MCC v Ssangyong Actual Damages: This Court, however, finds that the award of actual damages is not in accord

with the evidence on record. It is axiomatic that actual or compensatory damages cannot be presumed, but must be proven with a reasonable degree of certainty.110 In Villafuerte v. Court of Appeals,111 we explained that: Actual or compensatory damages are those awarded in order to compensate a party for an injury or loss he suffered. They arise out of a sense of natural justice and are aimed at repairing the wrong done. Except as provided by law or by stipulation, a party is entitled to an adequate compensation only for such pecuniary loss as he has duly proven. It is hornbook doctrine that to be able to recover actual damages, the claimant bears the onus of presenting before the court actual proof of the damages alleged to have been suffered, thus: A party is entitled to an adequate compensation for such pecuniary loss actually suffered by him as he has duly proved. Such damages, to be recoverable, must not only be capable of proof, but must actually be proved with a reasonable degree of certainty. We have emphasized that these damages cannot be presumed and courts, in making an award must point out specific facts which could afford a basis for measuring whatever compensatory or actual damages are borne. In the instant case, the trial court awarded to respondent Ssangyong US$93,493.87 as actual damages. On appeal, the same was affirmed by the appellate court. Noticeably, however, the trial and the appellate courts, in making the said award, relied on the following documents submitted in evidence by the respondent: (1) Exhibit "U," the Statement of Account dated March 30, 2001; (2) Exhibit "U-1," the details of the said Statement of Account); (3) Exhibit "V," the contract of the alleged resale of the goods to a Korean corporation; and (4) Exhibit "V1," the authentication of the resale contract from the Korean Embassy and certification from the Philippine Consular Office. The statement of account and the details of the losses sustained by respondent due to the said breach are, at best,

self-serving. It was respondent Ssangyong itself which prepared the said documents. The items therein are not even substantiated by official receipts. In the absence of corroborative evidence, the said statement of account is not sufficient basis to award actual damages. The court cannot simply rely on speculation, conjecture or guesswork as to the fact and amount of damages, but must depend on competent proof that the claimant had suffered, and on evidence of, the actual amount thereof. Furthermore, the sales contract and its authentication certificates, Exhibits "V" and "V-1," allegedly evidencing the resale at a loss of the stainless steel subject of the parties' breached contract, fail to convince this Court of the veracity of its contents. The steel items indicated in the sales contract114 with a Korean corporation are different in all respects from the items ordered by petitioner MCC, even in size and quantity. We observed the following discrepancies: From the foregoing, we find merit in the contention of MCC that Ssangyong did not adequately prove that the items resold at a loss were the same items ordered by the petitioner. Therefore, as the claim for actual damages was not proven, the Court cannot sanction the award. Nonetheless, the Court finds that petitioner knowingly breached its contractual obligation and obstinately refused to pay despite repeated demands from respondent. Petitioner even asked for several extensions of time for it to make good its obligation. But in spite of respondent's continuous accommodation, petitioner completely reneged on its contractual duty. For such inattention and insensitivity, MCC must be held liable for nominal damages. "Nominal damages are 'recoverable where a legal right is technically violated and must be vindicated against an invasion that has produced no actual present loss of any kind or where there has been a breach of contract and no substantial injury or actual damages whatsoever have been or can be shown. Accordingly, the Court awards nominal damages of P200,000.00 to respondent Ssangyong. As to the award of attorney's fees, it is well settled that no premium should be placed on the right to litigate and not every winning party is entitled to an automatic grant of attorney's fees. The party must show that he falls under one of the instances enumerated in Article 2208 of the Civil Code. In the

Pleno v. 43 Further. In the present case. Mayo v People The well-entrenched principle is that moral damages depend upon the discretion of the trial courts based on the facts and circumstances of each case. of attorney’s fees and its amount equivalent to 25% of the amount paid as interest by respondent to petitioner is proper. the Court finds the award of attorney's fees proper. We held in Eastern Shipping Lines. Petitioner acted oppressively when he pestered respondent to pay interest and threatened to block her transactions with the PNO if she would not pay interest.00 as refundable amount of interest is reduced to THREE HUNDRED THIRTY FIVE THOUSAND PESOS (P335. WHEREFORE.00).000.45 that when an obligation. The amount of P50. legal or equitable justification for awarding the same.00. v. Court of Appeals. the rate of legal interest. however. This discretion is.000. dated 16 December 2005. (3) an interest of 6% per annum is imposed on the P335.000.00 imposed as moral damages is reduced to ONE HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P150. this interim period being deemed equivalent to a forbearance of credit. whether it is a loan/forbearance of money or not. Costs against petitioner. shall be 12% per annum from such finality until its satisfaction. not constituting a loan or forbearance of money is breached. on the damages awarded and on the attorney’s fees to be computed from the time of the extra-judicial demand on 3 March 1998 up to the finality of this Decision.44 The award. (Prudenciado v.00). petitioner’s obligation arose from a quasi-contract of solutio indebiti and not from a loan or forbearance of money. exemplary damages may be imposed if the defendant acted in an oppressive manner. therefore. Thus. CV No.46 up to the finality of this Decision. considering that petitioner MCC's unjustified refusal to pay has compelled respondent Ssangyong to litigate and to incur expenses to protect its rights. conditioned in that the "amount awarded should not be palpably and scandalously excessive" so as to indicate that it was the result of prejudice or . 42 In the case under consideration. the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. (2) the amount ofP300. Finally. Siga-an v Villanueva Interest: Article 2232 of the Civil Code states that in a quasicontract. the RTC and the Court of Appeals imposed a 12% rate of legal interest on the amount refundable to respondent computed from 3 March 1998 until its full payment. respondent testified that she agreed to compensate her lawyer handling the instant case such amount.000. the award of exemplary damages is appropriate.41 Jurisprudence instructs that in awarding attorney’s fees. Court of Appeals.000. is hereby AFFIRMED with the following MODIFICATIONS: (1) the amount of P660.000.instant case. supra. Thus. the interest shall become 12% per annum from the finality of this Decision up to its satisfaction. and (4) an interest of 12% per annum is also imposed from the finality of this Decision up to its satisfaction. the RTC stated in its Decision that the award of attorney’s fees equivalent to 25% of the amount paid as interest by respondent to petitioner is reasonable and moderate considering the extent of work rendered by respondent’s lawyer in the instant case and the fact that it dragged on for several years. 161 SCRA 208 [1988]).R. such as solutio indebiti. In addition. to be computed from the time of the extra-judicial demand on 3 March 1998. an interest on the amount of damages awarded may be imposed at the rate of 6% per annum. however. the trial court must state the factual. This is erroneous. 71814. an interest of 6% per annum should be imposed on the amount to be refunded as well as on the damages awarded and on the attorney’s fees. We further declared that when the judgment of the court awarding a sum of money becomes final and executory. Inc.00 imposed as exemplary damages by the RTC and the Court is fitting so as to deter petitioner and other lenders from committing similar and other serious wrongdoings. Alliance Transport System. This forced respondent to pay interest despite lack of agreement thereto.

Court of Appeals. Sadie v. supra) Applying these principles in the instant case. Espino. diversion or amusements that will serve to alleviate the moral suffering he has undergone. we required Atty. 1991. supra. [4] 7347. Balgos-Guballa to check whether or not the required memorandum has been filed with the Court within the reglementary period is equivalent to gross negligence on their part to comply with the directive of the Court. The law firm should have adopted a more systematic procedure to handle pleadings required to be filed in court. 1991 with the warning that further gross negligence of this nature committed by them would be dealt with more severely.. Prudenciado v.000.00 as moral damages in favor of complainant Linda Navarette is unconscionable and excessive. that it was only recently. Alliance Transport System. (Pleno v." (R & B Surety & Insurance Co. Atty.000. Inc. Rico and Atty. Atty. "moral damages are emphatically not intended to enrich a complainant at the expense of the defendant. WHEREFORE. that she discovered that the memorandum was inadvertently inserted by one of their secretaries (while fixing the table of Atty. Atty. 157 SCRA 253 [1988]) We rule that under the circumstances of the instant case. Intermediate Appellate Court. 1991. Rico. the memorandum was due on July 22.000.000. In the instant case. supra.000. Evelyn Balgos-Guballa of the Acosta and Rico Law Offices.000. 57 O.000. Rex G. we rule that the award of P700. the award for moral damages should not exceed the amount of P500. Such inaction on the part of the law firm. 57 O. by reason of the defendant's culpable action. the amount of P200. Court of Appeals. counsel for the private respondent. One final consideration. citedin Prudenciado v. v. They are awarded only to enable the injured party to obtain means. Rico and Atty.. specifically Atty. Inc. 7358.00 as moral damages in favor of complainant Linda Navarette is reasonable. Alliance Transport System. correct or modify the draft of the memorandum. and that after discovery of the incident they immediately finalized and filed the memorandum on October 8. Inc. to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against her for failure to file the required memorandum within the extended period which expired on July 22. citing Grand Union Supermarket. Therefore. Rex G. the actual losses sustained by the aggrieved party and the gravity of the injuries must be considered. In determining the amount of moral damages. Warner Barnes & Co. Court of Appeals. Evelyn Balgos-Guballa are hereby REPRIMANDED for non-compliance with theResolution dated September 25. In her "COMPLIANCE". just and fair.00 as moral damages granted to complainant Linda Navarette is reduced to P200. v. Alliance Transport System. the instant petition is partly GRANTED. Pleno v.000. Siguenza v. 137 SCRA 570 [1985]).. Rex G. Court of Appeals. 94 SCRA 953 [1979]. supra. Inc.00 as moral damages due to her personal injuries. Jr. Evelyn Balgos-Guballa stated that she finished the draft of the memorandum as early as the first week of July and submitted it to the partner-in-charge. if believed. Inc. [4] 636. . discovered the secretary's blunder two (2) months or more thereafter. Rico) among the files of other cases of the law firm.00.G.. We rejected Navarette's claim for the amount of P1. supra. Siguenza v.. Bachrach Motors Co. Balgos-Guballa unsatisfactory. Inc. Inc. that this unfortunate incident precluded the partner-in-charge to review. We find the explanation of Atty. 1991 within ten days from notice." (Gellada v. Court of Appeals.G. In a resolution dated September 25. The questioned decision of the Court of Appeals is MODIFIED in that the amount of P700.00 as moral damages for the loss of her boyfriend. 129 SCRA 736 [1984]. 1991 yet and it would seem that the law firm. We note that she asked for the amount of P500. Prudenciado v. supra) Finally.corruption on the part of the trial court.00 (Makabali v.

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