SPOUSES BENJAMIN C. MAMARIL AND SONIA P. MAMARIL VS. THE BOY SCOUT OF THE PHILIPPINES, AIB SECURITY AGENCY, INC., CESARIO PEÑA,* AND VICENTE GADDI, G.R. No. 179382, January 14, 2013
“x x x.
In this case, it is undisputed that the proximate cause of the loss of Sps. Mamaril’s vehicle was the negligent act of security guards Peña and Gaddi in allowing an unidentified person to drive out the subject vehicle. Proximate cause has been defined as that cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces the injury or loss, and without which the result would not have occurred.1 Moreover, Peña and Gaddi failed to refute Sps. Mamaril’s contention2 that they readily admitted being at fault during the investigation that ensued.
On the other hand, the records are bereft of any finding of negligence on the part of BSP. Hence, no reversible error was committed by the CA in absolving it from any liability for the loss of the subject vehicle based on fault or negligence.
Neither will the vicarious liability of an employer under Article 21803 of the Civil Code apply in this case. It is uncontested that Peña and Gaddi were assigned as security guards by AIB to BSP pursuant to the Guard Service Contract. Clearly, therefore, no employer-employee relationship existed between BSP and the security guards assigned in its premises. Consequently, the latter’s negligence cannot be imputed against BSP but should be attributed to AIB, the true employer of Peña and Gaddi.4
In the case of Soliman, Jr. v. Tuazon,5 the Court enunciated thus:
It is settled that where the security agency, as here, recruits, hires and assigns the work of its watchmen or security guards, the agency is the employer of such guards and watchmen. Liability for illegal or harmful acts committed by the security guards attaches to the employer agency, and not to the clients or customers of such agency. As a general rule, a client or customer of a security agency has no hand in selecting who among the pool of security guards or watchmen employed by the agency shall be assigned to it; the duty to observe the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection of the guards cannot, in the ordinary course of events, be demanded from the client whose premises or property are protected by the security guards. The fact that a client company may give instructions or directions to the security guards assigned to it, does not, by itself, render the client responsible as an employer of the security guards concerned and liable for their wrongful acts or omissions. Those instructions or directions are ordinarily no more than requests commonly envisaged in the contract for services entered into with the security agency.6
Nor can it be said that a principal-agent relationship existed between BSP and the security guards Peña and Gaddi as to make the former liable for the latter’s complained act. Article 1868 of the Civil Code states that “[b]y the contract of agency, a person binds himself to render some service or to do something in representation or on behalf of another, with the consent or authority of the latter.”
The basis for agency therefore is representation,7 which element is absent in the instant case. Records show that BSP merely hired the services of AIB, which, in turn, assigned security guards, solely for the protection of its properties and premises. Nowhere can it be inferred in the Guard Service Contract that AIB was appointed as an agent of BSP. Instead, what the parties intended was a pure principal-client relationship whereby for a consideration, AIB rendered its security services to BSP.
X x x.