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Miyerkules, Mayo 16, 2018

Travel n Tours v. Cruz et. al.


Edgar Hernandez owns an Isuzu Passenger Jitney which he was driving along Angeles-Magalang Road. A passenger bus (RCJ Bus Lines) owned by Travel & Tours was driven by Edgar Calaycay. The bus was travelling in the same direction as the jeepney. The bus bumped the rear portion of the jeepney causing it to ram into an acacia tree and resulted in the death of Alberto Cruz and serious physical injuries of Virginia Muñoz.

Hernandez, Muñoz and the father of Alberto Cruz filed a complaint for damages claiming that the Calaycay was negligent in driving the bus. Travel & Tours claimed the exercise of diligence of the good father of the family in hiring Calaycay and further claimed that it was Hernandez’ negligence that caused the accident when the jeep cut across the lane of the bus.


Whether or not Travel & Tours is liable for damages.


YES. Travel & Tours is liable for damages.

As owner of the bus and employer of Calaycay, Travel & Tours is liable.

Article 2176 of the Civil Code provides:

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

Article 2180 states:

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

Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry x x x."

Article 2180, in relation to Article 2176, of the Civil Code provides that the employer of a negligent employee is liable for the damages caused by the latter. When an injury is caused by the negligence of an employee there instantly arises a presumption of the law that there was negligence on the part of the employer either in the selection of his employee or in the supervision over him after such selection. The presumption, however, may be rebutted by a clear showing on the part of the employer that it had exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of his employee. Hence, to escape solidary liability for quasi-delict committed by an employee, the employer must adduce sufficient proof that it exercised such degree of care. In this case, the petitioner failed to do so.

Edgar Calaycay was duly authorized by the defendant company to drive the bus at the time of the incident. Petitioner’s claim that it has issued policies, rules and regulations to be followed, conduct seminars and see to it that their drivers and employees imbibe such policies, rules and regulations, have their drivers and conductors medically checked-up and undergo drug-testing, did not show that all these rudiments were applied to Edgar Calaycay. No iota of evidence was presented that Edgar Calaycay had undergone all these activities to ensure that he is a safe and capable driver. In fact, the defendant company did not put up a defense on the said driver. The defendant company did not even secure a counsel to defend the driver.

Travel & Tours did not even know the correct and true name of its drivers. In one of the pieces of evidence presented by Travel & Tours, the name of the driver was Calaycay Francisco. Hence, the liability of the employer for the tortuous acts or negligence of its employer is primary and solidary, direct and immediate, and not conditional upon the insolvency of prior recourse against the negligent employee.

However, both vehicles were not in their authorized routes at the time of the incident the jeepney was in violation of its allowed route as found by the RTC and the CA, hence, the owner and driver of the jeepney likewise, are guilty of negligence as defined under Article 2179 of the Civil Code:

When the plaintiffs negligence was the immediate and proximate cause of his injury, he cannot recover damages. But if his negligence was only contributory, the immediate and proximate cause of the injury being the defendant’s lack of due care, the plaintiff may recover damages, but the courts shall mitigate the damages to be awarded.

Since it has been established that the proximate cause of the death of Alberto Cruz, Jr. is the negligence of Calaycay with the contributory negligence of Hernandez, the heirs of Alberto Cruz, Jr. shall recover damages of only 50% of the award from petitioner and its driver and the other 50% by Hernandez.

Malayan Insurance v. Alibudbud


Diana Alibudbud,employed by Malayan Insurance as the Senior Vice President for its Sales Department was issued a Honda Civic sedan with the following conditions: (1) she must continuously stay and serve Malayan for at least three full years from the date of the availment of the Car Financing Plan; and (2) that in case of resignation, retirement or termination before the three-year period, she shall pay in full 100% share of Malayan and the outstanding balance of his/her share of the cost of the motor vehicle.

Alibudbud execute a Promissory Note and a Deed of Chattel Mortgage in the amount of P360,000.00. One of the stipulations in the Deed state that Alibudbud shall refund Malayan an amount equivalent to its 50% equity share in the motor vehicle, or P360,000.00 if she leaves Malayan within three years from the availment of the subject vehicle.

Alibudbud was dismissed from Malayan due to redundancy. Malayan demanded that she surrender possession of the car but Alibudbud refused to do so.

Malayan instituted a complaint for Replevin. Afterwards, Alibudbud filed an illegal dismissal case against Malayan. She also sought for the suspension of the proceedings on the action for Replevin on the grounds that the illegal dismissal case was a prejudicial question. The complaint for illegal dismissal was dismissed.

The RTC granted the replevin and stated that: Alibudbud is under obligation to pay in full the acquisition cost of the car issued to her by Malayan; Alibudbud's ownership over the car is not yet absolute for it bears the notation "encumbered", thereby signifying her obligation to pay its value within the period set forth in the Promissory Note and Deed of Chattel Mortgage; and that the replevin action was converted into a money claim in view of Alibudbud's vehement refusal to surrender the possession of the car.

The CA dismissed the action for replevin on the grounds that the RTC has no jurisdiction on the action for replevin as there was an “employer-employee” relationship which was, in effect, a pre-condition before one can avail of the car financing plan.


Whether or not the RTC properly took cognizance of the Replevin case; Whether or not the parties’ relationship to each other is that of an “employer-employee”


YES, the RTC properly took cognizance of the Replevin case. The relationship of the parties is that of debtor and creditor. Malayan's demand for Alibudbud to pay the 50% company equity over the car or, to surrender its possession, is civil in nature. The trial court's ruling also aptly noted the Promissory Note and Deed of Chattel Mortgage voluntarily signed by Alibudbud to secure her financial obligation to avail of the car being offered under Malayan's Car Financing Plan. The issue in the replevin action is separate and distinct from the illegal dismissal case.

Kuan and Ching v. Ho et. al.


Tan Siok Kuan and Pute Ching are owners of parcels of land in Quezon City. They have been leasing portions of the property to the defendants since 1972. On 07 February 2003, they notified defendants of their failure to pay rentals (from the period of September 1997 to December 2002). For failure to pay the rentals and vacating the premises, seven (7) unlawful detainer cases were filed by the petitioners against the defendants.

Defendants Bombita, Gagarin and Napolitano allege that the lease agreements they executed were void ab initio as the petitioners were Chinese nationals who are not entitled to own real property in the Philippines. They also claim possession since 1968, and that as a result, plaintiffs should have filed  an accion publiciana and not an action for unlawful detainer.

Defendants Ho, Returta, Salas and Malonzo claim that they have been in possession of the premises in 1966 (for 37 years) and that they have not paid rentals since their possession; that the photocopied Transfer Certificate of Titles presented by petitioners were mere photocopies; and that the cause of action should have been accion publiciana since no lease contract exists between the parties.


Whether or not there was a lessor-lessee relationship between the two parties.


NONE.  There is no lessor-lessee relationship between the parties.

Petitioners’ claims were bare allegations, showing no evidence of an express or implied lease. There was no mention of how and when the alleged contract of lease started, there was no proof of prior payment of rentals or any prior demand for such payment considering that the alleged failure to pay rentals was way back in 1997 and the case was only instituted in 2003.

* An implied admission of a lessor-lessee relationship falls under the exceptions to the principle of res inter alios acta.

Anecito Campos v. BPI (substituted by Houston Homedepot Inc.)


Anecito Campos mortgaged fourteen (14) lots in favour of Far East Bank and Trust Co. who merged with BPI(Bank) to secure a loan of P1 Million. On one of the vacant lots mortgaged, Campos constructed a 2-storey building with the knowledge and consent of the Bank. Campos defaulted and the Bank moved for the extra judicial foreclosure of the mortgaged properties.

As the Bank was the highest bidder during the public auction, the Bank was issued a Certificate of Sale. Campos failed to redeem the properties during the legal redemption period. Hence, the Bank filed a writ of possession before the Regional Trial Court. But before the Order for the Writ of Possession became final and executory, Campos filed a Motion for the Suspension of the Implementation of the Writ of Possession and/or to Allow Mortgagor to Present Evidence of Good Faith.

Campos claims that he was in good faith when the 2-storey building was constructed. He claims that he has the right to retain possession of the building and the lot until the Bank reimburses him for the value of the building.

The Bank opposed, claiming that the purchaser in a foreclosure sale has no obligation to reimburse the mortgagor for the value of the improvements. It also cited a stipulation in the Mortgage Contract which states that the mortgagor transfers the parcel of land “together with all the buildings and improvements now existing or which may hereafter be erected or constructed thereon…” Houston HomeDepot was impleaded in the case as it was the Bank’s transferee pendente lite.

RTC denied Campos’ motion for lack of merit. It also denied Campos’ motion for reconsideration, hence the Petition for Certiorari.


a. Whether or not the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion when it denied Campos’ motion to suspend the implementation of the writ of possession.

b. Whether or not Campos’ can claim that he is a builder in good faith and therefore entitled to reimbursement from the Bank.


a. No. The RTC did not commit grave abuse of discretion in denying Campos’ motion.

Section 7 of Act No. 3135 states that:

"In any sale made under the provisions of this Act, the purchaser may petition the Court of First Instance of the province or place where the property or any part thereof is situated, to give him possession thereof during the redemption period, furnishing bond in an amount equivalent to the use of the property for a period of twelve months, to indemnify the debtor in case it be shown that the sale was made without violating the period of twelve months, to indemnify the debtor in case it be shown that the sale was made without violating the mortgage or without complying the requirements of this Act. Such petition shall be made under oath and filed in the form of an ex parte motion x x x and the court shall, upon approval of the bond, order that a writ of possession issue, addressed to the sheriff of the province in which the property is situated, who shall execute said order immediately." (emphasis supplied)

This provision explicitly allows the purchaser of a foreclosed property to file an ex parte motion to acquire possession of the property. Since Campos never questioned the validity of the foreclosure sale, his remedy was to institute a separate value of the improvements This provision explicitly allows the purchaser of a foreclosed property to file an ex parte motion to acquire possession of the property. Since Campos never questioned the validity of the foreclosure sale, his remedy was to institute a separate civil action for the value of the improvements (i.e. the building).

Failure to redeem the foreclosed property extinguishes the mortgagor’s remaining interest in it. Following the consolidation of ownership and the issuance of a new title in the purchaser’s name, the purchaser can demand possession at any time as a result of his absolute ownership. It becomes a ministerial duty of the court to issue the writ of possession. The only exception to this is if the property is possessed by a third party whose possession is adverse to the mortgagor.

b. Campos cannot claim that he is a builder in good faith. Articles 448, 350 and 456 of the Civil Code do not apply in his situation. The articles contemplate situations when a person builds on the land of another. In Campos’ case, he built on his own property.

Also, following the principle of Autonomy of Contracts – that contractual obligations have the force of law between the parties and should be complied with in good faith – Campos’ voluntarily included the building when he entered into the mortgage contract with the Bank.

Sabado, Hulyo 9, 2016

The Technicalities of Taking The Bar

So, you just graduated from law school. What. A. Relief. 

And then you're only allowed a day, a week or two to celebrate because guess what? You need to prepare for another exam just to get your license to practice what you have been studying for what seems like a lifetime. Like what most of the blogs have been saying, there is no standard formula for passing the Bar. It's a combination of studying your brains out, praying your heart out and a little bit of luck. :)

What rarely one writes about are the technicalities. So I'm here to write about them - from getting your bar permit to the time you receive your test booklets and questionnaires. 

1. Filing a Petition to Take The Bar Examinations
Yes, you do have to file a petition to take the Bar. It's usually in pro-forma so all you have to do is fill out the blank spaces and have it notarized. You can ask your school if they have a sample form for you to copy. Also, you need to pay P3,500.00 for the filing fee and an additional fee of P200.00 for every time you take it again. You also have to submit three 1.5x1.5 I.D. pictures with your full name on it and a self-addressed stamped envelope. (Why an envelope? Because the Supreme Court (SC) is going to snail mail your Bar exam results.)
If you're lucky your school is going to take care of the rest of the requirements but for posterity's sake, I'm going to list them all down here:
  • Birth Certificate ( NSO or Local Civil Registrar)
  • Marriage Certificate for married female applicants (NSO or Local Civil Registrar)
  • Two Testimonials of Good Moral Character executed by a member of the IBP
  • Pre-Law Transcript
  • Law Degree Transcript
  • Certificate of No Derogatory Record
  • Certification by the School Registrar executed under oath and noted by the Law Dean that the applicant graduated law and his/her name is included in the LEB Certification
Note: These are all requirements for new applicants. For those with special concerns, please refer to the SC website for additional requirements.

Where do you submit all these requirements? At the Office of the Bar Confidant. You can just go directly to the SC entrance and the guards will direct you to where it is. Upon submission of these requirements, you will receive a slip of paper containing a date and a reference number. Note that this is NOT your Bar Candidate number.

2. Getting Your Bar Permit
On the date indicated in that slip of paper, you have to call the OBC to ask if your permit's ready. Pro-tip: you can always ask someone to call for you, just don't forget to give that person your reference number. After the go signal, you need to personally go to the SC to get your permit. Accompanying it are your building and room assignments, a map of the venue and sample instructions for the exam's questionnaire.

At this point in your life, you are going to realize that it's really going down, so I advise you to just focus on studying and keep calm. You can read the sample instructions at a later time.

3. A  Day Before D Day
The day before the first day of the examinations is the second most nerve-wracking moment of your life. First being, the day of the release of the results. This is important because it will set the tone for the rest of the exam days. Before sleeping or attempting to sleep, check that you have your permits with you, at least two sign pens, and read the instructions that the SC has previously given. Write your name on the room assignment. Don't worry, there's no format for writing your name on such. 

And don't forget candy or any kind of brain food because the exams are four hours long for each subject! Eat your breakfast too!

4. Inside the Examination's Venue
Once you're inside the venue, it's pretty easy from there. Just follow the hordes of people going towards one direction, enter the building and find your room assignment. The I.D.s are usually color-coded for each building assignment.

You can study outside (or inside) your room until 30 minutes before exam time. The proctors will have you place your bags outside the room and only your ballpen, permit, snacks and water will be allowed inside the room. You have to submit your permit to the proctor upon every exam. For the duration of the 30 minutes, no one is allowed to go out as the questionnaires and your exam booklets are distributed. Your questionnaires are placed faced down. You are not allowed to peek at them but you can count the number of pages of your questionnaire just to be sure you are not missing a page. The exams start and end on time unless the Bar examiner announces an extension (because of the difficulty of the exam.)

You can write on your questionnaires and have the option to keep them after every exam. BUT do not forget to get your permit from the proctor. As for bathroom breaks, you are allowed to have them but you will be accompanied by a watcher. After taking the last exam (Ethics, woohooo!!!), the proctor will not return your exam permits. CONGRATS, you can finally breathe! Now go and enjoy the Salubong! :)

Miyerkules, Nobyembre 20, 2013

Anti-Graft League of the Philippines v. San Juan

Marcos issued a decree establishing the Technological Colleges of Rizal. It directed the Board to provide funds for the purchase of 4 parcels of land which belonged to Ortigas &Co. For 12 yrs, the land was idle and construction did not materialize so the Board authorized the selling of the lot. This was sold to Valley View Realty. Ortigas filed for rescission of contract contending that it violated the terms of the contract by selling such lot to Valley View. The Board made a Resolution providing for the rescission of the deed of sale to Valley View.
Valley View filed a case against the Province of Rizal for specific performance but was dismissed. Thereafter, a compromise agreement was executed  between Province and Ortigas to reconvey the lots to Ortigas. The Anti-Graft League of the Philippines is a non-government organization, constituted to protect the interest of the Republic and its instrumentalities and political subdivisions against abuses its public official and employees, claims the instant petition for certiorari is a taxpayer’s suit because the Provincial Board of Rizal allegedly illegally disbursed public funds in transactions involving the land.

W/N this is a case of taxpayer’s suit.

To constitute a taxpayer’s suit, two requisites: (1) that public funds are disbursed by a political subdivision or instrumentality and (2) in doing so, a law is violated or some irregularity is committed, and that the petitioner is directly affected by the alleged ultra vires act.
In the case at bar, petitioner’s standing should not even be made an issue here since standing is a concept in constitutional law and here no constitutional question is actually involved. The disbursement of public funds was only made when the Province bought the lands from Ortigas. Petitioner never referred to such purchase as an illegal disbursement of public funds but focused on the alleged fraudulent reconveyance of said property to Ortigas because the price paid was lower than the prevailing market value of neighboring lots.
As a taxpayer, petitioner would somehow be adversely affected by an illegal use of public money. But when no such unlawful spending has been shown petitioner, even as a taxpayer, cannot question the transaction executed by the Province and Ortigas for the reason that it is not privy to said contract.   

Sabado, Setyembre 14, 2013

Republic v CA and Quintos (G.R. No. 159594)

Eduardo and Catalina were married in civil rites. However, the couple were not blessed with a child because Catalina had a hysterectomy following her second marriage.

Eduardo filed a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage citing psychological incapacity as a ground. He alleged that Catalina always left the house without his consent; that she engaged in petty arguments with him; that she constantly refused to give in to his sexual needs; that she spent most of her time gossiping with neighbors instead of caring for their adopted daughter; that she gambled away all his remittances as an overseas worker; and that she abandoned the conjugal home with her paramour.

As support to his claim of psychological incapacity, he also presented the results of a neuro-psychiatric evaluation conducted by Dr. Annabelle Reyes stating that Catalina exhibited traits of a borderline personality disorder that was no longer treatable.

Catalina did not appear during trial but admitted her psychological incapacity. She denied flirting with different men and abandoning the conjugal home.

Whether or not Catalina was psychologically incapacitated to fulfill marital duties.

No. Marriage remains valid.

Psychological incapacity is an incapacity/inability to take cognizance of and to assume basic marital obligations, and is not merely the difficulty, refusal or neglect in the performance of marital obligations.

In Republic v CA(Molina), the Supreme Court has established guidelines involving the nullity of marriage based on the ground of psychological incapacity. These were not met in the instant case since the gravity, root cause and incurability of Catalina's purported psychological incapacity were not sufficiently established.

Catalina's behavior of frequent gossiping, leaving the house without Eduardo's consent, refusal to do household chores, and take care of their adopted daughter were not established. Eduardo presented no other witness to corroborate these allegations.

Also, the RTC and CA heavily relied on Dr. Reyes' evaluation despite any factual foundation to support this claim. The report was vague about the root cause, gravity and incurability of the incapacity.Even the testimony of Dr. Reyes stated a general description of borderline personality disorder which did not explain the root cause as to why Catalina  was diagnosed as such. They did not specify the acts or omissions or the gravity which constituted the disorder. What was established was that Catalina was childish and immature.

Furthermore, Dr. Reyes had only one interview with Catalina. This lacks the depth and objectivity of an expert assessment.

From the scant evidence presented, it can be adduced that Catalina's immaturity and apparent refusal to perform her marital obligations do not constitute psychological incapacity alone. It must be shown that such immature acts were manifestations of a disordered personality that made the spouse completely unable to discharge the essential obligations of marriage.