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G.R. No.

78911-25 December 11, 1987 Generally, the basis of civil liability arising from crime is the fundamental postulate of our law that
CHARMINA B. BANAL, petitioner, vs. THE HON. TOMAS V. TADEO, JR., Presiding Judge, "Every man criminally liable is also civilly liable" (Art. 100, The Revised Penal Code). Underlying
RTC-Quezon City, Branch 105 and Rosario Claudia respondents. this legal principle is the traditional theory that when a person commits a crime he offends two
This is a petition for certiorari to review and set aside the orders of the respondent Regional Trial entities namely ( 1) the society in which he lives in or the political entity called the State whose law
Court, Branch 105, Quezon City dated (1) 8 January 1987 which rejected the appearance of Atty. he had violated; and (2) the individual member of that society whose person, right, honor, chastity
Nicolito L. Bustos as private prosecutor in Criminal Cases Nos. Q-40909 to Q-40913 where or property was actually or directly injured or damaged by the same punishable act or omission.
respondent Rosario Claudio is the accused for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22; and (2) 31 However, this rather broad and general provision is among the most complex and controversial
March 1987 which denied the petitioner's motion for reconsideration of the order dated 8 January topics in criminal procedure. It can be misleading in its implications especially where the same act
1987; and for mandamus to allow Atty. Bustos to enter his appearance as private prosecutor in the or omission may be treated as a crime in one instance and as a tort in another or where the law
aforestated criminal cases. allows a separate civil action to proceed independently of the course of the criminal prosecution
It appears that fifteen (15) separate informations for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 or the with which it is intimately intertwined. Many legal scholars treat as a misconception or fallacy the
Bouncing Checks Law, docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 40909-40913, were filed against generally accepted notion that, the civil liability actually arises from the crime when, in the ultimate
respondent Claudio before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City and originally assigned to analysis, it does not. While an act or omission is felonious because it is punishable by law, it gives
Branch 84. rise to civil liability not so much because it is a crime but because it caused damage to another.
The presiding judge of Branch 84 inhibited himself when respondent Claudio, through counsel, Viewing things pragmatically, we can readily see that what gives rise to the civil liability is really
filed a petition for recuse dated May 19,1986. the obligation and the moral duty of everyone to repair or make whole the damage caused to
The cases were re-raffled and consequently assigned on June 25, 1986 to Branch 105 which was another by reason of his own act or omission, done intentionally or negligently, whether or not the
then presided over by Judge Johnico G. Serquina same be punishable by law. In other words, criminal liability will give rise to civil liability only if the
During these proceedings, respondent Claudio was finally arraigned on November 20, 1986 where same felonious act or omission results in damage or injury to another and is the direct and
she pleaded not guilty to the charges. Pre-trial was then set on January 8, 1987. proximate cause thereof. Damage or injury to another is evidently the foundation of the civil action.
In the meantime Judge Tomas V. Tadeo, Jr. replaced Judge Serquina as presiding judge of Such is not the case in criminal actions for, to be criminally liable, it is enough that the act or
Branch 105. omission complained of is punishable, regardless of whether or not it also causes material
On January 8, 1987, the respondent court issued an order rejecting the appearance of Atty. damage to another. (See Sangco, Philippine Law on Torts and Damages, 1978, Revised Edition,
Nicolito L. Bustos as private prosecutor on the ground that the charge is for the violation of Batas pp. 246-247).
Pambansa Blg. 22 which does not provide for any civil liability or indemnity and hence, "it is not a Article 20 of the New Civil Code provides: Every person who, contrary to law, wilfully or negligently
crime against property but public order." causes damage to another, shall indemnify the latter for the same.
The petitioner, through counsel filed a motion for reconsideration of the order dated 8 January Regardless, therefore, of whether or not a special law so provides, indemnification of the offended
1987 on March 10, 1987. party may be had on account of the damage, loss or injury directly suffered as a consequence of
Respondent Claudio filed her opposition to the motion for reconsideration on March 25, 1987. the wrongful act of another. The indemnity which a person is sentenced to pay forms an integral
In an order dated 31 March 1987, the respondent court denied petitioner's motion for part of the penalty imposed by law for the commission of a crime (Quemel v. Court of Appeals, 22
reconsideration. SCRA 44, citing Bagtas v. Director of Prisons, 84 Phil. 692). Every crime gives rise to a penal or
Hence, this petition questioning the orders of the respondent Court. criminal action for the punishment of the guilty party, and also to civil action for the restitution of
The issue to be resolved is whether or not the respondent Court acted with grave abuse of the thing, repair of the damage, and indemnification for the losses. (United States v. Bernardo, 19
discretion or in excess of its jurisdiction in rejecting the appearance of a private prosecutor. Phil. 265).
The respondents make capital of the fact that Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 punishes the act of Indeed one cannot disregard the private party in the case at bar who suffered the offenses
knowingly issuing worthless checks as an offense against public order. As such, it is argued that it committed against her. Not only the State but the petitioner too is entitled to relief as a member of
is the State and the public that are the principal complainants and, therefore, no civil indemnity is the public which the law seeks to protect. She was assured that the checks were good when she
provided for by Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 for which a private party or prosecutor may intervene. parted with money, property or services. She suffered with the State when the checks bounced.
On the other hand, the petitioner, relying on the legal axiom that "Every man criminally liable is In Lozano v. Hon. Martinez (G.R. No. 63419, December 18, 1986) and the cases consolidated
also civilly liable," contends that indemnity may be recovered from the offender regardless of therewith, we held that "The effects of a worthless check transcend the private interests of the
whether or not Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 so provides. parties directly involved in the transaction and touch the interests of the community at large." Yet,
A careful study of the concept of civil liability allows a solution to the issue in the case at bar. we too recognized the wrong done to the private party defrauded when we stated therein that "The
mischief it creates is not only a wrong to the payee or the holder, but also an injury to the public."
Civil liability to the offended private party cannot thus be denied, The payee of the check is entitled the Court of First Instance of Manila awarded damages in favor of the plaintiffs for P2,000 plus
to receive the payment of money for which the worthless check was issued. Having been caused legal interest from the date of the complaint. This decision was modified by the Court of Appeals
the damage, she is entitled to recompense. by reducing the damages to P1,000 with legal interest from the time the action was instituted. It is
Surely, it could not have been the intendment of the framers of Batas Pambansa Big. 22 to leave undisputed that Fontanilla 's negligence was the cause of the mishap, as he was driving on the
the offended private party defrauded and empty- handed by excluding the civil liability of the wrong side of the road, and at high speed. As to Barredo's responsibility, the Court of Appeals
offender, giving her only the remedy, which in many cases results in a Pyrrhic victory, of having to found:
file a separate civil suit. To do so, may leave the offended party unable to recover even the face ... It is admitted that defendant is Fontanilla's employer. There is proof that he exercised
value of the check due her, thereby unjustly enriching the errant drawer at the expense of the the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. (See p. 22, appellant's brief.)
payee. The protection which the law seeks to provide would, therefore, be brought to naught. In fact it is shown he was careless in employing Fontanilla who had been caught several
The petitioner's intervention in the prosecution of Criminal Cases 40909 to 40913 is justified not times for violation of the Automobile Law and speeding (Exhibit A) — violation which
only for the protection of her interests but also in the interest of the speedy and inexpensive appeared in the records of the Bureau of Public Works available to be public and to
administration of justice mandated by the Constitution (Section 16, Article III, Bill of Rights, himself. Therefore, he must indemnify plaintiffs under the provisions of article 1903 of the
Constitution of 1987). A separate civil action for the purpose would only prove to be costly, Civil Code.
burdensome, and time-consuming for both parties and further delay the final disposition of the The main theory of the defense is that the liability of Fausto Barredo is governed by the Revised
case. This multiplicity of suits must be avoided. Where petitioner's rights may be fulIy adjudicated Penal Code; hence, his liability is only subsidiary, and as there has been no civil action against
in the proceedings before the trial court, resort t o a separate action to recover civil liability is Pedro Fontanilla, the person criminally liable, Barredo cannot be held responsible in the case. The
clearly unwarranted. petitioner's brief states on page 10:
WHEREFORE the petition is hereby GRANTED. The respondent court is ordered to permit the ... The Court of Appeals holds that the petitioner is being sued for his failure to exercise all
intervention of a private prosecutor in behalf of petitioner Charmina B. Banal, in the prosecution of the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of Pedro
the civil aspect of Criminasl Cases Nos. 40909 to 40913. The temporary restraining order issued Fontanilla to prevent damages suffered by the respondents. In other words, The Court of
by this court a quo for further proceedings. This decision is immediately executory. Appeals insists on applying in the case article 1903 of the Civil Code. Article 1903 of the
SO ORDERED. Civil Code is found in Chapter II, Title 16, Book IV of the Civil Code. This fact makes said
G.R. No. L-48006 July 8, 1942 article to a civil liability arising from a crime as in the case at bar simply because Chapter
FAUSTO BARREDO, petitioner, II of Title 16 of Book IV of the Civil Code, in the precise words of article 1903 of the Civil
vs. Code itself, is applicable only to "those (obligations) arising from wrongful or negligent
SEVERINO GARCIA and TIMOTEA ALMARIO, respondents. acts or commission not punishable by law.
Celedonio P. Gloria and Antonio Barredo for petitioner. The gist of the decision of the Court of Appeals is expressed thus:
Jose G. Advincula for respondents. ... We cannot agree to the defendant's contention. The liability sought to be imposed upon
BOCOBO, J.: him in this action is not a civil obligation arising from a felony or a misdemeanor (the crime
This case comes up from the Court of Appeals which held the petitioner herein, Fausto Barredo, of Pedro Fontanilla,), but an obligation imposed in article 1903 of the Civil Code by reason
liable in damages for the death of Faustino Garcia caused by the negligence of Pedro Fontanilla, a of his negligence in the selection or supervision of his servant or employee.
taxi driver employed by said Fausto Barredo. The pivotal question in this case is whether the plaintiffs may bring this separate civil action
At about half past one in the morning of May 3, 1936, on the road between Malabon and Navotas, against Fausto Barredo, thus making him primarily and directly, responsible under article 1903 of
Province of Rizal, there was a head-on collision between a taxi of the Malate Taxicab driven by the Civil Code as an employer of Pedro Fontanilla. The defendant maintains that Fontanilla's
Pedro Fontanilla and a carretela guided by Pedro Dimapalis. The carretela was overturned, and negligence being punishable by the Penal Code, his (defendant's) liability as an employer is only
one of its passengers, 16-year-old boy Faustino Garcia, suffered injuries from which he died two subsidiary, according to said Penal code, but Fontanilla has not been sued in a civil action and his
days later. A criminal action was filed against Fontanilla in the Court of First Instance of Rizal, and property has not been exhausted. To decide the main issue, we must cut through the tangle that
he was convicted and sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of one year and one day to two has, in the minds of many confused and jumbled together delitos and cuasi delitos, or crimes
years of prision correccional. The court in the criminal case granted the petition that the right to under the Penal Code and fault or negligence under articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code. This
bring a separate civil action be reserved. The Court of Appeals affirmed the sentence of the lower should be done, because justice may be lost in a labyrinth, unless principles and remedies are
court in the criminal case. Severino Garcia and Timotea Almario, parents of the deceased on distinctly envisaged. Fortunately, we are aided in our inquiry by the luminous presentation of the
March 7, 1939, brought an action in the Court of First Instance of Manila against Fausto Barredo perplexing subject by renown jurists and we are likewise guided by the decisions of this Court in
as the sole proprietor of the Malate Taxicab and employer of Pedro Fontanilla. On July 8, 1939,
previous cases as well as by the solemn clarity of the consideration in several sentences of the ART. 101. Rules regarding civil liability in certain cases. — The exemption from criminal
Supreme Tribunal of Spain. liability established in subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 of article 12 and in subdivision 4 of
Authorities support the proposition that a quasi-delict or "culpa aquiliana " is a separate legal article 11 of this Code does not include exemption from civil liability, which shall be
institution under the Civil Code with a substantivity all its own, and individuality that is entirely apart enforced to the following rules:
and independent from delict or crime. Upon this principle and on the wording and spirit article 1903 First. In cases of subdivision, 1, 2 and 3 of article 12 the civil liability for acts committed by
of the Civil Code, the primary and direct responsibility of employers may be safely anchored. any imbecile or insane person, and by a person under nine years of age, or by one over
The pertinent provisions of the Civil Code and Revised Penal Code are as follows: nine but under fifteen years of age, who has acted without discernment shall devolve
CIVIL CODE upon those having such person under their legal authority or control, unless it appears
ART. 1089 Obligations arise from law, from contracts and quasi-contracts, and from acts that there was no fault or negligence on their part.
and omissions which are unlawful or in which any kind of fault or negligence intervenes. Should there be no person having such insane, imbecile or minor under his authority,
xxx xxx xxx legal guardianship, or control, or if such person be insolvent, said insane, imbecile, or
ART. 1092. Civil obligations arising from felonies or misdemeanors shall be governed by minor shall respond with their own property, excepting property exempt from execution, in
the provisions of the Penal Code. accordance with the civil law.
ART. 1093. Those which are derived from acts or omissions in which fault or negligence, Second. In cases falling within subdivision 4 of article 11, the person for whose benefit the
not punishable by law, intervenes shall be subject to the provisions of Chapter II, Title XVI harm has been prevented shall be civilly liable in proportion to the benefit which they may
of this book. have received.
xxx xxx xxx The courts shall determine, in their sound discretion, the proportionate amount for which each one
ART 1902. Any person who by an act or omission causes damage to another by his fault shall be liable.
or negligence shall be liable for the damage so done. When the respective shares can not be equitably determined, even approximately, or when the
ART. 1903. The obligation imposed by the next preceding article is enforcible, not only for liability also attaches to the Government, or to the majority of the inhabitants of the town, and, in
personal acts and omissions, but also for those of persons for whom another is all events, whenever the damage has been caused with the consent of the authorities or their
responsible. agents, indemnification shall be made in the manner prescribed by special laws or regulations.
The father and in, case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are liable for any damages Third. In cases falling within subdivisions 5 and 6 of article 12, the persons using violence or
caused by the minor children who live with them. causing the fear shall be primarily liable and secondarily, or, if there be no such persons, those
Guardians are liable for damages done by minors or incapacitated persons subject to doing the act shall be liable, saving always to the latter that part of their property exempt from
their authority and living with them. execution.
Owners or directors of an establishment or business are equally liable for any damages ART. 102. Subsidiary civil liability of innkeepers, tavern keepers and proprietors of
caused by their employees while engaged in the branch of the service in which employed, establishment. — In default of persons criminally liable, innkeepers, tavern keepers, and
or on occasion of the performance of their duties. any other persons or corporation shall be civilly liable for crimes committed in their
The State is subject to the same liability when it acts through a special agent, but not if establishments, in all cases where a violation of municipal ordinances or some general or
the damage shall have been caused by the official upon whom properly devolved the duty special police regulation shall have been committed by them or their employees.
of doing the act performed, in which case the provisions of the next preceding article shall Innkeepers are also subsidiarily liable for the restitution of goods taken by robbery or theft
be applicable. within their houses lodging therein, or the person, or for the payment of the value thereof,
Finally, teachers or directors of arts trades are liable for any damages caused by their provided that such guests shall have notified in advance the innkeeper himself, or the
pupils or apprentices while they are under their custody. person representing him, of the deposit of such goods within the inn; and shall
The liability imposed by this article shall cease in case the persons mentioned therein furthermore have followed the directions which such innkeeper or his representative may
prove that they are exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the have given them with respect to the care of and vigilance over such goods. No liability
damage. shall attach in case of robbery with violence against or intimidation against or intimidation
ART. 1904. Any person who pays for damage caused by his employees may recover from of persons unless committed by the innkeeper's employees.
the latter what he may have paid. ART. 103. Subsidiary civil liability of other persons. — The subsidiary liability established
REVISED PENAL CODE in the next preceding article shall also apply to employers, teachers, persons, and
ART. 100. Civil liability of a person guilty of felony. — Every person criminally liable for a corporations engaged in any kind of industry for felonies committed by their servants,
felony is also civilly liable. pupils, workmen, apprentices, or employees in the discharge of their duties.
xxx xxx xxx laws, infraction of the rules of traffic when nobody is hurt. (See Colin and Capitant, "Curso
ART. 365. Imprudence and negligence. — Any person who, by reckless imprudence, shall Elemental de Derecho Civil," Vol. 3, p. 728.)
commit any act which, had it been intentional, would constitute a grave felony, shall suffer Let us now ascertain what some jurists say on the separate existence of quasi-delicts and the
the penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum employer's primary and direct liability under article 1903 of the Civil Code.
period; if it would have constituted a less grave felony, the penalty of arresto mayor in its Dorado Montero in his essay on "Responsibilidad" in the "Enciclopedia Juridica Española" (Vol.
minimum and medium periods shall be imposed. XXVII, p. 414) says:
Any person who, by simple imprudence or negligence, shall commit an act which would El concepto juridico de la responsabilidad civil abarca diversos aspectos y comprende a
otherwise constitute a grave felony, shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor in its medium diferentes personas. Asi, existe una responsabilidad civil propiamente dicha, que en
and maximum periods; if it would have constituted a less serious felony, the penalty ningun casl lleva aparejada responsabilidad criminal alguna, y otra que es consecuencia
of arresto mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed." indeclinable de la penal que nace de todo delito o falta."
It will thus be seen that while the terms of articles 1902 of the Civil Code seem to be broad enough The juridical concept of civil responsibility has various aspects and comprises different
to cover the driver's negligence in the instant case, nevertheless article 1093 limits cuasi-delitos to persons. Thus, there is a civil responsibility, properly speaking, which in no case carries
acts or omissions "not punishable by law." But inasmuch as article 365 of the Revised Penal Code with it any criminal responsibility, and another which is a necessary consequence of the
punishes not only reckless but even simple imprudence or negligence, the fault or negligence penal liability as a result of every felony or misdemeanor."
under article 1902 of the Civil Code has apparently been crowded out. It is this overlapping that Maura, an outstanding authority, was consulted on the following case: There had been a collision
makes the "confusion worse confounded." However, a closer study shows that such a between two trains belonging respectively to the Ferrocarril Cantabrico and the Ferrocarril del
concurrence of scope in regard to negligent acts does not destroy the distinction between the civil Norte. An employee of the latter had been prosecuted in a criminal case, in which the company
liability arising from a crime and the responsibility for cuasi-delitos or culpa extra-contractual. The had been made a party as subsidiarily responsible in civil damages. The employee had been
same negligent act causing damages may produce civil liability arising from a crime under article acquitted in the criminal case, and the employer, the Ferrocarril del Norte, had also been
100 of the Revised Penal Code, or create an action for cuasi-delito or culpa extra- exonerated. The question asked was whether the Ferrocarril Cantabrico could still bring a civil
contractual under articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code. action for damages against the Ferrocarril del Norte. Maura's opinion was in the affirmative, stating
The individuality of cuasi-delito or culpa extra-contractual looms clear and unmistakable. This legal in part (Maura, Dictamenes, Vol. 6, pp. 511-513):
institution is of ancient lineage, one of its early ancestors being the Lex Aquilia in the Roman Law. Quedando las cosas asi, a proposito de la realidad pura y neta de los hechos, todavia
In fact, in Spanish legal terminology, this responsibility is often referred to as culpa aquiliana. The menos parece sostenible que exista cosa juzgada acerca de la obligacion civil de
Partidas also contributed to the genealogy of the present fault or negligence under the Civil Code; indemnizar los quebrantos y menoscabos inferidos por el choque de los trenes. El titulo
for instance, Law 6, Title 15, of Partida 7, says: "Tenudo es de fazer emienda, porque, como quier en que se funda la accion para demandar el resarcimiento, no puede confundirse con las
que el non fizo a sabiendas en daño al otro, pero acaescio por su culpa." responsabilidades civiles nacidas de delito, siquiera exista en este, sea el cual sea,
The distinctive nature of cuasi-delitos survives in the Civil Code. According to article 1089, one of una culpa rodeada de notas agravatorias que motivan sanciones penales, mas o menos
the five sources of obligations is this legal institution of cuasi-delito or culpa extra-contractual: "los severas. La lesion causada por delito o falta en los derechos civiles, requiere
actos . . . en que intervenga cualquier genero de culpa o negligencia." Then article 1093 provides restituciones, reparaciones o indemnizaciones, que cual la pena misma atañen al orden
that this kind of obligation shall be governed by Chapter II of Title XVI of Book IV, meaning articles publico; por tal motivo vienen encomendadas, de ordinario, al Ministerio Fiscal; y claro es
1902-0910. This portion of the Civil Code is exclusively devoted to the legal institution of culpa que si por esta via se enmiendan los quebrantos y menoscabos, el agraviado excusa
aquiliana. procurar el ya conseguido desagravio; pero esta eventual coincidencia de los efectos, no
Some of the differences between crimes under the Penal Code and the culpa aquiliana or cuasi- borra la diversidad originaria de las acciones civiles para pedir indemnizacion.
delito under the Civil Code are: Estas, para el caso actual (prescindiendo de culpas contractuales, que no vendrian a
1. That crimes affect the public interest, while cuasi-delitos are only of private concern. cuento y que tiene otro regimen), dimanan, segun el articulo 1902 del Codigo Civil, de
2. That, consequently, the Penal Code punishes or corrects the criminal act, while the Civil Code, toda accion u omision, causante de daños o perjuicios, en que intervenga culpa o
by means of indemnification, merely repairs the damage. negligencia. Es trivial que acciones semejantes son ejercitadas ante los Tribunales de lo
3. That delicts are not as broad as quasi-delicts, because the former are punished only if there is a civil cotidianamente, sin que la Justicia punitiva tenga que mezclarse en los asuntos. Los
penal law clearly covering them, while the latter, cuasi-delitos, include all acts in which "any king of articulos 18 al 21 y 121 al 128 del Codigo Penal, atentos al espiritu y a los fines sociales y
fault or negligence intervenes." However, it should be noted that not all violations of the penal law politicos del mismo, desenvuelven y ordenan la materia de responsabilidades
produce civil responsibility, such as begging in contravention of ordinances, violation of the game civiles nacidas de delito, en terminos separados del regimen por ley comun de la culpa
que se denomina aquiliana, por alusion a precedentes legislativos del Corpus Juris. Seria
intempestivo un paralelo entre aquellas ordenaciones, y la de la obligacion de indemnizar Such civil actions in the present case (without referring to contractual faults which are not
a titulo de culpa civil; pero viene al caso y es necesaria una de las diferenciaciones que pertinent and belong to another scope) are derived, according to article 1902 of the Civil
en el tal paralelo se notarian. Code, from every act or omission causing losses and damages in which culpa or
Los articulos 20 y 21 del Codigo Penal, despues de distribuir a su modo las negligence intervenes. It is unimportant that such actions are every day filed before the
responsabilidades civiles, entre los que sean por diversos conceptos culpables del delito civil courts without the criminal courts interfering therewith. Articles 18 to 21 and 121 to
o falta, las hacen extensivas a las empresas y los establecimientos al servicio de los 128 of the Penal Code, bearing in mind the spirit and the social and political purposes of
cuales estan los delincuentes; pero con caracter subsidiario, o sea, segun el texto that Code, develop and regulate the matter of civil responsibilities arising from a crime,
literal, en defecto de los que sean responsables criminalmente. No coincide en ello el separately from the regime under common law, of culpa which is known as aquiliana, in
Codigo Civil, cuyo articulo 1903, dice; La obligacion que impone el articulo anterior es accordance with legislative precedent of the Corpus Juris. It would be unwarranted to
exigible, no solo por los actos y omisiones propios, sino por los de aquellas personas de make a detailed comparison between the former provisions and that regarding the
quienes se debe responder; personas en la enumeracion de las cuales figuran los obligation to indemnify on account of civil culpa; but it is pertinent and necessary to point
dependientes y empleados de los establecimientos o empresas, sea por actos del out to one of such differences.
servicio, sea con ocasion de sus funciones. Por esto acontece, y se observa en la Articles 20 and 21 of the Penal Code, after distriburing in their own way the civil
jurisprudencia, que las empresas, despues de intervenir en las causas criminales con el responsibilities among those who, for different reasons, are guilty of felony or
caracter subsidiario de su responsabilidad civil por razon del delito, son demandadas y misdemeanor, make such civil responsibilities applicable to enterprises and
condenadas directa y aisladamente, cuando se trata de la obligacion, ante los tribunales establishments for which the guilty parties render service, but with subsidiary character,
civiles. that is to say, according to the wording of the Penal Code, in default of those who are
Siendo como se ve, diverso el titulo de esta obligacion, y formando verdadero postulado criminally responsible. In this regard, the Civil Code does not coincide because article
de nuestro regimen judicial la separacion entre justicia punitiva y tribunales de lo civil, de 1903 says: "The obligation imposed by the next preceding article is demandable, not only
suerte que tienen unos y otros normas de fondo en distintos cuerpos legales, y diferentes for personal acts and omissions, but also for those of persons for whom another is
modos de proceder, habiendose, por añadidura, abstenido de asistir al juicio criminal la responsible." Among the persons enumerated are the subordinates and employees of
Compañia del Ferrocarril Cantabrico, que se reservo ejercitar sus acciones, parece establishments or enterprises, either for acts during their service or on the occasion of
innegable que la de indemnizacion por los daños y perjuicios que le irrogo el choque, no their functions. It is for this reason that it happens, and it is so observed in judicial
estuvo sub judice ante el Tribunal del Jurado, ni fue sentenciada, sino que permanecio decisions, that the companies or enterprises, after taking part in the criminal cases
intacta, al pronunciarse el fallo de 21 de marzo. Aun cuando el veredicto no hubiese sido because of their subsidiary civil responsibility by reason of the crime, are sued and
de inculpabilidad, mostrose mas arriba, que tal accion quedaba legitimamente reservada sentenced directly and separately with regard to the obligation, before the civil courts.
para despues del proceso; pero al declararse que no existio delito, ni responsabilidad Seeing that the title of this obligation is different, and the separation between punitive
dimanada de delito, materia unica sobre que tenian jurisdiccion aquellos juzgadores, se justice and the civil courts being a true postulate of our judicial system, so that they have
redobla el motivo para la obligacion civil ex lege, y se patentiza mas y mas que la accion different fundamental norms in different codes, as well as different modes of procedure,
para pedir su cumplimiento permanece incolume, extraña a la cosa juzgada. and inasmuch as the Compaña del Ferrocarril Cantabrico has abstained from taking part
As things are, apropos of the reality pure and simple of the facts, it seems less tenable in the criminal case and has reserved the right to exercise its actions, it seems undeniable
that there should be res judicata with regard to the civil obligation for damages on account that the action for indemnification for the losses and damages caused to it by the collision
of the losses caused by the collision of the trains. The title upon which the action for was not sub judice before the Tribunal del Jurado, nor was it the subject of a sentence,
reparation is based cannot be confused with the civil responsibilities born of a crime, but it remained intact when the decision of March 21 was rendered. Even if the verdict
because there exists in the latter, whatever each nature, a culpa surrounded with had not been that of acquittal, it has already been shown that such action had been
aggravating aspects which give rise to penal measures that are more or less severe. The legitimately reserved till after the criminal prosecution; but because of the declaration of
injury caused by a felony or misdemeanor upon civil rights requires restitutions, the non-existence of the felony and the non-existence of the responsibility arising from the
reparations, or indemnifications which, like the penalty itself, affect public order; for this crime, which was the sole subject matter upon which the Tribunal del Jurado had
reason, they are ordinarily entrusted to the office of the prosecuting attorney; and it is jurisdiction, there is greater reason for the civil obligation ex lege, and it becomes clearer
clear that if by this means the losses and damages are repaired, the injured party no that the action for its enforcement remain intact and is not res judicata.
longer desires to seek another relief; but this coincidence of effects does not eliminate the Laurent, a jurist who has written a monumental work on the French Civil Code, on which the
peculiar nature of civil actions to ask for indemnity. Spanish Civil Code is largely based and whose provisions on cuasi-delito or culpa extra-
contractual are similar to those of the Spanish Civil Code, says, referring to article 1384 of the Oyuelos, in his "Digesto: Principios, Doctrina y Jurisprudencia, Referentes al Codigo Civil
French Civil Code which corresponds to article 1903, Spanish Civil Code: Español," says in Vol. VII, p. 743:
The action can be brought directly against the person responsible (for another), without Es decir, no responde de hechos ajenos, porque se responde solo de su propia culpa,
including the author of the act. The action against the principal is accessory in the sense doctrina del articulo 1902; mas por excepcion, se responde de la ajena respecto de
that it implies the existence of a prejudicial act committed by the employee, but it is not aquellas personas con las que media algun nexo o vinculo, que motiva o razona la
subsidiary in the sense that it can not be instituted till after the judgment against the responsabilidad. Esta responsabilidad, es directa o es subsidiaria? En el orden penal, el
author of the act or at least, that it is subsidiary to the principal action; the action for Codigo de esta clase distingue entre menores e incapacitados y los demas, declarando
responsibility (of the employer) is in itself a principal action. (Laurent, Principles of French directa la primera (articulo 19) y subsidiaria la segunda (articulos 20 y 21); pero en el
Civil Law, Spanish translation, Vol. 20, pp. 734-735.) orden civil, en el caso del articulo 1903, ha de entenderse directa, por el tenor del articulo
Amandi, in his "Cuestionario del Codigo Civil Reformado" (Vol. 4, pp. 429, 430), declares that the que impone la responsabilidad precisamente "por los actos de aquellas personas de
responsibility of the employer is principal and not subsidiary. He writes: quienes se deba responder."
Cuestion 1. La responsabilidad declarada en el articulo 1903 por las acciones u That is to say, one is not responsible for the acts of others, because one is liable only for
omisiones de aquellas personas por las que se debe responder, es subsidiaria? es his own faults, this being the doctrine of article 1902; but, by exception, one is liable for
principal? Para contestar a esta pregunta es necesario saber, en primer lugar, en que se the acts of those persons with whom there is a bond or tie which gives rise to the
funda el precepto legal. Es que realmente se impone una responsabilidad por una falta responsibility. Is this responsibility direct or subsidiary? In the order of the penal law, the
ajena? Asi parece a primera vista; pero semejante afirmacion seria contraria a la justicia y Penal Code distinguishes between minors and incapacitated persons on the one hand,
a la maxima universal, segun la que las faltas son personales, y cada uno responde de and other persons on the other, declaring that the responsibility for the former is direct
aquellas que le son imputables. La responsabilidad de que tratamos se impone con (article 19), and for the latter, subsidiary (articles 20 and 21); but in the scheme of the civil
ocasion de un delito o culpa, pero no por causa de ellos, sino por causa del causi delito, law, in the case of article 1903, the responsibility should be understood as direct,
esto es, de la imprudencia o de la negligencia del padre, del tutor, del dueño o director according to the tenor of that articles, for precisely it imposes responsibility "for the acts of
del establecimiento, del maestro, etc. Cuando cualquiera de las personas que enumera el those persons for whom one should be responsible."
articulo citado (menores de edad, incapacitados, dependientes, aprendices) causan un Coming now to the sentences of the Supreme Tribunal of Spain, that court has upheld the
daño, la ley presume que el padre, el tutor, el maestro, etc., han cometido una falta de principles above set forth: that a quasi-delict or culpa extra-contractual is a separate and distinct
negligencia para prevenir o evitar el daño. Esta falta es la que la ley castiga. No hay, legal institution, independent from the civil responsibility arising from criminal liability, and that an
pues, responsabilidad por un hecho ajeno, sino en la apariencia; en realidad la employer is, under article 1903 of the Civil Code, primarily and directly responsible for the
responsabilidad se exige por un hecho propio. La idea de que esa responsabilidad sea negligent acts of his employee.
subsidiaria es, por lo tanto, completamente inadmisible. One of the most important of those Spanish decisions is that of October 21, 1910. In that case,
Question No. 1. Is the responsibility declared in article 1903 for the acts or omissions of Ramon Lafuente died as the result of having been run over by a street car owned by the
those persons for who one is responsible, subsidiary or principal? In order to answer this "compañia Electric Madrileña de Traccion." The conductor was prosecuted in a criminal case but
question it is necessary to know, in the first place, on what the legal provision is based. Is he was acquitted. Thereupon, the widow filed a civil action against the street car company, paying
it true that there is a responsibility for the fault of another person? It seems so at first for damages in the amount of 15,000 pesetas. The lower court awarded damages; so the
sight; but such assertion would be contrary to justice and to the universal maxim that all company appealed to the Supreme Tribunal, alleging violation of articles 1902 and 1903 of the
faults are personal, and that everyone is liable for those faults that can be imputed to him. Civil Code because by final judgment the non-existence of fault or negligence had been declared.
The responsibility in question is imposed on the occasion of a crime or fault, but not The Supreme Court of Spain dismissed the appeal, saying:
because of the same, but because of the cuasi-delito, that is to say, the imprudence or Considerando que el primer motivo del recurso se funda en el equivocado supuesto de
negligence of the father, guardian, proprietor or manager of the establishment, of the que el Tribunal a quo, al condonar a la compañia Electrica Madrileña al pago del daño
teacher, etc. Whenever anyone of the persons enumerated in the article referred to causado con la muerte de Ramon La fuente Izquierdo, desconoce el valor y efectos
(minors, incapacitated persons, employees, apprentices) causes any damage, the law juridicos de la sentencia absolutoria deictada en la causa criminal que se siguio por el
presumes that the father, guardian, teacher, etc. have committed an act of negligence in mismo hecho, cuando es lo cierto que de este han conocido las dos jurisdicciones bajo
not preventing or avoiding the damage. It is this fault that is condemned by the law. It is, diferentes as pectos, y como la de lo criminal declrao dentro de los limites de su
therefore, only apparent that there is a responsibility for the act of another; in reality the competencia que el hecho de que se trata no era constitutivo de delito por no haber
responsibility exacted is for one's own act. The idea that such responsibility is subsidiary mediado descuido o negligencia graves, lo que no excluye, siendo este el unico
is, therefore, completely inadmissible. fundamento del fallo absolutorio, el concurso de la culpa o negligencia no califacadas,
fuente de obligaciones civiles segun el articulo 1902 del Codigo, y que alcanzan, segun el had just been released, and besides, he was probably without property which might be seized in
1903, netre otras perosnas, a los Directores de establecimientos o empresas por los enforcing any judgment against him for damages.
daños causados por sus dependientes en determinadas condiciones, es manifesto que la Third. That inasmuch as in the above sentence of October 21, 1910, the employer was held liable
de lo civil, al conocer del mismo hehco baho este ultimo aspecto y al condenar a la civilly, notwithstanding the acquittal of the employee (the conductor) in a previous criminal case,
compañia recurrente a la indemnizacion del daño causado por uno de sus empleados, with greater reason should Barredo, the employer in the case at bar, be held liable for damages in
lejos de infringer los mencionados textos, en relacion con el articulo 116 de la Ley de a civil suit filed against him because his taxi driver had been convicted. The degree of negligence
Enjuciamiento Criminal, se ha atenido estrictamente a ellos, sin invadir atribuciones of the conductor in the Spanish case cited was less than that of the taxi driver, Fontanilla, because
ajenas a su jurisdiccion propia, ni contrariar en lo mas minimo el fallo recaido en la causa. the former was acquitted in the previous criminal case while the latter was found guilty of criminal
Considering that the first ground of the appeal is based on the mistaken supposition that negligence and was sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of one year and one day to two
the trial court, in sentencing the Compañia Madrileña to the payment of the damage years of prision correccional.
caused by the death of Ramon Lafuente Izquierdo, disregards the value and juridical (See also Sentence of February 19, 1902, which is similar to the one above quoted.)
effects of the sentence of acquittal rendered in the criminal case instituted on account of In the Sentence of the Supreme Court of Spain, dated February 14, 1919, an action was brought
the same act, when it is a fact that the two jurisdictions had taken cognizance of the same against a railroad company for damages because the station agent, employed by the company,
act in its different aspects, and as the criminal jurisdiction declared within the limits of its had unjustly and fraudulently, refused to deliver certain articles consigned to the plaintiff. The
authority that the act in question did not constitute a felony because there was no grave Supreme Court of Spain held that this action was properly under article 1902 of the Civil Code, the
carelessness or negligence, and this being the only basis of acquittal, it does no exclude court saying:
the co-existence of fault or negligence which is not qualified, and is a source of civil Considerando que la sentencia discutida reconoce, en virtud de los hechos que consigna
obligations according to article 1902 of the Civil Code, affecting, in accordance with article con relacion a las pruebas del pleito: 1.º, que las expediciones facturadas por la
1903, among other persons, the managers of establishments or enterprises by reason of compañia ferroviaria a la consignacion del actor de las vasijas vacias que en su demanda
the damages caused by employees under certain conditions, it is manifest that the civil relacionan tenian como fin el que este las devolviera a sus remitentes con vinos y
jurisdiccion in taking cognizance of the same act in this latter aspect and in ordering the alcoholes; 2.º, que llegadas a su destino tales mercanias no se quisieron entregar a dicho
company, appellant herein, to pay an indemnity for the damage caused by one of its consignatario por el jefe de la estacion sin motivo justificado y con intencion dolosa, y 3.º,
employees, far from violating said legal provisions, in relation with article 116 of the Law que la falta de entrega de estas expediciones al tiempo de reclamarlas el demandante le
of Criminal Procedure, strictly followed the same, without invading attributes which are originaron daños y perjuicios en cantidad de bastante importancia como expendedor al
beyond its own jurisdiction, and without in any way contradicting the decision in that por mayor que era de vinos y alcoholes por las ganancias que dejo de obtener al verse
cause. (Emphasis supplied.) privado de servir los pedidos que se le habian hecho por los remitentes en los envases:
It will be noted, as to the case just cited: Considerando que sobre esta base hay necesidad de estimar los cuatro motivos que
First. That the conductor was not sued in a civil case, either separately or with the street car integran este recurso, porque la demanda inicial del pleito a que se contrae no contiene
company. This is precisely what happens in the present case: the driver, Fontanilla, has not been accion que nazca del incumplimiento del contrato de transporte, toda vez que no se funda
sued in a civil action, either alone or with his employer. en el retraso de la llegada de las mercancias ni de ningun otro vinculo contractual entre
Second. That the conductor had been acquitted of grave criminal negligence, but the Supreme las partes contendientes, careciendo, por tanto, de aplicacion el articulo 371 del Codigo
Tribunal of Spain said that this did not exclude the co-existence of fault or negligence, which is not de Comercio, en que principalmente descansa el fallo recurrido, sino que se limita a pedir
qualified, on the part of the conductor, under article 1902 of the Civil Code. In the present case, la reparaction de los daños y perjuicios producidos en el patrimonio del actor por la
the taxi driver was found guilty of criminal negligence, so that if he had even sued for his civil injustificada y dolosa negativa del porteador a la entrega de las mercancias a su nombre
responsibility arising from the crime, he would have been held primarily liable for civil damages, consignadas, segun lo reconoce la sentencia, y cuya responsabilidad esta claramente
and Barredo would have been held subsidiarily liable for the same. But the plaintiffs are directly sancionada en el articulo 1902 del Codigo Civil, que obliga por el siguiente a la Compañia
suing Barredo, on his primary responsibility because of his own presumed negligence — which he demandada como ligada con el causante de aquellos por relaciones de caracter
did not overcome — under article 1903. Thus, there were two liabilities of Barredo: first, the economico y de jurarquia administrativa.
subsidiary one because of the civil liability of the taxi driver arising from the latter's criminal Considering that the sentence, in question recognizes, in virtue of the facts which it
negligence; and, second, Barredo's primary liability as an employer under article 1903. The declares, in relation to the evidence in the case: (1) that the invoice issued by the railroad
plaintiffs were free to choose which course to take, and they preferred the second remedy. In so company in favor of the plaintiff contemplated that the empty receptacles referred to in the
doing, they were acting within their rights. It might be observed in passing, that the plaintiff choose complaint should be returned to the consignors with wines and liquors; (2) that when the
the more expeditious and effective method of relief, because Fontanilla was either in prison, or said merchandise reached their destination, their delivery to the consignee was refused
by the station agent without justification and with fraudulent intent, and (3) that the lack of "The father, and on his death or incapacity, the mother, is liable for the damages
delivery of these goods when they were demanded by the plaintiff caused him losses and caused by the minors who live with them.
damages of considerable importance, as he was a wholesale vendor of wines and liquors xxx xxx xxx
and he failed to realize the profits when he was unable to fill the orders sent to him by the "Owners or directors of an establishment or enterprise are equally liable for the
consignors of the receptacles: damages caused by their employees in the service of the branches in which the
Considering that upon this basis there is need of upholding the four assignments of error, latter may be employed or in the performance of their duties.
as the original complaint did not contain any cause of action arising from non-fulfillment of xxx xxx xxx
a contract of transportation, because the action was not based on the delay of the goods "The liability referred to in this article shall cease when the persons mentioned
nor on any contractual relation between the parties litigant and, therefore, article 371 of therein prove that they employed all the diligence of a good father of a family to
the Code of Commerce, on which the decision appealed from is based, is not applicable; avoid the damage."
but it limits to asking for reparation for losses and damages produced on the patrimony of As an answer to the argument urged in this particular action it may be sufficient to point
the plaintiff on account of the unjustified and fraudulent refusal of the carrier to deliver the out that nowhere in our general statutes is the employer penalized for failure to provide or
goods consigned to the plaintiff as stated by the sentence, and the carrier's maintain safe appliances for his workmen. His obligation therefore is one 'not punished by
responsibility is clearly laid down in article 1902 of the Civil Code which binds, in virtue of the laws' and falls under civil rather than criminal jurisprudence. But the answer may be a
the next article, the defendant company, because the latter is connected with the person broader one. We should be reluctant, under any conditions, to adopt a forced construction
who caused the damage by relations of economic character and by administrative of these scientific codes, such as is proposed by the defendant, that would rob some of
hierarchy. (Emphasis supplied.) these articles of effect, would shut out litigants against their will from the civil courts,
The above case is pertinent because it shows that the same act may come under both the Penal would make the assertion of their rights dependent upon the selection for prosecution of
Code and the Civil Code. In that case, the action of the agent was unjustified and fraudulent and the proper criminal offender, and render recovery doubtful by reason of the strict rules of
therefore could have been the subject of a criminal action. And yet, it was held to be also a proper proof prevailing in criminal actions. Even if these articles had always stood alone, such a
subject of a civil action under article 1902 of the Civil Code. It is also to be noted that it was the construction would be unnecessary, but clear light is thrown upon their meaning by the
employer and not the employee who was being sued. provisions of the Law of Criminal Procedure of Spain (Ley de Enjuiciamiento Criminal),
Let us now examine the cases previously decided by this Court. which, though never in actual force in these Islands, was formerly given a suppletory or
In the leading case of Rakes vs. Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Co. (7 Phil., 359, 362-365 [year 1907]), explanatory effect. Under article 111 of this law, both classes of action, civil and criminal,
the trial court awarded damages to the plaintiff, a laborer of the defendant, because the latter had might be prosecuted jointly or separately, but while the penal action was pending the civil
negligently failed to repair a tramway in consequence of which the rails slid off while iron was was suspended. According to article 112, the penal action once started, the civil remedy
being transported, and caught the plaintiff whose leg was broken. This Court held: should be sought therewith, unless it had been waived by the party injured or been
It is contended by the defendant, as its first defense to the action that the necessary expressly reserved by him for civil proceedings for the future. If the civil action alone was
conclusion from these collated laws is that the remedy for injuries through negligence lies prosecuted, arising out of a crime that could be enforced only on private complaint, the
only in a criminal action in which the official criminally responsible must be made primarily penal action thereunder should be extinguished. These provisions are in harmony with
liable and his employer held only subsidiarily to him. According to this theory the plaintiff those of articles 23 and 133 of our Penal Code on the same subject.
should have procured the arrest of the representative of the company accountable for not An examination of this topic might be carried much further, but the citation of these
repairing the track, and on his prosecution a suitable fine should have been imposed, articles suffices to show that the civil liability was not intended to be merged in the
payable primarily by him and secondarily by his employer. criminal nor even to be suspended thereby, except as expressly provided in the law.
This reasoning misconceived the plan of the Spanish codes upon this subject. Article Where an individual is civilly liable for a negligent act or omission, it is not required that
1093 of the Civil Code makes obligations arising from faults or negligence not punished the injured party should seek out a third person criminally liable whose prosecution must
by the law, subject to the provisions of Chapter II of Title XVI. Section 1902 of that chapter be a condition precedent to the enforcement of the civil right.
reads: Under article 20 of the Penal Code the responsibility of an employer may be regarded as
"A person who by an act or omission causes damage to another when there is subsidiary in respect of criminal actions against his employees only while they are in
fault or negligence shall be obliged to repair the damage so done. process of prosecution, or in so far as they determine the existence of the criminal act
"SEC. 1903. The obligation imposed by the preceeding article is demandable, not from which liability arises, and his obligation under the civil law and its enforcement in the
only for personal acts and omissions, but also for those of the persons for whom civil courts is not barred thereby unless by the election of the injured person. Inasmuch as
they should be responsible. no criminal proceeding had been instituted, growing our of the accident in question, the
provisions of the Penal Code can not affect this action. This construction renders it precautions had been taken by the defendant, the deplorable accident which caused the
unnecessary to finally determine here whether this subsidiary civil liability in penal actions death of the child would not have occurred.
has survived the laws that fully regulated it or has been abrogated by the American civil It will be noticed that the defendant in the above case could have been prosecuted in a criminal
and criminal procedure now in force in the Philippines. case because his negligence causing the death of the child was punishable by the Penal Code.
The difficulty in construing the articles of the code above cited in this case appears from Here is therefore a clear instance of the same act of negligence being a proper subject-matter
the briefs before us to have arisen from the interpretation of the words of article 1093, either of a criminal action with its consequent civil liability arising from a crime or of an entirely
"fault or negligence not punished by law," as applied to the comprehensive definition of separate and independent civil action for fault or negligence under article 1902 of the Civil Code.
offenses in articles 568 and 590 of the Penal Code. It has been shown that the liability of Thus, in this jurisdiction, the separate individually of a cuasi-delito or culpa aquiliana under the
an employer arising out of his relation to his employee who is the offender is not to be Civil Code has been fully and clearly recognized, even with regard to a negligent act for which the
regarded as derived from negligence punished by the law, within the meaning of articles wrongdoer could have been prosecuted and convicted in a criminal case and for which, after such
1902 and 1093. More than this, however, it cannot be said to fall within the class of acts a conviction, he could have been sued for this civil liability arising from his crime.
unpunished by the law, the consequence of which are regulated by articles 1902 and Years later (in 1930) this Court had another occasion to apply the same doctrine. In Bernal and
1903 of the Civil Code. The acts to which these articles are applicable are understood to Enverso vs. House and Tacloban Electric & Ice Plant, Ltd., 54 Phil., 327, the parents of the five-
be those not growing out of pre-existing duties of the parties to one another. But where year-old child, Purificacion Bernal, brought a civil action to recover damages for the child's death
relations already formed give rise to duties, whether springing from contract or quasi as a result of burns caused by the fault and negligence of the defendants. On the evening of April
contract, then breaches of those duties are subject to articles 1101, 1103, and 1104 of the 10, 1925, the Good Friday procession was held in Tacloban, Leyte. Fortunata Enverso with her
same code. A typical application of this distinction may be found in the consequences of a daughter Purificacion Bernal had come from another municipality to attend the same. After the
railway accident due to defective machinery supplied by the employer. His liability to his procession the mother and the daughter with two others were passing along Gran Capitan Street
employee would arise out of the contract of employment, that to the passengers out of the in front of the offices of the Tacloban Electric & Ice Plant, Ltd., owned by defendants J. V. House,
contract for passage, while that to the injured bystander would originate in the negligent when an automobile appeared from the opposite direction. The little girl, who was slightly ahead of
act itself. the rest, was so frightened by the automobile that she turned to run, but unfortunately she fell into
In Manzanares vs. Moreta, 38 Phil., 821 (year 1918), the mother of the 8 of 9-year-old child the street gutter where hot water from the electric plant was flowing. The child died that same night
Salvador Bona brought a civil action against Moreta to recover damages resulting from the death from the burns. The trial courts dismissed the action because of the contributory negligence of the
of the child, who had been run over by an automobile driven and managed by the defendant. The plaintiffs. But this Court held, on appeal, that there was no contributory negligence, and allowed
trial court rendered judgment requiring the defendant to pay the plaintiff the sum of P1,000 as the parents P1,000 in damages from J. V. House who at the time of the tragic occurrence was the
indemnity: This Court in affirming the judgment, said in part: holder of the franchise for the electric plant. This Court said in part:
If it were true that the defendant, in coming from the southern part of Solana Street, had Although the trial judge made the findings of fact hereinbefore outlined, he nevertheless
to stop his auto before crossing Real Street, because he had met vehicles which were was led to order the dismissal of the action because of the contributory negligence of the
going along the latter street or were coming from the opposite direction along Solana plaintiffs. It is from this point that a majority of the court depart from the stand taken by the
Street, it is to be believed that, when he again started to run his auto across said Real trial judge. The mother and her child had a perfect right to be on the principal street of
Street and to continue its way along Solana Street northward, he should have adjusted Tacloban, Leyte, on the evening when the religious procession was held. There was
the speed of the auto which he was operating until he had fully crossed Real Street and nothing abnormal in allowing the child to run along a few paces in advance of the mother.
had completely reached a clear way on Solana Street. But, as the child was run over by No one could foresee the coincidence of an automobile appearing and of a frightened
the auto precisely at the entrance of Solana Street, this accident could not have occurred child running and falling into a ditch filled with hot water. The doctrine announced in the
if the auto had been running at a slow speed, aside from the fact that the defendant, at much debated case of Rakes vs. Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Co. ([1907]), 7 Phil., 359), still
the moment of crossing Real Street and entering Solana Street, in a northward direction, rule. Article 1902 of the Civil Code must again be enforced. The contributory negligence
could have seen the child in the act of crossing the latter street from the sidewalk on the of the child and her mother, if any, does not operate as a bar to recovery, but in its
right to that on the left, and if the accident had occurred in such a way that after the strictest sense could only result in reduction of the damages.
automobile had run over the body of the child, and the child's body had already been It is most significant that in the case just cited, this Court specifically applied article 1902 of the
stretched out on the ground, the automobile still moved along a distance of about 2 Civil Code. It is thus that although J. V. House could have been criminally prosecuted for reckless
meters, this circumstance shows the fact that the automobile entered Solana Street from or simple negligence and not only punished but also made civilly liable because of his criminal
Real Street, at a high speed without the defendant having blown the horn. If these negligence, nevertheless this Court awarded damages in an independent civil action for fault or
negligence under article 1902 of the Civil Code.
In Bahia vs. Litonjua and Leynes (30 Phil., 624 [year 1915), the action was for damages for the his sister Marciana. Some large pieces of lumber fell from a truck and pinned the boy underneath,
death of the plaintiff's daughter alleged to have been caused by the negligence of the servant in instantly killing him. Two youths, Telesforo Binoya and Francisco Bautista, who were working for
driving an automobile over the child. It appeared that the cause of the mishap was a defect in the Ora, an employee of defendant Norton & Harrison Co., pleaded guilty to the crime of homicide
steering gear. The defendant Leynes had rented the automobile from the International Garage of through reckless negligence and were sentenced accordingly. This Court, applying articles 1902
Manila, to be used by him in carrying passengers during the fiesta of Tuy, Batangas. Leynes was and 1903, held:
ordered by the lower court to pay P1,000 as damages to the plaintiff. On appeal this Court The basis of civil law liability is not respondent superior but the relationship of pater
reversed the judgment as to Leynes on the ground that he had shown that the exercised the care familias. This theory bases the liability of the master ultimately on his own negligence and
of a good father of a family, thus overcoming the presumption of negligence under article 1903. not on that of his servant. (Bahia vs.Litonjua and Leynes [1915], 30 Phil., 624; Cangco vs.
This Court said: Manila Railroad Co. [1918], 38 Phil., 768.)
As to selection, the defendant has clearly shown that he exercised the care and diligence In Walter A. Smith & Co. vs. Cadwallader Gibson Lumber Co., 55 Phil., 517 (year 1930) the
of a good father of a family. He obtained the machine from a reputable garage and it was, plaintiff brought an action for damages for the demolition of its wharf, which had been struck by the
so far as appeared, in good condition. The workmen were likewise selected from a steamer Helen C belonging to the defendant. This Court held (p. 526):
standard garage, were duly licensed by the Government in their particular calling, and The evidence shows that Captain Lasa at the time the plaintiff's wharf collapsed was a
apparently thoroughly competent. The machine had been used but a few hours when the duly licensed captain, authorized to navigate and direct a vessel of any tonnage, and that
accident occurred and it is clear from the evidence that the defendant had no notice, the appellee contracted his services because of his reputation as a captain, according to
either actual or constructive, of the defective condition of the steering gear. F. C. Cadwallader. This being so, we are of the opinion that the presumption of liability
The legal aspect of the case was discussed by this Court thus: against the defendant has been overcome by the exercise of the care and diligence of a
Article 1903 of the Civil Code not only establishes liability in cases of negligence, but also good father of a family in selecting Captain Lasa, in accordance with the doctrines laid
provides when the liability shall cease. It says: down by this court in the cases cited above, and the defendant is therefore absolved from
"The liability referred to in this article shall cease when the persons mentioned all liability.
therein prove that they employed all the diligence of a good father of a family to It is, therefore, seen that the defendant's theory about his secondary liability is negatived by the six
avoid the damage." cases above set forth. He is, on the authority of these cases, primarily and directly responsible in
From this article two things are apparent: (1) That when an injury is caused by the damages under article 1903, in relation to article 1902, of the Civil Code.
negligence of a servant or employee there instantly arises a presumption of law that there Let us now take up the Philippine decisions relied upon by the defendant. We study first, City of
was negligence on the part of the matter or employer either in the selection of the servant Manila vs. Manila Electric Co., 52 Phil., 586 (year 1928). A collision between a truck of the City of
or employee, or in supervision over him after the selection, or both; and (2) that Manila and a street car of the Manila Electric Co. took place on June 8, 1925. The truck was
presumption is juris tantum and not juris et de jure, and consequently, may be rebutted. It damaged in the amount of P1,788.27. Sixto Eustaquio, the motorman, was prosecuted for the
follows necessarily that if the employer shows to the satisfaction of the court that in crime of damage to property and slight injuries through reckless imprudence. He was found guilty
selection and supervision he has exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a and sentenced to pay a fine of P900, to indemnify the City of Manila for P1,788.27, with subsidiary
family, the presumption is overcome and he is relieve from liability. imprisonment in case of insolvency. Unable to collect the indemnity from Eustaquio, the City of
This theory bases the responsibility of the master ultimately on his own negligence and Manila filed an action against the Manila Electric Company to obtain payment, claiming that the
not on that of his servant. defendant was subsidiarily liable. The main defense was that the defendant had exercised the
The doctrine of the case just cited was followed by this Court in Cerf vs. Medel (33 Phil., 37 [year diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage. The lower court rendered judgment in
1915]). In the latter case, the complaint alleged that the defendant's servant had so negligently favor of the plaintiff. This Court held, in part, that this case was governed by the Penal Code,
driven an automobile, which was operated by defendant as a public vehicle, that said automobile saying:
struck and damaged the plaintiff's motorcycle. This Court, applying article 1903 and following the With this preliminary point out of the way, there is no escaping the conclusion that the
rule in Bahia vs. Litonjua and Leynes, said in part (p. 41) that: provisions of the Penal Code govern. The Penal Code in easily understandable language
The master is liable for the negligent acts of his servant where he is the owner or director authorizes the determination of subsidiary liability. The Civil Code negatives its application
of a business or enterprise and the negligent acts are committed while the servant is by providing that civil obligations arising from crimes or misdemeanors shall be governed
engaged in his master's employment as such owner. by the provisions of the Penal Code. The conviction of the motorman was a misdemeanor
Another case which followed the decision in Bahia vs. Litonjua and Leynes was Cuison vs. Norton falling under article 604 of the Penal Code. The act of the motorman was not a wrongful
& Harrison Co., 55 Phil., 18 (year 1930). The latter case was an action for damages brought by or negligent act or omission not punishable by law. Accordingly, the civil obligation
Cuison for the death of his seven-year-old son Moises. The little boy was on his way to school with connected up with the Penal Code and not with article 1903 of the Civil Code. In other
words, the Penal Code affirms its jurisdiction while the Civil Code negatives its The defendant-petitioner also cites Francisco vs. Onrubia (46 Phil., 327). That case need not be
jurisdiction. This is a case of criminal negligence out of which civil liability arises and not a set forth. Suffice it to say that the question involved was also civil liability arising from a crime.
case of civil negligence. Hence, it is as inapplicable as the two cases above discussed.
xxx xxx xxx The foregoing authorities clearly demonstrate the separate individuality of cuasi-delitos or culpa
Our deduction, therefore, is that the case relates to the Penal Code and not to the Civil aquiliana under the Civil Code. Specifically they show that there is a distinction between civil
Code. Indeed, as pointed out by the trial judge, any different ruling would permit the liability arising from criminal negligence (governed by the Penal Code) and responsibility for fault
master to escape scot-free by simply alleging and proving that the master had exercised or negligence under articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code, and that the same negligent act may
all diligence in the selection and training of its servants to prevent the damage. That produce either a civil liability arising from a crime under the Penal Code, or a separate
would be a good defense to a strictly civil action, but might or might not be to a civil action responsibility for fault or negligence under articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code. Still more
either as a part of or predicated on conviction for a crime or misdemeanor. (By way of concretely, the authorities above cited render it inescapable to conclude that the employer — in
parenthesis, it may be said further that the statements here made are offered to meet the this case the defendant-petitioner — is primarily and directly liable under article 1903 of the Civil
argument advanced during our deliberations to the effect that article 0902 of the Civil Code.
Code should be disregarded and codal articles 1093 and 1903 applied.) The legal provisions, authors, and cases already invoked should ordinarily be sufficient to dispose
It is not clear how the above case could support the defendant's proposition, because the Court of of this case. But inasmuch as we are announcing doctrines that have been little understood in the
Appeals based its decision in the present case on the defendant's primary responsibility under past, it might not be inappropriate to indicate their foundations.
article 1903 of the Civil Code and not on his subsidiary liability arising from Fontanilla's criminal Firstly, the Revised Penal Code in article 365 punishes not only reckless but also simple
negligence. In other words, the case of City of Manila vs. Manila Electric Co., supra, is predicated negligence. If we were to hold that articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code refer only to fault or
on an entirely different theory, which is the subsidiary liability of an employer arising from a negligence not punished by law, according to the literal import of article 1093 of the Civil Code, the
criminal act of his employee, whereas the foundation of the decision of the Court of Appeals in the legal institution of culpa aquiliana would have very little scope and application in actual life. Death
present case is the employer's primary liability under article 1903 of the Civil Code. We have or injury to persons and damage to property through any degree of negligence — even the
already seen that this is a proper and independent remedy. slightest — would have to be indemnified only through the principle of civil liability arising from a
Arambulo vs. Manila Electric Co. (55 Phil., 75), is another case invoked by the defendant. A crime. In such a state of affairs, what sphere would remain for cuasi-delito or culpa aquiliana? We
motorman in the employ of the Manila Electric Company had been convicted o homicide by simple are loath to impute to the lawmaker any intention to bring about a situation so absurd and
negligence and sentenced, among other things, to pay the heirs of the deceased the sum of anomalous. Nor are we, in the interpretation of the laws, disposed to uphold the letter that killeth
P1,000. An action was then brought to enforce the subsidiary liability of the defendant as employer rather than the spirit that giveth life. We will not use the literal meaning of the law to smother and
under the Penal Code. The defendant attempted to show that it had exercised the diligence of a render almost lifeless a principle of such ancient origin and such full-grown development as culpa
good father of a family in selecting the motorman, and therefore claimed exemption from civil aquiliana or cuasi-delito, which is conserved and made enduring in articles 1902 to 1910 of the
liability. But this Court held: Spanish Civil Code.
In view of the foregoing considerations, we are of opinion and so hold, (1) that the Secondly, to find the accused guilty in a criminal case, proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt is
exemption from civil liability established in article 1903 of the Civil Code for all who have required, while in a civil case, preponderance of evidence is sufficient to make the defendant pay
acted with the diligence of a good father of a family, is not applicable to the subsidiary civil in damages. There are numerous cases of criminal negligence which can not be shown beyond
liability provided in article 20 of the Penal Code. reasonable doubt, but can be proved by a preponderance of evidence. In such cases, the
The above case is also extraneous to the theory of the defendant in the instant case, because the defendant can and should be made responsible in a civil action under articles 1902 to 1910 of the
action there had for its purpose the enforcement of the defendant's subsidiary liability under the Civil Code. Otherwise, there would be many instances of unvindicated civil wrongs. Ubi jus ibi
Penal Code, while in the case at bar, the plaintiff's cause of action is based on the defendant's remedium.
primary and direct responsibility under article 1903 of the Civil Code. In fact, the above case Thirdly, to hold that there is only one way to make defendant's liability effective, and that is, to sue
destroys the defendant's contention because that decision illustrates the principle that the the driver and exhaust his (the latter's) property first, would be tantamount to compelling the
employer's primary responsibility under article 1903 of the Civil Code is different in character from plaintiff to follow a devious and cumbersome method of obtaining relief. True, there is such a
his subsidiary liability under the Penal Code. remedy under our laws, but there is also a more expeditious way, which is based on the primary
In trying to apply the two cases just referred to, counsel for the defendant has failed to recognize and direct responsibility of the defendant under article 1903 of the Civil Code. Our view of the law
the distinction between civil liability arising from a crime, which is governed by the Penal Code, is more likely to facilitate remedy for civil wrongs, because the procedure indicated by the
and the responsibility for cuasi-delito or culpa aquiliana under the Civil Code, and has likewise defendant is wasteful and productive of delay, it being a matter of common knowledge that
failed to give the importance to the latter type of civil action. professional drivers of taxis and similar public conveyance usually do not have sufficient means
with which to pay damages. Why, then, should the plaintiff be required in all cases to go through AGENCY, INC., and ADMER
this roundabout, unnecessary, and probably useless procedure? In construing the laws, courts PAJARILLO,
have endeavored to shorten and facilitate the pathways of right and justice. Petitioners,
At this juncture, it should be said that the primary and direct responsibility of employers and their Present:
presumed negligence are principles calculated to protect society. Workmen and employees should
be carefully chosen and supervised in order to avoid injury to the public. It is the masters or LAURO TANGCO, VAL TANGCO,
employers who principally reap the profits resulting from the services of these servants and VERN LARRY TANGCO, VAN
employees. It is but right that they should guarantee the latter's careful conduct for the personnel LAURO TANGCO, VON LARRIE
and patrimonial safety of others. As Theilhard has said, "they should reproach themselves, at TANGCO, VIEN LARI TANGCO
least, some for their weakness, others for their poor selection and all for their negligence." And and VIVIEN LAURIZ TANGCO, Promulgated:
according to Manresa, "It is much more equitable and just that such responsibility should fall upon Respondents. December 14, 2006
the principal or director who could have chosen a careful and prudent employee, and not upon the
injured person who could not exercise such selection and who used such employee because of
his confidence in the principal or director." (Vol. 12, p. 622, 2nd Ed.) Many jurists also base this AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.:
primary responsibility of the employer on the principle of representation of the principal by the
agent. Thus, Oyuelos says in the work already cited (Vol. 7, p. 747) that before third persons the
employer and employee "vienen a ser como una sola personalidad, por refundicion de la del Before us is a petition for review on certiorari filed by Safeguard Security Agency, Inc.
dependiente en la de quien le emplea y utiliza." ("become as one personality by the merging of the (Safeguard) and Admer Pajarillo (Pajarillo) assailing the Decision[1] dated July 16, 2004 and the
person of the employee in that of him who employs and utilizes him.") All these observations Resolution[2] dated October 20, 2004 issued by the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CV
acquire a peculiar force and significance when it comes to motor accidents, and there is need of No. 77462.
stressing and accentuating the responsibility of owners of motor vehicles. On November 3, 1997, at about 2:50 p.m., Evangeline Tangco (Evangeline) went to
Fourthly, because of the broad sweep of the provisions of both the Penal Code and the Civil Code Ecology Bank, Katipunan Branch, Quezon City, to renew her time deposit per advise of the banks
on this subject, which has given rise to the overlapping or concurrence of spheres already cashier as she would sign a specimen card. Evangeline, a duly licensed firearm holder with
discussed, and for lack of understanding of the character and efficacy of the action for culpa corresponding permit to carry the same outside her residence, approached security
aquiliana, there has grown up a common practice to seek damages only by virtue of the civil guard Pajarillo, who was stationed outside the bank, and pulled out her firearm from her bag to
responsibility arising from a crime, forgetting that there is another remedy, which is by invoking deposit the same for safekeeping. Suddenly, Pajarillo shot Evangeline with his service shotgun
articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code. Although this habitual method is allowed by our laws, it has hitting her in the abdomen instantly causing her death.
nevertheless rendered practically useless and nugatory the more expeditious and effective remedy
based on culpa aquiliana or culpa extra-contractual. In the present case, we are asked to help Lauro Tangco, Evangelines husband, together with his six minor children (respondents) filed with
perpetuate this usual course. But we believe it is high time we pointed out to the harm done by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City, a criminal case of Homicide against Pajarillo,
such practice and to restore the principle of responsibility for fault or negligence under articles docketed as Criminal Case No. 0-97-73806 and assigned to Branch 78. Respondents reserved
1902 et seq. of the Civil Code to its full rigor. It is high time we caused the stream of quasi-delict their right to file a separate civil action in the said criminal case. The RTC of Quezon City
or culpa aquiliana to flow on its own natural channel, so that its waters may no longer be diverted subsequently convicted Pajarillo of Homicide in its Decision dated January 19, 2000.[3] On appeal
into that of a crime under the Penal Code. This will, it is believed, make for the better safeguarding to the CA, the RTC decision was affirmed with modification as to the penalty in a
of private rights because it re-establishes an ancient and additional remedy, and for the further Decision[4] dated July 31, 2000. Entry of Judgment was made on August 25, 2001.
reason that an independent civil action, not depending on the issues, limitations and results of a
criminal prosecution, and entirely directed by the party wronged or his counsel, is more likely to Meanwhile, on January 14, 1998, respondents filed with RTC, Branch 273, Marikina City,
secure adequate and efficacious redress. a complaint[5] for damages against Pajarillo for negligently shooting Evangeline and against
In view of the foregoing, the judgment of the Court of Appeals should be and is hereby affirmed, Safeguard for failing to observe the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage
with costs against the defendant-petitioner. committed by its security guard. Respondents prayed for actual, moral and exemplary damages
Yulo, C.J., Moran, Ozaeta and Paras, JJ., concur. and attorneys fees.

SAFEGUARD SECURITY G.R. NO. 165732


In their Answer,[6] petitioners denied the material allegations in the complaint and alleged employee; that Safeguards evidence simply showed that it required its guards to attend trainings
that Safeguard exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and and seminars which is not the supervision contemplated under the law; that supervision includes
supervision of Pajarillo; that Evangelines death was not due to Pajarillos negligence as the latter not only the issuance of regulations and instructions designed for the protection of persons and
acted only in self-defense. Petitioners set up a compulsory counterclaim for moral damages and property, for the guidance of their servants and employees, but also the duty to see to it that such
attorneys fees. regulations and instructions are faithfully complied with.
Petitioners appealed the RTC decision to the CA. On July 16, 2004, the CA issued its
Trial thereafter ensued. On January 10, 2003, the RTC rendered its assailed Decision, the dispositive portion of which reads:
Decision,[7] the dispositive portion of which reads:
IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the appealed decision is
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiffs, the hereby AFFIRMED, with the modification that Safeguard Security Agency, Inc.s
heirs of Evangeline Tangco, and against defendants Admer Pajarillo and civil liability in this case is only subsidiary under Art. 103 of the Revised Penal
Safeguard Security Agency, Inc. ordering said defendants to pay the plaintiffs, Code. No pronouncement as to costs.[9]
jointly and severally, the following:

1. ONE HUNDRED FIFTY SEVEN THOUSAND FOUR In finding that Safeguard is only subsidiarily liable, the CA held that the applicable
HUNDRED THIRTY PESOS (P157,430.00), as actual damages provisions are not Article 2180 in relation to Article 2176 of the Civil Code, on quasi-delicts, but the
2. FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P50,000.00) as death provisions on civil liability arising from felonies under the Revised Penal Code; that
indemnity; since Pajarillo had been found guilty of Homicide in a final and executoryjudgment and is said to
3. ONE MILLION PESOS (P1,000,000.00), as moral be serving sentence in Muntinlupa, he must be adjudged civilly liable under the provisions of
damages; Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code since the civil liability recoverable in the criminal action is
4. THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P300,000.00), one solely dependent upon conviction, because said liability arises from the offense charged and
as exemplary damages; no other; that this is also the civil liability that is deemed extinguished with the extinction of the
5. THIRTY THOUSAND PESOS (P30,000.00), as attorneys penal liability with a pronouncement that the fact from which the civil action might proceed does
fees; and not exist; that unlike in civil liability arising from quasi-delict, the defense of diligence of a good
6. costs of suit. father of a family in the employment and supervision of employees is inapplicable and irrelevant in
civil liabilities based on crimes or ex-delicto; that Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code provides
For lack of merit, defendants counterclaim is hereby DISMISSED. that the liability of an employer for the civil liability of their employees is only subsidiary, not joint
or solidary.
SO ORDERED. [8]
Petitioners filed their Motion for Reconsideration which the CA denied in a Resolution
The RTC found respondents to be entitled to damages. It rejected Pajarillos claim that he dated October 20, 2004.
merely acted in self-defense. It gave no credence to Pajarillos bare claim that Evangeline was
seen roaming around the area prior to the shooting incident since Pajarillo had not made such Hence, the instant Petition for Review on Certiorari with the following assignment of
report to the head office and the police authorities. The RTC further ruled that being the guard on errors, to wit:
duty, the situation demanded that he should have exercised proper prudence and necessary care
by asking Evangeline for him to ascertain the matter instead of shooting her instantly;
that Pajarillo had already been convicted of Homicide in Criminal Case No. 0-97-73806; and that The Honorable Court of Appeals gravely erred in finding
he also failed to proffer proof negating liability in the instant case. petitioner Pajarillo liable to respondents for the payment of damages and other
money claims.
The RTC also found Safeguard as employer of Pajarillo to be jointly and severally liable
with Pajarillo. It ruled that while it may be conceded that Safeguard had perhaps exercised care in The Honorable Court of Appeals gravely erred when it applied Article
the selection of its employees, particularly of Pajarillo, there was no sufficient evidence to show 103 of the Revised Penal Code in holding petitioner Safeguard solidarily [sic]
that Safeguard exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the supervision of its
liable with petitioner Pajarillo for the payment of damages and other money The CA found that the source of damages in the instant case must be the crime of
claims. homicide, for which he had already been found guilty of and serving sentence thereof, thus must
be governed by the Revised Penal Code.
The Honorable Court of Appeals gravely erred in failing to find that petitioner
Safeguard Security Agency, Inc. exercised due diligence in the selection and We do not agree.
supervision of its employees, hence, should be excused from any liability.[10]
An act or omission causing damage to another may give rise to two separate civil
The issues for resolution are whether (1) Pajarillo is guilty of negligence in shooting liabilities on the part of the offender, i.e., (1) civil liability ex delicto, under Article 100 of the
Evangeline; and (2) Safeguard should be held solidarily liable for the damages awarded to Revised Penal Code; and (2) independent civil liabilities, such as those (a) not arising from an act
respondents. or omission complained of as a felony, e.g., culpa contractual or obligations arising from law under
Safeguard insists that the claim for damages by respondents is based Article 31 of the Civil Code, intentional torts under Articles 32 and 34, and culpa aquiliana under
on culpa aquiliana under Article 2176[11] of the Civil Code, in which case, its liability is jointly and Article 2176 of the Civil Code; or (b) where the injured party is granted a right to file an action
severally with Pajarillo. However, since it has established that it had exercised due diligence in the independent and distinct from the criminal action under Article 33 of the Civil Code. Either of these
selection and supervision of Pajarillo, it should be exonerated from civil liability. liabilities may be enforced against the offender subject to the caveat under Article 2177 of the Civil
Code that the offended party cannot recover damages twice for the same act or omission or under
We will first resolve whether the CA correctly held that respondents, in filing a separate both causes.[13]
civil action against petitioners are limited to the recovery of damages arising from a crime or delict,
in which case the liability of Safeguard as employer under Articles 102 and 103 of the Revised It is important to determine the nature of respondents cause of action. The nature of a
Penal Code[12] is subsidiary and the defense of due diligence in theselection and supervision of cause of action is determined by the facts alleged in the complaint as constituting the cause of
employee is not available to it. action.[14] The purpose of an action or suit and the law to govern it is to be determined not by the
claim of the party filing the action, made in his argument or brief, but rather by the complaint itself,
The CA erred in ruling that the liability of Safeguard is only subsidiary. its allegations and prayer for relief.[15]

The law at the time the complaint for damages was filed is Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on The pertinent portions of the complaint read:
Criminal Procedure, as amended, to wit:
7. That Defendant Admer A. Pajarillo was the guard assigned and
posted in the Ecology Bank Katipunan Branch, Quezon City, who was employed
and under employment of Safeguard Security Agency, Inc. hence there is
SECTION 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. - When a employer-employee relationship between co-defendants.
criminal action is instituted, the civil action for the recovery of civil
The Safeguard Security Agency, Inc. failed to observe the diligence of a good
liability is impliedly instituted with the criminal action, unless the offended party father of a family to prevent damage to herein plaintiffs.
waives the civil action, reserves his right to institute it separately, or institutes the
civil action prior to the criminal action. 8. That defendant Admer Pajarillo upon seeing Evangeline Tangco, who
Such civil action includes recovery of indemnity under the Revised Penal brought her firearm out of her bag, suddenly without exercising necessary
Code, and damages under Articles 32, 33, 34, and 2176 of the Civil Code of caution/care, and in idiotic manner, with the use of his
the Philippines arising from the same act or omission of the accused. shotgun, fired and burst bullets upon Evangeline M. Tangco, killing her instantly.
xxx
Respondents reserved the right to file a separate civil action and in fact filed the same
on January 14, 1998. xxxx

16. That defendants, being employer and the employee are jointly and
severally liable for the death of Evangeline M. Tangco.[16]
Case No. 92944), also pending before the court, to file a separate civil action.
Thus, a reading of respondents complaint shows that the latter are invoking their right to recover Said the trial court:
damages against Safeguard for their vicarious responsibility for the injury caused by Pajarillos act
of shooting and killing Evangeline under Article 2176, Civil Code which provides: It would appear that plaintiffs instituted this action on the assumption that
defendant Pontino's negligence in the accident of May 10, 1969 constituted
ARTICLE 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, a quasi-delict. The Court cannot accept the validity of that assumption. In
there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault Criminal Case No. 92944 of this Court, plaintiffs had already appeared as
or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties complainants. While that case was pending, the offended parties reserved the
is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter. right to institute a separate civil action. If, in a criminal case, the right to file a
separate civil action for damages is reserved, such civil action is to be based on
The scope of Article 2176 is not limited to acts or omissions resulting from crime and not on tort. That was the ruling in Joaquin vs. Aniceto, L-18719, Oct.
negligence. In Dulay v. Court of Appeals,[17] we held: 31, 1964.
x x x Well-entrenched is the doctrine that Article 2176 covers not only
acts committed with negligence, but also acts which are voluntary and intentional. We do not agree. The doctrine in the case cited by the trial court is
As far back as the definitive case of Elcano v. Hill (77 SCRA 98 [1977]), this inapplicable to the instant case x x x.
Court already held that: xxxx
"x x x Article 2176, where it refers to "fault or negligence," covers In cases of negligence, the injured party or his heirs has the choice
not only acts "not punishable by law" but also acts criminal in character, between an action to enforce the civil liability arising from crime under Article 100
whether intentional and voluntary or negligent. Consequently, a separate civil of the Revised Penal Code and an action for quasi-delict under Article 2176-2194
action lies against the offender in a criminal act, whether or not he is criminally of the Civil Code. If a party chooses the latter, he may hold the
prosecuted and found guilty or acquitted, provided that the offended party is not employer solidarily liable for the negligent act of his employee, subject to the
allowed, if he is actually charged also criminally, to recover damages on both employer's defense of exercise of the diligence of a good father of the family.
scores, and would be entitled in such eventuality only to the bigger award of the In the case at bar, the action filed by appellant was an action for
two, assuming the awards made in the two cases vary. In other words, the damages based on quasi-delict. The fact that appellants reserved their right
extinction of civil liability referred to in Par. (e) of Section 3, Rule 111, refers in the criminal case to file an independent civil action did not preclude
exclusively to civil liability founded on Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, them from choosing to file a civil action for quasi-delict.[20] (Emphasis
whereas the civil liability for the same act considered as quasi-delict only and not supplied)
as a crime is not extinguished even by a declaration in the criminal case that the
criminal act charged has not happened or has not been committed by the Although the judgment in the criminal case finding Pajarillo guilty of Homicide is already
accused. Briefly stated, We here hold, in reiteration of Garcia, that final and executory, such judgment has no relevance or importance to this case.[21] It would have
culpa aquiliana includes voluntary and negligent acts which may be punishable been entirely different if respondents cause of action was for damages arising from a delict, in
by law." (Emphasis supplied) which case the CA is correct in finding Safeguard to be only subsidiary liable pursuant to Article
103 of the Revised Penal Code.[22]
The civil action filed by respondents was not derived from the criminal liability
of Pajarillo in the criminal case but one based on culpa aquiliana or quasi-delict which is separate As clearly shown by the allegations in the complaint, respondents cause of action is
and distinct from the civil liability arising from crime.[18] The source of the obligation sought to be based on quasi-delict. Under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, when the injury is caused by the
enforced in the civil case is a quasi-delict not an act or omission punishable by law. negligence of the employee, there instantly arises a presumption of law that there was negligence
on the part of the master or the employer either in the selection of the servant or employee, or in
In Bermudez v. Melencio-Herrera,[19] where the issue involved was whether the civil action the supervision over him after selection or both. The liability of the employer under Article 2180 is
filed by plaintiff-appellants is founded on crime or on quasi-delict, we held: direct and immediate. Therefore, it is incumbent upon petitioners to prove that they exercised the
diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of their employee.
x x x The trial court treated the case as an action based on a crime in
view of the reservation made by the offended party in the criminal case (Criminal We must first resolve the issue of whether Pajarillo was negligent in shooting Evangeline.
incredible that if she really had a companion, she would leave him under the fly-over which is 10
The issue of negligence is factual in nature. Whether a person is negligent or not is a meters far from the bank and stage a bank robbery all by herself without a back-up. In fact, she
question of fact, which, as a general rule, we cannot pass upon in a petition for review would have known, after surveying the area, thataiming her gun at Pajarillo would not ensure
on certiorari, as our jurisdiction is limited to reviewing errors of law.[23] Generally, factual findings of entrance to the bank as there were guards manning the entrance door.
the trial court, affirmed by the CA, are final and conclusive and may not be reviewed on appeal.
The established exceptions are: (1) when the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd or Evidence, to be believed, must not only proceed from the mouth of a credible witness, but
impossible; (2) when there is grave abuse of discretion; (3) when the findings are grounded it must be credible in itself such as the common experience and observation of mankind can
entirely on speculations, surmises or conjectures; (4) when the judgment of the CA is based on approve as probable under the circumstances. We have no test of the truth of human testimony,
misapprehension of facts; (5) when the findings of fact are conflicting; (6) when the CA, in making except its conformity to our knowledge, observation and experience. Whatever is repugnant to
its findings, went beyond the issues of the case and the same is contrary to the admissions of both these belongs to the miraculous and is outside judicial cognizance.[31]
appellant and appellee; (7) when the findings of fact are conclusions without citation of specific
evidence on which they are based; (8) when the CA manifestly overlooked certain relevant facts That Evangeline just wanted to deposit her gun before entering the bank and was actually
not disputed by the parties and which, if properly considered, would justify a different conclusion; in the act of pulling her gun from her bag when petitioner Pajarillo recklessly shot her, finds
and (9) when the findings of fact of the CA are premised on the absence of evidence and are support from the contentions raised in petitioners petition for review where they argued that when
contradicted by the evidence on record. [24] Evangeline approached the bank, she was seen pulling a gun from inside her bag and
petitioner Pajarillo who was suddenly beset by fear and perceived the act as a dangerous threat,
A thorough review of the records of the case fails to show any cogent reason for us to shot and killed the deceased out of pure instinct;[32] that the act of drawing a gun is a threatening
deviate from the factual finding of the trial court and affirmed by the CA that petitioner Pajarillo was act, regardless of whether or not the gun was intended to be used against
guilty of negligence in shooting Evangeline. petitioner Pajarillo;[33] that the fear that was created in the mind of petitioner Pajarillo as he saw
Evangeline Tangco drawing a gun from her purse was suddenly very real and the former merely
Respondents evidence established that Evangelines purpose in going to the bank was to reacted out of pure self-preservation.[34]
renew her time deposit.[25] On the other hand, Pajarillo claims that Evangeline drew a gun from her
bag and aimed the same at him, thus, acting instinctively, he shot her in self-defense. Considering that unlawful aggression on the part of Evangeline is absent, Pajarillos claim
of self-defense cannot be accepted specially when such claim was uncorroborated by any
Pajarillo testified that when Evangeline aimed the gun at him at a distance of about one separate competent evidence other than his testimony which was even
meter or one arms length[26] he stepped backward, loaded the chamber of his gun and shot doubtful. Pajarillos apprehension that Evangeline will shoot him to stage a bank robbery has no
her.[27] It is however unimaginable that petitioner Pajarillo could still make such movements if basis at all. It is therefore clear that the alleged threat of bank robbery was just a figment
indeed the gun was already pointed at him. Any movement could have prompted Evangeline to of Pajarillos imagination which caused such unfounded unlawful aggression on his part.
pull the trigger to shoot him.
Petitioners argue that Evangeline was guilty of contributory negligence. Although she was
Petitioner Pajarillo would like to justify his action in shooting Evangeline on his mere a licensed firearm holder, she had no business bringing the gun in such establishment where
apprehension that Evangeline will stage a bank robbery. However, such claim is befuddled by his people would react instinctively upon seeing the gun; that had Evangeline been prudent, she could
own testimony. Pajarillo testified that prior to the incident, he saw Evangeline roaming under the fly have warned Pajarillo before drawing the gun and did not conduct herself with suspicion by
over which was about 10 meters away from the bank [28] and saw her talking to a man roaming outside the vicinity of the bank; that she should not have held the gun with the nozzle
thereat;[29] that she left the man under the fly-over, crossed the street and approached the pointed at Pajarillo who mistook the act as hold up or robbery.
bank. However, except for the bare testimony of Pajarillo, the records do not show that indeed
Evangeline was seen roaming near the vicinity of the bank and acting suspiciously prior to the We are not persuaded.
shooting incident. In fact, there is no evidence that Pajarillo called the attention of his head guard
or the banks branch manager regarding his concerns or that he reported the same to the police As we have earlier held, Pajarillo failed to substantiate his claim that Evangeline was seen
authorities whose outpost is just about 15 meters from the bank. roaming outside the vicinity of the bank and acting suspiciously prior to the shooting incident.
Moreover, if Evangeline was already roaming the vicinity of the bank, she could have Evangelines death was merely due to Pajarillos negligence in shooting her on his imagined threat
already apprised herself that Pajarillo, who was posted outside the bank, was armed with a that Evangeline will rob the bank.
shotgun; that there were two guards inside the bank[30] manning the entrance door. Thus, it is quite
Safeguard contends that it cannot be jointly held liable since it had adequately shown that guidance of employees and the issuance of proper instructions intended for the protection of the
it had exercised the diligence required in the selection and supervision of its employees. It claims public and persons with whom the employer has relations through his or its employees and the
that it had required the guards to undergo the necessary training and to submit the requisite imposition of necessary disciplinary measures upon employees in case of breach or as may be
qualifications and credentials which even the RTC found to have been complied with; that the RTC warranted to ensure the performance of acts indispensable to the business of and beneficial to
erroneously found that it did not exercise the diligence required in the supervision of its employee. their employer. To this, we add that actual implementation and monitoring of consistent
Safeguard further claims that it conducts monitoring of the activities of its personnel, compliance with said rules should be the constant concern of the employer, acting through
wherein supervisors are assigned to routinely check the activities of the security guards which dependable supervisors who should regularly report on their supervisory functions.[36] To establish
include among others, whether or not they are in their proper post and with proper equipment, as these factors in a trial involving the issue of vicarious liability, employers must submit concrete
well as regular evaluations of the employees performances; that the fact that Pajarillo loaded his proof, including documentary evidence.
firearm contrary to Safeguards operating procedure is not sufficient basis to say that Safeguard
had failed its duty of proper supervision; that it was likewise error to say that Safeguard was We agree with the RTCs finding that Safeguard had exercised the diligence in the
negligent in seeing to it that the procedures and policies were not properly implemented by reason selection of Pajarillo since the record shows that Pajarillo underwent a psychological and neuro-
of one unfortunate event. psychiatric evaluation conducted by the St. Martin de Porres Center where no psychoses ideations
were noted, submitted a certification on the Pre-licensing training course for security guards, as
We are not convinced. well as police and NBI clearances.

Article 2180 of the Civil Code provides: The RTC did not err in ruling that Safeguard fell short of the diligence required in the
supervision of its employee, particularly Pajarillo. In this case, while Safeguard presented Capt.
Art. 2180. The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is demandable not James Camero, its Director for Operations, who testified on the issuance of company rules and
only for ones own acts or omissions, but also for those of persons for whom one regulations, such as the Guidelines of Guards Who Will Be Assigned To Banks,[37] Weapons
is responsible. Training,[38] Safeguard Training Center Marksmanship Training Lesson
Plan,[39] Disciplinary/Corrective Sanctions,[40] it had also been established during Cameros cross-
xxxx examination that Pajarillo was not aware of such rules and
regulations.[41] Notwithstanding Cameros clarification on his re-direct examination that these
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees company rules and regulations are lesson plans as a basis of guidelines of the instructors during
and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks, even classroom instructions and not necessary to give students copy of the same,[42] the records do not
though the former are not engaged in any business or industry. show that Pajarillo had attended such classroom instructions.
The records also failed to show that there was adequate training and continuous
xxxx evaluation of the security guards performance. Pajarillo had only attended an in-service training
on March 1, 1997 conducted by Toyota Sta. Rosa, his first assignment as security guard of
The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons Safeguard, which was in collaboration with Safeguard. It was established that the concept of such
herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a training was purely on security of equipments to be guarded and protection of the life of the
family to prevent damage. employees.[43]

As the employer of Pajarillo, Safeguard is primarily and solidarily liable for the quasi- It had not been established that after Pajarillos training in Toyota, Safeguard had ever
delict committed by the former. Safeguard is presumed to be negligent in the selection and conducted further training of Pajarillo when he was later assigned to guard a bank which has a
supervision of his employee by operation of law. This presumption may be overcome only by different nature of business with that of Toyota. In fact, Pajarillo testified that being on duty in a
satisfactorily showing that the employer exercised the care and the diligence of a good father of a bank is different from being on duty in a factory since a bank is a very sensitive area. [44]
family in the selection and the supervision of its employee.
Moreover, considering his reactions to Evangelines act of just depositing her firearm for
In the selection of prospective employees, employers are required to examine them as to safekeeping, i.e., of immediately shooting her, confirms that there was no training or seminar given
their qualifications, experience, and service records.[35] On the other hand, due diligence in the on how to handle bank clients and on human psychology.
supervision of employees includes the formulation of suitable rules and regulations for the
Furthermore, while Safeguard would like to show that there were inspectors who go WHEREFORE, the petition for review is DENIED. The Decision dated July 16, 2004 of the
around the bank two times a day to see the daily performance of the security guards assigned Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION that the civil liability of petitioner Safeguard
therein, there was no record ever presented of such daily inspections. In fact, if there was really Security Agency, Inc. is SOLIDARY and PRIMARY under Article 2180 of the Civil Code.
such inspection made, the alleged suspicious act of Evangeline could have been taken noticed
and reported. SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. L-24803 May 26, 1977
Turning now to the award of damages, we find that the award of actual damages in the PEDRO ELCANO and PATRICIA ELCANO, in their capacity as Ascendants of Agapito
amount P157,430.00 which were the expenses incurred by respondents in connection with the Elcano, deceased, plaintiffs-appellants,
burial of Evangeline were supported by receipts. The award of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity for vs.
the death of Evangeline is likewise in order. REGINALD HILL, minor, and MARVIN HILL, as father and Natural Guardian of said
minor, defendants-appellees.
As to the award of moral damages, Article 2206 of the Civil Code provides that the Appeal from the order of the Court of First Instance of Quezon City dated January 29, 1965 in Civil
spouse, legitimate children and illegitimate descendants and ascendants of the deceased may Case No. Q-8102, Pedro Elcano et al. vs. Reginald Hill et al. dismissing, upon motion to dismiss of
demand moral damages for mental anguish by reason of the death of the deceased. Moral defendants, the complaint of plaintiffs for recovery of damages from defendant Reginald Hill, a
damages are awarded to enable the injured party to obtain means, diversions or amusements that minor, married at the time of the occurrence, and his father, the defendant Marvin Hill, with whom
will serve to alleviate the moral suffering he/she has undergone, by reason of the defendants he was living and getting subsistence, for the killing by Reginald of the son of the plaintiffs, named
culpable action. Its award is aimed at restoration, as much as possible, of the spiritual status quo Agapito Elcano, of which, when criminally prosecuted, the said accused was acquitted on the
ante; thus it must be proportionate to the suffering inflicted.[45] The intensity of the pain ground that his act was not criminal, because of "lack of intent to kill, coupled with mistake."
experienced by the relatives of the victim is proportionate to the intensity of affection for him and Actually, the motion to dismiss based on the following grounds:
bears no relation whatsoever with the wealth or means of the offender.[46] 1. The present action is not only against but a violation of section 1, Rule 107,
which is now Rule III, of the Revised Rules of Court;
In this case, respondents testified as to their moral suffering caused by Evangelines death 2. The action is barred by a prior judgment which is now final and or in res-
was so sudden causing respondent Lauro to lose a wife and a mother to six children who were all adjudicata;
minors at the time of her death. In People v. Teehankee, Jr.,[47] we awarded one million pesos as 3. The complaint had no cause of action against defendant Marvin Hill, because
moral damages to the heirs of a seventeen-year-old girl who was murdered. In Metro Manila he was relieved as guardian of the other defendant through emancipation by
Transit Corporation v. Court of Appeals,[48] we likewise awarded the amount of one million pesos marriage.
as moral damages to the parents of a third year high school student and who was also their (P. 23, Record [p. 4, Record on Appeal.])
youngest child who died in a vehicular accident since the girls death left a void in their lives. was first denied by the trial court. It was only upon motion for reconsideration of the defendants of
Hence, we hold that the respondents are also entitled to the amount of one million pesos as such denial, reiterating the above grounds that the following order was issued:
Evangelines death left a void in the lives of her husband and minor children as they were deprived Considering the motion for reconsideration filed by the defendants on January
of her love and care by her untimely demise. 14, 1965 and after thoroughly examining the arguments therein contained, the
Court finds the same to be meritorious and well-founded.
We likewise uphold the award of exemplary damages in the amount of P300,000.00. WHEREFORE, the Order of this Court on December 8, 1964 is hereby
Under Article 2229 of the Civil Code, exemplary damages are imposed by way of example or reconsidered by ordering the dismissal of the above entitled case.
correction for the public good, in addition to moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory SO ORDERED.
damages.[49] It is awarded as a deterrent to socially deleterious actions. In quasi-delict, exemplary Quezon City, Philippines, January 29, 1965. (p. 40, Record [p. 21, Record on
damages may be granted if the defendant acted with gross negligence.[50] Appeal.)
Hence, this appeal where plaintiffs-appellants, the spouses Elcano, are presenting for Our
Pursuant to Article 2208 of the Civil Code, attorney's fees may be recovered when, as in resolution the following assignment of errors:
the instant case, exemplary damages are awarded. Hence, we affirm the award of attorney's fees THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN DISMISSING THE CASE BY UPHOLDING
in the amount of P30,000.00. THE CLAIM OF DEFENDANTS THAT -
I
THE PRESENT ACTION IS NOT ONLY AGAINST BUT ALSO A VIOLATION OF action under article 1902 of the Civil Code. It is also to be noted that it was the
SECTION 1, RULE 107, NOW RULE 111, OF THE REVISED RULES OF employer and not the employee who was being sued. (pp. 615-616, 73 Phil.). 1
COURT, AND THAT SECTION 3(c) OF RULE 111, RULES OF COURT IS It will be noticed that the defendant in the above case could have been
APPLICABLE; prosecuted in a criminal case because his negligence causing the death of the
II child was punishable by the Penal Code. Here is therefore a clear instance of the
THE ACTION IS BARRED BY A PRIOR JUDGMENT WHICH IS NOW FINAL same act of negligence being a proper subject matter either of a criminal action
OR RES-ADJUDICTA; with its consequent civil liability arising from a crime or of an entirely separate
III and independent civil action for fault or negligence under article 1902 of the Civil
THE PRINCIPLES OF QUASI-DELICTS, ARTICLES 2176 TO 2194 OF THE Code. Thus, in this jurisdiction, the separate individuality of a cuasi-delito or culpa
CIVIL CODE, ARE INAPPLICABLE IN THE INSTANT CASE; and aquiliana, under the Civil Code has been fully and clearly recognized, even with
IV regard to a negligent act for which the wrongdoer could have been prosecuted
THAT THE COMPLAINT STATES NO CAUSE OF ACTION AGAINST and convicted in a criminal case and for which, after such a conviction, he could
DEFENDANT MARVIN HILL BECAUSE HE WAS RELIEVED AS GUARDIAN OF have been sued for this civil liability arising from his crime. (p. 617, 73 Phil.) 2
THE OTHER DEFENDANT THROUGH EMANCIPATION BY MARRIAGE. (page It is most significant that in the case just cited, this Court specifically applied
4, Record.) article 1902 of the Civil Code. It is thus that although J. V. House could have
It appears that for the killing of the son, Agapito, of plaintiffs-appellants, defendant- appellee been criminally prosecuted for reckless or simple negligence and not only
Reginald Hill was prosecuted criminally in Criminal Case No. 5102 of the Court of First Instance of punished but also made civilly liable because of his criminal negligence,
Quezon City. After due trial, he was acquitted on the ground that his act was not criminal because nevertheless this Court awarded damages in an independent civil action for fault
of "lack of intent to kill, coupled with mistake." Parenthetically, none of the parties has favored Us or negligence under article 1902 of the Civil Code. (p. 618, 73 Phil.) 3
with a copy of the decision of acquittal, presumably because appellants do not dispute that such The legal provisions, authors, and cases already invoked should ordinarily be
indeed was the basis stated in the court's decision. And so, when appellants filed their complaint sufficient to dispose of this case. But inasmuch as we are announcing doctrines
against appellees Reginald and his father, Atty. Marvin Hill, on account of the death of their son, that have been little understood, in the past, it might not he inappropriate to
the appellees filed the motion to dismiss above-referred to. indicate their foundations.
As We view the foregoing background of this case, the two decisive issues presented for Our Firstly, the Revised Penal Code in articles 365 punishes not only reckless but
resolution are: also simple negligence. If we were to hold that articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil
1. Is the present civil action for damages barred by the acquittal of Reginald in the criminal case Code refer only to fault or negligence not punished by law, accordingly to the
wherein the action for civil liability, was not reversed? literal import of article 1093 of the Civil Code, the legal institution of culpa
2. May Article 2180 (2nd and last paragraphs) of the Civil Code he applied against Atty. Hill, aquiliana would have very little scope and application in actual life. Death or
notwithstanding the undisputed fact that at the time of the occurrence complained of. Reginald, injury to persons and damage to property- through any degree of negligence -
though a minor, living with and getting subsistenee from his father, was already legally married? even the slightest - would have to be Idemnified only through the principle of civil
The first issue presents no more problem than the need for a reiteration and further clarification of liability arising from a crime. In such a state of affairs, what sphere would remain
the dual character, criminal and civil, of fault or negligence as a source of obligation which was for cuasi-delito or culpa aquiliana? We are loath to impute to the lawmaker any
firmly established in this jurisdiction in Barredo vs. Garcia, 73 Phil. 607. In that case, this Court intention to bring about a situation so absurd and anomalous. Nor are we, in the
postulated, on the basis of a scholarly dissertation by Justice Bocobo on the nature of culpa interpretation of the laws, disposed to uphold the letter that killeth rather than the
aquiliana in relation to culpa criminal or delito and mere culpa or fault, with pertinent citation of spirit that giveth life. We will not use the literal meaning of the law to smother and
decisions of the Supreme Court of Spain, the works of recognized civilians, and earlier render almost lifeless a principle of such ancient origin and such full-grown
jurisprudence of our own, that the same given act can result in civil liability not only under the development as culpa aquiliana or cuasi-delito, which is conserved and made
Penal Code but also under the Civil Code. Thus, the opinion holds: enduring in articles 1902 to 1910 of the Spanish Civil Code.
The, above case is pertinent because it shows that the same act machinist. come Secondary, to find the accused guilty in a criminal case, proof of guilt beyond
under both the Penal Code and the Civil Code. In that case, the action of the reasonable doubt is required, while in a civil case, preponderance of evidence is
agent killeth unjustified and fraudulent and therefore could have been the subject sufficient to make the defendant pay in damages. There are numerous cases of
of a criminal action. And yet, it was held to be also a proper subject of a civil criminal negligence which can not be shown beyond reasonable doubt, but can
be proved by a preponderance of evidence. In such cases, the defendant can
and should be made responsible in a civil action under articles 1902 to 1910 of law, whether voluntary or matter. Thus, the corresponding provisions to said Article 1093 in the
the Civil Code. Otherwise. there would be many instances of unvindicated civil new code, which is Article 1162, simply says, "Obligations derived from quasi-delicto shall be
wrongs. "Ubi jus Idemnified remedium." (p. 620,73 Phil.) governed by the provisions of Chapter 2, Title XVII of this Book, (on quasi-delicts) and by special
Fourthly, because of the broad sweep of the provisions of both the Penal Code laws." More precisely, a new provision, Article 2177 of the new code provides:
and the Civil Code on this subject, which has given rise to the overlapping or ART. 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligence under the preceding article is
concurrence of spheres already discussed, and for lack of understanding of the entirely separate and distinct from the civil liability arising from negligence under
character and efficacy of the action for culpa aquiliana, there has grown up a the Penal Code. But the plaintiff cannot recover damages twice for the same act
common practice to seek damages only by virtue of the civil responsibility arising or omission of the defendant.
from a crime, forgetting that there is another remedy, which is by invoking articles According to the Code Commission: "The foregoing provision (Article 2177) through at first sight
1902-1910 of the Civil Code. Although this habitual method is allowed by, our startling, is not so novel or extraordinary when we consider the exact nature of criminal and civil
laws, it has nevertheless rendered practically useless and nugatory the more negligence. The former is a violation of the criminal law, while the latter is a "culpa aquiliana" or
expeditious and effective remedy based on culpa aquiliana or culpa extra- quasi-delict, of ancient origin, having always had its own foundation and individuality, separate
contractual. In the present case, we are asked to help perpetuate this usual from criminal negligence. Such distinction between criminal negligence and "culpa
course. But we believe it is high time we pointed out to the harms done by such extracontractual" or "cuasi-delito" has been sustained by decision of the Supreme Court of Spain
practice and to restore the principle of responsibility for fault or negligence under and maintained as clear, sound and perfectly tenable by Maura, an outstanding Spanish jurist.
articles 1902 et seq. of the Civil Code to its full rigor. It is high time we caused the Therefore, under the proposed Article 2177, acquittal from an accusation of criminal negligence,
stream of quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana to flow on its own natural channel, so whether on reasonable doubt or not, shall not be a bar to a subsequent civil action, not for civil
that its waters may no longer be diverted into that of a crime under the Penal liability arising from criminal negligence, but for damages due to a quasi-delict or 'culpa aquiliana'.
Code. This will, it is believed, make for the better safeguarding or private rights But said article forestalls a double recovery.", (Report of the Code) Commission, p. 162.)
because it realtor, an ancient and additional remedy, and for the further reason Although, again, this Article 2177 does seem to literally refer to only acts of negligence, the same
that an independent civil action, not depending on the issues, limitations and argument of Justice Bacobo about construction that upholds "the spirit that giveth lift- rather than
results of a criminal prosecution, and entirely directed by the party wronged or his that which is literal that killeth the intent of the lawmaker should be observed in applying the same.
counsel, is more likely to secure adequate and efficacious redress. (p. 621, 73 And considering that the preliminary chapter on human relations of the new Civil Code definitely
Phil.) establishes the separability and independence of liability in a civil action for acts criminal in
Contrary to an immediate impression one might get upon a reading of the foregoing excerpts from character (under Articles 29 to 32) from the civil responsibility arising from crime fixed by Article
the opinion in Garcia that the concurrence of the Penal Code and the Civil Code therein referred to 100 of the Revised Penal Code, and, in a sense, the Rules of Court, under Sections 2 and 3 (c),
contemplate only acts of negligence and not intentional voluntary acts - deeper reflection would Rule 111, contemplate also the same separability, it is "more congruent with the spirit of law,
reveal that the thrust of the pronouncements therein is not so limited, but that in fact it actually equity and justice, and more in harmony with modern progress"- to borrow the felicitous relevant
extends to fault or culpa. This can be seen in the reference made therein to the Sentence of the language in Rakes vs. Atlantic. Gulf and Pacific Co., 7 Phil. 359, to hold, as We do hold, that
Supreme Court of Spain of February 14, 1919, supra, which involved a case of fraud or estafa, not Article 2176, where it refers to "fault or negligencia covers not only acts "not punishable by law"
a negligent act. Indeed, Article 1093 of the Civil Code of Spain, in force here at the time of Garcia, but also acts criminal in character, whether intentional and voluntary or negligent. Consequently, a
provided textually that obligations "which are derived from acts or omissions in which fault or separate civil action lies against the offender in a criminal act, whether or not he is criminally
negligence, not punishable by law, intervene shall be the subject of Chapter II, Title XV of this prosecuted and found guilty or acquitted, provided that the offended party is not allowed, if he is
book (which refers to quasi-delicts.)" And it is precisely the underline qualification, "not punishable actually charged also criminally, to recover damages on both scores, and would be entitled in such
by law", that Justice Bocobo emphasized could lead to an ultimo construction or interpretation of eventuality only to the bigger award of the two, assuming the awards made in the two cases vary.
the letter of the law that "killeth, rather than the spirit that giveth lift- hence, the ruling that "(W)e In other words, the extinction of civil liability referred to in Par. (e) of Section 3, Rule 111, refers
will not use the literal meaning of the law to smother and render almost lifeless a principle of such exclusively to civil liability founded on Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, whereas the civil
ancient origin and such full-grown development as culpa aquiliana or quasi-delito, which is liability for the same act considered as a quasi-delict only and not as a crime is not estinguished
conserved and made enduring in articles 1902 to 1910 of the Spanish Civil Code." And so, even by a declaration in the criminal case that the criminal act charged has not happened or has
because Justice Bacobo was Chairman of the Code Commission that drafted the original text of not been committed by the accused. Briefly stated, We here hold, in reiteration of Garcia,
the new Civil Code, it is to be noted that the said Code, which was enacted after the Garcia that culpa aquiliana includes voluntary and negligent acts which may be punishable by law.4
doctrine, no longer uses the term, 11 not punishable by law," thereby making it clear that the It results, therefore, that the acquittal of Reginal Hill in the criminal case has not extinguished his
concept of culpa aquiliana includes acts which are criminal in character or in violation of the penal liability for quasi-delict, hence that acquittal is not a bar to the instant action against him.
Coming now to the second issue about the effect of Reginald's emancipation by marriage on the and Supplemental Decision dated June 6, 1992 and October 26, 1992 respectively.SO
possible civil liability of Atty. Hill, his father, it is also Our considered opinion that the conclusion of ORDERED.4
appellees that Atty. Hill is already free from responsibility cannot be upheld. The facts are as follows:
While it is true that parental authority is terminated upon emancipation of the child (Article 327, On October 10, 1989, Provincial Prosecutor Patricio T. Durian of Isabela filed with the Regional
Civil Code), and under Article 397, emancipation takes place "by the marriage of the minor (child)", Trial Court, Isabela, Branch 19, Cauayan an amended information charging Romeo Dunca y de
it is, however, also clear that pursuant to Article 399, emancipation by marriage of the minor is not Tumol with reckless imprudence resulting in double homicide and damage to property, reading as
really full or absolute. Thus "(E)mancipation by marriage or by voluntary concession shall follows:
terminate parental authority over the child's person. It shall enable the minor to administer his That on or about the 20th day of June, 1989, in the Municipality of Cauayan, Province of
property as though he were of age, but he cannot borrow money or alienate or encumber real Isabela, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused
property without the consent of his father or mother, or guardian. He can sue and be sued in court being the driver and person-in-charge of a Trailer Truck Tractor bearing Plate No. N2A-
only with the assistance of his father, mother or guardian." 867 registered in the name of Rafael Reyes Trucking Corporation, with a load of 2,000
Now under Article 2180, "(T)he obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable not only for cases of empty bottles of beer grande, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously drove and
one's own acts or omissions, but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible. The father operated the same while along the National Highway of Barangay Tagaran, in said
and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are responsible. The father and, in case of his Municipality, in a negligent, careless and imprudent manner, without due regard to traffic
death or incapacity, the mother, are responsible for the damages caused by the minor children laws, rules and ordinances and without taking the necessary precautions to prevent
who live in their company." In the instant case, it is not controverted that Reginald, although injuries to persons and damage to property, causing by such negligence, carelessness
married, was living with his father and getting subsistence from him at the time of the occurrence and imprudence the said trailer truck to hit and bump a Nissan Pick-up bearing Plate No.
in question. Factually, therefore, Reginald was still subservient to and dependent on his father, a BBG-957 driven by Feliciano Balcita and Francisco Dy, Jr., @ Pacquing, due to
situation which is not unusual. irreversible shock, internal and external hemorrhage and multiple injuries, open wounds,
It must be borne in mind that, according to Manresa, the reason behind the joint and solidary abrasions, and further causing damages to the heirs of Feliciano Balcita in the amount of
liability of presuncion with their offending child under Article 2180 is that is the obligation of the P100,000.00 and to the death of Francisco Dy, Jr.; @ Pacquing and damages to his
parent to supervise their minor children in order to prevent them from causing damage to third Nissan Pick-Up bearing Plate No. BBG-957 in the total amount of P2,000,000.00.
persons. 5 On the other hand, the clear implication of Article 399, in providing that a minor CONTRARY TO LAW.
emancipated by marriage may not, nevertheless, sue or be sued without the assistance of the Cauayan, Isabela, October 10, 1989.
parents, is that such emancipation does not carry with it freedom to enter into transactions or do (Sgd.) FAUSTO C. CABANTAC
any act that can give rise to judicial litigation. (See Manresa, Id., Vol. II, pp. 766-767, 776.) And Third Assistant Provincial Prosecutor
surely, killing someone else invites judicial action. Otherwise stated, the marriage of a minor child Upon arraignment on October 23, 1989, the accused entered a plea of not guilty. On the same
does not relieve the parents of the duty to see to it that the child, while still a minor, does not give occasion, the offended parties (Rosario P. Dy and minor children and Angelina M. Balcita and
answerable for the borrowings of money and alienation or encumbering of real property which minor son Paolo) made a reservation to file a separate civil action against the accused arising
cannot be done by their minor married child without their consent. (Art. 399; Manresa, supra.) from the offense charged.5 On November 29, 1989, the offended parties actually filed with the
Accordingly, in Our considered view, Article 2180 applies to Atty. Hill notwithstanding the Regional Trial Court, Isabela, Branch 19, Cauayan a complaint against petitioner Rafael Reyes
emancipation by marriage of Reginald. However, inasmuch as it is evident that Reginald is now of Trucking Corporation, as employer of driver Romeo Dunca y de Tumol, based on quasi delict. The
age, as a matter of equity, the liability of Atty. Hill has become milling, subsidiary to that of his son. petitioner settled the claim of the heirs of Feliciano Balcita (the driver of the other vehicle involved
WHEREFORE, the order appealed from is reversed and the trial court is ordered to proceed in in the accident). The private respondents opted to pursue the criminal action but did not withdraw
accordance with the foregoing opinion. Costs against appellees. the civil case quasi ex delicto they filed against petitioner. On December 15, 1989, private
G.R. No. 129029 April 3, 2000 respondents withdrew the reservation to file a separate civil action against the accused and
RAFAEL REYES TRUCKING CORPORATION, petitioner, vs.PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES manifested that they would prosecute the civil aspect ex delicto in the criminal action.6 However,
and ROSARIO P. DY (for herself and on behalf of the minors Maria Luisa, Francis Edward, they did not withdraw the separate civil action based on quasi delict against petitioner as employer
Francis Mark and Francis Rafael, all surnamed Dy), respondents. arising from the same act or omission of the accused driver.7
The case is an appeal via certiorari from the amended decision 1 of the Court of Appeals2 affirming Upon agreement of the parties, the trial court consolidated both criminal and civil cases and
the decision and supplemental decision of the trial court,3 as follows: conducted a joint trial of the same.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, judgment is hereby rendered dismissing the appeals The facts, as found by the trial court, which appear to be undisputed, are as follows:
interposed by both accused and Reyes Trucking Corporation and affirming the Decision
The defendant Rafael Reyes Trucking Corporation is a domestic corporation engaged in prestigious schools and spent about P180,000.00 for their education in 1988 alone (Exh.
the business of transporting beer products for the San Miguel Corporation (SMC for H-4).
Short) from the latter's San Fernando, Pampanga plant to its various sales outlets in As stated earlier, the plaintiffs' procurement of a writ of attachment of the properties of the
Luzon. Among its fleets of vehicles for hire is the white truck trailer described above Corporation was declared illegal by the Court of Appeals. It was shown that on December
driven by Romeo Dunca y Tumol, a duly licensed driver. Aside from the Corporation's 26, 1989, Deputy Sheriff Edgardo Zabat of the RTC at San Fernando, Pampanga,
memorandum to all its drivers and helpers to physically inspect their vehicles before each attached six units of Truck Tractors and trailers of the Corporation at its garage at San
trip (Exh. 15, pars. 4 & 5), the SMC's Traffic Investigator-Inspector certified the Fernando, Pampanga. These vehicles were kept under PC guard by the plaintiffs in said
roadworthiness of this White Truck trailer prior to June 20, 1989 (Exh. 17). In addition to a garage thus preventing the Corporation to operate them. However, on December 28,
professional driver's license, it also conducts a rigid examination of all driver applicants 1989, the Court of Appeals dissolved the writ (p. 30, record) and on December 29, 1989,
before they are hired. said Sheriff reported to this Court that the attached vehicles were taken by the
In the early morning of June 20, 1989, the White Truck driven by Dunca left Tuguegarao, defendant's representative, Melita Manapil (Exh. O, p. 31, record). The defendant's
Cagayan bound to San Fernando, Pampanga loaded with 2,000 cases of empty beer general Manager declared that it lost P21,000.00 per day for the non-operation of the six
"Grande" bottles. Seated at the front right seat beside him was Ferdinand Domingo, his units during their attachment (p. 31, t.s.n., Natividad C. Babaran, proceedings on
truck helper ("pahinante" in Pilipino). At around 4:00 o'clock that same morning while the December 10, 1990).8
truck was descending at a slight downgrade along the national road at Tagaran, Cauayan, On June 6, 1992, the trial court rendered a joint decision, the dispositive portion of which reads as
Isabela, it approached a damaged portion of the road covering the full width of the truck's follows:
right lane going south and about six meters in length. These made the surface of the road WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing considerations judgment is hereby rendered:
uneven because the potholes were about five to six inches deep. The left lane parallel to 1. Finding the accused Romeo Dunca y de Tumol guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the
this damaged portion is smooth. As narrated by Ferdinand Domingo, before approaching crime of Double Homicide through Reckless Imprudence with violation of the Motor
the potholes, he and Dunca saw the Nissan with its headlights on coming from the Vehicle Law (Rep. Act No. 4136), and appreciating in his favor the mitigating
opposite direction. They used to evade this damaged road by taking the left lance but at circumstance of voluntary surrender without any aggravating circumstance to offset the
that particular moment, because of the incoming vehicle, they had to run over it. This same, the Court hereby sentences him to suffer two (2) indeterminate penalties of four
caused the truck to bounce wildly. Dunca lost control of the wheels and the truck swerved months and one day of arresto mayor as minimum to three years, six months and twenty
to the left invading the lane of the Nissan. As a result, Dunca's vehicle rammed the days as maximum; to indemnify the Heirs of Francisco Dy. Jr. in the amount of
incoming Nissan dragging it to the left shoulder of the road and climbed a ridge above P3,000,000.00 as compensatory damages, P1,000,000.00 as moral damages, and
said shoulder where it finally stopped. (see Exh. A-5, p. 8, record). The Nissan was P1,030,000.00 as funeral expenses;
severely damaged (Exhs. A-7, A-8, A-9 and A-14, pp. 9-11 record), and its two 2. Ordering the plaintiff in Civil Case No. Br. 19-424 to pay the defendant therein actual
passengers, namely: Feliciano Balcita and Francisco Dy, Jr. died instantly (Exh. A-19) damages in the amount of P84,000.00; and
from external and internal hemorrhage and multiple fractures (pp. 15 and 16, record). 3. Ordering the dismissal of the complaint in Civil Case No. Br. 19-424.
For the funeral expenses of Francisco Dy, Jr. her widow spent P651,360.00 (Exh. I-3). At No pronouncement as to costs.
the time of his death he was 45 years old. He was the President and Chairman of the SO ORDERED.
Board of the Dynamic Wood Products and Development Corporation (DWPC), a wood Cauayan, Isabela, June 6, 1992.
processing establishment, from which he was receiving an income of P10,000.00 a (Sgd.) ARTEMIO R. ALIVIA
month. (Exh. D). In the Articles of Incorporation of the DWPC, the spouses Francisco Dy, Regional Trial Judge9
Jr. and Rosario Perez Dy appear to be stockholders of 10,000 shares each with par value On September 3, 1992, petitioner and the accused filed a notice of appeal from the joint
of P100.00 per share out of its outstanding and subscribed capital stock of 60,000 shares decision. 10
valued at P6,000,000.00 (Exhs. K-1 & 10-B). Under its 1988 Income Tax Returns (Exh. J) On the other hand, private respondents moved for amendment of the dispositive portion of the
the DWPC had a taxable net income of P78,499.30 (Exh. J). Francisco Dy, Jr. was a La joint decision so as to hold petitioner subsidiarily liable for the damages awarded to the private
Salle University graduate in Business Administration, past president of the Pasay respondents in the event of insolvency of the accused. 11
Jaycees, National Treasurer and President of the Philippine Jaycees in 1971 and 1976, On October 26, 1992, the trial court rendered a supplemental decision amending the dispositive
respectively, and World Vice-President of Jaycees International in 1979. He was also the portion by inserting an additional paragraph reading as follows:
recipient of numerous awards as a civic leader (Exh. C). His children were all studying in 2:A — Ordering the defendant Reyes Trucking Corporation subsidiarily liable for all the
damages awarded to the heirs of Francisco Dy, Jr., in the event of insolvency of the
accused but deducting therefrom the damages of P84,000.00 awarded to said defendant of the Philippines. Private respondents sued petitioner Rafael Reyes Trucking Corporation, as the
in the next preceding paragraph; and . . . 12 employer of the accused, to be vicariously liable for the fault or negligence of the latter. Under the
On November 12, 1992, petitioner filed with the trial court a supplemental notice of appeal from law, this vicarious liability of the employer is founded on at least two specific provisions of law.
the supplemental decision. 13 The first is expressed in Article 2176 in relation to Article 2180 of the Civil Code, which would allow
During the pendency of the appeal, the accused jumped bail and fled to a foreign country. By an action predicated on quasi-delict to be instituted by the injured party against the employer for
resolution dated December 29, 1994, the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal of the accused in an act or omission of the employee and would necessitate only a preponderance of evidence to
the criminal case. 14 prevail. Here, the liability of the employer for the negligent conduct of the subordinate is direct and
On January 6, 1997, the Court of Appeals rendered an amended decision affirming that of the trial primary, subject to the defense of due diligence in the selection and supervision of the employee.
court, as set out in the opening paragraph of this decision. 15 The enforcement of the judgment against the employer in an action based on Article 2176 does
On January 31, 1997, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the amended decision. 16 not require the employee to be insolvent since the nature of the liability of the employer with that of
On April 21, 1997, the Court of Appeals denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration for lack of the employee, the two being statutorily considered joint tortfeasors, is solidary. 25 The second,
merit 17 predicated on Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, provides that an employer may be held
Hence, this petition for review. 18 subsidiarily civilly liable for a felony committed by his employee in the discharge of his duty. This
On July 21, 1997, the Court required respondents to comment on the petition within ten (10) days liability attaches when the employee is convicted of a crime done in the performance of his work
from notice. 19 and is found to be insolvent that renders him unable to properly respond to the civil liability
On January 27, 1998, the Solicitor General filed his comment. 20 On April 13, 1998, the Court adjudged. 26
granted leave to petitioner to file a reply and noted the reply it filed on March 11, 1998. 21 As regards the first issue, the answer is in the negative. Rafael Reyes Trucking Corporation, as
We now resolve to give due course to the petition and decide the case. employer of the accused who has been adjudged guilty in the criminal case for reckless
Petitioner raises three (3) grounds for allowance of the petition, which, however, boil down to two imprudence, can not be held subsidiarily liable because of the filing of the separate civil action
(2) basic issues, namely: based on quasi delict against it. In view of the reservation to file, and the subsequent filing of the
1. May petitioner as owner of the truck involved in the accident be held subsidiarily liable civil action for recovery of civil liability, the same was not instituted with the criminal action. Such
for the damages awarded to the offended parties in the criminal action against the truck separate civil action was for recovery of damages under Article 2176 of the Civil Code, arising
driver despite the filing of a separate civil action by the offended parties against the from the same act or omission of the accused. 27
employer of the truck driver? Pursuant to the provision of Rule 111, Section 1, paragraph 3 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal
2. May the Court award damages to the offended parties in the criminal case despite the Procedure, when private respondents, as complainants in the criminal action, reserved the right to
filing of a civil action against the employer of the truck driver; and in amounts exceeding file the separate civil action, they waived other available civil actions predicated on the same act or
that alleged in the information for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and damage omission of the accused-driver. Such civil action includes the recovery of indemnity under the
to property? 22 Revised Penal Code, and damages under Articles 32, 33, and 34 of the Civil Code of the
We grant the petition, resolving under the circumstances pro hac vice to remand the cases to the Philippines arising from the same act or omission of the accused. 28
trial court for determination of the civil liability of petitioner as employer of the accused driver in the The intention of private respondents to proceed primarily and directly against petitioner as
civil action quasi ex delicto re-opened for the purpose. employer of accused truck driver became clearer when they did not ask for the dismissal of the
In negligence cases, the aggrieved party has the choice between (1) an action to enforce civil civil action against the latter based on quasi delict.
liability arising from crime under Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code; and (2) a separate action Consequently, the Court of Appeals and the trial court erred in holding the accused civilly liable,
for quasi delict under Article 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. Once the choice is made, and petitioner-employer of the accused subsidiarily liable for damages arising from crime (ex
the injured party can not avail himself of any other remedy because he may not recover damages delicto) in the criminal action as the offended parties in fact filed a separate civil action against the
twice for the same negligent act or omission of the accused. 23 This is the rule against double employer based on quasi delict resulting in the waiver of the civil action ex delicto.
recovery.1âwphi1.nêt It might be argued that private respondents as complainants in the criminal case withdrew the
In other words, "the same act or omission can create two kinds of liability on the part of the reservation to file a civil action against the driver (accused) and manifested that they would pursue
offender, that is, civil liability ex delicto, and civil liability quasi delicto" either of which "may be the civil liability of the driver in the criminal action. However, the withdrawal is ineffective to reverse
enforced against the culprit, subject to the caveat under Article 2177 of the Civil Code that the the effect of the reservation earlier made because private respondents did not withdraw the civil
offended party can not recover damages under both types of liability." 24 action against petitioner based on quasi delict. In such a case, the provision of Rule 111, Section
In the instant case, the offended parties elected to file a separate civil action for damages against 1, paragraph 3 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure is clear that the reservation to file or the
petitioner as employer of the accused, based on quasi delict, under Article 2176 of the Civil Code filing of a separate civil action results in a waiver of other available civil actions arising from the
same act or omission of the accused. Rule 111, Section 1, paragraph 2 enumerated what are the As a final note, we reiterate that "the policy against double recovery requires that only one action
civil actions deemed waived upon such reservation or filing, and one of which is the civil indemnity be maintained for the same act or omission whether the action is brought against the employee or
under the Revised Penal Code. Rule 111, Section 1, paragraph 3 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal against his employer. 36 The injured party must choose which of the available causes of action for
Procedure specifically provides: damages he will bring. 37
A waiver of any of the civil actions extinguishes the others. The institution of, or the Parenthetically, the trial court found the accused "guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of
reservation of the right to file, any of said civil actions separately waives the others. Double Homicide Through Reckless Imprudence with violation of the Motor Vehicle Law (Rep. Act
The rationale behind this rule is the avoidance of multiple suits between the same litigants arising No. 4136)". There is no such nomenclature of an offense under the Revised Penal Code. Thus,
out of the same act or omission of the offender. The restrictive phraseology of the section under the trial court was misled to sentence the accused "to suffer two (2) indeterminate penalties of four
consideration is meant to cover all kinds of civil actions, regardless of their source in law, provided (4) months and one (1) day of arresto mayor, as minimum, to three (3) years, six (6) months and
that the action has for its basis the same act or omission of the offender. 29 twenty (20) days of prision correccional, as maximum." This is erroneous because in reckless
However, petitioner as defendant in the separate civil action for damages filed against it, based imprudence cases, the actual penalty for criminal negligence bears no relation to the individual
on quasi delict, may be held liable thereon. Thus, the trial court grievously erred in dismissing willfull crime or crimes committed, but is set in relation to a whole class, or series of crimes. 38
plaintiff's civil complaint. And the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the trial court's decision. Unfortunately, we can no longer correct this judgment even if erroneous, as it is, because it has
Unfortunately private respondents did not appeal from such dismissal and could not be granted become final and executory.
affirmative relief. 30 Under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code, criminal negligence "is treated as a mere quasi
The Court, however, in exceptional cases has relaxed the rules "in order to promote their offense, and dealt with separately from willful offenses. It is not a question of classification or
objectives and assist the parties in obtaining just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every terminology. In intentional crimes, the act itself is punished; in negligence or imprudence, what is
action or proceeding" 31 or exempted "a particular case from the operation of the rules." 32 principally penalized is the mental attitude or condition behind the act, the dangerous
Invoking this principle, we rule that the trial court erred in awarding civil damages in the criminal recklessness, lack of care or foresight, the imprudencia punible. Much of the confusion has arisen
case and in dismissing the civil action. Apparently satisfied with such award, private respondent from the common use of such descriptive phrase as "homicide through reckless imprudence", and
did not appeal from the dismissal of the civil case. However, petitioner did appeal. Hence, this the like; when the strict technical sense is, more accurately, "reckless imprudence resulting in
case should be remanded to the trial court so that it may render decision in the civil case awarding homicide"; or "simple imprudence causing damages to property"." 39
damages as may be warranted by the evidence. 33 There is need, therefore, to rectify the designation of the offense without disturbing the imposed
With regard to the second issue, the award of damages in the criminal case was improper penalty for the guidance of bench and bar in strict adherence to precedent.
because the civil action for the recovery of civil liability was waived in the criminal action by the WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the petition and SETS ASIDE the amended decision and
filing of a separate civil action against the employer. As enunciated in Ramos vs. Gonong, 34 "civil resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 14448, promulgated on January 6, 1997,
indemnity is not part of the penalty for the crime committed." The only issue brought before the and the joint decision of the Regional Trial Court, Isabela, Branch 19, Cauayan, in Criminal Case
trial court in the criminal action is whether accused Romeo Dunca y de Tumol is guilty of reckless No. Br. 19-311 and Civil Case No. Br. 19-424, dated June 6, 1992.
imprudence resulting in homicide and damage to property. The action for recovery of civil liability IN LIEU THEREOF, the Court renders judgment as follows:
is not included therein, but is covered by the separate civil action filed against the petitioner as (1) In Criminal Case No. Br. 19-311, the Court declares the accused Romeo Dunca y de
employer of the accused truck-driver. Tumol guilty beyond reasonable doubt of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and
In this case, accused-driver jumped bail pending his appeal from his conviction. Thus, the damage to property, defined and penalized under Article 365, paragraph 2 of the Revised
judgment convicting the accused became final and executory, but only insofar as the penalty in the Penal Code, with violation of the automobile law (R.A. No. 4136, as amended), and
criminal action is concerned. The damages awarded in the criminal action was invalid because of sentences him to suffer two (2) indeterminate penalties of four (4) months and one (1) day
its effective waiver. The pronouncement was void because the action for recovery of the civil of arresto mayor, as minimum, to three (3) years, six (6) months and twenty (20) days
liability arising from the crime has been waived in said criminal action. ofprision correccional, as maximum, 40 without indemnity, and to pay the costs, and
With respect to the issue that the award of damages in the criminal action exceeded the amount of (2) In Civil Case No. Br. 19-424, the Court orders the case re-opened to determine the
damages alleged in the amended information, the issue is de minimis. At any rate, the trial court liability of the defendant Rafael Reyes Trucking Corporation to plaintiffs and that of
erred in awarding damages in the criminal case because by virtue of the reservation of the right to plaintiffs on defendant's counterclaim.
bring a separate civil action or the filing thereof, "there would be no possibility that the employer No costs in this instance.SO ORDERED.
would be held liable because in such a case there would be no pronouncement as to the civil G.R. No. 102007 September 2, 1994
liability of the accused. 35 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs.ROGELIO BAYOTAS y
CORDOVA, accused-appellant.
In Criminal Case No. C-3217 filed before Branch 16, RTC Roxas City, Rogelio Bayotas y Cordova La responsabilidad penal se extingue.
was charged with Rape and eventually convicted thereof on June 19, 1991 in a decision penned 1. Por la muerte del reo en cuanto a las penas personales
by Judge Manuel E. Autajay. Pending appeal of his conviction, Bayotas died on February 4, 1992 siempre, y respecto a las pecuniarias, solo cuando a su
at fallecimiento no hubiere recaido sentencia firme.
the National Bilibid Hospital due to cardio respiratory arrest secondary to hepatic encephalopathy xxx xxx xxx
secondary to hipato carcinoma gastric malingering. Consequently, the Supreme Court in its The code of 1870 . . . it will be observed employs the term "sentencia firme."
Resolution of May 20, 1992 dismissed the criminal aspect of the appeal. However, it required the What is "sentencia firme" under the old statute?
Solicitor General to file its comment with regard to Bayotas' civil liability arising from his XXVIII Enciclopedia Juridica Española, p. 473, furnishes the ready answer: It
commission of the offense charged. says:
In his comment, the Solicitor General expressed his view that the death of accused-appellant did SENTENCIA FIRME. La sentencia que adquiere la fuerza de
not extinguish his civil liability as a result of his commission of the offense charged. The Solicitor las definitivas por no haberse utilizado por las partes litigantes
General, relying on the case of People v. Sendaydiego 1 insists that the appeal should still be recurso alguno contra ella dentro de los terminos y plazos
resolved for the purpose of reviewing his conviction by the lower court on which the civil liability is legales concedidos al efecto.
based. "Sentencia firme" really should be understood as one which is definite. Because,
Counsel for the accused-appellant, on the other hand, opposed the view of the Solicitor General it is only when judgment is such that, as Medina y Maranon puts it, the crime is
arguing that the death of the accused while judgment of conviction is pending appeal extinguishes confirmed — "en condena determinada;" or, in the words of Groizard, the guilt of
both his criminal and civil penalties. In support of his position, said counsel invoked the ruling of the accused becomes — "una verdad legal." Prior thereto, should the accused
the Court of Appeals in People v. Castillo and Ocfemia 2 which held that the civil obligation in a die, according to Viada, "no hay legalmente, en tal caso, ni reo, ni delito, ni
criminal case takes root in the criminal liability and, therefore, civil liability is extinguished if responsabilidad criminal de ninguna clase." And, as Judge Kapunan well
accused should die before final judgment is rendered. explained, when a defendant dies before judgment becomes executory, "there
We are thus confronted with a single issue: Does death of the accused pending appeal of his cannot be any determination by final judgment whether or not the felony upon
conviction extinguish his civil liability? which the civil action might arise exists," for the simple reason that "there is no
In the aforementioned case of People v. Castillo, this issue was settled in the affirmative. This party defendant." (I Kapunan, Revised Penal Code, Annotated, p. 421. Senator
same issue posed therein was phrased thus: Does the death of Alfredo Castillo affect both his Francisco holds the same view. Francisco, Revised Penal Code, Book One, 2nd
criminal responsibility and his civil liability as a consequence of the alleged crime? ed., pp. 859-860)
It resolved this issue thru the following disquisition: The legal import of the term "final judgment" is similarly reflected in the Revised
Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code is the controlling statute. It reads, in part: Penal Code. Articles 72 and 78 of that legal body mention the term "final
Art. 89. How criminal liability is totally extinguished. — Criminal judgment" in the sense that it is already enforceable. This also brings to mind
liability is totally extinguished: Section 7, Rule 116 of the Rules of Court which states that a judgment in a
1. By the death of the convict, as to the personal penalties; and criminal case becomes final "after the lapse of the period for perfecting an appeal
as to the pecuniary penalties liability therefor is extinguished or when the sentence has been partially or totally satisfied or served, or the
only when the death of the offender occurs before final defendant has expressly waived in writing his right to appeal."
judgment; By fair intendment, the legal precepts and opinions here collected funnel down to
With reference to Castillo's criminal liability, there is no question. The law is plain. one positive conclusion: The term final judgment employed in the Revised Penal
Statutory construction is unnecessary. Said liability is extinguished. Code means judgment beyond recall. Really, as long as a judgment has not
The civil liability, however, poses a problem. Such liability is extinguished only become executory, it cannot be truthfully said that defendant is definitely guilty of
when the death of the offender occurs before final judgment. Saddled upon us is the felony charged against him.
the task of ascertaining the legal import of the term "final judgment." Is it final Not that the meaning thus given to final judgment is without reason. For where,
judgment as contradistinguished from an interlocutory order? Or, is it a judgment as in this case, the right to institute a separate civil action is not reserved, the
which is final and executory? decision to be rendered must, of necessity, cover "both the criminal and the civil
We go to the genesis of the law. The legal precept contained in Article 89 of the aspects of the case." People vs. Yusico (November 9, 1942), 2 O.G., No. 100, p.
Revised Penal Code heretofore transcribed is lifted from Article 132 of the 964. See also: People vs. Moll, 68 Phil., 626, 634; Francisco, Criminal
Spanish El Codigo Penal de 1870 which, in part, recites: Procedure, 1958 ed., Vol. I, pp. 234, 236. Correctly, Judge Kapunan observed
that as "the civil action is based solely on the felony committed and of which the Assuming that for lack of express reservation, Belamala's civil action for
offender might be found guilty, the death of the offender extinguishes the civil damages was to be considered instituted together with the criminal action still,
liability." I Kapunan, Revised Penal Code, Annotated, supra. since both proceedings were terminated without final adjudication, the civil action
Here is the situation obtaining in the present case: Castillo's criminal liability is of the offended party under Article 33 may yet be enforced separately.
out. His civil liability is sought to be enforced by reason of that criminal liability. In Torrijos, the Supreme Court held that:
But then, if we dismiss, as we must, the criminal action and let the civil aspect xxx xxx xxx
remain, we will be faced with the anomalous situation whereby we will be called It should be stressed that the extinction of civil liability follows the extinction of the
upon to clamp civil liability in a case where the source thereof — criminal liability criminal liability under Article 89, only when the civil liability arises from the
— does not exist. And, as was well stated in Bautista, et al. vs. Estrella, et al., criminal act as its only basis. Stated differently, where the civil liability does not
CA-G.R. exist independently of the criminal responsibility, the extinction of the latter by
No. 19226-R, September 1, 1958, "no party can be found and held criminally death, ipso facto extinguishes the former, provided, of course, that death
liable in a civil suit," which solely would remain if we are to divorce it from the supervenes before final judgment. The said principle does not apply in instant
criminal proceeding." case wherein the civil liability springs neither solely nor originally from the crime
This ruling of the Court of Appeals in the Castillo case 3 was adopted by the Supreme Court in the itself but from a civil contract of purchase and sale. (Emphasis ours)
cases of People of the Philippines v. Bonifacio Alison, et al., 4 People of the Philippines v. Jaime xxx xxx xxx
Jose, et al. 5 and People of the Philippines v. Satorre 6 by dismissing the appeal in view of the In the above case, the court was convinced that the civil liability of the accused who was
death of the accused pending appeal of said cases. charged with estafa could likewise trace its genesis to Articles 19, 20 and 21 of the Civil
As held by then Supreme Court Justice Fernando in the Alison case: Code since said accused had swindled the first and second vendees of the property
The death of accused-appellant Bonifacio Alison having been established, and subject matter of the contract of sale. It therefore concluded: "Consequently, while the
considering that there is as yet no final judgment in view of the pendency of the death of the accused herein extinguished his criminal liability including fine, his civil
appeal, the criminal and civil liability of the said accused-appellant Alison was liability based on the laws of human relations remains."
extinguished by his death (Art. 89, Revised Penal Code; Reyes' Criminal Law, Thus it allowed the appeal to proceed with respect to the civil liability of the accused,
1971 Rev. Ed., p. 717, citing People v. Castillo and Ofemia C.A., 56 O.G. 4045); notwithstanding the extinction of his criminal liability due to his death pending appeal of his
consequently, the case against him should be dismissed. conviction.
On the other hand, this Court in the subsequent cases of Buenaventura Belamala v. Marcelino To further justify its decision to allow the civil liability to survive, the court relied on the following
Polinar 7 and Lamberto Torrijos v. The Honorable Court of Appeals 8 ruled differently. In the ratiocination: Since Section 21, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court 9 requires the dismissal of all money
former, the issue decided by this court was: Whether the civil liability of one accused of physical claims against the defendant whose death occurred prior to the final judgment of the Court of First
injuries who died before final judgment is extinguished by his demise to the extent of barring any Instance (CFI), then it can be inferred that actions for recovery of money may continue to be heard
claim therefore against his estate. It was the contention of the administrator-appellant therein that on appeal, when the death of the defendant supervenes after the CFI had rendered its judgment.
the death of the accused prior to final judgment extinguished all criminal and civil liabilities In such case, explained this tribunal, "the name of the offended party shall be included in the title
resulting from the offense, in view of Article 89, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code. However, of the case as plaintiff-appellee and the legal representative or the heirs of the deceased-accused
this court ruled therein: should be substituted as defendants-appellants."
We see no merit in the plea that the civil liability has been extinguished, in view of It is, thus, evident that as jurisprudence evolved from Castillo to Torrijos, the rule established was
the provisions of the Civil Code of the Philippines of 1950 (Rep. Act No. 386) that that the survival of the civil liability depends on whether the same can be predicated on sources of
became operative eighteen years after the revised Penal Code. As pointed out by obligations other than delict. Stated differently, the claim for civil liability is also extinguished
the Court below, Article 33 of the Civil Code establishes a civil action for together with the criminal action if it were solely based thereon, i.e., civil liability ex delicto.
damages on account of physical injuries, entirely separate and distinct from the However, the Supreme Court in People v. Sendaydiego, et al. 10 departed from this long-
criminal action. established principle of law. In this case, accused Sendaydiego was charged with and convicted
Art. 33. In cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries, a by the lower court of malversation thru falsification of public documents. Sendaydiego's death
civil action for damages, entirely separate and distinct from the supervened during the pendency of the appeal of his conviction.
criminal action, may be brought by the injured party. Such civil This court in an unprecedented move resolved to dismiss Sendaydiego's appeal but only to the
action shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution, extent of his criminal liability. His civil liability was allowed to survive although it was clear that
and shall require only a preponderance of evidence. such claim thereon was exclusively dependent on the criminal action already extinguished. The
legal import of such decision was for the court to continue exercising appellate jurisdiction over the To restate our resolution of July 8, 1977 in Sendaydiego: The resolution of the civil action impliedly
entire appeal, passing upon the correctness of Sendaydiego's conviction despite dismissal of the instituted in the criminal action can proceed irrespective of the latter's extinction due to death of
criminal action, for the purpose of determining if he is civilly liable. In doing so, this Court issued a the accused pending appeal of his conviction, pursuant to Article 30 of the Civil Code and Section
Resolution of July 8, 1977 stating thus: 21, Rule 3 of the Revised Rules of Court.
The claim of complainant Province of Pangasinan for the civil liability survived Article 30 of the Civil Code provides:
Sendaydiego because his death occurred after final judgment was rendered by When a separate civil action is brought to demand civil liability arising from a
the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan, which convicted him of three complex criminal offense, and no criminal proceedings are instituted during the pendency
crimes of malversation through falsification and ordered him to indemnify the of the civil case, a preponderance of evidence shall likewise be sufficient to prove
Province in the total sum of P61,048.23 (should be P57,048.23). the act complained of.
The civil action for the civil liability is deemed impliedly instituted with the criminal Clearly, the text of Article 30 could not possibly lend support to the ruling in Sendaydiego.
action in the absence of express waiver or its reservation in a separate action Nowhere in its text is there a grant of authority to continue exercising appellate jurisdiction over the
(Sec. 1, Rule 111 of the Rules of Court). The civil action for the civil liability is accused's civil liability ex delicto when his death supervenes during appeal. What Article 30
separate and distinct from the criminal action (People and Manuel vs. Coloma, recognizes is an alternative and separate civil action which may be brought to demand civil liability
105 Phil. 1287; Roa vs. De la Cruz, 107 Phil. 8). arising from a criminal offense independently of any criminal action. In the event that no criminal
When the action is for the recovery of money and the defendant dies before final proceedings are instituted during the pendency of said civil case, the quantum of evidence needed
judgment in the Court of First Instance, it shall be dismissed to be prosecuted in to prove the criminal act will have to be that which is compatible with civil liability and that is,
the manner especially provided in Rule 87 of the Rules of Court (Sec. 21, Rule 3 preponderance of evidence and not proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Citing or invoking
of the Rules of Court). Article 30 to justify the survival of the civil action despite extinction of the criminal would in effect
The implication is that, if the defendant dies after a money judgment had been merely beg the question of whether civil liability ex delicto survives upon extinction of the criminal
rendered against him by the Court of First Instance, the action survives him. It action due to death of the accused during appeal of his conviction. This is because whether
may be continued on appeal (Torrijos vs. Court of Appeals, L-40336, October 24, asserted in
1975; 67 SCRA 394). the criminal action or in a separate civil action, civil liability ex delicto is extinguished by the death
The accountable public officer may still be civilly liable for the funds improperly of the accused while his conviction is on appeal. Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code is clear on
disbursed although he has no criminal liability (U.S. vs. Elvina, 24 Phil. 230; this matter:
Philippine National Bank vs. Tugab, 66 Phil. 583). Art. 89. How criminal liability is totally extinguished. — Criminal liability is totally
In view of the foregoing, notwithstanding the dismissal of the appeal of the extinguished:
deceased Sendaydiego insofar as his criminal liability is concerned, the Court 1. By the death of the convict, as to the personal penalties; and as to pecuniary
Resolved to continue exercising appellate jurisdiction over his possible civil penalties, liability therefor is extinguished only when the death of the offender
liability for the money claims of the Province of Pangasinan arising from the occurs before final judgment;
alleged criminal acts complained of, as if no criminal case had been instituted xxx xxx xxx
against him, thus making applicable, in determining his civil liability, Article 30 of However, the ruling in Sendaydiego deviated from the expressed intent of Article 89. It allowed
the Civil Code . . . and, for that purpose, his counsel is directed to inform this claims for civil liability ex delicto to survive by ipso facto treating the civil action impliedly instituted
Court within ten (10) days of the names and addresses of the decedent's heirs or with the criminal, as one filed under Article 30, as though no criminal proceedings had been filed
whether or not his estate is under administration and has a duly appointed but merely a separate civil action. This had the effect of converting such claims from one which is
judicial administrator. Said heirs or administrator will be substituted for the dependent on the outcome of the criminal action to an entirely new and separate one, the
deceased insofar as the civil action for the civil liability is concerned (Secs. 16 prosecution of which does not even necessitate the filing of criminal proceedings. 12 One would be
and 17, Rule 3, Rules of Court). hard put to pinpoint the statutory authority for such a transformation. It is to be borne in mind that
Succeeding cases 11 raising the identical issue have maintained adherence to our ruling in recovering civil liability ex delicto, the same has perforce to be determined in the criminal action,
in Sendaydiego; in other words, they were a reaffirmance of our abandonment of the settled rule rooted as it is in the court's pronouncement of the guilt or innocence of the accused. This is but to
that a civil liability solely anchored on the criminal (civil liability ex delicto) is extinguished upon render fealty to the intendment of Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code which provides that
dismissal of the entire appeal due to the demise of the accused. "every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable." In such cases, extinction of the
But was it judicious to have abandoned this old ruling? A re-examination of our decision criminal action due to death of the accused pending appeal inevitably signifies the concomitant
in Sendaydiego impels us to revert to the old ruling. extinction of the civil liability. Mors Omnia Solvi. Death dissolves all things.
In sum, in pursuing recovery of civil liability arising from crime, the final determination of the I do not, however, agree with the justification advanced in
criminal liability is a condition precedent to the prosecution of the civil action, such that when the both Torrijos and Sendaydiego which, relying on the provisions of Section 21,
criminal action is extinguished by the demise of accused-appellant pending appeal thereof, said Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, drew the strained implication therefrom that where
civil action cannot survive. The claim for civil liability springs out of and is dependent upon facts the civil liability instituted together with the criminal liabilities had already passed
which, if true, would constitute a crime. Such civil liability is an inevitable consequence of the beyond the judgment of the then Court of First Instance (now the Regional Trial
criminal liability and is to be declared and enforced in the criminal proceeding. This is to be Court), the Court of Appeals can continue to exercise appellate jurisdiction
distinguished from that which is contemplated under Article 30 of the Civil Code which refers to the thereover despite the extinguishment of the component criminal liability of the
institution of a separate civil action that does not draw its life from a criminal proceeding. The deceased. This pronouncement, which has been followed in the Court's
Sendaydiego resolution of July 8, 1977, however, failed to take note of this fundamental distinction judgments subsequent and consonant to Torrijos and Sendaydiego, should be
when it allowed the survival of the civil action for the recovery of civil liability ex delicto by treating set aside and abandoned as being clearly erroneous and unjustifiable.
the same as a separate civil action referred to under Article 30. Surely, it will take more than just a Said Section 21 of Rule 3 is a rule of civil procedure in ordinary civil actions.
summary judicial pronouncement to authorize the conversion of said civil action to an independent There is neither authority nor justification for its application in criminal procedure
one such as that contemplated under Article 30. to civil actions instituted together with and as part of criminal actions. Nor is there
Ironically however, the main decision in Sendaydiego did not apply Article 30, the resolution of any authority in law for the summary conversion from the latter category of an
July 8, 1977 notwithstanding. Thus, it was held in the main decision: ordinary civil action upon the death of the offender. . . .
Sendaydiego's appeal will be resolved only for the purpose of showing his Moreover, the civil action impliedly instituted in a criminal proceeding for recovery of civil liability ex
criminal liability which is the basis of the civil liability for which his estate would be delicto can hardly be categorized as an ordinary money claim such as that referred to in Sec. 21,
liable. 13 Rule 3 enforceable before the estate of the deceased accused.
In other words, the Court, in resolving the issue of his civil liability, concomitantly made a Ordinary money claims referred to in Section 21, Rule 3 must be viewed in light of the provisions
determination on whether Sendaydiego, on the basis of evidenced adduced, was indeed guilty of Section 5, Rule 86 involving claims against the estate, which in Sendaydiego was held liable for
beyond reasonable doubt of committing the offense charged. Thus, it upheld Sendaydiego's Sendaydiego's civil liability. "What are contemplated in Section 21 of Rule 3, in relation to Section
conviction and pronounced the same as the source of his civil liability. Consequently, although 5 of Rule 86, 14 are contractual money claims while the claims involved in civil liability ex
Article 30 was not applied in the final determination of Sendaydiego's civil liability, there was a delicto may include even the restitution of personal or real property." 15 Section 5, Rule 86
reopening of the criminal action already extinguished which served as basis for Sendaydiego's civil provides an exclusive enumeration of what claims may be filed against the estate. These are:
liability. We reiterate: Upon death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction, the criminal funeral expenses, expenses for the last illness, judgments for money and claim arising from
action is extinguished inasmuch as there is no longer a defendant to stand as the accused; the contracts, expressed or implied. It is clear that money claims arising from delict do not form part of
civil action instituted therein for recovery of civil liability ex delicto is ipso facto extinguished, this exclusive enumeration. Hence, there could be no legal basis in (1) treating a civil action ex
grounded as it is on the criminal. delicto as an ordinary contractual money claim referred to in Section 21, Rule 3 of the Rules of
Section 21, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court was also invoked to serve as another basis for Court and (2) allowing it to survive by filing a claim therefor before the estate of the deceased
the Sendaydiego resolution of July 8, 1977. In citing Sec. 21, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, the accused. Rather, it should be extinguished upon extinction of the criminal action engendered by
Court made the inference that civil actions of the type involved in Sendaydiego consist of money the death of the accused pending finality of his conviction.
claims, the recovery of which may be continued on appeal if defendant dies pending appeal of his Accordingly, we rule: if the private offended party, upon extinction of the civil liability ex
conviction by holding his estate liable therefor. Hence, the Court's conclusion: delicto desires to recover damages from the same act or omission complained of, he must subject
"When the action is for the recovery of money" "and the defendant dies before to Section 1, Rule 111 16 (1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended) file a separate civil
final judgment in the court of First Instance, it shall be dismissed to be action, this time predicated not on the felony previously charged but on other sources of obligation.
prosecuted in the manner especially provided" in Rule 87 of the Rules of Court The source of obligation upon which the separate civil action is premised determines against
(Sec. 21, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court). whom the same shall be enforced.
The implication is that, if the defendant dies after a money judgment had been If the same act or omission complained of also arises from quasi-delict or may, by provision of law,
rendered against him by the Court of First Instance, the action survives him. It result in an injury to person or property (real or personal), the separate civil action must be filed
may be continued on appeal. against the executor or administrator 17 of the estate of the accused pursuant to Sec. 1, Rule 87 of
Sadly, reliance on this provision of law is misplaced. From the standpoint of procedural law, this the Rules of Court:
course taken in Sendaydiego cannot be sanctioned. As correctly observed by Justice Regalado: Sec. 1. Actions which may and which may not be brought against executor or
xxx xxx xxx administrator. — No action upon a claim for the recovery of money or debt or
interest thereon shall be commenced against the executor or administrator; but S P O US E S E R LI ND A B AT AL AN D F R AN K G. R. N o. 1 6 4 6 0 1
actions to recover real or personal property, or an interest therein, from the B AT AL ,
estate, or to enforce a lien thereon, and actions to recover damages for an injury P e t i t i o ne r s ,
to person or property, real or personal, may be commenced against him.
This is in consonance with our ruling in Belamala 18 where we held that, in recovering damages for
injury to persons thru an independent civil action based on Article 33 of the Civil Code, the same
must be filed against the executor or administrator of the estate of deceased accused and not
against the estate under Sec. 5, Rule 86 because this rule explicitly limits the claim to those for
funeral expenses, expenses for the last sickness of the decedent, judgment for money and claims
arising from contract, express or implied. Contractual money claims, we stressed, refers only S P O US E S L UZ S AN PEDRO AN D
topurely personal obligations other than those which have their source in delict or tort. KE NI C HI R O T OM I N AG A,
Conversely, if the same act or omission complained of also arises from contract, the separate civil Re s p on de n ts .
action must be filed against the estate of the accused, pursuant to Sec. 5, Rule 86 of the Rules of
Court. P r o mu l g a te d:
From this lengthy disquisition, we summarize our ruling herein:
1. Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal liability as well S e p te m be r 2 7 , 2 0 0 6
as the civil liability based solely thereon. As opined by Justice Regalado, in this regard, "the death
of the accused prior to final judgment terminates his criminal liability and only the civil AU S T R I A-M ART I NE Z, J . :
liability directly arising from and based solely on the offense committed, i.e., civil liability ex
delicto in senso strictiore." B e f o re t h e Co u r t i s a P e t i t i o n f o r Re vi e w o n Ce rt i o ra ri u n d e r R u l e 4 5 o f
2. Corollarily, the claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding the death of accused, if the same t h e Ru l e s o f C o u rt q u e s t i o n i n g t h e D e c i s i o n [ 1 ] d a t e d S e p t e m b e r 2 9 , 2 0 0 3
may also be predicated on a source of obligation other than delict. 19 Article 1157 of the Civil Code p ro m u l g a t e d b y t h e C o u r t o f A p p e a l s (CA ) i n CA - G. R. CV N o . 7 1 7 5 8 , w h i c h
enumerates these other sources of obligation from which the civil liability may arise as a result of a f f i rme d t h e De c i s i o n d a t e d Ma y 3 1 , 2 0 0 4 o f t h e Re g i o n a l T ri a l Co u rt , B ra n c h 7 ,
the same act or omission: M a l o l o s , B u l a c a n ( RT C ); a n d t h e CA Re s o l u t i o n [ 2 ] d a t e d J u l y 1 9 , 2 0 0 4 .
a) Law 20b) Contractsc) Quasi-contracts d) . . .e) Quasi-delicts
3. Where the civil liability survives, as explained in Number 2 above, an action for recovery Th i s c a s e o ri g i n a t e d f r o m a n a c t i o n f o r d a m a g e s f i l e d wi t h t h e R T C b y
therefor may be pursued but only by way of filing a separate civil action and subject to Section 1, S p o u s e s L u z S a n P e d r o a n d K e n i c h i ro To mi n a g a ( re s p o n d e n t s ) a g a i n s t
Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended. This separate civil action may be S p o u s e s E rl i n d a B a t a l a n d Fr a n k B a t a l (p e t i t i o n e rs ) f o r f a i l u r e t o e x e rc i s e d u e
enforced either against the executor/administrator or the estate of the accused, depending on the c a re a n d d i l i g e n c e b y t h e l a t t e r i n t h e p re p a ra t i o n o f a s u r ve y w h i c h f o r m e d t h e
source of obligation upon which the same is based as explained above. b a s i s f o r t h e c o n s t ru c t i o n o f a p e ri m e t e r f e n c e t h a t wa s l a t e r d i s c o v e r e d t o
4. Finally, the private offended party need not fear a forfeiture of his right to file this separate civil h a ve e n c ro a c h e d o n a r i g h t o f wa y.
action by prescription, in cases where during the prosecution of the criminal action and prior to its
extinction, the private-offended party instituted together therewith the civil action. In such case, the Th e f a c t s o f t h e c a s e , a s f o u n d b y t h e R TC a n d s u m m a ri ze d b y t h e CA ,
statute of limitations on the civil liability is deemed interrupted during the pendency of the criminal a re a s f o l l o ws :
case, conformably with provisions of Article 1155 21 of the Civil Code, that should thereby avoid
any apprehension on a possible privation of right by prescription. 22 Th e s p o u s e s L u z S a n P e d ro (L u z ) a n d K e n i c h i ro To mi n a g a
Applying this set of rules to the case at bench, we hold that the death of appellant Bayotas (K e n i c h i r o ) a r e t h e o w n e rs o f a p a rc e l o f l a n d , o n wh i c h t h e i r
extinguished his criminal liability and the civil liability based solely on the act complained of, i.e., h o u s e w a s e r e c t e d , d e s c ri b e d a s L o t 1 5 0 9 -C -3 wi t h a n a re a o f
rape. Consequently, the appeal is hereby dismissed without qualification. 700 s q u a re me t e rs situated in Baranga y Ma l i s ,
WHEREFORE, the appeal of the late Rogelio Bayotas is DISMISSED with costs de oficio.SO Gu i g u i n t o , B u l a c a n . S a i d p r o p e rt y wa s a c q u i r e d b y t h e m f ro m o n e
ORDERED. Gu i l l e r m o N a rc i s o a s e vi d e n c e d b y a B i l i h a n n g B a h a g i n g
L u p a d a t e d M a rc h 1 8 , 1 9 9 2 .
Th e s p o u s e s L u z a n d K e n i c h i ro t h e n c o n t ra c t e d t h e s e rvi c e s o f W HE RE FOR E , ju d g m e n t i s h e re b y r e n d e r e d i n f a vo r o f
Fr a n k B a t a l (F ra n k ) w h o r e p re s e n t e d h i ms e l f a s a s u r ve y o r t o p l a i n t i f f s a n d a g a i n s t d e f e n d a n t s , a s f o l l o ws :
c o n d u c t a s u r ve y o f t h e i r l o t f o r t h e s u m o f P 6 , 5 0 0 . 0 0 . A s L u z a n d
K e n i c h i ro w a n t e d t o e n c l o s e t h e i r p ro p e r t y, t h e y a g a i n p r o c u re d 1 . O rd e ri n g t h e d e f e n d a n t s [ p e t i t i o n e rs ] t o p a y t o p l a i n t i f f s
t h e s e r vi c e s o f F ra n k f o r a n a d d i t i o n a l f e e o f P 1 , 5 0 0 . 0 0 i n o r d e r [ re s p o n d e n t s ] the sum of P6,500.00 as refund for their
t o d e t e r mi n e t h e e x a c t b o u n d a ri e s o f t h e s a m e b y wh i c h t h e y wi l l p ro f e s s i o n a l f e e s b y re a s o n o f t h e e r ro n e o u s re l o c a t i o n s u r ve y o f
b a s e t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t h e i r p e ri m e t e r f e n c e . the property in question;

Co n s e q u e n t l y, F ra n k p l a c e d c o n c re t e m o n u m e n t s m a rk e d P . S . o n 2 . O rd e ri n g t h e d e f e n d a n t s t o p a y t o p l a i n t i f f s t h e s u m o f Th re e
a l l c o rn e rs o f t h e l o t w h i c h w e r e u s e d a s g u i d e s b y L u z a n d Hu n d r e d Th o u s a n d P e s o s ( P 3 0 0 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 ) a s a c t u a l d a m a g e s ;
K e n i c h i ro i n e re c t i n g a c o n c r e t e f e n c e m e a s u ri n g a b o u t e i g h t (8 )
feet in height and cost them P250,000.00 to build. 3 . O rd e ri n g t h e d e f e n d a n t s t o p a y to plaintiffs the sum
o f P 5 0 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 a s a t t o r n e ys f e e s ; a n d
S o me t i m e i n 1 9 9 6 , a c o mp l a i n t wa s l o d g e d a g a i n s t L u z a n d
K e n i c h i ro b e f o r e t h e b a ra n g a y o n t h e g ro u n d t h a t t h e n o rt h e rn 4 . O rd e ri n g t h e d e f e n d a n t s t o p a y t o p l a i n t i f f s t h e c o s t s o f t h i s
portion of their fence allegedly encroached upon a designated suit.
ri g h t - o f -w a y k n o w n a s L o t 1 5 0 9 -D . U p o n ve ri f i c a t i o n wi t h a n o t h e r
s u r ve y o r , L u z a n d K e n i c h i ro f o u n d t h a t t h e i r wa l l i n d e e d S O O RDE RE D. [ 4 ]
o v e rl a p p e d t h e a d jo i n i n g l o t . T h e y a l s o d i s c o v e re d t h a t i t wa s n o t
Fr a n k b u t h i s w i f e E r l i n d a B a t a l (E rl i n d a ), wh o i s a l i c e n s e d Re g a r d i n g t h e i s s u e w h e t h e r t h e p e t i t i o n e rs f a i l e d t o e x e rc i s e d u e c a re
g e o d e t i c e n g i n e e r. a n d d i l i g e n c e i n t h e c o n d u c t o f t h e r e s u r ve y wh i c h e ve n t u a l l y c a u s e d d a ma g e
t o t h e re s p o n d e n t s , t h e R TC h e l d :
Du ri n g t h e i r c o n f ro n t a t i o n s b e f o re t h e b a ra n g a y , F r a n k a d mi t t e d
t h a t h e ma d e a mi s t a k e a n d o f f e r e d t o s h a r e i n t h e e x p e n s e s f o r A s a g a i n s t t h e b a re a n d s e l f -s e r vi n g d e n i a l s o f t h e
t h e d e mo l i t i o n a n d re c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t h e q u e s t i o n e d p o rt i o n o f L u z [ p e t i t i o n e rs ] , t h e t e s t i m o n y o f [ re s p o n d e n t ] L u z S a n P e d r o t h a t
a n d K e n i c h i r o s f e n c e . H e h o w e ve r f a i l e d t o d e l i ve r o n h i s wo rd , s h e c o n s t ru c t e d t h e e n c r o a c h i n g p e ri m e t e r f e n c e i n q u e s t i o n
thus the filing of the instant suit. u s i n g a s g u i d e t h e c yc l o n e c o n c re t e mo n u m e n t s m a rk e d P . S . t h a t
we re i n s t a l l e d b y [ p e t i t i o n e r] F ra n k B a t a l a n d h i s s u r v e y t e a m , i s
I n t h e i r d e f e n s e , t h e d e f e n d a n t s -s p o u s e s F ra n k a n d E rl i n d a B a t a l m o r e c re d i b l e . A s t e s t i f i e d t o b y [ re s p o n d e n t ] L u z S a n P e d ro , s h e
s u b mi t t e d t h a t Fr a n k n e v e r re p re s e n t e d h i ms e l f t o b e a l i c e n s e d p ro c e e d e d wi t h t h e c o n s t ru c t i o n o f t h e p e ri m e t e r f e n c e i n
g e o d e t i c e n g i n e e r. I t w a s E rl i n d a w h o s u p e r v i s e d h e r h u s b a n d s q u e s t i o n u p o n a s s u r a n c e g i v e n b y [ p e t i t i o n e r] F r a n k B a t a l t h a t
wo rk [ a n d t ] h a t t h e h o u s e a n d l o t o f p l a i n t i f f s , L u z a n d K e n i c h i r o , s h e c o u l d a l re a d y d o s o a s t h e r e w e r e a l r e a d y c o n c re t e
we re a l r e a d y f e n c e d e ve n b e f o re t h e y w e r e c o n t ra c t e d t o d o a m o n u m e n t s p l a c e d o n t h e b o u n d a ri e s o f h e r p r o p e rt y x x x .
re s u r ve y o f t h e s a m e a n d t h e l a yi n g o u t o f t h e c o n c r e t e
m o n u m e n t s . Th e s p o u s e s F ra n k a n d E rl i n d a a l s o r e f u t e d t h e I t d o e s n o t ma t t e r t h a t t h e l o c a t i o n p l a n d a t e d Ma y 3 , 1 9 9 2
s p o u s e s L u zs a n d K e n i c h i ro s a l l e g a t i o n o f n e g l i g e n c e a n d (E x h i b i t B ) wa s l a t e r a p p ro ve d b y t h e DE NR, a s i t i s q u i t e
a v e r re d t h a t t h e s u b j e c t c o mp l a i n t wa s i n s t i t u t e d t o h a ra s s apparent that the mi s t a k e c o m mi t t e d by [petitioner]
them.[3] Fr a n k B a t a l p e r t a i n s t o t h e wr o n g l o c a t i o n s o f t h e c o n c re t e
m o n u m e n t s t h a t h e p l a c e d o n t h e s u b j e c t p ro p e rt y a n d wh i c h
we re u s e d o r re l i e d u p o n b y t h e [ re s p o n d e n t s ] i n p u t t i n g u p t h e
On Ma y 3 1 , 2 0 0 1 , t h e R T C r e n d e r e d i t s De c i s i o n , t h e d i s p o s i t i ve p o r t i o n o f f e n c e i n q u e s t i o n . S u c h mi s t a k e o r n e g l i g e n c e h a p p e n e d b e c a u s e
w h i c h re a d s : q u i t e o b vi o u s l y t h e i n s t a l l a t i o n o f s a i d c o n c r e t e m o n u m e n t s wa s
wi t h o u t t h e n e e d e d s u p e rvi s i o n o f [ re s p o n d e n t ] E rl i n d a B a t a l , t h e Th e C o u rt o f A p p e a l s e r re d i n r u l i n g i n f a vo r o f Re s p o n d e n t s b y
o n e t r u l y q u a l i f i e d t o s u p e r vi s e t h e s a me . x x x x p re m i s i n g i t s De c i s i o n o n [ a ] m i s a p p r e h e n s i o n o f f a c t s a m o u n t i n g
t o g ra v e a b u s e o f d i s c re t i o n . . . wh i c h i s a l s o a g ro u n d f o r a
Th e R T C f o u n d t h a t i n d e e d t h e p e ri m e t e r f e n c e c o n s t ru c t e d b y t h e P e t i t i o n f o r R e vi e w . [ 7 ]
re s p o n d e n t s encroached on the ri g h t - o f -wa y in question; that the
p re p o n d e ra n c e o f e vi d e n c e s u p p o rt s t h e f i n d i n g t h a t t h e e n c ro a c h me n t wa s
c a u s e d b y t h e n e g l i g e n c e o f t h e p e t i t i o n e rs ; t h a t , i n p a rt i c u l a r, r e s p o n d e n t s Th e p e t i t i o n m u s t f a i l .
c o n s t ru c t e d t h e f e n c e b a s e d o n t h e c o n c re t e c yc l o n e m o n u me n t s t h a t we re
i n s t a l l e d b y p e t i t i o n e r Fr a n k B a t a l a n d a f t e r h e g a ve h i s a s s u ra n c e t h a t t h e y Th e p e t i t i o n e rs i n s i s t t h a t t h e re h a d b e e n n o e r ro r i n t h e i r re s u r v e y, b u t ra t h e r,
c a n p ro c e e d a c c o rd i n g l y ; t h a t t h e n e g l i g e n c e i n t h e i n s t a l l a t i o n o f t h e t h e e r ro r o c c u rr e d i n re s p o n d e n t s f e n c i n g ; t h a t t h e p ro x i m a t e c a u s e o f t h e
m o n u m e n t s w a s d u e t o t h e f a c t t h a t p e t i t i o n e r E rl i n d a B a t a l , t h e o n e t ru l y d a ma g e h a d b e e n re s p o n d e n t s o wn n e g l i g e n c e s u c h t h a t t h e f e n c i n g wa s d o n e
q u a l i f i e d , d i d n o t p ro vi d e t h e n e e d e d s u p e r vi s i o n o ve r t h e wo rk ; a n d , l a s t l y , u n i l a t e r a l l y a n d s o l e l y b y t h e m wi t h o u t t h e p ri o r a p p ro v a l a n d s u p e r vi s i o n o f t h e
t h a t t h e t e s t i m o n i e s o f t h e p e t i t i o n e rs o n t h e w h o l e we re n o t c re d i b l e . p e t i t i o n e rs . A n d t o ju s t i f y t h e i r c a s e , t h e p e t i t i o n e rs a rg u e t h a t t h e c o u r t s a
q u o m i s a p p r e h e n d e d t h e f a c t s . A c c o rd i n g l y, t h e y a s k t h i s Co u rt t o re vi e w
Th e p e t i t i o n e rs a p p e a l e d t o t h e CA . On S e p t e mb e r 2 9 , 2 0 0 3 , t h e CA findings of fact.
re n d e re d i t s De c i s i o n a f f i rmi n g t h e R T C d e c i s i o n i n i t s e n t i re t y . [ 6 ]
I n c o n c u r ri n g w i t h t h e f i n d i n g s o f t h e R T C, t h e C A i n a d d i t i o n h e l d t h a t A re vi e w o f t h e f a c t u a l f i n d i n g s o f t h e CA a n d t h e RT C a re ma t t e rs n o t
t h e p e t i t i o n e rs c a n n o t c l a i m t h a t t h e e r ro r o f t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t h e f e n c e wa s o rd i n a ri l y re vi e wa b l e i n a p e t i t i o n f o r re vi e w o n c e rt i o ra ri . [ 8 ] W e l l -e s t a b l i s h e d i s
d u e t o t h e u n i l a t e r a l a c t o f re s p o n d e n t s i n b u i l d i n g t h e s a m e wi t h o u t t h e i r t h e ru l e t h a t f a c t u a l f i n d i n g s o f t h e t ri a l c o u r t a n d t h e CA a re e n t i t l e d t o g re a t
c o n s e n t , s i n c e t h e f o r m e r g a v e t h e i r wo r d t h a t t h e a r ra n g e m e n t o f t h e we i g h t a n d re s p e c t [ 9 ] a n d wi l l n o t b e d i s t u r b e d o n a p p e a l s a ve i n e x c e p t i o n a l
m o n u m e n t s o f t i t l e a c c u ra t e l y re f l e c t e d t h e b o u n d a ri e s o f t h e l o t ; a n d t h a t , a s a c i rc u ms t a n c e s , [ 1 0 ] n o n e o f w h i c h o b t a i n s i n t h e p re s e n t c a s e . Th i s C o u r t m u s t
re s u l t , t h e n o rt h e r n p o rt i o n o f t h e f e n c e h a d t o b e d e mo l i s h e d a n d re b u i l t i n s t re s s t h a t t h e f i n d i n g s o f f a c t o f t h e CA a re c o n c l u s i ve o n t h e p a rt i e s a n d c a r r y
o rd e r t o c o r re c t t h e e r r o r. e v e n m o r e w e i g h t w h e n t h e s e c o i n c i d e wi t h t h e f a c t u a l f i n d i n g s o f t h e t ri a l
court,[11] as in this case.
He n c e , t h e i n s t a n t P e t i t i o n a s s i g n i n g t h e f o l l o w i n g e r ro rs :
Th e Co u r t wi l l n o t we i g h t h e e vi d e n c e a l l o v e r a g a i n u n l e s s t h e re i s a
I. s h o wi n g t h a t t h e f i n d i n g s o f t h e l o w e r c o u rt a re t o t a l l y d e v o i d o f s u p p o r t o r a r e
c l e a rl y e r r o n e o u s s o a s t o c o n s t i t u t e s e r i o u s a b u s e o f d i s c r e t i o n . [ 1 2 ] Th e
Th e C o u rt o f A p p e a l s e r re d i n r u l i n g f o r t h e R e s p o n d e n t s a n d p e t i t i o n e rs f a i l e d t o d e m o n s t ra t e t h i s p o i n t . O n t h e c o n t ra r y, t h e f i n d i n g o f t h e
b a s i n g i t s d e c i s i o n [ o ] n t h e f o l l o w i n g ju ri s p ru d e n c e : c o u r t s a q u o t h a t t h e d a ma g e c a u s e d t o t h e r e s p o n d e n t s wa s d u e t o p e t i t i o n e rs
n e g l i g e n c e i s s u f f i c i e n t l y s u p p o rt e d b y t h e e vi d e n c e o n re c o r d . Fo r t h e s e
(a ) [ A ] p a rt y , h a vi n g p e rf o r me d a f f i rm a t i ve a c t s u p o n wh i c h re a s o n s , t h e p e t i t i o n e r ' s c o n t e n t i o n s b e a r n o i m p o rt .
a n o t h e r p e rs o n b a s e d h i s s u b s e q u e n t a c t i o n s , c a n n o t
t h e re a f t e r re f u t e h i s a c t s o r re n e g e o n t h e e f f e c t s o f t h e Cu l p a , o r n e g l i g e n c e , ma y b e u n d e rs t o o d i n t wo d i f f e re n t s e n s e s : e i t h e r
s a me , t o t h e p r e ju d i c e o f t h e l a t t e r. ( P u re z a vs . Co u rt o f a s c u l p a a q u i l i a n a , wh i c h i s t h e w ro n g f u l o r n e g l i g e n t a c t o r o mi s s i o n wh i c h
A p p e a l s , 2 9 0 S C R A 1 1 0 ); a n d c re a t e s a v i n c u l u m j u ri s a n d g i ve s ri s e t o a n o b l i g a t i o n b e t w e e n t w o p e rs o n s
n o t f o r ma l l y b o u n d b y a n y o t h e r o b l i g a t i o n , o r a s c u l p a c o n t r a c t u a l , w h i c h i s t h e
(b ) Fi n d i n g s o f f a c t m a d e b y t h e t ri a l c o u rt [ a re ] e n t i t l e d t o f a u l t o r n e g l i g e n c e i n c i d e n t i n t h e p e rf o r ma n c e o f a n o b l i g a t i o n w h i c h a l re a d y
g re a t w e i g h t a n d re s p e c t . (L o p e z vs . Co u r t o f A p p e a l s , 3 2 2 e x i s t e d , a n d w h i c h i n c re a s e s t h e l i a b i l i t y f r o m s u c h a l re a d y e x i s t i n g
S CRA 6 8 6 ) . o b l i g a t i o n . [ 1 3 ] C u l p a a q u i l i a n a i s g o ve rn e d b y A rt i c l e 2 1 7 6 o f t h e Ci vi l Co d e a n d
t h e i m me d i a t e l y f o l l o wi n g A rt i c l e s ; w h i l e c u l p a c o n t r a c t u a l i s g o ve rn e d b y
II. A rt i c l e s 1 1 7 0 t o 1 1 7 4 o f t h e s a m e Co d e . [ 1 4 ]
A rt i c l e s 1 1 7 0 a n d 1 1 7 3 p ro vi d e : p ro p e rt y u p o n wh i c h t h e y wi l l b a s e t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t h e i r
f e n c e . I t w a s a l s o s h o w n t h a t i n t h e c o u rs e o f t h e re s u r ve y , F r a n k
A RT . 1 1 7 0 . Th o s e w h o i n t h e p e rf o r ma n c e o f t h e i r c a u s e d t h e i n s t a l l a t i o n o f mo n u m e n t s o f t i t l e o n t h e f o u r ( 4 )
o b l i g a t i o n s a re g u i l t y o f f ra u d , n e g l i g e n c e , o r d e l a y , a n d t h o s e c o rn e rs o f L u z a n d K e n i c h i ro s p ro p e r t y a n d t h a t h e i n s t ru c t e d
wh o i n a n y ma n n e r c o n t r a ve n e t h e t e n o r t h e re o f , a re l i a b l e f o r t h e m t o ju s t f o l l o w t h e s a me i n b u i l d i n g t h e i r f e n c e .
d a ma g e s .
[ P e t i t i o n e rs ] F ra n k a n d E rl i n d a c a n n o t t h u s v a l i d l y c l a i m t h a t t h e
A RT . 1 1 7 3 . Th e f a u l t o r n e g l i g e n c e o f t h e o b l i g o r c o n s i s t s e r ro r i n t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t h e n o rt h e rn p o rt i o n o f t h e f e n c e wa s
i n t h e o mi s s i o n o f t h a t d i l i g e n c e w h i c h i s r e q u i re d b y t h e n a t u r e d u e t o t h e s p o u s e s L u z a n d K e n i c h i ro s a c t o f b u i l d i n g t h e s a m e
o f t h e o b l i g a t i o n a n d c o r re s p o n d s wi t h t h e c i rc u ms t a n c e s o f t h e wi t h o u t t h e i r c o n s e n t . Th i s i s c o n s i d e ri n g t h a t t h e f o r m e r l e d t h e
p e rs o n s , o f t h e t i m e a n d o f t h e p l a c e . W h e n n e g l i g e n c e s h o ws l a t t e r t o b e l i e v e t h e p u r p o rt e d a c c u r a c y o f t h e re s u r ve y a n d
b a d f a i t h , t h e p r o vi s i o n s o f a rt i c l e s 1 1 7 1 a n d 2 2 0 2 , p a ra g ra p h 2 , e x a c t n e s s o f t h e l o t s b o u n d a ri e s b a s e d o n t h e m o n u m e n t s o f t i t l e
s h a l l a p p l y. wh i c h t h e y i n s t a l l e d .
I t h a s b e e n r u l e d t h a t [ A ] p a r t y , h a vi n g p e rf o r m e d a f f i rm a t i ve a c t s
I f t h e l a w o r c o n t ra c t d o e s n o t s t a t e t h e d i l i g e n c e wh i c h i s u p o n wh i c h a n o t h e r p e rs o n b a s e d h i s s u b s e q u e n t a c t i o n s , c a n n o t
t o b e o b s e r ve d i n t h e p e rf o r ma n c e , t h a t wh i c h i s e x p e c t e d o f a t h e re a f t e r r e f u t e h i s a c t s o r re n e g e o n t h e e f f e c t s o f t h e s a me , t o
g o o d f a t h e r o f a f a mi l y s h a l l b e re q u i r e d . t h e p re ju d i c e o f t h e l a t t e r. ( P u re za v . Co u r t o f A p p e a l s , 2 9 0
S CRA 1 1 0 )
I n t h e p re s e n t c a s e , i t i s c l e a r t h a t t h e p e t i t i o n e rs , i n c a r r yi n g o u t t h e i r
c o n t ra c t u a l o b l i g a t i o n s , f a i l e d t o e x e rc i s e t h e re q u i s i t e d i l i g e n c e i n t h e Th e f o re g o i n g c l e a rl y s u p p o rt s t h e f i n d i n g s o f t h e R TC t h a t t h e
p l a c e m e n t o f t h e m a r k i n g s f o r t h e c o n c r e t e p e ri m e t e r f e n c e t h a t w a s l a t e r s p o u s e s B a t a l c o m mi t t e d a mi s t a k e i n t h e c o n d u c t o f t h e i r
c o n s t ru c t e d . T h e p l a c e m e n t o f t h e m a rk i n g s h a d b e e n d o n e s o l e l y b y p e t i t i o n e r b u s i n e s s t h a t l e d t o t h e e n c r o a c h m e n t o f p l a i n t i f f s -a p p e l l e e s
Fr a n k B a t a l w h o i s n o t a g e o d e t i c e n g i n e e r. I t wa s l a t e r d i s c o ve re d t h a t i t wa s f e n c e o n t h e a d jo i n i n g a l l e y -l o t . A s a r e s u l t , t h e n o rt h e r n p o r t i o n
n o t h e b u t h i s w i f e , p e t i t i o n e r E rl i n d a B a t a l , w h o i s t h e l i c e n s e d g e o d e t i c h a [ d ] t o b e t o r n d o wn a n d r e b u i l t i n o r d e r t o c o r re c t t h e e rr o r i n
e n g i n e e r a n d w h o i s , t h e re f o re , t h e o n e q u a l i f i e d t o d o t h e w o rk . P e t i t i o n e r i t s o ri g i n a l c o n s t r u c t i o n . Th e d e f e n d a n t s -a p p e l l a n t s c a n n o t b e
Fr a n k B a t a l s i n s t a l l a t i o n o f t h e c o n c r e t e c y c l o n e m o n u m e n t s h a d b e e n d o n e e x c u s e d f ro m t h e e f f e c t s o f t h e i r a c t i o n s i n t h e s u r ve y o f
w i t h o u t t h e a d e q u a t e s u p e r vi s i o n o f h i s wi f e , E rl i n d a . A s a r e s u l t , t h e p l a i n t i f f s -a p p e l l e e s l o t .
p l a c e m e n t o f t h e mo n u m e n t s d i d n o t a c c u ra t e l y re f l e c t t h e d i m e n s i o n s o f t h e
l o t . Th e re s p o n d e n t s , u p o n a s s u ra n c e g i v e n b y p e t i t i o n e r Fr a n k B a t a l t h a t t h e y W e t h e re f o re c o n c u r w i t h t h e f i n d i n g s o f t h e RT C h o l d i n g
c o u l d p r o c e e d w i t h t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t h e p e ri m e t e r f e n c e b y r e l y i n g o n t h e d e f e n d a n t s -a p p e l l a n t s l i a b l e f o r d a m a g e s i n t h e c a s e a t
p u r p o rt e d a c c u ra c y o f t h e p l a c e me n t o f t h e mo n u m e n t s , e re c t e d t h e i r f e n c e b a r . Fi n d i n g s o f f a c t m a d e b y t h e t ri a l c o u r t i s e n t i t l e d t o g re a t
which turned out to encroach on an adjacent easement. Because of the we i g h t a n d re s p e c t . ( L o p e z v . C o u rt o f A p p e a l s , 3 2 2 S CRA
e n c r o a c h m e n t , t h e r e s p o n d e n t s h a d t o d e mo l i s h a n d r e c o n s t ru c t t h e f e n c e a n d , 686)[15]
t h u s , s u f f e re d d a m a g e s .

Th e C o u rt a f f i rms a n d a d o p t s t h e f i n d i n g s o f t h e CA , t o wi t : B e i n g g u i l t y o f a b r e a c h o f t h e i r c o n t ra c t , p e t i t i o n e rs a re l i a b l e f o r
d a ma g e s s u f f e re d b y t h e re s p o n d e n t s i n a c c o rd a n c e wi t h A rt i c l e s 1 1 7 0 a n d
Re c o rd s s h o w t h a t t h e s e rvi c e s o f t h e [ p e t i t i o n e rs ] F ra n k a n d 2 2 0 1 o f t h e Ci vi l C o d e , [ 1 6 ] w h i c h s t a t e :
E rl i n d a w e re i n i t i a l l y c o n t ra c t e d t o s e g r e g a t e L u z a n d K e n i c h i ro s
p ro p e rt y f ro m i t s a d jo i n i n g l o t s .W h e n t h e [ r e s p o n d e n t ] s p o u s e s A rt . 1 1 7 0 . Th o s e w h o i n t h e p e rf o r m a n c e o f t h e i r
L u z a n d K e n i c h i ro p l a n n e d t o f e n c e t h e s e g re g a t e d l o t , t h e y a g a i n o b l i g a t i o n s a re g u i l t y o f f ra u d , n e g l i g e n c e , o r d e l a y a n d t h o s e
c o m mi s s i o n e d [ p e t i t i o n e rs ] F ra n k a n d E rl i n d a t o c o n d u c t a wh o i n a n y ma n n e r c o n t r a ve n e t h e t e n o r t h e re o f a r e l i a b l e f o r
re s u r ve y i n o r d e r t o d e t e r mi n e t h e p r e c i s e b o u n d a ri e s o f t h e i r d a ma g e s
a s d e f e n d a n t s , p a r t i c u l a rl y d e f e n d a n t F ra n k B a t a l , f a i l e d a n d
A rt . 2 2 0 1 . I n c o n t ra c t s a n d q u a s i -c o n t r a c t s , t h e d a m a g e s re f u s e d re p e a t e d l y t o e ve n a t t e n d t h e c o n f ro n t a t i o n o f c o n c i l i a t i o n
for which the obligor who acted in good faith is liable shall b e meetings a r ra n g e d b e t we e n him and the p laintiffs by
t h o s e t h a t a re t h e n a t u r a l a n d p ro b a b l e c o n s e q u e n c e s o f t h e t h e b a ra n g a y a u t h o ri t i e s c o n c e rn e d , a n d t o h o n o r h i s p ro mi s e t o
b re a c h o f t h e o b l i g a t i o n , a n d w h i c h t h e p a rt i e s h a ve f o re s e e n o r h e l p i n s h o u l d e ri n g t h e c o s t o f r e c o n s t r u c t i n g t h e f e n c e i n
could have reasonably foreseen at the time the obligation was question.
constituted.
On t h e o t h e r h a n d , t h e re i s n o l e g a l o r f a c t u a l b a s e s f o r
I n c a s e o f f ra u d , b a d f a i t h , ma l i c e o r wa n t o n a t t i t u d e , t h e t h e c l a i m o f t h e p l a i n t i f f s f o r mo ra l o r e x e m p l a r y d a m a g e s a s
o b l i g o r s h a l l b e r e s p o n s i b l e f o r a l l d a m a g e s wh i c h ma y b e t h e re wa s n o s h o wi n g a t a l l t h a t d e f e n d a n t s a c t e d wi t h ma l i c e o r
re a s o n a b l y a t t ri b u t e d t o t h e n o n -p e rf o r ma n c e o f t h e o b l i g a t i o n . in bad faith.

Th u s , t h e C o u r t a g re e s w i t h t h e CA s a f f i r ma n c e o f t h e f i n d i n g s o f t h e I n a l o n g l i n e o f c a s e s , we h a ve c o n s i s t e n t l y
R T C o n t h e ma t t e r o f d a ma g e s , t o w i t : ru l e d t h a t i n t h e a b s e n c e o f a w ro n g f u l a c t o r
o mi s s i o n o r o f f ra u d o r b a d f a i t h , mo ra l d a m a g e s
Go i n g n o w t o t h e c l a i m s f o r d a m a g e s , E n g r. A rn o l d Ma rt i n c a n n o t b e a w a r d e d . (R & B S u r e t y I n s u ra n c e Co . v.
t e s t i f i e d o n h i s c o mp u t a t i o n a n d e s t i m a t e (E x h i b i t s G a n d G -1 ) Intermediate Co u rt of Appeals, 129 S CRA
t h a t t h e t o t a l c o s t f o r t h e d e m o l i t i o n a n d re c o n s t ru c t i o n o f t h e 7 3 6 ; Gu i t a v. Co u rt o f A p p e a l s , 1 3 9 S C RA 5 7 6 ). [ 1 7 ]
p e ri m e t e r f e n c e i n q u e s t i o n w o u l d b e i n t h e t o t a l a m o u n t
of P428,163.90, and this was not at all disputed by the W HE RE FO R E , t h e i n s t a n t p e t i t i o n i s DE NI E D a n d t h e a s s a i l e d D e c i s i o n
d e f e n d a n t s , w h o s e c o u n s e l w a i v e d c r o s s -e x a mi n a t i o n . Th i s a n d Re s o l u t i o n o f t h e C o u r t o f A p p e a l s a re AF FI RM E D .
e s t i ma t e i s p r a c t i c a l l y d o u b l e t h e a m o u n t o f t h e c o s t o f
c o n s t ru c t i n g s a i d f e n c e a s t e s t i f i e d t o b y p l a i n t i f f L u z S a n P e d ro Co s t s a g a i n s t p e t i t i o n e rs . S O O RDE RE D .
a s s h e wa s t o l d t h a t i t i s m u c h c o s t l i e r t o d e mo l i s h a n d
re c o n s t ru c t a f e n c e t h a n t o s i m p l y e r e c t o n e b e c a u s e o f t h e [G.R. No. 122039. May 31, 2000]
a d d e d e x p e n s e i n vo l v e d i n t e a ri n g i t d o w n a n d h a u l i n g i t s VICENTE CALALAS, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ELIZA JUJEURCHE SUNGA and
d e b ri s . O n t h e o t h e r h a n d , s a i d p l a i n t i f f s t a t e d t h a t t h e i ro n FRANCISCO SALVA, respondents.
d e c o ra t i v e g ri l l s o f t h e f e n c e , w h i c h i s re -u s a b l e , c o s t D E C I S I ON
h e r P 5 0 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 , a n d i t i s o n l y p ro p e r t o d e d u c t s a i d a m o u n t f ro m MENDOZA, J.:
t h e t o t a l c o s t o f r e c o n s t ru c t i n g t h e f e n c e i n q u e s t i o n . A t t h e s a m e This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision[1] of the Court of Appeals, dated March 31,
t i me , s o me f i g u r e s i n t h e s a i d e s t i ma t e a p p e a r t o b e q u i t e 1991, reversing the contrary decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 36, Dumaguete City, and
e x c e s s i v e , s u c h a s t h e e s t i ma t e d c o s t f o r d e m o l i t i o n wh i c h wa s awarding damages instead to private respondent Eliza Jujeurche Sunga as plaintiff in an action for
q u o t e d a t P 2 5 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 i n a d d i t i o n t o t h e a m o u n t o f e x c a va t i o n breach of contract of carriage.
p ri c e d a t P 3 0 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 a n d t h e c o s t o f h a u l i n g o f s c ra p m a t e ri a l s The facts, as found by the Court of Appeals, are as follows:
a t P 1 0 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 . Th e c o u rt b e l i e ve s t h a t t h e s u m o f P 3 0 0 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 At 10 oclock in the morning of August 23, 1989, private respondent Eliza Jujeurche G. Sunga,
f o r t h e d e mo l i t i o n a n d re c o n s t ru c t i o n o f t h e f e n c e i n q u e s t i o n then a college freshman majoring in Physical Education at the Siliman University, took a
wo u l d b e r e a s o n a b l e c o n s i d e ri n g t h a t t h e o ri g i n a l c o s t f o r i t s passenger jeepney owned and operated by petitioner Vicente Calalas. As the jeepney was filled to
c o n s t ru c t i o n w a s o n l y a b o u t P 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 , a n d c o n s i d e ri n g f u rt h e r capacity of about 24 passengers, Sunga was given by the conductor an "extension seat," a
t h a t i t s i ro n g ri l l s a re r e -u s a b l e . wooden stool at the back of the door at the rear end of the vehicle. Sclaw
On the way to Poblacion Sibulan, Negros Occidental, the jeepney stopped to let a passenger off.
Th e p l a i n t i f f s a re l i k e w i s e e n t i t l e d t o r e c o v e r a t t o r n e ys As she was seated at the rear of the vehicle, Sunga gave way to the outgoing passenger. Just as
f e e s c o n s i d e ri n g t h a t t h e y w e re c o mp e l l e d b y t h e d e f e n d a n t s t o she was doing so, an Isuzu truck driven by Iglecerio Verena and owned by Francisco Salva
re s o rt t o c o u rt a c t i o n i n o rd e r t o p r o t e c t t h e i r ri g h t s a n d i n t e re s t , bumped the left rear portion of the jeepney. As a result, Sunga was injured. She sustained a
fracture of the "distal third of the left tibia-fibula with severe necrosis of the underlying skin." second, breach of contract or culpa contractual, is premised upon the negligence in the
Closed reduction of the fracture, long leg circular casting, and case wedging were done under performance of a contractual obligation.
sedation. Her confinement in the hospital lasted from August 23 to September 7, 1989. Her Consequently, in quasi-delict, the negligence or fault should be clearly established because it is
attending physician, Dr. Danilo V. Oligario, an orthopedic surgeon, certified she would remain on a the basis of the action, whereas in breach of contract, the action can be prosecuted merely by
cast for a period of three months and would have to ambulate in crutches during said period. proving the existence of the contract and the fact that the obligor, in this case the common carrier,
On October 9, 1989, Sunga filed a complaint for damages against Calalas, alleging violation of the failed to transport his passenger safely to his destination.[2] In case of death or injuries to
contract of carriage by the former in failing to exercise the diligence required of him as a common passengers, Art. 1756 of the Civil Code provides that common carriers are presumed to have
carrier. Calalas, on the other hand, filed a third-party complaint against Francisco Salva, the owner been at fault or to have acted negligently unless they prove that they observed extraordinary
of the Isuzu truck. Korte diligence as defined in Arts. 1733 and 1755 of the Code. This provision necessarily shifts to the
The lower court rendered judgment against Salva as third-party defendant and absolved Calalas common carrier the burden of proof. Slxmis
of liability, holding that it was the driver of the Isuzu truck who was responsible for the accident. It There is, thus, no basis for the contention that the ruling in Civil Case No. 3490, finding Salva and
took cognizance of another case (Civil Case No. 3490), filed by Calalas against Salva and Verena, his driver Verena liable for the damage to petitioners jeepney, should be binding on Sunga. It is
for quasi-delict, in which Branch 37 of the same court held Salva and his driver Verena jointly immaterial that the proximate cause of the collision between the jeepney and the truck was the
liable to Calalas for the damage to his jeepney. Rtcspped negligence of the truck driver. The doctrine of proximate cause is applicable only in actions for
On appeal to the Court of Appeals, the ruling of the lower court was reversed on the ground that quasi-delict, not in actions involving breach of contract. The doctrine is a device for imputing
Sungas cause of action was based on a contract of carriage, not quasi-delict, and that the liability to a person where there is no relation between him and another party. In such a case, the
common carrier failed to exercise the diligence required under the Civil Code. The appellate court obligation is created by law itself. But, where there is a pre-existing contractual relation between
dismissed the third-party complaint against Salva and adjudged Calalas liable for damages to the parties, it is the parties themselves who create the obligation, and the function of the law is
Sunga. The dispositive portion of its decision reads: merely to regulate the relation thus created. Insofar as contracts of carriage are concerned, some
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby REVERSED and SET aspects regulated by the Civil Code are those respecting the diligence required of common
ASIDE, and another one is entered ordering defendant-appellee Vicente Calalas carriers with regard to the safety of passengers as well as the presumption of negligence in cases
to pay plaintiff-appellant: of death or injury to passengers. It provides: Slxsc
(1) P50,000.00 as actual and compensatory damages; Art. 1733. Common carriers, from the nature of their business and for reasons of
(2) P50,000.00 as moral damages; public policy, are bound to observe extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over
(3) P10,000.00 as attorneys fees; and the goods and for the safety of the passengers transported by them, according to
(4) P1,000.00 as expenses of litigation; and all the circumstances of each case.
(5) to pay the costs. Such extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods is further expressed
SO ORDERED. in articles 1734, 1735, and 1746, Nos. 5,6, and 7, while the extraordinary
Hence, this petition. Petitioner contends that the ruling in Civil Case No. 3490 that the negligence diligence for the safety of the passengers is further set forth in articles 1755 and
of Verena was the proximate cause of the accident negates his liability and that to rule otherwise 1756.
would be to make the common carrier an insurer of the safety of its passengers. He contends that Art. 1755. A common carrier is bound to carry the passengers safely as far as
the bumping of the jeepney by the truck owned by Salva was a caso fortuito. Petitioner further human care and foresight can provide, using the utmost diligence of very
assails the award of moral damages to Sunga on the ground that it is not supported by cautious persons, with due regard for all the circumstances.
evidence. Sdaadsc Art. 1756. In case of death of or injuries to passengers, common carriers are
The petition has no merit. presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently, unless they prove
The argument that Sunga is bound by the ruling in Civil Case No. 3490 finding the driver and the that they observed extraordinary diligence as prescribed by articles 1733 and
owner of the truck liable for quasi-delict ignores the fact that she was never a party to that case 1755.
and, therefore, the principle of res judicata does not apply. Missdaa In the case at bar, upon the happening of the accident, the presumption of negligence at once
Nor are the issues in Civil Case No. 3490 and in the present case the same. The issue in Civil arose, and it became the duty of petitioner to prove that he had to observe extraordinary diligence
Case No. 3490 was whether Salva and his driver Verena were liable for quasi-delict for the in the care of his passengers. Scslx
damage caused to petitioners jeepney. On the other hand, the issue in this case is whether Now, did the driver of jeepney carry Sunga "safely as far as human care and foresight could
petitioner is liable on his contract of carriage. The first, quasi-delict, also known as culpa provide, using the utmost diligence of very cautious persons, with due regard for all the
aquiliana or culpa extra contractual, has as its source the negligence of the tortfeasor. The
circumstances" as required by Art. 1755? We do not think so. Several factors militate against side." She likewise decided not to further pursue Physical Education as her major
petitioners contention. Slx subject, because "my left leg x x x has a defect already."
First, as found by the Court of Appeals, the jeepney was not properly parked, its rear portion being Those are her physical pains and moral sufferings, the inevitable bedfellows of
exposed about two meters from the broad shoulders of the highway, and facing the middle of the the injuries that she suffered. Under Article 2219 of the Civil Code, she is entitled
highway in a diagonal angle. This is a violation of the R.A. No. 4136, as amended, or the Land to recover moral damages in the sum of P50,000.00, which is fair, just and
Transportation and Traffic Code, which provides: reasonable.
Sec. 54. Obstruction of Traffic. - No person shall drive his motor vehicle in such a As a general rule, moral damages are not recoverable in actions for damages predicated on a
manner as to obstruct or impede the passage of any vehicle, nor, while breach of contract for it is not one of the items enumerated under Art. 2219 of the Civil Code. [5]As
discharging or taking on passengers or loading or unloading freight, obstruct the an exception, such damages are recoverable: (1) in cases in which the mishap results in the death
free passage of other vehicles on the highway. of a passenger, as provided in Art. 1764, in relation to Art. 2206(3) of the Civil Code; and (2) in the
Second, it is undisputed that petitioners driver took in more passengers than the allowed seating cases in which the carrier is guilty of fraud or bad faith, as provided in Art. 2220.[6]
capacity of the jeepney, a violation of 32(a) of the same law. It provides: Mesm In this case, there is no legal basis for awarding moral damages since there was no factual finding
Exceeding registered capacity. - No person operating any motor vehicle shall by the appellate court that petitioner acted in bad faith in the performance of the contract of
allow more passengers or more freight or cargo in his vehicle than its registered carriage. Sungas contention that petitioners admission in open court that the driver of the jeepney
capacity. failed to assist her in going to a nearby hospital cannot be construed as an admission of bad faith.
The fact that Sunga was seated in an "extension seat" placed her in a peril greater than that to The fact that it was the driver of the Isuzu truck who took her to the hospital does not imply that
which the other passengers were exposed. Therefore, not only was petitioner unable to overcome petitioner was utterly indifferent to the plight of his injured passenger. If at all, it is merely implied
the presumption of negligence imposed on him for the injury sustained by Sunga, but also, the recognition by Verena that he was the one at fault for the accident. Exsm
evidence shows he was actually negligent in transporting passengers. Calrky WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals, dated March 31, 1995, and its resolution,
We find it hard to give serious thought to petitioners contention that Sungas taking an "extension dated September 11, 1995, are AFFIRMED, with the MODIFICATION that the award of moral
seat" amounted to an implied assumption of risk. It is akin to arguing that the injuries to the many damages is DELETED.
victims of the tragedies in our seas should not be compensated merely because those passengers SO ORDERED.
assumed a greater risk of drowning by boarding an overloaded ferry. This is also true of petitioners G.R. No. L-12191 October 14, 1918
contention that the jeepney being bumped while it was improperly parked constitutes caso fortuito. JOSE CANGCO, plaintiff-appellant,
A caso fortuito is an event which could not be foreseen, or which, though foreseen, was vs.
inevitable.[3] This requires that the following requirements be present: (a) the cause of the breach MANILA RAILROAD CO., defendant-appellee.
is independent of the debtors will; (b) the event is unforeseeable or unavoidable; (c) the event is Ramon Sotelo for appellant.
such as to render it impossible for the debtor to fulfill his obligation in a normal manner, and (d) the Kincaid & Hartigan for appellee.
debtor did not take part in causing the injury to the creditor.[4]Petitioner should have foreseen the FISHER, J.:
danger of parking his jeepney with its body protruding two meters into the highway. Kycalr At the time of the occurrence which gave rise to this litigation the plaintiff, Jose Cangco, was in the
Finally, petitioner challenges the award of moral damages alleging that it is excessive and without employment of Manila Railroad Company in the capacity of clerk, with a monthly wage of P25. He
basis in law. We find this contention well taken. lived in the pueblo of San Mateo, in the province of Rizal, which is located upon the line of the
In awarding moral damages, the Court of Appeals stated: Kyle defendant railroad company; and in coming daily by train to the company's office in the city of
Plaintiff-appellant at the time of the accident was a first-year college student in Manila where he worked, he used a pass, supplied by the company, which entitled him to ride
that school year 1989-1990 at the Silliman University, majoring in Physical upon the company's trains free of charge. Upon the occasion in question, January 20, 1915, the
Education. Because of the injury, she was not able to enroll in the second plaintiff arose from his seat in the second class-car where he was riding and, making, his exit
semester of that school year. She testified that she had no more intention of through the door, took his position upon the steps of the coach, seizing the upright guardrail with
continuing with her schooling, because she could not walk and decided not to his right hand for support.
pursue her degree, major in Physical Education "because of my leg which has a On the side of the train where passengers alight at the San Mateo station there is a cement
defect already." platform which begins to rise with a moderate gradient some distance away from the company's
Plaintiff-appellant likewise testified that even while she was under confinement, office and extends along in front of said office for a distance sufficient to cover the length of
she cried in pain because of her injured left foot. As a result of her injury, the several coaches. As the train slowed down another passenger, named Emilio Zuñiga, also an
Orthopedic Surgeon also certified that she has "residual bowing of the fracture employee of the railroad company, got off the same car, alighting safely at the point where the
platform begins to rise from the level of the ground. When the train had proceeded a little farther It is important to note that the foundation of the legal liability of the defendant is the contract of
the plaintiff Jose Cangco stepped off also, but one or both of his feet came in contact with a sack carriage, and that the obligation to respond for the damage which plaintiff has suffered arises, if at
of watermelons with the result that his feet slipped from under him and he fell violently on the all, from the breach of that contract by reason of the failure of defendant to exercise due care in its
platform. His body at once rolled from the platform and was drawn under the moving car, where performance. That is to say, its liability is direct and immediate, differing essentially, in legal
his right arm was badly crushed and lacerated. It appears that after the plaintiff alighted from the viewpoint from that presumptive responsibility for the negligence of its servants, imposed by article
train the car moved forward possibly six meters before it came to a full stop. 1903 of the Civil Code, which can be rebutted by proof of the exercise of due care in their
The accident occurred between 7 and 8 o'clock on a dark night, and as the railroad station was selection and supervision. Article 1903 of the Civil Code is not applicable to obligations arising ex
lighted dimly by a single light located some distance away, objects on the platform where the contractu, but only to extra-contractual obligations — or to use the technical form of expression,
accident occurred were difficult to discern especially to a person emerging from a lighted car. that article relates only to culpa aquiliana and not to culpa contractual.
The explanation of the presence of a sack of melons on the platform where the plaintiff alighted is Manresa (vol. 8, p. 67) in his commentaries upon articles 1103 and 1104 of the Civil Code, clearly
found in the fact that it was the customary season for harvesting these melons and a large lot had points out this distinction, which was also recognized by this Court in its decision in the case of
been brought to the station for the shipment to the market. They were contained in numerous Rakes vs. Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Co. (7 Phil. rep., 359). In commenting upon article 1093
sacks which has been piled on the platform in a row one upon another. The testimony shows that Manresa clearly points out the difference between "culpa, substantive and independent, which of
this row of sacks was so placed of melons and the edge of platform; and it is clear that the fall of itself constitutes the source of an obligation between persons not formerly connected by any legal
the plaintiff was due to the fact that his foot alighted upon one of these melons at the moment he tie" and culpa considered as an accident in the performance of an obligation already existing . . . ."
stepped upon the platform. His statement that he failed to see these objects in the darkness is In the Rakes case (supra) the decision of this court was made to rest squarely upon the
readily to be credited. proposition that article 1903 of the Civil Code is not applicable to acts of negligence which
The plaintiff was drawn from under the car in an unconscious condition, and it appeared that the constitute the breach of a contract.
injuries which he had received were very serious. He was therefore brought at once to a certain Upon this point the Court said:
hospital in the city of Manila where an examination was made and his arm was amputated. The The acts to which these articles [1902 and 1903 of the Civil Code] are applicable are
result of this operation was unsatisfactory, and the plaintiff was then carried to another hospital understood to be those not growing out of pre-existing duties of the parties to one
where a second operation was performed and the member was again amputated higher up near another. But where relations already formed give rise to duties, whether springing from
the shoulder. It appears in evidence that the plaintiff expended the sum of P790.25 in the form of contract or quasi-contract, then breaches of those duties are subject to article 1101, 1103,
medical and surgical fees and for other expenses in connection with the process of his curation. and 1104 of the same code. (Rakes vs. Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Co., 7 Phil. Rep., 359 at
Upon August 31, 1915, he instituted this proceeding in the Court of First Instance of the city of 365.)
Manila to recover damages of the defendant company, founding his action upon the negligence of This distinction is of the utmost importance. The liability, which, under the Spanish law, is, in
the servants and employees of the defendant in placing the sacks of melons upon the platform certain cases imposed upon employers with respect to damages occasioned by the negligence of
and leaving them so placed as to be a menace to the security of passenger alighting from the their employees to persons to whom they are not bound by contract, is not based, as in the
company's trains. At the hearing in the Court of First Instance, his Honor, the trial judge, found the English Common Law, upon the principle of respondeat superior — if it were, the master would be
facts substantially as above stated, and drew therefrom his conclusion to the effect that, although liable in every case and unconditionally — but upon the principle announced in article 1902 of the
negligence was attributable to the defendant by reason of the fact that the sacks of melons were Civil Code, which imposes upon all persons who by their fault or negligence, do injury to another,
so placed as to obstruct passengers passing to and from the cars, nevertheless, the plaintiff the obligation of making good the damage caused. One who places a powerful automobile in the
himself had failed to use due caution in alighting from the coach and was therefore precluded form hands of a servant whom he knows to be ignorant of the method of managing such a vehicle, is
recovering. Judgment was accordingly entered in favor of the defendant company, and the plaintiff himself guilty of an act of negligence which makes him liable for all the consequences of his
appealed. imprudence. The obligation to make good the damage arises at the very instant that the unskillful
It can not be doubted that the employees of the railroad company were guilty of negligence in servant, while acting within the scope of his employment causes the injury. The liability of the
piling these sacks on the platform in the manner above stated; that their presence caused the master is personal and direct. But, if the master has not been guilty of any negligence whatever in
plaintiff to fall as he alighted from the train; and that they therefore constituted an effective legal the selection and direction of the servant, he is not liable for the acts of the latter, whatever done
cause of the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. It necessarily follows that the defendant company is within the scope of his employment or not, if the damage done by the servant does not amount to
liable for the damage thereby occasioned unless recovery is barred by the plaintiff's own a breach of the contract between the master and the person injured.
contributory negligence. In resolving this problem it is necessary that each of these conceptions of It is not accurate to say that proof of diligence and care in the selection and control of the servant
liability, to-wit, the primary responsibility of the defendant company and the contributory relieves the master from liability for the latter's acts — on the contrary, that proof shows that the
negligence of the plaintiff should be separately examined. responsibility has never existed. As Manresa says (vol. 8, p. 68) the liability arising from extra-
contractual culpa is always based upon a voluntary act or omission which, without willful intent, but Every legal obligation must of necessity be extra-contractual or contractual. Extra-contractual
by mere negligence or inattention, has caused damage to another. A master who exercises all obligation has its source in the breach or omission of those mutual duties which civilized society
possible care in the selection of his servant, taking into consideration the qualifications they should imposes upon it members, or which arise from these relations, other than contractual, of certain
possess for the discharge of the duties which it is his purpose to confide to them, and directs them members of society to others, generally embraced in the concept of status. The legal rights of
with equal diligence, thereby performs his duty to third persons to whom he is bound by no each member of society constitute the measure of the corresponding legal duties, mainly negative
contractual ties, and he incurs no liability whatever if, by reason of the negligence of his servants, in character, which the existence of those rights imposes upon all other members of society. The
even within the scope of their employment, such third person suffer damage. True it is that under breach of these general duties whether due to willful intent or to mere inattention, if productive of
article 1903 of the Civil Code the law creates a presumption that he has been negligent in the injury, give rise to an obligation to indemnify the injured party. The fundamental distinction
selection or direction of his servant, but the presumption is rebuttable and yield to proof of due between obligations of this character and those which arise from contract, rests upon the fact that
care and diligence in this respect. in cases of non-contractual obligation it is the wrongful or negligent act or omission itself which
The supreme court of Porto Rico, in interpreting identical provisions, as found in the Porto Rico creates the vinculum juris, whereas in contractual relations the vinculum exists independently of
Code, has held that these articles are applicable to cases of extra-contractual culpa exclusively. the breach of the voluntary duty assumed by the parties when entering into the contractual
(Carmona vs. Cuesta, 20 Porto Rico Reports, 215.) relation.
This distinction was again made patent by this Court in its decision in the case of With respect to extra-contractual obligation arising from negligence, whether of act or omission, it
Bahia vs. Litonjua and Leynes, (30 Phil. rep., 624), which was an action brought upon the theory is competent for the legislature to elect — and our Legislature has so elected — whom such an
of the extra-contractual liability of the defendant to respond for the damage caused by the obligation is imposed is morally culpable, or, on the contrary, for reasons of public policy, to extend
carelessness of his employee while acting within the scope of his employment. The Court, after that liability, without regard to the lack of moral culpability, so as to include responsibility for the
citing the last paragraph of article 1903 of the Civil Code, said: negligence of those person who acts or mission are imputable, by a legal fiction, to others who are
From this article two things are apparent: (1) That when an injury is caused by the in a position to exercise an absolute or limited control over them. The legislature which adopted
negligence of a servant or employee there instantly arises a presumption of law that there our Civil Code has elected to limit extra-contractual liability — with certain well-defined exceptions
was negligence on the part of the master or employer either in selection of the servant or — to cases in which moral culpability can be directly imputed to the persons to be charged. This
employee, or in supervision over him after the selection, or both; and (2) that that moral responsibility may consist in having failed to exercise due care in the selection and control
presumption is juris tantum and not juris et de jure, and consequently, may be rebutted. It of one's agents or servants, or in the control of persons who, by reason of their status, occupy a
follows necessarily that if the employer shows to the satisfaction of the court that in position of dependency with respect to the person made liable for their conduct.
selection and supervision he has exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a The position of a natural or juridical person who has undertaken by contract to render service to
family, the presumption is overcome and he is relieved from liability. another, is wholly different from that to which article 1903 relates. When the sources of the
This theory bases the responsibility of the master ultimately on his own negligence and obligation upon which plaintiff's cause of action depends is a negligent act or omission, the burden
not on that of his servant. This is the notable peculiarity of the Spanish law of negligence. of proof rests upon plaintiff to prove the negligence — if he does not his action fails. But when the
It is, of course, in striking contrast to the American doctrine that, in relations with facts averred show a contractual undertaking by defendant for the benefit of plaintiff, and it is
strangers, the negligence of the servant in conclusively the negligence of the master. alleged that plaintiff has failed or refused to perform the contract, it is not necessary for plaintiff to
The opinion there expressed by this Court, to the effect that in case of extra- specify in his pleadings whether the breach of the contract is due to willful fault or to negligence on
contractual culpa based upon negligence, it is necessary that there shall have been some fault the part of the defendant, or of his servants or agents. Proof of the contract and of its
attributable to the defendant personally, and that the last paragraph of article 1903 merely nonperformance is sufficient prima facie to warrant a recovery.
establishes a rebuttable presumption, is in complete accord with the authoritative opinion of As a general rule . . . it is logical that in case of extra-contractual culpa, a suing creditor
Manresa, who says (vol. 12, p. 611) that the liability created by article 1903 is imposed by reason should assume the burden of proof of its existence, as the only fact upon which his action
of the breach of the duties inherent in the special relations of authority or superiority existing is based; while on the contrary, in a case of negligence which presupposes the existence
between the person called upon to repair the damage and the one who, by his act or omission, of a contractual obligation, if the creditor shows that it exists and that it has been broken,
was the cause of it. it is not necessary for him to prove negligence. (Manresa, vol. 8, p. 71 [1907 ed., p. 76]).
On the other hand, the liability of masters and employers for the negligent acts or omissions of As it is not necessary for the plaintiff in an action for the breach of a contract to show that the
their servants or agents, when such acts or omissions cause damages which amount to the breach was due to the negligent conduct of defendant or of his servants, even though such be in
breach of a contact, is not based upon a mere presumption of the master's negligence in their fact the actual cause of the breach, it is obvious that proof on the part of defendant that the
selection or control, and proof of exercise of the utmost diligence and care in this regard does not negligence or omission of his servants or agents caused the breach of the contract would not
relieve the master of his liability for the breach of his contract. constitute a defense to the action. If the negligence of servants or agents could be invoked as a
means of discharging the liability arising from contract, the anomalous result would be that person damages were caused by the negligence of the driver of the automobile, but held that the master
acting through the medium of agents or servants in the performance of their contracts, would be in was not liable, although he was present at the time, saying:
a better position than those acting in person. If one delivers a valuable watch to watchmaker who . . . unless the negligent acts of the driver are continued for a length of time as to give the
contract to repair it, and the bailee, by a personal negligent act causes its destruction, he is owner a reasonable opportunity to observe them and to direct the driver to desist
unquestionably liable. Would it be logical to free him from his liability for the breach of his contract, therefrom. . . . The act complained of must be continued in the presence of the owner for
which involves the duty to exercise due care in the preservation of the watch, if he shows that it such length of time that the owner by his acquiescence, makes the driver's acts his own.
was his servant whose negligence caused the injury? If such a theory could be accepted, juridical In the case of Yamada vs. Manila Railroad Co. and Bachrach Garage & Taxicab Co. (33 Phil.
persons would enjoy practically complete immunity from damages arising from the breach of their Rep., 8), it is true that the court rested its conclusion as to the liability of the defendant upon article
contracts if caused by negligent acts as such juridical persons can of necessity only act through 1903, although the facts disclosed that the injury complaint of by plaintiff constituted a breach of
agents or servants, and it would no doubt be true in most instances that reasonable care had been the duty to him arising out of the contract of transportation. The express ground of the decision in
taken in selection and direction of such servants. If one delivers securities to a banking corporation this case was that article 1903, in dealing with the liability of a master for the negligent acts of his
as collateral, and they are lost by reason of the negligence of some clerk employed by the bank, servants "makes the distinction between private individuals and public enterprise;" that as to the
would it be just and reasonable to permit the bank to relieve itself of liability for the breach of its latter the law creates a rebuttable presumption of negligence in the selection or direction of
contract to return the collateral upon the payment of the debt by proving that due care had been servants; and that in the particular case the presumption of negligence had not been overcome.
exercised in the selection and direction of the clerk? It is evident, therefore that in its decision Yamada case, the court treated plaintiff's action as
This distinction between culpa aquiliana, as the source of an obligation, and culpa contractual as a though founded in tort rather than as based upon the breach of the contract of carriage, and an
mere incident to the performance of a contract has frequently been recognized by the supreme examination of the pleadings and of the briefs shows that the questions of law were in fact
court of Spain. (Sentencias of June 27, 1894; November 20, 1896; and December 13, 1896.) In discussed upon this theory. Viewed from the standpoint of the defendant the practical result must
the decisions of November 20, 1896, it appeared that plaintiff's action arose ex contractu, but that have been the same in any event. The proof disclosed beyond doubt that the defendant's servant
defendant sought to avail himself of the provisions of article 1902 of the Civil Code as a defense. was grossly negligent and that his negligence was the proximate cause of plaintiff's injury. It also
The Spanish Supreme Court rejected defendant's contention, saying: affirmatively appeared that defendant had been guilty of negligence in its failure to exercise proper
These are not cases of injury caused, without any pre-existing obligation, by fault or discretion in the direction of the servant. Defendant was, therefore, liable for the injury suffered by
negligence, such as those to which article 1902 of the Civil Code relates, but of damages plaintiff, whether the breach of the duty were to be regarded as constituting culpa
caused by the defendant's failure to carry out the undertakings imposed by the contracts . aquiliana or culpa contractual. As Manresa points out (vol. 8, pp. 29 and 69) whether negligence
... occurs an incident in the course of the performance of a contractual undertaking or its itself the
A brief review of the earlier decision of this court involving the liability of employers for damage source of an extra-contractual undertaking obligation, its essential characteristics are identical.
done by the negligent acts of their servants will show that in no case has the court ever decided There is always an act or omission productive of damage due to carelessness or inattention on the
that the negligence of the defendant's servants has been held to constitute a defense to an action part of the defendant. Consequently, when the court holds that a defendant is liable in damages
for damages for breach of contract. for having failed to exercise due care, either directly, or in failing to exercise proper care in the
In the case of Johnson vs. David (5 Phil. Rep., 663), the court held that the owner of a carriage selection and direction of his servants, the practical result is identical in either case. Therefore, it
was not liable for the damages caused by the negligence of his driver. In that case the court follows that it is not to be inferred, because the court held in the Yamada case that defendant was
commented on the fact that no evidence had been adduced in the trial court that the defendant liable for the damages negligently caused by its servants to a person to whom it was bound by
had been negligent in the employment of the driver, or that he had any knowledge of his lack of contract, and made reference to the fact that the defendant was negligent in the selection and
skill or carefulness. control of its servants, that in such a case the court would have held that it would have been a
In the case of Baer Senior & Co's Successors vs. Compania Maritima (6 Phil. Rep., 215), the good defense to the action, if presented squarely upon the theory of the breach of the contract, for
plaintiff sued the defendant for damages caused by the loss of a barge belonging to plaintiff which defendant to have proved that it did in fact exercise care in the selection and control of the
was allowed to get adrift by the negligence of defendant's servants in the course of the servant.
performance of a contract of towage. The court held, citing Manresa (vol. 8, pp. 29, 69) that if the The true explanation of such cases is to be found by directing the attention to the relative spheres
"obligation of the defendant grew out of a contract made between it and the plaintiff . . . we do not of contractual and extra-contractual obligations. The field of non- contractual obligation is much
think that the provisions of articles 1902 and 1903 are applicable to the case." more broader than that of contractual obligations, comprising, as it does, the whole extent of
In the case of Chapman vs. Underwood (27 Phil. Rep., 374), plaintiff sued the defendant to juridical human relations. These two fields, figuratively speaking, concentric; that is to say, the
recover damages for the personal injuries caused by the negligence of defendant's chauffeur while mere fact that a person is bound to another by contract does not relieve him from extra-contractual
driving defendant's automobile in which defendant was riding at the time. The court found that the liability to such person. When such a contractual relation exists the obligor may break the contract
under such conditions that the same act which constitutes the source of an extra-contractual As the case now before us presents itself, the only fact from which a conclusion can be drawn to
obligation had no contract existed between the parties. the effect that plaintiff was guilty of contributory negligence is that he stepped off the car without
The contract of defendant to transport plaintiff carried with it, by implication, the duty to carry him being able to discern clearly the condition of the platform and while the train was yet slowly
in safety and to provide safe means of entering and leaving its trains (civil code, article 1258). That moving. In considering the situation thus presented, it should not be overlooked that the plaintiff
duty, being contractual, was direct and immediate, and its non-performance could not be excused was, as we find, ignorant of the fact that the obstruction which was caused by the sacks of melons
by proof that the fault was morally imputable to defendant's servants. piled on the platform existed; and as the defendant was bound by reason of its duty as a public
The railroad company's defense involves the assumption that even granting that the negligent carrier to afford to its passengers facilities for safe egress from its trains, the plaintiff had a right to
conduct of its servants in placing an obstruction upon the platform was a breach of its contractual assume, in the absence of some circumstance to warn him to the contrary, that the platform was
obligation to maintain safe means of approaching and leaving its trains, the direct and proximate clear. The place, as we have already stated, was dark, or dimly lighted, and this also is proof of a
cause of the injury suffered by plaintiff was his own contributory negligence in failing to wait until failure upon the part of the defendant in the performance of a duty owing by it to the plaintiff; for if
the train had come to a complete stop before alighting. Under the doctrine of comparative it were by any possibility concede that it had right to pile these sacks in the path of alighting
negligence announced in the Rakes case (supra), if the accident was caused by plaintiff's own passengers, the placing of them adequately so that their presence would be revealed.
negligence, no liability is imposed upon defendant's negligence and plaintiff's negligence merely As pertinent to the question of contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff in this case the
contributed to his injury, the damages should be apportioned. It is, therefore, important to following circumstances are to be noted: The company's platform was constructed upon a level
ascertain if defendant was in fact guilty of negligence. higher than that of the roadbed and the surrounding ground. The distance from the steps of the car
It may be admitted that had plaintiff waited until the train had come to a full stop before alighting, to the spot where the alighting passenger would place his feet on the platform was thus reduced,
the particular injury suffered by him could not have occurred. Defendant contends, and cites many thereby decreasing the risk incident to stepping off. The nature of the platform, constructed as it
authorities in support of the contention, that it is negligence per se for a passenger to alight from a was of cement material, also assured to the passenger a stable and even surface on which to
moving train. We are not disposed to subscribe to this doctrine in its absolute form. We are of the alight. Furthermore, the plaintiff was possessed of the vigor and agility of young manhood, and it
opinion that this proposition is too badly stated and is at variance with the experience of every-day was by no means so risky for him to get off while the train was yet moving as the same act would
life. In this particular instance, that the train was barely moving when plaintiff alighted is shown have been in an aged or feeble person. In determining the question of contributory negligence in
conclusively by the fact that it came to stop within six meters from the place where he stepped performing such act — that is to say, whether the passenger acted prudently or recklessly — the
from it. Thousands of person alight from trains under these conditions every day of the year, and age, sex, and physical condition of the passenger are circumstances necessarily affecting the
sustain no injury where the company has kept its platform free from dangerous obstructions. There safety of the passenger, and should be considered. Women, it has been observed, as a general
is no reason to believe that plaintiff would have suffered any injury whatever in alighting as he did rule are less capable than men of alighting with safety under such conditions, as the nature of their
had it not been for defendant's negligent failure to perform its duty to provide a safe alighting wearing apparel obstructs the free movement of the limbs. Again, it may be noted that the place
place. was perfectly familiar to the plaintiff as it was his daily custom to get on and of the train at this
We are of the opinion that the correct doctrine relating to this subject is that expressed in station. There could, therefore, be no uncertainty in his mind with regard either to the length of the
Thompson's work on Negligence (vol. 3, sec. 3010) as follows: step which he was required to take or the character of the platform where he was alighting. Our
The test by which to determine whether the passenger has been guilty of negligence in conclusion is that the conduct of the plaintiff in undertaking to alight while the train was yet slightly
attempting to alight from a moving railway train, is that of ordinary or reasonable care. It is under way was not characterized by imprudence and that therefore he was not guilty of
to be considered whether an ordinarily prudent person, of the age, sex and condition of contributory negligence.
the passenger, would have acted as the passenger acted under the circumstances The evidence shows that the plaintiff, at the time of the accident, was earning P25 a month as a
disclosed by the evidence. This care has been defined to be, not the care which may or copyist clerk, and that the injuries he has suffered have permanently disabled him from continuing
should be used by the prudent man generally, but the care which a man of ordinary that employment. Defendant has not shown that any other gainful occupation is open to plaintiff.
prudence would use under similar circumstances, to avoid injury." (Thompson, His expectancy of life, according to the standard mortality tables, is approximately thirty-three
Commentaries on Negligence, vol. 3, sec. 3010.) years. We are of the opinion that a fair compensation for the damage suffered by him for his
Or, it we prefer to adopt the mode of exposition used by this court in Picart vs. Smith (37 Phil. rep., permanent disability is the sum of P2,500, and that he is also entitled to recover of defendant the
809), we may say that the test is this; Was there anything in the circumstances surrounding the additional sum of P790.25 for medical attention, hospital services, and other incidental
plaintiff at the time he alighted from the train which would have admonished a person of average expenditures connected with the treatment of his injuries.
prudence that to get off the train under the conditions then existing was dangerous? If so, the The decision of lower court is reversed, and judgment is hereby rendered plaintiff for the sum of
plaintiff should have desisted from alighting; and his failure so to desist was contributory P3,290.25, and for the costs of both instances. So ordered.
negligence.1awph!l.net [G.R. No. 141910. August 6, 2002]
FGU INSURANCE CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. G.P. SARMIENTO TRUCKING Considering that plaintiff failed to adduce evidence that defendant is a common carrier and
CORPORATION and LAMBERT M. EROLES, respondents. defendants driver was the one negligent, defendant cannot be made liable for the damages of the
DECISION subject cargoes.[2]
VITUG, J.: The subsequent motion for reconsideration having been denied,[3] plaintiff interposed an
G.P. Sarmiento Trucking Corporation (GPS) undertook to deliver on 18 June 1994 thirty (30) appeal to the Court of Appeals, contending that the trial court had erred (a) in holding that the
units of Condura S.D. white refrigerators aboard one of its Isuzu truck, driven by Lambert Eroles, appellee corporation was not a common carrier defined under the law and existing jurisprudence;
from the plant site of Concepcion Industries, Inc., along South Superhighway in Alabang, Metro and (b) in dismissing the complaint on a demurrer to evidence.
Manila, to the Central Luzon Appliances in Dagupan City. While the truck was traversing the north The Court of Appeals rejected the appeal of petitioner and ruled in favor of GPS. The
diversion road along McArthur highway in Barangay Anupol, Bamban, Tarlac, it collided with an appellate court, in its decision of 10 June 1999, [4] discoursed, among other things, that -
unidentified truck, causing it to fall into a deep canal, resulting in damage to the cargoes. "x x x in order for the presumption of negligence provided for under the law governing common
FGU Insurance Corporation (FGU), an insurer of the shipment, paid to Concepcion carrier (Article 1735, Civil Code) to arise, the appellant must first prove that the appellee is a
Industries, Inc., the value of the covered cargoes in the sum of P204,450.00. FGU, in turn, being common carrier.Should the appellant fail to prove that the appellee is a common carrier, the
the subrogee of the rights and interests of Concepcion Industries, Inc., sought reimbursement of presumption would not arise; consequently, the appellant would have to prove that the carrier was
the amount it had paid to the latter from GPS. Since the trucking company failed to heed the claim, negligent.
FGU filed a complaint for damages and breach of contract of carriage against GPS and its driver "x x x x x x x x x
Lambert Eroles with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 66, of Makati City. In its answer, "Because it is the appellant who insists that the appellees can still be considered as a common
respondents asserted that GPS was the exclusive hauler only of Concepcion Industries, Inc., since carrier, despite its `limited clientele, (assuming it was really a common carrier), it follows that it
1988, and it was not so engaged in business as a common carrier. Respondents further claimed (appellant) has the burden of proving the same. It (plaintiff-appellant) `must establish his case by a
that the cause of damage was purely accidental. preponderance of evidence, which means that the evidence as a whole adduced by one side is
The issues having thus been joined, FGU presented its evidence, establishing the extent of superior to that of the other. (Summa Insurance Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, 243 SCRA
damage to the cargoes and the amount it had paid to the assured. GPS, instead of submitting its 175). This, unfortunately, the appellant failed to do -- hence, the dismissal of the plaintiffs
evidence, filed with leave of court a motion to dismiss the complaint by way of demurrer to complaint by the trial court is justified.
evidence on the ground that petitioner had failed to prove that it was a common carrier. "x x x x x x x x x
The trial court, in its order of 30 April 1996,[1] granted the motion to dismiss, explaining thusly: "Based on the foregoing disquisitions and considering the circumstances that the appellee trucking
Under Section 1 of Rule 131 of the Rules of Court, it is provided that Each party must prove his corporation has been `its exclusive contractor, hauler since 1970, defendant has no choice but to
own affirmative allegation, xxx. comply with the directive of its principal, the inevitable conclusion is that the appellee is a private
In the instant case, plaintiff did not present any single evidence that would prove that defendant is carrier.
a common carrier. "x x x x x x x x x
xxxxxxxxx "x x x the lower court correctly ruled that 'the application of the law on common carriers is not
Accordingly, the application of the law on common carriers is not warranted and the presumption warranted and the presumption of fault or negligence on the part of a common carrier in case of
of fault or negligence on the part of a common carrier in case of loss, damage or deterioration of loss, damage or deterioration of good[s] during transport under [article] 1735 of the Civil Code is
goods during transport under 1735 of the Civil Code is not availing. not availing.' x x x.
Thus, the laws governing the contract between the owner of the cargo to whom the plaintiff was "Finally, We advert to the long established rule that conclusions and findings of fact of a trial court
subrogated and the owner of the vehicle which transports the cargo are the laws on obligation and are entitled to great weight on appeal and should not be disturbed unless for strong and valid
contract of the Civil Code as well as the law on quasi delicts. reasons."[5]
Under the law on obligation and contract, negligence or fault is not presumed. The law on quasi Petitioner's motion for reconsideration was likewise denied; [6] hence, the instant
delict provides for some presumption of negligence but only upon the attendance of some petition,[7] raising the following issues:
circumstances. Thus, Article 2185 provides: I
Art. 2185. Unless there is proof to the contrary, it is presumed that a person driving a motor WHETHER RESPONDENT GPS MAY BE CONSIDERED AS A COMMON CARRIER AS
vehicle has been negligent if at the time of the mishap, he was violating any traffic regulation. DEFINED UNDER THE LAW AND EXISTING JURISPRUDENCE.
Evidence for the plaintiff shows no proof that defendant was violating any traffic regulation. Hence, II
the presumption of negligence is not obtaining. WHETHER RESPONDENT GPS, EITHER AS A COMMON CARRIER OR A PRIVATE CARRIER,
MAY BE PRESUMED TO HAVE BEEN NEGLIGENT WHEN THE GOODS IT UNDERTOOK TO
TRANSPORT SAFELY WERE SUBSEQUENTLY DAMAGED WHILE IN ITS PROTECTIVE Respondent driver, on the other hand, without concrete proof of his negligence or fault, may
CUSTODY AND POSSESSION. not himself be ordered to pay petitioner. The driver, not being a party to the contract of carriage
III between petitioners principal and defendant, may not be held liable under the agreement. A
WHETHER THE DOCTRINE OF RES IPSA LOQUITUR IS APPLICABLE IN THE INSTANT contract can only bind the parties who have entered into it or their successors who have assumed
CASE. their personality or their juridical position.[17] Consonantly with the axiom res inter alios acta aliis
On the first issue, the Court finds the conclusion of the trial court and the Court of Appeals to neque nocet prodest, such contract can neither favor nor prejudice a third person.Petitioners civil
be amply justified. GPS, being an exclusive contractor and hauler of Concepcion Industries, Inc., action against the driver can only be based on culpa aquiliana, which, unlike culpa
rendering or offering its services to no other individual or entity, cannot be considered a common contractual, would require the claimant for damages to prove negligence or fault on the part of the
carrier. Common carriers are persons, corporations, firms or associations engaged in the business defendant.[18]
of carrying or transporting passengers or goods or both, by land, water, or air, for hire or A word in passing. Res ipsa loquitur, a doctrine being invoked by petitioner, holds a
compensation, offering their services to the public,[8] whether to the public in general or to a defendant liable where the thing which caused the injury complained of is shown to be under the
limited clientele in particular, but never on an exclusive basis. [9] The true test of a common carrier latters management and the accident is such that, in the ordinary course of things, cannot be
is the carriage of passengers or goods, providing space for those who opt to avail themselves of expected to happen if those who have its management or control use proper care. It affords
its transportation service for a fee.[10] Given accepted standards, GPS scarcely falls within the term reasonable evidence, in the absence of explanation by the defendant, that the accident arose from
common carrier. want of care.[19] It is not a rule of substantive law and, as such, it does not create an independent
The above conclusion nothwithstanding, GPS cannot escape from liability. ground of liability. Instead, it is regarded as a mode of proof, or a mere procedural convenience
In culpa contractual, upon which the action of petitioner rests as being the subrogee of since it furnishes a substitute for, and relieves the plaintiff of, the burden of producing specific
Concepcion Industries, Inc., the mere proof of the existence of the contract and the failure of its proof of negligence. The maxim simply places on the defendant the burden of going forward with
compliance justify, prima facie, a corresponding right of relief.[11] The law, recognizing the the proof.[20] Resort to the doctrine, however, may be allowed only when (a) the event is of a kind
obligatory force of contracts,[12] will not permit a party to be set free from liability for any kind of which does not ordinarily occur in the absence of negligence; (b) other responsible causes,
misperformance of the contractual undertaking or a contravention of the tenor thereof.[13] A breach including the conduct of the plaintiff and third persons, are sufficiently eliminated by the evidence;
upon the contract confers upon the injured party a valid cause for recovering that which may have and (c) the indicated negligence is within the scope of the defendant's duty to the plaintiff. [21] Thus,
been lost or suffered. The remedy serves to preserve the interests of the promisee that may it is not applicable when an unexplained accident may be attributable to one of several causes, for
include his expectation interest, which is his interest in having the benefit of his bargain by being some of which the defendant could not be responsible.[22]
put in as good a position as he would have been in had the contract been performed, or his Res ipsa loquitur generally finds relevance whether or not a contractual relationship exists
reliance interest, which is his interest in being reimbursed for loss caused by reliance on the between the plaintiff and the defendant, for the inference of negligence arises from the
contract by being put in as good a position as he would have been in had the contract not been circumstances and nature of the occurrence and not from the nature of the relation of the
made; or his restitution interest, which is his interest in having restored to him any benefit that he parties.[23] Nevertheless, the requirement that responsible causes other than those due to
has conferred on the other party.[14] Indeed, agreements can accomplish little, either for their defendants conduct must first be eliminated, for the doctrine to apply, should be understood as
makers or for society, unless they are made the basis for action.[15] The effect of every infraction is being confined only to cases of pure (non-contractual) tort since obviously the presumption of
to create a new duty, that is, to make recompense to the one who has been injured by the failure negligence in culpa contractual, as previously so pointed out, immediately attaches by a failure of
of another to observe his contractual obligation[16] unless he can show extenuating circumstances, the covenant or its tenor. In the case of the truck driver, whose liability in a civil action is
like proof of his exercise of due diligence (normally that of the diligence of a good father of a family predicated on culpa acquiliana, while he admittedly can be said to have been in control and
or, exceptionally by stipulation or by law such as in the case of common carriers, that of management of the vehicle which figured in the accident, it is not equally shown, however, that the
extraordinary diligence) or of the attendance of fortuitous event, to excuse him from his ensuing accident could have been exclusively due to his negligence, a matter that can allow, forthwith, res
liability. ipsa loquitur to work against him.
Respondent trucking corporation recognizes the existence of a contract of carriage between If a demurrer to evidence is granted but on appeal the order of dismissal is reversed, the
it and petitioners assured, and admits that the cargoes it has assumed to deliver have been lost or movant shall be deemed to have waived the right to present evidence.[24] Thus, respondent
damaged while in its custody. In such a situation, a default on, or failure of compliance with, the corporation may no longer offer proof to establish that it has exercised due care in transporting the
obligation in this case, the delivery of the goods in its custody to the place of destination - gives cargoes of the assured so as to still warrant a remand of the case to the trial court.
rise to a presumption of lack of care and corresponding liability on the part of the contractual WHEREFORE, the order, dated 30 April 1996, of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 66, of
obligor the burden being on him to establish otherwise. GPS has failed to do so. Makati City, and the decision, dated 10 June 1999, of the Court of Appeals, are AFFIRMED only
insofar as respondent Lambert M. Eroles is concerned, but said assailed order of the trial court
and decision of the appellate court are REVERSED as regards G.P. Sarmiento Trucking Coming into focus is the constitutional mandate that "No decision shall be rendered by any court of
Corporation which, instead, is hereby ordered to pay FGU Insurance Corporation the value of the record without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is
damaged and lost cargoes in the amount of P204,450.00. No costs. based". 5 This is echoed in the statutory demand that a judgment determining the merits of the
SO ORDERED. case shall state "clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based"; 6 and that "Every
G.R. No. L-21438 September 28, 1966 decision of the Court of Appeals shall contain complete findings of fact on all issues properly
AIR FRANCE, petitioner, raised before it". 7
vs. A decision with absolutely nothing to support it is a nullity. It is open to direct attack. 8 The law,
RAFAEL CARRASCOSO and the HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, respondents. however, solely insists that a decision state the "essential ultimate facts" upon which the court's
Lichauco, Picazo and Agcaoili for petitioner. conclusion is drawn. 9 A court of justice is not hidebound to write in its decision every bit and piece
Bengzon Villegas and Zarraga for respondent R. Carrascoso. of evidence 10 presented by one party and the other upon the issues raised. Neither is it to be
burdened with the obligation "to specify in the sentence the facts" which a party "considered as
proved". 11 This is but a part of the mental process from which the Court draws the essential
SANCHEZ, J.: ultimate facts. A decision is not to be so clogged with details such that prolixity, if not confusion,
The Court of First Instance of Manila 1 sentenced petitioner to pay respondent Rafael Carrascoso may result. So long as the decision of the Court of Appeals contains the necessary facts to
P25,000.00 by way of moral damages; P10,000.00 as exemplary damages; P393.20 representing warrant its conclusions, it is no error for said court to withhold therefrom "any specific finding of
the difference in fare between first class and tourist class for the portion of the trip Bangkok-Rome, facts with respect to the evidence for the defense". Because as this Court well observed, "There is
these various amounts with interest at the legal rate, from the date of the filing of the complaint no law that so requires". 12 Indeed, "the mere failure to specify (in the decision) the contentions of
until paid; plus P3,000.00 for attorneys' fees; and the costs of suit. the appellant and the reasons for refusing to believe them is not sufficient to hold the same
On appeal,2 the Court of Appeals slightly reduced the amount of refund on Carrascoso's plane contrary to the requirements of the provisions of law and the Constitution". It is in this setting that
ticket from P393.20 to P383.10, and voted to affirm the appealed decision "in all other respects", in Manigque, it was held that the mere fact that the findings "were based entirely on the evidence
with costs against petitioner. for the prosecution without taking into consideration or even mentioning the appellant's side in the
The case is now before us for review on certiorari. controversy as shown by his own testimony", would not vitiate the judgment. 13 If the court did not
The facts declared by the Court of Appeals as " fully supported by the evidence of record", are: recite in the decision the testimony of each witness for, or each item of evidence presented by, the
Plaintiff, a civil engineer, was a member of a group of 48 Filipino pilgrims that left Manila defeated party, it does not mean that the court has overlooked such testimony or such item of
for Lourdes on March 30, 1958. evidence. 14 At any rate, the legal presumptions are that official duty has been regularly performed,
On March 28, 1958, the defendant, Air France, through its authorized agent, Philippine Air and that all the matters within an issue in a case were laid before the court and passed upon by
Lines, Inc., issued to plaintiff a "first class" round trip airplane ticket from Manila to Rome. it. 15
From Manila to Bangkok, plaintiff travelled in "first class", but at Bangkok, the Manager of Findings of fact, which the Court of Appeals is required to make, maybe defined as "the written
the defendant airline forced plaintiff to vacate the "first class" seat that he was occupying statement of the ultimate facts as found by the court ... and essential to support the decision and
because, in the words of the witness Ernesto G. Cuento, there was a "white man", who, judgment rendered thereon". 16They consist of the court's "conclusions" with respect to the
the Manager alleged, had a "better right" to the seat. When asked to vacate his "first determinative facts in issue". 17 A question of law, upon the other hand, has been declared as "one
class" seat, the plaintiff, as was to be expected, refused, and told defendant's Manager which does not call for an examination of the probative value of the evidence presented by the
that his seat would be taken over his dead body; a commotion ensued, and, according to parties." 18
said Ernesto G. Cuento, "many of the Filipino passengers got nervous in the tourist class; 2. By statute, "only questions of law may be raised" in an appeal by certiorari from a judgment of
when they found out that Mr. Carrascoso was having a hot discussion with the white man the Court of Appeals. 19 That judgment is conclusive as to the facts. It is not appropriately the
[manager], they came all across to Mr. Carrascoso and pacified Mr. Carrascoso to give business of this Court to alter the facts or to review the questions of fact. 20
his seat to the white man" (Transcript, p. 12, Hearing of May 26, 1959); and plaintiff With these guideposts, we now face the problem of whether the findings of fact of the Court of
reluctantly gave his "first class" seat in the plane.3 Appeals support its judgment.
1. The trust of the relief petitioner now seeks is that we review "all the findings" 4 of respondent 3. Was Carrascoso entitled to the first class seat he claims?
Court of Appeals. Petitioner charges that respondent court failed to make complete findings of fact It is conceded in all quarters that on March 28, 1958 he paid to and received from petitioner a first
on all the issues properly laid before it. We are asked to consider facts favorable to petitioner, and class ticket. But petitioner asserts that said ticket did not represent the true and complete intent
then, to overturn the appellate court's decision. and agreement of the parties; that said respondent knew that he did not have confirmed
reservations for first class on any specific flight, although he had tourist class protection; that,
accordingly, the issuance of a first class ticket was no guarantee that he would have a first class raised are to be regarded as finally adjudicated against the appellant". So also, the judgment
ride, but that such would depend upon the availability of first class seats. affirmed "must be regarded as free from all error". 25 We reached this policy construction because
These are matters which petitioner has thoroughly presented and discussed in its brief before the nothing in the decision of the Court of Appeals on this point would suggest that its findings of fact
Court of Appeals under its third assignment of error, which reads: "The trial court erred in finding are in any way at war with those of the trial court. Nor was said affirmance by the Court of Appeals
that plaintiff had confirmed reservations for, and a right to, first class seats on the "definite" upon a ground or grounds different from those which were made the basis of the conclusions of
segments of his journey, particularly that from Saigon to Beirut". 21 the trial court. 26
And, the Court of Appeals disposed of this contention thus: If, as petitioner underscores, a first-class-ticket holder is not entitled to a first class seat,
Defendant seems to capitalize on the argument that the issuance of a first-class ticket notwithstanding the fact that seat availability in specific flights is therein confirmed, then an air
was no guarantee that the passenger to whom the same had been issued, would be passenger is placed in the hollow of the hands of an airline. What security then can a passenger
accommodated in the first-class compartment, for as in the case of plaintiff he had yet to have? It will always be an easy matter for an airline aided by its employees, to strike out the very
make arrangements upon arrival at every station for the necessary first-class reservation. stipulations in the ticket, and say that there was a verbal agreement to the contrary. What if the
We are not impressed by such a reasoning. We cannot understand how a reputable firm passenger had a schedule to fulfill? We have long learned that, as a rule, a written document
like defendant airplane company could have the indiscretion to give out tickets it never speaks a uniform language; that spoken word could be notoriously unreliable. If only to achieve
meant to honor at all. It received the corresponding amount in payment of first-class stability in the relations between passenger and air carrier, adherence to the ticket so issued is
tickets and yet it allowed the passenger to be at the mercy of its employees. It is more in desirable. Such is the case here. The lower courts refused to believe the oral evidence intended to
keeping with the ordinary course of business that the company should know whether or defeat the covenants in the ticket.
riot the tickets it issues are to be honored or not.22 The foregoing are the considerations which point to the conclusion that there are facts upon which
Not that the Court of Appeals is alone. The trial court similarly disposed of petitioner's contention, the Court of Appeals predicated the finding that respondent Carrascoso had a first class ticket and
thus: was entitled to a first class seat at Bangkok, which is a stopover in the Saigon to Beirut leg of the
On the fact that plaintiff paid for, and was issued a "First class" ticket, there can be no question. flight. 27 We perceive no "welter of distortions by the Court of Appeals of petitioner's statement of
Apart from his testimony, see plaintiff's Exhibits "A", "A-1", "B", "B-1," "B-2", "C" and "C-1", and its position", as charged by petitioner. 28 Nor do we subscribe to petitioner's accusation that
defendant's own witness, Rafael Altonaga, confirmed plaintiff's testimony and testified as follows: respondent Carrascoso "surreptitiously took a first class seat to provoke an issue". 29And this
Q. In these tickets there are marks "O.K." From what you know, what does this OK mean? because, as petitioner states, Carrascoso went to see the Manager at his office in Bangkok "to
A. That the space is confirmed. confirm my seat and because from Saigon I was told again to see the Manager". 30 Why, then, was
Q. Confirmed for first class? he allowed to take a first class seat in the plane at Bangkok, if he had no seat? Or, if another had
A. Yes, "first class". (Transcript, p. 169) a better right to the seat?
xxx xxx xxx 4. Petitioner assails respondent court's award of moral damages. Petitioner's trenchant claim is
Defendant tried to prove by the testimony of its witnesses Luis Zaldariaga and Rafael Altonaga that Carrascoso's action is planted upon breach of contract; that to authorize an award for moral
that although plaintiff paid for, and was issued a "first class" airplane ticket, the ticket was subject damages there must be an averment of fraud or bad faith;31 and that the decision of the Court of
to confirmation in Hongkong. The court cannot give credit to the testimony of said witnesses. Oral Appeals fails to make a finding of bad faith. The pivotal allegations in the complaint bearing on this
evidence cannot prevail over written evidence, and plaintiff's Exhibits "A", "A-l", "B", "B-l", "C" and issue are:
"C-1" belie the testimony of said witnesses, and clearly show that the plaintiff was issued, and paid 3. That ... plaintiff entered into a contract of air carriage with the Philippine Air Lines for a
for, a first class ticket without any reservation whatever. valuable consideration, the latter acting as general agents for and in behalf of the
Furthermore, as hereinabove shown, defendant's own witness Rafael Altonaga testified that the defendant, under which said contract, plaintiff was entitled to, as defendant agreed to
reservation for a "first class" accommodation for the plaintiff was confirmed. The court cannot furnish plaintiff, First Class passage on defendant's plane during the entire duration of
believe that after such confirmation defendant had a verbal understanding with plaintiff that the plaintiff's tour of Europe with Hongkong as starting point up to and until plaintiff's return
"first class" ticket issued to him by defendant would be subject to confirmation in Hongkong. 23 trip to Manila, ... .
We have heretofore adverted to the fact that except for a slight difference of a few pesos in the 4. That, during the first two legs of the trip from Hongkong to Saigon and from Saigon to
amount refunded on Carrascoso's ticket, the decision of the Court of First Instance was affirmed Bangkok, defendant furnished to the plaintiff First Class accommodation but only after
by the Court of Appeals in all other respects. We hold the view that such a judgment of affirmance protestations, arguments and/or insistence were made by the plaintiff with defendant's
has merged the judgment of the lower court. 24Implicit in that affirmance is a determination by the employees.
Court of Appeals that the proceeding in the Court of First Instance was free from prejudicial error 5. That finally, defendant failed to provide First Class passage, but instead furnished
and "all questions raised by the assignments of error and all questions that might have been plaintiff only Tourist Class accommodations from Bangkok to Teheran and/or Casablanca,
... the plaintiff has been compelled by defendant's employees to leave the First Class The Court of appeals further stated —
accommodation berths at Bangkok after he was already seated. Neither is there evidence as to whether or not a prior reservation was made by the white
6. That consequently, the plaintiff, desiring no repetition of the inconvenience and man. Hence, if the employees of the defendant at Bangkok sold a first-class ticket to him
embarrassments brought by defendant's breach of contract was forced to take a Pan when all the seats had already been taken, surely the plaintiff should not have been
American World Airways plane on his return trip from Madrid to Manila.32 picked out as the one to suffer the consequences and to be subjected to the humiliation
xxx xxx xxx and indignity of being ejected from his seat in the presence of others. Instead of
2. That likewise, as a result of defendant's failure to furnish First Class accommodations aforesaid, explaining to the white man the improvidence committed by defendant's employees, the
plaintiff suffered inconveniences, embarrassments, and humiliations, thereby causing plaintiff manager adopted the more drastic step of ousting the plaintiff who was then safely
mental anguish, serious anxiety, wounded feelings, social humiliation, and the like injury, resulting ensconsced in his rightful seat. We are strengthened in our belief that this probably was
in moral damages in the amount of P30,000.00. 33 what happened there, by the testimony of defendant's witness Rafael Altonaga who,
xxx xxx xxx when asked to explain the meaning of the letters "O.K." appearing on the tickets of
The foregoing, in our opinion, substantially aver: First, That there was a contract to furnish plaintiff plaintiff, said "that the space is confirmed for first class. Likewise, Zenaida Faustino,
a first class passage covering, amongst others, the Bangkok-Teheran leg; Second, That said another witness for defendant, who was the chief of the Reservation Office of defendant,
contract was breached when petitioner failed to furnish first class transportation at Bangkok; testified as follows:
and Third, that there was bad faith when petitioner's employee compelled Carrascoso to leave his "Q How does the person in the ticket-issuing office know what reservation the
first class accommodation berth "after he was already, seated" and to take a seat in the tourist passenger has arranged with you?
class, by reason of which he suffered inconvenience, embarrassments and humiliations, thereby A They call us up by phone and ask for the confirmation." (t.s.n., p. 247, June 19,
causing him mental anguish, serious anxiety, wounded feelings and social humiliation, resulting in 1959)
moral damages. It is true that there is no specific mention of the term bad faith in the complaint. In this connection, we quote with approval what the trial Judge has said on this point:
But, the inference of bad faith is there, it may be drawn from the facts and circumstances set forth Why did the, using the words of witness Ernesto G. Cuento, "white man" have a
therein. 34 The contract was averred to establish the relation between the parties. But the stress of "better right" to the seat occupied by Mr. Carrascoso? The record is silent. The
the action is put on wrongful expulsion. defendant airline did not prove "any better", nay, any right on the part of the
Quite apart from the foregoing is that (a) right the start of the trial, respondent's counsel placed "white man" to the "First class" seat that the plaintiff was occupying and for which
petitioner on guard on what Carrascoso intended to prove: That while sitting in the plane in he paid and was issued a corresponding "first class" ticket.
Bangkok, Carrascoso was ousted by petitioner's manager who gave his seat to a white If there was a justified reason for the action of the defendant's Manager in
man; 35 and (b) evidence of bad faith in the fulfillment of the contract was presented without Bangkok, the defendant could have easily proven it by having taken the
objection on the part of the petitioner. It is, therefore, unnecessary to inquire as to whether or not testimony of the said Manager by deposition, but defendant did not do so; the
there is sufficient averment in the complaint to justify an award for moral damages. Deficiency in presumption is that evidence willfully suppressed would be adverse if produced
the complaint, if any, was cured by the evidence. An amendment thereof to conform to the [Sec. 69, par (e), Rules of Court]; and, under the circumstances, the Court is
evidence is not even required. 36 On the question of bad faith, the Court of Appeals declared: constrained to find, as it does find, that the Manager of the defendant airline in
That the plaintiff was forced out of his seat in the first class compartment of the plane Bangkok not merely asked but threatened the plaintiff to throw him out of the
belonging to the defendant Air France while at Bangkok, and was transferred to the tourist plane if he did not give up his "first class" seat because the said Manager wanted
class not only without his consent but against his will, has been sufficiently established by to accommodate, using the words of the witness Ernesto G. Cuento, the "white
plaintiff in his testimony before the court, corroborated by the corresponding entry made man".38
by the purser of the plane in his notebook which notation reads as follows: It is really correct to say that the Court of Appeals in the quoted portion first transcribed
"First-class passenger was forced to go to the tourist class against his will, and did not use the term "bad faith". But can it be doubted that the recital of facts therein
that the captain refused to intervene", points to bad faith? The manager not only prevented Carrascoso from enjoying his right to
and by the testimony of an eye-witness, Ernesto G. Cuento, who was a co-passenger. a first class seat; worse, he imposed his arbitrary will; he forcibly ejected him from his
The captain of the plane who was asked by the manager of defendant company at seat, made him suffer the humiliation of having to go to the tourist class compartment -
Bangkok to intervene even refused to do so. It is noteworthy that no one on behalf of just to give way to another passenger whose right thereto has not been established.
defendant ever contradicted or denied this evidence for the plaintiff. It could have been Certainly, this is bad faith. Unless, of course, bad faith has assumed a meaning different
easy for defendant to present its manager at Bangkok to testify at the trial of the case, or from what is understood in law. For, "bad faith" contemplates a "state of mind affirmatively
yet to secure his disposition; but defendant did neither. 37
operating with furtive design or with some motive of self-interest or will or for ulterior lunatic," 48 and the Supreme Court of South Carolina there held the carrier liable for the mental
purpose." 39 suffering of said passenger.1awphîl.nèt
And if the foregoing were not yet sufficient, there is the express finding of bad faith in the Petitioner's contract with Carrascoso is one attended with public duty. The stress of Carrascoso's
judgment of the Court of First Instance, thus: action as we have said, is placed upon his wrongful expulsion. This is a violation of public duty by
The evidence shows that the defendant violated its contract of transportation with the petitioner air carrier — a case of quasi-delict. Damages are proper.
plaintiff in bad faith, with the aggravating circumstances that defendant's 7. Petitioner draws our attention to respondent Carrascoso's testimony, thus —
Manager in Bangkok went to the extent of threatening the plaintiff in the presence Q You mentioned about an attendant. Who is that attendant and purser?
of many passengers to have him thrown out of the airplane to give the "first A When we left already — that was already in the trip — I could not help it. So one of the
class" seat that he was occupying to, again using the words of the witness flight attendants approached me and requested from me my ticket and I said, What for?
Ernesto G. Cuento, a "white man" whom he (defendant's Manager) wished to and she said, "We will note that you transferred to the tourist class". I said, "Nothing of
accommodate, and the defendant has not proven that this "white man" had any that kind. That is tantamount to accepting my transfer." And I also said, "You are not
"better right" to occupy the "first class" seat that the plaintiff was occupying, duly going to note anything there because I am protesting to this transfer".
paid for, and for which the corresponding "first class" ticket was issued by the Q Was she able to note it?
defendant to him.40 A No, because I did not give my ticket.
5. The responsibility of an employer for the tortious act of its employees need not be essayed. It is Q About that purser?
well settled in law. 41 For the willful malevolent act of petitioner's manager, petitioner, his employer, A Well, the seats there are so close that you feel uncomfortable and you don't have
must answer. Article 21 of the Civil Code says: enough leg room, I stood up and I went to the pantry that was next to me and the purser
ART. 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is was there. He told me, "I have recorded the incident in my notebook." He read it and
contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the translated it to me — because it was recorded in French — "First class passenger was
damage. forced to go to the tourist class against his will, and that the captain refused to intervene."
In parallel circumstances, we applied the foregoing legal precept; and, we held that upon the Mr. VALTE —
provisions of Article 2219 (10), Civil Code, moral damages are recoverable. 42 I move to strike out the last part of the testimony of the witness because the best
6. A contract to transport passengers is quite different in kind and degree from any other evidence would be the notes. Your Honor.
contractual relation. 43 And this, because of the relation which an air-carrier sustains with the COURT —
public. Its business is mainly with the travelling public. It invites people to avail of the comforts and I will allow that as part of his testimony. 49
advantages it offers. The contract of air carriage, therefore, generates a relation attended with a Petitioner charges that the finding of the Court of Appeals that the purser made an entry in his
public duty. Neglect or malfeasance of the carrier's employees, naturally, could give ground for an notebook reading "First class passenger was forced to go to the tourist class against his will, and
action for damages. that the captain refused to intervene" is predicated upon evidence [Carrascoso's testimony above]
Passengers do not contract merely for transportation. They have a right to be treated by the which is incompetent. We do not think so. The subject of inquiry is not the entry, but the ouster
carrier's employees with kindness, respect, courtesy and due consideration. They are entitled to incident. Testimony on the entry does not come within the proscription of the best evidence rule.
be protected against personal misconduct, injurious language, indignities and abuses from such Such testimony is admissible. 49a
employees. So it is, that any rule or discourteous conduct on the part of employees towards a Besides, from a reading of the transcript just quoted, when the dialogue happened, the impact of
passenger gives the latter an action for damages against the carrier. 44 the startling occurrence was still fresh and continued to be felt. The excitement had not as yet died
Thus, "Where a steamship company 45 had accepted a passenger's check, it was a breach of down. Statements then, in this environment, are admissible as part of the res gestae. 50 For, they
contract and a tort, giving a right of action for its agent in the presence of third persons to falsely grow "out of the nervous excitement and mental and physical condition of the declarant". 51 The
notify her that the check was worthless and demand payment under threat of ejection, though the utterance of the purser regarding his entry in the notebook was spontaneous, and related to the
language used was not insulting and she was not ejected." 46 And this, because, although the circumstances of the ouster incident. Its trustworthiness has been guaranteed. 52 It thus escapes
relation of passenger and carrier is "contractual both in origin and nature" nevertheless "the act the operation of the hearsay rule. It forms part of the res gestae.
that breaks the contract may be also a tort". 47 And in another case, "Where a passenger on a At all events, the entry was made outside the Philippines. And, by an employee of petitioner. It
railroad train, when the conductor came to collect his fare tendered him the cash fare to a point would have been an easy matter for petitioner to have contradicted Carrascoso's testimony. If it
where the train was scheduled not to stop, and told him that as soon as the train reached such were really true that no such entry was made, the deposition of the purser could have cleared up
point he would pay the cash fare from that point to destination, there was nothing in the conduct of the matter.
the passenger which justified the conductor in using insulting language to him, as by calling him a We, therefore, hold that the transcribed testimony of Carrascoso is admissible in evidence.
8. Exemplary damages are well awarded. The Civil Code gives the court ample power to grant Defendants a quo (now petitioners) sought to have the suit dismissed, alleging that since they are
exemplary damages — in contracts and quasi- contracts. The only condition is that defendant presumably sued under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, the complaint states no cause of action
should have "acted in a wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive, or malevolent manner." 53 The against them, as jurisprudence on the subject is to the effect that academic institutions, such as
manner of ejectment of respondent Carrascoso from his first class seat fits into this legal precept. the PSBA, are beyond the ambit of the rule in the afore-stated article.
And this, in addition to moral damages.54 The respondent trial court, however, overruled petitioners' contention and thru an order dated 8
9. The right to attorney's fees is fully established. The grant of exemplary damages justifies a December 1987, denied their motion to dismiss. A subsequent motion for reconsideration was
similar judgment for attorneys' fees. The least that can be said is that the courts below felt that it is similarly dealt with by an order dated 25 January 1988. Petitioners then assailed the trial court's
but just and equitable that attorneys' fees be given. 55 We do not intend to break faith with the disposition before the respondent appellate court which, in a decision * promulgated on 10 June
tradition that discretion well exercised — as it was here — should not be disturbed. 1988, affirmed the trial court's orders. On 22 August 1988, the respondent appellate court resolved
10. Questioned as excessive are the amounts decreed by both the trial court and the Court of to deny the petitioners' motion for reconsideration. Hence, this petition.
Appeals, thus: P25,000.00 as moral damages; P10,000.00, by way of exemplary damages, and At the outset, it is to be observed that the respondent appellate court primarily anchored its
P3,000.00 as attorneys' fees. The task of fixing these amounts is primarily with the trial decision on the law of quasi-delicts, as enunciated in Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil
court. 56 The Court of Appeals did not interfere with the same. The dictates of good sense suggest Code. 1 Pertinent portions of the appellate court's now assailed ruling state:
that we give our imprimatur thereto. Because, the facts and circumstances point to the Article 2180 (formerly Article 1903) of the Civil Code is an adoption from the old
reasonableness thereof.57 Spanish Civil Code. The comments of Manresa and learned authorities on its
On balance, we say that the judgment of the Court of Appeals does not suffer from reversible meaning should give way to present day changes. The law is not fixed and
error. We accordingly vote to affirm the same. Costs against petitioner. So ordered. flexible (sic); it must be dynamic. In fact, the greatest value and significance of
G.R. No. 84698 February 4, 1992 law as a rule of conduct in (sic) its flexibility to adopt to changing social conditions
PHILIPPINE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, JUAN D. LIM, BENJAMIN P. and its capacity to meet the new challenges of progress.
PAULINO, ANTONIO M. MAGTALAS, COL. PEDRO SACRO and LT. M. SORIANO, petitioners, Construed in the light of modern day educational system, Article 2180 cannot be
vs. construed in its narrow concept as held in the old case of Exconde
COURT OF APPEALS, HON. REGINA ORDOÑEZ-BENITEZ, in her capacity as Presiding vs. Capuno 2 and Mercado vs. Court of Appeals; 3hence, the ruling in
Judge of Branch 47, Regional Trial Court, Manila, SEGUNDA R. BAUTISTA and ARSENIA D. the Palisoc 4 case that it should apply to all kinds of educational institutions,
BAUTISTA, respondents. academic or vocational.
Balgos and Perez for petitioners. At any rate, the law holds the teachers and heads of the school staff liable unless
Collantes, Ramirez & Associates for private respondents. they relieve themselves of such liability pursuant to the last paragraph of Article
2180 by "proving that they observed all the diligence to prevent damage." This
PADILLA, J.: can only be done at a trial on the merits of the case. 5
A stabbing incident on 30 August 1985 which caused the death of Carlitos Bautista while on the While we agree with the respondent appellate court that the motion to dismiss the complaint was
second-floor premises of the Philippine School of Business Administration (PSBA) prompted the correctly denied and the complaint should be tried on the merits, we do not however agree with
parents of the deceased to file suit in the Regional Trial Court of Manila (Branch 47) presided over the premises of the appellate court's ruling.
by Judge (now Court of Appeals justice) Regina Ordoñez-Benitez, for damages against the said Article 2180, in conjunction with Article 2176 of the Civil Code, establishes the rule of in loco
PSBA and its corporate officers. At the time of his death, Carlitos was enrolled in the third year parentis. This Court discussed this doctrine in the afore-cited cases of Exconde, Mendoza,
commerce course at the PSBA. It was established that his assailants were not members of the Palisoc and, more recently, in Amadora vs.Court of Appeals. 6 In all such cases, it had been
school's academic community but were elements from outside the school. stressed that the law (Article 2180) plainly provides that the damage should have been caused or
Specifically, the suit impleaded the PSBA and the following school authorities: Juan D. Lim inflicted by pupils or students of he educational institution sought to be held liable for the acts of its
(President), Benjamin P. Paulino (Vice-President), Antonio M. Magtalas (Treasurer/Cashier), Col. pupils or students while in its custody. However, this material situation does not exist in the
Pedro Sacro (Chief of Security) and a Lt. M. Soriano (Assistant Chief of Security). Substantially, present case for, as earlier indicated, the assailants of Carlitos were not students of the PSBA, for
the plaintiffs (now private respondents) sought to adjudge them liable for the victim's untimely whose acts the school could be made liable.
demise due to their alleged negligence, recklessness and lack of security precautions, means and However, does the appellate court's failure to consider such material facts mean the exculpation of
methods before, during and after the attack on the victim. During the proceedings a quo, Lt. M. the petitioners from liability? It does not necessarily follow.
Soriano terminated his relationship with the other petitioners by resigning from his position in the When an academic institution accepts students for enrollment, there is established
school. a contract between them, resulting in bilateral obligations which both parties are bound to comply
with. 7 For its part, the school undertakes to provide the student with an education that would a contract be done in bad faith and be violative of Article 21, then there is a cause to view the act
presumably suffice to equip him with the necessary tools and skills to pursue higher education or a as constituting a quasi-delict.
profession. On the other hand, the student covenants to abide by the school's academic In the circumstances obtaining in the case at bar, however, there is, as yet, no finding that the
requirements and observe its rules and regulations. contract between the school and Bautista had been breached thru the former's negligence in
Institutions of learning must also meet the implicit or "built-in" obligation of providing their students providing proper security measures. This would be for the trial court to determine. And, even if
with an atmosphere that promotes or assists in attaining its primary undertaking of imparting there be a finding of negligence, the same could give rise generally to a breach of contractual
knowledge. Certainly, no student can absorb the intricacies of physics or higher mathematics or obligation only. Using the test of Cangco, supra, the negligence of the school would not be
explore the realm of the arts and other sciences when bullets are flying or grenades exploding in relevant absent a contract. In fact, that negligence becomes material only because of the
the air or where there looms around the school premises a constant threat to life and limb. contractual relation between PSBA and Bautista. In other words, a contractual relation is a
Necessarily, the school must ensure that adequate steps are taken to maintain peace and order condition sine qua non to the school's liability. The negligence of the school cannot exist
within the campus premises and to prevent the breakdown thereof. independently of the contract, unless the negligence occurs under the circumstances set out in
Because the circumstances of the present case evince a contractual relation between the PSBA Article 21 of the Civil Code.
and Carlitos Bautista, the rules on quasi-delict do not really govern. 8 A perusal of Article 2176 This Court is not unmindful of the attendant difficulties posed by the obligation of schools, above-
shows that obligations arising from quasi-delicts or tort, also known as extra-contractual mentioned, for conceptually a school, like a common carrier, cannot be an insurer of its students
obligations, arise only between parties not otherwise bound by contract, whether express or against all risks. This is specially true in the populous student communities of the so-called
implied. However, this impression has not prevented this Court from determining the existence of "university belt" in Manila where there have been reported several incidents ranging from gang
a tort even when there obtains a contract. In Air France vs. Carrascoso (124 Phil. 722), the private wars to other forms of hooliganism. It would not be equitable to expect of schools to
respondent was awarded damages for his unwarranted expulsion from a first-class seat aboard anticipate all types of violent trespass upon their premises, for notwithstanding the security
the petitioner airline. It is noted, however, that the Court referred to the petitioner-airline's liability measures installed, the same may still fail against an individual or group determined to carry out a
as one arising from tort, not one arising from a contract of carriage. In effect, Air France is nefarious deed inside school premises and environs. Should this be the case, the school may still
authority for the view that liability from tort may exist even if there is a contract, for the act that avoid liability by proving that the breach of its contractual obligation to the students was not due to
breaks the contract may be also a tort. (Austro-America S.S. Co. vs. Thomas, 248 Fed. 231). its negligence, here statutorily defined to be the omission of that degree of diligence which is
This view was not all that revolutionary, for even as early as 1918, this Court was already of a required by the nature of the obligation and corresponding to the circumstances of persons, time
similar mind. In Cangco vs. Manila Railroad (38 Phil. 780), Mr. Justice Fisher elucidated thus: and place. 9
The field of non-contractual obligation is much broader than that of contractual As the proceedings a quo have yet to commence on the substance of the private respondents'
obligation, comprising, as it does, the whole extent of juridical human relations. complaint, the record is bereft of all the material facts. Obviously, at this stage, only the trial court
These two fields, figuratively speaking, concentric; that is to say, the mere fact can make such a determination from the evidence still to unfold.
that a person is bound to another by contract does not relieve him from extra- WHEREFORE, the foregoing premises considered, the petition is DENIED. The court of origin
contractual liability to such person. When such a contractual relation exists the (RTC, Manila, Br. 47) is hereby ordered to continue proceedings consistent with this ruling of the
obligor may break the contract under such conditions that the same act which Court. Costs against the petitioners.
constitutes a breach of the contract would have constituted the source of an SO ORDERED.
extra-contractual obligation had no contract existed between the parties.
Immediately what comes to mind is the chapter of the Civil Code on Human Relations, particularly
Article 21, which provides:
Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is
contrary to morals, good custom or public policy shall compensate the latter for
the damage. (emphasis supplied).
Air France penalized the racist policy of the airline which emboldened the petitioner's employee to
forcibly oust the private respondent to cater to the comfort of a white man who allegedly "had a
better right to the seat." In Austro-American, supra, the public embarrassment caused to the
passenger was the justification for the Circuit Court of Appeals, (Second Circuit), to award
damages to the latter. From the foregoing, it can be concluded that should the act which breaches