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Worcester v.

Ocampo

February 27, 1912

FACTS:

Dean Worcester filed an action to recover damages resulting from an alleged libelous publication against
Martin Ocampo, Teodoro M. Kalaw, Lope K. Santos, Fidel A. Reyes, Faustino Aguilar, et al, as the owners,
directors, writers, editors and administrators of the daily newspaper “El Renacimiento” (Spanish version)
and “MulingPagsilang” (tagalong version). Worcester alleged that the defendants have been maliciously
persecuting and attacking him in the newspapers for a long time and they published an editorial entitled
“Birds of Prey” with the malicious intent of injuring Worcester, both as a private person and as a government
official as the editorial obviously referred to him.

Worcester alleged that he was likened to “birds of prey” in the following manner: “Such are the
characteristics of the man who is at the same time an eagle who surprises and devours, a vulture who
gorges himself on the dead and putrid meats, an owl who affects a petulant omniscience and a vampire
who silently sucks the blood of the victim until he leaves it bloodless.”

TC:

In favor of Worcester; Defendants jointly and severally liable for the P60k total damages.

ISSUE: WON the defendants’ individual properties can be made jointly and severally liable for the damages
under the civil and commercial codes,

HELD:

Yes. TC modified. Damages reduced, Santos absolved.The present action is a tort.

Universal doctrine:

each joint tortfeasor is not only individually liable for the tort in which he participates, but is also jointly liable
with his tortfeasors. If several persons commit a tort, the plaintiff or person injured, has his election to sue
all or some of the parties jointly, or one of them separately, because the

TORT IS IN ITS NATURE A SEPARATE ACT OF EACH INDIVIDUAL

It is not necessary that cooperation should be a direct, corporal act- e.g. assault and battery committed by
various persons, under the common law, they are all principals. Under common law, he who aided or
counseled, in any way, the commission of a crime, was as much a principal as he who inflicted or committed
the actual tort.

General Rule:

Joint tortfeasors are all the persons who command, instigate, promote, encourage, advise, countenance,
cooperate in, aid or abet the commission of a tort, or who approve of it after it is done, if done for their
benefit. They are each liable as principals, to the same extent and in the same manner as if they had
performed the wrongful act themselves. Joint tortfeasors are jointly and severally liable for the tort which
they commit. Joint tortfeasors are not liable pro rata

. The damages can not be apportioned among them, except amongthemselves. They cannot insist upon
an apportionment, for the purpose of each paying an aliquot part.

They are jointly and severally liable for the full amount.

A payment in full of the damage done by one tortfeasor satisfies any claim which might exist against the
others. Therelease of one of the joint tortfeasors by agreement generally operates to discharge all.The
court however may make findings as to which of the alleged joint tortfeasors are liable and which are not,
even if they are charged jointly and severally.

J.H. Chapman vs James Underwood

September 3, 2011

27 Phil 374 – Civil Law – Torts and Damages – Liability of owners of motor vehicles

The facts of the case took place in the 1910’s. J.H. Chapman visited a friend in Santa Ana and while he
was about to ride a vehicle to take him home he was struck by a car owned by James Underwood and
driven by his chauffeur. Chapman was on the correct lane. Underwood was riding in the car when the
incident happened. Apparently, the chauffeur, coming from the opposite direction and was driving straight
ahead and when the automobile about to be boarded by Chapman was in front of him, he [the chauffeur]
instead of swerving left he suddenly swerved right to the direction of Chapman thereby hitting and running
over him.

ISSUE: Whether or not Underwood is liable for the negligent act of his chauffeur.

HELD: No. The general rule is that an owner who sits in his automobile, or other vehicle, and permits his
driver to continue in a violation of the law by the performance of negligent acts, after he has had a
reasonable opportunity to observe them and to direct that the driver cease therefrom, becomes himself
responsible for such acts. On the other hand, if the driver, by a sudden act of negligence, and without the
owner having a reasonable opportunity to prevent the acts or its continuance, injures a person or violates
the criminal law, the owner of the automobile, although present therein at the time the act was committed,
is not responsible, either civilly or criminally, therefor. The act complained of must be continued in the
presence of the owner for such a length a time that the owner, by his acquiescence, makes his driver’s act
his own. In the case at bar, it was not shown that there was a sufficient period for Underwood to dissuade
the chauffeur from the negligent act as the swerving of the vehicle by the chauffeur was sudden.

CAEDO vs YU KHE THAI and BERNARDO (G.R. No. L-20392 December 18, 1968)

MAKALINTAL, J.:

FACTS:

Caedo and family were traveling Highway 54 on the way to the airport. Private respondents were traveling
on the opposite direction. Bernardo was the personal river of Yu. Both vehicles were running at moderate
speeds when a carritela was traveling the same direction as Bernardo’s. The latter overtook the caritella
and took the lane Caedos were traveling and caused multiple injuries and damage to the Caedos. Bernardo
was held liable.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the owner of the vehicle who was riding with the driver at the time of the accident be held
solidarily liable.

RULING:

The court ruled that if the causative factor was the driver’s negligence, the owner of the vehicle who was
present is likewise held liable if he could have prevented the mishap by the existence of due diligence. The
basis of the master's liability in civil law is not respondent superior but rather the relationship of
paterfamilias. The theory is that ultimately the negligence of the servant, if known to the master and
susceptible of timely correction by him, reflects his own negligence if he fails to correct it in order to prevent
injury or damage.

Rodriguez-Luna vs IAC

FACTS:

The petitioners are the heirs of Roberto R. Luna who was killed in a vehicular collision. The collision took
place on January 18, 1970, at the go-kart practice area in Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila. Those
involved were the go-kart driven by the deceased, a business executive, and a Toyota car driven by Luis
dela Rosa, a minor of 13 years who had no driver's license. In a suit for damages brought by the heirs of
Roberto R. Luna against Luis dela Rosa and his father Jose dela Rosa, the Court of First Instance of Manila
in Civil Case No. 81078, rendered the following judgment: Judgment was rendered sentencing the
defendants Luis dela Rosa and Jose dela Rosa to pay, JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY, to the plaintiffs the
sum of P1,650,000.00 as unearned net earnings of Roberto Luna, P12,000.00 as compensatory damages,
and P50,000.00 for the loss of his companionship, with legal interest from the date of this decision; plus
attorney's fees in the sum of P50,000.00, and the costs of suit. The private respondents failed to pay the
amounts and when required to explain they said that they had no cash money. Accordingly, this Court
directed the trial court to issue a writ of execution. The execution yielded only a nominal amount. In the
meantime, Luis dela Rosa is now of age, married with two children, and living in Madrid, Spain with an
uncle but only casually employed. It is said: "His compensation is hardly enough to support his family. He
has no assets of his own as yet."

ISSUE: Whether or not Jose, the father, should be primarily or subsidiary liable with his son, Luis.

HELD: Primarily liable. The Dela Rosas invoke Elcano vs Hill for subsidiary liability only. In Elcano vs Hill,
it was held that article 2180 was applied to Atty Hill despite the emancipation by marriage by his son, but
as his son attained age, as a matter of equity, Atty Hill's liabilty should only be subsiadiary as to his son.
However, the Supreme Court was unwilling to apply equity instead of strict law in this case because to do
so will not serve the ends of justice. Luis dela Rosa is abroad and beyond the reach of Philippine courts.
Moreover, he does not have any property either in the Philippines or elsewhere. In fact his earnings are
insufficient to support his family.

Sabina Exconde vs Delfin and Dante Capuno

August 22, 2011

101 Phil 843 – Civil Law – Torts and Damages – Liability of Parents

Dante Capuno was a 15 year old boy who was a pupil of Balintawak Elementary School. In March 1949,
he attended a boy scout parade for Dr. Jose Rizal. While they were inside a jeep, he took control of the
wheels which he later lost control of causing the jeep to go turtle thereby killing two other students, Isidoro
Caperina and one other. Isidoro’s mother, Sabina Exconde, sued Dante Capuno for the death of her son.
Pending the criminal action, the mother reserved her right to file a separate civil action which she
subsequently filed against Dante and his dad, Delfin Capuno.

ISSUE: Whether or not Delfin Capuno, as the father of Dante is liable for damages.
HELD:

Yes. The civil liability which the law imposes upon the father, and, in case of his death or incapacity, the
mother, for any damages that may be caused by the minor children who live with them, is obvious. This is
necessary consequence of the parental authority they exercise over them which imposes upon the parents
the “duty of supporting them, keeping them in their company, educating them and instructing them in
proportion to their means”, while, on the other hand, gives them the “right to correct and punish them in
moderation”. The only way by which they can relieve themselves of this liability is if they prove that they
exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage which Delfin failed to prove.

On the other hand, the school is not liable. It is true that under the law, “teachers or directors of arts and
trades are liable for any damages caused by their pupils or apprentices while they are under their custody”,
but this provision only applies to an institution of arts and trades and not to any academic educational
institution.

JUSTICE J.B.L. REYES Dissenting:

Delfin Capuno should be relieved from liability. There is no sound reason for limiting the liability to teachers
of arts and trades and not to academic ones. What substantial difference is there between them in so far
as, concerns the proper supervision and vigilance over their pupils? It cannot be seriously contended that
an academic teacher is exempt from the duty of watching do not commit a tort to the detriment of third
persons, so long as they are in a position to exercise authority and supervision over the pupil.

SEVERINO SALEN and ELENA SALBANERA vs. JOSE BALCE

G.R. No. L-14414. 27 April 1960.

Appeal from a judgment of the CFI of Camarines Norte.

Bautista Angelo, J.:

Facts: Plaintiffs are the legitimate parents of Carlos Salen who died from wounds caused by Gumersindo
Balce, a legitimate son of defendant who was then single, 18 yrs old and was living with defendant. As a
result of C. Salen's death, G. Balce was accused and convicted of homicide and was sentenced to
imprisonment and to pay the amount of P2,000.00. Plaintiffs brought this action against defendant before
CFI to recover the sum of P2,000.00, with legal interest. Defendant, in his answer, set up the defense that
the law upon which plaintiffs predicate their right to recover does not here apply for the reason that law
refers to quasi-delicts and not to criminal cases. CFI sustained the theory of defendant.

Issue: WON appellee can be held subsidiary liable to pay the indemnity in accordance with Art. 2180 of
the CC.

Ruling: Judgment reversed.

Art 2180 CC applies in the case at bar. To hold otherwise would result in the absurdity that while for an act
where mere negligence intervenes the father or mother may stand subsidiarily liable for the damage caused
by his or her son, no liability would attach if the damage is caused with criminal intent. Verily, the void that
apparently exists in the RPC (art.101) is subserved by this particular provision of our CC, as may be gleaned
from some recent decisions of the SC which cover equal or identical cases.

AGAPITO FUELLAS, petitioner, vs. ELPIDIO CADANO, ET AL., respondents.

G.R. No. L-14409 [October 31, 1961]


FACTS:

Pepito Cadano and Rico Fuellas, son of defendant-appellant Agapito Fuellas, were both 13 years old and
classmates at St. Mary’s High School, Dansalan City. While Pepito was studying his lessons in the
classroom, Rico took the pencil of one Ernesto Cabanok and surreptitiously placed it inside the pocket of
Pepito. When Ernesto asked Rico to return the pencil, it was Pepito who returned the same, an act which
angered Rico, who held the neck of Pepito and pushed him to the floor. Villamira, a teacher, separated Rico
and Pepito and told them to go home. Rico went ahead, with Pepito following. When Pepito had just gone
down of the schoolhouse, he was met by Rico, still in an angry mood. Angelito Aba, a classmate, told the
two to shake hands. Pepito extended his hand to Rico, but the latter instead held the former by the neck
and with his leg, placed Pepito out of balance and pushed him to the ground. Pepito fell on his right side
with his right arm under his body, whereupon, Rico rode on his left side. While Rico was in such position,
Pepito suddenly cried out “My arm is broken.” Rico then got up and went away. Pepito was helped by others
to go home. That same evening Pepito was brought to the Lanao General Hospital for treatment and the
results of the x-ray revealed that there was a complete fracture of the radius and ulna of the right forearm
which necessitated plaster casting. As a result, a civil case for damages was filed against Agapito Fuellas,
father of the minor Rico.

ISSUE:

WON Agapito Fuellas may be held liable for damages for the deliberate criminal act of his minor son.

HELD:

YES. Under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, the father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother,
are responsible for the damages caused by the minor children who live in their company. This civil liability
of the father or the mother, as the case may be, is a necessary consequence of the parental authority they
exercise over them and the only way by which they can relieve themselves of this liability is if they prove
that they exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage. Since children and
wards do not yet have the capacity to govern themselves, the law imposes upon the parents and guardians
the duty of exercising special vigilance over the acts of their children and wards in order that damages to
third persons due to the ignorance, lack of foresight or discernment of such children and wards may be
avoided. If the parents and guardians fail to comply with this duty, they should suffer the consequences of
their abandonment or negligence by repairing the damage caused”.

GUTIERREZ VS GUTIERREZ G.R. NO. 34840 SEPTEMBER 23, 1931

FACTS:

On February 2, 1930, a passenger truck and an automobile of private ownership collided while attempting
to pass each other on a bridge. The truck was driven by the chauffeur Abelardo Velasco, and was owned
by saturnine Cortez. The automobile was being operated by Bonifacio Gutierrez, a lad 18 years of age, and
was owned by Bonifacio’s father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Manuel Gutierrez. At the time of the collision,
the father was not in the car, but the mother, together with several other members of the Gutierrez family
were accommodated therein.

The collision between the bus and the automobile resulted in Narciso Gutierrez suffering a fractured right
leg which required medical attendance for a considerable period of time.
ISSUE:

Whether or not both the driver of the truck and automobile are liable for damages and indemnification due
to their negligence. What are the legal obligations of the defendants?

HELD:

Bonifacio Gutierrez’s obligation arises from culpa aquiliana. On the other hand, Saturnino Cortez’s and his
chauffeur Abelardo Velasco’s obligation rise from culpa contractual.

The youth Bonifacio was na incompetent chauffeur, that he was driving at an excessive rate of speed, and
that, on approaching the bridge and the truck, he lost his head and so contributed by his negligence to the
accident. The guaranty given by the father at the time the son was granted a license to operate motor
vehicles made the father responsible for the acts of his son. Based on these facts, pursuant to the provisions
of Art. 1903 of the Civil Code, the father alone and not the minor or the mother would be liable for the
damages caused by the minor.

The liability of Saturnino Cortez, the owner of the truck, and his chauffeur Abelardo Velasco rests on a
different basis, namely, that of contract.

RODRIGUEZ-LUNA VS IAC

FACTS:

The petitioners are the heirs of Roberto R. Luna who was killed in a vehicular collision. The collision took
place on January 18, 1970, at the go-kart practice area in Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila. Those
involved were the go-kart driven by the deceased, a business executive, and a Toyota car driven by Luis
dela Rosa, a minor of 13 years who had no driver's license. In a suit for damages brought by the heirs of
Roberto R. Luna against Luis dela Rosa and his father Jose dela Rosa, the Court of First Instance of Manila
in Civil Case No. 81078, rendered the following judgment: Judgment was rendered sentencing the
defendants Luis dela Rosa and Jose dela Rosa to pay, JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY, to the plaintiffs the
sum of P1,650,000.00 as unearned net earnings of Roberto Luna, P12,000.00 as compensatory damages,
and P50,000.00 for the loss of his companionship, with legal interest from the date of this decision; plus
attorney's fees in the sum of P50,000.00, and the costs of suit. The private respondents failed to pay the
amounts and when required to explain they said that they had no cash money. Accordingly, this Court
directed the trial court to issue a writ of execution. The execution yielded only a nominal amount. In the
meantime, Luis dela Rosa is now of age, married with two children, and living in Madrid, Spain with an
uncle but only casually employed. It is said: "His compensation is hardly enough to support his family. He
has no assets of his own as yet."

ISSUE: Whether or not Jose, the father, should be primarily or subsidiary liable with his son, Luis.

HELD: Primarily liable. The Dela Rosas invoke Elcano vs Hill for subsidiary liability only. In Elcano vs Hill,
it was held that article 2180 was applied to Atty Hill despite the emancipation by marriage by his son, but
as his son attained age, as a matter of equity, Atty Hill's liabilty should only be subsiadiary as to his son.
However, the Supreme Court was unwilling to apply equity instead of strict law in this case because to do
so will not serve the ends of justice. Luis dela Rosa is abroad and beyond the reach of Philippine courts.
Moreover, he does not have any property either in the Philippines or elsewhere. In fact his earnings are
insufficient to support his family.

LIBI vs. IAC 209 SCRA 518

FACTS:

Julie Ann Gotiong and Wendell Libi were sweethearts until Julie Ann broke up with Wendell after she found
out that he was irresponsible and sadistic. Wendell wanted reconciliation but was not granted by Julie so
it prompted him to resort to threats. One day, there were found dead from a single gunshot wound each
coming from the same gun.

The parents of Julie herein private respondents filed a civil case against the parents of Wendell to recover
damages. Trial court dismissed the complaint for insufficiency of evidence but was set aside by the Court
of Appeals.

ISSUE:

Whether the parents should be held liable for such damages.

HELD:

The subsidiary liability of parents for damages caused by their minor children imposed under Art 2180 of
the Civil Code and Art. 101 of Revised Penal Code covered obligations arising from both quasi-delicts and
criminal offenses. The court held that the civil liability of the parents for quasi-delict of their minor children
is primary and not subsidiary and that responsibility shall cease when the persons can prove that they
observe all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage.

Wendell’s mother testified that her husband owns a gun which he kept in a safety deposit box inside a
drawer in their bedroom. Each of the spouses had their own key. She likewise admitted that during the
incident, the gun was no longer in the safety deposit box. Wendell could not have gotten hold of the gun
unless the key was left negligently lying around and that he has free access of the mother’s bag where the
key was kept. The spouses failed to observe and exercise the required diligence of a good father to prevent
such damage.

Libi vs. IAC

FACTS:

Julie Ann Gotiong and Wendell Libi were a sweetheart until the former broke up with the latter after she
found out the Wendell was irresponsible and sadistic. Wendell wanted reconciliation but was not granted
by Julie so it prompted him to resort to threats. One day, there were found dead from a single gunshot
wound each coming from the same gun. The parents of Julie herein private respondents filed a civil case
against the parents of Wendell to recover damages. Trial court dismissed the complaint for insufficiency of
evidence but was set aside by CA.

ISSUE: WON the parents should be held liable for such damages.

HELD:

The subsidiary liability of parents for damages caused by their minor children imposed under Art 2180 of
the Civil Code and Art. 101 of Revised Penal Code covered obligations arising from both quasi-delicts and
criminal offenses. The court held that the civil liability of the parents for quasi-delict of their minor children
is primary and not subsidiary and that responsibility shall cease when the persons can prove that they
observe all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. However, Wendell’s mother
testified that her husband owns a gun which he kept in a safety deposit box inside a drawer in their bedroom.
Each of the spouses had their own key. She likewise admitted that during the incident, the gun was no
longer in the safety deposit box. Wendell could not have gotten hold of the gun unless the key was left
negligently lying around and that he has free access of the mother’s bag where the key was kept. The
spouses failed to observe and exercise the required diligence of a good father to prevent such damage.

TAMARGO vs CA

G.R. No. 85044 June 3 1992 [Parental Authority]

FACTS:

In October 1982, Adelberto Bundoc, a minor, shot and killed Jennifer Tamargo with an air rifle. Jennifer's
natural parents filed civil complaints for damages with the RTC against Bundoc's natural parents.

In December 1981, spouses Rapisura filed a petition to adopt Adelberto. The petition was granted in
November 1982.

Adelberto's parents, in their Answer, claimed that the spouses Rapisura were indispensable parties to the
action since parental authority had shifted to them from the moment the petition for adoption was decreed.
Spouses Tamargo contended that since Adelberto was then actually living with his natural parents, parental
authority had not ceased by mere filing and granting of the petition for adoption. Trial court dismissed the
spouses Tamargo's petition.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the spouses Rapisura are the indispensable parties to actions committed by Adelberto.

RULING:

No. In Article 221 of the Family Code states that: "Parents and other persons exercising parental authority
shall be civilly liable for the injuries and damages caused by the acts or omissions of their unemancipated
children living in their company and under their parental authority subject to the appropriate defences
provided by law." In the case at bar, parental authority over Adelberto was still lodged with the natural
parents at the time the shooting incident happened. It follows that the natural parents are the indispensable
parties to the suit for damages.

SC held that parental authority had not been retroactively transferred to and vested in the adopting parents,
at the time the shooting happened. It do not consider that retroactive effect may be given to the decree of
the adoption so as to impose a liability upon the adopting parents accruing at the time when adopting
parents had no actual custody over the adopted child. Retroactive affect may be essential if it permit the
accrual of some benefit or advantage in favor of the adopted child.

Maria Teresa Cuadra vs Alfonso Monfort

August 21, 2011

35 SCRA 160 – Civil Law – Torts and Damages – Liability of Parents


Maria Teresa Cuadra and Maria Teresa Monfort were both classmates in Mabini Elementary School
Bacolod City. In July 1962, their teacher assigned the class to weed the school premises. While they were
doing so, MT Monfort found a headband and she jokingly shouted it as an earthworm and thereafter tossed
it at MT Cuadra who was hit in her eye. MT Cuadra’s eye got infected. She was brought to the hospital; her
eyes were attempted to be surgically repaired but she nevertheless got blind in her right eye. MT Cuadra’s
parents sued Alfonso Monfort (MT Monfort’s dad) based on Article 2180 of the Civil Code. The lower court
ruled that Monfort should pay for actual damages (cost of hospitalization), moral damages and attorney’s
fees.

ISSUE: Whether or not Monfort is liable under Article 2180.

HELD: No. Article 2180 provides that the father, in case of his incapacity or death, the mother, is responsible
for the damages caused by the minor children who live in their company. The basis of this vicarious,
although primary, liability is fault or negligence, which is presumed from that which accompanied the
causative act or omission. The presumption is merely prima facie and may therefore be rebutted. This is
the clear and logical inference that may be drawn from the last paragraph of Article 2180, which states “that
the responsibility treated of in this Article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned prove that they
observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage.”

In the case at bar there is nothing from which it may be inferred that Alfonso Monfort could have prevented
the damage by the observance of due care, or that he was in any way remiss in the exercise of his parental
authority in failing to foresee such damage, or the act which caused it. On the contrary, his child was at
school, where it was his duty to send her and where she was, as he had the right to expect her to be, under
the care and supervision of the teacher. And as far as the act which caused the injury was concerned, it
was an innocent prank not unusual among children at play and which no parent, however careful, would
have any special reason to anticipate much less guard against. Nor did it reveal any mischievous
propensity, or indeed any trait in the child’s character which would reflect unfavorably on her upbringing
and for which the blame could be attributed to her parents.

JUSTICE BARREDO Dissenting;

MT Monfort is already 13 years old and should have known that by jokingly saying “aloud that she had
found an earthworm and, evidently to frighten the Cuadra girl, tossed the object at her,” it was likely that
something would happen to her friend, as in fact, she was hurt. There is nothing in the record that would
indicate that Alfonso had properly advised his daughter to behave properly and not to play dangerous jokes
on her classmate and playmates, he can be liable under Article 2180 of the Civil Code. There is nothing in
the record to show that he had done anything at all to even try to minimize the damage caused upon by his
child.

Spouses Moises and Brigida Palisoc vs Antonio Brillantes

41 SCRA 548 – Civil Law – Torts and Damages – Liability of teachers/heads of establishments of
arts and trades

FACTS:

In March 1966, while Dominador Palisoc (16 years old) was watching Virgilio Daffon and Desiderio Cruz
work on a machine in their laboratory class in the Manila Technical Institute (a school of arts and trades),
Daffon scolded Palisoc for just standing around like a foreman. This caused Palisoc to slightly slap the face
of Daffon and a fistfight ensued between the two. Daffon delivered blows that eventually killed Palisoc. The
parents of Palisoc sued Daffon, the school president (Teodosio Valenton), the instructor (Santiago
Quibulue), and the owner (Antonio Brillantes). The basis of the suit against Valenton, Quibulue, and
Brillantes was Article 2180 of the Civil Code.
The lower court, as well as the CA, ruled that only Daffon is liable for damages and that Valenton, Quibulue,
and Brillantes are not liable because under Article 2180, they are only liable “so long as they [the students]
remain in their custody.” And that this means, as per Mercado vs Court of Appeals, that teachers or heads
of establishments are only liable for the tortious acts of their students if the students are living and boarding
with the teacher or other officials of the school – which Daffon was not.

ISSUE: Whether or not the ruling in the Mercado Case still applies.

HELD: No. The SC abandoned the ruling in the Mercado Case as well as the ruling in the Exconde Case
as they adopted Justice JBL Reyes’ dissenting opinion in the latter case. Valenton and Quibulue as
president and teacher-in-charge of the school must be held jointly and severally liable for the quasi-delict
of Daffon. The unfortunate death resulting from the fight between the students could have been avoided,
had said defendants but complied with their duty of providing adequate supervision over the activities of
the students in the school premises to protect their students from harm, whether at the hands of fellow
students or other parties. At any rate, the law holds them liable unless they relieve themselves of such
liability, in compliance with the last paragraph of Article 2180, Civil Code, by “(proving) that they observed
all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage.” In the light of the factual findings of the
lower court’s decision, said defendants failed to prove such exemption from liability. The SC reiterated
that there is nothing in the law which prescribes that a student must be living and boarding with his teacher
or in the school before heads and teachers of the school may be held liable for the tortious acts of their
students.

Amadora vs. CA

GR No. L47745, April 15, 1988

FACTS:

Alfredo Amadora, while in the auditorium of the school, was mortally hit by a gun by Pablito Daffon resulting
to the former’s death. Daffon was convicted of homicide through reckless imprudence. The victim’s
parents, herein petitioners, filed a civil action for damages against Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos, its
rectors, high school principal, dean of boys, the physics teacher together with Daffon and 2 other students.
Complaints against the students were dropped. Respondent Court absolved the defendants completely
and reversed CFI Cebu’s decision for the following reasons: 1. Since the school was an academic institution
of learning and not a school of arts and trades 2. That students were not in the custody of the school since
the semester has already ended 3. There was no clear identification of the fatal gun, and 4. In any event,
defendants exercised the necessary diligence through enforcement of the school regulations in maintaining
discipline. Petitioners on othe other hand claimed their son was under school custody because he went to
school to comply with a requirement for graduation (submission of Physics reports).

ISSUE: WON Collegio de San Jose-Recoletos should be held liable.

HELD:

The time Alfredo was fatally shot, he was in the custody of the authorities of the school notwithstanding
classes had formally ended when the incident happened. It was immaterial if he was in the school
auditorium to finish his physics requirement. What was important is that he was there for a legitimate
purpose. On the other hand, the rector, high school principal and the dean of boys cannot be held liable
because none of them was the teacher-in-charge as defined in the provision. Each was exercising only a
general authority over the students and not direct control and influence exerted by the teacher placed in-
charge of particular classes.

In the absence of a teacher- in charge, dean of boys should probably be held liable considering that he had
earlier confiscated an unlicensed gun from a student and later returned to him without taking disciplinary
action or reporting the matter to the higher authorities. Though it was clear negligence on his part, no proof
was shown to necessarily link this gun with the shooting incident.

Collegio San Jose-Recoletos cannot directly be held liable under the provision because only the teacher of
the head of school of arts and trade is made responsible for the damage caused by the student. Hence,
under the facts disclosed, none of the respondents were held liable for the injury inflicted with Alfredo
resulting to his death.