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Filmer v CA

Potenciano Kapunan, Sr., an eighty-two-year old retired schoolteacher (now deceased), was struck by the Pinoy jeep
owned by petitioner Filamer and driven by its alleged employee, Funtecha, as Kapunan, Sr. was walking along Roxas
Avenue, Roxas City at 6:30 in the evening of October 20, 1977. As a result of the accident, Kapunan, Sr. suffered
multiple injuries for which he was hospitalized for a total of twenty (20) days. Evidence showed that at the precise
time of the vehicular accident, only one headlight of the jeep was functioning. Funtecha, who only had a student
driver's permit, was driving after having persuaded Allan Masa, the authorized driver, to turn over the wheels to him.
The two fled from the scene after the incident. A tricycle driver brought the unconscious victim to the hospital.
Thereafter, Kapunan, Sr. instituted a criminal case against Funtecha alone in the City Court of Roxas City for serious
physical injuries through reckless imprudence. Kapunan, Sr. reserved his right to file an independent civil action. The
inferior court found Funtecha guilty as charged and on appeal, his conviction was affirmed by the then Court of First
Instance of Capiz. Pursuant to his reservation, Kapunan, Sr. commenced a civil case for damages 3 before the RTC
of Roxas City. Named defendants in the complaint were petitioner Filamer and Funtecha. Also included was Agustin
Masa, the director and president of Filamer Christian Institute, in his personal capacity in that he personally
authorized and allowed said Daniel Funtecha who was his houseboy at the time of the incident, to drive the vehicle in
question despite his knowledge and awareness that the latter did not have the necessary license or permit to drive
said vehicle. His son, Allan Masa, who was with Funtecha at the time of the accident, was not impleaded as a codefendant
Lower court found that defendants Daniel Funtecha, Filamer Christian Institute and Allan Masa are at fault
Petitioner Filamer's basic contention that it cannot be held responsible for the tortious act of Funtecha on the ground
that there is no existing employer-employee relationship between them. We agree.


WON the term "employer" as used in Article 2180 is applicable to petitioner Filamer with reference to
WON Filamer is liable?



No. Under Sec 14 of Rule X of Book III, Filamer cannot be considered as Funtecha's employer.
Funtecha belongs to that special category of students who render service to the school in exchange for
free tuition Funtecha worked for petitioner for two hours daily for five days a week. He was assigned to
clean the school passageways from 4:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. with sufficient time to prepare for his 7:30
a.m. classes. As admitted by Agustin Masa in open court, Funtecha was not included in the company
No. still the primary responsibility for Funtechas wrongdoing cannot be imputed to petitioner Filamer for
the plain reason that at the time of the accident, it has been satisfactorily shown that Funtecha was not
acting within the scope of his supposed employment. His duty was to sweep the school passages for
two hours every morning before his regular classes. Taking the wheels of the Pinoy jeep from the
authorized driver at 6:30 in the evening and then driving the vehicle in a reckless manner resulting in
multiple injuries to a third person were certainly not within the ambit of his assigned tasks. In other
words, at the time of the injury, Funtecha was not engaged in the execution of the janitorial services for
which he was employed, but for some purpose of his own. It is but fair therefore that Funtecha should
bear the full brunt of his tortious negligence. Petitioner Filamer cannot be made liable for the damages
he had caused.

Private respondents' attempt to hold petitioner Filamer directly and primarily answerable to the injured party under
Article 2180 of the Civil Code would have prospered had they proceeded against Allan Masa, the authorized driver of
the Pinoy jeep an1.d undisputably an employee of petitioner. It was Allan's irresponsible act of entrusting the wheels

of the vehicle to the inexperienced Funtecha which set into motion the chain of events leading to the accident
resulting in injuries to Kapunan, Sr. But under the present set of circumstances, even if the trial court did find Allan
guilty of negligence, such conclusion would not be binding on Allan. It must be recalled that Allan was never
impleaded in the complaint for damages and should be considered as a stranger as far as the trial court's judgment is
concerned. It is axiomatic that no man shall be affected by a proceeding to which he is a stranger