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Part (II) Civil Liability Arising Out of Criminal Offenses

Civil liability of persons criminally liable

Every person criminally liable for felony is also civilly liable. (Art. 100, RPC).

In Banal vs. Tanedo Jr. G.R. Nos. 78911-25 , December 11,1987, the Supreme Court applying Article
2177 of the New Civil Code and Article 100 of the RPC ruled:

When a person commits a crime he offends two entities namely:


a. The society in which he lives in or the political entity called the State whose law he had
violated; and

b. The individual member of the society whose person, right, honor chastity , or property was
actually or directly injured or damaged by the same punishable act or omission.

Rationale

What gives rise to the civil liability is really the obligation and the moral duty of everyone to repair
or make whole the damage caused to another by reason of his own act or omission, done intentionally or
negligently, whether or not the same is punishable by law.

The acquittal of an accused of a crime charged, however does not necessarily extinguish his civil
liability. In Manantan vs. CA1, the court expounded on the two kinds of acquittal recognized by our law and
their concomitant effects on the civil liability of the accused, as follows:

Two kinds of acquittal; with different effects on the civil liability of the accused

1. Acquittal on the ground that the accused is not the author of the act or omission
complained of.

This instance closes the door to civil liability, for a person who has been found to be not the
perpetrator of any act or omission cannot and never be held liable for such act or omission.
There being no delict, civil liability ex delicto is out of the question, and the civil action, if any,
which may be instituted must be based on grounds other than the delict complained of. This
situation is contemplated in Rule 111 of the Rules of Court.

2. Acquittal based on reasonable doubt on the guilt of the accused.

In this case, even if the guilt of the accused has not been satisfactorily established, he is not
exempt from civil liability which may be proved by preponderance of evidence only.

In Dayap v. Sendiong, the Court explained further:


The acquittal of the accused does not automatically preclude a judgment against him on the civil
aspect of the case. The extinction of the penal action does not carry with it the extinction of the civil
liability where:

a) The acquittal is based on reasonable doubt as only preponderance of evidence is required;


b) The court declares that the liability of the accused is only civil; and
c) The civil liability of the accused does not arise from or is not based upon the crime of which
the accused is acquitted.

However, the civil action based on delict may be deemed extinguished if there is a finding on the
final judgment on a final judgment in the criminal action that the act or omission from which the civil
liability may arise did not exist or where the accused did not commit the acts or omission imputed to him.

Note: If demurer is granted and the accused is acquitted by the court, the accused has the right to
adduce evidence on the civil aspect of the case unless the court also declares that the act or omission from
which the civil liability may arise did not exist.
In case of acquittal, the Rules of Court requires that the judgment state “whether the evidence of
the prosecution absolutely failed to prove the guilt of the person or merely failed to prove his guilt beyond

1 G.R. No. 107125, January 29, 2001

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reasonable doubt. In either case, the judgment shall determine if the act or omission from which the civil
liability might arise did not exist.

Death Extinguishes Criminal Liability

Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code provides:

“xxx 1. The death of the convict, as to the personal penalties; and as to pecuniary
penalties, liability therefore is extinguished only when the death of the offender
occurs before final judgment. xxx”

Rules in case the accused dies prior to final judgment (People v. Bayotas2),

 Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal liability as well as
the civil liability based solely thereon.
 The claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding the death of the accused, if the same may also
be predicated on a source of obligation other than delict.
 Where the civil liability survives, as explained in number two above, an action for recovery
therefor may be pursued but only by way of filing a separate civil action and subject to Section 1,
Rule 111 of the1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended.

 The private offended party need not fear a forfeiture of his right to file this separate civil action by
prescription, in cases where during the prosecution of the criminal action and prior to its
execution, the private-offended party instituted together therewith the civil action.

In such case, the statute of limitations on the civil liability is deemed interrupted during the
pendency of the case.

In the case of Amisoto, it is undeniable that Amistoso’s death preceded the promulgation by the
Court of its Decision. When Amistoso died his appeal before the Court was still pending and unresolved.
The Court ruled upon Amistoso’s appeal because it was not immediately informed of his death. Amistoso’s
death renders the Court’s Decision has not yet become final, and the Court still has the jurisdiction to set it
aside.

Acquittal under BP 22 does not mean extinction of civil liability under Art. 315, RPC

It is well-settled that “the acquittal of the accused does not automatically preclude a judgment
against him on the civil aspect of the case. The extinction of the penal action does not carry with it the
extinction of the civil liability where:

a) The acquittal is based reasonable doubt as only preponderance of evidence is required;


b) The court declares that the liability of the accused is only civil; and
c) The civil liability of the accused does not arise from or is not based upon the crime of which
the accused is acquitted.

However, the civil action based on delict may be deemed extinguished if there is a finding on the
final judgment In the criminal action that the act or omission from which the civil liability may arise did
not exist or where the accused did not commit the acts or omission imputed to him” (Dayap v. Sendong ,
579 Phil. 127, 2009).

In this case, accused’s civil liability did not arise from any purported act constituting the crime of
estafa. Rather, her civil liability was correctly traced from being an accommodation party of one of the
checks she issued to Sps. Aldaba on behalf of Multitel. In lending her name to Multitel, she, in effect, acted
as surety to the latter, and as such , she may be held directly liable for value of the issued check. (Aglibot v.
Santia, G.R. No. 185945 , December 5,2012). Verily, accused’s civil liability to Sps. Aldaba in the amount of
P500,000.00 does not arise from or is not based upon the crime she is charged with, and hence, the CA
correctly upheld the same despite her acquittal in the estafa case. (Rimando v. Aldaba et. al., G.R. 203583 ,
October 13,2014) .

2 G.R. No. 102207. September 2, 1994

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Acquittal in BP 22, no effect on estate case

An acquittal in a BP 22 case has no effect in an estafa case, even if both cases were founded on the
same factual circumstances

BP 22 Estafa (Article 315(2)(d))

mere issuance of a check that is dishonoured deceit and damage are essential elements
gives rise to the presumption of knowledge on
the part of the drawer that he issued the same
without sufficient funds
drawer of the dishonored check may be if drawer issued the dishonored check for a pre-
convicted even if he had issued the same for a existing obligation, it will negate criminal liability
pre-existing obligation
penalty: imprisonment of not less than thirty penalty: penalty of prision correccional in its
days but not more than one (1) year or by a fine maximum period to prision mayor in its
of not less than but not more than double the minimum period if the amount is over
amount of the check which fine shall in no case P12,000.00 but does not exceed P22,000.00. If
exceed Two Hundred Thousand Pesos, or both the amount swindled exceeds P22,000.00, the
such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of penalty shall be imposed in its maximum period,
the court. adding one year for each additional P10,000.00,
but the total penalty which may be imposed shall
not exceed 20 years.
crime against public interests (it does injury to crime against property
the entire banking system)
mala prohibita mala in se

*(Nierras v. Judge Dacuycuy, 260 Phil. 6, 1990)

DY v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES (G.R. No. 189081, August 10, 2016)

The RTC acquitted the petitioner of the crime of estafa on the ground that the prosecution failed to
establish misappropriation or conversion because it was proved that the complainant and petitioner
entered into a loan(contract). However, it ordered her to pay the amount of the checks she received.
Petitioner filed an appeal of the civil aspect of the RTC Decision with the CA found the appeal without
merit, holding that the acquittal of petitioner does not necessarily absolve her of civil liability.

Ruling: The lower courts erred when they ordered petitioner to pay her civil obligation arising
from a contract of loan in the same criminal case where she was acquitted on the ground that there was
no crime. Any contractual obligation she may have must be litigated in a separate civil action involving the
contract of loan. We clarify that in cases where the accused is acquitted on the ground that there is no
crime, the civil action deemed instituted with the criminal case cannot prosper precisely because there is
no delict from which any civil obligation may be sourced. The peculiarity of this case is the finding that
petitioner, in fact, has an obligation arising from a contract. This civil action arising from the contract is
not necessarily extinguished. It can be instituted in the proper court through the proper civil action.

BISCOCHO V. PEOPLE (G.R. NO. 76233, JANUARY 15, 1988)

Biscocho was charged with violation of Republic Act No. 3019 by preparing the development plan
for the construction of a road, the actual construction of which was handled by the Bureau of Public
Highways. She had no direct hand in carrying out the plans which she proposed. The Sandiganbayan
acquitted Biscocho, but required her to pay P30,000.00 actual damages to coplainant.

Ruling: Biscocho did not participate in the building of the road. Hence, she cannot be held civilly
liable for acts which were not her own doing.

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OCCENA V. ICAMINA (G.R. NO. 82146, JANUARY 22, 1990)

Icamina was found guilty of slight oral defamation and sentenced to a fine of P50.00 with
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. No civil liability arising from the felonious act was
adjudged.

Ruling: This is erroneous. As a general rule, a person who is found to be criminally liable offends
two (2) entities: the state or society in which he lives and the individual member of the society or private
person who was injured or damaged by the punishable act or omission. The offense of which private
respondent was found guilty is not one of those felonies where no civil liability results because either
there is no offended party or no damage was caused to a private person. There is here an offended party,
whose main contention precisely is that he suffered damages in view of the defamatory words and
statements uttered by private respondent.

Civil liability subsists even if sentence has been served

 A convict’s civil liability may only be extinguished by causes provided in Civil Code such as
payment, loss of the thing due, remission of debt, merger of the rights of creditor and debtor,
compensation and novation (Monsanto v. Factoran, 1989)

 Modes in extinguishing liability: payment, loss of the thing due, condonation or remission of the
debt, confusion or merger, compensation, novation, and prescription.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ABESAMIS (G.R. NO. 140985, AUGUST 28, 2007)
Abesamis was found guilty of murder and was granted parole by the Board of Pardons and Parole.
The accused-apellant contends that his release on parole rendered the case moot.

Ruling: No. Parole refers to the conditional release of an offender from a correctional institution
after he serves the minimum term of his prison sentence.17 The grant thereof does not extinguish the
criminal liability of the offender. Similarly, accused-appellant’s release on parole did not extinguish his
civil liability.
Article 113 of the Revised Penal Code provides that, “except in case of extinction of his civil
liability as provided in the next preceding article, the offender shall continue to be obliged to satisfy
the civil liability resulting from the crime committed by him, notwithstanding the fact that he has
served his sentence consisting of deprivation of liberty or other rights, or has not been required to
serve the same by reason of amnesty, pardon commutation of sentence or any other reason.
(emphasis supplied).”

Subsidiary liability of employee for crimes committed by their employees

Rules under Article 102 of the Revised Penal Code

(1) In default of the persons criminally liable, innkeepers, tavernkeepers, and any other
persons or corporations shall be civilly liable for crimes committed in their establishments, in all cases
where a violation of municipal ordinances or some general or special police regulations shall have been
committed by them or their employees.
(2) Innkeepers are also subsidiarily liable for the restitution of goods taken by robbery or theft
within their houses from guests lodging therein, or for the payment of the value thereof, provided the
following requisites are met:
a. that such guests shall have notified in advance the innkeeper himself, or the person
representing him, of the deposit of such goods within the inn;
b. have followed the directions which such innkeeper or his representative may have given
them with respect to the care of and vigilance over such goods.

No liability shall attach in case of robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons unless
committed by the innkeeper’s employees. (Art. 102, Ibid .)

Rules under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code


Subsidiary civil liability of employers, teachers, persons, and corporations engages in any kind
of industry.
In addition to rules on Article 102, the following must be present:
(1) The employee must have committed a crime in the discharge of his duties;

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(2) The employer must be engaged in some kind of industry
(3) The employee must not have satisfied his civil liability (Heirs of the late Corazon Diaz-Leuz v
Malvida, 1998)
(4) The employee must be insolvent or has failed to satisfy civil liability when the liability of the
master or employer is being enforced by execution or levy. In other words, properties of the
employee must be first exhauseted (Bantoto v Bobis, 18 SCRA 690)

Employer must be engaged in an industry

 Industry – any department or branch of art, occupation or business especially one which employs
much labor and capital and is a distinct branch of trade (Heirs of the Late Corazon Diaz-Leuz v
Malvida, 1988)

 Hospital established for charitable purposes cannot be considered as an industry or business


(Clemente v. Foreign Mission Sisters, 1954)

Effect of use of vehicle for private purpose.

1. A private person who has no business or industry and uses his automobile for private purposes is
not liable (subsidiarily) to the plaintiff for the damages to the latter’s car caused by the reckless
imprudence of his (the former’s) insolvent driver. (Heirs of the late Dr. Corazon Diaz-Leuz vs.
Malvida, G.R. No. 77716, Feb. 17, 1988).
2. A person who owns a truck and uses it in the transport of his own goods is engaged in an industry
and hence, subsidiarily liable for the criminal acts of his employee. But if the vehicle is used for
private purposes, then, he is not considered as being engaged in an industry. (Steimetz vs. Valdez,
72 Phil. 92)

Distinctions between the liability under Article 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code and Article 103 of
the Revised Penal Code

Bases Art. 103 RPC Art. 2176 and 2180 NCC


Origin Delict Culpa aquiliana
Employer’s liability Primary Subsidiary
Exercise of all the diligence Not a defense Can be a defense
of a good father of a family in
the selection and supervision
of his employees
Prior filing of a criminal Necessary Not necessary
action
(Sps. Franco vs. IAC, G.R. No. 71137, Oct. 5, 1989)

Employer’s defense

Rules on employer’s defense in the case of Yamul v. Juliano, (72 Phil 94)

1. That the exemption from civil liability established in Article 1903 (now 2180, NCC) of the Civil
Code for all who have acted with the diligence of a good father of a family is not applicable to
the subsidiary civil liability provided in Article 103, RPC; and

2. That the amount of the subsidiary civil liability can in no case exceed that of the principal civil
liability (Arambulo v. Meralco, 55 Phil. 75; Connel Bros. Co. v. Adrena, 91 Phil. 79)

Conclusiveness of judgment of conviction of accused on the employer

The decision convicting the employee in a criminal case is conclusive on the employer. Under Article 103
of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), the employer is subsidiary liable for the adjudicated civil liability of
his employee should the latter is found to be insolvent.

What must be proved?


The following facts must be proved:

1. that he is indeed the employer of the convict;

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2. that the employer is engaged in some kind of industry;
3. that the crime was committed by the employee in the discharge of his duties; and
4. execution against the employee is not satisfied.

How issues shall be determined?


1. It must be based on the evidence that the offended party and the employer may fully and
freely present.
2. It may be done in the same criminal action at which the employee’s civil liability, criminal and
civil has been pronounced.
3. It may be done at a hearing as part of the proceeding for the execution of the judgment with
due notice to the employer.

Illustrative Case:

YUSAY VS ADIL, ET AL.


G.R. NO. 56612, AUGUST 18, 1988

Facts:
Two cargo trucks figured in a vehicular mishap resulting in a physical injuries and damage to
property. Rodolfo, the driver of the truck owned by Eliseo, was charged and found guilty beyond
reasonable doubt. In addition to his prison terms, he was ordered to pay:

a. Repairs of the damage truck – PhP19,800.00


b. Unearned income – PhP58,800.00
c. Moral Damages – PhP7,000.00
d. Exemplary Damages – PhP5,000.00
e. Attorney’s Fees – PhP2,000.00

The writ of execution was returned unsatisfied hence, the owner of the other truck, Igmedio,
moved for the execution of the owner’s subsidiary liability. Eliseo filed a motion for reconsideration
contending that he was denied of due process because:

a. He was not informed of the criminal case.


b. He was never heard in the matter of his alleged subsidiary liability.

Ruling:
The employer, Eliseo, cannot be said to have been deprived of his day in court, because he is not
the one sued for primary liability. The situation is one in which enforcement is sought of a subsidiary civil
liability incident to and dependent upon his driver’s criminal negligence which is a proper issue to be
tried and decided only in a criminal action. The conviction of the driver shall render, ipso facto, the
employer subsidiarily liable upon the latter’s insolvency. On the other hand, acquittal of the driver wipes
out the subsidiary liability of the employer for such criminal negligence.

Furthermore, the rule requiring notice on the part of the employer shall have been satisfied if:

a. The employer exercised the greatest care in selecting his employees, taking real and deep
interest in their welfare;
b. Intervening in any criminal action brought against them be reason of or as a result of the
performance of their duties;
c. Giving the employees the benefit of counsel;
d. Doing away with practices of leaving them to their fates.

What are included in civil liability?


The Revised Penal Code (RPC) specifically provides the following penalties included in the civil liability:

1. Reinstitution – Art. 105, RPC

The restitution of the thing must be made whenever possible with allowance for any deterioration,
or diminution of value as determined by the court.

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The thing itself shall be restored, even though it be found in the possession of a third person who
has acquired it by lawful means, saving to the latter his action against the proper person who may
be liable to him.

This provision is not applicable in cases in which the thing has been acquired by the third person
in the manner and under the requirements which, by law, bar an action for its recovery.

2. Reparation of the damage caused – Art. 106, RPC

The court shall determine the amount of damage, taking into consideration the price of the thing,
whenever possible, and its special sentimental value to the injured party, and reparation shall be
made accordingly.

3. Indemnification for consequential damages –Art. 107, RPC)

Indemnification for consequential damages shall include not only those caused the injured party,
but also those suffered by his family or by a third person by reason of the crime.

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