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ACOBA, MILAGROS D.

CRIMPRO
ASSIGNMENT NO. 11
Atty. CHRISTIAN G. VILLASIS
1.Tadeja vs People
Facts:
Petitioners
Reynante,
Ricky,
Ricardo
and
Ferdinand,
all
surnamed Tadeja were found guilty of the crime of homicide. On
arraignment, all the accused in the two (2) related cases entered a plea of
"Not Guilty." With all of them waiving the pre-trial, the cases were tried
jointly. During the joint trial, the prosecution presented two witnesses,
namely: Jacinta del Fierro and Maria Elena Bernardo-Almaria, both
relatives of the fatality, Ruben Bernardo. Corroborating each other's
testimony, both testified that in the evening of that fateful night, while
watching together the dance that was then going on, they saw the Tadejas
kill the victim Ruben Bernardo at around twelve o'clock midnight.
According to both, the Tadejas, armed with bolos and sanggots, hacked
the victim to death. Explaining the injuries allegedly sustained by
Reynante Tadeja, complainant in the Information for frustrated homicide
(Crim. Case No. Z-815), both witnesses declared that those injuries were
sustained by Reynante when he was accidentally hit by his co-accused,
Plaridel Tadeja, while the Tadejas were ganging up on Ruben.
After the joint hearing, the trial court, finding the prosecution's witnesses
against the Tadejas more credible and their account more tenable, came
out with its decision convicting the Tadejas of the crime of homicide in
Criminal Case No. Z-815 and acquitting the brothers Russel and Robenson
in Criminal Case No. Z-815, which was accordingly dismissed. We quote
the decretal portion of the trial court's decision.CA dismissed Tajedas
appeal.
Issue:
Whether the CA erred in failing to reconcile the testimonies of the
witnesses for the Bernardos, which diametrically contradicted each other
on material and substantial matters?
Held:
No. While petitioners are correct in asserting that the totality of the
evidence in Criminal Cases No. 814 and 815 should have been taken into
consideration because the trial thereof was conducted jointly, the CA
cannot be said to have erred in rendering the assailed decision and
resolution since there was no trace of the missing testimonies in the
records. Furthermore, no matter how anomalous this state of affairs may
appear, we agree with the CA in its denial Resolution that such
testimonies, even if given due consideration, would not alter the trial
court's finding of conviction.
Nowhere in the afore-quoted testimony of Cortuna did she state that
Ruben Bernardo was alone. Nor is there any indication by her that no one
else was around to witness the incident. Furthermore, petitioners'
submission that the testimonies of Jacinta del Fierro and Maria Elena
Bernardo-Almaria are hardly believable because the two are relatives of
the deceased Ruben Bernardo cannot hold water. It is a basic precept that
relationship per se of a witness with the victim of the crime does not
necessarily mean that the witness is biased.
At bottom, the issues raised by the petitioners are factual in nature.
Time and again, the Court has ruled that in cases brought to it from the

CA, its review is limited to errors of law allegedly committed by that


court. The CA is the final arbiter of questions of fact.
2.Caes vs. IAC
Facts:
Petitioner Joel Caes was charged in two separate information with
illegal possession of firearms and illegal possession of marijuana before
the Court of First Instance of Rizal. Caes was arraigned and pleaded not
guilty.The trial was postponed for many reasons. In view of the failure of
the prosecution witnesses to appear on several scheduled hearing and
also for the hearing today which is an indication of lack of interest, upon
motion of the trial fiscal for the provisional dismissal of these cases and
with the conformity of the accused, the above-entitled cases are hereby
ordered Provisionally Dismissed, with costs de oficio.
Issue:
Whether there was double jeopardy
Ruling:
Yes. It has been held in a long line of cases that to constitute double
jeopardy, there must be: (a) a valid complaint or information; (b) filed
before a competent court; (c) to which the defendant had pleaded; and (d)
of which he had been previously acquitted or convicted or which was
dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent.
There is no question that the first three requisites are present in the
case at bar. What we must resolve is the effect of the dismissal, which the
petitioner contends finally and irrevocably terminated the two cases
against him. His submission is that the dismissal was not provisional
simply because it was so designated, more so since he had not expressly
consented thereto.
It is settled that a case may be dismissed if the dismissal is made on
motion of the accused himself or on motion of the prosecution with the
express consent of the accused. Such a dismissal is correctly
denominated provisional. But a dismissal is not provisional even if so
designated if it is shown that it was made without the express consent of
the accused. This consent cannot be presumed nor may it be merely
implied from the defendant's silence or his failure to object. As we have
held in a number of cases, such consent must be express, so as to leave
no doubt as to the defendant's conformity. Otherwise, the dismissal will
be regarded as final, i.e., with prejudice to the refiling of the case.
There are instances in fact when the dismissal will be held to be
final and to dispose of the case once and for all even if the dismissal was
made on motion of the accused himself. The first is where the dismissal is
based on a demurrer to the evidence filed by the accused after the
prosecution has rested. Such dismissal has the effect of a judgment on the
merits and operates as an acquittal. In People v. City of Silay, for
example, the trial court dismissed the case on motion of the accused on
the ground of insufficiency of the prosecution evidence. The government
came to this Court on certiorari, and the accused pleaded double jeopardy.
Our finding was that the case should not have been dismissed because
the evidence submitted by the prosecution was not insufficient. Even so,
the petitioner had to be denied relief because the dismissal amounted to
an acquittal on the merits which was therefore not appealable. Justice
Muoz-Palma said: "However erroneous the order of the respondent Court
is, and although a miscarriage of justice resulted from said order, such

error cannot now be lighted because of the timely plea of double


jeopardy."
We conclude that the trial judge erred in ordering the revival of the cases
against the petitioner and that the respondent court also erred in affirming
that order. Caes having been denied his constitutional right to a speedy
trial, and not having expressly consented to the "provisional" dismissal of
the cases against him, he was entitled to their final dismissal under the
constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy.
3.Valleno vs People
Facts:
The petitioner was charged of illegal possession of shabu. Upon
arraignment, petitioner pleaded not guilty. Trial ensued.
Five police officers, two barangay officials and one forensic chemist
testified for the prosecution. The bail bond posted for the provisional
liberty of the accused is hereby cancelled.In convicting petitioner, the trial
court lent credence to the straightforward testimonies of the police
officers over the mere denial of the accused. The trial court ruled that the
chain of custody over the illegal drugs seized was properly established.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals denied petitioners motion for
reconsideration. Petitioner now seeks relief before this Court via a petition
for review. This Court treated the petition as a notice of appeal and
required the parties to file their respective supplemental briefs, if they so
desire, within thirty days from notice. The Office of the Solicitor General
manifested that it would no longer file a supplemental brief. Petitioner
filed his supplemental brief and harped on the inconsistencies of the
testimonies of prosecution witnesses.
Issue:
Whether the Commission En Banc committed grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when it declared the
arguments in Abundo's motion for reconsideration as mere rehash and
reiterations of the claims he raised prior to the promulgation of the
Resolution.
Held:
No.
The COMELEC en banc denied Abundo's
motion
for
reconsideration on the basis that his arguments in said motion are mere
reiterations of what he already brought up in his appeal Brief before the
COMELEC Second Division. In this petition, petitioner claims otherwise.
Petitioner's assertion is devoid of merit. A comparison of Abundo's
arguments in the latter's Brief vis- -vis those in his Motion for
Reconsideration (MR) reveals that the arguments in the MR are
elucidations and amplications of the same issues raised in the brief. First,
in his Brief, Abundo raised the sole issue of lack of jurisdiction of the RTC
to consider the quo warranto case since the alleged violation of the threeterm limit has already been rejected by the COMELEC First Division in SPA
Case No. 10-128 (DC), while in his MR, Abundo raised the similar ground of
the conclusiveness of the COMELEC's finding on the issue of his
qualification to run for the current term. Second, in his Brief, Abundo
assailed RTC's reliance onAldovino, Jr., while in his MR, he argued that the
Court's pronouncement in Aldovino, Jr., which dealt with preventive
suspension, is not applicable to the instant case as it involves only a
partial service of the term. Abundo argued in his Brief that his situation
cannot be equated with the case of preventive suspension as held
in Aldovino, Jr., while in his MR, he argued before that the almost two

years which he did not sit as mayor during the 2004-2007 term is an
interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term.
Thus, COMELEC did not err in ruling that the issues in the MR are a
rehash of those in the Brief.
4. People vs. Alviz
Facts:
The accused-appellants Linda Y. Alviz aka "Peking" (Linda) and
Elizabeth B. de la Vega aka "Beth" (Elizabeth) guilty of violating Section 5,
Article II of Republic Act No. 9165, otherwise known as The
Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. When arraigned on March
21, 2003, both Linda and Elizabeth pleaded not guilty to the crime
charged and stipulated that they were arrested without a warrant of
arrest. At the trial, the prosecution presented as witnesses Police Officer
(PO) 2 Edsel Ibasco (Ibasco), the poseur-buyer, and Senior Police Officer
(SPO) 4 Edgardo Reburiano (Reburiano), a member of the buy-bust team.
Accused-appellants Linda and Elizabeth and Lindas daughter,
Ronalyn Alviz (Ronalyn), took the witness stand for the defense. The RTC
found Linda guilty. Initially, both Linda and Elizabeth appealed before the
Court. However, Linda executed a Motion for Withdrawal of Appeal.
Issue:
Whether the court aquo gravely erred in not finding that the
accused appellants were illegally arrested.
Ruling:
No. The People, represented by the Office of the Solicitor General
(OSG), asserts that the warrantless arrest of Linda and Elizabeth was
lawful because the police officers caught them in flagrante
delictoselling shabu to PO2 Ibasco in exchange for P100.00. As to which of
the foregoing versions is more credible, given the evidence presented at
trial by both parties, especially the witnesses testimonies, the Court
generally relies upon the assessment and factual findings of the RTC.
It is a fundamental rule that factual findings of the trial courts
involving credibility are accorded respect when no glaring errors, gross
misapprehension of facts, and speculative, arbitrary, and unsupported
conclusions can be gathered from such findings. The reason for this is that
the trial court is in a better position to decide the credibility of witnesses
having heard their testimonies and observed their deportment and
manner of testifying during the trial. The rule finds an even more stringent
application where said findings are sustained by the Court of Appeals,
such as in this case. The Court, therefore, has no reason to deviate from
this rule.
Charges of extortion and frame-up are frequently made in this
jurisdiction. Courts are, thus, cautious in dealing with such accusations,
which are quite difficult to prove in light of the presumption of regularity in
the performance of the police officers duties. To substantiate such
defense, which can be easily concocted, the evidence must be clear and
convincing and should show that the members of the buy-bust team were
inspired by any improper motive or were not properly performing their
duty. Otherwise, the police officers testimonies on the operation deserve
full faith and credit.
In this case, there is absolute lack of evidence that the members of
the buy-bust team were stirred by illicit motive or had improperly
performed their duties in arresting Linda and Elizabeth. Both Linda and

Elizabeth admitted that they did not know the police officers prior to their
arrest. Hence, there could not have been any bad blood between them
and said police officers.
5. People vs Linda
Facts:
Accused-appellants Linda Y. Alviz aka "Peking" (Linda)and Elizabeth
B. de la Vega aka "Beth" (Elizabeth) guilty of violating Section 5, Article II
of Republic Act No. 9165, otherwise known as The Comprehensive
Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. When arraigned on March 21, 2003, both
Linda and Elizabeth pleaded not guilty to the crime charged and stipulated
that they were arrested without a warrant of arrest. At the trial, the
prosecution presented as witnesses Police Officer (PO) 2 Edsel Ibasco
(Ibasco), the poseur-buyer, and Senior Police Officer (SPO) 4 Edgardo
Reburiano (Reburiano), a member of the buy-bust team.
Accused-appellants Linda and Elizabeth and Lindas daughter,
Ronalyn Alviz (Ronalyn), took the witness stand for the defense. The RTC
found Linda guilty. Initially, both Linda and Elizabeth appealed before the
Court. However, Linda executed a Motion for Withdrawal of Appeal.
Issue:
Whether the court aquo gravely erred in not finding that the
accused-appellants were illegally arrested.
Held:
Elizabeth insists that there was no buy-bust operation and what
actually took place was an unlawful warrantless arrest. She claims that
none of the circumstances justifying an arrest without a warrant under
Rule 113, Section 5 of the Rules of Court was present. When she was
arrested, she was neither committing nor was about to commit any crime,
and she was not acting in any manner that would engender a reasonable
ground to believe that she was committing a crime. Elizabeth argues that
whatever evidence was obtained from her and Linda on occasion of their
arrest is inadmissible being the fruit of a poisonous tree.
The People, represented by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG),
asserts that the warrantless arrest of Linda and Elizabeth was lawful
because
the
police
officers
caught
them in
flagrante
delictoselling shabu to PO2 Ibasco in exchange for P100.00.
As to which of the foregoing versions is more credible, given the evidence
presented at trial by both parties, especially the witnesses testimonies,
the Court generally relies upon the assessment and factual findings of the
RTC.
It is a fundamental rule that factual findings of the trial courts involving
credibility are accorded respect when no glaring errors, gross
misapprehension of facts, and speculative, arbitrary, and unsupported
conclusions can be gathered from such findings. The reason for this is that
the trial court is in a better position to decide the credibility of witnesses
having heard their testimonies and observed their deportment and
manner of testifying during the trial. The rule finds an even more stringent
application where said findings are sustained by the Court of Appeals,such
as in this case. The Court, therefore, has no reason to deviate from this
rule.
Jurisprudence has identified the elements that must be established for the
successful prosecution of illegal sale of dangerous drugs, viz: (1) the
identity of the buyer and the seller, the object, and consideration; and (2)
the delivery of the thing sold and the payment for the same. What is

material is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place,
coupled with the presentation in court of the corpus delicti. The delivery of
the contraband to the poseur-buyer and the receipt of the marked money
consummate the buy-bust transaction between the entrapping officers
and the accused. In other words, the commission of the offense of illegal
sale of dangerous drugs, like shabu, merely requires the consummation of
the selling transaction, which happens the moment the exchange of
money and drugs between the buyer and the seller takes place.
Charges of extortion and frame-up are frequently made in this jurisdiction.
Courts are, thus, cautious in dealing with such accusations, which are
quite difficult to prove in light of the presumption of regularity in the
performance of the police officers duties. To substantiate such defense,
which can be easily concocted, the evidence must be clear and convincing
and should show that the members of the buy-bust team were inspired by
any improper motive or were not properly performing their duty.
Otherwise, the police officers testimonies on the operation deserve full
faith and credit. (Citations omitted.)
In this case, there is absolute lack of evidence that the members of the
buy-bust team were stirred by illicit motive or had improperly performed
their duties in arresting Linda and Elizabeth. Both Linda and Elizabeth
admitted that they did not know the police officers prior to their arrest.
Hence, there could not have been any bad blood between them and said
police officers.
6. Uy vs Sandiganbayan
Facts:
Petitioner George Uy was the deputy comptroller of the Philippine
Navy designated to act on behalf of Captain Fernandez, the latters
supervisor, on matters relating the activities of the Fiscal Control
Branch. Six
information
for
Estafa through falsification of official documents and one
information for
violation of Section 3 of RA 3019 (anti-graft and corrupt practices act)
were filed with the Sandiganbayan against the petitioner and 19 other
accused. The petitioner was said to have signed a P.O. stating that the unit
received 1,000 pieces of seal rings when in fact, only 100 were ordered.
The Sandiganbayan recommended that the information be withdrawn
against some of the accused after a comprehensive investigation.
Petitioner filed a motion to quash contending that it is the Court Martial
and not the Sandiganbayan which has jurisdiction over the offense
charged or the person of the accused. Petitioner further contends that RA
1850 which provides for the jurisdiction of court martial should govern in
this case.
Issue:
Whether the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the subject
criminal cases or the person of the petitioner?
Ruling:
The fundamental rule is that the jurisdiction of a court is determined
by the statute in force at the time of the commencement of the
action.Thus, Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over the petitioner at the
time of the filing of the information and as now prescribed by law. RA
8249, the latest amendment of PD 1606 creating the Sandiganbayan
provides that such will have jurisdiction over violations of RA 3019 of
members of the Philippines Army and air force colonels, naval captains
and all officers of higher rank. In the case at bar, while the petitioner is

charged with violation of RA 3018, hisposition as Lieutenant Commander


of the Philippine Navy is a rank lower than naval captains and all officers
of higher rank. It must be noted that both the NATURE of the OFFENSE
and the POSITION OCCUPIED BY THE ACCUSED are conditions SINE QUA
NON before Sandiganbayan can validly take cognizance of the case. Thus,
regular courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction over the person of
the accused as provided by the Sandiganbayan Law which states
that incase
where none
of the accused
are occupying positions
corresponding to Salary Grade 27 or higher, exclusive original jurisdiction
shall be vested in the proper RTC, MTC, MCTC or METC pursuant to BP Blg.
129.Consequently, it is the RTC which has jurisdiction over the offense
charged since under Section 9 of RA 3019, the commission of any
violation of said law shall be punished with imprisonment for not less than
Six years and One month to FIFTEEN years. The indictment of the
petitioner therefore cannot fall within the jurisdiction of the MTC, METC or
MCTC.
7. People vs Valdez
Facts:
Appellant Abe Valdez y Dela Cruz was found guilty beyond
reasonable doubt for violating Section 9 of the Dangerous Drugs Act of
1972 (R.A. No. 6425), as amended by R.A. No. 7659. He was sentenced to
suffer the penalty of death by lethal injection. Appellant was arraigned
and, with assistance of counsel, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Trial on
the merits then ensued. On cross-examination, appellant declared that
there were ten other houses around the vicinity of his kaingin, the nearest
house being 100 meters away. The latter house belonged to one Carlito
(Lito) Pascua, an uncle of the barangay peace officer who had a grudge
against him. The spot where the marijuana plants were found was located
between his house and Carlito Pascua's. The prosecution presented SPO3
Tipay as its rebuttal witness. His testimony was offered to rebut
appellant's claim that the marijuana plants were not planted in the lot he
was cultivating Tipay presented a sketch he made, which showed the
location of marijuana plants in relation to the old and new nipa huts of
appellant, as well as the closest neighbor. According to Tipay, the
marijuana plot was located 40 meters away from the old hut of Valdez and
250 meters distant from the hut of Carlito Pascua. Tipay admitted on
cross-examination that no surveyor accompanied him when he made the
measurements. He further stated that his basis for claiming that appellant
was the owner or planter of the seized plants was the information given
him by the police informer and the proximity of appellant's hut to the
location of said plants.
Issue:
Whether the trial court erred in admitting as evidence the 7
marijuana plants despite their inadmissibility being products of an illegal
search.
Held:
Yes. Appellant contends that there was unlawful search. First, the
records show that the law enforcers had more than ample time to secure a
search warrant. Second, that the marijuana plants were found in an
unfenced lot does not remove appellant from the mantle of protection
against unreasonable searches and seizures. He relies on the ruling of the
US Supreme Court in Terry v. Ohio, 392 US 1, 20 L. Ed 2d 898, 88 S. Ct.

1868 (1968), to the effect that the protection against unreasonable


government intrusion protects people, not places.
For the appellee, the Office of the Solicitor General argues that the records
clearly show that there was no search made by the police team, in the
first place. The OSG points out that the marijuana plants in question were
grown in an unfenced lot and as each grew about five (5) feet tall, they
were visible from afar, and were, in fact, immediately spotted by the
police officers when they reached the site. The seized marijuana plants
were, thus, in plain view of the police officers. The instant case must,
therefore, be treated as a warrantless lawful search under the "plain view"
doctrine.
The court a quo upheld the validity of the search and confiscation made
by the police team on the finding that:
"...It seems there was no need for any search warrant. The policemen
went to the plantation site merely to make a verification. When they found
the said plants, it was too much to expect them to apply for a search
warrant. In view of the remoteness of the plantation site (they had to walk
for six hours back and forth) and the dangers lurking in the area if they
stayed overnight, they had a valid reason to confiscate the said plants
upon discovery without any search warrant. Moreover, the evidence shows
that the lot was not legally occupied by the accused and there was no
fence which evinced the occupant's desire to keep trespassers out. There
was, therefore, no privacy to protect, hence, no search warrant was
required."
The Constitution lays down the general rule that a search and seizure
must be carried on the strength of a judicial warrant. Otherwise, the
search and seizure is deemed "unreasonable." Evidence procured on the
occasion of an unreasonable search and seizure is deemed tainted for
being the proverbial fruit of a poisonous tree and should be
excluded. Such evidence shall be inadmissible in evidence for any purpose
in any proceeding.
In the instant case, there was no search warrant issued by a judge
after personal determination of the existence of probable cause. From the
declarations of the police officers themselves, it is clear that they had at
least one (1) day to obtain a warrant to search appellant's farm. Their
informant had revealed his name to them. The place where the cannabis
plants were planted was pinpointed. From the information in their
possession, they could have convinced a judge that there was probable
cause to justify the issuance of a warrant. But they did not. Instead, they
uprooted the plants and apprehended the accused on the excuse that the
trip was a good six hours and inconvenient to them. We need not
underscore that the protection against illegal search and seizure is
constitutionally mandated and only under specific instances are searches
allowed without warrants. The mantle of protection extended by the Bill of
Rights covers both innocent and guilty alike against any form of highhandedness of law enforcers, regardless of the praiseworthiness of their
intentions.
In the instant case, recall that PO2 Balut testified that they first
located the marijuana plants before appellant was arrested without a
warrant. Hence, there was no valid warrantless arrest which preceded the
search of appellant's premises. Note further that the police team was
dispatched to appellant's kaingin precisely to search for and uproot the
prohibited flora. The seizure of evidence in "plain view" applies only where
the police officer is not searching for evidence against the accused, but

inadvertently comes across an incriminating object. Clearly, their


discovery of the cannabis plants was not inadvertent. We also note the
testimony of SPO2 Tipay that upon arriving at the area, they first had to
"look around the area" before they could spot the illegal plants. Patently,
the seized marijuana plants were not "immediately apparent" and a
"further search" was needed. In sum, the marijuana plants in question
were not in "plain view" or "open to eye and hand." The "plain view"
doctrine, thus, cannot be made to apply.
8. People vs Lamsen
Facts:
A
ccused-appellants state, inter alia that they obtained affidavits from
prosecution witnesses Amel F. Reyes5 (Reyes) and Domingo
Marcelo6 (Marcelo) whose testimonies implicated accused-appellants of
the crime of robbery with homicide. In their affidavits, the aforesaid
prosecution witnesses claim that they made their testimonies under
duress as they were forced by elements of the Philippine National Police,
the National Bureau of Investigation, and the former mayor of San Carlos
City, Pangasinan, Julian Resuello, to point at accused-appellants as
perpetrators of the aforesaid crime. They equally claim that they did not
actually see who committed the crime and that they only testified against
accused-appellants out of fear of their own lives.
Issue:
Whether an affidavit of desistance made by a witness after
conviction is reliable.
Held:
No. Recantations are viewed with suspicion and reservation. The
Court looks with disfavor upon retractions of testimonies previously given
in court. It is settled that an affidavit of desistance made by a witness
after conviction of the accused is not reliable, and deserves only scant
attention. The rationale for the rule is obvious: affidavits of retraction can
easily be secured from witnesses, usually through intimidation or for a
monetary consideration. Recanted testimony is exceedingly unreliable.
There is always the probability that it will later be repudiated. Only when
there exists special circumstances in the case which when coupled with
the retraction raise doubts as to the truth of the testimony or statement
given, can retractions be considered and upheld. As aptly pointed out by
the Court in Firaza v. People, viz:
Indeed, it is a dangerous rule to set aside a testimony which has
been solemnly taken before a court of justice in an open and free trial and
under conditions precisely sought to discourage and forestall falsehood
simply because one of the witnesses who had given the testimony later on
changed his mind. Such a rule will make solemn trials a mockery and
place the investigation of the truth at the mercy of unscrupulous
witnesses.
Mere retraction by a prosecution witness does not necessarily vitiate
the original testimony if credible. The rule is settled that in cases where
previous testimony is retracted and a subsequent different, if not contrary,
testimony is made by the same witness, the test to decide which
testimony to believe is one of comparison coupled with the application of
the general rules of evidence. A testimony solemnly given in court should
not be set aside and disregarded lightly, and before this can be done, both
the previous testimony and the subsequent one should be carefully
compared and juxtaposed, the circumstances under which each was

made, carefully and keenly scrutinized, and the reasons or motives for the
change, discriminatingly analyzed. The unreliable character of the
affidavit of recantation executed by a complaining witness is also shown
by the incredulity of the fact that after going through the burdensome
process of reporting to and/or having the accused arrested by the law
enforcers, executing a criminal complaint-affidavit against the accused,
attending trial and testifying against the accused, the said complaining
witness would later on declare that all the foregoing is actually a farce and
the truth is now what he says it to be in his affidavit of recantation. And in
situations, like the instant case, where testimony is recanted by an
affidavit subsequently executed by the recanting witness, we are properly
guided by the well-settled rules that an affidavit is hearsay unless the
affiant is presented on the witness stand and that affidavits taken ex-parte
are generally considered inferior to the testimony given in open court.
After a careful scrutiny of the records, the Court sees no sufficient
reason to disturb its Resolution dated February 20, 2013. In the case at
bar, the trial court gave great weight and credence to the collective
statements of the four (4) prosecution witnesses, including those of Reyes
and Marcelo, as their testimonies were candid, straightforward, and
categorical. It is likewise worthy to mention that their respective
testimonies were deemed credible as they withstood extensive crossexamination, and possibly, even re-direct and re-cross examinations.
Absent any special circumstances attendant to this case, Reyes and
Marcelos recantations fail to cast doubt to the truth and veracity of their
earlier testimonies, and to the collective statements of all of the
prosecution witnesses as a whole.
9. People vs. Vitero
Facts:
Accused-appellant Edmundo Vitero was found guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of qualified rape as defined by Article 266A, paragraph 1( a), 4 in relation to Article 266B, paragraph 5(1 )5 of the
Revised Penal Code. When arraigned on June 14, 2001, accused-appellant
pleaded not guilty to all six rape charges.
The six rape cases against accused-appellant were jointly tried. The
RTC rendered a Decision, according more weight and credibility to the
testimonies of the prosecution witnesses as compared to those of the
defense, the trial court found accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable
doubt of raping his minor daughter, AAA. However, the RTC held that the
prosecution was only able to prove one of the six counts of rape against
accused-appellant. Accused-appellant was sentenced to suffer the penalty
of reclusion perpetua in lieu of death. Both plaintiff-appellee and accusedappellant18 filed their respective Manifestations stating that they were no
longer filing supplemental briefs and were adopting the briefs they
submitted to the Court of Appeals.
Issue:
Whether the trial court erred in convicting accused-appellant of the
crime charged despite failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond
reasonable doubt.
Held:
No. We find no reason to disturb the findings of the trial and the
appellate courts.
Accused-appellant was charged with qualified rape,
defined and punishable under the following provisions of the Revised
Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 8353:

Article 266-A. Rape, When and How Committed. Rape is committed


1. By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of
the following circumstances:
a. Through force, threat or intimidation;
xxxx
Article 266-B. Penalties. Rape under paragraph 1 of the next preceding
article shall be punished by reclusion perpetua.
xxxx
The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed
with any of the following aggravating/qualifying circumstances:
1. When the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender
is a parent, ascendant, step parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or
affinity within the third civil degree, or the common-lawspouse of the
parent of the victim.
The elements of the crime charged against accused-appellant are: (a) the
victim is a female over 12 years but under 18 years of age; (b) the
offender is a parent, ascendant, stepparent, guardian, relative by
consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the common-law
spouse of the parent of the victim; and (c) the offender has carnal
knowledge of the victim either through force, threat, or intimidation.
There is no dispute that the first two elements exist in this case.
Documentary and testimonial evidence, including accused-appellants
own admission, establish that AAA is the daughter of accused-appellant
and BBB and she was born on April 30, 1985. This means that AAA was
almost or already 13 years old when she was raped in April 1998.
As to the third element of the crime, both the RTC and the Court of
Appeals ruled that it was duly proven as well, giving weight and credence
to AAAs testimony.
AAA was able to describe in detail how
accusedappellant mounted her, undressed her, and successfully
penetrated her against her will, one night in April 1998. The RTC
described AAAs testimony to be frank, probable, logical and
conclusive,while the Court of Appeals declared it to be forthright and
credible and impressively clear, definite, and convincing. Relevant
herein is our pronouncements in People v. Manjares that:
In a prosecution for rape, the accused may be convicted solely on
the basis of the testimony of the victim that is credible, convincing, and
consistent with human nature and the normal course of things, as in this
case. There is a plethora of cases which tend to disfavor the accused in a
rape case by holding that when a woman declares that she has been
raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape has been
committed and, where her testimony passes the test of credibility, the
accused can be convicted on the basis thereof. Furthermore, the Court
has repeatedly declared that it takes a certain amount of psychological
depravity for a young woman to concoct a story which would put her own
father to jail for the rest of his remaining life and drag the rest of the
family including herself to a lifetime of shame. For this reason, courts are
inclined to give credit to the straightforward and consistent testimony of a
minor victim in criminal prosecutions for rape.
x x x [W]hen the issue focuses on the credibility of the witnesses or the
lack of it, the assessment of the trial court is controlling because of its
unique opportunity to observe the witness and the latters demeanor,
conduct, and attitude especially during the cross-examination unless
cogent reasons dictate otherwise. Moreover, it is an established rule that
findings of fact of the trial court will not be disturbed on appeal unless

some facts or circumstances of weight have been overlooked,


misapprehended, or misinterpreted which would otherwise materially
affect the disposition of the case.
10. People vs. Magallanes
Facts:
In the evening of August 7, 1992, the Spouses Dumancas, under the
direction and cooperation of P/Col. Nicolas Torres who took advantage of
his
position
as
station
commander of the PNP, with Police Inspector Abetos cooperation, induced
other police officers, namely: Canuday, Pahayupan, Lamis, civilian agents:
Fernandez
Divinagracia,
Delgado and Gargallano, to abduct kidnap and detain, Rufino Gargar and
Danilo Lumangyao, with the use of a motor vehicle and then shot and
killed the victims with evident premeditation, treachery and nocturnity.
The other accused secretly buried the victims in a makeshift shallow
grave
to
conceal
the
crime
of
murder
for
a
fee
of
P500.00each. The cases were consolidated and the accusedpleaded not g
uilty and filed motions
for bail.
The
prosecution
presented
Moises Grandeza, the alleged lone eyewitness and co-conspirator in the
offense. After the prosecution rested its case, the trial court received
evidence for the accused, but the reception of evidence was suspended
because of the motions for inhibition of judge Garvilles filed
by several accused. Garvilles voluntarily inhibited himself and the case
was re-raffled. However, the prosecution moved for the transmittal of the
records
to
the
Sandiganbayan because the offenses charged werecommitted in relation t
o the office of the accused PNPofficers. The trial court ruled that the
Sandiganbayan does not have jurisdiction because the information do not
state that the offenses were committed in relation to the office of the
accused
PNP officers
and denied
the
Motion
for the Transfer of Records to Sandiganbayan. The prosecution moved to
reconsider
but
the
same
was
denied. The reception of evidence was resumed but the judge
later
inhibited himself. The cases were then re-raffled to Branch 49 of the
Regional Trial Court of Bacolod. The prosecution filed a petition
for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with a prayer for a temporary
restraining order, challenging the refusal of the judge to transfer the cases
to the Sandiganbayan. The private respondents were required
to comment on the petition and issued a temporary
restraining
order
enjoining the respondent judge to desist from proceeding with the trial of
the case.
ISSUE:
Whether the offenses were committed in relation to the office of the
accused PNP officers
Ruling:
No. The jurisdiction of a court may be determined by the law in force
at
the
time
of the
commencement
of
the
action.
When the information in the
cases
were filed, the
law
governing the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan was P.D.1861 , which
provides
that
the
Sandiganbayan
shall
have
exclusive original jurisdiction over cases involving: 1)violations of the AntiGraft
and Corrupt Practices Act; 2)offenses
committed by public officers in relation to their office, where the penalty

prescribed is higher than prision correccional or imprisonment of six (6)


years, or a fine of P6, 000.
If the penalty for the offense does not
exceed imprisonment of six (6) years or a fine of P6,000.00,it shall be
tried
by
the
Regional
Trial
Court,
Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court or the Municipal Circuit Trial
Court. Jurisdiction is also determined by the allegations in the complaint or
information
and
not
by
the
result
of
the
evidence after the trial. In the present case, theSandiganbayan has not ye
t acquired
jurisdiction over
the
cases. The
allegations
in the
complaint or information of taking
advantage of his position is not
sufficient to bring the offenses within the definition of offenses
committed
in
relation to public office. It is considered merely as an
aggravating circumstance.
Moreover,
the Sandiganbayan has partly
lost its jurisdiction over cases involving violations of R.A. 3019, as
amended in R.A. 1379 because it only retains jurisdiction on cases
enumerated in subsection (a) when the public officers rank is classified as
Grade
27
or higher.
In
the
case
at
bar,
none of the PNP officers involved occupy a position classified as Grade
27 or
higher.
Accused
Torres,
who
is
highest in rank among the accused, only has a rank classified as Grade
18. Lastly, the courts cannot be divested of jurisdiction
which was already acquired before the subsequent enactment of R.A.
7975 which limited the Sandiganbayans jurisdiction to officers whose
rank is Grade 27 or higher, because the courts retain its jurisdiction until
the end of litigation. Hence, cases already under the jurisdiction of the
courts at the time of the enactment of R.A. 7975 are only referred to the
proper courts if trial has not yet begun at that time. Petition is DENIED and
the challenged orders are AFFIRMED.
11. AGUINALDO vs DOMAGAS
FACTS:
ISSUE:
HELD:
12. PEOPLE vs ALBERTO DELIGERO
FACTS:
Accused Alberto Deligero was charged with the crime of rape against his
granddaughter AAA. Deligero failed to show any ill motive on the part of AAA to impute
such a grave offense and the trial court was not convinced with the sweetheart theory
advanced by Deligero. Upon appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial
court.
ISSUE:
Whether the prosecutions evidence must be given weight and credence.
Ruling:
YES. Factual findings of the trial court especially when affirmed by the Court of
Appeals are entitled to great weight and respect, if not conclusiveness, for it is accepted that
the trial court was in the best position as the original trier of the facts in whose direct
presence and under whose keen observation the witnesses rendered their respective versions
of the events that made up the occurrences constituting the ingredients of the offenses
charged. The direct appreciation of testimonial demeanor during examination, veracity,

sincerity and candor was foremost the trial courts domain, not that of a reviewing court that
had no similar access to the witnesses at the time they testified.
13. PEOPLE vs REYNALDO SOMOZA
FACTS:
In a buy-bust operation, accused Reynaldo Somoza was found guilty with violation of
the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Somoza appealed his case to the Court of
Appeals which only affirmed the decision of the trial court. The CA found nothing irregular
in the buy-bust operation and that it was not affected by the absence of a pre-operation
report.
ISSUE:
Whether the prosecution failed to prove the guilt beyond reasonable doubt of the
accused.
HELD:
NO. The established rule in appellate review is that the trial courts factual findings
are accorded great respect and even conclusive effect, especially if such findings are affirmed
by the Court of Appeals. A review of the records reveals that the prosecutions retelling of the
events as they transpired hews closer to the truth.
14. PEOPLE vs ROGELIA PEPINO-CONSULTA
FACTS:
In a buy-bust operation, accused Rogelia Pepino-Consulta was charged with violation
of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. During the trial, the testimonial
evidence of the defense deviated greatly from the prosecutions version of events. The
defense claimed that no buy-bust operation ever took place and the accused was only framed
up. The trial court adjudged the accused guilty of the crime of selling illegal drugs. On
appeal, the Court of Appeals sustained the conviction of the accused and that the arrest was
valid after getting caught in flagrante delicto selling shabu.
ISSUE:
Whether there was procedural lapses during the buy-bust operation.
Ruling:
YES. The police officers indeed committed serious lapses in procedure in the conduct
of the buy-bust operation. As a general rule, the trial courts findings of fact, especially when
affirmed by the CA are entitled to great weight and will not be disturbed on appeal. This
rule, however, admits of exceptions and does not apply where facts of weight and substance
with direct and material bearing on the final outcome of the case have been overlooked,
misapprehended or misapplied. In the case at bar, the police officers who conducted the
buy-bust operation committed lapses in the seizure and handling of the allegedly seized
plastic sachets of shabu.
15. PEOPLE vs ERNESTO GANI
FACTS:
The appellant was found guilty by the trial court of the crime of qualified rape against
his niece AAA. It held that the victims categorical, spontaneous and candid narration of how
the appellant raped her deserves full faith and credence. On appeal, the Court of Appeals
affirmed the decision of the trial court.
ISSUE:
Whether the trial court erred in convicting the appellant.

Ruling:
NO. The Court finds no cogent reason to disturb the RTCs factual findings as
affirmed by the CA. It is doctrinally settled that factual findings of the trial court, especially
on the credibility of the rape victim, are accorded great weight and respect and will not be
disturbed on appeal. More importantly, the Courts assessment of the records of the case
indicates no reversible error committed by the lower courts.
16. LACSON vs EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
FACTS:
Members of Kuratong Baleleng Gang, an organized crime syndicate involved in bank
robberies, were slain by elements of the Anti-Bank Robbery and Intelligence Task Group
(ABRITG) which includes Lacson. A member of the Criminal Investigation Command
alleged that what actually transpired was a summary execution and not a shoot-out. The
Ombudsman then formed a panel of investigators and found that the incident was a
legitimate police operation. However, a review board modified the panels finding and
recommended the indictment for multiple murder against the respondents including herein
petitioner. The accused filed separate motions questioning the jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan asserting that under the amended informations, the cases fall within the
jurisdiction of the RTC pursuant to Section 2 of RA 7975.
ISSUE:
Whether the said case would fall within the jurisdiction of Sandiganbayan.
Ruling:
No. For failure to show in the amended informations that the charge of murder was
intimately connected with the discharge of official functions of the accused PNP officers, the
offense charged is plain murder and therefore within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the
RTC and not Sandiganbayan. An offense is said to have been committed in relation to the
office if it is intimately connected with the office of the offender and perpetrated while he
was in the performance of his official functions. Such intimate relation must be alleged in
the information which is essential in determining the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.
17. PEOPLE vs RICARDO PIOSANG
FACTS:
Accused Ricardo Piosang was charged by the RTC of Quezon City of the crime of rape
of AAA, a minor. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court
with modifications. Accused denies raping AAA and points to CCC instead as the
perpetrator. He challenges the findings of fact of the RTC as affirmed by CA, giving more
weight and credence to the evidence of the prosecution as compared to those of the defense.
ISSUE:
Whether the trial court erred in convicting the accused.
HELD:
NO. Prevailing jurisprudence uniformly holds that findings of fact of the trial court,
particularly when affirmed by the Court of Appeals, are binding upon the Court. As a general
rule, on the question whether to believe the version of the prosecution or that of defense, the
trial courts choice is generally viewed as correct and entitled to the highest respect because it
is more competent to conclude so, having had the opportunity to observe the witnesses
demeanor and deportment on the witness stand as they gave their testimonies. The trial

court is, thus, in the best position to weigh conflicting testimonies and to discern if the
witnesses were telling the truth.
18. PEOPLE vs ABEL DIAZ
FACTS:
Accused Abel Diaz was found guilty by the RTC of Tarlac of the crime of rape against
Mara. The trial court found Maras testimony categorical, spontaneous and consistent and
was supported by physical evidence. Upon appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the
decision of the trial court and held that the prosecution clearly established the element of
force or intimidation.
ISSUE:
Whether the testimony is credible so as to convict the accused.
Ruling:
YES. As a rule, credibility is the sole province of the trial court. It is well settled that,
when the issues revolve on matters of credibility of witnesses, the findings of fact of the trial
court, its calibration of the testimonies of the witnesses, and its assessment of the probative
weight thereof, as well as its conclusions anchored on said findings, are accorded high
respect, if not conclusive effect. This is so because the trial court has the unique opportunity
to observe the demeanor of witnesses and is in the best position to discern whether they are
telling the truth.
19. DOMINGO vs MERLINDA COLINA
FACTS:
In an information, petitioner Domingo was charged before the MTCC of Davao City
with violation of BP 22 with checks issued to the respondent Colina. After the prosecution
rested its case, the defense filed a Demurrer to Evidence which was granted by the MTCC
and dismissed the case. The prosecution then filed a Motion for Reconsideration but was
denied by MTCC. Upon appeal, the RTC modified the decision of the MTCC and ordered
Domingo to pay Colina the amount due to her as a result of its civil liability. Upon petition
for review with the CA, the appellate court affirmed the decision of RTC.
ISSUE:
Whether the civil liability is proper despite dismissal of the violation of BP 22
Ruling:
YES. Section 1 of Rule 111 provides that, the extinction of the penal action does not
carry with it extinction of the civil action. However, the civil action based on delict shall be
deemed extinguished if there is a finding in a final judgment in the criminal action that the
act or omission from which the civil liability may arise did not exist. Moreover, Section 2 of
Rule 120 provides that, in case the judgment is of acquittal, it shall state whether the
evidence of the prosecution absolutely failed to prove the guilt of the accused or merely failed
to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In either case, the judgment shall determine if
the act or omission from which the civil liability might arise did no exist.
20. ABELARDO JANDUSAY vs PEOPLE
FACTS:
In 1999, petitioner was elected as the treasurer of CALAPUPATODA in Valenzuela
City and maintained a blue book which reflected the associations income and expenses. In
a turnover meeting with the incoming officers, the petitioner failed to turn-over the amount
reflected in the blue book despite written and verbal demands. He was then charged with
estafa. Upon appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the petitioners conviction and agreed
with the RTC that the elements of estafa were adequately established by the prosecution.

ISSUE:
Whether the CA erred in affirming the decision of the RTC.
Ruling:
NO. The petitioners allegations are nothing but feeble reiteration of arguments
unsuccessfully raised before the RTC and CA. It must be emphasized that the grounds raised
by the petitioner involve factual issues already passed upon by the abovementioned courts,
and are inappropriate in a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45. The court accords
respect to the finding of the RTC that the bare denial of the petitioner cannot prevail over the
evidence of the prosecution consisting not only of testimonies of witnesses but also
documents establishing the guilt of the petitioner beyond reasonable doubt. It is a wellentrenched rule that the findings of facts of the CA affirming those of the trial court are
binding on the Court.
21. Legados vs. De Guzman
Facts:
A complaint for simple seduction was filed against Vilmor Icao. The complaint was
presented by the offended girl, Cora Legados, represented by her mother, Rosa, and was
subsequently made the basis of an information filed by the First Assistant City Fiscal. After
entering a plea of not guilty on arraignment, Icao moved to quash the information on the
ground that the City Court had no jurisdiction to try the offense, and the fiscal who filed the
information bad no authority to do so. The Court denied the motion and scheduled the case
for trial on the merits. Icao thereupon instituted an action of prohibition with the then Court
of First Instance of Zamboanga City which, in due course, granted the petition and
permanently enjoined the proceedings in the City Court. It is this Order which is now
assailed in this Court as having been rendered with grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack of jurisdiction.
Issue:
Whether or not there was a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
jurisdiction.
Ruling:
The writ of prohibition was, of course, correctly issued by the respondent Judge,
being consistent with the doctrine obtaining at the time, i.e., that an inferior court had no
jurisdiction over the crime of simple seduction. But, as already pointed out, the doctrine has
since been changed. Now, the offense is explicitly declared by law to be within the exclusive
original jurisdiction, no longer of Courts of First Instance (since abolished and replaced by
Regional Trial Courts), but of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts.
22. People vs. Datu Not Abdul
Facts:
PO2 Akia of PDEA-CAR received a telephone call from an informant reporting the
illegal drug activities of appellant. Acting on this information, PO2 Akia met with the
informant and brought her to the PDEA office for an interview, in the course of which she
disclosed that appellant would be coming from Agoo, La Union to meet her between 1:00
p.m. and 2:00 p.m. of that day. Losing no time, P S/Insp. Mencio, together with SPO4
Madlon and Police Officer 2 PO2 Garcia, planned and prepared for a buy-bust operation that
was to take place in the afternoon of that day. The team agreed that PO2 Akia would pose as
the buyer and bring with him two pieces of 500-peso bills and some fake money. They also
agreed that the signal for the other police officers to arrest appellant was when PO2 Akia

grabbed him. They then proceeded to San Vicente. Upon arriving there, SPO4 Madlon and
PO2 Garcia hid, while PO2 Akia and the informant stood along the sidewalk. After twenty
minutes, appellant arrived on board a taxi. The informant touched PO2 Akias back to let
him know that the passenger of the cab was their target. Appellant got out of the taxi and
approached the informant, who introduced the police officer as her friend. PO2 Akia asked
appellant how much shabu the latter brought, and appellant replied that he had shabu worth
P6,500. Appellant pulled out of his pocket a medium-sized, transparent, heat-sealed plastic
sachet containing a white crystalline substance and handed it to PO2 Akia, who subsequently
handed the buy-bust money to the former. Appellant started to count it, but soon realized
that he was being paid with fake money. PO2 Akia immediately grabbed him and announced
that the former was a PDEA agent. Upon seeing the signal, SPO4 Madlon and PO2 Garcia
hurried to the scene and assisted PO2 Akia in arresting appellant. Afterwards, the police
officers brought him to the PDEA office, where the operation was documented and the arrest
report and the Affidavits of the arresting officers were prepared. Also, an inventory of the
item seized from appellant was made in the presence of representatives from the Department
of Justice (DOJ), the media, and the barangay council. PO2 Akia allegedly marked the plastic
sachet with the initials "MKM, DEA, EMG" and Exhibit "A." The plastic sachet was then
forwarded to the PNP Regional Crime Laboratory Office Cordillera Administrative Region
for analysis. The forensic analyst, PO2 Juliet Valentin Albon (PO2 Albon), examined the
substance inside the sachet. She issued a chemistry report numbered D-057-05 which found
that the plastic sachet with markings "A, MKM, DEA, EMG" contained 1.85 grams of a white
crystalline substance; and that a qualitative examination gave a positive result for the
presence of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu), a dangerous drug. The information
was filed and upon arraignment, appellant entered a plea of "not guilty."
Issue:
Whether the prosecution sufficiently established compliance with the chain-ofcustody rule.
Ruling:
Points of law, theories, issues, and arguments should be brought to the attention of
the trial court, as these cannot be raised for the first time on appeal. An exception to this rule
arises when there is plain error. An instance of plain error is overlooking, misapprehending,
or misapplying facts of weight and substance that, if properly appreciated, would warrant a
different conclusion. This case falls under this exception because the CA, in appreciating the
facts, erred in affirming the RTCs ruling that there was compliance with the rule on the
chain of custody. The chain-of-custody rule is a method of authenticating evidence, by which
the corpus delicti presented in court is shown to be one and the same as that which was
retrieved from the accused or from the crime scene. 39 This rule, when applied to drug cases,
requires a more stringent isapplication, because the corpus delicti the narcotic
substance not readily identifiable and must be subjected to scientific analysis to determine
its composition and nature. Hence, every link in the chain of custody must not show any
possibility of tampering, alteration or substitution. 42 However, it is accepted that a perfect
chain is not the standard.43 Nonetheless, two crucial links must be complied with. All the
foregoing facts show that there were substantial evidentiary gaps in the chain of custody of
the plastic sachet. Hence, these facts put into question the reliability and evidentiary value of
the contents of the alleged confiscated plastic sachet from appellant if indeed it was the
same as the one brought to the laboratory for examination, found positive for shabu, and
then presented before the RTC. It was a grave error for the CA to rule that there was an
unbroken chain of custody simply because the plastic sachet had been marked, inventoried,
sent to the crime laboratory for analysis, and found positive for shabu, despite the fact that
the integrity of the confiscated item throughout the entire process had never been
established.
23.
Facts:

People vs. Credo

Joseph was at a "bingohan" together with his wife Maria and friends Manuel and
Ramon Tirao. Randy arrived at the "bingohan," approached Joseph and suddenly punched
the latter on the chest, causing him to fall down. Randy then immediately ran away towards
the direction of their house. Joseph, on the other hand, stood up, gathered his things
consisting of a lemon and an egg, and gave Randy a chase. The people at the "bingohan" all
scampered away as a result of the commotion. 4 Josephs friend Manuel proceeded towards
Zone 3. There, he met Randy, who was already accompanied by his co-appellants: his
brother Ronald and their father Rolando. The three were each armed with a bolo.
Meanwhile, when Josephs children, Russel, Ramon, Roldan and Rea, heard that their father
was in trouble, they decided to look for him in Zone 3. On their way, they met appellants,
who suddenly started throwing stones at them, causing them to run away. Russel got
separated from his siblings but he continued to look for his father. He came across appellants
again in Zone 2 where he saw them hacking somebody with their bolos. That person later
turned out to be their father. Russel saw that when all three appellants were done hacking
their victim, Randy and Rolando went back to where the victim was lying and gave him
another blow, saying in the Bicolano dialect, "pang-dulce" (for dessert) resulting to Joseph's
death. The accused were convicted of the crime charged, hence this case. Pending resolution
of this appeal, the Court received a letter, from P/Supt. Schwarzkopf, Jr., Officer-in-Charge,
Office of the Superintendent, New Bilibid Prison, informing the Court that Rolando had died
at the New Bilibid Prison Hospital due to "Cardio respiratory Arrest" as the immediate cause
of death.
Issue:
Whether or not the prosecution failed to prove the attendance of the qualifying
circumstance of abuse of superior strength and whether or not Rolando's death would
extinguish the criminal liability.
Ruling:
The appeal has no merit. There is abuse of superior strength when the perpetrators of
a crime deliberately used excessive force, thereby rendering the victim incapable of
defending himself. "The notorious inequality of forces creates an unfair advantage for the
aggressor." Here, there can be no denying that appellants took advantage of their superior
strength to ensure the successful execution of their crime. This is evident from the fact that
there were three of them against the victim who was alone. More importantly, their victim
was unarmed while the three of them were each armed with a bolo. As a consequence of
Rolandos death while this case is pending appeal, both his criminal and civil liability ex
delicto were extinguished pursuant to Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code. The said
provision of law states that criminal liability is totally extinguished by "the death of the
convict, as to the personal penalties; and as to pecuniary penalties, liability therefor is
extinguished only when the death of the offender occurs before final judgment." Hence, this
appeal shall be decided as against Randy and Ronald only.
24. People vs. Reyes
Facts:
Reyes raped AAA at around 9:00 p.m. on December 26, 1996 in Pangasinan. Earlier,
at around 7:00 p.m., AAA and her 9-year-old sister, BBB, had watched television at his house
just across the street from their house. Only Reyes and his two sons, aged seven and five,
were the other persons in the house, for his wife had gone to another barangay to sell
refreshments. By 9:00 p.m., AAA and BBB rose to go home, but as they were leaving, Reyes
suddenly pulled AAA into the store attached to the sala of his house. He told her in the
dialect: Umaykan ta agiyyot ta. (Come here and let us have sex). Alarmed by what his words
denoted, AAA struggled to free herself from him. BBB went to her succor by pulling her away
from him, but his superior strength prevailed. BBB could only cry as he dragged AAA into the
store. BBB was left outside the store crying. Inside the store, Reyes kissed AAA and mashed
her breasts. He threatened her: If you will shout, I will kill you. He pulled down her long
pants and panties below her knees, took out his penis, grabbed her by the waist, and used his
body to anchor her back to a nearby table. She fought back by boxing and pushing him away,
but her efforts were futile. He twice tried to pry open her legs, but she strained hard to close

them. On the second attempt, however, her effort was not enough to prevent him from
pulling her legs apart, and he then thrust his penis into her vagina and made push and pull
movements. Although his penis achieved only a slight penetration of her vagina, he
succeeded in satisfying his lust, as confirmed later on when CCC, the mother of the victim,
found semen on AAAs panties. After he had satisfied his lust, Reyes threatened to kill both
AAA and BBB should they tell anyone else about what had happened. Then they hurriedly
left for home. Upon their arrival in their house, CCC called out to her daughters to go to bed.
Only BBB immediately complied because AAA tarried outside, only to have her mother again
call her inside. AAA entered the house this time, but went to where the aparador was and
took out fresh panties. CCC saw her doing so and became suspicious. She also saw fear in the
face of her daughter. When she inspected the soiled underwear of AAA, CCC discovered that
her panties were wet with semen.0 Upon being interrogated, AAA admitted that Reyes had
raped her. At around 6:00 a.m. of the next day, December 27, 1996, CCC reported the rape of
her daughter by Reyes to the Barangay Chairman of San Aurelio, who accompanied AAA and
her father to the Balungao Police Station to bring the criminal complaint for rape. At the
request of the Balungao Police, Dr. Ingrid Irena B. Gancinia, the Municipal Health Officer of
Rosales, Pangasinan, conducted a medical examination on AAA at around 3:30 p.m. of that
day. Appellant was convicted of the crime charged, hence, this appeal.
Issue:
Whether the evidence adduced by the State competently proved that the crime
reached the consummated stage.
Ruling:
The appeal has no merit. Reyes insists that the fact that AAAs hymen had remained
intact, per the medico-legal report, revealed that no rape had been committed. The breaking
of the hymen of the victim is not among the means of consummating rape. All that the law
required is that the accused had carnal knowledge of a woman under the circumstances
described in the law. By definition, carnal knowledge was "the act of a man having sexual
bodily connections with a woman." 22 This understanding of rape explains why the slightest
penetration of the female genitalia consummates the crime. More specifically, the presence
of the swelling in AAAs labia majora was an indication of the penetration by the erect penis
of the labia majora of the accused. As such, there was sufficient factual foundation for finding
him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of rape. Finally, although the RTC and the CA correctly
imposed reclusion perpetua because the crime was simple rape, we need to revise the civil
liability fixed and allowed by the RTC in order to have it accord with pertinent jurisprudence
to the effect that civil indemnity of P50,000.00 and moral damages of P50,000.00 should be
awarded to the victim of simple rape without need of proof other than the fact of rape. 28 This
is because the victim unquestionably suffered actual loss and moral injuries from her
experience. In addition, the attendance of AAAs minority as an aggravating circumstance,
which, although not a proper basis to raise the penal sanction on account of the failure to
allege it in the information, should still justify the grant of exemplary damages in order to set
a public example and to establish a deterrent against elders who abuse and corrupt the
youth.29 According to People v. Catubig,30 exemplary damages are justified regardless of
whether or not the generic or qualifying aggravating circumstances are alleged in the
information, considering that the grant of such damages pursuant to Article 2230 of the Civil
Code is intended for the sole benefit of the victim and does not affect the criminal liability,
the exclusive concern of the State. The grant in this regard should be in the sum of
P30,000.00.

25. People vs. Ramos


Facts:. That Rogelio threw stones at the house of his brother-in-law, Ramon Ramos, where
Tandoc and his daughter, as well as Abacco, were resting. After Tandoc warned Rogelio to
stop throwing stones as he might hit his daughter, Rogelio retreated to his house. After a

while, Marissa went out and shouted at them. Tandoc then suggested to Abacco that they
leave the place to avert further trouble. However, instead of leaving, Abacco, then unarmed,
approached the appellants house and asked Rogelio to come out so they could talk. Rogelio
and Marissa then opened their gate. As soon as the gate was opened, Rogelio hacked Abacco
twice with a samurai sword. When Abacco fell to the ground, the appellants dragged him into
their yard and banged his head on the wall of their house. Abacco begged for his life crying
out, "Tama na bayaw, tama na, hindi ako lalaban." 6 Despite this, Marissa hacked Abacco on
his back with a bolo while he was still on the ground. She then told Rogelio, "Sige, patayin
mo na yan!"7 Notwithstanding the plea for mercy, Rogelio still hacked Abacco several times
until the latter died. Dr. Parazo who conducted the autopsy, testified that Abacco died of
hypovolemic shock or massive blood loss secondary to multiple hacked wounds in different
parts of the body, such as the head, neck, shoulders, forearms, and back. He further testified
that the injuries on Abaccos head and on his right hand might have been caused by a sharpedged instrument like a samurai sword, bolo, or knife. The wounds were so deep that some
of Abaccos bones such as the scapula (shoulder blades) and the humerus (upper arm bone)
were exposed. The wound in the lumbar area (lower back) almost transected the spinal cord. 9
Abaccos body bore 12 wounds. Appellants were found guilty of the crime of murder with the
Aggravating Qualifying circumstances of treachery and abuse of superior strength committed
against Abacco. Hence, this appeal.
Issue:
Whether or not the defense of denial and alibi must be given weight.
Ruling:
No. For the defense of alibi to prosper, "the accused must prove (a) that she was
present at another place at the time of the perpetration of the crime, and (b) that it was
physically impossible for her to be at the scene of the crime" 22 during its commission.
"Physical impossibility refers to distance and the facility of access between the crime scene
and the location of the accused when the crime was committed. She must demonstrate that
she was so far away and could not have been physically present at the crime scene and its
immediate vicinity when the crime was committed." In the case at bench, Marissa failed to
satisfy these requisites. During trial, it was shown that the distance between Kagawad
Tavoras house and the house of the appellants was only 400 meters. Moreover, Marissa was
positively identified by eyewitnesses to be present at the scene of the crime and to have
participated in its commission. Time and again, this Court has consistently ruled that
positive identification prevails over alibi since the latter can easily be fabricated and is
inherently unreliable. Factual findings of the trial court involving the credibility of witnesses
are accorded respect especially when affirmed by the CA. The Court finds no reason to
disturb the findings of the trial court. It is a well-settled rule that factual findings of the trial
court involving the credibility of witnesses are accorded utmost respect since trial courts
have first hand account on the witnesses manner of testifying in court and their demeanor
during trial.28 The Court shall not supplant its own interpretation of the testimonies for that
of the trial judge since he is in the best position to determine the issue of credibility.
Moreover in the absence of misapprehension of facts or grave abuse of discretion, and
especially when the findings of the judge have been affirmed by the CA as in this case, the
findings of the trial court shall not be disturbed.

26. Crespo vs. Mogul


Facts:
Petitioner Mario Crespo was accused for Estafa in the Circuit Criminal Court of
Lucena City. When the case was set for arraignment, the accused filed a motion for defer
arraignment on the ground that there was a pending petition for review filed with the
Secretary of Justice. However, Justice Mogul denied the motion, but the arraignment was
deferred in a much later date to afford time for the petitioner to elevate the mater to the
appellate court. The accused filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for a

preliminary writ of injunction to the CA. The CA ordered the trial court to refrain from
proceeding with the arraignment until further orders of the Court. Undersecretary of Justice,
Hon. Catalino Macaraig Jr., resolved the petition for review reversed the resolution of the
office of the Provincial Fiscal and directed the Fiscal to move for immediate dismissal of the
information filed against the accused. Judge Mogul denied the motion for dismissal of the
case ad set the arraignment. The accused then filed a petition for Certiorari, prohibition and
mandamus with petition for the issuance of preliminary writ of prohibition and/or
temporary restraining order in the CA. The CA dismissed the order and lifted the restraining
order.
Issue:
Whether the trial court may refuse to grant a motion to dismiss filed by the Fiscal
under orders fro, the Secretary of Justice and insists on arraignment and trial on the merits.
Ruling:
It is a cardinal principle that all criminal actions either commenced by complaint or
by information shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of the fiscal. 17 The
institution of a criminal action depends upon the sound discretion of the fiscal. The reason
for placing the criminal prosecution under the direction and control of the fiscal is to prevent
malicious or unfounded prosecution by private persons. 19 It cannot be controlled by the
complainant. However, the action of the fiscal or prosecutor is not without any limitation or
control. The same is subject to the approval of the provincial or city fiscal or the chief state
prosecutor as the case maybe and it maybe elevated for review to the Secretary of Justice
who has the power to affirm, modify or reverse the action or opinion of the fiscal.
Consequently the Secretary of Justice may direct that a motion to dismiss the case be filed in
Court or otherwise, that an information be filed in Court.The filing of a complaint or
information in Court initiates a criminal action. The Court thereby acquires jurisdiction over
the case, which is the authority to hear and determine the case. The preliminary
investigation conducted by the fiscal for the purpose of determining whether a prima facie
case exists warranting the prosecution of the accused is terminated upon the filing of the
information in the proper court.
27. Roberts vs. Court of Appeals
Facts:
Several thousand holders 6 of "349" Pepsi crowns in connection with the PEPSI's
Number Fever Promotion 7 filed with the Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City
complaints against the petitioner's in their respective capacities as Presidents or Chief
Executive Officers, Chairman of the Board, Vice-Chairman of the Board, and Directors of
PEPSI, and also against other officials of PEPSI. The complaints respectively accuse the
petitioners and the other PEPSI officials of the following crimes: (a) estafa; (b) violation of
R.A. No. 7394, otherwise known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines; (c) violation of E.O.
No. 913; 8 and (d) violation of Act No. 2333, entitled "An Act Relative to Untrue, Deceptive
and Misleading Advertisements," as amended by Act No. 3740. After appropriate
proceedings, the investigating prosecutor, Ramon M. Gerona, released on 23 March 1993 a
Joint Resolution 10 where he recommended the filing of an information against the
petitioners and others for the violation of Article 318 of the Revised Penal Code and the
dismissal of the complaints for the violation of Article 315, 2(d) of the Revised Penal Code;
R.A. No. 7394; Act No. 2333, as amended by Act No. 3740; and E.O. No. 913. On 6 April
1993, City Prosecutor Candido V. Rivera approved the recommendation with the
modification that Rosemarie Vera, Quintin Gomez, Jr., and Chito Gonzales be excluded from
the charge on the ground of insufficiency of evidence. Hence, this petition.

Issue:
Whether or not the proceedings should have been suspended to await the secretary of
justice's resolution of petitioner's appeal.
Ruling:
As earlier stated, per its 1st Indorsement of 21 April 1993, the DOJ gave due course to
the petitioners' petition for review pursuant to the exception provided for in Section 4 of
Circular No. 7, and directed the Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City to forward to the
Department the records of the cases and to file in court a motion for the deferment of the
proceedings. At the time it issued the indorsement, the DOJ already knew that the
information had been filed in court, for which reason it directed the City Prosecutor to
inform the Department whether the accused have already been arraigned and if not yet
arraigned, to move to defer further proceedings. It must have been fully aware that, pursuant
to Crespo vs. Mogul, a motion to dismiss a case filed by the prosecution either as a
consequence of a reinvestigation or upon instructions of the Secretary of Justice after a
review of the records of the investigation is addressed to the trial court, which has the option
to grant or to deny it. Also, it must have been still fresh in its mind that a few months back it
had dismissed for lack of probable cause other similar complaints of holders of "349" Pepsi
crowns. 72 Thus, its decision to give due course to the petition must have been prompted by
nothing less than an honest conviction that a review of the Joint Resolution was necessary in
the highest interest of justice in the light of the special circumstances of the case. That
decision was permissible within the "as far as practicable" criterion in Crespo. Hence, the
DOJ committed grave abuse of discretion when it executed on 23 July 1993 a unilateral
volte-face, which was even unprovoked by a formal pleading to accomplish the same end, by
dismissing the petition for review. It dismissed the petition simply because it thought that a
review of the Joint Resolution would be an exercise in futility in that any further action on
the part of the Department would depend on the sound discretion of the trial court, and that
the latter's denial of the motion to defer arraignment filed at the instance of the DOJ was
clearly an exercise of that discretion or was, in effect, a signal to the Department that the
determination of the case is within the court's exclusive jurisdiction and competence. This
infirmity becomes more pronounced because the reason adduced by the respondent Judge
for his denial of the motions to suspend proceedings and hold in abeyance issuance of
warrants of arrest and to defer arraignment finds, as yet, no support in Crespo.

28. People vs. Mabuyo


Facts:
Norberto Anillo was shot dead at the doorstep of his house. Immediately thereafter a
police team headed by Lt. Garcia, went to the scene of the incident and conducted an
investigation. Fifteen empty carbine shells were recovered from the premises. Agaton Anillo,
the father of the deceased, and Adelaida Mirania, the widow, when interviewed by Lt. Garcia,
declined to name the assailants but promised to go to his office after the interment to
disclose to him their identities. As promised, Agaton Anillo and Adelaida Mirania went to the
Office of the Chief of Police of Tanauan on June 20 and submitted themselves to a formal
investigation. In their respective statements they named Domingo Mabuyo as the triggerman
and alluded to a certain Juan Mendoza as the instigator of the crime. The following day, June
21, a complaint for murder was filed in the Municipal Court of Tanauan against both
Mendoza and Mabuyo. Upon a finding of a probable cause, the municipal judge ordered the
issuance of the corresponding warrants of arrest, but Domingo Mabuyo was nowhere to be
found. Juan Mendoza waived his right to the second stage of the preliminary investigation
and the municipal court forwarded the record of the case to the Court of First Instance of
Batangas, where an information for murder was filed against him alone as principal by
inducement. Upon a plea of "not guilty" the accused went to trial, after which he was
acquitted "on ground of reasonable doubt" in a decision promulgated on January 7, 1967. On
March 27, 1967, Domingo Mabuyo presented himself at the Office of the Chief of Police of
Tanauan, but only to be fingerprinted since he had with him an order of release issued by the
Municipal Court. It appears that Mabuyo had previously prepared a bail bond in the sum of
P30,000.00, which was approved by the Municipal Judge. Through counsel Mabuyo waived

his right to the second stage of the preliminary investigation. Accordingly the municipal
court in its order dated March 27, 1967 elevated the case to the Court of First Instance of
Batangas for further proceedings. On April 5, 1967 the Provincial Fiscal filed the
corresponding information for murder against Mabuyo, alleging the circumstances of
treachery and evident premeditation. The case went to trial upon a "not guilty" plea. The
widow of the deceased, who appeared to be the lone eyewitness to the commission of crime,
testified that at about midnight Of June 18, 1966, while she was reading in bed, she heard
her husband asking her to open the door. She stood up, and taking with her a lighted
kerosene lamp, went downstairs. Suddenly there were two successive gun shots. She heard
her husband cry out "aray," followed by a sound of a falling object. As she came near the door
there were other successive shots. Undaunted, she opened the door to see what was
happening outside. With the aid of the light of the kerosene lamp, which she was holding
over her head, she saw Domingo Mabuyo firing at her prostrate husband with what appeared
to her to be a carbine. Mabuyo aimed it at her, so she immediately closed the door and
shouted for help. Shortly thereafter her father-in-law, whose house was nearby, arrived. She
told him that it was Domingo Mabuyo whom she saw shooting her husband. Upon the
evidence presented the trial court rendered its judgment of conviction as aforestated; hence,
this appeal.
Issue:
Whether or not the trial court erred in convicting the accused of a crime not properly
charged in the information since he was charged with murder allegedly committed in Bo.
Bagumbayan but was found guilty of said crime committed in Bo. Ambulong, some 12
kilometers away in the same municipality and province.
Ruling:
The alleged irregularity does not constitute a reversible error. It is a settled rule that
unless the particular place of commission is an essential element of the offense charged,
conviction may be had even if it appears that the crime was committed not at the place
alleged in the information, provided the place of actual commission was within the
jurisdiction of the court. 1 In the instant case the place of commission does not constitute an
essential element of the offense charged and the evidence discloses that said offense was in
fact committed within the territorial jurisdiction of the trial court. Moreover, there is no
reason to believe that the appellant was misled or surprised by the variance between the
proof and the allegation in the information as to the place where the offense was committed.
With respect to the appellant's claim that he was denied the right to preliminary
investigation, We find the same to be without factual basis, it appearing from the order dated
March 27, 1967 of the Municipal Court of Tanauan that he "had renounced his right to the
second stage of the preliminary investigation." Furthermore, the record does not show that
he raised the question of lack of preliminary investigation at any stage of the trial in the court
of first instance. It is well-settled that the right to a preliminary investigation is not a
fundamental right and may be waived expressly or by silence. 2
29. People vs. Posing
Facts:
SPO1 Angeles testified that while on duty on an asset informed the duty officer about
the illegal activities of certain Posing, a known drug pusher in their barangay. As a result,
Chief Caballes formed a team to conduct a buy bust operation, and the informant were
dispatched and upon arrival, the informant and SPO1 Angeles proceeded to the squatters
area and met Posing beside the basketball court, where he was introduced by the informant
as a buyer of shabu. The former asked if he could buy one hundred peso (P100.00) worth of
shabu for personal use. Posing then pulled out one (1) transparent plastic sachet from his
pocket and gave it to SPO1 Angeles in exchange for the buy-bust money. Afterwards, SPO1
Angeles took out his cap to alert his companions that the deal was already concluded. PO1
Cortez and PO1 Nicart rushed to the scene and introduced themselves as police officers.

Posing was frisked, and the buy- bust money and another transparent plastic sachet were
recovered from him. Afterwards, the suspect and the evidence were taken to the station.
Prior to the turnover of the evidence to the desk officer, SPO1 Angeles placed his marking on
the two (2) small heat sealed transparent plastic sachets. 9 The same were then turned over to
PO2 John Sales (PO2 Sales), who prepared a request for laboratory examination. On the
same day, the specimens were delivered by PO1 Nicart to the Philippine National Police
(PNP) Crime Laboratory for quantitative and qualitative examination, wherein each sachet
was found to contain 0.03 gram and tested positive for methylamphetamine hydrochloride
or shabu, a dangerous drug. Upon arraignment, Posing entered a of not guilty. Hence this
appeal.
Issue:
Whether or not the trial court gravely erred when it failed to consider the police
officers failure to comply with the proper procedure in the handling and custody of the
seized drugs.
Ruling:
No. In cases involving violations of Dangerous Drugs Act, credence should be given to
the narration of the incident by the prosecution witnesses especially when they are police
officers who are presumed to have performed their duties in a regular manner, unless there
is evidence to the contrary. In this regard, the defense failed to show any ill motive or odious
intent on the part of the police operatives to impute such a serious crime that would put in
jeopardy the life and liberty of an innocent person, such as in the case of appellant.
Incidentally, if these were simply trumped-up charges against him, it remains a question why
no administrative charges were brought against the police operatives. Moreover, in weighing
the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses vis--vis those of the defense, it is a well-settled
rule that in the absence of palpable error or grave abuse of discretion on the part of the trial
judge, the trial courts evaluation of the credibility of witnesses will not be disturbed on
appeal. With the illegal sale of dangerous drugs established beyond reasonable doubt, the
handling of the evidence, or the observance of the proper chain of custody, which is also an
indispensable factor in prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs, is the next matter to
be resolved. The chain of custody requirements that must be met in proving that the seized
drugs are the same ones presented in court: (1) testimony about every link in the chain, from
the moment the item was picked up to the time it is offered into evidence; and (2) witnesses
should describe the precautions taken to ensure that there had been no change in the
condition of the item and no opportunity for someone not in the chain to have possession of
the item. In this case, the prosecution was able to prove, through the testimonies of its
witnesses that the integrity of the seized item was preserved every step of the process. But
time and again, jurisprudence is consistent in stating that less than strict compliance with
the procedural aspect of the chain of custody rule does not necessarily render the seized drug
items inadmissible. As held in People v. Llanita40 as cited in People v. Ara: RA 9165 and its
subsequent IRR do not require strict compliance as to the chain of custody rule. x x x We
have emphasized that what is essential is "the preservation of the integrity and the
evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be utilized in the determination of
the guilt or innocence of the accused." Briefly stated, non-compliance with the procedural
requirements under RA 9165 and its IRR relative to the custody, photographing, and drugtesting of the apprehended persons, is not a serious flaw that can render void the seizures
and custody of drugs in a buy-bust operation.

30.

People vs. ANDY ZULIETA a.k.a. "Bogarts


G.R. No. 192183 November 11, 2013

DEL CASTILLO, J.:


Facts:
On July 21, 2006, an Information was filed charging appellant with the
crime of Murder of Armand Labando with the use of Batangas knife which was
witnessed by Bryan Pascua. Per order of their Precinct Commander, a police
team conducted a pursuit operation and was able to arrest, on the following day,
Jonathan Zaporteza and Rey Sabado, companions of the accused Andy Zulieta.
When arraigned on November 3, 2006, appellant pleaded not guilty.
During the pre-trial, no stipulation of facts was made hence trial on the merits
ensued.
Accused set up denial and alibi as his defense claiming that on June 13,
2006 at 10:00 oclock in the evening, he was asleep in his house in Gingoog City
with his wife and in-laws. Sometime in November, 2006, he was arrested by
Police Officer Radam and companions at his house in Gingoog City for being
accused of killing the deceased Armand Labando, Jr. Accused claimed that he
does not know the deceased Armand Labando, Jr., Rey Sabando, Jonathan
Zaporteza or witness Bryan Pascua. When cross-examined by the Court, accused
claimed that his nickname is Andy as his real name is Zandy and he is not known
in Sto. Nio as Bogarts. He, however, admitted that he was born in Sto. Nio,
Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City in 1985, lived and stayed with his parents in Sto.
Nio, Lapasan, until he got married in x x x 2005. He then transferred residence
with his own family to Gingoog.
On October 24, 2007, the RTC rendered its Judgment finding appellant
guilty of killing the victim Armand Labando, Jr. (Labando) with the attendant
qualifying circumstance of treachery. Aggrieved, appellant filed his Notice of
Appeal which was approved by the RTC.
In its Decision dated August 13, 2009, the CA affirmed with modification
the Judgment of the RTC. Hence, this present appeal.
Issue:
Whether the court aquo gravely erred in convicting accused-appellant
despite failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Ruling:
No. Appellants alibi, being inherently weak, deserves no credence at all
especially when measured up against the positive identification by the
prosecution witness, Bryan Pascua (Pascua), pointing to appellant as the
perpetrator of the crime. Besides, nobody corroborated appellants alibi other
than his wife who is obviously biased in his favor thus making her testimony selfserving. Moreover, appellant failed to prove that it was physically impossible for
him to be present at the crime scene at the time of its commission. As observed
by the CA, Cagayan de Oro City could be traversed from Gingoog City within two
hours; hence, it is not physically impossible for appellant to commit the crime in
Cagayan de Oro City and still go home to Gingoog City after its commission.
Aside from having been positively identified by prosecution witness
Pascua, appellant failed to impute any ill motive to Pascua. Thus, the trial court
correctly lent credence to Pascuas testimony.

Settled is the rule that factual findings of the trial court and its assessment
on the credibility of witnesses deserve utmost respect by this Court. In this case,
we find no reason to deviate from the findings or assessment of the trial court
there being no showing that it has overlooked or mis-appreciated some facts
which if considered would materially impact on or change the outcome of the
case. On the contrary, we find that the trial court meticulously studied the case
and properly weighed the evidence presented by the parties. Thus, we stand by
its pronouncement that- the Court is convinced that it is accused Andy Zulieta
a.k.a. "Bogarts" who suddenly stabbed the deceased, resulting in his
instantaneous death.

31. SANCHEZ V. DEMETRIOU


November 3, 1993 Cruz, J.
FACTS:
The Presidential Anti-Crime Commission requested the filing of
appropriate charges against several persons, including the petitioner, in
connection with the rape-slay of Mary Eileen Sarmenta and the killing of
Allan Gomez. Acting on this request, the Panel of State Prosecutors of the
Department of Justice conducted a preliminary investigation on August 9,
1993. Petitioner Sanchez was not present but was represented by his
counsel, Atty. Marciano Brion, Jr. On August 12, 1993, PNP Commander
Rex Piad issued an "invitation" to the petitioner requesting him to appear
for investigation at Camp Vicente Lim in Canlubang, Laguna. It was served
on Sanchez in the morning of August 13,1993, and he was immediately
taken to the said camp. At a confrontation that same day, Sanchez was
positively identified by Aurelio Centeno, and SPO III Vivencio Malabanan,
who both executed confessions implicating him as a principal in the rapeslay of Sarmenta and the killing of Gomez. The petitioner was then placed
on "arrest status" and taken to the Department of Justice in Manila. The
respondent prosecutors immediately conducted an inquest upon his
arrival, with Atty. Salvador Panelo as his counsel. After the hearing, a
warrant of arrest was served on Sanchez. This warrant was issued in
connection with Criminal Cases for violation of Section 8, in relation to
Section 1, of R.A. No. 6713. Sanchez was forthwith taken to the CIS
Detention Center, Camp Crame, where he remains confined.
The
respondent prosecutors filed with the Regional Trial Court of Calamba,
Laguna, seven information charging Antonio L. Sanchez, Luis Corcolon,
Rogelio Corcolon, Pepito Kawit, Baldwin Brion, Jr., George Medialdea and
Zoilo Ama with the rape and killing of Mary Eileen Sarmenta. Judge
Eustaquio P. Sto. Domingo of that court issued a warrant for the arrest of
all the accused, including the petitioner, in connection with the said crime.
The respondent Secretary of Justice subsequently expressed his
apprehension that the trial of the said cases might result in a miscarriage
of justice. SC thereupon ordered the transfer of the venue of the seven
cases to Pasig, Metro Manila, where they were raffled to respondent Judge
Harriet Demetriou. On September 10, 1993, the seven information were
amended to include the killing of Allan Gomez as an aggravating
circumstance. On that same date, the petitioner filed a motion to quash
the information substantially on the grounds now raised in this petition.
On September 13, 1993, after oral arguments, the respondent judge
denied the motion. Sanchez then filed with this Court the instant petition
for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for a temporary restraining
order/writ of injunction.

On that same date, the petitioner filed a motion to quash the


information substantially on the grounds now raised in this petition. On
September 13, 1993, after oral arguments, the respondent judge denied
the motion. Sanchez then filed with this Court the instant petition for
certiorari and prohibition with prayer for a temporary restraining
order/writ of injunction.
ISSUES:
1. Whether his warrantless arrest is illegal and the court has therefore
not acquired jurisdiction over him.
2. Whether as a public officer, he can be tried for the offense only by
the Sandiganbayan.
RULING:
1.
No. The Court agrees with the petitioner that his arrest did not
come under Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court. It is not denied that
the arresting officers were not present when the petitioner allegedly
participated in the killing of Allan Gomez and the rape-slay of Mary Eileen
Sarmenta. Neither did they have any personal knowledge that the
petitioner was responsible therefor because the basis of the arrest was the
sworn statements of Centeno and Malabanan. Moreover, as the rape and
killing of Sarmenta allegedly took place on June 28-June 29, 1993, or fortysix days before the date of the arrest, it cannot be said that the offense
had "in fact just been committed" when the petitioner was arrested.
However, even if the original warrantless arrest of the petitioner was
doubtless illegal, nevertheless, the Regional Trial Court lawfully acquired
jurisdiction over the person of the petitioner by virtue of the warrant of
arrest it issued on August 26, 1993 against him and the other accused in
connection with the rape-slay cases. It was belated but it was nonetheless
legal.
Even on the assumption that no warrant was issued at all, the High
Court finds that the trial court still lawfully acquired jurisdiction over the
person of the petitioner. The rule is that if the accused objects to the
jurisdiction of the court over his person, he may move to quash the
information, but only on that ground. If, as in this case, the accused raises
other grounds in the motion to quash, he is deemed to have waived that
objection and to have submitted his person to the jurisdiction of that
court.
The Court notes that on August 13, 1993, after the petitioner was
unlawfully arrested, Judge Lanzanas issued a warrant of arrest against
Antonio L. Sanchez in connection with Criminal Cases Nos. 93-124634 to
93-124637 for violation of R.A No. 6713. 15 Pending the issuance of the
warrant of arrest for the rape-slay cases, this first warrant served as the
initial justification for his detention.
The Court also adverts to its uniform ruling that the filing of charges, and
the issuance of the corresponding warrant of arrest, against a person
invalidly detained will cure the defect of that detention or at least deny
him the right to be released because of such defect.
2. NO. Section 4, paragraph (a) of P.D. No, 1606, as amended by P.D.
No.1861, provides:
Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. The Sandiganbayan shall exercise:
a)
Exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving:
(1)
Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended,
otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,
Republic Act No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the
Revised Penal Code:

(2)
Other offenses or felonies committed by public officers
and employees in relation to their office, including those employed
in government-owned or controlled corporations, whether simple or
complexed with other crimes, where the penalty prescribed by law is
higher than prision correccional or imprisonment for six (6) years, or
a fine of P6,000.00. . .
The crime of rape with homicide with which the petitioner stands
charged obviously does not fall under paragraph (1), which deals with
graft and corruption cases. Neither is it covered by paragraph (2) because
it is not an offense committed in relation to the office of the petitioner.
In Montilla v, Hilario, 24 this Court described the "offense committed
in relation to the office" as follows:
The relation between the crime and the office contemplated by the
Constitution is, in the Courts opinion, direct and not accidental. To fall into
the intent of the Constitution, the relation has to be such that, in the legal
sense, the offense cannot exist without the office. In other words, the
office must be a constituent element of the crime as defined in the
statute, such as, for instance, the crimes defined and punished in Chapter
Two to Six, Title Seven, of the Revised Penal Code.
Public office is not of the essence of murder. The taking of human
life is either murder or homicide whether done by a private citizen or
public servant, and the penalty is the same except when the perpetrator,
being a public functionary took advantage of his office, as alleged in this
case, in which event the penalty is increased.
There is no direct relation between the commission of the crime of
rape with homicide and the petitioner's office as municipal mayor because
public office is not an essential element of the crime charged. The offense
can stand independently of the office. Moreover, it is not even alleged in
the information that the commission of the crime charged was intimately
connected with the performance of the petitioner's official functions to
make it fall under the exception laid down in People v. Montejo.
32. ROSALINDA PUNZALAN AND RAINIER PUNZALAN vs. JUDGE
RUBEN R. PLATA
[A.M. No. MTJ-00-1301. December 18, 2001]PUNO, J.:
Facts:
On February 18, 1998, Precioso R. Perlas and Ma. Teresa C. Manansala, on
behalf of complainants Rosalinda B. Punzalan and Rainier B. Punzalan,
filed with the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) a Sworn Complaint
against respondent judge for grave misconduct, lack of moral character
and oppressive conduct unbecoming a judge.
On August 15, 1997, an information for attempted homicide
allegedly committed against Rainier Punzalan on August 13, 1997, was
filed against Michael Plata, the son of the respondent judge Ruben Plata.
It was filed in the MTC of Mandaluyong. Michael Plata appealed to the
Chief State Prosecutor the resolution in I.S. No. 97-10732 upon which the
information in Criminal Case No. 66879 was based. On June 18, 1998, the
Chief State Prosecutor set aside the said resolution upon finding that the
testimonies of the prosecution witnesses were conflicting, and more
importantly, that Dencio dela Pea voluntarily, spontaneously, and
knowingly admitted that it was he who accidentally shot Rainier Punzalan
on August 13, 1997.
The Chief State Prosecutor directed the City
Prosecutor of Mandaluyong to cause the withdrawal of the information for
attempted homicide against Michael Plata. Rainier Punzalan moved for

reconsideration of the Chief State Prosecutor's June 18, 1998 resolution,


but this was denied by former Justice Secretary Serafin Cuevas on
February 8, 1999.
After the information against Michael Plata was filed and while it was
not yet withdrawn, numerous cases were filed by respondent's wife
Rosario, his son Michael and his driver Robert Cagara, the Platas' house
boarder Dencio dela Pea and Rolando Curampes, against herein
complainant Rosalinda, her sons Rainier and Randall, and the latter's
friends who were eyewitnesses to the shooting incident. The Platas and
the Punzalans were neighbors in Hulo Bliss, Mandaluyong City.
Complainants allege that, by taking advantage of his legal expertise and
experience as a former prosecutor of Pasay City and of his judicial
connections and influence, respondent judge orchestrated the filing of
groundless cases to harass and retaliate to the Punzalans and their
eyewitnesses. Other cases were filed without preliminary investigation
conducted by the Mandaluyong City prosecutors who, complainants
allege, are "obviously friendly" to respondent judge.
For maliciously causing the filing of these allegedly unfounded
cases, complainants seek the dismissal of respondent judge on the
following grounds, viz:
(a) GROSS MISCONDUCT
(b) LACK OF MORAL CHARACTER
(c) OPPRESSIVE CONDUCT UNBECOMING OF A JUDGE
On March 2, 1998, Precioso Perlas filed a Supplemental
Administrative Complaint informing the OCA that the daughter of
respondent judge, Kathy Rose J. Plata, filed a 14th criminal case for
attempted murder against one of complainants' eyewitnesses.
Complainants allege that the case was filed upon the instigation of
respondent judge.
In his Comment dated April 3, 1998, respondent judge denied the
charges against him. He also denies having exerted influence over the
Mandaluyong City prosecutors who filed the set of cases without
preliminary investigations as he claims that he does not even know them.
He stressed that he had no participation in the filing of all the cases cited
by complainants, except for the robbery charge filed by his son where he
(Judge Plata) had to file a Supplemental Affidavit as he was the registered
owner of the vehicle subject of the robbery.
On February 24, 1999, the Second Division of the Court resolved to
refer the instant case to Executive Judge Fe Albano Madrid, Regional Trial
Court,
Santiago
City,
Isabela
for
investigation,
report
and
recommendation. In compliance thereto, Judge Madrid submitted a onepage report without making findings of fact and conclusions of law nor
making a recommendation therein. The Judge merely informed the Court
that the complainant and the respondent have settled and that they will
move to dismiss the case, but did not include a copy of the compromise
agreement between the complainants and respondent judge.
On September 6, 1999, the OCA received a copy of an "Urgent ExParte Motion to Revive" dated August 16, 1999 filed by the complainants
before the investigating judge seeking to revive the investigation on the
respondent judge as he did not comply with his undertakings in the
compromise agreement dated July 16, 1999. Respondent judge admitted
that he was not able to pay the first instalment on July 31, 1999 because
of financial difficulty. Respondent also pointed out that complainants
themselves had failed to comply with the terms of the compromise

agreement as they had not caused the provisional dismissal or withdrawal


of the instant case. Under these circumstances, respondent judge no
longer wished to abide by the compromise agreement and instead
proceeded to present evidence to exculpate himself from the
administrative charges levelled against him.
ISSUE:
Whether the respondent Judge should be administratively
sanctioned.
RULING:
YES. Congruent with the finding of the investigating judge, the OCA
found that the failure of respondent judge to comply with the July 16,
1999 compromise agreement was tainted with bad faith. The OCA noted,
viz:
"Respondent bound himself to pay the sum of P180,000.00 payable
in four (4) monthly installments in consideration for the withdrawal of the
criminal case for attempted homicide and herein administrative case but
he reneged on said promise. Respondent merely rationalized that he was
financially hard-up and claimed that herein complainant was only after
monetary compensation and not really
to exact judicial relief.
Respondent judge's explanation of financial difficulties cannot be
countenanced. Compromise agreement entails reciprocal concessions,
non-compliance of which raises doubt as to respondent's sincerity and
honest desire to avoid litigation or put an end to one already
commenced."
Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct mandates that "a judge
should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all
activities. The personal behavior of the judge, not only while in the
performance of his duties but also outside the court, must be beyond
reproach for he is the visible representation of the law and of justice.
The Court also finds improper respondent judge's execution of the
compromise agreement, the subject matter of which, among others, is the
dismissal of the instant administrative case in consideration of
P180,000.00 and the withdrawal of the cases filed against the
complainants and their eyewitnesses. It cannot be gainsaid that public
office is a public trust and this truism is no more applicable than to the
office of a judge for he is a visible representation of law and justice. The
dignity of a public office cannot be bought nor compromised. Thus, in
Bais v. Tugaoen, the Court frowned upon the complainant's affidavit of
desistance and in spite of it, proceeded with the complaint against the
erring judge.
Lawyers are officers of the court tasked with aiding the court in its
dispensation of justice. There are weightier reasons why investigations
and complaints against judges should not be settled or compromised for
judges not only aid in the dispensation of justice but dispense justice
themselves. Respondent judge's execution of a compromise agreement to
have the instant administrative case dismissed is glaringly improper and
should not be countenanced.
33. QUIRICO A. ABELA v HONORABLE CESARIO C. GOLEZ
G.R. No. L-32849 July 31, 1984
Facts:
Sometime in 1967, complainant Almalbis entered into a business
arrangement with the respondent, Virginia P. Anisco. The former, who is
both owner and operator of several fishing boats and fishponds, sends fish

by the tons to the respondent to be sold at the Manila Divisoria Market.


From the proceeds of such sales, which were entirely supervised and
controlled by the respondent, respondent got four per cent (4%)
commission from the gross proceeds plus whatever expenses she has
advanced as expenses in the process. Respondent in turn has the
obligation to remit the balance of the proceeds to the complainant.
This business arrangement had continued for sometime until the
respondent later became late and irregular in her remittances of the
balance of the proceeds due the complainant. Remittances of the net
proceeds were mostly done by respondent by sending her personal checks
and later, when respondent had been late in her remittances, complainant
proposed that respondent give him a check book, each and every check of
which is pre signed in blank. The blanks corresponding to the amount and
the payee to be filled in later by the complainant as the value of the
shipment is determined after each sale. This was done and the business
again continued under the above arrangement. Then Checks Nos. 378389
dated September 16, 1968, 392377 dated October 20, 1968, 392379
dated October 29, 1968, 392380 dated October 30, 1968, and 392381
dated October 30, 1968 drawn on the Prudential Bank and Trust Company
of Manila as prepared and filled in by the complainant were all dishonored
for lack of funds, when presented for payments by the complainant
through the Roxas City Branch of the Philippine National Bank.
On December 28, 1968, private respondent Agustin Almalbis filed
with the Office of the City Fiscal of Roxas City a complaint for estafa
against Virginia Anisco. After conducting a preliminary investigation,
herein petitioner Quirico A. Abela dismissed the complaint "for lack of
merit." Thereafter, private respondent Almalbis commenced the action for
mandamus in the Court of First Instance of Roxas City against herein
petitioner Quirico A. Abela. In due course said court rendered the abovementioned decision. Hence, this appeal.
ISSUE:
Whether the Fiscal gravely abused his discretion in dismissing the
complaint with the result that the petitioner herein has been deprived of
his right as the aggrieved party in a criminal transaction.
RULING:
NO. The public prosecutor is entitled to use his judgment and
discretion in the appreciation of evidence presented to him and, in the
exercise thereof, he may not be controlled by mandamus. Whether an
information should be filed in court is a matter address to the sound
discretion of the fiscal according to whether the evidence is in his opinion
sufficient to establish the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt.
Otherwise stated, the fiscal can not be compelled to act in a distinct
manner whether to prosecute or not to prosecute and, instead, is allowed
to stand on his opinion and conviction, "reserving only to the Secretary, in
any appropriate case when the latter believes public interest impels that a
different course of action should be taken, to temporarily relieve the fiscal
of the duty to act by designating somebody else to take his place solely
and only for the purpose of such particular case.
34. BROCKA v ENRILE 1990
G.R. No. 69863-65, 10 December 1990
FACTS:
Petitioners were arrested on January 28, 1985 by elements of the
Northern Police District following the forcible and violent dispersal of a

demonstration held in sympathy with the jeepney strike and thereafter,


they were charged with Illegal Assembly.
Except for Brocka, et al. who were charged as leaders of the offense of
Illegal Assembly and for whom no bail was recommended, the other
petitioners were released on bail. Brocka, et al.'s provisional release was
ordered only upon an urgent petition for bail for which daily hearings from
February 1-7, 1985 were held.
However, despite service of the order of release on February 9,
1985, Brocka, et al. remained in detention, respondents having invoked a
Preventive Detention Action (PDA) allegedly issued against them on
January 28, 1985. Neither the original, duplicate original nor certified true
copy of the PDA was ever shown to them.
Brocka, et al. were subsequently charged on with Inciting to
Sedition, without prior notice to their counsel. The original information
filed recommended no bail.
They were released provisionally on February 14, 1985, on orders of
then President F. E. Marcos.
The respondents complied with Our resolution requiring them, inter
alia, to make a RETURN of the writ of habeas corpus. In their RETURN, it
appeared that all the accused had already been released, four of them on
February 15, 1985 and one February 8, 1985. The petitioner, nevertheless,
argued that the petition has not become moot and academic because the
accused continue to be in the custody of the law under an invalid charge
of inciting to sedition." Hence, this petition.
Brocka, et al. contend that respondents' manifest bad faith and/or
harassment are sufficient bases for enjoining their criminal prosecution,
aside from the fact that the second offense of inciting to sedition is illegal,
since it is premised on one and the same act of attending and
participating in the ACTO jeepney strike. They maintain that while there
may be a complex crime from a single act (Art. 48, RTC), the law does not
allow the splitting of a single act into two offenses and filing two
information therefore, further, that they will be placed in double jeopardy.
ISSUE:
Whether the prosecution of the criminal cases for Inciting to Sedition
may lawfully be enjoined.
RULING:
YES. Indeed, the general rule is that criminal prosecution may not be
restrained or stayed by injunction, preliminary or final. There are however
exceptions, among which are:
"a. To afford adequate protection to the constitutional rights of the
accused;
"b. When necessary for the orderly administration of justice or to avoid
oppression or multiplicity of actions;
"c. When there is a pre-judicial question which is sub judice;
"d. When the acts of the officer are without or in excess of authority;
"e. Where the prosecution is under an invalid law, ordinance or regulation;
"f. When double jeopardy is clearly apparent;
"g. Where the court has no jurisdiction over the offense;
"h. Where it is a case of persecution rather than prosecution;
"i. Where the charges are manifestly false and motivated by the lust for
vengeance; and
"j. When there is clearly no prima facie case against the accused and a
motion to quash on that ground has been denied.

Constitutional rights must be upheld at all costs, for this gesture is


the true sign of democracy. These may not be set aside to satisfy
perceived illusory visions of national grandeur.
In the case of J. Salonga v. Cruz Pao, the Court pointed out that
"Infinitely more important than conventional adherence to general rules of
criminal procedure is respect for the citizen's right to be free not only from
arbitrary arrest and punishment but also from unwarranted and vexatious
prosecution . . ." (G.R. No. L-59524, February 18, 1985, 134 SCRA 438-at
p. 448).
The Court therefore rule that where there is manifest bad faith that
accompanies the filing of criminal charges, as in the instant case where
Brocka, et al. were barred from enjoying provisional release until such
time that charges were filed, and where a sham preliminary investigation
was hastily conducted, charges that are filed as a result should lawfully be
enjoined.
35. HERMES E. FRIAS, SR. v PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 171437, October 4, 2007
CORONA, J.:
Facts:
Petitioner Hermes E. Frias, Sr. was charged with violation of Article
218 of the Revised Penal Code. Hermes E. Frias, Sr. is the Municipal Mayor
of Capas, Tarlac. After being required by the COA to settle his disallowed
cash for the amounts of P50,000 and P950,000, on December 18, 1997,
Abesamis, the COA Auditor, notified petitioner, municipal treasurer Norma
R. Panganiban and municipal accountant Rolando T. Domingo of the
disallowance of the municipality's cash advances and directed them to
settle the P1,000,000 immediately. Neither Panganiban nor Domingo
returned the amount. Hence, Abesamis requested petitioner to settle the
disallowed cash advances. Petitioner, however, refused for the reason that
he gave the proceeds of the cash advances to Panganiban.
Abesamis, mindful of petitioner's predicament, pointed out that the
cash advances were made under his authority. Moreover, the checks were
payable to him and he admitted receipt thereof. For this reason, even if he
gave the proceeds to Panganiban, he was still required to return the
P1,000,000.
Notwithstanding Abesamis' demand, petitioner did not account for
the cash advance. Thus, Abesamis recommended the filing of the criminal
complaint against petitioner.
In his defense, petitioner argued that he was not liable for the cash
advances because he did not derive any benefit from them. Panganiban
alone benefited from the cash advances as she used the P1,000,000 to
settle her existing deficiencies with the COA. Petitioner pointed out that
the COA, upon Abesamis' recommendation, also filed a criminal complaint
against Panganiban.
On December 6, 2005, the Fourth Division of the Sandiganbayan
found petitioner guilty as charged due to the concurrence of the following
elements:
1.
petitioner was a public officer;
2.
he was an officer accountable for public funds or property;
3.
he was required by law or regulation to render accounts to the COA
or provincial auditor and
4.
he failed to render an account for the period of two months after
such accounts should have been rendered.

According to the Sandiganbayan, in spite of the fact that


Panganiban alone benefited from the disallowed cash advances,
petitioner, as municipal mayor, was responsible and accountable for it.
Moreover, petitioner was liable to return the proceeds to the Government
in view of his failure to account for the cash advances.
Petitioner moved for reconsideration but it was denied. Thus, this
petition.
Petitioner asserts that he was deprived of due process because the
Information against him failed to identify his acts or omissions which
constituted a violation of Article 218 of the Revised Penal Code. Moreover,
the Sandiganbayan failed to establish that he, a municipal mayor, was an
accountable officer and to identify the particular law or regulation which
required him to render an account. Lastly, he assailed the restitution of
P1,000,000 to the Government for lack of legal basis.
Issue:
Whether the accused was deprived of due process
Ruling:
No. The right to question the sufficiency of an Information is not
absolute. An accused is deemed to have waived this right if he fails to
object upon his arraignment or during trial. In either case, evidence
presented during trial can cure the defect in the Information. Petitioner
waived his right to assail the sufficiency of the Information when he
voluntarily entered a plea when arraigned and participated in the trial. At
any rate, the Information (quoted above) adequately informed petitioner
of the charges against him. It clearly stated the elements which
constituted the violation of Article 218 of the Revised Penal Code.
36. DELIA INES RINGOR v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 198904, December 11, 2013
REYES, J.:
Facts:
The petitioner, Delia Ringor, was charged in an Information for
estafa before the RTC of Cabugao, Ilocos Sur. The abovenamed accused,
being then employed as Sales Clerk belonging to Peoples Consumer, Inc.,
defraud Annelyn I. Ingan.
The said accused was assigned as Sales Clerk/Agent for the purpose
of collecting sales for goods delivered to different customers one LA
Currimao Inc. She collected the total amount of P66,860.90 with the
obligation to turn over the same to owner/complainant but said accused
once in possession of said amount, unlawfully and feloniously
misappropriate, misapply and convert the same for her own personal use
and benefit and despite repeated demands made upon her by the owner
to turn the amount of [P]66,860.90 said accused had deliberately refused
and still refuses to deliver the same up to the present.
Upon arraignment on October 21, 2004, the petitioner entered a
plea of not guilty to the offense charged. On November 4, 2004, the pre
trial conference was deemed terminated. Trial on the merits ensued
thereafter. The RTC later on rendered a Decision finding the petitioner
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of estafa, which the CA affirmed.
Issue:
Whether the CA erred in convicting the petitioner for the felony of
qualified theft under Article 310 in relation to Article 308 of the RPC.
Ruling:

No. Delia Ringor (DELIA for brevity), is a 43year old sales lady and
a resident of Barangay Duyayat, Sinait, Ilocos Sur. She denied the
allegation imputed against her and maintained that since 1989, she had
been working as a sales lady of Peoples Consumer Store. As such, she
would go out to collect orders from customers in different towns of Ilocos.
She would list the orders and give the same to Alma Agbayani, who in
turn, submits it to Annelyn for approval. Delia would then deliver the
goods to the customers and collect the payments thereon on her next
delivery.
Grave abuse of confidence, as an element of the felony of qualified
theft, must be the result of the relation by reason of dependence,
guardianship, or vigilance, between the appellant and the offended party
that might create a high degree of confidence between them which the
appellant abused. The element of grave abuse of confidence is present in
this case. Verily, the petitioner, as sales clerk/agent of PCS, is dutybound
to remit to Ingan the payments which she collected from the customers of
PCS. She would not have been able to take the money paid by LACS if it
were not for her position in PCS. In failing to remit to Ingan the money
paid by LACS, the petitioner indubitably gravely abused the confidence
reposed on her by PCS.
In sum, the Court yields to the factual findings of the RTC which
were affirmed by the CA, there being no compelling reason to disregard
the same. In a criminal case, factual findings of the trial court are
generally accorded great weight and respect on appeal, especially when
such findings are supported by substantial evidence on record. It is only in
exceptional circumstances, such as when the trial court overlooked
material and relevant matters, that this Court will recalibrate and
evaluate the factual findings of the court below.
37. ANITA RAMIREZ v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 197832, October 02, 2013
REYES, J.:
Facts:
On January 5, 2009, the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City,
Branch 97 cnvicted the petitioner and one Josephine Barangan (Barangan)
of the crime of Estafa. After several re-settings, the judgment was finally
promulgated on March 25, 2009 and warrants of arrests were accordingly
issued. According to the petitioner, she failed to attend the promulgation
of judgment as she had to attend to the wake of her father.
Three (3) months after, the petitioner filed an Urgent Ex-parte
Motion to Lift Warrant of Arrest and to Reinstate Bail Bond, which was
denied by the RTC in its Order dated October 7, 2009.bAggrieved, the
petitioner filed the motion to admit notice of appeal and to post bond with
the CA, asking for the reversal of the RTC Orde. She subsequently filed her
notice of appeal on November 17, 2010. The OSG, for its part, did not
oppose the petitioners belated filing of the notice of appeal but objected
to her application for the posting of a bond pending appeal. The CA denied
the omnibus motion. The petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration,
which was denied by the CA in June 30, 2011. In denying the omnibus
motion, the CA ruled that the petitioner failed to file the notice of appeal
within the 15-day reglementary period prescribed by the Rules, reckoned
from the date of notice of the RTCs judgment of conviction, as she filed
her notice of appeal with the CA only on November 17, 2010. The CA
opined that as early as June 10, 2009, the petitioner was already aware of

the RTC judgment; however, she opted to file a motion to lift the warrant
of arrest. As such, the judgment of conviction against her has attained
finality. The CA also opined that since the petitioner knew she could not
attend the promulgation of judgment on March 25, 2009, she should have
exerted earnest efforts to confer with her counsel to request for its resetting. Failing to do so, the CA considered her absence without justifiable
cause a blatant disrespect of the judicial process. Thus, the CA denied her
application for provisional liberty in view of the finality of the judgment of
conviction against her. Hence, this petition.
The petitioner wants the Court to take note of the fact that the OSG
did not object to the belated filing of her notice of appeal with the CA. The
petitioner also attributes such lapse to her counsel whom she expected to
take care of her legal concerns. She also seeks the application of the
exceptional cases where the Court admitted a belated appeal.
Issue:
Whether the CA has committed error in denying the petitioners
belated appeal.
Ruling:
NO. Section 6, Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure
provides for the period when an appeal from a judgment or final order in a
criminal case should be taken, viz:
Sec. 6. When appeal to be taken. An appeal must be taken within
fifteen (15) days from promulgation of the judgment or from
notice of the final order appealed from. This period for perfecting an
appeal shall be suspended from the time a motion for new trial or
reconsideration is filed until notice of the order overruling the motions has
been served upon the accused or his counsel at which time the balance of
the period begins to run.chanrob1esvirtualawlibrary
In this case, the judgment convicting the petitioner of the crime of
Estafa was promulgated on March 25, 2009. Instead of filing a notice of
appeal within fifteen (15) days from the promulgation or notice of
judgment, the petitioner filed with the RTC a motion to lift warrant of
arrest and to reinstate bail bond three (3) months later. It was only a year
later since the RTC denied her motion that the petitioner filed with the CA
her motion to admit notice of appeal. At that point, her judgment of
conviction has already attained finality and cannot be modified or set
aside anymore in accordance with Section 7, Rule 120 of the Revised
Rules of Criminal Procedure. Thus, the CA did not commit any reversible
error in denying the petitioners motion inasmuch as by the time the
petitioner filed the same, the appellate court was already bereft of any
jurisdiction to entertain the motion. The Court has already stressed that
the right to appeal is not a natural right and is not part of due process. It
is merely a statutory privilege, and may be exercised only in accordance
with the law. The party who seeks to avail of the same must comply with
the requirements of the Rules. Failing to do so, the right to appeal is lost.
In exceptional cases, the Court has in fact relaxed the period for
perfecting an appeal on grounds of substantial justice or when there are
other special and meritorious circumstances and issues. The petitioner,
however, failed to present any exceptional, special or meritorious
circumstance that will excuse the belated filing of her notice of appeal.
38. People vs. Beriales, et al. (70 SCRA 361)
Facts:

A case of three men who were charged for the murder of Saturnina
on Sept. 13, 1974. During the hearing on Nov. 26, 1974, upon motion of
the defense the Court ordered the re-investigation of the case pending
submission of the Fiscal of its reports. Couple of postponements were
made until Dec. 13, 1974 hearing when the Court proceeded with the
arraignment and trial in the absence of the Fiscal and its report on reinvestigation, and over the disagreement of the defense. The CFI of Leyte
relied on the private prosecutor being authorized by the Fiscal to present
evidence and the defense presumed to have waived its right over its
disagreement. Trial then proceeded and the three were found guilty of the
offense. Thus, this appeal on the constitutional requirement of due
process.
Issue:
Whether due process of law had been observed.
Ruling:
Constitutional due process was violated, thus, case remanded to CFI
for arraignment and trial. Court should have held in abeyance the trial
while the report on e-investigation was still pending. Consistent disregard
of the defenses objection on the arraignment, trial, presentation of
private prosecutors evidence, and rendition of judgment violates due
process. Prosecutor or Fiscal entrusted with the investigation is duty
bound to take charge until final termination. They shall have direction and
control of the criminal prosecution over private prosecutors.
39. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SANDIGANBAYAN (third
division)
[G.R. NO. 167304 : August 25, 2009]
PERALTA, J.:
Facts:
Victoria Amante was a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of
Toledo City, Province of Cebu. On January 14, 1994, she was able to get
hold of a cash advance in the amount of P71,095.00 under a disbursement
voucher in order to defray seminar expenses of the Committee on Health
and Environmental Protection, which she headed. After almost two years
since she obtained the said cash advance, no liquidation was made. As
such, Toledo City Auditor issued a demand letter to respondent Amante
asking the latter to settle her unliquidated cash advance within seventytwo hours from receipt of the same demand letter. The COA submitted an
investigation report to the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas
(OMB-Visayas), with the recommendation that respondent Amante be
further investigated to ascertain whether appropriate charges could be
filed against her under Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1445, otherwise
known as The Auditing Code of the Philippines. Thereafter, the OMBVisayas, issued a Resolution recommending the filing of an Information for
Malversation of Public Funds against respondent Amante. The Office of the
Special Prosecutor, upon review of the Resolution, prepared a
memorandum finding probable cause to indict respondent Amante.
On May 21, 2004, the OSP filed an Information with the
Sandiganbayan accusing Victoria Amante of violating Section 89 of P.D.
No. 1445.
The case was raffled to the Third Division of the Sandiganbayan.
Thereafter, Amante filed with the said court a MOTION TO DEFER
ARRAIGNMENT AND MOTION FOR REINVESTIGATION stating that the

Decision of the Office of the Ombudsman (Visayas) dated September 14,


1999 at Cebu City from of an incomplete proceeding in so far that
respondent Amante had already liquidated and/or refunded the
unexpected balance of her cash advance, which at the time of the
investigation was not included as the same liquidation papers were still in
the process of evaluation by the Accounting Department of Toledo City
and that the Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction over the said criminal
case because respondent Amante was then a local official who was
occupying a position of salary grade 26, whereas Section 4 of Republic Act
(R.A.) No. 8249 provides that the Sandiganbayan shall have original
jurisdiction only in cases where the accused holds a position otherwise
classified as Grade 27 and higher, of the Compensation and Position
Classification Act of 1989, R.A. No. 6758.
The OSP filed its Opposition contending that the said court has
jurisdiction over respondent Amante since at the time relevant to the
case, she was a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Toledo City,
therefore, falling under those enumerated under Section 4 of R.A. No.
8249. According to the OSP, the language of the law is too plain and
unambiguous that it did not make any distinction as to the salary grade of
city local officials/heads.
The Sandiganbayan, in its Resolution6 dated February 28, 2005,
dismissed the case against Amante, for lack of jurisdiction. Hence, the
present petition.
Issue:
Whether a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod under Salary
Grade 26 who was charged with violation of The Auditing Code of the
Philippines falls within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.
Ruling:
Yes. The applicable law in this case is Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, as
amended by Section 2 of R.A. No. 7975 which took effect on May 16,
1995, which was again amended on February 5, 1997 by R.A. No. 8249.
The alleged commission of the offense, as shown in the Information was
on or about December 19, 1995 and the filing of the Information was on
May 21, 2004. The jurisdiction of a court to try a criminal case is to be
determined at the time of the institution of the action, not at the time of
the commission of the offense. The exception contained in R.A. 7975, as
well as R.A. 8249, where it expressly provides that to determine the
jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan in cases involving violations of R.A. No.
3019, as amended, R.A. No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the
Revised Penal Code is not applicable in the present case as the offense
involved herein is a violation of The Auditing Code of the Philippines. The
last clause of the opening sentence of paragraph (a) of the said two
provisions states:
Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. - - The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive
original jurisdiction in all cases involving:
A. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, other known as
the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, and
Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code, where
one or more of the accused are officials occupying the following positions
in the government, whether in a permanent, acting or interim capacity, at
the time of the commission of the offense:
The present case falls under Section 4(b) where other offenses and
felonies committed by public officials or employees in relation to their
office are involved. Under the said provision, no exception is contained.

Thus, the general rule that jurisdiction of a court to try a criminal case is
to be determined at the time of the institution of the action, not at the
time of the commission of the offense applies in this present case. Since
the present case was instituted on May 21, 2004, the provisions of R.A.
No. 8249 shall govern. Verily, the pertinent provisions of P.D. No. 1606 as
amended by R.A. No. 8249 are the following:
Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. - - The Sandiganbayan shall exercise original
jurisdiction in all cases involving:
A. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise
known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379,
and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the Revised Penal Code, where one or
more of the principal accused are officials occupying the following
positions in the government, whether in a permanent, acting or interim
capacity, at the time of the commission of the offense:
(1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of
regional director and higher, otherwise classified as grade "27" and
higher, of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989
(Republic Act No. 6758), specifically including:
(a) Provincial governors, vice-governors, members of the
sangguniang panlalawigan and provincial treasurers, assessors,
engineers, and other city department heads;
(b) City mayors, vice-mayors, members of the sangguniang
panlungsod, city treasurers, assessors, engineers, and other city
department heads.
(c) Officials of the diplomatic service occupying the position of
consul and higher;
(d) Philippine army and air force colonels, naval captains, and
all officers of higher rank;
(e) PNP chief superintendent and PNP officers of higher rank;
(f) City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and
officials and prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and
Special Prosecutor;
(g) Presidents, directors or trustees, or managers of
government-owned or controlled corporations, state universities or
educational institutions or foundations;
(2) Members of Congress and officials thereof classified as Grade
"27" and up under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of
1989;
(3) Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the provisions of
the Constitution;
(4) Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commissions, without
prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution; and
(5) All other national and local officials classified as Grade "27" and
higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989.
B. Other offenses or felonies, whether simple or complexed with other
crimes committed by the public officials and employees mentioned in
subsection (a) of this section in relation to their office.
C. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with
Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and 14-A.
The above law is clear as to the composition of the original
jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. Under Section 4(a), the following
offenses are specifically enumerated: violations of R.A. No. 3019, as
amended, R.A. No. 1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the Revised
Penal Code. In order for the Sandiganbayan to acquire jurisdiction over the

said offenses, the latter must be committed by, among others, officials of
the executive branch occupying positions of regional director and higher,
otherwise classified as Grade 27 and higher, of the Compensation and
Position Classification Act of 1989. However, the law is not devoid of
exceptions. Those that are classified as Grade 26 and below may still fall
within the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan provided that they hold the
positions thus enumerated by the same law. Particularly and exclusively
enumerated are provincial governors, vice-governors, members of the
sangguniang panlalawigan, and provincial treasurers, assessors,
engineers, and other provincial department heads; city mayors, vicemayors, members of the sangguniang panlungsod, city treasurers,
assessors, engineers, and other city department heads; officials of the
diplomatic service occupying the position as consul and higher; Philippine
army and air force colonels, naval captains, and all officers of higher rank;
PNP chief superintendent and PNP officers of higher rank; City and
provincial prosecutors and their assistants, and officials and prosecutors in
the Office of the Ombudsman and special prosecutor; and presidents,
directors or trustees, or managers of government-owned or controlled
corporations, state universities or educational institutions or foundations.
In connection therewith, Section 4(b) of the same law provides that other
offenses or felonies committed by public officials and employees
mentioned in subsection (a) in relation to their office also fall under the
jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.
By simple analogy, applying the provisions of the pertinent law,
respondent Amante, being a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod at
the time of the alleged commission of an offense in relation to her office,
falls within the original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.
Proceeding from the above rulings of this Court, a close reading of
the Information filed against respondent Amante for violation of The
Auditing Code of the Philippines reveals that the said offense was
committed in relation to her office, making her fall under Section 4(b) of
P.D. No. 1606, as amended.
40. Olaguer v Regional Trial Court
Facts:
Philippine Journalists Inc (PJI) executed a mortgage in favor of
Development
Bank
of
Philippines(DBP)
for
certain
financing
accommodations. PJI assigned 67% of stocks to DBP. DBP appointed
certain PJI stockholders as proxies. PJI failed to comply with its obligation
to DBP leading to the cancellation of appointment of petitioners and
designated as its proxies Olaguer, Velez, and De Leon, petitioners herein.
Olaguer also asked some of respondent to assign shares not only to
the three proxies by DBP but also to two others to be chosen by him so
they can sit in the PJI board of directors. Though Olaguer was voted
chairman of the board and CEO of PJI, he failed to comply with his
commitment which gave respondents to cancel the assignment. He also
did some illegal acts which gave rise to several complaints in court
against herein Petitioners.
Before the cases were resolved, then president Cory Aquino
terminated Olaguers appointment as member of the board of directors of
DBP. Despite the termination, Olaguer still continued with the performance
of his functions.
There was an agreement entered into b DBP and herein respondents
calling for a special stockholders meeting to elect a new board of

directors. Olaguer contends that the agreement cannot be implemented


because he claims that he has just been designated the fiscal and team
leader of the PCGG assigned to PJI and that all his actions are sanctioned
and reported to PCGG, and that it is PCGG which exercises the voting
rights of all PJI common stocks sequestered since 1986. Olaguer then filed
a motion to dismiss the cases against him on the ground that the court
has no jurisdiction over the persons of herein petitioners. The motion to
dismiss was denied. Thus, this petition.
Issue:
Whether the trial court has jurisdiction over the case
Ruling:
No, the trial court has no jurisdiction over the case. It is the
Sandiganbayan who has jurisdiction over PCGG cases.There is no dispute
that PJI is now under sequestration by the PCGG and that civil case no.
0035 was filed in Sandiganbayan where in the PJI is listed as among the
corporations involved in the unexplained wealth case against Marcos.
Records also show that Olaguer was acting in behalf of the PCGG and that
the Sandiganbayan has exclusive and original jurisdiction over all cases
regarding the unexplained wealth of Marcos. The decision of the
Sandiganbayan is subject to review on certiorari exclusively by the
Supreme Court. In the exercise of its functions, the PCGG is a co-equal
body with the RTC and co-equal bodies have no power to control the other.