Why award moral damages?

Moral damages are awarded to enable the injured party to obtain means, diversions, or amusements that will serve to alleviate the moral suffering he has undergone, by reason of the defendant's culpable action.[1]For a claim for moral damages to prosper, the claimant must prove that: (1) first, there must be an injury, whether physical, mental or psychological, clearly sustained by the claimant; (2) second, there must be culpable act or omission factually established; (3) third, the wrongful act or omission of the defendant is the proximate cause of the injury sustained by the claimant; and (4) fourth, the award of damages is predicated on any of the cases stated in Article 2219[2] of the Civil Code.[3]

[1] Kierulf v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 99301, March 13, 1997, 269 SCRA 433.

[2] Article 2219. Moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases:

(1) A criminal offense resulting in physical injuries;
(2) Quasi-delicts causing physical injuries;
(3) Seduction, abduction, rape, or other lascivious acts;
(4) Adultery or concubinage;
(5) Illegal or arbitrary detention or arrest;
(6) Illegal search;
(7) Libel, slander or any other form of defamation;
(8) Malicious prosecution;
(9) Acts mentioned in article 309;
(10) Acts and actions referred to in articles 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, and 35. x x x

[3] Arco Pulp and Paper Co., Inc. v. Lim, G.R. No. 206806, June 25, 2014, 727 SCRA 275; citing Francisco v. Ferrer, Jr., 405 Phil. 741, 749-750 (2001).