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G.R. No. L-23052
January 29, 1968
Petitioner: City of Manila
Respondent: Genaro Teotico
Appeal by Certiorari from a decision of the Court of Appeals
On January 27, 1968 around 8:00pm, Genaro Teotico, a CPA, businessman and professor at
the University of the East, fell inside an uncovered and unlighted catchbasin or manhole on P.
Burgos Avenue while waiting for a jeepney.
Due to the fall, petitioners eyeglasses broke and the pieces thereof pierced his left eyelid.
He suffered injuries on the different parts of his body, and was required to pay P1400 for the
medical treatment.
Petitioner filed at the CFI Manila, a complaint for damages against the City of Manila,its mayor,
city engineer, city health officer, city treasurer and chief of police.
CFI Manila dismissed the complaint. CA affirmed this decision, except insofar as the City
of Manila is concerned, which was sentenced to pay damages to Teotico amounting to P6,750.

The City of Manila assailed the decision of the CA on the ground that the charter of Manila
states that it shall not be liable for damages caused by the negligence of the city officers in
enforcing the charter; that the charter is a special law (Sec. 4 of RA 409) and shall prevail over
the Civil Code which is a general law (Article 2189); and that the accident happened in national

ISSUE: Whether or not the City of Manila is liable in the case at bar
Yes. It is true that in case of conflict, a special law prevails over a general law; that the charter
of Manila is a special law and that the Civil Code is a general law. However, looking at the
particular provisions of each law concerned, the provision of the Manila Charter exempting it
from liability caused by the negligence of its officers is a general law in the sense that it exempts
the city from negligence of its officers in general. There is no particular exemption but merely a
general exemption. On the other hand, Article 2189 of the Civil Code states that the provinces,
cities and municipalities liable for damages for the death of, or injury suffered by, any person by
reason-specifically of the defective condition of roads, streets, bridges, public buildings and
other public works under their control or supervision
At any rate, even though it is a national highway, the law regardless if whether or not the road
is national, provincial, city, or municipal, so long as it is under the Citys control and supervision,
it shall be responsible for damages by reason of the defective conditions thereof. In the case
at bar, the City of Manila even admitted they have control and supervision over the road where
Petitioner fell when the City alleged that it has been doing constant and regular inspection of the
citys roads, particularly P. Burgos.