Case Digest: Calang vs. People

Rolito Calang and Philtranco v. People of the Philippines

G.R. No. 190696, August 3, 2010

J. Brion

Facts: Calang is a bus driver of Philtranco who was convicted of multiple homicide with multiple serious physical injuries and damage to property thru reckless imprudence. In the same criminal case, Philtranco was ordered to pay jointly and severally with Calang death indemnity and actual damages.

Issue: Whether or not Philtranco should be solidarily liable in the criminal case.

Held: No. Calang was charged criminally before the RTC. Undisputedly, Philtranco was not a direct party in this case. Since the cause of action against Calang was based on delict, both the RTC and the CA erred in holding Philtranco jointly and severally liable with Calang, based on quasi-delict under Articles 2176[1] and 2180[2] of the Civil Code. Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code pertain to the vicarious liability of an employer for quasi-delicts that an employee has committed. Such provision of law does not apply to civil liability arising from delict.

If at all, Philtranco liability may only be subsidiary. Article 102 of the Revised Penal Code states the subsidiary civil liabilities of innkeepers, tavern keepers and proprietors of establishments. The provisions of the Revised Penal Code on subsidiary liability Articles 102 and 103 are deemed written into the judgments in cases to which they are applicable. Thus, in the dispositive portion of its decision, the trial court need not expressly pronounce the subsidiary liability of the employer. Nonetheless, before the employer's subsidiary liability is enforced, adequate evidence must exist establishing that (1) they are indeed the employers of the convicted employees; (2) they are engaged in some kind of industry; (3) the crime was committed by the employees in the discharge of their duties; and (4) the execution against the latter has not been satisfied due to insolvency.The determination of these conditions may be done in the same criminal action in which the employee liability, criminal and civil, has been pronounced, in a hearing set for that precise purpose, with due notice to the employer, as part of the proceedings for the execution of the judgment.