G.R. No. L-16790, 30 April 1963, 7 SCRA 9527


Urbano and Emilia Magboo are the parents of Cesar Magboo, a child of 8 years old, who lived with them and was under their custody until his death on 24 October 1956 when he was killed in a motor vehicle accident, the fatal vehicle being a passenger jeepney owned by Delfin Bernardo. At the time of the accident, said passenger jeepney was driven by Conrado Roque. The contract between Roque and Bernardo was that Roque was to pay to Bernardo the sum of P8.00, which he paid to Bernardo, for privilege of driving the jeepney, it being their agreement that whatever earnings Roque could make out of the use of the jeepney in transporting passengers from one point to another in the City of Manila would belong entirely to Roque.

As a consequence of the accident and death of Cesar, Roque was prosecuted for homicide through reckless imprudence before the CFI Manila. Roque was sentenced to 6 months of arresto mayor, with the accessory penalties of the law; to indemnify the heirs of the deceased in, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs.

Pursuant to said judgment, Roque served his sentence but he was not able to pay the indemnity because he was insolvent. An action was filed by the spouses Magboo against Bernardo is for enforcement of his subsidiary liability. The trial court ordered Bernardo to pay. Bernardo appealed to the CA, which certified the case to the Supreme Court on the ground that only questions of law are involved.


Whether or not an employer-employee relationship between the jeepney operator and the driver exists under the Boundary System.


An employer-employee relationship exists between a jeepney owner and a driver under a boundary system arrangement. The features which characterize the boundary system – namely the fact that the driver does not receive a fixed wage but gets only the excess of the amount of fares collected by him over the amount he pays to the jeep-owner, and the gasoline consumed by the jeep is for the amount of the driver – are not sufficient to withdraw the relationship between them from that of employee and employer.

Consequently, the jeepney owner is subsidiary liable as employer in accordance with Art.103, Revised Penal Code.

*Case digest by Princess Dianne Kris S. Decierdo, LLB-IV, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2018-2019