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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. 149038   April 9, 2003 - PHIL. AMERICAN GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY v. PKS SHIPPING COMPANY

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 149038. April 9, 2003.]

    PHILIPPINE AMERICAN GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Petitioner, v. PKS SHIPPING COMPANY, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N


    VITUG, J.:


    The petition before the Court seeks a review of the decision of the Court of Appeals in C.A. G.R. CV No. 56470, promulgated on 25 June 2001, which has affirmed in toto the judgment of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 65, of Makati, dismissing the complaint for damages filed by petitioner insurance corporation against respondent shipping company.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Davao Union Marketing Corporation (DUMC) contracted the services of respondent PKS Shipping Company (PKS Shipping) for the shipment to Tacloban City of seventy-five thousand (75,000) bags of cement worth Three Million Three Hundred Seventy-Five Thousand Pesos (P3,375,000.00). DUMC insured the goods for its full value with petitioner Philippine American General Insurance Company (Philamgen). The goods were loaded aboard the dumb barge Limar I belonging to PKS Shipping. On the evening of 22 December 1988, about nine o’clock, while Limar I was being towed by respondent’s tugboat, MT Iron Eagle, the barge sank a couple of miles off the coast of Dumagasa Point, in Zamboanga del Sur, bringing down with it the entire cargo of 75,000 bags of cement.

    DUMC filed a formal claim with Philamgen for the full amount of the insurance. Philamgen promptly made payment; it then sought reimbursement from PKS Shipping of the sum paid to DUMC but the shipping company refused to pay, prompting Philamgen to file suit against PKS Shipping with the Makati RTC.

    The RTC dismissed the complaint after finding that the total loss of the cargo could have been caused either by a fortuitous event, in which case the ship owner was not liable, or through the negligence of the captain and crew of the vessel and that, under Article 587 of the Code of Commerce adopting the "Limited Liability Rule," the ship owner could free itself of liability by abandoning, as it apparently so did, the vessel with all her equipment and earned freightage.

    Philamgen interposed an appeal to the Court of Appeals which affirmed in toto the decision of the trial court. The appellate court ruled that evidence to establish that PKS Shipping was a common carrier at the time it undertook to transport the bags of cement was wanting because the peculiar method of the shipping company’s carrying goods for others was not generally held out as a business but as a casual occupation. It then concluded that PKS Shipping, not being a common carrier, was not expected to observe the stringent extraordinary diligence required of common carriers in the care of goods. The appellate court, moreover, found that the loss of the goods was sufficiently established as having been due to fortuitous event, negating any liability on the part of PKS Shipping to the shipper.

    In the instant appeal, Philamgen contends that the appellate court has committed a patent error in ruling that PKS Shipping is not a common carrier and that it is not liable for the loss of the subject cargo. The fact that respondent has a limited clientele, petitioner argues, does not militate against respondent’s being a common carrier and that the only way by which such carrier can be held exempt for the loss of the cargo would be if the loss were caused by natural disaster or calamity. Petitioner avers that typhoon "APIANG" has not entered the Philippine area of responsibility and that, even if it did, respondent would not be exempt from liability because its employees, particularly the tugmaster, have failed to exercise due diligence to prevent or minimize the loss.

    PKS Shipping, in its comment, urges that the petition should be denied because what Philamgen seeks is not a review on points or errors of law but a review of the undisputed factual findings of the RTC and the appellate court. In any event, PKS Shipping points out, the findings and conclusions of both courts find support from the evidence and applicable jurisprudence.

    The determination of possible liability on the part of PKS Shipping boils down to the question of whether it is a private carrier or a common carrier and, in either case, to the other question of whether or not it has observed the proper diligence (ordinary, if a private carrier, or extraordinary, if a common carrier) required of it given the circumstances.

    The findings of fact made by the Court of Appeals, particularly when such findings are consistent with those of the trial court, may not at liberty be reviewed by this Court in a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. 1 The conclusions derived from those factual findings, however, are not necessarily just matters of fact as when they are so linked to, or inextricably intertwined with, a requisite appreciation of the applicable law. In such instances, the conclusions made could well be raised as being appropriate issues in a petition for review before this Court. Thus, an issue whether a carrier is private or common on the basis of the facts found by a trial court or the appellate court can be a valid and reviewable question of law.

    The Civil Code defines "common carriers" in the following terms:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Article 1732. Common carriers are persons, corporations, firms or associations engaged in the business of carrying or transporting passengers or goods or both, by land, water, or air for compensation, offering their services to the public."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Complementary to the codal definition is Section 13, paragraph (b), of the Public Service Act; it defines "public service" to be —

    ". . . every person that now or hereafter may own, operate, manage, or control in the Philippines, for hire or compensation, with general or limited clientele, whether permanent, occasional or accidental, and done for general business purposes, any common carrier, railroad, street railway, subway motor vehicle, either for freight or passenger, or both, with or without fixed route and whatever may be its classification, freight or carrier service of any class, express service, steamboat, or steamship, or steamship line, pontines, ferries and water craft, engaged in the transportation of passengers or freight or both, shipyard, marine repair shop, wharf or dock, ice plant, ice refrigeration plant, canal, irrigation system, gas, electric light, heat and power, water supply and power petroleum, sewerage system, wire or wireless communication systems, wire or wireless broadcasting stations and other similar public services. . . . . (Emphasis supplied)."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The prevailing doctrine on the question is that enunciated in the leading case of De Guzman v. Court of Appeals. 2 Applying Article 1732 of the Code, in conjunction with Section 13(b) of the Public Service Act, this Court has held:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "The above article makes no distinction between one whose principal business activity is the carrying of persons or goods or both, and one who does such carrying only as an ancillary activity (in local idiom, as ‘a sideline’). Article 1732 also carefully avoids making any distinction between a person or enterprise offering transportation service on a regular or scheduled basis and one offering such service on an occasional, episodic or unscheduled basis. Neither does Article 1732 distinguish between a carrier offering its services to the ‘general public,’ i.e., the general community or population, and one who offers services or solicits business only from a narrow segment of the general population. We think that Article 1732 deliberately refrained from making such distinctions.

    "So understood, the concept of ‘common carrier’ under Article 1732 may be seen to coincide neatly with the notion of ‘public service,’ under the Public Service Act (Commonwealth Act No. 1416, as amended) which at least partially supplements the law on common carriers set forth in the Civil Code."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Much of the distinction between a "common or public carrier" and a "private or special carrier" lies in the character of the business, such that if the undertaking is an isolated transaction, not a part of the business or occupation, and the carrier does not hold itself out to carry the goods for the general public or to a limited clientele, although involving the carriage of goods for a fee, 3 the person or corporation providing such service could very well be just a private carrier. A typical case is that of a charter party which includes both the vessel and its crew, such as in a bareboat or demise, where the charterer obtains the use and service of all or some part of a ship for a period of time or a voyage or voyages 4 and gets the control of the vessel and its crew. 5 Contrary to the conclusion made by the appellate court, its factual findings indicate that PKS Shipping has engaged itself in the business of carrying goods for others, although for a limited clientele, undertaking to carry such goods for a fee. The regularity of its activities in this area indicates more than just a casual activity on its part. 6 Neither can the concept of a common carrier change merely because individual contracts are executed or entered into with patrons of the carrier. Such restrictive interpretation would make it easy for a common carrier to escape liability by the simple expedient of entering into those distinct agreements with clients.

    Addressing now the issue of whether or not PKS Shipping has exercised the proper diligence demanded of common carriers, Article 1733 of the Civil Code requires common carriers to observe extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods they carry. In case of loss, destruction or deterioration of goods, common carriers are presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently, and the burden of proving otherwise rests on them. 7 The provisions of Article 1733, notwithstanding, common carriers are exempt from liability for loss, destruction, or deterioration of the goods due to any of the following causes:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (1) Flood, storm, earthquake, lightning, or other natural disaster or calamity;

    (2) Act of the public enemy in war, whether international or civil;

    (3) Act or omission of the shipper or owner of the goods;

    (4) The character of the goods or defects in the packing or in the containers; and

    (5) Order or act of competent public authority. 8

    The appellate court ruled, gathered from the testimonies and sworn marine protests of the respective vessel masters of Limar I and MT Iron Eagle, that there was no way by which the barge’s or the tugboat’s crew could have prevented the sinking of Limar I. The vessel was suddenly tossed by waves of extraordinary height of six (6) to eight (8) feet and buffeted by strong winds of 1.5 knots resulting in the entry of water into the barge’s hatches. The official Certificate of Inspection of the barge issued by the Philippine Coastguard and the Coastwise Load Line Certificate would attest to the seaworthiness of Limar I and should strengthen the factual findings of the appellate court.

    Findings of fact of the Court of Appeals generally conclude this Court; none of the recognized exceptions from the rule — (1) when the factual findings of the Court of Appeals and the trial court are contradictory; (2) when the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation, surmises, or conjectures; (3) when the inference made by the Court of Appeals from its findings of fact is manifestly mistaken, absurd, or impossible; (4) when there is a grave abuse of discretion in the appreciation of facts; (5) when the appellate court, in making its findings, went beyond the issues of the case and such findings are contrary to the admissions of both appellant and appellee; (6) when the judgment of the Court of Appeals is premised on a misapprehension of facts; (7) when the Court of Appeals failed to notice certain relevant facts which, if properly considered, would justify a different conclusion; (8) when the findings of fact are themselves conflicting; (9) when the findings of fact are conclusions without citation of the specific evidence on which they are based; and (10) when the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are premised on the absence of evidence but such findings are contradicted by the evidence on record — would appear to be clearly extant in this instance.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    All given then, the appellate court did not err in its judgment absolving PKS Shipping from liability for the loss of the DUMC cargo.

    WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. No costs.

    SO ORDERED.

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

    Endnotes:



    1. National Steel Corporation v. Court of Appeals, 283 SCRA 45.

    2. 168 SCRA 612.

    3. Planters Products, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 101503, 15 September 1993, 226 SCRA 476.

    4. National Steel Corporation v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 112287, 12 December 1997, 283 SCRA 45.

    5. National Steel Corporation v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 112287, 12 December 1997, 283 SCRA 45.

    6. The testimony of respondent’s own witness, Capt. Andres Elbena, is quite revealing. He testified that he had been working for respondent as tugmaster for the past twenty-five (25) years and that the company owns several vessels.

    7. Article 1735, Civil Code of the Philippines.

    8. Article 1734, Civil Code of the Philippines.

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


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