Subsidiary Civil Liability Of Other Persons

ART. 103

1. The employer, teacher, person, or corporation is engaged in any kind of industry.
2. Any of their servants, pupils, workmen, apprentices or employees commits a felony while in the discharge of his duties.
3. The said employee is insolvent and has not satisfied his civil liability.

Industry – any department or branch of art, occupation or business; especially one w/c employs so much labor and capital is a distinct branch of trade.


Hospitals are not engaged in industry; hence, they are not subsidiarily liable for acts of nurses.

Private persons without business or industry are not subsidiarity liable.

A separate trial is not necessary to enforce the subsidiary liability of the employer. The judgment obligee only needs to file a motion for subsidiary execution. During the hearing of the said motion, it is incumbent upon the movant to prove that;
(1) an employer-employee relationship exists;
(2) the employer is engaged in an industry;
(3) the convict committed the crime while in the discharge of his duties; and
(4) the writ of execution was returned unsatisfied.

The employer’s subsidiary liability arises when it is proved that the convict committed the crime while at the service of the employer and the writ of execution issued against the accused is returned unsatisfied. On the other hand, if the convict committed the crime but NOT while in the service of an
employer and he cannot pay his civil liability, Art. 39 on subsidiary penalty will apply.

Civil liabilities vs. Pecuniary Liabilities
1. Civil Liabilities - Includes reparation and indemnification
Pecuniary Liabilities - same

2. Civil Liabilities - Includes restitution (return property taken), nothing to pay in terms of money.
Pecuniary Liabilities - No restitution as the liabilities are to paid out of the property of the offender.

3. Civil Liabilities - No fines and costs of proceedings. Pecuniary Liabilities - includes fines and costs of proceedings

Bar Exam Question (1998)

Civil Liability; Subsidiary; Employers (1998)

Guy, while driving a passenger jeepney owned and operated by Max, bumped Demy, a pedestrian crossing the street. Demy sustained injuries which required medical attendance for three months. Guy was charged with reckless imprudence resulting to physical injuries. Convicted by the Metropolitan Trial Court. Guy was sentenced to suffer a straight penalty of three months of arresto mayor and ordered to indemnify Demy in the sum of P5,000 and to pay P1,000 as attorney's fees. Upon finality of the decision, a writ of execution was served upon Guy but was returned unsatisfied due to his insolvency. Demy moved for a subsidiary writ of execution against Max. The latter opposed the motion on-the-ground that the decision made no mention of his subsidiary liability and that he was not impleaded in the case. How will you resolve the motion?

Suggested Answer:

The motion is to be granted. Max as an employer of Guy and engaged in an industry (transportation business) where said employee is utilized, is subsidiarily civilly liable under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code. Even though the decision made no mention of his subsidiary liability, the law violated (Revised Penal Code) itself mandates for such liability, and Max is deemed to know it because ignorance of the law is never excused. And since his liability is not primary but only subsidiary in case his employee cannot pay; he need not be impleaded in the criminal case. It suffices that he was duly notified of the motion for issuance of a subsidiary writ of execution and thus given the opportunity to be heard.