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SPL DIGESTED CASES Saturday Classes 1st Semester 2011 under Judge
Abbu standard of honesty in the public service and to promote morality
in the public service. Public office is a public trust. To satisfy due
process, however, official act must not outrun the bonds of reason and
result in sheer oppression. It must be free from arbitrariness. It is not
within the province of the courts to supervise legislation and keep it
within the bonds of propriety and common sense. ARTURO MEJORADA
VS.SANDIGANBAYAN FACTS: Mejorada was a right of way agent
employed in the Office of the Highway District Engineer in Pasig, Metro
Manila. His work was to negotiate with property owners affected by
highway constructions/improvements for the purpose of compensating
them for the damages that they may incur. Mejorada required the
claimants de Leon et.al to sign blank copies of Sworn Statement on the
Correct Assessment and Fair Market Value of Real Properties as well as
an Agreement to demolish, remove and reconstruct improvements.
Claimants did sign without bothering what those documents were
about as they were more concerned with just compensation
supposedly due them. In the signed documents, Mejorada made it
appear that the value of the properties of the claimants were much
higher than actual value claimed by the de leon et. Al. What was
reflected in the Agreement was the value of improvements that was
P2,000 lower than the value declared by the owner/claimants. Also,
declarations of property were attached to the documents, which
declarations were actually falsified as they were registered under
different names other than the claimants. Claimants were later
accompanied by Mejorada to receive the proceeds of their checks. But
Mejorada took part of the proceeds. Claimants could not complain as
they were afraid of Mejoradas armed companions. Claimants de leon
et.al later filed complaints against Mejorada (assisted by their counsel)
with the Provincial Fiscal Office in Pasig. Consequently, 8 informations
were filed against Mejorada.
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RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act)
MORFE VS. MUTUC FACTS: Morfe was a public official who questioned
AO 334 in connection with Section 7 of RA 3019, which provides that
every public officer should submit a sworn statement of assets and
liabilities (SAL) either within 30 days upon assumption of office and
within the month of January every succeeding year to the Head of
Office. It must be emphasized that RA 3019 was enacted as a police
power of the State to promote morality in public service. According to
Morfe, since such provision bares the financial condition of the public
officer upon assumption of office, it is violative of due process as it is
an oppressive exercise of police power and an unlawful invasion of the
constitutional rights to privacy, unreasonable searches and seizures as

well as self incrimination. The raison d etre of S7 RA 3019 to


determine whether after assuming public position, the public officer
has accumulated assets grossly disproportionate to his reported
income. Exec. Sec. Mutuc upheld the validity of AO 334 as well as RA
3019. When a government official accepts a public position, he
voluntarily opens himself to public scrutiny including his personal
affairs. Private life cannot be segregated from public office. CFI held
S7 of RA 3019/ periodical submission of SAL to be unconstitutional as it
is an invasion of liberty protected by due process clause. ISSUE: WON
periodical submission of sworn SAL is an invasion of liberty protected
by due process clause? RULING. NO. RA 3019 is valid and
constitutional. The reason why the law was enacted was to
curtail/minimize opportunities for official corruption and maintaining a

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imposition of penalty. It merely provides that the prisoner cannot serve
more than 3x the most severe of the penalties of 40 years. The
Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over Mejoradas case as he is deemed
to have committed the prohibited act while being a public officer.
Mejoradas contentions 1. He cannot be guilty of violating S3 of RA
3019 as he is not charged with the duty of granting licenses, permits
as mentioned in the provision. 2. His act was not done while in the
performance of his official functions 3. Claimants were not injured
party 4. The most that can be charged against him is Robbery not
liable under RA 3019 ISSUES: WON Mejoradas act constitute the
offense in S3 of RA 3019 (i.e. causing undue injury to any partygiving
party unwarranted benefits... thru manifest partiality, evident bad faith
/ gross inexcusable negligence.) and have been clearly and
convincingly proven by the prosecution? Other Issues (Crimpro
related): WON offense proved during trial should prevail over offense
charged in the info WON Sandiganbayan is the competent court with
jurisdiction over the case
DELOSO VS. SANDIGANBAYAN FACTS: Deloso was elected governor of
Zambales on January 18,1988. Regular term of a governor is 3 years
although he shall serve until 12nn of June 30, 1992. He was however
suspended from performing his duties as governor by the
Sandiganbayan (S13 of RA301/ preventive suspension) by virtue of
criminal charges filed against him (which were committed during his
tenure as Mayor of Botolan, Zambales: (1) for awarding LTO fish corrals
and (2) issuance of 5 tractors of the Municipality of Botolan, Zambales
to certain individuals without agreement to pay rentals therefor). The
suspension order did not have a definite period so that Deloso may be
suspended for the rest of his term unless his case is terminated sooner.
(N.B.The case of Garcia vs. Exec.Sec. was cited in this case. Garcia was
an appointive public officer who was suspended by the President of the
Republic of the Philippines and his suspension order was beyond the
maximum period of 60 days (S35 of CSC). Later, Garcia was able to
have in his favor an injunction against Preventive Suspension from the
court). Deloso wanted to push through with the trial of the case, but
the Sandiganbayan said it had to dispose of other cases with higher
priority. ISSUE: WON Garcias case is applicable to an elective official
facing criminal charges under RA 3019? RULING: YES. The decision in
Garcias case, ie.. injunction against preventive suspension for an
unreasonable period of time applies with greater force to elective
officials and especially to Deloso, whose term is a relatively short one.
The interest of the sovereign electorate and the province of Zambales
cannot be subordinated to the heavy case load of the Sandiganbayan
and of the Supreme Court. Should the purposes behind preventive

suspension such as preventing the abuse of the prerogatives of the


office, intimidation of witnesses, etc. become manifest, the
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RULING: YES. Mejorada is guilty under RA3019 for violating S3 of the
law. He is a public officer who took advantage of his position by making
claimants sign agreements which contained falsified declarations of
the value of improvements and lots. There was manifest evident bad
faith on his part when he inflated the values of the true claims and
when he divested the claimants of a large share of the amounts due
them. The claimants are not the only injured party but also the State
because the latter was disadvantaged with Mejoradas act of inflating
said values of property. The law is not limited to those public officials
who committed the prohibited act while discharging their duty of
granting licenses, permits but also those who committed prohibited
acts while being public officers. Offense charged in the info should
prevail over offense proved during trial. Since this is the case, the
appropriate penalty that should be imposed upon Mejorada is 56 years
and 8 days and this did not violate the 3 Fold rule of the RPC. Art. 70
speaks of service of sentence, duration of penalty and penalty to be
inflicted and not on the

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Sandiganbayan can still suspend Deloso but for specifically expressed
reasons and not from an automatic application of S13 of RA3019.
Preventive suspension should be limited to 90 days after which Deloso
will assume office as governor of Zambales without prejudice to the
continuation of the trial of pending cases against him. RULING: YES.
Judge Albano erred in its decision of finding the informations invalid ab
initio and in dismissing the cases. S13 of RA 3019 provides that
suspension of public officer is mandatory but not automatic. Before a
suspension order is issued, a hearing on the issue of the validity of the
informations must first be had to determine the basis of the court to
either suspend the accused and proceed with the trial on the merits of
the case or withhold suspension of the accused and dismiss the case/
correct part of the proceeding which impairs its validity. The farreaching consequence of a suspension of public official even before
conviction is the reason why the accused can challenge the validity of
an information and the validity of the criminal proceedings. But if the
right of the accused does not divest the prosecution of its right to
prove guilt of the accused in a trial on the merits, pre-suspension
hearing should not substitute trial proper. Acharon and Bernabe did not
claim they were denied of their right to due preliminary investigation.
The questioned informations, in fact, sufficiently complied with the
requirements for their validity. Once the validity of the informations has
been determined, suspension of the accused public official becomes
mandatory.
PEOPLE VS. ALBANO FACTS: Two criminal cases under RA 3019 were
filed against Mayor Acharon. 1st case : Mayor Acharon of General
Santos denied application for renewal of license and permit to operate
cockpit to Emilio Evangelista and instead approved/ granted
application of his uncle Luis Acharon (contrary to S3 of RA 3019) 2nd
case : Mayor Acharon and Vice Mayor Bernabe were charged with
violation of S1 (a,e,h, j) of RA 3019 when they allegedly fraudulently
procured and purchased 1,635 sacks of rice in bulk using the names of
327 employees of City Government of Gen. San with the Rice and Corn
Administration Office. They used their own money in purchasing said
sacks of rice at a very low price and later disposed to the public
(excluding the 327 employees) at the prevailing price. They directly or
indirectly received pecuniary interest in such fraudulent procurement
of rice. Prosecution filed an urgent motion for issuance of suspension
order against the accused. Before pre-suspension hearings, accused
were arraigned and pleaded not guilty. The case was redocketed then
later a reinvestigation ensued. There were several postponements until
the case was raffled to the sala of Judge Albano. The case was set for
hearing. Later, Judge Albano found the 2 informations invalid ab initio
and consequently dismissed the cases. Prosecution moved for

reconsideration, but was denied. ISSUES: 1. WON Judge Albano erred in


considering matters not alleged in the informations and finding acts of
accused not violative of RA 3019. 2. WON Judge Albano erred in
deciding case on merits without trial.
LUCIANO VS. ESTRELLA FACTS: Mayor Estrella et.al were charged with
violations of S3(g) and S4 (b) of RA 3019. They entered into a contract
with JEP Enterprises re: 59 units of traffic deflectors (price= P1,426.50/
unit). 34 of these deflectors were delivered, installed and paid for by
the Municipality of Makati Rizal at P48,000+, less 10% retention, which
is manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the municipality. The
Gutierrezes of JEP Enterprises allegedly knowingly induced/ caused
public officials Mayor Estrella et. Al to enter into such contract. CFI
found the accused guilty for having violated S3(g) and S4 (b) of RA
3019/ Sham bidding and series of falsification of documents. Penalty
imposed was 6 yrs + perpetual disqualification to hold public office. CA
Estrella et. Al filed for a motion for new trial on the ground of newly
discovered material evidence (NDE). Auditor Declaro was presented as
their witness. Declaro
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said that after the CFIs decision, they discovered that there was an
overdraft for the purchase of subject deflectors. In other words, there
were no funds available to cover said purchase. At first, the Solicitor
General did not object to such motion. Thus the CA grant the motion.
However, Acting Mayor Luciano et. Al questioned the grant of the
motion for new trial alleging that NDE could have been discovered
even before CFIs decision by exercise of due diligence. Also, Luciano
et. al averred that NDE would not change the result of the trial when
taken into consideration the evidence already on record. Solicitor Gen.
sided with Luciano. Estrella objected and said that the Solicitor Gen. as
representative of the Republic is already estopped to correct its error.
ISSUE: WON the grant of a new trial for allegedly NDE was granted
improvidently and in grave abuse of discretion? RULING: YES. The
grant of new trial on the ground of NDE was granted improvidently and
in grave abuse of discretion. Auditors testimony fell short of the
requirements for holding of a new trial. For NDE to be validly invoked
as a ground for petition for new trial, the following must concur: 1. New
and material evidence has been discovered after the trial, which the
defendant could not with reasonable diligence have discovered and
produced during trial 2. Such evidence if introduced and admitted
would change the judgment. The alleged overdraft could not have
been deemed as an NDE as they could have known it all along and
presented during the hearing of the case. Auditors affidavit actually
admitted that the Municipality already knew of the lack of funds when
he said that it used the trust fund of the municipality to partially pay
the purchased deflectors. Introduction of the alleged NDE could not
have influence the result of the case in view of the clear and
convincing evidence already in record. The violation is malum
prohibitum. It is the commission of the act as defined by law and not
the character/effect thereof that determines WON provision has been
violated.
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