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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES


REGIONAL TRIAL COURT
NATIONAL CAPITAL JUDICIAL REGION
PASIG CITY
BRANCH ___
ISABELA C. ABLAZA,
Plaintiff,
Civil Case No. _____
For: Recovery of temperate,
attorneys
fees,
and
litigation costs

-versusSPOUSES
RONALD
A.
ABUEL&ANNA MARIA S. ABUEL
Defendants.
x--------------------------------------------------x

ANSWER
WITH COUNTERCLAIMS
Defendants RONALD A. ABUEL (Ronald) and ANNA MARIA
S. ABUEL (Anna) through their counsels, respectfully submit this
Answer. The filing of this Answer is only a precautionary measure and is
not an abandonment, waiver, or limitation of the grounds for the dismissal of
the Complaint.
I.
ADMISSIONS AND SPECIFIC DENIALS
1.
Ronald and Anna admit the averments in paragraphs 1, 2, 4,
and 5 of the Complaint.
2.
Ronald and Anna specifically deny the allegation in paragraph
3 of the Complaint, the truth being that Adam Musni is the registered owner
of the Kia Potentia 2000, with plate number NPI-150, as evidenced by
Certificate of Registration issued by the Land Transportation Office
(LTO) in Quezon City hereto attached as Annex A.

Ablaza is presumed negligent for


violating the traffic rules and
regulations
3.
Ronald and Anna specifically deny the allegations in paragraph
6 of the Complaint, the truth being that Isabela C. Ablaza (Ablaza) did not
exercise proper caution. Ablaza violated the traffic rules by abruptly and
negligently turning left at a designated U-turn slot towards the DOTC
building. She neither checked the lane for approaching vehicles nor gave
proper warning signals.
4.

Article 2185 of the New Civil Code (NCC) states that,


[u]nless there is proof to the contrary, it is presumed
that a person driving a motor vehicle has been
negligent if at the time of the mishap, he was violating
any traffic regulation.

5.
The case of Guillang v. Bedania is similar to the facts in this
present case. The truck in the given case did not signal while making the Uturn, which is a violation of traffic rules. In the present case, Ablaza
negligently and abruptly turned left in the U-turn section without using the
necessary warning signals. 1
6.
Hence, there is a presumption that Ablaza is negligent by
violating and disregarding such traffic regulations.
Abuel exercised due diligence under
the given circumstances.
7.
Ronald and Anna admit particular allegations in paragraphs 7,
8, and 9 of the Complaint, that Ronald was around 15 to 20 meters from
where Ablaza was negotiating her left turn and the Hyundai Sta. Fe collided
with the Kia Potentia, causing damage to the latters frontal and rear doors.
8.
However, Ronald and Anna specifically deny particular
allegations in paragraphs 8, 9, and 10 of the Complaint, the truth being that
Ronald was not negligent and in fact did everything humanly possible and
took precautions to avoid the collision. To reiterate, Ronald was driving at a
moderate speed of approximately 40 kph. Apart from reducing his speed,
Ronald honked his horn and blinked his vehicles headlights in an effort to
warn Ablaza. Nevertheless, despite all of the precautions, Ablaza

thoughtlessly proceeded to the same lane, placing the Kia in the direct path
of the defendant.
9.
The Police Report and Supporting-Affidavit prepared by PO2
Amado Garcia (Garcia) support that Abuel did not commit any driver
error, as evidenced by Annex B and Annex C, respectively.
The Emergency Doctrine applies
under the circumstances of the case.
10.

In Gan v. CA, the Supreme Court held that,


[o]ne who suddenly finds himself in a place of danger,
and is required to act without time to consider the best
means that may be adopted to avoid the impending
danger, is not guilty of negligence, if he fails to adopt
what subsequently and upon reflection may appear to
have been a better method, unless the emergency in
which he finds himself is brought about by his own
negligence.2

11. Upon seeing that Ablaza disregarded his warning signals and
proceeded with the left turn, Ronald immediately maneuvered to the inner
lane immediately beside the DOTC building to avoid collision. With a 15 to
20 meter distance from the Kia Potentia and a speed of approximately 40
kph, even an attempt to a full stop was futile to avoid the collision. Thus,
under the attending circumstances in this case, Abuel exercised ordinary
diligence by reducing his speed and consequently, maneuvering his vehicle
to the rightmost lane of Ortigas Avenue.
12. It should be noted that Ronald employed the "best means
possible in the given situation".3 To avoid graver injury to his own safety
and of Ablaza, Ronald had no choice but to swerve to the rightmost lane.
Defendants should not be held liable
for actual and moral damages to
Ablaza
13. Ronald and Anna specifically deny liability arising from the
collision as stated in paragraphs 9 and 10. The damage on Ablazas frontal
and rear doors was due to her own negligence. The accident could have not
occurred if Ablaza did not violate the traffic rules and regulations and took
proper precautions while driving.

14. Assuming but not conceding that Ronald and Anna are liable
for actual damages as provided in the Repair Estimate, the document is not
sufficient to prove actual damages given the fact that it is only a repair
estimate, which amounts merely to hypothetical computation of the damage.
As stated in Marikina Auto Line Transport Corporation v. Valdellon, an
estimate of damages will not suffice.4 Actual damages must be proven with
reasonable certainty.
15. Ronald specifically denies the allegations in paragraphs 11 and
12 of the Complaint, the truth being that Ronald did not assure Ablaza that
his insurance company would take care of the repair costs.
16. Ronald and Anna specifically deny the allegations in paragraph
13 and 14, the truth being that defendant Ronald exercised due diligence to
avoid the collision. Pursuant to Article 2179 of the NCC, if the plaintiff is
the immediate and proximate cause of the injury, he or she cannot recover
damages. Ablazas negligence was the proximate cause of the collision;
therefore, she is not entitled for any damages.
II.
COUNTERCLAIMS
Defendants are entitled to Temperate
Damages
17. Ronald and Anna are entitled to Temperate Damages. As
provided in Tan v. OMC Carriers Inc., temperate damages may be awarded
when from the nature of the case, definite proof of pecuniary loss cannot be
adduced, but there is sufficient proof that the aggrieved party suffered some
pecuniary loss.5
18. In the present case, a copy of photographs attached as Annex
"D" shows the extent of the damage brought about by the collision to
Annas vehicle. There was a recognizable dent at the front-right portion of
the Hyundai Sta. Fe. According to the case of Macalinao v. Sebastian, this
kind of evidence is "mute but eloquent manifestation of truth".6

Marikina Auto Line v Valdellon, G.R. No. 152040, (2006).

As provided in Article 2208 of the


NCC, Ronald and Anna are entitled to
Attorneys Fees and Litigation Costs.
19. As provided in Article 2208 (11) of the NCC, "[a]ttorneys fees
should be awarded when the court deems just and equitable."
20. In this case, Ablaza wantonly filed this civil suit to harass
Ronald and Anna despite the clear facts showing that she was negligent in
the course of her actions by violating the necessary traffic rules and
regulations.
21. On the other hand, Ronald exercised due diligence under the
given circumstances by reducing his speed, honking his horn and blinking
his vehicles headlights, which were Ablaza completely disregarded.
22. By virtue of this unwarranted and malicious act initiated by
Ablaza, Ronald and Anna were forced to engage with the services of a
counsel in the sum of SEVENTY FIVE THOUSAND PESOS (Php
75,000.00) as acceptance fee and TEN THOUSAND PESOS (Php
10,000.00) per court appearance.
III.
PRAYER
WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that the complaint be
dismissed and Defendant be awarded attorneys fees in the amount of
SEVENTY FIVE THOUSAND PESOS (Php 75,000.00) and TEN
THOUSAND PESOS (Php 10,000.00) per court appearance.
Other equitable reliefs are likewise prayed for.
Makati City for Pasig City, December 3, 2014.

MORALES, SANTOS, SYSONLAW


OFFICES
Counsel for defendant
35 Palma St., Rockwell,
Makati City
Tel. No.: (632) 6586288

By:

VIKTOR IVAN NICOLO MORALES


IBP no. 984620, 01/13/14, Quezon City
PTR No. 1967891, 01-13-14, Taguig City
Roll No. 98012
MCLE No. IV-0015477
(N/A Admitted 2013)

ROXANNE VIEL C. SANTOS


IBP no. 973610, 01/13/14, Quezon City
PTR No. 1957791, 01-13-14, Taguig City
Roll No. 90032
MCLE No. IV-0016877
(N/A Admitted 2013)

PATRICIA RAMOS-SYSON
IBP no. 986610, 01/13/14, Quezon City
PTR No. 1957891, 01-13-14, Taguig City
Roll No. 90132
MCLE No. IV-0016847
(N/A Admitted 2013)

Copy furnished through personal service:


REYES ODUCADO CAMACHO SANTOS
Counsel for Plaintiff
12345 Sunlife Building
Ayala corner Paseo de Roxas
Makati City Philippines

VERIFICATION AND CERTIFICATION


AGAINST FORUM SHOPPING
We, Ronald A. Abuel and Anna Maria S. Abuel, after being duly
sworn in accordance with law, hereby depose and say that:
1.

We are the defendants in the above-entitled case.

2.
We have read and caused the preparation of the foregoing
Answer, the factual allegations of which are true of my own personal
knowledge and based on authentic records.
3.
We have not theretofore commenced any other or similar action
or proceeding involving the same issues raised in the above-entitled case
before any Curt, tribunal, or body, and there is, to the best of my knowledge
and information, no such other or similar action or proceeding pending
before any Court, tribunal, or bod; and finally, I certify that should it come
to my knowledge that any other or similar action or proceeding has been
filed or is pending before any other Court, tribunal, or body, I hereby
undertake to notify the court or tribunal taking congnizance of the aboveentitled case of such fact within five (5) days from receipt of such
knowledge.
Ronald A. Abuel
Affiant
Anna Maria S. Abuel
Affiant
SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this 3rd day of
December, 2014, in the City of Pasig, affiant exhibiting her Drivers License
No. 123456789, issued at Pasig City, Metro Manila, on January 1, 2010.
Doc. No. __;
Page No. __;
Book No. __;
Series of 2014.