GR No. L-29993; October 23, 1978
1) Is the celebration of a town fiesta authorized by a municipal council a governmental or a corporate function of the municipality?
2) Are the councilors liable for the death of Fontanilla?
The holding of the town fiesta in 1959 by the municipality was an exercise of a private or proprietary function of the municipality. The provision on Section 2282 of the Revised Administrative Code simply gives authority to the municipality to celebrate a yearly fiesta but it does not impose upon it a duty to observe one. It follows that under the doctrine of respondent-superior, the municipality is held liable for damages for the death of Fontanilla. Since it is established that the municipality was acting a proprietary function, it follows that it stands on the same footing as an ordinary private corporation where officers are not held liable for the negligence of the corporation merely because of their official relation to it. Thus, the municipal councilors are absolved from any criminal liability for they did not directly participate in the defective construction of the stage.