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GR No. 137873 April 20, 2001
Consunji vs. Court of Appeals
At around 1:30 p.m., November 2, 1990, Jose Juego, a construction
worker of D. M. Consunji, Inc., fell 14 floors from the Renaissance
Tower, Pasig City to his death. On May 9, 1991, Jose Juego’s
widow, Maria, filed in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasig a
complaint for damages against the deceased’s employer, D.M.
Consunji, Inc. The employer raised, among other defenses, the
widow’s prior availment of the benefits from the State Insurance
Fund. After trial, the RTC rendered a decision in favor of the widow
Maria Juego.
On appeal by D. M. Consunji, the Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the
decision of the RTC in toto.
D. M. Consunji then sought the reversal of the CA decision.
1. Whether or not the petitioner is held liable under the grounds of
2. Whether or not the injured employee or his heirs in case of death
have a right of selection or choice of action between availing themselves of
the worker’s right under the Workmen’s Compensation Act and suing in the
regular courts under the Civil Code for higher damages (actual, moral and
exemplary) from the employers by virtue of the negligence or fault of the
employers or whether they may avail themselves cumulatively of both
1. The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur (the thing or transaction speaks
for itself) 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. It has the following requisites:
(1) the accident was of a kind which does not ordinarily occur unless
someone is negligent; (2) the instrumentality or agency which caused the
injury was under the exclusive control of the person charged with
negligence; and (3)the injury suffered must not have been due to any
voluntary action or contribution on the part of the person injured. All the
requisites for the application of the rule of res ipsa loquitur are present in
the case at bar, thus a reasonable presumption or inference of appellant’s
negligence arises. Petitioner does not cite any other evidence to rebut the
inference or presumption of negligence arising from the application of res
ipsa loquitur, or to establish any defense relating to the incident.
2. The claims for damages sustained by workers in the course of their
employment could be filed only under the Workmen´s Compensation Law,
to the exclusion of all further claims under other laws. In the course of
availing the remedies provided under the Workmen’s Compensation law,
the claimants are deemed to have waived theirknown right of the remedies
provided by other laws. The Court of Appeals, however, held that the case
at bar came under exception because private respondent was unaware of
petitioner´s negligence when she filed her claim for death benefits from the
State Insurance Fund. Had the claimant been aware, she would’ve opted to
avail of a better remedy than that of which she already had.
Facts: The petitioner was indebted to respondent which was secured
by a mortgage of real property. Petitioner is a holder of Backpay
Acknowledgment Certificate that is more than sufficient to cover the
loan which he offered as payment for the deficit on April 24, 1956.
Respondent denied the offered payment due to its amended Charter
which provides that "...the authority herein granted shall not be used
as regards backpay certificates", enacted on June 16, 1956 as RA
Petitioner filed this case praying that the respondent be compelled
to accept his Backpay Acknowledgment Certificate as payment of his
Issue: Can RA 1576 be applied retroactively?

Decision: NO. "Laws shall have no retroactive effect, unless the
contrary is provided" (Art. 4, New Civil Code).
This has bearing on the case at bar inasmuch as the herein
mentioned Act does not contain any provision regarding its
Therefore, the present case should be governed by the law at the
time the offer in question was made.
Lidasan v. comelec
21 SCRA 496 – Political Law – Effect if Title Does Not Completely
Express the Subject
Bara Lidasan was a resident of Parang, Cotabato. Later, Republic
Act No. 4790, entitled “An Act Creating the Municipality of Dianaton
in the Province of Lanao del Sur,” was passed. Lidasan however
discovered that certain barrios located in Cotabato were included in
Dianaton, Lanao Del Sur pursuant to RA 4790. [Remarkably, even
the Congressman of Cotabato voted in favor of RA 4790.] Pursuant
to this law, COMELEC proceeded to establish precincts for voter
registration in the said territories of Dianaton. Lidasan then filed a
case to have RA 4790 be nullified for being unconstitutional. He
averred that the law did not clearly indicate in its title that in creating
Dianaton, it would be including in its territory several barrios from
ISSUE: Is RA 4790, which created Dianaton but which includes
barrios located in another province – Cotabato – to be spared from
attack planted upon the constitutional mandate that “No bill which
may be enacted into law shall embrace more than one subject which
shall be expressed in the title of the bill”?
HELD: No. The said law is void. The baneful effect of the defective
title here presented is not so difficult to perceive. Such title did not
inform the members of Congress as to the full impact of the law; it
did not apprise the people in the towns of Buldon and Parang in
Cotabato and in the province of Cotabato itself that part of their
territory is being taken away from their towns and province and
added to the adjacent Province of Lanao del Sur; it kept the public in
the dark as to what towns and provinces were actually affected by
the bill that even a Congressman from Cotabato voted for it only to
find out later on that it is to the prejudice of his own province. These
are the pressures which heavily weigh against the constitutionality of
RA 4790.
Victorias Milling Co. Inc. v. Social Security Commission [G.R. No. L-
16704. March 17, 1962]
The Social Security Commission issued its Circular No. 22 of the
following tenor:
Effective November 1, 1958, all Employers in computing the
premiums due the System, will take into consideration and include in
the Employee‟s remuneration all bonuses and overtime pay, as well
as the cash value of other media of remuneration. All these will
comprise the Employee‟s remuneration or earnings, upon which the
3-1/2% and 2-1/2% contributions will be based, up to a maximum of
P500 for any one month.
Upon receipt of a copy thereof, petitioner Victorias Milling Company,
Inc., through counsel, wrote the Social Security Commission in effect
protesting against the circular as contradictory to a previous Circular
No. 7, expressly excluding overtime pay and bonus in the
computation of the employers’ and employees’ respective monthly
premium contributions, and submitting, “In order to assist your
System in arriving at a proper interpretation of the term
„compensation‟ for the purposes of” such computation, their
observations on Republic Act 1161 and its amendment and on the
general interpretation of the words “compensation”, “remuneration”
and “wages”. Counsel further questioned the validity of the circular
for lack of authority on the part of the Social Security Commission to
promulgate it without the approval of the President and for lack of
publication in the Official Gazette.
Whether or not Circular No. 22 is a rule or regulation as
contemplated in Section 4(a) of Republic Act 1161 empowering the
Social Security Commission “to adopt, amend and repeal subject to
the approval of the President such rules and regulations as may be
necessary to carry out the provisions and purposes of this Act.”

No. The Commission’s Circular No. 22 is not a rule or regulation that
needed the approval of the President and publication in the Official
Gazette to be effective, but a mere administrative interpretation of
the statute, a mere statement of general policy or opinion as to how
the law should be construed. The Circular purports merely to advise
employers-members of the System of what, in the light of the
amendment of the law, they should include in determining the
monthly compensation of their employees upon which the social
security contributions should be based. The Circular neither needs
approval from the President nor publication in the Official Gazette.
Teoxon vs. Members of the Board of Administrators

Issue: whether or not there has been a failure to apply the doctrine
that when there is a repugnancy between the statute and the rules
issued in pursuance of it, the statute prevails

 Teoxon filed a claim for disability pension for having been
permanently incapacitated from work and that he was first awarded
only P25.00 monthly, thereafter increased to P50.00 a month
contrary to the terms of the basic law (which says that he should
receive a higher amount).
 Teoxon filed his suit for mandamus against members of the
board of administrators, his claim was for a higher pension and
payment of moral and exemplary damages as well as attorney’ s
 The court dismissed the petition stating that the Board is
authorized to promulgate regulations to carry into effect the
provisions of the law.
 The court also said that Teoxon’ s disability is not complete
and therefore he cannot be entitled to complete disability allowance.
 Teoxon appealed the lower court’ s decision, arguing that his
right as conferred by law takes precedence to what the
administrative rules and regulations of respondents provide is

Held: Yes there has been a failure to apply the doctrine that when
there is a repugnancy between the statue and the rules issued in
pursuance of it, the statute prevails. The decision of the lower court
was reversed, petition for mandamus was granted.

The Veteran’ s Bill of Rights states that “ the persons mentioned in
sections one and two hereof who are permanently incapacitated from
work owing to sickness, disease or injuries sustained in line of duty,
shall be given a life pension of one hundred pesos a month for each
of his unmarried minor children below eighteen years of age, unless
they are actually receiving a similar pension from other government
funds, and shall receive in addition the necessary hospitalization and
medical care.”

The court said that the regulations adopted under legislative
authority by a particular department must be in harmony with the
provisions of the law, and for the sole purpose of carrying into effect
its general provisions.

The statue requires adherence to, not departure from, its provisions.

An administrative agency cannot amend an act of Congress.

Therefore the members of the board of administrators should adhere
to the veteran’ s bill of rights and grant him the right amount of

35694 December 23, 1933FACTS:
All ison D. Gibbs and hi s wife Eva Johnson Gibbs are both
citi zens of California and domiciled therein since their marriage in
July 1906. There
wasn o a n t e n u p t i a l ma r r i a g e c o n t r a c t b e t w e e n t
h e p a r t i e s a n d d u r i n g t h e existence their marriage the
spouses acquired lands in the Philippine Islands,as conj ugal
propert y. On November 28, 1929, Mrs. Gibbs died and that
inaccordance wi th the l aw of California, the communit y
propert y of spouseswho are citizens of California, upon the death
of the wife previous to that
of t h e h u s b a n d , b e l o n g s a b s o l u t e l y t o
t h e s u r v i v i n g h u s b a n d w i t h o u t administration.
In intestate proceedings, Allison D. Gibbs, on September 22,1930,
filed an
ex parte
petition. The court granted said petition and entereda decree
adj udicating the said Al l ison D. Gi bbs t o be the sole and
absol uteowner of sai d l ands, appl yi ng secti on 1401 of the
Ci vi l Code of
Cal iforni a.W h e n t h i s d e c r e e p r e s e n t e d t o t h e
R e g i s t e r o f D e e d s o f M a n i l a a n d demanded
for the issuance of a Transfer Certificate of Ti tl e, i t
decl ined t oaccept as binding said decree of court and refused to
register the transfer of title of the said conjugal property to Allison D.
Gibbs, on the ground that thecorresponding inheritance tax had not
been paid. Thereupon, Allison filed inthe said court a petition for an
order requiring the said register of deeds "to issue the
correspondi ng titl es" t o the petiti oner wi thout requiri ng
previouspayment of any inheritance tax.
Whet her or not Ev a J ohns on Gi bbs at t he t i me of
her deat h i s t heowner of a descendible interest in the Philippine
The second paragraph Article 10 of the Civil Code
provides:Neverthel ess, l egal and testamentar y successions,
i n respect to theorder of succession as well as to the amount of
the successional rightsand the i ntri nsic val idit y of their
provisions, shal l be regul ated by thenational law of the
person whose successi on i s i n questi on, whatevermay be
the nature of the property or the countr y i n whi ch i t may
besituated. The second paragraph of article 10 applies only when a l
egal ort e s t a m e n t a r y s u c c e s s i o n h a s t a k e n p l
a c e i n t h e P h i l i p p i n e s a n d i n ac c or danc e
wi t h t he l aw of t he Phi l i ppi ne I s l ands ; and t he
f or ei gn l aw i s c ons ul t ed onl y i n r egar d t o t he or der
of s uc c es s i on or t he ex t ent of t hesuccessional rights;
in other words, the second
paragrapho f a r t i c l e 1 0 c a n b e i
n v o k e d o n l y w h e n t h e deceased
was vested with a descendible interest
inpr oper t y wi t hi n t he j ur i sdi ct i on of t he Ph
i l i ppi neIslands.
In the case of Clarke
. Clarke, the court said:
I t i s pr i nc i pl e f i r ml y es t abl i shed t hat t o t he l aw of
t he s t at e i nwhich the l and i s situated we must l ook for
the rul es which govern itsdescent, alienation, and transfer, and
for the effect and construction of wills and other conveyances.
This fundamental principle is stated in the first paragraph of article
10of our Ci vil Code as f ol l ows: "Personal property i s
subj ect to the l aws of thenation of the owner thereof; real
property to the laws of the country in whichit is situated.”Under
t hi s br oad pr i nc i pl e, t he nat ur e and ex t ent of t he
t i t l e whi c hvested i n Mrs. Gibbs at the t i me of the
acquisi ti on of the communit y l andshere in question must be
determined in accordance with the
lex rei sitae
. Iti s admi t t ed t hat t he Phi l i ppi ne l ands her e i n ques t
i on wer e ac qui r ed as community property of the conjugal
partnership of the appellee and his wife.Under the law of the
Philippine Islands, she was vested of a title equal to thatof her
It results that the wife of the appellee was, by the
lawof the Philippine Islands, vested of a descendible
interest, equal tothat of her husband, in the
Philippine lands covered by
certificateso f t i t l e N o s . 2 0 8 8 0 , 2 8 3 3 6 a
n d 2 8 3 3 1 , f r o m t h e d a t e o f t h e i r acqu
isition to the date of her death.
The descendible interest of Eva Johnson Gibbs in the lands aforesai
dwas transmitted t o her heirs by virtue of inheritance and
this transmissionplainly falls within the language of section 1536
of Article XI of Chapter 40 of the Administrative Code which levies a
tax on inheritances. It is unnecessaryi n this proceeding to
determine the "order of succession" or t he "extent
of t h e s u c c e s s i o n a l r i g h t s " ( a r t i c l e 1 0 , C i v i l C
o d e ,
) w h i c h w o u l d b e regulated by section 1386 of the Civil
Code of California which was in effectat the time of the death of Mrs.
ISSUE: Whether or not the transfer of title in
favor of Allison Gibbs from the conjugal
ownership with Eva Gibbs, his wife, be subject
to succession or inheritance tax by the
government of the Philippines?
Supreme Court HELD:
1) Upon the death of the wife, under
California law, the husband is the absolute
owner of all the community property from the
moment of the death of his wife, not by virtue
of succession or by virtue of her death, but by
virtue of the fact that when the death of the
wife precedes that of the husband he acquires
the community property, not as an heir or as the
beneficiary of his deceased wife, but because
she never had more than an inchoate interest or
expentancy which is extinguished upon her death.
a. Quoting the case of Estate of Klumpke (167
Cal., 415, 419):
“The decisions under this section (1401
Civil Code of California) are uniform to the
effect that the husband does not take the
community property upon the death of the wife by
succession, but that he holds it all from the
moment of her death as though required by
himself. … It never belonged to the estate of
the deceased wife.”

2) Following the Californian law, there was no
inheritance. So the property in question will
now be a real property instead of personal
a. Article 10 can be invoked only when the
deceased was vested with a descendible interest
in property within the jurisdiction of the
Philippine Islands.
b. It is stated in 5 Cal. Jur., 478 (United
States jurisprudence):
In accord with the rule that real property is
subject to the lex rei sitae, the respective
rights of husband and wife in such property, in
the absence of an antenuptial contract, are
determined by the law of the place where the
property is situated.
c. The nature and extent of the title which
vested in Mrs. Gibbs at the time of the
acquisition of the community lands here in
question must be determined in accordance with
the lex rei sitae.
d. The descendible interest of Eva Johnson
Gibbs in the lands aforesaid was transmitted to
her heirs by virtue of inheritance and this
transmission plainly falls within the language
of section 1536 of Article XI of Chapter 40 of
the Administrative Code which levies a tax on
3) The judgment of the court below of March
10, 1931, is reversed with directions to dismiss
the petition.


FACTS: Prior to 1948, Commercial Airlines (CALI)
owed P170k (abt. $79k) to Shell and CAL offered
its C-54 plane as payment to Shell Company (the
plane was in California) but Shell at that time
declined as it thought CALI had sufficient money
to pay its debt. In 1948 however, CALI was going
bankrupt so it called upon an informal meeting
of its creditors. In that meeting, the creditors
agreed to appoint representatives to a working
committee that would determine the order of
preference as to how each creditor should be
paid. They also agreed not to file suit against
CALI but CALI did reserve that it will file
insolvency proceedings should its assets be not
enough to pay them up. Shell Company was
represented by a certain Fitzgerald to the three
man working committee. Later, the working
committee convened to discuss how CALI’s asset
should be divided amongst the creditors but
while such was pending, Fitzgerald sent a
telegraph message to Shell USA advising the
latter that Shell Philippines is assigning its
credit to Shell USA in the amount of $79k,
thereby effectively collecting almost all if not
the entire indebtedness of CALI to Shell
Philippines. Shell USA got wind of the fact that
CALI has a C-54 plane is California and so Shell
USA petitioned before a California court to have
the plane be the subject of a writ of attachment
which was granted.
Meanwhile, the stockholders of CALI were unaware
of the assignment of credit made by Shell
Philippines to Shell USA and they went on to
approve the sale of CALI’s asset to the
Philippine Airlines. In September 1948, the
other creditors learned of the assignment made
by Shell. This prompted these other creditors to
file their own complaint of attachment against
CALI’s assets. CALI then filed for insolvency
proceedings to protect its assets in the
Philippines from being attached. Velayo’s
appointment as CALI’s assignee was approved in
lieu of the insolvency proceeding. In order for
him to recover the C-54 plane in California, it
filed for a writ of injunction against Shell
Philippines in order for the latter to restrain
Shell USA from proceeding with the attachment
and in the alternative that judgment be awarded
in favor of CALI for damages double the amount
of the C-54 plane. The C-54 plane was not
recovered. Shell Company argued it is not liable
for damages because there is nothing in the law
which prohibits a company from assigning its
credit, it being a common practice.
ISSUE: Whether or not Shell is liable for
damages considering that it did not violate any
HELD: Yes. The basis of such liability, in the
absence of law, is Article 21 of the Civil Code
which states:
“Art. 21. Any person who willfully causes loss
or injury to another in a manner that is
contrary to morals, good customs or public
policy shall compensate the latter for the
Thus at one stroke, the legislator, if the
forgoing rule is approved (as it was approved),
would vouchsafe adequate legal remedy for that
untold numbers of moral wrongs which is
impossible for human foresight to provide for
specifically in the statutes. A moral wrong or
injury, even if it does not constitute a
violation of a statute law, should be
compensated by damages. Moral damages (Art.
2217) may be recovered (Art. 2219). In Article
20, the liability for damages arises from a
willful or negligent act contrary to law. In
this article, the act is contrary to morals,
good customs or public policy.

FACTS: Francisco Velez and Beatriz Wassmer,
following their mutual promise of love, decided
to get married and set Sept. 4, 1954 as the big
day. On Sept. 2, 1954, Velez left a note for his
bride-to-be saying that he wants to postpone the
marriage as his mother opposes it and that he is
leaving. But the next day, Sept. 3, he sent her
a telegram and told her that nothing has
changed, that he is returning and he apologizes.
Thereafter, Velez did not appear nor was he
heard from again. Wassmer sued him for damages.
Velez filed no answer and was declared in
ISSUE: Is the case at bar a mere breach of
promise to marry?
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 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 Art. 21
of the NCC which provides that "any person who
willfully causes loss or injury to another in a
manner that is contrary to morals, good customs
or public policy shall compensate the latter for
the damage."
DECISION: Affirmed.


FACTS:An appeal from the judgment of the CFI of
Manila dated 05 September 1905.
OOA 17 Apr 1903, in the City of Chicago, State
of Illinois, USA, the defendant an through a
representative of the Insular Government of the
Philippine Islands, entered into a contract for
two (2) years and to receive a salary $ 1,200 a
year as a stenographer.
The contract contained a provision that in case
of a violation of its terms on the part of the
defendant, he becomes liable to the plaintiff
for the amount expended by the Government. On 11
February 1904, the defendant left the service of
the plaintiff and refused to make a further
compliance with the terms of the contract.
ISSUES: WON the law of the Philippines or that
of the State of Illinois would govern to the
case at bar.
RULING: Contract was entered into in Illinois by
a minor in the Philippines but had the capacity
in Illinois.

No rule is better settled in law than that
matters bearing upon the execution,
interpretation, and validity of a contract are
determined by the law of the place where the
contract is made.
DISPO: Affirmed
Nationality Principle – Internal and Conflict Rule
Edward Christensen was born in New York but he migrated to
California where he resided for a period of 9 years. In 1913, he
came to the Philippines where he became a domiciliary until
his death. In his will, he instituted an acknowledged natural
daughter, Maria Lucy Christensen (legitimate), as his only heir,
but left a legacy sum of money in favor of Helen Christensen
Garcia (illegitimate). Counsel for Helen claims that under Article
16, paragraph 2 of the Civil Code, California law should be
applied; that under California law, the matter is referred back to
the law of the domicile. On the other hand, counsel for Maria,
averred that the national law of the deceased must apply,
illegitimate children not being entitled to anything under California
Edward E. Christensen, though born in New York, migrated to
California, where he resided and consequently was considered a
California citizen. In 1913, he came to the Philippines where he
became a domiciliary until his death. However, during the entire
period of his residence in this country he had always considered
himself a citizen of California. In his will executed on March 5, 1951,
he instituted an acknowledged natural daughter, Maria Lucy
Christensen as his only heir, but left a legacy of sum of money in
favor of Helen Christensen Garcia who was rendered to have been
declared acknowledged natural daughter. Counsel for appellant
claims that California law should be applied; that under California
law, the matter is referred back to the law of the domicile; that
therefore Philippine law is ultimately applicable; that finally, the share
of Helen must be increased in view of the success ional rights of
illegitimate children under Philippine law. On the other hand, counsel
for the heir of Christensen contends that inasmuch as it is clear that
under Article 16 of our Civil Code, the national law of the deceased
must apply, our courts must immediately apply the internal law of
California on the matter; that under California law there are no
compulsory heirs and consequently a testator could dispose of any
property possessed by him in absolute dominion and that finally,
illegitimate children not being entitled to anything and his will remain
ISSUE: Whether or not the national law of the deceased should
be applied in determining the successional rights of his heirs.
HELD: The Supreme Court deciding to grant more successional
rights to Helen said in effect that there are two rules in California
on the matter; the internal law which applies to Californians
domiciled in California and the conflict rule for Californians
domiciled outside of California. . The California conflict rule says: “If
there is no law to the contrary in the place where personal property is
situated, is deemed to follow the person of its owner and is governed
by the law of his domicile.” Christensen being domiciled in the
Philippines, the law of his domicile must be followed. The
case was remanded to the lower court for further proceedings –
the determination of the successional rights under Philippine law
only. Where it is referred back to California, it will form a circular
pattern referring to both country back and forth.

G.R. No. L-23678 (June 6, 1967)
Bellis vs. Bellis

Amos G. Bellis was a citizen of the State of Texas and of the
United States. He had five legitimate children with his first wife
(whom he divorced), three legitimate children with his second wife
(who survived him) and, finally, three illegitimate children.
6 years prior Amos Bellis’ death, he executed two(2) wills,
apportioning the remainder of his estate and properties to his
seven surviving children. The appellants filed their oppositions to
the project of partition claiming that they have been deprived of
their legitimes to which they were entitled according to the
Philippine law. Appellants argued that the deceased wanted his
Philippine estate to be governed by the Philippine law, thus the
creation of two separate wills.
Whether or not the Philippine law be applied in the case in the
determination of the illegitimate children’s successional rights
Court ruled that provision in a foreigner’s will to the effect that his
properties shall be distributed in accordance with Philippine law
and not with his national law, is illegal and void, for his national
law cannot be ignored in view of those matters that Article 10 —
now Article 16 — of the Civil Code states said national law should
Where the testator was a citizen of Texas and domiciled in Texas,
the intrinsic validity of his will should be governed by his national
law. Since Texas law does not require legitimes, then his will,
which deprived his illegitimate children of the legitimes, is valid.
The Supreme Court held that the illegitimate children are not
entitled to the legitimes under the texas law, which is the national
law of the deceased.
Pcib v. escolin
Linnie Jane Hodges, a married woman and a citizen of Texas,
USA, was a domiciliary of the Philippines at the moment of her
death. With respect to the validity of certain testamentary
provisions she had made in favor of her husband, a question
arose as to what exactly were the laws of Texas on the matter at
the precise moment of her death (for while one group contended
that the Texan law should result to renvoi, the other
groupcontended that no renvoi was possible).
ISSUE: Whether or not Texas Law should apply.
HELD: The Supreme Court held that for what the Texas law is on
the matter, is a question of fact to be resolved by the evidence
that would be presented in the probate court. Texas law at the
time of her death (and not said law at any other time). NOTE:
Dynamics of law.
# 22
103 Phil 629 – Civil Law – Torts and Damages – Breach of
Promise to Marry – Moral Damages
In 1950, Soledad Cagigas, 33 years old (then a school teacher,
later she became an insurance underwriter), and Francisco
Hermosisima, 23 years old (apprentice ship pilot), fell in love with
each other. Since 1953, both had a refular intimate and sexual
affair with each other. In 1954, Soledad got pregnant. Francisco
then promised to marry Soledad. In June 1954, Soledad gave
birth to a baby girl. The next month, Francisco got married but
with a different woman named Romanita Perez.
Subsequently, Soledad filed an action against Francisco for the
latter to recognize his daughter with Soledad and for damages
due to Francisco’s breach of his promise to marry Soledad. The
trial court ruled in favor of Soledad. The Court of Appeals affirmed
the decision of the trial court and even increased the award of
damages. The Court of Appeals reasoned that Francisco is liable
for damages because he seduced Soledad. He exploited the love
of Soledad for him in order to satisfy his sexual desires – that
being, the award of moral damages is proper.
ISSUE: Whether or not moral damages are recoverable under
our laws for breach of promise to marry.
HELD: No. Breach of promise to marry is not an actionable wrong
per se. The Court of Appeals based its award of damages on
Article 2219 of the Civil Code which says in part that “Moral
damages may be recovered from… (3) Seduction, xxx…”
However, it must be noted that the “Seduction” being
contemplated in the said Civil Code provision is the same
“Seduction” being contemplated in Article 337 and 338 of the
Revised Penal Code. Such “seduction” is not present in this case.
Further, it cannot be said that Francisco morally seduced (in lieu
of criminal seduction) Soledad given the circumstances of this
case. Soledad was 10 years older than Francisco. Soledad had a
better job experience and a better job overall than Francisco who
was a mere apprentice. Further still, it was admitted by Soledad
herself that she surrendered herself to Francisco and that she
wanted to bind “by having a fruit of their engagement even before
they had the benefit of clergy.”
INC., respondents.
[G.R. No. 130982. September 16, 2005]
Petitioners owned a five-storey named Paguyo Building over the land
owned by the Armas family. Pending civil case, petitioners and
Armases entered into compromise agreement for the former to
acquire the lot. In dire need of money, petitioner entered into
agreement “Receipt of Earnest Money” with herein respondent for
the sale of former’s property and lot which was to be purchased from
Armases. Petitioner (Lourdes) later entered into Deed of Absolute
Sale of Paguyo Building with the respondent, who also paid for the
accrued and subsequent real property taxes. Petitioner filed
Complaint rescission of “Receipt of Earnest Money” alleging there
has been fraud on the part of respondents. The RTC and Court of
Appeals ruled in favor of respondents with damages.
Whether or not petitioner’s complaint for rescission is tenable.
NO. Petitioners’ contentions lack merit. For one, on top of the
amount received by petitioners, respondents had to shoulder
accrued real estate taxes. For another, respondents believe it was
the value for their money inasmuch as the building stands on a lot
with a lot owner reluctant to sell it. For a third, said amount was
arrived considering the depreciated value of the building in view o
economic and political uncertainties that time. Except in cases
specified by law, lesion or inadequacy of cause shall not invalidate a
contract, unless there has been fraud, mistake or undue influence.
(Art. 1355, NCC) Gross inadequacy of the price does not affect a
contract of sale, except as may indicate a defect in the consent, or
the parties really intended a donation or some other act of contract.
(Art.1470, NCC)

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