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Republic of the Philippines

7th Judicial Region


REGIONAL TRIAL COURT
Branch 3
City of Tagbilaran

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,


Plaintiff, Crim. Case No. 14268
For: OTHER ACTS OF
- versus - CHILD ABUSE

EMMA ALTURAS y AYAG,


Accused.
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ORDER

This resolves the Motion for Reconsideration of the Civil Damage Award
imposed in the Decision anent this case.

On private complainants claim that she spent P10,000.00 per hearing since
pre-trial on March 2010 and in the subsequent at least ten (10) hearings, this Court
cannot award actual damages in her favor for the said amount on account of her
failure to prove the same with competent evidence during the trial. The transcript
of records will bear it out that claim for actual damages was not mentioned nor
brought up or pointed out by the private complainant during the trial. Hence, the
private complainant failed to establish a burden mentioned in the Information:
to her damage and prejudice in the amount to be proved during the trial.

Absent proof of the amount of actual damages sustained, the Court cannot
rely on mere speculations, conjectures and guesswork as to the fact and amount of
damages (Manufacturers Building, Inc. vs. CA, 354 SCRA 521).

Similarly, attorneys fees and litigation expenses cannot be awarded on the


reason that attorneys fees as part of damages, is awarded only in the instances
specified in Article 2208 of the Civil Code. In other words, the award of
attorneys fees is the exception rather than the general rule; counsels fees are not
awarded every time a party prevails in a suit because of the policy that no premium
should be placed on the right to litigate. Attorneys fees as part of damages are not
the same as attorneys fees in the concept of the amount paid to a lawyer by his
client (Padillo vs. Court of Appeals, 371 SCRA 27).

On the other hand, the award of moral damages is fair and just even though
the prosecution did not present any proof thereof, apart from the commission of the
crime and the culpability of the accused. Requiring proof of damages over and
above the already established culpability of the accused becomes a superfluity
(People vs. Ortiz, 361 SCRA 274). However, award of moral damages is
dependent on the circumstances and should be commensurate to the proven
culpability of the accused. In this case, the accused was proven guilty only of Light
Oral Defamation which carries only the penalty of fine in the amount of One
Hundred Fifty Pesos (P150.00). Hence, to the mind of the Court, moral damages
in the amount of Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) would be adequate enough.

WHEREFORE, the Motion for Reconsideration of the Civil Damage Award


is hereby denied for lack of merit.

SO ORDERED.

Issued in chambers this 16th day of April 2012, in the City of Tagbilaran,
Bohol, Philippines.

LEO MOISES LISON


Presiding Judge