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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
FIRST DIVISION
A.M. No. RTJ-11-2262
February 9, 2011
[Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 08-3056-RTJ]
GAUDENCIO B. PANTILO III, Complainant,
vs.
JUDGE VICTOR A. CANOY, Respondent.
DECISION
VELASCO, JR., J.:
This administrative complaint against Judge Victor A. Canoy (Judge Canoy) of the Regional Trial Court (RTC),
Branch 29 in Surigao City stems from a complaint filed by Gaudencio Pantilo III (Pantilo), charging Judge
Canoy with several counts of gross ignorance of the law and/or procedures, grave abuse of authority, and
appearance of impropriety (Canon 2, Code of Judicial Conduct). Pantilo prays for Judge Canoys disbarment in
relation to Criminal Case No. 8072 for Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Homicide entitled People of the
Philippines v. Leonardo Luzon Melgazo.
The facts of the case, as gathered from the records, are as follows:
The complainant, Pantilo, the brother of the homicide victim in the above-mentioned criminal case, recounts in
his letter-complaint that, on September 3, 2008, at around 5 oclock in the afternoon, he, along with police
officers Ronald C. Perocho (Perocho) and Santiago B. Lamanilao, Jr. (Lamanilao), acting as escorts of
Leonardo Luzon Melgazo (Melgazo), the accused in Criminal Case No. 8072, went to the City Prosecutors
Office, Surigao City, to attend the inquest proceedings.1 Later, at around 8 oclock in the evening, Pantilo was
informed by Perocho that Melgazo had been released from detention.2
The following day, September 4, 2008, Pantilo went to the Surigao City Police Station to verify the information.
Upon arriving there, Custodial Officer Anecito T. Undangan told him that Melgazo had indeed been released at
around 6:30 p.m. on September 3, 2008, as shown in the Police Logbook of Detention Prisoners and as
authorized by Chief of Police Supt. Ramer Perlito P. Perlas.3 Further, the logbook showed that Melgazo was
temporarily released upon the order of Judge Canoy after he posted bail in the amount of thirty thousand
pesos (PhP 30,000), as evidenced by O.R. No. 0291794 dated September 3, 2008. 4
Pantilo proceeded to the Office of the Clerk of Court to request a copy of the Information, only to find out that
none had yet been filed by the Surigao City Prosecutors Office.5 Puzzled, he inquired from the City
Prosecutors Office the details surrounding the release of Melgazo. He learned that no Information had yet
been filed in Court that would serve as the basis for the approval of the bail. Likewise, he also learned from the
City Police Station that no written Order of Release had been issued but only a verbal order directing the police
officers to release Melgazo from his detention cell.6 One of the police officers even said that Judge Canoy
assured him that a written Order of Release would be available the following day or on September 4, 2008
after the Information is filed in Court.
On September 5, 2008, Melgazo filed a Motion for the Release of his impounded vehicle as physical evidence
pending the trial of the case.7 The motion was received by the Office of the Clerk of Court at 8:30 a.m. that day
and was subsequently raffled in the afternoon. In the Notice of Hearing of the said motion, Melgazo prayed that
it be heard on September 5, 2008 at 8:30 a.m. According to Pantilo, this clearly violated the rules which require
that the other party must be served a copy of the motion at least three (3) days before the hearing.

Nevertheless, Judge Canoy issued an Order dated September 5, 2008, directing Assistant City Prosecutor
Robert Gonzaga (Prosecutor Gonzaga), the prosecutor-in-charge of the case, to give his comment on the said
motion within three (3) days upon receipt of the Order. Three (3) days later, Prosecutor Gonzaga submitted his
comment. And despite his opposition, Judge Canoy granted Melgazos motion.8
Subsequently, Pantilo filed a motion for inhibition of Judge Canoy which was later denied.
Aggrieved, Pantilo filed a letter-complaint dated November 3, 2008 before the Office of the Court Administrator
charging Judge Canoy with (1) gross ignorance of the law and procedures; (2) grave abuse of authority; and
(3) appearance of impropriety (Canon 2, Code of Judicial Conduct). Pantilo also prays for Judge Canoys
disbarment.
On January 5, 2009, the Court Administrator required respondent judge to comment on the complaint within
ten (10) days from receipt.
Accordingly, on February 5, 2009, Judge Canoy filed his comment, arguing that the facts in this case were
exceptional. In his comment, he admitted that the inquest proceedings of Melgazo before Prosecutor Gonzaga
concluded around 5:00 p.m. on September 3, 2008, after which, Melgazo, with his counsel, Atty. Cacel
Azarcon, went to his office to post bail for Melgazos provisional liberty. 9 He noted that because of the time,
most of the clerks in his office and the Office of the Clerk of Court had already gone home. Thus, it was no
longer possible to process the posting of bail and all the necessary papers needed for the release of Melgazo.
Bearing in mind the constitutional right of the accused to bail and coupled with the insistence of Melgazos
counsel, Judge Canoy summoned Prosecutor Gonzaga and inquired about the result of the inquest
proceedings. Thereupon, Prosecutor Gonzaga relayed to him that the charge against Melgazo was for
Reckless Imprudence with Homicide and the recommended bail bond was thirty thousand pesos (PhP 30,000).
However, since it was already past 5:00 p.m., Prosecutor Gonzaga claimed that he could no longer file the
Information and that it would have to be filed the next day.10
Despite all this, Judge Canoy informed Prosecutor Gonzaga that he would allow Melgazo to post bail in the
amount recommended. He then called Mrs. Ruth O. Suriaga (Suriaga), Clerk IV, Office of the Clerk of Court,
RTC, Surigao City, to accept as deposit for bail the thirty thousand pesos (PhP 30,000) from
Melgazo.11 Likewise, he instructed Suriaga to earmark an official receipt which would have to be dated the
following day or September 4, 2008.
Accordingly, he summoned the escorting police officers, Perocho and Lamanilao, and verbally ordered them to
release Melgazo from detention. He also said that the written order would be issued the following day.12
In his defense, Judge Canoy invokes the constitutional right of the accused to bail and Section 17(c), Rule 114
of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, which does not require that a person be charged in court before
he or she may apply for bail.13 To his mind, there was already "a constructive bail given that only the papers
were needed to formalize it."14 It would be unreasonable and unjustifiable to further delay the release of the
accused. Nevertheless, he submits that if he would be "faulted for such act, he does humbly concede but he
merely acted in accordance with what he deemed best for the moment x x x." 15
As to his Order dated September 8, 2008 directing the release of the vehicle subject of the case, he contends
that there was no deliberate intent to disregard rules and procedure. In fact, he points out that the prosecution
was given three (3) days within which to file its comment on the motion of the accused. The grounds raised by
both parties were well taken into consideration, but he found the grounds raised by Melgazo to be more
reasonable and practical and, hence, he granted the motion.
Similarly, he denied the motion for inhibition filed by Pantilo owing to the absence of an express imprimatur of
the prosecutor handling the case.

On February 9, 2009, Pantilo filed his Reply to the Comment arguing that there is no such thing as constructive
bail under the rules. He adds that, while he does not dispute the accuseds right to post bail, the granting of
such should be in harmony with the rules, i.e., an application or motion to that effect and a corresponding order
from the court granting the motion.
On October 18, 2010, Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez issued his evaluation and recommendation
on the case. In his evaluation, the Court Administrator found that respondent judge failed to comply with the
documents required by the rules to discharge an accused on bail. Further, the Court Administrator noted that
Judge Canoy also has another pending case (but filed on a later date, September 3, 2009): OCA-IPI No. 093254-RTJ, entitled Cristita Conjurado Vda. de Tolibas v. Judge Victor A. Canoy for Gross Ignorance of the Law
and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of Service.
Consequently, he recommended the following: (1) the instant complaint be re-docketed as a regular
administrative matter; and (2) Judge Canoy be fined forty thousand pesos (PhP 40,000) with a stern warning
that a commission of similar acts in the future will be dealt with more severely.
The Courts Ruling
We find the evaluation and recommendations of the Court Administrator well-founded.
It is settled that an accused in a criminal case has the constitutional right to bail, 16 more so in this case when
the charge against Melgazo, Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Homicide, is a non-capital offense. However,
the letter-complaint focuses on the manner of Melgazos release from detention.
Sec. 17, Rule 114 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure allows that any person in custody who is not yet
charged in court "may apply for bail with any court in the province, city or municipality where he is held." In the
case at bar, Melgazo did not file any application or petition for the grant of bail with the Surigao City RTC,
Branch 29. Despite the absence of any written application, respondent judge verbally granted bail to Melgazo.
This is a clear deviation from the procedure laid down in Sec. 17 of Rule 114.1avvphil
In addition to a written application for bail, Rule 114 of the Rules prescribes other requirements for the release
of the accused:
SEC. 14. Deposit of cash as bail.The accused or any person acting in his behalf may deposit in cash with the
nearest collector of internal revenue or provincial, city, or municipal treasurer the amount of bail fixed by the
court, or recommended by the prosecutor who investigated or filed the case. Upon submission of a proper
certificate of deposit and a written undertaking showing compliance with the requirements of section 2 of this
Rule, the accused shall be discharged from custody. The money deposited shall be considered as bail and
applied to the payment of fine and costs while the excess, if any, shall be returned to the accused or to
whoever made the deposit.
SEC. 2. Conditions of the bail; requirements.All kinds of bail are subject to the following conditions:
(a) The undertaking shall be effective upon approval, and unless cancelled, shall remain in form at all
stages of the case until promulgation of the judgment of the Regional Trial Court, irrespective of
whether the case was originally filed in or appealed to it;
(b) The accused shall appear before the proper court whenever required by the court or these Rules;
(c) The failure of the accused to appear at the trial without justification and despite due notice shall be
deemed a waiver of his right to be present thereat. In such case, the trial may proceed in absentia; and
(d) The bondsman shall surrender the accused to the court for execution of the final execution.

The original papers shall state the full name and address of the accused, the amount of the undertaking and
the conditions required by this section. Photographs (passport size) taken within the last six (6) months
showing the face, left and right profiles of the accused must be attached to the bail.
In the case at bar, Melgazo or any person acting in his behalf did not deposit the amount of bail recommended
by Prosecutor Gonzaga with the nearest collector of internal revenue or provincial, city or municipal treasurer.
In clear departure from Sec. 14 of Rule 114, Judge Canoy instead verbally ordered Clerk IV Suriaga of the
Surigao City RTC, Office of the Clerk of Court, to accept the cash deposit as bail, to earmark an official receipt
for the cash deposit, and to date it the following day. Worse, respondent judge did not require Melgazo to sign
a written undertaking containing the conditions of the bail under Sec. 2, Rule 114 to be complied with by
Melgazo. Immediately upon receipt by Suriaga of the cash deposit of PhP 30,000 from Melgazo, Judge Canoy
ordered the police escorts to release Melgazo without any written order of release. In sum, there was no
written application for bail, no certificate of deposit from the BIR collector or provincial, city or municipal
treasurer, no written undertaking signed by Melgazo, and no written release order.
As regards the insistence of Judge Canoy that such may be considered as "constructive bail," there is no such
species of bail under the Rules. Despite the noblest of reasons, the Rules of Court may not be ignored at will
and at random to the prejudice of the rights of another.
In BPI v. Court of Appeals, We underscored that "procedural rules have their own wholesome rationale in the
orderly administration of justice. Justice has to be administered according to the Rules in order to obviate
arbitrariness, caprice, or whimsicality." 17 In other words, "[r]ules of procedure are intended to ensure the
orderly administration of justice and the protection of substantive rights in judicial and extrajudicial
proceedings."18 In this case, the reason of Judge Canoy is hardly persuasive enough to disregard the Rules. 19
From the foregoing, the Court finds Judge Canoy guilty of a less serious charge of violation of Supreme Court
rules, directives and circulars under Sec. 9, Rule 140 for which a fine of more than PhP 10,000 but not
exceeding PhP 20,000 is the imposable penalty under Sec. 11(b), Rule 140 of the Rules of Court. A fine of
PhP 11,000 would be the appropriate penalty under the circumstances of the case.
WHEREFORE, respondent Judge Victor A. Canoy is found GUILTY of violation of Supreme Court rules,
directives, and circulars. He is meted the penalty of a FINE of eleven thousand pesos (PhP 11,000). He is
STERNLY WARNED that a repetition of similar or analogous infractions in the future shall be dealt with more
severely.
SO ORDERED.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-61388 July 19, 1985
IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR THE ISSUANCE OF THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS FOR DR.
AURORA PARONG, NORBERTO PORTUGUESE, SABINO PADILLA, FRANCIS DIVINA GRACIA, IMELDA
DE LOS SANTOS, BENJAMIN PINEDA, ZENAIDA MALLARI, MARIANO SORIANO, TITO TANGUILIG,
LETTY BALLOGAN, BIENVENIDA GARCIA, EUFRONIO ORTIZ, JR., JUANITO GRANADA and TOM
VASQUEZ, JOSEFINA GARCIA PADILLA, petitioner,
vs.
MINISTER JUAN PONCE ENRILE, GENERAL FABIAN C. VER GENERAL FIDEL V. RAMOS, and LT. COL.
MIGUEL CORONEL, respondents.
Lorenzo Tanada, Jose W. Diokno, Joker P. Arroyo, Efren H. Mercado and Alexander A. Padilla for petitioner.
RESOLUTION

PER CURIAM:
Garcia Padilla v. Minister Enrile, 1 is an application for the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus on behalf of
fourteen detainees, nine of whom were arrested on July 6, 1982, 2 another four on July 7, 1982, 3 and the last
one on July 15, 1982.4 The writ was issued, respondents were required to make a return, and the case heard
on August 26, 1982. 5
In such return, it was alleged: "The detainees mentioned in the petition, with the exception of Tom Vasquez,
who was temporarily released on July 17, 1982, after his arrest on July 15, 1982, are all being detained by
virtue of a Presidential Commitment Order (PCO) issued on July 12, 1982, pursuant to LOI No. 1211 dated
March 9, 1982, in relation to Presidential Proclamation No. 2045 dated January 17, 1981. The said PCO was
issued by President Ferdinand E. Marcos for violation of P.D. No. 885 ... ." 6
The facts were set forth thus in the opinion of the Court penned by retired Justice Pacifico de Castro: "At the
time of the arrest of the nine (9) of the fourteen (14) detainees herein on July 6, 1982, records reveal that they
were then having conference in the dining room of Dr. Parong's residence from 10:00 a.m. of that same day.
Prior thereto, all the fourteen (14) detainees were under surveillance as they were then Identified as members
of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) engaging in subversive activities and using the house of
detainee Dr. Aurora Parong in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, as their headquarters. Caught in flagrante delicto,
the nine (9) detainees mentioned scampered towards different directions leaving on top of their conference
table numerous subversive documents, periodicals, pamphlets, books, correspondence, stationeries, and other
papers, including a plan on how they would infiltrate the youth and student sector (code-named YORK). Also
found were one (1) .38 cal. revolver with eight (8) live bullets, nineteen (19) rounds of ammunition for M16
armalite, eighteen thousand six hundred fifty pesos P l8,650.00) cash believed to be CPP/NPA funds, assorted
medicine packed and ready for distribution, a sizeable quantity of printing paraphernalia, which were then
seized. 7
According to the main opinion of the Court, concurred in full by six other members: 8 "The function of the PCO
is to validate, on constitutional ground, the detention of a person for any of the offenses covered by
Proclamation No. 2045 which continues in force the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, if
the arrest has been made initially without any warrant. Its legal effect is to render the writ unavailing as a
means of judicially inquiring into the legality of the detention in view of the suspension of the privilege of the

writ. The grant of the power to suspend the said privilege provides the basis for continuing with perfect legality
the detention as long as the invasion or rebellion has not been repelled or quelled and the need therefor in the
interest of public safety continues." 9 Further: "The significance of the confernment of this power,
constitutionally upon the President as Commander-in-Chief, is that the exercise thereof is not subject to judicial
inquiry, with a view to determining its legality in the light of the bill of rights guarantee to individual freedom." 10
The opinion then went on to reiterate the doctrine that with the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus, the right to bail is likewise suspended and to hold "that under LOI 1211, a Presidential Commitment
Order, the issuance of which is the executive prerogative of the President under the Constitution, may not be
declared void by the Courts, under the doctrine of 'political question,' as has been applied in the Baker and
Castaeda cases, on any ground, let alone its supposed violation of the provision of LOI 1211, thus diluting, if
not abandoning, the doctrine of the Lansang case." 11 Finally, the Court held "that upon the issuance of the
Presidential Commitment Order against herein petitioners, their continued detention is rendered valid and
legal, and their right to be released even after the filing of charges against them in court, to depend on the
President, who may order the release of a detainee or his being placed under house arrest, as he has done in
meritorious cases." 12
The dispositive portion of the decision promulgated on April 20, 1983 reads as follows: "[Wherefore], the
instant petition should be, as it is hereby dismissed." 13
Thereafter, on June 6, 1983, a motion for reconsideration was filed by petitioner Garcia Padilla. The stress is
on the continuing validity of Garcia v. Lansang 14 as well as the existence of the right to bail even with the
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. The motion asserted further that the suspension of the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus does not vest the President with the power to issue warrants of arrest or
presidential commitment orders, and that even it be assumed that he has such a power, the Supreme Court
may review its issuance when challenged. It was finally alleged that since petitioners were not caught
in flagrante delicto, their arrest was illegal and void.
In the comment of respondents on the motion for reconsideration, it was the submission of Solicitor General
Estelito P. Mendoza that the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus raises a political, not a
judicial, question and that the right to bail cannot be invoked during such a period. On the question of whether
or not the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus vests the President with the power to issue
warrants of arrest or presidential commitment orders, this is what the Comment stated: "It is to be pointed out
that this argument was not raised in the petition. Nonetheless, suffice it to point out that an arrest order by the
President incident to the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is essentially preventive in
nature." 15 It added: "Besides, PD No. 1836 and LOI 1211 have vested, assuming a law is necessary, in the
President the power of preventive arrest incident to the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus. In addition, however, it should be noted that the PCO has been replaced by Preventive Detention
Action (PDA), pursuant to PD No. 1877 dated July 21, 1983. As provided for in the said decree, a PDA
constitute an authority to arrest and preventively detain persons committing the aforementioned crimes, for a
period not exceeding one (1) year, with the cause or causes of their arrest subjected to review by the President
or by the Review Committee created for that purpose." 16 The last argument of petitioner, namely that the
detainees were not caught in flagrante delicto and therefore the arrest was illegal was refuted in the Comment
thus: "Again petitioner simply misses the point. As this Court correctly observed, the crimes of subversion and
rebellion are continuing offenses. Besides this point involves an issue of fact. 17
It suffices to refer to the above Comment for the resolution of the motion for reconsideration. As therein noted,
Presidential Decree No. 1877 dated July 21, 1983 limits the duration of the preventive detention action for the
period not exceeding one year. In the language of such Decree: "When issued, the preventive detention action
shall constitute authority to arrest the subject person or persons, and to preventively detain him or them for a
period not exceeding one year and sequester all arms, equipment or properly used or to be used in the
commission of the crime or crimes." 18 There is no need to mention the amendments as there is no change as
to the preventive detention period remaining at "not exceeding one year." This Presidential Decree No. 1877
explicitly provides in its Section 8: "The Minister of Defense shall promulgate the rules and regulations to
implement this Decree." 19 Such implementing rules and regulations were issued on September 7, 1983 by
Minister of National Defense, respondent Juan Ponce Enrile and duly approved by the President of the

Philippines. One of its Sections deals with the period of detention under a presidential commitment order thus:
"The period of detention of all persons presently detained by virtue of a Presidential Commitment Order or its
derivatives shall not extend beyond one (1) year from and after the date of effectivity of Presidential Decree
No. 1877, as amended. Upon the effectivity of these rules and regulations, all cases of persons presently
detained under a presidential commitment order or its derivatives shall be governed by Presidential Decree No.
1877, as amended, and its implementing rules and regulations." 20
Subsequently, on May 28, 1985, respondents filed the following Manifestation: "1. The persons listed below
who were detained by virtue of Presidential Commitment Order (PCO) issued on July 12, 1982, and in whose
behalf the above-captioned cases was filed have been released detention by the military authorities concerned
on the dates appearing opposite their names, to wit: Names of Detainees Dates of Release: a. Dr. Aurora
Parong-December 12, 1983: b. Norberto Portuguese- January 31, 1985; c. Sabino Padilla January 31,
1985; d. Francis Divinagracia January 31, 1985; e. Imelda delos Santos October 20, 1983; f. Benjamin
Pineda January 3l 1985; g. Zenaida Mallari January 31, 1985 h. Tito Tanguilig October 21, 1983; i.
Letty Ballogan March 4, 1983; j. Bienvenida Garcia October 20, 1983; k Eufronio Ortiz, Jr. January 31,
1985; 1. Juanito Granada October 20, 1983. 2. The foregoing information was received from the Off ice of
Civil Relations, Ministry of National Defense, through Major Felizardo O. Montero, JAGS-GHO 3. As regards
Tom Vasquez, who was included in the instant petition, he was released on July 17, 1982, after his arrest on
July 15, 1982, since he was not named in the PCO 4. Anent Mariano Soriano, the undersigned have been
informed by the Office of Civil Relations that the subject escaped from detention two (2) years ago and as of
date hereof is still at large." 21
There is no question, therefore, that the force and effectivity of a presidential commitment order issued as far
back as July 12, 1982 had ceased to have any force or effect.
WHEREFORE, pursuant to Section 8 of Presidential Decree No. 1877 and Section 8 of the Rules and
Regulations Implementing Presidential Decree No. 1877-A, the motion for reconsideration should have been
granted, and the writ of habeas corpus ordering the release of the detainees covered by such Section 8 issued,
but in the light of the foregoing manifestation as to Norberto Portuguese, Sabino Padilla, Francis Divina gracia,
Imelda de los Santos, Benjamin Pineda, Zenaida Mallari, Mariano Soriano, Tito Tanguilig, Letty Ballogan,
Bienvenida Garcia, Eufronio Ortiz, Jr., Juanito Granada, and Tom Vasquez, having been released, the petition
as to them has been declared moot and academic. As to Dr. Aurora Parong, since a warrant of arrest against
her was issued by the municipal court of Bayombong on August 4, 1982, for illegal possession of firearm and
ammunitions, the petition is likewise declared moot and academic. No costs.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. 92163 June 5, 1990
IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS. JUAN PONCE ENRILE, petitioner
vs.
JUDGE JAIME SALAZAR (Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City [Br. 103], SENIOR
STATE PROSECUTOR AURELIO TRAMPE, PROSECUTOR FERDINAND R. ABESAMIS, AND CITY
ASSISTANT CITY PROSECUTOR EULOGIO MANANQUIL, NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
DIRECTOR ALFREDO LIM, BRIG. GEN. EDGAR DULA TORRES (Superintendent of the Northern Police
District) AND/ OR ANY AND ALL PERSONS WHO MAY HAVE ACTUAL CUSTODY OVER THE PERSON
OF JUAN PONCE ENRILE, respondents.
G.R. No. 92164 June 5, 1990
SPS. REBECCO E. PANLILIO AND ERLINDA E. PANLILIO, petitioners,
vs.
PROSECUTORS FERNANDO DE LEON, AURELIO C. TRAMPE, FFRDINAND R. ABESAMIS, AND
EULOGIO C. MANANQUIL, and HON. JAIME W. SALAZAR, JR., in his capacity as Presiding Judge,
Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, Branch 103, respondents.

NARVASA, J.:
Thirty-four years after it wrote history into our criminal jurisprudence, People vs. Hernandez 1 once more takes
center stage as the focus of a confrontation at law that would re-examine, if not the validity of its doctrine, the
limits of its applicability. To be sure, the intervening period saw a number of similar cases 2 that took issue with
the ruling-all with a marked lack of success-but none, it would Beem, where season and circumstance had
more effectively conspired to attract wide public attention and excite impassioned debate, even among laymen;
none, certainly, which has seen quite the kind and range of arguments that are now brought to bear on the
same question.
The facts are not in dispute. In the afternoon of February 27, 1990, Senate Minority Floor Leader Juan Ponce
Enrile was arrested by law enforcement officers led by Director Alfredo Lim of the National Bureau of
Investigation on the strength of a warrant issued by Hon. Jaime Salazar of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon
City Branch 103, in Criminal Case No. 9010941. The warrant had issued on an information signed and earlier
that day filed by a panel of prosecutors composed of Senior State Prosecutor Aurelio C. Trampe, State
Prosecutor Ferdinand R. Abesamis and Assistant City Prosecutor Eulogio Mananquil, Jr., charging Senator
Enrile, the spouses Rebecco and Erlinda Panlilio, and Gregorio Honasan with the crime of rebellion with
murder and multiple frustrated murder allegedly committed during the period of the failed coup attempt from
November 29 to December 10, 1990. Senator Enrile was taken to and held overnight at the NBI headquarters
on Taft Avenue, Manila, without bail, none having been recommended in the information and none fixed in the
arrest warrant. The following morning, February 28, 1990, he was brought to Camp Tomas Karingal in Quezon
City where he was given over to the custody of the Superintendent of the Northern Police District, Brig. Gen.
Edgardo Dula Torres. 3
On the same date of February 28, 1990, Senator Enrile, through counsel, filed the petition for habeas
corpusherein (which was followed by a supplemental petition filed on March 2, 1990), alleging that he was
deprived of his constitutional rights in being, or having been:

(a) held to answer for criminal offense which does not exist in the statute books;
(b) charged with a criminal offense in an information for which no complaint was initially filed or
preliminary investigation was conducted, hence was denied due process;
(c) denied his right to bail; and
(d) arrested and detained on the strength of a warrant issued without the judge who issued it
first having personally determined the existence of probable cause. 4
The Court issued the writ prayed for, returnable March 5, 1990 and set the plea for hearing on March 6,
1990. 5On March 5, 1990, the Solicitor General filed a consolidated return 6 for the respondents in this case
and in G.R. No. 921647 Which had been contemporaneously but separately filed by two of Senator Enrile's coaccused, the spouses Rebecco and Erlinda Panlilio, and raised similar questions. Said return urged that the
petitioners' case does not fall within the Hernandezruling because-and this is putting it very simply-the
information in Hernandez charged murders and other common crimes committed as a necessary means for
the commission of rebellion, whereas the information against Sen. Enrile et al.charged murder and frustrated
murder committed on the occasion, but not in furtherance, of rebellion. Stated otherwise, the Solicitor General
would distinguish between the complex crime ("delito complejo") arising from an offense being a necessary
means for committing another, which is referred to in the second clause of Article 48, Revised Penal Code, and
is the subject of the Hernandez ruling, and the compound crime ("delito compuesto") arising from a single act
constituting two or more grave or less grave offenses referred to in the first clause of the same paragraph, with
which Hernandez was not concerned and to which, therefore, it should not apply.
The parties were heard in oral argument, as scheduled, on March 6, 1990, after which the Court issued its
Resolution of the same date 8 granting Senator Enrile and the Panlilio spouses provisional liberty conditioned
upon their filing, within 24 hours from notice, cash or surety bonds of P100,000.00 (for Senator Enrile) and
P200,000.00 (for the Panlilios), respectively. The Resolution stated that it was issued without prejudice to a
more extended resolution on the matter of the provisional liberty of the petitioners and stressed that it was not
passing upon the legal issues raised in both cases. Four Members of the Court 9 voted against granting bail to
Senator Enrile, and two 10 against granting bail to the Panlilios.
The Court now addresses those issues insofar as they are raised and litigated in Senator Enrile's petition, G.R.
No. 92163.
The parties' oral and written pleas presented the Court with the following options:
(a) abandon Hernandez and adopt the minority view expressed in the main dissent of Justice
Montemayor in said case that rebellion cannot absorb more serious crimes, and that under
Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code rebellion may properly be complexed with common
offenses, so-called; this option was suggested by the Solicitor General in oral argument
although it is not offered in his written pleadings;
(b) hold Hernandez applicable only to offenses committed in furtherance, or as a necessary
means for the commission, of rebellion, but not to acts committed in the course of a rebellion
which also constitute "common" crimes of grave or less grave character;
(c) maintain Hernandez as applying to make rebellion absorb all other offenses committed in its
course, whether or not necessary to its commission or in furtherance thereof.
On the first option, eleven (11) Members of the Court voted against abandoning Hernandez. Two (2) Members
felt that the doctrine should be re-examined. 10-A In the view of the majority, the ruling remains good law, its
substantive and logical bases have withstood all subsequent challenges and no new ones are presented here
persuasive enough to warrant a complete reversal. This view is reinforced by the fact that not too long ago, the
incumbent President, exercising her powers under the 1986 Freedom Constitution, saw fit to repeal, among

others, Presidential Decree No. 942 of the former regime which precisely sought to nullify or
neutralize Hernandez by enacting a new provision (Art. 142-A) into the Revised Penal Code to the effect that
"(w)hen by reason, or on the occasion, of any of the crimes penalized in this Chapter (Chapter I of Title 3,
which includes rebellion), acts which constitute offenses upon which graver penalties are imposed by law are
committed, the penalty for the most serious offense in its maximum period shall be imposed upon the
offender."' 11In thus acting, the President in effect by legislative flat reinstated Hernandez as binding doctrine
with the effect of law. The Court can do no less than accord it the same recognition, absent any sufficiently
powerful reason against so doing.
On the second option, the Court unanimously voted to reject the theory that Hernandez is, or should be, limited
in its application to offenses committed as a necessary means for the commission of rebellion and that the
ruling should not be interpreted as prohibiting the complexing of rebellion with other common crimes committed
on the occasion, but not in furtherance, thereof. While four Members of the Court felt that the proponents'
arguments were not entirely devoid of merit, the consensus was that they were not sufficient to overcome what
appears to be the real thrust of Hernandez to rule out the complexing of rebellion with any other offense
committed in its course under either of the aforecited clauses of Article 48, as is made clear by the following
excerpt from the majority opinion in that case:
There is one other reason-and a fundamental one at that-why Article 48 of our Penal Code
cannot be applied in the case at bar. If murder were not complexed with rebellion, and the two
crimes were punished separately (assuming that this could be done), the following penalties
would be imposable upon the movant, namely: (1) for the crime of rebellion, a fine not
exceeding P20,000 and prision mayor, in the corresponding period, depending upon the
modifying circumstances present, but never exceeding 12 years of prision mayor, and (2) for the
crime of murder, reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death, depending upon the
modifying circumstances present. in other words, in the absence of aggravating
circumstances, the extreme penalty could not be imposed upon him. However, under Article 48
said penalty would have to be meted out to him, even in the absence of a single aggravating
circumstance. Thus, said provision, if construed in conformity with the theory of the prosecution,
would be unfavorable to the movant.
Upon the other hand, said Article 48 was enacted for the purpose of favoring the culprit, not of
sentencing him to a penalty more severe than that which would be proper if the several acts
performed by him were punished separately. In the words of Rodriguez Navarro:
La unificacion de penas en los casos de concurso de delitos a que hace
referencia este articulo (75 del Codigo de 1932), esta basado francamente en el
principio pro reo.' (II Doctrina Penal del Tribunal Supremo de Espana, p. 2168.)
We are aware of the fact that this observation refers to Article 71 (later 75) of the Spanish Penal
Code (the counterpart of our Article 48), as amended in 1908 and then in 1932, reading:
Las disposiciones del articulo anterior no son aplicables en el caso de que un
solo hecho constituya dos o mas delitos, o cuando el uno de ellos sea medio
necesario para cometer el otro.
En estos casos solo se impondra la pena correspondiente al delito mas grave en
su grado maximo, hasta el limite que represents la suma de las que pudieran
imponerse, penando separadamente los delitos.
Cuando la pena asi computada exceda de este limite, se sancionaran los delitos
por separado. (Rodriguez Navarro, Doctrina Penal del Tribunal Supremo, Vol. II,
p. 2163)

and that our Article 48 does not contain the qualification inserted in said amendment, restricting
the imposition of the penalty for the graver offense in its maximum period to the case when it
does not exceed the sum total of the penalties imposable if the acts charged were dealt with
separately. The absence of said limitation in our Penal Code does not, to our mind, affect
substantially the spirit of said Article 48. Indeed, if one act constitutes two or more offenses,
there can be no reason to inflict a punishment graver than that prescribed for each one of said
offenses put together. In directing that the penalty for the graver offense be, in such case,
imposed in its maximum period, Article 48 could have had no other purpose than to prescribe a
penalty lower than the aggregate of the penalties for each offense, if imposed separately. The
reason for this benevolent spirit of article 48 is readily discernible. When two or more crimes are
the result of a single act, the offender is deemed less perverse than when he commits said
crimes thru separate and distinct acts. Instead of sentencing him for each crime independently
from the other, he must suffer the maximum of the penalty for the more serious one, on the
assumption that it is less grave than the sum total of the separate penalties for each offense. 12
The rejection of both options shapes and determines the primary ruling of the Court, which is
that Hernandezremains binding doctrine operating to prohibit the complexing of rebellion with any other offense
committed on the occasion thereof, either as a means necessary to its commission or as an unintended effect
of an activity that constitutes rebellion.
This, however, does not write finis to the case. Petitioner's guilt or innocence is not here inquired into, much
less adjudged. That is for the trial court to do at the proper time. The Court's ruling merely provides a take-off
point for the disposition of other questions relevant to the petitioner's complaints about the denial of his rights
and to the propriety of the recourse he has taken.
The Court rules further (by a vote of 11 to 3) that the information filed against the petitioner does in fact charge
an offense. Disregarding the objectionable phrasing that would complex rebellion with murder and multiple
frustrated murder, that indictment is to be read as charging simple rebellion. Thus, in Hernandez, the Court
said:
In conclusion, we hold that, under the allegations of the amended information against
defendant-appellant Amado V. Hernandez, the murders, arsons and robberies described therein
are mere ingredients of the crime of rebellion allegedly committed by said defendants, as means
"necessary" (4) for the perpetration of said offense of rebellion; that the crime charged in the
aforementioned amended information is, therefore, simple rebellion, not the complex crime of
rebellion with multiple murder, arsons and robberies; that the maximum penalty imposable
under such charge cannot exceed twelve (12) years of prision mayor and a fine of P2H,HHH;
and that, in conformity with the policy of this court in dealing with accused persons amenable to
a similar punishment, said defendant may be allowed bail. 13
The plaint of petitioner's counsel that he is charged with a crime that does not exist in the statute books, while
technically correct so far as the Court has ruled that rebellion may not be complexed with other offenses
committed on the occasion thereof, must therefore be dismissed as a mere flight of rhetoric. Read in the
context of Hernandez, the information does indeed charge the petitioner with a crime defined and punished by
the Revised Penal Code: simple rebellion.
Was the petitioner charged without a complaint having been initially filed and/or preliminary investigation
conducted? The record shows otherwise, that a complaint against petitioner for simple rebellion was filed by
the Director of the National Bureau of Investigation, and that on the strength of said complaint a preliminary
investigation was conducted by the respondent prosecutors, culminating in the filing of the questioned
information. 14 There is nothing inherently irregular or contrary to law in filing against a respondent an
indictment for an offense different from what is charged in the initiatory complaint, if warranted by the evidence
developed during the preliminary investigation.
It is also contended that the respondent Judge issued the warrant for petitioner's arrest without
first personallydetermining the existence of probable cause by examining under oath or affirmation the

complainant and his witnesses, in violation of Art. III, sec. 2, of the Constitution. 15 This Court has already
ruled, however, that it is not the unavoidable duty of the judge to make such a personal examination, it being
sufficient that he follows established procedure by personally evaluating the report and the supporting
documents submitted by the prosecutor. 16 Petitioner claims that the warrant of arrest issued barely one hour
and twenty minutes after the case was raffled off to the respondent Judge, which hardly gave the latter
sufficient time to personally go over the voluminous records of the preliminary investigation. 17 Merely because
said respondent had what some might consider only a relatively brief period within which to comply with that
duty, gives no reason to assume that he had not, or could not have, so complied; nor does that single
circumstance suffice to overcome the legal presumption that official duty has been regularly performed.
Petitioner finally claims that he was denied the right to bail. In the light of the Court's reaffirmation
of Hernandezas applicable to petitioner's case, and of the logical and necessary corollary that the information
against him should be considered as charging only the crime of simple rebellion, which is bailable before
conviction, that must now be accepted as a correct proposition. But the question remains: Given the facts from
which this case arose, was a petition for habeas corpus in this Court the appropriate vehicle for asserting a
right to bail or vindicating its denial?
The criminal case before the respondent Judge was the normal venue for invoking the petitioner's right to have
provisional liberty pending trial and judgment. The original jurisdiction to grant or deny bail rested with said
respondent. The correct course was for petitioner to invoke that jurisdiction by filing a petition to be admitted to
bail, claiming a right to bail per se by reason of the weakness of the evidence against him. Only after that
remedy was denied by the trial court should the review jurisdiction of this Court have been invoked, and even
then, not without first applying to the Court of Appeals if appropriate relief was also available there.
Even acceptance of petitioner's premise that going by the Hernandez ruling, the information charges a nonexistent crime or, contrarily, theorizing on the same basis that it charges more than one offense, would not
excuse or justify his improper choice of remedies. Under either hypothesis, the obvious recourse would have
been a motion to quash brought in the criminal action before the respondent Judge. 18
There thus seems to be no question that All the grounds upon which petitioner has founded the present
petition, whether these went into the substance of what is charged in the information or imputed error or
omission on the part of the prosecuting panel or of the respondent Judge in dealing with the charges against
him, were originally justiciable in the criminal case before said Judge and should have been brought up there
instead of directly to this Court.
There was and is no reason to assume that the resolution of any of these questions was beyond the ability or
competence of the respondent Judge-indeed such an assumption would be demeaning and less than fair to
our trial courts; none whatever to hold them to be of such complexity or transcendental importance as to
disqualify every court, except this Court, from deciding them; none, in short that would justify by passing
established judicial processes designed to orderly move litigation through the hierarchy of our courts.
Parenthentically, this is the reason behind the vote of four Members of the Court against the grant of bail to
petitioner: the view that the trial court should not thus be precipitately ousted of its original jurisdiction to grant
or deny bail, and if it erred in that matter, denied an opportunity to correct its error. It makes no difference that
the respondent Judge here issued a warrant of arrest fixing no bail. Immemorial practice sanctions simply
following the prosecutor's recommendation regarding bail, though it may be perceived as the better course for
the judge motu proprio to set a bail hearing where a capital offense is charged. 19 It is, in any event, incumbent
on the accused as to whom no bail has been recommended or fixed to claim the right to a bail hearing and
thereby put to proof the strength or weakness of the evidence against him.
It is apropos to point out that the present petition has triggered a rush to this Court of other parties in a similar
situation, all apparently taking their cue from it, distrustful or contemptuous of the efficacy of seeking recourse
in the regular manner just outlined. The proliferation of such pleas has only contributed to the delay that the
petitioner may have hoped to avoid by coming directly to this Court.
Not only because popular interest seems focused on the outcome of the present petition, but also because to
wash the Court's hand off it on jurisdictional grounds would only compound the delay that it has already gone

through, the Court now decides the same on the merits. But in so doing, the Court cannot express too strongly
the view that said petition interdicted the ordered and orderly progression of proceedings that should have
started with the trial court and reached this Court only if the relief appealed for was denied by the former and,
in a proper case, by the Court of Appeals on review.
Let it be made very clear that hereafter the Court will no longer countenance, but will give short shrift to, pleas
like the present, that clearly short-circuit the judicial process and burden it with the resolution of issues properly
within the original competence of the lower courts. What has thus far been stated is equally applicable to and
decisive of the petition of the Panlilio spouses (G.R. No. 92164) which is virtually Identical to that of petitioner
Enrile in factualmilieu and is therefore determinable on the same principles already set forth. Said spouses
have uncontestedly pleaded 20 that warrants of arrest issued against them as co-accused of petitioner Enrile in
Criminal Case No. 90-10941, that when they appeared before NBI Director Alfredo Lim in the afternoon of
March 1, 1990, they were taken into custody and detained without bail on the strength of said warrants in
violation-they claim-of their constitutional rights.
It may be that in the light of contemporary events, the act of rebellion has lost that quitessentiany quixotic
quality that justifies the relative leniency with which it is regarded and punished by law, that present-day rebels
are less impelled by love of country than by lust for power and have become no better than mere terrorists to
whom nothing, not even the sanctity of human life, is allowed to stand in the way of their ambitions. Nothing so
underscores this aberration as the rash of seemingly senseless killings, bombings, kidnappings and assorted
mayhem so much in the news these days, as often perpetrated against innocent civilians as against the
military, but by and large attributable to, or even claimed by so-called rebels to be part of, an ongoing rebellion.
It is enough to give anyone pause-and the Court is no exception-that not even the crowded streets of our
capital City seem safe from such unsettling violence that is disruptive of the public peace and stymies every
effort at national economic recovery. There is an apparent need to restructure the law on rebellion, either to
raise the penalty therefor or to clearly define and delimit the other offenses to be considered as absorbed
thereby, so that it cannot be conveniently utilized as the umbrella for every sort of illegal activity undertaken in
its name. The Court has no power to effect such change, for it can only interpret the law as it stands at any
given time, and what is needed lies beyond interpretation. Hopefully, Congress will perceive the need for
promptly seizing the initiative in this matter, which is properly within its province.
WHEREFORE, the Court reiterates that based on the doctrine enunciated in People vs. Hernandez, the
questioned information filed against petitioners Juan Ponce Enrile and the spouses Rebecco and Erlinda
Panlilio must be read as charging simple rebellion only, hence said petitioners are entitled to bail, before final
conviction, as a matter of right. The Court's earlier grant of bail to petitioners being merely provisional in
character, the proceedings in both cases are ordered REMANDED to the respondent Judge to fix the amount
of bail to be posted by the petitioners. Once bail is fixed by said respondent for any of the petitioners, the
corresponding bail bond flied with this Court shall become functus oficio. No pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-6025

May 30, 1964

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
AMADO V. HERNANDEZ, ET AL., accused,
AMADO V. HERNANDEZ, ET AL., defendants-appellants.
----------------------------G.R. No. L-6026

May 30, 1964

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
BAYANI ESPIRITU, ET AL., accused,
BAYANI ESPIRITU and TEOPISTA VALERIO, defendants-appellants.
LABRADOR, J.:
This is the appeal prosecuted by the defendants from the judgment rendered by the Court of First Instance of
Manila, Hon. Agustin P. Montesa, presiding, in its Criminal Case No. 15841, People vs. Amado V. Hernandez,
et al., and Criminal Case No. 15479, People vs. Bayani Espiritu, et al. In Criminal Case No. 15841 (G.R. No. L6026) the charge is for Rebellion with Multiple Murder, Arsons and Robberies; the appellants are Amado V.
Hernandez, Juan J. Cruz, Genaro de la Cruz, Amado Racanday, Fermin Rodillas and Julian Lumanog;
Aquilino Bunsol, Adriano Samson and Andres Baisa, Jr. were among those sentenced in the judgment
appealed from, but they have withdrawn their appeal. In Criminal Case No. 15479 (G.R. No. L-6026) the
charge is for rebellion with murders, arsons and kidnappings; the accused are Bayani Espiritu Teopista Valerio
and Andres Balsa, Jr.; they all appealed but Andres Balsa, Jr. withdrew his appeal.
The information filed against defendants Hernandez and others in Criminal Case No. 15481 alleged:
I. That on or about March 15, 1945, and for some time before the said date and continuously thereafter,
until the present time, in the City of Manila, Philippines, and the place which they had chosen as the
nerve center of all their rebellious activities in the different parts of the Philippines, the said accused,
conspiring, confederating and cooperating with each other, as well as with the thirty-one (31)
defendants charged in Criminal Cases Nos. 19071, 14082, 14270, 14315 and 14344 of the Court of
First Instance of Manila (decided May 11, 1951) and also with others whose whereabouts and identities
are still unknown, the said accused and their other co-conspirators, being then high ranking officers
and/or members of, or otherwise affiliated with the Communist Party of the Philippines (P.K.P.), which
is now actively engaged in an armed rebellion against the Government of the Philippines thru act
theretofore committed and planned to be further committed in Manila and other places in the
Philippines, and of which party the "Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan"(H.M.B.) otherwise or formerly
known as the "Hukbalahaps" (Huks), unlawfully and did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously help, support, promote, maintain, cause, direct and/or command the "Hukbong
Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan" (H.M.B.) or the "Hukbalahaps" (Huks) to rise publicly and take arms against
the Republic of the Philippines, or otherwise participate in such armed public uprising, for the purpose
of removing the territory of the Philippines from the allegiance to the government and laws thereof as in
fact the said "Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan" or "Hukbalahaps" have risen publicly and taken arms
to attain the said purpose by then and there making armed raids, sorties and ambushes, attacks
against police, constabulary and army detachments as well as innocent civilians, and as a necessary

means to commit the crime of rebellion, in connection therewith and in furtherance thereof, have then
and there committed acts of murder, pillage, looting, plunder, arson, and planned destruction of private
and public property to create and spread chaos, disorder, terror, and fear so as to facilitate the
accomplishment of the aforesaid purpose, as. follows, to wit: (Enumeration of thirteen attacks on
government forces or civilians by Huks on May 6, 1946, August 6, 1946, April 10, 1947, May 9, 1947,
August 19, 1947, June, 1946, April 28, 1949, August 25, 1950, August 26, 1950, August 25, 1950,
September 12, 1950, March 28, 1950 and March 29, 1950.)
II. That during the period of time and under the same circumstances herein-above indicated the said
accused in the above-entitled case, conspiring among themselves and with several others as aforesaid,
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously organized, established, led and/or maintained the Congress of Labor
Organizations (CLO), formerly known as the Committee on Labor Organizations (CLO), with central
offices in Manila and chapters and affiliated or associated labor unions and other "mass organizations"
in different places in the Philippines, as an active agency, organ, and instrumentality of the Communist
Party of the Philippines (P.K.P.) and as such agency, organ, and instrumentality, to fully cooperate in,
and synchronize its activities as the CLO thus organized, established, led and/or maintained by the
herein accused and their co-conspirators, has in fact fully cooperated in and synchronized its activities
with the activities of the "Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan" (H.M.B.) and other organs, agencies, and
instrumentalities of the Communist Party of the Philippines (P.K.P.), to thereby assure, facilitate, and
effect the complete and permanent success of the above-mentioned armed rebellion against the
Government of the Philippines.
The information filed against the defendants in Criminal Case No. 15479, Bayani Espiritu Andres Baisa, Jr. and
Teopista Valerio, alleges:
That on or about the 6th day of May, 1946, and for sometime prior and subsequent thereto and
continuously up to the present time, in the City of Manila, the seat of the government of the Republic of
the Philippines, which the herein accused have intended to overthrow, and the place chosen for that
purpose as the nerve center of all their rebellious atrocities in the different parts of the country, the said
accused being then high ranking officials and/or members of the Communist Party of the Philippines
(P.K.P.) and/or of the "Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan" (H.M.B.) otherwise or formerly known as the
"Hukbalahaps" (HUKS), the latter being the armed forces of said Communist Party of the Philippines;
having come to an agreement with the 29 of the 31 accused in Criminal Cases Nos. 14071, 14082,
14270, 14315, 14344 of the Court of First Instance of Manila and decided to commit the crime of
rebellion, and therefore, conspiring and confederating with all of the 29 accused in said criminal cases,
acting in accordance with their conspiracy and in furtherance thereof, together with many others whose
whereabouts and identities are still unknown up to the filing of this information, and helping one
another, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously promote maintain, cause, direct and/or
command the "Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan", (HMB) or the Hukbalahaps (HUKS) to rise publicly
and take Arms against the Government or otherwise participate therein for the purpose of overthrowing
the same, as in fact, the said "Hukbong Mapagpalaya Ng Bayan" or Hukbalahap (HUKS) have risen
publicly and taken arms against the Government, by then and there making armed raids, sorties and
ambushes, attacks against police, constabulary and army detachment, and as a necessary means to
commit the crime of rebellion, in connection therewith and in furtherance thereof, by then and there
committing wanton acts of murder, spoilage, looting, arson, kidnappings, planned destruction of private
and public buildings, to create and spread terrorism in order to facilitate the accomplishment of the
aforesaid purpose, as follows to wit: (Enumeration of thirteen attacks on Government forces or civilians
by Huks on May 6, 1946. August 6, 1946, April 10, 1947, May 9, 1947, August 19, 1947, June 1946,
April 28, 1949, August 25, 1950, August 26, 1950, August 25, 1950, September 12, 1950, March 28,
1950 and March 29, 1950).
A joint trial of both cases was held, after which the court rendered the decision subject of the present appeals.
APPEAL OF AMADO V. HERNANDEZ

After trial the Court of First Instance found, as against appellant Amado V. Hernandez, the following: (1) that he
is a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines and as such had aliases, namely, Victor or Soliman; (2)
that he was furnished copies of "Titis", a Communist publication, as well as other publications of the Party; (3)
that he held the position of President of the Congress of Labor Organizations; (4) that he had close
connections with the Secretariat of the Communist Party and held continuous communications with its leaders
and its members; (5) that he furnished a mimeographing machine used by the Communist Party, as well as
clothes and supplies for the military operations of the Huks; (6) that he had contacted well-known Communists
coming to the Philippines and had gone abroad to the WFTU conference Brussels, Belgium as a delegate of
the CLO, etc. Evidence was also received by the court that Hernandez made various speeches encouraging
the people to join in the Huk movement in the provinces.
The court also found that there was a close tie-up between the Communist Party and the Congress of Labor
Organizations, of which Hernandez was the President, and that this Congress was organized by Hernandez in
conjunction with other Huks, namely: Alfredo Saulo, Mariano Balgos, Guillermo Capadocia, etc.
We will now consider the nature and character of both the testimonial as well as the documentary evidence,
independently of each other, to find out if the said evidence supports the findings of the court.
Testimonial Evidence
Amado V. Hernandez took the oath as member of the Communist Party in the month of October, 1947, at the
offices of the Congress of Labor Organizations at 2070 Azcarraga in the presence of Guillermo Capadocia,
Ramon Espiritu, Pedro Castro, Andres Balsa, etc. As a Communist he was given the pseudonyms of Victor
and Soliman, and received copies of the Communist paper "Titis". He made various speeches on the following
dates and occasions:
(1) On August 29, 1948 before the Democratic Peace Rally of the CLO at Plaza Miranda, in which he
announced that the people will soon meet their dear comrade in the person of Comrade Luis Taruc.
(2) On September 4, 1948 he conferred with Hindu Khomal Goufar at the Escolta, at which occasion
Balgos told Goufar that the PKM, CLO and the Huks are in one effort that the PKM are the peasants in
the field and the Huks are the armed forces of the Communist Party; and the CLO falls under the TUD
of the Communist Party. 1wph1.t
(3) On October 2, 1948 he went abroad to attend the Second Annual Convention of the World
Federation of Trade Unions and after arrival from abroad a dinner was given to him by the people of
Gagalangin, at which Hernandez delivered a speech and he said that he preferred to go with the Huks
because he felt safer with them than with the authorities of the Government.
(4) In April, 1949, he made a speech before a group of tenants in Malabon attacking the frauds in the
1947 elections, graft and corruption in the elections and that if improvement cannot be made by the
ballots, they could be made by bullets; and enjoined the people to go to the hills and join Luis Taruc the
head of the dissidents in the Philippines.
(5) On October 2, 1949 he delivered a speech on the occasion of the commemoration of the World
Peace at the CLO headquarters at 330 P. Campa. He attacked the city mayor and incited the people to
go to Balintawak and see Bonifacio there and thereafter join four comrades under the leadership of Luis
Taruc.
(6) On October 16, 1949 he delivered a speech before a convention of the unemployed at 330 P.
Campa. He asked the unemployed to approve a resolution urging the Government to give them jobs. In
conclusion he said that if the Government fails to give them jobs the only way out was to join the
revolutionary forces fighting in the hills. He further said that Mao Tse Tung, leader of the People's Army
in China, drove Chiang Kai Shek from his country, and that Luis Taruc was also being chased by
Government forces run by puppets like Quirino, etc.

(7) On January 13, 1950 there was another meeting at 330 P. Campa. In his talk Hernandez expressed
regret that two foremost leaders of the CLO, Balgos and Capadocia, had gone to the field to join the
liberation army of the HMB, justifying their going out and becoming heroes by fighting in the fields
against Government forces until the ultimate goal is achieved.
The above evidence was testified to by Florentino Diolata who was the official photographer of the CLO since
August, 1948.
On the tie-up between the Communist Party and the CLO Guillermo Calayag, a Communist and a Huk from
1942 to 1950, explained:
(1) The ultimate goal of the Communist Party is to overthrow the president government by force of aims
and violence; thru armed revolution and replace it with the so-called dictatorship of the proletariat the
Communist Party carries its program of armed overthrow of the present government by organizing the
HMB and other forms of organization's such as the CLO, PKM, union organizations, and the
professional and intellectual group; the CLO was organized by the Trade Union Division TUD of the
Communist Party.
(2) A good majority of the members of the Executive Committee and the Central Committee of the CLO
were also top ranking officials of the Communist Party; activities undertaken by the TUD - the vital
undertaking of the TUD is to see that the directives coming from the organizational bureau of the
Communist Party can be discussed within the CLO especially the Executive Committee. And it is a fact
that since a good majority of the members of the Executive Committee are party members, there is no
time, there is no single time that those directives and decisions of the organizational department, thru
the TUD are being objected to by the Executive Committee of the CLO. These directives refer to how
the CLO will conduct its functions. The executive committee is under the chairmanship of accused
Amado V. Hernandez.
(3) The CLO played its role in the overall Communist program of armed overthrow of the present
government and its replacement by the dictatorship of the proletariat by means of propaganda - by
propagating the principles of Communism, by giving monetary aid, clothing, medicine and other forms
of material help to the HMB. This role is manifested in the very constitution of the CLO itself which
expounded the theory of classless society and the eradication of social classes (par. 5, Sec. 1, Art. 2,
page 18 of the CLO Constitution contained in the Fourth Annual Convention Souvenir Program of the
CLO Exh. "V-1579"). Thru propaganda, the CLO promoted the aims of Communist Party and
disseminated Communist ideas by:
(a) The conspicuous display of the portrait or, pictures of Crisanto Evangelista (Exh. V-1662),
founder of Communism in the Philippines, in the session hall of the CLO headquarters at 2070
Azcarraga and then at 330 P. Campa;
(b) The distribution of foreign communist reading materials such as the World Federation of
Trade Union Magazine, International Union of Students magazine, Voice magazine of the
marine cooks of the CLO, World Committee of the Defenders of the Peace magazine, Free
Bulgaria magazine, Soviet Russia Today magazine and World Federation of Democratic Youth
magazine (Exhs. V-911, V-907, V-910, V-899, V-912, V-853, W-996 and V-967);
(c) The publication and distribution of some local subversive publications such as the "Titis",
"Bisig", Kidlat", which are Communist Party organs; "The Philippine Labor Demands Justice"
and "Hands Off Korea" authored by accused Amado V. Hernandez;
(d) Principles of Communism were also propagated thru lectures, meetings, and by means of
organization of committees in the educational department as well as researches in the Worker's
Institute of the CLO.

(4) The CLO also helped carry out the program of the Communist Party thru infiltration of party
members and selected leaders of the HMB within the trade unions under the control of the CLO. The
Communist Party thru the CLO assigned Communist Party leaders and organizers to different factories
in order to organize unions. After the organization of the union, it will affiliate itself with the CLO thru the
Communist leaders and the CLO in turn, will register said union with the Department of Labor; and the
orientation and indoctrination of the workers is continued in the line of class struggle. After this
orientation and infiltration of the Communist Party members and selected leaders of the HMB with the
trade unions under the control of the CLO is already achieved and the group made strong enough to
carry out its aims, they will begin the sporadic strikes and the liquidation of anti-labor elements and antiCommunist elements and will create a so-called revolutionary crisis. That revolutionary crisis will be
done for the party to give directives to the HMB who are fighting in the countrysides and made them
come to the city gates. The entry of the HMB is being paved by the simultaneous and sporadic strikes,
by ultimate general strikes thru the management of the CLO.
Important Documents Submitted at Trial
1. Documents which proved that Amado V. Hernandez used the aliases "Victor", or was referred to as
"Victor" or "Soliman".
(a) Letter dated April 23, 1950 (signed) by Victor addressed to Julie telling the latter of his
sympathies for other communists, describing his experiences with Communists abroad, telling
Julie to dispose of materials that may be sent by Victor. (Exh. D-2001-2004)
(b) "Paano Maisasagawa, etc." mentions different groups of labor unions of which Victor
heads one group, consisting of the MRRCO, PTLD, PGWU, EMWU and IRWU (Exh. C-20012008) Cadres assigned to different industries. (Exh. V-40-41)
(c) Handwritten certificate of Honofre Mangila states that he knew Amado Hernandez as Victor
from co-party members Hugo and Ely. (Exh. LL)
(d) Letter of Elias to Ka Eto requesting the latter to deliver attached letter to Victor. (Exh. 1103)
(e) Saulo's letter about his escape, asks Victor why his press statement was not published in
the newspapers. (Exh. C-362) Letter was however published by Hernandez in the Daily Mirror.
(f) Letter of Taruc to Maclang directing the latter to give copy of Huk Story to Victor. (Exh. D463-64)
(g) Notes of Salome Cruz, Huk courier, stating that she went to Soliman at Pampanga St. to
bring to the latter communications from the Communist Party. (Exh. D-1203) That Soliman was
given copies of "Titis". (Exh. D-1209)
(h) SEC directions to Politburo members, Soliman not to be involved with Nacionalista Rebels.
(Exh. F-92-93. SEC)
(i) Letter of SEC to Politburo reporting that Saulo be sent out and Soliman has "tendencies of
careerism and tendency to want to deal with leaders of the party"; that he should be asked to
choose to go underground or fight legally. (Exh. F-562)
(j) Explanation given by Hernandez why he did not join Saulo in going underground. (Exh. V-87)
(1) His election as councilor until December, 1951. (Exhs. V-42, W-9) (2) His election as
President of CLO until August of following year. (Exhs. V-42, W-9)
2. Letters and Messages of Hernandez.

(a) To Lyden Henry and Harry Reich, tells Huks still fighting. (Exh. V-80)
(b) To SOBSI Jakarta that Filipinos are joining other communist countries of the East. (Exh.
V-82)
(c) Press release on Saulo's disappearance published by Amado Hernandez. (Exh. W-116-120)
(d) To Hugh and Eddie, July 8, 1949 Extends greetings to National Union of Marine Cooks
and Stewards, states that labor has one common struggle "the liberation of all the peoples
from the chains of tyranny, fascism and imperialism". (Exh. V-259)
(e) To Kas. Pablo and Estrada - talks of the fight - fight of labor. (Exh. V-85-89)
(f) Appeal to the Women and Asia. (Exh. V-5-10)
(g) Letter to Julie (Exh. V-2001-2004)
(h) Letter to Chan Lieu - states that leaders during the war are being persecuted, like Taruc.
Tells of reward of P100,000.00 on Taruc's head. (Exh. X-85-88)
(i) Letter to John Gates of the Daily Worker condemns Wall Street maneuvers; corruption and
graft in Quirino administration, etc. (Exh. V-83)
(j) Cablegram: CLO join ILWU commends Harry Bridges, US Communist. (Exh. V-79)
(k) Communication of Hernandez to CLO at MRRCO Praises Balgos and Capadocia for
joining the Huks. (Exhs. V-12-22, V-289)
(l) "Philippine labor Demands Justice" Attacks czars of Wall Street and U.S. Army and
Government. (Exh. V-94) .
(m) Letter to Taruc June 28, 1948.-States solidarity among the CLO Huks and PKM. Attacks
North Atlantic Pact. Praises Mao Tse Tung (contained in Exh. V-94)
(n) "Philippines Is Not A Paradise" States of a delegation to Roxas attacking unemployment.
(Exh. V-90-93)
(o) Article "Progressive Philippines" (Exh. V-287)
(p) Article "Hands Off Korea" (Exhs. V-488-494, 495-501, 509-515, W-25-26)
(q) "Limang Buwang Balak Sa Pagpapalakas Ng Organisasyon". (Exh. X-35-38)
(r) Press statement of Hernandez opposes acceptance of decorations from Greece by
Romulo. (Exh. V-72)
3. Other Activities of Hernandez.
(a) Hernandez received clothes from Pres. Lines thru P. Campa, which clothes he sent to the
field. Letters show of sending of supplies to Huks. (Exh. S-383)
(b) Hernandez was asked to furnish portable typewriter, which he did furnish to Huks. (Exh. C364)

(c) Hernandez brought Taruc's letter about facts and incidents about Huks to Bulosan for
inclusion in Bulosan's book. (Exh. FF-1)
(d) Had conference with Kumar Goshal a Hindu, about the Huks and their armed forces.
(Photographs, Exhs. X-6 RR-54-55A)
(e) Supervised taking of pictures of sons of Capadocia and Joven. (Photographs, Exhs. T-1,
RR-136-138A)
(f) Had knowledge of the going underground of Capadocia and Balgos and issued press release
about their going underground. (Exh. F-91)
(g) Victor mentioned to continue as contact for Chino. (Exh. C-362)
(h) Taruc's letter to Maclang shows that Soliman had sent 7 lessons to Taruc. (Exh. D-451-451A)
(i) Associated with fellow ranking Communist leaders.
The Court upon consideration of the evidence submitted, found (1) that the Communist Party was fully
organized as a party and in order to carry out its aims and policies a established a National Congress, a
Central Committee (CC), Politburo PB, Secretariat (SEC), Organization Bureau (OB), and National Courier or
Communication Division (NCD), each body performing functions indicated in their respective names; (2) that in
a meeting held on August 11, 1950 the SEC discussed the creation of a Military Committee of the Party and a
new GHQ, under which on September 29, 1950 the SEC organized a special warfare division, with a
technological division; (3) that on May 5, 1950 a body known as the National Intelligence Division was created,
to gather essential military intelligence and, in general, all information useful for the conduct of the armed
struggle (4) that a National Finance Committee was also organized as a part of the Politburo and answerable
to it; (5) that the country was divided into 10 Recos, the 10th Reco comprising the Manila and suburbs
command; (6) that since November, 1949 the CPP had declared the existence of a revolutionary situation and
since then the Party had gone underground and the CPP is leading the armed struggle for national liberation,
and called on the people to organize guerrillas and coordinate with the HMB on the decisive struggle and final
overthrow of the imperialist government; (7) that in accordance with such plan the CPP prepared plans for
expansion and development not only of the Party but also of the HMB; the expansion of the cadres from 3,600
in July 1950 to 56,000 in September 1951, the HMB from 10,800 in July 1950 to 172,000 in September
1951, et seq.
Around the month of January, 1950 it was decided by the CPP to intensify HMB military operations for political
purposes. The Politburo sanctioned the attacks made by the Huks on the anniversary of the HMB on March 25,
1950. The HMB attacks that were reported to the PB were those made in May, 1946; June, 1946; April 10,
1947; May 9, 1947; August 19, 1947; August 25, 1950; August 26, 1950; October 15 and 17, 1950; May 6,
1946; August 6, 1946; April 10, 1947; May 9, 1947; August 19, 1947; April 29, 1949; August 25, 1950; August
26, 1950; September 12, 1950; March 26, 1950; March 29, 1950.
The theory of the prosecution, as stated in the lower court's decision, is as follows:
The evidence does not show that the defendants in these cases now before this Court had taken a
direct part in those raids and in the commission of the crimes that had been committed. It is not,
however, the theory of the prosecution that they in fact had direct participation in the commission of the
same but rather that the defendants in these cases have cooperated, conspired and confederated with
the Communist Party in the prosecution and successful accomplishment of the aims and purposes of
the said Party thru the organization called the CLO (Congress of Labor Organizations).
The Court found that the CLO is independent and separate from the CPP, organized under the same pattern
as the CPP, having its own National Congress, a Central Committee (which acts in the absence of and in

representation of the National Congress), an Executive Committee (which acts when the National Congress
and the Executive Committee are not in session), and seven permanent Committees, namely, of Organization,
Unemployment and Public Relations, Different Strikes and Pickets, Finance, Auditing, Legislation and Political
Action. Members of the Communist Party dominate the committees of the CLO. The supposed tie-up between
CPP and the CLO of which Hernandez was the President, is described by the court below in finding, thus:
Just how the CLO coordinates its functions with the Communist Party organ under which it operates was
explained by witness Guillermo S. Calayag, one-time ranking member of the Communist Party and the CLO
who typewrites the "Patnubay sa Education" from a handwritten draft of Capadocia, which is one of the texts
used in the Worker's institute of the CLO. According to him, the CLO plays its role by means of propaganda,
giving monetary aid, clothing, medicine and other material forms of help to the HMB, which constitutes the
armed forces of the Communist Party. Propaganda is done by lectures, meetings, and the organization of
committees of the educational department as well as researches at the CLO Worker's Institute.
Another way of helping the Communist Party of the Philippines is by allowing the Communist Party
leaders to act as organizers in the different factories in forming a union. These Party Members help
workers in the factories to agitate for the eradication of social classes and ultimately effect the total
emancipation of the working classes thru the establishment of the so-called dictatorship of the
proletariat. It is the duty of these Communist Party members to indoctrinate uninitiated workers in the
union to become proselytes of the Communist Party ideology. After the right number is secured and a
union is formed under a communist leader, this union is affiliated with the CLO and this in turn registers
the same with the Department of Labor. The orientation and indoctrination of the masses is continued
with the help of the CLO. The primary objective of the CLO is to create what is called a revolutionary
crisis. It seeks to attain this objective by first making demands from the employers for concessions
which become more and more unreasonable until the employers would find it difficult to grant the same.
Then a strike is declared. But the strikes are only preparation for the ultimate attainment of the
Communist goal of armed overthrow of the government. After the workers in the factories have already
struck in general at the behest of the Communist Party thru the CLO a critical point is reached when a
signal is given for the armed forces of the Communist Party, the HMB, to intervene and carry the
revolution now being conducted outside to within the city.
On the basis of the above findings, the court below found Hernandez guilty as principal of the crime charged
against him and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua with the accessories provided by
law, and to pay the proportionate amount of the costs.
Our study of the testimonial and documentary evidence, especially those cited by the Court in its decision and
by the Solicitor General in his brief, discloses that defendant-appellant Amado V. Hernandez, as a Communist,
was an active advocate of the principles of Communism, frequently exhorting his hearers to follow the
footsteps of Taruc and join the uprising of the laboring classes against capitalism and more specifically against
America and the Quirino administration, which he dubbed as a regime of puppets of American imperialism. But
beyond the open advocacy of Communistic Theory there appears no evidence that he actually participated in
the actual conspiracy to overthrow by force the constituted authority.
Hernandez is the founder and head of the CLO. As such, what was his relation to the rebellion? If, as testified
to by Guillermo S. Calayag, the CLO plays merely the role of propagation by lectures, meetings and
organization of committees of education by Communists; if, as stated, the CLO merely allowed Communist
Party leaders to act as organizers in the different factories, to indoctrinate the CLO members into the
Communist Party and proselytize them to the Communist ideology; if, as also indicated by Calayag, the CLO
purports to attain the ultimate overthrow of the Government first by making demands from employers for
concessions until the employers find it difficult to grant the same, at which time a strike is declared; if it is only
after the various strikes have been carried out and a crisis is thereby developed among the laboring class, that
the Communist forces would intervene and carry the revolution it is apparent that the CLO was merely a
stepping stone in the preparation of the laborers for the Communist' ultimate revolution. In other words, the
CLO had no function but that of indoctrination and preparation of the members for the uprising that would
come. It was only a preparatory organization prior to revolution, not the revolution itself. The leader of the CLO
therefore, namely Hernandez, cannot be considered as a leader in actual rebellion or of the actual uprising

subject of the accusation. Hernandez, as President of the CLO therefore, by his presidency and leadership of
the CLO cannot be considered as having actually risen up in arms in rebellion against the Government of the
Philippines, or taken part in the conspiracy to commit the rebellion as charged against him in the present case;
he was merely a propagandist and indoctrinator of Communism, he was not a Communist conspiring to commit
the actual rebellion by the mere fact of his presidency of the CLO.
The court below declares that since November 1949 the Communist Party of the Philippines had declared the
existence of the revolutionary situation and since then the Party had gone underground, with the CPP leading
the struggle for national integration and that in the month of January 1950, it was decided by the said Party to
intensify the HMB military operations for political purposes. The court implicates the appellant Hernandez as a
co-conspirator in this resolution or acts of the Communist Party by his mere membership thereto. We find this
conclusion unwarranted. The seditious speeches of Hernandez took place before November, 1949 when the
CPP went underground. The court below has not been able to point out, nor have We been able to find among
all acts attributed to Hernandez, any single fact or act of his from which it may be inferred that he took part in
the deliberations declaring the existence of a revolutionary situation, or that he had gone underground. As a
matter of fact the prosecution's evidence is to the effect that Hernandez refused to go underground preferring
to engage in what they consider the legal battle for the cause.
We have also looked into the different documents which have been presented at the time of the trial and which
were confiscated from the office of the Politburo of the Communist Party. The speeches of Hernandez were
delivered before the declaration by the Communist Party of a state of revolutionary situation in 1949. Neither
was it shown that Hernandez was a member of the Executive Committee, or of the SEC, or of the Politburo of
the Communist Party; so NO presumption can arise that he had taken part in the accord or conspiracy
declaring a revolution. In short, there has been no evidence, direct or indirect, to relate or connect the appellant
Hernandez with the uprising or the resolution to continue or maintain said uprising, his participation in the
deliberations leading to the uprising being inferred only from the fact that he was a communist.
The practice among the top Communists, as declared by the trial court appears to have been for important
members, if they intend actually to join the rebellion, to go underground, which meant leaving the city,
disappearing from sight and/or secretly joining the forces in the field.
The document, Exhibit F-562, which is quoted in the decision, contains the directive of the SEC of September
1, 1950, to Saulo and Hernandez, which reads:
11. In view of the new developments in the city, send out Elias who prefers to work outside. Present
problem of fighting legally to Com. Soliman. If Soliman is prepared for martyrdom, retain him to fight
legally. If not, send him out with Elias. Same goes with Com. Mino and other relatively exposed mass
leaders.
And the lower court itself found that whereas Saulo went underground and joined the underground forces
outside the City, Hernandez remained in the City, engaged in the work of propaganda, making speeches and
causing the publication of such matters as the Communist Party leaders directed him to publish.
That Hernandez refused to go underground is a fact which is further corroborated by the following reasons
(excuses) given by him for not going underground, namely (1) that his term of councilor of the City of Manila
was to extend to December, 1951; and (2) that he was elected President of the CLO for a term which was to
end the year 1951.
As a matter of fact the SEC gave instructions to Hernandez not to be involved with Nacionalista Rebels, and
reported to the Politburo that Hernandez "has tendencies of careerism, and tending to want to deal with
leaders of the Nacionalista Party instead of following CPP organizational procedures."
The court below further found that Hernandez had been furnishing supplies for the Huks in the field. But the
very document dated December 3, 1949, Exhibit D-420422, cited in the decision (printed, p. 49), is to the effect
that clothes and shoes that Hernandez was supposed to have sent have not been received. It is true that some

clothes had been sent thru him to the field, but these clothes had come from a crew member of a ship of the
American President Lines. He also, upon request, sent a portable typewriter to the SEC or Politburo.
Furthermore, a certain Niagara Duplicating machine received by Hernandez from one Rolland Scott Bullard a
crew member of the SS President Cleveland, appease later to have been forwarded by him to the officers of
the SEC or the Politburo.
Lastly, it further appears that Taruc and other CPP leaders used to send notes to appellant Hernandez, who in
turn issued press releases for which he found space in the local papers. His acts in this respect belong to the
category of propaganda, to which he appears to have limited his actions as a Communist.
The acts of the appellant as thus explained and analyzed fall under the category of acts of propaganda, but do
not prove that he actually and in fact conspired with the leaders of the Communist Party in the uprising or in the
actual rebellion, for which acts he is charged in the information. And his refusal to go underground because of
his political commitments occasioned by his term of election as president of the CLO and the impressions
caused by his acts on the Communist leaders, to the effect that he was in direct communication or
understanding with the Nacionalista Party to which he was affiliated, creates in Us the reasonable doubt that it
was not his Communistic leanings but his political ambitions, that motivated his speeches sympathizing with
the Huks. For which reason We hold that the evidence submitted fails to prove beyond reasonable doubt that
he has conspired in the instigation of the rebellion for which he is held to account in this criminal case.
The question that next comes up for resolution is: Does his or anyone's membership in the Communist
Party per se render Hernandez or any Communist guilty of conspiracy to commit rebellion under the provisions
of Article 136 of the Revised Penal Code? The pertinent provision reads:
ART. 136. Conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion or insurrection. The conspiracy and proposal
to commit rebellion or insurrection shall be punished, respectively, by prision correccional in its
maximum period and a fine which shall not exceed 5,000 pesos, and by prision correccional in its
medium period and a fine not exceeding 2,000 pesos.
The advocacy of Communism or Communistic theory and principle is not to be considered as a criminal act of
conspiracy unless transformed or converted into an advocacy of action. In the very nature of things, mere
advocacy of a theory or principle is insufficient unless the communist advocates action, immediate and
positive, the actual agreement to start an uprising or rebellion or an agreement forged to use force and
violence in an uprising of the working class to overthrow constituted authority and seize the reins of
Government itself. Unless action is actually advocated or intended or contemplated, the Communist is a mere
theorist, merely holding belief in the supremacy of the proletariat a Communist does not yet advocate the
seizing of the reins of Government by it. As a theorist the Communist is not yet actually considered as
engaging in the criminal field subject to punishment. Only when the Communist advocates action and actual
uprising, war or otherwise, does he become guilty of conspiracy to commit rebellion. Borrowing the language of
the Supreme Court of the United States:
In our jurisprudence guilt is personal, and when the imposition of punishment on a status or on conduct
can only be justified by reference to the relationship of that status or conduct to other concededly
criminal activity (here advocacy of violent overthrow), that relationship must be sufficiently substantial to
satisfy the concept of personal guilt in order to withstand attack under the Due Process Clause of the
Fifth Amendment. Membership, without more, in an organization engaged in illegal advocacy, it is now
said, has not heretofore been recognized by this Court to be such a relationship. ... .
What must be met, then, is the argument that membership, even when accompanied by the elements
of knowledge and specific intent, affords an insufficient quantum of participation in the organization's
alleged criminal activity, that is, an insufficiently significant form of aid and encouragement to permit the
imposition of criminal sanctions on that basis. It must indeed be recognized that a person who merely
becomes a member of an illegal organization, by that "act" alone need be doing nothing more than
signifying his assent to its purposes and activities on one hand, and providing, on the other, only the
sort of moral encouragement which comes from the knowledge that others believe in what the
organization is doing. It may indeed be argued that such assent and encouragement do fall short of the

concrete, practical impetus given to a criminal enterprise which is lent for instance by a commitment on
the part of the conspirator to act in furtherance of that enterprise. A member, as distinguished from a
conspirator, may indicate his approval of a criminal enterprise by the very fact of his membership
without thereby necessarily committing himself to further it by any act or course of conduct whatever.
(Scales v. United States, 367 U.S. 203, 6 L. ed. 782)
The most important activity of appellant Hernandez appears to be the propagation of improvement of
conditions of labor through his organization, the CLO. While the CLO of which he is the founder and active
president, has communistic tendencies, its activity refers to the strengthening of the unity and cooperation
between labor elements and preparing them for struggle; they are not yet indoctrinated in the need of an actual
war with or against Capitalism. The appellant was a politician and a labor leader and it is not unreasonable to
suspect that his labor activities especially in connection with the CLO and other trade unions, were impelled
and fostered by the desire to secure the labor vote to support his political ambitions. It is doubtful whether his
desire to foster the labor union of which he was the head was impelled by an actual desire to advance the
cause of Communism, not merely to advance his political aspirations.
Insofar as the appellant's alleged activities as a Communist are concerned, We have not found, nor has any
particular act on his part been pointed to Us, which would indicate that he had advocated action or the use of
force in securing the ends of Communism. True it is, he had friends among the leaders of the Communist
Party, and especially the heads of the rebellion, but this notwithstanding, evidence is wanting to show that he
ever attended their meetings, or collaborated and conspired with said leaders in planning and encouraging the
acts of rebellion, or advancing the cause thereof. Insofar as the furnishing of the mimeograph machine and
clothes is concerned, it appears that he acted merely as an intermediary, who passed said machine and
clothes on to others. It does not appear that he himself furnished funds or material help of his own to the
members of the rebellion or to the forces of the rebellion in the field.
But the very act or conduct of his in refusing to go underground, in spite of the apparent desire of the chief of
the rebellion, is clear proof of his non-participation in the conspiracy to engage in or to foster the rebellion or
the uprising.
We next consider the question as to whether the fact that Hernandez delivered speeches of propaganda in
favor of Communism and in favor of rebellion can be considered as a criminal act of conspiracy to commit
rebellion as defined in the law. In this respect, the mere fact of his giving and rendering speeches favoring
Communism would not make him guilty of conspiracy, because there was no evidence that the hearers of his
speeches of propaganda then and there agreed to rise up in arms for the purpose of obtaining the overthrow of
the democratic government as envisaged by the principles of Communism. To this effect is the following
comment of Viada:
CUESTION 10. El que hace propaganda entre sus convecinos, induciendoles a que el dia que se
anunciara la subasta de consumes se echaran a la calle para conseguir aunque fuera preciso acudir a
la fuerza el reparto entre los vecinos ricos solamente, sera responsable de un delito de conspiracion
para la sedicion? El Tribunal Supreme ha resuelto la negative al casar cierta sentencia de la
Audiencia de Valencia, que entendio lo contrario: "Considerando que, con areglo a lo que dispone el
art. 4. del Codigo Penal, hay conspiracion cuando dos o mas personas se conciertan para la execution
de un delito y resuelven cmeterlo; y no constando que existiera ese concierto en cuanto a los hechos
que se refieren en la tercera pregunta del veredicto, pues en ella solo se habla de los actos de
induccion que el procesado realizo, sin expresar el efecto que la mismo produjo en el animo de las
personas a quienes se dirigian, ni si estas aceptaron o no lo que se las propuso, resulta evidence que
faltan los clementos integrantes de la conspiracion, etc." (Se. de 5 de Julio de 1907, Gaceta de 7 de
Enero de 1909.) (Viada, Tomo I, Codigo Penal, p. 152)
In view of all the above circumstances We find that there is no concrete evidence proving beyond reasonable
doubt that the appellant (Hernandez) actually participated in the rebellion or in any act of conspiracy to commit
or foster the cause of the rebellion. We are constrained, in view of these circumstances, to absolve, as We
hereby absolve, the appellant Amado V. Hernandez from the crime charged, with a proportionate share of the
costs de oficio.

APPEAL OF OTHER DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS


All the other defendants were found guilty as accomplices in the crime of rebellion as charged in the
information and were each sentenced to suffer the penalty of 10 years and 1 day of prision mayor, with the
accessories provided by law, and to pay their proportionate share of the costs.
Legal Considerations. Before proceeding to consider the appeals of the other defendants, it is believed
useful if not necessary to lay dawn the circumstances or facts that may be determinative of their criminal
responsibility or the existence or nature thereof. To begin with, as We have exhaustively discussed in relation
to the appeal of Hernandez, we do not believe that mere membership in the Communist Party or in the CLO
renders the member liable, either of rebellion or of conspiracy to commit rebellion, because mere membership
and nothing more merely implies advocacy of abstract theory or principle without any action being induced
thereby; and that such advocacy becomes criminal only if it is coupled with action or advocacy of action,
namely, actual rebellion or conspiracy to commit rebellion, or acts conducive thereto or evincing the same.
On the other hand, membership in the HMB (Hukbalahap) implies participation in an actual uprising or rebellion
to secure, as the Huks pretend, the liberation of the peasants and laboring class from thraldom. By
membership in the HMB, one already advocates uprising and the use of force, and by such membership he
agrees or conspires that force be used to secure the ends of the party. Such membership, therefore, even if
there is nothing more, renders the member guilty of conspiracy to commit rebellion punishable by law.
And when a Huk member, not content with his membership, does anything to promote the ends of the rebellion
like soliciting contributions, or acting as courier, he thereby becomes guilty of conspiracy, unless he takes to
the field and joins in the rebellion or uprising, in which latter case he commits rebellion.
In U.S. v. Vergara, infra, the defendants organized a secret society commonly known as the "Katipunan", the
purpose of which was to overthrow the government by force. Each of the defendants on various times solicited
funds from the people of Mexico, Pampanga. The Court held that the defendants were guilty of conspiracy and
proposal to commit rebellion or insurrection and not of rebellion or insurrection itself. Thus, the Court ruled that:
From the evidence adduced in this case we are of the opinion that the said defendants are guilty, not of
inciting, setting or foot, or assisting or engaging in rebellion, but rather of the crime of conspiring to
overthrow, put down, and destroy by force the Government of the United States in the Philippine
Islands, and therefore we find that said defendants, and each of them, did, together with others, in the
months of February and March, 1903, in the Province of Pampanga, Philippine Islands, conspire to
overthrow, put down, and to destroy by force the Government of the United States in the Philippine
Islands. (U.S. v. Vergara, et al., 3 Phil. 432, 434.)
JUAN J. CRUZ
The court found him to be a Communist with various aliases, a member of the Central Committee of the CLO
member of the Central Committee of the CPP and as such committed to the establishment of the dictatorship
of the proletariat To the same effect is the testimony of Guillermo Calayag.
There is no evidence to connect him with the rebellion or to the conspiracy to commit rebellion. He should
therefore be absolved of the charges contained in the information.
AMADO RACANDAY
The trial court found him guilty as a Communist, a Secretary and Executive Committee member of the CLO a
communications center of the Communist Party, having been found in possession of letters from Federico
Maclang to Salome Cruz, and solicitor of contributions for the Huks.
Racanday admits being a member of the Executive Committee of the CLO Editor of the Kidlat of the
Government Workers Union, receiving copies of the Titis. Calayag testified that he was a member of the

Central Committee of the Communist Party entrusted with the duty of receiving directives of the Regional
Committee of the Communist Party.
The letters found in his possession are dated February 14, 1950, before the Communist Party went
underground. We have been unable to find the evidence upon which the court bases its conclusion that he
received contributions for the Huks. With these circumstances in mind, We are not convinced beyond
reasonable doubt that as a Communist he took part in the conspiracy among the officials of the Communist
Party to take part and support the rebellion of the Huks.
We are, therefore, constrained to absolve him of the charges filed against him.
GENARO DE LA CRUZ
The court found him to be a Communist since 1945, an officer of an organized Communist branch in Pasay
City, a member of the Central Committee and Treasurer of the CLO. He admitted his membership and his
position as member of the executive committee and treasurer of the CLO these facts being corroborated by the
witness Guillermo Calayag.
His membership in the Communist Party dates as far back as the year 1945. As a communist, Genaro de la
Cruz received quotas and monetary contributions coming from the areas under his jurisdiction, and one time
he made a receipt from a member from Caloocan at the CLO headquarters at Azcarraga signing the receipt as
"Gonzalo" which is one of his aliases. He also distributed copies of the "Titis" magazine. `
While his membership in the Communist Party plus his having received contributions for the party indicate that
he is an active member, it was not shown that the contributions that he received from Communist Party
members were received around the year 1950 when the Central Committee of the Communist Party had
already agreed to conspire and go underground and support the Huk rebellion. Under these circumstances We
cannot find him guilty of conspiracy to commit rebellion because of the lack of evidence to prove his guilt
beyond reasonable doubt.
JULIAN LUMANOG
The court found him to be an organizer of HMB among the mill workers, solicited contributions for the HMB and
Central Committee member of the CLO as per Testimony of Guillermo Calayag.
He admitted that he joined the Communist Party because he was made to believe that the Party is for the
welfare of the laborers. He also admitted being a member of the Central Committee of the CLO Calayag
testified that Lumanog organized the HMB units of the Communist Party in the Lumber Unions and attended a
Communist meeting held by Maclang.
Domingo Clarin testified that he (Julian Lumanog) used to give the money collected by him to one Nicasio
Pamintuan, one of the members of the HMB Special Unit Trigger Squad) in Manila for the use of the said unit.
Considering that the HMB was engaged in a rebellion to overthrow the government, it is evident that by giving
his contributions he actually participated in the conspiracy to overthrow the government and should, therefore,
be held liable for such conspiracy, and should be sentenced accordingly.
FERMIN RODILLAS
The trial court found that Fermin Rodillas was a member of the CPP and the CLO that his activities consisted
in soliciting contributions, in cash and in kind, from city residents for the use of the HMB, turning over said
collections to the Party; that he has given asylum to a wanted Hukbalahap at his house at Juan Luna St.,
Gagalangin, which house was used as Military post. The above findings of the court are fully supported by the
testimony of Domingo Clarin.

Considering that while he has not actually taken part in the rebellion, he has shown sympathy with the cause
by soliciting contributions for it and had given shelter to the Huks. We feel that the court was fully justified in
finding him guilty, but We hold that he should be declared liable merely as a co-conspirator in the crime of
conspiracy to commit rebellion, and should be sentenced accordingly.
BAYANI ESPIRITU
This appellant was found by the court to be a Communist, he having admitted membership in the Communist
Party since 1945; that his duties as a Communist was to help in the office of the National Finance Committee,
assorting papers and written documents; that sometimes he accompanied the purchaser of medicines, shoes,
papers, foodstuffs and clothing to be given to the Huks; that he is a member of the Communication Division of
the CPP in Manila, in charge of distribution of letters or communications; that he admits having written to
Salome Cruz, courier of the Communist Party, when he asked for his necessities, such as money and shoes,
etc.
The facts found by the court are sufficiently supported by the communications and evidence submitted by the
prosecution. The exhibits show that he was in constant communication with the communists; serving them as
courier. His oath as a member of the Communist Party was submitted in court and in it he admits obedience to
all orders of the Party and to propagate the stability of the PKP.
Considering that the PKP was engaged in an actual uprising against the constituted Government and that
Bayani Espiritu was in constant communication with the Communist Party and served it as courier, We believe
that the court was fully justified in finding him guilty. However, We believe that not having actually taken up
arms in the uprising he may only be declared guilty of conspiracy to commit rebellion.
TEOPISTA VALERIO
The court below found that this appellant joined the Communists in 1938 in San Luis, Pampanga, under Casto
Alejandrino, who later became her common-law husband; that her aliases are "Estrella" and "Star"; that she
was found in possession of various documents written to top Communists like Alejandrino, Lava and Romy, as
well as a letter from Taruc congratulating her for the delivers, of a son.
Jose Taguiang testified that she was a member of the Provincial Committee of the CPP in Nueva Ecija, later
Chairman of the Finance Department, and then promoted to Finance Officer of the Central Luzon Committee.
Alicia Vergara, a Huk courier, testified that she delivered letter from the mountains to Teopista Valerie, who
was in turn also a courier.
Without considering the close relationship that she had with top Communist Casto Alejandrino, We are
satisfied that she herself was, aside from being a Huk courier, also a Huk, a member of the HMB from 1942 to
1951. As she was a Communist and at the same time a member of the HMB, and considering that the HMB
was engaged in an uprising to uproot the legitimate government, there cannot be any question that she was in
conspiracy with the other members of her Party against the constituted government. We hold, therefore, that
the evidence proves beyond reasonable doubt that she is guilty of conspiracy to commit rebellion.
DEFENDANTS NOT INCLUDED IN DECISION
In Crim. Case No. 15841 (G.R. No. L-6025) the charge against Guillermo Capadocia, Mariano P. Balgos,
Alfredo B. Saulo and Jacobo Espino was dismissed because they have not been apprehended at the time of
the trial.
PEOPLE VS. EVANGELISTA, 57 PHIL. 354 AND
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 1700, DISTINGUISHED
In the case at bar the prosecution is for actual rebellion which consists in rising publicly and taking aims
against the Government for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to said Government or its laws, the

territory of the Philippines, or any part thereof, etc., a crime defined in Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code;
whereas Evangelista was charged and convicted for inciting to rebellion under Art. 138, Revised Penal Code
(formerly Sec. 2, Act No. 292). As the specific charge against appellants is that of rising up in arms in actual
rebellion against the Government, they cannot be held guilty of inciting the people to arms under Article 138,
which is a different offense.
On the other hand, Rep. Act 1700, known as the Anti-subversion Act, which penalizes membership in any
organization or association committed to subvert the Government, cannot be applied to the appellants because
said Act was approved on June 20, 1957 and was not in force at the time of the commission of the acts
charged against appellants (committed 1945-1950) ; the Anti-Subversion Act punishes participation or
membership in an organization committed to overthrow the duly constituted Government, a crime district from
that of actual rebellion with which appellants are charged.
CONCLUSION
WHEREFORE, in Criminal Case No. 15841 (G.R. No. L-6025) defendants-appellants Amado V. Hernandez,
Juan J. Cruz, Amado Racanday and Genaro de la Cruz are absolved from the charges contained in the
information, with their proportionate share of the costs de oficio. The defendants-appellants Julian Lumanog
and Fermin Rodillas in Criminal Case No. 15841 (G.R. No. L-6025) and the defendants-appellants Bayani
Espiritu and Teopista Valerio in Criminal Case No. 15479 (G.R. No. L-6026) are hereby found guilty of the
crime of conspiracy to commit rebellion, as defined and punished in Article 136 of the Revised Penal Code,
and each and everyone of them is hereby sentenced to suffer imprisonment for five years, four months and
twenty-one days of prision correccional, and to pay a fine of P5,000.00, with subsidiary imprisonment in case
of insolvency and to pay their proportional share of the costs. So ordered.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
THIRD DIVISION
G.R. No. 182677

August 3, 2010

JOSE ANTONIO C. LEVISTE, Petitioner,


vs.
HON. ELMO M. ALAMEDA, HON. RAUL M. GONZALEZ, HON. EMMANUEL Y. VELASCO, HEIRS OF THE
LATE RAFAEL DE LAS ALAS, Respondents.
DECISION
CARPIO MORALES, J.:
Jose Antonio C. Leviste (petitioner) assails via the present petition for review filed on May 30, 2008 the August
30, 2007 Decision1 and the April 18, 2008 Resolution2 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 97761 that
affirmed the trial courts Orders of January 24, 31, February 7, 8, all in 2007, and denied the motion for
reconsideration, respectively.
Petitioner was, by Information3 of January 16, 2007, charged with homicide for the death of Rafael de las Alas
on January 12, 2007 before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City. Branch 150 to which the case was
raffled, presided by Judge Elmo Alameda, forthwith issued a commitment order 4 against petitioner who was
placed under police custody while confined at the Makati Medical Center.5
After petitioner posted a P40,000 cash bond which the trial court approved,6 he was released from detention,
and his arraignment was set on January 24, 2007.
The private complainants-heirs of De las Alas filed, with the conformity of the public prosecutor, an Urgent
Omnibus Motion7 praying, inter alia, for the deferment of the proceedings to allow the public prosecutor to reexamine the evidence on record or to conduct a reinvestigation to determine the proper offense.
The RTC thereafter issued the (1) Order of January 24, 20078 deferring petitioners arraignment and allowing
the prosecution to conduct a reinvestigation to determine the proper offense and submit a recommendation
within 30 days from its inception, inter alia; and (2) Order of January 31, 20079 denying reconsideration of the
first order. Petitioner assailed these orders via certiorari and prohibition before the Court of Appeals.
Meantime, petitioner filed an Urgent Ex-Parte Manifestation and Motion before the trial court to defer acting on
the public prosecutors recommendation on the proper offense until after the appellate court resolves his
application for injunctive reliefs, or alternatively, to grant him time to comment on the prosecutors
recommendation and thereafter set a hearing for the judicial determination of probable cause. 10 Petitioner also
separately moved for the inhibition of Judge Alameda with prayer to defer action on the admission of the
Amended Information.11
The trial court nonetheless issued the other assailed orders, viz: (1) Order of February 7, 200712 that admitted
the Amended Information13 for murder and directed the issuance of a warrant of arrest; and (2) Order of
February 8, 200714 which set the arraignment on February 13, 2007. Petitioner questioned these two orders via
supplemental petition before the appellate court.
The appellate court dismissed petitioners petition, hence, his present petition, arguing that:
PRIVATE RESPONDENT DID NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO CAUSE THE REINVESTIGATION OF THE
CRIMINAL CASE BELOW WHEN THE CRIMINAL INFORMATION HAD ALREADY BEEN FILED WITH THE

LOWER COURT. HENCE, THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A GRAVE ERROR IN FINDING THAT
RESPONDENT JUDGE DID NOT ACT WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN GRANTING SUCH
REINVESTIGATION DESPITE HAVING NO BASIS IN THE RULES OF COURT[;]
RESPONDENT JUDGE ACTED WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN ADMITTING STATE
PROSECUTOR VELASCOS AMENDED INFORMATION, ISSUING A WARRANT OF ARREST, AND
SETTING THE CASE BELOW FOR ARRAIGNMENT, CONSIDERING THAT THE VALIDITY AND LEGALITY
OF HIS ORDERS DATED 24 AND 31 JANUARY 2007, WHICH LED TO THE QUESTIONABLE
REINVESTIGATION AND ILLEGAL AMENDED INFORMATION[,] ARE YET TO BE RESOLVED BY THIS
HONORABLE COURT (sic); [AND]
CONSIDERING THAT PROSECUTOR VELASCOS FINDINGS IN HIS RESOLUTION DATED 2 FEBRUARY
2007 ARE BLATANTLY BASED ON MERE SPECULATIONS AND CONJECTURES, WITHOUT ANY
SUBSTANTIAL OR MATERIAL NEW EVIDENCE BEING ADDUCED DURING THE REINVESTIGATION,
RESPONDENT JUDGE SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST ALLOWED PETITIONERS MOTION FOR A HEARING
FOR JUDICIAL DETERMINATION OF PROBABLE CAUSE.15 (emphasis in the original omitted)
Records show that the arraignment scheduled on March 21, 2007 pushed through during which petitioner
refused to plead, drawing the trial court to enter a plea of "not guilty" for him.
Prior thereto or on February 23, 2007, petitioner filed an Urgent Application for Admission to Bail Ex Abundanti
Cautela16 which the trial court, after hearings thereon, granted by Order of May 21, 2007, 17 it finding that the
evidence of guilt for the crime of murder is not strong. It accordingly allowed petitioner to post bail in the
amount of P300,000 for his provisional liberty.
The trial court, absent any writ of preliminary injunction from the appellate court, went on to try petitioner under
the Amended Information. By Decision of January 14, 2009, the trial court found petitioner guilty of homicide,
sentencing him to suffer an indeterminate penalty of six years and one day of prision mayor as minimum to 12
years and one day of reclusion temporal as maximum. From the Decision, petitioner filed an appeal to the
appellate court, docketed as CA-G.R. CR No. 32159, during the pendency of which he filed an urgent
application for admission to bail pending appeal. The appellate court denied petitioners application which this
Court, in G.R. No. 189122, affirmed by Decision of March 17, 2010.
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) later argued that the present petition had been rendered moot since
the presentation of evidence, wherein petitioner actively participated, had been concluded. 18
Waiver on the part of the accused must be distinguished from mootness of the petition, for in the present case,
petitioner did not, by his active participation in the trial, waive his stated objections.
Section 26, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court provides:
SEC. 26. Bail not a bar to objections on illegal arrest, lack of or irregular preliminary investigation. An
application for or admission to bail shall not bar the accused from challenging the validity of his arrest or the
legality of the warrant issued therefor, or from assailing the regularity or questioning the absence of a
preliminary investigation of the charge against him, provided that he raises them before entering his plea. The
court shall resolve the matter as early as practicable but not later than the start of the trial of the case.
By applying for bail, petitioner did not waive his right to challenge the regularity of the reinvestigation of the
charge against him, the validity of the admission of the Amended Information, and the legality of his arrest
under the Amended Information, as he vigorously raised them prior to his arraignment. During the arraignment
on March 21, 2007, petitioner refused to enter his plea since the issues he raised were still pending resolution
by the appellate court, thus prompting the trial court to enter a plea of "not guilty" for him.
The principle that the accused is precluded after arraignment from questioning the illegal arrest or
the lack of or irregular preliminary investigation applies "only if he voluntarily enters his

plea and participates during trial, without previously invoking his objections thereto."19 There must be clear and
convincing proof that petitioner had an actual intention to relinquish his right to question the existence of
probable cause. When the only proof of intention rests on what a party does, his act should be so manifestly
consistent with, and indicative of, an intent to voluntarily and unequivocally relinquish the particular right that no
other explanation of his conduct is possible.20
From the given circumstances, the Court cannot reasonably infer a valid waiver on the part of petitioner to
preclude him from obtaining a definite resolution of the objections he so timely invoked. Other than its
allegation of active participation, the OSG offered no clear and convincing proof that petitioners participation in
the trial was unconditional with the intent to voluntarily and unequivocally abandon his petition. In fact, on
January 26, 2010, petitioner still moved for the early resolution of the present petition. 21
Whatever delay arising from petitioners availment of remedies against the trial courts Orders cannot be
imputed to petitioner to operate as a valid waiver on his part. Neither can the non-issuance of a writ of
preliminary injunction be deemed as a voluntary relinquishment of petitioners principal prayer. The nonissuance of such injunctive relief only means that the appellate court did not preliminarily find any
exception22 to the long-standing doctrine that injunction will not lie to enjoin a criminal
prosecution.23 Consequently, the trial of the case took its course.
The petition is now moot, however, in view of the trial courts rendition of judgment.
A moot and academic case is one that ceases to present a justiciable controversy by virtue of supervening
events, so that a declaration thereon would be of no practical use or value. 24
The judgment convicting petitioner of homicide under the Amended Information for murder operates as a
supervening event that mooted the present petition. Assuming that there is ground 25 to annul the finding of
probable cause for murder, there is no practical use or value in abrogating the concluded proceedings and
retrying the case under the original Information for homicide just to arrive, more likely or even definitely, at the
same conviction of homicide. Mootness would have also set in had petitioner been convicted of murder, for
proof beyond reasonable doubt, which is much higher than probable cause, would have been established in
that instance.
Instead, however, of denying the petition outright on the ground of mootness, the Court proceeds to resolve the
legal issues in order to formulate controlling principles to guide the bench, bar and public. 26 In the present
case, there is compelling reason to clarify the remedies available before and after the filing of an information in
cases subject of inquest.
After going over into the substance of the petition and the assailed issuances, the Court finds no reversible
error on the part of the appellate court in finding no grave abuse of discretion in the issuance of the four trial
court Orders.
In his first assignment of error, petitioner posits that the prosecution has no right under the Rules to seek from
the trial court an investigation or reevaluation of the case except through a petition for review before the
Department of Justice (DOJ). In cases when an accused is arrested without a warrant, petitioner contends that
the remedy of preliminary investigation belongs only to the accused.
The contention lacks merit.
Section 6,27 Rule 112 of the Rules of Court reads:
When a person is lawfully arrested without a warrant involving an offense which requires a preliminary
investigation, the complaint or information may be filed by a prosecutor without need of such investigation
provided an inquest has been conducted in accordance with existing rules. In the absence or unavailability of
an inquest prosecutor, the complaint may be filed by the offended party or a peace officer directly with the
proper court on the basis of the affidavit of the offended party or arresting officer or person.

Before the complaint or information is filed, the person arrested may ask for a preliminary investigation in
accordance with this Rule, but he must sign a waiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal
Code, as amended, in the presence of his counsel. Notwithstanding the waiver, he may apply for bail and the
investigation must be terminated within fifteen (15) days from its inception.
After the filing of the complaint or information in court without a preliminary investigation, the accused may,
within five (5) days from the time he learns of its filing, ask for a preliminary investigation with the same right to
adduce evidence in his defense as provided in this Rule. (underscoring supplied)
A preliminary investigation is required before the filing of a complaint or information for an offense where the
penalty prescribed by law is at least four years, two months and one day without regard to fine. 28 As an
exception, the rules provide that there is no need for a preliminary investigation in cases of a lawful arrest
without a warrant29 involving such type of offense, so long as an inquest, where available, has been
conducted.30
Inquest is defined as an informal and summary investigation conducted by a public prosecutor in criminal
cases involving persons arrested and detained without the benefit of a warrant of arrest issued by the court for
the purpose of determining whether said persons should remain under custody and correspondingly be
charged in court.31
It is imperative to first take a closer look at the predicament of both the arrested person and the private
complainant during the brief period of inquest, to grasp the respective remedies available to them before and
after the filing of a complaint or information in court.
BEFORE THE FILING OF COMPLAINT OR INFORMATION IN COURT, the private complainant may proceed
in coordinating with the arresting officer and the inquest officer during the latters conduct of inquest.
Meanwhile, the arrested person has the option to avail of a 15-day preliminary investigation, provided he duly
signs a waiver of any objection against delay in his delivery to the proper judicial authorities under Article 125
of the Revised Penal Code. For obvious reasons, this remedy is not available to the private complainant since
he cannot waive what he does not have. The benefit of the provisions of Article 125, which requires the filing of
a complaint or information with the proper judicial authorities within the applicable period, 32 belongs to the
arrested person.
The accelerated process of inquest, owing to its summary nature and the attendant risk of running against
Article 125, ends with either the prompt filing of an information in court or the immediate release of the arrested
person.33 Notably, the rules on inquest do not provide for a motion for reconsideration. 34
Contrary to petitioners position that private complainant should have appealed to the DOJ Secretary, such
remedy is not immediately available in cases subject of inquest.
Noteworthy is the proviso that the appeal to the DOJ Secretary is by "petition by a proper party under such
rulesas the Department of Justice may prescribe." 35 The rule referred to is the 2000 National Prosecution
Service Rule on Appeal,36 Section 1 of which provides that the Rule shall "apply to appeals from resolutions x x
x in cases subject of preliminary investigation/ reinvestigation." In cases subject of inquest, therefore, the
private party should first avail of a preliminary investigation or reinvestigation, if any, before elevating the
matter to the DOJ Secretary.
In case the inquest proceedings yield no probable cause, the private complainant may pursue the case through
the regular course of a preliminary investigation.
ONCE A COMPLAINT OR INFORMATION IS FILED IN COURT, the rules yet provide the accused with
another opportunity to ask for a preliminary investigation within five days from the time he learns of its filing.
The Rules of Court and the New Rules on Inquest are silent, however, on whether the private complainant
could invoke, as respondent heirs of the victim did in the present case, a similar right to ask for a
reinvestigation.

The Court holds that the private complainant can move for reinvestigation, subject to and in light of the ensuing
disquisition.
All criminal actions commenced by a complaint or information shall be prosecuted under the direction and
control of the public prosecutor.37 The private complainant in a criminal case is merely a witness and not a
party to the case and cannot, by himself, ask for the reinvestigation of the case after the information had been
filed in court, the proper party for that being the public prosecutor who has the control of the prosecution of the
case.38 Thus, in cases where the private complainant is allowed to intervene by counsel in the criminal
action,39 and is granted the authority to prosecute,40 the private complainant, by counsel and with the
conformity of the public prosecutor, can file a motion for reinvestigation.
In fact, the DOJ instructs that before the arraignment of the accused, trial prosecutors must "examine the
Information vis--vis the resolution of the investigating prosecutor in order to make the necessary corrections
or revisions and to ensure that the information is sufficient in form and substance."41
x x x Since no evidence has been presented at that stage, the error would appear or be discoverable from a
review of the records of the preliminary investigation. Of course, that fact may be perceived by the trial judge
himself but, again, realistically it will be the prosecutor who can initially determine the same. That is why
such error need not be manifest or evident, nor is it required that such nuances as offenses includible in the
offense charged be taken into account. It necessarily follows, therefore, that the prosecutor can and should
institute remedial measures[.]42 (emphasis and underscoring supplied)
The prosecution of crimes appertains to the executive department of the government whose principal power
and responsibility is to see that our laws are faithfully executed. A necessary component of this power to
execute our laws is the right to prosecute their violators. The right to prosecute vests the prosecutor with a
wide range of discretion the discretion of what and whom to charge, the exercise of which depends on a
smorgasbord of factors which are best appreciated by prosecutors.43
The prosecutions discretion is not boundless or infinite, however.44 The standing principle is that once an
information is filed in court, any remedial measure such as a reinvestigation must be addressed to the sound
discretion of the court. Interestingly, petitioner supports this view.45 Indeed, the Court ruled in one case that:
The rule is now well settled that once a complaint or information is filed in court, any disposition of the case,
whether as to its dismissal or the conviction or the acquittal of the accused, rests in the sound discretion of the
court. Although the prosecutor retains the direction and control of the prosecution of criminal cases even when
the case is already in court, he cannot impose his opinion upon the tribunal. For while it is true that the
prosecutor has the quasi-judicial discretion to determine whether or not a criminal case should be filed in court,
once the case had already been brought therein any disposition the prosecutor may deem proper thereafter
should be addressed to the court for its consideration and approval. The only qualification is that the action of
the court must not impair the substantial rights of the accused or the right of the People to due process of law.
xxxx
In such an instance, before a re-investigation of the case may be conducted by the public prosecutor, the
permission or consent of the court must be secured. If after such re-investigation the prosecution finds a
cogent basis to withdraw the information or otherwise cause the dismissal of the case, such proposed course
of action may be taken but shall likewise be addressed to the sound discretion of the court.46 (underscoring
supplied)
While Abugotal v. Judge Tiro47 held that to ferret out the truth, a trial is to be preferred to a reinvestigation, the
Court therein recognized that a trial court may, where the interest of justice so requires, grant a motion for
reinvestigation of a criminal case pending before it.

Once the trial court grants the prosecutions motion for reinvestigation, the former is deemed to have deferred
to the authority of the prosecutorial arm of the Government. Having brought the case back to the drawing
board, the prosecution is thus equipped with discretion wide and far reaching regarding the disposition
thereof,48 subject to the trial courts approval of the resulting proposed course of action.
Since a reinvestigation may entail a modification of the criminal information as what happened in the present
case, the Courts holding is bolstered by the rule on amendment of an information under Section 14, Rule 110
of the Rules of Court:
A complaint or information may be amended, in form or in substance, without leave of court, at any
time before the accused enters his plea. After the plea and during the trial, a formal amendment may only
be made with leave of court and when it can be done without causing prejudice to the rights of the accused.
However, any amendment before plea, which downgrades the nature of the offense charged in or excludes
any accused from the complaint or information, can be made only upon motion by the prosecutor, with notice
to the offended party and with leave of court. The court shall state its reasons in resolving the motion and
copies of its order shall be furnished all parties, especially the offended party.
If it appears at any time before judgment that a mistake has been made in charging the proper offense, the
court shall dismiss the original complaint or information upon the filing of a new one charging the proper
offense in accordance with section 11, Rule 119, provided the accused would not be placed in double
jeopardy. The court may require the witnesses to give bail for their appearance at the trial. (emphasis supplied)
In fine, before the accused enters a plea, a formal or substantial amendment of the complaint or information
may be made without leave of court.49 After the entry of a plea, only a formal amendment may be made but
with leave of court and only if it does not prejudice the rights of the accused. After arraignment, a substantial
amendment is proscribed except if the same is beneficial to the accused. 50
It must be clarified though that not all defects in an information are curable by amendment prior to entry of
plea. An information which is void ab initio cannot be amended to obviate a ground for quashal.51 An
amendment which operates to vest jurisdiction upon the trial court is likewise impermissible. 52
Considering the general rule that an information may be amended even in substance and even without leave of
court at any time before entry of plea, does it mean that the conduct of a reinvestigation at that stage is a mere
superfluity?
It is not.
Any remedial measure springing from the reinvestigation be it a complete disposition or an intermediate
modification53 of the charge is eventually addressed to the sound discretion of the trial court, which must
make an independent evaluation or assessment of the merits of the case. Since the trial court would ultimately
make the determination on the proposed course of action, it is for the prosecution to consider whether a
reinvestigation is necessary to adduce and review the evidence for purposes of buttressing the appropriate
motion to be filed in court.
More importantly, reinvestigation is required in cases involving a substantial amendment of the information.
Due process of law demands that no substantial amendment of an information may be admitted without
conducting another or a new preliminary investigation. In Matalam v. The 2nd Division of the
Sandiganbayan,54 the Court ruled that a substantial amendment in an information entitles an accused to
another preliminary investigation, unless the amended information contains a charge related to or is included in
the original Information.
The question to be resolved is whether the amendment of the Information from homicide to murder is
considered a substantial amendment, which would make it not just a right but a duty of the prosecution to ask
for a preliminary investigation.

The Court answers in the affirmative.


A substantial amendment consists of the recital of facts constituting the offense charged and
determinative of the jurisdiction of the court. All other matters are merely of form. The following have been
held to be mere formal amendments: (1) new allegations which relate only to the range of the penalty that the
court might impose in the event of conviction; (2) an amendment which does not charge another offense
different or distinct from that charged in the original one; (3) additional allegations which do not alter the
prosecutions theory of the case so as to cause surprise to the accused and affect the form of defense he has
or will assume; (4) an amendment which does not adversely affect any substantial right of the accused; and (5)
an amendment that merely adds specifications to eliminate vagueness in the information and not to introduce
new and material facts, and merely states with additional precision something which is already contained in the
original information and which adds nothing essential for conviction for the crime charged.
The test as to whether a defendant is prejudiced by the amendment is whether a defense under the
information as it originally stood would be available after the amendment is made, and whether any evidence
defendant might have would be equally applicable to the information in the one form as in the other. An
amendment to an information which does not change the nature of the crime alleged therein does not affect
the essence of the offense or cause surprise or deprive the accused of an opportunity to meet the new
averment had each been held to be one of form and not of substance.55 (emphasis and underscoring supplied)
Matalam adds that the mere fact that the two charges are related does not necessarily or automatically deprive
the accused of his right to another preliminary investigation. Notatu dignum is the fact that both the original
Information and the amended Information in Matalam were similarly charging the accused with violation of
Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
In one case,56 it was squarely held that the amendment of the Information from homicide to murder is "one of
substance with very serious consequences." 57 The amendment involved in the present case consists of
additional averments of the circumstances of treachery, evident premeditation, and cruelty, which qualify the
offense charged from homicide to murder. It being a new and material element of the offense, petitioner should
be given the chance to adduce evidence on the matter. Not being merely clarificatory, the amendment
essentially varies the prosecutions original theory of the case and certainly affects not just the form but the
weight of defense to be mustered by petitioner.
The Court distinguishes the factual milieus in Buhat v. CA58 and Pacoy v. Cajigal,59 wherein the amendment of
the caption of the Information from homicide to murder was not considered substantial because there was no
real change in the recital of facts constituting the offense charged as alleged in the body of the Information, as
the allegations of qualifying circumstances were already clearly embedded in the original
Information. Buhat pointed out that the original Information for homicide already alleged the use of superior
strength, while Pacoy states that the averments in the amended Information for murder are exactly the same
as those already alleged in the original Information for homicide. None of these peculiar circumstances obtains
in the present case.
Considering that another or a new preliminary investigation is required, the fact that what was conducted in the
present case was a reinvestigation does not invalidate the substantial amendment of the Information. There
is no substantial distinction between a preliminary investigation and a reinvestigation since both are conducted
in the same manner and for the same objective of determining whether there exists sufficient ground to
engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and the respondent is probably guilty thereof
and should be held for trial.60 What is essential is that petitioner was placed on guard to defend himself from
the charge of murder61 after the claimed circumstances were made known to him as early as the first motion.
Petitioner did not, however, make much of the opportunity to present countervailing evidence on the proposed
amended charge. Despite notice of hearing, petitioner opted to merely observe the proceedings and declined
to actively participate, even with extreme caution, in the reinvestigation. Mercado v. Court of Appeals states
that the rules do not even require, as a condition sine qua non to the validity of a preliminary investigation, the
presence of the respondent as long as efforts to reach him were made and an opportunity to controvert the
complainants evidence was accorded him.62

In his second assignment of error, petitioner basically assails the hurried issuance of the last two assailed RTC
Orders despite the pendency before the appellate court of the petition for certiorari challenging the first two trial
court Orders allowing a reinvestigation.
The Rules categorically state that the petition shall not interrupt the course of the principal case unless a
temporary retraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction has been issued. 63 The appellate court, by
Resolution of February 15, 2007,64 denied petitioners application for a temporary restraining order and writ of
preliminary injunction. Supplementary efforts to seek injunctive reliefs proved futile.65 The appellate court thus
did not err in finding no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the trial court when it proceeded with the case
and eventually arraigned the accused on March 21, 2007, there being no injunction order from the appellate
court. Moreover, petitioner opted to forego appealing to the DOJ Secretary, a post-inquest remedy that was
available after the reinvestigation and which could have suspended the arraignment.661avvphi1
Regarding petitioners protestations of haste, suffice to state that the pace in resolving incidents of the case is
not per se an indication of bias. In Santos-Concio v. Department of Justice,67 the Court held:
Speed in the conduct of proceedings by a judicial or quasi-judicial officer cannot per se be instantly attributed
to an injudicious performance of functions. For ones prompt dispatch may be anothers undue haste. The
orderly administration of justice remains as the paramount and constant consideration, with particular regard of
the circumstances peculiar to each case.
The presumption of regularity includes the public officers official actuations in all phases of work. Consistent
with such presumption, it was incumbent upon petitioners to present contradictory evidence other than a mere
tallying of days or numerical calculation. This, petitioners failed to discharge. The swift completion of the
Investigating Panels initial task cannot be relegated as shoddy or shady without discounting the presumably
regular performance of not just one but five state prosecutors.68
There is no ground for petitioners protestations against the DOJ Secretarys sudden designation of Senior
State Prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco as Acting City Prosecutor of Makati City for the present case 69 and the
latters conformity to the motion for reinvestigation.
In granting the reinvestigation, Judge Alameda cannot choose the public prosecutor who will conduct the
reinvestigation or preliminary investigation.70 There is a hierarchy of officials in the prosecutory arm of the
executive branch headed by the Secretary of Justice 71 who is vested with the prerogative to appoint a special
prosecutor or designate an acting prosecutor to handle a particular case, which broad power of control has
been recognized by jurisprudence.72
As for the trial courts ignoring the DOJ Secretarys uncontested statements to the media which aired his
opinion that if the assailant merely intended to maim and not to kill the victim, one bullet would have sufficed
the DOJ Secretary reportedly uttered that "the filing of the case of homicide against ano against Leviste lintek
naman eh I told you to watch over that case there should be a report about the ballistics, about the paraffin,
etc., then thats not a complete investigation, thats why you should use that as a ground" no abuse of
discretion, much less a grave one, can be imputed to it.
The statements of the DOJ Secretary do not evince a "determination to file the Information even in the
absence of probable cause."73 On the contrary, the remarks merely underscored the importance of securing
basic investigative reports to support a finding of probable cause. The original Resolution even recognized that
probable cause for the crime of murder cannot be determined based on the evidence obtained "[u]nless and
until a more thorough investigation is conducted and eyewitness/es [is/]are presented in evidence[.]"74
The trial court concluded that "the wound sustained by the victim at the back of his head, the absence of
paraffin test and ballistic examination, and the handling of physical evidence,"75 as rationalized by the
prosecution in its motion, are sufficient circumstances that require further inquiry.

That the evidence of guilt was not strong as subsequently assessed in the bail hearings does not affect the
prior determination of probable cause because, as the appellate court correctly stated, the standard of strong
evidence of guilt which is sufficient to deny bail to an accused is markedly higher than the standard of judicial
probable cause which is sufficient to initiate a criminal case.76
In his third assignment of error, petitioner faults the trial court for not conducting, at the very least, a hearing for
judicial determination of probable cause, considering the lack of substantial or material new evidence adduced
during the reinvestigation.
Petitioners argument is specious.
There are two kinds of determination of probable cause: executive and judicial. The executive determination of
probable cause is one made during preliminary investigation. It is a function that properly pertains to the public
prosecutor who is given a broad discretion to determine whether probable cause exists and to charge those
whom he believes to have committed the crime as defined by law and thus should be held for trial. Otherwise
stated, such official has the quasi-judicial authority to determine whether or not a criminal case must be filed in
court. Whether that function has been correctly discharged by the public prosecutor, i.e., whether he has made
a correct ascertainment of the existence of probable cause in a case, is a matter that the trial court itself does
not and may not be compelled to pass upon.77
The judicial determination of probable cause is one made by the judge to ascertain whether a warrant of arrest
should be issued against the accused. The judge must satisfy himself that based on the evidence submitted,
there is necessity for placing the accused under custody in order not to frustrate the ends of justice. If the judge
finds no probable cause, the judge cannot be forced to issue the arrest warrant. 78 Paragraph (a), Section
5,79Rule 112 of the Rules of Court outlines the procedure to be followed by the RTC.
To move the court to conduct a judicial determination of probable cause is a mere superfluity, for with or
without such motion, the judge is duty-bound to personally evaluate the resolution of the public prosecutor and
the supporting evidence. In fact, the task of the presiding judge when the Information is filed with the court
is first andforemost to determine the existence or non-existence of probable cause for the arrest of the
accused.80
What the Constitution underscores is the exclusive and personal responsibility of the issuing judge to satisfy
himself of the existence of probable cause. But the judge is not required to personally examine the
complainant and his witnesses. Following established doctrine and procedure, he shall (1) personally
evaluate the report and the supporting documents submitted by the prosecutor regarding the existence of
probable cause, and on the basis thereof, he may already make a personal determination of the existence of
probable cause; and (2) if he is not satisfied that probable cause exists, he may disregard the prosecutors
report and require the submission of supporting affidavits of witnesses to aid him in arriving at a conclusion as
to the existence of probable cause.81 (emphasis and underscoring supplied)
The rules do not require cases to be set for hearing to determine probable cause for the issuance of a warrant
of arrest of the accused before any warrant may be issued.82 Petitioner thus cannot, as a matter of right, insist
on a hearing for judicial determination of probable cause. Certainly, petitioner "cannot determine beforehand
how cursory or exhaustive the [judge's] examination of the records should be [since t]he extent of the judges
examination depends on the exercise of his sound discretion as the circumstances of the case require." 83 In
one case, the Court emphatically stated:
The periods provided in the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure are mandatory, and as such, the judge must
determine the presence or absence of probable cause within such periods. The Sandiganbayans
determination of probable cause is made ex parte and is summary in nature, not adversarial. The Judge
should not be stymied and distracted from his determination of probable cause by needless motions
for determination of probable cause filed by the accused.84 (emphasis and underscoring supplied)

Petitioner proceeds to discuss at length evidentiary matters, arguing that no circumstances exist that would
qualify the crime from homicide to murder.
The allegation of lack of substantial or material new evidence deserves no credence, because new pieces of
evidence are not prerequisites for a valid conduct of reinvestigation. It is not material that no new matter or
evidence was presented during the reinvestigation of the case. It should be stressed that reinvestigation, as
the word itself implies, is merely a repeat investigation of the case. New matters or evidence are not
prerequisites for a reinvestigation, which is simply a chance for the prosecutor to review and re-evaluate its
findings and the evidence already submitted.85
Moreover, under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, only questions of law may be raised in, and be subject of, a
petition for review on certiorari since this Court is not a trier of facts. The Court cannot thus review the
evidence adduced by the parties on the issue of the absence or presence of probable cause, as there exists no
exceptional circumstances to warrant a factual review.86
In a petition for certiorari, like that filed by petitioner before the appellate court, the jurisdiction of the court is
narrow in scope. It is limited to resolving only errors of jurisdiction.1avvphi1 It is not to stray at will and resolve
questions and issues beyond its competence, such as an error of judgment. 87 The courts duty in the pertinent
case is confined to determining whether the executive and judicial determination of probable cause was done
without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion. Although it is possible that error may be
committed in the discharge of lawful functions, this does not render the act amenable to correction and
annulment by the extraordinary remedy of certiorari, absent any showing of grave abuse of discretion
amounting to excess of jurisdiction.88
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The assailed Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CAG.R. SP No. 97761 are AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
FIRST DIVISION

G.R. No. L-31106 May 31, 1974


THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
BENEDICTO CORTEZ, LEOPOLDO AGUARINO, DOMINGO TOMOLOG, SALCEDO TOMOLOG, and
VICENTICO TOMOLOG, defendants, LEOPOLDO AGUARINO and VICENTICO TOMOLOG, defendantsappellants.
Office of the Solicitor General Felix Q. Antonio, Acting Assistant Solicitor General Ricardo L. Pronove, Jr. and
Solicitor Antonio M. Martinez for plaintiff-appellee.
Sancho Y. Inerto & Dominador F. Perez for defendants-appellants.

ESGUERRA, J.:p
Appeal from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Aklan, Branch II at Kalibo, in its Criminal Case No.
2007, Finding Benedicto Cortez, Leopoldo Aguarino and Vicentico Tomolog guilty of the crime of murder, the
dispositive portion of which reads as follows:
WHEREFORE, the Court finds the accused Benedicto Cortez, Leopoldo Aguarino and Vicentico
Tomolog guilty of the crime of murder and each of them is hereby sentenced to suffer the
penalty of reclusion perpetua, to pay jointly and severally the heirs of the deceased Ludovico
Tapic the amount of P12,000.00 without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to
pay the costs. The said three accused being detention prisoners, they shall be credited with one
half of the preventive imprisonment undergone by them.
The Court finds the accused Domingo Tomolog and Salcedo Tomolog not guilty of the crime
charged because of insufficient evidence and hereby acquits them with costs de oficio. The said
two accused being detention prisoners, their immediate release is hereby ordered.
In the information filed with the lower court, five persons, namely, Benedicto Cortez, Leopoldo Aguarino,
Vicentico and Salcedo (brothers) and Domingo (father), all surnamed Tomolog, were originally charged with
the murder of Ludovico Tapic. The information recites:
That on or about August 21, 1964, in the Municipality of Makato, Province of Aklan, Philippines,
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above mentioned accused, namely:
Benedicto Cortez, Leopoldo Aguarino, Domingo Tomolog, Salcedo Tomolog, and Vicentico
Tomolog, conspiring, confederating and helping one another armed with knife and bolos
and with treachery, evident premeditation and in consideration of a price or monetary reward,
with intent to kill, did then and there willfully, intentionally, feloniously, unlawfully and criminally
assault, attack one Ludovico Tapic who suffered the following injuries:
1. Stab wound, 7 cm. in length X 2 cm. in width right hypochondrium, 7.5 cm. below the right
nipple, penetrating the liver;

2. Hemorrhage, intra-abdominal severe, secondary to stab wound; as per medical certificate of


Dr. Luvisminda Kapunan attached hereto and made integral part hereof, which injuries caused
the death of said Ludovico Tapic.
Contrary to law.
Leopoldo Aguarino and Vicentico Tomolog interposed the present appeal, but during the pendency thereof
Leopoldo Aguarino died on May 23, 1970, and this Court dismissed his appeal. Benedicto Cortez the selfconfessed knife-wielder, did not appeal and he commenced serving his sentence. Hence, this appeal concerns
only Vicentico Tomolog.
The prosecution, relying principally on the testimonies of Angelina Tapic, Dr. Luvisminda Kapunan, Ricardo
Puod, Municipal Judge Rustico Quimpo, Acting Chief of Police Nicanor Tabuena and Lea Pastrana Masinda
established the following:
Angelina Tapic, wife of the deceased victim, Ludovico Tapic, testified that on August 21, 1964, at almost noon
time, she was in their house at barrio Agbalogo, Makato, Aklan when the accused, Benedicto Cortez, arrived
together with her husband. They took their lunch and afterwards, while sitting on a bench, Regalado Tranco
passed by. Her husband Ludovico requested Regalado to tap the coconut tree for tuba for them to drink, a
request acceded to by the latter. Since it took some time for Regalado to come back with the tuba, Ludovico
and Benedicto trailed Regalado. Later, Angelina also followed as she wanted to drink tuba too. When she
arrived at the house of Regalado she saw Benedicto and her husband proceed to the top of the hill. She
followed them as Rodrigo Puod, a neighbor, wanted Ludovico to go with him to the swamps. On reaching the
hilltop she prodded Ludovico to go home but the latter answered: "Yes, but you wait", and she heard him ask
Benedicto to come back on Tuesday for a drinking spree with some "pulutan". Benedicto said "yes" and asked
Ludovico: "Manong Luding, if you will be given P200.00 will you kill a man?" Ludovico answered: "I will kill a
man if I am aggrieved." When she heard this, she took hold of her husband's arm and urged that they go
home. But Benedicto Cortez immediately stood up and as they were side by side Cortez kicked her. Since she
was standing on a steeper place, she slipped down and immediately after she fell, Benedicto stabbed her
husband below the right nipple. Then she heard her husband say: "Bening, you have betrayed me". She stood
up and ran towards her husband. While she was going towards him, she saw three persons namely, Vicentico
Tomolog, Salcedo Tomolog and Domingo Tomolog running towards barrio Agbalogo while Benedicto headed
towards barrio Castillo. She shouted for help and Rodrigo Puod was the first to arrive (t.s.n. September 9, 1965
pp. 10-19).
Rodrigo Puod testified that on August 21, 1964, after noontime he was in his house located at Agbalogo,
Makato, Aklan, near Ludovico's place when he heard shouts of Angelina Tapic crying for help. He rushed to
the scene and was informed by Angelina that her husband was stabbed by Benedicto Cortez. Rodrigo Puod
went near Ludovico and inquired who his assailant was. The victim just nodded his head to a direction and
Puod following the direction of the nod, saw Benedicto Cortez and Leopoldo Aguarino running towards barrio
Castillo while the Tomologs (Vicentico, Salcedo and Domingo) were fleeing towards barrio Agbalogo. He
brought the victim to the hospital but the latter expired on the way (t.s.n. September 17, 1965, pp. 30-32)..
Dra. Luvisminda Kapunan testified that she examined the body of Ludovico Tapic at the Aklan Provincial
Hospital where she was a resident physician and thereafter issued a medico-legal report, marked as Exhibit
"A", which reads:
1. Stab wound, 7 cm. in length X 2 cm. in width, right hypochondrium, 7.5 cm. below the right
nipple, penetrating the liver.
2. Hemorrhage, intra-abdominal, severe, secondary to stab wound.
Said doctor also advanced the theory that the said wound could have been caused by a small knife locally
known as the "siyaw", like Exh. "B" (t.s.n. Aug. 23, 1965, p. 6).

Rustico Quimpo, Municipal Judge of Makato, Aklan, testified that in August 1964, he was already judge of the
municipality of Makato, Aklan; that he conducted the preliminary investigation in this case, during which time
Cortez executed a sworn statement wherein he stated that he killed Ludovico Tapic since "he was ordered or
hired to kill for a prize or reward by Leopoldo Aguarino and Domingo Tomolog" (t.s.n. December 6, 1965, pp.
21-24 Exh. "C" and "C-1" p. 3 record).
Nicanor Tabuena, sergeant of police of Makato, testified that on August 21, 1964, accused Cortez went to his
office, voluntarily surrendered and presented the knife, "Exh. B", locally known as the "siyaw" alleging that he
stabbed Ludovico Tapic. When asked for the reason why he did so, he quipped that it was self-defense (t.s.n,
Sept. 3, 1963 pp. 1-5). Tabuena, however, interrogated him further and he found out that the killing was for a
prize or reward of P200.00, thirty pesos of which was given to the assailant in advance. Tabuena further
testified that according to Cortez the reason why the reward angle was not immediately revealed to Tabuena
when Cortez surrendered was because the Tomologs and Aguarino promised to visit him in jail but since they
failed to appear and make good their promise, he decided to tell the truth (t.s.n. Dec. 6, 1965 pp. 28-30)..
Another prosecution witness, Lea Pastrana Masinda testified that she is an agent recruiting ship passengers
bound for Manila (t.s.n. ID p. 49); that she used to go places even in the mountains to recruit passengers; that
most of her passengers are from Makato; that on the last Sunday of July, 1964, while she was in the cockpit
waiting for passengers, she saw Leopoldo Aguarino, Vicentico and Salcedo Tomolog and another person
whom she identified later in court as Benedicto Cortez, drinking tuba inside the store (she was only a meter
away) she heard Leopoldo Aguarino say "Bening, (addressing Benedicto) you follow that I ordered you."
Vicentico Tomolog was also heard to say "Bening, the boxing will be finished and on other days to come,
somebody will get killed." Salcedo Tomolog however who was seated with the group was not heard to say
anything (t.s.n. Dec. 6, 1965, pp. 42-45).
Conchita Cortez, wife of knife-wielder Benedicto Cortez, when presented as witness for her husband declared
that in the afternoon of August 20, 1964, Leopoldo Aguarino and the three Tomologs went to their house in
barrio Castillo, Makato, Aklan, and while there she heard Aguarino say to her husband "Why is it Bening, that
you do not comply with what I told you to do?; that her husband replied: "I can not do what you told me to do."
To this Aguarino said: "Bening, if you will not kill Ludovico Tapic, I will kill all of your family." Thereafter, they
left but came back on the following day at 5:30 in the morning. Again Aguarino told her husband: "Come,
Bening, I have something for you."; that Vicentico Tomolog then drew his knife, made a motion as if to stab her
husband and said: "Bening, would you come or not?" Benedicto then put on his pants and went with the group
(t.s.n. Feb. 14, 1969, pp. 5-10) .
As earlier mentioned, only Leopoldo Aguarino and Vicentico Tomolog appealed. Aguarino having died during
the pendency of this appeal, We will take up the defense of alibi interposed by Vicentico Tomolog. He testified
that on August 21, 1964, he was in his house in barrio Agbalogo, Makato, Aklan, repairing its roof with his
younger brother, Salcedo Tomolog. He started putting up his roof about 6:30 a.m. but he did not finish it. He
did not go to any other place that day. He knew the deceased Ludovico Tapic, with whom he had no
misunderstanding. He does not know Lea Pastrana Masinda and he did not go to the Makato cockpit one week
before August 21, 1964. On August 21, 1964, he did not meet either Leopoldo Aguarino or Benedicto Cortez.
On that date he did not go to the house of Benedicto together with the other co-accused. His house in
Agbalogo is far from Cortez' house in Castillo. His father, Domingo, was in the forest on August 21, 1964. He
did not offer P200.00 to Cortez as a reward to kill Ludovico. He did not threaten Cortez with a knife if Cortez
would not go with him to kill Ludovico (t.s.n. Sept. 2, 1968 pp. 56-60). The size of the house he and Salcedo
were repairing was three arms length square. Nobody was living there and palay is usually stored therein
during the month of August. Usually, 20 cavans of palay are stored there for about three months. At the time of
the incident there was no palay stored there. The house needed repair two weeks before the incident, but it
was not repaired because they were busy plowing. They had already finished the repair when the palay were
harvested but they had not yet started harvesting when they repaired the house. The harvesting was not
carried out because they were arrested (t.s.n. Sept. 2, 1968 pp. 56-64).
The main issue in the case for determination is whether or not Vicentico Tomolog conspired with Benedicto
Cortez in killing Ludovico Tapic. This issue in turn hinges on the evaluation of the evidence submitted by both
parties and in the main depends on the credibility of the witnesses..

Defendants-appellants Leopoldo Aguarino and Vicentico Timolog filed a joint brief. There they assigned as
errors committed by the lower court, the following:
1. The trial court erred in giving credence of the testimony of witnesses for the prosecution as to
the alleged conspiracy between defendants-appellants Aguarino and Vicentico Tomolog and
their co-accused Cortez;
2. The trial court further erred in rejecting the defense of alibi of Aguarino and Vicentico
Tomolog, but acquitting their co-accused Domingo and Salcedo Tomolog who have the same
defense;
3. The trial court finally erred in finding that the guilt of the defendants-appellants Leopoldo
Aguarino and Vicentico Tomolog has been established by the evidence of the prosecution
beyond reasonable doubt.
The assigned errors, being interrelated, will be jointly discussed.
Appellants Aguarino and Vicentico Tomolog try to discredit the testimony of Lea Pastrana Masinda regarding
the conspiracy. The thrust of their argument is the alleged improbability of Masinda's being in Makato, Aklan,
on a particular day as the last Sunday of July, 1964, to recruit passengers for Manila when she is from barrio
Nalook, Kalibo, Aklan, another municipality, 15 kms. distant from Makato. We can not see how it was
improbable for Masinda to be at Makato, Aklan, on the last Sunday of July, 1964, considering said distance
which can be easily negotiated by car, and her testimony during the trial that as an agent her main activity is to
recruit passengers and that since all her customers are from Makato and not Kalibo (t.s.n. Sept. 9, 1965, pp.
57-58), her presence in Makato at the aforementioned time and date should not be surprising or regarded as
improbable. Moreover, witness Masinda testified that she had known Leopoldo Agualino, Vicentico Tomolog,
Salcedo Tomolog for over a period of three years; that she was their gangmate but that she did not know
Benedicto Cortez nor knew his name before the trial started. Considering the above circumstances, it is hard to
see how she could be a biased witness in favor of the prosecution. If she were so, it should be in favor of the
herein appellants with whom she is acquainted.
Appellants likewise contend that Ludovico Tapic was never mentioned in the conversation overheard by
witness Masinda as the person who was the object of the plot or target of liquidation. But subsequent events
showed that Ludovico was the main target. This can be gleaned from the testimony of none other than
Conchita Cortez, wife of the knife-wielder, who declared in court that the conspirators went to their house on
the eve of the incident and also on the very day of the killing and ordered her husband Benedicto to kill
Ludovico Tapic. Appellants claim this testimony to be highly improbable for the reason that, as stated in their
brief (p. 91, Rollo), "to kill a person is a very serious matter and should be kept in tight secrecy and that
Aguarino and Vicentico Tomolog could not have stated the order to kill within the hearing reach of Conchita
Cortez and that the latter's testimony was a mere concoction of a desperate wife who wanted to exculpate her
husband by passing the blame for the killing committed by her husband to other people." The Solicitor General
ably refuted the argument of appellants and We adopt his reasoning as follows:
Is it really as improbable as the appellants tend to portray the situation? We believe not. It is
difficult to draw a hard and fast rule as to how certain persons would act in a given situation.
While some conspirators would mask their evil intention in a cloak of secrecy, others might
openly flaunt their evil plot. Moreover, the line of reasoning of appellant ignores the fact that
Conchita is the wife of Benedicto and she would not, out of love and loyalty to her spouse,
betray her husband who was deeply involved in the liquidation scheme.
Arguing further, the Solicitor General said: .
It should be emphasized that Conchita was a defense witness. She must have been advised by
counsel for accused Benedicto Cortez that her damaging testimony against the appellants
would also be equally damaging for her husband. Yet, she still had the courage to reveal the

dastardly plot to kill Ludovico Tapic. We believe her conscience would not let her rest until she
unburdened herself of the true details of the stabbing incident.
Conchita Cortez also testified that the reason why Aguarino and the Tomologs wanted to have Tapic killed was
because they had a grudge against Tapic who had filed a complaint against them for theft of his pigs and
chickens (t.s.n. Feb. 14, 1968, p. 30).
In disputing the testimony of Angelina Tapic, widow of the victim, appellants in their brief argue: It is also
incredible that Vicentico, Salcedo and Domingo Tomolog were present at the incident because it is against the
normal course of things. In the first place, of what use is their presence there when they have already hired
Cortez to do the killing? It is very clear, therefore, that this testimony of the witness who is of course biased
because of her being the widow of the deceased is a fabrication just to link the defendants-appellants with the
killing of her husband" (p. 94 Rollo). This Court finds the reasoning devoid of merit. In People v. Peralta 1 this
Court held:
However, in order to hold an accused guilty as co-principal by reason of conspiracy, it must be
established that he performed an overt act in furtherence of the conspiracy, either by actively
participating in the actual commission of the crime, or by lending moral assistance to his coconspirators by being present at the scene of the crime, or by exerting moral ascendancy over
the rest of the conspirators as to move them to executing the conspiracy...." "Unless he has
done any of these, the mere presence of an accused at the discussion of a conspiracy, even
approval of it without any active participation in the same, is not enough for purposes of
conviction." 2
The above quoted ruling was made the basis for the acquittal of Salcedo and Domingo Tomolog who, though
they were seen at the scene of the crime and were also allegedly at the discussion of the conspiracy,
nevertheless, did not take active part nor were heard to say anything.
But conspirators Aguarino and Vicentico Tomolog who took active parts (as per testimony of Lea Masinda and
Conchita Cortez) in the plan to kill Ludovico were seen fleeing from the scene of the crime and were there to
exert moral ascendancy over Benedicto Cortez who was at first wavering so as to encourage and move him to
execute the conspiracy.
Moreover, the widow's testimony is bolstered up by the declaration of Rodrigo Puod, a neighbor who ran to the
succor of Ludovico upon hearing the cries for help of the widow. He testified that he saw the Tomologs running
towards Agbalogo while Cortez and Aguarino fled towards Castillo. Puod appears to be a person who bore
absolutely no grudge against any of the accused and the record does not disclose any untoward motive which
could have induced him to testify falsely in a prosecution for such a heinous crime as murder.
Appellants also contest the extra-judicial statement executed by Benedicto Cortez before Judge Quimpo
wherein Cortez stated that "he was ordered or hired to kill for a reward or prize by Leopoldo Aguarino and
Domingo Tomolog." Appellants claim that this extra-judicial statement should only be admissible against him
and not against the co-accused who had no participation in the execution of that affidavit. To this We fully
agree. However, it is admissible as corroborative evidence of other facts that tend to establish the guilt of his
co-defendants (People v. Simbajon, L-18073-75, Sept. 30, 1965, 15 SCRA 83, 87). In the case at bar, the
conspiracy has been proven by the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, Lea Pastrana Masinda, Angelina
Tapic and even defense witness Conchita Cortez, wife of accused Benedicto Cortez.
Another assigned error of the appellants is the rejection by the trial court of their defense of alibi. The rule is
well-settled, to the point of being trite, that the defense of alibi, which is easy to concoct, must be received with
utmost caution (People v. Supat, L-24466, March 19, 1968), for it is one of the weakest defenses that can be
resorted to by an accused and becomes worthless in the face of positive identification by prosecution
witnesses pointing to the accused as "particeps criminis". 3 Vicentico Tomolog claims that on August 21, 1964,
he was repairing the roof of his house at barrio Agbalogo, Makato, Aklan. The court a quo in rejecting his
defense made the following incisive observation which We quote with approval, thus:

... nobody was living in this house because only palay was used to be stored there and at the
time of the incident there was no palay there. If according to him, that house was needing repair
two weeks before the incident, why did he have to wait exactly on the day of the incident to
repair it? The reason he stated was that they were still busy plowing. But lie claims it was
harvest time and some were already harvesting. It seems strange that he would be busy
plowing while others were harvesting. The identity of this accused at the scene of the crime has
been positively established by Angelina Tapic and Rodrigo Puod and his active participation in
the conspiracy has been shown by Lea Masinda and Conchita Cortez. Alibi should be rejected
when the identity of the accused has been sufficiently and positively established by eye
witnesses to the crime. When nothing supports it except the testimonies of relatives and friends
and the defendant's own urging of the same, the said defense weighs and is worth nothing.
(People v. Pelagio, L-16177, May 24, 1967)
We note with interest too that the place referred to by Vicentico where he was allegedly repairing his house is
situated not far from the scene of the crime. This will not preclude the possibility that he was at the latter place
as he was positively identified by the prosecution witnesses. It is not enough to prove that the accused was
somewhere else when the crime was committed, but he must demonstrate that it was physically impossible for
him to have been at the scene of the crime at the time it in as committed (People v. Herilla, L-32786, May 21,
1973; cited in People v. Carino, et al., L-33608, Feb. 12, 1974).
The prosecution having successfully proved the existence of conspiracy the rule that once it is established, the
guilt of one conspirator is the guilt of all, has to be applied (People v. Timbang, L-43326, August 6, 1943).
Consequently, appellant Vicentico Tomolog is equally liable with Benedicto Cortez, the knife-wielder, for the
death of Ludovico Tapic.
WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is hereby affirmed insofar as it concerns appellant Vicentico
Tomolog.
Costs against appellant Vicentico Tomolog.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
THIRD DIVISION
A.M. No. RTJ-08-2131
November 22, 2010
(Formerly OCA IPI No. 05-2241-RTJ)
LORNA M. VILLANUEVA, Complainant,
vs.
JUDGE APOLINARIO M. BUAYA, Respondent.
DECISION
BRION, J.:
In a verified affidavit-complaint1 dated March 15, 2005, complainant Lorna M. Villanueva, assisted by her father
Pantaleon Villanueva, charged respondent Acting Presiding Judge Apolinario M. Buaya of the Regional Trial
Court (RTC), Branch 17, of Palompon, Leyte, with Gross Ignorance of the Law and Abuse of Authority.
In an affidavit-complaint executed on June 5, 2004,2 Villanueva accused then Vice-Mayor Constantino S. Tupa
of Palompon, Leyte, (of the crime of Qualified Seduction. She later filed another complaint against the same
accused for violation of Section 5, paragraph (b), Article III of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7610 (otherwise known
as the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act)3 with the Municipal
Trial Court (MTC) of Palompon, Leyte.
MTC Judge Delia Noel-Bertulfo forwarded the case to the Office of the Assistant Provincial Prosecutor after
finding probable cause for two counts of violation of Section 5, paragraph (b), Article III of R.A. No. 7610,
allegedly committed on October 29, 2002 and December 16, 2002. Judge Noel-Bertulfo allowed Tupa to post
bail in the amount of one hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) for each case.
On September 27, 2004, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Prudencio O. Borgueta, Jr. issued a Joint Resolution
on Review,4 recommending the filing of two separate informations for violation of Section 5(b) in relation with
Section 31,5 of R.A. No. 7610 against the accused. He likewise recommended the cancellation of the bail bond
ofP100,000.00 (per case) posted by Tupa as, under Section 31, Article XII of R.A. No. 7610, if the offender is a
public officer or employee, the penalty provided in Section 5, Article III of R.A. No. 7610 6 is imposed in the
maximum period, i.e., reclusion perpetua. Thus, bail is not a matter of right. He also added that the cancellation
of the bail bond was all the more appropriate since there was strong evidence of guilt against the accused
based on Villanuevas affidavit-complaint and her material declarations during the preliminary investigation.
The accused did not refute these declarations and, in fact, even admitted the alleged sexual acts in his
counter-affidavit and through his statements during the clarificatory hearing.
Based on the above recommendation, the Provincial Prosecutor of Leyte filed two separate Informations 7 for
violation of Section 5 (b), Article III of R.A. No. 7610, in relation with Section 31, Article XII of the same law,
against Tupa before RTC, Branch 17, of Palompon, Leyte. No bail was recommended in both cases.
Judge Eric F. Menchavez, then Presiding Judge of the RTC, Branch 17, of Palompon, Leyte, issued a warrant
for the arrest of Tupa.8 However, the warrant was not served because Tupa went into hiding and could not be
located. Meanwhile, Judge Menchavez was reassigned to the RTC in Cebu City. This led to the designation of
Judge Apolinario M. Buaya as Acting Presiding Judge of the RTC, Branch 17 on December 8, 2004.
On the very same day (December 8, 2004), Tupa allegedly surrendered voluntarily to SPO2 Charito Daau of
the Ormoc City Police Station and filed with the RTC, Branch 17 an Urgent Ex-Parte Motion to Grant Bail (expartemotion).9 Tupa argued that the Prosecutor, in recommending the denial of bail, erred in considering the

special aggravating circumstance provided in Section 31, Article XII of R.A. No. 7610 in the computation of the
penalty to be used as basis in determining his right to bail. Citing People of the Philippines v. Intermediate
Appellate Court,10Tupa contended that for purposes of the right to bail, the criterion to determine whether the
offense charged is a capital offense is the penalty provided by the law, regardless of the attendant
circumstances.
In an Order11 issued on the same day the ex-parte motion was filed, without hearing and without notice to the
prosecution, Judge Buaya granted the ex-parte motion and ordered the release of Tupa on bail.
On December 16, 2004, Villanueva moved to reconsider the order granting the ex-parte motion. She argued
that an application for bail should be heard and cannot be contained in a mere ex-parte motion. Judge Buaya
noted that Villanuevas motion for reconsideration was submitted by the private prosecutor without the
conformity of the public prosecutor, as required under the Rules on Criminal Procedure. Without acting on the
merits of the said motion, Judge Buaya issued an order allowing the accused to submit his comment or
opposition within ten days; thereafter, the matter would be submitted for resolution.
Judge Buayas differing treatment of the ex-parte motion and her motion for reconsideration apparently irked
Villanueva, prompting her to file the present administrative complaint against the RTC judge. She observed the
seeming bias and unfairness of Judge Buayas orders when he granted the ex-parte motion without the
required notice and hearing; on the other hand, he did not act on her motion for reconsideration because it was
not in the proper form, but allowed the accused to comment on her motion.
In an Indorsement dated May 4, 2005,12 then Court Administrator Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr. required Judge
Buaya to comment on the administrative complaint filed against him. The Court Administrator likewise required
the Judge to explain why no disciplinary action should be taken against him for violation of his professional
responsibility as a lawyer, pursuant to the Courts En Banc Resolution dated September 17, 2002 in A.M. No.
02-9-02-SC.13
Judge Buaya vehemently denied the charges against him in his Comment. 14 He argued that the crime charged
against Tupa was a bailable offense; when bail is a matter of right, no hearing of the motion to grant bail is
required. Thus, he stood by his order granting the accused temporary liberty, through bail, without a hearing.
His assailed order, reiterated in his comment, held that a hearing would be superfluous and unnecessary given
the peculiar and special circumstances attendant to the case. During the preliminary examination, the
investigating judge already passed upon and fixed the amount of bail for the temporary liberty of the accused.
In fact, the accused had availed of and exercised his constitutional right to bail by posting the necessary
bond.1avvphi1 In his view, the prosecution, in canceling the bail bond in its joint resolution for review, acted to
the prejudice of the accuseds paramount right to liberty. Judge Buaya, therefore, asked for the dismissal of the
present administrative complaint for lack of merit.
Villanueva filed a Reply15 contending that Judge Buayas assailed order on the ex-parte motion was contrary to
the Rules of Court requirement that a motion to grant bail must be set for hearing to afford the State and the
prosecutor their day in court. She further accused Judge Buaya of being manifestly partial as evidenced by the
two temporary restraining orders (TROs) he issued in favor of the accused in another case for quo
warranto,16then pending before the RTC, Branch 17. She observed that the first TRO read more like a decision
on the merits even though the case had not yet reached the pre-trial stage. The second TRO, on the other
hand, was allegedly issued without a hearing and was antedated.
Prior to the Office of the Court Administrators (OCAs) action on the administrative complaint, the Court of
Appeals (CA), in CA-G.R. SP No. 00449,17 rendered its decision18 on the bail issue, granting the petition
forcertiorari and prohibition filed by Villanueva, thus annulling and setting aside Judge Buayas order granting
bail to Tupa. Villanueva furnished the OCA with a copy of the CA decision.
On May 9, 2008, then Court Administrator Zenaida N. Elepao further evaluated the merits of the case and
opined that the issue of whether or not bail was a matter of right in the present case is judicial in nature. She
preferred not to resolve the administrative complaint based on the CA decision (which found the offense nonbailable) since the decision was not yet final and executory at that time. However, she found Judge Buayas

precipitate haste in granting the accused bail to be unjust. She reasoned out that since there was doubt on
whether the offense was bailable, basic considerations of fair play should have compelled Judge Buaya, at the
minimum, to consult with the prosecution and the other judge (who issued the warrant of arrest) on the reason
for not recommending bail. Court Administrator Elepao, therefore, recommended that the present
administrative complaint be re-docketed as a regular administrative case and that Judge Buaya, for lack of
prudence, be reprimanded, with a warning that a repetition of the same or similar acts in the future would be
dealt with more severely.
By Resolution of July 9, 2008,19 this Court required the parties to manifest, within ten days from notice, whether
they were submitting the matter for resolution on the basis of the pleadings filed.
In his Manifestation,20 Judge Buaya maintained his position that the offense at issue is a bailable offense,
therefore, bail is a matter of right and a hearing is not required. He further alleged that the investigating
prosecutor (who recommended that no bail should be granted to Tupa) was pressured to reverse the
investigating MTC judges recommendation for bail during the preliminary investigation stage. The prosecutor
allegedly asked for a transfer of assignment from Palompon, Leyte to Tacloban, but his request was denied,
prompting him to resign and work in a private bank.
As added proof of the lack of merit of the present administrative case filed against him, Judge Buaya furnished
this Court with the Affidavit of Desistance and Declaration Against Interest 21 executed by Villanueva, together
with the Transcript of Stenographic Notes22 of her October 11, 2007 testimony before Presiding Judge Celso L.
Mantua of the RTC, Branch 17, of Palompon, Leyte. In both documents, Villanueva retracted her accusations
against Tupa and totally denied the occurrence of the alleged acts of lasciviousness committed against her by
the accused. Judge Buaya alleged that Villanueva was merely used by certain political figures in their locality,
and was pressured to file the criminal cases against their former vice-mayor and the present administrative
case against him.
THE COURTS RULING
As a preliminary matter, we cannot give any weight to Judge Buayas unsubstantiated allegation that the
prosecutor who had recommended bail was only pressured to make his recommendation. This allegation,
aside from being unsubstantiated, is totally irrelevant to the case whose issue is the propriety of the action of
the judge in granting bail ex-parte, not the action of the prosecutor in recommending that no bail be granted.
The complainants desistance is likewise not legally significant. We reiterate the settled rule that administrative
actions cannot depend on the will or pleasure of the complainant who may, for reasons of his own, accept and
condone what is otherwise detestable. Neither can the Court be bound by the unilateral act of the complainant
in a matter relating to its disciplinary power. Desistance cannot divest the Court of its jurisdiction to investigate
and decide the complaint against the respondent. Where public interest is at stake and the Court can act on
the propriety and legality of the conduct of judiciary officials and employees, the Court shall act irrespective of
any intervening private arrangements between the parties.23
On many occasions, we have impressed upon judges that they owe it to the public and the legal profession to
know the very law they are supposed to apply in a given controversy. 24 They are called upon to exhibit more
than just a cursory acquaintance with statutes and procedural rules, to be conversant with the basic law, and to
maintain the desired professional competence.25
With the numerous cases already decided on the matter of bail, we feel justified to expect judges to diligently
discharge their duties on the grant or denial of applications for bail. Basco v. Rapatalo26 laid down the rules
outlining the duties of a judge in case an application for bail is filed:
(1) Notify the prosecutor of the hearing of the application for bail or require him to submit his
recommendation x x x;

(2) Conduct a hearing of the application for bail regardless of whether or not the prosecution refuses
to present evidence to show that the guilt of the accused is strong for the purpose of enabling the court
to exercise its discretion x x x;
(3) Decide whether the evidence of guilt of the accused is strong based on the summary of evidence of
the prosecution x x x; [and]
(4) If the guilt of the accused is not strong, discharge the accused upon the approval of the [bail bond].
x x x Otherwise, petition should be denied.
In the present case, Judge Buaya granted the ex-parte motion to grant bail on the same day that it was filed by
the accused. He did this without the required notice and hearing. He justified his action on the ex-parte motion
by arguing that the offense charged against the accused was a bailable offense; a hearing was no longer
required since bail was a matter of right. Under the present Rules of Court, however, notice and hearing are
required whether bail is a matter of right or discretion.27 Likewise, jurisprudence is replete with decisions on the
procedural necessity of a hearing, whether summary or otherwise, relative to the grant of bail, especially in
cases involving offenses punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, where bail is a matter of
discretion.281avvphi1
Judge Buaya further argued that in granting the ex-parte motion, he was merely correcting a reversible error.
Believing that the offense committed was bailable in nature, he opined that when the investigating prosecutor
revoked the bail already posted by the accused, the prosecutor gravely violated the accuseds constitutional
right to bail. Judge Buaya firmly relied on the previous order of the investigating MTC judge who, according to
him, correctly fixed the amount of bail. Thus, conducting a bail hearing on the ex-parte motion was no longer
necessary. Even assuming, however, that the previous order of the investigating MTC judge was correct in
granting bail to the accused, reliance on a previous order granting bail does not justify the absence of a
hearing in a subsequent petition for bail. 29
The Court has always stressed the indispensable nature of a bail hearing in petitions for bail. Where bail is a
matter of discretion, the grant or the denial of bail hinges on the issue of whether or not the evidence on the
guilt of the accused is strong and the determination of whether or not the evidence is strong is a matter of
judicial discretion which remains with the judge. In order for the judge to properly exercise this discretion, he
must first conduct a hearing to determine whether the evidence of guilt is strong. 30 This discretion lies not in the
determination of whether or not a hearing should be held, but in the appreciation and evaluation of the weight
of the prosecutions evidence of guilt against the accused.
In any event, whether bail is a matter of right or discretion, a hearing for a petition for bail is required in order
for the court to consider the guidelines set forth in Section 9, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court in fixing the
amount of bail.31 This Court has repeatedly held in past cases that even if the prosecution fails to adduce
evidence in opposition to an application for bail of an accused, the court may still require the prosecution to
answer questions in order to ascertain, not only the strength of the State's evidence, but also the adequacy of
the amount of bail. 32
One who accepts the exalted position of a judge owes the public and the Court the duty to maintain
professional competence at all times.33 When a judge displays an utter lack of familiarity with the rules, he
erodes the confidence of the public in the courts. A judge owes the public and the Court the duty to be
proficient in the law and is expected to keep abreast of laws and prevailing jurisprudence. Ignorance of the law
by a judge can easily be the mainspring of injustice.34
WHEREFORE, we find respondent Acting Presiding Judge Apolinario M. Buaya of the Regional Trial Court,
Branch 17, of Palompon, Leyte, GUILTY of Gross Ignorance of the Law and Grave Abuse of Authority, and is
hereby FINED Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00), with a WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar
acts in the future shall merit a more serious penalty.
SO ORDERED.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC

G.R. Nos. L-32951-2 September 17, 1971


RICARDO DE LA CAMARA, petitioner,
vs.
HON. MANUEL LOPEZ ENAGE, Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of Agusan del Norte and
Butuan City (Branch II), respondents.
Demosthenes Mediante, Puro Velez, Francisco Fabe, Federico del Puerto and Pelaez, Jalandoni & Jamir for
petitioner.
Hon. Manuel Lopez Enage in his own behalf.
RESOLUTION

FERNANDO, J.:
An order of respondent Judge Manuel Lopez Enage, fixing the bail of petitioner, Ricardo de la Camara, in the
sum of P1,195,200.00 is assailed in this petition for certiorari as repugnant to the constitutional mandate
prohibiting excessive bail. 1 The merit of the petition on its face is thus apparent. Nonetheless, relief sought
setting aside the above order by reducing the amount of bail to P40,000.00 cannot be granted, as in the
meanwhile, petitioner had escaped from the provincial jail, thus rendering this case moot and academic. It is
deemed advisable, however, for the guidance of lower court judges, to set forth anew the controlling and
authoritative doctrines that should be observed in fixing the amount of the bail sought in order that full respect
be accorded to such a constitutional right.
The facts are not in dispute. Petitioner, Ricardo, de la Camara, Municipal Mayor of Magsaysay, Misamis
Oriental, was arrested on November 7, 1968 and detained at the Provincial Jail of Agusan, for his alleged
participation in the killing of fourteen and the wounding of twelve other laborers of the Tirador Logging Co., at
Nato, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur, on August 21, 1968. Thereafter, on November 25, 1968, the Provincial
Fiscal of Agusan filed with the Court of First Instance a case for multiple frustrated murder 2 and another for
multiple murder 3 against petitioner, his co-accused Nambinalot Tagunan and Fortunato Galgo, resulting from
the aforesaid occurrence. Then on January 14, 1969, came an application for bail filed by petitioner with the
lower court, premised on the assertion that there was no evidence to link him with such fatal incident of August
21, 1968. He likewise mantained his innocence. Respondent Judge started the trial of petitioner on February
24, 1969, the prosecution resting its case on July 10, 1969. As of the time of the filing ofthe petition, the
defense had not presented its evidence.
Respondent Judge, on August 10, 1970, issued an order granting petitioner's application for bail, admitting that
there was a failure on the part of the prosecution to prove that petitioner would flee even if he had the
opportunity,but fixed the amount of the bail bond at the excessive amount of P1,195,200.00,the sum of
P840,000.00 for the information charging multiple murder and P355,200.00 for the offense of multiple
frustrated murder. Then came the allegation that on August 12, 1970, the Secretary of Justice, Vicente Abad
Santos, upon being informed of such order, sent a telegram to respondent Judgestating that the bond required

"is excessive" and suggesting that a P40,000.00bond, either in cash or property, would be reasonable. There
was likewise a motion for reconsideration to reduce the amount. Respondent Judge however remained
adamant. Hence this petition.
The answer filed by respondent Judge on March 5, 1971 set forth the circumstances concerning the issuance
of the above order and the other incidents of the case, which, to his mind would disprove any charge that he
wasguilty of grave abuse of discretion. It stressed, moreover, that the challengedorder would find support in
circulars of the Department of Justice given sanction by this Court. He sought the dismissal of the petition for
lack of merit.
In the hearing of the case set for March 31, 1971, there was no appearance for both the petitioner and
respondents with the former, upon written motion, being given thirty days within which to submit a
memorandum in lieu of oral argument, respondent Judge in turn having the same period from receipt thereofto
file his reply. Such a memorandum as duly submitted by petitioner on April 6, 1971.
Instead of a reply, respondent Judge submitted, on May 26, 1971, a supplemental answer wherein he alleged
that petitioner escaped from the provincial jail on April 28, 1971 and had since then remained at large. There
was a reiteration then of the dismissal of this petition for lack of merit, towhich petitioner countered in a
pleading dated June 7, 1971, and filed with this Court the next day with this plea: "The undersigned counsel,
therefore, vehemently interpose opposition, on behalf of petitioner, to respondent's prayer for dismissal of the
present petition for lack of merit. For, the issue in this case is not alone the fate of petitioner Ricardo de la
Camara. The issue in the present petition that calls for the resolution of this Honorable Tribunal is the fate of
countless other Ricardo de la Camaras who maybe awaiting the clear-cut definition and declaration of the
power of trial courts in regard to the fixing of bail." 4
While under the circumstances a ruling on the merits of the petition for certiorari is not warranted, still, as set
forth at the opening of this opinion, the fact that this case is moot and academic should not preclude
thisTribunal from setting forth in language clear and unmistakable, the obligationof fidelity on the part of lower
court judges to the unequivocal command of theConstitution that excessive bail shall not be required.
1. Before conviction, every person is bailable except if charged with capital offenses when the evidence of guilt
is strong. 5 Such a right flows from the presumption of innocence in favor of every accused who should not be
subjected to the loss of freedom as thereafter he would be entitled to acquittal, unless his guilt be proved
beyond reasonable doubt. Thereby a regimeof liberty is honored in the observance and not in the breach. It is
not beyondthe realm of probability, however, that a person charged with a crime, especially so where his
defense is weak, would just simply make himself scarceand thus frustrate the hearing of his case. A bail is
intended as a guarantee that such an intent would be thwarted. It is, in the language of Cooley, a "mode short
of confinement which would, with reasonable certainty, insure the attendance of the accused" for the
subsequent trial. 6 Nor is there, anything unreasonable in denying this right to one charged with a capital
offense when evidence of guilt is strong, as the likelihood is, rather than await the outcome of the proceeding
against him with a death sentence, an ever-present threat, temptation to flee the jurisdiction would be too great
to be resisted.
2. Where, however, the right to bail exists, it should not be rendered nugatory by requiring a sum that is
excessive. So the Constitution commands. It is understandable why. If there were no such prohibition, the right
to bail becomes meaningless. It would have been more forthright if no mention of such a guarantee were found
in the fundamental law. It is not to be lost sight of that the United States Constitution limits itself to a prohibition
against excessive bail. 7 As construed in the latest American decision, "the sole permissible function of money
bail is to assure the accused's presence at trial, and declared that "bail set at a higher figure than an amount
reasonablycalculated to fulfill thus purpose is "excessive" under the Eighth Amendment." 8
Nothing can be clearer, therefore, than that the challenged order of August 10, 1970 fixing the amount of
P1,195,200.00 as the bail that should be posted by petitioner, the sum of P840,000.00 for the information
charging multiple murder, there being fourteen victim, and the sum of P355,200 for the other offense of
multiple frustrated murder, there being twelve victims, is clearly violative of constitutional provision. Under the
circumstances, there being only two offenses charged, the amount required as bail could not possibly exceed

P50,000.00 for the information for murder and P25,000.00 for the other information for frustrated murder. Nor
should it be ignored in this case that the Department of Justice did recomend the total sum of P40,000.00 for
the twooffenses.
3. There is an attempt on the part of respondent Judge to justify what, on its face, appears to be indefensible
by the alleged reliance on Villaseor v. Abano. 9 The guidelines in the fixing of bail was there summarized, in
the opinion of Justice Sanchez, as follows: "(1) ability of the accused to give bail; (2) nature of the offense; (3)
penalty for the offense charged; (4) character and reputation of the accused; (5) health of the accused; (6)
character and strength of the evidence; (7) probability of the accused appearing in trial; (8) forfeiture of other
bonds; (9) whether the accused wasa fugitive from justice when arrested; and (10) if the accused is under
bond for appearance at trial in other cases." 10 Respondent Judge, however, did ignore this decisive
consideration appearing at the end of the above opinion: "Discretion, indeed, is with the court called upon to
rule on the question of bail. We must stress, however, that where conditions imposed upon a defendant
seeking bail would amount to a refusal thereof and render nugatory the constitutional right to bail, we will not
hesitate to exercise our supervisorypowers to provide the required remedy." 11
No attempt at rationalization can therefore give a color of validity to the challenged order. There is grim irony in
an accused being told that he has a right to bail but at the same time being required to post such an exorbitant
sum. What aggravates the situation is that the lower court judge would apparently yield to the command of the
fundamental law. In reality, such a sanctimonious avowal of respect for a mandate of the Constitution was on a
purely verbal level. There is reason to believe that any person in the position of petitioner would under the
circumstances be unable to resists thoughts of escaping from confinement, reduced as he must have been to a
stateof desperation. In the same breath that he was told he could be bailed out, the excessive amount required
could only mean that provisional liberty would bebeyond his reach. It would have been more forthright if he
were informed categorically that such a right could not be availed of. There would have beenno disappointment
of expectations then. It does call to mind these words of Justice Jackson, "a promise to the ear to be broken to
the hope, a teasing illusion like a munificent bequest in a pauper's will." 12 It is no wonder that the resulting
frustration left resentment and bitterness in its wake.Petitioner's subsequent escape cannot be condoned. That
is why he is not entitled to the relief prayed for. What respondent Judge did, however, does call for repudiation
from this Court.
Nor is there any justification then for imputing his inability to fix a lesser amount by virtue of an alleged reliance
on a decision of this Tribunal. Even if one were charitably inclined, the mildest characterization of such a result
is that there was a clear reading of the Abano opinion when such a meaning was ascribed to it. No doctrine
refinement may elicit approval if to doso would be to reduce the right to bail to a barren form of words. Not only
isthe order complained of absolutely bereft of support in law, but it flies in the face of common sense. It is not
too much to say that it is at war with thecommand of reason.
With petitioner, however, having escaped from the provincial jail, no ruling can be had on his plea to nullify the
above order.
WHEREFORE, this case is dismissed for being moot and academic. Without pronouncement as to costs.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
SECOND DIVISION

G.R. No. L-40003 October 28, 1986


SHIRLEY YAP, in her own behalf and in her capacity as Administratrix of the estate of MANING YAP,
JAIME YAP, and TALINA BIANONG VDA. DE YAP, petitioners,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, NANCY J. YAP, MANING YAP, JR., JULIA YAP, JASMIN YAP, and SAMUEL
YAP,respondents.
Francisco Villanueva for petitioners.
Ramon Tuangco for respondents.

GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:


This is a petition to review the decision of the Court of Appeals which set aside the earlier decision of the then
Court of First Instance of Lanao del Sur in Special Proceeding No. 1334 (R-61), declaring the petitioners as the
legal heirs of the late Maning Yap entitled to inherit his estate and dismissing the opposition filed by the private
respondents. The dispositive portion of the decision on appeal reads:
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby set aside and, after a complete and
correct inventory is returned by the administratrix, the entire estate of the deceased Maning Yap
shall be divided into two equal parts, one-half (1/2) corresponding to the petitioner Talina
Bianong and her children Shirley Yap and Jaime Yap and the other half corresponding to the
oppositors Nancy J. Yap and her children Maning Yap, Jr., Julia Yap, Jasmin Yap and Samuel
Yap, without pronouncement as to costs.
Maning Yap, during his lifetime married twice: first, to Talina Bianong in 1939 and second, to Nancy Yap on
December 11, 1948.
Maning Yap and Talina Bianong were married at Bara-as Plantation, Malabang, Lanao del Sur, in accordance
with the Muslim rites and practices prescribed by the Islam religion professed by both of them. Immediately,
after the marriage, the couple lived in the house of the parents of Maning Yap at the poblacion of Malabang,
Lanao del Sur. Out of the marriage, four children were born; two of them died in infancy during the Japanese
occupation, while the two others are petitioners Shirley Yap and Jaime Yap.
While the first marriage was still subsisting, Maning Yap married Nancy J. Yap on December 11, 1948 in a civil
ceremony performed by District Judge Juan Sarenas of the Court of First Instance of Cotabato. Nancy Yap
entered into the marriage in the belief that Maning Yap was not a married man. They had four children, namely
respondents Maning Yap, Jr., Julia Yap, Jasmin Yap and Samuel Yap. On February 21, 1964, Maning Yap
died in Piagapo, Lanao del Sur, in the crash of an airplane of the Philippine Air Lines. At the time of his death
he, therefore, had two families living separately about 80 kilometers apart.
On March 3, 1964, Talina Bianong Vda. de Yap filed Special Proceeding No. 1334 (Intestate Estate of Maning
Yap) before the Court of First Instance of Lanao del Sur, seeking the issuance of letters of administration for

the estate of Maning Yap. Among other things, the petition alleged that Maning Yap left personal and real
properties all located at Malabang, Lanao del Sur, with an approximate value of P100,000.00.
The petition was opposed by Nancy J. Yap and her minor children on the ground that she is the legitimate
widow of Maning Yap and that Maning Yap, Jr., Julia Yap, Jasmin Yap and Samuel Yap, all minors, are their
legitimate children.
Talina Bianong was initially appointed special administratrix of the intestate estate of Maning Yap. However,
after a formal hearing and on recommendation of Talina, the lower court appointed Shirley Yap as regular
administratrix of the intestate estate of Maning Yap.
Various claims filed by the creditors against the intestate estate of Maning Yap were duly approved by the
court and paid by the administratrix. Since there still existed a residue of the intestate estate consisting of real
and personal properties and collectible debts after payments to creditors, the court set the case for hearing to
arrive at a declaration of heirship for the purpose of liquidating the conjugal partnership of the late Maning Yap
and his surviving spouse and to determine the heirs entitled to inherit his intestate estate.
After trial, the lower court rendered decision declaring Talina Bianong and her children as the legal heirs of
Maning Yap. The dispositive portion of the decision reads:
IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, judgment is hereby rendered:
(a) Declaring Talina Bianong, Shirley Yap and Jaime Yap, the legal heirs of the late Maning Yap
and entitled to inherit or succeed to his intestate with Talina Bianong, as his surviving spouse,
and Shirleyt Yap and Jaime Yap, as his surviving legitimate children;
(b) Adjudicating to Talina Bianong one-third (1/3) of the whole intestate estate of the late Maning
Yap, as her share, pursuant to Art. 996 of the New Civil Code; to Shirley Yap, the other onethird (1/3) as her share and to Jaime Yap the remaining one-third (1/3), also as his share,
pursuant to Art. 980 in conjunction with Art. 996 of the new Civil Code.
The opposition and claim of the opposition is hereby dismissed without costs.
Upon appeal by Nancy Yap and her children, the appellate court reversed and set aside the decision. As
stated earlier, the Court of Appeals ruled that the estate of Maning Yap should be equally divided into two
equal parts: one-half (1/2) to Talina Bianong and her children and the other half (1/2) to Nancy Yap and her
children.
The appellate court applied the ruling in Lao and Lao v. Dee Tim (45 Phil. 739). The facts in the cited case are
similar to the case at bar in that Yap Siong in his lifetime contracted two marriages; first to Dee Tim on
September 14, 1893 in China with whom he had three children and second to Maria Lao on June 24, 1903 with
whom he had one child. Moreover, Maria Lao entered into the marriage believing that Yap Siong was not then
a married man. Yap Siong died on September 1922 leaving properties which were claimed by the two families.
In resolving the issue on how the properties of Yap Siong should be divided, this Court applied the Leyes de
Partidas (Law 1; Title 13, Partida 4), to wit:
xxx xxx xxx
... [W]here two wome innocently and in good faith are legally united in holy matrimony to the
same man, their children and each family will be entitled to one-half of the estate of the husband
upon distribution of his estate. That provision of the Leyes de Partidas is a very humane and
wise law. It justly protects those who innocently have entered into the solemn relation of
marriage and their descendants. The good faith of all the parties will be presumed until the
contrary is positive proved. (Articles 69, Civil Code; Las Leyes de Matrimonio, section 96;
Gaines v. Hennen, 65 U.S., 553).

A woman who is deceied by a man who respresents himself as single and who marries him, she
and her children born while the deception lasted, under the Spanish law, are entitled to all the
rights of a legitimate wife and children. The common law allowing none of the incidents of a true
marriage to follow another marriage entered into during the continuance of a first, was early
found to work a great injustice upon the innocent parties to the second marriage, and specially
upon the offspring of such second marriage. ...
The petitioners now contend that Maning Yap died in 1964 when the New Civil Code had already super ed the
old Spanish Civil Code. They state that pursuant to Article 2263 of the New Civil Code, the distribution of the
estate of Maning Yap should be in accordance with, the new codal provisions and not the Leyes Partidas,
which is an old law no longer applicable,
We agree.
Article 2263, a transitional provision in the New Civil Code which took effect on August 30, 1950 states:
Rights to the inheritance of a person who died, with or without a will, before the effectivity of this
Code, shall be governed by the Civil Code of 1889, by other previous laws, and by the Rules of
Court. The inheritance of those who, with or without a will die after the beginning of the
effectivity of this Code, shall be adjudicated and distributed in accordance with this new body of
laws and by the Rules of Court; but the testamentary provisions shall be carried out insofar as
they may be permitted by this Code. Therefore, legitimes, betterments, legacies and bequests
shall be respected; however, their amount shall be reduced if in no other manner can every
compulsory heir be given his full share according to this Code. (Rule 12a)
The Report of the Code Commission explains the rule, to wit:
The decisive fact which gives origin to the right of the heirs, devisees and legatees is the death
of the decedent. This is the basis of the foregoing rule. No heir, devisee or legatee has any
vested right until the moment of such death (Civil Code, Padilla, Volume VII, 1975, p. 712).
We have accordingly ruled that the rights to the inheritance of a person who died before the effectivity of the
New Civil Code shall be governed by the Civil Code of 1889, by other previous laws and by the Rules of Court
(See Vidaurrazaga v. Court of Appeals, 91 Phil. 492; Canales v. Arrogante, 91 Phil. 9; and Morales, et al. v.
Yaez, 98 Phil. 677), while the rights to the inheritance of a person who died after the effectivity of the New
Civil Code shall be governed by the New Civil Code (Del Prado v. Santos, 18 SCRA 68).
There is no dispute that the marriage of Talina Bianong to Maning Yap was valid and that the second marriage
contracted by the latter with Nancy Yap was illegal and void pursuant to Act 3613 of the Philippine Legislature,
the Marriage Law which was in force when the two marriages were celebrated to wit:
SEC. 29. Illegal Marriages. Any marriage subsequently contracted by any person during the
lifetime of the first spouse of such person with any person other than such first spouse shall be
illegal and void from its performance, unless;
(a) The first marriage was annulled or dissolved;
(b) The first spouse had been absent for seven consecutive years at the time of the second
marriage without the spouse present having news of the absentee being alive, or the absentee
being generally considered as dead and believed to be so by the spouse present at the time of
contracting such subsequent marriage, the marriage so contracted being valid in either case
until declared null and void by a competent court.
Bearing this in mind, how must the estate of Maning Yap be distributed?

The records show that the real and personal properties under administration in the intestate estate
proceedings of Maning Yap were acquired by Talina Bianong and the deceased Maning Yap during their
marriage. Hence, these properties, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary are considered conjugal
properties of Talina Bianong and Maning Yap (Article 142, New Civil Code). Considering that there was no
liquidation of the conjugal partnership of gains during the lifetime of Maning Yap, such liquidation must be
carried out in the intestate proceedings of Maning Yap, the deceased spouse as expressly provided in Section
2, Rule 73, Revised Rules of Court (Lapuz v. Eufemio, 43 SCRA 177).
Article 142 of the New Civil Code provides:
By means of the conjugal partnership of gains the husband and wife place in a common fund
the fruits of their separate property and the income from their work or industry, and divide
equally, upon the dissolution of the marriage or of the partnership, the net gains or benefits
obtained indiscriminately by either spouse during the marriage.
and Article 185 thereof states:
The net remainder of the conjugal partnership of gains shall be divided equally between the
husband and the wife or their respective heirs, unless a different basis of division was agreed
upon in the marriage settlements.
Pursuant to these provisions, the net remainder of the conjugal partnership of gains after money claims filed by
creditors against the intestate estate of Maning Yap approved by the lower court have been paid by the
administratrix should be equally divided between Maning Yap and Talina Bianong as their shares. The one-half
share of Maning Yap would then comprise his intestate estate to be distributed among his heirs. (See also
Vda. de Delizo v. Delizo, 69 SCRA 216)
Under the law of succession in the New Civil Code, Maning Yap's legal heirs are Talina Bianong, her children
Shirley Yap and Jaime Yap and the children of Nancy Yap by Maning Yap namely: Maning Yap, Jr., Julia Yap,
Jasmin Yap and Samuel Yap. Talina Bianong, the first wife had not lost or relinquished her status as putative
heir of her husband. She is entitled to share in Maning Yap's estate upon his death (Gomez v. Lipana, 33
SCRA 615). On the other hand, Nancy Yap, the second wife cannot inherit from Maning Yap because their
marriage was void ab initio. (Art. 83, New Civil Code; People v. Mendoza, 95 Phil. 845) However, Nancy Yap's
children by Maning Yap have the status of natural children by legal fiction and are considered compulsory heirs
of the late Maning Yap. (Articles 89 and 887, New Civil Code).
Considering the foregoing, the estate of Maning Yap which is one-half (1/2) pro indiviso of the net remainder of
the conjugal partnership of gains of the first marriage (Articles 142 and 185 New Civil Code), the other half
being the share of Talina Bianong, should be distributed as follows:
a. To the legitimate children, Shirley Yap and Jaime Yap-one-half (1/2) of the resulting net
estate to be divided equally between them pursuant to Article 888 of the New Civil Code;
b. To the legitimate widow Talina Bianong one-fourth (1/4) of the net estate taken from the free
portion or disposable half of the estate pursuant to Article 999 in relation. to Article 897 of the
New Civil Code; and
c. To the natural children by legal fiction --Maning Yap, Jr., Julia Yap, Jasmin Yap and Samuel
Yap-the remaining one-fourth (1/4) of the net estate to be shared equally between them
pursuant to the first and third paragraphs of Article 895 in relation to Article 983 of the New Civil
Code.
WHEREFORE, the instant PETITION is GRANTED. The questioned decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby
REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The widow, Talina Bianong shall receive one half (1/2) of the whole intestate

estate as her share in the net remainder of the conjugal partnership of gains. The other half, which is the net
estate of the late Maning Yap, is distributed and adjudicated as stated above.
SO ORDERED.