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Republic of the Philippines change; he maltreated and threatened to kill her; as a result of such maltreatment, she

SUPREME COURT sustained injuries; during a confrontation with a representative of the barangay captain of Guilig
Manila a day before the filing of the complaint, petitioner repudiated their marriage agreement and
asked her not to live with him anymore and; the petitioner is already married to someone living
THIRD DIVISION in Bacolod City. Private respondent then prayed for judgment ordering the petitioner to pay her
damages in the amount of not less than P45,000.00, reimbursement for actual expenses
amounting to P600.00, attorney's fees and costs, and granting her such other relief and
remedies as may be just and equitable. The complaint was docketed as Civil Case No. 16503.
G.R. No. 97336 February 19, 1993
In his Answer with Counterclaim,3 petitioner admitted only the personal circumstances of the
parties as averred in the complaint and denied the rest of the allegations either for lack of
GASHEM SHOOKAT BAKSH, petitioner, knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth thereof or because the true
vs. facts are those alleged as his Special and Affirmative Defenses. He thus claimed that he never
HON. COURT OF APPEALS and MARILOU T. GONZALES, respondents. proposed marriage to or agreed to be married with the private respondent; he neither sought
the consent and approval of her parents nor forced her to live in his apartment; he did not
Public Attorney's Office for petitioner. maltreat her, but only told her to stop coming to his place because he discovered that she had
deceived him by stealing his money and passport; and finally, no confrontation took place with
Corleto R. Castro for private respondent. a representative of the barangay captain. Insisting, in his Counterclaim, that the complaint is
baseless and unfounded and that as a result thereof, he was unnecessarily dragged into court
and compelled to incur expenses, and has suffered mental anxiety and a besmirched reputation,
he prayed for an award of P5,000.00 for miscellaneous expenses and P25,000.00 as moral
damages.
DAVIDE, JR., J.:
After conducting a pre-trial on 25 January 1988, the trial court issued a Pre-Trial
This is an appeal by certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking to review and set
Order4 embodying the stipulated facts which the parties had agreed upon, to wit:
aside the Decision1 of the respondent Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 24256 which
affirmed in toto the 16 October 1939 Decision of Branch 38 (Lingayen) of the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Pangasinan in Civil Case No. 16503. Presented is the issue of whether or not 1. That the plaintiff is single and resident (sic) of Bañaga, Bugallon,
damages may be recovered for a breach of promise to marry on the basis of Article 21 of the Pangasinan, while the defendant is single, Iranian citizen and resident (sic) of
Civil Code of the Philippines. Lozano Apartment, Guilig, Dagupan City since September 1, 1987 up to the
present;
The antecedents of this case are not complicated:
2. That the defendant is presently studying at Lyceum Northwestern, Dagupan
City, College of Medicine, second year medicine proper;
On 27 October 1987, private respondent, without the assistance of counsel, filed with the
aforesaid trial court a complaint2 for damages against the petitioner for the alleged violation of
their agreement to get married. She alleges in said complaint that: she is twenty-two (22) years 3. That the plaintiff is (sic) an employee at Mabuhay Luncheonette , Fernandez
old, single, Filipino and a pretty lass of good moral character and reputation duly respected in Avenue, Dagupan City since July, 1986 up to the present and a (sic) high
her community; petitioner, on the other hand, is an Iranian citizen residing at the Lozano school graduate;
Apartments, Guilig, Dagupan City, and is an exchange student taking a medical course at the
Lyceum Northwestern Colleges in Dagupan City; before 20 August 1987, the latter courted and 4. That the parties happened to know each other when the manager of the
proposed to marry her; she accepted his love on the condition that they would get married; they Mabuhay Luncheonette, Johhny Rabino introduced the defendant to the
therefore agreed to get married after the end of the school semester, which was in October of plaintiff on August 3, 1986.
that year; petitioner then visited the private respondent's parents in Bañaga, Bugallon,
Pangasinan to secure their approval to the marriage; sometime in 20 August 1987, the petitioner After trial on the merits, the lower court, applying Article 21 of the Civil Code, rendered on 16
forced her to live with him in the Lozano Apartments; she was a virgin before she began living October 1989 a decision5 favoring the private respondent. The petitioner was thus ordered to
with him; a week before the filing of the complaint, petitioner's attitude towards her started to pay the latter damages and attorney's fees; the dispositive portion of the decision reads:

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IN THE LIGHT of the foregoing consideration, judgment is hereby rendered in defendant's apartment. However, in the early days of October, 1987, defendant
favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant. would tie plaintiff's hands and feet while he went to school, and he even gave
her medicine at 4 o'clock in the morning that made her sleep the whole day and
1. Condemning (sic) the defendant to pay the plaintiff the sum of twenty night until the following day. As a result of this live-in relationship, plaintiff
thousand (P20,000.00) pesos as moral damages. became pregnant, but defendant gave her some medicine to abort the fetus.
Still plaintiff continued to live with defendant and kept reminding him of his
promise to marry her until he told her that he could not do so because he was
2. Condemning further the defendant to play the plaintiff the sum of three
thousand (P3,000.00) pesos as atty's fees and two thousand (P2,000.00) already married to a girl in Bacolod City. That was the time plaintiff left
pesos at (sic) litigation expenses and to pay the costs. defendant, went home to her parents, and thereafter consulted a lawyer who
accompanied her to the barangay captain in Dagupan City. Plaintiff, her lawyer,
her godmother, and a barangay tanod sent by the barangay captain went to
3. All other claims are denied.6 talk to defendant to still convince him to marry plaintiff, but defendant insisted
that he could not do so because he was already married to a girl in Bacolod
The decision is anchored on the trial court's findings and conclusions that (a) petitioner and City, although the truth, as stipulated by the parties at the pre-trial, is that
private respondent were lovers, (b) private respondent is not a woman of loose morals or defendant is still single.
questionable virtue who readily submits to sexual advances, (c) petitioner, through
machinations, deceit and false pretenses, promised to marry private respondent, d) because of Plaintiff's father, a tricycle driver, also claimed that after defendant had
his persuasive promise to marry her, she allowed herself to be deflowered by him, (e) by reason informed them of his desire to marry Marilou, he already looked for sponsors
of that deceitful promise, private respondent and her parents — in accordance with Filipino for the wedding, started preparing for the reception by looking for pigs and
customs and traditions — made some preparations for the wedding that was to be held at the chickens, and even already invited many relatives and friends to the
end of October 1987 by looking for pigs and chickens, inviting friends and relatives and forthcoming wedding. 8
contracting sponsors, (f) petitioner did not fulfill his promise to marry her and (g) such acts of
the petitioner, who is a foreigner and who has abused Philippine hospitality, have offended our
Petitioner appealed the trial court's decision to the respondent Court of Appeals which docketed
sense of morality, good customs, culture and traditions. The trial court gave full credit to the
private respondent's testimony because, inter alia, she would not have had the temerity and the case as CA-G.R. CV No. 24256. In his Brief,9 he contended that the trial court erred (a) in
not dismissing the case for lack of factual and legal basis and (b) in ordering him to pay moral
courage to come to court and expose her honor and reputation to public scrutiny and ridicule if
damages, attorney's fees, litigation expenses and costs.
her claim was false.7

On 18 February 1991, respondent Court promulgated the challenged decision 10 affirming in


The above findings and conclusions were culled from the detailed summary of the evidence for
toto the trial court's ruling of 16 October 1989. In sustaining the trial court's findings of fact,
the private respondent in the foregoing decision, digested by the respondent Court as follows:
respondent Court made the following analysis:
According to plaintiff, who claimed that she was a virgin at the time and that
First of all, plaintiff, then only 21 years old when she met defendant who was
she never had a boyfriend before, defendant started courting her just a few
days after they first met. He later proposed marriage to her several times and already 29 years old at the time, does not appear to be a girl of loose morals.
she accepted his love as well as his proposal of marriage on August 20, 1987, It is uncontradicted that she was a virgin prior to her unfortunate experience
with defendant and never had boyfriend. She is, as described by the lower
on which same day he went with her to her hometown of Bañaga, Bugallon,
court, a barrio lass "not used and accustomed to trend of modern urban life",
Pangasinan, as he wanted to meet her parents and inform them of their
and certainly would (sic) not have allowed
relationship and their intention to get married. The photographs Exhs. "A" to
"herself to be deflowered by the defendant if there was no persuasive promise
"E" (and their submarkings) of defendant with members of plaintiff's family or
with plaintiff, were taken that day. Also on that occasion, defendant told made by the defendant to marry her." In fact, we agree with the lower court that
plaintiffs parents and brothers and sisters that he intended to marry her during plaintiff and defendant must have been sweethearts or so the plaintiff must
have thought because of the deception of defendant, for otherwise, she would
the semestral break in October, 1987, and because plaintiff's parents thought
not have allowed herself to be photographed with defendant in public in so (sic)
he was good and trusted him, they agreed to his proposal for him to marry their
loving and tender poses as those depicted in the pictures Exhs. "D" and "E".
daughter, and they likewise allowed him to stay in their house and sleep with
We cannot believe, therefore, defendant's pretense that plaintiff was a nobody
plaintiff during the few days that they were in Bugallon. When plaintiff and
defendant later returned to Dagupan City, they continued to live together in to him except a waitress at the restaurant where he usually ate. Defendant in
fact admitted that he went to plaintiff's hometown of Bañaga, Bugallon,

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Pangasinan, at least thrice; at (sic) the town fiesta on February 27, 1987 (p. 54, Unfazed by his second defeat, petitioner filed the instant petition on 26 March 1991; he raises
tsn May 18, 1988), at (sic) a beach party together with the manager and therein the single issue of whether or not Article 21 of the Civil Code applies to the case at
employees of the Mabuhay Luncheonette on March 3, 1987 (p. 50, tsn id.), and bar. 13
on April 1, 1987 when he allegedly talked to plaintiff's mother who told him to
marry her daughter (pp. 55-56, tsn id.). Would defendant have left Dagupan It is petitioner's thesis that said Article 21 is not applicable because he had not committed any
City where he was involved in the serious study of medicine to go to plaintiff's moral wrong or injury or violated any good custom or public policy; he has not professed love
hometown in Bañaga, Bugallon, unless there was (sic) some kind of special or proposed marriage to the private respondent; and he has never maltreated her. He criticizes
relationship between them? And this special relationship must indeed have led the trial court for liberally invoking Filipino customs, traditions and culture, and ignoring the fact
to defendant's insincere proposal of marriage to plaintiff, communicated not that since he is a foreigner, he is not conversant with such Filipino customs, traditions and
only to her but also to her parents, and (sic) Marites Rabino, the owner of the culture. As an Iranian Moslem, he is not familiar with Catholic and Christian ways. He stresses
restaurant where plaintiff was working and where defendant first proposed that even if he had made a promise to marry, the subsequent failure to fulfill the same is
marriage to her, also knew of this love affair and defendant's proposal of excusable or tolerable because of his Moslem upbringing; he then alludes to the Muslim Code
marriage to plaintiff, which she declared was the reason why plaintiff resigned which purportedly allows a Muslim to take four (4) wives and concludes that on the basis thereof,
from her job at the restaurant after she had accepted defendant's proposal (pp. the trial court erred in ruling that he does not posses good moral character. Moreover, his
6-7, tsn March 7, 1988). controversial "common law life" is now his legal wife as their marriage had been solemnized in
civil ceremonies in the Iranian Embassy. As to his unlawful cohabitation with the private
Upon the other hand, appellant does not appear to be a man of good moral respondent, petitioner claims that even if responsibility could be pinned on him for the live-in
character and must think so low and have so little respect and regard for Filipino relationship, the private respondent should also be faulted for consenting to an illicit
women that he openly admitted that when he studied in Bacolod City for several arrangement. Finally, petitioner asseverates that even if it was to be assumed arguendo that he
years where he finished his B.S. Biology before he came to Dagupan City to had professed his love to the private respondent and had also promised to marry her, such acts
study medicine, he had a common-law wife in Bacolod City. In other words, he would not be actionable in view of the special circumstances of the case. The mere breach of
also lived with another woman in Bacolod City but did not marry that woman, promise is not actionable. 14
just like what he did to plaintiff. It is not surprising, then, that he felt so little
compunction or remorse in pretending to love and promising to marry plaintiff, On 26 August 1991, after the private respondent had filed her Comment to the petition and the
a young, innocent, trustful country girl, in order to satisfy his lust on her. 11 petitioner had filed his Reply thereto, this Court gave due course to the petition and required
the parties to submit their respective Memoranda, which they subsequently complied with.
and then concluded:
As may be gleaned from the foregoing summation of the petitioner's arguments in support of
In sum, we are strongly convinced and so hold that it was defendant-appellant's his thesis, it is clear that questions of fact, which boil down to the issue of the credibility of
fraudulent and deceptive protestations of love for and promise to marry plaintiff witnesses, are also raised. It is the rule in this jurisdiction that appellate courts will not disturb
that made her surrender her virtue and womanhood to him and to live with him the trial court's findings as to the credibility of witnesses, the latter court having heard the
on the honest and sincere belief that he would keep said promise, and it was witnesses and having had the opportunity to observe closely their deportment and manner of
likewise these (sic) fraud and deception on appellant's part that made plaintiff's testifying, unless the trial court had plainly overlooked facts of substance or value which, if
parents agree to their daughter's living-in with him preparatory to their considered, might affect the result of the case. 15
supposed marriage. And as these acts of appellant are palpably and
undoubtedly against morals, good customs, and public policy, and are even Petitioner has miserably failed to convince Us that both the appellate and trial courts had
gravely and deeply derogatory and insulting to our women, coming as they do overlooked any fact of substance or values which could alter the result of the case.
from a foreigner who has been enjoying the hospitality of our people and taking
advantage of the opportunity to study in one of our institutions of learning,
Equally settled is the rule that only questions of law may be raised in a petition for review
defendant-appellant should indeed be made, under Art. 21 of the Civil Code of on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. It is not the function of this Court to analyze
the Philippines, to compensate for the moral damages and injury that he had or weigh all over again the evidence introduced by the parties before the lower court. There are,
caused plaintiff, as the lower court ordered him to do in its decision in this however, recognized exceptions to this rule. Thus, in Medina vs.Asistio, Jr., 16 this Court took
case. 12
the time, again, to enumerate these exceptions:

xxx xxx xxx

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(1) When the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation, surmises As the Code Commission itself stated in its Report:
or conjectures (Joaquin v. Navarro, 93 Phil. 257 [1953]); (2) When the inference
made is manifestly mistaken, absurb or impossible (Luna v. Linatok, 74 Phil. But the Code Commission had gone farther than the sphere of wrongs defined
15 [1942]); (3) Where there is a grave abuse of discretion (Buyco v. People, 95 or determined by positive law. Fully sensible that there are countless gaps in
Phil. 453 [1955]); (4) When the judgment is based on a misapprehension of the statutes, which leave so many victims of moral wrongs helpless, even
facts (Cruz v. Sosing, though they have actually suffered material and moral injury, the Commission
L-4875, Nov. 27, 1953); (5) When the findings of fact are conflicting (Casica v. has deemed it necessary, in the interest of justice, to incorporate in the
Villaseca, L-9590 Ap. 30, 1957; unrep.) (6) When the Court of Appeals, in proposed Civil Code the following rule:
making its findings, went beyond the issues of the case and the same is
contrary to the admissions of both appellate and appellee (Evangelista v. Alto
Art. 23. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another
Surety and Insurance Co., 103 Phil. 401 [1958]);
in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public
(7) The findings of the Court of Appeals are contrary to those of the trial court
policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.
(Garcia v. Court of Appeals, 33 SCRA 622 [1970]; Sacay v. Sandiganbayan,
142 SCRA 593 [1986]); (8) When the findings of fact are conclusions without
citation of specific evidence on which they are based (Ibid.,); (9) When the facts An example will illustrate the purview of the foregoing norm: "A" seduces the
set forth in the petition as well as in the petitioners main and reply briefs are nineteen-year old daughter of "X". A promise of marriage either has not been
not disputed by the respondents (Ibid.,); and (10) The finding of fact of the Court made, or can not be proved. The girl becomes pregnant. Under the present
of Appeals is premised on the supposed absence of evidence and is laws, there is no crime, as the girl is above nineteen years of age. Neither can
contradicted by the evidence on record (Salazar v. Gutierrez, 33 SCRA 242 any civil action for breach of promise of marriage be filed. Therefore, though
[1970]). the grievous moral wrong has been committed, and though the girl and family
have suffered incalculable moral damage, she and her parents cannot bring
action for damages. But under the proposed article, she and her parents would
Petitioner has not endeavored to joint out to Us the existence of any of the above quoted
have such a right of action.
exceptions in this case. Consequently, the factual findings of the trial and appellate courts must
be respected.
Thus at one stroke, the legislator, if the forgoing rule is approved, would
vouchsafe adequate legal remedy for that untold number of moral wrongs
And now to the legal issue.
which it is impossible for human foresight to provide for specifically in the
statutes. 21
The existing rule is that a breach of promise to marry per se is not an actionable
wrong. 17 Congress deliberately eliminated from the draft of the New Civil Code the provisions Article 2176 of the Civil Code, which defines a quasi-delict thus:
that would have made it so. The reason therefor is set forth in the report of the Senate
Committees on the Proposed Civil Code, from which We quote:
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
The elimination of this chapter is proposed. That breach of promise to marry is there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties, is called
not actionable has been definitely decided in the case of De Jesus vs. a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter.
Syquia. 18 The history of breach of promise suits in the United States and in
England has shown that no other action lends itself more readily to abuse by
designing women and unscrupulous men. It is this experience which has led to is limited to negligent acts or omissions and excludes the notion of willfulness or
the abolition of rights of action in the so-called Heart Balm suits in many of the intent. Quasi-delict, known in Spanish legal treatises as culpa aquiliana, is a civil law
American states. . . . 19 concept while torts is an Anglo-American or common law concept. Torts is much
broader than culpa aquiliana because it includes not only negligence, but international
criminal acts as well such as assault and battery, false imprisonment and deceit. In the
This notwithstanding, the said Code contains a provision, Article 21, which is designed to
general scheme of the Philippine legal system envisioned by the Commission
expand the concept of torts or quasi-delict in this jurisdiction by granting adequate legal remedy
responsible for drafting the New Civil Code, intentional and malicious acts, with certain
for the untold number of moral wrongs which is impossible for human foresight to specifically
exceptions, are to be governed by the Revised Penal Code while negligent acts or
enumerate and punish in the statute books. 20 omissions are to be covered by Article 2176 of the Civil Code. 22 In between these
opposite spectrums are injurious acts which, in the absence of Article 21, would have

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been beyond redress. Thus, Article 21 fills that vacuum. It is even postulated that that such seduction existed. The following enlightening disquisition and conclusion were made
together with Articles 19 and 20 of the Civil Code, Article 21 has greatly broadened the in the said case:
scope of the law on civil wrongs; it has become much more supple and adaptable than
the Anglo-American law on torts. 23 The Court of Appeals seem to have overlooked that the example set forth in
the Code Commission's memorandum refers to a tort upon a minor who had
In the light of the above laudable purpose of Article 21, We are of the opinion, and so hold, that been seduced. The essential feature is seduction, that in law is more than mere
where a man's promise to marry is in fact the proximate cause of the acceptance of his love by sexual intercourse, or a breach of a promise of marriage; it connotes essentially
a woman and his representation to fulfill that promise thereafter becomes the proximate cause the idea of deceit, enticement, superior power or abuse of confidence on the
of the giving of herself unto him in a sexual congress, proof that he had, in reality, no intention part of the seducer to which the woman has yielded (U.S. vs. Buenaventura,
of marrying her and that the promise was only a subtle scheme or deceptive device to entice or 27 Phil. 121; U.S. vs. Arlante, 9 Phil. 595).
inveigle her to accept him and to obtain her consent to the sexual act, could justify the award of
damages pursuant to Article 21 not because of such promise to marry but because of the fraud It has been ruled in the Buenaventura case (supra) that —
and deceit behind it and the willful injury to her honor and reputation which followed thereafter.
It is essential, however, that such injury should have been committed in a manner contrary to To constitute seduction there must in all cases be some
morals, good customs or public policy. sufficient promise or inducement and the woman must yield
because of the promise or other inducement. If she consents
In the instant case, respondent Court found that it was the petitioner's "fraudulent and deceptive merely from carnal lust and the intercourse is from mutual
protestations of love for and promise to marry plaintiff that made her surrender her virtue and desire, there is no seduction (43 Cent. Dig. tit. Seduction, par.
womanhood to him and to live with him on the honest and sincere belief that he would keep 56) She must be induced to depart from the path of virtue by
said promise, and it was likewise these fraud and deception on appellant's part that made the use of some species of arts, persuasions and wiles, which
plaintiff's parents agree to their daughter's living-in with him preparatory to their supposed are calculated to have and do have that effect, and which result
marriage." 24 In short, the private respondent surrendered her virginity, the cherished in her person to ultimately submitting her person to the sexual
possession of every single Filipina, not because of lust but because of moral seduction — the embraces of her seducer (27 Phil. 123).
kind illustrated by the Code Commission in its example earlier adverted to. The petitioner could
not be held liable for criminal seduction punished under either Article 337 or Article 338 of the
And in American Jurisprudence we find:
Revised Penal Code because the private respondent was above eighteen (18) years of age at
the time of the seduction.
On the other hand, in an action by the woman, the enticement,
persuasion or deception is the essence of the injury; and a
Prior decisions of this Court clearly suggest that Article 21 may be applied in a breach of promise mere proof of intercourse is insufficient to warrant a recovery.
to marry where the woman is a victim of moral seduction. Thus, in Hermosisima vs. Court of
Appeals,25 this Court denied recovery of damages to the woman because:
Accordingly it is not seduction where the willingness arises out
of sexual desire of curiosity of the female, and the defendant
. . . we find ourselves unable to say that petitioner is morally guilty of seduction,
merely affords her the needed opportunity for the commission
not only because he is approximately ten (10) years younger than the of the act. It has been emphasized that to allow a recovery in
complainant — who was around thirty-six (36) years of age, and as highly
all such cases would tend to the demoralization of the female
enlightened as a former high school teacher and a life insurance agent are
sex, and would be a reward for unchastity by which a class of
supposed to be — when she became intimate with petitioner, then a mere
adventuresses would be swift to profit. (47 Am. Jur. 662)
apprentice pilot, but, also, because the court of first instance found that,
complainant "surrendered herself" to petitioner because, "overwhelmed by her
love" for him, she "wanted to bind" him by having a fruit of their engagement xxx xxx xxx
even before they had the benefit of clergy.
Over and above the partisan allegations, the fact stand out that for one whole
26
In Tanjanco vs. Court of Appeals, while this Court likewise hinted at possible recovery if there year, from 1958 to 1959, the plaintiff-appellee, a woman of adult age, maintain
had been moral seduction, recovery was eventually denied because We were not convinced intimate sexual relations with appellant, with repeated acts of intercourse. Such
conduct is incompatible with the idea of seduction. Plainly there is here
voluntariness and mutual passion; for had the appellant been deceived, had

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she surrendered exclusively because of the deceit, artful persuasions and wiles We are unable to agree with the petitioner's alternative proposition to the effect that granting,
of the defendant, she would not have again yielded to his embraces, much less for argument's sake, that he did promise to marry the private respondent, the latter is
for one year, without exacting early fulfillment of the alleged promises of nevertheless also at fault. According to him, both parties are in pari delicto; hence, pursuant to
marriage, and would have cut short all sexual relations upon finding that Article 1412(1) of the Civil Code and the doctrine laid down in Batarra vs. Marcos, 32 the private
defendant did not intend to fulfill his defendant did not intend to fulfill his respondent cannot recover damages from the petitioner. The latter even goes as far as stating
promise. Hence, we conclude that no case is made under article 21 of the Civil that if the private respondent had "sustained any injury or damage in their relationship, it is
Code, and no other cause of action being alleged, no error was committed by primarily because of her own doing, 33 for:
the Court of First Instance in dismissing the complaint. 27
. . . She is also interested in the petitioner as the latter will become a doctor
In his annotations on the Civil Code, 28 Associate Justice Edgardo L. Paras, who recently retired sooner or later. Take notice that she is a plain high school graduate and a mere
from this Court, opined that in a breach of promise to marry where there had been carnal employee . . . (Annex "C") or a waitress (TSN, p. 51, January 25, 1988) in a
knowledge, moral damages may be recovered: luncheonette and without doubt, is in need of a man who can give her economic
security. Her family is in dire need of financial assistance. (TSN, pp. 51-53, May
. . . if there be criminal or moral seduction, but not if the intercourse was due to 18, 1988). And this predicament prompted her to accept a proposition that may
mutual lust. (Hermosisima vs. Court of Appeals, have been offered by the petitioner. 34
L-14628, Sept. 30, 1960; Estopa vs. Piansay, Jr., L-14733, Sept. 30, 1960;
Batarra vs. Marcos, 7 Phil. 56 (sic); Beatriz Galang vs. Court of Appeals, et al., These statements reveal the true character and motive of the petitioner. It is clear that he
L-17248, Jan. 29, 1962). (In other words, if the CAUSE be the promise to marry, harbors a condescending, if not sarcastic, regard for the private respondent on account of the
and the EFFECT be the carnal knowledge, there is a chance that there latter's ignoble birth, inferior educational background, poverty and, as perceived by him,
was criminal or moral seduction, hence recovery of moral damages will dishonorable employment. Obviously then, from the very beginning, he was not at all moved by
prosper. If it be the other way around, there can be no recovery of moral good faith and an honest motive. Marrying with a woman so circumstances could not have even
damages, because here mutual lust has intervened). . . . remotely occurred to him. Thus, his profession of love and promise to marry were empty words
directly intended to fool, dupe, entice, beguile and deceive the poor woman into believing that
together with "ACTUAL damages, should there be any, such as the expenses for the indeed, he loved her and would want her to be his life's partner. His was nothing but pure lust
wedding presentations (See Domalagon v. Bolifer, 33 Phil. 471). which he wanted satisfied by a Filipina who honestly believed that by accepting his proffer of
love and proposal of marriage, she would be able to enjoy a life of ease and security. Petitioner
clearly violated the Filipino's concept of morality and brazenly defied the traditional respect
Senator Arturo M. Tolentino 29 is also of the same persuasion:
Filipinos have for their women. It can even be said that the petitioner committed such deplorable
acts in blatant disregard of Article 19 of the Civil Code which directs every person to act with
It is submitted that the rule in Batarra vs. Marcos, 30 still subsists, justice, give everyone his due and observe honesty and good faith in the exercise of his rights
notwithstanding the incorporation of the present article31 in the Code. The and in the performance of his obligations.
example given by the Code Commission is correct, if there was seduction, not
necessarily in the legal sense, but in the vulgar sense of deception. But when
No foreigner must be allowed to make a mockery of our laws, customs and traditions.
the sexual act is accomplished without any deceit or qualifying circumstance of
abuse of authority or influence, but the woman, already of age, has knowingly
given herself to a man, it cannot be said that there is an injury which can be the The pari delicto rule does not apply in this case for while indeed, the private respondent may
basis for indemnity. not have been impelled by the purest of intentions, she eventually submitted to the petitioner in
sexual congress not out of lust, but because of moral seduction. In fact, it is apparent that she
But so long as there is fraud, which is characterized by willfulness (sic), the had qualms of conscience about the entire episode for as soon as she found out that the
petitioner was not going to marry her after all, she left him. She is not, therefore, in pari
action lies. The court, however, must weigh the degree of fraud, if it is sufficient
delicto with the petitioner. Pari delicto means "in equal fault; in a similar offense or crime; equal
to deceive the woman under the circumstances, because an act which would
in guilt or in legal fault." 35At most, it could be conceded that she is merely in delicto.
deceive a girl sixteen years of age may not constitute deceit as to an
experienced woman thirty years of age. But so long as there is a wrongful act
and a resulting injury, there should be civil liability, even if the act is not Equity often interferes for the relief of the less guilty of the parties, where his
punishable under the criminal law and there should have been an acquittal or transgression has been brought about by the imposition of undue influence of
dismissal of the criminal case for that reason. the party on whom the burden of the original wrong principally rests, or where

6|Page
his consent to the transaction was itself procured by
fraud. 36

In Mangayao vs. Lasud, 37 We declared:

Appellants likewise stress that both parties being at fault, there should be no
action by one against the other (Art. 1412, New Civil Code). This rule, however,
has been interpreted as applicable only where the fault on both sides is, more
or less, equivalent. It does not apply where one party is literate or intelligent
and the other one is not. (c.f. Bough vs. Cantiveros, 40 Phil. 209).

We should stress, however, that while We find for the private respondent, let it not be said that
this Court condones the deplorable behavior of her parents in letting her and the petitioner stay
together in the same room in their house after giving approval to their marriage. It is the solemn
duty of parents to protect the honor of their daughters and infuse upon them the higher values
of morality and dignity.

WHEREFORE, finding no reversible error in the challenged decision, the instant petition is
hereby DENIED, with costs against the petitioner.

SO ORDERED.

7|Page
Department of Health informing her that the samples she submitted "are adulterated;" as a
consequence of the discovery of the foreign substances in the beverages, her sales of soft
Republic of the Philippines drinks severely plummeted from the usual 10 cases per day to as low as 2 to 3 cases per day
SUPREME COURT resulting in losses of from P200.00 to P300.00 per day, and not long after that she had to lose
Manila shop on 12 December 1989; she became jobless and destitute; she demanded from the
petitioner the payment of damages but was rebuffed by it. She prayed for judgment ordering
the petitioner to pay her P5,000.00 as actual damages, P72,000.00 as compensatory damages,
FIRST DIVISION
P500,000.00 as moral damages, P10,000.00 as exemplary damages, the amount equal to 30%
of the damages awarded as attorney's fees, and the costs. 2
G.R. No. 110295 October 18, 1993
The petitioner moved to dismiss 3 the complaint on the grounds of failure to exhaust
COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILIPPINES, INC., administrative remedies and prescription. Anent the latter ground, the petitioner argued that
vs. since the complaint is for breach of warranty under Article 1561 of the said Code. In her
Comment 4 thereto, private respondent alleged that the complaint is one for damages which
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS (Fifth Division) and MS. LYDIA GERONIMO, does not involve an administrative action and that her cause of action is based on an injury to
respondents. plaintiff's right which can be brought within four years pursuant to Article 1146 of the Civil Code;
hence, the complaint was seasonably filed. Subsequent related pleadings were thereafter filed
Angara, Abello, Concepcion, Regala & Cruz Law Offices for petitioner. by the parties. 5

Alejandro M. Villamil for private respondent. In its Order of 23 January 1991, 6 the trial court granted the motion to dismiss. It ruled that the
doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies does not apply as the existing administrative
DAVIDE, JR., J.: remedy is not adequate. It also stated that the complaint is based on a contract, and not
on quasi-delict, as there exists pre-existing contractual relation between the parties; thus, on
the basis of Article 1571, in relation to Article 1562, the complaint should have been filed within
This case concerns the proprietress of a school canteen which had to close down as a
six months from the delivery of the thing sold.
consequence of the big drop in its sales of soft drinks triggered by the discovery of foreign
substances in certain beverages sold by it. The interesting issue posed is whether the
subsequent action for damages by the proprietress against the soft drinks manufacturer should Her motion for the reconsideration of the order having been denied by the trial court in its Order
be treated as one for breach of implied warranty against hidden defects or merchantability, as of 17 April 1991, 7the private respondent came to this Court via a petition for review
claimed by the manufacturer, the petitioner herein which must therefore be filed within six on certiorari which we referred to the public respondent "for proper determination and
months from the delivery of the thing sold pursuant to Article 1571 of the Civil Code, or one disposition. 8 The public respondent docketed the case as CA-G.R. SP No. 25391.
for quasi-delict, as held by the public respondent, which can be filed within four years pursuant
to Article 1146 of the same Code. In a decision promulgated on 28 January 1992, 9 the public respondent annulled the questioned
orders of the RTC and directed it to conduct further proceedings in Civil Case No. D-9629. In
On 7 May 1990, Lydia L. Geronimo, the herein private respondent, filed a complaint for holding for the private respondent, it ruled that:
damages against petitioner with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Dagupan City. 1 The case
was docketed as Civil Case No. D-9629. She alleges in her complaint that she was the Petitioner's complaint being one for quasi-delict, and not for breach of warranty
proprietress of Kindergarten Wonderland Canteen docketed as located in Dagupan City, an as respondent contends, the applicable prescriptive period is four years.
enterprise engaged in the sale of soft drinks (including Coke and Sprite) and other goods to the
students of Kindergarten Wonderland and to the public; on or about 12 August 1989, some It should be stressed that the allegations in the complaint plainly show that it is
parents of the students complained to her that the Coke and Sprite soft drinks sold by her an action or damages arising from respondent's act of "recklessly and
contained fiber-like matter and other foreign substances or particles; he then went over her negligently manufacturing adulterated food items intended to be sold or public
stock of softdrinks and discovered the presence of some fiber-like substances in the contents consumption" (p. 25, rollo). It is truism in legal procedure that what determines
of some unopened Coke bottles and a plastic matter in the contents of an unopened Sprite the nature of an action are the facts alleged in the complaint and those averred
bottle; she brought the said bottles to the Regional Health Office of the Department of Health at as a defense in the defendant's answer (I Moran 126; Calo v. Roldan, 76 Phil.
San Fernando, La Union, for examination; subsequently, she received a letter from the 445; Alger Electric, Inc. v. CA, 135 SCRA 340).

8|Page
Secondly, despite the literal wording of Article 2176 of the Civil code, the of sale) bars the application of the law on quasi-delicts and that since private respondent's
existence of contractual relations between the parties does not absolutely cause of action arose from the breach of implied warranties, the complaint should have been
preclude an action by one against the other for quasi-delict arising from filed within six months room delivery of the soft drinks pursuant to Article 171 of the Civil Code.
negligence in the performance of a contract.
In her Comment the private respondent argues that in case of breach of the seller's implied
In Singson v. Court of Appeals (23 SCRA 1117), the Supreme Court ruled: warranties, the vendee may, under Article 1567 of the Civil Code, elect between withdrawing
from the contract or demanding a proportionate reduction of the price, with damages in either
It has been repeatedly held: that the existence of a contract case. She asserts that Civil Case No. D-9629 is neither an action for rescission nor for
between the parties does not bar the commission of a tort by proportionate reduction of the price, but for damages arising from a quasi-delict and that the
the one against the other and the consequent recovery of public respondent was correct in ruling that the existence of a contract did not preclude the
damages therefor action for quasi-delict. As to the issue of prescription, the private respondent insists that since
. . . . Thus in Air France vs. Carrascoso, . . . (it was held that) her cause of action is based on quasi-delict, the prescriptive period therefore is four (4) years
although the relation between a passenger and a carrier is in accordance with Article 1144 of the Civil Code and thus the filing of the complaint was well
"contractual both in origin and in nature the act that breaks the within the said period.
contract may also be a tort.
We find no merit in the petition. The public respondent's conclusion that the cause of action in
Significantly, in American jurisprudence, from which Our law on Sales was Civil Case No. D-9629 is found on quasi-delict and that, therefore, pursuant to Article 1146 of
taken, the authorities are one in saying that he availability of an action or breach the Civil Code, it prescribes in four (4) years is supported by the allegations in the complaint,
of warranty does not bar an action for torts in a sale of defective goods. 10 more particularly paragraph 12 thereof, which makes reference to the reckless and negligent
manufacture of "adulterated food items intended to be sold for public consumption."
Its motion for the reconsideration of the decision having been denied by the public respondent
in its Resolution of 14 May 1993, 11 the petitioner took his recourse under Rule 45 of the Revised The vendee's remedies against a vendor with respect to the warranties against hidden defects
Rules of Court. It alleges in its petition that: of or encumbrances upon the thing sold are not limited to those prescribed in Article 1567 of
the Civil Code which provides:
I.
Art. 1567. In the case of Articles 1561, 1562, 1564, 1565 and 1566, the vendee
may elect between withdrawing from the contract and demanding a
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A GRAVE AND
REVERSIBLE ERROR IN RULING THAT ARTICLE 2176, THE GENERAL proportionate reduction of the price, with damages either
PROVISION ON QUASI-DELICTS, IS APPLICABLE IN THIS CASE WHEN case. 13
THE ALLEGATIONS OF THE COMPLAINT CLEARLY SHOW THAT PRIVATE
RESPONDENT'S CAUSE OF ACTION IS BASEDON BREACH OF A The vendee may also ask for the annulment of the contract upon proof of error or fraud, in which
SELLER'S IMPLIED WARRANTIES UNDER OUR LAW ON SALES. case the ordinary rule on obligations shall be applicable. 14 Under the law on obligations,
responsibility arising from fraud is demandable in all obligations and any waiver of an action for
future fraud is void. Responsibility arising from negligence is also demandable in any obligation,
II.
but such liability may be regulated by the courts, according to the circumstances. 15 Those guilty
of fraud, negligence, or delay in the performance of their obligations and those who in any
CORROLARILY, THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A manner contravene the tenor thereof are liable for damages. 16
GRAVE AND REVERSIBLE ERROR IN OVERRULING PETITIONER'S
ARGUMENT THAT PRIVATE RESPONDENT'S CAUSE OF ACTION HAD
The vendor could likewise be liable for quasi-delict under Article 2176 of the Civil Code, and an
PRESCRIBED UNDER ARTICLE 1571 OF THE CIVIL CODE. 12
action based thereon may be brought by the vendee. While it may be true that the pre-existing
contract between the parties may, as a general rule, bar the applicability of the law on quasi-
The petitioner insists that a cursory reading of the complaint will reveal that the primary legal delict, the liability may itself be deemed to arise fromquasi-delict, i.e., the acts which breaks the
basis for private respondent's cause of action is not Article 2176 of the Civil Code on quasi- contract may also be a quasi-delict. Thus, in Singson vs. Bank of the Philippine Islands, 17 this
delict — for the complaint does not ascribe any tortious or wrongful conduct on its part — but Court stated:
Articles 1561 and 1562 thereof on breach of a seller's implied warranties under the law on sales.
It contends the existence of a contractual relation between the parties (arising from the contract

9|Page
We have repeatedly held, however, that the existence of a contract between
the parties does not bar the commission of a tort by the one against the other
and the consequent recovery of damages therefor. 18 Indeed, this view has
been, in effect, reiterated in a comparatively recent case. Thus, in Air France
vs. Carrascoso, 19 involving an airplane passenger who, despite hi first-class
ticket, had been illegally ousted from his first-class accommodation and
compelled to take a seat in the tourist compartment, was held entitled to
recover damages from the air-carrier, upon the ground of tort on the latter's
part, for, although the relation between the passenger and a carrier is
"contractual both in origin and nature . . . the act that breaks the contract may
also be a tort.

Otherwise put, liability for quasi-delict may still exist despite the presence of contractual
relations. 20

Under American law, the liabilities of a manufacturer or seller of injury-causing products


may be based on negligence, 21 breach of warranty, 22 tort, 23 or other grounds such as
fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. 24Quasi-delict, as defined in Article 2176 of the Civil
Code, (which is known in Spanish legal treaties as culpa aquiliana, culpa extra-
contractual or cuasi-delitos) 25 is homologous but not identical to tort under the common
law, 26 which includes not only negligence, but also intentional criminal acts, such as
assault and battery, false imprisonment and deceit. 27

It must be made clear that our affirmance of the decision of the public respondent should by no
means be understood as suggesting that the private respondent's claims for moral damages
have sufficient factual and legal basis.

IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the instant petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit,
with costs against the petitioner.

SO ORDERED.

10 | P a g e
Republic of the Philippines was first denied by the trial court. It was only upon motion for reconsideration of the defendants
SUPREME COURT of such denial, reiterating the above grounds that the following order was issued:
Manila
Considering the motion for reconsideration filed by the defendants on January
SECOND DIVISION 14, 1965 and after thoroughly examining the arguments therein contained, the
Court finds the same to be meritorious and well-founded.
G.R. No. L-24803 May 26, 1977
WHEREFORE, the Order of this Court on December 8, 1964 is hereby
PEDRO ELCANO and PATRICIA ELCANO, in their capacity as Ascendants of Agapito reconsidered by ordering the dismissal of the above entitled case.
Elcano, deceased, plaintiffs-appellants,
vs. SO ORDERED.
REGINALD HILL, minor, and MARVIN HILL, as father and Natural Guardian of said
minor, defendants-appellees. Quezon City, Philippines, January 29, 1965. (p. 40, Record [p. 21, Record on
Appeal.)
Cruz & Avecilla for appellants.
Hence, this appeal where plaintiffs-appellants, the spouses Elcano, are presenting for Our
Marvin R. Hill & Associates for appellees. resolution the following assignment of errors:

THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN DISMISSING THE CASE BY UPHOLDING


THE CLAIM OF DEFENDANTS THAT -
BARREDO, J.:
I
Appeal from the order of the Court of First Instance of Quezon City dated January 29, 1965 in
Civil Case No. Q-8102, Pedro Elcano et al. vs. Reginald Hill et al. dismissing, upon motion to THE PRESENT ACTION IS NOT ONLY AGAINST BUT ALSO A VIOLATION
dismiss of defendants, the complaint of plaintiffs for recovery of damages from defendant OF SECTION 1, RULE 107, NOW RULE 111, OF THE REVISED RULES OF
Reginald Hill, a minor, married at the time of the occurrence, and his father, the defendant COURT, AND THAT SECTION 3(c) OF RULE 111, RULES OF COURT IS
Marvin Hill, with whom he was living and getting subsistence, for the killing by Reginald of the APPLICABLE;
son of the plaintiffs, named Agapito Elcano, of which, when criminally prosecuted, the said
accused was acquitted on the ground that his act was not criminal, because of "lack of intent to II
kill, coupled with mistake."
THE ACTION IS BARRED BY A PRIOR JUDGMENT WHICH IS NOW FINAL
Actually, the motion to dismiss based on the following grounds: OR RES-ADJUDICTA;

1. The present action is not only against but a violation of section 1, Rule 107, III
which is now Rule III, of the Revised Rules of Court;
THE PRINCIPLES OF QUASI-DELICTS, ARTICLES 2176 TO 2194 OF THE
2. The action is barred by a prior judgment which is now final and or in res- CIVIL CODE, ARE INAPPLICABLE IN THE INSTANT CASE; and
adjudicata;
IV
3. The complaint had no cause of action against defendant Marvin Hill, because
he was relieved as guardian of the other defendant through emancipation by
THAT THE COMPLAINT STATES NO CAUSE OF ACTION AGAINST
marriage.
DEFENDANT MARVIN HILL BECAUSE HE WAS RELIEVED AS GUARDIAN

(P. 23, Record [p. 4, Record on Appeal.])

11 | P a g e
OF THE OTHER DEFENDANT THROUGH EMANCIPATION BY MARRIAGE. of the Civil Code. Thus, in this jurisdiction, the separate individuality of a cuasi-
(page 4, Record.) delito or culpa aquiliana, under the Civil Code has been fully and clearly
recognized, even with regard to a negligent act for which the wrongdoer could
It appears that for the killing of the son, Agapito, of plaintiffs-appellants, defendant- appellee have been prosecuted and convicted in a criminal case and for which, after
Reginald Hill was prosecuted criminally in Criminal Case No. 5102 of the Court of First Instance such a conviction, he could have been sued for this civil liability arising from his
of Quezon City. After due trial, he was acquitted on the ground that his act was not criminal crime. (p. 617, 73 Phil.) 2
because of "lack of intent to kill, coupled with mistake." Parenthetically, none of the parties has
favored Us with a copy of the decision of acquittal, presumably because appellants do not It is most significant that in the case just cited, this Court specifically applied
dispute that such indeed was the basis stated in the court's decision. And so, when appellants article 1902 of the Civil Code. It is thus that although J. V. House could have
filed their complaint against appellees Reginald and his father, Atty. Marvin Hill, on account of been criminally prosecuted for reckless or simple negligence and not only
the death of their son, the appellees filed the motion to dismiss above-referred to. punished but also made civilly liable because of his criminal negligence,
nevertheless this Court awarded damages in an independent civil action for
As We view the foregoing background of this case, the two decisive issues presented for Our fault or negligence under article 1902 of the Civil Code. (p. 618, 73 Phil.) 3
resolution are:
The legal provisions, authors, and cases already invoked should ordinarily be
1. Is the present civil action for damages barred by the acquittal of Reginald in the criminal case sufficient to dispose of this case. But inasmuch as we are announcing doctrines
wherein the action for civil liability, was not reversed? that have been little understood, in the past, it might not he inappropriate to
indicate their foundations.
2. May Article 2180 (2nd and last paragraphs) of the Civil Code he applied against Atty. Hill,
notwithstanding the undisputed fact that at the time of the occurrence complained of. Reginald, Firstly, the Revised Penal Code in articles 365 punishes not only reckless but
though a minor, living with and getting subsistenee from his father, was already legally married? also simple negligence. If we were to hold that articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil
Code refer only to fault or negligence not punished by law, accordingly to the
literal import of article 1093 of the Civil Code, the legal institution of culpa
The first issue presents no more problem than the need for a reiteration and further clarification
aquiliana would have very little scope and application in actual life. Death or
of the dual character, criminal and civil, of fault or negligence as a source of obligation which
was firmly established in this jurisdiction in Barredo vs. Garcia, 73 Phil. 607. In that case, this injury to persons and damage to property- through any degree of negligence -
even the slightest - would have to be Idemnified only through the principle of
Court postulated, on the basis of a scholarly dissertation by Justice Bocobo on the nature
of culpa aquiliana in relation to culpa criminal or delito and mere culpa or fault, with pertinent civil liability arising from a crime. In such a state of affairs, what sphere would
remain for cuasi-delito or culpa aquiliana? We are loath to impute to the
citation of decisions of the Supreme Court of Spain, the works of recognized civilians, and earlier
jurisprudence of our own, that the same given act can result in civil liability not only under the lawmaker any intention to bring about a situation so absurd and anomalous.
Nor are we, in the interpretation of the laws, disposed to uphold the letter that
Penal Code but also under the Civil Code. Thus, the opinion holds:
killeth rather than the spirit that giveth life. We will not use the literal meaning
of the law to smother and render almost lifeless a principle of such ancient
The, above case is pertinent because it shows that the same act machinist. origin and such full-grown development as culpa aquiliana or cuasi-delito,
come under both the Penal Code and the Civil Code. In that case, the action of which is conserved and made enduring in articles 1902 to 1910 of the Spanish
the agent killeth unjustified and fraudulent and therefore could have been the Civil Code.
subject of a criminal action. And yet, it was held to be also a proper subject of
a civil action under article 1902 of the Civil Code. It is also to be noted that it
Secondary, to find the accused guilty in a criminal case, proof of guilt beyond
was the employer and not the employee who was being sued. (pp. 615-616, 73
Phil.). 1 reasonable doubt is required, while in a civil case, preponderance of evidence
is sufficient to make the defendant pay in damages. There are numerous cases
of criminal negligence which can not be shown beyond reasonable doubt, but
It will be noticed that the defendant in the above case could have been can be proved by a preponderance of evidence. In such cases, the defendant
prosecuted in a criminal case because his negligence causing the death of the can and should be made responsible in a civil action under articles 1902 to
child was punishable by the Penal Code. Here is therefore a clear instance of 1910 of the Civil Code. Otherwise. there would be many instances of
the same act of negligence being a proper subject matter either of a criminal unvindicated civil wrongs. "Ubi jus Idemnified remedium." (p. 620,73 Phil.)
action with its consequent civil liability arising from a crime or of an entirely
separate and independent civil action for fault or negligence under article 1902

12 | P a g e
Fourthly, because of the broad sweep of the provisions of both the Penal Code ART. 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligence under the preceding article is
and the Civil Code on this subject, which has given rise to the overlapping or entirely separate and distinct from the civil liability arising from negligence
concurrence of spheres already discussed, and for lack of understanding of the under the Penal Code. But the plaintiff cannot recover damages twice for the
character and efficacy of the action for culpa aquiliana, there has grown up a same act or omission of the defendant.
common practice to seek damages only by virtue of the civil responsibility
arising from a crime, forgetting that there is another remedy, which is by According to the Code Commission: "The foregoing provision (Article 2177) through at first sight
invoking articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code. Although this habitual method is startling, is not so novel or extraordinary when we consider the exact nature of criminal and civil
allowed by, our laws, it has nevertheless rendered practically useless and negligence. The former is a violation of the criminal law, while the latter is a "culpa aquiliana" or
nugatory the more expeditious and effective remedy based on culpa aquiliana quasi-delict, of ancient origin, having always had its own foundation and individuality, separate
or culpa extra-contractual. In the present case, we are asked to help perpetuate from criminal negligence. Such distinction between criminal negligence and "culpa
this usual course. But we believe it is high time we pointed out to the harms extracontractual" or "cuasi-delito" has been sustained by decision of the Supreme Court of
done by such practice and to restore the principle of responsibility for fault or Spain and maintained as clear, sound and perfectly tenable by Maura, an outstanding Spanish
negligence under articles 1902 et seq. of the Civil Code to its full rigor. It is high jurist. Therefore, under the proposed Article 2177, acquittal from an accusation of criminal
time we caused the stream of quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana to flow on its own negligence, whether on reasonable doubt or not, shall not be a bar to a subsequent civil action,
natural channel, so that its waters may no longer be diverted into that of a crime not for civil liability arising from criminal negligence, but for damages due to a quasi-delict or
under the Penal Code. This will, it is believed, make for the better safeguarding 'culpa aquiliana'. But said article forestalls a double recovery.", (Report of the Code)
or private rights because it realtor, an ancient and additional remedy, and for Commission, p. 162.)
the further reason that an independent civil action, not depending on the issues,
limitations and results of a criminal prosecution, and entirely directed by the
Although, again, this Article 2177 does seem to literally refer to only acts of negligence, the
party wronged or his counsel, is more likely to secure adequate and efficacious same argument of Justice Bacobo about construction that upholds "the spirit that giveth lift-
redress. (p. 621, 73 Phil.) rather than that which is literal that killeth the intent of the lawmaker should be observed in
applying the same. And considering that the preliminary chapter on human relations of the new
Contrary to an immediate impression one might get upon a reading of the foregoing excerpts Civil Code definitely establishes the separability and independence of liability in a civil action for
from the opinion in Garcia that the concurrence of the Penal Code and the Civil Code therein acts criminal in character (under Articles 29 to 32) from the civil responsibility arising from crime
referred to contemplate only acts of negligence and not intentional voluntary acts - deeper fixed by Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, and, in a sense, the Rules of Court, under
reflection would reveal that the thrust of the pronouncements therein is not so limited, but that Sections 2 and 3 (c), Rule 111, contemplate also the same separability, it is "more congruent
in fact it actually extends to fault or culpa. This can be seen in the reference made therein to with the spirit of law, equity and justice, and more in harmony with modern progress"- to borrow
the Sentence of the Supreme Court of Spain of February 14, 1919, supra, which involved a the felicitous relevant language in Rakes vs. Atlantic. Gulf and Pacific Co., 7 Phil. 359, to hold,
case of fraud or estafa, not a negligent act. Indeed, Article 1093 of the Civil Code of Spain, in as We do hold, that Article 2176, where it refers to "fault or negligencia covers not only acts "not
force here at the time of Garcia, provided textually that obligations "which are derived from acts punishable by law" but also acts criminal in character, whether intentional and voluntary or
or omissions in which fault or negligence, not punishable by law, intervene shall be the subject negligent. Consequently, a separate civil action lies against the offender in a criminal act,
of Chapter II, Title XV of this book (which refers to quasi-delicts.)" And it is precisely the whether or not he is criminally prosecuted and found guilty or acquitted, provided that the
underline qualification, "not punishable by law", that Justice Bocobo emphasized could lead to offended party is not allowed, if he is actually charged also criminally, to recover damages on
an ultimo construction or interpretation of the letter of the law that "killeth, rather than the spirit both scores, and would be entitled in such eventuality only to the bigger award of the two,
that giveth lift- hence, the ruling that "(W)e will not use the literal meaning of the law to smother assuming the awards made in the two cases vary. In other words, the extinction of civil liability
and render almost lifeless a principle of such ancient origin and such full-grown development referred to in Par. (e) of Section 3, Rule 111, refers exclusively to civil liability founded on Article
as culpa aquiliana or quasi-delito, which is conserved and made enduring in articles 1902 to 100 of the Revised Penal Code, whereas the civil liability for the same act considered as
1910 of the Spanish Civil Code." And so, because Justice Bacobo was Chairman of the Code a quasi-delict only and not as a crime is not estinguished even by a declaration in the criminal
Commission that drafted the original text of the new Civil Code, it is to be noted that the said case that the criminal act charged has not happened or has not been committed by the accused.
Code, which was enacted after the Garcia doctrine, no longer uses the term, 11 not punishable Briefly stated, We here hold, in reiteration of Garcia, that culpa aquiliana includes voluntary and
by law," thereby making it clear that the concept of culpa aquiliana includes acts which are negligent acts which may be punishable by law.4
criminal in character or in violation of the penal law, whether voluntary or matter. Thus, the
corresponding provisions to said Article 1093 in the new code, which is Article 1162, simply
It results, therefore, that the acquittal of Reginal Hill in the criminal case has not extinguished
says, "Obligations derived from quasi-delicto shall be governed by the provisions of Chapter 2,
his liability for quasi-delict, hence that acquittal is not a bar to the instant action against him.
Title XVII of this Book, (on quasi-delicts) and by special laws." More precisely, a new provision,
Article 2177 of the new code provides:

13 | P a g e
Coming now to the second issue about the effect of Reginald's emancipation by marriage on
the possible civil liability of Atty. Hill, his father, it is also Our considered opinion that the
conclusion of appellees that Atty. Hill is already free from responsibility cannot be upheld.

While it is true that parental authority is terminated upon emancipation of the child (Article 327,
Civil Code), and under Article 397, emancipation takes place "by the marriage of the minor
(child)", it is, however, also clear that pursuant to Article 399, emancipation by marriage of the
minor is not really full or absolute. Thus "(E)mancipation by marriage or by voluntary concession
shall terminate parental authority over the child's person. It shall enable the minor to administer
his property as though he were of age, but he cannot borrow money or alienate or encumber
real property without the consent of his father or mother, or guardian. He can sue and be sued
in court only with the assistance of his father, mother or guardian."

Now under Article 2180, "(T)he obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable not only for
one's own acts or omissions, but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible. The
father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are responsible. The father and, in
case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are responsible for the damages caused by the
minor children who live in their company." In the instant case, it is not controverted that
Reginald, although married, was living with his father and getting subsistence from him at the
time of the occurrence in question. Factually, therefore, Reginald was still subservient to and
dependent on his father, a situation which is not unusual.

It must be borne in mind that, according to Manresa, the reason behind the joint and solidary
liability of presuncion with their offending child under Article 2180 is that is the obligation of the
parent to supervise their minor children in order to prevent them from causing damage to third
persons. 5 On the other hand, the clear implication of Article 399, in providing that a minor
emancipated by marriage may not, nevertheless, sue or be sued without the assistance of the
parents, is that such emancipation does not carry with it freedom to enter into transactions or
do any act that can give rise to judicial litigation. (See Manresa, Id., Vol. II, pp. 766-767, 776.)
And surely, killing someone else invites judicial action. Otherwise stated, the marriage of a minor
child does not relieve the parents of the duty to see to it that the child, while still a minor, does
not give answerable for the borrowings of money and alienation or encumbering of real property
which cannot be done by their minor married child without their consent. (Art. 399;
Manresa, supra.)

Accordingly, in Our considered view, Article 2180 applies to Atty. Hill notwithstanding the
emancipation by marriage of Reginald. However, inasmuch as it is evident that Reginald is now
of age, as a matter of equity, the liability of Atty. Hill has become milling, subsidiary to that of
his son.

WHEREFORE, the order appealed from is reversed and the trial court is ordered to proceed in
accordance with the foregoing opinion. Costs against appellees.

14 | P a g e
Republic of the Philippines hour. Just past San Nicolas bridge, Villasis, he noticed, from a distance of 120
SUPREME COURT meters more or less, a speeding oncoming car with Plate No. L-27045 '64
Manila Cavite, along the same lane (facing north) he was driving, overtaking a cargo
truck ahead of it. He switched on his headlights to signal the car to return to its
THIRD DIVISION own right lane as the way was not clear for it to overtake the truck.

G.R. No. 48541 August 21, 1989 The car turned out to be driven by the private respondent, Juanito Rosario, with
his wife, Cresencia Rosario. The signal was disregarded, as the car proceeded
on its direction southward on the right lane (facing north).lâwphî1.ñèt In order
BERNABE CASTILLO (In his own behalf, and in behalf of SERAPION CASTILLO, who has
since then become deceased, and EULOGIO CASTILLO, his minor child) and GENEROSA to evade the impending collision, petitioner Bernabe Castillo swerved his jeep
GALANG CASTILLO, petitioners-appellants, to the right towards the shoulder and applied on the brakes, and leaving his
feet on it, even, immediately after the impact. The car rested on the shoulder
vs.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, JUANITO ROSARIO and CRESENCIA of the right lane. The jeep's rear left wheel was on the road, leaving short
ROSARIO, respondents-appellees. tiremarks behind it; while the car left long tire-marks, specially its left rear wheel.
The jeep suffered a shattered windshield, pushed-in radiator. The left mid-
portion of its bumper badly dented. The car had a flat tire on its right front wheel;
Lino R. Eugenio for petitioners. its right fender badly dented as the headlamp on top of it. The bumber stooped
downward, because it went thru under the bumper of the jeep.
Eduardo G. Rosario for private respondents.
The driver of the jeep, including his passengers suffered physical injuries.
Bernabe Castillo, with the patella of his right knee, fractured, suffered serious
physical injuries, in other parts of his body. Serapion Castillo whose head
FERNAN, C.J.: crushed through the windshield, was nearly beheaded, while the other two
passengers suffered multiple slight and less serious injuries.
In this petition for review on certiorari, petitioners seek the reversal of the February 13, 1978
decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. 52567-R, entitled "Bernabe Castillo, et al. v. Private respondents, on the other hand, have their own version of the accident and thus
Juanita Rosario, et al," affirming the dismissal by the Court of First Instance of Manila of the asseverate as follows: 2
complaint for damages filed by petitioners against private respondents. Said dismissal was
decreed on the basis of the evidence before the trial court as well as the decision of the Court Sometime in the early afternoon of May 2, 1965, the private respondents,
of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. 07684-CR, entitled "People v. Juanito Rosario." together with their small daughter, were on their way from San Carlos City
(Pangasinan) to Olongapo City where they resided at the time and where
Petitioners and private respondents figured in a vehicular accident on May 2, 1965 at Bagac, Juanito Rosario, a member of the US Navy, had been temporarily stationed.
Villasis, Pangasinan, which caused injuries to their persons and damage to their respective They rode in the family car. (TSN, C. Rosario, p. 35; J. Rosario, pp. 2, 12 Annex
vehicles. "D", "Request for Admission")

The parties have conflicting versions as to what actually transpired on that fateful day; each At or about 2:30 p.m. of the same date, as Juanito Rosario who was driving the
party pointing to the negligence of the other as the proximate cause of the accident. Thus, as car, and his two passengers, were along MacArthur Highway in Barrio Bacag,
expected in cases like this, the main issue is: Who was at fault? According to the petitioners, Villasis, Pangasinan, going towards the south, they saw ahead of them a big
the accident happened as follows: 1 heavily loaded cargo truck. (TSN, B. Castillo, p. 532, Annex "B", "Request for
Admission") The truck was moving very slowly because of its heavy load so
On May 2, 1985, at about 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon, petitioner Bernabe that Juanito Rosario decided to overtake it. But before doing so, he first saw to
Castillo was driving his jeep with Plate No. J-4649 '64 Manila on the right lane it that the road was clear and as additional precautionary measure, he blew his
of the McArthur Highway with Generosa Castillo, his wife, father Serapion horn several times at the time he was overtaking the truck. (TSN, Juanito
Castillo, seated in front and Eulogio Castillo, then a minor child, as passengers, Rosario, pp. 4, 11; C. Rosario, pp. 31-41, Annex "B", "Request for Admission")
bound and northward for Binmaley, Pangasinan at the rate of 25 kilometers per

15 | P a g e
Then as the car was about to overtake the slow moving cargo truck, the car's 1) Is the decision of the Court of Appeals, where its dispositive part, or "fallo",
front left tire suddenly burst due to pressure causing the car to swerve to the states that the guilt of the (appellant) accused was not proved beyond
left and naturally making steering and control difficult. Because of the tendency reasonable doubt final and conclusive, on an action for damages based on
of the car to veer towards the left due to the blown out tire, the driver steered quasi-delict?;
the car towards the direction where he could find a safe place to park and fix
the tire. He finally brought the car to a halt at the left shoulder of the road (facing 2) Are the testimonies given in a criminal case, without strict compliance with
south). (TSN, C. Rosario, p. 31; J. Rosario, pp. 4, 17, Annex "D", "Request for Section 41 Rule 130 and without opportunity to cross examine the witnesses
Admission") who made these testimonies, admissible evidence in a subsequent case and
can be the basis of a valid decision?;
But barely had the said defendant parked his car on the left shoulder of the
road and just as he was about to get off to fix the flat tire, the car was suddenly 3) Is an action for damages based on quasi-delict barred by a decision of the
bumped by the jeep driven by Bernabe Castillo which came from the opposite appellate court acquitting the accused, the body of which lays the blame on the
direction. (TSN, C. Rosario, p. 32; J. Rosario, p. 6, "Request for Admission") plaintiff but in its dispositive part, declares the guilt of the accused not proved
Both vehicles were damaged, the car suffering the heavier damage. (Please beyond reasonable doubt ? 9
see Annex "C", "Request for Admission") Passengers of the jeep sustained
injuries while those of the car were badly shaken.
The main thrust of this petition for review which stems from a cause of action based on quasi-
delict or culpa aquiliana (being a recovery for damages arising from the vehicular accident), is
On June 30, 1965, a civil case for the recovery of damages for the injuries sustained by that petitioners were deprived of due process because their civil action was decided on the
petitioners and for the damage to their vehicle as a result of the collision, was instituted by the basis of private respondent Juanita Rosario's acquittal in the criminal case for reckless
petitioners in the Court of First Instance of Manila. While this case was pending, the Provincial imprudence.
Fiscal of Pangasinan filed an information dated September 29, 1965 against Juanito Rosario,
private respondent herein, for double physical injuries; double less serious physical injuries; and
There is no dispute that the subject action for damages, being civil in nature, is separate and
damage to property thru reckless imprudence, in the Court of First Instance of Urdaneta.
distinct from the criminal aspect, necessitating only a preponderance of evidence. According to
Respondent Juanito Rosario was prosecuted and convicted by the trial court in the criminal a number of cases, 10 a quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana is a separate legal institution under the
case. He appealed to the Court of Appeals, which rendered a decision 3 acquitting him from the
Civil Code, with a substantively all its own, and individuality that is entirely apart and
crime charged on the ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt.
independent from a delict or crime. A distinction exists between the civil liability arising from a
crime and the responsibility for quasi-delicts or culpa extra-contractual. The same negligence
In the meantime, private respondents thru counsel, filed a "Request for Admission" 4 on April 3, causing damages may produce civil liability arising from a crime under the Penal Code, or create
1972 in the civil case, requesting petitioners to admit the truthfulness of the facts set forth therein an action for quasidelictos or culpa extra-contractual under the Civil Code. Therefore, the
as well as the correctness and genuineness of the documents attached thereto. On May 5,1972, acquittal or conviction in the criminal case is entirely irrelevant in the civil case. 11
petitioners filled a "Manifestation", 5 admitting the allegations in the "Request for Admission"
with some qualifications. Later, both parties submitted their respective memoranda. In the case of Azucena v. Potenciano, L-14028, June 30, 1962, 5 SCRA 468, 470-471, this
Court held:
On the basis of the testimonies and evidence submitted by the petitioners, as well as the records
of the criminal case attached in the "Request for Admission" of the private respondents, the
... in the criminal case for reckless imprudence resulting in serious physical
Court of First Instance of Manila rendered a decision 6 on December 28, 1972, dismissing the
injuries ..., the judgment of acquittal does not operate to extinguish the civil
complaint of the petitioners against private respondents as well as the counterclaim of private
liability of the defendant based on the same incident. The civil action is entirely
respondents against the petitioners. On January 24, 1973, petitioners appealed to the Court of
independent of the criminal case according to Articles 33 and 2177 of the Civil
Appeals. On February 13, 1978, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision 7 of the Court of Code. There can be no logical conclusion than this, for to subordinate the civil
First Instance of Manila. action contemplated in the said articles to the result of the criminal prosecution
— whether it be conviction or acquittal — would render meaningless the
Hence, the present petition for review on certiorari. 8 The petitioners-appellants raise in issue independent character of the civil action and the clear injunction in Article 31,
before Us the following questions, to wit: that his action may proceed independently of the criminal proceedings and
regardless of the result of the latter.

16 | P a g e
But this rule is not without exception. Thus, Section 2 (c) of Rule 111 of the Rules of Court The said records were mostly composed of transcripts of the hearing in the criminal case.
provides: Petitioners raised, as one of their objections, the propriety and correctness of admitting and
adopting these transcripts as part of the record in the civil case. According to them, this is a
Extinction of the penal action does not carry with it extinction of the civil, unless violation of Section 41, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, on the ground that petitioners were not
the extinction proceeds from a declaration from a final judgment that the fact given the opportunity to cross-examine. We have to disagree. A careful reading of the
from which the civil action might arise did not exist. transcripts would reveal that then counsel for petitioners, Atty. Nicodemo Ferrer, actively
participated during the proceedings of the criminal case. He raised various objections, 15 in the
In a previous case, CA-G.R. No. 07684-CR, People v. Rosario, the Court of Appeals after a course of the trial. Petitioners, therefore, thru counsel had the opportunity to cross-examine the
painstaking analysis of. (a) the testimonial evidence; (b) the relative positions of the two vehicles witnesses.
as depicted in the sketches; (c) the distance of each of the two vehicles from the cemented
edge of the road; (d) the point of impact; (e) the visible tire marks, and (f) the extent of the Thus, the admission of the said testimonies cannot be set aside.
damage caused upon each of the two vehicles, ruled that it was the driver of the jeep and not
the accused driver of the car who was negligent and accordingly acquitted the latter. 12 Finally, in a long line of decisions, this Court has held time and again that the findings of facts
by the Court of Appeals are conclusive and not reviewable by the Supreme Court. 16
Negligence, being the source and foundation of actions of quasi-delict, is the basis for the
recovery of damages. In the case at bar, the Court of Appeals found that no negligence was In Macadangdang v. Court of Appeals, 100 SCRA 73 and Tolentino v. De Jesus, 56 SCRA 167,
committed by Juanito Rosario to warrant an award of damages to the petitioners. it was held that:

Respondent Appellate Court states: Findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are conclusive on the parties and on
the Supreme Court, unless (1) the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on
In acquitting defendant-appellee Juanito Rosario in CA-G.R. No. 07684-CR on speculations, surmises and conjectures; (2) the inference made is manifestly
October 28, 1968, this Court held that the collision was not due to the mistaken; (3) there is grave abuse of discretion; (4) the judgment is based on
negligence of Juanito Rosario but it was Castillo's own act of driving the jeep misapprehension of facts; (5) the Court of Appeals went beyond the issues of
to the shoulder [of the road] where the car was that was actually the proximate the case and its findings are contrary to the admission of both appellant and
cause of the collision.' (Ibid., p. 183) With this finding, this Court actually appellee; (6) the findings of facts of the Court of Appeals are contrary to those
exonerated appellee Juanito Rosario from civil liability. Since plaintiffs- of the trial court; (7) said findings of facts are conclusions without citation of
appellants' civil action is predicated upon Juanito Rosario's alleged negligence specific evidence on which they are based; (8) the facts set forth in the petition
which does not exist, it follows that his acquittal in the criminal action, which is as well as in the petitioner's main and reply briefs are not disputed by the
already final, carried with it the extinction of civil responsibility arising therefrom. respondent; and (9) when the finding of facts of the Court of Appeals is
(Corpus vs. Paje, 28 SCRA 1062, 1064, 1067; Faraon vs. Priela, 24 SCRA 582, premised on the absence of evidence and is contradicted by evidence on
583; De Soriano vs. Albornoz, 98 Phil. 785, 787788; Tan vs. Standard Vacuum record.
Oil Co., 91 Phil. 672, 675). 13
Finding that the questioned decision does not fall under any of the exceptions cited above, we
It was the Court of Appeals findings that the collision was not due to the negligence of Juanita find no cogent reason to disturb the findings and conclusions of the Court of Appeals.
Rosario but rather it was Castillo's own act of driving the jeep to the shoulder of the road where
the car was, which was actually the proximate cause of the collision. With this findings, the Court WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the petition is hereby denied. No pronouncement as to
of Appeals exonerated Juanito Rosario from civil liability on the ground that the alleged costs.
negligence did not exist.
SO ORDERED.
As earlier stated, the questioned decision of the Court of Appeals was an affirmation of the
decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila. During the trial of the case before the Court of
First Instance, the private respondents were not present, in view of the fact that they were out
of the country at that time. Their counsel introduced as part of their evidence, the records in the
criminal case, in accordance with Section 41, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. 14 These records
were attached to their "Request for Admission" and were substantially admitted by petitioners.

17 | P a g e
Republic of the Philippines that the defendant brings (sic) this ruling to the Supreme Court by certiorari or other appropriate
SUPREME COURT remedy, to review the ruling of the court". 9
Manila
On June 17, 1975, petitioner filed in this Court a petition for certiorari, prohibition and
SECOND DIVISION mandamus, which was docketed as G.R. No. L-40992, 10 assailing the aforesaid order of the
trial court. Said petition was dismissed for lack of merit in the Court's resolution of July 23, 1975,
G.R. No. 80194 March 21, 1989 and a motion for reconsideration thereof was denied for the same reason in a resolution of
October 28, 1975. 11
EDGAR JARANTILLA, petitioner,
vs. After trial, the court below rendered judgment on May 23, 1977 in favor of the herein private
COURT OF APPEALS and JOSE KUAN SING, respondents. respondent and ordering herein petitioner to pay the former the sum of P 6,920.00 for
hospitalization, medicines and so forth, P2,000.00 for other actual expenses, P25,000.00 for
Corazon Miraflores and Vicente P. Billena for petitioner. moral damages, P5,000.00 for attorney's fees, and costs. 12

On July 29, 1987, the respondent Court of Appeals 13 affirmed the decision of the lower court
Manuel S. Gemarino for private respondent.
except as to the award for moral damages which it reduced from P25,000.00 to P18,000.00. A
motion for reconsideration was denied by respondent court on September 18, 1987. 14

The main issue for resolution by Us in the present recourse is whether the private respondent,
REGALADO, J.: who was the complainant in the criminal action for physical injuries thru reckless imprudence
and who participated in the prosecution thereof without reserving the civil action arising from
The records show that private respondent Jose Kuan Sing was "side-swiped by a vehicle in the the act or omission complained of, can file a separate action for civil liability arising from the
evening of July 7, 1971 in lznart Street, Iloilo City" 1 The respondent Court of Appeals concurred same act or omission where the herein petitioner was acquitted in the criminal action on
in the findings of the court a quo that the said vehicle which figured in the mishap, a Volkswagen reasonable doubt and no civil liability was adjudicated or awarded in the judgment of acquittal.
(Beetle type) car, was then driven by petitioner Edgar Jarantilla along said street toward the
direction of the provincial capitol, and that private respondent sustained physical injuries as a Prefatorily, We note that petitioner raises a collateral issue by faulting the respondent court for
consequence. 2 refusing to resolve an assignment of error in his appeal therein, said respondent court holding
that the main issue had been passed upon by this Court in G.R. No. L-40992 hereinbefore
Petitioner was accordingly charged before the then City Court of Iloilo for serious physical mentioned. It is petitioner's position that the aforesaid two resolutions of the Court in said case,
injuries thru reckless imprudence in Criminal Case No. 47207 thereof. 3 Private respondent, as the first dismissing the petition and the second denying the motion for reconsideration, do not
the complaining witness therein, did not reserve his right to institute a separate civil action and constitute the "law of the case' which would control the subsequent proceed ings in this
he intervened in the prosecution of said criminal case through a private prosecutor. 4 Petitioner controversy.
was acquitted in said criminal case "on reasonable doubt".5
1. We incline favorably to petitioner's submission on this score.
On October 30, 1974, private respondent filed a complaint against the petitioner in the former
Court of First Instance of Iloilo, Branch IV, 6 docketed therein as Civil Case No. 9976, and which The "doctrine of the law of the case" has no application at the aforesaid posture of the
civil action involved the same subject matter and act complained of in Criminal Case No. proceedings when the two resolutions were handed down. While it may be true that G.R. No.
47027. 7 In his answer filed therein, the petitioner alleged as special and affirmative detenses L-40992 may have involved some of the issues which were thereafter submitted for resolution
that the private respondent had no cause of action and, additionally, that the latter's cause of on the merits by the two lower courts, the proceedings involved there was one for certiorari,
action, if any, is barred by the prior judgment in Criminal Case No. 47207 inasmuch as when prohibition and mandamus assailing an interlocutory order of the court a quo, specifically, its
said criminal case was instituted the civil liability was also deemed instituted since therein order denying therein defendants motion to dismiss. This Court, without rendering a specific
plaintiff failed to reserve the civil aspect and actively participated in the criminal case. 8 opinion or explanation as to the legal and factual bases on which its two resolutions were
predicated, simply dismissed the special civil action on that incident for lack of merit. It may very
Thereafter, acting on a motion to dismiss of therein defendant, the trial court issued on April 3, well be that such resolution was premised on the fact that the Court, at that stage and on the
1975 an order of denial, with the suggestion that "(t)o enrich our jurisprudence, it is suggested basis of the facts then presented, did not consider that the denial order of the court a quo was

18 | P a g e
tainted with grave abuse of discretion. 15 To repeat, no rationale for such resolutions having of Azucena vs. Potenciano, et al., 21 this time involving damage to property through negligence
been expounded on the merits of that action, no law of the case may be said to have been laid as to make out a case of quasi-delict under Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code, such
down in G.R. No. L-40992 to justify the respondent court's refusal to consider petitioner's claim secondary reliance is misplaced since the therein plaintiff Azucena did not intervene in the
that his former acquittal barred the separate action. criminal action against defendant Potenciano. The citation of Roa in the later case
of Azucena was, therefore, clearly obiter and affords no comfort to petitioner.
'Law of the case' has been defined as the opinion delivered on a former appeal.
More specifically, it means that whatever is once irrevocably established, as These are aside from the fact that there have been doctrinal, and even statutory, 22 changes
the controlling legal rule of decision between the same parties in the same case on the matter of civil actions arising from criminal offenses and quasi-delicts. We will reserve
continues to be the law of the case, whether correct on general principles or our discussion on the statutory aspects for another case and time and, for the nonce, We will
not, so long as the facts on which such decision was predicated continue to be consider the doctrinal developments on this issue.
the facts of the case before the court (21 C.J.S. 330). (Emphasis supplied). 16
In the case under consideration, private respondent participated and intervened in the
It need not be stated that the Supreme Court being the court of last resort, is prosecution of the criminal suit against petitioner. Under the present jurisprudential milieu,
the final arbiter of all legal questions properly brought before it and that where the trial court acquits the accused on reasonable doubt, it could very well make a
its decision in any given case constitutes the law of that particular case . . . pronounce ment on the civil liability of the accused 23 and the complainant could file a petition
(Emphasis supplied). 17 for mandamus to compel the trial court to include such civil liability in the judgment of
acquittal. 24
It is a rule of general application that the decision of an appellate court in a case
is the law of the case on the points presented throughout all the subsequent Private respondent, as already stated, filed a separate civil aciton after such acquittal. This is
proceedings in the case in both the trial and the appellate courts, and no allowed under Article 29 of the Civil Code. We have ruled in the relatively recent case of Lontoc
question necessarily involved and decided on that appeal will be considered on vs. MD Transit & Taxi Co., Inc., et al. 25that:
a second appeal or writ of error in the same case, provided the facts and issues
are substantially the same as those on which the first question rested and, In view of the fact that the defendant-appellee de la Cruz was acquitted on the
according to some authorities, provided the decision is on the merits . . . 18 ground that 'his guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt' the plaintiff-
appellant has the right to institute a separate civil action to recover damages
2. With the foregoing ancillary issue out of the way, We now consider the principal plaint of from the defendants-appellants (See Mendoza vs. Arrieta, 91 SCRA 113). The
petitioner. well-settled doctrine is that a person, while not criminally liable may still be
civilly liable. 'The judgment of acquittal extinguishes the civil liability of the
Apropos to such resolution is the settled rule that the same act or omission (in this case, the accused only when it includes a declaration that the facts from which the civil
negligent sideswiping of private respondent) can create two kinds of liability on the part of the liability might arise did not exist'. (Padilla vs. Court of Appeals, 129 SCRA 558
offender, that is, civil liability ex delicto and civil liability ex quasi delicto. Since the same cited in People vs. Rogelio Ligon y Tria, et al., G.R. No. 74041, July 29, 1987;
negligence can give rise either to a delict or crime or to a quasi-delict or tort, either of these two Filomeno Urbano vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, G.R. No. 72964, January
types of civil liability may be enforced against the culprit, subject to the caveat under Article 7, 1988). The ruling is based on Article 29 of the Civil Code which provides:
2177 of the Civil Code that the offended party cannot recover damages under both types of
liability. 19 When the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted on the
ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable
We also note the reminder of petitioner that in Roa vs. De la Cruz, et al., 20 it was held that doubt, a civil action for damages for the same act or omission
where the offended party elected to claim damages arising from the offense charged in the may be instituted. Such action requires only a preponderance
criminal case through her intervention as a private prosecutor, the final judgment rendered of evidence ... 26
therein constituted a bar to the subsequent civil action based upon the same cause. It is meet,
however, not to lose sight of the fact that the criminal action involved therein was for serious Another consideration in favor of private respondent is the doctrine that the failure of the court
oral defamation which, while within the contemplation of an independent civil action under to make any pronouncement, favorable or unfavorable, as to the civil liability of the accused
Article 33 of the Civil Code, constitutes only a penal omen and cannot otherwise be considered amounts to a reservation of the right to have the civil liability litigated and determined in a
as a quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana under Articles 2176 and 2177 of the Civil Code. And while separate action. The rules nowhere provide that if the court fails to determine the civil liability it
petitioner draws attention to the supposed reiteration of the Roa doctrine in the later case becomes no longer enforceable. 27

19 | P a g e
Furthermore, in the present case the civil liability sought to be recovered through the application Penal Code; whereas the civil liability for the same act considered as a quasi-
of Article 29 is no longer that based on or arising from the criminal offense. There is persuasive delict only and not as a crime is not extinguished even by a declaration in the
logic in the view that, under such circumstances, the acquittal of the accused foreclosed the criminal case that the criminal act charged has not happened or has not been
civil liability based on Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code which presupposes the existence committed by the accused . . .
of criminal liability or requires a conviction of the offense charged. Divested of its penal element
by such acquittal, the causative act or omission becomes in effect a quasi-delict, hence only a The aforecited case of Lontoc vs. MD Transit & Taxi Co., Inc., et al. involved virtually the same
civil action based thereon may be instituted or prosecuted thereafter, which action can be factual situation. The Court, in arriving at the conclusion hereinbefore quoted, expressly
proved by mere preponderance of evidence. 28 Complementary to such considerations, Article declared that the failure of the therein plaintiff to reserve his right to file a separate civil case is
29 enunciates the rule, as already stated, that a civil action for damages is not precluded by an not fatal; that his intervention in the criminal case did not bar him from filing a separate civil
acquittal on reasonable doubt for the same criminal act or omission. action for damages, especially considering that the accused therein was acquitted because his
guilt was not proved beyond reasonable doubt; that the two cases were anchored on two
The allegations of the complaint filed by the private respondent supports and is constitutive of different causes of action, the criminal case being on a violation of Article 365 of the Revised
a case for a quasi-delict committed by the petitioner, thus: Penal Code while the subsequent complaint for damages was based on a quasi-delict; and that
in the judgment in the criminal case the aspect of civil liability was not passed upon and
3. That in the evening of July 7, 197l at about 7:00 o'clock, the resolved. Consequently, said civil case may proceed as authorized by Article 29 of the Civil
plaintiff crossed Iznart Street from his restaurant situated at Code.
220 lznart St., Iloilo City, Philippines, on his way to a meeting
of the Cantonese Club at Aldeguer Street, Iloilo City and while Our initial adverse observation on a portion of the decision of respondent court aside, We hold
he was standing on the middle of the street as there were that on the issues decisive of this case it did not err in sustaining the decision a quo.
vehicles coming from the Provincial Building towards Plazoleta
Gay, Iloilo City, he was bumped and sideswiped by WHEREFORE, the writ prayed for is hereby DENIED and the decision of the respondent Court
Volkswagen car with plate No. B-2508 W which was on its way of Appeals is AFFIRMED, without costs.
from Plazoleta Gay towards the Provincial Capitol, Iloilo City,
which car was being driven by the defendant in a reckless and SO ORDERED.
negligent manner, at an excessive rate of speed and in
violation of the provisions of the Revised Motor Vehicle (sic)
as amended, in relation to the Land Transportation and Traffic
Code as well as in violation of existing city ordinances, and by
reason of his inexcusable lack of precaution and failure to act
with due negligence and by failing to take into consideration
(sic) his degree of intelligence, the atmospheric conditions of
the place as well as the width, traffic, visibility and other
conditions of lznart Street; 29

Since this action is based on a quasi-delict, the failure of the respondent to reserve his right to
file a separate civil case and his intervention in the criminal case did not bar him from filing such
separate civil action for damages. 30 The Court has also heretofore ruled in Elcano vs.
Hill 31 that —

... a separate civil action lies against the offender in a criminal act whether or
not he is criminally prosecuted and found guilty or acquitted, provided that the
offended party is not allowed, if he is also actually charged criminally, to recover
damages on both scores; and would be entitled in such eventuality only to the
bigger award of the two, assuming the awards made in the two cases vary. In
other words, the extinction of civil liability referred to in Par. (c) of Sec. 3 Rule
111, refers exclusively to civil liability founded on Article 100 of the Revised

20 | P a g e
Republic of the Philippines to himself. Therefore, he must indemnify plaintiffs under the provisions of article 1903
SUPREME COURT of the Civil Code.
Manila
The main theory of the defense is that the liability of Fausto Barredo is governed by the Revised
EN BANC Penal Code; hence, his liability is only subsidiary, and as there has been no civil action against
Pedro Fontanilla, the person criminally liable, Barredo cannot be held responsible in the case.
G.R. No. L-48006 July 8, 1942 The petitioner's brief states on page 10:

FAUSTO BARREDO, petitioner, ... The Court of Appeals holds that the petitioner is being sued for his failure to exercise
vs. all the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of Pedro
SEVERINO GARCIA and TIMOTEA ALMARIO, respondents. Fontanilla to prevent damages suffered by the respondents. In other words, The Court
of Appeals insists on applying in the case article 1903 of the Civil Code. Article 1903 of
Celedonio P. Gloria and Antonio Barredo for petitioner. the Civil Code is found in Chapter II, Title 16, Book IV of the Civil Code. This fact makes
Jose G. Advincula for respondents. said article to a civil liability arising from a crime as in the case at bar simply because
Chapter II of Title 16 of Book IV of the Civil Code, in the precise words of article 1903
of the Civil Code itself, is applicable only to "those (obligations) arising from wrongful or
BOCOBO, J.: negligent acts or commission not punishable by law.

This case comes up from the Court of Appeals which held the petitioner herein, Fausto Barredo, The gist of the decision of the Court of Appeals is expressed thus:
liable in damages for the death of Faustino Garcia caused by the negligence of Pedro Fontanilla,
a taxi driver employed by said Fausto Barredo.
... We cannot agree to the defendant's contention. The liability sought to be imposed
upon him in this action is not a civil obligation arising from a felony or a misdemeanor
At about half past one in the morning of May 3, 1936, on the road between Malabon and (the crime of Pedro Fontanilla,), but an obligation imposed in article 1903 of the Civil
Navotas, Province of Rizal, there was a head-on collision between a taxi of the Malate Taxicab Code by reason of his negligence in the selection or supervision of his servant or
driven by Pedro Fontanilla and a carretela guided by Pedro Dimapalis. The carretela was employee.
overturned, and one of its passengers, 16-year-old boy Faustino Garcia, suffered injuries from
which he died two days later. A criminal action was filed against Fontanilla in the Court of First
Instance of Rizal, and he was convicted and sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of one The pivotal question in this case is whether the plaintiffs may bring this separate civil action
year and one day to two years of prision correccional. The court in the criminal case granted against Fausto Barredo, thus making him primarily and directly, responsible under article 1903
of the Civil Code as an employer of Pedro Fontanilla. The defendant maintains that Fontanilla's
the petition that the right to bring a separate civil action be reserved. The Court of Appeals
negligence being punishable by the Penal Code, his (defendant's) liability as an employer is
affirmed the sentence of the lower court in the criminal case. Severino Garcia and Timotea
only subsidiary, according to said Penal code, but Fontanilla has not been sued in a civil action
Almario, parents of the deceased on March 7, 1939, brought an action in the Court of First
Instance of Manila against Fausto Barredo as the sole proprietor of the Malate Taxicab and and his property has not been exhausted. To decide the main issue, we must cut through the
tangle that has, in the minds of many confused and jumbled together delitos and cuasi delitos,
employer of Pedro Fontanilla. On July 8, 1939, the Court of First Instance of Manila awarded
or crimes under the Penal Code and fault or negligence under articles 1902-1910 of the Civil
damages in favor of the plaintiffs for P2,000 plus legal interest from the date of the complaint.
Code. This should be done, because justice may be lost in a labyrinth, unless principles and
This decision was modified by the Court of Appeals by reducing the damages to P1,000 with
remedies are distinctly envisaged. Fortunately, we are aided in our inquiry by the luminous
legal interest from the time the action was instituted. It is undisputed that Fontanilla 's negligence
presentation of the perplexing subject by renown jurists and we are likewise guided by the
was the cause of the mishap, as he was driving on the wrong side of the road, and at high
speed. As to Barredo's responsibility, the Court of Appeals found: decisions of this Court in previous cases as well as by the solemn clarity of the consideration in
several sentences of the Supreme Tribunal of Spain.
... It is admitted that defendant is Fontanilla's employer. There is proof that he exercised
Authorities support the proposition that a quasi-delict or "culpa aquiliana " is a separate legal
the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. (See p. 22, appellant's
institution under the Civil Code with a substantivity all its own, and individuality that is entirely
brief.) In fact it is shown he was careless in employing Fontanilla who had been caught
several times for violation of the Automobile Law and speeding (Exhibit A) — violation apart and independent from delict or crime. Upon this principle and on the wording and spirit
which appeared in the records of the Bureau of Public Works available to be public and article 1903 of the Civil Code, the primary and direct responsibility of employers may be safely
anchored.

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The pertinent provisions of the Civil Code and Revised Penal Code are as follows: The liability imposed by this article shall cease in case the persons mentioned therein
prove that they are exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the
CIVIL CODE damage.

ART. 1089 Obligations arise from law, from contracts and quasi-contracts, and from ART. 1904. Any person who pays for damage caused by his employees may recover
acts and omissions which are unlawful or in which any kind of fault or negligence from the latter what he may have paid.
intervenes.
REVISED PENAL CODE
xxx xxx xxx
ART. 100. Civil liability of a person guilty of felony. — Every person criminally liable for
ART. 1092. Civil obligations arising from felonies or misdemeanors shall be governed a felony is also civilly liable.
by the provisions of the Penal Code.
ART. 101. Rules regarding civil liability in certain cases. — The exemption from criminal
ART. 1093. Those which are derived from acts or omissions in which fault or liability established in subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 of article 12 and in subdivision 4 of
negligence, not punishable by law, intervenes shall be subject to the provisions of article 11 of this Code does not include exemption from civil liability, which shall be
Chapter II, Title XVI of this book. enforced to the following rules:

xxx xxx xxx First. In cases of subdivision, 1, 2 and 3 of article 12 the civil liability for acts committed
by any imbecile or insane person, and by a person under nine years of age, or by one
over nine but under fifteen years of age, who has acted without discernment shall
ART 1902. Any person who by an act or omission causes damage to another by his
fault or negligence shall be liable for the damage so done. devolve upon those having such person under their legal authority or control, unless it
appears that there was no fault or negligence on their part.
ART. 1903. The obligation imposed by the next preceding article is enforcible, not only
Should there be no person having such insane, imbecile or minor under his authority,
for personal acts and omissions, but also for those of persons for whom another is
legal guardianship, or control, or if such person be insolvent, said insane, imbecile, or
responsible.
minor shall respond with their own property, excepting property exempt from execution,
in accordance with the civil law.
The father and in, case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are liable for any
damages caused by the minor children who live with them.
Second. In cases falling within subdivision 4 of article 11, the person for whose benefit
the harm has been prevented shall be civilly liable in proportion to the benefit which
Guardians are liable for damages done by minors or incapacitated persons subject to they may have received.
their authority and living with them.
The courts shall determine, in their sound discretion, the proportionate amount for which each
Owners or directors of an establishment or business are equally liable for any damages one shall be liable.
caused by their employees while engaged in the branch of the service in which
employed, or on occasion of the performance of their duties.
When the respective shares can not be equitably determined, even approximately, or when the
liability also attaches to the Government, or to the majority of the inhabitants of the town, and,
The State is subject to the same liability when it acts through a special agent, but not if in all events, whenever the damage has been caused with the consent of the authorities or their
the damage shall have been caused by the official upon whom properly devolved the agents, indemnification shall be made in the manner prescribed by special laws or regulations.
duty of doing the act performed, in which case the provisions of the next preceding
article shall be applicable.
Third. In cases falling within subdivisions 5 and 6 of article 12, the persons using violence or
causing the fear shall be primarily liable and secondarily, or, if there be no such persons, those
Finally, teachers or directors of arts trades are liable for any damages caused by their doing the act shall be liable, saving always to the latter that part of their property exempt from
pupils or apprentices while they are under their custody. execution.

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ART. 102. Subsidiary civil liability of innkeepers, tavern keepers and proprietors of The individuality of cuasi-delito or culpa extra-contractual looms clear and unmistakable. This
establishment. — In default of persons criminally liable, innkeepers, tavern keepers, legal institution is of ancient lineage, one of its early ancestors being the Lex Aquilia in the
and any other persons or corporation shall be civilly liable for crimes committed in their Roman Law. In fact, in Spanish legal terminology, this responsibility is often referred to as culpa
establishments, in all cases where a violation of municipal ordinances or some general aquiliana. The Partidas also contributed to the genealogy of the present fault or negligence
or special police regulation shall have been committed by them or their employees. under the Civil Code; for instance, Law 6, Title 15, of Partida 7, says: "Tenudo es de fazer
emienda, porque, como quier que el non fizo a sabiendas en daño al otro, pero acaescio por
Innkeepers are also subsidiarily liable for the restitution of goods taken by robbery or su culpa."
theft within their houses lodging therein, or the person, or for the payment of the value
thereof, provided that such guests shall have notified in advance the innkeeper himself, The distinctive nature of cuasi-delitos survives in the Civil Code. According to article 1089, one
or the person representing him, of the deposit of such goods within the inn; and shall of the five sources of obligations is this legal institution of cuasi-delito or culpa extra-contractual:
furthermore have followed the directions which such innkeeper or his representative "los actos . . . en que intervenga cualquier genero de culpa o negligencia." Then article 1093
may have given them with respect to the care of and vigilance over such goods. No provides that this kind of obligation shall be governed by Chapter II of Title XVI of Book IV,
liability shall attach in case of robbery with violence against or intimidation against or meaning articles 1902-0910. This portion of the Civil Code is exclusively devoted to the legal
intimidation of persons unless committed by the innkeeper's employees. institution of culpa aquiliana.

ART. 103. Subsidiary civil liability of other persons. — The subsidiary liability Some of the differences between crimes under the Penal Code and the culpa
established in the next preceding article shall also apply to employers, teachers, aquiliana or cuasi-delito under the Civil Code are:
persons, and corporations engaged in any kind of industry for felonies committed by
their servants, pupils, workmen, apprentices, or employees in the discharge of their 1. That crimes affect the public interest, while cuasi-delitos are only of private concern.
duties.
2. That, consequently, the Penal Code punishes or corrects the criminal act, while the Civil
xxx xxx xxx Code, by means of indemnification, merely repairs the damage.

ART. 365. Imprudence and negligence. — Any person who, by reckless imprudence, 3. That delicts are not as broad as quasi-delicts, because the former are punished only if there
shall commit any act which, had it been intentional, would constitute a grave felony, is a penal law clearly covering them, while the latter, cuasi-delitos, include all acts in which "any
shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional king of fault or negligence intervenes." However, it should be noted that not all violations of the
in its minimum period; if it would have constituted a less grave felony, the penalty of penal law produce civil responsibility, such as begging in contravention of ordinances, violation
arresto mayor in its minimum and medium periods shall be imposed. of the game laws, infraction of the rules of traffic when nobody is hurt. (See Colin and Capitant,
"Curso Elemental de Derecho Civil," Vol. 3, p. 728.)
Any person who, by simple imprudence or negligence, shall commit an act which would
otherwise constitute a grave felony, shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor in its Let us now ascertain what some jurists say on the separate existence of quasi-delicts and the
medium and maximum periods; if it would have constituted a less serious felony, the employer's primary and direct liability under article 1903 of the Civil Code.
penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed."
Dorado Montero in his essay on "Responsibilidad" in the "Enciclopedia Juridica Española" (Vol.
It will thus be seen that while the terms of articles 1902 of the Civil Code seem to be broad XXVII, p. 414) says:
enough to cover the driver's negligence in the instant case, nevertheless article 1093
limits cuasi-delitos to acts or omissions "not punishable by law." But inasmuch as article 365 of El concepto juridico de la responsabilidad civil abarca diversos aspectos y comprende
the Revised Penal Code punishes not only reckless but even simple imprudence or negligence, a diferentes personas. Asi, existe una responsabilidad civil propiamente dicha, que en
the fault or negligence under article 1902 of the Civil Code has apparently been crowded out. It
ningun casl lleva aparejada responsabilidad criminal alguna, y otra que es
is this overlapping that makes the "confusion worse confounded." However, a closer study
consecuencia indeclinable de la penal que nace de todo delito o falta."
shows that such a concurrence of scope in regard to negligent acts does not destroy the
distinction between the civil liability arising from a crime and the responsibility for cuasi-delitos
or culpa extra-contractual. The same negligent act causing damages may produce civil liability The juridical concept of civil responsibility has various aspects and comprises different
arising from a crime under article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, or create an action for cuasi- persons. Thus, there is a civil responsibility, properly speaking, which in no case carries
delito or culpa extra-contractual under articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code. with it any criminal responsibility, and another which is a necessary consequence of the
penal liability as a result of every felony or misdemeanor."

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Maura, an outstanding authority, was consulted on the following case: There had been a jurisprudencia, que las empresas, despues de intervenir en las causas criminales con
collision between two trains belonging respectively to the Ferrocarril Cantabrico and the el caracter subsidiario de su responsabilidad civil por razon del delito, son demandadas
Ferrocarril del Norte. An employee of the latter had been prosecuted in a criminal case, in which y condenadas directa y aisladamente, cuando se trata de la obligacion, ante los
the company had been made a party as subsidiarily responsible in civil damages. The employee tribunales civiles.
had been acquitted in the criminal case, and the employer, the Ferrocarril del Norte, had also
been exonerated. The question asked was whether the Ferrocarril Cantabrico could still bring Siendo como se ve, diverso el titulo de esta obligacion, y formando verdadero
a civil action for damages against the Ferrocarril del Norte. Maura's opinion was in the postulado de nuestro regimen judicial la separacion entre justicia punitiva y tribunales
affirmative, stating in part (Maura, Dictamenes, Vol. 6, pp. 511-513): de lo civil, de suerte que tienen unos y otros normas de fondo en distintos cuerpos
legales, y diferentes modos de proceder, habiendose, por añadidura, abstenido de
Quedando las cosas asi, a proposito de la realidad pura y neta de los hechos, todavia asistir al juicio criminal la Compañia del Ferrocarril Cantabrico, que se reservo ejercitar
menos parece sostenible que exista cosa juzgada acerca de la obligacion civil de sus acciones, parece innegable que la de indemnizacion por los daños y perjuicios que
indemnizar los quebrantos y menoscabos inferidos por el choque de los trenes. El titulo le irrogo el choque, no estuvo sub judice ante el Tribunal del Jurado, ni fue sentenciada,
en que se funda la accion para demandar el resarcimiento, no puede confundirse con sino que permanecio intacta, al pronunciarse el fallo de 21 de marzo. Aun cuando el
las responsabilidades civiles nacidas de delito, siquiera exista en este, sea el cual sea, veredicto no hubiese sido de inculpabilidad, mostrose mas arriba, que tal accion
una culpa rodeada de notas agravatorias que motivan sanciones penales, mas o quedaba legitimamente reservada para despues del proceso; pero al declararse que
menos severas. La lesion causada por delito o falta en los derechos civiles, requiere no existio delito, ni responsabilidad dimanada de delito, materia unica sobre que tenian
restituciones, reparaciones o indemnizaciones, que cual la pena misma atañen al jurisdiccion aquellos juzgadores, se redobla el motivo para la obligacion civil ex lege, y
orden publico; por tal motivo vienen encomendadas, de ordinario, al Ministerio Fiscal; se patentiza mas y mas que la accion para pedir su cumplimiento permanece incolume,
y claro es que si por esta via se enmiendan los quebrantos y menoscabos, el agraviado extraña a la cosa juzgada.
excusa procurar el ya conseguido desagravio; pero esta eventual coincidencia de los
efectos, no borra la diversidad originaria de las acciones civiles para pedir As things are, apropos of the reality pure and simple of the facts, it seems less tenable
indemnizacion. that there should be res judicata with regard to the civil obligation for damages on
account of the losses caused by the collision of the trains. The title upon which the
Estas, para el caso actual (prescindiendo de culpas contractuales, que no vendrian a action for reparation is based cannot be confused with the civil responsibilities born of
cuento y que tiene otro regimen), dimanan, segun el articulo 1902 del Codigo Civil, de a crime, because there exists in the latter, whatever each nature, a culpa surrounded
toda accion u omision, causante de daños o perjuicios, en que intervenga culpa o with aggravating aspects which give rise to penal measures that are more or less
negligencia. Es trivial que acciones semejantes son ejercitadas ante los Tribunales de severe. The injury caused by a felony or misdemeanor upon civil rights requires
lo civil cotidianamente, sin que la Justicia punitiva tenga que mezclarse en los asuntos. restitutions, reparations, or indemnifications which, like the penalty itself, affect public
Los articulos 18 al 21 y 121 al 128 del Codigo Penal, atentos al espiritu y a los fines order; for this reason, they are ordinarily entrusted to the office of the prosecuting
sociales y politicos del mismo, desenvuelven y ordenan la materia de attorney; and it is clear that if by this means the losses and damages are repaired, the
responsabilidades civiles nacidas de delito, en terminos separados del regimen por ley injured party no longer desires to seek another relief; but this coincidence of effects
comun de la culpa que se denomina aquiliana, por alusion a precedentes legislativos does not eliminate the peculiar nature of civil actions to ask for indemnity.
del Corpus Juris. Seria intempestivo un paralelo entre aquellas ordenaciones, y la de
la obligacion de indemnizar a titulo de culpa civil; pero viene al caso y es necesaria una Such civil actions in the present case (without referring to contractual faults which are
de las diferenciaciones que en el tal paralelo se notarian. not pertinent and belong to another scope) are derived, according to article 1902 of the
Civil Code, from every act or omission causing losses and damages in which culpa or
Los articulos 20 y 21 del Codigo Penal, despues de distribuir a su modo las negligence intervenes. It is unimportant that such actions are every day filed before the
responsabilidades civiles, entre los que sean por diversos conceptos culpables del civil courts without the criminal courts interfering therewith. Articles 18 to 21 and 121 to
delito o falta, las hacen extensivas a las empresas y los establecimientos al servicio de 128 of the Penal Code, bearing in mind the spirit and the social and political purposes
los cuales estan los delincuentes; pero con caracter subsidiario, o sea, segun el texto of that Code, develop and regulate the matter of civil responsibilities arising from a
literal, en defecto de los que sean responsables criminalmente. No coincide en ello el crime, separately from the regime under common law, of culpa which is known
Codigo Civil, cuyo articulo 1903, dice; La obligacion que impone el articulo anterior es as aquiliana, in accordance with legislative precedent of the Corpus Juris. It would be
exigible, no solo por los actos y omisiones propios, sino por los de aquellas personas unwarranted to make a detailed comparison between the former provisions and that
de quienes se debe responder; personas en la enumeracion de las cuales figuran los regarding the obligation to indemnify on account of civil culpa; but it is pertinent and
dependientes y empleados de los establecimientos o empresas, sea por actos del necessary to point out to one of such differences.
servicio, sea con ocasion de sus funciones. Por esto acontece, y se observa en la

24 | P a g e
Articles 20 and 21 of the Penal Code, after distriburing in their own way the civil Cuestion 1. La responsabilidad declarada en el articulo 1903 por las acciones u
responsibilities among those who, for different reasons, are guilty of felony or omisiones de aquellas personas por las que se debe responder, es subsidiaria? es
misdemeanor, make such civil responsibilities applicable to enterprises and principal? Para contestar a esta pregunta es necesario saber, en primer lugar, en que
establishments for which the guilty parties render service, but with subsidiary character, se funda el precepto legal. Es que realmente se impone una responsabilidad por una
that is to say, according to the wording of the Penal Code, in default of those who are falta ajena? Asi parece a primera vista; pero semejante afirmacion seria contraria a la
criminally responsible. In this regard, the Civil Code does not coincide because article justicia y a la maxima universal, segun la que las faltas son personales, y cada uno
1903 says: "The obligation imposed by the next preceding article is demandable, not responde de aquellas que le son imputables. La responsabilidad de que tratamos se
only for personal acts and omissions, but also for those of persons for whom another is impone con ocasion de un delito o culpa, pero no por causa de ellos, sino por causa
responsible." Among the persons enumerated are the subordinates and employees of del causi delito, esto es, de la imprudencia o de la negligencia del padre, del tutor, del
establishments or enterprises, either for acts during their service or on the occasion of dueño o director del establecimiento, del maestro, etc. Cuando cualquiera de las
their functions. It is for this reason that it happens, and it is so observed in judicial personas que enumera el articulo citado (menores de edad, incapacitados,
decisions, that the companies or enterprises, after taking part in the criminal cases dependientes, aprendices) causan un daño, la ley presume que el padre, el tutor, el
because of their subsidiary civil responsibility by reason of the crime, are sued and maestro, etc., han cometido una falta de negligencia para prevenir o evitar el daño.
sentenced directly and separately with regard to the obligation, before the civil courts. Esta falta es la que la ley castiga. No hay, pues, responsabilidad por un hecho ajeno,
sino en la apariencia; en realidad la responsabilidad se exige por un hecho propio. La
Seeing that the title of this obligation is different, and the separation between punitive idea de que esa responsabilidad sea subsidiaria es, por lo tanto, completamente
justice and the civil courts being a true postulate of our judicial system, so that they inadmisible.
have different fundamental norms in different codes, as well as different modes of
procedure, and inasmuch as the Compaña del Ferrocarril Cantabrico has abstained Question No. 1. Is the responsibility declared in article 1903 for the acts or omissions
from taking part in the criminal case and has reserved the right to exercise its actions, of those persons for who one is responsible, subsidiary or principal? In order to answer
it seems undeniable that the action for indemnification for the losses and damages this question it is necessary to know, in the first place, on what the legal provision is
caused to it by the collision was not sub judice before the Tribunal del Jurado, nor was based. Is it true that there is a responsibility for the fault of another person? It seems
it the subject of a sentence, but it remained intact when the decision of March 21 was so at first sight; but such assertion would be contrary to justice and to the universal
rendered. Even if the verdict had not been that of acquittal, it has already been shown maxim that all faults are personal, and that everyone is liable for those faults that can
that such action had been legitimately reserved till after the criminal prosecution; but be imputed to him. The responsibility in question is imposed on the occasion of a crime
because of the declaration of the non-existence of the felony and the non-existence of or fault, but not because of the same, but because of the cuasi-delito, that is to say, the
the responsibility arising from the crime, which was the sole subject matter upon which imprudence or negligence of the father, guardian, proprietor or manager of the
the Tribunal del Jurado had jurisdiction, there is greater reason for the civil obligation ex establishment, of the teacher, etc. Whenever anyone of the persons enumerated in the
lege, and it becomes clearer that the action for its enforcement remain intact and is article referred to (minors, incapacitated persons, employees, apprentices) causes any
not res judicata. damage, the law presumes that the father, guardian, teacher, etc. have committed an
act of negligence in not preventing or avoiding the damage. It is this fault that is
Laurent, a jurist who has written a monumental work on the French Civil Code, on which the condemned by the law. It is, therefore, only apparent that there is a responsibility for
Spanish Civil Code is largely based and whose provisions on cuasi-delito or culpa extra- the act of another; in reality the responsibility exacted is for one's own act. The idea
contractual are similar to those of the Spanish Civil Code, says, referring to article 1384 of the that such responsibility is subsidiary is, therefore, completely inadmissible.
French Civil Code which corresponds to article 1903, Spanish Civil Code:
Oyuelos, in his "Digesto: Principios, Doctrina y Jurisprudencia, Referentes al Codigo Civil
The action can be brought directly against the person responsible (for another), without Español," says in Vol. VII, p. 743:
including the author of the act. The action against the principal is accessory in the sense
that it implies the existence of a prejudicial act committed by the employee, but it is not Es decir, no responde de hechos ajenos, porque se responde solo de su propia culpa,
subsidiary in the sense that it can not be instituted till after the judgment against the doctrina del articulo 1902; mas por excepcion, se responde de la ajena respecto de
author of the act or at least, that it is subsidiary to the principal action; the action for aquellas personas con las que media algun nexo o vinculo, que motiva o razona la
responsibility (of the employer) is in itself a principal action. (Laurent, Principles of responsabilidad. Esta responsabilidad, es directa o es subsidiaria? En el orden penal,
French Civil Law, Spanish translation, Vol. 20, pp. 734-735.) el Codigo de esta clase distingue entre menores e incapacitados y los demas,
declarando directa la primera (articulo 19) y subsidiaria la segunda (articulos 20 y 21);
Amandi, in his "Cuestionario del Codigo Civil Reformado" (Vol. 4, pp. 429, 430), declares that pero en el orden civil, en el caso del articulo 1903, ha de entenderse directa, por el
the responsibility of the employer is principal and not subsidiary. He writes:

25 | P a g e
tenor del articulo que impone la responsabilidad precisamente "por los actos de ajenas a su jurisdiccion propia, ni contrariar en lo mas minimo el fallo recaido en la
aquellas personas de quienes se deba responder." causa.

That is to say, one is not responsible for the acts of others, because one is liable only Considering that the first ground of the appeal is based on the mistaken supposition
for his own faults, this being the doctrine of article 1902; but, by exception, one is liable that the trial court, in sentencing the Compañia Madrileña to the payment of the damage
for the acts of those persons with whom there is a bond or tie which gives rise to the caused by the death of Ramon Lafuente Izquierdo, disregards the value and juridical
responsibility. Is this responsibility direct or subsidiary? In the order of the penal law, effects of the sentence of acquittal rendered in the criminal case instituted on account
the Penal Code distinguishes between minors and incapacitated persons on the one of the same act, when it is a fact that the two jurisdictions had taken cognizance of the
hand, and other persons on the other, declaring that the responsibility for the former is same act in its different aspects, and as the criminal jurisdiction declared within the
direct (article 19), and for the latter, subsidiary (articles 20 and 21); but in the scheme limits of its authority that the act in question did not constitute a felony because there
of the civil law, in the case of article 1903, the responsibility should be understood as was no grave carelessness or negligence, and this being the only basis of acquittal, it
direct, according to the tenor of that articles, for precisely it imposes responsibility "for does no exclude the co-existence of fault or negligence which is not qualified, and is a
the acts of those persons for whom one should be responsible." source of civil obligations according to article 1902 of the Civil Code, affecting, in
accordance with article 1903, among other persons, the managers of establishments
Coming now to the sentences of the Supreme Tribunal of Spain, that court has upheld the or enterprises by reason of the damages caused by employees under certain
principles above set forth: that a quasi-delict or culpa extra-contractual is a separate and conditions, it is manifest that the civil jurisdiccion in taking cognizance of the same act
distinct legal institution, independent from the civil responsibility arising from criminal liability, in this latter aspect and in ordering the company, appellant herein, to pay an indemnity
and that an employer is, under article 1903 of the Civil Code, primarily and directly responsible for the damage caused by one of its employees, far from violating said legal provisions,
for the negligent acts of his employee. in relation with article 116 of the Law of Criminal Procedure, strictly followed the same,
without invading attributes which are beyond its own jurisdiction, and without in any way
contradicting the decision in that cause. (Emphasis supplied.)
One of the most important of those Spanish decisions is that of October 21, 1910. In that case,
Ramon Lafuente died as the result of having been run over by a street car owned by the
"compañia Electric Madrileña de Traccion." The conductor was prosecuted in a criminal case It will be noted, as to the case just cited:
but he was acquitted. Thereupon, the widow filed a civil action against the street car company,
paying for damages in the amount of 15,000 pesetas. The lower court awarded damages; so First. That the conductor was not sued in a civil case, either separately or with the street car
the company appealed to the Supreme Tribunal, alleging violation of articles 1902 and 1903 of company. This is precisely what happens in the present case: the driver, Fontanilla, has not
the Civil Code because by final judgment the non-existence of fault or negligence had been been sued in a civil action, either alone or with his employer.
declared. The Supreme Court of Spain dismissed the appeal, saying:
Second. That the conductor had been acquitted of grave criminal negligence, but the Supreme
Considerando que el primer motivo del recurso se funda en el equivocado supuesto de Tribunal of Spain said that this did not exclude the co-existence of fault or negligence, which is
que el Tribunal a quo, al condonar a la compañia Electrica Madrileña al pago del daño not qualified, on the part of the conductor, under article 1902 of the Civil Code. In the present
causado con la muerte de Ramon La fuente Izquierdo, desconoce el valor y efectos case, the taxi driver was found guilty of criminal negligence, so that if he had even sued for his
juridicos de la sentencia absolutoria deictada en la causa criminal que se siguio por el civil responsibility arising from the crime, he would have been held primarily liable for civil
mismo hecho, cuando es lo cierto que de este han conocido las dos jurisdicciones bajo damages, and Barredo would have been held subsidiarily liable for the same. But the plaintiffs
diferentes as pectos, y como la de lo criminal declrao dentro de los limites de su are directly suing Barredo, on his primary responsibility because of his own presumed
competencia que el hecho de que se trata no era constitutivo de delito por no haber negligence — which he did not overcome — under article 1903. Thus, there were two liabilities
mediado descuido o negligencia graves, lo que no excluye, siendo este el unico of Barredo: first, the subsidiary one because of the civil liability of the taxi driver arising from the
fundamento del fallo absolutorio, el concurso de la culpa o negligencia no califacadas, latter's criminal negligence; and, second, Barredo's primary liability as an employer under article
fuente de obligaciones civiles segun el articulo 1902 del Codigo, y que alcanzan, segun 1903. The plaintiffs were free to choose which course to take, and they preferred the second
el 1903, netre otras perosnas, a los Directores de establecimientos o empresas por los remedy. In so doing, they were acting within their rights. It might be observed in passing, that
daños causados por sus dependientes en determinadas condiciones, es manifesto que the plaintiff choose the more expeditious and effective method of relief, because Fontanilla was
la de lo civil, al conocer del mismo hehco baho este ultimo aspecto y al condenar a la either in prison, or had just been released, and besides, he was probably without property which
compañia recurrente a la indemnizacion del daño causado por uno de sus empleados, might be seized in enforcing any judgment against him for damages.
lejos de infringer los mencionados textos, en relacion con el articulo 116 de la Ley de
Enjuciamiento Criminal, se ha atenido estrictamente a ellos, sin invadir atribuciones

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Third. That inasmuch as in the above sentence of October 21, 1910, the employer was held referred to in the complaint should be returned to the consignors with wines and liquors;
liable civilly, notwithstanding the acquittal of the employee (the conductor) in a previous criminal (2) that when the said merchandise reached their destination, their delivery to the
case, with greater reason should Barredo, the employer in the case at bar, be held liable for consignee was refused by the station agent without justification and with fraudulent
damages in a civil suit filed against him because his taxi driver had been convicted. The degree intent, and (3) that the lack of delivery of these goods when they were demanded by
of negligence of the conductor in the Spanish case cited was less than that of the taxi driver, the plaintiff caused him losses and damages of considerable importance, as he was a
Fontanilla, because the former was acquitted in the previous criminal case while the latter was wholesale vendor of wines and liquors and he failed to realize the profits when he was
found guilty of criminal negligence and was sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of one year unable to fill the orders sent to him by the consignors of the receptacles:
and one day to two years of prision correccional.
Considering that upon this basis there is need of upholding the four assignments of
(See also Sentence of February 19, 1902, which is similar to the one above quoted.) error, as the original complaint did not contain any cause of action arising from non-
fulfillment of a contract of transportation, because the action was not based on the delay
In the Sentence of the Supreme Court of Spain, dated February 14, 1919, an action was brought of the goods nor on any contractual relation between the parties litigant and, therefore,
against a railroad company for damages because the station agent, employed by the company, article 371 of the Code of Commerce, on which the decision appealed from is based, is
had unjustly and fraudulently, refused to deliver certain articles consigned to the plaintiff. The not applicable; but it limits to asking for reparation for losses and damages produced
Supreme Court of Spain held that this action was properly under article 1902 of the Civil Code, on the patrimony of the plaintiff on account of the unjustified and fraudulent refusal of
the court saying: the carrier to deliver the goods consigned to the plaintiff as stated by the sentence, and
the carrier's responsibility is clearly laid down in article 1902 of the Civil Code which
binds, in virtue of the next article, the defendant company, because the latter is
Considerando que la sentencia discutida reconoce, en virtud de los hechos que
consigna con relacion a las pruebas del pleito: 1.º, que las expediciones facturadas por connected with the person who caused the damage by relations of economic character
la compañia ferroviaria a la consignacion del actor de las vasijas vacias que en su and by administrative hierarchy. (Emphasis supplied.)
demanda relacionan tenian como fin el que este las devolviera a sus remitentes con
vinos y alcoholes; 2.º, que llegadas a su destino tales mercanias no se quisieron The above case is pertinent because it shows that the same act may come under both the Penal
entregar a dicho consignatario por el jefe de la estacion sin motivo justificado y con Code and the Civil Code. In that case, the action of the agent was unjustified and fraudulent and
intencion dolosa, y 3.º, que la falta de entrega de estas expediciones al tiempo de therefore could have been the subject of a criminal action. And yet, it was held to be also a
reclamarlas el demandante le originaron daños y perjuicios en cantidad de bastante proper subject of a civil action under article 1902 of the Civil Code. It is also to be noted that it
importancia como expendedor al por mayor que era de vinos y alcoholes por las was the employer and not the employee who was being sued.
ganancias que dejo de obtener al verse privado de servir los pedidos que se le habian
hecho por los remitentes en los envases: Let us now examine the cases previously decided by this Court.

Considerando que sobre esta base hay necesidad de estimar los cuatro motivos que In the leading case of Rakes vs. Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Co. (7 Phil., 359, 362-365 [year 1907]),
integran este recurso, porque la demanda inicial del pleito a que se contrae no contiene the trial court awarded damages to the plaintiff, a laborer of the defendant, because the latter
accion que nazca del incumplimiento del contrato de transporte, toda vez que no se had negligently failed to repair a tramway in consequence of which the rails slid off while iron
funda en el retraso de la llegada de las mercancias ni de ningun otro vinculo contractual was being transported, and caught the plaintiff whose leg was broken. This Court held:
entre las partes contendientes, careciendo, por tanto, de aplicacion el articulo 371 del
Codigo de Comercio, en que principalmente descansa el fallo recurrido, sino que se It is contended by the defendant, as its first defense to the action that the necessary
limita a pedir la reparaction de los daños y perjuicios producidos en el patrimonio del conclusion from these collated laws is that the remedy for injuries through negligence
actor por la injustificada y dolosa negativa del porteador a la entrega de las mercancias lies only in a criminal action in which the official criminally responsible must be made
a su nombre consignadas, segun lo reconoce la sentencia, y cuya responsabilidad esta primarily liable and his employer held only subsidiarily to him. According to this theory
claramente sancionada en el articulo 1902 del Codigo Civil, que obliga por el siguiente the plaintiff should have procured the arrest of the representative of the company
a la Compañia demandada como ligada con el causante de aquellos por relaciones de accountable for not repairing the track, and on his prosecution a suitable fine should
caracter economico y de jurarquia administrativa. have been imposed, payable primarily by him and secondarily by his employer.

Considering that the sentence, in question recognizes, in virtue of the facts which it This reasoning misconceived the plan of the Spanish codes upon this subject. Article
declares, in relation to the evidence in the case: (1) that the invoice issued by the 1093 of the Civil Code makes obligations arising from faults or negligence not punished
railroad company in favor of the plaintiff contemplated that the empty receptacles

27 | P a g e
by the law, subject to the provisions of Chapter II of Title XVI. Section 1902 of that be extinguished. These provisions are in harmony with those of articles 23 and 133 of
chapter reads: our Penal Code on the same subject.

"A person who by an act or omission causes damage to another when there is An examination of this topic might be carried much further, but the citation of these
fault or negligence shall be obliged to repair the damage so done. articles suffices to show that the civil liability was not intended to be merged in the
criminal nor even to be suspended thereby, except as expressly provided in the law.
"SEC. 1903. The obligation imposed by the preceeding article is demandable, Where an individual is civilly liable for a negligent act or omission, it is not required that
not only for personal acts and omissions, but also for those of the persons for the injured party should seek out a third person criminally liable whose prosecution
whom they should be responsible. must be a condition precedent to the enforcement of the civil right.

"The father, and on his death or incapacity, the mother, is liable for the Under article 20 of the Penal Code the responsibility of an employer may be regarded
damages caused by the minors who live with them. as subsidiary in respect of criminal actions against his employees only while they are
in process of prosecution, or in so far as they determine the existence of the criminal
act from which liability arises, and his obligation under the civil law and its enforcement
xxx xxx xxx
in the civil courts is not barred thereby unless by the election of the injured person.
Inasmuch as no criminal proceeding had been instituted, growing our of the accident in
"Owners or directors of an establishment or enterprise are equally liable for the question, the provisions of the Penal Code can not affect this action. This construction
damages caused by their employees in the service of the branches in which renders it unnecessary to finally determine here whether this subsidiary civil liability in
the latter may be employed or in the performance of their duties. penal actions has survived the laws that fully regulated it or has been abrogated by the
American civil and criminal procedure now in force in the Philippines.
xxx xxx xxx
The difficulty in construing the articles of the code above cited in this case appears from
"The liability referred to in this article shall cease when the persons mentioned the briefs before us to have arisen from the interpretation of the words of article 1093,
therein prove that they employed all the diligence of a good father of a family "fault or negligence not punished by law," as applied to the comprehensive definition of
to avoid the damage." offenses in articles 568 and 590 of the Penal Code. It has been shown that the liability
of an employer arising out of his relation to his employee who is the offender is not to
As an answer to the argument urged in this particular action it may be sufficient to point be regarded as derived from negligence punished by the law, within the meaning of
out that nowhere in our general statutes is the employer penalized for failure to provide articles 1902 and 1093. More than this, however, it cannot be said to fall within the class
or maintain safe appliances for his workmen. His obligation therefore is one 'not of acts unpunished by the law, the consequence of which are regulated by articles 1902
punished by the laws' and falls under civil rather than criminal jurisprudence. But the and 1903 of the Civil Code. The acts to which these articles are applicable are
answer may be a broader one. We should be reluctant, under any conditions, to adopt understood to be those not growing out of pre-existing duties of the parties to one
a forced construction of these scientific codes, such as is proposed by the defendant, another. But where relations already formed give rise to duties, whether springing from
that would rob some of these articles of effect, would shut out litigants against their will contract or quasi contract, then breaches of those duties are subject to articles 1101,
from the civil courts, would make the assertion of their rights dependent upon the 1103, and 1104 of the same code. A typical application of this distinction may be found
selection for prosecution of the proper criminal offender, and render recovery doubtful in the consequences of a railway accident due to defective machinery supplied by the
by reason of the strict rules of proof prevailing in criminal actions. Even if these articles employer. His liability to his employee would arise out of the contract of employment,
had always stood alone, such a construction would be unnecessary, but clear light is that to the passengers out of the contract for passage, while that to the injured
thrown upon their meaning by the provisions of the Law of Criminal Procedure of Spain bystander would originate in the negligent act itself.
(Ley de Enjuiciamiento Criminal), which, though never in actual force in these Islands,
was formerly given a suppletory or explanatory effect. Under article 111 of this law, both In Manzanares vs. Moreta, 38 Phil., 821 (year 1918), the mother of the 8 of 9-year-old child
classes of action, civil and criminal, might be prosecuted jointly or separately, but while Salvador Bona brought a civil action against Moreta to recover damages resulting from the
the penal action was pending the civil was suspended. According to article 112, the death of the child, who had been run over by an automobile driven and managed by the
penal action once started, the civil remedy should be sought therewith, unless it had defendant. The trial court rendered judgment requiring the defendant to pay the plaintiff the sum
been waived by the party injured or been expressly reserved by him for civil of P1,000 as indemnity: This Court in affirming the judgment, said in part:
proceedings for the future. If the civil action alone was prosecuted, arising out of a crime
that could be enforced only on private complaint, the penal action thereunder should

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If it were true that the defendant, in coming from the southern part of Solana Street, had Although the trial judge made the findings of fact hereinbefore outlined, he nevertheless
to stop his auto before crossing Real Street, because he had met vehicles which were was led to order the dismissal of the action because of the contributory negligence of
going along the latter street or were coming from the opposite direction along Solana the plaintiffs. It is from this point that a majority of the court depart from the stand taken
Street, it is to be believed that, when he again started to run his auto across said Real by the trial judge. The mother and her child had a perfect right to be on the principal
Street and to continue its way along Solana Street northward, he should have adjusted street of Tacloban, Leyte, on the evening when the religious procession was held. There
the speed of the auto which he was operating until he had fully crossed Real Street and was nothing abnormal in allowing the child to run along a few paces in advance of the
had completely reached a clear way on Solana Street. But, as the child was run over mother. No one could foresee the coincidence of an automobile appearing and of a
by the auto precisely at the entrance of Solana Street, this accident could not have frightened child running and falling into a ditch filled with hot water. The doctrine
occurred if the auto had been running at a slow speed, aside from the fact that the announced in the much debated case of Rakes vs. Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Co.
defendant, at the moment of crossing Real Street and entering Solana Street, in a ([1907]), 7 Phil., 359), still rule. Article 1902 of the Civil Code must again be enforced.
northward direction, could have seen the child in the act of crossing the latter street The contributory negligence of the child and her mother, if any, does not operate as a
from the sidewalk on the right to that on the left, and if the accident had occurred in bar to recovery, but in its strictest sense could only result in reduction of the damages.
such a way that after the automobile had run over the body of the child, and the child's
body had already been stretched out on the ground, the automobile still moved along a It is most significant that in the case just cited, this Court specifically applied article 1902 of the
distance of about 2 meters, this circumstance shows the fact that the automobile Civil Code. It is thus that although J. V. House could have been criminally prosecuted for
entered Solana Street from Real Street, at a high speed without the defendant having reckless or simple negligence and not only punished but also made civilly liable because of his
blown the horn. If these precautions had been taken by the defendant, the deplorable criminal negligence, nevertheless this Court awarded damages in an independent civil action
accident which caused the death of the child would not have occurred. for fault or negligence under article 1902 of the Civil Code.

It will be noticed that the defendant in the above case could have been prosecuted in a criminal In Bahia vs. Litonjua and Leynes (30 Phil., 624 [year 1915), the action was for damages for the
case because his negligence causing the death of the child was punishable by the Penal Code. death of the plaintiff's daughter alleged to have been caused by the negligence of the servant
Here is therefore a clear instance of the same act of negligence being a proper subject-matter in driving an automobile over the child. It appeared that the cause of the mishap was a defect
either of a criminal action with its consequent civil liability arising from a crime or of an entirely in the steering gear. The defendant Leynes had rented the automobile from the International
separate and independent civil action for fault or negligence under article 1902 of the Civil Code. Garage of Manila, to be used by him in carrying passengers during the fiesta of Tuy, Batangas.
Thus, in this jurisdiction, the separate individually of a cuasi-delito or culpa aquiliana under the Leynes was ordered by the lower court to pay P1,000 as damages to the plaintiff. On appeal
Civil Code has been fully and clearly recognized, even with regard to a negligent act for which this Court reversed the judgment as to Leynes on the ground that he had shown that the
the wrongdoer could have been prosecuted and convicted in a criminal case and for which, after exercised the care of a good father of a family, thus overcoming the presumption of negligence
such a conviction, he could have been sued for this civil liability arising from his crime. under article 1903. This Court said:

Years later (in 1930) this Court had another occasion to apply the same doctrine. In Bernal and As to selection, the defendant has clearly shown that he exercised the care and
Enverso vs. House and Tacloban Electric & Ice Plant, Ltd., 54 Phil., 327, the parents of the five- diligence of a good father of a family. He obtained the machine from a reputable garage
year-old child, Purificacion Bernal, brought a civil action to recover damages for the child's death and it was, so far as appeared, in good condition. The workmen were likewise selected
as a result of burns caused by the fault and negligence of the defendants. On the evening of from a standard garage, were duly licensed by the Government in their particular
April 10, 1925, the Good Friday procession was held in Tacloban, Leyte. Fortunata Enverso calling, and apparently thoroughly competent. The machine had been used but a few
with her daughter Purificacion Bernal had come from another municipality to attend the same. hours when the accident occurred and it is clear from the evidence that the defendant
After the procession the mother and the daughter with two others were passing along Gran had no notice, either actual or constructive, of the defective condition of the steering
Capitan Street in front of the offices of the Tacloban Electric & Ice Plant, Ltd., owned by gear.
defendants J. V. House, when an automobile appeared from the opposite direction. The little
girl, who was slightly ahead of the rest, was so frightened by the automobile that she turned to
The legal aspect of the case was discussed by this Court thus:
run, but unfortunately she fell into the street gutter where hot water from the electric plant was
flowing. The child died that same night from the burns. The trial courts dismissed the action
because of the contributory negligence of the plaintiffs. But this Court held, on appeal, that there Article 1903 of the Civil Code not only establishes liability in cases of negligence, but
was no contributory negligence, and allowed the parents P1,000 in damages from J. V. House also provides when the liability shall cease. It says:
who at the time of the tragic occurrence was the holder of the franchise for the electric plant.
This Court said in part:

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"The liability referred to in this article shall cease when the persons mentioned The evidence shows that Captain Lasa at the time the plaintiff's wharf collapsed was a
therein prove that they employed all the diligence of a good father of a family duly licensed captain, authorized to navigate and direct a vessel of any tonnage, and
to avoid the damage." that the appellee contracted his services because of his reputation as a captain,
according to F. C. Cadwallader. This being so, we are of the opinion that the
From this article two things are apparent: (1) That when an injury is caused by the presumption of liability against the defendant has been overcome by the exercise of the
negligence of a servant or employee there instantly arises a presumption of law that care and diligence of a good father of a family in selecting Captain Lasa, in accordance
there was negligence on the part of the matter or employer either in the selection of the with the doctrines laid down by this court in the cases cited above, and the defendant
servant or employee, or in supervision over him after the selection, or both; and (2) that is therefore absolved from all liability.
presumption is juris tantum and not juris et de jure, and consequently, may be rebutted.
It follows necessarily that if the employer shows to the satisfaction of the court that in It is, therefore, seen that the defendant's theory about his secondary liability is negatived by the
selection and supervision he has exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a six cases above set forth. He is, on the authority of these cases, primarily and directly
family, the presumption is overcome and he is relieve from liability. responsible in damages under article 1903, in relation to article 1902, of the Civil Code.

This theory bases the responsibility of the master ultimately on his own negligence and Let us now take up the Philippine decisions relied upon by the defendant. We study first, City
not on that of his servant. of Manila vs. Manila Electric Co., 52 Phil., 586 (year 1928). A collision between a truck of the
City of Manila and a street car of the Manila Electric Co. took place on June 8, 1925. The truck
The doctrine of the case just cited was followed by this Court in Cerf vs. Medel (33 Phil., 37 was damaged in the amount of P1,788.27. Sixto Eustaquio, the motorman, was prosecuted for
[year 1915]). In the latter case, the complaint alleged that the defendant's servant had so the crime of damage to property and slight injuries through reckless imprudence. He was found
negligently driven an automobile, which was operated by defendant as a public vehicle, that guilty and sentenced to pay a fine of P900, to indemnify the City of Manila for P1,788.27, with
said automobile struck and damaged the plaintiff's motorcycle. This Court, applying article 1903 subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. Unable to collect the indemnity from Eustaquio,
and following the rule in Bahia vs. Litonjua and Leynes, said in part (p. 41) that: the City of Manila filed an action against the Manila Electric Company to obtain payment,
claiming that the defendant was subsidiarily liable. The main defense was that the defendant
had exercised the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage. The lower court
The master is liable for the negligent acts of his servant where he is the owner or
director of a business or enterprise and the negligent acts are committed while the rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff. This Court held, in part, that this case was governed
by the Penal Code, saying:
servant is engaged in his master's employment as such owner.

Another case which followed the decision in Bahia vs. Litonjua and Leynes was Cuison vs. With this preliminary point out of the way, there is no escaping the conclusion that the
Norton & Harrison Co., 55 Phil., 18 (year 1930). The latter case was an action for damages provisions of the Penal Code govern. The Penal Code in easily understandable
brought by Cuison for the death of his seven-year-old son Moises. The little boy was on his way language authorizes the determination of subsidiary liability. The Civil Code negatives
its application by providing that civil obligations arising from crimes or misdemeanors
to school with his sister Marciana. Some large pieces of lumber fell from a truck and pinned the
shall be governed by the provisions of the Penal Code. The conviction of the motorman
boy underneath, instantly killing him. Two youths, Telesforo Binoya and Francisco Bautista, who
was a misdemeanor falling under article 604 of the Penal Code. The act of the
were working for Ora, an employee of defendant Norton & Harrison Co., pleaded guilty to the
motorman was not a wrongful or negligent act or omission not punishable by law.
crime of homicide through reckless negligence and were sentenced accordingly. This Court,
applying articles 1902 and 1903, held: Accordingly, the civil obligation connected up with the Penal Code and not with article
1903 of the Civil Code. In other words, the Penal Code affirms its jurisdiction while the
Civil Code negatives its jurisdiction. This is a case of criminal negligence out of which
The basis of civil law liability is not respondent superior but the relationship of pater civil liability arises and not a case of civil negligence.
familias. This theory bases the liability of the master ultimately on his own negligence
and not on that of his servant. (Bahia vs.Litonjua and Leynes [1915], 30 Phil., 624;
Cangco vs. Manila Railroad Co. [1918], 38 Phil., 768.) xxx xxx xxx

In Walter A. Smith & Co. vs. Cadwallader Gibson Lumber Co., 55 Phil., 517 (year 1930) the Our deduction, therefore, is that the case relates to the Penal Code and not to the Civil
Code. Indeed, as pointed out by the trial judge, any different ruling would permit the
plaintiff brought an action for damages for the demolition of its wharf, which had been struck by
master to escape scot-free by simply alleging and proving that the master had exercised
the steamer Helen C belonging to the defendant. This Court held (p. 526):
all diligence in the selection and training of its servants to prevent the damage. That
would be a good defense to a strictly civil action, but might or might not be to a civil

30 | P a g e
action either as a part of or predicated on conviction for a crime or misdemeanor. (By The foregoing authorities clearly demonstrate the separate individuality of cuasi-delitos or culpa
way of parenthesis, it may be said further that the statements here made are offered to aquiliana under the Civil Code. Specifically they show that there is a distinction between civil
meet the argument advanced during our deliberations to the effect that article 0902 of liability arising from criminal negligence (governed by the Penal Code) and responsibility for
the Civil Code should be disregarded and codal articles 1093 and 1903 applied.) fault or negligence under articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code, and that the same negligent
act may produce either a civil liability arising from a crime under the Penal Code, or a separate
It is not clear how the above case could support the defendant's proposition, because the Court responsibility for fault or negligence under articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code. Still more
of Appeals based its decision in the present case on the defendant's primary responsibility under concretely, the authorities above cited render it inescapable to conclude that the employer —
article 1903 of the Civil Code and not on his subsidiary liability arising from Fontanilla's criminal in this case the defendant-petitioner — is primarily and directly liable under article 1903 of the
negligence. In other words, the case of City of Manila vs. Manila Electric Co., supra, is Civil Code.
predicated on an entirely different theory, which is the subsidiary liability of an employer arising
from a criminal act of his employee, whereas the foundation of the decision of the Court of The legal provisions, authors, and cases already invoked should ordinarily be sufficient to
Appeals in the present case is the employer's primary liability under article 1903 of the Civil dispose of this case. But inasmuch as we are announcing doctrines that have been little
Code. We have already seen that this is a proper and independent remedy. understood in the past, it might not be inappropriate to indicate their foundations.

Arambulo vs. Manila Electric Co. (55 Phil., 75), is another case invoked by the defendant. A Firstly, the Revised Penal Code in article 365 punishes not only reckless but also simple
motorman in the employ of the Manila Electric Company had been convicted o homicide by negligence. If we were to hold that articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code refer only to fault or
simple negligence and sentenced, among other things, to pay the heirs of the deceased the negligence not punished by law, according to the literal import of article 1093 of the Civil Code,
sum of P1,000. An action was then brought to enforce the subsidiary liability of the defendant the legal institution of culpa aquiliana would have very little scope and application in actual life.
as employer under the Penal Code. The defendant attempted to show that it had exercised the Death or injury to persons and damage to property through any degree of negligence — even
diligence of a good father of a family in selecting the motorman, and therefore claimed the slightest — would have to be indemnified only through the principle of civil liability arising
exemption from civil liability. But this Court held: from a crime. In such a state of affairs, what sphere would remain for cuasi-delito or culpa
aquiliana? We are loath to impute to the lawmaker any intention to bring about a situation so
In view of the foregoing considerations, we are of opinion and so hold, (1) that the absurd and anomalous. Nor are we, in the interpretation of the laws, disposed to uphold the
exemption from civil liability established in article 1903 of the Civil Code for all who have letter that killeth rather than the spirit that giveth life. We will not use the literal meaning of the
acted with the diligence of a good father of a family, is not applicable to the subsidiary law to smother and render almost lifeless a principle of such ancient origin and such full-grown
civil liability provided in article 20 of the Penal Code. development as culpa aquiliana or cuasi-delito, which is conserved and made enduring in
articles 1902 to 1910 of the Spanish Civil Code.
The above case is also extraneous to the theory of the defendant in the instant case, because
the action there had for its purpose the enforcement of the defendant's subsidiary liability under Secondly, to find the accused guilty in a criminal case, proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt
the Penal Code, while in the case at bar, the plaintiff's cause of action is based on the is required, while in a civil case, preponderance of evidence is sufficient to make the defendant
defendant's primary and direct responsibility under article 1903 of the Civil Code. In fact, the pay in damages. There are numerous cases of criminal negligence which can not be shown
above case destroys the defendant's contention because that decision illustrates the principle beyond reasonable doubt, but can be proved by a preponderance of evidence. In such cases,
that the employer's primary responsibility under article 1903 of the Civil Code is different in the defendant can and should be made responsible in a civil action under articles 1902 to 1910
character from his subsidiary liability under the Penal Code. of the Civil Code. Otherwise, there would be many instances of unvindicated civil wrongs. Ubi
jus ibi remedium.
In trying to apply the two cases just referred to, counsel for the defendant has failed to recognize
the distinction between civil liability arising from a crime, which is governed by the Penal Code, Thirdly, to hold that there is only one way to make defendant's liability effective, and that is, to
and the responsibility for cuasi-delito or culpa aquiliana under the Civil Code, and has likewise sue the driver and exhaust his (the latter's) property first, would be tantamount to compelling
failed to give the importance to the latter type of civil action. the plaintiff to follow a devious and cumbersome method of obtaining relief. True, there is such
a remedy under our laws, but there is also a more expeditious way, which is based on the
The defendant-petitioner also cites Francisco vs. Onrubia (46 Phil., 327). That case need not primary and direct responsibility of the defendant under article 1903 of the Civil Code. Our view
of the law is more likely to facilitate remedy for civil wrongs, because the procedure indicated
be set forth. Suffice it to say that the question involved was also civil liability arising from a crime.
by the defendant is wasteful and productive of delay, it being a matter of common knowledge
Hence, it is as inapplicable as the two cases above discussed.
that professional drivers of taxis and similar public conveyance usually do not have sufficient
means with which to pay damages. Why, then, should the plaintiff be required in all cases to go

31 | P a g e
through this roundabout, unnecessary, and probably useless procedure? In construing the laws,
courts have endeavored to shorten and facilitate the pathways of right and justice.

At this juncture, it should be said that the primary and direct responsibility of employers and
their presumed negligence are principles calculated to protect society. Workmen and
employees should be carefully chosen and supervised in order to avoid injury to the public. It is
the masters or employers who principally reap the profits resulting from the services of these
servants and employees. It is but right that they should guarantee the latter's careful conduct
for the personnel and patrimonial safety of others. As Theilhard has said, "they should reproach
themselves, at least, some for their weakness, others for their poor selection and all for their
negligence." And according to Manresa, "It is much more equitable and just that such
responsibility should fall upon the principal or director who could have chosen a careful and
prudent employee, and not upon the injured person who could not exercise such selection and
who used such employee because of his confidence in the principal or director." (Vol. 12, p.
622, 2nd Ed.) Many jurists also base this primary responsibility of the employer on the principle
of representation of the principal by the agent. Thus, Oyuelos says in the work already cited
(Vol. 7, p. 747) that before third persons the employer and employee "vienen a ser como una
sola personalidad, por refundicion de la del dependiente en la de quien le emplea y utiliza."
("become as one personality by the merging of the person of the employee in that of him who
employs and utilizes him.") All these observations acquire a peculiar force and significance
when it comes to motor accidents, and there is need of stressing and accentuating the
responsibility of owners of motor vehicles.

Fourthly, because of the broad sweep of the provisions of both the Penal Code and the Civil
Code on this subject, which has given rise to the overlapping or concurrence of spheres already
discussed, and for lack of understanding of the character and efficacy of the action for culpa
aquiliana, there has grown up a common practice to seek damages only by virtue of the civil
responsibility arising from a crime, forgetting that there is another remedy, which is by invoking
articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code. Although this habitual method is allowed by our laws, it
has nevertheless rendered practically useless and nugatory the more expeditious and effective
remedy based on culpa aquiliana or culpa extra-contractual. In the present case, we are asked
to help perpetuate this usual course. But we believe it is high time we pointed out to the harm
done by such practice and to restore the principle of responsibility for fault or negligence under
articles 1902 et seq. of the Civil Code to its full rigor. It is high time we caused the stream of
quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana to flow on its own natural channel, so that its waters may no
longer be diverted into that of a crime under the Penal Code. This will, it is believed, make for
the better safeguarding of private rights because it re-establishes an ancient and additional
remedy, and for the further reason that an independent civil action, not depending on the issues,
limitations and results of a criminal prosecution, and entirely directed by the party wronged or
his counsel, is more likely to secure adequate and efficacious redress.

In view of the foregoing, the judgment of the Court of Appeals should be and is hereby affirmed,
with costs against the defendant-petitioner.

32 | P a g e
EN BANC the death of Francisco Dy, Jr.; @ Pacquing and damages to his Nissan Pick-
Up bearing Plate No. BBG-957 in the total amount of P2,000,000.00.
[G.R. No. 129029. April 3, 2000]
"CONTRARY TO LAW.
RAFAEL REYES TRUCKING CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES and ROSARIO P. DY (for herself and on behalf of the minors Maria Luisa, "Cauayan, Isabela, October 10, 1989.
Francis Edward, Francis Mark and Francis Rafael, all surnamed Dy), respondents.
"(Sgd.) FAUSTO C. CABANTAC
DECISION "Third Assistant Provincial Prosecutor"

PARDO, J.: Upon arraignment on October 23, 1989, the accused entered a plea of not guilty. On the same
occasion, the offended parties (Rosario P. Dy and minor children and Angelina M. Balcita and
The case is an appeal via certiorari from the amended decision[1] of the Court of minor son Paolo) made a reservation to file a separate civil action against the accused arising
Appeals[2] affirming the decision and supplemental decision of the trial court, [3] as follows: from the offense charged.[5] On November 29, 1989, the offended parties actually filed with the
Regional Trial Court, Isabela, Branch 19, Cauayan a complaint against petitioner Rafael Reyes
Trucking Corporation, as employer of driver Romeo Dunca y de Tumol, based on quasi delict.
"IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, judgment is hereby rendered dismissing the
appeals interposed by both accused and Reyes Trucking Corporation and The petitioner settled the claim of the heirs of Feliciano Balcita (the driver of the other vehicle
involved in the accident). The private respondents opted to pursue the criminal action but did
affirming the Decision and Supplemental Decision dated June 6, 1992 and
not withdraw the civil case quasi ex delicto they filed against petitioner. On December 15, 1989,
October 26, 1992 respectively.
private respondents withdrew the reservation to file a separate civil action against the accused
and manifested that they would prosecute the civil aspect ex delicto in the criminal
"SO ORDERED."[4] action.[6] However, they did not withdraw the separate civil action based on quasi delict against
petitioner as employer arising from the same act or omission of the accused driver.[7]
The facts are as follows:
Upon agreement of the parties, the trial court consolidated both criminal and civil cases and
On October 10, 1989, Provincial Prosecutor Patricio T. Durian of Isabela filed with the Regional conducted a joint trial of the same.
Trial Court, Isabela, Branch 19, Cauayan an amended information charging Romeo Dunca y de
Tumol with reckless imprudence resulting in double homicide and damage to property, reading The facts, as found by the trial court, which appear to be undisputed, are as follows:
as follows:
"The defendant Rafael Reyes Trucking Corporation is a domestic corporation
"That on or about the 20th day of June, 1989, in the Municipality of Cauayan, engaged in the business of transporting beer products for the San Miguel
Province of Isabela, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Corporation (SMC for short) from the latters San Fernando, Pampanga plant to
Court, the said accused being the driver and person-in-charge of a Trailer Truck its various sales outlets in Luzon. Among its fleets of vehicles for hire is the
Tractor bearing Plate No. N2A-867 registered in the name of Rafael Reyes white truck trailer described above driven by Romeo Dunca y Tumol, a duly
Trucking Corporation, with a load of 2,000 cases of empty bottles of beer licensed driver. Aside from the Corporations memorandum to all its drivers and
grande, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously drove and operated the same while helpers to physically inspect their vehicles before each trip (Exh. 15, pars. 4 &
along the National Highway of Barangay Tagaran, in said Municipality, in a 5), the SMCs Traffic Investigator-Inspector certified the roadworthiness of this
negligent, careless and imprudent manner, without due regard to traffic laws, White Truck trailer prior to June 20, 1989 (Exh. 17). In addition to a professional
rules and ordinances and without taking the necessary precautions to prevent drivers license, it also conducts a rigid examination of all driver applicants
injuries to persons and damage to property, causing by such negligence, before they are hired.
carelessness and imprudence the said trailer truck to hit and bump a Nissan
Pick-up bearing Plate No. BBG-957 driven by Feliciano Balcita and Francisco
Dy, Jr., @ Pacquing, due to irreversible shock, internal and external "In the early morning of June 20, 1989, the White Truck driven by Dunca left
Tuguegarao, Cagayan bound to San Fernando, Pampanga loaded with 2,000
hemorrhage and multiple injuries, open wounds, abrasions, and further causing
cases of empty beer "Grande" bottles. Seated at the front right seat beside him
damages to the heirs of Feliciano Balcita in the amount of P100,000.00 and to
was Ferdinand Domingo, his truck helper ("pahinante" in Pilipino). At around

33 | P a g e
4:00 oclock that same morning while the truck was descending at a slight by the defendants representative, Melita Manapil (Exh. O, p. 31, record). The
downgrade along the national road at Tagaran, Cauayan, Isabela, it defendants general Manager declared that it lost P21,000.00 per day for the
approached a damaged portion of the road covering the full width of the trucks non-operation of the six units during their attachment (p. 31, t.s.n., Natividad C.
right lane going south and about six meters in length. These made the surface Babaran, proceedings on December 10, 1990)."[8]
of the road uneven because the potholes were about five to six inches deep.
The left lane parallel to this damaged portion is smooth. As narrated by On June 6, 1992, the trial court rendered a joint decision, the dispositive portion of which reads
Ferdinand Domingo, before approaching the potholes, he and Dunca saw the as follows:
Nissan with its headlights on coming from the opposite direction. They used to
evade this damaged road by taking the left lance but at that particular moment, "WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing considerations judgment is hereby
because of the incoming vehicle, they had to run over it. This caused the truck
rendered:
to bounce wildly. Dunca lost control of the wheels and the truck swerved to the
left invading the lane of the Nissan. As a result, Duncas vehicle rammed the
incoming Nissan dragging it to the left shoulder of the road and climbed a ridge "1. Finding the accused Romeo Dunca y de Tumol guilty beyond reasonable
above said shoulder where it finally stopped. (see Exh. A-5, p. 8, record). The doubt of the crime of Double Homicide through Reckless Imprudence with
Nissan was severely damaged (Exhs. A-7, A-8, A-9 and A-14, pp. 9-11, record), violation of the Motor Vehicle Law (Rep. Act No. 4136), and appreciating in his
and its two passengers, namely: Feliciano Balcita and Francisco Dy, Jr. died favor the mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender without any
instantly (Exh. A-19) from external and internal hemorrhage and multiple aggravating circumstance to offset the same, the Court hereby sentences him
fractures (pp. 15 and 16, record). to suffer two (2) indeterminate penalties of four months and one day of arresto
mayor as minimum to three years, six months and twenty days as maximum;
to indemnify the Heirs of Francisco Dy. Jr. in the amount of P3,000,000.00 as
"For the funeral expenses of Francisco Dy, Jr. her widow spent P651,360.00 compensatory damages, P1,000,000.00 as moral damages, and
(Exh. I-3). At the time of his death he was 45 years old. He was the President
P1,030,000.00 as funeral expenses;
and Chairman of the Board of the Dynamic Wood Products and Development
Corporation (DWPC), a wood processing establishment, from which he was
receiving an income of P10,000.00 a month (Exh. D). In the Articles of "2. Ordering the plaintiff in Civil Case No. Br. 19-424 to pay the defendant
Incorporation of the DWPC, the spouses Francisco Dy, Jr. and Rosario Perez therein actual damages in the amount of P84,000.00; and
Dy appear to be stockholders of 10,000 shares each with par value of P100.00
per share out of its outstanding and subscribed capital stock of 60,000 shares "3. Ordering the dismissal of the complaint in Civil Case No. Br. 19-424.
valued at P6,000,000.00 (Exhs. K-1 & 10-B). Under its 1988 Income Tax
Returns (Exh. J) the DWPC had a taxable net income of P78,499.30 (Exh. J). "No pronouncement as to costs.
Francisco Dy, Jr. was a La Salle University graduate in Business
Administration, past president of the Pasay Jaycees, National Treasurer and "SO ORDERED.
President of the Philippine Jaycees in 1971 and 1976, respectively, and World
Vice-President of Jaycees International in 1979. He was also the recipient of
"Cauayan, Isabela, June 6, 1992.
numerous awards as a civic leader (Exh. C). His children were all studying in
prestigious schools and spent about P180,000.00 for their education in 1988
alone (Exh. H-4). "(Sgd.) ARTEMIO R. ALIVIA
"Regional Trial Judge"[9]
"As stated earlier, the plaintiffs procurement of a writ of attachment of the
properties of the Corporation was declared illegal by the Court of Appeals. It On September 3, 1992, petitioner and the accused filed a notice of appeal from the joint
was shown that on December 26, 1989, Deputy Sheriff Edgardo Zabat of the decision.[10]
RTC at San Fernando, Pampanga, attached six units of Truck Tractors and
trailers of the Corporation at its garage at San Fernando, Pampanga. These On the other hand, private respondents moved for amendment of the dispositive portion of the
vehicles were kept under PC guard by the plaintiffs in said garage thus joint decision so as to hold petitioner subsidiarily liable for the damages awarded to the private
preventing the Corporation to operate them. However, on December 28, 1989, respondents in the event of insolvency of the accused.[11]
the Court of Appeals dissolved the writ (p. 30, record) and on December 29,
1989, said Sheriff reported to this Court that the attached vehicles were taken

34 | P a g e
On October 26, 1992, the trial court rendered a supplemental decision amending the dispositive in amounts exceeding that alleged in the information for reckless imprudence
portion by inserting an additional paragraph reading as follows: resulting in homicide and damage to property? [22]

"2:A Ordering the defendant Reyes Trucking Corporation subsidiarily liable for We grant the petition, resolving under the circumstances pro hac vice to remand the cases to
all the damages awarded to the heirs of Francisco Dy, Jr., in the event of the trial court for determination of the civil liability of petitioner as employer of the accused driver
insolvency of the accused but deducting therefrom the damages of P84,000.00 in the civil action quasi ex delicto re-opened for the purpose.
awarded to said defendant in the next preceding paragraph; and x x x"[12]
In negligence cases, the aggrieved party has the choice between (1) an action to enforce civil
On November 12, 1992, petitioner filed with the trial court a supplemental notice of appeal from liability arising from crime under Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code; and (2) a separate
the supplemental decision.[13] action for quasi delictunder Article 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. Once the choice is
made, the injured party can not avail himself of any other remedy because he may not recover
During the pendency of the appeal, the accused jumped bail and fled to a foreign country. By damages twice for the same negligent act or omission of the accused.[23] This is the rule against
resolution dated December 29, 1994, the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal of the accused double recovery.
in the criminal case.[14]
In other words, "the same act or omission can create two kinds of liability on the part of the
On January 6, 1997, the Court of Appeals rendered an amended decision affirming that of the offender, that is, civil liability ex delicto, and civil liability quasi delicto" either of which "may be
trial court, as set out in the opening paragraph of this decision. [15] enforced against the culprit, subject to the caveat under Article 2177 of the Civil Code that the
offended party can not recover damages under both types of liability."[24]
On January 31, 1997, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the amended decision. [16]
In the instant case, the offended parties elected to file a separate civil action for damages
against petitioner as employer of the accused, based on quasi delict, under Article 2176 of the
On April 21, 1997, the Court of Appeals denied petitioners motion for reconsideration for lack
of merit.[17] Civil Code of the Philippines. Private respondents sued petitioner Rafael Reyes Trucking
Corporation, as the employer of the accused, to be vicariously liable for the fault or negligence
of the latter. Under the law, this vicarious liability of the employer is founded on at least two
Hence, this petition for review.[18] specific provisions of law.

On July 21, 1997, the Court required respondents to comment on the petition within ten (10) The first is expressed in Article 2176 in relation to Article 2180 of the Civil Code, which would
days from notice.[19] allow an action predicated on quasi-delict to be instituted by the injured party against the
employer for an act or omission of the employee and would necessitate only a preponderance
On January 27, 1998, the Solicitor General filed his comment. [20] On April 13, 1998, the Court of evidence to prevail. Here, the liability of the employer for the negligent conduct of the
granted leave to petitioner to file a reply and noted the reply it filed on March 11, 1998.[21] subordinate is direct and primary, subject to the defense of due diligence in the selection and
supervision of the employee. The enforcement of the judgment against the employer in an
We now resolve to give due course to the petition and decide the case. action based on Article 2176 does not require the employee to be insolvent since the nature of
the liability of the employer with that of the employee, the two being statutorily considered joint
Petitioner raises three (3) grounds for allowance of the petition, which, however, boil down to tortfeasors, is solidary.[25] The second, predicated on Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code,
two (2) basic issues, namely: provides that an employer may be held subsidiarily civilly liable for a felony committed by his
employee in the discharge of his duty. This liability attaches when the employee is convicted of
a crime done in the performance of his work and is found to be insolvent that renders him unable
1.....May petitioner as owner of the truck involved in the accident be held
to properly respond to the civil liability adjudged.[26]
subsidiarily liable for the damages awarded to the offended parties in the
criminal action against the truck driver despite the filing of a separate civil action
by the offended parties against the employer of the truck driver? As regards the first issue, the answer is in the negative. Rafael Reyes Trucking Corporation, as
employer of the accused who has been adjudged guilty in the criminal case for reckless
imprudence, can not be held subsidiarily liable because of the filing of the separate civil action
2.....May the Court award damages to the offended parties in the criminal case
based on quasi delict against it. In view of the reservation to file, and the subsequent filing of
despite the filing of a civil action against the employer of the truck driver; and
the civil action for recovery of civil liability, the same was not instituted with the criminal action.

35 | P a g e
Such separate civil action was for recovery of damages under Article 2176 of the Civil Code, The Court, however, in exceptional cases has relaxed the rules "in order to promote their
arising from the same act or omission of the accused.[27] objectives and assist the parties in obtaining just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of
every action or proceeding"[31]or exempted "a particular case from the operation of the rules."[32]
Pursuant to the provision of Rule 111, Section 1, paragraph 3 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal
Procedure, when private respondents, as complainants in the criminal action, reserved the right Invoking this principle, we rule that the trial court erred in awarding civil damages in the criminal
to file the separate civil action, they waived other available civil actions predicated on the same case and in dismissing the civil action. Apparently satisfied with such award, private respondent
act or omission of the accused-driver. Such civil action includes the recovery of indemnity under did not appeal from the dismissal of the civil case. However, petitioner did appeal. Hence, this
the Revised Penal Code, and damages under Articles 32, 33, and 34 of the Civil Code of the case should be remanded to the trial court so that it may render decision in the civil case
Philippines arising from the same act or omission of the accused. [28] awarding damages as may be warranted by the evidence.[33]

The intention of private respondents to proceed primarily and directly against petitioner as With regard to the second issue, the award of damages in the criminal case was improper
employer of accused truck driver became clearer when they did not ask for the dismissal of the because the civil action for the recovery of civil liability was waived in the criminal action by the
civil action against the latter based on quasi delict. filing of a separate civil action against the employer. As enunciated in Ramos vs.
Gonong,[34] "civil indemnity is not part of the penalty for the crime committed." The only issue
Consequently, the Court of Appeals and the trial court erred in holding the accused civilly liable, brought before the trial court in the criminal action is whether accused Romeo Dunca y de Tumol
and petitioner-employer of the accused subsidiarily liable for damages arising from crime (ex is guilty of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and damage to property. The action for
delicto) in the criminal action as the offended parties in fact filed a separate civil action against recovery of civil liability is not included therein, but is covered by the separate civil action filed
the employer based on quasi delict resulting in the waiver of the civil action ex delicto. against the petitioner as employer of the accused truck-driver.

It might be argued that private respondents as complainants in the criminal case withdrew the In this case, accused-driver jumped bail pending his appeal from his conviction. Thus, the
reservation to file a civil action against the driver (accused) and manifested that they would judgment convicting the accused became final and executory, but only insofar as the penalty in
pursue the civil liability of the driver in the criminal action. However, the withdrawal is ineffective the criminal action is concerned. The damages awarded in the criminal action was invalid
to reverse the effect of the reservation earlier made because private respondents did not because of its effective waiver. The pronouncement was void because the action for recovery
withdraw the civil action against petitioner based on quasi delict. In such a case, the provision of the civil liability arising from the crime has been waived in said criminal action.
of Rule 111, Section 1, paragraph 3 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure is clear that the
reservation to file or the filing of a separate civil action results in a waiver of other available civil With respect to the issue that the award of damages in the criminal action exceeded the amount
actions arising from the same act or omission of the accused. Rule 111, Section 1, paragraph of damages alleged in the amended information, the issue is de minimis. At any rate, the trial
2 enumerated what are the civil actions deemed waived upon such reservation or filing, and court erred in awarding damages in the criminal case because by virtue of the reservation of
one of which is the civil indemnity under the Revised Penal Code. Rule 111, Section 1, the right to bring a separate civil action or the filing thereof, "there would be no possibility that
paragraph 3 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure specifically provides: the employer would be held liable because in such a case there would be no pronouncement
as to the civil liability of the accused.[35]
"A waiver of any of the civil actions extinguishes the others. The institution of,
or the reservation of the right to file, any of said civil actions separately waives As a final note, we reiterate that "the policy against double recovery requires that only one action
the others." be maintained for the same act or omission whether the action is brought against the employee
or against his employer.[36] The injured party must choose which of the available causes of
The rationale behind this rule is the avoidance of multiple suits between the same litigants action for damages he will bring.[37]
arising out of the same act or omission of the offender. The restrictive phraseology of the section
under consideration is meant to cover all kinds of civil actions, regardless of their source in law, Parenthetically, the trial court found the accused "guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime
provided that the action has for its basis the same act or omission of the offender. [29] of Double Homicide Through Reckless Imprudence with violation of the Motor Vehicle Law
(Rep. Act No. 4136)." There is no such nomenclature of an offense under the Revised Penal
However, petitioner as defendant in the separate civil action for damages filed against it, based Code. Thus, the trial court was misled to sentence the accused "to suffer two (2) indeterminate
on quasi delict, may be held liable thereon. Thus, the trial court grievously erred in dismissing penalties of four (4) months and one (1) day of arresto mayor, as minimum, to three (3) years,
plaintiffs civil complaint. And the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the trial courts decision. six (6) months and twenty (20) days of prision correccional, as maximum." This is erroneous
Unfortunately private respondents did not appeal from such dismissal and could not be granted because in reckless imprudence cases, the actual penalty for criminal negligence bears no
affirmative relief.[30]

36 | P a g e
relation to the individual willful crime or crimes committed, but is set in relation to a whole class,
or series of crimes.[38]

Unfortunately, we can no longer correct this judgment even if erroneous, as it is, because it has
become final and executory.

Under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code, criminal negligence "is treated as a
mere quasi offense, and dealt with separately from willful offenses. It is not a question of
classification or terminology. In intentional crimes, the act itself is punished; in negligence or
imprudence, what is principally penalized is the mental attitude or condition behind the act, the
dangerous recklessness, lack of care or foresight, the imprudencia punible. Much of the
confusion has arisen from the common use of such descriptive phrase as homicide through
reckless imprudence, and the like; when the strict technical sense is, more accurately, reckless
imprudence resulting in homicide; or simple imprudence causing damages to property." [39]

There is need, therefore, to rectify the designation of the offense without disturbing the imposed
penalty for the guidance of bench and bar in strict adherence to precedent.

WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the petition and SETS ASIDE the amended decision and
resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. R. CR No. 14448, promulgated on January 6, 1997,
and the joint decision of the Regional Trial Court, Isabela, Branch 19, Cauayan, in Criminal
Case No. Br. 19-311 and Civil Case No. Br. 19-424, dated June 6, 1992.

IN LIEU THEREOF, the Court renders judgment as follows:

(1) In Criminal Case No. Br. 19-311, the Court declares the accused Romeo Dunca y de Tumol
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and damage to
property, defined and penalized under Article 365, paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code, with
violation of the automobile law (R. A. No. 4136, as amended), and sentences him to suffer two
(2) indeterminate penalties of four (4) months and one (1) day of arresto mayor, as minimum,
to three (3) years, six (6) months and twenty (20) days of prision correccional, as
maximum,[40] without indemnity, and to pay the costs, and

(2) In Civil Case No. Br. 19-424, the Court orders the case re-opened to determine the liability
of the defendant Rafael Reyes Trucking Corporation to plaintiffs and that of plaintiffs on
defendants counterclaim.

No costs in this instance.

SO ORDERED.

37 | P a g e
[G.R. No. 145391. August 26, 2002] The Capas RTC rendered judgment on December 28, 1999 dismissing the petition for
certiorari for lack of merit. The Capas RTC ruled that the order of dismissal issued by the MCTC
is a final order which disposes of the case and therefore the proper remedy should have been
an appeal. The Capas RTC further held that a special civil action for certiorari is not a substitute
AVELINO CASUPANAN and ROBERTO CAPITULO, petitioners, vs. MARIO LLAVORE for a lost appeal. Finally, the Capas RTC declared that even on the premise that the MCTC
LAROYA, respondent. erred in dismissing the civil case, such error is a pure error of judgment and not an abuse of
discretion.
DECISION Casupanan and Capitulo filed a Motion for Reconsideration but the Capas RTC denied the
CARPIO, J.: same in the Resolution of August 24, 2000.
Hence, this petition.

The Case
The Issue
This is a petition for review on certiorari to set aside the Resolution[1] dated December 28,
1999 dismissing the petition for certiorari and the Resolution [2] dated August 24, 2000 denying The petition premises the legal issue in this wise:
the motion for reconsideration, both issued by the Regional Trial Court of Capas, Tarlac, Branch
66, in Special Civil Action No. 17-C (99).
In a certain vehicular accident involving two parties, each one of them may think and believe
that the accident was caused by the fault of the other. x x x [T]he first party, believing himself to
be the aggrieved party, opted to file a criminal case for reckless imprudence against the second
The Facts party. On the other hand, the second party, together with his operator, believing themselves to
be the real aggrieved parties, opted in turn to file a civil case for quasi-delict against the first
party who is the very private complainant in the criminal case.[4]
Two vehicles, one driven by respondent Mario Llavore Laroya (Laroya for brevity) and the
other owned by petitioner Roberto Capitulo (Capitulo for brevity) and driven by petitioner Avelino Thus, the issue raised is whether an accused in a pending criminal case for reckless
Casupanan (Casupanan for brevity), figured in an accident. As a result, two cases were filed imprudence can validly file, simultaneously and independently, a separate civil action for quasi-
with the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC for brevity) of Capas, Tarlac. Laroya filed a criminal delict against the private complainant in the criminal case.
case against Casupanan for reckless imprudence resulting in damage to property, docketed as
Criminal Case No. 002-99. On the other hand, Casupanan and Capitulo filed a civil case against
Laroya for quasi-delict, docketed as Civil Case No. 2089.
The Courts Ruling
When the civil case was filed, the criminal case was then at its preliminary investigation
stage. Laroya, defendant in the civil case, filed a motion to dismiss the civil case on the ground
of forum-shopping considering the pendency of the criminal case. The MCTC granted the Casupanan and Capitulo assert that Civil Case No. 2089, which the MCTC dismissed on
motion in the Order of March 26, 1999 and dismissed the civil case. the ground of forum-shopping, constitutes a counterclaim in the criminal case. Casupanan and
Capitulo argue that if the accused in a criminal case has a counterclaim against the private
On Motion for Reconsideration, Casupanan and Capitulo insisted that the civil case is a complainant, he may file the counterclaim in a separate civil action at the proper time. They
separate civil action which can proceed independently of the criminal case. The MCTC denied contend that an action on quasi-delict is different from an action resulting from the crime of
the motion for reconsideration in the Order of May 7, 1999. Casupanan and Capitulo filed a reckless imprudence, and an accused in a criminal case can be an aggrieved party in a civil
petition for certiorari under Rule 65 before the Regional Trial Court (Capas RTC for brevity) of case arising from the same incident. They maintain that under Articles 31 and 2176 of the Civil
Capas, Tarlac, Branch 66,[3] assailing the MCTCs Order of dismissal. Code, the civil case can proceed independently of the criminal action. Finally, they point out that
Casupanan was not the only one who filed the independent civil action based on quasi-delict
but also Capitulo, the owner-operator of the vehicle, who was not a party in the criminal case.
The Trial Courts Ruling

38 | P a g e
In his Comment, Laroya claims that the petition is fatally defective as it does not state the Art. 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligence under the preceding article is entirely separate
real antecedents. Laroya further alleges that Casupanan and Capitulo forfeited their right to and distinct from the civil liability arising from negligence under the Penal Code. But the plaintiff
question the order of dismissal when they failed to avail of the proper remedy of appeal. Laroya cannot recover damages twice for the same act or omission of the defendant.
argues that there is no question of law to be resolved as the order of dismissal is already final
and a petition for certiorari is not a substitute for a lapsed appeal. Any aggrieved person can invoke these articles provided he proves, by preponderance of
In their Reply, Casupanan and Capitulo contend that the petition raises the legal question evidence, that he has suffered damage because of the fault or negligence of another. Either the
of whether there is forum-shopping since they filed only one action - the independent civil action private complainant or the accused can file a separate civil action under these articles. There is
for quasi-delictagainst Laroya. nothing in the law or rules that state only the private complainant in a criminal case may invoke
these articles.
Nature of the Order of Dismissal
Moreover, paragraph 6, Section 1, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure
The MCTC dismissed the civil action for quasi-delict on the ground of forum-shopping (2000 Rules for brevity) expressly requires the accused to litigate his counterclaim in a separate
under Supreme Court Administrative Circular No. 04-94. The MCTC did not state in its order of civil action, to wit:
dismissal[5] that the dismissal was with prejudice. Under the Administrative Circular, the order
of dismissal is without prejudice to refiling the complaint, unless the order of dismissal expressly SECTION 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. (a) x x x.
states it is with prejudice.[6] Absent a declaration that the dismissal is with prejudice, the same
is deemed without prejudice. Thus, the MCTCs dismissal, being silent on the matter, is a No counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint may be filed by the accused in the criminal
dismissal without prejudice. case, but any cause of action which could have been the subject thereof may be litigated in a
Section 1 of Rule 41[7] provides that an order dismissing an action without prejudice is not separate civil action. (Emphasis supplied)
appealable. The remedy of the aggrieved party is to file a special civil action under Rule
65. Section 1 of Rule 41 expressly states that where the judgment or final order is not Since the present Rules require the accused in a criminal action to file his counterclaim in a
appealable, the aggrieved party may file an appropriate special civil action under Rule separate civil action, there can be no forum-shopping if the accused files such separate civil
65. Clearly, the Capas RTCs order dismissing the petition for certiorari, on the ground that the action.
proper remedy is an ordinary appeal, is erroneous.
Filing of a separate civil action
Forum-Shopping
Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure (1985 Rules for brevity), as
The essence of forum-shopping is the filing of multiple suits involving the same parties for amended in 1988, allowed the filing of a separate civil action independently of the criminal action
the same cause of action, either simultaneously or successively, to secure a favorable provided the offended party reserved the right to file such civil action. Unless the offended party
judgment.[8] Forum-shopping is present when in the two or more cases pending, there is identity reserved the civil action before the presentation of the evidence for the prosecution, all civil
of parties, rights of action and reliefs sought.[9] However, there is no forum-shopping in the actions arising from the same act or omission were deemed impliedly instituted in the criminal
instant case because the law and the rules expressly allow the filing of a separate civil action case. These civil actions referred to the recovery of civil liability ex-delicto, the recovery of
which can proceed independently of the criminal action. damages for quasi-delict, and the recovery of damages for violation of Articles 32, 33 and 34 of
the Civil Code on Human Relations.
Laroya filed the criminal case for reckless imprudence resulting in damage to property
based on the Revised Penal Code while Casupanan and Capitulo filed the civil action for Thus, to file a separate and independent civil action for quasi-delict under the 1985 Rules,
damages based on Article 2176 of the Civil Code. Although these two actions arose from the the offended party had to reserve in the criminal action the right to bring such action. Otherwise,
same act or omission, they have different causes of action. The criminal case is based on culpa such civil action was deemed impliedly instituted in the criminal action. Section 1, Rule 111 of
criminal punishable under the Revised Penal Code while the civil case is based on culpa the 1985 Rules provided as follows:
aquiliana actionable under Articles 2176 and 2177 of the Civil Code. These articles on culpa
aquiliana read: Section 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. When a criminal action is instituted, the civil
action for the recovery of civil liability is impliedly instituted with the criminal action, unless the
Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or offended party waives the action, reserves his right to institute it separately, or institutes the civil
negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre- action prior to the criminal action.
existing contractual relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the
provisions of this Chapter.

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Such civil action includes recovery of indemnity under the Revised Penal Code, and even with the filing of the criminal action. Verily, the civil actions based on these articles of the
damages under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines arising Civil Code are separate, distinct and independent of the civil action deemed instituted in the
from the same act or omission of the accused. criminal action.[10]
Under the present Rule 111, the offended party is still given the option to file a separate
A waiver of any of the civil actions extinguishes the others. The institution of, or the reservation civil action to recover civil liability ex-delicto by reserving such right in the criminal action before
of the right to file, any of said civil actions separately waives the others. the prosecution presents its evidence. Also, the offended party is deemed to make such
reservation if he files a separate civil action before filing the criminal action. If the civil action to
The reservation of the right to institute the separate civil actions shall be made before the recover civil liability ex-delicto is filed separately but its trial has not yet commenced, the civil
prosecution starts to present its evidence and under circumstances affording the offended party action may be consolidated with the criminal action. The consolidation under this Rule does not
a reasonable opportunity to make such reservation. apply to separate civil actions arising from the same act or omission filed under Articles 32, 33,
34 and 2176 of the Civil Code.[11]
In no case may the offended party recover damages twice for the same act or omission of the
accused. Suspension of the Separate Civil Action
Under Section 2, Rule 111 of the amended 1985 Rules, a separate civil action, if reserved
x x x. (Emphasis supplied) in the criminal action, could not be filed until after final judgment was rendered in the criminal
action. If the separate civil action was filed before the commencement of the criminal action, the
Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules was amended on December 1, 2000 and now civil action, if still pending, was suspended upon the filing of the criminal action until final
provides as follows: judgment was rendered in the criminal action.This rule applied only to the separate civil action
filed to recover liability ex-delicto. The rule did not apply to independent civil actions based on
SECTION 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. (a) When a criminal action is instituted, the Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code, which could proceed independently regardless
civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged shall be of the filing of the criminal action.
deemed instituted with the criminal actionunless the offended party waives the civil action, The amended provision of Section 2, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules continues this procedure,
reserves the right to institute it separately or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action. to wit:

The reservation of the right to institute separately the civil action shall be made before the SEC. 2. When separate civil action is suspended. After the criminal action has been
prosecution starts presenting its evidence and under circumstances affording the offended party commenced, the separate civil action arising therefrom cannot be instituted until final judgment
a reasonable opportunity to make such reservation. has been entered in the criminal action.

xxx If the criminal action is filed after the said civil action has already been instituted, the
latter shall be suspended in whatever stage it may be found before judgment on the
(b) x x x merits. The suspension shall last until final judgment is rendered in the criminal
action. Nevertheless, before judgment on the merits is rendered in the civil action, the same
Where the civil action has been filed separately and trial thereof has not yet commenced, it may may, upon motion of the offended party, be consolidated with the criminal action in the court
be consolidated with the criminal action upon application with the court trying the latter case. If trying the criminal action. In case of consolidation, the evidence already adduced in the civil
the application is granted, the trial of both actions shall proceed in accordance with section 2 of action shall be deemed automatically reproduced in the criminal action without prejudice to the
this rule governing consolidation of the civil and criminal actions. (Emphasis supplied) right of the prosecution to cross-examine the witnesses presented by the offended party in the
criminal case and of the parties to present additional evidence. The consolidated criminal and
civil actions shall be tried and decided jointly.
Under Section 1 of the present Rule 111, what is deemed instituted with the criminal action
is only the action to recover civil liability arising from the crime or ex-delicto. All the other civil
actions under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code are no longer deemed instituted, During the pendency of the criminal action, the running of the period of prescription of the civil
and may be filed separately and prosecuted independently even without any reservation in the action which cannot be instituted separately or whose proceeding has been suspended shall
criminal action. The failure to make a reservation in the criminal action is not a waiver of the be tolled.
right to file a separate and independent civil action based on these articles of the Civil Code. The
prescriptive period on the civil actions based on these articles of the Civil Code continues to run x x x. (Emphasis supplied)

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Thus, Section 2, Rule 111 of the present Rules did not change the rule that the separate civil civil action. The present Rule 111 mandates the accused to file his counterclaim in a separate
action, filed to recover damages ex-delicto, is suspended upon the filing of the criminal civil action which shall proceed independently of the criminal action, even as the civil action of
action. Section 2 of the present Rule 111 also prohibits the filing, after commencement of the the offended party is litigated in the criminal action.
criminal action, of a separate civil action to recover damages ex-delicto.
Conclusion
When civil action may proceed independently
Under Section 1 of the present Rule 111, the independent civil action in Articles 32, 33, 34
The crucial question now is whether Casupanan and Capitulo, who are not the offended and 2176 of the Civil Code is not deemed instituted with the criminal action but may be filed
parties in the criminal case, can file a separate civil action against the offended party in the separately by the offended party even without reservation. The commencement of the criminal
criminal case. Section 3, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules provides as follows: action does not suspend the prosecution of the independent civil action under these articles of
the Civil Code. The suspension in Section 2 of the present Rule 111 refers only to the civil action
SEC 3. When civil action may proceed independently. - In the cases provided in Articles 32, 33, arising from the crime, if such civil action is reserved or filed before the commencement of the
34 and 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, the independent civil action may be brought criminal action.
by the offended party. It shall proceed independently of the criminal action and shall require Thus, the offended party can file two separate suits for the same act or omission. The first
only a preponderance of evidence. In no case, however, may the offended party recover a criminal case where the civil action to recover civil liability ex-delicto is deemed instituted, and
damages twice for the same act or omission charged in the criminal action. (Emphasis supplied) the other a civil case for quasi-delict - without violating the rule on non-forum shopping. The two
cases can proceed simultaneously and independently of each other. The commencement or
Section 3 of the present Rule 111, like its counterpart in the amended 1985 Rules, prosecution of the criminal action will not suspend the civil action for quasi-delict. The only
expressly allows the offended party to bring an independent civil action under Articles 32, 33, limitation is that the offended party cannot recover damages twice for the same act or omission
34 and 2176 of the Civil Code.As stated in Section 3 of the present Rule 111, this civil action of the defendant. In most cases, the offended party will have no reason to file a second civil
shall proceed independently of the criminal action and shall require only a preponderance of action since he cannot recover damages twice for the same act or omission of the accused. In
evidence. In no case, however, may the offended party recover damages twice for the same some instances, the accused may be insolvent, necessitating the filing of another case against
act or omission charged in the criminal action. his employer or guardians.
There is no question that the offended party in the criminal action can file an independent Similarly, the accused can file a civil action for quasi-delict for the same act or omission he
civil action for quasi-delict against the accused. Section 3 of the present Rule 111 expressly is accused of in the criminal case. This is expressly allowed in paragraph 6, Section 1 of the
states that the offended party may bring such an action but the offended party may not recover present Rule 111 which states that the counterclaim of the accused may be litigated in a
damages twice for the same act or omission charged in the criminal action. Clearly, Section 3 separate civil action. This is only fair for two reasons. First, the accused is prohibited from
of Rule 111 refers to the offended party in the criminal action, not to the accused. setting up any counterclaim in the civil aspect that is deemed instituted in the criminal case. The
accused is therefore forced to litigate separately his counterclaim against the offended party. If
Casupanan and Capitulo, however, invoke the ruling in Cabaero vs. Cantos[12] where the
the accused does not file a separate civil action for quasi-delict, the prescriptive period may set
Court held that the accused therein could validly institute a separate civil action for quasi-
in since the period continues to run until the civil action for quasi-delict is filed.
delict against the private complainant in the criminal case. In Cabaero, the accused in the
criminal case filed his Answer with Counterclaim for malicious prosecution. At that time the Second, the accused, who is presumed innocent, has a right to invoke Article 2177 of the
Court noted the absence of clear-cut rules governing the prosecution on impliedly instituted civil Civil Code, in the same way that the offended party can avail of this remedy which is
actions and the necessary consequences and implications thereof. Thus, the Court ruled independent of the criminal action. To disallow the accused from filing a separate civil action
that the trial court should confine itself to the criminal aspect of the case and disregard any for quasi-delict, while refusing to recognize his counterclaim in the criminal case, is to deny him
counterclaim for civil liability. The Court further ruled that the accused may file a separate civil due process of law, access to the courts, and equal protection of the law.
case against the offended party after the criminal case is terminated and/or in accordance with
the new Rules which may be promulgated. The Court explained that a cross-claim, counterclaim Thus, the civil action based on quasi-delict filed separately by Casupanan and Capitulo is
or third-party complaint on the civil aspect will only unnecessarily complicate the proceedings proper. The order of dismissal by the MCTC of Civil Case No. 2089 on the ground of forum-
and delay the resolution of the criminal case. shopping is erroneous.

Paragraph 6, Section 1 of the present Rule 111 was incorporated in the 2000 Rules We make this ruling aware of the possibility that the decision of the trial court in the criminal
precisely to address the lacuna mentioned in Cabaero. Under this provision, the accused is case may vary with the decision of the trial court in the independent civil action. This possibility
barred from filing a counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint in the criminal has always been recognized ever since the Civil Code introduced in 1950 the concept of an
case. However, the same provision states that any cause of action which could have been the independent civil action under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Code. But the law itself, in
subject (of the counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint) may be litigated in a separate Article 31 of the Code, expressly provides that the independent civil action may proceed

41 | P a g e
independently of the criminal proceedings and regardless of the result of the latter. In Azucena
vs. Potenciano,[13] the Court declared:

x x x. There can indeed be no other logical conclusion than this, for to subordinate the civil
action contemplated in the said articles to the result of the criminal prosecution whether it be
conviction or acquittal would render meaningless the independent character of the civil action
and the clear injunction in Article 31 that this action 'may proceed independently of the criminal
proceedings and regardless of the result of the latter.

More than half a century has passed since the Civil Code introduced the concept of a civil
action separate and independent from the criminal action although arising from the same act or
omission. The Court, however, has yet to encounter a case of conflicting and irreconcilable
decisions of trial courts, one hearing the criminal case and the other the civil action for quasi-
delict. The fear of conflicting and irreconcilable decisions may be more apparent than real. In
any event, there are sufficient remedies under the Rules of Court to deal with such remote
possibilities.
One final point. The Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure took effect on December 1,
2000 while the MCTC issued the order of dismissal on December 28, 1999 or before the
amendment of the rules. The Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure must be given retroactive
effect considering the well-settled rule that -

x x x statutes regulating the procedure of the court will be construed as applicable to actions
pending and undetermined at the time of their passage. Procedural laws are retroactive in that
sense and to that extent.[14]

WHEREFORE, the petition for review on certiorari is hereby GRANTED. The Resolutions
dated December 28, 1999 and August 24, 2000 in Special Civil Action No. 17-C (99) are
ANNULLED and Civil Case No. 2089 is REINSTATED.
SO ORDERED.

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SECOND DIVISION Petitioners opposed the motion to dismiss contending, among others, that the right to file
a separate action in this case prescribes in ten (10) years reckoned from the finality of the
judgment in the criminal action. As there was no appeal of the decision convicting Sibayan, the
complaint which was filed barely two (2) years thence was clearly filed within the prescriptive
[G.R. No. 151452. July 29, 2005] period.
The trial court dismissed the complaint on the principal ground that the cause of action had
already prescribed. According to the trial court, actions based on quasi delict, as it construed
petitioners cause of action to be, prescribe four (4) years from the accrual of the cause of action.
SPS. ANTONIO C. SANTOS and ESPERANZA C. SANTOS, NORA BARNALO, BELINDA Hence, notwithstanding the fact that petitioners reserved the right to file a separate civil action,
LUMACTAD, MARIENELA DY, NIKKA SANTOS and LEONARDO the complaint ought to be dismissed on the ground of prescription.[5]
FERRER, petitioners, vs. HON. NORMANDIE B. PIZARDO, as Presiding Judge,
RTC of Quezon City, Branch 101, DIONISIO M SIBAYAN, and VIRON Improper service of summons was likewise cited as a ground for dismissal of the complaint
TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, INC., represented by VIRGILIO Q. RONDARIS, as summons was served through a certain Jessica Ubalde of the legal department without
President/Chairman, respondents. mentioning her designation or position.
Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration pointing out yet again that the complaint is
DECISION not based on quasi delict but on the final judgment of conviction in the criminal case which
TINGA, J.: prescribes ten (10) years from the finality of the judgment. [6] The trial court denied petitioners
motion for reconsideration reiterating that petitioners cause of action was based on quasi
delict and had prescribed under Article 1146 of the Civil Code because the complaint was filed
In this Petition for Review on Certiorari[1] dated March 1, 2002, petitioners assail
more than four (4) years after the vehicular accident.[7] As regards the improper service of
the Resolutions of the Court of Appeals dated September 10, 2001 and January 9, 2002,
summons, the trial court reconsidered its ruling that the complaint ought to be dismissed on this
respectively dismissing their petition for certiorari and denying their motion for reconsideration,
ground.
arising from the dismissal of their complaint to recover civil indemnity for the death and physical
injuries of their kin. Petitioners filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals which dismissed the same
for error in the choice or mode of appeal.[8] The appellate court also denied petitioners motion
The following facts are matters of record.
for reconsideration reasoning that even if the respondent trial court judge committed grave
In an Information dated April 25, 1994, Dionisio M. Sibayan (Sibayan) was charged with abuse of discretion in issuing the order of dismissal, certiorari is still not the permissible remedy
Reckless Imprudence Resulting to Multiple Homicide and Multiple Physical Injuries in as appeal was available to petitioners and they failed to allege that the petition was brought
connection with a vehicle collision between a southbound Viron Transit bus driven by Sibayan within the recognized exceptions for the allowance of certiorari in lieu of appeal. [9]
and a northbound Lite Ace Van, which claimed the lives of the vans driver and three (3) of its
In this petition, petitioners argue that a rigid application of the rule that certiorari cannot be
passengers, including a two-month old baby, and caused physical injuries to five (5) of the vans
a substitute for appeal will result in a judicial rejection of an existing obligation arising from the
passengers. After trial, Sibayan was convicted and sentenced to suffer the penalty of
criminal liability of private respondents. Petitioners insist that the liability sought to be enforced
imprisonment for two (2) years, four (4) months and one (1) day to four (4) years and two (2)
in the complaint arose ex delicto and is not based on quasi delict. The trial court allegedly
months. However, as there was a reservation to file a separate civil action, no pronouncement
committed grave abuse of discretion when it insisted that the cause of action invoked by
of civil liability was made by the municipal circuit trial court in its decision promulgated on
petitioners is based on quasi delict and concluded that the action had prescribed. Since the
December 17, 1998.[2]
action is based on the criminal liability of private respondents, the cause of action accrued from
On October 20, 2000, petitioners filed a complaint for damages against Sibayan, Viron the finality of the judgment of conviction.
Transit and its President/Chairman, Virgilio Q. Rondaris, with the Regional Trial Court of
Assuming that their petition with the appellate court was procedurally flawed, petitioners
Quezon City, pursuant to their reservation to file a separate civil action. [3] They cited therein the
implore the Court to exempt this case from the rigid operation of the rules as they allegedly have
judgment convicting Sibayan.
a legitimate grievance to vindicate, i.e., damages for the deaths and physical injuries caused by
Viron Transit moved to dismiss the complaint on the grounds of improper service of private respondents for which no civil liability had been adjudged by reason of their reservation
summons, prescription and laches, and defective certification of non-forum shopping. It also of the right to file a separate civil action.
sought the dropping of Virgilio Q. Rondaris as defendant in view of the separate personality of
In their Comment[10] dated June 13, 2002, private respondents insist that the dismissal of
Viron Transit from its officers.[4]
the complaint on the ground of prescription was in order. They point out that the averments in

43 | P a g e
the complaint make out a cause of action for quasi delict under Articles 2176 and 2180 of the The reservation of the right to institute the separate civil actions shall be made before the
Civil Code. As such, the prescriptive period of four (4) years should be reckoned from the time prosecution starts to present its evidence and under circumstances affording the offended party
the accident took place. a reasonable opportunity to make such reservation.
Viron Transit also alleges that its subsidiary liability cannot be enforced since Sibayan was
not ordered to pay damages in the criminal case. It is Viron Transits contention that the In no case may the offended party recover damages twice for the same act or omission of the
subsidiary liability of the employer contemplated in Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code accused.
presupposes a situation where the civil aspect of the case was instituted in the criminal case
and no reservation to file a separate civil case was made. When the offended party seeks to enforce civil liability against the accused by way of moral,
nominal, temperate or exemplary damages, the filing fees for such action as provided in these
Private respondents likewise allege that the recourse to the Court of Appeals via certiorari Rules shall constitute a first lien on the judgment except in an award for actual damages.
was improper as petitioners should have appealed the adverse order of the trial court. Moreover,
they point out several other procedural lapses allegedly committed by petitioners, such as lack In cases wherein the amount of damages, other than actual, is alleged in the complaint or
of certification against forum-shopping; lack of duplicate original or certified true copy of the information, the corresponding filing fees shall be paid by the offended party upon filing thereof
assailed order of the trial court; and non-indication of the full names and addresses of petitioners in court for trial.
in the petition.
Petitioners filed a Reply[11] dated September 14, 2002, while private respondents filed Petitioners expressly made a reservation of their right to file a separate civil action as a
a Rejoinder[12] dated October 14, 2002, both in reiteration of their arguments. result of the crime committed by Sibayan. On account of this reservation, the municipal circuit
trial court, in its decision convicting Sibayan, did not make any pronouncement as to the latters
We grant the petition. civil liability.
Our Revised Penal Code provides that every person criminally liable for a felony is also Predicating their claim on the judgment of conviction and their reservation to file a separate
civilly liable.[13] Such civil liability may consist of restitution, reparation of the damage caused civil action made in the criminal case, petitioners filed a complaint for damages against Sibayan,
and indemnification of consequential damages.[14] When a criminal action is instituted, the civil Viron Transit and its President/Chairman. Petitioners assert that by the institution of the
liability arising from the offense is impliedly instituted with the criminal action, subject to three complaint, they seek to recover private respondents civil liability arising from crime.
notable exceptions: first, when the injured party expressly waives the right to recover damages Unfortunately, based on its misreading of the allegations in the complaint, the trial court
from the accused; second, when the offended party reserves his right to have the civil damages dismissed the same, declaring that petitioners cause of action was based on quasi delict and
determined in a separate action in order to take full control and direction of the prosecution of should have been brought within four (4) years from the time the cause of action
his cause; and third, when the injured party actually exercises the right to maintain a private suit accrued, i.e., from the time of the accident.
against the offender by instituting a civil action prior to the filing of the criminal case.
A reading of the complaint reveals that the allegations therein are consistent with
Notably, it was the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, as amended in 1988, which petitioners claim that the action was brought to recover civil liability arising from crime. Although
governed the institution of the criminal action, as well as the reservation of the right to file a there are allegations of negligence on the part of Sibayan and Viron Transit, such does not
separate civil action. Section 1, Rule 111 thereof states: necessarily mean that petitioners were pursuing a cause of action based on quasi
delict, considering that at the time of the filing of the complaint, the cause of action ex quasi
Section 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions.When a criminal action is instituted, the civil delicto had already prescribed. Besides, in cases of negligence, the offended party has the
action for the recovery of civil liability is impliedly instituted with the criminal action, unless the choice between an action to enforce civil liability arising from crime under the Revised Penal
offended party waives the civil action, reserves his right to institute it separately, or institutes Code and an action for quasi delict under the Civil Code.
the civil action prior to the criminal action.
An act or omission causing damage to another may give rise to two separate civil liabilities
on the part of the offender, i.e., (1) civil liability ex delicto, under Article 100 of the Revised Penal
Such civil action includes recovery of indemnity under the Revised Penal Code, and damages
Code; and (2) independent civil liabilities, such as those (a) not arising from an act or omission
under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines arising from the same
complained of as a felony, e.g., culpa contractual or obligations arising from law under Article
act or omission of the accused.
31 of the Civil Code, intentional torts under Articles 32 and 34, and culpa aquiliana under Article
2176 of the Civil Code; or (b) where the injured party is granted a right to file an action
A waiver of any of the civil actions extinguishes the others. The institution of, or the reservation independent and distinct from the criminal action under Article 33 of the Civil Code.[15] Either of
of the right to file, any of said civil actions separately waives the others. these liabilities may be enforced against the offender subject to the caveat under Article 2177
of the Civil Code that the plaintiff cannot recover damages twice for the same act or omission

44 | P a g e
of the defendant and the similar proscription against double recovery under the Rules above- WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered SETTING ASIDE the resolutions of the Court
quoted. of Appeals dated September 10, 2001 and January 9, 2002, respectively dismissing the present
action and denying petitioners motion for reconsideration, as well as the orders of the lower
At the time of the filing of the complaint for damages in this case, the cause of action ex court dated February 26, 2001 and July 16, 2001. Let the case be REMANDED to the trial court
quasi delicto had already prescribed. Nonetheless, petitioners can pursue the remaining for further proceedings.
avenue opened for them by their reservation, i.e., the surviving cause of action ex delicto. This
is so because the prescription of the action ex quasi delicto does not operate as a bar to an SO ORDERED.
action to enforce the civil liability arising from crime especially as the latter action had been
expressly reserved.
The case of Mendoza v. La Mallorca Bus Company[16] was decided upon a similar set of
facts. Therein, the driver of La Mallorca Bus Company was charged with reckless imprudence
resulting to damage to property. The plaintiff made an express reservation for the filing of a
separate civil action. The driver was convicted which conviction was affirmed by this Court.
Later, plaintiff filed a separate civil action for damages based on quasi delict which was ordered
dismissed by the trial court upon finding that the action was instituted more than six (6) years
from the date of the accident and thus, had already prescribed. Subsequently, plaintiff instituted
another action, this time based on the subsidiary liability of the bus company. The trial court
dismissed the action holding that the dismissal of the earlier civil case operated as a bar to the
filing of the action to enforce the bus companys subsidiary liability.
We held that the dismissal of the action based on culpa aquiliana is not a bar to the
enforcement of the subsidiary liability of the employer. Once there is a conviction for a felony,
final in character, the employer becomes subsidiarily liable if the commission of the crime was
in the discharge of the duties of the employees. This is so because Article 103 of the Revised
Penal Code operates with controlling force to obviate the possibility of the aggrieved party being
deprived of indemnity even after the rendition of a final judgment convicting the employee.
Seen in this light, the trial court should not have dismissed the complaint on the ground of
prescription, but instead allowed the complaint for damages ex delicto to be prosecuted on the
merits, considering petitioners allegations in their complaint, opposition to the motion to
dismiss[17] and motion for reconsideration[18] of the order of dismissal, insisting that the action
was to recover civil liability arising from crime.
This does not offend the policy that the reservation or institution of a separate civil action
waives the other civil actions. The rationale behind this rule is the avoidance of multiple suits
between the same litigants arising out of the same act or omission of the offender.[19] However,
since the stale action for damages based on quasi delict should be considered waived, there is
no more occasion for petitioners to file multiple suits against private respondents as the only
recourse available to them is to pursue damages ex delicto. This interpretation is also consistent
with the bar against double recovery for obvious reasons.
Now the procedural issue. Admittedly, petitioners should have appealed the order of
dismissal of the trial court instead of filing a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. Such
procedural misstep, however, should be exempted from the strict application of the rules in
order to promote their fundamental objective of securing substantial justice. [20] We are loathe to
deprive petitioners of the indemnity to which they are entitled by law and by a final judgment of
conviction based solely on a technicality. It is our duty to prevent such an injustice. [21]

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Republic of the Philippines By reason of such collision, a criminal case was filed before the RTC of Malolos, Bulacan,
SUPREME COURT charging petitioner Manliclic with Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property with
Manila Physical Injuries, docketed as Crim. Case No. 684-M-89. Subsequently on 2 December 1991,
respondent filed a complaint for damages against petitioners Manliclic and PRBLI before the
THIRD DIVISION RTC of Dagupan City, docketed as Civil Case No. D-10086. The criminal case was tried ahead
of the civil case. Among those who testified in the criminal case were respondent Calaunan,
G.R. No. 150157 January 25, 2007 Marcelo Mendoza and Fernando Ramos.

MAURICIO MANLICLIC and PHILIPPINE RABBIT BUS LINES, INC., Petitioners, In the civil case (now before this Court), the parties admitted the following:
vs.
MODESTO CALAUNAN, Respondent. 1. The parties agreed on the capacity of the parties to sue and be sued as well as the
venue and the identities of the vehicles involved;
DECISION
2. The identity of the drivers and the fact that they are duly licensed;
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:
3. The date and place of the vehicular collision;
Assailed before Us is the decision1 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 55909 which
affirmed in toto the decision2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Dagupan City, Branch 42, in 4. The extent of the injuries suffered by plaintiff Modesto Calaunan and the existence
Civil Case No. D-10086, finding petitioners Mauricio Manliclic and Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, of the medical certificate;
Inc. (PRBLI) solidarily liable to pay damages and attorney’s fees to respondent Modesto
Calaunan. 5. That both vehicles were going towards the south; the private jeep being ahead of the
bus;
The factual antecedents are as follows:
6. That the weather was fair and the road was well paved and straight, although there
The vehicles involved in this case are: (1) Philippine Rabbit Bus No. 353 with plate number was a ditch on the right side where the jeep fell into.3
CVD-478, owned by petitioner PRBLI and driven by petitioner Mauricio Manliclic; and (2) owner-
type jeep with plate number PER-290, owned by respondent Modesto Calaunan and driven by When the civil case was heard, counsel for respondent prayed that the transcripts of
Marcelo Mendoza. stenographic notes (TSNs)4 of the testimonies of respondent Calaunan, Marcelo Mendoza and
Fernando Ramos in the criminal case be received in evidence in the civil case in as much as
At around 6:00 to 7:00 o’clock in the morning of 12 July 1988, respondent Calaunan, together these witnesses are not available to testify in the civil case.
with Marcelo Mendoza, was on his way to Manila from Pangasinan on board his owner-type
jeep. The Philippine Rabbit Bus was likewise bound for Manila from Concepcion, Tarlac. At Francisco Tuliao testified that his brother-in-law, respondent Calaunan, left for abroad sometime
approximately Kilometer 40 of the North Luzon Expressway in Barangay Lalangan, Plaridel, in November, 1989 and has not returned since then. Rogelio Ramos took the stand and said
Bulacan, the two vehicles collided. The front right side of the Philippine Rabbit Bus hit the rear that his brother, Fernando Ramos, left for Amman, Jordan, to work. Rosalia Mendoza testified
left side of the jeep causing the latter to move to the shoulder on the right and then fall on a that her husband, Marcelo Mendoza, left their residence to look for a job. She narrated that she
ditch with water resulting to further extensive damage. The bus veered to the left and stopped thought her husband went to his hometown in Panique, Tarlac, when he did not return after one
7 to 8 meters from point of collision. month. She went to her husband’s hometown to look for him but she was informed that he did
not go there.1awphil.net
Respondent suffered minor injuries while his driver was unhurt. He was first brought for
treatment to the Manila Central University Hospital in Kalookan City by Oscar Buan, the The trial court subpoenaed the Clerk of Court of Branch 8, RTC, Malolos, Bulacan, the court
conductor of the Philippine Rabbit Bus, and was later transferred to the Veterans Memorial where Criminal Case No. 684-M-89 was tried, to bring the TSNs of the testimonies of
Medical Center. respondent Calaunan,5 Marcelo Mendoza6 and Fernando Ramos7 in said case, together with
other documentary evidence marked therein. Instead of the Branch Clerk of Court, it was
Enrique Santos Guevara, Court Interpreter, who appeared before the court and identified the

46 | P a g e
TSNs of the three afore-named witnesses and other pertinent documents he had Petitioner PRBLI maintained that it observed and exercised the diligence of a good father of a
brought.8 Counsel for respondent wanted to mark other TSNs and documents from the said family in the selection and supervision of its employee, specifically petitioner Manliclic.
criminal case to be adopted in the instant case, but since the same were not brought to the trial
court, counsel for petitioners compromised that said TSNs and documents could be offered by On 22 July 1996, the trial court rendered its decision in favor of respondent Calaunan and
counsel for respondent as rebuttal evidence. against petitioners Manliclic and PRBLI. The dispositive portion of its decision reads:

For the defendants, petitioner Manliclic and bus conductor Oscar Buan testified. The TSN9 of WHEREFORE, judgment is rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendants ordering
the testimony of Donato Ganiban, investigator of the PRBLI, in Criminal Case No. 684-M-89 the said defendants to pay plaintiff jointly and solidarily the amount of P40,838.00 as actual
was marked and allowed to be adopted in the civil case on the ground that he was already dead. damages for the towing as well as the repair and the materials used for the repair of the jeep in
question; P100,000.00 as moral damages and another P100,000.00 as exemplary damages
Respondent further marked, among other documents, as rebuttal evidence, the TSNs 10 of the and P15,000.00 as attorney’s fees, including appearance fees of the lawyer. In addition, the
testimonies of Donato Ganiban, Oscar Buan and petitioner Manliclic in Criminal Case No. 684- defendants are also to pay costs.12
M-89.
Petitioners appealed the decision via Notice of Appeal to the Court of Appeals.13
The disagreement arises from the question: Who is to be held liable for the collision?
In a decision dated 28 September 2001, the Court of Appeals, finding no reversible error in the
Respondent insists it was petitioner Manliclic who should be liable while the latter is resolute in decision of the trial court, affirmed it in all respects.14
saying it was the former who caused the smash up.
Petitioners are now before us by way of petition for review assailing the decision of the Court of
The versions of the parties are summarized by the trial court as follows: Appeals. They assign as errors the following:

The parties differed only on the manner the collision between the two (2) vehicles took place. I
According to the plaintiff and his driver, the jeep was cruising at the speed of 60 to 70 kilometers
per hour on the slow lane of the expressway when the Philippine Rabbit Bus overtook the jeep THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED ON A QUESTION OF LAW IN AFFIRMING THE TRIAL
and in the process of overtaking the jeep, the Philippine Rabbit Bus hit the rear of the jeep on COURT’S QUESTIONABLE ADMISSION IN EVIDENCE OF THE TSN’s AND OTHER
the left side. At the time the Philippine Rabbit Bus hit the jeep, it was about to overtake the jeep. DOCUMENTS PRESENTED IN THE CRIMINAL CASE.
In other words, the Philippine Rabbit Bus was still at the back of the jeep when the jeep was hit.
Fernando Ramos corroborated the testimony of the plaintiff and Marcelo Mendoza. He said that
II
he was on another jeep following the Philippine Rabbit Bus and the jeep of plaintiff when the
incident took place. He said, the jeep of the plaintiff overtook them and the said jeep of the
plaintiff was followed by the Philippine Rabbit Bus which was running very fast. The bus also THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED ON A QUESTION OF LAW IN AFFIRMING THE TRIAL
overtook the jeep in which he was riding. After that, he heard a loud sound. He saw the jeep of COURT’S RELIANCE ON THE VERSION OF THE RESPONDENT ON HOW THE ACCIDENT
the plaintiff swerved to the right on a grassy portion of the road. The Philippine Rabbit Bus SUPPOSEDLY OCCURRED.
stopped and they overtook the Philippine Rabbit Bus so that it could not moved (sic), meaning
they stopped in front of the Philippine Rabbit Bus. He testified that the jeep of plaintiff swerved III
to the right because it was bumped by the Philippine Rabbit bus from behind.
THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED ON A QUESTION OF LAW IN AFFIRMING THE TRIAL
Both Mauricio Manliclic and his driver, Oscar Buan admitted that the Philippine Rabbit Bus COURT’S UNFAIR DISREGARD OF HEREIN PETITIONER PRBL’s DEFENSE OF EXERCISE
bumped the jeep in question. However, they explained that when the Philippine Rabbit bus was OF DUE DILIGENCE IN THE SELECTION AND SUPERVISION OF ITS EMPLOYEES.
about to go to the left lane to overtake the jeep, the latter jeep swerved to the left because it
was to overtake another jeep in front of it. Such was their testimony before the RTC in Malolos IV
in the criminal case and before this Court in the instant case. [Thus, which of the two versions
of the manner how the collision took place was correct, would be determinative of who between THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED ON A QUESTION OF LAW IN AFFIRMING THE TRIAL
the two drivers was negligent in the operation of their respective vehicles.] 11 COURT’S QUESTIONABLE AWARD OF DAMAGES AND ATTORNEY’S FEE.

47 | P a g e
With the passing away of respondent Calaunan during the pendency of this appeal with this In the case at bar, petitioner PRBLI did not object to the TSNs containing the testimonies of
Court, we granted the Motion for the Substitution of Respondent filed by his wife, Mrs. Precila respondent Calaunan, Marcelo Mendoza and Fernando Ramos in the criminal case when the
Zarate Vda. De Calaunan, and children, Virgilio Calaunan, Carmelita Honeycomb, Evelyn same were offered in evidence in the trial court. In fact, the TSNs of the testimonies of Calaunan
Calaunan, Marko Calaunan and Liwayway Calaunan.15 and Mendoza were admitted by both petitioners.26 Moreover, petitioner PRBLI even offered in
evidence the TSN containing the testimony of Donato Ganiban in the criminal case. If petitioner
In their Reply to respondent’s Comment, petitioners informed this Court of a Decision 16 of the PRBLI argues that the TSNs of the testimonies of plaintiff’s witnesses in the criminal case
Court of Appeals acquitting petitioner Manliclic of the charge 17 of Reckless Imprudence should not be admitted in the instant case, why then did it offer the TSN of the testimony of
Resulting in Damage to Property with Physical Injuries attaching thereto a photocopy thereof. Ganiban which was given in the criminal case? It appears that petitioner PRBLI wants to have
its cake and eat it too. It cannot argue that the TSNs of the testimonies of the witnesses of the
adverse party in the criminal case should not be admitted and at the same time insist that the
On the first assigned error, petitioners argue that the TSNs containing the testimonies of
TSN of the testimony of the witness for the accused be admitted in its favor. To disallow
respondent Calaunan,18Marcelo Mendoza19 and Fernando Ramos20 should not be admitted in
admission in evidence of the TSNs of the testimonies of Calaunan, Marcelo Mendoza and
evidence for failure of respondent to comply with the requisites of Section 47, Rule 130 of the
Fernando Ramos in the criminal case and to admit the TSN of the testimony of Ganiban would
Rules of Court.
be unfair.
For Section 47, Rule 13021 to apply, the following requisites must be satisfied: (a) the witness
We do not subscribe to petitioner PRBLI’s argument that it will be denied due process when the
is dead or unable to testify; (b) his testimony or deposition was given in a former case or
TSNs of the testimonies of Calaunan, Marcelo Mendoza and Fernando Ramos in the criminal
proceeding, judicial or administrative, between the same parties or those representing the same
case are to be admitted in the civil case. It is too late for petitioner PRBLI to raise denial of due
interests; (c) the former case involved the same subject as that in the present case, although
on different causes of action; (d) the issue testified to by the witness in the former trial is the process in relation to Section 47, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, as a ground for objecting to
same issue involved in the present case; and (e) the adverse party had an opportunity to cross- the admissibility of the TSNs. For failure to object at the proper time, it waived its right to object
that the TSNs did not comply with Section 47.
examine the witness in the former case.22

In Mangio v. Court of Appeals,27 this Court, through Associate Justice Reynato S.


Admittedly, respondent failed to show the concurrence of all the requisites set forth by the Rules
for a testimony given in a former case or proceeding to be admissible as an exception to the Puno,28 admitted in evidence a TSN of the testimony of a witness in another case despite
therein petitioner’s assertion that he would be denied due process. In admitting the TSN, the
hearsay rule. Petitioner PRBLI, not being a party in Criminal Case No. 684-M-89, had no
Court ruled that the raising of denial of due process in relation to Section 47, Rule 130 of the
opportunity to cross-examine the three witnesses in said case. The criminal case was filed
Rules of Court, as a ground for objecting to the admissibility of the TSN was belatedly done. In
exclusively against petitioner Manliclic, petitioner PRBLI’s employee. The cases dealing with
so doing, therein petitioner waived his right to object based on said ground.
the subsidiary liability of employers uniformly declare that, strictly speaking, they are not parties
to the criminal cases instituted against their employees.23
Petitioners contend that the documents in the criminal case should not have been admitted in
the instant civil case because Section 47 of Rule 130 refers only to "testimony or deposition."
Notwithstanding the fact that petitioner PRBLI was not a party in said criminal case, the
We find such contention to be untenable. Though said section speaks only of testimony and
testimonies of the three witnesses are still admissible on the ground that petitioner PRBLI failed
deposition, it does not mean that documents from a former case or proceeding cannot be
to object on their admissibility.
admitted. Said documents can be admitted they being part of the testimonies of witnesses that
have been admitted. Accordingly, they shall be given the same weight as that to which the
It is elementary that an objection shall be made at the time when an alleged inadmissible testimony may be entitled.29
document is offered in evidence; otherwise, the objection shall be treated as waived, since the
right to object is merely a privilege which the party may waive. Thus, a failure to except to the
On the second assigned error, petitioners contend that the version of petitioner Manliclic as to
evidence because it does not conform to the statute is a waiver of the provisions of the law.
Even assuming ex gratia argumenti that these documents are inadmissible for being hearsay, how the accident occurred is more credible than respondent’s version. They anchor their
but on account of failure to object thereto, the same may be admitted and considered as contention on the fact that petitioner Manliclic was acquitted by the Court of Appeals of the
charge of Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property with Physical Injuries.
sufficient to prove the facts therein asserted.24 Hearsay evidence alone may be insufficient to
establish a fact in a suit but, when no objection is made thereto, it is, like any other evidence,
to be considered and given the importance it deserves.25 To be resolved by the Court is the effect of petitioner Manliclic’s acquittal in the civil case.

48 | P a g e
From the complaint, it can be gathered that the civil case for damages was one arising from, or To the following findings of the court a quo, to wit: that accused-appellant was negligent "when
based on, quasi-delict.30 Petitioner Manliclic was sued for his negligence or reckless the bus he was driving bumped the jeep from behind"; that "the proximate cause of the accident
imprudence in causing the collision, while petitioner PRBLI was sued for its failure to exercise was his having driven the bus at a great speed while closely following the jeep"; x x x
the diligence of a good father in the selection and supervision of its employees, particularly
petitioner Manliclic. The allegations read: We do not agree.

"4. That sometime on July 12, 1988 at around 6:20 A.M. plaintiff was on board the The swerving of Calaunan’s jeep when it tried to overtake the vehicle in front of it was beyond
above-described motor vehicle travelling at a moderate speed along the North Luzon the control of accused-appellant.
Expressway heading South towards Manila together with MARCELO MENDOZA, who
was then driving the same;
xxxx

"5. That approximately at kilometer 40 of the North Luzon Express Way, the above- Absent evidence of negligence, therefore, accused-appellant cannot be held liable for Reckless
described motor vehicle was suddenly bumped from behind by a Philippine Rabbit Bus Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property with Physical Injuries as defined in Article 365 of
with Body No. 353 and with plate No. CVD 478 then being driven by one Mauricio
the Revised Penal Code.32
Manliclic of San Jose, Concepcion, Tarlac, who was then travelling recklessly at a very
fast speed and had apparently lost control of his vehicle;
From the foregoing declaration of the Court of Appeals, it appears that petitioner Manliclic was
acquitted not on reasonable doubt, but on the ground that he is not the author of the act
"6. That as a result of the impact of the collision the above-described motor vehicle was complained of which is based on Section 2(b) of Rule 111 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure
forced off the North Luzon Express Way towards the rightside where it fell on its driver’s
which reads:
side on a ditch, and that as a consequence, the above-described motor vehicle which
maybe valued at EIGHTY THOUSAND PESOS (P80,000) was rendered a total wreck
as shown by pictures to be presented during the pre-trial and trial of this case; (b) Extinction of the penal action does not carry with it extinction of the civil, unless the extinction
proceeds from a declaration in a final judgment that the fact from which the civil might arise did
not exist.
"7. That also as a result of said incident, plaintiff sustained bodily injuries which
compounded plaintiff’s frail physical condition and required his hospitalization from July
12, 1988 up to and until July 22, 1988, copy of the medical certificate is hereto attached In spite of said ruling, petitioner Manliclic can still be held liable for the mishap. The afore-quoted
as Annex "A" and made an integral part hereof; section applies only to a civil action arising from crime or ex delicto and not to a civil action
arising from quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana. The extinction of civil liability referred to in Par. (e)
of Section 3, Rule 111 [now Section 2 (b) of Rule 111], refers exclusively to civil liability founded
"8. That the vehicular collision resulting in the total wreckage of the above-described
on Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, whereas the civil liability for the same act considered
motor vehicle as well as bodily (sic) sustained by plaintiff, was solely due to the reckless
as a quasi-delict only and not as a crime is not extinguished even by a declaration in the criminal
imprudence of the defendant driver Mauricio Manliclic who drove his Philippine Rabbit
case that the criminal act charged has not happened or has not been committed by the
Bus No. 353 at a fast speed without due regard or observance of existing traffic rules accused.33
and regulations;
A quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana is a separate legal institution under the Civil Code with a
"9. That defendant Philippine Rabbit Bus Line Corporation failed to exercise the
substantivity all its own, and individuality that is entirely apart and independent from a delict or
diligence of a good father of (sic) family in the selection and supervision of its drivers; x
crime – a distinction exists between the civil liability arising from a crime and the responsibility
x x"31 for quasi-delicts or culpa extra-contractual. The same negligence causing damages may
produce civil liability arising from a crime under the Penal Code, or create an action for quasi-
Can Manliclic still be held liable for the collision and be found negligent notwithstanding the delicts or culpa extra-contractual under the Civil Code.34 It is now settled that acquittal of the
declaration of the Court of Appeals that there was an absence of negligence on his part? accused, even if based on a finding that he is not guilty, does not carry with it the extinction of
the civil liability based on quasi delict.35
In exonerating petitioner Manliclic in the criminal case, the Court of Appeals said:
In other words, if an accused is acquitted based on reasonable doubt on his guilt, his civil liability
arising from the crime may be proved by preponderance of evidence only. However, if an
accused is acquitted on the basis that he was not the author of the act or omission complained

49 | P a g e
of (or that there is declaration in a final judgment that the fact from which the civil might arise In this regard, it should be noted that in the statement of Mauricio Manliclic (Exh. 15) given to
did not exist), said acquittal closes the door to civil liability based on the crime or ex delicto. In the Philippine Rabbit Investigator CV Cabading no mention was made by him about the fact
this second instance, there being no crime or delict to speak of, civil liability based thereon or that the driver of the jeep was overtaking another jeep when the collision took place. The
ex delicto is not possible. In this case, a civil action, if any, may be instituted on grounds other allegation that another jeep was being overtaken by the jeep of Calaunan was testified to by
than the delict complained of. him only in Crim. Case No. 684-M-89 before the Regional Trial Court in Malolos, Bulacan and
before this Court. Evidently, it was a product of an afterthought on the part of Mauricio Manliclic
As regards civil liability arising from quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana, same will not be extinguished so that he could explain why he should not be held responsible for the incident. His attempt to
by an acquittal, whether it be on ground of reasonable doubt or that accused was not the author veer away from the truth was also apparent when it would be considered that in his statement
of the act or omission complained of (or that there is declaration in a final judgment that the fact given to the Philippine Rabbit Investigator CV Cabading (Exh. 15), he alleged that the Philippine
from which the civil liability might arise did not exist). The responsibility arising from fault or Rabbit Bus bumped the jeep of Calaunan while the Philippine Rabbit Bus was behind the said
negligence in a quasi-delict is entirely separate and distinct from the civil liability arising from jeep. In his testimony before the Regional Trial Court in Malolos, Bulacan as well as in this
negligence under the Penal Code.36 An acquittal or conviction in the criminal case is entirely Court, he alleged that the Philippine Rabbit Bus was already on the left side of the jeep when
irrelevant in the civil case37 based on quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana. the collision took place. For this inconsistency between his statement and testimony, his
explanation regarding the manner of how the collision between the jeep and the bus took place
Petitioners ask us to give credence to their version of how the collision occurred and to disregard should be taken with caution. It might be true that in the statement of Oscar Buan given to the
Philippine Rabbit Investigator CV Cabading, it was mentioned by the former that the jeep of
that of respondent’s. Petitioners insist that while the PRBLI bus was in the process of overtaking
plaintiff was in the act of overtaking another jeep when the collision between the latter jeep and
respondent’s jeep, the latter, without warning, suddenly swerved to the left (fast) lane in order
the Philippine Rabbit Bus took place. But the fact, however, that his statement was given on
to overtake another jeep ahead of it, thus causing the collision.
July 15, 1988, one day after Mauricio Manliclic gave his statement should not escape attention.
The one-day difference between the giving of the two statements would be significant enough
As a general rule, questions of fact may not be raised in a petition for review. The factual findings to entertain the possibility of Oscar Buan having received legal advise before giving his
of the trial court, especially when affirmed by the appellate court, are binding and conclusive on statement. Apart from that, as between his statement and the statement of Manliclic himself,
the Supreme Court.38 Not being a trier of facts, this Court will not allow a review thereof unless: the statement of the latter should prevail. Besides, in his Affidavit of March 10, 1989, (Exh. 14),
the unreliability of the statement of Oscar Buan (Exh. 13) given to CV Cabading rear its "ugly
(1) the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation, surmise and conjecture; (2) the head" when he did not mention in said affidavit that the jeep of Calaunan was trying to overtake
inference made is manifestly mistaken; (3) there is grave abuse of discretion; (4) the judgment another jeep when the collision between the jeep in question and the Philippine Rabbit bus took
is based on a misapprehension of facts; (5) the findings of fact are conflicting; (6) the Court of place.
Appeals went beyond the issues of the case and its findings are contrary to the admissions of
both appellant and appellees; (7) the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are contrary to xxxx
those of the trial court; (8) said findings of fact are conclusions without citation of specific
evidence on which they are based; (9) the facts set forth in the petition as well as in the
If one would believe the testimony of the defendant, Mauricio Manliclic, and his conductor,
petitioner's main and reply briefs are not disputed by the respondents; and (10) the findings of
Oscar Buan, that the Philippine Rabbit Bus was already somewhat parallel to the jeep when the
fact of the Court of Appeals are premised on the supposed absence of evidence and
collision took place, the point of collision on the jeep should have been somewhat on the left
contradicted by the evidence on record.39
side thereof rather than on its rear. Furthermore, the jeep should have fallen on the road itself
rather than having been forced off the road. Useless, likewise to emphasize that the Philippine
After going over the evidence on record, we do not find any of the exceptions that would warrant Rabbit was running very fast as testified to by Ramos which was not controverted by the
our departure from the general rule. We fully agree in the finding of the trial court, as affirmed defendants.40
by the Court of Appeals, that it was petitioner Manliclic who was negligent in driving the PRBLI
bus which was the cause of the collision. In giving credence to the version of the respondent,
Having ruled that it was petitioner Manliclic’s negligence that caused the smash up, there arises
the trial court has this say:
the juris tantum presumption that the employer is negligent, rebuttable only by proof of
observance of the diligence of a good father of a family.41 Under Article 218042 of the New Civil
x x x Thus, which of the two versions of the manner how the collision took place was correct, Code, when an injury is caused by the negligence of the employee, there instantly arises a
would be determinative of who between the two drivers was negligent in the operation of their presumption of law that there was negligence on the part of the master or employer either in
respective vehicle. the selection of the servant or employee, or in supervision over him after selection or both. The
liability of the employer under Article 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

50 | P a g e
employee. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the private respondents to prove that they exercised The trial court found that petitioner PRBLI exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in
the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of their employee. 43 the selection but not in the supervision of its employees. It expounded as follows:

In the case at bar, petitioner PRBLI maintains that it had shown that it exercised the required From the evidence of the defendants, it seems that the Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines has a very
diligence in the selection and supervision of its employees, particularly petitioner Manliclic. In good procedure of recruiting its driver as well as in the maintenance of its vehicles. There is no
the matter of selection, it showed the screening process that petitioner Manliclic underwent evidence though that it is as good in the supervision of its personnel. There has been no iota of
before he became a regular driver. As to the exercise of due diligence in the supervision of its evidence introduced by it that there are rules promulgated by the bus company regarding the
employees, it argues that presence of ready investigators (Ganiban and Cabading) is sufficient safe operation of its vehicle and in the way its driver should manage and operate the vehicles
proof that it exercised the required due diligence in the supervision of its employees. assigned to them. There is no showing that somebody in the bus company has been employed
to oversee how its driver should behave while operating their vehicles without courting incidents
In the selection of prospective employees, employers are required to examine them as to their similar to the herein case. In regard to supervision, it is not difficult to observe that the Philippine
qualifications, experience and service records. In the supervision of employees, the employer Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. has been negligent as an employer and it should be made responsible
must formulate standard operating procedures, monitor their implementation and impose for the acts of its employees, particularly the driver involved in this case.
disciplinary measures for the breach thereof. To fend off vicarious liability, employers must
submit concrete proof, including documentary evidence, that they complied with everything that We agree. The presence of ready investigators after the occurrence of the accident is not
was incumbent on them.44 enough to exempt petitioner PRBLI from liability arising from the negligence of petitioner
Manliclic. Same does not comply with the guidelines set forth in the cases above-mentioned.
In Metro Manila Transit Corporation v. Court of Appeals,45 it was explained that: The presence of the investigators after the accident is not enough supervision. Regular
supervision of employees, that is, prior to any accident, should have been shown and
established. This, petitioner failed to do. The lack of supervision can further be seen by the fact
Due diligence in the supervision of employees on the other hand, includes the formulation of
that there is only one set of manual containing the rules and regulations for all the drivers of
suitable rules and regulations for the guidance of employees and the issuance of proper
PRBLI. 46 How then can all the drivers of petitioner PRBLI know and be continually informed of
instructions intended for the protection of the public and persons with whom the employer has
the rules and regulations when only one manual is being lent to all the drivers?
relations through his or its employees and the imposition of necessary disciplinary measures
upon employees in case of breach or as may be warranted to ensure the performance of acts
indispensable to the business of and beneficial to their employer. To this, we add that actual For failure to adduce proof that it exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the
implementation and monitoring of consistent compliance with said rules should be the constant selection and supervision of its employees, petitioner PRBLI is held solidarily responsible for
concern of the employer, acting through dependable supervisors who should regularly report the damages caused by petitioner Manliclic’s negligence.
on their supervisory functions.
We now go to the award of damages. The trial court correctly awarded the amount
In order that the defense of due diligence in the selection and supervision of employees may of P40,838.00 as actual damages representing the amount paid by respondent for the towing
be deemed sufficient and plausible, it is not enough to emptily invoke the existence of said and repair of his jeep.47 As regards the awards for moral and exemplary damages, same, under
company guidelines and policies on hiring and supervision. As the negligence of the employee the circumstances, must be modified. The P100,000.00 awarded by the trial court as moral
gives rise to the presumption of negligence on the part of the employer, the latter has the burden damages must be reduced to P50,000.00.48 Exemplary damages are imposed by way of
of proving that it has been diligent not only in the selection of employees but also in the actual example or correction for the public good. 49 The amount awarded by the trial court must,
supervision of their work. The mere allegation of the existence of hiring procedures and likewise, be lowered to P50,000.00.50 The award of P15,000.00 for attorney’s fees and
supervisory policies, without anything more, is decidedly not sufficient to overcome such expenses of litigation is in order and authorized by law. 51
presumption.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition for review is DENIED. The decision of
We emphatically reiterate our holding, as a warning to all employers, that "the formulation of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 55909 is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that (1)
various company policies on safety without showing that they were being complied with is not the award of moral damages shall be reduced to P50,000.00; and (2) the award of exemplary
sufficient to exempt petitioner from liability arising from negligence of its employees. It is damages shall be lowered to P50,000.00. Costs against petitioners.
incumbent upon petitioner to show that in recruiting and employing the erring driver the
recruitment procedures and company policies on efficiency and safety were followed." x x x. SO ORDERED.

51 | P a g e
Republic of the Philippines P12,000.00 and the expected average income of P6,000.00 each of the driver and one of the
SUPREME COURT passengers and P12,000.00 of the Chinese businessman passenger.
Manila
In answer to the complaint, defendants set up, among others, the affirmative defense that as
THIRD DIVISION owners and operators of the Franco Transportation Company, they exercised due diligence in
the selection and supervision of all their employees, including the deceased driver Macario
G.R. No. 71137 October 5, 1989 Yuro.

SPOUSES FEDERICO FRANCO and FELICISIMA R. FRANCO, petitioners, Said defense was, however, rejected by the trial court in its decision 1 dated May 17, 1978, for
vs. the reason that the act of the Franco Bus driver was a negligent act punishable by law resulting
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ANTONIO REYES, MRS. SUSAN CHUAY and in a civil obligation arising from Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code and not from Article 2180
LOLITA LUGUE respondents. of the Civil Code. It said: "This is a case of criminal negligence out of which civil liability arises,
and not a case of civil negligence and the defense of having acted like a good father of a family
or having trained or selected the drivers of his truck is no defense to avoid civil liability." 2 On
this premise, the trial court ruled as follows:
FERNAN, C.J.:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of
the plaintiffs, Antonio Reyes, Lolita Lugue, and Susan Chuay, and against the
The instant petition for review of a decision of the Court of Appeals deals mainly with the nature defendants Mr. and Mrs. Federico Franco, ordering the latter:
of an employer's liability for his employee's negligent act.
(1) To pay Antonio Reyes, actual and compensatory damages in the amount
At about 7:30 in the evening of October 18, 1974, Macario Yuro swerved the northbound Franco of P90,000.00 for the Isuzu Mini Bus;
Bus with Plate No. XY320-PUB he was driving to the left to avoid hitting a truck with a trailer
parked facing north along the cemented pavement of the MacArthur Highway at Barrio Talaga,
(2) To pay Lolita Lugue, the widow of Magdaleno Lugue, actual and
Capas Tarlac, thereby taking the lane of an incoming Isuzu Mini Bus bearing Plate No. YL-735
compensatory damages in the total sum of P18,000.00;
being driven by one Magdaleno Lugue and making a collision between the two (2) vehicles an
unavoidable and disastrous eventuality.
(3) To pay Susan Chuay, the widow of Fernando Chuay, actual and
compensatory damages in the total sum of P24,000.00; and
Dragged fifteen (15) meters from the point of impact (midway the length of the parked truck with
trailer), the mini bus landed right side down facing south in the canal of the highway, a total
wreck. The Franco Bus was also damaged but not as severely. The collision resulted in the (4) To pay attorney's fee in the amount of P5.000.00;
deaths of the two (2) drivers, Macario Yuro and Magdaleno Lugue, and two (2) passengers of
the mini bus, Romeo Bue and Fernando Chuay. All with legal interests from the filing of this suit on November 11, 1974 until
paid; and the costs of this suit.
Consequently, Antonio Reyes, the registered owner of the Isuzu Mini Bus, Mrs. Susan Chuay,
the wife of victim Fernando Chuay, and Mrs. Lolita Lugue, the wife of driver-victim Magdaleno SO ORDERED. 3
Lugue, filed an action for damages through reckless imprudence before the Court of First
Instance of Pampanga in Angeles City, Branch IV, docketed as Civil Case No. 2154 against Mr. On appeal by herein petitioners as defendants-appellants, respondent appellate court, agreeing
& Mrs. Federico Franco, the owners and operators of the Franco Transportation Company. The with the lower court, held that defendants-appellants' driver who died instantly in the vehicular
complaint alleged that: (a) the recklessness and imprudence of the Franco Bus driver caused collision, was guilty of reckless or criminal imprudence punishable by law in driving appellants'
the collision which resulted in his own death and that of the mini bus driver and two (2) other bus; that the civil obligation of the appellants arises from Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code
passengers thereof; (b) that as a consequence of the vehicular mishap, the Isuzu Mini Bus resulting in the subsidiary liability of the appellants under the said provisions, 4 that the case
became a total wreck resulting in actual damages amounting to P50,000.00 and the loss of an subject of appeal is one involving culpable negligence out of which civil liability arises and is not
average net income of P120.00 daily or P3,600.00 monthly multiplied by a minimum of one one of civil negligence; 5 and that there is nothing in Articles 102 and 103 of the Revised Penal
more year of serviceability of said mini bus or P40,200.00; and, (c) that in view of the death of Code which requires a prior judgment of conviction of the erring vehicle driver and his obligation
the three (3) passengers aforementioned, the heirs of each should be awarded a minimum of

52 | P a g e
to pay his civil liability before the said provisions can be applied. 6 Respondent appellate court Innkeepers are also subsidiarily liable for the restitution of goods taken by
increased the award of damages granted by the lower court as follows: robbery or theft within their houses from guests lodging therein, or for the
payment of the value thereof, provided that such guests shall have notified in
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby modified as follows: advance the innkeeper himself, or the person representing him, of the deposits
of such goods within the inn; and shall furthermore have followed the directions
which such innkeeper or his representative may have given them with respect
1. To pay Susan Chuay, widow of Fernando Chuay, the sum of P30,000.00 for
to the care and vigilance over such goods. No liability shall attach in case of
the latter's death and P112,000.00 for loss of earning capacity;
robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons unless committed by
the innkeeper's employees.
2. To pay Lolita Lugue, widow of Magdaleno Lugue, the sum of P30,000.00 for
the latter's death and P62,000.00 for loss of earning capacity. The rest of the
Art. 103. Subsidiary civil liability of other persons. — The subsidiary liability
judgment appealed from is affirmed. Costs against defendants-appellants.
established in the next preceding article shall also apply to employers,
teachers, persons, and corporations engaged in any kind of industry for felonies
SO ORDERED. 7 committed by the servants, pupils, workmen, apprentices, or employees in the
discharge of their duties;
On April 1, 1985, petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration of the aforesaid respondent
appellate court's decision dated January 2, 1985 but the same was denied on May 13, 1985. while the second kind is governed by the following provisions of the Civil Code:

Hence, the instant petition raising two (2) legal questions: first, whether the action for recovery Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being
of damages instituted by herein private respondents was predicated upon crime or quasi-delict; fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or
and second, whether respondent appellate court in an appeal filed by the defeated parties, negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties
herein petitioners, may properly increase the award of damages in favor of the private is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter.
respondents Chuay and Lugue, prevailing parties in the lower court, who did not appeal said
court's decision.
Art. 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligence under the preceding article is
entirely separate and distinct from the civil liability arising from negligence
Petitioners contend that the allegations in paragraph 9 of the Amended Complaint 8 of herein under the Penal Code. But the plaintiff cannot recover damages twice for the
private respondents as plaintiffs in Civil Case No. 2154 unequivocally claim that the former as same act or omission of the defendant.
the employers of Macario Yuro, the driver of the Franco Bus who caused the vehicular mishap,
are jointly and severally liable to the latter for the damages suffered by them which thus makes
Art. 2180. The obligations imposed by article 2176 is demandable not only for
Civil Case No. 2154 an action predicated upon a quasi-delict under the Civil Code subject to
one's own acts or omissions, but also for those of persons for whom one is
the defense that the employer exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family in the
responsible.
selection and supervision of their employees.

xxx xxx xxx


We find merit in this contention. Distinction should be made between the subsidiary liability of
the employer under the Revised Penal Code and the employer's primary liability under the Civil
Code which is quasi-delictual or tortious in character. The first type of liability is governed by Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and
Articles 102 and 103 of the Revised Penal Code which provide as follows: household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks, even though
the former are not engaged in any business or industry,
Art. 102. Subsidiary civil liability of innkeepers, tavern-keepers and proprietors
of establishments. — In default of the persons criminally liable, innkeepers, xxx xxx xxx
tavern-keepers, and any other persons or corporations shall be civilly liable for
crimes committed in their establishments, in all cases where a violation of The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein
municipal ordinances or some general or special police regulations shall have mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family
been committed by them or their employees. to prevent damage.

53 | P a g e
Under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, liability originates from a delict committed by the driver. The evidence presented by the appellants in this regard is purely self-
employee who is primarily liable therefor and upon whose primary liability his employer's serving. No independent evidence was presented as to the alleged supervision
subsidiary liability is to be based. Before the employer's subsidiary liability may be proceeded of appellants' bus drivers, especially with regard to driving habits and reaction
against, it is imperative that there should be a criminal action whereby the employee's criminal to actual traffic conditions. The appellants in fact admitted that the only kind of
negligence or delict and corresponding liability therefor are proved. If no criminal action was supervision given the drivers referred to the running time between the terminal
instituted, the employer's liability would not be predicated under Article 103. 9 points of the line (t.s.n., September 16, 1976, p. 21). Moreover, the appellants
who ran a fleet of 12 buses plying the Manila-Laoag line, have only two
In the case at bar, no criminal action was instituted because the person who should stand as inspectors whose duties were only ticket inspection. There is no evidence that
the accused and the party supposed to be primarily liable for the damages suffered by private they are really safety inspectors. 11
respondents as a consequence of the vehicular mishap died. Thus, petitioners' subsidiary
liability has no leg to stand on considering that their liability is merely secondary to their Basically, the Court finds that these determinations are factual in nature. As a painstaking
employee's primary liability. Logically therefore, recourse under this remedy is not possible. review of the evidence presented in the case at bar fails to disclose any evidence or
circumstance of note sufficient to overrule said factual findings and conclusions, the Court is
On the other hand, under Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code, liability is based on culpa inclined to likewise reject petitioners' affirmative defense of due diligence. The wisdom of this
aquiliana which holds the employer primarily liable for tortious acts of its employees subject, stance is made more apparent by the fact that the appellate court's conclusions are based on
however, to the defense that the former exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family the findings of the lower court which is in a better position to evaluate the testimonies of the
in the selection and supervision of his employees. witnesses during trial. As a rule, this Court respects the factual findings of the appellate and trial
courts and accord them a certain measure of finality. 12 Consequently, therefore, we find
Respondent appellate court relies on the case of Arambulo, supra, where it was held that the petitioners liable for the damages claimed pursuant to their primary liability under the Civil Code.
defense of observance of due diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and
supervision of employees is not applicable to the subsidiary liability provided in Article 20 of the On the second legal issue raised in the instant petition, we agree with petitioners' contention
Penal Code (now Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code). By such reliance, it would seem that that the Intermediate Appellate Court (later Court of Appeals) is without jurisdiction to increase
respondent appellate court seeks to enforce the subsidiary civil liability of the employer without the amount of damages awarded to private respondents Chuay and Lugue, neither of whom
a criminal conviction of the party primarily liable therefor. This is not only erroneous and absurd appealed the decision of the lower court. While an appellee who is not also an appellant may
but is also fraught with dangerous consequences. It is erroneous because the conviction of the assign error in his brief if his purpose is to maintain the judgment on other grounds, he cannot
employee primarily liable is a condition sine qua non for the employer's subsidiary ask for modification or reversal of the judgment or affirmative relief unless he has also
liability 10 and, at the same time, absurd because we will be faced with a situation where the appealed. 13 For failure of plaintiffs-appellees, herein private respondents, to appeal the lower
employer is held subsidiarily liable even without a primary liability being previously established. court's judgment, the amount of actual damages cannot exceed that awarded by it. 14
It is likewise dangerous because, in effect, the employer's subsidiary liability would partake of
a solidary obligation resulting in the law's amendment without legislative sanction. Furthermore, the records 15 show that plaintiffs-private respondents limited their claim for actual
and compensatory damages to the supposed average income for a period of one (1) year of
The Court in the aforecited M.D. Transit case went further to say that there can be no automatic P6,000.00 for the driver Magdaleno Lugue and P12,000.00 for the Chinese businessman
subsidiary liability of defendant employer under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code where Fernando Chuay. We feel that our award should not exceed the said amounts . 16
his employee has not been previously criminally convicted.
However, the increase in awards for indemnity arising from death to P30,000.00 each remains,
Having thus established that Civil Case No. 2154 is a civil action to impose the primary liability the same having been made in accordance with prevailing jurisprudence decreeing such
of the employer as a result of the tortious act of its alleged reckless driver, we confront ourselves increase in view of the depreciated Philippine currency. 17
with the plausibility of defendants-petitioners' defense that they observed due diligence of a
good father of a family in the selection and supervision of their employees. WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby modified decreasing the award
to private respondents of actual and compensatory damages for loss of average income for the
On this point, the appellate court has unequivocally spoken in affirmation of the lower court's period of one year to P6,000.00 for the deceased Magdaleno Lugue and P12,000.00 for the
findings, to wit: deceased Fernando Chuay. The rest of the judgment appealed from is hereby affirmed. Costs
against the private respondents. This decision is immediately executory.
Anyway, a perusal of the record shows that the appellants were not able to
establish the defense of a good father of a family in the supervision of their bus SO ORDERED.

54 | P a g e
55 | P a g e
[G.R. No. 141538. March 23, 2004] on 10 November 1993 as the Cerezo spouses no longer held office nor resided
in Makati. On 18 April 1994, the trial court issued alias summons against the Cerezo spouses
at their address in Barangay Sta. Maria, Camiling, Tarlac. The alias summons and a copy of
the complaint were finally served on 20 April 1994 at the office of Atty. Cerezo, who was then
Hermana R. Cerezo, petitioner, vs. David Tuazon, respondent. working as Tarlac Provincial Prosecutor. Atty. Cerezo reacted angrily on learning of the service
of summons upon his person. Atty. Cerezo allegedly told Sheriff William Canlas: Punyeta, ano
DECISION ang gusto mong mangyari? Gusto mong hindi ka makalabas ng buhay dito? Teritoryo ko
ito. Wala ka sa teritoryo mo.[5]
CARPIO, J.:
The records show that the Cerezo spouses participated in the proceedings before the trial
court. The Cerezo spouses filed a comment with motion for bill of particulars dated 29 April
1994 and a reply to opposition to comment with motion dated 13 June 1994.[6] On 1 August
The Case 1994, the trial court issued an order directing the Cerezo spouses to file a comment to the
opposition to the bill of particulars. Atty. Elpidio B. Valera (Atty. Valera) of Valera and Valera
Law Offices appeared on behalf of the Cerezo spouses. On 29 August 1994, Atty. Valera filed
This is a petition for review on certiorari[1] to annul the Resolution[2] dated 21 October an urgent ex-parte motion praying for the resolution of Tuazons motion to litigate as a pauper
1999 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 53572, as well as its Resolution dated 20 and for the issuance of new summons on the Cerezo spouses to satisfy proper service in
January 2000 denying the motion for reconsideration. The Court of Appeals denied the petition accordance with the Rules of Court.[7]
for annulment of the Decision[3] dated 30 May 1995 rendered by
the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City, Branch 56 (trial court), in Civil Case No. 7415. The trial On 30 August 1994, the trial court issued an order resolving Tuazons motion to litigate as
court ordered petitioner Hermana R. Cerezo (Mrs. Cerezo) to pay respondent David Tuazon a pauper and the Cerezo spouses urgent ex-parte motion. The order reads:
(Tuazon) actual damages, loss of earnings, moral damages, and costs of suit.
At the hearing on August 30, 1994, the plaintiff [Tuazon] testified that he is presently jobless;
that at the time of the filing of this case, his son who is working in Malaysia helps him and sends
Antecedent Facts him once in a while P300.00 a month, and that he does not have any real property. Attached to
the Motion to Litigate as Pauper are his Affidavit that he is unemployed; a Certification by the
Barangay Captain of his poblacion that his income is not enough for his familys subsistence;
Around noontime of 26 June 1993, a Country Bus Lines passenger bus with plate number and a Certification by the Office of the Municipal Assessor that he has no landholding in
NYA 241 collided with a tricycle bearing plate number TC RV 126 along Captain M. Palo Street, the Municipality of Mabalacat, Province of Pampanga.
Sta. Ines, Mabalacat, Pampanga. On 1 October 1993, tricycle driver Tuazon filed a complaint
for damages against Mrs. Cerezo, as owner of the bus line, her husband Attorney Juan Cerezo The Court is satisfied from the unrebutted testimony of the plaintiff that he is entitled to prosecute
(Atty. Cerezo), and bus driver Danilo A. Foronda (Foronda). The complaint alleged that: his complaint in this case as a pauper under existing rules.

7. At the time of the incident, plaintiff [Tuazon] was in his proper lane when the second-named On the other hand, the Court denies the prayer in the Appearance and Urgent Ex-Parte Motion
defendant [Foronda], being then the driver and person in charge of the Country Bus with plate requiring new summons to be served to the defendants. The Court is of the opinion that any
number NYA 241, did then and there willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously operate the said motor infirmity in the service of the summons to the defendant before plaintiff was allowed to prosecute
vehicle in a negligent, careless, and imprudent manner without due regard to traffic rules and his complaint in this case as a pauper has been cured by this Order.
regulations, there being a Slow Down sign near the scene of the incident, and without taking
the necessary precaution to prevent loss of lives or injuries, his negligence, carelessness and If within 15 days from receipt of this Order, the defendants do not question on appeal this Order
imprudence resulted to severe damage to the tricycle and serious physical injuries to plaintiff of this Court, the Court shall proceed to resolve the Motion for Bill of Particulars.[8]
thus making him unable to walk and becoming disabled, with his thumb and middle finger on
the left hand being cut[.][4] On 27 September 1994, the Cerezo spouses filed an urgent ex-parte motion for
reconsideration. The trial court denied the motion for reconsideration.
On 1 October 1993, Tuazon filed a motion to litigate as a pauper. Subsequently, the trial
court issued summons against Atty. Cerezo and Mrs. Cerezo (the Cerezo spouses) at On 14 November 1994, the trial court issued an order directing the Cerezo spouses to file
the Makati address stated in the complaint. However, the summons was returned unserved their answer within fifteen days from receipt of the order. The Cerezo spouses did not file an
answer. On 27 January 1995, Tuazon filed a motion to declare the Cerezo spouses in

56 | P a g e
default. On 6 February 1995, the trial court issued an order declaring the Cerezo spouses in Exhibit 6 - Order dated November 14, 1994;
default and authorizing Tuazon to present his evidence. [9] Exhibit 6-A - Postal certification dated January 13, 1995;
Exhibit 7 - Order dated February [illegible];
On 30 May 1995, after considering Tuazons testimonial and documentary evidence, the Exhibit 7-A - Courts return slip addressed to Atty. Elpidio
trial court ruled in Tuazons favor. The trial court made no pronouncement on Forondas liability Valera;
because there was no service of summons on him. The trial court did not hold Atty. Cerezo Exhibit 7-B - Courts return slip addressed to Spouses Juan
liable as Tuazon failed to show that Mrs. Cerezos business benefited the family, pursuant to and Hermana Cerezo;
Article 121(3) of the Family Code. The trial court held Mrs. Cerezo solely liable for the damages Exhibit 8 - Decision dated May [30], 1995
sustained by Tuazon arising from the negligence of Mrs. Cerezos employee, pursuant to Article Exhibit 8-A - Courts return slip addressed to defendant Hermana
2180 of the Civil Code. The dispositive portion of the trial courts decision reads: Cerezo;
Exhibit 8-B - Courts return slip addressed to defendants counsel,
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered ordering the defendant Hermana Cerezo to pay Atty. Elpidio Valera;
the plaintiff: Exhibit 9 - Order dated September 21, 1995;
Exhibit 9-A - Second Page of Exhibit 9;
a) For Actual Damages Exhibit 9-B - Third page of Exhibit 9;
1) Expenses for operation and medical Exhibit 9-C - Fourth page of Exhibit 9;
Treatment - P69,485.35 Exhibit 9-D - Courts return slip addressed to Atty. Elpidio Valera;
2) Cost of repair of the tricycle - 39,921.00 and
b) For loss of earnings - 43,300.00 Exhibit 9-E - Courts return slip addressed to plaintiffs counsel,
c) For moral damages - 20,000.00 Atty. Norman Dick de Guzman.[12]
d) And to pay the cost of the suit.
On 4 March 1998, the trial court issued an order[13] denying the petition for relief from
The docket fees and other expenses in the filing of this suit shall be lien on whatever judgment judgment. The trial court stated that having received the decision on 25 June 1995, the Cerezo
may be rendered in favor of the plaintiff. spouses should have filed a notice of appeal instead of resorting to a petition for relief from
judgment. The trial court refused to grant relief from judgment because the Cerezo spouses
could have availed of the remedy of appeal. Moreover, the Cerezo spouses not only failed to
SO ORDERED.[10]
prove fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence by conclusive evidence, they also failed
to prove that they had a good and substantial defense. The trial court noted that the Cerezo
Mrs. Cerezo received a copy of the decision on 25 June 1995. On 10 July 1995, Mrs. spouses failed to appeal because they relied on an expected settlement of the case.
Cerezo filed before the trial court a petition for relief from judgment on the grounds of fraud,
mistake or excusable negligence. Testifying before the trial court, both Mrs. Cerezo and Atty. The Cerezo spouses subsequently filed before the Court of Appeals a petition
Valera denied receipt of notices of hearings and of orders of the court. Atty. Valera added that for certiorari under Section 1 of Rule 65. The petition was docketed as CA-G.R. SP No.
he received no notice before or during the 8 May 1995 elections, when he was a senatorial 48132.[14] The petition questioned whether the trial court acquired jurisdiction over the case
candidate for the KBL Party, and very busy, using his office and residence as Party National considering there was no service of summons on Foronda, whom the Cerezo spouses claimed
Headquarters. Atty. Valera claimed that he was able to read the decision of the trial court only was an indispensable party. In a resolution[15] dated 21 January 1999, the Court of Appeals
after Mrs. Cerezo sent him a copy.[11] denied the petition for certiorari and affirmed the trial courts order denying the petition for relief
from judgment. The Court of Appeals declared that the Cerezo spouses failure to file an answer
Tuazon did not testify but presented documentary evidence to prove the participation of was due to their own negligence, considering that they continued to participate in the
the Cerezo spouses in the case. Tuazon presented the following exhibits: proceedings without filing an answer. There was also nothing in the records to show that the
Exhibit 1 - Sheriffs return and summons; Cerezo spouses actually offered a reasonable settlement to Tuazon. The Court of Appeals also
Exhibit 1-A - Alias summons dated April 20, 1994; denied Cerezo spouses motion for reconsideration for lack of merit.
Exhibit 2 - Comment with Motion; The Cerezo spouses filed before this Court a petition for review on certiorari under Rule
Exhibit 3 - Minutes of the hearing held on August 1, 1994; 45. Atty. Cerezo himself signed the petition, docketed as G.R. No. 137593. On 13 April 1999,
Exhibit 3-A - Signature of defendants counsel; this Court rendered a resolution denying the petition for review on certiorari for failure to attach
Exhibit 4 - Minutes of the hearing held on August 30, 1994; an affidavit of service of copies of the petition to the Court of Appeals and to the adverse
Exhibit 4-A - Signature of the defendants counsel; parties. Even if the petition complied with this requirement, the Court would still have denied the
Exhibit 5 - Appearance and Urgent Ex-Parte Motion;

57 | P a g e
petition as the Cerezo spouses failed to show that the Court of Appeals committed a reversible The lower court admits the fact that no summons was served on defendant Foronda. Thus,
error. The Courts resolution was entered in the Book of Entries and Judgments when it became jurisdiction over the person of defendant Foronda was not acquired, for which reason he was
final and executory on 28 June 1999.[16] not held liable in this case. However, it has been proven that jurisdiction over the other
defendants was validly acquired by the court a quo.
Undaunted, the Cerezo spouses filed before the Court of Appeals on 6 July 1999 a petition
for annulment of judgment under Rule 47 with prayer for restraining order. Atty. Valera and Atty.
Dionisio S. Daga (Atty. Daga) represented Mrs. Cerezo in the petition, docketed as CA-G.R. SP The defendant spouses admit to having appeared in the initial hearings and in the hearing for
No. 53572.[17] The petition prayed for the annulment of the 30 May 1995 decision of the trial plaintiffs motion to litigate as a pauper. They even mentioned conferences where attempts were
court and for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining execution of the trial courts made to reach an amicable settlement with plaintiff. However, the possibility of amicable
decision pending resolution of the petition. settlement is not a good and substantial defense which will warrant the granting of said petition.

The Court of Appeals denied the petition for annulment of judgment in a resolution dated 21 xxx
October 1999. The resolution reads in part:
Assuming arguendo that private respondent failed to reserve his right to institute a separate
In this case, records show that the petitioner previously filed with the lower court a Petition for action for damages in the criminal action, the petitioner cannot now raise such issue and
Relief from Judgment on the ground that they were wrongfully declared in default while waiting question the lower courts jurisdiction because petitioner and her husband have waived such
for an amicable settlement of the complaint for damages. The court a quo correctly ruled that right by voluntarily appearing in the civil case for damages. Therefore, the findings and the
such petition is without merit. The defendant spouses admit that during the initial hearing they decision of the lower court may bind them.
appeared before the court and even mentioned the need for an amicable settlement. Thus, the
lower court acquired jurisdiction over the defendant spouses. Records show that the petitioner previously filed with the lower court a Petition for Relief from
Judgment on the ground that they were wrongfully declared in default while waiting for an
Therefore, petitioner having availed of a petition for relief, the remedy of an annulment of amicable settlement of the complaint for damages. The court a quo correctly ruled that such
judgment is no longer available. The proper action for the petitioner is to appeal the order of the petition is without merit, jurisdiction having been acquired by the voluntary appearance of
lower court denying the petition for relief. defendant spouses.

Wherefore, the instant petition could not be given due course and should accordingly be Once again, it bears stressing that having availed of a petition for relief, the remedy of
dismissed. annulment of judgment is no longer available.

SO ORDERED.[18] Based on the foregoing, the motion for reconsideration could not be given due course and is
hereby DENIED.
On 20 January 2000, the Court of Appeals denied the Cerezo spouses motion for
reconsideration.[19] The Court of Appeals stated: SO ORDERED.[20]

A distinction should be made between a courts jurisdiction over a person and its jurisdiction
over the subject matter of a case. The former is acquired by the proper service of summons or
The Issues
by the parties voluntary appearance; while the latter is conferred by law.

Resolving the matter of jurisdiction over the subject matter, Section 19(1) of B[atas] P[ambansa] On 7 February 2000, Mrs. Cerezo, this time with Atty. Daga alone representing her, filed
129 provides that Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil the present petition for review on certiorari before this Court. Mrs. Cerezo claims that:
actions in which the subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation. Thus it was
proper for the lower court to decide the instant case for damages. 1. In dismissing the Petition for Annulment of Judgment, the Court of Appeals
assumes that the issues raised in the petition for annulment is based on extrinsic
fraud related to the denied petition for relief notwithstanding that the grounds relied
Unlike jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case which is absolute and conferred by law; any
upon involves questions of lack of jurisdiction.
defects [sic] in the acquisition of jurisdiction over a person (i.e., improper filing of civil complaint
or improper service of summons) may be waived by the voluntary appearance of parties.

58 | P a g e
2. In dismissing the Petition for Annulment, the Court of Appeals disregarded the On 6 July 1999, a mere eight days after our resolution became final and executory, Mrs.
allegation that the lower court[s] findings of negligence against defendant-driver Cerezo filed before the Court of Appeals a petition for annulment of the judgment of the trial
Danilo Foronda [whom] the lower court did not summon is null and void for want court under Rule 47.Meanwhile, on 25 August 1999, the trial court issued over the objection of
of due process and consequently, such findings of negligence which is [sic] null Mrs. Cerezo an order of execution of the judgment in Civil Case No. 7415. On 21 October 1999,
and void cannot become the basis of the lower court to adjudge petitioner- the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for annulment of judgment. On 20 January 2000,
employer liable for civil damages. the Court of Appeals denied Mrs. Cerezos motion for reconsideration. On 7 February 2000, Mrs.
Cerezo filed the present petition for review on certiorariunder Rule 45 challenging the dismissal
3. In dismissing the Petition for Annulment, the Court of Appeals ignored the allegation of her petition for annulment of judgment.
that defendant-driver Danilo A. Foronda whose negligence is the main issue is an
indispensable party whose presence is compulsory but [whom] the lower court did Lina v. Court of Appeals[22] enumerates the remedies available to a party declared in
not summon. default:
4. In dismissing the Petition for Annulment, the Court of Appeals ruled that a) The defendant in default may, at any time after discovery thereof and before
assuming arguendo that private respondent failed to reserve his right to institute a judgment, file a motion under oath to set aside the order of default on the
separate action for damages in the criminal action, the petitioner cannot now raise ground that his failure to answer was due to fraud, accident, mistake or excusable
such issue and question the lower courts jurisdiction because petitioner [has] negligence, and that he has a meritorious defense (Sec. 3, Rule 18 [now Sec. 3(b),
waived such right by voluntarily appearing in the civil case for damages Rule 9]);
notwithstanding that lack of jurisdiction cannot be waived.[21]
b) If the judgment has already been rendered when the defendant discovered the
default, but before the same has become final and executory, he may file a motion
for new trial under Section 1 (a) of Rule 37;
The Courts Ruling
c) If the defendant discovered the default after the judgment has become final and
executory, he may file a petition for relief under Section 2 [now Section 1] of Rule
The petition has no merit. As the issues are interrelated, we shall discuss them jointly. 38; and

Remedies Available d) He may also appeal from the judgment rendered against him as contrary to the
to a Party Declared in Default evidence or to the law, even if no petition to set aside the order of default has been
presented by him (Sec. 2, Rule 41). (Emphasis added)
An examination of the records of the entire proceedings shows that three lawyers filed and
signed pleadings on behalf of Mrs. Cerezo, namely, Atty. Daga, Atty. Valera, and Atty. Moreover, a petition for certiorari to declare the nullity of a judgment by default is also
Cerezo. Despite their number, Mrs. Cerezos counsels failed to avail of the proper remedies. It available if the trial court improperly declared a party in default, or even if the trial court properly
is either by sheer ignorance or by malicious manipulation of legal technicalities that they have declared a party in default, if grave abuse of discretion attended such declaration. [23]
managed to delay the disposition of the present case, to the detriment of pauper litigant Tuazon.
Mrs. Cerezo admitted that she received a copy of the trial courts decision on 25 June
Mrs. Cerezo claims she did not receive any copy of the order declaring the Cerezo spouses 1995. Based on this admission, Mrs. Cerezo had at least three remedies at her disposal: an
in default. Mrs. Cerezo asserts that she only came to know of the default order on 25 June 1995, appeal, a motion for new trial, or a petition for certiorari.
when she received a copy of the decision. On 10 July 1995, Mrs. Cerezo filed before the trial
Mrs. Cerezo could have appealed under Rule 41[24] from the default judgment within 15
court a petition for relief from judgment under Rule 38, alleging fraud, mistake, or excusable
days from notice of the judgment. She could have availed of the power of the Court of Appeals
negligence as grounds. On 4 March 1998, the trial court denied Mrs. Cerezos petition for relief
to try cases and conduct hearings, receive evidence, and perform all acts necessary to resolve
from judgment. The trial court stated that Mrs. Cerezo could have availed of appeal as a remedy
factual issues raised in cases falling within its appellate jurisdiction. [25]
and that she failed to prove that the judgment was entered through fraud, accident, mistake, or
excusable negligence. Mrs. Cerezo then filed before the Court of Appeals a petition Mrs. Cerezo also had the option to file under Rule 37 [26] a motion for new trial within the
for certiorari under Section 1 of Rule 65 assailing the denial of the petition for relief from period for taking an appeal. If the trial court grants a new trial, the original judgment is vacated,
judgment.On 21 January 1999, the Court of Appeals dismissed Mrs. Cerezos petition. On 24 and the action will stand for trial de novo. The recorded evidence taken in the former trial, as far
February 1999, the appellate court denied Mrs. Cerezos motion for reconsideration. On 11 as the same is material and competent to establish the issues, shall be used at the new trial
March 1999, Mrs. Cerezo filed before this Court a petition for review on certiorari under Rule without retaking the same.[27]
45, questioning the denial of the petition for relief from judgment. We denied the petition and
our resolution became final and executory on 28 June 1999.

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Mrs. Cerezo also had the alternative of filing under Rule 65 [28] a petition as a ground for nullity especially if raised for the first time on appeal by a party who participated
for certiorari assailing the order of default within 60 days from notice of the judgment. An order in the proceedings before the trial court, as what happened in this case.[34]
of default is interlocutory, and an aggrieved party may file an appropriate special civil action
under Rule 65.[29] In a petition for certiorari, the appellate court may declare void both the order For these reasons, the present petition should be dismissed for utter lack of merit. The
of default and the judgment of default. extraordinary action to annul a final judgment is restricted to the grounds specified in the
rules. The reason for the restriction is to prevent this extraordinary action from being used by a
Clearly, Mrs. Cerezo had every opportunity to avail of these remedies within the losing party to make a complete farce of a duly promulgated decision that has long become final
reglementary periods provided under the Rules of Court. However, Mrs. Cerezo opted to file a and executory. There would be no end to litigation if parties who have unsuccessfully availed
petition for relief from judgment, which is available only in exceptional cases. A petition for of any of the appropriate remedies or lost them through their fault could still bring an action for
relief from judgment should be filed within the reglementary period of 60 days from knowledge annulment of judgment.[35] Nevertheless, we shall discuss the issues raised in the present
of judgment and six months from entry of judgment, pursuant to petition to clear any doubt about the correctness of the decision of the trial court.
Rule 38 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.[30] Tuason v. Court of Appeals[31] explained the Mrs. Cerezos Liability and the
nature of a petition for relief from judgment: Trial Courts Acquisition of Jurisdiction

When a party has another remedy available to him, which may either be a motion for new trial Mrs. Cerezo contends that the basis of the present petition for annulment is lack of
or appeal from an adverse decision of the trial court, and he was not prevented by fraud, jurisdiction. Mrs. Cerezo asserts that the trial court could not validly render judgment since it
accident, mistake or excusable negligence from filing such motion or taking such appeal, he failed to acquire jurisdiction over Foronda. Mrs. Cerezo points out that there was no service of
cannot avail himself of this petition. Indeed, relief will not be granted to a party who seeks summons on Foronda. Moreover, Tuazon failed to reserve his right to institute a separate civil
avoidance from the effects of the judgment when the loss of the remedy at law was due to his action for damages in the criminal action. Such contention betrays a faulty foundation. Mrs.
own negligence; otherwise the petition for relief can be used to revive the right to appeal which Cerezos contention proceeds from the point of view of criminal law and not of civil law, while
has been lost thru inexcusable negligence. the basis of the present action of Tuazon is quasi-delict under the Civil Code, not delict under
the Revised Penal Code.
Evidently, there was no fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable negligence that prevented The same negligent act may produce civil liability arising from a delict under Article 103 of
Mrs. Cerezo from filing an appeal, a motion for new trial or a petition for certiorari. It was error the Revised Penal Code, or may give rise to an action for a quasi-delict under Article 2180 of
for her to avail of a petition for relief from judgment. the Civil Code. An aggrieved party may choose between the two remedies. An action based on
After our resolution denying Mrs. Cerezos petition for relief became final and executory, a quasi-delict may proceed independently from the criminal action.[36] There is, however, a
Mrs. Cerezo, in her last ditch attempt to evade liability, filed before the Court of Appeals a distinction between civil liability arising from a delict and civil liability arising from a quasi-
petition for annulment of the judgment of the trial court. Annulment is available only on the delict. The choice of remedy, whether to sue for a delict or a quasi-delict, affects the procedural
grounds of extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction. If based on extrinsic fraud, a party must file and jurisdictional issues of the action.[37]
the petition within four years from its discovery, and if based on lack of jurisdiction, before laches Tuazon chose to file an action for damages based on a quasi-delict. In his complaint,
or estoppel bars the petition. Extrinsic fraud is not a valid ground if such fraud was used as a Tuazon alleged that Mrs. Cerezo, without exercising due care and diligence in the supervision
ground, or could have been used as a ground, in a motion for new trial or petition for relief from and management of her employees and buses, hired Foronda as her driver. Tuazon became
judgment.[32] disabled because of Forondas recklessness, gross negligence and imprudence, aggravated by
Mrs. Cerezo insists that lack of jurisdiction, not extrinsic fraud, was her ground for filing the Mrs. Cerezos lack of due care and diligence in the selection and supervision of her employees,
petition for annulment of judgment. However, a party may avail of the remedy of annulment of particularly Foronda.[38]
judgment under Rule 47 only if the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief from The trial court thus found Mrs. Cerezo liable under Article 2180 of the Civil Code. Article
judgment, or other appropriate remedies are no longer available through no fault of the 2180 states in part:
party.[33] Mrs. Cerezo could have availed of a new trial or appeal but through her own fault she
erroneously availed of the remedy of a petition for relief, which was denied with finality. Thus,
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers
Mrs. Cerezo may no longer avail of the remedy of annulment.
acting within the scope of their assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged in any
In any event, the trial court clearly acquired jurisdiction over Mrs. Cerezos person. Mrs. business or industry.
Cerezo actively participated in the proceedings before the trial court, submitting herself to the
jurisdiction of the trial court. The defense of lack of jurisdiction fails in light of her active Contrary to Mrs. Cerezos assertion, Foronda is not an indispensable party to the case. An
participation in the trial court proceedings. Estoppel or laches may also bar lack of jurisdiction indispensable party is one whose interest is affected by the courts action in the litigation, and

60 | P a g e
without whom no final resolution of the case is possible. [39] However, Mrs. Cerezos liability as summons that might have vitiated the trial courts jurisdiction over the persons of the Cerezo
an employer in an action for a quasi-delict is not only solidary, it is also primary and spouses was deemed waived when the Cerezo spouses filed a petition for relief from
direct. Foronda is not an indispensable party to the final resolution of Tuazons action for judgment.[49]
damages against Mrs. Cerezo.
We hold that the trial court had jurisdiction and was competent to decide the case in favor
The responsibility of two or more persons who are liable for a quasi-delict is of Tuazon and against Mrs. Cerezo even in the absence of Foronda. Contrary to Mrs. Cerezos
solidary.[40] Where there is a solidary obligation on the part of debtors, as in this case, each contention, Foronda is not an indispensable party to the present case. It is not even necessary
debtor is liable for the entire obligation.Hence, each debtor is liable to pay for the entire for Tuazon to reserve the filing of a separate civil action because he opted to file a civil action
obligation in full. There is no merger or renunciation of rights, but only mutual for damages against Mrs. Cerezo who is primarily and directly liable for her own civil
representation.[41] Where the obligation of the parties is solidary, either of the parties is negligence. The words of Justice Jorge Bocobo in Barredo v. Garcia still hold true today as
indispensable, and the other is not even a necessary party because complete relief is available much as it did in 1942:
from either.[42] Therefore, jurisdiction over Foronda is not even necessary as Tuazon may collect
damages from Mrs. Cerezo alone. x x x [T]o hold that there is only one way to make defendants liability effective, and that is, to
Moreover, an employers liability based on a quasi-delict is primary and direct, while the sue the driver and exhaust his (the latters) property first, would be tantamount to compelling the
employers liability based on a delict is merely subsidiary. [43] The words primary and direct, as plaintiff to follow a devious and cumbersome method of obtaining relief. True, there is such a
contrasted with subsidiary, refer to the remedy provided by law for enforcing the obligation remedy under our laws, but there is also a more expeditious way, which is based on the primary
rather than to the character and limits of the obligation.[44] Although liability under Article 2180 and direct responsibility of the defendant under article [2180] of the Civil Code. Our view of the
originates from the negligent act of the employee, the aggrieved party may sue the employer law is more likely to facilitate remedy for civil wrongs, because the procedure indicated by the
directly. When an employee causes damage, the law presumes that the employer has himself defendant is wasteful and productive of delay, it being a matter of common knowledge that
committed an act of negligence in not preventing or avoiding the damage. This is the fault that professional drivers of taxis and other similar public conveyances do not have sufficient means
the law condemns. While the employer is civilly liable in a subsidiary capacity for the employees with which to pay damages. Why, then, should the plaintiff be required in all cases to go through
criminal negligence, the employer is also civilly liable directly and separately for his own civil this roundabout, unnecessary, and probably useless procedure?In construing the laws, courts
negligence in failing to exercise due diligence in selecting and supervising his employee. The have endeavored to shorten and facilitate the pathways of right and justice. [50]
idea that the employers liability is solely subsidiary is wrong.[45]
Interest at the rate of 6% per annum is due on the amount of damages adjudged by the
The action can be brought directly against the person responsible (for another), without trial court.[51] The 6% per annum interest shall commence from 30 May 1995, the date of the
including the author of the act. The action against the principal is accessory in the sense that it decision of the trial court.Upon finality of this decision, interest at 12% per annum, in lieu of
implies the existence of a prejudicial act committed by the employee, but it is not subsidiary in 6% per annum, is due on the amount of damages adjudged by the trial court until full payment.
the sense that it can not be instituted till after the judgment against the author of the act or at WHEREFORE, we DENY the instant petition for review. The Resolution dated 21 October
least, that it is subsidiary to the principal action; the action for responsibility (of the employer) is 1999 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 53572, as well as its Resolution dated 20
in itself a principal action.[46] January 2000 denying the motion for reconsideration, is AFFIRMED with
the MODIFICATION that the amount due shall earn legal interest at 6% per annum computed
Thus, there is no need in this case for the trial court to acquire jurisdiction over from 30 May 1995, the date of the trial courts decision. Upon finality of this decision, the amount
Foronda. The trial courts acquisition of jurisdiction over Mrs. Cerezo is sufficient to dispose of due shall earn interest at 12% per annum, in lieu of 6% per annum, until full payment.
the present case on the merits.
SO ORDERED.
In contrast, an action based on a delict seeks to enforce the subsidiary liability of the
employer for the criminal negligence of the employee as provided in Article 103 of the Revised
Penal Code. To hold the employer liable in a subsidiary capacity under a delict, the aggrieved
party must initiate a criminal action where the employees delict and corresponding primary
liability are established.[47] If the present action proceeds from a delict, then the trial courts
jurisdiction over Foronda is necessary. However, the present action is clearly for the quasi-delict
of Mrs. Cerezo and not for the delict of Foronda.
The Cerezo spouses contention that summons be served anew on them is untenable in
light of their participation in the trial court proceedings. To uphold the Cerezo spouses
contention would make a fetish of a technicality.[48] Moreover, any irregularity in the service of

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Republic of the Philippines Defendants a quo (now petitioners) sought to have the suit dismissed, alleging that since they
SUPREME COURT are presumably sued under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, the complaint states no cause of
Manila action against them, as jurisprudence on the subject is to the effect that academic institutions,
such as the PSBA, are beyond the ambit of the rule in the afore-stated article.
SECOND DIVISION
The respondent trial court, however, overruled petitioners' contention and thru an order dated
8 December 1987, denied their motion to dismiss. A subsequent motion for reconsideration was
similarly dealt with by an order dated 25 January 1988. Petitioners then assailed the trial court's
disposition before the respondent appellate court which, in a decision * promulgated on 10 June
G.R. No. 84698 February 4, 1992
1988, affirmed the trial court's orders. On 22 August 1988, the respondent appellate court
resolved to deny the petitioners' motion for reconsideration. Hence, this petition.
PHILIPPINE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, JUAN D. LIM, BENJAMIN P.
PAULINO, ANTONIO M. MAGTALAS, COL. PEDRO SACRO and LT. M.
SORIANO, petitioners, At the outset, it is to be observed that the respondent appellate court primarily anchored its
decision on the law of quasi-delicts, as enunciated in Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, HON. REGINA ORDOÑEZ-BENITEZ, in her capacity as Presiding Code. 1 Pertinent portions of the appellate court's now assailed ruling state:
Judge of Branch 47, Regional Trial Court, Manila, SEGUNDA R. BAUTISTA and ARSENIA
D. BAUTISTA, respondents. Article 2180 (formerly Article 1903) of the Civil Code is an adoption from the
old Spanish Civil Code. The comments of Manresa and learned authorities on
Balgos and Perez for petitioners. its meaning should give way to present day changes. The law is not fixed and
flexible (sic); it must be dynamic. In fact, the greatest value and significance of
law as a rule of conduct in (sic) its flexibility to adopt to changing social
Collantes, Ramirez & Associates for private respondents. conditions and its capacity to meet the new challenges of progress.

Construed in the light of modern day educational system, Article 2180 cannot
be construed in its narrow concept as held in the old case of Exconde
PADILLA, J.: vs. Capuno 2 and Mercado vs. Court of Appeals; 3hence, the ruling in
the Palisoc 4 case that it should apply to all kinds of educational institutions,
A stabbing incident on 30 August 1985 which caused the death of Carlitos Bautista while on the academic or vocational.
second-floor premises of the Philippine School of Business Administration (PSBA) prompted
the parents of the deceased to file suit in the Regional Trial Court of Manila (Branch 47) presided At any rate, the law holds the teachers and heads of the school staff liable
over by Judge (now Court of Appeals justice) Regina Ordoñez-Benitez, for damages against unless they relieve themselves of such liability pursuant to the last paragraph
the said PSBA and its corporate officers. At the time of his death, Carlitos was enrolled in the of Article 2180 by "proving that they observed all the diligence to prevent
third year commerce course at the PSBA. It was established that his assailants were not damage." This can only be done at a trial on the merits of the case. 5
members of the school's academic community but were elements from outside the school.
While we agree with the respondent appellate court that the motion to dismiss the complaint
Specifically, the suit impleaded the PSBA and the following school authorities: Juan D. Lim was correctly denied and the complaint should be tried on the merits, we do not however agree
(President), Benjamin P. Paulino (Vice-President), Antonio M. Magtalas (Treasurer/Cashier), with the premises of the appellate court's ruling.
Col. Pedro Sacro (Chief of Security) and a Lt. M. Soriano (Assistant Chief of Security).
Substantially, the plaintiffs (now private respondents) sought to adjudge them liable for the Article 2180, in conjunction with Article 2176 of the Civil Code, establishes the rule of in loco
victim's untimely demise due to their alleged negligence, recklessness and lack of security parentis. This Court discussed this doctrine in the afore-cited cases of Exconde, Mendoza,
precautions, means and methods before, during and after the attack on the victim. During the Palisoc and, more recently, in Amadora vs.Court of Appeals. 6 In all such cases, it had been
proceedings a quo, Lt. M. Soriano terminated his relationship with the other petitioners by stressed that the law (Article 2180) plainly provides that the damage should have been caused
resigning from his position in the school. or inflicted by pupils or students of he educational institution sought to be held liable for the acts
of its pupils or students while in its custody. However, this material situation does not exist in

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the present case for, as earlier indicated, the assailants of Carlitos were not students of the Immediately what comes to mind is the chapter of the Civil Code on Human Relations,
PSBA, for whose acts the school could be made liable. particularly Article 21, which provides:

However, does the appellate court's failure to consider such material facts mean the exculpation Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is
of the petitioners from liability? It does not necessarily follow. contrary to morals, good custom or public policy shall compensate the latter for
the damage. (emphasis supplied).
When an academic institution accepts students for enrollment, there is established
a contract between them, resulting in bilateral obligations which both parties are bound to Air France penalized the racist policy of the airline which emboldened the petitioner's employee
comply with. 7 For its part, the school undertakes to provide the student with an education that to forcibly oust the private respondent to cater to the comfort of a white man who allegedly "had
would presumably suffice to equip him with the necessary tools and skills to pursue higher a better right to the seat." In Austro-American, supra, the public embarrassment caused to the
education or a profession. On the other hand, the student covenants to abide by the school's passenger was the justification for the Circuit Court of Appeals, (Second Circuit), to award
academic requirements and observe its rules and regulations. damages to the latter. From the foregoing, it can be concluded that should the act which
breaches a contract be done in bad faith and be violative of Article 21, then there is a cause to
Institutions of learning must also meet the implicit or "built-in" obligation of providing their view the act as constituting a quasi-delict.
students with an atmosphere that promotes or assists in attaining its primary undertaking of
imparting knowledge. Certainly, no student can absorb the intricacies of physics or higher In the circumstances obtaining in the case at bar, however, there is, as yet, no finding that the
mathematics or explore the realm of the arts and other sciences when bullets are flying or contract between the school and Bautista had been breached thru the former's negligence in
grenades exploding in the air or where there looms around the school premises a constant providing proper security measures. This would be for the trial court to determine. And, even if
threat to life and limb. Necessarily, the school must ensure that adequate steps are taken to there be a finding of negligence, the same could give rise generally to a breach of contractual
maintain peace and order within the campus premises and to prevent the breakdown thereof. obligation only. Using the test of Cangco, supra, the negligence of the school would not be
relevant absent a contract. In fact, that negligence becomes material only because of the
Because the circumstances of the present case evince a contractual relation between the PSBA contractual relation between PSBA and Bautista. In other words, a contractual relation is a
and Carlitos Bautista, the rules on quasi-delict do not really govern. 8 A perusal of Article 2176 condition sine qua non to the school's liability. The negligence of the school cannot exist
shows that obligations arising from quasi-delicts or tort, also known as extra-contractual independently of the contract, unless the negligence occurs under the circumstances set out in
obligations, arise only between parties not otherwise bound by contract, whether express or Article 21 of the Civil Code.
implied. However, this impression has not prevented this Court from determining the existence
of a tort even when there obtains a contract. In Air France vs. Carrascoso (124 Phil. 722), the This Court is not unmindful of the attendant difficulties posed by the obligation of schools,
private respondent was awarded damages for his unwarranted expulsion from a first-class seat above-mentioned, for conceptually a school, like a common carrier, cannot be an insurer of its
aboard the petitioner airline. It is noted, however, that the Court referred to the petitioner-airline's students against all risks. This is specially true in the populous student communities of the so-
liability as one arising from tort, not one arising from a contract of carriage. In effect, Air called "university belt" in Manila where there have been reported several incidents ranging from
France is authority for the view that liability from tort may exist even if there is a contract, for the gang wars to other forms of hooliganism. It would not be equitable to expect of schools to
act that breaks the contract may be also a tort. (Austro-America S.S. Co. vs. Thomas, 248 Fed. anticipate all types of violent trespass upon their premises, for notwithstanding the security
231). measures installed, the same may still fail against an individual or group determined to carry
out a nefarious deed inside school premises and environs. Should this be the case, the school
This view was not all that revolutionary, for even as early as 1918, this Court was already of a may still avoid liability by proving that the breach of its contractual obligation to the students
similar mind. In Cangco vs. Manila Railroad (38 Phil. 780), Mr. Justice Fisher elucidated thus: was not due to its negligence, here statutorily defined to be the omission of that degree of
diligence which is required by the nature of the obligation and corresponding to the
circumstances of persons, time and place. 9
The field of non-contractual obligation is much broader than that of contractual
obligation, comprising, as it does, the whole extent of juridical human relations.
These two fields, figuratively speaking, concentric; that is to say, the mere fact As the proceedings a quo have yet to commence on the substance of the private respondents'
that a person is bound to another by contract does not relieve him from extra- complaint, the record is bereft of all the material facts. Obviously, at this stage, only the trial
contractual liability to such person. When such a contractual relation exists the court can make such a determination from the evidence still to unfold.
obligor may break the contract under such conditions that the same act which
constitutes a breach of the contract would have constituted the source of an
extra-contractual obligation had no contract existed between the parties.

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WHEREFORE, the foregoing premises considered, the petition is DENIED. The court of origin
(RTC, Manila, Br. 47) is hereby ordered to continue proceedings consistent with this ruling of
the Court. Costs against the petitioners.

SO ORDERED.

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Republic of the Philippines defendant's Manager that his seat would be taken over his dead body; a commotion
SUPREME COURT ensued, and, according to said Ernesto G. Cuento, "many of the Filipino passengers
Manila got nervous in the tourist class; when they found out that Mr. Carrascoso was having a
hot discussion with the white man [manager], they came all across to Mr. Carrascoso
EN BANC and pacified Mr. Carrascoso to give his seat to the white man" (Transcript, p. 12,
Hearing of May 26, 1959); and plaintiff reluctantly gave his "first class" seat in the
G.R. No. L-21438 September 28, 1966 plane.3

AIR FRANCE, petitioner, 1. The trust of the relief petitioner now seeks is that we review "all the findings" 4 of respondent
Court of Appeals. Petitioner charges that respondent court failed to make complete findings of
vs.
RAFAEL CARRASCOSO and the HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, respondents. fact on all the issues properly laid before it. We are asked to consider facts favorable to
petitioner, and then, to overturn the appellate court's decision.
Lichauco, Picazo and Agcaoili for petitioner.
Bengzon Villegas and Zarraga for respondent R. Carrascoso. Coming into focus is the constitutional mandate that "No decision shall be rendered by any court
of record without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is
based". 5 This is echoed in the statutory demand that a judgment determining the merits of the
case shall state "clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based"; 6 and that
"Every decision of the Court of Appeals shall contain complete findings of fact on all issues
properly raised before it". 7
SANCHEZ, J.:
A decision with absolutely nothing to support it is a nullity. It is open to direct attack. 8 The law,
The Court of First Instance of Manila 1 sentenced petitioner to pay respondent Rafael however, solely insists that a decision state the "essential ultimate facts" upon which the court's
Carrascoso P25,000.00 by way of moral damages; P10,000.00 as exemplary damages; conclusion is drawn. 9 A court of justice is not hidebound to write in its decision every bit and
P393.20 representing the difference in fare between first class and tourist class for the portion piece of evidence 10 presented by one party and the other upon the issues raised. Neither is it
of the trip Bangkok-Rome, these various amounts with interest at the legal rate, from the date to be burdened with the obligation "to specify in the sentence the facts" which a party
of the filing of the complaint until paid; plus P3,000.00 for attorneys' fees; and the costs of suit. "considered as proved". 11 This is but a part of the mental process from which the Court draws
the essential ultimate facts. A decision is not to be so clogged with details such that prolixity, if
On appeal,2 the Court of Appeals slightly reduced the amount of refund on Carrascoso's plane not confusion, may result. So long as the decision of the Court of Appeals contains the
ticket from P393.20 to P383.10, and voted to affirm the appealed decision "in all other respects", necessary facts to warrant its conclusions, it is no error for said court to withhold therefrom "any
with costs against petitioner. specific finding of facts with respect to the evidence for the defense". Because as this Court well
observed, "There is no law that so requires". 12 Indeed, "the mere failure to specify (in the
The case is now before us for review on certiorari. decision) the contentions of the appellant and the reasons for refusing to believe them is not
sufficient to hold the same contrary to the requirements of the provisions of law and the
Constitution". It is in this setting that in Manigque, it was held that the mere fact that the findings
The facts declared by the Court of Appeals as " fully supported by the evidence of record", are:
"were based entirely on the evidence for the prosecution without taking into consideration or
even mentioning the appellant's side in the controversy as shown by his own testimony", would
Plaintiff, a civil engineer, was a member of a group of 48 Filipino pilgrims that left Manila not vitiate the judgment. 13 If the court did not recite in the decision the testimony of each witness
for Lourdes on March 30, 1958. for, or each item of evidence presented by, the defeated party, it does not mean that the court
has overlooked such testimony or such item of evidence. 14 At any rate, the legal presumptions
On March 28, 1958, the defendant, Air France, through its authorized agent, Philippine are that official duty has been regularly performed, and that all the matters within an issue in a
Air Lines, Inc., issued to plaintiff a "first class" round trip airplane ticket from Manila to case were laid before the court and passed upon by it. 15
Rome. From Manila to Bangkok, plaintiff travelled in "first class", but at Bangkok, the
Manager of the defendant airline forced plaintiff to vacate the "first class" seat that he Findings of fact, which the Court of Appeals is required to make, maybe defined as "the written
was occupying because, in the words of the witness Ernesto G. Cuento, there was a statement of the ultimate facts as found by the court ... and essential to support the decision
"white man", who, the Manager alleged, had a "better right" to the seat. When asked to and judgment rendered thereon". 16They consist of the court's "conclusions" with respect to the
vacate his "first class" seat, the plaintiff, as was to be expected, refused, and told determinative facts in issue". 17 A question of law, upon the other hand, has been declared as

65 | P a g e
"one which does not call for an examination of the probative value of the evidence presented Q. In these tickets there are marks "O.K." From what you know, what does this OK
by the parties." 18 mean?

2. By statute, "only questions of law may be raised" in an appeal by certiorari from a judgment A. That the space is confirmed.
of the Court of Appeals. 19 That judgment is conclusive as to the facts. It is not appropriately the
business of this Court to alter the facts or to review the questions of fact. 20 Q. Confirmed for first class?

With these guideposts, we now face the problem of whether the findings of fact of the Court of A. Yes, "first class". (Transcript, p. 169)
Appeals support its judgment.
xxx xxx xxx
3. Was Carrascoso entitled to the first class seat he claims?
Defendant tried to prove by the testimony of its witnesses Luis Zaldariaga and Rafael Altonaga
It is conceded in all quarters that on March 28, 1958 he paid to and received from petitioner a that although plaintiff paid for, and was issued a "first class" airplane ticket, the ticket was subject
first class ticket. But petitioner asserts that said ticket did not represent the true and complete to confirmation in Hongkong. The court cannot give credit to the testimony of said witnesses.
intent and agreement of the parties; that said respondent knew that he did not have confirmed Oral evidence cannot prevail over written evidence, and plaintiff's Exhibits "A", "A-l", "B", "B-l",
reservations for first class on any specific flight, although he had tourist class protection; that, "C" and "C-1" belie the testimony of said witnesses, and clearly show that the plaintiff was
accordingly, the issuance of a first class ticket was no guarantee that he would have a first class issued, and paid for, a first class ticket without any reservation whatever.
ride, but that such would depend upon the availability of first class seats.
Furthermore, as hereinabove shown, defendant's own witness Rafael Altonaga testified that the
These are matters which petitioner has thoroughly presented and discussed in its brief before reservation for a "first class" accommodation for the plaintiff was confirmed. The court cannot
the Court of Appeals under its third assignment of error, which reads: "The trial court erred in believe that after such confirmation defendant had a verbal understanding with plaintiff that the
finding that plaintiff had confirmed reservations for, and a right to, first class seats on the "first class" ticket issued to him by defendant would be subject to confirmation in Hongkong. 23
"definite" segments of his journey, particularly that from Saigon to Beirut". 21
We have heretofore adverted to the fact that except for a slight difference of a few pesos in the
And, the Court of Appeals disposed of this contention thus: amount refunded on Carrascoso's ticket, the decision of the Court of First Instance was affirmed
by the Court of Appeals in all other respects. We hold the view that such a judgment of
Defendant seems to capitalize on the argument that the issuance of a first-class ticket affirmance has merged the judgment of the lower court. 24Implicit in that affirmance is a
was no guarantee that the passenger to whom the same had been issued, would be determination by the Court of Appeals that the proceeding in the Court of First Instance was
accommodated in the first-class compartment, for as in the case of plaintiff he had yet free from prejudicial error and "all questions raised by the assignments of error and all questions
to make arrangements upon arrival at every station for the necessary first-class that might have been raised are to be regarded as finally adjudicated against the appellant". So
reservation. We are not impressed by such a reasoning. We cannot understand how a also, the judgment affirmed "must be regarded as free from all error". 25 We reached this policy
reputable firm like defendant airplane company could have the indiscretion to give out construction because nothing in the decision of the Court of Appeals on this point would suggest
tickets it never meant to honor at all. It received the corresponding amount in payment that its findings of fact are in any way at war with those of the trial court. Nor was said affirmance
of first-class tickets and yet it allowed the passenger to be at the mercy of its employees. by the Court of Appeals upon a ground or grounds different from those which were made the
It is more in keeping with the ordinary course of business that the company should know basis of the conclusions of the trial court. 26
whether or riot the tickets it issues are to be honored or not.22
If, as petitioner underscores, a first-class-ticket holder is not entitled to a first class seat,
Not that the Court of Appeals is alone. The trial court similarly disposed of petitioner's notwithstanding the fact that seat availability in specific flights is therein confirmed, then an air
contention, thus: passenger is placed in the hollow of the hands of an airline. What security then can a passenger
have? It will always be an easy matter for an airline aided by its employees, to strike out the
On the fact that plaintiff paid for, and was issued a "First class" ticket, there can be no question. very stipulations in the ticket, and say that there was a verbal agreement to the contrary. What
Apart from his testimony, see plaintiff's Exhibits "A", "A-1", "B", "B-1," "B-2", "C" and "C-1", and if the passenger had a schedule to fulfill? We have long learned that, as a rule, a written
defendant's own witness, Rafael Altonaga, confirmed plaintiff's testimony and testified as document speaks a uniform language; that spoken word could be notoriously unreliable. If only
follows: to achieve stability in the relations between passenger and air carrier, adherence to the ticket

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so issued is desirable. Such is the case here. The lower courts refused to believe the oral causing plaintiff mental anguish, serious anxiety, wounded feelings, social humiliation, and the
evidence intended to defeat the covenants in the ticket. like injury, resulting in moral damages in the amount of P30,000.00. 33

The foregoing are the considerations which point to the conclusion that there are facts upon xxx xxx xxx
which the Court of Appeals predicated the finding that respondent Carrascoso had a first class
ticket and was entitled to a first class seat at Bangkok, which is a stopover in the Saigon to The foregoing, in our opinion, substantially aver: First, That there was a contract to furnish
Beirut leg of the flight. 27 We perceive no "welter of distortions by the Court of Appeals of plaintiff a first class passage covering, amongst others, the Bangkok-Teheran leg; Second, That
petitioner's statement of its position", as charged by petitioner. 28 Nor do we subscribe to said contract was breached when petitioner failed to furnish first class transportation at
petitioner's accusation that respondent Carrascoso "surreptitiously took a first class seat to Bangkok; and Third, that there was bad faith when petitioner's employee compelled Carrascoso
provoke an issue". 29And this because, as petitioner states, Carrascoso went to see the to leave his first class accommodation berth "after he was already, seated" and to take a seat
Manager at his office in Bangkok "to confirm my seat and because from Saigon I was told again in the tourist class, by reason of which he suffered inconvenience, embarrassments and
to see the Manager". 30 Why, then, was he allowed to take a first class seat in the plane at humiliations, thereby causing him mental anguish, serious anxiety, wounded feelings and social
Bangkok, if he had no seat? Or, if another had a better right to the seat? humiliation, resulting in moral damages. It is true that there is no specific mention of the term bad
faith in the complaint. But, the inference of bad faith is there, it may be drawn from the facts and
4. Petitioner assails respondent court's award of moral damages. Petitioner's trenchant claim is circumstances set forth therein. 34 The contract was averred to establish the relation between
that Carrascoso's action is planted upon breach of contract; that to authorize an award for moral the parties. But the stress of the action is put on wrongful expulsion.
damages there must be an averment of fraud or bad faith;31 and that the decision of the Court
of Appeals fails to make a finding of bad faith. The pivotal allegations in the complaint bearing Quite apart from the foregoing is that (a) right the start of the trial, respondent's counsel placed
on this issue are: petitioner on guard on what Carrascoso intended to prove: That while sitting in the plane in
Bangkok, Carrascoso was ousted by petitioner's manager who gave his seat to a white
3. That ... plaintiff entered into a contract of air carriage with the Philippine Air Lines for man; 35 and (b) evidence of bad faith in the fulfillment of the contract was presented without
a valuable consideration, the latter acting as general agents for and in behalf of the objection on the part of the petitioner. It is, therefore, unnecessary to inquire as to whether or
defendant, under which said contract, plaintiff was entitled to, as defendant agreed to not there is sufficient averment in the complaint to justify an award for moral damages.
furnish plaintiff, First Class passage on defendant's plane during the entire duration of Deficiency in the complaint, if any, was cured by the evidence. An amendment thereof to
plaintiff's tour of Europe with Hongkong as starting point up to and until plaintiff's return conform to the evidence is not even required. 36 On the question of bad faith, the Court of
trip to Manila, ... . Appeals declared:

4. That, during the first two legs of the trip from Hongkong to Saigon and from Saigon That the plaintiff was forced out of his seat in the first class compartment of the plane
to Bangkok, defendant furnished to the plaintiff First Class accommodation but only belonging to the defendant Air France while at Bangkok, and was transferred to the
after protestations, arguments and/or insistence were made by the plaintiff with tourist class not only without his consent but against his will, has been sufficiently
defendant's employees. established by plaintiff in his testimony before the court, corroborated by the
corresponding entry made by the purser of the plane in his notebook which notation
5. That finally, defendant failed to provide First Class passage, but instead furnished reads as follows:
plaintiff only Tourist Class accommodations from Bangkok to Teheran and/or
Casablanca, ... the plaintiff has been compelled by defendant's employees to leave the "First-class passenger was forced to go to the tourist class against his will, and
First Class accommodation berths at Bangkok after he was already seated. that the captain refused to intervene",

6. That consequently, the plaintiff, desiring no repetition of the inconvenience and and by the testimony of an eye-witness, Ernesto G. Cuento, who was a co-passenger.
embarrassments brought by defendant's breach of contract was forced to take a Pan The captain of the plane who was asked by the manager of defendant company at
American World Airways plane on his return trip from Madrid to Manila.32 Bangkok to intervene even refused to do so. It is noteworthy that no one on behalf of
defendant ever contradicted or denied this evidence for the plaintiff. It could have been
xxx xxx xxx easy for defendant to present its manager at Bangkok to testify at the trial of the case,
or yet to secure his disposition; but defendant did neither. 37
2. That likewise, as a result of defendant's failure to furnish First Class accommodations
aforesaid, plaintiff suffered inconveniences, embarrassments, and humiliations, thereby The Court of appeals further stated —

67 | P a g e
Neither is there evidence as to whether or not a prior reservation was made by the white established. Certainly, this is bad faith. Unless, of course, bad faith has assumed a
man. Hence, if the employees of the defendant at Bangkok sold a first-class ticket to meaning different from what is understood in law. For, "bad faith" contemplates a "state
him when all the seats had already been taken, surely the plaintiff should not have been of mind affirmatively operating with furtive design or with some motive of self-interest
picked out as the one to suffer the consequences and to be subjected to the humiliation or will or for ulterior purpose." 39
and indignity of being ejected from his seat in the presence of others. Instead of
explaining to the white man the improvidence committed by defendant's employees, And if the foregoing were not yet sufficient, there is the express finding of bad faith in
the manager adopted the more drastic step of ousting the plaintiff who was then safely the judgment of the Court of First Instance, thus:
ensconsced in his rightful seat. We are strengthened in our belief that this probably was
what happened there, by the testimony of defendant's witness Rafael Altonaga who, The evidence shows that the defendant violated its contract of transportation
when asked to explain the meaning of the letters "O.K." appearing on the tickets of
with plaintiff in bad faith, with the aggravating circumstances that defendant's
plaintiff, said "that the space is confirmed for first class. Likewise, Zenaida Faustino,
Manager in Bangkok went to the extent of threatening the plaintiff in the
another witness for defendant, who was the chief of the Reservation Office of
presence of many passengers to have him thrown out of the airplane to give
defendant, testified as follows:
the "first class" seat that he was occupying to, again using the words of the
witness Ernesto G. Cuento, a "white man" whom he (defendant's Manager)
"Q How does the person in the ticket-issuing office know what reservation the wished to accommodate, and the defendant has not proven that this "white
passenger has arranged with you? man" had any "better right" to occupy the "first class" seat that the plaintiff was
occupying, duly paid for, and for which the corresponding "first class" ticket was
A They call us up by phone and ask for the confirmation." (t.s.n., p. 247, June issued by the defendant to him.40
19, 1959)
5. The responsibility of an employer for the tortious act of its employees need not be essayed.
In this connection, we quote with approval what the trial Judge has said on this point: It is well settled in law. 41 For the willful malevolent act of petitioner's manager, petitioner, his
employer, must answer. Article 21 of the Civil Code says:
Why did the, using the words of witness Ernesto G. Cuento, "white man" have
a "better right" to the seat occupied by Mr. Carrascoso? The record is silent. ART. 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is
The defendant airline did not prove "any better", nay, any right on the part of contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the
the "white man" to the "First class" seat that the plaintiff was occupying and for damage.
which he paid and was issued a corresponding "first class" ticket.
In parallel circumstances, we applied the foregoing legal precept; and, we held that upon the
If there was a justified reason for the action of the defendant's Manager in provisions of Article 2219 (10), Civil Code, moral damages are recoverable. 42
Bangkok, the defendant could have easily proven it by having taken the
testimony of the said Manager by deposition, but defendant did not do so; the 6. A contract to transport passengers is quite different in kind and degree from any other
presumption is that evidence willfully suppressed would be adverse if produced contractual relation. 43 And this, because of the relation which an air-carrier sustains with the
[Sec. 69, par (e), Rules of Court]; and, under the circumstances, the Court is public. Its business is mainly with the travelling public. It invites people to avail of the comforts
constrained to find, as it does find, that the Manager of the defendant airline in and advantages it offers. The contract of air carriage, therefore, generates a relation attended
Bangkok not merely asked but threatened the plaintiff to throw him out of the with a public duty. Neglect or malfeasance of the carrier's employees, naturally, could give
plane if he did not give up his "first class" seat because the said Manager ground for an action for damages.
wanted to accommodate, using the words of the witness Ernesto G. Cuento,
the "white man".38 Passengers do not contract merely for transportation. They have a right to be treated by the
carrier's employees with kindness, respect, courtesy and due consideration. They are entitled
It is really correct to say that the Court of Appeals in the quoted portion first transcribed to be protected against personal misconduct, injurious language, indignities and abuses from
did not use the term "bad faith". But can it be doubted that the recital of facts therein such employees. So it is, that any rule or discourteous conduct on the part of employees towards
points to bad faith? The manager not only prevented Carrascoso from enjoying his right a passenger gives the latter an action for damages against the carrier. 44
to a first class seat; worse, he imposed his arbitrary will; he forcibly ejected him from
his seat, made him suffer the humiliation of having to go to the tourist class Thus, "Where a steamship company 45 had accepted a passenger's check, it was a breach of
compartment - just to give way to another passenger whose right thereto has not been
contract and a tort, giving a right of action for its agent in the presence of third persons to falsely

68 | P a g e
notify her that the check was worthless and demand payment under threat of ejection, though I will allow that as part of his testimony. 49
the language used was not insulting and she was not ejected." 46 And this, because, although
the relation of passenger and carrier is "contractual both in origin and nature" nevertheless "the Petitioner charges that the finding of the Court of Appeals that the purser made an entry in his
act that breaks the contract may be also a tort". 47 And in another case, "Where a passenger on notebook reading "First class passenger was forced to go to the tourist class against his will,
a railroad train, when the conductor came to collect his fare tendered him the cash fare to a and that the captain refused to intervene" is predicated upon evidence [Carrascoso's testimony
point where the train was scheduled not to stop, and told him that as soon as the train reached above] which is incompetent. We do not think so. The subject of inquiry is not the entry, but the
such point he would pay the cash fare from that point to destination, there was nothing in the ouster incident. Testimony on the entry does not come within the proscription of the best
conduct of the passenger which justified the conductor in using insulting language to him, as by evidence rule. Such testimony is admissible. 49a
calling him a lunatic," 48 and the Supreme Court of South Carolina there held the carrier liable
for the mental suffering of said passenger.1awphîl.nèt
Besides, from a reading of the transcript just quoted, when the dialogue happened, the impact
of the startling occurrence was still fresh and continued to be felt. The excitement had not as
Petitioner's contract with Carrascoso is one attended with public duty. The stress of yet died down. Statements then, in this environment, are admissible as part of the res
Carrascoso's action as we have said, is placed upon his wrongful expulsion. This is a violation gestae. 50 For, they grow "out of the nervous excitement and mental and physical condition of
of public duty by the petitioner air carrier — a case of quasi-delict. Damages are proper. the declarant". 51 The utterance of the purser regarding his entry in the notebook was
spontaneous, and related to the circumstances of the ouster incident. Its trustworthiness has
7. Petitioner draws our attention to respondent Carrascoso's testimony, thus — been guaranteed. 52 It thus escapes the operation of the hearsay rule. It forms part of the res
gestae.
Q You mentioned about an attendant. Who is that attendant and purser?
At all events, the entry was made outside the Philippines. And, by an employee of petitioner. It
A When we left already — that was already in the trip — I could not help it. So one of would have been an easy matter for petitioner to have contradicted Carrascoso's testimony. If
the flight attendants approached me and requested from me my ticket and I said, What it were really true that no such entry was made, the deposition of the purser could have cleared
for? and she said, "We will note that you transferred to the tourist class". I said, "Nothing up the matter.
of that kind. That is tantamount to accepting my transfer." And I also said, "You are not
going to note anything there because I am protesting to this transfer". We, therefore, hold that the transcribed testimony of Carrascoso is admissible in evidence.

Q Was she able to note it? 8. Exemplary damages are well awarded. The Civil Code gives the court ample power to grant
exemplary damages — in contracts and quasi- contracts. The only condition is that defendant
A No, because I did not give my ticket. should have "acted in a wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive, or malevolent manner." 53 The
manner of ejectment of respondent Carrascoso from his first class seat fits into this legal
precept. And this, in addition to moral damages.54
Q About that purser?

A Well, the seats there are so close that you feel uncomfortable and you don't have 9. The right to attorney's fees is fully established. The grant of exemplary damages justifies a
similar judgment for attorneys' fees. The least that can be said is that the courts below felt that
enough leg room, I stood up and I went to the pantry that was next to me and the purser
it is but just and equitable that attorneys' fees be given. 55 We do not intend to break faith with
was there. He told me, "I have recorded the incident in my notebook." He read it and
the tradition that discretion well exercised — as it was here — should not be disturbed.
translated it to me — because it was recorded in French — "First class passenger was
forced to go to the tourist class against his will, and that the captain refused to
intervene." 10. Questioned as excessive are the amounts decreed by both the trial court and the Court of
Appeals, thus: P25,000.00 as moral damages; P10,000.00, by way of exemplary damages, and
P3,000.00 as attorneys' fees. The task of fixing these amounts is primarily with the trial
Mr. VALTE —
court. 56 The Court of Appeals did not interfere with the same. The dictates of good sense
suggest that we give our imprimatur thereto. Because, the facts and circumstances point to the
I move to strike out the last part of the testimony of the witness because the best reasonableness thereof.57
evidence would be the notes. Your Honor.
On balance, we say that the judgment of the Court of Appeals does not suffer from reversible
COURT — error. We accordingly vote to affirm the same. Costs against petitioner. So ordered.

69 | P a g e
70 | P a g e
[G.R. No. 145804. February 6, 2003] 2) Compensatory damages of P443,520.00;

3) Indemnity for the death of Nicanor Navidad in the sum of P50,000.00;

LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT AUTHORITY & RODOLFO ROMAN, petitioners, vs. MARJORIE b) Moral damages of P50,000.00;
NAVIDAD, Heirs of the Late NICANOR NAVIDAD & PRUDENT SECURITY
AGENCY, respondents.
c) Attorneys fees of P20,000;
DECISION
d) Costs of suit.
VITUG, J.:
The complaint against defendants LRTA and Rodolfo Roman are dismissed for lack of merit.
The case before the Court is an appeal from the decision and resolution of the Court of
Appeals, promulgated on 27 April 2000 and 10 October 2000, respectively, in CA-G.R. CV No. The compulsory counterclaim of LRTA and Roman are likewise dismissed.[1]
60720, entitled Marjorie Navidad and Heirs of the Late Nicanor Navidad vs. Rodolfo Roman, et.
al., which has modified the decision of 11 August 1998 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 266, Prudent appealed to the Court of Appeals. On 27 August 2000, the appellate court
Pasig City, exonerating Prudent Security Agency (Prudent) from liability and finding Light Rail promulgated its now assailed decision exonerating Prudent from any liability for the death of
Transit Authority (LRTA) and Rodolfo Roman liable for damages on account of the death of Nicanor Navidad and, instead, holding the LRTA and Roman jointly and severally liable thusly:
Nicanor Navidad.
On 14 October 1993, about half an hour past seven oclock in the evening, Nicanor WHEREFORE, the assailed judgment is hereby MODIFIED, by exonerating the appellants from
Navidad, then drunk, entered the EDSA LRT station after purchasing a token (representing any liability for the death of Nicanor Navidad, Jr. Instead, appellees Rodolfo Roman and the
payment of the fare). While Navidad was standing on the platform near the LRT tracks, Junelito Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) are held liable for his death and are hereby directed to pay
Escartin, the security guard assigned to the area approached Navidad. A misunderstanding or jointly and severally to the plaintiffs-appellees, the following amounts:
an altercation between the two apparently ensued that led to a fist fight. No evidence, however,
was adduced to indicate how the fight started or who, between the two, delivered the first blow a) P44,830.00 as actual damages;
or how Navidad later fell on the LRT tracks. At the exact moment that Navidad fell, an LRT train,
operated by petitioner Rodolfo Roman, was coming in. Navidad was struck by the moving train, b) P50,000.00 as nominal damages;
and he was killed instantaneously.
On 08 December 1994, the widow of Nicanor, herein respondent Marjorie Navidad, along c) P50,000.00 as moral damages;
with her children, filed a complaint for damages against Junelito Escartin, Rodolfo Roman, the
LRTA, the Metro Transit Organization, Inc. (Metro Transit), and Prudent for the death of her d) P50,000.00 as indemnity for the death of the deceased; and
husband. LRTA and Roman filed a counterclaim against Navidad and a cross-claim against
Escartin and Prudent. Prudent, in its answer, denied liability and averred that it had exercised e) P20,000.00 as and for attorneys fees.[2]
due diligence in the selection and supervision of its security guards.
The LRTA and Roman presented their evidence while Prudent and Escartin, instead of The appellate court ratiocinated that while the deceased might not have then as yet
presenting evidence, filed a demurrer contending that Navidad had failed to prove that Escartin boarded the train, a contract of carriage theretofore had already existed when the victim entered
was negligent in his assigned task. On 11 August 1998, the trial court rendered its decision; it the place where passengers were supposed to be after paying the fare and getting the
adjudged: corresponding token therefor. In exempting Prudent from liability, the court stressed that there
was nothing to link the security agency to the death of Navidad. It said that Navidad failed to
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendants show that Escartin inflicted fist blows upon the victim and the evidence merely established the
Prudent Security and Junelito Escartin ordering the latter to pay jointly and severally the fact of death of Navidad by reason of his having been hit by the train owned and managed by
plaintiffs the following: the LRTA and operated at the time by Roman. The appellate court faulted petitioners for their
failure to present expert evidence to establish the fact that the application of emergency brakes
could not have stopped the train.
a) 1) Actual damages of P44,830.00;

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The appellate court denied petitioners motion for reconsideration in its resolution of 10 Article 1756. In case of death of or injuries to passengers, common carriers are presumed to
October 2000. have been at fault or to have acted negligently, unless they prove that they observed
extraordinary diligence as prescribed in articles 1733 and 1755.
In their present recourse, petitioners recite alleged errors on the part of the appellate
court; viz:
Article 1759. Common carriers are liable for the death of or injuries to passengers through the
I. negligence or willful acts of the formers employees, although such employees may have acted
beyond the scope of their authority or in violation of the orders of the common carriers.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED BY DISREGARDING THE
FINDINGS OF FACTS BY THE TRIAL COURT This liability of the common carriers does not cease upon proof that they exercised all the
diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of their employees.
II.
Article 1763. A common carrier is responsible for injuries suffered by a passenger on account
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THAT of the willful acts or negligence of other passengers or of strangers, if the common carriers
PETITIONERS ARE LIABLE FOR THE DEATH OF NICANOR NAVIDAD, JR. employees through the exercise of the diligence of a good father of a family could have
prevented or stopped the act or omission.
III.
The law requires common carriers to carry passengers safely using the utmost diligence
of very cautious persons with due regard for all circumstances.[5] Such duty of a common carrier
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THAT RODOLFO
to provide safety to its passengers so obligates it not only during the course of the trip but for
ROMAN IS AN EMPLOYEE OF LRTA.[3]
so long as the passengers are within its premises and where they ought to be in pursuance to
the contract of carriage.[6] The statutory provisions render a common carrier liable for death of
Petitioners would contend that the appellate court ignored the evidence and the factual or injury to passengers (a) through the negligence or wilful acts of its employees or b) on
findings of the trial court by holding them liable on the basis of a sweeping conclusion that the account of wilful acts or negligence of other passengers or of strangers if the common
presumption of negligence on the part of a common carrier was not overcome. Petitioners would carriers employees through the exercise of due diligence could have prevented or
insist that Escartins assault upon Navidad, which caused the latter to fall on the tracks, was an stopped the act or omission.[7] In case of such death or injury, a carrier is presumed to have
act of a stranger that could not have been foreseen or prevented. The LRTA would add that the been at fault or been negligent, and[8] by simple proof of injury, the passenger is relieved of the
appellate courts conclusion on the existence of an employer-employee relationship between duty to still establish the fault or negligence of the carrier or of its employees and the burden
Roman and LRTA lacked basis because Roman himself had testified being an employee of shifts upon the carrier to prove that the injury is due to an unforeseen event or to force
Metro Transit and not of the LRTA. majeure.[9] In the absence of satisfactory explanation by the carrier on how the accident
Respondents, supporting the decision of the appellate court, contended that a contract of occurred, which petitioners, according to the appellate court, have failed to show, the
carriage was deemed created from the moment Navidad paid the fare at the LRT station and presumption would be that it has been at fault,[10] an exception from the general rule that
entered the premises of the latter, entitling Navidad to all the rights and protection under a negligence must be proved.[11]
contractual relation, and that the appellate court had correctly held LRTA and Roman liable for The foundation of LRTAs liability is the contract of carriage and its obligation to indemnify
the death of Navidad in failing to exercise extraordinary diligence imposed upon a common the victim arises from the breach of that contract by reason of its failure to exercise the high
carrier. diligence required of the common carrier. In the discharge of its commitment to ensure the
Law and jurisprudence dictate that a common carrier, both from the nature of its business safety of passengers, a carrier may choose to hire its own employees or avail itself of the
and for reasons of public policy, is burdened with the duty of exercising utmost diligence in services of an outsider or an independent firm to undertake the task. In either case, the common
ensuring the safety of passengers.[4] The Civil Code, governing the liability of a common carrier carrier is not relieved of its responsibilities under the contract of carriage.
for death of or injury to its passengers, provides: Should Prudent be made likewise liable? If at all, that liability could only be for tort under
the provisions of Article 2176[12] and related provisions, in conjunction with Article 2180, [13] of
Article 1755. A common carrier is bound to carry the passengers safely as far as human care the Civil Code. The premise, however, for the employers liability is negligence or fault on the
and foresight can provide, using the utmost diligence of very cautious persons, with a due part of the employee. Once such fault is established, the employer can then be made liable on
regard for all the circumstances. the basis of the presumption juris tantum that the employer failed to exercise diligentissimi
patris families in the selection and supervision of its employees. The liability is primary and can

72 | P a g e
only be negated by showing due diligence in the selection and supervision of the employee, a
factual matter that has not been shown. Absent such a showing, one might ask further, how
then must the liability of the common carrier, on the one hand, and an independent contractor,
on the other hand, be described? It would be solidary. A contractual obligation can be breached
by tort and when the same act or omission causes the injury, one resulting in culpa
contractual and the other in culpa aquiliana, Article 2194[14] of the Civil Code can well
apply.[15] In fine, a liability for tort may arise even under a contract, where tort is that which
breaches the contract.[16] Stated differently, when an act which constitutes a breach of contract
would have itself constituted the source of a quasi-delictual liability had no contract existed
between the parties, the contract can be said to have been breached by tort, thereby allowing
the rules on tort to apply.[17]
Regrettably for LRT, as well as perhaps the surviving spouse and heirs of the late Nicanor
Navidad, this Court is concluded by the factual finding of the Court of Appeals that there is
nothing to link (Prudent) to the death of Nicanor (Navidad), for the reason that the negligence
of its employee, Escartin, has not been duly proven x x x. This finding of the appellate court is
not without substantial justification in our own review of the records of the case.
There being, similarly, no showing that petitioner Rodolfo Roman himself is guilty of any
culpable act or omission, he must also be absolved from liability. Needless to say, the
contractual tie between the LRT and Navidad is not itself a juridical relation between the latter
and Roman; thus, Roman can be made liable only for his own fault or negligence.
The award of nominal damages in addition to actual damages is untenable. Nominal
damages are adjudicated in order that a right of the plaintiff, which has been violated or invaded
by the defendant, may be vindicated or recognized, and not for the purpose of indemnifying the
plaintiff for any loss suffered by him.[18] It is an established rule that nominal damages cannot
co-exist with compensatory damages.[19]
WHEREFORE, the assailed decision of the appellate court is AFFIRMED with
MODIFICATION but only in that (a) the award of nominal damages is DELETED and (b)
petitioner Rodolfo Roman is absolved from liability. No costs.
SO ORDERED.

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