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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
October-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 137841 October 1, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO CHUA

  • G.R. No. 117512 October 2, 2001 - REBECCA ALA-MARTIN v. HON. JUSTO M. SULTAN

  • G.R. No. 120098 October 2, 2001 - RUBY L. TSAI v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS EVER TEXTILE MILLS

  • G.R. No. 124037 October 2, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. REYNALDO DE GUZMAN

  • G.R. No. 126592 October 2, 2001 - ROMEO G. DAVID v. JUDGE TIRSO D.C. VELASCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129900 October 2, 2001 - JANE CARAS y SOLITARIO v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 133000 October 2, 2001 - PATRICIA NATCHER petitioner v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS AND THE HEIRS OF GRACIANO DEL ROSARIO-LETICIA DEL ROSARIO

  • G.R. No. 133895 October 2, 2001 - ZENAIDA M. SANTOS v. CALIXTO SANTOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 135522-23 October 2, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AMORSOLO G. TORRES

  • G.R. No. 137777 October 2, 2001 - THE PRESIDENTIAL AD-HOC FACT FINDING COMMITTEE, ET AL. v. THE HON. OMBUDSMAN ANIANO DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138322 October 2, 2001 - GRACE J. GARCIA v. REDERICK A. RECIO

  • G.R. No. 138929 October 2, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO DEL MUNDO

  • G.R. No. 139050 October 2, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES v. THE COURT OF TAX APPEALS and AGFHA

  • G.R. No. 142877 October 2, 2001 - JINKIE CHRISTIE A. DE JESUS and JACQUELINE A. DE JESUS v. THE ESTATE OF DECEDENT JUAN GAMBOA DIZON

  • G.R. No. 125081 October 3, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. REMEDIOS PASCUA

  • G.R. No. 128195 October 3, 2001 - ELIZABETH LEE and PACITA YULEE v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. Nos. 128514 & 143856-61 October 3, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. NILO LEONES

  • G.R. Nos. 142602-05 October 3, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. BONIFACIO ARIOLA

  • A.M. No. 01-6-192-MCTC October 5, 2001 - Request To Designate Another Judge To Try And Decide Criminal Case No. 3713

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1610 October 5, 2001 - ATTY. EDGAR H. TALINGDAN v. JUDGE HENEDINO P. EDUARTE

  • G.R. No. 124498 October 5, 2001 - EDDIE B. SABANDAL v. HON. FELIPE S. TONGCO Presiding Judge

  • G.R. No. 127441 October 5, 2001 - DOROTEO TOBES @ DOTING v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 130499 October 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. PAMFILO QUIMSON @ "NOEL QUIMSON

  • G.R. No. 130962 October 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSE REAPOR y SAN JUAN

  • G.R. No. 131040 October 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MICHAEL FRAMIO SABAGALA

  • G.R. No. 132044 October 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ANTONIO @ Tony EVANGELISTA Y BINAY

  • G.R. No. 132718 October 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSE CASTILLON III and JOHN DOE

  • G.R. Nos. 135452-53 October 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IRENEO M. ALCOREZA

  • G.R. No. 139760 October 5, 2001 - FELIZARDO S. OBANDO v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 144189 October 5, 2001 - R & M GENERAL MERCHANDISE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121948 October 8, 2001 - PERPETUAL HELP CREDIT COOPERATIVE v. BENEDICTO FABURADA

  • G.R. No. 123075 October 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO L. NUELAN

  • G.R. No. 129926 October 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOLE M. ZATE

  • G.R. No. 137599 October 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GILBERT BAULITE and LIBERATO BAULITE

  • G.R. No. 138941 October 8, 2001 - AMERICAN HOME ASSURANCE COMPANY v. TANTUCO ENTERPRISES

  • G.R. No. 141297 October 8, 2001 - DOMINGO R. MANALO v. COURT OF APPEALS (Special Twelfth Division) and PAIC SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE BANK

  • A.M. No. 01-9-246-MCTC October 9, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. JUDGE ALIPIO M. ARAGON

  • G.R. No. 138886 October 9, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SP01 WILFREDO LEAÑO SP01 FERDINAND MARZAN SPO1 RUBEN B. AGUSTIN SP02 RODEL T. MADERAL * SP02 ALEXANDER S. MICU and SP04 EMILIO M. RAMIREZ

  • G.R. No. 141182 October 9, 2001 - HEIRS OF PEDRO CUETO Represented by ASUNCION CUETO v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS (SPECIAL FORMER FIRST DIVISION) and CONSOLACION COMPUESTO

  • A.M. No. 99-12-03-SC October 10, 2001 - RE: INITIAL REPORTS ON THE GRENADE INCIDENT THAT OCCURRED AT ABOUT 6:40 A.M. ON DECEMBER 6, 1999

  • G.R. No. 129313 October 10, 2001 - SPOUSES MA. CRISTINA D. TIRONA and OSCAR TIRONA v. HON. FLORO P. ALEJO as Presiding Judge

  • G.R. Nos. 135679 & 137375 October 10, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GODOFREDO RUIZ

  • G.R. No. 136258 October 10, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLOS FELICIANO

  • A.M. No. 2001-9-SC October 11, 2001 - DOROTEO IGOY v. GILBERT SORIANO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1485 October 11, 2001 - TEOFILO C. SANTOS v. JUDGE FELICIANO V. BUENAVENTURA

  • G.R. No. 80796 & 132885 October 11, 2001 - PROVINCE OF CAMARINES NORTE v. PROVINCE OF QUEZON

  • G.R. No. 118387 October 11, 2001 - MARCELO LEE v. COURT OF APPEALS and HON. LORENZO B. VENERACION and HON. JAIME T. HAMOY

  • G.R. Nos. 123913-14 October 11,2001

    PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PABLO CALLOS

  • G.R. No. 130415 October 11, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ALVIN YRAT y BUGAHOD and RAUL JIMENA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130562 October 11, 2001 - Brigida Conculada v. Hon. Court Of Appeals

  • G.R. No. 112526 October 12, 2001 - STA. ROSA REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 122710 October 12, 2001 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS and REMINGTON INDUSTRIAL SALES CORPORATION

  • G.R. Nos. 134769-71 October 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO BATION

  • G.R. No. 137843 October 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO S. AÑONUEVO

  • G.R. No. 139904 October 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CONRADO MERCADO

  • G.R. No. 136470 October 16, 2001 - VENANCIO R. NAVA v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 140794 October 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICARDO T. AGLIDAY

  • A.M. No. P-00-7-323-RTJ October 17, 2001 - RE: RELEASE BY JUDGE MANUEL T. MURO, RTC, BRANCH 54 MANILA, OF AN ACCUSED IN A NON-BAILABLE OFFENSE

  • A.M. No. P-00-1419 October 17, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. MAGDALENA G. MAGNO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-97-1390 & AM RTJ-98-1411 October 17, 2001 - ATTY. CESAR B. MERIS v. JUDGE CARLOS C. OFILADA

  • G.R. No. 123137 October 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. PO2 ALBERT ABRIOL

  • G.R. No. 124513 October 17, 2001 - ROBERTO ERQUIAGA v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 127540 October 17, 2001 - EUGENIO DOMINGO v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 127830 October 17, 2001 - MANOLET LAVIDES v. ERNESTO B. PRE

  • G.R. No. 129069 October 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULIO R. RECTO

  • G.R. No. 129236 October 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAYMUNDO G. DIZON

  • G.R. No. 129389 October 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. TEODORICO UBALDO

  • G.R. Nos. 132673-75 October 17, 200

    PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINADOR C. GOMEZ

  • G.R. No. 136291 October 17, 2001 - LETICIA M. MAGSINO v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 136869 October 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. DENNIS MAZO

  • G.R. No. 141673 October 17, 2001 - MANUEL L. QUEZON UNIVERSITY/AUGUSTO B. SUNICO v. NLRC (Third Division), ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142726 October 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. APOLONIO ACOSTA

  • G.R. No. 143190 October 17, 2001 - ANTONIO P. BELICENA v. SECRETARY OF FINANCE

  • G.R. No. 143990 October 17, 2001 - MARIA L. ANIDO v. FILOMENO NEGADO and THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. Nos. 121039-45 October 18, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MAYOR ANTONIO L. SANCHEZ

  • G.R. No. 132869 October 18, 2001 - GREGORIO DE VERA v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 143486 October 18, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MARIO DUMAGAY TUADA

  • G.R. No. 144735 October 18, 2001 - YU BUN GUAN v. ELVIRA ONG

  • G.R. No. 116285 October 19, 2001 - ANTONIO TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS and the .C.C.P

  • G.R. Nos. 121201-02 October 19, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES plaintiff-appellee v. GIO CONCORCIO @ JUN

  • G.R. No. 129995 October 19, 2001 - THE PROVINCE OF BATAAN v. HON. PEDRO VILLAFUERTE

  • G.R. No. 130730 October 19, 2001 - HERNANDO GENER v. GREGORIO DE LEON and ZENAIDA FAUSTINO

  • G.R. No. 133002 October 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. INTOY GALLO @ PALALAM

  • G.R. No. 137904 October 19, 2001 - PURIFICACION M. VDA. DE URBANO v. GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM (GSIS)

  • A.M. No. 99-12-497-RTC October 23, 2001 - REQUEST OF JUDGE FRANCISCO L. CALINGIN

  • G.R. No. 121267 October 23, 2001 - SMITH KLINE & FRENCH LABORATORIES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124036 October 23, 2001 - FIDELINO GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124295 October 23, 2001 - JUDGE RENATO A. FUENTES v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN-MINDANAO

  • G.R. No. 125193 October 23, 2001 - MANUEL BARTOCILLO v. COURT OF APPEALS and the PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 130846 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROGELIO PAMILAR y REVOLIO

  • G.R. No. 131841 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RUBEN VILLARMOSA

  • G.R. No. 132373 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. TIRSO ARCAY @ "TISOY" and TEODORO CLEMEN @ "BOY

  • G.R. No. 134740 October 23, 2001 - IRENE V. CRUZ v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 135481 October 23, 2001 - LIGAYA S. SANTOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136105 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ANTONIO PAREDES y SAUQUILLO

  • G.R. No. 136337 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. NELSON CABUNTOG

  • G.R. No. 139114 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROMAN LACAP Y CAILLES

  • G.R. No. 139274 October 23, 2001 - QUEZON PROVINCE v. HON. ABELIO M. MARTE

  • G.R. No. 139329 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ERLINDO MAKILANG

  • G.R. Nos. 140934-35 October 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. CONDE RAPISORA y ESTRADA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1634 October 25, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. SILVERIO Q. CASTILLO

  • G.R. No. 102367 October 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ABUNDIO ALBARIDO and BENEDICTO IGDOY

  • G.R. No. 126359 October 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. CARLITO OLIVA

  • G.R. No. 127465 October 25, 2001 - SPOUSES NICETAS DELOS SANTOS v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 133102 October 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. DINDO AMOGIS y CRINCIA

  • G.R. Nos. 134449-50 October 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. PEDRO HERNANDEZ y PALMA

  • G.R. No. 135813 October 25, 2001 - FERNANDO SANTOS v. Spouses ARSENIO and NIEVES REYES

  • G.R. No. 135822 October 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. PIO DACARA y NACIONAL

  • G.R. Nos. 137494-95 October 25, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SOTERO REYES alias "TURING"

  • G.R. Nos. 142741-43 October 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ROMEO MANAYAN

  • A.M. No. P-01-1474 October 26, 2001 - ANTONIO C. REYES v. JOSEFINA F. DELIM

  • G.R. No. 120548 October 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSELITO ESCARDA

  • G.R. Nos. 121492 & 124325 October 26, 2001 - BAN HUA UY FLORES v. JOHNNY K.H. UY

  • G.R. No. 132169 October 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SANICO NUEVO @ "SANY

  • G.R. No. 133741-42 October 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. LINO VILLARUEL

  • G.R. No. 134802 October 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RENATO Z. DIZON

  • G.R. No. 135920 October 26, 2001 - ENCARNACION ET AL. v. SEVERINA REALTY CORPORATION

  • G.R. No. 140719 October 26, 2001 - NICOLAS UY DE BARON v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 140912 October 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RODRIGO DIAZ Y SEVILLETA

  • G.R. No. 141540 October 26, 2001 - EDUARDO TAN v. FLORITA MUECO and ROLANDO MUECO

  • G.R. No. 143231 October 26, 2001 - ALBERTO LIM v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 144237 October 26, 2001 - WINSTON C. RACOMA v. MA. ANTONIA B. F. BOMA

  • G.R. Nos. 146319 & 146342 October 26, 2001 - BENJAMIN E. CAWALING v. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

  • G.R. No. 146593 October 26, 2001 - UNITED COCONUT PLANTERS BANK v. ROBERTO V. ONGPIN

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    G.R. No. 138941   October 8, 2001 - AMERICAN HOME ASSURANCE COMPANY v. TANTUCO ENTERPRISES

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 138941. October 8, 2001.]

    AMERICAN HOME ASSURANCE COMPANY, Petitioner, v. TANTUCO ENTERPRISES, INC., Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N


    PUNO, J.:


    Before us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari assailing the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 52221 promulgated on January 14, 1999, which affirmed in toto the Decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 53, Lucena City in Civil Case No. 92-51 dated October 16, 1995.

    Respondent Tantuco Enterprises, Inc. is engaged in the coconut oil milling and refining industry. It owns two oil mills. Both are located at factory compound at Iyam, Lucena City. It appears that respondent commenced its business operations with only one oil mill. In 1988, it started operating its second oil mill. The latter came to be commonly referred to as the new oil mill.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The two oil mills were separately covered by fire insurance policies issued by petitioner American Home Assurance Co., Philippine Branch. 1 The first oil mill was insured for three million pesos (P3,000,000.00) under Policy No. 306-7432324-3 for the period March 1, 1991 to 1992. 2 The new oil mill was insured for six million pesos (P6,000,000.00) under Policy No. 306-7432321-9 for the same term. 3 Official receipts indicating payment for the full amount of the premium were issued by the petitioner’s agent. 4

    A fire that broke out in the early morning of September 30,1991 gutted and consumed the new oil mill. Respondent immediately notified the petitioner of the incident. The latter then sent its appraisers who inspected the burned premises and the properties destroyed. Thereafter, in a letter dated October 15, 1991, petitioner rejected respondent’s claim for the insurance proceeds on the ground that no policy was issued by it covering the burned oil mill. It stated that the description of the insured establishment referred to another building thus: "Our policy nos. 306-7432321-9 (Ps 6M) and 306-7432324-4 (Ps 3M) extend insurance coverage to your oil mill under Building No. 5, whilst the affected oil mill was under Building No. 14." 5chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    A complaint for specific performance and damages was consequently instituted by the respondent with the RTC, Branch 53 of Lucena City. On October 16, 1995, after trial, the lower court rendered a Decision finding the petitioner liable on the insurance policy thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, judgment is rendered in favor of the plaintiff ordering defendant to pay plaintiff:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (a) P4,406,536.40 representing damages for loss by fire of its insured property with interest at the legal rate;

    (b) P80,000.00 for litigation expenses;

    (c) P300,000.00 for and as attorney’s fees; and

    (d) Pay the costs.

    SO ORDERED." 6

    Petitioner assailed this judgment before the Court of Appeals. The appellate court upheld the same in a Decision promulgated on January 14, 1999, the pertinent portion of which states:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, the instant appeal is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit and the trial court’s Decision dated October 16, 1995 is hereby AFFIRMED in toto.

    SO ORDERED." 7

    Petitioner moved for reconsideration. The motion, however, was denied for lack of merit in a Resolution promulgated on June 10, 1999.

    Hence, the present course of action, where petitioner ascribes to the appellate court the following errors:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "(1) The Court of Appeals erred in its conclusion that the issue of non-payment of the premium was beyond its jurisdiction because it was raised for the first time on appeal." 8

    "(2) The Court of Appeals erred in its legal interpretation of ‘Fire Extinguishing Appliances Warranty’ of the policy." 9

    "(3) With due respect, the conclusion of the Court of Appeals giving no regard to the parole evidence rule and the principle of estoppel is erroneous." 10

    The petition is devoid of merit.

    The primary reason advanced by the petitioner in resisting the claim of the respondent is that the burned oil mill is not covered by any insurance policy. According to it, the oil mill insured is specifically described in the policy by its boundaries in the following manner:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Front: by a driveway thence at 18 meters distance by Bldg. No. 2.

    Right: by an open space thence by Bldg. No. 4.

    Left: Adjoining thence an imperfect wall by Bldg. No. 4.

    Rear: by an open space thence at 8 meters distance."cralaw virtua1aw library

    However, it argues that this specific boundary description clearly pertains, not to the burned oil mill, but to the other mill. In other words, the oil mill gutted by fire was not the one described by the specific boundaries in the contested policy.

    What exacerbates respondent’s predicament, petitioner posits, is that it did not have the supposed wrong description or mistake corrected. Despite the fact that the policy in question was issued way back in 1988, or about three years before the fire, and despite the "Important Notice" in the policy that "Please read and examine the policy and if incorrect, return it immediately for alteration," respondent apparently did not call petitioner’s attention with respect to the misdescription.

    By way of conclusion, petitioner argues that respondent is "barred by the parole evidence rule from presenting evidence (other than the policy in question) of its self-serving intention (sic) that it intended really to insure the burned oil mill," just as it is "barred by estoppel from claiming that the description of the insured oil mill in the policy was wrong, because it retained the policy without having the same corrected before the fire by an endorsement in accordance with its Condition No. 28." chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    These contentions can not pass judicial muster.

    In construing the words used descriptive of a building insured, the greatest liberality is shown by the courts in giving effect to the insurance. 11 In view of the custom of insurance agents to examine buildings before writing policies upon them, and since a mistake as to the identity and character of the building is extremely unlikely, the courts are inclined to consider that the policy of insurance covers any building which the parties manifestly intended to insure, however inaccurate the description may be. 12

    Notwithstanding, therefore, the misdescription in the policy, it is beyond dispute, to our mind, that what the parties manifestly intended to insure was the new oil mill. This is obvious from the categorical statement embodied in the policy, extending its protection:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "On machineries and equipment with complete accessories usual to a coconut oil mill including stocks of copra, copra cake and copra mills whilst contained in the new oil mill building, situate (sic) at UNNO. ALONG NATIONAL HIGH WAY, BO. IYAM, LUCENA CITY UNBLOCKED.’’ 13 (Emphasis supplied.)

    If the parties really intended to protect the first oil mill, then there is no need to specify it as new.

    Indeed, it would be absurd to assume that respondent would protect its first oil mill for different amounts and leave uncovered its second one. As mentioned earlier, the first oil mill is already covered under Policy No. 306-7432324-4 issued by the petitioner. It is unthinkable for respondent to obtain the other policy from the very same company. The latter ought to know that a second agreement over that same realty results in its over insurance.

    The imperfection in the description of the insured oil mill’s boundaries can be attributed to a misunderstanding between the petitioner’s general agent, Mr. Alfredo Borja, and its policy issuing clerk, who made the error of copying the boundaries of the first oil mill when typing the policy to be issued for the new one. As testified to by Mr. Borja:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    "Atty. G. Camaligan:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: What did you do when you received the report?

    A: I told them as will be shown by the map the intention really of Mr. Edison Tantuco is to cover the new oil mill that is why when I presented the existing policy of the old policy, the policy issuing clerk just merely (sic) copied the wording from the old policy and what she typed is that the description of the boundaries from the old policy was copied but she inserted covering the new oil mill and to me at that time the important thing is that it covered the new oil mill because it is just within one compound and there are only two oil mill[s] and so just enough, I had the policy prepared. In fact, two policies were prepared having the same date one for the old one and the other for the new oil mill and exactly the same policy period, sir." 14 (Emphasis supplied)

    It is thus clear that the source of the discrepancy happened during the preparation of the written contract.

    These facts lead us to hold that the present case falls within one of the recognized exceptions to the parole evidence rule. Under the Rules of Court, a party may present evidence to modify, explain or add to the terms of the written agreement if he puts in issue in his pleading, among others, its failure to express the true intent and agreement of the parties thereto. 15 Here, the contractual intention of the parties cannot be understood from a mere reading of the instrument. Thus, while the contract explicitly stipulated that it was for the insurance of the new oil mill, the boundary description written on the policy concededly pertains to the first oil mill. This irreconcilable difference can only be clarified by admitting evidence aliunde, which will explain the imperfection and clarify the intent of the parties.

    Anent petitioner’s argument that the respondent is barred by estoppel from claiming that the description of the insured oil mill in the policy was wrong, we find that the same proceeds from a wrong assumption. Evidence on record reveals that respondent’s operating manager, Mr. Edison Tantuco, notified Mr. Borja (the petitioner’s agent with whom respondent negotiated for the contract) about the inaccurate description in the policy. However, Mr. Borja assured Mr. Tantuco that the use of the adjective new will distinguish the insured property. The assurance convinced respondent, despite the impreciseness in the specification of the boundaries, the insurance will cover the new oil mill. This can be seen from the testimony on cross of Mr. Tantuco:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "ATTY. SALONGA:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: You mentioned, sir, that at least in so far as Exhibit A is concern you have read what the policy contents. (sic)

    Kindly take a look in the page of Exhibit A which was marked as Exhibit A-2 particularly the boundaries of the property insured by the insurance policy Exhibit A, will you tell us as the manager of the company whether the boundaries stated in Exhibit A-2 are the boundaries of the old (sic) mill that was burned or not.

    A: It was not, I called up Mr. Borja regarding this matter and he told me that what is important is the word new oil mill. Mr. Borja said, as a matter of fact, you can never insured (sic) one property with two (2) policies, you will only do that if you will make to increase the amount and it is by indorsement not by another policy, sir.,, 16

    We again stress that the object of the court in construing a contract is to ascertain the intent of the parties to the contract and to enforce the agreement which the parties have entered into. In determining what the parties intended, the courts will read and construe the policy as a whole and if possible, give effect to all the parts of the contract, keeping in mind always, however, the prime rule that in the event of doubt, this doubt is to be resolved against the insurer. In determining the intent of the parties to the contract, the courts will consider the purpose and object of the contract. 17chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    In a further attempt to avoid liability, petitioner claims that respondent forfeited the renewal policy for its failure to pay the full amount of the premium and breach of the Fire Extinguishing Appliances Warranty.

    The amount of the premium stated on the face of the policy was P89,770.20. From the admission of respondent’s own witness, Mr. Borja, which the petitioner cited, the former only paid it P75,147.00, leaving a difference of P14,623.20. The deficiency, petitioner argues, suffices to invalidate the policy, in accordance with Section 77 of the Insurance Code. 18

    The Court of Appeals refused to consider this contention of the petitioner. It held that this issue was raised for the first time on appeal, hence, beyond its jurisdiction to resolve, pursuant to Rule 46, Section 18 of the Rules of Court. 19

    Petitioner, however, contests this finding of the appellate court. It insists that the issue was raised in paragraph 24 of its Answer, viz.:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "24. Plaintiff has not complied with the condition of the policy and renewal certificate that the renewal premium should be paid on or before renewal date."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Petitioner adds that the issue was the subject of the cross-examination of Mr. Borja, who acknowledged that the paid amount was lacking by P14,623.20 by reason of a discount or rebate, which rebate under Sec. 361 of the Insurance Code is illegal.

    The argument fails to impress. It is true that the asseverations petitioner made in paragraph 24 of its Answer ostensibly spoke of the policy’s condition for payment of the renewal premium on time and respondent’s non-compliance with it. Yet, it did not contain any specific and definite allegation that respondent did not pay the premium, or that it did not pay the full amount, or that it did not pay the amount on time.

    Likewise, when the issues to be resolved in the trial court were formulated at the pre-trial proceedings, the question of the supposed inadequate payment was never raised. Most significant to point, petitioner fatally neglected to present, during the whole course of the trial, any witness to testify that respondent indeed failed to pay the full amount of the premium. The thrust of the cross-examination of Mr. Borja, on the other hand, was not for the purpose of proving this fact. Though it briefly touched on the alleged deficiency, such was made in the course of discussing a discount or rebate, which the agent apparently gave the Respondent. Certainly, the whole tenor of Mr. Borja’s testimony, both during direct and cross examinations, implicitly assumed a valid and subsisting insurance policy. It must be remembered that he was called to the stand basically to demonstrate that an existing policy issued by the petitioner covers the burned building.

    Finally, petitioner contends that respondent violated the express terms of the Fire Extinguishing Appliances Warranty. The said warranty provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WARRANTED that during the currency of this Policy, Fire Extinguishing Appliances as mentioned below shall be maintained in efficient working order on the premises to which insurance applies:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    - PORTABLE EXTINGUISHERS

    - INTERNAL HYDRANTS

    - EXTERNAL HYDRANTS

    - FIRE PUMP

    - 24-HOUR SECURITY SERVICES

    BREACH of this warranty shall render this policy null and void and the Company shall no longer be liable for any loss which may occur." 20

    Petitioner argues that the warranty clearly obligates the insured to maintain all the appliances specified therein. The breach occurred when the respondent failed to install internal fire hydrants inside the burned building as warranted. This fact was admitted by the oil mill’s expeller operator, Gerardo Zarsuela.

    Again, the argument lacks merit. We agree with the appellate court’s conclusion that the aforementioned warranty did not require respondent to provide for all the fire extinguishing appliances enumerated therein. Additionally, we find that neither did it require that the appliances are restricted to those mentioned in the warranty. In other words, what the warranty mandates is that respondent should maintain in efficient working condition within the premises of the insured property, fire fighting equipments such as, but not limited to, those identified in the list, which will serve as the oil mill’s first line of defense in case any part of it bursts into flame.

    To be sure, respondent was able to comply with the warranty. Within the vicinity of the new oil mill can be found the following devices: numerous portable fire extinguishers, two fire hoses, 21 fire hydrant, 22 and an emergency fire engine. 23 All of these equipments were in efficient working order when the fire occurred.

    It ought to be remembered that not only are warranties strictly construed against the insurer, but they should, likewise, by themselves be reasonably interpreted. 24 That reasonableness is to be ascertained in light of the factual conditions prevailing in each case. Here, we find that there is no more need for an internal hydrant considering that inside the burned building were: (1) numerous portable fire extinguishers, (2) an emergency fire engine, and (3) a fire hose which has a connection to one of the external hydrants.

    IN VIEW WHEREOF, finding no reversible error in the impugned Decision, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED.

    SO ORDERED.

    Davide Jr., C.J., Pardo, and Ynares-Santiago, JJ., concur.

    Kapunan, J., on official leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. Decision, CA-G.R. CV No. 52221, p.1; Rollo, p. 27.

    2. Exhibit K, Folder of Exhibits, p. 54.

    3. Exhibit C, Folder of Exhibits, p. 22.

    4. O.R. No. 1043, Exhibit E, Folder of Exhibits, p. 32; O.R. No. 1044, Exhibit Q, Folder of Exhibits, p. 70.

    5. Exhibit H, Folder of Exhibit, p. 35.

    6. Decision, Civil Case No. 92-15, RTC, Branch 53, Lucena City, p. 14; Original Record, p. 168.

    7. Decision, CA-G.R. CV No. 52221, p. 6; Rollo, p. 32.

    8. Verified Petition for Review, p. 99; Rollo, p. 17.

    9. Petition, p. 11; Rollo, p. 19.

    10. Petition, p. 14; Rollo, p. 23.

    11. See Martinez, Philippine Insurance Code Annotated, p. 324, citing Richard v. Ins. Co., 27 N.W. 586 (1886), which gives the following illustration: A policy upon a "school house" was held sufficient to identify the building insured in which a school was kept, although it was not an ordinary school house; the term "store" was held to be a sufficient description of a building used as a restaurant and bakery.

    12. Vance on Insurance, p. 816-817.

    13. Exhibit C-2, Folder of Exhibits, p. 24.

    14. TSN, March 31, 1993, pp. 31-32.

    15. Rule 130, Section 9, Rules of Court.

    16. TSN, April 20, 1993, pp. 25-26.

    17. Vance on Insurance 809 (3rd ed., 1951).

    18. The provision states:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Sec. 77. An insurer is entitled to payment of the premium as soon as the thing insured is exposed to the peril insured against. Notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary, no policy or contract of insurance issued by an insurance company is valid and binding unless and until the premium thereof has been paid, except in the case of a life or an industrial life policy whenever the grace period provision applies.

    19. Now Rule 44, Section 15 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Sec. 15. Questions that may be raised on appeal. — Whether or not the appellant has filed a motion for new trial in the court below, he may include in his assignment of errors any question of law or fact that has been raised in the court below and which is within the issues framed by the parties.

    20. Exhibit C-4-C, Folder of Exhibits, p. 29.

    21. Exhibits T, T-1 and T-13, Folder of Exhibits, pp 73 and 77.

    22. Exhibit T-12, Folder of Exhibits, p. 77.

    23. Exhibit T-14, Folder of Exhibits p. 77.

    24. See Qua Chee Gan v. Law Union and Rock Insurance Co., Ltd., 98 Phil. 85 (1955).

    G.R. No. 138941   October 8, 2001 - AMERICAN HOME ASSURANCE COMPANY v. TANTUCO ENTERPRISES


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