PEOPLE VS LOPEZ

Posted: March 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

PEOPLE VS LOPEZ

G.R. NO. 188902 FEBRUARY 16, 2011

FACTS:

On 10 August 2006, Lopez was charged with the murder of Melendres. on 31 July 2006 at about 8:30 a.m., he saw Melendres buying cigarettes from a store when Lopez suddenly appeared and shot Melendres from behind with a caliber .38 revolver, hitting him on the right side of the head. Acibar added that Lopez again shot Melendres on the chest and on the lower abdomen. Lopez then fled from the scene. Acibar immediately reported the incident to the barangay authorities.

Ma. Liberty Francisco Melendres (Liberty), Melendres wife, testified as to the civil liability of Lopez. Liberty presented receipts to show that she spent P33,000 for the burial and the interment and P7,500 for the wake. She also presented a certification from Tanod Publishing, Inc. (Tanod Publishing), Melendres employer, as to his monthly salary range, honoraria and transportation allowance. She also sought to recover moral damages. The RTC ruled in favor of Melendres.  The CA affirmed the same but modified the award for damages. The Court of Appeals reduced the award of actual damages from P40,000 to P33,000, the latter amount having been substantiated by receipts. As to the loss of income, the Court of Appeals noted that there was no accurate way to determine Melendres earnings since the certification issued by Tanod Publishing did not reflect a fixed amount but only a salary range. However, the Court of Appeals held that the heirs of Melendres are still entitled to a reasonable amount as a result of Melendres loss of earning capacity and deemed it proper to increase the award from P45,420 to P200,000.

 

ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred with respect to the amount of damages awarded.

HELD:

The rule is that documentary evidence should be presented to substantiate a claim for loss of earning capacity. In this case, Liberty presented a certification from Tanod Publishing which showed that Melendres was a photo correspondent for Tanod Newspaper and that his monthly salary ranges from P1,780to P3,570 on per story basis. Liberty presented another certification from Tanod Publishing which showed that Melendres received the total amount of P24,990 representing payment of honoraria and transportation allowance from 1 January to 31 July 2006. The Court notes that the defense did not object when the prosecution presented these documents before the trial court. The rule is that evidence not objected to is deemed admitted and may be validly considered by the court in arriving at its judgment. It was also established that at the time of his death, Melendres was 41 years old.

 

Thus, Melendres net earning capacity can be derived from two sources: (1) his monthly salary and (2) his honorarium and transportation allowance. Loss of earning capacity is computed as follows:

 

Net Earning

Capacity = Life expectancy x Gross Annual Income Living Expenses

 

= [2/3 (80 age at death)] x GAI [50% of GAI]

 

= [2/3 (80 41)] x P74,94017 P37,470

 

= [2/3 (39)] x P37,470

 

= 26 x P37,470

Net Earning

Capacity = P974,220

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