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REPUBLIC VS FELICIANO

G.R. No. 70853 148 SCRA 424 March 12, 1987


REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner-appellee,
PABLO FELICIANO and INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, respondents-appellants
Facts:
The appeal was filed by 86 settlers of Barrio of Salvacion, representing the Republic of the Philippines to
dismiss the complaint filed by Feliciano, on the ground that the Republic of the Philippines cannot be
sued without its consent.
Prior to this appeal, respondent Pablo Feliciano filed a complaint with the Court of First Instance against
the Republic of the Philippines, represented by the Land Authority, for the recovery of ownership and
possession of a parcel of land consisting of four lots. The trial court rendered a decision declaring Lot No.
1 to be the private property of Feliciano and the rest of the property, Lots 2, 3 and 4, reverted to the public
domain.
The trial court reopened the case due to the filing of a motion to intervene and to set aside the decision of
the trial court by 86 settlers, alleging that they had been in possession of the land for more than 20 years
under claim of ownership. The trial court ordered the settlers to present their evidence but they did not
appear at the day of presentation of evidence. Feliciano, on the other hand, presented additional evidence.
Thereafter, the case was submitted for decision and the trial court ruled in favor of Feliciano.
The settlers immediately filed a motion for reconsideration. The case was reopened to allow them to
present their evidence. But before this motion was acted upon, Feliciano filed a motion for execution with
the Appellate Court but it was denied.
The settlers filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the Republic of the Philippines cannot be sued
without its consent and hence the action cannot prosper. The motion was opposed by Feliciano.
Issue/s:
Whether or not the state can be sued for recovery and possession of a parcel of land.
Discussions:
A suit against the State, under settled jurisprudence is not permitted, except upon a showing that the State
has consented to be sued, either expressly or by implication through the use of statutory language too
plain to be misinterpreted. It may be invoked by the courts sua sponte at any stage of the proceedings.
Waiver of immunity, being a derogation of sovereignty, will not be inferred lightly. but must be construed
in strictissimi juris (of strictest right). Moreover, the Proclamation is not a legislative act. The consent of
the State to be sued must emanate from statutory authority. Waiver of State immunity can only be made
by an act of the legislative body.
Ruling/s:
No. The doctrine of non-suability of the State has proper application in this case. The plaintiff has
impleaded the Republic of the Philippines as defendant in an action for recovery of ownership and
possession of a parcel of land, bringing the State to court just like any private person who is claimed to be
usurping a piece of property. A suit for the recovery of property is not an action in rem, but an
action in personam. It is an action directed against a specific party or parties, and any judgment therein
binds only such party or parties. The complaint filed by plaintiff, the private respondent herein, is directed
against the Republic of the Philippines, represented by the Land Authority, a governmental agency
created by Republic Act No. 3844.
The complaint is clearly a suit against the State, which under settled jurisprudence is not permitted,
except upon a showing that the State has consented to be sued, either expressly or by implication through
the use of statutory language too plain to be misinterpreted. There is no such showing in the instant case.
Worse, the complaint itself fails to allege the existence of such consent.

CASE DIGEST: Tan v Director of Forestry


FACTS:

Sometime in April 1961, the Bureau of Forestry issued notice advertising for public bidding a
certain tract of public forest land situated in Olongapo, Zambales consisting of 6,420 hectares,
within the former U.S. Naval Reservation comprising 7,252 hectares of timberland, which was
turned over by the US Government to the Philippine Government. Wenceslao Tan with nine others
submitted their application in due form.

The area was granted to the petitioner. On May 30, 1963, Secretary Gozon of Agriculture and
Natural Resources issued a general memorandum order authorizing Dir. Of Forestry to grant new
Ordinary Timber Licenses (OTL) subject to some conditions stated therein (not exceeding 3000
hectares for new OTL and not exceeding 5000 hectares for extension)

Thereafter, Acting Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources Feliciano (replacing Gozon)
promulgated on December 19, 1963 a memorandum revoking the authority delegated to the
Director of Forestry to grant ordinary timber licenses. On the same date, OTL in the name of Tan,
was signed by then Acting Director of Forestry, without the approval of the Secretary of
Agriculture and Natural Resources. On January 6, 1964, the license was released by the Director
of Forestry .

Ravago Commercial Company wrote a letter to the Secretary of ANR praying that the OTL of
Tan be revoked. On March 9, 1964, The Secretary of ANR declared Tan’s OTL null and void (but
the same was not granted to Ravago). Petitioner-appellant moved for a reconsideration of the
order, but the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources denied the motion.

ISSUES:
I. Whether or not petitioner’s timber license is valid (No)
II. Whether or not petitioner had exhausted administrative remedies available (No)

RULING:

I
Petitioner’s timber license was signed and released without authority and is therefore void
ab initio. In the first place, in the general memorandum dated May 30, 1963, the Director of
Forestry was authorized to grant a new ordinary timber license only where the area covered
thereby was not more than 3,000 hectares; the tract of public forest awarded to the petitioner
contained 6,420 hectares In the second place, at the time it was released to the petitioner, the
Acting Director of Forestry had no more authority to grant any license. (The license was released
to the petitioner onJanuary 6, 1964 while on the other hand, the authority of the Director of
Forestry to issue license was revoked on December 19, 1963). In view thereof, the Director of
Forestry had no longer any authority to release the license on January 6, 1964, and said license
is therefore void ab initio. What is of greatest importance is the date of the release or issuance.
Before its release, no right is acquired by the licensee.
Granting arguendo, that petitioner-appellant's timber license is valid, still respondents-appellees
can validly revoke his timber license. "A license is merely a permit or privilege to do what
otherwise would be unlawful, and is not a contract between the authority, federal, state, or
municipal, granting it and the person to whom it is granted; neither is it property or a property
right, nor does it create a vested right; nor is it taxation

The welfare of the people is the supreme law. Thus, no franchise or right can be availed of to
defeat the proper exercise of police power.

II

Petitioner did not exhaust administrative remedy in this case. He did not appeal the order of the
respondent Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources to the President of the Philippines.
Considering that the President has the power to review on appeal the orders or acts of the
respondents, the failure of the petitioner-appellant to take that appeal is failure on his part to
exhaust his administrative remedies.

Liwayway Vinzons-Chato vs. Fortune


Tobacco, Corp.
on 6:55 AM in Case Digests, Civil Law
0

G.R. No. 141309, June 19, 2007

FACTS:

This is a case for damages under Article 32 of the Civil Code filed by Fortune against
Liwayway as CIR.

On June 10, 1993, the legislature enacted RA 7654, which provided that locally
manufactured cigarettes which are currently classified and taxed at 55% shall be charged
an ad valorem tax of “55% provided that the maximum tax shall not be less than Five Pesos
per pack.” Prior to effectivity of RA 7654, Liwayway issued a rule, reclassifying “Champion,”
“Hope,” and “More” (all manufactured by Fortune) as locally manufactured cigarettes
bearing foreign brand subject to the 55% ad valorem tax. Thus, when RA 7654 was passed,
these cigarette brands were already covered.

In a case filed against Liwayway with the RTC, Fortune contended that the issuance of the
rule violated its constitutional right against deprivation of property without due process of
law and the right to equal protection of the laws.

For her part, Liwayway contended in her motion to dismiss that respondent has no cause of
action against her because she issued RMC 37-93 in the performance of her official
function and within the scope of her authority. She claimed that she acted merely as an
agent of the Republic and therefore the latter is the one responsible for her acts. She also
contended that the complaint states no cause of action for lack of allegation of malice or
bad faith.

The order denying the motion to dismiss was elevated to the CA, who dismissed the case
on the ground that under Article 32, liability may arise even if the defendant did not act with
malice or bad faith.

Hence this appeal.

ISSUES:

o Whether or not a public officer may be validly sued in his/her private capacity for acts done in
connection with the discharge of the functions of his/her office
o Whether or not Article 32, NCC, should be applied instead of Sec. 38, Book I, Administrative
Code

HELD:

On the first issue, the general rule is that a public officer is not liable for damages which a
person may suffer arising from the just performance of his official duties and within the
scope of his assigned tasks. An officer who acts within his authority to administer the affairs
of the office which he/she heads is not liable for damages that may have been caused to
another, as it would virtually be a charge against the Republic, which is not amenable to
judgment for monetary claims without its consent. However, a public officer is by law not
immune from damages in his/her personal capacity for acts done in bad faith which, being
outside the scope of his authority, are no longer protected by the mantle of immunity for
official actions.

Specifically, under Sec. 38, Book I, Administrative Code, civil liability may arise where there
is bad faith, malice, or gross negligence on the part of a superior public officer. And, under
Sec. 39 of the same Book, civil liability may arise where the subordinate public officer’s act
is characterized by willfulness or negligence. In Cojuangco, Jr. V. CA, a public officer who
directly or indirectly violates the constitutional rights of another, may be validly sued for
damages under Article 32 of the Civil Code even if his acts were not so tainted with malice
or bad faith.

Thus, the rule in this jurisdiction is that a public officer may be validly sued in his/her private
capacity for acts done in the course of the performance of the functions of the office, where
said public officer: (1) acted with malice, bad faith, or negligence; or (2) where the public
officer violated a constitutional right of the plaintiff.

On the second issue, SC ruled that the decisive provision is Article 32, it being a special
law, which prevails over a general law (the Administrative Code).
Article 32 was patterned after the “tort” in American law. A tort is a wrong, a tortious act
which has been defined as the commission or omission of an act by one, without right,
whereby another receives some injury, directly or indirectly, in person, property or
reputation. There are cases in which it has been stated that civil liability in tort is determined
by the conduct and not by the mental state of the tortfeasor, and there are circumstances
under which the motive of the defendant has been rendered immaterial. The reason
sometimes given for the rule is that otherwise, the mental attitude of the alleged wrongdoer,
and not the act itself, would determine whether the act was wrongful. Presence of good
motive, or rather, the absence of an evil motive, does not render lawful an act which is
otherwise an invasion of another’s legal right; that is, liability in tort in not precluded by the
fact that defendant acted without evil intent.

GAUDENCIO RAYO vs. COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE


OF BULACAN G.R. No. L-55273-83 December 19,
1981
FACTS: At the height of the infamous typhoon "Kading", the respondent opened simultaneously all the
three floodgates of the Angat Dam which resulted in a sudden, precipitate and simultaneous opening
of said floodgates several towns in Bulacan were inundated. The petitioners filed for damages against
the respondent corporation.

Petitioners opposed the prayer of the respondents forn dismissal of the case and contended that the
respondent corporation is merely performing a propriety functions and that under its own organic act,
it can sue and be sued in court.

ISSUE: W/N the respondent performs governmental functions with respect to the management and
operation of the Angat Dam.

W/N the power of the respondent to sue and be sued under its organic charter includes the power to
be sued for tort.

HELD: The government has organized a private corporation, put money in it and has allowed it to sue
and be sued in any court under its charter.

As a government owned and controlled corporation, it has a personality of its own, distinct and
separate from that of the government. Moreover, the charter provision that it can sue and be sued in
any court.
Municipality of San Fernando vs.
Firme
FACTS: A passenger jeepney, a sand truck and a dump truck of the Municipality of
San Fernando, La Union collided. Due to the impact, several passengers of the
jeepney including Laureano Baniña Sr. died. The heirs of Baniña filed a complaint for
damages against the owner and driver of the jeepney, who, in turn, filed a Third Party
Complaint against the Municipality and its dump truck driver, Alfredo Bislig.
Municipality filed its answer and raised the defense of non-suability of the State. After
trial, the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and ordered Municipality and Bislig to
pay jointly and severally the heirs of Baniña.

ISSUES:

1. Are municipal corporations suable?

2. Is the Municipality liable for the torts committed by its employee who was then
engaged in the discharge of governmental functions?
HELD:

1. Municipal corporations, like provinces and cities, are agencies of the State when
they are engaged in governmental functions and therefore should enjoy the sovereign
immunity from suit. Nevertheless, they are subject to suit even in the performance of
such functions because their charter provided that they can sue and be sued.
2. Municipal corporations are suable because their charters grant them the
competence to sue and be sued. Nevertheless, they are generally not liable for torts
committed by them in the discharge of governmental functions and can be held
answerable only if it can be shown that they were acting in a proprietary capacity. In
permitting such entities to be sued, the State merely gives the claimant the right to
show that the defendant was not acting in its governmental capacity when the injury
was committed or that the case comes under the exceptions recognized by law.
Failing this, the claimant cannot recover.
In this case, the driver of the dump truck of the municipality insists that "he was on
his way to the Naguilian river to get a load of sand and gravel for the repair of San
Fernando's municipal streets." In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, the
regularity of the performance of official duty is presumed. Hence, the driver of the
dump truck was performing duties or tasks pertaining to his office.

Decision of the lower court modified. Petitioner municipality was absolved of any
liability. (Municipality of San Fernando vs. Firme, No. L-52179, April 8, 1991)
The ruling in Air Transportation Office v. Ramos[9] is relevant, viz:
An unincorporated government agency without any separate juridical personality of its own
enjoys immunity from suit because it is invested with an inherent power of
sovereignty. Accordingly, a claim for damages against the agency cannot prosper;
otherwise, the doctrine of sovereign immunity is violated. However, the need to di
stinguish between an unincorporated government agency performing governmental function
and one performing proprietary functions has arisen. The immunity has been upheld in favor
of the former because its function is governmental or incidental to such function; it has not
been upheld in favor of the latter whose function was not in pursuit of a necessary function
of government but was essentially a business[10].
NATIONAL IRRIGATION ADMINISTRATION VS. CA- Easement and Just
Compensation
When a land, originally public land is awarded to a provate individual, a legal easement may be
constituted and thus no just compensation is required. It would be otherwise if the land were
originally private property, in which case, just compensation must be paid for the taking of a part
thereof for public use as an easement of a right of way.
FACTS:
A free patent over three (3) hectares of land, situated in the province of Cagayan was issued in the
name of Vicente Manglapus, and registered under OCT No. P-24814. The land was granted subject
to the following proviso expressly stated in the title:

"... it shall not be subject to any encumbrance whatsoever in favor of any corporation, association
or partnership except with the consent of the grantee and the approval of the Secretary of
Agriculture and Natural Resources and solely for educational, religious or charitable purposes or for
a right of way; and subject finally to all conditions and public easements and servitudes recognized
and prescribed by law especially those mentioned in sections 109, 110, 111, 112, 113 and 114 of
Commonwealth Act No. 141 as amended..."

Subsequently, respondent Manglapus acquired the lot from Vicente Manglapus by absolute sale.
Sometime in 1982, NIA was to construct canals in Amulung, Cagayan and Alcala, Cagayan. NIA then
entered a portion of Manglapus' land and made diggings and fillings thereon. Manglapus filed a
complaint for damages against NIA.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the NIA should pay Manglapus just compensation for the taking of a portion of his
property for use as easement of a right of way.
RULING: No.
The transfer certificate of title contains such a reservation. It states that title to the land shall be:
". . . subject to the provisions of said Land Registration Act and the Public Land Act, as well as those
of Mining Laws, if the land is mineral, and subject, further to such conditions contained in the
original title as may be subsisting."
Under the Original Certificate of Title, there was a reservation and condition that the land is subject
to "to all conditions and public easements and servitudes recognized and prescribed by law
especially those mentioned in Sections 109, 110, 111, 112, 113 and 114, Commonwealth Act No.
141, as amended." This reservation, unlike the other provisos imposed on the grant, was not
limited by any time period and thus is a subsisting condition.
Section 112, Commonwealth Act No. 141, provides that lands granted by patent,
"shall further be subject to a right of way sot exceeding twenty meters in width for public highways,
railroads,irrigation ditches, aqueducts, telegraphs and telephone lines, and similar works..."
We note that the canal NIA constructed was only eleven (11) meters in width. This is well within the
limit provided by law. Manglapus has therefore no cause to complain.
Article 619 of the Civil Code provides that, "Easements are established either by law or by the will
of the owners. The former are called legal and the latter voluntary easements." In the present case,
we find and declare that a legal easement of a right-of-way exists in favor of the government.

The land was originally public land, and awarded to respondent Manglapus by free patent. The
ruling would be otherwise if the land were originally private property, in which case, just
compensation must be paid for the taking of a part thereof for public use as an easement of a right
of way.
BOP v BPEA, 1 SCRA, 340
By clark vincent barcelon - April 26, 2014
Facts: BPEA (respondents) filed a complaint by an acting prosecutor of
the Industrial Court against petitioners BOP (secretary of Department of
General Services and Director of BOP). The complaint alleged that both
the secretary of DOG and the director of BOP have been engaging in
unfair labor practices. Answering the complaint, the petitioners (BOP),
denied the charges of unfair labor practices attributed to them and
alleged that the BPEA complainants were suspended pending result of
administrative investigation against them for breach of Civil Service rules
and regulations; that the BOP is not an industrial concern engaged for
the purpose of gain but of the republic performing governmental
functions. For relief, they prayed that the case be dismissed for lack of
jurisdiction. But later on January 27, 1959, the trial judge of Industrial
Court sustained the jurisdiction of the court on the theory that the
functions of the BOP are “exclusively proprietary in nature,” since they
receives outside jobs and that many of its employees are paid for
overtime work on regular working days and holidays, therefore
consequently denied the prayed for dismissal, which brought the
petitioners (BOP) to present petition for certiorari and prohibition.
Issue: Whether or not the BOP can be sued.
Held: As an office of the Government, without any corporate or juridical
personality, the BOP cannot be sued (Sec.1, Rule 33, Rules of court).
It is true that BOP receives outside jobs and that many of its employees
are paid for overtime work on regular working days and holidays, but
these facts do not justify the conclusion that its functions are “exclusively
proprietary in nature”. Overtime work in the BOP is done only when the
interest of the service so requires. As a matter of administrative policy,
the overtime compensation may be paid, but such payment is
discretionary with the head of the Bureau depending upon its current
appropriations, so that it cannot be the basis for holding that the
functions of said Bureau are wholly proprietary in character.
Any suit, action or proceeding against it, if it were to produce any effect,
would actually be a suit, action or proceeding against the Government
itself, and the rule is settled that the Government cannot be sued without
its consent, much less over its jurisdiction.
Disposition: The petition for a writ of prohibition is granted. The orders
complained of are set aside and the complaint for unfair labor practice
against the petitioners is dismissed, with costs against respondents other
than the respondent court.
VETERANS MANPOWER V CA
FACTS:

Veterans Manpower and Protective Services, Inc. (VMPSI) alleges that the provisions under
Section 4 and 17 of Republic Act No. 5487 or the Private Security Agency Law violate the
1987 Constitution against monopolies, unfair competition and combinations in restraint of
trade, and tend to favor and institutionalize the Philippine Association of Detective and
Protective Agency Operators, Inc. (PADPAO) which is monopolistic because it has an
interest in more than one security agency.

Respondent VMPSI likewise questions the validity of paragraph 3, subparagraph (g) of the
Modifying Regulations on the Issuance of License to Operate and Private Security Licenses
and Specifying Regulations for the Operation of PADPAO issued by then PC Chief Lt. Gen.
Fidel V. Ramos, through Col. Sabas V. Edades, requiring that “all private security
agencies/company security forces must register as members of any PADPAO Chapter
organized within the Region where their main offices are located...”. As such membership
requirement in PADPAO is compulsory in nature, it allegedly violates legal and
constitutional provisions against monopolies, unfair competition and combinations in
restraint of trade.

A Memorandum of Agreement was executed by PADPAO and the PC Chief, which fixed
the minimum monthly contract rate per guard for eight (8) hours of security service per day
at P2,255.00 within Metro Manila and P2,215.00 outside of Metro Manila.

Odin Security Agency (Odin) filed a complaint with PADPAO accusing VMPSI of cut-
throat competition by undercutting its contract rate for security services rendered to the
Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), charging said customer lower
than the standard minimum rates provided in the Memorandum of Agreement dated May 12,
1986.

PADPAO found VMPSI guilty of cut-throat competition, hence, the PADPAO Committee
on Discipline recommended the expulsion of VMPSI from PADPAO and the cancellation of
its license to operate a security agency. The PC-SUSIA affirmed the findings and likewise
recommended the cancellation of VMPSI’s license. As a result, PADPAO refused to issue a
clearance/certificate of membership to VMPSI.

VMPSI made a request letter to the PC Chief to set aside or disregard the findings of
PADPAO and consider VMPSI’s application for renewal of its license, even without a
certificate of membership from PADPAO.

ISSUE:
Whether or not VMPSI’s complaint against the PC Chief and PC-SUSIA is a suit against the
State without its consent.
HELD:
Yes. A public official may sometimes be held liable in his personal or private capacity if he
acts in bad faith, or beyond the scope of his authority or jurisdiction, however, since the acts
for which the PC Chief and PC-SUSIA are being called to account in this case, were
performed as part of their official duties, without malice, gross negligence, or bad faith, no
recovery may be had against them in their private capacities. Furthermore, the Supreme
Court agrees with the Court of Appeals that the Memorandum of Agreement dated May 12,
1986 does not constitute an implied consent by the State to be sued. The consent of the State
to be sued must emanate from statutory authority, hence, a legislative act, not from a mere
memorandum. Without such consent, the trial court did not acquired jurisdiction over the
public respondents. Petition for review is denied and the judgment appealed from is affirmed
in toto.
Civil Aeronautics Administration v. CA

G.R. No. L-51806, November 8, 1988

o TORTS: What constitutes "Negligence"; "Contributory Negligence" defined

FACTS:

Ernest E. Simke, a naturalized Filipino citizen, was Honorary Consul General of Israel in the
Philippines. He went to Manila International Airport to meet his future son-in-law. As the
plane was landing, he and his companions went to the viewing deck to watch the arrival of
the plane. While walking, Simke slipped on an elevation 4 inches high and fell on his back,
breaking his thigh bone in the process. He underwent a 3-hour operation and after recovery
he filed a claim for damages against the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), which was
the government entity in charge of the airport.

ISSUE:
o Whether or not CAA was negligent

HELD:

CAA contended that the elevation in question "had a legitimate purpose for being on the
terrace and was never intended to trip down people and injure them. It was there for no
other purpose but to drain water on the floor area of the terrace."

But upon ocular inspection by the trial court, it was found that the terrace was in poor
condition. Under RA 776, the CAA is charged with the duty of planning, designing,
constructing, equipping, expanding, maintenance...etc. of the Manila International Airport.

Responsibility of CAA

The SC held that pursuant to Art. 1173, "the fault or negligence of the obligor consists in the
omission of that diligence which is required by the nature of the obligation and corresponds
with the circumstances of the person, of the time, and of the place." Here, the obligation of
the CAA in maintaining the viewing deck, a facility open to the public, requires that CAA
insure the safety of the viewers using it. As these people come to look to where the planes
and the incoming passengers are and not to look down on the floor or pavement of the
viewing deck, the CAA should have thus made sure that no dangerous obstructions or
elevations exist on the floor of the deck to prevent any undue harm to the public.

Contributory Negligence

Under Art. 2179, contributory negligence contemplates a negligent act or omission on the
part of the plaintiff, which although not the proximate cause of his injury, CONTRIBUTED to
his own damage. The Court found no contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff,
considering the following test formulated in the early case of Picart v. Smith, 37 Phil. 809
(1918):

The test by which to determine the existence of negligence in a particular case may be
stated as follows: Did the defendant in doing the alleged negligent act use that reasonable
care and caution which an ordinarily prudent man would have used in the same situation? If
not, then he is guilty of negligence. The law here in effect adopts the standard supposed to
be supplied by the imaginary conduct of the discreet paterfamilias of the Roman law. The
existence of the negligence in a given case is not determined by reference to the personal
judgment of the actor in the situation before him. The law considers what would be
reckless, blameworthy, or negligent in the man of ordinary intelligence and prudence and
determines liability by that.

The question as to what would constitute the conduct of a prudent man in a given situation
must of course be always determined in the light of human experience and in view of the
facts involved in the particular case. Abstract speculations cannot be here of much value
but this much can be profitably said: Reasonable men-overn their conduct by the
circumstances which are before them or known to them. They are not, and are not
supposed to be omniscient of the future. Hence they can be expected to take care only
when there is something before them to suggest or warn of danger. Could a prudent man,
in the case under consideration, foresee harm as a result of the course actually pursued' If
so, it was the duty of the actor to take precautions to guard against that harm. Reasonable
foresight of harm, followed by the ignoring of the suggestion born of this prevision, is always
necessary before negligence can be held to exist.... [Picart v. Smith, supra, p. 813]

The private respondent, who was the plaintiff in the case before the lower court, could not
have reasonably foreseen the harm that would befall him, considering the attendant factual
circumstances. Even if the private respondent had been looking where he was going, the
step in question could not easily be noticed because of its construction.

"WHEREFORE, finding no reversible error, the Petition for review on certiorari is DENIED and the
decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. 51172-R is AFFIRMED. SO ORDERED."
Torts And Damages Case Digest: Civil Aeronautics Administration V. Court Of Appeals (1988)
G.R. No. L-51806 November 8, 1988
Lessons Applicable: Negligence

FACTS:
December 13, 1968: Ernest E. Simke , Honorary Consul Geileral of Israel in the
Philippines, with several other persons went to the Manila International Airport
to meet his future son-in-law
In order to get a better view of the incoming passengers, he and his group proceeded
to the viewing deck or terrace of the airport.
While walking on the terrace filled with other people, he slipped over an elevation about
4 inches high at the far end of the terrace.
He fell on his back and broke his thigh bone.
December 14, 1968: he was operated for 3 hours
RTC: favored Simke
CA: affirmed
ISSUE: W/N Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) was negligent as the entity
empowered "to administer, operate, manage, control, maintain and develop the Manila
International Airport

HELD: YES.
National Airports Corporation is dead and the Civil Aeronautics Administration is its heir
or legal representative, acting by the law of its creation upon its own rights and in its
own name. The better practice there should have been to make the Civil
Aeronautics Administration the third party defendant instead of the National
Airports Corporation.
CAA as an agency is not immune from suit, it being engaged in functions
pertaining to a private entity
This Court during its ocular inspection also observed the dangerous and
defective condition of the open terrace which has remained unrepaired through
the years. It has observed the lack of maintenance and upkeep of the MIA
terrace, typical of many government buildings and offices. Aside from the litter
allowed to accumulate in the terrace, pot holes cause by missing tiles remained
unrepaired and unattented. The inclination itself is an architectural anomaly for
as stated by the said witness, it is neither a ramp because a ramp is an inclined
surface in such a way that it will prevent people or pedestrians from sliding.
Article 1173 of the Civil Code, "(t)he fault or negligence of the obligor consists
in the omission of that diligence which is required by the nature of the
obligation and corresponds with the circumstances of the person, of the time
and of the place."
Here, the obligation of the CAA in maintaining the viewing deck, a facility open
to the public, requires that CAA insure the safety of the viewers using it.
Contributory negligence under Article 2179 of the Civil Code contemplates a
negligent act or omission on the part of the plaintiff, which although not the
proximate cause of his injury, contributed to his own damage, the proximate
cause of the plaintiffs own injury being the defendant's lack of due care -none
here