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FACTS: Private Respondent Eliza Saunga took a passenger jeepney owned and

operated by Petitioner Vicente Calalas. As the jeepney was already full, she was just
given an “extension seat”, a wooden stool, at the rear end of the vehicle.

On the way, the jeepney stopped to let a passenger off. Since Sunga was seated at the
rear end, she gave way to the outgoing passenger. Just as she was doing so, an Isuzu
Elf Truck driven by Igclerio Verena and owned by Francisco Salva, bumped to the
left rear end of the jeepney. This incident cause injury to Sunga.

She filed a compliant for damages against Calalas on the ground of breach of
contract of carriage. On the other hand, Calalas filed a third-party complaint against
Salva, the owner of the truck.

The Regional Trial Court (RTC) found Salva guilty and absolved Calalas from liability
holding that it was the truck owner who is responsible for the accident based on

However, on appeal to the Court of Appeals (CA), the appellate court reversed the
RTC’s decision, on the ground that Sunga’s cause of action was based on a breach of
contract of carriage and not on quasi-delict.

Hence, this appeal from Calalas.

ISSUE: Whether or not the negligence of the truck driver as the proximate cause of
the accident which negates petitioner’s liability?

HELD: No. First, the issue in this case is the liability under contract of carriage. In
this case, the petitioner failed to transport his passenger safely to his destination as
a common carrier in violation of Arts. 1733 and 1755 of the New Civil Code.

Moreso, there is no basis that the ruling of the RTC binds Sunga. It is immaterial that
the proximate cause of the collision was the truck driver, because the doctrine of
proximate cause applies only to cases of quasi-delict.

The doctrine of proximate cause is a device for imputing liability to a person where
there is no relation between him and another party. But in the case at bar, there is a
pre-existing relation between petitioner and respondent in their contract of
carriage. Hence, upon happening of the accident, the presumption of negligence at
once arose on Calalas’ part, which makes him liable.