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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
 

   
June-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 125297 June 6, 2003 - ELVIRA YU OH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143675 June 9, 2003 - SPS. ROMEO and EMILY GUDA v. ALAN A. LEYNES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 145338 June 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZALDY P. LABIANO

  • A.C. No. 4738 June 10, 2003 - VIOLETA FLORES ALITAGTAG v. VIRGILIO R. GARCIA

  • Bar Matter No. 1036 June 10, 2003 - DONNA MARIE S. AGUIRRE v. EDWIN L. RANA

  • A.M. No. 99-6-81-MTCC June 10, 2003 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN THE MTCC OF PALAYAN CITY

  • A.M. No. MTJ-99-1203 June 10, 2003 - NELIA A. ZIGA v. RAMON A. AREJOLA

  • A.M. No. P-96-1214 June 10, 2003 - BERNARDINO M. FABIAN, ET AL. v. LEILA (LAILA) M. GALO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1751 June 10, 2003 - ANDREA D. DOMINGO v. ERNESTO P. PAGAYATAN

  • G.R. No. 111159 June 10, 2003 - NORDIC ASIA LIMITED, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116463 June 10, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. thru the DPWH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119293 June 10, 2003 - SAN MIGUEL CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123054 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FAUSTO B. OBEDO

  • G.R. No. 125778 June 10, 2003 - INTER-ASIA INVESTMENTS INDUSTRIES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125838 June 10, 2003 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126281 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SERGIO A. CARATAO

  • G.R. No. 131842 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONISIO JACKSON

  • G.R. No. 139561 June 10, 2003 - SPS. FEDERICO & SARAH ATUEL, ET AL. v. SPS. BERNABE & CONCHITA VALDEZ

  • G.R. No. 141115 June 10, 2003 - POSADAS-MOYA and ASSOC. CONST. CO. v. GREENFIELD DEV’T. CORP.

  • G.R. No. 142467 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABELARDO DE CASTRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143076 June 10, 2003 - PHILIPPINE RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES ASSOCIATION, ET AL. v. SECRETARY, DILG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143125 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL .vs. DIOSDADO R. CORIAL

  • G.R. No. 144157 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LOWELL SALUDES

  • G.R. Nos. 144523-26 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO QUIJANO SR.

  • G.R. Nos. 145452-53 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LARRY CARITATIVO

  • G.R. Nos. 146749 & 147938 June 10, 2003 - CHINA BANKING CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 149154 June 10, 2003 - RODOLFO S. DE JESUS, ET AL. v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 150611 June 10, 2003 - JACINTO SAGUID v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153660 June 10, 2003 - PRUDENCIO BANTOLINO, ET AL. v. COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILS.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1724 June 12, 2003 - RODOLFO O. MACACHOR v. ROLINDO D. BELDIA JR.

  • G.R. No. 138541 June 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE LARRY COLONIA

  • G.R. No. 148327 June 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO P. DESALISA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1679 June 16, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. BEL EDUARDO F. NITAFAN, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. SCC-03-08 June 16, 2003 - ERMELYN A. LIMBONA v. CASAN ALI LIMBONA

  • G.R. No. 95901 June 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO B. SIBONGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138692 June 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR AREO

  • G.R. Nos. 141280-81 June 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICKY L. SODSOD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144589 June 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUANITO PACUANCUAN

  • G.R. No. 149683 June 16, 2003 - ILOILO TRADERS FINANCE INC. v. HEIRS OF OSCAR SORIANO JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149750 June 16, 2003 - AURORA ALCANTARA-DAUS v. SPS. HERMOSO & SOCORRO DE LEON

  • A.M. No. MTJ-96-1106 June 17, 2003 - CELESTINA B. CORPUZ v. ORLANDO ANA F. SIAPNO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1710 June 17, 2003 - EVANGELINA C. SAMSON v. JULES A. MEDIA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1784 June 17, 2003 - MANUEL M. ROSALES v. ROMULO S.G. VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 123146 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALONA BULI-E, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128225 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE A. NARRA

  • G.R. No. 137042 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE MUSA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144225 June 17, 2003 - SPS. GODOFREDO and CARMEN ALFREDO v. SPS. ARMANDO and ADELIA BORRAS

  • G.R. No. 145993 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUFINO I. MALLARI

  • G.R. No. 148668 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TONY L. PEDRONAN

  • G.R. No. 151440 June 17, 2003 - HEIRS OF SIMPLICIO SANTIAGO v. HEIRS OF MARIANO E. SANTIAGO

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1493 June 18, 2003 - RENE BOY GOMEZ v. MANUEL D. PATALINGHUG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123161 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LIBERATO SOLAMILLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125305 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERNABE MONTEMAYOR

  • G.R. Nos. 127756-58 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN P. MEDINA SR.

  • G.R. Nos. 131926 & 138991 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MICHAEL U. PAGALASAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134981 June 18, 2003 - FREDELITO P. VITTO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135857 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ADRIANO ARCA

  • G.R. Nos. 140439-40 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIX HERMOSA

  • G.R. No. 144975 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AMADOR SAPIGAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149147 June 18, 2003 - FELIX BAROT v. COMELEC CITY BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF TANJAY CITY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150327 June 18, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. MARILYN A. PERALTA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 01-6-314-RTC June 19, 2003 - RE: REQUEST OF JUDGE ROBERTO S. JAVELLANA, RTC-BR. 59, SAN CARLOS CITY

  • A.M. No. MTJ-92-710 June 19, 2003 - PEDRITA M. HARAYO v. JUDGE MAMERTO Y. COLIFLORES

  • G.R. No. 154411 June 19, 2003 - NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY v. HEIRS OF ISIDRO GUIVELONDO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1701 June 20, 2003 - BALTAZAR LL. FIRMALO v. MELINDA C. QUIERREZ

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1594 June 20, 2003 - PASTOR SALUD v. FLORENTINO M. ALUMBRES

  • G.R. No. 122766 June 20, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE ESPONILLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127275 June 20, 2003 - PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130759 June 20, 2003 - ASIATRUST DEVELOPMENT BANK v. CONCEPTS TRADING CORP.

  • G.R. No. 139332 June 20, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. NOLI A. NOVIO

  • G.R. No. 140698 June 20, 2003 - ROGELIO ENGADA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142503 June 20, 2003 - ROMUALDO C. PEREZ v. APOLONIO CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 142820 June 20, 2003 - WOLFGANG O. ROEHR v. MARIA CARMEN D. RODRIGUEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143604 June 20, 2003 - PRISCO LANZADERAS, ET AL. v. AMETHYST SECURITY AND GENERAL SERVICES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146595 June 20, 2003 - CARLO A. TAN v. KAAKBAY FINANCE CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152436 June 20, 2003 - NPC v. SPS. IGMEDIO CHIONG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152766 June 20, 2003 - LILIA SANCHEZ v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 140872 June 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PABLITO T. INGGO

  • G.R. Nos. 142683-84 June 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SERGIO JOROLAN

  • G.R. Nos. 143760-63 June 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO B. MANLUCTAO

  • G.R. No. 144018 June 23, 2003 - FAR EAST BANK AND TRUST CO. v. TOMAS TOH, SR., ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 3849 June 25, 2003 - FELICIDAD VDA. DE BERNARDO v. JOSE R. RESTAURO

  • G.R. Nos. 105416-17, 111863 & 143715 June 25, 2003 - PHILIPP BROTHERS OCEANIC, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122109 June 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS TORIO

  • G.R. No. 123896 June 25, 2003 - ROSALINDA SERRANO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126113 June 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO B. GUIHAMA

  • G.R. No. 135323 June 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDELMA LAGATA

  • G.R. No. 136773 June 25, 2003 - MILAGROS MANONGSONG v. FELOMENA JUMAQUIO ESTIMO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146018 June 25, 2003 - EDGAR COKALIONG SHIPPING LINES v. UCPB GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY

  • G.R. Nos. 147589 & 147613 June 25, 2003 - ANG BAGONG BAYANI-OFW LABOR PARTY v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1472 June 26, 2003 - ADRIANO V. ALBIOR v. DONATO A. AUGUIS

  • A.M. No. P-02-1544 June 26, 2003 - ERNESTO LUMANTA v. WILFREDO M. TUPAS

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1670 June 26, 2003 - SPS. CAROLINA AND VILLAMOR GRAGERA v. PABLO B. FRANCISCO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1736 June 26, 2003 - SPS. ARTURO and JOSEFINA DE GUZMAN v. FERNANDO VIL PAMINTUAN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1519 June 26, 2003 - GREGORIO LIMPOT LUMAPAS v. CAMILO E. TAMIN

  • G.R. No. 137296 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONISIO Q. VICENTE

  • G.R. No. 140967 June 26, 2003 - EMERITA ACOSTA v. EMILIO ENRIQUEZ

  • G.R. No. 141863 June 26, 2003 - BASILIO RIVERA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144090 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MICHAEL S. MAGUING

  • G.R. No. 145305 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REDANTE C. SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 145731 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO GERAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148730 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE D. DELA CRUZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 154705 June 26, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA, ET AL. v. JAMES VINZON

  • G.R. No. 121828 June 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENE GAYOT PILOLA

  • G.R. Nos. 124830-31 June 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GERARDO P. EVINA

  • G.R. No. 138993 June 27, 2003 - PHILIPPINE VETERANS BANK v. SANTIAGO G. ESTRELLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 139217–24 June 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NELSON ESPERANZA

  • G.R. No. 143643 June 27, 2003 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. SPS. JOSE & MA. CLARA CAMPOS

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 140698   June 20, 2003 - ROGELIO ENGADA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 140698. June 20, 2003.]

    ROGELIO ENGADA, Petitioner, v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, Former Fourteenth Division, Manila, and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    QUISUMBING, J.:


    This petition for review seeks the reversal of the decision 1 dated May 31, 1999 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 18358, which affirmed with modification the judgment 2 dated August 25, 1994, of the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City, Branch 29, in Criminal Case No. 36223. The RTC found petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of simple imprudence resulting in physical injuries and damage to property, and sentenced him to (a) suffer imprisonment for one month and one day of arresto mayor; (b) pay private complainant, Mrs. Sheila Seyan, the amount of fifty one thousand pesos (P51,000) for the total destruction of the Toyota Tamaraw jeepney, and one hundred ten thousand pesos (P110,000) for her hospital and medical expenses, and (c) pay the costs of suit. The CA increased the prison term imposed on petitioner to four months of arresto mayor.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The facts culled from the records are as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    On November 29, 1989, at about 1:30 in the afternoon, Edwin Iran was driving a blue Toyota Tamaraw jeepney bound for Iloilo City. On board was Sheila Seyan, the registered owner of the Tamaraw. While traversing the road along Barangay Acquit, Barotac Nuevo, the Tamaraw passengers allegedly saw from the opposite direction a speeding Isuzu pick-up, driven by petitioner Rogelio Engada. The pick-up had just negotiated a hilly gradient on the highway. When it was just a few meters away from the Tamaraw, the Isuzu pick-up’s right signal light flashed, at the same time, it swerved to its left, encroaching upon the lane of the Tamaraw and headed towards a head-on collision course with it. Seyan shouted at Iran to avoid the pick-up. Iran swerved to his left but the pick-up also swerved to its right. Thus, the pick-up collided with the Tamaraw, hitting the latter at its right front passenger side. The impact caused the head and chassis of the Tamaraw to separate from its body. Seyan was thrown out of the Tamaraw and landed on a ricefield. The pick-up stopped diagonally astride the center of the road.

    Seyan and Iran were brought to Barotac Nuevo Medicare Hospital. 3 Seyan was profusely bleeding from her nose and was in a state of shock with her eyes closed. In the afternoon of the same day, November 29, 1989, she was transferred to St. Paul’s Hospital in Iloilo City where she was confined. Her medical certificate revealed that she suffered a fracture on the right femur, lacerated wound on the right foot, multiple contusions, abrasions, blunt abdominal injury, and lacerations of the upper-lower pole of the right kidney. 4 She was discharged from the hospital only on January 15, 1990.

    Seyan incurred P130,000 in medical expenses. The Toyota Tamaraw jeepney ended up in the junk heap. Its total loss was computed at P80,000.

    A criminal complaint for damage to property through reckless imprudence with serious physical injuries was filed with the Municipal Trial Court of Barotac Nuevo against petitioner Rogelio Engada and Edwin Iran. 5 Probable cause was found against petitioner, while the complaint against Iran was dismissed. 6

    Consequently, an Information was filed against petitioner charging him with serious physical injuries and damage to property through reckless imprudence, thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That on or about November 29, 1989, in the Municipality of Barotac Nuevo, Province of Iloilo, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused Rogelio Engada driving an Isuzu Pick-up with Plate No. SAR 117 owned by the Land Bank of the Philippines, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and with reckless imprudence drive said pick-up in a careless, reckless and imprudent manner with disregard of traffic laws and regulations, and as a result of such negligent and reckless driving the ISUZU Pick-up driven by the accused bumped a Toyota Tamaraw jeep with Plate No. FBF 601 owned by Joelito and Sheila Seyan and driven by Edwin Iran thereby causing damage to the Toyota Tamaraw in the amount of P80,000.00 and serious physical injuries to Mrs. Sheila Seyan who was riding said vehicle, the injuries barring complications will heal in more than 30 days.

    CONTRARY TO LAW. 7

    After trial, the court rendered on August 25, 1994 a decision, disposing as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, the Court, finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Simple Imprudence resulting [in] physical injuries and damage to property defined and penalized in Article 263, paragraph 4 and in relation with Article 365, paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code, hereby sentences the accused Rogelio Engada to suffer imprisonment of ONE (1) MONTH and ONE (1) DAY of arresto mayor.

    Accused is further ordered to pay complainant Mrs. Sheila Seyan the amount of P51,000.00 for the total destruction of the Toyota Tamaraw Jeepney and P110,000.00 for indemnification of hospital and medical expenses, and to pay the cost of the suit.

    SO ORDERED. 8

    Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals. On May 31, 1999, the CA dismissed the appeal and affirmed with modification the trial court’s decision, thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, the instant appeal is hereby DISMISSED. Accordingly, the appealed decision is hereby AFFIRMED with modification as to the penalty imposed upon the accused who is hereby sentenced to suffer imprisonment of FOUR (4) MONTHS of arresto mayor.

    SO ORDERED. 9

    Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, but it was denied. Hence, the instant petition, wherein petitioner raises the issue of:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHETHER OR NOT THE FINDINGS OF RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ARE SUPPORTED BY THE EVIDENCE OR BASED ON A MISAPPREHENSION OF FACTS RESULTING IN A MANIFESTLY MISTAKEN INFERENCE SPECIFICALLY ON WHAT WAS THE PROXIMATE CAUSE OF THE ACCIDENT AND WHOSE ACT WAS IT. 10

    Petitioner claims innocence and seeks acquittal. He contends that in this case we should relax the rule that only legal questions can be raised in a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. According to him, the Court of Appeals misapprehended the facts, and erred in its conclusion as to the proximate cause of the collision. He insists that the Court of Appeals erred when it found him negligent for occupying the lane of the Tamaraw jeepney, and then failing to return to his original lane at the safest and earliest opportunity.

    Petitioner further contends that the CA failed to consider that he already relayed his intention to go back to his lane by flashing the pick-up’s right signal light. He submits that at that moment Iran, the driver of the Tamaraw, had no more reason to swerve to his left. Had Iran not swerved to the left, according to petitioner, the collision would have been avoided. It was Iran who was clearly negligent, says petitioner. Citing our ruling in McKee v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 11 petitioner avers that although his act of occupying the Tamaraw’s lane was the initial act in the chain of events, Iran’s swerving to the left after petitioner flashed his right turn signal, constituted a sufficient intervening event, which proximately caused the eventual injuries and damages to private complainant.

    Petitioner also claims that the Court of Appeals erred when it found that the pick-up approached the Tamaraw at a fast speed. He maintains that this was not borne by the evidence on record.

    The Office of the Solicitor General, as counsel for the state, counters that the Court of Appeals did not err in convicting the accused, now petitioner herein. Petitioner’s negligence was the proximate cause of the accident, according to the OSG, for the following reasons: First, petitioner for no justifiable reason occupied the opposite lane. Second, while on the wrong lane, petitioner was driving the ISUZU pick-up fast, and he returned to his own lane only at the last minute. This left Iran, the driver of the Tamaraw, with no opportunity to reflect on the safest way to avoid the accident. Iran’s swerving to the left was his reaction to petitioner’s wrongful act, which appropriately calls for the application of the emergency rule. The rationale of this rule is that a person who is confronted with a sudden emergency might have no time for thought, and he must make a prompt decision based largely upon impulse or instinct. Thus, he cannot be held to the same standard of conduct as one who had an opportunity to reflect, even though it later appears that he made the wrong decision. Clearly, under the emergency rule petitioner cannot shift the blame to Iran, concludes the OSG.

    As to petitioner’s claim that there was no evidence showing that the pick-up was running very fast, the OSG avers that this is rebutted by the testimony of Seyan and Iran who both testified that petitioner drove the pick-up at a fast speed when it encroached on their lane immediately before the collision.

    Did the Court of Appeals err in finding that the action of petitioner, Rogelio Engada, was the proximate cause of the collision? This is the crux of the present petition.

    In our view, petitioner’s attempt to pin the blame on Edwin Iran, the driver of the Tamaraw, for the vehicular collision is unfounded. Iran swerved to the left only to avoid petitioner’s pick-up, which was already on a head to head position going against Iran’s Tamaraw jeepney immediately before the vehicles collided. This fact has been established by the evidence on record. No convincing proof was adduced by petitioner that the driver of the Tamaraw, Iran, could have avoided a head-on collision.

    We note that petitioner admitted his Isuzu pick-up intruded into the lane of the Tamaraw jeepney. Prosecution witness Nelson Alobin, one of those who went to the scene of the incident immediately, testified that when he arrived at the place where the collision took place, he saw the pick-up positioned diagonally at the center of the road. 12 Its head was towards the direction of Barotac Nuevo and the rear tires were just a few inches beyond the center of the lane. 13 Moving backwards facing Barotac Nuevo, at two arms length away from the pick-up, Alobin also saw a tire mark, 12 inches long and located at the left side of the center line going to the right side. 14

    The above circumstance corroborates the testimony of both Seyan and Iran that, immediately before the collision, the pick-up was not on its proper lane but on the other lane (the left lane rather than the right) directly on collision course with the Tamaraw jeepney. The tire mark reveals the short distance between the two vehicles when the ISUZU pick-up attempted to return to its proper lane.

    It is a settled rule that a driver abandoning his proper lane for the purpose of overtaking another vehicle in an ordinary situation has the duty to see to it that the road is clear and he should not proceed if he cannot do so in safety. 15 This rule is consistent with Section 41, paragraph (a) of R.A. 4136 as amended, otherwise known as The Land Transportation and Traffic Code, which provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Sec. 41. Restrictions on overtaking and passing. — (a) The driver of a vehicle shall not drive to the left side of the center line of a highway in overtaking or passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking or passing to be made in safety.

    In the present case, there was only a distance of 30 meters from the Tamaraw jeepney when the Isuzu pick-up abandoned its lane and swerved to the left of the center line. 16 In addition, petitioner was running at a fast clip while traversing this lane. This was testified to by Seyan and Iran, unrebutted by petitioner. The resulting damage to the Tamaraw jeepney, at the point where the head and chassis were separated from the body, bolsters this conclusion that petitioner was speeding. In our view, petitioner was negligent in several ways, and his negligence was the proximate cause of the collision. In abandoning his lane, he did not see to it first that the opposite lane was free of oncoming traffic and was available for a safe passage. Further, after seeing the Tamaraw jeepney ahead, petitioner did not slow down, contrary to the rule set in Batangas Laguna Tayabas Bus Co. v. IAC, 17 thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    . . . [O]r if, after attempting to pass, the driver of the overtaking vehicle finds that he cannot make the passage in safety, the latter must slacken his speed so as to avoid the danger of a collision, even bringing his car to a stop if necessary.

    For failing to observe the duty of diligence and care imposed on drivers of vehicles abandoning their lane, petitioner must be held liable.

    Iran could not be faulted when in his attempt to avoid the pick-up, he swerved to his left. Petitioner’s acts had put Iran in an emergency situation which forced him to act quickly. An individual who suddenly finds himself in a situation of danger and is required to act without much time to consider the best means that may be adopted to avoid the impending danger, is not guilty of negligence if he fails to undertake what subsequently and upon reflection may appear to be a better solution, unless the emergency was brought by his own negligence. 18

    Petitioner tries to extricate himself from liability by invoking the doctrine of last clear chance. He avers that between him and Iran, the latter had the last clear chance to avoid the collision, hence Iran must be held liable.

    The doctrine of last clear chance states that a person who has the last clear chance or opportunity of avoiding an accident, notwithstanding the negligent acts of his opponent, is considered in law solely responsible for the consequences of the accident. 19 But as already stated on this point, no convincing evidence was adduced by petitioner to support his invocation of the abovecited doctrine. Instead, what has been shown is the presence of an emergency and the proper application of the emergency rule. Petitioner’s act of swerving to the Tamaraw’s lane at a distance of 30 meters from it and driving the Isuzu pick-up at a fast speed as it approached the Tamaraw, denied Iran time and opportunity to ponder the situation at all. There was no clear chance to speak of. Accordingly, the Court of Appeals did not err in holding petitioner responsible for the vehicular collision and the resulting damages, including the injuries suffered by Mrs. Sheila Seyan and the total loss of the Tamaraw jeepney. It also did not err in imposing on petitioner the sentence of four (4) months of arresto mayor. 20

    WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The assailed decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 18358 is AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Bellosillo and Callejo, Sr., JJ., concur.

    Austria-Martinez, J., on official leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 26–34.

    2. Records, pp. 374–381.

    3. TSN, 6 September 1991, p. 9. However in the testimony of Seyan dated 7 October 1991, p. 6, it was Barotac Rural Health Center.

    4. Records, p. 16.

    5. Id. at 6.

    6. Id. at 31.

    7. Id. at 1.

    8. Id. at 381.

    9. Rollo, p. 33.

    10. Id. at 18.

    11. G.R. No. 68102, 16 July 1992, 211 SCRA 517.

    12. TSN, 13 September 1991, pp. 6–7.

    13. Id. at 15.

    14. Id. at 7.

    15. Mallari, Sr. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 128607, 31 January 2000, 324 SCRA 147, 153.

    16. TSN, 6 September 1991, pp. 5 & 12.

    17. G.R. Nos. L-74387-90, 14 November 1988, 167 SCRA 379, 384.

    18. Valenzuela v. Court of Appeals, 323 Phil. 374, 389 (1996).

    19. Bustamante v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 89880, 6 February 1991, 193 SCRA 603, 611.

    20. ART. 365. Imprudence and negligence. — Any person who, by reckless imprudence, shall commit any act which, had it been intentional, would constitute a grave felony, shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its medium period; if it would have constituted a less grave felony, the penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum and medium periods shall be imposed; if it would have constituted a light-felony, the penalty of arresto menor in its maximum period shall be imposed.

    Any person who, by simple imprudence or negligence, shall commit an act which would otherwise constitute a grave felony, shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor in its medium and maximum periods, if it would have constituted a less serious felony, the penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed.

    x       x       x

    G.R. No. 140698   June 20, 2003 - ROGELIO ENGADA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.


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