Floresca vs. Philex Mining

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Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-30642 April 30, 1985
PERFECTO S. FLORESCA, in his own behalf and on behalf of the minors ROMULO and NESTOR S. FLORESCA; and ERLINDA FLORESCA-GABUYO, PEDRO S. FLORESCA, JR., CELSO S. FLORESCA, MELBA S. FLORESCA, JUDITH S. FLORESCA and CARMEN S. FLORESCA; LYDIA CARAMAT VDA. DE MARTINEZ in her own behalf and on behalf of her minor children LINDA, ROMEO, ANTONIO JEAN and ELY, all surnamed Martinez; and DANIEL MARTINEZ and TOMAS MARTINEZ; SALUSTIANA ASPIRAS VDA. DE OBRA, in her own behalf and on behalf of her minor children JOSE, ESTELA, JULITA SALUD and DANILO, all surnamed OBRA; LYDIA CULBENGAN VDA. DE VILLAR, in her own behalf and on behalf of her minor children EDNA, GEORGE and LARRY III, all surnamed VILLAR; DOLORES LOLITA ADER VDA. DE LANUZA, in her own behalf and on behalf of her minor children EDITHA, ELIZABETH, DIVINA, RAYMUNDO, NESTOR and AURELIO, JR. all surnamed LANUZA; EMERENCIANA JOSE VDA. DE ISLA, in her own behalf and on behalf of her minor children JOSE, LORENZO, JR., MARIA, VENUS and FELIX, all surnamed ISLA, Petitioners, vs. PHILEX MINING CORPORATION and HON. JESUS P. MORFE, Presiding Judge of Branch XIII, Court of First Instance of Manila, Respondents.  

MAKASIAR, J.:
This is a petition to review the order of the former Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch XIII, dated December 16, 1968 dismissing petitioners' complaint for damages on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary chanrobles virtual law library Petitioners are the heirs of the deceased employees of Philex Mining Corporation (hereinafter referred to as Philex), who, while working at its copper mines underground operations at Tuba, Benguet on June 28, 1967, died as a result of the cave-in that buried them in the tunnels of the mine. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Philex, in violation of government rules and regulations, negligently and deliberately failed to take the required precautions for the protection of the lives of its men working underground. Portion of the complaint reads: xxx xxx xxx chanrobles virtual law library

9. That for sometime prior and up to June 28,1967, the defendant PHILEX, with gross and reckless negligence and imprudence and deliberate failure to take the required precautions for the due protection of the lives of its men working underground at the time, and in utter violation of the laws and the rules and regulations duly promulgated by the Government pursuant thereto, allowed great amount of water and mud to accumulate in an open pit area at the mine above Block 43-S-1 which seeped through and saturated the 600 ft. column of broken ore and rock below it, thereby exerting tremendous pressure on the working spaces at its 4300 level, with the result that, on the said date, at about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, with the collapse of all underground supports due to such enormous pressure, approximately 500,000 cubic feet of broken ores rocks, mud and water, accompanied by surface boulders, blasted through the tunnels and flowed out and filled in, in a matter of approximately five (5) minutes, the underground workings, ripped timber supports and carried off materials, machines and equipment which blocked all avenues of exit, thereby trapping within its tunnels of all its men above referred to, including those named in the next preceding paragraph, represented by the plaintiffs herein; chanrobles virtual law library 10. That out of the 48 mine workers who were then working at defendant PHILEX's mine on the said date, five (5) were able to escape from the terrifying holocaust; 22 were rescued within the next 7 days; and the rest, 21 in number, including those referred to in paragraph 7 hereinabove, were left mercilessly to their fate, notwithstanding the fact that up to then, a great many of them were still alive, entombed in the tunnels of the mine, but were not rescued due to defendant...
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