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11/8/2016 EstolasvsAcena:157070:January14,2005:J.

ChicoNazario:SecondDivision:Decision

SECONDDIVISION

[G.R.No.157070.January14,2005]

JOSEFINA ESTOLAS and RICARDO SALVADOR, petitioners, vs. RAYMUNDO


ACENA,respondent.

DECISION
CHICONAZARIO,J.:

Inthispetitionforreviewoncertiorari,petitionersJosefinaEstolasandRicardoSalvadorseekthe
[1] [2]
reversal of the Court of Appeals Decision dated 30 May 2002 and the Resolution dated 22
January 2003 denying their motion for reconsideration. The assailed Court of Appeals Decision
[3]
affirmedtheDecision oftheRegionalTrialCourt(RTC)ofPasig,Branch168,adjudgingpetitioners
herein (who were the defendants thereat) jointly and severally liable for damages in the amount of
P75,000asmoraldamagesandP10,000asexemplarydamages.
Thepertinentfacts,asappreciatedbytheCourtofAppeals,areasfollows:

18October1982Plaintiffappellee(nowrespondent)RaymundoAcenaisappointed
ADMINISTRATIVEOFFICERWITHPERMANENTSTATUS,oftheRizalTechnological
College(RTC)byDr.LydiaProfeta,Presidentofsaidcollege.Suchappointmentisapproved
bytheCivilServiceCommission(CSC)

09December1985(1)RespondentAcenaisextendedapromotionalappointmentasASSOCIATE
PROFESSOReffective01November1985

(2)Effective30October1985,andinviewofhispromotiontoAssociateProfessor,respondent
AcenaisdesignatedACTINGADMINISTRATIVEOFFICERbyPresidentProfetainan
[4]
undatedletter

01November1985RespondentAcenaassumeshispositionasAssociateProfessorandreceivesthe
salaryforsuchpositionpercertificationofthepersonnelofficerofRTCdated04November
1985

09January1986RespondentAcena,thrualetteraddressedtoPresidentProfeta,rejectshis
appointmentasAssociateProfessorbecauseoftheprovisionsofMemorandumCircularNo.4
oftheCSCwhichrequiresamasteraldegreetoqualifyforpermanentappointmentasAssociate
Professor

13January1986PresidentProfetaacceptstherejection

26March1986AppellantdefendantDr.JosefinaEstolas(nowpetitioner)isdesignatedasOfficerin
chargeofRTCinplaceofDr.Profeta

08April1986(a)PetitionerEstolasissuesMemorandumOrderNo.30,Seriesof1986,revoking
thedesignationofrespondentAcenaasActingAdministrativeOfficereffectiveoneven
dateanddesignatingappellantdefendant(nowpetitioner)RicardoSalvadorinhisstead
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(b)TheCSCreceivesacopyofthe09January1986letterofrespondentAcenarejectinghis
appointmentasAssociateProfessor

(c)RespondentAcenainstitutesCivilCaseNo.53327forInjunctionandDamages
enjoiningpetitionerEstolasfromimplementingandenforcingMemorandumOrderNo.
30claimingthatthesameviolatedhisrightstosecurityoftenure

15April1986RespondentAcenaamendshiscomplaint

17April1986RespondentAcenalikewisefilesalettercomplaintwiththeMeritSystemsProtection
Board(MSPB)forallegedillegalterminationofhisservicesasActingAdministrativeOfficer

20May1986AppointmentofrespondentAcenaasAssociateProfessorisapprovedbytheCSCas
temporaryonthegroundthatrespondentAcenadoesnotmeettheeducationalrequirement
[5]
pursuanttoCSCMemorandumCircularSeriesof1985

07July1986RespondentAcenaalsoseekstheopinionoftheCSCregardinghisappointmentand
statusasAdministrativeOfficeroftheRTC

23March1987ChairpersonoftheCSC,CelerinaGotladera,issuesanopinioninfavorofrespondent
Acenaholdingthatthelatterisstilltheadministrativeofficerashewasappointedtheretounder
permanentstatusandashisappointmentasAssociateProfessorhadbeenwithdrawn

15May1987ThetrialcourtissuesanOrderfortheissuanceofawritofpreliminary
mandatoryinjunctionenjoiningpetitionerEstolasfromimplementingMemorandum
OrderNo.30.ThebasisforsaidOrderisthe23March1987opinionofCSCChairperson
Gotladera

03February1988TheMSPBdismissesrespondentAcenascomplaintforillegaltermination

12February1988RespondentAcenademandsforthewithdrawaloftheMSPBorderconsideringthat
CommissionerGotladerahadalreadyruledonthecase

23March1988TheMSPBsetsasideits03February1988order

[6]
15June1988 Aggrievedbythe23March1988MSPBOrder,petitionerEstolasgoestotheOffice
ofthePresidentonPetitionforReviewandthesameisindorsedfordispositiontotheCSC

09October1989CSCissuesResolutionNo.89748declaringthattheactionofpetitionerEstolasin
revokingthedesignationofrespondentAcenaasActingAdministrativeOfficerisinorder,thus
settingasidethe23March1987opinionofCommissionerGotladeraandthe23March1988
[7]
OrderoftheMSPB

17February1993ThetrialcourtrenderstheassailedDecision,thedecretalportionofwhichreads:

Premisesconsidered,defendantsareherebyorderedtojointlyandseverallypayplaintiff
theamountofP75,000.00asmoraldamagesandP10,000.00asexemplarydamageswithcosts
againstdefendants.

Asearlierstated,theCourtofAppealsaffirmedintoto the Decision of the trial court. Aggrieved


[8]
therefrom,petitioners,asrepresentedbytheOfficeoftheSolicitorGeneral,filedtheinstantpetition
contendingthattheCourtofAppealserred:

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I. IN HOLDING THAT PETITIONER ESTOLAS ACTED IN BAD FAITH WHEN SHE ISSUED
MEMORANDUMORDERNO.30
II.INAWARDINGMORALANDEXEMPLARYDAMAGESTORESPONDENTACENA
Asapreliminarymatter,itisvitaltonotethatwearenotatallunfamiliarwiththefactualmilieuof
[9]
thiscase.InAcenav.CivilServiceCommission, acaseanchoredontheverysamefactsthatgave
risetothepresentpetition,petitionerthereat(respondentAcenaherein)challengedthejurisdictionof
the CSC in issuing Resolution No. 89748 dated 09 October 1989 setting aside the 23 March 1988
OrderoftheMeritSystemsProtectionBoard(MSPB).WepronouncedinAcenathattheCSCdidnot
havejurisdictiontoentertainthepetitionforreviewfiledtherewithasitwasfiledoutoftime.Thus

Here,itisadmittedbypublicrespondentCommissionandnotdisputedbyprivaterespondentEstolasthatthe
petitionforreviewwhichcanbeconsideredasanappealfromthedecisionoftheMSPBdatedMarch23,1988
wasfiledoutsidethereglementaryperiod.Thisbeingso,thepublicrespondentexceededitsjurisdictionwhenit
entertainedthepetitionthatwaserroneouslyfiledwiththeOfficeofthePresident.Havingexceededits
jurisdictionpublicrespondentcommittedreversibleerrorwhenitsetasidetheorderdatedMarch23,1988ofthe
MSPBwhichhadlongbecomefinalandexecutory.FinaldecisionorordersoftheMSPBisanadjudicationon
themeritsconclusiveontheparties,hence,itcannolongerbesubjecttoreview(SanLuis,etal.v.Courtof
Appeals,etal.,G.R.No.80160,June26,1989).

Now to the case at bar. Petitioners insist that Memorandum Order No. 30, relieving respondent
Acena of his position as ActingAdministrative Officer, was validly issued as respondent Acena was
holding such position in an acting capacity only, as he had previously accepted an appointment as
AssociateProfessor.Moreover,MemorandumOrderNo.30wasissuedonlyaftertheRTCBoardof
Trustees, upon the recommendation of an Ad Hoc Committee on Reorganization composed of
representativesofmanagement,facultyandemployeesoftheCollege,recommendedthedesignation
of petitioner Salvador vice respondent Acena. Finally, as petitioner Estolas acted rightfully in her
official capacity in designating petitioner Salvador, neither she nor petitioner Salvador can be made
liable for damages as damages can only be recovered if the acts complained of are themselves
wrong.
RespondentAcena,ontheotherhand,maintainsthathispromotiontoAssociateProfessornever
tookeffectasherejectedsaidappointment,whichrejectionwasacceptedbythethenPresidentofthe
RTC,beforethesaidappointmentcouldbeapprovedbytheCSC.Inhisletterofrejection,respondent
AcenaspecificallystatedhispreferencetostayasAdministrativeOfficerunderpermanentstatusas
opposed to the temporary position of Associate Professor. Thus, as his promotion to Associate
Professor never took effect, respondent Acena concluded that he never abandoned his position as
AdministrativeOfficer.
Thelawondamagesprescribesthatinorderthatonecanhaveredressforanactwhichcaused
[10]
himdamage,theactmustnotonlybehurtful,itmustalsobewrongful. Theremustbedamnumet
[11]
enjuria. All in all, in order to recover moral damages, the claimant must prove the following: (1)
theremustbeaninjury,whetherphysical,mentalorpsychological,clearlysustainedbytheclaimant
(2)theremustbeaculpableactoromissionfactuallyestablished(3)thewrongfulactoromissionof
the defendant is the proximate cause of the injury sustained by the claimant and (4) the award of
[12]
damagesispredicatedonanyofthecasesstatedinArticle2219oftheCivilCode. Inhereincase,
thefactualissueofwhetherornottheissuancebypetitionerEstolasofMemorandumOrderNo.30
waswrongfulhasbeenpasseduponwithfinalitybytheMSPBwaybackin1988followingourruling
[13]
in Acena v. Civil Service Commission. It should be recalled that the MSPB Order set aside its
earlierorderdismissingrespondentAcenascomplaintforillegaldismissalbecausetheCSCthrough

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[14]
theChairmanhasalreadyrendereditsfinaldeterminationonthematter. Therelevantportionsof
[15]
theCSCresolution beingadvertedtobytheMSPBarequotedhereunder:

RecordsshowthatthenRTCPresidentLydiaN.ProfetaissuedonDecember9,1985anappointmenttoMr.
AcenaasAssociateProfessorandthesamewasreceivedintheCommissionNationalCapitalRegionOfficeon
January6,1986.Thereafter,onJanuary9,1986,Mr.AcenawroteRTCPresidentProfetathatheprefersto
remainasAdministrativeOfficerbecausethisCommissionmightapprovehisappointmentastemporary
becausehedoesnotpossessamasteraldegree.HeaskedthathisappointmentasAssociateProfessorbe
withdrawnandthathewillrefundwhateverhereceivedassalaryofAssociateProfessorinexcessofhissalary
asAdministrativeOfficer.InaletterdatedJanuary13,1986,RTCPresidentProfetawroteMr.Acenathathis
appointmentasAssociateProfessorwaswithdrawn.TheletterofMr.AcenaandtheletterofPresidentProfeta
werereceivedonApril8,1986bytheNationalCapitalRegion.OnApril10,1986bywayofa1stindorsement,
thesaidappointmentofMr.AcenaasAssociateProfessor,togetherwithotherappointments,werereturned
withoutactionbytheNationalCapitalRegiontotheRTC.

PerhapsunawareofthewithdrawalofthesaidappointmentofMr.AcenaasAssociateProfessorbythen
PresidentProfeta,asthenewOfficerInChargeofRTC,youresubmittedthesaidappointmenttotheNational
CapitalRegiononMay20,1986andtheNCRapprovedthesameastemporarybecauseMr.Acenadoesnot
meettheeducationrequirements.

Onthebasisoftheforegoingfacts,thisCommissionholdsthatMr.RaymundoT.Acenaisstill
AdministrativeOfficerofthatCollegehavingbeenappointedtheretounderpermanentstatusand
becausehisappointmentasAssociateProfessorhadbeenwithdrawn.TheSupremeCourt,inthecaseof
Mitravs.Subido,G.R.No.L21691,September15,1967,hasruledthattheappointingauthorityisempowered
intheexerciseofhisexecutiveprerogativetowithdrawanappointmentheissuedprovidedthatthesamehasnot
beenirrevocablyapprovedbytheCommission.

AlthoughMr.AcenawaspaidthesalaryofAssociateProfessor,he,however,refundedthesalarydifferentialas
evidencedbyOR#1609303and1608112.Moreover,Mr.Acenahadtimelyexpressedhisdesiretoremainas
AdministrativeOfficerunderpermanentstatusinsteadofacceptingthepromotionalappointmentasAssociate
ProfessorundertemporarystatusbeforethisCommissioninadvertentlyapprovedthesameastemporaryafterit
hadbeenwithdrawn.Onthesamepremise,theapprovalbythisCommissionoftheappointmentofMr.
RicardoSalvadorasAdministrativeOfficerinthatcollegeiswithdrawninasmuchasMr.Acenahasnot
validlyvacatedthesame.PertinentrecordsofthisCommissionareherebymodifiedorcorrectedaccordingly.
(Emphasessupplied)

The determination by the MSPB, which was based on the CSC opinion to the effect that
respondentAcenastillheldthepositionofAdministrativeOfficerinapermanentcapacityatthetime
[16]
oftheissuanceofMemorandumOrderNo.30isconclusiveuponus.
Having disposed of this preliminary matter, we now unravel the first of two issues posed in the
instantpetition,i.e., whether or not petitioner Estolas, in conspiracy with petitioner Salvador, issued
thesaidmemoranduminbadfaith.
Both the trial court and the Court of Appeals ruled that, indeed, petitioners acted in bad faith.
[17]
Verily,suchconclusiondrawnfromfactsisaconclusionoflawwhichthisCourtmayreview.
InsofaraspetitionerSalvadorisconcerned,itisreversibleerroronthepartofthetrialcourtand
theCourtofAppealstohaveconcludedthatpetitionerSalvadoractedinbadfaithassuchconclusion
is completely bereft of any rational basis. The evidence before us simply does not support such
valuation. Respondent Acena, grasping at straws, tried to establish during the direct examination of
petitionerSalvadorthatdespitethepreliminaryinjunctionissuedbythetrialcourtforthepetitionersto
refrainfromenforcingMemorandumOrderNo.30,petitionerSalvadorcontinuedtoperformtheduties
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[18]
of Acting Administrative Officer through the signing of payrolls, vouchers, requisitions. Petitioner
SalvadordeniedtheallegationwhichpromptedrespondentAcena,throughhislawyer,toremarkthat
[19]
hewillhavethesepaperssubpoenaed. Therecords,however,donotrevealif,indeed,respondent
Acena followed through with his plan for subpoena. What is more, no other matters were hurled at
petitioner Salvador that could establish acts of bad faith and conspiracy with petitioner Estolas to
illegallydeprivepetitionerAcenaofhispositionasAdministrativeOfficer.
This being a civil case, it was incumbent upon respondent Acena, as complainant in the lower
court, to prove that which he alleged. To this burden, respondent Acena fell short. Thus, the
[20]
presumption of good faith holds. It is axiomatic that to support a judgment for damages, facts
[21]
which justify the influence of a lack or absence of bad faith must be alleged and proven. Inthe
absence of contrary evidence, petitioner Salvador cannot be faulted in accepting the designation of
ActingAdministrativeOfficerfromhissuperiorandinexercisingthedutiesandfunctionsoftheoffice.
InsofaraspetitionerEstolasisconcerned,however,weagreeinthefindingthatsheactedinbad
faith.
The complaint for damages against petitioner Estolas was actually for the single act of having
issuedMemorandumOrderNo.30,allegedlyinbadfaith,on08April1986.Thiscomplaint,itshould
[22]
bestressed,wasfiledthesameday astheissuanceofMemorandumOrderNo.30.Thus,actsof
bad faith on the part of petitioner Estolas committed after the filing of the complaint necessarily are
extraneous matters that do not form part of respondents cause of action. Respondent Acena,
however,wentontointroduceacts,purportedlyconstitutingbadfaith,whichtranspireddays,months
[23]
andevenyearsafterthefilingofthecomplaint. ThelawyersforpetitionerEstolas,forreasonsthis
Court can only divine, did not object to the presentation of additional issues. Consequently, and by
operationoflaw,suchissuesareconsideredashavingbeenraisedinthepleadings.UnderSection5,
Rule10oftheRulesonCivilProcedure,issueswhicharenotraisedinthepleadingsbutwhichare
triedwiththeexpressorimpliedconsentoftheparties,shallbetreatedinallrespectsasiftheyhave
beenraisedinthepleadings.
Thus, in addition to the basic issue of whether or not petitioner Estolas, in conspiracy with
[24]
petitionerSalvador,issuedMemorandumOrderNo.30inbadfaith,severalotherincidentalissues
weretakenupduringthegestationalperiodofseven(7)yearsthatthiscasewaspendingbeforethe
trialcourt,allofwhichweredulyscrutinizedbyboththetrialcourtandtheCourtofAppeals.Thetrial
courtratiocinatedthus:

Afteracarefulstudyoftherecordsofthecaseandfindingthattheallegationsoftheplaintifftobemeritorious,
thisCourtisinclinedtoruleinfavorofplaintiff.Recordsindeedshowedthatdefendantsdisplayedlackofgood
faithwhentheytriedtoremovehereinplaintiffasActingAdministrativeOfficer.Infact,despitetherefusalof
plaintifftoacceptthepositionofAssociateProfessor,defendantsignoredthesamebutinsteadcontinuedon
removingAcenasappointmentasAssociateProfessor.Moreover,therehasbeenarequestfromtwomembersof
theBoardofTrustees(ExhibitsFandG)forameetingoftheBoardofTrusteestoresolvetheissues
surroundingthecontroversyonAcenaspromotion.However,hereindefendantssimplydisregardedsuchrequest
insteadproceededonimplementingthequestionedMemorandumandcontinuallyplacedAcenainthepayrollas
AssociateProfessor.

Thedefendants(sic)demonstrationofbadfaithremainedevenduringthependencyofthiscase.Aftera
restrainingorderwasissuedbythisCourt,defendantspersistedonenforcingMemo.OrderNo.30.Defendants
actedsimilarlywhenaninjunctionwasissuedbythisCourt.Thiscontemptuousattitudeofthedefendants
[25]
cannotbeviewedwithfavor.

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Moreover, we find inexcusable and laden with bad faith the actuation of petitioner Estolas in
resubmitting to the CSC for its approval the appointment papers of respondent Acena as Associate
Professordespitethelattersvehementrejectionofsaidpositionanddespitethependencyofthecase
inthetrialcourt.Worsestill,petitionerEstolasconvenientlydidnotinformtheCSCoftherealpicture
ofrespondentAcenasappointment:
ATTY.GASCON:AfterthecasewasfiledthepapersofAcenawas(sic)returnedtotheRTC
notwithstandingtheproceedingsofthiscase,thependencyofthiscaseyoureturnedthepapersof
Mr.AcenatotheCivilServiceforconfirmationofhisappointmentasAssociateProfessor,isitnot?
WITNESS:Thiswasalreadyaskedbefore.Yes,itwasreturnedwithalltheotherpapersbecausethat
(sic)willbenobasisforhissalaryinasmuchasthisisstillacase,nobasisforhissalary.
COURT:YoumentionedaboutotherswhichMr.Acenaisoneofthem?
WITNESS:Yes,YourHonor.
COURT:Myquestionis,wastherearestrainingorderregardingthedesignationoftherestofthe
personsthatyoumentioned?
WITNESS:Therewasnone,YourHonor.
COURT:TherewasonlyarestrainingorderandpreliminaryinjunctionasfarasAcenaisconcerned?
[26]
WITNESS:Yes,YourHonor.
ATTY.GASCON:AndthatyoudidnotinformtheCivilServicewhenyoureturnedthepapersofAcena
forconfirmation?YoudidnotmaketheproperinformationtotheCivilServiceofthependencyof
thiscase,isitnot?
WITNESS:Theyknowit,inCivilServicethatthereisacase.
ATTY.GASCON:Thequestionisyesorno,YourHonor.
COURT:Thequestioniswhethersheinform(sic)theCivilServiceofthependencyofthiscase?
ATTY.GASCON:Didyoumaketheinformation?
WITNESS:Ididnot,YourHonor.
COURT:DiditnotoccurtoyouthatifyouhavefurnishedtheCivilServiceoftherecordsofthiscase
theycouldhaveacteddifferently?DiditnotoccurtoyourmindthattheCivilServiceifofficially
informedofthiscasebeforetheCourt,couldhaveacteddifferently?
WITNESS:Yes,butIdidnot,YourHonor.
COURT:IsitnotafactthatasPresidentorOICoftheRTCthatitisyourdutytoinformtheproceedings
ofthiscasetotheCivilServiceconsideringthattheappointmentofAcenaisbeingcontested,didit
notoccurtoyourmind?
[27]
WITNESS:Itdidnotoccurtomymind,yourHonor.
YetanotherclearbadgeofbadfaithonpetitionerEstolasspartwastoindicaterespondentAcena
asAssociateProfessorinthepayrolldespitethetrialcourtsorderofpreliminarymandatoryinjunction
forpetitionerEstolastorefrainfromimplementingMemorandumOrderNo.30asrespondentAcena
[28]
wasstillAdministrativeOfficer,occupyingsaidpositioninapermanentcapacity. Thus:
ATTY.GASCON:Now,onelastquestionyouaredefendanthereinthiscasefromtheverybeginningin
thepayrollsoftheRTCyouindicatedthatAcenawasanAssociateProfessor,isittrue?
WITNESS:Idonotpreparepayrolls,asPresident,sir.
ATTY.GASCON:AreyouawareofthatfactthatpayrollswereprepareddespitethedecisionoftheCivil
ServicedespitetheInjunctionofthisCourtandthependencyofthisInjunctionthatpayrollswere
preparedindicatingthatAcenawasAssociateProfessornotAdministrativeOfficer,areyouawareof
that?
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WITNESS:Therewasnodecisionyet,soinordertohavethebasisforhissalary,andAssociate
ProfessorishigherthanAdministrativeOfficer.
ATTY.GASCON:Thequestioniswhetherornotyouareawarethatthepayrollswereprepared
wherebyAcenawasindicatedthereasAssociateProfessorandnotAdministrativeOfficer.
WITNESS:Iamawarethatthepayrollisprepared,sir.
COURT:Despitethepreliminaryinjunction?
WITNESS:Yes,YourHonor.
ATTY.GASCON:Andyouallowedthistohappen?
WITNESS:Itsroutine.
ATTY.GASCON:AnditisafactthatMr.Acenawheneverhesignsthepayrollalwaysindicatesunder
protestanddespitethenotationofMr.Acenathatthisisunderprotestyoustillallowedthepayrollto
bepreparedindicatingMr.AcenaasAssociateProfessorandnotAdministrativeOfficercontraryto
theinjunctionissuedbytheCourtandthedecisionofthecivilservice,isitnot?
WITNESS:Becausemyofficeristheonewhopreparesthepayroll.
COURT:Now,MadamWitness,asPresidentoftheRizalTechnologicalCollegeswhohasthefinalsay
onthepreparationofthepayrolls?
WITNESS:Therewereseveralpeoplewhowouldsign.
COURT:Yes,butthelastsaymustbethePresident,hasthelastsayofthat?
WITNESS:Yes,YourHonor.
COURT:Andwhenthispayrollwere(sic)broughttoyourattentionandtheyhavenotice[sic]thatthe
nameofAcenaindicatedasAssociateProfessorandnotasanAdministrativeOfficerdespitethe
knowledgeoftherestrainingorderyoustillapprovedthepreparationofthepayroll,youadmitthat?
[29]
WITNESS:Yes,YourHonor.
Thefinalissueondeckistheproprietyoftheawardofmoralandexemplarydamages.Toresolve
saidissue,anexaminationoffactualcircumstanceswouldbenecessary,ataskthatisclearlybeyond
[30]
thisCourtsdominium except
(1)Whenthefindingsaregroundedonspeculation,surmisesorconjectures
(2)Whentheinferencemadeismanifestlymistaken,absurdorimpossible
(3)Whenthereisgraveabuseofdiscretionintheappreciationoffacts
(4)Whenthefactualfindingsofthetrialcourtandappellatecourtsareconflicting
(5) WhentheCourtofAppeals,inmakingitsfindings,hasgonebeyondtheissuesofthecaseand
suchfindingsarecontrarytotheadmissionsofbothappellantandappellee
(6) Whenthejudgmentoftheappellatecourtispremisedonamisapprehensionoffactsorwhenit
has failed to notice certain relevant facts which, if properly considered will justify a different
conclusion
(7)Whenthefindingsoffactareconclusionswithoutcitationofspecificevidenceuponwhichtheyare
basedand
(8) WhenfindingsoffactoftheCourtofAppealsarepremisedontheabsenceofevidencebutare
[31]
contradictedbytheevidenceonrecord.
The case at bar entails an excursion into the facts as the lower courts findings, which were
affirmed by the Court of Appeals, were but conclusions without citation of specific evidence upon
whichtheywerebased(exceptionno.7).Thelowercourtsimplyavowed:

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Theforegoingremorsefulactsofthedefendantsdonotonlywarranttheawardofdamagesbutalsoexemplary
damagestodeterothersfromcommittingasimilaractinthefuture(Ramnanivs.CA,196SCRA731Diaz[,]et
al.,vs.Amante,L9228,Dec.26,1958).

Premisesconsidered,defendantsareherebyorderedtojointlyandseverallypayplaintifftheamountof
[32]
P75,000.00asmoraldamagesandP10,000.00asexemplarydamageswithcostsagainstdefendants.

Thelowercourt,aswellastheCourtofAppeals,missedoutoneverycrucialfact,i.e.,damages
arenotpresumedthefirstrequisitefortherecoveryofmoraldamagesisthattheremustbeaninjury,
whetherphysical,mentalorpsychological,clearlysustainedbytheclaimant.Theremustbeproofof
[33]
physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, etc. The claimant must satisfactorily
[34]
provethefactualbasisandcausalconnectionthereofwiththedefendantsacts. Thus,theultimate
question that must be asked is: did respondent Acena suffer damages from petitioner Estolass
wrongful act of issuing Memorandum Order No. 30 and from her acts of bad faith as discussed
above?Parenthetically,ispetitionerSalvadorliablefordamagesconsideringthatthereisnoadequate
proofofconspiracywithpetitionerEstolasnoristhereevidenceofbadfaithonhispart?
The evidence supports respondent Acenas claim for moral damages against petitioner Estolas.
TheactuationsofpetitionerEstolasinbootingoutrespondentAcenaasAdministrativeOfficer,which
thelatterheldinapermanentcapacity,andinforcingthepositionofAssociateProfessorundisputedly
a temporary position down his throat, fall squarely within Article 21 of the Civil Code on human
[35]
relations. On the witness stand, respondent Acena testified that as a direct result of petitioner
[36]
Estolass actuations, he felt insulted, embarrassed and humiliated. He suffered serious anxiety,
[37]
moralshock,sleepnessnightsandevenhadtoresorttominimumtanquilizer.
ConsideringrespondentAcenashighpositionintheRTCcommunityandthelongdrawnoutfeud
between him and the president of the college, we find his claim of having suffered moral damages
credible. The award of exemplary damages in the amount of P10,000 is likewise justified to set an
exampleforthepublicgoodandasaformofdeterrenttotherepetitionofthesameactbyothers.
Quite the contrary, petitioner Salvador cannot be made liable for moral damages as it was not
provedthatheconspiredwithpetitionerEstolasinissuingMemorandumOrderNo.30.Neitherwasit
provedthatheactedinbadfaithduringalltimematerialtothecase.Invariably,inorderthataplaintiff
(respondent Acena herein) may maintain an action for the injuries of which he complains, he must
establishthatsuchinjuriesresultedfromabreachofdutywhichthedefendantowedtotheplaintiffa
[38]
concurrenceofinjurytotheplaintiffandlegalresponsibilitybythepersoncausingit.
Considering that petitioner Salvador cannot be made liable for moral damages, neither can he
answer for exemplary damages, the latter being allowed only in addition to moral, temperate,
[39]
liquidatedorcompensatorydamages.
WHEREFORE,premisesconsideredtheDecisionoftheCourtofAppealsdated30May2002and
its Resolution dated 22 January 2003 are hereby AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that only
petitionerJosefinaV.EstolasisorderedtopayrespondentRaymundoAcenatheamountofSeventy
Five Thousand Pesos (P75,000) as moral damages and Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000) as
exemplarydamages.Withcosts.
SOORDERED.
Puno,(Chairman),AustriaMartinez,andTinga,JJ.,concur.
Callejo,Sr.,J.,nopart.

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[1]
Penned by Associate Justice Remedios A. SalazarFernando with Associate Justices Romeo J. Callejo, Sr. (now
SupremeCourtAssociateJustice)andDaniloB.Pineconcurring,Rollo,pp.3137.
[2]
PennedbyAssociateJusticeRemediosA.SalazarFernandowithAssociateJusticesEugenioS.LabitoriaandDaniloB.
Pineconcurring,Id.at38.
[3]
PennedbyJudgeBenjaminV.Pelayo.
[4]
SeeMeritSystemsBoardOrderdated03February1988,RTCRecords,Vol.I,p.451TSN12December1986,pp.25,
57.
[5]
PerfindingofCSCChairpersonCelerinaG.GotladeraandpertestimonyofCSCDirectorofLegalAffairs,ErnestoBasa
(TSN,10October1986,pp.1718).
[6]
SeeExh.16forRespondentAcena.
[7]
This Court, in Acena v. Civil Service Commission (G.R. No. 90780, 06 February 1991, 193 SCRA 623, 650), later
declared that the CSC exceeded its jurisdiction when it entertained the petition filed therein. Please refer to
discussiononpage5.
[8]
Rollo,pp.1845.
[9]
G.R.No.90780,06February1991,193SCRA623,630.
[10]
Custodiov.CourtofAppeals,G.R.No.116100,09February1996,253SCRA483.
[11]
Ibid.,citingComstockv.Wilson,257NY231,177NE421,76ALR676Haldemanv.Bruckhart,45,45Pa514.
[12]
Franciscov.Ferrer,Jr.,G.R.No.142029,28February2001,353SCRA261,266.
[13]
Supra,note8.
[14]
MSPBOrderdated23March1988,RTCRecords,Vol.I,p.458.
[15]
RTCRecords,Vol.I,pp.407408.
[16]
Theruleonconclusivenessofjudgmentasthelesserknowntypeofresjudicatameansthatthejudgmentintheprior
action operates as an estoppel only as to matters actually determined therein or which were necessarily included
therein(Vda.DeCruzov.Carriaga,Jr.,G.R.Nos.7510910,28June1989,174SCRA330).
[17]
Manila Bay Club Corporation v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 110015, 11 July 1995, 245 SCRA 715, citing Binalay v.
Manalo,G.R.No.92161,18March1991,195SCRA374.
[18]
TSN,30July1991,p.10.
[19]
Id.,p.12.
[20]
Article527,CivilCode.
[21]
BacolodMurciaMillingCo.,Inc.v.FirstFarmersMillingCo.,Inc.,G.R.No.L29041,24March1981,103SCRA436,
442.
[22]
An amended complaint was subsequently filed a few days later, or on 14 April 1986, substantially reiterating the
allegationsintheoriginalcomplaint.
[23]
Notethatthecomplaintwasfiledin1986butthetrialofthecasedraggedonuntil1992.

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11/8/2016 EstolasvsAcena:157070:January14,2005:J.ChicoNazario:SecondDivision:Decision

[24]
WhetherornotpetitionerEstolas,inconspiracywithpetitionerSalvador,actedinbadfaithandisliablefordamages
(a)WhenpetitionerEstolasissuedMemorandumOrderNo.37dated10April1986(Exh.JforAcenaTSN,Sept.14,1987,
pp.1426)instructingtheadministrativestaffoftheRTCtodisregardanearliermemorandumissuedbyrespondent
Acenawhereinthelattercalledforthemaintenanceofthestatusquo
(b)When,onMay20,1986,petitionerEstolasindorsedtotheCSCforapprovalrespondentAcenasappointmentpapersfor
Associate Professor despite the latters insistence that he had already seasonably rejected said appointment and
despitethependencyofthecase(TSNSept.16,1991,pp.81115)and
(c) When, despite the trial courts order of injunction dated 15 May 1987, petitioner Estolas secured the renewal of
respondentAcenastemporaryappointmentasAssociateProfessorfortheyears1987,1988,1999and1990.(TSN,
16Sept.1991,pp.1521)
[25]
Records,Vol.II,p.823.
[26]
Theorderforpreliminaryinjunctionwasactuallyhandeddownon15May1987(Records,pp.193194).
[27]
TSN,25May1992,pp.3032.
[28]
ThepertinentportionoftheOrderofpreliminaryinjunctiondated15May1987reads:
Uponconsiderationofbothoralanddocumentaryevidenceadducedbytheplaintiff,theCourtisconvinced
that plaintiff has fully established and proven the facts alleged in the Complaint that defendant Josefina Estolas
illegallyandimmorallyissuedMemorandumOrderNo.30anduponfurtherconsiderationofthefactthattheplaintiff
herein is the duly appointed Administrative Officer of the Rizal Technological Colleges, his appointment being
approvedandconfirmedbytheCivilServiceCommission(ExhibitA)whichappointment,untilthepresentdate,is
permanent in nature, so that said plaintiff must continue to perform all functions and responsibilities as
Administrative Officer of Rizal Technological Colleges, in order to serve the interest of the public, which
appointmentwasgivenstrengthintheDecisionrenderedbyCelerinaG.GotladeraoftheCivilServiceCommission
(ExhibitS).(Records,Vol.I,pp.193194)
[29]
TSN,25May1992,pp.3234.
[30]
SolidHomes,Inc.v.CourtofAppeals,G.R.No.117501,08July1997,275SCRA267,279.
[31]
Ibid.
[32]
Records,Vol.II,pp.823824.
[33]
Article2217,NewCivilCode.
[34]
PhilippineVeteransBankv.NLRC,G.R.No.130439,26October1999,317SCRA510.
[35]
Anypersonwhowillfullycauseslossorinjurytoanotherinamannerthatiscontrarytomorals,goodcustomsorpublic
policyshallcompensatethelatterfordamages.
[36]
TSN,14September1987,p.17.
[37]
TSN,16September1991,p.29.
[38]
Supra,note9at490.
[39]
Supra,note11at267Art.2229,CivilCode.

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