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vs. CA, (1993); WORCESTER vs. OCAMPO, 1912;

vs. CA, (1993); FACTS
COCA-COLA BOTTLER’S PHILIPPINES Plaintiff Dean Worcester, member of the
vs. CA, (1993); Civil Commission of the Philippines and
COCA-COLA BOTTLER’S PHILIPPINES Secretary of the Interior of the Insular
vs. CA, (1993); Government commenced an action against
COCA-COLA BOTTLER’S PHILIPPINES defendants Ocampo, Kalaw, Santos, Reyes,
vs. CA, (1993); Aguilar, Liquete, Palma, Arellano, Jose,
COCA-COLA BOTTLER’S PHILIPPINES Lichauco, Barretto and Cansipit (owners,
vs. CA, (1993); directors, writers, editors and
COCA-COLA BOTTLER’S PHILIPPINES administrators of a certain newspaper
vs. CA, (1993); known as “El Renacimiento” or “Muling
COCA-COLA BOTTLER’S PHILIPPINES Pagsilang”) for the purpose of recovering
vs. CA, (1993); damages resulting from an alleged libelous
The editorial “Birds of Prey” was alleged to
iii. Joint Tortfeasors; have incited the Filipino people into
believing that plaintiff was a vile despot and
wo or more persons whose negligence in a a corrupt person, unworthy of the position
single accident or event causes damages to which he held. The said editorial alluded to
another person. In many cases the joint him as an eagle that surprises and devours,
tortfeasors are jointly and severally liable a vulture that gorges himself on dead and
for the damages, meaning that any of them rotten meat, an owl that affects a petulant
can be responsible to pay the entire omniscience, and a vampire that sucks the
amount, no matter how unequal the blood of the victim until he leaves it
negligence of each party was. bloodless.
After hearing the evidence adduced during
Example: Harry Hotrod is doing 90 miles an trial, the judge of the CFI rendered
hour along a two-lane road in the early judgment in favor of petitioner, holding all
evening, Adele Aimster has stopped her car the defendants (except for Reyes, Aguilar
to study a map with her car sticking out and Liquete who were found to be editors
into the lane by six inches. Hotrod swings but in a subordinate position and found to
out a couple of feet to miss Aimster's have merely acted under the direction of
vehicle, never touches the brake, and hits their superiors) liable jointly and severally
Victor Victim, driving from the other for sustained damages on account of
direction, killing him. While Hotrod is petitioner’s wounded feelings, mental
grossly negligent for the high speed and suffering and injuries to his standing and
failure to slow down, Aimster is also reputation in the sum of P35,000 as well as
negligent for her car's slight intrusion into P25,000 as punitive damages.
the lane. As a joint tortfeasor she may have This judgment prompted defendants to
to pay all the damages, particularly if appeal to the SC, claiming that the CFI
Hotrod has no money or insurance. committed several errors in rendering said
However, comparative negligence rules by judgment among which was that the lower
statute or case law in most jurisdictions will court committed an error in rendering a
apportion the liability by percentages of judgment jointly and severally against the
negligence among the tortfeasors defendants.
(wrongdoers) and the injured parties.
Article 2194, CC: 1. WON the defendants, regardless of
The responsibility of two or more persons their participation in the commission of the
who are liable for quasi-delict is solidary.
actual tort, may be held jointly and
severally liable as joint tort feasor. It may be stated as a general rule, that the
2. WON the above damages for the joint tort feasors are all the persons who
wounded feelings, mental suffering and command, instigate, promote, encourage,
injuries was correct. advise, countenance, cooperate in, aid or
3. WON the lower court was correct in abet the commission of a tort, or who
awarding punitive damages and damages approve of it after it is done, if done for
for the wounded feelings, mental suffering their benefit. They are each liable as
and injuries. principals, to the same extent and in the
same manner as if they had performed the
HELD wrongful act themselves.
1. YES. Joint tort feasors are all the
persons who command, instigate, promote, Joint tort feasors are jointly and severally
encourage, advise, countenance, liable for the tort which they commit. The
cooperate in, aid or abet the commission of person injured may sue all of them, or any
a tort, or who approve of it after it is done, number less than all. Each is liable for the
if done for their benefit. whole damage caused by all, and
Joint tort feasors are jointly and severally altogether jointly liable for the whole
liable for the tort which they commit. They damage. It is no defense for one sued
are each liable as principals, to the same alone, that the others who participated in
extent and in the same manner as if they the wrongful act are not joined with him as
had performed the wrongful act defendants; nor is it any excuse for him
themselves. that his participation in the tort was
insignificant as compared with that of the
***If several persons jointly commit a tort, others.
the plaintiff or person injured, has his
election to sue all or some of the parties Joint tort feasors are not liable pro rata.
jointly, or one of them separately, because The damages can not be apportioned
tort is in its nature a separate act of each among them, except among themselves.
individual. They can no insist upon an apportionment,
for the purpose of each paying an aliquot
Defendants fail to recognize that the basis part. They are jointly and severally liable
of the present action is a tort. They fail to for the full amount.
recognize the universal doctrine that each
joint tort feasor is not only individually A payment in full of the damage done, by
liable for the tort in which he participates, one of the joint tort feasors, of course
but is also jointly liable with his tort satisfies any claim which might exist
feasors. The defendants might have been against the others. There can be but one
sued separately for the commission of the satisfaction. The release of one of the joint
tort. They might have sued jointly and tort feasors by agreement, generally
severally, as they were. It is not necessary operates to discharge all.
that the cooperation should be a direct,
corporeal act. **note: Ponente used Of course the courts during the trial may
examples of torts as held under common find that some of the alleged joint tort
law** (In a case of assault and battery feasors are liable and that others are not
committed by various persons, under the liable. The courts may release some for
common law, all are principals). So also is lack of evidence while condemning others
the person who counsels, aids, or assists in of the alleged tort feasors. And this is true
any way the commission of a wrong. Under even though they are charged jointly and
the common law, he who aided, assisted or severally.
counseled, in any way the commission of a
crime, was as much a principal as he who
inflicted or committed the actual tort.
This same principle is recognized by Act amount of damages in cases of libel. It is
277 of the Philippine Commission. Section difficult to include all of the facts and
6 provides that: conditions which enter into the measure of
Every author, editor or proprietor . . . is such damages. A man's good name and
chargeable with the publication of any reputation are worth more to him than all
words in any part . . . or number of each the wealth which he can accumulate during
newspaper, as fully as if he were the author a lifetime of industrious labor. To have
of the same. them destroyed may be eminently of more
damage to him personally than the
In our opinion the lower court committed destruction of his physical wealth. The loss
no error in rendering a joint and several is immeasurable. No amount of money can
judgment against the defendants and compensate him for his loss.
allowing an execution against their Notwithstanding the great loss which he,
individual property. The provisions of the from his standpoint, sustains, the courts
Civil and Commercial Codes cited by the must have some tangible basis upon which
defendants and appellants have no to estimate such damages.
application whatever to the question
presented in the present case. "The enjoyment of a private
The courts during the trial may find that reputation is as much a constitutional right
some of the alleged joint tort feasors are as the possession of life, liberty or
liable and that others are not liable. The property. It is one of those rights necessary
courts may release some for lack of to human society, that underlie the whole
evidence while condemning others of the scheme of human civilization. The respect
alleged tort. And this is true even though and esteem of his fellows are among the
they are charged jointly and severally. highest rewards of a wellspent life
However, in this case, the lower court, vouchsafed to man in this existence.
committed no error in rendering a joint and
several judgment against the defendants. The law recognizes the value of such
As recognized by Section 6 of Act 277 of a reputation and constantly strives to give
the Philippine Commission: “Every author, redress for its injury. It imposes upon him
editor, or proprietor * * * is chargeable who attacks it by slanderous words or
with the publication of any words in any libelous publications, the liability to make
part * * * or number of each newspaper, full compensation for the damage to the
as fully as if he were the author of the reputation, for the shame, obloquy and for
same. the injury to the feelings of its owner, which
are caused by the publication of the slander
Disposition Judgment of the lower court or libel. The law goes further. If the words
modified. Ocampo, Kalaw, Palma, Arellano, are spoken or the publication is made with
Jose, Lichauco, Barretto, and Cansipit held the intent to injure the victim or with
jointly and severally liable for the sum of criminal indifference to civil obligation, it
P25, 000 with interest at 6%. Santos imposes such damages as the jury, in view
absolved from any liability. of all the circumstances of the particular
case, adjudge that the wrongdoer ought to
2. The amount of damages resulting pay as an example to the public and to
from a libelous publication to a man's good deter others from doing likewise, and for
name and reputation is difficult of punishment for the infliction of the injury.
ascertainment. It is nor difficult to realize
that the damage thus done is great and 3. Yes. After a careful examination of
almost immeasurable. The specific amount the evidence, and in view of all of the facts
the damages to be awarded must depend and circumstances and the malice
upon the facts in each case and the sound connected with the publication of said
discretion of the court. No fixed or precise editorial and the subsequent publications
rules can be laid down governing the with relation to said editorial, that the lower
court, by virtue of the provisions of Act No. for it has proven that it has shown diligence
277 of the Philippine Commission, was of a good father of a family in employing
justified in imposing punitive damages and supervising its employees. MMTC
upon the defendants. stated that it goes through a process of
screening, interviewing, and seminar
Section 11 of Act No. 277 allows the court, attending before they hire their employees.
in an action for libel, to render a judgment The CA reversed the decision of the RTC
for punitive damages, in an amount which holding that the MMTC was not able to
the court may think will be a just further prove that its employees complied
punishment to the libeler and an example with its requirements.
to others.
Exemplary damages in civil actions for libel Whether or not diligence of a good father
may always be recovered if the defendant has been observed by MMTC?
or defendants are actuated by malice. In
the present case there was not the slightest Held:
effort on the part of the defendants to show The SC ruled that MMTC, being sued
the existence of probable cause or as employer of the bus driver Leonardo
foundation whatever for the facts contained under Art. 2180 or vicarious liability, was
in said editorial. Malice, hatred, and ill will not able to prove that it had exercised due
against the plaintiff are seen throughout diligence of a good father of a family in the
the record. The said editorial not only selection and supervision of its employees
attempted to paint the plaintiff as a villain, as it has not proven that it exercised due
but upon every occasion, the defendants diligence in supervising its employees for
resorted to ridicule of the severest kind. mere imposition of hiring procedures and
supervisory policies without anything more
Taking into consideration the fact that is not sufficient to overcome the
some of the defendants have been presumption of negligence imposed upon
prosecuted criminally and have been them by the law.
sentenced, and considering that fact as a
part of the punitive damages, we have The basis of the employer’s vicarious
arrived at the conclusion that the judgment liability is that the responsibility imposed
of the lower court should be modified, and by the article arises by reason of a
that a judgment should be rendered presumption of negligence on the part of
against the defendants, jointly and the persons made responsible under the
severally, and in favor of the plaintiff, the article from their failure to exercise due
Honorable Dean C. Worcester, in the sum care and vigilance over the acts of
of P10,000, as punitive damages, with subordinates to prevent them from causing
interest at 6 per cent from the 23d day of damage. Negligence is imputed to them by
January, 1909. law, unless they prove the contrary by
showing that they exercised diligence of a
MMTC vs. CA, 1993 good father of a family to prevent damage.
It is clear that it is the non-performance of
Facts: certain duties of precaution and prudence
The case arose from Nenita who incurred imposed upon them that is why they are
injuries from being thrown out of the made answerable for damages caused by
windshield of the jeepney that she was their employee.
riding that collided with a bus operated by
MMTC (petitioner). Nenita filed for For the doctrine to apply, it must first be
damages for neither the operator of the shown that there is employer-employee
jeepney nor the MMTC would pay for the relationship and that the plaintiff must
damages sustained by Nenita. The RTC show that the tort complained of was
ruled that MMTC is abstained from liability committed in the scope of his assigned task
and that is when the employer may find it damages as possessor of the property and
necessary to interpose a defense of due the dog.
diligence of a good father of a family. The
diligence of a good father of a family Defense: The dog was tame and had
required to be observed by the employer to merely been provoked, although no one
prevent damages under Art. 2180 refers to had seen it bite Theness. Additionally, she
due diligence in the selection and had died of broncho-pneumonia, which had
supervision the employees to protect the no correlation to dog bites.
Anyway, she (Purita) could not be held
iv. Particular Persons held liable by liable because the dog does not belong to
law; her but to Vicente Miranda, her father. She
is not the sole owner of the unpartitioned
Possessor or user manual property, there are other heirs. There are
also other occupants of the house that
maintain themselves out of a common
Article 2183, CC; fund, they do not pay rent because of their
The possessor of an animal or whoever relation to her father but do occupy the
may make use of the same is responsible property.
for the damage which it may cause,
although it may escape or be lost. This Issue/s:
responsibility shall cease only in case the Whether or not the Vestils liable for
damage should come from force majeure damages. Yes.
or from the fault of the person who has
suffered damage. Held:
The cause of Theness’ death was the dog
VESTIL vs. IAC; bites. She developed hydrophobia, a
symptom of rabies, and had died due to
Summary broncho-pneumonia, a complication of
(dog bite) Theness died due to being bitten rabies.
by the Vestil’s dog. The Vestil are liable for
damages as possessors of the dog under The Vestils are the possessors of the
Article 2183. property and Purita is the only heir residing
in Cebu City. They use it as a second home
Facts of the case and visited weekly - renting it out to the
Theness (3 years old) was bitten by the boarders, paying for utilities and hiring the
Vestil’s dog at the house of Vicente maid who cleaned and cooked for the house
Miranda, Purita Vestil’s late father while occupants. An occupant of the household
playing with Purita’s daughter. She was (Marcial Lao) testified that they maintain
treated for multiple lacerated wounds on the house for business purposes and that
the forehead and was administered with an he is one of the boarder of said property.
anti-rabies vaccine. She was later re-
admitted due to vomiting of saliva. She Liability is due to the possession of the dog,
died due to broncho-pneumonia. Her regardless of the ownership of the dog or
parents, the Uys, sued the Vestils for property. Under Article 2183, regardless if
damages, holding them liable as the animal was tame or vicious or if it had
possessors of the dog, Andoy. been lost and removed from the control of
the Vestils, liability still attach because one
Trial Court: Dismissed the complaint. who possesses an animal for utility,
Court of Appeal: Theness had died due to pleasure or service must answer for the
the dog bites. Under Article 2183 of the damage which the animal may had caused.
Civil Code., the Vestils are liable for
Article 2183: The possessor of an animal… Facts: J.H. Chapman visited a man by the
is responsible for the damage it may name of Creveling, in front of whose house
cause… The responsibility shall cease only the accident occurred. Chapman wanted to
in case the damage should come from force board a certain "San Marcelino" single-
majeure or from the fault of the person who track street-car coming from Santa Ana
suffered damage. and bound for Manila. Being told by
Creveling that the car was approaching, he
The Vestils are liable for damages for hurriedly, passed from the gate of
Theness’ death as possessor of Andoy, the Creveling s home into the street for the
dog. Theness is just 3 years old and could purpose of signaling and boarding the car.
not be faulted for any of actions of alleged
provocations. Notably, the Vestils had The car was a closed one, the entrance
offered to assist in the hospitalization being from the front or the rear platform.
expense, even if they declared the Uys to Chapman attempted to board the front
merely be their casual acquaintances only. platform but, seeing that he could not
reach it without extra exertion, stopped
beside the car, facing toward the rear
platform, and waited for it to come within
Owner of Motor Vehicle reach for him to board. While in this
position, he was struck from behind and
Articles 2184 to 2186, Civil Code; run over by Underwood s automobile.

Article 2184. In motor vehicle mishaps, Immediately prior to the incident,

the owner is solidarily liable with his driver, Underwood s automobile, which was being
if the former, who was in the vehicle, could driven by his chauffeur, followed behind a
have, by the use of the due diligence, street car from Manila bound to Santa Ana
prevented the misfortune. It is disputably (Opposite direction of the San Marcelino
presumed that a driver was negligent, if he street-car that Chapman wanted to board).
had been found guilty of reckless driving or Just before reaching the scene of the
violating traffic regulations at least twice accident, the street car being followed by
within the next preceding two months. Underwood took the switched off the main
line to the left. Thereupon, Underwood s
If the owner was not in the motor vehicle, automobile no longer followed that street-
the provisions of article 2180 are car nor went to the left, but either kept
applicable. straight ahead on the main street-car track
or a bit to the right. The street-car which
Article 2185. Unless there is proof to the the Chapman intended to board was on the
contrary, it is presumed that a person main line and bound in an opposite
driving a motor vehicle has been negligent direction. When the front of the "San
if at the time of the mishap, he was Marcelino" car (the one which plaintiff
violating any traffic regulation. attempted to board) was almost in front of
Underwood s automobile, the latter s driver
Article 2186. Every owner of a motor suddenly went to the right striking and
vehicle shall file with the proper running over Chapman.
government office a bond executed by a
government-controlled corporation or The trial court rendered decision in favor of
office, to answer for damages to third the defendant.
persons. The amount of the bond and other
terms shall be fixed by the competent Issue: Is defendant liable in the case at
public official. bar?

CHAPMAN vs. UNDERWOOD, 27 PHIL Held: A careful examination of the record

375; leads to the conclusion that the Under wood
s driver was guilty of negligence in running appears that the interval between the
upon and over the plaintiff. He was passing turning out to meet and pass the street car
an incoming car upon the wrong side. The and the happening of the accident was so
plaintiff, out to board the car, was not small as not to be sufficient to charge
obliged to observe whether a car was defendant with the negligence of the driver.
coming upon him from his left hand. He had
only to guard against those coming from CAEDO vs. YU KHE TAI, 26 SCRA 410;
the right. He knew that, according to the
law of the road, no automobile or other FACTS:
vehicle coming from his left should pass
upon his side of the car. He needed only to Plaintiff Caedo was driving his Mercury car
watch for cars coming from his right, as at about 5:30 in the morning of March 24,
they were the only ones under the law 1958 along E. de los Santos Ave., in the
permitted to pass up on that side of the vicinity of San LorenzoVillage bound for the
street car. airport. Several members of his family
were in the car. Coming from the opposite
Underwood, however, is not responsible for direction was the Cadillac car of defendant
the negligence of his driver, under the facts Yu Khe Thai driven by his driver Rafael
and circumstances of this case. As stated in Bernardo. The two cars were traveling at a
the case of Johnson vs. David (5 Phil. Rep., moderate speed with their headlights on.
663), the driver does not fall within the list Ahead of the Cadillac was a caretela.
of persons in Defendant’s driver did not notice it until he
article 1903 of the Civil Code for whose acts was about eight (8) meters away. Instead
the defendant would be responsible. of slowing down behind the caretela
defendant’s driver veered to the left with
The owner of an automobile who permits the intention of passing by the caretela but
his chauffeur to drive up to Escolta, for in doing so its rear bumper caught the
example, at a speed of 60 miles an hour, ream of thecaretela’s left wheel wrenching
without any effort to stop him, although he it off. Defendant’s car skidded obliquely to
has had a reasonable opportunity to do so, the other end and collided with the on-
becomes himself responsible, both coming vehicle of the plaintiff. The plaintiff
criminally and civilly, for the results on his part, slackened his speed and tried
produced by the acts of his chauffe ur. On to avoid the collision by veering to the right
the other hand, if the driver, by a sudden but the collision occurred just the same
act of negligence, and without the owner injuring the plaintiff and members of his
having a reasonable opportunity to prevent family. Plaintiff brought an action for
the acts or its continuance, injures a person damages against both the driver and owner
or violates the criminal law, the owner of of the Cadillac car. There was no question
the automobile, although present therein at that defendant’s driver was negligent and
the time the act was committed, is not liable.
responsible, e ither civilly or criminally,
therefor. The act complained of must be ISSUE:
continued in the presence of the owner for
such a length a time that the owner, by his Whether or not defendant Yu Khe Thai,
acquiescence, makes his driver's act his owner of the car, who was in the car, was
own. solidarily liable with the driver under Art.
2184, of the Civil Code.
In this case, it DOES NOT appear that,
from the time the automobile took the RULING:
wrong side of the road to the commission
of the injury, sufficient time intervenedto The applicable law is Article 2184 of the
give the defendant an opportunity to Civil Code. Under the said provision, if the
correct the act of his driver. Instead, it causative factor was the driver’s
negligence, the owner of the vehicle who PCI LEASING AND FINANCE, INC. vs.
was present is likewise held liable if he UCPB GENERAL INSURANCE, CO. INC.
could have prevented the mishap by the 2008;
exercise of due diligence. The basis of the
master’s liability in civil law is not FACTS:
respondent superior but rather the 1. On October 19, 1990 at about 10:30
relationship of paterfamilias. The theory is p.m., a Mitsubishi Lancer owned by UCPB
that ultimately the negligence of the and insured with UCPB General Insurance
servant, if known to the master and Inc. was hit and bumped by an 18-wheeler
susceptible of timely correction by him, Fuso Tanker Truck owned by PCI Leasing &
reflects his own negligence if he fails to Finance. The truck was allegedly leased to
correct it in order to prevent injury or and operated by Superior Gas & Equitable
damage. Co., Inc. (SUGECO) and driven by its
employee Renato Gonzaga. The impact
Negligence on the part of the owner, if any, caused heavy damage to the Lancer
must be sought in the immediate setting resulting in an explosion of the rear part of
and circumstances of the accident, that is, the car. Gonzaga continued on his way and
in his failure to detain the driver from did not bother to bring the victims to the
pursuing a course which not only gave him hospital.
clear notice of the danger but also sufficient
time to act upon it. We do not see that such 2. UCPB was paid P244, 500.00 by its
negligence may be imputed. The car, as insurance company representing the
has been stated, was not running at an coverage of the damaged car. As the 18-
unreasonable speed. The road was wide wheeler truck is registered under the name
and open, and devoid of traffic that early of PCI Leasing, repeated demands were
morning. There was no reason for the car made by UCPB General Insurance Co. for
owner to be in any special state of alert. He the payment of the aforesaid amounts.
had reason to rely on the skill and However, no payment was made. Thus,
experience of his driver. He became aware UCPB filed a case on March 13, 1991.
of the presence of the carretela when his
car was only twelve meters behind it, but 3. Petitioner interposed the defense
then his failure to see it earlier did not that it could not be held liable for the
constitute negligence, for he was not collision, since the driver of the truck,
himself at the wheel. And even when he did Gonzaga, was not its employee, but that of
see it at that distance, he could not have its co-defendant SUGECO. In fact, it was
anticipated his driver’s sudden decision to SUGECO, and not petitioner, that was the
pass the carretela on its left side in spite of actual operator of the truck, pursuant to a
the fact that another car was approaching Contract of Lease signed by petitioner and
from the opposite direction. The time SUGECO. Petitioner, however, admitted
element was such that there was no that it was the owner of the truck in
reasonable opportunity for Yu Khe Thai to question.
assess the risks involved and warn the
driver accordingly. The thought that 4. The trial court rendered a decision
entered his mind, he said, was that if he in favor of UCPB General Insurance and
sounded a sudden warning it might only ordered PCI Leasing and Gonzaga to pay
make the other man nervous and make the the principal amount with 12% interest as
situation worse. It was a thought that, wise of the filing of the complaint plus attorney’s
or not, connotes no absence of that due fees.
diligence required by law to prevent the
misfortune. Under the facts the owner of 5. On appeal to the CA, the same was
the car was not liable. affirmed with modification in that the
award of attorney’s fees was deleted and
the rate of interest was lowered to 6% per
annum. The CA found petitioner liable for 2. For damage or injuries arising out of
the damage caused by the collision since negligence in the operation of a motor
under the Public Service Act, if the property vehicle, the registered owner may be held
covered by a franchise is transferred or civilly liable with the negligent driver either
leased to another without obtaining the 1) subsidiarily, if the aggrieved party seeks
requisite approval, the transfer is not relief based on a delict or crime under
binding on the Public Service Commission Articles 100 and 103 of the RPC; or 2)
and, in contemplation of law, the grantee solidarily, if the complainant seeks relief
continues to be responsible under the based on a quasi-delict under Articles 2176
franchise in relation to the operation of the and 2180 of the Civil Code. It is the option
vehicle, such as damage or injury to third of the plaintiff whether to waive completely
parties due to collisions. the filing of the civil action, or institute it
with the criminal action, or file it separately
6. Petitioner claims that the CA's or independently of a criminal action; his
reliance on the Public Service Act is only limitation is that he cannot recover
misplaced, since the said law applies only damages twice for the same act or
to cases involving common carriers, or omission of the defendant. In case a
those which have franchises to operate as separate civil action is filed, the long-
public utilities. In contrast, the case before standing principle is that the registered
this Court involves a private commercial owner of a motor vehicle is primarily and
vehicle for business use, which is not directly responsible for the consequences
offered for service to the general public. of its operation, including the negligence of
the driver, with respect to the public and all
ISSUES: third persons. In contemplation of law, the
1. WoN PCI Leasing, as registered registered owner of a motor vehicle is the
owner of a motor vehicle may be held liable employer of its driver, with the actual
with the driver therof for damages caused operator and employer, such as a lessee,
to third parties - YES being considered as merely the owner's
agent. This being the case, even if a sale
2. WoN PCI Leasing is absolved from has been executed before a tortious
liability by the enactment of RA 8556 or incident, the sale, if unregistered, has no
the Financing Company Act of 1998 – NO effect as to the right of the public and third
persons to recover from the registered
RULING: Petition DENIED. CA decision owner. The public has the right to
AFFIRMED. conclusively presume that the registered
owner is the real owner, and may sue
RATIO: accordingly.
1. Petitioner's contention has partial
merit, as indeed, the vehicles involved in 3. In the case now before the Court,
the case at bar are not common carriers, there is not even a sale of the vehicle
which makes the Public Service Act involved, but a mere lease, which remained
inapplicable. However, the registered unregistered up to the time of the
owner of the vehicle driven by a negligent occurrence of the quasi-delict that gave
driver may still be held liable under rise to the case. Since a lease, unlike a
applicable jurisprudence involving laws on sale, does not even involve a transfer of
compulsory motor vehicle registration and title or ownership, but the mere use or
the liabilities of employers for quasi- delicts enjoyment of property, there is more
under the Civil Code. The principle of reason, therefore, in this instance to uphold
holding the registered owner of a vehicle the policy behind the law, which is to
liable for quasi-delicts resulting from its use protect the unwitting public and provide it
is well established in jurisprudence. with a definite person to make accountable
for losses or injuries suffered in vehicular
accidents. This is and has always been the
rationale behind compulsory motor vehicle against their lessees or whoever are the
registration under the Land Transportation actual operators of their vehicles. In the
and Traffic Code and similar laws, which, as case at bar, there is, in fact, a provision in
early as Erezo v. Jepte, has been guiding the lease contract between petitioner and
the courts in their disposition of cases SUGECO to the effect that the latter shall
involving motor vehicular incidents. It is indemnify and hold the former free and
also important to emphasize that such harmless from any "liabilities, damages,
principles apply to all vehicles in general, suits, claims or judgments" arising from the
not just those offered for public service or latter's use of the motor vehicle. Whether
utility. petitioner would act against SUGECO based
on this provision is its own option.
4. The new law, R.A. No. 8556,
notwithstanding developments in foreign 7. The burden of registration of the
jurisdictions, do not supersede or repeal lease contract is minuscule compared to
the law on compulsory motor vehicle the chaos that may result if registered
registration. No part of the law expressly owners or operators of vehicles are freed
repeals Section 5(a) and (e) of R.A. No. from such responsibility. Petitioner pays
4136 , as amended, otherwise known as the price for its failure to obey the law on
the Land Transportation and Traffic Code. compulsory registration of motor vehicles
Neither is there an implied repeal of R.A. for registration is a pre-requisite for any
No. 4136. As a rule, repeal by implication person to even enjoy the privilege of
is frowned upon, unless there is clear putting a vehicle on public roads.
showing that the later statute is so
irreconcilably inconsistent and repugnant Manufacturers/processors of
to the existing law that they cannot be foodstuffs;
reconciled and made to stand together.
There is nothing in R.A. No. 4136 that is Article 2187, Civil Code;
inconsistent and incapable of reconciliation. Manufacturers and processors of
foodstuffs, drinks, toilet articles and similar
5. A lease such as the one involved in goods shall be liable for death or injuries
the instant case is an encumbrance in caused by any noxious or harmful
contemplation of law, which needs to be substances used, although no contractual
registered in order for it to bind third relation exists between them and the
parties. Under this policy, the evil sought to consumers.
be avoided is the exacerbation of the
suffering of victims of tragic vehicular Sections 92-107 (Chapter 1), RA No.
accidents in not being able to identify a 7394 (1992);
guilty party. A contrary ruling will not serve
the ends of justice. The failure to register a ARTICLE 92. Exemptions. — If the
lease, sale, transfer or encumbrance, concerned department finds that for good
should not benefit the parties responsible, or sufficient reasons, full compliance with
to the prejudice of innocent victims. The the labeling requirements otherwise
non-registration of the lease contract applicable under this Act is impracticable or
between petitioner and its lessee precludes is not necessary for the adequate
the former from enjoying the benefits protection of public health and safety, it
under Section 12 of R.A. No. 8556. shall promulgate regulations exempting
such substances from these requirements
6. This ruling may appear too severe to the extent it deems consistent with the
and unpalatable to leasing and financing objective of adequately safeguarding public
companies, but the Court believes that health and safety, and any hazardous
petitioner and other companies so situated substance which does not bear a label in
are not entirely left without a remedy. They accordance with such regulations shall be
may resort to third-party complaints deemed mislabeled hazardous substance.
obtaining release of the hazardous
ARTICLE 93. Grounds for Seizure and substance under bond.
Condemnation of Mislabeled Hazardous
Substances. — a) Any mislabeled c) all expenses in connection with
hazardous substance when introduced into the destruction provided for in paragraphs
commerce or while held for sale shall be (a) and (b) of this Article and all expenses
liable to be proceeded against and in connection with the storage and labor
condemned upon order of the concerned with respect to such hazardous substance
department in accordance with existing shall be paid by the owner or consignee,
procedure for seizure and condemnation of and default in such payment shall
articles in commerce: Provided, That this constitute a lien against any importation by
Article shall not apply to a hazardous such owner or consignee.
substance intended for export to any
foreign country if: ARTICLE 94. Labeling Requirements
of Cigarettes. — All cigarettes for sale or
1) it is in a package labeled in distribution within the country shall be
accordance with the specifications of the contained in a package which shall bear the
foreign purchaser; following statement or its equivalent in
Filipino: “Warning” Cigarette Smoking is
2) it is labeled in accordance with Dangerous to Your Health”. Such
the laws of the foreign country; statement shall be located in conspicuous
place on every cigarette package and shall
3) it is labeled on the outside of appear in conspicuous and legible type in
the shipping package to show that it is contrast by typography, layout or color
intended for export; and with other printed matter on the package.
Any advertisement of cigarette shall
4) it is so exported, contain the name warning as indicated in
the label.
b) any hazardous substance
condemned under this Article shall after ARTICLE 95. Penalties. — a) Any
entry of order of condemnation be disposed person who shall violate the provisions of
of by destruction or sale as the concerned Title III, Chapter IV of this Act, or its
department may direct, and the proceeds implementing rules and regulations, except
thereof, if sold, less the legal cost and Articles 81 to 83 of the same Chapter, shall
charges, shall be paid into the treasury of be subject to a fine of not less than Five
the Philippines; but such hazardous hundred pesos (P500.00) but not more
substance shall not be sold under any order than Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00)
which is contrary to the provisions of this or imprisonment of not less than three (3)
Act: Provided, That, after entry of the order months but not more than two (2) years or
and upon the payment of the costs of such both, at the discretion of the court:
proceedings and the execution of a good Provided, That, if the consumer product is
and sufficient bond conditioned that such one which is not a food, cosmetic, drug,
hazardous substance shall not be sold or device or hazardous substance, the penalty
disposed of contrary to the provisions of shall be a fine of not less than Two hundred
this Act, the concerned department may pesos (P200.00) but not more than Five
direct that such hazardous substance be thousand pesos (P5,000.00) or
delivered to or retained by the owner imprisonment of not less than one (1)
thereof for destruction or for alteration to month but not more than one (1) year or
comply with the provisions of this Act under both, at the discretion of the court.
the supervision of an officer or employee
duly designated by the concerned b) Any person who violates the
department. The expenses for such provisions of Article 81 to 83 for the first
supervision shall be paid by the person time shall be subject to a fine of not less
than Two hundred pesos (P200.00) but not a) that it did not place the product
more than Five thousand pesos on the market;
(P5,000.00) or by imprisonment of not less
than one (1) month but not more than six b) that although it did place the
(6) months or both, at the discretion of the product on the market such product has no
court. A second conviction under this defect;
paragraph shall also carry with it the
penalty of revocation of business permit c) that the consumer or a third
and license. party is solely at fault.

CHAPTER V ARTICLE 98. Liability of Tradesman

or Seller. — The tradesman/seller is
Liability for Product and Service likewise liable, pursuant to the preceding
article when:
ARTICLE 96. Implementing Agency.
— The Department of Trade and Industry a) it is not possible to identify the
shall enforce the provisions of this Chapter manufacturer, builder, producer or
and its implementing rules and regulations. importer;

ARTICLE 97. Liability for the Defective b) the product is supplied, without
Products. — Any Filipino or foreign clear identification of the manufacturer,
manufacturer, producer, and any importer, producer, builder or importer;
shall be liable for redress, independently of
fault, for damages caused to consumers by c) he does not adequately preserve
defects resulting from design, perishable goods. The party making
manufacture, construction, assembly and payment to the damaged party may
erection, formulas and handling and exercise the right to recover a part of the
making up, presentation or packing of their whole of the payment made against the
products, as well as for the insufficient or other responsible parties, in accordance
inadequate information on the use and with their part or responsibility in the cause
hazards thereof. of the damage effected.

A product is defective when it does not offer ARTICLE 99. Liability for Defective
the safety rightfully expected of it, taking Services. — The service supplier is liable for
relevant circumstances into consideration, redress, independently of fault, for
including but not limited to: damages caused to consumers by defects
relating to the rendering of the services, as
a) presentation of product; well as for insufficient or inadequate
information on the fruition and hazards
b) use and hazards reasonably thereof.
expected of it;
The service is defective when it does not
c) the time it was put into provide the safety the consumer may
circulation. rightfully expect of it, taking the relevant
circumstances into consideration, including
A product is not considered defective but not limited to:
because another better quality product has
been placed in the market. a) the manner in which it is
The manufacturer, builder, producer or
importer shall not be held liable when it b) the result of hazards which may
evidences: reasonably be expected of it;
c) the time when it was provided. The consumer may make immediate use of
the alternatives under the second
A service is not considered defective paragraph of this Article when by virtue of
because of the use or introduction of new the extent of the imperfection, the
techniques. replacement of the imperfect parts may
jeopardize the product quality or
The supplier of the services shall not be characteristics, thus decreasing its value.
held liable when it is proven:
If the consumer opts for the alternative
a) that there is no defect in the under sub-paragraph (a) of the second
service rendered; paragraph of this Article, and replacement
of the product is not possible, it may be
b) that the consumer or third party replaced by another of a different kind,
is solely at fault. mark or model: Provided, That any
difference in price may result thereof shall
ARTICLE 100. Liability for Product and be supplemented or reimbursed by the
Service Imperfection. — The suppliers of party which caused the damage, without
durable or non-durable consumer products prejudice to the provisions of the second,
are jointly liable for imperfections in quality third and fourth paragraphs of this Article.
that render the products unfit or
inadequate for consumption for which they ARTICLE 101. Liability for Product
are designed or decrease their value, and Quantity Imperfection. — Suppliers are
for those resulting from inconsistency with jointly liable for imperfections in the
the information provided on the container, quantity of the product when, in due regard
packaging, labels or publicity for variations inherent thereto, their net
messages/advertisement, with due regard content is less than that indicated on the
to the variations resulting from their container, packaging, labeling or
nature, the consumer being able to advertisement, the consumer having
demand replacement to the imperfect powers to demand, alternatively, at his
parts. own option:

If the imperfection is not corrected within a) the proportionate price

thirty (30) days, the consumer may
alternatively demand at his option: b) the supplementing of weight or
measure differential;
a) the replacement of the product
by another of the same kind, in a perfect c) the replacement of the product
state of use; by another of the same kind, mark or
model, without said imperfections;
b) the immediate reimbursement
of the amount paid, with monetary d) the immediate reimbursement
updating, without prejudice to any losses of the amount paid, with monetary
and damages; updating without prejudice to losses and
damages if any.
c) a proportionate price reduction.
The provisions of the fifth paragraph of
The parties may agree to reduce or Article 99 shall apply to this Article.
increase the term specified in the
immediately preceding paragraph; but The immediate supplier shall be liable if the
such shall not be less than seven (7) nor instrument used for weighing or measuring
more than one hundred and eighty (180) is not gauged in accordance with official
days. standards.
ARTICLE 102. Liability for Service contractual exoneration of the supplier
Quality Imperfection. — The service being forbidden.
supplier is liable for any quality
imperfections that render the services ARTICLE 106. Prohibition in Contractual
improper for consumption or decrease their Stipulation. — The stipulation in a contract
value, and for those resulting from of a clause preventing, exonerating or
inconsistency with the information reducing the obligation to indemnify for
contained in the offer or advertisement, the damages effected, as provided for in this
consumer being entitled to demand and in the preceding Articles, is hereby
alternatively at his option: prohibited, if there is more than one person
responsible for the cause of the damage,
a) the performance of the services, they shall be jointly liable for the redress
without any additional cost and when established in the pertinent provisions of
applicable; this Act. However, if the damage is caused
by a component or part incorporated in the
b) the immediate reimbursement product or service, its manufacturer,
of the amount paid, with monetary builder or importer and the person who
updating without prejudice to losses and incorporated the component or part are
damages, if any; jointly liable.

c) a proportionate price reduction. ARTICLE 107. Penalties. — Any person

who shall violate any provision of this
Reperformance of services may be Chapter or its implementing rules and
entrusted to duly qualified third parties, at regulations with respect to any consumer
the supplier’s risk and cost. product which is not food, cosmetic, or
hazardous substance shall upon conviction,
Improper services are those which prove to be subject to a fine of not less than Five
be inadequate for purposes reasonably thousand pesos (P5,000.00) and by
expected of them and those that fail to imprisonment of not more than one (1)
meet the provisions of this Act regulating year or both upon the discretion of the
service rendering. court.

ARTICLE 103. Repair Service Obligation. In case of juridical persons, the penalty
— When services are provided for the shall be imposed upon its president,
repair of any product, the supplier shall be manager or head. If the offender is an
considered implicitly bound to use alien, he shall, after payment of fine and
adequate, new, original replacement parts, service of sentence, be deported without
or those that maintain the manufacturer’s further deportation proceedings.
technical specifications unless, otherwise
authorized, as regards to the latter by the COCA-COLA BOTTLER’S PHILIPPINES
consumer. vs. CA, (1993);

ARTICLE 104. Ignorance of Quality

Imperfection. — The supplier’s ignorance of
the quality imperfections due to
inadequacy of the products and services
does not exempt him from any liability.

ARTICLE 105. Legal Guarantee of

Adequacy. — The legal guarantee of
product or service adequacy does not
require an express instrument or