Legally Yours,  Political Law

PNR v. IAC

Constitutional Law. Political Law. Doctrine of State Immunity.
PNR v. IAC
GR No. 70547; January 22, 1993

FACTS:
The passenger express train of Philippine National Railways (PNR) and a passenger bus of Baliwag Transit Inc. collided at the railroad crossing at Barrio Balungao, Calumpit Bulacan at 1:30 in the afternoon of August 10, 1947 causing damage to the bus and its passengers, 18 of whom died and 53 suffered physical injuries. Plaintiff alleges that the collision was due to the negligence and imprudence of PNR and its engineer Honorio Cirbado in operating in a busy intersection without any bars, semaphores, signal lights, flagman or switchman.

ISSUE:
1)    Who between the petitioner and respondent was negligent?
2)    Is PNR immune from suit?

HELD:
There is no admissible evidence to show that the bus driver did not take necessary precaution in traversing the track. Contributory negligence may not be ascribed to the bus driver for he had taken necessary precautions before passing over the railway track. The failure of PNR, on the other hand, to put a crossbar, or signal light, flagman, or switchman or semaphores is evidence of negligence on their part.
By the doctrine of implied powers, the power to sue and be sued is implicit from the faculty to transact private business. PNR is not exercising governmental powers, as such, it is not immune from suit.

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