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EASTERN SHIPPING LINES, INC., Petitioner, v. BPI/MS INSURANCE CORP.

, &
MITSUI SUMITOMO INSURANCE CO., LTD., Respondents.
G.R. No. 182864, January 12, 2015
PEREZ, J.
FIRST DIVISION

FACTS: On 29 December 2004, BPI/MS Insurance Corporation (BPI/MS) and Mitsui


Sumitomo Insurance Company Limited (Mitsui) filed a Complaint before the RTC of Makati
City against ESLI and ATI to recover actual damages amounting to US$17,560.48 with legal
interest,
attorneys
fees
and
costs
of
suit.
In their complaint, BPI/MS and Mitsui alleged that on 2 February 2004 at Yokohama, Japan,
Sumitomo Corporation shipped on board ESLIs vessel M/V Eastern Venus 22 22 coils of
various Steel Sheet weighing 159,534 kilograms in good order and condition for transportation to
and delivery at the port of Manila, Philippines in favor of consignee Calamba Steel Center, Inc.
as evidenced by a Bill of Lading with Nos. ESLIYMA001. The shipment was insured with the
respondents BPI/MS and Mitsui against all risks under Marine Policy No. 103-GG03448834.
On 11 February 2004, the complaint alleged that the shipment arrived at the port of Manila in an
unknown condition and was turned over to ATI for safekeeping. Upon withdrawal of the
shipment by the Calamba Steels representative, it was found out that part of the shipment was
damaged and was in bad order condition such that there was a Request for Bad Order Survey. It
was found out that the damage amounted to US$4,598.85 prompting Calamba Steel to reject the
damaged
shipment
for
being
unfit
for
the
intended
purpose.
RTC Makati City rendered a decision finding both the ESLI and ATI liable for the damages
sustained by the two shipments and that ESLI Inc. and ATI, jointly and severally liable to pay
BPI/MS and Mitsui.
ISSUE: Whether or not ESLI is liable for damages
HELD: Common carriers, from the nature of their business and on public policy considerations,
are bound to observe extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods transported by them.
Subject to certain exceptions enumerated under Article 1734 of the Civil Code, common carriers
are responsible for the loss, destruction, or deterioration of the goods. The extraordinary
responsibility of the common carrier lasts from the time the goods are unconditionally placed in
the possession of, and received by the carrier for transportation until the same are delivered,
actually or constructively, by the carrier to the consignee, or to the person who has a right to
receive
them.
In maritime transportation, a bill of lading is issued by a common carrier as a contract, receipt
and symbol of the goods covered by it. If it has no notation of any defect or damage in the goods,
it is considered as a clean bill of lading. A clean bill of lading constitutes prima facie evidence
of
the
receipt
by
the
carrier
of
the
goods
as
therein
described.
Based on the bills of lading issued, it is undisputed that ESLI received the two shipments of coils
from shipper Sumitomo Corporation in good condition at the ports of Yokohama and Kashima,
Japan. However, upon arrival at the port of Manila, some coils from the two shipments were
partly dented and crumpled as evidenced by the Turn Over Survey of Bad Order Cargoes No.
67982 dated 13 February 2004 and Turn Over Survey of Bad Order Cargoes Nos. 68363 and
68365 both dated 24 May 2004 signed by ESLIs representatives, a certain Tabanao and Rodrigo
together with ATIs representative Garcia. According to Turn Over Survey of Bad Order Cargoes
No. 67982, four coils and one skid were partly dented and crumpled prior to turnover by ESLI to

ATIs possession while a total of eleven coils were partly dented and crumpled prior to turnover
based on Turn Over Survey Bad Order Cargoes Nos. 68363 and 68365.
Mere proof of delivery of the goods in good order to a common carrier and of their arrival in bad
order at their destination constitutes a prima facie case of fault or negligence against the carrier.
If no adequate explanation is given as to how the deterioration, loss, or destruction of the goods
happened, the transporter shall be held responsible. From the foregoing, the fault is attributable
to ESLI. While no longer an issue, it may be nonetheless state that ATI was correctly absolved of
liability
for
the
damage.

RICARDO C. HONRADO, Petitioner, v. GMA NETWORK FILMS, INC., Respondent.


G.R. No. 204702, January 14, 2015
CARPIO, J.
SECOND DIVISION
FACTS: On 11 December 1998, respondent GMA Network Films, Inc. (GMA Films) entered
into a TV Rights Agreement with petitioner under which petitioner, as licensor of 36 films,
granted to GMA Films, for a fee of P60.75 million, the exclusive right to telecast the 36 films for
a period of three years. Under Paragraph 3 of the Agreement, the parties agreed that all betacam
copies of the films should pass through broadcast quality test conducted by GMA-7, the TV
station operated by GMA Network, Inc., an affiliate of GMA Films. The parties also agreed to
submit the films for review by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board
(MTRCB) and stipulated on the remedies in the event that MTRCB bans the telecasting of any of
the films (Paragraph4):
The PROGRAMME TITLES listed above shall be subject to approval by the Movie and
Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) and, in the event of disapproval,
LICENSOR [Petitioner] will either replace the censored PROGRAMME TITLES with
another title which is mutually acceptable to both parties or, failure to do such, a
proportionate reduction from the total price shall either be deducted or refunded
whichever is the case by the LICENSOR OR LICENSEE [GMA Films].
Two of the films covered by the Agreement were Evangeline Katorse and Bubot.
In 2003, GMA Films sued petitioner in the RTC of Quezon City to collect P1.6 million
representing the fee it paid for Evangeline Katorse (P1.5 million) and a portion of the fee it paid
for Bubot (P350,000). GMA Films alleged that it rejected Evangeline Katorse because its
running time was too short for telecast and petitioner only remitted P900,000 to the owner
of Bubot, keeping for himself the balance of P350,000. GMA Films prayed for the return of such
amount on the theory that an implied trust arose between the parties as petitioner fraudulently
kept it for himself.
Petitioner denied liability, counter-alleging that after GMA Films rejected Evangeline Katorse,
he replaced it with another film, Winasak na Pangarap, which GMA Films accepted. As proof of
such acceptance, petitioner invoked a certification of GMA Network, attesting that such film is
of good broadcast quality.
The trial court dismissed GMA Films complaint and, finding merit in petitioners counterclaim,
ordered GMA Films to pay attorneys fees (P100,000). The trial court gave credence to
petitioners defense that he replaced Evangeline Katorse with Winasak na Pangarap. On the
disposal of the fee GMA Films paid forBubot, the trial court rejected GMA Films theory of
implied trust, finding insufficient GMA Films proof that petitioner pocketed any portion of the
fee in question.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner is liable for breach of the Agreement and breach of trust
HELD: Petitioner Committed No Breach of Contract or Trust
Under this stipulation, what triggers the rejection and replacement of any film listed in the
Agreement is the disapproval of its telecasting by MTRCB.
GMA Films rejected Evangeline Katorse not because it was disapproved by MTRCB but
because the films total running time was too short for telecast (undertime). Instead of rejecting
GMA Films demand for falling outside of the terms of Paragraph 4, petitioner voluntarily
acceded to it and replaced such film with Winasak na Pangarap. What is disputed is whether

GMA Films accepted the replacement film offered by petitioner.


GMA Films does not allege, and we find no proof on record indicating, that MTRCB reviewed
Winasak na Pangarap and X-rated it. Indeed, GMA Films own witness, Jose Marie Abacan
(Abacan), then Vice-President for Program Management of GMA Network, testified during trial
that it was GMA Networkwhich rejected Winasak na Pangarap because the latter considered the
film bomba. In doing so, GMA Network went beyond its assigned role under the Agreement of
screening films to test their broadcast quality and assumed the function of MTRCB to evaluate
the films for the propriety of their content. This runs counter to the clear terms of Paragraphs 3
and 4 of the Agreement.
In GMA Films claim is the theory that the Agreement obliges petitioner to give to the film
owners the entire amount he received from GMA Films and that his failure to do so gave rise to
an implied trust, obliging petitioner to hold whatever amount he kept in trust for GMA Films.
The CA sustained GMA Films interpretation, noting that the Agreement does not provide that
the licensor is entitled to any commission.
This is error.
The Agreement, as its full title denotes (TV Rights Agreement), is a licensing contract, the
essence of which is the transfer by the licensor (petitioner) to the licensee (GMA Films), for a
fee, of the exclusive right to telecast the films listed in the Agreement. Stipulations for payment
of commission to the licensor is incongruous to the nature of such contracts unless the licensor
merely acted as agent of the film owners. Nowhere in the Agreement, however, did the parties
stipulate that petitioner signed the contract in such capacity. On the contrary, the Agreement
repeatedly refers to petitioner as licensor and GMA Films as licensee. Nor did the parties
stipulate that the fees paid by GMA Films for the films listed in the Agreement will be turned
over by petitioner to the film owners. Instead, the Agreement merely provided that the total fees
will be paid in three installments (Paragraph 3).h

MANUEL JUSAYAN,ALFREDO JUSAYAN, AND MICHAEL


JUSAYAN, Petitioners, v. JORGE SOMBILLA, Respondent.
G.R. No. 163928, January 21, 2015
BERSAMIN, J.
FIRST DIVISION
FACTS: On June 20, 1970, Wilson entered into an agreement with respondent Jorge
Sombilla, wherein Wilson designated Jorge as his agent to supervise the tilling and farming of
his riceland in crop year 1970-1971. On August 20, 1971, before the expiration of the agreement,
Wilson sold the four parcels of land to Timoteo Jusayan. Jorge and Timoteo verbally agreed that
Jorge would retain possession of the parcels of land and would deliver 110 cavans of palay
annually to Timoteo without need for accounting of the cultivation expenses provided that Jorge
would pay the irrigation fees. From 1971 to 1983, Timoteo and Jorge followed the arrangement.
In 1975, the parcels of land were transferred in the names of Timoteos sons, namely; Manuel,
Alfredo and Michael (petitioners). In 1984, Timoteo sent several letters to Jorge terminating his
administration and demanding the return of the possession of the parcels of
land.5chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
Due to the failure of Jorge to render accounting and to return the possession of the parcels of
land despite demands, Timoteo filed on June 30, 1986 a complaint for recovery of possession
and accounting against Jorge in the RTC (CAR Case No. 17117). Following Timoteos death on
October
4,
1991,
the
petitioners
substituted
him
as
the
plaintiffs.
In his answer, Jorge asserted that he enjoyed security of tenure as the agricultural lessee of
Timoteo; and that he could not be dispossessed of his landholding without valid cause.
ISSUE: Whether or not the relationship between the petitioners and respondent is that of agency
or agricultural leasehold
HELD:
In agency, the agent binds himself to render some service or to do something in representation or
on behalf of the principal, with the consent or authority of the latter.10 The basis of the civil law
relationship of agency is representation,11 the elements of which are, namely: (a) the relationship
is established by the parties consent, express or implied; (b) the object is the execution of a
juridical act in relation to a third person; (c) the agent acts as representative and not for himself;
and (d) the agent acts within the scope of his authority. Whether or not an agency has been
created is determined by the fact that one is representing and acting for another. The law does not
presume agency; hence, proving its existence, nature and extent is incumbent upon the person
alleging
it.
The claim of Timoteo that Jorge was his agent contradicted the verbal agreement he had
fashioned with Jorge. By assenting to Jorges possession of the land sans accounting of the
cultivation expenses and actual produce of the land provided that Jorge annually delivered to him
110 cavans of palay and paid the irrigation fees belied the very nature of agency, which was
representation. The verbal agreement between Timoteo and Jorge left all matters of agricultural
production to the sole discretion of Jorge and practically divested Timoteo of the right to exercise
his authority over the acts to be performed by Jorge. While in possession of the land, therefore,
Jorge was acting for himself instead of for Timoteo. Unlike Jorge, Timoteo did not benefit
whenever the production increased, and did not suffer whenever the production decreased.
Timoteos interest was limited to the delivery of the 110 cavans of palay annually without any
concern about how the cultivation could be improved in order to yield more produce.
On the other hand, to prove the tenancy relationship, Jorge presented handwritten
receipts indicating that the sacks of palay delivered to and received by one Corazon Jusayan
represented payment of rental. In this regard, rental was the legal term for the consideration of
the lease. Consequently, the receipts substantially proved that the contractual relationship
between
Jorge
and
Timoteo
was
a
lease.

In Teodoro v. Macaraeg, this Court has synthesized the elements of agricultural tenancy to wit:
(1) the object of the contract or the relationship is an agricultural land that is leased or rented for
the purpose of agricultural production; (2) the size of the landholding is such that it is susceptible
of personal cultivation by a single person with the assistance of the members of his immediate
farm household; (3) the tenant-lessee must actually and personally till, cultivate or operate the
land, solely or with the aid of labor from his immediate farm household; and (4) the landlordlessor, who is either the lawful owner or the legal possessor of the land, leases the same to the
tenant-lessee for a price certain or ascertainable either in an amount of money or produce.
His ability to farm the seven hectares of land despite his regular employment as an Agricultural
Technician at the Municipal Agriculture Office was not physically impossible for him to
accomplish considering that his daughter, a member of his immediate farm household, was
cultivating one of the parcels of the land. Indeed, the law did not prohibit him as the agricultural
lessee who generally worked the land himself or with the aid of member of his immediate
household from availing himself occasionally or temporarily of the help of others in specific
jobs. In short, the claim of the petitioners that the employment of Jorge as an Agricultural
Technician at the Municipal Agriculture Office disqualified him as a tenant lacked factual or
legal
basis.
Section 7 of Republic Act No. 3844 provides that once there is an agricultural tenancy, the
agricultural tenants right to security of tenure is recognized and protected. The landowner
cannot eject the agricultural tenant from the land unless authorized by the proper court for causes
provided by law. Section 36 of Republic Act No. 3844, as amended by Republic Act No. 6389,
enumerates the several grounds for the valid dispossession of the tenant. 35It is underscored,
however, that none of such grounds for valid dispossession of landholding was attendant in
Jorges
case.
The CA has correctly categorized Jorges case as an agrarian dispute.

NEIL B. AGUILAR AND RUBEN CALIMBAS, Petitioners, v. LIGHTBRINGERS


CREDIT COOPERATIVE, Respondent.
G.R. No. 209605, January 12, 2015
MENDOZA, J.
SECOND DIVISION
FACTS: This case stemmed from the three (3) complaints for sum of money separately filed by
respondent Lightbringers Credit Cooperative (respondent) on July 14, 2008 against petitioners
Aguilar and Calimbas, and one Perlita Tantiangco (Tantiangco) which were consolidated before
the First Municipal Circuit Trial Court, Dinalupihan, Bataan (MCTC). The complaints alleged
that Tantiangco, Aguilar and Calimbas were members of the cooperative who borrowed the
following funds:
1. In Civil Case No. 1428, Tantiangco allegedly borrowed P206,315.71 as evidenced by
Cash Disbursement Voucher No. 4010 but the net loan was only P45,862.00 as supported
by PNB Check No. 0000005133.lesvirtualLawlibrary
2. In Civil Case No. 1429, petitioner Calimbas allegedly borrowed P202,800.18 as
evidenced by Cash Disbursement Voucher No. 3962 but the net loan was only P60,024.00
as supported by PNB Check No. 0000005088;svirtualLawlibrary
3. In Civil Case No. 1430, petitioner Aguilar allegedly borrowed P126,849.00 as evidenced
by Cash Disbursement Voucher No. 3902 but the net loan was only P76,152.00 as
supported by PNB Check No. 0000005026;
Tantiangco, Aguilar and Calimbas filed their respective answers. They uniformly claimed that
the discrepancy between the principal amount of the loan evidenced by the cash disbursement
voucher and the net amount of loan reflected in the PNB checks showed that they never
borrowed the amounts being collected.
On the scheduled pre-trial conference, only respondent and its counsel appeared. The MCTC
then issued the Order, dated August 25, 2009, allowing respondent to present evidence ex parte.
The MCTC resolved the consolidated cases in three separate decisions and found both Calimbas
and Aguilar liable to respondent for their respective debts. The PNB checks issued to the
petitioners proved the existence of the loan transactions.
ISSUE: Whether or not there is a contract of loan on the basis of the checks presented
HELD: And on the merits of the case, the Court holds that there was indeed a contract of loan
between the petitioners and respondent. The Court agrees with the findings of fact of the MCTC
and the RTC that a check was a sufficient evidence of a loan transaction. The findings of fact of
the trial court, its calibration of the testimonies of the witnesses and its assessment of the
probative weight thereof, as well as its conclusions anchored on the findings are accorded high
respect, if not conclusive effect.40chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
The case of Pua v. Spouses Lo Bun Tiong41 discussed the weight of a check as an evidence of a
loan:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
In Pacheco v. Court of Appeals, this Court has expressly recognized that a check constitutes an
evidence of indebtedness and is a veritable proof of an obligation. Hence, it can be used in lieu of
and for the same purpose as a promissory note. In fact, in the seminal case of Lozano v. Martinez,
We pointed out that a check functions more than a promissory note since it not only contains an
undertaking to pay an amount of money but is an "order addressed to a bank and partakes of a
representation that the drawer has funds on deposit against which the check is drawn, sufficient
to ensure payment upon its presentation to the bank." This Court reiterated this rule in the
relatively recent Lim v. Mindanao Wines and Liquour Galleria stating that a check, the entries of
which are in writing, could prove a loan transaction.42
There is no dispute that the signatures of the petitioners were present on both the PNB checks
and the cash disbursement vouchers. The checks were also made payable to the order of the
petitioners. Hence, respondent can properly demand that they pay the amounts borrowed. If the
petitioners believe that there is some other bogus scheme afoot, then they must institute a

separate action against the responsible personalities. Otherwise, the Court can only rule on the
evidence on record in the case at bench, applying the appropriate laws and jurisprudence.
NFF INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. G & L ASSOCIATED BROKERAGE
AND/OR GERARDO TRINIDAD, Respondent.
G.R. No. 178169, January 12, 2015
PERALTA, J.:
THIRD DIVISION
FACTS: Petitioner NFF Industrial Corporation is engaged in the business of manufacturing
bulk bags, while respondent G & L Associated Brokerage, Inc. is among its
customers. Respondent Gerardo Trinidad is the general manager of respondent company.
According to petitioner, respondent company ordered two thousand (2,000) pieces of bulk bags
from petitioner, at Three Hundred Eighty Pesos (P380.00) per piece, or a total purchase price of
Three Hundred Eighty Thousand Pesos (P380,000.00), payable within thirty (30) days from
delivery. In the said Purchase Order, an instruction was made that the bulk bags were for
immediate delivery to G & L Associated Brokerage, Inc., c/o Hi-Cement Corporation,
Norzagaray, Bulacan.
Petitioner alleged that the aforementioned deliveries were duly acknowledged by representatives
of respondent company. Petitioner also averred that all the delivery receipts were rubber
stamped, dated and signed by the security guard-on-duty, as well as other representatives of
respondent company. All deliveries made were likewise covered by sales invoices.
On the other hand, respondents alleged that it ordered from petitioner, by way of Purchase Order
No. 97-002, two thousand (2,000) pieces of bulk bags from petitioner at a unit price of (P380.00)
per piece.
According to respondents, the Purchase Order specifically provides that the bulk bags were to be
delivered at Hi-Cement Corporation to Mr. Raul Ambrosio, respondent companys checker and
authorized representative assigned thereat. Subsequently, however, the ordered bulk bags were
not delivered to respondent company, the same not having been received by the authorized
representative in conformity with the terms of the Purchase Order.
Meanwhile, thirty (30) days elapsed from the time the last alleged delivery was made but no
payment was effected by respondent company. After giving 3 demand letters, petitioner filed a
complaint for sum of money against respondents.
On January 25, 2005, the RTC rendered its decision in favor of the plaintiff NFF INDUSTRIAL
CORPORATION and against the defendant Corporation G & L Associated Brokerage, Inc.
ISSUE: Whether or not there was valid delivery on the part of petitioner in accordance with law,
which would give rise to an obligation to pay on the part of respondent for the value of the bulk
bags
HELD: The resolution of the issue at bar necessitates a scrutiny of the concept of delivery in
the context of the Law on Sales. 33 Under the Civil Code, the vendor is bound to transfer the
ownership of and deliver, as well as warrant the thing which is the object of the sale. The
ownership of thing sold is considered acquired by the vendee once it is delivered to him in the
following wise:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary
Art. 1496. The ownership of the thing sold is acquired by the vendee from the moment it
is delivered to him in any of the ways specified in Articles 1497 to 1501, or in any other
manner signifying an agreement that the possession is transferred from the vendor to the
vendee.

Art. 1497. The thing sold shall be understood as delivered, when it is placed in the
control and possession of the vendee.
Thus, ownership does not pass by mere stipulation but only by delivery. Manresa
explains, the delivery of the thing x x x signifies that title has passed from the seller to
the buyer." Moreover, according to Tolentino, the purpose of delivery is not only for the
enjoyment of the thing but also a mode of acquiring dominion and determines the
transmission of ownership, the birth of the real right. The delivery under any of the forms
provided by Articles 1497 to 1505 of the Civil Code signifies that the transmission of
ownership from vendor to vendee has taken place. Here, emphasis is placed on Article
1497 of the Civil Code, which contemplates what is known as real or actual delivery,
when the thing sold is placed in the control and possession of the
vendee.nRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
In Equatorial Realty Development, Inc. v. Mayfair Theater, Inc., the concept of delivery
was elucidated, to wit:
Delivery has been described as a composite act, a thing in which both parties must join and the
minds of both parties concur. It is an act by which one party parts with the title to and the
possession of the property, and the other acquires the right to and the possession of the same. In
its natural sense, delivery means something in addition to the delivery of property or title; it
means transfer of possession. In the Law on Sales, delivery may be either actual or constructive,
but both forms of delivery contemplate "the absolute giving up of the control and custody of
the property on the part of the vendor, and the assumption of the same by the vendee."
Applying the foregoing criteria to the case at bar, We find that there were various occasions of
delivery by petitioner to respondents, and the same was duly acknowledged by respondent
Trinidad.
Based on the foregoing, it is clear that petitioner has actually delivered the bulk bags to
respondent company, albeit the same was not delivered to the person named in the Purchase
Order. In addition, by allowing petitioners employee to pass through the guard-on-duty, who
allowed the entry of delivery into the premises of Hi-Cement, which is the designated delivery
site, respondents had effectively abandoned whatever infirmities may have attended the delivery
of the bulk bags. As a matter of fact, if respondents were wary about the manner of delivery, such
issue should have been brought up immediately after the first delivery was made. Instead, Mr.
Trinidad acknowledged receipt of the first batch of the bulk bags and even followed up the
remaining
balance
of
the
orders
for
delivery.
At any rate, We find merit in petitioners argument that despite its failure to strictly comply with
the instruction to deliver the bulk bags to the specified person, acceptance of delivery may be
inferred from the conduct of the respondents.52 Accordingly, respondents may be held liable to
pay for the price of the bulk bags pursuant to Article 1585 of the Civil Code, which provides
that:Ch
anRoblesVirtualawlibrary
ARTICLE 1585. The buyer is deemed to have accepted the goods when he intimates to
the seller that he has accepted them, or when the goods have been delivered to him, and he does
any act in relation to them which is inconsistent with the ownership of the seller, or when, after
the lapse of a reasonable time, he retains the goods without intimating to the seller that he has
rejected them.
Indeed, the use by respondent of the bulk bags is an act of dominion, which is inconsistent with
the ownership of petitioner. As correctly observed by the RTC, the use of the bulk bags by
respondents can be readily verified from the records of the case.

RUKS KONSULT AND CONSTRUCTION, Petitioner, v. ADWORLD SIGN AND


ADVERTISING CORPORATION* AND TRANSWORLD MEDIA ADS,
INC., Respondents.
G.R. No. 204866, January 21, 2015
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.
FIRST DIVISION
FACSTS: A complaint for damages filed by Adworld against Transworld and Comark
International Corporation (Comark) before the RTC. In the complaint, Adworld alleged that it is
the owner of a 75 ft. x 60 ft. billboard structure located at EDSA Tulay, which was misaligned
and its foundation impaired when, on August 11, 2003, the adjacent billboard structure owned by
Transworld and used by Comark collapsed and crashed against it. Adworld sent Transworld and
Comark a letter demanding payment for the repairs of its billboard as well as loss of rental
income.
As Adworlds final demand letter also went unheeded, it was constrained to file the instant
complaint, praying for damages and for indemnity for loss of income.
In its Answer with Counterclaim, Transworld averred that the collapse of its billboard structure
was due to extraordinarily strong winds that occurred instantly and unexpectedly. Transworld
likewise filed a Third-Party Complaint against Ruks, the company which built the collapsed
billboard structure in the formers favor. It was alleged therein that the structure constructed by
Ruks had a weak and poor foundation not suited for billboards, thus, prone to collapse, and as
such, Ruks should ultimately be held liable for the damages caused to Adworlds billboard
structure.
Lastly, Ruks admitted that it entered into a contract with Transworld for the construction of the
latters billboard structure, but denied liability for the damages caused by its collapse. It
contended that when Transworld hired its services, there was already an existing foundation for
the billboard and that it merely finished the structure according to the terms and conditions of its
contract with the latter.
RTC ultimately ruled in Adworlds favor, and accordingly, declared, inter alia, Transworld and
Ruks jointly and severally liable to Adworld.
RTC found both Transworld and Ruks negligent in the construction of the collapsed billboard as
they knew that the foundation supporting the same was weak and would pose danger to the
safety of the motorists and the other adjacent properties, such as Adworlds billboard, and yet,
they did not do anything to remedy the situation. In particular, the RTC explained that
Transworld was made aware by Ruks that the initial construction of the lower structure of its
billboard did not have the proper foundation and would require additional columns and pedestals
to support the structure. Notwithstanding, however, Ruks proceeded with the construction of the
billboards upper structure and merely assumed that Transworld would reinforce its lower
structure. The RTC then concluded that these negligent acts were the direct and proximate cause
of the damages suffered by Adworlds billboard.
ISSUE: Whether or not the CA correctly affirmed the ruling of the RTC declaring Ruks jointly
and severally liable with Transworld for damages sustained by Adworld.
HELD: The CA correctly affirmed the RTCs finding that Transworlds initial construction of its
billboards lower structure without the proper foundation, and that of Rukss finishing its upper
structure and just merely assuming that Transworld would reinforce the weak foundation are the
two (2) successive acts which were the direct and proximate cause of the damages sustained by
Adworld. Worse, both Transworld and Ruks were fully aware that the foundation for the formers
billboard was weak; yet, neither of them took any positive step to reinforce the same. Clearly, the
foregoing circumstances show that both Transworld and Ruks are guilty of negligence in the
construction of the formers billboard, and perforce, should be held liable for its collapse and the
resulting damage to Adworlds billboard structure. As joint tortfeasors, therefore, they are
solidarily liable to Adworld. Verily, [j]oint tortfeasors are those who command, instigate,

promote, encourage, advise, countenance, cooperate in, aid or abet the commission of a tort, or
approve of it after it is done, if done for their benefit.
Under Article 2194 of the Civil Code, joint tortfeasors are solidarily liable for the resulting
damage. In other words, joint tortfeasors are each liable as principals, to the same extent and in
the same manner as if they had performed the wrongful act themselves. The Courts
pronouncement in People v. Velasco is instructive on this matter, to wit:
Where several causes producing an injury are concurrent and each is an efficient cause
without which the injury would not have happened, the injury may be attributed to all or
any of the causes and recovery may be had against any or all of the responsible
persons although under the circumstances 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 same. No actors
negligence ceases to be a proximate cause merely because it does not exceed the negligence of
other actors. Each wrongdoer is responsible for the entire result and is liable as though his acts
were
the
sole
cause
of
the
injury.
There is no contribution between joint [tortfeasors] whose liability is solidary since both of them
are liable for the total damage. Where the concurrent or successive negligent acts or
omissions of two or more persons, although acting independently, are in combination the
direct and proximate cause of a single injury to a third person, it is impossible to determine
in what proportion each contributed to the injury and either of them is responsible for the
whole injury. x x x
In conclusion, the CA correctly affirmed the ruling of the RTC declaring Ruks jointly and
severally liable with Transworld for damages sustained by Adworld.