I boarded a bus going to Santa Cruz, Ilocos Sur, on November 1 last year, and deposited my baggage in the running board. When I arrived at my destination, I found out that my baggage was missing. I immediately complained to the bus conductor, but he said that they are not liable because they have a notice on the ticket that they are not liable for any lost belongings of passengers. Can I still file my complaint against the bus company for their negligence to secure my baggage?
You can still file your complaint for the loss of your baggage against the bus company. The notice posted on the bus and the ticket that they are not liable for any loss of passenger’s baggage is void. This finds support under Article 1745 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, which clearly provides, “Any of the following or similar stipulations shall be considered unreasonable, unjust and contrary to public policy:
1) That the goods are transported at the risk of the owner or shipper;
2) That the common carrier will not be liable for any loss, destruction or deterioration of the goods;
3) That the common carrier need not observe any diligence in the custody of goods;
4) That the common carrier shall exercise a degree of diligence less than that of a good father of a family, or of a man of ordinary prudence in the vigilance over the movables transported;
5) That the common carrier shall not be responsible for the acts or omissions of its employees;
6) That the common carrier’s liability for acts committed by thieves, or of robbers who do not act with grave or irresistible threat, violence or force, is dispensed with;
7) That the common carrier is not responsible for the loss, destruction or deterioration of goods on account of the defective condition of the car, vehicle, ship, airplane or other equipment used in the contract of carriage (Ibid., emphasis supplied).
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts that you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com