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Carlos L.

Tanenggee vs People of the Philippines


GR No. 179448
June 26, 2013

Facts:

There were five separate information for estafa through falsification of commercial documents
were filed against petitioner. The said information portray the same mode of commission of the
crime as in Criminal case No. 98-163806 but differ with respect to the numbers of the checks
and promissory notes involved and the dates and amounts.
In January 1998, two Metrobank auditors conducted an audit of the Commercio Branch for
more than a week. Therefore, an appellant was asked by Elvira Ong-Chan, senior vice president
of Metrobank, to report to the Head Office on the following day.
In his surprise, there were seven other people present in the said office: two senior branch
officers, two bank lawyers, two policemen, and a representative of the internal affairs unit of
the bank, Valentino Elevado.
Appellant claimed that Elevado asked him to sign a paper in connection with the audit
investigation; that he inquired what he was made to sign but was not offered any explanation;
that he was intimidated to sign and was threatened by the police that he will be brought to the
precinct if he will not sign; that he was not able to consult a lawyer since he was not apprised of
the purpose of the meeting; and that just to get it over with he signed the paper which turned
out to be a confession.
After the said meeting, appellant wanted to see Tan but was unable to find the latter and he
cannot even contact him. He asserts that the said written statement was taken in violation of his
rights under Section 12, Article III of the Constitution, particularly of his right to remain silent,
right to counsel, and the right to be informed of the first two rights.
Hence, the same should not have been admitted in evidence against him.

Issue:

Whether or not the written statement executed by the appellant is admissible in evidence?

Held:

Yes. Petitioners written statement is admissible as evidence. Here, petitioners written


statement was given during an administrative inquiry conducted by his employer in connection
with an anomaly or irregularity he allegedly committed in the course of his employment. No
error can therefore be attributed to the courts below in admitting in evidence and in giving due
consideration to petitioners written statement as there is no constitutional impediment to its
admissibility.
Petitioners written statement was given voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently. His attempts to
convince us that he signed, under duress and intimidation, an already prepared typewritten
statement. However, his claims lacks sustainable basis and his supposition is just an
afterthought for there is nothing in the records that would support his claim of duress and
intimidation.

Ratio:

It is settled that a confession or admission is presumed voluntarily until the contrary is


proved and the confessant bears the burden of proving the contrary.
Petitioners failed to overcome this presumption. His written statement was found to have
been executed freely and consciously. The pertinent details he narrated in his statement
were of such nature and quality that only a perpetrator of the crime could finish.