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QUASI-DELICTS REVISED PENAL CODE

Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is QUASI-OFFENSES
obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE
relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter.
(1902a) Art. 365. Imprudence and negligence. — Any person who, by reckless imprudence, shall commit any act
which, had it been intentional, would constitute a grave felony, shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor
Art. 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligence under the preceding article is entirely separate and in its maximum period to prision correccional in its medium period; if it would have constituted a less
distinct from the civil liability arising from negligence under the Penal Code. But the plaintiff cannot grave felony, the penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum and medium periods shall be imposed; if it
recover damages twice for the same act or omission of the defendant. (n) would have constituted a light felony, the penalty of arresto menor in its maximum period shall be
imposed.
Art. 2178. The provisions of Articles 1172 to 1174 are also applicable to a quasi-delict. (n)
Any person who, by simple imprudence or negligence, shall commit an act which would otherwise
Art. 2179. When the plaintiff's own negligence was the immediate and proximate cause of his injury, he constitute a grave felony, shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor in its medium and maximum periods;
cannot recover damages. But if his negligence was only contributory, the immediate and proximate if it would have constituted a less serious felony, the penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum period
cause of the injury being the defendant's lack of due care, the plaintiff may recover damages, but the shall be imposed.
courts shall mitigate the damages to be awarded. (n)
When the execution of the act covered by this article shall have only resulted in damage to the property
Art. 2180. The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is demandable not only for one's own acts or of another, the offender shall be punished by a fine ranging from an amount equal to the value of said
omissions, but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible. damages to three times such value, but which shall in no case be less than twenty-five pesos.

The father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are responsible for the damages caused by A fine not exceeding two hundred pesos and censure shall be imposed upon any person who, by simple
the minor children who live in their company. imprudence or negligence, shall cause some wrong which, if done maliciously, would have constituted
a light felony.
Guardians are liable for damages caused by the minors or incapacitated persons who are under their In the imposition of these penalties, the court shall exercise their sound discretion, without regard to the
authority and live in their company. rules prescribed in Article sixty-four.

The owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise are likewise responsible for damages caused The provisions contained in this article shall not be applicable:
by their employees in the service of the branches in which the latter are employed or on the occasion of
their functions. 1. When the penalty provided for the offense is equal to or lower than those provided in the first two
paragraphs of this article, in which case the court shall impose the penalty next lower in degree than
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting that which should be imposed in the period which they may deem proper to apply.
within the scope of their assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged in any business or
industry. 2. When, by imprudence or negligence and with violation of the Automobile Law, to death of a person
shall be caused, in which case the defendant shall be punished by prision correccional in its medium
The State is responsible in like manner when it acts through a special agent; but not when the damage and maximum periods.
has been caused by the official to whom the task done properly pertains, in which case what is provided
in Article 2176 shall be applicable. Reckless imprudence consists in voluntary, but without malice, doing or falling to do an act from which
material damage results by reason of inexcusable lack of precaution on the part of the person performing
Lastly, teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades shall be liable for damages caused by their of failing to perform such act, taking into consideration his employment or occupation, degree of
pupils and students or apprentices, so long as they remain in their custody. intelligence, physical condition and other circumstances regarding persons, time and place.

The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned prove that Simple imprudence consists in the lack of precaution displayed in those cases in which the damage
they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. (1903a) impending to be caused is not immediate nor the danger clearly manifest.

Art. 2184. In motor vehicle mishaps, the owner is solidarily liable with his driver, if the former, who was The penalty next higher in degree to those provided for in this article shall be imposed upon the offender
in the vehicle, could have, by the use of the due diligence, prevented the misfortune. It is disputably who fails to lend on the spot to the injured parties such help as may be in this hand to give. (As amended
presumed that a driver was negligent, if he had been found guilty or reckless driving or violating traffic by R.A. 1790, approved June 21, 1957).
regulations at least twice within the next preceding two months.
If the owner was not in the motor vehicle, the provisions of Article 2180 are applicable.

Art. 2185. Unless there is proof to the contrary, it is presumed that a person driving a motor vehicle has
been negligent if at the time of the mishap, he was violating any traffic regulation.
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PERSON CIVILLY LIABLE FOR FELONIES THE HEIRS OF REDENTOR COMPLETO and ELPIDIO ABIAD,
Art. 100. Civil liability of a person guilty of felony. — Every person criminally liable for a felony is also Vs.
civilly liable. SGT. AMANDO C. ALBAYDA, JR.,
The Facts
Art. 101. Rules regarding civil liability in certain cases. — The exemption from criminal liability established Respondent Amando C. Albayda, Jr. (Albayda) is a Master Sergeant of the Philippine Air Force,
in subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 of Article 12 and in subdivision 4 of Article 11 of this Code does not 527th Base Security Squadron, 520th Airbase, Philippine Air Force, located at Villamor Air Base
include exemption from civil liability, which shall be enforced subject to the following rules: (VAB), Pasay City. Petitioner Redentor Completo (Completo), now represented by his heirs, was the taxi
driver of a Toyota Corolla, bearing Plate No. PYD-128, owned and operated by co-petitioner Elpidio
First. In cases of subdivisions 1, 2, and 3 of Article 12, the civil liability for acts committed by an imbecile Abiad (Abiad).[3] Albayda and Completo figured in an accident along the intersection of 8 th and
or insane person, and by a person under nine years of age, or by one over nine but under fifteen years 11th Streets, VAB. Albayda filed a complaint for damages before the Regional Trial Court (RTC)
of age, who has acted without discernment, shall devolve upon those having such person under their of Pasay City. The case was docketed as Civil Case No. 98-1333.[4]
legal authority or control, unless it appears that there was no fault or negligence on their part.
The amended complaint alleged that, on August 27, 1997, while Albayda was on his way to the office to
Should there be no person having such insane, imbecile or minor under his authority, legal guardianship report for duty, riding a bicycle along 11th Street, the taxi driven by Completo bumped and sideswiped
or control, or if such person be insolvent, said insane, imbecile, or minor shall respond with their own him, causing serious physical injuries. Albayda was brought to the Philippine Air Force General
property, excepting property exempt from execution, in accordance with the civil law. Hospital (PAFGH) inside VAB. However, he was immediately transferred to the Armed Forces of the
Philippines Medical Center (AFPMC) on V. Luna Road, Quezon City, because there was a fracture in
Second. In cases falling within subdivision 4 of Article 11, the persons for whose benefit the harm has his left knee and there was no orthopedic doctor available at PAFGH. From August 27, 1997 until
been prevented shall be civilly liable in proportion to the benefit which they may have received. February 11, 1998, he was confined therein. He was again hospitalized at PAFGH from February 23,
1998 until March 22, 1998.[5]
The courts shall determine, in sound discretion, the proportionate amount for which each one shall be Conciliation between the parties before the barangay failed. Thus, Albayda filed a complaint for
liable. physical injuries through reckless imprudence against Completo before the Office of the City Prosecutor
of Pasay City. On the other hand, Completo filed a counter-charge of damage to property through
When the respective shares cannot be equitably determined, even approximately, or when the liability reckless imprudence against Albayda. On January 13, 1998, the Office of the City Prosecutor issued a
also attaches to the Government, or to the majority of the inhabitants of the town, and, in all events, resolution,[6] recommending the filing of an information for reckless imprudence resulting in physical
whenever the damages have been caused with the consent of the authorities or their agents, injuries against Completo. The counter-charge of damage to property was recommended dismissed.[7]
indemnification shall be made in the manner prescribed by special laws or regulations.
The case was raffled to the Metropolitan Trial Court of Pasay City, Branch 45, where Albayda
Third. In cases falling within subdivisions 5 and 6 of Article 12, the persons using violence or causing manifested his reservation to file a separate civil action for damages against petitioners Completo and
the fears shall be primarily liable and secondarily, or, if there be no such persons, those doing the act Abiad.[8]
shall be liable, saving always to the latter that part of their property exempt from execution.
Albayda alleged that the proximate cause of the incident which necessitated his stay in the hospital for
Art. 102. Subsidiary civil liability of innkeepers, tavernkeepers and proprietors of establishments. — In default approximately seven (7) months was the negligence of Completo who, at the time of the accident, was
of the persons criminally liable, innkeepers, tavernkeepers, and any other persons or corporations shall in the employ of Abiad. The pain he suffered required him to undergo medical physiotherapy for a
be civilly liable for crimes committed in their establishments, in all cases where a violation of municipal number of years to regain normality of his left knee joint, and he claimed that he incurred actual
ordinances or some general or special police regulation shall have been committed by them or their damages totaling Two Hundred Seventy-Six Thousand Five Hundred Fifty Pesos (P276,550.00),
employees. inclusive of his anticipated operations.[9]

Innkeepers are also subsidiarily liable for the restitution of goods taken by robbery or theft within their He further stated that aggravating the physical sufferings, mental anguish, frights, serious anxiety,
houses from guests lodging therein, or for the payment of the value thereof, provided that such guests besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, and social humiliation resulting from his
shall have notified in advance the innkeeper himself, or the person representing him, of the deposit of injuries, his wife abandoned him in May 1998, and left their children in his custody. He thus demanded
such goods within the inn; and shall furthermore have followed the directions which such innkeeper or the amount of Six Hundred Thousand Pesos (P600,000.00) as moral damages. He likewise asked for
his representative may have given them with respect to the care and vigilance over such goods. No exemplary damages in the amount of Two Hundred Thousand Pesos (P200,000.00) and attorneys fees
liability shall attach in case of robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons unless committed of Twenty-Five Thousand Pesos (P25,000.00), plus One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00) per court
by the innkeeper's employees. appearance.[10]

In his answer to the amended complaint, Completo alleged that, on August 27, 1997, he was carefully
driving the taxicab along 8th Street, VAB, when suddenly he heard a strange sound from the rear right
side of the taxicab. When he stopped to investigate, he found Albayda lying on the road and holding his
left leg. He immediately rendered assistance and brought Albayda to PAFGH for emergency
treatment.[11]
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Completo also asserted that he was an experienced driver who, in accordance with traffic rules and regulations Upon examination, it was found that Albayda suffered fracture in his left knee and that it required an operation.
and common courtesy to his fellow motorists, had already reduced his speed to twenty (20) kilometers per No orthopedic doctor was available at PAFGH. Thus, he was transferred that same afternoon to AFPMC, where
hour even before reaching the intersection of 8th and 11th Streets. In contrast, Albayda rode his bicycle at a very he was confined until February 11, 1998.[23]
high speed, causing him to suddenly lose control of the bicycle and hit the rear door on the right side of the
taxicab.[12] At AFPMC, Albaydas left leg was drilled on and attached to traction. When his leg was drilled, it was so painful
that he had to shout. After his release from the hospital, he continued to suffer pain in his leg. He underwent
The deep indentation on the rear right door of the taxicab was caused by the impact of Albaydas body that hit reflexology and therapy which offered temporary relief from pain. But after some time, he had to undergo
the taxicab after he had lost control of the bicycle; while the slight indentation on the right front door of the therapy and reflexology again.[24]
taxicab was caused by the impact of the bike that hit the taxicab after Albayda let go of its handles when he
had lost control of it.[13]
On January 25, 1999, Albayda was readmitted at AFPMC and operated on. On June 24, 1999, he was operated
Completo maintained that Albayda had no cause of action. The accident and the physical injuries suffered by on again. Wire and screw were installed so that he could bend his knee. Nonetheless, he continued to suffer
Albayda were caused by his own negligence, and his purpose in filing the complaint was to harass petitioners pain. As of the date of his testimony in court, he was scheduled for another operation in January 2000, when
and unjustly enrich himself at their expense.[14] the steel that would be installed in his leg arrives.[25]
After submission of the parties respective pleadings, a pretrial conference was held. On December 8, 1998, the
RTC issued a pretrial order. Thereafter, trial on the merits ensued.[15] For his food, Albayda spent Thirty Pesos (P30.00) each day during his six (6) months of confinement; for his
bed pan, One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00); for his twice weekly reflexology, Three Hundred Pesos (P300.00)
Albayda presented himself, Michael Navarro (Navarro), Dr. Rito Barrosa, Jr. (Dr. Barrosa), Dr. Armando Sta. every session since April 1997; for his caretaker, P300.00 per day for six months. He also asked for P600,000.00
Ana, Jr., Dr. Ranny Santiago, (Dr. Santiago), and Dr. Manuel Fidel Magtira (Dr. Magtira) as witnesses in open in moral damages because Completo did not lend him a helping hand, and he would be suffering deformity
court.[16] for the rest of his life. He demanded P25,000.00 as attorneys fees and P1,000.00 for every court appearance of
On direct examination, Navarro testified that, on August 27, 1997, at around 1:45 p.m., he saw a taxicab, with his lawyer.[26]
Plate No. PYD-128, coming from 11th Street, running at an unusual speed. The normal speed should have been
twenty-five (25) kilometers per hour. He was at the corner of 9th and 8th Streets when the taxicab passed by him. On cross-examination, Albayda testified that, on the date of the incident, he was the base guard at VAB, and
The side of the bicycle was hit by the taxicab at the intersection of 11th and 8th Streets. He saw Albayda fall to his duty was from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. That afternoon, he was not in a hurry to go to his place of work because it
the ground, grimacing in pain. The taxicab at that moment was about ten (10) meters away from Albayda. On was only about 1:45 p.m., and his place of work was only six (6) meters away. After the accident, he was brought
cross-examination, Navarro reiterated that the taxicab was running quite fast. The bicycle ridden by Albayda to PAFGH, and at 3:00 p.m., he was brought to the AFPMC. When he was discharged from the hospital, he
reached the intersection of 8th and 11th Streets before the taxicab hit it.[17] could no longer walk.[27]

Dr. Santiago, the orthopedic surgeon who treated Albayda when the latter was admitted at AFPMC, testified Dr. Barrosas testimony during cross-examination emphasized that he was with 2 other persons when he carried
that the cause of the injury was hard impact, and recommended an operation to alleviate the suffering. On Albayda into the taxicab driven by Completo. He was certain that it was not Completo who carried the victim
cross-examination, he said that there was a separation of the fragments of the proximal leg, the injured into the taxicab. It was only a matter of seconds when he rushed to the scene of the accident. The taxicab backed
extremity, called levia. They placed the victim on knee traction or calcaneal traction, [18] in order to avoid further up fifteen (15) seconds later. Albayda lay 2 meters away from the corner of 8th and 11th Streets.[28]
swelling. They bore the calcanean bone with a stainless steel pin so that they could put five percent (5%) of the
body weight of the patient to cool down the leg. He treated Albayda for three (3) months. He recommended Completo, Abiad, and Benjamin Panican (Panican) testified for the defense. [29]
surgery, but the victim had other medical problems, like an increase in sugar level, and they were waiting for
the availability of the implant. The implant was supposed to be placed on the lateral aspect of the proximal leg Completo alleged that he had been employed as taxi driver of FOJS Transport, owned by Abiad, since February
or the levia, the part with the separation. It was a long implant with screws. [19] 1997. On August 27, 1997, he was driving the taxicab, with Plate No. PYD-128, from 10:00 a.m. At around 1:45
p.m., he was on his way home when a bicycle bumped his taxicab at the intersection of 8 th and 11th Streets,
Dr. Magtira testified that Albayda was readmitted at AFPMC on January 25, 1999 because of complaints of pain VAB. The bicycle was travelling from south to north, and he was going east coming from the west. The bicycle
and limitation of motion on the knee joint. Upon evaluation, the pain was caused by traumatic arthritis brought was coming from 11th Street, while he was travelling along 8th Street.[30]
about by malunion of the lateral trivial condial. An operation of the soft tissue release was conducted for him
to mobilize his knee joint and attain proper range of motion. After the operation, Albayda attained functional On cross-examination, Completo testified that when Albayda hit the rear right door of the taxicab, the latter
range of motion, but because of subsisting pain, they had to do osteoplasty [20] of the malunion, which was fell to the ground. When he heard a noise, he immediately alighted from the taxicab. He denied that he stopped
another operation. On cross-examination, Dr. Magtira testified that he rendered free medical service at about 10 meters away from the place where Albayda fell. He carried Albayda and drove him to the hospital. [31]
AFPMC.[21] Panican testified that he worked as an airconditioner technician in a shop located
on 8th Street corner 11th Street. On the date and time of the incident, he was working in front of the shop
Albayda testified that he was thirty-six (36) years old and a soldier of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. On near the roadside. He saw a bicycle bump the rear right side of the taxicab. Then, the driver of the taxicab
August 27, 1997, at around 1:40 p.m., he was riding his bike on his way to the office, located on 916 Street, VAB. alighted, carried Albayda, and brought him to the hospital.[32]
He had to stop at the corner of 11th and 8th Streets because an oncoming taxicab was moving fast. However, the
taxicab still bumped the front tire of his bike, hit his left knee and threw him off until he fell down on the road. When questioned by the trial court, Panican testified that the bicycle was running fast and that he saw
The taxicab stopped about ten meters away, and then moved backwards. Its driver, Completo, just stared at
it bump the taxicab. The taxicab already passed the intersection of 11th and 8th Streets when the bicycle
him. When somebody shouted to bring him to the hospital, two (2) persons, one of whom was Dr. Barrosa,
arrived.[33]
helped him and carried him into the taxicab driven by Completo, who brought him to PAFGH. [22]

Abiad testified that, aside from being a soldier, he was also a franchise holder of taxicabs and passenger
jeepneys. When Completo applied as a driver of the taxicab, Abiad required the former to show his bio-
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data, NBI clearance, and drivers license. Completo never figured in a vehicular accident since the time Completo did not slow down even when he approached the intersection of 8th and 11th Streets of VAB.
he was employed in February 1997. Abiad averred that Completo was a good driver and a good man. It was also proven that Albayda had the right of way, considering that he reached the intersection ahead
Being the operator of taxicab, Abiad would wake up early and personally check all the taxicabs. [34] of Completo.

On July 31, 2000, the trial court rendered a decision,[35] the dispositive portion of which reads: The bicycle occupies a legal position that is at least equal to that of other vehicles lawfully on the
highway, and it is fortified by the fact that usually more will be required of a motorist than a bicyclist in
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff [Albayda] and against the discharging his duty of care to the other because of the physical advantages the automobile has over the
defendants [Completo and Abiad]. Accordingly, the defendants [Completo and Abiad] are hereby bicycle.[43]
ordered to pay the plaintiff [Albayda] the following sum:XXXXXX SO ORDERED.[36]
At the slow speed of ten miles per hour, a bicyclist travels almost fifteen feet per second, while a car
Completo and Abiad filed an appeal. The CA affirmed the trial court with modification in a traveling at only twenty-five miles per hour covers almost thirty-seven feet per second, and split-second
Decision[37] dated January 2, 2006, viz.: action may be insufficient to avoid an accident. It is obvious that a motor vehicle poses a greater danger
of harm to a bicyclist than vice versa. Accordingly, while the duty of using reasonable care falls alike on
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the appeal is DENIED for lack of merit. The assailed Decision a motorist and a bicyclist, due to the inherent differences in the two vehicles, more care is required from
dated 31 July 2000 rendered by the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City, Branch 117, in Civil Case No. 98- the motorist to fully discharge the duty than from the bicyclist.[44] Simply stated, the physical advantages
1333 is hereby AFFIRMED with the following MODIFICATIONS:XXXX SO ORDERED.[38] Hence, this that the motor vehicle has over the bicycle make it more dangerous to the bicyclist than vice versa.[45]
petition.

The Issues Under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, the obligation imposed by Article 2176 is demandable not only for
ones own acts or omissions, but also for those persons for whom one is responsible. Employers shall be
1. whether the CA erred in finding that Completo was the one who caused the collision; liable for the damages caused by their employees, but the employers responsibility shall cease upon
proof that they observed all the diligence of a good father of the family in the selection and supervision
2. Whether Abiad failed to prove that he observed the diligence of a good father of the family; of their employees.
and (3) whether the award of moral and temperate damages and attorneys fees to Albayda
had no basis.[39]
When an injury is caused by the negligence of an employee, a legal presumption instantly arises that the
The Ruling of the Court employer was negligent. This presumption may be rebutted only by a clear showing on the part of the
employer that he exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of
The petition is bereft of merit. his employee. If the employer successfully overcomes the legal presumption of negligence, he is relieved
of liability. In other words, the burden of proof is on the employer.[46]
I. On Negligence
The trial courts finding that Completo failed to exercise reasonable care to avoid collision with Albayda
The issues raised by petitioners essentially delve into factual matters which were already passed upon at the intersection of 11th and 8th Streets of VAB gives rise to liability on the part of Completo, as driver,
by the RTC and the CA. Conclusions and findings of fact of the trial court are entitled to great weight and his employer Abiad. The responsibility of two or more persons who are liable for quasi-delict is
on appeal and should not be disturbed unless for strong and cogent reasons, because the trial court is in solidary.[47] The civil liability of the employer for the negligent acts of his employee is also primary and
a better position to examine real evidence, as well as to observe the demeanor of the witnesses while direct, owing to his own negligence in selecting and supervising his employee.[48] The civil liability of
testifying in the case. The fact that the CA adopted the findings of fact of the trial court makes the same the employer attaches even if the employer is not inside the vehicle at the time of the collision.[49]
binding upon this Court. Well-settled is the rule that the Supreme Court is not a trier of facts.[40] To be
sure, findings of fact of lower courts are deemed conclusive and binding upon the Supreme Court, save In the selection of prospective employees, employers are required to examine them as to their
only for clear and exceptional reasons,[41] none of which is present in the case at bar. qualifications, experience, and service records. On the other hand, with respect to the supervision of
The instant case involved a collision between a taxicab and a bicycle which resulted in serious physical employees, employers should formulate standard operating procedures, monitor their implementation,
injuries to the bicycle rider, Albayda. It is a rule in negligence suits that the plaintiff has the burden of and impose disciplinary measures for breaches thereof. To establish these factors in a trial involving the
proving by a preponderance of evidence the motorists breach in his duty of care owed to the plaintiff, issue of vicarious liability, employers must submit concrete proof, including documentary evidence.[50]
that the motorist was negligent in failing to exercise the diligence required to avoid injury to the plaintiff, Abiad testified that before he hired Completo, he required the latter to show his bio-data, NBI clearance,
and that such negligence was the proximate cause of the injury suffered.[42] and drivers license. Abiad likewise stressed that Completo was never involved in a vehicular accident
prior to the instant case, and that, as operator of the taxicab, he would wake up early to personally check
Article 2176 of the Civil Code provides that whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there the condition of the vehicle before it is used.
being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no
preexisting contractual relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict. In this regard, the question The protestation of Abiad to escape liability is short of the diligence required under the law. Abiads
of the motorist's negligence is a question of fact. evidence consisted entirely of testimonial evidence, and the unsubstantiated and self-serving testimony
It was proven by a preponderance of evidence that Completo failed to exercise reasonable diligence in of Abiad was insufficient to overcome the legal presumption that he was negligent in the selection and
driving the taxicab because he was over-speeding at the time he hit the bicycle ridden by Albayda. Such supervision of his driver.
negligence was the sole and proximate cause of the serious physical injuries sustained by Albayda.
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II. On Damages
Heirs of Completo v. Albayda, Jr.
The CA rightfully deleted the award of actual damages by the RTC because Albayda failed to present Facts
documentary evidence to establish with certainty the amount that he incurred during his hospitalization
and treatment for the injuries he suffered. In the absence of stipulation, actual damages are awarded
Albayda is a Master Sergeant of the PH Air Force, and Completo was the taxi driver of a
only for such pecuniary loss suffered that was duly proved.[51]
Toyota Corolla which was owned by Abiad. Albayda was riding a bike on his way to the
While the amount of actual damages was not duly established with certainty, the Court recognizes the office, when Completo’s taxi bumped and sideswept him, causing serious physical injuries.
fact that, indeed, Albayda incurred a considerable amount for the necessary and reasonable medical He [Albayda] was brought to the PH Air Force General Hospital, but he was transferred to
expenses, loss of salary and wages, loss of capacity to earn increased wages, cost of occupational therapy, the AFP Medical Center because he sustained a fracture and there was no orthopedic doctor
and harm from conditions caused by prolonged immobilization. Temperate damages, more than available in the first hospital. He was confined from 27 Aug 1997 to 11 Feb 1998, and again
nominal but less than compensatory damages, may be recovered when the court finds that some in 23 Feb to 22 Mar 1998 [approx. 7 months].
pecuniary loss has been suffered but its amount cannot, from the nature of the case, be proved with
certainty.[52] Temperate damages must be reasonable under the circumstances.[53] Thus, the Court finds
Conciliation before the barangay failed, so Albayda filed a complaint for physical injuries
the award of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00) as temperate damages reasonable under the
circumstances. through reckless imprudence against Completo before the Office of the City Prosecutor of
Pasay. Completo filed a counter-charge of damage to property through reckless imprudence
Doubtless, Albayda suffered immeasurable pain because of the incident caused by petitioners against Albayda. The Office of the City Prosecutor recommended the filing of an information
negligence. The CA explained: for Albayda’s complaint, and Completo’s complaint [against Albayda] was dismissed.
Albayda manifested his reservation to file a separate civil action for damages against
The court vicariously feels the pain the plaintiff [Albayda] suffered a number of times. After he was Completo and Abiad.
bumped by defendants cab, he cried in pain. When the doctors bore holes into his left knee, he cried in
pain. When he was tractioned, when he was subjected to an operation after operation he suffered pain.
Albayda alleged that Completo’s negligence is the proximate cause of the incident. He
When he took the witness stand to testify, he walked with crutches, his left knee in bandage, stiff and
unfuctional. Pain was written [on] his face. He does deserve moral damages. [54] demanded the following damages and their respective amounts: Actual damages –
276,550; Moral damages – 600,000; Exemplary damages – 200,000; Attorney’s fees – 25,000 +
Moral damages are awarded in quasi-delicts causing physical injuries. The permanent deformity and 1,000 per court appearance.
the scar left by the wounds suffered by Albayba will forever be a reminder of the pain and suffering that
he had endured and continues to endure because of petitioners negligence. Thus, the award of moral On the other hand, Completo alleged that he was carefully driving the taxicab when he
damages in the amount of Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500,000.00) is proper. heard a strange sound from the taxicab’s rear right side. He found Albayda lying on the road,
holding his left leg, so he brought Albayda to PH Air Force General Hospital. Completo
Finally, an interest rate of six percent (6%) per annum is due on the amount of P100,000.00, as temperate
asserted that he was an experienced driver, and that he already reduced his speed to 20km
damages, and P500,000.00, as moral damages, which we have awarded. The 6% per annum interest rate
on the temperate and moral damages shall commence to run from the date of the promulgation of this even before reaching the intersection. In contrast, Albayda rode his bicycle at high speed,
Decision. Upon finality of the Decision, an interest rate of twelve percent (12%) per annum shall be causing him to lose control of the bicycle. Completo said that Albayda had no cause of action.
imposed on the amount of the temperate and moral damages until full payment thereof. [55]
Several people testified for each side, but here are some notes on the testimony of the
The award of attorneys fees is hereby deleted for failure to prove that petitioners acted in bad faith in owner of the taxi driver, Abiad. Abiad said that aside from being a soldier, he also held
refusing to satisfy respondents just and valid claim. franchises of taxicabs and passenger jeepneys, and being a taxicab operator, he would wake
up early to personally check the taxicabs. When Completo applied as a taxicab driver, Abiad
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Decision dated January 2, 2006 and the Resolution dated
required him to show his bio-data, NBI clearance, and driver’s license. Completo never
March 30, 2006 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 68405 are hereby AFFIRMED with
MODIFICATION, viz.: figured in a vehicular accident since he was employed, and according to Abiad, he
[Completo] was a good driver and good man.
(1) The estate of the late Redentor Completo and Elpidio Abiad are solidarily liable to pay One Hundred
Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00), as temperate damages, and Five Hundred Thousand Pesos RTC rendered judgment in favor of Albayda, and the defendants are ordered to pay actual
(P500,000.00), as moral damages; [46k] and moral [400k] damages, and attorney’s fees [25k]. Upon appeal at the CA, the court
affirmed RTC’s decision with modifications [no more actual damages; awarded temperate
(2) The temperate and moral damages hereby awarded shall earn legal interest at the rate of six percent damages [40k]; moral damages only 200k; Completo and Abiad are solidarily liable to pay
(6%) per annum from the date of the promulgation of this Decision. Upon finality of this Decision, an
Albayda; added legal interest].
interest rate of twelve percent (12%) per annum shall be imposed on the amount of the temperate and
moral damages until full payment thereof. Costs against petitioners.
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Issues and Holding CECILIA YAMBAO, vs. MELCHORITA C. ZUIGA, ET. AL


1. WON CA erred in finding that Completo was the one who caused the collision. NO
2. WON Abiad failed to prove that he observed the diligence of a good father of the The facts:
family. YES At around 3:30 p.m. of May 6, 1992, the bus owned by the petitioner was being driven by her
3. WON the award of moral and temperate damages and attorney’s fees for Albayda had driver, one Ceferino G. Venturina along the northbound lane of Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA),
no basis. NO / NO / YES within the vicinity of Bagong Barrio, Kalookan City. With Venturina was the bus conductor, Fernando
Dumaliang. Suddenly, the bus bumped Herminigildo Zuiga, a pedestrian. Such was the force of the
Ruling: impact that the left side of the front windshield of the bus was cracked. Zuiga was rushed to the Quezon
City General Hospital where he was given medical attention, but due to the massive injuries sustained,
On Negligence he succumbed shortly thereafter.
It is a rule in negligence suits that the plaintiff has the burden of proving by a preponderance of evidence
the motorist’s breach in his duty of care owed to the plaintiff, that the motorist was negligent in failing Private respondents, as heirs of the victim, filed a Complaint[4] against petitioner and her driver,
to exercise the diligence required to avoid injury to the plaintiff, and that such negligence was the Venturina, for damages, docketed as Civil Case No. 581-M-92 at the RTC of Malolos City. The complaint
proximate cause of the injury suffered. NCC 2176 quoted, and said that the question of the motorist’s essentially alleged that Venturina drove the bus in a reckless, careless and imprudent manner, in
negligence is a question of fact. Usually, more will be required of a motorist [25mi/hr = 37ft/sec] than violation of traffic rules and regulations, without due regard to public safety, thus resulting in the
a bicyclist [10mi/hr = 15ft/sec] in discharging the duty of care because of the physical advantages the victims premature death.
former has over the latter. In her Answer, the petitioner vehemently denied the material allegations of the complaint. She
It was proven by a preponderance of evidence that Completo failed to exercise reasonable diligence. tried to shift the blame for the accident upon the victim, theorizing that Herminigildo bumped into her
bus, while avoiding an unidentified woman who was chasing him. She further alleged that she was not
 He was overspeeding at the time he hit Albayda’s bicycle; he did not slow down even when he liable for any damages because as an employer, she exercised the proper diligence of a good father of a
approached the intersection family, both in the selection and supervision of her bus driver.
 Such negligence was the sole and proximate cause of the injuries sustained by Albayda
On September 8, 1995, the trial court rendered judgment, the dispositive portion of which reads:
 It was proven that Albayda had the right of way since he reached the intersection ahead of Completo

NCC 2180 cited – obligation imposed by NCC 2176 is demandable also for those persons for whom one In view of the foregoing consideration, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiffs and against
is responsible. Employers are liable for damage caused by employees, but the responsibility ceases upon the defendants ordering the herein defendants jointly and severally, with Plaridel Surety & Insurance
proof that employers observed the diligence of the good father of the family in the selection and Co., and Times Surety & Insurance Co. Inc. to the extent of their respective liabilities under their
supervision of employees. The burden of proof is on the employer. The responsibility of two or more respective insurance policies to pay the herein plaintiffs the following sums of money:XXXXXXX
persons who are liable for QD is solidary. The employer’s civil liability for his employee’s negligent acts
is also primary and direct, owing to his own negligence in selecting and supervising them, and this to be paid by all the herein defendants and third party defendants within thirty (30) days from receipt
liability attaches even if the employer is not in the vehicle at the time of collision. of this Decision. In finding for the respondents herein, the trial court observed:

In the selection of employees, employers are required to examine them as to their qualifications,
[T]he allegations and evidence presented by the defendants that it was the victim Herminigildo Zuiga
experience, and service records. With respect to supervision, employers should formulate SOPs and
who bumped the bus owned by defendant Cecilia Yambao and her husband is incredible if not
monitor their implementation, and impose disciplinary measures for breaches. To establish these factors
preposterous. No sane person would bump his head or body against a running bus along a big highway
in a trial involving the issue of vicarious [secondary] liability, employers must submit concrete proof,
like EDSA at Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City and neither did any of the defendants presented (sic) any
including documentary evidence.
evidence or proof to show that the victim was mentally deranged at the time of the accident and the
ABIAD’S EVIDENCE CONSISTED ENTIRELY OF TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE, AND THIS IS
presumption therefore is that he was in his normal senses.[6]
INSUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE LEGAL PRESUMPTION THAT HE WAS NEGLIGENT IN THE
SELECTION AND SUPERVISION OF COMPLETO.
On Damages In holding the petitioner liable for Herminigildos death, the trial court applied Article 1756[7] of
the Civil Code, observing that petitioner had failed to prove that she observed the diligence required by
CA rightfully deleted the award of actual damages because Albayda failed to present documentary Articles 1733[8] and 1755[9] of the said Code.
evidence to establish the amount incurred. Temperate damages may be recovered when the court finds
that some pecuniary loss has been suffered but its amount cannot be proved with certainty. Moral Dissatisfied, Yambao filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals, docketed as CA-G.R. CV No.
damages are awarded in QDs causing physical injuries, so the award is proper. The award of attorney’s 52275, faulting the trial court for failing to appreciate that: (a) it was the victim who ran into her bus,
fees is deleted for failure to prove that petitioners acted in bad faith in refusing to satisfy respondent’s and (b) she had exercised the proper diligence of a bonus pater familias in the selection and supervision
just and valid claim. of her employee, the driver of said bus.

On September 8, 2000, the Court of Appeals decided CA-G.R. CV No. 52275 as follows:
7|Page

WHEREFORE, on the foregoing modificatory premises, and considering that the same result has been for the latters misdeed. To support her claim, she points out that when Venturina applied with her as a
reached by the trial court, its Decision dated September 8, 1995 is hereby AFFIRMED. driver in January 1992, she required him to produce not just his drivers license, but also clearances from
the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Philippine National Police, and the barangay where he
resides. She also required him to present his Social Security System (SSS) Number prior to accepting him
Costs against defendant-appellant.
for employment. She likewise stresses that she inquired from Venturinas previous employer about his
employment record, and only hired him after it was shown to her satisfaction that he had no blot upon
SO ORDERED.[10] his record.

The petitioners arguments ring hollow and fail to sway this Court.
While sustaining the trial courts findings that Venturina had been reckless and negligent in
driving the petitioners bus, thus hitting the victim with fatal results, the appellate court, however, found The law governing petitioners liability, as the employer of bus driver Venturina, is Article 2180 of
the trial courts reliance on Articles 1755 and 1756 of the Civil Code misplaced. It held that this was a the Civil Code, the full text of which reads:
case of quasi-delict, there being no pre-existing contractual relationship between the parties. Hence, the
law on common carriers was inapplicable. The court a quo then found the petitioner directly and
primarily liable as Venturinas employer pursuant to Article 2180 of the Civil Code as she failed to Art. 2180. The obligation imposed by Article 2176[17] is demandable not only for ones own acts or
present evidence to prove that she has observed the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection omissions, but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible.
and supervision of her employees.
The father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are responsible for the damages caused by
Yambao then duly moved for reconsideration, but her motion was denied for want of merit.[11] the minor children who live in their company.
Hence, this petition for review, anchored on the following formulation of issues:
Guardians are liable for damages caused by the minors or incapacitated persons who are under their
I authority and live in their company.

WHETHER OR NOT THE ALLEGATIONS AND EVIDENCE PRESENTED BY THE PETITIONER, THE The owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise are likewise responsible for damages caused by their
VICTIM HERMINIGILDO ZUIGA WAS THE ONE WHO BUMPED THE BUS OWNED BY HEREIN employees in the service of the branches in which the latter are employed or on the occasion of their functions.
PETITIONER CECILIA YAMBAO AND HER HUSBAND AND WHO DISREGARDED THE TRAFFIC
RULES AND REGULATIONS AT THE PLACE AND TIME OF THE INCIDENT WHICH
UNDOUBTEDLY AND CONCLUSIVELY PROVED THAT IT WAS THE PLAINTIFFS OWN Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the scope
NEGLIGENCE THAT WAS THE IMMEDIATE AND PROXIMATE CAUSE OF HIS DEATH. of their assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry.

II The State is responsible in like manner when it acts through a special agent; but not when the damage
has been caused by the official to whom the task done properly pertains, in which case what is provided
in Article 2176 shall be applicable.
WHETHER OR NOT, PETITIONER CECILIA YAMBAO IS NOT LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES AND
THAT SHE EXERCISED THE PROPER DILIGENCE OF A GOOD FATHER OF THE FAMILY, BOTH
IN THE SELECTION AND SUPERVISION OF HER DRIVER AND/OR EMPLOYEE. [12] Lastly, teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades shall be liable for damages caused by their
pupils and students or apprentices, so long as they remain in their custody.

At the outset, we must state that the first issue raised by the petitioner is a factual one. Whether a
person is negligent or not is a question of fact, [13] which this Court cannot pass upon in a petition for The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned prove that they observed
all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. (Italics ours)
review on certiorari, as our jurisdiction is limited to reviewing errors of law.[14] The resolution of factual
issues is the function of the trial court and its findings on these matters are, as a general rule, binding on
this Court,[15] more so where these have been affirmed by the Court of Appeals. [16] We have carefully The diligence of a good father referred to in the last paragraph of the aforecited statute means diligence
examined and weighed the petitioners arguments on the first issue submitted, as well as the evidence in the selection and supervision of employees.[18] Thus, when an employee, while performing his duties,
on record, and find no cogent reason to disregard the cited general rule, much less to reverse the factual causes damage to persons or property due to his own negligence, there arises the juris
findings of the trial court as upheld by the court a quo. Hence, we sustain the trial courts finding, as tantum presumption that the employer is negligent, either in the selection of the employee or in the
affirmed by the Court of Appeals, that it was Venturinas reckless and imprudent driving of petitioners supervision over him after the selection.[19] For the employer to avoid the solidary liability for a tort
bus, which is the proximate cause of the victims death. committed by his employee, an employer must rebut the presumption by presenting adequate and
convincing proof that in the selection and supervision of his employee, he or she exercises the care and
To our mind, therefore, the only issue before the Court properly is whether petitioner exercised diligence of a good father of a family.[20] In the instant case, we find that petitioner has failed to rebut the
the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of her employees, thus presumption of negligence on her part.
absolving her from any liability.
Petitioners claim that she exercised due diligence in the selection and supervision of her driver,
Petitioner contends that as an employer, she observed the proper diligence of a good father of a Venturina, deserves but scant consideration. Her allegation that before she hired Venturina she required
family, both in the selection and supervision of her driver and therefore, is relieved from any liability him to submit his drivers license and clearances is worthless, in view of her failure to offer in evidence
8|Page

certified true copies of said license and clearances. Bare allegations, unsubstantiated by evidence, are
not equivalent to proof under the rules of evidence.[21] Moreover, as the court a quo aptly observed,
petitioner contradicts herself. She declared that Venturina applied with her sometime in January 1992
and she then required him to submit his license and clearances. However, the record likewise shows
that she did admit that Venturina submitted the said requirements only on May 6, 1992, or on the very
day of the fatal accident itself (italics for emphasis). In other words, petitioners own admissions clearly and
categorically show that she did not exercise due diligence in the selection of her bus driver.

In any case, assuming arguendo that Venturina did submit his license and clearances when he
applied with petitioner in January 1992, the latter still fails the test of due diligence in the selection of
her bus driver. Case law teaches that for an employer to have exercised the diligence of a good father of
a family, he should not be satisfied with the applicants mere possession of a professional drivers license;
he must also carefully examine the applicant for employment as to his qualifications, his experience and
record of service.[22] Petitioner failed to present convincing proof that she went to this extent of verifying
Venturinas qualifications, safety record, and driving history. The presumption juris tantum that there
was negligence in the selection of her bus driver, thus, remains unrebutted.

Nor did petitioner show that she exercised due supervision over Venturina after his selection. For
as pointed out by the Court of Appeals, petitioner did not present any proof that she drafted and
implemented training programs and guidelines on road safety for her employees. In fact, the record is
bare of any showing that petitioner required Venturina to attend periodic seminars on road safety and
traffic efficiency. Hence, petitioner cannot claim exemption from any liability arising from the
recklessness or negligence of Venturina.

In sum, petitioners liability to private respondents for the negligent and imprudent acts of her
driver, Venturina, under Article 2180 of the Civil Code is both manifest and clear. Petitioner, having
failed to rebut the legal presumption of negligence in the selection and supervision of her driver, is
responsible for damages, the basis of the liability being the relationship of pater familias or on the
employers own negligence.[23] Thus, this Court has no option but to uphold the ruling of the appellate
court.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED. The assailed decision of the Court of Appeals,
dated September 8, 2000, in CA-G.R. CV No. 52275, as well as its resolution dated November 27, 2000,
denying petitioner Cecilia Yambaos motion for reconsideration are hereby AFFIRMED. Costs against
the petitioner.

SO ORDERED.