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G.R. No. 107356 March 31, 1995 3. The sum of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) as moral
damages;
SINGAPORE AIRLINES LIMITED, petitioner, vs.
THE COURT OF APPEALS and PHILIPPINE 4. The sum equivalent to ten Per Cent (10th) of the total amount
AIRLINES, respondents. due as and for attorney's fees; and

ROMERO, J.: 5. The cost of suit.

Sancho Rayos was an overseas contract worker who had a The defendant's counterclaim is hereby dismissed.
renewed contract with the Arabian American Oil Company
(Aramco) for the period covering April 16, 1980, to April 15, ON THE THIRD PARTY COMPLAINT, the third-party defendant
1981. As part of Aramco's policy, its employees returning to PAL is ordered to pay defendant and third-party plaintiff SIA
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia from Manila are allowed to claim whatever the latter has paid the plaintiffs.
reimbursement for amounts paid for excess baggage of up to 50
SO ORDERED.
kilograms, as long as it is properly supported by receipt. On April
1980, Rayos took a Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight to report for In so ruling, the court a quo concluded that the excess baggage
his new assignment, with a 50-kilogram excess baggage for ticket of Rayos was tampered with by the employees of PAL and
which he paid P4,147.50. Aramco reimbursed said. amount that the fraud was the direct and proximate cause of the non-
upon presentation of the excess baggage ticket. renewal of Rayos' contract with Aramco.
In December 1980, Rayos learned that he was one of several All parties appealed to the Court of Appeals. SIA's appeal was
employees being investigated by Aramco for fraudulent claims. dismissed for non-payment of docket fees, which dismissal was
He immediately asked his wife Beatriz in Manila to seek a written eventually sustained by this Court. The Rayos spouses withdrew
confirmation from SIA that he indeed paid for an excess their appeal when SIA satisfied the judgment totaling
baggage of 50 kilograms. On December 10, 1980, SIA's P802,435.34.
manager, Johnny Khoo, notified Beatriz of their inability to issue
the certification requested because their records showed that In its appeal, PAL claimed that the spouses Rayos had no valid
only three kilograms were entered as excess and accordingly claim against SIA because it was the inefficiency of Rayos which
charged. SIA issued the certification requested by the spouses led to the non-renewal of his contract with Aramco, and not the
Rayos only on April 8, 1981, after its investigation of the anomaly alleged tampering of his excess bagged ticket On the other
and after Beatriz, assisted by a lawyer, threatened it with a hand, SIA argued that the only issue in the said appeal is
lawsuit. On April 14, 1981, Aramco gave Rayos his travel whether or not it was entitled to reimbursement from PAL, citing
documents without a return visa. His employment contract was the case of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company of the
not renewed. Philippines v. Tempongko.1

On August 5, 1981, the spouses Rayos, convinced that SIA was The appellate court disagreed with SIA's contention that PAL
responsible for the non-renewal of Rayos' employment contract could no longer raise the issue of SIA's liability to the Rayoses
with Aramco, sued it for damages. SIA claimed that it was not and opined "that SIA's answer to the complaint should inure to
liable to the Rayoses because the tampering was committed by the benefit of PAL, and the latter may challenge the lower court's
its handling agent, Philippine Airlines (PAL). It then filed a third- findings against SIA in favor of plaintiffs-appellees (the Rayos
party complaint against PAL. PAL, in turn, countered that its spouses) for the purpose of defeating SIA's claim against it, and
personnel did not collect any charges for excess baggage; that not for the purpose of altering in any way the executed judgment
it had no participation in the tampering of any excess baggage against SIA." In its answer to the main complaint, SIA set up the
ticket; and that if any tampering was made, it was done by SIA's defense that the excess baggage ticket was indeed tampered
personnel. with but it was committed by PAL's personnel. On September
21, 1992, the appellate court granted PAL's appeal and
Judge Jesus O. Ibay of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, absolved it from any liability to SIA.
Branch 30, rendered judgment on September 9, 1988, in favor
of the plaintiffs, the dispositive portion of which reads thus: In this petition for review, SIA argues that PAL cannot validly
assail for the first time on appeal the trial court's decision
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the sustaining the validity of plaintiff's complaint against SIA if PAL
plaintiffs and against the defendant Singapore Airlines Limited, did not raise this issue in the lower court. It added that the
sentencing the latter to pay the former the following: appellate court should have restricted its ruling on the right of
SIA to seek reimbursement from PAL, as this was the only issue
1. The sum of Four Hundred Thirty Thousand Nine Hundred
raised by SIA in its third-party complaint against PAL.
Pesos and Eighty Centavos (P430,900.80) as actual damages,
with interest at the legal rate from the date of the filing of the The instant appeal is impressed with merit.
complaint until fully paid.
The petitioner correctly pointed out that the case
2. The sum of Four Thousand One Hundred Forty-Seven Pesos of Firestone squarely applies to the case at bench. In said case,
and Fifty Centavos (P4,147.50) as reimbursement for the the Court expounded on the nature of a third-party complaint
amount deducted from Mr. Rayos' salary, also with legal rate of and the effect of a judgment in favor of the plaintiff against the
interest from the filing of the complaint until paid in full; defendant and in favor of such defendant as third-party plaintiff
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against, ultimately, the third-party defendant. Speaking through which preclude third-party defendant PAL from benefiting from
then Justice and later Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee, the the said principle.
Court stated:
One of the defenses available to SIA was that the plaintiffs had
The third-party complaint is, therefore, a procedural device no cause of action, that is, it had no valid claim against SIA. SIA
whereby a "third party" who is neither a party nor privy to the act investigated the matter and discovered that tampering was,
or deed complained of by the plaintiff, may be brought into the indeed, committed, not by its personnel but by PAL's. This
case with leave of court, by the defendant, who acts as third- became its defense as well as its main cause of action in the
party plaintiff to enforce against such third-party defendant a third-party complaint it filed against PAL. For its part, PAL could
right for contribution, indemnity, subrogation or any other relief, have used the defense that the plaintiffs had no valid claim
in respect of the plaintiff's claim. The third-party complaint is against it or against SIA. This could be done indirectly by
actually independent of and separate and distinct from the adopting such a defense in its answer to the third-party
plaintiff's complaint. . . . When leave to file the third-party complaint if only SIA had raised the same in its answer to the
complaint is properly granted, the Court renders in effect two main complaint, or directly by so stating in unequivocal terms in
judgments in the same case, one on the plaintiff's complaint and its answer to SIA's complaint that SIA and PAL were both
the other on the third-party complaint. When he finds favorably blameless. Yet, PAL opted to deny any liability which it imputed
on both complaints, as in this case, he renders judgment on the to SIA's personnel. It was only on appeal — in a complete turn
principal complaint in favor of plaintiff against defendant and around of theory — that PAL raised the issue of no valid claim
renders another judgment on the third-party complaint in favor by the plaintiff against SIA. This simply cannot be allowed.
of defendant as third-party plaintiff, ordering the third-party
defendant to reimburse the defendant whatever amount said While the third-party defendant; would benefit from a victory by
defendant is ordered to pay plaintiff in the case. Failure of any the third-party plaintiff against the plaintiff, this is true only when
of said parties in such a case to appeal the judgment as against the third-party plaintiff and third-party defendant have non-
him makes such judgment final and executory. By the same contradictory defenses. Here, the defendant and third-party
token, an appeal by one party from such judgment does not defendant had no common defense against the plaintiffs'
inure to the benefit of the other party who has not appealed nor complaint, and they were even blaming each other for the fiasco.
can it be deemed to be an appeal of such other party from the
Fear of collusion between the third-party plaintiff and the
judgment against him.
plaintiffs aired by the appellate court is misplaced if not totally
It must be noted that in the proceedings below, PAL disclaimed unfounded. The stand of SIA as against the plaintiffs' claim was
any liability to the Rayoses and imputed the alleged tampering transparent from the beginning. PAL was aware of SIA's
to SIA's personnel. On appeal, however, PAL changed its theory defense, and if it was convinced that SIA should have raised the
and averred that the spouses Rayos had no valid claim against defense of no valid claim by the plaintiffs, it should have so
SIA on the around that the non-renewal of Sancho's contract stated in its answer as one of its defenses, instead of waiting for
with Aramco was his unsatisfactory performance rather than the an adverse judgment and raising it for the first time on appeal.
alleged tampering of his excess baggage ticket. In response to
The judgment, therefore, as far as the Rayoses and SIA are
PAL's appeal, SIA argued that it was improper for PAL to
concerned, has already gained finality. What remains to be
question SIA's liability to the plaintiff, since this was no longer an
resolved, as correctly pointed out by petitioner, is whether it is
issue on account of the finality and, in fact, satisfaction of the
entitled to reimbursement from PAL, considering that PAL
judgment.
appealed that part of the decision to the appellate court. This is
Surprisingly, the appellate court ignored the Court's where the rule laid down in Firestone becomes applicable.
pronouncements in Firestone and declared:
The trial court's decision, although adverse to SIA as defendant,
[T]here is nothing in the citation which would suggest that the made PAL ultimately answerable for the judgment by ordering
appellant cannot avail of the defenses which would have been the latter to reimburse the former for the entire monetary award.
available to the non-appealing party against the prevailing party On appeal, PAL tried to exonerate itself by arguing that the
which would be beneficial to the appellant. After all, PAL's Rayoses had no valid claim against SIA. From PAL's viewpoint,
liability here is premised on the liability of SIA to plaintiffs- this seemed to be the only way to extricate itself from a mess
appellees, In its own defense, it should have the right to avail of which the court a quo ascribed to it. This cannot, however, be
defenses of SIA against plaintiffs-appellees which would allowed because it was neither raised by SIA in its answer to the
redound to its benefit. This is especially true here where SIA lost main complaint nor by PAL in its answer to the third-party
the capability to defend itself on the technicality of failure to pay complaint. The prudent thing that PAL should have done was to
docket fee, rather than on the merits of its appeal. To hold state in its answer to the third-party complaint filed by SIA
otherwise would be to open the door to a possible collusion against it everything that it may conceivably interpose by way of
between the plaintiff and defendant which would leave the third- its defense, including specific denials of allegations in the main
party defendant holding the bag. complaint which implicated it along with SIA.

There is no question that a third-party defendant is allowed to The appellate court was in error when it opined that SIA's
set up in his answer the defenses which the third-party plaintiff answer inured to the benefit of PAL for the simple reason that
(original defendant) has or may have to the plaintiff's claim. the complaint and the third-party complaint are actually two
There are, however, special circumstances present in this case separate cases involving the same set of facts which is allowed
by the court to be resolved in a single proceeding only to avoid
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a multiplicity of actions. Such a proceeding obviates the need of actually paid to Sancho and Beatriz Rayos in satisfaction of the
trying two cases, receiving the same or similar evidence for both, judgment in Civil Case No. 142252, dated September 9, 1988.
and enforcing separate judgments therefor. This situation is not, SO ORDERED.
as claimed by the appellate court, analogous to a case where
there are several defendants against whom a complaint is filed
stating a common cause of action, where the answer of some of
G.R. No. 130068 October 1, 1998
the defendants inures to the benefit of those who did not file an
answer. While such a complaint speaks of a single suit, a third- FAR EASTERN SHIPPING COMPANY, petitioner, vs.
party complaint involves an action separate and distinct from, COURT OF APPEALS and PHILIPPINE PORTS
although related to the main complaint. A third-party defendant AUTHORITY, respondents.
who feels aggrieved by some allegations in the main complaint
should, aside from answering the third-party complaint, also G.R. No. 130150 October, 1998
answer the main complaint.
MANILA PILOTS ASSOCIATION, petitioner, vs.
We do not, however, agree with the petitioner that PAL is solely PHILIPPINE PORTS AUTHORITY and FAR EASTERN
liable for the satisfaction of the judgment. While the trial court SHIPPING COMPANY, respondents.
found, and this has not been adequately rebutted by PAL, that
REGALADO, J.:
the proximate cause of the non-renewal of Rayos' employment
contract with Aramco was the tampering of his excess baggage These consolidated petitions for review on certiorari seek in
ticket by PAL's personnel, it failed to consider that the immediate unison to annul and set aside the decision1 of respondent Court
cause of such non-renewal was SIA's delayed transmittal of the of Appeals of November 15, 1996 and its resolution 2 dated July
certification needed by Rayos to prove his innocence to his 31, 1997 in CA-G.R. CV No. 24072, entitled "Philippine Ports
employer. Authority, Plaintiff-Appellee vs. Far Eastern Shipping Company,
Senen C. Gavino and Manila Pilots' Association, Defendants-
SIA was informed of the anomaly in December 1980 but only
Appellants," which affirmed with modification the judgment of the
issued the certification four months later or, more specifically, on
trial court holding the defendants-appellants therein solidarily
April 8, 1981, a few days before the expiration of Rayos'
liable for damages in favor of herein private respondent.
contract. Surely, the investigation conducted by SIA could not
have lasted for four months as the information needed by the There is no dispute about the facts as found by the appellate
Rayoses could easily be verified by comparing the duplicate court, thus —
excess baggage tickets which they and their handling agent,
PAL, kept the record purposes. The fact that the Rayos spouses . . . On June 20, 1980, the M/V PAVLODAR, flying under the
had to be assisted by counsel who threatened to file a damage flagship of the USSR, owned and operated by the Far Eastern
suit against SIA if the certification they urgently needed was not Shipping Company (FESC for brevity's sake), arrived at the Port
immediately issued only strengthens the suspicion that SIA was of Manila from Vancouver, British Columbia at about 7:00 o'clock
not dealing with them in utmost good faith. The effect of SIA's in the morning. The vessel was assigned Berth 4 of the Manila
mishandling of Beatriz Rayos' request became instantly International Port, as its berthing space. Captain Roberto
apparent when her husband's contract was not renewed in spite Abellana was tasked by the Philippine Port Authority to
of his performance which was constantly "highly regarded" by supervise the berthing of the vessel. Appellant Senen Gavino
the manager of Aramco's equipment services department. was assigned by the Appellant Manila Pilots' Association (MPA
for brevity's sake) to conduct docking maneuvers for the safe
Former Chief Justice and noted remedial law expert Manuel V. berthing of the vessel to Berth No. 4.
Moran opined that "in an action upon a tort, the defendant may
file a third-party complaint against a joint tort-feasor for Gavino boarded the vessel at the quarantine anchorage and
contribution."2 stationed himself in the bridge, with the master of the vessel,
Victor Kavankov, beside him. After a briefing of Gavino by
The non-renewal of Rayos employment contract was the natural Kavankov of the particulars of the vessel and its cargo, the
and probable consequence of the separate tortious acts of SIA vessel lifted anchor from the quarantine anchorage and
and PAL. Under mandate of Article 2176 of the Civil Code, proceeded to the Manila International Port. The sea was calm
Rayos is entitled to be compensated for such damages. and the wind was ideal for docking maneuvers.
Inasmuch as the responsibility of two or more persons, or tort-
feasors, liable for a quasi-delict is joint and several,3 and the When the vessel reached the landmark (the big church by the
sharing as between such solidary debtors is pro-rata,4 it is but Tondo North Harbor) one-half mile from the pier, Gavino ordered
logical, fair, and equitable to require PAL to contribute to the the engine stopped. When the vessel was already about 2,000
amount awarded to the Rayos spouses and already paid by SIA, feet from the pier, Gavino ordered the anchor dropped.
instead of totally indemnifying the latter. Kavankov relayed the orders to the crew of the vessel on the
bow. The left anchor, with two (2) shackles, were dropped.
WHEREFORE, the decision of the respondent Court of Appeals However, the anchor did not take hold as expected. The speed
in CA-G.R. CV No. 20488 dated September 21, 1992, is hereby of the vessel did not slacken. A commotion ensued between the
REVERSED and a new one is entered ordering private crew members. A brief conference ensued between Kavankov
respondent Philippine Airlines to pay, by way of contribution, and the crew members. When Gavino inquired what was all the
petitioner Singapore Airlines one-half (1/2) of the amount it
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commotion about, Kavankov assured Gavino that there was In G. R. No. 130068, which was assigned to the Second Division
nothing to it. of this Court, FESC imputed that the Court of Appeals seriously
erred:
After Gavino noticed that the anchor did not take hold, he
ordered the engines half-astern. Abellana, who was then on the 1. in not holding Senen C. Gavino and the Manila Pilots'
pier apron, noticed that the vessel was approaching the pier fast. Association as the parties solely responsible for the resulting
Kavankov likewise noticed that the anchor did not take hold. damages sustained by the pier deliberately ignoring the
Gavino thereafter gave the "full-astern" code. Before the right established jurisprudence on the matter;
anchor and additional shackles could be dropped, the bow of the
vessel rammed into the apron of the pier causing considerable 2. in holding that the master had not exercised the required
damage to the pier. The vessel sustained damage too, (Exhibit diligence demanded from him by the circumstances at the time
"7-Far Eastern Shipping). Kavankov filed his sea protest (Exhibit the incident happened;
"1-Vessel"). Gavino submitted his report to the Chief Pilot
3. in affirming the amount of damages sustained by the
(Exhibit "1-Pilot") who referred the report to the Philippine Ports
respondent Philippine Ports Authority despite a strong and
Authority (Exhibit 2-Pilot"). Abellana likewise submitted his
convincing evidence that the amount is clearly exorbitant and
report of the incident (Exhibit "B").
unreasonable;
Per contract and supplemental contract of the Philippine Ports
4. in not awarding any amount of counterclaim prayed for by the
Authority and the contractor for the rehabilitation of the damaged
petitioner in its answer; and
pier, the same cost the Philippine Ports Authority the amount of
P1,126,132.25 (Exhibits "D" and "E").3 5. in not granting herein petitioner's claim against pilot Senen C.
Gavino and Manila Pilots' Association in the event that it be held
On January 10, 1983, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA, for
liable. 9
brevity), through the Solicitor General, filed before the Regional
Trial Court of Manila, Branch 39, a complaint for a sum of money Petitioner asserts that since the MV PAVLODAR was under
against Far Eastern Shipping Co., Capt. Senen C. Gavino and compulsory pilotage at the time of the incident, it was the
the Manila Pilots' Association, docketed as Civil Case No. 83- compulsory pilot, Capt. Gavino, who was in command and had
14958,4 praying that the defendants therein be held jointly and complete control in the navigation and docking of the vessel. It
severally liable to pay the plaintiff actual and exemplary is the pilot who supersedes the master for the time being in the
damages plus costs of suit. In a decision dated August 1, 1985, command and navigation of a ship and his orders must be
the trial court ordered the defendants therein jointly and obeyed in all respects connected with her navigation.
severally to pay the PPA the amount of P1,053,300.00 Consequently, he was solely responsible for the damage caused
representing actual damages and the costs of suit. 5 upon the pier apron, and not the owners of the vessel. It claims
that the master of the boat did not commit any act of negligence
The defendants appealed to the Court of Appeals and raised the
when he failed to countermand or overrule the orders of the pilot
following issues: (1) Is the pilot of a commercial vessel, under
because he did not see any justifiable reason to do so. In other
compulsory pilotage, solely liable for the damage caused by the
words, the master cannot be faulted for relying absolutely on the
vessel to the pier, at the port of destination, for his negligence?
competence of the compulsory pilot. If the master does not
and (2) Would the owner of the vessel be liable likewise if the
observe that a compulsory pilot is incompetent or physically
damage is caused by the concurrent negligence of the master
incapacitated, the master is justified in relying on the pilot. 10
of the vessel and the pilot under a compulsory pilotage?
Respondent PPA, in its comment, predictably in full agreement
As stated at the outset, respondent appellate court affirmed the
with the ruling of respondent court on the solidary liability of
findings of the court a quo except that if found no employer-
FESC, MPA and Capt. Gavino, stresses the concurrent
employee relationship existing between herein private
negligence of Capt. Gavino, the harbor pilot, and Capt. Viktor
respondents Manila Pilots' Association (MPA, for short) and
Kabankov, * shipmaster of MV Pavlodar, as the basis of their
Capt. Gavino.6 This being so, it ruled instead that the liability of
solidary liability for damages sustained by PPA. It posits that the
MPA is anchored, not on Article 2180 of the Civil Code, but on
vessel was being piloted by Capt. Gavino with Capt. Kabankov
the provisions of Customs Administrative Order No. 15-65, 7 and
beside him all the while on the bridge of the vessel, as the former
accordingly modified said decision of the trial court by holding
took over the helm of MV Pavlodar when it rammed and
MPA, along with its co-defendants therein, still solidarily liable to
damaged the apron of the pier of Berth No. 4 of the Manila
PPA but entitled MPA to reimbursement from Capt. Gavino for
International Port. Their concurrent negligence was the
such amount of the adjudged pecuniary liability in excess of the
immediate and proximate cause of the collision between the
amount equivalent to seventy-five percent (75%) of its
vessel and the pier — Capt. Gavino, for his negligence in the
prescribed reserve
conduct of docking maneuvers for the safe berthing of the
fund. 8
vessel; and Capt. Kabankov, for failing to countermand the
Neither Far Eastern Shipping Co. (briefly, FESC) nor MPA was orders of the harbor pilot and to take over and steer the vessel
happy with the decision of the Court of Appeals and both of them himself in the face of imminent danger, as well as for merely
elevated their respective plaints to us via separate petitions for relying on Capt. Gavino during the berthing procedure. 11
review oncertiorari.
On the other hand, in G.R. No. 130150, originally assigned to
the Court's First Division and later transferred to the Third
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Division. MPA, now as petitioner in this case, avers that the Rules of Court therefor, with the end in view of preventing
respondent court's errors consisted in disregarding and the filing of multiple complaints involving the same issues in the
misinterpreting Customs Administrative Order No. 15-65 which Supreme Court, Court of Appeals or different divisions thereof
limits the liability of MPA. Said pilots' association asseverates or any other tribunal or agency.
that it should not be held solidarily liable with Capt. Gavino who,
as held by respondent court is only a member, not an employee, More particularly, the second paragraph of Section 2, Rule 42
thereof. There being no employer-employee relationship, provides:
neither can MPA be held liable for any vicarious liability for the
xxx xxx xxx
respective exercise of profession by its members nor be
considered a joint tortfeasor as to be held jointly and severally The petitioner shall also submit together with the petition a
liable. 12 It further argues that there was erroneous reliance on certification under oath that he has not theretofore commenced
Customs Administrative Order No. 15-65 and the constitution any other action involving the same issues in the Supreme
and by-laws of MPA, instead of the provisions of the Civil Code Court, the Court of Appeals or different divisions thereof, or any
on damages which, being a substantive law, is higher in other tribunal or agency; if there is such other action or
category than the aforesaid constitution and by-laws of a proceeding, he must state the status of the same; and if he
professional organization or an administrative order which bears should thereafter learn that a similar action or proceeding has
no provision classifying the nature of the liability of MPA for the been filed or is pending before the Supreme Court, the Court of
negligence its member pilots. 13 Appeals or different divisions thereof, or any other tribunal or
agency, he undertakes to promptly inform the aforesaid courts
As for Capt. Gavino, counsel for MPA states that the former had
and other tribunal or agency thereof within five (5) days
retired from active pilotage services since July 28, 1994 and has
therefrom. (Emphasis ours.)
ceased to be a member of petitioner pilots' association. He is not
joined as a petitioner in this case since his whereabouts are For petitions for review filed before the Supreme Court, Section
unknown. 14 4(e), Rule 45 specifically requires that such petition shall contain
a sworn certification against forum shopping as provided in the
FESC's comment thereto relied on the competence of the Court
last paragraph of Section 2, Rule 42.
of Appeals in construing provisions of law or administrative
orders as bases for ascertaining the liability of MPA, and The records show that the law firm of Del Rosario and Del
expressed full accord with the appellate court's holding of Rosario through its associate, Atty. Herbert A. Tria, is the
solidary liability among itself, MPA and Capt. Gavino. It further counsel of record for FESC in both G.R. No. 130068 and G.R.
avers that the disputed provisions of Customs Administrative No. 130150.
Order No. 15-65 clearly established MPA's solidary liability. 15
G.R. No. 130068, which is assigned to the Court's Second
On the other hand, public respondent PPA, likewise through Division, commenced with the filing by FESC through counsel
representations by the Solicitor General, assumes the same on August 22, 1997 of a verified motion for extension of time to
supportive stance it took in G.R. No. 130068 in declaring its total file its petition for thirty (30) days from August 28, 1997 or until
accord with the ruling of the Court of Appeals that MPA is September 27, 1997. 20 Said motion contained the following
solidarily liable with Capt. Gavino and FESC for damages, and certification against forum shopping 21 signed by Atty. Herbert A.
in its application to the fullest extent of the provisions of Customs Tria as affiant:
Administrative Order No. 15-65 in relation to MPA's constitution
and by-laws which spell out the conditions of and govern their CERTIFICATION
respective liabilities. These provisions are clear and
AGAINST FORUM SHOPPING
unambiguous as regards MPA's liability without need for
interpretation or construction. Although Customs Administrative I/we hereby certify that I/we have not commenced any other
Order No. 15-65 is a mere regulation issued by an administrative action or proceeding involving the same issues in the Supreme
agency pursuant to delegated legislative authority to fix details Court, the Court of Appeals, or any other tribunal or agency; that
to implement the law, it is legally binding and has the same to the best of my own knowledge, no such action or proceeding
statutory force as any valid statute. 16 is pending in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or any
other tribunal or agency; that if I/we should thereafter learn that
Upon motion 17 by FESC dated April 24, 1998 in G.R. No.
a similar action or proceeding has been filed or is pending before
130150, said case was consolidated with G.R. No. 130068. 18
the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or any other tribunal
Prefatorily, on matters of compliance with procedural or agency, I/we undertake to report that fact within five (5) days
requirements, it must be mentioned that the conduct of the therefrom to this Honorable Court.
respective counsel for FESC and PPA leaves much to be
This motion having been granted, FESC subsequently filed its
desired, to the displeasure and disappointment of this Court.
petition on September 26, 1997, this time bearing a "verification
Sec. 2, Rule 42 of the 1997 Rules of Civil and certification against forum-shopping" executed by one
Procedure 19 incorporates the former Circular No. 28-91 which Teodoro P. Lopez on September 24, 1997, 22 to wit:
provided for what has come to be known as the certification
VERIFICATION AND CERTIFICATION
against forum shopping as an additional requisite for petitions
filed with the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals, aside AGAINST FORUM SHOPPING
from the other requirements contained in pertinent provisions of
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in compliance with Section 4(e), Rule 45 in relation Even assuming that FESC had not yet received its copy of
MPA's petition at the time it filed its own petition and executed
to Section 2, Rule 42 of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure said certification, its signatory did state "that if I should thereafter
learn that a similar action or proceeding has been filed or is
I, Teodoro P. Lopez, of legal age, after being duly sworn, depose
pending before the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals or any
and state:
other tribunal or agency, I undertake to report the fact within five
1. That I am the Manager, Claims Department of Filsov Shipping (5) days therefrom to this Honorable Court." 25Scouring the
Company, the local agent of petitioner in this case. records page by page in this case, we find that no manifestation
concordant with such undertaking was then or at any other time
2. That I have caused the preparation of this Petition for Review thereafter ever filed by FESC nor was there any attempt to bring
on Certiorari. such matter to the attention of the Court. Moreover, it cannot
feign non-knowledge of the existence of such other petition
3. That I have read the same and the allegations therein
because FESC itself filed the motion for consolidation in G.R.
contained are true and correct based on the records of this case.
No. 130150 of these two cases on April 24, 1998.
4. That I certify that petitioner has not commenced any other
It is disturbing to note that counsel for FESC, the law firm of Del
action or proceeding involving the same issues in the Supreme
Rosario and Del Rosario, displays an unprofessional tendency
Court or Court of Appeals, or any other tribunal or agency, that
of taking the Rules for granted, in this instance exemplified by
to the best of my own knowledge, no such action or proceeding
its pro forma compliance therewith but apparently without full
is pending in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals or any
comprehension of and with less than faithful commitment to its
other tribunal or agency, that if I should thereafter learn that a
undertakings to this Court in the interest of just, speedy and
similar action or proceeding has been filed or is pending before
orderly administration of court proceedings.
the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or any other tribunal
or agency, I undertake to report the fact within five (5) days As between the lawyer and the courts, a lawyer owes candor,
therefrom to this Honorable Court. (Italics supplied for fairness and good faith to the court. 26 He is an officer of the
emphasis.) court exercising a privilege which is indispensable in the
administration of justice. 27Candidness, especially towards the
Reviewing the records, we find that the petition filed by MPA in
courts, is essential for the expeditious administration of justice.
G.R. No. 130150 then pending with the Third Division was duly
Courts are entitled to expect only complete honesty from
filed on August 29, 1997 with a copy thereof furnished on the
lawyers appearing and pleading before them. 28 Candor in all
same date by registered mail to counsel for FESC. 23 Counsel of
dealings is the very essence of honorable membership in the
record for MPA. Atty. Jesus P. Amparo, in his verification
legal profession. 29 More specifically, a lawyer is obliged to
accompanying said petition dutifully revealed to the Court that
observe the rules of procedure and not to misuse them to defeat

the ends of justice. 30 It behooves a lawyer, therefore, to exert
xxx xxx xxx every effort and consider it his duty to assist in the speedy and
efficient administration of justice. 31 Being an officer of the court,
3. Petitioner has not commenced any other action or proceeding a lawyer has a responsibility in the proper administration of
involving the same issues in this Honorable Court, the Court of justice. Like the court itself, he is an instrument to advance its
Appeals or different Divisions thereof, or any other tribunal or ends — the speedy, efficient, impartial, correct and inexpensive
agency, but to the best of his knowledge, there is an action or adjudication of cases and the prompt satisfaction of final
proceeding pending in this Honorable Court, entitled Far Eastern judgments. A lawyer should not only help attain these objectives
Shipping Co., Petitioner, vs. Philippine Ports Authority and Court but should likewise avoid any unethical or improper practices
of Appeals with a Motion for Extension of time to file Petition For that impede, obstruct or prevent their realization, charged as he
Review by Certiorari filed sometime on August 18, 1987. If is with the primary task of assisting in the speedy and efficient
undersigned counsel will come to know of any other pending administration of justice.32
action or claim filed or pending he undertakes to report such fact
within five (5) days to this Honorable Court. 24 (Emphasis Sad to say, the members of said law firm sorely failed to observe
supplied.) their duties as responsible members of the Bar. Their actuations
are indicative of their predisposition to take lightly the avowed
Inasmuch as MPA's petition in G.R. No. 130150 was posted by duties of officers of the Court to promote respect for law and for
registered mail on August 29, 1997 and taking judicial notice of legal processes. 33 We cannot allow this state of things to pass
the average period of time it takes local mail to reach its judicial muster.
destination, by reasonable estimation it would be fair to conclude
that when FESC filed its petition in G.R. No. 130068 on In view of the fact that at around the time these petitions were
September 26, 1997, it would already have received a copy of commenced, the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure had just taken
the former and would then have knowledge of the pendency of effect, the Court treated infractions of the new Rules then with
the other petition initially filed with the First Division. It was relative liberality in evaluating full compliance therewith.
therefore incumbent upon FESC to inform the Court of that fact Nevertheless, it would do well to remind all concerned that the
through its certification against forum shopping. For failure to penal provisions of Circular No. 28-91 which remain operative
make such disclosure, it would appear that the aforequoted provides, inter alia:
certification accompanying the petition in G.R. No. 130068 is 3. Penalties. —
defective and could have been a ground for dismissal thereof.
7

xxx xxx xxx comment as required by Section 5, Rule 42. Instead, a copy
thereof was inadvertently furnished to MPA which, from the point
(c) The submission of a false certification under Par. 2 of the of view of G.R. No. 130068, was a non-party. 37 The OSG fared
Circular shall likewise constitute contempt of court, without slightly better in G.R. No. 130150 in that it took only six (6)
prejudice to the filing of criminal action against the guilty party. extensions, or a total of 180 days, before the comment was
The lawyer may also be subjected to disciplinary proceedings. finally filed. 38 And while it properly furnished petitioner MPA with
a copy of its comment, it would have been more desirable and
It must be stressed that the certification against forum shopping
expedient in this case to have furnished its therein co-
ordained under the Rules is to be executed by the petitioner, and
respondent FESC with a copy thereof, if only as a matter of
not by counsel. Obviously it is the petitioner, and not always the
professional courtesy. 39
counsel whose professional services have been retained for a
particular case, who is in the best position to know whether he This undeniably dilatory disinclination of the OSG to seasonably
or it actually filed or caused the filing of a petition in that case. file required pleadings constitutes deplorable disservice to the
Hence, a certification against forum shopping by counsel is a tax-paying public and can only be categorized as censurable
defective certification. It is clearly equivalent to non-compliance inefficiency on the part of the government law office. This is most
with the requirement under Section 2, Rule 42 in relation to certainly professionally unbecoming of the OSG.
Section 4, Rule 45, and constitutes a valid cause for dismissal
of the petition. Another thing that baffles the Court is why the OSG did not take
the inititive of filing a motion for consolidation in either G.R. No.
Hence, the initial certification appended to the motion for 130068 or G.R. No. 130150, considering its familiarity with the
extension of time to file petition in G.R. No. 130068 executed in background of the case and if only to make its job easier by
behalf of FESC by Atty. Tria is procedurally deficient. But having to prepare and file only one comment. It could not have
considering that it was a superfluity at that stage of the been unaware of the pendency of one or the other petition
proceeding, it being unnecessary to file such a certification with because, being counsel for respondent in both cases, petitioner
a mere motion for extension, we shall disregard such error. is required to furnish it with a copy of the petition under pain of
Besides, the certification subsequently executed by Teodoro P. dismissal of the petition for failure otherwise. 40
Lopez in behalf of FESC cures that defect to a certain extent,
despite the inaccuracies earlier pointed out. In the same vein, Besides, in G.R. 130068, it prefaces its discussions thus —
we shall consider the verification signed in behalf of MPA by its
counsel, Atty. Amparo, in G.R. No. 130150 as substantial Incidentally, the Manila Pilots' Association (MPA), one of the
compliance inasmuch as it served the purpose of the Rules of defendants-appellants in the case before the respondent Court
informing the Court of the pendency of another action or of Appeals, has taken a separate appeal from the said decision
proceeding involving the same issues. to this Honorable Court, which was docketed as G.R. No.
130150 and entitled "Manila Pilots' Association, Petitioner,
It bears stressing that procedural rules are instruments in the versus Philippine Ports Authority and Far Eastern Shipping Co.,
speedy and efficient administration of justice. They should be Respondents." 41
used to achieve such end and not to derail it. 34
Similarly, in G.R. No. 130150, it states —
Counsel for PPA did not make matters any better. Despite the
fact that, save for the Solicitor General at the time, the same Incidentally, respondent Far Eastern Shipping Co. (FESC) had
legal team of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG, for short) also taken an appeal from the said decision to this Honorable
composed of Assistant Solicitor General Roman G. Del Rosario Court, docketed as G.R. No. 130068, entitled "Far Eastern
and Solicitor Luis F. Simon, with the addition of Assistant Shipping Co. vs. Court of Appeals and Philippine Ports
Solicitor General Pio C. Guerrero very much later in the Authority." 42
proceedings, represented PPA throughout the appellate
We find here a lackadaisical attitude and complacency on the
proceedings in both G.R. No. 130068 and G.R. No. 130150 and
part of the OSG in the handling of its cases and an almost
was presumably fully acquainted with the facts and issues of the
reflexive propensity to move for countless extensions, as if to
case, it took the OSG an inordinately and almost unreasonably
test the patience of the Court, before favoring it with the timely
long period of time to file its comment, thus unduly delaying the
submission of required pleadings.
resolution of these cases. It took several changes of leadership
in the OSG — from Silvestre H. Bello III to Romeo C. dela Cruz It must be emphasized that the Court can resolve cases only as
and, finally, Ricardo P. Galvez — before the comment in behalf fast as the respective parties in a case file the necessary
of PPA was finally filed. pleadings. The OSG, by needlessly extending the pendency of
these cases through its numerous motions for extension, came
In G.R. No. 130068, it took eight (8) motions for extension of
very close to exhausting this Court's forbearance and has
time totaling 210 days, a warning that no further extensions shall
regrettably fallen short of its duties as the People's Tribune.
be granted, and personal service on the Solicitor General
himself of the resolution requiring the filing of such comment The OSG is reminded that just like other members of the Bar,
before the OSG indulged the Court with the long required the canons under the Code of Professional Responsibility apply
comment on July 10, 1998. 35 This, despite the fact that said with equal force on lawyers in government service in the
office was required to file its comment way back on November discharge of their official tasks. 43 These ethical duties are
12, 1997. 36 A closer scrutiny of the records likewise indicates rendered even more exacting as to them because, as
that petitoner FESC was not even furnished a copy of said
8

government counsel, they have the added duty to abide by the f) a pilot shall be held responsible for the direction of a vessel
policy of the State to promote a high standard of ethics in public from the time he assumes his work as a pilot thereof until he
service. 44 Furthermore, it is incumbent upon the OSG, as part leaves it anchored or berthed safely; Provided, however, that his
of the government bureaucracy, to perform and discharge its responsibility shall cease at the moment the Master neglects or
duties with the highest degree of professionalism, intelligence refuses to carry out hisorder.
and skill 45 and to extend prompt, courteous and adequate
service to the public. 46 Customs Administrative Order No. 15-65 issued twenty years
earlier likewise provided in Chapter I thereof for the
Now, on the merits of the case. After a judicious examination of responsibilities of pilots:
the records of this case, the pleadings filed, and the evidence
presented by the parties in the two petitions, we find no cogent Par. XXXIX. — A Pilot shall be held responsible for the direction
reason to reverse and set aside the questioned decision. While of a vessel from the time he assumes control thereof until he
not entirely a case of first impression, we shall discuss the leaves it anchored free from shoal: Provided, That his
issues seriatim and, correlatively by way of a judicial once-over, responsibility shall cease at the moment the master neglects or
inasmuch as the matters raised in both petitions beg for refuses to carry out his instructions.
validation and updating of well-worn maritime jurisprudence.
xxx xxx xxx
Thereby, we shall write finis to the endless finger-pointing in this
shipping mishap which has been stretched beyond the limits of Par. XLIV. — Pilots shall properly and safely secure or anchor
judicial tolerance. vessels under their control when requested to do so by the
master of such vessels.
The Port of Manila is within the Manila Pilotage District which is
under compulsory pilotage pursuant to Section 8, Article III of I. G.R. No. 130068
Philippine Ports Authority Administrative Order No. 03-
85, 47 which provides that: Petitioner FESC faults the respondent court with serious error in
not holding MPA and Capt. Gavino solely responsible for the
Sec. 8. Compulsor Pilotage Service. — For entering a harbor damages cause to the pier. It avers that since the vessel was
and anchoring thereat, or passing through rivers or straits within under compulsory pilotage at the time with Capt. Gavino in
a pilotage district, as well as docking and undocking at any command and having exclusive control of the vessel during the
pier/wharf, or shifting from one berth or another, every vessel docking maneuvers, then the latter should be responsible for
engaged in coastwise and foreign trade shall be under damages caused to the pier. 48 It likewise holds the appellate
compulsory pilotage. . . . court in error for holding that the master of the ship, Capt.
Kabankov, did not exercise the required diligence demanded by
In case of compulsory pilotage, the respective duties and
the circumstances. 49
responsibilities of the compulsory pilot and the master have
been specified by the same regulation in this wise: We start our discussion of the successive issues bearing in mind
the evidentiary rule in American jurisprudence that there is a
Sec. 11. Control of vessels and liability for damage. — On
presumption of fault against a moving vessel that strikes a
compulsory pilotage grounds, the Harbor Pilot providing the
stationary object such as a dock or navigational aid. In admiralty,
service to a vessel shall be responsible for the damage caused
this presumption does more than merely require the ship to go
to a vessel or to life and property at ports due to his negligence
forward and produce some evidence on the presumptive matter.
or fault. He can only be absolved from liability if the accident is
The moving vessel must show that it was without fault or that the
caused by force majeure or natural calamities provided he has
collision was occasioned by the fault of the stationary object or
exercised prudence and extra diligence to prevent or minimize
was the result of inevitable accident. It has been held that such
damage.
vessel must exhaust every reasonable possibility which the
The Master shall retain overall command of the vessel even on circumstances admit and show that in each, they did all that
pilotage grounds whereby he can countermand or overrule the reasonable care required. 50 In the absence of sufficient proof in
order or command of the Harbor Pilot on beard. In such event, rebuttal, the presumption of fault attaches to a moving vessel
any damage caused to a vessel or to life and property at ports which collides with a fixed object and makes a prima facie case
by reason of the fault or negligence of the Master shall be the of fault against the vessel. 51 Logic and experience support this
responsibility and liability of the registered owner of the vessel presumption:
concerned without prejudice to recourse against said Master.
The common sense behind the rule makes the burden a heavy
Such liability of the owner or Master of the vessel or its pilots one. Such accidents simply do not occur in the ordinary course
shall be determined by competent authority in appropriate of things unless the vessel has been mismanaged in some way.
proceedings in the light of the facts and circumstances of each It is nor sufficient for the respondent to produce witnesses who
particular case. testify that as soon as the danger became apparent everything
possible was done to avoid an accident. The question remains,
Sec. 32. Duties and responsibilities of the Pilot or Pilots' How then did the collision occur? The answer must be either
Association. — The duties and responsibilities of the Harbor that, in spite of the testimony of the witnesses, what was done
Pilot shall be as follows: was too little or too late or, if not, then the vessel was at fault for
being in a position in which an unavoidable collision would
xxx xxx xxx occur. 52
9

The task, therefore, in these cases is to pinpoint who was conditions affecting the vessel in his charge and the waters for
negligent — the master of the ship, the harbor pilot or both. which he is licensed, such as a particular harbor or river.

A pilot, in maritime law, is a person duly qualified, and licensed, He is not held to the highest possible degree of skill and care,
to conduct a vessel into or out of ports, or in certain waters. In a but must have and exercise the ordinary skill and care
broad sense, the term "pilot" includes both (1) those whose duty demanded by the circumstances, and usually shown by an
it is to guide vessels into or out of ports, or in particular waters expert in his profession. Under extraordinary circumstancesm, a
and (2) those entrusted with the navigation of vessels on the pilot must exercise extraordinary care. 58
high seas. 53 However, the term "pilot" is more generally
understood as a person taken on board at a particular place for In Atlee vs. The Northwesrern Union Packet Company. 59 Mr.
the purpose of conducting a ship through a river, road or Justice Miller spelled out in great detail the duties of a pilot:
channel, or from a port. 54
. . . (T)he pilot of a river steamer, like the harbor pilot, is selected
Under English and American authorities, generally speaking, the for his personal knowledge of the topography through which he
pilot supersedes the master for the time being in the command steers his vessel. In the long course of a thousand miles in one
and navigation of the ship, and his orders must be obeyed in all of these rivers, he must be familiar with the appearance of the
matters connected with her navigation. He becomes the shore on each side of the river as he goes along. Its banks,
master pro hac vice and should give all directions as to speed, towns, its landings, its houses and trees, are all landmarks by
course, stopping and reversing anchoring, towing and the like. which he steers his vessel. The compass is of little use to him.
And when a licensed pilot is employed in a place where pilotage He must know where the navigable channel is, in its relation to
is compulsory, it is his duty to insist on having effective control all these external objects, especially in the night. He must also
of the vessel, or to decline to act as pilot. Under certain systems be familiar with all dangers that are permanently located in the
of foreign law, the pilot does not take entire charge of the vessel, course of the river, as sand-bars, snags, sunken rocks or trees
but is deemed merely the adviser of the master, who retains or abandoned vessels orbarges. All this he must know and
command and control of the navigation even in localities where remember and avoid. To do this, he must be constantly informed
pilotage is compulsory. 55 of the changes in the current of the river, of the sand-bars newly
made,of logs or snags, or other objects newly presented, against
It is quite common for states and localities to provide for which his vessel might be injured.
compulsory pilotage, and safety laws have been enacted
requiring vessels approaching their ports, with certain xxx xxx xxx
exceptions, to take on board pilots duly licensed under local law.
It may be said that this is exacting a very high order of ability in
The purpose of these laws is to create a body of seamen
a pilot. But when we consider the value of the lives and property
thoroughly acquainted with the harbor, to pilot vessels seeking
committed to their control, for in this they are absolute masters,
to enter or depart, and thus protect life and property from the
the high compensation they receive, the care which Congress
dangers of navigation. 56
has taken to secure by rigid and frequent examinations and
In line with such established doctrines, Chapter II of Customs renewal of licenses, this very class of skill, we do not think we
Administrative Order No. 15-65 prescribes the rules for fix the standard too high.
compulsory pilotage in the covered pilotage districts, among
Tested thereby, we affirm respondent court's finding that Capt.
which is the Manila Pilotage District,
Gavino failed to measure up to such strict standard of care and
viz. —
diligence required of pilots in the performance of their duties.
PARAGRAPH I. — Pilotage for entering a harbor and anchoring Witness this testimony of Capt. Gavino:
thereat, as well as docking and undocking in any pier or shifting
Court: You have testified before that the reason why the vessel
from one berth to another shall be compulsory, except
bumped the pier was because the anchor was not released
Government vessels and vessels of foreign governments
immediately or as soon as you have given the order. Do you
entitled to courtesy, and other vessels engaged solely in river or
remember having srated that?
harbor work, or in a daily ferry service between ports which shall
be exempt from compulsory pilotage provisions of these A Yes, your Honor.
regulations: provided, however, that compulsory pilotage shall
not apply in pilotage districts whose optional pilotage is allowed Q And you gave this order to the captain of the vessel?
under these regulations.
A Yes, your Honor.
Pursuant thereto, Capt. Gavino was assigned to pilot MV
Q By that testimony, you are leading the Court to understand
Pavlodar into Berth 4 of the Manila International Port. Upon
that if that anchor was released immediately at the time you gave
assuming such office as compulsory pilot, Capt. Gavino is held
the order, the incident would not have happened. Is that correct?
to the universally accepted high standards of care and diligence
required of a pilot, whereby he assumes to have skill and A Yes, sir, but actually it was only a presumption on my part
knowledge in respect to navigation in the particular waters over because there was a commotion between the officers who are
which his license extends superior to and more to be trusted in charge of the dropping of the anchor and the captain. I could
than that of the master. 57 A pilot 57 should have a thorough not understand their language, it was in Russian, so I presumed
knowledge of general and local regulations and physical the anchor was not dropped on time.
10

Q So, you are not sure whether it was really dropped on time or extraordinary risk demands extraordinary care. Similarly, the
not? more imminent the danger, the higher the degree of care. 66

A I am not sure, your Honor. We give our imprimatur to the bases for the conclusion of the
Court of Appeals that Capt. Gavino was indeed negligent in the
xxx xxx xxx performance of his duties:
Q You are not even sure what could have caused the incident. xxx xxx xxx
What factor could have caused the incident?
. . . As can be gleaned from the logbook, Gavino ordered the left
A Well, in this case now, because either the anchor was not anchor and two (2) shackles dropped at 8:30 o'clock in the
dropped on time or the anchor did not hold, that was the cause morning. He ordered the engines of the vessel stopped at 8:31
of the incident, your Honor. 60 o'clock. By then,Gavino must have realized that the anchor did
not hit a hard object and was not clawed so as to reduce the
It is disconcertingly riddled with too much incertitude and
momentum of the vessel. In point of fact, the vessel continued
manifests a seeming indifference for the possibly injurious
travelling towards the pier at the same speed. Gavino failed to
consequences his commands as pilot may have. Prudence
react, At 8:32 o'clock, the two (2) tugboats began to push the
required that he, as pilot, should have made sure that his
stern part of the vessel from the port side bur the momentum of
directions were promptly and strictly followed. As correctly noted
the vessel was not contained. Still, Gavino did not react. He did
by the trial court —
not even order the other anchor and two (2) more shackles
Moreover, assuming that he did indeed give the command to dropped to arrest the momentum of the vessel. Neither did he
drop the anchor on time, as pilot he should have seen to it that order full-astern. It was only at 8:34 o'clock, or four (4) minutes,
the order was carried out, and he could have done this in a after the anchor was dropped that Gavino reacted. But his
number of ways, one of which was to inspect the bow of the reaction was even (haphazard) because instead of arresting
vessel where the anchor mechanism was installed. Of course, fully the momentum of the vessel with the help of the tugboats,
Captain Gavino makes reference to a commotion among the Gavino ordered merely "half-astern". It took Gavino another
crew members which supposedly caused the delay in the minute to order a "full-astern". By then, it was too late. The
execution of the command. This account was reflected in the vessel's momentum could no longer be arrested and, barely a
pilot's report prepared four hours later, but Capt. Kavankov, minute thereafter, the bow of the vessel hit the apron of the pier.
while not admitting whether or not such a commotion occurred, Patently, Gavino miscalculated. He failed to react and undertake
maintained that the command to drop anchor was followed adequate measures to arrest fully the momentum of the vessel
"immediately and precisely." Hence, the Court cannot give much after the anchor failed to claw to the seabed. When he reacted,
weight or consideration to this portion of Gavino's testimony." 61 the same was even (haphazard). Gavino failed to reckon the
bulk of the vessel, its size and its cargo. He erroneously believed
An act may be negligent if it is done without the competence that that only one (1) anchor would suffice and even when the anchor
a reasonable person in the position of the actor would recognize failed to claw into the seabed or against a hard object in the
as necessary to prevent it from creating an unreasonable risk of seabed, Gavino failed to order the other anchor dropped
harm to another. 62Those who undertake any work calling for immediately. His claim that the anchor was dropped when the
special skills are required not only to exercise reasonable care vessel was only 1,000 feet from the pier is but a belated attempt
in what they do but also possess a standard minimum of special to extricate himself from the quagmire of his own insouciance
knowledge and ability. 63 and negligence. In sum, then, Appellants' claim that the incident
was caused by "force majeure" is barren of factual basis.
Every man who offers his services to another, and is employed,
assumes to exercise in the employment such skills he xxx xxx xxx
possesses, with a reasonable degree of diligence. In all these
employments where peculiar skill is requisite, if one offers his The harbor pilots are especially trained for this job. In the
services he is understood as holding himself out to the public as Philippines, one may not be a harbor pilot unless he passed the
possessing the degree of skill commonly possessed by others required examination and training conducted then by the Bureau
in the same employment, and if his pretensions are unfounded of Custom, under Customs Administrative Order No. 15-65, now
he commits a species of fraud on every man who employs him under the Philippine Ports Authority under PPA Administrative
in reliance on his public profession. 64 Order 63-85, Paragraph XXXIX of the Customs Administrative
Order No. 15-65 provides that "the pilot shall be held responsible
Furthermore, there is an obligation on all persons to take the for the direction of the vessel from the time he assumes control
care which, under ordinary circumstances of the case, a thereof, until he leaves it anchored free from shoal: Provided,
reasonable and prudent man would take, and the omission of that his responsibility shall cease at the.moment the master
that care constitutes negligence. 65Generally, the degree of care neglects or refuse(s) to carry out his instructions." The overall
required is graduated according to the danger a person or direction regarding the procedure for docking and undocking the
property attendant upon the activity which the actor pursues or vessel emanates from the harbor pilot. In the present recourse,
the instrumentality which he uses. The greater the danger the Gavino failed to live up to his responsibilities and exercise
greater the degree of care required. What is ordinary under reasonable care or that degree of care required by the
extraordinary of conditions is dictated by those conditions; exigencies of the occasion. Failure on his part to exercise the
degree of care demanded by the circumstances is negligence
11

(Reese versus Philadelphia & RR Co. 239 US 363, 60 L ed. 384, A No sir, I did not intervene up to the very moment when the
57 Am Jur, 2d page 418). 67 vessel was docked.

This affirms the findings of the trial court regarding Capt. xxx xxx xxx
Gavino's negligence:
Atty. Del Rosario (to the witness)
This discussion should not however, divert the court from the
fact that negligence in manuevering the vessel must be Q Mr. Witness, what happened, if any, or was there anything
attributed to Capt. Senen Gavino. He was an experienced pilot unusual that happened during the docking?
and by this time should have long familiarized himself with the
A Yes sir, our ship touched ihe pier and the pier was damaged.
depth of the port and the distance he could keep between the
vessel and port in order to berth safely. 68 Court (to the witness)
The negligence on the part of Capt. Gavino is evident; but Capt. Q When you said touched the pier, are you leading the court to
Kabancov is no less responsible for the allision. His understand that your ship bumped the pier?
unconcerned lethargy as master of the ship in the face of
troublous exigence constitutes negligence. A I believe that my vessel only touched the pier but the impact
was very weak.
While it is indubitable that in exercising his functions a pilot is in
sole command of the ship 69 and supersedes the master for the Q Do you know whether the pier was damaged as a result of
time being in the command and navigation of a ship and that he that slight or weak impact?
becomes master pro hac vice of a vessel piloted by him, 70 there
A Yes sir, after the pier was damaged.
is overwhelming authority to the effect that the master does not
surrender his vessel to the pilot and the pilot is not the master. xxx xxx xxx
The master is still in command of the vessel notwithstanding the
presence of a pilot. There are occasions when the master may Q Being most concerned with the safety of your vessel, in the
and should interfere and even displace the pilot, as when the maneuvering of your vessel to the port, did you observe anything
pilot is obviously incompetent or intoxicated and the irregular in the maneuvering by Capt. Gavino at the time he was
circumstances may require the master to displace a compulsory trying to cause the vessel to be docked at the pier?
pilot because of incompetency or physical incapacity. If,
however, the master does nor observe that a compulsory pilot is A You mean the action of Capt. Gavino or his condition?
incompetent or physically incapacitated, the master is justified in
Court:
relying on the pilot, but not blindly. 71
Q Not the actuation that conform to the safety maneuver of the
The master is not wholly absolved from his duties while a pilot is
ship to the harbor?
on board his vessel, and may advise with or offer suggestions to
him. He is still in command of the vessel, except so far as her A No sir, it was a usual docking.
navigation is concerned, and must cause the ordinary work of
the vessel to be properly carried on and the usual precaution Q By that statement of yours, you are leading the court to
taken. Thus, in particular, he is bound to see that there is understand that there was nothing irregular in the docking of the
sufficient watch on deck, and that the men are attentive to their ship?
duties, also that engines are stopped, towlines cast off, and the
anchors clear and ready to go at the pilot's order. 72 A Yes sir, during the initial period of the docking, there was
nothing unusual that happened.
A perusal of Capt. Kabankov's testimony makes it apparent that
Q What about in the last portion of the docking of the ship, was
he was remiss in the discharge of his duties as master of the
there anything unusual or abnormal that happened?
ship, leaving the entire docking procedure up to the pilot, instead
of maintaining watchful vigilance over this risky maneuver: A None Your Honor, I believe that Capt. Gavino thought that the
anchor could keep or hold the vessel.
Q Will you please tell us whether you have the right to intervene
in docking of your ship in the harbor? Q You want us to understand, Mr. Witness, that the dropping of
the anchor of the vessel was nor timely?
A No sir, I have no right to intervene in time of docking, only in
case there is imminent danger to the vessel and to the pier. A I don't know the depth of this port but I think, if the anchor was
Q Did you ever intervene during the time that your ship was dropped earlier and with more shackles, there could not have
being docked by Capt. Gavino? been an incident.

Q So you could not precisely tell the court that the dropping of
A No sir, I did not intervene at the time when the pilot was
docking my ship. the anchor was timery because you are not well aware of the
seabed, is that correct?
Q Up to the time it was actually docked at the pier, is that
A Yes sir, that is right.
correct?
xxx xxx xxx
12

Q Alright, Capt. Kavankov, did you come to know later whether Q Now, you said that when the command to lower the anchor
the anchor held its ground so much so that the vessel could not was given, it was obeyed, is that right?
travel?
A This command was executed by the third mate and boatswain.
A It is difficult for me to say definitely. I believe that the anchor
did not hold the ship. Court (to the witness)

Q You mean you don't know whether the anchor blades stuck to Q Mr. Witness, earlier in today's hearing, you said that you did
the ground to stop the ship from further moving? not intervene with the duties of the pilot and that, in your opinion,
you can only intervene if the ship is placed in imminent danger,
A Yes sir, it is possible. is that correct?

Q What is possible? A That is right, I did say that.

A I think, the 2 shackles were not enough to hold the vessel. Q In your observation before the incident actually happened, did
you observe whether or not the ship, before the actual incident,
Q Did you know that the 2 shackles were dropped? the ship was placed in imminent danger?
A Yes sir, I knew that. A No sir, I did not observe.
Q If you knew that the shackles were not enough to hold the Q By that answer, are you leading the court to understand that
ship, did you not make any protest to the pilot? because you did not intervene and because you believed that it
was your duty to intervene when the vessel is placed in imminent
A No sir, after the incident, that was my assumption.
danger to which you did not observe any imminent danger
Q Did you come to know later whether that presumption is thereof, you have not intervened in any manner to the command
correct? of the pilot?

A I still don't know the ground in the harbor or the depths. A That is right, sir.

Q So from the beginning, you were not competent whether the xxx xxx xxx
2 shackles were also dropped to hold the ship?
Q Assuminp that you disagreed with the pilot regarding the step
A No sir, at the beginning, I did not doubt it because I believe being taken by the pilot in maneuvering the vessel, whose
Capt. Gavino to be an experienced pilot and he should be more command will prevail, in case of imminent danger to the vessel?
aware as to the depths of the harbor and the ground and I was
A I did nor consider the situation as having an imminent danger.
confident in his actions.
I believed that the vessel will dock alongside the pier.
xxx xxx xxx
Q You want us to understand that you did not see an imminent
Solicitor Abad (to the witness) danger to your ship, is that what you mean?

Q Now, you were standing with the pilot on the bridge of the A Yes sir, up to the very last moment, I believed that there was
vessel before the inicident happened, were you not? no imminent danger.

A Yes sir, all the time, I was standing with the pilot. Q Because of that, did you ever intervene in the command of the
pilot?
Q And so whatever the pilot saw, you could also see from that
point of view? A Yes sir, I did not intervene because I believed that the
command of the pilot to be correct.
A That is right.
Solicitor Abad (to the witness)
Q Whatever the piler can read from the panel of the bridge, you
also could read, is that correct? Q As a captain of M/V Pavlodar, you consider docking
maneuvers a serious matter, is it not?
A What is the meaning of panel?
A Yes sir, that is right.
Q All indications necessary for men on the bridge to be informed
of the movements of the ship? Q Since it affects not only the safety of the port or pier, but also
the safety of the vessel and the cargo, is it not?
A That is right.
A That is right.
Q And whatever sound the captain . . . Capt. Gavino would hear
from the bridge, you could also hear? Q So that, I assume that you were watching Capt. Gavino very
closely at the time he was making his commands?
A That is right.
A I was close to him, I was hearing his command and being
executed.
13

Q And that you were also alert for any possible mistakes he Q Since, as you said that you agreed all the while with the orders
might commit in the maneuvering of the vessel? of Capt. Gavino, you also therefore agreed with him in his failure
to take necessary precaution against the eventuality that the
A Yes sir, that is right. anchor will not hold as expected?
Q But at no time during the maneuver did you issue order Atty. Del Rosario:
contrary to the orders Capt. Gavino made?
May I ask that the question . . .
A No sir.
Solicitor Abad:
Q So that you were in full accord with all of Capt. Gavino's
orders? Never mind, I will reform the question.

A Yes sir. xxx xxx xxx

Q Because, otherwise, you would have issued order that would Solicitor Abad (to the witness)
supersede his own order?
Q Is it not a fact that the vessel bumped the pier?
A In that case, I should t,ke him away from his command or
remove the command from him. A That is right, it bumped the pier.

Court (to the witness) Q For the main reason that the anchor of the vessel did not hold
the ground as expected?
Q You were in full accord with the steps being taken by Capt.
Gavino because you relied on his knowledge, on his familiarity A Yes sir, that is my opinion. 73
of the seabed and shoals and other surroundings or conditions
Further, on redirect examination, Capt. Kabankov fortified his
under the sea, is that correct?
apathetic assessment of the situation:
A Yes sir, that is right.
Q Now, after the anchor was dropped, was there any point in
xxx xxx xxx time that you felt that the vessel was in imminent danger.

Solicitor Abad (to the witness) A No, at that time, the vessel was not in imminent, danger, sir. 74

Q And so after the anchors were ordered dropped and they did This cavalier appraisal of the event by Capt. Kabankov is
not take hold of the seabed, you were alerted that there was disturbingly antipodal to Capt. Gavino's anxious assessment of
danger already on hand? the situation:

A No sir, there was no imminent danger to the vessel. Q When a pilot is on board a vessel, it is the piler's command
which should be followed at that moment until the vessel is, or
Q Do you mean to tell us that even if the anchor was supposed goes to port or reaches port?
to take hold of the bottom and it did not, there was no danger to
the ship? A Yes, your Honor, but it does not take away from the Captain
his prerogative to countermand the pilot.
A Yes sir, because the anchor dragged on the ground later.
Q In what way?
Q And after a few moments when the anchor should have taken
hold the seabed bur not done (sic), as you expected, you already A In any case, which he thinks the pilot is not maneuvering
were alerted that there was danger to the ship, is that correct? correctly, the Captain always has the prerogative to
countermand the pilot's order.
A Yes sir, I was alerted but there was no danger.
Q But insofar as competence, efficiency and functional
Q And you were alerted that somebody was wrong? knowledee of the seabed which are vital or decisive in the safety
(sic) bringing of a vessel to the port, he is not competent?
A Yes sir, I was alerted.
A Yes, your Honor. That is why they hire a pilot in an advisory
Q And this alert vou assumed was the ordinary alertness that capacity, but still, the safety of the vessel rest(s) upon the
you have for normal docking? Captain, the Master of the vessel.
A Yes sir, I mean that it was usual condition of any man in time Q In this case, there was not a disagreement between you and
of docking to be alert. the Captain of the vessel in the bringing of the vessel to port?
Q And that is the same alertness when the anchor did not hold A No, your Honor.
onto the ground, is that correct?
Court:
A Yes sir, me and Capt. Gavino (thought) that the anchor will
hold the ground. May proceed.
14

Atty. Catris: latter made, as well as the vessel's response to each of the
commands. His choice to rely blindly upon the pilot's skills, to
In fact, the Master of the vessel testified here that he was all the point that despite being appraised of a notice of alert he
along in conformity with the orders you, gave to him, and, as continued to relinquish control of the vessel to Gavino, shows
matter of fact, as he said, he obeyed all your orders. Can you indubitably that he was not performing his duties with the
tell, if in the course of giving such normal orders for the saf(e) diligence required of him and therefore may be charged with
docking of the MV Pavlodar, do you remember of any instance negligence along with defend;int Gavino. 76
that the Master of the vessel did not obey your command for the
safety docking of the MV Pavlodar? As correctly affirmed by the Court of Appeals —

Atty. del Rosario: We are in full accord with the findings and disquisitions of the
Court a quo.
Already answered, he already said yes sir.
In the present recourse, Captain Viktor Kavankov had been a
Court: mariner for thirty-two years before the incident. When Gavino
was (in) the command of the vessel, Kavankov was beside
Yes, he has just answered yes sir to the Court that there was no
Gavino, relaying the commands or orders of Gavino to the
disagreement insofar as the bringing of the vessel safely to the
crewmembers-officers of the vessel concerned. He was thus
port.
fully aware of the docking maneuvers and procedure Gavino
Atty. Catris: undertook to dock the vessel. Irrefragably, Kavankov was fully
aware of the bulk and size of the vessel and its cargo as well as
But in this instance of docking of the MV Pavlodar, do you the weight of the vessel. Kavankov categorically admitted that,
remember of a time during the course of the docking that the MV when the anchor and two (2) shackles were dropped to the sea
Pavlodar was in imminent danger of bumping the pier? floor, the claws of the anchor did not hitch on to any hard object
in the seabed. The momentum of the vessel was not arrested.
A When we were about more than one thousand meters from
The use of the two (2) tugboats was insufficient. The momentum
the pier, I think, the anchor was not holding, so I immediately
of the vessel, although a little bit arrested, continued (sic) the
ordered to push the bow at a fourth quarter, at the back of the
vessel going straightforward with its bow towards the port
vessel in order to swing the bow away from the pier and at the
(Exhibit "A-1 ). There was thus a need for the vessel to move
same time, I ordered for a full astern of the engine. 75
"full-astern" and to drop the other anchor with another shackle
These conflicting reactions can only imply, at the very least, or two (2), for the vessel to avoid hitting the pier. Kavankov
unmindful disregard or, worse, neglectful relinquishment of duty refused to act even as Gavino failed to act. Even as Gavino gave
by the shipmaster, tantamount to negligence. mere "half-astern" order, Kavankov supinely stood by. The
vessel was already about twenty (20) meters away from the pier
The findings of the trial court on this aspect is noteworthy: when Gavino gave the "full-astern" order. Even then, Kavankov
did nothing to prevent the vessel from hitting the pier simply
For, while the pilot Gavino may indeed have been charged with because he relied on the competence and plan of Gavino. While
the task of docking the vessel in the berthing space, it is the "full-astern'' maneuver momentarily arrested the momentum
undisputed that the master of the vessel had the corresponding of the vessel, it was, by then, too late. All along, Kavankov stood
duty to countermand any of the orders made by the pilot, and supinely beside Gavino, doing nothing but relay the commands
even maneuver the vessel himself, in case of imminent danger of Gavino. Inscrutably, then, Kavankov was negligent.
to the vessel and the port.
xxx xxx xxx
In fact, in his testimony, Capt. Kavankov admitted that all
throughour the man(eu)vering procedures he did not notice The stark incompetence of Kavankov is competent evidence to
anything was going wrong, and even observed that the order prove the unseaworthiness of the vessel. It has been held that
given to drop the anchor was done at the proper time. He even the incompetence of the navigator, the master of the vessel or
ventured the opinion that the accident occurred because the its crew makes the vessel unseaworthy (Tug Ocean Prince
anchor failed to take hold but that this did not alarm him versus United States of America, 584 F. 2nd, page 1151).
because.there was still time to drop a second anchor. Hence, the Appellant FESC is likewise liable for the damage
sustained by the Appellee. 77
Under normal circumstances, the abovementioned facts would
have caused the master of a vessel to take charge of the We find strong and well-reasoned support in time-tested
situation and see to the man(eu)vering of the vessel himself. American maritime jurisprudence, on which much of our laws
Instead, Capt. Kavankov chose to rely blindly upon his pilot, who and jurisprudence on the matter are based, for the conclusions
by this time was proven ill-equipped to cope with the situation. of the Court of Appeals adjudging both Capt. Gavino and Capt.
Kabankov negligent.
xxx xxx xxx
As early as 1869, the U.S. Supreme Court declared, through Mr.
It is apparent that Gavino was negligent but Far Eastern's Justice Swayne, in The Steamship China vs. Walsh, 78 that it is
employee Capt. Kavankov was no lesss responsible for as the duty of the master to interfere in cases of the pilot's
master of the vessel he stood by the pilot during the intoxication or manifest incapacity, in cases of danger which he
man(eu)vering procedures and was privy to every move the does not foresee, and in all cases of great necessity. The master
15

has the same power to displace the pilot that he has to remove pilot is, or to another vessel, or persons or property thereon or
any subordinate officer of the vessel, at his discretion. on shore. (Emphasis ours.)

In 1895, the U.S. Supreme Court, this time through Mr. Justice Still in another case involving a nearly identical setting, the
Brown, emphatically ruled that: captain of a vessel alongside the compulsory pilot was deemed
to be negligent, since, in the words of the court, "he was in a
Nor are rye satisfied with the conduct of the master in leaving position to exercise his superior authority if he had deemed the
the pilot in sole charge of the vessel. While the pilot doubtless speed excessive on the occasion in question. I think it
supersedes the master for the time being in the command and was clearly negligent of him not to have recognized the
navigation of the ship, and his orders must be obeyed in all danger to any craft moored at Gravell Dock and that he should
matters connected with her navigation, the master is not wholly have directed the pilot to reduce his speed as required by the
absolved from his duties while the pilot is on board, and may local governmental regulations. His failure amounted to
advise with him, and even displace him in case he is intoxicated negligence and renders the respondent liable." 81 (Emphasis
or manifestly incompetent. He is still in command of the vessel, supplied.) Though a compulsory pilot might be regarded as an
except so far as her navigation is concerned, and bound to see independent contractor, he is at all times subject to the ultimate
that there is a sufficient watch on deck, and that the men are control of the ship's master. 82
attentive to their duties.
In sum, where a compulsory pilot is in charge of a ship, the
. . . (N)orwithstanding the pilot has charge, it is the duty of the master being required to permit him to navigate it, if the master
master to prevent accident, and not to abandon the vessel observes that the pilot is incompetent or physically incapable,
entirely to the pilot; but that there are certain duties he has to then it is the dury of the master to refuse to permit the pilot to
discharge (notwithstanding there is a pilot on board) for the act. But if no such reasons are present, then the master is
benefit of the owners. . . . that in well conducted ships the master justified in relying upon the pilot, but not blindly. Under the
does not regard the presence of a duly licensed pilot in circumstances of this case, if a situation arose where the master,
compulsory pilot waters as freeing him from every, obligation to exercising that reasonable vigilance which the master of a ship
attend to the safety of the vessel; but that, while the master sees should exercise, observed, or should have observed, that the
that his officers and crew duly attend to the pilot's orders, he pilot was so navigating the vessel that she was going, or was
himself is bound to keep a vigilant eye on the navigation of the likely to go, into danger, and there was in the exercise of
vessel, and, when exceptional circumstances exist, not only to reasonable care and vigilance an opportunity for the master to
urge upon the pilot to use every precaution, but to insist upon intervene so as to save the ship from danger, the master should
such being taken. 79 (Italics for emphasis.) have acted accordingly. 83 The master of a vessel must exercise
a degree of vigilance commensurate with the circumstances. 84
In Jure vs. United Fruit Co., 80 which, like the present petitions,
involved compulsory pilotage, with a similar scenario where at Inasmuch as the matter of negligence is a question of fact, 85 we
and prior to the time of injury, the vessel was in the charge of a defer to the findings of the trial court, especially as this is
pilot with the master on the bridge of the vessel beside said pilot, affirmed by the Court of Appeals. 86 But even beyond that, our
the court therein ruled: own evaluation is that Capt. Kabankov's shared liability is due
mainly to the fact that he failed to act when the perilous situation
The authority of the master of a vessel is not in complete
should have spurred him into quick and decisive action as
abeyance while a pilot, who is required by law to be accepted,
master of the ship. In the face of imminent or actual danger, he
is in discharge of his functions. . . . It is the duty of the master to
did not have to wait for the happenstance to occur before
interfere in cases of the pilot's intoxication or manifest
countermanding or overruling the pilot. By his own admission,
incapacity, in cases of danger which he does not foresee, and in
Capt. Kabankov concurred with Capt. Gavino's decisions, and
all cases of great necessity. The master has the same power to
this is precisely the reason why he decided not to countermand
displace the pilot that he has to remove any subordinate officer
any of the latter's orders. Inasmuch as both lower courts found
of the vessel. He may exercise it, or not, according to his
Capt. Gavino negligent, by expressing full agreement therewith
discretion. There was evidence to support findings that piaintiff's
Capt. Kabankov was just as negligent as Capt. Gavino.
injury was due to the negligent operation of the Atenas, and that
the master of that vessel was negligent in failing to take action In general, a pilot is personally liable for damages caused by his
to avoid endangering a vessel situated as the City of Canton was own negligence or default to the owners of the vessel, and to
and persons or property thereon. third parties for damages sustained in a collision. Such
negligence of the pilot in the performance of duty constitutes a
A phase of the evidence furnished support for the inferences . .
maritime tort. 87 At common law, a shipowner is not liable for
. that he negligently failed to suggest to the pilot the danger
injuries inflicted exclusively by the negligence of a pilot accepted
which was disclosed, and means of avoiding such danger; and
by a vessel compulsorily. 88 The exemption from liability for such
that the master's negligence in failing to give timelt admonition
negligence shall apply if the pilot is actually in charge and solely
to the pilot proximately contributed to the injury complained of.
in fault. Since, a pilot is responsible only for his own personal
We are of opinion that the evidence mentioned tended to prove
negligence, he cannot be held accountable for damages
conduct of the pilot, known to the master, giving rise to a case
proximately caused by the default of others, 89 or, if there be
of danger or great necessity, calling for the intervention of the
anything which concurred with the fault of the pilot in producing
master. A master of a vessel is not without fault in acquiescing
the accident, the vessel master and owners are liable.
in canduct of a pilot which involves apparent and avoidable
danger, whether such danger is to the vessel upon which the
16

Since the colliding vessel is prima facie responsible, the burden The pilot in the case at bar having deviated from the usual and
of proof is upon the party claiming benefit of the exemption from ordinary course followed by navigators in passing through the
liability. It must be shown affirmatively that the pilot was at fault, strait in question, without a substantial reason, was guilty of
and that there was no fault on the part of the officers or crew, negligence, and that negligence having been the proximate
which might have been conducive to the damage. The fact that cause of the damages, he is liable for such damages as usually
the law compelled the master to take the pilot does not and naturally flow therefrom. . . .
exonerate the vessel from liability. The parties who suffer are
entitled to have their remedy against the vessel that occasioned . . . (T)he defendant should have known of the existence and
the damage, and are not under necessity to look to the pilot from location of the rock upon which the vessel struck while under his
whom redress is not always had for compensation. The owners control and management. . . . .
of the vessel are responsible to the injured party for the acts of
Consistent with the pronouncements in these two earlier cases,
the pilot, and they must be left to recover the amount as well as
but on a slightly different tack, the Court in Yap Tico & Co.
they can against him. It cannot be maintained that the
exonerated the pilot from liability for the accident where the
circumstance of having a pilot on board, and acting in conformity
orders of the pilot in the handling of the ship were disregarded
to his directions operate as a discharge of responsibility of the
by the officers and crew of the ship. According to the Court, a
owners. 90Except insofar as their liability is limited or exempted
pilot is ". . . responsible for a full knowledge of the channel and
by statute, the vessel or her owner are liable for all damages
the navigation only so far as he can accomplish it through the
caused by the negligence or other wrongs of the owners or those
officers and crew of the ship, and I don't see chat he can be held
in charge of the vessel. Where the pilot of a vessel is not a
responsible for damage when the evidence shows, as it does in
compulsory one in the sense that the owner or master of the
this case, that the officers and crew of the ship failed to obey his
vessel are bound to accept him, but is employed voluntarily, the
orders." Nonetheless, it is possible for a compulsory pilot and
owners of the vessel are, all the more, liable for his negligent
the master of the vessel to be concurrently negligent and thus
act. 91
share the blame for the resulting damage as joint
In the United States, the owners of a vessel are not personally tortfeasors, 98 but only under the circumstances obtaining in and
liable for the negligent acts of a compulsory pilot, but by demonstrated by the instant petitions.
admiralty law, the fault or negligence of a compulsory pilot is
It may be said, as a general rule, that negligence in order to
imputable to the vessel and it may be held liable therefor in rem.
render a person liable need not be the sole cause of an injury. It
Where, however, by the provisions of the statute the pilot is
is sufficient that his negligence, concurring with one or more
compulsory only in the sense that his fee must be paid, and is
efficient causes other than piaintiff's, is the proximate cause of
not in compulsory charge of the vessel, there is no exemption
the injury. Accordingly, where several causes combine to
from liability. Even though the pilot is compulsory, if his
produce injuries, a person is not relieved from liability because
negligence was not the sole cause of the injury, but the
he is responsible for only one of them, it being sufficient that the
negligence of the master or crew contributed thereto, the owners
negligence of the person charged with injury is an efficient cause
are liable. 92 But the liability of the ship in rem does not release
without which the injury would not have resulted to as great an
the pilot from the consequences of his own negligence. 93 The
extent, and that such cause is not attributable to the person
rationale for this rule is that the master is not entirely absolved
injured. It is no defense to one of the concurrent tortfeasors that
of responsibility with respect to navigation when a compulsory
the injury would not have resulted from his negligence alone,
pilot is in charge. 94
without the negligence or wrongful acts of the other concurrent
By way of validation and in light of the aforecited guidepost rortfeasor. 99 Where several causes producing an injury are
rulings in American maritime cases, we declare that our rulings concurrent and each is an efficient cause without which the
during the early years of this century in City of Manila vs. injury would not have happened, the injury may be attributed to
Gambe, 95 China Navigation Co., Ltd. vs. Vidal, 96 and Yap Tica all or any of the causes and recovery may be had against any or
& Co. vs. Anderson, et al. 97 have withstood the proverbial test all of the responsible persons although under the circumstances
of time and remain good and relevant case law to this day. of the case, it may appear that one of them was more culpable,
and that the duty owed by them to the injured person was not
City of Manila stands for the doctrine that the pilot who was in the same. No actor's negligence ceases to be a proximate cause
command and complete control of a vessel, and not the owners, merely because it does not exceed the negligence of other
must be held responsible for an accident which was solely the actors. Each wrongdoer is responsible for the entire result and
result of the mistake of the pilot in not giving proper orders, and is liable as though his acts were the sole cause of the injury. 100
which did not result from the failure of the owners to equip the
vessel with the most modern and improved machinery. In China There is no contribution between joint tortfeasors whose liability
Navigation Co., the pilot deviated from the ordinary and safe is solidary since both of them are liable for the total damage.
course, without heeding the warnings of the ship captain. It was Where the concurrent or successive negligent acts or omissions
this careless deviation that caused the vessel to collide with a of two or more persons, although acting independently, are in
pinnacle rock which, though uncharted, was known to pilots and combination the direct and proximate cause of a single injury to
local navigators. Obviously, the captain was blameless. It was a third person, it is impossible to determine in what proportion
the negligence of the pilot alone which was the proximate cause each contributed to the injury and either of them is responsible
of the collision. The Court could not but then rule that — for the whole injury. Where their concurring negligence resulted
in injury or damage to a third party, they become joint tortfeasors
17

and are solidarily liable for the resulting damage under Article same point where the piles are broken or damaged or pulled out.
2194 101 of the Civil Code. 102 We have to redesign, and you will note that in the reconstruction,
we redesigned such that it necessitated 8 plies.
As for the amount of damages awarded by the trial court, we find
the same to be reasonable. The testimony of Mr. Pascual Barral, Q Why not, why could you not drive the same number of piles
witness for PPA, on cross and redirect examination, appears to and on the same spot?
be grounded on practical considerations:
A The original location was already disturbed. We cannot get
Q So that the cost of the two additional piles as well as the (two) required bearing capacity. The area is already disturbed.
square meters is already included in this P1,300,999.77.
Q Nonetheless, if you drove the original number of piles, six, on
A Yes sir, everything. It is (the) final cost already. different places, would not that have sustained the same load?

Q For the eight piles. A It will not suffice, sir. 103

A Including the reduced areas and other reductions. We quote the findings of the lower court with approval.

Q (A)nd the two square meters. With regards to the amount of damages that is to be awarded to
plaintiff, the Court finds that the amount of P1,053,300.00 is
A Yes sir. justified. Firstly, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur best expounded
upon in the landmark case of Republic vs. Luzon Stevedoring
Q In other words, this P1,300,999.77 does not represent only for
Corp. (21 SCRA 279) establishes the presumption that in the
the six piles that was damaged as well as the corresponding two
ordinary course of events the ramming of the dock would not
piles.
have occurred if proper care was used.
A The area was corresponding, was increased by almost two in
Secondly, the various estimates and plans justify the cost of the
the actual payment. That was why the contract was decreased,
port construction price. The new structure constructed not only
the real amount was P1,124,627.40 and the final one is
replaced the damaged one but was built of stronger materials to
P1,300,999.77.
forestall the possibility of any similar accidents in the future.
Q Yes, but that P1,300,999.77 included the additional two new
The Court inevitably finds that the plaintiff is entitled to an award
posts.
of P1,053,300.00 which represents actual damages caused by
A It was increased. the damage to Berth 4 of the Manila International Port. Co-
defendants Far Eastern Shipping, Capt. Senen Gavino and
Q Why was it increased? Manila Pilots Association are solidariiy liable to pay this amount
to plaintiff. 104
A The original was 48 and the actual was 46.
The Solicitor General rightly commented that the adjudicated
Q Now, the damage was somewhere in 1980. It took place in
amount of damages represents the proportional cost of repair
1980 and you started the repair and reconstruction in 1982, that
and rehabilitation of the damaged section of the pier. 105
took almost two years?
Except insofar as their liability is limited or exempted by statute,
A Yes sir.
the vessel or her owners are liable for all damages caused by
Q May it not happen that by natural factors, the existing damage the negligence or other wrongs of the owners or those in charge
in 1980 was aggravated for the 2 year period that the damage of the vessel. As a general rule, the owners or those in
portion was not repaired? possession and control of a vessel and the vessel are liable for
all natural and proximate damages caused to persons or
A I don't think so because that area was at once marked and no property by reason of her negligent management or
vehicles can park, it was closed. navigation. 106

Q Even if or even natural elements cannot affect the damage? FESC's imputation of PPA's failure to provide a safe and reliable
berthing place is obtuse, not only because it appears to be a
A Cannot, sir. mere afterthought, being tardily raised only in this petition, but
also because there is no allegation or evidence on record about
xxx xxx xxx
Berth No. 4 being unsafe and unreliable, although perhaps it is
Q You said in the cross-examination that there were six piles a modest pier by international standards. There was, therefore,
damaged by the accident, but that in the reconstruction of the no error on the part of the Court of Appeals in dismissing FESC's
pier, PPA drove and constructed 8 piles. Will you explain to us counterclaim.
why there was change in the number of piles from the original
II. G.R. No. 130150
number?
This consolidated case treats on whether the Court of Appeals
A In piers where the piles are withdrawn or pulled out, you
erred in holding MPA jointly and solidarily liable with its member
cannot re-drive or drive piles at the same point. You have to
pilot. Capt. Gavino, in the absence of employer-employee
redesign the driving of the piles. We cannot drive the piles at the
relationship and in applying Customs Administrative Order No.
18

15-65, as basis for the adjudged solidary liability of MPA and referred to in the immediately preceding paragraph which is left
Capt. Gavino. unsatisfied by the insurance proceeds, in the following manner:

The pertinent provisions in Chapter I of Customs Administrative 1) Each pilot in the Association shall contribute from his own
Order No. 15-65 are: account an amount of P4,000.00 (P6,000.00 in the Manila
Pilotage District) to the reserve fund. This fund shall not be
PAR. XXVII. — In all pilotage districts where pilotage is considered part of the capital of the Association nor charged as
compulsory, there shall be created and maintained by the pilots an expense thereof.
or pilots' association, in the manner hereinafter prescribed, a
reserve fund equal to P1,000.00 for each pilot thereof for the 2) Seventy-five percent (75 %) of the reserve fund shall be set
purpose of paying claims for damages to vessels or property aside for use in the payment of damages referred to above
caused through acts or omissions of its members while rendered incurred in the actual performance of pilots' duties and the
in compulsory pilotage service. In Manila, the reserve fund shall excess shall be paid from the personal funds of the member
be P2,000.00 for each pilot. concerned.

PAR. XXVIII. — A pilots' association shall not be liable under xxx xxx xxx
these regulations for damage to any vessel, or other property,
resulting from acts of a member of an association in the actual 5) If payment is made from the reserve fund of an Association
performance of his duty for a greater amount than seventy-five on account of damage caused by a member thereof who is found
per centum (75%) of its prescribed reserve fund; it being at fault, he shall reimburse the Association in the amount so paid
understood that if the association is held liable for an amount as soon as practicable; and for this purpose, not less than
greater than the amount above-stated, the excess shall be paid twenty-five percentum (25 %) of his dividend shall be retained
by the personal funds of the member concerned. each month until the full amount has been returned to the
reserve fund. Thereafter, the pilot involved shall be entitled to
PAR. XXXI. — If a payment is made from the reserve fund of an his full dividend.
association on account of damages caused by a member
thereof, and he shall have been found at fault, such member 6) When the reimbursement has been completed as prescribed
shall reimburse the association in the amount so paid as soon in the preceding paragraph, the ten percentum (10%) and the
as practicable; and for this purpose, not less than twenty-five per interest withheld from the shares of the other pilots in
centum of his dividends shall be retained each month until the accordance with paragraph (4) hereof shall be returned to them.
full amount has been returned to the reserve fund.
c) Liability of Pilots' Association — Nothing in these regulations
PAR. XXXIV. — Nothing in these regulations shall relieve any shall relieve any Pilots' Association or members thereof,
pilots' association or members thereof, individually or individually or collectively, from any civil, administrative and/or
collectively, from civil responsibility for damages to life or criminal responsibility for damages to life or property resulting
property resulting from the acts of members in the performance from the individual acts of its members as well as those of the
of their duties. Association's employees and crew in the performance of their
duties.
Correlatively, the relevant provisions of PPA Administrative
Order No. 03-85, which timery amended this applicable maritime The Court of Appeals, while affirming the trial court's finding of
regulation, state: solidary liability on the part of FESC, MPA and Capt. Gavino,
correctly based MPA' s liability not on the concept of employer-
Art. IV employee relationship between Capt. Gavino and itself, but on
the provisions of Customs Administrative Order No. 15-65:
Sec. 17. Pilots' Association — The Pilots in a Pilotage District
shall organize themselves into a Pilots' Association or firm, the The Appellant MPA avers that, contrary to the findings and
members of which shall promulgate their own By-Laws not in disquisitions of the Court a quo, the Appellant Gavino was not
conflict with the rules and regulations promulgated by the and has never been an employee of the MPA but was only a
Authority. These By-Laws shall be submitted not later than one member thereof. The Court a quo, it is noteworthy, did not state
(1) month after the organization of the Pilots' Association for the factual basis on which it anchored its finding that Gavino was
approval by the General Manager of the Authority. Subsequent the employee of MPA. We are in accord with MPA's pose. Case
amendments thereto shall likewise be submitted for approval. law teaches Us that, for an employer-employee relationship to
exist, the confluence of the following elements must be
Sec. 25. Indemnity Insurance and Reserve Fund — established: (1) selection and engagement of employees; (2) the
payment of wages; (3) the power of dismissal; (4) the employer's
a) Each Pilots' Association shall collectively insure its
power to control the employees with respect to the means and
membership at the rate of P50,000.00 each member to cover in
method by which the work is to be performed (Ruga versus
whole or in part any liability arising from any accident resulting
NLRC, 181 SCRA 266).
in damage to vessel(s), port facilities and other properties and/or
injury to persons or death which any member may have caused xxx xxx xxx
in the course of his performance of pilotage duties. . . . .
The liability of MPA for damages is not anchored on Article 2180
b) The Pilotage Association shall likewise set up and maintain a of the New Civil Code as erroneously found and declared by the
reserve fund which shall answer for any part of the liability Court a quo but under the provisions of Customs Administrative
19

Order No. 15-65, supra, in tandem with the by-laws of the receives the same statutory force upon going into effect. In that
MPA. 107 sense, it has equal, not lower, statutory force and effect as a
regular statute passed by the legislature. 112
There being no employer-employee relationship, clearly Article
2180 108 of the Civil Code is inapplicable since there is no MPA's prayer for modification of the appellate court's decision
vicarious liability of an employer to speak of. It is so stated in under review by exculpating petitioner MPA "from liability
American law, as follows: beyond seventy-five percent (75 %) of Reserve Fund" is
unnecessary because the liability of MPA under Par. XXVIII of
The well established rule is that pilot associations are immune Customs Administrative Order No. 15-65 is in fact limited to
to vicarious liability for the tort of their members. They are not seventy-five percent (75 %) of its prescribed reserve fund, any
the employer of their members and exercise no control over amount of liability beyond that being for the personal account of
them once they take the helm of the vessel. They are also not the erring pilot and subject to reimbursement in case of a finding
partnerships because the members do not function as agents of fault by the member concerned. This is clarified by the
for the association or for each other. Pilots' associations are also Solicitor General:
not liable for negligently assuring the competence of their
members because as professional associations they made no Moreover, contrary to petitioner's pretensions, the provisions of
guarantee of the professional conduct of their members to the Customs Administrative Order No. 15-65 do not limit the liability
general public. 109 of petitioner as a pilots' association to an absurdly small amount
of seventy-five per centum (75 %) of the member pilots'
Where under local statutes and regulations, pilot associations contribution of P2,000.00 to the reserve fund. The law speaks of
lack the necessary legal incidents of responsibility, they have the entire reserve fund required to be maintained by the pilots'
been held not liable for damages caused by the default of a association to answer (for) whatever liability arising from the
member pilot. 110 Whether or not the members of a pilots' tortious act of its members. And even if the association is held
association are in legal effect a copartnership depends wholly liable for an amount greater than the reserve fund, the
on the powers and duties of the members in relation to one association may not resist the liability by claiming to be liable
another under the provisions of the governing statutes and only up to seventy-five per centum (75 %) of the reserve fund
regulations. The relation of a pilot to his association is not that because in such instance it has the right to be reimbursed by the
of a servant to the master, but of an associate assisting and offending member pilot for the excess. 113
participating in a common purpose. Ultimately, the rights and
liabilities between a pilots' association and an individual member WHEREFORE, in view of all of the foregoing, the consolidated
depend largely upon the constitution, articles or by-laws of the petitions for review are DENIED and the assailed decision of the
association, subject to appropriate government regulations. 111 Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED in toto.

No reliance can be placed by MPA on the cited American rulings Counsel for FESC, the law firm of Del Rosario and Del Rosario,
as to immunity from liability of a pilots' association in ljght of specifically its associate, Atty. Herbert A. Tria, is
existing positive regulation under Philippine law. The Court of REPRIMANDED and WARNED that a repetition of the same or
Appeals properly applied the clear and unequivocal provisions similar acts of heedless disregard of its undertakings under the
of Customs Administrative Order No. 15-65. In doing so, it was Rules shall be dealt with more severely.
just being consistent with its finding of the non-existence of
employer-employee relationship between MPA and Capt. The original members of the legal team of the Office of the
Gavino which precludes the application of Article 2180 of the Solicitor General assigned to this case, namely, Assistant
Civil Code. Solicitor General Roman G. Del Rosario and Solicitor Luis F.
Simon, are ADMONISHED and WARNED that a repetition of the
True. Customs Administrative Order No. 15-65 does not same or similar acts of unduly delaying proceedings due to
categorically characterize or label MPA's liability as solidary in delayed filing of required pleadings shall also be dealt with more
nature. Nevertheless, a careful reading and proper analysis of stringently.
the correlated provisions lead to the conclusion that MPA is
solidarily liable for the negligence of its member pilots, without The Solicitor Genral is DIRECTED to look into the
prejudice to subsequent reimbursement from the pilot at fault. circumstances of this case and to adopt provident measures to
avoid a repetition of this incident and which would ensure prompt
Art. 1207 of the Civil Code provides that there is solidary liability compliance with orders of this Court regarding the timely filing of
only when the obligation expressly so states, or when the law or requisite pleadings, in the interest of just, speedy and orderly
the nature of the obligation requires solidarity. Plainly, Customs administration of justice.
Administrative Order No. 15-65, which as an implementing rule
has the force and effect of law, can validly provide for solidary Let copies of this decision be spread upon the personal records
liability.We note the Solicitor General's comment hereon, to wit: of the lawyers named herein in the Office of the Bar Confidant.

. . . Customs Administrative Order No. 15-65 may be a mere rule SO ORDERED.


and regulation issued by an administrative agency pursuant to a
delegated authority to fix "the details" in the execution or
enforcement of a policy set out in the law itself. Nonetheless,
said administrative order, which adds to the procedural or
enforcing provisions of substantive law, is legally binding and
20

G.R. No. 141538 March 23, 2004 "Punyeta, ano ang gusto mong mangyari? Gusto mong hindi ka
makalabas ng buhay dito? Teritoryo ko ito. Wala ka sa teritoryo
HERMANA R. CEREZO, petitioner, vs. mo."5
DAVID TUAZON, respondent.
The records show that the Cerezo spouses participated in the
proceedings before the trial court. The Cerezo spouses filed a
DECISION comment with motion for bill of particulars dated 29 April 1994
and a reply to opposition to comment with motion dated 13 June
CARPIO, J.: 1994.6 On 1 August 1994, the trial court issued an order directing
the Cerezo spouses to file a comment to the opposition to the
The Case bill of particulars. Atty. Elpidio B. Valera ("Atty. Valera") of Valera
and Valera Law Offices appeared on behalf of the Cerezo
This is a petition for review on certiorari1 to annul the spouses. On 29 August 1994, Atty. Valera filed an urgent ex-
Resolution2 dated 21 October 1999 of the Court of Appeals in parte motion praying for the resolution of Tuazon’s motion to
CA-G.R. SP No. 53572, as well as its Resolution dated 20 litigate as a pauper and for the issuance of new summons on
January 2000 denying the motion for reconsideration. The Court the Cerezo spouses to satisfy proper service in accordance with
of Appeals denied the petition for annulment of the the Rules of Court.7
Decision3 dated 30 May 1995 rendered by the Regional Trial
Court of Angeles City, Branch 56 ("trial court"), in Civil Case No. On 30 August 1994, the trial court issued an order resolving
7415. The trial court ordered petitioner Hermana R. Cerezo Tuazon’s motion to litigate as a pauper and the Cerezo spouses’
("Mrs. Cerezo") to pay respondent David Tuazon ("Tuazon") urgent ex-parte motion. The order reads:
actual damages, loss of earnings, moral damages, and costs of
At the hearing on August 30, 1994, the plaintiff [Tuazon] testified
suit.
that he is presently jobless; that at the time of the filing of this
Antecedent Facts case, his son who is working in Malaysia helps him and sends
him once in a while P300.00 a month, and that he does not have
Around noontime of 26 June 1993, a Country Bus Lines any real property. Attached to the Motion to Litigate as Pauper
passenger bus with plate number NYA 241 collided with a are his Affidavit that he is unemployed; a Certification by the
tricycle bearing plate number TC RV 126 along Captain M. Palo Barangay Captain of his poblacion that his income is not enough
Street, Sta. Ines, Mabalacat, Pampanga. On 1 October 1993, for his family’s subsistence; and a Certification by the Office of
tricycle driver Tuazon filed a complaint for damages against Mrs. the Municipal Assessor that he has no landholding in the
Cerezo, as owner of the bus line, her husband Attorney Juan Municipality of Mabalacat, Province of Pampanga.
Cerezo ("Atty. Cerezo"), and bus driver Danilo A. Foronda
("Foronda"). The complaint alleged that: The Court is satisfied from the unrebutted testimony of the
plaintiff that he is entitled to prosecute his complaint in this case
7. At the time of the incident, plaintiff [Tuazon] was in his proper as a pauper under existing rules.
lane when the second-named defendant [Foronda], being then
the driver and person in charge of the Country Bus with plate On the other hand, the Court denies the prayer in the
number NYA 241, did then and there willfully, unlawfully, and Appearance and Urgent Ex-Parte Motion requiring new
feloniously operate the said motor vehicle in a negligent, summons to be served to the defendants. The Court is of the
careless, and imprudent manner without due regard to traffic opinion that any infirmity in the service of the summons to the
rules and regulations, there being a "Slow Down" sign near the defendant before plaintiff was allowed to prosecute his
scene of the incident, and without taking the necessary complaint in this case as a pauper has been cured by this Order.
precaution to prevent loss of lives or injuries, his negligence,
If within 15 days from receipt of this Order, the defendants do
carelessness and imprudence resulted to severe damage to the
not question on appeal this Order of this Court, the Court shall
tricycle and serious physical injuries to plaintiff thus making him
proceed to resolve the Motion for Bill of Particulars.8
unable to walk and becoming disabled, with his thumb and
middle finger on the left hand being cut[.]4 On 27 September 1994, the Cerezo spouses filed an urgent ex-
parte motion for reconsideration. The trial court denied the
On 1 October 1993, Tuazon filed a motion to litigate as a pauper.
motion for reconsideration.
Subsequently, the trial court issued summons against Atty.
Cerezo and Mrs. Cerezo ("the Cerezo spouses") at the Makati On 14 November 1994, the trial court issued an order directing
address stated in the complaint. However, the summons was the Cerezo spouses to file their answer within fifteen days from
returned unserved on 10 November 1993 as the Cerezo receipt of the order. The Cerezo spouses did not file an answer.
spouses no longer held office nor resided in Makati. On 18 April On 27 January 1995, Tuazon filed a motion to declare the
1994, the trial court issued alias summons against the Cerezo Cerezo spouses in default. On 6 February 1995, the trial court
spouses at their address in Barangay Sta. Maria, Camiling, issued an order declaring the Cerezo spouses in default and
Tarlac. The alias summons and a copy of the complaint were authorizing Tuazon to present his evidence. 9
finally served on 20 April 1994 at the office of Atty. Cerezo, who
was then working as Tarlac Provincial Prosecutor. Atty. Cerezo On 30 May 1995, after considering Tuazon’s testimonial and
reacted angrily on learning of the service of summons upon his documentary evidence, the trial court ruled in Tuazon’s favor.
person. Atty. Cerezo allegedly told Sheriff William Canlas: The trial court made no pronouncement on Foronda’s liability
21

because there was no service of summons on him. The trial Exhibit - Signature of the defendant’s counsel;
court did not hold Atty. Cerezo liable as Tuazon failed to show 4-A
that Mrs. Cerezo’s business benefited the family, pursuant to
Article 121(3) of the Family Code. The trial court held Mrs. Exhibit 5 - Appearance and Urgent Ex-Parte Motion;
Cerezo solely liable for the damages sustained by Tuazon
arising from the negligence of Mrs. Cerezo’s employee, Exhibit 6 - Order dated November 14, 1994;
pursuant to Article 2180 of the Civil Code. The dispositive
portion of the trial court’s decision reads: Exhibit - Postal certification dated January 13,
6-A 1995;
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered ordering the
defendant Hermana Cerezo to pay the plaintiff: Exhibit 7 - Order dated February [illegible];

a) For Actual Damages - Exhibit - Court’s return slip addressed to Atty.


P69,485.35
7-A Elpidio Valera;
1) Expenses for operation and medical Treatment
Exhibit - Court’s return slip addressed to Spouses
2) Cost of repair of the tricycle 7-B Juan and Hermana Cerezo;

b) For loss of earnings - Exhibit 8 - Decision dated May [30], 1995


39,921.00

c) For moral damages - Exhibit - Court’s return slip addressed to defendant


43,300.00
8-A Hermana Cerezo;
d) And to pay the cost of the suit. - 20,000.00
Exhibit - Court’s return slip addressed to
The docket fees and other expenses in the filing of this suit shall 8-B defendant’s counsel, Atty. Elpidio Valera;
be lien on whatever judgment may be rendered in favor of the
plaintiff. Exhibit 9 - Order dated September 21, 1995;

SO ORDERED.10 Exhibit - Second Page of Exhibit 9;


9-A
Mrs. Cerezo received a copy of the decision on 25 June 1995.
On 10 July 1995, Mrs. Cerezo filed before the trial court a Exhibit - Third page of Exhibit 9;
petition for relief from judgment on the grounds of "fraud, 9-B
mistake or excusable negligence." Testifying before the trial
court, both Mrs. Cerezo and Atty. Valera denied receipt of Exhibit - Fourth page of Exhibit 9;
notices of hearings and of orders of the court. Atty. Valera added 9-C
that he received no notice before or during the 8 May 1995
elections, "when he was a senatorial candidate for the KBL Exhibit - Court’s return slip addressed to Atty.
Party, and very busy, using his office and residence as Party 9-D Elpidio Valera;
National Headquarters." Atty. Valera claimed that he was able
to read the decision of the trial court only after Mrs. Cerezo sent and
him a copy.11
Exhibit - Court’s return slip addressed to plaintiff’s
Tuazon did not testify but presented documentary evidence to 9-E counsel, Atty. Norman Dick de Guzman.12
prove the participation of the Cerezo spouses in the case.
Tuazon presented the following exhibits: On 4 March 1998, the trial court issued an order13 denying the
petition for relief from judgment. The trial court stated that having
Exhibit 1 - Sheriff’s return and summons; received the decision on 25 June 1995, the Cerezo spouses
should have filed a notice of appeal instead of resorting to a
Exhibit - Alias summons dated April 20, 1994; petition for relief from judgment. The trial court refused to grant
1-A relief from judgment because the Cerezo spouses could have
availed of the remedy of appeal. Moreover, the Cerezo spouses
Exhibit 2 - Comment with Motion; not only failed to prove fraud, accident, mistake or excusable
negligence by conclusive evidence, they also failed to prove that
Exhibit 3 - Minutes of the hearing held on August 1, they had a good and substantial defense. The trial court noted
1994; that the Cerezo spouses failed to appeal because they relied on
an expected settlement of the case.
Exhibit - Signature of defendant’s counsel;
3-A The Cerezo spouses subsequently filed before the Court of
Appeals a petition for certiorari under Section 1 of Rule 65. The
Exhibit 4 - Minutes of the hearing held on August 30, petition was docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 48132.14 The petition
1994; questioned whether the trial court acquired jurisdiction over the
case considering there was no service of summons on Foronda,
22

whom the Cerezo spouses claimed was an indispensable party. A distinction should be made between a court’s jurisdiction over
In a resolution15 dated 21 January 1999, the Court of Appeals a person and its jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case.
denied the petition for certiorari and affirmed the trial court’s The former is acquired by the proper service of summons or by
order denying the petition for relief from judgment. The Court of the parties’ voluntary appearance; while the latter is conferred
Appeals declared that the Cerezo spouses’ failure to file an by law.
answer was due to their own negligence, considering that they
continued to participate in the proceedings without filing an Resolving the matter of jurisdiction over the subject matter,
answer. There was also nothing in the records to show that the Section 19(1) of B[atas] P[ambansa] 129 provides that Regional
Cerezo spouses actually offered a reasonable settlement to Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all
Tuazon. The Court of Appeals also denied Cerezo spouses’ civil actions in which the subject of the litigation is incapable of
motion for reconsideration for lack of merit. pecuniary estimation. Thus it was proper for the lower court to
decide the instant case for damages.
The Cerezo spouses filed before this Court a petition for review
on certiorari under Rule 45. Atty. Cerezo himself signed the Unlike jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case which is
petition, docketed as G.R. No. 137593. On 13 April 1999, this absolute and conferred by law; any defects [sic] in the
Court rendered a resolution denying the petition for review acquisition of jurisdiction over a person (i.e., improper filing of
on certiorari for failure to attach an affidavit of service of copies civil complaint or improper service of summons) may be waived
of the petition to the Court of Appeals and to the adverse parties. by the voluntary appearance of parties.
Even if the petition complied with this requirement, the Court
The lower court admits the fact that no summons was served on
would still have denied the petition as the Cerezo spouses failed
defendant Foronda. Thus, jurisdiction over the person of
to show that the Court of Appeals committed a reversible error.
defendant Foronda was not acquired, for which reason he was
The Court’s resolution was entered in the Book of Entries and
not held liable in this case. However, it has been proven that
Judgments when it became final and executory on 28 June
jurisdiction over the other defendants was validly acquired by the
1999.16
court a quo.
Undaunted, the Cerezo spouses filed before the Court of
The defendant spouses admit to having appeared in the initial
Appeals on 6 July 1999 a petition for annulment of judgment
hearings and in the hearing for plaintiff’s motion to litigate as a
under Rule 47 with prayer for restraining order. Atty. Valera and
pauper. They even mentioned conferences where attempts
Atty. Dionisio S. Daga ("Atty. Daga") represented Mrs. Cerezo
were made to reach an amicable settlement with plaintiff.
in the petition, docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 53572.17 The
However, the possibility of amicable settlement is not a good
petition prayed for the annulment of the 30 May 1995 decision
and substantial defense which will warrant the granting of said
of the trial court and for the issuance of a writ of preliminary
petition.
injunction enjoining execution of the trial court’s decision
pending resolution of the petition. xxx
The Court of Appeals denied the petition for annulment of Assuming arguendo that private respondent failed to reserve his
judgment in a resolution dated 21 October 1999. The resolution right to institute a separate action for damages in the criminal
reads in part: action, the petitioner cannot now raise such issue and question
the lower court’s jurisdiction because petitioner and her husband
In this case, records show that the petitioner previously filed with
have waived such right by voluntarily appearing in the civil case
the lower court a Petition for Relief from Judgment on the ground
for damages. Therefore, the findings and the decision of the
that they were wrongfully declared in default while waiting for an
lower court may bind them.
amicable settlement of the complaint for damages. The court a
quo correctly ruled that such petition is without merit. The Records show that the petitioner previously filed with the lower
defendant spouses admit that during the initial hearing they court a Petition for Relief from Judgment on the ground that they
appeared before the court and even mentioned the need for an were wrongfully declared in default while waiting for an amicable
amicable settlement. Thus, the lower court acquired jurisdiction settlement of the complaint for damages. The court a quo
over the defendant spouses. correctly ruled that such petition is without merit, jurisdiction
having been acquired by the voluntary appearance of defendant
Therefore, petitioner having availed of a petition for relief, the
spouses.
remedy of an annulment of judgment is no longer available. The
proper action for the petitioner is to appeal the order of the lower Once again, it bears stressing that having availed of a petition
court denying the petition for relief. for relief, the remedy of annulment of judgment is no longer
available.
Wherefore, the instant petition could not be given due course
and should accordingly be dismissed. Based on the foregoing, the motion for reconsideration could not
be given due course and is hereby DENIED.
SO ORDERED.18
SO ORDERED.20
On 20 January 2000, the Court of Appeals denied the Cerezo
spouses’ motion for reconsideration.19 The Court of Appeals The Issues
stated:
23

On 7 February 2000, Mrs. Cerezo, this time with Atty. Daga 1999, the Court of Appeals dismissed Mrs. Cerezo’s petition. On
alone representing her, filed the present petition for review 24 February 1999, the appellate court denied Mrs. Cerezo’s
on certiorari before this Court. Mrs. Cerezo claims that: motion for reconsideration. On 11 March 1999, Mrs. Cerezo filed
before this Court a petition for review on certiorari under Rule
1. In dismissing the Petition for Annulment of Judgment, the 45, questioning the denial of the petition for relief from judgment.
Court of Appeals assumes that the issues raised in the petition We denied the petition and our resolution became final and
for annulment is based on extrinsic fraud related to the denied executory on 28 June 1999.
petition for relief notwithstanding that the grounds relied upon
involves questions of lack of jurisdiction. On 6 July 1999, a mere eight days after our resolution became
final and executory, Mrs. Cerezo filed before the Court of
2. In dismissing the Petition for Annulment, the Court of Appeals Appeals a petition for annulment of the judgment of the trial court
disregarded the allegation that the lower court[’s] findings of under Rule 47. Meanwhile, on 25 August 1999, the trial court
negligence against defendant-driver Danilo Foronda [whom] the issued over the objection of Mrs. Cerezo an order of execution
lower court did not summon is null and void for want of due of the judgment in Civil Case No. 7415. On 21 October 1999,
process and consequently, such findings of negligence which is the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for annulment of
[sic] null and void cannot become the basis of the lower court to judgment. On 20 January 2000, the Court of Appeals denied
adjudge petitioner-employer liable for civil damages. Mrs. Cerezo’s motion for reconsideration. On 7 February 2000,
Mrs. Cerezo filed the present petition for review on certiorari
3. In dismissing the Petition for Annulment, the Court of Appeals
under Rule 45 challenging the dismissal of her petition for
ignored the allegation that defendant-driver Danilo A. Foronda
annulment of judgment.
whose negligence is the main issue is an indispensable party
whose presence is compulsory but [whom] the lower court did Lina v. Court of Appeals22 enumerates the remedies available to
not summon. a party declared in default:
4. In dismissing the Petition for Annulment, the Court of Appeals a) The defendant in default may, at any time after discovery
ruled that assuming arguendo that private respondent failed to thereof and before judgment, file a motion under oath to set
reserve his right to institute a separate action for damages in the aside the order of default on the ground that his failure to
criminal action, the petitioner cannot now raise such issue and answer was due to fraud, accident, mistake or excusable
question the lower court’s jurisdiction because petitioner [has] negligence, and that he has a meritorious defense (Sec. 3, Rule
waived such right by voluntarily appearing in the civil case for 18 [now Sec. 3(b), Rule 9]);
damages notwithstanding that lack of jurisdiction cannot be
waived.21 b) If the judgment has already been rendered when the
defendant discovered the default, but before the same has
The Court’s Ruling become final and executory, he may file a motion for new
trial under Section 1 (a) of Rule 37;
The petition has no merit. As the issues are interrelated, we shall
discuss them jointly. c) If the defendant discovered the default after the judgment has
become final and executory, he may file a petition for
Remedies Available to a Party Declared in Default
relief under Section 2 [now Section 1] of Rule 38; and
An examination of the records of the entire proceedings shows
d) He may also appeal from the judgment rendered against him
that three lawyers filed and signed pleadings on behalf of Mrs.
as contrary to the evidence or to the law, even if no petition to
Cerezo, namely, Atty. Daga, Atty. Valera, and Atty. Cerezo.
set aside the order of default has been presented by him (Sec.
Despite their number, Mrs. Cerezo’s counsels failed to avail of
2, Rule 41). (Emphasis added)
the proper remedies. It is either by sheer ignorance or by
malicious manipulation of legal technicalities that they have Moreover, a petition for certiorari to declare the nullity of a
managed to delay the disposition of the present case, to the judgment by default is also available if the trial court improperly
detriment of pauper litigant Tuazon. declared a party in default, or even if the trial court properly
declared a party in default, if grave abuse of discretion attended
Mrs. Cerezo claims she did not receive any copy of the order
such declaration.23
declaring the Cerezo spouses in default. Mrs. Cerezo asserts
that she only came to know of the default order on 25 June 1995, Mrs. Cerezo admitted that she received a copy of the trial court’s
when she received a copy of the decision. On 10 July 1995, Mrs. decision on 25 June 1995. Based on this admission, Mrs.
Cerezo filed before the trial court a petition for relief from Cerezo had at least three remedies at her disposal: an appeal,
judgment under Rule 38, alleging "fraud, mistake, or excusable a motion for new trial, or a petition for certiorari.
negligence" as grounds. On 4 March 1998, the trial court denied
Mrs. Cerezo’s petition for relief from judgment. The trial court Mrs. Cerezo could have appealed under Rule 41 24 from the
stated that Mrs. Cerezo could have availed of appeal as a default judgment within 15 days from notice of the judgment.
remedy and that she failed to prove that the judgment was She could have availed of the power of the Court of Appeals to
entered through fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable try cases and conduct hearings, receive evidence, and perform
negligence. Mrs. Cerezo then filed before the Court of Appeals all acts necessary to resolve factual issues raised in cases
a petition for certiorari under Section 1 of Rule 65 assailing the falling within its appellate jurisdiction.25
denial of the petition for relief from judgment. On 21 January
24

Mrs. Cerezo also had the option to file under Rule 3726 a motion appeal but through her own fault she erroneously availed of the
for new trial within the period for taking an appeal. If the trial remedy of a petition for relief, which was denied with finality.
court grants a new trial, the original judgment is vacated, and Thus, Mrs. Cerezo may no longer avail of the remedy of
the action will stand for trial de novo. The recorded evidence annulment.
taken in the former trial, as far as the same is material and
competent to establish the issues, shall be used at the new trial In any event, the trial court clearly acquired jurisdiction over Mrs.
without retaking the same.27 Cerezo’s person. Mrs. Cerezo actively participated in the
proceedings before the trial court, submitting herself to the
Mrs. Cerezo also had the alternative of filing under Rule 65 28 a jurisdiction of the trial court. The defense of lack of jurisdiction
petition for certiorari assailing the order of default within 60 days fails in light of her active participation in the trial court
from notice of the judgment. An order of default is interlocutory, proceedings. Estoppel or laches may also bar lack of jurisdiction
and an aggrieved party may file an appropriate special civil as a ground for nullity especially if raised for the first time on
action under Rule 65.29 In a petition for certiorari, the appellate appeal by a party who participated in the proceedings before the
court may declare void both the order of default and the trial court, as what happened in this case.34
judgment of default.
For these reasons, the present petition should be dismissed for
Clearly, Mrs. Cerezo had every opportunity to avail of these utter lack of merit. The extraordinary action to annul a final
remedies within the reglementary periods provided under the judgment is restricted to the grounds specified in the rules. The
Rules of Court. However, Mrs. Cerezo opted to file a petition for reason for the restriction is to prevent this extraordinary action
relief from judgment, which is available only in exceptional from being used by a losing party to make a complete farce of a
cases. A petition for relief from judgment should be filed within duly promulgated decision that has long become final and
the reglementary period of 60 days from knowledge of judgment executory. There would be no end to litigation if parties who have
and six months from entry of judgment, pursuant to unsuccessfully availed of any of the appropriate remedies or lost
them through their fault could still bring an action for annulment
Rule 38 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.30 Tuason v. Court of of judgment.35 Nevertheless, we shall discuss the issues raised
Appeals31 explained the nature of a petition for relief from in the present petition to clear any doubt about the correctness
judgment: of the decision of the trial court.
When a party has another remedy available to him, which may Mrs. Cerezo’s Liability and the Trial Court’s Acquisition of
either be a motion for new trial or appeal from an adverse Jurisdiction
decision of the trial court, and he was not prevented by fraud,
accident, mistake or excusable negligence from filing such Mrs. Cerezo contends that the basis of the present petition for
motion or taking such appeal, he cannot avail himself of this annulment is lack of jurisdiction. Mrs. Cerezo asserts that the
petition. Indeed, relief will not be granted to a party who seeks trial court could not validly render judgment since it failed to
avoidance from the effects of the judgment when the loss of the acquire jurisdiction over Foronda. Mrs. Cerezo points out that
remedy at law was due to his own negligence; otherwise the there was no service of summons on Foronda. Moreover,
petition for relief can be used to revive the right to appeal which Tuazon failed to reserve his right to institute a separate civil
has been lost thru inexcusable negligence. action for damages in the criminal action. Such contention
betrays a faulty foundation. Mrs. Cerezo’s contention proceeds
Evidently, there was no fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable from the point of view of criminal law and not of civil law, while
negligence that prevented Mrs. Cerezo from filing an appeal, a the basis of the present action of Tuazon is quasi-delict under
motion for new trial or a petition for certiorari. It was error for her the Civil Code, not delict under the Revised Penal Code.
to avail of a petition for relief from judgment.
The same negligent act may produce civil liability arising from a
After our resolution denying Mrs. Cerezo’s petition for relief delict under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, or may give
became final and executory, Mrs. Cerezo, in her last ditch rise to an action for a quasi-delict under Article 2180 of the Civil
attempt to evade liability, filed before the Court of Appeals a Code. An aggrieved party may choose between the two
petition for annulment of the judgment of the trial court. remedies. An action based on a quasi-delict may proceed
Annulment is available only on the grounds of extrinsic fraud and independently from the criminal action.36There is, however, a
lack of jurisdiction. If based on extrinsic fraud, a party must file distinction between civil liability arising from a delict and civil
the petition within four years from its discovery, and if based on liability arising from a quasi-delict. The choice of remedy,
lack of jurisdiction, before laches or estoppel bars the petition. whether to sue for a delict or a quasi-delict, affects the
Extrinsic fraud is not a valid ground if such fraud was used as a procedural and jurisdictional issues of the action.37
ground, or could have been used as a ground, in a motion for
new trial or petition for relief from judgment. 32 Tuazon chose to file an action for damages based on a quasi-
delict. In his complaint, Tuazon alleged that Mrs. Cerezo,
Mrs. Cerezo insists that lack of jurisdiction, not extrinsic fraud, "without exercising due care and diligence in the supervision and
was her ground for filing the petition for annulment of judgment. management of her employees and buses," hired Foronda as
However, a party may avail of the remedy of annulment of her driver. Tuazon became disabled because of Foronda’s
judgment under Rule 47 only if the ordinary remedies of new "recklessness, gross negligence and imprudence," aggravated
trial, appeal, petition for relief from judgment, or other by Mrs. Cerezo’s "lack of due care and diligence in the selection
appropriate remedies are no longer available through no fault of and supervision of her employees, particularly Foronda." 38
the party.33 Mrs. Cerezo could have availed of a new trial or
25

The trial court thus found Mrs. Cerezo liable under Article 2180 Code. To hold the employer liable in a subsidiary capacity under
of the Civil Code. Article 2180 states in part: a delict, the aggrieved party must initiate a criminal action where
the employee’s delict and corresponding primary liability are
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their established.47 If the present action proceeds from a delict, then
employees and household helpers acting within the scope of the trial court’s jurisdiction over Foronda is necessary. However,
their assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged in the present action is clearly for the quasi-delict of Mrs. Cerezo
any business or industry. and not for the delict of Foronda.
Contrary to Mrs. Cerezo’s assertion, Foronda is not an The Cerezo spouses’ contention that summons be served anew
indispensable party to the case. An indispensable party is one on them is untenable in light of their participation in the trial court
whose interest is affected by the court’s action in the litigation, proceedings. To uphold the Cerezo spouses’ contention would
and without whom no final resolution of the case is make a fetish of a technicality.48Moreover, any irregularity in the
possible.39 However, Mrs. Cerezo’s liability as an employer in an service of summons that might have vitiated the trial court’s
action for a quasi-delict is not only solidary, it is also primary and jurisdiction over the persons of the Cerezo spouses was
direct. Foronda is not an indispensable party to the final deemed waived when the Cerezo spouses filed a petition for
resolution of Tuazon’s action for damages against Mrs. Cerezo. relief from judgment.49
The responsibility of two or more persons who are liable for a We hold that the trial court had jurisdiction and was competent
quasi-delict is solidary.40 Where there is a solidary obligation on to decide the case in favor of Tuazon and against Mrs. Cerezo
the part of debtors, as in this case, each debtor is liable for the even in the absence of Foronda. Contrary to Mrs. Cerezo’s
entire obligation. Hence, each debtor is liable to pay for the contention, Foronda is not an indispensable party to the present
entire obligation in full. There is no merger or renunciation of case. It is not even necessary for Tuazon to reserve the filing of
rights, but only mutual representation.41 Where the obligation of a separate civil action because he opted to file a civil action for
the parties is solidary, either of the parties is indispensable, and damages against Mrs. Cerezo who is primarily and directly liable
the other is not even a necessary party because complete relief for her own civil negligence. The words of Justice Jorge Bocobo
is available from either.42 Therefore, jurisdiction over Foronda is in Barredo v. Garcia still hold true today as much as it did in
not even necessary as Tuazon may collect damages from Mrs. 1942:
Cerezo alone.
x x x [T]o hold that there is only one way to make defendant’s
Moreover, an employer’s liability based on a quasi-delict is liability effective, and that is, to sue the driver and exhaust his
primary and direct, while the employer’s liability based on a (the latter’s) property first, would be tantamount to compelling
delict is merely subsidiary.43 The words "primary and direct," as the plaintiff to follow a devious and cumbersome method of
contrasted with "subsidiary," refer to the remedy provided by law obtaining relief. True, there is such a remedy under our laws, but
for enforcing the obligation rather than to the character and limits there is also a more expeditious way, which is based on the
of the obligation.44 Although liability under Article 2180 originates primary and direct responsibility of the defendant under article
from the negligent act of the employee, the aggrieved party may [2180] of the Civil Code. Our view of the law is more likely to
sue the employer directly. When an employee causes damage, facilitate remedy for civil wrongs, because the procedure
the law presumes that the employer has himself committed an indicated by the defendant is wasteful and productive of delay,
act of negligence in not preventing or avoiding the damage. This it being a matter of common knowledge that professional drivers
is the fault that the law condemns. While the employer is civilly of taxis and other similar public conveyances do not have
liable in a subsidiary capacity for the employee’s criminal sufficient means with which to pay damages. Why, then, should
negligence, the employer is also civilly liable directly and the plaintiff be required in all cases to go through this
separately for his own civil negligence in failing to exercise due roundabout, unnecessary, and probably useless procedure? In
diligence in selecting and supervising his employee. The idea construing the laws, courts have endeavored to shorten and
that the employer’s liability is solely subsidiary is wrong.45 facilitate the pathways of right and justice.50
The action can be brought directly against the person Interest at the rate of 6% per annum is due on the amount of
responsible (for another), without including the author of the act. damages adjudged by the trial court.51 The 6% per
The action against the principal is accessory in the sense that it annum interest shall commence from 30 May 1995, the date of
implies the existence of a prejudicial act committed by the the decision of the trial court. Upon finality of this decision,
employee, but it is not subsidiary in the sense that it can not be interest at 12% per annum, in lieu of 6% per annum, is due on
instituted till after the judgment against the author of the act or the amount of damages adjudged by the trial court until full
at least, that it is subsidiary to the principal action; the action for payment.
responsibility (of the employer) is in itself a principal action. 46
WHEREFORE, we DENY the instant petition for review. The
Thus, there is no need in this case for the trial court to acquire Resolution dated 21 October 1999 of the Court of Appeals in
jurisdiction over Foronda. The trial court’s acquisition of CA-G.R. SP No. 53572, as well as its Resolution dated 20
jurisdiction over Mrs. Cerezo is sufficient to dispose of the January 2000 denying the motion for reconsideration,
present case on the merits. is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the amount due
shall earn legal interest at 6% per annum computed from 30
In contrast, an action based on a delict seeks to enforce the
May 1995, the date of the trial court’s decision. Upon finality of
subsidiary liability of the employer for the criminal negligence of
this decision, the amount due shall earn interest at 12% per
the employee as provided in Article 103 of the Revised Penal
26

annum, in lieu of 6% per annum, until full payment. SO G.R. No. 70890, September 18, 1992
ORDERED.
CRESENCIO LIBI* AND AMELIA YAP LIBI, PETITIONERS,
VS. HON. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, FELIPE
Footnotes GOTIONG AND SHIRLEY GOTIONG, RESPONDENTS.
26 Section 1. Grounds of and period for filing motion for new trial DECISION
or reconsideration. — Within the period for taking an appeal, the
aggrieved party may move the trial court to set aside the REGALADO, J.:
judgment or final order and grant a new trial for one or more of
the following causes materially affecting the substantial rights of One of the ironic verities of life, it has been said, is that sorrow
said party: is sometimes a touchstone of love. A tragic illustration is
provided by the instant case, wherein two lovers died while still
(a) Fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence which in the prime of their years, a bitter episode for those whose lives
ordinary prudence could not have guarded against and by they have touched. While we cannot expect to award complete
reason of which such aggrieved party has probably been assuagement to their families through seemingly prosaic legal
impaired in his rights; or verbiage, this disposition should at least terminate the acrimony
and rancor of an extended judicial contest resulting from the
(b) Newly discovered evidence, which he could not, with unfortunate occurrence.
reasonable diligence, have discovered and produced at the trial,
and which if presented would probably alter the result. In this final denouement of the judicial recourse the stages
whereof were alternately initiated by the parties, petitioners are
xxx now before us seeking the reversal of the judgment of
respondent court promulgated on January 2, 1985 in AC-G.R.
28 Section 1. Petition for certiorari. – When any tribunal, board,
CV No. 69060 with the following decretal portion:
or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has acted
without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse "WHEREFORE, the decision of the lower court dismissing
of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and plaintiff's complaint is hereby reversed; and instead, judgment is
there is no appeal, or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy hereby rendered sentencing defendants, jointly and solidarily, to
in the ordinary course of law, a person aggrieved thereby may pay to plaintiffs the following amounts:
file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts with
certainty and praying that judgment be rendered annulling or 1. Moral damages, P30,000.00;
modifying the proceedings of such tribunal, board or officer, and
granting such incidental reliefs as law and justice may require. 2. Exemplary damages, P10,000.00;

xxx 3. Attorney's fees, P20,000.00, and costs.

Section 4. Where petition filed. – The petition may be filed not However, denial of defendants-appellees' counterclaims
later than sixty (60) days from notice of judgment, order or is affirmed."[1]
resolution sought to be assailed in the Supreme Court; or, if it
Synthesized from the findings of the lower courts, it appears that
relates to the acts or omissions of a lower court or of a
respondent spouses are the legitimate parents of Julie Ann
corporation, board, officer or person, in the Regional Trial Court
Gotiong who, at the time of the deplorable incident which took
exercising jurisdiction over the territorial area as defined by the
place and from which she died on January 14, 1979, was an 18-
Supreme Court. It may also be filed in the Court of Appeals
year old first year commerce student of the University of San
whether or not the same is in aid of its appellate jurisdiction, or
Carlos, Cebu City; while petitioners are the parents of Wendell
in the Sandiganbayan if it is in aid of its jurisdiction. If it involves
Libi, then a minor between 18 and 19 years of age living with
acts or omissions of a quasi-judicial agency, and unless
his aforesaid parents, and who also died in the same event on
otherwise provided by law or these Rules, the petition shall be
the same date.
filed in and cognizable only by the Court of Appeals.
30 Section
For more than two (2) years before their deaths, Julie Ann
1. Petition for relief from judgment, order, or other
Gotiong and Wendell Libi were sweethearts until December,
proceedings. – When a judgment or final order is entered, or any
1978 when Julie Ann broke up her relationship with Wendell
other proceeding is thereafter taken against a party in any court
after she supposedly found him to be sadistic and irresponsible.
through fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable negligence, he
During the first and second weeks of January, 1979, Wendell
may file a petition in such court and in the same case praying
kept pestering Julie Ann with demands for reconciliation but the
that the judgment, order or proceeding be set aside.
latter persisted in her refusal, prompting the former to resort to
Section 3. Time for filing petition; contents and verification. – A threats against her. In order to avoid him, Julie Ann stayed in the
petition provided for in either of the preceding sections of this house of her best friend, Malou Alfonso, at the corner of Maria
Rule must be verified, filed within sixty (60) days after the Cristina and Juana Osmeña Streets, Cebu City, from January 7
petitioner learns of the judgment, final order, or other proceeding to 13, 1978.
to be set aside, and not more than six (6) months after such
On January 14, 1979, Julie Ann and Wendell died, each
judgment or final order was entered, or such proceeding was
from a single gunshot wound inflicted with the same firearm, a
taken; x x x.
27

Smith and Wesson revolver licensed in the name of petitioner been washed at the funeral parlor, considering the
Cresencio Libi, which was recovered from the scene of the crime hasty interment thereof a little after eight (8) hours from the
inside the residence of private respondents at the corner of occurrence wherein he died. Dr. Cerna himself could not
General Maxilom and D. Jakosalem streets of the same city. categorically state that the body of Wendell Libi was left
untouched at the funeral parlor before he was able to conduct
Due to the absence of an eyewitness account of the his autopsy. It will also be noted that Dr. Cerna was negligent in
circumstances surrounding the death of both minors, their not conducting a paraffin test on Wendell Libi, hence
parents, who are the contending parties herein, posited their possible evidence of gunpowder residue on Wendell's hands
respective theories drawn from their interpretation of was forever lost when Wendell was hastily buried.
circumstantial evidence, available reports, documents and
evidence of physical facts. More specifically, Dr. Cerna testified that he
conducted an autopsy on the body of Wendell Libi about eight
Private respondents, bereaved over the death of their daughter, (8) hours after the incident or, to be exact, eight (8) hours and
submitted that Wendell caused her death by shooting her with twenty (20) minutes based on the record of death; that when he
the aforesaid firearm and, thereafter, turning the gun on himself arrived at the Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes, the body of the
to commit suicide. On the other hand, petitioners, puzzled and deceased was already on the autopsy table and in the stage
likewise distressed over the death of their son, rejected the of rigor mortis; and that said body was not washed, but it
imputation and contended that an unknown third party, whom was dried.[4] However, on redirect examination, he admitted that
Wendell may have displeased or antagonized by reason of his during the 8-hour interval, he never saw the body nor did he see
work as a narcotics informer of the Constabulary Anti-Narcotics whether said body was wiped or washed in the area of the
Unit (CANU), must have caused Wendell's death and then shot wound on the head which he examined because the deceased
Julie Ann to eliminate any witness and thereby avoid was inside the morgue.[5] In fact, on cross-examination, he had
identification. earlier admitted that as far as the entrance of the wound, the
trajectory of the bullet and the exit of the wound are concerned,
As a result of the tragedy, the parents of Julie Ann filed Civil
it is possible that Wendell Libi shot himself.[6]
Case No. R-17774 in the then Court of First Instance of Cebu
against the parents of Wendell to recover damages arising from He further testified that the muzzle of the gun was not pressed
the latter's vicarious liability under Article 2180 of the Civil Code. on the head of the victim and that he found no burning or
After trial, the court below rendered judgment on October 20, singeing of the hair or extensive laceration on the gunshot
1980 as follows: wound of entrance which are general characteristics of contact
or near-contact fire. On direct examination, Dr. Cerna
"WHEREFORE, premises duly considered, judgment is hereby
nonetheless made these clarification:
rendered dismissing plaintiffs’ complaint for insufficiency of the
evidence. Defendants’ counterclaim is likewise denied for lack "Q Is it not a fact that there are certain guns which are so made
of sufficient merit."[2] that there would be no black residue or tattooing that could result
from these guns because they are what we call clean?
On appeal to respondent court, said judgment of the lower court
dismissing the complaint of therein plaintiffs-appellants was set A Yes, sir. I know that there are what we call smokeless
aside and another judgment was rendered against defendants- powder.
appellees who, as petitioners in the present appeal by certiorari,
now submit for resolution the following issues in this case: ATTY. ORTIZ:

1. Whether or not respondent court correctly reversed the trial Q Yes. So, in cases, therefore, of guns where the powder is
court in accordance with established decisional laws; and smokeless, those indications that you said may not rule out the
possibility that the gun was closer than 24 inches, is that correct?
2. Whether or not Article 2180 of the Civil Code was correctly
interpreted by respondent court to make petitioners liable for A If the … assuming that the gun used was ... the bullet used
vicarious liability.[3] was a smokeless powder.

In the proceedings before the trial court, Dr. Jesus P. Cerna, Q At any rate, doctor, from . . . disregarding those other matters
Police Medico-Legal Officer of Cebu, submitted his findings and that you have noticed, the singeing, etc., from the trajectory,
opinions on some postulates for determining whether or not the based on the trajectory of the bullets as shown in your own
gunshot wound was inflicted on Wendell Libi by his own suicidal sketch, is it not a fact that the gun could have been fired by the
act. However, undue emphasis was placed by the lower court person himself, the victim himself, Wendell Libi, because it
on the absence of gunpowder or tattooing around the wound at shows a point of entry a little above the right ear and point of exit
the point of entry of the bullet. It should be emphasized, a little above that, to be very fair and on your oath?
however, that this is not the only circumstance to be taken into
account in the determination of whether it was suicide or not. A As far as the point of entrance is concerned and as far
as the trajectory of the bullet is concerned and as far as the
It is true that said witness declared that he found no evidence of angle or the manner of fire is concerned, it could have been fired
contact or close-contact of an explosive discharge in the by the victim."[7]
entrance wound. However, as pointed out by private
respondents, the body of deceased Wendell Libi must have As shown by the evidence, there were only two used
bullets[8] found at the scene of the crime, each of which were the
28

bullets that hit Julie Ann Gotiong and Wendell Libi, respectively. busy. Later on, she talked with James Enrique Tan and told him
Also, the sketch prepared by the Medico-Legal Division of the that she saw a man leap from the gate towards his rooftop.[13]
National Bureau of Investigation,[9] shows that there is only one
gunshot wound of entrance located at the right temple of However, James Enrique Tan testified that he saw a "shadow"
Wendell Libi. The necropsy report prepared by Dr. Cerna states: on top of the gate of the Gotiongs, but denied having talked with
anyone regarding what he saw. He explained that he lives in a
xxx duplex house with a garden in front of it; that his house is next
to Felipe Gotiong's house; and he further gave the following
"Gunshot wound, ENTRANCE, ovaloid, 0.5 x 0.4 cm., with answers to these questions:
contusion collar widest inferiorly by 0.2 cm., edges inverted,
oriented upward, located at the head, temporal region, right, 2.8 "ATTY. ORTIZ: (TO WITNESS).
cms. Behind and 5.5 cms. above right external auditory meatus,
directed slightly forward, upward and to the left, involving skin Q What is the height of the wall of the Gotiong's in relation to
and soft tissues, making a punch-in fracture on the temporal your house?
bone, right, penetrating cranial cavity, lacerating extensively
WITNESS:
along its course the brain tissues, fracturing parietal
bone, left, and finally making an EXIT wound, irregular, 2.0 x 1.8 A It is about 8 feet.
cms., edges (e)verted, parietal region, left, 2.0 cms. behind and
12.9 cms. above left external auditory meatus. ATTY. ORTIZ: (TO WITNESS)

xxx Q And where were you looking from?

"Evidence of contact or close-contact fire, such as burning WITNESS:


around the gunshot wound of entrance, gunpowder tattooing
A From upstairs in my living room.
(sic), smudging, singeing of hair, extensive laceration or bursting
of the gunshot wound of entrance, or separation of the skin from ATTY. ORTIZ (TO WITNESS)
the underlying tissue are absent."[10]
Q From your living room window, is that correct?
On cross-examination, Dr. Cerna demonstrated his theory which
was made of record, thus: WITNESS:

"Q Now, will you please use yourself as Wendell Libi, and A Yes, but not very clear because the wall is high."[14]
following the entrance of the wound, the trajectory of the bullet
and the exit of the wound, and measuring yourself 24 inches, Analyzing the foregoing testimonies, we agree with respondent
will you please indicate to the Honorable Court how would it court that the same do not inspire credence as to the reliability
have been possible for Wendell Libi to kill himself? and accuracy of the witnesses' observations, since the visual
Will you please indicate the 24 inches? perceptions of both were obstructed by high walls in their
respective houses in relation to the house of herein private
WITNESS: respondents. On the other hand, witness Manolo Alfonso,
testifying on rebuttal, attested without contradiction that he and
A Actually, sir, the 24 inches is approximately one arm's his sister, Malou Alfonso, were waiting for Julie Ann Gotiong
length . . . when they heard her scream; that when Manolo climbed the
fence to see what was going on inside the Gotiong house, he
ATTY. SENINING:
heard the first shot; and, not more than five (5) seconds later, he
I would like to make of record that the witness has demonstrated heard another shot. Consequently, he went down from the fence
by extending his right arm almost straight towards his head." [11] and drove to the police station to report the incident. [15] Manolo's
direct and candid testimony establishes and explains the fact
Private respondents assail the fact that the trial court gave that it was he whom Lydia Ang and James Enrique Tan saw as
credence to the testimonies of defendants' witnesses Lydia Ang the "shadow" of a man at the gate of the Gotiong house.
and James Enrique Tan, the first being a resident of an
apartment across the street from the Gotiongs and the second, We have perforce to reject petitioners' effete and
a resident of the house adjacent to the Gotiong residence, who unsubstantiated pretension that it was another man who shot
declared having seen a "shadow" of a person at the gate of the Wendell and Julie Ann. It is significant that the Libi family did not
Gotiong house after hearing shots therefrom. even point to or present any suspect in the crime nor did they
file any case against any alleged "John Doe." Nor can we sustain
On cross-examination, Lydia Ang testified that the trial court's dubious theory that Wendell Libi did not die by
the apartment where she was staying faces the gas station; that his own hand because of the overwhelming evidence --
it is the second apartment; that from her window she can see testimonial, documentary and pictorial -- the confluence of which
directly the gate of the Gotiongs; and, that there is a firewall point to Wendell as the assailant of Julie Ann, his motive being
between her apartment and the gas station.[12] After seeing a revenge for her rejection of his persistent pleas for a
man jump from the gate of the Gotiongs to the rooftop of the reconciliation.
Tans, she called the police station but the telephone lines were
29

Petitioners' defense that they had exercised the due diligence of 'The subsidiary liability of parents for damages caused by their
a good father of a family, hence they should not be civilly liable minor children imposed by Article 2180 of the New Civil Code
for the crime committed by their minor son, is not borne out by covers obligations arising from both quasi-delicts and criminal
the evidence on record either. offenses.'

Petitioner Amelita Yap Libi, mother of Wendell, testified that her 'The subsidiary liability of parent's arising from the criminal acts
husband, Cresencio Libi, owns a gun which he kept in a safety of their minor children who acted with discernment is determined
deposit box inside a drawer in their bedroom. Each of these under the provisions of Article 2180, N.C.C. and under Article
petitioners holds a key to the safety deposit box and Amelita's 101 of the Revised Penal Code, because to hold that the former
key is always in her bag, all of which facts were known to only covers obligations which arise from quasi-delicts and not
Wendell. They have never been their son Wendell taking or obligations which arise from criminal offenses, would result in
using the gun. She admitted, however, that on that fateful night the absurdity that while for an act where mere negligence
the gun was no longer in the safety deposit box. [16] We, intervenes the father or mother may stand subsidiarily liable for
accordingly, cannot but entertain serious doubts that petitioner the damages caused by his or her son, no liability would attach
spouses had really been exercising the diligence of a good if the damage is caused with criminal intent.' (3 SCRA 361-362).
father of a family by safely locking the fatal gun away. Wendell
could not have gotten hold thereof unless one of the keys to the "x x x In the instant case, minor son of herein defendants-
safety deposit box was negligently left lying around or he had appellees, Wendell Libi somehow got hold of the key to the
free access to the bag of his mother where the other key was. drawer where said gun was kept under lock without defendant-
spouses ever knowing that said gun had been missing from that
The diligence of a good father of a family required by law in a safety box since 1978 when Wendell Libi ha(d) a picture taken
parent and child relationship consists, to a large extent, of the wherein he proudly displayed said gun and dedicated this
instruction and supervision of the child. Petitioners were gravely picture to his sweetheart, Julie Ann Gotiong; also since then,
remiss in their duties as parents in not diligently supervising the Wendell Libi was said to have kept said gun in his car, in keeping
activities of their son, despite his minority and immaturity, so up with his supposed role of a CANU agent. x x x."
much so that it was only at the time of Wendell's death that they
allegedly discovered that he was a CANU agent and that xxx
Cresencio's gun was missing from the safety deposit box. Both
"Based on the foregoing discussions of the assigned errors, this
parents were sadly wanting in their duty and responsibility in
Court holds that the lower court was not correct in dismissing
monitoring and knowing the activities of their children who, for
herein plaintiffs-appellants' complaint
all they know, may be engaged in dangerous work such as being
because as preponderantly shown by evidence, defendants-
drug informers,[17] or even drug users. Neither was a plausible
appellees utterly failed to exercise all the diligence of a good
explanation given for the photograph of Wendell, with a
father of the family in preventing their minor son from committing
handwritten dedication to Julie Ann at the back
this crime by means of the gun of defendants-
thereof,[18] holding uptight what clearly appears as a revolver
appellees which was freely accessible to Wendell Libi for they
and on how or why he was in possession of that firearm.
have not regularly checked whether said gun was still under
In setting aside the judgment of the court a quo and holding lock, but learned that it was missing from the safety deposit box
petitioners civilly liable, as explained at the start of this opinion, only after the crime had been committed." (Emphases ours.) [19]
respondent court waved aside the protestations of diligence on
We agree with the conclusion of respondent court that
the part of petitioners and had this to say:
petitioners should be held liable for the civil liability based on
"x x x It is still the duty of parents to know the activity of their what appears from all indications was a crime committed by their
children who may be engaged in this dangerous activity minor son. We take this opportunity, however, to digress and
involving the menace of drugs. Had the defendants-appellees discuss its ratiocination therefor on jurisprudential dicta which
been diligent in supervising the activities of their son, Wendell, we feel require clarification.
and in keeping said gun from his reach, they could have
In imposing sanctions for the so-called, vicarious liability of
prevented Wendell from killing, Julie Ann Gotiong. Therefore,
petitioners, respondent court cites Fuellas vs. Cadano, et
appellants are liable under Article 2180 of the Civil Code which
al.[20] which supposedly holds that "(t)he subsidiary liability of
provides:
parents for damages caused by their minor children imposed by
‘The father, and in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, Article 2180 of the New Civil Code covers obligations arising
are responsible for the damages caused by their minor children from both quasi-delicts and criminal offenses," followed by an
who live in their company.' extended quotation ostensibly from the same case explaining
why under Article 2180 of the Civil Code and Article 101 of the
"Having been grossly negligent in preventing Wendell Libi from Revised Penal Code parents should assume subsidiary liability
having access to said gun which was allegedly kept in a safety for damages caused by their minor children. The quoted
deposit box, defendants-appellees are subsidiarily liable for the passages are set out two paragraphs back, with pertinent
natural consequence of the criminal act of said minor who was underscoring for purposes of the discussion hereunder.
living in their company. This various liability herein defendants-
appellees has been reiterated by the Supreme Court in many Now, we do not have any objection to the doctrinal rule holding
cases, prominent of which is the case of Fuellas vs. Cadano, et. the parents liable, but the categorization of their liability as being
al. (L-14409, Oct. 31, 1961, 3 SCRA 361-367), which held that: subsidiary, and not primary, in nature requires a hard second
30

look considering previous decisions of this court on the matter excepting property exempt from execution, in accordance with
which warrant comparative analyses. Our concern stems from civil law."
our readings that if the liability of the parents for crimes or quasi-
delicts of their minor children is subsidiary, then the parents can The civil liability of parents for felonies committed by their minor
neither invoke nor be absolved of civil liability on the defense children contemplated in the aforesaid rule in Article 101 of the
that they acted with the diligence of a good father of a family to Revised Penal Code in relation to Article 2180 of the Civil Code
prevent damages. On the other hand, if such liability imputed to has, aside from the aforecited case of FueIlas, been the subject
the parents is considered direct and primary, that diligence of a number of cases adjudicated by this Court, viz.: Exconde
would constitute a valid and substantial defense. vs. Capuno, et al.,[22] Araneta vs. Arreglado,[23] Salen, et al. vs.
Balce,[24] Paleyan, etc., et al. vs. Bangkili, et al.,[25] and Elcano,
We believe that the civil liability of parents for quasi-delicts of et al. vs. Hill, et al.[26] Parenthetically, the aforesaid cases were
their minor children, as contemplated in Article 2180 of the Civil basically on the issue of the civil liability of parents for crimes
Code, is primary and not subsidiary. In fact, if we apply Article committed by their minor children over 9 but under 15 years of
2194 of said code which provides for solidary liability of joint age, who acted with discernment, and also of minors 15 years
tortfeasors, the persons responsible for the act or omission, in of age or over, since these situations are not covered by Article
this case the minor and the father and, in case of his death or 101, Revised Penal Code. In both instances, this Court held that
incapacity, the mother, are solidarily liable. Accordingly, such the issue of parental civil liability should be resolved in
parental liability is primary and not subsidiary, hence the last accordance with the provisions of Article 2180 of the Civil Code
paragraph of Article 2180 provides that "(t)he responsibility for the reasons well expressed in Salen and adopted in the
treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein cases hereinbefore enumerated that to hold that the civil liability
mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good under Article 2180 would apply only to quasi-delicts and not to
father of a family to prevent damage." criminal offenses would result in the absurdity that in an act
involving mere negligence the parents would be liable but not
We are also persuaded that the liability of the parents for felonies where the damage is caused with criminal intent. In said cases,
committed by their minor children is likewise primary, not however, there are unfortunate variances resulting in a
subsidiary. Article 101 of the Revised Penal Code provides: regrettable inconsistency in the Court's determination of whether
the liability of the parents, in cases involving either crimes or
"Art. 101. Rules regarding civil liability in certain cases. -
quasi-delicts of their minor children, is primary or subsidiary.
xxx
In Exconde, where the 15-year old minor was convicted of
First. In cases of subdivisions x x x 2, and 3 of Article 12, the double homicide through reckless imprudence, in a separate
civil liability for acts committed by x x x a person under nine civil action arising from the crime the minor and his father were
years of age, or by one over nine but under fifteen years of age, held jointly and severally liable for failure of the latter to prove
who has acted without discernment, shall devolve upon those the diligence Of a good father of a family. The same liability in
having such person under their legal authority or control, unless solidum and, therefore, primary liability was imposed in a
it appears that there was no fault or negligence on their separate civil action in Araneta on the parents and their 14-year
part." (Emphases supplied.)[21] old son who was found guilty of frustrated homicide, but on the
authority of Article 2194 of the Civil Code providing for solidary
Accordingly, just like the rule in Article 2180 of the Civil Code, responsibility of two or more persons who are liable for a quasi-
under the foregoing provision the civil liability of the parents for delict.
crimes committed by their minor children is likewise direct and
primary, and also subject to the defense of lack of fault or However, in Salen, the father was declared subsidiarily liable for
negligence on their part, that is, the exercise of the diligence of damages arising from the conviction of his son, who was over
a good father of a family. 15 but less than 18 years of age, by applying Article 2180 but,
this time, disregarding Article 2194 of the Civil Code. In the
That in both quasi-delicts and crimes the parents primarily present case, as already explained, the petitioners herein were
respond for such damages is buttressed by the corresponding also held liable but supposedly in line with Fuellas which
provisions in both codes that the minor transgressor shall be purportedly declared the parents subsidiarily liable for the civil
answerable or shall respond with his own property only in the liability for serious physical injuries committed by their 13-year
absence or in case of insolvency of the former. Thus, for civil old son. On the other hand, in Paleyan, the mother and her 19-
liability ex quasi delicto of minors, Article 2182 of the Civil Code year old son were adjudged solidarity liable for damages arising
states that "(i)f the minor causing damage has no parents or from his conviction for homicide by the application of Article
guardian, the minor x x x shall be answerable with his own 2180 of the Civil Code since this is likewise not covered by
property in an action against him where a guardian ad litem shall Article 101 of the Revised Penal Code. Finally, in Elcano,
be appointed." For civil liability exdelicto of minors, an although the son was acquitted in a homicide charge due to "lack
equivalent provision is found in the third paragraph of Article 101 of intent, coupled with mistake," it was ruled that while under
of the Revised Penal Code, to wit: Article 2180 of the Civil Code there should be solidary liability for
damages, since the son, "although married, was living with his
"Should there be no person having such x x x minor under his
father and getting subsistence from him at the time of the
authority, legal guardianship or control, or if such person be
occurrence," but "is now of age, as a matter of equity" the father
insolvent, said x x x minor shall respond with (his) own property,
was only held subsidiarily liable.
31

It bears stressing, however, that the Revised Penal Code In the case at bar, whether the death of the hapless Julie Ann
provides for subsidiary liability only for persons Gotiong was caused by a felony or a quasi-delict committed by
causing damages under the compulsion of irresistible force or Wendell Libi, respondent court did not err in holding petitioners
under the impulse of an uncontrollable fear; [27] innkeepers, liable for damages arising therefrom. Subject to the preceding
tavernkeepers and proprietors of establishments; [28] employers, modifications of the premises relied upon by it therefor and on
teachers, persons and corporations engaged in industry; [29] and the bases of the legal imperatives herein explained, we conjoin
principals, accomplices and accessories for the unpaid civil in its findings that said petitioners failed to duly exercise the
liability of their co-accused in the other classes.[30] requisite diligentissimi patris familias to prevent such damages.

Also, coming back to respondent court's reliance on Fuellas in ACCORDINGLY, the instant petition is DENIED and the
its decision in the present case, it is not exactly accurate to say assailed judgment of respondent Court of Appeals is
that Fuellas provided for subsidiary liability of the parents hereby AFFIRMED, with costs against petitioners.
therein. A careful scrutiny shows that what respondent court
quoted verbatim in its decision now on appeal in the present SO ORDERED.
case, and which it attributed to Fuellas, was the syllabus on the
law report of said case which spoke of "subsidiary" liability.
However, such categorization does not specifically appear in the
text of the decision in Fuellas. In fact, after reviewing therein the
cases of Exconde, Araneta and Salen and the discussions in
said cases of Article 101 of the Revised Penal Code in relation
to Article 2180 of the Civil Code, this Court concluded its
decision in this wise.

"Moreover, the case at bar was decided by the Court of Appeals


on the basis of evidence submitted therein by both parties,
independent of the criminal case. And responsibility for fault
or negligence under Article 2176 upon which the present action
was instituted, is entirely separate and distinct from the civil
liability arising from fault or negligence under the Penal Code
(Art. 2177), and having in mind the reasons behind the law as
heretofore stated, any discussion as to the minor's criminal
responsibility is of no moment."

Under the foregoing considerations, therefore, we hereby rule


that the parents are and should be held primarily liable for
the civil liability arising from criminal offenses committed by their
minor children under their legal authority or control, or
who live in their company, unless it is proven that the former
acted with the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent
such damages. That primary liability is premised on the
provisions of Article 101 of the Revised Penal Code with respect
to damages ex delicto caused by their children 9 years of age or
under, or over 9 but under 15 years of age who acted without
discernment; and, with regard to their children over 9 but under
15 years of age who acted with discernment, or 15 years or over
but under 21 years of age, such primary liability shall be imposed
pursuant to Article 2180 of the Civil Code.[31]

Under said Article 2180, the enforcement of such liability shall


be effected against the father and, in case of his death or
incapacity, the mother. This was amplified by the Child and
Youth Welfare Code which provides that the same shall devolve
upon the father and, in case of his death or incapacity, upon the
mother or, in case of her death or incapacity, upon the guardian,
but the liability may also be voluntarily assumed by a relative or
family friend of the youthful offender.[32] However, under the
Family Code, this civil liability is now, without such alternative
qualification, the responsibility of the parents and those who
exercise parental authority over the minor offender. [33] For civil
liability arising from quasi-delicts committed by minors, the
same rules shall apply in accordance with Articles 2180 and
2182 of the Civil Code, as so modified.