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ANNOTATION
MORAL DAMAGES: WHEN IS IT RECOVERABLE
AND WHEN IS IT NOT RECOVERABLE
by
MAURICIO C. ULEP*
___________________
 
§ 1. Definition of “Damages” in general, p. 688
§ 2. Scope of Moral Damages, p. 689
§ 3. Trial courts are given discretion to determine moral damages. However, it may be
reduced if it is excessive, p. 689
§ 4. When recoverable, p. 692
§ 5. Instances where Moral Damages are notrecoverable, p. 700
 
___________________
 
§ 1. Definition of “Damages” in general
In legal contemplation, the term “damages” is the sum of money which the law awards or
imposes as a pecuniary compensation, a recompense or satisfaction for an injury done or a wrong
sustained as a consequence of either of a breach of a contractual obligation or a tortuous act.
(MEA Builders, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 450 SCRA 155 [2005])

_______________

*  Former Associate Dean, UE College of Law; Professor of Law; Author of Law Books.

 
 
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§ 2. Scope of Moral Damages


 
Moral damages applies both to natural and juridical persons. (Arts. 37-40 and 44-46, New Civil
Code)
An award for the death of a person does not cover the case of an unborn foetus that is not
endowed with personality. The damages recoverable by the parents of an unborn child are limited
to the moral damages for the illegal arrest of the normal development of the foetus on account of
distress and anguish attendant to its loss. (Geluz v. Court of Appeals, 2 SCRA 801 [1961])
Where the appellant is guilty of bad faith in not carrying out his agreement with the appellee,
the latter is entitled to recover moral damages. (Coscolluela v. Valderrrama, 2 SCRA 1095 [1961])
In addition to the damages award for the death of a passenger, the heirs may demand moral
damages commensurate with the mental anguish they suffered. (Mercado v. Lira,
3 SCRA 124 [1961]; Del Rosario v. Court of Appeals, 267 SCRA 158 [1997])
 
§ 3. Trial courts are given discretion to determine moral damages. However, it may be
reduced if it is excessive
 
There is no hard and fast rule in the determination of what would be a fair amount of moral
damages, since each case must be governed by its own peculiar circumstances. (Filinvest Credit
Corporation v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 166 SCRA 155 [1988]; Fontana Resort and Country
Club, Inc. v. Tan, 664 SCRA 382 [2012])
Trial courts are given discretion to determine moral damages and the Court of Appeals can
only modify or change the amount awarded when they are 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.”
 
 
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REPORTS
ANNOTATED
Moral Damages: When is
it Recoverable and When
is it Not Recoverable

(Alcantara v. Surro and Manila Electric Company, 93 Phil. 472 [1953]; Yuchengco v. The Manila
Chronicle Publishing Corporation, 661 SCRA 392 [2011])
(a) Thus, in one case, an award of P7,000.00 in moral damages was given to a 16-year-old
pretty girl who suffered pain and disfigurement whose left arm had been scraped bare of
flesh from shoulder to her elbow because of a vehicular accident. (De Leon Brokerage Co.,
Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 4 SCRA 517 [1962])
(b) In another case, an award of P500,000.00 was awarded as moral damages to the heirs of a
victim who was killed by the driver of a speeding bus while crossing the street to buy food
for Noche Buena. (See Metro Manila Transit Corporation v. Court of Appeals, 386 SCRA 126
[2002])
(c) In still another case, an award of P1,000,000.00 in moral damages was given to a lady
driver in a vehicular accident since her left leg was amputated and she subsequently used a
prosthetic device. The Supreme Court held that with this condition, the sensory functions
are forever lost. The resultant anxiety, sleeplessness, psychological injury, mental and
physical pain are inestimable. (Valenzuela v. Court of Appeals, 253 SCRA 303 [1996])
(d) The heirs of another victim of a vehicular accident were awarded P500,000.00 for the
sudden death of a member of their family who was a third year physical therapy student.
(Secosa v. Heirs of Erwin Suarez Francisco, 433 SCRA 273 [2004])
However, the same may be reduced if it is found excessive. Trial courts must guard against the
award of exorbitant damages; they should exercise balanced restraint and measured objectivity to
avoid suspicion that it was due to passion, prejudice or corruption on the part of the trial court.
(Inhelder
 
 
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Corporation v. Court of Appeals, 122 SCRA 576 [1983]; Saludaga v. Far Eastern University, 553
SCRA 741 [2008])
Thus, in one case the amount of moral and exemplary damages in the amount of P50,000.00
and P25,000.00 respectively was reduced to P10,000.00 and P5,000.00 where it was proved that
the parties only paid a downpayment of two lots in a subdivision the amount of P3,040.00, but
nevertheless, it was still sold to another person. (Siguenza v. Court of Appeals, 137 SCRA 570
[1985])
In another case involving wrongful attachment, an award of Five Million Pesos as moral
damages was reduced to P500,000.00. (Philippine Commercial International Bank v. Alejandro,
570 SCRA 112 [2008])
In a vehicular accident, the award of One Million Pesos as moral damages was reduced to
P50,000.00. (Philtranco Service Enterprises, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 273 SCRA 562 [1997])
In another case, an award of damages in the amount of close to Five Million Pesos was reduced
to only more than One Million Pesos in favor of a Filipino pilot who was illegally dismissed by
Malaysian Airlines. (Malaysian Airline System Bernad v. Court of Appeals, 156 SCRA 321 [1987])
Moral damages, though incapable of pecuniary estimation, 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. (San Andres v. Court of Appeals, 116 SCRA 81 [1982]; See also Siguenza v. Court of
Appeals, 137 SCRA 570 [1985]) Even if the award of moral damages is discretionary with the
court, it must be reasonable and justified (Mercury Drug Corporation v. Domingo, 457 SCRA 578
[2005]) and proof of damage or injury must be adduced. (Republic v. Estate of Hans Menzi, 476
SCRA 20 [2005])
Thus, in one case, an RTC judge was found guilty of knowingly rendering an unjust judgment
when he awarded moral damages in a damage suit in the amount of Sixteen
 
 
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is it Not Recoverable
Million Two Hundred Thousand Pesos (P16,200,000.00) even if he did not originally hear the
case. He was suspended from office for six months. (Neri v. De la Peña, 457 SCRA 538 [2005]) In
another case, an RTC judge was dismissed from the service for awarding more than Twenty-
Three Million Pesos in damages to two Cathay Pacific Airways passengers who lost two baggages
upon their arrival at the Manila International Airport. The Supreme Court held that the award
of damages was excessive and unconscionable. (Cathay Pacific Airways, Inc. v. Romillo, Jr., 142
SCRA 262 [1986]) However, in Cathay Pacific Airways, Inc. v. Romillo, Jr., 143 SCRA 396 [1986],
the Supreme Court rendered an Amended Resolution. The respondent Judge was made to enjoy
all vacation and sick leave benefits that he has earned during the period of his government
service).
It is also a rule that if the court does not exercise its discretion in the assessment of moral
damages, the Supreme Court may do so, since an appeal in a criminal case opens the whole case
for review. (People v. Aliviado, 247 SCRA 300 [1995]; Adame v. Court of Appeals, 392 SCRA 305
[2002])
Finally, the court has the power to limit the amount of damages that can be recovered.
(Racaza v. De Ocampo, 37 SCRA 190 [1971]; Palisoc v. Brilliantes, 41 SCRA 548 [1971])
 
§ 4. When recoverable
 
1. In acts and actions referred to in Articles 21, 26, 27, 28, 30, 32, 34 and 35 of the New Civil
Code.
Moral damages may be awarded in cases referred to in the chapter on human relations of the
Civil Code without need of proof that the wrongful act complained of had caused any physical
injury upon the complainant. ([Stanfilco]  Dole Philippines, Inc. v. Rodriguez, 678 SCRA 651
[2012]; Padillo v. Rural Bank of Nabunturan, Inc., 689 SCRA 53 [2013])
 
 
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It was also awarded under the following instances:


(a) If the defendant maliciously undermines the credit standing of another.  (Coleongco v.
Claparols, 10 SCRA 577 [1964];  American Express Int’l., Inc. v. Intermediate Appellate
Court, 167 SCRA 209 [1988]) The financial credit of a businessman is a prized and valuable
asset, it being a significant part of the foundation of his business and any adverse reflection
thereon constitutes some financial loss to him. (Producers Bank of the Philippines v. Court
of Appeals, 365 SCRA 326 [2001])
(b) If a person sets a wedding and goes through all the necessary preparations and publicity,
only to walk out of it when the matrimony is about to be solemnized. (Wassmer v. Velez, 12
SCRA 648 [1964])
(c) The desertion and securing of an invalid divorce decree by one consort. (Tenchavez v.
Escaño, 15 SCRA 355 [1965])
(d) The abusive exercise of the right of dismissal by an employer. (Quisaba v. Sta. Ines-Melale
Veneer & Plywood, Inc., 58 SCRA 771 [1974])
(e) If a party was denied of irrigation water for his farm to make him vacate his landholding.
(Magbanua v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 137 SCRA 328 [1985])
(f) In cases of libel, slander or any other form of defamation because of the wounded feeling and
besmirched reputation sustained by the complainant. (Art. 2219[7], New Civil Code; Tulfo v.
People, 565 SCRA 283 [2008])
(g) Criminal offenses resulting in physical injuries, but there must be a factual basis for the
award. (People v. Aliviado, 247 SCRA 300 [1995]; Guillang v. Bedania, 588 SCRA 73 [2009])
 
 
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ANNOTATED
Moral Damages: When is
it Recoverable and When
is it Not Recoverable

(h) Where a party employed subterfuge in seizing a truck by misrepresenting its employees as
deputy sheriffs and then hiding and cannibalizing it. (Filinvest Credit Corporation v. Court
of Appeals, 248 SCRA 549 [1995])
(i) The discriminatory act of an airline in not according the same amenities equally to all its
stranded passengers who were similarly stranded due to a fortuitous event. (Philippine
Airlines, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 275 SCRA 621 [1997])
(j) The object of Article 32 of the New Civil Code is to put an end to official abuse by a plea of
good faith. (Newsounds Broadcasting Network, Inc. v. Dy, 583 SCRA 333 [2009])
2. In breach of contract of common carriers (Arts. 2206, 2220 & 1764, New Civil Code).
General rule and exceptions.
Generally, moral damages are not recoverable in an action predicated on a breach of contract
because such an action is not included in Article 2219 of the Civil Code as one of the actions in
which moral damages may be recovered.
The exceptions are:
(a) in instances where the carrier is guilty of fraud, bad faith, gross negligence as provided in
Article 2220 of the Civil Code; or
(b) where the mishap resulted in the death of a passenger as provided in Article 1764 in
relation to Article 2209(3) of the Civil Code. (Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. v. Esguerra,
117 SCRA 741 [1982]; Japan Airlines v. Simangan, 552 SCRA 341 [2008]) and
(c) when the act of breach of contract itself is constitutive of tort resulting in physical injuries.
(Expertravel & Tours, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 309 SCRA
 
 
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141 [1999]; Cruz v. Sun Holidays, Inc., 622 SCRA 389 [2010])


Thus, in one case, an award of moral damages in the amount of P100,000.00 each was given to
the parents of two persons who died in a vehicular accident due to a head-on collision. The
Supreme Court held: “The pain of the sudden loss of one’s offspring, especially of a son who was
in the prime of his youth, and who holds so much promise waiting to be fulfilled is indeed a
wellspring of intense pain which no parent should be made to suffer.” (Hernandez v. Dolor, 435
SCRA 668 [2004])
In another case, the amount of P2,500,000.00 was awarded as moral damages to the parents of
a 15-year-old student, whose head was severed during a school bus and a train collision in 1996.
(Pereña v. Zarate, 679 SCRA 208 [2012])
3. Due to the patent insincerity of the various amended complaint especially on unfounded
allegation of forgery. (Heirs of Basilisa Justiva v. Gustilo, 7 SCRA 72 [1963])
4. Where a party deliberately blocked totally their water supply by increasing the elevation
of the dam, without government authorization. (Del Valle-Tiongson v. Fernandez, 35 SCRA 352
[1970])
5. In a labor case, if there is a finding that the employee was illegally dismissed, or his
dismissal was attended by bad faith or fraud or constituted an act that is oppressive to labor, or
was done contrary to morals, good customs or public policy. (General Bank & Trust Co. v. Court of
Appeals, 135 SCRA 569 [1985];  McMer Corporation, Inc. v. National Labor Relations
Commission, 725 SCRA 1 [2014])
5.1 or he was dismissed without any formal investigation. (Seahorse Maritime Corporation v.
NLRC, 173 SCRA 390 [1989]
5.2 or he was harassed and arbitrarily terminated. (Cruz v. National Labor Relations
Commission, 324
 
 
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ANNOTATED
Moral Damages: When is
it Recoverable and When
is it Not Recoverable

SCRA 770 [2000]. See also Globe Mackay Cable and Radio Corp. v. Court of Appeals, 176
SCRA 778 [1989])
5.3 or the complainant was dismissed based only on the recommendation of the company’s
medical officers and not by a competent public health authority. (Cathay Pacific Airways,
Ltd. v. National Labor Relations Commission, 362 SCRA 316 [2001])
5.4 or where the employer committed an anti-social and oppressive abuse of its right to
investigate and dismiss an employee. (Sagum v. Court of Appeals, 459 SCRA 223 [2005])
5.5 Failure to deploy. Hence, an employee, despite having complete, regular and perfect
documents, was not allowed to leave (as a boatswain) while he was already at the airport,
for no reason at all. (Bright Maritime Corporation [BMC] v. Fantonial, 665 SCRA 350
[2012]. See also  C.F. Sharp & Co., Inc. v. Pioneer Insurance & Surety Corporation, 666
SCRA 210 [2012])
5.6 Where the employer deprived the employee of his employment for quarreling with the
cashier who happened to be his niece. (Lucena v. Pan-Trade, Inc., 172 SCRA 733 [1989])
5.7 Where the employee was abruptly dismissed in an oppressive manner. (Abbott
Laboratories, Philippines v. Alcaraz, 723 SCRA 25 [2014])
Thus, an award of moral damages cannot be justified solely upon the premise that the
employer fired his employee without just cause or due process. (Cocoland Development
Corporation v. National Labor Relations Commission, 259 SCRA 51 [1996])
An award of moral damages in an illegal dismissal case is not based on the Labor Code but it
is grounded on the New
 
 
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Civil Code. (Ford Philippines, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 267 SCRA 320 [1997]; Coca-Cola Bottlers
Philippines, Inc. v. Del Villar, 632 SCRA 293 [2010])
Likewise, an employer is liable to pay moral damages to an employee who was subjected to
sexual harassment, for the anxiety and the seen and unseen hurt that she suffered. (Philippine
Aeolus Automotive United Corporation v. National Labor Relations Commission, 331 SCRA 237
[2000])
6. It may be awarded to compensate one for diverse injuries such as mental anguish,
besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation and similar injury.
(Guita v. Court of Appeals, 139 SCRA 576 [1985]; Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company,
Inc. v. Paguio, 472 SCRA 453 [2005])
7. In a situation where two victims sustained physical suffering and injuries (gunshot
wounds in the right eye and jaw) and another victim died (who, despite giving her bag with
money was still shot at the back), in a highway robbery case, pursuant to Art. 2217 of the New
Civil Code. (People v. Chanas, 212 SCRA 65 [1992])
8. In cases of fraud and bad faith. (Bert Osmeña & Associates v. Court of Appeals, 120 SCRA
395 [1983]; Frias v. San Diego-Sison, 520 SCRA 244 [2007])
Bad faith does not simply connote bad judgment or negligence. It imports a dishonest purpose
or some moral obliquity and conscious doing of a wrong, a breach of known duty, through some
motive or interest or ill will that partakes of the nature of fraud. (Ford Philippines, Inc. v. Court
of Appeals, 267 SCRA 320 [1997]; Nazareno v. City of Dumaguete, 590 SCRA 110 [2009])
In ascertaining the intention of the persons accused of acting in bad faith, the courts must
carefully examine the evidence as to the conduct and outward acts from which the inward motive
may be determined. (Francisco v. Co, 481 SCRA 241 [2006])
 
 
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ANNOTATED
Moral Damages: When is
it Recoverable and When
is it Not Recoverable

8.1 Thus, where the plaintiff filed a baseless suit against the defendant who was a three-time
councilor in his town and his wife is a public school teacher, their counterclaim for moral
damages was granted. (Dongco v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 187 SCRA 541 [1990])
8.2 Where the act is so reckless, malicious, wanton or in bad faith, such as when a person
erased a video coverage of a couple’s wedding. (Go v. Court of Appeals, 272 SCRA 752
[1997])
9. A bank caused the unauthorized withdrawal of money from a depositors account in view of
forged checks. (Bank of the Philippine Islands v. Court of Appeals, 117 SCRA 628 [1982])
10. Where the company failed to attend to the request of a co-pilot who suffered severe brain
concussion. This was due to the poor judgment of the pilot in landing, thus over shooting the
runway and the co-pilot’s head hit the windshield of the plane. (Philippine Air Lines, Inc. v. Court
of Appeals, 106 SCRA 391 [1981])
11. Where the publication of a notice of extrajudicial foreclosure and sale at public auction in
a Sunday edition of a newspaper was placed in the society page instead of the legal notices
section, in extraordinarily large and boxed advertisements. (Danao v. Court of Appeals, 154
SCRA 446 [1987])
12. Where a student went through a painful ordeal like not being conferred a Magna Cum
Laude honors by the school during her graduation day, even if there was already a decision from
the Bureau of Public Schools directing the conferment of said honors. (Ledesma v. Court of
Appeals, 160 SCRA 449 [1988])
13. Where a person received jewelries for sale on commission with the agreement that they
will be returned upon demand if unsold. However, she did not return them, in
 
 
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breach of the trust reposed on her by the owner of the jewelries. (Hahn v. Court of Appeals, 173
SCRA 675 [1989])
14. Where the petitioner was discriminated against, coupled with oppressive acts done by the
school against her. (Sibal v. Notre Dame of Greater Manila, 182 SCRA 538 [1990])
15. After paying his insurance premium, an insured was informed that his insurance is
worthless. (Great Pacific Life Insurance Corporation v. Court of Appeals, 184 SCRA 501 [1990])
16. The award of moral damages is granted to a family since it cannot be denied that they
suffered wounded feelings, mental anguish and serious anxiety while keeping watch on
Christmas day over the remains of their loved one who could not be buried to rest on the date she
herself had chosen. (Barzaga v. Court of Appeals, 268 SCRA 105 [1997])
Where, after making a deposit and payment of a car, the dealer sold the same car to another
without the knowledge of the original buyer. (Xentrex Automotive, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 291
SCRA 66 [1998])
17. When the rights of individuals, including the right against deprivation of property
without due process of law, are violated. (Quisumbing v. Manila Electric Company, 380 SCRA
195 [2002])
18. Where a person committed fraud in obtaining title to a disputed property. (Valenzuela v.
Mano, Jr., 624 SCRA 664 [2010]; Heirs of Victorino Sarili v. Lagrosa, 713 SCRA 726 [2014], as
when a person uses falsified documents to enable himself to acquire title to and sell the subject
lots to the petitioners to the prejudice of another. (Skunac Corporation v. Sylianteng, 723 SCRA
625 [2014])
19. In kidnapping for ransom, moral damages is in the amount of P100,000.00, without need
of proof because the victim is assumed to have suffered. (People v. Con-ui, 712 SCRA 764 [2013])
However, in another kidnapping case with
 
 
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ANNOTATED
Moral Damages: When is
it Recoverable and When
is it Not Recoverable

the use of high powered firearms, the victims (two minors), and three others, were awarded a
total of P600,000.00 as moral damages due to physical and psychological trauma that they
suffered even if they paid a ransom consisting of jewelries and money. (People v. Garalde, 521
SCRA 327 [2007])
20. A telegraph company was held liable for moral damages because of its gross negligence or
carelessness in transmitting a condolence message expressing sadness and sorrow in a “Happy
Birthday” card and placed inside a “Christmasgram” envelope. (Radio Communications of the
Phils., Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 195 SCRA 147 [1991])
 
§ 5. Instances where Moral Damages are notrecoverable
 
Moral damages are not recoverable under the following:
(1) If there is no competent evidence that the complainant acted in bad faith in filing
an estafa case against the respondent. (Sison v. David, 1 SCRA 60 [1961])
(2) If the breach of contract is not malicious or fraudulent. (Francisco v. GSIS, 7 SCRA 577
[1963])
(3) In an action by a client against a lawyer who was negligent in not perfecting the client’s
appeal. (Ventanilla v. Centeno, 1 SCRA 215 [1961])
(4) Where the cause of an injury was an innocent prank committed by a minor (where she
tossed a rubber headband at a classmate, saying it was an earthworm to frighten her. It hit her
right eye, rubbed it, it got swollen which required surgery but lost her eyesight thereafter) which
is not unusual among children at play and which parent, no matter how careful could have
anticipated. (Cuadra v. Monfort, 35 SCRA 160 [1970])
(5) Where the petitioner did not act maliciously and in bad faith in filing a damage suit
against respondent. (Grapi-
 
 
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lon v. Municipal Council of Carigara, 2 SCRA 103 [1961]; See also  Solis & Yarisantos v.
Salvador, 14 SCRA 887 [1965])
A resort to judicial processes is not, per se, evidence of ill will upon which a claim for moral
damages may be based. (Ceballos v. Intestate Estate of the Late Emigdio Mercado, 430 SCRA 323
[2004])
There should be no penalty on the right to litigate. (Equitable Banking Corp. v. Intermediate
Appellate Court, 133 SCRA 135 [1984]) Thus, the worries and anxiety of a defendant in a
litigation that was not maliciously instituted are not the moral damages contemplated in law.
(Ramos v. Ramos, 61 SCRA 284 [1974]; Felisilda v. Villanueva, 139 SCRA 431 [1985]) If damage
results from the filing of the complaint, it is  damnum absque injuria. (Ilocos Norte Electric
Company v. Court of Appeals, 179 SCRA 5 [1989])
(6) The fact that a woman was banned from representing herself as “Mrs. X” does not
authorize the award of moral damages in favor of the man’s lawful wife, there being no showing
that it was done in bad faith or through culpable negligence. (Silva v. Peralta, 2 SCRA 1025
[1961]) Thus, the mere use of a surname cannot be enjoined; it is the use thereof coupled with the
representation that one is the lawful wife or the usurpation of the wife’s status, which gives rise
to an action for damages. (Dapar v. Biascan, 439 SCRA 179 [2004])
(7) In a breach of contract of transportation where there is no evidence of fraud, malice or
bad faith on the part of the carrier. (Mercado v. Lira, 3 SCRA 124 [1961]; Martinez v. Gonzales, 6
SCRA 331 [1962])
(8) In case of breach of promise to marry (Galang v. Court of Appeals, 4 SCRA 55 [1962]),
except where the plaintiff has actually incurred expenses for the wedding and the necessary
incidents thereof. (Bunag, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, 211 SCRA 440 [1992]) or where the respondent
employed fraud and deceit. (Gashem Shookat Baksh v. Court of Appeals,
 
 
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702 SUPREME COURT
REPORTS
ANNOTATED
Moral Damages: When is
it Recoverable and When
is it Not Recoverable

219 SCRA 115 [1993]) No damages may be awarded where sexual intercourse was the product of
mutual desire. (Constantino v. Mendez, 209 SCRA 18 [1982])
(9) Where a party filed a petition for annulment of sale on the honest belief that the transfer
was not really effected in the sense that there was no consideration of the sale. (Luna v. Santos, 5
SCRA 71 [1962])
(10) If there is no proof of mental suffering, fright, anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded
feelings, moral shock and similar injury. (Gutierrez v. Villegas, 8 SCRA 527 [1963]; Macalino, Jr.
v. People, 340 SCRA 11 [2000])
(11) Where an official sends a harsh and strongly worded letter to his superior. It is not
actionable since it is considered as a privileged communication. (Deaño v. Godinez, 12 SCRA 483
[1964])
(12) In a labor case, if there is no finding that the nonpayment of salaries is malicious,
fraudulent or in bad faith. (Perez v. Court of Appeals, 13 SCRA 137 [1965]. See also  Dolores v.
National Labor Relations Commission, 205 SCRA 348 [1992])
(13) Persons who are government officials sued in their official capacities. (Cariño v.
Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Financing Administration, 18 SCRA 183 [1966];  Enciso v.
Remo, 29 SCRA 580 [1969])
(14) If the complaint is based on an honest mistake in the appreciation of the applicable law
and jurisprudence. (Laurel-Manila v. Galvan, 20 SCRA 198 [1967])
(15) In the absence of a wrongful act or omission or of fraud or bad faith. (R & B Surety &
Insurance Co., Inc. v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 129 SCRA 736 [1984]; People v. Malngan, 503
SCRA 294 [2006])
(16) It cannot be imposed as a penalty on plaintiff for filing a case although it was erroneous.
Sound principles of justice and public policy demand that persons shall have free resort to courts
of law for redress of wrongs and vindication of
 
 
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their rights without fear of later on standing trial for damages should their actions lose ground.
(Quimpo v. Mendoza, 107 SCRA 73 [1981];  Teodoro v. Continental Cement Corporation, 682
SCRA 1 [2012])
(17) If there is no proof that the vendor in selling mislabeled capacitors acted maliciously and
with deliberate intent to defraud the public. (Dee Hua Liong Electrical Equipment Corporation v.
Reyes, 145 SCRA 713 [1986])
(18) In ejectment cases. (Baens v. Court of Appeals, 125 SCRA 634 [1983]) Damages in
ejectment cases is limited to “rent” and “fair rental value” for the use and occupation of the
property. (Sparrevohn v. Fisher, 2 Phil. 676 [1903]; Antique Development Corporation v. Rabacal,
680 SCRA 79 [2012]) The exception to this rule is, where there is an additional award which
consists of stipulated liquidated damages. (Azcuna, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, 255 SCRA 215 [1996])
(19) A government employee who was dismissed but whose reinstatement was later ordered
is not entitled to moral damages where he refused to report for work despite several calls for said
purpose. (Octot v. Ybañez, 111 SCRA 79 [1982])
(20) If a case is not maliciously prosecuted. (IPO Limestone Co., Inc. v. Machinery &
Engineering Supplies Co., Inc., 130 SCRA 511 [1984])
(21) Where mistake in the issuance of a check was rectified and the payee was paid in full in
the amount of the check. (Manila Banking Corporation v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 131
SCRA 271 [1984])
(22) Where there is no factual basis of the complaint or there is no evidence on record that
the victim suffered sleepless nights, serious anxiety, fright, or similar injury. (People v. Sequiño,
264 SCRA 79 [1996]; People v. De Jesus, 429 SCRA 384 [2004])
(23) Where it was the plaintiff himself who brought embarrassment to himself by bragging
about a thing which he
 
 
704

704 SUPREME COURT


REPORTS
ANNOTATED
Moral Damages: When is
it Recoverable and When
is it Not Recoverable

did not yet own. (Toyota Shaw, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 244 SCRA 320 [1995]. See also Orosa v.
Court of Appeals, 329 SCRA 652 [2000])
(24) Where the complainant did not pray or ask for it or present evidence that she
experienced moral suffering. (People v. Adora, 275 SCRA 441 [1997];  Congregation of the
Religious of the Virgin Mary v. Court of Appeals, 291 SCRA 385 [1998])
(25) Where a person gatecrashes a party and he was subsequently asked to leave after
partaking of the food. (Nikko Hotel Manila Garden v. Reyes, 452 SCRA 532 [2005])
(26) Embarrassment cannot be the basis of moral damages. In a case, the tray containing the
drinks was overturned and fell on a customer and some people laughed at her. It drenched her
clothes and underwear, felt some chill and splinters from the broken glasses and destroyed her
dress. (Bagumbayan Corp. v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 132 SCRA 441 [1984])
(27) A consenting female adult and her parents cannot recover damages in case the former
will have a love child. There is nothing in law or jurisprudence that entitles the parents of a
consenting adult who begets a love child to damages. (Verceles v. Posada, 522 SCRA 518 [2007])
(28) Press statements from court records are not actionable because they are matters of
record which were publicly heard and open for public consumption. (Strebel v. Figueras, 96 Phil.
321 [1954])
 
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