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G.R. No. 70876 July 19, 1990 MA. LUISA BENEDICTO, petitioner, vs. HON.

INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and GREENHILLS WOOD INDUSTRIES COMPANY, INC. respondents. FACTS: Sometime in May 1980, private respondent bound itself to sell and deliver to Blue Star Mahogany, Inc., ("Blue Star") 100,000 board feet of sawn lumber with the understanding that an initial delivery would be made on 15 May 1980. 1 To effect its first delivery, private respondent's resident manager in Maddela, Dominador Cruz, contracted Virgilio Licuden, the driver of a cargo truck to transport its sawn lumber to the consignee Blue Star in Valenzuela, Bulacan. This cargo truck was registered in the name of petitioner Ma. Luisa Benedicto, the proprietor of Macoven Trucking. But the lumber did not reach the consignee and Blue Star was constrained to order from another supplier. On 25 June 1980, after confirming the above with Blue Star and after trying vainly to persuade it to continue with their contract, private respondent Greenhill's filed Criminal Case No. 668 against driver Licuden for estafa. Greenhills also filed against petitioner Benedicto Civil Case No. D-5206 for recovery of the value of the lost sawn lumber plus damages before the RTC of Dagupan City. In her answer, 6 petitioner Benedicto denied liability alleging that she was a complete stranger to the contract of carriage, the subject truck having been earlier sold by her to Benjamin Tee, on 28 February 1980 as evidenced by a deed of sale. 7 She claimed that the truck had remained registered in her name notwithstanding its earlier sale to Tee because the latter had paid her only P50,000.00 out of the total agreed price of P68,000.00 However, she averred that Tee had been operating the said truck in Central Luzon from that date (28 February 1980) onwards, and that, therefore, Licuden was Tee's employee and not hers. ISSUE Is Luisa Benedicto liable for the recovery and damages of the lost sawn lumber? HELD The prevailing doctrine on common carriers makes the registered owner liable for consequences flowing from the operations of the carrier, even though the specific vehicle involved may already have been transferred to another person. This doctrine rests upon the principle that in dealing with vehicles registered under the Public Service Law, the public has

the right to assume that the registered owner is the actual or lawful owner thereof It would be very difficult and often impossible as a practical matter, for members of the general public to enforce the rights of action that they may have for injuries inflicted by the vehicles being negligently operated if they should be required to prove who the actual owner is. 11 The registered owner is not allowed to deny liability by proving the identity of the alleged transferee. Thus, contrary to petitioner's claim, private respondent is not required to go beyond the vehicle's certificate of registration to ascertain the owner of the carrier. In this regard, the letter presented by petitioner allegedly written by Benjamin Tee admitting that Licuden was his driver, had no evidentiary value not only because Benjamin Tee was not presented in court to testify on this matter but also because of the aforementioned doctrine. To permit the ostensible or registered owner to prove who the actual owner is, would be to set at naught the purpose or public policy which infuses that doctrine. In fact, private respondent had no reason at all to doubt the authority of Licuden to enter into a contract of carriage on behalf of the registered owner. It appears that, earlier, in the first week of May 1980, private respondent Greenhills had contracted Licuden who was then driving the same cargo truck to transport and carry a load of sawn lumber from the Maddela sawmill to Dagupan City. 12 No one came forward to question that contract or the authority of Licuden to represent the owner of the carrier truck.

ABOITIZ SHIPPING CORPORATION vs. COURT OF APPEALS, LUCILA C. VIANA, SPS. ANTONIO VIANA and GORGONIA VIANA, and PIONEER STEVEDORING CORPORATION (G.R. No. 84458 November 6, 1989) FACTS: Anacleto Viana boarded the vessel M/V Antonia, owned by Aboitiz Shipping Corporation, at the port at San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, bound for Manila. After said vessel had landed, the Pioneer Stevedoring Corporation took over the exclusive control of the cargoes loaded on said vessel pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement between Pioneer and petitioner Aboitiz. The crane owned by Pioneer was placed alongside the vessel and one (1) hour after the passengers of said vessel had disembarked, it started operation by unloading the cargoes from said vessel. While the crane was being operated, Anacleto Viana who had already disembarked from said vessel obviously remembering that some of his cargoes were still loaded in the vessel, went back to the vessel, and it was while he was pointing to the crew of the said vessel to the place where his cargoes were loaded that the crane hit him, pinning him between the side of the vessel and the crane. He was thereafter brought to the hospital where he later died.

Private respondents Vianas filed a complaint for damages against petitioner for breach of contract of carriage. Aboitiz denied responsibility contending that at the time of the accident, the vessel was completely under the control of respondent Pioneer Stevedoring Corporation as the exclusive stevedoring contractor of Aboitiz, which handled the unloading of cargoes from the vessel of Aboitiz. ISSUE: Whether or not Aboitiz is negligent and is thus liable for Vianas death. HELD: Yes. x x x [T]he victim Anacleto Viana guilty of contributory negligence, but it was the negligence of Aboitiz in prematurely turning over the vessel to the arrastre operator for the unloading of cargoes which was the direct, immediate and proximate cause of the victim's death. The rule is that the relation of carrier and passenger continues until the passenger has been

landed at the port of destination and has left the vessel owner's dock or premises. 11 Once created, the relationship will not ordinarily terminate until the passenger has, after reaching his destination, safely alighted from the carrier's conveyance or had a reasonable opportunity to leave the carrier's premises. All persons who remain on the premises a reasonable time after leaving the conveyance are to be deemed passengers, and what is a reasonable time or a reasonable delay within this rule is to be determined from all the circumstances, and includes a reasonable time to see after his baggage and prepare for his departure. 12 The carrierpassenger relationship is not terminated merely by the fact that the person transported has been carried to his destination if, for example, such person remains in the carrier's premises to claim his baggage. It is apparent from the foregoing that what prompted the Court to rule as it did in said case is the fact of the passenger's reasonable presence within the carrier's premises. That reasonableness of time should be made to depend on the attending circumstances of the case, such as the kind of common carrier, the nature of its business, the customs of the place, and so forth, and therefore precludes a consideration of the time element per se without taking into account such other factors. It is thus of no moment whether in the cited case of La Mallorca there was no appreciable interregnum for the passenger therein to leave the carrier's premises whereas in the case at bar, an interval of one (1) hour had elapsed before the victim met the accident. The primary factor to be considered is the existence of a reasonable cause as will justify the presence of the victim on or near the petitioner's vessel. We believe there exists such a justifiable cause. It is of common knowledge that, by the very nature of petitioner's business as a shipper, the passengers of vessels are allotted a longer period of time to disembark from the ship than other common carriers such as a passenger bus. With respect to the bulk of cargoes and the number of passengers it can load, such vessels are capable of accommodating a bigger volume of both as compared to the capacity of a regular commuter bus. Consequently, a ship passenger will need at least an hour as is the usual practice, to disembark from the vessel and claim his baggage whereas a bus passenger can easily get off the bus and retrieve his luggage in a very short period of time. Verily, petitioner cannot categorically claim, through the bare expedient of comparing the period of time entailed in getting the passenger's cargoes, that the ruling in La Mallorca is inapplicable to the case at bar. On the contrary, if we are to apply the doctrine enunciated therein to the instant petition, we cannot in reason doubt that the victim Anacleto Viana was still a passenger at the time of the incident. When the accident occurred, the victim was in the act of unloading his cargoes, which he had every right to do, from petitioner's vessel. As earlier stated, a carrier is duty bound not only to bring its passengers safely to their destination but also to afford them a reasonable time to claim their baggage.

NEGROS NAVIGATION CO., INC., petitioner, vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS, RAMON MIRANDA, SPS. RICARDO and VIRGINIA DE LA VICTORIA, respondents. FACTS: In April of 1980, private respondent Ramon Miranda purchased from the Negros Navigation Co., Inc. four special cabin tickets (#74411, 74412, 74413 and 74414) for his wife, daughter, son and niece who were going to Bacolod City to attend a family reunion. The tickets were for Voyage No. 457-A of the M/V Don Juan, leaving Manila at 1:00 p.m. on April 22, 1980. The ship sailed from the port of Manila on schedule. At about 10:30 in the evening of April 22, 1980, the Don Juan collided off the Tablas Strait in Mindoro, with the M/T Tacloban City, an oil tanker owned by the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) and the PNOC Shipping and Transport Corporation (PNOC/STC). As a result, the M/V Don Juan sank. Several of her passengers perished in the sea tragedy. The bodies of some of the victims were found and brought to shore, but the four members of private respondents families were never found. Private respondents filed a complaint on July 16, 1980 in the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 34, against the Negros Navigation, the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), and the PNOC Shipping and Transport Corporation (PNOC/STC), seeking damages for the death of Ardita de la Victoria Miranda, 48, Rosario V. Miranda, 19, Ramon V. Miranda, Jr., 16, and Elfreda de la Victoria, 26. ISSUE: Is Negros Navigation liable for the death of the relatives of Ramon Miranda? HELD: Yes. In finding petitioner guilty of negligence and in failing to exercise the extraordinary diligence required of it in the carriage of passengers, both the trial court and the appellate court relied on the findings of this Court in Mecenas v. Intermediate Appellate Court, which case was brought for the death of other passengers. In that case it was found that although the proximate cause of the mishap was the negligence of the crew of the M/T Tacloban City, the crew of the M/V Don Juan failed to take steps to prevent the collision or at least delay the sinking of the ship and supervise the abandoning of the ship. Petitioner Negros Navigation was found equally negligent in tolerating the playing of mahjong by the ship captain and other crew members while on board the ship and failing to keep the

M/V Don Juan seaworthy so much so that the ship sank within 10 to 15 minutes of its impact with the M/T Tacloban City. In addition, the Court found that the Don Juan was overloaded. The Certificate of Inspection, dated August 27, 1979, issued by the Philippine Coast Guard Commander at Iloilo City stated that the total number of persons allowed on the ship was 864, of whom 810 are passengers, but there were actually 1,004 on board the vessel when it sank, 140 persons more than the maximum number that could be safely carried by it. Taking these circumstances together, and the fact that the M/V Don Juan, as the faster and better-equipped vessel, could have avoided a collision with the PNOC tanker, this Court held that even if the Tacloban City had been at fault for failing to observe an internationallyrecognized rule of navigation, the Don Juan was guilty of contributory negligence. WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED with modification and petitioner is ORDERED to pay private respondents damages. SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. 101538 June 23, 1992 AUGUSTO BENEDICTO SANTOS III, represented by his father and legal guardian, Augusto Benedicto Santos, petitioner, vs. NORTHWEST ORIENT AIRLINES and COURT OF APPEALS, respondents.

FACTS: Petitioner is a minor and a resident of the Philippines. Private respondent Nortwest Orient Airlines (NOA) is a foreign corporation with principal office in Minnesota, U.S.A. and licensed to do business and maintain a branch office in the Philippines. The petitioner purchased from NOA a round-trip ticket in San Francisco, U.S.A. In December 19, 1986, the petitioner checked in the at the NOA counter in the San Francisco airport for his departure to Manila. Despite a previous confirmation and re-confirmation, he was informed that he had no reservation for his flight for Tokyo to Manila. He therefore had to be wait-listed. On March 12, 1987, the petitioner sued NOA for damages in RTC Makati. NOA moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. ISSUE:

Whether or not Article 28 (1) of the Warsaw Convention is in accordance with the constitution so as to deprive the Philippine Courts jurisdiction over the case

HELD: Art. 28. (1) An action for damage must be brought at the option of the plaintiff, in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, either before the court of the domicile of the carrier or of his principal place of business, or where he has a place of business through which the contract has been made, or before the court at the place of destination. Constitutionality of the Warsaw Convention The Republic of the Philippines is a party to the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Transportation by Air, otherwise known as the Warsaw Convention. It took effect on February 13, 1933. The Convention was concurred in by the Senate, through its Resolution No. 19, on May 16, 1950. The Philippine instrument of accession was signed by President Elpidio Quirino on October 13, 1950, and was deposited with the Polish government on November 9, 1950. The Convention became applicable to the Philippines on February 9, 1951. On September 23, 1955, President Ramon Magsaysay issued Proclamation No. 201, declaring our formal adherence thereto. "to the end that the same and every article and clause

thereof may be observed and fulfilled in good faith by the Republic of the Philippines and the citizens thereof." The Convention is thus a treaty commitment voluntarily assumed by the Philippine government and, as such, has the force and effect of law in this country. Does the Warsaw Convention apply in this case? By its own terms, the Convention applies to all international transportation of persons performed by aircraft for hire. International transportation is defined in paragraph (2) of Article 1 as follows: (2) For the purposes of this convention, the expression "international transportation" shall mean any transportation in which, according to the contract made by the parties, the place of departure and the place of destination, whether or not there be a break in the transportation or a transshipment, are situated [either] within the territories of two High Contracting Parties . . . Whether the transportation is "international" is determined by the contract of the parties, which in the case of passengers is the ticket. When the contract of carriage provides for the transportation of the passenger between certain designated terminals "within the territories of two High Contracting Parties," the provisions of the Convention automatically apply and exclusively govern the rights and liabilities of the airline and its passenger. Since the flight involved in the case at bar is international, the same being from the United States to the Philippines and back to the United States, it is subject to the provisions of the Warsaw Convention, including Article 28(1), which enumerates the four places where an action for damages may be brought. Does Article 28(1) refer to Jurisdiction or Venue? ...where the matter is governed by the Warsaw Convention, jurisdiction takes on a dual concept. Jurisdiction in the international sense must be established in accordance with Article 28(1) of the Warsaw Convention, following which the jurisdiction of a particular court must be established pursuant to the applicable domestic law. Only after the question of which court has jurisdiction is determined will the issue of venue be taken up. This second question shall be governed by the law of the court to which the case is submitted. Was the case properly filed in the Philippines, since the plaintiffs destination was Manila? The place of destination, within the meaning of the Warsaw Convention, is determined by the terms of the contract of carriage or, specifically in this case, the ticket between the passenger and the carrier. Examination of the petitioner's ticket shows that his ultimate destination is San

Francisco. Although the date of the return flight was left open, the contract of carriage between the parties indicates that NOA was bound to transport the petitioner to San Francisco from Manila. Manila should therefore be considered merely an agreed stopping place and not the destination. Article 1(2) also draws a distinction between a "destination" and an "agreed stopping place." It is the "destination" and not an "agreed stopping place" that controls for purposes of ascertaining jurisdiction under the Convention. The contract is a single undivided operation, beginning with the place of departure and ending with the ultimate destination. The use of the singular in this expression indicates the understanding of the parties to the Convention that every contract of carriage has one place of departure and one place of destination. An intermediate place where the carriage may be broken is not regarded as a "place of destination." WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED, with costs against the petitioner. It is so ordered.

G.R. No. L-51910 August 10, 1989 LITONJUA SHIPPING COMPANY INC., petitioner vs. NATIONAL SEAMEN BOARD and GREGORIO P. CANDONGO respondents.

FACTS Petitioner is the duly appointed local crewing managing office of the Fairwind Shipping Corporation. On September 11, 1976 M/V Dufton Bay an ocean-going vessel of foreign registry owned by the R.D. Mullion ship broking agency under charter by Fairwind, while in the port of Cebu contracted the services (among others) of Gregorio Candongo as Third Engineer for 12 months with a monthly wage of US$500.00. The agreement was executed before the Cebu Area Manning Unit of the NSB, after which respondent boarded the vessel. On December 28, 1976 before the expiration of contract, respondent was required to disembark at Port Kilang, Malaysia. Describe in his seamans handbook is the reason by owners arrange. Condongo filed a complaint against Mullion (Shipping company) for violation of contract and against Litonjua as agent of shipowner. On February 1977, NSB rendered a judgment by default for failure of petitioners to appear during the initial hearing, rendering the same to pay Candongo because there was no sufficient or valid cause for the respondents to terminate the service of the complainant. Litonjuas defense: Contends that the shipowner, nor the charterer, was the employer of private respondent; and that liability for damages cannot be imposed upon petitioner which was a mere agent of the charterer. ISSUE Whether or not Litonjua may be held liable to the private respondent on the contract of employment? HELD YES.

The first basis is the charter party which existed between Mullion, the shipowner, and Fairwind, the charterer. It is well settled that in a demise or bare boat charter, the charterer is treated as owner pro hac vice of the vessel, the charterer assuming in large measure the customary rights and liabilities of the shipowner in relation to third persons who have dealt with him or with the vessel. In such case, the Master of the vessel is the agent of the charterer and not of the shipowner. The charterer or owner pro hac vice, and not the general owner of the vessel, is held liable for the expenses of the voyage including the wages of the seamen Treating Fairwind as owner pro hac vice, petitioner Litonjua having failed to show that it was not such, we believe and so hold that petitioner Litonjua, as Philippine agent of the charterer, may be held liable on the contract of employment between the ship captain and the private respondent. There is a second and ethically more compelling basis for holding petitioner Litonjua liable on the contract of employment of private respondent. The charterer of the vessel, Fairwind, clearly benefitted from the employment of private respondent as Third Engineer of the Dufton Bay, along with the ten (10) other Filipino crewmembers recruited by Captain Ho in Cebu at the same occasion. In so doing, petitioner Litonjua certainly in effect represented that it was taking care of the crewing and other requirements of a vessel chartered by its principal, Fairwind.

Last, but certainly not least, there is the circumstance that extreme hardship would result for the private respondent if petitioner Litonjua, as Philippine agent of the charterer, is not held liable to private respondent upon the contract of employment.

G.R. No. 115381 December 23, 1994 KILUSANG MAYO UNO LABOR CENTER, petitioner, vs. HON. JESUS B. GARCIA, JR., the LAND TRANSPORTATION FRANCHISING AND REGULATORY BOARD, and the PROVINCIAL BUS OPERATORS ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. FACTS : Then Secretary of DOTC, Oscar M. Orbos, issued Memorandum Circular No. 90-395 to then LTFRB Chairman, Remedios A.S. Fernando allowing provincial bus operators to charge passengers rates within a range of 15% above and 15% below the LTFRB official rate for a period of one (1) year. This range was later increased by LTFRB thru a Memorandum Circular No. 92-009 providing, among others, that "The existing authorized fare range system of plus or minus 15 per cent for provincial buses and jeepneys shall be widened to 20% and -25% limit in 1994 with the authorized fare to be replaced by an indicative or reference rate as the basis for the expanded fare range." Sometime in March, 1994, private respondent PBOAP, availing itself of the deregulation policy of the DOTC allowing provincial bus operators to collect plus 20% and minus 25% of the prescribed fare without first having filed a petition for the purpose and without the benefit of a public hearing, announced a fare increase of twenty (20%) percent of the existing fares. On March 16, 1994, petitioner KMU filed a petition before the LTFRB opposing the upward adjustment of bus fares, which the LTFRB dismissed for lack of merit. ISSUE: Whether or not the authority given by respondent LTFRB to provincial bus operators to set a fare range of plus or minus fifteen (15%) percent, later increased to plus twenty (20%) and minus twenty-five (-25%) percent, over and above the existing authorized fare without having to file a petition for the purpose, is unconstitutional, invalid and illegal. HELD: Yes. xxx Under section 16(c) of the Public Service Act, the Legislature delegated to the defunct Public Service Commission the power of fixing the rates of public services. Respondent LTFRB, the existing regulatory body today, is likewise vested with the same under Executive Order No. 202 dated June 19, 1987. x x x However, nowhere under the aforesaid provisions of law are the

regulatory bodies, the PSC and LTFRB alike, authorized to delegate that power to a common carrier, a transport operator, or other public service.