Awarded  to enable the injured party to obtain means, diversions or amusement that will serve to alleviate the moral suffering he has und...

Awarded to enable the injured party to obtain means, diversions or amusement that will serve to alleviate the moral suffering he has undergone by reason of the defendant’s culpable action.

Moral damages (Art. 2217)  include: MBA-SWS-PAF 
(Master in Business Administration - Social Weather Station - Philipine Air Force)
by Justice Japar Dimaampao

Moral shock
Besmirched reputation 
Anguish (mental)
Social humiliation
Wounded feelings
Similar injury
Physical suffering 
Anxiety (serious)

The plaintiff must allege and prove:
    1.   The factual basis for moral damages and
    2.   The causal relation to the defendant’s act
Moral damages may be awarded to the victim in criminal proceedings without the need for pleading of proof or the basis thereof.

Moral damages may be recovered in the following and analogous cases:
    1.   A criminal offense resulting in physical injuries;
    2.   Quasidelicts causing physical injuries;
    3.   Seduction, abduction, rape, or other lascivious acts;
    4.   Adultery or concubinage;
    5.   Illegal or arbitrary detention or arrest;
    6.   Illegal search;
    7.   Libel, slander or any other form of defamation;
    8.   Malicious prosecution;
    9.   Acts mentioned in Article 309; and
   10.  Actions referred to in Articles 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, and 35. (Art. 2219, NCC)

To award moral damages, a court must be satisfied with proof of the following:
    1.   an injury – whether physical, mental or psychological;
    2.   a culpable act or omission factually established;
   3.   a wrongful act or omission of the defendant as the proximate cause of the injury sustained by the claimant;
    4.   the award of damages predicated on any of the cases stated in Art. 2219.

Art. 2219, NCC speaks for criminal offense resulting from physical injuries and quasidelicts causing physical injuries.

There are instances wherein the plaintiff may not prove the factual basis for moral damages as well as the causal relation to the defendant’s act, like in criminal proceedings for rape. Subject to the following requisites:
   1.   There must be an injury whether physical, mental or psychological, clearly sustained by the claimant
   2.   There must be culpable act or omission
   3.   Such act or omission is the proximate cause of the injury
   4.   The damage is predicated on the cases cited in Art. 2219

Furthermore, in rape cases, is civil indemnity is different from moral damages. It is distinct from and should not be denominated as moral damages which are based on different jural foundations and assessed by the court in the exercise of sound discretion (People v. Caldona, G.R. No. 126019, Mar. 1, 2001).

When the fact of rape has been established, civil indemnity is mandatory. If it is simple rape, civil indemnity is P50,000.00. If there is qualifying circumstance as to justify the imposition of death penalty, it should be no less than P75,000.00 (People v. Banago ; People v. Mahinay, G.R. No. 109613, July 17, 1995) (Pineda, p. 247, 2009 ed.).

Tortuous acts referred to in Articles 21, 26, 27, 28. 29, 32, 34 and 35 of the Civil Code, wherein the plaintiff may recover moral damages
   1.   Willful acts contrary to morals, good customs or public policy
  2.   Disrespect to the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of neighbors and other persons
   3.   Refusal or neglect of a public servant to perform his official duty without just cause
   4.   Unfair competition in enterprise or in labor
   5.   Civil action for damages against accused acquitted on reasonable doubt
   6.   Violation of civil rights
   7.   Civil action for damages against city or municipal police force
  8.   When the trial court finds no reasonable ground to believe that a crime has been committed after a preliminary investigation or when the prosecutor refuses or fails to institute criminal proceedings.

Moral and exemplary damages may not be granted if a marriage was dissolved on the ground of psychological incapacity.

As ruled in Buenaventura v. CA, G.R. No. 127358, Mar. 31, 2005, By declaring petitioner as psychologically incapacitated, the possibility of awarding moral damages was negated, which should have been proved by specific evidence that it was done deliberately. Thus, as the grant of moral damages was not proper, it follows that the grant of exemplary damages cannot stand since the Civil Code provides that exemplary damages are imposed in addition to moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages. Finally, since the award of moral and exemplary damages is no longer justified, the award of attorney's fees and expenses of litigation is left without basis. 

DISCLAIMER: The author is not lawyer nor an authority on this topic. It is a product of humble research and study of law. The information provided is not a legal advice and it should not be used  as a substitute for a competent legal advice from a licensed lawyer.

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