ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™  
Main Index Law Library Philippine Laws, Statutes & Codes Latest Legal Updates Philippine Legal Resources Significant Philippine Legal Resources Worldwide Legal Resources Philippine Supreme Court Decisions United States Jurisprudence
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)
 

 
Chan Robles Virtual Law Library
 
 

 
UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
March-2015 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 7158, March 09, 2015 - YOLANDA A. ANDRES, MINETTE A. MERCADO, AND ELITO P. ANDRES , Complainants, v. ATTY. SALIMATHAR V. NAMBI, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 5816, March 10, 2015 - DR. ELMAR O. PEREZ, Complainant, v. ATTY. TRISTAN A. CATINDIG AND ATTY. KAREN E. BAYDO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 211497, March 18, 2015 - HOCHENG PHILIPPINES CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. ANTONIO M. FARRALES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 190828, March 16, 2015 - ONOFRE V. MONTERO, EDGARDO N. ESTRAÑERO, RENING P. PADRE, GABRIEL A. MADERA, HERMINIO T. TACLA, NELSON C. VILORIA, DEMETRIO Q. PAJARILLO, ALFREDO R. AGANON, REYNALDO AVILA, ALBERT T. RUIZ, NESTOR Y. YAGO, HARTY M. TUPASI, AGUSTIN R. AVILA, JR. OR MARCOS R. AVILA, BONIFACIO B. GAANO, JOSELITO D. CUENTA, JONAS P. ESTILONG, DOMINADOR C. CANARIA, GENARO C. RONDARIS, HERARDO M. DULAY, FRANKLIN A. RAVINA, JR., AND RUBEN C. CABELLO, Petitioners, v. TIMES TRANSPORTATION CO., INC., AND SANTIAGO RONDARIS, MENCORP TRANSPORT SYSTEMS, INC., VIRGINIA R. MENDOZA AND REYNALDO MENDOZA, Respondents.

  • A.C. No. 7593, March 11, 2015 - ALVIN S. FELICIANO, Complainant, v. ATTY. CARMELITA BAUTISTA-LOZADA, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 195661, March 11, 2015 - UNKNOWN OWNER OF THE VESSEL M/V CHINA JOY, SAMSUN SHIPPING LTD., AND INTER-ASIA MARINE TRANSPORT, INC., Petitioners, v. ASIAN TERMINALS, INC., Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 5914, March 11, 2015 - SPOUSES ROGELIO AMATORIO AND AIDA AMATORIO, Complainants, v. ATTY. FRANCISCO DY YAP AND ATTY. WHELMA F. SITON-YAP, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 215630, March 09, 2015 - METROGUARDS SECURITY AGENCY CORPORATION (FORMERLY KNOWN AS BEEGUARDS CORPORATION) AND MS. MILAGROS T. CHAN, Petitioners, v. ALBERTO N. HILONGO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 199113, March 18, 2015 - RENATO M. DAVID, Petitioner, v. EDITHA A. AGBAY AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 205300, March 18, 2015 - FONTERRA BRANDS PHILS., INC., Petitioner, v. LEONARDO1 LARGADO AND TEOTIMO ESTRELLADO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 206019, March 18, 2015 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK, Petitioner, v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 204757, March 17, 2015 - ATTY. JANET D. NACION, Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, MA. GRACIA PULIDO-TAN, JUANITO ESPINO AND HEIDI MENDOZA, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 187836, March 10, 2015 - SOCIAL JUSTICE SOCIETY (SJS) OFFICERS, NAMELY, SAMSON S. ALCANTARA, AND VLADIMIR ALARIQUE T. CABIGAO, Petitioners, v. ALFREDO S. LIM, IN HIS CAPACITY AS MAYOR OF THE CITY OF MANILA, Respondent.; G.R. No. 187916 - JOSE L. ATIENZA, JR., BIENVINIDO M. ABANTE, MA. LOURDES M. ISIP-GARCIA, RAFAEL P. BORROMEO JOCELYN DAWIS-ASUNCION, MINORS MARIAN REGINA B. TARAN, MACAILA RICCI B. TARAN, RICHARD KENNETH B. TARAN, REPRESENTED AND JOINED BY THEIR PARENTS RICHARD AND MARITES TARAN, MINORS CZARINA ALYSANDRA C. RAMOS, CEZARAH ADRIANNA C. RAMOS, AND CRISTEN AIDAN C. RAMOS REPRESENTED AND JOINED BY THEIR MOTHER DONNA C. RAMOS, MINORS JAZMIN SYLLITA T. VILA AND ANTONIO T. CRUZ IV, REPRESENTED AND JOINED BY THEIR MOTHER MAUREEN C. TOLENTINO, Petitioners, v. MAYOR ALFREDO S. LIM, VICE MAYOR FRANCISCO DOMAGOSO, COUNCILORS ARLENE W. KOA, MOISES T. LIM, JESUS FAJARDO LOUISITO N. CHUA, VICTORIANO A. MELENDEZ, JOHN MARVIN C. NIETO, ROLANDO M. VALERIANO, RAYMUNDO R. YUPANGCO, EDWARD VP MACEDA, RODERICK D. VALBUENA, JOSEFINA M. SISCAR, SALVADOR PHILLIP H. LACUNA, LUCIANO M. VELOSO, CARLO V. LOPEZ, ERNESTO F. RIVERA,1 DANILO VICTOR H. LACUNA, JR., ERNESTO G. ISIP, HONEY H. LACUNA-PANGAN, ERNESTO M. DIONISO, JR. AND ERICK IAN O. NIEVA, Respondents.; CHEVRON PHILIPPINES INC., PETRON CORPORATION AND PILIPINAS SHELL PETROLEUM CORPORATION, Intervenors.

  • G.R. No. 187606, March 09, 2015 - NORMA V. JAVATE, Petitioner, v. SPOUSES RENATO J. TIOTUICO AND LERMA C. TIOTUICO, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 207133, March 09, 2015 - SWIRE REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. JAYNE YU, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 207747, March 11, 2015 - SPOUSES CHIN KONG WONG CHOI AND ANA O. CHUA, Petitioners, v. UNITED COCONUT PLANTERS BANK, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 209383, March 11, 2015 - SEACREST MARITIME MANAGEMENT, INC., ROLANDO B. MAGCALE, AND SEALION SHIPPING LIMITED – UNITED KINGDOM, Petitioners, v. MAURICIO G. PICAR, JR., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 183511, March 25, 2015 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. EMETERIA G. LUALHATI, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 10679, March 10, 2015 - PO1 JOSE B. CASPE, Complainant, v. ATTY. AQUILINO A. MEJICA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 203774, March 11, 2015 - CARGILL PHILIPPINES, INC., Petitioner, v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 198024, March 16, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RAFAEL CUNANAN Y DAVID ALIAS “PAENG PUTOL”, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 212054, March 11, 2015 - ST. LUKE’S MEDICAL CENTER, INC., Petitioner, v. MARIA THERESA V. SANCHEZ, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 200983, March 18, 2015 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. HUANG TE FU, A.K.A. ROBERT UY, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 175433, March 11, 2015 - ATTY. JACINTO C. GONZALES, Petitioner, v. MAILA CLEMEN F. SERRANO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 201427, March 18, 2015 - TEOFILO B. ADOLFO, Petitioner, v. FE. T. ADOLFO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 155701, March 11, 2015 - LIM TECK CHUAN, Petitioner, v. SERAFIN UY AND LEOPOLDA CECILIO, LIM SING CHAN @ HENRY LIM, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 176908, March 25, 2015 - PURISIMO M. CABAOBAS, EXUPERIO C. MOLINA, GILBERTO V. OPINION, VICENTE R. LAURON, RAMON M. DE PAZ, JR., ZACARIAS E. CARBO, JULITO G. ABARRACOSO, DOMINGO B. GLORIA, AND FRANCISCO P. CUMPIO, Petitioners, v. PEPSI-COLA PRODUCTS, PHILIPPINES, INC., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 200620, March 18, 2015 - ROBERTO L. ABAD, MANUEL D. ANDAL, BENITO V. ARANETA, PHILIP G. BRODETT, ENRIQUE L. LOCSIN AND ROBERTO V. SAN JOSE, Petitioners, v. PHILIPPINE COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE CORPORATION, REPRESENTED BY VICTOR AFRICA, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 10132, March 24, 2015 - HEIRS OF PEDRO ALILANO REPRESENTED BY DAVID ALILANO, Complainants, v. ATTY. ROBERTO E. EXAMEN, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 209843, March 25, 2015 - TAIWAN KOLIN CORPORATION, LTD., Petitioner, v. KOLIN ELECTRONICS CO., INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 203655, March 18, 2015 - SM LAND, INC., Petitioner, v. BASES CONVERSION AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY AND ARNEL PACIANO D. CASANOVA, ESQ., IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS PRESIDENT AND CEO OF BCDA, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 209227, March 25, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. CHARLIE OROSCO, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 205469, March 25, 2015 - BPI FAMILY SAVINGS BANK, INC., Petitioner, v. ST. MICHAEL MEDICAL CENTER, INC., Respondent.

  • OCA IPI NO. 14-220-CA-J, March 17, 2015 - RE: COMPLAINT DATED JANUARY 28, 2014 OF WENEFREDO PARREÑO, ET AL., AGAINST HON. CELIA C. LIBREA-LEAGOGO, HON. ELIHU A. YBAÑEZ AND HON. AMY C. LAZARO-JAVIER, ASSOCIATE JUSTICES OF THE COURT OF APPEALS, RELATIVE TO CA G.R. SP NO. 108807

  • G.R. No. 206381, March 25, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. DANIEL MATIBAG Y DE VILLA @ “DANI” OR “DANILO,” Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 192284, March 11, 2015 - ALEX TIONCO Y ORTEGA, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 8330, March 16, 2015 - TERESITA B. ENRIQUEZ, Complainant, v. ATTY. TRINA DE VERA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 183212, March 16, 2015 - WALLEM PHILIPPINES SERVICES, INC. AND WALLEM SHIP MANAGEMENT, LTD., Petitioners, v. HEIRS OF THE LATE PETER PADRONES, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 179640, March 18, 2015 - HACIENDA CATAYWA/MANUEL VILLANUEVA, owner, JOEMARIE VILLANUEVA, manager, MANCY AND SONS ENTERPRISES, INC., Petitioners, v. ROSARIO LOREZO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 212496, March 18, 2015 - NESTOR BRACERO, Petitioner, v. RODULFO ARCELO AND THE HEIRS OF VICTORIANO MONISIT, namely: LOURDES MENCHAVEZ, ROGELIO RUELO, AND MARTINIANA APOR, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 196750, March 11, 2015 - MA. ELENA R. DIVINAGRACIA, AS ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF THE LATE SANTIAGO C. DIVINAGRACIA, Petitioner, v. CORONACION PARILLA, CELESTIAL NOBLEZA, CECILIA LELINA, CELEDONIO NOBLEZA, AND MAUDE NOBLEZA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 209370, March 25, 2015 - FORT BONIFACIO DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. VALENTIN L. FONG, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 8826, March 25, 2015 - SHIRLEY OLAYTA-CAMBA, Complainant, v. ATTY. OTILIO SY BONGON, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 203240, March 18, 2015 - NORTHERN ISLANDS, CO., INC., Petitioner, v. SPOUSES DENNIS AND CHERYLIN* GARCIA, DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME AND STYLE “ECOLAMP MULTI RESOURCES,”, Respondents.

  • A.C. No. 8776, March 22, 2015 - ANTONINA S. SOSA, Complainant, v. ATTY. MANUEL V. MENDOZA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 209283, March 11, 2015 - CECILIA RACHEL V. QUISUMBING, Petitioner, v. LORETTA ANN P. ROSALES, MA. VICTORIA V. CARDONA AND NORBERTO DELA CRUZ, IN THEIR CAPACITIES AS CHAIRPERSON AND MEMBERS, RESPECTIVELY, OF THE COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 10672, March 18, 2015 - EDUARDO A. MAGLENTE, Complainant, v. ATTY. DELFIN R. AGCAOILI, JR., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 208908, March 11, 2015 - THE COFFEE BEAN AND TEA LEAF PHILIPPINES, INC. AND WALDEN CHU, Petitioners, v. ROLLY P. ARENAS, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 10695, March 18, 2015 - CRESCENCIANO M. PITOGO, Complainant, v. ATTY. JOSELITO TROY SUELLO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 200759, March 25, 2015 - FAJ CONSTRUCTION & DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. SUSAN M. SAULOG, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 207988, March 11, 2015 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. BRIAN MERCADO Y SARMIENTO, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 185374, March 11, 2015 - SIMPLICIA CERCADO-SIGA AND LIGAYA CERCADO-BELISON, Petitioners, v. VICENTE CERCADO, JR., MANUELA C. ARABIT, LOLITA C. BASCO, MARIA C. ARALAR AND VIOLETA C. BINADAS, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 176033, March 11, 2015 - FELILIBETH AGUINALDO AND BENJAMIN PEREZ, Petitioners, v. REYNALDO P. VENTUS AND JOJO B. JOSON, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 205492, March 11, 2015 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. SPOUSES DANTE AND LOLITA BENIGNO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 202805, March 23, 2015 - ROSARIO BANGUIS-TAMBUYAT, Petitioner, v. WENIFREDA BALCOM-TAMBUYAT, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 202943, March 25, 2015 - THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, REPRESENTED BY SECRETARY ENRIQUE T. ONA, AND THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FORMERLY THE BUREAU OF FOOD AND DRUGS), REPRESENTED BY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF HEALTH NICOLAS B. LUTERO III, OFFICER-IN-CHARGE, Petitioners, v. PHILIP MORRIS PHILIPPINES MANUFACTURING, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 160914, March 25, 2015 - MARCELA M. DELA CRUZ, Petitioner, v. ANTONIO Q. HERMANO AND HIS WIFE REMEDIOS HERMANO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 189296, March 11, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RECTO ANGNGAO Y MAKAY AND ROBERT CARLIN Y PECDASEN, ACCUSED, RECTO ANGNGAO Y MAKAY, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 202989, March 25, 2015 - COMGLASCO CORPORATION/AGUILA GLASS, Petitioner, v. SANTOS CAR CHECK CENTER CORPORATION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 167052, March 11, 2015 - BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS SECURITIES CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. EDGARDO V. GUEVARA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 183531, March 25, 2015 - EASTERN TELECOMMUNICATIONS PHILIPPINES, INC., Petitioner, v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 184301, March 23, 2015 - GE MONEY BANK, INC. (FORMERLY KEPPEL BANK PHILIPPINES, INC.), Petitioner, v. SPOUSES VICTORINO M. DIZON AND ROSALINA L. DIZON, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 198753, March 25, 2015 - JOSE “PEPE” SANICO, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND JENNIFER SON-TENIO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 202970, March 25, 2015 - NATANYA JOANA D. ARGEL, Petitioner, v. GOV. LUIS C. SINGSON, IN HIS CAPACITY AS THE GOVERNOR OF THE PROVINCE OF ILOCOS SUR, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 197556, March 25, 2015 - WATERFRONT CEBU CITY CASINO HOTEL, INC. AND MARCO PROTACIO, Petitioners, v. ILDEBRANDO LEDESMA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 211199, March 25, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff and Appellee, v. RANDY ROLLO Y LAGASCA, Defendant and Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 173241, March 25, 2015 - SILICON PHILIPPINES, INC. (FORMERLY INTEL PHILIPPINES MANUFACTURING, INC.), Petitioner, v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 193809, March 23, 2015 - SATURNINO NOVECIO, GAVINO NOVECIO, ANASTACIO GOLEZ, ABUNDIO SOMBILON, BERTING RODRIGUEZ, MELITON CATALAN, Petitioners, v. HON. RODRIGO F. LIM, JR., AS CHAIRMAN, HON. LEONCIA R. DIMAGIBA AS PONENTE AND AS MEMBER AND HON. ANGELITA A. GACUTAN AS MEMBER, FORMER TWENTY-THIRD DIVISION, COURT OF APPEALS, MINDANAO STATION, HON. JUDGE BENJAMIN ESTRADA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF BRANCH 9, RTC, MALAYBALAY, BUKIDNON, MARIA CARMEN J. TUAZON, REP. BY HER ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, LOPE DUROTAN, Respondents.; VERGELIO ROSALES, LUIS TEQUILIO, GREGORIO PANANGIN, JOSEPH RODRIQUEZ, EDDIE RODRIGUEZ, Petitioners, v. HON. RODRIGO F. LIM, JR., AS CHAIRMAN, HON. LEONCIA R. DIMAGIBA AS PONENTE AND AS MEMBER DESIGNATED AS ACTING CHAIRPERSON, PER SPECIAL ORDER NO. 1955 DATED MARCH 23, 2015. DESIGNATED AS ACTING MEMBER VICE ASSOCIATE JUSTICE ANTONIO T. CARPIO, PER SPECIAL ORDER NO. 1956 DATED MARCH 23, 2015. AND HON. ANGELITA A. GACUTAN AS MEMBER, FORMER TWENTY-THIRD DIVISION, COURT OF APPEALS, MINDANAO STATION, HON. JUDGE BENJAMIN ESTRADA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF BRANCH 9, RTC, MALAYBALAY, BUKIDNON, MANUEL V. NIETO, REP. BY HIS ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, LOPE DUROTAN, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 207422, March 18, 2015 - ANGEL ABAD, Petitioner, v. HERMINIO DELA CRUZ, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 208685, March 09, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RODRIGO CASACOP Y DE CASTRO, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 211159, March 18, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. MARCELINO OLOVERIO, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 175842, March 18, 2015 - NILO MACAYAN, JR. Y MALANA, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 189949, March 25, 2015 - CASTILLEJOS CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION, INC. (CASCONA), Petitioner, v. JOSE S. DOMINGUEZ, ISIAS Q. VIDUA, VICENTE M. BARRETO, JOSE M. SANTIAGO, JOSE NASERIV C. DOLOJAN, JUAN FERNANDEZ, HONORARIO DILAG, JR., FIDEL CORREA, ALICIA MERCADO, LECIRA JUAREZ, ATTY. FULGENCIO VIGARE, JR., ANGELITO U. SACRO, MILDRED ESGUERRA, ANTONIO APALISOK, SALAMAN D. MANGCA, DANILO S. SEGOBRE, EDMUNDO D. ENGAO, P/SUPT. ROLAND FELIX, P/SUPT. JERRY SUMBAD, P/INSP. GERRY HADUCA, P/INSP. ROBIN FUGIRAN, COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (CDA), BARTOLOME GALARITA, JR., WILFRE0O JIMENEZ, HITLER UNTAL, JOEL JOHN PACTORES, ROLLY CADORNA, RUDY ELIPSE, IBRAHIM LAHI, RODOLFO BONIFACIO, JR., ANECITO VIEJO, JR., JONARD IRAN, ANGELITO BALDONAZA, NIKKO DAJAY, ROLANDO ASPA, JESON CABATINGAN, JOBERT UGANG (SECURITY GUARDS), JOHN DOES (MEMBERS OF THE ZAMBALES PROVINCIAL MOBILE GROUP OF THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE), Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 178407, March 18, 2015 - METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, Petitioner, v. S.F. NAGUIAT ENTERPRISES, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 155405, March 18, 2015 - THE HEIRS OF EUGENIO LOPEZ, SR. NAMELY, OSCAR M. LOPEZ, MANUEL M. LOPEZ AND PRESENTACION L. PSINAKIS, Petitioners, v. THE HONORABLE FRANCISCO QUERUBIN, IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF ANTIPOLO, BRANCH 74, THE HEIRS OF ALFONSO SANDOVAL AND HIS WIFE ROSA RUIZ, REPRESENTED BY THEIR ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, MRS. IMELDA RIVERA, Respondents.; G.R. No. 164092 - HEIRS OF EUGENIO LOPEZ, Petitioners, v. ALFONSO SANDOVAL AND ROMAN OZAETA, JR., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 212635, March 25, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. CHARLIE SORIN Y TAGAYLO, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 171127, March 11, 2015 - NOEL CASUMPANG, RUBY SANGA-MIRANDA AND SAN JUAN DE DIOS HOSPITAL, Petitioners, v. NELSON CORTEJO, Respondent.; G.R. No. 171217 - DRA. RUBY SANGA-MIRANDA, Petitioner, v. NELSON CORTEJO, Respondent; G.R. No. 171228 - SAN JUAN DE DIOS HOSPITAL, Petitioner, v. NELSON CORTEJO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 197115, March 23, 2015 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, Petitioner, v. FEDERICO DACLAN, JOSEFINA COLLADO AND HER HUSBAND FEDERICO DACLAN, TEODORO DACLAN AND MINVILUZ DACLAN AS SURVIVING HEIRS OF DECEASED JOSE DACLAN, Respondents.; [G.R. NO. 197267] - FEDERICO DACLAN, JOSEFINA COLLADO, TEODORO DACLAN AND MINVILUZ DACLAN AS SURVIVING HEIRS OF DECEASED JOSE DACLAN, Petitioners, v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE AND PROVINCE OF LA UNION, REPRESENTED BY ITS PROVINCIAL GOVERNOR, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 160728, March 11, 2015 - CLT REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. PHIL-VILLE DEVELOPMENT AND HOUSING CORPORATION, REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES (THROUGH THE OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL), AND THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF METRO MANILA DISTRICT III, CALOOCAN CITY, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 193038, March 11, 2015 - JOSEFINA V. NOBLEZA, Petitioner, v. SHIRLEY B. NUEGA, Respondent.

  • G.R. Nos. 211789-90, March 17, 2015 - DR. REY B. AQUINO, Petitioner, v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 8261, March 11, 2015 - JESSIE T. CAMPUGAN AND ROBERT C. TORRES, Complainants, v. ATTY. FEDERICO S. TOLENTINO, JR., ATTY. RENATO G. CUNANAN, ATTY. DANIEL F. VICTORIO, JR., AND ATTY. ELBERT T. QUILALA, Respondents.; A.C. No. 8725 - JESSIE T. CAMPUGAN AND ROBERT C. TORRES, Complainants, v. ATTY. CONSTANTE P. CALUYA, JR., AND ATTY. ELBERT T. QUILALA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 206267, March 25, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RONNIE BUAT ALIAS DATU SINSUAT, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 182886, March 09, 2015 - SPOUSES SALVADOR P. NORBERTE, JR. AND ELIZABETH S. NORBERTE, Petitioners, v. SPOUSES FELICISIMO G. MEJIA AND ELVIRA C. MEJIA AND/OR THEIR HEIRS, REPRESENTED BY ALEXIS MEJIA-QUERUBIN, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 169407, March 25, 2015 - BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, Petitioner, v. AMADOR DOMINGO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 201248, March 11, 2015 - LETICIA NAGUIT AQUINO, MELVIN NAGUIT, ROMMEL NAGUIT, ELMA NAGUIT TAYAG, YSSEL L. NAGUIT, ROSALINA NAGUIT AUMENTADO, RIZEL NAGUIT CUNANAN, CARIDAD NAGUIT PARAJAS, MILLIE NAGUIT FLORENDO, MARNEL NAGUIT, EDUARDO NAGUIT, JOSE NAGUIT, ZOILO NAGUIT, AND AMELIA NAGUIT DIZON, REPRESENTED BY YSSEL L. NAGUIT, Petitioners, v. CESAR B. QUIAZON, AMANDA QUIAZON, JOSE B. QUIAZON AND REYNALDO B. QUIAZON, REPRESENTED BY JAIME B. QUIAZON, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 193890, March 11, 2015 - ESTANISLAO AND AFRICA SINAMBAN, Petitioners, v. CHINA BANKING CORPORATION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 191945, March 11, 2015 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. SOCORRO T. POSADA, RENATO BUENO, ALICE BALIN, ADRIAN TABLIZO, TEOFILO TABLIZO, AND LYDIA T. OLIVO, SUBSTITUTED BY HER HEIRS, ALFREDO M. OLIVO, ALICIA O. SALAZAR, ANITA O. ORDONO, ANGELITA O. LIM, AND ADELFA O. ESPINAS, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 175493, March 25, 2015 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, v. HEIRS OF GABRIEL Q. FERNANDEZ, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 197546, March 23, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. BAYANI DE LEON, ANTONIO DE LEON, DANILO DE LEON AND YOYONG DE LEON, Accused-Appellants.

  • G.R. No. 195956, March 11, 2015 - ABS-CBN CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. FELIPE GOZON, GILBERTO R. DUAVIT, JR., MARISSA L. FLORES, JESSICA A. SOHO, GRACE DELA PEÑA-REYES, JOHN OLIVER T. MANALASTAS, JOHN DOES AND JANE DOES, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 184355, March 23, 2015 - ARNULFO A.K.A. ARNOLD JACABAN, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 179047, March 11, 2015 - SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, Petitioner, v. SUBIC BAY GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB, INC. AND UNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Respondents.

  •  




     
     

    G.R. No. 195661, March 11, 2015 - UNKNOWN OWNER OF THE VESSEL M/V CHINA JOY, SAMSUN SHIPPING LTD., AND INTER-ASIA MARINE TRANSPORT, INC., Petitioners, v. ASIAN TERMINALS, INC., Respondent.

      G.R. No. 195661, March 11, 2015 - UNKNOWN OWNER OF THE VESSEL M/V CHINA JOY, SAMSUN SHIPPING LTD., AND INTER-ASIA MARINE TRANSPORT, INC., Petitioners, v. ASIAN TERMINALS, INC., Respondent.

    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    G.R. No. 195661, March 11, 2015

    UNKNOWN OWNER OF THE VESSEL M/V CHINA JOY, SAMSUN SHIPPING LTD., AND INTER-ASIA MARINE TRANSPORT, INC., Petitioners, v. ASIAN TERMINALS, INC., Respondent.

    R E S O L U T I O N

    REYES, J.:

    The instant petition for review on certiorari1 assails the Decision2 dated November 10, 2010 and Resolution3 dated February 14, 2011 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CV No. 93164. The CA reversed and set aside the Decision4 dated January 30, 2009 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 51, in Civil Case No. 99-93067, which dismissed for insufficiency of evidence the complaint for damages5 filed by herein respondent Asian Terminals, Inc. (ATI) against Unknown Owner of the Vessel M/V China Joy (shipowner),6 Samsun Shipping Ltd. (Samsun) and Inter-Asia Marine Transport, Inc. (Inter-Asia) (petitioners).

    The CA aptly summed up the facts of the case as follows:
    On 25 January 1997, the cargo ship M/V “China Joy” (the Vessel) arrived at the Mariveles Grain Terminal Wharf, operated by plaintiff [ATI].

    According to the Berth Term Grain Bills of Lading, the Vessel carried soybean meal that had been shipped by ContiQuincyBunge L.L.C[.] (ContiQuincyBunge), an exporter of soybean meal and related products, in favor of several consignees in the Philippines.

    Under the Charter Party Agreement over M/V “China Joy,” ContiQuincyBunge represented itself as the Charterer of the Vessel, with San Miguel Foods, Inc. as Co-Charterer, and defendant [Samsun] represented itself as the Agent of the Shipowners. Samsun is a foreign corporation not doing business in the Philippines.

    On 3 February 1997[,] ATI used its Siwertell Unloader No. 2 to unload the soybean meal from the Vessel’s Hold No. 2. The Siwertell Unloader is a pneumatic vacubator that uses compressed gas to vertically move heavy bulk grain from within the hatch of the ship in order to unload it off the ship.

    The unloading operations were suddenly halted when the head of Unloader No. 2 hit a flat low-carbon or “mild” steel bar measuring around 8 to 10 inches in length, 4 inches in width, and 1 ¼ inch in thickness that was in the middle of the mass of soybean meal. The flat steel bar lodged itself between the vertical screws of Unloader No. 2, causing portions of screw numbers 2 and 3 to crack and be sheared off under the torsional load.

    According to the quotation of BMH Marine AB Sweden, the sole manufacturer of Siwertell unloaders, the replacement cost of each screw is US$12,395.00 or US$24,790.00 for the 2 screws plus freight. The labor cost to remove and re-assemble the screws is estimated at US$2,000.00.

    On 4 February 1997, ATI sent a Note of Protest to the Master of the Vessel for the damages sustained by its unloading equipment as a result of encountering the flat steel bar among the soybean meal. However, the Vessel’s Master wrote a note on the Protest stating that it is not responsible for the damage because the metal piece came from the cargo and not from the vessel itself.

    On 5 March 1997, ATI sent a claim to defendant [Inter-Asia] for the amount of US$37,185.00 plus US$2,000.00 labor cost representing the damages sustained by its unloading equipment.

    Inter-Asia rejected ATI’s claim for the alleged reason that it is not the Shipowner’s Agent. Inter-Asia informed ATI that its principal is Samsun. Moreover, according to Inter-Asia, the owner of the Vessel is Trans-Pacific Shipping Co., c/o Lasco Shipping Company. Inter-Asia, however, offered to relay ATI’s claim to Trans-Pacific through Samsun.

    As previously noted, the Charter Party Agreement states Samsun to be the Agent of the Shipowners, but since Samsun is a foreign corporation not licensed to do business in the Philippines, it transacted its business through Inter-Asia. Hence, Inter-Asia is the Agent of the Agent of the Shipowners.

    When negotiations for settlement failed, ATI filed the instant Complaint for Damages against Samsun, Inter-Asia and the “Unknown Owner of the Vessel M/V ‘China Joy’” on 9 March 1999.

    In the joint Answer, Inter-Asia reiterated that it is not the Agent of the Shipowners. Defendants further averred that the soybean meal was shipped on board the M/V “China Joy” under a Free-In-and-Out-Stowed-and-Trimmed (FIOST) Clause, which supposedly means that the Shipper/Charterer itself (ContiQuincyBunge LLC) loaded the cargo on board the Vessel, and the latter and her complement had no participation therein except to provide the use of the Vessel’s gear. Similarly, under the FIOST clause, the discharge of the cargo was to be done by the consignees’ designated personnel without any participation of the Vessel and her complement.

    Defendants argued that since the metal foreign object was found in the middle of the cargo, it could not have come from the bottom of the hatch because the hatch had been inspected and found clean prior to loading. Defendants further averred that neither could the metal bar have been part of the Vessel that had broken off and fallen into the hatch because tests conducted on the metal piece revealed that said metal bar was not part of the Vessel.

    Defendants concluded that the metal bar could only have been already co-mingled with the soybean meal upon loading by ContiQuincyBunge at loadport, and, therefore, defendants are not liable for the damages sustained by the unloader of ATI.7 (Citations omitted)
    Rulings of the RTC and CA

    On January 30, 2009, the RTC rendered a Decision8 dismissing ATI’s complaint for insufficiency of evidence. The RTC explained that while the damage to ATI’s Siwertell Unloader No. 2 was proven, “[t]he Court is at a quandary as to who caused the piece of metal to [co-mingle] with the shipment.”9chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    ATI thereafter filed an appeal,10 which the CA granted through the herein assailed decision, the dispositive portion of which partially states:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    WHEREFORE, the appeal is GRANTED, x x x. Defendants-appellees are found jointly and severally liable to [ATI] for the amount of US$30,300.00 with interest thereon at 6% per annum from the filing of the Complaint on 9 March 1999 until the judgment becomes final and executory. Thereafter, an interest rate of 12% per annum shall be imposed until the amount is fully and actually paid.

    SO ORDERED.11
    The CA explained its ruling, viz:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    As a rule of evidence, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is peculiar to the law of negligence which recognizes that prima facie negligence may be established without direct proof and furnishes a substitute for specific proof of negligence.

    x x x x

    We find the application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur to be appropriate in the case at bar.

    First. Since the cargo to be unloaded was free-flowing soybean meal in bulk, ATI correctly used a pneumatic vacubator unloader to extract the soybean meal from the holds. Under normal unloading procedures of bulk grain, it is not expected that a metal foreign object would be among the grain to be unloaded. x x x.

    Such an accident does not occur in the ordinary course of things, unless the loading of the soybean meal at loadport was mismanaged in some way that allowed a metal foreign object to be co-mingled with the soybean meal cargo.

    Second. The damage to the vertical screws of ATI’s unloader was caused by the presence of the metal bar among the soybean meal in Hold No. 2 of the ship: an instrumentality within the exclusive control of the shipowner.

    x x x According to defendants, “the vessel and her complement had no participation in the loading and discharge of said bulk cargo except to provide use of the vessel’s gear.”

    Defendants’ argument is neither accurate nor meritorious. In the first place, the terms of the Charter Party in this case was not Free-In-and-Out-Stowed-and-Trimmed [FIOST] but Free-In-and-Spout-Trimmed-and-Free-Out [FISTFO].

    x x x x

    x x x [I]t appears that the FIOST clause in a Charter Party Agreement speaks of who is to bear the cost or expense of loading, spout trimming and unloading the cargo. “Free In and Out” means that the shipowner is free from such expenses. This becomes clearer when the FIOST clause is stipulated as an adjunct to the terms of payment of the freight rate.

    x x x x

    Being a provision for the apportionment of expense (as an exclusion from the rate of freight to be paid), the interpretation of the FIOST clause should not be extended to mean an apportionment of liability, unless specified in clear and unambiguous terms.

    While there are instances where a Charter Party Agreement clearly states that the Charterer will be liable to third parties for damages caused by its cargo (as in the case of spills of petroleum oil cargo, or of damage to third parties caused by toxic cargo), there is no such provision in this case. Therefore, liability or non-liability for such damage cannot be presumed from the FIOST clause alone, and the Charter Party Agreement must be closely scrutinized for the parties’ intention on liability.

    Clause 22 of the Charter Party Agreement states:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    “At loadport, the stevedores[,] although arranged by charterers, shippers, or their agents[, are] to be under the direction and control of the Master. All claims for damage allegedly caused by stevedores [are] to be settled between stevedores and Owners. Charterers shall render assistance to Owners to settle such damage in case of need.”
    x x x Clause 22 clearly states that loading shall be done under the direction and control of the Master. Hence, if the metal bar that damaged ATI’s unloader was inadvertently mixed into the soybean meal during loading, by express provision of the Charter Party Agreement, the cost of the damage should be borne by the shipowner because the loading was done under the supervision and control of the Master of the Vessel.

    Hence, not only did defendants have presumed exclusive control of the Vessel during the loading of the soybean meal by reason of them being the owners or agents of the owners thereof, they also had actual exclusive control thereof by express stipulation in the Charter Party Agreement that the loading of the cargo shall be under the direction and control of the Master of the Vessel.

    This is as it should be, considering that the charter in this case is a contract of affreightment by which the owner of a ship lets the whole or part of her to a merchant or other person for the conveyance of goods, on a particular voyage, in consideration of the payment of freight. The Supreme Court has held that if the charter is a contract of affreightment, the rights and the responsibilities of ownership rest on the owner. The charterer is free from liability to third persons in respect of the ship.

    Third. There is neither allegation nor evidence in the record that ATI’s negligence contributed to the damage of its unloader.

    All 3 requisites of res ipsa loquitur being present, the presumption or inference arises that defendants’ negligence was the proximate cause of the damage to ATI’s unloader. The burden of evidence shifted to defendants to prove otherwise. Th[e] defendants failed to do so.

    x x x x

    Defendants’ testimonial evidence consisted of the sole testimony of the former Operations Manager of Inter-Asia, who x x x on cross-examination, x x x admitted that he was not present at the loading of the cargo and, therefore, did not actually see that the soybean meal was free of any foreign metal object.

    Defendants’ evidence, which heavily relies on (1) their erroneous interpretation of the FIOST clause in the Charter Party Agreement; (2) the Master’s unsupported allegation written on the Note of Protest that the metal bar did not come from the vessel; and (3) their witness’ dubious interpretation that the notation “loaded clean” on the Berth Term[ ]Grain Bills of Lading means that the soybean meal had no foreign material included therein, does not present a satisfactory answer to the question: How did the metal bar get co-mingled with the soybean meal, and what did the Master of the Vessel do to prevent such an occurrence? x x x.

    By their failure to explain the circumstances that attended the accident, when knowledge of such circumstances is accessible only to them, defendants failed to overcome the prima facie presumption that the accident arose from or was caused by their negligence or want of care.

    The res ipsa loquitur doctrine is based in part upon the theory that the defendant in charge of the instrumentality which causes the injury either knows the cause of the accident or has the best opportunity of ascertaining it and that the plaintiff has no such knowledge, and therefore is compelled to allege negligence in general terms and to rely upon the proof of the happening of the accident in order to establish negligence. x x x.

    x x x x

    The prima facie evidence of defendants’ negligence, being unexplained and uncontroverted, is sufficient to maintain the proposition affirmed. Hence, the negligence of the Master of the Vessel is conclusively presumed to be the proximate cause of the damage sustained by ATI’s unloader. Moreover, since the Master’s liability is ultimately that of the shipowner because he is the representative of the shipowner, the shipowner and its agents are solidarily liable to pay ATI the amount of damages actually proved.

    Articles 587 and 590 under Book III of the Code of Commerce provide for the liability of the shipowner and its agents for acts of the Master or Captain, as follows:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Art. 587. The ship agent shall also be civilly liable for the indemnities in favor of third persons which may arise from the conduct of the captain in the care of the goods which he loaded on the vessel; but he may exempt himself therefrom by abandoning the vessel with all her equipment and the freight it may have earned during the voyage.

    Art. 590. The co-owners of the vessel shall be civilly liable in the proportion of their interests in the common fund for the results of the acts of the captain referred to in Art. 587.12 (Citations omitted, italics and emphasis in the original, and underscoring ours)
    Anent the amount of the herein petitioners’ solidary liability, the CA found that only US$30,300.00 of ATI’s claim is supported by evidence. The quotation submitted by the manufacturer of Siwertell unloaders indicated that (a) the replacement cost for the two damaged screws is US$24,790.00, (b) freight cost is US$3,510.00, and (c) labor cost in removing and re-assembling the screws is US$2,000.00.13chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    The CA, however, found no grounds to award attorney’s fees in ATI’s favor lest it be “tantamount to imposing a premium on one’s right to litigate.”14chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    The herein petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration before the CA, which denied the same through the Resolution issued on February 14, 2011.

    Issues

    The instant petition raises the questions of whether or not the CA erred in (a) applying the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, and (b) rejecting the argument that “the petitioners had no participation in the loading and discharge of the bulk cargo except to provide use of the vessel’s gear.”15chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    In support thereof, the petitioners emphasize that the foreign metal object was found in the middle of the cargo. Hence, it is logical to conclude that the metal came in with the cargo and could not have fallen off from some appurtenance of the vessel before or after loading.16 The petitioners likewise claim that because of the Free-In-and-Out Clause under which the cargo was carried, the charterer chose who were to effect the loading, unloading and discharge of the goods, which tasks were performed without the participation of the vessel and its complement.17 Besides, notwithstanding Clause 22 of the Charter Party Agreement, the Master of the Vessel’s control is figurative and pertains merely to the maintenance of the vessel’s seaworthiness, and not to acts of covert negligence which could have been committed without even the charterer’s own knowledge.18 Further, while it is true that in a contract of affreightment, the charterer is free from liability to third persons in respect of the ship, in the instant petition, the offending factor which caused the damage was not the vessel, but the cargo itself, thus, the liability should instead rest upon the cargo owner, who was not even impleaded as a party to the case.19 The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur hence finds application herein but in support of the petitioners’ lack of culpability since they possessed neither the knowledge nor the opportunity of ascertaining the presence of the foreign metal object lodged in the middle of the soybean meal cargo.20chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    In its Comment,21 ATI contends that “the law does not distinguish between ‘covert’ and ‘evident’ negligence in determining whether the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur applies.”22 An unusual event occurred because proper care was not observed. The event took place in Hold No. 2 of M/V China Joy, which was within the shipowner’s exclusive control. There is likewise no evidence of ATI’s negligence, which could have contributed to the damage of its own unloader. Besides, ATI did not witness the loading of the soybean meal cargo into M/V China Joy at the Port of New Orleans, United States of America. Hence, ATI cannot furnish direct evidence on whether or not the hold or hatch containing the cargo was inspected and found clean prior to loading, and sealed thereafter.

    ATI also asserts that the petitioners presented no evidence conclusively proving that the foreign metal object was indeed in the middle and not at the top or bottom of the soybean meal cargo. Moreover, the petitioners’ only witness, Alejandro Gilhang, the former Operations Manager of Inter-Asia, admitted that he was not present during the loading, thus, he could not have seen if the cargo was free of any foreign metal object.23chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    ATI likewise points out that the petitioners have not explicitly quoted in verbatim any provision in the Charter Party Agreement, which the latter invoke to vaguely argue that the loading of the cargo pertains exclusively to the charterer. Therefore, the petitioners have nary a legal basis for their assertion that the shipowner has no liability insofar as the loading operations are concerned. Besides, even if such provision in fact exists, ATI is not privy to the Charter Party Agreement.24chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    Ruling of the Court

    The Court agrees with the CA that the petitioners are liable to ATI for the damage sustained by the latter’s unloader. However, the Court finds the petitioners’ liability to be based on quasi-delict and not on a contract of carriage. The Court likewise deems it proper to modify the rate of interests on the amount of damages imposed by the CA upon the petitioners.

    The Court notes that the shipowner and shipowner’s agent, Samsun, are all juridical entities not registered and not doing business in the Philippines. It was the charterer’s agent, Inter-Asia, a duly-registered domestic corporation, which had filed the instant petition for itself and on behalf of the shipowner and Samsun.25 In the course of the proceedings too, none of the parties had raised issues anent the validity of the service of summons and the courts’ acquisition of jurisdiction over the persons of the petitioners.

    The petitioners present two issues for the Court’s resolution, to wit: (a) the applicability of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur in the case at bar; and (b) who participated and should thus assume liability for the loading of the soybean meal cargo.

    In its Decision dated January 30, 2009, the RTC declared that while ATI indeed sustained damages to its unloader, liability therefor cannot, however, be established with certainty.

    In the assailed decision, the CA, on the other hand, discussed in detail why and how the three requisites to the application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur are found to be attendant in the case at bar. First, the co-mingling of the two foreign metal objects with the soybean meal cargo and the consequent damage to ATI’s unloader is an accident which ordinarily does not occur in the absence of someone’s negligence. Second, the foreign metal objects were found in the vessel’s Hold No. 2, which is within the exclusive control of the petitioners. Third, records do not show that ATI’s negligence had in any way contributed to the damage caused to its unloader.

    The Court agrees with the CA anent ATI’s entitlement to the payment of damages from the petitioners and the applicability of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. However, the Court finds as misplaced the CA’s application of the laws on maritime commerce and contracts of carriage for reasons discussed below.

    There is no contract of carriage between the petitioners and ATI.

    There is no contract of carriage between ATI, on one hand, and the shipowner, Samsun, ContiQuincyBunge L.L.C., and Inter-Asia, on the other. It likewise bears stressing that the subject of the complaint, from which the instant petition arose, is not the damage caused to the cargo, but to the equipment of an arrastre operator. Further, ATI’s contractual relation is not with the petitioners, but with the consignee and with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

    In Delgado Brothers, Inc. v. Home Insurance Company and Court of Appeals,26 the Court discusses the functions of an arrastre operator, viz:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Under this provision, petitioner’s functions as arrastre operator are (1) to receive, handle, care for, and deliver all merchandise imported and exported, upon or passing over Government-owned wharves and piers in the Port of Manila, (2) as well as to record or cheek all merchandise which may be delivered to said port at shipside, and in general[,] (3) to furnish light and water services and other incidental services in order to undertake its arrastre service. Note that there is nothing in those functions which relate to the trade and business of navigation x x x, nor to the use or operation of vessels x x x. Both as to the nature of the functions and the place of their performance (upon wharves and piers shipside), petitioner’s services are clearly not maritime. As we held in the Macondray case, they are no different from those of a depositary or warehouseman. Granting, arguendo, that petitioner’s arrastre service depends on, assists, or furthers maritime transportation x x x, it may be deemed merely incidental to its aforementioned functions as arrastre operator and does not, thereby, make petitioner’s arrastre service maritime in character.27 (Citations omitted, italics in the original, emphasis and underscoring ours)
    “The functions of an arrastre operator involve the handling of cargo deposited on the wharf or between the establishment of the consignee or shipper and the ship’s tackle. Being the custodian of the goods discharged from a vessel, an arrastre operator’s duty is to take good care of the goods and to turn them over to the party entitled to their possession.”28chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    “The legal relationship between an arrastre operator and a consignee is akin to that between a warehouseman and a depositor. As to both the nature of the functions and the place of their performance, an arrastre operator’s services are clearly not maritime in character.”29chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    In Insurance Company of North America v. Asian Terminals, Inc.,30 the Court explained that the liabilities of the arrastre operator for losses and damages are set forth in the contract for cargo handling services it had executed with the PPA. Corollarily then, the rights of an arrastre operator to be paid for damages it sustains from handling cargoes do not likewise spring from contracts of carriage.

    However, in the instant petition, the contending parties make no references at all to any provisions in the contract for cargo handling services ATI had executed with the PPA.

    Article 2176 of the New Civil Code and the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur apply.

    Notwithstanding the above, the petitioners cannot evade liability for the damage caused to ATI’s unloader in view of Article 2176 of the New Civil Code, which pertinently provides as follows:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter.cralawred
    In Taylor v. Manila Electric Railroad and Light Co.,31 the Court explained that to establish a plaintiff’s right to recovery for quasi-delicts, three elements must exist, to wit: (a) damages to the plaintiff; (b) negligence by act or omission of which defendant personally, or some person for whose acts it must respond, was guilty; and (c) the connection of cause and effect between the negligence and the damage.32chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    Negligence, on the other hand, is defined as the failure to observe that degree of care, precaution and vigilance that the circumstances justly demand, whereby another suffers injury.33chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    In the case under consideration, the parties do not dispute the facts of damage upon ATI’s unloader, and of such damage being the consequence of someone’s negligence. However, the petitioners deny liability claiming that it was not established with reasonable certainty whose negligence had caused the co-mingling of the metal bars with the soybean meal cargo. The Court, on this matter, agrees with the CA’s disquisition that the petitioners should be held jointly and severally liable to ATI. ATI cannot be faulted for its lack of direct access to evidence determinative as to who among the shipowner, Samsun, ContiQuincyBunge and Inter-Asia should assume liability. The CA had exhaustively discussed why the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur applies. The metal bars which caused damage to ATI’s unloader was found co-mingled with the cargo inside Hold No. 2 of the ship, which was then within the exclusive control of the petitioners. Thus, the presumption that it was the petitioners’ collective negligence, which caused the damage, stands. This is, however, without prejudice to the petitioners’ rights to seek reimbursements among themselves from the party whose negligence primarily caused the damage.

    A modification of the interests imposed on the damages awarded is in order.

    Anent the interests imposed by the CA upon the damages to be paid to ATI, modification of the same is in order.

    In Nacar v. Gallery Frames,34 the Court declared:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
    To recapitulate and for future guidance, the guidelines laid down in the case of Eastern Shipping Lines are accordingly modified to embody BSP-MB Circular No. 799, as follows:

    I. When an obligation, regardless of its source, i.e., law, contracts, quasi-contracts, delicts or quasi-delicts is breached, the contravenor can be held liable for damages. The provisions under Title XVIII on “Damages” of the Civil Code govern in determining the measure of recoverable damages.

    II. With regard particularly to an award of interest in the concept of actual and compensatory damages, the rate of interest, as well as the accrual thereof, is imposed, as follows:  
    1. When the obligation is breached, and it consists in the payment of a sum of money, i.e., a loan or forbearance of money, the interest due should be that which may have been stipulated in writing. Furthermore, the interest due shall itself earn legal interest from the time it is judicially demanded. In the absence of stipulation, the rate of interest shall be 6% per annum to be computed from default, i.e., from judicial or extrajudicial demand under and subject to the provisions of Article 1169 of the Civil Code.
          
    2. When an obligation, not constituting a loan or forbearance of money, is breached, an interest on the amount of damages awarded may be imposed at the discretion of the court at the rate of 6% per annum. No interest, however, shall be adjudged on unliquidated claims or damages, except when or until the demand can be established with reasonable certainty. Accordingly, where the demand is established with reasonable certainty, the interest shall begin to run from the time the claim is made judicially or extrajudicially (Art. 1169, Civil Code), but when such certainty cannot be so reasonably established at the time the demand is made, the interest shall begin to run only from the date the judgment of the court is made (at which time the quantification of damages may be deemed to have been reasonably ascertained). The actual base for the computation of legal interest shall, in any case, be on the amount finally adjudged.
          
    3. When the judgment of the court awarding a sum of money becomes final and executory, the rate of legal interest, whether the case falls under paragraph 1 or paragraph 2, above, shall be 6% per annum from such finality until its satisfaction, this interim period being deemed to be by then an equivalent to a forbearance of credit.
    x x x x.35 (Citation omitted, emphasis and italics in the original, and underscoring ours)
    The Court agrees with the CA that as regards ATI’s claim, only the amount of US$30,300.00 is duly supported by evidence. However, in view of Nacar, the said amount shall be subject to legal interest at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum reckoned from the finality of this Resolution, the date when the quantification of damages may be deemed to have been reasonably ascertained, until full satisfaction thereof.

    WHEREFORE, the Decision dated November 10, 2010 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 93164 is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. The petitioners, Unknown Owner of the Vessel M/V China Joy, Samsun Shipping Ltd. and Inter-Asia Marine Transport, Inc., are hereby ordered to pay the respondent, Asian Terminals, Inc., actual and compensatory damages in the amount of US$30,300.00, plus legal interest at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum reckoned from the finality of this Resolution until full satisfaction thereof.

    SO ORDERED.

    Velasco, Jr., (Chairperson), Peralta, Villarama, Jr., and Jardeleza, JJ., concur.cralawlawlibrary

    Endnotes:


    1Rollo, pp. 9-19.

    2 Penned by Associate Justice Ricardo R. Rosario, with Associate Justices Hakim S. Abdulwahid and Samuel H. Gaerlan concurring; id. at 23-42.

    3 Id. at 44.

    4 Issued by Judge Gregorio B. Clemeña, Jr.; id. at 193-200.

    5 Id. at 46-50.

    6 Subsequently identified as Trans-Pacific Shipping Company, with address at 3200 N.W. Yeon Avenue, Portland, Oregon, United States of America, id. at 92.

    7 Id. at 23-27.

    8 Id. at 193-200.

    9 Id. at 199.

    10 Id. at 203-237.

    11 Id. at 41.

    12 Id. at 29-40.

    13 Id. at 40.

    14 Id. at 41.

    15 Id. at 12.

    16 Id. at 14.

    17 Id. at 15.

    18 Id. at 15-16.

    19 Id. at 16-17.

    20 Id. at 16.

    21 Id. at 259-271.

    22 Id. at 264.

    23 Id. at 268.

    24 Id. at 269.

    25 Id. at 10.

    26 111 Phil. 452 (1961).

    27 Id. at 457.

    28Asian Terminals, Inc. v. Philam Insurance Co., Inc., G.R. No. 181163, July 24, 2013, 702 SCRA 88, 115.

    29International Container Terminal Services, Inc. v. Prudential Guarantee & Assurance Co., Inc., 377 Phil. 1082, 1090 (1999).

    30 G.R. No. 180784, February 15, 2012, 666 SCRA 226.

    31 16 Phil. 8 (1910).

    32 Id. at 15.

    33United States v. Barias, 23 Phil. 434, 437 (1912).

    34 G.R. No. 189871, August 13, 2013, 703 SCRA 439.

    35 Id. at 457-458.

    G.R. No. 195661, March 11, 2015 - UNKNOWN OWNER OF THE VESSEL M/V CHINA JOY, SAMSUN SHIPPING LTD., AND INTER-ASIA MARINE TRANSPORT, INC., Petitioners, v. ASIAN TERMINALS, INC., Respondent.




    Back to Home | Back to Main

     

    QUICK SEARCH

    cralaw

       

    cralaw



     
      Copyright © ChanRobles Publishing Company Disclaimer | E-mail Restrictions
    ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™
     
    RED