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Sabina Exconde vs Delfin and Dante Capuno

Dante Capuno was a 15 year old boy who was a pupil of Balintawak Elementary School. In
March 1949, he attended a boy scout parade for Dr. Jose Rizal. While they were inside a
jeep, he took control of the wheels which he later lost control of causing the jeep to go turtle
thereby killing two other students, Isidoro Caperina and one other. Isidoro’s mother, Sabina
Exconde, sued Dante Capuno for the death of her son. Pending the criminal action, the
mother reserved her right to file a separate civil action which she subsequently filed against
Dante and his dad, Delfin Capuno.

ISSUE: Whether or not Delfin Capuno, as the father of Dante is liable for damages.

HELD: Yes. The civil liability which the law imposes upon the father, and, in case of his
death or incapacity, the mother, for any damages that may be caused by the minor children
who live with them, is obvious. This is necessary consequence of the parental authority they
exercise over them which imposes upon the parents the “duty of supporting them, keeping
them in their company, educating them and instructing them in proportion to their means”,
while, on the other hand, gives them the “right to correct and punish them in moderation”.
The only way by which they can relieve themselves of this liability is if they prove that they
exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage which Delfin
failed to prove.
On the other hand, the school is not liable. It is true that under the law, “teachers or
directors of arts and trades are liable for any damages caused by their pupils or apprentices
while they are under their custody”, but this provision only applies to an institution of arts
and trades and not to any academic educational institution.
JUSTICE J.B.L. REYES Dissenting:
Delfin Capuno should be relieved from liability. There is no sound reason for limiting the
liability to teachers of arts and trades and not to academic ones. What substantial difference
is there between them in so far as, concerns the proper supervision and vigilance over their
pupils? It cannot be seriously contended that an academic teacher is exempt from the duty
of watching do not commit a tort to the detriment of third persons, so long as they are in a
position to exercise authority and supervision over the pupil.
Cuadra v. Monfort
Maria Teresa Cuadra and Maria Teresa Monfort were schoolmates in Grade Six at the Mabini
Elementary School in Bacolod City. On July 9. 1962 their instructor assigned them. together
with three other schoolmates. to weed the grass in the school premises. While therefore
engaged Maria Teresa Monfort found a fictile headband. an cosmetic object normally worn by
immature misss over their hair. Jokingly she said aloud that she had found an angleworm and.
obviously to scare the Cuadra miss. tossed the object at her. At that precise minute the latter
turned around to confront her friend. and the object hit her right oculus. Aching from the hurting.
she rubbed the injured portion and treated it with some pulverization. The following twenty-four
hours. July 10. the oculus became conceited and it was so that the miss related the incident to
her parents. who thereupon took her to a physician for intervention. She underwent surgical
operation twice. on July 20 and August 4. 1962 severally. and stayed in the infirmary for a sum
of 23 yearss. for all of which the parents spent the amount of P1. 703. 75. Despite the medical
attempts. nevertheless. Maria Teresa Cuadra wholly lost the sight of her right oculus. Maria
Teresa Cuadra’s parents sued Alfonso Monfort ( Maria Teresa Monfort’s male parent ) based on
Article 2180 of the Civil Code.


Whether or non Alfonso Monfort should be held apt under Article 2180.

Business Law
Opinion of the tribunal:

The suspect is non apt and hence can non be sued under Article 2180. This article provides that
the male parent and. in instance of his decease or incapacity. the female parent. are
responsible for the amendss caused by the minor kids who live in their company. The footing of
this vicarious. although primary. liability is. as in Article 2176. mistake or carelessness. which is
presumed from that which accompanied the causative act or skip. The given is simply based on
the ?rst feeling ( leading facie ) and may hence be rebutted. This is the clear and logical illation
that may be drawn from the last paragraph of Article 2180. which provinces “that the duty
treated of in this Article shall discontinue when the individuals herein mentioned prove that they
observed all the diligence of a good male parent of a household to forestall harm. ”

In this instance. there is nil from which it may be inferred that the suspect. Alfonso Monfort.
could hold prevented the harm by the observation of due attention. or that he was in any
manner remiss in the exercising of his parental authorization in neglecting to anticipate such
harm. or the act which caused it. On the contrary. his kid was at school. where it was his
responsibility to direct her and where she was. as he had the right to anticipate her to be. under
the attention and supervising of the instructor. And every bit far as the act which caused the hurt
was concerned. it was an guiltless buffoonery non unusual among kids at drama and which no
parent. nevertheless careful. would hold any particular ground to expect much less guard
against. Nor did it uncover any arch leaning. or so any trait in the child’s character which would
re?ect unfavourably on her upbringing and for which the incrimination could be attributed to her

In October 1982, Adelberto Bundoc, minor, 10 years of age, shot Jennifer Tamargo with an air rifle
causing injuries that resulted in her death. The petitioners, natural parents of Tamargo, filed a
complaint for damages against the natural parents of Adelberto with whom he was living the time of
the tragic incident.

In December 1981, the spouses Rapisura filed a petition to adopt Adelberto Bundoc. Such petition
was granted on November 1982 after the tragic incident.

ISSUE: WON parental authority concerned may be given retroactive effect so as to make adopting
parents the indispensable parties in a damage case filed against the adopted child where actual
custody was lodged with the biological parents.


Parental liability is a natural or logical consequence of duties and responsibilities of parents, their
parental authority which includes instructing, controlling and disciplining the child. In the case at
bar, during the shooting incident, parental authority over Adelberto was still lodged with the natural
parents. It follows that they are the indispensable parties to the suit for damages. “Parents and
guardians are responsible for the damage caused by the child under their parental authority in
accordance with the civil code”.

SC did not consider that retroactive effect may be given to the decree of adoption so as to impose a
liability upon the adopting parents accruing at the time when they had no actual or physical custody
over the adopted child. Retroactivity may be essential if it permits accrual of some benefit or
advantage in favor of the adopted child. Under Article 35 of the Child and Youth Welfare Code,
parental authority is provisionally vested in the adopting parents during the period of trial custody
however in this case, trial custody period either had not yet begin nor had been completed at the time
of the shooting incident. Hence, actual custody was then with the natural parents of Adelberto.
G.R. No. L-25142 March 25, 1975


PINEDA, defendants-appellees.

Angel A. Sison for plaintiffs-appellants.

Fidel Zosimo U. Canilao for defendants-appellees.

AQUINO, J.: ñé+.£ªwph!1

Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. and Felix Pangalangan appealed on pure questions of law from the order of
the Court of First Instance of Tarlac, dismissing their complaint against Archimedes J. Balingit.

The dismissal was based on the ground that Balingit as the manager of Phil-American Forwarders, Inc., which
together with Fernando Pineda and Balingit, was sued for damages in an action based on quasi-delict or culpa
aquiliana, is not the manager of an establishment contemplated in article 2180 of the Civil Code (Civil Case No.

In the complaint for damages filed by the bus company and Pangalangan against Phil-American Forwarders,
Inc., Balingit and Pineda, it was alleged that on November 24, 1962, Pineda drove recklessly a freight truck,
owned by Phil-American Forwarders, Inc., along the national highway at Sto. Tomas, Pampanga. The truck
bumped the bus driven by Pangalangan, which was owned by Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. As a result of
the bumping, Pangalangan suffered injuries and the bus was damaged and could not be used for seventy-nine
days, thus depriving the company of earnings amounting to P8,665.51. Balingit was the manager of Phil-
American Forwarders, Inc.

Among the defenses interposed by the defendants in their answer was that Balingit was not Pineda's employer.

Balingit moved that the complaint against him be dismissed on the ground that the bus company and the bus
driver had no cause of action against him. As already stated, the lower court dismissed the action as to Balingit.
The bus company and its driver appealed.

The Civil Code provides: têñ.£îhqwâ£

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

ART. 2180. The obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable not only for one's own acts
or omissions, but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible.

xxx xxx xxx

The owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise are likewise responsible for
damages caused by their employees in the service of the branches in which the latter are
employed or on the occasion of their functions.
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers
acting within the scope of their assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged in
any business or industry.

xxx xxx xxx

The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned
prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage.

The novel and unprecedented legal issue in this appeal is whether the terms "employers" and "owners and
managers of an establishment or enterprise" (dueños o directores de un establicimiento o empresa) used in
article 2180 of the Civil Code, formerly article 1903 of the old Code, embrace the manager of a corporation
owning a truck, the reckless operation of which allegedly resulted in the vehicular accident from which the
damage arose.

We are of the opinion that those terms do not include the manager of a corporation. It may be gathered from
the context of article 2180 that the term "manager" ("director" in the Spanish version) is used in the sense of

Hence, under the allegations of the complaint, no tortious or quasi-delictual liability can be fastened on Balingit
as manager of Phil-American Forwarders, Inc., in connection with the vehicular accident already mentioned
because he himself may be regarded as an employee or dependiente of his employer, Phil-American
Forwarders, Inc.

Thus, it was held "que es dependiente, a los efectos de la responsabilidad subsidiaria establecida en el num
3.0 del (art.) 1903, el director de un periodico explotado por una sociedad, porque cualquiera que sea su jerarquia y aunque Ileve la direccion de determinadas
convicciones politicas no por eso deja de estar subordinado a la superior autoridad de la Empresa" (Decision of Spanish Supreme Court dated December 6, 1912
cited in 12 Manresa, Codigo Civil Español 5th Ed. 662; 1913 Enciclopedia Juridica Española 992).

The bus company and its driver, in their appellants' brief, injected a new factual issue which was not alleged in
their complaint. They argue that Phil- American Forwarders, Inc. is merely a business conduit of Balingit
because out of its capital stock with a par value of P41,200, Balingit and his wife had subscribed P40,000 and
they paid P10,000 on their subscription, while the other incorporators, namely, Rodolfo Limjuco, Ponciano
Caparas and Rafael Suntay paid P250.25 and P25, respectively.

That argument implies that the veil of corporate fiction should be pierced and that Phil-American Forwarders,
Inc. and Balingit and his wife should be treated as one and the same civil personality.

We cannot countenance that argument in this appeal. It was not raised in the lower court. The case has to be
decided on the basis of the pleadings filed in the trial court where it was assumed that Phil-American
Forwarders, Inc. has a personality separate and distinct from that of the Balingit spouses.

The legal issue, which the plaintiffs-appellants can ventilate in this appeal, is one which was raised in the lower
court and which is within the issues framed by the parties (Sec. 18, Rule 46, Rules of Court).

When a party deliberately adopts a certain theory and the case is decided upon that theory in the court below,
he will not be permitted to change his theory on appeal because, to permit him to do so, could be unfair to the
adverse party (2 Moran's Comments on the Rules of Court, 1970 Ed. p. 505).

WHEREFORE, the lower court's order of dismissal is affirmed. Costs against the plaintiffs-appellants.

J.H. Chapman vs James
The facts of the case took place in the 1910’s. J.H. Chapman visited a friend in Santa Ana
and while he was about to ride a vehicle to take him home he was struck by a car owned by
James Underwood and driven by his chauffeur. Chapman was on the correct lane.
Underwood was riding in the car when the incident happened. Apparently, the chauffeur,
coming from the opposite direction and was driving straight ahead and when the automobile
about to be boarded by Chapman was in front of him, he [the chauffeur] instead of swerving
left he suddenly swerved right to the direction of Chapman thereby hitting and running over
ISSUE: Whether or not Underwood is liable for the negligent act of his chauffeur.
HELD: No. The general rule is that an owner who sits in his automobile, or other vehicle, and
permits his driver to continue in a violation of the law by the performance of negligent acts,
after he has had a reasonable opportunity to observe them and to direct that the driver cease
therefrom, becomes himself responsible for such acts. On the other hand, if the driver, by a
sudden act of negligence, and without the owner having a reasonable opportunity to prevent
the acts or its continuance, injures a person or violates the criminal law, the owner of the
automobile, although present therein at the time the act was committed, is not responsible,
either civilly or criminally, therefor. The act complained of must be continued in the presence
of the owner for such a length a time that the owner, by his acquiescence, makes his driver’s
act his own. In the case at bar, it was not shown that there was a sufficient period for
Underwood to dissuade the chauffeur from the negligent act as the swerving of the vehicle
by the chauffeur was sudden.

FACTS: Ferdinand Castillo, a freshman student at the St. Francis High School, wanted to join a school
picnic. His parents, respondents spouses Dr. Romulo Castillo and Lilia Cadiz Castillo, because of short
notice, did not allow their son to join but merely allowed him to bring food to the teachers for the picnic,
with the directive that he should go back home after doing so. However, because of persuasion of the
teachers, Ferdinand went on with them to the beach. During the picnic, one of the female teachers was
apparently drowning. Some of the students, including Ferdinand, came to her rescue, but in the process, it
was Ferdinand himself who drowned. He died. Respondent spouses filed a civil case against petitioner
and some of their teachers. Trial court found teachers liable but dismissed complaint against the school.

ISSUE: W/N petitioner school and teachers are liable.

RULING: Petition granted.

RATIO: Before an employer may be held liable for the negligence of his employee, the act or omission
which caused damage must have occurred while an employee was in the performance of his assigned
tasks. In the case at bar, the teachers/petitioners were not in the actual performance of their assigned
tasks. What was held was a purely private affair, a picnic, which did not have permit from the school since
it was not a school sanctioned activity. Mere knowledge by petitioner/principal of the planning of the
picnic does not in any way consent to the holding of the same.
No negligence could be attributable to the petitioners-teachers to warrant the award of damages to the
respondents-spouses. The class adviser of the section where Ferdinand belonged, did her best and
exercised diligence of a good father of a family to prevent any untoward incident or damages to all the
students who joined the picnic.
Jose Amadora vs Court of Appeals
In April 1972, while the high school students of Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos were in the school auditorium, a
certain Pablito Daffon fired a gun. The stray bullet hit Alfredo Amadora. Alfredo died. Daffon was convicted of
reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. The parents of Alfredo sued the school for damages under Article
2180 of the Civil Code because of the school’s negligence.
The trial court ruled in favor of Amadora. The trial court ruled that the principal, the dean of boys, as well as the
teacher-in-charge are all civilly liable. The school appealed as it averred that when the incident happened, the
school year has already ended. Amadora argued that even though the semester has already ended, his son was
there in school to complete a school requirement in his Physics subject. The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of
the school. The CA ruled that under the last paragraph of Article 2180, only schools of arts and trades (vocational
schools) are liable not academic schools like Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos.
ISSUE: Whether or not Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos, an academic school, is liable under Article 2180 of the
Civil Code for the tortuous act of its students.
HELD: Yes. The Supreme Court made a re-examination of the provision on the last paragraph of Article 2180
which provides:
Lastly, teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades shall be liable for damages caused by their pupils
and students or apprentices so long as they remain in their custody.
The Supreme Court said that it is time to update the interpretation of the above law due to the changing times
where there is hardly a distinction between schools of arts and trade and academic schools. That being said, the
Supreme Court ruled that ALL schools, academic or not, may be held liable under the said provision of Article
The Supreme Court however clarified that the school, whether academic or not, should not be held directly liable.
Its liability is only subsidiary.
For non-academic schools, it would be the principal or head of school who should be directly liable for the tortuous
act of its students. This is because historically, in non-academic schools, the head of school exercised a closer
administration over their students than heads of academic schools. In short, they are more hands on to their
For academic schools, it would be the teacher-in-charge who would be directly liable for the tortuous act of the
students and not the dean or the head of school.
The Supreme Court also ruled that such liability does not cease when the school year ends or when the semester
ends. Liability applies whenever the student is in the custody of the school authorities as long as he is under the
control and influence of the school and within its premises, whether the semester has not yet begun or has
already ended at the time of the happening of the incident. As long as it can be shown that the student is in the
school premises in pursuance of a legitimate student objective, in the exercise of a legitimate student right, and
even in the enjoyment of a legitimate student right, and even in the enjoyment of a legitimate student privilege,
the responsibility of the school authorities over the student continues. Indeed, even if the student should be doing
nothing more than relaxing in the campus in the company of his classmates and friends and enjoying the
ambience and atmosphere of the school, he is still within the custody and subject to the discipline of the school
authorities under the provisions of Article 2180.
At any rate, the REMEDY of the teacher, to avoid direct liability, and for the school, to avoid subsidiary liability,
is to show proof that he, the teacher, exercised the necessary precautions to prevent the injury complained of,
and the school exercised the diligence of a bonus pater familias.
In this case however, the Physics teacher in charge was not properly named, and there was no sufficient evidence
presented to make the said teacher-in-charge liable. Absent the direct liability of the teachers because of the
foregoing reason, the school cannot be held subsidiarily liable too
Ylarde vs Aquino
Ylarde vs. Aquino

GR No. L33722, July 29, 1988


Private respondent Mariano Soriano was the principal of the Gabaldon Primary School in
Pangasinan. Defendant Edgardo Aquino was a teacher therein. During that time, the school had several
concrete blocks which were remnants of the old school shop destroyed in World War II. Defendant decided to
help clear the area so he gathered 18 of his male students and ordered them to dig beside a one ton concrete
block in making a hole where the stone can be buried. It was left unfinished so the following day he called 4
of the 18 students including the Novelito Ylarde to complete the excavation. Defendant left the children to
level the loose soil while he went to see Banez for the key to the school workroom where he can get some
rope. It was alleged that before leaving, he told the children “not to touch the stone”. After he left, the
children playfully jumped into the pit when suddenly the concrete block slide down. Unfortunately, Novelito
Ylarde was pinned to the wall causing serious physical injuries which as a consequence led to his death, 3 days
thereafter. The parents of the victim, herein petitioners, filed a suit for damages against both Aquino and

ISSUE: WON both Soriano and Aquino can be held liable for damages.


As held in Amadora vs CA, “it is only the teacher and not the head of an academic school who should be
answerable for torts committed by their students”. Where the school is academic rather than technical or
vocational in nature, responsibility for the tort committed by the student will attach to the teacher in charge of
such student, this is the general rule. However, in casea of establishments of arts and trades, it is the head
thereof, and only he, who shall be held liable as an exception to the general rule. In other words, teachers in
general shall be liable for the acts of their students except where the school is technical in nature, in which case
it is the head thereof who shall be answerable. Hence, Soriano as principal cannot be held liable for the reason
that the school he heads is an academic school and he did not give any instruction regarding the digging.

A teacher who stands in loco parentis to his tudents should make sure that the children are protected from all
harm. The excavation instructed clearly exposed the students to risk and should not be placed under the
category of Work Education such as school gardening, planting trees etc. Aquino acted with fault and gross
negligence where instead of availing himself of adult manual laborers he instead utilized his
students. Furthermore, the warning given is not sufficient to cast away all serious danger that the concrete
block adjacent to the excavation would present to the children. He is therefore ordered to pay damages to the
City of Manila vs IAC Date: November 15, 1989 Petitioners: City of Manila and Evangeline Suva
Respondents: IAC, Irene Sto. Domingo, et al Ponente: Paras

Facts: Vivencio Sto. Domingo, Sr. died and was buried in North Cemetery which lot was leased by the
city to Irene Sto. Domingo for the period from June 6, 1971 to June 6, 2021. The wife paid the full
amount of the lease. Apart, however from the receipt, no other document embodied such lease over
the lot. Believing that the lease was only for five years, the city certified the lot as ready for exhumation.
On the basis of the certification, Joseph Helmuth authorized the exhumation and removal of the remains
of Vicencio. His bones were placed in a bag and kept in the bodega of the cemetery. The lot was also
leased to another lessee. During the next all souls day, the private respondents were shocked to find out
that Vicencio’s remains were removed. The cemetery told Irene to look for the bones of the husband in
the bodega. Aggrieved, the widow and the children brought an action for damages against the City of
Manila; Evangeline Suva of the City Health Office; Sergio Mallari, officerin-charge of the North Cemetery;
and Joseph Helmuth, the latter's predecessor as officer-in-charge of the said burial grounds owned and
operated by the City Government of Manila. The court ordered defendants to give plaintiffs the right to
make use of another lot. The CA affirmed and included the award of damages in favor of the private

Issue: WON the operations and functions of a public cemetery are a governmental, or a corporate or
proprietary function of the City of Manila.

Held: Proprietary Ratio: Petitioners alleged in their petition that the North Cemetery is exclusively
devoted for public use or purpose as stated in Sec. 316 of the Compilation of the Ordinances of the City
of Manila. They conclude that since the City is a political subdivision in the performance of its
governmental function, it is immune from tort liability which may be caused by its public officers and
subordinate employees. Private respondents maintain that the City of Manila entered into a contract of
lease which involve the exercise of proprietary functions with Irene Sto. Domingo. The city and its
officers therefore can be sued for any-violation of the contract of lease. The City of Manila is a political
body corporate and as such endowed with the faculties of municipal corporations to be exercised by and
through its city government in conformity with law, and in its proper corporate name. It may sue and be
sued, and contract and be contracted with. Its powers are twofold in character-public, governmental or
political on the one hand, and corporate, private and proprietary on the other. Governmental powers
are those exercised in administering the powers of the state and promoting the public welfare and they
include the legislative, judicial, public and political. Municipal powers on the one hand are exercised for
the special benefit and advantage of the community and include those which are ministerial, private and
corporate. In connection with the powers of a municipal corporation, it may acquire property in its
public or governmental capacity, and private or proprietary capacity. The New Civil Code divides such
properties into property for public use and patrimonial properties (Article 423), and further enumerates
the properties for public use as provincial roads, city streets, municipal streets, the squares, fountains,
public waters, promenades, and public works for public service paid for by said provisions, cities or
municipalities, all other property is patrimonial without prejudice to the provisions of special laws. Thus
in Torio v. Fontanilla, the Court declared that with respect to proprietary functions the settled rule is
that a municipal corporation can be held liable to third persons ex contractu. Under the foregoing
considerations and in the absence of a special law, the North Cemetery is a patrimonial property of the
City of Manila. The administration and government of the cemetery are under the City Health Officer,
the order and police of the cemetery, the opening of graves, niches, or tombs, the exhuming of remains,
and the purification of the same are under the charge and responsibility of the superintendent of the
cemetery. With the acts of dominion, there is no doubt that the North Cemetery is within the class of
property which the City of Manila owns in its proprietary or private character. Furthermore, there is no
dispute that the burial lot was leased in favor of the private respondents. Hence, obligations arising from
contracts have the force of law between the contracting parties. Thus a lease contract executed by the
lessor and lessee remains as the law between them. Therefore, a breach of contractual provision
entitles the other party to damages even if no penalty for such breach is prescribed in the contract.

Issue: WON the city is liable for damages

Held: Yes Ratio: All things considered, even as the Court commiserates with plaintiffs for the
unfortunate happening complained of and untimely desecration of the resting place and remains of
their deceased dearly beloved, it finds the reliefs prayed for by them lacking in legal and factual basis.
Under the aforementioned facts and circumstances, the most that plaintiffs ran ask for is the
replacement of subject lot with another lot of equal size and similar location in the North Cemetery
which substitute lot plaintiffs can make use of without paying any rental to the city government for a
period of forty-three (43) years, four (4) months and eleven (11) days corresponding to the unexpired
portion of the term of the lease sued upon as of January 25, 1978 when the remains of the late Vivencio
Sto. Domingo, Sr. were prematurely removed from the disputed lot; and to require the defendants to
look in earnest for the bones and skull of the late Vivencio Sto. Domingo Sr. and to bury the same in the
substitute lot adjudged in favor of plaintiffs hereunder. As regards the issue of the validity of the
contract of lease of grave lot No. 159, Block No. 195 of the North Cemetery for 50 years beginning from
June 6, 1971 to June 6, 2021 as clearly stated in the receipt duly signed by the deputy treasurer of the
City of Manila and sealed by the city government, there is nothing in the record that justifies the
reversal of the conclusion of both the trial court and the Intermediate Appellate Court to the effect that
the receipt is in itself a contract of lease. ( Under the doctrine of respondent superior, (Torio v.
Fontanilla), petitioner City of Manila is liable for the tortious act committed by its agents who failed to
verify and check the duration of the contract of lease. The contention of the petitioner-city that the
lease is covered by Administrative Order No. 5, series of 1975 dated March 6, 1975 of the City of Manila
for five (5) years only beginning from June 6, 1971 is not meritorious for the said administrative order
covers new leases. When subject lot was certified on January 25, 1978 as ready for exhumation, the
lease contract for fifty (50) years was still in full force and effect


Arbatin was the successful bidder in a public auction of junk and other unserviceable
government property in the Highway District Engineer’s Office of Roxas City. Arbatin
then employed Adarle to help him haul the junk. On a non-working day, when Adarle and
Buensalido, the driver of the payloader, were at the site continuing to gather the junk, a
bucket from the payloader fell and injured Adarle to the point of paralyzing his
lower extremities. Adarle instituted an action against Arbatin, Buensalido, Marcelino
(Civil Engineer), and Genson (Highway District Engineer). RTC ruled in favor of Adarle.
IAC modified the previous ruling, absolving Marcelino from liability, and averring that
the liability of Genson is based on fault, by allowing Arbatin and his men to work on the
premises on a non-working day, in contravention of his office’s policy. Petitioner Genson
then appealed the decision to the SC, stating that the facts upon which the
IAC declared that his liability is based on fault by allowing the men to work on a non-
working holiday is without basis. Furthermore, he contends that by filing a suit against
him, Adarle is then filing a suit against the Republic, which violates the non-suability of
the State.


Whether or not Genson should be held liable, personally or officially?


NO. With regard to the non-suability contention, Adarle filed a suit against Genson
personally, in his capacity as the Highway District Engineer, and not the State or his
office. As for the main issue, there was no evidence to prove Genson’s presence when the
accident occurred, nor was there any basis for the lower courts to hold that Genson was
at fault by authorizing Arbatin and his men to work on a non-working day. It might even
be proven that working on a Saturday for the specific purpose of hauling junk would be
the time when the most work can be done, as it has less traffic. The Master-Servant
doctrine in tort law cannot apply either, since despite the fact that Buensalido, Genson’s
employee, was “moonlighting” on a non-working holiday, Buensalido’s arrangement with
Arbatin was purely private in nature, and had nothing to do with his being employed
under Genson. Thus, absent the showing of malice, bad faith or gross negligence on the
part of Genson, he cannot be held liable for the acts committed by Buensalido and
Municipality of San Fernando vs. Firme
FACTS: A passenger jeepney, a sand truck and a dump truck of the Municipality of San
Fernando, La Union collided. Due to the impact, several passengers of the jeepney
including Laureano Baniña Sr. died. The heirs of Baniña filed a complaint for damages
against the owner and driver of the jeepney, who, in turn, filed a Third Party Complaint
against the Municipality and its dump truck driver, Alfredo Bislig. Municipality filed its
answer and raised the defense of non-suability of the State. After trial, the court ruled in
favor of the plaintiffs and ordered Municipality and Bislig to pay jointly and severally the
heirs of Baniña.


1. Are municipal corporations suable?

2. Is the Municipality liable for the torts committed by its employee who was then engaged
in the discharge of governmental functions?


1. Municipal corporations, like provinces and cities, are agencies of the State when they
are engaged in governmental functions and therefore should enjoy the sovereign
immunity from suit. Nevertheless, they are subject to suit even in the performance of such
functions because their charter provided that they can sue and be sued.

2. Municipal corporations are suable because their charters grant them the competence
to sue and be sued. Nevertheless, they are generally not liable for torts committed by
them in the discharge of governmental functions and can be held answerable only if it can
be shown that they were acting in a proprietary capacity. In permitting such entities to be
sued, the State merely gives the claimant the right to show that the defendant was not
acting in its governmental capacity when the injury was committed or that the case comes
under the exceptions recognized by law. Failing this, the claimant cannot recover.

In this case, the driver of the dump truck of the municipality insists that "he was on his
way to the Naguilian river to get a load of sand and gravel for the repair of San Fernando's
municipal streets." In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, the regularity of the
performance of official duty is presumed. Hence, the driver of the dump truck was
performing duties or tasks pertaining to his office.

Decision of the lower court modified. Petitioner municipality was absolved of any liability.
St. Mary's Academy vs Carpetanos
St. Mary’s Academy vs. Carpetanos
GR No. 143363, February 6, 2002


Herein petitioner, conducted an enrollment drive for the school year 1995-1996 They visited schools
from where prospective enrollees were studying. Sherwin Carpitanos joined the campaign. Along
with the other high school students, they rode a Mitsubishi jeep owned by Vivencio Villanueva on
their way to Larayan Elementary School. Such jeep was driven by James Daniel II, a 15 year old
student of the same school. It was alleged that he drove the jeep in a reckless manner which resulted
for it to turned turtle. Sherwin died due to this accident.

ISSUE: WON petitioner should be held liable for the damages.


CA held petitioner liable for the death of Sherwin under Article 218 and 219 of the Family Code
where it was pointed that they were negligent in allowing a minor to drive and not having a teacher
accompany the minor students in the jeep. However, for them to be held liable, the act or omission
to be considered negligent must be the proximate cause of the injury caused thus, negligence needs to
have a causal connection to the accident. It must be direct and natural sequence of events, unbroken
by any efficient intervening causes. The parents of the victim failed to show such negligence on the
part of the petitioner. The spouses Villanueva admitted that the immediate cause of the accident was
not the reckless driving of James but the detachment of the steering wheel guide of the
jeep. Futhermore, there was no evidence that petitioner allowed the minor to drive the jeep of
Villanueva. The mechanical defect was an event over which the school has no control hence they
may not be held liable for the death resulting from such accident.

The registered owner of any vehicle, even if not used for public service, would primarily be
responsible to the public or to 3rd persons for injuries caused while it is being driven on the road. It is
not the school, but the registered owner of the vehicle who shall be held responsible for damages for
the death of Sherwin. Case was remanded to the trial court for determination of the liability of the
defendants excluding herein petitioner.
Vestil v. IAC G.R. No. 74431

G.R. No. 74431 November 6, 1989





On July 29, 1915, Theness was bitten by a dog while she was playing with a child of the petitioners in the house of the late
Vicente Miranda, the father of Purita Vestil, at F. Ramos Street in Cebu City. She was rushed to the Cebu General Hospital,
where she was treated for "multiple lacerated wounds on the forehead" 1 and administered an anti-rabies vaccine by Dr. Antonio
Tautjo. She was discharged after nine days but was readmitted one week later due to "vomiting of saliva." 2 The following day, on
August 15, 1975, the child died. The cause of death was certified as broncho-pneumonia. 3

Seven months later, the Uys sued for damages, alleging that the Vestils were liable to them as the possessors of "Andoy," the
dog that bit and eventually killed their daughter. The Vestils rejected the charge, insisting that the dog belonged to the deceased
Vicente Miranda, that it was a tame animal, and that in any case no one had witnessed it bite Theness. After trial, Judge Jose R.
Ramolete of the Court of First Instance of Cebu sustained the defendants and dismissed the complaint. 4


In the proceedings now before us, Purita Vestil insists that she is not the owner of the house or of the dog left by her father as his
estate has not yet been partitioned and there are other heirs to the property.


Pursuing the logic of the Uys, she claims, even her sister living in Canada would be held responsible for the acts of the dog
simply because she is one of Miranda's heirs. However, that is hardly the point. What must be determined is the possession of
the dog that admittedly was staying in the house in question, regardless of the ownership of the dog or of the house.

Article 2183 reads as follows:

The possessor of an animal or whoever may make use of the same is responsible for the damage which it may cause, although
it may escape or be lost. 'This responsibility shall cease only in case the damages should come from force majeure from the fault
of the person who has suffered damage.

Thus, in Afialda v. Hisole, 6 a person hired as caretaker of a carabao gored him to death and his heirs thereupon sued the owner
of the animal for damages. The complaint was dismissed on the ground that it was the caretaker's duty to prevent the carabao
from causing injury to any one, including himself.

While it is true that she is not really the owner of the house, which was still part of Vicente Miranda's estate, there is no doubt that
she and her husband were its possessors at the time of the incident in question. She was the only heir residing in Cebu City and
the most logical person to take care of the property, which was only six kilometers from her own house. 13 Moreover, there is
evidence showing that she and her family regularly went to the house, once or twice weekly, according to at least one
witness, 14 and used it virtually as a second house. Interestingly, her own daughter was playing in the house with Theness when
the little girl was bitten by the dog. 15 The dog itself remained in the house even after the death of Vicente Miranda in 1973 and
until 1975, when the incident in question occurred. It is also noteworthy that the petitioners offered to assist the Uys with their
hospitalization expenses although Purita said she knew them only casually. 16


The petitioners also argue that even assuming that they were the possessors of the dog that bit Theness there was no clear
showing that she died as a result thereof.


On the contrary, the death certificate 17 declared that she died of broncho-pneumonia, which had nothing to do with the dog bites
for which she had been previously hospitalized. The Court need not involve itself in an extended scientific discussion of the
causal connection between the dog bites and the certified cause of death except to note that, first, Theness developed
hydrophobia, a symptom of rabies, as a result of the dog bites, and second, that asphyxia broncho-pneumonia, which ultimately
caused her death, was a complication of rabies. That Theness became afraid of water after she was bitten by the dog is
established by the testimony of Dr. Tautjo.

On the strength of the testimony, the Court finds that the link between the dog bites and the certified cause of death has beep
satisfactorily established. We also reiterate our ruling in Sison v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, 20 that the death
certificate is not conclusive proof of the cause of death but only of the fact of death. Indeed, the evidence of the child's
hydrophobia is sufficient to convince us that she died because she was bitten by the dog even if the death certificate stated a
different cause of death. The petitioner's contention that they could not be expected to exercise remote control of the dog is not
acceptable. In fact, Article 2183 of the Civil Code holds the possessor liable even if the animal should "escape or be lost" and so
be removed from his control. And it does not matter either that, as the petitioners also contend, the dog was tame and was
merely provoked by the child into biting her. The law does not speak only of vicious animals but covers even tame ones as long
as they cause injury. As for the alleged provocation, the petitioners forget that Theness was only three years old at the time she
was attacked and can hardly be faulted for whatever she might have done to the animal.

According to Manresa the obligation imposed by Article 2183 of the Civil Code is not based on the negligence or on the
presumed lack of vigilance of the possessor or user of the animal causing the damage. It is based on natural equity and
on the principle of social interest that he who possesses animals for his utility, pleasure or service must answer for the damage
which such animal may cause. 21

We sustain the findings of the Court of Appeals and approve the monetary awards except only as to the medical and
hospitalization expenses, which are reduced to P2,026.69, as prayed for in the complaint. While there is no recompense that can
bring back to the private respondents the child they have lost, their pain should at least be assuaged by the civil damages to
which they are entitled.