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TAMARGO vs. CA et al G.R. No. 85044 June 3, 1992 fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done.

o pay for the damage done. Such fault


or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between
FACTS: the parties, is called a quasi-delict . . .

Adelberto Bundoc, then a minor of 10 years of age, shot Jennifer Upon the other hand, the law imposes civil liability upon the father
Tamargo with an air rifle which resulted in her death. Accordingly, a and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, for any damages
civil complaint for damages was filed with the RTC of Vigan, Ilocos Sur that may be caused by a minor child who lives with them. Article 2180
by petitioners, parents of Jennifer, against respondent spouses, of the Civil Code reads:
Adelbertos natural parents with whom he was living at the time of the
tragic incident. In addition to this case for damages, a criminal The obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable not only for
information or Homicide through Reckless Imprudence was filed ones own acts or omissions, but also for those of persons for whom
against Adelberto, who was acquitted and exempted from criminal one is responsible.
liability on the ground that he bad acted without discernment.
The father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are
Prior to the incident the spouses Rapisura had filed a petition to adopt responsible for the damages caused by the minor children who live in
the minor Adelberto before the then CFI of Ilocos Sur. This petition for their company.
adoption was granted after Adelberto had shot and killed Jennifer
xxx xxx xxx
In their Answer, respondent spouses, Adelbertos natural parents,
claimed that not they, but rather the adopting parents were The responsibility treated of in this Article shall cease when the person
indispensable parties to the action since parental authority had shifted herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good
to the adopting parents from the moment the successful petition for father of a family to prevent damage. (Emphasis supplied)
adoption was filed.
The natural parent spouses rely on Article 36 of the Child and Youth
The trial court ruled against the adopting parents, who filed an MR Welfare Code 8 which reads as follows:
which was later denied for being filed beyond the reglementary
period. Petitioners went to the CA on a petition for mandamusand Art. 36. Decree of Adoption. If, after considering the report of the
certiorariquestioning the trial courts decision. The CA dismissed the Department of Social Welfare or duly licensed child placement agency
petition, ruling that petitioners had lost their right to appeal. Hence and the evidence submitted before it, the court is satisfied that the
this petition for review petitioner is qualified to maintain, care for, and educate the child, that
the trial custody period has been completed, and that the best
ISSUE: Who should be responsible for the tortuous act of the minor interests of the child will be promoted by the adoption, a decree of
Adelberto, his natural parents or adopting parents? adoption shall be entered, which shall be effective he date the original
petition was filed. The decree shall state the name by which the child
HELD: Petition for Review is hereby GRANTED DUE COURSE and the is thenceforth to be known.
Decision of the CA is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Petitioners
complaint filed before the trial court is hereby REINSTATED and this The Bundoc spouses further argue that the above Article 36 should be
case is REMANDED to that court for further proceedings read in relation to Article 39 of the same Code:

Natural parents. Art. 39. Effect of Adoption. The adoption shall:

It is not disputed that Adelbertos voluntary act of shooting Jennifer xxx xxx xxx
with an air rifle gave rise to a cause of action on quasi-delictagainst
him. As Article 2176 of the Civil Code provides: (2) Dissolve the authority vested in the natural parents, except where
the adopter is the spouse of the surviving natural parent;
Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being
xxx xxx xxx where the policy of the courts is to encourage hearings of appeal on
their merits.
and urge that their Parental authority must be deemed to have been
dissolved as of the time the Petition for adoption was filed. Tamargo vs CA GR No. 85044, June 3, 1992

The Court is not persuaded. As earlier noted, under the Civil Code, the FACTS:
basis of parental liability for the torts of a minor child is the
relationship existing between the parents and the minor child living In October 1982, Adelberto Bundoc, minor, 10 years of age, shot
with them and over whom, the law presumes, the parents exercise Jennifer Tamargo with an air rifle causing injuries that resulted in her
supervision and control. death. The petitioners, natural parents of Tamargo, filed a complaint
for damages against the natural parents of Adelberto with whom he
Article 221 of the Family Code of the Philippines insisted upon the was living the time of the tragic incident.
requisite that the child, doer of the tortious act, shall have been in the
actual custody of the parents sought to be held liable for the ensuing In December 1981, the spouses Rapisura filed a petition to adopt
damage: Adelberto Bundoc. Such petition was granted on November 1982
after the tragic incident.
Art. 221. Parents and other persons exercising parental authority shall
be civilly liable for the injuries and damages caused by the acts or ISSUE: WON parental authority concerned may be given retroactive
omissions of their unemancipated children living in their company and effect so as to make adopting parents the indispensable parties in a
under their parental authority subject to the appropriate defenses damage case filed against the adopted child where actual custody was
provided by law. lodged with the biological parents.

In the instant case, however, to hold that parental authority had been HELD:
retroactively lodged in the Rapisura spouses so as to burden them
with liability for a tortious act that they could not have foreseen and Parental liability is a natural or logical consequence of duties and
which they could not have prevented (since they were at the time in responsibilities of parents, their parental authority which includes
the United States and had no physical custody over the child instructing, controlling and disciplining the child. In the case at bar,
Adelberto) would be unfair and unconscionable. Such a result, during the shooting incident, parental authority over Adelberto was
moreover, would be inconsistent with the philosophical and policy still lodged with the natural parents. It follows that they are the
basis underlying the doctrine of vicarious liability. Put a little indispensable parties to the suit for damages. Parents and guardians
differently, no presumption of parental dereliction on the part of the are responsible for the damage caused by the child under their
adopting parents, the Rapisura spouses, could have arisen since parental authority in accordance with the civil code.
Adelberto was not in fact subject to their control at the time the tort
was committed.
SC did not consider that retroactive effect may be given to the decree
of adoption so as to impose a liability upon the adopting parents
NOTES: accruing at the time when they had no actual or physical custody over
the adopted child. Retroactivity may be essential if it permits accrual
(On why this petition was accepted by the SC) In view, however, of the of some benefit or advantage in favor of the adopted child. Under
nature of the issue raised in the instant petition, and in order that Article 35 of the Child and Youth Welfare Code, parental authority is
substantial justice may be served, the Court, invoking its right to provisionally vested in the adopting parents during the period of trial
suspend the application of technical rules to prevent manifest custody however in this case, trial custody period either had not yet
injustice, elects to treat the notice of appeal as having been begin nor had been completed at the time of the shooting incident.
seasonably filed before the trial court, and the motion (and Hence, actual custody was then with the natural parents of Adelberto.
supplemental motion) for reconsideration filed by petitioner in the trial
court as having interrupted the reglementary period for appeal. Tamargo vs CA G.R. No. 85044 June 3 1992 [Parental Authority]

Dismissal of appeal; purely on technical grounds is frowned upon


FACTS:

In October 1982, Adelberto Bundoc, a minor, shot and killed Jennifer


Tamargo with an air rifle. Jennifer's natural parents filed civil
complaints for damages with the RTC against Bundoc's natural
parents.

In December 1981, spouses Rapisura filed a petition to adopt


Adelberto. The petition was granted in November 1982.

Adelberto's parents, in their Answer, claimed that the spouses


Rapisura were indispensable parties to the action since parental
authority had shifted to them from the moment the petition for
adoption was decreed. Spouses Tamargo contended that since
Adelberto was then actually living with his natural parents, parental
authority had not ceased by mere filing and granting of the petition
for adoption. Trial court dismissed the spouses Tamargo's petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not the spouses Rapisura are the indispensable


parties to actions committed by Adelberto.

RULING:

No. In Article 221 of the Family Code states that: "Parents and other
persons exercising parental authority shall be civilly liable for the
injuries and damages caused by the acts or omissions of their
unemancipated children living in their company and under their
parental authority subject to the appropriate defences provided by
law." In the case at bar, parental authority over Adelberto was still
lodged with the natural parents at the time the shooting incident
happened. It follows that the natural parents are the indispensable
parties to the suit for damages.

SC held that parental authority had not been retroactively transferred


to and vested in the adopting parents, at the time the shooting
happened. It do not consider that retroactive effect may be given to
the decree of the adoption so as to impose a liability upon the
adopting parents accruing at the time when adopting parents had no
actual custody over the adopted child. Retroactive affect may be
essential if it permit the accrual of some benefit or advantage in favor
of the adopted child.