390 Phil. 1126
"`On stocks of finished and/or unfinished products, raw materials and supplies of every kind and description, the properties of the Insureds and/or held by them in trust, on commission or on joint account with others and/or for which they (sic) responsible in case of loss whilst contained and/or stored during the currency of this Policy in the premises occupied by them forming part of the buildings situate (sic) within own Compound at MAGDALO STREET, BARRIO UGONG, PASIG, METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES, BLOCK NO. 601.'The same pieces of property insured with the petitioner were also insured with New India Assurance Company, Ltd., (New India).
xxx xxx xxx
`Said building of four-span lofty one storey in height with mezzanine portions is constructed of reinforced concrete and hollow blocks and/or concrete under galvanized iron roof and occupied as hosiery mills, garment and lingerie factory, transistor-stereo assembly plant, offices, warehouse and caretaker's quarters.
'Bounds in front partly by one-storey concrete building under galvanized iron roof occupied as canteen and guardhouse, partly by building of two and partly one storey constructed of concrete below, timber above undergalvanized iron roof occupied as garage and quarters and partly by open space and/or tracking/ packing, beyond which is the aforementioned Magdalo Street; on its right and left by driveway, thence open spaces, and at the rear by open spaces.'"
"ACCORDINGLY, judgment is hereby rendered as follows:Both the petitioner, Rizal Insurance Company, and private respondent, Transworld Knitting Mills, Inc., went to the Court of Appeals, which came out with its decision of July 15, 1993 under attack, the decretal portion of which reads:
(1)Dismissing the case as against The New India Assurance Co., Ltd.;
(2) Ordering defendant Rizal Surety And Insurance Company to pay Transwrold (sic) Knitting Mills, Inc. the amount of P826, 500.00 representing the actual value of the losses suffered by it; and
(3) Cost against defendant Rizal Surety and Insurance Company.
"WHEREFORE, and upon all the foregoing, the decision of the court below is MODIFIED in that defendant New India Assurance Company has and is hereby required to pay plaintiff-appellant the amount of P1,818,604.19 while the other Rizal Surety has to pay the plaintiff-appellant P470,328.67, based on the actual losses sustained by plaintiff Transworld in the fire, totalling P2,790,376.00 as against the amounts of fire insurance coverages respectively extended by New India in the amount of P5,800,000.00 and Rizal Surety and Insurance Company in the amount of P1,500,000.00.On August 20, 1993, from the aforesaid judgment of the Court of Appeals New India appealed to this Court theorizing inter alia that the private respondent could not be compensated for the loss of the fun and amusement machines and spare parts stored at the two-storey building because it (Transworld) had no insurable interest in said goods or items.
"WHEREFORE, the Decision of July 15, 1993 is amended but only insofar as the imposition of legal interest is concerned, that, on the assessment against New India Assurance Company on the amount of P1,818,604.19 and that against Rizal Surety & Insurance Company on the amount of P470,328.67, from May 26, 1982 when the complaint was filed until payment is made. The rest of the said decision is retained in all other respects.Undaunted, petitioner Rizal Surety & Insurance Company found its way to this Court via the present Petition, contending that:
"xxx contained and/or stored during the currency of this Policy in the premises occupied by them forming part of the buildings situate (sic) within own Compound xxx"Therefrom, it can be gleaned unerringly that the fire insurance policy in question did not limit its coverage to what were stored in the four-span building. As opined by the trial court of origin, two requirements must concur in order that the said fun and amusement machines and spare parts would be deemed protected by the fire insurance policy under scrutiny, to wit:
"First, said properties must be contained and/or stored in the areas occupied by Transworld and second, said areas must form part of the building described in the policy xxx"The Court is mindful of the well-entrenched doctrine that factual findings by the Court of Appeals are conclusive on the parties and not reviewable by this Court, and the same carry even more weight when the Court of Appeals has affirmed the findings of fact arrived at by the lower court.'Said building of four-span lofty one storey in height with mezzanine portions is constructed of reinforced concrete and hollow blocks and/or concrete under galvanized iron roof and occupied as hosiery mills, garment and lingerie factory, transistor-stereo assembly plant, offices, ware house and caretaker's quarter.'
"Two-storey buildingVerily, the two-storey building involved, a permanent structure which adjoins and intercommunicates with the "first right span of the lofty storey building", formed part thereof, and meets the requisites for compensability under the fire insurance policy sued upon.
constructed of partly
timber and partly concrete
hollow blocks under g.i.
roof which is adjoining
with the repair of the
first right span of the
lofty storey building and
thence by property fence
"Art.1377. The interpretation of obscure words or stipulations in a contract shall not favor the party who caused the obscurity"Conformably, it stands to reason that the doubt should be resolved against the petitioner, Rizal Surety Insurance Company, whose lawyer or managers drafted the fire insurance policy contract under scrutiny. Citing the aforecited provision of law in point, the Court in Landicho vs. Government Service Insurance System, ruled:
"This is particularly true as regards insurance policies, in respect of which it is settled that the 'terms in an insurance policy, which are ambiguous, equivocal, or uncertain x x x are to be construed strictly and most strongly against the insurer, and liberally in favor of the insured so as to effect the dominant purpose of indemnity or payment to the insured, especially where forfeiture is involved' (29 Am. Jur., 181), and the reason for this is that the 'insured usually has no voice in the selection or arrangement of the words employed and that the language of the contract is selected with great care and deliberation by experts and legal advisers employed by, and acting exclusively in the interest of, the insurance company.' (44 C.J.S., p. 1174).""Equally relevant is the following disquisition of the Court in Fieldmen's Insurance Company, Inc. vs. Vda. De Songco, to wit:
"'This rigid application of the rule on ambiguities has become necessary in view of current business practices. The courts cannot ignore that nowadays monopolies, cartels and concentration of capital, endowed with overwhelming economic power, manage to impose upon parties dealing with them cunningly prepared 'agreements' that the weaker party may not change one whit, his participation in the 'agreement' being reduced to the alternative to 'take it or leave it' labelled since Raymond Saleilles 'contracts by adherence' (contrats [sic] d'adhesion), in contrast to these entered into by parties bargaining on an equal footing, such contracts (of which policies of insurance and international bills of lading are prime example) obviously call for greater strictness and vigilance on the part of courts of justice with a view to protecting the weaker party from abuses and imposition, and prevent their becoming traps for the unwary (New Civil Code, Article 24; Sent. of Supreme Court of Spain, 13 Dec. 1934, 27 February 1942.)'"The issue of whether or not Transworld has an insurable interest in the fun and amusement machines and spare parts, which entitles it to be indemnified for the loss thereof, had been settled in G.R. No. L-111118, entitled New India Assurance Company, Ltd., vs. Court of Appeals, where the appeal of New India from the decision of the Court of Appeals under review, was denied with finality by this Court on February 2, 1994.
"In the case at bar, the issue of which vessel ('Don Carlos' or 'Yotai Maru') had been negligent, or so negligent as to have proximately caused the collision between them, was an issue that was actually, directly and expressly raised, controverted and litigated in C.A.-G.R. No. 61320-R. Reyes, L.B., J., resolved that issue in his Decision and held the 'Don Carlos' to have been negligent rather than the 'Yotai Maru' and, as already noted, that Decision was affirmed by this Court in G.R. No. L-48839 in a Resolution dated 6 December 1987. The Reyes Decision thus became final and executory approximately two (2) years before the Sison Decision, which is assailed in the case at bar, was promulgated. Applying the rule of conclusiveness of judgment, the question of which vessel had been negligent in the collision between the two (2) vessels, had long been settled by this Court and could no longer be relitigated in C.A.-G.R. No. 61206-R. Private respondent Go Thong was certainly bound by the ruling or judgment of Reyes, L.B., J. and that of this Court. The Court of Appeals fell into clear and reversible error when it disregarded the Decision of this Court affirming the Reyes Decision."The controversy at bar is on all fours with the aforecited case. Considering that private respondent's insurable interest in, and compensability for the loss of subject fun and amusement machines and spare parts, had been adjudicated, settled and sustained by the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV NO. 28779, and by this Court in G.R. No. L-111118, in a Resolution, dated February 2, 1994, the same can no longer be relitigated and passed upon in the present case. Ineluctably, the petitioner, Rizal Surety Insurance Company, is bound by the ruling of the Court of Appeals and of this Court that the private respondent has an insurable interest in the aforesaid fun and amusement machines and spare parts; and should be indemnified for the loss of the same.