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NPC v.

CA (1988)
Petitioners: NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION
Respondents: CA, AND ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION, INC. (ECI)
Ponente: GUTIERREZ, JR.
Topic: Remedies for Breach
SUMMARY: (1-2 sentence summary of facts, issue, ratio and ruling)
FACTS:
1.) On August 4, 1964, ECI being a successful bidder, executed a contract in Manila with the
National Waterworks and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA) to furnish all the tools, labor,
equipment, and materials (not furnished by the owner) and to construct the proposed 2nd
Ipo-Bicti Tunnel at Norzaragay, Bulacan within 800 calendar days. The tunnel would be
passing through the mountain, from the Ipo river, a part of Norzaragay where the Ipo Dam of
NPC is located.
2.) By September 1967, ECI already completed the tunnel excavation work. All the equipment
not needed at the Bicti site were then transferred to the Ipo site, where some projects were not
yet completed.
3.) On November 4, 1967, typhoon Welming hit Central Luzon, passing through NCPs Angat
Hydro-electric project and Dam at Ipo, Norzaragay, Bulacan. Due to the heavy downpour, the
water in the reservoir of the Angat Dam, was rising perilously at the rate of 60 cm per hour. To
prevent an overflow of water from the dam since the water level has reached danger heights,
the NPC caused the opening of the spillway gates.
4.) ECI filed a case against NPC. The trial court established the fact that due to the negligent
manner with which the spillway gates of the dam were opened, an extraordinary large
volume of water rushed out of the gates, and hit the installations and constructions of ECI at the
Ipo Site, as a result, of which the latter's stockpile of materials and supplies, camp facilities and
permanent structures and accessories were washed away, lost or destroyed.
5.) CA sustained the factual findings of the trial court ([NPC] knew of the coming of the typhoon
four days before it actually hit the project area.") but modified the damages awarded.
6.) NPC assailed the CA decision as being erroneous on the ground that the destruction and
loss of ECI's equipment and facilities were due to force majeure. It argues that the rapid rise of
the water level in the reservoir of its Angat Dam due to heavy rains brought about by the
typhoon was an extraordinary occurrence that could not have been foreseen.
ISSUES:

WON the destruction and loss of the ECI's equipment and facilities were due to force
majeure
o NO. NPC was undoubtedly negligent because it opened the spillway gates of the
Angat Dam only at the height of typhoon "Welming" when it knew very well that it
was safer to have opened the same gradually and earlier, as it was also
undeniable that NPC knew of the coming typhoon at least four days before it
actually struck.
o Even though the typhoon was an act of God or force majeure, NPC cannot
escape liability because its negligence was the proximate cause of the loss and
damage (Nakpil and Sons).

NOTES:

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