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CITY OF MANILA VS TEOTICO

[22 SCRA 267]It is not necessary for liability to attach to the City of Manila that
thedefective road or street belong to it. It is sufficient that it has eithercontrol or
supervision over the street or road.Under Article 2189 of the Civil Code, it is not
necessary for theliability therein established to attach that the defective roads
orstreets belong to the province, city or municipality from whichresponsibility is
exacted. What said article requires is that theprovince, city or municipality have
either "control or supervision"over said street or road. Even if P. Burgos Avenue
were, therefore, anational highway, this circumstance would not necessarily
detractfrom its "control or supervision" by the City of Manila, underRepublic Act
409. The City of Manila is therefore liable for damagesto Teotico
MUNICIPALITY OF SAN FERNANDO VS FIRME
[195 SCRA 692]
FACTS:
Laurence Banino, Sr., along with several other passengers in a jeepney they were
riding in, died after collision involving said jeepney, a privately owned graved and
sand trucks and a dump truckowned by the Municipality of San Fernando, La
Union, driven byAlfredo Bislig, a regular employee of said municipality. The
heirsincluded in its complaint the municipality and the dump trucksdriver. The
municipality invokes non-suability of the State. Is itcorrect?
HELD:
YES,1. The general rule is that the State may not be sued except when itgives
consent to be sued. Consent takes the form of express of implied consent.Express
consent may be embodied in a general law or a special law.The standing consent
of the State to be sued in case of moneyclaims involving liability arising from
contracts is found in Act No.3083. A special law may be passed to enable a person
to sue thegovernment for an alleged quasi-delict.Consent is implied when the
government enters into businesscontracts, thereby descending to the level of the
other contractingparty, and also when the State files a complaint thus opening
itself to a counterclaim.Municipal corporations for example, like provinces and
cities, areagencies of the State when they are engaged in governmentalfunctions
and therefore should enjoy the sovereign immunity fromsuit. Nevertheless, they
are subject to suit even in the performanceof such functions because their charter
provided that they can sueand be sued.2. A distinction should first be made
between suability and liability.
Suability depends on t
he consent of the state to be sued, liabilityon the applicable law and the
established facts. The circumstancethat a State is suable does not necessarily
mean that it is liable; onthe other hand, it can never be held allowing itself to be
sued. Whenthe state does waive its sovereign immunity, it is only giving the
plaintiff the chance to prove, if it can, that the defendant is liable.
3. About the issue of whether or not the municipality is liable for thetorts
committed by its employee, the test of liability of themunicipality depends on
whether or not the driver, acting in behalf of the municipality is performing
governmental of proprietyfunctions. As emphasized in the case of Torio vs.
Fontanilla, thedistinction of powers becomes important for purposes
of determining the liability of the municipality for the acts of its agentswhich
result in an injury to third persons.It has already been remarked that municipal
corporations are suablebecause their charters grant them the competence to sue
and besued. Nevertheless, they are generally not liable for torts committedby

them in the discharge of governmental functions and can be heldanswerable only


if it can be shown that they were acting in apropriety capacity. In permitting such
entities to be sued, the Statemerely gives the claimant the right to show that the
defendant is notacting in its governmental capacity when the injury was
committedor that the case comes under exceptions recognized by law. Failingthis,
the claimant cannot recover.4. In the case at bar, the driver of the dump truck of
the municipality
insists that he was on his way to Naguilian River to get a load of sand and gravel
for the repair of San Fernandos municipal streets.

TORIO VS FONTANILLA
[85 SCRA 599]Since the holding of a town fiesta is an exercise of a
proprietaryfunction, the Municipality of Malasiqui is liable for any injurysustained
on the occasion thereof.
FACTS:
The Municipal Council of Malasiqui, Pangasinan passed a resolutioncelebrating a
town fiesta for 3 days on January, 1959. The resolutioncreated on Executive
Committee which would oversee theoperations of the town fiesta. The Executive
Committee in turn hada sub-committee in charge of building 2 stages, one of
which was fora zarzuela program.Vicente Fontanilla was one of the actors of the
zarzuela. While thezarzuela was going on the stage where the play was set
collapsed.Fontanilla, who has at the rear of the stage, was pinned underneathand
died the following day.The family and heirs of Fontanilla filed a complaint against
theMunicipality of Malasiqui, the Municipal Council and the individualmembers of
the Municipal Council. Can they be held liable?
HELD:
The Municipality of Malasiqui is liable and the individual members of the Municipal
Council are not liable.
REASONS:
1) The basic rule to be first followed is that a municipal corporationcannot be held
liable for an injury caused in the course of performance of a governmental
function. With respect toproprietary functions, the settled rule is that a municipal
corporationcan be held liable upon contracts and in torts.2) The next question to
be answered is that whether the fiestaabove-quota was performed by the
municipality in the exercise of itsgovernmental or proprietary function. According
to 2282 of therevised Administrative Code, municipalities are authorized to
holdfiesta, but it is not their duty to conduct such.Thus, the fiesta is proprietary in
nature. The same analogy can beapplied to the maintenance of parks, which is a
private undertaking,as opposed to the maintenance of public schools and jails,
which arefor the public service. (The key word then is duty.)3) Under the doctrine
of respondent superior (see first paragraph of Art. 2180), the municipality can be
held liable for the death of Fontanilla if a) the municipality was performing a
proprietaryfunction at that time and b) negligence can be attributed to the
municipalitys officers, employees or agents performing the
proprietary function. The evidence proved that the committeeoverseeing the
construction of the stage failed to build a strongenough to insure the safety of
zarzuela participants. Fontanilla wasentitled to ensure that he would be exposed
to danger on thatoccasion.4) Finally, the municipal council is not responsible. The
Municipalitystands on the same footing as an ordinary private corporation withthe

municipal council acting as its board of directors. It is anelementary principle that


a corporation has a personality, separateand distinct from its officers, directors, or
persons composing it andthe latter are not as a rule co-responsible in an action
for damagesfor tort or negligence culpa aquillana committed by the
corporations employees of agents unless there is a showing of bad
faith or gross or wanton negligence on their part. To make an officerof a
corporation liable for the negligence of the corporation theremust have been upon
his part such a breach of duty as contributedto or helped to bring about, the
injury; that is to say, he must be aparticipant in the wrongful act.
SAN DIEGO VS MUNICIPALITY OF NAUJAN
FACTS:
ollowing a public bidding conducted by the municipality of Naujan,Oriental
Mindoro for the lease of its municipal waters, Resolution 46was passed awarding
the concession of the Butas River and theNaujan Lake to Bartolome San Diego. A
contract was entered intobetween the said San Diego and the municipality, for a
period of lease for 5 years.The lessee then requested for a five year extension of
the originallease period, this was granted by the municipal council. After
theresolution had been approved by the Provincial Board of OrientalMindoro, the
lessor and the lessee, contracted for the extension of the period of the lease. The
contract was approved and confirmedon December 29, 1951 by Resolution 229 of
the municipal council of Naujan whose term was then about to expire. Pursuant to
the saidcontract, the lessee filed a surety bond of P52,000 and thenreconstructed
his fish corrals and stocked the Naujan Lake withbangus fingerlings.On January 2,
1952, the municipal council of Naujan, this timecomposed of a new set of
members, adopted Resolution 3, series of 1952, revoking Resolution 222, series of
1951. On the same date, thenew council also passed Resolution 11, revoking
Resolution 229 of the old council which confirmed the extension of the lease
period.The lessee requested for reconsideration and recall of Resolution 3,on the
ground, among others, that it violated the contract executedbetween him and the
municipality on December 23, 1951, and,therefore, contrary to Article III, section
1, clause 10 of theConstitution. The request, however, was not granted.The lessee
instituted proceedings to annul the Resolution. Thedefendant asserted that the
original lease contract, reducing thelease rentals and renewing the lease are null
and void for not havingbeen passed in accordance with law. The trial court upheld
thevalidity of the lease contract.
ISSUE:
WON Resolution No. 3, series of 1952, revoking Resolution 222,series of 1951, of
the municipal council of Naujan is valid
HELD:
YesThe law (Sec. 2323 of the Revised Administrative Code) requires thatwhen the
exclusive privilege of fishery or the right to conduct a fish-breeding ground is
granted to a private party, the same shall be letto the highest bidder in the same
manner as is being done inexploiting a ferry, a market or a slaughterhouse
belonging to themunicipality. The requirement of competitive bidding is for
thepurpose of inviting competition and to guard against favoritism,fraud and
corruption in the letting of fishery privileges. There is nodoubt that the original
lease contract in this case was awarded tothe highest bidder, but the reduction of
the rental and the extensionof the term of the lease appear to have been granted
withoutprevious public bidding.Furthermore, it has been ruled that statutes
requiring public biddingapply to amendments of any contract already executed
incompliance with the law where such amendments alter the originalcontract in
some vital and essential particular. Inasmuch as theperiod in a lease is a vital and

essential particular to the contract, webelieve that the extension of the lease
period in this case, which wasgranted without the essential requisite of public
bidding, is not inaccordance with law. And it follows the Resolution 222, series
of 1951, and the contract authorized thereby, extending the originalfive-year
lease to another five years are null and void as contrary tolaw and public
policy.We agree with the defendant in that the question Resolution 3 is notan
impairment of the obligation of contract, because theconstitutional provision on
impairment refers only to contract legallyexecuted. While, apparently, Resolution
3 tended to abrogate thecontract extending the lease, legally speaking, there was
no contractabrogated because, as we have said, the extension contract is voidand
inexistent.The lower court, in holding that the defendant-appellantmunicipality
has been estopped from assailing the validity of thecontract into which it entered
on December 23, 1951, seems to haveoverlooked the general rule that the
doctrine of estoppel cannot beapplied as against a municipal corporation to
validate a contractwhich it has no power to make or which it is authorized to make
onlyunder prescribed conditions, within prescribed limitations, or in aprescribed
mode or manner, although the corporation has acceptedthe benefits thereof and
the other party has fully performed his partof the agreement, or has expended
large sums in preparation forperformance. A reason frequently assigned for this
rule is that toapply the doctrine of estoppel against a municipality in such
casewould be to enable it to do indirectly what it cannot do directly.Also, where a
contract is violative of public policy, the municipalityexecuting it cannot be
estopped to assert the invalidity of a contractwhich has ceded away, controlled, or
embarrassed its legislative orgovernment powers.As pointed out above, "public
biddings are held for the bestprotection of the public and to give the public the
best possibleadvantages by means of open competition between the
bidders."Thus, contracts requiring public bidding affect public interest, and
tochange them without complying with that requirement wouldindeed be against
public policy. There is, therefore, nothing toplaintiff-appellee's contention that the
parties in this case being inpari delicto should be left in the situation where they
are found, for"although the parties are in pari delicto, yet the court may
interfereand grant relief at the suit of one of them, where public policyrequires its
intervention, even though the result may be that abenefit will be derived by a
plaintiff who is in equal guilt withdefendant. But here the guilt of the parties is not
considered asequal to the higher right of the public, and the guilty party to
whomthe relief is granted is simply the instrument by which the public
isserved."In consonance with the principles enunciated above, Resolution
59,series of 1947, reducing the rentals by 20% of the original price,which was also
passed without public bidding, should likewise beheld void, since a reduction of
the rental to be paid by the lessee is asubstantial alternation in the contract,
making it a distinct anddifferent lease contract which requires the prescribed
formality of public bidding.
Rivera vs Municipality of Malolos
Facts:
1. 1.
In August 1949, the municipality of Malolos called for bids for the
supply of road construction materials.
2. 2.
Pedro P. Rivera, having the lowest bid, was awarded by the
municipal treasurer with the contract. The contract was signed by the
mayor where it was stipulated that in consideration of P19, 235.00, Rivera
will supply the municipality with 2,700 cubic meters of crushed stone and
1,400 cubic meters of gravel.
3. 3.
Rivera delivered said construction materials but he wasnt paid
immediately. He demanded from the treasurer the amount due and the
treasurer replied thru the principal clerk that the municipal treasurer will
pay as soon as the funds are available.

4. 4.

Municipal council ratified the public bidding and the contract.

5. 5.
Rivera filed a complaint against the municipality and sought the
intervention of the Presidential Complaints and Actions Committee which
endorsed the case to the Office of the Auditor General. Auditor General
denied Riveras claim on the ground that there was no sum of money
appropriated to meet the obligation incurred before the execution of the
contract, as required by the Admin Code, thus it was a void contract.
6. 6.

Thus this petition for review before the SC

Issue: WON Rivera can demand the payment due for the delivery of stone and
gravel even if there was no funds appropriated for such purpose before the
execution of the contract?
Held: No
Ratio:
-Municipal Mayor cannot enter into a contract with a private contractor for
furnishing the municipality with public work materials. Sec. 1920 of Admin Code
requires that such contracts should be entered by the district engineer and not
the mayor.
-The law requires that before a contract involving Php 2,000.00 or more is entered,
the municipal treasurer must certify to the officer entering into such contract that
funds have been duly appropriated for such purpose and the amount is available.
-The law requires that provincial auditor or his representatives must check up the
deliveries. No such check-up occurred in this case.
-Motor Vehicle Law, which Rivera uses as reason to say that funds have been
appropriated for the project merely states that 10% of the money collected will be
allocated for the repair of roads and bridges and proportional to the population of
the municipality. This does not constitute the sufficient appropriation required by
law.

RIVERA v. MACLANG

Facts:
The municipality of Malolos called for bids for furnishing
and delivering materials to be used in the maintenance and repair of
barrio roads. Pedro Rivera won in the bidding and was asked by the
Municipal Treasurer to come to his office for execution of the
corresponding contract. The contract was signed by him and by
Carlo P. Maclang in his capacity as Municipal Mayor of Malolos.
Pursuant to the contract, Rivera subsequently delivered to the
municipality gravel and adobe stones valued at P19,235.00. The
Municipal Council of Malolos passed a resolution approving the
contract, but in spite of repeated demands by Rivera the price of the
materials was not paid.

In 1954, Rivera sought the intervention of the Presidential Complaint


and Action Commission, which referred the matter to the General
Auditing Office. That Office turned down the claim for payment,
whereupon Rivera filed in this Court a petition for review. The Court
sustained the action of the General Auditing Office and held that the
contract in question was void as far as Malolos was concerned on

the ground that no money had been appropriated to meet the


obligation prior to the execution of the contract, as required by
Section 607 of the Revised Administrative Code.

However, in the same decision, the Supreme Court indicated that


Section 608 of the same Code afforded Rivera a remedy.
Consequently, he filed the present action against Maclang in his
personal capacity pursuant to the said provision.

The trial court dismissed the complaint since the contract had been
declared null and void by the Court saying that "it cannot produce
any legal effect for which thereafter no recovery can be made."

Issue:

WON the dismissal was proper

Held:No

Ratio: The ruling in the previous case is that the contract was null
and void visa-vis Malolos, by reason of non-compliance with the
requirement of Section 607 of the Revised Administrative Code,
which states that:

"except in the case of a contract for supplies to be


carried in stock, no contract involving the expenditure
by any province, municipality, chartered city, or
municipal district of two thousand pesos or more shall
be entered into or authorized until the treasurer of the
political division concerned shall have certified to the
officer entering into such contract that funds have been
duly appropriated for such purpose and that the amount
necessary to cover the proposed contract is available
for expenditure on account thereof."

It should be noted however that the present action is against


Maclang in his personal capacity on the strength of Section 608 of
the same Code, which provides as follows:

SEC. 608. Void Contract - Liability of Officer - A


purported contract entered into contrary to the
requirements of the next preceding section hereof shall
be wholly void, and the officer assuming to make such
contract shall be liable to the Government or other
contracting party for any consequent damage to the
same extent as if the transaction had been wholly
between private parties.

The position of Maclang, as the officer who signed the contract with
Rivera in violation of Section 607, comes squarely under the
provision just quoted. His liability is personal, as if the transaction
had been entered into by him as a private party. The intention of the
law in this respect is to ensure that public officers entering into
transactions with private individuals calling for the expenditure of
public funds observe a high degree of caution so that the
government may not be the victim of ill-advised or improvident
action by those assuming to represent it.
Fernando vs Davao City
FACTS:

November 7, 1975: Bibiano Morta, market master of the


Agdao Public Market filed a requisition request with the Chief
of Property of the City Treasurer's Office for the re-emptying
of the septic tank in Agdao wherein

Bascon won

November 22, 1975: bidder Bertulano with four other


companions namely Joselito Garcia, William Liagoso, Alberto
Fernando and Jose Fajardo, Jr. were found dead inside the
septic tank.
o

The bodies were removed by a fireman.

The body of Joselito Garcia, was taken out by his uncle,


Danilo Garcia and taken to the Regional Hospital but he
expired there.

The City Engineer's office investigated the case and learned


they entered the septic tank without clearance from it nor
with the knowledge and consent of the market master.
o

Since the septic tank was found to be almost empty,


they were presumed to be the ones who did the reemptying.

Dr. Juan Abear of the City Health Office found them to have
died from "asphyxia" - diminution of oxygen supply in the
body and intake of toxic gas

November 26, 1975: Bascon signed the purchase order

RTC: Dismissed the case

CA: Reversed - law intended to protect the plight of the poor


and the needy, the ignorant and the indigent

ISSUE: W/N Davao city is negligent and its negligence is the proximate cause
therefore can be liable for damages
HELD: NO. CA affirmed.
test by which to

determine the existence of negligence in a

particular case:
o

Did the defendant in doing the alleged negligent act use


that reasonable care and caution which an ordinarily
prudent person would have used in the same
situation? If not, then he is guilty of negligence

standard supposed to be supplied by the


imaginary conduct of the discreet pater familias of
the Roman law

Conduct is said to be negligent when a prudent man in the


position of the tortfeasor would have foreseen that an effect
harmful to another was sufficiently probable warrant his
foregoing the conduct or guarding against its consequences
o

The question as to what would constitute the conduct of


a prudent man in a given situation must of course be
always determined in the light of human experience and
in view of the facts involved in the particular case

Reasonable foresight of harm, followed by the ignoring


of the suggestion born of this provision, is always
necessary before negligence can be held to exist

Distinction must be made between the accident and the injury


o

Where he contributes to the principal occurrence, as one


of its determining factors, he can not recover

Where, in conjunction with the occurrence, he


contributes only to his own injury, he may recover the
amount that the defendant responsible for the event
should pay for such injury, less a sum deemed a
suitable equivalent for his own imprudence

Toilets and septic tanks are not nuisances per se as defined in


Article 694 of the New Civil Code which would necessitate
warning signs for the protection of the public
o

While the construction of these public facilities demands


utmost compliance with safety and sanitary
requirements, the putting up of warning signs is not one
of those requirements

accident such as toxic gas leakage from the septic tank is


unlikely to happen unless one removes its covers

Considering the nature of the task of emptying a septic tank


especially one which has not been cleaned for years, an
ordinarily prudent person should undoubtedly be aware of the
attendant risks. The victims are no exception; more so with
Mr. Bertulano, an old hand in this kind of service, who is
presumed to know the hazards of the job. His failure,
therefore, and that of his men to take precautionary measures
for their safety was the proximate cause of the accident.

proximate and immediate cause of the death of the victims


was due to their own negligence. Consequently,thepetitionerscannot
demanddamagesfromthepublicrespondent.

TUZONv.COURTOFAPPEALS,mapagu
FACTS
The Sangguniang Bayan of Camalaniugan, Cagayan adopted Resolution No. 9. Said
resolution authorized the municipal treasurer to enter into an agreement with all thresher
operatorswhoapplyforaPermittoThreshPalaytodonate1%ofallthepalaythreshedby
them. Thereafter, Jurado offered to pay the license fee for thresher operators. Municipal
Treasurer Magapu refused to accept payment and required him to first secure a Mayors
permit.MayorTuzonsaidthatJuradoshouldfirstcomplywithResolutionNo.9andsignthe
agreementbeforethepermitcouldbeissued.JuradofiledwiththeCourtofFirstInstanceof
Cagayan for mandamus, and another with the same court for judgement against the said
resolution.CFIupheldtheResolution,anddismissedtheclaimfordamages.CAaffirmedthe
validityoftheResolutionandfoundTuzonandMapagutohaveactedmaliciouslyandinbad
faithwhentheydeniedJuradosapplication.
ISSUE
Whetherornot petitionersareliableindamagesforhavingwithheldMayorspermitand
licensebecauseofrespondentsrefusaltocomplywithsaidResolution.
HELD
NO.Article27presupposesthattherefusaloromissionofapublicofficialtoperformhis
official duty is attributable to malice or inexcusable negligence. There was no evidence
offeredtoshowthatpetitionerssingledoutrespondentforpersecution.Neitherdoesitappear
thatthepetitionersstoodtogainpersonallyfrom refusing toissuethemayorspermitand
license.Moreover,theresolutionwasuniformlyappliedtoallthethreshersinthemunicipality
withoutpreference.Apublicofficerisnotpersonallyliabletooneinjuredinconsequenceof
anactperformedwithinthescopeofhisofficialauthorityandinlineofhisofficialduty.In
theabsenceofajudicialdecisiondeclaringsaidResolutioninvalid,itslegalitywouldhaveto

bepresumed.Asexecutiveofficialsofthemunicipality,theyhadthedutytoenforceit.An
erroneousinterpretationofanordinancedoesnotconstitutenoramounttobadfaith.