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PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
November-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 122103 November 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILFREDO PABILLO

  • G.R. Nos. 138662-63 November 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO A. MADERA

  • G.R. No. 148126 November 10, 2003 - GEORGE T. VILLENA v. SPS. ANTONIO & NOEMI CHAVEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 160261, 160262, 160263, 160277, 160292, 160295, 160310, 160318, 160342, 160343, 160360, 160365, 160370, 160376, 160392, 160397, 160403 & 160405 November 10, 2003 - ERNESTO B. FRANCISCO, JR., ET AL. v. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 6139 November 11, 2003 - DOMINADOR L. CABANILLA v. ANA LUZ B. CRISTAL-TENORIO

  • A.M. No. P-01-1521 November 11, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. GREGORIO M. MALLARE, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1748 November 11, 2003 - JULIE C. PITNEY v. ZEUS C. ABROGAR

  • G.R. No. 126624 November 11, 2003 - OSCAR SANTOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 133250 November 11, 2003 - FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ v. PUBLIC ESTATES AUTHORITY, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 133547 & 133843 November 11, 2003 - HEIRS OF ANTONIO PAEL, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136397 November 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO DAGAMI

  • G.R. No. 138612 November 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PERCIVAL GONZA

  • G.R. Nos. 140388-91 November 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO ALVAREZ

  • G.R. No. 144050 November 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NELSON ANCHETA PUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144134 November 11, 2003 - MARIVELES SHIPYARD CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 145431 November 11, 2003 - ROMEO PALOMA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147800 November 11, 2003 - UNITED COCONUT PLANTERS BANK v. TEOFILO C. RAMOS

  • G.R. Nos. 155560-62 November 11, 2003 - ALEEM AMERODDIN SARANGANI v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1513 November 12, 2003 - SPS. JAIME and PURIFICACION MORTA v. ANTONIO C. BAGAGÑAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119800 November 12, 2003 - FILIPINAS TEXTILE MILLS, ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121177 November 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CHARLIE ALMOGUERRA, ET AL

  • G.R. Nos. 121731-33 November 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DARWIN DAVID

  • G.R. No. 138256 November 12, 2003 - CRESENCIANO DUREMDES v. AGUSTIN DUREMDES

  • G.R. Nos. 141724-27 November 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARNULFO ORANDE

  • G.R. No. 146094 November 12, 2003 - PHIL. TRANSMARINE CARRIERS v. FELIPE D. CORTINA

  • G.R. No. 148407 November 12, 2003 - MA. LUISA OLARTE v. LEOCADIA NAYONA

  • G.R. No. 150633 November 12, 2003 - HEIRS OF DEMETRIO MELCHOR v. JULIO MELCHOR

  • A.M. No. P-03-1733 November 18, 2003 - ONOFRE M. MARANAN v. NECITAS A. ESPINELI

  • G.R. No. 127624 November 18, 2003 - BPI LEASING CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

  • G.R. Nos. 137147-48 November 18, 2003 - BANK OF THE PHIL. ISLANDS v. CARLOS LEOBRERA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140513 November 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BIENVENIDO DE LA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 141766 November 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER OSPIG

  • G.R. No. 142532 November 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY M. QUIZON

  • G.R. No. 144412 November 18, 2003 - ALLIED BANKING CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148401 November 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REGINALD M. GUILLERMO

  • G.R. Nos. 148743-45 November 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. FELIX MONTES

  • G.R. No. 148810 November 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. HEVER PAULINO

  • G.R. No. 152154 November 18, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 156063 November 18, 2003 - MELECIO ALCALA, ET AL v. JOVENCIO VILLAR

  • O.C. A.M. No. 00-02 November 19, 2003 - ALBERTO V. GARONG v. ALFREDO L. BENIPAYO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1519 November 19, 2003 - NELSONIDA T. ULAT-MARRERO v. ANTONIO B. TORIO, JR.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1812 November 19, 2003 - PABLITO R. SORIA, ET AL. v. FRANKLYN A. VILLEGAS

  • G.R. No. 125784 November 19, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DINDO VALLEJO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128109 November 19, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VENO ESPERAS

  • G.R. No. 144483 November 19, 2003 - STA. CATALINA COLLEGE, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152688 November 19, 2003 - PHIL. INTERNATIONAL TRADING CORP. v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • A.M. No. 2003-5-SC November 20, 2003 - VALENTINO V. RUGA v. EDWIN S. LIGOT

  • G.R. No. 126376 November 20, 2003 - SPS. BERNARDO BUENAVENTURA and CONSOLACION JOAQUIN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135441 November 20, 2003 - ROBERTO P. TOLENTINO v. DOLORES NATANAUAN, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 141316 November 20, 2003 - CLARA REYES PASTOR, ET AL v. PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK, ET AL

  • G.R. Nos. 147589 & 147689 November 20, 2003 - ANG BAGONG BAYANI v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 157216 November 20, 2003 - 246 CORP. v. REYNALDO B. DAWAY, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1422 November 21, 2003 - NEGROS GRACE PHARMACY v. ALFREDO P. HILARIO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1813 November 21, 2003 - ANTONIO D. SELUDO v. ANTONIO J. FINEZA

  • G.R. Nos. 135779-81 November 21, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LUCIANO DE GUZMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 150983-84 November 21, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO TALAVERA

  • A.M. No. P-99-1343 November 24, 2003 - ORLANDO T. MENDOZA v. ROSBERT M. TUQUERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 135844-45 November 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. DOMINADOR ILUIS

  • G.R. No. 139255 November 24, 2003 - RAYMOND MICHAEL JACKSON v. FLORITO S. MACALINO, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 139609 November 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EXEQUIEL MAHINAY

  • G.R. No. 147259 November 24, 2003 - RICARDO ALCANTARA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148191 November 25, 2003 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. SOLIDBANK CORP.

  • G.R. Nos. 159486-88 November 25, 2003 - JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1610 November 27, 2003 - RAPHAEL B. YRASTORZA, SR. v. MICHAEL A. LATIZA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1741 November 27, 2003 - NORBERTO LOZADA, ET AL. v. LUIS J. ARRANZ

  • G.R. No. 123298 November 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FRANCISCO L. CALPITO

  • G.R. No. 134460 November 27, 2003 - AQUILINA ESTRELLA, ET AL. v. NILA ESPIRIDION

  • G.R. Nos. 136592-93 November 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANOLITO PANCHO

  • G.R. No. 137366 November 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO MOLE

  • G.R. No. 141186 November 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAUL S. PULANCO

  • G.R. No. 149808 November 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN LOPEZ

  • G.R. No. 151858 November 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSELITO T. PASCUA

  • G.R. No. 151942 November 27, 2003 - SPS. GREGORIO GO and JUANA TAN GO v. JOHNSON Y. TONG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 156567 November 27, 2003 - JOSE RIMANO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 137598 November 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JAYSON BERDIN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140227 November 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERWIN T. OTAYDE, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 143435-36 November 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEX L. FLORES

  • G.R. No. 148305 November 28, 2003 - SPS. ROGELIO & CONCHITA JALIQUE v. SPS. EPIFANIO & JULIETA DANDAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152080 November 28, 2003 - LORETTA P. DELA LLANA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 155087 November 28, 2003 - EDUARDO T. SAYA-ANG, SR., ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 157249 November 28, 2003 - HOMER T. SAQUILAYAN v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. Nos. 137147-48   November 18, 2003 - BANK OF THE PHIL. ISLANDS v. CARLOS LEOBRERA, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SPECIAL FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 137147. November 18, 2003.]

    BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, Petitioner, v. CARLOS LEOBRERA and COURT OF APPEALS, Respondents.

    [G.R. No. 137148. November 18, 2003.]

    BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, Petitioner, v. CARLOS LEOBRERA and COURT OF APPEALS, Respondents.

    R E S O L U T I O N


    YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:


    This resolves the respective motions for reconsideration of the parties in the above-captioned consolidated cases.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    G.R. No. 137147 —

    In G.R. No. 137147, we rendered a Decision on January 29, 2002, the dispositive portion of which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    In view whereof, the Court denies the petition and affirms the decisions of the Court of Appeals (in CA-G.R. CV No. 40988) and the trial court, with the modification that the award of actual damages is reduced to P200,000.00, and P50,000.00 as attorney’s fees.

    SO ORDERED. 1

    Both petitioner Bank of the Philippine Islands and respondent Carlos Leobrera filed motions for reconsideration of the aforesaid Decision. In its Motion for Partial Reconsideration/Clarification, petitioner bank raises the following grounds:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I. THE LOWER COURTS’ EXORBITANT AWARD OF ONE MILLION PESOS (P1,000,000.00) MORAL DAMAGES, WHICH WAS NOT CONSIDERED IN THE DECISION OF THIS HONORABLE COURT, SHOULD LIKEWISE BE DELETED IN LINE WITH THE RULING IN G.R. NO. 137148 INVOLVING THE SAME PARTIES.

    II. THE LOWER COURTS’ ORDER TO RECONVEY THE FORECLOSED PROPERTIES TO RESPONDENT LEOBRERA SHOULD BE CLARIFIED THAT THEY ARE STILL SUBJECT TO THE REAL ESTATE MORTGAGE EXECUTED BY RESPONDENT LEOBRERA. 2

    On the other hand, respondent Leobrera relies on the following arguments in his Motion for Reconsideration:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. THE HONORABLE COURT ERRED IN REDUCING THE AWARD OF ACTUAL DAMAGES FROM ONE MILLION PESOS (P1,000,000.00) AS DECIDED BY THE COURT OF APPEALS TO TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P200,000.00); AND

    2. THE HONORABLE COURT ERRED IN REDUCING THE AMOUNT OF ATTORNEY’S FEES FROM ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P100,000.00) AS DECIDED BY THE COURT OF APPEALS TO FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P50,000.00). 3

    Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration is without merit. The factual bases of the awards of moral damages in this case and in G.R. No. 137148 are different. As the Court of Appeals held in this case, moral damages may be awarded because petitioner bank was guilty of gross negligence and bad faith in dealing with Respondent. This was a finding of fact of the trial court and the Court of Appeals which we chose not to disturb.

    Indeed, it is axiomatic that in petitions for review on certiorari, only questions of law may be raised by the parties and passed upon by this Court. Factual findings of the Court of Appeals are binding and conclusive on the parties and upon this Court and will not be reviewed or disturbed on appeal. The rule admits of certain exceptions, such as: (a) when the findings of fact of the appellate court are at variance with those of the trial court; (b) when the Court of Appeals manifestly overlooked certain relevant facts not disputed by the parties which, if properly considered, would justify a different conclusion; and (c) when the judgment itself is based on a misapprehension of facts. 4 As we held in the assailed Decision, petitioner failed to prove that the case at bar falls within the exceptions.

    Anent the second ground, we agree with respondent’s contention that this issue is being raised for the first time. Indeed, the records show that the ruling of the Court of Appeals nullifying the foreclosure of respondent’s real estate mortgage and ordering petitioner to reconvey the mortgaged properties to him was not pleaded as an error in the instant petition for review.

    As a rule, a party who deliberately adopts a certain theory upon which the case is tried and decided by the lower court will not be permitted to change theory on appeal. Points of law, theories, issues and arguments not brought to the attention of the lower court need not be, and ordinarily will not be, considered by a reviewing court, as these cannot be raised for the first time at such late stage. Basic considerations of due process underlie this rule. It would be unfair to the adverse party who would have no opportunity to present further evidence material to the new theory, which it could have done had it been aware of it at the time of the hearing before the trial court. To permit petitioner in this case to change its theory on appeal would thus be unfair to respondent, and offend the basic rules of fair play, justice and due process. 5

    On the other hand, we find merit in respondent’s motion for reconsideration.

    In order that actual damages may be recovered, the amount actually expended must be substantiated with a reasonable degree of certainty, premised upon competent proof and on the best evidence obtainable by the injured party. 6 As we found in the assailed Decision, the award of P1,000,000.00 as actual damages was not fully supported by evidence; and the loss that respondent was able show was the $1,763.50 letter of credit and the remittance of $8,350.94, or a total of $10,114.44.

    In C.F. Sharp & Co. v. Northwest Airlines, Inc., 7 it was held:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The repeal of R.A. 529 by R.A. 8183 has the effect of removing the prohibition on the stipulation of currency other than Philippine currency, such that obligations or transactions may now be paid in the currency agreed upon by the parties. Just like R.A. 529, however, the new law does not provide for the applicable rate of exchange for the conversion of foreign currency-incurred obligations in their peso equivalent. It follows, therefore, that the jurisprudence established in R.A. No. 529 regarding the rate of conversion remains applicable. Thus, in Asia World Recruitment, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Commission (313 SCRA 1, 17 [1999]), the Court, applying R.A. No. 8183, sustained the ruling of the NLRC that obligations in foreign currency may be discharged in Philippine currency based on the prevailing rate at the time of payment. The wisdom on which the jurisprudence interpreting R.A. No. 529 is based equally holds true with R.A. No. 8183. Verily, it is just and fair to preserve the real value of the foreign exchange-incurred obligation to the date of its payment. 8

    Hence, the award of actual damages in the assailed Decision needs to be modified. There being no agreement between the parties that obligations shall be paid in United States currency, the amount of actual damages which petitioner should pay to respondent should be the peso equivalent of $10,114.44 computed at the prevailing exchange rate at the time of payment.

    In the matter of attorney’s fees, it is well-settled that the award of damages, including attorney’s fees, lies upon the discretion of the court in the context of the facts and circumstances of each case. 9 Considering that this case has been litigated for more than fifteen years, we find that the amount of P100,000.00 as award of attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation to respondent is not unreasonable.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    G.R. No. 137148 —

    In G.R. No. 137148, we rendered a Decision on January 30, 2002 disposing of the case thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, the Court AFFIRMS the decision of the Court of Appeals and the trial court with modifications as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. Ordering defendant to pay plaintiff the amount of P98,975.00 as actual damages;

    2. Ordering defendant to pay plaintiff P30,000.00 as attorney’s fees, and costs of suit.

    All awards for moral and exemplary damages are deleted.

    SO ORDERED. 10

    Only respondent Leobrera filed a Motion for Reconsideration, contending that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I. THE HONORABLE COURT ERRED IN REDUCING THE AWARD OF ACTUAL DAMAGES FROM P1,300,000.00 AS DECIDED BY THE COURT OF APPEALS TO P98,975.00.

    II. THE HONORABLE COURT ERRED IN DELETING THE AWARD OF INTEREST ON ACTUAL DAMAGES DUE THE RESPONDENT.

    III. THE HONORABLE COURT ERRED IN REDUCING THE AWARD OF ATTORNEY’S FEES AND COSTS OF SUIT FROM P200,000.00 TO P30,000.00.

    IV. THE HONORABLE COURT COMMITTED SERIOUS ERROR IN DELETING THE AWARD OF MORAL AND EXEMPLARY DAMAGES. 11

    We agree with respondent that there was no basis for reducing the award of actual damages from P1,300,000.00 to P98,975.00. On the contrary, the records substantiate the amount of actual damages awarded by the trial court and the Court of Appeals. The trial court, in its decision, extensively quoted and lent credence to respondent’s testimony as to the damages he suffered. 12 Likewise, the Court of Appeals evaluated anew the said evidence when it resolved the appeal and affirmed the judgment. Indeed, it is settled that when the factual findings of the trial court are confirmed by the Court of Appeals, said facts are final and conclusive on this Court, unless the same are not supported by the evidence on record. 13

    . . . findings of fact of the trial court, when affirmed by the Court of Appeals, are binding upon the Supreme Court. This rule may be disregarded only when the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are contrary to the findings and conclusions of the trial court, or are not supported by the evidence on record. But there is no ground to apply this exception to the instant case. This Court will not assess all over again the evidence adduced by the parties particularly where as in this case the findings of both the trial court and the Court of Appeals completely coincide. 14

    The same is true with regard to the award of moral damages, especially considering that both the Court of Appeals and the trial court found that petitioner bank acted in bad faith. Under Article 2220 of the Civil Code, moral damages may be awarded where the defendant acted fraudulently and in bad faith. However, the amount of P10,000,000.00 awarded by the trial court and the Court of Appeals must be tempered.

    Moral damages are meant to compensate the claimant for any physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation and similar injuries unjustly caused. Although incapable of pecuniary estimation, the amount must somehow be proportional to and in approximation of the suffering inflicted. Moral damages are not punitive in nature and were never intended to enrich the claimant at the expense of the defendant. Trial courts are given discretion in determining the amount, with the limitation that it "should not be palpably and scandalously excessive." 15 Considering the amount of the loss suffered by respondent, the amount of P500,000.00 as moral damages is reasonable.

    Nevertheless, the deletion of the award of exemplary damages is proper. While petitioner bank acted in bad faith, the records do not show that it acted in a wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive, or malevolent manner. 16

    Finally, for the same reason adduced in G.R. No. 137147, the award of attorney’s fees of P30,000.00 must be increased to P100,000.00.

    WHEREFORE, in G.R. No. 137147, the Motion for Partial Reconsideration/Clarification filed by petitioner Bank of the Philippine Islands is DENIED for lack of merit. The Motion for Reconsideration filed by respondent Carlos Leobrera is GRANTED. Therefore, petitioner is ordered to pay respondent moral damages in the amount of P1,000,000.00; attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation in the amount of P100,000.00; and actual damages in the amount of US$10,114.44, payable in its equivalent in Philippine currency computed at the prevailing rate of exchange at the time of payment.

    In G.R. No. 137148, the Motion for Reconsideration filed by respondent Carlos Leobrera is PARTLY GRANTED. Petitioner Bank of the Philippine Islands is ordered to pay respondent actual damages in the amount of P1,300,000.00; moral damages in the amount of P500,000.00; and attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation in the amount of P100,000.00.

    SO ORDERED.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Davide, Jr., C.J., Puno, Sandoval-Gutierrez and Callejo, Sr., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Bank of the Philippine Islands v. Leobrera, Et Al., G.R. No. 137147, 29 January 2002.

    2. Rollo, G.R. No. 137147, p. 247.

    3. Id., p. 252.

    4. Vicente, Et. Al. v. Planters Development Bank, Et Al., G.R. No. 136112, 28 January 2003.

    5. Balitaosan v. Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports, G.R. No. 138238, 2 September 2003; Philippine Ports Authority v. City of Iloilo, G.R. No. 109791, 14 July 2003.

    6. People v. Astudillo, G.R. No. 141518, 29 April 2003.

    7. G.R. No. 133498, 18 April 2002, 381 SCRA 314.

    8. Id., at 319–320.

    9. National Power Corporation v. Court of Appeals, 339 Phil. 605, 633 [1997].

    10. Bank of the Philippine Islands v. Leobrera, Et Al., G.R. No. 137148, 30 January 2002.

    11. Rollo, G.R. No. 137148, pp. 153–165.

    12. CA Rollo, CA-G.R. CV No. 40929, pp. 36–56.

    13. Bernaldez v. Francia, G.R. No. 143929, 28 February 2003.

    14. Mercado v. People, G.R. No. 149375, 26 November 2002.

    15. Samson v. Bank of the Philippine Islands, G.R. No. 150487, 10 July 2003.

    16. Civil Code, Art. 2232.

    G.R. Nos. 137147-48   November 18, 2003 - BANK OF THE PHIL. ISLANDS v. CARLOS LEOBRERA, ET AL.


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