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Case: ABS-CBN BROADCASTING CORP. v. CA, REPUBLIC BROADCASTING CORP., VIVA PRODUCTIONS, INC.

,
and VICENTE DEL ROSARIO (301 SCRA 589)
Date: January 21, 1999
Ponente: C.J. Davide, Jr.
Facts:
In 1990, ABS-CBN and VIVA executed a Film Exhibition Agreement whereby VIVA gave ABS-CBN an exclusive
right to exhibit some VIVA films. According to the agreement, ABS-CBN shall have the right of first refusal to the next 24
VIVA films for TV telecast under such terms as may be agreed upon by the parties, however, such right shall be exercised
by ABS-CBN from the actual offer in writing.
Sometime in December 1991, VIVA, through Vicente Del Rosario (Executive Producer), offered ABS-CBN through
VP Charo Santos-Concio, a list of 3 film packages from which ABS-CBN may exercise its right of first refusal. ABS-CBN,
however through Mrs. Concio, tick off only 10 titles they can purchase among which is the film Maging Sino Ka Man
which is one of the subjects of the present case, therefore, it did not accept the said list as per the rejection letter authored
by Mrs. Concio sent to Del Rosario.
Subsequently, Del Rosario approached Mrs. Concio with another list consisting of 52 original movie titles and 104
re-runs, proposing to sell to ABS-CBN airing rights for P60M (P30M in cash and P30M worth of television spots). Del
Rosario and ABS-CBNs General Manager, Eugenio Lopez III, met at the Tamarind Grill Restaurant in QC to discuss the
package proposal but to no avail.
Four days later, Del Rosario and Mr. Graciano Gozon, Senior VP of Finance of Republic Broadcasting
Corporation (RBS/Channel 7) discussed the terms and conditions of VIVAs offer. A day after that, Mrs. Concio sent the
draft of the contract between ABS-CBN and VIVA which contained a counter-proposal covering 53 films for P35M. VIVAs
Board of Directors rejected the counter-proposal as it would not sell anything less than the package of 104 films for P60M.
After said rejection, ABS-CBN closed a deal with RBS including the 14 films previously ticked off by ABS-CBN.
Consequently, ABS-CBN filed a complaint for specific performance with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction
and/or TRO against RBS, VIVA and Del Rosario. RTC then enjoined the latter from airing the subject films. RBS posted a
P30M counterbond to dissolve the injunction. Later on, the trial court as well as the CA dismissed the complaint holding
that there was no meeting of minds between ABS-CBN and VIVA, hence, there was no basis for ABS-CBNs demand,
furthermore, the right of first refusal had previously been exercised.
Hence, the present petition, ABS-CBN argued that an agreement was made during the meeting of Mr. Lopez and
Del Rosario jotted down on a napkin (this was never produced in court). Moreover, it had yet to fully exercise its right of
first refusal since only 10 titles were chosen from the first list. As to actual, moral and exemplary damages, there was no
clear basis in awarding the same.
Issue: WON a contract was perfected between ABS-CBN and VIVA and WON moral damages may be awarded to a
corporation
Held: Both NO.
Ratio:
Contracts that are consensual in nature are perfected upon mere meeting of the minds. Once there is
concurrence between the offer and the acceptance upon the subject matter, consideration, and terms of payment a
contract is produced. The offer must be certain. To convert the offer into a contract, the acceptance must be absolute
and must not qualify the terms of the offer; it must be plain, unequivocal, unconditional, and without variance of any sort
from the proposal. A qualified acceptance, or one that involves a new proposal, constitutes a counter-offer and is a
rejection of the original offer. Consequently, when something is desired which is not exactly what is proposed in the offer,
such acceptance is not sufficient to generate consent because any modification or variation from the terms of the offer
annuls the offer.
After Mr. Del Rosario of Viva met Mr. Lopez of ABS-CBN to discuss the package of films, ABS-CBN, sent through
Ms. Concio, counter-proposal in the form a draft contract. This counter-proposal could be nothing less than the counteroffer of Mr. Lopez during his conference with Del Rosario. Clearly, there was no acceptance of VIVAs offer, for it was met
by a counter-offer which substantially varied the terms of the offer.

In the case at bar, VIVA through its Board of Directors, rejected such counter-offer. Even if it be
conceded arguendo that Del Rosario had accepted the counter-offer, the acceptance did not bind VIVA, as there
was no proof whatsoever that Del Rosario had the specific authority to do so.
Under the Corporation Code, unless otherwise provided by said Code, corporate powers, such as the
power to enter into contracts, are exercised by the Board of Directors. However, the Board may delegate such
powers to either an executive committee or officials or contracted managers. The delegation, except for the
executive committee, must be for specific purposes . Delegation to officers makes the latter agents of the corporation;
accordingly, the general rules of agency as to the binding effects of their acts would apply. For such officers to be deemed
fully clothed by the corporation to exercise a power of the Board, the latter must specially authorize them to do so. That
Del Rosario did not have the authority to accept ABS-CBNs counter-offer was best evidenced by his submission
of the draft contract to VIVAs Board of Directors for the latters approval. In any event, there was between Del
Rosario and Lopez III no meeting of minds.
The testimony of Mr. Lopez and the allegations in the complaint are clear admissions that what was supposed to
have been agreed upon at the Tamarind Grill between Mr. Lopez and Del Rosario was not a binding agreement. It is as it
should be because corporate power to enter into a contract is lodged in the Board of Directors. (Sec. 23,
Corporation Code). Without such board approval by the Viva board, whatever agreement Lopez and Del Rosario
arrived at could not ripen into a valid contact binding upon Viva.
However, the Court find for ABS-CBN on the issue of damages. Moral damages are in the category of an award
designed to compensate the claimant for actual injury suffered and not to impose a penalty on the wrongdoer. The award
of moral damages cannot be granted in favor of a corporation because, being an artificial person and having
existence only in legal contemplation, it has no feelings, no emotions, no senses. It cannot, therefore,
experience physical suffering and mental anguish, which can be experienced only by one having a nervous
system. The statement that a corporation may recover moral damages if it has a good reputation that is debased,
resulting in social humiliation is an obiter dictum. On this score alone the award for damages must be set aside, since
RBS is a corporation.

Filipinas Broadcasting Network Inc. vs. Ago Medical and Educational Center-Bicol Christian College of Medicine
(AMEC-BCCM)
Facts:
Expos is a radio documentary program hosted by Carmelo Mel Rima (Rima) and Hermogenes Jun Alegre (Alegre).
Expos is aired every morning over DZRC-AM which is owned by Filipinas Broadcasting Network, Inc. (FBNI). Expos is
heard over Legazpi City, the Albay municipalities and other Bicol areas. In the morning of 14 and 15 December 1989, Rima
and Alegre exposed various alleged complaints from students, teachers and parents against Ago Medical and Educational
Center-Bicol Christian College of Medicine (AMEC) and its administrators. Claiming that the broadcasts were defamatory,
AMEC and Angelita Ago (Ago), as Dean of AMECs College of Medicine, filed a complaint for damages against FBNI, Rima and
Alegre on 27 February 1990.
The complaint further alleged that AMEC is a reputable learning institution. With the supposed exposs, FBNI, Rima and
Alegre transmitted malicious imputations, and as such, destroyed plaintiffs (AMEC and Ago) reputation. AMEC and Ago
included FBNI as defendant for allegedly failing to exercise due diligence in the selection and supervision of its employees,
particularly Rima and Alegre. On 18 June 1990, FBNI, Rima and Alegre, through Atty. Rozil Lozares, filed an Answer alleging
that the broadcasts against AMEC were fair and true. FBNI, Rima and Alegre claimed that they were plainly impelled by a
sense of public duty to report the goings-on in AMEC, [which is] an institution imbued with public interest.
Thereafter, trial ensued. During the presentation of the evidence for the defense, Atty. Edmundo Cea, collaborating counsel of
Atty. Lozares, filed a Motion to Dismiss on FBNIs behalf. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss. Consequently, FBNI filed
a separate Answer claiming that it exercised due diligence in the selection and supervision of Rima and Alegre. FBNI claimed
that before hiring a broadcaster, the broadcaster should (1) file an application; (2) be interviewed; and (3) undergo an
apprenticeship and training program after passing the interview. FBNI likewise claimed that it always reminds its broadcasters
to observe truth, fairness and objectivity in their broadcasts and to refrain from using libelous and indecent language.
Moreover, FBNI requires all broadcasters to pass the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) accreditation test and
to secure a KBP permit. On 14 December 1992, the trial court rendered a Decision finding FBNI and Alegre liable for libel
except Rima. The trial court held that the broadcasts are libelous per se. The trial court rejected the broadcasters claim that
their utterances were the result of straight reporting because it had no factual basis. The broadcasters did not even verify
their reports before airing them to show good faith. In holding FBNI liable for libel, the trial court found that FBNI failed to
exercise diligence in the selection and supervision of its employees.
In absolving Rima from the charge, the trial court ruled that Rimas only participation was when he agreed with Alegres
expos. The trial court found Rimas statement within the bounds of freedom of speech, expression, and of the press. Both
parties, namely, FBNI, Rima and Alegre, on one hand, and AMEC and Ago, on the other, appealed the decision to the Court of
Appeals.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial courts judgment with modification. The appellate court made Rima solidarily liable
with FBNI and Alegre. The appellate court denied Agos claim for damages and attorneys fees because the broadcasts were
directed against AMEC, and not against her. FBNI, Rima and Alegre filed a motion for reconsideration which the Court of
Appeals denied in its 26 January 2000 Resolution. Hence, FBNI filed the petition for review.
Issue:
Whether AMEC is entitled to moral damages.
Held:
A juridical person is generally not entitled to moral damages because, unlike a natural person, it cannot experience physical
suffering or such sentiments as wounded feelings, serious anxiety, mental anguish or moral shock. The Court of Appeals cites
Mambulao Lumber Co. v. PNB, et al. to justify the award of moral damages. However, the Courts statement in Mambulao that
a corporation may have a good reputation which, if besmirched, may also be a ground for the award of moral damages is an
obiter dictum.
Nevertheless, AMECs claim for moral damages falls under item 7 of Article 2219 of the Civil Code. This provision expressly
authorizes the recovery of moral damages in cases of libel, slander or any other form of defamation. Article 2219(7) does not
qualify whether the plaintiff is a natural or juridical person. Therefore, a juridical person such as a corporation can validly
complain for libel or any other form of defamation and claim for moral damages. Moreover, where the broadcast is libelous
per se, the law implies damages.
In such a case, evidence of an honest mistake or the want of character or reputation of the party libeled goes only in
mitigation of damages. Neither in such a case is the plaintiff required to introduce evidence of actual damages as a condition
precedent to the recovery of some damages. In this case, the broadcasts are libelous per se. Thus, AMEC is entitled to moral
damages. However, the Court found the award of P300,000 moral damages unreasonable.
The record shows that even though the broadcasts were libelous per se, AMEC has not suffered any substantial or material
damage to its reputation. Therefore, the Court reduced the award of moral damages from P300,000 to P150,000.

Filipinas Broadcasting Network Inc. vs. Ago Medical and Educational Center-Bicol Christian College of Medicine
(AMEC-BCCM)
Facts:
Expos is a radio documentary program hosted by Carmelo Mel Rima (Rima) and Hermogenes Jun Alegre (Alegre).
Expos is aired every morning over DZRC-AM which is owned by Filipinas Broadcasting Network, Inc. (FBNI). Expos is
heard over Legazpi City, the Albay municipalities and other Bicol areas. In the morning of 14 and 15 December 1989, Rima
and Alegre exposed various alleged complaints from students, teachers and parents against Ago Medical and Educational
Center-Bicol Christian College of Medicine (AMEC) and its administrators. Claiming that the broadcasts were defamatory,
AMEC and Angelita Ago (Ago), as Dean of AMECs College of Medicine, filed a complaint for damages against FBNI, Rima and
Alegre on 27 February 1990.
The complaint further alleged that AMEC is a reputable learning institution. With the supposed exposs, FBNI, Rima and
Alegre transmitted malicious imputations, and as such, destroyed plaintiffs (AMEC and Ago) reputation. AMEC and Ago
included FBNI as defendant for allegedly failing to exercise due diligence in the selection and supervision of its employees,
particularly Rima and Alegre. On 18 June 1990, FBNI, Rima and Alegre, through Atty. Rozil Lozares, filed an Answer alleging
that the broadcasts against AMEC were fair and true. FBNI, Rima and Alegre claimed that they were plainly impelled by a
sense of public duty to report the goings-on in AMEC, [which is] an institution imbued with public interest.
Thereafter, trial ensued. During the presentation of the evidence for the defense, Atty. Edmundo Cea, collaborating counsel of
Atty. Lozares, filed a Motion to Dismiss on FBNIs behalf. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss. Consequently, FBNI filed
a separate Answer claiming that it exercised due diligence in the selection and supervision of Rima and Alegre. FBNI claimed
that before hiring a broadcaster, the broadcaster should (1) file an application; (2) be interviewed; and (3) undergo an
apprenticeship and training program after passing the interview. FBNI likewise claimed that it always reminds its broadcasters
to observe truth, fairness and objectivity in their broadcasts and to refrain from using libelous and indecent language.
Moreover, FBNI requires all broadcasters to pass the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) accreditation test and
to secure a KBP permit. On 14 December 1992, the trial court rendered a Decision finding FBNI and Alegre liable for libel
except Rima. The trial court held that the broadcasts are libelous per se. The trial court rejected the broadcasters claim that
their utterances were the result of straight reporting because it had no factual basis. The broadcasters did not even verify
their reports before airing them to show good faith. In holding FBNI liable for libel, the trial court found that FBNI failed to
exercise diligence in the selection and supervision of its employees.
In absolving Rima from the charge, the trial court ruled that Rimas only participation was when he agreed with Alegres
expos. The trial court found Rimas statement within the bounds of freedom of speech, expression, and of the press. Both
parties, namely, FBNI, Rima and Alegre, on one hand, and AMEC and Ago, on the other, appealed the decision to the Court of
Appeals.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial courts judgment with modification. The appellate court made Rima solidarily liable
with FBNI and Alegre. The appellate court denied Agos claim for damages and attorneys fees because the broadcasts were
directed against AMEC, and not against her. FBNI, Rima and Alegre filed a motion for reconsideration which the Court of
Appeals denied in its 26 January 2000 Resolution. Hence, FBNI filed the petition for review.
Issue:
Whether AMEC is entitled to moral damages.
Held:
A juridical person is generally not entitled to moral damages because, unlike a natural person, it cannot experience physical
suffering or such sentiments as wounded feelings, serious anxiety, mental anguish or moral shock. The Court of Appeals cites
Mambulao Lumber Co. v. PNB, et al. to justify the award of moral damages. However, the Courts statement in Mambulao that
a corporation may have a good reputation which, if besmirched, may also be a ground for the award of moral damages is an
obiter dictum.
Nevertheless, AMECs claim for moral damages falls under item 7 of Article 2219 of the Civil Code. This provision expressly
authorizes the recovery of moral damages in cases of libel, slander or any other form of defamation. Article 2219(7) does not
qualify whether the plaintiff is a natural or juridical person. Therefore, a juridical person such as a corporation can validly
complain for libel or any other form of defamation and claim for moral damages. Moreover, where the broadcast is libelous
per se, the law implies damages.
In such a case, evidence of an honest mistake or the want of character or reputation of the party libeled goes only in
mitigation of damages. Neither in such a case is the plaintiff required to introduce evidence of actual damages as a condition
precedent to the recovery of some damages. In this case, the broadcasts are libelous per se. Thus, AMEC is entitled to moral
damages. However, the Court found the award of P300,000 moral damages unreasonable.

The record shows that even though the broadcasts were libelous per se, AMEC has not suffered any substantial or material
damage to its reputation. Therefore, the Court reduced the award of moral damages from P300,000 to P150,000.