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Atty. Jesus Erick F. Sta. Barbara

The rule in Corpus vs. Paje, L-26737, July 31, 1969, 28 SCRA 1062, that reckless imprudence is not included in Art. 33 of
a. Defamation, Fraud, and Physical Injuries the Civil Code, is not authoritative doctrine because it was concurred in by only five Justices. Four Justices concurred in
the result.
1. Madeja v. Caro G.R. No. L – 51183 December 21, 1983
FACTS: Private respondent Dr. Eva Japzon was accused of homicide through reckless imprudence for the death of Cleto 2. Dulay v. Court of Appeals G.R. No. 108017 April 3, 1995
Madeja after an appendectomy. The complaining witness is the widow of the deceased, petitioner Carmen Madeja, who
reserved her right to file a separate civil action for damages. While the criminal case is still pending, Carmen sued Dr. FACTS: On December 7, 1988, at around 8am, Benigno Torzuela was the security guard on duty at the “Big Bang sa
Japzon for damages in the same court. She alleged that Cleto died because of the gross negligence of Dr. Japzon. Alabang Carnaval”, Alabang Village, Muntinlupa. An altercation between Torzuela and Atty. Napoleon Dulay resulted in
the latter being shot and killed by the former with a .38 caliber revolver belonging to private respondents Safeguard
In her motion to dismiss, Dr. Japzon invoked Sec. 3(a) of Rule 111 which provides that “. . . after the criminal action has Investigation and Security Co., Inc. (Safeguard) and Superguard Security Corp. (Superguard).
been commenced the civil action can not be instituted until final judgment has been rendered in the criminal action.”
Respondent Judge Hon. Felix Caro granted the motion. Hence the present petition seeking to set aside the order of Judge The widow of Atty. Dulay, Maria Benita and their children Krizteen Elizabeth, Beverly Marie, and Napoleon II, all surnamed
Caro. Dulay filed an action for damages against Torzuela and Safeguard and/or Superguard, raffled to RTC-QC.
Superguard filed a Motion to Dismiss alleging that the complaint does not state a valid cause of action; Torzuela’s act of
ISSUE: May the civil action against Dr. Japzon proceed independently of the criminal action against her? shooting Dulay was beyond the scope of his duties, and since committed with deliberate intent (dolo), the civil liability is
governed by Art. 100, RPC; that a complaint for damages based on negligence under Art. 2176, NCC cannot lie since the
RULING: YES. The SC noted two things about Art. 33: civil liability under Art. 2176 applies only to quasi-offenses under Art. 365, RPC; and that the filing of the complaint is
premature considering that the conviction of Torzuela in a criminal case is a condition sine qua non for the employer’s
1. The civil action for damages which it allows to be instituted is ex-delicto. This is manifest from the provision which liability.
uses the expressions "criminal action" and "criminal prosecution. Safeguard filed a motion praying that it be excluded as defendant on the ground that Torzuela is not one of its employees.
The underlying purpose of the principle under consideration is to allow the citizen to enforce his rights in a private action Petitioners opposed both motions, stating that their cause of action against private respondents is based on their liability
brought by him, regardless of the action of the State attorney. It is not conducive to civic spirit and to individual self-reliance under Art. 2180, NCC (Vicarious Liability of Employers); and that a suit against alternative defendants is allowed under
and initiative to habituate the citizens to depend upon the government for the vindication of their own private rights. It is Rule 3, Sec 13, ROC, and the inclusion of private respondents as alternative defendants was justified by the report of Pat.
true that in many of the cases referred to in the provision cited, a criminal prosecution is proper, but it should be Mario Tubon that Torzuela is an employee of Safeguard, and through overt acts, Superguard extended its sympathies to
remembered that while the State is the complainant in the criminal case, the injured individual is the one most concerned petitioners.
because it is he who has suffered directly. He should be permitted to demand reparation for the wrong which peculiarly Meanwhile, the information charging Torzuela with homicide was filed before the RTC of Makati.
affects him. Respondent Judge Regino, as affirmed by the CA, granted Superguards motion to dismiss and Safeguards motion for
exclusion for failure to state facts necessary or sufficient to constitute a quasi-delict.
According to Tolentino: The general rule is that when a criminal action is instituted, the civil action for recovery of civil
liability arising from the offense charged is impliedly instituted with the criminal action, unless the offended party reserves ISSUES:
his right to institute it separately; and after a criminal action has been commenced, no civil action arising from the same 1. Whether or not the action is founded on a delict in which the civil action would be deemed instituted with the
offense can be prosecuted. The present articles creates an exception to this rule when the offense is defamation, fraud, criminal action?
or physical injuries, In these cases, a civil action may be filed independently of the criminal action, even if there has been 2. Whether or not Torzuela’s act of shooting Atty. Dulay is actionable under Art. 33?
no reservation made by the injured party; the law itself in this article makes such reservation; but the claimant is not given 3. Whether or not Safeguard and/or Superguard are primarily liable?
the right to determine whether the civil action should be scheduled or suspended until the criminal action has been 4. Whether or not the complaint states a cause of action?
terminated. The result of the civil action is thus independent of the result of the civil action."
2. The term "physical injuries" is used in a generic sense. It is not the crime of physical injuries defined in the RPC. It 1. NO. It is well-settled that the filing of an independent civil action before the prosecution in the criminal action
includes not only physical injuries but consummated, frustrated and attempted homicide. presents evidence is even far better than a compliance with the requirement of express reservation. This is
Defamation and fraud are used in their ordinary sense because there are no specific provisions in the RPC using these precisely what the petitioners opted to do in this case. However, the private respondents opposed the civil action
terms as means of offenses defined therein, thus, these terms must have been used not to impart to them any technical on the ground that the same is founded on a delict and not on a quasi-delict as the shooting was not attended by
meaning in the laws of the Philippines, but in their generic sense. With this apparent circumstance in mind, it is evident negligence. What is in dispute therefore is the nature of the petitioner's cause of action. The nature of a cause of
that the terms “physical injuries” could not have been used in its specific sense as a crime defined in the RPC, for it is action is determined by the facts alleged in the complaint as constituting the cause of action. In the present case,
difficult to believe that the Code Commission would have used terms in the same article-some in their general and another the complaint would show that the petitioners are invoking their right to recover damages against the private
in its technical sense. In other words, the term “physical injuries” should be understood to mean bodily injury, not the respondents for their vicarious responsibility for the injury caused by Torzuela's act of shooting and killing Atty.
crime of physical injuries, bacause the terms used with the latter are general terms. Dulay.

In any case the Code Commission recommended that the civil action for physical injuries be similar to the civil action for 2. NO. Contrary to the theory of private respondents, there is no justification for limiting the scope of Art. 2176 to acts
assault and battery in American Law, and this recommendation must have been accepted by the Legislature when it or omissions resulting from negligence. Well-entrenched is the doctrine that Art. 2176 covers not only acts
approved the article intact as recommended. If the intent has been to establish a civil action for the bodily harm received committed with negligence, but also acts which are voluntary and intentional. As far back as the definitive case of
by the complainant similar to the civil action for assault and battery, as the Code Commission states, the civil action should Elcano v. Hill, the doctrine of which was echoed in the case of Andamo v. IAC. The SC held that in the absence of
lie whether the offense committed is that of physical injuries, or frustrated homicide, or attempted homicide, or even death," more substantial reasons, it will not disturb the doctrine on the coverage of Art. 2176.
Corpus vs. Paje, L-26737, July 31, 1969, 28 SCRA 1062, which states that reckless imprudence or criminal negligence is
not included in Article 33 of the Civil Code is not authoritative. Of 11 justices only 9 took part in the decision and 4 of them Private respondents further aver that Art. 33, NCC applies only to injuries intentionally committed pursuant to the ruling in
merely concurred in the result. Marcia v. CA, and that the actions for damages allowed thereunder are ex-delicto.

Separate Concurring Opinion of Justice Aquino 3. YES. The term "physical injuries" in Art. 33 has already been construed to include bodily injuries causing death. It
Death due to a negligent act may be a delict or quasi-delict. It may create a civil action based on article 100 of the Penal is not the crime of physical injuries defined in the RPC. It includes not only physical injuries but also consummated,
Code or an action based on culpa aquiliana under Art. 2176 of the Civil Code. These alternatives are assumed in Art. 2177 frustrated, and attempted homicide. In Murcia, it was held that no independent action may be filed under Art. 33
of the Civil Code "but the plaintiff cannot recover twice for the same act or omission of the defendant" where the crime is reckless imprudence, here the accused is charged with homicide. Therefore, a civil action based
on Art. 33 lies.
The term "physical injuries" in Art. 33 includes death and may give rise to an independent civil action.


I’m A Barbie Torts Case Pool
Atty. Jesus Erick F. Sta. Barbara
Private respondents also contend that their liability is subsidiary under the RPC; and that they are not liable for Torzuela's 33, 34 and 2177). Hence in these cases, I think Rule 107 Sec. 1(d) does not apply." – Justice J.B.L. Reyes
act which is beyond the scope of his duties as a security guard. in Dionisio v. Alvendia.

4. YES. It having been established that the instant action is not ex-delicto, petitioners may proceed directly against It is significant to note that under Art. 31, it is made clear that the civil action permitted therein to be filed separately from
Torzuela and the private respondents. Under Art. 2180 as aforequoted, when an injury is caused by the negligence the criminal action may proceed independently of the criminal proceedings "regardless of the result of the latter." It seems
of the employee, there instantly arises a presumption of law that there was negligence on the part of the master or perfectly reasonable to conclude that the civil actions mentioned in Art. 33, permitted in the same manner to be filed
employer either in the selection of the servant or employee, or in supervision over him after selection or both. The separately from the criminal case, may proceed similarly regardless of the result of the criminal case.
liability of the employer under Art. 2180 is direct and immediate; it is not conditioned upon prior recourse against
the negligent employee and a prior showing of the insolvency of such employee. Therefore, it is incumbent upon Indeed, when the law has allowed a civil case related to a criminal case, to be filed separately and to proceed independently
the private respondents to prove that they exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and even during the pendency of the latter case, the intention is patent to make the court's disposition of the criminal case of
supervision of their employee. no effect whatsoever on the separate civil case. This must be so because the offenses specified in Article 33 are of such
a nature, unlike other offenses not mentioned, that they may be made the subject of a separate civil action because of the
5. YES. On the issue of whether the complaint states a sufficient cause of action, the complaint sufficiently alleged distinct separability of their respective juridical cause or basis of action. This is clearly illustrated in the case of
an actionable breach on the part of Torzuela and Superguard and/or Safeguard. It is enough that the complaint swindling, a specie of an offense committed by means of fraud, where the civil case may be filed separately and proceed
alleged that Torzuela shot Atty. Dulay resulting in the latter's death; that the shooting occurred while Torzuela was independently of the criminal case, regardless of the result of the latter.
on duty; and that either Superguard and/or Safeguard was Torzuela's employer and responsible for his acts. This
does not operate however, to establish that the defendants below are liable as such is a question better resolved The wisdom of the provision of Art. 33 is to be found in the fact that when the civil action is reserved to be filed separately,
after trial on the merits. the criminal case is prosecuted by the prosecuting officer alone without intervention from, private counsel representing the
interest of the offended party. It is but just that when, as in the present instance, the prosecution of the criminal case is left
3. Salta v. Hon. De Veyra G.R. No. L – 37733 September 30, 1982 to the government prosecutor undertake, any mistake or mishandling of the case committed by the latter should not work
FACTS: Petitioner Almario Salta (Salta) was the branch manager of the Philippine National Bank (PNB), Malolos Branch. to the prejudice of the offend party whose interest would thus be protected by the measure contemplated by Art. 33 and
As such, his duty was to grant loans or to recommend granting the same depending on the amount of the loan applied for. Art. 2177.
In the performance of said duty, he is supposed to exercise care and prudence, and with utmost diligence, observe the
policies, rules and regulations of the bank. As Judge de Veyra put it, "acquittal in the criminal case will not be an obstacle for the civil case to prosper unless in the
criminal case the Court makes a finding that even civilly, the accused would not be liable — there is no such finding."
PNB found Salta to have indiscriminately granted certain loans in a manner characterized by negligence, fraud, and There, indeed, could not be such finding because the criminal court, aware that the civil case is not before it, would be
manifest partiality, and upon securities not commensurate with the amount of the loans in disregard of said rules. Thus, acting in excess of jurisdiction if it were to make any pronouncement in effect disposing of a case pending before another
PNB filed two civil cases against Salta before the CFI of Manila to recover losses suffered by the bank. At the same time, court, over which it had not acquired jurisdiction.
based on the same acts, PNB caused to be filed, a criminal case for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act
before the Circuit Criminal Court of the 5th Judicial District at San Fernando Pampanga. 4. Borjal v. Court of Appeals G.R. No. 126466 January 14, 1999
FACTS: Petitioners Arturo Borjal and Maximo Soliven are among the incorporators of Philippines Today, Inc. (PTI), now
Salta filed a Motion to Dismiss in the criminal case, which was granted for having failed to prove the essential elements of PhilSTAR Daily, Inc., owner of The Philippine Star, a daily newspaper. At the time the complaint was filed,
the crime charged. With his acquittal, Salta filed a Motion to Dismiss in each of the two civil cases based on Sec. 3(c), petitioner Borjal was its President while Soliven was (and still is) Publisher and Chairman of its Editorial Board. Among
Rule III which provides that: the regular writers of The Philippine Star is Borjal who runs the column Jaywalker. Private respondent Francisco
Wenceslao is a civil engineer, businessman, business consultant and journalist by profession. In 1988 he served as a
“extinction of the penal action does not carry with it extinction of the civil, unless the extinction proceeds technical adviser of Congressman Fabian Sison, then Chairman of the House of Representatives Sub-Committee on
from a declaration in a final judgment that the fact from which the civil might arise did not exist” Industrial Policy.

Judges Jesus De Veyra (respondent) and Amante Purisima, took diametrically opposed views, the former denied the During the congressional hearings on the transport crisis sometime in September 1988 undertaken by the House Sub-
motion and the latter granted the same. Committee on Industrial Policy, those who attended agreed to organize the First National Conference on Land
Transportation (FNCLT) to be participated in by the private sector in the transport industry and government agencies
ISSUE: Whether or not a decision of acquittal in a criminal case operates to dismiss a separate civil action filed on the concerned in order to find ways and means to solve the transportation crisis. More importantly, the objective of the FNCLT
basis of the same facts as alleged in the criminal case? was to draft an omnibus bill that would embody a long-term land transportation policy for presentation to Congress. The
conference which, according to private respondent, was estimated to cost around P1,815,000.00 would be funded through
RULING: solicitations from various sponsors such as government agencies, private organizations, transport firms, and individual
NO. To begin with, the filing in this case of a civil action separate from the criminal action is fully warranted under the delegates or participants. On 28 February 1989, at the organizational meeting of the FNCLT, private respondent Francisco
provision of Art. 33. The criminal case is for the prosecution of an offense the main element of which is fraud, one of the Wenceslao was elected Executive Director. As such, he wrote numerous solicitation letters to the business community for
kinds of crime mentioned in the aforecited provision. the support of the conference.

Based on the same acts for which the criminal action was filed, the civil actions very clearly alleged fraud and negligence Between May and July 1989 a series of articles written by petitioner Borjal was published on different dates in his
as having given rise to the cause of action averred in the complaints. It needs hardly any showing to demonstrate this fact, column Jaywalker. The articles dealt with the alleged anomalous activities of an "organizer of a conference" without
which Salta disputes, particularly as to the sufficiency of the allegation of fraud in the civil complaints. naming or identifying private respondent. Neither did it refer to the FNCLT as the conference therein mentioned. Private
respondent reacted to the articles. He sent a letter to The Philippine Star insisting that he was the "organizer" alluded to in
It was allegations by PNB that “there was fraud committed by the defendant” unmistakably show sufficient averment of petitioner Borjal's columns.
fraud; and “without exercising necessary prudence” in granting the loan, on the latter alone, the civil case may be
maintained. Apparently not satisfied with his complaint with the NPC, private respondent filed a criminal case for libel against
petitioners Borjal and Soliven, among others. However, in a Resolution dated 7 August 1990, the Assistant Prosecutor
If Salta 's civil liability is, as alleged in the complaint, based on negligence, apart from the averment of fraud, then on the handling the case dismissed the complaint for insufficiency of evidence. The dismissal was sustained by the
strength of the aforesaid ruling, the civil action can be maintained regardless of the outcome of the criminal action. Department of Justice and later by the Office of the President.

“In the case of an independent civil actions under the Civil Code, the result of the criminal case, whether On 31 October 1990 private respondent instituted against petitioners a civil action for damages based on libel subject of the
acquittal or conviction, would be entirely irrelevant to the civil action. This seems to be the spirit of the law instant case. In their answer, petitioners interposed compulsory counterclaims for actual, moral and exemplary damages,
when it decided to make these actions `entirely separate and distinct' from the criminal action (Arts. 22, plus attorney's fees and costs. After due consideration, the trial court decided in favor of private respondent Wenceslao


I’m A Barbie Torts Case Pool
Atty. Jesus Erick F. Sta. Barbara
and ordered petitioners Borjal and Soliven to indemnify private respondent P1,000,000.00 for actual and compensatory Wenceslao herein. He must bring home to the defendant, petitioner Borjal herein, the existence of malice as the
damages, in addition to P200,000.00 for moral damages, P100,000.00 for exemplary damages, P200,000.00 for attorney's true motive of his conduct.
fees, and to pay the costs of suit.
Malice connotes ill will or spite and speaks not in response to duty but merely to injure the reputation of the person
The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the court a quo but reduced the amount of the monetary award to defamed, and implies an intention to do ulterior and unjustifiable harm. Malice is bad faith or bad motive. It is the
P110,000.00 actual damages, P200,000.00 moral damages and P75,000.00 attorney's fees plus costs. essence of the crime of libel.

ISSUES: Furthermore, to be considered malicious, the libelous statements must be shown to have been written or published with
1. Whether or not the private respondent was sufficiently identified by the petitioner in the questioned articles the knowledge that they are false or in reckless disregard of whether they are false or not. "Reckless disregard of what is
2. Whether or not the subject articles do not constitute qualifiedly privileged communication false or not" means that the defendant entertains serious doubt as to the truth of the publication, or that he possesses a
3. Whether or not the “public official doctrine” should be applied high degree of awareness of their probable falsity.
4. Whether or not the private respondent has a valid cause of action for libel against petitioners although he failed
to prove actual malice on their part Even assuming that the contents of the articles are false, mere error, inaccuracy or even falsity alone does not prove actual
malice. Errors or misstatements are inevitable in any scheme of truly free expression and debate. Consistent with good
RULING: faith and reasonable care, the press should not be held to account, to a point of suppression, for honest mistakes or
1. NO. imperfections in the choice of language. There must be some room for misstatement of fact as well as for misjudgment.
Identification is grossly inadequate when even the alleged offended party is himself unsure that he was the object of the Only by giving them much leeway and tolerance can they courageously and effectively function as critical agencies in our
verbal attack. It is well to note that the revelation of the identity of the person alluded to came not from petitioner Borjal but democracy.
from private respondent himself when he supplied the information through his 4 June 1989 letter to the editor. Had private
respondent not revealed that he was the "organizer" of the FNCLT referred to in the Borjal articles, the public would have
remained in blissful ignorance of his identity. It is therefore clear that on the element of identifiability alone the case falls. 5. MVRS Publications, Inc. v. Islamic Da’wah Council of the Philippines, Inc. January 28, 2003
FACTS: ISLAMIC DA'WAH COUNCIL OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., a local federation of more than seventy (70) Muslim
2. YES. religious organizations, and individual Muslims ABDULRAHMAN R.T. LINZAG, IBRAHIM F.P. ARCILLA, ABDUL RASHID
A privileged communication may be either absolutely privileged or qualifiedly privileged. Absolutely privileged DE GUZMAN, AL-FARED DA SILVA and IBRAHIM B.A. JUNIO, filed in the Regional Trial Court of Manila a complaint for
communications are those which are not actionable even if the author has acted in bad faith. An example is found in Sec. damages in their own behalf and as a class suit in behalf of the Muslim members nationwide
11, Art. VI, of the 1987 Constitution which exempts a member of Congress from liability for any speech or debate in the against MVRS PUBLICATIONS, INC., MARS C. LACONSAY, MYLA C. AGUJA and AGUSTINO G. BINEGAS, JR., arising
Congress or in any Committee thereof. Upon the other hand, qualifiedly privileged communications containing defamatory from an article published in the 1 August 1992 issue of Bulgar, a daily tabloid. The article reads:
imputations are not actionable unless found to have been made without good intention or justifiable motive. To this genre
belong "private communications" and "fair and true report without any comments or remarks." "ALAM BA NINYO?
Na ang mga baboy at kahit anong uri ng hayop sa Mindanao ay hindi kinakain ng mga Muslim?
Indisputably, petitioner Borjal's questioned writings are not within the exceptions of Art. 354of The Revised Penal Code for, Para sa kanila ang mga ito ay isang sagradong bagay. Hindi nila ito kailangang kainin kahit na sila pa ay
as correctly observed by the appellate court, they are neither private communications nor fair and true report without any magutom at mawalan ng ulam sa tuwing sila ay kakain. Ginagawa nila itong Diyos at sinasamba pa nila
comments or remarks. However this does not necessarily mean that they are not privileged. To be sure, the enumeration ito sa tuwing araw ng kanilang pangingilin lalung-lalo na sa araw na tinatawag nilang 'Ramadan'."
under Art. 354 is not an exclusive list of qualifiedly privileged communications since fair commentaries on matters of public
interest are likewise privileged. The complaint alleged that the libelous statement was insulting and damaging to the Muslims; that these words alluding to
the pig as the God of the Muslims was not only published out of sheer ignorance but with intent to hurt the feelings, cast
Publications which are privileged for reasons of public policy are protected by the constitutional insult and disparage the Muslims and Islam, as a religion in this country, in violation of law, public policy, good morals and
guaranty of freedom of speech. This constitutional right cannot be abolished by the mere failure of the legislature to give human relations; that on account of these libelous words Bulgar insulted not only the Muslims in the Philippines but the
it express recognition in the statute punishing libels. entire Muslim world, especially every Muslim individual in non-Muslim countries.

Fair commentaries on matters of public interest are privileged and constitute a valid defense in an action for libel or slander. MVRS PUBLICATIONS, INC., and AGUSTINO G. BINEGAS, JR., in their defense, contended that the article did not
The doctrine of fair comment means that while in general every discreditable imputation publicly made is deemed false, mention respondents as the object of the article and therefore were not entitled to damages; and, that the article was
because every man is presumed innocent until his guilt is judicially proved, and every false imputation is deemed malicious, merely an expression of belief or opinion and was published without malice nor intention to cause damage, prejudice or
nevertheless, when the discreditable imputation is directed against a public person in his public capacity, it is not injury to Muslims.
necessarily actionable. In order that such discreditable imputation to a public official may be actionable, it must either be
a false allegation of fact or a comment based on a false supposition. If the comment is an expression of opinion, based on RTC: Dismissed the complaint holding that the plaintiffs failed to establish their cause of action since the persons allegedly
established facts, then it is immaterial that the opinion happens to be mistaken, as long as it might reasonably be inferred defamed were not specifically identified.
from the facts. CA: reversed the decision of the trial court. It opined that it was "clear from the disputed article that the defamation was
directed to all adherents of the Islamic faith. It stated that pigs were sacred and idolized as god by members of the Muslim
3. YES. religion. This libelous imputation undeniably applied to the plaintiff-appellants who are Muslims sharing the same religious
Honest criticisms on the conduct of public officials and public figures are insulated from libel judgments. The beliefs." It added that the suit for damages was a "class suit" and that ISLAMIC DA'WAH COUNCIL OF THE PHILIPPINES,
guarantees of freedom of speech and press prohibit a public official or public figure from recovering damages for a INC.'s religious status as a Muslim umbrella organization gave it the requisite personality to sue and protect the interests
defamatory falsehood relating to his official conduct unless he proves that the statement was made with actual malice, i.e., of all Muslims.
with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.
The raison d'etre for the New York Times doctrine was that to require critics of official conduct to guarantee the truth of all 1. Whether or not the elements of libel are present
their factual assertions on pain of libel judgments would lead to self-censorship, since would-be critics would be deterred 2. Whether or not the respondents had the right to institute the class suit
from voicing out their criticisms even if such were believed to be true, or were in fact true, because of doubt whether it 3. Whether or not the petitioners are liable for damages
could be proved or because of fear of the expense of having to prove it.
4. NO. Generally, malice can be presumed from defamatory words, the privileged character of a communication 1. NO.
destroys the presumption of malice. The onus of proving actual malice then lies on plaintiff, private respondent Defamation, which includes libel and slander, means the offense of injuring a person's character, fame or reputation
through false and malicious statements. It is that which tends to injure reputation or to diminish the esteem, respect, good


I’m A Barbie Torts Case Pool
Atty. Jesus Erick F. Sta. Barbara
will or confidence in the plaintiff or to excite derogatory feelings or opinions about the plaintiff. It is the publication of Mr. Reyes lined-up at the buffet table but, to his great shock, shame and embarrassment, he was stopped by petitioner
anything which is injurious to the good name or reputation of another or tends to bring him into disrepute. Defamation is herein, Ruby Lim, who claimed to speak for Hotel Nikko as Executive Secretary thereof. In a loud voice and within the
an invasion of a relational interest since it involves the opinion which others in the community may have, or tend to have, presence and hearing of the other guests who were making a queue at the buffet table, Ruby Lim told him to leave the
of the plaintiff. party ("huwag ka nang kumain, hindi ka imbitado, bumaba ka na lang"). Mr. Reyes tried to explain that he was invited by
Dr. Filart. Dr. Filart, who was within hearing distance, however, completely ignored him thus adding to his shame and
It must be stressed that words which are merely insulting are not actionable as libel or slander per se, and mere words of humiliation. Not long after, while he was still recovering from the traumatic experience, a Makati policeman approached
general abuse however opprobrious, ill-natured, or vexatious, whether written or spoken, do not constitute a basis for an and asked him to step out of the hotel. Like a common criminal, he was escorted out of the party by the policeman. Claiming
action for defamation in the absence of an allegation for special damages. The fact that the language is offensive to the damages, Mr. Reyes asked for One Million Pesos actual damages, One Million Pesos moral and/or exemplary damages
plaintiff does not make it actionable by itself. and Two Hundred Thousand Pesos attorney's fees.
Declarations made about a large class of people cannot be interpreted to advert to an identified or identifiable individual.
Absent circumstances specifically pointing or alluding to a particular member of a class, no member of such class has a Ruby Lim, for her part, admitted having asked Mr. Reyes to leave the party but not under the ignominious circumstance
right of action without at all impairing the equally demanding right of free speech and expression, as well as of the press, painted by the latter. Ms. Lim narrated that she was the Hotel's Executive Secretary for the past twenty (20) years. One of
under the Bill of Rights. her functions included organizing the birthday party of the hotel's former General Manager, Mr. Tsuruoka. For Mr.
Tsuruoka's party, Ms. Lim generated an exclusive guest list and extended invitations accordingly. The guest list was limited
2. NO. to approximately sixty (60) of Mr. Tsuruoka's closest friends and some hotel employees and that Mr. Reyes was not one
Where the defamation is alleged to have been directed at a group or class, it is essential that the statement must be so of those invited. At the party, Ms. Lim first noticed Mr. Reyes at the bar counter ordering a drink. Mindful of Mr. Tsuruoka's
sweeping or all-embracing as to apply to every individual in that group or class, or sufficiently specific so that each individual wishes to keep the party intimate, Ms. Lim approached Mr. Boy Miller, the "captain waiter," to inquire as to the presence
in the class or group can prove that the defamatory statement specifically pointed to him, so that he can bring the action of Mr. Reyes who was not invited. Mr. Miller replied that he saw Mr. Reyes with the group of Dr. Filart. As Dr. Filart was
separately, if need be . . . The case at bar is not a class suit. It is not a case where one or more may sue for the benefit of engaged in conversation with another guest and as Ms. Lim did not want to interrupt, she inquired instead from the sister
all, or where the representation of class interest affected by the judgment or decree is indispensable to make each member of Dr. Filart, Ms. Zenaida Fruto, who told her that Dr. Filart did not invite Mr. Reyes. Ms. Lim then requested Ms. Fruto to
of the class an actual party. We have here a case where each of the plaintiffs has a separate and distinct reputation in the tell Mr.Reyes to leave the party as he was not invited. Mr. Reyes, however, lingered prompting Ms. Lim to inquire from Ms.
community. They do not have a common or general interest in the subject matter of the controversy. Fruto who said that Mr. Reyes did not want to leave. When Ms. Lim turned around, she saw Mr. Reyes conversing with a
Captain Batung whom she later approached. Believing that Captain Batung and Mr. Reyesknew each other, Ms. Lim
In the present case, there was no fairly identifiable person who was allegedly injured by the Bulgar article. Since the requested from him the same favor from Ms. Fruto, i.e., for Captain Batung to tell Mr. Reyes to leave the party as he was
persons allegedly defamed could not be identifiable, private respondents have no individual causes of action; hence, they not invited. Still, Mr.Reyes lingered. When Ms. Lim spotted Mr. Reyes by the buffet table, she decided to speak to him
cannot sue for a class allegedly disparaged. Private respondents must have a cause of action in common with the class herself as there were no other guests in the immediate vicinity. However, as Mr. Reyes was already helping himself to the
to which they belong to in order for the case to prosper. food, she decided to wait. When Mr. Reyes went to a corner and started to eat, Ms. Lim approached him and said: "alam
ninyo, hindi ho kayo dapat nandito. Pero total nakakuha na ho kayo ng pagkain, ubusin na lang ninyo at pagkatapos kung
If the group is a very large one, then the alleged libelous statement is considered to have no application to anyone in pwede lang po umalis na kayo." She then turned around trusting that Mr. Reyes would show enough decency to leave,
particular, since one might as well defame all mankind. Not only does the group as such have no action; the plaintiff does but to her surprise, he began screaming and making a big scene, and even threatened to dump food on her.
not establish any personal reference to himself. At present, modern societal groups are both numerous and complex. The
same principle follows with these groups: as the size of these groups increases, the chances for members of such groups Dr. Violeta Filart, the third defendant in the complaint before the lower court, also gave her version of the story to the effect
to recover damages on tortious libel become elusive. This principle is said to embrace two (2) important public that she never invited Mr. Reyes to the party. According to her, it was Mr. Reyes who volunteered to carry the basket of
policies: first, where the group referred to is large, the courts presume that no reasonable reader would take the statements fruits intended for the celebrant as he was likewise going to take the elevator, not to the penthouse but to Altitude 49. When
as so literally applying to each individual member; and second, the limitation on liability would satisfactorily safeguard they reached the penthouse, she reminded Mr. Reyes to go down as he was not properly dressed and was not invited. All
freedom of speech and expression, as well as of the press, effecting a sound compromise between the conflicting the while, she thought that Mr. Reyes already left the place, but she later saw him at the bar talking to Col. Batung. Then
fundamental interests involved in libel cases. there was a commotion and she saw Mr. Reyes shouting. She ignored Mr. Reyes. She was embarrassed and did not want
the celebrant to think that she invited him.
In any case, respondents' lack of cause of action cannot be cured by the filing of a class suit. As correctly pointed out by
Mr. Justice Jose C. Vitug during the deliberations, "an element of a class suit is the adequacy of representation. In RTC: Gave more credence to the testimony of Ms. Lim and Mr. Reyes, not being actually invited to the party, assumed
determining the question of fair and adequate representation of members of a class, the court must consider (a) whether the risk of being thrown out of the party.
the interest of the named party is coextensive with the interest of the other members of the class; (b) the proportion of
those made parties as it so bears to the total membership of the class; and, (c) any other factor bearing on the ability of CA: Reversed the ruling of the RTC as it found more commanding of belief the testimony of Mr. Reyes. The Court of
the named party to speak for the rest of the class. Appeals likewise ruled that the actuation of Ms. Lim in approaching several people to inquire into the presence of
Mr. Reyes exposed the latter to ridicule and was uncalled for as she should have approached Dr. Filart first and both of
3. “Moral damages may be recovered only if the plaintiff is able to satisfactorily prove the existence of the factual them should have talked to Mr. Reyes in private.
basis for the damages and its causal connection with the acts complained of, and so it must be, as moral damages
although incapable of pecuniary estimation are designed not to impose a penalty but to compensate for injury The CA imposed upon Hotel Nikko, Ruby Lim and Dr. Violeta Filart the solidary obligation to pay Mr. Reyes (1) exemplary
sustained and actual damages suffered. Exemplary damages, on the other hand, may only be awarded if claimant damages in the amount of Two Hundred Thousand Pesos (P200,000); (2) moral damages in the amount of Two Hundred
is able to establish his right to moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages. Unfortunately, neither of Thousand Pesos (P200,000); and (3) attorney's fees in the amount of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000).
the requirements to sustain an award for either of these damages would appear to have been adequately
established by respondents.” ISSUE: Whether or not Ruby Lim acted abusively in asking Mr. Reyes to leave the party where he was not invited by the
celebrant thereof thereby becoming liable under Articles 19 and 21 of the Civil Code
A. Abuse of Rights
RULING: NO. The doctrine of violenti non fit injuria ("to which a person assents is not esteemed in law as injury" ) refers
6. Nikko Hotel Manila Garden v. Reyes G.R. No. 154259 February 28, 2005 to self-inflicted injury or to the consent to injury which precludes the recovery of damages by one who has knowingly and
FACTS: Roberto Reyes, more popularly known by the screen name "Amay Bisaya," alleged that at around 6:00 o'clock in voluntarily exposed himself to danger, even if he is not negligent in doing so. As formulated by petitioners, however, this
the evening of 13 October 1994, while he was having coffee at the lobby of Hotel Nikko, he was spotted by his friend of doctrine does not find application to the case at bar because even if respondent Reyes assumed the risk of being asked
several years, Dr. Violeta Filart, who then approached him. Mrs. Filart invited him to join her in a party at the hotel's to leave the party, petitioners, under Articles 19 and 21 of the New Civil Code, were still under obligation to treat him fairly
penthouse in celebration of the natal day of thehotel's manager, Mr. Masakazu Tsuruoka. Mr. Reyes asked if she could in order not to expose him to unnecessary ridicule and shame.
vouch for him for which she replied: "of course." Mr. Reyes then went up with the party of Dr. Filart carrying the basket of
fruits which was the latter's present for the celebrant. At the penthouse, they first had their picture taken with the celebrant In the absence of any proof of motive on the part of Ms. Lim to humiliate Mr. Reyes and expose him to ridicule and shame,
after which Mr.Reyes sat with the party of Dr. Filart. After a couple of hours, when the buffet dinner was ready, it is highly unlikely that she would shout at him from a very close distance. Ms. Lim having been in the hotel business for


I’m A Barbie Torts Case Pool
Atty. Jesus Erick F. Sta. Barbara
twenty years wherein being polite and discreet are virtues to be emulated, the testimony of Mr. Reyes that she acted to
the contrary does not inspire belief and is indeed incredible. Ms. Lim, not having abused her right to ask Mr. Reyes to leave UE, in belatedly informing respondent of the result of the removal examination, particularly at a time when he had already
the party to which he was not invited, cannot be made liable to pay for damages under Articles 19 and 21 of the Civil commenced preparing for the bar exams, cannot be said to have acted in good faith. Absence of good faith must be
Code. Necessarily, neither can her employer, Hotel Nikko, be held liable as its liability springs from that of its employee. sufficiently established for a successful prosecution by the aggrieved party in a suit for abuse of right under Article 19 of
the Civil Code. Educational institutions are duty-bound to inform the students of their academic status and not wait for the
7. University of the East v. Jader G.R. No. 132344 February 17, 2000 latter to inquire from the former. The conscious indifference of a person to the rights or welfare of the person/persons who
FACTS: Jader enrolled in UE College of Law from 1984-1988. In the 1st sem of his last year, he failed to take the regular may be affected by his act or omission can support a claim for damages. Want of care to the conscious disregard of civil
final examination in Practice Court I for which he was given an incomplete grade. He enrolled for the 2nd sem as a 4th obligations coupled with a conscious knowledge of the cause naturally calculated to produce them would make the erring
year law student and, on Feb. 1, 1988, he filed an application for removal of the incomplete grade given by Professor party liable. UE cannot pass on its blame to the professors to justify its own negligence that led to the delayed relay of
Carlos Ortega which was approved by Dean Celedonio Tiongson after payment of the required fee. He took the exam on information to respondent. When one of two innocent parties must suffer, he through whose agency the loss occurred
March 28, 1988. On may 30, 1988, Prof. Ortega submitted his grade. It was a grade of 5. must bear it.
The Dean and the Faculty Members of the College of Law deliberated on who among the 4th year students should be
allowed to graduate. Jader’s name appeared on the list of Candidates for graduation for the Degree of Bachelors of Laws However, Jader should not be awarded moral damages. If Jader was indeed humiliated by his failure to take the bar, he
as of the 2nd sem with the following annotation: brought this upon himself by not verifying if he has satisfied all the requirements including his school records, before
preparing himself for the bar examination.
“JADER ROMEO A. - Def. Conflict of Laws—x-1-87-88, Practice Court I—Inc., 1-87-88. C-1 to submit transcript with S.O.”
8. Yuchengco v. The Manila Chronicle Publishing Corporation November 28, 2011
The 35th Investitures & Commencement Ceremonies for the candidates was scheduled on the April 16, 1988 at 3pm, and FACTS: In the last quarter of 1993, several allegedly defamatory articles against Yuchengco were published in The Manila
in the invitation for that occasion the name of the plaintiff appeared as one of the candidates. At the foot of the list of the Chronicle by Chronicle Publishing Corp. Yuchengco filed a complaint against Manila Chronicle before the RTC: (1) for
names of the candidates there appeared however the following annotation: damages due to libelous publication against Neal H. Cruz, Ernesto Tolentino, Noel Cabrera, Thelma San Juan, Gerry
Zaragoza, Donna Gatdula, Raul Valino, Rodney P. Diola, all members of the editorial staff and writers of The Manila
‘This is a tentative list. Degrees will be conferred upon these candidates who satisfactorily complete requirements as stated Chronicle, and Chronicle Publishing; (2) for damages due to abuse of right against Robert Coyiuto, Jr. ( Chairman of Manila
in the University Bulletin and as approved of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports. Chronicle Publishing Corp. when the subject articles were published) and Chronicle Publishing; and (3) for attorney’s fees
and costs against all the respondents.
Jader attended the ceremonies at F. dela Cruz Quadrangle, UE, Recto Campus. During the program, he went up the stage
when his name was called, escorted by his mother and eldest brother who assisted in the placing the Hood, and his Tassel RTC ruled in favor of Yuchengco. The CA affirmed in toto. The CA then reversed its earlier decision. Petitioner filed the
was turned from left to right, and he then was handed a rolled white sheet of paper symbolical of the Law Diploma. His present recourse before the SC. On November 25, 2009, the SC rendered a Decision partially granting the petition.
relative took picture of the occasion. He tendered a blow-out that evening which was attended by neighbors, friends, and Respondents filed a MR which the court denied. Meanwhile, Coyiuto, Jr. filed a Motion for Leave to File Supplemental
relatives. He took a leave of absence from his job from April 20, 1988 to Sept. 30, 1988 and enrolled at the pre-bar review Motion for Reconsideration w/ Attached Supplemental Motion.
in FEU. Having learned of his deficiency, he dropped his review class and was not able to take the bar exams.
In his supplemental Motion for Reconsideration, Coyiuto, Jr. contends that the SC overlooked the fact that in petitioner’s
Jader sued UE for damages alleging that he suffered moral shock, mental anguish, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, complaint Coyiuto, Jr. was not sued for damages allegedly due to “Libelous publications” and that he was sued in his
wounded feelings and sleepless nights when he was not able to take the 1988 bar examinations arising from the latter’s personal capacity for “Abuse of Right” allegedly as chairman of the Board, office, principal owner, of the Manila Chronicle
negligence. He prayed for an award of moral and exemplary damages, unrealized income, attorney’s fees, and costs of Publishing Corp. under Articles 19 and 20. As such, the imposition of moral (P25 M) and Exemplary (P10M) damages
suit. against him has no basis in law and contrary to the specific provision of Articles 2219 and 2229, in relation to Art. 2233,
respectively of the NCC.
In its answer with counterclaim, petitioner denied liability arguing mainly that it never led respondent to believe that he
completed the requirements for a Bachelor of Laws degree when his name was included in the tentative list of graduating ISSUE: Whether or not Coyiuto, Jr. may be held liable
students. Trial court ruled in favor of Jader which the CA affirmed. UE elevated the case to this Court on a petition for
review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, arguing that it has no liability to respondent Romeo A. Jader, considering that RULING: YES. The cause of action of petitioner based on “abuse of rights,” or Article 19, in relation to Article 20 of the
the proximate and immediate cause of the alleged damages incurred by the latter arose out of his own negligence in not Civil Code, warrants the award of damages. This provision of law sets standards which must be observed in the exercise
verifying from the professor concerned the result of his removal exam. of one’s rights as well as in the performance of its duties, to wit: to act with justice; give everyone his due; and observe
honesty and good faith. Corollarilly, Article 20 provides that “every person who, contrary to law, willfully or negligently
ISSUE: Whether or not an educational institution be held liable for damages for misleading a student into believing that causes damage to another shall indemnify the latter for the same.” It speaks of the general sanctions of all other provisions
the latter had satisfied all the requirements for graduation when such is not the case? of law which do not especially provide for its own sanction. When a right is exercised in a manner which does not conform
to the standards set forth in the said provision and results in damage to another, a legal wrong is thereby committed for
RULING: YES. When a student is enrolled in any educational or learning institution, a contract of education is entered into which the wrongdoer must be responsible.20 Thus, if the provision does not provide a remedy for its violation, an action
between said institution and the student. The professors, teachers or instructors hired by the school are considered merely for damages under either Article 20 or Article 21 of the Civil Code would be proper.
as agents and administrators tasked to perform the school’s commitment under the contract. Since the contracting parties
are the school and the student, the latter is not duty-bound to deal with the former’s agents, such as the professors with The question of whether or not the principle of abuse of rights has been violated resulting in damages under Article 20 or
respect to the status or result of his grades, although nothing prevents either professors or students from sharing with each other applicable provision of law, depends on the circumstances of each case. In the present case, it was found that
other such information. Being the party that hired them, it is the school that exercises general supervision and exclusive Coyiuto, Jr. indeed abused his rights as Chairman of The Manila Chronicle, which led to the publication of the libelous
control over the professors with respect to the submission of reports involving the students’ standing. Exclusive control articles in the said newspaper, thus, entitling petitioner to damages under Article 19, in relation to Article 20. Consequently,
means that no other person or entity had any control over the instrumentality which caused the damage or injury. the trial court and the CA correctly awarded moral damages to petitioner. Such damages may be awarded when the
transgression is the cause of petitioner’s anguish. Further, converse to Coyiuto, Jr.’s argument, although petitioner is
It is the contractual obligation of the school to timely inform and furnish sufficient notice and information to each and every claiming damages for violation of Articles 19 and 20 of the Civil Code, still such violations directly resulted in the publication
student as to whether he or she had already complied with all the requirements for the conferment of a degree or whether of the libelous articles in the newspaper, which, by analogy, is one of the ground for the recovery of moral damages under
they would be included among those who will graduate. Although commencement exercises are but a formal ceremony, it (7) of Article 2219.
nonetheless is not an ordinary occasion, since such ceremony is the educational institution’s way of announcing to the
whole world that the students included in the list of those who will be conferred a degree during the baccalaureate B. Acts Contrary to Law
ceremony have satisfied all the requirements for such degree. Prior or subsequent to the ceremony, the school has the
obligation to promptly inform the student of any problem involving the latter’s grades and performance and also most
importantly, of the procedures for remedying the same.


I’m A Barbie Torts Case Pool
Atty. Jesus Erick F. Sta. Barbara
9. Arco Pulp and Paper Co., Inc. v. Lim G.R. No. 206806 June 25, 2014 Moral damages, however, are not recoverable on the mere breach of the contract. Article 2220 requires that the breach
FACTS: Dan Lim works in the business of supplying scrap papers, cartons, and other raw materials, under the name be done fraudulently or in bad faith. To recover moral damages in an action for breach of contract, the breach must be
Quality Paper and Plastic Products, Enterprises, to factories engaged in the paper mill business. From February 2007 to palpably wanton, reckless and malicious, in bad faith, oppressive, or abusive. Hence, the person claiming bad faith must
March 2007, he delivered scrap papers worth 7,220,968.31 to Arco Pulp and Paper Company, Inc. (Arco Pulp and Paper) prove its existence by clear and convincing evidence for the law always presumes good faith.
through its CEO and President, Candida A. Santos. The parties allegedly agreed that Arco Pulp and Paper would either
pay Dan T. Lim the value of the raw materials or deliver to him their finished products of equivalent value. Since a finding of bad faith is generally premised on the intent of the doer, it requires an examination of the circumstances
in each case.When petitioner Arco Pulp and Paper issued a check in partial payment of its obligation to respondent, it was
Dan T. Lim alleged that when he delivered the raw materials, Arco Pulp and Paper issued a post-dated check dated April presumably with the knowledge that it was being drawn against a closed account. Worse, it attempted to shift their
18, 2007 in the amount of 1,487,766.68 as partial payment, with the assurance that the check would not bounce. When obligations to a third person without the consent of respondent.
he deposited the check on April 18, 2007, it was dishonored for being drawn against a closed account.
Petitioner Arco Pulp and Paper’s actions clearly show "a dishonest purpose or some moral obliquity and conscious doing
On the same day Arco Pulp and Paper and a certain Eric Sy executed a memorandum of agreement where Arco Pulp and of a wrong, a breach of known duty through some motive or interest or ill will that partakes of the nature of fraud." Moral
paper bound themselves to deliver their finished products to Megapack Container Corporation, owned by Eric Sy, for his damages may, therefore, be awarded.
account. According to the memorandum, the raw materials would be supplied by Dan T. Lim, through his company, Quality
Paper and Plastic Products. Dan Lim then sent a letter to Arco Pulp and Paper demanding payment of the amount of 10. Garcia v. Salvador G.R. No. 168512 March 20, 2007
P7,220,968.31, but no payment was made. FACTS: Respondent Ranida D. Salvador is a trainee in the Accounting Department of Limay Bulk Handling Terminal, Inc.
(the Company). As a prerequisite for regular employment, she underwent a medical examination at the Community
Dan Lim filed a complaint for collection of sum of money w/ prayer for attachment. The trial court held ruled in favor of Arco Diagnostic Center (CDC). Petitioner Orlando Garcia, who is a medical technologist, conducted the HBs Ag (Hepatitis B
Pulp and Paper, holding that Arco Pulp and Paper and Eric Sy entered into the memorandum of agreement, novation took Surface Antigen) test and on October 22, 1993, CDC issued the test result indicating that Ranida was "HBs Ag: Reactive."
place, which extinguished Arco Pulp and Paper’s obligation to Dan T. Lim. Dan Lim appealed to the CA contending that The result bore the name and signature of Garcia as examiner and the rubber stamp signature of Castro (petitioner) as
novation did not take place since the memorandum of agreement between Arco Pulp and Paper and Eric Sy was an pathologist.
exclusive and private agreement between them. He argued that if his name was mentioned in the contract, it was only for
supplying the parties their required scrap papers, where his conformity through a separate contract was indispensable. When Ranida submitted the test result to the Company physician, the latter apprised her that the findings indicated that
The CA then reversed the decision. she is suffering from Hepatitis B, a liver disease. Thus, the Company terminated Ranida’s employment for failing the
physical examination.
Petitioner argues that the execution of the memorandum of agreement constituted a novation of the original obligation
since Eric Sy became the new debtor of respondent. They also argue that there is no legal basis to hold petitioner Candida When Ranida informed her father, Ramon (respondent), about her ailment, the latter suffered a heart attack and was
A. Santos personally liable for the transaction that petitioner corporation entered into with respondent. The Court of confined at the Bataan Doctors Hospital.
Appeals, they allege, also erred in awarding moral and exemplary damages and attorney’s fees to respondent who did not
show proof that he was entitled to damages. Ranida then, underwent several HBs Ag tests:
1. in Bataan Doctors Hospital which indicated that she is non-reactive, but the Company told Ranida that the test
ISSUE: Whether or not moral damages may be recovered in an action for breach of contract conducted by CDC was more reliable because it used the Micro-Elisa Method
2. in CDC for confirmatory testing, which indicated a negative result
RULING: YES. Under Article 2220 of the Civil Code, moral damages may be awarded in case of breach of contract where 3. in Bataan Doctors Hospital using the Micro-Elisa Method which indicated that she was non-reactive
the breach is due to fraud or bad faith. Further, the following requisites must be proven for the recovery of moral damages:
there must be an injury, whether physical, mental or psychological, clearly sustained by the claimant; Upon the submission of the CDC and BDH test results, the company requested her to undergo another similar test before
there must be culpable act or omission factually established; re-employment is considered. Thus, CDC conducted another which indicated negative. CDC issued a certification
the wrongful act or omission of the defendant is the proximate cause of the injury sustained by the claimant; and correcting the initial result and explaining that the examining medical technologist (Garcia) interpreted the delayed reaction
the award of damages is predicated on any of the cases stated in Article 2219 of the Civil Code. as positive or reactive.

Here, the injury suffered by respondent is the loss of ₱7,220,968.31 from his business. This has remained unpaid since Thereafter, the Company rehired Ranida. Ranida and Ramon then filed a complaint for damages against Garcia for the
2007. This injury undoubtedly was caused by petitioner Arco Pulp and Paper’s act of refusing to pay its obligations. When erroneous interpretation of the results of the examination, she lost her job and suffered serious mental anxiety, trauma and
the obligation became due and demandable, petitioner Arco Pulp and Paper not only issued an unfunded check but also sleepless nights, while Ramon was hospitalized and lost business opportunities.
entered into a contract with a third person in an effort to evade its liability. This proves the third requirement.
The defenses were: Garcia maintains he is not negligent, thus not liable for damages, because he followed the
Article 2219 of the NCC enumerates when Moral damages may be awarded, but breaches of contract done in bad faith appropriate laboratory measures and procedures as dictated by his training and experience; and that he did everything
are not specified therein. When a party breaches a contract, he or she goes against Article 19 of the Civil Code, which within his professional competence to arrive at an objective, impartial and impersonal result.
states: Article 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice,
give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith. Castro claimed that as pathologist, he rarely went to CDC and only when a case was referred to him; that he did not
examine Ranida; and that the test results bore only his rubber-stamp signature.
Persons who have the right to enter into contractual relations must exercise that right with honesty and good faith. Failure
to do so results in an abuse of that right, which may become the basis of an action for damages. Article 19, however, The trial court dismissed the complaint. The CA reversed the trial court, it found Garcia liable for damages for negligently
cannot be its sole basis. Article 19 is the general rule which governs the conduct of human relations. By itself, it is not the issuing an erroneous HBs Ag result. On the other hand, it exonerated Castro for lack of participation in the issuance of the
basis of an actionable tort. Article 19 describes the degree of care required so that an actionable tort may arise when it is results.
alleged together with Article 20 or Article 21.
ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners are liable for damages for issuing an incorrect HBs Ag test.
When parties act in bad faith and do not faithfully comply with their obligations under contract, they run the risk of violating
Article 1159 of the Civil Code. Article 2219, therefore, is not an exhaustive list of the instances where moral damages may RULING: Yes. Owners and operators of clinical laboratories have the duty to comply with statutes, as well as rules and
be recovered since it only specifies, among others, Article 21. When a party reneges on his or her obligations arising from regulations, purposely promulgated to protect and promote the health of the people by preventing the operation of
contracts in bad faith, the act is not only contrary to morals, good customs, and public policy; it is also a violation of Article substandard, improperly managed and inadequately supported clinical laboratories and by improving the quality of
1159. Breaches of contract become the basis of moral damages, not only under Article 2220, but also under Articles 19 performance of clinical laboratory examinations. Their business is impressed with public interest, as such, high standards
and 20 in relation to Article 1159. of performance are expected from them. In fine, violation of a statutory duty is negligence. Where the law imposes upon a
person the duty to do something, his omission or non-performance will render him liable to whoever may be injured thereby.


I’m A Barbie Torts Case Pool
Atty. Jesus Erick F. Sta. Barbara

The following laws were violated by the petitioners: Defendant filed a "petition for relief from orders, judgment and proceedings and motion for new trial and reconsideration."
Defendant also requested the court to defer judgement on the petition for relief due to the possibility of arriving to an
The Clinical Laboratory Law, provides that: amicable settlement. The settlement however, did not materialize, so the court denied the petition for relief.
Sec. 2. It shall be unlawful for any person to be professionally in-charge of a registered clinical laboratory
unless he is a licensed physician duly qualified in laboratory medicine and authorized by the Secretary of Defendant then filed a "motion for new trial and reconsideration," asserting that the judgment is contrary to law. The reason
Health, such authorization to be renewed annually. given is that "there is no provision of the Civil Code authorizing" an action for breach of promise to marry. This was denied.
Defendant has appealed to this Court.
DOH Administrative Order No. 49-B Series of 1988, otherwise known as the Revised Rules and Regulations Governing
the Registration, Operation and Maintenance of Clinical Laboratories in the Philippines ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner shall be liable for damages.
Sec. 25. Violations: (1) Operation of a Clinical Laboratory without a certified pathologist or qualified
licensed physician authorized by the Undersecretary of Health or without employing a registered medical RULING: Yes. It must not be overlooked, however, that the extent to which acts not contrary to law may be perpetrated
technologist or a person not registered as a medical technologist in such a position. with impunity, is not limitless for Article 21 of said Code provides that "any person who willfully causes loss or injury to
The Philippine Medical Technology Act of 1969, reads: another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage."
(b) Any medical technologist, even if duly registered, who shall practice medical technology in the
Philippines without the necessary supervision of a qualified pathologist or physician authorized by the The record reveals that on August 23, 1954 plaintiff and defendant applied for a license to contract marriage, which was
Department of Health; subsequently issued. Their wedding was set for September 4, 1954. Invitations were printed and distributed to relatives,
friends and acquaintances. The bride-to-be's trousseau, party dresses and other apparel for the important occasion were
We find that petitioner Garcia failed to comply with these standards. purchased. Dresses for the maid of honor and the flower girl were prepared. A matrimonial bed, with accessories, was
bought. Bridal showers were given and gifts received. And then, with but two days before the wedding, defendant, who
First, CDC is not administered, directed and supervised by a licensed physician as required by law, but by Ma. Ruby C. was then 28 years old,: simply left a note for plaintiff stating: "Will have to postpone wedding — My mother opposes it ... "
Calderon, a licensed Medical Technologist. In the License to Open and Operate a Clinical Laboratory, defendant-appellee He enplaned to his home city in Mindanao, and the next day, the day before the wedding, he wired plaintiff: "Nothing
Castro was named as the head of CDC. However, Castro’s infrequent visit to the clinical laboratory barely qualifies as an changed rest assured returning soon." But he never returned and was never heard from again.
effective administrative supervision and control over the activities in the laboratory. "Supervision and control" means the
authority to act directly whenever a specific function is entrusted by law or regulation to a subordinate; direct the Surely this is not a case of mere breach of promise to marry. As stated, mere breach of promise to marry is not an
performance of duty; restrain the commission of acts; review, approve, revise or modify acts and decisions of subordinate actionable wrong. But to formally set a wedding and go through all the above-described preparation and publicity, only to
officials or units. walk out of it when the matrimony is about to be solemnized, is quite different. This is palpably and unjustifiably contrary
to good customs for which defendant must be held answerable in damages in accordance with Article 21 aforesaid.
Second, Garcia conducted the HBsAG test of respondent Ranida without the supervision of defendant-appellee Castro,
who admitted that he does not know, and has never known or met, the plaintiff-patient even up to this time nor has he Defendant urges that the award of moral and exemplary damages, in the amount of P25,000.00, should be totally
personally examined any specimen, blood, urine or any other tissue, from the plaintiff-patient. eliminated. Per express provision of Article 2219 (10) of the New Civil Code, moral damages are recoverable in the cases
mentioned in Article 21 of said Code. As to exemplary damages, defendant contends that the same could not be adjudged
Last, the disputed HBsAG test result was released to respondent Ranida without the authorization of defendant-appellee against him because under Article 2232 of the New Civil Code the condition precedent is that "the defendant acted in a
Castro. wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive, or malevolent manner." The argument is devoid of merit as under the above-
Indubitably, Ranida suffered injury as a direct consequence of Garcia’s failure to comply with the mandate of the laws and narrated circumstances of this case defendant clearly acted in a "wanton ..., reckless [and] oppressive manner." This
rules aforequoted. Court's opinion, however, is that considering the particular circumstances of this case, P15,000.00 as moral and exemplary
damages is deemed to be a reasonable award.
Article 20 of the New Civil Code provides:
Every person who, contrary to law, willfully or negligently causes damage to another, shall indemnify the
latter for the same. 12. Patricio v. Hon. Leviste G.R. No. L – 51832 April 26, 1989
FACTS: Petitioner Rafael Patricio, an ordained Catholic priest, and actively engaged in social and civic affairs in Pilar,
The foregoing provision provides the legal basis for the award of damages to a party who suffers damage whenever one Capiz, where he is residing, was appointed Director General of the 1976 Religious and Municipal Town Fiesta of Pilar,
commits an act in violation of some legal provision. This was incorporated by the Code Commission to provide relief to a Capiz.
person who suffers damage because another has violated some legal provision.
About 10pm, while a benefit dance was on-going in connection with the celebration of the town fiesta, petitioner together
C. Acts Contrary to Morals, Good Customs or Public Policy with two (2) policemen were posted near the gate of the public auditorium to check on the assigned watchers of the gate.
Private respondent Bienvenido Bacalocos, President of the Association of Barangay Captains of Pilar, Capiz and a
11. Wassmer v. Velez G.R. No. L – 20089 December 26, 1989 member of the Sangguniang Bayan, who was in a state of drunkenness and standing near the same gate together with
FACTS: Francisco X. Velez and Beatriz P. Wassmer, following their mutual promise of love, decided to get married and his companions, struck a bottle of beer on the table causing an injury on his hand which started to bleed. Then, he
set September 4, 1954 as the big day. On September 2, 1954 Velez left this note for his bride-to-be: approached petitioner in a hostile manner and asked the latter if he had seen his wounded hand, and before petitioner
could respond, private respondent, without provocation, hit petitioner's face with his bloodied hand. As a consequence, a
Dear Bet — commotion ensued and private respondent was brought by the policemen to the municipal building.
Will have to postpone wedding — My mother opposes it. Am leaving on the Convair today.
Please do not ask too many people about the reason why — That would only create a scandal. A criminal complaint for "Slander by Deed was filed by petitioner with the MTC, but the same was
Paquing dismissed. Subsequently, a complaint for damages was filed by petitioner and the court ruled in favor of herein petitioner
But the next day, September 3, he sent her the following telegram: holding private respondent liable to the former for moral damages as a result of the physical suffering, moral shock and
NOTHING CHANGED REST ASSURED RETURNING VERY SOON APOLOGIZE MAMA PAPA LOVE . social humiliation caused by private respondent's act of hitting petitioner on the face in public.
Petitioner filed a motion for execution of judgement but it was denied by the court a quo because there was a pending MR
Thereafter Velez did not appear nor was he heard from again. filed by respondent. Petitioner filed an opposition to the MR alleging that he did not receive any notice nor was there proof
Beatriz sued for damages. Velez did not file an answer and was declared in default. Judgment was rendered ordering of service. Respondent said that the MR was sent by ordinary mail. The court found merit in the MR and dismissed the
defendant to pay plaintiff P2,000.00 as actual damages; P25,000.00 as moral and exemplary damages; P2,500.00 as case. Petitioner then filed this petition for review on certiorari in the SC.
attorney's fees; and the costs.


I’m A Barbie Torts Case Pool
Atty. Jesus Erick F. Sta. Barbara
ISSUE: Whether or not respondent shall be liable for damages. 1. Valmonte clearly established that she was singled out by petitioner as the one responsible for the loss of her
jewelry.(citing testimony of Serena Manding *make-up artist, corroborating Valmonte's claim)
RULING: Yes. The act of private respondent in hitting petitioner on the face is contrary to morals and good customs and 2. Carpio's verbal assault upon Valmonte was done with malice and in bad faith since it was made in the presence
caused the petitioner mental anguish, moral shock, wounded feelings and social humiliation. Private respondent has to of many people without any solid proof except petitioner's suspicion.
take full responsibility for his act and his claim that he was unaware of what he had done to petitioner because of 3. Moral damages be awarded ( 100,000) for she was publicly humiliated, deeply insulted, and embarrassed. No
drunkenness is definitely no excuse and does not relieve him of his liability to the latter. award of actual damages.

Pursuant to Art. 21 of the Civil Code in relation to par. (10) of Art. 2219 of the same Code, "any person who willfully causes ISSUE: Whether or not Carpio’s imputations against respondent was made with malice and in bad faith.
loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter
for the damage." RULING: YES. There is sufficient evidence on record tending to prove that petitioner's imputations against respondent
was made with malice and in bad faith. Petitioner's testimony was shorn of substance and consists mainly of denials. Well-
Respondent then is liable for actual damages under Art 2219 which states: settled is the rule that denials, if unsubstantiated by clear and convincing evidence, are negative and self-serving which
ART. 2219. Moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases merit no weight in law and cannot be given greater evidentiary value over the testimony of credible witnesses who testify
xxx on affirmative matters.
(10) Acts and actions referred to in articles 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, and 35.
xxx xxx xxx Incorporated into our civil law are not only principles of equity but also universal moral precepts which are designed to
indicate certain norms that spring from the fountain of good conscience and which are meant to serve as guides for human
The fact that no actual or compensatory damage was proven before the trial court, does not adversely affect petitioner's conduct. First of these fundamental precepts is the principle commonly known as “abuse of rights” under Article 19 of the
right to recover moral damages. Moral damages may be awarded in appropriate cases referred to in the chapter on human Civil Code. It provides that “Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with
relations of the Civil Code (Articles 19 to 36), without need of proof that the wrongful act complained of had caused any justice, give everyone his due and observe honesty and good faith.” To find the existence of an abuse of right, the following
physical injury upon the complainant. It is clear from the report of the Code Commission that the reason underlying an elements must be present: (1) there is a legal right or duty; (2) which is exercised in bad faith; (3) for the sole intent or
award of damages under Art. 21 of the Civil Code is to compensate the injured party for the moral injury caused upon his prejudicing or injuring another.
person, thus —
Petitioner had willfully caused injury to respondent in a manner which is contrary to morals and good customs. Her firmness
... . Fully sensible that there are countless gaps in the statutes, which leave so many victims of moral and resolve to find her missing jewelry cannot justify her acts toward respondent. She did not act with justice and good
wrongs helpless, even though they have actually suffered material and moral injury, the Commission has faith for apparently, she had no other purpose in mind but to prejudice respondent. Certainly, petitioner transgressed the
deemed it necessary, in the interest of justice, to incorporate [Art 21] provisions of Article 19 in relation to Article 21 for which she should be held accountable.
Petition granted.
Affirmed that actual damages has not been substantiated with satisfactory evidence during the trial and must therefore be
13. Carpio v. Valmonte G.R. No. 151866 September 9, 2004 denied be granted . Moral damages is correctly awarded.
FACTS: Respondent Leonora Valmonte is a wedding coordinator. Michelle del Rosario and Jon Sierra engaged her
services for their church wedding. At about 4:30 p.m. on that day, Valmonte went to the Manila Hotel where the bride and D. Violation of Human Dignity and Privacy
her family were billeted. When she arrived at Suite 326-A, several persons were already there and among those present
was petitioner Soledad Carpio, an aunt of the bride. 14. Spouses Hing v. Choachuy G.R. No. 179736 December 26, 1964
FACTS: Petitioner-spouses Bill and Victoria Hing led with the RTC of Mandaue City a Complaint for Injunction and
Valmonte went out of the suite and proceeded to the Maynila Restaurant(reeception). She paid the suppliers, gave the Damages with prayer for issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Mandatory Injunction/Temporary Restraining Order (TRO),
meal allowance to the band, and went back to the suite. Upon entering the suite, Valmonte noticed the people staring at docketed as Civil Case MAN-5223 and raffled to Branch 28, against respondents Alexander Choachuy, Sr. and Allan
her. It was at this juncture that petitioner allegedly uttered the following words to Valmonte: “Ikaw lang ang lumabas ng Choachuy.
kwarto, nasaan ang dala mong bag? Saan ka pumunta? Ikaw lang ang lumabas ng kwarto, ikaw ang kumuha.” Carpio
then ordered one of the ladies to search Valmonte's bag. It turned out that after Valmonte left the room to attend to her Spouses Hing alleged that they are the registered owners of a parcel of land situated in Barangay Basak, City of Mandaue,
duties, Carpio discovered that the pieces of jewelry which she placed inside the comfort room in a paper bag were lost. Cebu; that respondents are the owners of Aldo Development & Resources, Inc. (Aldo) located at a lot, adjacent to the
The jewelry pieces consist of 2 diamond rings, 1 set of diamond earrings, bracelet and necklace with a total value of about property of petitioners; that respondents constructed an auto-repair shop building (Aldo Goodyear Servitec); that in April
1Million. The hotel security was called in to help in the search. The bags and personal belongings of all the people inside 2005, Aldo filed a case against petitioners for Injunction and Damages with Writ of Preliminary Injunction/TRO, that in that
the room were searched. Valmonte was allegedly bodily searched, interrogated and trailed by a security guard throughout case, Aldo claimed that petitioners were constructing a fence without a valid permit and that the said construction would
the evening. Later, police officers arrived and interviewed all persons who had access to the suite and fingerprinted them destroy the wall of its building, which is adjacent to petitioners' property; that the court, in that case, denied Aldo's
including Valmonte. During all the time Valmonte was being interrogated by the police officers, petitioner kept on saying application for preliminary injunction for failure to substantiate its allegations; that, in order to get evidence to support the
the words “Siya lang ang lumabas ng kwarto.” Valmonte's car which was parked at the hotel premises was also searched said case, respondents illegally set-up and installed on the building of Aldo Goodyear Servitec 2 video surveillance
but the search yielded nothing. cameras facing petitioners' property; that respondents, through their employees and without the consent of petitioners,
also took pictures of petitioners' on-going construction; and that the acts of respondents violate petitioners' right to
After a few days, Valmonte sent a letter to Carpio demanding a formal letter of apology which she wanted to be circulated privacy.Thus, petitioners prayed that respondents be ordered to remove the video surveillance cameras and enjoined from
to the newlyweds' relatives and guests to redeem her smeared reputation as a result of petitioner's imputations against conducting illegal surveillance.
her. Since Carpio did not respond, Valmonte filed a suit for damages against her before the RTC of Pasig City(Br. 268). In
her complaint, Valmonte prayed that petitioner be ordered to pay actual, moral and exemplary damages, as well as In their Answer with Counterclaim, respondents claimed that they did not install the video surveillance cameras, nor did
attorney's fees. they order their employees to take pictures of petitioners' construction. They also clarified that they are not the owners of
Aldo but are mere stockholders.
RTC: dismissed Valmonte's complaint for damages
1. Carpio is merely exercising her legal right. If damage results in its exercise it is damnum absque injuria. RTC: granted the application for a TRO
2. No proof was presented by Valmonte to show that petitioner acted maliciously and in bad faith in pointing to her CA: granted Petition for Certiorari (Rule 65). Writ of Preliminary Injunction was issued with grave abuse of discretion
as the culprit. (failure to show that Valmonte suffered serious anxiety, moral shock, social humiliation, or that her because petitioners failed to show a clear and unmistakable right to an injunctive writ. The CA explained that the right to
reputation was besmirched due to petitioner's wrongful act) privacy of residence under Article 26 (1) of the Civil Code was not violated since the property subject of the controversy is
not used as a residence.
CA: Reversed
ISSUE: Whether or not there is a violation of petitioners' right to privacy.


I’m A Barbie Torts Case Pool
Atty. Jesus Erick F. Sta. Barbara
Neither does it involve prying into the privacy of another's residence or meddling with or disturbing the private life or family
RULING: YES. The right to privacy is enshrined in our Constitution and in our laws. It is defined as "the right to be free relation of another.
from unwarranted exploitation of one's person or from intrusion into one's private activities in such a way as to cause
humiliation to a person's ISSUE: Whether or not there is basis in law for the award of damages to private respondents

Article 26 (1) of the Civil Code protects an individual's right to privacy and provides a legal remedy against abuses that RULING: YES. The factual findings provide enough basis in law for the award of damages by the Court of Appeals in
may be committed against him by other individuals.This provision recognizes that a man's house is his castle, where his favor of respondents. We reject petitioner's posture that no legal provision supports such award, the incident complained
right to privacy cannot be denied or even restricted by others. It includes "any act of intrusion into, peeping or peering of neither falling under Art. 2219 nor Art. 26 of the Civil Code. It does not need further elucidation that the incident charged
inquisitively into the residence of another without the consent of the latter." The phrase "prying into the privacy of another's of petitioner was no less than an invasion on the right of respondent Nestor as a person. The philosophy behind Art. 26
residence," however, does not mean that only the residence is entitled to privacy. As elucidated by Civil law expert Arturo underscores the necessity for its inclusion in our civil law. The Code Commission stressed in no uncertain terms that the
M. Tolentino: human personality must be exalted. The sacredness of human personality is a concomitant consideration of every plan for
human amelioration. The touchstone of every system of law, of the culture and civilization of every country, is how far it
Our Code specifically mentions "prying into the privacy of another's residence." This does not mean, however, that only dignifies man. If the statutes insufficiently protect a person from being unjustly humiliated, in short, if human personality is
the residence is entitled to privacy, because the law covers also "similar acts." A business office is entitled to the same not exalted — then the laws are indeed defective. Thus, under this article, the rights of persons are amply protected, and
privacy when the public is excluded therefrom and only such individuals as are allowed to enter may come in. . . . (Emphasis damages are provided for violations of a person's dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind.
It is petitioner's position that the act imputed to him does not constitute any of those enumerated in Arts. 26 and 2219. In
Thus, an individual's right to privacy under Article 26 (1) of the Civil Code should not be confined to his house or residence this respect, the law is clear. The violations mentioned in the codal provisions are not exclusive but are merely examples
as it may extend to places where he has the right to exclude the public or deny them access. The phrase "prying into the and do not preclude other similar or analogous acts. Damages therefore are allowable for actions against a person's
privacy of another's residence," therefore, covers places, locations, or even situations which an individual considers as dignity, such as profane, insulting, humiliating, scandalous or abusive language. Under Art. 2217 of the Civil Code, moral
private. And as long as his right is recognized by society, other individuals may not infringe on his right to privacy. The CA, damages which include physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded
therefore, erred in limiting the application of Article 26 (1) of the Civil Code only to residences. feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, and similar injury, although incapable of pecuniary computation, may be
recovered if they are the proximate result of the defendant's wrongful act or omission.
The "reasonable expectation of privacy" test is used to determine whether there is a violation of the right to privacy.
In ascertaining whether there is a violation of the right to privacy, courts use the "reasonable expectation of privacy" test. There is no question that private respondent Nestor Nicolas suffered mental anguish, besmirched reputation, wounded
This test determines whether a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and whether the expectation has been feelings and social humiliation as a proximate result of petitioner's abusive, scandalous and insulting language.
violated. In Ople v. Torres, we enunciated that "the reasonableness of a person's expectation of privacy depends on a two-
part test: (1) whether, by his conduct, the individual has exhibited an expectation of privacy; and (2) this expectation is one 16. Manaloto v. Veloso III G.R. No. 171365 October 6, 2010
that society recognizes as reasonable." Customs, community norms, and practices may, therefore, limit or extend an FACTS: This case sprung from an unlawful detainer (UD) case filed by petitioners herein against respondent, alleging in
individual's "reasonable expectation of privacy." Hence, the reasonableness of a person's expectation of privacy must be the complaint that the former are lessors of a residential house located at No. 42 Big Horseshoe Drive, Horseshoe Village,
determined on a case-to-case basis since it depends on the factual circumstances surrounding the case. Quezon City, which property was leased to respondent Jongco at a monthly rental of 17,000. This action was then instituted
on the ground that respondents failed to pay rentals from May 1997 to December 1998 despite repeated demands.
15. Concepcion v. Court of Appeals G.R. No. 120706 January 31, 2000 Respondent Jongco denied the non-payment and alleged that he had already made advanced payments of 825k when he
FACTS: In 1985, the Sps Nestor and Allem Nicolas resided at No. 51 M. Concepcion St., San Joaquin, Pasig City, in an paid for repairs done on the leased property.
apartment leased to them by the owner, Florence "Bing" Concepcion, who also resided in the same compound where the
apartment was located. Nestor was then engaged in the business of supplying government agencies and private entities MeTC  decided in favor of Manaloto et al, ordering respondent to vacate the premises, pay petitioners sum of 306k as
with office equipment, appliances and other fixtures on a cash purchase or credit basis. Florence joined this venture by rentals from May 1997 to Nov 1998, and 17k a month thereafter until respondent vacates the premises, and pay petitioners
contributing capital on condition that after her capital investment was returned to her, any profit earned would be divided 5k as atty’s fees.
equally between her and Nestor.
RTC Br 88  reversed MeTC decision; Respondent was ordered to pay arrearages from May 1997 up to date of decision
Sometime in the 2nd week of July, Rodrigo Concepcion, brother of the deceased husband of Florence, angrily accosted but he was also given an option to choose between staying in the leased property or vacating the same, subject to
Nestor at the latter's apartment and accused him of conducting an adulterous relationship with Florence. reimbursement by petitioners of ½ of the value of the improvements in the amt of 120k. Respondent was also given the
To clarify matters, Nestor went with Rodrigo, upon the latter's dare, to see some relatives of the Concepcion family who right to remove said improvements pursuant to Art 1678 of the CC, should petitioners refuse to pay 60k.
allegedly knew about the relationship. However, those whom they were able to see denied knowledge of the alleged affair.  MR was filed, which was granted by RTC; it issued an Order modifying the previous ruling, increasing the value of
The same accusation was hurled by Rodrigo against Nestor when the 2 confronted Florence at the terrace of her residence. the improvements from 120 to 800k.
Florence denied the imputations and Rodrigo backtracked saying that he just heard the rumor from a relative. Thereafter,  After successive appeals to the CA and SC, the decision of the RTC (reversing the decision of the MeTC) became
however, Rodrigo called Florence over the telephone reiterating his accusation and threatening her that should something final and executory.
happen to his sick mother, in case the latter learned about the affair, he would kill Florence.
During the appeal by respondents before the RTC Br 88 of the UD case, respondent also filed before the RTC Br 227 a
As a result of this incident, Nestor felt extreme embarrassment and shame to the extent that he could no longer face his complaint for breach of contract and damages against petitioners, alleging two causes of action – 1) for damages due to
neighbors. Florence also ceased to do business with him by not contributing capital anymore so much so that the business embarrassment and humiliation suffered by respondent when petitioners distributed copies of the abovementioned MeTC
venture of the Nicolas spouses declined as they could no longer cope with their commitments to their clients and ruling in the unlawful detainer case while respondent’s appeal was still pending before the RTC Br 88; 2) for breach of
customers. To make matters worse, Allem started to doubt Nestor's fidelity resulting in frequent bickerings and quarrels contract since petitioners as lessors failed to make continuing repairs on the subject property.
during which Allem even expressed her desire to leave her husband. Consequently, Nestor was forced to write Rodrigo
demanding public apology and payment of damages. Rodrigo pointedly ignored the demand, for which reason the Nicolas Petitioners  filed an Omnibus Motion praying for the dismissal of respondent’s complaint, alleging that respondent had
spouses led a civil suit against him for damages. no cause of action because the MeTC decision in the UD case was a matter of public record and its disclosure was not in
violation of law or legal right.
RTC: ruled in favor of Nestor: ordered Rodrigo to pay respondent spouses the sums of P50,000 for moral damages,
P25,000 for exemplary damages and P10,000.00 for attorney's fees, plus the costs of suit. RTC Br 227  For petitioners; dismissed respondent’s complaint for violating rules against splitting of cause of action,
lack of jurisdiction, and failure to disclose the pendency of a related case; that the case before it had the same facts,
CA: affirmed decision of RTC parties, causes of action as those in the UD case.
Petitioner claims absence of factual and legal basis for the award of damages. The alleged act imputed to him does not After multiple motions for reconsideration, RTC Br 227 granted the latest motion and consequently forwarded the case to
fall under Arts. 26 and 2219 of the Civil Code since it does not constitute libel, slander, or any other form of defamation. the CA.


I’m A Barbie Torts Case Pool
Atty. Jesus Erick F. Sta. Barbara
(From RTC Br 227 to) CA  Dismissed respondent’s second cause of action (breach of contract), but held that Br 227 the complaint is meritorious; it shall only result in the reinstatement of the complaint and the hearing of the case for
should proceed with the merits as to the first cause of action (damages); that petitioners are liable to respondent for presentation of evidence by the parties.
damages for causing embarrassment and humiliation in the community where respondent mingled in; that moral damages
may also be awarded since petitioners acted in bad faith. 17. Gregorio v. Court of Appeals G.R. No. 179799 September 11, 2009
FACTS: This case arose from filing of an Affidavit of Complaint for violation of BP 22 by respondent Datuin as OIC of
Petitioners  Assert that the award of damages in respondent’s favor has no factual and legal bases; that the CA erred Accounts Receivables Dept and upon the authority of respondent Sansio PH Inc (Sansio) against petitioner Gregorio and
in awarding moral and exemplary damages based on bare and unproven allegations without the benefit of any hearing or a Vito Belarmino as proprietors of Alvi Marketing, alleging in the complaint that they delivered insufficiently funded bank
trial. While the appellate court declared that RTC-Branch 227 should have proceeded with the trial on the merits involving checks as payment for the appliances bought by Alvi Marketing from Sansio.
the action for damages, it surprisingly went ahead and ruled on petitioners liability for said damages even without trial.
Gregorio was indicted for 3 counts of violation of BP 22 before the MeTC Br 3, Manila.
Respondent  maintains that petitioners are liable for damages as correctly ruled by the appellate court even without
any hearing or trial since petitioners, in filing their omnibus motion, were deemed to have hypothetically admitted as true MeTC  Issued a warrant of arrest, served upon Gregorio by the armed operatives of the Public Assistance and Reaction
the allegations in said complaint. Against Crime (PARAC) of the DILG on Oct 17, 1997, Friday at 9:30AM in QC while she was visiting her husband and
their 2 daughters at their city residence.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners are liable for damages to respondent despite absence of hearing/trial
Gregorio  was brought to the PARAC-DILG Office where mug shots and fingerprinting took place, and where she was
RULING: YES. We likewise agree with the Court of Appeals that the RTC-Branch 227 should not have dismissed eventually detained. But she was released on the same day since her husband posted a bond for her temporary liberty.
respondents complaint for damages on the ground of failure to state a cause of action.  Filed before the MeTC a Motion for Deferment of Arraignment and Reinvestigation, alleging she could not have
issued the bouncing checks since she did not have a checking account with the bank from which the checks were
A cause of action (for damages) exists if the following elements are present: (1) a right in favor of the plaintiff by whatever drawn, as certified by the branch manager of the PNB Sorsogon Branch; also alleged that her signature was
means and under whatever law it arises or is created; (2) an obligation on the part of the named defendant to respect or patently different from the sigs appearing on the bouncing checks.
not to violate such right; and (3) an act or omission on the part of such defendant violative of the right of the plaintiff or
constituting a breach of the obligation of defendant to the plaintiff for which the latter may maintain an action for recovery MeTC  granted the motion, reinvestigation was conducted. In the course of, Datuin (respondent) submitted an affidavit
of damages. of desistance, explaining that Gregorio was not one of the signatories of the bounced checks.
 Eventually, the BP 22 case was dismissed by virtue of the city prosecutor’s motion to dismiss.
We find that all three elements exist in the case at bar. Respondent may not have specifically identified each element, but
it may be sufficiently determined from the allegations in his complaint. Gregorio  August 2000, filed a complaint for damages against Sansio and Datuin before the RTC Br 12, Ligao Albay,
alleging that Emma Datuin, under the authority of her employer Sansio, falsely stated in the Affidavit of Complaint among
First, respondent filed the complaint to protect his good character, name, and reputation. Every man has a right to build, others that Gregorio issued and delivered 3 PNB Checks (amounts: 9,564, 19,194.48, 10k), and through the same Affidavit
keep, and be favored with a good name. This right is protected by law with the recognition of slander and libel as actionable falsely charged Gregorio with offenses of Estafa and/or BP 22 on 3 counts resulting to the city prosecutor’s issuance of a
wrongs, whether as criminal offenses or tortuous conduct. resolution finding the existence of probable cause against Gregorio for violation of BP 22.
 That in a Memo of Prelimiinary Investigation, Datuin falsely indicated the address of Gregorio to be at No. 76
Second, petitioners are obliged to respect respondents good name even though they are opposing parties in the unlawful Penaranda St., Legaspi City, when the truth was that Gregorio’s address was in Barangay Rizal, Oas, Albay;
detainer case. As Article 19 of the Civil Code requires, [e]very person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the  That as a consequence of the wrong address, Gregorio was not duly notified of the charges filed against her by
performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith. A violation of such Datuin, and was not able to controvert them before the investigating prosecutor, thus resulting to the 3 counts of
principle constitutes an abuse of rights, a tortuous conduct. BP 22.
 That by reason of all the above-stated, Gregorio was issued a warrant of arrest and eventually detained, but was
Petitioners are also expected to respect respondents dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind under Article 26 of released through her husband’s efforts of posting a bond for her temporary liberty
the Civil Code.  That as a result of all these transpirations, incalculable damage has been inflicted on Gregorio on account of
Datuin’s wanton, callous and reckless disregard of the fundamental legal precept that "every person shall respect
Thus, Article 2219(10) of the Civil Code allows the recovery of moral damages for acts and actions referred to in Article the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors and other persons" (Art. 26, Civil Code of the
26, among other provisions, of the Civil Code.And third, respondent alleged that the distribution by petitioners to Horseshoe Philippines);
Village homeowners of copies of the MeTC decision in the unlawful detainer case, which was adverse to respondent and  That Gregorio eing completely innocent of the charges against her as adverted to in the preceding paragraphs,
still on appeal before the RTC-Branch 88, had no apparent lawful or just purpose except to humiliate respondent or assault was socially humiliated, embarrassed, suffered physical discomfort, mental anguish, fright, and serious anxiety as
his character. As a result, respondent suffered damages becoming the talk of the town and being deprived of his political a proximate result of her unjustified indictment, arrest and detention at the PARAC headquarters – all of these
career. ordeals having been exacerbated by the fact that plaintiff is a woman who comes from a respected family in Oas,
Albay, being the wife of an executive of the Philippine National Construction Corporation, the mother of two college
Petitioners reason that respondent has no cause of action against them since the MeTC decision in the unlawful detainer students studying in Manila, a pharmacist by profession, a businesswoman by occupation, and an incumbent
case was part of public records. Municipal Councilor (Kagawad) of Oas, Albay, at the time of her arrest and detention; and that she previously held
It is already settled that the public has a right to see and copy judicial records and documents.[28] However, this is not a prestigious positions in gov’t (see case for list; there are 9 positions), not to mention the undue aspersion cast upon
case of the public seeking and being denied access to judicial records and documents. The controversy is rooted in the her social, professional and business reputation because of defendants’ tortious act of accusing her of Estafa
dissemination by petitioners of the MeTC judgment against respondent to Horseshoe Village homeowners, who were not and/or issuing bouncing checks – even without a scintilla of evidence
involved at all in the unlawful detainer case, thus, purportedly affecting negatively respondents good name and reputation  That by reason of Datuin’s reckless imprudence, Gregorio had to spend for litation expenses amounting to 20k,
among said homeowners. 50k, and 35k
 That by reason of all the aforegoing and pursuant to the provision of law that "whoever by act or omission causes
NOTES: Bad faith according to CA  does not simply connote bad judgment or negligence, it imports a dishonest purpose damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done," (Article 2176, Civil
or some moral obliquity and conscious doing of a wrong, a breach of known duty through some motive or interest or ill will Code of the Philippines), the plaintiff is entitled to and hereby claims the following items of damages: a.
that partakes of the nature of fraud. ₱3,000,000.00 as moral damages, b. ₱50,000.00 as actual damages, c. ₱50,000.00 as nominal damages, d.
₱70,000.00 as attorney’s fees, e. ₱35,000.00 as litigation expenses.
As to non-need of presentation of evidence by reason of petitioner’s motion to dismiss the complaint for damages, thereby  That defendants herein are jointly and solidarily liable for the payment of the above items of damages being co-
hypothetically admitting respondent’s allegations: This cannot lie. The hypothetical admission of respondents allegations tortfeasors. Moreover, defendant SANSIO PHILIPPINES, INC. is vicariously liable as the employer of defendant
in the complaint only goes so far as determining whether said complaint should be dismissed on the ground of failure to Emma J. Datuin who patently acted within the scope of her assigned tasks (Vide: Art. 2180, Civil Code of the
state a cause of action. A finding that the complaint sufficiently states a cause of action does not necessarily mean that Philippines).


I’m A Barbie Torts Case Pool
Atty. Jesus Erick F. Sta. Barbara
more pleasant place free from the din and dust of city life yet near all facilities. Plans took shape when
Sansio and Datuin  Filed a MTD contending that the complaint, being one for damages arising from malicious they heard of BROOKSIDE HILLS. With thrift and determination, they bought a lot and built their dream
prosecution, failed to state a cause of action since the ultimate facts constituting the elements thereof were not alleged in house ... for P31,000. The Arcadios are now part of the friendly, thriving community of BROOKSIDE
the complaint. HILLS... a beautiful first-class subdivision planned for wholesome family living.
 Gregorio opposed, Datuin and Sansio replied, Gregorio filed her rejoinder.
The same ad appeared in the Jan 5 1959 Sunday Times.
RTC  denied the MTD; denied the MR that Datuin and Sansio subsequently filed; rendered its decision, expressly stating
therein that the COMPLAINT WAS ONE FOR DAMAGES BASED ON QUASI-DELICT and not on malicious prosecution. Dr Armil  a neuropsychiatrist and a member of the faculty of UERM hospital noticed the mistake, and on the same day
wrote to St Louis a letter, stating in essence the latter’s unauthorized use of the house for such publicity, written as follows:
CA  ordered the dismissal of the damage suit of Gregorio. This is anent to your advertisements appearing in the December 15, 1968 and January 5, 1969 issues of
the Sunday Times which boldly depicted my house at the above-mentioned address and implying that it
ISSUE: Whether or not the complaint, a civil suit filed by Gregorio, is based on quasi-delict or malicious prosecution. belonged to another person. I am not aware of any permission or authority on my part for the use of my
house for such publicity.
RULING: We cannot agree with Sansio’s and Datuin’s position that the complaint for damages filed by Gregorio before
the RTC was for malicious prosecution, and that it failed to allege the elements thereof. This unauthorized use of my house for your promotional gain and much more the apparent distortions
therein are I believe not only transgression to my private property but also damaging to my prestige in the
A perusal of the allegations of Gregorio’s complaint for damages readily shows that she filed a civil suit against Sansio medical profession I have had invited in several occasions numerous medical colleagues, medical students
and Datuin for filing against her criminal charges for violation of B.P. Blg. 22; that respondents did not exercise diligent and friends to my house and after reading your December 15 advertisement some of them have uttered
efforts to ascertain the true identity of the person who delivered to them insufficiently funded checks as payment for the some remarks purporting doubts as to my professional and personal integrity. Such sly remarks although
various appliances purchased; and that respondents never gave her the opportunity to controvert the charges against her, in light vein as "it looks like your house," "how much are you renting from the Arcadios?", " like your wife
because they stated an incorrect address in the criminal complaint. Gregorio claimed damages for the embarrassment portrayed in the papers as belonging to another husband," etc., have resulted in no little mental anguish
and humiliation she suffered when she was suddenly arrested at her city residence in Quezon City while visiting her family. on my part.
She was, at the time of her arrest, a respected Kagawad in Oas, Albay. Gregorio anchored her civil complaint on Articles
26,21 2176,22 and 218023 of the Civil Code. Noticeably, despite alleging either fault or negligence on the part of Sansio Ernesto Magtoto  officer of St Louis, received the letter, and stopped publication of the ad. He contacted Dr. Armil and
and Datuin, Gregorio never imputed to them any bad faith in her complaint. offered apologies, but no rectification or apology was published.
Undeniably, Gregorio’s civil complaint, read in its entirety, is a complaint based on quasi-delict under Article 2176, in
relation to Article 26 of the Civil Code, rather than on malicious prosecution. Dr. Armil’s counsel  demanded from St Louis actual, moral, exemplary damages at 110k

In every tort case filed under Article 2176 of the Civil Code, the plaintiff has to prove by a preponderance of evidence: (1) St. Louis  answered, claimed that it was an honest mistake and that if Armil desired, rectification would be published in
the damages suffered by him; (2) the fault or negligence of the defendant or some other person to whose act he must The Manila Times.
respond; (3) the connection of cause and effect between the fault or negligence and the damages incurred; and (4) that
there must be no preexisting contractual relation between the parties. Manila Times, March 18 1969  a new ad with the Arcadio Family and their real house was published. But no apology to
Dr. Armil nor an explanation of the error was published.
On the other hand, Article 26 of the Civil Code grants a cause of action for damages, prevention, and other relief in cases
of breach, though not necessarily constituting a criminal offense, of the following rights: (1) right to personal dignity; (2) Dr. Armil  Filed a complaint for damages.
right to personal security; (3) right to family relations; (4) right to social intercourse; (5) right to privacy; and (6) right to
peace of mind. St Louis  in the April 15 1969 issue of the Manila Times, published a notice of rectification in a space 4x3inches.

A scrutiny of Gregorio’s civil complaint reveals that the averments thereof, taken together, fulfill the elements of Article Judge Luterio  Observed that St Louis should have IMMEDIATELY published a rectification and apology, and found that
2176, in relation to Article 26 of the Civil Code. It appears that Gregorio’s rights to personal dignity, personal security, as a result of the mistake and utter lack of sincerity, Dr. Armil suffered mental anguish and his income was reduced by about
privacy, and peace of mind were infringed by Sansio and Datuin when they failed to exercise the requisite diligence in 1k to 1.5k a month, and such was a violation of Armil’s right to privacy (Art 26, CC).
determining the identity of the person they should rightfully accuse of tendering insufficiently funded checks.
Trial Court  awarded actual damages 8k, moral 20k, atty’s fees 2k.
Sansio and Datuin are in error when they insist that Gregorio’s complaint is based on malicious prosecution. In an
action to recover damages for malicious prosecution, it must be alleged and established that Sansio and Datuin CA  affirmed trial court; that St Louis committed an actionable QD under Art 21 and 26 of the CC since the ads pictured
were impelled by legal malice or bad faith in deliberately initiating an action against Gregorio, knowing that the charges a beautiful house which did not belong to Arcadio but to Dr. Armil.
were false and groundless, intending to vex and humiliate her. As previously mentioned, Gregorio did not allege this in her
complaint. Moreover, the fact that she prayed for moral damages did not change the nature of her action based on quasi- ISSUE: Whether or not there was a violation of Dr. Armil’s Right to Privacy and Human Dignity in this case
delict. She might have acted on the mistaken notion that she was entitled to moral damages, considering that she suffered
physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, and RULING:
social humiliation on account of her indictment and her sudden arrest. YES.
Procedural aspect: In this appeal, St. Louis Realty contends that the Appellate Court ignored certain facts and resorted to
18. St. Louis Realty Corporation v. Court of Appeals G.R. No. L – 46061 November 14, 1984 surmises and conjectures. This contention is unwarranted. The Appellate Court adopted the facts found by the trial court.
FACTS: Case for recovery of damages based on a wrongful advertisement in the Sunday Times where petitioner Those factual findings are binding on this Court.
corporation misrepresented that the house of Dr. Conrado J. Armil belonged to Arcadio S. Arcadio.
Substantive aspect: St. Louis Realty also contends that the decision is contrary to law and that the case was decided in a
St Louis  caused to be published with the permission of Arcadio (but without permission from Dr. Armil) in the Dec 15 way not in conformity with the rulings of this Court. It argues that the case is not covered by article 26 which provides that
1968 Sunday Times an ad with the heading “WHERE THE HEART IS”, below such heading was a photograph of the "every person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors and other persons". "Prying
residence/house of Dr. Armil and the Arcadio family (indicating that the Arcadio family lived in Dr. Armil’s house), and into the privacy of another's residence" and "meddling with or disturbing the private life or family relations of
below the photograph was the following write up: another" and "similar acts", "though they may not constitute a criminal offense, shall produce a cause of action for
Home is where the heart is. And the hearts of MR. AND MRS. ARCADIO S. ARCADIO and their family damages, prevention and other relief".
have been captured by BROOKSIDE HILLS. They used to rent a small 2-bedroom house in a cramped
neighborhood, sadly inadequate and unwholesome for the needs of a large family. They dream(ed) of a


I’m A Barbie Torts Case Pool
Atty. Jesus Erick F. Sta. Barbara
The damages fixed by Judge Leuterio are sanctioned by Articles 2200, 2208 and 2219 of the Civil Code. Article 2219 allows Upon discovery, Escudero reported the matter and, through one of her student's Facebook page, showed the photos to
moral damages for acts and actions mentioned in Article 26. As lengthily explained by Justice Gatmaitan, the acts and Kristine Rose Tigol (Tigol), STC's Discipline-in-Charge, for appropriate action. Thereafter, following an investigation, STC
omissions of the firm fall under Article 26. found the identified students to have deported themselves in a manner proscribed by the school's Student Handbook, to
St. Louis Realty's employee was grossly negligent in mixing up the Aramil and Arcadio residences in a widely circulated 1. Possession of alcoholic drinks outside the school campus;
publication like the Sunday Times. To suit its purpose, it never made any written apology and explanation of the mix- 2. Engaging in immoral, indecent, obscene or lewd acts;
up. It just contented itself with a cavalier "rectification ". 3. Smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages in public places;
4. Apparel that exposes the underwear;
Persons, who know the residence of Doctor Aramil, were confused by the distorted, lingering impression that he 5. Clothing that advocates unhealthy behaviour; depicts obscenity; contains sexually suggestive messages, language
was renting his residence from Arcadio or that Arcadio had leased it from him. Either way, his private life was or symbols; and
mistakenly and unnecessarily exposed. He suffered diminution of income and mental anguish. 6. Posing and uploading pictures on the Internet that entail ample body exposure.

E. Unjustified Refusal or Neglect of a Public Servant to Perform Official Duties On March 1, 2012, Julia, Julienne, Angela, and the other students in the pictures in question, reported, as required, to the
office of Sr. Celeste Ma. Purisima Pe (Sr. Purisima), STC's high school principal and ICM Directress. They claimed that
19. Amaro v. Sumanguit G.R. No. L – 14986 during the meeting, they were castigated and verbally abused by the STC officials present in the conference, including
FACTS: Appellants filed suit for damages in the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental against the chief of police of Assistant Principal Mussolini S. Yap (Yap), Roswinda Jumiller, and Tigol. What is more, Sr. Purisima informed their parents
the City of Silay. Although not specifically alleged in the complaint, it is admittedly by both parties, as shown in their the following day that, as part of their penalty, they are barred from joining the commencement exercises scheduled on
respective briefs, that the action is predicated on Articles 21 and/or 27 of the Civil Code March 30, 2012. EDHCSI
The complaint was dismissed upon appellee's motion in the court below on the ground that it does not state facts sufficient
to constitute a cause of action. The only question now before us refers to correctness of the order of dismissal. A week before graduation, or on March 23, 2012, Angela's mother, Dr. Armenia M. Tan (Tan), filed a Petition for Injunction
and Damages before the RTC of Cebu City against STC, et al., docketed as Civil Case No. CEB-38594. In it, Tan prayed
The pertinent allegations in the complaint are that on October 5, 1958 appellant Jose Amaro was assaulted and shot at that defendants therein be enjoined from implementing the sanction that precluded Angela from joining the commencement
near the city government building of Silay; that the following day he, together with his father (Cornelio Amaro) and his exercises. On March 25, 2012, petitioner Rhonda Ave Vivares (Vivares), the mother of Julia, joined the fray as an
witnesses, "went to the office of the defendant but instead of obtaining assistance to their complaint they were harassed intervenor.
and terrorized;" that in view thereof they "gave up and renounced their right and interest in the prosecution of the crime. .
. .;" that upon advice of the City Mayor given to appellee an investigation (of said crime) was conducted and as a result On March 28, 2012, defendants in Civil Case No. CEB-38594 filed their memorandum, containing printed copies of the
the city attorney of Silay was about to file or had already filed an information for illegal discharge of firearms against the photographs in issue as annexes. That same day, the RTC issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) allowing the
assailant; and that "having finished the investigation of the crime complained of, the defendant chief of police is now students to attend the graduation ceremony, to which STC filed a motion for reconsideration.
harassing the plaintiffs in their daily work, ordering them thru his police to appear in his office when he is absent, and he
is about to order the arrest of the plaintiffs to take their signatures in prepared affidavits exempting the police from any Despite the issuance of the TRO, STC, nevertheless, barred the sanctioned students from participating in the graduation
dereliction of duty in their case against the perpetrator of the crime." rites, arguing that, on the date of the commencement exercises, its adverted motion for reconsideration on the issuance
of the TRO remained unresolved.
ISSUE: Whether or not the dismissal was correct?
Thereafter, petitioners filed before the RTC a Petition for the Issuance of a Writ of Habeas Data, docketed as SP. Proc.
RULING: We are of the opinion that the facts set out constitute an actionable dereliction on appellee's part in the light of No. 19251-CEB on the basis of the following considerations:
Article 27 of the Civil Code. That appellants were "harassed and terrorized" may be a conclusion of law and hence 1. The photos of their children in their undergarments (e.g., bra) were taken for posterity before they changed into
improperly pleaded. Their claim for relief, however, is not based on the fact of harassment and terrorization but on their swimsuits on the occasion of a birthday beach party;
appellee's refusal to give them assistance, which it was his duty to do as an officer of the law. The requirement under the 2. The privacy setting of their children's Facebook accounts was set at "Friends Only." They, thus, have a reasonable
aforesaid provision that such refusal must be "without just cause" is implicit in the context of the allegation. The statement expectation of privacy which must be respected.
of appellee's dereliction is repeated in a subsequent paragraph of the complaint, where it is alleged that "he is about to 3. Respondents, being involved in the field of education, knew or ought to have known of laws that safeguard the
order the arrest of the plaintiffs" to make them sign affidavits of exculpation in favor of the policeman. right to privacy. Corollarily, respondents knew or ought to have known that the girls, whose privacy has been
invaded, are the victims in this case, and not the offenders. Worse, after viewing the photos, the minors were called
F. Cyber Torts "immoral" and were punished outright;
4. The photos accessed belong to the girls and, thus, cannot be used and reproduced without their consent.
20. Vivares v. St. Theresa’s College G.R. No. 202666 September 29, 2014 Escudero, however, violated their rights by saving digital copies of the photos and by subsequently showing them
FACTS: Nenita Julia V. Daluz (Julia) and Julienne Vida Suzara (Julienne), both minors, were, during the period material, to STC's officials. Thus, the Facebook accounts of petitioners' children were intruded upon;
graduating high school students at St. Theresa's College (STC), Cebu City. Sometime in January 2012, while changing 5. The intrusion into the Facebook accounts, as well as the copying of information, data, and digital images happened
into their swimsuits for a beach party they were about to attend, Julia and Julienne, along with several others, took digital at STC's Computer Laboratory; and
pictures of themselves clad only in their undergarments. These pictures were then uploaded by Angela Lindsay Tan 6. All the data and digital images that were extracted were boldly broadcasted by respondents through their
(Angela) on her Facebook profile. memorandum submitted to the RTC in connection with Civil Case No. CEB-38594.

Back at the school, Mylene Rheza T. Escudero (Escudero), a computer teacher at STC's high school department, learned To petitioners, the interplay of the foregoing constitutes an invasion of their children's privacy and, thus, prayed that: (a) a
from her students that some seniors at STC posted pictures online, depicting themselves from the waist up, dressed only writ of habeas data be issued; (b) respondents be ordered to surrender and deposit with the court all soft and printed
in brassieres. Escudero then asked her students if they knew who the girls in the photos are. In turn, they readily identified copies of the subject data before or at the preliminary hearing; and (c) after trial, judgment be rendered declaring all
Julia, Julienne, and Chloe Lourdes Taboada (Chloe), among others. information, data, and digital images accessed, saved or stored, reproduced, spread and used, to have been illegally
obtained in violation of the children's right to privacy.
Using STC's computers, Escudero's students logged in to their respective personal Facebook accounts and showed her
photos of the identified students, which include: (a) Julia and Julienne drinking hard liquor and smoking cigarettes inside Finding the petition sufficient in form and substance, the RTC, through an Order dated July 5, 2012, issued the writ
a bar; and (b) Julia and Julienne along the streets of Cebu wearing articles of clothing that show virtually the entirety of of habeas data. Through the same Order, herein respondents were directed to file their verified written return, together
their black brassieres. What is more, Escudero's students claimed that there were times when access to or the availability with the supporting affidavits, within five (5) working days from service of the writ.
of the identified students' photos was not confined to the girls' Facebook friends, but were, in fact, viewable by any In time, respondents complied with the RTC's directive and filed their verified written return, laying down the following
Facebook user. grounds for the denial of the petition, viz.: (a) petitioners are not the proper parties to file the petition; (b) petitioners are


I’m A Barbie Torts Case Pool
Atty. Jesus Erick F. Sta. Barbara
engaging in forum shopping; (c) the instant case is not one where a writ of habeas data may issue; and (d) there can be Notably, there are also those who would want, like vandals, to wreak or cause havoc to the computer systems and networks
no violation of their right to privacy as there is no reasonable expectation of privacy on Facebook. of indispensable or highly useful institutions as well as to the laptop or computer programs and memories of innocent
individuals. They accomplish this by sending electronic viruses or virtual dynamites that destroy those computer systems,
ISSUE: Whether or not STC violated petitioners' daughters' right to privacy. networks, programs, and memories. The government certainly has the duty and the right to prevent these tomfooleries
from happening and punish their perpetrators, hence the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
RULING: NO. A Facebook user can regulate the visibility and accessibility of digital images (photos), posted on his or her
personal bulletin or "wall," except for the user's profile picture and ID, by selecting his or her desired privacy setting: But petitioners claim that the means adopted by the cybercrime law for regulating undesirable cyberspace activities violate
certain of their constitutional rights. The government of course asserts that the law merely seeks to reasonably put order
1. Public — the default setting; every Facebook user can view the photo; into cyberspace activities, punish wrongdoings, and prevent hurtful attacks on the system.
2. Friends of Friends — only the user's Facebook friends and their friends can view the photo; Pending hearing and adjudication of the issues presented in these cases, on February 5, 2013 the Court extended the
3. Friends — only the user's Facebook friends can view the photo; original 120-day temporary restraining order (TRO) that it earlier issued on October 9, 2012, enjoining respondent
4. Custom — the photo is made visible only to particular friends and/or networks of the Facebook user; and government agencies from implementing the cybercrime law until further orders.
5. Only Me — the digital image can be viewed only by the user.
ISSUE: Petitioners challenge the constitutionality of the following provisions of the cybercrime law that regard certain acts
The foregoing are privacy tools, available to Facebook users, designed to set up barriers to broaden or limit the visibility as crimes and impose penalties for their commission as well as provisions that would enable the government to track down
of his or her specific profile content, statuses, and photos, among others, from another user's point of view. In other words, and penalize violators. These provisions are:
Facebook extends its users an avenue to make the availability of their Facebook activities reflect their choice as to "when
and to what extent to disclose facts about [themselves] — and to put others in the position of receiving such 1. Section 4 (a) (1) on Illegal Access;
confidences." Ideally, the selected setting will be based on one's desire to interact with others, coupled with the opposing 2. Section 4 (a) (3) on Data Interference;
need to withhold certain information as well as to regulate the spreading of his or her personal information. Needless to 3. Section 4 (a) (6) on Cyber-squatting;
say, as the privacy setting becomes more limiting, fewer Facebook users can view that user's particular post. 4. Section 4 (b) (3) on Identity Theft; IASCTD
5. Section 4 (c) (1) on Cybersex;
Without these privacy settings, respondents' contention that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in Facebook 6. Section 4 (c) (2) on Child Pornography;
would, in context, be correct. However, such is not the case. It is through the availability of said privacy tools that many 7. Section 4 (c) (3) on Unsolicited Commercial Communications;
OSN users are said to have a subjective expectation that only those to whom they grant access to their profile will view 8. Section 4 (c) (4) on Libel;
the information they post or upload thereto. 9. Section 5 on Aiding or Abetting and Attempt in the Commission of Cybercrimes;
10. Section 6 on the Penalty of One Degree Higher;
This, however, does not mean that any Facebook user automatically has a protected expectation of privacy in all of his or 11. Section 7 on the Prosecution under both the Revised Penal Code (RPC) and R.A. 10175;
her Facebook activities. 12. Section 8 on Penalties;
13. Section 12 on Real-Time Collection of Traffic Data;
Before one can have an expectation of privacy in his or her OSN activity, it is first necessary that said user, in this case 14. Section 13 on Preservation of Computer Data;
the children of petitioners, manifest the intention to keep certain posts private, through the employment of measures to 15. Section 14 on Disclosure of Computer Data;
prevent access thereto or to limit its visibility. And this intention can materialize in cyberspace through the utilization of the 16. Section 15 on Search, Seizure and Examination of Computer Data;
OSN's privacy tools. In other words, utilization of these privacy tools is the manifestation, in cyber world, of the user's 17. Section 17 on Destruction of Computer Data;
invocation of his or her right to informational privacy. 18. Section 19 on Restricting or Blocking Access to Computer Data;
19. Section 20 on Obstruction of Justice;
21. Disini v. Secretary of Justice G.R. No. 203335 February 11, 2014 20. Section 24 on Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC); and
21. Section 26 (a) on CICC's Powers and Functions
FACTS: The cybercrime law aims to regulate access to and use of the cyberspace. Using his laptop or computer, a person
can connect to the internet, a system that links him to other computers and enable him, among other things, to:
1. Access virtual libraries and encyclopedias for all kinds of information that he needs for research, study, RULING:
amusement, upliftment, or pure curiosity; 1. Section 4(a)(1) of the Cybercrime Law
2. Post billboard-like notices or messages, including pictures and videos, for the general public or for special Section 4(a)(1) provides: Section 4. Cybercrime Offenses. The following acts constitute the offense of
audiences like associates, classmates, or friends and read postings from them; cybercrime punishable under this Act:
3. Advertise and promote goods or services and make purchases and payments; (a) Offenses against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems:
4. Inquire and do business with institutional entities like government agencies, banks, stock exchanges, trade houses, (1) Illegal Access. The access to the whole or any part of a computer system without right.
credit card companies, public utilities, hospitals, and schools; and
5. Communicate in writing or by voice with any person through his e-mail address or telephone. Petitioners contend that Section 4(a)(1) fails to meet the strict scrutiny standard required of laws that interfere with the
fundamental rights of the people and should thus be struck down.
This is cyberspace, a system that accommodates millions and billions of simultaneous and ongoing individual accesses to
and uses of the internet. The cyberspace is a boon to the need of the current generation for greater information and facility The Court finds nothing in Section 4(a)(1) that calls for the application of the strict scrutiny standard since no fundamental
of communication. But all is not well with the system since it could not filter out a number of persons of ill will who would freedom, like speech, is involved in punishing what is essentially a condemnable act accessing the computer system of
want to use cyberspace technology for mischiefs and crimes. One of them can, for instance, avail himself of the system to another without right. It is a universally condemned conduct.
unjustly ruin the reputation of another or bully the latter by posting defamatory statements against him that people can
read. Besides, a clients engagement of an ethical hacker requires an agreement between them as to the extent of the search,
the methods to be used, and the systems to be tested. Since the ethical hacker does his job with prior permission from the
And because linking with the internet opens up a user to communications from others, the ill-motivated can use the client, such permission would insulate him from the coverage of Section 4(a)(1).
cyberspace for committing theft by hacking into or surreptitiously accessing his bank account or credit card or defrauding
him through false representations. The wicked can use the cyberspace, too, for illicit trafficking in sex or for exposing to Hence, valid and constitutional.
pornography guileless children who have access to the internet. For this reason, the government has a legitimate right to
regulate the use of cyberspace and contain and punish wrongdoings. 2. Section 4(a)(3) of the Cybercrime Law
Section 4(a)(3) provides:


I’m A Barbie Torts Case Pool
Atty. Jesus Erick F. Sta. Barbara
(3) Data Interference. The intentional or reckless alteration, damaging, deletion or deterioration of computer data, Two constitutional guarantees create these zones of privacy: (a) the right against unreasonable searchesand seizures,
electronic document, or electronic data message, without right, including the introduction or transmission of which is the basis of the right to be let alone, and (b) the right to privacy of communication and correspondence.In
viruses. assessing the challenge that the State has impermissibly intruded into these zones of privacy, a court must determine
whether a person has exhibited a reasonable expectation of privacy and, if so, whether that expectation has been violated
Petitioners claim that Section 4(a)(3) suffers from overbreadth in that, while it seeks to discourage data interference, it by unreasonable government intrusion.
intrudes into the area of protected speech and expression, creating a chilling and deterrent effect on these guaranteed
freedoms. Petitioners simply fail to show how government effort to curb computer-related identity theft violates the right to privacy
and correspondence as well as the right to due process of law.
Under the overbreadth doctrine, a proper governmental purpose, constitutionally subject to state regulation, may not be
achieved by means that unnecessarily sweep its subject broadly, thereby invading the area of protected freedoms.But Clearly, what this section regulates are specific actions: the acquisition, use, misuse or deletion of personal identifying
Section 4(a)(3) does not encroach on these freedoms at all. It simply punishes what essentially is a form of vandalism,the data of another. There is no fundamental right to acquire anothers personal data.
act of willfully destroying without right the things that belong to others, in this case their computer data, electronic document,
or electronic data message. Such act has no connection to guaranteed freedoms. There is no freedom to destroy other Further, petitioners fear that Section 4(b)(3) violates the freedom of the press in that journalists would be hindered from
peoples computer systems and private documents. accessing the unrestricted user account of a person in the news to secure information about him that could be published.

Besides, the overbreadth challenge places on petitioners the heavy burden of proving that under no set of circumstances The Court held, the press, whether in quest of news reporting or social investigation, has nothing to fear since a special
will Section 4(a)(3) be valid.Petitioner has failed to discharge this burden. circumstance is present to negate intent to gain which is required by this Section.
Hence, valid and constitutional.
Hence, valid and constitutional.
3. Section 4(a)(6) of the Cybercrime Law
Section 4(a)(6) provides: 5. Section 4(c)(1) of the Cybercrime Law
(6) Cyber-squatting. The acquisition of domain name over the internet in bad faith to profit, mislead, destroy Section 4(c)(1) provides:
the reputation, and deprive others from registering the same, if such a domain name is: (c) Content-related Offenses:
(i) Similar, identical, or confusingly similar to an existing trademark registered with the appropriate (1) Cybersex. The willful engagement, maintenance, control, or operation, directly or indirectly, of any
government agency at the time of the domain name registration; lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system, for favor or
(ii) Identical or in any way similar with the name of a person other than the registrant, in case of a personal consideration.
name; and
(iii) Acquired without right or with intellectual property interests in it. Petitioners claim that the above violates the freedom of expression clause.They express fear that private communications
of sexual character between husband and wife or consenting adults, which are not regarded as crimes under the penal
Petitioners claim that Section 4(a)(6) or cyber-squatting violates the equal protection clausein that, not being narrowly code, would now be regarded as crimes when done "for favor" in cyberspace. In common usage, the term "favor" includes
tailored, it will cause a user using his real name to suffer the same fate as those who use aliases or take the name of "gracious kindness," "a special privilege or right granted or conceded," or "a token of love (as a ribbon) usually worn
another in satire, parody, or any other literary device. conspicuously."This meaning given to the term "favor" embraces socially tolerated trysts. The law as written would invite
law enforcement agencies into the bedrooms of married couples or consenting individuals.
The law is reasonable in penalizing the offender for acquiring the domain name in bad faith to profit, mislead, destroy The Act actually seeks to punish cyber prostitution, white slave trade, and pornography for favor and consideration. This
reputation, or deprive others who are not ill-motivated of the rightful opportunity of registering the same. includes interactive prostitution and pornography, i.e., by webcam.

Hence, valid and constitutional. Likewise, engaging in sexual acts privately through internet connection, perceived by some as a right, has to be balanced
with the mandate of the State to eradicate white slavery and the exploitation of women.
4. Section 4(b)(3) of the Cybercrime Law
Section 4(b)(3) provides: Hence, valid and constitutional.
b) Computer-related Offenses:
xxxx 6. Section 4(c)(2) of the Cybercrime Law
(3) Computer-related Identity Theft. The intentional acquisition, use, misuse, transfer, possession, alteration, or Section 4(c)(2) provides:
deletion of identifying information belonging to another, whether natural or juridical, without right: Provided: that if (2) Child Pornography. The unlawful or prohibited acts defined and punishable by Republic Act No. 9775
no damage has yet been caused, the penalty imposable shall be one (1) degree lower. or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, committed through a computer system: Provided, That the
penalty to be imposed shall be (1) one degree higher than that provided for in Republic Act No. 9775.
Petitioners claim that Section 4(b)(3) violates the constitutional rights to due process and to privacy and correspondence,
and transgresses the freedom of the press. The above merely expands the scope of the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009(ACPA) to cover identical activities in
cyberspace. In theory, nothing prevents the government from invoking the ACPA when prosecuting persons who commit
In Morfe v. Mutuc,it ruled that the right to privacy exists independently of its identification with liberty; it is in itself fully child pornography using a computer system. Actually, ACPAs definition of child pornography already embraces the use of
deserving of constitutional protection. "electronic, mechanical, digital, optical, magnetic or any other means."

Relevant to any discussion of the right to privacy is the concept known as the "Zones of Privacy." Of course, the law makes the penalty higher by one degree when the crime is committed in cyberspace. But no one can
complain since the intensity or duration of penalty is a legislative prerogative and there is rational basis for such higher
Zones of privacy are recognized and protected in our laws. Within these zones, any form of intrusion is impermissible penalty.The potential for uncontrolled proliferation of a particular piece of child pornography when uploaded in the
unless excused by law and in accordance with customary legal process. The meticulous regard we accord to these zones cyberspace is incalculable.
arises not only from our conviction that the right to privacy is a "constitutional right" and "the right most valued by civilized
men," but also from our adherence to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which mandates that, "no one shall be Hence, valid and constitutional.
subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy" and "everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such
interference or attacks." In the Matter of the Petition for Issuance of Writ of Habeas Corpus of Sabio v. Senator Gordon, 7. Section 4(c)(3) of the Cybercrime Law
535 Phil. 687, 714-715 (2006). Section 4(c)(3) provides:


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Atty. Jesus Erick F. Sta. Barbara
(3) Unsolicited Commercial Communications. The transmission of commercial electronic communication (c) Content-related Offenses:
with the use of computer system which seeks to advertise, sell, or offer for sale products and services are xxxx
prohibited unless: (4) Libel. The unlawful or prohibited acts of libel as defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code, as
(i) There is prior affirmative consent from the recipient; or amended, committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the
(ii) The primary intent of the communication is for service and/or administrative announcements from the future.
sender to its existing users, subscribers or customers; or
(iii) The following conditions are present: Petitioners lament that libel provisions of the penal codeand, in effect, the libel provisions of the cybercrime law carry with
(aa) The commercial electronic communication contains a simple, valid, and reliable way for the recipient them the requirement of "presumed malice" even when the latest jurisprudence already replaces it with the higher standard
to reject receipt of further commercial electronic messages (opt-out) from the same source; of "actual malice" as a basis for conviction.Petitioners argue that inferring "presumed malice" from the accuseds
(bb) The commercial electronic communication does not purposely disguise the source of the electronic defamatory statement by virtue of Article 354 of the penal code infringes on his constitutionally guaranteed freedom of
message; and expression.
(cc) The commercial electronic communication does not purposely include misleading information in any
part of the message in order to induce the recipients to read the message. Libel is not a constitutionally protected speech and that the government has an obligation to protect private individuals
from defamation. Indeed, cyberlibel is actually not a new crime since Article 353, in relation to Article 355 of the penal
The above penalizes the transmission of unsolicited commercial communications, also known as "spam." The term "spam" code, already punishes it. In effect, Section 4(c)(4) above merely affirms that online defamation constitutes "similar means"
surfaced in early internet chat rooms and interactive fantasy games. One who repeats the same sentence or comment for committing libel.
was said to be making a "spam."
But the Courts acquiescence goes only insofar as the cybercrime law penalizes the author of the libelous statement or
The Government, represented by the Solicitor General, points out that unsolicited commercial communications or spams article. Cyberlibel brings with it certain intricacies, unheard of when the penal code provisions on libel were enacted. The
are a nuisance that wastes the storage and network capacities of internet service providers, reduces the efficiency of culture associated with internet media is distinct from that of print.
commerce and technology, and interferes with the owners peaceful enjoyment of his property. Transmitting spams
amounts to trespass to ones privacy since the person sending out spams enters the recipients domain without prior The internet is characterized as encouraging a freewheeling, anything-goes writing style. In a sense, they are a world apart
permission. The OSG contends that commercial speech enjoys less protection in law. in terms of quickness of the readers reaction to defamatory statements posted in cyberspace, facilitated by one-click reply
options offered by the networking site as well as by the speed with which such reactions are disseminated down the line
These have never been outlawed as nuisance since people might have interest in such ads. What matters is that the to other internet users.
recipient has the option of not opening or reading these mail ads. That is true with spams. Their recipients always have Hence, Section 4(c)(4) penalizing online libel is valid and constitutional with respect to the original author of the post; but
the option to delete or not to read them. void and unconstitutional with respect to others who simply receive the post and react to it.

To prohibit the transmission of unsolicited ads would deny a person the right to read his emails, even unsolicited 9. Section 5 of the Cybercrime Law
commercial ads addressed to him. Unsolicited advertisements are legitimate forms of expression. Section 5 provides:
Sec. 5. Other Offenses. The following acts shall also constitute an offense:
Hence, void for being unconstitutional. (a) Aiding or Abetting in the Commission of Cybercrime. Any person who willfully abets or aids in the
commission of any of the offenses enumerated in this Act shall be held liable.
8. Articles 353, 354, and 355 of the Penal Code and Section 4(c)(4) of the Cyber Crime Law (b) Attempt in the Commission of Cybercrime. Any person who willfully attempts to commit any of the
Petitioners dispute the constitutionality of both the penal code provisions on libel as well as Section 4(c)(4) of the offenses enumerated in this Act shall be held liable.
Cybercrime Prevention Act on cyberlibel.
Petitioners assail the constitutionality of Section 5 that renders criminally liable any person who willfully abets or aids in
The RPC provisions on libel read: the commission or attempts to commit any of the offenses enumerated as cybercrimes. It suffers from overbreadth, creating
Art. 353. Definition of libel. A libel is public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real a chilling and deterrent effect on protected expression.
or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor,
discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead. The Solicitor General contends, however, that the current body of jurisprudence and laws on aiding and abetting sufficiently
protects the freedom of expression of "netizens," the multitude that avail themselves of the services of the internet. He
Art. 354. Requirement for publicity. Every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be points out that existing laws and jurisprudence sufficiently delineate the meaning of "aiding or abetting" a crime as to
true, if no good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown, except in the following cases: protect the innocent. The Solicitor General argues that plain, ordinary, and common usage is at times sufficient to guide
1. A private communication made by any person to another in the performance of any legal, moral or social law enforcement agencies in enforcing the law.
duty; and
2. A fair and true report, made in good faith, without any comments or remarks, of any judicial, legislative Libel in the cyberspace can of course stain a persons image with just one click of the mouse. Scurrilous statements can
or other official proceedings which are not of confidential nature, or of any statement, report or speech spread and travel fast across the globe like bad news. Moreover, cyberlibel often goes hand in hand with cyberbullying
delivered in said proceedings, or of any other act performed by public officers in the exercise of their that oppresses the victim, his relatives, and friends, evoking from mild to disastrous reactions. Still, a governmental
functions. purpose, which seeks to regulate the use of this cyberspace communication technology to protect a persons reputation
and peace of mind, cannot adopt means that will unnecessarily and broadly sweep, invading the area of protected
Art. 355. Libel means by writings or similar means. A libel committed by means of writing, printing, freedoms. Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965).
lithography, engraving, radio, phonograph, painting, theatrical exhibition, cinematographic exhibition, or
any similar means, shall be punished by prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods or a fine If such means are adopted, self-inhibition borne of fear of what sinister predicaments await internet users will suppress
ranging from 200 to 6,000 pesos, or both, in addition to the civil action which may be brought by the otherwise robust discussion of public issues. Democracy will be threatened and with it, all liberties. Penal laws should
offended party. provide reasonably clear guidelines for law enforcement officials and triers of facts to prevent arbitrary and discriminatory
enforcement. (Adonis) G.R. No. 203378The terms "aiding or abetting" constitute broad sweep that generates chilling effect
The libel provision of the cybercrime law, on the other hand, merely incorporates to form part of it the provisions of the on those who express themselves through cyberspace posts, comments, and other messages.
RPC on libel. Thus Section 4(c)(4) reads:
Hence, Section 5 of the cybercrime law that punishes "aiding or abetting" libel on the cyberspace is a nullity.
Sec. 4. Cybercrime Offenses. The following acts constitute the offense of cybercrime punishable under
this Act: As already stated, the cyberspace is an incomparable, pervasive medium of communication. It is inevitable that any
xxxx government threat of punishment regarding certain uses of the medium creates a chilling effect on the constitutionally-


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Atty. Jesus Erick F. Sta. Barbara
protected freedom of expression of the great masses that use it. In this case, the particularly complex web of interaction If punishable acts in Section 4(a) are committed against critical infrastructure, the penalty of reclusion
on social media websites would give law enforcers such latitude that they could arbitrarily or selectively enforce the law. temporal or a fine of at least Five hundred thousand pesos (PhP500,000.00) up to maximum amount
commensurate to the damage incurred or both, shall be imposed.
Section 5 with respect to Section 4(c)(4) is unconstitutional. Its vagueness raises apprehension on the part of internet
users because of its obvious chilling effect on the freedom of expression, especially since the crime of aiding or abetting Any person found guilty of any of the punishable acts enumerated in Section 4(c)(1) of this Act shall be
ensnares all the actors in the cyberspace front in a fuzzy way.In the absence of legislation tracing the interaction of netizens punished with imprisonment of prision mayor or a fine of at least Two hundred thousand pesos
and their level of responsibility such as in other countries, Section 5, in relation to Section 4(c)(4) on Libel, Section 4(c)(3) (PhP200,000.00) but not exceeding One million pesos (PhP1,000,000.00) or both.
on Unsolicited Commercial Communications, and Section 4(c)(2) on Child Pornography, cannot stand scrutiny.
Any person found guilty of any of the punishable acts enumerated in Section 4(c)(2) of this Act shall be
But the crime of aiding or abetting the commission of cybercrimes under Section 5 should be permitted to apply to Section punished with the penalties as enumerated in Republic Act No. 9775 or the "Anti-Child Pornography Act
4(a)(1) on Illegal Access, Section 4(a)(2) on Illegal Interception, Section 4(a)(3) on Data Interference, Section 4(a)(4) on of 2009:" Provided, That the penalty to be imposed shall be one (1) degree higher than that provided for
System Interference, Section 4(a)(5) on Misuse of Devices, Section 4(a)(6) on Cyber-squatting, Section 4(b)(1) on in Republic Act No. 9775, if committed through a computer system.
Computer-related Forgery, Section 4(b)(2) on Computer-related Fraud, Section 4(b)(3) on Computer-related Identity Theft,
and Section 4(c)(1) on Cybersex. None of these offenses borders on the exercise of the freedom of expression. Any person found guilty of any of the punishable acts enumerated in Section 4(c)(3) shall be punished with
imprisonment of arresto mayor or a fine of at least Fifty thousand pesos (PhP50,000.00) but not exceeding
10. Section 6 of the Cybercrime Law Two hundred fifty thousand pesos (PhP250,000.00) or both.
Section 6 provides:
Sec. 6. All crimes defined and penalized by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and special laws, if Any person found guilty of any of the punishable acts enumerated in Section 5 shall be punished with
committed by, through and with the use of information and communications technologies shall be covered imprisonment one (1) degree lower than that of the prescribed penalty for the offense or a fine of at least
by the relevant provisions of this Act: Provided, That the penalty to be imposed shall be one (1) degree One hundred thousand pesos (PhP100,000.00) but not exceeding Five hundred thousand pesos
higher than that provided for by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and special laws, as the case may (PhP500,000.00) or both.
The matter of fixing penalties for the commission of crimes is as a rule a legislative prerogative. Here the legislature
Section 6 merely makes commission of existing crimes through the internet a qualifying circumstance. As the Solicitor prescribed a measure of severe penalties for what it regards as deleterious cybercrimes. Judges and magistrates can only
General points out, there exists a substantial distinction between crimes committed through the use of information and interpret and apply them and have no authority to modify or revise their range as determined by the legislative department.
communications technology and similar crimes committed using other means. In using the technology in question, the
offender often evades identification and is able to reach far more victims or cause greater harm. The distinction, therefore, The courts should not encroach on this prerogative of the lawmaking body.
creates a basis for higher penalties for cybercrimes.
Hence, valid and constitutional.
Hence, valid and constitutional.
13. Section 12 of the Cybercrime Law
11. Section 7 of the Cybercrime Law Section 12 provides:
Section 7 provides: Sec. 12. Real-Time Collection of Traffic Data. Law enforcement authorities, with due cause, shall be
Sec. 7. Liability under Other Laws. A prosecution under this Act shall be without prejudice to any liability authorized to collect or record by technical or electronic means traffic data in real-time associated with
for violation of any provision of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, or special laws. specified communications transmitted by means of a computer system.

Online libel is different. There should be no question that if the published material on print, said to be libelous, is again Traffic data refer only to the communications origin, destination, route, time, date, size, duration, or type of underlying
posted online or vice versa, that identical material cannot be the subject of two separate libels. The two offenses, one a service, but not content, nor identities.
violation of Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code and the other a violation of Section 4(c)(4) of R.A. 10175 involve
essentially the same elements and are in fact one and the same offense. Indeed, the OSG itself claims that online libel All other data to be collected or seized or disclosed will require a court warrant.
under Section 4(c)(4) is not a new crime but is one already punished under Article 353. Section 4(c)(4) merely establishes
the computer system as another means of publication. Charging the offender under both laws would be a blatant violation Service providers are required to cooperate and assist law enforcement authorities in the collection or recording of the
of the proscription against double jeopardy. above-stated information.

The Court RESOLVES to LEAVE THE DETERMINATION of the correct application of Section 7 that authorizes The court warrant required under this section shall only be issued or granted upon written application and the examination
prosecution of the offender under both the Revised Penal Code and Republic Act 10175 to actual cases, WITH THE under oath or affirmation of the applicant and the witnesses he may produce and the showing: (1) that there are reasonable
EXCEPTION of the crimes of: grounds to believe that any of the crimes enumerated hereinabove has been committed, or is being committed, or is about
1. Online libel as to which, charging the offender under both Section 4(c)(4) of Republic Act 10175 and Article to be committed; (2) that there are reasonable grounds to believe that evidence that will be obtained is essential to the
353 of the Revised Penal Code constitutes a violation of the proscription against double jeopardy; as well as conviction of any person for, or to the solution of, or to the prevention of, any such crimes; and (3) that there are no other
2. Child pornography committed online as to which, charging the offender under both Section 4(c)(2) of Republic means readily available for obtaining such evidence.
Act 10175 and Republic Act 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 also constitutes a violation of the
same proscription, and, in respect to these, is void and unconstitutional. Petitioners assail the grant to law enforcement agencies of the power to collect or record traffic data in real time as tending
to curtail civil liberties or provide opportunities for official abuse. They claim that data showing where digital messages
12. Section 8 of the Cybercrime Law come from, what kind they are, and where they are destined need not be incriminating to their senders or recipients before
Section 8 provides: they are to be protected. Petitioners invoke the right of every individual to privacy and to be protected from government
Sec. 8. Penalties. Any person found guilty of any of the punishable acts enumerated in Sections 4(a) and snooping into the messages or information that they send to one another.
4(b) of this Act shall be punished with imprisonment of prision mayor or a fine of at least Two hundred
thousand pesos (PhP200,000.00) up to a maximum amount commensurate to the damage incurred or Undoubtedly, the State has a compelling interest in enacting the cybercrime law for there is a need to put order to the
both. tremendous activities in cyberspace for public good. To do this, it is within the realm of reason that the government should
be able to monitor traffic data to enhance its ability to combat all sorts of cybercrimes.
Any person found guilty of the punishable act under Section 4(a)(5) shall be punished with imprisonment
of prision mayor or a fine of not more than Five hundred thousand pesos (PhP500,000.00) or both. Informational privacy has two aspects: the right not to have private information disclosed, and the right to live freely without
surveillance and intrusion. In determining whether or not a matter is entitled to the right to privacy, this Court has laid down


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Atty. Jesus Erick F. Sta. Barbara
a two-fold test. The first is a subjective test, where one claiming the right must have an actual or legitimate expectation of Sec. 14. Disclosure of Computer Data. Law enforcement authorities, upon securing a court warrant, shall
privacy over a certain matter. The second is an objective test, where his or her expectation of privacy must be one society issue an order requiring any person or service provider to disclose or submit subscribers information, traffic
is prepared to accept as objectively reasonable. 429 U.S. 589 (1977) data or relevant data in his/its possession or control within seventy-two (72) hours from receipt of the order
in relation to a valid complaint officially docketed and assigned for investigation and the disclosure is
Since the validity of the cybercrime law is being challenged, not in relation to its application to a particular person or group, necessary and relevant for the purpose of investigation.
petitioners challenge to Section 12 applies to all information and communications technology (ICT) users, meaning the
large segment of the population who use all sorts of electronic devices to communicate with one another. Consequently, The process envisioned in Section 14 is being likened to the issuance of a subpoena.
the expectation of privacy is to be measured from the general publics point of view. Without reasonable expectation of
privacy, the right to it would have no basis in fact. Besides, what Section 14 envisions is merely the enforcement of a duly issued court warrant, a function usually lodged in
the hands of law enforcers to enable them to carry out their executive functions. The prescribed procedure for disclosure
In Whalen v. Roe, 429 U.S. 589 (1977)the United States Supreme Court classified privacy into two categories: decisional would not constitute an unlawful search or seizure nor would it violate the privacy of communications and correspondence.
privacy and informational privacy. Decisional privacy involves the right to independence in making certain important Disclosure can be made only after judicial intervention.
decisions, while informational privacy refers to the interest in avoiding disclosure of personal matters. It is the latter right
the right to informational privacy that those who oppose government collection or recording of traffic data in real-time seek Hence, valid and constitutional.
to protect.
16. Section 15 of the Cybercrime Law
Section 12 does not permit law enforcement authorities to look into the contents of the messages and uncover the identities Section 15 provides:
of the sender and the recipient. Sec. 15. Search, Seizure and Examination of Computer Data. Where a search and seizure warrant is
properly issued, the law enforcement authorities shall likewise have the following powers and duties.
Section 12, of course, limits the collection of traffic data to those "associated with specified communications." But this Within the time period specified in the warrant, to conduct interception, as defined in this Act, and:
supposed limitation is no limitation at all since, evidently, it is the law enforcement agencies that would specify the target (a) To secure a computer system or a computer data storage medium;
communications. The power is virtually limitless, enabling law enforcement authorities to engage in "fishing expedition," (b) To make and retain a copy of those computer data secured;
choosing whatever specified communication they want. This evidently threatens the right of individuals to privacy. (c) To maintain the integrity of the relevant stored computer data;
(d) To conduct forensic analysis or examination of the computer data storage medium; and
The Court must ensure that laws seeking to take advantage of these technologies be written with specificity and (e) To render inaccessible or remove those computer data in the accessed computer or computer and communications
definiteness as to ensure respect for the rights that the Constitution guarantees. network.

Hence, void for being unconstitutional Pursuant thereof, the law enforcement authorities may order any person who has knowledge about the functioning of the
computer system and the measures to protect and preserve the computer data therein to provide, as is reasonable, the
14. Section 13 of the Cybercrime Law necessary information, to enable the undertaking of the search, seizure and examination.
Section 13 provides:
Sec. 13. Preservation of Computer Data. The integrity of traffic data and subscriber information relating to Law enforcement authorities may request for an extension of time to complete the examination of the computer data
communication services provided by a service provider shall be preserved for a minimum period of six (6) storage medium and to make a return thereon but in no case for a period longer than thirty (30) days from date of approval
months from the date of the transaction. Content data shall be similarly preserved for six (6) months from by the court.
the date of receipt of the order from law enforcement authorities requiring its preservation. Petitioners challenge Section 15 on the assumption that it will supplant established search and seizure procedures.

Law enforcement authorities may order a one-time extension for another six (6) months: Provided, That once computer The exercise of these duties do not pose any threat on the rights of the person from whom they were taken. Section 15
data preserved, transmitted or stored by a service provider is used as evidence in a case, the mere furnishing to such does not appear to supersede existing search and seizure rules but merely supplements them.
service provider of the transmittal document to the Office of the Prosecutor shall be deemed a notification to preserve the Hence, valid and constitutional.
computer data until the termination of the case.
17. Section 17 of the Cybercrime Law
The service provider ordered to preserve computer data shall keep confidential the order and its compliance. Section 17 provides:
Sec. 17. Destruction of Computer Data. Upon expiration of the periods as provided in Sections 13 and 15,
Petitioners in G.R. No. 203391 (Palatino v. Ochoa)claim that Section 13 constitutes an undue deprivation of the right to service providers and law enforcement authorities, as the case may be, shall immediately and completely
property. They liken the data preservation order that law enforcement authorities are to issue as a form of garnishment of destroy the computer data subject of a preservation and examination.
personal property in civil forfeiture proceedings. Such order prevents internet users from accessing and disposing of traffic Petitioners claim that such destruction of computer data subject of previous preservation or examination violates the users
data that essentially belong to them. right against deprivation of property without due process of law. But, as already stated, it is unclear that the user has a
demandable right to require the service provider to have that copy of the data saved indefinitely for him in its storage
No doubt, the contents of materials sent or received through the internet belong to their authors or recipients and are to system. If he wanted them preserved, he should have saved them in his computer when he generated the data or received
be considered private communications. But it is not clear that a service provider has an obligation to indefinitely keep a it. He could also request the service provider for a copy before it is deleted.
copy of the same as they pass its system for the benefit of users. By virtue of Section 13, however, the law now requires
service providers to keep traffic data and subscriber information relating to communication services for at least six months Hence, valid and constitutional.
from the date of the transaction and those relating to content data for at least six months from receipt of the order for their
preservation. 18. Section 19 of the Cybercrime Law
Section 19 empowers the Department of Justice to restrict or block access to computer data:
At any rate, as the Solicitor General correctly points out, the data that service providers preserve on orders of law Sec. 19. Restricting or Blocking Access to Computer Data. When a computer data is prima facie found to
enforcement authorities are not made inaccessible to users by reason of the issuance of such orders. The process of be in violation of the provisions of this Act, the DOJ shall issue an order to restrict or block access to such
preserving data will not unduly hamper the normal transmission or use of the same. computer data.
Petitioners contest Section 19 in that it stifles freedom of expression and violates the right against unreasonable searches
Hence, valid and constitutional and seizures. The Solicitor General concedes that this provision may be unconstitutional. But since laws enjoy a
presumption of constitutionality, the Court must satisfy itself that Section 19 indeed violates the freedom and right
15. Section 14 of the Cybercrime Law mentioned.
Section 14 provides:


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Atty. Jesus Erick F. Sta. Barbara
Not only does Section 19 preclude any judicial intervention, but it also disregards jurisprudential guidelines established to G. Maritime Torts
determine the validity of restrictions on speech. Restraints on free speech are generally evaluated on one of or a
combination of three tests: the dangerous tendency doctrine, the balancing of interest test, and the clear and present 22. Far Eastern Shipping Co. v. Court of Appeals G.R. No. 130068 October 1, 1998
danger rule. Section 19, however, merely requires that the data to be blocked be found prima facie in violation of any FACTS: On June 20, 1980, the M/V PAVLODAR, flying under the flagship of the USSR, owned and operated by the Far
provision of the cybercrime law. Taking Section 6 into consideration, this can actually be made to apply in relation to any Eastern Shipping Company (FESC), arrived at the Port of Manila from Vancouver, British Columbia at about 7:00 o'clock
penal provision. It does not take into consideration any of the three tests mentioned above. in the morning. The vessel was assigned Berth 4 of the Manila International Port, as its berthing space. Captain Roberto
The Court is therefore compelled to strike down Section 19 for being violative of the constitutional guarantees to freedom Abellana was tasked by the Philippine Port Authority to supervise the berthing of the vessel. Appellant SenenGavino was
of expression and against unreasonable searches and seizures. assigned by the Appellant Manila Pilots' Association (MPA) to conduct docking maneuvers for the safe berthing of the
vessel to Berth No. 4.
19. Section 20 of the Cybercrime Law
Section 20 provides: Capt. Gavino boarded the vessel at the quarantine anchorage and stationed himself in the bridge, with the master of the
Sec. 20. Noncompliance. Failure to comply with the provisions of Chapter IV hereof specifically the orders from vessel, Victor Kavankov, beside him. After a briefing of Gavino by Kavankov of the particulars of the vessel and its cargo,
law enforcement authorities shall be punished as a violation of Presidential Decree No. 1829 with imprisonment the vessel lifted anchor from the quarantine anchorage and proceeded to the Manila International Port. The sea was calm
of prision correctional in its maximum period or a fine of One hundred thousand pesos (Php100,000.00) or both, and the wind was ideal for docking maneuvers. - When the vessel reached the landmark (the big church by the Tondo
for each and every noncompliance with an order issued by law enforcement authorities. North Harbor) one-half mile from the pier, Gavino ordered the engine stopped. When the vessel was already about 2,000
feet from the pier, Gavino ordered the anchor dropped. Kavankov relayed the orders to the crew of the vessel on the bow.
Petitioners challenge Section 20, alleging that it is a bill of attainder. The argument is that the mere failure to comply The left anchor, with 2 shackles, was dropped. However, the anchor did not take hold as expected. The speed of the
constitutes a legislative finding of guilt, without regard to situations where non-compliance would be reasonable or valid. vessel did not slacken. A commotion ensued between the crew members. A brief conference ensued between Kavankov
and the crew members. When Gavino inquired what were all the commotions about, Kavankov assured Gavino that there
But since the non-compliance would be punished as a violation of Presidential Decree (P.D.) 1829,PENALIZING was nothing to it. - After Gavino noticed that the anchor did not take hold, he ordered the engines half-astern. Abellana,
OBSTRUCTION OF APPREHENSION AND PROSECUTION OF CRIMINAL OFFENDERS. Section 20 necessarily who was then on the pier apron noticed that the vessel was approaching the pier fast. Kavankov likewise noticed that the
incorporates elements of the offense which are defined therein. anchor did not take hold. Gavino thereafter gave the "full-astern" code. Before the right anchor and additional shackles
Thus, the act of non-compliance, for it to be punishable, must still be done "knowingly or willfully." There must still be a could be dropped, the bow of the vessel rammed into the apron of the pier causing considerable damage to the pier. The
judicial determination of guilt, during which, as the Solicitor General assumes, defense and justifications for non- vessel sustained damage too. Kavankov filed his sea protest. Gavino submitted his report to the Chief Pilot who referred
compliance may be raised. Thus, Section 20 is valid insofar as it applies to the provisions of Chapter IV which are not the report to the Philippine Ports Authority. Abellana likewise submitted his report of the incident. - The rehabilitation of
struck down by the Court. the damaged pier cost the Philippine Ports Authority the amount of P1,126,132.25.

Hence, valid and constitutional. ISSUES: Whether or not both the pilot and the master were negligent.

20. Sections 24 and 26(a) of the Cybercrime Law RULING: YES. The Supreme Court started by saying that in a collision between a stationary object and a moving object,
Sections 24 and 26(a) provide: there is a presumption of fault against the moving object (based on common sense and logic). It then went on to determine
Sec. 24. Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center. There is hereby created, within thirty (30) days from who between the pilot and the master was negligent.
the effectivity of this Act, an inter-agency body to be known as the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating
Center (CICC), under the administrative supervision of the Office of the President, for policy coordination among A pilot, in maritime law, is a person duly qualified, and licensed, to conduct a vessel into or out of ports, or in certain waters.
concerned agencies and for the formulation and enforcement of the national cybersecurity plan. He is an expert who’s supposed to know the seabed, etc. that a master of a ship may not know because the pilot is familiar
Sec. 26. Powers and Functions. The CICC shall have the following powers and functions: with the port. He is charged to perform his duties with extraordinary care because the safety of people and property on the
(a) To formulate a national cybersecurity plan and extend immediate assistance of real time commission of vessel and on the dock are at stake.
cybercrime offenses through a computer emergency response team (CERT); x x x.
Capt. Gavino was found to be negligent. The court found that his reaction time (4 minutes) to the anchor not holding
Petitioners mainly contend that Congress invalidly delegated its power when it gave the Cybercrime Investigation and ground and the vessel still going too fast was too slow. As an expert he should’ve been reacting quickly to any such
Coordinating Center (CICC) the power to formulate a national cybersecurity plan without any sufficient standards or happenings.
parameters for it to follow.
In order to determine whether there is undue delegation of legislative power, the Court has adopted two tests: the In compulsory pilotage, the pilot momentarily becomes the master of the vessel. The master, however may intervene or
completeness test and the sufficient standard test. Under the first test, the law must be complete in all its terms and countermand the pilot if he deems there is danger to the vessel because of the incompetence of the pilot or if the pilot is
conditions when it leaves the legislature such that when it reaches the delegate, the only thing he will have to do is to drunk. - Based on Capt. Kavankov’s testimony, he never sensed the any danger even when the anchor didn’t hold and
enforce it. The second test mandates adequate guidelines or limitations in the law to determine the boundaries of the they were approaching the dock too fast. He blindly trusted the pilot. This is negligence on his part. He was right beside
delegates authority and prevent the delegation from running riot. Gerochi v. Department of Energy, 554 Phil. 563 (2007). the pilot during the docking, so he could see and hear everything that the pilot was seeing and hearing.

Here, the cybercrime law is complete in itself when it directed the CICC to formulate and implement a national cybersecurity The master’s negligence translates to unseaworthiness of the vessel, and in turn means negligence on the part of FESC.
plan. Also, contrary to the position of the petitioners, the law gave sufficient standards for the CICC to follow when it
provided a definition of cybersecurity. As a general rule, that negligence in order to render a person liable need not be the sole cause of an injury. It is sufficient
that his negligence, concurring with one or more efficient causes other than plaintiff's, is the proximate cause of the injury.
Cybersecurity refers to the collection of tools, policies, risk management approaches, actions, training, best practices, Accordingly, where several causes combine to produce injuries, person is not relieved from liability because he is
assurance and technologies that can be used to protect cyber environment and organization and users assets. This responsible for only one of them, it being sufficient that the negligence of the person charged with injury is an efficient
definition serves as the parameters within which CICC should work in formulating the cybersecurity plan. cause without which the injury would not have resulted to as great an extent, and that such cause is not attributable to
the person injured. It is no defense to one of the concurrent tortfeasors that the injury would not have resulted from his
Further, the formulation of the cybersecurity plan is consistent with the policy of the law to "prevent and combat such negligence alone, without the negligence or wrongful acts of the other concurrent tortfeasor. Where several causes
[cyber] offenses by facilitating their detection, investigation, and prosecution at both the domestic and international levels, producing an injury are concurrent and each is an efficient cause without which the injury would not have happened, the
and by providing arrangements for fast and reliable international cooperation." This policy is clearly adopted in the interest injury may be attributed to all or any of the causes and recovery may be had against any or all of the responsible persons
of law and order, which has been considered as sufficient standard. although under the circumstances of the case, it may appear that one of them was more culpable, and that the duty owed
by them to the injured person was not the same. No actor's negligence ceases to be a proximate cause merely because
Hence, Sections 24 and 26(a) are likewise valid and constitutional. it does not exceed the negligence of other actors. Each wrongdoer is responsible for the entire result and is liable as
though his acts were the sole cause of the injury. - There is no contribution between joint tortfeasors whose liability is


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Atty. Jesus Erick F. Sta. Barbara
solidary since both of them are liable for the total damage. Where the concurrent or successive negligent acts or omissions
of two or more persons, although acting independently, are in combination the direct and proximate cause of a single 24. Fernando v. Court of Appeals G.R. No. 92087 May 8, 1992
injury to a third person, it is impossible to determine in what proportion each contributed to the injury and either of them FACTS: On November 7, 1975, Bibiano Morta (market master of the Agdao Public Market, Davao City) filed a requisition
is responsible for the whole injury. Where their concurring negligence resulted in injury or damage to a third party, they request with the Chief of Property of the City Treasurer's Office for the re-emptying of the septic tank in Agdao. An invitation
become joint tortfeasors and are solidarily liable for the resulting damage under Article 2194 of the Civil Code. to bid was issued to Aurelio Bertulano, Lito Catarsa, Feliciano Bascon, Federico Bolo and Antonio Suñer, Jr. Bascon won
the bid. On November 22, 1975, before Bascon signed the Purchase Order, bidder Bertulano with four other companions
23. Unknown Owner of the Vessel MN China Joy v. Asian Terminals March 11, 2015 namely Joselito Garcia, William Liagoso, Alberto Fernando and Jose Fajardo, Jr. were found dead inside the septic tank.
FACTS: On 25 January 1997, the cargo ship M/V "China Joy" arrived at the Mariveles Grain Terminal Wharf, operated The bodies were removed by a fireman. The City Engineer's office investigated the case and learned that the five victims
by plaintiff (ATI). The said Vessel carried soybean meal that had been shipped by Conti Quincy Bung, an exporter of entered the septic tank without clearance from it nor with the knowledge and consent of the market master. In fact, the
soybean meal and related products, in favor of several consignees in the Philippines.||| Under the Charter Party septic tank was found to be almost empty and the victims were presumed to be the ones who did the re-emptying. Dr.
Agreement over M/V "China Joy," Conti Quincy Bunge represented itself as the Charterer of the Vessel, with San Miguel Juan Abear of the City Health Office autopsied the bodies and in his reports, put the cause of death of all five victims as
Foods, Inc. as Co-Charterer, and defendant [Samsun] represented itself as the Agent of the Shipowners. Samsun is a `asphyxia' caused by the diminution of oxygen supply in the body working below normal conditions. The lungs of the five
foreign corporation not doing business in the Philippines. victims burst, swelled in hemorrhagic areas and this was due to their intake of toxic gas, which, in this case, was sulfide
gas produced from the waste matter inside the septic tank." The Regional trial court dismissed the case filed by the
The unloading operations of soybean were suddenly halted when the head of Unloader No. 2 hit a flat low-carbon or “mild” Petitioner. The CA reversed.
steel bar that was in the middle of the mass of soybean meal. ATI sent a Note of Protest to the Master of the Vessel for
the damages sustained by its unloading equipment as a result of encountering the flat steel bar among the soybean meal. ISSUE: Whether or not the Davao City is negligent and its negligence is the proximate cause therefore can be liable for
However, the Vessel’s Master wrote a note on the Protest stating that it is not responsible for the damage because the damages
metal piece came from the cargo and not from the vessel itself. Thus, ATI sent a claim to defendant [Inter-Asia] for the
amount representing the damages sustained by its unloading equipment. Inter-Asia rejected ATI’s claim for the alleged RULING: No. The test by which to determine the existence of negligence in a particular case is - Did the defendant in
reason that it is not the Shipowner’s Agent. Inter-Asia informed ATI that its principal is Samsun. As previously noted, the doing the alleged negligent act use that reasonable care and caution which an ordinarily prudent person would have used
Charter Party Agreement states Samsun to be the Agent of the Shipowners, but since Samsun is a foreign corporation not in the same situation? If not, then he is guilty of negligence.
licensed to do business in the Philippines, it transacted its business through Inter-Asia. Hence, Inter-Asia is the Agent of
the Agent of the Shipowners. Conduct is said to be negligent when a prudent man in the position of the tortfeasor would have foreseen that an effect
harmful to another was sufficiently probable warrant his foregoing the conduct or guarding against its consequences.
When negotiations for settlement failed, ATI filed the instant Complaint for Damages against Samsun, Inter-Asia and the
“Unknown Owner of the Vessel M/V ‘China Joy’” on 9 March 1999. Furthermore, where the resulting injury was the product of the negligence of both parties, there exists a difficulty to discern
which acts shall be considered the proximate cause of the accident. The test is simple. Distinction must be made between
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner should be held liable for the damages sustained by ATI’s unloader? the accident and the injury, between the event itself, without which there could have been no accident, and those acts of
the victim not entering into it, independent of it, but contributing to his own proper hurt.
RULING: Yes, petitioner should be held liable for the damages sustained by ATI’s unloader based on quasi-delict and not
on a contract of carriage. There is no contract of carriage between ATI, on one hand, and the shipowner, Samsun,
ContiQuincyBunge L.L.C., and Inter-Asia, on the other. It likewise bears stressing that the subject of the complaint, from
which the instant petition arose, is not the damage caused to the cargo, but to the equipment of an arrastre operator.
Further, ATI’s contractual relation is not with the petitioners, but with the consignee and with the Philippine Ports Authority

Also, Article 2176 of the New Civil Code provides:

Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is
obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation
between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter.

In Taylor v. Manila Electric Railroad and Light Co., the Court explained that to establish a plaintiff’s right to recovery for
quasi-delicts, three elements must exist, to wit: (a) damages to the plaintiff; (b) negligence by act or omission of which
defendant personally, or some person for whose acts it must respond, was guilty; and (c) the connection of cause and
effect between the negligence and the damage.

Negligence, on the other hand, is defined as the failure to observe that degree of care, precaution and vigilance that the
circumstances justly demand, whereby another suffers injury.

In the case under consideration, the parties do not dispute the facts of damage upon ATI’s unloader, and of such damage
being the consequence of someone’s negligence. However, the petitioners deny liability claiming that it was not established
with reasonable certainty whose negligence had caused the co-mingling of the metal bars with the soybean meal cargo.
The Court, on this matter, agrees with the CA’s disquisition that the petitioners should be held jointly and severally liable
to ATI. ATI cannot be faulted for its lack of direct access to evidence determinative as to who among the shipowner,
Samsun, ContiQuincyBunge and Inter-Asia should assume liability. The CA had exhaustively discussed why the doctrine
of res ipsa loquitur applies. The metal bars which caused damage to ATI’s unloader was found co-mingled with the cargo
inside Hold No. 2 of the ship, which was then within the exclusive control of the petitioners. Thus, the presumption that it
was the petitioners’ collective negligence, which caused the damage, stands. This is, however, without prejudice to the
petitioners’ rights to seek reimbursements among themselves from the party whose negligence primarily caused the

H. Toxic Torts


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