Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1988 > December 1988 Decisions > G.R. No. 74811 December 14, 1988 - CHUA YEK HONG v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

SECOND DIVISION

[G.R. No. 74811. December 14, 1988.]

CHUA YEK HONG, Petitioner, v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, MARIANO GUNO, and DOMINADOR OLIT, Respondents.

Francisco D. Estrada for Petitioner.

Purita Hontanosas-Cortes for Private Respondents.


SYLLABUS


1. COMMERCIAL LAW; TRANSPORTATION; LIMITED LIABILITY RULE; EXCEPTION. — The Appellate Court Decision, mentions only the ship captain as having been negligent in the performance of his duties. This is a factual finding binding on this Court. For the exception to the limited liability rule (Article 587, Code of Commerce) to apply, the loss must be due to the fault of the shipowner, or to the concurring negligence of the shipowner and the captain. As we held, there is nothing in the records showing such negligence.

2. ID.; CODE OF COMMERCE; REGULATES LIABILITY OF SHIPOWNERS OR AGENTS IN CASE OF TOTAL LOSS OR DESTRUCTION. — The invocation by petitioners of Articles 1733 and 1735 of the Civil Code is misplaced. As was stated in the Decision sought to be reconsidered, while the primary law governing the instant case is the Civil Code, in all matters not regulated by said Code, the Code of Commerce and other special laws shall govern. Since the Civil Code contains no provisions regulating liability of shipowners or agents in the event of total loss or destruction of the vessel, it is the provisions of the Code of Commerce, particularly Article 587, that governs.


R E S O L U T I O N


MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:


Before us is a Motion for Reconsideration of our Decision dated 30 September 1988 affirming the judgment of the Court of Appeals dismissing the complaint against private respondents and absolving them from any and all liability arising from the loss of 1000 sacks of copra shipped by petitioner aboard private respondents’ vessel. Private respondents filed an opposition thereto.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Petitioner argues that this Court failed to consider the Trial Court’s finding that the loss of the vessel with its cargo was due to the fault of the shipowner or to the concurring negligence of the shipowner and the captain.

The Appellate Court Decision, however, mentions only the ship captain as having been negligent in the performance of his duties (p. 3, Court of Appeals Decision, p. 15, Rollo). This is a factual finding binding on this Court. For the exception to the limited liability rule (Article 587, Code of Commerce) to apply, the loss must be due to the fault of the shipowner, or to the concurring negligence of the shipowner and the captain. As we held, there is nothing in the records showing such negligence (p. 6, Decision.).

The invocation by petitioners of Articles 1733 and 1735 of the Civil Code is misplaced. As was stated in the Decision sought to be reconsidered, while the primary law governing the instant case is the Civil Code, in all matters not regulated by said Code, the Code of Commerce and other special laws shall govern. Since the Civil Code contains no provisions regulating liability of shipowners or agents in the event of total loss or destruction of the vessel, it is the provisions of the Code of Commerce, particularly Article 587, that governs.

Petitioner further contends that the ruling laid down in Eastern Shipping Lines v. IAC, Et. Al. (150 SCRA 464 [1987]) should be made to apply in the instant case. That case, however, involved foreign maritime trade while the present case involves local inter-island shipping. The environmental set-up in the two cases, therefore, is not on all fours.chanrobles.com.ph : virtual law library

ACCORDINGLY, petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration is hereby DENIED and this denial is FINAL.

SO ORDERED.

Paras, Padilla, Sarmiento and Regalado, JJ., concur.




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