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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
 

   
April-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 4984 April 1, 2003 - JULITO D. VITRIOLO, ET AL. v. FELINA DASIG

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1485 April 1, 2003 - FIDEL ISIP, JR. v. VALENTINO B. NOGOY

  • A.M. Nos. P-02-1620, P-02-1621, P-02-1622 & P-96-1194 April 1, 2003 - MELINDA F. PIMENTEL v. PERPETUA SOCORRO M. DE LEOZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1643 April 1, 2003 - DIMAS ABALDE v. ANTONIO ROQUE

  • G.R. No. 137782 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTURO R. NICOLAS

  • G.R. No. 138470 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTEMIO GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 143084 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE TORELLOS

  • G.R. No. 148635 April 1, 2003 - MARILLA MAYANG CAVILE, ET AL. v. HEIRS OF CLARITA CAVILE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149453 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL. v. PANFILO M. LACSON

  • A.M. No. 01-1-13-RTC April 2, 2003 - RE: Report on the Examination of the Cash and Accounts

  • A.M. No. P-02-1545 April 2, 2003 - ZENAIDA C. GUTIERREZ, ET AL. v. RODOLFO V. QUITALIG

  • G.R. No. 139412 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONALD CASTILLANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 149028-30 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO CABALLERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149893 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELCHOR RABAGO

  • A.C. No. 4958 April 3, 2003 - FIDEL D. AQUINO v. OSCAR MANESE

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1436 April 3, 2003 - JAIME C. TARAN v. JOSE S. JACINTO

  • A.M. No. P-02-1595 April 3, 2003 - TIMOTEO M. CASANOVA, JR. v. FELIZARDO P. CAJAYON

  • A.M. No. P-02-1650 April 3, 2003 - ZENAIDA REYES-MACABEO v. FLORITO EDUARDO V. VALLE

  • G.R. Nos. 111098-99 April 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PIO BISO

  • G.R. Nos. 143976 & 145846 April 3, 2003 - SPS. OSCAR and HAYDEE BADILLO v. ARTURO G. TAYAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144444 April 3, 2003 - STATE INVESTMENT TRUST v. DELTA MOTORS CORP.

  • G.R. No. 150978 April 3, 2003 - POWTON CONGLOMERATE v. JOHNNY AGCOLICOL

  • G.R. No. 155875 April 3, 2003 - AGAPITO CRUZ FIEL, ET AL. v. KRIS SECURITY SYSTEMS, INC., ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1482 April 4, 2003 - ILUMINADA SANTILLAN VDA. DE NEPOMUCENO v. NICASIO V. BARTOLOME

  • A.M. No. P-03-1690, MTJ-01-1363 & 01-12-02-SC April 4, 2003 - ESTRELLITA M. PAAS v. EDGAR E. ALMARVEZ

  • G.R. No. 108405 April 4, 2003 - JAIME D. VIERNES, ET AL. v. N;RC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117020 April 4, 2003 - VIRON TRANSPORTATION CO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125938 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL JANSON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140756 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN GONZALES ESCOTE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141631 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERDINAND FRANCISCO

  • G.R. No. 143135 April 4, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. DAMAYAN NG PUROK 14, INC.

  • G.R. No. 143779 April 4, 2003 - FRANCISCA L. MARQUEZ v. SIMEON BALDOZ

  • G.R. Nos. 145309-10 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VIRGILIO FLORES

  • G.R. Nos. 144476 & 144629 April 8, 2003 - ONG YONG, ET AL. v. DAVID. S. TIU, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149022 April 8, 2003 - CARMENCITA D. CORONEL v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1428 April 9, 2003 - ARFRAN L. QUIÑONES v. FRANCISCO H. LOPEZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1580 April 9, 2003 - RENE ESPINA v. JUAN A. GATO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1630 April 9, 2003 - HEINZ R. HECK v. ANTHONY E. SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 119255 April 9, 2003 - TOMAS K. CHUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126968 April 9, 2003 - RICARDO BALUNUECO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128568 April 9, 2003 - SPS. REYNALDO and ESMERALDA ALCARAZ v. PEDRO M. TANGGA-AN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132371 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO Q. SIMBAHON

  • G.R. No. 133003 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LAWRENCE MACAPANPAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141258 April 9, 2003 - TOMASA SARMIENTO v. SPS. LUIS & ROSE SUN-CABRIDO ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 141314 & 141369 April 9, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. REPRESENTED BY ENERGY REGULATORY BOARD v. MERALCO

  • G.R. No. 143004 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE CLIDORO

  • G.R. No. 143432 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TERENCIO L. FUNESTO

  • G.R. No. 146034 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LASTIDE A. SUBE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146815 April 9, 2003 - HEIRS OF PEDRO, ET AL. v. STERLING TECHNOPARK III ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147468 April 9, 2003 - SPS. EDUARDO & JOSEFINA DOMINGO v. LILIA MONTINOLA ROCES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147745 April 9, 2003 - MARIA BUENA OBRA v. SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM

  • G.R. No. 148727 April 9, 2003 - SPS. HERMOGENA AND JOSE ENGRESO v. NESTORIA DE LA CRUZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149038 April 9, 2003 - PHIL. AMERICAN GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY v. PKS SHIPPING COMPANY

  • G.R. No. 149110 April 9, 2003 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. CITY OF CABANATUAN

  • G.R. No. 149422 April 10, 2003 - DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM v. APEX INVESTMENT AND FINANCING CORP.

  • G.R. No. 149578 April 10, 2003 - EVELYN TOLOSA v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143540 April 11, 2003 - JOEL G. MIRANDA v. ANTONIO C. CARREON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148138 April 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY VIAJEDOR

  • A.M. No. P-02-1645 April 21, 2003 - GILBERT HOWARD M. ATIENZA v. JOSEPHINE V. DINAMPO

  • A.M. No. P-03-1695 April 21, 2003 - ARTEMIO H. QUIDILLA v. JUNAR G. ARMIDA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1756 April 22, 2003 - AURORA S. GONZALES v. VICENTE A. HIDALGO

  • G.R. No. 127745 April 22, 2003 - FELICITO G. SANSON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129163 April 22, 2003 - VOLTAIRE ARBOLARIO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 138650-58 April 22, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IGNACIO SINORO

  • G.R. No. 140707 April 22, 2003 - NORGENE POTENCIANO, ET AL. v. DWIGHT "IKE" B. REYNOSO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146942 April 22, 2003 - CORAZON G. RUIZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152329 April 22, 2003 - ALEJANDRO ROQUERO v. PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1763 April 24, 2003 - JOSE B. TIONGCO v. FLORENTINO P. PEDRONIO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1770 April 24, 2003 - MELISSA E. MAÑO v. CAESAR A. CASANOVA

  • G.R. No. 123968 April 24, 2003 - URSULINA GANUELAS, ET AL. v. ROBERT T. CAWED, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137182 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABDILA L. SILONGAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 137458-59 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS G. BATOCTOY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137601 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WINCHESTER ABUT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139230 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL DANIELA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143672 April 24, 2003 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. GENERAL FOODS (PHILS.), INC.

  • G.R. No. 145915 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VILMA Z. ALMENDRAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147038 April 24, 2003 - RICHARD TEH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1370 April 25, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. AGUSTIN T. SARDIDO

  • G.R. No. 118749 April 25, 2003 - SPS LORENZO and LORENZA FRANCISCO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141187 April 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONNIE A. MACTAL

  • A.C. No. 5225 April 29, 2003 - SPS. WILFREDO & LYDIA BOYBOY v. VICTORIANO R. YABUT, JR.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1453 April 29, 2003 - EDITHA PALMA GIL v. FRANCISCO H. LOPEZ, JR.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1615 April 29, 2003 - PEDRO MAGNAYE v. ERIBERTO R. SABAS

  • G.R. No. 119858 April 29, 2003 - EDWARD C. ONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122363 April 29, 2003 - VICTOR G. VALENCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127002 April 29, 2003 - JEREMIAS L. DOLINO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135394 April 29, 2003 - JOSE V. DELA RAMA v. FRANCISCO G. MENDIOLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139841 April 29, 2003 - EMILIO C. VILLAROSA v. DEMOSTHENES L. MAGALLANES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141518 April 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLARENCE ASTUDILLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142015 April 29, 2003 - RURAL BANK OF STA. IGNACIA v. PELAGIA DIMATULAC

  • G.R. No. 147230 April 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO R. REMERATA

  • G.R. No. 150656 April 29, 2003 - MARGARITA ROMUALDEZ-LICAROS v. ABELARDO B. LICAROS

  • A.C. No. 4724 April 30, 2003 - GORETTI ONG v. JOEL M. GRIJALDO

  • A.M. No. CA-99-9-P April 30, 2003 - MAGTANGGOL GABRIEL v. VIRGINIA C. ABELLA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1445 April 30, 2003 - MEDARDO M. PADUA v. IRENEO S. PAZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1599 April 30, 2003 - LEANDRO T. LOYAO v. MAMERTO J. CAUBE, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1600 April 30, 2003 - DOMINADOR. AREVALO, ET AL. v. EDGARDO S. LORIA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1696 April 30, 2003 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. ZENAIDA T. STA. ANA

  • A.M. RTJ No. 03-1761 April 30, 2003 - JOSE B. CUSTODIO v. JESUS V. QUITAIN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1775 April 30, 2003 - ISAGANI A. CRUZ v. PHILBERT I. ITURRALDE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1779 April 30, 2003 - JOVENCITO R. ZUÑO, ET AL. v. ARNULFO G. CABREDO

  • G.R. Nos. 107789 & 147214 April 30, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116326 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT LEE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121211 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONETO DEGAMO

  • G.R. No. 121637 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGARDO GREFALDIA

  • G.R. No. 125761 April 30, 2003 - SALVADOR P. MALBAROSA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126568 April 30, 2003 - QUIRINO GONZALES LOGGING CONCESSIONAIRE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126911 April 30, 2003 - PHIL. DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127141 April 30, 2003 - SPS. EMMANUEL and MELANIE LANTIN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128378 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT GOMEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128512 & 128963 April 30, 2003 - DARIO P. BELONGHILOT v. RTC OF ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE

  • G.R. No. 129090 April 30, 2003 - RICARDO B. GONZALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129895 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO C. DALAG

  • G.R. No. 134940 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CATALINO MELENDRES

  • G.R. No. 138266 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO CABRERA, JR.

  • G.R. No. 139876 April 30, 2003 - WILLIAM TIU and/or THE ROUGH RIDERS v. JULIO PASAOL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140753 April 30, 2003 - BENJAMIN S. SANTOS v. ELENA VELARDE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141375 April 30, 2003 - MUNICIPALITY OF KANANGA v. FORTUNITO L. MADRONA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142435 April 30, 2003 - ESTELITA BURGOS LIPAT, ET AL. v. PACIFIC BANKING CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142591 April 30, 2003 - JOSEPH CHAN, ET AL. v. BONIFACIO S. MACEDA

  • G.R. Nos. 144445-47 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GENARO BIONG

  • G.R. No. 146099 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMEL SANIDAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146481 April 30, 2003 - ARTURO G. RIMORIN, SR. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146685-86 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN M. HILET

  • G.R. Nos. 146862-64 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GAUDENCIO D. UMBAÑA

  • G.R. No. 146886 April 30, 2003 - DEVORAH E. BARDILLON v. BARANGAY MASILI of Calamba, Laguna

  • G.R. No. 146923 April 30, 2003 - BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147033 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO UMAYAM

  • G.R. Nos. 148394-96 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER ELIARDA

  • G.R. No. 150179 April 30, 2003 - HEIRS OF WILLIAM SEVILLA, ET AL. v. LEOPOLDO SEVILLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 150820-21 April 30, 2003 - SPS. ANTONIO and GENOVEVA BALANON-ANICETE, ET AL. v. PEDRO BALANON

  • G.R. No. 154037 April 30, 2003 - IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF BENJAMIN VERGARA, ET AL.

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    G.R. No. 141258   April 9, 2003 - TOMASA SARMIENTO v. SPS. LUIS & ROSE SUN-CABRIDO ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 141258. April 9, 2003.]

    TOMASA SARMIENTO, Petitioner, v. SPS. LUIS & ROSE SUN-CABRIDO and MARIA LOURDES SUN, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    CORONA, J.:


    This appeal by certiorari stems from the Decision 1 of respondent Court of Appeals promulgated on November 26, 1999 in CA-G.R. SP No. 47431 declaring the private respondents not liable for damages.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Petitioner, Tomasa Sarmiento, states that sometime in April 1994, a friend, Dra. Virginia Lao, requested her to find somebody to reset a pair of diamond earrings into two gold rings. 2 Accordingly, petitioner sent a certain Tita Payag with the pair of earrings to Dingding’s Jewelry Shop, owned and managed by respondent spouses Luis and Rose Cabrido, 3 which accepted the job order for P400. 4

    Petitioner provided 12 grams of gold to be used in crafting the pair of ring settings. 5 After 3 days, Tita Payag delivered to the jewelry shop one of Dra. Lao’s diamond earrings which was earlier appraised as worth .33 carat and almost perfect in cut and clarity. 6 Respondent Ma. Lourdes (Marilou) Sun went on to dismount the diamond from its original setting. Unsuccessful, she asked their goldsmith, Zenon Santos, to do it. Santos removed the diamond by twisting the setting with a pair of pliers, breaking the gem in the process. 7

    Petitioner required the respondents to replace the diamond with the same size and quality. When they refused, the petitioner was forced to buy a replacement in the amount of P30,000. 8

    Respondent Rose Cabrido, manager of Dingding’s Jewelry Shop, denied having entered into any transaction with Tita Payag whom she met only after the latter came to the jewelry shop to seek compensation from Santos for the broken piece of jewelry. 9 However, it was possible that Payag may have availed of their services as she could not have known every customer who came to their shop. Rose disclosed that she usually arrived at 11:00 a.m. When she was not around, her mother and sister tended the shop. 10

    Marilou admitted knowing Payag who came to Dingding’s Jewelry Shop to avail of their services regarding a certain piece of jewelry. After a short conversation, Payag went inside the shop to see Santos. When the precious stone was broken by Santos, Payag demanded P15,000 from him. As the latter had no money, she turned to Marilou for reimbursement apparently thinking that Marilou was the owner of the shop. 11

    For his part, Santos recalled that Payag requested him to dismount what appeared to him was a sapphire. While clipping the setting with the use of a small pair of pliers, the stone accidentally broke. Santos denied being an employee of Dingding’s Jewelry Shop. 12

    Attempts to settle the controversy before the barangay lupon proved futile. 13 Consequently, petitioner filed a complaint for damages on June 28, 1994 with the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of Tagbilaran City docketed as Civil Case No. 2339 which rendered a decision 14 in favor of the petitioner, the dispositive portion of which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, Decision is hereby rendered in favor of plaintiff Tomasa Sarmiento and against defendants Spouses Luis and Rose Sun-Cabrido, ordering defendants to pay jointly and severally the amount of Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00) as actual or compensatory damages; Three Thousand Pesos (P3,000.00) as moral damages; Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) as attorney’s fees; Two Thousand Pesos (P2,000.00) as litigation expenses, with legal interest of 6% per annum from the date of this decision and 12% per annum from the date when this decision becomes final until the amounts shall have been fully paid and to pay the costs.

    This case as against defendant Maria Lourdes Sun as well as defendants’ counterclaim are dismissed for lack of merit.

    SO ORDERED.

    On appeal, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Tagbilaran City, Branch 3, reversed the decision of the MTCC, thus absolving the respondents of any responsibility arising from breach of contract. 15 Finding no reversible error, the Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the judgment of the RTC in its Decision promulgated on November 26, 1999. 16

    Unable to accept the decision, the petitioner filed the instant petition for review with the following assigned errors:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I


    THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN MAINTAINING AND SO HOLDING THAT ZENON SANTOS IS NOT AN EMPLOYEE OF DEFENDANT (herein respondent) ROSE SUN-CABRIDO, AND IS THEREFORE ANSWERABLE FOR HIS OWN ACTS OR OMISSIONS

    II


    THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN SUSTAINING THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT’S PRONOUNCEMENTS THAT THERE EXISTS NO AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE PETITIONER AND RESPONDENTS THAT THE LATTER WOULD ANSWER FOR ANY LIABILITY SHOULD THE DIAMOND BE DAMAGED IN THE PROCESS OF DISMOUNTING THEM FROM THE EARRINGS.

    Essentially, petitioner claims that the dismounting of the diamond from its original setting was part of the obligation assumed by the private respondents under the contract of service. Thus, they should be held liable for damages arising from its breakage. On the other hand, the version of the private respondents, upheld by the RTC and the CA, is that their agreement with the petitioner was for crafting two gold rings mounted with diamonds only and did not include the dismounting of the said diamonds from their original setting. 17 Consequently, the crux of the instant controversy is the scope of the obligation assumed by the private respondents under the verbal contract of service with the petitioner.

    The Court notes that, during the trial, private respondents vigorously denied any transaction between Dingding’s’ Jewelry Shop and the petitioner, through Tita Payag. Rose Cabrido, for instance, denied having ever met Payag before the latter came to seek reimbursement for the value of the broken diamond. Likewise, while Marilou acknowledged acquaintance with Payag, she nevertheless denied accepting any job order from her. Debunking their protestations, however, the MTCC of Tagbilaran City rendered its decision on November 26, 1999 in favor of herein petitioner.

    Apparently realizing the weakness and futility of their position, private respondents conceded, on appeal, the existence of an agreement with the petitioner for crafting a pair of gold rings mounted with diamonds. This apparent concession by the private respondents, however, was really nothing but an ingenious maneuver, designed to preclude, just the same, any recovery for damages by the petitioner. Thus, while ostensibly admitting the existence of the said agreement, private respondents, nonetheless denied assuming any obligation to dismount the diamonds from their original settings. 18

    The inconsistent position of the private respondents impugns their credibility. They cannot be permitted to adopt a certain stance, only to vacillate later to suit their interest. We are therefore inclined to agree with the MTCC in giving credence to the version of the petitioner. The MTCC had the unique opportunity to actually observe the behavior and demeanor of the witnesses as they testified during the trial. 19

    At any rate, the contemporaneous and subsequent acts of the parties 20 support the version of the petitioner. Thus, when Tita Payag asked Marilou of Dingding’s Jewelry Shop to reset a pair of diamond earrings, she brought with her the said pieces of jewelry so that the diamonds which were still mounted could be measured and the new ring settings crafted accordingly. On the said occasion, Marilou expressed no reservation regarding the dismounting of the diamonds which, after all, was an integral part of petitioner’s job order. She should have instructed Payag to have them dismounted first if Marilou had actually intended to spare the jewelry shop of the task but she did not. Instead, petitioner was charged P400 for the job order which was readily accepted. Thus, a perfected contract to reset the pair of diamond earrings arose between the petitioner, through Payag, and Dingding’s Jewelry Shop, through Marilou.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Marilou’s subsequent actuations were even more revealing as regards the scope of obligation assumed by the jewelry shop. After the new settings were completed in 3 days, she called up the petitioner to bring the diamond earrings to be reset. 21 Having initially examined one of them, Marilou went on to dismount the diamond from its original setting. Unsuccessful, she then delegated the task to their goldsmith, Zenon Santos. Having acted the way she did, Marilou cannot now deny the shop’s obligation to reset the pair of earrings.

    Obligations arising from contracts have the force of law between the contracting parties. 22 Corollarily, those who in the performance of their obligations are guilty of fraud, negligence or delay and those who in any manner contravene the tenor thereof, are liable for damages. 23 The fault or negligence of the obligor consists in the omission of that diligence which is required by the nature of the obligation and corresponds with the circumstances of the persons, of the time and of the place. 24

    In the case at bar, it is beyond doubt that Santos acted negligently in dismounting the diamond from its original setting. It appears to be the practice of the trade to use a miniature wire saw in dismounting precious gems, such as diamonds, from their original settings. 25 However, Santos employed a pair of pliers in clipping the original setting, thus resulting in breakage of the diamond. The jewelry shop failed to perform its obligation with the ordinary diligence required by the circumstances. It should be pointed out that Marilou examined the diamond before dismounting it from the original setting and found the same to be in order. Its subsequent breakage in the hands of Santos could only have been caused by his negligence in using the wrong equipment. Res ipsa loquitur.

    Private respondents seek to avoid liability by passing the buck to Santos who claimed to be an independent worker. They also claim, rather lamely, that Marilou simply happened to drop by at Dingding’s Jewelry Shop when Payag arrived to place her job order. 26

    We do not think so.

    The facts show that Santos had been working at Dingding’s Jewelry Shop as goldsmith for about 6 months accepting job orders through referrals from private respondents. 27 On the other hand, Payag stated that she had transacted with Dingding’s Jewelry Shop on at least 10 previous occasions, always through Marilou. 28 The preponderance of evidence supports the view that Marilou and Zenon Santos were employed at Dingding’s Jewelry Shop in order to perform activities which were usually necessary or desirable in its business. 29

    We therefore hold that an obligation to pay actual damages arose in favor of the petitioner against the respondents spouses who admittedly owned and managed Dingding’s Jewelry Shop. It was proven that petitioner replaced the damaged jewelry in the amount of P30,000. 30

    The facts of the case also justify the award of moral damages. As a general rule, moral damages are not recoverable in actions for damages predicated on a breach of contract for it is not one of the items enumerated under Article 2219 of the Civil Code. 31 Moral damages may be awarded in a breach of contract only when there is proof that defendant acted in bad faith, or was guilty of gross negligence amounting to bad faith, or in wanton disregard of his contractual obligation. 32 Santos was a goldsmith for more than 40 years. 33 Given his long experience in the trade, he should have known that using a pair of pliers instead of a miniature wire saw in dismounting a precious stone like a diamond would have entailed an unnecessary risk of breakage. He went on with it anyway. Hence, respondent spouses are liable for P10,000 as moral damages due to the gross negligence of their employee.

    However, private respondent’s refusal to pay the value of the damaged jewelry emanated from an honest belief that they were not responsible therefor, hence, negating any basis for the award of attorney’s fees. 34

    WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED and the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals dated November 26, 1999 is hereby reversed and set aside. Private respondents Luis Cabrido and Rose Sun-Cabrido are hereby ordered to pay, jointly and severally, the amount of P30,000 as actual damages and P10,000 as moral damages in favor of the petitioner.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    No costs.

    SO ORDERED.

    Puno, Panganiban, Sandoval-Gutierrez and Morales, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Penned by Associate Justice Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez and concurred in by Associate Justices B.A. Adefuin-de la Cruz and Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr., Rollo, pp. 17–23.

    2. TSN, December 14, 1994, pp. 7–8.

    3. Exhibit "I" ; TSN, February 7, 1995, p. 4.

    4. Exhibit "1" ; TSN, November 8, 1994, pp. 3–4.

    5. Exhibit "C" .

    6. TSN, December 14, 1995, p. 9.

    7. TSN, November 8, 1994, pp. 6–7.

    8. Exhibit "B" ; TSN, December 14, 1994, pp. 12–14.

    9. TSN, February 7, 1995, pp. 4–5.

    10. Id., p. 9.

    11. TSN, August 18, 1995, pp. 3–4.

    12. TSN, June 8, 1995, pp. 2–5.

    13. Exhibit "D" .

    14. Petition, Annex "D", Rollo, pp. 29–36. Penned by Judge Emma Eronico-Supremo.

    15. Petition, Annex "B", Rollo, pp. 24–28. Penned by Judge Pacito A. Yape.

    16. See footnote no. 1.

    17. Comment, Rollo, p. 57.

    18. Appellant’s Brief, Original Records, pp. 97–101.

    19. People v. Lacsa, 339 SCRA 178, 190 [2000]; People v. Continente, 339 SCRA 1, 29 [2000]; People v. Barro, Sr., 338 SCRA 312, 322 [2000].

    20. Tanguilig v. CA, 334 Phil. 68, 74 [1997].

    21. TSN, December 14, 1994, p. 11.

    22. Article 1159, Civil Code of the Philippines.

    23. Article 1170, Civil Code of the Philippines.

    24. Article 1173, Civil Code of the Philippines.

    25. TSN, January 20, 1995, p. 3.

    26. TSN, August 18, 1995, p. 3.

    27. TSN, June 8, 1995, pp. 6–7.

    28. TSN, November 8, 1994, p. 4.

    29. Article 280 of the Labor Code pertinently provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Art. 280. Regular and Casual Employment. — The provisions of written agreement to the contrary notwithstanding and regardless of the oral agreement of the parties, an employment shall be deemed to be regular where the employee has been engaged to perform activities which are usually necessary or desirable in the usual business or trade of the employer . . . .

    30. Exhibits "B" ; "F" ; "G" .

    31. Calalas v. Court of Appeals, 302 SCRA 356 [2000].

    32. Magat, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, 337 SCRA 298, 308 [2000]; Integrated Packaging Corporation v. Court of Appeals, 333 SCRA 170 [2000].

    33. TSN, June 8, 1995, p. 4.

    34. Bernardo v. Court of Appeals, 275 SCRA 413, 432 [1997].

    G.R. No. 141258   April 9, 2003 - TOMASA SARMIENTO v. SPS. LUIS & ROSE SUN-CABRIDO ET AL.


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