The abuse of rights principle
DAILY COURTSIDE REPORT
The seller sold her housing unit to the buyers for P70,000.00. In their Memorandum of Agreement, it was stipulated that the water and power bill of the unit would be for the account of buyers. However, the water connection remained in the seller’s name and was never questioned until four years later when, without notice, the water connection was cut.
When the buyer went to the water company’s office to complain, they were told that they were delinquent in their payment for three months and that it was the seller herself who requested that the water connection be cut off. This prompted the buyers to file a complaint for damages against both the seller and the water company.
The Regional Trial Court ruled in their favor and ordered the seller and the water company to pay for damages. Affirming the decision of the lower court, the Court of Appeals held that the seller acted in bad faith and caused injury to the spouses despite her legal duty to honor their possession and use of the water line. With respect to the water company, it held that it failed to give a notice of disconnection and derelicted in reconnecting the water line despite the subsequent payment of the unpaid bills.
Before the Supreme Court, the seller insisted that she should not be held liable because she had no participation in the actual disconnection. In denying her petition, the High Court held:
It is true that it is within [the seller]’s right to ask and even require the spouses to cause the transfer of the former’s account with [the water company]to the latter’s name pursuant to their Memorandum of Agreement. However, the remedy to enforce such right is not to cause the disconnection of the respondent spouses’ water supply. The exercise of a right must be in accordance with the purpose for which it was established and must not be excessive or unduly harsh; there must be no intention to harm another. Otherwise, liability for damages to the injured party will attach. In the present case, intention to harm was evident on the part of [the seller]when she requested for the disconnection of respondent spouses’ water supply without warning or informing the latter of such request . . . there was clearly an abuse of right on the part of [the seller]and [the water company].
Embodying the principle of abuse of rights, Article 19 of the Civil Code states that every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith. A right, although legal, may nevertheless become a source of illegality when such right is not exercised in accordance with the norms enshrined in Article 19 and injures another. Corollarily, Article 20 provides that, every person who, contrary to law, willfully or negligently causes damage to another shall indemnify the latter for the same (Aridente v. Spouses Pastorfide, G.R. No. 161921, 17 July 2013, J. Peralta).
A lot of people are wondering why the President had to accompany or even be present when Janet Lim Napoles was taken to Camp Crame on Wednesday night.
Figure this out: the highest official of the land, the Commander-in-Chief of all the police and military had to accompany a fugitive to prison?
Granting that Napoles personally surrendered to Pnoy in Malacanang, why didn’t the President order Secretary Mar Roxas and PNP Chief Allan Purisima to escort Napoles to Camp Crame, or his Defense Chief or the AFP chief, or all of his Cabinet members to join the convoy so as to secure the life of the infamous businesswoman rather than him?
Even the details leading to the surrender of Napoles is confusing. At a press conference yesterday, Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda could not figure out who called who for the surrender.
There was really something wrong about that surrender.
I won’t be surprised if Napoles will only squeal the members of the opposition and clear Pnoy’s allies on this scam.
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Rice sufficiency or rice shortage?
In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July, Pnoy bragged once again that the country will no longer import rice next year.
The President’s announcement was based, of course, on the report of his Agriculture Secretary, Proceso Alcala.
Mr. Aquino even said that when he assumed office, the country was importing 2 million metric tons of rice annually from neighboring countries. He continued by saying that last year, the importation was lowered to 800,000 metric tons and this year was even lower—300,000 metric tons.
The President said that the country is getting to be rice sufficient.
If this is true, why is it that several rice warehouses in Bulacan are going empty these days?
Several rice millers complained that there are no “palay” available from the farms nowadays and their stocks are dwindling rapidly which will surely run out before the next harvest in October.
Importers, on the other hand, blame the ongoing ban of DA on private sector importations of rice which is in direct violation of the World Trade Organization agreement.
If this is the case, isn’t the country going into a rice shortage crisis rather than rice sufficiency?
Even the militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) seriously doubts the country is heading towards rice sufficiency within the next few months since most of our irrigation systems and dams in the countryside that have been damaged by several typhoons have yet to be repaired and rehabilitated especially in Mindanao.
Tell your bosses the truth, Mr. President!
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Nothing wrong with MMDA bus terminal in Parañaque
A lot of commuters are complaining about the month-old MMDA bus ban and the operation of a bus terminal in Baclaran, saying these caused major hassles and inconvenience to commuters.
Even bus operators and drivers are complaining that their income dwindled because of the long wait at the terminal for passengers.
As a matter of fact, these bus operators and their drivers and conductors went on strike last week leaving hundreds of commuters stranded for hours.
They want the MMDA to abolish the terminal system and go back to the old ways of picking up passengers along the way especially along Roxas Boulevard and EDSA.
But MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino was firm on his decision claiming that the terminal in Baclaran benefits more people.
Tolentino is right. The bus terminal in Baclaran has eased traffic as buses from Cavite are no longer allowed to enter Manila. There are thousands of motorists who use Roxas Boulevard every day.
Finally, there is order in that area where vehicular traffic once crawled or was on a standstill especially during Wednesdays.