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G.R. No.

L-48006 July 8, 1942 § defense: liability of Barredo is governed by the


RPC>liability is only subsidiary (no civil action against
FAUSTO BARREDO, petitioner, the driver Fontanilla Barredo cannot be held
vs. responsible in the case)
SEVERINO GARCIA and TIMOTEA ALMARIO, respondents. § CFI awarded damages for P2,000 plus legal interest
§ CA: reduced the damages to P1,000 w/ legal interest
FACTS: § Applied Article 1903: applicable only to those
§ May 3, 1936 1:30 am: road between Malabon and (obligations) arising from wrongful or negligent acts
Navotas, Province of Rizal, there was a head-on or commission not punishable by law
collision between a taxi of the Malate Taxicab driven § by reason of his negligence in the selection or
by Pedro Fontanilla and a carretela guided by Pedro supervision of his servant or employee
Dimapalis ISSUE: W/N the parents may bring separate civil action
§ The carretela was overturned and its against Barredo, thus making him primarily and directly,
passenger Faustino Garcia (16 years old boy) suffered responsible under article 1903 of the Civil Code as an
injuries from which he died two days later employer
§ Fontanilla 's negligence was the cause of the mishap
§ he was driving on the wrong side of the road and at
high speed
§ criminal action was filed against Fontanilla in the CFI
§ CA affirmed CFI: he was convicted and sentenced to HELD: YES. CA Affirmed.
an indeterminate sentence of 1 year and 1 day to 2 § quasi-delict or "culpa aquiliana " is a separate legal
years of prision correccional. The court in the criminal institution under the Civil Code with a substantivity all
case granted the petition that the right to bring a its own, and individuality that is entirely apart and
separate civil action be reserved. independent from delict or crime
§ March 7, 1939: parents Severino Garcia and Timotea § Upon this principle and on the wording and spirit
Almario brought an action in the CFI of Manila against article 1903 of the Civil Code, the primary and direct
Fausto Barredo as the sole proprietor of the Malate responsibility of employers may be safely anchored.
Taxicab and employer of Fontanilla
§ Barredo was careless in employing Fontanilla who had
been caught several times for violation of the
Automobile Law and speeding violation which Celedonio P. Gloria and Antonio Barredo for petitioner.
appeared in the records of the Bureau of Public Works Jose G. Advincula for respondents.
available to be public and to himself
§ Therefore, he must indemnify plaintiffs under the BOCOBO, J.:
provisions of article 1903 of the Civil Code
This case comes up from the Court of Appeals which held the Bureau of Public Works available to be public and to
petitioner herein, Fausto Barredo, liable in damages for the death himself. Therefore, he must indemnify plaintiffs under the
of Faustino Garcia caused by the negligence of Pedro Fontanilla, provisions of article 1903 of the Civil Code.
a taxi driver employed by said Fausto Barredo.
The main theory of the defense is that the liability of Fausto
At about half past one in the morning of May 3, 1936, on the road Barredo is governed by the Revised Penal Code; hence, his
between Malabon and Navotas, Province of Rizal, there was a liability is only subsidiary, and as there has been no civil action
head-on collision between a taxi of the Malate Taxicab driven by against Pedro Fontanilla, the person criminally liable, Barredo
Pedro Fontanilla and a carretela guided by Pedro Dimapalis. The cannot be held responsible in the case. The petitioner's brief
carretela was overturned, and one of its passengers, 16-year-old states on page 10:
boy Faustino Garcia, suffered injuries from which he died two
days later. A criminal action was filed against Fontanilla in the ... The Court of Appeals holds that the petitioner is being
Court of First Instance of Rizal, and he was convicted and sued for his failure to exercise all the diligence of a good
sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of one year and one day father of a family in the selection and supervision of Pedro
to two years of prision correccional. The court in the criminal case Fontanilla to prevent damages suffered by the
granted the petition that the right to bring a separate civil action respondents. In other words, The Court of Appeals insists
be reserved. The Court of Appeals affirmed the sentence of the on applying in the case article 1903 of the Civil Code.
lower court in the criminal case. Severino Garcia and Timotea Article 1903 of the Civil Code is found in Chapter II, Title
Almario, parents of the deceased on March 7, 1939, brought an 16, Book IV of the Civil Code. This fact makes said article
action in the Court of First Instance of Manila against Fausto to a civil liability arising from a crime as in the case at bar
Barredo as the sole proprietor of the Malate Taxicab and simply because Chapter II of Title 16 of Book IV of the
employer of Pedro Fontanilla. On July 8, 1939, the Court of First Civil Code, in the precise words of article 1903 of the Civil
Instance of Manila awarded damages in favor of the plaintiffs for Code itself, is applicable only to "those (obligations)
P2,000 plus legal interest from the date of the complaint. This arising from wrongful or negligent acts or commission
decision was modified by the Court of Appeals by reducing the not punishable by law.
damages to P1,000 with legal interest from the time the action
was instituted. It is undisputed that Fontanilla 's negligence was The gist of the decision of the Court of Appeals is expressed thus:
the cause of the mishap, as he was driving on the wrong side of
the road, and at high speed. As to Barredo's responsibility, the
... We cannot agree to the defendant's contention. The
Court of Appeals found:
liability sought to be imposed upon him in this action is not
a civil obligation arising from a felony or a misdemeanor
... It is admitted that defendant is Fontanilla's employer. (the crime of Pedro Fontanilla,), but an obligation imposed
There is proof that he exercised the diligence of a good in article 1903 of the Civil Code by reason of his
father of a family to prevent damage. (See p. 22, negligence in the selection or supervision of his servant or
appellant's brief.) In fact it is shown he was careless in employee.
employing Fontanilla who had been caught several times
for violation of the Automobile Law and speeding (Exhibit
A) — violation which appeared in the records of the
The pivotal question in this case is whether the plaintiffs may xxx xxx xxx
bring this separate civil action against Fausto Barredo, thus
making him primarily and directly, responsible under article 1903 ART. 1092. Civil obligations arising from felonies or
of the Civil Code as an employer of Pedro Fontanilla. The misdemeanors shall be governed by the provisions of the
defendant maintains that Fontanilla's negligence being Penal Code.
punishable by the Penal Code, his (defendant's) liability as an
employer is only subsidiary, according to said Penal code, but ART. 1093. Those which are derived from acts or
Fontanilla has not been sued in a civil action and his property has omissions in which fault or negligence, not punishable by
not been exhausted. To decide the main issue, we must cut law, intervenes shall be subject to the provisions of
through the tangle that has, in the minds of many confused and Chapter II, Title XVI of this book.
jumbled together delitos and cuasi delitos, or crimes under the
Penal Code and fault or negligence under articles 1902-1910 of
xxx xxx xxx
the Civil Code. This should be done, because justice may be lost
in a labyrinth, unless principles and remedies are distinctly
envisaged. Fortunately, we are aided in our inquiry by the ART 1902. Any person who by an act or omission causes
luminous presentation of the perplexing subject by renown jurists damage to another by his fault or negligence shall be
and we are likewise guided by the decisions of this Court in liable for the damage so done.
previous cases as well as by the solemn clarity of the
consideration in several sentences of the Supreme Tribunal of ART. 1903. The obligation imposed by the next preceding
Spain. article is enforcible, not only for personal acts and
omissions, but also for those of persons for whom another
Authorities support the proposition that a quasi-delict or "culpa is responsible.
aquiliana " is a separate legal institution under the Civil Code with
a substantivity all its own, and individuality that is entirely apart The father and in, case of his death or incapacity, the
and independent from delict or crime. Upon this principle and on mother, are liable for any damages caused by the minor
the wording and spirit article 1903 of the Civil Code, the primary children who live with them.
and direct responsibility of employers may be safely anchored.
Guardians are liable for damages done by minors or
The pertinent provisions of the Civil Code and Revised Penal incapacitated persons subject to their authority and living
Code are as follows: with them.

CIVIL CODE Owners or directors of an establishment or business are


equally liable for any damages caused by their employees
ART. 1089 Obligations arise from law, from contracts and while engaged in the branch of the service in which
quasi-contracts, and from acts and omissions which are employed, or on occasion of the performance of their
unlawful or in which any kind of fault or negligence duties.
intervenes.
The State is subject to the same liability when it acts acted without discernment shall devolve upon those
through a special agent, but not if the damage shall have having such person under their legal authority or control,
been caused by the official upon whom properly devolved unless it appears that there was no fault or negligence on
the duty of doing the act performed, in which case the their part.
provisions of the next preceding article shall be
applicable. Should there be no person having such insane, imbecile
or minor under his authority, legal guardianship, or
Finally, teachers or directors of arts trades are liable for control, or if such person be insolvent, said insane,
any damages caused by their pupils or apprentices while imbecile, or minor shall respond with their own property,
they are under their custody. excepting property exempt from execution, in accordance
with the civil law.
The liability imposed by this article shall cease in case the
persons mentioned therein prove that they are exercised Second. In cases falling within subdivision 4 of article 11,
all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the the person for whose benefit the harm has been
damage. prevented shall be civilly liable in proportion to the benefit
which they may have received.
ART. 1904. Any person who pays for damage caused by
his employees may recover from the latter what he may The courts shall determine, in their sound discretion, the
have paid. proportionate amount for which each one shall be liable.

REVISED PENAL CODE When the respective shares can not be equitably determined,
even approximately, or when the liability also attaches to the
ART. 100. Civil liability of a person guilty of felony. — Government, or to the majority of the inhabitants of the town, and,
Every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly in all events, whenever the damage has been caused with the
liable. consent of the authorities or their agents, indemnification shall be
made in the manner prescribed by special laws or regulations.
ART. 101. Rules regarding civil liability in certain
cases. — The exemption from criminal liability established Third. In cases falling within subdivisions 5 and 6 of article 12, the
in subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 of article 12 and in persons using violence or causing the fear shall be primarily liable
subdivision 4 of article 11 of this Code does not include and secondarily, or, if there be no such persons, those doing the
exemption from civil liability, which shall be enforced to act shall be liable, saving always to the latter that part of their
the following rules: property exempt from execution.

First. In cases of subdivision, 1, 2 and 3 of article 12 the ART. 102. Subsidiary civil liability of innkeepers, tavern
civil liability for acts committed by any imbecile or insane keepers and proprietors of establishment. — In default of
person, and by a person under nine years of age, or by persons criminally liable, innkeepers, tavern keepers, and
one over nine but under fifteen years of age, who has any other persons or corporation shall be civilly liable for
crimes committed in their establishments, in all cases Any person who, by simple imprudence or negligence,
where a violation of municipal ordinances or some shall commit an act which would otherwise constitute a
general or special police regulation shall have been grave felony, shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor in
committed by them or their employees. its medium and maximum periods; if it would have
constituted a less serious felony, the penalty of arresto
Innkeepers are also subsidiarily liable for the restitution of mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed."
goods taken by robbery or theft within their houses
lodging therein, or the person, or for the payment of the It will thus be seen that while the terms of articles 1902 of the
value thereof, provided that such guests shall have Civil Code seem to be broad enough to cover the driver's
notified in advance the innkeeper himself, or the person negligence in the instant case, nevertheless article 1093
representing him, of the deposit of such goods within the limits cuasi-delitos to acts or omissions "not punishable by law."
inn; and shall furthermore have followed the directions But inasmuch as article 365 of the Revised Penal Code punishes
which such innkeeper or his representative may have not only reckless but even simple imprudence or negligence, the
given them with respect to the care of and vigilance over fault or negligence under article 1902 of the Civil Code has
such goods. No liability shall attach in case of robbery apparently been crowded out. It is this overlapping that makes the
with violence against or intimidation against or intimidation "confusion worse confounded." However, a closer study shows
of persons unless committed by the innkeeper's that such a concurrence of scope in regard to negligent acts does
employees. not destroy the distinction between the civil liability arising from a
crime and the responsibility for cuasi-delitos or culpa extra-
ART. 103. Subsidiary civil liability of other persons. — The contractual. The same negligent act causing damages may
subsidiary liability established in the next preceding article produce civil liability arising from a crime under article 100 of the
shall also apply to employers, teachers, persons, and Revised Penal Code, or create an action for cuasi-delito or culpa
corporations engaged in any kind of industry for felonies extra-contractual under articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code.
committed by their servants, pupils, workmen,
apprentices, or employees in the discharge of their duties. The individuality of cuasi-delito or culpa extra-contractual looms
clear and unmistakable. This legal institution is of ancient lineage,
xxx xxx xxx one of its early ancestors being the Lex Aquilia in the Roman
Law. In fact, in Spanish legal terminology, this responsibility is
ART. 365. Imprudence and negligence. — Any person often referred to as culpa aquiliana. The Partidas also contributed
who, by reckless imprudence, shall commit any act which, to the genealogy of the present fault or negligence under the Civil
had it been intentional, would constitute a grave felony, Code; for instance, Law 6, Title 15, of Partida 7, says: "Tenudo es
shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum de fazer emienda, porque, como quier que el non fizo a
period to prision correccional in its minimum period; if it sabiendas en daño al otro, pero acaescio por su culpa."
would have constituted a less grave felony, the penalty of
arresto mayor in its minimum and medium periods shall The distinctive nature of cuasi-delitos survives in the Civil Code.
be imposed. According to article 1089, one of the five sources of obligations is
this legal institution of cuasi-delito or culpa extra-contractual: "los
actos . . . en que intervenga cualquier genero de culpa o
negligencia." Then article 1093 provides that this kind of criminal alguna, y otra que es consecuencia indeclinable
obligation shall be governed by Chapter II of Title XVI of Book IV, de la penal que nace de todo delito o falta."
meaning articles 1902-0910. This portion of the Civil Code is
exclusively devoted to the legal institution of culpa aquiliana. The juridical concept of civil responsibility has various
aspects and comprises different persons. Thus, there is a
Some of the differences between crimes under the Penal Code civil responsibility, properly speaking, which in no case
and the culpa aquiliana or cuasi-delito under the Civil Code are: carries with it any criminal responsibility, and another
which is a necessary consequence of the penal liability as
1. That crimes affect the public interest, while cuasi-delitos are a result of every felony or misdemeanor."
only of private concern.
Maura, an outstanding authority, was consulted on the following
2. That, consequently, the Penal Code punishes or corrects the case: There had been a collision between two trains belonging
criminal act, while the Civil Code, by means of indemnification, respectively to the Ferrocarril Cantabrico and the Ferrocarril del
merely repairs the damage. Norte. An employee of the latter had been prosecuted in a
criminal case, in which the company had been made a party as
3. That delicts are not as broad as quasi-delicts, because the subsidiarily responsible in civil damages. The employee had been
former are punished only if there is a penal law clearly covering acquitted in the criminal case, and the employer, the Ferrocarril
them, while the latter, cuasi-delitos, include all acts in which "any del Norte, had also been exonerated. The question asked was
king of fault or negligence intervenes." However, it should be whether the Ferrocarril Cantabrico could still bring a civil action
noted that not all violations of the penal law produce civil for damages against the Ferrocarril del Norte. Maura's opinion
responsibility, such as begging in contravention of ordinances, was in the affirmative, stating in part (Maura, Dictamenes, Vol. 6,
violation of the game laws, infraction of the rules of traffic when pp. 511-513):
nobody is hurt. (See Colin and Capitant, "Curso Elemental de
Derecho Civil," Vol. 3, p. 728.) Quedando las cosas asi, a proposito de la realidad pura y
neta de los hechos, todavia menos parece sostenible que
Let us now ascertain what some jurists say on the separate exista cosa juzgada acerca de la obligacion civil de
existence of quasi-delicts and the employer's primary and direct indemnizar los quebrantos y menoscabos inferidos por el
liability under article 1903 of the Civil Code. choque de los trenes. El titulo en que se funda la accion
para demandar el resarcimiento, no puede confundirse
con las responsabilidades civiles nacidas de delito,
Dorado Montero in his essay on "Responsibilidad" in the
siquiera exista en este, sea el cual sea, una culpa
"Enciclopedia Juridica Española" (Vol. XXVII, p. 414) says:
rodeada de notas agravatorias que motivan sanciones
penales, mas o menos severas. La lesion causada por
El concepto juridico de la responsabilidad civil abarca delito o falta en los derechos civiles, requiere
diversos aspectos y comprende a diferentes personas. restituciones, reparaciones o indemnizaciones, que cual
Asi, existe una responsabilidad civil propiamente dicha, la pena misma atañen al orden publico; por tal motivo
que en ningun casl lleva aparejada responsabilidad vienen encomendadas, de ordinario, al Ministerio Fiscal; y
claro es que si por esta via se enmiendan los quebrantos
y menoscabos, el agraviado excusa procurar el ya establecimientos o empresas, sea por actos del servicio,
conseguido desagravio; pero esta eventual coincidencia sea con ocasion de sus funciones. Por esto acontece, y
de los efectos, no borra la diversidad originaria de las se observa en la jurisprudencia, que las empresas,
acciones civiles para pedir indemnizacion. despues de intervenir en las causas criminales con el
caracter subsidiario de su responsabilidad civil por razon
Estas, para el caso actual (prescindiendo de del delito, son demandadas y condenadas directa y
culpas contractuales, que no vendrian a cuento y que aisladamente, cuando se trata de la obligacion, ante los
tiene otro regimen), dimanan, segun el articulo 1902 del tribunales civiles.
Codigo Civil, de toda accion u omision, causante de
daños o perjuicios, en que intervenga culpa o negligencia. Siendo como se ve, diverso el titulo de esta obligacion, y
Es trivial que acciones semejantes son ejercitadas ante formando verdadero postulado de nuestro regimen
los Tribunales de lo civil cotidianamente, sin que la judicial la separacion entre justicia punitiva y tribunales de
Justicia punitiva tenga que mezclarse en los asuntos. Los lo civil, de suerte que tienen unos y otros normas de
articulos 18 al 21 y 121 al 128 del Codigo Penal, atentos fondo en distintos cuerpos legales, y diferentes modos de
al espiritu y a los fines sociales y politicos del mismo, proceder, habiendose, por añadidura, abstenido de asistir
desenvuelven y ordenan la materia de responsabilidades al juicio criminal la Compañia del Ferrocarril Cantabrico,
civiles nacidas de delito, en terminos separados del que se reservo ejercitar sus acciones, parece innegable
regimen por ley comun de la culpa que se denomina que la de indemnizacion por los daños y perjuicios que le
aquiliana, por alusion a precedentes legislativos irrogo el choque, no estuvo sub judice ante el Tribunal del
del Corpus Juris. Seria intempestivo un paralelo entre Jurado, ni fue sentenciada, sino que permanecio intacta,
aquellas ordenaciones, y la de la obligacion de al pronunciarse el fallo de 21 de marzo. Aun cuando el
indemnizar a titulo de culpa civil; pero viene al caso y es veredicto no hubiese sido de inculpabilidad, mostrose
necesaria una de las diferenciaciones que en el tal mas arriba, que tal accion quedaba legitimamente
paralelo se notarian. reservada para despues del proceso; pero al declararse
que no existio delito, ni responsabilidad dimanada de
Los articulos 20 y 21 del Codigo Penal, despues de delito, materia unica sobre que tenian jurisdiccion
distribuir a su modo las responsabilidades civiles, entre aquellos juzgadores, se redobla el motivo para la
los que sean por diversos conceptos culpables del delito obligacion civil ex lege, y se patentiza mas y mas que la
o falta, las hacen extensivas a las empresas y los accion para pedir su cumplimiento permanece incolume,
establecimientos al servicio de los cuales estan los extraña a la cosa juzgada.
delincuentes; pero con caracter subsidiario, o sea, segun
el texto literal, en defecto de los que sean responsables As things are, apropos of the reality pure and simple of
criminalmente. No coincide en ello el Codigo Civil, cuyo the facts, it seems less tenable that there should be res
articulo 1903, dice; La obligacion que impone el articulo judicata with regard to the civil obligation for damages on
anterior es exigible, no solo por los actos y omisiones account of the losses caused by the collision of the trains.
propios, sino por los de aquellas personas de quienes se The title upon which the action for reparation is based
debe responder; personas en la enumeracion de las cannot be confused with the civil responsibilities born of a
cuales figuran los dependientes y empleados de los crime, because there exists in the latter, whatever each
nature, a culpa surrounded with aggravating aspects those who are criminally responsible. In this regard, the
which give rise to penal measures that are more or less Civil Code does not coincide because article 1903 says:
severe. The injury caused by a felony or misdemeanor "The obligation imposed by the next preceding article is
upon civil rights requires restitutions, reparations, or demandable, not only for personal acts and omissions,
indemnifications which, like the penalty itself, affect public but also for those of persons for whom another is
order; for this reason, they are ordinarily entrusted to the responsible." Among the persons enumerated are the
office of the prosecuting attorney; and it is clear that if by subordinates and employees of establishments or
this means the losses and damages are repaired, the enterprises, either for acts during their service or on the
injured party no longer desires to seek another relief; but occasion of their functions. It is for this reason that it
this coincidence of effects does not eliminate the peculiar happens, and it is so observed in judicial decisions, that
nature of civil actions to ask for indemnity. the companies or enterprises, after taking part in the
criminal cases because of their subsidiary civil
Such civil actions in the present case (without referring to responsibility by reason of the crime, are sued and
contractual faults which are not pertinent and belong to sentenced directly and separately with regard to
another scope) are derived, according to article 1902 of the obligation, before the civil courts.
the Civil Code, from every act or omission causing losses
and damages in which culpa or negligence intervenes. It Seeing that the title of this obligation is different, and the
is unimportant that such actions are every day filed before separation between punitive justice and the civil courts
the civil courts without the criminal courts interfering being a true postulate of our judicial system, so that they
therewith. Articles 18 to 21 and 121 to 128 of the Penal have different fundamental norms in different codes, as
Code, bearing in mind the spirit and the social and well as different modes of procedure, and inasmuch as
political purposes of that Code, develop and regulate the the Compaña del Ferrocarril Cantabrico has abstained
matter of civil responsibilities arising from a crime, from taking part in the criminal case and has reserved the
separately from the regime under common law, right to exercise its actions, it seems undeniable that the
of culpa which is known as aquiliana, in accordance with action for indemnification for the losses and damages
legislative precedent of the Corpus Juris. It would be caused to it by the collision was not sub judice before
unwarranted to make a detailed comparison between the the Tribunal del Jurado, nor was it the subject of a
former provisions and that regarding the obligation to sentence, but it remained intact when the decision of
indemnify on account of civil culpa; but it is pertinent and March 21 was rendered. Even if the verdict had not been
necessary to point out to one of such differences. that of acquittal, it has already been shown that such
action had been legitimately reserved till after the criminal
Articles 20 and 21 of the Penal Code, after distriburing in prosecution; but because of the declaration of the non-
their own way the civil responsibilities among those who, existence of the felony and the non-existence of the
for different reasons, are guilty of felony or misdemeanor, responsibility arising from the crime, which was
make such civil responsibilities applicable to enterprises the sole subject matter upon which the Tribunal del
and establishments for which the guilty parties render Jurado had jurisdiction, there is greater reason for the civil
service, but with subsidiary character, that is to say, obligation ex lege, and it becomes clearer that the action
according to the wording of the Penal Code, in default of for its enforcement remain intact and is not res judicata.
Laurent, a jurist who has written a monumental work on the las personas que enumera el articulo citado (menores de
French Civil Code, on which the Spanish Civil Code is largely edad, incapacitados, dependientes, aprendices) causan
based and whose provisions on cuasi-delito or culpa extra- un daño, la ley presume que el padre, el tutor, el maestro,
contractual are similar to those of the Spanish Civil Code, says, etc., han cometido una falta de negligencia para prevenir
referring to article 1384 of the French Civil Code which o evitar el daño. Esta falta es la que la ley castiga. No
corresponds to article 1903, Spanish Civil Code: hay, pues, responsabilidad por un hecho ajeno, sino en la
apariencia; en realidad la responsabilidad se exige por un
The action can be brought directly against the person hecho propio. La idea de que esa responsabilidad sea
responsible (for another), without including the author of subsidiaria es, por lo tanto, completamente inadmisible.
the act. The action against the principal is accessory in
the sense that it implies the existence of a prejudicial act Question No. 1. Is the responsibility declared in article
committed by the employee, but it is not subsidiary in the 1903 for the acts or omissions of those persons for who
sense that it can not be instituted till after the judgment one is responsible, subsidiary or principal? In order to
against the author of the act or at least, that it is answer this question it is necessary to know, in the first
subsidiary to the principal action; the action for place, on what the legal provision is based. Is it true that
responsibility (of the employer) is in itself a principal there is a responsibility for the fault of another person? It
action. (Laurent, Principles of French Civil Law, Spanish seems so at first sight; but such assertion would be
translation, Vol. 20, pp. 734-735.) contrary to justice and to the universal maxim that all
faults are personal, and that everyone is liable for those
Amandi, in his "Cuestionario del Codigo Civil Reformado" (Vol. 4, faults that can be imputed to him. The responsibility in
pp. 429, 430), declares that the responsibility of the employer is question is imposed on the occasion of a crime or fault,
principal and not subsidiary. He writes: but not because of the same, but because of the cuasi-
delito, that is to say, the imprudence or negligence of the
Cuestion 1. La responsabilidad declarada en el articulo father, guardian, proprietor or manager of the
1903 por las acciones u omisiones de aquellas personas establishment, of the teacher, etc. Whenever anyone of
por las que se debe responder, es subsidiaria? es the persons enumerated in the article referred to (minors,
principal? Para contestar a esta pregunta es necesario incapacitated persons, employees, apprentices) causes
saber, en primer lugar, en que se funda el precepto legal. any damage, the law presumes that the father, guardian,
Es que realmente se impone una responsabilidad por una teacher, etc. have committed an act of negligence in not
falta ajena? Asi parece a primera vista; pero semejante preventing or avoiding the damage. It is this fault that is
afirmacion seria contraria a la justicia y a la maxima condemned by the law. It is, therefore, only apparent that
universal, segun la que las faltas son personales, y cada there is a responsibility for the act of another; in reality the
uno responde de aquellas que le son imputables. La responsibility exacted is for one's own act. The idea that
responsabilidad de que tratamos se impone con ocasion such responsibility is subsidiary is, therefore, completely
de un delito o culpa, pero no por causa de ellos, sino por inadmissible.
causa del causi delito, esto es, de la imprudencia o de la
negligencia del padre, del tutor, del dueño o director del Oyuelos, in his "Digesto: Principios, Doctrina y Jurisprudencia,
establecimiento, del maestro, etc. Cuando cualquiera de Referentes al Codigo Civil Español," says in Vol. VII, p. 743:
Es decir, no responde de hechos ajenos, porque se Civil Code, primarily and directly responsible for the negligent
responde solo de su propia culpa, doctrina del articulo acts of his employee.
1902; mas por excepcion, se responde de la ajena
respecto de aquellas personas con las que media algun One of the most important of those Spanish decisions is that of
nexo o vinculo, que motiva o razona la responsabilidad. October 21, 1910. In that case, Ramon Lafuente died as the
Esta responsabilidad, es directa o es subsidiaria? En el result of having been run over by a street car owned by the
orden penal, el Codigo de esta clase distingue entre "compañia Electric Madrileña de Traccion." The conductor was
menores e incapacitados y los demas, declarando directa prosecuted in a criminal case but he was acquitted. Thereupon,
la primera (articulo 19) y subsidiaria la segunda (articulos the widow filed a civil action against the street car company,
20 y 21); pero en el orden civil, en el caso del articulo paying for damages in the amount of 15,000 pesetas. The lower
1903, ha de entenderse directa, por el tenor del articulo court awarded damages; so the company appealed to the
que impone la responsabilidad precisamente "por los Supreme Tribunal, alleging violation of articles 1902 and 1903 of
actos de aquellas personas de quienes se deba the Civil Code because by final judgment the non-existence of
responder." fault or negligence had been declared. The Supreme Court of
Spain dismissed the appeal, saying:
That is to say, one is not responsible for the acts of
others, because one is liable only for his own faults, this Considerando que el primer motivo del recurso se funda
being the doctrine of article 1902; but, by exception, one en el equivocado supuesto de que el Tribunal a quo, al
is liable for the acts of those persons with whom there is a condonar a la compañia Electrica Madrileña al pago del
bond or tie which gives rise to the responsibility. Is this daño causado con la muerte de Ramon La fuente
responsibility direct or subsidiary? In the order of the Izquierdo, desconoce el valor y efectos juridicos de la
penal law, the Penal Code distinguishes between minors sentencia absolutoria deictada en la causa criminal que
and incapacitated persons on the one hand, and other se siguio por el mismo hecho, cuando es lo cierto que de
persons on the other, declaring that the responsibility for este han conocido las dos jurisdicciones bajo diferentes
the former is direct (article 19), and for the latter, as pectos, y como la de lo criminal declrao dentro de los
subsidiary (articles 20 and 21); but in the scheme of the limites de su competencia que el hecho de que se trata
civil law, in the case of article 1903, the responsibility no era constitutivo de delito por no haber mediado
should be understood as direct, according to the tenor of descuido o negligencia graves, lo que no excluye, siendo
that articles, for precisely it imposes responsibility "for the este el unico fundamento del fallo absolutorio, el concurso
acts of those persons for whom one should be de la culpa o negligencia no califacadas, fuente de
responsible." obligaciones civiles segun el articulo 1902 del Codigo, y
que alcanzan, segun el 1903, netre otras perosnas, a los
Coming now to the sentences of the Supreme Tribunal of Spain, Directores de establecimientos o empresas por los daños
that court has upheld the principles above set forth: that a quasi- causados por sus dependientes en determinadas
delict or culpa extra-contractual is a separate and distinct legal condiciones, es manifesto que la de lo civil, al conocer del
institution, independent from the civil responsibility arising from mismo hehco baho este ultimo aspecto y al condenar a la
criminal liability, and that an employer is, under article 1903 of the compañia recurrente a la indemnizacion del daño
causado por uno de sus empleados, lejos de infringer los
mencionados textos, en relacion con el articulo 116 de la First. That the conductor was not sued in a civil case, either
Ley de Enjuciamiento Criminal, se ha atenido separately or with the street car company. This is precisely what
estrictamente a ellos, sin invadir atribuciones ajenas a su happens in the present case: the driver, Fontanilla, has not been
jurisdiccion propia, ni contrariar en lo mas minimo el fallo sued in a civil action, either alone or with his employer.
recaido en la causa.
Second. That the conductor had been acquitted of grave criminal
Considering that the first ground of the appeal is based on negligence, but the Supreme Tribunal of Spain said that this did
the mistaken supposition that the trial court, in sentencing not exclude the co-existence of fault or negligence, which is not
the Compañia Madrileña to the payment of the damage qualified, on the part of the conductor, under article 1902 of the
caused by the death of Ramon Lafuente Izquierdo, Civil Code. In the present case, the taxi driver was found guilty of
disregards the value and juridical effects of the sentence criminal negligence, so that if he had even sued for his civil
of acquittal rendered in the criminal case instituted on responsibility arising from the crime, he would have been held
account of the same act, when it is a fact that the two primarily liable for civil damages, and Barredo would have been
jurisdictions had taken cognizance of the same act in its held subsidiarily liable for the same. But the plaintiffs are directly
different aspects, and as the criminal jurisdiction declared suing Barredo, on his primary responsibility because of his own
within the limits of its authority that the act in question did presumed negligence — which he did not overcome — under
not constitute a felony because there was no grave article 1903. Thus, there were two liabilities of Barredo: first, the
carelessness or negligence, and this being the only basis subsidiary one because of the civil liability of the taxi driver arising
of acquittal, it does no exclude the co-existence of fault or from the latter's criminal negligence; and, second, Barredo's
negligence which is not qualified, and is a source of civil primary liability as an employer under article 1903. The plaintiffs
obligations according to article 1902 of the Civil Code, were free to choose which course to take, and they preferred the
affecting, in accordance with article 1903, among other second remedy. In so doing, they were acting within their rights. It
persons, the managers of establishments or enterprises might be observed in passing, that the plaintiff choose the more
by reason of the damages caused by employees under expeditious and effective method of relief, because Fontanilla
certain conditions, it is manifest that the civil jurisdiccion in was either in prison, or had just been released, and besides, he
taking cognizance of the same act in this latter aspect and was probably without property which might be seized in enforcing
in ordering the company, appellant herein, to pay an any judgment against him for damages.
indemnity for the damage caused by one of its
employees, far from violating said legal provisions, in Third. That inasmuch as in the above sentence of October 21,
relation with article 116 of the Law of Criminal 1910, the employer was held liable civilly, notwithstanding the
Procedure, strictly followed the same, without invading acquittal of the employee (the conductor) in a previous criminal
attributes which are beyond its own jurisdiction, and case, with greater reason should Barredo, the employer in the
without in any way contradicting the decision in that case at bar, be held liable for damages in a civil suit filed against
cause. (Emphasis supplied.) him because his taxi driver had been convicted. The degree of
negligence of the conductor in the Spanish case cited was less
It will be noted, as to the case just cited: than that of the taxi driver, Fontanilla, because the former was
acquitted in the previous criminal case while the latter was found
guilty of criminal negligence and was sentenced to an
indeterminate sentence of one year and one day to two years careciendo, por tanto, de aplicacion el articulo 371 del
of prision correccional. Codigo de Comercio, en que principalmente descansa el
fallo recurrido, sino que se limita a pedir la reparaction de
(See also Sentence of February 19, 1902, which is similar to the los daños y perjuicios producidos en el patrimonio del
one above quoted.) actor por la injustificada y dolosa negativa del porteador a
la entrega de las mercancias a su nombre consignadas,
In the Sentence of the Supreme Court of Spain, dated February segun lo reconoce la sentencia, y cuya responsabilidad
14, 1919, an action was brought against a railroad company for esta claramente sancionada en el articulo 1902 del
damages because the station agent, employed by the company, Codigo Civil, que obliga por el siguiente a la Compañia
had unjustly and fraudulently, refused to deliver certain articles demandada como ligada con el causante de aquellos por
consigned to the plaintiff. The Supreme Court of Spain held that relaciones de caracter economico y de jurarquia
this action was properly under article 1902 of the Civil Code, the administrativa.
court saying:
Considering that the sentence, in question recognizes, in
Considerando que la sentencia discutida reconoce, en virtue of the facts which it declares, in relation to the
virtud de los hechos que consigna con relacion a las evidence in the case: (1) that the invoice issued by the
pruebas del pleito: 1.º, que las expediciones facturadas railroad company in favor of the plaintiff contemplated that
por la compañia ferroviaria a la consignacion del actor de the empty receptacles referred to in the complaint should
las vasijas vacias que en su demanda relacionan tenian be returned to the consignors with wines and liquors; (2)
como fin el que este las devolviera a sus remitentes con that when the said merchandise reached their destination,
vinos y alcoholes; 2.º, que llegadas a su destino tales their delivery to the consignee was refused by the station
mercanias no se quisieron entregar a dicho consignatario agent without justification and with fraudulent intent, and
por el jefe de la estacion sin motivo justificado y con (3) that the lack of delivery of these goods when they
intencion dolosa, y 3.º, que la falta de entrega de estas were demanded by the plaintiff caused him losses and
expediciones al tiempo de reclamarlas el demandante le damages of considerable importance, as he was a
originaron daños y perjuicios en cantidad de bastante wholesale vendor of wines and liquors and he failed to
importancia como expendedor al por mayor que era de realize the profits when he was unable to fill the orders
vinos y alcoholes por las ganancias que dejo de obtener sent to him by the consignors of the receptacles:
al verse privado de servir los pedidos que se le habian
hecho por los remitentes en los envases: Considering that upon this basis there is need of
upholding the four assignments of error, as the original
Considerando que sobre esta base hay necesidad de complaint did not contain any cause of action arising from
estimar los cuatro motivos que integran este recurso, non-fulfillment of a contract of transportation, because the
porque la demanda inicial del pleito a que se contrae no action was not based on the delay of the goods nor on
contiene accion que nazca del incumplimiento del any contractual relation between the parties litigant and,
contrato de transporte, toda vez que no se funda en el therefore, article 371 of the Code of Commerce, on which
retraso de la llegada de las mercancias ni de ningun otro the decision appealed from is based, is not applicable; but
vinculo contractual entre las partes contendientes, it limits to asking for reparation for losses and damages
produced on the patrimony of the plaintiff on account of This reasoning misconceived the plan of the Spanish
the unjustified and fraudulent refusal of the carrier to codes upon this subject. Article 1093 of the Civil Code
deliver the goods consigned to the plaintiff as stated by makes obligations arising from faults or negligence not
the sentence, and the carrier's responsibility is clearly laid punished by the law, subject to the provisions of Chapter
down in article 1902 of the Civil Code which binds, in II of Title XVI. Section 1902 of that chapter reads:
virtue of the next article, the defendant company, because
the latter is connected with the person who caused the "A person who by an act or omission causes
damage by relations of economic character and by damage to another when there is fault or
administrative hierarchy. (Emphasis supplied.) negligence shall be obliged to repair the damage
so done.
The above case is pertinent because it shows that the same act
may come under both the Penal Code and the Civil Code. In that "SEC. 1903. The obligation imposed by the
case, the action of the agent was unjustified and fraudulent and preceeding article is demandable, not only for
therefore could have been the subject of a criminal action. And personal acts and omissions, but also for those of
yet, it was held to be also a proper subject of a civil action under the persons for whom they should be responsible.
article 1902 of the Civil Code. It is also to be noted that it was the
employer and not the employee who was being sued. "The father, and on his death or incapacity, the
mother, is liable for the damages caused by the
Let us now examine the cases previously decided by this Court. minors who live with them.

In the leading case of Rakes vs. Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Co. (7 xxx xxx xxx
Phil., 359, 362-365 [year 1907]), the trial court awarded damages
to the plaintiff, a laborer of the defendant, because the latter had "Owners or directors of an establishment or
negligently failed to repair a tramway in consequence of which enterprise are equally liable for the damages
the rails slid off while iron was being transported, and caught the caused by their employees in the service of the
plaintiff whose leg was broken. This Court held: branches in which the latter may be employed or
in the performance of their duties.
It is contended by the defendant, as its first defense to the
action that the necessary conclusion from these collated xxx xxx xxx
laws is that the remedy for injuries through negligence lies
only in a criminal action in which the official criminally
"The liability referred to in this article shall cease
responsible must be made primarily liable and his
when the persons mentioned therein prove that
employer held only subsidiarily to him. According to this
they employed all the diligence of a good father of
theory the plaintiff should have procured the arrest of the
a family to avoid the damage."
representative of the company accountable for not
repairing the track, and on his prosecution a suitable fine
should have been imposed, payable primarily by him and As an answer to the argument urged in this particular
secondarily by his employer. action it may be sufficient to point out that nowhere in our
general statutes is the employer penalized for failure to civilly liable for a negligent act or omission, it is not
provide or maintain safe appliances for his workmen. His required that the injured party should seek out a third
obligation therefore is one 'not punished by the laws' and person criminally liable whose prosecution must be a
falls under civil rather than criminal jurisprudence. But the condition precedent to the enforcement of the civil right.
answer may be a broader one. We should be reluctant,
under any conditions, to adopt a forced construction of Under article 20 of the Penal Code the responsibility of an
these scientific codes, such as is proposed by the employer may be regarded as subsidiary in respect of
defendant, that would rob some of these articles of effect, criminal actions against his employees only while they are
would shut out litigants against their will from the civil in process of prosecution, or in so far as they determine
courts, would make the assertion of their rights dependent the existence of the criminal act from which liability arises,
upon the selection for prosecution of the proper criminal and his obligation under the civil law and its enforcement
offender, and render recovery doubtful by reason of the in the civil courts is not barred thereby unless by the
strict rules of proof prevailing in criminal actions. Even if election of the injured person. Inasmuch as no criminal
these articles had always stood alone, such a proceeding had been instituted, growing our of the
construction would be unnecessary, but clear light is accident in question, the provisions of the Penal Code can
thrown upon their meaning by the provisions of the Law of not affect this action. This construction renders it
Criminal Procedure of Spain (Ley de Enjuiciamiento unnecessary to finally determine here whether this
Criminal), which, though never in actual force in these subsidiary civil liability in penal actions has survived the
Islands, was formerly given a suppletory or explanatory laws that fully regulated it or has been abrogated by the
effect. Under article 111 of this law, both classes of American civil and criminal procedure now in force in the
action, civil and criminal, might be prosecuted jointly or Philippines.
separately, but while the penal action was pending the
civil was suspended. According to article 112, the penal The difficulty in construing the articles of the code above
action once started, the civil remedy should be sought cited in this case appears from the briefs before us to
therewith, unless it had been waived by the party injured have arisen from the interpretation of the words of article
or been expressly reserved by him for civil proceedings 1093, "fault or negligence not punished by law," as
for the future. If the civil action alone was prosecuted, applied to the comprehensive definition of offenses in
arising out of a crime that could be enforced only on articles 568 and 590 of the Penal Code. It has been
private complaint, the penal action thereunder should be shown that the liability of an employer arising out of his
extinguished. These provisions are in harmony with those relation to his employee who is the offender is not to be
of articles 23 and 133 of our Penal Code on the same regarded as derived from negligence punished by the law,
subject. within the meaning of articles 1902 and 1093. More than
this, however, it cannot be said to fall within the class of
An examination of this topic might be carried much acts unpunished by the law, the consequence of which
further, but the citation of these articles suffices to show are regulated by articles 1902 and 1903 of the Civil Code.
that the civil liability was not intended to be merged in the The acts to which these articles are applicable are
criminal nor even to be suspended thereby, except as understood to be those not growing out of pre-existing
expressly provided in the law. Where an individual is duties of the parties to one another. But where relations
already formed give rise to duties, whether springing from over the body of the child, and the child's body had
contract or quasi contract, then breaches of those duties already been stretched out on the ground, the automobile
are subject to articles 1101, 1103, and 1104 of the same still moved along a distance of about 2 meters, this
code. A typical application of this distinction may be found circumstance shows the fact that the automobile entered
in the consequences of a railway accident due to Solana Street from Real Street, at a high speed without
defective machinery supplied by the employer. His liability the defendant having blown the horn. If these precautions
to his employee would arise out of the contract of had been taken by the defendant, the deplorable accident
employment, that to the passengers out of the contract for which caused the death of the child would not have
passage, while that to the injured bystander would occurred.
originate in the negligent act itself.
It will be noticed that the defendant in the above case could have
In Manzanares vs. Moreta, 38 Phil., 821 (year 1918), the mother been prosecuted in a criminal case because his negligence
of the 8 of 9-year-old child Salvador Bona brought a civil action causing the death of the child was punishable by the Penal Code.
against Moreta to recover damages resulting from the death of Here is therefore a clear instance of the same act of negligence
the child, who had been run over by an automobile driven and being a proper subject-matter either of a criminal action with its
managed by the defendant. The trial court rendered judgment consequent civil liability arising from a crime or of an entirely
requiring the defendant to pay the plaintiff the sum of P1,000 as separate and independent civil action for fault or negligence
indemnity: This Court in affirming the judgment, said in part: under article 1902 of the Civil Code. Thus, in this jurisdiction, the
separate individually of a cuasi-delito or culpa aquiliana under the
If it were true that the defendant, in coming from the Civil Code has been fully and clearly recognized, even with
southern part of Solana Street, had to stop his auto before regard to a negligent act for which the wrongdoer could have
crossing Real Street, because he had met vehicles which been prosecuted and convicted in a criminal case and for which,
were going along the latter street or were coming from the after such a conviction, he could have been sued for this civil
opposite direction along Solana Street, it is to be believed liability arising from his crime.
that, when he again started to run his auto across said
Real Street and to continue its way along Solana Street Years later (in 1930) this Court had another occasion to apply the
northward, he should have adjusted the speed of the auto same doctrine. In Bernal and Enverso vs. House and Tacloban
which he was operating until he had fully crossed Real Electric & Ice Plant, Ltd., 54 Phil., 327, the parents of the five-
Street and had completely reached a clear way on Solana year-old child, Purificacion Bernal, brought a civil action to
Street. But, as the child was run over by the auto recover damages for the child's death as a result of burns caused
precisely at the entrance of Solana Street, this accident by the fault and negligence of the defendants. On the evening of
could not have occurred if the auto had been running at a April 10, 1925, the Good Friday procession was held in Tacloban,
slow speed, aside from the fact that the defendant, at the Leyte. Fortunata Enverso with her daughter Purificacion Bernal
moment of crossing Real Street and entering Solana had come from another municipality to attend the same. After the
Street, in a northward direction, could have seen the child procession the mother and the daughter with two others were
in the act of crossing the latter street from the sidewalk on passing along Gran Capitan Street in front of the offices of the
the right to that on the left, and if the accident had Tacloban Electric & Ice Plant, Ltd., owned by defendants J. V.
occurred in such a way that after the automobile had run House, when an automobile appeared from the opposite
direction. The little girl, who was slightly ahead of the rest, was so In Bahia vs. Litonjua and Leynes (30 Phil., 624 [year 1915), the
frightened by the automobile that she turned to run, but action was for damages for the death of the plaintiff's daughter
unfortunately she fell into the street gutter where hot water from alleged to have been caused by the negligence of the servant in
the electric plant was flowing. The child died that same night from driving an automobile over the child. It appeared that the cause of
the burns. The trial courts dismissed the action because of the the mishap was a defect in the steering gear. The defendant
contributory negligence of the plaintiffs. But this Court held, on Leynes had rented the automobile from the International Garage
appeal, that there was no contributory negligence, and allowed of Manila, to be used by him in carrying passengers during the
the parents P1,000 in damages from J. V. House who at the time fiesta of Tuy, Batangas. Leynes was ordered by the lower court to
of the tragic occurrence was the holder of the franchise for the pay P1,000 as damages to the plaintiff. On appeal this Court
electric plant. This Court said in part: reversed the judgment as to Leynes on the ground that he had
shown that the exercised the care of a good father of a family,
Although the trial judge made the findings of fact thus overcoming the presumption of negligence under article
hereinbefore outlined, he nevertheless was led to order 1903. This Court said:
the dismissal of the action because of the contributory
negligence of the plaintiffs. It is from this point that a As to selection, the defendant has clearly shown that he
majority of the court depart from the stand taken by the exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a
trial judge. The mother and her child had a perfect right to family. He obtained the machine from a reputable garage
be on the principal street of Tacloban, Leyte, on the and it was, so far as appeared, in good condition. The
evening when the religious procession was held. There workmen were likewise selected from a standard garage,
was nothing abnormal in allowing the child to run along a were duly licensed by the Government in their particular
few paces in advance of the mother. No one could calling, and apparently thoroughly competent. The
foresee the coincidence of an automobile appearing and machine had been used but a few hours when the
of a frightened child running and falling into a ditch filled accident occurred and it is clear from the evidence that
with hot water. The doctrine announced in the much the defendant had no notice, either actual or constructive,
debated case of Rakes vs. Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Co. of the defective condition of the steering gear.
([1907]), 7 Phil., 359), still rule. Article 1902 of the Civil
Code must again be enforced. The contributory The legal aspect of the case was discussed by this Court thus:
negligence of the child and her mother, if any, does not
operate as a bar to recovery, but in its strictest sense Article 1903 of the Civil Code not only establishes liability
could only result in reduction of the damages. in cases of negligence, but also provides when the liability
shall cease. It says:
It is most significant that in the case just cited, this Court
specifically applied article 1902 of the Civil Code. It is thus that "The liability referred to in this article shall cease
although J. V. House could have been criminally prosecuted for when the persons mentioned therein prove that
reckless or simple negligence and not only punished but also they employed all the diligence of a good father of
made civilly liable because of his criminal negligence, a family to avoid the damage."
nevertheless this Court awarded damages in an independent civil
action for fault or negligence under article 1902 of the Civil Code.
From this article two things are apparent: (1) That when large pieces of lumber fell from a truck and pinned the boy
an injury is caused by the negligence of a servant or underneath, instantly killing him. Two youths, Telesforo Binoya
employee there instantly arises a presumption of law that and Francisco Bautista, who were working for Ora, an employee
there was negligence on the part of the matter or of defendant Norton & Harrison Co., pleaded guilty to the crime of
employer either in the selection of the servant or homicide through reckless negligence and were sentenced
employee, or in supervision over him after the selection, accordingly. This Court, applying articles 1902 and 1903, held:
or both; and (2) that presumption is juris tantum and
not juris et de jure, and consequently, may be rebutted. It The basis of civil law liability is not respondent
follows necessarily that if the employer shows to the superior but the relationship of pater familias. This theory
satisfaction of the court that in selection and supervision bases the liability of the master ultimately on his own
he has exercised the care and diligence of a good father negligence and not on that of his servant.
of a family, the presumption is overcome and he is relieve (Bahia vs.Litonjua and Leynes [1915], 30 Phil., 624;
from liability. Cangco vs. Manila Railroad Co. [1918], 38 Phil., 768.)

This theory bases the responsibility of the master In Walter A. Smith & Co. vs. Cadwallader Gibson Lumber Co., 55
ultimately on his own negligence and not on that of his Phil., 517 (year 1930) the plaintiff brought an action for damages
servant. for the demolition of its wharf, which had been struck by the
steamer Helen C belonging to the defendant. This Court held (p.
The doctrine of the case just cited was followed by this Court 526):
in Cerf vs. Medel (33 Phil., 37 [year 1915]). In the latter case, the
complaint alleged that the defendant's servant had so negligently The evidence shows that Captain Lasa at the time the
driven an automobile, which was operated by defendant as a plaintiff's wharf collapsed was a duly licensed captain,
public vehicle, that said automobile struck and damaged the authorized to navigate and direct a vessel of any tonnage,
plaintiff's motorcycle. This Court, applying article 1903 and and that the appellee contracted his services because of
following the rule in Bahia vs. Litonjua and Leynes, said in part (p. his reputation as a captain, according to F. C.
41) that: Cadwallader. This being so, we are of the opinion that the
presumption of liability against the defendant has been
The master is liable for the negligent acts of his servant overcome by the exercise of the care and diligence of a
where he is the owner or director of a business or good father of a family in selecting Captain Lasa, in
enterprise and the negligent acts are committed while the accordance with the doctrines laid down by this court in
servant is engaged in his master's employment as such the cases cited above, and the defendant is therefore
owner. absolved from all liability.

Another case which followed the decision in Bahia vs. Litonjua It is, therefore, seen that the defendant's theory about his
and Leynes was Cuison vs. Norton & Harrison Co., 55 Phil., 18 secondary liability is negatived by the six cases above set forth.
(year 1930). The latter case was an action for damages brought He is, on the authority of these cases, primarily and directly
by Cuison for the death of his seven-year-old son Moises. The responsible in damages under article 1903, in relation to article
little boy was on his way to school with his sister Marciana. Some 1902, of the Civil Code.
Let us now take up the Philippine decisions relied upon by the Our deduction, therefore, is that the case relates to the
defendant. We study first, City of Manila vs. Manila Electric Co., Penal Code and not to the Civil Code. Indeed, as pointed
52 Phil., 586 (year 1928). A collision between a truck of the City out by the trial judge, any different ruling would permit the
of Manila and a street car of the Manila Electric Co. took place on master to escape scot-free by simply alleging and proving
June 8, 1925. The truck was damaged in the amount of that the master had exercised all diligence in the selection
P1,788.27. Sixto Eustaquio, the motorman, was prosecuted for and training of its servants to prevent the damage. That
the crime of damage to property and slight injuries through would be a good defense to a strictly civil action, but
reckless imprudence. He was found guilty and sentenced to pay a might or might not be to a civil action either as a part of or
fine of P900, to indemnify the City of Manila for P1,788.27, with predicated on conviction for a crime or misdemeanor. (By
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. Unable to collect way of parenthesis, it may be said further that the
the indemnity from Eustaquio, the City of Manila filed an action statements here made are offered to meet the argument
against the Manila Electric Company to obtain payment, claiming advanced during our deliberations to the effect that article
that the defendant was subsidiarily liable. The main defense was 0902 of the Civil Code should be disregarded and codal
that the defendant had exercised the diligence of a good father of articles 1093 and 1903 applied.)
a family to prevent the damage. The lower court rendered
judgment in favor of the plaintiff. This Court held, in part, that this It is not clear how the above case could support the defendant's
case was governed by the Penal Code, saying: proposition, because the Court of Appeals based its decision in
the present case on the defendant's primary responsibility under
With this preliminary point out of the way, there is no article 1903 of the Civil Code and not on his subsidiary liability
escaping the conclusion that the provisions of the Penal arising from Fontanilla's criminal negligence. In other words, the
Code govern. The Penal Code in easily understandable case of City of Manila vs. Manila Electric Co., supra, is predicated
language authorizes the determination of subsidiary on an entirely different theory, which is the subsidiary liability of
liability. The Civil Code negatives its application by an employer arising from a criminal act of his employee, whereas
providing that civil obligations arising from crimes or the foundation of the decision of the Court of Appeals in the
misdemeanors shall be governed by the provisions of the present case is the employer's primary liability under article 1903
Penal Code. The conviction of the motorman was a of the Civil Code. We have already seen that this is a proper and
misdemeanor falling under article 604 of the Penal Code. independent remedy.
The act of the motorman was not a wrongful or negligent
act or omission not punishable by law. Accordingly, the Arambulo vs. Manila Electric Co. (55 Phil., 75), is another case
civil obligation connected up with the Penal Code and not invoked by the defendant. A motorman in the employ of the
with article 1903 of the Civil Code. In other words, the Manila Electric Company had been convicted o homicide by
Penal Code affirms its jurisdiction while the Civil Code simple negligence and sentenced, among other things, to pay the
negatives its jurisdiction. This is a case of criminal heirs of the deceased the sum of P1,000. An action was then
negligence out of which civil liability arises and not a case brought to enforce the subsidiary liability of the defendant as
of civil negligence. employer under the Penal Code. The defendant attempted to
show that it had exercised the diligence of a good father of a
xxx xxx xxx family in selecting the motorman, and therefore claimed
exemption from civil liability. But this Court held:
In view of the foregoing considerations, we are of opinion or negligence under articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code. Still
and so hold, (1) that the exemption from civil liability more concretely, the authorities above cited render it inescapable
established in article 1903 of the Civil Code for all who to conclude that the employer — in this case the defendant-
have acted with the diligence of a good father of a family, petitioner — is primarily and directly liable under article 1903 of
is not applicable to the subsidiary civil liability provided in the Civil Code.
article 20 of the Penal Code.
The legal provisions, authors, and cases already invoked should
The above case is also extraneous to the theory of the defendant ordinarily be sufficient to dispose of this case. But inasmuch as
in the instant case, because the action there had for its purpose we are announcing doctrines that have been little understood in
the enforcement of the defendant's subsidiary liability under the the past, it might not be inappropriate to indicate their
Penal Code, while in the case at bar, the plaintiff's cause of action foundations.
is based on the defendant's primary and direct responsibility
under article 1903 of the Civil Code. In fact, the above case Firstly, the Revised Penal Code in article 365 punishes not only
destroys the defendant's contention because that decision reckless but also simple negligence. If we were to hold that
illustrates the principle that the employer's primary responsibility articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code refer only to fault or
under article 1903 of the Civil Code is different in character from negligence not punished by law, according to the literal import of
his subsidiary liability under the Penal Code. article 1093 of the Civil Code, the legal institution of culpa
aquiliana would have very little scope and application in actual
In trying to apply the two cases just referred to, counsel for the life. Death or injury to persons and damage to property through
defendant has failed to recognize the distinction between civil any degree of negligence — even the slightest — would have to
liability arising from a crime, which is governed by the Penal be indemnified only through the principle of civil liability arising
Code, and the responsibility for cuasi-delito or culpa from a crime. In such a state of affairs, what sphere would remain
aquiliana under the Civil Code, and has likewise failed to give the for cuasi-delito or culpa aquiliana? We are loath to impute to the
importance to the latter type of civil action. lawmaker any intention to bring about a situation so absurd and
anomalous. Nor are we, in the interpretation of the laws, disposed
The defendant-petitioner also cites Francisco vs. Onrubia (46 to uphold the letter that killeth rather than the spirit that giveth life.
Phil., 327). That case need not be set forth. Suffice it to say that We will not use the literal meaning of the law to smother and
the question involved was also civil liability arising from a crime. render almost lifeless a principle of such ancient origin and such
Hence, it is as inapplicable as the two cases above discussed. full-grown development as culpa aquiliana or cuasi-delito, which
is conserved and made enduring in articles 1902 to 1910 of the
The foregoing authorities clearly demonstrate the separate Spanish Civil Code.
individuality of cuasi-delitos or culpa aquiliana under the Civil
Code. Specifically they show that there is a distinction between Secondly, to find the accused guilty in a criminal case, proof of
civil liability arising from criminal negligence (governed by the guilt beyond reasonable doubt is required, while in a civil case,
Penal Code) and responsibility for fault or negligence under preponderance of evidence is sufficient to make the defendant
articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code, and that the same pay in damages. There are numerous cases of criminal
negligent act may produce either a civil liability arising from a negligence which can not be shown beyond reasonable doubt,
crime under the Penal Code, or a separate responsibility for fault but can be proved by a preponderance of evidence. In such
cases, the defendant can and should be made responsible in a his confidence in the principal or director." (Vol. 12, p. 622, 2nd
civil action under articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code. Ed.) Many jurists also base this primary responsibility of the
Otherwise, there would be many instances of unvindicated civil employer on the principle of representation of the principal by the
wrongs. Ubi jus ibi remedium. agent. Thus, Oyuelos says in the work already cited (Vol. 7, p.
747) that before third persons the employer and employee
Thirdly, to hold that there is only one way to make defendant's "vienen a ser como una sola personalidad, por refundicion de la
liability effective, and that is, to sue the driver and exhaust his del dependiente en la de quien le emplea y utiliza." ("become as
(the latter's) property first, would be tantamount to compelling the one personality by the merging of the person of the employee in
plaintiff to follow a devious and cumbersome method of obtaining that of him who employs and utilizes him.") All these observations
relief. True, there is such a remedy under our laws, but there is acquire a peculiar force and significance when it comes to motor
also a more expeditious way, which is based on the primary and accidents, and there is need of stressing and accentuating the
direct responsibility of the defendant under article 1903 of the responsibility of owners of motor vehicles.
Civil Code. Our view of the law is more likely to facilitate remedy
for civil wrongs, because the procedure indicated by the Fourthly, because of the broad sweep of the provisions of both
defendant is wasteful and productive of delay, it being a matter of the Penal Code and the Civil Code on this subject, which has
common knowledge that professional drivers of taxis and similar given rise to the overlapping or concurrence of spheres already
public conveyance usually do not have sufficient means with discussed, and for lack of understanding of the character and
which to pay damages. Why, then, should the plaintiff be required efficacy of the action for culpa aquiliana, there has grown up a
in all cases to go through this roundabout, unnecessary, and common practice to seek damages only by virtue of the civil
probably useless procedure? In construing the laws, courts have responsibility arising from a crime, forgetting that there is another
endeavored to shorten and facilitate the pathways of right and remedy, which is by invoking articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code.
justice. Although this habitual method is allowed by our laws, it has
nevertheless rendered practically useless and nugatory the more
At this juncture, it should be said that the primary and direct expeditious and effective remedy based on culpa
responsibility of employers and their presumed negligence are aquiliana or culpa extra-contractual. In the present case, we are
principles calculated to protect society. Workmen and employees asked to help perpetuate this usual course. But we believe it is
should be carefully chosen and supervised in order to avoid injury high time we pointed out to the harm done by such practice and
to the public. It is the masters or employers who principally reap to restore the principle of responsibility for fault or negligence
the profits resulting from the services of these servants and under articles 1902 et seq. of the Civil Code to its full rigor. It is
employees. It is but right that they should guarantee the latter's high time we caused the stream of quasi-delict or culpa
careful conduct for the personnel and patrimonial safety of others. aquiliana to flow on its own natural channel, so that its waters
As Theilhard has said, "they should reproach themselves, at may no longer be diverted into that of a crime under the Penal
least, some for their weakness, others for their poor selection and Code. This will, it is believed, make for the better safeguarding of
all for their negligence." And according to Manresa, "It is much private rights because it re-establishes an ancient and additional
more equitable and just that such responsibility should fall upon remedy, and for the further reason that an independent civil
the principal or director who could have chosen a careful and action, not depending on the issues, limitations and results of a
prudent employee, and not upon the injured person who could not criminal prosecution, and entirely directed by the party wronged
exercise such selection and who used such employee because of
or his counsel, is more likely to secure adequate and efficacious ISSUES:
redress. 1. W/N the civil action should be barred by the
acquittal of criminal action - NO
In view of the foregoing, the judgment of the Court of Appeals 2. W/N the Civil Code can be applied to
should be and is hereby affirmed, with costs against the Atty. Marvin Hill even though Reginald is already
defendant-petitioner. married -YES
HELD: order appealed from is reversed
Yulo, C.J., Moran, Ozaeta and Paras, JJ., concur.

Republic of the Philippines 1. NO.


SUPREME COURT § separate individuality of a cuasi-delito or culpa
Manila aquiliana, under the Civil Code has been fully and
clearly recognized, even with regard to a negligent
SECOND DIVISION act for which the wrongdoer could have been
prosecuted and convicted in a criminal case and for
G.R. No. L-24803 May 26, 1977 which, after such a conviction, he could have been
sued for this civil liability arising from his crime.
PEDRO ELCANO and PATRICIA ELCANO, in their capacity as § If we were to hold that articles 1902 to 1910 of the
Ascendants of Agapito Elcano, deceased, plaintiffs- Civil Code refer only to fault or negligence not
appellants, punished by law, accordingly to the literal import of
vs. article 1093 of the Civil Code, the legal institution
REGINALD HILL, minor, and MARVIN HILL, as father and of culpa aquiliana would have very little scope and
Natural Guardian of said minor, defendants-appellees. application in actual life
§ to find the accused guilty in a criminal case, proof of
guilt beyond reasonable doubt is required, while in a
civil case, preponderance of evidence is sufficient to
FACTS: make the defendant pay in damages. . Otherwise.
there would be many instances of unvindicated civil
§ Reginald Hill, a minor, married but living with his wrongs. "Ubi jus Idemnified remedium."
father, Atty. Marvin Hill with whom he was living and § ART. 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligence
getting subsistence killed Agapito Elcano under the preceding article is entirely separate and
§ CFI Civil Case: dismissed on the ground that he distinct from the civil liability arising from negligence
was acquitted on the ground that his act was not under the Penal Code. But the plaintiff cannot recover
criminal, because of "lack of intent to kill, coupled damages twice for the same act or omission of the
with mistake defendant.
§ Spouses Elcano appealed
§ in reiteration of Garcia, that culpa aquiliana includes Cruz & Avecilla for appellants.
voluntary and negligent acts which may be
punishable by law Marvin R. Hill & Associates for appellees.
§ It results, therefore, that the acquittal of Reginal Hill
in the criminal case has not extinguished his liability
for quasi-delict, hence that acquittal is not a bar to
the instant action against him. BARREDO, J.:
2. YES
§ While it is true that parental authority is terminated upon Appeal from the order of the Court of First Instance of Quezon
emancipation of the child (Article 327, Civil Code), and under City dated January 29, 1965 in Civil Case No. Q-8102, Pedro
Article 397, emancipation takes place "by the marriage of the minor Elcano et al. vs. Reginald Hill et al. dismissing, upon motion to
(child)", it is, however, also clear that pursuant to Article 399, dismiss of defendants, the complaint of plaintiffs for recovery of
emancipation by marriage of the minor is not really full or absolute. damages from defendant Reginald Hill, a minor, married at the
Thus "(E)mancipation by marriage or by voluntary concession shall time of the occurrence, and his father, the defendant Marvin Hill,
terminate parental authority over the child's person. It shall enable with whom he was living and getting subsistence, for the killing by
the minor to administer his property as though he were of age, but Reginald of the son of the plaintiffs, named Agapito Elcano, of
he cannot borrow money or alienate or encumber real property which, when criminally prosecuted, the said accused was
without the consent of his father or mother, or guardian. He can sue acquitted on the ground that his act was not criminal, because of
and be sued in court only with the assistance of his father, mother or "lack of intent to kill, coupled with mistake."
guardian."
Actually, the motion to dismiss based on the following grounds:
§ Article 2180, "(T)he obligation imposed by article
2176 is demandable not only for one's own acts or 1. The present action is not only against but a
omissions, but also for those of persons for whom one violation of section 1, Rule 107, which is now Rule
is responsible III, of the Revised Rules of Court;
§ the marriage of a minor child does not relieve the
parents of the duty to see to it that the child, while 2. The action is barred by a prior judgment which
still a minor, does not give answerable for the is now final and or in res-adjudicata;
borrowings of money and alienation or encumbering
of real property which cannot be done by their minor 3. The complaint had no cause of action against
married child without their consent defendant Marvin Hill, because he was relieved as
§ Reginald is now of age, as a matter of equity, the guardian of the other defendant through
liability of Atty. Hill has become milling, subsidiary to emancipation by marriage.
that of his son.
(P. 23, Record [p. 4, Record on Appeal.])
was first denied by the trial court. It was only upon motion for THE ACTION IS BARRED BY A PRIOR
reconsideration of the defendants of such denial, reiterating the JUDGMENT WHICH IS NOW FINAL OR RES-
above grounds that the following order was issued: ADJUDICTA;

Considering the motion for reconsideration filed by III


the defendants on January 14, 1965 and after
thoroughly examining the arguments therein THE PRINCIPLES OF QUASI-DELICTS,
contained, the Court finds the same to be ARTICLES 2176 TO 2194 OF THE CIVIL CODE,
meritorious and well-founded. ARE INAPPLICABLE IN THE INSTANT CASE;
and
WHEREFORE, the Order of this Court on
December 8, 1964 is hereby reconsidered by IV
ordering the dismissal of the above entitled case.
THAT THE COMPLAINT STATES NO CAUSE
SO ORDERED. OF ACTION AGAINST DEFENDANT MARVIN
HILL BECAUSE HE WAS RELIEVED AS
Quezon City, Philippines, January 29, 1965. (p. GUARDIAN OF THE OTHER DEFENDANT
40, Record [p. 21, Record on Appeal.) THROUGH EMANCIPATION BY MARRIAGE.
(page 4, Record.)
Hence, this appeal where plaintiffs-appellants, the spouses
Elcano, are presenting for Our resolution the following It appears that for the killing of the son, Agapito, of plaintiffs-
assignment of errors: appellants, defendant- appellee Reginald Hill was prosecuted
criminally in Criminal Case No. 5102 of the Court of First Instance
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN DISMISSING of Quezon City. After due trial, he was acquitted on the ground
THE CASE BY UPHOLDING THE CLAIM OF that his act was not criminal because of "lack of intent to kill,
DEFENDANTS THAT - coupled with mistake." Parenthetically, none of the parties has
favored Us with a copy of the decision of acquittal, presumably
I because appellants do not dispute that such indeed was the basis
stated in the court's decision. And so, when appellants filed their
complaint against appellees Reginald and his father, Atty. Marvin
THE PRESENT ACTION IS NOT ONLY
Hill, on account of the death of their son, the appellees filed the
AGAINST BUT ALSO A VIOLATION OF
motion to dismiss above-referred to.
SECTION 1, RULE 107, NOW RULE 111, OF
THE REVISED RULES OF COURT, AND THAT
SECTION 3(c) OF RULE 111, RULES OF As We view the foregoing background of this case, the two
COURT IS APPLICABLE; decisive issues presented for Our resolution are:

II
1. Is the present civil action for damages barred by the acquittal is therefore a clear instance of the same act of
of Reginald in the criminal case wherein the action for civil negligence being a proper subject matter either of
liability, was not reversed? a criminal action with its consequent civil liability
arising from a crime or of an entirely separate and
2. May Article 2180 (2nd and last paragraphs) of the Civil Code independent civil action for fault or negligence
he applied against Atty. Hill, notwithstanding the undisputed fact under article 1902 of the Civil Code. Thus, in this
that at the time of the occurrence complained of. Reginald, jurisdiction, the separate individuality of a cuasi-
though a minor, living with and getting subsistenee from his delito or culpa aquiliana, under the Civil Code has
father, was already legally married? been fully and clearly recognized, even with
regard to a negligent act for which the wrongdoer
The first issue presents no more problem than the need for a could have been prosecuted and convicted in a
reiteration and further clarification of the dual character, criminal criminal case and for which, after such a
and civil, of fault or negligence as a source of obligation which conviction, he could have been sued for this civil
was firmly established in this jurisdiction in Barredo vs. Garcia, 73 liability arising from his crime. (p. 617, 73 Phil.) 2
Phil. 607. In that case, this Court postulated, on the basis of a
scholarly dissertation by Justice Bocobo on the nature of culpa It is most significant that in the case just cited, this
aquiliana in relation to culpa criminal or delito and mere culpa or Court specifically applied article 1902 of the Civil
fault, with pertinent citation of decisions of the Supreme Court of Code. It is thus that although J. V. House could have
Spain, the works of recognized civilians, and earlier jurisprudence been criminally prosecuted for reckless or simple
negligence and not only punished but also made
of our own, that the same given act can result in civil liability not
civilly liable because of his criminal negligence,
only under the Penal Code but also under the Civil Code. Thus,
nevertheless this Court awarded damages in an
the opinion holds:
independent civil action for fault or negligence under
article 1902 of the Civil Code. (p. 618, 73 Phil.) 3
The, above case is pertinent because it shows
that the same act machinist. come under both the The legal provisions, authors, and cases already
Penal Code and the Civil Code. In that case, the invoked should ordinarily be sufficient to dispose
action of the agent killeth unjustified and of this case. But inasmuch as we are announcing
fraudulent and therefore could have been the doctrines that have been little understood, in the
subject of a criminal action. And yet, it was held to past, it might not he inappropriate to indicate their
be also a proper subject of a civil action under foundations.
article 1902 of the Civil Code. It is also to be noted
that it was the employer and not the employee
Firstly, the Revised Penal Code in articles 365
who was being sued. (pp. 615-616, 73 Phil.). 1
punishes not only reckless but also simple
negligence. If we were to hold that articles 1902 to
It will be noticed that the defendant in the above 1910 of the Civil Code refer only to fault or
case could have been prosecuted in a criminal negligence not punished by law, accordingly to
case because his negligence causing the death of the literal import of article 1093 of the Civil Code,
the child was punishable by the Penal Code. Here
the legal institution of culpa aquiliana would have discussed, and for lack of understanding of the
very little scope and application in actual life. character and efficacy of the action for culpa
Death or injury to persons and damage to aquiliana, there has grown up a common practice
property- through any degree of negligence - even to seek damages only by virtue of the civil
the slightest - would have to be Idemnified only responsibility arising from a crime, forgetting that
through the principle of civil liability arising from a there is another remedy, which is by invoking
crime. In such a state of affairs, what sphere articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code. Although this
would remain for cuasi-delito or culpa aquiliana? habitual method is allowed by, our laws, it has
We are loath to impute to the lawmaker any nevertheless rendered practically useless and
intention to bring about a situation so absurd and nugatory the more expeditious and effective
anomalous. Nor are we, in the interpretation of the remedy based on culpa aquiliana or culpa extra-
laws, disposed to uphold the letter that killeth contractual. In the present case, we are asked to
rather than the spirit that giveth life. We will not help perpetuate this usual course. But we believe
use the literal meaning of the law to smother and it is high time we pointed out to the harms done by
render almost lifeless a principle of such ancient such practice and to restore the principle of
origin and such full-grown development as culpa responsibility for fault or negligence under articles
aquiliana or cuasi-delito, which is conserved and 1902 et seq. of the Civil Code to its full rigor. It is
made enduring in articles 1902 to 1910 of the high time we caused the stream of quasi-delict
Spanish Civil Code. or culpa aquiliana to flow on its own natural
channel, so that its waters may no longer be
Secondary, to find the accused guilty in a criminal diverted into that of a crime under the Penal
case, proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt is Code. This will, it is believed, make for the better
required, while in a civil case, preponderance of safeguarding or private rights because it realtor,
evidence is sufficient to make the defendant pay an ancient and additional remedy, and for the
in damages. There are numerous cases of further reason that an independent civil action, not
criminal negligence which can not be shown depending on the issues, limitations and results of
beyond reasonable doubt, but can be proved by a a criminal prosecution, and entirely directed by the
preponderance of evidence. In such cases, the party wronged or his counsel, is more likely to
defendant can and should be made responsible in secure adequate and efficacious redress. (p. 621,
a civil action under articles 1902 to 1910 of the 73 Phil.)
Civil Code. Otherwise. there would be many
instances of unvindicated civil wrongs. "Ubi jus Contrary to an immediate impression one might get upon a
Idemnified remedium." (p. 620,73 Phil.) reading of the foregoing excerpts from the opinion in Garcia that
the concurrence of the Penal Code and the Civil Code therein
Fourthly, because of the broad sweep of the referred to contemplate only acts of negligence and not
provisions of both the Penal Code and the Civil intentional voluntary acts - deeper reflection would reveal that the
Code on this subject, which has given rise to the thrust of the pronouncements therein is not so limited, but that in
overlapping or concurrence of spheres already fact it actually extends to fault or culpa. This can be seen in the
reference made therein to the Sentence of the Supreme Court of According to the Code Commission: "The foregoing provision
Spain of February 14, 1919, supra, which involved a case of fraud (Article 2177) through at first sight startling, is not so novel or
or estafa, not a negligent act. Indeed, Article 1093 of the Civil extraordinary when we consider the exact nature of criminal and
Code of Spain, in force here at the time of Garcia, provided civil negligence. The former is a violation of the criminal law, while
textually that obligations "which are derived from acts or the latter is a "culpa aquiliana" or quasi-delict, of ancient origin,
omissions in which fault or negligence, not punishable by law, having always had its own foundation and individuality, separate
intervene shall be the subject of Chapter II, Title XV of this book from criminal negligence. Such distinction between criminal
(which refers to quasi-delicts.)" And it is precisely the underline negligence and "culpa extracontractual" or "cuasi-delito" has been
qualification, "not punishable by law", that Justice Bocobo sustained by decision of the Supreme Court of Spain and
emphasized could lead to an ultimo construction or interpretation maintained as clear, sound and perfectly tenable by Maura, an
of the letter of the law that "killeth, rather than the spirit that giveth outstanding Spanish jurist. Therefore, under the proposed Article
lift- hence, the ruling that "(W)e will not use the literal meaning of 2177, acquittal from an accusation of criminal negligence,
the law to smother and render almost lifeless a principle of such whether on reasonable doubt or not, shall not be a bar to a
ancient origin and such full-grown development as culpa subsequent civil action, not for civil liability arising from criminal
aquiliana or quasi-delito, which is conserved and made enduring negligence, but for damages due to a quasi-delict or 'culpa
in articles 1902 to 1910 of the Spanish Civil Code." And so, aquiliana'. But said article forestalls a double recovery.", (Report
because Justice Bacobo was Chairman of the Code Commission of the Code) Commission, p. 162.)
that drafted the original text of the new Civil Code, it is to be
noted that the said Code, which was enacted after the Garcia Although, again, this Article 2177 does seem to literally refer to
doctrine, no longer uses the term, 11 not punishable by law," only acts of negligence, the same argument of Justice Bacobo
thereby making it clear that the concept of culpa about construction that upholds "the spirit that giveth lift- rather
aquiliana includes acts which are criminal in character or in than that which is literal that killeth the intent of the lawmaker
violation of the penal law, whether voluntary or matter. Thus, the should be observed in applying the same. And considering that
corresponding provisions to said Article 1093 in the new code, the preliminary chapter on human relations of the new Civil Code
which is Article 1162, simply says, "Obligations derived definitely establishes the separability and independence of liability
from quasi-delicto shall be governed by the provisions of Chapter in a civil action for acts criminal in character (under Articles 29 to
2, Title XVII of this Book, (on quasi-delicts) and by special laws." 32) from the civil responsibility arising from crime fixed by Article
More precisely, a new provision, Article 2177 of the new code 100 of the Revised Penal Code, and, in a sense, the Rules of
provides: Court, under Sections 2 and 3 (c), Rule 111, contemplate also the
same separability, it is "more congruent with the spirit of law,
ART. 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligence equity and justice, and more in harmony with modern progress"-
under the preceding article is entirely separate to borrow the felicitous relevant language in Rakes vs. Atlantic.
and distinct from the civil liability arising from Gulf and Pacific Co., 7 Phil. 359, to hold, as We do hold, that
negligence under the Penal Code. But the plaintiff Article 2176, where it refers to "fault or negligencia covers not
cannot recover damages twice for the same act or only acts "not punishable by law" but also acts criminal in
omission of the defendant. character, whether intentional and voluntary or negligent.
Consequently, a separate civil action lies against the offender in a
criminal act, whether or not he is criminally prosecuted and found
guilty or acquitted, provided that the offended party is not allowed, Now under Article 2180, "(T)he obligation imposed by article 2176
if he is actually charged also criminally, to recover damages on is demandable not only for one's own acts or omissions, but also
both scores, and would be entitled in such eventuality only to the for those of persons for whom one is responsible. The father and,
bigger award of the two, assuming the awards made in the two in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are responsible.
cases vary. In other words, the extinction of civil liability referred The father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are
to in Par. (e) of Section 3, Rule 111, refers exclusively to civil responsible for the damages caused by the minor children who
liability founded on Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, live in their company." In the instant case, it is not controverted
whereas the civil liability for the same act considered as a quasi- that Reginald, although married, was living with his father and
delict only and not as a crime is not estinguished even by a getting subsistence from him at the time of the occurrence in
declaration in the criminal case that the criminal act charged has question. Factually, therefore, Reginald was still subservient to
not happened or has not been committed by the accused. Briefly and dependent on his father, a situation which is not unusual.
stated, We here hold, in reiteration of Garcia, that culpa
aquiliana includes voluntary and negligent acts which may be It must be borne in mind that, according to Manresa, the reason
punishable by law.4 behind the joint and solidary liability of presuncion with their
offending child under Article 2180 is that is the obligation of the
It results, therefore, that the acquittal of Reginal Hill in the criminal parent to supervise their minor children in order to prevent them
case has not extinguished his liability for quasi-delict, hence that from causing damage to third persons. 5 On the other hand, the
acquittal is not a bar to the instant action against him. clear implication of Article 399, in providing that a minor emancipated
by marriage may not, nevertheless, sue or be sued without the
Coming now to the second issue about the effect of Reginald's assistance of the parents, is that such emancipation does not carry
emancipation by marriage on the possible civil liability of Atty. Hill, with it freedom to enter into transactions or do any act that can give
rise to judicial litigation. (See Manresa, Id., Vol. II, pp. 766-767, 776.)
his father, it is also Our considered opinion that the conclusion of
And surely, killing someone else invites judicial action. Otherwise
appellees that Atty. Hill is already free from responsibility cannot
stated, the marriage of a minor child does not relieve the parents of
be upheld.
the duty to see to it that the child, while still a minor, does not give
answerable for the borrowings of money and alienation or
While it is true that parental authority is terminated upon encumbering of real property which cannot be done by their minor
emancipation of the child (Article 327, Civil Code), and under married child without their consent. (Art. 399; Manresa, supra.)
Article 397, emancipation takes place "by the marriage of the
minor (child)", it is, however, also clear that pursuant to Article Accordingly, in Our considered view, Article 2180 applies to Atty.
399, emancipation by marriage of the minor is not really full or Hill notwithstanding the emancipation by marriage of Reginald.
absolute. Thus "(E)mancipation by marriage or by voluntary However, inasmuch as it is evident that Reginald is now of age,
concession shall terminate parental authority over the child's as a matter of equity, the liability of Atty. Hill has become milling,
person. It shall enable the minor to administer his property as subsidiary to that of his son.
though he were of age, but he cannot borrow money or alienate
or encumber real property without the consent of his father or
WHEREFORE, the order appealed from is reversed and the trial
mother, or guardian. He can sue and be sued in court only with
court is ordered to proceed in accordance with the foregoing
the assistance of his father, mother or guardian."
opinion. Costs against appellees.
Republic of the Philippines on September 25, 1975 against Maximo Borilla in the Court of
SUPREME COURT First Instance of Rizal at Pasay City, docketed as C Case No.
Manila 3162-P of said court; that at the hearing of the said criminal case
on December 12, 1975, Atty. Julio Francisco, the private
FIRST DIVISION prosecutor, made a reservation to file a separate civil action for
damages against the driver on his criminal liability; that on
G.R. No. L-46179 January 31, 1978 February 19, 1976 Atty. Julio Francisco filed a motion in said c
case to withdraw the reservation to file a separate civil action; that
thereafter, the private prosecutor actively participated in the trial
CANDIDA VIRATA, TOMAS VIRATA, MANOLITO VIRATA,
and presented evidence on the damages; that on June 29, 1976
EDERLINDA VIRATA, NAPOLEON VIRATA, ARACELY
the heirs of Arsenio Virata again reserved their right to institute a
VIRATA, ZENAIDA VIRATA, LUZMINDA VIRATA, PACITA
separate civil action; that on July 19, 1977 the heirs of Arsenio
VIRATA, and EVANGELINA VIRATA, petitioners,
Virata, petitioners herein, commenced Civil No. B-134 in the
vs.
Court of First Instance of Cavite at Bacoor, Branch V, for
VICTORIO OCHOA, MAXIMO BORILLA and THE COURT OF
damages based on quasi-delict against the driver Maximo Borilla
FIRST INSTANCE OF CAVITE, 7th JUDICIAL DISTRICT,
and the registered owner of the jeepney, Victorio Ochoa; that on
BRANCH V, stationed at BACOOR, CAVITE, respondents.
August 13, 1976 the defendants, private respondents filed a
motion to dismiss on the ground that there is another action,
Remulla, Estrella & Associates for petitioners Criminal Case No. 3162-P, pending between the same parties for
the same cause; that on September 8, 1976 the Court of First
Exequil C. Masangkay for respondents. Instance of Rizal at Pasay City a decision in Criminal Case No.
3612-P acquitting the accused Maximo Borilla on the ground that
he caused an injury by name accident; and that on January 31,
1977, the Court of First Instance of Cavite at Bacoor granted the
FERNANDEZ, J.: motion to Civil Case No. B-134 for damages. 2

This is an appeal by certiorari, from the order of the Court of First The principal issue is weather or not the of the Arsenio Virata,
Instance of Cavite, Branch V, in Civil Case No. B-134 granting the can prosecute an action for the damages based on quasi-delict
motion of the defendants to dismiss the complaint on the ground against Maximo Borilla and Victoria Ochoa, driver and owner,
that there is another action pending between the same parties for respectively on the passenger jeepney that bumped Arsenio
the same cause. 1 Virata.

The record shows that on September 24, 1975 one Arsenio Virata It is settled that in negligence cases the aggrieved parties may
died as a result of having been bumped while walking along Taft choose between an action under the Revised Penal Code or of
Avenue, Pasay City by a passenger jeepney driven by Maximo quasi-delict under Article 2176 of the Civil Code of the
Borilla and registered in the name Of Victoria Ochoa; that Borilla Philippines. What is prohibited by Article 2177 of the Civil Code of
is the employer of Ochoa; that for the death of Arsenio Virata, a the Philippines is to recover twice for the same negligent act.
action for homicide through reckless imprudence was instituted
The Supreme Court has held that: Article 100 of the Penal Code, and, in a sense, the
Rules of Court, under Sections 2 and 3(c), Rule
According to the Code Commission: 'The 111, contemplate also the same separability, it is
foregoing provision (Article 2177) though at first 'more congruent' with the spirit of law, equity and
sight startling, is not so novel or extraordinary justice, and more in harmony with modern
when we consider the exact nature of criminal and progress', to borrow the felicitous language in
civil negligence. The former is a violation of the Rakes vs. Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Co., 7 Phil. to
criminal law, while the latter is a 'culpa aquiliana' 359, to hod as We do hold, that Article 2176,
or quasi-delict, of ancient origin, having always where it refers to 'fault covers not only acts 'not
had its own foundation and individuality, separate punishable by law' but also criminal in character,
from criminal negligence. Such distinction whether intentional and voluntary or consequently,
between criminal negligence and 'culpa extra- a separate civil action lies against the in a criminal
contractual' or quasi-delito has been sustained by act, whether or not he is criminally prosecuted and
decision of the Supreme Court of Spain and found guilty and acquitted, provided that the
maintained as clear, sound and perfectly tenable offended party is not allowed, if he is actually
by Maura, an outstanding Spanish jurist. charged also criminally, to recover damages on
Therefore, under the proposed Article 2177, both scores, and would be entitled in such
acquittal from an accusation of criminal eventuality only to the bigger award of the, two
negligence, whether on reasonable doubt or not, assuming the awards made in the two cases vary.
shall not be a bar to a subsequent civil action, not In other words the extinction of civil liability
for civil liability arising from criminal negligence, refereed to in Par. (c) of Section 13, Rule 111,
but for damages due to a quasi-delict or 'culpa refers exclusively to civil liability founded on
aquiliana'. But said article forestalls a double Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, whereas
recovery. (Report of the Code Commission, p. the civil liability for the same act considered as a
162.) quasi-delict only and not as a crime is not
extinguished even by a declaration in the criminal
Although, again, this Article 2177 does seem to case that the criminal act charged has not
literally refer to only acts of negligence, the same happened or has not been committed by the
argument of Justice Bocobo about construction accused. Brief stated, We hold, in reitration of
that upholds 'the spirit that given life' rather than Garcia, that culpa aquilina includes voluntary and
that which is literal that killeth the intent of the negligent acts which may be punishable by law. 3
lawmaker should be observed in applying the
same. And considering that the preliminary The petitioners are not seeking to recover twice for the same
chapter on human relations of the new Civil Code negligent act. Before Criminal Case No. 3162-P was decided,
definitely establishes the separability and they manifested in said criminal case that they were filing a
independence of liability in a civil action for acts separate civil action for damages against the owner and driver of
criminal in character (under Articles 29 to 32) from the passenger jeepney based on quasi-delict. The acquittal of the
the civil responsibility arising from crime fixed by driver, Maximo Borilla, of the crime charged in Criminal Case No.
3162-P is not a bar to the prosecution of Civil Case No. B-134 for mandamus to allow Atty. Bustos to enter his appearance as
damages based on quasi-delict The source of the obligation private prosecutor in the aforestated criminal cases.
sought to be enforced in Civil Case No. B-134 is quasi-delict, not
an act or omission punishable by law. Under Article 1157 of the It appears that fifteen (15) separate informations for violation of
Civil Code of the Philippines, quasi-delict and an act or omission Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 or the Bouncing Checks Law, docketed
punishable by law are two different sources of obligation. as Criminal Cases Nos. 40909-40913, were filed against
respondent Claudio before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon
Moreover, for the petitioners to prevail in the action for damages, City and originally assigned to Branch 84.
Civil Case No. B-134, they have only to establish their cause of
action by preponderance of the evidence. The presiding judge of Branch 84 inhibited himself when
respondent Claudio, through counsel, filed a petition for recuse
WHEREFORE, the order of dismissal appealed from is hereby dated May 19,1986.
set aside and Civil Case No. B-134 is reinstated and remanded to
the lower court for further proceedings, with costs against the The cases were re-raffled and consequently assigned on June
private respondents. 25, 1986 to Branch 105 which was then presided over by Judge
Johnico G. Serquina
SO ORDERED.
During these proceedings, respondent Claudio was finally
G.R. No. 78911-25 December 11, 1987 arraigned on November 20, 1986 where she pleaded not guilty to
the charges. Pre-trial was then set on January 8, 1987.
CHARMINA B. BANAL, petitioner,
vs. In the meantime Judge Tomas V. Tadeo, Jr. replaced Judge
THE HON. TOMAS V. TADEO, JR., Presiding Judge, RTC- Serquina as presiding judge of Branch 105.
Quezon City, Branch 105 and Rosario Claudia respondents.
On January 8, 1987, the respondent court issued an order
rejecting the appearance of Atty. Nicolito L. Bustos as private
prosecutor on the ground that the charge is for the violation of
GUTIERREZ, JR., J.: Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 which does not provide for any civil
liability or indemnity and hence, "it is not a crime against property
This is a petition for certiorari to review and set aside the orders but public order."
of the respondent Regional Trial Court, Branch 105, Quezon City
dated (1) 8 January 1987 which rejected the appearance of Atty. The petitioner, through counsel filed a motion for reconsideration
Nicolito L. Bustos as private prosecutor in Criminal Cases Nos. of the order dated 8 January 1987 on March 10, 1987.
Q-40909 to Q-40913 where respondent Rosario Claudio is the
accused for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22; and (2) 31 Respondent Claudio filed her opposition to the motion for
March 1987 which denied the petitioner's motion for reconsideration on March 25, 1987.
reconsideration of the order dated 8 January 1987; and for
In an order dated 31 March 1987, the respondent court denied where the same act or omission may be treated as a crime in one
petitioner's motion for reconsideration. instance and as a tort in another or where the law allows a
separate civil action to proceed independently of the course of the
Hence, this petition questioning the orders of the respondent criminal prosecution with which it is intimately intertwined. Many
Court. legal scholars treat as a misconception or fallacy the generally
accepted notion that, the civil liability actually arises from the
The issue to be resolved is whether or not the respondent Court crime when, in the ultimate analysis, it does not. While an act or
acted with grave abuse of discretion or in excess of its jurisdiction omission is felonious because it is punishable by law, it gives rise
in rejecting the appearance of a private prosecutor. to civil liability not so much because it is a crime but because it
caused damage to another. Viewing things pragmatically, we can
readily see that what gives rise to the civil liability is really the
The respondents make capital of the fact that Batas Pambansa
obligation and the moral duty of everyone to repair or make whole
Blg. 22 punishes the act of knowingly issuing worthless checks as
the damage caused to another by reason of his own act or
an offense against public order. As such, it is argued that it is the
omission, done intentionally or negligently, whether or not the
State and the public that are the principal complainants and,
same be punishable by law. In other words, criminal liability will
therefore, no civil indemnity is provided for by Batas Pambansa
give rise to civil liability only if the same felonious act or omission
Blg. 22 for which a private party or prosecutor may intervene.
results in damage or injury to another and is the direct and
proximate cause thereof. Damage or injury to another is evidently
On the other hand, the petitioner, relying on the legal axiom that the foundation of the civil action. Such is not the case in criminal
"Every man criminally liable is also civilly liable," contends that actions for, to be criminally liable, it is enough that the act or
indemnity may be recovered from the offender regardless of omission complained of is punishable, regardless of whether or
whether or not Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 so provides. not it also causes material damage to another. (See Sangco,
Philippine Law on Torts and Damages, 1978, Revised Edition, pp.
A careful study of the concept of civil liability allows a solution to 246-247).
the issue in the case at bar.
Article 20 of the New Civil Code provides:
Generally, the basis of civil liability arising from crime is the
fundamental postulate of our law that "Every man criminally liable Every person who, contrary to law, wilfully or
is also civilly liable" (Art. 100, The Revised Penal Code). negligently causes damage to another, shall
Underlying this legal principle is the traditional theory that when a indemnify the latter for the same.
person commits a crime he offends two entities namely ( 1) the
society in which he lives in or the political entity called the State
Regardless, therefore, of whether or not a special law so
whose law he had violated; and (2) the individual member of that
provides, indemnification of the offended party may be had on
society whose person, right, honor, chastity or property was
account of the damage, loss or injury directly suffered as a
actually or directly injured or damaged by the same punishable
consequence of the wrongful act of another. The indemnity which
act or omission. However, this rather broad and general provision
a person is sentenced to pay forms an integral part of the penalty
is among the most complex and controversial topics in criminal
imposed by law for the commission of a crime (Quemel v. Court
procedure. It can be misleading in its implications especially
of Appeals, 22 SCRA 44, citing Bagtas v. Director of Prisons, 84
Phil. 692). Every crime gives rise to a penal or criminal action for The petitioner's intervention in the prosecution of Criminal Cases
the punishment of the guilty party, and also to civil action for the 40909 to 40913 is justified not only for the protection of her
restitution of the thing, repair of the damage, and indemnification interests but also in the interest of the speedy and inexpensive
for the losses. (United States v. Bernardo, 19 Phil. 265). administration of justice mandated by the Constitution (Section
16, Article III, Bill of Rights, Constitution of 1987). A separate civil
Indeed one cannot disregard the private party in the case at bar action for the purpose would only prove to be costly,
who suffered the offenses committed against her. Not only the burdensome, and time-consuming for both parties and further
State but the petitioner too is entitled to relief as a member of the delay the final disposition of the case. This multiplicity of suits
public which the law seeks to protect. She was assured that the must be avoided. Where petitioner's rights may be fulIy
checks were good when she parted with money, property or adjudicated in the proceedings before the trial court, resort t o a
services. She suffered with the State when the checks bounced. separate action to recover civil liability is clearly unwarranted.

In Lozano v. Hon. Martinez (G.R. No. 63419, December 18, WHEREFORE the petition is hereby GRANTED. The respondent
1986) and the cases consolidated therewith, we held that "The court is ordered to permit the intervention of a private prosecutor
effects of a worthless check transcend the private interests of the in behalf of petitioner Charmina B. Banal, in the prosecution of
parties directly involved in the transaction and touch the interests the civil aspect of Criminasl Cases Nos. 40909 to 40913. The
of the community at large." Yet, we too recognized the wrong temporary restraining order issued by this court a quo for further
done to the private party defrauded when we stated therein that proceedings. This decision is immediately executory.
"The mischief it creates is not only a wrong to the payee or the
holder, but also an injury to the public." SO ORDERED.

Civil liability to the offended private party cannot thus be denied, G.R. No. 82146 January 22, 1990
The payee of the check is entitled to receive the payment of
money for which the worthless check was issued. Having been EULOGIO OCCENA, petitioner,
caused the damage, she is entitled to recompense. vs.
HON. PEDRO M. ICAMINA, Presiding Judge, Branch X of the
Surely, it could not have been the intendment of the framers of Regional Trial Court Sixth Judicial Region, San Jose,
Batas Pambansa Big. 22 to leave the offended private party Antique; THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by
defrauded and empty- handed by excluding the civil liability of the the Honorable Provincial Fiscal of Antique; and CRISTINA
offender, giving her only the remedy, which in many cases results VEGAFRIA, respondents.
in a Pyrrhic victory, of having to file a separate civil suit. To do so,
may leave the offended party unable to recover even the face Comelec Legal Assistance Office for petitioner.
value of the check due her, thereby unjustly enriching the errant Comelec Legal Assistance Officer for private respondent.
drawer at the expense of the payee. The protection which the law
seeks to provide would, therefore, be brought to naught.
FERNAN, C.J.: Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Sibalom, San Remigio-
Belison, Antique, for the execution of its decision on the
On May 31, 1979, herein petitioner Eulogio Occena instituted criminal aspect.
before the Second Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Sibalom, San
Remigio — Belison, Province of Antique, Criminal Case No. SO ORDERED. 2
1717, a criminal complaint for Grave Oral Defamation against
herein private respondent Cristina Vegafria for allegedly openly, Petitioner is now before us by way of a petition for review
publicly and maliciously uttering the following insulting words and on certiorari seeking to annul the RTC decision for being contrary
statements: "Gago ikaw nga Barangay Captain, montisco, traidor, to Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code providing that every
malugus, Hudas," which, freely translated, mean: "You are a person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable, and Article
foolish Barangay Captain, ignoramus, traitor, tyrant, Judas" and 2219 of the New Civil Code providing that moral damages may be
other words and statements of similar import which caused great recovered in libel, slander or any other form of defamation. He
and irreparable damage and injury to his person and honor. submits that public respondent RTC erred in relying on the cases
of Roa vs. de la Cruz, 107 Phil. 10 and Tan vs. Standard Vacuum
Private respondent as accused therein entered a plea of not Oil Co., et al., 91 Phil. 672 cited therein. He differentiates said
guilty. Trial thereafter ensued, at which petitioner, without cases from the case at bar by saying that in the case of Roa, the
reserving his right to file a separate civil action for damages decision of the trial court had become final before Maria C. Roa
actively intervened thru a private prosecutor. instituted a civil action for damages; whereas in the instant case,
the decision of the trial court has not yet become final by reason
After trial, private respondent was convicted of the offense of of the timely appeal interposed by him and no civil action for
Slight Oral Defamation and was sentenced to pay a fine of Fifty damages has been instituted by petitioner against private
Pesos (P50.00) with subsidiary imprisonment in case of respondent for the same cause. Tan, on the other hand,
insolvency and to pay the costs. No damages were awarded to contemplates of two actions, one criminal and one civil, and the
petitioner in view of the trial court's opinion that "the facts and prosecution of the criminal case had resulted in the acquittal of
circumstances of the case as adduced by the evidence do not the accused, which is not the situation here where the civil aspect
warrant the awarding of moral damages." 1 was impliedly instituted with the criminal action in accordance
with Section 1, Rule 111, of the Rules of Court.
Disagreeing, petitioner sought relief from the Regional Trial Court,
which in a decision dated March 16, 1987 disposed of petitioner's Private respondent for her part argues that the decision of the trial
appeal as follows: court carries with it the final adjudication of her civil liability. Since
petitioner chose to actively intervene in the criminal action without
IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the civil aspect of reserving his right to file a separate civil action for damages, he
the lower court's decision of April 20, 1981 subject of this assumed the risk that in the event he failed to recover damages
appeal, for lack of merit, is hereby DENIED. he cannot appeal from the decision of the lower court.

After the decision shall have become final, remand the We find merit in the petition.
records of this case to the court of origin, Second
The issues confronting us in the instant petition is whether or not quasi-delict, the provisions for independent civil actions in the
the decision of the Second Municipal Trial Court of Sibalom, San- Chapter on Human Relations and the provisions regulating
Remigio-Belison, Province of Antique constitutes the final damages, also found in the Civil Code.
adjudication on the merits of private respondent's civil liability;
and whether or not petitioner is entitled to an award of damages Underlying the legal principle that a person who is criminally liable
arising from the remarks uttered by private respondent and found is also civilly liable is the view that from the standpoint of its
by the trial court to be defamatory. effects, a crime has dual character: (1) as an offense against the
state because of the disturbance of the social order; and (2) as an
The decision of the Municipal Circuit Trial Court as affirmed by offense against the private person injured by the crime unless it
the Regional Trial Court in Criminal Case No. 1709 cannot be involves the crime of treason, rebellion, espionage, contempt and
considered as a final adjudication on the civil liability of private others wherein no civil liability arises on the part of the offender
respondent simply because said decision has not yet become either because there are no damages to be compensated or there
final due to the timely appeal filed by petitioner with respect to the is no private person injured by the crime. 3
civil liability of the accused in said case. It was only the
unappealed criminal aspect of the case which has become final. In the ultimate analysis, what gives rise to the civil liability is really
the obligation of everyone to repair or to make whole the damage
In the case of People vs. Coloma, 105 Phil. 1287, we caused to another by reason of his act or omission, whether done
categorically stated that from a judgment convicting the accused, intentional or negligently and whether or not punishable by law. 4
two (2) appeals may, accordingly, be taken. The accused may
seek a review of said judgment, as regards both civil and criminal In the case at bar, private respondent was found guilty of slight
actions; while the complainant may appeal with respect only to oral defamation and sentenced to a fine of P50.00 with subsidiary
the civil action, either because the lower court has refused to imprisonment in case of insolvency, but no civil liability arising
award damages or because the award made is unsatisfactory to from the felonious act of the accused was adjudged. This is
him. The right of either to appeal or not to appeal in the event of erroneous. As a general rule, a person who is found to be
conviction of the accused is not dependent upon the other. Thus, criminally liable offends two (2) entities: the state or society in
private respondent's theory that in actively intervening in the which he lives and the individual member of the society or private
criminal action, petitioner waived his right to appeal from the person who was injured or damaged by the punishable act or
decision that may be rendered therein, is incorrect and omission. The offense of which private respondent was found
inaccurate. Petitioner may, as he did, appeal from the decision on guilty is not one of those felonies where no civil liability results
the civil aspect which is deemed instituted with the criminal action because either there is no offended party or no damage was
and such appeal, timely taken, prevents the decision on the civil caused to a private person. There is here an offended party,
liability from attaining finality. whose main contention precisely is that he suffered damages in
view of the defamatory words and statements uttered by private
We tackle the second issue by determining the basis of civil respondent, in the amount of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00)
liability arising from crime. Civil obligations arising from criminal as moral damages and the further sum of Ten Thousand Pesos
offenses are governed by Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code (P10,000) as exemplary damages.
which provides that "(E)very person criminally liable for a felony is
also civilly liable," in relation to Article 2177 of the Civil Code on
Article 2219, par. (7) of the Civil Code allows the recovery of
moral damages in case of libel, slander or any other form of
defamation This provision of law establishes the right of an G.R. No. 169467 February 25, 2010
offended party in a case for oral defamation to recover from the
guilty party damages for injury to his feelings and reputation. The
ALFREDO P. PACIS and CLEOPATRA D. PACIS, Petitioners,
offended party is likewise allowed to recover punitive or
vs.
exemplary damages.
JEROME JOVANNE MORALES, Respondent.
It must be remembered that every defamatory imputation is
DECISION
presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if no good intention
and justifiable motive for making it is shown. And malice may be
inferred from the style and tone of publication 5 subject to certain CARPIO, J.:
exceptions which are not present in the case at bar.
The Case
Calling petitioner who was a barangay captain an ignoramus,
traitor, tyrant and Judas is clearly an imputation of defects in This petition for review1 assails the 11 May 2005 Decision2 and
petitioner's character sufficient to cause him embarrassment and the 19 August 2005 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-
social humiliation. Petitioner testified to the feelings of shame and G.R. CV No. 60669.
anguish he suffered as a result of the incident complained of. 6 It
is patently error for the trial court to overlook this vital piece of The Facts
evidence and to conclude that the "facts and circumstances of the
case as adduced by the evidence do not warrant the awarding of On 17 January 1995, petitioners Alfredo P. Pacis and Cleopatra
moral damages." Having misapprehended the facts, the trial D. Pacis (petitioners) filed with the trial court a civil case for
court's findings with respect thereto is not conclusive upon us. damages against respondent Jerome Jovanne Morales
(respondent). Petitioners are the parents of Alfred Dennis Pacis,
From the evidence presented, we rule that for the injury to his Jr. (Alfred), a 17-year old student who died in a shooting incident
feelings and reputation, being a barangay captain, petitioner is inside the Top Gun Firearms and Ammunitions Store (gun store)
entitled to moral damages in the sum of P5,000.00 and a further in Baguio City. Respondent is the owner of the gun store.
sum of P5,000.00 as exemplary damages.
The facts as found by the trial court are as follows:
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The decision of
the Regional Trial Court is hereby MODIFIED and private On January 19, 1991, Alfred Dennis Pacis, then 17 years old and
respondent is ordered to pay petitioner the amount of P5,000.00 a first year student at the Baguio Colleges Foundation taking up
as moral damages and another P5,000.00 as exemplary BS Computer Science, died due to a gunshot wound in the head
damages. Costs against private respondent. which he sustained while he was at the Top Gun Firearm[s] and
Ammunition[s] Store located at Upper Mabini Street, Baguio City.
SO ORDERED. The gun store was owned and operated by defendant Jerome
Jovanne Morales.
With Alfred Pacis at the time of the shooting were Aristedes On 8 April 1998, the trial court rendered its decision in favor of
Matibag and Jason Herbolario. They were sales agents of the petitioners. The dispositive portion of the decision reads:
defendant, and at that particular time, the caretakers of the gun
store. WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby
rendered in favor of the plaintiffs [Spouses Alfredo P. Pacis and
The bullet which killed Alfred Dennis Pacis was fired from a gun Cleopatra D. Pacis] and against the defendant [Jerome Jovanne
brought in by a customer of the gun store for repair. Morales] ordering the defendant to pay plaintiffs —

The gun, an AMT Automag II Cal. 22 Rimfire Magnum with Serial (1) ₱30,000.00 as indemnity for the death of Alfred Pacis;
No. SN-H34194 (Exhibit "Q"), was left by defendant Morales in a
drawer of a table located inside the gun store. (2) ₱29,437.65 as actual damages for the hospitalization
and burial expenses incurred by the plaintiffs;
Defendant Morales was in Manila at the time. His employee
Armando Jarnague, who was the regular caretaker of the gun (3) ₱100,000.00 as compensatory damages;
store was also not around. He left earlier and requested sales
agents Matibag and Herbolario to look after the gun store while (4) ₱100,000.00 as moral damages;
he and defendant Morales were away. Jarnague entrusted to
Matibag and Herbolario a bunch of keys used in the gun store
(5) ₱50,000.00 as attorney’s fees.
which included the key to the drawer where the fatal gun was
kept.
SO ORDERED.4
It appears that Matibag and Herbolario later brought out the gun
from the drawer and placed it on top of the table. Attracted by the Respondent appealed to the Court of Appeals. In its
sight of the gun, the young Alfred Dennis Pacis got hold of the Decision5 dated 11 May 2005, the Court of Appeals reversed the
same. Matibag asked Alfred Dennis Pacis to return the gun. The trial court’s Decision and absolved respondent from civil liability
latter followed and handed the gun to Matibag. It went off, the under Article 2180 of the Civil Code.6
bullet hitting the young Alfred in the head.
Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration, which the Court of
A criminal case for homicide was filed against Matibag before Appeals denied in its Resolution dated 19 August 2005.
branch VII of this Court. Matibag, however, was acquitted of the
charge against him because of the exempting circumstance of Hence, this petition.
"accident" under Art. 12, par. 4 of the Revised Penal Code.
The Trial Court’s Ruling
By agreement of the parties, the evidence adduced in the criminal
case for homicide against Matibag was reproduced and adopted The trial court held respondent civilly liable for the death of Alfred
by them as part of their evidence in the instant case.3 under Article 2180 in relation to Article 2176 of the Civil
Code.7 The trial court held that the accidental shooting of Alfred
which caused his death was partly due to the negligence of "x x x. Could a prudent man, in the position of the person to
respondent’s employee Aristedes Matibag (Matibag). Matibag whom negligence is attributed, foresee harm to the person injured
and Jason Herbolario (Herbolario) were employees of respondent as a reasonable consequence of the course about to be pursued?
even if they were only paid on a commission basis. Under the If so, the law imposes a duty on the actor to refrain from that
Civil Code, respondent is liable for the damages caused by course or take precaution against its mischievous results, and the
Matibag on the occasion of the performance of his duties, unless failure to do so constitutes negligence. x x x."
respondent proved that he observed the diligence of a good
father of a family to prevent the damage. The trial court held that Defendant-appellant maintains that he is not guilty of negligence
respondent failed to observe the required diligence when he left and lack of due care as he did not fail to observe the diligence of
the key to the drawer containing the loaded defective gun without a good father of a family. He submits that he kept the firearm in
instructing his employees to be careful in handling the loaded one of his table drawers, which he locked and such is already an
gun. indication that he took the necessary diligence and care that the
said gun would not be accessible to anyone. He puts [sic] that his
The Court of Appeals’ Ruling store is engaged in selling firearms and ammunitions. Such items
which are per se dangerous are kept in a place which is properly
The Court of Appeals held that respondent cannot be held civilly secured in order that the persons coming into the gun store would
liable since there was no employer-employee relationship not be able to take hold of it unless it is done intentionally, such
between respondent and Matibag. The Court of Appeals found as when a customer is interested to purchase any of the firearms,
that Matibag was not under the control of respondent with respect ammunitions and other related items, in which case, he may be
to the means and methods in the performance of his work. There allowed to handle the same.
can be no employer-employee relationship where the element of
control is absent. Thus, Article 2180 of the Civil Code does not We agree. Much as We sympathize with the family of the
apply in this case and respondent cannot be held liable. deceased, defendant-appellant is not to be blamed. He exercised
due diligence in keeping his loaded gun while he was on a
Furthermore, the Court of Appeals ruled that even if respondent is business trip in Manila. He placed it inside the drawer and locked
considered an employer of Matibag, still respondent cannot be it. It was taken away without his knowledge and authority.
held liable since no negligence can be attributed to him. As Whatever happened to the deceased was purely accidental.8
explained by the Court of Appeals:
The Issues
Granting arguendo that an employer-employee relationship
existed between Aristedes Matibag and the defendant-appellant, Petitioners raise the following issues:
we find that no negligence can be attributed to him.
I. THE APPELLATE COURT COMMITTED SERIOUS ERROR IN
Negligence is best exemplified in the case of Picart vs. Smith (37 RENDERING THE DECISION AND RESOLUTION IN
Phil. 809). The test of negligence is this: QUESTION IN DISREGARD OF LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE
BY REVERSING THE ORDER OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL
COURT (BRANCH 59) OF BAGUIO CITY NOTWITHSTANDING
CLEAR, AUTHENTIC RECORDS AND TESTIMONIES damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing
PRESENTED DURING THE TRIAL WHICH NEGATE AND contractual relation between the parties, is called quasi-delict and
CONTRADICT ITS FINDINGS. is governed by the provisions of this Chapter.

II. THE APPELLATE COURT COMMITTED GRAVE, This case involves the accidental discharge of a firearm inside a
REVERSIBLE ERROR IN RENDERING THE DECISION AND gun store. Under PNP Circular No. 9, entitled the "Policy on
1avvphi1

RESOLUTION IN QUESTION BY DEPARTING FROM THE Firearms and Ammunition Dealership/Repair," a person who is in
ACCEPTED AND USUAL COURSE OF JUDICIAL the business of purchasing and selling of firearms and
PROCEEDINGS THEREBY IGNORING THE FACTUAL ammunition must maintain basic security and safety requirements
FINDINGS OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT (BRANCH 59) of a gun dealer, otherwise his License to Operate Dealership will
OF BAGUIO CITY SHOWING PETITIONER’S CLEAR RIGHTS be suspended or canceled.14
TO THE AWARD OF DAMAGES.9
Indeed, a higher degree of care is required of someone who has
The Ruling of the Court in his possession or under his control an instrumentality
extremely dangerous in character, such as dangerous weapons
We find the petition meritorious. or substances. Such person in possession or control of
dangerous instrumentalities has the duty to take exceptional
This case for damages arose out of the accidental shooting of precautions to prevent any injury being done thereby.15 Unlike the
petitioners’ son. Under Article 116110 of the Civil Code, petitioners ordinary affairs of life or business which involve little or no risk, a
may enforce their claim for damages based on the civil liability business dealing with dangerous weapons requires the exercise
arising from the crime under Article 10011 of the Revised Penal of a higher degree of care.
Code or they may opt to file an independent civil action for
damages under the Civil Code. In this case, instead of enforcing As a gun store owner, respondent is presumed to be
their claim for damages in the homicide case filed against knowledgeable about firearms safety and should have known
Matibag, petitioners opted to file an independent civil action for never to keep a loaded weapon in his store to avoid
damages against respondent whom they alleged was Matibag’s unreasonable risk of harm or injury to others. Respondent has the
employer. Petitioners based their claim for damages under duty to ensure that all the guns in his store are not loaded.
Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code. Firearms should be stored unloaded and separate from
ammunition when the firearms are not needed for ready-access
Unlike the subsidiary liability of the employer under Article defensive use.16 With more reason, guns accepted by the store
10312 of the Revised Penal Code,13 the liability of the employer, or for repair should not be loaded precisely because they are
any person for that matter, under Article 2176 of the Civil Code is defective and may cause an accidental discharge such as what
primary and direct, based on a person’s own negligence. Article happened in this case. Respondent was clearly negligent when
2176 states: he accepted the gun for repair and placed it inside the drawer
without ensuring first that it was not loaded. In the first place, the
defective gun should have been stored in a vault. Before
Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to
accepting the defective gun for repair, respondent should have
another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the
made sure that it was not loaded to prevent any untoward
accident. Indeed, respondent should never accept a firearm from motion for reconsideration, both issued by the Regional Trial
another person, until the cylinder or action is open and he has Court of Capas, Tarlac, Branch 66, in Special Civil Action No. 17-
personally checked that the weapon is completely unloaded.17 For C (99).
failing to insure that the gun was not loaded, respondent himself
was negligent. Furthermore, it was not shown in this case The Facts
whether respondent had a License to Repair which authorizes
him to repair defective firearms to restore its original composition Two vehicles, one driven by respondent Mario Llavore Laroya
or enhance or upgrade firearms.18 ("Laroya" for brevity) and the other owned by petitioner Roberto
Capitulo ("Capitulo" for brevity) and driven by petitioner Avelino
Clearly, respondent did not exercise the degree of care and Casupanan ("Casupanan" for brevity), figured in an accident. As a
diligence required of a good father of a family, much less the result, two cases were filed with the Municipal Circuit Trial Court
degree of care required of someone dealing with dangerous ("MCTC" for brevity) of Capas, Tarlac. Laroya filed a criminal
weapons, as would exempt him from liability in this case. case against Casupanan for reckless imprudence resulting in
damage to property, docketed as Criminal Case No. 002-99. On
WHEREFORE, we GRANT the petition. We SET ASIDE the 11 the other hand, Casupanan and Capitulo filed a civil case against
May 2005 Decision and the 19 August 2005 Resolution of the Laroya for quasi-delict, docketed as Civil Case No. 2089.
Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 60669. We REINSTATE the
trial court’s Decision dated 8 April 1998. When the civil case was filed, the criminal case was then at its
preliminary investigation stage. Laroya, defendant in the civil
SO ORDERED. case, filed a motion to dismiss the civil case on the ground of
forum-shopping considering the pendency of the criminal case.
The MCTC granted the motion in the Order of March 26, 1999
and dismissed the civil case.
G.R. No. 145391 August 26, 2002
On Motion for Reconsideration, Casupanan and Capitulo insisted
that the civil case is a separate civil action which can proceed
AVELINO CASUPANAN and ROBERTO
independently of the criminal case. The MCTC denied the motion
CAPITULO, petitioners,
for reconsideration in the Order of May 7, 1999. Casupanan and
vs.
Capitulo filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 before the
MARIO LLAVORE LAROYA, respondent.
Regional Trial Court ("Capas RTC" for brevity) of Capas, Tarlac,
Branch 66,3 assailing the MCTC’s Order of dismissal.
CARPIO, J.:
The Trial Court’s Ruling
The Case
The Capas RTC rendered judgment on December 28, 1999
This is a petition for review on certiorari to set aside the dismissing the petition for certiorari for lack of merit. The Capas
Resolution1 dated December 28, 1999 dismissing the petition for RTC ruled that the order of dismissal issued by the MCTC is a
certiorari and the Resolution2 dated August 24, 2000 denying the
final order which disposes of the case and therefore the proper constitutes a counterclaim in the criminal case. Casupanan and
remedy should have been an appeal. The Capas RTC further Capitulo argue that if the accused in a criminal case has a
held that a special civil action for certiorari is not a substitute for a counterclaim against the private complainant, he may file the
lost appeal. Finally, the Capas RTC declared that even on the counterclaim in a separate civil action at the proper time. They
premise that the MCTC erred in dismissing the civil case, such contend that an action on quasi-delict is different from an action
error is a pure error of judgment and not an abuse of discretion. resulting from the crime of reckless imprudence, and an accused
in a criminal case can be an aggrieved party in a civil case arising
Casupanan and Capitulo filed a Motion for Reconsideration but from the same incident. They maintain that under Articles 31 and
the Capas RTC denied the same in the Resolution of August 24, 2176 of the Civil Code, the civil case can proceed independently
2000. of the criminal action. Finally, they point out that Casupanan was
not the only one who filed the independent civil action based on
Hence, this petition. quasi-delict but also Capitulo, the owner-operator of the vehicle,
who was not a party in the criminal case.
The Issue
In his Comment, Laroya claims that the petition is fatally defective
as it does not state the real antecedents. Laroya further alleges
The petition premises the legal issue in this wise:
that Casupanan and Capitulo forfeited their right to question the
order of dismissal when they failed to avail of the proper remedy
"In a certain vehicular accident involving two parties, each of appeal. Laroya argues that there is no question of law to be
one of them may think and believe that the accident was resolved as the order of dismissal is already final and a petition
caused by the fault of the other. x x x [T]he first party, for certiorari is not a substitute for a lapsed appeal.
believing himself to be the aggrieved party, opted to file a
criminal case for reckless imprudence against the second
In their Reply, Casupanan and Capitulo contend that the petition
party. On the other hand, the second party, together with
raises the legal question of whether there is forum-shopping since
his operator, believing themselves to be the real
they filed only one action - the independent civil action for quasi-
aggrieved parties, opted in turn to file a civil case for
delict against Laroya.
quasi-delict against the first party who is the very private
complainant in the criminal case."4
Nature of the Order of Dismissal
Thus, the issue raised is whether an accused in a pending
criminal case for reckless imprudence can validly file, The MCTC dismissed the civil action for quasi-delict on the
simultaneously and independently, a separate civil action for ground of forum-shopping under Supreme Court Administrative
quasi-delict against the private complainant in the criminal case. Circular No. 04-94. The MCTC did not state in its order of
dismissal5 that the dismissal was with prejudice. Under the
Administrative Circular, the order of dismissal is without prejudice
The Court’s Ruling
to refiling the complaint, unless the order of dismissal expressly
states it is with prejudice.6 Absent a declaration that the dismissal
Casupanan and Capitulo assert that Civil Case No. 2089, which is with prejudice, the same is deemed without prejudice. Thus,
the MCTC dismissed on the ground of forum-shopping,
the MCTC’s dismissal, being silent on the matter, is a there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the
dismissal without prejudice. parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the
provisions of this Chapter.
Section 1 of Rule 417 provides that an order dismissing an action
without prejudice is not appealable. The remedy of the aggrieved Art. 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligence under the
party is to file a special civil action under Rule 65. Section 1 of preceding article is entirely separate and distinct from the
Rule 41 expressly states that "where the judgment or final order is civil liability arising from negligence under the Penal
not appealable, the aggrieved party may file an appropriate Code. But the plaintiff cannot recover damages twice for
special civil action under Rule 65." Clearly, the Capas RTC’s the same act or omission of the defendant."
order dismissing the petition for certiorari, on the ground that the
proper remedy is an ordinary appeal, is erroneous. Any aggrieved person can invoke these articles provided he
proves, by preponderance of evidence, that he has suffered
Forum-Shopping damage because of the fault or negligence of another. Either the
private complainant or the accused can file a separate civil action
The essence of forum-shopping is the filing of multiple suits under these articles. There is nothing in the law or rules that state
involving the same parties for the same cause of action, either only the private complainant in a criminal case may invoke these
simultaneously or successively, to secure a favorable articles.
judgment.8 Forum-shopping is present when in the two or more
cases pending, there is identity of parties, rights of action and Moreover, paragraph 6, Section 1, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules on
reliefs sought.9 However, there is no forum-shopping in the instant Criminal Procedure ("2000 Rules" for brevity) expressly requires
case because the law and the rules expressly allow the filing of a the accused to litigate his counterclaim in a separate civil action,
separate civil action which can proceed independently of the to wit:
criminal action.
"SECTION 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. – (a)
Laroya filed the criminal case for reckless imprudence resulting in x x x.
damage to property based on the Revised Penal Code while
Casupanan and Capitulo filed the civil action for damages based No counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint may
on Article 2176 of the Civil Code. Although these two actions be filed by the accused in the criminal case, but any
arose from the same act or omission, they have different causes cause of action which could have been the subject thereof
of action. The criminal case is based on culpa criminal punishable may be litigated in a separate civil action." (Emphasis
under the Revised Penal Code while the civil case is based on supplied)
culpa aquiliana actionable under Articles 2176 and 2177 of the
Civil Code. These articles on culpa aquiliana read: Since the present Rules require the accused in a criminal action
to file his counterclaim in a separate civil action, there can be no
"Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage forum-shopping if the accused files such separate civil action.
to another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to
pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if Filing of a separate civil action
Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure The reservation of the right to institute the separate civil
("1985 Rules" for brevity), as amended in 1988, allowed the filing actions shall be made before the prosecution starts to
of a separate civil action independently of the criminal action present its evidence and under circumstances affording
provided the offended party reserved the right to file such civil the offended party a reasonable opportunity to make such
action. Unless the offended party reserved the civil action before reservation.
the presentation of the evidence for the prosecution, all civil
actions arising from the same act or omission were deemed In no case may the offended party recover damages twice
"impliedly instituted" in the criminal case. These civil actions for the same act or omission of the accused.
referred to the recovery of civil liability ex-delicto, the recovery of
damages for quasi-delict, and the recovery of damages for x x x." (Emphasis supplied)
violation of Articles 32, 33 and 34 of the Civil Code on Human
Relations.
Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules was amended on
December 1, 2000 and now provides as follows:
Thus, to file a separate and independent civil action for quasi-
delict under the 1985 Rules, the offended party had to reserve in
"SECTION 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. – (a)
the criminal action the right to bring such action. Otherwise, such
When a criminal action is instituted, the civil action
civil action was deemed "impliedly instituted" in the criminal
for the recovery of civil liability arising from the
action. Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules provided as follows:
offense charged shall be deemed instituted with the
criminal action unless the offended party waives the civil
"Section 1. – Institution of criminal and civil actions. – action, reserves the right to institute it separately or
When a criminal action is instituted, the civil action for the institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action.
recovery of civil liability is impliedly instituted with the
criminal action, unless the offended party waives the
The reservation of the right to institute separately the civil
action, reserves his right to institute it separately, or
action shall be made before the prosecution starts
institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action.
presenting its evidence and under circumstances
affording the offended party a reasonable opportunity to
Such civil action includes recovery of indemnity make such reservation.
under the Revised Penal Code, and damages under
Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code of the
xxx
Philippines arising from the same act or omission of
the accused.
(b) x x x
A waiver of any of the civil actions extinguishes the
others. The institution of, or the reservation of the right to Where the civil action has been filed separately and trial
file, any of said civil actions separately waives the others. thereof has not yet commenced, it may be consolidated
with the criminal action upon application with the court
trying the latter case. If the application is granted, the trial
of both actions shall proceed in accordance with section 2
of this rule governing consolidation of the civil and final judgment was rendered in the criminal action. This rule
criminal actions." (Emphasis supplied) applied only to the separate civil action filed to recover liability ex-
delicto. The rule did not apply to independent civil actions based
Under Section 1 of the present Rule 111, what is "deemed on Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code, which could
instituted" with the criminal action is only the action to recover civil proceed independently regardless of the filing of the criminal
liability arising from the crime or ex-delicto. All the other civil action.
actions under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code are
no longer "deemed instituted," and may be filed separately and The amended provision of Section 2, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules
prosecuted independently even without any reservation in the continues this procedure, to wit:
criminal action. The failure to make a reservation in the criminal
action is not a waiver of the right to file a separate and "SEC. 2. When separate civil action is suspended. – After
independent civil action based on these articles of the Civil Code. the criminal action has been commenced, the separate
The prescriptive period on the civil actions based on these civil action arising therefrom cannot be instituted until final
articles of the Civil Code continues to run even with the filing of judgment has been entered in the criminal action.
the criminal action. Verily, the civil actions based on these articles
of the Civil Code are separate, distinct and independent of the If the criminal action is filed after the said civil action
civil action "deemed instituted" in the criminal action.10 has already been instituted, the latter shall be
suspended in whatever stage it may be found before
Under the present Rule 111, the offended party is still given the judgment on the merits. The suspension shall last
option to file a separate civil action to recover civil liability ex- until final judgment is rendered in the criminal
delicto by reserving such right in the criminal action before the action. Nevertheless, before judgment on the merits is
prosecution presents its evidence. Also, the offended party is rendered in the civil action, the same may, upon motion of
deemed to make such reservation if he files a separate civil the offended party, be consolidated with the criminal
action before filing the criminal action. If the civil action to recover action in the court trying the criminal action. In case of
civil liability ex-delicto is filed separately but its trial has not yet consolidation, the evidence already adduced in the civil
commenced, the civil action may be consolidated with the action shall be deemed automatically reproduced in the
criminal action. The consolidation under this Rule does not apply criminal action without prejudice to the right of the
to separate civil actions arising from the same act or omission prosecution to cross-examine the witnesses presented by
filed under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code.11 the offended party in the criminal case and of the parties
to present additional evidence. The consolidated criminal
Suspension of the Separate Civil Action and civil actions shall be tried and decided jointly.

Under Section 2, Rule 111 of the amended 1985 Rules, a During the pendency of the criminal action, the running of
separate civil action, if reserved in the criminal action, could not the period of prescription of the civil action which cannot
be filed until after final judgment was rendered in the criminal be instituted separately or whose proceeding has been
action. If the separate civil action was filed before the suspended shall be tolled.
commencement of the criminal action, the civil action, if still
pending, was suspended upon the filing of the criminal action until
x x x." (Emphasis supplied) accused. Section 3 of the present Rule 111 expressly states that
the "offended party" may bring such an action but the "offended
Thus, Section 2, Rule 111 of the present Rules did not change party" may not recover damages twice for the same act or
the rule that the separate civil action, filed to recover omission charged in the criminal action. Clearly, Section 3 of Rule
damages ex-delicto, is suspended upon the filing of the criminal 111 refers to the offended party in the criminal action, not to the
action. Section 2 of the present Rule 111 also prohibits the filing, accused.
after commencement of the criminal action, of a separate civil
action to recover damages ex-delicto. Casupanan and Capitulo, however, invoke the ruling in Cabaero
vs. Cantos12 where the Court held that the accused therein could
When civil action may proceed independently validly institute a separate civil action for quasi-delict against the
private complainant in the criminal case. In Cabaero, the accused
The crucial question now is whether Casupanan and Capitulo, in the criminal case filed his Answer with Counterclaim for
who are not the offended parties in the criminal case, can file a malicious prosecution. At that time the Court noted the "absence
separate civil action against the offended party in the criminal of clear-cut rules governing the prosecution on impliedly instituted
case. Section 3, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules provides as follows: civil actions and the necessary consequences and
implications thereof." Thus, the Court ruled that the trial court
should confine itself to the criminal aspect of the case and
"SEC 3. When civil action may proceed independently. -
disregard any counterclaim for civil liability. The Court further
In the cases provided in Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of
ruled that the accused may file a separate civil case against the
the Civil Code of the Philippines, the independent civil
offended party "after the criminal case is terminated and/or in
action may be brought by the offended party. It shall
accordance with the new Rules which may be promulgated." The
proceed independently of the criminal action and shall
Court explained that a cross-claim, counterclaim or third-party
require only a preponderance of evidence. In no case,
complaint on the civil aspect will only unnecessarily complicate
however, may the offended party recover damages twice
the proceedings and delay the resolution of the criminal case.
for the same act or omission charged in the criminal
action." (Emphasis supplied)
Paragraph 6, Section 1 of the present Rule 111 was incorporated
in the 2000 Rules precisely to address the lacunamentioned
Section 3 of the present Rule 111, like its counterpart in the
in Cabaero. Under this provision, the accused is barred from
amended 1985 Rules, expressly allows the "offended party" to
filing a counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint in the
bring an independent civil action under Articles 32, 33, 34 and
criminal case. However, the same provision states that "any
2176 of the Civil Code. As stated in Section 3 of the present Rule
cause of action which could have been the subject (of the
111, this civil action shall proceed independently of the criminal
counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint) may be
action and shall require only a preponderance of evidence. In no
litigated in a separate civil action." The present Rule 111
case, however, may the "offended party recover damages twice
mandates the accused to file his counterclaim in a separate civil
for the same act or omission charged in the criminal action."
actiosn which shall proceed independently of the criminal action,
even as the civil action of the offended party is litigated in the
There is no question that the offended party in the criminal action criminal action.
can file an independent civil action for quasi-delict against the
Conclusion prescriptive period may set in since the period continues to run
until the civil action for quasi-delict is filed.
Under Section 1 of the present Rule 111, the independent civil
action in Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code is not Second, the accused, who is presumed innocent, has a right to
deemed instituted with the criminal action but may be filed invoke Article 2177 of the Civil Code, in the same way that the
separately by the offended party even without reservation. The offended party can avail of this remedy which is independent of
commencement of the criminal action does not suspend the the criminal action. To disallow the accused from filing a separate
prosecution of the independent civil action under these articles of civil action for quasi-delict, while refusing to recognize his
the Civil Code. The suspension in Section 2 of the present Rule counterclaim in the criminal case, is to deny him due process of
111 refers only to the civil action arising from the crime, if such law, access to the courts, and equal protection of the law.
civil action is reserved or filed before the commencement of the
criminal action. Thus, the civil action based on quasi-delict filed separately by
Casupanan and Capitulo is proper. The order of dismissal by the
Thus, the offended party can file two separate suits for the same MCTC of Civil Case No. 2089 on the ground of forum-shopping is
act or omission. The first a criminal case where the civil action to erroneous.
recover civil liability ex-delicto is deemed instituted, and the other
a civil case for quasi-delict - without violating the rule on non- We make this ruling aware of the possibility that the decision of
forum shopping. The two cases can proceed simultaneously and the trial court in the criminal case may vary with the decision of
independently of each other. The commencement or prosecution the trial court in the independent civil action. This possibility has
of the criminal action will not suspend the civil action for quasi- always been recognized ever since the Civil Code introduced in
delict. The only limitation is that the offended party cannot recover 1950 the concept of an independent civil action under Articles 32,
damages twice for the same act or omission of the defendant. In 33, 34 and 2176 of the Code. But the law itself, in Article 31 of the
most cases, the offended party will have no reason to file a Code, expressly provides that the independent civil action "may
second civil action since he cannot recover damages twice for the proceed independently of the criminal proceedings and
same act or omission of the accused. In some instances, the regardless of the result of the latter." In Azucena vs.
accused may be insolvent, necessitating the filing of another case Potenciano,13the Court declared:
against his employer or guardians.
"x x x. There can indeed be no other logical conclusion
Similarly, the accused can file a civil action for quasi-delict for the than this, for to subordinate the civil action contemplated
same act or omission he is accused of in the criminal case. This in the said articles to the result of the criminal prosecution
is expressly allowed in paragraph 6, Section 1 of the present Rule — whether it be conviction or acquittal — would render
111 which states that the counterclaim of the accused "may be meaningless the independent character of the civil action
litigated in a separate civil action." This is only fair for two and the clear injunction in Article 31 that this action 'may
reasons. First, the accused is prohibited from setting up any proceed independently of the criminal proceedings and
counterclaim in the civil aspect that is deemed instituted in the regardless of the result of the latter.’"
criminal case. The accused is therefore forced to litigate
separately his counterclaim against the offended party. If the
accused does not file a separate civil action for quasi-delict, the
More than half a century has passed since the Civil Code G.R. No. L-34666 October 30, 1981
introduced the concept of a civil action separate and independent
from the criminal action although arising from the same act or THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-
omission. The Court, however, has yet to encounter a case of appellee, MERCEDES L. JAVELLANA, petitioner,
conflicting and irreconcilable decisions of trial courts, one hearing vs.
the criminal case and the other the civil action for quasi-delict. ITONG AMISTAD respondent.
The fear of conflicting and irreconcilable decisions may be more
apparent than real. In any event, there are sufficient remedies
under the Rules of Court to deal with such remote possibilities.

One final point. The Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure took


DE CASTRO, J.:
effect on December 1, 2000 while the MCTC issued the order of
dismissal on December 28, 1999 or before the amendment of the
rules. The Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure must be given The legal question raised in this petition for certiorari is whether
retroactive effect considering the well-settled rule that - from a decision of acquittal, the complainant in a criminal action
for estafa, may appeal with respect to the civil aspect of the case.
"x x x statutes regulating the procedure of the court will be
construed as applicable to actions pending and The criminal action in this case was commenced in the Court of
undetermined at the time of their passage. Procedural First Instance of Baguio and Benguet, under an information which
laws are retroactive in that sense and to that extent."14 reads:

WHEREFORE, the petition for review on certiorari is INFORMATION


hereby GRANTED. The Resolutions dated December 28, 1999
and August 24, 2000 in Special Civil Action No. 17-C (99) The undersigned Acting 1st Assistant City Fiscal
are ANNULLED and Civil Case No. 2089 is REINSTATED. accuses ITONG AMISTAD of the crime of Estafa
penalized under Article 316 Paragraph 2, of the
SO ORDERED. Revised Penal Code, committed as follows:

That on or about January 30,


1965, October 11, 1965, and
December 23, 1965, in the City of
Baguio, Philippines, and within the
Republic of the Philippines jurisdiction of this Honorable
SUPREME COURT Court, the abovenamed accused,
Manila did then and there, willfully,
unlawfully, and feloniously —
FIRST DIVISION
(1) (January 30, 1965) sell, convey, transfer and he had previously entered into an agreement with
deliver by way of a deed of sale in favor of Ben one MERCEDES L. JAVELLANA to convey to her
Palispis an unsegregated portion of 42,326 an area of 10,000 square meters from the above-
square meters of that parcel of land described in described parcel of land for the sum of TEN
THOUSAND (P10,000.00) PESOS and had
ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE OF TITLE No. 0-105 already received from her the sum of FIVE
THOUSAND ( P5,000.00) PESOS, thereby
A parcel of land (Lot 1, plan Psu- causing damage and prejudice to said Mercedes
203086-Amd., Civil Reservation L. Javellana in the amount of FIVE THOUSAND
Case No. 1, L.R.C. Civil (P5,000.00) PESOS, Philippine Currency.
Reservation Record No. 211),
situated in the Res. Sec. "J", City All contrary to law.
of Baguio. Bounded on the NE., by
property of Honor Kingdoms; on After trial, decision was rendered dated February 8, 1971, and
the SW., by Lot 2; on the W and promulgated on March 18, 1971 acquitting the accused,
NW., by Public land. ... containing respondent herein, the Court holding that "the case of the
an area of EIGHTY FOUR prosecution is civil in nature" and that "the guilt of the accused
THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED AND has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt."
FIFTY THREE (84,653) Square
meters, more or less, ... in the From the judgment of acquittal, the complainant, the petitioner
names of spouses I tong Amistad herein, appealed to the Court of Appeals insofar as the civil
and Luisa Tengdan. liability of the accused is concerned. Without awaiting the
completion of the transcript of the stenographic notes in the case,
(2) (October 11, 1965) sell, convey, transfer and the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal merely on the legal
deliver by way of a deed of sale in favor of proposition that an appeal by the complainant from a judgment of
Teodoro Mat-an the remaining 42,326 square acquittal should be disallowed.
meters of the above-described parcel of land; and
The Resolution of the Court of Appeals dated December 1, 1971,
(3) (December 23, 1965) execute a supplemental is set forth in full as follows:
deed of sale over the entire area covered by
Original Certificate of Title No. 0-105 in favor of This refers to an appeal against the judgment of
vendees Ben Palispis and Teodoro Mat-an which the Court of First Instance of Baguio, in Criminal
effected the issuance of two separate titles in Case No. 4205, wherein the accused Itong
favor of said vendees — Amistad who was prosecuted for the crime of
estafa paragraph 2, Article 316 R.P.C.), was
knowing fully well and purposely withholding the acquitted. The decision was promulgated on
information that on or about February 10, 1962, March 18, 1971 and on that same day, the
complainant, through counsel, filed a Notice of Indeed, this question is not new. It has already
Appeal from said judgment, "insofar as the civil been so ruled by the Supreme Court in several
liability of the accused is concerned." Apparently cases (People vs. Flores, G.R. No. L-7523,
the appeal was approved by the trial court, the December 18, 1957, citing People vs. Velez, 77
records of the case were elevated to this Court, Phil. 1026; People vs. Benjamin Liggayu et al.,
and this Court required the completion of the No. 8224, October 31, 1955; People vs. Joaquin
same. Lipana 72 Phil. 166; People vs. Florendo, 73 Phil.
679 [decided under the new Rules of Court];
Now, while the right of the offended party to Ricafort vs. Fernan, 101 Phil. 575, 572).
intervene in the criminal action (Section 15, Rule
110, Rules) as well as to appeal from a final Considering that the complainant is appealing
judgment or ruling or from an order made after from a judgment acquitting the accused in a
judgment affecting the substantial rights of the criminal case, her appeal should be disallowed.
appellant (Section 2, Rule 122, Rules) is
recognized, the offended party however, cannot WHEREFORE, the appeal is hereby ordered
appeal if the accused is acquitted as matters are dismissed. The stenographers who were required
(People vs. Herrera 74 Phil. 21). indeed, the trial to submit their respective transcripts of
court in acquitting the herein defendant stated: stenographic notes in this case are hereby
excused therefrom. (pp. 6-7, Brief for the
In the mind of the court, the case Respondent, p. 78, Rollo).
of the prosecution is civil in nature.
In fact, the supervening acts of the A motion for reconsideration of the Resolution of the Court of
parties after the execution of Appeals was filed but was denied on January 4, 1972. From both
Exhibit A until the execution of aforesaid Resolutions dismissing the appeal and the order
Exhibit D are clear and denying the Motion for Reconsideration, the petitioner came to
unequivocal which ineluctably lead this Court on a petition for certiorari with prayer that the
this court to believe that the guilt of Resolution of the Court of Appeals be reversed, and that
the accused has not been proven judgment be rendered in favor of petitioner and against
beyond reasonable doubt. respondent insofar as the latter's hability is concerned —

An appeal from the judgment of the Court of First (a) Ordering respondent to pay to petitioner such
Instance would perforce require a new sum as this Court shall adjudge to rightfully
determination of defendant's criminal liability. This represent the value of the one hectare portion of
cannot be done. Besides, the offended party has the land involved agreed to be conveyed to
the remedy of bringing a civil action independently petitioner by respondent in accordance with the
of the criminal action. Agreement to Convey Real Property (Exhibit "A");
(b) Ordering respondent to pay to petitioner the proceeds from a declaration in a final judgment
expenses of litigation actually incurred by the that the fact from which the civil might arise did
latter; and not exist. In other cases, the person entitled to the
civil action may institute it in the jurisdiction and in
(c) Ordering respondent to pay the costs of suit. the manner provided by law against the person
(p.28, Brief for the Petitioner, p. 60, Rollo). who may be liable for restitution of the thing and
reparation or indemnity for the damage suffered.
The sole legal question for determination as stated at the outset, (Rule 111, Rules of Court in the Philippines.) (pp.
is whether an appeal by the complainant for estafa, may be 13-14, Id)
allowed from a decision acquitting the accused of the crime
charged, only insofar as the latter's civil liability is concerned. Finally, she cites Article 29 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
which reads:
In support of her affirmative position on the issue above stated,
petitioner cites Section 2, Rules 122 of the Rules of Court which ART. 29. When the accused in a criminal
provides: prosecution is acquitted on the ground that his
guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable
SEC. 2. Who may appeal.—The People of the doubt, a civil action for damages for the same act
Philippines can not appeal if the defendant would or omission may be instituted. Such action
be placed thereby in double jeopardy. In all other requires only a preponderance of evidence. Upon
cases either party may appeal from a final motion of the defendant, the court may require the
judgment or ruling or from an order made after plaintiff to file a bond to answer for damages in
judgment affecting the substantial rights of the case the complaint should be found to be
appellant. (p. 12, Brief for the Petitioner, p. 60, malicious.
Rollo).
If in a criminal case the judgment of acquittal is
Additionally, she cites Section 3 of Rule 111, from which she based upon reasonable doubt, the court shall so
quotes the following: declare. In the absence of any declaration to that
effect, it may be inferred from the text of the
decision whether or not the acquittal is due to that
SEC. 3. Other civil actions arising from
ground. (p. 14, id).
offenses.—In all cases not included in the
preceding section the following rules shall be
observed: From the aforequoted provisions, petitioners contend that the
remedy of appeal is expressly granted to her inasmuch as the
civil action for the recovery of civil liability is impliedly instituted
xxx xxx xxx
with the criminal action, Criminal Case No. 4205 of the Court of
First Instance of Baguio and Benguet, there having been no
(c) Extinction of the penal action does not carry reservation to file a separate civil action or a waiver of the right to
with it extinction of the civil, unless the extinction file one. She had in fact hired a private prosecutor to handle,
primarily the civil aspect of the case, the prosecution of the crime liability arises from the offense, with respect to which pre-trial is
remaining under the direction and control of the prosecuting never held to obtain admission as to the commission thereof,
Fiscal. The private prosecutor presented evidence bearing on the except on the occasion of arraignment. This is the kind of civil
civil liability of the accused. In a memorandum he filed, he also liability involved in the civil action deemed filed simultaneously
discussed extensively the civil liability of the accused, despite with the filing of criminal action, unless it is reserved or waived, as
which, the trial court failed to rule on the latter's civil liability to the so expressly provided in Section 1, Rule 111 of the Rules of
complainant. Court and as held in People vs. Herrera, 74 Phil. 21.

It is this omission, as alleged by petitioner herein, that con If the civil liability arises from other sources than the commission
constitutes the thrust of her first assignment of error, the only one of the offense, such as from law or contract or quasi-delict, its
We feel called upon to rule on, among her three assigned errors, enforcement has to be by an ordinary civil action, which, as
the other two having relation to how the trial court evaluated the expressly provided in Article 29 of the Civil Code may be
evidence, and the extent of damages petitioner alleges to be disposed of as a mere preponderance of evidence would warrant.
entitled to under such evidence, which evidently may not be Then, all the defenses available, such as prescription, lack of
passed upon in the instant proceedings, the evidence presented jurisdiction, set-off, and the other grounds for a motion to dismiss
during the trial not having been elevated to this Court, nor even to may be availed of, as may be proper under the peculiar facts and
the Court of Appeals, at least not fully or completely. circumstances of the case, complete with pre-trial after issues
have been joined. Upon these considerations, it becomes clear
Confining ourselves, therefore, to the first assigned error, We find that the argument of petitioner invoking the rule against
no ground to reverse the Resolution of the Court of Appeals on multiplicity of action may not forcefully or convincingly be put
the purely legal question of whether the petitioner, as complainant forth.
in Criminal Case No. 4025 of the Court of First Instance of Baguio
and Benguet, for estafa, can appeal from the judgment acquitting In the Resolution of the Court of Appeals several cases have
the accused, because the trial court failed to declare the latter's been cited which held that an appeal from the dismissal of the
civil liability to the complainant, which was allegedly proven by the criminal case on motion by the fiscal may not be taken by the
evidence. offended party (People vs. Lipana 72 Phil. 168; People vs.
Florendo, 73 Phil. 679). In the case of People vs. Herrera, et al.,
The provision of Article 29 of the Civil Code relied upon by the 74 Phil. 21, the accused was acquitted without the court making
petitioner clearly requires the institution of a separate action by any pronouncement as to his civil liability, in exactly the same
the filing of the proper complaint. To such complaint, the accused manner that the Court of First Instance of Baguio and Benguet in
as the defendant therein, may file the appropriate responsive Criminal Case No. 4025, was charged with a similar omission in
pleading, which may be an answer or a motion to dismiss. In a the case at bar. The Supreme Court did not permit an appeal by
criminal action, notwithstanding that the action for the recovery of the offended party, the Court saying:
civil liability is impliedly instituted therewith, if not reserved or
waived, the accused is not afforded the same remedy. Neither is The decision of the justice of the peace court
the mandatory pre-trial held as is required of all civil actions. The which acquitted the defendant of the charge and
obvious reason is that the civil liability recoverable in the criminal did not make any pronouncement holding the
action is one solely dependent upon conviction, because said defendant civilly liable put an end to the case, not
only by freeing the defendant from criminal respondent be found criminally liable upon a review of the
responsibility but also by rejecting all liability for evidence, after the verdict of acquittal has been handed down by
damages arising from the alleged crime of the trial court. Again, petitioner tries to show that the cases cited
malicious mischief. The offended parties not by the Court of Appeals are not in point. But she has not cited
having reserved their right to bring a separate civil one single case faintly supporting her position as she has tried to
action, the aforesaid decision of acquittal covered maintain in the instant case.
both the criminal and the civil aspects of the case
under Rule 107, section l (a) of the new Rules of Nevertheless, petitioner may not complaint, as she does of being
Court. An appeal from that decision to the Court of denied due process for disallowing her appeal. She can institute a
First Instance, as intended by the offended separate civil action if her cause of action could come under the
parties, would reopen the question of defendant's category of quasi-delict or one arising from law, contract or any
civil liability arising from the alleged crime. And other known source of civil liability, but certainly not anymore from
considering that such civil liability must be based the offense of which petitioner had already been acquitted. It is
on the criminal responsibility of the defendant (art. but fair to require petitioner to take this course of action, not only
100, Revised Penal Code), any review or re- because she would have to pay for the lawful expenses for
examination of the question of civil liability would instituting the action to obtain the relief she seeks from
perforce require a new determination of respondent, from which she is spared in the prosecution of a
defendant's criminal liability. But another trial upon criminal case, but also for the respondent or defendant to avail of
defendant's criminal responsibility cannot be held, all defenses and remedies as are open to him in a separate civil
in view of his previous acquittal in the justice of action not otherwise available in a criminal action that carries with
the peace court. So the appeal from the decision it the civil action when deemed simultaneously filed with it, to
of the justice of the peace court is not authorized recover civil liability arising from the crime charged.
by law.
For all the foregoing, the Resolution appealed from is affirmed,
Brought out in bold relief in the aforequoted ruling is that what is and the instant petition is, accordingly, dismissed, without
impliedly brought simultaneously with the criminal action is the pronouncement as to costs.
civil action to recover civil liability arising from the offense. Hence,
the two actions may rise or fall together. However, if the civil SO ORDERED.
action is reserved, or if the ground of acquittal is reasonable
doubt as to the guilt of the accused, a separate civil action may
be filed, the complainant alleging a cause of action independent EDGAR JARANTILLA, Petitioner, v. COURT OF APPEALS and
of, and not based on, the commission of an offense. Only JOSE KUAN SING, Respondents.
preponderance of evidence would then be required.
Corazon Miraflores and Vicente P. Billena for Petitioner.
The futility of petitioner's instant recourse becomes all too evident
upon consideration of the principles enunciated, particularly in the
Herrera case, since if the civil liability recoverable in a criminal
Manuel S. Gemarino for Private Respondent.
action is one arising from the crime charged, no longer may the
3. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE; COURT OBLIGATED IN CASE OF
ACQUITTAL OF THE ACCUSED ON REASONABLE DOUBT TO
SYLLABUS MAKE PRONOUNCEMENT ON THE CIVIL LIABILITY OF THE
ACCUSED. — Under the present jurisprudential milieu, where
the trial court acquits the accused on reasonable doubt, it
1. CIVIL PROCEDURE; "LAW OF THE CASE" ; CONCEPT. —" ‘Law could very well make a pronouncement on the civil liability of
of the case’ has been defined as the opinion delivered on a the accused and the complainant could file a petition for
former appeal. More specifically, it means that whatever is mandamus to compel the trial court to include such civil
once irrevocably established, as the controlling legal rule of liability in the judgment of acquittal.
decision between the same parties in the same case continues
to be the law of the case, whether correct on general 4. ID.; ACQUITTAL OF ACCUSED ION REASONABLE DOUBT;
principles or not, so long as the facts on which such decision INSTITUTION OF SEPARATE CIVIL ACTION FOR THE SAME ACT
was predicated continue to be the facts of the case before the OR OMISSION PROPER. — We have ruled in the relatively
court (21 C.J.S. 330)." (Emphasis supplied). "It need not be recent case of Lontoc v. MD Transit & Taxi Co., Inc., Et. Al. "In
stated that the Supreme Court being the court of last resort, is view of the fact that the defendant-appellee de la Cruz was
the final arbiter of all legal questions properly brought before acquitted on the ground that ‘his guilt was not proven beyond
it and that its decision in any given case constitutes the law of reasonable doubt’ the plaintiff-appellant has the right to
that particular case. . ." (Emphasis supplied). institute a separate civil action to recover damages from the
defendants-appellants (See Mendoza v. Arrieta, 91 SCRA 113).
2. TORTS AND DAMAGES; CREATION OF DUAL LIABILITY FROM The well-settled doctrine is that a person, while not criminally
THE SAME ACT OR OMISSION OF THE OFFENDER. — The liable may still be civilly liable.’The judgment of acquittal
settled rule that the same act or omission (in this case, the extinguishes the civil liability of the accused only when it
negligent sideswiping of private respondent) can create two includes a declaration that the facts from which the civil
kinds of liability on the part of the offender, that is, civil liability might arise did not exist’. (Padilla v. Court of Appeals,
liability ex delicto and civil liability ex quasi delicto. Since the 129 SCRA 558 cited in People v. Rogelio Ligon y Tria, Et Al.,
same negligence can give rise either to a delict or crime or to a G.R. No. 74041, July 29, 1987; Filomeno Urbano v.
quasi-delict or tort, either of these two types of civil liability Intermediate Appellate Court, G.R. No. 72964, January 7,
may be enforced against the culprit, subject to the caveat 1988).
under Article 2177 of the Civil Code that the offended party
cannot recover damages under both types of liability. 5. ID.; ID.; FAILURE OF THE COURT TO MAKE ANY
PRONOUNCEMENT AS TO CIVIL LIABILITY OF THE ACCUSED;
RESERVATION OF RIGHT TO INSTITUTE SEPARATE CIVIL
ACTION ACCORDED COMPLAINANT. — Another consideration
in favor of private respondent is the doctrine that the failure The records show that private respondent Jose Kuan Sing was
of the court to make any pronouncement, favorable or "sideswiped by a vehicle in the evening of July 7, 1971 in Iznart
unfavorable, as to the civil liability of the accused amounts to Street, Iloilo City." 1 The respondent Court of Appeals
a reservation of the right to have the civil liability litigated and concurred in the findings of the court a quo that the said
determined in a separate action. The rules nowhere provide vehicle which figured in the mishap, a Volkswagen (Beetle
that if the court fails to determine the civil liability it becomes type) car, was then driven by petitioner Edgar Jarantilla along
no longer enforceable. said street toward the direction of the provincial capitol, and
that private respondent sustained physical injuries as a
6. ID.; ID.; FAILURE OF THE COMPLAINT TO RESERVE HIS RIGHT consequence. 2
TO FILE SEPARATE CIVIL ACTION, NOT A FORECLOSURE OF
RIGHT TO FILE SEPARATE ACTION FOR DAMAGES. — Since this Petitioner was accordingly charged before the then City Court
action is based on a quasi-delict, the failure of the respondent of Iloilo for serious physical injuries thru reckless imprudence
to reserve his right to file a separate civil case and his in Criminal Case No. 47207 thereof. 3 Private respondent, as
intervention in the criminal case did not bar him from filing the complaining witness therein, did not reserve his right to
such separate civil action for damages. The Court has also institute a separate civil action and he intervened in the
heretofore ruled in Elcano v. Hill that the extinction of civil prosecution of said criminal case through a private prosecutor.
liability referred to in Par. (c) of Sec. 3 Rule 111, refers 4 Petitioner was acquitted in said criminal case "on reasonable
exclusively to civil liability founded on Article 100 of the doubt." 5
Revised Penal Code; whereas the civil liability for the same act
considered as a quasi-delict only and not as a crime is not On October 30, 1974, private respondent filed a complaint
extinguished even by a declaration in the criminal case that against the petitioner in the former Court of First Instance of
the criminal act charged has not happened or has not been Iloilo, Branch IV, 6 docketed therein as Civil Case No. 9976,
committed by the accused. . . ." and which civil action involved the same subject matter and
act complained of in Criminal Case No. 47027. 7 In his answer
filed therein, the petitioner alleged as special and affirmative
D E C I S I O N defenses that the private respondent had no cause of action
and, additionally, that the latter’s cause of action, if any, is
barred by the prior judgment in Criminal Case No. 47207
REGALADO, J.: inasmuch as when said criminal case was instituted the civil
liability was also deemed instituted since therein plaintiff
failed to reserve the civil aspect and actively participated in The main issue for resolution by Us in the present recourse is
the criminal case. 8 whether the private respondent, who was the complainant in
the criminal action for physical injuries thru reckless
Thereafter, acting on a motion to dismiss of therein imprudence and who participated in the prosecution thereof
defendant, the trial court issued on April 3, 1975 an order of without reserving the civil action arising from the act or
denial, with the suggestion that" (t)o enrich our jurisprudence, omission complained of, can file a separate action for civil
it is suggested that the defendant brings (sic) this ruling to the liability arising from the same act or omission where the
Supreme Court by certiorari or other appropriate remedy, to herein petitioner was acquitted in the criminal action on
review the ruling of the court." 9 reasonable doubt and no civil liability was adjudicated or
awarded in the judgment of acquittal.
On June 17, 1975, petitioner filed in this Court a petition
for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus, which was docketed Prefatorily, We note that petitioner raises a collateral issue by
as G.R. No. L-40992, 10 assailing the aforesaid order of the faulting the respondent court for refusing to resolve an
trial court. Said petition was dismissed for lack of merit in the assignment of error in his appeal therein, said respondent
Court’s resolution of July 23, 1975, and a motion for court holding that the main issue had been passed upon by
reconsideration thereof was denied for the same reason in a this Court in G.R. No. L-40992 hereinbefore mentioned. It is
resolution of October 28, 1975. 11 petitioner’s position that the aforesaid two resolutions of the
Court in said case, the first dismissing the petition and the
After trial, the court below rendered judgment on May 23, second denying the motion for reconsideration, do not
1977 in favor of the herein private respondent and ordering constitute the "law of the cases which would control the
herein petitioner to pay the former the sum of P6,920.00 for subsequent proceedings in this controversy.chanrobles virtual
hospitalization, medicines and so forth, P2,000.00 for other lawlibrary
actual expenses, P25,000.00 for moral damages, P5,000.00 for
attorney’s fees, and costs. 12 1. We incline favorably to petitioner’s submission on this
score.
On July 29, 1987, the respondent Court of Appeals 13 affirmed
the decision of the lower court except as to the award for The "doctrine of the law of the case" has no application at the
moral damages which it reduced from P25,000.00 to aforesaid posture of the proceedings when the two
P18,000.00. A motion for reconsideration was denied by resolutions were handed down. While it may be true that G.R.
respondent court on September 18, 1987. 14 No. L-40992 may have involved some of the issues which were
thereafter submitted for resolution on the merits by the two constitutes the law of that particular case. . ." (Emphasis
lower courts, the proceedings involved there was one supplied). 17
for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus assailing an
interlocutory order of the court a quo, specifically, its order "It is a rule of general application that the decision of an
denying therein defendant’s motion to dismiss. This Court, appellate court in a case is the law of the case on the points
without rendering a specific opinion or explanation as to the presented throughout all the subsequent proceedings in the
legal and factual bases on which its two resolutions were case in both the trial and the appellate courts, and no
predicated, simply dismissed the special civil action on that question necessarily involved and decided on that appeal will
incident for lack of merit. It may very well be that such be considered on a second appeal or writ of error in the same
resolution was premised on the fact that the Court, at that case, provided the facts and issues are substantially the same
stage and on the basis of the facts then presented, did not as those on which the first question rested and, according to
consider that the denial order of the court a quo was tainted some authorities, provided the decision is on the merits.’ . . ."
with grave abuse of discretion. 15 To repeat, no rationale for 18
such resolutions having been expounded on the merits of that
action, no law of the case may be said to have been laid down 2. With the foregoing ancillary issue out of the way, We now
in G.R. No. L-40992 to justify the respondent court’s refusal to consider the principal plaint of petitioner.
consider petitioner’s claim that his former acquittal barred the
separate action. Apropos to such resolution is the settled rule that the same
act or omission (in this case, the negligent sideswiping of
"‘Law of the case’ has been defined as the opinion delivered private respondent) can create two kinds of liability on the
on a former appeal. More specifically, it means that whatever part of the offender, that is, civil liability ex delicto and civil
is once irrevocably established, as the controlling legal rule of liability ex quasi delicto. Since the same negligence can give
decision between the same parties in the same case continues rise either to a delict or crime or to a quasi-delict or tort,
to be the law of the case, whether correct on general either of these two types of civil liability may be enforced
principles or not, so long as the facts on which such decision against the culprit, subject to the caveat under Article 2177 of
was predicated continue to be the facts of the case before the the Civil Code that the offended party cannot recover
court (21 C.J.S. 330)." (Emphasis supplied). 16 damages under both types of liability." 19

"It need not be stated that the Supreme Court being the court We also note the reminder of petitioner that in Roa v. De la
of last resort, is the final arbiter of all legal questions properly Cruz, Et Al., 20 it was held that where the offended party
brought before it and that its decision in any given case elected to claim damages arising from the offense charged in
the criminal case through her intervention as a private milieu, where the trial court acquits the accused on
prosecutor, the final judgment rendered therein constituted a reasonable doubt, it could very well make a pronouncement
bar to the subsequent civil action based upon the same cause. on the civil liability of the accused 23 and the complainant
It is meet, however, not to lose sight of the fact that the could file a petition for mandamus to compel the trial court to
criminal action involved therein was for serious oral include such civil liability in the judgment of acquittal. 24
defamation which, while within the contemplation of an
independent civil action under Article 33 of the Civil Code, Private respondent, as already stated, filed a separate civil
constitutes only a penal offense and cannot otherwise be action after such acquittal. This is allowed under Article 29 of
considered as a quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana under Articles the Civil Code. We have ruled in the relatively recent case of
2176 and 2177 of the Civil Code. And while petitioner draws Lontoc v. MD Transit & Taxi Co., Inc., Et. Al. 25
attention to the supposed reiteration of the Roa doctrine in that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
the later case of Azucena v. Potenciano, Et Al., 21 this time
involving damage to property through negligence as to make "In view of the fact that the defendant-appellee de la Cruz was
out a case of quasi-delict under Articles 2176 and 2180 of the acquitted on the ground that ‘his guilt was not proven beyond
Civil Code, such secondary reliance is misplaced since the reasonable doubt’ the plaintiff-appellant has the right to
therein plaintiff Azucena did not intervene in the criminal institute a separate civil action to recover damages from the
action against defendant Potenciano. The citation of Roa in defendants-appellants (See Mendoza v. Arrieta, 91 SCRA 113).
the later case of Azucena was, therefore, clearly obiter and The well-settled doctrine is that a person, while not criminally
affords no comfort to petitioner. liable may still be civilly liable.’The judgment of acquittal
extinguishes the civil liability of the accused only when it
These are aside from the fact that there have been doctrinal, includes a declaration that the facts from which the civil
and even statutory, 22 changes on the matter of civil actions liability might arise did not exist’. (Padilla v. Court of Appeals,
arising from criminal offenses and quasi-delicts. We will 129 SCRA 558 cited in People v. Rogelio Ligon y Tria, Et Al.,
reserve our discussion on the statutory aspects for another G.R. No. 74041, July 29, 1987; Filomeno Urbano v.
case and time and, for the nonce, We will consider the Intermediate Appellate Court, G.R. No. 72964, January 7,
doctrinal developments on this issue.chanrobles virtual 1988). The ruling is based on Article 29 of the Civil Code which
lawlibrary provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

In the case under consideration, private respondent ‘When the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted on
participated and intervened in the prosecution of the criminal the ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond
suit against petitioner. Under the present jurisprudential reasonable doubt, a civil action for damages for the same act
or omission may be instituted. Such action requires only a delict committed by the petitioner, thus:chanrobles law library
preponderance of evidence.’ . . ." 26 : red

Another consideration in favor of private respondent is the "3. That in the evening of July 7, 1971 at about 7:00 o’clock,
doctrine that the failure of the court to make any the plaintiff crossed Iznart Street from his restaurant situated
pronouncement, favorable or unfavorable, as to the civil at 220 Iznart St., Iloilo City, Philippines, on his way to a
liability of the accused amounts to a reservation of the right to meeting of the Cantonese Club at Aldeguer Street, Iloilo City
have the civil liability litigated and determined in a separate and while he was standing on the middle of the street as there
action. The rules nowhere provide that if the court fails to were vehicles coming from the Provincial Building towards
determine the civil liability it becomes no longer enforceable. Plazoleta Gay, Iloilo City, he was bumped and sideswiped by
27 Volkswagen car with plate No. B-2508 W which was on its way
from Plazoleta Gay towards the Provincial Capitol, Iloilo City,
Furthermore, in the present case the civil liability sought to be which car was being driven by the defendant in a reckless and
recovered through the application of Article 29 is no longer negligent manner, at an excessive rate of speed and in
that based on or arising from the criminal offense. There is violation of the provisions of the Revised Motor Vehicle (sic)
persuasive logic in the view that, under such circumstances, as amended, in relation to the Land Transportation and Traffic
the acquittal of the accused foreclosed the civil liability based Code as well as in violation of existing city ordinances, and by
on Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code which presupposes reason of his inexcusable lack of precaution and failure to act
the existence of criminal liability or requires a conviction of with due negligence and by failing to take into consideration
the offense charged. Divested of its penal element by such (sic) his degree of intelligence, the atmospheric conditions of
acquittal, the causative act or omission becomes in effect a the place as well as the width, traffic, visibility and other
quasi-delict, hence only a civil action based thereon may be conditions of Iznart Street;" 29
instituted or prosecuted thereafter, which action can be
proved by mere preponderance of evidence. 28 Since this action is based on a quasi-delict, the failure of the
Complementary to such considerations, Article 29 enunciates respondent to reserve his right to file a separate civil case and
the rule, as already stated, that a civil action for damages is his intervention in the criminal case did not bar him from filing
not precluded by an acquittal on reasonable doubt for the such separate civil action for damages. 30 The Court has also
same criminal act or omission. heretofore ruled in Elcano v. Hill 31 that —

The allegations of the complaint filed by the private ". . . a separate civil action lies against the offender in a
respondent supports and is constitutive of a case for a quasi- criminal act whether or not he is criminally prosecuted and
found guilty or acquitted, provided that the offended party is respondent court aside, We hold that on the issues decisive of
not allowed, if he is also actually charged criminally, to recover this case it did not err in sustaining the decision a
damages on both scores; and would be entitled in such quo.cralawnad
eventuality only to the bigger award of the two, assuming the
awards made in the two cases vary. In other words, the WHEREFORE, the writ prayed for is hereby DENIED and the
extinction of civil liability referred to in Par. (c) of Sec. 3 Rule decision of the respondent Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED,
111, refers exclusively to civil liability founded on Article 100 without costs.
of the Revised Penal Code; whereas the civil liability for the
same act considered as a quasi-delict only and not as a crime SO ORDERED.
is not extinguished even by a declaration in the criminal case
that the criminal act charged has not happened or has not
been committed by the accused. . . ."cralaw virtua1aw library
G.R. No. 165496 February 12, 2007
The aforecited case of Lontoc v. MD Transit & Taxi Co., Inc., Et.
HUN HYUNG PARK, Petitioner,
Al. involved virtually the same factual situation. The Court, in
vs.
arriving at the conclusion hereinbefore quoted, expressly EUNG WON CHOI, Respondent.
declared that the failure of the therein plaintiff to reserve his
right to file a separate civil case is not fatal; that his DECISION
intervention in the criminal case did not bar him from filing a
separate civil action for damages, especially considering that CARPIO MORALES, J.:
the accused therein was acquitted because his guilt was not
Petitioner, Hun Hyung Park, assails the Court of Appeals (CA)
proved beyond reasonable doubt; that the two cases were
Resolutions dated May 20, 20041 and September 28, 20042 in CA
anchored on two different causes of action, the criminal case G.R. CR No. 28344 dismissing his petition and denying
being on a violation of Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code reconsideration thereof, respectively.
while the subsequent complaint for damages was based on a
quasi-delict; and that in the judgment in the criminal case the In an Information3 dated August 31, 2000, respondent, Eung Won
aspect of civil liability was not passed upon and resolved. Choi, was charged for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22,
otherwise known as the Bouncing Checks Law, for issuing on
Consequently, said civil case may proceed as authorized by June 28, 1999 Philippine National Bank Check No. 0077133
Article 29 of the Civil Code. postdated August 28, 1999 in the amount of ₱1,875,000 which
was dishonored for having been drawn against insufficient funds.
Our initial adverse observation on a portion of the decision of
Upon arraignment, respondent, with the assistance of counsel, 1. The verification and certification of non-forum shopping
pleaded "not guilty" to the offense charged. Following the pre-trial attached to the petition does not fully comply with Section
conference, the prosecution presented its evidence-in-chief. 4, as amended by A.M. No. 00-2-10-SC, Rule 7, 1997
Rules of Court, because it does not give the assurance
After the prosecution rested its case, respondent filed a Motion that the allegations of the petition are true and correct
for Leave of Court to File Demurrer to Evidence to which he based on authentic records.
attached his Demurrer, asserting that the prosecution failed to
prove that he received the notice of dishonor, hence, the 2. The petition is not accompanied by copies of certain
presumption of the element of knowledge of insufficiency of funds pleadings and other material portions of the record, (i.e.,
did not arise.4 motion for leave to file demurrer to evidence, demurrer to
evidence and the opposition thereto, and the Municipal
By Order5 of February 27, 2003, the Metropolitan Trial Court [sic] Trial Court’s Order dismissing Criminal Case No.
(MeTC) of Makati, Branch 65 granted the Demurrer and 294690) as would support the allegations of the petition
dismissed the case. The prosecution’s Motion for (Sec. 2, Rule 42, ibid.).
Reconsideration was denied.6
3. The Decision dated September 11, 2003 of the
7
Petitioner appealed the civil aspect of the case to the Regional Regional Trial Court attached to the petition is an
Trial Court (RTC) of Makati, contending that the dismissal of the uncertified and illegible mere machine copy of the original
criminal case should not include its civil aspect. (Sec. 2, Rule 42, ibid.).

By Decision of September 11, 2003, Branch 60 of the RTC held 4. Petitioners failed to implead the People of the
that while the evidence presented was insufficient to prove Philippines as party-respondent in the petition.10
respondent’s criminal liability, it did not altogether extinguish his
civil liability. It accordingly granted the appeal of petitioner and In his present petition, petitioner assails the above-stated reasons
ordered respondent to pay him the amount of ₱1,875,000 with of the appellate court in dismissing his petition.
legal interest.8
The manner of verification for pleadings which are required to be
Upon respondent’s motion for reconsideration, however, the RTC verified, such as a petition for review before the CA of an
set aside its decision and ordered the remand of the case to the appellate judgment of the RTC,11 is prescribed by Section 4 of
MeTC "for further proceedings, so that the defendant [- Rule 7 of the Rules of Court:
respondent herein] may adduce evidence on the civil aspect of
the case."9 Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration of the remand Sec. 4. Verification. Except when otherwise specifically required
of the case having been denied, he elevated the case to the CA by law or rule, pleadings need not be under oath, verified or
which, by the assailed resolutions, dismissed his petition for the accompanied by affidavit.
following reasons:
A pleading is verified by an affidavit that the affiant has read the based either purely on personal knowledge, or entirely on
pleading and that the allegations therein are true and correct of authentic records, or on both sources.
his personal knowledge or based on authentic records.
As pointed out by respondent, "authentic records" as a basis for
A pleading required to be verified which contains a verification verification bear significance in petitions wherein the greater
based on "information and belief," or upon "knowledge, portions of the allegations are based on the records of the
information and belief," or lacks a proper verification shall be proceedings in the court of origin and/or the court a quo, and not
treated as an unsigned pleading.12(Emphasis and underscoring solely on the personal knowledge of the petitioner. To illustrate,
supplied) petitioner himself could not have affirmed, based on his personal
knowledge, the truthfulness of the statement in his
Petitioner argues that the word "or" is a disjunctive term signifying petition16 before the CA that at the pre-trial conference
disassociation and independence, hence, he chose to affirm in respondent admitted having received the letter of demand,
his petition he filed before the court a quo that its contents are because he (petitioner) was not present during the
"true and correct of my own personal knowledge,"13 and not on conference.17 Hence, petitioner needed to rely on the records to
the basis of authentic documents. confirm its veracity.

On the other hand, respondent counters that the word "or" may Verification is not an empty ritual or a meaningless formality. Its
be interpreted in a conjunctive sense and construed to mean as import must never be sacrificed in the name of mere expedience
"and," or vice versa, when the context of the law so warrants. or sheer caprice. For what is at stake is the matter of verity
attested by the sanctity of an oath18 to secure an assurance that
A reading of the above-quoted Section 4 of Rule 7 indicates that the allegations in the pleading have been made in good faith, or
a pleading may be verified under either of the two given modes or are true and correct and not merely speculative.19
under both. The veracity of the allegations in a pleading may be
affirmed based on either one’s own personal knowledge or on This Court has strictly been enforcing the requirement of
authentic records, or both, as warranted. The use of the verification and certification and enunciating that obedience to the
preposition "or" connotes that either source qualifies as a requirements of procedural rules is needed if fair results are to be
sufficient basis for verification and, needless to state, the expected therefrom. Utter disregard of the rules cannot just be
concurrence of both sources is more than sufficient.14 Bearing rationalized by harking on the policy of liberal
both a disjunctive and conjunctive sense, this parallel legal construction.20 While the requirement is not jurisdictional in
signification avoids a construction that will exclude the nature, it does not make it less a rule. A relaxed application of the
combination of the alternatives or bar the efficacy of any one of rule can only be justified by the attending circumstances of the
the alternatives standing alone.15 case.21

Contrary to petitioner’s position, the range of permutation is not To sustain petitioner’s explanation that the basis of verification is
left to the pleader’s liking, but is dependent on the surrounding a matter of simple preference would trivialize the rationale and
nature of the allegations which may warrant that a verification be diminish the resoluteness of the rule. It would play on predilection
and pay no heed in providing enough assurance of the
correctness of the allegations.
On the second reason of the CA in dismissing the petition – that replicate copy of a different order, however. It was to this Court
the petition was not accompanied by copies of certain pleadings that petitioner belatedly submitted an uncertified true copy of the
and other material portions of the record as would support the said MeTC Order as an annex to his Reply to respondent’s
allegations of the petition (i.e., Motion for Leave to File Demurrer Comment.
to Evidence, Demurrer to Evidence and the Opposition thereto,
and the MeTC February 27, 2003 Order dismissing the case) – This Court in fact observes that the copy of the other MeTC
petitioner contends that these documents are immaterial to his Order, that dated May 5, 2003, which petitioner attached to his
appeal. petition before the CA is similarly uncertified as true.

Contrary to petitioner’s contention, however, the materiality of Since both Orders of the MeTC were adverse to him even with
those documents is very apparent since the civil aspect of the respect to the civil aspect of the case, petitioner was mandated to
case, from which he is appealing, was likewise dismissed by the submit them in the required form.23
trial court on account of the same Demurrer.
In fine, petitioner fell short in his compliance with Section 2 (d) of
Petitioner, nonetheless, posits that he subsequently submitted to Rule 42, the mandatory tenor of which is discernible thereunder
the CA copies of the enumerated documents, save for and is well settled.24 He has not, however, advanced any strong
the MeTC February 27, 2003 Order, as attachments to his Motion compelling reasons to warrant a relaxation of the Rules, hence,
for Reconsideration. his petition before the CA was correctly dismissed.

The Rules, however, require that the petition must "be Procedural rules are tools designed to facilitate the adjudication
accompanied by clearly legible duplicate original or true copies of of cases. Courts and litigants alike are thus enjoined to abide
the judgments or final orders of both lower courts, certified correct strictly by the rules. And while the Court, in some instances,
by the clerk of court."22 allows a relaxation in the application of the rules, this we stress,
was never intended to forge a bastion for erring litigants to violate
A perusal of the petition filed before the CA shows that the only the rules with impunity. The liberality in the interpretation and
duplicate original or certified true copies attached as annexes application of the rules applies only in proper cases and under
thereto are the January 14, 2004 RTC Order granting justifiable causes and circumstances. While it is true that litigation
respondent’s Motion for Reconsideration and the March 29, 2004 is not a game of technicalities, it is equally true that every case
RTC Order denying petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration. The must be prosecuted in accordance with the prescribed procedure
copy of the September 11, 2003 RTC Decision, which petitioner to insure an orderly and speedy administration of
prayed to be reinstated, is not a certified true copy and is not justice.25 (Emphasis supplied)
even legible. Petitioner later recompensed though by appending
to his Motion for Reconsideration a duplicate original copy. As to the third reason for the appellate court’s dismissal of his
petition – failure to implead the People of the Philippines as a
While petitioner averred before the CA in his Motion for party in the petition – indeed, as petitioner contends, the same is
Reconsideration that the February 27, 2003 MeTC Order was of no moment, he having appealed only the civil aspect of the
already attached to his petition as Annex "G," Annex "G" bares a
case. Passing on the dual purpose of a criminal action, this Court If the filing of a separate civil action has not been reserved or
ruled: priorly instituted or the enforcement of civil liability is not waived,
the trial court should, in case of conviction, state the civil liability
Unless the offended party waives the civil action or reserves the or damages caused by the wrongful act or omission to be
right to institute it separately or institutes the civil action prior to recovered from the accused by the offended party, if there is
the criminal action, there are two actions involved in a criminal any.31
case. The first is the criminal action for the punishment of the
offender. The parties are the People of the Philippines as the For, in case of acquittal, the accused may still be adjudged civilly
plaintiff and the accused. In a criminal action, the private liable. The extinction of the penal action does not carry with it the
complainant is merely a witness for the State on the criminal extinction of the civil action where (a) the acquittal is based on
aspect of the action. The second is the civil action arising from reasonable doubt as only preponderance of evidence is required;
the delict. The private complainant is the plaintiff and the accused (b) the court declares that the liability of the accused is only civil;
is the defendant. There is a merger of the trial of the two cases to and (c) the civil liability of the accused does not arise from or is
avoid multiplicity of suits.26 (Underscoring supplied) not based upon the crime of which the accused was acquitted.32

It bears recalling that the MeTC acquitted respondent.27 As a rule, The civil action based on delict may, however, be deemed
a judgment of acquittal is immediately final and executory and the extinguished if there is a finding on the final judgment in the
prosecution cannot appeal the acquittal because of the criminal action that the act or omission from which the civil liability
constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy. may arise did not exist.33

Either the offended party or the accused may, however, appeal In case of a demurrer to evidence filed with leave of court, the
the civil aspect of the judgment despite the acquittal of the accused may adduce countervailing evidence if the court denies
accused. The public prosecutor has generally no interest in the demurrer.34 Such denial bears no distinction as to the two
appealing the civil aspect of a decision acquitting the accused. aspects of the case because there is a disparity of evidentiary
The acquittal ends his work. The case is terminated as far as he value between the quanta of evidence in such aspects of the
is concerned. The real parties in interest in the civil aspect of case. In other words, a court may not deny the demurrer as to the
a decision are the offended party and the accused.28 criminal aspect and at the same time grant the demurrer as to the
civil aspect, for if the evidence so far presented is not insufficient
Technicality aside, the petition is devoid of merit. to prove the crime beyond reasonable doubt, then the same
evidence is likewise not insufficient to establish civil liability by
When a demurrer to evidence is filed without leave of court, the mere preponderance of evidence.
whole case is submitted for judgment on the basis of the
evidence for the prosecution as the accused is deemed to have On the other hand, if the evidence so far presented is insufficient
waived the right to present evidence.29 At that juncture, the court as proof beyond reasonable doubt, it does not follow that the
is called upon to decide the case including its civil aspect, unless same evidence is insufficient to establish a preponderance of
the enforcement of the civil liability by a separate civil action has evidence. For if the court grants the demurrer, proceedings on the
been waived or reserved.30 civil aspect of the case generally proceeds. The only recognized
instance when an acquittal on demurrer carries with it the
dismissal of the civil aspect is when there is a finding that the act Petitioner’s citation of Section 1 of Rule 33 is incorrect. Where a
1awphi1.net

or omission from which the civil liability may arise did not exist. court has jurisdiction over the subject matter and over the person
Absent such determination, trial as to the civil aspect of the case of the accused, and the crime was committed within its territorial
must perforce continue. Thus this Court, in Salazar v. jurisdiction, the court necessarily exercises jurisdiction over all
People,35 held: issues that the law requires it to resolve.

If demurrer is granted and the accused is acquitted by the court, One of the issues in a criminal case being the civil liability of the
the accused has the right to adduce evidence on the civil aspect accused arising from the crime, the governing law is the Rules
of the case unless the court also declares that the act or omission of Criminal Procedure, not the Rules of Civil Procedure which
from which the civil liability may arise did not exist.36 pertains to a civil action arising from the initiatory pleading that
gives rise to the suit.39
In the instant case, the MeTC granted the demurrer and
dismissed the case without any finding that the act or omission As for petitioner’s attribution of waiver to respondent, it cannot be
from which the civil liability may arise did not exist. determined with certainty from the records the nature of the
alleged oral objections of respondent to petitioner’s motion for
Respondent did not assail the RTC order of remand. He thereby reconsideration of the grant of the demurrer to evidence. Any
recognized that there is basis for a remand. waiver of the right to present evidence must be positively
demonstrated. Any ambiguity in the voluntariness of the waiver is
Indicatively, respondent stands by his defense that he merely frowned upon,40 hence, courts must indulge every reasonable
borrowed ₱1,500,000 with the remainder representing the presumption against it.41
interest, and that he already made a partial payment of
₱1,590,000. Petitioner counters, however, that the payments This Court therefore upholds respondent’s right to present
made by respondent pertained to other transactions.37 Given evidence as reserved by his filing of leave of court to file the
these conflicting claims which are factual, a remand of the case demurrer.
would afford the fullest opportunity for the parties to ventilate, and
for the trial court to resolve the same. WHEREFORE, the petition is, in light of the foregoing
discussions, DENIED.
Petitioner finally posits that respondent waived his right to present
evidence on the civil aspect of the case (1) when the grant of the The case is REMANDED to the court of origin, Metropolitan Trial
demurrer was reversed on appeal, citing Section 1 of Rule Court of Makati City, Branch 65 which is DIRECTED to forthwith
33,38 and (2) when respondent orally opposed petitioner’s motion set Criminal Case No. 294690 for further proceedings only for the
for reconsideration pleading that proceedings with respect to the purpose of receiving evidence on the civil aspect of the case.
civil aspect of the case continue.
Costs against petitioner.
Petitioner’s position is tenuous.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 165496 June 29, 2007 rendered in favor of the petitioner in which case only a true or
plain copy thereof is required to be attached.
HUN HYUNG PARK, petitioner,
vs. In this case, the February 27, 2003 MeTC Order was not
EUNG WON CHOI, respondent. submitted to the appellate court when, in fact, such Order
dismissing the entire case was undoubtedly adverse to petitioner.
RESOLUTION If petitioner deemed the MeTC Order favorable as he now claims,
he should not have appealed to the RTC in the first place.
CARPIO MORALES, J.: Clearly, petitioner’s failure to attach the MeTC Order runs counter
to the rules.
This resolves petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration dated March
21, 2007. In insisting on the application of Rule 33 to buttress his claim that
respondent waived his right to present evidence, petitioner
underscores the silence of Section 23 of Rule 119 in cases where
For the first time, petitioner raises the matter of inadvertence with
the demurrer to evidence
respect to the improper verification of his petition. This Court
notes that petitioner has softened his previously adamant
stance1 as he now claims to have simply overlooked the failure to was granted by the MeTC but reversed on appeal by the RTC.
include the words "or based on authentic records" in verifying the Suffice it to state that the granting of a demurrer in criminal cases
petition. is tantamount to an acquittal and may not be reversed on appeal
without violating the proscription against double jeopardy.
Succinctly stated, there is no waiver to speak of in such case
This Court takes cognizance of petitioner’s humble submission
since an accused’s acquittal on demurrer may not be reversed on
and finds his invocation of honest mistake to be well-taken in
appeal.
explaining the lapse in the verification.
It must be noted that the RTC decided the appeal only insofar as
The relaxation of the rule on verification notwithstanding,
the MeTC dismissed sub silentio the civil aspectof the
petitioner’s motion must nonetheless fail.
case without finding that the act or omission from which the civil
liability may arise did not exist. Since the parties do not even
In asserting that he was not required to attach the MeTC Orders, dispute the existence of the act or omission from which the civil
petitioner tries to impress upon this Court that he was not liability may arise, there was absolutely no reason for the
questioning the Orders of the MeTC. Such attempt does not dismissal of the civil aspect of the case.
persuade.
A finding of sufficiency of evidence as to the civil aspect, where a
Rule 42 explicitly mandates that a clearly legible duplicate original demurrer to evidence is filed with leave of court, does not
or certified true copy of both lower courts’ judgments or final authorize the trial court to terminate the proceedings and
orders must be attached to the petition, except where, as in the immediately render a decision. As this Court ruled, if the evidence
case of Ramos v. Court of Appeals,2 the MeTC Order was so far presented is insufficient as proof beyond reasonable doubt,
it does not follow that the same evidence is insufficient to NENA JAUCIAN TIMARIO, drew and issue[d] PRUDENTIAL BANK,
establish a preponderance of evidence. LEGASPI CITY BRANCH CHECK NO. 067481, dated October 15, 1996,
in the amount of P214,000.00 in favor of J.Y. BROTHERS MARKETING
CORPORATION, represented by its Branch Manager, JERSON O. YAO,
It was thus incorrect for the MeTC to dismiss the civil aspect of and accused ANAMER D. SALAZAR endorsed and negotiated said check
the case without any basis. And it was thus premature for the as payment of 300 cavans of rice obtained from J.Y. BROTHERS
RTC, in its initial decision, to adjudicate the merits of the civil MARKETING CORPORATION, knowing fully well that at that time said
aspect of the case. check was issued and endorsed, Nena Jaucian Timario did not have
sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank to cover the amount
called for therein and without informing the payee of such
WHEREFORE, the Motion for Reconsideration is DENIED. circumstance; that when said check was presented to the drawee bank
for payment, the same was consequently dishonored and refused
SO ORDERED. payment for the reason of "ACCOUNT CLOSED" ; that despite
demands, Accused failed and refused and still fail and refuse to pay
and/or make arrangement for the payment of the said check, to the
damage and prejudice of said J.Y. BROTHERS MARKETING
ANAMER SALAZAR, Petitioner, v. THE PEOPLE OF THE CORPORATION.
PHILIPPINES and J.Y. BROTHERS MARKETING
CORPORATION, Respondents. CONTRARY TO LAW. 4

DECISION Upon arraignment, the petitioner, assisted by counsel, entered a plea


of not guilty. Trial thereafter ensued.

The Evidence of the Prosecution


CALLEJO, SR., J.:
On October 15, 1996, petitioner Anamer Salazar purchased 300
cavans of rice from J.Y. Brothers Marketing Corporation, through Mr.
This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Jerson Yao. As payment for these cavans of rice, the petitioner gave
Rules of Criminal Procedure of the Order 1 of the Regional Trial Court, the private complainant Check No. 067481 drawn against the
5th Judicial Region, Legazpi City, Branch 5, 2 dated November 19, Prudential Bank, Legazpi City Branch, dated October 15, 1996, by one
2001, and its Order 3 dated January 14, 2002 denying the motion for Nena Jaucian Timario in the amount of P214,000. Jerson Yao accepted
reconsideration of the decision of the said court on the civil aspect the check upon the petitioner’s assurance that it was a good check.
thereof and to allow her to present evidence thereon. chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

The cavans of rice were picked up the next day by the petitioner. Upon
presentment, the check was dishonored because it was drawn under a
On June 11, 1997, an Information for estafa was filed against herein closed account ("Account Closed"). The petitioner was informed of
petitioner Anamer D. Salazar and co-accused Nena Jaucian Timario such dishonor. She replaced the Prudential Bank check with Check No.
with the Regional Trial Court of Legazpi City, docketed as Criminal 365704 drawn against the Solid Bank, Legazpi Branch, which,
Case No. 7474 which reads as follows: chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

however, was returned with the word "DAUD" (Drawn Against


Uncollected Deposit).
That sometime in the month of October, 1996, in the City of Legazpi,
Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the After the prosecution rested its case, the petitioner filed a Demurrer to
above named-accused, conspiring and confederating with each other, Evidence with Leave of Court 5 alleging that she could not be guilty of
with intent to defraud by means of false pretenses or fraudulent acts the crime as charged for the following reasons: (a) she was merely an
executed simultaneously with the commission of the fraud, did then indorser of the check issued by Nena Timario, and Article 315,
and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, on the part of accused paragraph 2(d) on estafa penalizes only the issuer of the check and
not the indorser thereof; (b) there is no sufficient evidence to prove opportunity to adduce evidence to prove that she was not civilly liable
that the petitioner conspired with the issuer of the check, Nena Jaucian to the private Respondent. The petitioner invokes the applicability of
Timario, in order to defraud the private complainant; (c) after the first Rule 33 of the Rules of Civil Procedure in this case, contending that
check was dishonored, the petitioner replaced it with a second one. before being adjudged liable to the private offended party, she should
The first transaction had therefore been effectively novated by the have been first accorded the procedural relief granted in Rule 33.
issuance of the second check. Unfortunately, her personal check was
dishonored not for insufficiency of funds, but for "DAUD," which in The Petition Is Meritorious
banking parlance means "drawn against uncollected deposit."
According to the petitioner, this means that the account had sufficient According to Section 1, Rule 111 of the Revised Rules of Criminal
funds but was still restricted because the deposit, usually a check, had Procedure —
not yet been cleared.
SECTION 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. — (a) When a
The prosecution filed its comment/opposition to the petitioner’s criminal action is instituted, the civil action for the recovery of civil
demurrer to evidence. liability arising from the offense charged shall be deemed instituted
with the criminal action unless the offended party waives the civil
On November 19, 2001, the trial court rendered judgment acquitting action, reserves the right to institute it separately or institutes the civil
the petitioner of the crime charged but ordering her to remit to the action prior to the criminal action.
private complainant the amount of the check as payment for her
purchase. The trial court ruled that the evidence for the prosecution The reservation of the right to institute separately the civil action shall
did not establish the existence of conspiracy beyond reasonable doubt be made before the prosecution starts presenting its evidence and
between the petitioner and the issuer of the check, her co-accused under circumstances affording the offended party a reasonable
Nena Jaucian Timario, for the purpose of defrauding the private opportunity to make such reservation.
complainant. In fact, the private complainant, Jerson Yao, admitted
that he had never met Nena Jaucian Timario who remained at large. When the offended party seeks to enforce civil liability against the
As a mere indorser of the check, the petitioner’s breach of the accused by way of moral, nominal, temperate, or exemplary damages
warranty that the check was a good one is not synonymous with the without specifying the amount thereof in the complaint or information,
fraudulent act of falsely pretending to possess credit under Article the filing fees therefor shall constitute a first lien on the judgment
315(2)(d). The decretal portion of the trial court’s judgment reads as awarding such damages.
follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Where the amount of damages, other than actual, is specified in the


WHEREFORE, premises considered, the accused Anamer D. Salazar is complaint or information, the corresponding filing fees shall be paid by
hereby ACQUITTED of the crime charged but is hereby held liable for the offended party upon the filing thereof in court. chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

the value of the 300 bags of rice. Accused Anamer D. Salazar is


therefore ordered to pay J.Y. Brothers Marketing Corporation the sum Except as otherwise provided in these Rules, no filing fees shall be
of P214,000.00. Costs against the accused. 6 required for actual damages.

Within the reglementary period therefor, the petitioner filed a motion No counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint may be filed by
for reconsideration on the civil aspect of the decision with a plea that the accused in the criminal case, but any cause of action which could
he be allowed to present evidence pursuant to Rule 33 of the Rules of have been the subject thereof may be litigated in a separate civil
Court. On January 14, 2002, the court issued an order denying the action.
motion.
(b) The criminal action for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 shall be
In her petition at bar, the petitioner assails the orders of the trial court deemed to include the corresponding civil action. No reservation to file
claiming that after her demurrer to evidence was granted by the trial such civil action separately shall be allowed.
court, she was denied due process as she was not given the
Upon filing of the aforesaid joint criminal and civil actions, the offended
party shall pay in full the filing fees based on the amount of the check The quantum of evidence on the criminal aspect of the case is proof
involved, which shall be considered as the actual damages claimed. beyond reasonable doubt, while in the civil aspect of the action, the
Where the complaint or information also seeks to recover liquidated, quantum of evidence is preponderance of evidence. 9 Under Section 3,
moral, nominal, temperate or exemplary damages, the offended party Rule 1 of the 1997 Rules of Criminal Procedure, the said rules shall
shall pay additional filing fees based on the amounts alleged therein. If govern the procedure to be observed in action, civil or criminal.
the amounts are not so alleged but any of these damages are
subsequently awarded by the court, the filing fees based on the The prosecution presents its evidence not only to prove the guilt of the
amount awarded shall constitute a first lien on the judgment. accused beyond reasonable doubt but also to prove the civil liability of
the accused to the offended party. After the prosecution has rested its
Where the civil action has been filed separately and trial thereof has case, the accused shall adduce its evidence not only on the criminal
not yet commenced, it may be consolidated with the criminal action but also on the civil aspect of the case. At the conclusion of the trial,
upon application with the court trying the latter case. If the application the court should render judgment not only on the criminal aspect of
is granted, the trial of both actions shall proceed in accordance with the case but also on the civil aspect thereof: chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

section 2 of this Rule governing consolidation of the civil and criminal


actions. SEC. 2. Contents of the judgment. — If the judgment is of conviction,
it shall state (1) the legal qualification of the offense constituted by the
The last paragraph of Section 2 of the said rule provides that the acts committed by the accused and the aggravating or mitigating
extinction of the penal action does not carry with it the extinction of circumstances which attended its commission; (2) the participation of
the civil action. Moreover, the civil action based on delict shall be the accused in the offense, whether as principal, accomplice, or
deemed extinguished if there is a finding in a final judgment in the accessory after the fact; (3) the penalty imposed upon the accused;
criminal action that the act or omission from which the civil liability and (4) the civil liability or damages caused by his wrongful act or
may arise did not exist. 7 omission to be recovered from the accused by the offended party, if
there is any, unless the enforcement of the civil liability by a separate
The criminal action has a dual purpose, namely, the punishment of the civil action has been reserved or waived.
offender and indemnity to the offended party. The dominant and
primordial objective of the criminal action is the punishment of the In case the judgment is of acquittal, it shall state whether the evidence
offender. The civil action is merely incidental to and consequent to the of the prosecution absolutely failed to prove the guilt of the accused or
conviction of the accused. The reason for this is that criminal actions merely failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In either
are primarily intended to vindicate an outrage against the sovereignty case, the judgment shall determine if the act or omission from which
of the state and to impose the appropriate penalty for the vindication the civil liability might arise did not exist. 10
of the disturbance to the social order caused by the offender. On the
other hand, the action between the private complainant and the The acquittal of the accused does not prevent a judgment against him
accused is intended solely to indemnify the former. 8 on the civil aspect of the case where (a) the acquittal is based on
reasonable doubt as only preponderance of evidence is required; (b)
Unless the offended party waives the civil action or reserves the right where the court declared that the liability of the accused is only civil;
to institute it separately or institutes the civil action prior to the (c) where the civil liability of the accused does not arise from or is not
criminal action, there are two actions involved in a criminal case. The based upon the crime of which the accused was acquitted. Moreover,
first is the criminal action for the punishment of the offender. The the civil action based on the delict is extinguished if there is a finding
parties are the People of the Philippines as the plaintiff and the in the final judgment in the criminal action that the act or omission
accused. In a criminal action, the private complainant is merely a from which the civil liability may arise did not exist or where the
witness for the State on the criminal aspect of the action. The second accused did not commit the acts or omission imputed to him.
is the civil action arising from the delict. The private complainant is the
plaintiff and the accused is the defendant. There is a merger of the If the accused is acquitted on reasonable doubt but the court renders
trial of the two cases to avoid multiplicity of suits. judgment on the civil aspect of the criminal case, the prosecution
cannot appeal from the judgment of acquittal as it would place the right to adduce evidence not only on the criminal aspect but also on
accused in double jeopardy. However, the aggrieved party, the the civil aspect of the case if his demurrer is denied by the court. chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

offended party or the accused or both may appeal from the judgment
on the civil aspect of the case within the period therefor. If demurrer is granted and the accused is acquitted by the court, the
accused has the right to adduce evidence on the civil aspect of the
After the prosecution has rested its case, the accused has the option case , unless the court also declares that the act or omission from
either to (a) file a demurrer to evidence with or without leave of court which the civil liability may arise did not exist. If the trial court issues
under Section 23, Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, an order or renders judgment not only granting the demurrer to
or to (b) adduce his evidence unless he waives the same. The evidence of the accused and acquitting him but also on the civil liability
aforecited rule reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library of the accused to the private offended party, said judgment on the civil
aspect of the case would be a nullity for the reason that the
Sec. 23. Demurrer to evidence. — After the prosecution rests its case, constitutional right of the accused to due process is thereby violated.
the court may dismiss the action on the ground of insufficiency of As we held in Alonte v. Savellano, Jr.: 11
evidence (1) on its own initiative after giving the prosecution the
opportunity to be heard or (2) upon demurrer to evidence filed by the Section 14, paragraphs (1) and (2), of Article III, of the Constitution
accused with or without leave of court. provides the fundamentals.

If the court denies the demurrer to evidence filed with leave of court, "(1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without
the accused may adduce evidence in his defense. When the demurrer due process of law.
to evidence is filed without leave of court, the accused waives his right
to present evidence and submits the case for judgment on the basis of "(2) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed
the evidence for the prosecution. innocent until the contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the right to be
heard by himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause
The motion for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence shall of the accusation against him, to have a speedy, impartial, and public
specifically state its grounds and shall be filed within a non-extendible trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory
period of five (5) days after the prosecution rests its case. The process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of
prosecution may oppose the motion within a non-extendible period of evidence in his behalf. However, after arraignment, trial may proceed
five (5) days from its receipt. notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided that he has been
duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustifiable."
cralaw virtua1aw library

If leave of court is granted, the accused shall file the demurrer to


evidence within a non-extendible period of ten (10) days from notice. Jurisprudence acknowledges that due process in criminal proceedings,
The prosecution may oppose the demurrer to evidence within a similar in particular, require (a) that the court or tribunal trying the case is
period from its receipt. properly clothed with judicial power to hear and determine the matter
before it; (b) that jurisdiction is lawfully acquired by it over the person
The order denying the motion for leave of court to file demurrer to of the accused; (c) that the accused is given an opportunity to be
evidence or the demurrer itself shall not be reviewable by appeal or, heard; and (d) that judgment is rendered only upon lawful hearing.
by certiorari before the judgment.
The above constitutional and jurisprudentially postulates, by now
In criminal cases, the demurrer to evidence partakes of the nature of a elementary and deeply imbedded in our own criminal justice system,
motion to dismiss the case for failure of the prosecution to prove his are mandatory and indispensable. The principles find universal
guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In a case where the accused files a acceptance and are tersely expressed in the oft-quoted statement that
demurrer to evidence without leave of court, he thereby waives his procedural due process cannot possibly be met without a "law which
right to present evidence and submits the case for decision on the hears before it condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry and renders
basis of the evidence of the prosecution. On the other hand, if the judgment only after trial." 12
accused is granted leave to file a demurrer to evidence, he has the
This is so because when the accused files a demurrer to evidence, the evidence. The court issued an order granting the demurrer on its
accused has not yet adduced evidence both on the criminal and civil finding that the liability of the petitioner was not criminal but only civil.
aspects of the case. The only evidence on record is the evidence for However, the court rendered judgment on the civil aspect of the case
the prosecution. What the trial court should do is to issue an order or and ordered the petitioner to pay for her purchases from the private
partial judgment granting the demurrer to evidence and acquitting the complainant even before the petitioner could adduce evidence thereon.
accused; and set the case for continuation of trial for the petitioner to Patently, therefore, the petitioner was denied her right to due process.
adduce evidence on the civil aspect of the case, and for the private
complainant to adduce evidence by way of rebuttal after which the IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the Petition is GRANTED. The
parties may adduce their sur-rebuttal evidence as provided for in Orders dated November 19, 2001 and January 14, 2002 are SET
Section 11, Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure: chanrob1es virtual 1aw library ASIDE AND NULLIFIED. The Regional Trial Court of Legazpi City,
Branch 5, is hereby DIRECTED to set Criminal Case No. 7474 for the
Sec. 11. Order of trial. — The trial shall proceed in the following continuation of trial for the reception of the evidence-in-chief of the
order:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library petitioner on the civil aspect of the case and for the rebuttal evidence
of the private complainant and the sur-rebuttal evidence of the parties
(a) The prosecution shall present evidence to prove the charge and, in if they opt to adduce any. chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

the proper case, the civil liability.


SO ORDERED.
(b) The accused may present evidence to prove his defense and
damages, if any, arising from the issuance of a provisional remedy in
the case.
(c) The prosecution and the defense may, in that order, present G.R. No. 165732 December 14, 2006
rebuttal and sur-rebuttal evidence unless the court, in furtherance of
justice, permits them to present additional evidence bearing upon the
main issue. SAFEGUARD SECURITY AGENCY, INC., and ADMER
PAJARILLO, petitioners,
(d) Upon admission of the evidence of the parties, the case shall be vs.
deemed submitted for decision unless the court directs them to argue LAURO TANGCO, VAL TANGCO, VERN LARRY TANGCO,
orally or to submit written memoranda.
VAN LAURO TANGCO, VON LARRIE TANGCO, VIEN LARI
(e) When the accused admits the act or omission charged in the TANGCO and VIVIEN LAURIZ TANGCO, respondent.
complaint or information but interposes a lawful defense, the order of
trial may be modified.

Thereafter, the court shall render judgment on the civil aspect of the
case on the basis of the evidence of the prosecution and the accused.
DECISION
In this case, the petitioner was charged with estafa under Article 315,
paragraph 2(d) off the Revised Penal Code. The civil action arising
from the delict was impliedly instituted since there was no waiver by
the private offended party of the civil liability nor a reservation of the
civil action. Neither did he file a civil action before the institution of the
criminal action.
AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.:
The petitioner was granted leave of court to file a demurrer to
Before us is a petition for review on certiorari filed by Safeguard good father of a family in the selection and supervision of
Security Agency, Inc. (Safeguard) and Admer Pajarillo (Pajarillo) Pajarillo; that Evangeline's death was not due to Pajarillo's
assailing the Decision1 dated July 16, 2004 and the negligence as the latter acted only in self-defense. Petitioners set
Resolution2 dated October 20, 2004 issued by the Court of up a compulsory counterclaim for moral damages and attorney's
Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CV No. 77462. fees.

On November 3, 1997, at about 2:50 p.m., Evangeline Tangco Trial thereafter ensued. On January 10, 2003, the RTC rendered
(Evangeline) went to Ecology Bank, Katipunan Branch, Quezon its Decision,7 the dispositive portion of which reads:
City, to renew her time deposit per advise of the bank's cashier as
she would sign a specimen card. Evangeline, a duly licensed WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of
firearm holder with corresponding permit to carry the same the plaintiffs, the heirs of Evangeline Tangco, and against
outside her residence, approached security guard Pajarillo, who defendants Admer Pajarillo and Safeguard Security
was stationed outside the bank, and pulled out her firearm from Agency, Inc. ordering said defendants to pay the plaintiffs,
her bag to deposit the same for safekeeping. Suddenly, Pajarillo jointly and severally, the following:
shot Evangeline with his service shotgun hitting her in the
abdomen instantly causing her death. 1. ONE HUNDRED FIFTY SEVEN THOUSAND
FOUR HUNDRED THIRTY PESOS
Lauro Tangco, Evangeline's husband, together with his six minor (P157,430.00), as actual damages
children (respondents) filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Quezon City, a criminal case of Homicide against Pajarillo, 2. FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P50,000.00) as
docketed as Criminal Case No. 0-97-73806 and assigned to death indemnity;
Branch 78. Respondents reserved their right to file a separate
civil action in the said criminal case. The RTC of Quezon City
3. ONE MILLION PESOS (P1,000,000.00), as
subsequently convicted Pajarillo of Homicide in its Decision dated
moral damages;
January 19, 2000.3 On appeal to the CA, the RTC decision was
affirmed with modification as to the penalty in a Decision4 dated
July 31, 2000. Entry of Judgment was made on August 25, 2001. 4. THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS
(P300,000.00), as exemplary damages;
Meanwhile, on January 14, 1998, respondents filed with RTC,
Branch 273, Marikina City, a complaint5 for damages against 5. THIRTY THOUSAND PESOS (P30,000.00), as
Pajarillo for negligently shooting Evangeline and against attorney's fees; and
Safeguard for failing to observe the diligence of a good father of a
family to prevent the damage committed by its security guard. 6. costs of suit.
Respondents prayed for actual, moral and exemplary damages
and attorney's fees. For lack of merit, defendants' counterclaim is hereby
DISMISSED.
In their Answer,6 petitioners denied the material allegations in the
complaint and alleged that Safeguard exercised the diligence of a SO ORDERED. 8
The RTC found respondents to be entitled to damages. It rejected In finding that Safeguard is only subsidiarily liable, the CA held
Pajarillo's claim that he merely acted in self-defense. It gave no that the applicable provisions are not Article 2180 in relation to
credence to Pajarillo's bare claim that Evangeline was seen Article 2176 of the Civil Code, on quasi-delicts, but the provisions
roaming around the area prior to the shooting incident since on civil liability arising from felonies under the Revised Penal
Pajarillo had not made such report to the head office and the Code; that since Pajarillo had been found guilty of Homicide in a
police authorities. The RTC further ruled that being the guard on final and executory judgment and is said to be serving sentence
duty, the situation demanded that he should have exercised in Muntinlupa, he must be adjudged civilly liable under the
proper prudence and necessary care by asking Evangeline for provisions of Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code since the civil
him to ascertain the matter instead of shooting her instantly; that liability recoverable in the criminal action is one solely dependent
Pajarillo had already been convicted of Homicide in Criminal upon conviction, because said liability arises from the offense
Case No. 0-97-73806; and that he also failed to proffer proof charged and no other; that this is also the civil liability that is
negating liability in the instant case. deemed extinguished with the extinction of the penal liability with
a pronouncement that the fact from which the civil action might
The RTC also found Safeguard as employer of Pajarillo to be proceed does not exist; that unlike in civil liability arising
jointly and severally liable with Pajarillo. It ruled that while it may from quasi-delict, the defense of diligence of a good father of a
be conceded that Safeguard had perhaps exercised care in the family in the employment and supervision of employees is
selection of its employees, particularly of Pajarillo, there was no inapplicable and irrelevant in civil liabilities based on crimes or ex-
sufficient evidence to show that Safeguard exercised the delicto; that Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code provides that
diligence of a good father of a family in the supervision of its the liability of an employer for the civil liability of their employees
employee; that Safeguard's evidence simply showed that it is only subsidiary, not joint or solidary.
required its guards to attend trainings and seminars which is not
the supervision contemplated under the law; that supervision Petitioners filed their Motion for Reconsideration which the CA
includes not only the issuance of regulations and instructions denied in a Resolution dated October 20, 2004.
designed for the protection of persons and property, for the
guidance of their servants and employees, but also the duty to Hence, the instant Petition for Review on Certiorari with the
see to it that such regulations and instructions are faithfully following assignment of errors, to wit:
complied with.
The Honorable Court of Appeals gravely erred in finding
Petitioners appealed the RTC decision to the CA. On July 16, petitioner Pajarillo liable to respondents for the payment
2004, the CA issued its assailed Decision, the dispositive portion of damages and other money claims.
of which reads:
The Honorable Court of Appeals gravely erred when it
IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the appealed applied Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code in holding
decision is hereby AFFIRMED, with the modification that petitioner Safeguard solidarily [sic] liable with petitioner
Safeguard Security Agency, Inc.'s civil liability in this case Pajarillo for the payment of damages and other money
is only subsidiary under Art. 103 of the Revised Penal claims.
Code. No pronouncement as to costs.9
The Honorable Court of Appeals gravely erred in failing to action, reserves his right to institute it separately, or
find that petitioner Safeguard Security Agency, Inc. institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action.
exercised due diligence in the selection and supervision
of its employees, hence, should be excused from any Such civil action includes recovery of indemnity under the
liability.10 Revised Penal Code, and damages under Articles 32, 33,
34, and 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines arising
The issues for resolution are whether (1) Pajarillo is guilty of from the same act or omission of the accused.
negligence in shooting Evangeline; and (2) Safeguard should be
held solidarily liable for the damages awarded to respondents. Respondents reserved the right to file a separate civil action and
in fact filed the same on January 14, 1998.
Safeguard insists that the claim for damages by respondents is
based on culpa aquiliana under Article 217611 of the Civil Code, in The CA found that the source of damages in the instant case
which case, its liability is jointly and severally with Pajarillo. must be the crime of homicide, for which he had already been
However, since it has established that it had exercised due found guilty of and serving sentence thereof, thus must be
diligence in the selection and supervision of Pajarillo, it should be governed by the Revised Penal Code.
exonerated from civil liability.
We do not agree.
We will first resolve whether the CA correctly held that
respondents, in filing a separate civil action against petitioners An act or omission causing damage to another may give rise to
are limited to the recovery of damages arising from a crime two separate civil liabilities on the part of the offender, i.e., (1) civil
or delict, in which case the liability of Safeguard as employer liability ex delicto, under Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code;
under Articles 102 and 103 of the Revised Penal Code12 is and (2) independent civil liabilities, such as those (a) not arising
subsidiary and the defense of due diligence in the selection and from an act or omission complained of as a
supervision of employee is not available to it. felony, e.g., culpa contractual or obligations arising from law
under Article 31 of the Civil Code, intentional torts under Articles
The CA erred in ruling that the liability of Safeguard is only 32 and 34, and culpa aquiliana under Article 2176 of the Civil
subsidiary. Code; or (b) where the injured party is granted a right to file an
action independent and distinct from the criminal action under
The law at the time the complaint for damages was filed is Rule Article 33 of the Civil Code. Either of these liabilities may be
111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, as amended, to enforced against the offender subject to the caveat under Article
wit: 2177 of the Civil Code that the offended party cannot recover
damages twice for the same act or omission or under both
SECTION 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. - causes.13
When a criminal action is instituted, the civil action for the
recovery of civil liability is impliedly instituted with the It is important to determine the nature of respondents' cause of
criminal action, unless the offended party waives the civil action. The nature of a cause of action is determined by the facts
alleged in the complaint as constituting the cause of action.14 The
purpose of an action or suit and the law to govern it is to be ARTICLE 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes
determined not by the claim of the party filing the action, made in damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is
his argument or brief, but rather by the complaint itself, its obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or
allegations and prayer for relief.15 negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation
between the parties is called a quasi-delict and is
The pertinent portions of the complaint read: governed by the provisions of this Chapter.

7. That Defendant Admer A. Pajarillo was the guard The scope of Article 2176 is not limited to acts or omissions
assigned and posted in the Ecology Bank – Katipunan resulting from negligence. In Dulay v. Court of Appeals,17 we held:
Branch, Quezon City, who was employed and under
employment of Safeguard Security Agency, Inc. hence x x x Well-entrenched is the doctrine that Article 2176
there is employer-employee relationship between co- covers not only acts committed with negligence, but also
defendants. acts which are voluntary and intentional. As far back as
the definitive case of Elcano v. Hill (77 SCRA 98 [1977]),
The Safeguard Security Agency, Inc. failed to observe the this Court already held that:
diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage
to herein plaintiffs. "x x x Article 2176, where it refers to "fault or
negligence," covers not only acts "not punishable by
8. That defendant Admer Pajarillo upon seeing law" but also acts criminal in character, whether
Evangeline Tangco, who brought her firearm out of her intentional and voluntary or negligent. Consequently, a
bag, suddenly without exercising necessary caution/care, separate civil action lies against the offender in a criminal
and in idiotic manner, with the use of his shotgun, fired act, whether or not he is criminally prosecuted and found
and burst bullets upon Evangeline M. Tangco, killing her guilty or acquitted, provided that the offended party is not
instantly. x x x allowed, if he is actually charged also criminally, to
recover damages on both scores, and would be entitled in
xxxx such eventuality only to the bigger award of the two,
assuming the awards made in the two cases vary. In
other words, the extinction of civil liability referred to in
16. That defendants, being employer and the employee
Par. (e) of Section 3, Rule 111, refers exclusively to civil
are jointly and severally liable for the death of Evangeline
liability founded on Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code,
M. Tangco.16
whereas the civil liability for the same act considered as
quasi-delict only and not as a crime is not extinguished
Thus, a reading of respondents' complaint shows that the latter even by a declaration in the criminal case that the criminal
are invoking their right to recover damages against Safeguard for act charged has not happened or has not been committed
their vicarious responsibility for the injury caused by Pajarillo's act by the accused. Briefly stated, We here hold, in reiteration
of shooting and killing Evangeline under Article 2176, Civil Code of Garcia, that culpa aquiliana includes voluntary and
which provides: negligent acts which may be punishable by law."
(Emphasis supplied)
The civil action filed by respondents was not derived from the arising from crime under Article 100 of the Revised Penal
criminal liability of Pajarillo in the criminal case but one based Code and an action for quasi-delict under Article 2176-
on culpa aquiliana or quasi-delict which is separate and distinct 2194 of the Civil Code. If a party chooses the latter, he
from the civil liability arising from crime.18 The source of the may hold the employer solidarily liable for the negligent
obligation sought to be enforced in the civil case is a quasi- act of his employee, subject to the employer's defense of
delict not an act or omission punishable by law. exercise of the diligence of a good father of the family.

In Bermudez v. Melencio-Herrera,19 where the issue involved was In the case at bar, the action filed by appellant was an
whether the civil action filed by plaintiff-appellants is founded on action for damages based on quasi-delict. The fact that
crime or on quasi-delict, we held: appellants reserved their right in the criminal case to
file an independent civil action did not preclude them
x x x The trial court treated the case as an action based from choosing to file a civil action for quasi-
on a crime in view of the reservation made by the delict.20 (Emphasis supplied)
offended party in the criminal case (Criminal Case No.
92944), also pending before the court, to file a separate Although the judgment in the criminal case finding Pajarillo guilty
civil action. Said the trial court: of Homicide is already final and executory, such judgment has no
relevance or importance to this case.21 It would have been entirely
It would appear that plaintiffs instituted this action on the different if respondents' cause of action was for damages arising
assumption that defendant Pontino's negligence in the from a delict, in which case the CA is correct in finding Safeguard
accident of May 10, 1969 constituted a quasi-delict. The to be only subsidiary liable pursuant to Article 103 of the Revised
Court cannot accept the validity of that assumption. In Penal Code.22
Criminal Case No. 92944 of this Court, plaintiffs had
already appeared as complainants. While that case was As clearly shown by the allegations in the complaint, respondents'
pending, the offended parties reserved the right to cause of action is based on quasi-delict. Under Article 2180 of the
institute a separate civil action. If, in a criminal case, the Civil Code, when the injury is caused by the negligence of the
right to file a separate civil action for damages is employee, there instantly arises a presumption of law that there
reserved, such civil action is to be based on crime and not was negligence on the part of the master or the employer either in
on tort. That was the ruling in Joaquin vs. Aniceto, L- the selection of the servant or employee, or in the supervision
18719, Oct. 31, 1964. over him after selection or both. The liability of the employer
under Article 2180 is direct and immediate. Therefore, it is
We do not agree. The doctrine in the case cited by the incumbent upon petitioners to prove that they exercised the
trial court is inapplicable to the instant case x x x. diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and
supervision of their employee.
xxxx
We must first resolve the issue of whether Pajarillo was negligent
In cases of negligence, the injured party or his heirs has in shooting Evangeline.
the choice between an action to enforce the civil liability
The issue of negligence is factual in nature. Whether a person is Any movement could have prompted Evangeline to pull the
negligent or not is a question of fact, which, as a general rule, we trigger to shoot him.
cannot pass upon in a petition for review on certiorari, as our
jurisdiction is limited to reviewing errors of law.23 Generally, Petitioner Pajarillo would like to justify his action in shooting
factual findings of the trial court, affirmed by the CA, are final and Evangeline on his mere apprehension that Evangeline will stage
conclusive and may not be reviewed on appeal. The established a bank robbery. However, such claim is befuddled by his own
exceptions are: (1) when the inference made is manifestly testimony. Pajarillo testified that prior to the incident, he saw
mistaken, absurd or impossible; (2) when there is grave abuse of Evangeline roaming under the fly over which was about 10
discretion; (3) when the findings are grounded entirely on meters away from the bank28 and saw her talking to a man
speculations, surmises or conjectures; (4) when the judgment of thereat;29 that she left the man under the fly-over, crossed the
the CA is based on misapprehension of facts; (5) when the street and approached the bank. However, except for the bare
findings of fact are conflicting; (6) when the CA, in making its testimony of Pajarillo, the records do not show that indeed
findings, went beyond the issues of the case and the same is Evangeline was seen roaming near the vicinity of the bank and
contrary to the admissions of both appellant and appellee; (7) acting suspiciously prior to the shooting incident. In fact, there is
when the findings of fact are conclusions without citation of no evidence that Pajarillo called the attention of his head guard or
specific evidence on which they are based; (8) when the CA the bank's branch manager regarding his concerns or that he
manifestly overlooked certain relevant facts not disputed by the reported the same to the police authorities whose outpost is just
parties and which, if properly considered, would justify a different about 15 meters from the bank.
conclusion; and (9) when the findings of fact of the CA are
premised on the absence of evidence and are contradicted by the Moreover, if Evangeline was already roaming the vicinity of the
evidence on record. [24] bank, she could have already apprised herself that Pajarillo, who
was posted outside the bank, was armed with a shotgun; that
A thorough review of the records of the case fails to show any there were two guards inside the bank30manning the entrance
cogent reason for us to deviate from the factual finding of the trial door. Thus, it is quite incredible that if she really had a
court and affirmed by the CA that petitioner Pajarillo was guilty of companion, she would leave him under the fly-over which is 10
negligence in shooting Evangeline. meters far from the bank and stage a bank robbery all by herself
without a back-up. In fact, she would have known, after surveying
Respondents' evidence established that Evangeline's purpose in the area, that aiming her gun at Pajarillo would not ensure
going to the bank was to renew her time deposit.25On the other entrance to the bank as there were guards manning the entrance
hand, Pajarillo claims that Evangeline drew a gun from her bag door.
and aimed the same at him, thus, acting instinctively, he shot her
in self-defense. Evidence, to be believed, must not only proceed from the mouth
of a credible witness, but it must be credible in itself — such as
Pajarillo testified that when Evangeline aimed the gun at him at a the common experience and observation of mankind can approve
distance of about one meter or one arm's length26he stepped as probable under the circumstances. We have no test of the
backward, loaded the chamber of his gun and shot her.27 It is truth of human testimony, except its conformity to our knowledge,
however unimaginable that petitioner Pajarillo could still make observation and experience. Whatever is repugnant to these
such movements if indeed the gun was already pointed at him. belongs to the miraculous and is outside judicial cognizance.31
That Evangeline just wanted to deposit her gun before entering As we have earlier held, Pajarillo failed to substantiate his claim
the bank and was actually in the act of pulling her gun from her that Evangeline was seen roaming outside the vicinity of the bank
bag when petitioner Pajarillo recklessly shot her, finds support and acting suspiciously prior to the shooting incident.
from the contentions raised in petitioners' petition for review Evangeline's death was merely due to Pajarillo's negligence in
where they argued that when Evangeline approached the bank, shooting her on his imagined threat that Evangeline will rob the
she was seen pulling a gun from inside her bag and petitioner bank.
Pajarillo who was suddenly beset by fear and perceived the act
as a dangerous threat, shot and killed the deceased out of pure Safeguard contends that it cannot be jointly held liable since it
instinct;32 that the act of drawing a gun is a threatening act, had adequately shown that it had exercised the diligence required
regardless of whether or not the gun was intended to be used in the selection and supervision of its employees. It claims that it
against petitioner Pajarillo;33 that the fear that was created in the had required the guards to undergo the necessary training and to
mind of petitioner Pajarillo as he saw Evangeline Tangco drawing submit the requisite qualifications and credentials which even the
a gun from her purse was suddenly very real and the former RTC found to have been complied with; that the RTC erroneously
merely reacted out of pure self-preservation.34 found that it did not exercise the diligence required in the
supervision of its employee. Safeguard further claims that it
Considering that unlawful aggression on the part of Evangeline is conducts monitoring of the activities of its personnel, wherein
absent, Pajarillo's claim of self-defense cannot be accepted supervisors are assigned to routinely check the activities of the
specially when such claim was uncorroborated by any separate security guards which include among others, whether or not they
competent evidence other than his testimony which was even are in their proper post and with proper equipment, as well as
doubtful. Pajarillo's apprehension that Evangeline will shoot him regular evaluations of the employees' performances; that the fact
to stage a bank robbery has no basis at all. It is therefore clear that Pajarillo loaded his firearm contrary to Safeguard's operating
that the alleged threat of bank robbery was just a figment of procedure is not sufficient basis to say that Safeguard had failed
Pajarillo's imagination which caused such unfounded unlawful its duty of proper supervision; that it was likewise error to say that
aggression on his part. Safeguard was negligent in seeing to it that the procedures and
policies were not properly implemented by reason of one
Petitioners argue that Evangeline was guilty of contributory unfortunate event.
negligence. Although she was a licensed firearm holder, she had
no business bringing the gun in such establishment where people We are not convinced.
would react instinctively upon seeing the gun; that had
Evangeline been prudent, she could have warned Pajarillo before Article 2180 of the Civil Code provides:
drawing the gun and did not conduct herself with suspicion by
roaming outside the vicinity of the bank; that she should not have Art. 2180. The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is
held the gun with the nozzle pointed at Pajarillo who mistook the demandable not only for one's own acts or omissions, but
act as hold up or robbery. also for those of persons for whom one is responsible.

We are not persuaded. xxxx


Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their We agree with the RTC's finding that Safeguard had exercised
employees and household helpers acting within the scope the diligence in the selection of Pajarillo since the record shows
of their assigned tasks, even though the former are not that Pajarillo underwent a psychological and neuro-psychiatric
engaged in any business or industry. evaluation conducted by the St. Martin de Porres Center where
no psychoses ideations were noted, submitted a certification on
xxxx the Pre-licensing training course for security guards, as well as
police and NBI clearances.
The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease
when the persons herein mentioned prove that they The RTC did not err in ruling that Safeguard fell short of the
observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to diligence required in the supervision of its employee, particularly
prevent damage. Pajarillo. In this case, while Safeguard presented Capt. James
Camero, its Director for Operations, who testified on the issuance
As the employer of Pajarillo, Safeguard is primarily and solidarily of company rules and regulations, such as the Guidelines of
liable for the quasi-delict committed by the former. Safeguard is Guards Who Will Be Assigned To Banks,37 Weapons
presumed to be negligent in the selection and supervision of his Training,38 Safeguard Training Center Marksmanship Training
employee by operation of law. This presumption may be Lesson Plan,39Disciplinary/Corrective Sanctions,40 it had also
overcome only by satisfactorily showing that the employer been established during Camero's cross-examination that
exercised the care and the diligence of a good father of a family Pajarillo was not aware of such rules and
in the selection and the supervision of its employee. regulations.41 Notwithstanding Camero's clarification on his re-
direct examination that these company rules and regulations are
lesson plans as a basis of guidelines of the instructors during
In the selection of prospective employees, employers are
classroom instructions and not necessary to give students copy of
required to examine them as to their qualifications, experience,
the same,42 the records do not show that Pajarillo had attended
and service records.35 On the other hand, due diligence in the
such classroom instructions.
supervision of employees includes the formulation of suitable
rules and regulations for the guidance of employees and the
issuance of proper instructions intended for the protection of the The records also failed to show that there was adequate training
public and persons with whom the employer has relations through and continuous evaluation of the security guard's performance.
his or its employees and the imposition of necessary disciplinary Pajarillo had only attended an in-service training on March 1,
measures upon employees in case of breach or as may be 1997 conducted by Toyota Sta. Rosa, his first assignment as
warranted to ensure the performance of acts indispensable to the security guard of Safeguard, which was in collaboration with
business of and beneficial to their employer. To this, we add that Safeguard. It was established that the concept of such training
actual implementation and monitoring of consistent compliance was purely on security of equipments to be guarded and
with said rules should be the constant concern of the employer, protection of the life of the employees.43
acting through dependable supervisors who should regularly
report on their supervisory functions.36 To establish these factors It had not been established that after Pajarillo's training in Toyota,
in a trial involving the issue of vicarious liability, employers must Safeguard had ever conducted further training of Pajarillo when
submit concrete proof, including documentary evidence. he was later assigned to guard a bank which has a different
nature of business with that of Toyota. In fact, Pajarillo testified
that being on duty in a bank is different from being on duty in a respondent Lauro to lose a wife and a mother to six children who
factory since a bank is a very sensitive area.44 were all minors at the time of her death. In People v. Teehankee,
Jr.,47 we awarded one million pesos as moral damages to the
Moreover, considering his reactions to Evangeline's act of just heirs of a seventeen-year-old girl who was murdered. In Metro
depositing her firearm for safekeeping, i.e., of immediately Manila Transit Corporation v. Court of Appeals,48 we likewise
shooting her, confirms that there was no training or seminar given awarded the amount of one million pesos as moral damages to
on how to handle bank clients and on human psychology. the parents of a third year high school student and who was also
their youngest child who died in a vehicular accident since the
Furthermore, while Safeguard would like to show that there were girl's death left a void in their lives. Hence, we hold that the
inspectors who go around the bank two times a day to see the respondents are also entitled to the amount of one million pesos
daily performance of the security guards assigned therein, there as Evangeline's death left a void in the lives of her husband and
was no record ever presented of such daily inspections. In fact, if minor children as they were deprived of her love and care by her
there was really such inspection made, the alleged suspicious act untimely demise.
of Evangeline could have been taken noticed and reported.
We likewise uphold the award of exemplary damages in the
Turning now to the award of damages, we find that the award of amount of P300,000.00. Under Article 2229 of the Civil Code,
actual damages in the amount P157,430.00 which were the exemplary damages are imposed by way of example or
expenses incurred by respondents in connection with the burial of correction for the public good, in addition to moral, temperate,
Evangeline were supported by receipts. The award of P50,000.00 liquidated or compensatory damages.49 It is awarded as a
as civil indemnity for the death of Evangeline is likewise in order. deterrent to socially deleterious actions. In quasi-delict,
exemplary damages may be granted if the defendant acted with
gross negligence.50
As to the award of moral damages, Article 2206 of the Civil Code
provides that the spouse, legitimate children and illegitimate
descendants and ascendants of the deceased may demand Pursuant to Article 2208 of the Civil Code, attorney's fees may be
moral damages for mental anguish by reason of the death of the recovered when, as in the instant case, exemplary damages are
deceased. Moral damages are awarded to enable the injured awarded. Hence, we affirm the award of attorney's fees in the
party to obtain means, diversions or amusements that will serve amount of P30,000.00.
to alleviate the moral suffering he/she has undergone, by reason
of the defendant's culpable action. Its award is aimed at WHEREFORE, the petition for review is DENIED. The Decision
restoration, as much as possible, of the spiritual status quo dated July 16, 2004 of the Court of Appeals
ante; thus it must be proportionate to the suffering inflicted.45 The is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION that the civil liability of
intensity of the pain experienced by the relatives of the victim is petitioner Safeguard Security Agency, Inc.
proportionate to the intensity of affection for him and bears no is SOLIDARYand PRIMARY under Article 2180 of the Civil Code.
relation whatsoever with the wealth or means of the offender.46
SO ORDERED.
In this case, respondents testified as to their moral suffering
caused by Evangeline's death was so sudden causing