G.R. NO. 179799 September 11, 2009
Zenaida R. Gregorio, Petitioner vs
Court of Appeals, Sansio Philippines, Inc., and Emma J. Datuin, Respondents.
Facts: August 18, 2000 , Zenaida Gregorio filed a civil suit before the RTC Branch 12, Ligao, Albay against Sansio Philippines and Emma Datuin for filing against her criminal charges for violation of BP Blg. 22; that respondents did not exercise diligent efforts to ascertain the true identity of the person who delivered to them insufficiently funded checks as payment for the various appliances purchased; and that petitioner never gave the opportunity to controvert the charges against her, because respondents stated an incorrect address in the criminal complaint. Gregorio was arrested, detained and released only after her husband posted a bond. In the course of investigation Datuin submitted an Affidavit of Desistance and subsequently the criminal case was dismissed. March 20, 2003, the RTC rendered its Decision in the civil case directing Sansio and Datuin jointly and solidarily to pay Gregorio damages. The RTC expressly stated that the complaint was one for damages based on quasi-delict and not on malicious prosecution. Aggrieved by the Decision, Sansio and Datuin appealed to the CA.
On January 31, 2007, the CA rendered Decision granting the petition and ordering the dismissal of the damage suit of Gregorio. The latter moved to reconsider the said decision but the same was denied in the appellate court’s Resolution dated September 12, 2007. It was then Gregorio filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of court assailing the Decision of the Court of Appeals.
Issue: Whether or not the civil suit filed by petitioner is based on quasi-delict or malicious prosecution and can claim damages?
Ruling: Yes. The petition is granted. The decision dated January 31, 2007 and the Resolution dated September 12, 2007 are reversed and set aside. Gregorio’s civil complaint is a complaint based on quasi-delict under Article 2176, in relation to Article 26 , Gregorio’s right to personal dignity, personal security, privacy, and peace of mind were infringed by Sansio and Datuin. Gregorio was acting within her right when she instituted against Sansio and Datuin an action she perceived to be proper.