January 2014 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Civil Law

Here are select January 2014 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on civil law:

Civil Code

Bad faith cannot be presumed; it is a question of fact that must be proven by clear and convincing evidence. It is worth stressing at this point that bad faith cannot be presumed. “It is a question of fact that must be proven” by clear and convincing evidence. “[T]he burden of proving bad faith rests on the one alleging it.” Sadly, spouses Vilbar failed to adduce the necessary evidence. Thus, this Court finds no error on the part of the CA when it did not find bad faith on the part of Gorospe, Sr. Sps. Bernadette and Rodulfo Vilbar v. Angelito L. Opinion, G.R. No. 176043. January 15, 2014.

Banks; exercise the highest degree of diligence, as well as to observe the high standards of integrity and performance in all its transactions because its business was imbued with public interest. Being a banking institution, DBP owed it to Guariña Corporation to exercise the highest degree of diligence, as well as to observe the high standards of integrity and performance in all its transactions because its business was imbued with public interest. The high standards were also necessary to ensure public confidence in the banking system, for, according to Philippine National Bank v. Pike: “The stability of banks largely depends on the confidence of the people in the honesty and efficiency of banks.” Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) v. Guariña Agricultural and Realty Development Corporation, G.R. No. 160758. January 15, 2014

Common carrier; cargoes while being unloaded generally remain under the custody of the carrier. It is settled in maritime law jurisprudence that cargoes while being unloaded generally remain under the custody of the carrier. As hereinbefore found by the RTC and affirmed by the CA based on the evidence presented, the goods were damaged even before they were turned over to ATI. Such damage was even compounded by the negligent acts of petitioner and ATI which both mishandled the goods during the discharging operations. Eastern Shipping Lines, Inc. v. BPI/MS Insurance Corp., and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co., Ltd.,G.R. No. 193986, January 15, 2014.

Common carrier; extraordinary diligence.Common carriers, from the nature of their business and for reasons of public policy, are bound to observe extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods transported by them. Subject to certain exceptions enumerated under Article 1734 of the Civil Code, common carriers are responsible for the loss, destruction, or deterioration of the goods. The extraordinary responsibility of the common carrier lasts from the time the goods are unconditionally placed in the possession of, and received by the carrier for transportation until the same are delivered, actually or constructively, by the carrier to the consignee, or to the person who has a right to receive them. Owing to this high degree of diligence required of them, common carriers, as a general rule, are presumed to have been at fault or negligent if the goods they transported deteriorated or got lost or destroyed. That is, unless they prove that they exercised extraordinary diligence in transporting the goods. In order to avoid responsibility for any loss or damage, therefore, they have the burden of proving that they observed such high level of diligence. Eastern Shipping Lines, Inc. v. BPI/MS Insurance Corp., and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co., Ltd.,G.R. No. 193986, January 15, 2014.

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