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CHAPTER 2

1. LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT AUTHORITY & RODOLFO ROMAN, petitioners, vs. MARJORIE NAVIDAD,
Heirs of the Late NICANOR NAVIDAD & PRUDENT SECURITY AGENCY, respondents.
The case before the Court is an appeal from the decision and resolution of the Court of
Appeals, promulgated on 27 April 2000 and 10 October 2000, respectively, in CA-G.R. CV No.
60720, entitled Marjorie Navidad and Heirs of the Late Nicanor Navidad vs. Rodolfo Roman,
et. al., which has modified the decision of 11 August 1998 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch
266, Pasig City, exonerating Prudent Security Agency (Prudent) from liability and finding Light
Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) and Rodolfo Roman liable for damages on account of the death of
Nicanor Navidad.
On 14 October 1993, about half an hour past seven oclock in the evening, Nicanor Navidad,
then drunk, entered the EDSA LRT station after purchasing a token (representing payment of
the fare). While Navidad was standing on the platform near the LRT tracks, Junelito Escartin,
the security guard assigned to the area approached Navidad. A misunderstanding or an
altercation between the two apparently ensued that led to a fist fight. No evidence, however,
was adduced to indicate how the fight started or who, between the two, delivered the first
blow or how Navidad later fell on the LRT tracks. At the exact moment that Navidad fell, an
LRT train, operated by petitioner Rodolfo Roman, was coming in. Navidad was struck by the
moving train, and he was killed instantaneously. On 08 December 1994, the widow of Nicanor,
herein respondent Marjorie Navidad, along with her children, filed a complaint for damages
against Junelito Escartin, Rodolfo Roman, the LRTA, the Metro Transit Organization, Inc. (Metro
Transit), and Prudent for the death of her husband. LRTA and Roman filed a counterclaim
against Navidad and a cross-claim against Escartin and Prudent. Prudent, in its answer,
denied liability and averred that it had exercised due diligence in the selection and
supervision of its security guards. The LRTA and Roman presented their evidence while
Prudent and Escartin, instead of presenting evidence, filed a demurrer contending that
Navidad had failed to prove that Escartin was negligent in his assigned task. On 11 August
1998, the trial court rendered its decision; it adjudged:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiffs and against the
defendants Prudent Security and Junelito Escartin ordering the latter to pay jointly and
severally the plaintiffs the following:
a) 1) Actual damages of P44,830.00;2) Compensatory damages of P443,520.00; 3) Indemnity
for the death of Nicanor Navidad in the sum of P50,000.00; b) Moral damages of
P50,000.00;c) Attorneys fees of P20,000;d) Costs of suit.
The complaint against defendants LRTA and Rodolfo Roman are dismissed for lack of merit
The compulsory counterclaim of LRTA and Roman are likewise dismissed.[1]
Prudent appealed to the Court of Appeals. On 27 August 2000, the appellate court
promulgated its now assailed decision exonerating Prudent from any liability for the death of
Nicanor Navidad and, instead, holding the LRTA and Roman jointly and severally liable thusly:
WHEREFORE, the assailed judgment is hereby MODIFIED, by exonerating the appellants from
any liability for the death of Nicanor Navidad, Jr. Instead, appellees Rodolfo Roman and the
Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) are held liable for his death and are hereby directed to pay
jointly and severally to the plaintiffs-appellees, the following amounts:
a) P44,830.00 as actual damages;b) P50,000.00 as nominal damages;c) P50,000.00 as moral
damages; d) P50,000.00 as indemnity for the death of the deceased; and e) P20,000.00 as
and for attorneys fees.[2] The appellate court ratiocinated that while the deceased might not
have then as yet boarded the train, a contract of carriage theretofore had already existed
when the victim entered the place where passengers were supposed to be after paying the
fare and getting the corresponding token therefor. In exempting Prudent from liability, the
court stressed that there was nothing to link the security agency to the death of Navidad. It

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said that Navidad failed to show that Escartin inflicted fist blows upon the victim and the
evidence merely established the fact of death of Navidad by reason of his having been hit by
the train owned and managed by the LRTA and operated at the time by Roman. The appellate
court faulted petitioners for their failure to present expert evidence to establish the fact that
the application of emergency brakes could not have stopped the train.
The appellate court denied petitioners motion for reconsideration in its resolution of 10
October 2000.
In their present recourse, petitioners recite alleged errors on the part of the appellte court;
viz:
I.THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED BY DISREGARDING THE FINDINGS OF
FACTS BY THE TRIAL COURT
II.THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THAT PETITIONERS ARE
LIABLE FOR THE DEATH OF NICANOR NAVIDAD, JR.
III.THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN FINDING THAT RODOLFO ROMAN
IS AN EMPLOYEE OF LRTA.[3]
Petitioners would contend that the appellate court ignored the evidence and the factual
findings of the trial court by holding them liable on the basis of a sweeping conclusion that
the presumption of negligence on the part of a common carrier was not overcome. Petitioners
would insist that Escartins assault upon Navidad, which caused the latter to fall on the tracks,
was an act of a stranger that could not have been foreseen or prevented. The LRTA would add
that the appellate courts conclusion on the existence of an employer-employee relationship
between Roman and LRTA lacked basis because Roman himself had testified being an
employee of Metro Transit and not of the LRTA.
Respondents, supporting the decision of the appellate court, contended that a contract
of carriage was deemed created from the moment Navidad paid the fare at the LRT station
and entered the premises of the latter, entitling Navidad to all the rights and protection under
a contractual relation, and that the appellate court had correctly held LRTA and Roman liable
for the death of Navidad in failing to exercise extraordinary diligence imposed upon a
common carrier.
Law and jurisprudence dictate that a common carrier, both from the nature of its
business and for reasons of public policy, is burdened with the duty of exercising utmost
diligence in ensuring the safety of passengers.[4] The Civil Code, governing the liability of a
common carrier for death of or injury to its passengers, provides:
Article 1755. A common carrier is bound to carry the passengers safely as far as human care
and foresight can provide, using the utmost diligence of very cautious persons, with a due
regard for all the circumstances
Article 1756. In case of death of or injuries to passengers, common carriers are presumed to
have been at fault or to have acted negligently, unless they prove that they observed
extraordinary diligence as prescribed in articles 1733 and 1755.
Article 1759. Common carriers are liable for the death of or injuries to passengers through the
negligence or willful acts of the formers employees, although such employees may have
acted beyond the scope of their authority or in violation of the orders of the common carriers.
This liability of the common carriers does not cease upon proof that they exercised all the
diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of their employees.
Article 1763. A common carrier is responsible for injuries suffered by a passenger on account
of the willful acts or
negligence of other passengers or of strangers, if the common carriers employees through
the exercise of the diligence of a good father of a family could have prevented or stopped the
act or omission.
The law requires common carriers to carry passengers safely using the utmost diligence of
very cautious persons with due regard for all circumstances.[5] Such duty of a common

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carrier to provide safety to its passengers so obligates it not only during the course of the trip
but for so long as the passengers are within its premises and where they ought to be in
pursuance to the contract of carriage.[6] The statutory provisions render a common carrier
liable for death of or injury to passengers (a) through the negligence or wilful acts of its
employees or b) on account of willful acts or negligence of other passengers or of strangers if
the common carriers employees through the exercise of due diligence could have prevented
or stopped the act or omission.[7] In case of such death or injury, a carrier is presumed to
have been at fault or been negligent, and[8] by simple proof of injury, the passenger is
relieved of the duty to still establish the fault or negligence of the carrier or of its employees
and the burden shifts upon the carrier to prove that the injury is due to an unforeseen event
or to force majeure.[9] In the absence of satisfactory explanation by the carrier on how the
accident occurred, which petitioners, according to the appellate court, have failed to show,
the presumption would be that it has been at fault,[10] an exception from the general rule
that negligence must be proved.[11]
The foundation of LRTAs liability is the contract of carriage and its obligation to indemnify the
victim arises from the breach of that contract by reason of its failure to exercise the high
diligence required of the common carrier. In the discharge of its commitment to ensure the
safety of passengers, a carrier may choose to hire its own employees or avail itself of the
services of an outsider or an independent firm to undertake the task. In either case, the
common carrier is not relieved of its responsibilities under the contract of carriage.
Should Prudent be made likewise liable? If at all, that liability could only be for tort under the
provisions of Article 2176[12] and related provisions, in conjunction with Article 2180,[13] of
the Civil Code. The premise, however, for the employers liability is negligence or fault on the
part of the employee. Once such fault is established, the employer can then be made liable
on the basis of the presumption juris tantum that the employer failed to exercise
diligentissimi patris families in the selection and supervision of its employees. The liability is
primary and can only be negated by showing due diligence in the selection and supervision of
the employee, a factual matter that has not been shown. Absent such a showing, one might
ask further, how then must the liability of the common carrier, on the one hand, and an
independent contractor, on the other hand, be described? It would be solidary. A contractual
obligation can be breached by tort and when the same act or omission causes the injury, one
resulting in culpa contractual and the other in culpa aquiliana, Article 2194[14] of the Civil
Code can well apply.[15] In fine, a liability for tort may arise even under a contract, where tort
is that which breaches the contract.[16] Stated differently, when an act which constitutes a
breach of contract would have itself constituted the source of a quasi-delictual liability had no
contract existed between the parties, the contract can be said to have been breached by tort,
thereby allowing the rules on tort to apply.[17]
Regrettably for LRT, as well as perhaps the surviving spouse and heirs of the late Nicanor
Navidad, this Court is concluded by the factual finding of the Court of Appeals that there is
nothing to link (Prudent) to the death of Nicanor (Navidad), for the reason that the negligence
of its employee, Escartin, has not been duly proven x x x. This finding of the appellate court is
not without substantial justification in our own review of the records of the case.
There being, similarly, no showing that petitioner Rodolfo Roman himself is guilty of any
culpable act or omission, he must also be absolved from liability. Needless to say, the
contractual tie between the LRT and Navidad is not itself a juridical relation between the latter
and Roman; thus, Roman can be made liable only for his own fault or negligence.
The award of nominal damages in addition to actual damages is untenable. Nominal damages
are adjudicated in order that a right of the plaintiff, which has been violated or invaded by the
defendant, may be vindicated or recognized, and not for the purpose of indemnifying the
plaintiff for any loss suffered by him.[18] It is an established rule that nominal damages
cannot co-exist with compensatory damages.[19]

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WHEREFORE, the assailed decision of the appellate court is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION but
only in that (a) the award of nominal damages is DELETED and (b) petitioner Rodolfo Roman is
absolved from liability. No costs.
SO ORDERED.
2. Dangwa Transco. Co. Inc. v. CA
Facts: Private respondents filed a complaint for damages against petitioners for the death of
Pedrito Cudiamat. The
deceased was attempting to board a bus, but it suddenly accelerated forward. He fell off and
the bus ran over him, resulting to his death.
Issue: Whether the bus is liable as a common carrier to the deceased who was still attempting
to board
Held: It is the duty of common carriers of passengers to stop their conveyances a reasonable
length of time in order to afford passengers an opportunity to board and enter, and they are
liable for injuries suffered by boarding passengers resulting from the sudden starting up or
jerking of their conveyances while they are doing so.
FACTS:
-May 13, 1985: Theodore M. Lardizabal was driving a passenger bus belonging to Dangwa
Transportation Co. Inc. (Dangwa)
-The bus was at full stop bet. Bunkhouses 53 and 54 when Pedro alighted
-Pedro Cudiamat fell from the platform of the bus when it suddenly accelerated forward
-Pedro was ran over by the rear right tires of the vehicle
-Theodore first brought his other passengers and cargo to their respective destinations before
bringing Pedro to Lepanto Hospital where he expired
-Private respondents filed a complaint for damages against Dangwa for the death of Pedro
Cudiamat
Dangwa: observed and continued to observe the extraordinary diligence required in the
operation of the co. and the supervision of the employees even as they are not absolute
insurers of the public at large
RTC: in favour of Dangwa holding Pedrito as negligent and his negligence was the cause of his
death but still ordered to pay in equity P 10,000 to the heirs of Pedrito
CA: reversed and ordered to pay Pedrito indemnity, moral damages, actual and compensatory
damages and cost of the suit
ISSUE: W/N Dangwa should be held liable for the negligence of its driver Theodore
HELD: YES. CA affirmed.
-A public utility once it stops, is in effect making a continuous offer to bus riders (EVEN when
moving as long as it is still slow in motion)
-Duty of the driver: do NOT make acts that would have the effect of increasing peril to a
passenger while he is attempting to board the same
-Premature acceleration of the bus in this case = breach of duty
-Stepping and standing on the platform of the bus is already considered a passenger and is
entitled all the rights and protection pertaining to such a contractual relation
-Duty extends to boarding and alighting
GR: By contract of carriage, the carrier assumes the express obligation to transport the
passenger to his destination safely and observe extraordinary diligence with a due regard for
all the circumstances, and any injury that might be suffered by the passenger is right away
attributable to the fault or negligence of the carrier
EX: carrier to prove that it has exercised extraordinary diligence as prescribed in Art. 1733
and 1755 of the Civil Code
-Failure to immediately bring Pedrito to the hospital despite his serious condition = patent and
incontrovertible proof of their negligence
-Hospital was in Bunk 56

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-1st proceeded to Bunk 70 to allow a passenger (who later called the family of Pedrito on his
own will) to alight and deliver a refrigerator
-In tort, actual damages is based on net earnings

3. La Mallorca V CA
Facts:
Mariano Beltran and his family rode a bus owned by petitioner. Upon reaching their desired
destination, they alighted from the bus. But Mariano returned to get their baggage. His
youngest daughter followed him without his knowledge. When he stepped into the bus again,
it suddenly accelerated. Marianos daughter was found dead. The bus ran over her.
Issue:Whether the liability of a common carrier extends even after the passenger had alighted
Held:
The relation of carrier and passenger does not cease at the moment the passenger alights
from the carriers vehicle at a place selected by the carrier at the point of destination, but
continues until the passenger has had a reasonable time or reasonable opportunity to leave
the current premises.

Facts: Plaintiffs husband and wife, together with their minor children, boarded a La Mallorca
bus. Upon arrival at their destination, plaintiffs and their children alighted from the bus and
the father led them to a shaded spot about 5 meters from the vehicle. The father returned to
the bus to get a piece of baggage which was not unloaded. He was followed by her daughter
Raquel. While the father was still on the running board awaiting for the conductor to give his
baggage, the bus started to run so that the father had to jump. Raquel, who was near the
bus, was run over and killed.
Lower court rendered judgment for the plaintiff which was affirmed by CA, holding La Mallorca
liable for quasi-delict
and ordering it to pay P6,000 plus P400. La Mallorco contended that when the child was killed,
she was no longer a passenger and therefore the contract of carriage terminated.
Issue: Whether or not the contractual obligation between the parties ceases the moment the
passenger alighted form the vehicle.
Held: On the question whether the liability of the carrier, as to the child who was already led a
place 5 meters from the bus under the contract of carrier, still persists, we rule in the
affirmative. It is a recognized rules that the relation between carrier and passengers does not
cease at the moment the passenger alights from the carriers premises, to be determined
from the circumstances. In this case, there was no utmost diligence. Firstly, the driver,
although stopping the bus, did not put off the engine. Secondly, he started to run the bus
even before the bus conductor gave him the signal and while the latter was unloading cargo.
Here, the presence of said passenger near the bus was not unreasonable and the duration of
responsibility still exists. Averment of quasi-delict is permissible under the Rules of Court,
although incompatible with the contract of carriage. The Rules of Court allows the plaintiffs to
allege causes of action in the alternative, be they compatible with each other or not (Sec. 2,
Rule 1). Even assuming arguendo that the contract of carriage has already terminated, herein
petitioner can be held liable for the negligence of its driver pursuant to Art. 2180 of NCC.
Decision MODIFIED. Only question raised in the briefs can be passed upon, and as plaintiffs
did not appeals the award of P3,000.00 the increase by the CA of the award to P6,000.00
cannot be sustained.

4. Aboitiz Shipping Copr Vs CA


FACTS:Anacleto Viana boarded the vessel M/V Antonia, owned by Aboitiz Shipping
Corporation, at the port at San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, bound for Manila. After said vessel
had landed, the Pioneer Stevedoring Corporation took over the exclusive control of the

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cargoes loaded on said vessel pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement between Pioneer
and petitioner Aboitiz.
The crane owned by Pioneer was placed alongside the vessel and one (1) hour after the
passengers of said vessel had disembarked, it started operation by unloading the cargoes
from said vessel. While the crane was being operated, Anacleto Viana who had already
disembarked from said vessel obviously remembering that some of his cargoes were still
loaded in the vessel, went back to the vessel, and it was while he was pointing to the crew of
the said vessel to the place where his cargoes were loaded that the crane hit him, pinning
him between the side of the vessel and the crane. He was thereafter brought to the hospital
where he later expired three (3) days thereafter.
Private respondents Vianas filed a complaint for damages against petitioner for breach of
contract of carriage. Aboitiz denied responsibility contending that at the time of the accident,
the vessel was completely under the control of respondent Pioneer Stevedoring Corporation
as the exclusive stevedoring contractor of Aboitiz, which handled the unloading of cargoes
from the vessel of Aboitiz.
ISSUE: Whether or not Aboitiz is negligent and is thus liable for the death.
HELD: Yes.[T]he victim Anacleto Viana guilty of contributory negligence, but it was the
negligence of Aboitiz in prematurely turning over the vessel to the arrastre operator for the
unloading of cargoes which was the direct, immediate and proximate cause of the victim's
death.
The rule is that the relation of carrier and passenger continues until the passenger has been
landed at the port of destination and has left the vessel owner's dock or premises. 11 Once
created, the relationship will not ordinarily terminate until the passenger has, after reaching
his destination, safely alighted from the carrier's conveyance or had a reasonable opportunity
to leave the carrier's premises. All persons who remain on the premises a reasonable time
after leaving the conveyance are to be deemed passengers, and what is a reasonable time or
a reasonable delay within this rule is to be determined from all the circumstances, and
includes a reasonable time to see after his baggage and prepare for his departure. 12 The
carrier-passenger relationship is not terminated merely by the fact that the person
transported has been carried to his destination if, for example, such person remains in the
carrier's premises to claim his baggage.
It is apparent from the foregoing that what prompted the Court to rule as it did in said case is
the fact of the passenger's reasonable presence within the carrier's premises. That
reasonableness of time should be made to depend on the attending circumstances of the
case, such as the kind of common carrier, the nature of its business, the customs of the place,
and so forth, and therefore precludes a consideration of the time element per se without
taking into account such other factors. It is thus of no moment whether in the cited case of La
Mallorca there was no appreciable interregnum for the passenger therein to leave the carrier's
premises whereas in the case at bar, an interval of one (1) hour had elapsed before the victim
met the accident. The primary factor to be considered is the existence of a reasonable cause
as will justify the presence of the victim on or near the petitioner's vessel. We believe there
exists such a justifiable cause.
It is of common knowledge that, by the very nature of petitioner's business as a shipper, the
passengers of vessels are allotted a longer period of time to disembark from the ship than
other common carriers such as a passenger bus. With respect to the bulk of cargoes and the
number of passengers it can load, such vessels are capable of accommodating a bigger
volume of both as compared to the capacity of a regular commuter bus. Consequently, a ship
passenger will need at least an hour as is the usual practice, to disembark from the vessel
and claim his baggage whereas a bus passenger can easily get off the bus and retrieve his
luggage in a very short period of time. Verily, petitioner cannot categorically claim, through
the bare expedient of comparing the period of time entailed in getting the passenger's
cargoes, that the ruling in La Mallorca is inapplicable to the case at bar. On the contrary, if we

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are to apply the doctrine enunciated therein to the instant petition, we cannot in reason doubt
that the victim Anacleto Viana was still a passenger at the time of the incident. When the
accident occurred, the victim was in the act of unloading his cargoes, which he had every
right to do, from petitioner's vessel. As earlier stated, a carrier is duty bound not only to bring
its passengers safely to their destination but also to afford them a reasonable time to claim
their baggage.

5. PHILAMGEM Inc vs. MCO Marine


This petition for review seeks the reversal of the Decision, dated September 23, 1998, of the
Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 43915,[1] which absolved private respondents MCG Marine
Services, Inc. and Doroteo Gaerlan of any liability regarding the loss of the cargo belonging to
San Miguel Corporation due to the sinking of the M/V Peatheray Patrick-G owned by Gaerlan
with MCG Marine Services, Inc. as agent.
On March 1, 1987, San Miguel Corporation insured several beer bottle cases with an
aggregate value of P5,836,222.80 with petitioner Philippine American General Insurance
Company.[2] The cargo were loaded on board the M/V Peatheray Patrick-G to be transported
from Mandaue City to Bislig, Surigao del Sur.
After having been cleared by the Coast Guard Station in Cebu the previous day, the vessel left
the port of Mandaue City for Bislig, Surigao del Sur on March 2, 1987. The weather was calm
when the vessel started its voyage.
The following day, March 3, 1987, M/V Peatheray Patrick-G listed and subsequently sunk off
Cawit Point, Cortes, Surigao del Sur. As a consequence thereof, the cargo belonging to San
Miguel Corporation was lost.
Subsequently, San Miguel Corporation claimed the amount of its loss from petitioner.
Upon petitioners request, on March 18, 1987, Mr. Eduardo Sayo, a surveyor from the Manila
Adjusters and Surveyors Co., went to Taganauan Island, Cortes, Surigao del Sur where the
vessel was cast ashore, to investigate the circumstances surrounding the loss of the cargo. In
his report, Mr. Sayo stated that the vessel was structurally sound and that he did not see any
damage or crack thereon. He concluded that the proximate cause of the listing and
subsequent sinking of the vessel was the shifting of ballast water from starboard to portside.
The said shifting of ballast water allegedly affected the stability of the M/V Peatheray Patrick-
G.
Thereafter, petitioner paid San Miguel Corporation the full amount of P5,836,222.80 pursuant
to the terms of their insurance contract.
On November 3, 1987, petitioner as subrogee of San Miguel Corporation filed with the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City a case for collection against private respondents to
recover the amount it paid to San Miguel Corporation for the loss of the latters cargo.
Meanwhile, the Board of Marine Inquiry conducted its own investigation of the sinking of the
M/V Peatheray Patrick-G to determine whether or not the captain and crew of the vessel
should be held responsible for the incident.[3] On May 11, 1989, the Board rendered its
decision exonerating the captain and crew of the ill-fated vessel for any administrative
liability. It found that the cause of the sinking of the vessel was the existence of strong winds
and enormous waves in Surigao del Sur, a fortuitous event that could not have been forseen
at the time the M/V Peatheray Patrick-G left the port of Mandaue City. It was further held by
the Board that said fortuitous event was the proximate and only cause of the vessels sinking.
On April 15, 1993, the RTC of Makati City, Branch 134, promulgated its Decision finding
private respondents solidarily liable for the loss of San Miguel Corporations cargo and
ordering them to pay petitioner the full amount of the lost cargo plus legal interest, attorneys
fees and costs of suit.[4]
Private respondents appealed the trial courts decision to the Court of Appeals. On September
23, 1998, the appellate court issued the assailed Decision, which reversed the ruling of the
RTC. It held that private respondents could not be held liable for the loss of San Miguel

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Corporations cargo because said loss occurred as a consequence of a fortuitous event, and
that such fortuitous event was the proximate and only cause of the loss.[5]
Petitioner thus filed the present petition, contending that:
(A)IN REVERSING AND SETTING ASIDE THE DECISION OF RTC BR. 134 OF MAKATI CITY
ON THE BASIS OF THE FINDINGS OF THE BOARD OF MARINE INQUIRY, APPELLATE COURT
DECIDED THE CASE AT BAR NOT IN ACCORD WITH LAW OR WITH THE APPLICABLE DECISIONS
OF THE HONORABLE COURT;
(B)IN REVERSING THE TRIAL COURTS DECISION, THE APPELLATE COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN
CONTRADICTING AND IN DISTURBING THE FINDINGS OF THE FORMER;
(C)THE APPELLATE COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN REVERSING THE DECISION OF THE TRIAL COURT
AND IN DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT.[6]
Common carriers, from the nature of their business and for reasons of public policy, are
mandated to observe extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods and for the
safety of the passengers transported by them.[7] Owing to this high degree of diligence
required of them, common carriers, as a general rule, are presumed to have been at fault or
negligent if the goods transported by them are lost, destroyed or if the same deteriorated.[8]
However, this presumption of fault or negligence does not arise in the cases enumerated
under Article 1734 of the Civil Code:
Common carriers are responsible for the loss, destruction, or deterioration of the
goods, unless the same is due to any of the following causes only:
(1) Flood, storm, earthquake, lightning or other natural disaster or calamity;
(2) Act of the public enemy in war, whether international or civil;
(3) Act or omission of the shipper or owner of the goods;
(4) The character of the goods or defects in the packing or in the containers;
(5) Order or act of competent public authority.
In order that a common carrier may be absolved from liability where the loss,
destruction or deterioration of the goods is due to a natural disaster or calamity, it must
further be shown that the such natural disaster or calamity was the proximate and only cause
of the loss;[9] there must be an entire exclusion of human agency from the cause of the injury
of the loss.[10]
Moreover, even in cases where a natural disaster is the proximate and only cause of
the loss, a common carrier is still required to exercise due diligence to prevent or minimize
loss before, during and after the occurrence of the natural disaster, for it to be exempt from
liability under the law for the loss of the goods.[11] If a common carrier fails to exercise due
diligence--or that ordinary care which the circumstances of the particular case demand[12]
--to preserve and protect the goods carried by it on the occasion of a natural disaster, it will
be deemed to have been negligent, and the loss will not be considered as having been due to
a natural disaster under Article 1734 (1).
In the case at bar, the issues may be narrowed down to whether the loss of the cargo
was due to the occurrence of a natural disaster, and if so, whether such natural disaster was
the sole and proximate cause of the loss or whether private respondents were partly to blame
for failing to exercise due diligence to prevent the loss of the cargo.
The parties do not dispute that on the day the M/V Peatheray Patrick-G sunk, said
vessel encountered strong winds and huge waves ranging from six to ten feet in height. The
vessel listed at the port side and eventually sunk at Cawit Point, Cortes, Surigao del Sur.
The Court of Appeals, citing the decision of the Board of Marine Inquiry in the
administrative case against the vessels crew (BMI--646-87), found that the loss of the cargo
was due solely to the existence of a fortuitous event, particularly the presence of strong
winds and huge waves at Cortes, Surigao del Sur on March 3, 1987:
III. WHAT WAS THE PROXIMATE CAUSE OF SINKING?
Evidence shows that when "LCT Peatheray Patrick-G" left the port of Mandawe, Cebu
for Bislig, Surigao del Sur on March 2, 1987 the Captain had observed the fair atmospheric

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condition of the area of the pier and confirmed this good weather condition with the Coast
Guard Detachment of Mandawe City. However, on March 3, 1987 at about 10:00 o'clock in the
evening, when the vessel had already passed Surigao Strait. the vessel started to experience
waves as high as 6 to 7 feet and that the Northeasterly wind was blowing at about five (5)
knot velocity. At about 11:00 o'clock P.M. when the vessel was already about 4.5 miles off
Cawit Point, Cortes, Surigao del Sur, the vessel was discovered to be listing 15 degrees to port
side and that the strength of the wind had increased to 15 knots and the waves were about
ten (10) feet high [Ramilo TSN 10-27-87 p. 32). Immediately thereafter, emergency measures
were taken by the crew. The officers had suspected that a leak or crack might had developed
at the bottom hull particularly below one or two of the empty wing tanks at port side serving
as buoyancy tanks resulting in ingress of sea water in the tanks was confirmed when the
Captain ordered to use the cargo pump. The suction valves to the said tanks of port side were
opened in order to suck or draw out any amount of water that entered into the tanks. The
suction pressure of the pump had drawn out sea water in large quantity indicating therefore,
that a leak or crack had developed in the hull as the vessel was continuously batted and
pounded by the huge waves. Bailing out of the water through the pump was done
continuously in an effort of the crew to prevent the vessel from sinking. but then efforts were
in vain. The vessel still continued to list even more despite the continuous pumping and
discharging of sea water from the wing tanks indicating that the amount of the ingress of sea
water was greater in volume that that was being discharged by the pump. Considering
therefore, the location of the suspected source of the ingress of sea water which was a crack
or hole at the bottom hull below the buoyancy tank's port side which was not acessible (sic)
for the crew to check or control the flow of sea water into the said tank. The accumulation of
sea water aggravated by the continuous pounding, rolling and pitching of the vessel against
huge waves and strong northeasterly wind, the Captain then had no other recourse except to
order abandonship to save their lives.[13]
The presence of a crack in the ill-fated vessel through which water seeped in was
confirmed by the Greutzman Divers who were commissioned by the private respondents to
conduct an underwater survey and inspection of the vessel to determine the cause and
circumstances of its sinking. In its report, Greutzman Divers stated that along the port side
platings, a small hole and two separate cracks were found at about midship.[14]
The findings of the Board of Marine Inquiry indicate that the attendance of strong winds
and huge waves while the M/V Peatheray Patrick-G was sailing through Cortes, Surigao del
Norte on March 3, 1987 was indeed fortuitous. A fortuitous event has been defined as one
which could not be foreseen, or which though foreseen, is inevitable.[15] An event is
considered fortuitous if the following elements concur:
xxx (a) the cause of the unforeseen and unexpected occurrence, or the failure of the
debtor to comply with his obligations, must be independent of human will; (b) it must be
impossible to foresee the event which constitutes the caso fortuito, or if it can be foreseen, it
must be impossible to avoid; (c) the occurrence must be such as to render it impossible for
the debtor to fulfill his obligation in a normal manner; and (d) the obligor must be free from
any participation in the aggravation of the injury resulting to the creditor. xxx[16]
In the case at bar, it was adequately shown that before the M/V Peatheray Patrick-G left
the port of Mandaue City, the Captain confirmed with the Coast Guard that the weather
condition would permit the safe travel of the vessel to Bislig, Surigao del Sur. Thus, he could
not be expected to have foreseen the unfavorable weather condition that awaited the vessel
in Cortes, Surigao del Sur. It was the presence of the strong winds and enormous waves which
caused the vessel to list, keel over, and consequently lose the cargo contained therein. The
appellate court likewise found that there was no negligence on the part of the crew of the M/V
Peatheray Patrick-G, citing the following portion of the decision of the Board of Marine Inquiry:
I. WAS LCT PEATHERAY PATRICK-G SEAWORTHY WHEN SHE LEFT THE PORT OF MANDAWE,
CEBU AND AT THE TIME OF SINKING?

9
Evidence clearly shows that the vessel was propelled with three (3) diesel engines of
250 BHP each or a total of 750 BHP. It had three (3) propellers which were operating
satisfactorily from the time the vessel left the port of Mandawe up to the time when the hull
on the double bottom tank was heavily floaded (sic) by uncontrollable entry of sea water
resulting in the stoppage of engines. The vessel was also equipped with operating generator
pumps for emergency cases. This equipment was also operating satisfactorily up to the time
when the engine room was heavily floaded (sic) with sea water. Further, the vessel had
undergone emergency drydocking and repair before the accident occurred (sic) on November
9, 1986 at Trigon Shipyard, San Fernando, Cebu as shown by the billing for the Drydocking
and Repair and certificate of Inspection No. 2588-86 issued by the Philippine coast Guard on
December 5, 1986 which expired on November 8, 1987.
LCT Peatheray Patrick-G was skippered by Mr. Manuel P. Ramilo, competent and
experienced licensed Major Patron who had been in command of the vessel for more than
three (3) years from July 1984 up to the time of sinking March 3, 1987. His Chief Mate Mr.
Mariano Alalin also a licensed Major Patron had been the Chief Mate of " LCT Peatheray
Patrick-G" for one year and three months at the time of the accident. Further Chief Mate Alalin
had commanded a tanker vessel named M/T Mercedes of MGM Corporation for almost two (2)
years from 1983-1985 (Alalin TSN-4-13-88 pp. 32-33).
That the vessel was granted SOLAS clearance by the Philippine Coast Guard on March
1, 1987 to depart from Mandawe City for Bislig, Surigao del Sur as evidenced by a
certification issued to D.C. Gaerlan Oil Products by Coast Guard Station Cebu dated December
23, 1987.
Based on the foregoing circumstances, "LCT Peatheray Patrick-G" should be considered
seaworthy vessel at the time she undertook that fateful voyage on March 2, 1987.
To be seaworthy, a vessel must not only be staunch and fit in the hull for the voyage to
be undertaken but also must be properly equipped and for that purpose there is a duty upon
the owner to provide a competent master and a crew adequate in number and competent for
their duty and equals in disposition and seamanship to the ordinary in that calling. (Ralph 299
F-52, 1924 AMC 942). American President 2td v. Ren Fen Fed 629. AMC 1723 LCA 9 CAL
1924).[17]
Overloading was also eliminated as a possible cause of the sinking of the vessel, as the
evidence showed that its freeboard clearance was substantially greater than the authorized
freeboard clearance.[18]
Although the Board of Marine Inquiry ruled only on the administrative liability of the
captain and crew of the M/V Peatheray Patrick-G, it had to conduct a thorough investigation of
the circumstances surrounding the sinking of the vessel and the loss of its cargo in order to
determine their responsibility, if any. The results of its investigation as embodied in its
decision on the administrative case clearly indicate that the loss of the cargo was due solely
to the attendance of strong winds and huge waves which caused the vessel accumulate
water, tilt to the port side and to eventually keel over. There was thus no error on the part of
the Court of Appeals in relying on the factual findings of the Board of Marine Inquiry, for such
factual findings, being supported by substantial evidence are persuasive, considering that
said administrative body is an expert in matters concerning marine casualties.[19]
Since the presence of strong winds and enormous waves at Cortes, Surigao del Sur on
March 3, 1987 was shown to be the proximate and only cause of the sinking of the M/V
Peatheray Patrick-G and the loss of the cargo belonging to San Miguel Corporation, private
respondents cannot be held liable for the said loss.
WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED and the
petition is hereby DENIED.SO ORDERED.

6. Pilapil V. CA

10
FACTS: Petitioner Pilapil, on board respondents bus was hit above his eye by a stone hurled
by an unidentified bystander. Respondents personnel lost no time in bringing him to a
hospital, but eventually petitioner partially lost his left eyes vision and sustained a
permanent scar.
Thus, Petitioner lodged an action for recovery of damages before the Court of First Instance of
Camarines Sur which the latter granted. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed said
decision.
ISSUE: Whether or not common carriers assume risks to passengers such as the stoning in
this case?
HELD: In consideration of the right granted to it by the public to engage in the business of
transporting passengers
and goods, a common carrier does not give its consent to become an insurer of any and all
risks to passengers and goods. It merely undertakes to perform certain duties to the public as
the law imposes, and holds itself liable for any breach thereof.
While the law requires the highest degree of diligence from common carriers in the safe
transport of their passengers and creates a presumption of negligence against them, it does
not, however, make the carrier an insurer of the absolute safety of its passengers.
Article 1763. A common carrier is responsible for injuries suffered by a passenger on
account of the wilful acts or negligence of other passengers or of strangers, if the common
carrier's employees through the exercise of the diligence of a good father of a family could
have prevented or stopped the act or omission.
Clearly under the above provision, a tort committed by a stranger which causes injury
to a passenger does not accord the latter a cause of action against the carrier. The negligence
for which a common carrier is held responsible is the negligent omission by the carrier's
employees to prevent the tort from being committed when the same could have been
foreseen and prevented by them. Further, under the same provision, it is to be noted that
when the violation of the contract is due to the willful acts of strangers, as in the instant case,
the degree of care essential to be exercised by the common carrier for the protection of its
passenger is only that of a good father of a family.

7. Fortune Express VS CA
This is an appeal by petition for review on certiorari of the decision, dated July 29, 1994, of
the Court of Appeals, which reversed the decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch VI, Iligan
City. The aforesaid decision of the trial court dismissed the complaint of private respondents
against petitioner for damages for breach of contract of carriage filed on the ground that
petitioner had not exercised the required degree of diligence in the operation of one of its
buses. Atty. Talib Caorong, whose heirs are private respondents herein, was a passenger of
the bus and was killed in the ambush involving said bus.
The facts of the instant case are as follows: Petitioner is a bus company in northern
Mindanao. Private respondent Paulie Caorong is the widow of Atty. Caorong, while private
respondents Yasser King, Rose Heinni, and Prince Alexander are their minor children.
On November 18, 1989, a bus of petitioner figured in an accident with a jeepney in
Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, resulting in the death of several passengers of the jeepney,
including two Maranaos. Crisanto Generalao, a volunteer field agent of the Constabulary
Regional Security Unit No. X, conducted an investigation of the accident. He found that the
owner of the jeepney was a Maranao residing in Delabayan, Lanao del Norte and that certain
Maranaos were planning to take revenge on the petitioner by burning some of its buses.
Generalao rendered a report on his findings to Sgt. Reynaldo Bastasa of the Philippine
Constabulary Regional Hearquarters at Cagayan de Oro. Upon the instruction of Sgt. Bastasa,
he went to see Diosdado Bravo, operations manager of petitioner, at its main office in
Cagayan de Oro City. Bravo assured him that the necessary precautions to insure the safety
of lives and property would be taken.[1]

11
At about 6:45 P.M. on November 22, 1989, three armed Maranaos who pretended to be
passengers, seized a bus of petitioner at Linamon, Lanao del Norte while on its way to Iligan
City. Among the passengers of the bus was Atty. Caorong. The leader of the Maranaos,
identified as one Bashier Mananggolo, ordered the driver, Godofredo Cabatuan, to stop the
bus on the side of the highway. Mananggolo then shot Cabatuan on the arm, which caused
him to slump on the steering wheel. Then one of the companions of Mananggolo started
pouring gasoline inside the bus, as the other held the passengers at bay with a handgun.
Mananggolo then ordered the passengers to get off the bus. The passengers, including Atty.
Caorong, stepped out of the bus and went behind the bushes in a field some distance from
the highway.[2]
However, Atty. Caorong returned to the bus to retrieve something from the overhead
rack. At that time, one of the armed men was pouring gasoline on the head of the driver.
Cabatuan, who had meantime regained consciousness, heard Atty. Caorong pleading with the
armed men to spare the driver as he was innocent of any wrong doing and was only trying to
make a living. The armed men were, however, adamant as they repeated their warning that
they were going to burn the bus along with its driver. During this exchange between Atty.
Caorong and the assailants, Cabatuan climbed out of the left window of the bus and crawled
to the canal on the opposite side of the highway. He heard shots from inside the bus. Larry de
la Cruz, one of the passengers, saw that Atty. Caorong was hit. Then the bus was set on fire.
Some of the passengers were able to pull Atty. Caorong out of the burning bus and rush him
to the Mercy Community Hospital in Iligan City, but he died while undergoing operation.[3]
The private respondents brought this suit for breach of contract of carriage in the
Regional Trial Court, Branch VI, Iligan City. In his decision, dated December 28, 1990, the trial
court dismissed the complaint, holding as follows: The fact that defendant, through
Operations Manager Diosdado Bravo, was informed of the rumors that the Moslems intended
to take revenge by burning five buses of defendant is established since the latter also utilized
Crisanto Generalaos as a witness. Yet despite this information, the plaintiffs charge, defendant
did not take proper precautions. . . . Consequently, plaintiffs now fault the defendant for
ignoring the report. Their position is that the defendant should have provided its buses with
security guards. Does the law require common carriers to install security guards in its buses
for the protection and safety of its passengers? Is the failure to post guards an omission of the
duty to exercise the diligence of a good father of the family which could have prevented the
killing of Atty. Caorong? To our mind, the diligence demanded by law does not include the
posting of security guards in buses. It is an obligation that properly belongs to the State.
Besides, will the presence of one or two security guards suffice to deter a determined assault
of the lawless and thus prevent the injury complained of? Maybe so, but again, perhaps not.
In other words, the presence of a security guard is not a guarantee that the killing of Atty.
Caorong would have been definitely avoided.
Accordingly, the failure of defendant to accord faith and credit to the report of Mr.
Generalao and the fact that it did not provide security to its buses cannot, in the light of the
circumstances, be characterized as negligence.
Finally, the evidence clearly shows that the assailants did not have the least intention
of harming any of the passengers. They ordered all the passengers to alight and set fire on
the bus only after all the passengers were out of danger. The death of Atty. Caorong was an
unexpected and unforseen occurrence over which defendant had no control. Atty. Caorong
performed an act of charity and heroism in coming to the succor of the driver even in the face
of danger. He deserves the undying gratitude of the driver whose life he saved. No one should
blame him for an act of extraordinary charity and altruism which cost his life. But neither
should any blame be laid on the doorstep of defendant. His death was solely due to the willful
acts of the lawless which defendant could neither prevent nor stop.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the complaint is hereby dismissed. For lack of merit,
the counter-claim is

12
likewise dismissed. No cost.[4]
On appeal, however, the Court of Appeals reversed. It held:
In the case at bench, how did defendant-appellee react to the tip or information that certain
Maranao hotheads were planning to burn five of its buses out of revenge for the deaths of two
Maranaos in an earlier collision involving appellees bus? Except for the remarks of appellees
operations manager that we will have our action . . . . and Ill be the one to settle it personally,
nothing concrete whatsoever was taken by appellee or its employees to prevent the
execution of the threat. Defendant-appellee never adopted even a single safety measure for
the protection of its paying passengers. Were there available safeguards? Of course, there
were: one was frisking passengers particularly those en route to the area where the threats
were likely to be carried out such as where the earlier accident occurred or the place of
influence of the victims or their locality. If frisking was resorted to, even temporarily, . . . .
appellee might be legally excused from liability. Frisking of passengers picked up along the
route could have been implemented by the bus conductor; for those boarding at the bus
terminal, frisking could have been conducted by him and perhaps by additional personnel of
defendant-appellee. On hindsight, the handguns and especially the gallon of gasoline used by
the felons all of which were brought inside the bus would have been discovered, thus
preventing the burning of the bus and the fatal shooting of the victim.
Appellees argument that there is no law requiring it to provide guards on its buses and that
the safety of citizens is the duty of the government, is not well taken. To be sure, appellee is
not expected to assign security guards on all of its buses; if at all, it has the duty to post
guards only on its buses plying predominantly Maranao areas. As discussed in the next
preceding paragraph, the least appellee could have done in response to the report was to
adopt a system of verification such as frisking of passengers boarding its buses. Nothing, and
to repeat, nothing at all, was done by defendant-appellee to protect its innocent passengers
from the danger arising from the Maranao threats. It must be observed that frisking is not a
novelty as a safety measure in our society. Sensitive places in fact, nearly all important places
have applied this method of security enhancement. Gadgets and devices are available in the
market for this purpose. It would not have weighed much against the budget of the bus
company if such items were made available to its personnel to cope up with situations such
as the Maranao threats.
In view of the constitutional right to personal privacy, our pronouncement in this decision
should not be construed as an advocacy of mandatory frisking in all public conveyances.
What we are saying is that given the circumstances obtaining in the case at bench that: (a)
two Maranaos died because of a vehicular collision involving one of appellees vehicles; (b)
appellee received a written report from a member of the Regional Security Unit, Constabulary
Security Group, that the tribal/ethnic group of the two deceased were planning to burn five
buses of appellee out of revenge; and (c) appellee did nothing absolutely nothing for the
safety of its passengers travelling in the area of influence of the victims, appellee has failed
to exercise the degree of diligence required of common carriers. Hence, appellee must be
adjudged liable.
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby REVERSED and another rendered ordering
defendant-appellee to pay plaintiffs-appellants the following:
1) P3,399,649.20 as death indemnity;
2) P50,000.00 and P500.00 per appearance as attorneys fees; and Costs against defendant-
appellee.[5]
Hence, this appeal. Petitioner contends:
(A) THAT PUBLIC RESPONDENT ERRED IN REVERSING THE DECISION OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL
COURT DATED DECEMBER 28, 1990 DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT AS WELL AS THE
COUNTERCLAIM, AND FINDING FOR PRIVATE RESPONDENTS BY ORDERING PETITIONER TO PAY
THE GARGANTUAN SUM OF P3,449,649.20 PLUS P500.00 PER APPEARANCE AS ATTORNEYS
FEES, AS WELL AS DENYING PETITIONERS MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION AND THE

13
SUPPLEMENT TO SAID MOTION, WHILE HOLDING, AMONG OTHERS, THAT PETITIONER
BREACHED THE CONTRACT OF CARIAGE BY ITS FAILURE TO EXERCISE THE REQUIRED DEGREE
OF DILIGENCE;
(B) THAT THE ACTS OF THE MARANAO OUTLAWS WERE SO GRAVE, IRRESISTIBLE, VIOLENT,
AND FORCEFUL, AS TO BE REGARDED AS CASO FORTUITO; AND
(C) THAT PUBLIC RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN HOLDING THAT
PETITIONER COULD HAVE PROVIDED ADEQUATE SECURITY IN PREDOMINANTLY MUSLIM AREAS
AS PART OF ITS DUTY TO OBSERVE EXTRA-ORDINARY DILIGENCE AS A COMMON CARRIER.
The instant petition has no merit.
First. Petitioners Breach of the Contract of Carriage
Art. 1763 of the Civil Code provides that a common carrier is responsible for injuries suffered
by a passenger on account of the wilful acts of other passengers, if the employees of the
common carrier could have prevented the act the exercise of the diligence of a good father of
a family. In the present case, it is clear that because of the negligence of petitioners
employees, the seizure of the bus by Mananggolo and his men was made possible.
Despite warning by the Philippine Constabulary at Cagayan de Oro that the Maranaos were
planning to take revenge on the petitioner by burning some of its buses and the assurance of
petitioners operation manager, Diosdado Bravo, that the necessary precautions would be
taken, petitioner did nothing to protect the safety of its passengers.
Had petitioner and its employees been vigilant they would not have failed to see that the
malefactors had a large quantity of gasoline with them. Under the circumstances, simple
precautionary measures to protect the safety of passengers, such as frisking passengers and
inspecting their baggages, preferably with non-intrusive gadgets such as metal detectors,
before allowing them on board could have been employed without violating the passengers
constitutional rights. As this Court intimated in Gacal v. Philippine Air Lines, Inc.,[6] a common
carrier can be held liable for failing to prevent a hijacking by frisking passengers and
inspecting their baggages.
From the foregoing, it is evident that petitioners employees failed to prevent the attack on
one of petitioners buses because they did not exercise the diligence of a good father of a
family. Hence, petitioner should be held liable for the death of Atty. Caorong.
Second. Seizure of Petitioners Bus not a Case of Force Majeure
The petitioner contends that the seizure of its bus by the armed assailants was a fortuitous
event for which it could
not be held liable.
Art. 1174 of the Civil Code defines a fortuitous even as an occurrence which could not be
foreseen or which though foreseen, is inevitable. In Yobido v. Court of Appeals,[7] we held that
to be considered as force majeure, it is necessary that: (1) the cause of the breach of the
obligation must be independent of the human will; (2) the event must be either unforeseeable
or unavoidable; (3) the occurrence must be such as to render it impossible for the debtor to
fulfill the obligation in a normal manner; and (4) the obligor must be free of participation in, or
aggravation of, the injury to the creditor. The absence of any of the requisites mentioned
above would prevent the obligor from being excused from liability.
Thus, in Vasquez v. Court of Appeals,[8] it was held that the common carrier was liable for its
failure to take the necessary precautions against an approaching typhoon, of which it was
warned, resulting in the loss of the lives of several passengers. The event was foreseeable,
and, thus, the second requisite mentioned above was not fulfilled. This ruling applies by
analogy to the present case. Despite the report of PC agent Generalao that the Maranaos
were going to attack its buses, petitioner took no steps to safeguard the lives and properties
of its passengers. The seizure of the bus of the petitioner was foreseeable and, therefore, was
not a fortuitous event which would exempt petitioner from liability.
Petitioner invokes the ruling in Pilapil v. Court of Appeals[9] and De Guzman v. Court of
Appeals[10] in support of its contention that the seizure of its bus by the assailants

14
constitutes force majeure. In Pilapil v. Court of Appeals,[11] it was held that a common carrier
is not liable for failing to install window grills on its buses to protect passengers from injuries
caused by rocks hurled at the bus by lawless elements. On the other hand, in De Guzman v.
Court of Appeals,[12] it was ruled that a common carrier is not responsible for goods lost as a
result of a robbery which is attended by grave or irresistible threat, violence, or force.
It is clear that the cases of Pilapil and De Guzman do not apply to the present case. Art. 1755
of the Civil Code provides that a common carrier is bound to carry the passengers as far as
human care and foresight can provide, using the utmost diligence of very cautious person,
with due regard for all the circumstances. Thus, we held in Pilapil and De Guzman that the
respondents therein were not negligent in failing to take special precautions against threats to
the safety of passengers which could not be foreseen, such as tortious or criminal acts of third
persons. In the present case, this factor of unforeseeablility (the second requisite for an event
to be considered force majeure) is lacking. As already stated, despite the report of PC agent
Generalao that the Maranaos were planning to burn some of petitioners buses and the
assurance of petitioners operations manager (Diosdado Bravo) that the necessary precautions
would be taken, nothing was really done by petitioner to protect the safety of passengers.
Third. Deceased not Guilty of Contributory Negligence
The petitioner contends that Atty. Caorong was guilty of contributory negligence in returning
to the bus to retrieve something. But Atty. Caorong did not act recklessly. It should be pointed
out that the intended targets of the violence were petitioner and its employees, not its
passengers. The assailants motive was to retaliate for the loss of life of two Maranaos as a
result of the collision between petitioners bus and the jeepney in which the two Maranaos
were riding. Mananggolo, the leader of the group which had hijacked the bus, ordered the
passengers to get off the bus as they intended to burn it and its driver. The armed men
actually allowed Atty. Caorong to retrieve something from the bus. What apparently angered
them was his attempt to help the driver of the bus by pleading for his life. He was playing the
role of the good Samaritan. Certainly, this act cannot be considered an act of negligence, let
alone recklessness.
Fourth. Petitioner Liable to Private Respondents for Damages
We now consider the question of damages that the heirs of Atty. Caorong, private respondents
herein, are entitled to recover from the petitioner.
Indemnity for Death. Art. 1764 of the Civil Code, in relation to Art. 2206 thereof, provides for
the payment of indemnity for the death of passengers caused by the breached of contract of
carriage by a common carrier. Initially fixed in Art. 2206 at P3,000.00, the amount of the said
indemnity for death has through the years been gradually increased in view of the declining
value of the peso. It is presently fixed at P50,000.00.[13] Private respondents are entitled to
this amount. Actual damages. Art. 2199 provides that Except as provided by law or by
stipulation, one is entitled to an adequate compensation only for such pecuniary loss suffered
by him as he has duly proved. The trial court found that the private respondents spent
P30,000.00 for the wake and burial of Atty. Caorong.[14] Since petitioner does not question
this finding of the trial court, it is liable to private respondents in the said amount as actual
damages.
Moral Damages. Under Art. 2206, the spouse, legitimate and illegitimate descendants and
ascendants of the deceased may demand moral damages for mental anguish by reason of the
death of the deceased. The trial court found that private respondent Paulie Caorong suffered
pain from the death of her husband and worry on how to provide support for their minor
children, private respondents Yasser King, Rose Heinni, and Prince Alexander.[15] The
petitioner likewise does not question this finding of the trial court. Thus, in accordance with
recent decisions of this Court,[16] we hold that the petitioner is liable to the private
respondents in the amount of P100,000.00 as moral damages for the death of Atty. Caorong.
Exemplary Damages. Art. 2232 provides that in contracts and quasi-contracts, the court may
award exemplary damages if the defendant acted in a wanton, fraudulent, reckless,

15
oppressive, or malevolent manner. In the present case, the petitioner acted in a wanton and
reckless manner. Despite warning that the Maranaos were planning to take revenge against
the petitioner by burning some of its buses, and contrary to the assurance made by its
operations manager that the necessary precautions would be taken, the petitioner and its
employees did nothing to protect the safety of passengers. Under the circumstances, we
deem it reasonable to award private respondents exemplary damages in the amount of
P100,000.00.[17]
Attorneys Fees. Pursuant to Art. 2208, attorneys fees may be recovered when, as in the
instant case, exemplary damages are awarded. In the recent case of Sulpicio Lines, Inc. v.
Court of Appeals,[18] we held an award of P50,000.00 as attorneys fees to be reasonable.
Hence, the private respondents are entitled to attorneys fees in that amount.
Compensation for Loss of Earning Capacity. Art. 1764 of the Civil Code, in relation to Art. 2206
thereof, provides that in addition to the indemnity for death arising from the breach of
contract of carriage by a common carrier, the defendant shall be liable for the loss of the
earning capacity of the deceased, and the indemnity shall be paid to the heirs of the latter.
The formula established in decided cases for computing net earning capacity is as follows:
[19]
Gross Necessary
Net earning = Life x Annual Living Capacity Expectancy Income Expenses
Life expectancy is equivalent to two thirds (2/3) multiplied by the difference of eighty (80) and
the age of the deceased.[20] Since Atty. Caorong was 37 years old at the time of his death,
[21] he had a life expectancy of 28 2/3 more years.[22] His projected gross annual income,
computed based on his monthly salary of P11,385.00[23] as a lawyer in the Department of
Agrarian Reform at the time of his death, was P148,005.00.[24] allowing for necessary living
expenses of fifty percent (50%)[25]of his projected gross annual income, his total earning
capacity amounts to P2,121,404.90.[26] Hence, the petitioner is liable to the private
respondents in the said amount as compensation for loss of earning capacity.
WHEREFORE, the decision, dated July 29, 1994, of the Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED
with the MODIFICATION that petitioner Fortune Express, Inc. is ordered to pay the following
amounts to private respondents Paulie, Yasser King, Rose Heinni, and Prince Alexander
Caorong:
1. death indemnity in the amount of fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00);
2. actual damages in the amount of thirty thousand pesos (P30,000.00);
3. moral damages in the amount of one hundred thousand pesos(P100,000.00);
4. exemplary damages in the amount of one hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00);
5. attorneys fees in the amount of fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00);
6. compensation for loss of earning capacity in the amount of two million one hundred
twenty-one thousand four hundred four pesos and ninety centavos (P2,121,404.90); and
7) costs of suits. SO ORDERED.

8. Juntilla V Fontanar
FACTS:
Jeepney was driven by Berfol Camoro from Danao City to Cebu City. It was Clemente
Fontanar but was
actually owned by defendant Fernando Banzon.
When the jeepney reached Mandaue City, the right rear tire exploded causing the
vehicle to turn turtle. Roberto Juntilla was sitting at the front seat was thrown out of
the vehicle.
Upon landing on the ground, he momentarily lost consciousness. When he came to his
senses, he found that he had a lacerated wound on his right palm. He also injured his
left arm, right thigh and on his back.

16
Because of his shock and injuries, he went back to Danao City but on the way, he
discovered that his "Omega" wrist watch worth P 852.70 was lost. Upon his arrival in
Danao City, he immediately entered the Danao City Hospital to attend to his injuries,
and also requested his father-in-law to proceed immediately to the place of the
accident and look for the watch.
Roberto Juntilla filed for breach of contract with damages
Respondents: beyond the control since tire that exploded was newly bought and was
only slightly used
RTC: favored Roberto Juntilla
CA: Reversed since accident was due to fortuitous event
ISSUE: W/N there is a fortuitous event
HELD: NO. CA reversed, RTC reinstated.
passenger jeepney was running at a very fast speed before the accident
at a regular and safe speed will not jump into a ditch when its right rear tire
blows up
passenger jeepney was overloaded
3 passengers in the front seat
14 passengers in the rear
caso fortuito presents the following essential characteristics:
(1) The cause of the unforeseen and unexpected occurrence, or of the failure of the
debtor to comply with his obligation, must be independent of the human will.
(2) It must be impossible to foresee the event which constitutes the caso fortuito, or if
it can be foreseen, it must be impossible to avoid.
(3) The occurrence must be such as to render it impossible for the debtor to fulfill his
obligation in a normal manner.
(4) the obligor (debtor) must be free from any participation in the aggravation of the
injury resulting to the creditor.
In the case at bar, the cause of the unforeseen and unexpected occurrence was not
independent of the human will. The accident was caused either through the negligence
of the driver or because of mechanical defects in the tire. Common carriers should
teach their drivers not to overload their vehicles, not to exceed safe and legal speed
limits, and to know the correct measures to take when a tire blows up thus insuring the
safety of passengers at all times
the source of a common carrier's legal liability is the contract of carriage, and by
entering into the said contract, it binds itself to carry the passengers safely as far as
human care and foresight can provide, using the utmost diligence of a very cautious
person, with a due regard for all the circumstances. The records show that this
obligation was not met by the respondents
respondents likewise argue that the petitioner cannot recover any amount for failure to
prove such damages during the trial
findings of facts of the City Court of Cebu

9. Lasam V Smith
The plaintiff are husband and wife and this action is brought to recover damages in the sum
of P20,000 for physical injuries sustained by them in an automobile accident. The trial court
rendered a judgment in their favor for the sum of P1,254.10, with legal interest from the date
of the judgment. Both the plaintiffs and the defendant appeal, the former maintaining that
the damages awarded are insufficient while the latter denies all liability for any damages
whatever.
It appears from the evidence that on February 27, 1918, the defendant was the owner of a
public garage in the town

17
of San Fernando, La Union, and engaged in the business of carrying passengers for hire from
the one point to another in the Province of La Union and the surrounding provinces. On the
date mentioned, he undertook to convey the plaintiffs from San Fernando to Currimao, Ilocos
Norte, in a Ford automobile. On leaving San Fernando, the automobile was operated by a
licensed chauffeur, but after having reached the town of San Juan, the chauffeur allowed his
assistant, Remigio Bueno, to drive the car. Bueno held no driver's license, but had some
experience in driving, and with the exception of some slight engine trouble while passing
through the town of Luna, the car functioned well until after the crossing of the Abra River in
Tagudin, when, according to the testimony of the witnesses for the plaintiffs, defects
developed in the steering gear so as to make accurate steering impossible, and after
zigzagging for a distance of about half a kilometer, the car left the road and went down a
steep embankment.
The defendant, in his testimony, maintains that there was no defect in the steering gear,
neither before nor after the accident, and expresses the opinion that the swaying or
zigzagging of the car must have been due to its having been driven at an excessive rate of
speed. This may possibly be true, but it is, from our point of view, immaterial whether the
accident was caused by negligence on the part of the defendant's employees, or whether it
was due to defects in the automobile; the result would be practically the same in either event.
In going over the bank of the road, the automobile was overturned and the plaintiffs pinned
down under it. Mr. Lasam escaped with a few contusions and a "dislocated" rib , but his wife,
Joaquina Sanchez, received serious injuries, among which was a compound fracture of one of
the bones in her left wrist. She also appears to have suffered a nervous breakdown from
which she had not fully recovered at the time of the trial.
The complaint in the case was filed about a year and a half after the occurrence above
related. It alleges, among other things, that the accident was due to defects in the automobile
as well as to the incompetence and negligence of the chauffeur, and the case appears to
have been tried largely upon the theory that it sounds in tort and that the liability of the
defendant is governed by article 1903 of the Civil Code. The trial court held, however, that
the cause of action rests on the defendant's breach of the contract of carriage and that,
consequently, articles 1101-1107 of the Civil Code, and not article 1903, are applicable. The
court further found that the breach of the contract was not due to fortuitous events and that,
therefore, the defendant was liable in damages.
In our opinion, the conclusions of the court below are entirely correct. That upon the facts
stated the defendant's liability, if any, is contractual, is well settled by previous decisions of
the court, beginning with the case of Rakes vs. Atlantic, Gulf & Pacific Co. (7 Phil., 359), and
the distinction between extra-contractual liability and contractual liability has been so ably
and exhaustively discussed in various other cases, that nothing further need here be said
upon that subject. (See Cangco vs. Manila Railroad Co., 38 Phil., 768; Manila Railroad Co. vs.
Compania Trasatlantica and Atlantic, Gulf & Pacific Co., 38 Phil., 875; De Guia vs. Manila
Electric Railroad & Light Co., 40 Phil., 706.) It is sufficient to reiterate that the source of the
defendant's legal liability is the contract of carriage; that by entering into that contract he
bound himself to carry the plaintiffs safely and securely to their destination; and that having
failed to do so he is liable in damages unless he shows that the failure to fulfill his obligation
was due to causes mentioned in article 1105 of the Civil Code, which reads as follows:
No one shall be liable for events which could not be foreseen or which, even if foreseen, were
inevitable, with the exception of the cases in which the law expressly provides otherwise and
those in which the obligation itself imposes such liability.
This brings us to the principal question in the case:
What is meant by "events which cannot be foreseen and which, having been foreseen, are
inevitable?" The Spanish authorities regard the language employed as an effort to define the
term caso fortuito and hold that the two expressions are synonymous. (Manresa, Comentarios
al Codigo Civil Espaol, vol. 8, pp. 88 et seq.; Scvola, Codigo Civil, vol. 19, pp. 526 et seq.)

18
The antecedent to article 1105 is found in Law 11, Title 33, Partida 7, which defines caso
fortuito as "occasion que a case por aventura de que non se puede ante ver. E son estos,
derrivamientos de casas e fuego que se enciende a so ora, e quebrantamiento de navio,
fuerca de ladrones. . . . (An event that takes place by accident and could not have been
foreseen. Examples of this are destruction of houses, unexpected fire, shipwreck, violence of
robbers. . . .)"
Escriche defines caso fortuito as "an unexpected event or act of God which could either be
foreseen nor resisted,
such as floods, torrents, shipwrecks, conflagrations, lightning, compulsion, insurrections,
destructions, destruction of
buildings by unforseen accidents and other occurrences of a similar nature."
In discussing and analyzing the term caso fortuito the Enciclopedia Juridica Espaola says: "In
a legal sense and, consequently, also in relation to contracts, a caso fortuito presents the
following essential characteristics: (1) The cause of the unforeseen and unexpected
occurrence, or of the failure of the debtor to comply with his obligation, must be independent
of the human will. (2) It must be impossible to foresee the event which constitutes the caso
fortuito, or if it can be foreseen, it must be impossible to avoid. (3) The occurrence must be
such as to render it impossible for the debtor to fulfill his obligation in a normal manner. And
(4) the obligor (debtor) must be free from any participation in the aggravation of the injury
resulting to the creditor." (5 Enciclopedia Juridica Espaola, 309.)
As will be seen, these authorities agree that some extraordinary circumstance independent of
the will of the obligor, or of his employees, is an essential element of a caso fortuito. Turning
to the present case, it is at once apparent that this element is lacking. It is not suggested that
the accident in question was due to an act of God or to adverse road conditions which could
not have been foreseen. As far as the records shows, the accident was caused either by
defects in the automobile or else through the negligence of its driver. That is not a caso
fortuito.
We agree with counsel that neither under the American nor Spanish law is a carrier of
passengers an absolute insurer against the risks of travel from which the passenger may
protect himself by exercising ordinary care and diligence. The case of Alba vs. Sociedad
Anonima de Tranvias, Jurisprudencia Civil, vol. 102, p. 928, cited by the defendant in support
of his contentions, affords a good illustration of the application of this principle. In that case
Alba, a passenger on a street car, was standing on the platform of the car while it was in
motion. The car rounded a curve causing Alba to lose his balance and fall off the platform,
sustaining severe injuries. In an action brought by him to recover damages, the supreme
court of Spain held that inasmuch as the car at the time of the accident was travelling at a
moderate rate of speed and there was no infraction of the regulations, and the plaintiff was
exposed to no greater danger than that inherent in that particular mode of travel, the plaintiff
could not recover, especially so since he should have been on his guard against a
contingency as natural as that of losing his balance to a greater or less extent when the car
rounded the curve.
But such is not the present case; here the passengers had no means of avoiding the danger
or escaping the injury.
The plaintiffs maintain that the evidence clearly establishes that they are entitled to damages
in the sum of P7,832.80 instead of P1,254.10 as found by the trial court, and their
assignments of error relate to this point only.
There can be no doubt that the expenses incurred by the plaintiffs as a result of the accident
greatly exceeded the amount of the damages awarded. But bearing in mind that in
determining the extent of the liability for losses or damages resulting from negligence in the
fulfillment of a contractual obligation, the courts have "a discretionary power to moderate the
liability according to the circumstances" (De Guia vs. Manila Electric Railroad & Light Co., 40
Phil., 706; art. 1103, Civil Code), we do not think that the evidence is such as to justify us in

19
interfering with the discretion of the court below in this respect. As pointed out by that court
in its well-reasoned and well-considered decision, by far the greater part of the damages
claimed by the plaintiffs resulted from the fracture of a bone in the left wrist of Joaquina
Sanchez and from her objections to having a decaying splinter of the bone removed by a
surgical operation. As a consequence of her refusal to submit such an operation, a series of
infections ensued and which required constant and expensive medical treatment for several
years. We agree with the court below that the defendant should not be charged with these
expenses.
For the reasons stated, the judgment appealed from is affirmed, without costs in this instance.
So ordered

10. Gacal v PAL


NATURE Petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Court of First Instance
FACTS Franklin G. Gacal and his wife, Corazon, Bonifacio S. Anislag and his wife, Mansueta,
and the late Elma de Guzman, boarded a PAL flight to Manila from the Davao Airport.
Commander Zapata, and five other armed members of the Moro National Liberation Front
(MNLF), all passengers of the same flight, hijacked the aircraft ten minutes after take off. The
hijackers directed the pilot to fly to Libya but upon the pilots explanation of the fuel
limitations, they relented and directed the aircraft to land at Zamboanga Airport.
At the runway of the Zamboanga Airport, the aircraft was met by two armored cars of the
military with machine guns pointed at the plane. The rebels demanded that a DC-aircraft take
them to Libya with the President of PAL as hostage and that they be given $375,000 and 6
armalites, otherwise they will blow up the plane. The negotiations lasted for three days and it
was only on the third day that the passengers were served 1/4 slice of a sandwich and 1/10
cup of PAL water. On the same day, relatives of the hijackers were allowed to board the plane
but immediately after they alighted therefrom, a battle between the military and the hijackers
ensued, culminating in the liberation of the surviving crew and passengers, the death of 10
passengers and 3 hijackers, and the capture of the 3 others.
Franklin G. Gacal was unhurt but his wife suffered injuries and was hospitalized for 2 days.
Bonifacio S. Anislag also escaped unhurt but Mrs. Anislag suffered a fracture at the radial
bone of her left elbow for which she was hospitalized and operated on. Elma de Guzman died
because of that battle.
The plaintiffs filed an action for damages demanding from PAL actual damages for hospital
and medical expenses and the value of lost personal belongings, moral damages,
attorneys fees and exemplary damages. The trial court dismissed the complaints finding
that all the damages sustained in the premises were attributed to force majeure. Hence, this
petition.
ISSUE Whether or not PAL is liable for damages
HELD NO. Under Art 1733 of the Civil Code, common carriers are required to exercise
extraordinary diligence in their vigilance over the goods and for the safety of passengers
transported by them, according so all the circumstances of each case. They are presumed at
fault or to have acted negligently whenever a passenger dies or is injured or for the loss,
destruction or deterioration of goods in cases other than those enumerated in Article 1734 of
the Civil Code.
The source of a common carrier's legal liability is the contract of carriage, and by entering
into said contract, it binds itself to carry the passengers safely as far as human care and
foresight can provide. There is breach of this obligation if it fails to exert extraordinary
diligence according to all the circumstances of the case in exercise of the utmost diligence of
a very cautious person.
It is the duty of a common carrier to overcome the presumption of negligence and it must be
shown that the carrier had observed the required extraordinary diligence of a very cautious
person as far as human care and foresight can provide or that the accident was caused by a

20
fortuitous event. Thus, as ruled by this Court, no person shall be responsible for those "events
which could not be foreseen or which though foreseen were inevitable." (Article 1174, Civil
Code). The term is synonymous with caso fortuito which is of the same sense as "force
majeure".
In order to constitute a caso fortuito or force majeure that would exempt a person from
liability under Article 1174 of the Civil Code, it is necessary that the following elements must
concur: (a) the cause of the breach of the obligation must be independent of the human will
(the will of the debtor or the obligor); (b) the event must be either unforeseeable or
unavoidable; (c) the event must be such as to render it impossible for the debtor to fulfill his
obligation in a normal manner; and (d) the debtor must be free from any participation in, or
aggravation of the injury to the creditor. Caso fortuito or force majeure, by definition, are
extraordinary events not foreseeable or avoidable, events that could not be foreseen, or
which, though foreseen, are inevitable. It is, therefore, not enough that the event should not
have been foreseen or anticipated, as is

11. Ganzon V CA
he private respondent instituted in the Court of First Instance of Manila 1 an action against the
petitioner for damages based on culpa contractual. The antecedent facts, as found by the
respondent Court, 2 are undisputed:
On November 28, 1956, Gelacio Tumambing contracted the services of Mauro B. Ganzon to
haul 305 tons of scrap iron from Mariveles, Bataan, to the port of Manila on board the lighter
LCT "Batman" (Exhibit 1, Stipulation of Facts, Amended Record on Appeal, p. 38). Pursuant to
that agreement, Mauro B. Ganzon sent his lighter "Batman" to Mariveles where it docked in
three feet of water (t.s.n., September 28, 1972, p. 31). On December 1, 1956, Gelacio
Tumambing delivered the scrap iron to defendant Filomeno Niza, captain of the lighter, for
loading which was actually begun on the same date by the crew of the lighter under the
captain's supervision. When about half of the scrap iron was already loaded (t.s.n., December
14, 1972, p. 20), Mayor Jose Advincula of Mariveles, Bataan, arrived and demanded P5,000.00
from Gelacio Tumambing. The latter resisted the shakedown and after a heated argument
between them, Mayor Jose Advincula drew his gun and fired at Gelacio Tumambing (t.s.n.,
March 19, 1971, p. 9; September 28, 1972, pp. 6-7).<re||an1w> The gunshot was not
fatal but Tumambing had to be taken to a hospital in Balanga, Bataan, for treatment (t.s.n.,
March 19, 1971, p. 13; September 28, 1972, p. 15).
After sometime, the loading of the scrap iron was resumed. But on December 4, 1956, Acting
Mayor Basilio Rub, accompanied by three policemen, ordered captain Filomeno Niza and his
crew to dump the scrap iron (t.s.n., June 16, 1972, pp. 8-9) where the lighter was docked
(t.s.n., September 28, 1972, p. 31). The rest was brought to the compound of NASSCO
(Record on Appeal, pp. 20-22). Later on Acting Mayor Rub issued a receipt stating that the
Municipality of Mariveles had taken custody of the scrap iron (Stipulation of Facts, Record on
Appeal, p. 40; t.s.n., September 28, 1972, p. 10.)
On the basis of the above findings, the respondent Court rendered a decision, the dispositive
portion of which states: WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby reversed and set
aside and a new one entered ordering defendant-appellee Mauro Ganzon to pay plaintiff-
appellant Gelacio E. Tumambimg the sum of P5,895.00 as actual damages, the sum of
P5,000.00 as exemplary damages, and the amount of P2,000.00 as attorney's fees. Costs
against defendant-appellee Ganzon. 3
In this petition for review on certiorari, the alleged errors in the decision of the Court of
Appeals are:
I THE COURT OF APPEALS FINDING THE HEREIN PETITIONER GUILTY OF BREACH OF THE
CONTRACT OF TRANSPORTATION AND IN IMPOSING A LIABILITY AGAINST HIM COMMENCING
FROM THE TIME THE SCRAP WAS PLACED IN HIS CUSTODY AND CONTROL HAVE NO BASIS IN
FACT AND IN LAW.

21
II THE APPELLATE COURT ERRED IN CONDEMNING THE PETITIONER FOR THE ACTS OF HIS
EMPLOYEES IN DUMPING THE SCRAP INTO THE SEA DESPITE THAT IT WAS ORDERED BY THE
LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL WITHOUT HIS PARTICIPATION.
III THE APPELLATE COURT FAILED TO CONSIDER THAT THE LOSS OF THE SCRAP WAS DUE TO A
FORTUITOUS EVENT AND THE PETITIONER IS THEREFORE NOT LIABLE FOR LOSSES AS A
CONSEQUENCE THEREOF. 4
The petitioner, in his first assignment of error, insists that the scrap iron had not been
unconditionally placed under his custody and control to make him liable. However, he
completely agrees with the respondent Court's finding that on December 1, 1956, the private
respondent delivered the scraps to Captain Filomeno Niza for loading in the lighter "Batman,"
That the petitioner, thru his employees, actually received the scraps is freely admitted.
Significantly, there is not the slightest allegation or showing of any condition, qualification, or
restriction accompanying the delivery by the private respondent-shipper of the scraps, or the
receipt of the same by the petitioner. On the contrary, soon after the scraps were delivered
to, and received by the petitioner-common carrier, loading was commenced.
By the said act of delivery, the scraps were unconditionally placed in the possession and
control of the common carrier, and upon their receipt by the carrier for transportation, the
contract of carriage was deemed perfected. Consequently, the petitioner-carrier's
extraordinary responsibility for the loss, destruction or deterioration of the goods
commenced. Pursuant to Art. 1736, such extraordinary responsibility would cease only upon
the delivery, actual or constructive, by the carrier to the consignee, or to the person who has
a right to receive them. 5 The fact that part of the shipment had not been loaded on board the
lighter did not impair the said contract of transportation as the goods remained in the custody
and control of the carrier, albeit still unloaded.
The petitioner has failed to show that the loss of the scraps was due to any of the following
causes enumerated in Article 1734 of the Civil Code, namely:
(1) Flood, storm, earthquake, lightning, or other natural disaster or calamity;
(2) Act of the public enemy in war, whether international or civil;
(3) Act or omission of the shipper or owner of the goods;
(4) The character of the goods or defects in the packing or in the containers;
(5) Order or act of competent public authority.
Hence, the petitioner is presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently. 6 By
reason of this presumption, the court is not even required to make an express finding of fault
or negligence before it could hold the petitioner answerable for the breach of the contract of
carriage. Still, the petitioner could have been exempted from any liability had he been able to
prove that he observed extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods in his custody,
according to all the circumstances of the case, or that the loss was due to an unforeseen
event or to force majeure. As it was, there was hardly any attempt on the part of the
petitioner to prove that he exercised such extraordinary diligence.
It is in the second and third assignments of error where the petitioner maintains that he is
exempt from any liability
because the loss of the scraps was due mainly to the intervention of the municipal officials of
Mariveles which constitutes a caso fortuito as defined in Article 1174 of the Civil Code. 7
We cannot sustain the theory of caso fortuito. In the courts below, the petitioner's defense
was that the loss of the scraps was due to an "order or act of competent public authority,"
and this contention was correctly passed upon by the Court of Appeals which ruled that:
... In the second place, before the appellee Ganzon could be absolved from responsibility on
the ground that he was ordered by competent public authority to unload the scrap iron, it
must be shown that Acting Mayor Basilio Rub had the power to issue the disputed order, or
that it was lawful, or that it was issued under legal process of authority. The appellee failed to
establish this. Indeed, no authority or power of the acting mayor to issue such an order was
given in evidence. Neither has it been shown that the cargo of scrap iron belonged to the

22
Municipality of Mariveles. What we have in the record is the stipulation of the parties that the
cargo of scrap iron was accilmillated by the appellant through separate purchases here and
there from private individuals (Record on Appeal, pp. 38-39). The fact remains that the order
given by the acting mayor to dump the scrap iron into the sea was part of the pressure
applied by Mayor Jose Advincula to shakedown the appellant for P5,000.00. The order of the
acting mayor did not constitute valid authority for appellee Mauro Ganzon and his
representatives to carry out.
Now the petitioner is changing his theory to caso fortuito. Such a change of theory on appeal
we cannot, however, allow. In any case, the intervention of the municipal officials was not In
any case, of a character that would render impossible the fulfillment by the carrier of its
obligation. The petitioner was not duty bound to obey the illegal order to dump into the sea
the scrap iron. Moreover, there is absence of sufficient proof that the issuance of the same
order was attended with such force or intimidation as to completely overpower the will of the
petitioner's employees. The mere difficulty in the fullfilment of the obligation is not
considered force majeure. We agree with the private respondent that the scraps could have
been properly unloaded at the shore or at the NASSCO compound, so that after the dispute
with the local officials concerned was settled, the scraps could then be delivered in
accordance with the contract of carriage.
There is no incompatibility between the Civil Code provisions on common carriers and Articles
361 8 and 362 9 of the Code of Commerce which were the basis for this Court's ruling in
Government of the Philippine Islands vs. Ynchausti & Co.10 and which the petitioner invokes
in tills petition. For Art. 1735 of the Civil Code, conversely stated, means that the shipper will
suffer the losses and deterioration arising from the causes enumerated in Art. 1734; and in
these instances, the burden of proving that damages were caused by the fault or negligence
of the carrier rests upon him. However, the carrier must first establish that the loss or
deterioration was occasioned by one of the excepted causes or was due to an unforeseen
event or to force majeure. Be that as it may, insofar as Art. 362 appears to require of the
carrier only ordinary diligence, the same is .deemed to have been modified by Art. 1733 of
the Civil Code.
Finding the award of actual and exemplary damages to be proper, the same will not be
disturbed by us. Besides, these were not sufficiently controverted by the petitioner.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED; the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby
AFFIRMED. Costs against the petitioner.

12. Maranan V Perez


Rogelio Corachea, on October 18, 1960, was a passenger in a taxicab owned and operated by
Pascual Perez when he was stabbed and killed by the driver, Simeon Valenzuela.
Valenzuela was prosecuted for homicide in the Court of First Instance of Batangas. Found
guilty, he was sentenced to suffer imprisonment and to indemnify the heirs of the deceased in
the sum of P6,000. Appeal from said conviction was taken to the Court of
Appeals.1wph1.t
On December 6 1961, while appeal was pending in the Court of Appeals, Antonia Maranan,
Rogelio's mother, filed an action in the Court of First Instance of Batangas to recover damages
from Perez and Valenzuela for the death of her son. Defendants asserted that the deceased
was killed in self-defense, since he first assaulted the driver by stabbing him from behind.
Defendant Perez further claimed that the death was a caso fortuito for which the carrier was
not liable.
The court a quo, after trial, found for the plaintiff and awarded her P3,000 as damages
against defendant Perez. The claim against defendant Valenzuela was dismissed. From this
ruling, both plaintiff and defendant Perez appealed to this Court, the former asking for more
damages and the latter insisting on non-liability. Subsequently, the Court of Appeals affirmed

23
the judgment of conviction earlier mentioned, during the pendency of the herein appeal, and
on May 19, 1964, final judgment was entered therein. (Rollo, p. 33).
Defendant-appellant relies solely on the ruling enunciated in Gillaco v. Manila Railroad Co., 97
Phil. 884, that the carrier is under no absolute liability for assaults of its employees upon the
passengers. The attendant facts and controlling law of that case and the one at bar are very
different however. In the Gillaco case, the passenger was killed outside the scope and the
course of duty of the guilty employee. As this Court there found:
x x x when the crime took place, the guard Devesa had no duties to discharge in connection
with the transportation of the deceased from Calamba to Manila. The stipulation of facts is
clear that when Devesa shot and killed Gillaco, Devesa was assigned to guard the Manila-San
Fernando (La Union) trains, and he was at Paco Station awaiting transportation to Tutuban,
the starting point of the train that he was engaged to guard. In fact, his tour of duty was to
start at 9:00 two hours after the commission of the crime. Devesa was therefore under no
obligation to safeguard the passengers of the Calamba-Manila train, where the deceased was
riding; and the killing of Gillaco was not done in line of duty. The position of Devesa at the
time was that of another would be passenger, a stranger also awaiting transportation, and not
that of an employee assigned to discharge any of the duties that the Railroad had assumed
by its contract with the deceased. As a result, Devesa's assault can not be deemed in law a
breach of Gillaco's contract of transportation by a servant or employee of the carrier. . . .
(Emphasis supplied)
Now here, the killing was perpetrated by the driver of the very cab transporting the
passenger, in whose hands the carrier had entrusted the duty of executing the contract of
carriage. In other words, unlike the Gillaco case, the killing of the passenger here took place
in the course of duty of the guilty employee and when the employee was acting within the
scope of his duties.
Moreover, the Gillaco case was decided under the provisions of the Civil Code of 1889 which,
unlike the present Civil Code, did not impose upon common carriers absolute liability for the
safety of passengers against wilful assaults or negligent acts committed by their employees.
The death of the passenger in the Gillaco case was truly a fortuitous event which exempted
the carrier from liability. It is true that Art. 1105 of the old Civil Code on fortuitous events has
been substantially reproduced in Art. 1174 of the Civil Code of the Philippines but both
articles clearly remove from their exempting effect the case where the law expressly provides
for liability in spite of the occurrence of force majeure. And herein significantly lies the
statutory difference between the old and present Civil Codes, in the backdrop of the factual
situation before Us, which further accounts for a different result in the Gillaco case. Unlike the
old Civil Code, the new Civil Code of the Philippines expressly makes the common carrier
liable for intentional assaults committed by its employees upon its passengers, by the
wording of Art. 1759 which categorically states that
Common carriers are liable for the death of or injuries to passengers through the negligence
or willful acts of the former's employees, although such employees may have acted beyond
the scope of their authority or in violation of the orders of the common carriers.
The Civil Code provisions on the subject of Common Carriers 1 are new and were taken from
Anglo-American Law.2There, the basis of the carrier's liability for assaults on passengers
committed by its drivers rests either on (1) the doctrine of respondeat superior or (2) the
principle that it is the carrier's implied duty to transport the passenger safely.3
Under the first, which is the minority view, the carrier is liable only when the act of the
employee is within the scope of his authority and duty. It is not sufficient that the act be
within the course of employment only.4
Under the second view, upheld by the majority and also by the later cases, it is enough that
the assault happens within the course of the employee's duty. It is no defense for the carrier
that the act was done in excess of authority or in disobedience of the carrier's orders. 5 The

24
carrier's liability here is absolute in the sense that it practically secures the passengers from
assaults committed by its own employees. 6
As can be gleaned from Art. 1759, the Civil Code of the Philippines evidently follows the rule
based on the second view. At least three very cogent reasons underlie this rule. As explained
in Texas Midland R.R. v. Monroe, 110 Tex. 97, 216 S.W. 388, 389-390, and Haver v. Central
Railroad Co., 43 LRA 84, 85: (1) the special undertaking of the carrier requires that it furnish
its passenger that full measure of protection afforded by the exercise of the high degree of
care prescribed by the law, inter alia from violence and insults at the hands of strangers and
other passengers, but above all, from the acts of the carrier's own servants charged with the
passenger's safety; (2) said liability of the carrier for the servant's violation of duty to
passengers, is the result of the formers confiding in the servant's hands the performance of
his contract to safely transport the passenger, delegating therewith the duty of protecting the
passenger with the utmost care prescribed by law; and (3) as between the carrier and the
passenger, the former must bear the risk of wrongful acts or negligence of the carrier's
employees against passengers, since it, and not the passengers, has power to select and
remove them.
Accordingly, it is the carrier's strict obligation to select its drivers and similar employees with
due regard not only to their technical competence and physical ability, but also, no less
important, to their total personality, including their patterns of behavior, moral fibers, and
social attitude.
Applying this stringent norm to the facts in this case, therefore, the lower court rightly
adjudged the defendant carrier liable pursuant to Art. 1759 of the Civil Code. The dismissal of
the claim against the defendant driver was also correct. Plaintiff's action was predicated on
breach of contract of carriage 7 and the cab driver was not a party thereto. His civil liability is
covered in the criminal case wherein he was convicted by final judgment.
In connection with the award of damages, the court a quo granted only P3,000 to plaintiff-
appellant. This is the minimum compensatory damages amount recoverable under Art. 1764
in connection with Art. 2206 of the Civil Code when a breach of contract results in the
passenger's death. As has been the policy followed by this Court, this minimal award should
be increased to P6,000. As to other alleged actual damages, the lower court's finding that
plaintiff's evidence thereon was not convincing, 8 should not be disturbed. Still, Arts. 2206 and
1764 award moral damages in addition to compensatory damages, to the parents of the
passenger killed to compensate for the mental anguish they suffered. A claim therefor, having
been properly made, it becomes the court's duty to award moral damages. 9 Plaintiff demands
P5,000 as moral damages; however, in the circumstances, We consider P3,000 moral
damages, in addition to the P6,000 damages afore-stated, as sufficient. Interest upon such
damages are also due to plaintiff-appellant. 10
Wherefore, with the modification increasing the award of actual damages in plaintiff's favor to
P6,000, plus P3,000.00 moral damages, with legal interest on both from the filing of the
complaint on December 6, 1961 until the whole amount is paid, the judgment appealed from
is affirmed in all other respects. No costs. So ordered.

13. De Gillaco V Manila Railroad Co.


The Manila Railroad Company has appealed from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of
Laguna sentencing it to pay P4,000 damages to the appellees herein, the widow and children
of the late Tomas Gillaco, shot by an employee of the Company in April, 1946.
The judgment was rendered upon the following stipulation of facts:
That at about 7:30 a.m., on the morning of April 1, 1946, Lieut. Tomas Gillaco, husband of the
plaintiff, was a passenger in the early morning train of the Manila Railroad Company from
Calamba, Laguna to Manila;
That when the train reached the Paco Railroad station, Emilio Devesa, a train guard of the
Manila Railroad Company assigned in the Manila-San Fernando, La Union Line, happened to

25
be in said station waiting for the same train which would take him to Tutuban Station, where
he was going to report for duty;
That Emilio Devesa had a long standing personal grudge against Tomas Gillaco, same dating
back during the Japanese occupation;
That because of this personal grudge, Devesa shot Gillaco with the carbine furnished to him
by the Manila Railroad Company for his use as such train guard, upon seeing him inside the
train coach;
That Tomas Gillaco died as a result of the would which he sustained from the shot fired by
Devesa.
It is also undisputed that Devesa was convicted with homicide by final judgment of the Court
of Appeals.
Appellant's contention is that, on the foregoing facts, no liability attaches to it as employer of
the killer, Emilio Devesa; that it is not responsible subsidiary ex delicto, under Art. 103 of the
Revised Penal Code, because the crime was not committed while the slayer was in the actual
performance of his ordinary duties and service; nor is it responsible ex contractu, since the
complaint did not aver sufficient facts to establish such liability, and no negligence on
appellant's party was shown. The Court below held the Railroad company responsible on the
ground that a contract of transportation implies protection of the passengers against acts of
personal violence by the agents or employees of the carrier.
There can be no quarrel with the principle that a passenger is entitled to protection from
personal violence by the carrier or its agents or employees, since the contract of
transportation obligates the carrier to transport a passenger safely to his destination. But
under the law of the case, this responsibility extends only to those that the carrier could
foresee or avoid through the exercise of the degree of car and diligence required of it.
Discussing the basis of a carrier's liability under the old Civil Code of 1889 (which was in force
in 1946, when Gillaco was shot) this Court said in Lasam vs. Smith (45 Phil., 657):
In our opinion, the conclusions of the court below are entirely correct. That upon the facts
stated the defendant's liability, if any, is contractual, is well settled by previous decisions of
the court, beginning with the case of Rakes vs. Atlantic, Gulf & Pacific Co. (7 Phil., 359), and
the distinction between extra-contractual liability and contractual liability has been so ably
and exhaustively discussed in various other cases that nothing further need here be said
upon that subject. (See Cangco vs. Manila Railroad Co., 38 Phil., 768; Manila
Railroad vs. Compaia Transatlantica and Atlantic, Gulf & Pacific Co., 38 Phil., 875; De
Guia vs. Manila Electric Railroad & Light Co., 40 Phil., 706). It is sufficient to reiterate that the
source of the defendant's legal liability is the contract of carriage; that by entering into that
contract he bound himself to carry the plaintiff safely and securely to their destination; and
that having failed to do so he is liable in damages unless he shows that the failure to fulfill his
obligation was due to causes mentioned in article 1105 of the Civil Code, which reads as
follows:
"No one shall be liable for events which could not be foreseen or which, even if foreseen, were
inevitable, with the exception of the cases in which the law expressly provides otherwise and
those in which the obligation itself imposes such liability."
The act of guard Devesa in shooting passenger Gillaco (because of a personal grudge
nurtured against the latter since the Japanese occupation) was entirely unforeseeable by the
Manila Railroad Co. The latter had no means to ascertain or anticipate that the two would
meet, nor could it reasonably foresee every personal rancor that might exist between each
one of its many employees and any one of the thousands of eventual passengers riding in its
trains. The shooting in question was therefore "caso fortuito" within the definition of article
105 of the old Civil Code, being both unforeseeable and inevitable under the given
circumstances; and pursuant to established doctrine, the resulting breach of appellant's
contract of safe carriage with the late Tomas Gillaco was excused thereby.

26
No doubt that a common carrier is held to a very high degree of care and diligence in the
protection of its passengers; but, considering the vast and complex activities of modern rail
transportation, to require of appellant that it should guard against all possible
misunderstanding between each and every one of its employees and every passenger that
might chance to ride in its conveyances at any time, strikes us as demanding diligence
beyond what human care and foresight can provide.
The lower Court and the appellees both relied on the American authorities that particularly
hold carriers to be insurers of the safety of their passengers against willful assault and
intentional ill treatment on the part of their servants, it being immaterial that the act should
be one of private retribution on the part of the servant, impelled by personal malice toward
the passenger (10 Am. Jur. 108; Ed. Note to Gassenheimer vs. Wester R. Co. 40 LRA (NS), p.
999, et seq.) But as can be inferred from the previous jurisprudence of this Court , the Civil
Code of 1889 did not impose such absolute liability (Lasam vs. Smith, supra). The liability of a
carrier as an insurer was not recognized in this jurisdiction (Government vs. Inchausti & Co.,
40 Phil., 219; Oriental Comm. Co. vs. Naviera Filipina, 38 Off. Gaz., 1020).
Another very important consideration that must be borne in mind is that, when the crime took
place, the guard Devesa had no duties to discharge in connection with the transportation of
the deceased from Calamba to Manila. The stipulation of facts is clear that when Devesa shot
and killed Gillaco, Devesa was assigned to guard the Manila-San Fernando (La Union) trains,
and he was at Paco Station awaiting transportation to Tutuban, the starting point of the train
that he was engaged to guard. In fact, his tour of duty was to start at 9:00 a.m., two
hours after the commission of the crime. Devesa was therefore under no obligation to
safeguard the passenger of the Calamba-Manila train, where the deceased was riding; and
the killing of Gillaco was not done in line of duty. The position of Devesa at the time was that
of another would be passenger, a stranger also awaiting transportation, and not that of an
employee assigned to discharge any of the duties that the Railroad had assumed by its
contract with the deceased. As a result, Devesa's assault cannot be deemed in law a breach
of Gillaco's contract of transportation by a servant or employee of the carrier. We agree with
the position taken by the Supreme Court of Texas in a similar case, where it held:
The only good reason for making the carrier responsible for the misconduct of the servant
perpetrated in his own interest, and not in that of his employer, or otherwise within the scope
of his employment, is that the servant is clothed with the delegated authority, and charge
with the duty by the carrier, to execute his undertaking with the passenger. And it cannot be
said, we think, that there is any such delegation to the employees at a station with reference
to passenger embarking at another or traveling on the train. Of course, we are speaking only
of the principle which holds a carrier responsible for wrong done to passenger by servants
acting in their own interest, and not in that of the employer. That principle is not the ordinary
rule, respondent superior, by which the employer is held responsible only for act or omissions
of the employee in the scope of his employment; but the only reason in our opinion for a
broader liability arises from the fact that the servant, in mistreating the passenger wholly for
some private purpose of his own, in the very act, violates the contractual obligation of the
employer for the performance of which he has put the employee in his place. The reason does
not exist where the employee who committed the assault was never in a position in which it
became his duty to his employer to represent him in discharging any duty of the latter toward
the passenger. The proposition that the carrier clothes every employee engaged in the
transportation business with the comprehensive duty of protecting every passenger with
whom he may in any way come in contact, and hereby makes himself liable for every assault
commited by such servant, without regard to the inquiry whether or not the passenger has
come within the sphere of duty of that servant as indicated by the employment, is regarded
as not only not sustained by the authorities, but as being unsound and oppressive both to the
employer and the employee. (Houston & T. C. R. Co. vs. Bush, 32 LRA (NS), p. 1205.)

27
Wherefore, the judgment appealed from is reversed and the complaint ordered dismissed,
without cost. So ordered.

14. Bachelor Express V CA


This is a petition for review of the decision of the Court of Appeals which reversed and set
aside the order of the Regional Trial Court, Branch I, Butuan City dismissing the private
respondents' complaint for collection of "a sum of money" and finding the petitioners
solidarily liable for damages in the total amount of One Hundred Twenty Thousand Pesos
(P120,000.00). The petitioners also question the appellate court's resolution denying a motion
for reconsideration.
On August 1, 1980, Bus No. 800 owned by Bachelor Express, Inc. and driven by Cresencio
Rivera was the situs of a stampede which resulted in the death of passengers Ornominio
Beter and Narcisa Rautraut.
The evidence shows that the bus came from Davao City on its way to Cagayan de Oro City
passing Butuan City; that while at Tabon-Tabon, Butuan City, the bus picked up a passenger;
that about fifteen (15) minutes later, a passenger at the rear portion suddenly stabbed a PC
soldier which caused commotion and panic among the passengers; that when the bus
stopped, passengers Ornominio Beter and Narcisa Rautraut were found lying down the road,
the former already dead as a result of head injuries and the latter also suffering from severe
injuries which caused her death later. The passenger assailant alighted from the bus and ran
toward the bushes but was killed by the police. Thereafter, the heirs of Ornominio Beter and
Narcisa Rautraut, private respondents herein (Ricardo Beter and Sergia Beter are the parents
of Ornominio while Teofilo Rautraut and Zoetera [should be Zotera] Rautraut are the parents
of Narcisa) filed a complaint for "sum of money" against Bachelor Express, Inc. its alleged
owner Samson Yasay and the driver Rivera.
In their answer, the petitioners denied liability for the death of Ornominio Beter and Narcisa
Rautraut. They alleged that ... the driver was able to transport his passengers safely to their
respective places of destination except Ornominio Beter and Narcisa Rautraut who jumped off
the bus without the knowledge and consent, much less, the fault of the driver and conductor
and the defendants in this case; the defendant corporation had exercised due diligence in the
choice of its employees to avoid as much as possible accidents; the incident on August 1,
1980 was not a traffic accident or vehicular accident; it was an incident or event very much
beyond the control of the defendants; defendants were not parties to the incident complained
of as it was an act of a third party who is not in any way connected with the defendants and
of which the latter have no control and supervision; (Rollo, pp. 112-
After due trial, the trial court issued an order dated August 8, 1985 dismissing the complaint.
Upon appeal however, the trial court's decision was reversed and set aside. The dispositive
portion of the decision of the Court of Appeals states:
WHEREFORE, the Decision appealed from is REVERSED and SET ASIDE and a new one entered
finding the appellees jointly and solidarily liable to pay the plaintiffs-appellants the following
amounts:
1) To the heirs of Ornominio Beter, the amount of Seventy Five Thousand Pesos (P75,000.00)
in loss of earnings and support, moral damages, straight death indemnity and attorney's fees;
and,
2) To the heirs of Narcisa Rautraut, the amount of Forty Five Thousand Pesos (P45,000.00) for
straight death indemnity, moral damages and attorney's fees. Costs against appellees. (Rollo,
pp. 71-72)
The petitioners now pose the following questions
What was the proximate cause of the whole incident? Why were the passengers on board the
bus panicked (sic) and why were they shoving one another? Why did Narcisa Rautraut and
Ornominio Beter jump off from the running bus?

28
The petitioners opine that answers to these questions are material to arrive at "a fair, just and
equitable judgment." (Rollo, p. 5) They claim that the assailed decision is based on a
misapprehension of facts and its conclusion is grounded on speculation, surmises or
conjectures.
As regards the proximate cause of the death of Ornominio Beter and Narcisa Rautraut, the
petitioners maintain that it was the act of the passenger who ran amuck and stabbed another
passenger of the bus. They contend that the stabbing incident triggered off the commotion
and panic among the passengers who pushed one another and that presumably out of fear
and moved by that human instinct of self-preservation Beter and Rautraut jumped off the bus
while the bus was still running resulting in their untimely death." (Rollo, p. 6) Under these
circumstances, the petitioners asseverate that they were not negligent in the performance of
their duties and that the incident was completely and absolutely attributable to a third
person, the passenger who ran amuck, for without his criminal act, Beter and Rautraut could
not have been subjected to fear and shock which compelled them to jump off the running
bus. They argue that they should not be made liable for damages arising from acts of third
persons over whom they have no control or supervision.
Furthermore, the petitioners maintain that the driver of the bus, before, during and after the
incident was driving cautiously giving due regard to traffic rules, laws and regulations. The
petitioners also argue that they are not insurers of their passengers as ruled by the trial court.
The liability, if any, of the petitioners is anchored on culpa contractual or breach of contract of
carriage. The applicable provisions of law under the New Civil Code are as follows:
ART. 1732. Common carriers are persons, corporations, firms or associations engaged in the
business of carrying or transporting passengers or goods or both by land, water, or air, for
compensation, offering their services to the public.
ART. 1733. Common carriers, from the nature of their business and for reasons of public
policy, are bound to observe extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods and for
the safety of the passengers transported by them, according to all the circumstances of each
case.
ART. 1755. A common carrier is bound to carry the passengers safely as far as human care
and foresight can provide, using the utmost diligence of very cautious persons, with a due
regard for all the circumstances.
ART. 1756. In case of death of or injuries to passengers, common carriers are presumed to
have been at fault or to have acted negligently, unless they prove that they observed
extraordinary diligence as prescribed in Articles 1733 and 1755.
There is no question that Bachelor Express, Inc. is a common carrier. Hence, from the nature
of its business and for reasons of public policy Bachelor Express, Inc. is bound to carry its
passengers safely as far as human care and foresight can provide using the utmost diligence
of very cautious persons, with a due regard for all the circumstances.
In the case at bar, Ornominio Beter and Narcisa Rautraut were passengers of a bus belonging
to petitioner Bachelor
Express, Inc. and, while passengers of the bus, suffered injuries which caused their death.
Consequently, pursuant to Article 1756 of the Civil Code, petitioner Bachelor Express, Inc. is
presumed to have acted negligently unless it can prove that it had observed extraordinary
diligence in accordance with Articles 1733 and 1755 of the New Civil Code.
Bachelor Express, Inc. denies liability for the death of Beter and Rautraut on its posture that
the death of the said passengers was caused by a third person who was beyond its control
and supervision. In effect, the petitioner, in order to overcome the presumption of fault or
negligence under the law, states that the vehicular incident resulting in the death of
passengers Beter and Rautraut was caused by force majeure or caso fortuito over which the
common carrier did not have any control.
Article 1174 of the present Civil Code states:

29
Except in cases expressly specified by law, or when it is otherwise declared by stipulations, or
when the nature of the obligation requires the assumption of risk, no person shall be
responsible for those events which could not be foreseen, or which though foreseen, were
inevitable.
The above-mentioned provision was substantially copied from Article 1105 of the old Civil
Code which states"
No one shall be liable for events which could not be foreseen or which, even if foreseen, were
inevitable, with the exception of the cases in which the law expressly provides otherwise and
those in which the obligation itself imposes liability.
In the case of Lasam v. Smith (45 Phil. 657 [1924]), we defined "events" which cannot be
foreseen and which, having been foreseen, are inevitable in the following manner:
... The Spanish authorities regard the language employed as an effort to define the term 'caso
fortuito' and hold that the two expressions are synonymous. (Manresa Comentarios al Codigo
Civil Espaol, vol. 8, pp. 88 et seq.; Scaevola, Codigo Civil, vol. 19, pp. 526 et seq.)
The antecedent to Article 1105 is found in Law II, Title 33, Partida 7, which defines caso
fortuito as 'occasion que acaese por aventura de que non se puede ante ver. E son estos,
derrivamientos de casas e fuego que enciende a so ora, e quebrantamiento de navio, fuerca
de ladrones' (An event that takes place by incident and could not have been foreseen.
Examples of this are destruction of houses, unexpected fire, shipwreck, violence of robbers ...)
Escriche defines caso fortuito as an unexpected event or act of God which could neither be
foreseen nor resisted, such as floods, torrents, shipwrecks, conflagrations, lightning,
compulsion, insurrections, destruction of buildings by unforeseen accidents and other
occurrences of a similar nature.
In discussing and analyzing the term caso fortuito the Enciclopedia Juridica Espaola says: 'In
a legal sense and, consequently, also in relation to contracts, a caso fortuito presents the
following essential characteristics: (1) The cause of the unforeseen and unexpected
occurrence, or of the failure of the debtor to comply with his obligation, must be independent
of the human will. (2) It must be impossible to foresee the event which constitutes the caso
fortuito, or if it can be foreseen, it must be impossible to avoid. (3) The occurrence must be
such as to render it impossible for the debtor to fulfill his obligation in a normal manner. And
(4) the obligor (debtor) must be free from any participation in the aggravation of the injury
resulting to the creditor. (5) Enciclopedia Juridica Espaola, 309)
As will be seen, these authorities agree that some extraordinary circumstance independent of
the will of the obligor or of his employees, is an essential element of a caso fortuito. ...
The running amuck of the passenger was the proximate cause of the incident as it triggered
off a commotion and panic among the passengers such that the passengers started running
to the sole exit shoving each other resulting in the falling off the bus by passengers Beter and
Rautraut causing them fatal injuries. The sudden act of the passenger who stabbed another
passenger in the bus is within the context of force majeure.
However, in order that a common carrier may be absolved from liability in case of force
majeure, it is not enough that the accident was caused by force majeure. The common carrier
must still prove that it was not negligent in causing the injuries resulting from such accident.
Thus, as early as 1912, we ruled:
From all the foregoing, it is concluded that the defendant is not liable for the loss and damage
of the goods shipped on the lorcha Pilar by the Chinaman, Ong Bien Sip, inasmuch as such
loss and damage were the result of a fortuitous event or force majeure, and there was no
negligence or lack of care and diligence on the part of the defendant company or its agents .
(Tan Chiong Sian v. Inchausti & Co., 22 Phil. 152 [1912]; Emphasis supplied).
This principle was reiterated in a more recent case, Batangas Laguna Tayabas Co. v.
Intermediate Appellate
Court (167 SCRA 379 [1988]), wherein we ruled:

30
... [F]or their defense of force majeure or act of God to prosper the accident must be due to
natural causes and exclusively without human intervention. (Emphasis supplied)
Therefore, the next question to be determined is whether or not the petitioner's common
carrier observed extraordinary diligence to safeguard the lives of its passengers.
In this regard the trial court and the appellate court arrived at conflicting factual findings.
The trial court found the following facts:
The parties presented conflicting evidence as to how the two deceased Narcisa Rautruat and
Ornominio Beter met their deaths.
However, from the evidence adduced by the plaintiffs, the Court could not see why the two
deceased could have fallen off the bus when their own witnesses testified that when the
commotion ensued inside the bus, the passengers pushed and shoved each other towards the
door apparently in order to get off from the bus through the door. But the passengers also
could not pass through the door because according to the evidence the door was locked.
On the other hand, the Court is inclined to give credence to the evidence adduced by the
defendants that when the commotion ensued inside the bus, the two deceased panicked and,
in state of shock and fear, they jumped off from the bus by passing through the window.
It is the prevailing rule and settled jurisprudence that transportation companies are not
insurers of their passengers. The evidence on record does not show that defendants'
personnel were negligent in their duties. The defendants' personnel have every right to
accept passengers absent any manifestation of violence or drunkenness. If and when such
passengers harm other passengers without the knowledge of the transportation company's
personnel, the latter should not be faulted. (Rollo, pp. 46-47)
A thorough examination of the records, however, show that there are material facts ignored
by the trial court which were discussed by the appellate court to arrive at a different
conclusion. These circumstances show that the petitioner common carrier was negligent in
the provision of safety precautions so that its passengers may be transported safely to their
destinations. The appellate court states:
A critical eye must be accorded the lower court's conclusions of fact in its tersely written ratio
decidendi. The lower court concluded that the door of the bus was closed; secondly, the
passengers, specifically the two deceased, jumped out of the window. The lower court
therefore concluded that the defendant common carrier is not liable for the death of the said
passengers which it implicitly attributed to the unforeseen acts of the unidentified passenger
who went amuck.
There is nothing in the record to support the conclusion that the solitary door of the bus was
locked as to prevent the passengers from passing through. Leonila Cullano, testifying for the
defense, clearly stated that the conductor opened the door when the passengers were
shouting that the bus stop while they were in a state of panic. Sergia Beter categorically
stated that she actually saw her son fall from the bus as the door was forced open by the
force of the onrushing passengers.
Pedro Collango, on the other hand, testified that he shut the door after the last passenger had
boarded the bus. But he had quite conveniently neglected to say that when the passengers
had panicked, he himself panicked and had gone to open the door. Portions of the testimony
of Leonila Cullano, quoted below, are illuminating:
xxx xxx xxx
Q When you said the conductor opened the door, the door at the front or rear portion of the
bus?
A Front door.
Q And these two persons whom you said alighted, where did they pass, the fron(t) door or
rear door?
A Front door.
xxx xxx xxx
(Tsn., p. 4, Aug. 8, 1984)

31
xxx xxx xxx
Q What happened after there was a commotion at the rear portion of the bus?
A When the commotion occurred, I stood up and I noticed that there was a passenger who
was sounded (sic). The
conductor panicked because the passengers were shouting 'stop, stop'. The conductor
opened the bus.'
(Tsn. p. 3, August 8, 1984).
Accordingly, there is no reason to believe that the deceased passengers jumped from the
window when it was entirely possible for them to have alighted through the door. The lower
court's reliance on the testimony of Pedro Collango, as the conductor and employee of the
common carrier, is unjustified, in the light of the clear testimony of Leonila Cullano as the sole
uninterested eyewitness of the entire episode. Instead we find Pedro Collango's testimony to
be infused by bias and fraught with inconsistencies, if not notably unreliable for lack of
veracity. On direct examination, he testified:
xxx xxx xxx
Q So what happened to the passengers inside your bus?
A Some of the passengers jumped out of the window.
COURT:
Q While the bus was in motion?
A Yes, your Honor, but the speed was slow because we have just picked up a passenger.
Atty. Gambe:
Q You said that at the time of the incident the bus was running slow because you have just
picked up a passenger. Can you estimate what was your speed at that time?
Atty. Calo:
No basis, your Honor, he is neither a driver nor a conductor.
COURT:
Let the witness answer. Estimate only, the conductor experienced.
Witness:
Not less than 30 to 40 miles.
COURT:
Kilometers or miles?
A Miles.
Atty. Gambe:
Q That is only your estimate by your experience?
A Yes, sir, estimate.
(Tsn., pp. 4-5, Oct. 17, 1983).
At such speed of not less than 30 to 40 miles ..., or about 48 to 65 kilometers per hour, the
speed of the bus could scarcely be considered slow considering that according to Collango
himself, the bus had just come from a full stop after picking a passenger (Tsn, p. 4, Id.) and
that the bus was still on its second or third gear (Tsn., p. 12, Id.).
In the light of the foregoing, the negligence of the common carrier, through its employees,
consisted of the lack of extraordinary diligence required of common carriers, in exercising
vigilance and utmost care of the safety of its passengers, exemplified by the driver's belated
stop and the reckless opening of the doors of the bus while the same was travelling at an
appreciably fast speed. At the same time, the common carrier itself acknowledged, through
its administrative officer, Benjamin Granada, that the bus was commissioned to travel and
take on passengers and the public at large, while equipped with only a solitary door for a bus
its size and loading capacity, in contravention of rules and regulations provided for under the
Land Transportation and Traffic Code (RA 4136 as amended.) (Rollo, pp. 23-26)
Considering the factual findings of the Court of Appeals-the bus driver did not immediately
stop the bus at the height of the commotion; the bus was speeding from a full stop; the
victims fell from the bus door when it was opened or gave way while the bus was still running;

32
the conductor panicked and blew his whistle after people had already fallen off the bus; and
the bus was not properly equipped with doors in accordance with law-it is clear that the
petitioners have failed to overcome the presumption of fault and negligence found in the law
governing common carriers.
The petitioners' argument that the petitioners "are not insurers of their passengers" deserves
no merit in view of the failure of the petitioners to prove that the deaths of the two
passengers were exclusively due to force majeure and not to the failure of the petitioners to
observe extraordinary diligence in transporting safely the passengers to their destinations as
warranted by law. (See Batangas Laguna Tayabas Co. v. Intermediate Appellate Court, supra).
The petitioners also contend that the private respondents failed to show to the court that they
are the parents of Ornominio Beter and Narcisa Rautraut respectively and therefore have no
legal personality to sue the petitioners. This argument deserves scant consideration. We find
this argument a belated attempt on the part of the petitioners to avoid liability for the deaths
of Beter and Rautraut. The private respondents were Identified as the parents of the victims
by witnesses during the trial and the trial court recognized them as such. The trial court
dismissed the complaint solely on the ground that the petitioners were not negligent.
Finally, the amount of damages awarded to the heirs of Beter and Rautraut by the appellate
court is supported by the evidence. The appellate court stated:
Ornominio Beter was 32 years of age at the time of his death, single, in good health and
rendering support and service to his mother. As far as Narcisa Rautraut is concerned, the only
evidence adduced is to the effect that at her death, she was 23 years of age, in good health
and without visible means of support.
In accordance with Art. 1764 in conjunction with Art. 2206 of the Civil Code, and established
jurisprudence, several factors may be considered in determining the award of damages,
namely: 1) life expectancy (considering the state of health of the deceased and the mortality
tables are deemed conclusive) and loss of earning capacity; (2) pecuniary loss, loss of support
and service; and (3) moral and mental suffering (Alcantara, et al. v. Surro, et al., 93 Phil. 470).
In the case of People v. Daniel (No. L-66551, April 25, 1985, 136 SCRA 92, at page 104), the
High Tribunal, reiterating the rule in Villa Rey Transit, Inc. v. Court of Appeals (31 SCRA 511),
stated that the amount of loss of earring capacity is based mainly on two factors, namely, (1)
the number of years on the basis of which the damages shall be computed; and (2) the rate
at which the losses sustained by the heirs should be fixed.
As the formula adopted in the case of Davila v. Philippine Air Lines, 49 SCRA 497, at the age
of 30 one's normal life expectancy is 33-1/3 years based on the American Expectancy Table of
Mortality (2/3 x 80-32).itc-asl By taking into account the pace and nature of the life of a
carpenter, it is reasonable to make allowances for these circumstances and reduce the life
expectancy of the deceased Ornominio Beter to 25 years (People v. Daniel, supra). To fix the
rate of losses it must be noted that Art. 2206 refers to gross earnings less necessary living
expenses of the deceased, in other words, only net earnings are to be considered (People v.
Daniel, supra; Villa Rey Transit, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, supra).
Applying the foregoing rules with respect to Ornominio Beter, it is both just and reasonable,
considering his social standing and position, to fix the deductible, living and incidental
expenses at the sum of Four Hundred Pesos (P400.00) a month, or Four Thousand Eight
Hundred Pesos (P4,800.00) annually. As to his income, considering the irregular nature of the
work of a daily wage carpenter which is seasonal, it is safe to assume that he shall have work
for twenty (20) days a month at Twenty Five Pesos (P150,000.00) for twenty five years.
Deducting therefrom his necessary expenses, his heirs would be entitled to Thirty Thousand
Pesos (P30,000.00) representing loss of support and service (P150,000.00 less P120,000.00).
In addition, his heirs are entitled to Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00) as straight death
indemnity pursuant to Article 2206 (People v. Daniel, supra). For damages for their moral and
mental anguish, his heirs are entitled to the reasonable sum of P10,000.00 as an exception to
the general rule against moral damages in case of breach of contract rule Art. 2200 (Necesito

33
v. Paras, 104 Phil. 75). As attorney's fees, Beter's heirs are entitled to P5,000.00. All in all, the
plaintiff-appellants Ricardo and Sergia Beter as heirs of their son Ornominio are entitled to an
indemnity of Seventy Five Thousand Pesos (P75,000.00).
In the case of Narcisa Rautraut, her heirs are entitled to a straight death indemnity of Thirty
Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00), to moral damages in the amount of Ten Thousand Pesos
(P10,000.00) and Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) as attorney's fees, or a total of Forty Five
Thousand Pesos (P45,000.00) as total indemnity for her death in the absence of any evidence
that she had visible means of support. (Rollo, pp. 30-31)
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DISMISSED. The questioned decision dated May 19, 1988
and the resolution dated August 1, 1988 of the Court of Appeals are AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.

15. Isaac V A.L Ammen Transpo


A. L. Ammen Transportation Co., Inc., hereinafter referred to as defendant, is a corporation
engaged in the business of transporting passengers by land for compensation in the Bicol
provinces and one of the lines it operates is the one connecting Legaspi City, Albay with Naga
City, Camarines Sur. One of the buses which defendant was operating is Bus No. 31. On May
31, 1951, plaintiff boarded said bus as a passenger paying the required fare from Ligao, Albay
bound for Pili, Camarines Sur, but before reaching his destination, the bus collided with a
motor vehicle of the pick-up type coming from the opposite direction, as a result of which
plaintiff's left arm was completely severed and the severed portion fell inside the bus. Plaintiff
was rushed to a hospital in Iriga, Camarines Sur where he was given blood transfusion to save
his life. After four days, he was transferred to another hospital in Tabaco, Albay, where he
under went treatment for three months. He was moved later to the Orthopedic Hospital where
he was operated on and stayed there for another two months. For these services, he incurred
expenses amounting to P623.40, excluding medical fees which were paid by defendant.
As an aftermath, plaintiff brought this action against defendants for damages alleging that
the collision which resulted in the loss of his left arm was mainly due to the gross
incompetence and recklessness of the driver of the bus operated by defendant and that
defendant incurred in culpa contractual arising from its non-compliance with its obligation to
transport plaintiff safely to his, destination. Plaintiff prays for judgment against defendant as
follows: (1) P5,000 as expenses for his medical treatment, and P3,000 as the cost of an
artificial arm, or a total of P8,000; (2) P6,000 representing loss of earning; (3) P75,000 for
diminution of his earning capacity; (4) P50,000 as moral damages; and (5) P10,000 as
attorneys' fees and costs of suit.
Defendant set up as special defense that the injury suffered by plaintiff was due entirely to
the fault or negligence of the driver of the pick-up car which collided with the bus driven by
its driver and to the contributory negligence of plaintiff himself. Defendant further claims that
the accident which resulted in the injury of plaintiff is one which defendant could not foresee
or, though foreseen, was inevitable.
The after trial found that the collision occurred due to the negligence of the driver of the pick-
up car and not to that of the driver of the bus it appearing that the latter did everything he
could to avoid the same but that notwithstanding his efforts, he was not able to avoid it. As a
consequence, the court dismissed complaint, with costs against plaintiff. This is an appeal
from said decision.
It appears that plaintiff boarded a bus of defendant as paying passenger from Ligao, Albay,
bound for Pili, Camarines Sur, but before reaching his destination, the bus collided with a pick-
up car which was coming from the opposite direction and, as a, result, his left arm was
completely severed and fell inside the back part of the bus. Having this background in view,
and considering that plaintiff chose to hold defendant liable on its contractual obligation to
carry him safely to his place of destination, it becomes important to determine the nature and

34
extent of the liability of a common carrier to a passenger in the light of the law applicable in
this jurisdiction.
In this connection, appellant invokes the rule that, "when an action is based on a contract of
carriage, as in this case, all that is necessary to sustain recovery is proof of the existence of
the contract of the breach thereof by act or omission", and in support thereof, he cites several
Philippine cases.1 With the ruling in mind, appellant seems to imply that once the contract of
carriage is established and there is proof that the same was broken by failure of the carrier to
transport the passenger safely to his destination, the liability of the former attaches. On the
other hand, appellee claims that is a wrong presentation of the rule. It claims that the
decisions of this Court in the cases cited do not warrant the construction sought to be placed
upon, them by appellant for a mere perusal thereof would show that the liability of the carrier
was predicated not upon mere breach of its contract of carriage but upon the finding that its
negligence was found to be the direct or proximate cause of the injury complained of. Thus,
appellee contends that "if there is no negligence on the part of the common carrier but that
the accident resulting in injuries is due to causes which are inevitable and which could not
have been avoided or anticipated notwithstanding the exercise of that high degree of care
and skill which the carrier is bound to exercise for the safety of his passengers", neither the
common carrier nor the driver is liable therefor.
We believe that the law concerning the liability of a common carrier has now suffered a
substantial modification in view of the innovations introduced by the new Civil Code. These
innovations are the ones embodied in Articles 1733, 1755 and 1756 in so far as the relation
between a common carrier and its passengers is concerned, which, for ready
reference, we quote hereunder:
ART. 1733. Common carriers, from the nature of their business and for reasons of public
policy, are bound to observe extra ordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods and for
the safety of the passengers transported by them according to all the circumstances of each
case.
Such extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods is further expressed in articles
1734, 1735, and 1745, Nos. 5, 6, and 7, while the extraordinary diligence for the safety of the
passengers is further set forth in articles 1755 and 1756.
ART. 1755. A common carrier is bound to carry the passengers safely as far as human care
and foresight can provide, using the utmost diligence of very cautious persons, with a due
regard for all the circumstances.
ART. 1756. In case of death of or injuries to passengers, common carriers are presumed to
have been at fault or to have acted negligently, unless they prove that they observed
extraordinary diligence as prescribed in articles 1733 and 1755.
The Code Commission, in justifying this extraordinary diligence required of a common carrier,
says the following:
A common carrier is bound to carry the passengers safely as far as human care and foresight
can provide, using the utmost deligence of very cautions persons, with due regard for all
circumstances. This extraordinary diligence required of common carriers is calculated to
protect the passengers from the tragic mishaps that frequently occur in connection with rapid
modern transportation. This high standard of care is imperatively demanded by the
precariousness of human life and by the consideration that every person must in every way
be safeguarded against all injury. (Report of the Code Commission, pp. 35-36)" (Padilla, Civil
Code of the Philippines, Vol. IV, 1956 ed., p. 197).
From the above legal provisions, we can make the following restatement of the principles
governing the liability of a common carrier: (1) the liability of a carrier is contractual and
arises upon breach of its obligation. There is breach if it fails to exert extraordinary diligence
according to all circumstances of each case; (2) a carrier is obliged to carry its passenger with
the utmost diligence of a very cautious person, having due regard for all the circumstances;
(3) a carrier is presumed to be at fault or to have acted negligently in case of death of, or

35
injury to, passengers, it being its duty to prove that it exercised extraordinary diligence; and
(4) the carrier is not an insurer against all risks of travel.
The question that now arises is: Has defendant observed extraordinary diligence or the
utmost diligence of every cautious person, having due regard for all circumstances, in
avoiding the collision which resulted in the injury caused to the plaintiff?
After examining the evidence in connection with how the collision occurred, the lower court
made the following finding: Hemos examinado muy detenidamente las pruebas presentadas
en la vista, principalmente, las declaraciones que hemos acotado arriba, y hernos Ilegado a la
conclusion de que el demandado ha hecho, todo cuanto estuviere de su parte para evitar el
accidente, pero sin embargo, no ha podido evitarlo.
EI hecho de que el demandado, antes del choque, tuvo que hacer pasar su truck encima de
los montones de grava que estaban depositados en la orilla del camino, sin que haya ido mas
alla, por el grave riesgo que corrian las vidas de sus pasajeros, es prueba concluyente de lo
que tenemos dicho, a saber: que el cuanto esuba de su parte, para evitar el accidente, sin
que haya podidoevitardo, por estar fuera de su control.
The evidence would appear to support the above finding. Thus, it appears that Bus No. 31,
immediately prior to the collision, was running at a moderate speed because it had just
stopped at the school zone of Matacong, Polangui, Albay. The pick-up car was at full speed
and was running outside of its proper lane. The driver of the bus, upon seeing the manner in
which the pick-up was then running, swerved the bus to the very extreme right of the road
until its front and rear wheels have gone over the pile of stones or gravel situated on the
rampart of the road. Said driver could not move the bus farther right and run over a greater
portion of the pile, the peak of which was about 3 feet high, without endangering the safety of
his passengers. And notwithstanding all these efforts, the rear left side of the bus was hit by
the pick-up car.
Of course, this finding is disputed by appellant who cannot see eye to eye with the evidence
for the appellee and insists that the collision took place because the driver of the bus was
going at a fast speed. He contends that, having seen that a car was coming from the opposite
direction at a distance which allows the use of moderate care and prudence to avoid an
accident, and knowing that on the side of the road along which he was going there was a pile
of gravel, the driver of the bus should have stopped and waited for the vehicle from the
opposite direction to pass, and should have proceeded only after the other vehicle had
passed. In other words, according to appellant, the act of the driver of the bus in squeezing
his way through of the bus in squeezing his way through between the oncoming pick-up and
the pile of gravel under the circumstances was considered negligent.
But this matter is one of credibility and evaluation of the evidence. This is evidence. This is
the function of the trial court. The trial court has already spoken on this matter as we have
pointed out above. This is also a matter of appreciation of the situation on the part of the
driver. While the position taken by appellant appeals more to the sense of caution that one
should observe in a given situation to avoid an accident or mishap, such however can not
always be expected from one who is placed suddenly in a predicament where he is not given
enough time to take the course of action as he should under ordinary circumstances. One who
is placed in such a predicament cannot exercise such coolness or accuracy of judgment as is
required of him under ordinary circumstances and he cannot therefore be expected to
observe the same judgment, care and precaution as in the latter. For this reason, authorities
abound where failure to observe the same degree of care that as ordinary prudent man would
exercise under ordinary circumstances when confronted with a sadden emergency was held
to be warranted and a justification to exempt the carrier from liability. Thus, it was held that
"where a carrier's employee is confronted with a sudden emergency, the fact that he is
obliged to act quickly and without a chance for deliberation must be taken into account, and
he is held to the some degree of care that he would otherwise be required to exercise in the
absence of such emergency but must exercise only such care as any ordinary prudent person

36
would exercise under like circumstances and conditions, and the failure on his part to exercise
the best judgement the case renders possible does not establish lack of care and skill on his
part which renders the company, liable. . . . (13 C. J. S., 1412; 10 C. J.,970). Considering all the
circumstances, we are persuaded to conclude that the driver of the bus has done what a
prudent man could have done to avoid the collision and in our opinion this relieves appellee
from legibility under our law.
A circumstances which miliates against the stand of appellant is the fact borne out by the
evidence that when he boarded the bus in question, he seated himself on the left side thereof
resting his left arm on the window sill but with his left elbow outside the window, this being
his position in the bus when the collision took place. It is for this reason that the collision
resulted in the severance of said left arm from the body of appellant thus doing him a great
damage. It is therefore apparent that appellant is guilty of contributory negligence. Had he
not placed his left arm on the window sill with a portion thereof protruding outside, perhaps
the injury would have been avoided as is the case with the other passenger. It is to be noted
that appellant was the only victim of the collision.
It is true that such contributory negligence cannot relieve appellee of its liability but will only
entitle it to a reduction of the amount of damage caused (Article 1762, new Civil Code), but
this is a circumstance which further militates against the position taken by appellant in this
case.
It is the prevailing rule that it is negligence per se for a passenger on a railroad voluntarily or
inadvertently to protrude his arm, hand, elbow, or any other part of his body through the
window of a moving car beyond the outer edge of the window or outer surface of the car, so
as to come in contact with objects or obstacles near the track, and that no recovery can be
had for an injury which but for such negligence would not have been sustained. (10 C. J.
1139)
Plaintiff, (passenger) while riding on an interurban car, to flick the ashes, from his cigar, thrust
his hand over the guard rail a sufficient distance beyond the side line of the car to bring it in
contact with the trunk of a tree standing beside the track; the force of the blow breaking his
wrist. Held, that he was guilty of contributory negligence as a matter of law. (Malakia vs.
Rhode Island Co., 89 A., 337.)
Wherefore, the decision appealed from is affirmed, with cost against appellant.

16. Compania Maritima V CA


Petitioner Compaia Maritima seeks to set aside through this petition for review on certiorari
the decision 1 of the Court of Appeals dated December 5, 1965, adjudging petitioner liable to
private respondent Vicente E. Concepcion for damages in the amount of P24,652.97 with
legal interest from the date said decision shall have become final, for petitioner's failure to
deliver safely private respondent's payloader, and for costs of suit. The payloader was
declared
abandoned in favor of petitioner.
The facts of the case are as follows: Private respondent Vicente E. Concepcion, a civil
engineer doing business under the name and style of Consolidated Construction with office
address at Room 412, Don Santiago Bldg., Taft Avenue, Manila, had a contract with the Civil
Aeronautics Administration (CAA) sometime in 1964 for the construction of the airport in
Cagayan de Oro City Misamis Oriental.
Being a Manila based contractor, Vicente E. Concepcion had to ship his construction
equipment to Cagayan de Oro City. Having shipped some of his equipment through petitioner
and having settled the balance of P2,628.77 with respect to said shipment, Concepcion
negotiated anew with petitioner, thru its collector, Pacifico Fernandez, on August 28, 1964 for
the shipment to Cagayan de Oro City of one (1) unit payloader, four (4) units 6x6 Reo trucks
and two (2) pieces of water tanks. He was issued Bill of Lading 113 on the same date upon
delivery of the equipment at the Manila North Harbor. 2

37
These equipment were loaded aboard the MV Cebu in its Voyage No. 316, which left Manila on
August 30, 1964 and arrived at Cagayan de Oro City in the afternoon of September 1, 1964.
The Reo trucks and water tanks were safely unloaded within a few hours after arrival, but
while the payloader was about two (2) meters above the pier in the course of unloading, the
swivel pin of the heel block of the port block of Hatch No. 2 gave way, causing the payloader
to fall. 3 The payloader was damaged and was thereafter taken to petitioner's compound in
Cagayan de Oro City.
On September 7, 1964, Consolidated Construction, thru Vicente E. Concepcion, wrote
Compaia Maritima to demand a replacement of the payloader which it was considering as a
complete loss because of the extent of damage. 4 Consolidated Construction likewise notified
petitioner of its claim for damages. Unable to elicit response, the demand was repeated in a
letter dated October 2, 1964. 5
Meanwhile, petitioner shipped the payloader to Manila where it was weighed at the San
Miguel Corporation. Finding that the payloader weighed 7.5 tons and not 2.5 tons as declared
in the B-111 of Lading, petitioner denied the claim for damages of Consolidated Construction
in its letter dated October 7, 1964, contending that had Vicente E. Concepcion declared the
actual weight of the payloader, damage to their ship as well as to his payloader could have
been prevented. 6
To replace the damaged payloader, Consolidated Construction in the meantime bought a new
one at P45,000.00 from Bormaheco Inc. on December 3, 1964, and on July 6, 1965., Vicente
E. Concepcion filed an action for damages against petitioner with the then Court of First
Instance of Manila, Branch VII, docketed as Civil Case No. 61551, seeking to recover damages
in the amount of P41,225.00 allegedly suffered for the period of 97 days that he was not able
to employ a payloader in the construction job at the rate of P450.00 a day; P34,000.00
representing the cost of the damaged payloader; Pl 1, 000. 00 representing the difference
between the cost of the damaged payloader and that of the new payloader; P20,000.00
representing the losses suffered by him due to the diversion of funds to enable him to buy a
new payloader; P10,000.00 as attorney's fees; P5,000.00 as exemplary damages; and cost of
the suit. 7
After trial, the then Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch VII, dismissed on April 24, 1968
the complaint with costs against therein plaintiff, herein private respondent Vicente E.
Concepcion, stating that the proximate cause of the fall of the payloader was Vicente E.
Concepcion's act or omission in having misrepresented the weight of the payloader as 2.5
tons instead of its true weight of 7.5 tons, which underdeclaration was intended to defraud
Compaia Maritima of the payment of the freight charges and which likewise led the Chief
Officer of the vessel to use the heel block of hatch No. 2 in unloading the payloader. 8
From the adverse decision against him, Vicente E. Concepcion appealed to the Court of
Appeals which, on December 5, 1965 rendered a decision, the dispositive portion of which
reads:
IN VIEW WHEREOF, judgment must have to be as it is hereby reversed; defendant is
condemned to pay unto plaintiff the sum in damages of P24,652.07 with legal interest from
the date the present decision shall have become final; the payloader is declared abandoned
to defendant; costs against the latter. 9
Hence, the instant petition.
The principal issue in the instant case is whether or not the act of private respondent Vicente
E. Concepcion in furnishing petitioner Compaia Maritima with an inaccurate weight of 2.5
tons instead of the payloader's actual weight of 7.5 tons was the proximate and only cause of
the damage on the Oliver Payloader OC-12 when it fell while being unloaded by petitioner's
crew, as would absolutely exempt petitioner from liability for damages under paragraph 3 of
Article 1734 of the Civil Code, which provides:
Art. 1734. Common carriers are responsible for the loss, destruction, or deterioration of the
goods, unless the same is due to any of the following causes only:

38
xxx xxx xxx
(3) Act or omission of the shipper or owner of the goods.
Petitioner claims absolute exemption under this provision upon the reasoning that private
respondent's act of furnishing it with an inaccurate weight of the payloader constitutes
misrepresentation within the meaning of "act or omission of the shipper or owner of the
goods" under the above- quoted article. It likewise faults the respondent Court of Appeals for
reversing the decision of the trial court notwithstanding that said appellate court also found
that by representing the weight of the payloader to be only 2.5 tons, private respondent had
led petitioner's officer to believe that the same was within the 5 tons capacity of the heel
block of Hatch No. 2. Petitioner would thus insist that the proximate and only cause of the
damage to the payloader was private respondent's alleged misrepresentation of the weight of
the machinery in question; hence, any resultant damage to it must be borne by private
respondent Vicente E. Concepcion.
The general rule under Articles 1735 and 1752 of the Civil Code is that common carriers are
presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently in case the goods transported by
them are lost, destroyed or had deteriorated. To overcome the presumption of liability for the
loss, destruction or deterioration of the goods under Article 1735, the common carriers must
prove that they observed extraordinary diligence as required in Article 1733 of the Civil Code.
The responsibility of observing extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods is
further expressed in Article 1734 of the same Code, the article invoked by petitioner to avoid
liability for damages.
Corollary is the rule that mere proof of delivery of the goods in good order to a common
carrier, and of their arrival at the place of destination in bad order, makes out prima
facie case against the common carrier, so that if no explanation is given as to how the loss,
deterioration or destruction of the goods occurred, the common carrier must be held
responsible. 10 Otherwise stated, it is incumbent upon the common carrier to prove that the
loss, deterioration or destruction was due to accident or some other circumstances
inconsistent with its liability.
In the instant case, We are not persuaded by the proferred explanation of petitioner alleged to
be the proximate cause of the fall of the payloader while it was being unloaded at the
Cagayan de Oro City pier. Petitioner seems to have overlooked the extraordinary diligence
required of common carriers in the vigilance over the goods transported by them by virtue of
the nature of their business, which is impressed with a special public duty.
Thus, Article 1733 of the Civil Code provides:
Art. 1733. Common carriers, from the nature of their business and for reason of public policy,
are bound to observe extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods and for the
safety of the passengers transported by them according to all the circumstances of each
case.
Such extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods is further expressed in Articles
1734, 1735 and 1745, Nos. 5, 6 and 7, ...
The extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods tendered for shipment requires
the common carrier to know and to follow the required precaution for avoiding damage to, or
destruction of the goods entrusted to it for safe carriage and delivery. It requires common
carriers to render service with the greatest skill and foresight and "to use all reasonable
means to ascertain the nature and characteristic of goods tendered for shipment, and to
exercise due care in the handling and stowage including such methods as their nature
requires." 11 Under Article 1736 of the Civil Code, the responsibility to observe extraordinary
diligence commences and lasts from the time the goods are unconditionally placed in the
possession of, and received by the carrier for transportation until the same are delivered,
actually or constructively, by the carrier to the consignee, or to the person who has the right
to receive them without prejudice to the provisions of Article 1738.

39
Where, as in the instant case, petitioner, upon the testimonies of its own crew, failed to take
the necessary and adequate precautions for avoiding damage to, or destruction of, the
payloader entrusted to it for safe carriage and delivery to Cagayan de Oro City, it cannot be
reasonably concluded that the damage caused to the payloader was due to the alleged
misrepresentation of private respondent Concepcion as to the correct and accurate weight of
the payloader. As found by the respondent Court of Appeals, the fact is that petitioner used a
5-ton capacity lifting apparatus to lift and unload a visibly heavy cargo like a payloader.
Private respondent has, likewise, sufficiently established the laxity and carelessness of
petitioner's crew in their methods of ascertaining the weight of heavy cargoes offered for
shipment before loading and unloading them, as is customary among careful persons.
It must be noted that the weight submitted by private respondent Concepcion appearing at
the left-hand portion of Exhibit 8 12 as an addendum to the original enumeration of equipment
to be shipped was entered into the bill of lading by petitioner, thru Pacifico Fernandez, a
company collector, without seeing the equipment to be shipped. 13 Mr. Mariano Gupana,
assistant traffic manager of petitioner, confirmed in his testimony that the company never
checked the information entered in the bill of lading. 14 Worse, the weight of the payloader as
entered in the bill of lading was assumed to be correct by Mr. Felix Pisang, Chief Officer of MV
Cebu. 15
The weights stated in a bill of lading are prima facie evidence of the amount received and the
fact that the weighing was done by another will not relieve the common carrier where it
accepted such weight and entered it on the bill of lading. 16 Besides, common carriers can
protect themselves against mistakes in the bill of lading as to weight by exercising diligence
before issuing the same. 17
While petitioner has proven that private respondent Concepcion did furnish it with an
inaccurate weight of the payloader, petitioner is nonetheless liable, for the damage caused to
the machinery could have been avoided by the exercise of reasonable skill and attention on
its part in overseeing the unloading of such a heavy equipment. And circumstances clearly
show that the fall of the payloader could have been avoided by petitioner's crew. Evidence on
record sufficiently show that the crew of petitioner had been negligent in the performance of
its obligation by reason of their having failed to take the necessary precaution under the
circumstances which usage has established among careful persons, more particularly its Chief
Officer, Mr. Felix Pisang, who is tasked with the over-all supervision of loading and unloading
heavy cargoes and upon whom rests the burden of deciding as to what particular winch the
unloading of the payloader should be undertaken. 18 While it was his duty to determine the
weight of heavy cargoes before accepting them. Mr. Felix Pisang took the bill of lading on its
face value and presumed the same to be correct by merely "seeing" it. 19 Acknowledging that
there was a "jumbo" in the MV Cebu which has the capacity of lifting 20 to 25 ton cargoes, Mr.
Felix Pisang chose not to use it, because according to him, since the ordinary boom has a
capacity of 5 tons while the payloader was only 2.5 tons, he did not bother to use the "jumbo"
anymore. 20
In that sense, therefore, private respondent's act of furnishing petitioner with an inaccurate
weight of the payloader upon being asked by petitioner's collector, cannot be used by said
petitioner as an excuse to avoid liability for the damage caused, as the same could have been
avoided had petitioner utilized the "jumbo" lifting apparatus which has a capacity of lifting 20
to 25 tons of heavy cargoes. It is a fact known to the Chief Officer of MV Cebu that the
payloader was loaded aboard the MV Cebu at the Manila North Harbor on August 28, 1964 by
means of a terminal crane. 21 Even if petitioner chose not to take the necessary precaution to
avoid damage by checking the correct weight of the payloader, extraordinary care and
diligence compel the use of the "jumbo" lifting apparatus as the most prudent course for
petitioner.
While the act of private respondent in furnishing petitioner with an inaccurate weight of the
payloader cannot successfully be used as an excuse by petitioner to avoid liability to the

40
damage thus caused, said act constitutes a contributory circumstance to the damage caused
on the payloader, which mitigates the liability for damages of petitioner in accordance with
Article 1741 of the Civil Code, to wit:
Art. 1741. If the shipper or owner merely contributed to the loss, destruction or deterioration
of the goods, the proximate cause thereof being the negligence of the common carrier, the
latter shall be liable in damages, which however, shall be equitably reduced.
We find equitable the conclusion of the Court of Appeals reducing the recoverable amount of
damages by 20% or 1/5 of the value of the payloader, which at the time the instant case
arose, was valued at P34,000. 00, thereby reducing the recoverable amount at 80% or 4/5 of
P34,000.00 or the sum of P27,200.00. Considering that the freight charges for the entire
cargoes shipped by private respondent amounting to P2,318.40 remained unpaid.. the same
would be deducted from the P27,000.00 plus an additional deduction of P228.63 representing
the freight charges for the undeclared weight of 5 tons (difference between 7.5 and 2.5 tons)
leaving, therefore, a final recoverable amount of damages of P24,652.97 due to private
respondent Concepcion.
Notwithstanding the favorable judgment in his favor, private respondent assailed the Court of
Appeals' decision insofar as it limited the damages due him to only P24,652.97 and the cost
of the suit. Invoking the provisions on damages under the Civil Code, more particularly
Articles 2200 and 2208, private respondent further seeks additional damages allegedly
because the construction project was delayed and that in spite of his demands, petitioner
failed to take any steps to settle his valid, just and demandable claim for damages.
We find private respondent's submission erroneous. It is well- settled that an appellee, who is
not an appellant, may assign errors in his brief where his purpose is to maintain the judgment
on other grounds, but he may not do so if his purpose is to have the judgment modified or
reversed, for, in such case, he must appeal. 22 Since private respondent did not appeal from
the judgment insofar as it limited the award of damages due him, the reduction of 20% or 1/5
of the value of the payloader stands.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the petition is DENIED. The decision of the Court of
Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED in all respects with costs against petitioner. In view of the length
of time this case has been pending, this decision is immediately executory.

17. Cangco V Manila Railroad Co.


At the time of the occurrence which gave rise to this litigation the plaintiff, Jose Cangco, was
in the employment of Manila Railroad Company in the capacity of clerk, with a monthly wage
of P25. He lived in the pueblo of San Mateo, in the province of Rizal, which is located upon the
line of the defendant railroad company; and in coming daily by train to the company's office
in the city of Manila where he worked, he used a pass, supplied by the company, which
entitled him to ride upon the company's trains free of charge. Upon the occasion in question,
January 20, 1915, the plaintiff arose from his seat in the second class-car where he was riding
and, making, his exit through the door, took his position upon the steps of the coach, seizing
the upright guardrail with his right hand for support.
On the side of the train where passengers alight at the San Mateo station there is a cement
platform which begins to rise with a moderate gradient some distance away from the
company's office and extends along in front of said office for a distance sufficient to cover the
length of several coaches. As the train slowed down another passenger, named Emilio Zuiga,
also an employee of the railroad company, got off the same car, alighting safely at the point
where the platform begins to rise from the level of the ground. When the train had proceeded
a little farther the plaintiff Jose Cangco stepped off also, but one or both of his feet came in
contact with a sack of watermelons with the result that his feet slipped from under him and
he fell violently on the platform. His body at once rolled from the platform and was drawn
under the moving car, where his right arm was badly crushed and lacerated. It appears that

41
after the plaintiff alighted from the train the car moved forward possibly six meters before it
came to a full stop.
The accident occurred between 7 and 8 o'clock on a dark night, and as the railroad station
was lighted dimly by a single light located some distance away, objects on the platform where
the accident occurred were difficult to discern especially to a person emerging from a lighted
car.
The explanation of the presence of a sack of melons on the platform where the plaintiff
alighted is found in the fact that it was the customary season for harvesting these melons and
a large lot had been brought to the station for the shipment to the market. They were
contained in numerous sacks which has been piled on the platform in a row one upon another.
The testimony shows that this row of sacks was so placed of melons and the edge of platform;
and it is clear that the fall of the plaintiff was due to the fact that his foot alighted upon one of
these melons at the moment he stepped upon the platform. His statement that he failed to
see these objects in the darkness is readily to be credited.
The plaintiff was drawn from under the car in an unconscious condition, and it appeared that
the injuries which he had received were very serious. He was therefore brought at once to a
certain hospital in the city of Manila where an examination was made and his arm was
amputated. The result of this operation was unsatisfactory, and the plaintiff was then carried
to another hospital where a second operation was performed and the member was again
amputated higher up near the shoulder. It appears in evidence that the plaintiff expended the
sum of P790.25 in the form of medical and surgical fees and for other expenses in connection
with the process of his curation.
Upon August 31, 1915, he instituted this proceeding in the Court of First Instance of the city of
Manila to recover damages of the defendant company, founding his action upon the
negligence of the servants and employees of the defendant in placing the sacks of melons
upon the platform and leaving them so placed as to be a menace to the security of passenger
alighting from the company's trains. At the hearing in the Court of First Instance, his Honor,
the trial judge, found the facts substantially as above stated, and drew therefrom his
conclusion to the effect that, although negligence was attributable to the defendant by reason
of the fact that the sacks of melons were so placed as to obstruct passengers passing to and
from the cars, nevertheless, the plaintiff himself had failed to use due caution in alighting
from the coach and was therefore precluded form recovering. Judgment was accordingly
entered in favor of the defendant company, and the plaintiff appealed.
It can not be doubted that the employees of the railroad company were guilty of negligence in
piling these sacks on the platform in the manner above stated; that their presence caused the
plaintiff to fall as he alighted from the train; and that they therefore constituted an effective
legal cause of the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. It necessarily follows that the defendant
company is liable for the damage thereby occasioned unless recovery is barred by the
plaintiff's own contributory negligence. In resolving this problem it is necessary that each of
these conceptions of liability, to-wit, the primary responsibility of the defendant company and
the contributory negligence of the plaintiff should be separately examined.
It is important to note that the foundation of the legal liability of the defendant is the contract
of carriage, and that the obligation to respond for the damage which plaintiff has suffered
arises, if at all, from the breach of that contract by reason of the failure of defendant to
exercise due care in its performance. That is to say, its liability is direct and immediate,
differing essentially, in legal viewpoint from that presumptive responsibility for the negligence
of its servants, imposed by article 1903 of the Civil Code, which can be rebutted by proof of
the exercise of due care in their selection and supervision. Article 1903 of the Civil Code is not
applicable to obligations arising ex contractu, but only to extra-contractual obligations or to
use the technical form of expression, that article relates only to culpa aquiliana and not
to culpa contractual.

42
Manresa (vol. 8, p. 67) in his commentaries upon articles 1103 and 1104 of the Civil Code,
clearly points out this distinction, which was also recognized by this Court in its decision in the
case of Rakes vs. Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Co. (7 Phil. rep., 359). In commenting upon article
1093 Manresa clearly points out the difference between "culpa, substantive and independent,
which of itself constitutes the source of an obligation between persons not formerly
connected by any legal tie" and culpa considered as an accident in the performance of an
obligation already existing
In the Rakes case (supra) the decision of this court was made to rest squarely upon the
proposition that article 1903 of the Civil Code is not applicable to acts of negligence which
constitute the breach of a contract.
Upon this point the Court said:
The acts to which these articles [1902 and 1903 of the Civil Code] are applicable are
understood to be those not growing out of pre-existing duties of the parties to one another.
But where relations already formed give rise to duties, whether springing from contract or
quasi-contract, then breaches of those duties are subject to article 1101, 1103, and 1104 of
the same code. (Rakes vs. Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Co., 7 Phil. Rep., 359 at 365.)
This distinction is of the utmost importance. The liability, which, under the Spanish law, is, in
certain cases imposed upon employers with respect to damages occasioned by the
negligence of their employees to persons to whom they are not bound by contract, is not
based, as in the English Common Law, upon the principle of respondeat superior if it were,
the master would be liable in every case and unconditionally but upon the principle
announced in article 1902 of the Civil Code, which imposes upon all persons who by their fault
or negligence, do injury to another, the obligation of making good the damage caused. One
who places a powerful automobile in the hands of a servant whom he knows to be ignorant of
the method of managing such a vehicle, is himself guilty of an act of negligence which makes
him liable for all the consequences of his imprudence. The obligation to make good the
damage arises at the very instant that the unskillful servant, while acting within the scope of
his employment causes the injury. The liability of the master is personal and direct. But, if the
master has not been guilty of any negligence whatever in the selection and direction of the
servant, he is not liable for the acts of the latter, whatever done within the scope of his
employment or not, if the damage done by the servant does not amount to a breach of the
contract between the master and the person injured.
It is not accurate to say that proof of diligence and care in the selection and control of the
servant relieves the master from liability for the latter's acts on the contrary, that proof
shows that the responsibility has never existed. As Manresa says (vol. 8, p. 68) the liability
arising from extra-contractual culpa is always based upon a voluntary act or omission which,
without willful intent, but by mere negligence or inattention, has caused damage to another. A
master who exercises all possible care in the selection of his servant, taking into
consideration the qualifications they should possess for the discharge of the duties which it is
his purpose to confide to them, and directs them with equal diligence, thereby performs his
duty to third persons to whom he is bound by no contractual ties, and he incurs no liability
whatever if, by reason of the negligence of his servants, even within the scope of their
employment, such third person suffer damage. True it is that under article 1903 of the Civil
Code the law creates a presumption that he has been negligent in the selection or direction of
his servant, but the presumption is rebuttable and yield to proof of due care and diligence in
this respect.
The supreme court of Porto Rico, in interpreting identical provisions, as found in the Porto Rico
Code, has held that these articles are applicable to cases of extra-
contractual culpa exclusively. (Carmona vs. Cuesta, 20 Porto Rico Reports, 215.)
This distinction was again made patent by this Court in its decision in the case of
Bahia vs. Litonjua and Leynes, (30 Phil. rep., 624), which was an action brought upon the
theory of the extra-contractual liability of the defendant to respond for the damage caused by

43
the carelessness of his employee while acting within the scope of his employment. The Court,
after citing the last paragraph of article 1903 of the Civil Code, said:
From this article two things are apparent: (1) That when an injury is caused by the negligence
of a servant or employee there instantly arises a presumption of law that there was
negligence on the part of the master or employer either in selection of the servant or
employee, or in supervision over him after the selection, or both; and (2) that that
presumption is juris tantum and not juris et de jure, and consequently, may be rebutted. It
follows necessarily that if the employer shows to the satisfaction of the court that in selection
and supervision he has exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a family, the
presumption is overcome and he is relieved from liability.
This theory bases the responsibility of the master ultimately on his own negligence and not
on that of his servant. This is the notable peculiarity of the Spanish law of negligence. It is, of
course, in striking contrast to the American doctrine that, in relations with strangers, the
negligence of the servant in conclusively the negligence of the master.
The opinion there expressed by this Court, to the effect that in case of extra-
contractual culpa based upon negligence, it is necessary that there shall have been some
fault attributable to the defendant personally, and that the last paragraph of article 1903
merely establishes a rebuttable presumption, is in complete accord with the authoritative
opinion of Manresa, who says (vol. 12, p. 611) that the liability created by article 1903 is
imposed by reason of the breach of the duties inherent in the special relations of authority or
superiority existing between the person called upon to repair the damage and the one who,
by his act or omission, was the cause of it.
On the other hand, the liability of masters and employers for the negligent acts or omissions
of their servants or agents, when such acts or omissions cause damages which amount to the
breach of a contact, is not based upon a mere presumption of the master's negligence in their
selection or control, and proof of exercise of the utmost diligence and care in this regard does
not relieve the master of his liability for the breach of his contract.
Every legal obligation must of necessity be extra-contractual or contractual. Extra-contractual
obligation has its source in the breach or omission of those mutual duties which civilized
society imposes upon it members, or which arise from these relations, other than contractual,
of certain members of society to others, generally embraced in the concept of status. The
legal rights of each member of society constitute the measure of the corresponding legal
duties, mainly negative in character, which the existence of those rights imposes upon all
other members of society. The breach of these general duties whether due to willful intent or
to mere inattention, if productive of injury, give rise to an obligation to indemnify the injured
party. The fundamental distinction between obligations of this character and those which
arise from contract, rests upon the fact that in cases of non-contractual obligation it is the
wrongful or negligent act or omission itself which creates the vinculum juris, whereas in
contractual relations the vinculum exists independently of the breach of the voluntary duty
assumed by the parties when entering into the contractual relation.
With respect to extra-contractual obligation arising from negligence, whether of act or
omission, it is competent for the legislature to elect and our Legislature has so elected
whom such an obligation is imposed is morally culpable, or, on the contrary, for reasons of
public policy, to extend that liability, without regard to the lack of moral culpability, so as to
include responsibility for the negligence of those person who acts or mission are imputable,
by a legal fiction, to others who are in a position to exercise an absolute or limited control
over them. The legislature which adopted our Civil Code has elected to limit extra-contractual
liability with certain well-defined exceptions to cases in which moral culpability can be
directly imputed to the persons to be charged. This moral responsibility may consist in having
failed to exercise due care in the selection and control of one's agents or servants, or in the
control of persons who, by reason of their status, occupy a position of dependency with
respect to the person made liable for their conduct.

44
The position of a natural or juridical person who has undertaken by contract to render service
to another, is wholly different from that to which article 1903 relates. When the sources of the
obligation upon which plaintiff's cause of action depends is a negligent act or omission, the
burden of proof rests upon plaintiff to prove the negligence if he does not his action fails.
But when the facts averred show a contractual undertaking by defendant for the benefit of
plaintiff, and it is alleged that plaintiff has failed or refused to perform the contract, it is not
necessary for plaintiff to specify in his pleadings whether the breach of the contract is due to
willful fault or to negligence on the part of the defendant, or of his servants or agents. Proof of
the contract and of its nonperformance is sufficient prima facie to warrant a recovery.
As a general rule . . . it is logical that in case of extra-contractual culpa, a suing creditor
should assume the burden of proof of its existence, as the only fact upon which his action is
based; while on the contrary, in a case of negligence which presupposes the existence of a
contractual obligation, if the creditor shows that it exists and that it has been broken, it is not
necessary for him to prove negligence. (Manresa, vol. 8, p. 71 [1907 ed., p. 76]).
As it is not necessary for the plaintiff in an action for the breach of a contract to show that the
breach was due to the negligent conduct of defendant or of his servants, even though such be
in fact the actual cause of the breach, it is obvious that proof on the part of defendant that
the negligence or omission of his servants or agents caused the breach of the contract would
not constitute a defense to the action. If the negligence of servants or agents could be
invoked as a means of discharging the liability arising from contract, the anomalous result
would be that person acting through the medium of agents or servants in the performance of
their contracts, would be in a better position than those acting in person. If one delivers a
valuable watch to watchmaker who contract to repair it, and the bailee, by a personal
negligent act causes its destruction, he is unquestionably liable. Would it be logical to free
him from his liability for the breach of his contract, which involves the duty to exercise due
care in the preservation of the watch, if he shows that it was his servant whose negligence
caused the injury? If such a theory could be accepted, juridical persons would enjoy
practically complete immunity from damages arising from the breach of their contracts if
caused by negligent acts as such juridical persons can of necessity only act through agents or
servants, and it would no doubt be true in most instances that reasonable care had been
taken in selection and direction of such servants. If one delivers securities to a banking
corporation as collateral, and they are lost by reason of the negligence of some clerk
employed by the bank, would it be just and reasonable to permit the bank to relieve itself of
liability for the breach of its contract to return the collateral upon the payment of the debt by
proving that due care had been exercised in the selection and direction of the clerk?
This distinction between culpa aquiliana, as the source of an obligation, and culpa
contractual as a mere incident to the performance of a contract has frequently been
recognized by the supreme court of Spain. (Sentencias of June 27, 1894; November 20, 1896;
and December 13, 1896.) In the decisions of November 20, 1896, it appeared that plaintiff's
action arose ex contractu, but that defendant sought to avail himself of the provisions of
article 1902 of the Civil Code as a defense. The Spanish Supreme Court rejected defendant's
contention, saying:
These are not cases of injury caused, without any pre-existing obligation, by fault or
negligence, such as those to which article 1902 of the Civil Code relates, but of damages
caused by the defendant's failure to carry out the undertakings imposed by the contracts . . . .
A brief review of the earlier decision of this court involving the liability of employers for
damage done by the
negligent acts of their servants will show that in no case has the court ever decided that the
negligence of the
defendant's servants has been held to constitute a defense to an action for damages for
breach of contract.

45
In the case of Johnson vs. David (5 Phil. Rep., 663), the court held that the owner of a carriage
was not liable for the damages caused by the negligence of his driver. In that case the court
commented on the fact that no evidence had been adduced in the trial court that the
defendant had been negligent in the employment of the driver, or that he had any knowledge
of his lack of skill or carefulness.
In the case of Baer Senior & Co's Successors vs. Compania Maritima (6 Phil. Rep., 215), the
plaintiff sued the defendant for damages caused by the loss of a barge belonging to plaintiff
which was allowed to get adrift by the negligence of defendant's servants in the course of the
performance of a contract of towage. The court held, citing Manresa (vol. 8, pp. 29, 69) that if
the "obligation of the defendant grew out of a contract made between it and the plaintiff . . .
we do not think that the provisions of articles 1902 and 1903 are applicable to the case."
In the case of Chapman vs. Underwood (27 Phil. Rep., 374), plaintiff sued the defendant to
recover damages for the personal injuries caused by the negligence of defendant's chauffeur
while driving defendant's automobile in which defendant was riding at the time. The court
found that the damages were caused by the negligence of the driver of the automobile, but
held that the master was not liable, although he was present at the time, saying:
. . . unless the negligent acts of the driver are continued for a length of time as to give the
owner a reasonable opportunity to observe them and to direct the driver to desist therefrom. .
. . The act complained of must be continued in the presence of the owner for such length of
time that the owner by his acquiescence, makes the driver's acts his own.
In the case of Yamada vs. Manila Railroad Co. and Bachrach Garage & Taxicab Co. (33 Phil.
Rep., 8), it is true that the court rested its conclusion as to the liability of the defendant upon
article 1903, although the facts disclosed that the injury complaint of by plaintiff constituted a
breach of the duty to him arising out of the contract of transportation. The express ground of
the decision in this case was that article 1903, in dealing with the liability of a master for the
negligent acts of his servants "makes the distinction between private individuals and public
enterprise;" that as to the latter the law creates a rebuttable presumption of negligence in the
selection or direction of servants; and that in the particular case the presumption of
negligence had not been overcome.
It is evident, therefore that in its decision Yamada case, the court treated plaintiff's action as
though founded in tort rather than as based upon the breach of the contract of carriage, and
an examination of the pleadings and of the briefs shows that the questions of law were in fact
discussed upon this theory. Viewed from the standpoint of the defendant the practical result
must have been the same in any event. The proof disclosed beyond doubt that the
defendant's servant was grossly negligent and that his negligence was the proximate cause of
plaintiff's injury. It also affirmatively appeared that defendant had been guilty of negligence in
its failure to exercise proper discretion in the direction of the servant. Defendant was,
therefore, liable for the injury suffered by plaintiff, whether the breach of the duty were to be
regarded as constituting culpa aquiliana or culpa contractual. As Manresa points out (vol. 8,
pp. 29 and 69) whether negligence occurs an incident in the course of the performance of a
contractual undertaking or its itself the source of an extra-contractual undertaking obligation,
its essential characteristics are identical. There is always an act or omission productive of
damage due to carelessness or inattention on the part of the defendant. Consequently, when
the court holds that a defendant is liable in damages for having failed to exercise due care,
either directly, or in failing to exercise proper care in the selection and direction of his
servants, the practical result is identical in either case. Therefore, it follows that it is not to be
inferred, because the court held in the Yamada case that defendant was liable for the
damages negligently caused by its servants to a person to whom it was bound by contract,
and made reference to the fact that the defendant was negligent in the selection and control
of its servants, that in such a case the court would have held that it would have been a good
defense to the action, if presented squarely upon the theory of the breach of the contract, for

46
defendant to have proved that it did in fact exercise care in the selection and control of the
servant.
The true explanation of such cases is to be found by directing the attention to the relative
spheres of contractual and extra-contractual obligations. The field of non- contractual
obligation is much more broader than that of contractual obligations, comprising, as it does,
the whole extent of juridical human relations. These two fields, figuratively speaking,
concentric; that is to say, the mere fact that a person is bound to another by contract does
not relieve him from extra-contractual liability to such person. When such a contractual
relation exists the obligor may break the contract under such conditions that the same act
which constitutes the source of an extra-contractual obligation had no contract existed
between the parties.
The contract of defendant to transport plaintiff carried with it, by implication, the duty to carry
him in safety and to provide safe means of entering and leaving its trains (civil code, article
1258). That duty, being contractual, was direct and immediate, and its non-performance
could not be excused by proof that the fault was morally imputable to defendant's servants.
The railroad company's defense involves the assumption that even granting that the
negligent conduct of its servants in placing an obstruction upon the platform was a breach of
its contractual obligation to maintain safe means of approaching and leaving its trains, the
direct and proximate cause of the injury suffered by plaintiff was his own contributory
negligence in failing to wait until the train had come to a complete stop before alighting.
Under the doctrine of comparative negligence announced in the Rakes case (supra), if the
accident was caused by plaintiff's own negligence, no liability is imposed upon defendant's
negligence and plaintiff's negligence merely contributed to his injury, the damages should be
apportioned. It is, therefore, important to ascertain if defendant was in fact guilty of
negligence.
It may be admitted that had plaintiff waited until the train had come to a full stop before
alighting, the particular injury suffered by him could not have occurred. Defendant contends,
and cites many authorities in support of the contention, that it is negligence per se for a
passenger to alight from a moving train. We are not disposed to subscribe to this doctrine in
its absolute form. We are of the opinion that this proposition is too badly stated and is at
variance with the experience of every-day life. In this particular instance, that the train was
barely moving when plaintiff alighted is shown conclusively by the fact that it came to stop
within six meters from the place where he stepped from it. Thousands of person alight from
trains under these conditions every day of the year, and sustain no injury where the company
has kept its platform free from dangerous obstructions. There is no reason to believe that
plaintiff would have suffered any injury whatever in alighting as he did had it not been for
defendant's negligent failure to perform its duty to provide a safe alighting place.
We are of the opinion that the correct doctrine relating to this subject is that expressed in
Thompson's work on Negligence (vol. 3, sec. 3010) as follows:
The test by which to determine whether the passenger has been guilty of negligence in
attempting to alight from a moving railway train, is that of ordinary or reasonable care. It is to
be considered whether an ordinarily prudent person, of the age, sex and condition of the
passenger, would have acted as the passenger acted under the circumstances disclosed by
the evidence. This care has been defined to be, not the care which may or should be used by
the prudent man generally, but the care which a man of ordinary prudence would use under
similar circumstances, to avoid injury." (Thompson, Commentaries on Negligence, vol. 3, sec.
3010.)
Or, it we prefer to adopt the mode of exposition used by this court in Picart vs. Smith (37 Phil.
rep., 809), we may say that the test is this; Was there anything in the circumstances
surrounding the plaintiff at the time he alighted from the train which would have admonished
a person of average prudence that to get off the train under the conditions then existing was

47
dangerous? If so, the plaintiff should have desisted from alighting; and his failure so to desist
was contributory negligence.1awph!l.net
As the case now before us presents itself, the only fact from which a conclusion can be drawn
to the effect that plaintiff was guilty of contributory negligence is that he stepped off the car
without being able to discern clearly the condition of the platform and while the train was yet
slowly moving. In considering the situation thus presented, it should not be overlooked that
the plaintiff was, as we find, ignorant of the fact that the obstruction which was caused by the
sacks of melons piled on the platform existed; and as the defendant was bound by reason of
its duty as a public carrier to afford to its passengers facilities for safe egress from its trains,
the plaintiff had a right to assume, in the absence of some circumstance to warn him to the
contrary, that the platform was clear. The place, as we have already stated, was dark, or
dimly lighted, and this also is proof of a failure upon the part of the defendant in the
performance of a duty owing by it to the plaintiff; for if it were by any possibility concede that
it had right to pile these sacks in the path of alighting passengers, the placing of them
adequately so that their presence would be revealed.
As pertinent to the question of contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff in this case
the following
circumstances are to be noted: The company's platform was constructed upon a level higher
than that of the roadbed and the surrounding ground. The distance from the steps of the car
to the spot where the alighting passenger would place his feet on the platform was thus
reduced, thereby decreasing the risk incident to stepping off. The nature of the platform,
constructed as it was of cement material, also assured to the passenger a stable and even
surface on which to alight. Furthermore, the plaintiff was possessed of the vigor and agility of
young manhood, and it was by no means so risky for him to get off while the train was yet
moving as the same act would have been in an aged or feeble person. In determining the
question of contributory negligence in performing such act that is to say, whether the
passenger acted prudently or recklessly the age, sex, and physical condition of the
passenger are circumstances necessarily affecting the safety of the passenger, and should be
considered. Women, it has been observed, as a general rule are less capable than men of
alighting with safety under such conditions, as the nature of their wearing apparel obstructs
the free movement of the limbs. Again, it may be noted that the place was perfectly familiar
to the plaintiff as it was his daily custom to get on and of the train at this station. There could,
therefore, be no uncertainty in his mind with regard either to the length of the step which he
was required to take or the character of the platform where he was alighting. Our conclusion
is that the conduct of the plaintiff in undertaking to alight while the train was yet slightly
under way was not characterized by imprudence and that therefore he was not guilty of
contributory negligence.
The evidence shows that the plaintiff, at the time of the accident, was earning P25 a month as
a copyist clerk, and that the injuries he has suffered have permanently disabled him from
continuing that employment. Defendant has not shown that any other gainful occupation is
open to plaintiff. His expectancy of life, according to the standard mortality tables, is
approximately thirty-three years. We are of the opinion that a fair compensation for the
damage suffered by him for his permanent disability is the sum of P2,500, and that he is also
entitled to recover of defendant the additional sum of P790.25 for medical attention, hospital
services, and other incidental expenditures connected with the treatment of his injuries.
The decision of lower court is reversed, and judgment is hereby rendered plaintiff for the sum
of P3,290.25, and for the costs of both instances. So ordered.

18. Del Prado v Meralco


This action was instituted in the Court of First Instance of Manila by Ignacio del Prado to
recover damages in the amount of P50,000 for personal injuries alleged to have been caused
by the negligence of te defendant, the Manila Electric Company, in the operation of one of its

48
street cars in the City of Manila. Upon hearing the cause the trial court awarded to the
plaintiff the sum of P10,000, as damages, with costs of suit, and the defendant appealed.
The appellant, the Manila Electric Company, is engaged in operating street cars in the City for
the conveyance of passengers; and on the morning of November 18, 1925, one Teodorico
Florenciano, as appellant's motorman, was in charge of car No. 74 running from east to west
on R. Hidalgo Street, the scene of the accident being at a point near the intersection of said
street and Mendoza Street. After the car had stopped at its appointed place for taking on and
letting off passengers, just east of the intersection, it resumed its course at a moderate speed
under the guidance of the motorman. The car had proceeded only a short distance, however,
when the plaintiff, Ignacio del Prado, ran across the street to catch the car, his approach
being made from the left. The car was of the kind having entrance and exist at either end,
and the movement of the plaintiff was so timed that he arrived at the front entrance of the
car at the moment when the car was passing.
The testimony of the plaintiff and of Ciriaco Guevara, one of his witnesses, tends to shows
that the plaintiff, upon approaching the car, raised his hand as an indication to the motorman
of his desire to board the car, in response to which the motorman eased up a little, without
stopping. Upon this the plaintiff seized, with his hand, the front perpendicular handspot, at
the same time placing his left foot upon the platform. However, before the plaintiff's position
had become secure, and even before his raised right foot had reached the flatform, the
motorman applied the power, with the result that the car gave a slight lurch forward. This
sudden impulse to the car caused the plaintiff's foot to slip, and his hand was jerked loose
from the handpost, He therefore fell to the ground, and his right foot was caught and crushed
by the moving car. The next day the member had to be amputated in the hospital. The
witness, Ciriaco Guevara, also stated that, as the plaintiff started to board the car, he grasped
the handpost on either side with both right and left hand. The latter statement may possibly
be incorrect as regards the use of his right hand by the plaintiff, but we are of the opinion that
the finding of the trial court to the effect that the motorman slowed up slightly as the plaintiff
was boarding the car that the plaintiff's fall was due in part at lease to a sudden forward
movement at the moment when the plaintiff put his foot on the platform is supported by the
evidence and ought not to be disturbed by us.
The motorman stated at the trial that he did not see the plaintiff attempting to board the car;
that he did not accelerate the speed of the car as claimed by the plaintiff's witnesses; and
that he in fact knew nothing of the incident until after the plaintiff had been hurt and some
one called to him to stop. We are not convinced of the complete candor of this statement, for
we are unable to see how a motorman operating this car could have failed to see a person
boarding the car under the circumstances revealed in this case. It must be remembered that
the front handpost which, as all witness agree, was grasped by the plaintiff in attempting to
board the car, was immediately on the left side of the motorman.
With respect to the legal aspects of the case we may observe at the outset that there is no
obligation on the part of a street railway company to stop its cars to let on intending
passengers at other points than those appointed for stoppage. In fact it would be impossible
to operate a system of street cars if a company engage in this business were required to stop
any and everywhere to take on people who were too indolent, or who imagine themselves to
be in too great a hurry, to go to the proper places for boarding the cars. Nevertheless,
although the motorman of this car was not bound to stop to let the plaintiff on, it was his duty
to do act that would have the effect of increasing the plaintiff's peril while he was attempting
to board the car. The premature acceleration of the car was, in our opinion, a breach of this
duty.
The relation between a carrier of passengers for hire and its patrons is of a contractual
nature; and in failure on the part of the carrier to use due care in carrying its passengers
safely is a breach of duty (culpa contructual) under articles 1101, 1103 and 1104 of the Civil
Code. Furthermore, the duty that the carrier of passengers owes to its patrons extends to

49
persons boarding the cars as well as to those alighting therefrom. The case of Cangco vs.
Manila Railroad Co. (38 Phil., 768), supplies an instance of the violation of this duty with
respect to a passenger who was getting off of a train. In that case the plaintiff stepped off of a
moving train, while it was slowing down in a station, and at the time when it was too dark for
him to see clearly where he was putting his feet. The employees of the company had
carelessly left watermelons on the platform at the place where the plaintiff alighted, with the
result that his feet slipped and he fell under the car, where his right arm badly injured. This
court held that the railroad company was liable for breach positive duty (culpa contractual),
and the plaintiff was awarded damages in the amount of P2,500 for the loss of his arm. In the
opinion in that case the distinction is clearly drawn between a liability for negligence arising
from breach of contructual duty and that arising articles 1902 and 1903 of the Civil Code
(culpa aquiliana).
The distiction between these two sorts of negligence is important in this jurisdiction, for the
reason that where liability arises from a mere tort (culpa aquiliana), not involving a breach of
positive obligation, an employer, or master, may exculpate himself, under the last paragraph
of article 1903 of the Civil Code, by providing that he had exercised due degligence to prevent
the damage; whereas this defense is not available if the liability of the master arises from a
breach of contrauctual duty (culpa contractual). In the case bfore us the company pleaded as
a special defense that it had used all the deligence of a good father of a family to prevent the
damage suffered by the plaintiff; and to establish this contention the company introduced
testimony showing that due care had been used in training and instructing the motorman in
charge of this car in his art. But this proof is irrelevant in view of the fact that the liability
involved was derived from a breach of obligation under article 1101 of the Civil Code and
related provisions. (Manila Railroad Co. vs. Compana Transatlantica and Atlantic, Gulf & Pacific
Co., 38 Phil., 875, 887; De Guia vs. Manila Electric Railroad & Light Co., 40 Phil., 706, 710.)
Another practical difference between liability for negligence arising under 1902 of the Civil
Code and liability arising from negligence in the performance of a positive duty, under article
1101 and related provisions of the Civil Code, is that, in dealing with the latter form of
negligence, the court is given a discretion to mitigate liability according to the circumstances
of the case (art 1103). No such general discretion is given by the Code in dealing with liability
arising under article 1902; although possibly the same end is reached by courts in dealing
with the latter form of liability
because of the latitude of the considerations pertinent to cases arising under this article.
As to the contributory negligence of the plaintiff, we are of the opinion that it should be
treated, as in Rakes vs. Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Co. (7 Phil., 359), as a mitigating
circumstance under article 1103 of the Civil Code. It is obvious that the plaintiff's negligence
in attempting to board the moving car was not the proximate cause of the injury. The direct
and proximate cause of the injury was the act of appellant's motorman in putting on the
power prematurely. A person boarding a moving car must be taken to assume the risk of
injury from boarding the car under the conditions open to his view, but he cannot fairly be
held to assume the risk that the motorman, having the situation in view, will increase his peril
by accelerating the speed of the car before he is planted safely on the platform. Again, the
situation before us is one where the negligent act of the company's servant succeeded the
negligent act of the plaintiff, and the negligence of the company must be considered the
proximate cause of the injury. The rule here applicable seems to be analogous to, if not
identical with that which is sometimes referred to as the doctrine of "the last clear chance." In
accordance with this doctrine, the contributory negligence of the party injured will not defeat
the action if it be shown that the defendant might, by the exercise of reasonable care and
prudence, have avoided the consequences of the negligence of the injured party (20 R. C. L.,
p. 139; Carr vs. Interurban Ry. Co., 185 Iowa, 872; 171 N. W., 167). The negligence of the
plaintiff was, however, contributory to the accident and must be considered as a mitigating
circumstance.

50
With respect to the effect of this injury upon the plaintiff's earning power, we note that,
although he lost his foot, he is able to use an artificial member without great inconvenience
and his earning capacity has probably not been reduced by more than 30 per centum. In view
of the precedents found in our decisions with respect to the damages that ought to be
awarded for the loss of limb, and more particularly Rakes vs. Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Co. (7
Phil., 359); Cangco vs. Manila Railroad Co. (38 Phil., 768); and Borromeo vs. Manila Electric
Railroad and Light Co. (44 Phil., 165), and in view of all the circumstances connected with the
case, we are of the opinion that the plaintiff will be adequately compensated by an award of
P2,500.
It being understood, therefore, that the appealed judgment is modified by reducing the
recovery to the sum of P2,500, the judgment, as thus modified, is affirmed. So ordered, with
costs against the appellant.

19. PNR v CA
Invoking the principle of state immunity from suit, the Philippine National Railways, PNR for
short, instituted this petition for review on certiorari to set aside the decision of the
respondent Appellate Court which held petitioner PNR liable for damages for the death of
Winifredo Tupang, a paying passenger who fell off a train operated by the petitioner.
The pertinent facts are summarized by the respondent court as follows:
The facts show that on September 10, 1972, at about 9:00 o'clock in the evening, Winifredo
Tupang, husband of plaintiff Rosario Tupang, boarded 'Train No. 516 of appellant at Libmanan,
Camarines Sur, as a paying passenger bound for Manila. Due to some mechanical defect, the
train stopped at Sipocot, Camarines Sur, for repairs, taking some two hours before the train
could resume its trip to Manila. Unfortunately, upon passing Iyam Bridge at Lucena, Quezon,
Winifredo Tupang fell off the train resulting in his death.The train did not stop despite the
alarm raised by the other passengers that somebody fell from the train. Instead, the train
conductor Perfecto Abrazado, called the station agent at Candelaria, Quezon, and requested
for verification of the information. Police authorities of Lucena City were dispatched to the
Iyam Bridge where they found the lifeless body of Winifredo Tupang.
As shown by the autopsy report, Winifredo Tupang died of cardio-respiratory failure due to
massive cerebral hemorrhage due to traumatic injury [Exhibits B and C, Folder of
Exhibits],Tupang was later buried in the public cemetery of Lucena City by the local police
authorities. [Rollo, pp. 91-92]
Upon complaint filed by the deceased's widow, Rosario Tupang, the then Court of First
Instance of Rizal, after trial, held the petitioner PNR liable for damages for breach of contract
of carriage and ordered "to pay the plaintiff the sum of P12,000,00 for the death of Winifredo
Tupang, plus P20,000.00 for loss of his earning capacity and the further sum of P10,000.00 as
moral damages, and P2,000.00 as attorney's fees, and costs. 1
On appeal, the Appellate Court sustained the holding of the trial court that the PNR did not
exercise the utmost
diligence required by law of a common carrier. It further increased the amount adjudicated by
the trial court by
ordering PNR to pay the plaintiff an additional sum of P5,000.00 as exemplary damages.
Moving for reconsideration of the above decision, the PNR raised for the first time, as a
defense, the doctrine of state immunity from suit. It alleged that it is a mere agency of the
Philippine government without distinct or separate personality of its own, and that its funds
are governmental in character and, therefore, not subject to garnishment or execution. The
motion was denied; the respondent court ruled that the ground advanced could not be raised
for the first time on appeal.
Hence, this petition for review.
The petition is devoid of merit. The PNR was created under Rep. Act 4156, as amended.
Section 4 of the said Act provides:

51
The Philippine national Railways shall have the following powers:
a. To do all such other things and to transact all such business directly or indirectly necessary,
incidental or conducive to the attainment of the purpose of the corporation; and
b. Generally, to exercise all powers of a corporation under the Corporation Law.
Under the foregoing section, the PNR has all the powers, the characteristics and attributes of
a corporation under the Corporation Law. There can be no question then that the PNR may
sue and be sued and may be subjected to court processes just like any other corporation. 2
The petitioner's contention that the funds of the PNR are not subject to garnishment or
execution hardly raises a question of first impression. In Philippine National Railways v. Union
de Maquinistas, et al., 3 then Justice Fernando, later Chief Justice, said. "The main issue posed
in this certiorari proceeding, whether or not the funds of the Philippine National Railways,
could be garnished or levied upon on execution was resolved in two recent decisions,
the Philippine National Bank v. Court of Industrial Relations [81 SCRA 314] and Philippine
National Bank v. Hon. Judge Pabalan [83 SCRA 595]. This Court in both cases answered the
question in the affirmative. There was no legal bar to garnishment or execution. The
argument based on non-suability of a state allegedly because the funds are governmental in
character was unavailing.So it must be again."
In support of the above conclusion, Justice Fernando cited the Court's holding in Philippine
National Bank v. Court of Industrial Relations, to wit: "The premise that the funds could be
spoken of as public in character may be accepted in the sense that the People's Homesite and
Housing Corporation was a government-owned entity. It does not follow though that they were
exempt from garnishment. National Shipyard and Steel Corporation v. Court of Industrial
Relations is squarely in point. As was explicitly stated in the opinion of then Justice, later Chief
Justice, Concepcion: "The allegation to the effect that the funds of the NASSCO are public
funds of the government, and that, as such, the same may not be garnished, attached or
levied upon, is untenable for, as a government- owned and controlled corporation, the
NASSCO has a personality of its own, distinct and separate from that of the Government. It
has-pursuant to Section 2 of Executive Order No. 356, dated October 23, 1950 * * *, pursuant
to which the NASSCO has been established- 'all the powers of a corporation under the
Corporation Law * * *. 4
As far back as 1941, this Court in the case of Manila Hotel Employees Association v. Manila
Hotel Co., 5 laid down the rule that "when the government enters into commercial business, it
abandons its sovereign capacity and is to be treated like any other corporation. [Bank of the
U.S. v. Planters' Bank, 9 Waitch 904, 6 L. ed. 244]. By engaging in a particular business
through the instrumentality of a corporation the government divests itself pro hac vice of its
sovereign character, so as to render the corporation subject to the rules of law governing
private corporations. 6 Of Similar import is the pronouncement in Prisco v. CIR,' that "when the
government engages in business, it abdicates part of its sovereign prerogatives and descends
to the level of a citizen, ... . " In fine, the petitioner PNR cannot legally set up the doctrine of
non-suability as a bar to the plaintiff's suit for damages.
The appellate court found, the petitioner does not deny, that the train boarded by the
deceased Winifredo Tupang was so over-crowded that he and many other passengers had no
choice but to sit on the open platforms between the coaches of the train. It is likewise
undisputed that the train did not even slow down when it approached the Iyam Bridge which
was under repair at the time, Neither did the train stop, despite the alarm raised by other
passengers that a person had fallen off the train at lyam Bridge. 7
The petitioner has the obligation to transport its passengers to their destinations and to
observe extraordinary diligence in doing so. Death or any injury suffered by any of its
passengers gives rise to the presumption that it was negligent in the performance of its
obligation under the contract of carriage. Thus, as correctly ruled by the respondent court, the
petitioner failed to overthrow such presumption of negligence with clear and convincing
evidence.

52
But while petitioner failed to exercise extraordinary diligence as required by law, 8 it appears
that the deceased was chargeable with contributory negligence. Since he opted to sit on the
open platform between the coaches of the train, he should have held tightly and tenaciously
on the upright metal bar found at the side of said platform to avoid falling off from the
speeding train. Such contributory negligence, while not exempting the PNR from liability,
nevertheless justified the deletion of the amount adjudicated as moral damages. By the same
token, the award of exemplary damages must be set aside. Exemplary damages may be
allowed only in cases where the defendant acted in a wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive
or malevolent manner. 9There being no evidence of fraud, malice or bad faith on the part of
petitioner, the grant of exemplary damages should be discarded.
WHEREFORE, the decision of the respondent appellate court is hereby modified by eliminating
therefrom the amounts of P10,000.00 and P5,000.00 adjudicated as moral and exemplary
damages, respectively. No costs.
SO ORDERED.

CHAPTER 2
1. Standard Vacuum Oil v Luzon

53
Plantiff entered into a contract with defendant to transport between the ports of Manila and
Nin Bay, Sangay, Iloilo, 2,916.44 barrels of bulk gasoline belonging to plaintiff. The gasoline
was delivered in accordance with the contract but defendant failed to transport it to its place
of destination and so plaintiff brought his action in the Court of First Instance of Manila to
recover the sum of P75,578.50 as damages.
Defendant, in its answer, pleaded that its failure to deliver the gasoline was due to fortuitous
event or caused by circumstances beyond its control and not to its fault or negligence or that
of any of its employees. The court, after receiving the evidence, rendered decision finding
that the disaster that had befallen the tugboat was the result of an avoidable accident and
the loss of the gasoline was due to a fortuitous even which was beyond the control of
defendant and, consequently, dismissed the case with costs against the plaintiff.
The facts as found by the trial court are: "that pursuant to an agreement had between the
parties, defendant's barge No. L-522 was laden with gasoline belonging to the plaintiff to be
transported from Manila to the Port of Iloilo; that early in the morning of February 2, 1947,
defendant's tugboat "Snapper" picked up the barge outside the breakwater; that the barge
was placed behind the tugboat, it being connected to the latter by a tow rope ten inches in
circumstances; that behind the barge, three other barges were likewise placed, one laden
with some cargo while the other two containing hardly any cargo at all; that the weather was
good when on that day the tugboat with its tow started on its voyage; that the weather
remained good on February 3, 1947, when it passed Santiago Point in Batangas; that at about
3:00 o'clock in the morning of February 4, 1947, the engine of the tugboat came to a dead
stop; that the engineer on board the tugboat found out that the trouble was due to a broken
idler; that a message was then sent to the defendant's radio station in Manila informing its
official of the engine trouble; that upon the receipt of the message the defendant called up
several shipping companies in Manila to find out if they had any vessels in the vicinity where
the "Snapper' had stalled but sais companies replied in the negative; that thereupon the
defendant redioed its tugboat Tamban' which was docked at Batangas, ordering it to proceed
to the place where the Snapper' was; that at about 6:00 o'clock in the same morning of
February 4, 1947, the master of the Snapper' attempted to cast anchor but the water areas
around Elefante Island were so deep that the anchor did not touch bottom; that in the
afternoon of the same day the weather become worse as the wind increased in intensity and
the waves were likewise increased in size and force; that due to the rough condition of the
sea the anchor chains of the Snapper' and the four barges broke one by one and as a
consequence thereof they were drifted and were finally dashed against the rocks a hole was
opened in the hull of the Snapper', which ultimately caused it to sink, while the barge No. L-
522 was so badly damaged that the gasoline it had on board leaked out; and that the Tamban
arrived at the place after the gasoline had already leaked out.
Defendant is a private stevedoring company engaged in transporting local products, including
gasoline in bulk and has a fleet of about 140 tugboats and about 90 per cent of its business is
devoted to transportation. Though it is engaged in a limited contract of carriage in the sense
that it chooses its customers and is not opened to the public, nevertheless, the continuity of
its operation in this kind of business have earned for it the level of a public utility. The
contract between the plaintiff and defendant comes therefore under the provisions of the
Code of Commerce. The pertinent law is article 361 which provides:
ART. 361. The merchandise shall be transported at the risk and venture of the shipper, if the
contrary was not expressly stipulated.
Therefore, all damages and impairment suffered by the goods during the transportation, by
reason of accident, force majeure, or by virtue of the nature or defect of the articles, shall be
for the account and risk of the shipper.
The proof of these accidents is incumbent on the carrier.
It therefore appears that whenever merchandise is transported on the sea by virtue of a
contract entered into between the shipper and the carrier, the merchandise is deemed

54
transported at the risk and venture of the shipper, if the contrary is not stipulated, and all
damages suffered by the merchandise during the transportation by reason of accident
or force majeure shall be for the account and risk of the shipper, but the proof of these
accidents is incumbent on the carrier. Implementing this provision, our Supreme Court has
held that all a shipper has to prove in connection with sea carriage is delivery of the
merchandise in good condition and its non-delivery at the place of destination in order that
the burden of proof may shift to the carrier to prove any of the accidents above adverted to.
Thus, it was held that "Shippers who are forced to ship goods on an ocean liner or any other
ship have some legal rights, and when goods are delivered on board a ship in good order and
condition, and the shipowner delivers them to the shipper in bad order and condition, it then
devolves upon the shipowner to both allege and prove that the goods were damaged by
reason of some fact which legally exempts him from liability" (Mirasol vs. Robert Dollar Co., 53
Phil., 129).
The issue to be determined is: Has defendant proven that its failure to deliver the gasoline to
its place of destination is due to accident or force majeure or to a cause beyond its control?
This would require an analysis of the facts and circumstances surrounding the transportation
of said gasoline.
It appears that the tugboat "Snapper" was acquired by defendant from the foreign Liquidation
Commission. It was a surplus property. It was a deep-sea tugboat that had been in the service
of the United States Armed Forces prior to its purchase by the Luzon Stevedoring Co. The
tugboat was put into operation without first submitting it to an overhaul in a dry-dock. It also
appears that this tugboat had previously made several trips and each time it had to obtain a
special permit from the Bureau of Customs because it had never been dry-dock and did not
have complete equipment to be able to obtain the permanent permit. The special permits
that were issued by said Bureau specifically state that they were issued "pending submission
of plans and load line certificate, including test and final inspection of equipment." It futher
appears that, when the tugboat was inspected by the Bureau of Customs on October 18,
1946, it found it to be inadequately equipped and so the Bureau required defendant to
provide it with the requisite equipment but it was never able to complete it. The fact that the
tugboat was a surplus property, has not been dry-docked, and was not provided with the
requisite equipment to make it seaworthy, shows that defendant did not use reasonable
diligence in putting the tugboat in such a condition as would make its use safe for operation.
It is true, as defendant contends, that there were then no dry-dock facilities in the Philippines,
but this does not mean that they could not be obtained elsewhere. It being a surplus
property, a dry-dock inspection was a must to put the tugboat in a sea going condition. It may
also be true , as contended, that the deficiency in the equipment was due to the fact that no
such equipment was available at the time, but this did not justify defendant in putting such
tugboat in business even if unequipped merely to make a profit. Nor could the fact that the
tugboat was given a special permit by the Bureau of Customs to make the trip relieve
defendant from liability.
Where owner buys old tug, licensed coastwise, and equips it for ocean going, it is negligence
to send tug out without stability test, where history and performance with respect to
crankiness and tenderness are matters of official record. Sabine Towing Co. vs. Brennan,
C.C.A. Tex., 72 F 2d 490, certiorari denied 55 S. Ct. 141, 293 U.S. 632, 79 L. Ed. 717. (80 C.J.
S. 803 Footnote).
There are other circumstances which show the lack of precaution and diligence taken by
defendant to make the travel of the tugboat safe. One is the failure to carry on board the
necessary spare parts. When the idler was broken, the engineer of the tugboat examined it
for the first time and it was only then that he found that there were no spare parts to use
except a worn out spare driving chain. And the necessity of carrying such spare parts was
emphasized by the very defendant's winess, Mr. Depree, who said that in vessels motored by

55
diesel engines it is necessary always to carry spare chains, ball bearings and chain drives.
And this was not done.
A tug engaged to tow a barge is liable for damage to the cargo of the barge caused by faulty
equipment of the tug. The Raleigh, D.C. Md. 50 F. Supp. 961. (80 C.J.S. Footnote.).
Another circumstance refers to the deficiency or incomplete in the man power of the tug boat.
According to law, a tugboat of the tonnage and powers of one like the "Snapper" is required to
have a complement composed of one first mate, one second mate, one third mate, one chief
engineer, one second engineer, and one third engineer, (section 1203, Revised Administrative
Code), but when the trip in question was undertaken, it was only manned by one master, who
was merely licensed as a bay, river and lake patron, one second mate, who was licensed as a
third mate, oner chief engineer who was licensed as third motor engineer, one assistant
engineer, who was licensed as a bay, river, and lake motor engineer, and one second
assistant engineer, who was unlicensed. The employment of this crew to perform functions
beyond its competence and qualifications is not onl;y risky but against the law and if a
mishap is caused, as in this case, one cannot but surmise that such incompetence has
something to do with the mishap. The fact that the tugboat had undertaken several trips
before with practically the same crew without any untoward consequence, cannot furnish any
justification for continuing in its employ a deficient or incompetent personnel contrary to law
and the regulations of the Bureau of Customs.
(1) Generally, seaworthiness is that strength, durability and engineering skill made a part of a
ship's construction and continued maintenance, together with a competent and sufficient
crew, which would withstand the vicissitudes and dangers of the elements which might
reasonably be expected or encountered during her voyage without loss or damage to her
particular cargo. The Cleveco, D.C. Ohio, 59 F. Supp. 71, 78, affirmed, C.C.A., 154 F. 2d 606.
(80 C.J.S. 997, Footnote.).
Let us now come to the eeforts exerted by defendant in extending help to the tugboat when it
was notified of the breakage of the idler. The evidence shows that the idler was broken at
about 3:00 o'clock in the morning of February 4, 1947. Within a few minutes, a massage was
sent to defendant by radio informing it of the engine trouble. The weather was good until
12:00 o'clock noon when the wind started to blow. According to defendant, since it received
the message, it called up different shipping lines in Manila asking them if they had any vessel
in the vicinity where the "Snapper" stalled but, unfortunately, none was available at the
time,and as its tug "Tamban" was then docked in Batangas, Batangas, which was nearest to
the place, it radioed said tug to go to the aid of the "Snapper". Accordingly, the tug "Tamban"
set sail from Batangas for the rescue only to return to secure a map of the vicinity where the
"Snapper" had stalled, which entailed a delay of two hours. In the meantime, the captain of
the "Snapper" attempted to cast anchor. The water areas off Elefante Island were deep and
the anchor would not touch bottom. Then the sea became rough and the waves increased in
size and force and notwithstanding the efforts of the crew to prevent the tug from drifting
away, the force of the wind and the violence of the waves dashed the tug and the barges
against the rocks. The tug developed a hole in her hull and sank. The barge carrying the
gasoline was so badly damaged that the gasoline leaked out. The tug "Tamban" was finally
able to locate the "Snapper" but it was too late.
The foregoing acts only serve to emphasize that the efforts made by defeandant fall short of
that diligence and precaution that are demanded by the situation to save the tugboat and the
barge it was towing from disaster for it appears that more than twenty-four hours had elapsed
befora the tug "Tamban" showed up to extend help. The delay was caused not so much
because of the lack of available ships in the vicinity where the "Snapper" stalled but because
defendant did not have in readiness any tugboat sufficient in tonnage and equipment to
attend to the rescue. The tug "Tamban" that was ordered to extend help was fully inadequate
for the purpose. It was a small vessel that was authorized to operate only within Manila Bay
and did not even have any map of the Visayan Islands. A public utility that is engaged in sea

56
transportation even for a limited service with a fleet of 140 tugboats should have a
competent tug to rush for towing or repairs in the event of untoward happening overseas. If
defendant had only such a tug ready for such an emergency, this disaster would not have
happened. Defendant could have avoided sending a poorly equipped tug whic, as it is to be
expected, failed to do job.
While the breaking of the idler may be due to an accident, or to something unexpected, the
cause of the disaster which resulted in the loss of the gasoline can only be attributed to the
negligence or lack of precaution to avert it on the part of defendant. Defendant had enough
time to effectuate the rescue if it had only a competent tug for the purpose because the
weather was good from 3:00 o'clock a.m. to 12:00 o'clock noon of February 4, 1947 and it was
only in the afternoon that the wind began to blow with some intensity, 1 but failed to do so
because of that shortcoming. The loss of the gasoline certainly cannot be said to be due
to force majeure or unforeseen event but to the failure of defendant to extend adequate and
proper help. Considering these circumstances, and those we have discussed elsewhere, we
are persuaded to conclude that defendant has failed to established that it is exempt from
liability under the law.
Wherefore, the decision appealed from is reversed. Defendant is hereby ordered to pay to
plaintiff the sum of P75,578.50, with legal interest from the date of the filing of the complaint,
with costs.

2. Planters Products VS CA
FACTS:
June 16 1974: Mitsubishi International Corporation (Mitsubishi) of New York, U.S.A.,
9,329.7069 M/T of Urea 46% fertilizer bought by Planters Products, Inc. (PPI) on aboard
the cargo vessel M/V "Sun Plum" owned by private Kyosei Kisen Kabushiki Kaisha
(KKKK) from Kenai, Alaska, U.S.A., to Poro Point, San Fernando, La Union, Philippines, as
evidenced by Bill of Lading
May 17 1974: a time charter-party on the vessel M/V "Sun Plum" pursuant to the
Uniform General Charter was entered into between Mitsubishi as shipper/charterer and
KKKK as shipowner, in Tokyo, Japan
Before loading the fertilizer aboard the vessel, 4 of her holds were all presumably
inspected by the charterer's representative and found fit
The hatches remained closed and tightly sealed throughout the entire voyage
July 3, 1974: PPI unloaded the cargo from the holds into its steelbodied dump trucks
which were parked alongside the berth, using metal scoops attached to the ship,
pursuant to the terms and conditions of the charter-partly
hatches remained open throughout the duration of the discharge
Each time a dump truck was filled up, its load of Urea was covered with tarpaulin
before it was transported to the consignee's warehouse located some 50 meters
from the wharf
Midway to the warehouse, the trucks were made to pass through a weighing
scale where they were individually weighed for the purpose of ascertaining the
net weight of the cargo.
The port area was windy, certain portions of the route to the warehouse were
sandy and the weather was variable, raining occasionally while the discharge
was in progress.
Tarpaulins and GI sheets were placed in-between and alongside the trucks to
contain spillages of the ferilizer
It took 11 days for PPI to unload the cargo

57
Cargo Superintendents Company Inc. (CSCI), private marine and cargo surveyor, was
hired by PPI to determine the "outturn" of the cargo shipped, by taking draft readings of
the vessel prior to and after discharge
shortage in the cargo of 106.726 M/T and that a portion of the Urea fertilizer
approximating 18 M/T was contaminated with dirt
Certificate of Shortage/Damaged Cargo prepared by PPI
short of 94.839 M/T and about 23 M/T were rendered unfit for commerce, having
been polluted with sand, rust and dirt
PPI sent a claim letter 1974 to Soriamont Steamship Agencies (SSA), the resident agent
of the carrier, KKKK, for P245,969.31 representing the cost of the alleged shortage in
the goods shipped and the diminution in value of that portion said to have been
contaminated with dirt
SSA: what they received was just a request for shortlanded certificate and not a
formal claim, and that they "had nothing to do with the discharge of the
shipment
RTC: failure to destroy the presumption of negligence against them, SSA are liable
CA: REVERSED - failed to prove the basis of its cause of action
ISSUE: W/N a time charter between a shipowner and a charterer transforms a common carrier
into a private one as to negate the civil law presumption of negligence in case of loss or
damage to its cargo
HELD: NO. petition is DISMISSED
When PPI chartered the vessel M/V "Sun Plum", the ship captain, its officers and
compliment were under the employ of the shipowner and therefore continued to be
under its direct supervision and control. Hardly then can we charge the charterer, a
stranger to the crew and to the ship, with the duty of caring for his cargo when the
charterer did not have any control of the means in doing so
carrier has sufficiently overcome, by clear and convincing proof, the prima
facie presumption of negligence. The hatches remained close and tightly sealed while
the ship was in transit as the weight of the steel covers made it impossible for a person
to open without the use of the ship's boom.
bulk shipment of highly soluble goods like fertilizer carries with it the risk of loss or
damage. More so, with a variable weather condition prevalent during its unloading
This is a risk the shipper or the owner of the goods has to face. Clearly, KKKK has
sufficiently proved the inherent character of the goods which makes it highly
vulnerable to deterioration; as well as the inadequacy of its packaging which
further contributed to the loss.
On the other hand, no proof was adduced by the petitioner showing that the
carrier was remise in the exercise of due diligence in order to minimize the loss
or damage to the goods it carried.

3. Mecenas vs CA
Facts:
On April 22, 1980, two vessels, Tacloban City and Don Juan collided at the Talbas Strait
within the vicinity of Mindoro. M/V Don Juan sank and hundreds of passengers died. Among
them were petitioners parents, whose bodies were never recovered. Petitioners filed a
complaint seeking damages against Negros Navigation. The trial court awarded P400,000, but
the Court of Appeals reduced the award to P100,000.
Issue:
Whether the reduction of the award was properly ruled upon by the Court of Appeals
Held:

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In an action based upon a breach of the contract of carriage, the carrier under our civil law is
liable for the death of passengers arising from the negligence or wilful act of the carrier's
employees although such employees may have acted beyond the scope of their authority or
even in violation of the instructions of the carrier, which liability may include liability for moral
damages. It follows that petitioners would be entitled to moral damages so long as the
collision with the "Tacloban City" and the sinking of the "Don Juan" were caused or attended
by negligence on the part of private respondents.
Whether petitioners are entitled to exemplary damages as claimed must depend upon
whether or not private respondents acted recklessly, that is, with gross negligence. We
believe that the behaviour of the captain of the "Don Juan" in this instance playing
mahjong "before and up to the time of collision" constitutes behaviour that is simply
unacceptable on the part of the master of a vessel to whose hands the lives and welfare of at
least seven hundred fifty (750) passengers had been entrusted. There is also evidence that
the "Don Juan" was carrying more passengers than she had been certified as allowed to carry.
We conclude that Capt. Santisteban and Negros Navigation are properly held liable for gross
negligence. We find no necessity for passing upon the degree of negligence or culpability
properly attributable to PNOC and PNOC Shipping or the master of the "Tacloban City," since
they were never impleaded here.
Exemplary damages are designed by our civil law to permit the courts to reshape behaviour
that is socially deleterious in its consequence by creating negative incentives or deterrents
against such behaviour. In requiring compliance with the standard of extraordinary diligence,
a standard which is in fact that of the highest possible degree of diligence, from common
carriers and in creating a presumption of negligence against them, the law seeks to compel
them to control their employees, to tame their reckless instincts and to force them to take
adequate care of human beings and their property. Both the demands of substantial justice
and the imperious requirements of public policy compel us to the conclusion that the trial
court's implicit award of moral and exemplary damages was erroneously deleted and must be
restored and augmented and brought more nearly to the level required by public policy and
substantial justice.
4. Brinas v people
Facts: In the afternoon of January 6, 1957, Juanito Gesmundo bought a train ticket at the
railroad station in Tagkawayan, Quezon for his 55-year old mother Martina Bool and his 3-year
old daughter Emelita Gesmundo. The two were bound for Lusacan in Tiaong, Quezon.
They boarded the train of Manila Railroad Company at about 2pm. Upon approaching Barrio
Lagalag at 8pm, the train slowed down and the conductor, accused-appellant, Clemente
Brinas, shouted Lusacan, Lusacan!

The old woman walked towards the train exit carrying the child with one hand and holding her
baggage with the other. When they were near the door, the train suddenly picked up speed.
The old woman and the child stumbled from the train causing them to fall down the tracks
and were hit by an oncoming train, causing their instant death.
A criminal information was filed against Victor Milan, the driver, Hermogenes Buencamino, the
assistant conductor and Clemente Brinas for Double Homicide thru Reckless Imprudence. But
the lower court acquitted Milan and Buencamino. On appeal to the CA, respondent CA
affirmed the decision.
Issue: Whether or not the CA erred in ruling the accused-appellant was negligent?
Held: There was no error in the factual findings of the respondent court and in the conclusion
drawn from the findings.
It is a matter of common knowledge and experience about common carriers like trains and
buses that before reaching a station or flagstop they slow down and the conductor announces

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the name of the place. It is also a matter of common experience that as the train or bus
slackens its speed, some passengers usually stand and proceed to the nearest exit, ready to
disembark as the train or bus comes to a full stop. This is especially true of a train because
passengers feel that if the train resumes its run before they are able to disembark; there is no
way to stop it as a bus may be stopped. The appellant was negligent because his
announcement was premature and erroneous, for it took a full 3 minutes more before the
next barrio of Lusacan was reached. The premature announcement prompted the two victims
to stand and proceed to the nearest exit. Without said announcement, the victims would have
been safely seated in their respective seats when the train jerked and picked up speed. The
proximate cause of the death of the victims was the premature and erroneous announcement
of petitioner-appellant.

5. BLTB v IAC
6. Batangas Transpo v Caguinbal
7. Mallari Sr. v. CA
8. PAL v. CA
9. Aberto v PAL

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