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John E.R. Reyes and Merwin Joseph Reyes v.

Orico Doctolero, Romeo Avila, Grandeur Security


and Services Corp., and Makati Cinema Square
GR No. 185597 | August 2, 2017
Nature of Action: Petition for certiorari under Rule 45 | Topic: Torts Vicarious liability of
employers

Third Division | Jardeleza, J:

Doctolero, a security guard of Grandeur Security, had an altercation with John and Mervin Reyes in
the parking area of Makati Cinema Square, resulting in Doctolero shooting the petitioners.

Petitioners filed a complaint for damages against Doctolero and Avila, and their employer Grandeur,
charging the latter with negligence in the selection and supervision of its employees. MCS was also
impleaded for its negligence in getting Grandeurs services.

RTC held Doctolero and Avila liable, whole MCS was absolved. Grandeur was held solidarily liable
with Doctolero and Avila for failure to prove exercise of diligence in supervision of employees
because it failed to prove strict implementation of its rules and regulations, and to monitor
consistent compliance by respondents. RTC reconsidered in the MR. CA affirmed the RTC.

ISSUE: W/N Grandeur and MCS may be held vicariously liable for damages caused to petitioners
John and Mervin Reyes

RULING OF THE COURT: NO.

XXX

MCS is not liable to petitioners.

As a general rule, one is only responsible for his own act or omission. This general rule is laid down
in Article 2176 of the Civil Code, which provides:

Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault
or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage clone. Such fault or negligence, if
there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties, is called a quasi-
delict and is governed by the provisions or this Chapter.

The law, however, provides for exceptions when it makes certain persons liable for the act or
omission of another. One exception is an employer who is made vicariously liable for the tort
committed by his employee under paragraph 5 of Article 2180. Here, although the employer is not
the actual tortfeasor, the law makes him vicariously liable on the basis of the civil law principle of
paterfamilias for failure to exercise due care and vigilance over the acts of one's subordinates to
prevent damage to another.

XXX

On the other hand, paragraph 5 of Article 2180 of the Civil Code may be applicable to Grandeur, it
being undisputed that respondent guards were its employees. When the employee causes damage
due to his own negligence while performing his own duties, there arises the Juris tantum
presumption that the employer is negligent, rebuttable only by proof of observance of the diligence
of a good father of a family. The "diligence of a good father" referred to in the last paragraph of
Article 2180 means diligence in the selection and supervision of employees.
To rebut the presumption of negligence, Grandeur must prove two things: first, that it had exercised
due diligence in the selection of respondents Doctolero and Avila, and second, that after hiring
Doctolero and Avila, Grandeur had exercised due diligence in supervising them.

XXX

Here, both the R TC and the CA found that Grandeur was able to sufficiently prove, through
testimonial and documentary evidence, that it had exercised the diligence of a good father of a
family in the selection and hiring of its security guards. As testified to by its HRD head Ungui, and
corroborated by documentary evidence including clearances from various government agencies,
certificates, and favorable test results in medical and psychiatric examinations, Grandeur's selection
and hiring procedure was outlined as follows:

1. Initial screening;

2. Submission of personal bio-data;

3. Submission of the following documents and clearances: (1) NBI Clearance; (2)
PDICE Clearance; (3) Barangay Clearance; (4) PNP Clearance; (5) Birth Certificate;
(6) High School Diploma/Transcript/College Diploma; (7) Reserved Officers
Training Corps or Citizens Army Training ce1iificate; (8) Court Clearances; and (9)
resignation or clearance from previous employment;

4. Pre-licensing training (15 days or 150 hours) for those without experience or pre-
training course (56 hours) for applicants with working experience as security guard;

5. Undergo neuro-psychiatric examination, drug testing and physical examination;

6. Submit and secure a security license before being given an application form;

7. Series of Interviews by Grandeur's Recruiting Officer, Personnel Clerk, Head of


Human Resources Department, Operation Department or Security Officer, Senior
Security Officer, Chief Security Officer, Assistant Vice President for Operations,
Assistant Vice President for Accounting, and recommending approval by the Vice
President and the President.

8. The applicant undergoes on-the-job training (OJT) for seven days assigned in the
field or within Grandeur's office; and

9. The applicant then undergoes a probationary period of six months after which the
employee automatically becomes regular upon meeting the company standards.

Unlike in the aforecited MMTC cases, the evidence presented by Grandeur consists not only in the
testimony of its HRD head but also by documentary evidence showing respondents Doctolero's and
Avila's compliance with the above hiring and selection process consisting of their respective: (1)
private security licenses; (2) NBI Clearances; (3) Medical Certificates; (4) Police Clearances; (5)
Certificate of Live Birth/Certification issued by the Local Civil Registrar appertaining to date of
birth; (6) Certificates issued by the Safety Vocational and Training Center for satisfactory
completion of the Pre-Licensing Training Course; (7) High School Diplomas; (8) SSS Personal Data
Records; (9) Barangay Clearances; (10) Court Clearance; ( 11) Neuro-psychiatric result issued by
Goodwill Medical Center, Inc. for Doctolero's pre-employment screening as Security Guard
/Evaluation Report by Office Chief Surgeon Army, Headquarters, Phil. Army, Fort Bonifactio Metro-
Manila for Avila showing an above-average result and no psychotic ideations; ( 12) Certification
from Varsitarian Security and Investigation Agency, Inc. that Doctolero has been employed with said
agency; ( 13) Ce1iificate issued by Cordova High School showing that Doctolero had completed the
requirements of the courts of Institution in Citizen Army Training-I ; (14) Certification by Grandeur
that Doctolero has submitted the requirements for his application for the post of Security Guard.
Thus, we agree with the RTC and CA's evaluation that Grandeur was able to satisfactorily prove that
it had exercised due diligence in the selection of respondents Doctolero and Avila.

Once evidence is introduced showing that the employer exercised the required amount of care in
selecting its employees, half of the employer's burden is overcome. X X X

Here, Grandeur's HRD head, Ungui, likewise testified on Grandeur's standard operational
procedures, showing the means by which Grandeur conducts close and regular supervision over the
security guards assigned to their various clients. Grandeur also submitted as evidence certificates of
attendance to various seminars and the memoranda both those commending respondents for their
good works and reprimanding them for violations of various company policies. We agree with the
CA that these may be considered, as they are related to the documents and testimonies adduced
during trial to show Grandeur's diligence in the supervision of the actual work performance of its
employees.

Considering all the evidence borne by the records, we find that Grandeur has sufficiently exercised
the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of its employees. Hence,
having successfully overcome the legal presumption of negligence, it is relieved of liability from the
negligent acts of its employees, respondents Doctolero and Avila.
Judith D. Darines and Joyce D. Darines v. Eduardo Quiones and Rolando Quitan
G.R. No. 206468 | August 2, 2017
Nature of Action: Petition for review on certiorari | Topic: Torts and damages Breach of contract of
Carriage

First Division | Del Castillo, J:

Judith and Joyce are mother and daughter who boarded Amianan Bus Line, going from
Carmen, Rosales, Pangasinan, to Baguio City. The bus crashed into a parked truck on the shoulder of
Kennon Road. Both vehicles were damaged; petitioners were injured.

Petitioners argue that respondents breached their contract of carriage for failure to bring
them safely to their destination. Also Quitans reckless and negligent driving caused the collision.

Respondents say Quitan was driving at a moderate speed, and the proximate cause of the
accident was the negligence of the truck driver, Fernandez who was parked at roadside right after
the curve without any early warning device. Quin ones observed due diligence in selection and
supervision of Quitan by conducting seminars on road safety measures.

Judith failed to report for two months and presented receipts for medicine, expenses for the
dao-is ritual, a tribal ritual in their tribe when a member meets an accident and is released from the
hospital, to prove actual damages. She also claimed moral damages for sleepless nights.

Respondents testified that through Benitez, they bought petitioners medicines and paid for
their hospital expenses, shown by receipts.

RTC ruled to pay petitioners Moral and exemplary damages, plus attorneys fees and appearance
fees. No actual damages for lack of proof of such expenses. CA deleted moral damages for failure to
prove fraud and bad faith, as shown by the fact that respondents paid for petitioners
hospitalization. Since no moral damages are awarded, no exemplary damages too, and consequently,
attorneys fees must be deleted.

ISSUE: W/N petitioners are entitled to damages NO

RULING OF THE COURT:

Going now to the main issue, the Court fully agrees with the CA ruling that in an action for
breach of contract, moral damages may be recovered only when a) death of a passenger results; or
b) the carrier was guilty of fraud and bad faith even if death does not result; and that neither of
these circumstances were present in the case at bar. The CA correctly held that, since no moral
damages was awarded then, there is no basis to grant exemplary damages and attorneys fees to
petitioners.

To stress, this case is one for breach of contract of carriage (culpa contractual) where it is
necessary to show the existence of the contract between the parties, and the failure of the common
carrier to transport its passenger safely to his or her destination. X x x

The principle that, in an action for breach of contract of carriage, moral damages may be
awarded only in case (1) an accident results in the death of a passenger; or (2) the carrier is guilty
of fraud or bad faith, is pursuant to Article 1764, in relation to Article 2206(3) of the Civil Code, and
Article 2220 thereof, as follows:

XXX
The aforesaid concepts of fraud or bad faith and negligence are basic as they are distinctly
differentiated by law. Specifically, fraud or bad faith connotes "deliberate or wanton wrong doing"
or such deliberate disregard of contractual obligations while negligence amounts to sheer
carelessness.

More particularly, fraud includes "inducement through insidious machination." In turn,


insidious machination refers to such deceitful strategy or such plan with an evil purpose. On the
other hand, bad faith does not merely pertain to bad judgment or negligence but relates to a
dishonest purpose, and a deliberate doing of a wrongful act. Bad faith involves "breach of a known
duty through some motive or interest or ill will that partakes of the nature of fraud. " x x x

Clearly, unless it is fully established (and not just lightly inferred) that negligence in an
action for breach of contract is so gross as to amount to malice, then the claim of moral damages is
without merit.

Here, petitioners impute negligence on the part of respondents when, as paying passengers,
they sustained injuries when the bus owned and operated by respondent Quifiones, and driven by
respondent Quitan, collided with another vehicle. Petitioners propounded on the negligence of
respondents, but did not discuss or impute fraud or bad faith, or such gross negligence which would
amount to bad faith, against respondents. There being neither allegation nor proof that respondents
acted in fraud or in bad faith in performing their duties arising from their contract of carriage, they
are then not liable for moral damages.

The Court also sustains the CA's finding that petitioners are not entitled to exemplary
damages. Pursuant to Articles 2229 and 2234 of the Civil Code, exemplary damages may be
awarded only in addition to moral, temperate, liquidated, or compensatory damages. Since
petitioners are not entitled to either moral, temperate, liquidated, or compensatory damages, then
their claim for exemplary damages is bereft of merit.

Finally, considering the absence of any of the circumstances under Article 2208 of the Civil
Code where attorney's fees may be awarded, the same cannot be granted to petitioners.

All told, the CA correctly ruled that petitioners are not entitled to moral and exemplary
damages as well as attorney's fees.
F.F. CRUZ & COMPANY, INC., PETITIONER, VS. PHILIPPINE IRON CONSTRUCTION AND MARINE
WORKS, INC., AND/OR ANCHOR METALS CORP., RESPONDENTS.
G.R. No. 188144

PHILIPPINE IRON CONSTRUCTION AND MARINE WORKS, INC., AND/OR ANCHOR METALS
CORP., PETITIONERS, VS. F.F. CRUZ & COMPANY, INC., Respondent.
G.R. NO. 188301
August 30, 2017
Nature of Action: Petition for review on certiorari | Topic: Torts and damages Contributory
negligence

Third Division | Jardeleza, J:

DPWH engaged the services of F.F. Cruz to construct the government pier in Brookes Point Palawan.
F.F. Cruz brought tugboat M/T Imma, Barge 609, Barge 1001, and Barge Piling Rig Pilipino.
Tugboat M/T Jasaan docked at Brookes Point to tow barge Florida, which was owned by AMC.
AMC also leased Jasaan from PICMW. Typhoon Welpring hit Brookes Point , causing the sinking of
Barge 609 and Pilipino, while Barge 1001 collided with the driven piles. Jasaan towed Florida to a
safer place because the latters anchor line was cut off. However, the rudder cable snapped and both
Jasaan and Florida drifted towards the seashore.

Immas master, Bundal, filed a marine protest alleging that Jasaan and Florida were responsible for
the damage to F.F. Cruzs vessels, as a result of an allision between Jasaan and Barge 1001. Florida
also bumped Barge 609 causing the latters sinking.

Board of Marine Inquiry absolved PICMW, AMC, Capt. Pino, and Floridas patron Fausto dela Riarte,
saying that a safe distance was maintained between the vessels. BMI faulted the patrons of Barge
609, 1001, and Pilipino for failure to transfer their barges to a safe distance from the driven piles.

ISSUE: W/N F.F. Cruz was guilty of contributory negligence - YES

RULING OF THE COURT:

In finding that F.F. Cruz was guilty of contributory negligence, the CA relied on the factual findings
set forth in the BMI report. The pertinent portions of the report detailed how F.F. Cruz failed to
observe the proper standard of diligence in view of the imminent arrival of typhoon Welpring:

10. Proper perusal of Exhibit "A-1" shows that only [Pilipino] was well secured with
her mooring lines and anchors immediately before the typhoon passed Brooke's
Point, Palawan:

xxx
11. From the above observations, it appears that Barge 609 and Barge 1001 were
not individually or separately well secured at the time the strong typhoon
"W[e]lpring" was hitting the area of Palawan particularly Brooke[']s Point. So
that if the mooring lines at fore-ends of said vessels which are numbered 2 and 3
respectively as shown in Exhibit A-1 snapped, as indeed it did, the [Pilipino] would
have been affected. Barge 609 and Barge 1001 starboard and port sides respectively
tied to the port side of [Pilipino]'s 5-ton anchors which are numbered 7 and 8. So if
the fore-ends mooring lines of Barge 609 and Barge 1001 parted away from Anchors
Nos. 2 and 3, Anchors Nos. 7 and 8 of [Pilipino] would be overloaded and would have
a tendency to drag and its mooring lines subjected to undue tension stresses. The
cutting off of the fore-end mooring line of Barge 1001 had resulted to her sudden
swinging towards the aft portion of [Pilipino] resulting to the bumping/ramming
against the latter. x x x

12. The F.F. Cruz's vessels were located very near the driven piles of Brooke's
Point Pier under construction by F.F. Cruz & Co. In fact[,] before the typhoon
"W[e]lpring" came on November 4, 1988, the vessels were still engaged in the actual
driving of the posts/piles. The Barges did not change their position except Barge
609 which was required by P.P.A. to vacate the causeway to give way for M/T Jasaan
and Barge Florida to dock; Barge 609 then proceeded to the anchorage and dropped
anchor at her position as indicated in Exhibit A-1; they only double their preparation
of the previous typhoon "Unsang."

The crew did not move the [b]arges to keep away from the driven concrete
piles to avoid the unfinished pier from being hit by their vessels in case the
anchors dragged or the mooring lines are cut off at the height of the typhoon.
So when the fore-end mooring lines of the barges were cut off or dragged because of
the strong winds and big waves, the vessels bumped/rammed the driven piles of the
unfinished pier thus damaging their hulls resulting to the sinking of Barge 609 and
[Pilipino]. Because of the ramming/bumping/smashing by the F.F. Cruz's vessels, the
driven piles that were hit were destroyed and/or had fallen down mercilessly.

xxx

14. x x x [A]s admitted by no other than the Project Engineer of the ongoing project
at Brooke's Point x x x and the patrons of the F.F. Cruz's vessels, (M/T Imma,
[Pilipino], [Barge] 609 and [Barge] 1001), they did not anymore change the original
positions of the vessels or move the vessels at the anchorage, relying only upon their
previous preparations when typhoon "Unsang" hit the Philippines x x x.[35]
(Emphasis supplied.)

In finding that F.F. Cruz was negligent, the BMI clearly identified the evidentiary basis in support of
its conclusion. The CA cannot thus be faulted for relying on the BMI's factual findings to support its
own conclusion that F.F. Cruz was guilty of contributory negligence because such findings are
supported by substantial evidence.
Eddie Cortel v. Cecile Gepaya-Lim
GR No. 218014 | December 7, 2016
Nature of the action: petition for review on certiorari | Topic: Torts and Damages Res ipsa loquitur

Second Division | Carpio, J:

Cortel was bus driver of Yellow Bus Line, who saw two trucks with glaring headlights coming from
the opposite direction. He reduced his speed from 40-50kph down to 20kph. However, the bus hit a
black motorcycle which allegedly had no tail light reflectors. Lim, the rider of the motorcycle, was
thrown upward and slammed into the bus. The motorcycle was dragged for 3 meters before it came
to a complete stop. Lims widow, herein respondent, filed a complaint for damages against
petitioners. Investigation revealed that the motorcycles engine and chassis were severely damaged,
while its rear rim was totally damaged. The CA applied doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, noting that
vehicles running on highways do not normally collide unless one of the drivers is negligent.

ISSUE: W/N CA erred in affirming the RTC decision

RULING OF THE COURT:

We agree that res ipsa loquitur applies in this case.

XXX

The elements of res ipsa loquitur are: (1) the accident is of such character as to warrant an inference
that it would not have happened except for the defendant's negligence; (2) the accident must have
been caused by an agency or instrumentality within the exclusive management or control of the
person charged with the negligence complained of; and (3) the accident must not have been due to
any voluntary action or contribution on the part of the person injured.

In this case, Cortel had the exclusive control of the bus, including its speed. The bus and the
motorcycle were running in the same traffic direction and as such, the collision would not have
happened without negligence on the part of Cortel. It was established that the collision between the
bus and the motorcycle caused Lim's death. Aside from bare allegations that petitioners failed to
prove, there was nothing to show that Lim had contributory negligence to the accident.
Eddie Cortel v. Cecile Gepaya-Lim
GR No. 218014 | December 7, 2016
Nature of the action: petition for review on certiorari | Topic: Torts and Damages vicarious liability
of employer

Second Division | Carpio, J:

Cortel was bus driver of Yellow Bus Line, who saw two trucks with glaring headlights coming from
the opposite direction. He reduced his speed from 40-50kph down to 20kph. However, the bus hit a
black motorcycle which allegedly had no tail light reflectors. Lim, the rider of the motorcycle, was
thrown upward and slammed into the bus. The motorcycle was dragged for 3 meters before it came
to a complete stop. Lims widow, herein respondent, filed a complaint for damages against
petitioners. Investigation revealed that the motorcycles engine and chassis were severely damaged,
while its rear rim was totally damaged. Yellow Bus Line claim the exercise of the diligence of a good
father of a family.

RULING OF THE COURT:

XXX

The rule is when an employee causes damage due to his own negligence while performing his own
duties, there arises a presumption that his employer is negligent. This presumption can be rebutted
only by proof of observance by the employer of the diligence of a good father of a family in the
selection and supervision of its employees. In this case, we agree with the trial court and the Court
of Appeals that Yellow Bus Line failed to prove that it exercised due diligence of a good father of a
family in the selection and supervision of its employees. Cortel's certificates of attendance to
seminars, which Yellow Bus Line did not even present as evidence in the trial court, are not enough
to prove otherwise.