My friend (let's call her Aileen) is a Business Admin Department faculty of a certain university. The school entrusted to their department a laptop that they can use. It's being kept inside a drawer near the secretary's table. the Department's secretary (let's call her Bella) also holds the key to that drawer and whoever wants to borrow should ask permission from her first.
Here is the case. Aileen borrowed the laptop last February 3, morning. While she was working on it, another faculty member (let's call her Cristy) asked if she could borrow it too. Aileen declined because she was very busy. After using, Aileen returned the laptop to its drawer and told Bella that she was returning it already, which Bella acknowledged.
On February 6, Aileen asked Bella if she could borrow the laptop again. But when she opened the drawer, the laptop was not there anymore. She then asked Bella where was it, but Bella told Aileen that she couldn't remember any other borrowing it apart from her. When Aileen told her that she returned it, Bella said she couldn't remember either that Aileen had indeed returned it. On that same date, February 6, the laptop was reported missing in the school's security.
Investigation was conducted by the school's security department. Aileen, Bella and Cristy were asked to write incident reports. However, on the reports made by Bella and Cristy, they said that Aileen borrowed it in the morning of February 4. Aileen however couldn't possibly borrow it on that day because she had a class.
In addition, Bella said that there was no proper turnover of the laptop from Aileen, which Aileen also contradicted.
The Business Ad Faculty department does not keep any record on who borrows the laptop. It has no written policy on what is proper borrowing and what is proper turnover either.
The book value of the laptop was around 10,000. The school said that Aileen and Bella should pay it, P5,000 from each of them.
The school said that because of the absence of records, they couldn't really trace who was at fault. So the best solution is just settle. Divide the book value of the laptop between Aileen and Bella and have them pay it.
The Dean has another suggestion. Since it was the department's laptop, and the department failed to protect it, the department will bear the loss. But instead of having Aileen and Bella pay for it, the department will pay for it through the Capital Expenditure Fund allocated to it by the school every year.
As experts on this matter, I need your advice since one of the persons involved (Aileen) is my friend.
1. Who is truly liable for the loss? Is Aileen liable?
2. How should this be settled?
3. Can you give specific articles in the law to support your answers for #s 1 and 2?