Liability of city or municipal force (Article 34, Civil Code)

When a member of a city or municipal police force refuses or fails to render aid or protection to any person in case of danger to life or property, such peace officer shall be primarily liable for damages and the city or municipality shall be subsidiarily responsible therefor. The civil action herein recognized shall be independent of any criminal proceedings, and a preponderance of evidence shall suffice to support such action. (Article 34, Civil Code)
Article 34 lays down the availability of a separate and independent civil action against any member of a city or municipal police force who refuses or fails to air or protect in cases of danger to life or property. What makes this provision of law more powerful is the imposition of a subsidiary liability on the part of the city or municipality. Paras, however, explains: "Incidentally, this Article does not grant to the government the defense of due diligence in the selection and supervision of the policemen."

The reason why a police officer is liable in case he refuses to give help or protection to anyone whose life or property is in danger is that he is usually the person to whom people turn to for protection. To the people, the policeman is the external symbol of the government’s power and authority. (See Jarencio on Torts and Damages, 1979 ed., p. 208)