G.R. No. L-26815, 26 May 1981, 104 SCRA 520


Petitioner Adolfo Santos was the owner of a passenger jeep, but he had no certificate of public conveyance for the operation of the vehicle as a public passenger jeep. Santos then transferred his jeep to the name of Vidad so that it could be operated under the latter’s certificate of public convenience. In other words, Santos became what is known as kabit operator. Vidad executed a re-transfer document presumably to be registered it and when it was decided that the passenger jeep of Santos was to be withdrawn from kabit arrangement.

On the accident date, Abraham Sibug was bumped by the said passenger jeep.


Whether the Vidad is liable being the registered owner of the jeepney?


As the jeep in question was registered in the name of Vidad, the government or any person affected by the representation that said vehicle is registered under the name of the particular person had the right to rely on his declaration of his ownership and registration. And the registered owner or any other person for that matter cannot be permitted to repudiate said declaration with the objective of proving that the said registered vehicle is owned by another person and not by the registered owner.

Santos, as the kabit, should not be allowed to defeat the levy in his vehicle and to avoid his responsibility as a kabit owner for he had led the public to believe that the vehicle belongs to Vidad. This is one way of curbing the pernicious kabit system that facilitates the commissions of fraud against the traveling public.

*Case digest by Jan Robert M. Corre, LLB-4, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2018-2019