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People v. Estrada GR# 164368-69, April 2, 2009, J.

Brion FACTS: On April 4, 2001, an Information for plunder was filed with the Sandiganbayan against respondent Estrada, among other accused. A separate Information for illegal use of alias, was likewise filed against him. In the information, it was alleged that on or about 04 February 2000, in the City of Manila, then President Estrada without having been duly authorized, judicially or administratively, taking advantage of his position and committing the offense in relation to office, i.e., in order to CONCEAL THE ill-gotten wealth HE ACQUIRED during his tenure and his true identity as THE President of the Republic of the Philippines, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and criminally REPRESENT HIMSELF AS JOSE VELARDE IN SEVERAL TRANSACTIONS AND use and employ the SAID alias Jose Velarde which IS neither his registered name at birth nor his baptismal name, in signing documents with Equitable PCI Bank and/or other corporate entities. Estrada was subsequently arrested on the basis of a warrant of arrest that the Sandiganbayan issued. A Special Division in the Sandiganbayan was made to try, hear, and decide the charges of plunder and related against respondent Estrada. At the trial, the People presented testimonial and documentary evidence to prove the allegations of the Informations for plunder, illegal use of alias, and perjury. After the People rested in all three cases, the defense moved to be allowed to file a demurrer to evidence in these cases. In its Joint Resolution, the Sandiganbayan only granted the defense leave to file demurrers in illegal use of alias and perjury. The Sandiganbayan ruled that the people failed to present evidence that proved Estradas commission of the offense. ISSUE: Whether the court a quo gravely erred and abused its discretion in dismissing Crim. Case No. 26565 and in applying R.A. No. 1405 as an exception to the illegal use of alias punishable under Commonwealth Act No. 142 HELD: No. The Sandiganbayan position that the rule in the law of libel that mere communication to a third person is publicity does not apply to violations of CA No. 142. In order to be held liable for a violation of CA No. 142, the user of the alias must have held himself out as a person who shall publicly be known under that other name. In other words, the intent to publicly use the alias must be manifest. The presence of Lacquian and Chua when Estrada signed as Jose Velarde and opened Trust Account No. C-163 does not necessarily indicate his intention to be publicly known henceforth as Jose Velarde. Thus, Estrada could not be said to have intended his signing as Jose Velarde to be for public consumption by the fact alone that Lacquian and Chua were also inside the room at that time. The same holds true for Estradas alleged

representations with Ortaliza and Dichavez, assuming the evidence for these representations to be admissible. All of Estradas representations to these people were made in privacy and in secrecy, with no iota of intention of publicity. Bank deposits under R.A. No. 1405 (the Secrecy of Bank Deposits Law) are statutorily protected or recognized zones of privacy. Given the private nature of Estradas act of signing the documents as Jose Velarde related to the opening of the trust account, the People cannot claim that there was already a public use of alias when Ocampo and Curato witnessed the signing. Petition was denied.

People v. Ulama GR# 186530, December 14, 2011, J. Leonardo-de Castro FACTS: Having received confidential information from an informant about the drug trafficking activities of appellant, Barangay Chairman Rodolfo Doromal convened a group of Makati Drug Abuse Council (MADAC) operatives to plan and carry out a buy-bust operation. The team proceeded to the corner of Dapitan and San Nicholas Streets, Barangay Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati City where according to the informant, appellant was conducting her illegal trade. MADAC operative Edison Bill was designated as poseur-buyer who kept the marked buy-bust money. After buying shabu from alias Kakay, they disclosed their identity as police officer and MADAC operatives and effected the arrest of appellant, Jerrylyn Bernal y Ingco @ Jane and Robert Mercado y Taylo @ Robert. PO2 Rodrigo Igno recovered from the left pocket of the short pants of appellant. MADAC operative Antonio Banzon seized from the right hand of Robert Mercado, three (3) small transparent plastic sachets containing suspected shabu. Likewise, MADAC operative Leo Sese seized three (3) sachets containing suspected shabu from Janes right hand when the latter tried to throw it away.Upon arrest, appellant and the two other accused were informed of the nature of their arrest as well as their constitutional rights. The drug was later submitted to the PNP Crime Laboratory Office for appropriate examination. The suspects were also made to undergo drug test. Appellant pleaded not guilty to the charges when she was arraigned. The RTC convicted appellant of violation of Section 5, Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 but, at the same time, acquitted her of the charge of violation of Section 15, Article II of the same statute. The appellant argues that the prosecution failed to establish the chain of custody of the confiscated items. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: WON the prosecution failed to establish the chain of custody of the confiscated items HELD: No. It is settled in jurisprudence that the elements necessary for the prosecution of illegal sale of drugs are (1) the identities of the buyer and the seller, the object, and consideration; and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. What is material to the prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the presentation in court of evidence of corpus delicti. The records would indicate that, immediately after appellants arrest and in her presence, poseur-buyer Bill marked the plastic sachet with the markings NAU. This piece of evidence was turned over directly to the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) under the Office of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Makati City Police Station where it was included in the items subject to laboratory examination by the PNP Crime Laboratory. In the instant case, no clear and convincing evidence to support the defense of frame-up was presented by appellant. Neither did she put forward in her pleadings or testimony any imputation or proof of ill motive on the part of the arresting police officers.