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A. G.R. NO. 197293, ALFREDO MENDOZA V.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND


JUNO CARS, INC., APRIL 21, 2014

Facts:

In this case Juno Cars, Inc. hired Alfredo Mendoza as a trade-in/ used car
supervisor. Upon a partial audit conducted by its dealer/ operator, it was discovered
that 5 cars had been sold and released by Mendoza without the dealers or the
finance managers approval. The said audit also showed that the buyers of the
subject cars made payments but Mendoza failed to remit such payments.
Consequently, Juno Cars filed a complaint against Mendoza alleging that the latter
pilfered an amount to its prejudice and damage. Mendoza raised Juno Cars
supposed failure to prove ownership over the 5 cars or its right to possess the
purported unremitted payments. Hence, it could not have suffered damage.

Prosec. Rey Delgado issued a resolution finding probable cause and


recommending the finding of information against Mendoza for qualified theft and
estafa. The RTC then issued an order dismissing the complaint stating that the
evidence adduced does not support a finding of probable cause for the offenses
charged. Consequently, Juno Cars filed a petition for Certiorari with the Court of
Appeals, arguing that the determination of probable cause and the decision whether
or not to file a criminal case in court rightfully belongs to the public prosecutor. The
CA then reversed the decision of the RTC and reinstated the case, ruling that the
trial court acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction in supplementing the findings
of the public prosecutor of probable cause with its own findings of insufficiency of
evidence and lack of probable cause. Hence, this present case.

Issue:

Whether or not the trial court may dismiss an information filed by the public
prosecutor on the basis of its own findings of lack of probable cause.

Ruling:

The High Tribunal ruled in the affirmative. While the information filed by the
public prosecutor was valid, the trial court still had the discretion to make its own
findings of whether probable cause existed to order the arrest of Mendoza and
proceed with the trial. The executive determination of probable cause concerns
itself with whether there is lack of evidence to support an information being filed.
The judicial determination of probable cause, on the other hand, determines
whether a warrant of arrest should be issued. The Constitution prohibits the
issuance of search warrants or warrants of arrest where the judge has not
personally determined the existence of probable cause. The phrase upon probable
cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or
affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses, he may produce allows a
determination of probable cause by the judge ex parte. For this reason, Sec. 6, Par.
(a) of Rule 112 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure mandates the judge to
immediately dismiss the case if the evidence on record fails to establish probable
cause. Accordingly, with the present laws and jurisprudence on the matter, Judge
Capco-Umali correctly dismissed the case against Mendoza.

B. G.R. NO. 187769, ALVIN PATRIMONIO V. NAPOLEON GUTIERREZ AND OCTAVIO MARASIGAN, III, JUNE 4, 2014

Facts:

In this case, petitioner (Patrimonio) and respondent (Guttierez) entered into a


business venture under the name Slam Dunk Corporation. Petitioner pre-signed
several check for the expenses of the business. The checks were signed, however,
the payees name, date or amount were not indicated in the said checks. The blank
checks were entrusted to Guttierez with the instruction that he cannot fill them out
without petitioners approval.

Sometime in 1993, without petitioners knowledge and consent, Guttierez


borrowed money from co-respondent Marasigan in the amount of P 200,000. The
latter acceded to Guttierezs request and gave him the amount. Simultaneously,
Guttierez delivered to Marasigan one of the blank checks pre-signed by petitioner.
However, it was dishonored by the bank on the reason of closed account.

Marasigan sought recovery from Guttierez, but to no avail. Hence, he sent


several demand letters to petitioner, but to no avail as well. Thus, he filed a criminal
case under B.P. 22 against petitioner. On the other hand, Petitioner filed with the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Loan and
Recovery of Damages against Respondents, invoking that he never authorized the
loan.

The trial court ruled in favor of Marasigan and found petitioner, in issuing the
pre-signed blank checks, had the intention of issuing the check even without his
approval. On appeal to the Court of Appeals, the appellate court affirmed the
decision of the RTC. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE:

Whether or not petitioner is liable to the loan contracted by Guttierez to


Marasigan?

RULING:

The Supreme Court ruled in the negative. Under Art. 1878, Par. 7 of the Civil
Code, a written authority is required when the loan is contracted through an agent.

In the case at bench, the petitioner is not bound by the contract of loan since
the records reveal that Guttierez did not have any authority to borrow money in
behalf of petitioner. Records do not show that the petitioner executed any special
power of attorney in favor of Guttierez to borrow in his behalf, hence, the act of
Guttierez is in violation of the said provision, and thus, he should be the only one
liable for the loan he was not able to settle.

Furthermore, that the petitioner entrusted the blank pre-signed checks to


Gutierrez is not legally sufficient because the authority to enter into a loan can
never be presumed. The contract of agency and the special fiduciary relationship
inherent in this contract must exist as a matter of fact. The person alleging it has
the burden of proof to show, not only the fact of agency, but also its nature and
extent.

D. G.R. NO. 192912, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES V. DEMOCRITO PARAS,


OCTOBER 22, 2014

Facts:

In this case, Democrito Paras was charged with one count of rape. The
Regional Trial Court found Paras guilty as charged which was affirmed by the Court
of Appeals . Paras appealed the decision of CA before the Supreme Court. The Court
affirmed the judgment of conviction against Paras. However, Police Superintendent
Roberto R. Rabo, Officer-in-Charge of the New Bilibid Prison, informed the Court that
Paras had died at the New Bilibid Prison Hospital.

Issue:

Whether or not the civil liability of Paras is extinguished together with his
criminal liability in case of death pending appeal?

Ruling:

The Supreme Court ruled in the affirmative. Under Art. 89, Par. 1 of the
Revised Penal Code, as amended, the death of an accused pending his appeal
extinguishes both his criminal and civil liability ex delicto. The Court, in People v.
Bayotas, enunciated the following guidelines construing the above provision in case
the accused dies before final judgment:

1. Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his


criminal liability as well as the civil liability based solely thereon. As opined by
Justice Regalado, in this regard, "the death of the accused prior to final judgment
terminates his criminal liability and only the civil liability directly arising from and
based solely on the offense committed, i.e., civil liability ex delicto in
sensostrictiore."

2. Corollarily, the claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding the death of
accused, if the same may also be predicated on a source of obligation other than
delict. Article 1157 of the Civil Code enumerates these other sources of obligation
from which the civil liability may arise as a result of the same act or omission: a)
Law; b) Contracts; c) Quasi-contracts; d) xxx; e) Quasi-delicts.

3. Where the civil liability survives, as explained in Number 2 above, an


action for recovery therefore may be pursued but only by way of filing a separate
civil action and subject to Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal
Procedure as amended. This separate civil action may be enforced either against
the executor/administrator or the estate of the accused, depending on the source of
obligation upon which the same is based as explained above.

Moreover, upon the death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction,
the criminal action is extinguished inasmuch as there is no longer a defendant to
stand as the accused; the civil action instituted therein for the recovery of civil
liability ex delicto is ipso facto extinguished, grounded as it is on the criminal action.

In this case, when Paras died on January 24, 2013, his appeal to the Court
was still pending. The death of Paras, thus, extinguished his criminal liability, as well
as his civil liability directly arising from and based solely on the crime committed.
F. G.R. NO. 205867, MARIFLOR HORTIZUELA V. GREGORIO TAGUFA, ET AL.,
FEBRUARY 23, 2015

Facts:

In this case, Mariflor Hortizuela, represented by Jovier Tagufa, filed an action


for Reconveyance and Recovery of Possession with damages against Gregoria and
others (respondents). According to her, prior to the issuance of the title to the lot,
her parents Epifanio and Godofreda originally owned the lot. They then mortgaged
the property to the Development Bank of the Philippines, which foreclosed it upon
failure of the spouses to redeem the property. DBP then sold it to Atty. Romulo
Marquez, who then sold it back to Runsted, Gregorias husband using funds sent by
Mariflor who was then working at the United States, with the agreement that
Runsted will reconvey the lot to his sister (Mariflor) when demanded. Mariflor soon
discovered that the same lot was titled in the name of Gregoria Tagufa under OCT
No. P-84609 by virtue of a free patent application before the DENR and execution of
a Deed of Extra-judicial Settlement of Estate of the spouses Leando and Remedios
Tagufa, thus she sought to recover possession of the property.

The MCTC dismissed the complaint, ruling that Mariflor resorted to a wrong
remedy in filing the case. The RTC however reversed the MCTC. It ordered Gregoria
to reconvey the property to Mariflor. On petition for review to the CA, the latter
reversed the RTC. Although an action for reconveyance, the same is clearly an
attack on the validity of OCT No. P-84609, which is not allowed by Sec. 48 of PD
1529, which proscribes collateral attacks on Torrens titles. The issue of whether or
not a title was fraudulently issued should be treshed out in a direct proceeding.
Consequently, Mariflor appealed to the SC. She maintains that her action was not
an action to nullify the title, but merely to reconvey the property covered by that
title, as Gregoria was clearly aware of the sale by Atty. Marquez to her husband,
Runsted. On the other hand, the respondents argue otherwise. The fact that
Mariflor filed the action for reconveyance was because she failed to file within one
year the action for reversion as a remedy provided under Act 496. Further, Mariflor
being an American citizen, is not allowed to own land in the Philippines.

Issue:

Whether or not an action for reconveyance is an indirect or collateral attack


on a title which is prohibited by law.

Ruling

The Supreme Court ruled in the negative.

The Court is not unmindful of the principle of indefeasibility of a Torrens title


and Section 48 of P.D. No. 1528 where it is provided that a certificate of title shall
not be subject to collateral attack. A Torrens title cannot be altered, modified or
cancelled except in a direct proceeding in accordance with law. When the Court says
direct attack, it means that the object of an action is to annul or set aside such
judgment, or enjoin its enforcement. On the other hand, the attack is indirect or
collateral when, in an action to obtain a different relief, an attack on the judgment
or proceeding is nevertheless made as an incident thereof.

The complaint of Hortizuela was not a collateral attack on the title warranting
dismissal. As a matter of fact, an action for reconveyance is a recognized remedy,
an action in personam, available to a person whose property has been wrongfully
registered under the Torrens system in anothers name. In an action for
reconveyance, the decree is not sought to be set aside. It does not seek to set aside
the decree but, respecting it as incontrovertible and no longer open to review, seeks
to transfer or reconvey the land from the registered owner to the rightful owner.
Reconveyance is always available as long as the property has not passed to an
innocent third person for value. It is also noteworthy to point that Gregoria Tagufa
never acquired any valid right or legal title over the property.
G. G.R. NO. 206004, JOSEPH TIMBOL V. COMELEC, FEBRUARY 24, 2015

The Facts:

In this case, Joseph Timbol filed his Certificate of Candidacy for Councilor of
the Sangguniang Panglunsod on October 5, 2012. On January 17, 2013, he received
a notice from the election officer for him to appear before her office for a
clarificatory hearing on his certificate of candidacy. During the hearing, Timbol,
assisted by counsel, argued that he was not a nuisance candidate, alleging that in
the 2010 elections, he ranked 8th among all the candidates for the Sangguniang
Panglunsod, and he had sufficient resources to sustain his campaign. While his
name already appeared in the list of nuisance candidates in the COMELEC website,
the panel assured him that his certificate of candidacy would be given due course
and his name deleted in the list of nuisance candidates. Indeed, the election officer
thru a Memorandum dated January 17, 2013 recommended that Timbols COC be
given due course. Despite the recommendation, his name was not deleted from the
list, and since the printing of ballots for the automated election will be held on
February 4, 2013, he filed before the COMELEC on February 2, 2013 a petition
praying that his name be included in the certified list of candidtates.

By a Minute Resolution issued on February 5, 2013, , the COMELEC denied


his petition, averring that it became moot and academic with the beginning of the
printing of ballots. Aggrieved, Timbol filed a petition for certiorari before the
Supreme Court, arguing that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion
when it declared him a nuisance candidate, even before the hearing officer
conducted the clarificatory hearing on his certificate of candidacy. In its comment,
the COMELEC argued that the petition had become moot and academic with the
conduct of the 2013 elections. Even assuming it is not yet moot and academic, the
COMELEC did not deprive him of due process as he was given the opportunity to be
heard during the clarificatory hearing. The Supreme Court ordered Timbol to file his
Reply, and subsequently his counsel but both failed, hence the court submitted the
case for decision even without the Reply.

Issues:

Whether or not the case is moot and academic.

Whether or not the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion in denying due
course to the certificate of candidacy of Joseph.

The Courts ruling:

As to the first issue the Supreme Court ruled in the affirmative

I.

This case is moot and academic.

A case is moot and academic if it ceases to present a justiciable controversy


because of supervening events so that a declaration thereon would be of no
practical use or value. When a case is moot and academic, this court generally
declines jurisdiction over it.

There are recognized exceptions to this rule. The court has taken cognizance
of moot and academic cases when:

(1) there was a grave violation of the Constitution; (2) the case involved a
situation of exceptional character and was of paramount public interest; (3) the
issues raised required the formulation of controlling principles to guide the Bench,
the Bar and the public; and (4) the case was capable of repetition yet evading
review.

The court may no longer act on petitioners prayer that his name be included
in the certified list of candidates and be printed on the ballots as a candidate for
Member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod. Petitioner filed with the court his Petition
for Certiorari on March 15, 2013, 39 days after respondent began printing the
ballots on February 4, 2013. Also, the May 13, 2013 elections had been concluded,
with the winners already proclaimed.

II

Respondents power to motu proprio deny due course to a certificate of


candidacy is subject to the candidates opportunity to be heard.

Under Article II, Section 26 of the Constitution, the State shall guarantee
equal access to opportunities for public service. This, however, does not guarantee
a constitutional right to run for or hold public office. To run for public office is a
mere privilege subject to limitations imposed by law. Among these limitations is
the prohibition on nuisance candidates.

Nuisance candidates are persons who file their certificates of candidacy to


put the election process in mockery or disrepute or to cause confusion among the
voters by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates or by other
circumstances or acts which clearly demonstrate that the candidate has no bona
fide intention to run for the office for which the certificate of candidacy has been
filed and thus prevent a faithful determination of the true will of the electorate

Respondent commits grave abuse of discretion if it denies due course to or


cancels a certificate of candidacy without affording the candidate an opportunity to
be heard.

Respondent declared petitioner a nuisance candidate without giving him a


chance to explain his bona fide intention to run for office. Respondent had already
issued Resolution No. 9610 on January 11, 2013 when petitioner appeared before
Election Officer Valencia in a clarificatory hearing on January 17, 2013. This was an
ineffective opportunity to be heard.

That petitioner was able to file a Petition for inclusion in the certified list of
candidates did not cure the defect in the issuance of Resolution No. 9610. First, he
would not have to file the Petition had been given an opportunity to be heard in the
first place. Second, in the Minute Resolution dated February 5, 2013, respondent
denied petitioners Petition on the sole ground that the printing of ballots had
already begun on February 4, 2013.
H. G.R. NO. 205136, OLIVIA DA SILVA CERAFICA V. COMELEC, DECEMBER 2, 2014

Facts:

On October 2012, Kimberly filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) for


Councilor, City of Taguig for the 2013 Elections. Her COC stated that she was born
on 29 October 1992, or that she will be twenty (20) years of age on the day of the
elections, in contravention of the requirement that one must be at least twenty-
three (23) years of age on the day of the elections. As such, Kimberly was
summoned to a clarificatory hearing due to the age qualification. Instead of
attending the hearing, Kimberly opted to file a sworn Statement of Withdrawal of
COC. Simultaneously, Olivia filed her own COC as a substitute of Kimberly. The
COMELEC rendered a decision ordering the cancellation of Kimberlys COC, and the
denial of the substitution of Kimberly by Olivia.

COMELEC argued that Olivia cannot substitute Kimberly as the latter was
never an official candidate because she was not eligible for the post by reason of
her age, and that; moreover, the COC that Kimberly filed was invalid because it
contained a material misrepresentation relating to her eligibility for the office she
seeks to be elected to. Olivia countered that although Kimberly may not be qualified
to run for election because of her age, it cannot be denied that she still filed a valid
COC and was, thus, an official candidate who may be substituted. Olivia also
claimed that there was no ground to cancel or deny Kimberlys COC on the ground
of lack of qualification and material misrepresentation because she did not
misrepresent her birth date to qualify for the position of councilor, and as there was
no deliberate attempt to mislead the electorate, which is precisely why she
withdrew her COC upon learning that she was not qualified.

Issue:

Whether or not there is a valid substitution

Ruling:

The High Tribunal ruled in the affirmative. COMELEC gravely abused its
discretion in declaring that Kimberly, being under age, could not be considered to
have filed a valid COC and, thus, could not be validly substituted by Olivia. Firstly,
subject to its authority over nuisance candidates and its power to deny due course
to or cancel COCs under Sec. 78, Batas Pambansa Blg. 881, the COMELEC has the
ministerial duty to receive and acknowledge receipt of COCs. The question of
eligibility or ineligibility of a candidate is thus beyond the usual and proper
cognizance of the COMELEC.

The next question then is whether Olivia complied with all of the
requirements for a valid substitution; The High Tribunal also answered in the
affirmative. First, there was a valid withdrawal of Kimberlys COC after the last day
for the filing of COCs; second, Olivia belongs to and is certified to by the same
political party to which Kimberly belongs; and third, Olivia filed her COC not later
than mid-day of election day.

I. G.R. NO. 193707, NORMA DEL SOCORRO V. ERNST JOHAN BRINKMAN VAN
WILSEM, DECEMBER 10, 2014

Facts:

In this case, Norma A. Del Socorro and Ernst Van Wilsem were married in
Holland. They were blessed with a son named Roderigo Norjo Van Wilsem.
Unfortunately, their marital bond ended by virtue of a Divorce Decree issued by the
appropriate Court of Holland. Thereafter, Socorro and her son came home to the
Philippines. According to Norma, Van Wilsem made a promise to provide monthly
support to their son. However, since the arrival of petitioner and her son in the
Philippines, Van Wilsem never gave support to their common son. Socorro filed a
complaint against Van Wilsem for violation of R.A. No. 9262 for the latters unjust
refusal to support his minor child with petitioner. The trial court dismissed the
complaint since the facts charged in the information do not constitute an offense
with respect to the accused, he being an alien.

ISSUE:

Whether or not a foreign national have an obligation to support his minor child
under Philippine law

RULING:

The Supreme Court ruled in the affirmative. Since Van Wilsem is a citizen of
Holland or the Netherlands, the agree with the RTC that he is subject to the laws of
his country, not to Philippine law, as to whether he is obliged to give support to his
child, as well as the consequences of his failure to do so. This does not, however,
mean that Van Wilsem is not obliged to support Socorros son altogether. In
international law, the party who wants to have a foreign law applied to a dispute or
case has the burden of proving the foreign law. In the present case, Van Wilsem
hastily concludes that being a national of the Netherlands, he is governed by such
laws on the matter of provision of and capacity to support. While Van Wilsem
pleaded the laws of the Netherlands in advancing his position that he is not obliged
to support his son, he never proved the same. It is incumbent upon Van Wilsem to
plead and prove that the national law of the Netherlands does not impose upon the
parents the obligation to support their child. Foreign laws do not prove themselves
in our jurisdiction and our courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of them.
Like any other fact, they must be alleged and proved.

Moreover, foreign law should not be applied when its application would work
undeniable injustice to the citizens or residents of the forum. To give justice is the
most important function of law; hence, a law, or judgment or contract that is
obviously unjust negates the fundamental principles of Conflict of Laws. In the light
of the foregoing, even if the laws of the Netherlands neither enforce a parents
obligation to support his child nor penalize the non-compliance therewith, such
obligation is still duly enforceable in the Philippines because it would be of great
injustice to the child to be denied of financial support when the latter is entitled
thereto.

K. G.R. NO. 179080, EDIGARDO GEROCHE, ET AL. V. PEOPLE OF THE


PHILIPPINES, NOVEMBER 26, 2014

FACTS:
On the evening of May 14, 1989, Baleriano Limbag awoke when Edigardo
Geroche, Roberto Garde, and Generoso Marfil suddenly entered into his house and,
without a search warrant, began scouring the place for firearms, but instead food
and took away his airgun. Limbag also sustained injuries as a result of the raid.

Edigardo Geroche, Roberto Garde, and Generoso Marfil were all charged with
the crime of Violation of Domicile, under Article 128 of the Revised Penal Code, and
Less Serious Physical Injuries under Article 265 of the Revised Penal Code.

The Regional Trial Court (RTC) found the above-mentioned accused guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of Less Serious Physical Injuries, but acquitted them of the
crime of Violation of Domicile because, according to the trial court, the prosecution
failed to prove that the petitioners were public officers, which is an essential
element of the crime.

The petitioners then appealed their case to the Court of Appeals (CA), praying
that the decision of the lower court be reversed. The CA, however, ruled that the
petitioners should not be convicted of the crime of Less Serious Physical Injuries
but, rather, Violation of Domicile, considering their judicial admissions that they
were the barangay captain and part of the Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit
(CAFGU).

ISSUE/S:

(1) Whether or not the CAs conviction amounts to double jeopardy.

(2) Whether or not the petitioners are guilty of Violation of Domicile.

HELD:

(1) NO, it does not amount to double jeopardy.

The Court explained that an appeal in a criminal case opens the entire case
for review to the appellate court. As such, the accused waives the constitutional
safeguard against double jeopardy, and gives jurisdiction to the courts to examine
the records of the case, and impose the proper penalty, even if this means
increasing the penalty previously imposed. It is the duty of the appellate courts to
correct the errors that they may find in the assailed judgment.

That being the case, the petitioners could not have been placed in double
jeopardy when the CA set aside the original ruling of the trial court, and instead
found them guilty of Violation of Domicile

(2) YES, the petitioners are guilty of Violation of Domicile.

One of the essential elements of the crime of Violation of Domicile is that the
accused be a public officer or employee.

In the present case, the Court adopted the findings of fact and conclusions of
law of the CA. In their testimonies and pleadings, Geroche did not deny that he was
the barangay captain. Likewise, Garde and Marfil did not refute the fact that they
were CAFGU members. By virtue of their positions, they are considered to be public
officers or employees. Hence, they can be found guilty of Violation of Domicile, as
all the elements for the crime are met.

(The Court modified the penalty imposed by the CA in their decision. Applying
the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the Court sentenced the petitioners to suffer the
indeterminate penalty from two years and four months of prision correccional, as
minimum, to four years, nine months, and ten days of prision correccional, as
maximum.)