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G.R. No.

L-10134 June 29, 1957

SABINA EXCONDE, plaintiff-appellant,

DELFIN CAPUNO and DANTE CAPUNO, defendants-appellees.

Magno T. Bueser for appellant.

Alver Law Offices and Edon B. Brion and Vencedor A. Alimario for appellees.


Dante Capuno, son of Delfin Capuno, was accused of double homicide through reckless imprudence for the death of Isidoro
Caperina and Amado Ticzon on March 31, 1949 in the Court of First Instance of Laguna (Criminal Case No. 15001). During the
trial, Sabina Exconde, as mother of the deceased Isidoro Caperina, reserved her right to bring a separate civil action for
damages against the accused. After trial, Dante Capuno was found guilty of the crime charged and, on appeal, the Court
Appeals affirmed the decision. Dante Capuno was only (15) years old when he committed the crime.

In line with her reservation, Sabina Exconde filed the present action against Delfin Capuno and his son Dante Capuno asking
for damages in the aggregate amount of P2,959.00 for the death of her son Isidoro Caperiña. Defendants set up the defense
that if any one should be held liable for the death of Isidoro Caperina, he is Dante Capuno and not his father Delfin because at
the time of the accident, the former was not under the control, supervision and custody, of the latter. This defense was
sustained by the lower court and, as a consequence it only convicted Dante Capuno to pay the damages claimed in the
complaint. From decision, plaintiff appealed to the Court of Appeals but the case was certified to us on the ground that the
appeal only involves questions of law.

It appears that Dante Capuno was a member of the Boy Scouts Organization and a student of the Bilintawak Elementary
School situated in a barrio in the City of San Pablo and on March 31, 1949 he attended a parade in honor of Dr. Jose Rizal in
said city upon instruction of the city school's supervisor. From the school Dante, with other students, boarded a jeep and when
the same started to run, he took hold of the wheel and drove it while the driver sat on his left side. They have not gone far when
the jeep turned turtle and two of its passengers, Amado Ticzon and Isidore Caperiña, died as a consequence. It further appears
that Delfin Capuno, father of Dante, was not with his son at the time of the accident, nor did he know that his son was going to
attend a parade. He only came to know it when his son told him after the accident that he attended the parade upon instruction
of his teacher.

The only issue involved in this appeal is whether defendant Delfin Capuno can be held civilly liable, jointly and severally with his
son Dante, for damages resulting from the death of Isidoro Caperiña caused by the negligent act of minor Dante Capuno.

The case comes under Article 1903 of the Spanish Civil Code, paragraph 1 and 5, which provides:

ART. 1903. The obligation impossed by the next preceding articles is enforceable not only for personal acts and
omissions, but also for those of persons for whom another is responsible.

The father, and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are liable for any damages caused by the minor
children who live with them.

xxx xxx xxx

Finally, teachers or directors of arts and trades are liable for any damages caused by their pupils or apprentices while
they are under their custody.

Plaintiff contends that defendant Delfin Capuno is liable for the damages in question jointly and severally with his son Dante
because at the time the latter committed the negligent act which resulted in the death of the victim, he was a minor and was
then living with his father, and inasmuch as these facts are not disputed, the civil liability of the father is evident. And so, plaintiff
contends, the lower court erred in relieving the father from liability. We find merit in this claim. It is true that under the law above
quoted, "teachers or directors of arts and trades are liable for any damages caused by their pupils or apprentices while they are
under their custody", but this provision only applies to an institution of arts and trades and not to any academic educational
institution (Padilla, Civil Law, 1953, Ed., Vol. IV, p. 841; See 12 Manresa, 4th Ed., p. 557). Here Dante capuno was then a
student of the Balintawak Elementary School and as part of his extra-curricular activity, he attended the parade in honor of Dr.
Jose Rizal upon instruction of the city school's supervisor. And it was in connection with that parade that Dante boarded a jeep
with some companions and while driving it, the accident occurred. In the circumstances, it is clear that neither the head of that
school, nor the city school's supervisor, could be held liable for the negligent act of Dante because he was not then a student of
an institute of arts and trades as provided by law. The civil liability which the law impose upon the father, and, in case of his
death or incapacity, the mother, for any damages that may be caused by the minor children who live with them, is obvious. This
is necessary consequence of the parental authority they exercise over them which imposes upon the parents the "duty of
supporting them, keeping them in their company, educating them and instructing them in proportion to their means", while, on
the other hand, gives them the "right to correct and punish them in moderation" (Articles 154 and 155, Spanish Civil Code). The
only way by which they can relieve themselves of this liability is if they prove that they exercised all the diligence of a good
father of a family to prevent the damage(Article 1903, last paragraph, Spanish Civil Code). This defendants failed to prove.
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is modified in the sense that defendants Delfin Capuno and Dante Capuno shall
pay to plaintiff, jointly and severally, the sum of P2,959.00 as damages, and the costs of action.

G.R. No. L-14342 May 30, 1960

CIRIACO L. MERCADO, petitioner,


Abad Santos and Pablo for petitioner.

Sycip, Quisumbing, Salazar and Associates for respondents.


This is a petition to review a decision of the Court of Appeals, which condemned petitioner to pay P2,000 as moral damages
and P50 for medical expenses, for a physical injury caused by the son of petitioner, Augusto Mercado, on a classmate, Manuel
Quisumbing, Jr., both pupils of the Lourdes Catholic School, Kanlaon, Quezon City. The case had originated in the Court of
First Instance of Manila, Hon. Bienvenido A. Tan, presiding, which dismissed the complaint filed by Manuel Quisumbing, Jr. and
his father against petitioner, father of the above-mentioned Mercado. The facts found by the Court of Appeals are as follows:

Plaintiff-appellant Manuel Quisumbing, Jr. is the son of his co-plaintiff-appellants Ana Pineda and Manuel L.
Quisumbing, while Augusto Mercado is the son of defendant-appellee Ciriaco L. Mercado, Manuel Quisumbing, Jr.
and Augusto Mercado were classmates in the Lourdes Catholic School on Kanlaon, Quezon City. A "pitogo", which
figures prominently in this case, may be described as an empty nutshell used by children as a piggy bank. On
February 22, 1956, Augusto Mercado and Manuel Quisumbing, Jr. quarrelled over a "pitogo". As a result, Augusto
wounded Manuel, Jr. on the right cheek with a piece of razor.

xxx xxx xxx

The facts of record clearly show that it was Augusto Mercado who started the aggression. Undeniably, the "pitogo"
belonged to Augusto Mercado but he lent it to Benedicto P. Lim and in turn Benedicto lent it to Renato Legaspi.
Renato was not aware that the "pitogo" belonged to Augusto, because right after Benedicto gave it to him, Benedicto
ran away to get a basket ball with which they could play. Manuel Quisumbing, Jr. was likewise unaware that the
"pitogo" belonged to Augusto. He thought it was the "pitogo" of Benedicto P. Lim, so that when Augusto attempted to
get the "pitogo" from Renato, Manuel, Jr. told him not to do so because Renato was better at putting the chain into
the holes of the "pitogo". However, Augusto resented Manuel, Jr.'s remark and he aggresively pushed the latter. The
fight started then. After Augusto gave successive blows to Manuel, Jr., and the latter was clutching his stomach
which bore the brunt of Augusto's anger, Augusto seeing that Manuel, Jr. was in a helpless position, cut him on the
right check with a piece of razor.

xxx xxx xxx

Although the doctor who treated Manuel Quisumbing, Jr., Antonio B. Past, testified for plaintiffs-appellants, he did not
declare as to the amount of fees he collected from plaintiff-appellants for the treatment of Manuel, Jr. the child was
not even hospitalized for the wound. We believe that the sum of P50.00 is a fair approximation of the medical
expenses incurred by plaintiffs-appellants.

xxx xxx xxx

The damages specified in paragraphs C and D of the aforequoted portion of plaintiffs-appellant's complaint come
under the class of moral damages. The evidence of record shows that the child suffered moral damages by reason of
the wound inflicted by Augusto Mercado. Though such kind of damages cannot be fully appreciated in terms of
money, we believe that the sum of P2,000.00 would fully compensate the child.

As second cause of action, plaintiffs-appellants pray for P5,000.00 covering the moral damages they allegedly
suffered due to their son's being wounded; and the sum of P3,000.00 as attorney's fees. The facts of record do not
warrant the granting of moral damages to plaintiffs-appellants Manuel Quisumbing and Ana Pineda. "In law mental
anguish is restricted, as a rule, to such mental pain or suffering as arises from an injury or wrong to the person
himself, as distinguished from that form of mental suffering which is the accompaniment of sympathy or sorrow for
another's suffering of which arises from a contemplation of wrong committed on the person of another. Pursuant to
the rule stated, a husband or wife cannot recover for mental suffering caused by his or her sympathy for the other's
suffering. Nor can a parent recover for mental distress and anxiety on account of physical injury sustained by a child
or for anxiety for the safety of his child placed in peril by the negligence of another." (15 Am. Jur. 597). Plaintiffs-
appellants are not entitled to attorney's fees, it not appearing that defendant-appellee had wantonly disregarded their
claim for damages.
In the first, second and third assignments of error, counsel for petitioner argues that since the incident of the inflicting of the
wound on respondent occurred in a Catholic School (during recess time), through no fault of the father, petitioner herein, the
teacher or head of the school should be held responsible instead of the latter. This precise question was brought before this
Court in Exconde vs. Capuno and Capuno, 101 Phil., 843, but we held, through Mr. Justice Bautista:

We find merit in this claim. It is true that under the law above-quoted, "teachers or directors of arts and trades are
liable for any damage caused by their pupils or apprentices while they are under their custody", but this provision only
applies to an institution of arts and trades and not to any academic educational institution (Padilla, Civil Law, 1953
Ed., Vol. IV, p. 841; See 12 Manresa, 4th Ed., p. 557)

The last paragraph of Article 2180 of the Civil Code, upon which petitioner rests his claim that the school where his son was
studying should be made liable, is as follows:

ART. 2180. . . .

Lastly, teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades shall be liable for damages caused by their pupils and
students or apprentices, so long as they remain in their custody.

It would be seem that the clause "so long as they remain in their custody," contemplates a situation where the pupil lives and
boards with the teacher, such that the control, direction and influence on the pupil supersedes those of the parents. In these
circumstances the control or influence over the conduct and actions of the pupil would pass from the father and mother to the
teacher; and so would the responsibility for the torts of the pupil. Such a situation does not appear in the case at bar; the pupils
appear to go to school during school hours and go back to their homes with their parents after school is over. The situation
contemplated in the last paragraph of Article 2180 does not apply, nor does paragraph 2 of said article, which makes father or
mother responsible for the damages caused by their minor children. The claim of petitioner that responsibility should pass to
the school must, therefore, be held to be without merit.

We next come to the claim of petitioner that the moral damages fixed at P2,000 are excessive. We note that the wound caused
to respondent was inflicted in the course of an ordinary or common fight between boys in a grade school. The Court of Appeals
fixed the medical expenses incurred in treating and curing the wound at P50. Said court stated that the wound did not even
require hospitalization. Neither was Mercado found guilty of any offense nor the scar in Quisumbing's face pronounced to have
caused a deformity, unlike the case of Araneta, et al. vs. Arreglado, et al., 104 Phil., 529; 55 Off. Gaz. (9) 1561. Petitioner's
counsel argues that if death call for P3,000 to P6,000, certainly the incised wound could cause mental pain and suffering to the
tune of P2,000.

In the decision of the Court of Appeals, said court pronounces that the child Quisumbing suffered moral damages "by reason of
the wound inflicted by Augusto Mercado." While moral damages included physical suffering, which must have been caused to
the wounded boy Quisumbing (Art. 2217, Civil Code), the decision of the court below does not declare that any of the cases
specified in Article 2219 of the Civil Code in which moral damages may be recovered, has attended or occasioned the physical
injury. The only possible circumstance in the case at bar in which moral damages are recoverable would be if a criminal offense
or a quasi-delict has been committed.

It does not appear that a criminal action for physical injuries was ever presented. The offender, Augusto Mercado, was nine
years old and it does not appear that he had acted with discernment when he inflicted the physical injuries on Manuel
Quisumbing, Jr.

It is possible that the Court of Appeals may have considered Augusto Mercado responsible for or guilty, of a quasi-delict
causing physical injuries, within the meaning of paragraph 2 of Article 2219. Even if we assume that said court considered
Mercado guilty of a quasi-delict when it imposed the moral damages, yet the facts found by said court indicate that Augusto's
resentment, which motivated the assault, was occasioned by the fact that Manuel, Jr. had tried to intervene in or interfere with
the attempt of Mercado to get "his pitogo from Renato." This is, according to the decision appealed from, the reason why
Mercado was incensed and pushed Quisumbing who, in turn, also pushed Mercado. It is, therefore, apparent that the proximate
cause of the injury caused to Quisumbing was Quisumbing's own fault or negligence for having interfered with Mercado while
trying to get the pitogo from another boy. (Art. 2179, Civil Code.)

After considering all the facts as found by the Court of Appeals, we find that none of the cases mentioned in Article 2219 of the
Civil Code, which authorizes the grant of moral damages, was shown to have existed. Consequently, the grant of moral
damages is not justified.

For the foregoing considerations, the decision appealed from is hereby reversed and the petitioner is declared exempt or free
from the payment of moral damages. The award of P50 for medical expenses, however, is hereby affirmed. Without costs.

G.R. No. L-29025 [October 4, 1971]

Deceased Dominador Palisoc and defendant Virgilio Daffon were automotive

mechanics students at the Manila Technical Institute (MTI). In the afternoon of
March 10, 1966 during recess, an altercation transpired between the deceased and
the defendant. At the time of the incident, Dominador was sixteen years old while
Virgilio was already of age. Virgilio was working on a machine with Dominador
looking at them. The situation prompted Virgilio to remark that Dominador was
acting like a foreman. As a result, Dominador slapped Virgilio on the face. Virgilio
retaliated by inflicting severe blows upon Dominador’s stomach, which caused the
latter to stumble upon an engine block and faint. The latter died, the cause of death
being “shock due to traumatic fracture of the ribs”. The parents of Dominador filed
an action for damages against (1) Virgilio, (2) Valenton, the head/president of MTI,
(3) Quibule who was the teacher in charge at the time of the incident, and
(4) Brillantes who is a member of the board of directors and former sole proprietor of
The trial court held Virgilio liable but absolved the other defendants-officials. It
stated that the clause “so long as they remain in their custody” contained in Article
2180 of the Civil Code applies only where the pupil lives and boards with the
teachers, such that the control or influence on the pupil supersedes those of the
parents., and such control and responsibility for the pupil’s actions would pass from
the father and mother to the teachers. This legal conclusion was based on the dictum
in Mercado v. CA, which in turn based its decision in Exconde v. Capuno. The trial
court held that Article 2180 was not applicable in this case, as defendant Virgilio did
not live with the defendants-officials at the time of the incident. Hence, this petition.


Who must be held liable for damages for the death of Dominador together
with the defendant?


The head/president and teacher of MTI (Valenton and Quibule respectively)

were held liable jointly and severally with the Virgilio for damages. No
liability attachesto Brillantes as a mere member of the MTI board of directors.
Similarly, MTI may not be held liable since it had not been properly impleaded as
party defendant.
The phrase used in Article 2180, “so long as the students remain in their custody”
means the protective and supervisory custody that the school and its heads and
teachers exercise over the pupils and students for as long as they are at attendance in
the school, including recess time. There is nothing in the law that requires that for
such liability to attach the pupil or student who commits the tortuous act must live
and board in the school. The dicta in the cases of Mercado as well as in Exconde v.
Capuno on which it relied are deemed to have been set aside. The rationale of such
liability of school heads and teachers for the tortious acts of their pupils and
students, so long as they remain in their custody, is that they stand, in loco parentis
to a certain extent to their pupils and students and are called upon to “exercise
reasonable supervision over the conduct of the child.” In this case, The unfortunate
death resulting from the fight between the protagonists-students could have been
avoided, had said defendants complied with their duty of providing adequate
supervision over the activities of the students in the school premises to protect their
students from harm. Since Valenton and Quibule failed to prove that they observed
all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage, they cannot likewise
avail of the exemption to the liability. The judgment of the appellatecourt was
modified, while claim for compensatory damages was increased in accordancewith
recent jurisprudence and the claim for exemplary damages denied in the absence of
gross negligence on the part of the said defendants.

Amadora vs CA
Amadora vs. CA
GR No. L47745, April 15, 1988


Alfredo Amadora, while in the auditorium of the school, was mortally hit by a gun by Pablito
Daffon resulting to the former’s death. Daffon was convicted of homicide through reckless
imprudence. The victim’s parents, herein petitioners, filed a civil action for damages against
Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos, its rectors, high school principal, dean of boys, the physics
teacher together with Daffon and 2 other students. Complaints against the students were
dropped. Respondent Court absolved the defendants completely and reversed CFI Cebu’s
decision for the following reasons: 1. Since the school was an academic institution of learning
and not a school of arts and trades 2. That students were not in the custody of the school since the
semester has already ended 3. There was no clear identification of the fatal gun, and 4. In any
event, defendants exercised the necessary diligence through enforcement of the school
regulations in maintaining discipline. Petitioners on othe other hand claimed their son was under
school custody because he went to school to comply with a requirement for graduation
(submission of Physics reports).

ISSUE: WON Collegio de San Jose-Recoletos should be held liable.


The time Alfredo was fatally shot, he was in the custody of the authorities of the school
notwithstanding classes had formally ended when the incident happened. It was immaterial if he
was in the school auditorium to finish his physics requirement. What was important is that he
was there for a legitimate purpose. On the other hand, the rector, high school principal and the
dean of boys cannot be held liable because none of them was the teacher-in-charge as defined in
the provision. Each was exercising only a general authority over the students and not direct
control and influence exerted by the teacher placed in-charge of particular classes.

In the absence of a teacher- in charge, dean of boys should probably be held liable considering
that he had earlier confiscated an unlicensed gun from a student and later returned to him without
taking disciplinary action or reporting the matter to the higher authorities. Though it was clear
negligence on his part, no proof was shown to necessarily link this gun with the shooting

Collegio San Jose-Recoletos cannot directly be held liable under the provision because only the
teacher of the head of school of arts and trade is made responsible for the damage caused by the
student. Hence, under the facts disclosed, none of the respondents were held liable for the injury
inflicted with Alfredo resulting to his death.
Petition was denied.

Amadora v. CA (1988)

Topic: Substitute and Special Parental Authority

SUMMARY: Under Article 2180 of the Civil Code only the teacher or the head of the school
of arts and trades is made responsible for the damage caused by the student or apprentice.
Thus, the school, its rector, the high school principal, and the dean of boys cannot be held


On April 13, 1972, while they were in the auditorium of their school, the Colegio de San
Jose-Recoletos, a classmate, Pablito Damon, fired a gun that mortally hit Alfredo Amadora.

Daffon was convicted of homicide thru reckless imprudence. Additionally, petitioners, as the
victim's parents, filed a civil action for damages under Article 2180 of the Civil Code against
the Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos, its rector, the high school principal, the dean of boys,
and the physics teacher, together with Daffon and two other students, through their
respective parents. The complaint against the students was later dropped.

After trial, the Court of First Instance of Cebu held the remaining defendants liable to the
plaintiffs in the sum of P294,984.00, representing death compensation, loss of earning
capacity, costs of litigation, funeral expenses, moral damages, exemplary damages, and
attorney's fees.

On appeal to the respondent court, however, the decision was reversed and all the
defendants were completely absolved.


 Whether or not respondents may be held liable for the acts of its students
o NO. Applying Article 2180 of the Civil Code:
o At the time Alfredo Amadora was fatally shot, he was still in the custody of the
authorities of Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos notwithstanding that the fourth
year classes had formally ended. It was immaterial if he was in the school
auditorium to finish his physics experiment or merely to submit his physics
report for what is important is that he was there for a legitimate purpose. As
previously observed, even the mere savoring of the company of his
friends in the premises of the school is a legitimate purpose that would
have also brought him in the custody of the school authorities.
o The rector, the high school principal and the dean of boys cannot be
held liable because none of them was the teacher-in-charge as
previously defined. Each of them was exercising only a general authority
over the student body and not the direct control and influence exerted by the
teacher placed in charge of particular classes or sections and thus
immediately involved in its discipline. The evidence of the parties does not
disclose who the teacher-in-charge of the offending student was. The mere
fact that Alfredo Amadora had gone to school that day in connection
with his physics report did not necessarily make the physics teacher,
respondent Celestino Dicon, the teacher-in-charge of Alfredo's killer.
o At any rate, assuming that he was the teacher-in-charge, there is no
showing that Dicon was negligent in enforcing discipline upon Daffon or
that he had waived observance of the rules and regulations of the
school or condoned their non-observance. His absence when the tragedy
happened cannot be considered against him because he was not supposed
or required to report to school on that day. And while it is true that the
offending student was still in the custody of the teacher-in-charge even if the
latter was physically absent when the tort was committed, it has not been
established that it was caused by his laxness in enforcing discipline upon the
student. On the contrary, the private respondents have proved that they had
exercised due diligence, through the enforcement of the school regulations, in
maintaining that discipline.
o In the absence of a teacher-in-charge, it is probably the dean of boys
who should be held liable especially in view of the unrefuted evidence
that he had earlier confiscated an unlicensed gun from one of the
students and returned the same later to him without taking disciplinary
action or reporting the matter to higher authorities. While this was clearly
negligence on his part, for which he deserves sanctions from the school, it
does not necessarily link him to the shooting of Amador as it has not
been shown that he confiscated and returned pistol was the gun that
killed the petitioners' son.
o Finally, as previously observed, the Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos cannot
be held directly liable under the article because only the teacher or the
head of the school of arts and trades is made responsible for the
damage caused by the student or apprentice. Neither can it be held to
answer for the tort committed by any of the other private respondents for
none of them has been found to have been charged with the custody of the
offending student or has been remiss in the discharge of his duties in
connection with such custody.


In a footnote, Justice Teehankee said he agreed with Justice Reyes' dissent in the Exconde
Case but added that "since the school involved at bar is a non-academic school, the
question as to the applicability of the cited codal provision to academic institutions will have
to await another case wherein it may properly be raised."

This is the case.

Unlike in Exconde and Mercado, the Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos has been directly
impleaded and is sought to be held liable under Article 2180; and unlike in Palisoc, it is not a
school of arts and trades but an academic institution of learning. The parties herein have
also directly raised the question of whether or not Article 2180 covers even establishments
which are technically not schools of arts and trades, and, if so, when the offending student is
supposed to be "in its custody."
After an exhaustive examination of the problem, the Court has come to the conclusion that
the provision in question should apply to all schools, academic as well as non-academic.
Where the school is academic rather than technical or vocational in nature, responsibility for
the tort committed by the student will attach to the teacher in charge of such student,
following the first part of the provision. This is the general rule. In the case of establishments
of arts and trades, it is the head thereof, and only he, who shall be held liable as an
exception to the general rule. In other words, teachers in general shall be liable for the acts
of their students except where the school is technical in nature, in which case it is the head
thereof who shall be answerable. Following the canon ofreddendo singula singulis "teachers"
should apply to the words "pupils and students" and "heads of establishments of arts and
trades" to the word "apprentices."

G.R. No. 84698 February 4, 1992


COURT OF APPEALS, HON. REGINA ORDOÑEZ-BENITEZ, in her capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch 47, Regional
Trial Court, Manila, SEGUNDA R. BAUTISTA and ARSENIA D. BAUTISTA, respondents.

A stabbing incident on 30 August 1985 which caused the death of Carlitos Bautista while on the second-floor premises of the
Philippine School of Business Administration (PSBA) prompted the parents of the deceased to file suit in the Regional Trial
Court of Manila (Branch 47) presided over by Judge (now Court of Appeals justice) Regina Ordoñez-Benitez, for damages
against the said PSBA and its corporate officers. At the time of his death, Carlitos was enrolled in the third year commerce
course at the PSBA. It was established that his assailants were not members of the school's academic community but were
elements from outside the school.

Specifically, the suit impleaded the PSBA and the following school authorities: Juan D. Lim (President), Benjamin P. Paulino
(Vice-President), Antonio M. Magtalas (Treasurer/Cashier), Col. Pedro Sacro (Chief of Security) and a Lt. M. Soriano (Assistant
Chief of Security). Substantially, the plaintiffs (now private respondents) sought to adjudge them liable for the victim's untimely
demise due to their alleged negligence, recklessness and lack of security precautions, means and methods before, during and
after the attack on the victim. During the proceedings a quo, Lt. M. Soriano terminated his relationship with the other petitioners
by resigning from his position in the school.

Defendants a quo (now petitioners) sought to have the suit dismissed, alleging that since they are presumably sued under
Article 2180 of the Civil Code, the complaint states no cause of action against them, as jurisprudence on the subject is to the
effect that academic institutions, such as the PSBA, are beyond the ambit of the rule in the afore-stated article.

The respondent trial court, however, overruled petitioners' contention and thru an order dated 8 December 1987, denied their
motion to dismiss. A subsequent motion for reconsideration was similarly dealt with by an order dated 25 January 1988.
Petitioners then assailed the trial court's disposition before the respondent appellate court which, in a decision * promulgated on
10 June 1988, affirmed the trial court's orders. On 22 August 1988, the respondent appellate court resolved to deny the
petitioners' motion for reconsideration. Hence, this petition.

At the outset, it is to be observed that the respondent appellate court primarily anchored its decision on the law of quasi-delicts,
as enunciated in Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code. 1 Pertinent portions of the appellate court's now assailed ruling

Article 2180 (formerly Article 1903) of the Civil Code is an adoption from the old Spanish Civil Code. The
comments of Manresa and learned authorities on its meaning should give way to present day changes.
The law is not fixed and flexible (sic); it must be dynamic. In fact, the greatest value and significance of law
as a rule of conduct in (sic) its flexibility to adopt to changing social conditions and its capacity to meet the
new challenges of progress.

Construed in the light of modern day educational system, Article 2180 cannot be construed in its narrow
concept as held in the old case of Exconde vs. Capuno 2 and Mercado vs. Court of Appeals; 3 hence, the
ruling in the Palisoc 4 case that it should apply to all kinds of educational institutions, academic or

At any rate, the law holds the teachers and heads of the school staff liable unless they relieve themselves
of such liability pursuant to the last paragraph of Article 2180 by "proving that they observed all the
diligence to prevent damage." This can only be done at a trial on the merits of the case. 5
While we agree with the respondent appellate court that the motion to dismiss the complaint was correctly denied and the
complaint should be tried on the merits, we do not however agree with the premises of the appellate court's ruling.

Article 2180, in conjunction with Article 2176 of the Civil Code, establishes the rule of in loco parentis. This Court discussed this
doctrine in the afore-cited cases of Exconde, Mendoza, Palisoc and, more recently, in Amadora vs. Court of Appeals. 6 In all
such cases, it had been stressed that the law (Article 2180) plainly provides that the damage should have been caused or
inflicted by pupils or students of he educational institution sought to be held liable for the acts of its pupils or students while in
its custody. However, this material situation does not exist in the present case for, as earlier indicated, the assailants of Carlitos
were not students of the PSBA, for whose acts the school could be made liable.

However, does the appellate court's failure to consider such material facts mean the exculpation of the petitioners from liability?
It does not necessarily follow.

When an academic institution accepts students for enrollment, there is established a contract between them, resulting in
bilateral obligations which both parties are bound to comply with. 7 For its part, the school undertakes to provide the student
with an education that would presumably suffice to equip him with the necessary tools and skills to pursue higher education or
a profession. On the other hand, the student covenants to abide by the school's academic requirements and observe its rules
and regulations.

Institutions of learning must also meet the implicit or "built-in" obligation of providing their students with an atmosphere that
promotes or assists in attaining its primary undertaking of imparting knowledge. Certainly, no student can absorb the intricacies
of physics or higher mathematics or explore the realm of the arts and other sciences when bullets are flying or grenades
exploding in the air or where there looms around the school premises a constant threat to life and limb. Necessarily, the school
must ensure that adequate steps are taken to maintain peace and order within the campus premises and to prevent the
breakdown thereof.

Because the circumstances of the present case evince a contractual relation between the PSBA and Carlitos Bautista, the rules
on quasi-delict do not really govern. 8 A perusal of Article 2176 shows that obligations arising from quasi-delicts or tort, also
known as extra-contractual obligations, arise only between parties not otherwise bound by contract, whether express or
implied. However, this impression has not prevented this Court from determining the existence of a tort even when there
obtains a contract. In Air France vs. Carrascoso (124 Phil. 722), the private respondent was awarded damages for his
unwarranted expulsion from a first-class seat aboard the petitioner airline. It is noted, however, that the Court referred to the
petitioner-airline's liability as one arising from tort, not one arising from a contract of carriage. In effect, Air France is authority
for the view that liability from tort may exist even if there is a contract, for the act that breaks the contract may be also a tort.
(Austro-America S.S. Co. vs. Thomas, 248 Fed. 231).

This view was not all that revolutionary, for even as early as 1918, this Court was already of a similar mind. In Cangco vs.
Manila Railroad (38 Phil. 780), Mr. Justice Fisher elucidated thus:

The field of non-contractual obligation is much broader than that of contractual obligation, comprising, as it
does, the whole extent of juridical human relations. These two fields, figuratively speaking, concentric; that
is to say, the mere fact that a person is bound to another by contract does not relieve him from extra-
contractual liability to such person. When such a contractual relation exists the obligor may break the
contract under such conditions that the same act which constitutes a breach of the contract would have
constituted the source of an extra-contractual obligation had no contract existed between the parties.

Immediately what comes to mind is the chapter of the Civil Code on Human Relations, particularly Article 21, which provides:

Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good
custom or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage. (emphasis supplied).

Air France penalized the racist policy of the airline which emboldened the petitioner's employee to forcibly oust the private
respondent to cater to the comfort of a white man who allegedly "had a better right to the seat." In Austro-American, supra, the
public embarrassment caused to the passenger was the justification for the Circuit Court of Appeals, (Second Circuit), to award
damages to the latter. From the foregoing, it can be concluded that should the act which breaches a contract be done in bad
faith and be violative of Article 21, then there is a cause to view the act as constituting a quasi-delict.

In the circumstances obtaining in the case at bar, however, there is, as yet, no finding that the contract between the school and
Bautista had been breached thru the former's negligence in providing proper security measures. This would be for the trial court
to determine. And, even if there be a finding of negligence, the same could give rise generally to a breach of contractual
obligation only. Using the test of Cangco, supra, the negligence of the school would not be relevant absent a contract. In fact,
that negligence becomes material only because of the contractual relation between PSBA and Bautista. In other words, a
contractual relation is a condition sine qua non to the school's liability. The negligence of the school cannot exist independently
of the contract, unless the negligence occurs under the circumstances set out in Article 21 of the Civil Code.

This Court is not unmindful of the attendant difficulties posed by the obligation of schools, above-mentioned, for conceptually a
school, like a common carrier, cannot be an insurer of its students against all risks. This is specially true in the populous
student communities of the so-called "university belt" in Manila where there have been reported several incidents ranging from
gang wars to other forms of hooliganism. It would not be equitable to expect of schools to anticipate all types of violent trespass
upon their premises, for notwithstanding the security measures installed, the same may still fail against an individual or group
determined to carry out a nefarious deed inside school premises and environs. Should this be the case, the school may still
avoid liability by proving that the breach of its contractual obligation to the students was not due to its negligence, here
statutorily defined to be the omission of that degree of diligence which is required by the nature of the obligation and
corresponding to the circumstances of persons, time and place. 9

As the proceedings a quo have yet to commence on the substance of the private respondents' complaint, the record is bereft of
all the material facts. Obviously, at this stage, only the trial court can make such a determination from the evidence still to

WHEREFORE, the foregoing premises considered, the petition is DENIED. The court of origin (RTC, Manila, Br. 47) is hereby
ordered to continue proceedings consistent with this ruling of the Court. Costs against the petitioners. SO ORDERED.