518 Phil. 388
Before us is a petition for review on certiorari
filed by Larry Estacion (petitioner) seeking to annul the Decision dated April 17, 2000
of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-GR CV No. 41447 which affirmed in toto
the decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Dumaguete City, Branch 41, Negros Oriental, holding petitioner and his driver Bienvenido Gerosano (Gerosano) liable for damages for the injury sustained by Noe Bernardo (respondent Noe). Also assailed is the appellate court's Resolution dated August 16, 2000
denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration.
In the afternoon of October 16, 1982, respondent Noe was going home to Dumaguete from Cebu, via
Bato and Tampi. At Tampi, he boarded a Ford Fiera passenger jeepney with plate no. NLD 720 driven by respondent Geminiano Quinquillera (Quinquillera), owned by respondent Cecilia Bandoquillo (Bandoquillo), and was seated on the extension seat placed at the center of the Fiera. From San Jose, an old woman wanted to ride, so respondent Noe offered his seat. Since the Fiera was already full, respondent Noe hung or stood on the left rear carrier of the vehicle. Somewhere along Barangay Sto. Niño, San Jose, Negros Oriental, between kilometers 13 and 14, the Fiera began to slow down and then stopped by the right shoulder of the road to pick up passengers. Suddenly, an Isuzu cargo truck, owned by petitioner and driven by Gerosano, which was traveling in the same direction, hit the rear end portion of the Fiera where respondent Noe was standing. Due to the tremendous force, the cargo truck smashed respondent Noe against the Fiera crushing his legs and feet which made him fall to the ground. A passing vehicle brought him to the Silliman University Medical Center where his lower left leg was amputated.
Police investigation reports showed that respondent Noe was one of the 11 passengers of the Fiera who suffered injuries; that when the Fiera stopped to pick up a passenger, the cargo truck bumped the rear left portion of the Fiera; that only one tire mark from the front right wheel of the cargo truck was seen on the road. A sketch of the accident was drawn by investigator Mateo Rubia showing the relative positions of the two vehicles, their distances from the shoulder of the road and the skid marks of the right front wheel of the truck measuring about 48 feet.
On February 18, 1993, respondent Noe, through his guardian ad litem
Arlie Bernardo, filed with the RTC of Dumaguete City a complaint
for damages arising from quasi delict
against petitioner as the registered owner of the cargo truck and his driver Gerosano. He alleged that the proximate cause of his injuries and suffering was the reckless imprudence of Gerosano and petitioner's negligence in the selection of a reckless driver and for operating a vehicle that was not roadworthy. He prayed for actual damages, loss of income, moral and exemplary damages, attorney's fees, litigation expenses and costs of suit.
Petitioner and his driver Gerosano filed their Answer
denying the material allegations in the complaint. They, in turn, filed a third party complaint
against respondents Bandoquillo and Quinquillera, as owner and driver respectively of the Fiera. They alleged that it was the reckless imprudence of respondent driver Quinquillera and his clear violation of the traffic rules and regulations which was the proximate cause of the accident and asked for indemnification for whatever damages they would be sentenced to pay. Respondents Bandoquillo and Quinquillera filed their Answer to the third party complaint asking for the dismissal of the third party complaint and for payment of attorney's fees.
Driver Gerosano was charged criminally for reckless imprudence resulting to multiple physical injuries with damage to property before the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of Pamplona-Amlan and San Jose, Negros Oriental. On November 16, 1987, the MCTC rendered its decision
finding him guilty of the crime charged and was sentenced to four months and one day to two years and four months and to pay the costs.
On February 18, 1993, the RTC rendered its judgment in the civil case,
the dispositive portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, judgment is hereby rendered, ordering defendants Gerosano and Estacion, to pay plaintiff, jointly or solidarily, the following:
- P129,584.20 for actual damages in the form of medical and hospitalization expenses;
- P50,000.00 for moral damages, consisting of mental anguish, moral shock, serious anxiety and wounded feelings;
- P10,000.00 for attorney's fees; and
- P5,000.00 for litigation expenses
The trial court ruled that the negligence of Gerosano, petitioner's driver, is the direct and proximate cause of the incident and of the injuries suffered by respondent Noe; that Gerosano's gross negligence and reckless imprudence had been confirmed by the Judgment in Criminal Case No. 463; that based on the findings of the police investigator, the faulty brakes caused the cargo truck to bump the Fiera; that the Traffic Accident Report showed that the tire mark of the cargo truck measuring 48 feet is visibly imprinted on the road where the incident took place indicating that the said vehicle was speeding fast; that the existence of one tire mark of the cargo truck proved that the said vehicle had a faulty brake, otherwise, it would have produced two tire marks on the road; and that the photographs taken right after the incident also showed who the guilty party was.
The trial court did not give credence to the argument of petitioner and his driver that the truck was properly checked by a mechanic before it was dispatched for a trip. It found that petitioner is negligent in maintaining his vehicle in good condition to prevent any accident to happen; that petitioner is liable under Article 2180 of the Civil Code as employer of driver Gerosano for being negligent in the selection and supervision of his driver as well as for maintaining and operating a vehicle that was not roadworthy; and that petitioner and his driver are solidarily liable for all the natural and probable consequences of their negligent acts or omissions. The trial court dismissed the third party complaint filed by petitioner and his driver against respondents Bandoquillo and Quinquillera.
Dissatisfied, only petitioner appealed to the CA. On April 17, 2000, the CA rendered the assailed decision which affirmed in toto
the decision of the trial court. Petitioner's motion for reconsideration was denied in a Resolution dated August 16, 2000.
Hence, the herein petition for review.
Petitioner submits the following issues for resolution:
WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT FINDING THAT PETITIONER LARRY ESTACION EXERCISED THE DUE DILIGENCE OF A GOOD FATHER OF A FAMILY TO PREVENT DAMAGE DESPITE ABUNDANCE OF EVIDENCE TO THAT EFFECT;
WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT HOLDING THAT PETITIONER LARRY ESTACION EXERCISED DUE DILIGENCE IN THE SELECTION AND SUPERVISION OF HIS EMPLOYEE AND IN MAINTAINING HIS CARGO TRUCK ROADWORTHY AND IN GOOD OPERATING CONDITION;
WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN EXONERATING RESPONDENTS CECILIA BANDOQUILLO AND GEMINIANO QUINQUILLERA.
In his Memorandum, petitioner contends that he was able to establish that he observed the diligence of a good father of a family not only in the selection of his employees but also in maintaining his truck roadworthy and in good operating condition; that the CA erred in exonerating respondents Bandoquillo and Quinquillera, owner and driver, respectively of the Fiera from liability when their negligence was the proximate cause of respondent Noe's injuries; that respondent Noe's act of standing in the rear carrier of the Fiera is in itself negligence on his part which was aggravated by the fact that respondent Quinquillera overtook the cargo truck driven by Gerosano on the curve and suddenly cut into the latter's lane; that due to the overloading of passengers, Gerosano was not able to see the brake lights of the Fiera when it suddenly stopped to pick up passengers; that overloading is in violation of the applicable traffic rules and regulations and Article 2185 is explicit when it provides that "unless there is proof to the contrary, it is presumed that a person driving a motor vehicle has been negligent if at the time of the mishap, he was violating any traffic regulation"; that since the Fiera driver was negligent, there arises a presumption that respondent Bandoquillo, as owner of the Fiera, is negligent in the selection and supervision of her employee; that assuming petitioner Estacion and his driver are not entirely blameless, the negligence of Quinquillera is sufficient basis why the respective liabilities should be delineated vis-á-vis
their degree of negligence consistent with Article 2179
of the Civil Code.
Respondent Noe filed his Memorandum alleging that the first and second issues raised are factual in nature which are beyond the ambit of a petition for review; that petitioner failed to overcome the presumption of negligence thus he is liable for the negligence of his driver Gerosano; and that the third issue is best addressed to respondents Bandoquillo and Quinquillera.
Respondents Bandoquillo and Quinquillera failed to file their memorandum despite receipt of our Resolution requiring them to submit the same.
We find it apropos to resolve first the third issue considering that the extent of the liability of petitioner and his driver is dependent on whether respondents Bandoquillo and Quinquillera are the ones negligent in the vehicular mishap that happened in the afternoon of October 16, 1982 where respondent Noe was injured, resulting in the amputation of his left leg.
At the outset, the issue raised is factual in nature. Whether a person is negligent or not is a question of fact which we cannot pass upon in a petition for review on certiorari,
as our jurisdiction is limited to reviewing errors of law.
As a rule, factual findings of the trial court, affirmed by the CA, are final and conclusive and may not be reviewed on appeal. The established exceptions are: (1) when the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible; (2) when there is grave abuse of discretion; (3) when the findings are grounded entirely on speculations, surmises or conjectures; (4) when the judgment of the CA is based on misapprehension of facts; (5) when the findings of fact are conflicting; (6) when the CA, in making its findings, went beyond the issues of the case and the same is contrary to the admissions of both appellant and appellee; (7) when the findings of fact are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they are based; (8) when the CA manifestly overlooked certain relevant facts not disputed by the parties and which, if properly considered, would justify a different conclusion; and (9) when the findings of fact of the CA are premised on the absence of evidence and are contradicted by the evidence on record.
On the basis of the records of this case, we find that there is cogent reason for us to review the factual findings of the lower courts to conform to the evidence on record and consider this case as an exception to the general rule.
The trial court and the appellate court had made a finding of fact that the proximate cause of the injury sustained by respondent Noe was the negligent and careless driving of petitioner's driver, Gerosano, who was driving at a fast speed with a faulty brake when the accident happened. We see no cogent reason to disturb the trial court's finding in giving more credence to the testimony of respondent Noe than the testimony of Gerosano, petitioner's truck driver.
The correctness of such finding is borne by the records. In his testimony, Gerosano said that he was driving the truck at a speed of about 40 kilometers per hour;
that the Fiera was behind him but upon reaching the curve, i.e.
, after passing San Jose going to Dumaguete, the Fiera overtook him and blocked his way;
that he was 10 meters from the Fiera prior to the impact
when he applied the brakes
and tried to evade the Fiera but he still hit it.
We agree with the trial court and the appellate court when they found that the truck was running at a fast speed because if Gerosano was really driving at a speed of 40 kilometers per hour and considering that the distance between the truck and the Fiera in front was about 10 meters, he had more than enough time to slacken his speed and apply his break to avoid hitting the Fiera. However, from the way the truck reacted to the application of the brakes, it showed that Gerosano was driving at a fast speed because the brakes skidded a lengthy 48 feet as shown in the sketch of police investigator Rubia of the tire marks visibly printed on the road.
Moreover, the photographs taken after the incident and the testimony of Gerosano as to the extent of damage to the truck, i.e.
the truck's windshield was broken and its hood was damaged after the impact,
further support the finding of both courts that Gerosano was driving at a fast pace.
The accident was further caused by the faulty brakes of the truck. Based on the sketch report, there was only one tire mark of the right tire of the cargo truck during the incident which, as testified to by police investigator Rubia, meant that the brakes of the truck were not aligned otherwise there would be two tire marks impressions on the road.
Although petitioner contends that there are other factors to explain why only one skid mark was found at the place of the incident, such as the angle and edges of the road as well as the balance of the weight of the cargo laden in the truck, he failed to show that indeed those factors were present to prove his defense. Such claim cannot be given credence considering that investigator Rubia testified that the body of the truck was very much on the road, i.e
., not over the shoulder of the road,
and the road was straight.
Indeed, it is the negligent act of petitioner's driver of driving the cargo truck at a fast speed coupled with faulty brakes which was the proximate cause of respondent Noe's injury.
Petitioner's claim that right after overtaking the cargo truck, the Fiera driver suddenly stopped to pick up three passengers from the side of the road; that the overloading of passengers prevented his truck driver from determining that the Fiera had pulled over to pick up passengers as the latter's brakelights were obstructed by the passengers standing on the rear portion of the Fiera were not substantiated at all. Respondent Quinquillera, the driver of the Fiera, testified that the distance from the curve of the road when he stopped and picked up passengers was estimated to be about 80 to 90 feet.
In fact, from the sketch drawn by investigator Rubia, it showed a distance of 145 feet from the curve of the road to the speed tire mark (which measured about 48 feet) visibly printed on the road to the Fiera. This means that the Fiera driver did not stop immediately after the curve as what petitioner claims. Moreover, Gerosano admitted that his truck was at a distance of 10 meters prior to the impact. The distance between the two vehicles was such that it would be impossible for Gerosano not to have seen that the Fiera had pulled over to pick up passengers.
However, we agree with petitioner that respondent Noe's act of standing on the rear carrier of the Fiera exposing himself to bodily injury is in itself negligence on his part. We find that the trial court and the CA erred when they failed to consider that respondent Noe was also guilty of contributory negligence. Contributory negligence is conduct on the part of the injured party, contributing as a legal cause to the harm he has suffered, which falls below the standard to which he is required to conform for his own protection. 
It has been established by the testimony of respondent Noe that he was with four or five other persons standing on the rear carrier of the Fiera since it was already full. Respondent Noe's act of standing on the left rear carrier portion of the Fiera showed his lack of ordinary care and foresight that such act could cause him harm or put his life in danger. It has been held that "to hold a person as having contributed to his injuries, it must be shown that he performed an act that brought about his injuries in disregard of warning or signs of an impending danger to health and body.
Respondent Noes act of hanging on the Fiera is definitely dangerous to his life and limb.
We likewise find merit in petitioner's contention that respondent Quinquillera, the Fiera driver, was also negligent. There is merit to petitioner's claim that there was overloading which is in violation of traffic rules and regulations. Respondent Noe himself had testified that he was standing at the rear portion of the Fiera because the Fiera was already full. Respondent Quinquillera should not have taken more passengers than what the Fiera can accommodate. If the Fiera was not overloaded, respondent Noe would not have been standing on the rear carrier and sustained such extent of injury.
Furthermore, we find that respondent Quinquillera was negligent in allowing respondent Noe to stand on the Fiera's rear portion. Section 32(c) of Article III of Republic Act No. 4136, otherwise known as "The Land Transportation and Traffic Code" provides:
(c) Riding on running boards - No driver shall allow any person to ride on running board, step board or mudguard of his motor vehicle for any purpose while the vehicle is in motion.
Respondent Quinquillera's act of permitting respondent Noe to hang on the rear portion of the Fiera in such a dangerous position creates undue risk of harm to respondent Noe. Quinquillera failed to observe that degree of care, precaution and vigilance that the circumstances justly demand. Thus, respondent Noe suffered injury.
Since respondent Quinquillera is negligent, there arises a presumption of negligence on the part of his employer, respondent Bandoquillo, in supervising her employees properly. Such presumption was not rebutted at all by Bandoquillo. Thus, the CA erred in affirming the dismissal of the third party complaint filed by petitioner against respondents Quinquillera and Bandoquillo.
Petitioner contends that he was able to establish that he exercised the due diligence of a good father of a family in the selection of his employees as well as in the maintenance of his cargo truck in good operating condition. He claims that in addition to looking at Gerosano's driver's license, he accompanied the latter in his first two trips, during which he ascertained Gerosano's competence as a driver, petitioner being a driver himself; that the truck driven by Gerosano has never figured in any accident prior to the incident involved; that upon his acquisition of the cargo truck on March 16, 1982, only 7 months prior to the incident, the same was thoroughly checked up and reconditioned; and that he had in his employ a mechanic who conducted periodic check-ups of the engine and brake system of the cargo truck.
We are not persuaded.
Article 2180 of the Civil Code provides:
Art. 2180. The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is demandable not only for one's own acts or omissions, but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible.
x x x
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry.
x x x
The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage.
As the employer of Gerosano, petitioner is primarily and solidarily liable for the quasi-delict
committed by the former. Petitioner is presumed to be negligent in the selection and supervision of his employee by operation of law and may be relieved of responsibility for the negligent acts of his driver, who at the time was acting within the scope of his assigned task, only if he can show that he observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage.
In Yambao v. Zuniga
we have clarified the meaning of the diligence of a good father of a family, thus:
The "diligence of a good father" referred to in the last paragraph of the aforecited statute means diligence in the selection and supervision of employees. Thus, when an employee, while performing his duties, causes damage to persons or property due to his own negligence, there arises the juris tantum presumption that the employer is negligent, either in the selection of the employee or in the supervision over him after the selection. For the employer to avoid the solidary liability for a tort committed by his employee, an employer must rebut the presumption by presenting adequate and convincing proof that in the selection and supervision of his employee, he or she exercises the care and diligence of a good father of a family. x x x
Petitioner's claim that she exercised due diligence in the selection and supervision of her driver, Venturina, deserves but scant consideration. Her allegation that before she hired Venturina she required him to submit his driver's license and clearances is worthless, in view of her failure to offer in evidence certified true copies of said license and clearances. Bare allegations, unsubstantiated by evidence, are not equivalent to proof under the rules of evidence. x x x
In any case, assuming arguendo that Venturina did submit his license and clearances when he applied with petitioner in January 1992, the latter still fails the test of due diligence in the selection of her bus driver. Case law teaches that for an employer to have exercised the diligence of a good father of a family, he should not be satisfied with the applicant's mere possession of a professional driver's license; he must also carefully examine the applicant for employment as to his qualifications, his experience and record of service. Petitioner failed to present convincing proof that she went to this extent of verifying Venturina's qualifications, safety record, and driving history. The presumption juris tantum that there was negligence in the selection of her bus driver, thus, remains unrebutted.
Nor did petitioner show that she exercised due supervision over Venturina after his selection. For as pointed out by the Court of Appeals, petitioner did not present any proof that she drafted and implemented training programs and guidelines on road safety for her employees. In fact, the record is bare of any showing that petitioner required Venturina to attend periodic seminars on road safety and traffic efficiency. Hence, petitioner cannot claim exemption from any liability arising from the recklessness or negligence of Venturina.
In sum, petitioner's liability to private respondents for the negligent and imprudent acts of her driver, Venturina, under Article 2180 of the Civil Code is both manifest and clear. Petitioner, having failed to rebut the legal presumption of negligence in the selection and supervision of her driver, is responsible for damages, the basis of the liability being the relationship of pater familias or on the employer's own negligence. x x x (Emphasis supplied)
Petitioner failed to show that he examined driver Gerosano as to his qualifications, experience and service records. In fact, the testimony of driver Gerosano in his cross-examination showed the non-observance of these requirements. Gerosano testified that petitioner was his first employer in Dumaguete and that he was accepted by petitioner on the very day he applied for the job;
that his driver's license was issued in Mindanao where he came from
and that while petitioner asked him about his driving record in Mindanao, he did not present any document of his driving record.
Such admission clearly established that petitioner did not exercise due diligence in the selection of his driver Gerosano.
Moreover, the fact that petitioner's driver Gerosano was driving in an efficient manner when petitioner was with him in his first two trips would not conclusively establish that Gerosano was not at all reckless. It could not be considered as due diligence in the supervision of his driver to exempt petitioner from liability. In the supervision of his driver, petitioner must show that he had formulated training programs and guidelines on road safety for his driver which the records failed to show. We find that petitioner failed to rebut the presumption of negligence in the selection and supervision of his employees.
Moreover, there was also no proof that he exercised diligence in maintaining his cargo truck roadworthy and in good operating condition. While petitioner's mechanic driver testified that he made a routine check up on October 15, 1982, one day before the mishap happened, and found the truck operational, there was no record of such inspection.
Turning now to the award of damages, since there was contributory negligence on the part of respondent Noe, petitioner's liability should be mitigated in accordance with Article 2179 of the Civil Code which provides:
When the plaintiff's own negligence was the immediate and proximate cause of his injury, he cannot recover damages. But if his negligence was only contributory, the immediate and proximate cause of the injury being the defendant's lack of due care, the plaintiff may recover damages, but the courts shall mitigate the damages to be awarded.
The underlying precept of the above article on contributory negligence is that a plaintiff who is partly responsible for his own injury should not be entitled to recover damages in full but must bear the consequences of his own negligence. The defendant must thus be held liable only for the damages actually caused by his negligence.
In Phoenix Construction, Inc., v. Intermediate Appellate Court
where we held that the legal and proximate cause of the accident and of Dionisio's injuries was the wrongful and negligent manner in which the dump truck was parked but found Dionisio guilty of contributory negligence on the night of the accident, we allocated most of the damages on a 20-80 ratio. In said case, we required Dionisio to bear 20% of the damages awarded by the appellate court, except as to the award of exemplary damages, attorney's fees and costs.
In the present case, taking into account the contributing negligence of respondent Noe, we likewise rule that the demands of substantial justice are satisfied by distributing the damages also on a 20-80 ratio excluding attorney's fees and litigation expenses.
Consequently, 20% should be deducted from the actual and moral damages awarded by the trial court in favor of respondent Noe, that is: 20% of P129,584.20 for actual damages is P25,916.84 and 20% of P50,000.00 for moral damages is P10,000.00. Thus, after deducting the same, the award for actual damages should be P103,667.36 and P40,000.00 for moral damages or 80% of the damages so awarded.
Petitioner and respondents Bandoquillo and Quinquillera are jointly and severally liable for the 80% of the damages as well as attorney's fees and litigation expenses conformably with our pronouncement in Tiu v. Arriesgado
where we held:
The petitioners, as well as the respondents Benjamin Condor and Sergio Pedrano are jointly and severally liable for said amount, conformably with the following pronouncement of the Court in Fabre, Jr. v. Court of Appeals: WHEREFORE,
The same rule of liability was applied in situations where the negligence of the driver of the bus on which plaintiff was riding concurred with the negligence of a third party who was the driver of another vehicle, thus causing an accident. In Anuran v. Buño, Batangas Laguna Tayabas Bus Co. v. Intermediate Appellate Court, and Metro Manila Transit Corporation v. Court of Appeals, the bus company, its driver, the operator of the other vehicle and the driver of the vehicle were jointly and severally held liable to the injured passenger or the latter's heirs. The basis of this allocation of liability was explained in Viluan v. Court of Appeals, thus:
"Nor should it make difference that the liability of petitioner [bus owner] springs from contract while that of respondents [owner and driver of other vehicle] arises from quasi delict. As early as 1913, we already ruled in Gutierrez v. Gutierrez, 56 Phil. 177, that in case of injury to a passenger due to the negligence of the driver of the bus on which he was riding and of the driver of another vehicle, the drivers as well as the owners of the two vehicles are jointly and severally liable for damages. Some members of the Court, though, are of the view that under the circumstances they are liable on quasi delict."
the instant petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED
. The assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals dated April 17, 2000 as well as its Resolution dated August 16, 2000 are AFFIRMED
to the effect that the dispositive portion of the Decision dated February 18, 1993 of the Regional Trial Court of Dumaguete City in Civil Case No. 8122, should read as follows:
"WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, judgment is hereby rendered, ordering defendants Gerosano and Estacion, as well as third party defendants Bandoquillo and Quinquillera, to pay plaintiff, jointly and solidarily, the following:
- P103,667.36 for actual damages in the form of medical and hospitalization expenses;
- P40,000.00 for moral damages, consisting of mental anguish, moral shock, serious anxiety and wounded feelings;
- P10,000.00 for attorney's fees; and
- P5,000.00 for litigation expenses.
No pronouncement as to costs.SO ORDERED. Panganiban, C.J., (Chairman)
and Callejo, Sr., JJ.
, concur.Ynares-Santiago, J
., no part.Chico-Nazario, J.
, on leave.
Penned by Justice Renato C. Dacudao and concurred in by Justices Quirino D. Abad Santos, Jr. (now retired) and B.A. Adefuin-dela Cruz (now retired); rollo
, pp. 38-53. Rollo,
Docketed as Civil Case No. 8122; records, pp. 1-5. 
Id. at pp.53-56.
Id. at pp. 72-74.
Id. at pp. 307-310; Penned by Judge Teofisto L. Calumpang. 
Penned by Judge Arsenio J. Magpale (now Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals); rollo,
pp. 57-79. Rollo
Id. at p. 221.
Art. 2179. When the plaintiff's own negligence was the immediate and proximate cause of his injury, he cannot recover damages. But if his negligence was only contributory, the immediate and proximate cause of the injury being the defendant's lack of due care, the plaintiff may recover damages, but the courts shall mitigate the damages to be awarded. Yambao v. Zuñiga
, G.R. No. 146173, December 11, 2003, 418 SCRA 266, 271. Child Learning Center Inc. v. Tagario,
G.R. No. 150920, November 25, 2005.
TSN, August 12, 1987, p.31.
Id. at p. 10.
Id. at p. 13.
Id. at p. 24.
TSN, March 25, 1987, p. 31.
TSN, August 29, 1985, p. 9. 
Id. at p.10. 
TSN, October 20, 1987, pp. 10-11. Valenzuela v. Court of Appeals,
323 Phil. 374, 388 (1996). Ma-ao Sugar Central Co., Inc. v. Court of Appeals,
G.R. No. 83491, August 27, 1990, 189 SCRA 88, 93.
See Smith Bell Dodwell Shipping Agency Corporation v. Borja,
432 Phil. 913, 922 (2002). Tugade, Sr. v. Court of Appeals
455 Phil. 258, 280-281 (2003), citing Viron Transportation Co., Inc., v. Delos Santos,
399 Phil. 243, 253 (2000); Victory Liner, Inc. v. Heirs of Malecdan
, 442 Phil. 784, 793 (2002).
Supra note 11 at pp 273-274.
Id., at pp. 273-275.
TSN, August 12, 1987, pp.24-25.
Id. at p. 26.
Id.  Lambert v. Heirs of Ray Castillon,
G.R. No. 160709, February 23, 2005, 452 SCRA 285, 293, citing Syki v. Begasa,
G.R. No. 149149, October 23, 2003, 414 SCRA 237, 244.
G.R. No. L-65295, March 10, 1987, 148 SCRA 353, 370.
Id. at p. 371.
G.R. No. 138060, September 1, 2004, 437 SCRA 426.
Id. at p. 451.