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METRO MANILA TRANSIT CORP V CA

FACTS:
About 6am on August 28, 1979, Custodio boarded a jeepney driven by Calebag and
owned by Lamayo bound to Dynetics Inc(her workplace) in Taguig. While the jeepney was
travelling a fast clip along DBP Ave, Bicutan, another fast moving vehicle, Metro Manila Transit
Corp.(MMTC) driven by Leonardo and was negotiating Honeydew Rd in Bicutan bound for its
terminal at Bicutan. As both vehicles approached the intersection of DBP Avenue and Honeydew
Road they failed to slow down and slacken their speed; neither did they blow their horns to warn
approaching vehicles. As a consequence, a collision between them occurred, the jeepney
ramming the left side portion of the MMTC bus. The collision impact caused Custodio to hit the
front windshield of the jeepney was thrown out therefrom, falling onto the pavement
unconscious with serious physical injuries. She was brought to the Medical City Hospital where
she regained consciousness only after one (1) week. Thereat, she was confined for 24 days, and
as a consequence, she was unable to work for three and one half months.
A complaint for damages was filed subsequently by the respondent who was a minor,
assisted by her parents following their refusal to pay the expenses incurred by MMTC as a result
of the collision.
At the RTC, MMTC presented its training officer and its transport supervisor
who respectively testified that it was not only careful and diligent in choosing and
screening applicants for job openings, but was also strict and diligent in supervising
its employees by seeing to it that its employees were in pr oper uniforms, briefed in
traffic rules and regulations before the start of du ty, and that it checked its
employees to determine whether they were posi tive for alcohol and that they
followed other rules and regulations of the Bur eau of Land Transportation and of
the company. RTC found both drivers concurrently negligent. As joint tortfeasors, both drivers,
as well as Lamayo(owner of the jeepney) were held solidarily liable for damages sustained by
Custodio. MMTC was absolved on the ground that it exercised diligence of a good father of a
family in selecting and supervising its employees.
The CA modified the RTC's decision by holding MMTC solidarily liable with the other
defendants for the damages awarded by the trial court because of their concurrent negligence,
concluding that while there is no hard and fast rule as to what constitutes sufficient evidence to
prove that an employer has exercised the due diligence required of it in the selection and
supervision of its employees, based on the quantum of evidence adduced the said appellate court
was not disposed to say that MMTC had exercised the diligence required of a good father of a
family in the selection and supervision of its driver.
ISSUE:
1. WON MMTC exercise due diligence.
2. Should it be held solidarily liable with the other defendants.
RULING:
1. No. Petitioner's attempt to prove its diligentissimi patris familias(diligence of a good
father of the family) in the selection and supervision of employees through oral
evidence must fail as it was unable to buttress the same with any other evidence,

object or documentary, which might obviate the apparent biased nature of the
testimony.
2. Yes. It is within Article 2176 and 2177, in relation to Article 2180, of the Civil Code
provisions on quasi-delicts as all the elements thereof are present, to wit: (1) damages
suffered by the plaintiff, (2) fault or negligence of the defendant or some other person
for whose act he must respond, and (3) the connection of cause and effect between
fault or negligence of the defendant and the damages incurred by plaintiff.
The basis of the employer's vicarious liability has been explained under this ratiocination:
The responsibility imposed by this article arises by virtue of a presumption juris tantum of
negligence on the part of the persons made responsible under the article, derived from their
failure to exercise due care and vigilance over the acts of subordinates to prevent them from
causing damage. Negligence is imputed to them by law, unless they prove the contrary. It is clear
that it is the non-performance of certain duties of precaution and prudence imposed upon the
persons who become responsible by civil bond uniting the actor to them, which forms the
foundation of such responsibility.
The above rule is applicable only where there is an employer-employee relationship,
although it is not necessary that the employer be engaged in business or industry. Whether or not
engaged in any business or industry, the employer under Article 2180 is liable for torts
committed by his employees within the scope of their assigned tasks. But, it is necessary first to
establish the employment relationship. Once this is done, the plaintiff must show, to hold the
employer liable, that the employee was acting within the scope of his assigned task when the tort
complained of was committed. It is only then that the defendant, as employer, may find it
necessary to interpose the defense of due diligence in the selection and supervision of
employees. The diligence of a good father of a family required to be observed by employers to
prevent damages under Article 2180 refers to due diligence in the selection and supervision of
employees in order to protect the public.
With the allegation and subsequent proof of negligence against the defendant driver and
of an employer-employee relation between him and his co-defendant MMTC, it is undoubtedly
based on aquasi-delict under Article 2180. CA was then correct in ruling that "due diligence in
the selection and supervision of employee (is) not proved by mere testimonies to the effect that
its applicant has complied with all the company requirements before one is admitted as an
employee but without proof thereof."
Hence, MMTC fell short of the required evidentiary quantum as would convincingly
and undoubtedly prove its diligence.