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G.R. No. L-63915 December 29, 1986
LORENZO M. TAÑADA, vs. HON. JUAN C. TUVERA, in his capacity as Executive Assistant to the
President
Ponente: Justice Cruz
Facts:
Due process was invoked by the petitioners in demanding the disclosure of a number of
presidential decrees which they claimed had not been published as required by law. The
government argued that while publication was necessary as a rule, it was not so when it was
"otherwise provided," as when the decrees themselves declared that they were to become
effective immediately upon their approval. In the decision of this case on April 24, 1985, the
Court affirmed the necessity for the publication of some of these decrees, declaring in the
dispositive portion as follows:
WHEREFORE, the Court hereby orders respondents to publish in the Official Gazette all
unpublished presidential issuances which are of general application, and unless so published,
they shall have no binding force and effect.
Resolving their own doubts, the petitioners suggest that there should be no distinction
between laws of general applicability and those which are not; that publication means
complete publication; and that the publication must be made forthwith in the Official Gazette.
Issue: WON publication of law should only be published in the Official Gazette
Ruling:
It is not correct to say that under the disputed clause publication may be dispensed with
altogether. The reason. Is that such omission would offend due process insofar as it would deny
the public knowledge of the laws that are supposed to govern the legislature could validly
provide that a law e effective immediately upon its approval notwithstanding the lack of
publication (or after an unreasonably short period after publication), it is not unlikely that
persons not aware of it would be prejudiced as a result and they would be so not because of a
failure to comply with but simply because they did not know of its existence, Significantly, this
is not true only of penal laws as is commonly supposed. One can think of many non-penal
measures, like a law on prescription, which must also be communicated to the persons they
may affect before they can begin to operate.
We note at this point the conclusive presumption that every person knows the law, which of
course presupposes that the law has been published if the presumption is to have any legal
justification at all. It is no less important to remember that Section 6 of the Bill of Rights
recognizes "the right of the people to information on matters of public concern," and this

certainly applies to, among others, and indeed especially, the legislative enactments of the
government.
At any rate, this Court is not called upon to rule upon the wisdom of a law or to repeal or
modify it if we find it impractical. That is not our function. That function belongs to the
legislature. Our task is merely to interpret and apply the law as conceived and approved by the
political departments of the government in accordance with the prescribed procedure.
Consequently, we have no choice but to pronounce that under Article 2 of the Civil Code, the
publication of laws must be made in the Official Gazette and not elsewhere, as a requirement
for their effectivity after fifteen days from such publication or after a different period provided
by the legislature.
The days of the secret laws and the unpublished decrees are over. This is once again an open
society, with all the acts of the government subject to public scrutiny and available always to
public cognizance. This has to be so if our country is to remain democratic, with sovereignty
residing in the people and all government authority emanating from them. Although they have
delegated the power of legislation, they retain the authority to review the work of their
delegates and to ratify or reject it according to their lights, through their freedom of expression
and their right of suffrage. This they cannot do if the acts of the legislature are concealed. Laws
must come out in the open in the clear light of the sun instead of skulking in the shadows with
their dark, deep secrets. Mysterious pronouncements and rumored rules cannot be recognized
as binding unless their existence and contents are confirmed by a valid publication intended to
make full disclosure and give proper notice to the people. The furtive law is like a scabbarded
saber that cannot feint parry or cut unless the naked blade is drawn.
WHEREFORE, it is hereby declared that all laws as above defined shall immediately upon their
approval, or as soon thereafter as possible, be published in full in the Official Gazette, to
become effective only after fifteen days from their publication, or on another date specified by
the legislature, in accordance with Article 2 of the Civil Code.

G.R. No. 146322 December 6, 2006
ERNESTO RAMAS UYPITCHING and RAMAS UYPITCHING SONS, INC., petitioners, vs. ERNESTO
QUIAMCO, respondent.
CORONA, J.:
Facts:
In 1982, respondent Ernesto C. Quiamco was approached by Juan Davalan, Josefino Gabutero
and Raul Generoso to amicably settle the civil aspect of a criminal case for robbery filed by
Quiamco against them. They surrendered to him a red Honda XL-100 motorcycle and a
photocopy of its certificate of registration. Respondent asked for the original certificate of
registration but the three accused never came to see him again. Meanwhile, the motorcycle
was parked in an open space inside respondent’s business establishment, Avesco-AVNE
Enterprises, where it was visible and accessible to the public. It turned out that, in October
1981, the motorcycle had been sold on installment basis to Gabutero by petitioner Ramas
Uypitching Sons, Inc., a family-owned corporation managed by petitioner Atty. Ernesto Ramas
Uypitching. To secure its payment, the motorcycle was mortgaged to petitioner corporation.
When Gabutero could no longer pay the installments, Davalan assumed the obligation and
continued the payments. In September 1982, however, Davalan stopped paying the remaining
installments and told petitioner corporation’s collector, Wilfredo Veraño, that the motorcycle
had allegedly been "taken by respondent’s men." Nine years later, on January 26, 1991,
petitioner Uypitching, accompanied by policemen, 5 went to Avesco-AVNE Enterprises to
recover the motorcycle. The leader of the police team, P/Lt. Arturo Vendiola, talked to the clerk
in charge and asked for respondent. While P/Lt. Vendiola and the clerk were talking, petitioner
Uypitching paced back and forth inside the establishment uttering "Quiamco is a thief of a
motorcycle." On learning that respondent was not in Avesco-AVNE Enterprises, the policemen
left to look for respondent in his residence while petitioner Uypitching stayed in the
establishment to take photographs of the motorcycle. Unable to find respondent, the
policemen went back to Avesco- AVNE Enterprises and, on petitioner Uypitching’s instruction
and over the clerk’s objection, took the motorcycle. On February 18, 1991, petitioner
Uypitching filed a criminal complaint for qualified theft and/or violation of the Anti- Fencing
Law against respondent in the Office of the City Prosecutor of Dumaguete City. Respondent
moved for dismissal because the complaint did not charge an offense as he had neither stolen
nor bought the motorcycle. The Office of the City Prosecutor dismissed the complaint 8 and
denied petitioner Uypitching’s subsequent motion for reconsideration. Respondent filed an
action for damages against petitioners in the RTC of Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Branch
37. 9 He sought to hold the petitioners liable for the following: (1) unlawful taking of the
motorcycle; (2) utterance of a

defamatory remark (that respondent was a thief) and (3) precipitate filing of a baseless and
malicious complaint. These acts humiliated and embarrassed the respondent and injured his
reputation and integrity.
Issue: WON petitioners is guilty of abusing their right to recover the mortgaged property
Ruling:
Article 19, also known as the "principle of abuse of right," prescribes that a person should not
use his right unjustly or contrary to honesty and good faith, otherwise he opens himself to
liability. 19 It seeks to preclude the use of, or the tendency to use, a legal right (or duty) as a
means to unjust ends. There is an abuse of right when it is exercised solely to prejudice or
injure another. 20 The exercise of a right must be in accordance with the purpose for which it
was established and must not be excessive or unduly harsh; there must be no intention to harm
another. 21 Otherwise, liability for damages to the injured party will attach.
In this case, the manner by which the motorcycle was taken at petitioners’ instance was not
only attended by bad faith but also contrary to the procedure laid down by law. Considered in
conjunction with the defamatory statement, petitioners’ exercise of the right to recover the
mortgaged vehicle was utterly prejudicial and injurious to respondent. On the other hand, the
precipitate act of filing an unfounded complaint could not in any way be considered to be in
accordance with the purpose for which the right to prosecute a crime was established. Thus,
the totality of petitioners’ actions showed a calculated design to embarrass, humiliate and
publicly ridicule respondent. Petitioners acted in an excessively harsh fashion to the prejudice
of respondent. Contrary to law, petitioners willfully caused damage to respondent. Hence, they
should indemnify him.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED. The July 26, 2000 decision and October 18, 2000
resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 47571 are AFFIRMED .Triple costs against
petitioners, considering that petitioner Ernesto Ramas Uypitching is a lawyer and an officer of
the court, for his improper behavior.

G.R. No. L-20089 December 26, 1964
BEATRIZ P. WASSMER, plaintiff-appellee, vs. FRANCISCO X. VELEZ, defendant-appellant.
BENGZON, J.P., J.:
Facts:
Francisco X. Velez and Beatriz P. Wassmer, following their mutual promise of love, decided to
get married and set September 4, 1954 as the big day. On Sept 2 he wrote a letter to her that
they have to postpone the wedding because his mother opposes it and said he was leaving. The
following day, she received a telegram that says
"NOTHING CHANGED REST ASSURED RETURNING VERY SOON APOLOGIZE MAMA PAPA LOVE."
Thereafter Velez did not appear nor was he heard from again. Sued by Beatriz for damages,
Velez filed no answer and was declared in default. Plaintiff adduced evidence before the clerk
of court as commissioner, and on April 29, 1955, judgment was rendered ordering defendant to
pay plaintiff P2,000.00 as actual damages; P25,000.00 as moral and exemplary damages;
P2,500.00 as attorney's fees; and the costs.
On June 21, 1955 defendant filed a "petition for relief from orders, judgment and proceedings
and motion for new trial and reconsideration." Plaintiff moved to strike it cut. But the court, on
August 2, 1955, ordered the parties and their attorneys to appear before it on August 23, 1955
"to explore at this stage of the proceedings the possibility of arriving at an amicable
settlement." It added that should any of them fail to appear "the petition for relief and the
opposition thereto will be deemed submitted for resolution."
His petition was denied after failing to attend two chances given to him by the Court to attain a
settlement. A petition for relief from judgment on grounds of fraud, accident, mistake or
excusable negligence, must be duly supported by an affidavit of merits stating facts constituting
a valid defense. (Sec. 3, Rule 38, Rules of Court.) Defendant's affidavit of merits attached to his
petition of June 21, 1955 stated: "That he has a good and valid defense against plaintiff's cause
of action, his failure to marry the plaintiff as scheduled having been due to fortuitous event
and/or circumstances beyond his control."
In support of his "motion for new trial and reconsideration," defendant asserts that the
judgment is contrary to law. The reason given is that "there is no provision of the Civil Code
authorizing" an action for breach of promise to marry.

Issue: wOn the defendant is liable under article 21 of the civil code
Ruling:
Surely this is not a case of mere breach of promise to marry. As stated, mere breach of promise
to marry is not an actionable wrong. But to formally set a wedding and go through all the
above-described preparation and publicity, only to walk out of it when the matrimony is about
to be solemnized, is quite different. This is palpably and unjustifiably contrary to good customs
for which defendant must be held answerable in damages in accordance with Article 21
aforesaid.
Defendant urges in his afore-stated petition that the damages awarded were excessive. No
question is raised as to the award of actual damages. What defendant would really assert
hereunder is that the award of moral and exemplary damages, in the amount of P25,000.00,
should be totally eliminated.
Per express provision of Article 2219 (10) of the New Civil Code, moral damages are recoverable
in the cases mentioned in Article 21 of said Code. As to exemplary damages, defendant
contends that the same could not be adjudged against him because under Article 2232 of the
New Civil Code the condition precedent is that "the defendant acted in a wanton, fraudulent,
reckless, oppressive, or malevolent manner." The argument is devoid of merit as under the
above-narrated circumstances of this case defendant clearly acted in a "wanton ... , reckless
[and] oppressive manner." This Court's opinion, however, is that considering the particular
circumstances of this case, P15,000.00 as moral and exemplary damages is deemed to be a
reasonable award. PREMISES CONSIDERED, with the above-indicated modification, the lower
court's judgment is hereby affirmed,with costs.

IMELDA MARBELLA-BOBIS, petitioner, vs. ISAGANI D. BOBIS, respondent.
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:
Facts:
On October 21, 1985, respondent contracted a first marriage with one Maria Dulce B. Javier.
Without said marriage having been annulled, nullified or terminated, the same respondent
contracted a second marriage with petitioner Imelda Marbella-Bobis on January 25, 1996 and
allegedly a third marriage with a certain Julia Sally Hernandez. Based on petitioner’s complaint
affidavit, an information for bigamy was filed against respondent on February 25, 1998, which
was docketed as Criminal Case No. Q98-75611 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 226, Quezon
City. Sometime thereafter, respondent initiated a civil action for the judicial declaration of
absolute nullity of his first marriage on the ground that it was celebrated without a marriage
license. Respondent then filed a motion to suspend the proceedings in the criminal case for
bigamy invoking the pending civil case for nullity of the first marriage as a prejudicial question
to the criminal case. The trial judge granted the motion to suspend the criminal case in an
Order dated December 29, 1998. [1] Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, but the same
was denied. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari . Petitioner argues that respondent
should have first obtained a judicial declaration of nullity of his first marriage before entering
into the second marriage, inasmuch as the alleged prejudicial question justifying suspension of
the bigamy case is no longer a legal truism pursuant to Article 40 of the Family Code.
Issue:
whether or not the subsequent filing of a civil action for declaration of nullity of a previous
marriage constitutes a prejudicial question to a criminal case for bigamy.
Ruling:
The burden of proof to show the dissolution of the first marriage before the second marriage
was contracted rests upon the defense, [18] but that is a matter that can be raised in the trial of
the bigamy case. In the meantime, it should be stressed that not every defense raised in the
civil action may be used as a prejudicial question to obtain the suspension of the criminal action.
The lower court, therefore, erred in suspending the criminal case for bigamy. Moreover, when
respondent was indicted for bigamy, the fact that he entered into two marriage ceremonies
appeared indubitable. It was only after he was sued by petitioner for bigamy that he thought of
seeking a judicial declaration of nullity of his first marriage. The obvious intent, therefore, is
that respondent merely resorted to the civil action as a potential prejudicial question for the
purpose of frustrating or delaying his criminal prosecution. As has been discussed above, this
cannot be done.

In the light of Article 40 of the Family Code, respondent, without first having obtained the
judicial declaration of nullity of the first marriage, can not be said to have validly entered into
the second marriage. Per current jurisprudence, a marriage though void still needs a judicial
declaration of such fact before any party can marry again; otherwise the second marriage will
also be void. [19] The reason is that, without a judicial declaration of its nullity, the first
marriage is presumed to be subsisting. In the case at bar, respondent was for all legal intents
and purposes regarded as a married man at the time he contracted his second marriage with
petitioner. [20] Against this legal backdrop, any decision in the civil action for nullity would not
erase the fact that respondent entered into a second marriage during the subsistence of a first
marriage. Thus, a decision in the civil case is not essential to the determination of the criminal
charge. It is, therefore, not a prejudicial question. As stated above, respondent cannot be
permitted to use his own malfeasance to defeat the criminal action against him.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The order dated December 29, 1998 of the Regional
Trial Court, Branch 226 of Quezon City is REVERSED and SET ASIDE and the trial court is ordered
to IMMEDIATELY proceed with Criminal Case No. Q98-75611.
A prejudicial question is one which arises in a case the resolution of which is a logical antecedent of the issue involved therein. [3] It is a
question based on a fact distinct and separate from the crime but so intimately connected with it that it determines the guilt or innocence of
the accused. [4] It must appear not only that the civil case involves facts upon which the criminal action is based, but also that the resolution of
the issues raised in the civil action would necessarily be determinative of the criminal case. [5] Consequently, the defense must involve an issue
similar or intimately related to the same issue raised in the criminal action and its resolution determinative of whether or not the latter action
may proceed. [6] Its two essential elements are: [7] (a) the civil action involves an issue similar or intimately related to the issue raised in the
criminal action; and (b) the resolution of such issue determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed.
A prejudicial question does not conclusively resolve the guilt or innocence of the accused but simply tests the sufficiency of the allegations in
the information in order to sustain thefurther prosecution of the criminal case. A party who raises a prejudicial question is deemed to have
hypothetically admitted that all the essential elements of a crime have been adequately alleged in the information, considering that the
prosecution has not yet presented a single evidence on the indictment or may not yet have rested its case. A challenge of the allegations in the
information on the ground of prejudicial question is in effect a question on the merits of the criminal charge through a non-criminal suit.
Thus, as ruled in Landicho v. Relova , [14] he who contracts a second marriage before the judicial declaration of nullity of the first marriage
assumes the risk of being prosecuted for bigamy, and in such a case the criminal case may not be suspended on the ground of the pendency of
a civil case for declaration of nullity. In a recent case for concubinage, we held that the pendency of a civil case for declaration of nullity of
marriage is not a prejudicial question. [15] This ruling applies here by analogy since both crimes presuppose the subsistence of a marriage.
As respondent did not obtain the judicial declaration of nullity when he entered into the second marriage, why should he be allowed to
belatedly obtain that judicial declaration in order to delay his criminal prosecution and subsequently defeat it by his own disobedience of the
law? If he wants to raise the nullity of the previous marriage, he can do it as a matter of defense when he presents his evidence during the trial
proper in the criminal case.
The burden of proof to show the dissolution of the first marriage before the second marriage was contracted rests upon the defense, [18] but
that is a matter that can be raised in the trial of the bigamy case. In the meantime, it should be stressed that not every defense raised in the
civil action may be used as a prejudicial question to obtain the suspension of the criminal action. The lower court, therefore, erred in
suspending the criminal case for bigamy. Moreover, when respondent was indicted for bigamy, the fact that he entered into two marriage
ceremonies appeared indubitable. It was only after he was sued by petitioner for bigamy that he thought of seeking a judicial declaration of
nullity of his first marriage. The obvious intent, therefore, is that respondent merely resorted to the civil action as a potential prejudicial
question for the purpose of frustrating or delaying hiscriminal prosecution. As has been discussed above, this cannot be done.

SERGIO AMONOY, petitioner, vs. Spouses JOSE GUTIERREZ and ANGELA FORNILDA,
respondents .
PANGANIBAN, J.:
Facts:
“This case had its roots in Special Proceedings No. 3103 of Branch I of the CFI of Pasig, Rizal, for
the settlement of the estate of the deceased JulioCantolos, involving six (6) parcels of land
situated in Tanay, Rizal. Amonoy was the counsel of therein Francisca Catolos, Agnes Catolos,
Asuncion Pasamba and Alfonso Formilda. On 12 January 1965, the Project of Partition
submitted was approved and x x x two (2) of the said lots were adjudicated to Asuncion
Pasamba and Alfonso Formilda. The attorney’s fees charged by Amonoy was P27,600.00 and
on 20 January 1965 Asuncion Pasamba and Alfonso Formilda executed a deed of real estate
mortgage on the said two (2) lots adjudicated to them, in favor of Amonoy to secure the
payment of his attorney’s fees. But it was only on 6 August 1969 after the taxes had been paid,
the claims settled and the properties adjudicated, that the estate was declared closed and
terminated. “Asuncion Pasamba died on 24 February 1969 while Alfonso Fornilda passed away
on 2 July 1969. Among the heirs of the latter was his daughter, plaintiff-appellant Angela
Gutierrez. “Because his attorney’s fees thus secured by the two lots were not paid, on 21
January 1970 Amonoy filed for their foreclosure in Civil Case No. 12726 entitled Sergio Amonoy
vs. Heirs of Asuncion Pasamba and Heirs of Alfonso Fornilda before the CFI of Pasig, Rizal, and
this was assigned to Branch VIII. The heirs opposed, contending that the attorney’s fees
charged [were] unconscionable and that the agreed sum was only P11,695.92. But on 28
September 1972 judgment was rendered in favor of Amonoy requiring the heirs to pay within
90 days the P27,600.00 secured by the mortgage, P11,880.00 as value of the harvests, and
P9,645.00 as another round of attorney’s fees. Failing in that, the two (2) lots would be sold at
public auction. “They failed to pay. On 6 February 1973, the said lots were foreclosed and on 23
March 1973 the auction sale was held where Amonoy was the highest bidder at P23,760.00. On
2 May 1973 his bid was judicially confirmed. A deficiency was claimed and to satisfy it another
execution sale was conducted, and again the highest bidder was Amonoy at P12,137.50.
“Included in those sold was the lot on which the Gutierrez spouses had their house. “More than
a year after the Decision in Civil Case No. 12726 was rendered, the said decedent’s heirs filed
on 19 December 1973 before the CFI of Pasig, Rizal[,] Civil Case No. 18731 entitled Maria
Penano, et al vs. Sergio Amonoy, et al , a suit for the annulment thereof. The case was
dismissed by the CFI on 7 November 1977, and this was affirmed by the Court of Appeals on 22
July 1981. “Thereafter, the CFI on 25 July 1985 issued a Writ of Possession and pursuant to
which a notice to vacate was made on 26 August 1985. On Amonoy’s motion of 24 April 1986,
the Orders of 25 April 1986 and 6 May 1986 were issued for the demolition of structures in the

said lots, including the house of the Gutierrez spouses. “On 27 September 1985 the petition
entitled David Fornilda, et al vs Branch 164 RTC IVth Pasig, Deputy Sheriff Joaquin Antonil and
Atty. Sergio Amonoy, G.R. No. L-72306, was filed before the Supreme Court. Among the
petitioners was the plaintiff-appellant Angela Gutierrez. On a twin Musiyun (Mahigpit na
Musiyon Para Papanagutin Kaugnay ng Paglalapastangan, and Musiyung Makahingi ng Utos sa
Pagpapapigil ng Pagpapagibaat Pananagutin sa Paglalapastangan) with full titles as fanciful and
elongated as their Petisyung (Petisyung Makapagsuri Taglay and Pagpigil ng Utos), a temporary
restraining order was granted on 2 June 1986 enjoining the demolition of the petitioners’
houses. “Then on 5 October 1988 a Decision was rendered in the said G.R. No. L-72306
disposing that:
“WHEREFORE, Certiorari is granted; the Order of respondent Trial Court, dated 25 July 1985,
granting a Writ of Possession, as well as its Orders, dated 25 April 1986 and 16 May 1986,
directing and authorizing respondent Sheriff to demolish the houses of petitioners Angela and
Leocadia Fornilda are hereby set aside, and the Temporary Restraining Order heretofore issued,
is made permanent. The six (6) parcels of land herein controverted are hereby ordered
returned to petitioners unless some of them have been conveyed to innocent third persons.” *5+
But by the time the Supreme Court promulgated the above-mentioned Decision, respondents’
house had already been destroyed, supposedly in accordance with a Writ of Demolition
ordered by the lower court. Thus, a Complaint for damages in connection with the destruction
of their house was filed by respondents against petitioner before the RTC on December 15,
1989. In its January 27, 1993 Decision, the RTC dismissed respondents’ suit. On appeal, the CA
set aside the lower court’s ruling and ordered petitioner to pay respondents P250,000 as actual
damages. Petitioner then filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which was also denied. Hence,
this recourse.
Issue:
“Whether or not the Court of Appeals was correct in deciding that the petitioner [was] liable to
the respondents for damages”
Ruling:
Well-settled is the maxim that damage resulting from the legitimate exercise of a person’srights
is a loss without injury -- damnum absque injuria -- for which the law gives no remedy. [9] In
other words, one who merely exercises one’s rightsdoes no actionable injury and cannot be
held liablefor damages. Petitioner invokes this legal precept in arguing that he is not liable for
the demolition of respondents’ house. He maintains that he was merely acting in accordance
with the Writ of Demolition ordered by the RTC. We reject this submission. Damnum absque
injuria finds no application to this case.

Petitioner, however, did not heed the TRO of this Court. We agree with the CA that he
unlawfully pursued the demolition of respondents’ house well until the middle of 1987.The
foregoing disproves the claim of petitioner that the demolition, which allegedly commenced
only on May 30, 1986, was completed the following day. It likewise belies his allegation that the
demolitions had already ceased when he received notice of the TRO.
Although the acts of petitioner may have been legally justified at the outset, their continuation
after the issuance of the TRO amounted to an insidious abuse of his right. Indubitably, his
actions were tainted with bad faith. Had he not insisted on completing the demolition,
respondents would not have suffered the loss that engendered the suit before the RTC. Verily,
his acts constituted not only an abuse of a right, but an invalid exercise of a right that had been
suspended when he received the TRO from this Court on June 4, 1986. By then, he was no
longer entitled to proceed with the demolition.
“The exercise of a right ends when the right disappears, and it disappears when it is abused,
especially to the prejudice of others. The mask of a right without the spirit of justice which gives
it life,is repugnant to the modern concept of social law. It cannot be said thata person exercises
a right when he unnecessarily prejudices another x x x. Over and above the specific precepts of
positive law are the supreme norms of justice x x x; and hewho violates them violates the law.
For this reason, it is not permissible to abuse our rights to prejudice others.”
In the ultimate analysis, petitioner’s liability is premised on the obligation to repair or to make
whole the damage caused to another by reason of one’s act or omission, whether done
intentionally or negligently and whether or not punishable bylaw.
WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED and the appealed Decision AFFIRMED. Costs against
petitioner.

GR No. 116100 February 9, 1996
SPOUSES CRISTINO and BRIGIDA CUSTODIO and SPOUSES
LITO and MARIA CRISTINA SANTOS, petitioners,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, HEIRS OF PACIFICO C. MABASA and
REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF PASIG, METRO MANILA,
BRANCH 181, respondents.
REGALADO, J.:
Facts:
Pacifico Mabasa owns a property behind the properties of spouses
Cristino and Brigida Custodio and spouses Lito and Ma. Cristina Santos. The passageway leading to Mabasa’s house
passes through the properties of the Custodios and the Santoses. Sometime in 1981, the spouses Lito and Ma.
Cristina Santos built a fence around their property. This effectively deprived Mabasa passage to his house. Mabasa
then sued the Custodios and the Santoses to compel them to grant his right of way with damages. Mabasa claims
that he lost tenants because of the blockade done by the families in front. The trial court ruled in favor of Mabasa.
It ordered the Custodios and the Santoses to give Mabasa a permanent easement and right of way and for Mabasa
to pay just compensation. The Santoses and the Custodios appealed. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of
the trial court. However, the CA modified the ruling by awarding damages in favor of Mabasa (Actual damages:
P65k,nMoral damages: P30k, Exemplary damages: P10k).
ISSUE: Whether or not the grant of damages by the CA is proper.
Ruling:
A person has a right to the natural use and enjoyment of his own property, according to his pleasure, for all the
purposes to which such property is usually applied. As a general rule, therefore, there is no cause of action for acts
done by one person upon his own property in a lawful and proper manner, although such acts incidentally cause
damage or an unavoidable loss to another, as such damage or loss is damnum absque injuria. 18 When the owner
of property makes use thereof in the general and ordinary manner in which the property is used, such as fencing or
enclosing the same as in this case, nobody can complain of having been injured, because the incovenience arising
from said use can be considered as a mere consequence of community life. 19 The proper exercise of a lawful right
cannot constitute a legal wrong for which an action will lie, 20 although the act may result in damage to another,
for no legal right has been invaded. 21 One may use any lawful means to accomplish a lawful purpose and though
the means adopted may cause damage to another, no cause of action arises in the latter's favor. An injury or
damage occasioned thereby is damnum absque injuria. The courts can give no redress for hardship to an individual
resulting from action reasonably calculated to achieve a lawful means. 22
WHEREFORE, under the compulsion of the foregoingpremises, the appealed decision of respondent Court of
Appeals is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and the judgment of the trial court is correspondingly REINSTATED.

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