle and the ambulance of the General The State is responsible in like manner when it acts through a special
Hospital, and to determine the amount of the damages, if any, to which agent; but not when the damage has been caused by the official to
he is entitled. After trial, the lower court held that the collision was whom the task done properly pertains. (Art. 2180 par. 6, Civil Code)
due to the negligence of the driver of the ambulance. It then
determined the amount of damages and ordered the government to pay ■ The state is not responsible for the damages suffered by private
the same. individuals in consequence of acts performed by its employees in the
discharge of the functions pertaining to their office, because neither
ISSUES: 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
1. Did the Government, in enacting the Act 2457, simply waive its of its agents. (Merritt vs. Government of the Philippine Islands)
immunity from suit or did it also concede its liability to the plaintiff?
■ The State is not liable for the torts committed by its officers or
2. Is the Government liable for the negligent act of the driver of the agents whom it employs, except when expressly made so by legislative
ambulance? enactment. The government does not undertake to guarantee to any
person the fidelity of the officers or agents whom it employs since that
HELD: would involve it in all its operations in endless embarrassments,
difficulties and losses, which would be subversive of the public
1. By consenting to be sued a state simply waives its immunity from interest. (Merritt vs. Government of the Philippine Islands)
suit. It does not thereby concede its liability to plaintiff, or create any
cause of action in his favor, or extend its liability to any cause not PNR vs. IAC
previously recognized. It merely gives a remedy to enforce a
preexisting liability and submits itself to the jurisdiction of the court,
subject to its right to interpose any lawful defense.
FACTS: The passenger express train of Philippine National Railways
2. Under the Civil Code, the state is liable when it acts through a (PNR) and a passenger bus of Baliwag Transit Inc. collided at the
special agent, but not when the damage should have been caused by railroad crossing at Barrio Balungao, Calumpit Bulacan at 1:30 in the
the official to whom properly it pertained to do the act performed. A afternoon of August 10, 1947 causing damage to the bus and its
special agent is one who receives a definite and fixed order or
passengers, 18 of whom died and 53 suffered physical injuries.
commission, foreign to the exercise of the duties of his office if he is a
special official. This concept does not apply to any executive agent Plaintiff alleges that the collision was due to the negligence and
who is an employee of the acting administration and who on his own imprudence of PNR and its engineer Honorio Cirbado in operating in a
responsibility performs the functions which are inherent in and
busy intersection without any bars, semaphores, signal lights, flagman control or supervision is exercised over the defective road or street. In
or switchman. this case, this control or supervision is provided for in the charter of
Dagupan and is exercised through the City Engineer, whose duties
ISSUE: 1) Who between the petitioner and respondent was negligent? include the care and custody of the public system of waterworks and
2) Is PNR immune from suit? sewers. The charter of Dagupan provides that the laying out,
construction, and improvement of streets, avenues, and alleys and
HELD: There is no admissible evidence to show that the bus driver did sidewalks and the regulation of the use thereof may be legislated by
not take necessary precaution in traversing the track. Contributory the Municipal Board. Thus, the charter clearly indicates that the city
negligence may not be ascribed to the bus driver for he had taken indeed has supervision and control over the sidewalk where the open
drainage hole is located.
necessary precautions before passing over the railway track. The
failure of PNR, on the other hand, to put a cross bar, or signal light,
MUNICIPALITY OF SAN JUAN vs CA
flagman, or switchman or semaphores is evidence of negligence on
their part. By the doctrine of implied powers, the power to sue and be
sued is implicit from the faculty to transact private business. PNR is GARCIA, J.:
not exercising governmental powers, as such it is not immune from
suit. In this appeal by way of a petition for review on certiorari
under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, petitioner Municipality of San
GUILATCO vs CITY OF DAGUPAN
Juan urges us to annul and set aside the decision dated 08 September
FACTS: 1995[1] of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 38906, affirming
Florentina Guilatco was about to board a tricycle at a sidewalk located
at Perez Blvd. (a national road) when she accidentally fell into an open with modification an earlier decision of the Regional Trial Court at
manhole. Her right leg was fractured, resulting in her hospitalization Pasig City in an action for damages thereat commenced by private
and continuing difficulty in locomotion. Because of her accident,
Guilatco was unable to go to work, thereby losing her income. She respondent Laura Biglang-awa against, among others, the herein
also lost weight, and she is now no longer her former jovial self since petitioner.
she is unable to perform her religious, social, and other activities. She
filed an action for damages against the City of Dagupan. The City of
Dagupan denied liability on the ground that the manhole was located The material facts are not at all disputed:
on a national road, which was not under the control or supervision of
the City of Dagupan. Under a Contract For Water Service Connections[2] entered
ISSUE: Whether the City of Dagupan is liable to Guilatco. into by and between the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage
System (MWSS) and Kwok Cheung as sole proprietor of K.C.
HELD: Yes, the City of Dagupan is liable. For Article 2189 to apply, it
is not necessary for the defective road or street to belong to the Waterworks System Construction (KC, for short), the former engaged
province, city or municipality. The article only requires that either
the services of the latter to install water service connections. Article 11 the workers were still required to re-excavate that particular portion for
(Scope of Work), paragraph 2.01 of the agreement provides: the tapping of pipes for the water connections to the concessionaires.

2.01 The CONTRACTOR agrees to install water


Meanwhile, between 10 oclock and 11 oclock in the evening of
service connections, transfer location of tapping to the
nearest main, undertake separation of service 31 May 1988, Priscilla Chan was driving her Toyota Crown car with
connection, change rusted connections, within the
Plate No. PDK 991 at a speed of thirty (30) kilometers per hour on the
service area of the MWSS specified in each job order
covered by this Contract, from the water main up to the right side of Santolan Road towards the direction of Pinaglabanan, San
installation of the verticals. Tapping of the service pipe
Juan, Metro Manila. With her on board the car and seated on the right
connection and mounting of water meter shall be
undertaken exclusively or solely by the MWSS; front seat was Assistant City Prosecutor Laura Biglang-awa. The road
was flooded as it was then raining hard. Suddenly, the left front wheel
On 20 May 1988, KC was given a Job Order by the South
of the car fell on a manhole where the workers of KC had earlier made
Sector Office of MWSS to conduct and effect excavations at the
excavations. As a result, the humerus on the right arm of Prosecutor
corner of M. Paterno and Santolan Road, San Juan, Metro Manila, a
Biglang-awa was fractured. Thereupon, Priscilla Chan contacted
national road, for the laying of water pipes and tapping of water to the
Biglang-awas husband who immediately arrived at the scene and
respective houses of water concessionaires.
brought his wife to the Cardinal Santos Hospital.

That same day, KC dispatched five (5) of its workers under


Dispatched to the scene of the accident to conduct an
Project Engineer Ernesto Battad, Jr. to conduct the digging operations
investigation thereof, Pfc. Felix Ramos of the Traffic Division of the
in the specified place. The workers installed four (4) barricades made
San Juan Police Station, upon arriving thereat, saw Priscilla Chans car
up of two-inch thick GI pipes welded together, 1.3 meters wide and
already extracted from the manhole and placed beside the excavated
1.2 meters high, at the area where the digging is to take place. The
portion of the road. According to this police officer, he did not see any
digging operations started at 9 oclock in the morning and ended at
barricades at the scene when he arrived less than an hour later. A
about 3 oclock in the afternoon. The workers dug a hole one (1) meter
Traffic Accident Investigation Report[3] was thereafter prepared and
wide and 1.5 meters deep, after which they refilled the excavated
signed by Pfc. Ramos.
portion of the road with the same gravel and stone excavated from the
area. At that time, only of the job was finished in view of the fact that
At the hospital, the attending physician, after having performed (a) P18,389.55, for actual damages suffered by the
plaintiff;
a close reduction and application of abduction splint on Biglang-awa,
placed a plastic cast on her right arm. Barring complications, the injury (b) P15,000.00, for moral damages;
she suffered was expected to heal in four (4) to six (6) weeks, although
(c) P10,000.00, for exemplary damages;
she must revisit her doctor from time to time for check-up and
(d) P5,000.00, for attorneys fees; and
rehabilitation. After some time, the plastic cast was removed. Biglang-
awa sustained no deformity and no tenderness of the area of the injury (e) to pay the costs.
but she could not sleep on her right side because she still felt pain in
SO ORDERED.
that portion of her body. A Medical Certificate[4] on her injuries was
issued by Dr. Antonio Rivera. 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, which appeal was thereat docketed as
Consequent to the foregoing incident, Biglang-awa filed before CA-G.R. CV No. 38906.
the Regional Trial Court at Pasig, Metro Manila a complaint for
damages against MWSS, the Municipality of San Juan and a number
of San Juan municipal officials. As stated at the outset hereof, the appellate court, in a decision dated
08 September 1995, affirmed with modification that of the trial court,
to wit:
Later, Biglang-awa amended her complaint twice. In her
second amended complaint, she included KC as one of the defendants. IN THE LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the
Decision appealed from is AFFIRMED but modified as
follows:
After due proceedings, the trial court rendered judgment in favor of 1. The Appellees KC and MWSS and
Biglang-awa adjudging MWSS and the Municipality of San Juan the Appellant San Juan are hereby ordered to pay, jointly
and severally, to [Biglang-awa] the amounts of
jointly and severally liable to her. Dated 29 February 1992, the P50,000.00 by way of moral damages, P50,000.00 by
decision[5] dispositively reads in full, thus: way of exemplary damages and P5,000.00 by way of
attorneys fees, without prejudice to the right of the
Appellee MWSS for reimbursement from the Appellee
WHEREFORE, foregoing considered, judgment is hereby KC under the Contract, Exhibit 3-MWSS:
rendered declaring the Municipality of San Juan, Metro Manila and the
Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System jointly and severally 2. The counterclaims of the Appellees
liable to the plaintiff [Biglang-awa]. Both defendants are ordered to and Appellant San Juan and the cross-claim of the latter
pay plaintiff the amounts of: are DISMISSED. Without pronouncement as to costs.
Ergo, since Santolan Road is concededly a national and not a
SO ORDERED. (Words in bracket supplied). municipal road, it cannot be held liable for the injuries suffered by
Biglang-awa on account of the accident that occurred on said road.
Therefrom, petitioner Municipality of San Juan came to this Court thru
the present recourse, on its submissions that: Additionally, petitioner contends that under Section 8, Ordinance No.
82-01, of the Metropolitan Manila Commission, which reads:
I.
In the event of death, injury and/or damages caused by
the non-completion of such works and/or failure of one
THE RESPONDENT APPELLATE COURT HAS undertaking the work to adopt the required
DECIDED A QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE NOT precautionary measures for the protection of the general
HEREFORE DECIDED BY THE SUPREME COURT. public or violation of any of the terms or conditions of
the permit, the permittee/excavator shall assume fully
II. all liabilities for such death, injury or damage arising
therefrom. For this purpose, the excavator/permittee
shall purchase insurance coverage to answer for third
party liability, only the Project Engineer of KC and
THE RESPONDENT APPELLATE COURT HAS MWSS can be held liable for the same accident.
DECIDED A QUESTION PROBABLY NOT IN
ACCORD WITH THE LAW AND The petition must have to be denied.
JURISPRUDENCE.
Jurisprudence[7] teaches that for liability to arise under Article
With no similar recourse having been taken by the other parties, the 2189[8] of the Civil Code, ownership of the roads, streets, bridges,
Court shall limit itself to the liability or non-liability of petitioner public buildings and other public works, is not a controlling factor, it
municipality for the injury sustained by Biglang-awa. being sufficient that a province, city or municipality has control or
supervision thereof. This, we made clear in City of Manila vs. Teotico,
In denying liability for the subject accident, petitioner essentially et al[9]:
anchored its defense on two provisions of laws, namely: (1) Section
149, [1][z] of Batas Pambansa Blg. 337, otherwise known as the Local At any rate, under Article 2189 of the Civil Code, it is
Government Code of 1983; and (2) Section 8, Ordinance 82-01, of the not necessary for the liability therein established to
Metropolitan Manila Commission. attach that the defective roads or streets belong to the
province, city or municipality from which responsibility
is exacted. What said article requires is that the
province, city or municipality have either "control or
Petitioner maintains that under Section 149, [1][z] of the Local supervision" over said street or road. x x x
Government Code,[6] it is obliged to provide for the construction,
improvement, repair and maintenance of only municipal streets, It is argued, however, that under Section 149, [1][z] of the Local
avenues, alleys, sidewalks, bridges, parks and other public places. Government Code, petitioner has control or supervision only over
municipal and not national roads, like Santolan Road.
Sadly, petitioner failed to take note of the other provisions of Section We are thus in full accord with the following pronouncements of the
149 of the same Code, more particularly the following: appellate court in the decision under review:

Section 149. Powers and Duties. (1) The sangguniang bayan While it may be true that the Department of Public
shall: Works and Highways may have issued the requisite
permit to the Appellee KC and/or concessionaires for
(bb) Regulate the drilling and excavation of the ground for the the excavation on said road, the Appellant San Juan is
laying of gas, water, sewer, and other pipes; the building and not thereby relieved of its liability to [Biglang-awa] for
repair of tunnels, sewers, drains and other similar structures; its own gross negligence. Indeed, Evangeline Alfonso,
erecting of poles and the use of crosswalks, curbs and gutters the witness for the Appellant San Juan unabashedly
therein, and adopt measures to ensure public safety against [sic] admitted, when she testified in the Court a quo,
open canals, manholes, live wires and other similar hazards to that even if the Department of Public Works and
life and property, and provide just compensation or relief for Highways failed to effect the requisite refilling, the
persons suffering from them; (Underscoring supplied) Appellant San Juan was mandated to undertake the
necessary precautionary measures to avert accidents
Clear it is from the above that the Municipality of San Juan can and insure the safety of pedestrians and commuters:
regulate the drilling and excavation of the ground for the laying of gas,
water, sewer, and other pipes within its territorial jurisdiction. xxx

Doubtless, the term regulate found in the aforequoted provision of The [petitioner] cannot validly shirk from its obligation
Section 149 can only mean that petitioner municipality exercises the to maintain and insure the safe condition of the road
power of control, or, at the very least, supervision over all excavations merely because the permit for the excavation may have
for the laying of gas, water, sewer and other pipes within its territory. been issued by a government entity or unit other than
the Appellant San Juan or that the excavation may have
We must emphasize that under paragraph [1][bb] of Section 149, been done by a contractor under contract with a public
supra, of the Local Government Code, the phrases regulate the drilling entity like the Appellee MWSS.
and excavation of the ground for the laying of gas, water, sewer, and
other pipes, and adopt measures to ensure public safety against open Neither is the [petitioner] relieved of liability based on
canals, manholes, live wires and other similar hazards to life and its purported lack of knowledge of the excavation and
property, are not modified by the term municipal road. And neither can the condition of the road during the period from May
it be fairly inferred from the same provision of Section 149 that 20, 1988 up to May 30, 1988 when the accident
petitioners power of regulation vis--vis the activities therein mentioned occurred. It must be borne in mind that the obligation of
applies only in cases where such activities are to be performed in the [petitioner] to maintain the safe condition of the
municipal roads. To our mind, the municipalitys liability for injuries road within its territory is a continuing one which is not
caused by its failure to regulate the drilling and excavation of the suspended while a street is being repaired (Corpus Juris
ground for the laying of gas, water, sewer, and other pipes, attaches Secundum, Municipal Corporations, page 120).
regardless of whether the drilling or excavation is made on a national Knowledge of the condition of the road and the defects
or municipal road, for as long as the same is within its territorial and/or obstructions on the road may be actual or
jurisdiction. constructive. It is enough that the authorities should
have known of the aforesaid circumstances in the WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED and the assailed
exercise of ordinary care (City of Louiseville versus decision of the appellate court AFFIRMED.
Harris, 180 Southwestern Reporter. page 65). In the
present recourse, Santolan Road and the Greenhills area For liability to arise under Article 2189 of the Civil Code, ownership
coming from Ortigas Avenue going to Pinaglabanan, of the roads, streets, bridges, public buildings and other public works
San Juan, Metro Manila is a busy thoroughfare. The is not a controlling factor, it being sufficient that a province, city or
gaping hole in the middle of the road of Santolan Road municipality has control or supervision thereof. On the other hand, a
could not have been missed by the authorities municipality’s liability under Section 149 of the Local Government
concerned. After all, the [petitioner] San Juan is Code of 1983 for injuries caused by its failure to regulate the drilling
mandated to effect a constant and unabated monitoring and excavation of the ground for the laying of gas, water, sewer, and
of the conditions of the roads to insure the safety of other pipes, attaches regardless of whether the drilling or excavation is
motorists. Persuasive authority has it that: made on a national or municipal road, for as long as the same is within
its territorial jurisdiction
It is the duty of the municipal authorities .
to exercise an active vigilance over the Liability for breach of contract
streets; to see that they are kept in a
reasonably safe condition for public QUEZON CITY vs DACARA
travel. They cannot fold their arms and
shut their eyes and say they have no FACTS: Sometime on February 28, 1988, Dacara Jr’s car turned turtle
notice. (Todd versus City of Troy, 61 after it rammed against a pile of earth/ street diggings at Matahimik
New York 506). (Words in bracket Street, Quezon City, which was then repaired by the Quezon City
supplied). Government. As a result, Dacara Jr. allegedly sustained bodily injuries
and his vehicle was extensively damaged. Fulgencio Dacara Sr, in
Nor can petitioner seek shelter on Section 8 of Ordinance 82-01 of the behalf of his minor son, filed a claim for damages against the Local
Metropolitan Manila Commission. Government of Quezon City and Engr. Ramir J. Thompson before the
RTC. The LGU contended that the fault is on the driver, since the
Concededly, Section 8 of the Ordinance makes the permittee/excavator LGU have out up warning signs. The trial court ruled that the LGU is
liable for death, injury and/or damages caused by the non-completion liable. The petitioners appealed to the higher court but the Court of
of works and/or failure of the one undertaking the works to adopt the Appeals affirmed the rulings of the RTC.
required precautionary measures for the protection of the general ISSUE: Whether or not Engr Ramir Thompson and the Quezon City
public. Significantly, however, nowhere can it be found in said Government be held liable for damages due to the injuries suffered
Ordinance any provision exempting municipalities in Metro Manila by Dacara Jr?
from liabilities caused by their own negligent acts. Afortiori, nothing HELD:
prevents this Court from applying other relevant laws concerning
petitioners liability for the injuries sustained by Biglang-awa on that Yes. The negligence of Engr Ramir J Thompson as an instrumentality
fateful rainy evening of 31 May 1988. of the Quezon City Government is the proximate cause of the injuries
and damage to property suffered by Fulgencio Dacara’s (respondent)
son, which make the LGU subsidiarily liable for the damage incurred.
The petitioner’s claim that they were not negligent insisting that they
placed all the necessary precautionary signs to alert the public of the was no evidence to prove Genson’s presence when the accident
roadside construction, but none were presented , gave a more occurred, nor was there any basis for the lower courts to hold that
substantial support to the report of the policeman who responded to the Genson was at fault by authorizing Arbatin and his men to work on a
scene of incident that no precautionary signs were found on the said non-working day. It might even be proven that working on a Saturday
place of incident. Thus, the LGU and Engr Ramir J Thompson as its for the specific purpose of hauling junk would be the time when the
instrumentality were held negligent in the execise of their functions most work can be done, as it has less traffic. The Master-Servant
where as capsulized under Article 2189 of the New Civil Code that doctrine in tort law cannot apply either, since despite the fact that
Local Government and its employees should be responsible not only Buensalido, Genson’s employee, was “moonlighting” on a non-
for the maintenance roads/ streets but also for the safety of the public. working holiday, Buensalido’s arrangement with Arbatin was purely
Hence, compensatory damages was awarded to the respondent. private in nature, and had nothing to do with his being employed under
Genson. Thus, absent the showing of malice, bad faith or gross
GENSON vs ADARLE
negligence on the part of Genson, he cannot be held liable for the acts
FACTS committed by Buensalido and Arbatin.
Arbatin was the successful bidder in a public auction of junk and other BELIZAR vs BRAZAS
unserviceable government property in the Highway District Engineer’s
Office of Roxas City. Arbatin then employed Adarle to help him haul This is an appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of Samar
the junk. On a non-working day, when Adarle and Buensalido, the dated June 6, 1959, dismissing the complaint filed before it.
driver of the payloader, were at the site continuing to gather the junk, a
bucket from the payloader fell and injured Adarle to the point of On April 21, 1959, Pedro Ty Belizar filed a complaint against
paralyzing his lower extremities. Adarle instituted an action against Florencio Brazas, Felix Hilario, Lucio Baldonido, alleging that he is
Arbatin, Buensalido, Marcelino (Civil Engineer), and Genson operating the Samar Express Transit; that defendants are being sued in
(Highway District Engineer). RTC ruled in favor of Adarle. IAC their capacity as employees (of the Bureau of Public Highways); that
modified the previous ruling, absolving Marcelino from liability, and due to their gross negligence in not providing the ferry boat with safety
averring that the liability of Genson is based on fault, by allowing devices, one of his auto-trucks, while being transported from one bank
Arbatin and his men to work on the premises on a non-working day, in of the Taft River, Taft, Samar, to the other, fell into the river and was
contravention of his office’s policy. Petitioner Genson then appealed submerged in water for over 30 hours; that as a consequence thereof,
the decision to the SC, stating that the facts upon which the IAC he suffered actual and moral damages and had to hire counsel to
declared that his liability is based on fault by allowing the men to work prosecute this action. He therefore prays for payment to him by the
on a non-working holiday is without basis. Furthermore, he contends defendants of said damages and attorney's fees.
that by filing a suit against him, Adarle is then filing a suit against the
Republic, which violates the non-suability of the State. On May 14, 1959, defendant Felix Hilario, on his own behalf, filed his
ISSUE answer, denying the material allegations of the complaint and alleging
Whether or not Genson should be held liable, personally or officially? as special defense that he is working only under the instructions of his
superiors. On May 19, 1959, defendants Lucio Baldonido, Felix
HELD Balato, Teodoro Balato and Todesco Cebuano filed a motion to
NO. With regard to the non-suability contention, Adarle filed a suit dismiss on the grounds that the complaint states no cause of action and
against Genson personally, in his capacity as the Highway District that they are not the real parties in interest. After an opposition thereto
Engineer, and not the State or his office. As for the main issue, there was filed by the plaintiff, the remaining defendant Florencio Brazas
filed another motion to dismiss on May 20, 1959, claiming that the dismissal appealed from and remand the case to the court of origin for
plaintiff has no cause of action against the defendants because they are further proceedings. With costs against the defendants-appellees.
being sued in their official capacities and therefore the claim for
damages should be directed against the State. VARELA vs REVALEZ

Acting upon the motions to dismiss, the lower court on June 6, 1959, Petitioner Eduardo G. Varela (Varela) was the mayor of Cadiz
dismissed the complaint, and against this order, the plaintiff has City. He created a reorganization committee. On 22 September 1998,
prosecuted this appeal directly to this Court. he submitted to the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cadiz City the
committee's "Proposed Reorganizational Structure and Staffing Pattern
The only issue before this Court is the correctness of the order of Cadiz City." On the same day, 22 September 1998, the
appealed from. Sangguniang Panlungsod approved without modification and without
hearing the proposal. The Sangguniang Panlungsod passed Resolution
It is apparent from the records that although the Government is the one No. 98-112 authorizing and appropriating funds for the reorganization
operating the ferry boat, from which plaintiff's truck fell, because of of the city government. Resolution No. 98-112 declared all positions in
the absence of safety devices, the plaintiff has elected to sue the the city government vacant, except elective positions and positions in
defendant employees personally for their negligent acts under the the city and assistant city treasurer. On 15 October 1998, Varela
doctrine of quasi-delict. Article 2180 of the Civil Code provides for signed Resolution No. 98-112.
the liability of an employer for the tortious acts of his employees. This,
however, does not exempt the employees from personal liability, On 10 November 1998, Varela gave notices of termination to the city
especially if there are no persons having direct supervision over them, government employees, informing them that their employment would
or if there is proof of the existence of negligence on their part. So the end at the close of business hours on 31 December 1998. The
injured party can bring an action directly against the author of the employees opposed and questioned the legality of Resolution No. 98-
negligent act or omission, although he may sue as joint defendants 112. Varela ignored them.
such author and the person responsible for him (7 Salvat 80, quoted in
V Tolentino, Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Civil Code of Varela created a placement committee with City Administrator Philip
the Philippines, 1959 edition, p. 520). The provisions of Article 1733 G. Zamora, "Delina, Negosa, Jimmy Navarro, Jerry Batislaon and
of the Civil Code and the decision in the case of the Manila Railroad Napud" as members. The committee allegedly met three times.
Co. vs. La Compaña Trasatlantica and Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Co., 38
Phil., 875, cited in the order appealed from refer to an action based On 31 December 1998, Varela again gave notices of termination to the
upon a contract of transportation. The present action being based on city government employees, informing them that their employment
torts, said authorities are not applicable thereto. would end at the close of business hours on 31 December 1998. On 4
January 1999, the employees tried to report for work but were barred
The fact that the duties and positions of the defendants are indicated from entering their offices.
does not mean that they are being sued in their official capacities,
especially as the present action is not one against the Government. Among those laid off was Community Affairs Officer IV Ramon
Borromeo (Borromeo). His department, the special services
In view of the foregoing we find that the dismissal of the complaint is department, was replaced by the community and barangay affairs
not justified, and for his reason, we hereby set aside the order of division. The head of the community and barangay affairs division
performed the same functions as the head of the special services members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod to justify the grant to the
department. Three new positions were created in the community and mayor of legislative authority to carry out the reorganization. There
barangay affairs division. The three new positions were given to Oscar absolutely was no public hearing. The proposal coming as it did
Magbanua (Magbanua), Moises Señoren (Señoren), and Santos Ortega from the mayor, was a fait accompli, a done deal in a manner of
(Ortega). Magbanua, Señoren and Ortega were political supporters of speaking. x x x
Varela and defeated barangay captain candidates.
xxxx
Around half of the 101 employees of the city health department were
laid off. Those laid off were the same ones who filed a case, involving Careful examination of the evidence submitted by the defendant,
the magna carta for health workers, against Varela. They were also however, would reveal a systematic effort to purge the city
perceived not to have voted for Varela as mayor. government of personnel who opposed the mayor politically, or
disagreed with him in his policies. Furthermore, perusal of the
On 12 January 1999, Ma. Daisy G. Revalez and 40 other city minutes of the deliberations of the Sangguniang Panlungsod reveals
government employees filed with the RTC a complaint[4] against that the City of Cadiz was not in dire financial straits necessitating
Varela for the declaration of nullity of Resolution No. 98-112 and for radical measures like mass lay-off of personnel. x x x
damages. In a motion[5] dated 29 January 1999, 47 other city
government employees intervened. In the complaint, the employees x x x The City of Cadiz as of 1998, was not in financial
stated that, "due to the illegal acts of the Defendant, Plaintiffs suffered extremis. It had the money, the resources to fund the salaries of
mental torture and anguish, sleepless nights, wounded feelings, personnel. x x x [Varela] even ignored the concern of a city
besmirched reputation and social humiliation."[6] councilor who said that at that time (1998) the City already lacked
the required personnel, and so why abolish certain positions? The
The RTC's Ruling defendant mayor simply gave the assurance that they can create
any position when the need arises and the city has the
In its 20 June 2001 Decision, the RTC declared Resolution No. 98-112 money. This statement betrayed the real intentions of the
void and ordered Varela to pay the government employees P10,000 defendant insofar as the reorganization is concerned.
each for moral damages, P200,000 attorney's fees, P20,000 litigation
expenses, and court appearance fees at P3,000 per hearing. The RTC x x x The Mayor did not even explain what basic services would be
found that Varela acted in bad faith. The Court held: affected. As a matter of fact, the office hardest hit and greatly affected
by the mass layoff was the health services department where 50 or so
There is no question that the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cadiz City is of the 101 personnel complement were laid off. Does it mean that the
the legislative arm of the local government unit and as such it delivery of health services is the least of the priorities of Cadiz
possesses the power to enact the questioned resolution. Plaintiffs City? Or does it mean that health service from the point of view of the
however challenge the manner Res. 98-112 was enacted, and the defendant city mayor is not a basic service? The truth of the matter is
"indecent haste" that accompanied its passage. The proposal emanated that the health workers of Cadiz filed a case against the mayor for
from the office of defendant mayor and in a short time after its his refusal to implement provisions of the Magna Carta for Health
submission the measure was passed. The requisite deliberations, if at Workers. Talk of vindictiveness. The poor health workers laid off
all there was one, could hardly be considered adequate and could best were on the receiving end of the ire of the defendant mayor. There
be described as perfunctory. The minutes of the SP say it all. The seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the reorganization scheme.
deliberations reflected a lackluster effort and a wimpish attempt by the
xxxx also because they are barangay captains who were defeated in
the last barangay elections. (TSN-Cerbo, pp. 8-10, May 3,
Was the reorganization of the Cadiz City government under Res. 98- 2000).
112, done in good faith? The testimony of Ramon Borromeo, which is
uncontradicted, will show the true intent of the reorganization, and From the afore-quoted testimony it is clear that the abolition of the
whether or not it was done in good faith: office of Mr. Borromeo in the guise of reorganization was not done
in good faith. The abolition was done for "political reasons," (Arao
"Q (Atty. Lobrido) - What about your position, Mr. Witness? vs. Luspo, L-23982, July 21, 1967, 20 SCRA 722). As stated in
My position as Community Affairs Officer was abolished but Urgello, if the abolition merely resulted in placing another person or
instead an Executive Assistant IV was made under the Division appointee with a different designation or name but substantially the
A
Head of the Community and Barangay Affairs Division. same duties, then it will be considered a device to unseat the
incumbent. Clearly the reorganization is not genuine and it is nothing
but a ruse to defeat the constitutionally protected right of security of
What is the function of the Community and Barangay Affairs tenure.
Q
Unit?
It performs the same function as that of the Community Affairs xxxx
Unit of which I am the Division Head as Community Affairs
A
Officer IV. Since all the offices of the personnel of Cadiz City were declared
vacant, and notices of initial termination sent on November 10, 1998,
the placement Committee barely had twenty (20) days to submit a final
Considering that you were laid off who took over your report to defendant mayor. With 741 personnel to be reevaluated and
Q
function? screened, plus other new applicants, the committee did not have
The Executive Assistant IV, but considering that the position is enough time to do their work as envisioned. The Committee had to
coterminous with that of the mayor, the appointment of screen and evaluate all applications to about 649 positions included in
Executive Assistant IV was disapproved by the Civil Service the new plantilla. Notwithstanding time constraints, the Committee
Commission as head of the Community Affairs Unit and the did not meet until November 17, barely two (2) weeks from their
A
present situation as of now is that the community Affairs and deadline. Subsequently they met three (3) times. On their first
Barangay Unit is without a division head and that three new meeting, the report states, the placement Committee merely agreed to
positions were created. ask the defendant mayor to turn over to the Committee all the
application letters. Nothing by way of screening or evaluation was
done that day. On the second meeting November 18, the applications
Who were appointed to the three new positions you mentioned were "lumped" in bundles or files, and segregated by
Q
a while ago? department. Then they suggested to borrow the qualification standards
Those appointed are Oscar Magbanua, Moises Señoren, and from the Human Resource Management Office. Due to time
A Santos Ortega. constraints, it was suggested that the screening should start
immediately, and they agreed to meet November 19, 1998. As of the
second meeting the screening and evaluation had barely began. On
Q Why do you know these three persons?
November 19, 1998 the committee met with Mr. Zamora suggesting
A Because they are supporters of the defendant city mayor and
that qualification standards be used mainly eligibility performance
rating, education and attainment, experience and awards and training defendant mayor, would not be able to recall what transpired during
received. Mr. Napud suggested that the department heads be the deliberations of the placement committee. Unless it is shown that
interviewed. As of November 19, the committee had not started its Mr. Zamora suffered severe bouts of amnesia, it would be the height of
deliberations and screening, but lo and behold Mr. Zamora came up tomfoolery to accept that he would not be able to recall the significant
with a complete list in time for the last meeting. On November 29, highlights of the meetings. Which can only lead this Court to the
1998, Mr. Zamora presented to the members of the committee the list inescapable conclusion that the minutes (Exhibits 15 to 15-C) were
of employees selected by the Placement Committee. Then the list was fabricated and contrived, and done after the fact. x x x
submitted to the mayor. These were reflected in Minutes of the
meeting of the Placement Committee. x x x Why would Philip Zamora present a list of employees selected
to members of the Placement Committee and tell them this is the result
On the other hand, what did Mr. Zamora say about the deliberations of of their evaluation? Were not the members of the committee the ones
the Placement Committee in his capacity as chairman. His testimony who evaluated and selected the employees? The logical manner that
is very instructive. should have taken place would be that the committee members
themselves would submit the list to the chairman telling him that this
Q (Atty. Lobrido) And when was the first meeting? was the result of their evaluation and screening and they were ready to
I think November 17, 1998. submit the list to the mayor. As it appears the list was a done deal, a
A
fait accompli, and the members were merely told to put their
imprimatur to it. The truth of matter however, as can be gleaned from
Q What transpired during the first meeting? Mr. Zamora's testimony, is that no meetings were ever conducted by
I cannot remember. the placement committee. Which explains Mr. Zamora's memory
A
lapses. Nothing of the sort happened. What happened was that the
minutes were hastily produced as an afterthought and later passed on
xxx xxx as the real thing. The entire proceedings was [sic] a sham, a
rigmarole intended to put a stamp of legitimacy to what otherwise
was a well calculated, well planned scheme to rid Cadiz City of
After November 18, 1998 meeting, was there other meeting of
Q employees who were the political opponents of the defendant
the placement committee?
mayor. The ploy was to use the law as a subterfuge to defeat the
Yes, sir.
A security of tenure clause of the constitution. On top of this
masquerade, the defendant city mayor did not show any
Q When was that? compunction or any hesitation to ram the reorganization down the
On November 19, 1998. throats of plaintiffs who resisted the move and they actually
A complained. He did not give them the benefit of the doubt, nor
listened to their plea for justice. He simply ran roughshod over all
And what transpired during that meeting on November 19, of them discarding any pretense to uphold due process of law. It
Q was shocking no less to the 166 plaintiffs who become [sic]
1998?
A I cannot remember. sacrificial lambs in the altar of political convenience and
expediency. This is anathema in a democratic system where the rule
It seems incredulous that Mr. Philip Zamora, designated to represent of law reigns supreme.[7] (Emphasis supplied)
Cadiz City Chief Executive Salvador G. Escalante, Jr., through the In addition, Book I, Chapter 9 of the Administrative Code of 1987
Office of the City Legal Officer, filed with the RTC a motion[8] to provides, to quote:
clarify who between Varela, in his personal capacity, and Cadiz City "Section 38. Liability of Superior Officers. -- (1) A public officer
was liable for the payment of moral damages, attorney's fees, litigation shall not be civilly liable for acts done in the performance of his
expenses and court appearance fees. In its 26 July 2001 Order,[9] the official duties, unless there is a clear showing of bad faith, malice or
RTC held that, "it is the municipal corporation which is liable for the gross negligence. x x x"
acts of its officers committed while in the performance of official In the case at bar, the court a quo found that bad faith attended the
duties."[10] performance of the official acts of the original defendant, Eduardo G.
Varela. x x x
Cadiz City, through the Office of the City Legal Officer, appealed to
the Court of Appeals. WE find no reason to disturb the finding of bad faith by the court a
quo considering that the same was amply supported by evidence.[11]
The Court of Appeals' Ruling
Hence, the present petition.
In its 17 August 2005 Decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed with
modification the RTC's 20 June 2001 Decision. The Court of Appeals The Issue
held that Varela was personally liable for the payment of moral
damages, attorney's fees, litigation expenses and court appearance Varela raises as issue that, "THE HONORABLE COURT OF
fees. It reduced the amounts of attorney's fees and litigation expenses APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THE PETITIONER
from P200,000 to P100,000 and from P20,000 to P10,000, PERSONALLY LIABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF DAMAGES,
respectively, and deleted the award of court appearance fees. The ATTORNEY'S FEES AND LITIGATION EXPENSES AS THE
Court of Appeals held that: PETITIONER WAS SUED IN HIS OFFICIAL, AND NOT IN HIS
PERSONAL CAPACITY."[12] Varela states that:
OUR jurisprudence is replete with cases involving the issue of whether
or not a public officer may be held liable for damages in the All the proceedings in the lower court show beyond question that the
performance of their [sic] duties, to quote: petitioner was charged in his official capacity as then mayor of the real
party-defendant, the respondent City of Capiz.
"A public official is by law not immune from damages in his personal
capacity for acts done in bad faith which, being outside the scope of This is expressly shown by the very title, caption and allegations of
his authority, are no longer protected by the mantle of immunity for private respondents' complaint dated January 12, 1999. The fact that
official actions." petitioner was sued in his representative and official capacity was not
contested, and, in fact, admitted by the parties.[13]
"Settled is the principle that a public official may be liable in his
personal capacity for whatever damage he may have caused by his act The Court's Ruling
done with malice and in bad faith or beyond the scope of his authority
or jurisdiction." The petition is unmeritorious.

Varela was sued in his personal capacity, not in his official capacity. In
the complaint, the employees stated that, "due to the illegal acts of the On February 23, 2003 the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Board of
Defendant, Plaintiffs suffered mental torture and anguish, sleepless Governors, then composed of petitioners Jose Anselmo I. Cadiz,
nights, wounded feelings, besmirched reputation and social Leonard S. De Vera, Romulo A. Rivera, Dante G. Ilaya, Pura Angelica
humiliation." The State can never be the author of illegal acts. Y. Santiago, Rosario T. Setias-Reyes, Jose Vicente B. Salazar, Manuel
M. Monzon, Immanuel L. Sodusta, and Carlos L. Valdez, Jr. (the IBP
The complaint merely identified Varela as the mayor of Cadiz City. It Board), received an administrative complaint1[1] filed by Lilia T.
did not categorically state that Varela was being sued in his official Ventura and Concepcion Tabang against respondent Atty. Glenn C.
capacity. The identification and mention of Varela as the mayor of Gacott for gross misconduct, deceit, and gross dishonesty. The IBP
Cadiz City did not automatically transform the action into one against Board designated petitioner Lydia A. Navarro (Navarro) as
Varela in his official capacity. The allegations in the complaint Commissioner to investigate the case.
determine the nature of the cause of action.
Commissioner Navarro summoned the parties to a mandatory
[14]
In Pascual v. Beltran, the Court held that: conference and required them afterwards to submit their position
papers. Based on these, Navarro submitted her Report and
[I]n the case at bar, petitioner is actually sued in his personal Recommendation to the IBP Board for its approval. Commissioner
capacity inasmuch as his principal, the State, can never be the Navarro was herself a member of the IBP Board. After deliberation,
author of any wrongful act. The Complaint filed by the private the IBP Board adopted Commissioner Navarros findings but increased
respondent with the RTC merely identified petitioner as Director the recommended penalty of six months suspension from the practice
of the Telecommunications Office, but did not categorically state of law to disbarment. The IBP Board then transmitted their report to
that he was being sued in his official capacity. The mere mention this Court.
in the Complaint of the petitioner's position as Regional Director
of the Telecommunications Office does not transform the action On September 29, 2004, however, the Court remanded the case
into one against petitioner in his official capacity. What is to the IBP Board for further proceedings in order to give the parties the
determinative of the nature of the cause of action are the chance to fully present their case.2[2] The Court said the investigating
allegations in the complaint. It is settled that the nature of a cause of commissioner should have subpoenaed and examined the witnesses of
action is determined by the facts alleged in the complaint as the parties considering the gravity of the charge against Atty. Gacott.
constituting the cause of action. The purpose of an action or suit and Navarro rendered her report based solely on the position papers and
the law to govern it is to be determined not by the claim of the party affidavits of the witnesses.
filling [sic] the action, made in his argument or brief, but rather by the
complaint itself, its allegations and prayer for relief.[15] (Emphasis While the IBP Board was complying with the Courts directive,
supplied) Atty. Gacott filed a complaint for damages against the boards sitting
members before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Puerto Princesa
WHEREFORE, the Court DENIES the petition. The Court City, Palawan.3[3] Answering the complaint, the IBP Board raised the
AFFIRMS the 17 August 2005 Decision and 27 February 2006
Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 73212. 1

2
CADIZ vs HON. PRESIDING JUDGE
3
affirmative defense of failure of the complaint to state a cause of The petitioner IBP Board members are correct in claiming that
action and filed a motion to dismiss the case on that ground. On March Atty. Gacotts complaint states no cause of action. The IBP
9, 2006 the trial court denied the motion,4[4] prompting the IBP Board Commissioner and Board of Governors in this case merely exercised
to elevate the case to the Court of Appeals (CA) on special civil action delegated powers to investigate the complaint against Atty. Gacott and
for certiorari.5[5] submit their report and recommendation to the Court. They cannot be
charged for honest errors committed in the performance of their quasi-
On December 29, 2006 the CA denied the petition, pointing out judicial function. And that was what it was in the absence of any
that the RTC did not commit grave abuse of discretion. The IBP Board allegation of specific factual circumstances indicating that they acted
had other plain and speedy remedy, like proceeding to trial in the case maliciously or upon illicit consideration. If the rule were otherwise, a
and appealing in the event of failure of the RTC to dismiss the action. great number of lower court justices and judges whose acts the
The CA denied in its Resolution dated July 12, 2007 the IBP Boards appellate courts have annulled on ground of grave abuse of discretion
motion for reconsideration, thus causing them to file the present would be open targets for damage suits.
petition.
Parenthetically, Atty. Gacott submitted the disbarment case
The Issue Presented against him for resolution based on the position papers that he and the
complainants presented, without reservation, to the IBP along with the
The key issue in this case is whether or not the CA erred in affidavits of their witnesses. The IBP Board prepared its report and
failing to rule that the Supreme Courts remand of the disbarment case recommendation to the Court based on these papers and documents.
to the IBP Board for examination of the witnesses, considering the
gravity of the charge against Atty. Gacott, cannot serve as basis for the WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the petition, SETS
latters complaint for damages against the members of that board. ASIDE the decision dated December 29, 2006 and resolution dated
July 12, 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP 94692, and
Ruling of the Court ORDERS the complaint for damages filed by respondent Glenn C.
Gacott against petitioners Jose Anselmo I. Cadiz, Leonard S. De Vera,
Atty. Gacott states in his complaint for damages before the Romulo A. Rivera, Dante G. Ilaya, Pura Angelica Y. Santiago, Rosario
RTC that Supreme Courts remand of his case to the IBP Board is an T. Setias-Reyes, Jose Vicente B. Salazar, Manuel M. Monzon,
affirmation of the latters arbitrary abuse of its investigatory power. Immanuel L. Sodusta, Carlos L. Valdez, Jr., and Lydia A. Navarro in
The IBP Board recommended his disbarment based on the Civil Case 4095 of the Regional Trial Court of Puerto Princesa City,
Commissioners report rendered to it without the benefit of exhaustive Palawan, DISMISSED for failure to state a cause of action.
hearing. This made its members personally liable for actual, moral,
and corrective damages. Essentially, therefore, Atty. Gacott anchored MARIKINA AUTOLINE TRANSPORT vs. PEOPLE
his complaint for damages on the result of the Courts assessment of the
IBP Boards report and recommendation and its remand of the case
against him for further proceedings. Erlinda V. Valdellon is the owner of a two-door commercial apartment
located at No. 31 Kamias Road, Quezon City. The Marikina Auto Line
Transport Corporation (MALTC) is the owner-operator of a passenger
4
bus, its employee, was assigned as the regular driver of the bus.
5
At around 2:00 p.m. on October 3, 1992, Suelto was driving the and when he testified in the trial court. Suelto narrated that he
passenger bus along Kamias Road, Kamuning, Quezon City, going suddenly swerved the bus to the right of the road causing it to hit the
towards EDSA. The bus suddenly swerved to the right and struck the column of the terrace of private respondent. Petitioners were burdened
terrace of the commercial apartment owned by Valdellon. Upon to prove that the damage to the terrace of private respondent was not
Valdellon’s request, the court ordered Sergio Pontiveros, the Senior the fault of petitioner Suelto. We have reviewed the evidence on
Building Inspection Officer of the City Engineer’s Office, to inspect record and find that petitioners failed to prove that petitioner acted on
the damaged terrace. an emergency caused by the sudden intrusion of a passenger jeepney
into the lane of the bus he was driving.
He recommended that since the structural members made of concrete It was the burden of petitioners herein to prove petitioner Suelto’s
had been displaced, the terrace would have to be demolished "to keep defense that he acted on an emergency, that is, he had to swerve the
its monolithicness, and to insure the safety and stability of the bus to the right to avoid colliding with a passenger jeep coming from
building." EDSA that had overtaken another vehicle and intruded into the lane of
the bus. It is clear from the photographs submitted by the prosecution
In a letter addressed to the bus company and Suelto, Valdellon that the commercial apartment of Dr. Valdellon sustained heavy
demanded payment of P148,440.00, within 10 days from receipt damage caused by the bus being driven by Suelto. "It seems highly
thereof, to cover the cost of the damage to the terrace. The bus improbable that the said damages were not caused by a strong impact.
company and Suelto offered a P30,000.00 settlement which Valdellon And, it is quite reasonable to conclude that, at the time of the impact,
refused. the bus was traveling at a high speed when Suelto tried to avoid the
passenger jeepney."
Valdellon filed a criminal complaint for reckless imprudence resulting
in damage to property against Suelto. After the requisite preliminary PLEYTO vs LOMBOY
investigation, an Information was filed with the RTC of Quezon City.
FACTS:
Valdellon also filed a separate civil complaint against Suelto and the
bus company for damages. She prayed that after due proceedings, A head-on collision between a bus and a car along McArthur Highway
judgment be rendered in her favor. in Gerona, Tarlac happened on May 16, 1995 at around 11:30am.

ISSUE(S) Petitioner Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc (PRBL), bound for Vigan,
W/N Suelto is guilty of reckless imprudence which resulted in the Ilocos Sur at the time of the accident, is engaged in carrying
damage of Valdellon’s property passengers and goods for a fare servicing various routes in Central and
Northern Luzon. Its driver was Ernesto Pleyto.
HELD
Yes. Respondent People of the Philippines was able to prove beyond Ricardo Lomboy was a passenger to a Mitsubishi Lancer car driven by
reasonable doubt that petitioner Suelto swerved the bus to the right Arnulfo Asuncion, Ricardo’s brother-in-law. Carmela, the daughter of
with recklessness, thereby causing damage to the terrace of private Ricardo, also a passenger to said car, suffered injuries requiring
respondent’s apartment. hospitalization. But her father Ricardo Lomboy died.

Although she did not testify to seeing the incident as it happened, Ricardo’s heirs filed an action for damages against Pleyto and PRBL.
petitioner Suelto himself admitted this in his answer to the complaint
A witness and one of the bus passengers, Rolly Orpilla, testified that In considering the earning capacity of the victim as an element of
Pleyto tried to overtake a tricycle but hit it instead. Pleyto then damages, the net earnings, which is computed by deducting necessary
swerved in to the left opposite lane and smashed the Manila-bound car expenses from the gross earnings, and not the gross earnings, is to be
killing Arnulfo and Ricardo Lomboy while the other passengers, utilized in the computation. The amount of net earnings was arrived at
Carmela and friend Rhino Daba suffered injuries. after deducting the necessary expenses (pegged at 50% of gross
income) from the gross annual income. This computation is in accord
According to Pleyto, the tricycle suddenly stopped without warning to with settled jurisprudence. (Villa Rey case)
which Pleyto stepped on the brakes and bus lost speed but swerved to
the other lane to avoid hitting the tricycle. Unfortunately, it collided The testimony of the wife, Maria Lomboy, that her husband was
with the Manila-bound Mitsubishi car. earning a monthly income of P8,000.00 is sufficient to establish a
basis for an estimate of damages for loss of earning capacity.
The trial court rendered decision in favor of the plaintiffs awarding
P1,642,521.00 for lost earnings of Ricardo Lomboy. It found that Jurisprudence provides that the factors that should be taken into
Pleyto is negligent and lacked precaution when he overtook the account in determining the compensable amount of lost earnings are:
tricycle disregarding completely the approaching car in the other lane.
Pleyto should have been more prudent in overtaking considering the ● the number of years for which the victim would otherwise
slippery road. The court held that Pleyto violated traffic rules and have lived; and,
regulations and was negligent under Article 2185 of the Civil Code ● the rate of loss sustained by the heirs of the deceased.
and PRBL liable as owner of the bus and as employer of Pleyto under
Article 2180 of the Civil Code for its failure to observe the required Factor No. 1
diligence in its supervision of its employees and the safe maintenance
of its buses. Life expectancy is computed by applying the formula (2/3 x [80-age at
death]) adopted from the American Expectancy Table of Mortality or
CA affirmed the trial court’s decision with modification in the award the Actuarial Combined Experience Table of Mortality.
of damages reducing the award for loss of earning capacity to
P1,152,000.00 and took note of the amounts that were duly supported Factor No. 2
by receipts only.
Multiply the life expectancy by the net earnings of the deceased, i.e,
Petitioners moved for reconsideration but the appellate court denied it. the total earnings less expenses necessary in the creation of such
Hence, this petition. earnings or income and less living and other incidental expenses. The
net earning is ordinarily computed at fifty percent of the gross
ISSUE: Whether the CA erred in pegging the monthly living expenses earnings.
at 50% of gross earnings considering that no substantial proof was
presented to prove Lomboy’s gross income Thus, in the given case, the formula used by this Court in computing
loss of earning capacity is:
HELD: No reversible error may be attributed to the court in fixing the
loss of earning capacity at the amount P1,152,000.00. Moral damages are awarded to enable the injured party to obtain
means, diversions or amusements that will serve to alleviate the moral
suffering he/she has undergone, by reason of the defendant’s culpable
action. Its award is aimed at restoration of the spiritual proportionate to brought Albayda to PH Air Force General Hospital. Completo asserted
the suffering inflicted. that he was an experienced driver, and that he already reduced his
speed to 20km even before reaching the intersection. In contrast,
Thus, moral damages of P500,000 is reduced to P100,000 in keeping Albayda rode his bicycle at high speed, causing him to lose control of
with the purpose of the law and jurisprudence in allowing moral the bicycle. Completo said that Albayda had no cause of action.
damages.
Several people testified for each side, but here are some notes on the
HEIRS OF COMPLETO vs ALBAYDA JR. 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
Albayda is a Master Sergeant of the PH Air Force, and Completo was jeepneys, and being a taxicab operator, he would wake up early to
the taxi driver of a Toyota Corolla which was owned by Abiad. personally check the taxicabs. When Completo applied as a taxicab
Albayda was riding a bike on his way to the office, when Completo’s driver, Abiad required him to show his bio-data, NBI clearance, and
taxi bumped and sideswept him, causing serious physical injuries. He driver’s license. Completo never figured in a vehicular accident since
[Albayda] was brought to the PH Air Force General Hospital, but he he was employed, and according to Abiad, he [Completo] was a good
was transferred to the AFP Medical Center because he sustained a driver and good man.
fracture and there was no orthopedic doctor available in the first
hospital. He was confined from 27 Aug 1997 to 11 Feb 1998, and RTC rendered judgment in favor of Albayda, and the defendants are
again in 23 Feb to 22 Mar 1998 [approx. 7 months]. 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
Conciliation before the barangay failed, so Albayda filed a complaint with modifications [no more actual damages; awarded temperate
for physical injuries through reckless imprudence against Completo damages [40k]; moral damages only 200k; Completo and Abiad are
before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Pasay. Completo filed a solidarily liable to pay Albayda; added legal interest].
counter-charge of damage to property through reckless imprudence
against Albayda. The Office of the City Prosecutor recommended the Issues and Holding
filing of an information for Albayda’s complaint, and Completo’s
complaint [against Albayda] was dismissed. Albayda manifested his 1. WON CA erred in finding that Completo was the one who
reservation to file a separate civil action for damages against Completo caused the collision. NO
and Abiad. 2. WON Abiad failed to prove that he observed the diligence of a
good father of the family. YES
Albayda alleged that Completo’s negligence is the proximate cause of 3. WON the award of moral and temperate damages and
the incident. He demanded the following damages and their respective attorney’s fees for Albayda had no basis. NO / NO / YES
amounts: Actual damages – 276,550; Moral damages –
600,000; Exemplary damages – 200,000; Attorney’s fees – 25,000 + Ratio
1,000 per court appearance.
On Negligence
On the other hand, Completo alleged that he was carefully driving the It is a rule in negligence suits that the plaintiff has the burden of
taxicab when he heard a strange sound from the taxicab’s rear right proving by a preponderance of evidence the motorist’s breach in his
side. He found Albayda lying on the road, holding his left leg, so he 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 NEGLIGENT IN THE SELECTION AND SUPERVISION OF
suffered. NCC 2176 quoted, and said that the question of the COMPLETO.
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 = On Damages
15ft/sec] in discharging the duty of care because of the physical CA rightfully deleted the award of actual damages because Albayda
advantages the former has over the latter. failed to present documentary evidence to establish the amount
incurred. Temperate damages may be recovered when the court finds
It was proven by a preponderance of evidence that Completo failed to that some pecuniary loss has been suffered but its amount cannot be
exercise reasonable diligence. proved with certainty. Moral damages are awarded in QDs causing
physical injuries, so the award is proper. The award of attorney’s fees
● He was overspeeding at the time he hit Albayda’s bicycle; he is deleted for failure to prove that petitioners acted in bad faith in
did not slow down even when he approached the intersection refusing to satisfy respondent’s just and valid claim.
● Such negligence was the sole and proximate cause of the
injuries sustained by Albayda GUILLANG vs BEDANIA
● It was proven that Albayda had the right of way since he
reached the intersection ahead of Completo One afternoon of October 1994, Guillang was driving his Corolla
along Aguinaldo Highway in Cavite when it was hit by a turning 10-
NCC 2180 cited – obligation imposed by NCC 2176 is demandable wheeler truck driven by Rodolfo Bedania and owned by Rodolfo de
also for those persons for whom one is responsible. Employers are Silva. The passengers of the car were rushed to the Medical Center in
liable for damage caused by employees, but the responsibility ceases Dasmariñas, Cavite for treatment. Because of severe injuries, Antero,
upon proof that employers observed the diligence of the good father of one of the passengers, was later transferred to the Philippine General
the family in the selection and supervision of employees. The burden Hospital. However, on 3 November1994, Antero died due to the
of proof is on the employer. The responsibility of two or more persons injuries he sustained from the collision. The car was a total wreck
who are liable for QD is solidary. The employer’s civil liability for his while the truck sustained minor damage. On 24 April 1995, petitioners
employee’s negligent acts is also primary and direct, owing to his own Genaro, Llanillo, Dignadice, and the heirs of Antero instituted a
negligence in selecting and supervising them, and this liability attaches complaint for damages based on quasi-delict against respondents
even if the employer is not in the vehicle at the time of collision. Bedania and de Silva.On 5 December 2000, the trial court rendered a
decision in favor of petitioners. The trial court found Bedania grossly
In the selection of employees, employers are required to examine them negligent for recklessly maneuvering the truck by making a sudden U-
as to their qualifications, experience, and service records. With respect turn in the highway without dueregard to traffic rules and the safety of
to supervision, employers should formulate SOPs and monitor their other motorists. The trial court also declared de Silva grossly negligent
implementation, and impose disciplinary measures for breaches. To in the selection and supervision of his driver, Bedania.On appeal, the
establish these factors in a trial involving the issue of vicarious CA reversed the decision of the lower court and dismissed the civil
[secondary] liability, employers must submit concrete proof, including case for lack of merit. Petitioners then filed a MR but to no avail.
documentary evidence. Hence this case.
ABIAD’S EVIDENCE CONSISTED ENTIRELY OF
TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE, AND THIS IS INSUFFICIENT TO Issue:
OVERCOME THE LEGAL PRESUMPTION THAT HE WAS Who is liable for the damages suffered by petitioners?
Under Article 2185 of the Civil Code, unless there is proof to the
Held: contrary, a person driving a vehicle is presumed negligent if at the
The trial court held Bedania and de Silva, as Bedania’s employer, time of the mishap, he was violating any traffic regulation.
liable because the proximate cause of the collision was the sudden U-
turn executed by Bedania without any signal lights. On the other hand, In this case, the report showed that the truck, while making the U-turn,
the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s decision and held failed to signal, a violation of traffic rules. The police records also
Genaro liable because the proximate cause of the collision was stated that, after the collision, Bedania escaped and abandoned the
Genaro’s failure to stop the car despite seeing that Bedania was petitioners and his truck. This is another violation of a traffic
making a U-turn. regulation. Therefore, the presumption arises that Bedania was
negligent at the time of the mishap.
Negligence is defined as the failure to observe for the protection of the
interest of another person that degree of care, precaution, and vigilance The evidence presented in this case also does not support the
which the circumstances justly demand, whereby such other person conclusion of the Court of Appeals that the truck had already executed
suffers injury. In Picart v. Smith, we held that the test of negligence is the U-turn before the impact occurred. If the truck had fully made the
whether the defendant in doing the alleged negligent act used that U-turn, it should have been hit on its rear .If the truck had already
reasonable care and caution which an ordinary person would have used negotiated even half of the turn and is almost on the other side of the
in the same situation. highway, then the truck should have been hit in the middle portion of
the trailer or cargo compartment. But the evidence clearly shows, and
The conclusion of the Court of Appeals that Genaro was negligent is the Court of Appeals even declared, that the car hit the truck’s gas
not supported by the evidence on record. Videna’s testimony was tank, located at the truck’s right middle portion, which disproves the
inconsistent with the police records and report that he made on the day conclusion of the Court of Appeals that the truck had already executed
of the collision. First, Videna testified that the car was running fast and the U-turn when it was hit by the car.
overtook another vehicle that already gave way to the truck. But this
was not indicated in either the report or the police records. Moreover, Contrary to the conclusion of the Court of Appeals, the sheer size of
if the car was speeding, thereshould have been skid marks on the road the truck does not make it improbable for the truck to execute a sudden
when Genaro stepped on the brakes to avoid the collision. But the U-turn. The trial court’s decision did not state that the truck was
sketch of the accident showed no skid marks made by the car. Second, traveling at a fast speed when it made the U-turn. The trial court said
Videna testified that the petitioners came from a drinking spree the truck made a "sudden" U-turn, meaning the U-turn was made
because he was able to smell liquor. But in the report, Videna unexpectedly and with no warning, as shown by the fact that the
indicated that the condition of Genaro was "normal." Videna did not truck’s signal lights were not turned on.
indicate in the report that Genaro "had been drinking liquor" or that Clearly, Bedania’s negligence was the proximate cause of the collision
Genaro "was obviously drunk." Third, Videna testified that when he which claimed the life of Antero and injured the petitioners. Proximate
arrived at the scene, Bedania was inside his truck. This contradicts the cause is that which, in the natural and continuous sequence, unbroken
police records where Videna stated that after the collision Bedania by any efficient, intervening cause, produces the injury, and without
escaped and abandoned the victims. The police records also showed which the result would nothave occurred. The cause of the collision is
that Bedania was arrested by the police at his barracks in Anabu, Imus, traceable to the negligent act of Bedania for if the U-turn was executed
Cavite and was turned over to the police only on 26 October 1994. with the proper precaution, the mishap in all probability would not
have happened. The sudden U-turn of the truck without signal lights
posed a serious risk to oncoming motorists. Bedania failed to prevent
or minimize that risk. The truck’s sudden U-turn triggered a series of effecting the injury as a natural and probable result of the cause which
events that led to the collision and, ultimately, to the death of Antero first acted, under such circumstances that the person responsible for
and the injuries of petitioners. the first event should, as an ordinary prudent and intelligent person,
have reasonable ground to expect at the moment of his act or default
that an injury to some person might probably result therefrom.

RAMOS vs COL REALTY If Aquilino heeded the MMDA prohibition against crossing Katipunan
Avenue from Rajah Matanda, the accident would not have
Petitioner Ramos is the employer of Rodel Ilustrisimo. While Rodel happened. This specific untoward event is exactly what the MMDA
was driving the Ford Expedition of petitioner an accident ensued, prohibition was intended for. Thus, a prudent and intelligent person
wherein it bumped with a Corrolla Altis driven by Aquilino Larin and who resides within the vicinity where the accident occurred, Aquilino
owned by Respondent COL Realty. Due to the impact of the vehicular had reasonable ground to expect that the accident would be a natural
mishap, the passenger of the sedan was injured. and probable result if he crossed Katipunan Avenue since such
crossing is considered dangerous on account of the busy nature of the
A case was filed against Ramos making him solidarily liable with his thoroughfare and the ongoing construction of the Katipunan-Boni
driver. Ramos in his opposition argued that he cannot be held Avenue underpass. It was manifest error for the Court of Appeals to
solidarily liable since it is Aquilnio's negligence that is the proximate have overlooked the principle embodied in Article 2179 of the Civil
cause of the accident. He further argued that when the accident Code, that when the plaintiff’s own negligence was the immediate and
happened, Aquilino violated an MMDA order, i.e. prohibiting the proximate cause of his injury, he cannot recover damages.
crossing is the place where the accident happened.
As to the alleged Rodel's contributory negligence- the court finds it
Issue: unnecessary to delve into it, since it cannot overcome or defeat
Whether or not Ramos may be held liable since the proximate cause of Aquilino’s recklessness which is the immediate and proximate cause
the accident is his employee's negligence. of the accident. Rodel’s contributory negligence has relevance only in
the event that Ramos seeks to recover from respondent whatever
Ruling: damages or injuries he may have suffered as a result; it will have the
No. There is no doubt that Aquilino’s violation of the MMDA effect of mitigating the award of damages in his favor.
prohibition against crossing Katipunan Avenue from Rajah Matanda
Street was the proximate cause of the accident. PESTANO vs SUMAYANG

Proximate cause is defined as that cause, which, in natural and Facts: Sumayang, accompanied by another person, was riding a motor
continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, vehicle on a highway in Cebu. While turning left at a junction,
produces the injury, and without which the result would not have Sumayang was violently hit by a speeding bus driven by Pestano.
occurred. And more comprehensively, the proximate legal cause is Sumayang and his companion died due to the accident. The heirs of
that acting first and producing the injury, either immediately or by Sumayang filed a civil action against Pestano and Metro Cebu Bus
setting other events in motion, all constituting a natural and continuous Company, the owner of the Bus driven by Pestano. A witness named
chain of events, each having a close causal connection with its Neis accounts that before Sumayang turned left, the former had raised
immediate predecessor, the final event in the chain immediately his left arm as a signal but was run over by the bus and was thrown 14
meters away. Pestano alleges the victims were negligent because 15-20
meters away, he had already blown the bus’ horn and even blew it a Mandaluyong, but the latter was subsequently acquitted of the criminal
second time when he got near but could only step on the brake after charge. Añonuevo claims that Villagracia violated traffic regulations
the bus had hid the motor vehicle. RTC and CA held Pestano liable when he failed to register his bicycle or install safety gadgets. He
and also held Metro Cebu Bus liable for negligence. posits that Article 2185 of the Civil Code applies by analogy. Article
2185. Unless there is proof to the contrary, it is presumed that a person
Issue: W/N Metro Cebu Bus may be held liable for the acts of Pestano driving a motor vehicle has been negligent if at the time of the mishap
he was violating any traffic regulation.
Held: There were factual findings that the bus had a defective
speedometer and the Company was held to have shown laxity in the ISSUES AND RULING:
conduct of its operations and supervision of employees. Under Articles
2180 and 2176 of the Civil Code, owners and managers are 1. W/N Art. 2185 of the New Civil Code should apply to non-
responsible for damages caused by their employees. When an injury is motorized vehicles, making Villagracia presumptively negligent -->
caused by the negligence of a servant or an employee, the master or There is pertinent basis for segregating between motorized and non-
employer is presumed to be negligent either in the selection or in the motorized vehicles. A motorized vehicle, unimpeded by the limitations
supervision of that employee. This presumption may be overcome only in physical exertion, is capable of greater speeds and acceleration than
by satisfactorily showing that the employer exercised the care and the non-motorized vehicles. At the same time, motorized vehicles are
diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and the more capable in inflicting greater injury or damage in the event of an
supervision of its employee. The CA said that allowing Pestaño to ply accident or collision. This is due to a combination of factors peculiar
his route with a defective speedometer showed laxity on the part of to the motor vehicle, such as the greater speed, its relative greater bulk
Metro Cebu in the operation of its business and in the supervision of of mass, and greater combustibility due to the use of fuel.
its employees. The negligence alluded to here is in its supervision over
its driver, not in that which directly caused the accident. The fact that 2. W/N Villagracia was negligent for failure to comply with traffic
Pestaño was able to use a bus with a faulty speedometer shows that regulations --> N The existence of negligence in a given case is not
Metro Cebu was remiss in the supervision of its employees and in the determined by the personal judgment of the actor in a given situation,
proper care of its vehicles. It had thus failed to conduct its business but rather, it is the law which determines what would be reckless or
with the diligence required by law. negligent. Añonuevo asserts that Villagracia was negligent as the latter
had transgressed traffic regulations. However, Añonuevo was speeding
as he made the left turn, and such negligent act was the proximate
ANONUEVO vs CA cause of the accident. Even assuming that Añonuevo had failed to see
Villagracia because the bicycle was not equipped with headlights, such
Villagracia was traveling along Boni Ave. on his bicycle, while lapse on the cyclist’s part would not have acquitted the driver of his
Añonuevo, traversing the opposite lane was driving a Lancer car duty to slow down as he proceeded to make the left turn.
owned by Procter and Gamble Inc., the employer of Añonuevo’s
brother. Añonuevo was in the course of making a left turn towards 3. W/N Villagracia is guilty of contributory negligence --> As
Libertad Street when the collision occurred. Villagracia sustained between Añonuevo and Villagracia, the lower courts adjudged
serious injuries and had to undergo four operations. Villagracia Añonuevo as solely responsible for the accident. The petition does not
instituted an action for damages against P&G Phils., Inc. demonstrate why this finding should be reversed. It is hard to imagine
and Añonuevo before the RTC. He had also filed a criminal complaint that the same result would not have occurred even if Villagracia’s
against Añonuevo before the Metropolitan Trial Court of bicycle had been equipped with safety equipment.
the negligence of the servant, if known to the master and susceptible of
CAEDO vs YU KHE THAI timely correction by him, reflects his own negligence if he fails to
correct it in order to prevent injury or damage.

FACTS: Negligence on the part of the owner, if any, must be sought in the
immediate setting and circumstances of the accident, that is, in his
Plaintiff Caedo was driving his Mercury car at about 5:30 in the failure to detain the driver from pursuing a course which not only gave
morning of March 24, 1958 along E. de los Santos Ave., in the vicinity him clear notice of the danger but also sufficient time to act upon it.
of San LorenzoVillage bound for the airport. Several members of his We do not see that such negligence may be imputed. The car, as has
family were in the car. Coming from the opposite direction was the been stated, was not running at an unreasonable speed. The road was
Cadillac car of defendant Yu Khe Thai driven by his driver Rafael wide and open, and devoid of traffic that early morning. There was no
Bernardo. The two cars were traveling at a moderate speed with their reason for the car owner to be in any special state of alert. He had
headlights on. Ahead of the Cadillac was a caretela. Defendant’s driver reason to rely on the skill and experience of his driver. He became
did not notice it until he was about eight (8) meters away. Instead of aware of the presence of the carretela when his car was only twelve
slowing down behind the caretela defendant’s driver veered to the left meters behind it, but then his failure to see it earlier did not constitute
with the intention of passing by the caretela but in doing so its rear negligence, for he was not himself at the wheel. And even when he did
bumper caught the ream of thecaretela’s left wheel wrenching it off. see it at that distance, he could not have anticipated his driver’s sudden
Defendant’s car skidded obliquely to the other end and collided with decision to pass the carretela on its left side in spite of the fact that
the on-coming vehicle of the plaintiff. The plaintiff on his part, another car was approaching from the opposite direction. The time
slackened his speed and tried to avoid the collision by veering to the element was such that there was no reasonable opportunity for Yu Khe
right but the collision occurred just the same injuring the plaintiff and Thai to assess the risks involved and warn the driver accordingly. The
members of his family. Plaintiff brought an action for damages against thought that entered his mind, he said, was that if he sounded a sudden
both the driver and owner of the Cadillac car. There was no question warning it might only make the other man nervous and make the
that defendant’s driver was negligent and liable. situation worse. It was a thought that, wise or not, connotes no absence
of that due diligence required by law to prevent the misfortune. Under
ISSUE: the facts the owner of the car was not liable.

Whether or not defendant Yu Khe Thai, owner of the car, who was in
the car, was solidarily liable with the driver under Art. 2184, of the
Civil Code.

RULING:

The applicable law is Article 2184 of the Civil Code. Under the said
provision, if the causative factor was the driver’s negligence, the
owner of the vehicle who was present is likewise held liable if he
could have prevented the mishap by the exercise of due diligence. The
basis of the master’s liability in civil law is not respondent superior but
rather the relationship of paterfamilias. The theory is that ultimately