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G.R. No. 102007 September 2, 1994


Rogelio Bayotas y Cordova was charged with Rape and eventually convicted thereof on June 19,
1991. Pending appeal of his conviction, Bayotas died on February 4, 1992 at the National Bilibid
Hospital due to cardio respiratory arrest. Consequently, the Supreme Court in its Resolution
dismissed the criminal aspect of the appeal. However, it required the Solicitor General to file its

The Solicitor General expressed that the death of accused-Bayotas did not extinguish his civil
liability as a result of his commission of the offense charged. Relying on the case of People
v. Sendaydiego it insists that the appeal should still be resolved for the purpose of reviewing his
conviction by the lower court on which the civil liability is based.

Counsel for the accused-appellant opposed that view arguing that the death of the accused while
judgment of conviction is pending appeal extinguishes both his criminal and civil penalties,


Whether or not the death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguish his civil liability?


Yes, the civil liability is extinguished. It is, thus, evident that as jurisprudence evolved from Castillo to
Torrijos, the rule established was that the survival of the civil liability depends on whether the same
can be predicated on sources of obligations other than delict. Stated differently, the claim for civil
liability is also extinguished together with the criminal action if it were solely based thereon, i.e., civil
liability ex delicto.

The ruling in Sendaydiego deviated from the expressed intent of Article 89. It allowed claims for civil
liability ex delicto to survive by ipso facto treating the civil action impliedly instituted with the criminal.
Sadly, reliance on this provision of law is misplaced. From the standpoint of procedural law, this
course taken in Sendaydiego cannot be sanctioned.

It is clear that money claims arising from delict do not form part of this exclusive enumeration.
Hence, there could be no legal basis in (1) treating a civil action ex delicto as an ordinary contractual
money claim referred to in Section 21, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court and (2) allowing it to survive by
filing a claim therefor before the estate of the deceased accused.

Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal liability as well as
the civil liability based solely thereon. As opined by Justice Regalado, in this regard, "the death of
the accused prior to final judgment terminates his criminal liability and only the civil
liability directly arising from and based solely on the offense committed


G.R. No. 147703 April 14, 2004


On July 27, 1994, accused Napoleon Roman y Macadangdang was found guilty and convicted of the
crime of reckless imprudence resulting to triple homicide, multiple physical injuries and damage to
property and to pay damages.

The court further ruled that in the event of the insolvency of accused, its employer bus line shall be
liable for the civil liabilities of the accused. Evidently, the judgment against accused had become
final and executory.

Admittedly, accused had jumped bail and remained at-large and as a result Section 8, Rule 124 of
the Rules of Court authorizes the dismissal of appeal when appellant jumps bail. Counsel for
accused, hired and provided by petitioner filed a notice of appeal which was denied by the trial court.

Simultaneously, on August 6, 1994, petitioner filed its notice of appeal from the judgment of the trial
court because as it alleged it has an interest in the outcome of the case against it employee.


Whether or not an employer, who dutifully participated in the defense of its accused-employee, may
appeal the judgment of conviction independently of the accused and subsidiary liable on its civil


The petition has no merit. Well-established in our jurisdiction is the principle that the appellate court
may, upon motion or motuproprio, dismiss an appeal during its pendency if the accused jumps bail
or flees to a foreign country during the pendency of the appeal.

In this case, the accused-employee has escaped and refused to surrender, thus, he is deemed to
have abandoned his appeal. Consequently, the judgment against him has become final and

The cases dealing with the subsidiary liability of employers uniformly declare that, strictly speaking,
they are not parties to the criminal cases instituted against their employees. Although in substance
and in effect, they have an interest therein, this fact should be viewed in the light of their subsidiary

However, only the civil liability of the accused arising from the crime charged is deemed impliedly
instituted in a criminal action. Hence, the subsidiary civil liability of the employer under Article 103 of
the Revised Penal Code may be enforced by execution on the basis of the judgment of conviction
meted out to the employee.

Thus, the decision convicting an employee in a criminal case because of absconding is binding and
conclusive upon its employer not only with regard to the former’s civil liability, but also with regard to
its amount. The liability of an employer cannot be separated from that of the employee.

Therefore, Phil. Rabbit Bus Lines Inc is liable for the civil aspect of the case.
G.R. No. L-21438 September 28, 1966

In March 1958, Rafael Carrascoso and several other Filipinos were tourists en route to Rome from
Manila. Carrascoso was issued a first class round trip ticket by Air France. But during a stop-over in
Bangkok, he was asked by the plane manager of Air France to vacate his seat because a white man
allegedly has a “better right” than him. Carrascoso protested but when things got heated and upon
advise of other Filipinos on board, Carrascoso gave up his seat and was transferred to the plane’s
tourist class.
After their tourist trip when Carrascoso was already in the Philippines, he sued Air France for
damages for the embarrassment he suffered during his trip. In court, Carrascoso testified, among
others, that when he was forced to take the tourist class, he went to the plane’s pantry where he was
approached by a plane purser who told him that he noted in the plane’s journal the following:
First-class passenger was forced to go to the tourist class against his will, and that the
captain refused to intervene
The said testimony was admitted in favor of Carrascoso. The trial court eventually awarded
damages in favor of Carrascoso. This was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
Air France is assailing the decision of the trial court and the CA. It avers that the issuance of a first
class ticket to Carrascoso was not an assurance that he will be seated in first class because
allegedly in truth and in fact, that was not the true intent between the parties.
Air France also questioned the admissibility of Carrascoso’s testimony regarding the note made by
the purser because the said note was never presented in court.

Whether or not there is sufficient averment in the complaint to justify an award for moral damages in
favour of Carascoso?

Yes, there is. First, that there was a contract to furnish plaintiff a first class passage covering,
amongst others, the Bangkok-Teheran leg; Second, that said contract was breached when
petitioner failed to furnish first class transportation at Bangkok; and Third, that there was bad
faith when petitioner's employee compelled Carrascoso to leave his first class accommodation
berth "after he was already, seated" and to take a seat in the tourist class, by reason of which
he suffered inconvenience, embarrassments and humiliations. It is true that there is no specific
mention of the term bad faith in the complaint. But, the inference of bad faith is there, it may be
drawn from the facts and circumstances set forth therein


G.R. No. 74761 November 6, 1990

Petitioner spouses Emmanuel and Natividad Andamo are the owners of a parcel of land
situated in Biga (Biluso) Silang, Cavite which is adjacent to that of private respondent,
Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, Inc. Within the land of respondent corporation,
waterpaths and contrivances, including an artificial lake, were constructed, which allegedly
inundated and eroded petitioners' land, caused a young man to drown, damaged petitioners'
crops and plants, washed away costly fences, endangered the lives of petitioners and their
laborer’s during rainy and stormy seasons, and exposed plants and other improvements to

In July 1982, petitioners instituted a criminal action against the officers and directors of herein
respondent corporation, for destruction by means of inundation under Article 324 of the Revised
Penal Code.

February 22, 1983, petitioners filed another action against respondent corporation, this time a
civil case for damages with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction before the
same court.

The trial court issued order dismissing Civil Case No. TG-748 for lack of jurisdiction, as the
criminal case which was instituted ahead of the civil case was still unresolved


Whether or not the dismissal of the said civil case is proper?


It is not. A careful examination of the aforequoted complaint shows that the civil action is one
under Articles 2176 and 2177 of the Civil Code on quasi-delicts. All the elements of a quasi-
delict are present, to wit: (a) damages suffered by the plaintiff, (b) fault or negligence of the
defendant, or some other person for whose acts he must respond; and (c) the connection of
cause and effect between the fault or negligence of the defendant and the damages incurred by
the plaintiff.

The fact remains that petitioners' complaint sufficiently alleges that petitioners have sustained
and will continue to sustain damage due to the waterpaths and contrivances built by respondent

Indeed, the recitals of the complaint, the alleged presence of damage to the petitioners, the act
or omission of respondent corporation supposedly constituting fault or negligence, and the
causal connection between the act and the damage, with no pre-existing contractual obligation
between the parties make a clear case of a quasi delict or culpa aquiliana.



On November 11, 2002, Reedley International School (RIS) dismissed Tans son, Justin Albert
for violating the terms of his disciplinary probation and impose condition such as excluding his
son from participating in the graduation ceremonies.

Tan filed a complaint in the Dep-Ed for violation of the Manual of Regulation of Private Schools
against RIS and upon investigation Dep-Ed found that RIS code violation point system violated
due process and the Dep-Ed nullified it. Dep-Ed ordered RIS to readmit Justin Albert without
any condition. Thus, he was able to graduate from RIS and participate in the commencement

After the graduation ceremonies, Tan met Bernice C. Ching, a fellow parent at RIS. In their
conversation, Tan intimated filing a suit against the officers of RIS including petitioner who was
the assistant headmaster.

Ching informed petitioner and told him that Tan was planning to sue the officers of RIS in their
personal capacities. Before they hung up, petitioner told Ching:

“Okay, you too, take care and be careful talking to [Tan], that’s dangerous.”

Ching then called Tan and informed him that petitioner said talking to him was dangerous.

Insulted, Tan filed a complaint for grave oral defamation in the Office of the City Prosecutor of
Mandaluyong City against petitioner.


Whether or not petitioner could be liable for damages for the said defamation?


Yes, petitioner could have been liable for damages under Article 26 of the Civil Code[:

Article 26. Every person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of his
neighbors and other persons. The following and similar acts, though they may not constitute a
criminal offense, shall produce a cause of action for damages, prevention and other relief:

(3) Intriguing to cause another to be alienated from his friends;

Petitioner is reminded that, as an educator, he is supposed to be a role model for the youth. As
such, he should always act with justice, give everyone his due and observe honesty and good


G.R. No. 111127 July 26, 1996


Engracio Fabre, Jr. and his wife were owners Mazda minibus. Private respondent Word for the
World Christian Fellowship Inc. arranged with petitioners for the transportation of 33 members of
its Young Adults Ministry from Manila to La union and back, paid the amount of P3,000.00.
Petitioner PorfirionCabil drove the minibus. However, the bridge at Carmen was under repair,
Cabil take the detour, it was 11:30 pm, the road was slippery because it was raining, causing
the bus running at speed 50 kilometers per hour, to skid to the left road shoulder. The bus hit
the traffic steel brace and sign along the road and rammed the fence of one Jesus Escano, then
turned over and landed on its left side, coming to a full stop only after a series of impacts.
Several passengers were injured. The driver claimed that that he did not see the curve until it
was too late, because it was dark and no sign on the road.
Seriously injured, Amyline Antonio brought this case in the RTC of Makati. No
convincing evidence was shown that the minibus was properly checked for travel to long
distance trip. The RTC renders judgment against defendants Mr. & Mrs. Engracio Fabre, Jr. and
Porfirio Cabil y Jamil are ordered to pay jointly and severally to the plaintiffs. Court of appeals
affirmed the decision of the trial court with respect to Amyline and sustained the trial court’s
finding that the petitioner Cabli failed to exercise due care and precaution in the operation of his
vehicle. The Court of Appeals held that the Fabre were themselves presumptively negligent.
Petitioners raise the following issues;


Whether or not petitioners were negligent and were liable for the injuries suffered by private


The court finds that the Fabre failed to exercise the diligence of a good father of the family in the
selection and supervision of their employee is fully supported by the evidence on record of by factual
findings of the two courts as final and conclusive. As to the driver, PorfirionCabil given the conditions
of the road and considering that the trip was Cabil’s first one outside of Manila, he should have been
driven his vehicle at a moderate speed. There is a testimony that, that portion of the road should
only be running 20 kilometers per hour, so at the speed of 50 kilometers per hour, Cabil was running
very high. Cabil was found by the Court grossly negligent and should be held liable for the injuries
suffered by the private respondents Amyline Antonio.

No distinction between one whose principal business activity is the carrying of persons or goods or
both, the law avoided distinction between a person or enterprise offering transportation service on a
regular or scheduled basis. As common carriers the Fabre should exercise “extraordinary diligence
for the safe transportation of the passengers to their destination. Supporting the finding of the trial
court and of the appellate court that petitioners are liable under Arts. 2176 and 2180 for quasi-delict,
fully justify findings them guilty of breach of contract of carriage the Civil Code.


FRANCISCO SALVA, respondents. G.R. No. 122039 May 31, 2000

Private respondent Eliza Jujeurche G. Sunga, a college freshman majoring in Physical Education at
the Siliman University, took a passenger jeepney owned and operated by petitioner Vicente Calalas
and due to overloading she was given by the conductor an "extension seat.
On the way to PoblacionSibulan, Negros Occidental, the jeepney stopped to let a passenger off.
Sunga gave way to the outgoing passenger and suddenly an Isuzu truck driven by Iglecerio Verena
and owned by Francisco Salva bumped the left rear portion of the jeepney. As a result, Sunga was
injured. She sustained a fracture and was hospitalized for a month.
Sunga filed a complaint for damages against Calalas, alleging violation of the contract of carriage by
the former in failing to exercise the diligence required as a common carrier. Calalas, on the other
hand, filed a third-party complaint against Francisco Salva, the owner of the Isuzu truck.


Whether or not petitioner should be liable for the damages caused by him in failing to exercise the
diligence required of him as a common carrier and not the owner if the truck who caused such


Yes, Calalas should be held liable.

The argument that Sunga is bound by the ruling in Civil Case No. 3490 finding the driver and the
owner of truck liable for quasi-delict ignores the fact that she was never a party to that case and,
therefore, the principle of res judicata does not apply.

Nor are the issues in Civil Case No. 3490 and in the present case the same. The issue in Civil Case
No. 3490 was whether Salva and his driver Verena were liable for quasi-delict for the damage
caused to petitioner's jeepney. On the other hand, the issue in this case is whether petitioner is liable
on his contract of carriage. The first, quasi-delict, also known as culpa aquiliana or culpa extra
contractual, has as its source the negligence of the tortfeasor. The second, breach of contract
or culpa contractual, is premised upon the negligence in the performance of a contractual obligation.

There is, thus, no basis for the contention that the ruling in Civil Case No. 3490, finding Salva and
his driver Verena liable for the damage to petitioner's jeepney, should be binding on Sunga. It is
immaterial that the proximate cause of the collision between the jeepney and the truck was the
negligence of the truck driver. The doctrine of proximate cause is applicable only in actions for quasi-
delict, not in actions involving breach of contract

8. PORFIRIO P. CINCO, vs.HON. MATEO CANONOY, Presiding Judge of the Third Branch of
the Court of First Instance of Cebu, HON. LORENZO B. BARRIA City Judge of Mandaue City,

G.R. No. L-33171 May 31, 1979


Petitioner herein filed a Complaint in the City Court of Mandaue City, Cebu, Branch II, for the
recovery of damages on account of a vehicular accident involving his automobile and a jeepney
driven by Romeo Hilot and operated by ValerianaPepito and Carlos Pepito.

Subsequent thereto, a criminal case was filed against the driver, Romeo Hilot, arising from the same
accident. At the pre-trial in the civil case, counsel for private respondents moved to suspend the civil
action pending the final determination of the criminal suit, invoking Rule 111, Section 3 (b) of the
Rules of Court.

The City Court of Mandaue City ordered the suspension of the civil case pending the resolution of
the criminal case. CFI of Cebu also upheld the decision of the lower Court and dismissed the
Petition for certiorari on the ground that there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the
City Court in suspending the civil action inasmuch as damage to property is not one of the instances
when an independent civil action is proper.


Whether or not there can be an independent civil action for damage to property during the pendency
of the criminal action.


Yes, there can be.

Liability in this case being predicated on quasi-delict the civil case may proceed as a separate and
independent civil action, as specifically provided for in Article 2177 of the Civil Code.

Art. 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligence under the preceding article is entirely
separate and distinct from the civil liability arising from negligence under the Penal
Code. But the plaintiff cannot recover damages twice for the same act or omission of
the defendant.

The separate and independent civil action for a quasi-delict is also clearly recognized in section 2,
Rule 111 of the Rules of Court, reading:

Sec. 2. Independent civil action. — In the cases provided for in Articles 31, 32, 33, 34
and 2177 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, Are independent civil action entirely
separate and distinct from the c action, may be brought by the injured party during
the pendency of the criminal case, provided the right is reserved as required in the
preceding section. Such civil action shall proceed independently of the criminal
prosecution, and shall require only a preponderance of evidence.

Tested by the hereinabove-quoted legal tenets, it has to be held that the City Court, in surrounding
the civil action, erred in placing reliance on section 3 (b) of Rule 111 of the Rules of
Court, supra which refers to "other civil actions arising from cases not included in the section just

Stated otherwise, the civil action referred to in Secs. 3(a) and 3(b) of Rule 111 of the Rules of Court,
which should be suspended after the criminal action has been instituted is that arising from the
criminal offense not the civil action based on quasi-delict.


G.R. No. 108164 February 23, 1995


Private respondent Luis A. Luna applied for and was accorded, a FAREASTCARD issued by
petitioner Far East Bank and Trust. Upon his request, the bank also issued a supplemental card to
private respondent Clarita S. Luna.
In August 1988, Clarita lost her credit card. FEBTC was informed. In order to replace the lost card,
Clarita submitted an affidavit of loss. The bank's internal security procedures and policy placed the
lost card, along with the principal card, as a "Hot Card" or "Cancelled Card" in its master file.

On 06 October 1988, Luis tendered a despedida lunch for a close friend and to pay for the lunch,
Luis presented his FAREASTCARD. Subsequently the card was not honored and he was forced to
pay in cash the bill amounting to P588.13. Naturally, Luis felt embarrassed by this incident.

Private respondent Luis Luna, through counsel, demanded from FEBTC the payment of damages.
Adrian V. Festejo, vice-president of the bank, expressed the bank's apologies to Luis and also sent a
letter to the Manager of the Bahia Rooftop Restaurant to assure the latter that private respondents
were "very valued clients" of FEBTC.

RTC of Pasig rendered a decision ordering FEBTC to pay private respondents (a) P300,000.00
moral damages; (b) P50,000.00 exemplary damages; and (c) P20,000.00 attorney's fees.


Whether or not FEBTC should be liable for damages? What damages should be liable?


FEBTC is not liable for moral damages but liable to exemplary and nominal damages.

In culpa contractual, moral damages may be recovered where the defendant is shown to have acted
in bad faith or with malice in the breach of the contract. 2 The Civil Code provides:

Art. 2220. Willful injury to property may be a legal ground for awarding moral damages if the
court should find that, under the circumstances, such damages are justly due. The same rule
applies to breaches of contract where the defendant acted fraudulently or in bad faith.

Bad faith, in this context, includes gross, but not simple, negligence. Nothing in the findings of the
trial court and the appellate court, however, can sufficiently indicate any deliberate intent on the part
of FEBTC to cause harm to private respondents. Neither could FEBTC's negligence in failing to give
personal notice to Luis be considered so gross as to amount to malice or bad faith. The Court finds
that the award of moral damages made by the court a quo, affirmed by the appellate court, to be
inordinate and substantially devoid of legal basis.

Exemplary or corrective damages, in turn, are intended to serve as an example or as correction for
the public good in addition to moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages. In contracts
and quasi-contracts, the court may award exemplary damages if the defendant is found to have
acted in a wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive, or malevolent manner. Given the above
premises and the factual circumstances here obtaining, it would also be just as arduous to sustain
the exemplary damages granted by the courts below.

Nevertheless, the bank's failure, even perhaps inadvertent, to honor its credit card issued to private
respondent Luis should entitle him to recover a measure of damages sanctioned under Article 2221
of the Civil Code providing thusly:

Art. 2221. Nominal damages are adjudicated in order that a right of the plaintiff, which has
been violated or invaded by the defendant, may be vindicated or recognized, and not for the
purpose of indemnifying the plaintiff for any loss suffered by him.

G.R. No. L-12219 March 15, 1918


Amado Picart seeks to recover of the defendant, Frank Smith, jr., the sum of P31,000, as damages
alleged to have been caused by an automobile driven by the defendant.

Plaintiff Amado Picart was riding on his pony on the Carlatan Bridge in San Fernando, La Union
when the defendant, riding on his car, approached. Defendant blew his horn to give warning.
Plaintiff moved the horse to the right instead of moving to the left, reasoning that he had no
sufficient time to move to the right direction. Defendant continued to approach, and when he
had gotten quite near, he quickly turned to the left. The horse was frightened that it turned his
body across the bridge. His limb was broken and the rider was thrown off and got injured. The
horse died. An action for damages was filed against the defendant.


Whether or not the defendant in maneuvering his car was guilty of negligence such as gives rise
to a civil obligation to repair the damage done?


As the defendant started across the bridge, he had the right to assume that the horse and rider
would pass over to the proper side; but as he moved toward the center of the bridge it was
demonstrated to his eyes that this would not be done; and he must in a moment have perceived
that it was too late for the horse to cross with safety in front of the moving vehicle. In the nature
of things this change of situation occurred while the automobile was yet some distance away;
and from this moment it was not longer within the power of the plaintiff to escape being run
down by going to a place of greater safety. The control of the situation had then passed entirely
to the defendant.

The test by which to determine the existence of negligence in a particular case may be stated
as follows: Did the defendant in doing the alleged negligent act use that reasonable care and
caution which an ordinarily prudent person would have used in the same situation? If not, then
he is guilty of negligence.

It goes without saying that the plaintiff himself was not free from fault, for he was guilty of
antecedent negligence in planting himself on the wrong side of the road. But as we have already
stated, the defendant was also negligent; and in such case the problem always is to discover
which agent is immediately and directly responsible. It will be noted that the negligent acts of the
two parties were not contemporaneous, since the negligence of the defendant succeeded the
negligence of the plaintiff by an appreciable interval. Under these circumstances the law is that
the person who has the last fair chance to avoid the impending harm and fails to do so is
chargeable with the consequences, without reference to the prior negligence of the other party.
From what has been said it results that the judgment of the lower court must be reversed, and
judgment is rendered that the plaintiff to recover from the defendant the sum of two hundred pesos
(P200), with costs of other instances.


BERNARDO as Guardian Ad Litem for Minors JOJO, JEFFREY and JO-AN, all surnamed

G.R. No. 127326 December 23, 1999


Jose Bernardo managed a stall at the Baguio City meat market. On 14 January 1985 at around 7:50
in the morning, Jose together with other meat vendors went out of their stalls to meet a jeepney
loaded with slaughtered pigs in order to select the meat they would sell for the day. Jose was the
very first to reach the parked jeepney. Grasping the handlebars of the vehicle Jose suddenly
stiffened and trembled as though suffering from an epileptic seizure. In no time the other vendors
rushed to Jose and they discovered that the antenna of the jeepney bearing the pigs had gotten
entangled with an open electric wire. Jose was rushed to hospital but suddenly died thereafter.

Caridad O. Bernardo, widow of Jose and their minor children filed a complaint against BENECO
before the RTC of Baguio City for a sum of money and damages arising from the electrocution of
Jose Bernardo. BENECO filed a third-party complaint against Guillermo Canave, Jr., the jeepney

RTC ruled in favor of the Bernardos and ordered BENECO to pay them damages. BENECO
questions the award of damages and alleges that the death of Jose Bernardo were directly
attributable to the fault and negligence of jeepney owner Guillermo Canave, Jr.


Whether or not BENECO was solely liable for negligence in the electrocution and death
of Bernardo?


Yes, BENECO was liable for the death of Bernardo.

BENECO questions the grant of moral damages and attorney's fees on the same ground of non-
culpability. It is settled that moral damages are not intended to enrich the complainant but to serve to
obviate his/her spiritual suffering by reason of the culpable action of the defendant. In the instant
case, we are of the opinion that moral damages in the amount of P50,000.00 are more in accord
with the injury suffered by private respondent and her children.

Also BENECO contends that exemplary damages should not be awarded as the amount claimed
was not specified in the body nor in the prayer of the complaint. BENECO's contention deserves no
merit. The amount of exemplary damages need not be pleaded in the complaint because the same
cannot be predetermined. In fact, the amount of exemplary damages need not be proved because
its determination is contingent upon or incidental to the amount of compensatory damages that may
be awarded to the claimant.
Exemplary damages are imposed by way of example or correction for the public good, in addition to
moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages. In quasi-delict, exemplary damages are
awarded when the act or omission which caused injury is attended by gross negligence. In the
instant case, there is a clear showing of BENECO's gross negligence when it failed to detect, much
less to repair, for an inexcusably long period of (7) years the uninsulated connection which caused
the death of Jose Bernardo. Under these circumstances, the court did not err in awarding exemplary
damages to private respondent Bernardo in the amount of P20,000.00.



G.R. No. L-57079 September 29, 1989


Defendant spouses filed an action for damages in the former CFI of Negros Occidental against
petitioner Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company for the injuries they sustained in the
evening of July 30, 1968 when their jeep ran over a mound of earth and fell into an open trench, an
excavation allegedly undertaken by PLDT for the installation of its underground conduit system.

PLDT, in its answer, denies liability on the contention that the injuries sustained by respondent
spouses were the result of their own negligence and that the entity which should be held
responsible, if at all, is L.R. Barte and Company (Barte, for short), an independent contractor which
undertook the construction of the manhole and the conduit system.3 Accordingly, PLDT filed a third-
party complaint against Barte. In answer thereto, Barte claimed that it was not aware nor was it
notified of the accident involving respondent spouses and that it had complied with the terms of its
contract with PLDT.

The RTC rendered a decision in favor of private respondents.


Whether or not PLDT was negligent and should be liable for damages?


In the instant case the accident which befell private respondents was due to the lack of diligence of
respondent Antonio Esteban and was not imputable to negligent omission on the part of petitioner

As per findings of the Supreme Court it clearly show that the negligence of respondent Antonio
Esteban was not only contributory to his injuries and those of his wife but goes to the very cause of
the occurrence of the accident, and thereby precludes their right to recover damages. By exercising
reasonable care and prudence, respondent Antonio Esteban could have avoided the injurious
consequences of his act, even assuming arguendo that there was some alleged negligence on the
part of petitioner.

The private respondents already knew of the presence of said excavations. It was not the lack of
knowledge of these excavations which caused the jeep of respondents to fall into the excavation but
the unexplained sudden swerving of the jeep from the inside lane towards the accident mound.
It is basic that private respondents cannot charge PLDT for their injuries where their own failure to
exercise due and reasonable care was the cause thereof. Furthermore, respondent Also, Antonio
Esteban had the last clear chance or opportunity to avoid the accident, notwithstanding the
negligence he imputes to petitioner PLDT.



G.R. No. 73998 November 14, 1988


Pedro T. Layugan filed an action for damages against Godofredo Isidro, alleging that on May 15,
1979 while at Baretbet, Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya, the Plaintiff and a companion were repairing the
tire of their cargo truck; that defendant's driven recklessly by Daniel Serrano bumped the plaintiff,
that as a result, plaintiff was injured and hospitalized and spent TEN THOUSAND PESOS
(Pl0,000.00) and will incur more expenses as he recuperates from said injuries.

Defendant admitted his ownership of the vehicle involved in the accident driven by Daniel Serrano.
Defendant countered that the plaintiff was merely a bystander, not a truck helper being a brother-in-
law law of the driver of said truck; that the proximate cause of the incident was the failure of the
driver of the parked truck in installing the early warning device, hence the driver of the parked car
should be liable for damages sustained by the truck of the herein defendant in the amount of more
than P20,000.00; that plaintiff being a mere bystander and hitchhiker must suffer all the damages he

From the evidence presented during trial, it has been established clearly that the injuries sustained
by the plaintiff was caused by defendant's driver, Daniel Serrano also supported by police report.


Whether or not the petitioner Pedro Layugan is negligent under the doctrine of Res ipsa loquitur?


Respondent Isidro's contention is untenable.

The evidence on record discloses that three or four meters from the rear of the parked truck, a
lighted kerosene lamp were placed.

Whether the cargo truck was parked along the road or on half the shoulder of the right side of the
road would be of no moment taking into account the warning device consisting of the lighted
kerosene lamp placed three or four meters from the back of the truck. But despite this warning which
we rule as sufficient, the Isuzu truck driven by Daniel Serrano, an employee of the private
respondent, still bumped the rear of the parked cargo truck

It is clear from the foregoing disquisition that the absence or want of care of Daniel Serrano has
been established by clear and convincing evidence.

The doctrine of Res ipsa loquitur as a rule of evidence is peculiar to the law of negligence which
recognizes that prima facie negligence may be established without direct proof and furnishes a
substitute for specific proof of negligence. The doctrine is not a rule of substantive law but merely a
mode of proof or a mere procedural convenience.


G.R. No. 118231 July 5, 1996


Dr. Batiquin was a Resident Physician at the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital, Dumaguete City
and also the Actg. Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the said Hospital.

In the morning of September 21, 1988 Dr. Batiquin with the assistance of other physician and
student nurses on the hospital she performed a simple caesarean section on Mrs. Villegas and after
45 minutes Mrs. Villegas delivered her first child, Rachel Acogido. Soon after leaving the Hospital
Mrs. Villegas began to suffer abdominal pains and complained of being feverish. She also gradually
lost her appetite, so she consulted Dr. Batiquin who prescribed for her certain medicines. The
abdominal pains and fever kept on bothering Mrs. Villegas no end despite the medications
administered by Dr. Batiquin. As a result she consulted Dr. Ma. Salud Kho at the Holy Child's
Hospital in Dumaguete City.

Dr. Salud suggested Mrs. Villegas to undergo an examination. The results of all those examinations
impelled Dr. Kho to suggest that Mrs. Villegas submit to another surgery. As a result of the surgery,
Dr. Kho found whitish-yellow discharge inside, an ovarian cyst on each of the left and right ovaries
which gave out pus, dirt and pus behind the uterus, and a piece of rubber material on the right side
of the uterus. This piece of rubber could be a torn section of a surgeon's gloves or could have come
from other sources. And this foreign body was the cause of the infection of the ovaries and
consequently of all the discomfort suffered by Mrs. Villegas after her delivery on September 21,

The piece of rubber allegedly found was not presented in court, and although Dr. Ma. Salud Kho
testified that she sent it to a pathologist in Cebu City for examination.


Whether or not Dr. Batiquin is liable under the doctrine of Res IpsaLoquitor?


First, considering that Dr. Kho is a credible witness, her positive testimony [that a piece of rubber
was indeed found in private respondent Villega's abdomen] prevails over the negative testimony in
favor of the petitioners.

As such, the rule of res ipsa loquitur comes to fore which stated "Where the thing which causes
injury is shown to be under the management of the defendant, and the accident is such as in the
ordinary course of things does not happen in those who have the management use proper care, it
affords reasonable evidence, in the absence of an explanation by the defendant, that the accident
arose from want of care.
In the instant case, all the requisites for recourse to the doctrine are present. The petitioners, in this
regard, failed to overcome the presumption of negligence arising from resort to the doctrine of res
ipsa loquitur. Dr. Batiquin is therefore liable for negligently leaving behind a piece of rubber in private
respondent Villegas's abdomen and for all the adverse effects thereof.



G.R. No. 132266 December 21, 1999


On 28 August 1988, around 1:30 to 2:00 in the morning, Romeo So Vasquez, was driving a Honda
motorcycle around Fuente Osmeña Rotunda. Upon the other hand, Benjamin Abad manager of
Appellant Castilex Industrial Corporation, registered owner of a Toyota Hi-Lux Pick-up. In the
process, the motorcycle of Vasquez and the pick-up of Abad collided with each other causing severe
injuries to the former. Abad stopped his vehicle and brought Vasquez to the Southern Islands
Hospital and later to the Cebu Doctor's Hospital.

Vasquez died at the Cebu Doctor's Hospital and Abad signed an acknowledgment of Responsible
Party wherein he agreed to pay whatever expenses may incur.

A Criminal Case was filed against Abad but was subsequently dismissed for failure to prosecute but
an action for damages was commenced by the parents of the deceased Romeo So Vasquez against
Jose Benjamin Abad and Castilex Industrial Corporation.

The trial court ordered Jose Benjamin Abad and petitioner Castilex Industrial Corporation to pay
jointly and solidarily (1) Spouses Vasquez the amounts for burial expenses; moral damages;
attorney's fees; for loss of earning capacity; and (2) Cebu Doctor's Hospital for unpaid medical and
hospital bills.

CASTILEX and ABAD separately appealed the decision. Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling of the
trial court holding ABAD and CASTILEX liable but held that the liability of the latter is "only vicarious
and not solidary" with the former.


Whether or not ABAD being a manager of the petitioner was acting within the scope of his assigned
tasks and thus the petitioner CASTILEX is vicariously liable?


ABAD was not acting within the scope of his assigned task when the accident occurred and thus
Castilex Industrial Corp. is not vicariously liable.

ABAD was a Production Manager of petitioner CASTILEX at the time of the tort occurrence. As to
whether he was acting within the scope of his assigned task is a question of fact.

In the case at bar, it is undisputed that ABAD did some overtime work at the petitioner's office, which
was located in Cabangcalan, Mandaue City. Thereafter, he went to Goldie's Restaurant in Fuente
Osmeña, Cebu City, which is about seven kilometers away from petitioner's place of business.
At the Goldie's Restaurant, ABAD took some snacks and had a chat with friends. It was when ABAD
was leaving the restaurant that the incident in question occurred. That same witness for the private
respondents testified that at the time of the vehicular accident, ABAD was with a woman in his car,
who then shouted: "Daddy, Daddy!". To the mind of this Court, ABAD was engaged in affairs of his
own or was carrying out a personal purpose not in line with his duties at the time of vehicular
accident. It was then about 2:00 a.m. of 28 August 1988, way beyond the normal working hours.
ABAD's working day had ended; his overtime work had already been completed. His being at a
place which, as petitioner put it, was known as a "haven for prostitutes, pimps, and drug pushers and
addicts," had no connection to petitioner's business; neither had it any relation to his duties as a

Thus, justice and equity require that petitioner be relieved of vicarious liability for the consequences
of the negligence of ABAD in driving its vehicle.

16. Caedo, et al. vs. Yu Khe Thai, et al.

G.R. No. L-20392 December 18, 1968


The mishap occurred at about 5:30 in the morning of March 24, 1958 on Highway 54 (now E.
de los Santos Avenue) in the vicinity of San Lorenzo Village. Marcial was driving his Mercury car on
his way from his home in Quezon City to the airport, where his son Ephraim was scheduled to take a
plane for Mindoro. With them in the car were Mrs. Caedo and three daughters. Coming from the
opposite direction was the Cadillac of Yu Khe Thai, with his driver Rafael Bernardo at the wheel,
taking the owner from his Parañaque home to WackWack for his regular round of golf. The two cars
were traveling at fairly moderate speeds, considering the condition of the road and the absence of
traffic — the Mercury at 40 to 50 kilometers per hour, and the Cadillac at approximately 30 to 35
miles (48 to 56 kilometers). Their headlights were mutually noticeable from a distance. Ahead of the
Cadillac, going in the same direction, was a caretella owned by a certain Pedro Bautista.
The carretela was towing another horse by means of a short rope coiled around the rig's vertical post
on the right side and held at the other end by Pedro's son, Julian Bautista.

Rafael Bernardo testified that he was almost upon the rig when he saw it in front of him, only eight
meters away. This is the first clear indication of his negligence. The carretela was provided with two
lights, one on each side, and they should have given him sufficient warning to take the necessary
precautions. And even if he did not notice the lights, as he claimed later on at the trial,
the carretela should anyway have been visible to him from afar if he had been careful, as it must
have been in the beam of his headlights for a considerable while.

In the meantime the Mercury was coming on its own lane from the opposite direction. Bernardo,
instead of slowing down or stopping altogether behind the carretela until that lane was clear, veered
to the left in order to pass. As he did so the curved end of his car's right rear bumper caught the
forward rim of the rig's left wheel, wrenching it off and carrying it along as the car skidded obliquely
to the other lane, where it collided with the oncoming vehicle. On his part Caedo had seen the
Cadillac on its own lane; he slackened his speed, judged the distances in relation to
the carretela and concluded that the Cadillac would wait behind. Bernardo, however, decided to take
a gamble — beat the Mercury to the point where it would be in line with the carretela, or else
squeeze in between them in any case. It was a risky maneuver either way, and the risk should have
been quite obvious. Or, since the car was moving at from 30 to 35 miles per hour (or 25 miles
according to Yu Khe Thai) it was already too late to apply the brakes when Bernardo saw
the carretela only eight meters in front of him, and so he had to swerve to the left in spite of the
presence of the oncoming car on the opposite lane. As it was, the clearance Bernardo gave for his
car's right side was insufficient. Its rear bumper, as already stated, caught the wheel of
the carretela and wrenched it loose. Caedo, confronted with the unexpected situation, tried to avoid
the collision at the last moment by going farther to the right, but was unsuccessful. The photographs
taken at the scene show that the right wheels of his car were on the unpaved shoulder of the road at
the moment of impact.


(1) who was responsible for the accident?

(2) if it was defendant Rafael Bernardo, was his employer, defendant Yu Khe Thai, solidarily
liable with him? On the first question the trial court found Rafael Bernardo negligent; and on the
second, held his employer solidarily liable with him.


There is no doubt at all that the collision was directly traceable to Rafael Bernardo's
negligence and that he must be held liable for the damages suffered by the plaintiffs. The next
question is whether or not Yu Khe Thai, as owner of the Cadillac, is solidarily liable with the driver.
The applicable law is Article 2184 of the Civil Code, which reads:

ART. 2184. In motor vehicle mishaps, the owner is solidarily liable with his driver, if the former,
who was in the vehicle, could have, by the use of due diligence, prevented the misfortune. It is
disputably presumed that a driver was negligent, if he had been found guilty of reckless driving or
violating traffic regulations at least twice within the next preceding two months.

Under the foregoing provision, if the causative factor was the driver's negligence, the owner of the
vehicle who was present is likewise held liable if he could have prevented the mishap by the
exercise of due diligence. The rule is not new, although formulated as law for the first time in the new
Civil Code. It was expressed in Chapman vs. Underwood (1914), 27 Phil. 374, where this Court held:

... The same rule applies where the owner is present, unless the negligent acts of the driver are
continued for such a length of time as to give the owner a reasonable opportunity to observe them
and to direct his driver to desist therefrom. An owner who sits in his automobile, or other vehicle, and
permits his driver to continue in a violation of the law by the performance of negligent acts, after he
has had a reasonable opportunity to observe them and to direct that the driver cease therefrom,
becomes himself responsible for such acts. The owner of an automobile who permits his chauffeur
to drive up the Escolta, for example, at a speed of 60 miles an hour, without any effort to stop him,
although he has had a reasonable opportunity to do so, becomes himself responsible, both
criminally and civilly, for the results produced by the acts of the chauffeur. On the other hand, if the
driver, by a sudden act of negligence, and without the owner having a reasonable opportunity to
prevent the act or its continuance, injures a person or violates the criminal law, the owner of the
automobile, although present therein at the time the act was committed, is not responsible, either
civilly or criminally, therefor. The act complained of must be continued in the presence of the owner
for such a length of time that the owner, by his acquiescence, makes his driver act his own.
The basis of the master's liability in civil law is not respondent superior but rather the relationship of
paterfamilias. The theory is that ultimately the negligence of the servant, if known to the master and
susceptible of timely correction by him, reflects his own negligence if he fails to correct it in order to
prevent injury or damage.

In the present case the defendants' evidence is that Rafael Bernardo had been Yu Khe Thai's driver
since 1937, and before that had been employed by Yutivo Sons Hardware Co. in the same capacity
for over ten years. During that time he had no record of violation of traffic laws and regulations. No
negligence for having employed him at all may be imputed to his master. Negligence on the part of
the latter, if any, must be sought in the immediate setting and circumstances of the accident, that is,
in his failure to detain the driver from pursuing a course which not only gave him clear notice of the
danger but also sufficient time to act upon it. We do not see that such negligence may be imputed.
The car, as has been stated, was not running at an unreasonable speed. The road was wide and
open, and devoid of traffic that early morning. There was no reason for the car owner to be in any
special state of alert. He had reason to rely on the skill and experience of his driver. He became
aware of the presence of the carretela when his car was only twelve meters behind it, but then his
failure to see it earlier did not constitute negligence, for he was not himself at the wheel. And even
when he did see it at that distance, he could not have anticipated his driver's sudden decision to
pass the carretela on its left side in spite of the fact that another car was approaching from the
opposite direction. The time element was such that there was no reasonable opportunity for Yu Khe
Thai to assess the risks involved and warn the driver accordingly. The thought that entered his mind,
he said, was that if he sounded a sudden warning it might only make the other man nervous and
make the situation worse. It was a thought that, wise or not, connotes no absence of that due
diligence required by law to prevent the misfortune.

The test of imputed negligence under Article 2184 of the Civil Code is, to a great degree, necessarily
subjective. Car owners are not held to a uniform and inflexible standard of diligence as are
professional drivers. In many cases they refrain from driving their own cars and instead hire other
persons to drive for them precisely because they are not trained or endowed with sufficient
discernment to know the rules of traffic or to appreciate the relative dangers posed by the different
situations that are continually encountered on the road. What would be a negligent omission under
aforesaid Article on the part of a car owner who is in the prime of age and knows how to handle a
motor vehicle is not necessarily so on the part, say, of an old and infirm person who is not similarly

The law does not require that a person must possess a certain measure of skill or proficiency either
in the mechanics of driving or in the observance of traffic rules before he may own a motor vehicle.
The test of his intelligence, within the meaning of Article 2184, is his omission to do that which the
evidence of his own senses tells him he should do in order to avoid the accident. And as far as
perception is concerned, absent a minimum level imposed by law, a maneuver that appears to be
fraught with danger to one passenger may appear to be entirely safe and commonplace to another.
Were the law to require a uniform standard of perceptiveness, employment of professional drivers by
car owners who, by their very inadequacies, have real need of drivers' services, would be effectively
We hold that the imputation of liability to Yu Khe Thai, solidarily with Rafael Bernardo, is an error.
The next question refers to the sums adjudged by the trial court as damages

17. BLT Bus co. vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, et al.

G.R. Nos. 74387-90 November 14, 1988


The collision between Bus No. 1046 of the Batangas Laguna Tayabas Bus Company (BLTB,
for brevity) driven by Armando Pon and Bus No. 404 of Superlines Transportation Company
(Superlines, for brevity) driven by Ruben Dasco took place at the highway traversing Barangay
Isabong, Tayabas, Quezon in the afternoon of August 11, 1978, which collision resulted in the death
of Aniceto Rosales, Francisco Pamfilo and Romeo Neri and in several injuries to Nena Rosales (wife
of Anecito) and Baylon Sales, all passengers of the BLTB Bus No. 1046. The evidence shows that
as BLTB Bus No. 1046 was negotiating the bend of the highway, it tried to overtake a Ford Fiera car
just as Bus No. 404 of Superlines was coming from the opposite direction. Seeing thus, Armando
Pon (driver of the BLTB Bus) made a belated attempt to slacken the speed of his bus and tried to
return to his proper lane. It was an unsuccessful try as the two (2) buses collided with each other.

Nena Vda. de Rosales and Baylon Sales and the surviving heirs of the deceased Francisco Pamfilo,
Aniceto Rosales and Romeo Neri instituted separate cases in the Court of First Instance of
Marinduque against BLTB and Superlines together with their respective drivers praying for damages,
attorney's fees and litigation expenses plus costs. Criminal cases against the drivers of the two
buses were filed in the Court of First Instance of Quezon.

Defendants BLTB and Superlines, together with their drivers Pon and Dasco, denied liability by
claiming that they exercised due care and diligence and shifted the fault, against each other. They all
interposed counterclaims against the plaintiffs and crossclaims against each other.

After trial on the merits, the lower court exonerated defendants Superlines and its driver Dasco from
liability and attributed sole responsibility to defendants BLTB and its driver Pon, and ordered them
jointly and severally to pay damages to the plaintiffs. Defendants BLTB and Armando Pon appealed
from the decision of the lower court to respondent appellate court which affirmed with modification
the judgment of the lower court as earlier stated.


Whether IAC erred in adjudging that the actions of private respondents based on culpa


The proximate cause of the collision resulting in the death of three and injuries to two of the
passengers of BLTB was the sole negligence of the driver of the BLTB Bus, who recklessly
operated and drove said bus in a lane where overtaking is not allowed by Traffic Rules and
Regulations. Such negligence and recklessness is binding against petitioner BLTB, more so when
We consider the fact that in an action based on a contract of carriage, the court need not make an
express finding of fault or negligence on the part of the carrier in order to hold it responsible for the
payment of the damages sought by the passenger. By the contract of carriage, the carrier BLTB
assumed the express obligation to transport the passengers to their destination safely and to
observe extraordinary diligence with a due regard for all the circumstances, and any injury that might
be suffered by its passengers is right away attributable to the fault or negligence of the carrier (Art.
1756, New Civil Code).

Petitioners also contend that "a common carrier is not an absolute insurer against all risks of travel
and are not liable for acts or accidents which cannot be foreseen or inevitable and that responsibility
of a common carrier for the safety of its passenger prescribed in Articles 1733 and 1755 of the New
Civil Code is not susceptible of a precise and definite formulation." (p. 13, Rollo) Petitioners'
contention holds no water because they had totally failed to point out any factual basis for their
defense of force majeure in the light of the undisputed fact that the cause of the collision was
the sole negligence and recklessness of petitioner Armando Pon. For the defense of force
majeure or act of God to prosper the accident must be due to natural causes and exclusively without
human intervention.

18. Rakes vs. Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Company

G.R. No. 1719 January 23, 1907


M.H. Rakes was a black man working as a laborer for Atlantic Gulf in the early 1900s. One
day, they were working in the company’s yard and they were transporting heavy rails using two cars
(karitons?); each car carrying the opposite ends of the rails. The cars were pulled by rope from the
front and other workers are pushing the cars from behind. There were no side guards installed on
the sides of the cars but the rails were secured by ropes. The track where the cars move were also
weakened by a previous typhoon. It was alleged that Atlantic’s foreman was notified of said damage
in the tracks but the same were left unrepaired. While the cars were being moved and when it
reached the depressed portion of the track, and while Rakes was beside one of the cars, the ropes
gave in and the rails slipped thereby crushing his leg and causing it to be amputated. Rakes sued
Atlantic Gulf and he won; he was awarded 5,000 pesos for damages ($2,500).

Atlantic assailed the decision of the lower court alleging that they specifically ordered their
workers to be walking only before or after the cars and not on the side of the cars because the cars
have no side guards to protect them in case the rails would slip. Atlantic also alleged that Rakes
should be suing the foreman as it was him who neglected to have the tracks repaired; that Rakes
himself was negligent for having known of the depression on the track yet he continued to work.


Whether or not Atlantic is civilly liable.


Yes. Rakes as per the evidence could not have known of the damage in the track as it was another
employee who swore he notified the foreman about said damage. Further, his lack of caution in
continuing to work is not of a gross nature as to constitute negligence on his part. On the other hand
though, Rakes contributory negligence can be inferred from the fact that he was on the side of the
cars when in fact there were orders from the company barring workers from standing near the side
of the cars. His disobedient to this order does not bar his recovery of damages though; the Supreme
Court instead reduced the award of damages from 5,000 pesos to 2,500 pesos.
In this case, the SC also elucidated the two kinds of culpa which are:

Culpa as substantive and independent, which on account of its origin arises in an obligation between
two persons not formerly bound by any other obligation; may be also considered as a real source of
an independent obligation (extra-contractual or culpa aquiliana).

Culpa as an incident in the performance of an obligation which cannot be presumed to exist without
the other, and which increases the liability arising from the already existing obligation (contractual or
culpa contractual).

19. Afiada vs. Hisole

G.R. No. L-2075 November 29, 1949


Loreto Afialda was a caretaker of the carabaos owned by Basilio Hisole. In March 1947,
without any fault from Afialda or any force majeure, one of the carabaos gored him thereby causing
his death. Afialda’s sister, Margarita Afialda, sued Hisole arguing that under the Civil Code, “The
possessor of an animal, or the one who uses the same, is liable for any damages it may cause, even
if such animal should escape from him or stray away. This liability shall cease only in case, the
damage should arise fromforce majeure or from the fault of the person who may have suffered it.”


Whether or not Hisole is liable in the case at bar as owner of the carabao which killed Afialda.


No. The law uses the term “possessor and user of the animal”. Afialda was the caretaker of
the animal and he was tasked and paid to tend for the carabaos. He, at the time of the goring, is the
possessor and the user of the carabao and therefore he is the one who had custody and control of
the animal and was in a position to prevent the animal from causing damage. It would have been
different had Afialda been a stranger. Obviously, it was the caretaker’s business to try to prevent the
animal from causing injury or damage to anyone, including himself. And being injured by the animal
under those circumstances was one of the risks of the occupation which he had voluntarily assumed
and for which he must take the consequences.

This action could have been more appropriately raised in court under the provisions of the
Workmen’s Compensation Act as the risk involve was one of occupational hazards.

20. Spouses Ong vs. Metropolitan Water District

G.R. No. L-7664 August 29, 1958


On July 5, 1952, Dominador Ong (14 years old) and his two brothers went to the swimming
pool operated by Metropolitan Water District (MWD). After paying the entrance fee, the three
proceeded to the small pool.
The swimming pools of MWD are provided with a ring buoy, toy roof, towing line, oxygen resuscitator
and a first aid medicine kit. The bottom of the pools is painted with black colors so as to insure clear
visibility. There is on display in a conspicuous place within the area certain rules and regulations
governing the use of the pools. MWD employs six lifeguards who are all trained as they had taken a
course for that purpose and were issued certificates of proficiency. These lifeguards work on
schedule prepared by their chief and arranged in such a way as to have two guards at a time on duty
to look after the safety of the bathers. There is a male nurse and a sanitary inspector with a clinic
provided with oxygen resuscitator. And there are security guards who are available always in case of

Later, Dominador told his brothers that he’ll just be going to the locker room to drink a bottle of Coke.
No one saw him returned. Later, the elder Ong noticed someone at the bottom of the big pool and
notified the lifeguard in attendant (Manuel Abaño), who immediately dove into the water. The body
was later identified as Dominador’s. He was attempted to be revived multiple times but of no avail.

The parents of Ong sued MWD averring that MWD was negligent in selecting its employees. During
trial, the elder brother of Ong and one other testified that Abaño was reading a magazine and was
chatting with a security guard when the incident happened and that he was called a third time before
he responded. Plaintiff further alleged that even assuming that there was no negligence on the part
of MWD, it is still liable under the doctrine of “Last Clear Chance” for having the last opportunity to
save the Dominador, its employees failed to do so.


Whether MWD is liable for the death of Dominador Ong.


No. As established by the facts, MWD was not negligent in selecting its employees as all of them
were duly certified. MWD was not negligent in managing the pools as there were proper safety
measures and precautions/regulations that were placed all over the pools. Hence, due diligence is
appreciated as a complete and proper defense in this case. Further, the testimony in court by the
elder Ong and the other witness was belied by the statements they have given to the investigators
when they said that the lifeguard immediately dove into the water when he was called about the boy
at the bottom of the pool.

The doctrine of “Last Clear Chance” is of no application here. It was not established as to how
Dominador was able to go to the big pool. He went to the locker and thereafter no one saw him
returned not until his body was retrieved from the bottom of the big pool. The last clear chance
doctrine can never apply where the party charged is required to act instantaneously (how can the
lifeguard act instantaneously in dissuading Dominador from going to the big pool if he did not see
him go there), and if the injury cannot be avoided by the application of all means at hand after the
peril is or should have been discovered; at least in cases in which any previous negligence of the
party charged cannot be said to have contributed to the injury.

21. Ferrer, et al. vs. Ericta

G.R. No. L-41767 August 23, 1978

In a complaint for damages against respondents, dated December 27, 1974 but actually filed on
January 6, 1975 (Civil Case No. Q-19647), and assigned to the sala of respondent Judge, it was
alleged that defendants Mr. and Mrs. Francis Pfleider, residents of Bayawan, Negros Oriental, were
the owners or operators of a Ford pick-up car; that at about 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon of
December 31, 1970, in the streets of Bayawan, Negros Oriental, their son, defendant Dennis
Pfleider, who was then only sixteen (16) years of age, without proper official authority, drove the
above-described vehicle, without due regard to traffic rules and regulations, and without taking the
necessary precaution to prevent injury to persons or damage to property, and as a consequence the
pickup car was overturned, causing physical injuries to plaintiff Annette Ferrer, who was then a
passenger therein, which injuries paralyzed her and required medical treatment and confinement at
different hospitals for more than two (2) years; that as a result of the physical injuries sustained by
Annette, she suffered unimaginable physical pain, mental anguish, and her parents also suffered
mental anguish, moral shock and spent a considerable sum of money for her treatment. They prayed
that defendants be ordered to reimburse them for actual expenses as well as other damages.

In due time, defendants filed their answer, putting up the affirmative defense that defendant Dennis
Pfleider exercised due care and utmost diligence in driving the vehicle aforementioned and alleging
that Annette Ferrer and the other persons aboard said vehicle were not passengers in the strict
sense of the term, but were merely joy riders and that, consequently, defendants had no obligation
whatsoever to plaintiffs.

At the pre-trial on May 12, 1975, only plaintiffs-petitioners and their counsel were present.
Consequently, defendants-private respondents were declared in default and the plaintiff petitioners
were allowed to present their evidence ex parte. On May 21, 1975, petitioners moved that they be
granted an extension of ten (10) days from May 22, 1975 to present her evidence, which was
granted by the court a quo. The presentation of petitioners' evidence was later continued by the trial
court to June 16, 1975, when the deposition of Annette Ferrer was submitted by petitioners and
admitted by the trial court.

On June 26, 1975, private respondents filed a motion to "set aside the order of default and
subsequent pleadings" on the ground that "defendants' failure to appear for pre-trial was due to
accident or excusable neglect." This was opposed by petitioners on the ground that the said
pleading was not under oath, contrary to the requirements of Sec. 3, Rule 18 of the Rules, and that it
was not accompanied by an affidavit of merit showing that the defendants have a good defense. In
view of this, the motion of private respondents was denied by respondent Judge on July 21, 1975.
On the same date, respondent Judge rendered judgment against private respondents, finding that
the minor Dennis Pfleider, was allowed by his parents to operate a Ford pick-up car and because of
his reckless negligence caused the accident in question, resulting in injuries to Annette, and ordering
the defendants, as a result thereof, to pay jointly and severally the plaintiffs the following amounts:
(1) P24,500.00 for actual expenses, hospitalization and medical expenses; (2) P24,000.00 for actual
expenses for the care, medicines of plaintiff Annette for helps from December 31, 1970 to December
31, 1974; (3) P50,000.00 for moral damages; (4) P10,000.00 for exemplary damages; (5) P5,000.00
for attorney's fees; and (6) costs of suit.

On September 1, 1975, private respondents filed a Motion for Reconsideration 1 of the decision and
of the order denying the motion to set aside order of default, based on the following grounds: (1) the
complaint states no cause of action insofar as Mr. and Mrs. Pfleider are concerned because it does
not allege that at the time of the mishap, defendant Dennis Pfleider was living with them, the fact
being that at such time he was living apart from them, hence, there can be no application of Article
2180 of the Civil Code, upon which parents' liability is premised; and (2) that tile complaint shows on
its face "that it was filed only on January 6, 1975, or after the lapse of MORE THAN FOUR YEARS
from the date of the accident on December 31, 1970", likewise appearing from the complaint and,
therefore, the action has already prescribed under Article 1146 of the Civil Code.

A Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration 2 was subsequently filed by defendants-private

respondents on September 10, 1975, alleging that their defense of prescription has not been waived
and may be raised even at such stage of the proceedings because on the face of the complaint, as
well as from the plaintiff's evidence, their cause of action had already prescribed, citing as authority
the decision of this Court in Philippine National Bank v. Pacific Commission House, 3 as well as the
decisions quoted therein. The Opposition 4 to the above supplemental motion interposed by
plaintiffs-petitioners averred that: (a) the defense of prescription had been waived while the defense
that the complaint states no cause of action "is available only at any time not later than the trial and
prior to the decision"; (b) inasmuch as defendants have been declared in default for failure to appear
at the pretrial conference, they have lost their standing in court and cannot be allowed to adduce
evidence nor to take part in the trial, in accordance with Section 2 of Rule 18 of the Rules of Court;
and (c) the motion and supplemental motion for reconsideration are pro forma because the defenses
raised therein have been previously raised and passed upon by respondent court in resolving
defendants' motion to set aside order of default. Being pro forma, said motion and supplemental
motion do not suspend the running of the thirty-day period to appeal, which was from August 5,
1975, when defendants received a copy of the decision, to September 4, 1975, and hence the
decision has already become final and executory. Plaintiffs-petitioners accordingly prayed that a writ
of execution be issued to enforce the judgment in their favor.


Whether the defense of prescription had been deemed waived by private respondents'
failure to allege the same in their answer.


As early as Chua Lamko v. Dioso, et al., 5 this Court sustained the dismissal of a
counterclaim on the ground of prescription, although such defense was not raised in the answer of
the plaintiff. Thus, this Court held that where the answer does not take issue with the complaint as to
dates involved in the defendant's claim of prescription, his failure to specifically plead prescription in
the answer does not constitute a waiver of the defense of prescription. It was explained that the
defense of prescription, even if not raised in a motion to dismiss or in the answer, is not deemed
waived unless such defense raises issues of fact not appearing upon the preceding pleading.

In Philippine National Bank v. Perez, et al.,6 which was an action filed by the Philippine National
Bank on March 22, 1961 for revival of a judgment rendered on December 29, 1949 against Amando
Perez, Gregorio Pumuntoc and Virginia de Pumuntoc pursuant to Section 6, Rule 39 of the rules of
court the defendants were declared in default for their failure to file their answer. There upon, the
plaintiff submitted its evidence, but when the case was submitted for decision, the court a
quo dismissed the complaint on the ground that plaintiff's cause of action had already prescribed
under Articles 1144 and 1152 of the Civil Code. The plaintiff in said case, contending that since
prescription is a defense that can only be set up by defendants, the court could
not motuproprio consider it as a basis for dismissal, moved to reconsider the order, but its motion
was denied. When the issue was raised to this Court, We ruled:
It is true that the defense of prescription can only be considered if the same is invoked as such in the
answer of the defendant and that in this particular instance no such defense was invoked because
the defendants had been declared in default, but such rule does riot obtain when the evidence
shows that the cause of action upon which plaintiff's complaint is based is already barred by the
statute of limitations. (Emphasis supplied.)

Again, in Philippine National Bank v. Pacific Commission House, 7 where the action sought to revive
a judgment rendered by the Court of First Instance of Manila on February 3, 1953 and it was patent
from the stamp appearing on the first page of the complaint that the complaint was actually filed on
May 31, 1963, this Court sustained the dismissal of the complaint on the ground of prescription,
although such defense was not raised in the answer, overruling the appellants' invocation of Section
2 of Rule 9 of the Rules of Court that "defenses and objections not pleaded either in a motion to
dismiss or in tile answer are deemed waived." We held therein that "... the fact that the plaintiff's own
allegation in tile complaint or the evidence it presented shows clearly that the action had prescribed
removes this case from the rule regarding waiver of the defense by failure to plead the same."

In the present case, there is no issue of fact involved in connection with the question of prescription.
The complaint in Civil Case No. Q-19647 alleges that the accident which caused the injuries
sustained by plaintiff Annette Ferrer occured on December 31, 1970. It is undisputed that the action
for damages was only filed on January 6, 1975. Actions for damages arising from physical injuries
because of a tort must be filed within four years. 8 The four-year period begins from the day the
quasi-delict is committed or the date of the accident

22. Kramer, et al. vs. Court of Appeals, et al.

G.R. No. L-83524 October 13, 1989


The record of the case discloses that in the early morning of April 8, 1976, the F/B Marjolea, a fishing
boat owned by the petitioners Ernesto Kramer, Jr. and Marta Kramer, was navigating its way from
Marinduque to Manila. Somewhere near Maricabon Island and Cape Santiago, the boat figured in a
collision with an inter-island vessel, the M/V Asia Philippines owned by the private respondent Trans-
Asia Shipping Lines, Inc. As a consequence of the collision, the F/B Marjolea sank, taking with it its
fish catch.

After the mishap, the captains of both vessels filed their respective marine protests with the Board of
Marine Inquiry of the Philippine Coast Guard. The Board conducted an investigation for the purpose
of determining the proximate cause of the maritime collision.

On October 19, 1981, the Board concluded that the loss of the F/B Marjolea and its fish catch was
attributable to the negligence of the employees of the private respondent who were on board the M/V
Asia Philippines during the collision. The findings made by the Board served as the basis of a
subsequent Decision of the Commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard dated April 29, 1982 wherein
the second mate of the M/V Asia Philippines was suspended from pursuing his profession as a marine

On May 30, 1985, the petitioners instituted a Complaint for damages against the private respondent
before Branch 117 of the Regional Trial Court in Pasay City.2 The suit was docketed as Civil Case No.

Whether or not a Complaint for damages instituted by the petitioners against the private respondent
arising from a marine collision is barred by the statute of limitations.


The petition is devoid of merit. Under Article 1146 of the Civil Code, an action based upon a quasi-
delict must be instituted within four (4) years. The prescriptive period begins from the day the quasi-
delict is committed. In Paulan vs. Sarabia,16 this Court ruled that in an action for damages arising
from the collision of two (2) trucks, the action being based on a quasi-delict, the four (4) year
prescriptive period must be counted from the day of the collision.

In Espanol vs. Chairman, Philippine Veterans Administration, 17 this Court held as follows-

The right of action accrues when there exists a cause of action, which consists of 3 elements,
namely: a) a right in favor of the plaintiff by whatever means and under whatever law it arises or is
created; b) an obligation on the part of defendant to respect such right; and c) an act or omission on
the part of such defendant violative of the right of the plaintiff ... It is only when the last element
occurs or takes place that it can be said in law that a cause of action has arisen ... .

From the foregoing ruling, it is clear that the prescriptive period must be counted when the last
element occurs or takes place, that is, the time of the commission of an act or omission violative of
the right of the plaintiff, which is the time when the cause of action arises.

It is therefore clear that in this action for damages arising from the collision of two (2) vessels the
four (4) year prescriptive period must be counted from the day of the collision. The aggrieved party
need not wait for a determination by an administrative body like a Board of Marine Inquiry, that the
collision was caused by the fault or negligence of the other party before he can file an action for
damages. The ruling in Vasquez does not apply in this case. Immediately after the collision the
aggrieved party can seek relief from the courts by alleging such negligence or fault of the owners,
agents or personnel of the other vessel.

Thus, the respondent court correctly found that the action of petitioner has prescribed. The collision
occurred on April 8, 1976. The complaint for damages was filed iii court only on May 30, 1 985, was
beyond the four (4) year prescriptive period.

23. Gotesco vs. Chatto, et al

G.R. No. L-87584 June 16, 1992


The evidence shows that in the afternoon of June 4, 1982 plaintiff Gloria E. Chatto, and her 15-year
old daughter, plaintiff Lina Delza E. Chatto went to see the movie "Mother Dear" at Superama I
theater, owned by defendant Gotesco Investment Corporation. They bought balcony tickets but even
then were unable to find seats considering the number of people patronizing the movie. Hardly ten
(10) minutes after entering the theater, the ceiling of its balcony collapsed. The theater was plunged
into darkness and pandemonium ensued. Shocked and hurt, plaintiffs managed to crawl under the
fallen ceiling. As soon as they were able to get out to the street they walked the nearby FEU Hospital
where they were confined and treated for one (1) day.
The next day, they transferred to the UST hospital. Plaintiff Gloria Chatto was treated in said hospital
from June 5 to June 19 and plaintiff Lina DelzaChatto from June 5 to 11.

Due to continuing pain in the neck, headache and dizziness, plaintiff went to Illinois, USA in July
1982 for further treatment . She was treated at the Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. She
stayed in the U.S. for about three (3) months during which time she had to return to the Cook County
Hospital five (5) or, six (6) times.

Defendant tried to avoid liability by alleging that the collapse of the ceiling of its theater was done
due to force majeure. It maintained that its theater did not suffer from any structural or construction


Whether the lower court erred in finding that the ceiling if the balcony collapse due to some structural
construction or architectural defect and not due to force majeure or act of God.


Petitioner could have easily discovered the cause of the collapse if indeed it were due to force
majeure. To Our mind, the real reason why Mr. Ong could not explain the cause or reason is that
either he did not actually conduct the investigation or that he is, as the respondent Court impliedly
held, incompetent. He is not an engineer, but an architect who had not even passed the
government's examination. Verily, post-incident investigation cannot be considered as material to the
present proceedings. What is significant is the finding of the trial court, affirmed by the respondent
Court, that the collapse was due to construction defects. There was no evidence offered to overturn
this finding. The building was constructed barely four (4) years prior to the accident in question. It
was not shown that any of the causes denominates as force majeure obtained immediately before or
at the time of the collapse of the ceiling. Such defects could have been easily discovered if only
petitioner exercised due diligence and care in keeping and maintaining the premises. But as
disclosed by the testimony of Mr. Ong, there was no adequate inspection of the premises before the
date of the accident. His answers to the leading questions on inspection disclosed neither the exact
dates of said. inspection nor the nature and extent of the same. That the structural designs and
plans of the building were duly approved by the City Engineer and the building permits and
certificate of occupancy were issued do not at all prove that there were no defects in the
construction, especially as regards the ceiling, considering that no testimony was offered to prove
that it was ever inspected at all.

It is settled that:

The owner or proprietor of a place of public amusement impliedly warrants that the premises,
appliances and amusement devices are safe for the purpose for which they are designed, the
doctrine being subject to no other exception or qualification than that he does not contract against
unknown defects not discoverable by ordinary or reasonable means. 14

This implied warranty has given rise to the rule that:

Where a patron of a theater or other place of public amusement is injured, and the thing that caused
the injury is wholly and exclusively under the control and management of the defendant, and the
accident is such as in the ordinary course of events would not have happened if proper care had
been exercised, its occurrence raises a presumption or permits of an inference of negligence on the
part of the defendant. 15
That presumption or inference was not overcome by the petitioner.

24. National Power Corporation, et al. vs. Court of Appeals, et al

GR Nos. 103442-45 (1993)


This present controversy traces its beginnings to four (4) separate complaints2 for damages filed
against the NPC and Benjamin Chavez before the trial court. The plaintiffs therein, now private
respondents, sought to recover actual and other damages for the loss of lives and the destruction to
property caused by the inundation of the town of Norzagaray, Bulacan on 26-27 October 1978. The
flooding was purportedly caused by the negligent release by the defendants of water through the
spillways of the Angat Dam (Hydroelectric Plant). In said complaints, the plaintiffs alleged, inter alia,
that: 1) defendant NPC operated and maintained a multi-purpose hydroelectric plant in the Angat
River at Hilltop, Norzagaray, Bulacan; 2) defendant Benjamin Chavez was the plant supervisor at the
time of the incident in question; 3) despite the defendants' knowledge, as early as 24 October 1978,
of the impending entry of typhoon "Kading," they failed to exercise due diligence in monitoring the
water level at the dam; 4) when the said water level went beyond the maximum allowable limit at the
height of the typhoon, the defendants suddenly, negligently and recklessly opened three (3) of the
dam's spillways, thereby releasing a large amount of water which inundated the banks of the Angat
River; and 5) as a consequence, members of the household of the plaintiffs, together with their
animals, drowned, and their properties were washed away in the evening of 26 October and the
early hours of 27 October 1978.3

In their Answers, the defendants, now petitioners, alleged that: 1) the NPC exercised due care,
diligence and prudence in the operation and maintenance of the hydroelectric plant; 2) the NPC
exercised the diligence of a good father in the selection of its employees; 3) written notices were
sent to the different municipalities of Bulacan warning the residents therein about the impending
release of a large volume of water with the onset of typhoon "Kading" and advise them to take the
necessary precautions; 4) the water released during the typhoon was needed to prevent the collapse
of the dam and avoid greater damage to people and property; 5) in spite of the precautions
undertaken and the diligence exercised, they could still not contain or control the flood that resulted
and; 6) the damages incurred by the private respondents were caused by a fortuitous event or force
majeure and are in the nature and character of damnum absque injuria. By way of special affirmative
defense, the defendants averred that the NPC cannot be sued because it performs a purely
governmental function.4


Whether the defendants were guilty of negligence?


We reiterate here in Our pronouncement in the latter case that Juan F. Nakpil& Sons vs. Court of
Appeals20 is still good law as far as the concurrent liability of an obligor in the case of force
majeure is concerned. In the Nakpil case, We held:

To exempt the obligor from liability under Article 1174 of the Civil Code, for a breach of an obligation
due to an "act of God," the following must concur: (a) the cause of the breach of the obligation must
be independent of the will of the debtor; (b) the event must be either unforseeable or unavoidable;
(c) the event must be such as to render it impossible for the debtor to fulfill his obligation in a moral
manner; and (d) the debtor must be free from any participation in, or aggravation of the injury to the
creditor. (Vasquez v. Court of Appeals, 138 SCRA 553; Estrada v. Consolacion, 71 SCRA 423;
Austria v. Court of Appeals, 39 SCRA 527; Republic of the Phil. v. Luzon Stevedoring Corp., 21
SCRA 279; Lasam v. Smith, 45 Phil. 657).

Thus, if upon the happening of a fortuitous event or an act of God, there concurs a corresponding
fraud, negligence, delay or violation or contravention in any manner of the tenor of the obligation as
provided for in Article 1170 of the Civil Code, which results in loss or damage, the obligor cannot
escape liability.

The principle embodied in the act of God doctrine strictly requires that the act must be one
occasioned exclusively by the violence of nature and all human agencies are to be excluded from
creating or entering into the cause of the mischief. When the effect, the cause of which is to be
considered, is found to be in part the result of the participation of man, whether it be from active
intervention or neglect, or failure to act, the whole occurrence is thereby humanized, as it were, and
removed from the rules applicable to the acts of God. (1 Corpus Juris, pp. 1174-1175).

Thus it has been held that when the negligence of a person concurs with an act of God in producing
a loss, such person is not exempt from liability by showing that the immediate cause of the damage
was the act of God. To be exempt from liability for loss because of an act of God, he must be free
from any previous negligence or misconduct by which that loss or damage may have been
occasioned. (Fish & Elective Co. v. Phil. Motors, 55 Phil. 129; Tucker v. Milan, 49 O.G. 4379;
Limpangco& Sons v. Yangco Steamship Co., 34 Phil. 594, 604; Lasam v. Smith, 45 Phil. 657). 21

Accordingly, petitioners cannot be heard to invoke the act of God or force majeure to escape liability
for the loss or damage sustained by private respondents since they, the petitioners, were guilty of
negligence. The event then was not occasioned exclusively by an act of God or force majeure; a
human factor — negligence or imprudence — had intervened. The effect then of the force majeure in
question may be deemed to have, even if only partly, resulted from the participation of man. Thus,
the whole occurrence was thereby humanized, as it were, and removed from the laws applicable to
acts of God.

25.Ramos vs. Pepsi

G.R. No. L-22533 February 9, 1967


The car driven by Augusto Ramos (son of co-plaintiff Placido Ramos) collided with the truck of
PEPSI, driven by the driver and co-defendant Andres Bonifacio. As a result, the Ramoses sued
Bonifacio and Pepsi.

The trial court found Bonifacio negligent and declared that PEPSI-COLA had not sufficiently proved
that it exercised the due diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage. PEPSI-COLA
and Bonifacio, solidarily, were ordered to pay the plaintiffs damages.

The defendants appealed to the Court of Appeals. CA affirmed the decision of the trial court, but
absolved PEPSI-COLA from liability, finding that it sufficiently proved due diligence in the selection
of its driver Bonifacio. In its decision, CA stated the basis for its decision:

“The uncontradicted testimony of Juan T. Anasco, personnel manager of defendant company, was
to the effect that defendant driver was first hired as a member of the bottle crop in the production
department; that when he was hired as a driver, 'we had size [sic] him by looking into his
background, asking him to submit clearances, previous experience, physical examination and later
on, he was sent to the pool house to take the usual driver's examination, consisting of: first,
theoretical examination and second, the practical driving examination, all of which he had
undergone, and that the defendant company was a member of the Safety Council. Our Supreme
Court had put it down as a rule that ‘In order that the defendant may be considered as having
exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family, he should not have been satisfied with the
mere possession of a professional driver's license; he should have carefully examined the applicant
for employment as to his qualifications, his experiences and record of service.’ Defendant Company
has taken all these steps.”


Whether PEPSI-COLA exercised due diligence in the selection of its employee.


The appellants contended that Añasco, being PEPSI-COLA's employee, is a biased and an
interested witness. This is a question of fact, and the SC would not disturb the findings of CA.

It should perhaps be stated that in the instant case no question is raised as to due diligence in the
supervision by PEPSI-COLA of its driver. Article 2180 points out that the owners and managers of
an establishment or enterprise are likewise responsible for damages caused by their employees in
the service of the branches in which the latter are employed or on the occasion of their functions.
This responsibility shall cease when the employers prove that they observed the diligence of a good
father of a family to prevent damage; hence, PEPSI-COLA shall be relieved from liability (rebuttable
presumption of negligence).

The decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby affirmed.



Petitioners impute to PEPSI-COLA the violation of subpars M.V.O. Administrative Order No. 1 in that
at the time of the collision, the trailer-truck, which had a total weight of 30,000 kgms., was (a) being
driven at a speed of about 30 k.p.h. or beyond the 15 k.p.h. limit set and (b) was not equipped with a
rear-vision mirror nor provided with a helper for the driver. There is no finding that the tractor-truck
did not have a rear-vision mirror.

Petitioners also charge PEPSI-COLA with having violated par. (b) of Sec. 8-A of the Rev. Motor
Vehicle Law, alleging that the truck exceeded the dimensions allowed. It is not enough that the width
of the tractor-truck exceed the limit in Sec. 8-A; in addition, it must also appear that there was no
special permit granted under Sec. 9. Unfortunately for petitioners, that vital factual link is missing.
There was no proof much less any finding to that effect.

We are urged to apply the Anglo-American doctrine of respondent superior. We cannot however,
abandon the Bahia ruling without going against the explicit mandate of the law. A motor vehicle
owner is not an absolute insurer against all damages caused by its driver. Article 2180 of our Civil
Code is very explicit that the owner's responsibility shall cease once it proves that it has observed
the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. The Bahia case merely clarified what
that diligence consists of, namely, diligence in the selection and supervision of the driver-employee.
Under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, the basis of an employer's liability is his own negligence, not
that of his employees. The former is made responsible for failing to properly and diligently select and
supervise his erring employees. We do not — and have never — followed the respondent superior
rule.8 So, the American rulings cited by petitioners, based as they are on said doctrine, are not
authoritative here.

In view of the foregoing, the motion for reconsideration is hereby denied.