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EN BANC

G.R. No. L-23052 January 29, 1968


CITY O !ANILA, "#$%$%on#r,
&'.
GENARO N. TEOTICO an( CO)RT O A**EAL+, r#'"on(#n$'.
C%$y %',a- !anu#- T. R#y#' .or "#$%$%on#r.
+#&%--a, /a0a an( A''o,%a$#' .or r#'"on(#n$'.
CONCEPCION, C.J.:
Appeal by certiorari from a decision of the Court of Appeals.
On January 2, !"#$, at about $:%% p.m., &enaro N. 'eotico (as at the corner of the Old
)uneta and P. *ur+os A,enue, -anila, (ithin a .loadin+ and unloadin+. /one, (aitin+ for
a 0eepney to ta1e him do(n to(n. After (aitin+ for about fi,e minutes, he mana+ed to
hail a 0eepney that came alon+ to a stop. As he stepped do(n from the curb to board the
0eepney, and too1 a fe( steps, he fell inside an unco,ered and unli+hted catch basin or
manhole on P. *ur+os A,enue. 2ue to the fall, his head hit the rim of the manhole
brea1in+ his eye+lasses and causin+ bro1en pieces thereof to pierce his left eyelid. As
blood flo(ed therefrom, impairin+ his ,ision, se,eral persons came to his assistance and
pulled him out of the manhole. One of them brou+ht 'eotico to the Philippine &eneral
3ospital, (here his in0uries (ere treated, after (hich he (as ta1en home. In addition to
the lacerated (ound in his left upper eyelid, 'eotico suffered contusions on the left thi+h,
the left upper arm, the ri+ht le+ and the upper lip apart from an abrasion on the ri+ht
infra4patella re+ion. 'hese in0uries and the aller+ic eruption caused by anti4tetanus
in0ections administered to him in the hospital, re5uired further medical treatment by a
pri,ate practitioner (ho char+ed therefor P!,6%%.%%.
As a conse5uence of the fore+oin+ occurrence, 'eotico filed, (ith the Court of 7irst
Instance of -anila, a complaint 8 (hich (as, subse5uently, amended 8 for dama+es
a+ainst the City of -anila, its mayor, city en+ineer, city health officer, city treasurer and
chief of police. As stated in the decision of the trial court, and 5uoted (ith appro,al by
the Court of Appeals,
At the time of the incident, plaintiff (as a practicin+ public accountant, a businessman
and a professor at the 9ni,ersity of the East. 3e held responsible positions in ,arious
business firms li1e the Philippine -erchandisin+ Co., the A.9. :alencia and Co., the
;il,er ;(an -anufacturin+ Company and the ;incere Pac1in+ Corporation. 3e (as also
associated (ith se,eral ci,ic or+ani/ations such as the <ac1 <ac1 &olf Club, the
Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, =>s -en Club of -anila and the ?ni+hts of
@i/al. As a result of the incident, plaintiff (as pre,ented from en+a+in+ in his customary
occupation for t(enty days. Plaintiff has lost a daily income of about P#%.%% durin+ his
incapacity to (or1. *ecause of the incident, he (as sub0ected to humiliation and ridicule
by his business associates and friends. 2urin+ the period of his treatment, plaintiff (as
under constant fear and anAiety for the (elfare of his minor children since he (as their
only support. 2ue to the filin+ of this case, plaintiff has obli+ated himself to pay his
counsel the sum of P2,%%%.%%.
On the other hand, the defense presented e,idence, oral and documentary, to pro,e that
the ;torm 2rain ;ection, Office of the City En+ineer of -anila, recei,ed a report of the
unco,ered condition of a catchbasin at the corner of P. *ur+os and Old )uneta ;treets,
-anila, on January 26, !"#$, but the same (as co,ered on the same day BEAhibit 6CD that
a+ain the iron co,er of the same catch basin (as reported missin+ on January E%, !"#$,
but the said co,er (as replaced the neAt day BEAhibit #CD that the Office of the City
En+ineer ne,er recei,ed any report to the effect that the catch basin in 5uestion (as not
co,ered bet(een January 2# and 2", !"F$D that it has al(ays been a policy of the said
office, (hich is char+ed (ith the duty of installation, repair and care of storm drains in
the City of -anila, that (hene,er a report is recei,ed from (hate,er source of the loss of
a catchbasin co,er, the matter is immediately attended to, either by immediately replacin+
the missin+ co,er or co,erin+ the catchbasin (ith steel mattin+ that because of the
lucrati,e scrap iron business then pre,ailin+, stealin+ of iron catchbasin co,ers (as
rampantD that the Office of the City En+ineer has filed complaints in court resultin+ from
theft of said iron co,ersD that in order to pre,ent such thefts, the city +o,ernment has
chan+ed the position and layout of catchbasins in the City by constructin+ them under the
side(al1s (ith concrete cement co,ers and openin+s on the side of the +utterD and that
these chan+es had been underta1en by the city from time to time (hene,er funds (ere
a,ailable.
After appropriate proceedin+s the Court of 7irst Instance of -anila rendered the
aforementioned decision sustainin+ the theory of the defendants and dismissin+ the
amended complaint, (ithout costs.
On appeal ta1en by plaintiff, this decision (as affirmed by the Court of Appeals, eAcept
insofar as the City of -anila is concerned, (hich (as sentenced to pay dama+es in the
a++re+ate sum of PF,#%.%%. ! 3ence, this appeal by the City of -anila.
'he first issue raised by the latter is (hether the present case is +o,erned by ;ection 6 of
@epublic Act No. 6%" BCharter of the City of -anilaC readin+:
'he city shall not be liable or held for dama+es or in0uries to persons or property arisin+
from the failure of the -ayor, the -unicipal *oard, or any other city officer, to enforce
the pro,isions of this chapter, or any other la( or ordinance, or from ne+li+ence of said
-ayor, -unicipal *oard, or other officers (hile enforcin+ or attemptin+ to enforce said
pro,isions.
or by Article 2!$" of the Ci,il Code of the Philippines (hich pro,ides:
Pro,inces, cities and municipalities shall be liable for dama+es for the death of, or
in0uries suffered by, any person by reason of defecti,e conditions of road, streets, brid+es,
public buildin+s, and other public (or1s under their control or super,ision.
-anila maintains that the former pro,ision should pre,ail o,er the latter, because
@epublic Act 6%", is a special la(, intended eAclusi,ely for the City of -anila, (hereas
the Ci,il Code is a +eneral la(, applicable to the entire Philippines.
'he Court of Appeals, ho(e,er, applied the Ci,il Code, and, (e thin1, correctly. It is true
that, insofar as its territorial application is concerned, @epublic Act No. 6%" is a special
la( and the Ci,il Code a +eneral le+islationD but, as re+ards the sub0ect4matter of the
pro,isions abo,e 5uoted, ;ection 6 of @epublic Act 6%" establishes a +eneral rule
re+ulatin+ the liability of the City of -anila for: .dama+es or in0ury to persons or
property arisin+ from the failure of. city officers .to enforce the pro,isions of. said Act
.or any other la( or ordinance, or from ne+li+ence. of the city .-ayor, -unicipal *oard,
or other officers (hile enforcin+ or attemptin+ to enforce said pro,isions.. 9pon the
other hand, Article 2!$" of the Ci,il Code constitutes a particular prescription ma1in+
.pro,inces, cities and municipalities . . . liable for dama+es for the death of, or in0ury
suffered by any person by reason. 8 specifically 8 .of the defecti,e condition of roads,
streets, brid+es, public buildin+s, and other4public (or1s under their control or
super,ision.. In other (ords, said section 6 refers to liability arisin+ from ne+li+ence, in
+eneral, re+ardless of the ob0ect thereof, (hereas Article 2!$" +o,erns liability due to
.defecti,e streets,. in particular. ;ince the present action is based upon the alle+ed
defecti,e condition of a road, said Article 2!$" is decisi,e thereon.
It is ur+ed that the City of -anila cannot be held liable to 'eotico for dama+es: !C
because the accident in,ol,in+ him too1 place in a national hi+h(ayD and 2C because the
City of -anila has not been ne+li+ent in connection there(ith.
As re+ards the first issue, (e note that it is based upon an alle+ation of fact not made in
the ans(er of the City. -oreo,er, 'eotico alle+ed in his complaint, as (ell as in his
amended complaint, that his in0uries (ere due to the defecti,e condition of a street (hich
is .under the super,ision and control. of the City. In its ans(er to the amended
complaint, the City, in turn, alle+ed that .the streets aforementioned (ere and ha,e been
constantly 1ept in +ood condition and re+ularly inspected and the storm drains and
manholes thereof co,ered by the defendant City and the officers concerned. (ho .ha,e
been e,er ,i+ilant and /ealous in the performance of their respecti,e functions and duties
as imposed upon them by la(.. 'hus, the City had, in effect, admitted that P. *ur+os
A,enue (as and is under its control and super,ision.
-oreo,er, the assertion to the effect that said A,enue is a national hi+h(ay (as made, for
the first time, in its motion for reconsideration of the decision of the Court of Appeals.
;uch assertion raised, therefore, a 5uestion of fact, (hich had not been put in issue in the
trial court, and cannot be set up, for the first time, on appeal, much less after the rendition
of the decision of the appellate court, in a motion for the reconsideration thereof.
At any rate, under Article 2!$" of the Ci,il Code, it is not necessary for the liability
therein established to attach that the defecti,e roads or streets belon+ to the pro,ince, city
or municipality from (hich responsibility is eAacted. <hat said article re5uires is that the
pro,ince, city or municipality ha,e either .control or super,ision. o,er said street or
road. E,en if P. *ur+os A,enue (ere, therefore, a national hi+h(ay, this circumstance
(ould not necessarily detract from its .control or super,ision. by the City of -anila,
under @epublic Act 6%". In fact ;ection !$BAC thereof pro,ides:
;ec. !$. )e+islati,e po(ers. 8 'he -unicipal *oard shall ha,e the follo(in+ le+islati,e
po(ers:
A A A A A A A A A
BAC ;ub0ect to the pro,isions of eAistin+ la( to pro,ide for the layin+ out, construction
and impro,ement, and to re+ulate the use of streets, a,enues, alleys, side(al1s, (har,es,
piers, par1s, cemeteries, and other public placesD to pro,ide for li+htin+, cleanin+, and
sprin1lin+ of streets and public placesD . . . to pro,ide for the inspection of, fiA the license
fees for and re+ulate the openin+s in the same for the layin+ of +as, (ater, se(er and
other pipes, the buildin+ and repair of tunnels, se(ers, and drains, and all structures in
and under the same and the erectin+ of poles and the strin+in+ of (ires thereinD to pro,ide
for and re+ulate cross4(or1s, curbs, and +utters therein, . . . to re+ulate traffic and sales
upon the streets and other public placesD to pro,ide for the abatement of nuisances in the
same and punish the authors or o(ners thereofD to pro,ide for the construction and
maintenance, and re+ulate the use, of brid+es, ,iaducts and cul,ertsD to prohibit and
re+ulate ball playin+, 1ite4flyin+, hoop rollin+, and other amusements (hich may annoy
persons usin+ the streets and public places, or fri+hten horses or other animalsD to re+ulate
the speed of horses and other animals, motor and other ,ehicles, cars, and locomoti,es
(ithin the limits of the cityD to re+ulate the li+hts used on all ,ehicles, cars, and
locomoti,esD . . . to pro,ide for and chan+e the location, +rade, and crossin+ of railroads,
and compel any such railroad to raise or lo(er its trac1s to conform to such pro,isions or
chan+esD and to re5uire railroad companies to fence their property, or any part thereof, to
pro,ide suitable protection a+ainst in0ury to persons or property, and to construct and
repair ditches, drains, se(ers, and cul,erts alon+ and under their trac1s, so that the natural
draina+e of the streets and ad0acent property shall not be obstructed.
'his authority has been neither (ithdra(n nor restricted by @epublic Act No. "! and
EAecuti,e Order No. !!E, dated -ay 2, !"##, upon (hich the City relies. ;aid Act
+o,erns the disposition or appropriation of the hi+h(ay funds and the +i,in+ of aid to
pro,inces, chartered cities and municipalities in the construction of roads and streets
(ithin their respecti,e boundaries, and EAecuti,e Order No. !!E merely implements the
pro,isions of said @epublic Act No. "!, concernin+ the disposition and appropriation of
the hi+h(ay funds. -oreo,er, it pro,ides that .the construction, maintenance and
impro,ement of national primary, national secondary and national aid pro,incial and city
roads shall be accomplished by the 3i+h(ay 2istrict En+ineers and 3i+h(ay City
En+ineers under the super,ision of the Commissioner of Public 3i+h(ays and shall be
financed from such appropriations as may be authori/ed by the @epublic of the
Philippines in annual or special appropriation Acts..
'hen, a+ain, the determination of (hether or not P. *ur+os A,enue is under the control or
super,ision of the City of -anila and (hether the latter is +uilty of ne+li+ence, in
connection (ith the maintenance of said road, (hich (ere decided by the Court of
Appeals in the affirmati,e, is one of fact, and the findin+s of said Court thereon are not
sub0ect to our re,ie(.
<3E@E7O@E, the decision appealed from should be as it is hereby affirmed, (ith costs
a+ainst the City of -anila. It is so ordered.
@eyes, J.*.)., 2i/on, -a1alintal, *en+/on, J.P., Galdi,ar, ;anche/, Castro, An+eles and
7ernando, JJ., concur.
G.R. No. 11029 !ay 29, 1981
BERNAR/INO JI!ENE3, "#$%$%on#r,
&'.
CITY O !ANILA an( INTER!E/IATE A**ELLATE CO)RT, r#'"on(#n$'.

PA@A;, J.:
'his is a petition for re,ie( on certiorari of: B!C the decision H of the Intermediate
Appellate Court in AC4&.@. No. %!E$$4C: *ernardino Jimene/ ,. Asiatic Inte+rated
Corporation and City of -anila, re,ersin+ the decision HH of the Court of 7irst Instance
of -anila, *ranch IIII in Ci,il Case No. "FE"% bet(een the same parties, but only
insofar as holdin+ Asiatic Inte+rated Corporation solely liable for dama+es and attorney>s
fees instead of ma1in+ the City of -anila 0ointly and solidarily liable (ith it as prayed for
by the petitioner and B2C the resolution of the same Appellate Court denyin+ his Partial
-otion for @econsideration B@ollo, p. 2C.
'he dispositi,e portion of the Intermediate Appellate Court>s decision is as follo(s:
<3E@E7O@E, the decision appealed from is hereby @E:E@;E2. A ne( one is hereby
entered orderin+ the defendant Asiatic Inte+rated Corporation to pay the plaintiff P22!."%
actual medical eApenses, P"%%.%% for the amount paid for the operation and mana+ement
of a school bus, P2%,%%%.%% as moral dama+es due to pains, sufferin+s and sleepless
ni+hts and P l%,%%%.%% as attorney>s fees.
;O O@2E@E2. Bp. 2%, @olloC
'he findin+s of respondent Appellate Court are as follo(s:
'he e,idence of the plaintiff Bpetitioner hereinC sho(s that in the mornin+ of Au+ust !#,
!"6 he, to+ether (ith his nei+hbors, (ent to ;ta. Ana public mar1et to buy .ba+oon+. at
the time (hen the public mar1et (as flooded (ith an1le deep rain(ater. After purchasin+
the .ba+oon+. he turned around to return home but he stepped on an unco,ered openin+
(hich could not be seen because of the dirty rain(ater, causin+ a dirty and rusty four4
inch nail, stuc1 inside the unco,ered openin+, to pierce the left le+ of plaintiff4petitioner
penetratin+ to a depth of about one and a half inches. After administerin+ first aid
treatment at a nearby dru+store, his companions helped him hobble home. 3e felt ill and
de,eloped fe,er and he had to be carried to 2r. Juanita -ascardo. 2espite the medicine
administered to him by the latter, his left le+ s(elled (ith +reat pain. 3e (as then rushed
to the :eterans -emorial 3ospital (here he had to be confined for t(enty B2%C days due
to hi+h fe,er and se,ere pain.
9pon his dischar+e from the hospital, he had to (al1 around (ith crutches for fifteen B!#C
days. 3is in0ury pre,ented him from attendin+ to the school buses he is operatin+. As a
result, he had to en+a+e the ser,ices of one *ien,enido :alde/ to super,ise his business
for an a++re+ate compensation of nine hundred pesos BP"%%.%%C. B2ecision, AC4&.@. C:
No. %!E$, @ollo, pp. !E42%C.
Petitioner sued for dama+es the City of -anila and the Asiatic Inte+rated Corporation
under (hose administration the ;ta. Ana Public -ar1et had been placed by ,irtue of a
-ana+ement and Operatin+ Contract B@ollo, p. 6C.
'he lo(er court decided in fa,or of respondents, the dispositi,e portion of the decision
readin+:
<3E@E7O@E, 0ud+ment is hereby rendered in fa,or of the defendants and a+ainst the
plaintiff dismissin+ the complaint (ith costs a+ainst the plaintiff. 7or lac1 of sufficient
e,idence, the counterclaims of the defendants are li1e(ise dismissed. B2ecision, Ci,il
Case No. "FE"%, @ollo, p. 62C.
As abo,e stated, on appeal, the Intermediate Appellate Court held the Asiatic Inte+rated
Corporation liable for dama+es but absol,ed respondent City of -anila.
3ence this petition.
'he lone assi+nment of error raised in this petition is on (hether or not the Intermediate
Appellate Court erred in not rulin+ that respondent City of -anila should be 0ointly and
se,erally liable (ith Asiatic Inte+rated Corporation for the in0uries petitioner suffered.
In compliance (ith the resolution of July !, !"$# of the 7irst 2i,ision of this Court
B@ollo, p. 2"C respondent City of -anila filed its comment on Au+ust !E, !"$# B@ollo, p.
E6C (hile petitioner filed its reply on Au+ust 2!, !"$# B@eno, p. #!C.
'hereafter, the Court in the resolution of ;eptember !!, !"$# B@ollo, p. F2C +a,e due
course to the petition and re5uired both parties to submit simultaneous memoranda
Petitioner filed his memorandum on October !, !"$# B@ollo, p. F#C (hile respondent filed
its memorandum on October 26, !"$# B@ollo, p. $2C.
In the resolution of October !E, !"$F, this case (as transferred to the ;econd 2i,ision of
this Court, the same ha,in+ been assi+ned to a member of said 2i,ision B@ollo, p. "2C.
'he petition is impressed (ith merit.
As correctly found by the Intermediate Appellate Court, there is no doubt that the plaintiff
suffered in0uries (hen he fell into a draina+e openin+ (ithout any co,er in the ;ta. Ana
Public -ar1et. 2efendants do not deny that plaintiff (as in fact in0ured althou+h the
Asiatic Inte+rated Corporation tries to minimi/e the eAtent of the in0uries, claimin+ that it
(as only a small puncture and that as a (ar ,eteran, plaintiff>s hospitali/ation at the <ar
:eteran>s 3ospital (as free. B2ecision, AC4&.@. C: No. %!E$, @ollo, p. FC.
@espondent City of -anila maintains that it cannot be held liable for the in0uries
sustained by the petitioner because under the -ana+ement and Operatin+ Contract,
Asiatic Inte+rated Corporation assumed all responsibility for dama+es (hich may be
suffered by third persons for any cause attributable to it.
It has also been ar+ued that the City of -anila cannot be held liable under Article !,
;ection 6 of @epublic Act No. 6%" as amended B@e,ised Charter of -anilaC (hich
pro,ides:
'he City shall not be liable or held for dama+es or in0uries to persons or property arisin+
from the failure of the -ayor, the -unicipal *oard, or any other City Officer, to enforce
the pro,isions of this chapter, or any other la( or ordinance, or from ne+li+ence of said
-ayor, -unicipal *oard, or any other officers (hile enforcin+ or attemptin+ to enforce
said pro,isions.
'his issue has been laid to rest in the case of City of -anila ,. 'eotico B22 ;C@A 2F"4
22 J!"F$KC (here the ;upreme Court s5uarely ruled that @epublic Act No. 6%"
establishes a +eneral rule re+ulatin+ the liability of the City of -anila for .dama+es or
in0ury to persons or property arisin+ from the failure of city officers. to enforce the
pro,isions of said Act, .or any other la( or ordinance or from ne+li+ence. of the City
.-ayor, -unicipal *oard, or other officers (hile enforcin+ or attemptin+ to enforce said
pro,isions..
9pon the other hand, Article 2!$" of the Ci,il Code of the Philippines (hich pro,ides
that:
Pro,inces, cities and municipalities shall be liable for dama+es for the death of, or
in0uries suffered by any person by reason of defecti,e conditions of roads, streets,
brid+es, public buildin+s and other public (or1s under their control or super,ision.
constitutes a particular prescription ma1in+ .pro,inces, cities and municipalities ... liable
for dama+es for the death of, or in0ury suffered by any person by reason. 8 specifically
8 .of the defecti,e condition of roads, streets, brid+es, public buildin+s, and other public
(or1s under their control or super,ision.. In other (ords, Art. !, sec. 6, @.A. No. 6%"
refers to liability arisin+ from ne+li+ence, in +eneral, re+ardless of the ob0ect, thereof,
(hile Article 2!$" of the Ci,il Code +o,erns liability due to .defecti,e streets, public
buildin+s and other public (or1s. in particular and is therefore decisi,e on this specific
case.
In the same suit, the ;upreme Court clarified further that under Article 2!$" of the Ci,il
Code, it is not necessary for the liability therein established to attach, that the defecti,e
public (or1s belon+ to the pro,ince, city or municipality from (hich responsibility is
eAacted. <hat said article re5uires is that the pro,ince, city or municipality has either
.control or super,ision. o,er the public buildin+ in 5uestion.
In the case at bar, there is no 5uestion that the ;ta. Ana Public -ar1et, despite the
-ana+ement and Operatin+ Contract bet(een respondent City and Asiatic Inte+rated
Corporation remained under the control of the former.
7or one thin+, said contract is eAplicit in this re+ard, (hen it pro,ides:
II
'hat immediately after the eAecution of this contract, the ;ECON2 PA@'= shall start the
paintin+, cleanin+, saniti/in+ and repair of the public mar1ets and talipapas and (ithin
ninety B"%C days thereof, the ;ECON2 PA@'= shall submit a pro+ram of impro,ement,
de,elopment, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the city public mar1ets and talipapas
sub0ect to prior appro,al of the 7I@;' PA@'=. B@ollo, p. 66C
AAA AAA AAA
:I
'hat all present personnel of the City public mar1ets and talipapas shall be retained by
the ;ECON2 PA@'= as lon+ as their ser,ices remain satisfactory and they shall be
eAtended the same ri+hts and pri,ile+es as heretofore en0oyed by them. Pro,ided,
ho(e,er, that the ;ECON2 PA@'= shall ha,e the ri+ht, sub0ect to prior appro,al of the
7I@;' PA@'= to dischar+e any of the present employees for cause. B@ollo, p. 6#C.
:II
'hat the ;ECON2 PA@'= may from time to time be re5uired by the 7I@;' PA@'=, or
his duly authori/ed representati,e or representati,es, to report, on the acti,ities and
operation of the City public mar1ets and talipapas and the facilities and con,eniences
installed therein, particularly as to their cost of construction, operation and maintenance
in connection (ith the stipulations contained in this Contract. BlbidC
'he fact of super,ision and control of the City o,er sub0ect public mar1et (as admitted
by -ayor @amon *a+atsin+ in his letter to ;ecretary of 7inance Cesar :irata (hich
reads:
'hese cases arose from the contro,ersy o,er the -ana+ement and Operatin+ Contract
entered into on 2ecember 2$, !"2 by and bet(een the City of -anila and the Asiatic
Inte+rated Corporation, (hereby in consideration of a fiAed ser,ice fee, the City hired the
ser,ices of the said corporation to underta1e the physical mana+ement, maintenance,
rehabilitation and de,elopment of the City>s public mar1ets and> 'alipapas> sub0ect to the
control and super,ision of the City.
AAA AAA AAA
It is belie,ed that there is nothin+ incon+ruous in the eAercise of these po(ers ,is4a4,is
the eAistence of the contract, inasmuch as the City retains the po(er of super,ision and
control o,er its public mar1ets and talipapas under the terms of the contract. BEAhibit .4
A.C BEmphasis supplied.C B@ollo, p. #C.
In fact, the City of -anila employed a mar1et master for the ;ta. Ana Public -ar1et
(hose primary duty is to ta1e direct super,ision and control of that particular mar1et,
more specifically, to chec1 the safety of the place for the public.
'hus the Asst. Chief of the -ar1et 2i,ision and 2eputy -ar1et Administrator of the City
of -anila testified as follo(s:
Court 'his mar1et master is an employee of the City of -anilaL
-r. =mson =es, =our 3onor.
M <hat are his functionsL
A 2irect super,ision and control o,er the mar1et area assi+ned to him..B'.s.n.,pp. 6!462,
3earin+ of -ay 2%, !".C
AAA AAA AAA
Court As far as you 1no( there is or is there any specific employee assi+ned (ith the tas1
of seein+ to it that the ;ta. Ana -ar1et is safe for the publicL
-r. =mson Actually, as I stated, =our 3onor, that the ;ta. Ana has its o(n mar1et master.
'he primary duty of that mar1et master is to ma1e the direct super,ision and control of
that particular mar1et, the chec1 or ,erifyin+ (hether the place is safe for public safety is
,ested in the mar1et master. B'.s.n., pp. 262#, 3earin+ of July 2, !".C BEmphasis
supplied.C B@ollo, p. FC.
7inally, ;ection E% B+C of the )ocal 'aA Code as amended, pro,ides:
'he treasurer shall eAercise direct and immediate super,ision administration and control
o,er public mar1ets and the personnel thereof, includin+ those (hose duties concern the
maintenance and up1eep of the mar1et and ordinances and other pertinent rules and
re+ulations. BEmphasis supplied.C B@ollo, p. FC
'he contention of respondent City of -anila that petitioner should not ha,e ,entured to
+o to ;ta. Ana Public -ar1et durin+ a stormy (eather is indeed untenable. As obser,ed
by respondent Court of Appeals, it is an error for the trial court to attribute the ne+li+ence
to herein petitioner. -ore specifically stated, the findin+s of appellate court are as
follo(s:
... 'he trial court e,en chastised the plaintiff for +oin+ to mar1et on a rainy day 0ust to
buy ba+oon+. A customer in a store has the ri+ht to assume that the o(ner (ill comply
(ith his duty to 1eep the premises safe for customers. If he ,entures to the store on the
basis of such assumption and is in0ured because the o(ner did not comply (ith his duty,
no ne+li+ence can be imputed to the customer. B2ecision, AC4&. @. C: No. %!E$,
@ollo, p. !"C.
As a defense a+ainst liability on the basis of a 5uasi4delict, one must ha,e eAercised the
dili+ence of a +ood father of a family. BArt. !!E of the Ci,il CodeC.
'here is no ar+ument that it is the duty of the City of -anila to eAercise reasonable care
to 1eep the public mar1et reasonably safe for people fre5uentin+ the place for their
mar1etin+ needs.
<hile it may be conceded that the fulfillment of such duties is eAtremely difficult durin+
storms and floods, it must ho(e,er, be admitted that ordinary precautions could ha,e
been ta1en durin+ +ood (eather to minimi/e the dan+ers to life and limb under those
difficult circumstances.
7or instance, the draina+e hole could ha,e been placed under the stalls instead of on the
passa+e (ays. E,en more important is the fact, that the City should ha,e seen to it that
the openin+s (ere co,ered. ;adly, the e,idence indicates that lon+ before petitioner fell
into the openin+, it (as already unco,ered, and fi,e B#C months after the incident
happened, the openin+ (as still unco,ered. B@ollo, pp. #D #"C. -oreo,er, (hile there are
findin+s that durin+ floods the ,endors remo,e the iron +rills to hasten the flo( of (ater
B2ecision, AC4&.@. C: No. % !E$D @ollo, p. !C, there is no sho(in+ that such practice
has e,er been prohibited, much less penali/ed by the City of -anila. Neither (as it
sho(n that any si+n had been placed thereabouts to (arn passersby of the impendin+
dan+er.
'o recapitulate, it appears e,ident that the City of -anila is li1e(ise liable for dama+es
under Article 2!$" of the Ci,il Code, respondent City ha,in+ retained control and
super,ision o,er the ;ta. Ana Public -ar1et and as tort4feasor under Article 2!F of the
Ci,il Code on 5uasi4delicts
Petitioner had the ri+ht to assume that there (ere no openin+s in the middle of the
passa+e(ays and if any, that they (ere ade5uately co,ered. 3ad the openin+ been
co,ered, petitioner could not ha,e fallen into it. 'hus the ne+li+ence of the City of -anila
is the proAimate cause of the in0ury suffered, the City is therefore liable for the in0ury
suffered by the peti4 6 petitioner.
@espondent City of -anila and Asiatic Inte+rated Corporation bein+ 0oint tort4feasors are
solidarily liable under Article 2!"6 of the Ci,il Code.
P@E-I;E; CON;I2E@E2, the decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby -O2I7IE2,
ma1in+ the City of -anila and the Asiatic Inte+rated Corporation solidarily liable to pay
the plaintiff P22!."% actual medical eApenses, P"%%.%% for the amount paid for the
operation and mana+ement of the school bus, P2%,%%%.%% as moral dama+es due to pain,
sufferin+s and sleepless ni+hts and P!%,%%%.%% as attorney>s fees.
;O O@2E@E2.
7ernan BChairmanC, &utierre/, Jr., Padilla, *idin and Cortes JJ., concur.

G.R. No. 61516 !ar,4 21, 1989
LORENTINA A. G)ILATCO, "#$%$%on#r,
&'.
CITY O /AG)*AN, an( $4# 5ONORABLE CO)RT O A**EAL+, r#'"on(#n$'.

;A@-IEN'O, J.:
In a ci,il action ! for reco,ery of dama+es filed by the petitioner 7lorentina A. &uilatco,
the follo(in+ 0ud+ment (as rendered a+ainst the respondent City of 2a+upan:
A A A
B!C Orderin+ defendant City of 2a+upan to pay plaintiff actual dama+es in the amount of
P !#,"26 Bnamely P$,%#6.%% as hospital, medical and other eApenses JEAhs. 3 to 34F%K, P
,62%.%% as lost income for one B!C year JEAh. 7K and P 6#%.%% as bonusC. P !#%,%%%.%% as
moral dama+es, P #%,%%%.%% as eAemplary dama+es, and P E,%%%.%% as attorney>s fees,
and liti+ation eApenses, plus costs and to appropriate throu+h its ;an++unian+
Pan+lunsod BCity CouncilC said amounts for said purposeD
B2C 2ismissin+ plaintiffs complaint as a+ainst defendant City En+r. Alfredo &. 'an+coD
and
BEC 2ismissin+ the counterclaims of defendant City of 2a+upan and defendant City En+r.
Alfredo &. 'an+co, for lac1 of merit. 2
'he facts found by the trial court are as follo(s:
It (ould appear from the e,idences that on July 2#, !"$, herein plaintiff, a Court
Interpreter of *ranch III, C7I442a+upan City, (hile she (as about to board a motori/ed
tricycle at a side(al1 located at Pere/ *l,d. Ba National @oad, under the control and
super,ision of the City of 2a+upanC accidentally fell into a manhole located on said
side(al1, thereby causin+ her ri+ht le+ to be fractured. As a result thereof, she had to be
hospitali/ed, operated on, confined, at first at the Pan+asinan Pro,incial 3ospital, from
July 2# to Au+ust E, !"$ Bor for a period of !F daysC. ;he also incurred hospitali/ation,
medication and other eApenses to the tune of P $,%#E.F# BEAh. 3 to 34F%C or a total of P
!%,%%%.%% in all, as other receipts (ere either lost or misplacedD durin+ the period of her
confinement in said t(o hospitals, plaintiff suffered se,ere or eAcruciatin+ pain not only
on her ri+ht le+ (hich (as fractured but also on all parts of her bodyD the pain has
persisted e,en after her dischar+e from the -edical City &eneral 3ospital on October ",
!"$, to the present. 2espite her dischar+e from the 3ospital plaintiff is presently still
(earin+ crutches and the Court has actually obser,ed that she has difficulty in
locomotion. 7rom the time of the mishap on July 2#, !"$ up to the present, plaintiff has
not yet reported for duty as court interpreter, as she has difficulty of locomotion in +oin+
up the stairs of her office, located near the city hall in 2a+upan City. ;he earns at least P
2%.%% a month consistin+ of her monthly salary and other means of income, but since
July 2#, !"$ up to the present she has been depri,ed of said income as she has already
consumed her accrued lea,es in the +o,ernment ser,ice. ;he has lost se,eral pounds as a
result of the accident and she is no lon+er her former 0o,ial self, she has been unable to
perform her reli+ious, social, and other acti,ities (hich she used to do prior to the
incident.
2r. Norberto 7eliA and 2r. 2ominado -an/ano of the Pro,incial 3ospital, as (ell as 2r.
Antonio ;ison of the -edical City &eneral 3ospital in -andaluyon+ @i/al BEAh. ID see
also EAhs. 7, &, &4! to &4!"C ha,e confirmed beyond shado( of any doubt the eAtent of
the fracture and in0uries sustained by the plaintiff as a result of the mishap. On the other
hand, Patrolman Cla,eria, 2e Asis and Cere/o corroborated the testimony of the plaintiff
re+ardin+ the mishap and they ha,e confirmed the eAistence of the manhole BEAhs. A, *,
C and sub4eAhibitsC on the side(al1 alon+ Pere/ *l,d., at the time of the incident on July
2#, !"$ (hich (as partially co,ered by a concrete flo(er pot by lea,in+ +apin+ hole
about 2 ft. lon+ by ! !N2 feet (ide or 62 cms. (ide by # cms. lon+ by !#% cms. deep Bsee
EAhs. 2 and 24!C.
2efendant Alfredo 'an+co, City En+ineer of 2a+upan City and admittedly eA4officio
3i+h(ay En+ineer, City En+ineer of the Public <or1s and *uildin+ Official for 2a+upan
City, admitted the eAistence of said manhole alon+ the side(al1 in Pere/ *l,d.,
admittedly a National @oad in front of the )u/on Colle+es. 3e also admitted that said
manhole Bthere are at least !! in all in Pere/ *l,d.C is o(ned by the National &o,ernment
and the side(al1 on (hich they are found alon+ Pere/ *l,d. are also o(ned by the
National &o,ernment. *ut as City En+ineer of 2a+upan City, he super,ises the
maintenance of said manholes or draina+e system and sees to it that they are properly
co,ered, and the 0ob is specifically done by his subordinates, -r. ;antia+o de :era
B-aintenance 7oremanC and En+r. Ernesto ;olermo also a maintenance En+ineer. In his
ans(er defendant 'an+co eApressly admitted in par. 4! thereof, that in his capacity as eA4
officio 3i+h(ay En+ineer for 2a+upan City he eAercises super,ision and control o,er
National roads, includin+ the Pere/ *l,d. (here the incident happened.
On appeal by the respondent City of 2a+upan, the appellate court re,ersed the lo(er
court findin+s on the +round that no e,idence (as presented by the plaintiff4 appellee to
pro,e that the City of 2a+upan had .control or super,ision. o,er Pere/ *oule,ard.
'he city contends that Pere/ *oule,ard, (here the fatal draina+e hole is located, is a
national road that is not under the control or super,ision of the City of 2a+upan. 3ence,
no liability should attach to the city. It submits that it is actually the -inistry of Public
3i+h(ays that has control or super,ision throu+h the 3i+h(ay En+ineer (hich, by mere
coincidence, is held concurrently by the same person (ho is also the City En+ineer of
2a+upan.
After eAamination of the findin+s and conclusions of the trial court and those of the
appellate court, as (ell as the ar+uments presented by the parties, (e a+ree (ith those of
the trial court and of the petitioner. 3ence, (e +rant the petition.
In this re,ie( on certiorari, (e ha,e simplified the errors assi+ned by the petitioner to a
sin+le issue: (hether or not control or super,ision o,er a national road by the City of
2a+upan eAists, in effect bindin+ the city to ans(er for dama+es in accordance (ith
article 2!$" of the Ci,il Code.
'he liability of public corporations for dama+es arisin+ from in0uries suffered by
pedestrians from the defecti,e condition of roads is eApressed in the Ci,il Code as
follo(s:
Article 2!$". Pro,inces, cities and municipalities shall be liable for dama+es for the death
of, or in0uries suffered by, any person by reason of the defecti,e condition of roads,
streets, brid+es, public buildin+s, and other public (or1s under their control or
super,ision.
It is not e,en necessary for the defecti,e road or street to belon+ to the pro,ince, city or
municipality for liability to attach. 'he article only re5uires that either control or
super,ision is eAercised o,er the defecti,e road or street. F
In the case at bar, this control or super,ision is pro,ided for in the charter of 2a+upan and
is eAercised throu+h the City En+ineer (ho has the follo(in+ duties:
;ec. 22. 'he City En+ineer443is po(ers, duties and compensation4'here shall be a city
en+ineer, (ho shall be in char+e of the department of En+ineerin+ and Public <or1s. 3e
shall recei,e a salary of not eAceedin+ three thousand pesos per annum. 3e shall ha,e the
follo(in+ duties:
A A A
B0C 3e shall ha,e the care and custody of the public system of (ater(or1s and se(ers,
and all sources of (ater supply, and shall control, maintain and re+ulate the use of the
same, in accordance (ith the ordinance relatin+ theretoD shall inspect and re+ulate the use
of all pri,ate systems for supplyin+ (ater to the city and its inhabitants, and all pri,ate
se(ers, and their connection (ith the public se(er system.
A A A
'he same charter of 2a+upan also pro,ides that the layin+ out, construction and
impro,ement of streets, a,enues and alleys and side(al1s, and re+ulation of the use
thereof, may be le+islated by the -unicipal *oard . 'hus the charter clearly indicates
that the city indeed has super,ision and control o,er the side(al1 (here the open
draina+e hole is located.
'he eApress pro,ision in the charter holdin+ the city not liable for dama+es or in0uries
sustained by persons or property due to the failure of any city officer to enforce the
pro,isions of the charter, can not be used to eAempt the city, as in the case at bar.$
'he charter only lays do(n +eneral rules re+ulatin+ the liability of the city. On the other
hand article 2!$" applies in particular to the liability arisin+ from .defecti,e streets,
public buildin+s and other public (or1s.. "
'he City En+ineer, -r. Alfredo &. 'an+co, admits that he eAercises control or super,ision
o,er the said road. *ut the city can not be eAcused from liability by the ar+ument that the
duty of the City En+ineer to super,ise or control the said pro,incial road belon+s more to
his functions as an eA4officio 3i+h(ay En+ineer of the -inistry of Public 3i+h(ay than
as a city officer. 'his is because (hile he is entitled to an honorarium from the -inistry
of Public 3i+h(ays, his salary from the city +o,ernment substantially eAceeds the
honorarium.
<e do not a+ree.
Alfredo &. 'an+co .BiCn his official capacity as City En+ineer of 2a+upan, as EA4 Officio
3i+h(ay En+ineer, as EA4Officio City En+ineer of the *ureau of Public <or1s, and, last
but not the least, as *uildin+ Official for 2a+upan City, recei,es the follo(in+ monthly
compensation: P !,$!%.FF from 2a+upan CityD P 2%%.%% from the -inistry of Public
3i+h(aysD P !%%.%% from the *ureau of Public <or1s and P #%%.%% by ,irtue of P.2.
!%"F, respecti,ely.. !% 'his function of super,ision o,er streets, public buildin+s, and
other public (or1s pertainin+ to the City En+ineer is coursed throu+h a -aintenance
7oreman and a -aintenance En+ineer. Althou+h these last t(o officials are employees of
the National &o,ernment, they are detailed (ith the City of 2a+upan and hence recei,e
instruction and super,ision from the city throu+h the City En+ineer.
'here is, therefore, no doubt that the City En+ineer eAercises control or super,ision o,er
the public (or1s in 5uestion. 3ence, the liability of the city to the petitioner under article
2!"$ of the Ci,il Code is clear.
*e all that as it may, the actual dama+es a(arded to the petitioner in the amount of P
!%,%%%.%% should be reduced to the pro,en eApenses of P $,%#E.F# only. 'he trial court
should not ha,e rounded off the amount. In determinin+ actual dama+es, the court can not
rely on .speculation, con0ecture or +uess (or1. as to the amount. <ithout the actual proof
of loss, the a(ard of actual dama+es becomes erroneous.
On the other hand, moral dama+es may be a(arded e,en (ithout proof of pecuniary loss,
inasmuch as the determination of the amount is discretionary on the court.!E 'hou+h
incapable of pecuniary estimation, moral dama+es are in the nature of an a(ard to
compensate the claimant for actual in0ury suffered but (hich for some reason can not be
pro,en. 3o(e,er, in a(ardin+ moral dama+es, the follo(in+ should be ta1en into
consideration:
B!C 7irst, the proAimate cause of the in0ury must be the claimee>s acts.!6
B2C ;econd, there must be compensatory or actual dama+es as satisfactory proof of the
factual basis for dama+es.!#
BEC 'hird, the a(ard of moral dama+es must be predicated on any of the cases
enumerated in the Ci,il Code. !F
In the case at bar, the physical sufferin+ and mental an+uish suffered by the petitioner
(ere pro,en. <itnesses from the petitioner>s place of (or1 testified to the de+eneration in
her disposition4from bein+ 0o,ial to depressed. ;he refrained from attendin+ social and
ci,ic acti,ities.
Ne,ertheless the a(ard of moral dama+es at P !#%,%%%.%% is eAcessi,e. 3er handicap (as
not permanent and disabled her only durin+ her treatment (hich lasted for one year.
'hou+h e,idence of moral loss and an+uish eAisted to (arrant the a(ard of dama+es,!$
the moderatin+ hand of the la( is called for. 'he Court has time and a+ain called
attention to the reprehensible propensity of trial 0ud+es to a(ard dama+es (ithout
basis,!" resultin+ in eAhorbitant amounts.2%
Althou+h the assessment of the amount is better left to the discretion of the trial court 2!
under precedin+ 0urisprudence, the amount of moral dama+es should be reduced to P
2%,%%%.%%.
As for the a(ard of eAemplary dama+es, the trial court correctly pointed out the basis:
'o ser,e as an eAample for the public +ood, it is hi+h time that the Court, throu+h this
case, should ser,e (arnin+ to the city or cities concerned to be more conscious of their
duty and responsibility to their constituents, especially (hen they are en+a+ed in
construction (or1 or (hen there are manholes on their side(al1s or streets (hich are
unco,ered, to immediately co,er the same, in order to minimi/e or pre,ent accidents to
the poor pedestrians.22
'oo often in the /eal to put up .public impact. pro0ects such as beautification dri,es, the
end is more important than the manner in (hich the (or1 is carried out. *ecause of this
obsession for sho(in+ off, such tri,ial details as misplaced flo(er pots betray the careless
eAecution of the pro0ects, causin+ public incon,enience and in,itin+ accidents.
Pendin+ appeal by the respondent City of 2a+upan from the trial court to the appellate
court, the petitioner (as able to secure an order for +arnishment of the funds of the City
deposited (ith the Philippine National *an1, from the then presidin+ 0ud+e, 3on.
<illelmo 7ortun. 'his order for +arnishment (as re,o1ed subse5uently by the
succeedin+ presidin+ 0ud+e, 3on. @omeo 2. -a+at, and became the basis for the
petitioner>s motion for reconsideration (hich (as also denied. 2E
<e rule that the eAecution of the 0ud+ment of the trial court pendin+ appeal (as
premature. <e do not find any +ood reason to 0ustify the issuance of an order of
eAecution e,en before the eApiration of the time to appeal .26
<3E@E7O@E, the petition is &@AN'E2. 'he assailed decision and resolution of the
respondent Court of Appeals are hereby @E:E@;E2 and ;E' A;I2E and the decision of
the trial court, dated -arch !2, !"" and amended on -arch !E, !"", is hereby
@EIN;'A'E2 (ith the indicated modifications as re+ards the amounts a(arded:
B!C Orderin+ the defendant City of 2a+upan to pay the plaintiff actual dama+es in the
amount of P !#,"26 Bnamely P $,%#6.%% as hospital, medical and other eApensesD P
,62%.%% as lost income for one B!C year and P 6#%.%% as bonusCD P 2%,%%%.%% as moral
dama+es and P !%,%%%.%% as eAemplary dama+es.
'he attorney>s fees of P E,%%%.%% remain the same.
;O O@2E@E2.
-elencio43errera, BChaipersonC, Paras, Padilla and @e+alado, JJ., concur.

G.R. No. L-11152 !ar,4 21, 1916
E. !ERRITT, "-a%n$%..-a""#--an$,
&'.
GO6ERN!ENT O T5E *5ILI**INE I+LAN/+, (#.#n(an$-a""#--an$.
'@EN', J.:
'his is an appeal by both parties from a 0ud+ment of the Court of 7irst Instance of the city
of -anila in fa,or of the plaintiff for the sum of P!6,6!, to+ether (ith the costs of the
cause.
Counsel for the plaintiff insist that the trial court erred B!C .in limitin+ the +eneral
dama+es (hich the plaintiff suffered to P#,%%%, instead of P2#,%%% as claimed in the
complaint,. and B2C .in limitin+ the time (hen plaintiff (as entirely disabled to t(o
months and t(enty4one days and fiAin+ the dama+e accordin+ly in the sum of P2,FFF,
instead of PF,%%% as claimed by plaintiff in his complaint..
'he Attorney4&eneral on behalf of the defendant ur+es that the trial court erred: BaC in
findin+ that the collision bet(een the plaintiff>s motorcycle and the ambulance of the
&eneral 3ospital (as due to the ne+li+ence of the chauffeurD BbC in holdin+ that the
&o,ernment of the Philippine Islands is liable for the dama+es sustained by the plaintiff
as a result of the collision, e,en if it be true that the collision (as due to the ne+li+ence of
the chauffeurD and BcC in renderin+ 0ud+ment a+ainst the defendant for the sum of
P!6,6!.
'he trial court>s findin+s of fact, (hich are fully supported by the record, are as follo(s:
It is a fact not disputed by counsel for the defendant that (hen the plaintiff, ridin+ on a
motorcycle, (as +oin+ to(ard the (estern part of Calle Padre 7aura, passin+ alon+ the
(est side thereof at a speed of ten to t(el,e miles an hour, upon crossin+ 'aft A,enue and
(hen he (as ten feet from the south(estern intersection of said streets, the &eneral
3ospital ambulance, upon reachin+ said a,enue, instead of turnin+ to(ard the south, after
passin+ the center thereof, so that it (ould be on the left side of said a,enue, as is
prescribed by the ordinance and the -otor :ehicle Act, turned suddenly and
uneApectedly and lon+ before reachin+ the center of the street, into the ri+ht side of 'aft
A,enue, (ithout ha,in+ sounded any (histle or horn, by (hich mo,ement it struc1 the
plaintiff, (ho (as already siA feet from the south(estern point or from the post place
there.
*y reason of the resultin+ collision, the plaintiff (as so se,erely in0ured that, accordin+
to 2r. ;aleeby, (ho eAamined him on the ,ery same day that he (as ta1en to the &eneral
3ospital, he (as sufferin+ from a depression in the left parietal re+ion, a (ould in the
same place and in the bac1 part of his head, (hile blood issued from his nose and he (as
entirely unconscious.
'he mar1s re,ealed that he had one or more fractures of the s1ull and that the +rey matter
and brain (as had suffered material in0ury. At ten o>cloc1 of the ni+ht in 5uestion, (hich
(as the time set for performin+ the operation, his pulse (as so (ea1 and so irre+ular that,
in his opinion, there (as little hope that he (ould li,e. 3is ri+ht le+ (as bro1en in such a
(ay that the fracture eAtended to the outer s1in in such manner that it mi+ht be re+arded
as double and the (ould be eAposed to infection, for (hich reason it (as of the most
serious nature.
At another eAamination siA days before the day of the trial, 2r. ;aleeby noticed that the
plaintiff>s le+ sho(ed a contraction of an inch and a half and a cur,ature that made his le+
,ery (ea1 and painful at the point of the fracture. EAamination of his head re,ealed a
notable read0ustment of the functions of the brain and ner,es. 'he patient apparently (as
sli+htly deaf, had a li+ht (ea1ness in his eyes and in his mental condition. 'his latter
(ea1ness (as al(ays noticed (hen the plaintiff had to do any difficult mental labor,
especially (hen he attempted to use his money for mathematical calculations.
Accordin+ to the ,arious merchants (ho testified as (itnesses, the plaintiff>s mental and
physical condition prior to the accident (as eAcellent, and that after ha,in+ recei,ed the
in0uries that ha,e been discussed, his physical condition had under+one a noticeable
depreciation, for he had lost the a+ility, ener+y, and ability that he had constantly
displayed before the accident as one of the best constructors of (ooden buildin+s and he
could not no( earn e,en a half of the income that he had secured for his (or1 because he
had lost #% per cent of his efficiency. As a contractor, he could no lon+er, as he had before
done, climb up ladders and scaffoldin+s to reach the hi+hest parts of the buildin+.
As a conse5uence of the loss the plaintiff suffered in the efficiency of his (or1 as a
contractor, he had to dissol,ed the partnership he had formed (ith the en+ineer. <ilson,
because he (as incapacitated from ma1in+ mathematical calculations on account of the
condition of his le+ and of his mental faculties, and he had to +i,e up a contract he had
for the construction of the 9y Chaco buildin+..
<e may say at the outset that (e are in full accord (ith the trial court to the effect that
the collision bet(een the plaintiff>s motorcycle and the ambulance of the &eneral
3ospital (as due solely to the ne+li+ence of the chauffeur.
'he t(o items (hich constitute a part of the P!6,6! and (hich are dra(n in 5uestion by
the plaintiff are BaC P#,%%%, the a(ard a(arded for permanent in0uries, and BbC the P2,FFF,
the amount allo(ed for the loss of (a+es durin+ the time the plaintiff (as incapacitated
from pursuin+ his occupation. <e find nothin+ in the record (hich (ould 0ustify us in
increasin+ the amount of the first. As to the second, the record sho(s, and the trial court
so found, that the plaintiff>s ser,ices as a contractor (ere (orth P!,%%% per month. 'he
court, ho(e,er, limited the time to t(o months and t(enty4one days, (hich the plaintiff
(as actually confined in the hospital. In this (e thin1 there (as error, because it (as
clearly established that the plaintiff (as (holly incapacitated for a period of siA months.
'he mere fact that he remained in the hospital only t(o months and t(enty4one days
(hile the remainder of the siA months (as spent in his home, (ould not pre,ent reco,ery
for the (hole time. <e, therefore, find that the amount of dama+es sustained by the
plaintiff, (ithout any fault on his part, is P!$,%#.
As the ne+li+ence (hich caused the collision is a tort committed by an a+ent or employee
of the &o,ernment, the in5uiry at once arises (hether the &o,ernment is le+ally4liable
for the dama+es resultin+ therefrom.
Act No. 26#, effecti,e 7ebruary E, !"!#, reads:
An Act authori/in+ E. -erritt to brin+ suit a+ainst the &o,ernment of the Philippine
Islands and authori/in+ the Attorney4&eneral of said Islands to appear in said suit.
<hereas a claim has been filed a+ainst the &o,ernment of the Philippine Islands by -r.
E. -erritt, of -anila, for dama+es resultin+ from a collision bet(een his motorcycle and
the ambulance of the &eneral 3ospital on -arch t(enty4fifth, nineteen hundred and
thirteenD
<hereas it is not 1no(n (ho is responsible for the accident nor is it possible to determine
the amount of dama+es, if any, to (hich the claimant is entitledD and
<hereas the 2irector of Public <or1s and the Attorney4&eneral recommended that an
Act be passed by the )e+islature authori/in+ -r. E. -erritt to brin+ suit in the courts
a+ainst the &o,ernment, in order that said 5uestions may be decided: No(, therefore,
*y authority of the 9nited ;tates, be it enacted by the Philippine )e+islature, that:
;EC'ION !.E. -erritt is hereby authori/ed to brin+ suit in the Court of 7irst Instance of
the city of -anila a+ainst the &o,ernment of the Philippine Islands in order to fiA the
responsibility for the collision bet(een his motorcycle and the ambulance of the &eneral
3ospital, and to determine the amount of the dama+es, if any, to (hich -r. E. -erritt is
entitled on account of said collision, and the Attorney4&eneral of the Philippine Islands is
hereby authori/ed and directed to appear at the trial on the behalf of the &o,ernment of
said Islands, to defendant said &o,ernment at the same.
;EC. 2. 'his Act shall ta1e effect on its passa+e.
Enacted, 7ebruary E, !"!#.
2id the defendant, in enactin+ the abo,e 5uoted Act, simply (ai,e its immunity from suit
or did it also concede its liability to the plaintiffL If only the former, then it cannot be held
that the Act created any ne( cause of action in fa,or of the plaintiff or eAtended the
defendant>s liability to any case not pre,iously reco+ni/ed.
All admit that the Insular &o,ernment Bthe defendantC cannot be sued by an indi,idual
(ithout its consent. It is also admitted that the instant case is one a+ainst the &o,ernment.
As the consent of the &o,ernment to be sued by the plaintiff (as entirely ,oluntary on its
part, it is our duty to loo1 carefully into the terms of the consent, and render 0ud+ment
accordin+ly.
'he plaintiff (as authori/ed to brin+ this action a+ainst the &o,ernment .in order to fiA
the responsibility for the collision bet(een his motorcycle and the ambulance of the
&eneral 3ospital and to determine the amount of the dama+es, if any, to (hich -r. E.
-erritt is entitled on account of said collision, . . . .. 'hese (ere the t(o 5uestions
submitted to the court for determination. 'he Act (as passed .in order that said 5uestions
may be decided.. <e ha,e .decided. that the accident (as due solely to the ne+li+ence of
the chauffeur, (ho (as at the time an employee of the defendant, and (e ha,e also fiAed
the amount of dama+es sustained by the plaintiff as a result of the collision. 2oes the Act
authori/e us to hold that the &o,ernment is le+ally liable for that amountL If not, (e must
loo1 else(here for such authority, if it eAists.
'he &o,ernment of the Philippine Islands ha,in+ been .modeled after the 7ederal and
;tate &o,ernments in the 9nited ;tates,. (e may loo1 to the decisions of the hi+h courts
of that country for aid in determinin+ the purpose and scope of Act No. 26#.
In the 9nited ;tates the rule that the state is not liable for the torts committed by its
officers or a+ents (hom it employs, eAcept (hen eApressly made so by le+islati,e
enactment, is (ell settled. .'he &o,ernment,. says Justice ;tory, .does not underta1e to
+uarantee to any person the fidelity of the officers or a+ents (hom it employs, since that
(ould in,ol,e it in all its operations in endless embarrassments, difficulties and losses,
(hich (ould be sub,ersi,e of the public interest.. BClaussen ,s. City of )u,erne, !%E
-inn., 6"!, citin+ 9. ;. ,s. ?ir1patric1, " <heat, 2%D F ). Ed., !""D and *eers ,s.
;tates, 2% 3o(., #2D !# ). Ed., ""!.C
In the case of -el,in ,s. ;tate B!2! Cal., !FC, the plaintiff sou+ht to reco,er dama+es
from the state for personal in0uries recei,ed on account of the ne+li+ence of the state
officers at the state fair, a state institution created by the le+islature for the purpose of
impro,in+ a+ricultural and 1indred industriesD to disseminate information calculated to
educate and benefit the industrial classesD and to ad,ance by such means the material
interests of the state, bein+ ob0ects similar to those sou+ht by the public school system. In
passin+ upon the 5uestion of the state>s liability for the ne+li+ent acts of its officers or
a+ents, the court said:
No claim arises a+ainst any +o,ernment is fa,or of an indi,idual, by reason of the
misfeasance, laches, or unauthori/ed eAercise of po(ers by its officers or a+ents. BCitin+
&ibbons ,s. 9. ;., $ <all., 2F"D Clodfelter ,s. ;tate, $F N. C., #!, #ED 6! Am. @ep., 66%D
Chapman ,s. ;tate, !%6 Cal., F"%D 6E Am. ;t. @ep., !#$D &reen ,s. ;tate, E Cal., 2"D
*ourn ,s. 3art, "E Cal., E2!D 2 Am. ;t. @ep., 2%ED ;tory on A+ency, sec. E!".C
As to the scope of le+islati,e enactments permittin+ indi,iduals to sue the state (here the
cause of action arises out of either fort or contract, the rule is stated in EF Cyc., "!#, thus:
*y consentin+ to be sued a state simply (ai,es its immunity from suit. It does not thereby
concede its liability to plaintiff, or create any cause of action in his fa,or, or eAtend its
liability to any cause not pre,iously reco+ni/ed. It merely +i,es a remedy to enforce a
preeAistin+ liability and submits itself to the 0urisdiction of the court, sub0ect to its ri+ht to
interpose any la(ful defense.
In Apfelbacher ,s. ;tate B!#2 N. <., !66, ad,anced sheetsC, decided April !F, !"!#, the
Act of !"!E, (hich authori/ed the brin+in+ of this suit, read:
;EC'ION !.Authority is hereby +i,en to &eor+e Apfelbacher, of the to(n of ;ummit,
<au1esha County, <isconsin, to brin+ suit in such court or courts and in such form or
forms as he may be ad,ised for the purpose of settlin+ and determinin+ all contro,ersies
(hich he may no( ha,e (ith the ;tate of <isconsin, or its duly authori/ed officers and
a+ents, relati,e to the mill property of said &eor+e Apfelbacher, the fish hatchery of the
;tate of <isconsin on the *ar1 @i,er, and the mill property of E,an 3umphrey at the
lo(er end of Na+a(ic1a )a1e, and relati,e to the use of the (aters of said *ar1 @i,er
and Na+a(ic1a )a1e, all in the county of <au1esha, <isconsin.
In determinin+ the scope of this act, the court said:
Plaintiff claims that by the enactment of this la( the le+islature admitted liability on the
part of the state for the acts of its officers, and that the suit no( stands 0ust as it (ould
stand bet(een pri,ate parties. It is difficult to see ho( the act does, or (as intended to do,
more than remo,e the state>s immunity from suit. It simply +i,es authority to commence
suit for the purpose of settlin+ plaintiff>s contro,ersies (ith the estate. No(here in the act
is there a (hisper or su++estion that the court or courts in the disposition of the suit shall
depart from (ell established principles of la(, or that the amount of dama+es is the only
5uestion to be settled. 'he act opened the door of the court to the plaintiff. It did not pass
upon the 5uestion of liability, but left the suit 0ust (here it (ould be in the absence of the
state>s immunity from suit. If the )e+islature had intended to chan+e the rule that
obtained in this state so lon+ and to declare liability on the part of the state, it (ould not
ha,e left so important a matter to mere inference, but (ould ha,e done so in eApress
terms. B-urdoc1 &rate Co. ,s. Common(ealth, !#2 -ass., 2$D 26 N.E., $#6D $ ). @. A.,
E"".C
In 2ennin+ ,s. ;tate B!2E Cal., E!FC, the pro,isions of the Act of !$"E, relied upon and
considered, are as follo(s:
All persons (ho ha,e, or shall hereafter ha,e, claims on contract or for ne+li+ence
a+ainst the state not allo(ed by the state board of eAaminers, are hereby authori/ed, on
the terms and conditions herein contained, to brin+ suit thereon a+ainst the state in any of
the courts of this state of competent 0urisdiction, and prosecute the same to final
0ud+ment. 'he rules of practice in ci,il cases shall apply to such suits, eAcept as herein
other(ise pro,ided.
And the court said:
'his statute has been considered by this court in at least t(o cases, arisin+ under different
facts, and in both it (as held that said statute did not create any liability or cause of action
a+ainst the state (here none eAisted before, but merely +a,e an additional remedy to
enforce such liability as (ould ha,e eAisted if the statute had not been enacted. BChapman
,s. ;tate, !%6 Cal., F"%D 6E Am. ;t. @ep., !#$D -el,in ,s. ;tate, !2! Cal., !F.C
A statute of -assachusetts enacted in !$$ +a,e to the superior court .0urisdiction of all
claims a+ainst the common(ealth, (hether at la( or in e5uity,. (ith an eAception not
necessary to be here mentioned. In construin+ this statute the court, in -urdoc1 &rate Co.
,s. Common(ealth B!#2 -ass., 2$C, said:
'he statute (e are discussin+ disclose no intention to create a+ainst the state a ne( and
heretofore unreco+ni/ed class of liabilities, but only an intention to pro,ide a 0udicial
tribunal (here (ell reco+ni/ed eAistin+ liabilities can be ad0udicated.
In ;ipple ,s. ;tate B"" N. =., 2$6C, (here the board of the canal claims had, by the terms
of the statute of Ne( =or1, 0urisdiction of claims for dama+es for in0uries in the
mana+ement of the canals such as the plaintiff had sustained, Chief Justice @u+er
remar1s: .It must be conceded that the state can be made liable for in0uries arisin+ from
the ne+li+ence of its a+ents or ser,ants, only by force of some positi,e statute assumin+
such liability..
It bein+ 5uite clear that Act No. 26# does not operate to eAtend the &o,ernment>s
liability to any cause not pre,iously reco+ni/ed, (e (ill no( eAamine the substanti,e la(
touchin+ the defendant>s liability for the ne+li+ent acts of its officers, a+ents, and
employees. Para+raph # of article !"%E of the Ci,il Code reads:
'he state is liable in this sense (hen it acts throu+h a special a+ent, but not (hen the
dama+e should ha,e been caused by the official to (hom properly it pertained to do the
act performed, in (hich case the pro,isions of the precedin+ article shall be applicable.
'he supreme court of ;pain in definin+ the scope of this para+raph said:
'hat the obli+ation to indemnify for dama+es (hich a third person causes to another by
his fault or ne+li+ence is based, as is e,idenced by the same )a( E, 'itle !#, Partida , on
that the person obli+ated, by his o(n fault or ne+li+ence, ta1es part in the act or omission
of the third party (ho caused the dama+e. It follo(s therefrom that the state, by ,irtue of
such pro,isions of la(, is not responsible for the dama+es suffered by pri,ate indi,iduals
in conse5uence of acts performed by its employees in the dischar+e of the functions
pertainin+ to their office, because neither fault nor e,en ne+li+ence can be presumed on
the part of the state in the or+ani/ation of branches of public ser,ice and in the
appointment of its a+entsD on the contrary, (e must presuppose all foresi+ht humanly
possible on its part in order that each branch of ser,ice ser,es the +eneral (eal an that of
pri,ate persons interested in its operation. *et(een these latter and the state, therefore, no
relations of a pri,ate nature +o,erned by the ci,il la( can arise eAcept in a case (here the
state acts as a 0udicial person capable of ac5uirin+ ri+hts and contractin+ obli+ations.
B;upreme Court of ;pain, January , !$"$D $E Jur. Ci,., 26.C
'hat the Ci,il Code in chapter 2, title !F, boo1 6, re+ulates the obli+ations (hich arise
out of fault or ne+li+enceD and (hereas in the first article thereof. No. !"%2, (here the
+eneral principle is laid do(n that (here a person (ho by an act or omission causes
dama+e to another throu+h fault or ne+li+ence, shall be obli+ed to repair the dama+e so
done, reference is made to acts or omissions of the persons (ho directly or indirectly
cause the dama+e, the follo(in+ articles refers to this persons and imposes an identical
obli+ation upon those (ho maintain fiAed relations of authority and superiority o,er the
authors of the dama+e, because the la( presumes that in conse5uence of such relations
the e,il caused by their o(n fault or ne+li+ence is imputable to them. 'his le+al
presumption +i,es (ay to proof, ho(e,er, because, as held in the last para+raph of article
!"%E, responsibility for acts of third persons ceases (hen the persons mentioned in said
article pro,e that they employed all the dili+ence of a +ood father of a family to a,oid the
dama+e, and amon+ these persons, called upon to ans(er in a direct and not a subsidiary
manner, are found, in addition to the mother or the father in a proper case, +uardians and
o(ners or directors of an establishment or enterprise, the state, but not al(ays, eAcept
(hen it acts throu+h the a+ency of a special a+ent, doubtless because and only in this
case, the fault or ne+li+ence, (hich is the ori+inal basis of this 1ind of ob0ections, must be
presumed to lie (ith the state.
'hat althou+h in some cases the state mi+ht by ,irtue of the +eneral principle set forth in
article !"%2 respond for all the dama+e that is occasioned to pri,ate parties by orders or
resolutions (hich by fault or ne+li+ence are made by branches of the central
administration actin+ in the name and representation of the state itself and as an eAternal
eApression of its so,erei+nty in the eAercise of its eAecuti,e po(ers, yet said article is not
applicable in the case of dama+es said to ha,e been occasioned to the petitioners by an
eAecuti,e official, actin+ in the eAercise of his po(ers, in proceedin+s to enforce the
collections of certain property taAes o(in+ by the o(ner of the property (hich they hold
in sublease.
'hat the responsibility of the state is limited by article !"%E to the case (herein it acts
throu+h a special a+ent Band a special a+ent, in the sense in (hich these (ords are
employed, is one (ho recei,es a definite and fiAed order or commission, forei+n to the
eAercise of the duties of his office if he is a special officialC so that in representation of
the state and bein+ bound to act as an a+ent thereof, he eAecutes the trust confided to him.
'his concept does not apply to any eAecuti,e a+ent (ho is an employee of the actin+
administration and (ho on his o(n responsibility performs the functions (hich are
inherent in and naturally pertain to his office and (hich are re+ulated by la( and the
re+ulations.. B;upreme Court of ;pain, -ay !$, !"%6D "$ Jur. Ci,., E$", E"%.C
'hat accordin+ to para+raph # of article !"%E of the Ci,il Code and the principle laid
do(n in a decision, amon+ others, of the !$th of -ay, !"%6, in a dama+e case, the
responsibility of the state is limited to that (hich it contracts throu+h a special a+ent, duly
empo(ered by a definite order or commission to perform some act or char+ed (ith some
definite purpose (hich +i,es rise to the claim, and not (here the claim is based on acts or
omissions imputable to a public official char+ed (ith some administrati,e or technical
office (ho can be held to the proper responsibility in the manner laid do(n by the la( of
ci,il responsibility. Conse5uently, the trial court in not so decidin+ and in sentencin+ the
said entity to the payment of dama+es, caused by an official of the second class referred
to, has by erroneous interpretation infrin+ed the pro,isions of articles !"%2 and !"%E of
the Ci,il Code. B;upreme Court of ;pain, July E%, !"!!D !22 Jur. Ci,., !6F.C
It is, therefore, e,idence that the ;tate Bthe &o,ernment of the Philippine IslandsC is only
liable, accordin+ to the abo,e 5uoted decisions of the ;upreme Court of ;pain, for the
acts of its a+ents, officers and employees (hen they act as special a+ents (ithin the
meanin+ of para+raph # of article !"%E, supra, and that the chauffeur of the ambulance of
the &eneral 3ospital (as not such an a+ent.
7or the fore+oin+ reasons, the 0ud+ment appealed from must be re,ersed, (ithout costs in
this instance. <hether the &o,ernment intends to ma1e itself le+ally liable for the amount
of dama+es abo,e set forth, (hich the plaintiff has sustained by reason of the ne+li+ent
acts of one of its employees, by le+islati,e enactment and by appropriatin+ sufficient
funds therefor, (e are not called upon to determine. 'his matter rests solely (ith the
)e+islature and not (ith the courts.
Arellano, C. J., 'orres, Johnson, and -oreland, JJ., concur.
G.R. No. L-52119 A"r%- 8, 1991
!)NICI*ALITY O +AN ERNAN/O, LA )NION, "#$%$%on#r
&'.
5ON. J)/GE RO!EO N. IR!E, J)ANA RI!AN/O-BANI7A, IA)REANO
BANI7A, JR., +OR !ARIETA BANI7A, !ONTANO BANI7A, ORJA BANI7A,
AN/ LY/IA R. BANI7A, r#'"on(#n$'.
-E2IA)2EA, J.:p
'his is a petition for certiorari (ith prayer for the issuance of a (rit of preliminary
mandatory in0unction see1in+ the nullification or modification of the proceedin+s and the
orders issued by the respondent Jud+e @omeo N. 7irme, in his capacity as the presidin+
0ud+e of the Court of 7irst Instance of )a 9nion, ;econd Judicial 2istrict, *ranch I:,
*auan+, )a 9nion in Ci,il Case No. !%4*&, entitled .Juana @imando *aniOa, et al. ,s.
-acario Nie,eras, et al.. dated No,ember 6, !"#D July !E, !"FD Au+ust 2E,!"FD
7ebruary 2E, !"D -arch !F, !"D July 2F, !""D ;eptember , !""D No,ember ,
!"" and 2ecember E, !"" and the decision dated October !%, !"" orderin+ defendants
-unicipality of ;an 7ernando, )a 9nion and Alfredo *isli+ to pay, 0ointly and se,erally,
the plaintiffs for funeral eApenses, actual dama+es consistin+ of the loss of earnin+
capacity of the deceased, attorney>s fees and costs of suit and dismissin+ the complaint
a+ainst the Estate of -acario Nie,eras and *ernardo *ala+ot.
'he antecedent facts are as follo(s:
Petitioner -unicipality of ;an 7ernando, )a 9nion is a municipal corporation eAistin+
under and in accordance (ith the la(s of the @epublic of the Philippines. @espondent
3onorable Jud+e @omeo N. 7irme is impleaded in his official capacity as the presidin+
0ud+e of the Court of 7irst Instance of )a 9nion, *ranch I:, *auan+, )a 9nion. <hile
pri,ate respondents Juana @imando4*aniOa, )aureano *aniOa, Jr., ;or -arietta *aniOa,
-ontano *aniOa, Or0a *aniOa and )ydia @. *aniOa are heirs of the deceased )aureano
*aniOa ;r. and plaintiffs in Ci,il Case No. !%4*+ before the aforesaid court.
At about o>cloc1 in the mornin+ of 2ecember !F, !"F#, a collision occurred in,ol,in+ a
passen+er 0eepney dri,en by *ernardo *ala+ot and o(ned by the Estate of -acario
Nie,eras, a +ra,el and sand truc1 dri,en by Jose -anande+ and o(ned by 'an5uilino
:elas5ue/ and a dump truc1 of the -unicipality of ;an 7ernando, )a 9nion and dri,en
by Alfredo *isli+. 2ue to the impact, se,eral passen+ers of the 0eepney includin+
)aureano *aniOa ;r. died as a result of the in0uries they sustained and four B6C others
suffered ,aryin+ de+rees of physical in0uries.
On 2ecember !!, !"FF, the pri,ate respondents instituted a compliant for dama+es
a+ainst the Estate of -acario Nie,eras and *ernardo *ala+ot, o(ner and dri,er,
respecti,ely, of the passen+er 0eepney, (hich (as doc1eted Ci,il Case No. 2!$E in the
Court of 7irst Instance of )a 9nion, *ranch I, ;an 7ernando, )a 9nion. 3o(e,er, the
aforesaid defendants filed a 'hird Party Complaint a+ainst the petitioner and the dri,er of
a dump truc1 of petitioner.
'hereafter, the case (as subse5uently transferred to *ranch I:, presided o,er by
respondent 0ud+e and (as subse5uently doc1eted as Ci,il Case No. !%4*+. *y ,irtue of
a court order dated -ay , !"#, the pri,ate respondents amended the complaint (herein
the petitioner and its re+ular employee, Alfredo *isli+ (ere impleaded for the first time
as defendants. Petitioner filed its ans(er and raised affirmati,e defenses such as lac1 of
cause of action, non4suability of the ;tate, prescription of cause of action and the
ne+li+ence of the o(ner and dri,er of the passen+er 0eepney as the proAimate cause of the
collision.
In the course of the proceedin+s, the respondent 0ud+e issued the follo(in+ 5uestioned
orders, to (it:
B!C Order dated No,ember 6, !"# dismissin+ the cross4claim a+ainst *ernardo *ala+otD
B2C Order dated July !E, !"F admittin+ the Amended Ans(er of the -unicipality of ;an
7ernando, )a 9nion and *isli+ and settin+ the hearin+ on the affirmati,e defenses only
(ith respect to the supposed lac1 of 0urisdictionD
BEC Order dated Au+ust 2E, !"F deferrin+ there resolution of the +rounds for the -otion
to 2ismiss until the trialD
B6C Order dated 7ebruary 2E, !" denyin+ the motion for reconsideration of the order of
July !E, !"F filed by the -unicipality and *isli+ for ha,in+ been filed out of timeD
B#C Order dated -arch !F, !" reiteratin+ the denial of the motion for reconsideration
of the order of July !E, !"FD
BFC Order dated July 2F, !"" declarin+ the case deemed submitted for decision it
appearin+ that parties ha,e not yet submitted their respecti,e memoranda despite the
court>s directionD and
BC Order dated ;eptember , !"" denyin+ the petitioner>s motion for reconsideration
andNor order to recall prosecution (itnesses for cross eAamination.
On October !%, !"" the trial court rendered a decision, the dispositi,e portion is
hereunder 5uoted as follo(s:
IN :IE< O7 A)) O7 BsicC '3E 7O@E&OIN&, 0ud+ment is hereby rendered for the
plaintiffs, and defendants -unicipality of ;an 7ernando, )a 9nion and Alfredo *isli+ are
ordered to pay 0ointly and se,erally, plaintiffs Juana @imando4*aniOa, -rs. Priscilla *.
;urell, )aureano *aniOa Jr., ;or -arietta *aniOa, -rs. 7e *. ;oriano, -ontano *aniOa,
Or0a *aniOa and )ydia *. *aniOa the sums of P!,#%%.%% as funeral eApenses and
P26,66.26 as the lost eApected earnin+s of the late )aureano *aniOa ;r., PE%,%%%.%% as
moral dama+es, and P2,#%%.%% as attorney>s fees. Costs a+ainst said defendants.
'he Complaint is dismissed as to defendants Estate of -acario Nie,eras and *ernardo
*ala+ot.
;O O@2E@E2. B@ollo, p. E%C
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration and for a ne( trial (ithout pre0udice to
another motion (hich (as then pendin+. 3o(e,er, respondent 0ud+e issued another order
dated No,ember , !"" denyin+ the motion for reconsideration of the order of
;eptember , !"" for ha,in+ been filed out of time.
7inally, the respondent 0ud+e issued an order dated 2ecember E, !"" pro,idin+ that if
defendants municipality and *isli+ further (ish to pursue the matter disposed of in the
order of July 2F, !"", such should be ele,ated to a hi+her court in accordance (ith the
@ules of Court. 3ence, this petition.
Petitioner maintains that the respondent 0ud+e committed +ra,e abuse of discretion
amountin+ to eAcess of 0urisdiction in issuin+ the aforesaid orders and in renderin+ a
decision. 7urthermore, petitioner asserts that (hile appeal of the decision maybe
a,ailable, the same is not the speedy and ade5uate remedy in the ordinary course of la(.
On the other hand, pri,ate respondents contro,ert the position of the petitioner and alle+e
that the petition is de,oid of merit, utterly lac1in+ the +ood faith (hich is indispensable
in a petition for certiorari and prohibition. B@ollo,
p. 62.C In addition, the pri,ate respondents stress that petitioner has not considered that
e,ery court, includin+ respondent court, has the inherent po(er to amend and control its
process and orders so as to ma1e them conformable to la( and 0ustice. B@ollo, p. 6E.C
'he contro,ersy boils do(n to the main issue of (hether or not the respondent court
committed +ra,e abuse of discretion (hen it deferred and failed to resol,e the defense of
non4suability of the ;tate amountin+ to lac1 of 0urisdiction in a motion to dismiss.
In the case at bar, the respondent 0ud+e deferred the resolution of the defense of non4
suability of the ;tate amountin+ to lac1 of 0urisdiction until trial. 3o(e,er, said
respondent 0ud+e failed to resol,e such defense, proceeded (ith the trial and thereafter
rendered a decision a+ainst the municipality and its dri,er.
'he respondent 0ud+e did not commit +ra,e abuse of discretion (hen in the eAercise of its
0ud+ment it arbitrarily failed to resol,e the ,ital issue of non4suability of the ;tate in the
+uise of the municipality. 3o(e,er, said 0ud+e acted in eAcess of his 0urisdiction (hen in
his decision dated October !%, !"" he held the municipality liable for the 5uasi4delict
committed by its re+ular employee.
'he doctrine of non4suability of the ;tate is eApressly pro,ided for in Article I:I,
;ection E of the Constitution, to (it: .the ;tate may not be sued (ithout its consent..
;tated in simple parlance, the +eneral rule is that the ;tate may not be sued eAcept (hen
it +i,es consent to be sued. Consent ta1es the form of eApress or implied consent.
EApress consent may be embodied in a +eneral la( or a special la(. 'he standin+ consent
of the ;tate to be sued in case of money claims in,ol,in+ liability arisin+ from contracts
is found in Act No. E%$E. A special la( may be passed to enable a person to sue the
+o,ernment for an alle+ed 5uasi4delict, as in -erritt ,. &o,ernment of the Philippine
Islands BE6 Phil E!!C. Bsee 9nited ;tates of America ,. &uinto, &.@. No. FF%, 7ebruary
2F, !""%, !$2 ;C@A F66, F#6.C
Consent is implied (hen the +o,ernment enters into business contracts, thereby
descendin+ to the le,el of the other contractin+ party, and also (hen the ;tate files a
complaint, thus openin+ itself to a counterclaim. BIbidC
-unicipal corporations, for eAample, li1e pro,inces and cities, are a+encies of the ;tate
(hen they are en+a+ed in +o,ernmental functions and therefore should en0oy the
so,erei+n immunity from suit. Ne,ertheless, they are sub0ect to suit e,en in the
performance of such functions because their charter pro,ided that they can sue and be
sued. BCru/, Philippine Political )a(, !"$ Edition, p. E"C
A distinction should first be made bet(een suability and liability. .;uability depends on
the consent of the state to be sued, liability on the applicable la( and the established
facts. 'he circumstance that a state is suable does not necessarily mean that it is liableD on
the other hand, it can ne,er be held liable if it does not first consent to be sued. )iability
is not conceded by the mere fact that the state has allo(ed itself to be sued. <hen the
state does (ai,e its so,erei+n immunity, it is only +i,in+ the plaintiff the chance to pro,e,
if it can, that the defendant is liable.. B9nited ;tates of America ,s. &uinto, supra, p. F#"4
FF%C
Anent the issue of (hether or not the municipality is liable for the torts committed by its
employee, the test of liability of the municipality depends on (hether or not the dri,er,
actin+ in behalf of the municipality, is performin+ +o,ernmental or proprietary functions.
As emphasi/ed in the case of 'orio ,s. 7ontanilla B&. @. No. )42"""E, October 2E, !"$.
$# ;C@A #"", F%FC, the distinction of po(ers becomes important for purposes of
determinin+ the liability of the municipality for the acts of its a+ents (hich result in an
in0ury to third persons.
Another statement of the test is +i,en in City of ?o1omo ,s. )oy, decided by the
;upreme Court of Indiana in !"!F, thus:
-unicipal corporations eAist in a dual capacity, and their functions are t(ofold. In one
they eAercise the ri+ht sprin+in+ from so,erei+nty, and (hile in the performance of the
duties pertainin+ thereto, their acts are political and +o,ernmental. 'heir officers and
a+ents in such capacity, thou+h elected or appointed by them, are ne,ertheless public
functionaries performin+ a public ser,ice, and as such they are officers, a+ents, and
ser,ants of the state. In the other capacity the municipalities eAercise a pri,ate,
proprietary or corporate ri+ht, arisin+ from their eAistence as le+al persons and not as
public a+encies. 'heir officers and a+ents in the performance of such functions act in
behalf of the municipalities in their corporate or indi,idual capacity, and not for the state
or so,erei+n po(er.. B!!2 N.E., ""64""#C BIbid, pp. F%#4F%F.C
It has already been remar1ed that municipal corporations are suable because their charters
+rant them the competence to sue and be sued. Ne,ertheless, they are +enerally not liable
for torts committed by them in the dischar+e of +o,ernmental functions and can be held
ans(erable only if it can be sho(n that they (ere actin+ in a proprietary capacity. In
permittin+ such entities to be sued, the ;tate merely +i,es the claimant the ri+ht to sho(
that the defendant (as not actin+ in its +o,ernmental capacity (hen the in0ury (as
committed or that the case comes under the eAceptions reco+ni/ed by la(. 7ailin+ this,
the claimant cannot reco,er. BCru/, supra, p. 66.C
In the case at bar, the dri,er of the dump truc1 of the municipality insists that .he (as on
his (ay to the Na+uilian ri,er to +et a load of sand and +ra,el for the repair of ;an
7ernando>s municipal streets.. B@ollo, p. 2".C
In the absence of any e,idence to the contrary, the re+ularity of the performance of
official duty is presumed pursuant to ;ection EBmC of @ule !E! of the @e,ised @ules of
Court. 3ence, <e rule that the dri,er of the dump truc1 (as performin+ duties or tas1s
pertainin+ to his office.
<e already stressed in the case of PalafoA, et. al. ,s. Pro,ince of Ilocos Norte, the 2istrict
En+ineer, and the Pro,incial 'reasurer B!%2 Phil !!$FC that .the construction or
maintenance of roads in (hich the truc1 and the dri,er (or1ed at the time of the accident
are admittedly +o,ernmental acti,ities..
After a careful eAamination of eAistin+ la(s and 0urisprudence, <e arri,e at the
conclusion that the municipality cannot be held liable for the torts committed by its
re+ular employee, (ho (as then en+a+ed in the dischar+e of +o,ernmental functions.
3ence, the death of the passen+er PP tra+ic and deplorable thou+h it may be PP imposed
on the municipality no duty to pay monetary compensation.
All premises considered, the Court is con,inced that the respondent 0ud+e>s dereliction in
failin+ to resol,e the issue of non4suability did not amount to +ra,e abuse of discretion.
*ut said 0ud+e eAceeded his 0urisdiction (hen it ruled on the issue of liability.
ACCO@2IN&)=, the petition is &@AN'E2 and the decision of the respondent court is
hereby modified, absol,in+ the petitioner municipality of any liability in fa,or of pri,ate
respondents.
;O O@2E@E2.
Nar,asa, Cru/, &ancayco and &riOo4A5uino, JJ., concur.

G.R. No. L-29993 O,$o8#r 23, 1918
LA)/ENCIO TORIO, G)ILLER!O E6ANGELI+TA, !AN)EL /E G)3!AN,
ALON+O R. !AG+ANOC, JE+)+ !ACARANA+, !A9I!O !ANANGAN,
I/EL !ONTE!AYOR, !ELC5OR 6IRAY, RA!ON T)LAGAN, a-- !#:8#r'
o. $4# !un%,%"a- Coun,%- o. !a-a'%;u% %n 1959, !a-a'%;u%, *an<a'%nan, "#$%$%on#r',
&'.
RO+ALINA, ANGELINA, LEONAR/O, E/)AR/O, ARTE!IO, ANGELITA,
ANITA, ERNE+TO, NOR!A, 6IRGINIA, RE!E/IO+ an( ROBERTO, a--
'urna:#( ONTANILLA, an( T5E 5ONORABLE CO)RT O A**EAL+,
r#'"on(#n$'.
G.R. No. L-30183 O,$o8#r 23, 1918
!)NICI*ALITY O !ALA+I=)I, "#$%$%on#r,
&'.
RO+ALINA, ANGELINA, LEONAR/O, E/)AR/O, ARTE!IO, ANGELITA,
ANITA, ERNE+TO, NOR!A, 6IRGINIA, RE!E/IO+ an( ROBERTO, a--
'urna:#( ONTANILLA, an( $4# 5onora8-# CO)RT O A**EAL+, r#'"on(#n$'.
-9QOG PA)-A, J.:
'hese Petitions for re,ie( present the issue of (hether or not the celebration of a to(n
fiesta authori/ed by a municipal council under ;ec. 22$2 of the -unicipal )a( as
embodied in the @e,ised Administrati,e Code is a +o,ernmental or a corporate or
proprietary function of the municipality.
A resolution of that issue (ill lead to another, ,i/ the ci,il liability for dama+es of the
-unicipality of -alasi5ui, and the members of the -unicipal Council of -alasi5ui,
pro,ince of Pan+asinan, for a death (hich occurred durin+ the celebration of the to(n
fiesta on January 22, !"#", and (hich (as attributed to the ne+li+ence of the municipality
and its council members.
'he follo(in+ facts are not in dispute:
On October 2!, !"#$, the -unicipal Council of -alasi5ui, Pan+asinan, passed
@esolution No. !#" (hereby .it resol,ed to mana+e the !"#" -alasi5ui to(n fiesta
celebration on January 2!, 22, and 2E, !"#".. @esolution No. !$2 (as also passed
creatin+ the .!"#" -alasi5ui >'o(n 7iesta EAecuti,e Committee. (hich in turn
or+ani/ed a sub4committee on entertainment and sta+e, (ith Jose -acarae+ as Chairman.
the council appropriated the amount of P!%%.%% for the construction of 2 sta+es, one for
the ./ar/uela. and another for the cancionan Jose -acarae+ super,ised the construction
of the sta+e and as constructed the sta+e for the ./ar/uela. (as .#4R meters by $ meters
in si/e, had a (ooden floor hi+h at the rear and (as supported by 26 bamboo posts 8 6
in a ro( in front, 6 in the rear and # on each side 8 (ith bamboo braces.. !
'he ./ar/uela. entitled .-idas EAtra,a+an/a. (as donated by an association of
-alasi5ui employees of the -anila @ailroad Company in Caloocan, @i/al. 'he troupe
arri,ed in the e,enin+ of January 22 for the performance and one of the members of the
+roup (as :icente 7ontanilla. 'he pro+ram started at about !%:!# o>cloc1 that e,enin+
(ith some speeches, and many persons (ent up the sta+e. 'he ./ar/uela. then be+an but
before the dramatic part of the play (as reached, the sta+e collapsed and :icente
7ontanilla (ho (as at the rear of the sta+e (as pinned underneath. 7ontanilia (as ta1en
to tile ;an Carlos &eneral 3ospital (here he died in the afternoon of the follo(in+ day.
'he heirs of :icente 7ontanilia filed a complaint (ith the Court of 7irst Instance of
-anila on ;eptember !!, !"#" to reco,er dama+es. Named party4defendants (ere the
-unicipality of -alasi5ui, the -unicipal Council of -alasi5ui and all the indi,idual
members of the -unicipal Council in !"#".
Ans(erin+ the complaint defendant municipality in,o1ed inter alia the principal defense
that as a le+ally and duly or+ani/ed public corporation it performs so,erei+n functions
and the holdin+ of a to(n fiesta (as an eAercise of its +o,ernmental functions from
(hich no liability can arise to ans(er for the ne+li+ence of any of its a+ents.
'he defendant councilors inturn maintained that they merely acted as a+ents of the
municipality in carryin+ out the municipal ordinance pro,idin+ for the mana+ement of
the to(n fiesta celebration and as such they are li1e(ise not liable for dama+es as the
underta1in+ (as not one for profitD furthermore, they had eAercised due care and
dili+ence in implementin+ the municipal ordinance. 2
After trial, the Presidin+ Jud+e, 3on. &re+orio '. )antin narro(ed the issue to (hether or
not the defendants eAercised due dili+ence >m the construction of the sta+e. 7rom his
findin+s he arri,ed at the conclusion that the EAecuti,e Committee appointed by the
municipal council had eAercised due dili+ence and care li1e a +ood father of the family in
selectin+ a competent man to construct a sta+e stron+ enou+h for the occasion and that if
it collapsed that (as due to forces beyond the control of the committee on entertainment,
conse5uently, the defendants (ere not liable for dama+es for the death of :icente
7ontanilla. 'he complaint (as accordin+ly dismissed in a decision dated July !%, !"F2. E
'he 7ontanillas appealed to the Court of Appeals. In a decision Promul+ated on October
E!, !"F$, the Court of Appeals throu+h its 7ourth 2i,ision composed at the time of
Justices ;al,ador :. Es+uerra, Nicasio A. =atco and Eulo+io ;. ;errano re,ersed the trial
court>s decision and ordered all the defendants4appellees to pay 0ointly and se,erally the
heirs of :icente 7ontanilla the sums of P!2,%%%.%% by (ay of moral and actual dama+es:
P!2%%.%% its attorney>s feesD and the costs.
'he case is no( before 9s on ,arious assi+nments of errors all of (hich center on the
proposition stated at the sentence of this Opinion and (hich <e repeat:
Is the celebration of a to(n fiesta an underta1in+ in the eAcercise of a municipality>s
+o,ernmental or public function or is it or a pri,ate or proprietary characterL
!. 9nder Philippine la(s municipalities are political bodies corporate and as such a+
endo(ed (ith the faculties of municipal corporations to be eAercised by and throu+h their
respecti,e municipal +o,ernments in conformity (ith la(, and in their proper corporate
name, they may inter alia sue and be sued, and contract and be contracted (ith. #
'he po(ers of a municipality are t(ofold in character public, +o,ernmental or political
on the one hand, and corporate, pri,ate, or proprietary on the other. &o,ernmental po(ers
are those eAercised by the corporation in administerin+ the po(ers of the state and
promotin+ the public (elfare and they include the le+islati,e, 0udicial public, and
political -unicipal po(ers on the other hand are eAercised for the special benefit and
ad,anta+e of the community and include those (hich are ministerial pri,ate and
corporate. F
As to (hen a certain acti,ity is +o,ernmental and (hen proprietary or pri,ate, that is
+enerally a difficult matter to determine. 'he e,olution of the municipal la( in American
Jurisprudence, for instance, has sho(n thatD none of the tests (hich ha,e e,ol,ed and are
stated in teAtboo1s ha,e set do(n a conclusi,e principle or rule, so that each case (ill
ha,e to be determined on the basis of attendin+ circumstances.
In -cMuillin on -unicipal Corporations, the rule is stated thus: .A municipal corporation
proper has ... a public character as re+ards the state at lar+e insofar as it is its a+ent in
+o,ernment, and pri,ate Bso4calledC insofar as it is to promote local necessities and
con,eniences for its o(n community.
Another statement of the test is +i,en in City of ?o1omo ,. )oy, decided by the ;upreme
Court of Indiana in !"!F, thus:
-unicipal corporations eAist in a dual capacity, and their functions are t(o fold. In one
they eAercise the ri+ht sprin+in+ from so,erei+nty, and (hile in the performance of the
duties pertainin+ thereto, their acts are political and +o,ernmental 'heir officers and
a+ents in such capacity, thou+h elected or appointed by the are ne,ertheless public
functionaries performin+ a public ser,ice, and as such they are officers, a+ents, and
ser,ants of the state. In the other capacity the municipalities eAercise a pri,ate.
proprietary or corporate ri+ht, arisin+ from their eAistence as le+al persons and not as
public a+encies. 'heir officers and a+ents in the performance of such functions act in
behalf of the municipalities in their corporate or in. indi,idual capacity, and not for the
state or so,erei+n po(er. B!!2 N. E ""64""#C
In the early Philippine case of -endo/a ,. de )eon !"!F, the ;upreme Court, throu+h
Justice &rant '. 'rent, relyin+ mainly on American Jurisprudence classified certain
acti,ities of the municipality as +o,ernmental, e.+.: re+ulations a+ainst fire, disease,
preser,ation of public peace, maintenance of municipal prisons, establishment of schools,
post4offices, etc. (hile the follo(in+ are corporate or proprietary in character, ,i/:
municipal (ater(or1, slau+hter houses, mar1ets, stables, bathin+ establishments,
(har,es, ferries, and fisheries. $ -aintenance of par1s, +olf courses, cemeteries and
airports amon+ others, are also reco+ni/ed as municipal or city acti,ities of a proprietary
character. "
2. 'his distinction of po(ers becomes important for purposes of determinin+ the
liability of the municipality for the acts of its a+ents (hich result in an in0ury to third
persons.
If the in0ury is caused in the course of the performance of a +o,ernmental function or
duty no reco,ery, as a rule, can be. had from the municipality unless there is an eAistin+
statute on the matter, !% nor from its officers, so lon+ as they performed their duties
honestly and in +ood faith or that they did not act (antonly and maliciously. !! In
PalafoA, et al., ,. Pro,ince of Ilocos Norte, et al., !"#$, a truc1 dri,er employed by the
pro,incial +o,ernment of Ilocos Norte ran o,er Proceto PalafoA in the course of his (or1
at the construction of a road. 'he ;upreme Court in affirmin+ the trial court>s dismissal of
the complaint for dama+es held that the pro,ince could not be made liable because its
employee (as in the performance of a +o,ernmental function 8 the construction and
maintenance of roads 8 and ho(e,er tra+ic and deplorable it may be, the death of
PalafoA imposed on the pro,ince no duty to pay monetary consideration. !2
<ith respect to proprietary functions, the settled rule is that a municipal corporation can
be held liable to third persons eA contract !E or eA delicto. !6
-unicipal corporations are sub0ect to be sued upon contracts and in tort. ...
AAA AAA AAA
'he rule of la( is a +eneral one, that the superior or employer must ans(er ci,illy for the
ne+li+ence or (ant of s1ill of its a+ent or ser,ant in the course or fine of his employment,
by (hich another, (ho is free from contributory fault, is in0ured. -unicipal corporations
under the conditions herein stated, fall (ithin the operation of this rule of la(, and are
liable, accordin+ly, to ci,il actions for dama+es (hen the re5uisite elements of liability
co4eAist. ... B2illon on -unicipal Corporations, #th ed. ;ec. !F!%,!F6, cited in -endo/a
,. de )eon, supra. #!6C
E. Comin+ to the cam before 9s, and applyin+ the +eneral tests +i,en abo,e, <e hold
that the holdin+ of the to(n fiesta in !"#" by the municipality of -alsi5ui Pan+asinan
(as an eAercise of a pri,ate or proprietary function of the municipality.
;ection 22$2 of the Chatter on -unicipal )a( of the @e,ised Administrati,e Code
pro,ides:
;ection 22$2. Celebration of fiesta. 8 fiesta may be held in each municipality not oftener
than once a year upon a date fiAed by the municipal council A fiesta s not be held upon
any other date than that la(fully fiAed therefor, eAcept (hen, for (ei+hty reasons, such as
typhoons, foundations, earth5ua1es, epidemics, or other public ties, the fiesta cannot be
hold in the date fiAed in (hich case it may be held at a later date in the same year, by
resolution of the council.
'his pro,ision simply +i,es authority to the municipality to celebrate a yearly fiesta but it
does not impose upon it a duty to obser,e one. 3oldin+ a fiesta e,en if the purpose is to
commemorate a reli+ious or historical e,ent of the to(n is in essence an act for the
special benefit of the community and not for the +eneral (elfare of the public performed
in pursuance of a policy of the state. 'he mere fact that the celebration, as claimed (as
not to secure profit or +ain but merely to pro,ide entertainment to the to(n inhabitants is
not a conclusi,e test. 7or instance, the maintenance of par1s is not a source of income for
the nonetheless it is pri,ate underta1in+ as distin+uished from the maintenance of public
schools, 0ails, and the li1e (hich are for public ser,ice.
As stated earlier, there can be no hard and fast rule for purposes of determinin+ the true
nature of an underta1in+ or function of a municipalityD the surroundin+ circumstances of
a particular case are to be considered and (ill be decisi,e. 'he basic element, ho(e,er
beneficial to the public the underta1in+ may be, is that it is +o,ernmental in essence,
other(ise the function becomes pri,ate or proprietary in character. Easily, no
+o,ernmental or public policy of the state is in,ol,ed in the celebration of a to(n fiesta.
6. It follo(s that under the doctrine of respondent superior, petitioner4municipality is to
be held liable for dama+es for the death of :icente 7ontanilia if that (as attributable to
the ne+li+ence of the municipality>s officers, employees, or a+ents.
Art. 2!F, Ci,il Code: <hoe,er by act or omission causes dama+e to another, there bein+
fault or ne+li+ence, is obli+ed to pay for the dama+e done. . .
Art. 2!$%, Ci,il Code: 'he obli+ation imposed by article 2!F is demandable not only for
one>s o(n acts or omission, but also for those of persons for (hom one is responsible. . .
On this point, the Court of Appeals found and held that there (as ne+li+ence.
'he trial court +a,e credence to the testimony of An+el No,ado, a (itness of the
defendants Bno( petitionersC, that a member of the .eAtra,a+an/a troupe remo,ed t(o
principal braces located on the front portion of the sta+e and u them to han+ the screen or
.telon., and that (hen many people (ent up the sta+e the latter collapsed. 'his testimony
(as not belie,ed ho(e,er by respondent appellate court, and ri+htly so. Accordin+ to said
defendants, those t(o braces (ere .mother. or .principal. braces located semi4dia+onally
from the front ends of the sta+e to the front posts of the tic1et booth located at the rear of
the sta+e and (ere fastened (ith a bamboo t(ine. 'hat bein+ the case, it becomes
incredible that any person in his ri+ht mind (ould remo,e those principal braces and
lea,e the front portion of the sta+e practically unsuported -oreo,er, if that did happen,
there (as indeed ne+li+ence as there (as lac1 of suspension o,er the use of the sta+e to
pre,ent such an occurrence.
At any rate, the +uitarist (ho (as pointed to by No,ado as the person (ho remo,ed the
t(o bamboo braces denied ha,in+ done so. 'he Court of Appeals said .Amor by himself
alone could not ha,e remo,ed the t(o braces (hich must be about ten meters lon+ and
fastened them on top of the sta+s for the curtain. 'he sta+e (as only fi,e and a half
meters (ide. ;urely, it, (ould be impractical and un(ieldy to use a ten meter bamboo
pole, much more t(o poles for the sta+e curtain.
'he appellate court also found that the sta+e (as not stron+ enou+h considerin+ that only
P!%%.%% (as appropriate for the construction of t(o sta+es and (hile the floor of the
./ar/uela. sta+e (as of (ooden plan1s, the Post and braces used (ere of bamboo
material <e li1e(ise obser,e that althou+h the sta+e (as described by the Petitioners as
bein+ supported by .26. posts, ne,ertheless there (ere only 6 in front, 6 at the rear, and #
on each side. <here (ere the restL
'he Court of Appeals thus concluded
'he court a 5uo itself attributed the collapse of the sta+e to the +reat number of onloo1ers
(ho mounted the sta+e. 'he municipality andNor its a+ents had the necessary means
(ithin its command to pre,ent such an occurrence. 3a,in+ failed to ta1e the necessary
steps to maintain the safety of the sta+e for the use of the participants in the sta+e
presentation prepared in connection (ith the celebration of the to(n fiesta, particularly,
in pre,entin+ non participants or spectators from mountin+ and accumulatin+ on the sta+e
(hich (as not constructed to meet the additional (ei+ht4 the defendant4appellees (ere
ne+li+ent and are liable for the death of :icente 7ontanilla . Bpp. E%4E!, rollo, )42"""EC
'he findin+s of the respondent appellate court that the facts as presented to it establish
ne+li+ence as a matter of la( and that the -unicipality failed to eAercise the due
dili+ence of a +ood father of the family, (ill not disturbed by 9s in the absence of a clear
sho(in+ of an abuse of discretion or a +ross misapprehension of facts.. !$
)iability rests on ne+li+ence (hich is .the (ant of such care as a person of ordinary
prudence (ould eAercise under the circumstances of the case.. !"
'hus, pri,ate respondents ar+ue that the .-idas EAtra,a+an/a. (hich (as to be
performed durin+ the to(n fiesta (as a .donation. offered by an association of -alasi5ui
employees of the -anila @ailroad Co. in Caloocan, and that (hen the -unicipality of
-alasi5ui accepted the donation of ser,ices and constructed precisely a ./ar/uela sta+e.
for the purpose, the participants in the sta+e sho( had the ri+ht to eApect that the
-unicipality throu+h its .Committee on entertainment and sta+e. (ould build or put up a
sta+e or platform stron+ enou+h to sustain the (ei+ht or burden of the performance and
ta1e the necessary measures to insure the personal safety of the participants. 2% <e a+ree.
Muite rele,ant to that ar+ument is the American case of ;anders ,. City of )on+ *each,
!"62, (hich (as an action a+ainst the city for in0uries sustained from a fall (hen plaintiff
(as descendin+ the steps of the city auditorium. 'he city (as conductin+ a .?no( your
City <ee1. and one of the features (as the sho(in+ of a motion picture in the city
auditorium to (hich the +eneral public (as in,ited and plaintiff ;anders (as one of those
(ho attended. In sustainin+ the a(ard for 2ama+es in fa,or of plaintiff, the 2istrict Court
of Appeal, ;econd district, California, held inter alia that the .?no( your City <ee1. (as
a .proprietary acti,ity. and not a .+o,ernmental one. of the city, that defendant o(ed to
plaintiff, an in,itee the duty of eAercisin+ ordinary care for her safety, and plaintiff (as
entitled to assume that she (ould not be eAposed to a dan+er B(hich in this case consisted
of lac1 of sufficient illumination of the premisesC that (ould come to her throu+h a
,iolation of defendant duty. 2!
<e can say that the deceased :icente 7ontanilla (as similarly situated as ;ander 'he
-unicipality of -alasi5ui resol,ed to celebrate the to(n fiesta in January of !"#"D it
created a committee in char+e of the entertainment and sta+eD an association of -alasi5ui
residents responded to the call for the festi,ities and ,olunteered to present a sta+e sho(D
:icente 7ontanilla (as one of the participants (ho li1e ;anders had the ri+ht to eApect
that he (ould be eAposed to dan+er on that occasion.
)astly, petitioner or appellant -unicipality cannot e,ade ability andNor liability under the
c that it (as Jose -acarae+ (ho constructed the sta+e. 'he municipality actin+ throu+h
its municipal council appointed -acarae+ as chairman of the sub4committee on
entertainment and in char+e of the construction of the ./ar/uela. sta+e. -acarae+ acted
merely as an a+ent of the -unicipality. 9nder the doctrine of respondent superior
mentioned earlier, petitioner is responsible or liable for the ne+li+ence of its a+ent actin+
(ithin his assi+ned tas1s.
... (hen it is sou+ht to render a municipal corporation liable for the act of ser,ants or
a+ents, a cardinal in5uiry is, (hether they are the ser,ants or a+ents of the corporation. If
the corporation appoints or elects them, can control them in the dischar+e of their duties,
can continue or remo,e the can hold them responsible for the manner in (hich they
dischar+e their trust, and if those duties relate to the eAercise of corporate po(ers, and are
for the benefit of the corporation in its local or special interest, they may 0ustly be
re+arded as its a+ents or ser,ants, and the maAim of respondent superior applies.. ...
B2illon on -unicipal Corporations, #th Ed., :ol I:, p. 2$"C
#. 'he remainin+ 5uestion to be resol,ed centers on the liability of the municipal
councilors (ho enacted the ordinance and created the fiesta committee.
'he Court of Appeals held the councilors 0ointly and solidarity liable (ith the
municipality for dama+es under Article 2 of the Ci,il Code (hich pro,ides that d any
person sufferin+ in+ material or moral loss because a public ser,ant or employee refuses
or ne+lects, (ithout 0ust cause to perform his official duty may file an action for dama+es
and other relief at the latter. 2E
In their Petition for re,ie( the municipal councilors alle+e that the Court of Appeals
erred in rulin+ that the holdin+ of a to(n fiesta is not a +o,ernmental function and that
there (as ne+li+ence on their part for not maintainin+ and super,isin+ the safe use of the
sta+e, in applyin+ Article 2 of the Ci,il Code a+ainst them and in not holdin+ Jose
-acarae+ liable for the collapse of the sta+e and the conse5uent death of :icente
7ontanilla. 26
<e a+ree (ith petitioners that the Court of Appeals erred in applyin+ Article 2 of the
Ci,il Code a+ainst the for this particular article co,ers a case of nonfeasance or non4
performance by a public officer of his official dutyD it does not apply to a case of
ne+li+ence or misfeasance in carryin+ out an official duty.
If <e are led to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeals insofar as these petitioners
are concerned, it is because of a plain error committed by respondent court (hich
ho(e,er is not in,o1ed in petitioners> brief.
In -i+uel ,. 'he Court of appeal. et al., the Court, throu+h Justice, no( Chief Justice,
7red @ui/ Castro, held that the ;upreme Court is ,ested (ith ample authority to re,ie(
matters not assi+ned as errors in an appeal if it finds that their consideration and
resolution are indispensable or necessary in arri,in+ at a 0ust decision in a +i,en case, and
that tills is author under ;ec. , @ule #! of the @ules of Court. 2# <e belie,e that this
pronouncement can (ell be applied in the instant case.
'he Court of Appeals in its decision no( under re,ie( held that the celebration of a to(n
fiesta by the -unicipality of -alasi5ui (as not a +o,ernmental function. <e upheld that
rulin+. 'he le+al conse5uence thereof is that the -unicipality stands on the same footin+
as an ordinary pri,ate corporation (ith the municipal council actin+ as its board of
directors. It is an elementary principle that a corporation has a personality, separate and
distinct from its officers, directors, or persons composin+ it 2F and the latter are not as a
rule co4responsible in an action for dama+es for tort or ne+li+ence culpa a5uilla
committed by the corporation>s employees or a+ents unless there is a sho(in+ of bad faith
or +ross or (anton ne+li+ence on their part. 2
AAA AAA AAA
'he ordinary doctrine is that a director, merely by reason of his office, is not personally
;table for the torts of his corporationD he -ust be sho(n to ha,e personally ,oted for or
other(ise participated in them ... 7letcher Encyclopedia Corporations, :ol EA Chapt !!,
p. 2%C
Officers of a corporation >are not held liable for the ne+li+ence of the corporation merely
because of their official relation to it, but because of some (ron+ful or ne+li+ent act by
such officer amountin+ to a breach of duty (hich resulted in an in0ury ... 'o ma1e an
officer of a corporation liable for the ne+li+ence of the corporation there must ha,e been
upon his part such a breach of duty as contributed to, or helped to brin+ about, the in0uryD
that is to say, he must be a participant in the (ron+ful act. ... Bpp. 2%42%$, Ibid.C
AAA AAA AAA
2irectors (ho merely employ one to +i,e a fire(or1s Ambition on the corporate are not
personally liable for the ne+li+ent acts of the eAhibitor. Bp. 2!!, Ibid.C
On these people <e absol,e municipal councilors from any liability for the death of
:icente 7ontanilla. 'he records do not sho( that said petitioners directly participated in
the defecti,e construction of the ./ar/uela. sta+e or that they personally permitted
spectators to +o up the platform.
F. One last point <e ha,e to resol,e is on the a(ard of attorney>s fees by respondent
court. Petitioner4municipality assails the a(ard.
9nder para+raph !!, Art. 22%$ of the Ci,il Code attorney>s fees and eApenses of liti+ation
may be +ranted (hen the court deems it 0ust and e5uitable. In this case of :icente
7ontanilla, althou+h respondent appellate court failed to state the +rounds for a(ardin+
attorney>s fees, the records sho( ho(e,er that attempts (ere made by plaintiffs, no(
pri,ate respondents, to secure an eAtra0udicial compensation from the municipality: that
the latter +a,e prorases and assurances of assistance but failed to complyD and it (as only
ei+ht month after the incident that the berea,ed family of :icente 7ontanilla (as
compelled to see1 relief from the courts to ,entilate (hat (as belie,ed to be a 0ust cause.
2$
<e hold, therefore, that there is no error committed in the +rant of attorney>s fees (hich
after all is a matter of 0udicial discretion. 'he amount of P!,2%%.%% is fair and reasonable.
P@E-I;E; CON;I2E@E2, <e A77I@- in toto the decision of the Court of Appeals
insofar as the -unicipality of -alasi5ui is concerned B)4E%!$EC, and <e absol,e the
municipal councilors from liability and ;E' A;I2E the 0ud+ment a+ainst them B)4"""EC.
<ithout pronouncement as to costs.
;O O@2E@E2,
>G.R. No. 91882. Au<u'$ 28, 1996?
T5E CITY O ANGELE+, 5on. ANTONIO ABA/ +ANTO+, %n 4%' ,a"a,%$y a'
!AYOR o. An<#-#' C%$y, an( $4# +ANGG)NIANG *ANL)NG+O/ O T5E CITY
O ANGELE+, "#$%$%on#r', &'. CO)RT O A**EAL+ an( TI!OG +ILANGAN
/E6ELO*!ENT COR*ORATION, r#'"on(#n$'.
/ E C I + I O N
PAN&ANI*AN, J.:
In resol,in+ this petition, the Court addressed the 5uestions of (hether a donor of open
spaces in a residential subdi,ision can ,alidly impose conditions on the said donationD
(hether the city +o,ernment as donee can build and operate a dru+ rehabilitation center
on the donated land intended for open spaceD and (hether the said donation may be
,alidly rescinded by the donor.
Petitioners claim they ha,e the ri+ht to construct and operate a dru+ rehabilitation center
on the donated land in 5uestion, contrary to the pro,isions stated in the amended 2eed of
2onation.
On the other hand, pri,ate respondent, o(nerNde,eloper of the 'imo+ Par1 residential
subdi,ision in An+eles City, opposed the construction and no(, the operation of the said
center on the donated land, (hich is located (ithin said residential subdi,ision.
*efore us is a petition for re,ie( on certiorari assailin+ the 2ecisionJ!K of the Court of
AppealsJ2K dated October E!, !""%, (hich affirmed the decisionJEK of the @e+ional 'rial
Court of An+eles City *ranch #F,J6K dated 7ebruary !#, !"$".
'he Antecedents
In a 2eed of 2onation dated -arch ", !"$6, subse5uently superseded by a 2eed of
2onation dated ;eptember 2, !"$6, (hich in turn (as superseded by an Amended 2eed
of 2onation dated No,ember 2F, !"$6, pri,ate respondent donated to the City of
An+eles, #! parcels of land situated in *arrio Pampan+, City of An+eles, (ith an
a++re+ate area of #%,FF s5uare meters, more or less, part of a bi++er area also belon+in+
to pri,ate respondent. 'he amended deedJ#Kpro,ided, amon+ others, that:
S2. 'he properties donated shall be de,oted and utili/ed solely for the site of the
An+eles City ;ports Center B(hich eAcludes coc1fi+htin+C pursuant to the plans to be
submitted (ithin siA BFC months by the 2ONEE to the 2ONO@ for the latterTs appro,al,
(hich appro,al shall not be unreasonably (ithheld as lon+ as entire properties donated
are de,eloped as a ;ports CompleA. Any chan+e or modification in the basic desi+n or
concept of said ;ports Center must ha,e the prior (ritten consent of the 2ONO@.
SE. No commercial buildin+, commercial compleA, mar1et or any other similar
compleA, mass or tenament BsicC housin+Nbuildin+sBsC shall be constructed in the
properties donated nor shall coc1fi+htin+, be allo(ed in the premises.
S6. 'he construction of the ;ports Center shall commence (ithin a period of one B!C
year from %" -arch !"$6 and shall be completed (ithin a period of fi,e B#C years from
%" -arch !"$6.
AAA AAA AAA
SF. 'he properties donated B(hich is more than fi,e B#C percent of the total land area
of the 2ONO@Ts subdi,isionC shall constitute the entire open space for 2ONO@Ts
subdi,ision and all other lands or areas pre,iously reser,ed or desi+nated, includin+ )ot !
and )ot 2A of *loc1 2 and the (hole *loc1 2" are dispensed (ith, and rendered free, as
open spaces, and the 2ONEE hereby a+rees to eAecute and deli,er all necessary consents,
appro,als, endorsements, and authori/ations to effect the fore+oin+.
. 'he properties donated are de,oted and described as Uopen spacesT of the
2ONO@Ts subdi,ision, and to this effect, the 2ONEE, upon acceptance of this donation,
releases the 2ONO@ andNor assumes any and all obli+ations and liabilities appertainin+
to the properties donated.
$. Any substantial breach of the fore+oin+ pro,isos shall entitle the 2ONO@ to
re,o1e or rescind this 2eed of 2onation, and in such e,entuality, the 2ONEE a+rees to
,acate and return the premises, to+ether (ith all impro,ements, to the 2ONO@
peacefully (ithout necessity of 0udicial action.V
On July !", !"$$, petitioners started the construction of a dru+ rehabilitation center on a
portion of the donated land. 9pon learnin+ thereof, pri,ate respondent protested such
action for bein+ ,iolati,e of the terms and conditions of the amended deed and pre0udicial
to its interest and to those of its clients and residents. Pri,ate respondent also offered
another site for the rehabilitation center. 3o(e,er, petitioners i+nored the protest,
maintainin+ that the construction (as not ,iolati,e of the terms of the donation. 'he
alternati,e site (as re0ected because, accordin+ to petitioners, the site (as too isolated
and had no electric and (ater facilities.
On Au+ust $, !"$$, pri,ate respondent filed a complaint (ith the @e+ional 'rial Court,
*ranch #F, in An+eles City a+ainst the petitioners, alle+in+ breach of the conditions
imposed in the amended deed of donation and see1in+ the re,ocation of the donation and
dama+es, (ith preliminary in0unction andNor temporary restrainin+ order to halt the
construction of the said center.
On Au+ust !%, !"$$, the trial court issued a temporary restrainin+ order to en0oin the
petitioners from further proceedin+ (ith the construction of the center, (hich at that time
(as already 6%W complete.
3o(e,er, the trial court denied the prayer for preliminary in0unction based on the
prohibition in Presidential 2ecree No. !$!$.
In their Ans(er (ith counterclaim, petitioners admitted the commencement of the
construction but alle+ed inter alia that the conditions imposed in the amended deed (ere
contrary to -unicipal Ordinance No. !, ;eries of !"F2, other(ise 1no(n as the
;ubdi,ision Ordinance of the -unicipality of An+eles.JFK
On October !#, !"$$, pri,ate respondent filed a -otion for Partial ;ummary Jud+ment
on the +round that the main defense of the petitioners (as anchored on a pure 5uestion of
la( and that their le+al position (as untenable.
'he petitioners opposed, contendin+ that they had a meritorious defense as B!C pri,ate
respondents had no ri+ht to dictate upon petitioners (hat to do (ith the donated land and
ho( to do it so lon+ as the purpose remains for public useD and B2C the cause of action of
the pri,ate respondent became moot and academic (hen the An+eles City Council
repealed the resolution pro,idin+ for the construction of said dru+ rehabilitation center
and adopted a ne( resolution chan+in+ the purpose and usa+e of said center to a Usports
de,elopment and youth centerT in order to conform (ith the sports compleA pro0ect
constructed on the donated land.
On 7ebruary !#, !"$", the trial court rendered its decision, in rele,ant part readin+ as
follo(s:
SA A A the Court finds no inconsistency bet(een the conditions imposed in the 2eeds of
2onation and the pro,ision of the ;ubdi,ision Ordinance of the City of An+eles re5uirin+
subdi,isions in An+eles City to reser,e at least one B!C hectare in the subdi,ision as
suitable sites 1no(n as open spaces for par1s, play+rounds, playlots andNor other areas to
be dedicated to public use. On the contrary, the condition re5uirin+ the defendant city of
An+eles to de,ote and utili/e the properties donated to it by the plaintiff for the site of the
An+eles City ;ports Center conforms (ith the re5uirement in the ;ubdi,ision Ordinance
that the subdi,ision of the plaintiff shall be pro,ided (ith a play+round or playlot, amon+
others.
On the other hand the term Spublic useV in the ;ubdi,ision Ordinance should not be
construed to include a 2ru+ @ehabilitation Center as that (ould be contrary to the
primary purpose of the ;ubdi,ision Ordinance re5uirin+ the settin+ aside of a portion
1no(n as SOpen ;paceV for par1, play+round and playlots, since these are intended
primarily for the benefit of the residents of the subdi,ision. <hile laudable to the +eneral
public, a 2ru+ @ehabilitation Center in a subdi,ision (ill be a cause of concern and
constant (orry to its residents.
As to the third issue in para+raph BEC, the passa+e of the Ordinance chan+in+ the purpose
of the buildin+ constructed in the donated properties from a 2ru+ @ehabilitation Center to
a ;ports Center comes too late. It should ha,e been passed upon the demand of the
plaintiff to the defendant City of An+eles to stop the construction of the 2ru+
@ehabilitation Center, not after the complaint (as filed.
*esides, in see1in+ the re,ocation of the Amended 2eed of 2onation, plaintiff also relies
on the failure of the defendant City of An+eles to submit the plan of the proposed ;ports
Center (ithin siA BFC months and construction of the same (ithin fi,e years from -arch
", !"$6, (hich are substantial ,iolations of the conditions imposed in the Amended 2eed
of 2onation.V
'he dispositi,e portion of the @'C decision reads:
S<3E@E7O@E, 0ud+ment is hereby rendered:
B!C En0oinin+ defendants, its officers, employees and all persons actin+ on
their behalf to perpetually cease and desist from constructin+ a 2ru+ @ehabilitation
Center or any other buildin+ or impro,ement on the 2onated )and.
B2C 2eclarin+ the amended 2eed of 2onation re,o1ed and rescinded and
orderin+ defendants to peacefully ,acate and return the 2onated )and to plaintiff,
to+ether (ith all the impro,ements eAistin+ thereon. And,
BEC 2enyin+ the a(ard of compensatory or actual and eAemplary dama+es
includin+ attorneyTs fees.
NO P@ONO9NCE-EN' A; 'O CO;'.V
In -arch !"$", petitioners filed their Notice of Appeal. On April !#, !"$", (hile the
appeal (as pendin+, petitioners inau+urated the 2ru+ @ehabilitation Center.JK
On April 2F, !""!, the respondent Court rendered the assailed 2ecision affirmin+ the
rulin+ of the trial court. ;ubse5uently, the petitionersT motion for reconsideration (as
also denied for lac1 of merit.
Conse5uently, this Petition for @e,ie(.
'he Issues
'he 1ey issues raised by petitioners may be restated as follo(s:
I. <hether a subdi,ision o(nerNde,eloper is le+ally bound under Presidential 2ecree
No. !2!F to donate to the city or municipality the Sopen spaceV allocated eAclusi,ely for
par1s, play+round and recreational use.
II. <hether the percenta+e of the Sopen spaceV allocated eAclusi,ely for par1s,
play+rounds and recreational use is to be based on the S+ross areaV of the subdi,ision or
on the total area reser,ed for Sopen space.V
III. <hether pri,ate respondent as subdi,ision o(nerNde,eloper may ,alidly impose
conditions in the Amended 2eed of 2onation re+ardin+ the use of the Sopen spaceV
allocated eAclusi,ely for par1s and play+rounds.
I:. <hether or not the construction of the 2ru+ @ehabilitation Center on the donated
Sopen spaceV may be en0oined.
:. <hether the donation by respondent as subdi,ision o(nerNde,eloper of the Sopen
spaceV of its subdi,ision in fa,or of petitioner City of An+eles may be re,o1ed for
alle+ed ,iolation of the Amended 2eed of 2onation.
Central to this entire contro,ersy is the 5uestion of (hether the donation of the open
space may be re,o1ed at all.
7irst Issue: 2e,eloper )e+ally *ound to 2onate Open ;pace
'he la( in,ol,ed in the instant case is Presidential 2ecree No. !2!F, dated October !6,
!",J"K (hich reads:
SP@E;I2EN'IA) 2EC@EE NO. !2!F
2efinin+ UOpen ;paceT In @esidential ;ubdi,isions And Amendin+ ;ection E! Of
Presidential 2ecree No. "# @e5uirin+ ;ubdi,ision O(ners 'o Pro,ide @oads, Alleys,
;ide(al1s And @eser,e Open ;pace 7or Par1s Or @ecreational 9se.
<3E@EA;, there is a compellin+ need to create and maintain a healthy en,ironment in
human settlements by pro,idin+ open spaces, roads, alleys and side(al1s as may be
deemed suitable to enhance the 5uality of life of the residents thereinD
<3E@EA;, such open spaces, roads, alleys and side(al1s in residential subdi,isions are
for public use and are, therefore, beyond the commerce of menD
<3E@EA;, pursuant to Presidential 2ecree No. "#E at least thirty per cent BE%WC of the
total area of a subdi,ision must be reser,ed, de,eloped and maintained as open space for
par1s and recreational areas, the cost of (hich (ill ultimately be borne by the lot buyers
(hich thereby increase the ac5uisition price of subdi,ision lots beyond the reach of the
common massD
<3E@EA;, thirty percent BE%WC re5uired open space can be reduced to a le,el that (ill
ma1e the subdi,ision industry ,iable and the price of residential lots (ithin the means of
the lo( income +roup at the same time preser,e the en,ironmental and ecolo+ical balance
throu+h rational control of land use and proper desi+n of space and facilitiesD
<3E@EA;, pursuant to Presidential 2ecree No. #, +o,ernment efforts in housin+,
includin+ resources, functions and acti,ities to maAimi/e results ha,e been concentrated
into one sin+le a+ency, namely, the National 3ousin+ AuthorityD
NO<, '3E@E7O@E, I, 7E@2INAN2 E. -A@CO;, President of the Philippines, by
,irtue of the po(ers ,ested in me by the Constitution, do hereby order and decree:
;EC'ION !. 7or purposes of this 2ecree, the term Uopen spaceT shall mean an area
reser,ed eAclusi,ely for par1s, play+rounds, recreational uses, schools, roads, places of
(orship, hospitals, health centers, baran+ay centers and other similar facilities and
amenities.
;EC'ION 2. ;ection E! of Presidential 2ecree No. "# is hereby amended to read as
follo(s:
U;ection E!. @oads, Alleys, ;ide(al1s and Open ;paces 8 'he o(ner as de,eloper of a
subdi,ision shall pro,ide ade5uate roads, alleys and side(al1s. 7or subdi,ision pro0ects
one B!C hectare or more, the o(ner or de,eloper shall reser,e thirty per cent BE%WC of the
+ross area for open space. ;uch open space shall ha,e the follo(in+ standards allocated
eAclusi,ely for par1s, play+rounds and recreational use:
a. "W of +ross area for hi+h density or social housin+ BFF to !%% family lots per
+ross hectareC.
b. W of +ross area for medium4density or economic housin+ B2! to F# family lots
per +ross hectareC.
c. E.#W of +ross area for lo(4density or open mar1et housin+ B2% family lots and
belo( per +ross hectareC.
'hese areas reser,ed for par1s, play+rounds and recreational use shall be non4alienable
public lands, and non4buildable. 'he plans of the subdi,ision pro0ect shall include tree
plantin+ on such parts of the subdi,ision as may be desi+nated by the Authority.
9pon their completion certified to by the Authority, the roads, alleys, side(al1s and
play+rounds shall be donated by the o(ner or de,eloper to the city or municipality and it
shall be mandatory for the local +o,ernments to accept pro,ided, ho(e,er, that the par1s
and play+rounds may be donated to the 3omeo(ners Association of the pro0ect (ith the
consent of the city or municipality concerned. No portion of the par1s and play+rounds
donated thereafter shall be con,erted to any other purpose or purposes.T
;EC'ION E. ;ections 2 and # of Presidential 2ecree No. "#E are hereby repealed and
other la(s, decrees, eAecuti,e orders, institutions, rules and re+ulations or parts thereof
inconsistent (ith these pro,isions are also repealed or amended accordin+ly.
;EC'ION 6. 'his 2ecree shall ta1e effect immediately.V
Pursuant to the (ordin+ of ;ec. E! of P.2. "# as abo,e amended by the afore5uoted P.2.
No. !2!F, pri,ate respondent is under le+al obli+ation to donate the open space
eAclusi,ely allocated for par1s, play+rounds and recreational use to the petitioner.
'his can be clearly established by referrin+ to the ori+inal pro,ision of ;ec. E! of P.2.
"#, (hich reads as follo(s:
S;EC'ION E!. 2onation of roads and open spaces to local +o,ernment. 8 'he
re+istered o(ner or de,eloper of the subdi,ision or condominium pro0ect, upon
completion of the de,elopment of said pro0ect may, at his option, con,ey by (ay of
donation the roads and open spaces found (ithin the pro0ect to the city or municipality
(herein the pro0ect is located. 9pon acceptance of the donation by the city or
municipality concerned, no portion of the area donated shall thereafter be con,erted to
any other purpose or purposes unless after hearin+, the proposed con,ersion is appro,ed
by the Authority.V BItalics suppliedC
It (ill be noted that under the afore5uoted ori+inal pro,ision, it (as optional on the part
of the o(ner or de,eloper to donate the roads and open spaces found (ithin the pro0ect to
the city or municipality (here the pro0ect is located. Else(ise stated, there (as no le+al
obli+ation to ma1e the donation.
3o(e,er, said ;ec. E! as amended no( states in its last para+raph:
S9pon their completion A A A, the roads, alleys, side(al1s and play+rounds shall be
donated by the o(ner or de,eloper to the city or municipality and it shall be mandatory
for the local +o,ernment to acceptD pro,ided, ho(e,er, that the par1s and play+rounds
may be donated to the 3omeo(ners Association of the pro0ect (ith the consent of the city
or municipality concerned. A A A.V
It is clear from the afore5uoted amendment that it is no lon+er optional on the part of the
subdi,ision o(nerNde,eloper to donate the open space for par1s and play+roundsD rather
there is no( a le+al obli+ation to donate the same. Althou+h there is a pro,iso that the
donation of the par1s and play+rounds may be made to the homeo(ners association of
the pro0ect (ith the consent of the city of municipality concerned, nonetheless, the
o(nerNde,eloper is still obli+ated under the la( to donate. ;uch option does not chan+e
the mandatory character of the pro,ision. 'he donation has to be made re+ardless of
(hich donee is pic1ed by the o(nerNde,eloper. 'he consent re5uirement before the same
can be donated to the homeo(nersT association emphasi/es this point.
;econd Issue: Percenta+e of Area for Par1s and Play+rounds
Petitioners contend that the E.#W to "W allotted by ;ec. E! for par1s, play+rounds and
recreational uses should be based on the +ross area of the entire subdi,ision, and not
merely on the area of the open space alone, as contended by pri,ate respondent and as
decided by the respondent Court.J!%K
'he petitioners are correct. 'he lan+ua+e of ;ection E! of P.2. "# as amended by
;ection 2 of P.2. !2!F is (antin+ in clarity and eAactitude, but it can be easily inferred
that the phrase S+ross areaV refers to the entire subdi,ision area. 'he said phrase (as
used four times in the same section in t(o sentences, the first of (hich reads:
SA A A 7or subdi,ision pro0ects one B!C hectare or more, the o(ner or de,eloper shall
reser,e thirty per cent BE%WC of the +ross area for open space. A A A.V
3ere, the phrase SE%W of the +ross areaV refers to the total area of the subdi,ision, not of
the open space. Other(ise, the definition of Sopen spaceV (ould be circular. 'hus, lo+ic
dictates that the same basis be applied in the succeedin+ instances (here the phrase Sopen
spaceV is used, i.e., S"W of +ross area . . . W of +ross area . . . E.#W of +ross area . . .V
-oreo,er, (e a+ree (ith petitioners that construin+ the E.#W to "W as applyin+ to the
totality of the open space (ould result in far too small an area bein+ de,oted for par1s,
play+rounds, etc., thus renderin+ meanin+less and defeatin+ the purpose of the statute.
'his becomes clear (hen ,ie(ed in the li+ht of the ori+inal re5uirement of P.2. "#E
BS@e5uirin+ the Plantin+ of 'rees in Certain Places, etc.VC, ;ection 2 of (hich reads:
S;ec. 2. E,ery o(ner of land subdi,ided into residentialNcommercialNindustrial lots after
the effecti,ity of this 2ecree shall reser,e, de,elop and maintain not less than thirty
percent BE%WC of the total area of the subdi,ision, eAclusi,e of roads, ser,ice streets and
alleys, as open space for par1s and recreational areas.
No plan for a subdi,ision shall be appro,ed by the )and @e+istration Commission or any
office or a+ency of the +o,ernment unless at least thirty percent BE%WC of the total area of
the subdi,ision, eAclusi,e of roads, ser,ice streets and alleys, is reser,ed as open space
for par1s and recreational areas A A A.V
'o our mind, it is clear that P.2. !2!F (as an attempt to achie,e a happy compromise and
a realistic balance bet(een the imperati,es of en,ironmental plannin+ and the need to
maintain economic feasibility in subdi,ision and housin+ de,elopment, by reducin+ the
re5uired area for par1s, play+rounds and recreational uses from thirty percent BE%WC to
only E.#W 4 "W of the entire area of the subdi,ision.
'hird Issue: Imposition of Conditions in 2onation of Open ;pace
Petitioners ar+ue that since the pri,ate respondent is re5uired by la( to donate the par1s
and play+rounds, it has no ri+ht to impose the condition in the Amended 2eed of
2onation that Sthe properties donated shall be de,oted and utili/ed solely for the site of
the An+eles City ;ports Center.V It cannot prescribe any condition as to the use of the
area donated because the use of the open spaces is already +o,erned by P.2. !2!F. In
other (ords, the donation should be absolute. Conse5uently, the conditions in the
amended deed (hich (ere alle+edly ,iolated are deemed not (ritten. ;uch bein+ the
case, petitioners cannot be considered to ha,e committed any ,iolation of the terms and
conditions of the said amended deed, as the donation is deemed unconditional, and it
follo(s that there is no basis for re,ocation of the donation.
3o(e,er, the +eneral la( on donations does not prohibit the imposition of conditions on
a donation so lon+ as the conditions are not ille+al or impossible.J!!K
In re+ard to donations of open spaces, P.2. !2!F itself re5uires amon+ other thin+s that
the recreational areas to be donated be based, as aforementioned, on a percenta+e BE.#W,
W, or "WC of the total area of the subdi,ision dependin+ on (hether the subdi,ision is
lo( 4, medium 4, or hi+h4density. It further declares that such open space de,oted to
par1s, play+rounds and recreational areas are non4alienable public land and non4
buildable. 3o(e,er, there is no prohibition in either P.2. "# or P.2. !2!F a+ainst
imposin+ conditions on such donation.
<e hold that any condition may be imposed in the donation, so lon+ as the same is not
contrary to la(, morals, +ood customs, public order or public policy. 'he contention of
petitioners that the donation should be unconditional because it is mandatory has no basis
in la(. P.2. !2!F does not pro,ide that the donation of the open space for par1s and
play+rounds should be unconditional. 'o rule that it should be so is tantamount to
unla(fully eApandin+ the pro,isions of the decree.J!2K
In the case at bar, one of the conditions imposed in the Amended 2eed of 2onation is that
the donee should build a sports compleA on the donated land. ;ince P.2. !2!F clearly
re5uires that the E.#W to "W of the +ross area allotted for par1s and play+rounds is Snon4
buildable,V then the ob,ious 5uestion arises (hether or not such condition (as ,alidly
imposed and is bindin+ on the donee. It is clear that the Snon4buildableV character
applies only to the E.#W to "W area set by la(. If there is any eAcess land o,er and abo,e
the E.#W to "W re5uired by the decree, (hich is also used or allocated for par1s,
play+rounds and recreational purposes, it is ob,ious that such eAcess area is not co,ered
by the non4buildability restriction. In the instant case, if there be an eAcess, then the
donee (ould not be barred from de,elopin+ and operatin+ a sports compleA thereon, and
the condition in the amended deed (ould then be considered ,alid and bindin+.
'o determine if the o,er #%,%%% s5uare meter area donated pursuant to the amended deed
(ould yield an eAcess o,er the area re5uired by the decree, it is necessary to determine
under (hich density cate+ory the 'imo+ Par1 subdi,ision falls.
If the subdi,ision falls under the lo( density or open mar1et housin+ cate+ory, (ith 2%
family lots or belo( per +ross hectare, the de,eloper (ill need to allot only E.#W of +ross
area for par1s and play+rounds, and since the donated land constitutes Smore than fi,e B#C
percent of the total land area of the subdi,ision,J!EK there (ould therefore be an eAcess of
o,er !.#W of +ross area (hich (ould not be non4buildable. Petitioners, on the other
hand, alle+ed Band pri,ate respondent did not contro,ertC that the subdi,ision in 5uestion
is a Smedium4density or economic housin+V subdi,ision based on the si/es of the family
lots donated in the amended deed,J!6K for (hich cate+ory the decree mandates that not
less than W of +ross area be set aside. ;ince the donated land constitutes only a little
more than #W of the +ross area of the subdi,ision, (hich is less than the area re5uired to
be allocated for non4buildable open space, therefore there is no SeAcess landV to spea1 of.
'his then means that the condition to build a sports compleA on the donated land is
contrary to la( and should be considered as not imposed.
7ourth Issue: In0unction ,s. Construction of the 2ru+ @ehabilitation Center
Petitioners ar+ue that the court cannot en0oin the construction of the dru+ rehabilitation
center because the decision of the trial court came only after the construction of the center
(as completed and, based on 0urisprudence, there can be no in0unction of e,ents that
ha,e already transpired.J!#K
Pri,ate respondent, on the other hand, counters that the operation of the center is a
continuin+ act (hich (ould clearly cause in0ury to pri,ate respondent, its clients, and
residents of the subdi,ision, and thus, a proper sub0ect of in0unction.J!FK E5uity should
mo,e in to (arrant the +rantin+ of the in0uncti,e relief if persistent repetition of the
(ron+ is threatened.J!K
In li+ht of ;ec. E! of P.2. "#, as amended, declarin+ the open space for par1s,
play+rounds and recreational area as non4buildable, it appears indubitable that the
construction and operation of a dru+ rehabilitation center on the land in 5uestion is a
continuin+ ,iolation of the la( and thus should be en0oined.
7urthermore, the factual bac1+round of this case (arrants that this Court rule a+ainst
petitioners on this issue. <e a+ree (ith and affirm the respondent CourtTs findin+ that
petitioners committed acts moc1in+ the 0udicial system.J!$K
SA A A <hen a (rit of preliminary in0unction (as sou+ht for by the appellee Jpri,ate
respondentK to en0oin the appellants Jpetitioners hereinK from further continuin+ (ith the
construction of the said center, the latter resisted and too1 refu+e under the pro,isions of
Presidential 2ecree No. !$!$ B(hich prohibits (rits of preliminary in0unctionC to
continue (ith the construction of the buildin+. =et, the appellants also presented UCity
Council @esolution No. 22 (hich alle+edly repealed the pre,ious @esolution authori/in+
the City &o,ernment to construct a 2ru+ @ehabilitation Center on the donated property,
by Uchan+in+ the purpose and usa+e of the 2ru+ @ehabilitation Center to ;ports
2e,elopment and =outh Center to ma1e it conform to the ;ports CompleA Pro0ect
therein.T 9nder this @esolution No. 22, the appellants claimed that they ha,e abandoned
all plans for the construction of the 2ru+ @ehabilitation Center. Nonetheless, (hen
0ud+ment (as finally rendered on 7ebruary !#, !"$", the appellants (ere 5uic1 to state
that they ha,e not after all abandoned their plans for the center as they ha,e in fact
inau+urated the same on April !#, !"$". In plain and simple terms, this act is a moc1ery
of our 0udicial system perpetrated by the appellants. 7or them to ar+ue that the court
cannot deal on their 2ru+ @ehabilitation Center is not only preposterous but also
ridiculous.
It is interestin+ to obser,e that under the appealed decision the appellants and their
officers, employees and all other persons actin+ on their behalf (ere perpetually en0oined
to cease and desist from constructin+ a 2ru+ @ehabilitation Center on the donated
property. 9nder ;ection 6 of @ule E" of the @ules of Court, it is pro,ided that:
S;ection 6 8 A 0ud+ment in an action for in0unction shall not be stayed after its rendition
and before an appeal is ta1en or durin+ the pendency of an appeal.V
Accordin+ly, a 0ud+ment restrainin+ a party from doin+ a certain act is enforceable and
shall remain in full force and effect e,en pendin+ appeal. In the case at bar, the cease and
desist order therefore still stands. AppellantsT persistence and continued construction and,
subse5uent, operation of the 2ru+ @ehabilitation Center ,iolate the eApress terms of the
(rit of in0unction la(fully issued by the lo(er court.V
'his Court finds no co+ent reason to re,erse the abo,e mentioned findin+s of the
respondent court. 'he alle+ation of the petitioners that the construction of the center (as
finished before the 0ud+ment of the trial court (as rendered deser,es scant consideration
because it is self4ser,in+ and is completely unsupported by other e,idence.
'he fact remains that the trial court rendered 0ud+ment en0oinin+ the construction of the
dru+ rehabilitation center, re,o1in+ the donation and orderin+ the return of the donated
land. In spite of such in0unction, petitioners publicly flaunted their disre+ard thereof (ith
the subse5uent inau+uration of the center on Au+ust !#, !"$". 'he operation of the
center, after inau+uration, is e,en more censurable.
7ifth Issue: @e,ocation of a -andatory 2onation *ecause of Non4compliance <ith an
Ille+al Condition
'he pri,ate respondent contends that the buildin+ of said dru+ rehabilitation center is
,iolati,e of the Amended 2eed of 2onation. 'herefore, under Article F6 of the Ne(
Ci,il Code and stipulation no. $ of the amended deed, pri,ate respondent is empo(ered
to re,o1e the donation (hen the donee has failed to comply (ith any of the conditions
imposed in the deed.
<e disa+ree. Article !6!2 of the Ci,il Code (hich pro,ides that:
SIf the act in (hich the unla(ful or forbidden cause consists does not constitute a
criminal offense, the follo(in+ rules shall be obser,ed:
SB!C <hen the fault is on the part of both contractin+ parties, neither may reco,er
(hat he has +i,en by ,irtue of the contract, or demand the performance of the otherTs
underta1in+ comes into play here. *oth petitioners and pri,ate respondents are in
,iolation of P.2. "# as amended, for donatin+ and acceptin+ a donation of open space
less than that re5uired by la(, and for a+reein+ to build and operate a sports compleA on
the non4buildable open space so donatedD and petitioners, for constructin+ a dru+
rehabilitation center on the same non4buildable area.
-oreo,er, since the condition to construct a sports compleA on the donated land has
pre,iously been sho(n to be contrary to la(, therefore, stipulation No. $ of the amended
deed cannot be implemented because B!C no ,alid stipulation of the amended deed had
been breached, and B2C it is hi+hly improbable that the decree (ould ha,e allo(ed the
return of the donated land for open space under any circumstance, considerin+ the non4
alienable character of such open space, in the li+ht of the second <hereas clause of P.2.
!2!F (hich declares that SAAA such open spaces, roads, alleys and side(al1s in
residential subdi,isions are for public use and are, therefore, beyond the commerce of
men.V
7urther, as a matter of public policy, pri,ate respondent cannot be allo(ed to e,ade its
statutory obli+ation to donate the re5uired open space throu+h the eApediency of in,o1in+
petitionersT breach of the aforesaid condition. It is a familiar principle that the courts (ill
not aid either party to enforce an ille+al contract, but (ill lea,e them both (here they find
them. Neither party can reco,er dama+es from the other arisin+ from the act contrary to
la(, or plead the same as a cause of action or as a defense. Each must bear the
conse5uences of his o(n acts.J!"K
'here is therefore no le+al basis (hatsoe,er to re,o1e the donation of the sub0ect open
space and to return the donated land to pri,ate respondent. 'he donated land should
remain (ith the donee as the la( clearly intended such open spaces to be perpetually part
of the public domain, non4alienable and permanently de,oted to public use as such par1s,
play+rounds or recreation areas.
@emo,alN2emolition of 2ru+ @ehabilitation Center
Inasmuch as the construction and operation of the dru+ rehabilitation center has been
established to be contrary to la(, the said center should be remo,ed or demolished. At
this 0uncture, (e hasten to add that this Court is and has al(ays been four4s5uare behind
the +o,ernmentTs efforts to eradicate the dru+ scour+e in this country. *ut the end ne,er
0ustifies the means, and ho(e,er laudable the purpose of the construction in 5uestion, this
Court cannot and (ill not countenance an outri+ht and continuin+ ,iolation of the la(s of
the land, especially (hen committed by public officials.
In theory, the cost of such demolition, and the reimbursement of the public funds
eApended in the construction thereof, should be borne by the officials of the City of
An+eles (ho ordered and directed such construction. 'his Court has time and a+ain
ruled that public officials are not immune from dama+es in their personal capacities
arisin+ from acts done in bad faith. Other(ise stated, a public official may be liable in
his personal capacity for (hate,er dama+e he may ha,e caused by his act done (ith
malice and in bad faith or beyond the scope of his authority or 0urisdiction.J2%K In the
instant case, the public officials concerned deliberately ,iolated the la( and persisted in
their ,iolations, +oin+ so far as attemptin+ to decei,e the courts by their pretended chan+e
of purpose and usa+e for the center, and Sma1in+ a moc1ery of the 0udicial system.V
Indisputably, said public officials acted beyond the scope of their authority and
0urisdiction and (ith e,ident bad faith. 3o(e,er, as noted by the trial court,J2!K the
petitioners mayor and members of the ;an++unian+ Panlun+sod of An+eles City (ere
sued only in their official capacities, hence, they could not be held personally liable
(ithout first +i,in+ them their day in court. Pre,ailin+ 0urisprudenceJ22K holdin+ that
public officials are personally liable for dama+es arisin+ from ille+al acts done in bad
faith are premised on said officials ha,in+ been sued both in their official and personal
capacities.
After due consideration of the circumstances, (e belie,e that the fairest and most
e5uitable solution is to ha,e the City of An+eles, donee of the sub0ect open space and,
ostensibly, the main beneficiary of the construction and operation of the proposed dru+
rehabilitation center, underta1e the demolition and remo,al of said center, and if feasible,
reco,er the cost thereof from the city officials concerned.
<3E@E7O@E, the assailed 2ecision of the Court of Appeals is hereby -O2I7IE2 as
follo(s:
B!C Petitioners are hereby ENJOINE2 perpetually from operatin+ the dru+
rehabilitation center or any other such facility on the donated open space.
B2C Petitioner City of An+eles is O@2E@E2 to underta1e the demolition and
remo,al of said dru+ rehabilitation center (ithin a period of three BEC months from
finality of this 2ecision, and thereafter, to de,ote the said open space for public use as a
par1, play+round or other recreational use.
BEC 'he Amended 2eed of 2onation dated No,ember 2F, !"$6 is hereby declared
,alid and subsistin+, eAcept that the stipulations or conditions therein concernin+ the
construction of the ;ports Center or CompleA are hereby declared ,oid and as if not
imposed, and therefore of no force and effect.
No costs.
;O O@2E@E2.
G.R. No. L-22282 !ar,4 16, 1981
O+!)N/O G. RA!A, "#$%$%on#r,
&'.
CO)RT O A**EAL+

A)A-PA=, J.:
2urin+ the incumbency of @ene Espina as pro,incial +o,ernor of Cebu, Osmundo &.
@ama as ,ice4+o,ernor and Pablo P. &arcia, @eynaldo -. -endiola and :alerians ;.
Carillo as members of the ;an++unian+ Panlala(i+an, said officials adopted @esolution
No. ""% (hich appropriated funds .for the maintenance and repair of pro,incial roads
and brid+es and for the operation and maintenance of the office of the pro,incial en+ineer
and for other purposes.. B)466#"!, @ollo, pp. E64EC.
In said resolution, the pro,incial +o,ernment of Cebu under the aforementioned officials,
declared its policy .to mechani/e the maintenance and repair of all roads and brid+es of
the pro,ince Bincludin+ pro,incial roads and brid+es recei,in+ national aid .JJ.C, to
economi/e in the eApenditure of its @oad and *rid+e 7und for the maintenance and repair
of pro,incial roads and brid+es recei,in+ national aid .JJ. and to adopt a more
comprehensi,e, systematic, efficient, pro+ressi,e and orderly operation and maintenance
of the Office of the Pro,incial En+ineer..
'o implement said policy, the pro,incial board resol,ed to abolish around thirty positions
H the salaries of (hich (ere paid from the .JJ. @oad and *rid+e 7und thus doin+ a(ay
(ith the caminero Bpic14sho,el4(heelbarro(C system Conse5uently around 2%%
employees of the pro,ince (ere eased out of their respecti,e 0obs and, to implement the
mechani/ation pro+ram in the maintenance of roads and brid+es, the pro,incial
+o,ernment purchased hea,y e5uipment (orth P6,%%%,%%%.%%. 3o(e,er, contrary to its
declared policy to economi/e the pro,incial administration later on hired around one
thousand ne( employees, reno,ated the office of the pro,incial en+ineer and pro,ided
the latter (ith a -ercedes4*en/ car B2ecision in CA4&.@. No. 6"E2$4@, )466#"!, @ollo,
p. EC.
A++rie,ed by these turn of e,ents, the employees (hose positions (ere abolished filed
separate petitions for mandamus, dama+es and attorneys fees aimed at the annulment of
@esolution No. ""%, their reinstatement and the reco,ery of dama+es 'he aforementioned
pro,incial officials (ho, to+ether (ith the pro,incial auditor, pro,incial treasurer,
pro,incial en+ineer and the pro,ince of Cebu, (ere named respondents in said action,
(ere sued .both in their official and personal. capacities as a result of their alle+ed
.un0ust, oppressi,e, ille+al and malicious> acts BPetition, @ecord in Ci,il Case No. @4
!%%6, p. EC.
In Ci,il Case No. @4!%%6, the Court of 7irst Instance of Cebu declared @esolution No.
""% nun and ,oid and ordered the respondent officials to re4create the positions
abolished, to pro,ide funds therefore, to reinstate the #F petitioners headed by Jose Abala,
and to pay them bac1 salaries. 7or .lac1 of le+al and factual basis,. no dama+es (ere
a(arded to petitioners and no pronouncement as to attorney>s fees (ere made as the
petitioners had a+reed to pay their la(yers E%W of (hate,er amount they (ould recei,e
as bac1 salaries B)466#"!, @ollo, pp. EE4E6C.
All the parties appealed to the Court of Appeals BCA4&.@. No. 6"E2$4@C. E,entually, said
appellate court, throu+h its 7irst 2i,ision, affirmed the lo(er court>s decision (ith the
modification that respondents (ere ordered to pay 0ointly and se,erally in their
.indi,idual and personal capacity. P!,%%%.%% moral dama+es to each of the petitioners
considerin+ that the case in,ol,ed a 5uasi4delict B)466#"! @ollo, p. #6C.
7rom that decision, Osmundo &. @ama, interposed an appeal> to this Court B&.@. No. )4
666$6C. Espina, &arcia,> -endiola and Carillo then filed their o(n petition for re,ie(
B&.@. No. )466#"!C. *ut before Espina, et al. could file said petition, the pro,ince of
Cebu and its ;an++unian+ Panlala(i+an filed their o(n petition for re,ie( 5uestionin+
that portion of the appellate court>s decision (hich ordered the reinstatement (ith bac1
salaries of the dismissed employees. ;aid petition, (hich (as doc1eted as &.@. No. )4
66#2, (as dismissed by this Court for lac1 of merit in the resolution of October 2#,
!"F. Entry of 0ud+ment (as made on No,ember 26, !"F.
-ean(hile, dismissed employees 7roilan 7rondoso and Jeremias )una, (ho also had
filed their o(n petition for mandamus in the Court of 7irst Instance of Cebu, ele,ated
their case to the Court of Appeals BCA4&.@. No. ;P4%6F6"C. In its decision, the Court of
Appeals> Ninth 2i,ision follo(ed the rulin+ of its 7irst 2i,ision in CA4&. @. No. 6$E2$4
@, held that the (ron+ committed by the respondent Public officials (as a 5uasi4delict
and ordered the reinstatement (ith bac1 salaries of 7rondoso and )una and the payment
in solidum by respondent public officials of P!,%%%.%% each to 7rondoso and )una as
moral dama+es plus P!,%%%.%% as attorney>s fees. <ith the eAception of @ama, the
respondent public officials appealed to the Court B&.@. No. )466$62C. ;ubse5uently, the
Cebu Assistant Pro,incial Attorney, representin+ the Pro,ince of Cebu and its
;an++unian+ Panlala(i+an, also appealed to this Court from that decision B&.@. No. )4
66$"6C.
On -arch 2$, !", this Court resol,ed to consolidate &.@. Nos. )4 666$6, )466$62, )4
66#"! and )466$"6 considerin+ that said cases in,ol,e the same issues and factual
bac1+round B)66#"!, @ollo, p. E66C.
'hereafter, 7rondoso and )una filed a motion to dismiss )466$"6 and )466$62. 'hey
alle+ed that as the petition in )66#2 had been dismissed on October 2#, !"FD said t(o
cases should li1e(ise be dismissed because they, to+ether (ith the pri,ate respondents in
)466#2 (ho, li1e them, (ere also permanent appointees to their respecti,e positions,
.(ere separated from the ser,ice on the same date by the same petitioners. )466$"6
@ollo, p. !6%C and therefore, the petitions in )466$"6 and )466$62 (ere barred by the
rule of stare decision
'he motion to dismiss, ho(e,er, (as noted in the resolution of 7ebruary !, !"$, it
appearin+ that said t(o cases had already been submitted for decision B)466$"6 @ollo, p.
!6$D )466$62 @ollo, p. !E"C. 7rondoso and )una filed another motion to dismiss )466$"6
but after the petitioners had filed their comment thereon, said motion to dismiss (as also
noted in the resolution of 7ebruary 22, !"$! B)466$"6 @ollo, p. !$FC.
<e find, ho(e,er, that 7rondoso>s and )una>s contention that )466$"6 should be
dismissed is meritorious. 'he issues raised in )466$"6 and )4 66#2 are the same. In fact,
the prayer in the petition in )466$"6 is ,irtually a ,erbatim reiteration of that in )466#2.
'he alle+ation of petitioner pro,ince of Cebu and its ;an++unian+ Panlala(i+an that the
5uestion of 0urisdiction (as not raised in )466#2 B)466$"6 @ollo, p. !#%C cannot
successfully sa,e )466$"6 from dismissal. In their petition, the pro,ince of Cebu and its
;an++unian+ Panlala(i+an merely ar+ued that the Court of Appeals did not ac5uire
0urisdiction o,er the case, considerin+ that 7rondoso and )una>s appeal (as perfected
after the eApiration of the re+lementary period and that their brief (as filed one month
too late.
3o(e,er, the trend of the rulin+s of this Court in matters pertainin+ to the timeliness of
the perfection of an appeal is to afford e,ery party4liti+ant amplest opportunity to present
their case .for the proper and 0ust determination of his cause, freed from the constraints of
technicalities.. B@odri+ue/ ,s. Court of Appeals, )4E#22, No,ember 2$, !"#, F$ ;C@A
2F2C. Applyin+ the abo,e rulin+ to this case, the Court of Appeals may not, therefore, be
faulted for assumin+ 0urisdiction o,er the appeal of 7rondoso and )una.
3ence, (ith respect to )466$"6, this Court is bound by the dismissal of )4 66#2 and so
)466$"6 should li1e(ise be dismissed, as it is hereby dismissed.
Proceedin+ no( to resol,e the issue, common to )4666$6, )466#"! and )466$62, (hich
is (hether or not Espina, @ama, &arcia, -endiola and Carillo are personally liable for
dama+es for adoptin+ a resolution (hich abolished positions to the detriment of the
occupants thereof, this Court has held that, at least, in principle, a public officer by ,irtue
of his office alone, is not immune from dama+es in his personal capacity arisin+ from
ille+al acts done in bad faith. A different rule (ould sanction the use of public office as a
tool of oppression B'abuena ,s. Court of Appeals, )4!F2"%, October E!, !"F!, E ;C@A
6!EC.
'hus, in Correa ,s. C7I of *ulacan, )46F%"F, July E%, !"", "2 ;C@A E!2, <e held
personally liable a mayor (ho ille+ally dismissed policemen e,en if he had relin5uished
his position. 'herein, <e held that:
A public officer (ho commits a tort or other (ron+ful act, done in eAcess or beyond the
scope of his duty, is not protected by office and is personally liable therefor li1e any
pri,ate indi,idual BPalma ,s. &raciano, "" Phil. 2, 6D Carreon ,s. Pro,ince of
Pampan+a, "" Phil. $%$C. 'his principle of personal liability has been applied to cases
(here a public officer remo,es another officer or dischar+es an employee (ron+fully, the
reported cases sayin+ that by reason of non4compliance (ith the re5uirements of la( in
respect to remo,al from office, the officials (ere actin+ outside of their official authority
B;tiles ,s. )o(ell 2EE -ass. !6, !2E NE F!#, 6 A)@ !EF#, cited in FE Am. Jur. 2d.
%C.
<e hold that the petitioners in the instant three cases are personally liable for dama+es
because of their precipitate dismissal of pro,incial employees throu+h an ostensibly le+al
means.
'he Court of Appeals, (hose factual findin+s are bindin+ on this Court, found that the
pro,incial employees concerned (ere .eased out because of their party affiliation.. i.e.,
they belon+ed to the )iberal Party (hose presidential candidate then (as ;er+io Osmena
Jr. BCA 2ecision in &.@. No. 6"E2$4@, p. F, )466#"!, @ollo, p. E$C. ;uch act of the
petitioners reflected their malicious intent to do a(ay (ith the follo(ers of the ri,al
political party so as to accommodate their o(n prote+es (ho, it turned out, e,en
outnumbered the dismissed employees.
Indeed, municipal officers are liable for dama+es if they act maliciously or (antonly and
if the (or1 (hich they perform is done rather to in0ure an indi,idual than to dischar+e a
public duty B#F Am. Jur. 2d EE6, citin+ =early :. 7in1 6E Pa 2!2C. As (e ha,e held in
:da de )ai+ ,s. Court of Appeals, )42F$$2, April #, !"$, $2 ;C@A 2"6, E%4E%$, a
public officer is ci,illy liable for failure to obser,e honesty and +ood faith in the
performance of their duties as public officers or for (ilfully or ne+li+ently causin+
dama+e to another BArticle 2%, Ci,il CodeC or for (ilfully causin+ loss or in0ury to
another in a manner that is contrary to morals, +ood customs andNor public policy BArticle
2!, Ne( Ci,il CodeC.
Neither can petitioners shield themsel,es from liability by in,o1in+ the rulin+ in the cases
of Carino ,s. A+ricultural Credit and Cooperati,e 7inancin+ Administration )42E"FF,
-ay 22, !"F", 2$ ;C@A 2F$. In those cases, the errin+ public officials (ere sued in their
official capacities (hereas in the instant cases, petitioners (ere specifically sued in their
personal capacities.
7or their part, the dismissed employees are entitled to dama+es because they ha,e
suffered a special and peculiar in0ury from the (ron+ful act of (hich they complain
-echem, A 'reatise on the )a( of Public Offices and Officers, p. E"!C. It is an
undeniable fact that the dismissed employees (ho (ere holdin+ such positions as
foremen, (atchmen and dri,ers, suffered the uncertainties of the unemployed (hen they
(ere pluc1ed out of their positions. 'hat not all of them testified as to the eAtent of
dama+es they sustained on account of their separation from their +o,ernment 0obs, cannot
be used as a defense by the petitioners. ;uffice it to state that considerin+ the positions
they (ere holdin+, the dismissed employees concerned belon+ to a lo(4salaried +roup,
(ho, if depri,ed of (a+es (ould +enerally incur considerable economic hardships.
Justice demands that they be recompensed for the predicament they (ere placed in, apart
from the bac1 salaries (hich they are entitled to as a matter of ri+ht. <e are inclined to
a+ree that the amount of P!,%%%.%% dama+es +ranted to each of them by the Court of
Appeals (as fiAed by that court 0udiciously and is a reasonable sum BArticle 22!F, Ci,il
CodeC.
Petitioner @ama>s protestations that (hen he e,entually became the +o,ernor of Cebu, he
reinstated most of the dismissed employees throu+h pro,incial board @esolution No. E"2
B)4666$6 @ollo, p. !FC cannot erase the fact that he had a hand in the adoption of
@esolution No. ""%. 3is subse5uent bene,olent act cannot sufficiently ma1e up for the
dama+e suffered by the dismissed employees durin+ their period of unemployment.
Apropos the practice of ,ictorious politicians to remo,e +o,ernment employees (ho did
not support them in their campai+n for office, this Court has said: .'here are alto+ether
too many cases of this nature, (herein local electi,e officials, upon assumption to office,
(ield their ne(4found po(er indiscriminately by replacin+ employees (ith their o(n
prote+es re+ardless of the la(s and re+ulations +o,ernin+ the ci,il ser,ice. :ictory at the
polls should not be ta1en as authority for the commission of such ille+al acts.. BNemen/o
,s. ;abillano, )42%", ;eptember , !"F$, 2# ;C@A !.C
<3E@E7O@E, in )466$"6, the petition for re,ie( on certiorari is hereby dismissed for
lac1 of merit. In )4666$6, )466#"! and )466$62, the decision of the 7irst and Ninth
2i,isions of the Court of Appeals are hereby A77I@-E2 (ith costs a+ainst the
petitioners.
;O O@2E@E2.
7ernan, &utierre/, Jr., Paras, Padilla, *idin and Cortes, JJ., concur.
G.R. No. 101916#8ruary 20, 1991
*ERCI6AL !O/AY, 3OTICO !O/AY @(#,#a'#(A an( LEONORA !O/AY,
"#$%$%on#r',
&'.
CO)RT O A**EAL+, J)/GE E6ANGELINE +. Y)I*CO O BRANC5 6,
REGIONAL TRIAL CO)RT, AG)+AN /EL +)R AN/ !)NICI*ALITY O
B)NABAN, r#'"on(#n$'.

RO!ERO, J.C
'he main issue presented in this case is (hether a municipality may eApropriate pri,ate
property by ,irtue of a municipal resolution (hich (as disappro,ed by the ;an++unian+
Panlala(i+an. Petitioner see1s the re,ersal of the Court of Appeals decision and
resolution, promul+ated on July !#, !""2 and October 22, !""2 respecti,ely, and a
declaration that -unicipal @esolution No. 6E4$" of the *una(an ;an++unian+ *ayan is
null and ,oid.
On July 2E, !"$", the ;an++unian+ *ayan of the -unicipality of *una(an in A+usan del
;ur passed @esolution No. 6E4$", .Authori/in+ the -unicipal -ayor to Initiate the
Petition for EApropriation of a One B!C 3ectare Portion of )ot No. F!E$4Pls46 Alon+ the
National 3i+h(ay O(ned by Perci,al -oday for the ;ite of *una(an 7armers Center
and Other &o,ernment ;ports 7acilities.. 2
In due time, @esolution No. 6E4$" (as appro,ed by then -unicipal -ayor Anuncio C.
*ustillo and transmitted to the ;an++unian+ Panlala(i+an for its appro,al. On ;eptember
!!, !"$", the ;an++unian+ Panlala(i+an disappro,ed said @esolution and returned it (ith
the comment that .eApropriation is unnecessary considerin+ that there are still a,ailable
lots in *una(an for the establishment of the +o,ernment center.. E
'he -unicipality of *una(an, herein public respondent, subse5uently filed a petition for
Eminent 2omain a+ainst petitioner Perci,al -oday before the @e+ional 'rial Court at
Prosperidad, A+usan del ;ur. 6 'he complaint (as later amended to include the re+istered
o(ners, Perci,al -oday>s parents, Gotico and )eonora -oday, as party defendants.
On -arch F, !""!, public respondent municipality filed a -otion to 'a1e or Enter 9pon
the Possession of ;ub0ect -atter of 'his Case statin+ that it had already deposited (ith
the municipal treasurer the necessary amount in accordance (ith ;ection 2, @ule F of
the @e,ised @ules of Court and that it (ould be in the +o,ernment>s best interest for
public respondent to be allo(ed to ta1e possession of the property.
2espite petitioners> opposition and after a hearin+ on the merits, the @e+ional 'rial Court
+ranted respondent municipality>s motion to ta1e possession of the land. 'he lo(er court
held that the ;an++unian+ Panlala(i+an>s failure to declare the resolution in,alid lea,es it
effecti,e. It added that the duty of the ;an++unian+ Panlala(i+an is merely to re,ie( the
ordinances and resolutions passed by the ;an++unian+ *ayan under ;ection 2%$ B!C of
*.P. *l+. EE, old )ocal &o,ernment Code and that the eAercise of eminent domain is not
one of the t(o acts enumerated in ;ection !" thereof re5uirin+ the appro,al of the
;an++unian+ Panlala(i+an. # 'he dispositi,e portion of the lo(er court>s Order dated
July 2, !""! reads:
<3E@E7O@E, it appearin+ that the amount of PFE2.E" had been deposited as per
Official @eceipt No. #E"F6 on 2ecember !2, !"$" (hich this Court no( determines as
the pro,isional ,alue of the land, the -otion to 'a1e or Enter 9pon the Possession of the
Property filed by petitioner throu+h counsel is hereby &@AN'E2. 'he ;heriff of this
Court is ordered to forth(ith place the plaintiff in possession of the property in,ol,ed.
)et the hearin+ be set on Au+ust ", !""! at $:E% o>cloc1 in the mornin+ for the purpose of
ascertainin+ the 0ust compensation or fair mar1et ,alue of the property sou+ht to be ta1en,
(ith notice to all the parties concerned.
;O O@2E@E2.
Petitioners> motion for reconsideration (as denied by the trial court on October E!, !""!.
Petitioners ele,ated the case in a petition for certiorari alle+in+ +ra,e abuse of discretion
on the part of the trial court, but the same (as dismissed by respondent appellate court on
July !#, !""2. 'he Court of Appeals held that the public purpose for the eApropriation
is clear from @esolution No. 6E4$" and that since the ;an++unian+ Panlala(i+an of
A+usan del ;ur did not declare @esolution No. 6E4$" in,alid, eApropriation of petitioners>
property could proceed.
@espondent appellate court also denied petitioners> motion for reconsideration on October
22, !""2. $
-ean(hile, the -unicipality of *una(an had erected three buildin+s on the sub0ect
property: the Association of *aran+ay Councils BA*CC 3all, the -unicipal -otorpool,
both (ooden structures, and the *una(an -unicipal &ymnasium, (hich is made of
concrete.
In the instant petition for re,ie( filed on No,ember 2E, !""2, petitioner see1s the
re,ersal of the decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals and a declaration that
@esolution No. 6E4$" of the -unicipality of *una(an is null and ,oid.
On 2ecember $, !""E, the Court issued a temporary restrainin+ order en0oinin+ and
restrainin+ public respondent Jud+e E,an+eline =uipco from enforcin+ her July 2, !""!
Order and respondent municipality from usin+ and occupyin+ all the buildin+s
constructed and from further constructin+ any buildin+ on the land sub0ect of this
petition. "
Actin+ on petitioners> Omnibus -otion for Enforcement of @estrainin+ Order and for
Contempt, the Court issued a @esolution on -arch !#, !""#, citin+ incumbent municipal
mayor Anuncio C. *ustillo for contempt, orderin+ him to pay the fine and to demolish the
.bloc1tiendas. (hich (ere built in ,iolation of the restrainin+ order. !%
7ormer -ayor Anuncio C. *ustillo paid the fine and manifested that he lost in the -ay $,
!""# election. !! 'he incumbent -ayor )eonardo *arrios, filed a -anifestation, -otion
to @esol,e .9r+ent -otion for Immediate 2issolution of the 'emporary @estrainin+
Order. and -emorandum on June !!, !""F for the -unicipality of *una(an. !2
Petitioners contend that the Court of Appeals erred in upholdin+ the le+ality of the
condemnation proceedin+s initiated by the municipality. Accordin+ to petitioners, the
eApropriation (as politically moti,ated and @esolution No. 6E4$" (as correctly
disappro,ed by the ;an++unian+ Panlala(i+an, there bein+ other municipal properties
a,ailable for the purpose. Petitioners also pray that the former -ayor Anuncio C. *ustillo
be ordered to pay dama+es for insistin+ on the enforcement of a ,oid municipal
resolution.
'he Court of Appeals declared that the ;an++unian+ Panlala(i+an>s reason for
disappro,in+ the resolution .could be baseless, because it failed to point out (hich and
(here are those a,ailable lots.>. @espondent court also concluded that since the
;an++unian+ Panlala(i+an did not declare the municipal board>s resolution as in,alid,
eApropriation of petitioners> property could proceed.
'he Court finds no merit in the petition and affirms the decision of the Court of Appeals.
Eminent domain, the po(er (hich the -unicipality of *una(an eAercised in the instant
case, is a fundamental ;tate po(er that is inseparable from so,erei+nty. !6 It is
+o,ernment>s ri+ht to appropriate, in the nature of a compulsory sale to the ;tate, pri,ate
property for public use or purpose. !# Inherently possessed by the national le+islature, the
po(er of eminent domain may be ,alidly dele+ated to local +o,ernments, other public
entities and public utilities. !F 7or the ta1in+ of pri,ate property by the +o,ernment to be
,alid, the ta1in+ must be for public use and there must be 0ust compensation. !
'he -unicipality of *una(an>s po(er to eAercise the ri+ht of eminent domain is not
disputed as it is eApressly pro,ided for in *atas Pambansa *l+. EE, the local
&o,ernment Code !$ in force at the time eApropriation proceedin+s (ere initiated.
;ection " of said la( states:
;ec. ". Eminent 2omain. 8 A local +o,ernment unit may, throu+h its head and actin+
pursuant to a resolution of its san++unian, eAercise the ri+ht of eminent domain and
institute condemnation proceedin+s for public use or purpose.
<hat petitioners 5uestion is the lac1 of authority of the municipality to eAercise this ri+ht
since the ;an++unian+ Panlala(i+an disappro,ed @esolution No. 6E4$".
;ection !#E of *.P. *l+. EE pro,ides:
;ec. !#E. ;an++unian+ Panlala(i+an @e,ie(. 8 B!C <ithin thirty days after recei,in+
copies of appro,ed ordinances, resolutions and eAecuti,e orders promul+ated by the
municipal mayor, the san++unian+ panlala(i+an shall eAamine the documents or transmit
them to the pro,incial attorney, or if there be none, to the pro,incial fiscal, (ho shall
eAamine them promptly and inform the san++unian+ panlala(i+an in (ritin+ of any
defect or impropriety (hich he may disco,er therein and ma1e such comments or
recommendations as shall appear to him proper.
B2C If the san++unian+ panlala(i+an shall find that any municipal ordinance, resolution
or eAecuti,e order is beyond the po(er conferred upon the san++unian+ bayan or the
mayor, it shall declare such ordinance, resolution or eAecuti,e order in,alid in (hole or in
part, enterin+ its actions upon the minutes and ad,isin+ the proper municipal authorities
thereof. 'he effect of such an action shall be to annul the ordinance, resolution or
eAecuti,e order in 5uestion in (hole or in part. 'he action of the san++unian+
panlala(i+an shall be final.
AAA AAA AAA BEmphasis supplied.C
'he ;an++unian+ Panlala(i+an>s disappro,al of -unicipal @esolution No. 6E4$" is an
infirm action (hich does not render said resolution null and ,oid. 'he la(, as eApressed
in ;ection !#E of *.P. *l+. EE, +rants the ;an++unian+ Panlala(i+an the po(er to
declare a municipal resolution in,alid on the sole +round that it is beyond the po(er of
the ;an++unian+ *ayan or the -ayor to issue. Althou+h pertainin+ to a similar pro,ision
of la( but different factual milieu then obtainin+, the Court>s pronouncements in :ela/co
,. *las, !" (here (e cited si+nificant early 0urisprudence, are applicable to the case at
bar.
'he only +round upon (hich a pro,incial board may declare any municipal resolution,
ordinance, or order in,alid is (hen such resolution, ordinance, or order is .beyond the
po(ers conferred upon the council or president ma1in+ the same.. Absolutely no other
+round is reco+ni/ed by the la(. A strictly le+al 5uestion is before the pro,incial board in
its consideration of a municipal resolution, ordinance, or order. 'he pro,incial Bboard>sC
disappro,al of any resolution, ordinance, or order must be premised specifically upon the
fact that such resolution, ordinance, or order is outside the scope of the le+al po(ers
conferred by la(. If a pro,incial board passes these limits, it usurps the le+islati,e
function of the municipal council or president. ;uch has been the consistent course of
eAecuti,e authority. 2%
'hus, the ;an++unian+ Panlala(i+an (as (ithout the authority to disappro,e -unicipal
@esolution No. 6E4$" for the -unicipality of *una(an clearly has the po(er to eAercise
the ri+ht of eminent domain and its ;an++unian+ *ayan the capacity to promul+ate said
resolution, pursuant to the earlier45uoted ;ection " of *.P. *l+. EE. Perforce, it follo(s
that @esolution No. 6E4$" is ,alid and bindin+ and could be used as la(ful authority to
petition for the condemnation of petitioners> property.
As re+ards the accusation of political oppression, it is alle+ed that Perci,al -oday
incurred the ire of then -ayor Anuncio C. *ustillo (hen he refused to support the latter>s
candidacy for mayor in pre,ious elections. Petitioners claim that then incumbent -ayor
C. *ustillo used the eApropriation to retaliate by eApropriatin+ their land e,en if there
(ere other properties belon+in+ to the municipality and a,ailable for the purpose.
;pecifically, they alle+e that the municipality o(ns a ,acant se,en4hectare property
ad0acent to petitioners> land, e,idenced by a s1etch plan. 2!
'he limitations on the po(er of eminent domain are that the use must be public,
compensation must be made and due process of la( must be
obser,ed. 22 'he ;upreme Court, ta1in+ co+ni/ance of such issues as the ade5uacy of
compensation, necessity of the ta1in+ and the public use character or the purpose of the
ta1in+, 2E has ruled that the necessity of eAercisin+ eminent domain must be +enuine and
of a public character. 26 &o,ernment may not capriciously choose (hat pri,ate property
should be ta1en.
After a careful study of the records of the case, ho(e,er, (e find no e,identiary support
for petitioners> alle+ations. 'he uncertified photocopy of the s1etch plan does not
conclusi,ely pro,e that the municipality does o(n ,acant land ad0acent to petitioners>
property suited to the purpose of the eApropriation. In the 5uestioned decision, respondent
appellate court similarly held that the pleadin+s and documents on record ha,e not
pointed out any of respondent municipality>s .other a,ailable properties a,ailable for the
same purpose.. 2# 'he accusations of political reprisal are li1e(ise unsupported by
competent e,idence. Conse5uently, the Court holds that petitioners> demand that the
former municipal mayor be personally liable for dama+es is (ithout basis.
<3E@E7O@E, the instant petition is hereby 2ENIE2. 'he 5uestioned 2ecision and
@esolution of the Court of Appeals in the case of .Perci,al -oday.. et al. ,. -unicipality
of *una(an, et al.. BCA &.@. ;P No. 2F!2C are A77I@-E2. 'he 'emporary
@estrainin+ Order issued by the Court on 2ecember $, !""E is )I7'E2.
;O O@2E@E2.
EN BANC
>G.R. No. 121251. A"r%- 13, 1998?
!AYOR ELI*E D. CON+TANTINO, "#$%$%on#r, &'. 5on. O!B)/+!AN
ANIANO /E+IERTO, !ARGARITO *. GER6ACIO, JR., JAI!E L.
!A/RI/ANO, *RI!ITI6IA L. E+*INO+A, RAAEL J. +)+ON, +R., *ABLO 6.
OCTA6IO, LEO G. INGAY, BENJA!IN C. A+GA*O an( BILRE/ *.
E+*INO+A, r#'"on(#n$'.
/ E C I + I O N
NAR6A+A, C.J.C
In the special ci,il action of certiorari at bar -ayor 7elipe ?. Constantino of -alun+on,
;aran+ani Pro,ince, see1s in,alidation of the @esolution of the Ombudsman dated
October 22, !""F, findin+ him +uilty of +ra,e misconduct pre0udicial to the best interest
of the ser,ice, andNor +ross ne+lect of duty, and on that account dismissin+ him from the
ser,ice.
On 7ebruary 22, !""F, the ;an++unian+ *ayan of -alun+on, ;aran+ani Pro,ince,
adopted and issued @esolution No. 2!J!K (hich 44 after declarin+ in its S<hereasV clauses
inter alia that 44
!C it (as the intention of the HH &o,ernment of -alun+on to SleaseNpurchase one B!C
fleet of hea,y e5uipmentVJ2K composed of se,en BC specifically described unitsD
2C due to the failure of t(o public biddin+s, the -unicipal -ayor (ould be authori/ed
Sto enter into a ne+otiated contract Bfor said leaseNpurchaseC HH in behalf of the -unicipal
&o,ernment HH DV
EC the lessorNseller should assure that the hea,y e5uipment is Sfree from defects in
(or1manship (ithin the specified (arranty period under normal use,V (ith obli+ation to
Srepair or replace any defecti,e parts free of char+e sub0ect to the terms and conditions
stipulated in the contractDV
6C the contract .must be clear and eAplicit, acceptable to both parties. and be concurred
by the ;an++unian+ *ayan of HH -alun+on HH before implementationD. and
#C the hea,y e5uipment shall, before deli,ery, be inspected and tested by a special
committee chosen by the -ayor 44
authori/ed -ayor Constatino Sto enter into a ne+otiated contract representin+ the
-unicipality HH B(ithC any company dealin+ (ith hea,y e5uipment,V said contract to be
Ssi+ned by P*AC members.V 'he resolution, ho(e,er, contained no parameters as to rate
of rental, period of lease, purchase price. 'he ;an++unian+ *ayan -embers (ho ,oted
for the resolution (ere : :ice4-ayor Primiti,a ). Espinosa, and Councilors @afael J.
;uson, ;r. BPresidin+ OfficerC, *en0amin -. &uilley, Nemesio P. )iray, Nonito :. Nune/,
)eo &. In+ay, Cesar *. Nallus, Jr., *en0amin C. As+apo, and Jannette ;. Constatino.
Accordin+ly, on 7ebruary 2$, !""F in 2a,ao City, -ayor Constantino entered into an
a+reement (ith a firm called the Norlo,anian Corporation,JEK for the lease by the
municipality from the latter of se,en BC units of hea,y e5uipment of the types specified
in the aforesaid @esolution, to (it:J6K
BaC one B!C unit payloaderD
BbC one B!C unit +raderD
BcC one B!C unit road rollerD
BdC t(o B2C units siA4(heeler dump truc1sD and
BeC t(o B2C units ten4(heeler dump truc1s.
At the same time, and (ith the -ayorTs Sconforme,V the corporation eAecuted a deed of
S9nderta1in+V bindin+ itself to con,ey o(nership of the hea,y e5uipment under lease
Sunto the )essee at the end of the term of said a+reement after the )essee has faithfully
complied (ith the terms and conditions thereof,V and to eAecute Sthe necessary
documents to transfer the o(nership HH BthereofC.VJ#K 'he )ease A+reement (as a printed
pre4prepared one, the names of the parties and the notarial ac1no(led+ment ha,in+
merely been typed in additionally. Nothin+ (as stated in the si+ned contract about the
term of the lease or the amount of the rental. Neither did the second document, the
S9nderta1in+,V set forth the term of the lease, the rental rate of the e5uipment, or the
,alue thereof.
2eli,ery of all the se,en BC pieces of hea,y e5uipment (as made to the municipality on
-arch 6, !""F, at (hich time a document of S2eli,ery and AcceptanceVJFK (as eAecuted
o,er the si+natures of -ayor Constantino and the President of the lessor company. 'he
instrument contained:
BaC a list of the e5uipment,
BbC an a,erment that the S)E;;EEV Bthe to(n of -alun+onC had inspected and accepted
the same (hich had Sbeen found to be in +ood condition in accordance (ith the terms
and conditions of the )ease A+reement,V and
BcC an attestation 44 readin+ SEM9IP-EN' IN;PEC'E2 *=V 44 si+ned by four B6C
-unicipal ?a+a(ads: *an0amin -. &uilley, Nonito :. Nune/, Ceasar *. Nallos and
Nemesio P. )iray, as (ell as by the -unicipal En+ineer and the -unicipal 'reasurer.
'hereafter, and on the stren+th of another resolution BNo. E$C Sunanimously appro,edV on
April !$, !""F by the ;an++unian+ *ayan of -alun+on 44 Sre5uestin+ the 3onorable
-unicipal -ayor, 7elipe ?. Constantino, to operate the ne(ly ac5uired hea,ily
e5uipment of the -unicipality of -alun+on leasedNpurchased from the Norlo,anian
CorporationVJK P the mayor directed that the hea,y e5uipment be operated and used in
,arious pro0ects. 'he ;an++unian+ *ayan -embers (ho ,oted for the resolution (ere:
:ice4-ayor Primiti,a ). Espinosa, and Councilors @afael J. ;uson, ;r., *en0amin -.
&uilley, Nemesio P. )iray, Pablo :. Octa,io, Nonito :. NuOe/, )eo &. In+ay, Cesar *.
Nallos, Jr., *en0amin C. As+apo, and <ilfredo P. Espinosa, A*C.
3o(e,er, operation of the e5uipment came to a halt barely t(o months laterD and this,
because of a third resolution BNo. 6C of the ;an++unian+ *ayan adopted on June F,
!""F,J$K Sstoppin+ all forms of unauthori/ed paymentNeApenditures relati,e to the
ille+ally ac5uired pool of hea,y e5uipment by the -unicipality of -alun+on, ;aran+ani
Pro,ince.V 'he @esolution (as +rounded on the follo(in+ stated premises:
!C a !""# @esolution Sadoptin+ Appropriation Ordinance No. !! appro,in+ &eneral
*ud+et of !""FDV -PC @esolution No. 2 series of !""# in relation to ;* @esolution No.
!"$, series of !""# Spro,ided the amount of '<O -I))ION '<O 39N2@E2
'3O9;AN2 PE;O; BP2,2%%,%%%%%C for the loan amorti/ation of the purchase of hea,y
e5uipment for fi,e B#C yearsV but had Snot been reali+ned HH re4pro+rammed and
appropriated for leaseDV and
2C the Spool of hea,y e5uipment HH ac5uired (as inefficient and inoperati,e per ocular
inspection, in,esti+ation and sur,ey conducted by the Committee on Infrastructure of the
;an++unian+ *ayan of -alun+on and there is no authori/ed rental paymentNeApenditures
and appro,ed bud+et by the ;an++unian+ *ayan intended for lease of such hea,y
e5uipment.V
'he minutes of the ;an++unian+ *ayan of -alun+on of the ;ession of June F, !""F sho(
that of the nine B"C ;an+unian members present, four B6C ,oted Sfor the passa+e of said
resolution, namely Councilors Octa,io, Espinosa, As+apo and In+ay, and three
abstainBed:C namely Councilor &uilley, Nollon, nune/ HHD BandC Councilor )iray HH B(asC
not around durin+ the ,otation HH Bbein+C on pri,ile+e motion (hich (as reco+ni/ed by
the ChairV BsicC. :ice4-ayor Primiti,a ). Espinosa, identified as SActin+ -ayor,V (as
recorded as SA*;EN'VJ"K
It appears that earlier 44 on April 2E, !""F, fi,e B#C days after -ayor Constantino (as
re5uested by the ;an++unian+ *ayan to start usin+ the hea,y e5uipment as abo,e stated
44 there (ere filed (ith the 2eputy Ombudsman for -indanao in 2a,ao City,J!%K a
S)etter4ComplaintVJ!!K and a SJoint Affida,it,VJ!2K accusin+ the -ayor and the President
of the )essor company, Norberto )indon+,J!EK of a S:iolation of ;ection E JeK and J+K of
@.A. No. E%!" other(ise 1no(n as the Anti4&raft and Corrupt Practices ActV 44 doc1eted
as Case No. O-*4-IN4A2-4"F4%!" 44 and of S&ra,e -isconductD Conduct
Pre0udicial to the Interest of the ;er,iceD and &ross Ne+lect of 2utyV 44 doc1eted as Case
No. O-*4min4A2-4"F4%F%. 'he letter4complaint (as si+ned by :ice4-ayor Primiti,a
). Espinosa, and to it (as appended a CE@'I7ICA'ION si+ned by :ice4-ayor and three
BEC of the ;an++unian+ *ayan -embers (ho, to+ether (ith the :ice4-ayor, had
appro,ed the first t(o B2C @esolutions abo,e mentioned, namely: Councilors @afael 0.
;uson, ;r., )eo &. In+ay, and *en0amin C. A+aspo. '(o other councilors, <ilfredo P.
Espinosa, Pablo :. Octa,io, (ho had appro,ed the @esolution of April !$, !""F P
re5uestin+ -ayor Constantino to put into operation the hea,y e5uipment deli,ered by
Norlo,anian Corporation P also si+ned the Certification.
'he Joint Affida,it alle+ed that:
!C @esolution No. 2! authori/ed -ayor Constantino Sto purchase and ac5uire for the
-unicipality of -alun+on hea,y e5uipments to be paid (ithin fi,e B#C years at the yearly
amorti/ation of P2.2 million and for the o(nership thereof to be consolidated and ,ested
upon the municipality at the end of fifth yearDV
2C the resolution also Spro,ided that the ;an++unian+ *ayan shall concur in the contract
to purchase that shall be entered into HHDV
EC contrary to the resolution, -ayor Constantino entered into Slease a+reement (ith the
Norlo,anian CorporationV o,er specific hea,y e5uipment (hich stipulated a term of SsiA
BFC years,V rental at the rate of P2#,!!!.!! per monthDV and S2%W &uaranty 2eposit of
P!,$%,%%%.%%V to be made by the -unicipalityDV
6C the lease a+reement contained no SPurchase OptionV in fa,or of the -unicipality, and
re5uired the property to be returned to the lessor at the end of the leaseD
#C pursuant to the a+reement, the -unicipality had already paid to the Norlo,anian
Corporation Sthe total sum of P2,!,%%."! for:
aC 2%W &uaranty 2eposit P!,$%,%%%.%%
bC @ental from -arch # 4 April #, !""F 2#,!!!.!!
cC partial rental co,erin+ April # to
-ay F, !""F !F2,$$$.$"
<ithholdin+ 'aA XXX
22,"%".%%
'O'A) P2,!,%%."!D
FC -ayor Constantino had thus entered into the a+reement (ithout authority and thereby
Scaused and inflicted undue in0ury to the -unicipality HH.V
'he char+es (ere tra,ersed by 3is 3onor in a SCounter 4 Affida,itVJ!6K filed by him on
re5uirement of the 2eputy Ombudsman.J!#K 3e asserted that:
!C under authority of @esolution No.2!, he had indeed ne+otiated (ith Norberto )indon+
of the Norlo,anian Corporation for the lease and ultimate purchase of the sub0ect hea,y
e5uipmentD
2C the a+reement finally reached (as BaC S'otal cost of e5uipment is P$,"%%,%%%.%%DV BbC
Norlo,anian S(ill char+e interest at !$W per annum on a diminishin+ balance, o,er a F
year pay4periodDV and BcC Son the first year, the monthly amorti/ation (ill be P2#,!!!.!!
but startin+ on the second year the amorti/ation (ill decrease and HH pro+ressi,ely
decrease e,ery yearDV
EC a Committee created by the -ayor inspected and accepted the units and issued a
certification attestin+ to the S(orthinessV thereof,J!FK after (hich )indon+ dre( up the
Slease A+reementV on his companyTs Sstandard BprintedC form,V and an S9nderta1in+V to
e,entually transfer o(nership of the e5uipment to the -unicipalityD
6C both instruments (ere si+ned not only by the -ayor and )indon+ but also by the
-embers of the P*ACD
#C on 7ebruary 2", !""F, the -ayor and )indon+ appeared before the ;an++unian+
*ayan and eAplained the terms of the a+reementsD present (ere all the -embers of the
;an+unian eAcept :ice4-ayor Primiti,a Espinosa and her spouse, Councilor <ilfredo
EspinosaD
FC the e5uipment (as deli,ered four B6C days after(ards after (hich it (as inspected by a
representati,e of the Commission on Audit (ho found the same to be in +ood orderD
C the -ayor subse5uently ordered the e5uipment to be put into operation in compliance
(ith @esolution No. E$.
On -ay E!, !""F, respondent 2eputy Ombudsman &er,acio handed do(n an Order
placin+ -ayor Constantino under pre,enti,e suspension for siA BFC months (ithout pay
effecti,e June !6, !""F. 'his order (as not enforced, ho(e,er, because en0oined by
orders promul+ated by the @e+ional 'rial CourtJ!$K in ;pecial Ci,il Case No. "EF$
instituted by the -ayor.
On July 22, !""F, -ayor Constantino and Norberto )indon+ filed a motion for the
inhibition of 2eputy Ombudsman &er,acio, alle+in+ that by Sthe issuance of the UOrder
of pre,enti,e ;uspensionT on -ay E!, !""F HH (ithout any due process of la( and in
utter disre+ard of the pro,isions of ;ec. 2E of @A F%, the 3onorable 2eputy
Ombudsman HH had clearly sho(n his pre0udice a+ainst respondent -ayor HH.VJ!"K 'he
motion (as ho(e,er denied in an Order issued by &raft In,esti+ation Officer -arco
Anacleto P. *uena on July 26, !""F.J2%K
On July 2F, !""F, Constantino and )indon+ filed a SNotice of AppealV 44 as re+ards the
re0ection of the motion for inhibitionJ2!K 44 and a S-otion to @eset 3earin+V Bafter the
resolution of their appeal on the issue of recusationC.J22K 'he latter motion (as denied for
lac1 of merit by the Area Office on July 2", !""F. ;aid denial (as sustained, and -ayor
ConstantinoTs appeal dismissed, by Order of In,esti+ation Officer *uena, dated
;eptember !%, !""F,J2EK appro,ed by Ombudsman Aniano 2esierto on October 6, !""F.
J26K
-ean(hile, an information for :iolation of the Anti4&raft and Corrupt Practices Act
a+ainst both -ayor Constantino and Norberto )indon+, (as filed before the
;andi+anbayan on Au+ust $, !""F, also (ith due appro,al of Ombudsman 2esierto.J2#K
9nder date of October 22, !""F, &raft In,esti+ation Officer *uena handed do(n a
@esolution findin+ the petitioner S&9I)'= of +ra,e misconduct, pre0udicial to the best
interest of the ser,ice, and +ross ne+lect of duty,V and orderin+ his dismissal from the
ser,ice.J2FK 'hat @esolution (as, on recommendation of 2eputy Ombudsman for
-indanao -ar+arito P. &er,acio, Jr. Bdated October, 2#, !""FC, appro,ed by Ombudsman
2esierto on 2ecember !F, !""F.J2K
'he @esolution of October 22, !""F ad,erted to
!C S,arious dubious le+al maneu,ers set off by the respondent B-ayorC in an effort to stay
the implementation of the order of pre,enti,e suspensionV includin+ the filin+ of a
motion for reconsideration of the suspension order, the (ithdra(al of counsel, the filin+
of a motion for inhibition of the in,esti+ator and to reset hearin+sDJ2$K
2C (hat (as considered BaC a stran+eness of S(hy the respondent B-ayorC and -r.
)indon+ (ent throu+h all the trouble to prepare and eAecute t(o separate a+reements
(hen they could ha,e immediately eAecuted the lease4purchase a+reement itself,VJ2"K BbC
a doubt as to the S,alidity of the 9nderta1in+ HH, it bein+ a unilateral contract as (ell as
an ancillary one, as opposed to the principal contract (hich is the lease a+reement,V in
addition to not bein+ Ssupported by a considerationDVJE%K and BcC the omission of the
assent of the ;an++unian+ *ayan to the contract before its implementation.JE!K
On the basis thereof, 2I)& @e+ional 2irector Jaime ). -adridano of @e+ion II based in
2a,ao City, sent a -emorandum Order dated 2ecember 2, !""F to &o,ernor Priscilla
). Chion+bian of ;aran+ani Pro,ince, directin+ her to enforce the directi,e for -ayor
ConstantinoTs dismissal and to install the :ice -ayor in his place.JE2K he also issued a
S-emorandumV to -ayor Constantino directin+ him Sto turn o,er the functions of BhisC
office to the ,ice4mayor BPrimiti,a ). EspinosaC pursuant to ;ec. 66 of @A !F% HH.VJEEK
3o(e,er, this resolution of dismissal has not been implemented because, as -ayor
Constantino himself states,JE6K after 2I)& 2irector -adridano (as ad,ised of the
institution of the action at bar in this Court, he Sdid not insist anymore on the eAecution
of the U@esolutionT Bof dismissalC in 5uestion.V
-ayor Constantino has appealed the @esolution appro,ed by Ombudsman 2esierto on
2ecember !F, !""F 44 remo,in+ him from his position as -unicipal -ayor 44 by filin+
the petition for certiorari at bar.JE#K 3e has impleaded as respondents the Ombudsman,
2eputy Ombudsman &er,acio, Jr., and the complainants in the administrati,e case: :ice4
-ayor Espinosa, and Councilors -adridano, Octa,io, In+ay, As+apo, Espinosa and
;uson, ;r. And he cites the follo(in+ as special and important reasons to 0ustify a re,ie(
and nullification of the @esolution issued by respondents 2esierto and &er,acio, to (it:
B!C Petitioner (as denied his constitutional ri+ht to due process of la( (hen his S-otion
for InhibitionV, SNotice of AppealV and -otion to @eset 3earin+V (ere denied outri+ht
by respondent &er,acio Bor +raft In,esti+ation Officer *uenaC and not re,ie(ed by
respondent Ombudsman 2esiertoD and
B2C @espondents 2esierto and &er,acio +ra,ely abused their discretion (hen they
pointedly i+nored or disre+arded the fact that petitioner merely acted in accordance (ith
@es. No. 2!, ;eries of !""F and @es. no. E$, ;eries of !""F of the -unicipal Council of
-alun+on, ;aran+ani, and that he did not eAceed his authority (ith respect to the
transaction and the use of the se,en BC units of hea,y e5uipment ac5uired by the to(n.
Pri,ate respondents Primiti,a Espinosa, @afael ;uson, Pablo Octa,io, )eo In+ay,
*en0amin As+apo and <ilfredo Espinosa filed a S-otion to 2ismiss,V dated 7ebruary E,
!"", (hich this Court resol,ed on 7ebruary 2#, !"", to consider as their comment on
the petition. @e+ional 2irector Jaime ). -adridano submitted his comment on the
petition, dated 7ebruary 2!, !"". 'he ;olicitor &eneral filed a comment in behalf of
public respondents, dated April 2, !"". -ayor Constantino then presented a @eply, dated
June 2!, !"", to pri,ate respondentsT -otion to 2ismiss, to (hich pri,ate respondents
submitted a @e0oinder dated July 2, !"".
'he first contention of -ayor Constantino 44 that it (as error for his motions for
inhibition and to reset hearin+ Snot Bto beC re,ie(ed by respondent Ombudsman
2esiertoV 44 is unmeritorious, and is 5uic1ly disposed of by reference to the terms of
;ection 2$ of @epublic Act No. F%, ,i/.:JEFK
S;EC 2$. In,esti+ation in -unicipalities, Cities and Pro,inces. 44'he Office of the
Ombudsman may establish offices in municipalities, cities and pro,ince outside
-etropolitan -anila, under the immediate super,ision of the 2eputies for )u/on,
:isayas and -indanao, (here necessary as determined by the Ombudsman. 'he
in,esti+ation of complaints may be assi+ned to the re+ional or sectoral deputy concerned
or to special in,esti+ator (ho shall proceed in accordance (ith the rules or special
in,esti+ator (ho shall proceed in accordance (ith the rules or to a special instructions or
directi,es of the Office of the Ombudsman. Pendin+ in,esti+ation, the deputy or
in,esti+ator may issue orders and pro,isional remedies (hich are immediately eAecutory
sub0ect to re,ie( by the Ombudsman. <ithin three BEC days after concludin+ the
in,esti+ation, the deputy or in,esti+ator shall transmit, to+ether (ith the entire records of
the case, his report and conclusions to the Office of the Ombudsman. <ithin fi,e B#C days
after receipt of said report, the Ombudsman shall render the appropriate order, directi,e
or decision.V
'he authority of the in,esti+ator B*uenaC to issue the challen+ed order. Pendin+
in,esti+ation of the administrati,e case a+ainst -ayor Constantino, cannot thus be
+ainsaid bein+ specifically conferred by the pro,ision 0ust 5uoted. Indeed, any such order
is, accordin+ to said pro,ision, Simmediately eAecutory,V sub0ect only to re,ie( by the
Ombudsman
Prescindin+ therefrom, the fact is, as already stated, that the impu+ned order (as actually
re,ie(ed by a superior officer, 2irector Antonio E. :alen/uela B;eptember !E, !""FC,
then recommended for appro,al by 2eputy Ombudsman &er,acio, and ultimately
appro,ed by Ombudsman 2esierto on October 6, !""F.JEK 'he -ayorTs motions
therefore recei,ed due attention and consideration althou+h resol,ed ad,ersely to him.
'here is no occasion to spea1 of a denial of due process.
-ore persuasi,e is the -ayorTs second contention that no liability, (hether criminal or
administrati,e, may be imputed to him since he merely complied (ith the mandate of
@esolution No. 2!, series of !""F and @esolution No. E$, series of !""F, of the -unicipal
CouncilD and that the char+es le,eled a+ainst him are politically moti,ated. A thorou+h
eAamination of the records con,inces this Court that the e,idence a+ainst him is
inade5uate to (arrant his dismissal from the ser,ice on the specified +rounds of +ra,e
misconduct, conduct pre0udicial to the best interest of the ser,ice and +ross ne+lect of
duty.
'he eAplicit terms of @esolution No. 2!, ;eries of !""F clearly authori/ed -ayor
Constantino to SleaseNpurchase one B!C fleet of hea,y e5uipmentV composed of se,en BC
+enerally described units, throu+h a Sne+otiated contract.VJE$K 'hat resolution, as
obser,ed at the outset, contained no parameters as to rate of rental, period of lease,
purchase price. Pursuant thereto, -ayor Constantino, representin+ the -unicipality of
-alun+on, and Norbeto )indon+, representin+ the Norli,anian Corporation, eAecuted
t(o (ritten instruments of the same date and occasion, ,i/.:
One 44 an a+reementBon a standard printed formC dated 7ebruary 2$, !""F for the lease by
the corporation to the municipality of hea,y e5uipment of the number and description
re5uired by @esolution no. 2!, and
'(o 44 an underta1in+ for the subse5uent con,eyance and transfer of o(nership of the
e5uipment to the municipality at the end of the term of the lease.
'hat the -embers of the ;an++unian+ *ayan 1ne( of this SleaseNpurchaseV is e,ident
from @esolution No. E$, ;eries of !""F unanimously enacted by them shortly after
deli,ery of the e5uipment.JE"K In that resolution they B!C declared that Sthe -unicipal
&o,ernment HH has 0ust ac5uired its fleet of hea,y e5uipment leasedNpurchased from the
Norlo,anian Corporation,V and B2C re5uested -ayor Constantino Sto operate the ne(ly
ac5uired hea,y e5uipment HH leasedNpurchased from the Norlo,anian Corporation.V 'he
@esolution is consistent (ith the alle+ations of -ayor Constantino 44 (hich in any e,ent
are not denied by the Councilors or :ice4-ayor Espinosa 44 that:
!C the e5uipment (as deli,ered to the -unicipality by Norlo,anian Corporation on
7ebruary 2$, !""F and duly inspected by Councilors &uilley, @une/, Nollos and )iray, as
(ell as the -unicipal En+ineer and the -unicipal 'reasurerD
2C prior to the deli,ery of the units, the :ice -ayor and other -embers of the
;an++unian+ *ayan had opportunity to read the S)ease A+reementV as (ell as the
S9nderta1in+V but then raised no ob0ections theretoD
EC neither did they raise any ob0ections BaC at the session of the -unicipal Council on
7ebruary 2", !""F, (hen Norberto )indon+ eAplained the terms of the Sne+otiated
contractV of SleaseNpurchase,V or BbC at the time that the units (ere deli,ered and
inspected by desi+nated municipal officials.
No(, it is +ermane to ad,ert to the deplorable inaccuracies in the Joint Affida,it of
pri,ate respondents BP.). Espinosa, ;uson, ;r., In+ay, <. P. Espinosa, Octa,io, As+apoC
J6%K submitted as part of their complaint in the OmbudsmanTs Office. 'he affida,it
contains a clearly distorted ,ersion of @esolution No. 2! of 7ebruary 22, !""F. In that
document the affiants described @esolution No. 2! as authori/in+ -ayor Constantino Sto
purchase and ac5uire HH hea,y e5uipments BsicC to be paid (ithin fi,e B#C years at the
yearly amorti/ation of P2.2 million HH.V 'his is a misleadin+ readin+ of @esolution No.
2!. As the most cursory perusal of that resolution at once discloses, (hat the -ayor (as
thereby empo(ered to do (as S to enter into a ne+otiated contractV in the -unicipalityTs
behalf (ith Sinterested parties,V in line (ith the eApressed (ish of the -unicipality to
SleaseNpurchase one B!C fleet of hea,y e5uipment HHV 44 not simply to Spurchase and
ac5uireV said e5uipment Bas complainant Councilors a,erC. Neither does @esolution No.
2! state Bcontrary to complainantTs description of itC that the price shall be Spaid (ithin
fi,e B#C years at the yearly amorti/ation of P2.2 million HHDV indeed. as already abo,e
stressed, the resolution is completely silent as re+ards any terms and conditions of the
Sne+otiated contractV that the -ayor (as assi+ned to eAecute in the to(nTs behalf. ;uch
ob,ious distortions cannot but erode the complainant councilorsT credibility and bona
fides.
It is also rele,ant to dra( attention to the fla+rantly inaccurate statements and inferences
about the -ayorTs Sne+otiated contractV re+ardin+ the hea,y e5uipment, contained in
@esolution No. 6 appro,ed only by four B6C -embers of the -unicipal Council at its
session of June F, !""F Bthe four B6C bein+ Councilors Octa,io, Espinosa, As+apo and
In+ayC.J6!K 'hat @esolution No. 6, it (ill be recalled, stopped all Srental
paymentNeApenditures relati,e to the pool of hea,y e5uipment of the Norlo,anian
Company.V 'he stoppa+e (as based on prior resolutions of the Council 44 alle+edly
settin+ do(n the terms under (hich the hea,y e5uipment should be ac5uired, and (hich
terms (ere supposedly ,iolated by the -ayor. but 44 unaccountably and +ain indicati,e of
bad faith, if not malice, on the part of pri,ate respondents 44 @esolution No. 6 made
absolutely no reference to the t(o B2C resolution (hich on their face 0ustify the -ayorTs
contract (ith Norlo,anian Corporation, to (it: B!C @esolution No. 2! (hich, ha,in+ been
enacted after the cited resolutions, must be deemed to ha,e superseded them, and (hich,
to repeat, moti,ated and constitutes the 0ustification for the lease4purchase a+reement
entered into by the -ayor and Norlo,anian Corporation, and B2C @esolution No. E$ in
(hich the Councilors not only eApressly ac1no(led+ed that Sthe municipal +o,ernment
HH BhadC 0ust ac5uired its fleet of hea,y e5uipment leasedNpurchased from the
Norlo,anian Corporation,V but also Sre5uested HH BtheC -ayor HH to operate the ne(ly
ac5uired hea,y e5uipment of the municipality leasedNpurchased from the Norlo,anian
Corporation.VJ62K
In li+ht of the fore+oin+ facts, (hich appear to the Court to be 5uite apparent on the
record, it is difficult to percei,e ho( the Office of the Ombudsman could ha,e arri,ed at
a conclusion of any (ron+doin+ by the -ayor in relation to the transaction in 5uestion. It
is difficult to see ho( the transaction bet(een the -ayor and Norlo,anian Corporation 44
entered into pursuant to @esolution No. 2! 44 and tacitly accepted and appro,ed by the
to(n Council throu+h its @esolution No. E$ 44 could be deemed an infrin+ement of the
same @esolution No. 2!. In truth, an eAamination of the pertinent (ritin+s Bthe
resolutions, the t(o B2C instruments constitutin+ the ne+otiated contract, and the
certificate of deli,eryC una,oidably confirms their inte+rity and con+ruity. It is, in fine,
difficult to see ho( those pertinent (ritten instruments,V could establish a prima facie
case to (arrant the pre,enti,e suspension of -ayor Constantino. A person (ith the most
elementary +rasp of the En+lish lan+ua+e (ould, from merely scannin+ those material
documents, at once reali/e that the -ayor had done nothin+ but carry out the eApressed
(ishes of the ;an++unian+ *ayan.
It (ould appear that &raft In,esti+ator *uena, (ho dre( up the @esolution Be,entually
appro,ed by the OmbudsmanC 44 findin+ -ayor Constantino +uilty of +ra,e misconduct
or +ross ne+lect of duty 44 mi+ht ha,e been carried a(ay by his disappro,al of (hat he
thou+ht to be S,arious dubious maneu,ers to delay the early and eApedient disposition of
HH BtheC caseV resorted to by the -ayor Sthrou+h his ,arious counsels.V 3o( those
Smaneu,ersV Bassumin+ their description as dilatory to be correctC could affect the
intrinsic character of the e,idence submitted by the parties is, ho(e,er, 5uite beyond the
Court.
'he in,esti+ator also opined that @esolution No. 2! should be interpreted in li+ht of other
official documents, eAecuted a year earlier. 3e does not eAplain (hy he did not adopt the
more ob,ious construction of @esolution No. 2! indicated by the elementary doctrine that
it is (ithin the po(er and prero+ati,e of the to(n council to repeal its prior acts, either
eApressly, or by the passa+e of essentially inconsistent resolutions. <hen the to(n
council passed @esolution No. 2! (ithout any mention (hate,er of those prior official
documents respectin+ the ac5uisition to hea,y e5uipment, the e,ident intention (as to
supersede them and to ha,e such ac5uisition +o,erned solely by @esolution No. 2!. 'his
conclusion is stron+ly supported by the fact that the ;an+unian eApressly admitted 44 in
the ;econd <hereas Clause of its @esolution No. 2! 44 that there had been a Sfailure of
bidders to submit bids despite of t(o biddin+s ... public announcementV BsicC 44 the t(o
biddin+s bein+ ob,iously related to said earlier official acts of the to(n council. 'he
conclusion is further bolstered by the fact that the Council, (ith full a(areness of said
Sne+otiated contract,V and of the deli,ery of e5uipment thereunder, had re5uested the
-ayor to put the e5uipment into operation for the to(n pro0ects. 'he Court is thus
satisfied that it (as in fact the CouncilTs intention, (hich it eApressed in clear lan+ua+e,
to confer on the -ayor ample discretion to eAecute a Sne+otiated contractV (ith any
interested party, (ithout re+ard to any official acts of the Council prior to @esolution No.
2!.
It is also difficult to see (hy the patent inaccuracies in the affida,it4complaint and
@esolution No. 6J6EK (ere i+nored 44 as difficult to understand ho( the eAecution of t(o
(ritin+s to embody one contract of SleaseNpurchaseV could be re+arded as fatally
defecti,e, and e,en indicati,e of a criminal conspiracy, or (hy said t(o (ritin+ should be
interpreted in such a (ay as to ma+nify their seemin+ inconsistencies. the fundamental
and familiar le+al principle 44 (hich the Office of the Ombudsman i+nored 44 is that it is
perfectly le+itimate for a bilateral contract to be embodied in '(o or more separate
(ritin+s, and that in such an e,ent the (ritin+s should be read and interpreted to+ether in
such a (ay as to eliminate seemin+ inconsistencies and render the partiesT intention
effectual.
'he statement in the appealed @esolution 44 as to the absence of prior consent of the
Council to the Sne+otiated contractV eAecuted by -ayor Constantino and Norlo,anian
Corporation 44 flies in the teeth of the e,idenceD there is unrebutted proof that the hea,y
e5uipment deli,ered to the -unicipality pursuant to the contract, (as inspected by
desi+nated councilors and municipal officersD that shortly thereafter, the ne+otiated
contract 44 composed of t(o documents 44 (as eAplained and discussed at the session of
the to(n Council of 7ebruary 2", !""FD and that after(ards the Council re5uested mayor
Constantino to put the e5uipment into operation.
'he Court thus considers the ratiocinations and conclusion in the challen+ed resolution to
be so +ra,ely and e+re+iously in error as to ma1e necessary said issuancesT in,alidation
by the eAtraordinary (rit of certiorari.
'he pri,ate respondentsT ama/in+ turn4about is patent upon the record, and is branded by
-ayor Constantino as a cunnin+ and treacherous political maneu,er 44 an attempted coup
to oust him from his position as -ayor other(ise than throu+h the normal process of
election. *e this as it may, the Court cannot and (ill not allo( itself to be made an
instrument of politics, nor be pri,y to any attempt at the perpetration of in0ustice.
In ,ie( of all the fore+oin+, the assailed @esolution of the respondent ombudsman dated
October 22, !""F dismissin+ petitioner from the ser,ice, as (ell as the Order of
pre,enti,e suspension dated -ay E!, !""F, are @E:E@;E2 and ;E' A;I2E and
petitioner is EIONE@A'E2 from the administrati,e char+es a+ainst him in CA;E NO.
O-*4-IN4A2-4"F4%F%.
;O O@2E@E2.
;ECON2 2I:I;ION
&.@. No. 2$6! January 2", !"$
P@O:INCE O7 CE*9, petitioner,
,s.
3ONO@A*)E IN'E@-E2IA'E APPE))A'E CO9@' and A''=. PA*)O P.
&A@CIA, respondents.

&9'IE@@EG, J@., J.:
'his is a petition to re,ie( the decision of the respondent Intermediate Appellate Court in
A.C. &.@. C: No. FF#%2 entitled .&o,ernor @ene Espina, et. at ,. -ayor ;er+io
OsmeOa, Jr., et. al, Atty. Pablo P. &arcia ,. Pro,ince of Cebu. ! affirmin+ (ith
modification the order of the Court of 7irst Instance of Cebu, *ranch :II, +rantin+
respondent Pablo P. &arcia>s claim for compensation for ser,ices rendered as counsel in
behalf of the respondent Pro,ince of Cebu.
'he facts of the case are not in dispute. On 7ebruary 6, !"F6, (hile then incumbent
&o,ernor @ene Espina (as on official business in -anila, the :ice4&o,ernor, Priscillano
Almendras and three BEC members of the Pro,incial *oard enacted @esolution No. !$$,
donatin+ to the City of Cebu 2!% pro,ince o(ned lots all located in the City of Cebu,
(ith an a++re+ate area of o,er E$% hectares, and authori/in+ the :ice4&o,ernor to si+n
the deed of donation on behalf of the pro,ince. 'he deed of donation (as immediately
eAecuted in behalf of the Pro,ince of Cebu by :ice4&o,ernor Almendras and accepted in
behalf of the City of Cebu by -ayor ;er+io OsmeOa, Jr. 'he document of donation (as
prepared and notari/ed by a pri,ate la(yer. 'he donation (as later appro,ed by the
Office of the President throu+h EAecuti,e ;ecretary Juan Cancio.
Accordin+ to the 5uestioned deed of donation the lots donated (ere to be sold by the City
of Cebu to raise funds that (ould be used to finance its public impro,ement pro0ects. 'he
City of Cebu (as +i,en a period of one B!C year from Au+ust !#, !"F6 (ithin (hich to
dispose of the donated lots.
9pon his return from -anila, &o,ernor Espina denounced as )e+al and immoral the
action of his collea+ues in donatin+ practically all the patrimonial property of the
pro,ince of Cebu, considerin+ that the latter>s income (as less than one. fourth B!N6C of
that of the City of Cebu.
'o pre,ent the sale or disposition of the lots, the officers and members of the Cebu
-ayor>s )ea+ue Bin behalf of their respecti,e municipalitiesC alon+ (ith some taApayers,
includin+ Atty. &arcia, filed a case see1in+ to ha,e the donation declared ille+al, null and
,oid. It (as alle+ed in the complaint that the plaintiffs (ere filin+ it for and in behalf of
the Pro,ince of Cebu in the nature of a deri,ati,e suit. Named defendants in the suit (ere
the City of Cebu, City -ayor ;er+io OsmeOa, Jr. and the Cebu pro,incial officials
responsible for the donation of the pro,ince4o(ned lots. 'he case (as doc1eted as Ci,il
Case No. @4$FF" of the Court of 7irst Instance of Cebu and assi+ned to *ranch :I
thereof.
2efendants City of Cebu and City -ayor OsmeOa, Jr. filed a motion to dismiss the case
on the +round that plaintiffs did not ha,e the le+al capacity to sue.
;ubse5uently, in an order, dated -ay, !"F#, the court dismissed Case No. @4$FF" on the
+round that plaintiffs (ere not the real parties in interest in the case. Plaintiffs filed a
motion for reconsideration of the order of dismissal. 'his motion (as denied by the
Court.
-ean(hile, Cebu City -ayor ;er+io OsmeOa, Jr. announced that he (ould borro( funds
from the Philippine National *an1 BPN*C and (ould use the donated lots as collaterals.
In July, !"F#, the City of Cebu ad,ertised the sale of an the lots remainin+ unsold.
'hereupon, &o,ernor Espina, apprehensi,e that the lots (ould be irretrie,ably lost by the
Pro,ince of Cebu, decided to +o to court. 3e en+a+ed the ser,ices of respondent &arcia
in filin+ and prosecutin+ the case in his behalf and in behalf of the Pro,ince of Cebu.
&arcia filed the complaint for the annulment of the deed of donation (ith an application
for the issuance of a (rit of preliminary in0unction, (hich application (as +ranted on the
same day, Au+ust F, !"F#.
'he complaint (as later amended to implead Cebu City -ayor Carlos P. Cui/on as
additional defendant in ,ie( of 7iscal Numeriano Capan+pan+an>s manifestation statin+
that on ;eptember ", !"F#, ;er+io OsmeOa, Jr. filed his certificate of Candidacy for
senator, his positionNoffice ha,in+ been assumed by City -ayor Carlos P. Cui/on.
;ometime in !"2, the Pro,incial *oard passed a resolution authori/in+ the Pro,incial
Attorney, Alfredo &. *a+uia, to enter his appearance for the Pro,ince of Cebu and for the
incumbent &o,ernor, :ice4&o,ernor and members of the Pro,incial *oard in this case.
On January E%, !"E, Alfredo &. *a+uia, Pro,incial Attorney of the Pro,ince of Cebu,
entered his appearance as additional counsel for the Pro,ince of Cebu and as counsel for
&o,ernor Osmundo @ama, :ice4&o,ernor ;alutario 7ernande/ and *oard -embers
)eonardo Enad, &uillermo )e+a/pi, and @i/alina -i+allos.
On January E!, !"E, Atty. *a+uia filed a complaint in inter,ention statin+ that
inter,enors Pro,ince of Cebu and Pro,incial *oard of Cebu (ere 0oinin+ or unitin+ (ith
ori+inal plaintiff, former &o,ernor of Cebu, @ene Espina. 'hey adopted his causes of
action, claims, and position stated in the ori+inal complaint filed before the court on
Au+ust F, !"F#.
On June 2#, !"6, a compromise a+reement (as reached bet(een the pro,ince of Cebu
and the city of Cebu. On July !#, !"6, the court appro,ed the compromise a+reement
and a decision (as rendered on its basis.
On 2ecember 6, !"6, the court issued an order directin+ the issuance of a (rit of
eAecution to implement the decision dated July !#, !"6, to (it:
!. Orderin+ the City of Cebu to return and deli,er to the Pro,ince of Cebu all the lots
enumerated in the second para+raph hereofD
2. Orderin+ the Pro,ince of Cebu to pay the amount of One -illion 7i,e 3undred
'housand Pesos BP!,#%%,%%%.%%C to the City of Cebu for and in consideration of the
return by the latter to the former of the aforesaid lotsD
E. 2eclarin+ the retention by the City of Cebu of the ele,en B!!C lots mentioned in
para+raph No. ! of the compromise a+reement, namely, )ot Nos. !!6!, !2F!, !2F$, !2F",
!22, !2E, "!, F6F4A, F6FA464% and !%!%4CD
6. Orderin+ the City of Cebu or the City 'reasurer to turn o,er to the Pro,ince of Cebu
the amount of P!$"6$."E mentioned in AnneA .A. of the defendants manifestation dated
October 2!, !"6D
#. 2eclarin+ the City of Cebu and an its present and past officers completely free from
liabilities to third persons in connection (ith the aforementioned lots, (hich liabilities if
any, shall be assumed by the Pro,ince of CebuD
F. Orderin+ the @e+ister of 2eeds of the City of Cebu to cancel the certification of titles
in the name of the City of Cebu co,erin+ the lots enumerated in the second para+raph of
this order and to issue ne( ones in lieu thereof in the name of the Pro,ince of Cebu.
7or ser,ices rendered in Ci,il Case no. 2E$4*C, C7I of Cebu, respondent Pablo P. &arcia
filed throu+h counsel a Notice of Attorney>s )ien, dated April !6, !"#, prayin+ that his
statement of claim of attorney>s lien in said case be entered upon the records thereof,
pursuant to ;ection E, @ule !E$ of the @ules of Court.
'o said notice, petitioner Pro,ince of Cebu filed throu+h counsel, its opposition dated
April 2E, !"#, statin+ that the payment of attorney>s fees and reimbursement of
incidental eApenses are not allo(ed by la( and settled 0urisprudence to be paid by the
Pro,ince. A re0oinder to this opposition (as filed by pri,ate respondent &arcia.
After hearin+, the Court of 7irst Instance of Cebu, then presided o,er by Jud+e Alfredo
-ari+omen, rendered 0ud+ment dated -ay E%, !"", in fa,or of pri,ate respondent and
a+ainst petitioner Pro,ince of Cebu, declarin+ that the former is entitled to reco,er
attorney>s fees on the basis of 5uantum meruit and fiAin+ the amount thereof at
PE%,%%%.%%.
*oth parties appealed from the decision to the Court of Appeals. In the case of pri,ate
respondent, ho(e,er, he appealed only from that portion of the decision (hich fiAed his
attorney>s fees at PE%,%%%.%% instead of at E%W of the ,alue of the properties in,ol,ed in
the liti+ation as stated in his ori+inal claim
On October !$, !"$#, the Intermediate Appellate Court rendered a decision affirmin+ the
findin+s and conclusions of the trial court that the pri,ate respondent is entitled to reco,er
attorney>s fees but fiAin+ the amount of such fees at #W of the mar1et ,alue of the
properties in,ol,ed in the liti+ation as of the date of the filin+ of the claim in !"#. 'he
dispositi,e portion of the decision reads:
<3E@E7O@E, eAcept for the aforementioned modification that the compensation for the
ser,ices rendered by the Claimant Atty. Pablo P. &arcia is fiAed at fi,e percent B#WC of
the total fair mar1et ,alue of the lots in 5uestion, the order appealed from is hereby
affirmed in all other respects.
*oth parties (ent to the ;upreme Court (ith pri,ate respondent 5uestionin+ the fiAin+ of
his attorney>s fees at #W instead of E%W of the ,alue of the properties in liti+ations as
prayed for in his claims. 3o(e,er, the pri,ate respondent later (ithdre( his petition in
&.@. No. 2$!$ (ith the follo(in+ eAplanation:
'hat after a lon+ and serious reflection and reassessment of his position and intended
course of action and, after see1in+ the ,ie(s of his friends, petitioner has come to the
definite conclusion that prosecutin+ his appeal (ould only result in further delay in the
final disposition of his claim Bit has been pendin+ for the last !% years 6 in the C7I and F
in the Court of Appeals, later Intermediate Appellate CourtC and that it (ould be more
prudent and practicable to accept in full the decision of the Intermediate Appellate Court.
3ence, only the petition of the Pro,ince of Cebu is pendin+ before this Court.
'he matter of representation of a municipality by a pri,ate attorney has been settled in
@amos ,. Court of Appeals B!%$ ;C@A 2$C. Collaboration of a pri,ate la( firm (ith the
fiscal and the municipal attorney is not allo(ed. ;ection !F$E of the @e,ised
Administrati,e Code pro,ides:
.;ection !F$E. 2uty of fiscal to represent pro,inces and pro,incial subdi,isions in
liti+ation. 8 'he pro,incial fiscal shall represent the pro,ince and any municipality, or
municipal district thereof in any court, eAcept in cases (hereof ori+inal 0urisdiction is
,ested in the ;upreme Court or in cases (here the municipality, or municipal district in
5uestion is a party ad,erse to the pro,incial +o,ernment or to some other municipality, or
municipal district in the same pro,ince. <hen the interests of a pro,incial +o,ernment
and of any political di,ision thereof are opposed, the pro,incial fiscal shall act on behalf
of the pro,ince.
<hen the pro,incial fiscal is dis5ualified to ser,e any municipality or other political
subdi,ision of a pro,ince, a special attorney may be employed by its council
'he abo,e pro,ision, complemented by ;ection E of the )ocal Autonomy )a(, is clear in
pro,idin+ that only the pro,incial fiscal and the municipal attorney can represent a
pro,ince or municipality in its la(suits. 'he pro,ision is mandatory. 'he municipality>s
authority to employ a pri,ate la(yer is eApressly limited only to situations (here the
pro,incial fiscal is dis5ualified to represent it B2e &uia ,. 'he Auditor &eneral 66 ;C@A
!F"D -unicipality of *ocaue, et. al. ,. -anoto1, "E Phil. !ED Enri5ue/, ;r., ,. 3onorable
&imene/, !% Phil. "E2C as (hen he represents the pro,ince a+ainst a municipality.
'he la(ma1er, in re5uirin+ that the local +o,ernment should be represented in its court
cases by a +o,ernment la(yer, li1e its municipal attorney and the pro,incial fiscal
intended that the local +o,ernment should not be burdened (ith the eApenses of hirin+ a
pri,ate la(yer. 'he la(ma1er also assumed that the interests of the municipal corporation
(ould be best protected if a +o,ernment la(yer handles its liti+ations. It is to be eApected
that the municipal attorney and the fiscal (ould be faithful and dedicated to the
corporation>s interests, and that, as ci,il ser,ice employees, they could be held
accountable for any misconduct or dereliction of duty B;ee @amos ,. Court of Appeals,
supraC.
3o(e,er, e,ery rule is not (ithout an eAception, Ibi 5uid +eneraliter concediturD inest
haec eAceptio, si non ali5uid sit contra 0us fas5ue B<here anythin+ is +ranted +enerally,
this eAception is impliedD that nothin+ shall be contrary to la( and ri+htC. Indeed, e5uity,
as (ell as the eAceptional situation facin+ us in the case at bar, re5uire a departure from
the established rule.
'he petitioner anchors its opposition to pri,ate respondent>s claim for compensation on
the +rounds that the employment of claimant as counsel for the Pro,ince of Cebu by then
&o,ernor @ene Espina (as unauthori/ed and ,iolati,e of ;ection !F$! to !F$E in relation
to ;ection !F" of the @e,ised Administrati,e Code and that the claim for attorney>s fees
is beyond the pur,ie( of ;ection E, @ule !E$ of the @ules of Court.
It is ar+ued that &o,ernor Espina (as not authori/ed by the Pro,incial *oard, throu+h a
board resolution, to employ Atty. Pablo P. &arcia as counsel of the Pro,ince of Cebu.
Admittedly, this is so.
3o(e,er, the circumstances obtainin+ in the case at bar are such that the rule cannot be
applied. 'he Pro,incial *oard (ould ne,er ha,e +i,en such authori/ation. 'he decision
of the respondent court elucidates the matter thus:
... 'he pro,isions of ;ections !F$! to !F$E of the @e,ised Administrati,e Code
contemplate a normal situation (here the ad,erse party of the pro,ince is a third person
as in the case of Enri5ue/ ,. Auditor &eneral, !% Phil "E2. In the present case, the
contro,ersy in,ol,ed an intramural fi+ht bet(een the Pro,incial &o,ernor on one hand
and the members of the Pro,incial *oard on the other hand. Ob,iously it is unthin1able
for the Pro,incial *oard to adopt a resolution authori/in+ the &o,ernor to employ Atty.
&arcia to act as counsel for the Pro,ince of Cebu for the purpose of filin+ and
prosecutin+ a case a+ainst the members to the same Pro,incial *oard Accordin+ to the
claimant Atty. &arcia, ho( can &o,ernor Espina be eApected to secure authority from the
Pro,incial *oard to employ claimant as counsel for the Pro,ince of Cebu (hen the ,ery
officials from (hom authority is to be sou+ht are the same officials to be sued, It is
simply impossible that the :ice4&o,ernor and the members of the Pro,incial *oard
(ould pass a resolution authori/in+ &o,ernor Espina to hire a la(yer to file a suit a+ainst
themsel,es.
AAA AAA AAA
9nder ;ection 2!%2 of the @e,ised Administrati,e Code it is the Pro,incial *oard upon
(hom is ,ested the authority .to direct, in its discretion, the brin+in+ or defense of ci,il
suits on behalf of the Pro,incial &o,ernor XXX.. Considerin+ that the members of the
Pro,incial *oard are the ,ery ones in,ol,ed in this case, they cannot be eApected to
directed the Pro,incial 7iscal the filin+ of the suit on behalf of the pro,incial +o,ernment
a+ainst themsel,es. -oreo,er, as ar+ued by the claimant, e,en if the Pro,incial 7iscal
should side (ith the &o,ernor in the brin+in+ of this suit, the Pro,incial *oard (hose
members are made defendants in this case, can simply frustrate his efforts by directin+
him to dismiss the case or by refusin+ to appropriate funds for the eApenses of the
liti+ation.
... Conse5uently, there could ha,e been no occasion for the eAercise by the Pro,incial
7iscal of his po(ers and duties since the members of the Pro,incial *oard (ould not
ha,e directed him to file a suit a+ainst them.
A situation obtains, therefore, (here the Pro,incial &o,ernor, in behalf of the Pro,ince of
Cebu, see1s redress a+ainst the ,ery members of the body, that is, the Pro,incial *oard,
(hich, under the la(, is to pro,ide it (ith le+al assistance. A strict application of the
pro,isions of the @e,ise Administrati,e Code on the matter (ould depri,e the plaintiffs
in the court belo( of redress for a ,alid +rie,ance. 'he pro,incial board authori/ation
re5uired by la( to secure the ser,ices of special counsel becomes an impossibility. 'he
decision of the respondent court is +rounded in e5uity 8 a correction applied to la(,
(here on account of the +eneral comprehensi,eness of the la(, particular eAceptions not
bein+ pro,ided a+ainst, somethin+ is (antin+ to render it perfect.
It is also ar+ued that the employment of claimant (as ,iolati,e of sections !F$! to !F$E
of the @e,ised Administrati,e Code because the Pro,incial 7iscal (ho (as the only
competent official to file this case (as not dis5ualified to act for the Pro,ince of Cebu.
@espondent counsel>s representation of the Pro,ince of Cebu became necessary because
of the Pro,incial *oard>s failure or refusal to direct the brin+in+ of the action to reco,er
the properties it had donated to the City of Cebu. 'he *oard more effecti,ely dis5ualified
the Pro,incial 7iscal from representin+ the Pro,ince of Cebu (hen it directed the 7iscal
to appear for its members in Ci,il Case No. @4$FF" filed by Atty. &arcia, and others, to
defend its actuation in passin+ and appro,in+ Pro,incial *oard @esolution No. !$F. 'he
ans(er of the Pro,incial 7iscal on behalf of the :ice4&o,ernor and the Pro,incial *oard
members filed in Ci,il Case No. @4$FF"D BEAhibit .?.C upholds the ,alidity and le+ality
of the donation. 3o( then could the Pro,incial 7iscal represent the Pro,ince of Cebu in
the suit to reco,er the properties in 5uestionL 3o( could &o,ernor Espina be represented
by the Pro,incial 7iscal or see1 authori/ation from the Pro,incial *oard to employ
special counselL Nemo tenetur ad impossibile B'he la( obli+es no one to perform an
impossibilityC.l(phlYitZ Neither could a prosecutor be desi+nated by the 2epartment of
Justice. -alacaOan+ had already appro,ed the 5uestioned donation
Anent the 5uestion of liability for respondent counsel>s ser,ices, the +eneral rule that an
attorney cannot reco,er his fees from one (ho did not employ him or authori/e his
employment, is sub0ect to its o(n eAception.
9ntil the contrary is clearly sho(n an attorney is presumed to be actin+ under authority of
the liti+ant (hom he purports to represent BA/otes ,. *lanco, $ Phil. E"C 3is authority
to appear for and represent petitioner in liti+ation, not ha,in+ been 5uestioned in the
lo(er court, it (ill be presumed on appeal that counsel (as properly authori/ed to file the
complaint and appear for his client. B@epublic ,. Philippine @esources 2e,elopment
Corporation, !%2 Phil. "F%C E,en (here an attorney is employed by an unauthori/ed
person to represent a client, the latter (ill be bound (here it has 1no(led+e of the fact
that it is bein+ represented by an attorney in a particular liti+ation and ta1es no prompt
measure to repudiate the assumed authority. ;uch ac5uiescence in the employment of an
attorney as occurred in this case is tantamount to ratification B'an )ua ,. O> *rien, ##
Phil. #EC. 'he act of the successor pro,incial board and pro,incial officials in allo(in+
respondent Atty. Pablo P. &arcia to continue as counsel and in 0oinin+ him in the suit led
the counsel to belie,e his ser,ices (ere still necessary.
<e apply a rule in the la( of municipal corporations: .that a municipality may become
obli+ated upon an implied contract to pay the reasonable ,alue of the benefits accepted or
appropriated by it as to (hich it has the +eneral po(er to contract. 'he doctrine of
implied municipal liability has been said to apply to all cases (here money or other
property of a party is recei,ed under such circumstances that the +eneral la(, independent
of eApress contract implies an obli+ation upon the municipality to do 0ustice (ith respect
to the same.. BE$ Am Jur. ;ec. #!#, p. !"EC:
'he obli+ation of a municipal corporation upon the doctrine of an implied contract does
not connote an enforceable obli+ation. ;ome specific principle or situation of (hich
e5uity ta1es co+ni/ance must be the foundation of the claim. 'he principle of liability
rests upon the theory that the obli+ation implied by la( to pay does not ori+inate in the
unla(ful contract, but arises from considerations outside it. 'he measure of reco,ery is
the benefit recei,ed by the municipal corporation. 'he amount of the loan, the ,alue of
the property or ser,ices, or the compensation specified in the contract, is not the measure.
If the price named in the in,alid contract is sho(n to be entirely fair and reasonable not
only in ,ie( of the labor done, but also in reference to the benefits conferred, it may be
ta1en as the true measure of reco,ery.
'he petitioner can not set up the plea that the contract (as ultra ,ires and still retain
benefits thereunder. 3a,in+ re+arded the contract as ,alid for purposes of reapin+ some
benefits, the petitioner is estopped to 5uestion its ,alidity for the purposes of denyin+
ans(erability.
'he trial court discussed the ser,ices of respondent &arcia as follo(s:
... 'hus because of his effort in the filin+ of this case and in securin+ the issuance of the
in0unction pre,entin+ the City of Cebu and ;er+io OsmeOa, Jr., from sellin+ or disposin+
the lots to third parties, on the part of the members of the Pro,incial *oard from
eAtendin+ the date of the automatic re,ersion beyond Au+ust !#, !"F#, on the part of the
@e+ister of 2eeds 8 from effectin+ the transfer of title of any of the donated lots to any
,endee or transferee, the disposition of these lots by the City of Cebu to third parties (as
frustrated and thus: sa,ed these lots for their e,entual reco,ery by the pro,ince of Cebu.
Actually it (as &o,ernor Espina (ho filed the case a+ainst Cebu City and -ayor
OsmeOa. &arcia 0ust happened to be the la(yer, ;till Atty. &arcia is entitled to
compensation. 'o deny pri,ate respondent compensation for his professional ser,ices
(ould amount to a depri,ation of property (ithout due process of la( BCristobal ,.
Employees> Compensation Commission, !%E ;C@A E2"C.
'he petitioner alle+es that althou+h they do not deny Atty. &arcia>s ser,ices for &o,ernor
Espina B(ho ceased to be such &o,ernor of Cebu on ;eptember !E, !"F"C and the
ori+inal plaintiffs in the case, .it cannot be said (ith candor and fairness that (ere it not
for his ser,ices the lots (ould ha,e already been lost to the pro,ince fore,er, because the
donation itself he (as tryin+ to en0oin and annul in said case (as sub0ect to a re,ersion
clause under (hich lots remainin+ undisposed of by the City as of Au+ust !#, !"F#
automatically re,erted to the pro,ince and only about ! lots (ere disposed of by Au+ust
!#, !"F#.. <e 5uote respondent counsel>s comment (ith appro,al:
AAA AAA AAA
<hile it is true that the donation (as sub0ect to a re,ersion clause, the same clause +a,e
the Pro,incial *oard the discretion to eAtend the period of re,ersion beyond Au+ust !#,
!"F# Bsee para+raph E of donationC.
<ith the 1no(n predisposition of the ma0ority of the members of the Pro,incial *oard,
there (ould ha,e been no impediment to the eAtension of the re,ersion date to beyond
Au+ust !#, !"F#. Once the date of re,ersion is eAtended, the disposition of an the donated
lots (ould be only a matter of course.
<e ha,e carefully re,ie(ed the records of this case and conclude that E%W or e,en #W of
properties already (orth BP!2%,%%%,%%%.%%C in !"" as compensation for the pri,ate
respondent>s ser,ices is simply out of the 5uestion. 'he case handled by Atty. &arcia (as
decided on the basis of a compromise a+reement (here he no lon+er participated. 'he
decision (as rendered after pre4trial and (ithout any hearin+ on the merits.
'he factual findin+s and applicable la( in this petition are accurately discussed in the
eAhausti,e and (ell4(ritten Order of then 'rial Jud+e, no( Court of Appeals Justice
Alfredo -ari+omen <e a+ree (ith his determination of reasonable fees for the pri,ate
la(yer on the basis of 5uantum meruit. 'he trial court fiAed the compensation at
PE%,%%%.%% and ordered reimbursement of actual eApenses in the amount of P2$".6E.
<3E@E7O@E, the 5uestioned October !$, !"$# decision of the Intermediate Appellate
Court is set aside. 'he Order of the 'rial Court dated -ay E%, !"" is @EIN;'A'E2.
;O O@2E@E2.