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VALENZUELA HARDWOOD V. CA 1.

Petitioner Valenzuela adds that the stipulation is void


for being contrary to Articles 586 and 587 of the Code
FACTS: of Commerce and Articles 1170 and 1173 of the Civil
1. Petitioner entered into an agreement with the Code.
defendant Seventh Brothers Shipping Corp. whereby 2. Petitioner further contends that said stipulation gives
the later undertook to load on board its vessel the no duty or obligation to the private respondent to
formers logs. observe the diligence of a good father of a family in
2. On January 20, plaintiff insured the logs with South Sea the custody and transportation of the cargo.
Surety and Insurance.
3. On January 24, the plaintiff gave the check in payment HELD:
of the premium on the insurance policy to one Mr. As to Petitioners Argument re: being contrary to
Chua. Code of Commerce
4. On January 25, the vessel sank resulting in the loss of 1. Whatever rights petitioner may have under the
the plaintiffs insured logs. aforementioned statutory provisions were waived
5. On Jan 30, a check to cover payment of the premium when it entered into the charter party.
and documentary stamps due on the policy was 2. Article 6 of the Civil Code provides that rights may be
tendered to the insurer but was not accepted. waived, unless the waiver is contrary to law, public
a. Instead, South Sea cancelled the insurance order, public policy, morals, or good customs, or
policy for nonpayment of the premiums. prejudicial to a person with a right recognized by law.
6. Plaintiff filed a suit against Seventh Brothers and South 3. The petitioner did by acceding to the contractual
Sea. stipulation that it is solely responsible for any damage
7. TC: ruled in favor of plaintiff. Seventh Brother and to the cargo, thereby exempting the private carrier
South Sea are liable to pay plaintiff. from any responsibility for loss or damage thereto.
8. CA: Only South Sea Insurance is liable on the ground 4. Furthermore, the contract of private carriage binds
that: petitioner and private respondent alone; it is not
a. There is a stipulation in the charter party that imbued with public policy considerations for the
the ship owner would be exempted from liability general public or third persons are not affected
in case of loss. thereby.
b. The provisions on common carriers should not
be applied where the carrier is not acting as
such but as private carrier. As to Petitioners argument re: being contrary to Civil
Code Provisions on common carriers
ISSUE: Respondent Court (of Appeals) committed a reversible 1. The charter party between the petitioner and private
error in upholding the validity of the stipulation in the charter respondent stipulated that the owners shall not be
party executed between the petitioner and the private responsible for loss, split, short-landing, breakages and
respondent exempting the latter from liability for the loss of any kind of damages to the cargo
petitioners logs arising from the negligence of its (Seven 2. There is no dispute between the parties that the
Brothers) captain? proximate cause of the sinking of M/V Seven
Ambassadors resulting in the loss of its cargo was the
Petitioners Argument snapping of the iron chains and the subsequent rolling
of the logs to the portside due to the negligence of the
captain in stowing and securing the logs on board the
vessel and not due to fortuitous even. As to the applicability of Art. 1170 and 1173
3. Likewise undisputed is the status of Private
Respondent Seven Brothers as a private carrier when it 1. The Court notes that the foregoing articles are
contracted to transport the cargo of Petitioner applicable only to the obligor or the one with an
Valenzuela. obligation to perform.
a. Thus, Article 1745 and other Civil Code a. In the instant case, Private Respondent Seven
provisions on common carriers which were cited Brothers is not an obligor in respect of the
by petitioner may not be applied unless cargo, for this obligation to bear the loss was
expressly stipulated by the parties in their shifted to petitioner by virtue of the charter
charter party. party. This shifting of responsibility, as earlier
4. In a contract of private carriage, the parties may freely observed, is not void.
stipulate their duties and obligations which perforce 2. In the instant case, Article 362 of the Code of
would be binding on them. Commerce provides the standard of ordinary diligence
5. Unlike in a contract involving a common carrier, for the carriage of goods by a carrier. The standard of
private carriage does not involve the general public. diligence under this statutory provision may, however,
Hence, the stringent provisions of the Civil Code on be modified in a contract of private carriage as the
common carriers protecting the general public cannot petitioner and private respondent had done in their
justifiably be applied to a ship transporting commercial charter party.
goods as a private carrier.