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This is a personalized and summarized version of the book (Rabuya) said that this is contrary to the

with personal insights, notes, questions and conclusions. Julius provisions of the Civil Code,
Guzman which states that The Code
shall take effect one year after
Persons & Family Relations Reviewer such publication and not after
Professor: Judge Aguinaldo the circulation.

Civil Code of the Philippines Sources of Civil Code: (S-C-D-F-P-C)


(Republic Act No. 386) a. Spanish Civil Code of 1889
b. The codes, laws, judicial decisions, and work of jurists of other
Article 1 This act shall be known as the Civil Code of the countries;
Philippines c. Doctrines laid down by the Supreme Court
d. Filipino Customs and traditions;
Definition of Terms: e. Philippine Statutes; and
Code A collection of laws of the same kind; a f. Code Commissions
body of legal provisions referring to a
particular branch of law. Article 2 Laws shall take effect after 15 days following the
Civil Code A collection of laws which regulate the completion of publication in the Official Gazette or in a
private relations of the members of civil newspaper of general circulations in the Philippines, unless it is
society, determining their respective rights otherwise provided. (Amended by Executive Order No. 200)
and obligations, with reference to persons,
things and civil actions. General Rule: A law may provide its own effectivity. If the law is silent
as to its own effectivity, then shall take effect only after 15 days
Republic Act No. 386 An act to Ordain and Institute the Civil following its complete publication.
Code of the Philippines - The main draft of the Civil Code was
prepared by the Roxas Code Commission, via Executive Order No. 48 Tanada v. Tuvera
of March 1947 by President Manuel Roxas 1. Publication Article 2 of the Civil Code does not preclude the
Requirement requirement of publication in the Official Gazette
Dates to Remember: even if the law itself provides for the date of its
June 18, 1949 Approved by Congress effectivity since the clear object of the law is to give
August 30, 1950 Effectivity of the Code. general public adequate notice of the various laws
(Note: The effectivity date was which are to regulate their actions and conduct as
exactly one year after the citizens. Furthermore, the publication must be in
Official Gazette publishing the full or it is no publication at all since its purpose is
Code was released for to inform the public of the contents of the laws.
Circulation. In which the author

1
Persons & Family Relations by Mel Sta. Maria, page 1

Julius Edward M. Guzman |1


Where to In the motion of reconsideration of the same case, ** Municipal Ordinances and Supreme Court Decisions are not
Publish: a question arose as to where the publication must covered by Article 2 or laws under Article 2 of the Civil Code.
be made. The Court resolved that the publication
must be effected in the Official Gazette and not in Municipal Ordinances are covered by Local Government Code, while
any other medium, pursuant to the Civil Code and Supreme Court decisions are published in advanced reports and the
Revised Administrative Code. Hence, Executive SCRA.
Order No. 200 was passed by President Aquino,
amending Section 2 of the Civil Code, which
Article 3 Ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance
states that publication of laws may now either
be in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper therewith.
circulation in the Philippines.
General Rule:
unless it is The proviso unless it is otherwise provided When a law is passed by Congress, duly approved by the President
otherwise perforce refers only to a law that has been duly of the Philippines, properly published and consequently becomes
provide: published pursuant to the basic constitutional effective, the public is always put on constructive notice of the laws
requirements of due process. It only refers to the existence and effectivity. Therefore, the presumption of knowledge of
date of effectivity and not requirement of laws under Article 3 of the Civil Code is conclusive, in which, everyone
publication itself. is conclusively presumed to know the law.

Effective When the law provides for its immediate effectivity Exception to the General Rule:
Immediate upon approval, it must be interpreted as coming Article 3 applies only to mandatory and prohibitory laws.
upon into effect immediately upon its publication.
Approval
Not Covered by Article 3 of the Civil Code: (F-DPP)
Article 3 applies to all kinds of domestic laws, whether civil or penal,
Covered by Article 2 of the New Civil Code: (P-E-ARR-M) substantive or remedial but limited to mandatory and prohibitory law.
General Rule: Laws should refer to all laws and not only to those of Below are the following laws not covered by Article 3:
(a) Foreign Laws
general application.
(a) Presidential Decrees; (b) Doctrine of Processual Presumption
(b) Executive Orders;
(c) Administrative Rules and Regulations; (Note: Publication only Doctrine of Processual Presumption: If the foreign law is involved
required when their purpose is to enforce or implement and its not properly pleaded and proved, the courts will presume that
existing laws pursuant to a valid delegation and not to internal the foreign law is the same as our local, domestic or internal law.
rules and regulations.)
Ignorance of Law vs. Ignorance of Fact
(d) Monetary Board Circulars (Note: Required to publish if they
are meant not merely to interpret but to fill in the details of Theres a difference between Ignorance of Law and Ignorance of Law,
the Central Bank Act) in which the ignorance of law is no excuse, ignorance of fact may
excuse a party from the legal consequences of his conduct.

Julius Edward M. Guzman |2


Article 4 Laws shall have no retroactive effect, unless the Permissive or Directory Law The law commands that what it
contrary is provided. permits to be done should be
tolerated or respected.
Retroactive Law one intended to affect transactions which
occurred, or rights which accrued, before it became operative, and General Rule:
which ascribes to them effects not inherent in their nature, in view of Acts executed against the provisions of mandatory or prohibitory laws
the law in force at the time of their occurrence. are void.

General Rule: Laws shall have prospective effect unless the contrary Exception to the rule:
is expressly provided. Lex Prospicit, non respicit (a) When the law itself authorizes its validity.
(b) When the law act valid, but punishes the violator.
Exception to the General rule: (L-P-PL-P-C-R) (c) Where the law merely makes the act voidable, that is, valid
(a) Law itself provides retroactivity; unless annulled.
Exception to the exception: (d) Where the law declares the act is void, but recognizes effects
a. Ex-Post Facto Law: One that would make a previous as arising from it.
act criminal although it was not so at the time it was
committed. Article 6 Rights may be waived, unless the waiver is contrary to
i. Requirements: law, public order, public policy, morals, or good customs, or
1. Refer to criminal matter. prejudicial to a third person with a right recognized by law.
2. Retroactive in its application
3. Prejudicial to the accused. Definition of Terms:
b. Non-impairment of Obligations of Contracts Political Rights Referring to the participation of persons in the
(b) Penal laws favorable to the accused government of the State.
(c) Procedural or Remedial Laws Civil Rights Rights of personality (sometimes called Human
(d) Curative Laws Rights), family rights and patrimonial rights.
(e) A law that creates new substantive rights. (Note: Rights to personality and family rights
are not subject to waiver; but patrimonial rights
can generally be waived)
Article 5 Acts executed against the provisions of mandatory or
Real Rights Or the power belonging to a person over a
prohibitory laws shall be void, except when the law itself specific thing, without a passive subject,
authorizes their validity. individually determined against whom, such
right may be personally exercised; it is
Definition of Terms: enforceable against the whole world.
Mandatory The law commands that Personal Right The power belonging to one person to demand
something to be done. of another, as a definite passive subject, the
Prohibitory The law commands that fulfillment of a prestation to give, to do or not to
something should not be done. do.

Julius Edward M. Guzman |3


Waiver A voluntary and intentional relinquishment or Administrative or executive acts, orders and regulations shall be
abandonment of a known existing legal right, valid only when they are not contrary to the laws or the
advantage, benefit, claim or privilege, which Constitution.
except for such waiver would have enjoyed.
(F.F. Cruz & Co, Inc. v. HR Construction Corp) Repeal of a law is the legislative act of abrogating through a
subsequent law the effects of a previous statute or portions thereof.
Elements of Rights: (S-O-E)
(a) Subject Ways of Repealing Laws
a. Active Subject entitled to demand the enforcement 1. Implied repeal takes place when a new law contains
of the right. provisions contrary or inconsistent with those of former
b. Passive Subject duty-bound to suffer its without expressly repealing them.2 Repeals and amendments
enforcement. by implications are not favored.3
(b) Object constitutes things and services a. Requisites of Implied Repeal
(c) Efficient Cause the fact that gives rise to the legal relation. i. The laws cover the same subject matter.
ii. The latter is repugnant to the earlier. (Note:
Requisites of Valid Waiver the requirement of the repugnancy is that a
(a) He must actually have the right which he renounces; subsequent law cannot be construed as
(b) He must have knowledge of existence; repealing a prior law unless an irreconcilable
(c) He must have the capacity to make the renunciation; and inconsistency and repugnancy exists in
(d) The renunciation must clear and unequivocal manner. the terms of new and old laws; (1) the two
laws must be absolutely incompatible, and
Doctrine of Waiver the principle is recognized that everyone has a (2) there must be such a repugnancy
right to waive, and agree to waive, the advantage of a law or rule made between the laws that they cannot be made
solely for the benefit and protection of the individual in his private to stand together.)
capacity, if it can be dispensed with and relinquished without infringing 2. Express repeal is a repeal which is literally declared by new
on any public right and without detriment to the community at large. law, either in specific terms, as where particular laws and
provisions are named and identified and declared to be
Article 7 - Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones, and their repealed or in general terms, as where a provision in a new
violation or non-observance shall not be excused by disuse, or law declares all laws and part of laws inconsistent therewith
custom, or practice to the contrary. to be repealed.

When the courts declared a law to be inconsistent with the Effects of Repeal or Repealing Law
Constitution, the former shall be void and the latter shall govern. Express Repeal When a law which expressly repeals a
prior law is itself repealed, the law first repealed shall not be
revived unless expressly so provided.

2 3
25 RCL 911 Quimsing v. Lachica, 2 SCRA 182

Julius Edward M. Guzman |4


Implied Repeal When a law which impliedly repeals a prior The power to declare a law unconstitutional, is the Supreme
law is itself repealed, the prior law shall be revived, unless the Court. The Supreme Court may declare an act of the national
repealing law provides otherwise. legislature void, because it is in conflict with the fundamental
law.
General Law vs. Special Law When the Supreme Court passes judgment upon the
General Rule: When there is a conflict between a general law and a constitutionality of a statute or an administrative action, the
special statue, the special statute should prevail since it evinces the Court is exercising the power of Judicial Review.
legislative intent more clearly than the general statute.
Effects of Declaration of Unconstitutionality
Special Law it is to be taken as an exception to the general law in The unconstitutional act confers no rights, imposes no duties and
the absence of special circumstances forcing a contrary conclusion. It affords no protection.
is well settled rule that a special statute, provided for a particular case
or class of cases, is not repealed by a subsequent statute, general in Doctrine of Operative Fact (Araullo v, Aquino) the doctrine
its terms, provisions and application, unless the intent to repeal or alter recognizes the existence of the law or executive act prior to the
is manifest, although the terms of the general law are broad enough determination of its unconstitutionality as an operative fact that
to include the cases embraces in the special law. produced consequences that cannot always be erased, ignored or
disregard. In short, it nullifies the void law or executive act but sustain
(a) General Law Enacted Prior to Special Law the general its effects. It provides an exception to the general rule that a void or
law in general remains good law and there is no repeal, except unconstitutional law produces no effect.5
insofar as the exception or special law is concerned.
(b) General Law Enacted After Special Law The special law Article 8 Judicial decisions applying or interpreting laws or the
remains, unless: Constitution shall form a part of the legal system of the
1. There is an express declaration to the contrary; Philippines.
2. There is a clear necessary and irreconcilable conflict;
or The courts have the principal function of not only resolving legal
3. Unless the subsequent general law covers the whole controversies but also of interpreting and construing vague provisions
subject and is clearly intended to replace the special of law relative to a particular dispute.
law on the matter.
Construction is the art or process of discovering and expounding
Unconstitutional Statutes the meaning and intention of the authors of the ;law with respect to its
The Constitution is the supreme, organic and fundamental law application to a given case, where that intention is rendered doubtful,
of the land, in which that no ordinary statute can override a among others by reason of fthe fact that the given case is not explicitly
constitutional provisions.4 provided for in the law.6

4 6
Floresca v. Philex Mining Corporation, 136 SCRA 136 Caltex, Inc. v. Palomar, 18 SCRA 247
5
728 SCRA 1 (2014)

Julius Edward M. Guzman |5


The Judicial decisions are not law, with regard to the doctrine of ** The rule expressed in Article 10 of the Civil Code is to be applied
separation of powers, in which the judicial department has no power only in case of doubt. Thus, dura lex sed lex.
to enact laws but it is the obligation of the legislative department to do
so. However, Article 8, provides that the decisions of the Supreme ** The Supreme Court has always held that equity, which been
Court shall form part of the legal system. described as justice outside legality, is applied only in the absence
of, and never against, statutory law or judicial rules of procedure.
Legis interpretatio legis vim obtinet or the interpretation placed
upon the written law by a competent court has the force of law Article 11 Customs which are contrary to law, public order or
Supreme Courts interpretation of a statute forms part of the public policy shall not be countenanced.
law as of the date it was originally passed because the Courts
construction merely establishes the legislative intent that the Article 12 A custom must be proved as a fact, according to the
interpreted law carries into effect. rules of evidence.

Doctrine of Stare Decisis When the Court has once laid down a Customs A rule of conduct formed by repetition of acts uniformly
principle of law as applicable to a certain state of facts, it will adhere observed as a social rule, legally binding and obligatory.
to that principle and apply it to all future cases where the facts are
substantially the same. Requisites in Application of Customs
Doctrine refers to the Supreme Court decisions. 1. Plurality of acts, or various resolutions of a juridical question
Prospective application of New Doctrines. raised repeatedly in life;
2. Uniformity, or identity of acts or various solutions to the
Article 9 No judge or court shall decline to render judgment by juridical questions;
reason of the silence, obscurity or insufficiency of the laws. 3. General practice by the great mass of the social group
4. Continued performance of these acts for a long period of time;
Applying the rule nullem crimen, nulla poena sine lege or 5. The practice must not be contrary to law. Morals, or public
there is no crime when there is no law punishing it) order.
The judge may not decline to render a judgment, instead, the
judge must dismiss the criminal action. Article 13 When the law speak of years, months, days or nights,
it shall be understood that years are of three hundred sixty-five
If the law is silent, or is obscure, insufficient with respect to a particular days each; months, of thirty days, days, of twenty-four hours;
controversy, the judge shall apply the custom of the place and in and nights from sunset to sunrise.
default thereof, the general principles of law and justice.
If months are designated by their name, they shall be computed
Article 10 In case of doubt in the interpretation or application of the number of days which they respectively have.
laws it is presumed that the law making body intended right and
justice to prevail. In computing a period, the first day shall be excluded and the last
day included.

Julius Edward M. Guzman |6


Computation Below are the following status and condition:
Year 12 calendar months (amended by Section 13, Divorce between Filipinos, void:
Administrative Code of 1987) o Philippine laws doesnt provide absolute divorce of
Months 28 or 29 or 30 or 31 (Note: a month designated in marriage, hence, the courts cant recognize and grant
the calendar without regard to the number of days it it.
may contain.) o Corpus v Sto. Tomas The Supreme Court held that
Days 24 Hours the family code only recognizes two types of defective
Period The first day is excluded while the last day is marriages void & voidable. The non-recognition of
included.
divorce is a manifestation of the respect of the
Ordinary Contract the agreement of the
sanctity of the marital union especially among Filipino
parties prevails.
Citizen.
Rules of Court If the last day of the period
falls on a Saturday, a Sunday or legal o Tenchavez v. Escano The SC held that for the
holiday in the place where the court sits, the Philippines courts to recognize the effect of an
time shall not run until the next working day. absolute divorce between the Filipino citizens would
be a patent violation of the public policy, in view of the
Article 14 Penal laws and those of public security and safety 3rd paragraph of Article 17 of the Civil Code.
shall be obligatory upon all who live or sojourn in Philippine Divorce obtained by Foreigners:
territory, subject to the principles of public international law and o Only Filipinos are covered by Article 15 by policy
to treaty stipulations. against Absolute Divorce.
o However, Aliens may obtain divorce abroad, which
General Rule: As a rule, criminal law is binding all persons who lives may be recognized by the Philippine courts provided
or sojourn in Philippine Territory. (Principle of Generality) they are valid to their national laws.
o Van Dorn v. Romillo Jr.- The SC dismissed the alien
Exceptions to the Rule: divorcees Philippine suit for accounting of alleged
(a) Treaty Stipulation; post-divorce conjugal property and rejected his
(b) Laws of Preferential application; and submission that the foreign divorce is not valid in this
(c) Principles of Public International Law jurisdiction. Pursuant to this national laws, private
respondent is no longer the husband of the petitioner.
Article 15 Laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the He would have no standing to sue in the case at bar.
status, conditions and legal capacity of persons are binding As he is bound to the decision of his country, wherein
upon citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad. divorce decree is valid and, therefore following Art. 15
of the civil code, he is estopped by his own
Nationality Rule Laws relating to family rights & duties, status, representation from asserting his rights over the
condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of alleged conjugal property.
the Philippines, even though living abroad. Reckoning point in determining Citizenship:
o Republic of the Philippines v. Orbecido III & Bayot
v. CA - The reckoning point is not the citizenship of

Julius Edward M. Guzman |7


the divorcing parties at birth or at the time of marriage was entered in Illinois in which in his national law,
but their citizenship at the time a valid divorce is Frank was considered as an adult.
obtained abroad. ISSUE: W/N Frank is liable for damages?
Three legal premises to a valid absolute divorce: HELD: The contract is valid because at the time and
o A divorce is obtained abroad by an alien married to a place of making the contract (lex loci celebrationis).
Filipino national, may be recognized in this country Frank was of age and fully capacitated. Therefore,
provided that the divorce decree is valid according to Frank can be held liable for damages.
the national laws of the foreigner o (NOTE: the above mentioned case, the author said,
o The reckoning point is not the citizenship of the the court should applied nationality principle following
parties at birth or marriage, but on the validity of article 15 of the Civil Code. The author argues that
divorce is obtained abroad. whether to apply the national law or the law of the
o An absolute divorce decree between both Filipinos is place where the contract was made, is immaterial
contrary to the concept of public policy and morality since they happen to be the same)
and shall not be recognized by the Philippine courts.
Legal standing of Divorced Persons to sue for Adultery: Article 16 Real property as well as personal property is subject
o Pilapil v. Ibay When a foreigner married to Filipino to the law of the country where it is situated.
and obtain divorce abroad, he is no long the spouse
of the Filipino. Therefore, losing standing to sue However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with
adultery. respect to the order of succession and to the amount of
Partial Divorce Under Article 26 of Family Code. successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary
o Article 26 of the Family Code, allows the Filipino to provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person
contract a subsequent marriage in case the divorce is whose succession is under consideration, whatever may be the
validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said
capacitating him or her to remarry. property may be found.
o This law only applies when it is the foreign spouse
who obtains the divorce decree and not the Filipino. Principle of Lex Ritae All matters, concerning the title and
Legal Capacity disposition are determined, which can be alone prescribe the mode by
o Laws relating to the legal capacity are binding, upon which a title can pass from one person to another. This general
citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad. principles includes all rules governing the descent, alienation and
While aliens, shall govern to their national laws. transfer of immovable conveyances.
o Insular Government v. Frank
FACTS: The case at bar, Frank is an American citizen Exception to the rule:
who entered a contract with the Philippine (a) The order of succession
government, for a period of two years. But he only (b) Amount of successional rights;
served 6 months and therefore, the government sued (c) Intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will;
for damages. Frank in his defense the contract is void (d) The national law of decedent likewise governs the capacity of
because he was still a minor. Although, the contract the heir in succeed.

Julius Edward M. Guzman |8


When the acts referred to are executed before the diplomatic or
Testate Estate of Bohanan v. Bohanan consular officials of the Republic of the Philippines in a foreign
The Supreme Court held that the testator was a citizen of State of country, the solemnities by Philippine laws shall be observed in
Nevada. Since the laws of the said state allow the testator to dispose their execution.
of all his property according to his will. His testamentary disposition
depriving his wife and children of what should be their legitimes under Principle of Lex Loci Celebrationis
the Philippine Law should be respected and the project partition made The forms and solemnities of
in accordance with his testamentary disposition should be approved. FORMALITIES contracts, wills and other public
OR Lex Loci instruments are governed by
Bellis v. Bellis EXTRINSIC Celebrationis the laws of the country in which
The Supreme Court held that the illegitimate children are not entitled VALIDITY they are executed. (Par. 1,
to their legitimes under Texas Laws. Renvoi Doctrine cannot be Article 2 of the Civil Code)
applied, the doctrine is usually pertinent where the decedent is The intrinsic validity of a
Lex
contract is governed by the
national of his country and a domiciliary of another. A provision in a Contractus
proper law of the contracts.
foreigners will to the effect that his properties shall be distributed with INTRINSIC
The law of the place voluntarily
Philippine law and not with his national laws is illegal and void for his VALIDITY OF Lex Loci
agreed upon by the contracting
national laws. CONTRACTS Voluntatis
parties.
Lex Loci The law of the place intended
Renvoi Doctrine The problem arises when there is doubt as to Intentionis by them expressly or impliedly.
whether a reference to a foreign law is a reference to the internal law INTRINSIC The intrinsic validity of the provisions of a will,
of said foreign law; or a reference to the whole of the foreign law, VALIDITY OF shall be governed by the national law of the
including its conflict rules. WILLS decedent.
ACTS
When the acts referred in the first par. Of Article
EXECUTED
17 of the Civil Code are executed before the
In the Matter of the Testate Estate of the Deceased Edward E. BEFORE
diplomatic or consular officials of the Philippines
Christensen DIPLOMATIC
in a foreign country, the solemnities established
The SC held that since the conflicts rule of California refers back to AND
by Philippine laws shall be observed in their
CONSULAR
the matter of the Philippines (the place of domicile), the courts have execution.
OFFICIALS
no alternative but to accept the referring back to the Philippine courts.
Prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or
If the courts will to do otherwise throw back the matter to California,
property and those which for their object public
the problem would be tossed back and forth between states PROHIBITIVE order, public policy, and good customs shall not
concerned. LAWS be rendered ineffective by laws or judgments or
by determination or conventions agreed upon in
Article 17 The forms and solemnities of contracts, wills and a foreign country.
other public instruments shall be governed by the laws of the
country in which they are executed.

Julius Edward M. Guzman |9


Del Socorro v. Van Wilsem (Doctrine of Processual Presumption) Amonoy v. Gutierrez
The SC held that even if the laws of the Netherlands neither enforce Facts: Petitioner commenced the demolition of respondents house
a parents obligation to support his child nor penalize the on May 30, 1986 under the authority of a Writ of Demolition by the
noncompliance therewith, such obligations is still duly enforceable RTC. A TRO was issued by the Supreme Court on June 2, 1986.
because it would be of great injustice to the child to be denied of However, the petitioner did not heed the TRO and pursued the
financial support when the latter is entitled. demolition of respondents house.

Article 18 In matters which are governed by the Code of Issue: W/N the petitioners demolition is valid despite the SC issued
Commerce and special laws, their deficiency shall be supplied by TRO?
the provisions of this Code.
Held: The continuation of demolition after the issuance of the TRO,
The provisions of the Civil Code are applicable to matters governed amounted to an insidious abuse of rights. Hence, his actions were
by the Code of Commerce and special laws in a suppletory character. tainted with bad faith. Furthermore, his acts constituted not only an
Hence, where there is no deficiency in the special law or Code of abuse of a right, but also an invalid exercise of a right that had been
Commerce, the provisions of the Civil Code cannot be applied. suspended when he received the TRO. Therefore, the SC held that
the petitioner cannot invoke damnum absque injuria, a principle
Article 19 Every person must in the exercise of his rights and premised on the valid exercise of a right.
in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone
his due and observe honesty and good faith. Pro Line Sports Center, Inc. v. Court of Appeals
Facts: The merger with AG Spalding Bros, Inc. and Questor, became
Article 20 Every person, who, contrary to law, willfully or the owner of the trademark spalding. Its exclusive distributor in the
negligently causes damage to another, shall indemnify the latter Philippines is Pro Line Sports, Inc. Pro Line, filed a complaint against
for the same. Universal, for the alleged manufacturer of fake spalding balls. Due
to the search and investigation conducted by NBI wherein, they found
Article 21 Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to basketballs and volleyballs marked in spalding in the premises of
another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or Universal, Pro Line and Questor filed a criminal complaint for unfair
public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage. competition against the Universal and the president. It was eventually
dismissed. Upon the dismissal, Universal filed a civil case against the
Principle of Damnum Absque Injuria petitioner for the alleged filing an unfounded suit.
Damage resulting from the legitimate exercise of a persons
right is a loss without injury (damnum absque injuria), for Issue: WON Sehwani and UNIVERSAL are entitled to recover
which the law gives no remedy. In other words, one who damages for the alleged filing an unfounded suit?
merely exercise ones rights does no actionable injury and
cannot be held liable for damages. Held: The SC held that to hold that Pro Line as the authorized agent
However, the principle does not apply when there is an abuse of QUESTOR exercised sound judgment in taking the necessary legal
of persons rights or when the exercise of this right is steps to safeguard the interest of its principal with respect to the
suspended or extinguished to a court order. trademark in question. If the process resulted in the closure and

Julius Edward M. Guzman |10


padlocking of UNIVERSALs factory and the cessation of its business damages to injured persons who are not themselves at fault. In the
operations, these were unavoidable consequences of petitioners valid case at bar, Garciano is not without fault. Firstly, she went on indefinite
and lawful exercise of their right. One who makes use of his own right leave of absence and failed to report back in time for the regular
does no injury. opening of classes. Secondly, for reasons known to herself alone, she
refused to sign a written contract of employment. Lastly, she ignored
Albenson Enterprise Corp. v. Court of Appeals the Board of Directors order for her to report on July 5, 1982.
Facts: Albenson Ent. delivered mild steel plates to Guaranteed
Principle of Abuse of Rights
Industries Inc. A Pacific Banking Corporation Check was paid and
The principle of Abuse of Rights stated in Article 19 of the Civil Code,
drawn against the account of EL Woodworks. Check was later departs from the classical theory that he who uses a right injures no
dishonored for the reason Account Closed. Company traced source one. This is to grant indemnity for damages in cases where there is
of check and later discovered that the signature belonged to one an abuse of rights, even when the act is not illicit.
Eugenio Baltao. Albenson made an extrajudical demand upon Baltao
but latter denied that he issued the check. Company filed a complaint
against Baltao for violation of BP 22. It was later discovered that Elements of Abuse of Rights:
private respondent had son: Eugene Baltao III, who manages the 1. There is a legal right or duty;
business establishment, EL Woodworks. No effort from the father to 2. Exercised in bad faith; and
inform Albenson of such information. Rather the father filed complaint 3. Sole intent of prejudicing or injuring another.
for damages against Albenson.
Velayo v. Shell Co. Of the Philippines
Issue: WON there is indeed cause for the damages against Albenson Facts: The Commercial Air Lines, Inc. was on the verge of bankruptcy
Enterprise. and met all with his creditors. It was agreed that the asset of the
petitioner would be sold and proceeds distributed to the creditors.
Held: Based on Art 19, 20, 21 of the civil code, petitioners didnt have Afterwards, Shell Co. made a telegraphic assignment of its credit to a
the intent to cause damage to the respondent or enrich themselves sister company in US, which secured attachment and sale of CALIs
but just to collect what was due to them. There was no abuse of right plane, which the proceeds were claimed to the satisfaction of its credit.
on the part of Albenson on accusing Baltao of BP 22. There was no
malicious prosecution on the part of Albenson: there must be proof Issue: WON Shell Co. Philippines be made to pay for damages to the
other creditors of CALI?
that:
the prosecution was prompted by a sinister design to vex Held: The SC held that the case at bar squarely within the purview of
and humiliate a person and the principle of abuse of rights embodied in Art. 19 of the Civil Code.
that damages was initiated deliberately by defendant The article contains essentially a merely declaration of principles, yet
knowing that his charges were false and groundless such declaration is implemented by Article 21, a sequent of Article 19,
which declares that any person who willfully causes loss or injury to
Garciano v. Court of Appeals another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs, or public
The SC held with respect to Garcianos claim for moral damages, the policy shall compensate the latter damages. Hence, Shell Co. is liable
right to recover them under Article 21 is based on equity, and he who for damages because it did not show good faith and honesty.
comes to court to demand equity, must come with clean hands.
Hence, Article 21 should be construed as granting the right to recover

Julius Edward M. Guzman |11


Globe Mackay Cable and Radio Corp. v. Court of Appeals RCPI v. Court of Appeals
Facts: Restituto Tobias, a purchasing agent and administrative Facts: Loreto Dionela received a telegram via the Radio
assistant to the engineering operations manager, discovered fictitious Communications of the Philippines, Inc. (RCPI). However, at the end
purchases and other fraudulent transactions, which caused Globe of the telegram were the following:
Mackay Cable and Radio Corp loss of several thousands of pesos. He
reported it to his immediate superior Eduardo T. Ferraren and to the SA IYO WALANG PAKINABANG DUMATING KA DIYAN WALA
Executive Vice President and General Manager Herbert Hendry. A KANG PADALA DITO KAHIT BULBUL MO
day after the report, Hendry told Tobias that he was number one
suspect and ordered him one week forced leave. When Tobias The said portion of the telegram was not intended for Loreto. Loreto
returned to work after said leave, Hendry called him a crook and a sued RCPI for damages based on Article 19 and 20 of the Civil Code.
swindler, ordered him to take a lie detector test, and to submit In its defense, RCPI averred that there was no intention to malign
specimen of his handwriting, signature and initials for police Loreto and that the attached message was an insider joke between
investigation. Moreover, petitioners hired a private investigator. RCPI employees which was not meant to be attached. RCPI also
Private investigation was still incomplete; the lie detector tests yielded disclaimed liability as it insisted it should be held liable for the libelous
negative results; reports from Manila police investigators and from the acts of its employees.Loreto however averred that the said message
Metro Manila Police Chief Document Examiner are in favor of Tobias. was read by his employees and it affected greatly his business
Petitioners filed with the Fiscals Office of Manila a total of six (6) reputation. The trial court ruled in favor of Loreto. The Court of Appeals
criminal cases against private respondent Tobias, but were dismissed. affirmed the trial court.

Tobias received a notice of termination of his employment from Issue: Whether or RCPI directly and primarily liable to Dionela for
petitioners in January 1973, effective December 1972. He sought damages.
employment with the Republic Telephone Company (RETELCO); but
Hendry wrote a letter to RETELCO stating that Tobias was dismissed Held: The SC held that RCPI was negligent as it failed to take the
by Globe Mackay due to dishonesty. Tobias, then, filed a civil case for necessary or precautionary steps to avoid the occurrence of the
damages anchored on alleged unlawful, malicious, oppressive, and humiliating incident now complained of. The company had not
abusive acts of petitioners. The Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch
imposed any safeguard against such eventualities and this void in its
IX, rendered judgment in favor of private respondent, ordering them to
operating procedure does not speak well of its concern for their
pay the private respondent for moral damages.
clienteles interests. Negligence here is very patent. This negligence
Issue: WON petitioners are liable for damages. is imputable to appellant and not to its employees. RCPI should be
held liable for the acts of its employees. As a corporation, RCPI acts
Held: Yes. The Court has already ruled that the right of the employer and conducts its business through its employees. It cannot now
to dismiss an employee should not be confused with the manner in disclaim liability for the acts of its employees. To hold that the RCPI is
which the right is exercised and the effects flowing therefrom. If the not liable directly for the acts of its employees in the pursuit of its
dismissal is done abusively, then the employer is liable for damages business is to deprive the general public availing of the services of
to the employee. Under the circumstances of the instant case, the RCPI of an effective and adequate remedy.
petitioners clearly failed to exercise in a legitimate manner their right
to dismiss Tobias, giving the latter the right to recover damages under Breach of Promise to Marry. Generally not Actionable.
Article 19 in relation to Article 21 of the Civil Code.
The existing rule is that a breach of promise to marry is not an
actionable wrong.

Julius Edward M. Guzman |12


De Jesus v. Syquia it was held that the history of breach of the recognition of the unborn child and payment for damages.
promise suits in the US and UK has shown that no other action However, Ivan rebutted by the petition of the dismissal of the complaint
lends itself more readily to abuse by designing women and for lack of cause of action. RTC ruled in favor of Amelita, respondent
unscrupulous men. petition the complaint CA that RTC erred in its ruling. CA favored the
respondent and dismissed the complaint of petitioner.
Tanjanco v. Court of Appeals
Facts: From December 1957, the petitioner courted Araceli Santos, Issue: WON the petitioner is entitled to claim damages based on
both are adult age. The petitioner professed his undying love and Articles 19 and 21 of Civil Code.
affection to Santos who also fell in love with him. With that, the
petitioner promise Santos of marriage, with her consent which Held: No. In the case at bar petitioner was already 28 years old and
acceded to petitioners carnal knowledge. As a result, Santos she admitted that she was attracted to respondent. Petitioners
conceived a child. Santos had to resign her job and thereafter, she attraction to respondent is the reason why she surrendered her
became unable to support herself and her baby. Because of womanhood. Had petitioner been induced or deceived because of a
Tanjancos refusal to marry Santos, the latter filed a complaint against promise of marriage, she could have immediately ended her relation
the former for recovery of damages. with respondent when she knew that respondent was a married man
after their first sexual contact. Her declaration that they repeated their
Issue: WON Santos is entitled to damages. sexual intercourse only indicates that passion and not the alleged
promise of marriage was the moving force that made her submit
Held: No. Plainly there is voluntariness and mutual passion. The facts herself to respondent. The Supreme Court said Damages could only
stand out that for one whole year, from 1958 to 1959, Araceli, a woman be awarded if sexual intercourse is not a product of voluntariness and
of adult age, maintained intimate sexual relations with Apolonio, with mutual desire therefore petitioner is not entitled to claim for damages
repeated acts of intercourse. Such conduct is incompatible with the based on articles 19 & 21.
idea of seduction. Hence, the courts conclude that no case is made
under Art. 21 of the Civil Code and no other cause of action being Breach of Promise to Marry, When Actionable
alleged.. The SC held that Alfonso is liable for
damages. In the case at bar, the
Constantino v. Mendez circumstances under which defendant
Facts: Amelita Constantino, petitioner, was a waitress at Tonys tried to win Lolitas affection cannot lead
Restaurant where she met Ivan Mendez, respondent. On that first to any other conclusion than that it was he
who, thru an ingenious scheme or
meeting, Ivan invited Amelita to have dinner with him at Hotel Enrico 1. If there
trickery, seduced the latter to the extent of
where the former has stayed. While eating dinner, Ivan confessed his is Deceit Pe v. Pe
making her fall in love with him. Indeed,
love to Amelita through a promise of marriage and then they had or Fraud
no other conclusion can be drawn from
sexual intercourse. However, after the act, Ivan confessed that he is this chain of events than that defendant
already married to someone else. Despite the fact that Ivan is already not only deliberately, but through a clever
married, they had repeated their sexual contact whenever Ivan is in strategy, succeeded in winning the
Manila which resulted to peitioners pregnancy. Consequently, Amelita affection and love of Lolita to the extent of
appealed for help and support from Ivan, but failed. She then filed for having illicit relations with her. The wrong

Julius Edward M. Guzman |13


he has caused her and her family is impossible for human foresight to
indeed immeasurable considering the fact specifically enumerate and punish in the
that he is a married man. Verily, he has statute books such as the absence of a
committed and injury to Lolitas family in a law penalizing a the breach of promise to
manner contrary to morals, good customs marry.
and public policy as contemplated in
Article 21 of the New Civil Code. The Supreme Court held that in this case,
it was not a simple breach of promise to
The Supreme Court held that Breach of marry. Because of such promise,
promise to marry is not an actionable Wassmer made preparations for the
wrong per se. In this case, it is the deceit wedding. Velezs unreasonable
and fraud employed by Gashem that withdrawal from the wedding is contrary
constitutes a violation of Article 21 of the to morals, good customs or public policy.
Civil Code. His promise of marrying Wassmers cause of action is supported
Marilou was a deceitful scheme to lure her under Article 21 of the Civil Code which
into sexual congress. As found by the trial provides in part any person who wilfully
court, Marilou was not a woman of loose causes loss or injury to another in a
2. If
morals. She was a virgin before she met manner that is contrary to morals, good
expenses
Gashem. She would not have Wassmer customs or public policy shall
Are
surrendered herself to Gashem had v. Velez compensate the latter for the damage.
Actually
Gashem not promised to marry her.
Incurred
Gashem Gashems blatant disregard of Filipino And under the law, any violation of Article
Shookat traditions on marriage and on the 21 entitles the injured party to receive an
Baksh v. reputation of Filipinas is contrary to award for moral damages as properly
Court of morals, good customs, and public policy. awarded by the lower court in this case.
Appeals As a foreigner who is enjoying the Further, the award of exemplary damages
hospitality of our country and even taking is also proper. Here, the circumstances of
advantage of the opportunity to study this case show that Velez, in breaching
here he is expected to respect our his promise to Wassmer, acted in wanton,
traditions. Any act contrary will render him reckless, and oppressive manner this
liable under Article 21 of the Civil Code. warrants the imposition of exemplary
damages against him.
The Supreme Court also elucidated that Under the circumstances obtaining in the
3. When
Article 21 was meant to expand the case at bar, the acts of petitioner in
Woman
concepts of torts and quasi delict. It is Bunag Jr forcibly abducting private respondent and
Was
meant to cover situations such as this v. Court having carnal knowledge with her against
Forcibly
case where the breach complained of is of her will, and thereafter promising to marry
Abducted
not strictly covered by existing laws. It Appeals her in order to escape criminal liability,
and
was meant as a legal remedy for the only to thereafter renege on such promise
Raped
untold number of moral wrongs which is after cohabiting with her for twenty-one

Julius Edward M. Guzman |14


days, irremissibly constitute acts contrary the loss of another, or when a person retains money or property of
to morals and good customs. The SC held another against the fundamental principles of justice, equity, and good
that these are grossly insensate and conscience.
reprehensible transgressions which
indisputably warrant and abundantly There is unjust enrichment when:
justify the award of moral and exemplary (a) A person is unjustly benefited; and
damages, pursuant to Article 21 in (b) Such benefit is derived at the expense or with damages to
relation to paragraphs 3 and 10, Article
another.
2219, and Article 2229 and 2234 of Civil
Code.
Accion in Rem Verso - An action for recovery of what has been paid
Malicious Actions An action for damages arising from malicious or delivered without just cause or legal ground.
prosecution is anchored in Article 21, 2217 and 2219 (8) of the Civil
Code. Hence, one cannot be held liable in damages for maliciously Requisites of Action In Rem Verso:
instituting a prosecution where he acted with probable cause. Malice (a) The defendant has been enriched;
and want of probable cause must both exist in order to justify a suit for (b) The plaintiff has suffered a loss;
malicious prosecution. (c) The enrichment of the defendant is without just or legal
ground; and
Requisites of Malicious Prosecution (d) The plaintiff has no other action based on contract, quasi-
(a) The fact of the prosecution and the further fact that the contract, crime or quasi-delict.
defendant himself was the prosecutor;
(b) In bringing the action the prosecutor acted without probable Obana v. Court of Appeals
cause; and The SC held that no person should be benefited without a valid basis
(c) That the prosecutor was actuated or impelled by legal malice or justification, shall enrich himself at the expense of another and hold
that is improper or sinister motive. on to a property no longer belonging to him.

Article 22 Every person who through an act or performance by Liability Without Fault or Negligence:
another, or any other means, acquires or comes into possession The Civil Code under Article 23, recognizes liability without fault or
of something at the expense of the latter without just or legal negligence, even when the event producing loss to others may be
ground, shall return the same to him. accidental or fortuitous, so long as he another person is benefited
through such event or act.
Article 23 Even when an act or event causing damage to
anothers property was not due to the fault or negligence of the Basis of Liability under Article 23
defendant, the latter shall be liable for indemnity if through the What constitutes in Articles 23 is an involuntary act or an act which
act or event he was benefitted. though foreseen could not have been avoid. An involuntary act, cannot
generally create an obligation; but when by such act its author has
Unjust Enrichment - exists when a persons unjustly retains a benefit been enriched, it is only just that he should indemnify for the damages
to the loss of another, or when a person unjustly retains a benefit to caused to the extent of his enrichment.

Julius Edward M. Guzman |15


Article 24 In all contractual, property or other relations, when (1) Prying into the privacy of another's residence:
one of the parties is at a disadvantage on account of his moral
dependence, ignorance, indigence, mental weakness, tender age (2) Meddling with or disturbing the private life or family relations
or other handicap, the courts must be vigilant for his protection. of another;

Article 25 Thoughtless extravagance in expense for pleasure or (3) Intriguing to cause another to be alienated from his friends;
display during a period of acute public want or emergency may
be stopped by order of the courts at the instance of any (4) Vexing or humiliating another on account of his religious
government or private charitable institutions. beliefs, lowly station in life, place of birth, physical defect, or
other personal condition.
Article 24 (Courts Duty of Protecting the Disadvantage)
The provision calls on the court to be vigilant in the protection Concepcion v. Court of Appeals
of the rights of those who are disadvantaged. Its Philosophy behind Article 26:
supplemented by Article 1332 of the Civil Code. The philosophy behind Article 26, underscores the necessity for its
The legislative intent is to protect both those who are found inclusion in our civil law. The sacredness of human personality is a
weak and uneducated who may have been taken advantage concomitant consideration of every plan for human amelioration.
by unscrupulous persons or those who may have used undue Under this article, the rights of persons are amply protected and
influence in entering into agreements. damages are provided for violations of a persons dignity, personality,
privacy and peace of mind.
Rongavilla v. Court of Appeals
The Supreme Court declared that the public policy is also well served Enumerations under Article 26 are Not Exclusive;
in defending the rights of the aged to legal protection, including their The violations mentioned in Article 26 are not exclusive but are merely
right to property that is their home, as against fraud, examples and do not preclude other similar or analogous acts.
misrepresentation, chicanery and abuse of trust and confidence by
those owed them candor and respect. Art. 27. Any person suffering material or moral loss because a
public servant or employee refuses or neglects, without just
Thoughtless Extravagance under Article 25: cause, to perform his official duty may file an action for damages
(a) There must be an acute public want or emergency; and and other relief against he latter, without prejudice to any
(b) The person seeking to stop it must be a government or private disciplinary administrative action that may be taken.
charitable institution.
Art. 28. Unfair competition in agricultural, commercial or
Article 26 - Every person shall respect the dignity, personality, industrial enterprises or in labor through the use of force,
privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors and other persons. intimidation, deceit, machination or any other unjust, oppressive
The following and similar acts, though they may not constitute a or highhanded method shall give rise to a right of action by the
criminal offense, shall produce a cause of action for damages, person who thereby suffers damage.
prevention and other relief:

Julius Edward M. Guzman |16


Article 27, General Rule: A public officer whether judicial, quasi- were proper. The basis of the decision was article 27, NCC, where a
judicial or executive is not personally liable to one injured in person suffering material or moral loss because a public employee
consequence of an act performed within the scope of his official refuses or neglects, without just cause, to perform his official duty may
authority and in line of his official duty. file an action of damages and other relief again the latter.

Exception to the rule: However, any person suffering material or Issue: WON the school is liable for damages.
moral loss because a public servant or employee refuses or neglects
without just cause, to perform his official duty may file an action for Held: The President of the state college was held liable for damages
damages and other relief against the latter, without prejudice to any under Article 27 of the Civil Code for failure to graduate a student with
disciplinary administrative action that may be taken. honors on account of said officials neglect of duty and callousness.
Furthermore, Delmo went through a painful ordeal, thus, moral and
The scope of Article 27: Limited to refusal or neglect to perform exemplary damages under Article 27 of the Civil are but proper.
official duties.
Unfair Competition Article 28 provides Unfair competition in
Requisites of Action under Article 27: agricultural, commercial or industrial enterprises or in labor through
(a) That the defendant be a public official charged with the the use of force, intimidation, deceit, machination or any other unjust,
performance of official duties; oppressive or highhanded method shall give rise to a right of action by
(b) That there be a violation of an official duty in favor of an the person who thereby suffers damage.
individual; It is clear that what is being sought to be prevented is not
(c) That there be willfulness or negligence in the violation of such competition per se but the use of unjust, oppressive or right-
official duty; and handed methods or to earn a living. Plainly, what the law
(d) That there be an injury to the individual. prohibits is unfair completion and not competition where the
means used are fair and legitimate.
** Article 27 presupposes that the refusal or omission of a public
official is attributable to malice or inexcusable negligence. Requisites of Unfair Competition:
(a) It must involve an injury to a competitor or trade rival;
Ledesma v. Court of Appeals: (b) It must involve acts which are characterized as contrary to
Facts: Violeta Delmo who was supposed to graduate magna cum good conscience or shocking to judicial sensibilities or
luade was not allowed to do so because of her act of lending money otherwise unlawful; these include force, intimidation, deceit,
to members of organization of which she was a member. According to machination or any other unjust, oppressive or high-handed
the school authorities, that act was against school rules and method.
regulations. Thus, the President of the state college did, despite her
qualifications and the Bureau of Public Schools instruction not to Willaware Products Corporation v. Jesichris Manufacturing Corp.
deprive her of the honors due to her, but just the same, she was Facts: Article 28 of the Civil Code provides that "unfair competition in
graduated as a plain student. The Supreme Court said that she went agricultural, commercial or industrial enterprises or in labor through
through a painful ordeal brought about by the Presidents neglect of the use of force, intimidation, deceit, machination or any other unjust,
duty and callousness. Hence, moral damages and exemplary damage oppressive or high-handed method shall give rise to a right of action

Julius Edward M. Guzman |17


by the person who thereby suffers damage." From the foregoing, it is Intent of Article 29
clear that what is being sought to be prevented is not competition per The reasons for the provisions of Article 29 which provides
se but the use of unjust, oppressive or high handed methods which that the acquittal of the accused on the ground that his guilt
may deprive others of a fair chance to engage in business or to earn has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt does not
a living. Plainly,what the law prohibits is unfair competition and not necessarily exempt him from civil liability for the same act or
competition where the means use dare fair and legitimate. omission.

Article. 29 - When the accused in a criminal prosecution is Article 29, presupposes;


acquitted on the ground that his guilt has not been proved (a) The private offended party opted to recover his damages on
beyond reasonable doubt, a civil action for damages for the same the basis of the offenders civil liability arising from the crime
act or omission may be instituted. Such action requires only a he committed under Article 100 of the RPC;
preponderance of evidence. Upon motion of the defendant, the (b) He also opted to institute his civil action based thereon,
court may require the plaintiff to file a bond to answer for expressly or impliedly with the criminal action;
damages in case the complaint should be found to be malicious. (c) The accused was acquitting in the criminal action on
reasonable doubt as to his guilt; and
If in a criminal case the judgment of acquittal is based upon (d) The said ground of acquittal was declared by the court in its
reasonable doubt, the court shall so declare. In the absence of judgment or is clearly inferable from the text thereof.
any declaration to that effect, it may be inferred from the text of
the decision whether or not the acquittal is due to that ground. Padilla v. Court of Appeals (No need for Separation Action)
The SC held that there are no reasons to require a separate civil action
General Rule: Every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly to still be filed considering that to be proved in the civil case have
liable. already been established in the criminal proceedings where the
accused is acquitted. Due process has been accorded the accused. A
Since a person criminally liable is also civilly liable, does his separate civil action may be warranted where additional facts have to
acquittal in a criminal case mean extinction of his civil liability? be established or more evidence must be adduced or where the
Our law recognizes two kinds of acquittal, with different effects on the criminal has been fully terminated and a separate complaint would be
civil liability of the accused based on delict. just as efficacious or even more expedient than a timely remand to the
(a) Not Author of Act or Omission: Acquittal on the ground that trial court where the criminal action was decided for further hearings
the accused is not the author of the act or omission on the civil aspects of the case.
complained of. This instance closes the door to civil liability,
for a person who has been found to be not the perpetrator of Article 30 - When a separate civil action is brought to demand
any act or omission cannot and can never be held liable for civil liability arising from a criminal offense, and no criminal
such act or omission. proceedings are instituted during the pendency of the civil case,
(b) Reasonable Doubt: Even if the guilt of the accused has not a preponderance of evidence shall likewise be sufficient to prove
been satisfactorily established, he is not exempt from civil the act complained of.
liability based on delict which may be proved by
preponderance of evidence only.

Julius Edward M. Guzman |18


Article 31 - When the civil action is based on an obligation not Quasi-delict as Separate Source of Obligation: A quasi-delict is a
arising from the act or omission complained of as a felony, such separate legal institution under the civil code with a substantivity all its
civil action may proceed independently of the criminal own and individuality that is entirely apart and independent from delict
proceedings and regardless of the result of the latter. or crime.

Rule of Implied Institution: When a criminal action is instituted, the Tayag v. Alacantara (Acquittal of Accused, Irrelevant in Quasi-
civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the offense Delict)
charged shall be deemed instituted with the criminal action unless the It was held that a separate civil action lies against the offender in a
offended party waives the civil action, reserves the right to institute it criminal act, whether or not he is criminally prosecuted and found
separately or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action. guilty or acquitted, provided that the offended party is not allowed, if
he is actually charged also criminally, to recover damages on both
When Civil Action is Reserved: The reservation of the right to scores and would be entitled in such eventuality. Exclusivity of the civil
institute separately the civil actions shall be made before the liability founded on Article 100 of RPC, while the civil liability for the
prosecution starts presenting its evidence and under circumstances same act considered as a quasi-delict only and not as a crime is not
affording the offended party a reasonable opportunity to make such extinguished even by a declaration in criminal case that the criminal
reservation. charged has not happened or has not been committed by accused.

When Civil Action is Instituted Prior to Criminal Action: If the Same Negligent Act May Produce Two Kinds of Civil Liabilities:
criminal action is instituted after the said civil actions has already been The same negligent act causing damages may produce a civil liability
institute, the latter shall be suspended in whatever stage it may be arising from Article 100 of the RPC or creates an action for quasi-
found before judgment on the merits. (Note: the suspension shall last delict. The former is a violation of the criminal law, while the latter is a
until final judgment is rendered in the criminal action) distinct and independent negligence, having always had its own
foundation and individuality.
When Civil Action is Instituted, But No Criminal Action: When a
separate civil action is brought to demand civil liability arising from a Quasi-Delict Covers Acts Criminal In Character: Article 2176
criminal offense and no criminal proceedings are instituted during the whenever it refers to fault or negligence, covers not only acts not
pendency of the civil case, preponderance of evidence shall be punished by law but also acts criminal in character, whether intentional
sufficient to prove the act complained of. and voluntary or negligent.

Article 31: According to Justice Capistrano, the provision does not Article 32 - Any public officer or employee, or any private
provide for an independent action. An independent civil action is an individual, who directly or indirectly obstructs, defeats, violates
action that is based upon the same criminal act as in the case of or in any manner impedes or impairs any of the following rights
Articles 32, 33 and 34. When the civil action not arising from the act and liberties of another person shall be liable to the latter for
or omission complained of as a felony, such civil action being based damages:
upon an obligation not arising from the criminal act but from a different
source is not an independent civil action. (1) Freedom of religion;

Julius Edward M. Guzman |19


(2) Freedom of speech; aggrieved party has a right to commence an entirely separate and
(3) Freedom to write for the press or to maintain a periodical distinct civil action for damages, and for other relief. Such civil
publication; action shall proceed independently of any criminal prosecution
(4) Freedom from arbitrary or illegal detention; (if the latter be instituted), and mat be proved by a preponderance
(5) Freedom of suffrage; of evidence.
(6) The right against deprivation of property without due process
of law; The indemnity shall include moral damages. Exemplary damages
(7) The right to a just compensation when private property is may also be adjudicated.
taken for public use;
(8) The right to the equal protection of the laws; The responsibility herein set forth is not demandable from a
(9) The right to be secure in one's person, house, papers, and judge unless his act or omission constitutes a violation of the
effects against unreasonable searches and seizures; Penal Code or other penal statute.
(10) The liberty of abode and of changing the same;
(11) The privacy of communication and correspondence; Article 33 - In cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries a
(12) The right to become a member of associations or societies civil action for damages, entirely separate and distinct from the
for purposes not contrary to law; criminal action, may be brought by the injured party. Such civil
(13) The right to take part in a peaceable assembly to petition the action shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution,
government for redress of grievances; and shall require only a preponderance of evidence.
(14) The right to be free from involuntary servitude in any form;
(15) The right of the accused against excessive bail; Art. 35 - When a member of a city or municipal police force
(16) The right of the accused to be heard by himself and counsel, refuses or fails to render aid or protection to any person in case
to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against of danger to life or property, such peace officer shall be primarily
him, to have a speedy and public trial, to meet the witnesses face liable for damages, and the city or municipality shall be
to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the subsidiarily responsible therefor. The civil action herein
attendance of witness in his behalf; recognized shall be independent of any criminal proceedings,
(17) Freedom from being compelled to be a witness against one's and a preponderance of evidence shall suffice to support such
self, or from being forced to confess guilt, or from being induced action.
by a promise of immunity or reward to make such confession,
except when the person confessing becomes a State witness; Independent Civil Actions: In the cases provided in Articles 32, 33
(18) Freedom from excessive fines, or cruel and unusual ,34 and 2176 of the Civil Code, an independent civil action may be
punishment, unless the same is imposed or inflicted in brought by the offended party. It shall proceed independently of the
accordance with a statute which has not been judicially declared criminal action and shall require only a preponderance of evidence.
unconstitutional; and
(19) Freedom of access to the courts. Civil Damages for violation of Constitutional Liberties under
Article 32: Article 32 is an implementation of the civil rights
In any of the cases referred to in this article, whether or not the guaranteed under the Philippine Constitution. It was reported by the
defendant's act or omission constitutes a criminal offense, the commission:

Julius Edward M. Guzman |20


(a) In most cases, the threat to freedom orginates from abuses of contemplates a civil action for recovery of damages that is entirely
power by government officials and peace officers. unrelated to the purely criminal aspect of the case.
(b) Even when the prosecuting attorney filed a criminal action, the
requirement of proof beyond reasonable doubt often Civil Action Allowed to Be Instituted is Ex-Delicto: The underlying
prevented the appropriate punishment; purpose of the principle is to allow the citizen to enforce his rights in
(c) Direct and open violation of the Penal Code trampling upon private action brought by him, regardless of the action of the State
the freedoms named are not so frequent as those subtle, attorney.
clever, and indirect ways which do not come within the pale of
the penal laws. Term Physical Injuries: In Carandang v. Santiago, The word
physical injuries should be understood to mean bodily injury, not the
When Public Officer Personally Liable: An individual can hold a crime of physical injuries, because the terms used with the latter are
public officer personally liable for damages on account of an act or general terms.
omission that violates a constitutional right only if it results in a
particular wrong or injury to the former. Criminal Negligence, Included in Article 33: In Corpus v. Paje, the
Supreme Court held that criminal negligence, is reckless imprudence
According to Vinzons-Chato v. Fortune, there are two kinds of Duties is not one of the three crimes mention in Article 33. While in Madeja
to the Public officers: (a) the duty owing to the public collectively; and v. Caro, the Supreme Court held that Corpuz is not authoritative. It
(2) the duty owing to particular individuals. was ruled that the civil action may proceed independently of the
criminal proceeding even if the crime charged is homicide through
In determining whether a public officer is liable for an improper reckless imprudence.
performance or non-performance of duty, it must be first determined
which of the two classes of duties is involved. Thus, the liability of a Art. 35 - When a person, claiming to be injured by a criminal
public officer to an individual or the public is based upon and is co- offense, charges another with the same, for which no
extensive with his duty to the individual or the public. If to the one or independent civil action is granted in this Code or any special
there he owes no duty, to that one he can incur no liability. law, but the justice of the peace finds no reasonable grounds to
believe that a crime has been committed, or the prosecuting
Good Faith, Not A Defense: It is not necessary that the defendant attorney refuses or fails to institute criminal proceedings, the
under Article 32, should have acted with malice or bad faith. To make complaint may bring a civil action for damages against the
such requisite would defeat the main purpose of said article, which is alleged offender. Such civil action may be supported by a
effective protection of individual rights. The object of the article is to preponderance of evidence. Upon the defendant's motion, the
put an end to official abuse by the plea of good faith. court may require the plaintiff to file a bond to indemnify the
defendant in case the complaint should be found to be malicious.
Article 33 To hold a person liable for damages under Article 33, only
a preponderance of evidence is required. An acquittal in a criminal If during the pendency of the civil action, an information should
case is not a bar to the filing of an action for civil damages, for one be presented by the prosecuting attorney, the civil action shall
may not be criminally liable and still be civilly liable. The article be suspended until the termination of the criminal proceedings.

Julius Edward M. Guzman |21


Art. 36 - Pre-judicial questions which must be decided before any Administrative Case, Does Not Constitute Prejudicial Question to
criminal prosecution may be instituted or may proceed, shall be Criminal Prosecution:
governed by rules of court which the Supreme Court shall
promulgate and which shall not be in conflict with the provisions In La Chemise Lacoste, S.A. v. Fernandez,
of this Code. Facts: La Chemise filed with the NBI a letter complaint alleging therein
the acts of unfair competition being committed by Hernandas & Co.
Doctrine of Prejudicial Question: defined to be one which arises in The Court issued the search warrants. Harnandas filed a motion to
a case, the resolution of which question is logical antecedent of the quash the search warrants, alleging that trademark used by him was
issue involved in said case. A prejudicial question usually comes into different from La Chemise Lacostes trademark and that the pendency
play in a situation where a civil action and criminal action both pend of application for the registration of his Trademark renders premature
and there exists in the former an issue which must be preemptively any criminal or civil action.
resolved before the criminal action may proceed, because howsoever
the issue raised in the civil action is resolved would be determinative Issue: WON the proceedings before the patent office is a prejudicial
juris et de jure of the guilt or innocence of the accused in criminal case. question that need to be resolved before the criminal action for unfair
competition may be pursued.
Elements of Prejudicial Question:
(a) The previously instituted civil action involves an issue similarly Held: No. The proceedings pending before the Patent Office do not
or intimately related to the issue raised in the subsequent partake of the nature of a prejudicial question which must first be
criminal action; and definitely resolved. The case which suspends the criminal action must
(b) The resolution of such issue determines whether or not the be a civil case, not a mere administrative case, which is determinative
criminal action may proceed. of the innocence or guilt of the accused. The issue whether a
(Note: the issue in the civil action that is prejudicial to the continuation trademark used is different from anothers trademark is a matter of
of criminal action and not vice-versa) defense and will be better resolved in the criminal proceedings before
a court of justice instead of raising it as a preliminary matter in an
Suspension of Proceedings: A petition for suspension of the administrative proceeding.
criminal action based upon the pendency of a prejudicial question in a
civil action may be filed in the office of the prosecutor or the court Criminal Prosecution Does Not Constitute Question to
conducting the preliminary investigation. The rule authorizes only the Administrative Proceeding for Disbarment or Suspension of a
suspension of the criminal action and not its dismissal by reasons of Lawyer: A criminal prosecution will not constitute prejudicial question
prejudicial question. even if the same facts and circumstances are attendant in the
administrative proceedings for the disbarment or suspension of a
When Cases Involved are Civil and Administrative: In Ocampo v. member of the bar because administrative cases agains lawyers
Buenaventura, it was held that doctrine of prejudicial question is belong to a class of their own.
inapplicable because no criminal case but merely an administrative
and a civil suit were involved. While in Quiambao v. Osorio, since the
actions involved were civil and administrative in character, it was held
that there was no prejudicial question.

Julius Edward M. Guzman |22