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DE GONZAGA VS THE CROWN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY

There is no duty when the law forbids and there is no obligation

without corresponding right enjoyed by another


FACTS:

September 26, 1939: Crown Life Insurance Co. whose home office is based
in Toronto, Canada issued to Ramon Gonzaga through its branch office in
Manila a 20-year endowment policy for P15,000 which had an annual premium
of P591.

opening of an interim office partook of the nature of the privilege to the

Payment was only until September 6, 1941 because of the outbreak of the

policy holders to keep their policies operative rather than a duty to them under
the contract

Villaroel v. Estrada
[No. 47362. December 19, 1940]

war since Crown is an enemy corp. order to be closed during the Japanese
occupation. However, despite that it offered a privilege to accept premium

JOHN F. VILLARROEL, appellant vs. BERNARDINO ESTRADA, appealed.

payments in the place of its employee in Ermita but of which Gonzaga did not
avail.

Through the automatic premium loan clause, it continued until June 12,
1943

Facts:
1. On May 9, 1912, Alejandra F. Callao, mother of defendant John F. Villarroel,

May 1, 1945: It reopened but still Gonzaga did not pay although there was a
reinstatement clause providing certain conditions within three years from the
date of lapse on application of the insured

June 27, 1945: Gonzaga died from an accident

Crown refused to pay because of the lapse of premium payment

RTC: against Gonzaga

obtained from the spouses Mariano Estrada and Severina a loan of P1, 000
payable after seven years.
2. Alejandra died, leaving as sole heir to the defendant. Spouses Mariano Estrada
and Severina also died, leaving as sole heir to the plaintiff Bernardino Estrada.

ISSUE: W/N Gonzaga's widow can claim despite the absence of premium payment

3. On August 9, 1930, the defendant signed a document by which the applicant

during the outbreak of the war

must declare in the amount of P1, 000, with an interest of 12 percent per year.
4. The Court of First Instance of Laguna, which was filed in this action, condemn

HELD: NO. Affirmed

the defendant to pay the claimed amount of P1, 000 with legal interest of 12
percent per year since the August 9, 1930 until full pay.

Non-payment at the day involves absolute forfeiture is such be the terms of


the contract

5. Villaroel appealed the sentence.

failure to notify the postal address during the war is not an excuse
Issue:

Whether or not the right to prescription may be waived or renounced.


Held:
Yes. The right to prescription may be waived or renounced. As a general rule,

of the defendant, which has already prescribed, but in which the defendant
contracted
the August 9, 1930 by assuming the fulfillment of that obligation, as prescribed.

when a debt is already barred by prescription, it cannot be enforced by the creditor.


But

Decision:

a new contract recognizing and assuming the prescribed debt would be valid and

Affirmed

enforceable.
Therefore, where the party acknowledges

Note:

(1) The correctness of the debt and;

Art. 1424. When a right to sue upon a civil obligation has lapsed by extinctive

(2) promises to pay it after the same has been prescribed and;

prescription, the obligor who voluntarily performs the contract cannot recover what

(3) and with the full knowledge of the prescription; he thereby waives the benefit of

he

prescription.

has delivered or the value of the service he has rendered.

Issue:

Fulfillment of natural obligation: (Any of the following must be done voluntarily)

Whether or not the rule that a new promise to pay a debt required to be made
by the same person obligated or otherwise legally authorized by it is applicable.

1. Delivery of the thing

Held:

2. Performance of an act

No. the present case is not required in compliance with the obligation of the

3. Giving of a security

originally required but which would give it voluntarily assumed this obligation.

4. Execution of a document
5. Abandonment of a right

Issue:

6. Mere promise to perform the obligation

Whether or not the Action of the Court of First Instance of Laguna is

BARREDO V. GARCIA

Appropriate.
FACTS:
Held:
Yes. This action is not based on the original obligation contracted by the mother

On May 3, 1936, there was a head-on collision between a taxi of the Malate
Taxicab driven by Fontanilla and a carretela guided by Dimapilis. The carretela was
overturned, and a passenger a 16 year old boy, Garcia, suffered injuries from which

he died. A criminal action was filed against Fontanilla, and he was convicted. The
Court in the criminal case granted the petition to reserve the civil action. Garcia and
Almario, parents of the deceased, on March 7, 1939, filed a civil action against

NATURE: Petition for Certiorari

Barredo, the proprietor of the Malate taxicab and employer of Fontanilla, making him
primarily and directly responsible under culpa aquiliana of Article 2180 of the Civil
Code. It was undisputed that Fontanillas negligence was the cause of the accident, as
he was driving on the wrong side of the road at high speed, and there was no showing
that Barredo exercised the diligence of a good father of a family, a defense to article

FACTS:

A 3-way vehicular accident happened along Mac-Arthur Highway, Bulacan


involving a Mercedes Benz (Mendozas ), a private jeep (Salazars), and a
truck (driven by Montoya, owned by Timbol). Two separate Informations for
Reckless Imprudence Causing Damage to Property were filed against (1)
Rodolfo Salazar by Mendoza and (2) Freddie Montoya by Salazar.

The 1st case was against the jeep for colliding with the Mercedes Benz. The
2nd was against the truck that hit the rear part of the jeep.

Mendoza testified, and adopted by truck-driver Montoya, that jeep-owner


Salazar overtook the truck driven by Montoya, swerved left going towards
the poblacion of Marilao, and hit his car which was bound for Manila.
Petitioner (Mendoza) further testified that before the impact, Salazar had
jumped from the jeep and that he was not aware that Salazars jeep was
bumped from behind by the Montoyas truck.

Salazar, on the other hand, stated that, after overtaking the truck, he
flashed a signal indicating his intention to turn left towards the poblacion of
Marilao but was stopped at the intersection by a policeman who was
directing traffic; that while he was at a stop position, his jeep was bumped
at the rear by Montoyas truck causing him to be thrown out, which then
swerved to the left and hit petitioners car, which was coming from the
opposite direction.

CFI acquitted Salazar from the criminal offense charged whereas truckdriver Montoya was found guilty and civilly liable, ordered to indemnify
Salazar. However, no indemnification was awarded to Mendoza since he was
not a complainant against the truck-driver but only against Salazar.

Later, Mendoza filed a civil case against Salazar and, this time, Timbol, the
owner of the truck. Both Salazar and Timbol were joined as defendants,
either in the alternative or in solidum, allegedly for the reason that petitioner
was uncertain as to whether he was entitled to relief against both or only
one of them.

Timbol motioned to dismiss the case on the ground that the Complaint is
barred by a prior judgment in the criminal cases and that it fails to state a
cause of action. Respondent judge dismissed the case as well as its review
stating that while it is true that an independent civil action for liability
under Article 2177 CC could be prosecuted independently of the criminal
action for the offense from which it arose, the New RoC requires an express
reservaqtion of the civil action to be made in the criminal action, otherwise,
the same would be barred.

The case was then raised to this Court.

2180 of the Code. Barredos theory of defense is that Fontanillas negligence being
punishable by the Revised Penal Code, his liability as employer is only subsidiary; but
Fontanilla was not sued for civil liability, hence, Barredo claims that he cannot be
held liable.

ISSUE:
Whether the plaintiffs may bring a separate civil action against Fausto
Barredo, thus making him primarily and directly responsible under Article 1903 of
the Civil Code as employer of Pedro Fontanilla.

HELD:
Yes. A separate civil action lies, the employer being primarily and directly responsible
in damages under articles 1902 and 1903 of the civil Code.
Quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana is a separate legal institution under the civil
code and is entirely distinct and independent from a delict or crime under the Revised
Penal Code. In this jurisdiction, the same negligent act causing damage may produce
civil liability (subsidiary) arising from a crime under Article 103 of the Revised Penal
Code; or create an action for quasi-delito or culpa aquiliana (primary) under Articles
2179 and 2180 of the Civil Code, and the parties are free to choose which course to
take. And, in the instant case, the negligent act of Fontanilla produces 2 liabilities of
Barredo: First, subsidiary one because of the civil liability of Fontanilla arising from
the latters criminal negligence under Article 103 of the revised Penal Code; and
second, Barredos employer under article 2180 of the Civil Code. Since the plaintiffs
are free to choose which remedy to take, they preferred the second, which is within
their rights. This is a more expeditious and effective method of relief because
Fontanilla was either in prison or had just been released or had no property.
MENDOZA V. ARRIETA
MELENCIOHERRERA, J. / 1979

the facts, the Trial Courts pronouncement was that Salazar cannot be held liable for
ISSUES:

the damages. Hence, no civil liability attaches to Salazar.

(1) WoN truck-owner Timbols civil case is barred by the fact that Mendoza failed to
reserve, in the criminal action, his right to file an individual civil action based on

DECISION: Dismissal of civil case against Timbol is set aside and ordered to

quasi-delict.

continue whereas that of dismissing the civil case against Salazar is upheld.

(2) WoN jeep-owner-driver Salazar is civilly liable for the offense even when he was

PSBA V. COURT OF APPEALS

already acquitted.

PADILLA, J. / FEBRUARY 4, 1992;

HELD:
(1) No.
(2) No.

FACTS:

RATIO:
(1) Against Timbol
The rule that for a prior judgment to constitute a bar to a subsequent case is when
the following requisites concur: (a) final judgment; (b) must be rendered by a Court

having jurisdiction over the matter and the parties; (c) must be a judgment on the
merits; and (d) in the 1st and 2nd actions, there must be identity of parties, of subject
matter, and of cause of action. Only the 1st three requisites are met. But as to the

Carlitos Bautista, a 3rd year Commerce student from the Philippine School
of Business Administration, was stabbed inside the school premises by
outsiders. Hence, his parents filed suit against the schools corporate
officers. They allege negligence, recklessness, and lack of security
precautions, means, and methods, before, during, and after the attack on
their son.
During the proceedings, Lt. Soriano (Assistant Chief of Security) resigned
from his post.
The defendants prayed for the dismissal of the case claiming that since they
were presumably being sued under Art. 2180 of the Civil Code,
jurisprudence therefor dictates that academic institutions are outside the
ambit of the aforesaid article.

last, it is quite different. For one thing, petitioner wasnt even a complainant against
Timbol. For the other, the cause of action for the criminal cases was the enforcement
of the civil liability arising from criminal negligence whereas this present civil case is

ISSUE: WON is liable for civil damages through quasi-delict due to negligence.

based on quasi-delict. Therefore, such petition is not barred.


Also, as to the ground that petitioner did not present a cause of action, the two factors
consisting of a cause of action, that of (1) plaintiffs summary right being the owner of
the Mercedes Benz and (2) the defendants wrongful act or omission which violated
plaintiffs primary right (negligence in driving of either defendant), were alleged in the

HELD: No, for the rule of in loco parentis under Art. 2180 to apply, the wrongdoing
should have been caused by pupils or students of the educational institution sought
to held liable for having custody over them.

Complaint.
(2) Against Salazar
As in the above ratio, petitioner can opt to go for enforcement of civil liability based on
culpa criminal or just an action of recovery based on culpa aquiliana. Based on
petitioners previous criminal case (initial case against Salazar), he based his action
on culpa criminal also as evidenced by his active participation and intervention in the
prosecution of the criminal suit against said Salazar. Since Salazars civil liability
continued throughout the criminal case, there was no need for petitioner to file a
separate civil action, it being deemed impliedly instituted in said criminal case. Under

RATIO DECIDENDI:

When an academic institution accepts a student for enrollment, an


obligation is created between the two parties. The school provides the milieu
for the education and the development of the skills of the student but at the
same time providing for his security within the premises. On the other
hand, the student has to complete his academic requirements and comply
with school rules and regulations.

However, the rules on quasi-delicts do not govern in this case due to the
presence of an existing contractual relation between the deceased and
PSBA.
The school cannot be held liable because the assailants were neither
students nor employees of PSBA.
There was neither sufficient proof nor finding that the school was negligent
in providing proper security measures. Supposing that there had been a
finding of negligence, this could only give rise to a breach of contractual
obligation insofar as providing security within the premises.
The court took into account that a school cannot be an infallible insurer of
its students against all risks, i.e., Murphys Law. Likewise, it would be
unreasonable to expect schools to anticipate all types of violent trespass
upon their premises. Should that be the case, it may still avoid liability by
proving that the breach of its contractual obligation to the students was not
due to its negligence.

The CFI of Cebu held the defendants civilly liable.

On appeal, CA absolved the defendants of the liability because:


Article 2180 was not applicable as the Colegio de San Jose-

Recoletos was not a school of arts and trades but an academic


institution of learning.
the students were not in the custody of the school at the time of

the incident as the semester had already ended

Decision: Petition is denied, but the Court of origin (RTC, Manila, Br. 47) was

fatal gun not clearly identified

respondents exercised due diligence

ordered to continue proceedings due to the paucity of material facts.


AMADORA V. CA
CRUZ, J. / APRIL 15, 1988

ISSUES:
1

School should not be held liable because it is an academic institution NO


DIFF. BETWEEN ACADEMIC SCHOOL AND SCHOOL OF ARTS AND
TRADE

PARTIES: Jose S. Amadora, et. al ,Petitioners Vs.Honorable Court Of Appeals, Colegio


De San Jose-Recoletos, Victor Lluch Sergio P. Dlmaso Jr., Celestino Dicon, Aniano
Abellana, Pablito Daffon thru his parents and natural guardians, Mr. And Mrs.
Nicanor Gumban, And Rolando Valencia, thru his guardian, A. Francisco Alonso,
Respondents.

School still responsible even though end of school term? YES

Teacher in charge has been negligent/ no proof of this

ho should be liable for the tort? School? Dean of boys? Principal? Rector?
The

FACTS:
Pablito Damon, fired a gun that killed the 17yo Alfredo Amadora while the
latter was in the auditorium of their school Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos to
deliver his physics project.

it was already sembreak ; the teacher-in-charge wasnt in school

Daffon was convicted of homicide thru reckless imprudence

alfredos parents filed a civil action for damages under Article 2180 of the
Civil Code against the school and its officials like the rector, the high school
principal, the dean of boys, and the physics teacher, together with Daffon.
Art 2180 Lastly, teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades shall be

dean of boys of boys has been negligent but none of those

mentioned above is liable

liable for damages caused by their pupils and students or apprentices so long as
they remain in their custody.

REASON:
1

no difference between the academic and the non-academic schools. The


same vigilance is expected from the teacher over the students under his
control and supervision, whatever the nature of the school where he is
teaching.

It doesnt matter whether Alfredo was in the school auditorium to finish his
physics experiment or merely to submit his physics report-what is
important is that he was there for a legitimate purpose. even the mere

savoring of the company of his friends in the premises of the school is a


legitimate purpose that would have also brought him in the custody of the
school authorities.
the teacher-in-charge must answer for his students' torts
3

At any rate, assuming that he was the teacher-in-charge, no proof that


Dicon was negligent in enforcing discipline upon Daffon. He was not
required to report to school on that day

4
a

Rome from Manila. Carrascoso was issued a first class round trip ticket by Air France.
But during a stop-over in Bangkok, he was asked by the plane manager of Air
Franceto vacate his seat because a white man allegedly has a better right than him.
Carrascoso protested but when things got heated and upon advise of other Filipinos
on board, Carrascoso gave up his seat and was transferred to the planes tourist
class.
After their tourist trip when Carrascoso was already in the Philippines, he sued Air

The rector, the high school principal and the dean of boys= cannot be

France for damages for the embarrassment he suffered during his trip. In court,

held liable because:

Carrascoso testified, among others, that he when he was forced to take the tourist

They are not the teacher-in-charge as previously defined.

Theyre only exercising general authority over the student body, not direct
control and influence

In March 1958, Rafael Carrascoso and several other Filipinos were tourists en route to

dean of boys= since there is no teacher-in-charge, it is probably the dean of


boys who should be held liable bec. He was negligent in not taking
disciplinary action over the boy who owns the unlicensed gun which he had

class, he went to the planes pantry where he was approached by a plane purser who
told him that he noted in the planes journal the following:
First-class passenger was forced to go to the tourist class against his will, and that the
captain refused to intervene
The said testimony was admitted in favor of Carrascoso. The trial court eventually
awarded damages in favor of Carrascoso. This was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

earlier confiscated; he returned it to the boy afterwards. He didnt even


report it to the authorities
But it does not link him to the shooting because there is no proof that the
confiscated and returned pistol was the gun that killed Alfredo

Air France is assailing the decision of the trial court and the CA. It avers that the
issuance of a first class ticket to Carrascoso was not an assurance that he will be
seated in first class because allegedly in truth and in fact, that was not the true
intent between the parties.

the Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos = is not directly liable under the article
because the rector, the high school principal and the dean of boys didnt

Air France also questioned the admissibility of Carrascosos testimony regarding the

have custody of the offending student during the shooting or remiss in the

note made by the purser because the said note was never presented in court.

discharge of their duties. school cant be made to answer for them

ISSUE 1: Whether or not Air France is liable for damages and on what basis.
Decision: the petition is DENIED.

ISSUE 2: Whether or not the testimony of Carrasoso regarding the note which was not
presented in court is admissible in evidence.

AIR FRANCE VS CARRASCOSO

HELD 1: Yes. It appears that Air Frances liability is based on culpa-contractual and
on culpa aquiliana.

Culpa Contractual
There exists a contract of carriage between Air France and Carrascoso. There was a
contract to furnish Carrasocoso a first class passage; Second, That said contract was
breached when Air France failed to furnish first class transportation at Bangkok;
and Third, that there was bad faith when Air Frances employee compelled Carrascoso
to leave his first class accommodation berth after he was already, seated and to take
a seat in the tourist class, by reason of which he suffered inconvenience,
embarrassments and humiliations, thereby causing him mental anguish, serious
anxiety, wounded feelings and social humiliation, resulting in moral damages.
The Supreme Court did not give credence to Air Frances claim that the issuance of a
first class ticket to a passenger is not an assurance that he will be given a first class
seat. Such claim is simply incredible.
Culpa Aquiliana
Here, the SC ruled, even though there is a contract of carriage between Air
France and Carrascoso, there is also a tortuous act based on culpa aquiliana.
Passengers do not contract merely for transportation. They have a right to be treated
by the carriers employees with kindness, respect, courtesy and due consideration.
They are entitled to be protected against personal misconduct, injurious language,
indignities and abuses from such employees. So it is, that any rule or discourteous
conduct on the part of employees towards a passenger gives the latter an actionfor
damages against the carrier. Air Frances contract with Carrascoso is one attended
with public duty. The stress of Carrascosos action is placed upon his wrongful
expulsion. This is a violation of public duty by the Air France a case of quasi-delict.
Damages are proper.
HELD: 2: Yes. The testimony of Carrascoso must be admitted based on res gestae.
The subject of inquiry is not the entry, but the ouster incident. Testimony on the entry
does not come within the proscription of the best evidence rule. Such testimony is
admissible. Besides, when the dialogue between Carrascoso and the purser happened,

the impact of the startling occurrence was still fresh and continued to be felt. The
excitement had not as yet died down. Statements then, in this environment, are
admissible as part of the res gestae. The utterance of the purser regarding his entry in
the notebook was spontaneous, and related to the circumstances of the ouster
incident. Its trustworthiness has been guaranteed. It thus escapes the operation of
the hearsay rule. It forms part of the res gestae.
1.

De La Cruz v. Northern Theatrical Enterprises

Facts: Northern Theatrical Enterprises Inc., a domestic corporation operated a movie


house in Laoag, Ilocos Norte, and among the persons employed by it was the plaintiff
Domingo De La Cruz, hired as a special guard whose duties were to guard the main
entrance of the cine, to maintain peace and order and to report the commission of
disorders within the premises. He carried a revolver. One day, a Benjamin Martin
wanted to enter without a ticket but dela Cruz refused him entrance. Infuriated,
Martin attacked him with a bolo and in order to save his life, dela Cruz shot and killed
Martin. Martin, thereafter, was charged with homicide which, after re-investigation,
was dismissed. A few years later, dela Cruz again figured in a homicide case related to
his work as security guard for the theater. He was acquitted for the second charge. In
both instances, dela Cruz employed a lawyer. He thereafter demanded reimbursement
for his litigation expenses but was refused by the theater. After which, he filed an
action for reimbursement plus damages. The Court found for Northern Theater and
dismissed the complaint saying that dela Cruz had no cause of action.
Issue: Whether or not the relationship involved bet. Northern and De La Cruz is that
of a principal and an agent.
Held: No. The trial court was correct in rejecting the theory of dela Cruz that he was
an agent of the defendants and that as such agent he was entitled to reimbursement
for the expenses incurred by him in connection with the agency. The relationship
between the theater and the plaintiff was not that of principal and agent because the
principle of representation was not involved. He was not employed to represent
defendant corporation in its dealings with third parties. He was merely an employee
hired to guard the cinema. Issue is primarily one of employer employee. Whether an
employee who in line with the performance of his duty incur expenses caused not
directly by his employer or fellow employees but by a third party or stranger, may
recover against his employer. In this case, theres no legal obligation on the part of
the employer, it might yet be regarded as a moral obligation. Since employer not legally
obligated to give legal assistance, plaintiff naturally cannot recover the amount from
defendant. The damage incurred did not flow from the performance of his duties but
only indirectly. Filing of the criminal charges was the efficient, intervening cause. As
such, plaintiff cannot fix civil responsibility to the defendant.
Pelayo vs. Lauron
12 Phil. 453

can be no question but that, when either of them by reason of illness should be in
FACTS

need of medical assistance, the other was under the unavoidable obligation to furnish
On November 23, 1906, a physician named Arturo Pelayo filed a complaint

the necessary services of a physician in order that health may be restored, and he or

against Marelo Lauron and Juana Abellana. On the night of October 13th of the same

she may be freed from the sickness by which life is jeopardized. The party bound to

year, the plaintiff was called to render medical assistance to the defendants daughter-

furnish such support was therefore liable for all expenses, including the fees of the

in-law, who was about to gie birth. After the consultation of Dr. Escao, it was

medical expert for his professional services. In the face of the above legal precepts, it

deemed that the operation was going to be difficult for child birth, but regardless, Dr.

was unquestionable that the person bound to pay the fees due to the plaintiff for the

Pelayo proceeded with the job of operating on the subject and also removed the

professional services that he rendered to the daughter-in-law of the defendants during

afterbirth. The operation went on until morning, and on the same day, visited several

her childbirth, was the husband of the patient and not her father and mother- in-law

times and billed the defendants the just amount of P500 for the services rendered to

of the defendants herein.

which defendants refused to pay. In answer to the complaint, counsel for the
defendants denied all of the allegation and alleged as a special defense, that their

VIRATA VS OCHOA

daughter-in-law had died in


consequence of the said childbirth, that when she was alive she lived with her
husband independently and in a separate house without any relation whatever with
them, and that, if on the day when she gave birth she was in the house of the

81 SCRA 472
Torts and Damages Double Recovery of Civil Liability

defendants, her stay their was accidental and due to fortuitous circumstances.
Therefore, he prayed that the defendants be absolved of the complaint with costs
against the plaintiff.

In September 1975, Borilla was driving a jeep when he hit Arsenio Virata thereby
causing the latters death. The heirs of Virata sued Borilla through an action for

ISSUE

homicide through reckless imprudence in the CFI of Rizal. Viratas lawyer reserved
Can the defendants be held liable to pay for the obligation?

their right to file a separate civil action the he later withdrew said motion. But in June
1976, pending the criminal case, the Viratas again reserved their right to file a

RULING
No. According to article 1089 of the Civil Code, obligations are created by
law, by contracts, by quasicontracts, and by illicit acts and omissions or by those in
which any kind of fault or negligence occurs. Obligations arising from law are not

separate civil action. Borilla was eventually acquitted as it was ruled that what
happened was a mere accident. The heirs of Virata then sued Borilla and Ochoa (the
owner of the jeep and employer of Borilla) for damages based on quasi delict. Ochoa

presumed. Those expressly determined in the code or in special laws, etc., are the

assailed the civil suit alleging that Borilla was already acquitted and that the Viratas

only demandable ones. Obligations arising from contracts have legal force between the

were merely trying to recover damages twice. The lower court agreed with Ochoa and

contracting parties and must be fulfilled in accordance with their stipulations. (Arts.

dismissed the civil suit.

1090 and 1091.) The rendering of medical assistance in case of illness was comprised
among the mutual obligations to which the spouses were bound by way of mutual
support. (Arts. 142 and 143.) If every obligation consists in giving, doing or not doing
something (art. 1088), and spouses were mutually bound to support each other, there

ISSUE: Whether or not the heirs of Virata may file a separate civil suit.
HELD: Yes. It is settled that in negligence cases the aggrieved parties may choose
between an action under the Revised Penal Code or of quasi-delict under Article 2176

of the Civil Code of the Philippines. What is prohibited by Article 2177 of the Civil
Code of the Philippines is to recover twice for the same negligent act. Therefore, under
the proposed Article 2177, acquittal from an accusation of criminal negligence,

and prayed for dismissal for lack of cause of action. Also in their motion to dismiss,
they argued that the complaint was a claim for subsidiary liability against an
employer under A1035, RPC and, as such, there must first be a judgment of
conviction against their driver to hold them liable. Since such condition was not
fulfilled due to the latters death, they argued, the spouses had no cause of action.

whether on reasonable doubt or not, shall not be a bar to a subsequent civil action,
not for civil liability arising from criminal negligence, but for damages due to a quasidelict or culpa aquiliana. But said article forestalls a double recovery.

LG FOODS VS AGRAVIADOR
The Case
Review on certiorari of a decision of the CA on 25 April 2003 affirming an order of
Bacolod RTC, which in turn denied the petitioners motion to dismiss an action for
damages arising from a vehicular accident instituted by the
Vallejera spouses.
The Facts
On February 26, 1996, Charles Vallereja, a 7-year old son of the Vallejera spouses,
was hit by a Ford Fiera van owned by LG Foods Corporation (LG Foods) and driven by
their employee, Vincent Norman Yeneza y Ferrer. Charles died as a result of the
accident.
An information for reckless imprudence resulting to homicide was filed against the
driver before the Bacolod MTCC. Before the trial could be concluded, however, the
accused driver committed suicide. The case was then dismissed.

The trial court denied the motion for lack of merit. Also, it denied the motion for
reconsideration of the matter. LG Foods then went on certiorari to the CA alleging
grave abuse of discretion of the part of the trial judge.
The CA, however, affirmed the RTC decision ruling that the complaint by the spouses
does not purport to be based on subsidiary liability since the basic elements of such
liability, such as conviction and insolvency of the accused employee, were not even
alleged in said complaint. It then said that the complaint purports to exact
responsibility for fault or negligence under A2176, CC, which is entirely separate and
distinct from civil liability arising from negligence under the A103, RPC. Liability
under A2180, CC is direct and immediate, and not conditioned upon prior recourse
against the negligent employee or showing of insolvency.
The Issue
Whether the cause of action of the Vallejera spouses is founded on CC or RPC.
The Ruling
The case is a negligence suit brought under A2176, CC to recover damages primarily
from LG Foods as employers responsible for their negligent driver pursuant to A2180,
CC. The obligation imposed by A2176 is demandable not only for one's own acts or
omissions, but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible. Thus, the
employer is liable for damages caused by his employees.
The Ratio

On June 23, 1999, the spouses Vallejera filed a complaint for damages against LG
Foods alleging that as employers, they failed to exercise due diligence in the selection
and supervision of their employees.
In their defense, LG Foods denied liability by claiming to have exercised such diligence
Second. While not explicitly stated that the suit was for damages based on quasidelict, it alleged gross fault and negligence on the part of the driver and the failure of
LG Foods, as employers, to exercise due diligence in the selection and supervision of
their employees. It was further alleged that LG Foods is civilly liable for the
negligence/imprudence of their driver since they failed to exercise the necessary
diligence required of a good father of the family in the selection and supervision of
their employees, which diligence, if exercised, could have prevented the vehicular
accident that resulted to the death of their 7-year old son.

First. Nothing in the allegations in the complaint suggests that the LG Foods are being
made to account for their subsidiary liability under Article 103 of the Revised Penal
Code. Plus, the complaint did not even aver the basic elements for the subsidiary
liability of an employer under said provision.
Third. Section 2, Rule 2, of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure defines cause of action
as the "act or omission by which a party violates the right of another." Such act or
omission gives rise to an obligation which may come from law, contracts, quasi
contracts, delicts or quasi-delicts.
Corollarily, an act or omission causing damage to another may give rise to two
separate civil liabilities on the part of the offender, i.e., 1) civil liability ex delicto, and

2) independent civil liabilities, such as those (a) not arising from an act or omission
complained of as felony (e.g., culpa contractual or obligations arising from law; the
intentional torts;14 and culpa aquiliana15); or (b) where the injured party is granted a
right to file an action independent and distinct from the criminal action. Either of
these two possible liabilities may be enforced against the offender.

having peritonitis. She told the attending physician that a Negro inserted the object to

Stated otherwise, victims of negligence or their heirs have a choice between an action
to enforce the civil liability arising from culpa criminal under Article 100 of the
Revised Penal Code, and an action for quasi-delict (culpa aquiliana) under Articles
2176 to 2194 of the Civil Code.

ISSUE: W/N Ritter was liable for rape and homicide

This is illustrated in A1161, CC providing that civil obligation arising from criminal
offenses shall be governed by penal laws subject to the provision of A2177 and of the
pertinent provision of Chapter 2, Preliminary Title on Human Relation, and of Title
XVIII of this Book, regulating damages. This means that A2177 provides an
alternative remedy for the plaintiff. The choice is with the plaintiff.

her vagina 3 months ago. Ritter was made liable for rape with homicide.

HELD: No. The prosecution failed to prove that Rosario was only 12 years old when
the incident with Ritter happened. And that Rosario prostituted herself even at the
tender age. As evidence, she received 300 from Ritter the following morning. A
doctor/specialist also testified that the inserted object in the vagina of Rosario

Fourth. Under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, the liability of the employer is direct or
immediate, not conditioned upon prior recourse against the negligent employee and a
prior showing of insolvency. This was the recourse of the spouses since there was no
conviction in the criminal case against the driver.

Baluyot by Ritter was different from that which caused her death. As evidence,
Rosario herself said to Jessie the following day that the object has been removed
already. She also told the doctor that a Negro inserted it to her vagina 3 months ago.
Ritter was a Caucasian. Ritter was also acquitted for the criminal case of rape with

Fifth. LG Foods has been alleging that "they had exercised due diligence in the
selection and supervision of [their] employees." This defense is an admission that
indeed the petitioners acknowledged the private respondents' cause of action as one
for quasi-delict under A2180, CC.
Sixth. Since it is as if there was no criminal case to speak of due to its premature
termination, the fact that there was no prior reservation made to institute a separate
civil action is of no moment.

homicide. However, it does not exempt him for the moral and exemplary damages he
must award to the victims heirs. It does not necessarily follow that the appellant is
also free from civil liability which is impliedly instituted with the criminal action.
Ritter was deported.
PITCHEL VS ALONZO
Facts: This case originated in the lower Court as an action for the annulment of a

PEOPLE VS RITTER
FACTS: On or about October 10, 1986, Ritter brought Jessie Ramirez and Rosario
Baluyot in a hotel room in Olongapo. Ritter masturbated Jessie and fingered Rosario.
Afterwards, he inserted a foreign object to the vagina of Rosario. The next morning,
Ritter gave Jessie 200, and Rosario 300. Rosario told Jessie that Ritter inserted an

"Deed of Sale" dated August 14, 1968 and executed by Prudencio Alonzo, as vendor, in
favor of Luis Pichel, as vendee, involving property awarded to the former by the
Philippine Government under Republic Act No. 477. That the sale of the coconut
fruits are for all the fruits on the aforementioned parcel of land presently found
therein as well as for future fruits to be produced on the said parcel of land during
the years period; which shall commence to run as of SEPTEMBER 15,1968; up to
JANUARY 1, 1976.

object inside her vagina. Sometime the following day, Rosario said that the object has
already been removed from her vagina. On May 14, 1987, Alcantara saw Rosario with

In July 1972, defendant for the first time since the execution of the deed of sale in his

bloody skirt, foul smelling. Rosario was brought and confined to Olongapo City

favor, caused the harvest of the fruit of the coconut trees in the land.

general Hospital. An OB-Gyne tried to remove the object inside her vagina using
forceps but failed because it was deeply embedded and covered by tissues. She was

Issue: Whether or not the agreement in question is denominated by the parties as a

Simply and directly stated, the "Deed of Sale dated August 14, 1968 is precisely what

deed of sale of fruits of the coconut trees found in the vendor's land or it actually is,

it purports to be. It is a document evidencing the agreement of herein parties for the

for all legal intents and purposes, a contract of lease of the land itself?

sale of coconut fruits of Lot No. 21, and not for the lease of the land itself as found by

Held: The Supreme Court ruled that construction or interpretation of the document
in question is not called for. A perusal of the deed fails to disclose any ambiguity or
obscurity in its provisions, nor is there doubt as to the real intention of the
contracting parties. The terms of the agreement are clear and unequivocal, hence the
literal and plain meaning thereof should be observed. Such is the mandate of the Civil
Code of the Philippines which provides that:
Art. 1370. If the terms of a contract are clear and leave no doubt upon the intention of
the contracting parties, the literal meaning of its stipulation shall control ... .
Pursuant to the afore-quoted legal provision, the first and fundamental duty of the
courts is the application of the contract according to its express terms, interpretation
being resorted to only when such literal application is impossible. 9 The provisions of
the contract itself and its characteristics govern its nature. 4

the lower Court. In clear and express terms, the document defines the object of the
contract thus: "the herein sale of the coconut fruits are for the fruits on the
aforementioned parcel of land during the years (from) SEPTEMBER 15, 1968; up to
JANUARY 1, 1976." Moreover, as petitioner correctly asserts, the document in
question expresses a valid contract of sale. It has the essential elements of a contract
of sale as defined under Article 1485 of the New Civil Code which provides thus:
Art. 1458. By the contract of sale one of the contracting parties obligates himself to
transfer the ownership of and to deliver a determinate thing, and the other to pay
therefor a price certain in money or its equivalent.