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TORTS AND DAMAGES

14TH BATCH DIGESTS


1
ROBES-FRANCISCO REALTY & DEVELOPMENT
CORPORATION, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF RIZAL (BRANCH XXXIV), and LOLITA
MILLAN, respondents.

Art. 2222. The court may award nominal damages in every obligation
arising from any source enumerated in article 1157, or in every case where
any property right has been invaded.
Under the foregoing provisions nominal damages are not intended for
indemnification of loss suffered but for the vindication or recognition of a
right violated or invaded. They are recoverable where some injury has been
done the amount of which the evidence fails to show, the assessment of
damages being left to the discretion of the court according to the
circumstances of the case.

2.

The amount of P20,000.00 is excessive. The admitted fact that


petitioner corporation failed to convey a transfer certificate of title
to respondent Millan because the subdivision property was
mortgaged to the GSIS does not in itself show that there was bad
faith or fraud. Bad faith is not to be presumed. Moreover, there
was the expectation of the vendor that arrangements were
possible for the GSIS to make partial releases of the subdivision
lots from the overall real estate mortgage. It was simply
unfortunate that petitioner did not succeed in that regard.

3.

In case of breach of contract, exemplary damages may be


awarded if the guilty party acted in wanton, fraudulent, reckless,
oppressive or malevolent manner. 13 Furthermore, exemplary or
corrective damages are to be imposed by way of example or
correction for the public good, only if the injured party has shown
that he is entitled to recover moral, temperate or compensatory
damages."

October 30, 1978


FACTS:
Robes-Francisco Realty & Development Corporation, now petitioner,
agreed to sell to private respondent Lolita Millan a parcel of land.
Respondent Millan was able to pay the full purchase price of the lot.
A deed of absolute sale was later on executed which contained, among
others, this particular provision:
That the VENDOR further warrants that the transfer certificate of
title of the above-described parcel of land shall be transferred in the name
of the VENDEE within the period of six (6) months from the date of full
payment and in case the VENDOR fails to issue said transfer certificate of
title, it shall bear the obligation to refund to the VENDEE the total amount
already paid for, plus an interest at the rate of 4% per annum. (record on
appeal, p. 9)
Notwithstanding the lapse of the above-mentioned stipulated period of six
(6) months, the corporation failed to cause the issuance of the
corresponding transfer certificate of title over the lot sold to Millan, hence,
the latter filed a complaint for specific performance and damages.
CFI: ordered the petitioner to register the deed of absolute sale it had
executed in favor of respondent and sentenced defendant to pay plaintiff
nominal damages in the amount of P20,000.00 plus attorney's fee in the
amount of P5,000.00 and costs.
CFI also found out that the realty corporation failed to cause the issuance
of the corresponding transfer certificate of title because the parcel of land
conveyed to Millan was included among other properties of the corporation
mortgaged to the GSIS to secure an obligation of P10 million and that the
owner's duplicate certificate of title of the subdivision was in the possession
of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).
Petitioner invokes Article 1226 of the Civil Code which provides that in
obligations with a penal clause, the penalty shall substitute the indemnity
for damages and the payment of interests in case of noncompliance, if
there is no stipulation to the contrary.
ISSUE:
1.

WON the provision in the deed of sale is a penal clause which


will preclude an award of damages to the vendee Millan. NO

2.

WON the award of 20k nominal damages is excessive. YES,


hence the SC reduced it to 10k

3.

WON the P20,000.00 award may be considered in the nature of


exemplary damages. NO

RULING:

1.

For very obvious reasons, said clause does not convey any
penalty, for even without it, pursuant to Article 2209 of the Civil
Code, the vendee would be entitled to recover the amount paid
by her with legal rate of interest which is even more than the 4%
provided for in the clause.

Also, the facts show that the right of the vendee to acquire title to the lot
bought by her was violated by petitioner and this entitles her at the very
least to nominal damages.
The pertinent provisions of our Civil Code follow:
Art. 2221. Nominal damages are adjudicated in order that a right of the
plaintiff, which has been violated or invaded by the defendant, may be
vindicated or recognized, and not for the purpose of indemnifying the
plaintiff for any loss suffered by him.

Here, respondent Millan did not submit below any evidence to prove
that she suffered actual or compensatory damages.

G.R. No. 180257


February 23, 2011
EUSEBIO GONZALES, Petitioner, vs. PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL AND
INTERNATIONAL BANK, EDNA OCAMPO, and ROBERTO NOCEDA,
Respondents.
Facts:
Petitioner was a client of PCIB for a good 15 years. In October 1992, PCIB
granted a credit line to Gonzales through the execution of a Credit-OnHand Loan Agreement. Gonzales drew from said credit line through the
issuance of check.
On October 1995, Gonzales and his wife obtained a loan for PhP 500,000.
Subsequently, the spouses Panlilio and Gonzales obtained two additional
loans from PCIB in the amounts of PhP 1,000,000 and PhP 300,000,
respectively. These three loans amounting to PhP 1,800,000 were covered
by three promissory notes. To secure the loans, a real estate mortgage
over a parcel of land was executed by Gonzales and the spouses Panlilio.
Notably, the promissory notes specified, among others, the solidary liability
of Gonzales and the spouses Panlilio for the payment of the loans.
However, it was the spouses Panlilio who received the loan proceeds of
PhP 1,800,000.
The monthly interest dues of the loans were paid by the spouses Panlilio
through the automatic debiting of their account with PCIB. But eventually,
they defaulted. PCIB called the attention of Gonzales regarding the default.
Meanwhile, Gonzales issued a check in favor of Rene Unson for PhP
250,000 drawn against the credit line. However, upon presentment for
payment by Unson of said check, it was dishonored by PCIB due to the
termination by PCIB of the credit line under COHLA for the unpaid periodic
interest dues from the loans of Gonzales and the spouses Panlilio. PCIB
likewise froze the FCD account of Gonzales.
Consequently, Gonzales had a falling out with Unson due to the dishonor of
the check. They had a heated argument in the premises of the Philippine
Columbian Association, which caused great embarrassment and
humiliation to Gonzales. Thereafter, Unson sent a demand letter to
Gonzales for the PhP 250,000. Then, the counsel of Unson sent a second
demand letter with threat of legal action. With his FCD account that PCIB
froze, Gonzales was forced to source out and pay the PhP 250,000 he
owed to Unson in cash.
Gonzales, through counsel, wrote PCIB insisting that the check he issued
had been fully funded, and demanded the return of the proceeds of his
FCD as well as damages for the unjust dishonor of the check. PCIB replied
and stood its ground in freezing Gonzales accounts due to the outstanding
dues of the loans. Gonzales reiterated his demand, reminding PCIB that it
knew well that the actual borrowers were the spouses Panlilio and he never
benefited from the proceeds of the loans, which were serviced by the PCIB
account of the spouses Panlilio.
PCIBs refusal to heed his demands compelled Gonzales to file the instant
case for damages with the RTC, on account of the alleged unjust dishonor
of the check issued in favor of Unson.

The RTC found Gonzales solidarily liable with the spouses Panlilio on the
three promissory notes relative to the outstanding REM loan. The trial court
found no fault in the termination by PCIB of the COHLA with Gonzales and
in freezing the latters accounts to answer for the past due PhP 1,800,000
loan. The trial court ruled that the dishonor of the check issued by Gonzales
in favor of Unson was proper considering that the credit line under the
COHLA had already been terminated or revoked before the presentment of
the check.
The CA dismissed Gonzales appeal and affirmed in toto the RTC Decision.
Hence, this petition.

Furthermore, the initial carelessness of the banks omission in not properly


informing Gonzales of the outstanding interest duesaggravated by its
gross neglect in omitting to give prior notice as stipulated under the COHLA
and in not giving actual notice of the termination of the credit linejustifies
the grant of exemplary damages of PhP 10,000. Such an award is imposed
by way of example or correction for the public good.
Finally, an award for attorneys fees is likewise called for from PCIBs
negligence which compelled Gonzales to litigate to protect his interest. In
accordance with Art. 2208(1) of the Code, attorneys fees may be
recovered when exemplary damages are awarded. We find that the amount
of PhP 50,000 as attorneys fees is reasonable.

Issue:
Whether or not the CA committed error in not awarding damages against
respondents despite presentation of clear proof to support action for
damages. -YES

The petition is partly granted. The CA decision is reversed and set aside.
The Philippine Commercial and International Bank (now Banco De Oro) is
ORDERED to pay Eusebio Gonzales PhP 50,000 as nominal damages,
PhP 50,000 as moral damages, PhP 10,000 as exemplary damages, and
PhP 50,000 as attorneys fees.

Held:
In the instant case, Gonzales suffered from the negligence and bad faith of
PCIB. From the testimonies of Gonzales witnesses, the embarrassment
and humiliation Gonzales has to endure not only before his former close
friend Unson but more from the members and families of his friends and
associates in the PCA, which he continues to experience considering the
confrontation he had with Unson and the consequent loss of standing and
credibility among them from the fact of the apparent bouncing check he
issued. Credit is very important to businessmen and its loss or impairment
needs to be recognized and compensated.
The termination of the COHLA by PCIB without prior notice and the
subsequent dishonor of the check issued by Gonzales constitute acts of
contra bonus mores. Art. 21 of the Civil Code refers to such acts when it
says, "Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner
that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate
the latter for damage."
The Supreme Court finds that such acts warrant the payment of indemnity
in the form of nominal damages. Nominal damages "are recoverable where
a legal right is technically violated and must be vindicated against an
invasion that has produced no actual present loss of any kind x x x." The
Supreme Court further explained the nature of nominal damages in Almeda
v. Cario:
x x x Its award is thus not for the purpose of indemnification for a loss but
for the recognition and vindication of a right. Indeed, nominal damages are
damages in name only and not in fact. When granted by the courts, they
are not treated as an equivalent of a wrong inflicted but simply a
recognition of the existence of a technical injury. A violation of the plaintiffs
right, even if only technical, is sufficient to support an award of nominal
damages. Conversely, so long as there is a showing of a violation of the
right of the plaintiff, an award of nominal damages is proper.
In the present case, Gonzales had the right to be informed of the accrued
interest and most especially, for the suspension of his COHLA. For failure
to do so, the bank is liable to pay nominal damages. The amount of such
damages is addressed to the sound discretion of the court, taking into
account the relevant circumstances. In this case, the Court finds that the
grant of PhP 50,000 as nominal damages is proper.
Moreover, as held in MERALCO v. CA, failure to give prior notice when
required, such as in the instant case, constitutes a breach of contract and is
a clear violation of Art. 21 of the Code. In cases such as this, Art. 2219 of
the Code provides that moral damages may be recovered in acts referred
to in its Art. 21. Further, Art. 2220 of the Code provides that "[w]illful injury
to property may be a legal ground for awarding moral damages if the court
should find that, under the circumstances, such damages are justly due.
The same rule applies to breaches of contract where the defendant acted
fraudulently or in bad faith." Similarly, "every person who, contrary to law,
willfully or negligently causes damage to another, shall indemnify the latter
for the same." Evidently, Gonzales is entitled to recover moral damages.
Even in the absence of malice or bad faith, a depositor still has the right to
recover reasonable moral damages, if the depositor suffered mental
anguish, serious anxiety, embarrassment, and humiliation. Although
incapable of pecuniary estimation, moral damages are certainly
recoverable if they are the proximate result of the defendants wrongful act
or omission. The factual antecedents bolstered by undisputed testimonies
likewise show the mental anguish and anxiety Gonzales had to endure with
the threat of Unson to file a suit. Gonzales had to pay Unson PhP 250,000,
while his FCD account in PCIB was frozen, prompting Gonzales to demand
from PCIB and to file the instant suit.
The award of moral damages is aimed at a restoration within the limits of
the possible, of the spiritual status quo anteit must always reasonably
approximate the extent of injury and be proportional to the wrong
committed. Thus, an award of PhP 50,000 is reasonable moral damages
for the unjust dishonor of the PhP 250,000 which was the proximate cause
of the consequent humiliation, embarrassment, anxiety, and mental anguish
suffered by Gonzales from his loss of credibility among his friends,
colleagues and peers.

[G.R. No. 142029. February 28, 2001]


ERLINDA FRANCISCO, doing business in the name and style of Cebu
Fountainhead Bakeshop and JULIANA PAMAONG, petitioners,
vs.RICARDO FERRER, JR., ANNETTE FERRER, ERNESTO LO AND
REBECCA LO, respondents
Mrs. Rebecca Lo and her daughter Annette Ferrer ordered a three layered
cake from Fountainhead Bakeshop, Mango Avenue Branch. It was then
agreed that the wedding cake shall be delivered at 5:00 oclock in the
afternoon at the Cebu Country Club, Cebu City, stating clearly that the
wedding is scheduled on December 14, 1992.
On the day of the wedding, December 14, 1992, plaintiffs arrived at the
Cebu Country club around 6:00 oclock in the evening. They immediately
notice the absence of the wedding cake. At 7:00 oclock in the evening they
made a follow-up call to Fountainhead Bakeshop and was informed that it
was probably late because of the traffic.
At 8:00 oclock they were informed that no wedding cake will be delivered
because the order slip got lost.
At 10:00 oclock in the evening, the wedding cake arrived but plaintiffs
declined to accept it, besides their order was a three-layered cake and
what was actually delivered was a two-layered one.
Subsequently, defendant Erlinda Francisco sent a letter of apology
accompanied with a P5,000.00 check, however, the same was declined by
plaintiffs because they felt it was inadequate.
Respondents filed with the Regional Trial Court, Cebu City an action for
breach of contract with damages against petitioners.
RTC: in favor of the plaintiffs and against Erlinda Francisco.
Directing the latter to pay the former the following:
1. The cost of the wedding cake in the amount of P3,175.00;
2. Moral damages in the amount of P30,000.00;
3. Attorneys fees in the amount of P10,000.00; and
CA: increasing the trial courts award of moral damages to Ricardo Ferrer,
Jr., Annette Ferrer, Ernesto Lo and Rebecca Lo to two hundred fifty
thousand pesos (P250,000.00) and awarding exemplary damages in the
amount of one hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00), in addition to the
following:
1. The cost of the wedding cake in the amount of P3,175.00;
2. Attorneys fees in the amount of P10,000.00; and
ISSUES: 1. whether the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the trial courts
award of moral damages. -yes
(2) whether the Court of Appeals was justified in awarding in addition to
moral damages, exemplary damages. - Yes
HELD:
To recover moral damages in an action for breach of contract, the
breach must be palpably wanton, reckless, malicious, in bad faith,
oppressive or abusive.[11]
Under the provisions of this law,[12] in culpa contractual or breach of
contract, moral damages may be recovered when the defendant acted in
bad faith or was guilty of gross negligence (amounting to bad faith) or in
wanton disregard of his contractual obligation and, exceptionally, when the
act of breach of contract itself is constitutive of tort resulting in physical
injuries.[13]
In this case, [w]e find no such fraud or bad faith.

Moral damages are in the category of an award designed to


compensate the claimant for actual injury suffered and not to impose a
penalty on the wrongdoer.
An award of moral damages would require certain conditions to be
met, to wit: (1) first, there must be an injury, whether physical, mental or
psychological, clearly sustained by the claimant; (2)second, there must be
culpable act or omission factually established; (3) third, the wrongful act or
omission of the defendant is the proximate cause of the injury sustained by
the claimant; and (4)fourth, the award of damages is predicated on any of
the cases stated in Article 2219 of the Civil Code. 21
In the same fashion, to warrant the award of exemplary damages,
[t]he wrongful act must be accompanied by bad faith, and an award of
damages would be allowed only if the guilty party acted in a wanton,
fraudulent, reckless or malevolent manner. 25
The requirements of an award of exemplary damages are: (1) they
may be imposed by way of example in addition to compensatory damages,
and only after the claimants right to them has been established; (2) that
they can not be recovered as a matter of right, their determination
depending upon the amount of compensatory damages that may be
awarded to the claimant; (3) the act must be accompanied by bad faith or
done in a wanton, fraudulent, oppressive or malevolent manner. 26

Petitioners thus sent a letter-complaint to the Makati Shangri-la Hotel and


Resort, Inc. (respondent) and received an apologetic reply from Krister
Svensson, the hotels Executive Assistant Manager in charge of Food and
Beverage. They nevertheless filed a complaint for breach of contract and
damages before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City.
In its Answer, respondent claimed that petitioners requested a combination
of king prawns and salmon, hence, the price was increased to P1,200.00
per person, but discounted at P1,150.00; that while there was a delay in the
service of the meals, the same was occasioned by the sudden increase of
guests to 470 from the guaranteed expected minimum number of guests of
350 to a maximum of 380, as stated in the Banquet Event Order (BEO).
By Decision of August 17, 2006, Branch 148 of the Makati RTC rendered
judgment in favor of petitioners. In finding for petitioners, the trial court
relied heavily on the letter of Svensson. The trial court observed that from
"the tenor of the letter . . . the defendant[-herein respondent] admits that the
services the plaintiff[-herein petitioners] received were unacceptable and
definitely not up to their standards."
On appeal, the Court of Appeals, by Decision of July 27, 2009,6 reversed
the trial courts decision, it holding that the proximate cause of petitioners
injury was an unexpected increase in their guests.
Petitioners motion for reconsideration having been denied by Resolution of
November 19, 2009, the present petition for review was filed.

Nevertheless, the facts show that when confronted with their failure
to deliver on the wedding day the wedding cake ordered and paid for,
petitioners gave the lame excuse that delivery was probably delayed
because of the traffic, when in truth, no cake could be delivered because
the order slip got lost.

ISSUE:

For such prevarication, petitioners must be held liable for nominal


damages for insensitivity, inadvertence or inattention to their customers
anxiety and need of the hour.

RULING:

Nominal damages are recoverable where a legal right is technically


violated and must be vindicated against an invasion that has produced no
actual present loss of any kind or where there has been a breach of
contract and no substantial injury or actual damages whatsoever have
been or can be shown. Nominal damages may be awarded to a plaintiff
whose right has been violated or invaded by the defendant, for the purpose
of vindicating or recognizing that right, not for indemnifying the plaintiff for
any loss suffered.

The Court finds that since petitioners complaint arose from a contract, the
doctrine of proximate cause finds no application to it:

WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the petition. The Court


REVERSES the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. R. CV No.
50894, and in lieu thereof, sentences petitioners to pay respondents, as
follows:
1. The cost of the wedding cake in the amount of P3, 175.00;
2. Nominal damages in the amount of P10,000.00;
3. Attorneys fees in the amount of P10,000.00;

G.R. No. 190601 February 7, 2011


SPOUSES LUIGI M. GUANIO and ANNA HERNANDEZ-GUANIO,
Petitioners,
vs.
MAKATI SHANGRI-LA HOTEL and RESORT, INC., also doing business
under the name of SHANGRI-LA HOTEL MANILA, Respondent.
CARPIO MORALES, J.:
FACTS:
For their wedding reception on July 28, 2001, spouses Luigi M. Guanio and
Anna Hernandez-Guanio (petitioners) booked at the Shangri-la Hotel
Makati (the hotel).
Petitioners initially chose a set menu which included black cod, king prawns
and angel hair pasta with wild mushroom sauce for the main course which
cost P1,000.00 per person. They were, however, given an option in which
salmon, instead of king prawns, would be in the menu at P950.00 per
person. They in fact partook of the salmon.
Three days before the event, a final food tasting took place. Petitioners
aver that the salmon served was half the size of what they were served
during the initial food tasting; and when queried about it, the hotel quoted a
much higher price (P1,200.00) for the size that was initially served to them.
The parties eventually agreed on a final price P1,150 per person.
Petitioners claim that during the reception, respondents representatives,
did not show up despite their assurance that they would; their guests
complained of the delay in the service of the dinner; certain items listed in
the published menu were unavailable; the hotels waiters were rude and
unapologetic when confronted about the delay; and despite Alvarezs(sales
manager) promise that there would be no charge for the extension of the
reception beyond 12:00 midnight, they were billed and paid P8,000 per
hour for the three-hour extension of the event up to 4:00 A.M. the next day.

Whether or not the doctrine of proximate cause applies to actions involving


breach of contract.

NO.

The doctrine of proximate cause is applicable only in actions for quasidelicts, not in actions involving breach of contract. x x x The doctrine is a
device for imputing liability to a person where there is no relation between
him and another party. In such a case, the obligation is created by law
itself. But, where there is a pre-existing contractual relation between the
parties, it is the parties themselves who create the obligation, and the
function of the law is merely to regulate the relation thus created.
What applies in the present case is Article 1170 of the Civil Code which
reads: Art. 1170. Those who in the performance of their obligations are
guilty of fraud, negligence or delay, and those who in any manner
contravene the tenor thereof, are liable for damages.
The pertinent provisions of the Banquet and Meeting Services Contract
between the parties read:
4.5. The ENGAGER must inform the HOTEL at least forty eight (48) hours
before the scheduled date and time of the Function of any change in the
minimum guaranteed covers. In the absence of such notice, paragraph 4.3
shall apply in the event of under attendance. In case the actual number of
attendees exceed the minimum guaranteed number by ten percent (10%),
the HOTEL shall not in any way be held liable for any damage or
inconveniencewhich may be caused thereby. The ENGAGER shall also
undertake to advise the guests of the situation and take positive steps to
remedy the same.
Breach of contract is defined as the failure without legal reason to comply
with the terms of a contract. It is also defined as the [f]ailure, without legal
excuse, to perform any promise which forms the whole or part of the
contract.
The appellate court, and even the trial court, observed that petitioners were
remiss in their obligation to inform respondent of the change in the
expected number of guests. The observation is reflected in the records of
the case. Petitioners failure to discharge such obligation thus excused, as
the above-quoted paragraph 4.5 of the parties contract provide,
respondent from liability for "any damage or inconvenience" occasioned
thereby.
As for petitioners claim that respondent departed from its verbal agreement
with petitioners, the same fails, given that the written contract which the
parties entered into the day before the event, being the law between them.
In the present petition, under considerations of equity, the Court deems it
just to award the amount of P50,000.00 by way of nominal damages to
petitioners, for the discomfiture that they were subjected to during to the
event. The Court recognizes that every person is entitled to respect of his
dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind.16 Respondents lack of
prudence is an affront to this right.

NOTES:

"EXPECTATION INTEREST," which is his interest in having the benefit of


his bargain by being put in as good a position as he would have been in
had the contract been performed.

because it found that the petitioners had abandoned their work and were
not entitled to backwages and separation pay. The Court of Appeals in turn
ruled that the dismissal of the petitioners was not illegal because they had
abandoned their employment.
SC held that dismissal was valid.

"RELIANCE INTEREST," which is his interest in being reimbursed for loss


caused by reliance on the contract by being put in as good a position as he
would have been in had the contract not been made;

"RESTITUTION INTEREST," which is his interest in having restored to him


any benefit that he has conferred on the other party. Indeed, agreements

Issue: WHETHER RESPONDENTS ARE LIABLE FOR DAMAGES FOR


NON OBSERVANCE OF DUE PROCESS.
Dismissals based on just causes contemplate acts or omissions attributable
to the employee while dismissals based on authorized causes involve
grounds under the Labor Code which allow the employer to terminate
employees. A termination for an authorized cause requires payment of
separation pay. When the termination of employment is declared illegal,
reinstatement and full backwages are mandated under Article 279. If
reinstatement is no longer possible where the dismissal was unjust,
separation pay may be granted.

can accomplish little, either for their makers or for society, unless they are
made the basis for action.

GR No. 181440

April 13, 2011

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,


vs.
AIDA MARQUEZ, Accused-Appellant.

Marquez was charged with Kidnapping under Article 270 of the RPC.
That on or about the 6th day of September, 1998, in the City of Makati, the
above-named accused, being entrusted with the custody of a minor,
JUSTINE BERNADETTE C. MERANO, a three (3) month old baby girl, did
then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously deliberately fail to restore
the latter to her parent, CAROLINA CUNANAN y MERANO (sic).
According to the complainant, she met Marquez at the beauty parlor where
she was working as a beautician. Merano confessed to easily trusting
Marquez because aside from her observation that Marquez was close to
her employers, Marquez was also nice to her and her co-employees, and
was always giving them food and tip.
After a trip to a beach in Laguna, Marquez allegedly borrowed Meranos
then three-month old daughter Justine to buy her some clothes, milk and
food. Marquez failed to return Justine in the afternoon as promised.
RTC: Guilty beyond reasonable doubt. For the Civil aspect, accused is
ordered to pay private complainant PHP50,000.00 for moral damage and
PHP20,000.00 for exemplary damage.
CA: MODIFICATIONS that nominal damages of P20,000.00 is awarded in
addition to the P50,000.00 moral damages, while the award for exemplary
damages is accordingly deleted for lack of basis.
HELD:
The award of nominal damages is allowed under Article 2221 of the NCC
which states that:
Article 2221. Nominal damages are adjudicated in order that a right of the
plaintiff, which has been violated or invaded by the defendant, may be
vindicated or recognized, and not for the purpose of indemnifying the
plaintiff for any loss suffered by him.
Justine was only three months old when this whole debacle began. She
was already nine months old when Merano saw her again. She spent her
first birthday at the Reception and Study Center for Children of the
DSWD. Evidently, Meranos right as a parent which was violated and
invaded must be vindicated and recognized, thereby justifying the award of
nominal damages.

G.R. No. 158693

November 17, 2004

JENNY M. AGABON and VIRGILIO C. AGABON, petitioners,


vs.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION (NLRC), RIVIERA HOME
IMPROVEMENTS, INC. and VICENTE ANGELES, respondents.

Procedurally, (1) if the dismissal is based on a just cause under Article 282,
the employer must give the employee two written notices and a hearing or
opportunity to be heard if requested by the employee before terminating the
employment: a notice specifying the grounds for which dismissal is sought
a hearing or an opportunity to be heard and after hearing or opportunity to
be heard, a notice of the decision to dismiss; and (2) if the dismissal is
based on authorized causes under Articles 283 and 284, the employer
must give the employee and the Department of Labor and Employment
written notices 30 days prior to the effectivity of his separation.
From the foregoing rules four possible situations may be derived: (1) the
dismissal is for a just cause under Article 282 of the Labor Code, for an
authorized cause under Article 283, or for health reasons under Article 284,
and due process was observed; (2) the dismissal is without just or
authorized cause but due process was observed; (3) the dismissal is
without just or authorized cause and there was no due process; and (4) the
dismissal is for just or authorized cause but due process was not observed.
In the first situation, the dismissal is undoubtedly valid and the employer will
not suffer any liability.
In the second and third situations where the dismissals are illegal, Article
279 mandates that the employee is entitled to reinstatement without loss of
seniority rights and other privileges and full backwages, inclusive of
allowances, and other benefits or their monetary equivalent computed from
the time the compensation was not paid up to the time of actual
reinstatement.
In the fourth situation, the dismissal should be upheld. While the procedural
infirmity cannot be cured, it should not invalidate the dismissal. However,
the employer should be held liable for non-compliance with the procedural
requirements of due process.
The present case squarely falls under the fourth situation. The dismissal
should be upheld because it was established that the petitioners
abandoned their jobs to work for another company. Private respondent,
however, did not follow the notice requirements and instead argued that
sending notices to the last known addresses would have been useless
because they did not reside there anymore. Unfortunately for the private
respondent, this is not a valid excuse because the law mandates the twin
notice requirements to the employee's last known address. Thus, it should
be held liable for non-compliance with the procedural requirements of due
process.
Where the dismissal is for a just cause, as in the instant case, the lack of
statutory due process should not nullify the dismissal, or render it illegal, or
ineffectual. However, the employer should indemnify the employee for the
violation of his statutory rights, as ruled in Reta v. National Labor Relations
Commission. The indemnity to be imposed should be stiffer to discourage
the abhorrent practice of "dismiss now, pay later," which we sought to deter
in the Serrano ruling. The sanction should be in the nature of
indemnification or penalty and should depend on the facts of each case,
taking into special consideration the gravity of the due process violation of
the employer.
Under the Civil Code, nominal damages is adjudicated in order that a right
of the plaintiff, which has been violated or invaded by the defendant, may
be vindicated or recognized, and not for the purpose of indemnifying the
plaintiff for any loss suffered by him.

Facts:
Private respondent Riviera Home Improvements, Inc. is engaged in the
business of selling and installing ornamental and construction materials. It
employed petitioner Virgilio Agabon and Jenny Agabon as gypsum board
and cornice installers on January 2, 1992 until February 23, 1999 when
they were dismissed for abandonment of work. Petitioners then filed a
complaint for illegal dismissal. The Labor Arbiter rendered a decision
declaring the dismissal illegal. On appeal, the NLRC reversed the decision

The violation of the petitioners' right to statutory due process by the private
respondent warrants the payment of indemnity in the form of nominal
damages. The amount of such damages is addressed to the sound
discretion of the court, taking into account the relevant circumstances.
Considering the prevailing circumstances in the case at bar, we deem it
proper to fix it at P30,000.00. We believe this form of damages would serve
to deter employers from future violations of the statutory due process rights
of employees. At the very least, it provides a vindication or recognition of

this fundamental right granted to the latter under the Labor Code and its
Implementing Rules.

[G.R. No. L-8194. July 11, 1956.]


EMERENCIANA M. VDA. DE MEDINA, ET AL., Plaintiffs-Appellees, vs.
GUILLERMO CRESENCIA, ET AL., Defendants. GUILLERMO
CRESENCIA, Appellant.
FACTS:
On May 31, 1953, a passenger jeepney driven by Brigido Avorque,
smashed into a Meralco post on Azcarraga Street, resulting in the death of
Vicente Medina, one of its passengers.
A criminal case for homicide through reckless imprudence was filed against
Avorque, to which he pleaded guilty. The heirs of the deceased, however,
reserved their right to file a separate action for damages. They brought suit
against the driver Brigido Avorque and Appellant Guillermo Cresencia, the
registered owner and operator of the jeepney in question.
Defendant Brigido Avorque did not file any answer; ywhile Defendant
Cresencia answered, disclaiming liability on the ground that he had sold the
jeepney in question on October 14, 1950 to one Maria A. Cudiamat; and
that the jeepney had been repeatedly sold by one buyer after another, until
the vehicle was purchased by Rosario Avorque, the absolute owner thereof
at the time of the accident.
In view of Cresencias answer, Plaintiffs made Rosario Avorque a coDefendant. The latter admitted having purchased the aforesaid jeepney but
alleged in defense that she was never the public utility operator thereof.
The case then proceeded to trial, during which, after the Plaintiffs had
presented their evidence, Defendants Guillermo Cresencia and Rosario
Avorque made manifestations admitting that the former was still the
registered operator of the jeepney in question in the records of the Motor
Vehicles Office and the Public Service Commission, while the latter was the
owner thereof at the time of the accident.
The lower court held that as far as the public is concerned, Cresencia, in
the eyes of the law, continued to be the legal owner of the jeepney in
question, rendering judgment against him, jointly and severally with the
driver Brigido Avorque, for P6,000 compensatory damages, P30,000 moral
damages, P10,000 exemplary damages, P10,000 nominal damages,
P5,000 attorneys fees, and costs, while Defendant Rosario Avorque was
absolved from liability.
ISSUES:
(1) Whether or not Cresencia should be held jointly and severally liable with
the driver of the jeepney for damages, given that he was still the registered
owner of the jeepney? YES
(2) Whether or not Defendant Rosario Avorque should subsidiarily answer
for the damages sustained by the Plaintiffs, she being the employer of the
driver? NO
(3) Whether or not nominal damages should be awarded in the case at
bar? NO
RULING:
(1) We have already held in the case of Montoya vs. Ignacio that the law
(section 20 [g], C. A. No. 146 as amended) requires the approval of the
Public Service Commission in order that a franchise, or any privilege
pertaining thereto, may be sold or leased without infringing the certificate
issued to the grantee. If the property covered by the franchise is transferred
or leased without this requisite approval, the transfer is not binding against
the public or the Service Commission. In contemplation of the law, the
grantee of record continues to be responsible under the franchise in
relation to the Commission and to the public.
As the sale of the jeepney here in question was admittedly without the
approval of the Public Service Commission, Appellant herein, Guillermo
Cresencia, who is the registered owner and operator thereof, continued to
be liable to the Commission and the public for the consequences incident
to its operation.
(2) Plaintiffs action for damages is independent of the criminal case filed
against Brigido Avorque, and based, not on the employers subsidiary
liability under the Revised Penal Code, but on a breach of the carriers
contractual obligation to carry his passengers safely to their destination
(culpa contractual). Thus, Rosario Avorque is not liable for damages in the
case at bar.
It is also for this reason that there is no need of first proving the insolvency
of the driver Brigido Avorque before damages can be recovered from the
carrier, for in culpa contractual, the liability of the carrier is not merely

subsidiary or secondary, but direct and immediate (Articles 1755, 1756, and
1759, New Civil Code).
(3) It is patent upon the record that the award of P10,000 by way of nominal
damages is untenable as a matter of law, since nominal damages cannot
co-exist with compensatory damages. The purpose of nominal damages is
to vindicate or recognize a right that has been violated, in order to preclude
further contest thereon and not for the purpose of indemnifying the Plaintiff
for any loss suffered by him (Articles 2221, 2223, new Civil Code.)
Since the court below has already awarded compensatory and exemplary
damages that are in themselves a judicial recognition that Plaintiffs right
was violated, the award of nominal damages is unnecessary and improper.
Anyway, ten thousand pesos cannot, in common sense, be deemed
nominal. With the modification that the award of P10,000 nominal
damages be eliminated, the decision appealed from is affirmed.

G.R. No. 148246

February 16, 2007

REPUBLIC
OF
THE
PHILIPPINES, Petitioner,
vs. JUAN C. TUVERA, VICTOR P. TUVERA and TWIN PEAKS
DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Respondents.
FACTS: Twin Peaks was incorporated with Victor Tuvera as on
incorporator, who owned 48% of the shares. Victor was the son of
respondent Juan Tuvera, who was then Presidential Executive Assistant of
President Marcos. President Marcos granted the award of a Timber
License Agreement (TLA), in favor of Twin Peaks to operate on 26,000
hectares of forest land and to export 10,000 cubic meters of mahogany of
the narra species, without public bidding and despite statutory prohibition.
As a result, Twin Peaks was able to engage in logging operations.
In 1988, the PCGG issued a Writ of Sequestration on all assets, properties,
records, documents, and shares of stock of Twin Peaks on the ground that
all the assets of the corporation are ill-gotten wealth for having been
acquired directly or indirectly through fraudulent and illegal means. 4 This
was followed two days later by Mission Order. In 2001, the Sandiganbayan
sustained the demurrer to evidence filed by respondent.
ISSUE: WON the respondents are liable for damages?
Ruling: Yes, temperate and exemplary only.
Actual damages must be proven, not presumed.81 The Republic failed to
prove damages. It is not enough for the Republic to have established, as it
did, the legal travesty that led to the wrongful obtention by Twin Peaks of
the TLA. It should have established the degree of injury sustained by the
State by reason of such wrongful act.
However, there is sufficient basis for an award of temperate damages, also
sought by the Republic notwithstanding the fact that a claim for both actual
and temperate damages is internally inconsistent. Temperate or moderate
damages avail when "the court finds that some pecuniary loss has been
suffered but its amount can not from the nature of the case, be proved with
certainty."84 The textual language might betray an intent that temperate
damages do not avail when the case, by its nature, is susceptible to proof
of pecuniary loss; and certainly the Republic could have proved pecuniary
loss herein.85 Still, jurisprudence applying Article 2224 is clear that
temperate damages may be awarded even in instances where pecuniary
loss could theoretically have been proved with certainty.1awphi1.net
The allowance of temperate damages also paves the way for the award of
exemplary damages. Under Article 2234 of the Civil Code, a showing that
the plaintiff is entitled to temperate damages allows for the award of
exemplary damages. Even as exemplary damages cannot be recovered as
a matter of right, the courts are empowered to decide whether or not they
should be adjudicated. Ill-gotten wealth cases are hornbook
demonstrations where damages by way of example or correction for the
public good should be awarded. Fewer causes of action deserve the stigma
left by exemplary damages, which "serve as a deterrent against or as a
negative incentive to curb socially deleterious actions." 92 The obtention of
the timber license agreement by Twin Peaks through fraudulent and illegal
means was highlighted by Juan Tuveras abuse of his position as
Presidential Executive Assistant. The consequent exploitation of 26
hectares of forest land benefiting all respondents is a grave case of unjust
enrichment at the expense of the Filipino people and of the environment
which should never be countenanced. Considering the expanse of forest
land exploited by respondents, the volume of timber that was necessarily
cut by virtue of their abuse and the estimated wealth acquired by
respondents through grave abuse of trust and public office, it is only
reasonable that petitioner be granted the amount of P1,000,000.00 as
exemplary damages.

The imposition of exemplary damages is a means by which the State,


through its judicial arm, can send the clear and unequivocal signal best
expressed in the pithy but immutable phrase, "never again." It is severely
unfortunate that the Republic did not exert its best efforts in the full
recovery of the actual damages caused by the illegal grant of the Twin
Peaks TLA. To the best of our ability, through the appropriate vehicle of
exemplary damages, the Court will try to fill in that deficiency. For if there is
a lesson that should be learned from the national trauma of the rule of
Marcos, it is that kleptocracy cannot pay. As those dark years fade into the
backburner of the collective memory, and a new generation emerges
without proximate knowledge of how bad it was then, it is useful that the
Court serves a reminder here and now.

court on the ground that the amount of P200,000.00 is rather "too high"
especially considering the fact that the driver De Luna is a mere driver and
defendant-appellant Corporation is only subsidiarily liable thereof. The
award was reduced to P100,000.00)
Ruling:
1.

We sustain the view of the petitioner that the liability of an


employer in quasi-delict is primary and solidary and not
subsidiary.

2.

As stated earlier, the employer's liability in quasi-delict is primary


and solidary. The award of temperate, moral, and exemplary
damages as well as attorney's fees lies upon the discretion of the
court based on the facts and circumstances of each case. The
court's discretion is, of course, subject to the condition that the
award for damages is not excessive under the attendant facts
and circumstance of the case.

G.R. No. L-56505 May 9, 1988


MAXIMO
PLENO, petitioner,
vs.THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, PHILIPPINE PAPER
PRODUCTS, INC., and FLORANTE DE LUNArespondents.
Facts:
Philippine Paper Products, Inc., is the owner of a delivery truck. One of its
drivers, Florante de Luna, was in charge of and driving said delivery truck
(Ford Stake) on the right lane of the South Super Highway in Taguig, Rizal,
in a careless, reckless and imprudent manner, by driving the vehicle at a
speed greater than what is reasonable and proper at the time without
taking necessary precaution to avoid accident to persons and damage to
property, that as a consequence of the said driver's reckless and imprudent
driving, said vehicle of the defendant Philippine Paper Products, Inc., hit,
bumped and sideswiped plaintiffs Volkswagen Delivery Van, driven by said
plaintiff causing the Volkswagen Delivery Van to swerve to the right that it
rammed into the rear part of a truck parked at the shoulder of the road; that
as a result of the vehicular accident, plaintiff suffered various serious
injuries, was hospitalized, and because he suffered injuries affecting his
brain, he acted beyond normalcy at times.
Plaintiff asked for actual and compensatory damages of approximately
P100,000.00; moral damages of P500,000.00 for suffering from bodily pain,
mental anguish, serious anxiety for Florante de Luna's wanton and brazen
disregard of traffic laws and regulations aggravated by his running away
from the scene of the accident, without rendering aid to the victim, plaintiff
should be adjudged as exemplary or corrective damages P 300,000.00 as
an example to all, owners, operators and drivers of motor vehicles and in
the interest of public safety and welfare, as well as the sum of P100,000.00
for the payment of attorney's fees. Plaintiff prays that defendants be jointly
and severally ordered to pay him P100,000.00 for actual and compensatory
damages; for moral damages P500,000.00; P300,000.00 as exemplary
damages; for attorney's fees P100,000.00, interest at the rate of 6% on the
actual and moral damage ages and loss of earnings computed from the
filing of the complaint until the P100,000.00 and the P500,000.00 are fully
paid and the costs of suit.
Defendant Philippine Paper Products., Inc., filed its answer with
counterclaim. It averred that it exercised the requisite diligence in the
employment and supervision of its employees and laborers as well as in
keeping in constant repair and in good condition all its vehicles; and that
plaintiff is the one grossly negligent, careless and imprudent in driving and
operating his vehicle who has neither the license nor the permit to drive the
said vehicle.
RTC: defendants jointly and severally to pay plaintiff (1) P 48,244.08 actual
damages: (2) temperate or moderate damage of P200,000.00; (3) moral
damages of P200,000.00; (4) exemplary damages of P50,000.00; (5)
attorney's fees of P30,000.00; and (6) costs of suit.
CA: affirmed the factual findings of the lower court
The court, however, modified the award on damages such that temperate
damages were reduced from P200,000.00 to P100,000.00; moral damages
were reduced from P200,000.00 to Pl00,000.00; and attorney's fees were
reduced from P30,000.00 to P15,000.00. It further ruled that the employer's
ability is subsidiary.
ISSUES: (1) whether or not the employer's liability in quasi-delict is
subsidiary. NO
(2) whether or not the appellant court was correct in reducing the amount of
damages awarded to the petitioner.
(Appellate court reduced the amount of temperate and moral damages as
well as the amount of attorney's fees on the ground that the awards were
"too high" .The award of temperate damages was reduced by the appellate

Temperate damages are included within the context of compensatory


damages (Radio Communications of the Philippines, Inc. (RCPI) v. Court of
Appeals, supra.). In arriving at a reasonable level of temperate damages to
be awarded, trial courts are guided by our ruling that:
... There are cases where from the nature of the case, defenite proof
of pecuniary loss cannot be offered, although the court is convinced
that there has been such loss. For instance, injury to one's
commercial credit or to the goodwill of a business firm is often hard
to show certainty in terms of money. Should damages be denied for
that reason? The judge should be empowered to calculate moderate
damages in such cases, rather than that the plaintiff should suffer,
without redress from the defendant's wrongful act. (Araneta v. Bank
of America, 40 SCRA 144,145)
In the case of moral damages, the yardstick shaould be that the "amount
awarded should not be palpably and scandalously excessive" so as to
indicate that it was the result of passion, prejudice or corruption on the part
of the trial court. Moreover, the actual losses sustained by the aggrieved
parties and the gravity of the injuries must be considered in arriving at
reasonable levels
We rule that the lower court's awards of damages are more consonant with
the factual circumstances of the instant case. The trial court's findings of
facts are clear and well-developed. Each item of damages is adequately
supported by evidence on record. On the other hand, there are no
substantial reasons and no references to any misimpressions of facts in the
appellate decision. The Court of Appeals has shown no sufficient reasons
for altering factual findings which appear correct. We, therefore, affirm the
lower court's awards of damages and hold that the appellate court's
reduction of the amounts of temperate and moral damages is not justified.
However, we modify the award of attorney's fees to P20,000.00 which we
deem to be just and equitable under the circumstances of the case.

LETICIA TAN, MYRNA MEDINA, MARILOU SPOONER, ROSALINDA TAN,


and MARY JANE TAN, MARY LYN TAN, CELEDONIO TAN, JR., MARY
JOY TAN, and MARK ALLAN TAN, represented herein by their mother,
LETICIA TAN, Petitioners,
vs.
OMC CARRIERS, INC. and BONIFACIO ARAMBALA, Respondents.
January 12, 2011
FACTS:
The petitioners filed a complaint for damages with the RTC against OMC
and Bonifacio Arambala.4 The complaint states that on November 24, 1995,
at around 6:15 a.m., Arambala was driving a truck 5with a trailer6 owned by
OMC, along Meralco Road, Sucat, Muntinlupa City. When Arambala
noticed that the truck had suddenly lost its brakes, he told his companion to
jump out. Soon thereafter, he also jumped out and abandoned the truck.
Driverless, the truck rammed into the house and tailoring shop owned by
petitioner Leticia Tan and her husband Celedonio Tan, instantly killing
Celedonio who was standing at the doorway of the house at the time.
ISSUE:
1.

WON actual damages must be awarded. NO

2.

WON temperate damages must be awarded. YES

3.

WON actual damages for loss of earning capacity must be


awarded. NO

4.

WON the award of exemplary damages must be reduced from


500k to 200k. YES

5.

WON legal interest must be awarded based on the damages


awarded. YES

RULING:

1.

Civil Code govern


damages.lavvphil

The photographs the petitioners presented as evidence show the extent of


the damage done to the house, the tailoring shop and the petitioners
appliances and equipment.25 Irrefutably, this damage was directly
attributable to Arambalas gross negligence in handling OMCs truck.
3. Damages for loss of earning capacity are awarded pursuant to Article
2206 of the Civil Code, which states that:
Article 2206. The amount of damages for death caused by a crime or quasidelict shall be at least three thousand pesos, even though there may have
been mitigating circumstances. In addition:

Exemplary or corrective damages are imposed by way of


example or correction for the public good, in addition to moral,
temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages.35 In quasidelicts, exemplary damages may be granted if the defendant
acted with gross negligence.36

of

recoverable

3. When the judgment of the court awarding a sum of money


becomes final and executory, the rate of legal interest, whether
the case falls under paragraph 1 or paragraph 2, above, shall be
12% per annum from such finality until its satisfaction, this interim
period being deemed to be by then an equivalent to a
forbearance of credit.

(1) The defendant shall be liable for the loss of the earning capacity of the
deceased, and the indemnity shall be paid to the heirs of the latter; such
indemnity shall in every case be assessed and awarded by the court,
unless the deceased on account of permanent physical disability not
caused by the defendant, had no earning capacity at the time of his death[.]

4.

measure

2. When an obligation, not constituting a loan or forbearance of


money, is breached, an interest on the amount of damages
awarded may be imposed at the discretion of the court at the rate
of 6% per annum. No interest, however, shall be adjudged on
unliquidated claims or damages except when or until the demand
can be established with reasonable certainty. Accordingly, where
the demand is established with reasonable certainty, the interest
shall begin to run from the time the claim is made judicially or
extrajudicially (Art. 1169, Civil Code) but when such certainty
cannot be so reasonably established at the time the demand is
made, the interest shall begin to run only from the date the
judgment of the court is made (at which time the quantification of
damages may be deemed to have been reasonably ascertained).
The actual base for the computation of legal interest shall, in any
case, be on the amount finally adjudged.

Article 2224. Temperate or moderate damages, which are more


than nominal but less than compensatory damages, may be
recovered when the court finds that some pecuniary loss has
been suffered but its amount can not, from the nature of the
case, be proved with certainty.

According to the petitioners, prior to his death, Celedonio was a selfemployed tailor who earned approximatelyP156,000.00 a year,
or P13,000.00 a month. At the time of his death in 1995, the prevailing daily
minimum wage was P145.00,29 or P3,770.00 per month, provided the wage
earner had only one rest day per week. Even if we take judicial notice of
the fact that a small tailoring shop normally does not issue receipts to its
customers, and would probably not have any documentary evidence of the
income it earns, Celedonios alleged monthly income ofP13,000.00 greatly
exceeded the prevailing monthly minimum wage; thus, the exception set
forth above does not apply.

the

1. When the obligation is breached, and it consists in the


payment of a sum of money, i.e., a loan or forbearance of money,
the interest due should be that which may have been stipulated
in writing. Furthermore, the interest due shall itself earn legal
interest from the time it is judicially demanded. In the absence of
stipulation, the rate of interest shall be 12% per annum to be
computed from default, i.e., from judicial or extrajudicial demand
under and subject to the provisions of Article 1169 of the Civil
Code.

To justify an award of actual damages, there must be competent


proof of the actual amount of loss, credence can be given only to
claims which are duly supported by receipts.2

As a rule, documentary evidence should be presented to substantiate the


claim for loss of earning capacity.27 By way of exception, damages for loss
of earning capacity may be awarded despite the absence of documentary
evidence when: (1) the deceased is self-employed and earning less than
the minimum wage under current labor laws, in which case, judicial notice
may be taken of the fact that in the deceased's line of work, no
documentary evidence is available; or (2) the deceased is employed as a
daily wage worker earning less than the minimum wage under current labor
laws.28

determining

II. With regard particularly to an award of interest in the concept of actual


and compensatory damages, the rate of interest, as well as the accrual
thereof, is imposed, as follows:

The petitioners do not deny that they did not submit any receipt to support
their claim for actual damages to prove the monetary value of the damage
caused to the house and tailoring shop when the truck rammed into them.
Thus, no actual damages for the destruction to petitioner Leticia Tans
house and tailoring shop can be awarded.

2.

in

GIOVANI SERRANO Y CERVANTES, Petitioner vs. PEOPLE OF THE


PHILIPPINES, Respondent
GR No. 175023 July 5, 2010
Facts:
The case stemmed from a brawl involving 15 to 18 members of two rival
groups that occurred at UP Diliman. The incident resulted in the stabbing of
Anthony Galang on the stomach.
Petitioner was charged with frustrated homicide. After considering the
evidence, the trial court found petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
frustrated homicide and sentenced him to undergo imprisonment of 4
years, 2 months, 1 day of prision correccional as minimum to 10 years of
prision mayor as maximum. He was also ordered to reimburse to
complainant the medical expenses incurred in his hospitalization and
treatment of his injuries in the amount of Php15,000 and loss of income 1
month in the amount of Php 4,000.
Upon appeal, the CA modified the RTCs decision and found appellant
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of ATTEMPTED HOMICIDE
and sentenced to suffer indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of 6 months
of arresto mayor as minimum to 4 years and 2 months of prision
correccional as maximum; reduced actual damages to Php 3,858.50 and
deleted the award for loss of income.
Issue:

The grant, however, should be tempered, as it is not intended to


enrich one party or to impoverish another.
5.

Legal interest at the rate of 6% per annum on the amounts must


be awarded which starts to run from May 14, 2003, when the trial
court rendered judgment. From the time this judgment becomes
final and executory, the interest rate shall be 12% per annum on
the judgment amount and the interest earned up to that date,
until the judgment is wholly satisfied.

It based its ruling in Eastern


Appeals,39 which held that:

Shipping Lines,

Inc.

v. Court of

I. When an obligation, regardless of its source, i.e., law, contracts, quasicontracts, delicts or quasi-delicts is breached, the contravenor can be held
liable for damages. The provisions under Title XVIII on "Damages" of the

Whether or not CA committed an error in awarding actual damages in the


amount of Php 3,858.50. YES
Held:
In People v. Andres, the Supreme Court held that if the actual damages,
proven by receipts during the trial, amount to less than P25,000.00, the
victim shall be entitled to temperate damages in the amount of P25,000.00,
in lieu of actual damages. The award of temperate damages is based on
Article 2224 of the New Civil Code which states that temperate or moderate
damages may be recovered when the court finds that some pecuniary loss
was suffered but its amount cannot be proven with certainty. In this case,
the victim is entitled to the award of P25,000.00 as temperate damages
considering that the amount of actual damages is only P3,858.50. The
amount of actual damages shall be deleted.
Lastly, the victim is also entitled to moral damages in the amount of
P10,000.00 in accordance with settled jurisprudence. Under Article 2219,

paragraph 1 of the New Civil Code, the victim is entitled to moral damages
in a criminal offense resulting in physical injuries.
Petition is denied. The CAs Decision finding petitioner Giovani Serrano y
Cervantes guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Attempted Homicide, is
AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. The petitioner is ORDERED to PAY the
victim, Anthony Galang, P25,000.00 as temperate damages; and
P10,000.00 as moral damages.

PP VS VILLANUEVA AUG 11, 2003

[G.R. No. 139177. August

11, 2003]
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee, vs. ALVIN
VILLANUEVA,appellant.

Accused, with intent to kill, evident premeditation and treachery and being
then armed with a knife, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and
feloniously attack, assault and stab with said knife one OTO-LEO BINAYAN BRABANTE from behind, inflicting three (3) stab wounds upon the
latter, one of which penetrated his heart, which directly resulted to (sic) his
death, to the damage and prejudice of his heirs.
While the prosecution was adducing its evidence, appellant escaped from
detention on October 9, 1997. The lower court thus proceeded with the trial
of the case in absentia in accordance with Section 14(2), Article III of the
1987 Constitution.

Binay-an, mother of the victim, merely declared that her son was a second
lieutenant in the Philippine Marines but gave no statement of her sons
monthly salary. Thus, the trial court simply presumed the amount of Otoleos
earnings. Since the prosecution did not present any evidence of the current
income of the victim, the indemnity for lost earnings was speculative and
must be rejected.
Moral damages cannot also be awarded because no evidence,
testimonial or otherwise, was presented by the prosecution to support it. As
to exemplary damages, the law is clear that they can be recovered in
criminal cases only when the crime is committed with one or more
aggravating circumstances,[36] none of which was present in this case.
WHEREFORE, the decision of the court a quo is hereby AFFIRMED
withMODIFICATION. Appellant Alvin Villanueva is found guilty of murder
and is accordingly sentenced to reclusion perpetua. He is also ordered to
pay the heirs of the victim the amounts of P50,000 as civil indemnity and
P25,000 as temperate damages. The award for the loss of earning capacity
of the deceased is deleted.

G.R. No. 182460


March 9, 2010
PEOPLE
OF
THE
PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,
vs.JESSIE VILLEGAS MURCIA, Accused-Appellant.
Facts:
Appellant was accused of the crime of arson
The charge is qualified by the resulting death of Felicidad M. Quilates.

RTC:convicting appellant of the offense charged


Appellant was also charged in another Information for frustrated homicide
He is hereby sentenced to DEATH, and to pay P50,000.00 for the death of
the victim, indemnify the heirs of the victim in the amount of P600,000.00
actual damages, P1,000,000.00 in loss of earning and to pay the cost of
the
proceedings.
On automatic review.

Eulogio estimated the value of his house at P250,000.00,12 while another


sister of Felicidad, Pacita Quilates, presented a receipt covering the burial
expenses for Felicidad, amounting to P10,000.00.13

ISSUE: w/n the trial court did not err in awarding the aforesaid awards?

An autopsy was performed on Felicidad, and it was disclosed that she died
from "cardio-respiratory arrest secondary to third degree burns involving
90% of body surface to include underlying tissues and organs."14

HELD:
The award of P50,000 as civil indemnity should be upheld without
need of proof, the same being in accordance with prevailing jurisprudence
and the policy of the Court.

Appellant was the lone witness for the defense. Appellant denied setting
the house on fire.16
RTC: appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of arson and frustrated
homicide, thus:

However, we do not find the grant of P600,000 for actual damages


to be properly substantiated by evidence. The trial court based its award
mainly on the testimony of the victims mother and on the submitted list of
expenses allegedly incurred in connection with the death, wake and burial
of the victim. The award of actual damages may not be made on the basis
alone of a handwritten enumeration of the supposed expenses incurred.

WHEREFORE, xxx crime of arson as charged xxx and he is


hereby sentenced to suffer the extreme penalty of death; to
indemnify the heirs of the victim Felicidad Quilates, the amount
of Php50,000.00 as moral damages; Php50,000.00 as death
indemnity; Php10,000.00 as actual damages and another
Php10,000.00 as temperate damages.

The recent case of People vs. Abrazaldo allows the grant of


temperate damages in the amount of P25,000 if there is no evidence of
burial and funeral expenses. This is in lieu of actual damages as it would be
unfair for the victims heirs to get nothing, despite the death of their kin, for
the reason alone that they cannot produce any receipts. We also ruled
there that temperate and actual damages are mutually exclusive in that
both may not be awarded at the same time, hence, no temperate damages
may be granted if actual damages have already been granted.
In the present case, only the amount of P13,100 was supported by
receipts. Ordinarily, this is all Otoleo Brabantes heirs should be entitled to
by way of actual damages. However, we find this anomalous and unfair
because the victims heirs who tried but succeeded in proving actual
damages to the extent of P13,100 only, would be in a worse situation than,
say, those who might have presented no receipts at all but would now be
entitled to P25,000 temperate damages.
We therefore rule that when actual damages proven by receipts
during the trial amount to less than P25,000, as in this case, the award of
temperate damages for P25,000 is justified in lieu of actual damages of a
lesser amount. Conversely, if the amount of actual damages proven
exceeds P25,000, then temperate damages may no longer be awarded;
actual damages based on the receipts presented during trial should instead
be granted.
Likewise, we cannot sustain the grant of P1,000,000 for loss of
earnings. No document whatsoever was submitted to support such an
award. The indemnification for loss of earning capacity partakes of the
nature of actual damages, which must be duly proven.[35] In this case, Rita

Further, the accused is ordered to indemnify Eulogio Quilates the


amount of P250,000.00, representing the value of the burned
house.
In Crim. Case No. 2980-Bg., the Court likewise FINDS and
DECLARES the accused JESSIE VILLEGAS MURCIA guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of frustrated homicide as
charged xxx; to pay the victim Alicia Q. Manlupig the amount of
Php10,000.00 as temperate damages; and to pay the
costs.1avvphi1
Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's findings
Appellant admitted to the crime of frustrated homicide, hence the review is
limited to the crime of arson.
Issue: WON the award for damages was proper
Ruling:
This Court, however, takes exception to the trial court's award of damages.
With respect to the heirs of Felicidad, We modify the amount of temperate
damages from P10,000.00 to P25,000.00, and accordingly delete the
amount of actual damages, in line with the ruling in People v. Villanueva.33In

said case, the Court held that when actual damages proven by receipts
during the trial amount to less thanP25,000.00, the award of temperate
damages for P25,000.00 is justified in lieu of actual damages of a lesser
amount.34
Anent the actual damages awarded to Eulogio amounting to P250,000.00,
as indemnification for the burned house, We note that said amount
representing the value of the burned house was merely given by Eulogio as
an estimate. It was not substantiated by any document or receipt. For one
to be entitled to actual damages, it is necessary to prove the actual amount
of loss with a reasonable degree of certainty, premised upon competent
proof and the best evidence obtainable by the injured party.35
Instead, We award temperate damages in accordance with Art. 2224 of the
Civil Code, providing that temperate damages may be recovered when the
court finds that some pecuniary loss has been suffered but its amount
cannot, from the nature of the case, be proven with certainty. 36 It is thus
reasonable to expect that the value of the house burned down amounted to
at least P200,000.00.
WHEREFORE, the appealed decision finding appellant JESSIE VILLEGAS
MURCIA guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of arson and
sentencing him to reclusion perpetua is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATIONS:
1. Appellant is ordered to indemnify the heirs of Felicidad Quilates the
amount of P50,000.00 as moral damages; P50,000.00 as death indemnity;
and P25,000.00 as temperate damages.
2. The award of P10,000.00 as actual damages in favor of the heirs of
Felicidad Quilates is deleted.

With the dismissal of the aforesaid case, respondent filed a Motion to


Permit Supplemental Compulsory Counterclaim. In addition to the damages
that respondent prayed for in his compulsory counterclaim, he sought the
payment of his commission amounting to P10,316,640.00, plus interest at
the rate of 16% per annum, as well as attorneys fees equivalent to 12% of
his principal claim. Respondent claimed that Pentacapital Realty is a 100%
subsidiary of petitioner. Thus, although petitioner did not directly participate
in the transaction between Pentacapital Realty, CRDI and respondent, the
latters claim against petitioner was based on the doctrine of piercing the
veil of corporate fiction. Simply stated, respondent alleged that petitioner
and Pentacapital Realty are one and the same entity belonging to the
Pentacapital Group of Companies.
Over the opposition of petitioner, the RTC, in an Order dated August 22,
2002, allowed the filing of the supplemental counterclaim. Aggrieved,
petitioner sought recourse in the CA through a special civil action for
certiorari, seeking to reverse and set aside the RTC Order. On December
20, 2005, the CA rendered the assailed Decision dismissing the petition.
The appellate court sustained the allowance of the supplemental
compulsory counterclaim based on the allegations in respondents
pleading.
After trial on the merits, the RTC rendered a decision in favor of
respondent. This court, instead, finds that defendant (respondent) was able
to prove by a clear preponderance of evidence his cause of action against
plaintiff as to defendants compulsory and supplemental counterclaims.
On appeal, the CA, in CA-G.R. CV No. 86939, affirmed in toto the above
decision. The CA found no basis for petitioner to collect the amount
demanded, there being no perfected contract of loan for lack of
consideration. As to respondents supplemental compulsory counterclaim,
quoting the findings of the RTC, the appellate court held that respondent
was able to prove by preponderance of evidence that it was the intent of
Pentacapital Group of Companies and CRDI to give him P10,316,640.00
and P1,715,156.90.

3. Appellant is ordered to pay Eulogio Quilates the amount of P200,000.00


as temperate damages.

Unsatisfied, petitioner moved for reconsideration of the aforesaid Decision,


but it was denied in a Resolution31dated January 21, 2008. Hence, the
present petition in G.R. No. 181482.

The award of P250,000.00 as actual damages in favor of Eulogio Quilates


is deleted.

ISSUE: 1) whether the admission of respondents supplemental compulsory


counterclaim is proper

G.R. No. 171736 July 5, 2010


PENTACAPITAL INVESTMENT CORPORATION, Petitioner, vs.
MAKILITO B. MAHINAY, Respondent.
x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x
G.R. No. 181482
PENTACAPITAL INVESTMENT CORPORATION, Petitioner, vs.
MAKILITO B. MAHINAY, Respondent.
NACHURA, J.:
FACTS: Petitioner filed a complaint for a sum of money against respondent
Makilito Mahinay based on two separate loans obtained by the latter, a total
amount of P1,936,800.00. These loans were evidenced by two promissory
notes dated February 23, 1996. Despite repeated demands, respondent
failed to pay the loans, hence, the complaint.
In his Answer with Compulsory Counterclaim, respondent claimed that
petitioner had no cause of action because the promissory notes on which
its complaint was based were subject to a condition that did not occur.
While admitting that he indeed signed the promissory notes, he insisted
that he never took out a loan and that the notes were not intended to be
evidences of indebtedness. By way of counterclaim, respondent prayed for
the payment of moral and exemplary damages plus attorneys fees.
Respondent explained that he was the counsel of Ciudad Real
Development Inc. (CRDI). In 1994, Pentacapital Realty Corporation offered
to buy parcels of land known as the Molino Properties, owned by CRDI. As
the Molino Properties were the subject of a pending case, Pentacapital
Realty paid only the down payment amounting to P12,000,000.00. CRDI
allegedly instructed Pentacapital Realty to pay the formers creditors,
including respondent who thus received a check worth P1,715,156.90. It
was further agreed that the balance would be payable upon the submission
of an Entry of Judgment showing that the case involving the Molino
Properties had been decided in favor of CRDI.
Respondent, Pentacapital Realty and CRDI allegedly agreed that
respondent had a charging lien equivalent to 20% of the total consideration
of the sale in the amount of P10,277,040.00. Pending the submission of the
Entry of Judgment and as a sign of good faith, respondent purportedly
returned the P1,715,156.90 check to Pentacapital Realty. However, the
Molino Properties continued to be haunted by the seemingly interminable
court actions initiated by different parties which thus prevented respondent
from collecting his commission.
Admittedly, respondent earlier instituted an action for Specific Performance
against Pentacapital Realty before the RTC of Cebu City, Branch 57,
praying for the payment of his commission on the sale of the Molino
Properties. In an Amended Complaint, respondent referred to the action he
instituted as one of Preliminary Mandatory Injunction instead of Specific
Performance. Acting on Pentacapital Realtys Motion to Dismiss, the RTC
dismissed the case for lack of cause of action. The dismissal became final
and executory.

RULING: NO. The pertinent provision of the Rules of Court is Section 6 of


Rule
10,
which
reads:
Sec. 6. Supplemental pleadings. Upon motion of a party, the court may,
upon reasonable notice and upon such terms as are just, permit him to
serve a supplemental pleading setting forth transactions, occurrences or
events which have happened since the date of the pleading sought to be
supplemented. The adverse party may plead thereto within ten (10) days
from notice of the order admitting the supplemental pleading.
As a general rule, leave will be granted to a party who desires to file a
supplemental pleading that alleges any material fact which happened or
came within the partys knowledge after the original pleading was filed,
such being the office of a supplemental pleading.
In his Motion to Permit Supplemental Compulsory Counterclaim,
respondent admitted that, in his Answer with Compulsory Counterclaim, he
claimed that, as one of the corporations composing the Pentacapital Group
of Companies, petitioner is liable to him for P10,316,640.00, representing
20% attorneys fees and share in the proceeds of the sale transaction
between Pentacapital Realty and CRDI. In the same pleading, he further
admitted that he did not include this amount in his compulsory counterclaim
because he had earlier commenced another action for the collection of the
same amount against Pentacapital Realty before the RTC of Cebu. With
the dismissal of the RTC-Cebu case, there was no more legal impediment
for respondent to file the supplemental counterclaim.
Moreover, in his Answer with Compulsory Counterclaim, respondent
already alleged that he demanded from Pentacapital Group of Companies
to which petitioner supposedly belongs, the payment of his 20%
commission. This, in fact, was what prompted respondent to file a
complaint before the RTC-Cebu for preliminary mandatory injunction for the
release of the said amount.
Given these premises, it is obvious that the alleged obligation of petitioner
already existed and was known to respondent at the time of the filing of his
Answer with Counterclaim. He is, therefore, proscribed from incorporating
the same and making such demand via a supplemental pleading. The
supplemental pleading must be based on matters arising subsequent to the
filing of the original pleading related to the claim or defense presented
therein, and founded on the same cause of action.
ISSUE: whether or not respondent is bound by the promissory notes.
RULING: YES.
Under Article 1354 of the Civil Code, it is presumed that consideration
exists and is lawful unless the debtor proves the contrary. Moreover, under
Section 3, Rule 131 of the Rules of Court, the following are disputable
presumptions: (1) private transactions have been fair and regular; (2) the
ordinary course of business has been followed; and (3) there was sufficient
consideration for a contract. A presumption may operate against an
adversary who has not introduced proof to rebut it. The effect of a legal
presumption upon a burden of proof is to create the necessity of presenting
evidence to meet the legal presumption or the prima facie case created
thereby, and which, if no proof to the contrary is presented and offered, will
prevail.

In the present case, as proof of his claim of lack of consideration,


respondent denied under oath that he owed petitioner a single centavo. He
added that he did not apply for a loan and that when he signed the
promissory notes, they were all blank forms and all the blank spaces were
to be filled up only if the sale transaction over the subject properties would
not push through because of a possible adverse decision in the civil cases
involving them (the properties). He thus posits that since the sale pushed
through, the promissory notes did not become effective.
Contrary to the conclusions of the RTC and the CA, we find such proof
insufficient to overcome the presumption of consideration. The presumption
that a contract has sufficient consideration cannot be overthrown by the
bare, uncorroborated and self-serving assertion of respondent that it has no
consideration. The alleged lack of consideration must be shown by
preponderance of evidence
As it now appears, the promissory notes clearly stated that respondent
promised to pay petitioner P1,520,000.00 and P416,800.00, plus interests
and penalty charges, a year after their execution. Nowhere in the notes
was it stated that they were subject to a condition. As correctly observed by
petitioner, respondent is not only a lawyer but a law professor as well.
Respondents liability is not negated by the fact that he has uncollected
commissions from the sale of the Molino properties. As the records of the
case show, at the time of the execution of the promissory notes, the Molino
properties were subject of various court actions commenced by different
parties. Thus, the sale of the properties and, consequently, the payment of
respondents commissions were put on hold. The non-payment of his
commissions could very well be the reason why he obtained a loan from
petitioner.
Aside from the payment of the principal obligation of P1,936,800.00, the
parties agreed that respondent pay interest at the rate of 25% from
February 17, 1997 until fully paid. Such rate, however, is excessive and
thus, void. Since the stipulation on the interest rate is void, it is as if there
was no express contract thereon. To be sure, courts may reduce the
interest rate as reason and equity demand. In this case, 12% interest is
reasonable.
The promissory notes likewise required the payment of a penalty charge of
3% per month or 36% per annum. However, a penalty charge of 3% per
month is unconscionable; hence, we reduce it to 1% per month or 12% per
annum.
Lastly, respondent promised to pay 25% of his outstanding obligations as
attorneys fees in case of non-payment thereof. Attorneys fees here are in
the nature of liquidated damages. As long as said stipulation does not
contravene law, morals, or public order, it is strictly binding upon
respondent. Nonetheless, courts are empowered to reduce such rate if the
same is iniquitous or unconscionable pursuant to the above-quoted
provision. This sentiment is echoed in Article 2227 of the Civil Code, to wit:
Art. 2227. Liquidated damages, whether intended as an indemnity or a
penalty, shall be equitably reduced if they are iniquitous or unconscionable.

HELD:
Juan Tuvera "persuaded, induced or influenced" the Director of Forestry to
accommodate a timber license agreement in favor of Twin Peaks, despite
the failure to undergo public bidding, or to comply with the requisites for the
grant of such agreement by negotiation, and in favor of a corporation that
did not appear legally capacitated to be granted such agreement. The fact
that the principal stockholder of Twin Peaks was his own son establishes
his indirect pecuniary interest in the transaction he appears to have
intervened in.
The imposition of exemplary damages is a means by which the State,
through its judicial arm, can send the clear and unequivocal signal best
expressed in the pithy but immutable phrase, "never again." It is severely
unfortunate that the Republic did not exert its best efforts in the full
recovery of the actual damages caused by the illegal grant of the Twin
Peaks TLA. To the best of our ability, through the appropriate vehicle of
exemplary damages, the Court will try to fill in that deficiency. For if there is
a lesson that should be learned from the national trauma of the rule of
Marcos, it is that kleptocracy cannot pay. As those dark years fade into the
backburner of the collective memory, and a new generation emerges
without proximate knowledge of how bad it was then, it is useful that the
Court serves a reminder here and now.
P1 million as EXEMPLARY damages.

G.R. No. 188106

November 25, 2009

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee,


vs.
ANTONIO DALISAY y DESTRESA, Appellant.
Facts:
The accused, Antonio Dalisay, is the live-in partner of the victim's
mother. The 16-year old victim was raped by the accused, but was also
molested even prior to the crime committed. An Information was filed
against the accused and in it the victim was identified as the accused's
stepdaughter. The RTC convicted Dalisay of qualified rape. Upon appeal,
the CA modified the RTC's ruling, convicting the accused of simple rape
instead.
Issue:
WHETHER OR NOT DALISAY WAS PROPERLY CONVICTED
OF SIMPLE RAPE.
WHETHER OR NOT THE VICTIM IS ENTITLED TO
EXEMPLARY DAMAGES.

Hence, we reduce the stipulated attorneys fees from 25% to 10%.

GR No. 148246

February 16, 2007

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner,


vs.
JUAN C. TUVERA, VICTOR P. TUVERA and TWIN PEAKS
DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Respondents.

Held. 1. Yes, Dalisay was properly convicted of simple rape. While it has
been proven that appellant was the common-law spouse of the parent of
the victim and the child was a minor at the time of the incident, the Court
cannot convict appellant of qualified rape because the special qualifying
circumstances of minority and relationship were not sufficiently alleged in
the information. To recall, the information here erroneously alleged that
appellant was the stepfather of the victim. Proven during the trial, however,
was that appellant was not married to the victims mother, but was only the
common-law spouse of the latter. Following settled jurisprudence, appellant
is liable only of simple rape punishable by reclusion perpetua.
2. Yes.

RECOVERY OF ILL-GOTTEN WEALTH.


Twin Peaks Development Corporation was organized on 5 March 1984 as a
corporation with a principal purpose of engaging in the real estate
business. There were five incorporating stockholders, including respondent
Victor Tuvera (Victor) who owned 48% of the shares. Victor was the son of
respondent Juan Tuvera, who was the Presidential Executive Assistant of
Marcos.
Marcos granted the award of a Timber License Agreement (TLA) in favor of
Twin Peaks to operate on 26,000 hectares of forest land with an annual
allowable cut of 60,000 cubic meters of timber and to export 10,000 cubic
meters of mahogany of the narra species. As a result, Twin Peaks was able
to engage in logging operations.
13 June 1988: The PCGG issued a Writ of Sequestration on all assets,
properties, records, documents, and shares of stock of Twin Peaks on the
ground that all the assets of the corporation are ill-gotten wealth for having
been acquired directly or indirectly through fraudulent and illegal means.
ISSUE: WON Juan C. Tuvera who was a Presidential Executive Assistant,
by himself and in concert with his co-defendants Ferdinand E. Marcos and
Victor Tuvera, took advantage of his relation and connection with the late
Marcos, secure (sic) a timber concession and, engage (sic) in a scheme to
unjustly enrich himself at the expense of the Republic and the Filipino
People.

As to the amount of damages, the Court finds as correct the award


of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity andP50,000.00 as moral damages in line
with prevailing jurisprudence.
As to the award of exemplary damages, the Court deems it opportune to
clarify the basis for and the amount of the same. Article 2229 of the Civil
Code provides that
Art. 2229. Exemplary or corrective damages are imposed, by way of
example or correction for the public good, in addition to the moral,
temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages.
Article 2230 of the same Code further states that
Art. 2230. In criminal offenses, exemplary damages as a part of the civil
liability may be imposed when the crime was committed with one or more
aggravating circumstances. Such damages are separate and distinct from
fines and shall be paid to the offended party.
Prior to the effectivity of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, courts
generally awarded exemplary damages in criminal cases when an
aggravating circumstance, whether ordinary or qualifying, had been proven
to have attended the commission of the crime, even if the same was not
alleged in the information. This is in accordance with the aforesaid Article

2230. However, with the promulgation of the Revised Rules, courts no


longer consider the aggravating circumstances not alleged and proven in
the determination of the penalty and in the award of damages. Thus, even if
an aggravating circumstance has been proven, but was not alleged, courts
will not award exemplary damages (old rule).
In the instant case, the information for rape was filed in 2003 or after the
effectivity of the Revised Rules. Following the doctrine in the second set of
cases, the Court can very well deny the award of exemplary damages
based on Article 2230 because the special qualifying circumstances of
minority and relationship, as mentioned above, were not sufficiently
alleged.

He was also ordered to indemnify the private complainant in the amount of


P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and P50,000.00 as moral damages, plus
costs.
The Court of Appeals affirmed appellants conviction and increased the
amount of civil indemnity from P50,000.00 to P75,000.00 as moral
damages.
ISSUES:
(1) Whether or not CAs decision of increasing the amount of civil indemnity
for moral damages was proper? NO
(2) Whether or not exemplary damages should be awarded? YES

Nevertheless, by focusing only on Article 2230 as the legal basis for the
grant of exemplary damagestaking into account simply the attendance of
an aggravating circumstance in the commission of a crime, courts have lost
sight of the very reason why exemplary damages are awarded. Catubig is
enlightening on this point, thus
Also known as "punitive" or "vindictive" damages, exemplary or corrective
damages are intended to serve as a deterrent to serious wrong doings, and
as a vindication of undue sufferings and wanton invasion of the rights of an
injured or a punishment for those guilty of outrageous conduct.
Being corrective in nature, exemplary damages, therefore, can be awarded,
not only in the presence of an aggravating circumstance, but also where
the circumstances of the case show the highly reprehensible or outrageous
conduct of the offender (NO NEED TO ALLEGE). In much the same way as
Article 2230 prescribes an instance when exemplary damages may be
awarded, Article 2229, the main provision, lays down the very basis of the
award.
In this case, finding that appellant, the father figure of the victim, has shown
such an outrageous conduct in sexually abusing his ward, a minor at that,
the Court sustains the award of exemplary damages to discourage and
deter such aberrant behavior. However, the same is increased
to P30,000.00 in line with prevailing jurisprudence

G.R. No. 174277


February 8, 2007
PEOPLE
OF
THE
PHILIPPINES,
vs.
SAMUEL DIUNSAY-JALANDONI, Appellant.

Appellee,

FACTS:
On March 31, 2000 at about 10 oclock in the morning, appellant raped AAA
inside a guard post of a Subdivision in Quezon City. Two witnesses,
Aganon and Pastor, reported the incident to the subdivision guards and
homeowners. They brought appellant to the Barangay Hall and thereafter
turned him over to the x x x Police Station where he was detained pending
the filing of formal charges against him.
After the rape incident, BBB asked her daughter about the surrounding
circumstances leading thereto. She found out that this was not the first time
that appellant had raped her daughter and that appellant had previously
threatened AAA not to reveal to anyone what he had done to her,
otherwise, he would harm her.
Dr. Ma. Cristina Morelos, a psychiatrist, and Nimia C. De Guzman, a
psychologist, both from the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH),
testified on the mental capacity of AAA. Psychological tests showed that
AAAs current mental capacity was at a severe level of mental retardation
with the mental age of a four-year old although at the time of the
commission of the rape, AAA was already 21 years old. She had a very
limited attention span and concentration. She was also easily cajoled and
pleased, and responded with unthinking eagerness to do anything
requested of her as long as her needs were satisfied.
During her testimony, De Guzman also noted that when she interviewed
AAA, the latter answered spontaneously and narrated vividly how she was
raped by appellant. She pointed out that a person with the mental age of a
four-year old could not fabricate a story; and relates events as he or she
experiences them. Neither could such a person be coached on the witness
stand because of his or her limited attention span.
Appellant denied the charges against him. The trial court, however,
rendered its Decision convicting appellant of qualified rape. It ruled that
aside from the use of force, threat or intimidation and the fact that the victim
was a mental retardate, the rape was attended with the special qualifying
circumstance under Article 266-B(10) of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), as
amended by Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8353, because appellant knew of
AAAs mental disability at the time of the commission of the crime as shown
by the fact that appellant called AAA "makulit" and "abnormal." Thus, it
imposed the supreme penalty of death and ordered him to pay damages.
Appellant was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape
committed against AAA and was sentenced to suffer the penalty of death.

RULING:
The trial court, as affirmed by the Court of Appeals, convicted appellant for
qualified rape and sentenced him to death under Article 266-B(10) of the
RPC, as amended by R.A. 8353. It reasoned that appellant knew of AAAs
mental retardation at the time of the commission of the rape since, during
his testimony, appellant referred to AAA as the "makulit" and "abnormal"
person who kept on annoying him while he rested in the guard outpost.
Under Article 266-B(10), knowledge by the offender of the mental disability
of the offended party at the time of the commission of the rape is a special
qualifying circumstance that sanctions the imposition of the death penalty.
However, the long settled rule is that qualifying circumstances must be
sufficiently alleged in the indictment and proved during trial to be properly
appreciated by the trial court. Otherwise, it would be a denial of the right of
the accused to be informed of the charges against him, and, thus, a denial
of due process, if he is charged with simple rape but is convicted of its
qualified form even if the attendant qualifying circumstance is not set forth
in the information.
In the instant case, the information merely states that AAA is a retardate
without specifically stating that appellant knew of her mental disability at the
time of the commission of the rape. Thus, appellant can only be convicted
of simple rape under Article 266-A, par. 1 in relation to 266-B of the RPC, as
amended by R.A. 8353, and his sentence should be accordingly reduced to
reclusion perpetua.
Anent the award of damages, the Court of Appeals awarded to the victim
P75,000.00 as civil indemnity and P50,000.00 as moral damages. With our
finding that appellant should be convicted of simple rape only and not of
qualified rape, the civil indemnity must be reduced to P50,000.00
conformably with prevailing jurisprudence. Nonetheless, AAA is entitled to
P25,000.00 as exemplary damages pursuant to its ruling in People v.
Catubig, wherein the Supreme Court held that the presence of an
aggravating circumstance, whether ordinary or qualifying, entitles the
offended party to an award of exemplary damages.
The Court noted that the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, which took
effect on December 1, 2000, now requires that aggravating circumstances
must be alleged in the information in order to be validly appreciated by the
court. However, the retroactive application of these procedural rules cannot
adversely affect the rights of a private offended party that have become
vested where the offense was committed prior to the effectivity of said rules
as is the case here.
Consequently, aggravating circumstances which were not alleged in the
information but proved during the trial may be appreciated for the limited
purpose of determining appellants liability for exemplary damages. In the
instant case, the presence of the qualifying circumstance of knowledge by
the offender of the offended partys mental disability, although not alleged in
the information, was proved during trial, which justifies the award of
exemplary damages in the amount of P25,000.00 in consonance with
current rulings.
The Decision of the Court of Appeals was AFFIRMED with
MODIFICATION. Appellant was found GUILTY of simple rape and
sentenced to reclusion perpetua. He was likewise ordered to indemnify the
victim in the sum of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity, P50,000.00 as moral
damages, and P25,000.00 as exemplary damages; and to pay the costs.