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[No. L-11037.

December 29, 1960]

EDGARDO CARIAGA, ET AL., plaintiffs and appellants vs. E. A. Fernandez and L. H. Fernandez for plaintiffs and
LAGUNA TAYABAS BUS COMPANY, def endant and appellants.
appellant. MANILA RAILROAD COMPANY, defendant and
Gov't Corp. Counsel A. Padilla and Atty. F. A. Umali for
appellee.
appellee.
1.DAMAGES; MORAL DAMAGES; RECOVERABLE ONLY IN
DIZON, J.:
INSTANCES ENUMERATED IN ART. 2219 OF THE CIVIL CODE.—
Article 2219 of the Civil Code enumerates the instances when At about 1:00 p. m. on June 18, 1952, Bus No. 133 of the
moral damages may be recovered. Plaintiffs' claim for moral Laguna Tayabas Bus Company—hereinafter referred to as the
damages not falling under any one of them, the same cannot be LTB—driven by Alfredo Moncada, left its station at Azcarraga
granted. St., Manila, for Lilio, Laguna, with Edgardo Cariaga, a fourth-
year medical student of the University of Santos Tomas, as one
2.ID.; ID.; WHEN RECOVERABLE FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT
of its passengers. At about 3:00 p. m., as the bus reached that
UNDER ART. 2220 OF THE CIVIL CODE.—Neither could
part of the población of Bay, Laguna, where the national
defendant LTB be held liable to pay moral damages to plaintiffs
highway crossed a railroad track, it bumped against the engine
under Art. 2220 of the Civil Code on account of breach of its
of a train then passing by with such terrific force that the first
contract of carriage because said defendant did not act
six wheels of the latter were derailed, the engine and front part
fraudulently or in bad faith in connection therewith.
of the body of the bus were wrecked, the driver of the bus died
3.ID.; ACTUAL AND COMPENSATORY DAMAGES; ONLY PARTIES instantly, while many of its passengers, Edgardo among them,
TO CONTRACTS BREACHED ARE ENTITLED TO were severely injured. Edgardo was first confined at the San
COMPENSATORY DAMAGES RESULTING THEREFROM—Since Pablo City Hospital from 5:00 p.m., June 18, 1952, to 8:25 a.
the present action is based upon a breach of contract of carriage m., June 20 of the same year when he was taken to the De los
and plaintiff's parents were not a party thereto and were not Santos Clinic, Quezon City. He left that clinic on October 14 to
themselves injured as a result of the collision, their claim for be transferred to the University of Santo Tomás Hospital where
actual and compensatory damages is without merit. he stayed up to November 15. On this last date he was taken
back to the De los Santos Clinic where he stayed until January
4.ATTORNEYS-AT-LAW ; ATTORNEY'S FEES; CASE NOT
15, 1953. He was unconscious during the first 35 days after the
FALLING UNDER ANY OF THE INSTANCES ENUMERATED IN
accident: at the De los Santos Clinic Dr. Gustilo removed the
ART. 2208 OF THE ClVIL CODE.—The present case not falling
fractured bones which lacerated the right frontal lobe of his
under any of the instances enumerated in Article 2208 of the
brain and at the University of Santo Tomas Hospital Dr. Gustilo
Civil Code, plaintiffs are not entitled to recover attorney's fees.
performed another operation to cover a big hole 011 the right
APPEAL from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of frontal part of the head with a tantalum plate.
Laguna. Alikpala, J.
The LTB paid the sum of P16,964.45 for all the hospital, medical
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court. and miscellaneous expenses incurred from June 18, 1952 to
April 1953. From January 15, 1953 up to ApriI of the same year
Ozaeta, Lichauco & Picazo for defendant and appellant. Edgardo stayed in a private house in Quezon City, the LTB
having agreed to give him a subsistence allowance of P10.00 We shall first dispose of the appeal of the bus company. Its first
daily during his convalescence, having spent in this connection contention is that the driver of the train locomotive, like the bus
the total sum of P775.30 in addition to the amount already driver, violated the law, first, in sounding the whistle only when
referred to. the collision was about to take place instead of at a distance at
least 300 meters from the crossing, and second, in not ringing
On April 24, 1953 the present action was filed to recover for
the locomotive bell at all. Both contentions are without merits.
Edgardo Cariaga, from the LTB and the MRR Co., the total sum
of P312,000.00 as actual, compensatory, moral and exemplary After considering the evidence presented by both parties the
damages, and for his parents, the sum of P18,000.00 in the lower court expressly found:
same concepts. The LTB disclaimed liability claiming that the
"* * * While the train was approximately 300 meters from the
accident was due to the negligence of its co-defendant, the
crossing, the engineer sounded two long; and two short whistles
Manila Railroad Company, for not providing a crossing bar at
and upon reaching a point about 100 meters from the highway,
the point where the national highway crossed the railway track,
he sounded a long whistle which lasted up to the time the train
and for this reason filed the corresponding cross-claim against
was about to cross it. The bus proceeded on its way without
the latter company to recover the total sum of P18,194.75
slackening its speed and it bumped against the train engine,
representing the expenses paid to Edgardo Cariaga. The Manila
causing the first six wheels of the latter to be derailed."
Railroad Company, in turn, denied liability upon the complaint
and cross-claim, alleging that it was the reckless negligence of * * * * * * * "* * * that the train whistle had been
the bus driver that caused the accident. sounded several times before it reached the crossing;. All
witnesses for the plaintiffs and the defendants are uniform in
The lower court held that it was the negligence of the bus driver
stating that they heard the train whistle sometime before the
that caused the accident and, as a result, rendered judgment
impact and considering that some of them were in the bus at the
sentencing the LTB to pay Edgardo Cariaga the sum of
time, the driver thereof must have heard it because he was
P10,490.00 as compensatory damages. with interest at the legal
seated on the left front part of the bus and it was his duty and
rate from the filing of the complaint, and dismissing the cross-
concern to observe such fact in connection with the safe
claim against the Manila Railroad Company. From this decision
operation of the vehicle. The other L.T.B. bus which arrived
the Cariagas and the LTB appealed.
ahead at the crossing, heeded the warning- by stopping and
The Cariagas claim that the trial court erred: in awarding only allowing the train to pass and so nothing happened to said
P10,490.00 as compensatory damages to Edgardo; in not vehicle. On the ther hand, the driver of the bus No. 133 totally
awarding them actual and moral damages, and in not ignored the whistle and noise produced by the approaching train
sentencing appellant LTB to pay attorney's fees. and instead he tried to make the bus pass the crossing before
the train by not stopping' a few meters from the railway track
On the other hand, the LTB's principal contention in this appeal
and in proceeding ahead."
is that the trial court should have held that the collision was due
to the fault of both the locomotive driver and the bus driver and The above findings of the lower court are predicated mainly upon
erred, as a consequence, in not holding the Manila Railroad the testimony of Gregorio Ilusondo, a witness for the Manila
Company liable upon the cross-claim filed against it. Railroad Company. Notwithstanding the efforts exerted by the
LTB to assail his credibility, we do not find in the record any fact
or circumstance sufficient to discredit his testimony. We have,
therefore, no other alternative but to accept the findings of the reduced his intelligence by about 50 % ; that due to the
trial court to the eff ect, firstly, that the whistle of the locomotive replacement of the right frontal bone of his head with a tantalum
was sounded four times—two long and two short—"as the train plate Edgardo has to lead a quite and retired life because "if the
was approximately 300 meters from the crossing"; secondly, that tantalum plate is pressed in or dented it would cause his death."
another LTB bus which arrived at the crossing ahead of the one
The impression one gathers f rom this evidence is that, as a
where Edgardo Cariaga was a passenger, paid heed to the
result of the physical injuries suffered by Edgardo Cariaga, he
warning and stopped before the "crossing", while—as the LTB
is now in a helpless condition, virtually an invalid, both
itself now admits (Brief p. 5)—the driver of the bus in question
physically and mentally.
totally disregarded the warning.
Appellant LTB admits that under Art. 2201 of the Civil Code the
But to charge the MRR Co. with contributory negligence, the LTB
damages for which the obligor, guilty of a breach of contract but
claims that the engineer of the locomotive failed to ring the bell
who acted in good faith, is liable shall be those that are the
altogether, in violation of section 91 of Article 1459, incorporated
natural and probable consequences of the breach and which the
in the charter of the said MRR Co. This contention—as is
parties had foreseen or could have reasonably foreseen at the
obvious—is the very f oundation of the cross-claim interposed
time the obligation was constituted, provided such damages,
by the LTB against its co-defendant. The former, therefore, had
according to Art. 2199 of the same Code, have been duly proved.
the burden of proving it affirmatively because a violation of law
Upon this premise it claims that only the actual damages
is never presumed. The record discloses that this burden has
suffered by Edgardo Cariaga consisting of medical, hospital and
not been satisfactorily discharged.
other expenses in the total sum of P17,719.75 are within this
The Cariagas, as appellants, claim that the award of P10,000.00 category. We are of the opinion, however, that the income which
compensatory damages to Edgardo is inadequate considering Edgardo Cariaga could earn if he should finish the medical
the nature and the after effects of the physical injuries suffered course and pass the corresponding board examinations must be
by him. After a careful consideration of the evidence on this deemed to be within the same category because they could have
point we find their contention to be well founded. reasonably been foreseen by the parties at the time he boarded
the bus No. 133 owned and operated by the LTB. At that time
From the deposition of Dr. Romeo Gustilo, a neurosurgeon, it
he was already a fourth-year student in medicine in a reputable
appears that, as a result of the injuries suffered by Edgardo, his
university. While his scholastic record may not be first rate
right forehead was fractured necessitating the removal of
(Exhibits 4, 4-A to 4C), it is, nevertheless, sufficient to justify the
practically all of the right frontal lobe of his brain. From the
assumption that he could have finished the course and would
testimony of Dr. Jose A. Fernandez, a psychiatrist, it may be
have passed the board test in due time. As regards the income
gathered that, because of the physical injuries suffered by
that he could possibly earn as a medical practitioner, it appears
Edgardo, his mentality has been so reduced that he can no
that, according to Dr. Amado Doria, a witness for the LTB, the
longer finish his studies as a medical student; that he has
amount of P300.00 could easily be expected as the minimum
become completely misfit for any kind of work; that he can
monthly income of Edgardo had he finished his studies.
hardly walk around without someone helping him, and has to
use a brace on his left leg and feet. Upon consideration of all the facts mentioned heretofore, this
Court is of the opinion, and so holds, that the compensatory
Upon the whole evidence on the matter, the lower court found
damages awarded to Edgardo Cariaga should be increased to
that the removal of the right frontal lobe of the brain of Edgardo
P25,000.00.
"Considering, therefore, the nature of plaintiff's action in this
case, is he entitled to compensation for moral damages? Article
Edgardo Cariaga's claim for moral damages and attorney's fees
2219 of the Civil Code says the following:
was denied by the trial court, the pertinent portion of its decision
reading as follows: 'Art. 2219. Moral damages may be recovered in the following and
analogous cases:
"Plaintiffs' claim for moral damages cannot also be granted.
Article 2219 of the Civil Code enumerates the instances when (1) A criminal offense resulting in physical injuries;
moral damages may be covered and the case under
(2) Quasi-delicts causing physical injuries;
consideration does not fall under any one of them. The present
action cannot come under paragraph 2 of said article because it (3) Seduction, abduction, rape, or other lascivious acts;
is not one of quasidelict and cannot be considered as such
because of the pre-existing contractual relation between the (4) Adultery or concubinage;
Laguna Tayabas Bus Company and Edgardo Cariaga. Neither (5) Illegal or arbitrary detention or arrest;
could defendant Laguna Tayabas Bus Company be held liable to
pay moral damages to Edgardo Cariaga under Article 2220 of (6) Illegal search;
the Civil Code on account of breach of its contract of carriage
(7) Libel, slander or any other form of defamation;
because said defendant did not act fraudulently or in bad faith
in connection therewith. Defendant Laguna Tayabas Bus (8) Malicious prosecution;
Company had exercised due diligence in the selection and
(9) Acts mentioned in Article 309;
supervision of its employees like the drivers of its buses in
connection with the discharge of their duties and so it must be (10) Acts and actions referred to in Articles 21, 26, 27, 28, 29,
considered an obligor in good faith. 30, 32, 34 and 35.
"The plaintiff Edgardo Cariaga is also not entitled to recover for * * * * *
attorney's fees, because this case does not fall under any of the
instances enumerated in Article 2208 of the Civil Code." "Of the cases enumerated in the just quoted Article 2219 only
the first two may have any bearing on the case at bar. We find,
We agree with the trial court and, to the reasons given above, we however, with regard to the first that the defendant herein has
add those given by this Court in Cachero vs. Manila Yellow not committed in connection with this case any 'criminal offense
Taxicab Co., Inc. (101 Phil., 523, 530, 533) : resulting in physical injuries'. The one that committed the
offense against the plaintiff is Gregorio Mira, and that is why he
"A mere perusal of plaintiff's complaint will show that his action
has been already prosecuted and punished therefor. Altho (a)
against the defendant is predicated on an alleged breach of
owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise are
contract of carriage, i.e., the failure of the defendant to bring him
responsible for damages caused by their employees in the
'safely and without mishaps' to his destination, and it is to be
service of the branches in which the latter are employed or on
noted that the chauffeur of defendant's taxicab that plaintiff
the occasion of their functions; (b) employers are likewise liable
used when he received the injuries involved herein, Gregorio
Mira, has not even been made a party defendant to this case. for damages caused by their employees and household helpers
acting within the scope of their assigned task (Article 218 of the
Civil Code); and (c) employers and corporations engaged in any
kind of industry are subsidiary civilly liable for felonies "In the case of Cangco, vs. Manila Railroad, 38 Phil. 768, We
committed by their employees in the discharge of their duties established the distinction between obligation derived from
(Art. 103, Revised Penal Code), plaintiff herein does not maintain negligence and obligation as a result of a breach of contract.
this action under the provisions of any of the articles of the codes Thus, we said:
just mentioned and against all the persons who might be liable
'lt is important to note that the foundation of the legal liability
for the damages caused, but as a result of an admitted breach
of the defendant is the contract of carriage, and that the
of contract of carriage and against the defendant employer
obligation to respond for the damage which plaintiff has suffered
alone. We, therefore, hold that the case at bar does not come
arises, if at all, from the breach of that contract by reason of the
within the exception of paragraph 1, Article 2219 of the Civil
failure of defendant to exercise due care in its performance. That
Code.
is to say, its liability is direct and immediate, differing essentially
"The present complaint is not based either on a 'quasi-delict in the legal viewpoint from that presumptive responsibility for
causing physical injuries' (Art. 2219, par. 2, of the Civil Code). the negligence of its servants, imposed by Article 1903 of the
From the report of the Code Commission on the new Civil Code Civil Code (Art. 2180 of the new), which can be rebutted by proof
We copy the following: of the exercise of due care in their selection of supervision.
Article 1903 is not applicable to obligations arising EX
'A question of nomenclature confronted the Commission. After a
CONTRACTU, but only to extra-contractual obligations—or to
careful deliberation, it was agreed to use the term 'quasi-delict'
use the technical form of expression, that article relates only to
for those obligations which do not arise from law, contracts,
CULPA AQUILIANA.' and not to CULPA CONTRACTUAL.'
quasi-contracts, or criminal offenses. They are known in
Spanish legal treatises as 'culpa, aquiliana', culpa-extra- "The decisions in the cases of Castro vs. Acro Taxicab Co., (82
contractual' or 'cuasi-delitos'. The phrase 'culpa-extra- Phil., 359; 46 Off. Gaz., No. 5, p. 2023); Lilius et al. vs. Manila
contractual' or its translation 'extra-contractual-fault' was Railroad, 59 Phil., 758) and others, wherein moral damages were
eliminated because it did not exclude quasi-contractual or penal awarded to the plaintiffs, are not applicable to the case at bar
obligations. 'Aquilian fault' might have been selected, but it was because said decisions were rendered before the effectivity of the
thought inadvisable to refer to so ancient a law as the 'Lex new Civil Code (August 30, 1950) and for the further reason that
Aquilia'. So 'quasi-delict' was chosen, which more nearly the complaints filed therein were based on different causes of
corresponds to the Roman Law classification of obligations, and action.
is in harmony with the nature of this kind of liability.'
"In view of the foregoing the sum of P2,000 awarded as moral
The Commission also thought of the possibility of adopting the damages by the trial court has to be eliminated, for under the
word "tort" from Anglo-American law. But "tort" under that law it is not a compensation awardable in a case like the one at
system is much broader than the Spanish-Philippine concept of bar."
obligations arising from non-contractual negligence. 'Tort' in
What has been said heretofore relative to the moral damages
AngloAmerican jurisprudence includes not only negligence, but
claimed by Edgardo Cariaga obviously applies with greater force
also intentional criminal act, such as assault and battery, false
to a similar claim (4th assignment of error) made by his parents.
imprisonment and deceit. In the general plan of the Philippine
legal system, intentional and malicious acts are governed by the
Penal Code, although certain exceptions are made in the
Project/ (Report of the Code Commission, pp. 161-162).
The claim made by said spouses for actual and compensatory
damages is likewise without merits. As held by the trial court, in
so far as the LTB is concerned, the present action is based upon
a breach of contract of carriage to which said spouses were not
a party, and neither can they premise their claim upon the
negligence or quasidelict of the LTB f or the simple reason that
they were not themselves injured as a result of the collision
between the LTB bus and the train owned by the Manila Railroad
Company.

Wherefore, modified as above indicated, the appealed


judgment is hereby affirmed in all other respects, with costs
against appellant LTB.
Parás, C. J., Bengzon, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Reyes, J.
B. L., Barrera, Gutierrez David, and Paredes, JJ., concur.
Judgment affirmed with modification.
Cariaga vs. Laguna Tayabas Bus Company, 110 Phil. 346, No.
L-11037 December 29, 1960
VOL. 31, FEBRUARY 18, 1970 capacity, or his capacity to acquire money less than the
necessary expense for his own living. Stated otherwise, the
Villa Rey Transit, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals
amount recoverable is not the loss of the entire earning, but
No. L-25499. February 18, 1970. rather the loss of that portion of the earnings which the
beneficiary would have received. In other words, only net
VILLA REY TRANSIT,INC., petitioner, vs. THE COURT OF earnings not ffross earning, are to be considered, that is, the
APPEALS,TRINIDAD A. QUINTOS,PRIMA A QUINTOS, AND total of the earnings less expenses necessary in the creation of
JULITA A. QUINTOS, respondents. such earning or income and less living and other incidental
Civil law; Damages; Computation of indemnity; Life expectancy of expenses.
victim as basis in fixing amount recoverable.—Life expectancy of PETITION for review by certiorari of a decision of the Court of
the victim is, not only relevant, but also an important element Appeals,
in fixing the amount recoverable as damages. Although it is not
the sole element determinative of said amount no cogent reason The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.
has been given to warrant its disregard and the adoption of a
Laurea & Pison for petitioner.
purely arbitrary standard such as a four-year rule.
Bonifacio M. Abad, Jr. for respondents.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Case at bar distinguished from
Alcantara v. Svrro, 93 Phil. 472.—The ruling in Alcantara v. CONCEPCION, CJ.:
Surro in which the damages were computed on a four-year
Petitioner, Villa Rey Transit, Inc., seeks the review-by certiorari
basis, despite the fact that the victim therein was 39 years old
of a decision of the Court of Appeals affirming that of the Court
at the time of his death and had a life expectancy of 28.90 years,
of First Instance of Pangasinan,. The basic facts are set forth in
does not apply in the instant ease. In the first case, none of the
said decision of the Court of Appeals, from which We quote:
parties had questioned the propriety of the four-year basis
adopted by the trial court in making its award of damages, but “At about 1:30 in the morning of March 17, 1960, an Izuzu First
in the instant case, the question was squarely presented as Class passenger bus owned and operated by the defendant,
issue. bearing Plate No, TPU-14871-Bulacan and driven by Laureano
Casim, left Lingayen, Pangasinan, for Manila. Among its paying
Same; Same; Same: Determination of losses or damage sustained
passengers was the deceased, Policronio Quintos, Jr. who sat on
by dependents and intestate heirs of the deceased; Earning
the first seat, second row, right side of the bus. At about 4:55
capacity, how included.—In the determination of the losses or
o’clock a.m. when the vehicle was nearing the northern
damages sustained by dependents and intestate heirs of the
approach of the Sadsaran Bridge on the national highway in
deceased, said damages consist not of the full amount of his
barrio Sto. Domingo, municipality of Minalin, Pampanga, it
earnings, but of the support they received or would have
frontally hit the rear side of a bullcart filled with hay. As a result
received from him had he not died in consequence of the
the end of a bamboo pole placed on top of the hayload and tied
negligence of defendant. In fixing the amount of that support,
to the cart to hold it in place, hit the right side of the windshield
the necessary expenses of deceased of his own living should be
of the bus. The protruding end of the bamboo pole, about 8 feet
deducted from his earnings?. Thus, it has been consistently held
long from the rear of the bullcart, penetrated through the glass
that earning capacity, as an element of damages to one’s estate
windshield and landed on the face of Policronio Quintos, Jr.
for his death by wrongful act is necessarily his net earning
who, because of the impact, fell from his seat and was sprawled carriage. As the complaint alleged a total damage of only
on the floor. The pole landed on his left eye and the bone of the P63,750.00 although as elsewhere shown in this decision the
left side of his face was fractured. He suffered other multiple damages for wake and burial expenses, loss of income, death of
wounds and was rendered unconscious due, among other the victim, and attorneys fee reach the aggregate of F79.615.95,
causes to severe cerebral concussion. A La Mallorca passenger this Court finds it just that said damages be assessed at total of
bus going in the opposite direction towards San Fernando, only P63,750.00 as prayed for in plaintiffs’ amended complaint.”
Pampanga, reached the scene of the mishap and it was stopped
The despositive part of the decision of the trial Court reads:
by Patrolman Felino Bacani of the municipal police force of
Minalin who, in the meantime, had gone to the scene to “WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered ordering the
investigate. Patrolman Bacani placed Policronio Quintos, Jr. and defendant to pay to the plaintiffs the amount of P63.750.00 as
three other injured men who rode on the bullcart aboard the La damages for breach of contract of carriage resulting from the
Mallorca bus and brought them to the provincial hospital of death of Policronio Quintos, Jr.” which, as above indicated, was
Pampanga at San Fernando for medical assistance. affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Hence, the present petition for
Notwithstanding such assistance, Policronio Quintos, Jr. died at review on cer= tiorari, filed by Villa Rey Transit, Inc.
3:15 p.m. on the same day, March 17, 1960, due to traumatic
shock due to cerebral injuries.” The only issue raised in this appeal is the amount of
damages recoverable by private respondents herein. The
The private respondents, Trinidad, Prima and Julita, all determination of such amount depends, mainly upon two (2)
surnamed Quintos, are the sisters and only surviving heirs of factors, namely: (1) the number of years on the basis of
Policronio Quintos,, Jr., who died single, leaving no descendants which the damages shall be computed and (2) the rate at
nor ascendants. Said respondents herein brought this action which the losses sustained by said respondents should be
against heroin petitioner, Villa Rey Transit, Inc., as owner and fixed.
operator of said passenger bus, bearing Plate No. TPU-14871-
Bulacan. for breach of the contract of carriage between said The first factor was based by the trial court—the view of which
petitioner and the deceased Policronio Quintos, Jr,, to recover was concurred in by the Court of Appeals—upon the life
the aggregate sum of P63,750.00 as damages, including expectancy of Policronio Quintos, Jr., which was placed at 33-
attorney’s fees. Said petitioner—defendant in the court of first 1/3 years—he being over 29 years of age (or around 30 years for
instance—contended that the mishap was due to a fortuitous purposes of computation) at the time of his demise—by applying
event, but this pretense was rejected by the trial court and the the formula (2/3 x [80-30] = life expectancy) adopted in the
Court of Appeals, both of which found that the accident and the American Expectancy Table of Mortality or the actuarial of
death of Policronio had been due to the negligence of the bus Combined Experience Table of Mortality. Upon the other hand,
driver, for whom petitioner was liable under its contract of petitioner maintains that the lower courts had erred in adopting
carriage with the deceased. In the language of His Honor, the said formula and in not acting in accordance with Alcantara v.
trial Judge: Surro 1 in which the damages were computed on a four (4) year
basis, despite the fact that the victim therein was 39 years old,
“The mishap was not the result of any unforeseeable fortuitous at the time of his death, and had a life expectancy of 28.90 years.
event or emergency but was the direct result of the negligence of
the driver of the defendant. The defendant must, therefore, The case cited is not, however, controlling in the one at bar. In
respond for damages resulting from its breach of contract for the Alcantara case, none of the parties had questioned the
propriety of the four-year basis adopted by the trial court in the Court of Appeals has not erred in basing the computation of
making its award of damages. Both parties appealed, but only petitioner’s liability upon the life expectancy of Policronio
as regards the amount thereof. The plaintiffs assailed the non- Quintos, Jr.
inclusion, in its computation, of the bonus that the corporation,
With respect to the rate at which the damages shall be
which was the victim’s employer, had awarded to deserving
computed, petitioner impugns the decision appealed from upon
officers and employees, based upon the profits earned less than
the ground that the damages awarded therein will have to be
two (2) months before the accident that resulted in his death.
paid now, whereas most of those sought to be indemnified will
The defendants, in turn, objected to the sum awarded for the
be suffered years later: This argument is basically true, and this
fourth year, which was treble that of the previous years, based
is, perhaps, one of the reasons why the Alcantara case points
upon the increases given, in that fourth year, to other employees
out the absence of a ‘‘fixed basis” for the ascertainment of the
of the same corporation. Neither this objection nor said claim for
damages recoverable in litigations like the one at bar. Just the
inclusion of the bonus was sustained by this Court. Accordingly,
same, the force of the said argument of petitioner herein is offset
the same had not thereby laid down any rule on the length of
by the fact that, although payment of the award in the case at
time to be used in the computation of damages. On the contrary,
bar will have to take place upon the finality of the decision
it declared:
therein, the liability of petitioner herein had been fixed at the
“The determination of the indemnity to be awarded to the heirs rate only of P2,184.00 a year, which is the annual salary of
of a deceased person has therefore no fixed basis. Much is left Policronio Quintos, Jr. at the time of his death, as a young
to the discretion of the court considering the moral and material “training assistant” in the Bacnotan Cement Industries, Inc. In
damages involved, and so it has been said that “(t)here can be other words, unlike the Alcantara case, on which petitioner
no exact or uniform rule for measuring the value of a human life relies, the lower courts did not consider, in the present case,
and the measure of damages cannot be arrived at by precise Policronio’s potentiality and capacity to increase his future
mathematical calculation, but the amount recoverable depends income. Indeed, upon the conclusion of his training period, he
on the particular facts and circumstances of each case. The life was supposed to have a better job and be promoted from time to
expectancy of the deceased or of the beneficiary, whichever is time, and, hence, to earn more, if not—considering the growing
shorter, is an important factor.’ (25 C.J.S. 1241.) Other factors importance of trade, commerce and industry and the
that are usually considered are: (1) pecuniary loss to plaintiff or concomitant rise in the income level of officers and employees
beneficiary (25 C.J.S. 1243-1250); (2) loss of support (25 CJS., therein—much more.
1250-1251); (3) loss of service (25 C.J.S. 1251-1254); (4) loss of
At this juncture, it should be noted, also, that We are mainly
society (25 C.J.S. 1254-1255); (5) mental suffering of
concerned with the determination of the losses or damages
beneficiaries (25 C.J.S., 1258-1259); and (6) medical and funeral
sustained by the private respondents, as dependents and
expenses (25 C.J.S., 1264-1260).”2
intestate heirs of the deceased, and that said damages consist,
Thus, life expectancy is, not only relevant, but, also, an not of the full amount of his earnings, but of the support they
important element in fixing the amount recoverable by private received or would have received from him had he not died in
respondents herein. Although it is not the sole element consequence of the negligence of petitioner’s agent. In fixing the
determinative of said amount, no cogent reason has been given amount of that support, We must reckon with the “necessary
to warrant its disregard and the adoption, in the case at bar, of expenses of his own living”, which should be deducted from his
a purely arbitrary standard, such as a four-year rule. In short, earnings. Thus, it has been consistently held that earning
capacity, as an element of damages to one’s estate for his death Notes.—Damages arising from death; factors to consider.—The
by wrongful act is necessarily his net earning capacity or his life expectancy of the accident victim may be an important factor
capacity to acquire money, “less the necessary expense for his to consider in assessing damages arising from death; but there
own living3 Stated otherwise, the amount recoverable is not loss is local authority for the proposition that the damages could be
of the entire earning, but rather the loss of that portion of the greatly enhanced by showing the personal characteristics of the
earnings which the beneficiary would have received.4 In other deceased (Manzares vs. Moreta, 38 Phil. 821).
words, only net earnings, not gross earning, are to be
It has, however, been held that it is not necessarily error for the
considered5 that is, the total of the earnings less expenses
court to rest its determination of damages in a wrongful death
creation of such earnings or income6 and less living and other
action on less than all the factors which might be considered
incidental expenses.
(Alcantara vs. Surro, L-4555, July 23, 1953, 49 O.G. 2769).
All things considered, We are of the opinion that it is fair and
As to the amount of damages recoverable by the heirs of a
reasonable to fix the deductible living and other expenses of the
deceased bus line passenger who was burned to death after the
deceased at the sum of Pl,184.00 a year, or about P100.00 a
bus caught fire during rescue attempts following a wreck,
month, and that, consequently, the loss sustained by his sisters
negligence of defendant bus-line operator, through his agents
may be roughly estimated at Pl,000.00 a year or P33,333.33 for
and servants, being found to be the proximate cause of death, it
the 33-1/3 years of his life expectancy. To this sum of
was held that the plaintiffs were entitled to recover, considering
F33,333.33, the following should be added: (a) P12,000.00,
the earning* capacity of the deceased, as well as other elements
pursuant to Arts. 104 and 107 of the Revised Penal Code, in
of damages, P6,000 as compensation for actual, moral and other
relation to Article 2206 of our Civil Code, as construed and
damages (Bataclan vs. Medina, L-10126, Oct. 22, 1957).
applied by this Court;8 (b) Pl,727.95, actually spent by private
respondents for medical and burial expenses; and (c) attorney’s In a civil action to recover damages for the death of a woman
fee, which was fixed by the trial court, at P500.00, but which, in while riding as a passenger in defendant’s bus, it appearing that
view of the appeal taken by petitioner herein, first to the Court she was 33 years old at the time, with minor children, and had
of Appeals and later to this Supreme Court, should be increased average earnings of P120 a month, an award of F15,000 as
to P2,500.00. In other words, the amount adjudged in the indemnity to her heirs was considered adequate to cover the loss
decision appealed from should be reduced to the aggregate sum of her earnings and deprivation of her protection, guidance and
of r49,561.28, with interest thereon, at the legal rate, from company, together with property losses in the amount of P394
December 29, 1961, date of the promulgation of the decision of in the form of cash, etc., carried at the time of the accident,
the trial court. burial expenses, etc. (Necesteo vs. Paras, L-10605, June 30,
1958).
Thus modified, said decision and that of the Court of
Appeals are hereby affirmed, in all other respects, with costs Villa Rey Transit, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals, 31 SCRA 511, No.
against petitioner, Villa Rey Transit, Inc. It is so ordered. L-25499 February 18, 1970
Reyes, J.B.L., Dizon, Makalintal, Zaldivar, Sanchez, Castro,
Fernando, Teehankee, Barredo and Villamor, JJ., concur.
Decision affirmed with modification.
Korean Airlines Co., Ltd. vs. Court of Appeals informing Lapuz of his being a “wait-listed” passenger, a KAL
officer rudely shouted “Down! Down!” while pointing at him,
G.R. No. 114061. August 3, 1994.*
thus causing him embarrassment and public humiliation.
KOREAN AIRLINES CO., LTD., petitioner, vs. COURT OF
Same; Same; Damages; Damages are not intended to enrich the
APPEALS and JUANITO C. LAPUZ, respondents.
complainant at the expense of the defendant and there is no hard-
G.R. No. 113842. August 3, 1994.* and-fast rule in the determination of what would be a fair amount
of moral damages since each case must be governed by its own
JUANITO C. LAPUZ, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and peculiar facts.—The well-entrenched principle is that moral
KOREAN AIRLINES CO., LTD., respondents. damages depend upon the discretion of the court based on the
Appeals; Findings of fact of the Court of Appeals and the other circumstances of each case. This discretion is limited by the
lower courts are as a rule binding upon the Supreme Court.—It is principle that the “amount awarded should not be palpably and
evident that the issues raised in these petitions relate mainly to scandalously excessive” as to indicate that it was the result of
the correctness of the factual findings of the Court of Appeals prejudice or corruption on the part of the trial court. Damages
and the award of damages. The Court has consistently affirmed are not intended to enrich the complainant at the expense of the
that the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals and the other defendant. They are awarded only to alleviate the moral suffering
lower courts are as a rule binding upon it, subject to certain that the injured party had undergone by reason of the
exceptions. As nothing in the record indicates any of such defendant’s culpable action. There is no hard-and-fast rule in
exceptions, the factual conclusions of the appellate court must the determination of what would be a fair amount of moral
be affirmed. damages since each case must be governed by its own peculiar
facts.
Common Carriers; Breach of Contract; The contract of air carriage
generates a relation attended with a public duty and any Same; Same; Same; Appeals; Assignment of Errors; Questions not
discourteous conduct on the part of the carrier’s employees assigned as errors may be considered on appeal if necessary for
toward a passenger gives the latter an action for damages the just and complete resolution of the case.—Lapuz likewise
against the carrier.—This Court has held that a contract to claims that the respondent court could not rule upon the
transport passengers is different in kind and degree from any propriety of the award of actual damages because it had not
other contractual relation. The business of the carrier is mainly been assigned as an error by KAL. Not so. The rule is that only
with the traveling public. It invites people to avail themselves of errors specifically assigned and properly argued in the brief will
the comforts and advantages it offers. The contract of air be considered except errors affecting jurisdiction over the
carriage generates a relation attended with a public duty. subject matter and plain as well as clerical errors. But this is
Passengers have the right to be treated by the carrier’s not without qualification for, as the Court held in Vda. de
employees with kindness, respect, courtesy and due Javellana vs. Court of Appeals: “[T]he Court is clothed with
consideration. They are entitled to be protected against personal ample authority to review matters, even if they are not assigned
misconduct, injurious language, indignities and abuses from as errors in their appeal, if it finds that their consideration is
such employees. So it is that any discourteous conduct on the necessary in arriving at a just decision of the case.” The Court
part of these employees toward a passenger gives the latter an of Appeals was therefore justified in decreasing the award of
action for damages against the carrier. The breach of contract actual damages even if the issue was not assigned as an error
was aggravated in this case when, instead of courteously by KAL. Consideration of this question was necessary for the
just and complete resolution of the present case. Furthermore, consistent with their dignity and worth as members of the
there was enough evidence to warrant the reduction of the working class.
original award.
PETITIONS for review of a decision of the Court of Appeals.
Damages; Interests; Legal interest of six percent (6%) on the
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.
amount of damages adjudged in favor of a litigant should
commence from the time of the rendition of the trial court’s M.A. Aguinaldo and Associates for Korean Airlines Co., Ltd.
decision instead of the date of the filing of the complaint.—We
disagree with the respondent court, however, on the date when Camacho and Associates for Juanito Lapuz.
the legal interest should commence to run. The rule is that the CRUZ, J.:
legal interest of six percent (6%) on the amounts adjudged in
favor of Lapuz should resume from the time of the rendition of Sometime in 1980, Juanito C. Lapuz, an automotive electrician,
the trial court’s decision instead of November 28, 1980, the date was contracted for employment in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for a
of the filing of the complaint. On this matter, the Court has held: period of one year through Pan Pacific Overseas Recruiting
If suit were for payment of a definite sum of money, the Services, Inc. Lapuz was supposed to leave on November 8,
contention might be tenable. However, if it is for damages, 1980, via Korean Airlines. Initially, he was “wait-listed,” which
unliquidated and not known until definitely ascertained, meant that he could only be accommodated if any of the
assessed and determined by the courts after proof, interest confirmed passengers failed to show up at the airport before
should be from the date of the decision. x x x The obligation to departure. When two of such passengers did not appear, Lapuz
pay interest on a sum filed in a judgment exists from the date of and another person by the name of Perico were given the two
the sentence, when so declared; for until the net amount of the unclaimed seats.
debtor’s liability has been determined, he cannot be considered
According to Lapuz, he was allowed to check in with one suitcase
delinquent in the fulfillment of his obligation to pay the debt with
and one shoulder bag at the check-in counter of KAL. He passed
interest thereon.
through the customs and immigration sections for routine
Labor Law; Overseas Contract Workers (OCW); The Supreme check-up and was cleared for departure as Passenger No. 157 of
Court shall exert every effort to vindicate the rights of OCWs when KAL Flight No. KE 903. Together with the other passengers, he
they are abused and shall accord them the commensurate rode in the shuttle bus and proceeded to the ramp of the KAL
reparation of their injuries consistent with their dignity and worth aircraft for boarding. However, when he was at the third or
as members of the working class.—This is still another case of fourth rung of the stairs, a KAL officer pointed to him and
the maltreatment of our overseas contract workers, this time by shouted “Down! Down!” He was thus barred from taking the
the airline supposed to bring the passenger to his foreign flight. When he later asked for another booking, his ticket was
assignment. Our OCWs sacrifice much in seeking employment canceled by KAL. Consequently, he was unable to report for his
abroad, where they are deprived of the company of their loved work in Saudi Arabia within the stipulated 2-week period and
ones, the direct protection of our laws, and the comfort of our so lost his employment.
own native culture and way of life. This Court shall exert every
KAL, on the other hand, alleged that on November 8, 1980, Pan
effort to vindicate their rights when they are abused and shall
Pacific Recruiting Services Inc. coordinated with KAL for the
accord them the commensurate reparation of their injuries
departure of 30 contract workers, of whom only 21 were
confirmed and 9 were wait-listed passengers. The agent of Pan
Pacific, Jimmie Joseph, after being informed that there was a reduced to P60,000.00 and defendant-appellant is hereby
possibility of having one or two seats becoming available, gave ordered to pay plaintiff-appellant the sum of One Hundred
priority to Perico, who was one of the supervisors of the hiring Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00) by way of moral and exemplary
company in Saudi Arabia. The other seat was won through damages, at 6% interest per annum from the date of the filing of
lottery by Lapuz. However, only one seat became available and the Complaint until fully paid.
so, pursuant to the earlier agreement that Perico was to be given
KAL and Lapuz filed their respective motions for
priority, he alone was allowed to board.
reconsideration, which were both denied for lack of merit.
After trial, the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 30,1 Hence, the present petitions for review which have been
adjudged KAL liable for damages, disposing as follows: consolidated because of the identity of the parties and the
similarity of the issues.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing consideration, judgment
is hereby rendered sentencing the defendant Korean Air Lines to In G.R. No. 114061, KAL assails the decision of the appellate
pay plaintiff Juanito C. Lapuz the following: court on the following grounds:
1. The amount of TWO HUNDRED SEVENTY-TWO THOUSAND 1. That the Court of Appeals erred in concluding that petitioner
ONE HUNDRED SIXTY (P272,160.00) PESOS as committed a breach of contract of carriage notwithstanding lack
actual/compensatory damages, with legal interest thereon from of proper, competent and sufficient evidence of the existence of
the date of the filing of the complaint until fully paid. such contract.
2. The sum of TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND (P25,000.00) PESOS 2. That the Court of Appeals erred in not according the proper
as and for attorney’s fees; and evidentiary weight to some evidence presented and the fact that
private respondent did not have any boarding pass to prove that
3. The costs of suit.
he was allowed to board and to prove that his airline ticket was
The case is hereby dismissed with respect to defendant Pan confirmed.
Pacific Overseas Recruiting Services, Inc.
3. That the Court of Appeals erred in concluding that the
standby passenger status of private respondent Lapuz was
changed to a confirmed status when his name was entered into
The counterclaims and cross-claim of defendant Korean Air the passenger manifest.
Lines Co., Ltd. are likewise dismissed.
4. That the Court of Appeals abused its discretion in awarding
moral and exemplary damages in the amount of P100,000.00 in
On appeal, this decision was modified by the Court of Appeals2 favor of private respondent notwithstanding its lack of basis and
as follows: private respondent did not state such amount in his complaint
nor had private respondent proven the said damages.
5. That the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing the counter-
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the appealed claims.
judgment is hereby AFFIRMED with the following modifications:
the amount of actual damages and compensatory damages is 6. That the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing the counter-
claim of petitioner against Pan Pacific.
7. That the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that the 6% per relation attended with a public duty. Passengers have the right
annum legal interest on the judgment shall be computed from to be treated by the carrier’s employees with kindness, respect,
the filing of the complaint. courtesy and due consideration. They are entitled to be
protected against personal misconduct, injurious language,
In G.R. No. 113842, Lapuz seeks: (a) the setting aside of the
indignities and abuses from such employees.4 So it is that any
decision of the Court of Appeals insofar as it modifies the award
discourteous conduct on the part of these employees toward a
of damages; b) actual and compensatory damages in the sum
passenger gives the latter an action for damages against the
equivalent to 5 years’ loss of earnings based on the petitioner’s
carrier.
monthly salary of 1,600 Saudi rials at the current conversion
rate plus the cost of baggage and personal belongings worth
P2,000 and the service fee of P3,000 paid to the recruiting
The breach of contract was aggravated in this case when,
agency, all with legal interest from the filing of the complaint
instead of courteously informing Lapuz of his being a “wait-
until fully paid; c) moral damages of not less than P1 million and
listed” passenger, a KAL officer rudely shouted “Down! Down!”
exemplary damages of not less than P500,000.00, both with
while pointing at him, thus causing him embarrassment and
interest at 6% per annum from the filing of the complaint; and
public humiliation.
d) attorney’s fees in the sum equivalent to 30% of the award of
damages. KAL argues that “the evidence of confirmation of a chance
passenger status is not through the entry of the name of a
It is evident that the issues raised in these petitions relate
chance passenger in the passenger manifest nor the clearance
mainly to the correctness of the factual findings of the Court of
from the Commission on Immigration and Deportation, because
Appeals and the award of damages. The Court has consistently
they are merely means of facilitating the boarding of a chance
affirmed that the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals and the
passenger in case his status is confirmed.” We are not
other lower courts are as a rule binding upon it, subject to
persuaded.
certain exceptions. As nothing in the record indicates any of
such exceptions, the factual conclusions of the appellate court The evidence presented by Lapuz shows that he had indeed
must be affirmed. checked in at the departure counter, passed through customs
and immigration, boarded the shuttle bus and proceeded to the
The status of Lapuz as standby passenger was changed to that
ramp of KAL’s aircraft. In fact, his baggage had already been
of a confirmed passenger when his name was entered in the
loaded in KAL’s aircraft, to be flown with him to Jeddah. The
passenger manifest of KAL for its Flight No. KE 903. His
contract of carriage between him and KAL had already been
clearance through immigration and customs clearly shows that
perfected when he was summarily and insolently prevented from
he had indeed been confirmed as a passenger of KAL in that
boarding the aircraft.
flight. KAL thus committed a breach of the contract of carriage
between them when it failed to bring Lapuz to his destination. KAL’s allegation that the respondent court abused its discretion
in awarding moral and exemplary damages is also not tenable.
This Court has held that a contract to transport passengers is
different in kind and degree from any other contractual relation. The Court of Appeals granted moral and exemplary damages
The business of the carrier is mainly with the traveling public. because: The findings of the court a quo that the defendant-
It invites people to avail themselves of the comforts and appellant has committed breach of contract of carriage in bad
advantages it offers. The contract of air carriage generates a faith and in wanton, disregard of plaintiff-appellant’s rights as
passenger laid the basis and justification of an award for moral damages since each case must be governed by its own peculiar
damages. facts.
xxx A review of the record of this case shows that the injury suffered
by Lapuz is not so serious or extensive as to warrant an award
In the instant case, we find that defendant-appellant Korean Air
of P1.5 million. The assessment of P100,000 as moral and
Lines acted in a wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive or
exemplary damages in his favor is, in our view, reasonable and
malevolent manner when it “bumped off” plaintiff-appellant on
realistic.
November 8, 1980, and in addition treated him rudely and
arrogantly as a “patay gutom na contract worker fighting Korean Lapuz likewise claims that the respondent court could not rule
Air Lines,” which clearly shows malice and bad faith, thus upon the propriety of the award of actual damages because it
entitling plaintiff-appellant to moral damages. had not been assigned as an error by KAL. Not so. The rule is
that only errors specifically assigned and properly argued in the
xxx
brief will be considered except errors affecting jurisdiction over
Considering that the plaintiff-appellant’s entitlement to moral the subject matter and plain as well as clerical errors.8 But this
damages has been fully established by oral and documentary is not without qualification for, as the Court held in Vda. de
evidence, exemplary damages may be awarded. In fact, Javellana vs. Court of Appeals:
exemplary damages may be awarded, even though not so
x x x [T]he Court is clothed with ample authority to review
expressly pleaded in the complaint (Kapoe vs. Masa, 134 SCRA
matters, even if they are not assigned as errors in their appeal,
231). By the same token, to provide an example for the public
if it finds that their consideration is necessary in arriving at a
good, an award of exemplary damages is also proper (Armovit
just decision of the case.
vs. Court of Appeals, supra).
A similar pronouncement was made in Baquiran vs. Court of
On the other hand, Lapuz’s claim that the award of P100,000.00
Appeals10 in this wise:
as moral and exemplary damages is inadequate is not acceptable
either. His prayer for moral damages of not less than P1 million Issues, though not specifically raised in the pleading in the
and exemplary damages of not less than P500,000.00 is over- appellate court, may, in the interest of justice, be properly
blown. considered by said court in deciding a case, if they are questions
raised in the trial court and are matters of record having some
The well-entrenched principle is that moral damages depend
bearing on the issue submitted which the parties failed to raise
upon the discretion of the court based on the circumstances of
or the lower court ignored.
each case.5 This discretion is limited by the principle that the
“amount awarded should not be palpably and scandalously The Court of Appeals was therefore justified in decreasing the
excessive” as to indicate that it was the result of prejudice or award of actual damages even if the issue was not assigned as
corruption on the part of the trial court.6 Damages are not an error by KAL. Consideration of this question was necessary
intended to enrich the complainant at the expense of the for the just and complete resolution of the present case.
defendant. They are awarded only to alleviate the moral suffering Furthermore, there was enough evidence to warrant the
that the injured party had undergone by reason of the reduction of the original award, as the challenged decision
defendant’s culpable action.7 There is no hard-and-fast rule in correctly observed:
the determination of what would be a fair amount of moral
A perusal of the plaintiff-appellant’s contract of employment The obligation to pay interest on a sum filed in a judgment exists
shows that the effectivity of the contract is for only one year, fromthe date of the sentence, when so declared; for until the net
renewable every year for five years. Although plaintiff-appellant amount of the debtor’s liability has been determined, he cannot
intends to renew his contract, such renewal will still be subject be considered delinquent in the fulfillment of his obligation to
to his foreign employer. Plaintiff-appellant had not yet started pay the debt with interest thereon.
working with his foreign employer, hence, there can be no basis
Finally, we find that the respondent court did not err in
as to whether his contract will be renewed by his foreign
sustaining the trial court’s dismissal of KAL’s counterclaim
employer or not. Thus, the damages representing the loss of
against Pan Pacific Overseas Recruiting Services Inc., whose
earnings of plaintiff-appellant in the renewal of the contract of
responsibility ended with the confirmation by KAL of Lapuz as
employment is at most speculative. Damages may not be
its passenger in its Flight No. 903.
awarded on the basis of speculation or conjecture (Gatchalian
vs. Delim, 203 SCRA 126). Hence, defendant-appellant’s liability This is still another case of the maltreatment of our overseas
is limited to the one year contract only. Plaintiff-appellant is, contract workers, this time by the airline supposed to bring the
therefore, entitled only to his lost earnings for one year, i.e., passenger to his foreign assignment. Our OCWs sacrifice much
P60,000.00, which is 1/5 of P300,000.00, the total amount of in seeking employment abroad, where they are deprived of the
actual damages, representing lost earnings for five years prayed company of their loved ones, the direct protection of our laws,
for in the Complaint. and the comfort of our own native culture and way of life. This
Court shall exert every effort to vindicate their rights when they
Plaintiff-appellant’s contention that in computing his lost
are abused and shall accord them the commensurate reparation
earnings, the current rate of the Saudi Rial to the Philippine
of their injuries consistent with their dignity and worth as
Peso at the time of payment should be used, is untenable,
members of the working class.
considering that in his Complaint, plaintiff-appellant has
quantified in Philippine Peso his lost earnings for five years. WHEREFORE, the appealed judgment is AFFIRMED, but
with the modification that the legal interest on the damages
We disagree with the respondent court, however, on the date
awarded to private respondent should commence from the
when the legal interest should commence to run. The rule is that
date of the decision of the trial court on November 14, 1990.
the legal interest of six percent (6%) on the amounts adjudged
The parties shall bear their own costs.
in favor of Lapuz should resume from the time of the rendition
of the trial court’s decision instead of November 28, 1980, the SO ORDERED.
date of the filing of the complaint.
Davide, Jr., Quiason and Kapunan, JJ., concur.
On this matter, the Court has held:
Bellosillo, J., On official leave.
If suit were for payment of a definite sum of money, the
contention might be tenable. However, if it is for damages, Judgment affirmed with modification.
unliquidated and not known until definitely ascertained, Note.—The liability of the common carrier for the loss,
assessed and determined by the courts after proof, interest destruction or deterioration of goods transported from a foreign
should be from the date of the decision. country to the Philippines is governed primarily by the Civil Code
xxx (Philippine Airlines vs. Court of Appeals, 207 SCRA 100 [1992]).