7 on petitioner nissan van owner filed a complaint

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[7]On October 31, 1995, petitioner Nissan van owner filed a complaint for damages[8]againstprivate respondents prime mover owner and driver with the RTC in Butuan City. The Joana Paulapassenger bus was not impleaded as defendant in the complaint.RTC DispositionOn August 7, 2001, the RTC rendered a decision in favor of petitioner Dy Teban Trading, Inc. witha falloreading:WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered directing, ordaining and ordering:a) That defendants Liberty Forest, Inc. and Cresilito M. Limbaga pay,jointly and solidarily, plaintiff Dy Teban Trading, Inc. the amountsof P279,832.00 as actual and compensatory damages, P30,000.00 asattorneys fees and P5,000.00 as expenses of litigation;b) That all money claims of plaintiff Rogelio C. Ortiz are dismissed;c) That defendant Jose Ching is absolved from any civil liability or thecase against him dismissed;d) That the counterclaim of all the defendants is dismissed; and
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e) That defendants Liberty Forest, Inc. and Cresilito M. Limbaga to pay,jointly and solidarily, the costs.SO ORDERED.[9]The RTC held that the proximate cause of the three-way vehicular collision was improperparking of the prime mover on the national highway and the absence of an early warning device on thevehicle, thus:The court finds that the proximate cause of the incidents is the negligence andcarelessness attributable to the defendants. When the trailer being pulled by the primemover suffered two (2) flat tires at Sumilihon, the prime mover and trailer were parkedhaphazardly, as the right tires of the prime mover were the only ones on the sand andgravel shoulder of the highway while the left tires and all the tires of the trailer were onthe cemented pavement of the highway, occupying almost the whole of the right lane onthe direction the prime mover and trailer were traveling. The statement of Limbaga thathe could not park the prime mover and trailer deeper into the sand and gravel shoulderof the highway to his right because there were banana plants is contradicted by thepicture marked Exhibit F. The picture shows that there was ample space on theshoulder.If defendant Limbaga was careful and prudent enough, he should have theprime mover and trailer traveled more distance forward so that the bodies of the primemover and trailer would be far more on the shoulder rather than on the cementedhighway when they were parked. x x x The court has some doubts on the statement ofwitness-driver Limbaga that there were banana trunks with leaves and lighted tin canswith crude oil placed 3 strides in front of the prime mover and behind the trailer becausethe testimonies of witnesses Rogelio C. Ortiz, driver of the ice van, Romeo D.Catamora, helper of the ice van, and Police Traffic Investigator SPO3 Teofilo M. Pameshow that there were no banana trunks with leaves and lighted tin cans at the scene ofthe incident. But even assuming that there were banana trunks with leaves but they wereplaced close to the prime mover and trailer as they were placed 3 strides away which to
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