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Political Law Cases

1. RODOLFO M. AGDEPPA vs HONORABLE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN,


ACTING THROUGH THE OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY OMBUDSMAN FOR THE
MILITARY, MARYDEL B. JARLOS-MARTIN, EMMANUEL M. LAUREZO AND
ILUMINADO L. JUNIA, JR. [G.R. No. 146376. April 23, 2014.]

[Administrative Law; Grave Abuse of Discretion; Policy of Non-interference]

FACTS:

Petitioner Agdeppa filed a petition for certiorari assailing the resolution of Respondent Office of
the Ombudsman for dismissing OMB-MIL-CRIM-00-0470, the administrative complaint initiated
by Petitioner against respondents Marydel B. Jarlos-Martin (Jarlos-Martin), Emmanuel M.
Laurezo (Laurezo), and Iluminado L. Junia, Jr. (Junia).

Petitioner argued the following points:


(A) PUBLIC RESPONDENT OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN COMMITTED GRAVE
ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHEN IT RENDERED A RESOLUTION DISMISSING A
CRIMINAL COMPLAINT FOR VIOLATION OF THE ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT
PRACTICES ACT AGAINST ITS OWN INVESTIGATORS AND A PRIVATE
RESPONDENT BY ADOPTING THE RESULT OF THE PRELIMINARY
INVESTIGATION OBTAINED UPON AN ORDER WHICH DID NOT INCLUDE THE
PRIVATE RESPONDENT CONCERNED IN THE JOINT INVESTIGATION IN SHEER
CONTRAVENTION OF THE RULES OF COURT WHICH APPLY SUPPLETORILY TO
THE RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN.

(B) PUBLIC RESPONDENT OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN ACTED IN EXCESS OF ITS


JURISDICTION WHEN IT ALLOWED ANOTHER INVESTIGATING OFFICER TO
RENDER THE RESOLUTION OF A CRIMINAL COMPLAINT AGAINST ITS OWN
INVESTIGATORS IN CONSPIRACY WITH A PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL OTHER THAN
THE INVESTIGATING OFFICER WHO ISSUED THE ORDER TO SUBMIT
COUNTER-AFFIDAVIT IN UTTER VIOLATION OF THE RULES OF COURT WHICH
APPLY SUPPLETORILY TO THE RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE OFFICE OF
OMBUDSMAN.

(C) PUBLIC RESPONDENT OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN ACTED WITH GRAVE


ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHEN IT RENDERED A RESOLUTION DISMISSING
OMB-MIL-CRIM-00-0470 WHICH ALLOWED THE REALIGNMENT OF THE RULES
OF COURT AND THE RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE OFFICE OF THE
OMBUDSMAN IN THE PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION OF A CRIMINAL CASE TO
JUSTIFY ITS DISMISSAL.

(D) PUBLIC RESPONDENT OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN COMMITTED GRAVE


ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHEN IT RENDERED A RESOLUTION DISMISSING
OMB-MIL-CRIM-00-0470 BY TOLERATING THE POSTPONEMENT OF THE
RESOLUTION OF OMB-0-99-1015 WHICH TOLERANCE WAS AT THE EXPENSE OF
THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF THE PETITIONER TO SPEEDY DISPOSITION
OF CASES.

(E) PUBLIC RESPONDENT OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN ACTED WITH GRAVE

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ABUSE OF DISCRETION WHEN IT CONSIDERED AS GOSPEL TRUTH THE
ALLEGATION IN THE COUNTER-AFFIDAVIT OF RESPONDENT LAUREZO THAT
PRIVATE RESPONDENT JUNIA APPEARED BEFORE HIM ON OCTOBER 6, 1999 TO
HAVE HIS AFFIDAVIT COMPLAINT PLACED UNDER OATH EVEN IF THERE IS
NO EVIDENCE OF THE TRUTH OF SUCH AN ALLEGATION COMING FROM THE
SAID PRIVATE RESPONDENT HIMSELF.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Respondent Office of the Ombudsman acted in grave abuse of discretion when it
issued a resolution dismissing OMB-MIL-CRIM-00-0470, the administrative complaint initiated
by Petitioner against respondents Jarlos-Martin, Laurezo, and Junia.

RULING:

Respondent Office of the Ombudsman did not act in grave abuse of discretion. The resolution is
valid. The petition is dismissed.

In general, the Court follows a policy of non-interference with the exercise by the Office of the
Ombudsman of its investigatory and prosecutorial powers, in respect of the initiative and
independence inherent in the said Office, which, beholden to no one, acts as the champion of the
people and the preserver of the integrity of the public service.

Not every error in the proceedings, or every erroneous conclusion of law or fact, constitutes grave
abuse of discretion. While the prosecutor, or in this case, the investigating officers of the Office of
the Ombudsman, may err or even abuse the discretion lodged in them by law, such error or abuse
alone does not render their act amenable to correction and annulment by the extraordinary remedy
of certiorari. The requirement for judicial intrusion is still for the petitioner to demonstrate clearly
that the Office of the Ombudsman committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction. Unless such a clear demonstration is made, the intervention is disallowed
in deference to the doctrine of non-interference.

The fact alone that the investigating officer of the Office of the Ombudsman who issued the
resolution was not the one who conducted the preliminary investigation does not render said
investigating officers resolution erroneous or irregular. The investigating officer may rely on the
pleadings and evidence on record and enjoy the presumption of regularity in the performance of
his duties as a public officer, unless disputed by evidence to the contrary.

There is no merit to Agdeppas contention that by dismissing his Affidavit-Complaint in OMB-


MIL-CRIM-00-0470, the Office of the Ombudsman tolerated the realignment of the Ombudsman
Rules of Procedure and violation of Agdeppas right to the speedy disposition of his case. There
is utter lack of evidence presented by Agdeppa that Jarlos-Martin, Laurezo, and Junia conspired
to maliciously and deliberately conduct the preliminary investigation in OMB-0-99-1015 to
Agdeppas prejudice.

Absent a clear showing of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction by
the Office of the Ombudsman in the issuance of its Resolution dated July 31, 2000 and Order
dated September 28, 2000 in OMB-MIL-CRIM-00-0470, the Court cannot depart from the policy
of non-interference.

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Thus, Respondent Office of the Ombudsman did not act in grave abuse of discretion. The
resolution is valid. The petition is dismissed.

2. MACEDA vs. COURT INTERPRETER [A.M. No. P-12-3093. March 26, 2014.]

[Administrative law]

FACTS:
On June 28, 2010, an anonymous complainant, claiming to be a student at the University of
Eastern Philippines (UEP), filed a letter-complaint before the Office of the Court Administrator
(OCA) charging Otelia Lyn G. Maceda (Maceda), Court Interpreter, Municipal Trial Court
(MTC), Palapag, Northern Samar, of falsifying her attendance in court so she could attend her
law classes at UEP in Catarman, Northern Samar. The complaint questioned Macedas status as
she was enjoying the privilege of a regular employee and at the same time a regular student. She
was said to have been habitually tardy and absent from her office because she leaves the office
everyday before 3:00 p.m. to catch up her classes, since the travel time from her office to her
school is more or less three hours. Maceda was said to have made it appear in her Daily Time
Records that she was still in office until 5:00 p.m. when in fact she was already in school.

In a report, dated April 5, 2011, by Executive Judge Jose F. Falcotelo (Judge Falcotelo) of the
Regional Trial Court, Branch 22 of Laoang, Northern Samar, Maceda admitted that she is an
irregular law student and that she requested permission to continue her law studies from then
MTC Presiding Judge Eustaquio C. Lagrimas (Judge Lagrimas), and that Judge Lagrimas granted
her request. Judge Falcotelo recommended the dismissal of the letter-complaint considering that
Maceda pursued her studies for self-improvement and the she merely relied on Judge Lagrimas
permission for her to attend her classes at UEP.

The OCA recommended in its report, dated August 16, 2012, that the instant administrative
matter be re-docketed as a regular complaint for Dishonesty and that Maceda be found guilty of
Dishonesty and be suspended for six months, without pay, with a stern warning. The case was
then re-docketed as a regular administrative matter.

Maceda filed her manifestation on February 5, 2012, stating that she was not willing to submit the
instant case for decision based on the pleadings filed because of the anonymity of the
complainant, the inadmissibility of the documents presented in the complaint, and the absence of
counsel during the investigation of the case.

ISSUE:
1. Whether or not an anonymous complaint may prosper.
2. Whether or not the documents attached to the complaint are admissible as
evidence.
3. Whether or not Maceda be granted additional time before resolution of the
administrative matter so she can engage the services of counsel as she was not
represented during the earlier proceedings.

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4. Whether or not Maceda is guilty of dishonesty.

RULING:
Yes. The complaint may be acted upon by the Court. The Court stresses that an anonymous
complaint is always received with great caution, originating as it does from an unknown author.
However, a complaint of such sort does not always justify its outright dismissal for being baseless
or unfounded for such complaint may be easily verified and may, without much difficulty, be
substantiated and established by other competent evidence.

Any conduct, act or omission on the part of all those involved in the administration of justice
which would violate the norm of public accountability and would diminish the faith of the people
in the Judiciary cannot be countenanced. Hence, anonymous complaints of this nature should be
acted upon by the Court.
1. The evidence is admissible. Proceedings in administrative investigation are not strictly
governed by the technical rules of evidence. They are summary in nature. As the Court
have declared in Office of the Court Administrator v. Indar:

It is settled that technical rules of procedure and evidence are not strictly applied
to administrative proceedings. Thus, administrative due process cannot be fully
equated with due process in its strict judicial sense. It is enough that the party is
given the chance to be heard before the case against him is decided. Otherwise
stated, in the application of the principle of due process, what is sought to be
safeguarded is not lack of previous notice but the denial of the opportunity to be
heard.

Maceda cannot claim that the admission and consideration of the documentary evidence
attached to the complaint violated her right to due process. She had the opportunity to
contest to the truthfulness of the documents and/or submit evidence controverting the
same.
2. Macedas request can no longer be accommodated. She has knowingly and voluntarily
participated in the administrative investigation conducted by Judge Falcotelo, by the
OCA, and by the Court. Being a court employee and law student, Maceda is capable of
understanding the charges against her and adducing her defenses herself. A party in an
administrative inquiry may or may not be assisted by counsel, irrespective of the nature
of the charges and of petitioners capacity to represent herself, and no duty rests on such
body to furnish the person being investigated with counsel. The right to counsel is not
always imperative in administrative investigations because such inquiries are conducted
merely to determine whether there are facts that merit the imposition of disciplinary
measures against erring public officers and employees, with the purpose of maintaining
the dignity of government service.
3. Maceda is guilty of dishonesty. It was impossible for Maceda to have left the MTC only
at 5:00 p.m. as she had consistently logged in her DTRs during the months she was also
attending her classes. Macedas repeated assertion that she continued her law studies for
self-improvement and with the permission of Judge Lagrimas are not acceptable excuses
for not properly declaring the time she logged-off from work in her DTRs. Her acts
constitute dishonesty which is defined as the disposition to lie, cheat, deceive, or
defraud; untrustworthiness; lack of integrity; lack of honesty, probity or integrity in
principle; lack of fairness and straightforwardness; disposition to defraud, deceive or
betray.

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Labor Case Digest

1. TABANGAO SHELL REFINERY EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION vs. PILIPINAS


SHELL PETROLEUM CORPORATION [G.R. No. 170007. April 7, 2014.]
[deadlock]

Facts:
The Collective Bargaining Agreement between the petitioner labor union and respondent
corporation was about to expire so both started negotiating for a new CBA. The union proposed a
20% annual across-the-board basic salary increase for the next three years that would be covered
by the new CBA. In lieu of the annual salary increases, the company made a counter-proposal to
grant all covered employees a lump sum amount of P80,000.00 yearly for the three-year period of
the new CBA. Due to the constant disagreement on several meetings, the company proposed the
declaration of a deadlock and recommended that the help of a third party be sought. However, the
union filed a Notice of Strike in the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB),
alleging bad faith bargaining on the part of the company. Upon being aware of this development,
the company filed a Petition for Assumption of Jurisdiction with the Secretary of Labor and
Employment.
Convinced that such a strike would have adverse consequences on the national economy, the
Secretary of Labor and Employment ruled that the labor dispute between the parties would cause
or likely to cause a strike in an industry indispensable to the national interest. Thus, the Secretary
of Labor and Employment assumed jurisdiction over the dispute of the parties.
The union assailed the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Labor and Employment. It contended that
the issue is the unfair labor practice of the company in the form of bad faith bargaining and not
the CBA deadlock. It further alleged that there was no CBA deadlock on account of the union's
non-conformity with the declaration of a deadlock, as item 8 of the said ground rules provided
that a "deadlock can only be declared upon mutual consent of both parties." Thus, the Secretary
of Labor and Employment committed grave abuse of discretion when she assumed jurisdiction
and directed the parties to submit position papers even on the economic issues.

Issues:
1. Whether or not there was deadlock
2. Whether or not the Secretary of Labor and Employment has jurisdiction

Ruling:
1. There was a deadlock. A deadlock is defined as follows:
A 'deadlock' is . . . the counteraction of things producing entire stoppage; . .
. There is a deadlock when there is a complete blocking or stoppage
resulting from the action of equal and opposed forces . . . . The word is
synonymous with the word impasse, which . . . 'presupposes reasonable
effort at good faith bargaining which, despite noble intentions, does not
conclude in agreement between the parties.'

While the purpose of collective bargaining is the reaching of an agreement between the employer
and the employee's union resulting in a binding contract between the parties, the failure to reach
an agreement after negotiations continued for a reasonable period does not mean lack of good
faith. The laws invite and contemplate a collective bargaining contract but do not compel
one. For after all, a CBA, like any contract is a product of mutual consent and not of compulsion.
As such, the duty to bargain does not include the obligation to reach an agreement. In this light,

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the corporation's unswerving position on the matter of annual lump sum payment in lieu of wage
increase did not, by itself, constitute bad faith even if such position caused a stalemate in the
negotiations, as correctly ruled by the Secretary of Labor and Employment in the decision dated
June 8, 2005.
As there was no bad faith on the part of the company in its bargaining with the union, deadlock
was possible and did occur. The union's reliance on item 8 of the ground rules governing the
parties' negotiations which required mutual consent for a declaration of deadlock was reduced to
irrelevance by the actual facts. And the fact is that the negotiations between the union and the
company were stalled by the opposing offers of yearly wage increase by the union, on the one
hand, and annual lump sum payment by the company, on the other hand. Each party found the
other's offer unacceptable and neither party was willing to yield. Thus, because of the unresolved
issue on wage increase, there was actually a complete stoppage of the ongoing negotiations
between the parties and the union filed a Notice of Strike. Thus, the absence of the parties' mutual
declaration of deadlock does not mean that there was no deadlock. At most, it would have been
simply a recognition of the prevailing status quo between the parties.

2. The secretary of DOLE has jurisdiction over the case. The Secretary of the DOLE has been
explicitly granted by Article 263(g) of the Labor Code the authority to assume jurisdiction over a
labor dispute causing or likely to cause a strike or lockout in an industry indispensable to the
national interest, and decide the same accordingly. And, as a matter of necessity, it includes
questions incidental to the labor dispute; that is, issues that are necessarily involved in the dispute
itself, and not just to that ascribed in the Notice of Strike or otherwise submitted to him for
resolution.

A "labor dispute" is defined under Article 212 (l) of the Labor Code as follows:
ART. 212. Definitions.
(l) "Labor dispute" includes any controversy or matter concerning
terms or conditions of employment or the association or representation
of persons in negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing or arranging
the terms and conditions of employment, regardless of whether the
disputants stand in the proximate relation of employer and employee.

In this case, there was a dispute, an unresolved issue on several matters, between the union and
the company in the course of the negotiations for a new CBA. Among the unsettled issues was the
matter of compensation.
Thus, the labor dispute between the union and the company concerned the unresolved matters
between the parties in relation to their negotiations for a new CBA. The power of the Secretary of
Labor and Employment to assume jurisdiction over this dispute includes and extends to all
questions and controversies arising from the said dispute, such as, but not limited to the union's
allegation of bad faith bargaining. It also includes and extends to the various unresolved
provisions of the new CBA such as compensation, particularly the matter of annual wage increase
or yearly lump sum payment in lieu of such wage increase, whether or not there was deadlock in
the negotiations.
As there is already an existing controversy on the matter of wage increase, the Secretary of Labor
and Employment need not wait for a deadlock in the negotiations to take cognizance of the
matter. That is the significance of the power of the Secretary of Labor and Employment under
Article 263 (g) of the Labor Code to assume jurisdiction over a labor dispute causing or likely to
cause a strike or lockout in an industry indispensable to the national interest.
Article 263(g) is both an extraordinary and a preemptive power to address an extraordinary
situation a strike or lockout in an industry indispensable to the national interest. This grant is
not limited to the grounds cited in the notice of strike or lockout that may have preceded the strike

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or lockout; nor is it limited to the incidents of the strike or lockout that in the meanwhile may
have taken place. As the term "assume jurisdiction" connotes, the intent of the law is to give the
Labor Secretary full authority to resolve all matters within the dispute that gave rise to or which
arose out of the strike or lockout; it includes and extends to all questions and controversies arising
from or related to the dispute, including cases over which the labor arbiter has exclusive
jurisdiction.

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Civil Law Cases

1. PHILNICO INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION vs. PRIVATIZATION AND


MANAGEMENT OFFICE.
G.R. No. 199420. August 27, 2014.
PRIVATIZATION AND MANAGEMENT OFFICE vs. PHILNICO INDUSTRIAL
CORPORATION.
G.R. No. 199432. August 27, 2014.

[Pactum Commissorium; Elements; Present even if agreement in 2 or more separate contracts;


Intent rather than written form]

FACTS:
Philnico Industrial Corporation (PIC) along with Philnico Processing Corporation (PPC)
and Pacific Nickel Philippines, Inc. (PNPI) form the Philnico Group. The group is engaged in
nickel mining and refining. Privatization and Management Ofice (PMO) is a government agency
under the Department of Finance who succeeded the Asset Privatization Trust (APT) which is
tasked to take title to and possession of, conserve, provisionally manage, and dispose of assets
previously identified for privatization.
By virtue of foreclosure proceedings, DBP and PNB became holders of all the shares of
PPC. In 1987, they transferred these shares to PMO (then the APT). In 1996, PMO, PIC, and PPC
executed a contract, denominated as the Amended and Restated Definitive Agreement (ARDA),
which laid down the terms and conditions of the purchase and acquisition by PIC from PMO of
22,500,000 shares of stock of PPC (representing 90% of ownership of PPC), as well as
receivables of PMO from PPC to be paid in instalments.
One of the conditions in the ARDA was for the execution of a pledge over the shares to
which it was further stipulated in Section 8.02 that in case of default, the title of the shares shall
ipso facto revert to the Seller (PMO) without need of demand if not remedied by the Buyer (PIC)
within 90 days. This is the subject of the present dispute as PIC failed to pay the instalments due
partly because of the financial crisis affecting Asia at that time. This prompted PIC to file a
prohibition suit before the RTC before the shares would be reverted to PMO alleging that the
conditions constituted a pactum commissorium.
The RTC ruled that indeed the condition set forth in the ARDA constituted a pactum
commissorium which is prohibited by law and that provision is thus void and issued a writ of
preliminary injunction. It was the fact that automatic appropriation of the shares upon default was
provided in the agreement that made it a pactum commissorium despite what PMO claims that it
is a valid agreement between the parties.
This decision was challenged before the CA to which the CA ruled that the ARDA did
not constitute a pactum commissorium as only 1 of 2 elements is present but still declared the
reversion clause invalid as it is contrary to law.
ISSUE:
WON Section 8.02 of the ARDA on ipso facto or automatic reversion of the PPC shares of stock
to PMO in case of default by PIC constitutes pactum commissorium.
HELD:

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Section 8.02 of the ARDA constitutes a pactum commissorium.
RATIO:
Pactum commissorium is defined as "a stipulation empowering the creditor to appropriate
the thing given as guaranty for the fulfillment of the obligation in the event the obligor fails to
live up to his undertakings, without further formality, such as foreclosure proceedings, and a
public sale."
There are two elements for pactum commissorium to exist: (1) that there should be a
pledge or mortgage wherein a property is pledged or mortgaged by way of security for the
payment of the principal obligation; and (2) that there should be a stipulation for an automatic
appropriation by the creditor of the thing pledged or mortgaged in the event of nonpayment of the
principal obligation within the stipulated period.
Both elements of pactum commissorium are present in the instant case: (1) By virtue of
the Pledge Agreement dated May 2, 1997, PIC pledged its PPC shares of stock in favor of PMO
as security for the fulfillment of the former's obligations under the ARDA dated May 10, 1996
and the Pledge Agreement itself; and (2) There is automatic appropriation as under Section 8.02
of the ARDA, in the event of default by PIC, title to the PPC shares of stock shall ipso facto
revert from PIC to PMO without need of demand.
The Court of Appeals, in ruling that there is no pactum commissorium, adopted the
position of PMO that the ARDA and the Pledge Agreement are entirely separate and distinct
contracts. Neither contract contains both elements of pactum commissorium: the ARDA solely
has the second element, while the Pledge Agreement only has the first element. This is clearly
erroneous as the ARDA and the Pledge Agreement, although executed in separate written
instruments, are integral to one another.
The Court, in determining the existence of pactum commissorium, had focused more on
the evident intention of the parties, rather than the formal or written form. Appreciating the
ARDA together with the Pledge Agreement, the Court can only conclude that Section 8.02 of the
ARDA constitutes pactum commissorium and, therefore, null and void.

2. REPUBLIC REPRESENTED BY AKLAN NATIONAL COLLEGE OF FISHERIES


(ANCF) VS. HEIRS OF MAXIMA LACHICA SIN. (G.R. 157485):

[Property; Regalian Doctrine vs. Private Rights; Judicial Confirmation of an Imperfect Title]

FACTS: Respondents claim that they are the lawful heirs of the late Maxima Lachica Sin, who
was the owner of a parcel of land. Respondents filed a complaint against Lucio Arquisola, in his
capacity as ANCF, for recovery of possession, quieting of title, and declaration of ownership with
damages. Respondents claim that the land they inherited had been usurped by ANCF, creating
doubts with respect tot their ownership over the land they wish to remove from the ANCF
reservation.

Petitioner countered contending that the land being claimed by the respondents was subject to
Proc. No. 2074 of then Pres. Marcos allocating a certain number of hectares within the area,
which happened to include said portion of respondents alleged property, as civil reservation for

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educational purposes of ANCF. It was further contended that the subject parcel of land is
timberland, thus not capable of private ownership.

Before the MCTC, respondent heirs presented evidence that they inherited a bigger parcel of land
from their mother, Maxima Sin, who died in the year 1945, who acquired the same by virtue of a
Deed of Sale, and developed the same by planting various kinds of trees, and usufructing the
produce of said land until her death.

A few years after her death, a portion of the said inherited lands was occupied by ANCF and was
converted into a fishpond for an educational purpose. Also, the subject land was a swampy land
until it was converted into a fishpond by ANCF. To assert their ownership, they presented
several tax declarations, the earliest of which was in the year 1945.

MCTC ruled in favor of respondents holding that the disputed property is alienable and
disposable land of public domain. Furthermore, the land covered by Civil Reservation under
Proclamation No. 2074 was classified as timberland only on December 22, 1960. The RTC
affirmed the decision of MCTC, but absolved the ANCF Superintendent, from liability as it was
not shown their was bad faith in the implementation of Proc No. 2074.

The case was elevated to the CA by the petitioners, but was later on dismissed for lack of merit.

ISSUES:

1) WON respondents heirs had private rights to disputed lands despite the same being
certified as timberland.

HELD: The MCTC, RTC rulings are reversed. Thus, the petitioners prayer is granted.

The MCTC, the RTC and the Court of Appeals unanimously held that respondents retain private
rights to the disputed property, thus preventing the application of the above proclamation thereon.
The private right referred to is an alleged imperfect title, which respondents supposedly acquired
by possession of the subject property, through their predecessors-in-interest, for 30 years before it
was declared as a timberland on December 22, 1960.

The requirements for judicial confirmation of imperfect title are found in Section 48 (b) of the
Public Land Act, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1073, as follows:

Sec. 48. The following described citizens of the Philippines, occupying lands
of the public domain or claiming to own any such lands or an interest therein,
but whose titles have not been perfected or completed, may apply to the Court
of First Instance of the province where the land is located for confirmation of
their claims and the issuance of a certificate of title therefor, under the Land
Registration Act, to wit:
xxx xxx xxx

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(b) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors in interest have
been in the open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and
occupation of alienable and disposable lands of the public domain, under
a bona fide claim of acquisition or ownership, since June 12, 1945, or earlier,
immediately preceding the filing of the application for confirmation of title
except when prevented by war or force majeure. These shall be conclusively
presumed to have performed all the conditions essential to a Government grant
and shall be entitled to a certificate of title under the provisions of this chapter.
An equivalent provision is found in Section 14 (1) of the Property Registration Decree, which
provides:

SECTION 14. Who may apply. The following persons may file in the proper
Court of First Instance an application for registration of title to land, whether
personally or through their duly authorized representatives: TAcSCH

(1) those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest have


been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation
of alienable and disposable lands of the public domain under a bona fide claim
of ownership since June 12, 1945, or earlier.

There are 2 requisites for judicial confirmation of imperfect of incomplete title namely:
a) Open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession and occupation of the
subject land by himself or thru his predecessors-in-interest under a bona fide
claim of ownership since the immemorial or from June 12 1945;
b) The classification of the land as alienable and disposable land of public domain.

With respect to the second requisite, the courts held that the disputed property was
alienable and disposable before 1960, citing petitioners failure to show concrete
evidence that subject land was declared timberland before its formal classification as such
on said year.

Petitioner contends that by virtue of the Regalian doctrine, all lands of public domain
belong to the State and lands not appearaing to be clearly within private ownership are
presumed to belong to the State.

In the case at bar, Petitioner Republics failure to show competent evidence that land was
declared a timberland before its formal classification in 1960, does not lead to the
presumption that said land is alienable and disposable prior to said date. However, the
presumption is that unclassified lands are inalienable public lands as such held in
previous jurisprudence.

In the case at bar, it is respondents burden to identify a positive act of the government
(i.e. an official proclamation, declassifying inalienable public land to disposable land for
agricultural or other purposes). Since respondents failed to such, the alleged possession
by them and their predecessors-in-interest could never ripen to their private ownership.
Therefore, respondents cannot be considered to have private rights within the purview of
Proc No. 2074 to prevent the application of said proclamation to the subject property.

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Taxation Cases

1. FORT BONIFACIO DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, petitioner, vs.


COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE and REVENUE DISTRICT OFFICER,
REVENUE DISTRICT NO. 44, TAGUIG and PATEROS, BUREAU OF INTERNAL
REVENUE, respondents. [G.R. No. 175707. November 19, 2014.]

[Tax Credit (VAT) ]

FACTS:
Petitioner is engaged in the development and sale of real property. It is the owner of, and is
developing and selling, parcels of land within a "newtown" development area known as the Fort
Bonifacio Global City (the Global City), located within the former military camp known as Fort
Bonifacio, Taguig, Metro Manila. The National Government, by virtue of Republic Act No.
7227 and Executive Order No. 40, was the one that conveyed to petitioner these parcels of land
on February 8, 1995.
In May 1996, petitioner commenced developing the Global City, and since October 1996, had
been selling lots to interested buyers. At the time of acquisition, value-added tax (VAT) was not
yet imposed on the sale of real properties. Republic Act No. 7716 (the Expanded Value-Added
Tax [E-VAT] Law), which took effect on January 1, 1996, restructured the VAT system by
further amending pertinent provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC). Section
100 of the old NIRC was so amended by including "real properties" in the definition of the term
"goods or properties," thereby subjecting the sale of "real properties" to VAT.
While prior to Republic Act No. 7716, real estate transactions were not subject to VAT, they
became subject to VAT upon the effectivity of said law. Thus, the sale of the parcels of land by
petitioner became subject to a 10% VAT, and this was later increased to 12%, pursuant to
Republic Act No. 9337. Petitioner afterwards became a VAT-registered taxpayer.
On the basis of Section 105 of the NIRC, petitioner claims a transitional or presumptive input
tax credit of 8% ofP71,227,503,200.00, the total value of the real properties listed in its
inventory, or a total input tax credit of P5,698,200,256.00. After the value of the real properties
was reduced due to a reconveyance by petitioner to BCDA of a parcel of land, petitioner claims
that it is entitled to input tax credit in the reduced amount of P4,250,475,000.48.
What petitioner seeks to be refunded are the actual VAT payments made by it in cash, which it
claims were either erroneously paid by or illegally collected from it. Each Claim for Refund is
based on petitioner's position that it is entitled to a transitional input tax credit under Section 105
of the old NIRC, which more than offsets the aforesaid VAT payments On the basis of Section
105 of the NIRC, petitioner claims a transitional or presumptive input tax credit of 8%
ofP71,227,503,200.00, the total value of the real properties listed in its inventory, or a total input
tax credit of P5,698,200,256.00. After the value of the real properties was reduced due to a
reconveyance by petitioner to BCDA of a parcel of land, petitioner claims that it is entitled
to input tax credit in the reduced amount of P4,250,475,000.48.
What petitioner seeks to be refunded are the actual VAT payments made by it in cash, which it
claims were either erroneously paid by or illegally collected from it. Each Claim for Refund is

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based on petitioner's position that it is entitled to a transitional input tax credit under Section 105
of the old NIRC, which more than offsets the aforesaid VAT payments.
The CTA refused the tax credit on the ground that no tax was previously paid because the dealing
with government regarding the land was a tax free exchange.
ISSUE:
Whether or not petitioner is entitled to the 8% transitional input tax granted in Section 105 (now
Section 111 [A]) of the NIRC based on the value of its inventory of land, and as a consequence,
to a refund of the amounts it paid as VAT.

HELD:
Yes. The Court conclusively held that petitioner is entitled to the 8% transitional input tax on its
beginning inventory of land, which is granted in Section 105 (now Section 111 [A]) of the NIRC,
and granted the refund of the amounts petitioner had paid as output VAT for the different tax
periods in question.

The Court has thus categorically ruled that prior payment of taxes is not required for a
taxpayer to avail of the 8% transitional input tax credit provided in Section 105 of the old
NIRC and that petitioner is entitled to it, despite the fact that petitioner acquired the Global
City property under a tax-free transaction. The Court En Banc held:
Contrary to the view of the CTA and the CA, there is nothing in the
abovequoted provision to indicate that prior payment of taxes is necessary for
the availment of the 8% transitional input tax credit. Obviously, all that is
required is for the taxpayer to file a beginning inventory with the BIR.
To require prior payment of taxes . . . is not only tantamount to judicial legislation but would also
render nugatory the provision in Section 105 of the old NIRC that the transitional input tax credit
shall be "8% of the value of [the beginning] inventory or the actual [VAT] paid on such goods,
materials and supplies, whichever is higher" because the actual VAT (now 12%) paid on the
goods, materials, and supplies would always be higher than the 8% (now 2%) of the beginning
inventory which, following the view of Justice Carpio, would have to exclude all goods,
materials, and supplies where no taxes were paid. Clearly, limiting the value of the beginning
inventory only to goods, materials, and supplies, where prior taxes were paid, was not the
intention of the law. Otherwise, it would have specifically stated that the beginning inventory
excludes goods, materials, and supplies where no taxes were paid.

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2. HSBC vs Commissioner of Internal Revenue, GR 167728

[Doc Stamp Tax]


As a custodian bank, HSBC serves as the collection/payment agent with respect to
6
dividends and other income derived from its investor-clients passive investments.

HSBCs investor-clients maintain Philippine peso and/or foreign currency accounts,


which are managed by HSBC through instructions given through electronic messages. The said
instructions are standard forms known in the banking industry as SWIFT, or Society for
Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. In purchasing shares of stock and other
investment in securities, the investor-clients would send electronic messages from abroad
instructing HSBC to debit their local or foreign currency accounts and to pay the purchase price
therefor upon receipt of the securities

Pursuant to the electronic messages of its investor-clients, HSBC purchased and paid
Documentary Stamp Tax (DST) from September to December 1997 and also from January to
December 1998 amounting to P19,572,992.10 and P32,904,437.30, respectively.

On August 23, 1999, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued BIR Ruling No. 132-99 to the
effect that instructions or advises from abroad on the management of funds located in the
Philippines which do not involve transfer of funds from abroad are not subject to DST. With the
above BIR Ruling as its basis, HSBC filed on October 8, 1999 an administrative claim for the
refund of the amount of P19,572,992.10 allegedly representing erroneously paid DST to the BIR
for the period covering September to December 1997. Subsequently, on January 31, 2000, HSBC
filed another administrative claim for the refund of the amount of P32,904,437.30 allegedly
representing erroneously paid DST to the BIR for the period covering January to December 1998.

BIR did not act upon HSBCs claims, and so the latter brought it up to the CTA. The CTA ruled
in favor of HSBC and ordered refunds. However, the Court of Appeals reversed both decisions of
the CTA and ruled that the electronic messages of HSBCs investor-clients are subject to DST.

ISSUE: WON HSBC is entitled to a refund on erroneously paid DST.

HELD: Yes. The electronic messages of HSBCs investor-clients containing instructions to debit
their respective local or foreign currency accounts in the Philippines and pay a certain named
recipient also residing in the Philippines is not the transaction contemplated under Section 181 of
the Tax Code

RATIO:

The DST under Section 181 of the Tax Code is levied on the acceptance or payment of a
bill of exchange purporting to be drawn in a foreign country but payable in the Philippines and
that a bill of exchange is an unconditional order in writing addressed by one person to another,
signed by the person giving it, requiring the person to whom it is addressed to pay on demand or
at a fixed or determinable future time a sum certain in money to order or to bearer. A bill of
exchange is one of two general forms of negotiable instruments under the Negotiable Instruments
Law.

The Court favorably adopts the finding of the CTA that the electronic messages cannot
be considered negotiable instruments as they lack the feature of negotiability, which, is the ability

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to be transferred and that the said electronic messages are mere memoranda of the transaction
consisting of the actual debiting of the [investor-client-]payors local or foreign currency
account in the Philippines and entered as such in the books of account of the local bank,
HSBC.

Section 1 of the Negotiable Instruments Law provides:

Sec. 1. Form of negotiable instruments. An instrument to be negotiable


must conform to the following requirements:

(a) It must be in writing and signed by the maker or drawer;

(b) Must contain an unconditional promise or order to pay a

sum certain in money;

(c) Must be payable on demand, or at a fixed or determinable future time;

(d) Must be payable to order or to bearer; and

(e) Where the instrument is addressed to a drawee, he must be named or


otherwise indicated therein with reasonable certainty.

The electronic messages are not signed by the investor-clients as supposed drawers of a
bill of exchange; they do not contain an unconditional order to pay a sum certain in money as the
payment is supposed to come from a specific fund or account of the investor-clients; and, they are
not payable to order or bearer but to a specifically designated third party. Thus, the electronic
messages are not bills of exchange. As there was no bill of exchange or order for the payment
drawn abroad and made payable here in the Philippines, there could have been no acceptance or
payment that will trigger the imposition of the DST under Section 181 of the Tax Code.

DST is an excise tax on the exercise of a right or privilege to transfer obligations, rights
or properties incident thereto. Under Section 173 of the 1997 Tax Code, the persons primarily
liable for the payment of the DST are those (1) making, (2) signing, (3) issuing, (4) accepting, or
(5) transferring the taxable documents, instruments or papers.

Acceptance applies only to bills of exchange. Acceptance of a bill of exchange has a very
definite meaning in law.

The electronic messages received by HSBC from its investor-clients abroad instructing
the former to debit the latter's local and foreign currency accounts and to pay the purchase price
of shares of stock or investment in securities do not properly qualify as either presentment for
acceptance or presentment for payment. There being neither presentment for acceptance nor
presentment for payment, then there was no acceptance or payment that could have been
subjected to DST to speak of.

Indeed, there had been no acceptance o f a bill o f exchange or order for the payment of
money on the part of HSBC. To reiterate, there was no bill of exchange or order for the payment
drawn abroad and made payable here in the Philippines. Thus, there was no acceptance as the
electronic messages did not constitute the written and signed manifestation of HSBC to a drawer's
order to pay money. As HSBC could not have been an acceptor, then it could not have made any

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payment of a bill of exchange or order for the payment of money drawn abroad but payable here
in the Philippines. In other words, HSBC could not have been held liable for DST under Section
230 of the 1977 Tax Code, as amended, and Section 181 of the 1997 Tax Code as it is not "a
person making, signing, issuing, accepting, or, transferring" the taxable instruments under the
said provision. Thus, HSBC erroneously paid DST on the said electronic messages for which it is
entitled to a tax refund.

3. CITY OF MANILA, Hon. Alredo S. Lim vs. HON. ANGEL VALERA, and Malaysian
Airline System [G.R. No. 120051. December 10, 2014.] (Consolidated case)
[Local Government Tax]

Facts:

The City of Manila enacted The Manila Revenue Code, otherwise known as Revenue Code of the
City of Manila. It was later amended, imposing a lower business tax rate as contained in section
21 paragraphs B which states that:

Section 21. Tax on Business Subject to the Excise, Value-Added or


Percentage Taxes Under the NIRC. On any of the following
businesses and articles of commerce subject to the excise, value-added
or percentage taxes under the National Internal Revenue Code
hereinafter referred to as NIRC, as amended, a tax of FIFTY
PERCENT (50%) OF ONE PERCENT (1%) per annum on the gross
sales or receipts of the preceding calendar year is hereby imposed:
xxx xxx xxx
B) On the gross receipts of keepers of garages, cars for rent or hire
driven by the lessee, transportation contractors, persons who transport
passenger or freight for hire, and common carriers by land, air or
water, except owners of bancas and owners of animal- drawn two-
wheel vehicle.
The City Treasurer of Manila assessed those who are engaged in the transportation business of
the said business tax. However, the parties to this consolidated petitions--- Maerks, Eastern
Shipping, William Lines, among others, assailed the constitutionality of Section 21 paragraph B
of the Manila Revenue Code. They argue that under the Local Government Code, Local
Government Units shall not levy taxes on the gross receipt of those engaged in transportation
business.

The City of Manila counters that the ordinance is valid. According to them, it is based on the
exempting clause at the beginning of Section 133, in conjunction with Section 143 (h), of
the LGC. More so, although the LGC proscribes the imposition of business taxes by the LGUs on
transportation business, a latter provision grants them the general power to tax.
The relevant provisions of the Code are reproduced below:
SEC. 133. Common Limitations on the Taxing Powers of Local
Government Units. Unless otherwise provided herein, the exercise

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of the taxing powers of provinces, cities, municipalities,
and barangays shall not extend to the levy of the following:
xxx xxx xxx
(j) Taxes on the gross receipts of transportation contractors and persons
engaged in the transportation of passengers or freight by hire and
common carriers by air, land or water, except as provided in this Code;
SEC. 143. Tax on Business. The municipality may impose taxes on
the following businesses:
xxx xxx xxx
(h) On any business, not otherwise specified in the preceding
paragraphs, which the sanggunian concerned may deem proper to
tax: Provided, That on any business subject to the excise, value-added
or percentage tax under the National Internal Revenue Code, as
amended, the rate of tax shall not exceed two percent (2%) of gross
sales or receipts of the preceding calendar year.

Issue:
Whether or not Section 21 (B) of the Manila Revenue Code is valid.
Ruling:
Section 21 (B) of the Manila Revenue Code, as amended, was null and void for being beyond the
power of the City of Manila and its public officials to enact, approve, and implement under
the LGC.
FIRST: The power of a province to tax is limited to the extent that such power is delegated to it
either by the Constitution or by statute. Among the common limitations on the taxing power of
LGUs is Section 133 (j) of the LGC, which states that "Unless otherwise provided herein, the
taxing power of LGUs shall not extend to taxes on the gross receipts of transportation contractors
and persons engaged in the transportation of passengers or freight by hire and common carriers
by air, land or water, except as provided in this Code.
Section 133 (j) of the LGC clearly and unambiguously proscribes LGUs from imposing any tax
on the gross receipts of transportation contractors, persons engaged in the transportation of
passengers or freight by hire, and common carriers by air, land, or water.
SECOND: Section 133 (j) of the LGC prevails over Section 143 (h) of the same Code, and
Section 21 (B) of the Manila Revenue Code, as amended, was manifestly in contravention of the
former. Section 133 (j) of the LGC is a specific provision that explicitly withholds from any LGU
the power to tax the gross receipts of transportation contractors, persons engaged in the
transportation of passengers or freight by hire, and common carriers by air, land, or water.
In contrast, Section 143 of the LGC defines the general power of the municipality (as well as the
city, if read in relation to Section 151 of the same Code) to tax businesses within its jurisdiction.
The omnibus grant of power to municipalities and cities under Section 143 (h) of the LGC cannot
overcome the specific exception/exemption in Section 133 (j) of the same Code. This is in accord
with the rule on statutory construction that specific provisions must prevail over general ones. A
special and specific provision prevails over a general provision irrespective of their relative

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positions in the statute. Generalia specialibus non derogant. Where there is in the same statute a
particular enactment and also a general one which in its most comprehensive sense would include
what is embraced in the former, the particular enactment must be operative, and the general
enactment must be taken to affect only such cases within its general language as are not within
the provisions of the particular enactment.
THIRD: Section 143 (h) of the LGC would not be "a hollow decorative provision with no subject
to tax for tax may still be imposed on other kinds of businesses. On the contrary, it would be
Section 133 (j) of the LGC which would become inoperative should the Court accept the
construction proffered by the City of Manila and its public officials, because then, there would be
no instance at all when the gross receipts of the transportation contractors, persons engaged in the
transportation of passengers or freight by hire, and common carriers by air, land, or water, would
not be subject to tax by the LGUs, clearly defeating the limitation imposed by the LGC.

COMPILED CASE DIGEST | DE CASTRO| ATTY. B.AMAGO IV| 2015 BAR 18


Commercial Law Cases

1. BRO. BERNARD OCA, FSC, BRO. DENNIS MAGBANUA, FSC, MRS. CIRILA
MOJICA, MRS. JOSEFINA PASCUAL, AND ST. FRANCIS SCHOOL OF GENERAL
TRIAS, CAVITE, INC. vs. LAURITA CUSTODIO.
G.R. NO. 174996. DECEMBER 3, 2014.
[Status Quo Order in Intra-corporate Case; When and How Issued]

FACTS:
Petitioner St. Francis School of General Trias, Cavite, Inc. (SFS) is a non-stock
and non-profit educational institution. Petitioners Oca, Magnaua, Mojica and Pascual are
current members of the Board of Trustees of SFS. Private respondent was one of the
incorporators of SFS and served also as a board member.
On September 8, 1988, to formalize the relationship between the De La Salle
Greenhills (DLSG) and SFS, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was executed.
Through this agreement, DLSG exercised supervisory powers over the Schools
academic affairs. Pursuant to the terms of the MOA, DLSG appointed supervisors who sit
in the meetings of the Board of Trustees without any voting rights. On September 8,
1998, petitioner Bro. Bernard Oca was appointed as a DLSG supervisor. From then Bro.
Oca also served as a member of the Board of Trustees and President of the School. Bro.
Dennis Magbanua was also appointed as DLSG supervisor and also as a Treasurer of the
School.
Custodio challenges the validity of the membership of the DLSG Brothers and
their purported election as officers of the School. The legality of the membership and
election of the DLSG Brothers is the main issue of the case in the lower court. Custodio
alleges that the composition of the membership of the School had no basis there being no
formal admission as members nor election as officers. The legality of the membership
and assumption as officers of the DLSG Brothers was questioned by Custodio following
a disagreement regarding a proposed MOA that would replace the existing MOA with the
DLSG Brothers and her removal as Curriculum Administrator through the Board of
Trustee[s].
On July 8, 2002, the Board of Trustees of St. Francis School resolved to remove
respondent Laurita Custodio as a member of the Board of Trustees and as a member of
the Corporation pursuant to Sections 28 and 91 of the Corporation Code as indicated in
Resolution No. 011-2002. In reaction to her removal, respondent filed with the trial court,
on October 3, 2002, a Complaint with Prayer for the Issuance of a Preliminary Injunction
against petitioners again assailing the legality of the membership of the Board of Trustees
of St. Francis School.
After a series of pleadings and motions, the trial court, acting favorably on private
respondents October 9, 2002 Manifestation and Motion issued a Status Quo Order dated
August 21, 2003 which permitted respondent to continue discharging her functions as
school director and curriculum administrator as well as those who are presently and

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actually discharging functions as school officer to continue performing their duties until
the application for the issuance of a temporary restraining order is resolved.
ISSUE:
WON the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing the assailed Order
dated August 21, 2003 (status quo order).
HELD:
The trial court committed error in issuing the Status Quo Order for failing to comply with
procedural requirements.
RATIO:
A status quo order is merely intended to maintain the last, actual, peaceable and
uncontested state of things which preceded the controversy. It further states that, unlike a
temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction, a status quo order is more in the
nature of a cease and desist order, since it neither directs the doing or undoing of acts as
in the case of prohibitory or mandatory injunctive relief.
The manner of the issuance of a status quo order in an intra-corporate suit such as
the case at bar is governed by Section 1, Rule 10 of the Interim Rules of Procedure for
Intra-Corporate Controversies which reads:
SECTION 1. Provisional remedies. - A party may apply for any of the
provisional remedies provided in the Rules of Court as may be available
for the purposes. However, no temporary restraining order or status quo
order shall be issued save in exceptional cases and only after hearing the
parties and the posting of a bond.
The Order was clearly erroneously issued as First, the directive to reinstate
respondent to her former position as school director and curriculum administrator is a
command directing the undoing of an act already consummated which is the exclusive
province of prohibitory or mandatory injunctive relief and not of a status quo order which
is limited only to maintaining the last, actual, peaceable and uncontested state of things
which immediately preceded the controversy. It must be remembered that respondent
was already removed as trustee, member of the corporation and curriculum administrator
by the Board of Trustees of St. Francis School of General Trias, Cavite, Inc. months prior
to her filing of the present case in the trial court.
Second, the trial courts omission of not requiring respondent to file a bond before
the issuance of the Status Quo Order dated August 21, 2003 is in contravention with the
express instruction of Section 1, Rule 10 of the Interim Rules of Procedure for Intra-
Corporate Controversies.

COMPILED CASE DIGEST | DE CASTRO| ATTY. B.AMAGO IV| 2015 BAR 20


2. [G.R. No. 172652. November 26, 2014.]
METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, petitioner, vs.
WILFRED N. CHIOK, respondent.

(consolidated case)

[Negotiable Instruments Law, Managers Check]

Facts:
Respondent Wilfred N. Chiok (Chiok) had been engaged in dollar trading for several
years. He usually buys dollars from Gonzalo B. Nuguid (Nuguid) at the exchange rate
prevailing on the date of the sale. Chiok pays Nuguid either in cash or manager's check,
to be picked up by the latter or deposited in the latter's bank account. Nuguid delivers the
dollars either on the same day or on a later date as may be agreed upon between them, up
to a week later. Chiok and Nuguid had been dealing in this manner for about six to eight
years, with their transactions running into millions of pesos. For this purpose, Chiok
maintained accounts with petitioners Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company
(Metrobank) and Global Business Bank, Inc. (Global Bank), the latter being then
referred to as the Asian Banking Corporation (Asian Bank). Chiok likewise entered into a
Bills Purchase Line Agreement (BPLA) with Asian Bank. Under the BPLA, checks
drawn in favor of, or negotiated to, Chiok may be purchased by Asian Bank. Upon such
purchase, Chiok receives a discounted cash equivalent of the amount of the check earlier
than the normal clearing period.
On July 5, 1995, pursuant to the BPLA, Asian Bank "bills purchased" Security Bank &
Trust Company (SBTC) Manager's Check (MC) No. 037364 in the amount of
P25,500,000.00 issued in the name of Chiok, and credited the same amount to the latter's
Savings Account No. 2-007-03-00201-3.
On the same day, July 5, 1995, Asian Bank issued MC No. 025935 in the amount
of P7,550,000.00 and MC No. 025939 in the amount of P10,905,350.00 to
Gonzalo Bernardo, who is the same person as Gonzalo B. Nuguid. The two Asian
Bank manager's checks, with a total value of P18,455,350.00 were issued
pursuant to Chiok's instruction and was debited from his account. Likewise upon
Chiok's application, Metrobank issued Cashier's Check (CC) No. 003380 in the
amount of P7,613,000.00 in the name of Gonzalo Bernardo. The same was
debited from Chiok's Savings Account No. 154-42504955.

Chiok then deposited the three checks (Asian Bank MC Nos. 025935 and 025939,
and Metrobank CC No. 003380), with an aggregate value of P26,068,350.00 in
Nuguid's account with Far East Bank & Trust Company (FEBTC), the
predecessor-in-interest of petitioner Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI). Nuguid
was supposed to deliver US$1,022,288.50, 4 the dollar equivalent of the three
checks as agreed upon, in the afternoon of the same day. Nuguid, however, failed
to do so, prompting Chiok to request that payment on the three checks be stopped.

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On July 25, 1995, the RTC issued an Order directing the issuance of a writ of
preliminary prohibitory injunction.

The RTC went on to rule that manager's checks and cashier's checks may be the
subject of a Stop Payment Order from the purchaser on the basis of the payee's
contractual breach.

According to the RTC, both manager's and cashier's checks are still subject to regular
clearing under the regulations of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Since manager's and
cashier's checks are the subject of regular clearing, they may consequently be refused for
cause by the drawee, which refusal is in fact provided for in the PCHC Rule Book.

Issues:
1. WON payment of manager's and cashier's checks are subject to the condition that the
payee thereof should comply with his obligations to the purchaser of the checks.
2. Whether or not the purchaser of manager's and cashier's checks has the right to have
the checks cancelled by filing an action for rescission of its contract with the payee.

Held:
1.
The Supreme Court held that the RTC effectively ruled that payment of manager's and
cashier's checks are subject to the condition that the payee thereof complies with his
obligations to the purchaser of the checks:
The dedication of such
checks pursuant to specific reciprocal undertakings between their
purchasers and payees authorizes rescission by the former to prevent
substantial and material damage to themselves, which authority includes
stopping the payment of the checks.
Moreover, it seems to be fallacious to hold that the unconditional
payment of manager's and cashier's checks is the rule. To begin with,
bothmanager's and cashier's checks are still subject to regular clearing
under the regulations of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, a fact borne
out by the BSPmanual for banks and intermediaries, which provides,
among others, in its Section 1603.1, c, as follows:
xxx xxx xxx
c. Items for clearing. All checks and documents payable on demand and drawn
against a
bank/branch, institution or entity allowed to clear may be exchanged through the
Clearing Office in Manila and the Regional Clearing Units in regional clearing
centers designated by the Central Bank.

But The Supreme Court also held that the RTC made an error when it said that:
It goes without saying that under the aforecited clearing rule[,] the enumeration of
causes to return checks is not exclusive but may include other causes which are
consistent with long standing and accepted banking practice.

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While indeed, it cannot be said that manager's and cashier's checks are pre-
cleared, clearing should not be confused with acceptance. Manager's and cashier's
checks are still the subject of clearing to ensure that the same have not been materially
altered or otherwise completely counterfeited. However, manager's and cashier's checks
are pre-accepted by the mere issuance thereof by the bank, which is both its drawer and
drawee. Thus, while manager's and cashier's checks are still subject to clearing, they
cannot be countermanded for being drawn against a closed account, for being drawn
against insufficient funds, or for similar reasons such as a condition not appearing on the
face of the check. Long standing and accepted banking practices do not countenance the
countermanding of manager's and cashier's checks on the basis of a mere allegation of
failure of the payee to comply with its obligations towards the purchaser. On the contrary,
the accepted banking practice is that such checks are as good as cash.

Furthermore, under the principle of ejusdem generis, where a statute describes things of a
particular class or kind accompanied by words of a generic character, the generic word
will usually be limited to things of a similar nature with those particularly enumerated,
unless there be something in the context of the statute which would repel such
inference. Thus, any long standing and accepted banking practice which can be
considered as a valid cause to return manager's or cashier's checks should be of a similar
nature to the enumerated cause applicable to manager's or cashier's checks: material
alteration. As stated above, an example of a similar cause is the presentation of a
counterfeit check.

2.
Reciprocal obligations are those which arise from the same cause, and in which each
party is a debtor and a creditor of the other, such that the obligation of one is dependent
upon the obligation of the other. They are to be performed simultaneously such that the
performance of one is conditioned upon the simultaneous fulfillment of the other. When
Nuguid failed to deliver the agreed amount to Chiok, the latter had a cause of action
against Nuguid to ask for the rescission of their contract. On the other hand, Chiok did
not have a cause of action against Metrobank and Global Bank that would allow him to
rescind the contracts of sale of the manager's or cashier's checks, which would have
resulted in the crediting of the amounts thereof back to his accounts.
Otherwise stated, the right of rescission under Article 1191 of the Civil Code can only be
exercised in accordance with the principle of relativity of contracts under Article 1131 of
the same code, which provides:
Art. 1311. Contracts take effect only between the parties, their assigns and heirs,
except in case where the rights and obligations arising from the contract are not
transmissible by their nature, or by stipulation or by provision of law.
In several cases, this Court has ruled that under the civil law principle of relativity of
contracts under Article 1131, contracts can only bind the parties who entered into it, and
it cannot favor or prejudice a third person, even if he is aware of such contract and has
acted with knowledge thereof. 44 Metrobank and Global Bank are not parties to the
contract to buy foreign currency between Chiok and Nuguid. Therefore, they are not

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bound by such contract and cannot be prejudiced by the failure of Nuguid to comply with
the terms thereof.
Neither could Chiok be validly granted a writ of injunction against Metrobank and Global
Bank to enjoin said banks from honoring the subject manager's and cashier's checks. It is
elementary that "(a)n injunction should never issue when an action for damages would
adequately compensate the injuries caused. The very foundation of the jurisdiction to
issue the writ of injunction rests in the fact that the damages caused are irreparable and
that damages would not adequately compensate." Chiok could have and should have
proceeded directly against Nuguid to claim damages for breach of contract and to have
the very account where he deposited the subject checks garnished under Section 7
(d) and Section 8, Rule 57 of the Rules of Court. Instead, Chiok filed an action to enjoin
Metrobank and Global Bank from complying with their primary obligation under checks
in which they are liable as both drawer and drawee.
As between two innocent persons, one of whom must suffer the consequences of a
breach of trust, the one who made it possible by his act of confidence must bear the
loss. Evidently, it was the utmost trust and confidence reposed by Chiok to Nuguid that
caused this entire debacle, dragging three banks into the controversy, and having their
resources threatened because of an alleged default in a contract they were not privy to.

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Criminal Law Cases

1. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. ROEL VERGARA y CLAVERO. [G.R. No.


199226. January 15, 2014.]

[Statutory Rape]

FACTS:

Plaintiff filed an information against Accused for rape.

The information of Plaintiff reads, That on or about September 12, 2004, in the City of Cavite,
Republic of the Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named
accused, being then the stepfather of one [AAA], a minor, 9 years of age, with force and
intimidation, did, then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously had carnal knowledge with
said minor, [AAA], without her consent and against her will.

In his defense, [accused-appellant] interposed the lone defense of alibi, alleging that he was not in
their house on the day of the incident but was at work as a cook in a restaurant, less than a
kilometer or about a 30-minute walk away from their house. [Accused-appellant] testified that he
never had the chance to be with the victim on the day in question since his work was from 3:00
oclock in the afternoon to 2:00 oclock in the morning of the following day.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Accused Clavero is guilty of rape

RULING:

Accused Clavero is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of RAPE as defined and
punished under paragraph (1), (d) Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by RA
8363, and accordingly sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to
indemnify the victim [AAA] in the amount of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity, the amount of
P50,000.00 as moral damages, and the amount of P35,000 as exemplary damages with interest at
the legal rate of 6% per annum from the date of finality of this judgment.

Under Article 266-A(1) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 8353, the
crime of rape is committed by a man having carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the
following circumstances: (a) through force, threat or intimidation; (b) when the offended party is
deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; (c) by means of fraudulent machination or grave
abuse of authority; and (d) when the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is
demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present.

Rape under paragraph 3 of this article is termed statutory rape as it departs from the usual modes
of committing rape. What the law punishes in statutory rape is carnal knowledge of a woman
below twelve (12) years old. Thus, force, intimidation and physical evidence of injury are not
relevant considerations; the only subject of inquiry is the age of the woman and whether carnal
knowledge took place. The law presumes that the victim does not and cannot have a will of her
own on account of her tender years; the childs consent is immaterial because of her presumed
incapacity to discern good from evil.

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In the case at bar, the prosecution was able to establish beyond reasonable doubt that accused-
appellant had carnal knowledge of AAA in the afternoon of September 12, 2004, when AAA was
just nine years old. In her Sworn Statement dated September 15, 2004 to Senior Police Officer 4
Eloisa B. Ocava, AAA narrated how accused-appellant had been raping her since 2003, and
described in great detail the last rape that occurred on September 12, 2004. AAA subsequently
took the witness stand during trial and personally recounted her ordeal in accused-appellants
hands, particularly, the last incident of rape on September 12, 2004. AAA, who was already
starting to feel pregnant, finally gained courage soon after the last rape to tell her mothers friend
about what accused-appellant was doing to her.

It is settled jurisprudence that testimonies of child victims are given full weight and credit,
because when a woman, more so if she is a minor, says that she has been raped, she says in effect
all that is necessary to show that rape was committed. Youth and immaturity are generally badges
of truth and sincerity.

Thus, Accused Clavero is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of RAPE as defined and
punished under paragraph (1), (d) Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by RA
8363, and accordingly sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua and to
indemnify the victim [AAA] in the amount of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity, the amount of
P50,000.00 as moral damages, and the amount of P35,000 as exemplary damages with interest at
the legal rate of 6% per annum from the date of finality of this judgment.

2. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. AURELIO JASTIVA. [G.R. No. 199268. February
12, 2014.]

[Rape]

FACTS:

Plaintiff filed a criminal case against Accused with rape penalized under Article 266-A in relation
to Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, as amended.

The information reads, that in the evening, on or about the 3rd day of August, (sic) 2004, in x x
x, Zamboanga del Norte, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, armed
with a knife, by means of force and intimidation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously succeed in having sexual intercourse with one [AAA], a 67-year-old married, against
her will and without her consent.

In his defense, Accused argued (i) that "[t]he identity of the appellant was not established," x x x
"considering that the private complainant herself admitted that the room where the alleged
incident happened was dark;" (ii) that "the witness could not possibly identify the real culprit"
because she testified that "she only saw his back, albeit the alleged moonlight;" (iii) that "private
complainant even opened the door for her rapist to let the latter go out of her house x x x private
complainant had all the opportunity to shout for help but she did not do so;" (iv) that the private
complainants two conflicting statements in her sworn affidavit that appellant Jastiva removed
her panty and inserted his penis in her vagina vis--vis her testimony in open court that appellant

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Jastiva removed her panty but first sucked her vagina to make his penis erect, and then inserted
his penis into her vagina seriously cast doubts on her credibility; (v) that "[t]he testimony of the
private complainant failed to show any force or intimidation exerted upon her person" as
appellant Jastiva was still able to engage in sexual foreplay with leisure prior to the actual sexual
intercourse; (vi) that "[t]he absence of rape is further bolstered by the medial (sic) findings x x x
the medical certificate states, among other things, that no sign of irritation at the external
genitalia; external genitalia appeared multiparous with corrugated skin folds x x x;" and (vii) that
his defense of alibi and denial should be given great weight in view of the weakness of the
evidence of the prosecution.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Accused Jastiva is guilty of rape

RULING:

Accused Jastiva is GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of simple rape and is
sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, and ordered to pay AAA the amounts of
P50,000.00 as civil indemnity, P50,000.00 as moral damages, and P30,000.00 as exemplary
damages. Appellant Aurelio Jastiva is further ordered to pay legal interest on all damages
awarded in this case at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum from the date of finality of this
decision until fully paid.

Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code defines the crime of rape, viz:

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


1) By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following
circumstances:
a) Through force, threat or intimidation[.]

From the above-quoted provision of law, the elements of rape (under paragraph 1, subparagraph
a) are as follows: (1) that the offender is a man; (2) that the offender had carnal knowledge of a
woman; and (3) that such act is accomplished by using force, (threat) or intimidation.

The RTC and the Court of Appeals were one in finding that appellant Jastiva had carnal
knowledge of AAA against the latters will through force and intimidation. Despite his vigorous
protestations, this Court agrees in the finding that the crime of rape committed by appellant
Jastiva against AAA was proved by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt on the basis of the
following:
a) AAAs credible, positive and categorical testimony relative to the circumstances
surrounding her rape;
b) AAAs positive identification of appellant Jastiva as the one who raped her;
c) The physical evidence consistent with AAAs assertion that she was raped; and
d) The absence of ill motive on the part of AAA in filing the complaint against appellant
Jastiva.

In this case, appellant Jastiva insistently makes an issue out of AAAs failure to shout for help or
struggle against him, which for him does nothing but erode her credibility. This Court, however,
does not agree. It does not follow that because AAA failed to shout for help or struggle against
her attacker means that she could not have been raped. The force, violence, or intimidation in
rape is a relative term, depending not only on the age, size, and strength of the parties but also on

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their relationship with each other. And physical resistance need not be established in rape when
intimidation is exercised upon the victim and the latter submits herself against her will to the
rapists advances because of fear for her life and personal safety. Record disclose that in this case,
AAA was already 67 years of age when she was raped in the dark by appellant Jastiva who was
armed with a knife. Justifiably, a woman of such advanced age could only recoil in fear and
succumb into submission. In any case, with such shocking and horrifying experience, it would not
be reasonable to impose upon AAA any standard form of reaction. Time and again, this Court has
recognized that different people react differently to a given situation involving a startling
occurrence. The workings of the human mind placed under emotional stress are unpredictable,
and people react differently - some may shout, others may faint, and still others may be shocked
into insensibility even if there may be a few who may openly welcome the intrusion.

More to the point, physical resistance is not the sole test to determine whether a woman
involuntarily succumbed to the lust of an accused. Some may offer strong resistance while others
may be too intimidated to offer any resistance at all, just like what happened in this case. Thus,
the law does not impose a burden on the rape victim to prove resistance. What needs only to be
proved by the prosecution is the use of force or intimidation by the accused in having sexual
intercourse with the victim which it did in the case at bar.

Thus, Accused Jastiva is GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of simple rape and is
sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua, and ordered to pay AAA the amounts of
P50,000.00 as civil indemnity, P50,000.00 as moral damages, and P30,000.00 as exemplary
damages. Appellant Aurelio Jastiva is further ordered to pay legal interest on all damages
awarded in this case at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum from the date of finality of this
decision until fully paid.

3. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. MERVIN GAHI. [G.R. No. 202976. February 19,
2014.]
[Rape]

FACTS:

Plaintiff filed a criminal case for rape against Accused under Article 266-A of the Revised Penal
Code.

The information reads, That on or about the 11th day of March, 2002, in the Municipality of
Capoocan, Province of Leyte, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the
above-named accused, with deliberate intent and with lewd designs and by use of force and
intimidation, armed with a knife, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously had
carnal knowledge with (sic) [AAA] against her will and a 16[-]year old girl, to her damage and
prejudice.

In his defense, Accused Mervin Gahi, 35 years old, married, a farmer and a resident of Brgy.
Visares, Capoocan, Leyte argued that AAAs incredible and inconsistent testimony does not form
sufficient basis for him to be convicted of two counts of rape. He argues that his testimony along
with that of other defense witnesses should have been accorded greater weight and credibility. He
faults the trial court for ignoring the extended time period between the alleged rapes and the birth
of AAAs baby; and for disbelieving Jackie Gucelas testimony which stated that the latter was
AAAs lover and the father of AAAs child, contrary to AAAs claim that the baby was the fruit
of appellants unlawful carnal congress with her. He also insists that his alibi should have

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convinced the trial court that he is innocent because he was at another place at the time the rapes
were allegedly committed by him. On the strength of these assertions, appellant believes that he is
deserving of an acquittal that is long overdue because the prosecution failed miserably to prove
his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Accused Gahi is guilty of rape

RULING:

Accused Gahi is GUILTY, beyond reasonable doubt for two counts of RAPE charged under
Criminal Cases No. 4202 and 4203, and sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua for
each count. He is also ordered to pay civil indemnity of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00),
exemplary damages of Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00), and interest on all damages at the
legal rate of six percent ( 6%) per annum from the date of finality of this judgment.

Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code defines when and how the felony of rape is committed,
to wit:

Rape is committed

1) By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following
circumstances:
(a) Through force, threat or intimidation;
(b) When the offended party is deprived of reason or is otherwise unconscious;
(c) By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority;
(d) When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even
though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present.

2) By any person who, under any of the circumstances mentioned in paragraph 1 hereof, shall
commit an act of sexual assault by inserting his penis into another persons mouth or anal orifice,
or any instrument or object, into the genital or anal orifice of another person.

Appellant questions the weighty trust placed by the trial court on the singular and uncorroborated
testimony of AAA as the basis for his conviction. On this point, we would like to remind
appellant that it is a fundamental principle in jurisprudence involving rape that the accused may
be convicted based solely on the testimony of the victim, provided that such testimony is credible,
natural, convincing and consistent with human nature and the normal course of things.

It is likewise jurisprudentially settled that when a woman says she has been raped, she says in
effect all that is necessary to show that she has been raped and her testimony alone is sufficient if
it satisfies the exacting standard of credibility needed to convict the accused. Thus, in this
jurisdiction, the fate of the accused in a rape case, ultimately and oftentimes, hinges on the
credibility of the victims testimony.

In this case, anent the inconsistent statements made by AAA in her testimony which were pointed
out by appellant, we agree with the assessment made by the Court of Appeals that these are but
minor discrepancies that do little to affect the central issue of rape which is involved in this case.
Instead of diminishing AAAs credibility, such variance on minor details has the net effect of
bolstering the truthfulness of AAAs accusations. We have constantly declared that a few

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discrepancies and inconsistencies in the testimonies of witnesses referring to minor details and
not in actuality touching upon the central fact of the crime do not impair the credibility of the
witnesses because they discount the possibility of their being rehearsed testimony.

Thus, Accused Gahi is GUILTY, beyond reasonable doubt for two counts of RAPE charged
under Criminal Cases No. 4202 and 4203, and sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion
perpetua for each count. He is also ordered to pay civil indemnity of Fifty Thousand Pesos
(P50,000.00), exemplary damages of Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00), and interest on all
damages at the legal rate of six percent ( 6%) per annum from the date of finality of this
judgment.

4. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. JOEL ABAT y


COMETA, accused-appellant. [G.R. No. 202704. April 2, 2014.]

[Rape]

FACTS:
On or about the 22nd day of September 2001, in Barangay San Narciso, Municipality of Victoria,
Province of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court,
the accused, Abat, motivated by lust and lewd desire, and by means of force and intimidation,
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously did lie, and succeeded in having carnal knowledge of one
[AAA], a fifteen (15)[-] year-old girl, his niece, against her will and without her consent, to the
damage and prejudice of the latter.
Contrary to Article 335 in relation to R.A. 7659 & 8353.
The defense of the respondent was that He and AAA considered themselves as lovers.
She frequently visited him during Saturdays and Sundays. AAA's parents filed a case
against him when they discovered she was pregnant. And because of a misunderstanding
between AAA's parents and his mother regarding a piece of property.

Abat is alleging that he and AAA had a romantic relationship, which eventually turned sour when
AAA started asking for money from him all the time. In support of this claim, he cites the birth
date of the baby, who was supposedly the product of his crime. Abat says that if the baby was
born in April 2002, then his version of the story, that they had consensual sex in July 2001, is
more credible than her story of rape in September 2001; otherwise, the baby would have been
premature.
ISSUE: Whether or not pregnancy is relevant in the crime of rape.
Held: No. In essence, Abat is questioning the lower courts' reliance on AAA's credibility, which
led to his conviction. It is well settled that the evaluation of the credibility of witnesses and their
testimonies is a matter best undertaken by the trial court because of its unique opportunity to

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observe the witnesses firsthand and to note their demeanor, conduct, and attitude under grilling
examination. These are important in determining the truthfulness of witnesses and in unearthing
the truth, especially in the face of conflicting testimonies. For, indeed, the emphasis, gesture, and
inflection of the voice are potent aids in ascertaining the witness' credibility, and the trial court
has the opportunity and can take advantage of these aids. These cannot be incorporated in the
record so that all that the appellate court can see are the cold words of the witness contained in
transcript of testimonies with the risk that some of what the witness actually said may have been
lost in the process of transcribing.
In any event, the impregnation of a woman is not an element of rape. Proof that the child was
fathered by another man does not show that accused-appellant is not guilty, considering the
positive testimony of Amalia that accused-appellant had abused her. As held in People v. Alib:
Under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code, rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a
woman under any of the following circumstances:
(1)By using force or intimidation;
(2)When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; and
(3)When the woman is under twelve years of age, even though neither of the circumstances
mentioned in the two next preceding paragraphs shall be present.
It is therefore quite clear that the pregnancy of the victim is not required. For the
conviction of an accused, it is sufficient that the prosecution establish beyond reasonable
doubt that he had carnal knowledge of the offended party and that he had committed such
act under any of the circumstances enumerated above. Carnal knowledge is defined as the act
of a man having sexual bodily connections with a woman[.] Having stressed that pregnancy is not
an element of the crime of rape, AAA's pregnancy therefore is totally immaterial to the resolution
of this case.
Furthermore, this Court has never favorably looked upon the defense of denial, which constitutes
self-serving negative evidence that cannot be accorded greater evidentiary weight than the
positive declaration of a credible witness. To elucidate on the point, this Court, in People v.
Espinosa, held that:
It is well-settled that denial, if unsubstantiated by clear and convincing evidence, is a self-serving
assertion that deserves no weight in law. Denial cannot prevail over the positive, candid and
categorical testimony of the complainant, and as between the positive declaration of the
complainant and the negative statement of the appellant, the former deserves more credence.

5. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. MILAN ROXAS y


AGUILUZ, accused-appellant. [G.R. No. 200793. June 4, 2014.]

[ Rape ]

FACTS:
The accused-appellant Milan Roxas y Aguiluz was found guilty of five counts of rape against
AAA, a minor who was 9 years old at the time of the first rape and 10 years old at the time of the
succeeding four rapes by the trial court and the CA.
The accused-appellant claims that he must not be held criminally liable on the ground of
minority, insanity or imbecility, as Dr. Agnes Aglipay, Regional Psychiatrist of the Bureau of Jail

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Management and Penology testified that based on her examination of the accused, she concluded
that he is suffering from a mild mental retardation with a mental age of nine (9) to ten (10) years
old. She observed that the subject was aware that he was being accused of rape, but he had
consistently denied the allegations against him. Accused-appellant Roxas claims that the
testimony of AAA is replete with inconsistencies and narrations that are contrary to common
experience, human nature and the natural course of things. Accused-appellant Roxas likewise
points out that under Republic Act No. 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006,
minors fifteen (15) years old and below are exempt from criminal responsibility. Accused-
appellant Roxas claims that since he has a mental age of nine years old, he should also be
"exempt from criminal liability although his chronological age at the time of the commission of
the crime was already eighteen years old."
ISSUE: Whether or not the accused-appellant is criminally exempt from liability on the ground of
his mental age.

HELD: NO. In the matter of assigning criminal responsibility, Section 6 of Republic Act No.
9344 is explicit in providing that:
SEC. 6.Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility. A child fifteen (15) years
of age or under at the time of the commission of the offense shall be exempt
from criminal liability. However, the child shall be subjected to an intervention
program pursuant to Section 20 of this Act.
A child is deemed to be fifteen (15) years of age on the day of the fifteenth
anniversary of his/her birthdate.
A child above fifteen (15) years but below eighteen (18) years of age shall
likewise be exempt from criminal liability and be subjected to an intervention
program, unless he/she has acted with discernment, in which case, such child
shall be subjected to the appropriate proceedings in accordance with this Act.
The exemption from criminal liability herein established does not include
exemption from civil liability, which shall be enforced in accordance with
existing laws. (Emphasis supplied.)
In determining age for purposes of exemption from criminal liability, Section 6 clearly refers to
the age as determined by the anniversary of one's birth date, and not the mental age as argued by
accused-appellant Roxas. When the law is clear and free from any doubt or ambiguity, there is no
room for construction or interpretation. Only when the law is ambiguous or of doubtful meaning
may the court interpret or construe its true intent.

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6. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. JOEL AQUINO y CENDANA @ AKONG. G.R.
No. 201092. January 15, 2014.

[Murder; Alibi as weak defense; Treachery; Abuse of Superior Strength absorbed in Treachery]

FACTS:
Accused-appellant Aquino was charged with Murder and violation of the Anti-
Carnapping Law. He was convicted on both accounts by the trial court and court of appeals.
Hence this appeal.
Around 8:30 in the evening of September 5, 2002, the victim Jesus Lita accompanied by
his 10-year old son rode their tricycle. Upon reaching the San Jose del Monte Elementary School,
appellant Joel Aquino together with Noynoy Almoguera a.k.a. Negro, Rodnal, Bing, John Doe
and Peter Doe boarded the tricycle. They proceeded to appellants nipa hut. They had a shabu
session upon reaching the hut while the son was watching t.v.
After using shabu, payment of 500 pesos was demanded from the victim by Almoguera.
However, the victim had no money to pay. They all boarded the tricycle once again, Almoguera
and John Doe were seated at the back of the victim while appellant was seated in the sidecar with
the son. Suddenly, appellant pointed a knife at the son while Almoguera stabbed the victims side.
They transferred his body to the sidecar and drove to a friends house where they again stabbed
the victim. Afterwards they dumped the body of the victim in a grassy area. The son was allowed
to go home the next day despite witnessing the events.
The body was found and an investigation conducted. The son was able to identify the
accused-appellant as one of the perpetrators of the killing of his father. The accused-appellant on
the other hand interposed the defense of alibi stating that he was working as a laborer/mason in
the construction of his uncles house in Cavite and that they stayed in the night at the barracks of
the construction site that night of the incident. He also denied knowing neither the victim nor the
son and denied using illegal drugs. He also stated that he was the one cooking the breakfast the
morning after the incident to which his co-workers corroborated that testimony.
The trial court found him guilty of murder after appreciating the circumstance of
treachery which attended the killing. The Court of Appeals likewise found him guilty.
Appellant challenges his conviction by arguing that the trial court was not able to prove
his guilt beyond reasonable doubt on because it only relied the incredible and inconsistent
testimony of the son, Jefferson Lita the sole eyewitness presented by the prosecution. He
contends that if Jefferson was indeed present during the murder of his father, Jesus Lita, then it
would be highly inconceivable that Jefferson would have lived to tell that tale since he would
most likely be also killed by the perpetrators being an eyewitness to the crime. Furthermore,
appellant maintains that he cannot possibly have committed the crimes attributed to him because,
on the night that Jesus was murdered, he was asleep in the barracks of a construction site
somewhere in Dasmarias City, Cavite.
ISSUE:
WON the trial court erred in finding that treachery attended the killing.
HELD:
Accused-appellant is guilty of the crime of murder.
RATIO:

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It has been consistently held that for the defense of alibi to prosper, the accused must
prove not only that he was at some other place at the time of the commission of the crime, but
also that it was physically impossible for him to be at the locus delicti or within its immediate
vicinity. Appellant failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that it was physically
impossible for him to be at San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan when Jesus was murdered. His
own testimony revealed that the distance between the locus delicti and Dasmarias City, Cavite is
only a four to five hour regular commute which could be traveled easily in the wee hours of the
morning.
Furthermore, the only person that could corroborate appellant's alibi is his friend and
former co-worker, Paul Maglaque. It has been consistently given less probative weight to a
defense of alibi when it is corroborated by friends and relatives since jurisprudence has laid down
that, in order for corroboration to be credible, the same must be offered preferably by
disinterested witnesses. Clearly, due to his friendship with appellant, Maglaque cannot be
considered as a disinterested witness.
According to jurisprudence, to be convicted of murder, the following must be established:
(1) a person was killed; (2) the accused killed him; (3) the killing was with the attendance of any
of the qualifying circumstances under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code; and (4) the killing
neither constitutes parricide nor infanticide.
Contrary to appellant's assertion, the qualifying circumstance of treachery did attend the
killing of Jesus. Treachery is present when the offender commits any of the crimes against
persons, employing means, methods, or forms in the execution, which tend directly and specially
to insure its execution, without risk to the offender arising from the defense which the offended
party might make.
The essence of treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack by the aggressor on an
unsuspecting victim, depriving him of any real chance to defend himself. Even when the victim
was forewarned of the danger to his person, treachery may still be appreciated since what is
decisive is that the execution of the attack made it impossible for the victim to defend himself or
to retaliate. In this case, there was no way for Jesus to even be forewarned of the intended
stabbing of his body both from the people seated in the side car and those seated behind him.
What is decisive in an appreciation of treachery is that the execution of the attack made it
impossible for the victim to defend himself.
Contrary to the findings of the trial court and Court of Appeals that the aggravating
circumstance of abuse of superior strength is to be appreciated in the case at bar, it is not to be
appreciated as such. As per jurisprudence, when the circumstance of abuse of superior strength
concurs with treachery, the former is absorbed in the latter. Thus, having proven treachery
attended the killing, then the circumstance of abuse of superior strength cannot be separately
appreciated against the accused-appellant.

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7. PEOPLE vs. BURCE [G.R. No. 201732. March 26, 2014.]

[Rape]

FACTS:
Five informations were filed with the Regional Trial Court of Naga City, charging Burce of rape
against his minor daughter, AAA. The five cases were consolidated and jointly tried. Burce
pleaded not guilty to all five rape charges. The prosecution presented as witnesses during trial: (1)
AAA, the victim; (2) BBB, AAAs mother and Burces wife; (3) CCC, AAAs sister-in-law; and
(4) Dr. Raoul Alcantara (Alcantara), physician-medico legal officer of the National Bureau of
Investigation. Alcantaras report was also presented stating that (1) no extra-genital physical
injury was noted at the time of examination, and (2) the medico-genital findings show definitive
signs of previous blunt force injury to the hymen. Evidence for the defense solely consisted of
accused-appellant Burces testimony.

The RTC rendered its decision on April 2, 2009, convicting Burce of rape only in Criminal Case
No. RTC08-0169 and acquitting him of the four other charges, as the prosecution failed to
establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. Burce appealed his conviction before
the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed with modification the RTC judgment of
conviction against Burce.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals gravely erred in finding the accused-appellant
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of one count of qualified rape.

RULING: The appeal has no merit.

The Court stresses that each and every charge of rape is a separate and distinct crime so that each
of them should be proven beyond reasonable doubt. The prosecution is required to establish, by
the necessary quantum of proof, the elements of rape for each charge. Therefore, Burces
acquittal in the four other charges does not necessarily result in his acquittal in RTC08-0169.
While the prosecution presented the same witnesses for all the cases, the content, credibility, and
weight of their testimonies differ for each charge.

Burces conviction in RTC08-0169 is dependent upon AAAs testimony recounting how her
father raped her on December 10, 2005. After a careful review, the Court is convinced that
AAAs unwavering narration of how she was raped on December 10, 2005, together with her
positive identification of her own father as the one who raped her, are worthy of belief.

Burces defenses consisted of denial and alibi. He claims he was out of the house at the time of
the alleged rape, driving a tricycle to make a living. For the defense of alibi to prosper, the
accused must prove not only that he was at some other place at the time of the commission of the
crime, but also that it was physically impossible for him to be at the locus delicti or within its
immediate vicinity. Burce failed to demonstrate that it was physically impossible for him to have
been home on the night of December 10, 2005. Not only was his alibi uncorroborated, his work as
tricycle driver would have allowed him to go home with ease anytime he wanted. BBB, Burces
wife testified that Burce would go home late at night to sleep and just leave early in the morning.

Burces carnal knowledge of AAA was established by AAAs testimony, corroborated by Dr.
Alcantaras finding of blunt force injuries to AAAs hymen, probably caused by penetration by
an erect male organ. Also based on AAAs testimony, Burce used force against her by holding

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both her hands and pinning her legs beneath his so he could successfully have carnal knowledge
of her. Moreover, Burce is AAAs father and his moral ascendancy over his minor daughter is
sufficient to take the place of actual force, threat, or intimidation.

8. PEOPLE vs. CASTILLO Y VALENCIA [G.R. No. 193666. April 19, 2014.]

[Rape]

FACTS:
Two informations for sexual assault were filed against accused-appellant Marlon Castillo
(Castillo). The informations alleged that Castillo sexually assaulted his daughter, Nene, sometime
in 1996-1997 and in 2000, by rubbing his penis on the labia of the vagina of complainant, licking
her vagina and breast and inserting his finger inside her vagina. Castillo pleaded not guilty to the
charge when arraigned.

Nene could no longer remember the exact date of her ordeal at the hands of Castillo. All she
remembered was that she was six years old at the time. Her defilement was repeated several
times, along with threats from Castillo to beat Nene and to kill her mother and brother if Nene
would resist and cry out loud. Nene told her mother about Castillos bestiality and they filed a
complaint against Castillo with the NBI which led to his detention. However, Nene and her
mother desisted from pursuing the complaint. Sometime in November 2000, Castillo abused Nene
again by rubbing his penis against her vagina.

After weighing the respective evidence of the parties, the trial court found the prosecutions
evidence credible and sufficient to sustain the conviction of the accused-appellant. In its decision,
dated April 11, 2007, the trial court found Castillo guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts
of qualified rape by sexual intercourse under Article 266-A(1) of the Revised Penal Code. It
stated that the accused-appellant was guilty of rape based on prevailing jurisprudence which
effects that the slightest introduction of the male organ into the labia of the victim already
constitutes rape.

Castillo appealed his case to the Court of Appeals, contending that the testimony of Nene
contained inconsistencies, improbabilities, ambiguities, and contradictions. He contended that
Nene was inconsistent with facts regarding her age at the time of the crimes. He also argued that
he could not have raped Nene as she herself did not feel any pain nor did her genitalia bleed. The
Court of Appeals, in its decision dated April 23, 2010 rejected Castillos contentions.

ISSUE: Whether or not the testimony of Nene should be given credence despite some
inconsistencies.

RULING: The Court denies the accused-appellants appeal. The alleged contradiction and
inconsistencies refer to trivial matters. They are not material to the issue of whether or not the
accused-appellant committed the acts for which he has been charged, tried and convicted.
Error-free testimony cannot be expected, most especially when a witness is recounting details
of a harrowing experience. Nene was only ten years old when she answered questions
contained in the Sinumpaang Salaysay and she was only fourteen years old when she
testified. Circumstance of time, place, and even the presence of other persons are not
considerations in the commission of rape.

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The alleged variance in the narration in Nenes Sinumpaang Salaysay and during her
testimony of the specific acts of the accused-appellant which constituted the rape is more
apparent than real. During trial, Nene affirmed and confirmed the truthfulness of the
statements. Nenes Sinumpaang Salaysay and testimony during trial complement, rather than
contradict, each other. Taken together, they give a more complete account of the acts done by
Castillo.

Proof of hymenal laceration is not an element of rape. Nor is proof of genital bleeding. An
intact hymen does not negate a finding that the victim was raped. Penetration of the penis by
entry into the lips of the vagina, even without laceration of the hymen, is enough to constitute
rape, and even the briefest of contact is deemed rape. Besides, rape can now be committed
even without sexual intercourse, that is, by sexual assault.

Therefore, the trial and the appellate courts correctly ruled that Nenes testimony against the
accused-appellant is credible enough and sufficient enough to sustain the accused-appellants
conviction. Nene was clear and categorical in her testimony that her father, the accused-
appellant, with grave abuse of authority, threat and intimidation, sexually violated her in the
two instances subject of the informations filed.

There is a need to clarify the crimes for which the accused-appellant has been convicted.

In Criminal Case No. Q-03-119452, the accused-appellant can be held liable for either of two
crimes: (1) qualified statutory rape by sexual intercourse under Article 266-A(l)(d) of the
Revised Penal Code, as amended, which punishes as rape a mans carnal knowledge of a
woman under twelve years of age, even though there was no force, threat, intimidation, or
grave abuse of authority, or (2) qualified statutory rape by sexual assault under Article 266-
A(2) in connection with sub-paragraph (d) of the same Article 266-A(l). Both are qualified by
the first qualifying circumstance under Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code, as amended.
The trial court convicted the accused-appellant for qualified statutory rape by sexual
intercourse, finding that the accused-appellants sex organ penetrated Nenes genitalia. Such
finding is, however, mistaken. What Nene testified to was that her father, the accused-
appellant, rubbed his penis against her vagina. However, such rubbing of the penis against
the vagina does not amount to penetration which would consummate the rape by sexual
intercourse.

The Court is aware of cases where the conviction of the accused for consummated rape has
been upheld even if the victim testified that there was no penetration and the accused simply
rubbed his penis in the victims vagina. However, in those cases, there were pieces of
evidence such as the pain felt by the victim, injury to the sex organ of the victim (e.g.,
hymenal laceration), and bleeding of the victims genitalia. Here, the victim not only
categorically stated that there was no penetration, she also stated that she felt no pain and her
vagina did not bleed. Thus, the appellant cannot be convicted for qualified rape by sexual
intercourse.

Nevertheless, his conviction in Criminal Case No. Q-03-119452 cannot be downgraded to


qualified attempted rape. The prosecution has alleged and proved that there was qualified
rape by sexual assault when the accused-appellant kissed and licked his daughter Nenes
vagina and inserted his finger in her sex organ.

While the Court of Appeals correctly convicted the accused-appellant for rape by sexual
assault, it erred in affirming the penalty imposed by the trial court reclusion perpetua,

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which was for qualified rape by sexual intercourse. The accused-appellants penalty for
qualified rape by sexual abuse in Criminal Case No. Q-03-119452 should be modified to an
indeterminate sentence the minimum period of which is 12 years of prision mayor and the
maximum period of which is 17 years and 4 months of reclusion temporal.

The conviction of the accused-appellant in Criminal Case No. Q-03-119453 should also be
modified. Nenes statements in her Sinumpaang Salaysay and testimony at the witness stand
established that, in November 2000, her father rubbed his sex organ against hers. This cannot
be qualified rape by sexual assault. As the fact of penetration was not clearly established, this
is only attempted qualified rape by sexual intercourse. In this case, the accused-appellant
commenced the act of having sexual intercourse with Nene but failed to make a penetration
into her sexual organ not because of his spontaneous desistance but because of the relatively
small size of her orifice as indicated in the medical findings conducted upon Nene after the
November 2000 incident.

9. REPUBILC vs RENATO BESMONTE (G.R. 196228):

[Rape]

FACTS: Accused appellant was charged with statutory rape against his biological niece (AAA),
and an 8-year old minor. That one qualifying circumstance of the imposition of death penalty is
present in this case as follows:

Victim AAA is a minor at the time of the commission of the rape, and the offender is a
relative by consanguinity w/in the 3rd civil degree.

Upon the accuseds arraignment, the same pleaded not guilty to the charges. The prosecution
and the defense tried to establish their respective versions of the present case.

Prosecution:

The prosecution presented the ff. as witnesses: 1) AAA, 2) the private offended party, 14 years
old, 3) BBB, the mother of AAA, and 4) Dr. Janice Juan, a gynecologist.

AAA alleged and testified that the first rape incident happened sometime in 2000 when the victim
was merely 7 years old. She was in her residence together with her 2 younger brothers, when the
accused-appellant was her uncle, Renato Besmonte. The latter arrived in their house and got a
religious book and read the same. After, he told AAAs younger brothers to leave the house.
When the brothers left, Renato told AAA to lie down and remove her clothing. Renato undressed
himself and lay on top of AAA. Accused tried to insert his genitals into the vagina of AAA but
was unable to penetrate because AAA was crying due to the pain. This prompted Renato to leave.

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On the alleged second rape, AAA testified that she was inside her house when Renato came and
invited her to accompany him to get some crops, and so they went to the upland. While there,
accused allegedly raped her. The victim felt like her vagina was torn.

After the incident, the accused appellant brought her to their house and ordered the victim to take
a bath and remove the blood from her genitals. Accused-appellant brought the victim into an
empty house. There, accused appellant told AAA to lie down, and that the former would return
later.

Accused-appellant did not return. As the victim went back home, blood came out from her
vagina. AAAs mother went to the police station to report the rape incident.

After trial the RTC found accused-appellant guilty of 2 counts of statutory rape. The CA affirmed
such decision.

Accused-appellant appealed from the decision and argued the commission of statutory rape was
not proved beyond reasonable doubt. He claimed it was merely a fabricated claim.

ISSUE: WON Accussed-appellant, Renato Besmonte is guilty of 2 counts of statutory rape.

HELD: Yes. Accused-appellant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of two counts of crime of
qualified rape, and is imposed with the penalty of reclusion perpetua.

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


1) By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman . . .:
xxx xxx xxx

d) When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is


demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be
present.
Article 266-B. Penalties. Rape under paragraph 1 of the next preceding
article shall be punished by reclusion perpetua.

According to the RPC, statutory rape is committed when the ff. elements and in concurrence:
1) Victim is a female under 12 years of age or is demented
2) The offender has carnal knowledge of the victim

Thus, it is imperative that the prosecution must prove the age of the woman less than 12 years and
carnal knowledge took place.

Carnal knowledge, the other essential element in statutory rape, does not require full penile
penetration of the female. All that is necessary to consummate rape is for the penis of the accused
capable of consummating the sexual act comes into contact with the lips of the pudendum of the

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victim. Otherwise stated, rape is consummated once the penis of the accused, capable of
consummating the sexual act, touches the labia of the pudendum. It is required however, that the
touching of the labia must be sufficiently and convincingly established.

The SC concurs with the RTC and CAs conclusion that AAAs testimonial account thereon and
the physical injury she sustained as a result thereof were sufficiently and convincingly
established.

Accused-appellant contends that AAAs account of the second rape incident was highly doubtful
considering that she did not bother to escape from the former, or why she event went with the
same in the first place, in view of the first incident of rape.

SC ruled in previous jurisprudence that it does not follow that because the victim failed to shout
for help or struggle against her attacker means that she could not have been rape. The force,
violence, or intimidation in rape is a relative term, depending not only on the age, size, and
strength of the parties but also on their relationship with each other. Any physical resistance does
not need to be established in rape when intimidation is exercised by upon the victim and the same
submits herself against her will the rapists advances because of fear for her life and safety, or
the exercise of the moral ascendancy of the rapist over the victim.

SC ruled that OSG was correct in arguing that AAA could hardly be faulted for behaving as she
did. Being in her early years, and accused-appellants moral ascendancy over her, she could not
be expected to go against his orders, especially when the history of violence between them is
considered.

Furthermore, the SC holds that accused-appellant, the uncle of AAA committed 2 counts of
statutory rape by having carnal knowledge of AAA, a child below 12 years. However, Art 266-B
paragraph 6(1) qualifies the rape by a relative by consanguinity or affinity within the 3 rd civil
degree of the victim who is below 18 years of age.

10. PP VS DONALD VASQUEZ (G.R. 200304)

[Dangerous Drugs Act]

FACTS: Accused-appellant, Vasquez was convicted of for violation of RA 6425, otherwise


known as the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 for illegal sale and illegal possession of regulated
drugs under provisions of said law. The 2 criminal cases were eventually consolidated. During
arraignment, accused pleaded not guilty to both charges. The prosecution in their case testified
that an informant went to the office of P/Insp. Fajardo and reported that a certain Donald Vasquez
was engaged in illegal drug activity. The accused claimed he was an employee of the NBI.
According the informant, the accused promised him a good commission if the informant would
present a potential buyer of drugs. P/Insp. Fajardo conducted a possible buy-bust operation
against the accused. On the evening of the day of the buy-bust, P/Insp. Fajardo and her team went
to the meeting place of the buy-bust. Fajardo gave the accused the money to the accused, but the
latter suggested they go to a more secure place. When the team arrived at the second venue of the

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buybust, accused came out with a companion. When the exchange happened, Fajardo discovered
what she received consisted of a white crystalline substance, and assumed it was shabu. Fajardo
also discovered that the accuseds companion was named Reynaldo Siscar, who was, along with
the accused, arrested and brought to the police station. Fajardo testified further that the six plastic
bags of shabu seized during the buy-bust were actually contained in a self-sealing plastic
envelope placed inside a brown envelope. When the brown envelope was confiscated from the
accused, she put her initials JSF therein and signed it. She noticed the markings on the
envelope, which read DD-93-1303 re Antonio Roxas y Sunga, but she did not bother to check
out what they were for and who made them.

Fajardo learned later that accused worked as a Laboratory Aide at the NBI Crime Laboratory.
Also, after Fajardos team arrested the accused and his companion, they conducted a body search,
and yielded 12 more plastic sachets of drugs from the accused. The 12 sachets were placed inside
a white envelope. Fajardo signed the envelope, and the 12 sachets were signed by one of her
teammates.

The alleged drugs confiscated later on tested positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride

The Defenses case alleged that the accused was a regular employee at the NBI as Laboratory
Aide. During the alleged buybust by the police, instead of confiscating illegal drugs, they
initially poked guns at his companion, Reynaldo. The police then proceeded to accuseds room,
and knocked down the door. When the found the drug specimen, the accused told them that the
same were just part of his work at the NBI.

The RTC convicted the accused of the crimes charged upholding the presumption of regularity on
the part of the police officers work. The accused appealed to the CA, but the latter affirmed the
decision of the RTC.

The case was eventually appealed to the SC

ISSUE: WON accused is guilty illegal sale and possession of drugs.

HELD: YES. The SC is convinced that the prosecution was able to establish the guilt of the
appellant of the crimes charged.

Initially, the accused argues that the police officers did not have an arrest or search warrant at the
time of his arrest, despite the police having ample time to secure a warrant of arrest against him.
Thus, accused claims that the drugs confiscated were inadmissible as evidence against him.
Accused further claims that he was able to prove that he was authorized to keep the drug
specimens in his custody, given that he was an employee of the NBI.

To secure a conviction for the crime of illegal sale of regulated/prohibited drugs, the ff. elements
must be proven:
1) Identity of the buyer and seller, the object, and the consideration;
2) Delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor.

Furthermore, the elements for illegal possession of drugs are that:


1) The accused is in possession of an item/object, which is identified to be a prohibited
drug.
2) Such possession is not authorized by law
3) The accused freely and consciously possessed the drug.

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In the case at bar, the Court upheld the legitimacy of the buybust operation conducted by Fajardo
and her team.

Also, the records of the case are silent as to any measures undertaken by the accused to
criminally/administratively charge the police officers for falsely framing up the former for selling
and possessing illegal drugs. Furthermore, being a regular employee of the NBI, the accused
could have easily sought the help of his immediate supervisors and/or the chief of his office to
extricate him from his predicament.

11. People vs Daud, GR 197539

[ Illegal recruitment in large scale; Estafa ]

FACTS:

These are consolidated cases against the accused-appellants who are owners and
operators of Green Pasture Worldwide Tour and Consultancy in Paraaque City, who accepted
money from private complainants on the promise of work in Korea for companies like Nike,
despite not being licensed to recruit workers for overseas employment. Private complainants were
never sent to Korea despite payment, and their money was never returned to them. The accused
now question their conviction by the RTC and the CA of illegal recruitment in large scale and
estafa, saying that only Daud (another one of the accused) was the one who actually promised the
private complainants that they could work abroad. Both the RTC and the CA ruled that there was
conspiracy involved among co-accuseds, all the elements of illegal recruitment in large scale are
present in the case at bar.

ISSUE:
WON accused-appellants are guilty of illegal recruitment in large scale and estafa.

HELD:
Yes. All the elements for the crime are present in the case at bar.

RATIO:
Illegal Recruitment in Large Scale

The crime of illegal recruitment, according to the Supreme Court is committed when,
among other things, a person, who without being duly authorized according to law, represents or
gives the distinct impression that he or she has the power or the ability to provide work abroad
convincing those to whom the representation is made or to whom the impression is given to
thereupon part with their money in order to be assured of that employment.
The prosecution witnesses were positive and categorical in their testimonies that they
personally met appellant; that they knew appellant was associated with Green Pasture Worldwide
Tour and Consultancy; and that appellant had performed recruitment activities such as promising
employment abroad, encouraging job applications, and providing copies of job orders. The
private complainants testimonies are consistent and corroborate one another on material points,

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such as the amount of the placement fees asked, and the purported country of destination and
nature of work.

It was not necessary for the prosecution to still prove that appellant himself received the
placement fees from private complainants and issued receipts for the same, given the finding of
both the RTC and the Court of Appeals of the existence of conspiracy among appellant and his
co-accused. When there is conspiracy, the act of one is the act of all. It is not essential that there
be actual proof that all the conspirators took a direct part in every act. It is sufficient that they
acted in concert pursuant to the same objective.

Estafa
We likewise affirm the conviction of appellant for three counts of estafa committed
against the private complainants, based on the very same evidence that proved appellants
criminal liability for illegal recruitment.

It is settled that a person may be charged and convicted separately of illegal recruitment
under Republic Act No. 8042, in relation to the Labor Code, and estafa under Article 315,
paragraph 2(a)of the Revised Penal Code.
A person who commits illegal recruitment may be charged and convicted separately of
illegal recruitment under the Labor Code and estafa under par. 2(a) of Art. 315 of the Revised
Penal Code. The offense of illegal recruitment is malum prohibitum where the criminal intent of
the accused is not necessary for conviction, while estafa is malum in se where the criminal intent
of the accused is crucial for conviction. Conviction for offenses under the Labor Code does not
bar conviction for offenses punishable by other laws. Conversely, conviction for estafa under par.
2(a) of Art. 315 of the Revised Penal Code does not bar a conviction for illegal recruitment under
the Labor Code. It follows that ones acquittal of the crime of estafa will not necessarily result in
his acquittal of the crime of illegal recruitment in large scale, and vice versa.

The elements of estafa are: (a) that the accused defrauded another by abuse of confidence
or by means of deceit, and (b) that damage or prejudice capable of pecuniary estimation is caused
to the offended party or third person

The penalty for estafa depends on the amount of defraudation. Lastly, it is still incumbent
upon appellant to indemnify private complainants for the amounts paid to him and his
conspirators, with legal interest at the rate of 6% per annum, from the time of demand, which, in
this case, shall be deemed as the same day the Informations were filed against appellant, until the
said amounts are fully paid.

12. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. DEMOCRITO PARAS(RESOLUTION)(G.R. No.


192912, October 22, 2014)

[ Death of Accused pending appeal; extinguishment of criminal liability ]

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FACTS:

The accused-appellant Democrito Paras was charged with one count of rape before the Regional
Trial Court (RTC) of Toledo City, which crime was allegedly committed against AAA who was
17 years old at the time of the incident in March 1996. After trial on the merits, the RTC rendered
its Decision which found the accused-appellant guilty of the crime charged. On appeal, the Court
of Appeals upheld the judgment of the trial court.

On February 15, 2010, the accused-appellant appealed the above decision to this Court. On June
4, 2014, the Court promulgated its Decision, affirming the judgment of conviction against the
accused-appellant.

In a letter dated August 18, 2014, however, Police Superintendent (P/Supt.) I Roberto R. Rabo,
Officer-in-Charge, New Bilibid Prison, informed the Court that the accused-appellant had died at
the New Bilibid Prison Hospital in Muntinlupa City on January 24, 2013.

ISSUE: WON the criminal and civil liabilities are extinguished.

HELD:

Under Article 89, paragraph 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.

Art. 89. How criminal liability is totally extinguished. Criminal liability is totally extinguished:

1. By the death of the convict, as to the personal penalties; and as to pecuniary penalties,
liability therefore is extinguished only when the death of the offender occurs before final
judgment[.]

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.
Article1157 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

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d) x xx

e) Quasi-delicts

x xx

Thus, 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 the accused-appellant died on January 24, 2013, his appeal to this Court was
still pending. The Decision dated June 4, 2014 was thereafter promulgated as the Court was not
immediately informed of the accused-appellant's death.

The death of the accused-appellant herein, thus, extinguished his criminal liability, as well as his
civil liability directly arising from and based solely on the crime committed.

Accordingly, the Court's Decision dated June 4, 2014 had been rendered ineffectual and the same
must therefore be set aside. The criminal case against the accused-appellant must also be
dismissed.

13. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee,


EX-MAYOR CARLOS ESTONILO, SR., MAYOR REINARIO "REY" ESTONILO,
EDELBRANDO ESTONILO a.k.a. "EDEL EUTIQUIANO a.k.a. ESTONILO,"
ITCOBANES "NONONG NONOY ITCOBANES," ESTONILO-at large, TITING GALI
BOOC-at large, ITCOBANES-at ORLANDO large, TAGALOG MATERDAM a.k.a.
"NEGRO MATERDAM," and CALVIN DELA CRUZ a.k.a. "BULLDOG DELA
CRUZ," Accused,
vs.
EX-MAYOR CARLOS ESTONILO, SR., MAYOR REINARIO "REY" ESTONILO, EDE
LB RANDO ESTONILO a.k.a. "EDEL ESTONILO," EUTIQUIANO ITCOBANES a.k.a.
"NONONG ITCOBANES," and CALVIN DELA CRUZ a.k.a. "BULLDOG DELA
CRUZ," Accused-Appellants. (G.R. No. 201565, October 13, 2014)

[ Murder; Elements; Treachery; Elements ]

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FACTS:

The accused-appellants, along with four others, namely: Nonoy Estonilo (Nonoy), Titing Booc
(Titing), and Gali Itcobanes (Gali), and Orlando Tagalog Materdam (Negro) were all charged
with Murder with Direct Assault. In convicting the accused, the RTC gave credence to the
eyewitness account of Antipolo and the corroborating testimony of Serapion, who were both
present at the school grounds during the shooting incident. The RTC pronounced that the
evidence on record showed unity of purpose in the furtherance of a common criminal design, that
was the killing of Floro. Accused-appellants Nonoy and Negro were the gunmen, while accused-
appellants Edel and Nonong served as backup gunmen. Accused-appellant Bulldog, and accused
Gali, Titing and one alias Ace served as lookouts. The RTC found accused-appellants Mayor
Carlos, Sr. and Rey to have ordered their co-accused to kill Floro based on the testimony of
Servando, who was present when the group planned to kill Floro. Thus, the RTC concluded that
Ex-Mayor Carlos, Sr. is a principal by inducement. And accused-appellant Rey conspired with his
father. In sum, the prosecution was able to establish conspiracy and evident premeditation among
all the accused-appellants.

The accused-appellants appealed contending that the lower court erred in giving credence to the
evidences of the prosecution.

ISSUE: WON the lower court in convicting the accused based on the evidences presented by the
prosecution.

RULING:

To successfully prosecute the crime of murder, the following elements must be established: (1)
that a person was killed; (2) that the accused killed him or her; (3) that the killing was attended by
any of the qualifying circumstances mentioned in Article 248of the Revised Penal Code; and (4)
that the killing is not parricide or infanticide.

In this case, the prosecution was able to clearly establish that (1) Floro was killed; (2) Ex-Mayor
Carlos, Sr., Rey, Edel, Nonong, and Calvin were five of the nine perpetrators who killed him; (3)
the killing was attended by the qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation as testified to by
prosecution eyewitnesses, Servando and Antipolo, as well as treachery as below discussed; and
(4) the killing of Floro was neither parricide nor infanticide.

In this case, the second and third elements are essentially contested by the defense. The Court
finds that the prosecution unquestionably established these two elements.

For the second element, the prosecution presented pieces of evidence which when joined together
point to the accused-appellants as the offenders. Foremost, there is motive to kill Floro. It was
Floros support for Vicente Cotero, who was Reys opponent for the position of mayor in Placer,
Masbate. Second, the prosecution was able to establish that the accused appellants planned to kill
Floro on two separate occasions through the testimony of Servando who was present when they
were plotting to kill Floro. Third, Antipolo was an eye witness to the killing and his testimony
was corroborated by another witness, Serapion, who testified having seen the accused-appellants
leaving the school a few minutes after he heard the gunshots. Serapion also recounted having
heard one of them said "mission accomplished sir," after which, Mayor Carlos, Sr. ordered them
to leave.

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Essentially, the prosecution evidence consists of both direct evidence and circumstantial
evidence. The testimony of the eyewitness Antipolo is direct evidence of the commission of the
crime.

Circumstantial evidence is that evidence which proves a fact or series of facts from which the
facts in issue may be established by inference. It consists of proof of collateral facts and
circumstances from which the existence of the main fact may be inferred according to reason and
common experience. Here, the circumstantial evidence consists of the testimonies of Servando
and Serapion. Servando was present when Mayor Carlos, Sr. ordered his men to kill Floro.
Whether this order was executed can be answered by relating it to Antipolos eyewitness account
as well as Serapions testimony.

As for the third element of qualifying circumstance, the prosecution witness, Servando, testified
that he was present on the two occasions when the accused-appellants were planning to kill Floro.
His categorical and straight forward narration proves the existence of evident premeditation.

Treachery also attended the killing of Floro. For treachery to be present, two elements must
concur: (1) at the time of the attack, the victim was not in a position to defend himself; and (2) the
accused consciously and deliberately adopted the particular means, methods, or forms of attack
employed by him. The essence of treachery is that the attack is deliberate and without warning,
done in a swift and unexpected way, affording the hapless, unarmed and unsuspecting victim no
chance to resist or escape. In this case, accused-appellant Nonoy and accused Negro successively
fired at Floro about seven times and the victim sustained 13 gunshot wounds all found to have
been inflicted at close range giving the latter no chance at all to evade the attack and defend
himself from the unexpected onslaught. Accused-appellants Edel and Nonong were on standby
also holding their firearms to insure the success of their "mission" without risk to themselves; and
three others served as lookouts. Hence, there is no denying that their collective acts point to a
clear case of treachery.

14. [G.R. No. 202122. January 15, 2014.]


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. BERNABE
PAREJA y CRUZ, accused-appellant .

[Rape ]

Facts:
AAA was thirteen (13) years of age when the alleged acts of lasciviousness and sexual abuse took
place on three (3) different dates, particularly [in December 2003], February 2004, and March 27,
2004. AAA's parents separated when she was [only eight years old]. 9 At the time of the
commission of the aforementioned crimes, AAA was living with her mother and with herein
accused-appellant Bernabe Pareja who, by then, was cohabiting with her mother, together with
three (3) of their children, aged twelve (12), eleven (11) and nine (9), in . . ., Pasay City.

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With regard to the incident, AAA, together with her mother, proceeded to the Child Protection
Unit of the Philippine General Hospital for a medical and genital examination. On March 29,
2004, Dr. Tan issued Provisional Medico-Legal Report Number 2004-03-0091. Her medico-legal
report stated the following conclusion: Hymen: Tanner Stage 3, hymenal remnant from 5-7
o'clock area, Type of hymen: Crescentic - Genital findings show Clear Evidence of Blunt Force
or Penetrating Trauma.

After the results of the medico-legal report confirmed that AAA was indeed raped, AAA's mother
then filed a complaint for rape before the Pasay City Police Station. To exculpate himself from
liability, [Pareja] offered both denial and ill motive of AAA against him as his defense. He denied
raping [AAA] but admitted that he knew her as she is the daughter of his live-in partner and that
they all stay in the same house. Contrary to AAA's allegations, [Pareja] averred that it would have
been impossible that the alleged incidents happened. To justify the same, [Pareja] described the
layout of their house and argued that there was no way that the alleged sexual abuses could have
happened.

Verily, [Pareja] was adamant and claimed innocence as to the imputations hurled against him by
AAA. He contended that AAA filed these charges against him only as an act of revenge because
AAA was mad at [him] for being the reason behind her parents' separation.

On May 5, 2004, Pareja was charged with two counts of Rape and one Attempted
Rape. The Informations for the three charges read as follows:

I. For the two counts of Rape:

Criminal Case No. 04-1556-CFM


That on or about and sometime in the month of February, 2004, in Pasay City, Metro Manila,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused,
Bernabe Pareja y Cruz, being the common law spouse of the minor victim's mother, through
force, threats and intimidation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously commit an
act of sexual assault upon the person of [AAA], a minor 13 years of age, by then and there
mashing her breast and inserting his finger inside her vagina against her will.

Criminal Case No. 04-1557-CFM


That on or about and sometime in the month of December, 2003, in Pasay City, Metro Manila,
Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused,
Bernabe Pareja y Cruz, being the stepfather of [AAA], a minor 13 years of age, through force,
threats and intimidation, did then and there wil[l]fully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal
knowledge of said minor against her will.

II. For the charge of Attempted Rape:

Criminal Case No. 04-1558-CFM


That on or about the 27th day of March, 2004, in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines and
within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above named accused, BERNABE PAREJA
Y CRUZ, being the common law spouse of minor victim's mother by means of force, threats and
intimidation, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously commence the commission
of the crime of Rape against the person of minor, [AAA], a 13 years old minor by then and there

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crawling towards her direction where she was sleeping, putting off her skirt, but did not perform
all the acts of execution which would have produce[d] the crime of rape for the reason other than
his own spontaneous desistance, that is the timely arrival of minor victim's mother who
confronted the accused, and which acts of child abuse debased, degraded and demeaned the
intrinsic worth and dignity of said minor complainant as a human being.

On June 17, 2004, Pareja, during his arraignment, pleaded not guilty to the charges filed against
him. 7 After the completion of the pre-trial conference on September 16, 2004, 8 trial on the
merits ensued.

Verily, [Pareja] was adamant and claimed innocence as to the imputations hurled against him by
AAA. He contended that AAA filed these charges against him only as an act of revenge because
AAA was mad at [him] for being the reason behind her parents' separation.

Issue: Whether or not Pareja is guilty of the alleged acts of lasciviousness and sexual abuse.

Ruling: On January 16, 2009, the RTC acquitted Pareja from the charge of attempted rape but
convicted him of the crimes of rape and acts of lasciviousness in the December 2003 and
February 2004 incidents, respectively. Pareja appealed in CA but was dismissed.

The herein accused Bernabe Pareja y Cruz is hereby acquitted from the charge of attempted rape
in Crim. Case No. 04-1558, for want of evidence.

In Crim. Case No. 04-1556, the said accused is CONVICTED with Acts of Lasciviousness and
he is meted out the penalty of imprisonment, ranging from 2 years, 4 months and 1 day as
minimum to 4 years and 2 months of prision [correccional] as maximum.

In Crim. Case No. 04-1557, the said accused is CONVICTED as charged with rape, and he is
meted the penalty of reclusion perpetua. The accused shall be credited in full for the period of his
preventive Imprisonment. The accused is ordered to indemnify the offended party [AAA], the
sum of P50,000.00, without subsidiary imprisonment, in case of insolvency.

Wherefore, premises considered, the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR.-H.C. No.
03794 is hereby AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. We find accused appellant Bernabe Pareja
y Cruz GUILTY of two counts of Acts of Lasciviousness, defined and penalized under Article
336 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended. He is sentenced to two (2) indeterminate prison
terms of 6 months of arresto mayor, as minimum, to 4 years and 2 months of prisin correccional,
as maximum; and is ORDERED to pay the victim, AAA, P20,000.00 as civil indemnity,
P30,000.00 as moral damages, and P10,000.00 as exemplary damages, for each count of acts of
lasciviousness, all with interest at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of finality of this
judgment.
Revised Penal Code:

Acts of lasciviousness; elements. The elements of acts of lasciviousness under Art. 336 of the
Revised Penal Code are as follows: (1) That the offender commits any act of lasciviousness or
lewdness; (2) That it is done under any of the following circumstances: a. By using force or
intimidation; or b. When the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; or c.
When the offended party is under 12 years of age; and (3) That the offended party is another
person of either sex. - People of the Philippines v. Bernabe Pareja y Cruz, G.R. No. 202122,
January 15, 2014.

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15. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, vs. HERMENIGILDO DELEN y ESCOBILLA [G.R.
No. 194446. April 21, 2014.]

[ Child Abuse and Qualified Rape]

Facts:

Accused-appellant was convicted for child abuse under Section 10 (a), Article VI of Republic Act No. 7610
and qualified rape under Article 266-A, paragraph 1 in relation to Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code.
According to the Prosecutions version of events, Accused-appellant was the father of the victim, a 12-year
old girl named AAA in this case. One day, the accused tied the leg of his daughter to wooden panels on the
wall and proceeded to rape her. He threated her not to report the incident or he would cut out her tongue
and kill her. When the victim failed to produce a lighter upon the request of the accused, the accused kicked
AAA in the buttocks, hit her head with her hammer and smashed her head on the wooden wall. The
Medico-Legal examination conducted by Dr. Rivamonte and Dr. Aristotle show injuries consistent with the
testiomony of the child.
For his part, the accused-appellant testified that it wasnt him who raped AAA, but rather it was a person
with a mental defect living in the house where AAA lived prior to living with the accused. He further
asserted that the sibling of AAAs mother who was angry with him because he separated from his wife
instigated the charge of rape. Although he admitted that he did hit AAA on her buttocks, he explained that
he asked her to cook rice but because she played with her playmates, the rice was overcooked. He also
sated that AAA was injured when she fell in a canal at side of their house and this fact as witnessed by his
brother and AAAs cousin.

The RTC found accused guilty for both crimes and the decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

Issue:

Whether or not accused is guilty of child abuse and qualified rape.

Ruling:

The RTC unequivocally ruled that the testimony of AAA passed the test of credibility. The Court of
Appeals thereafter upheld the trial court's assessment of AAA's testimony. After thoroughly reviewing the
records of the present case, the Court similarly finds worthy of credence the testimony of AAA that the
accused-appellant is guilty of physically and sexually abusing her. It is a fundamental rule that the trial
court's factual findings, especially its assessment of the credibility of witnesses, are accorded great weight
and respect and binding upon this Court, particularly when affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

In the case for child abuse, the RTC and the Court of Appeals found the accused-appellant guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of committing child abuse by infliction of physical injury against AAA. Under Section 3
(b), Article I of Republic Act No. 7610, the term "child abuse" is defined as the maltreatment of a child,
whether habitual or not, which includes the physical abuse of a child, among other acts.
In this case, AAA positively identified the accused-appellant as the person who kicked her in the buttocks,
hit her head with a hammer, and smashed her head on the wall on January 23, 2005. Because of the said
brutal and inhumane acts of the accused-appellant, AAA suffered bruises and contusions in different parts
of her body. The Medico-Legal Certification of Dr. Rivamonte and Dr. Arellano clearly reflected the fact

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that AAA indeed sustained contusions, coupled with a binding that she suffered multiple physical injuries
secondary to mauling.
In Criminal Case No. 13932, the accused-appellant was also found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
qualified rape.
For a charge of rape to prosper, the prosecution must prove that: (1) the offender had carnal knowledge of a
woman; and (2) he accomplished such act through force, threat, or intimidation, or when she was deprived
of reason or otherwise unconscious, or when she was under twelve years of age or was demented.
In the instant case, the prosecution was able to establish that the accused-appellant had carnal knowledge
of AAA on January 17, 2005. AAA narrated in a straightforward manner the harrowing details of how the
accused-appellant had sexual intercourse with her. Again, the RTC found credible and convincing AAA's
testimony on this matter. Likewise, the Court finds no cogent reason to disbelieve AAA's testimony, which
was corroborated by the medical findings of Dr. Rivamonte and Dr. Arellano that the victim's hymen had
"complete healed lacerations at 1, 3, 6, 9 o'clock position[s]." We held in People v. Oden that the "eloquent
testimony of the victim, coupled with the medical findings attesting to her non-virgin state, should be
enough to confirm the truth of her charges." As to the manner by which the rape was committed, the
accused-appellant's moral ascendancy over AAA takes the place of the force and intimidation that is
required in rape cases.
To exculpate himself from the charges of child abuse and rape, the accused-appellant merely denied the
accusations of AAA. The Court finds that the RTC and the Court of Appeals were correct in rejecting the
accused-appellant's bare denials. Undeniably, the accused-appellant did not present any clear and
convincing evidence to substantiate his claims that another person with mental defect could have raped
AAA and that her injuries were caused when she fell in a canal beside their house. The accused-appellant
also failed to present any evidence to prove that AAA was impelled by ill motive to testify against him.
Settled is the rule that where no evidence exists to show any convincing reason or improper motive for a
witness to falsely testify against an accused, the testimony deserves faith and credit.

16. People of the Philippines vs. Democrito Paras


G.R. No. 192912

[Rape]

FACTS: Defendant herein was accused of committing rape against a 17-year old girl (AAA),
allegedly committed as follows:

That at noon in March 19, 1996 or for sometime subsequent thereto, in [XXX] and within the
jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the accused, with the use of a gun of unknown calibre, by
force and intimidation, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously have carnal
knowledge with [AAA] against the latters will and as a result of which the latter became
pregnant, to the damage and prejudice of the offended party.

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The accused in the Instant Case, vehemently denied having raped AAA. He raised as alibi that on
the March 19, 1996 he was at the Lusaran market, 2 hours from his house, which was 70 meters
from the house of his brother-in-law. Further, he claims that AAA accused him of rape because of
the misunderstanding he had with the husband of his elder sister regarding the mango trees owned
by his mother.

ISSUE: WON accused-appellant was guilty of rape.

HELD: Yes, the accused-appellant failed to show that the RTC and the CA committed any
reversible error in finding him guilty beyond reasonable doubt of sexually abusing AAA. In this
case, the accused- appellants use of a gun in the commission of the rape against AAA was both
specifically alleged in the information and proven during the trail of the case.
The court finds that AAA was indeed categorical and consistent in her testimony that the
accused-appellant was the one who pointed a gun to her mouth and forcibly had sexual
intercourse with her, thus, he court sees no reason to disturb the lower courts appreciation of the
credibility of the victims testimony.

Anent the inconsistencies pointed out by the defendant, the court in upholding the ruling of the
CA explained that AAAs inability to remember the birth date of her child and the name of her
neighbour did not destroy her credibility as a witness. These details had nothing to do with the
essential elements of rape, that is, carnal knowledge of a person through force and intimidation.

17. People of the Philippines vs. Leonardo Cataytay Y Silvano


G.R. No. 196315

[Rape]

FACTS: In the Instant Case the accused appellant was charged with the crime of rape in
information dated September 9, 2003:

That on or about the 07th day of September 2003, in the City of Mandaluyong, Philippines, a
place within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with lewd
designs, and by means of force and intimidation, did, then and there willfully, unlawfully, and
feloniously have carnal knowledge, 19 years of age but with a mental age of a 5 year old, hence, a
retardate, or demented, which is known to accused at the time of the commission of the offense,
against her will and consent and to her damage and prejudice.

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ACCUSED
For the defense, accused-appellant testified that on September 7, 2003, at around 7:00 p.m., he
was in his house together with his brother, feeding his four-year-old daughter. He then went out
and proceeded to a videoke bar, which was around 20 meters from his house. He stayed at
the videoke bar for less than 15 minutes, as barangay officers suddenly arrived and arrested
him. Upon asking why he was being arrested, the officers told him that he was the suspect in the
rape of AAA. He was brought to the Barangay Hall, where he denied the accusations against
him. He estimated that the house of BBB was more or less 50 meters away from his house, and
that it would take more or less a one minute walk from the videoke bar to the house of
AAA.17 Accused-appellant admitted that by merely looking at AAA, he could tell that she has a
mental disability.

His testimony was corroborated by the testimony of his brother, however, there was an
inconsistency between their testimonies with regard the place of arrest.

ISSUE:WON the accused-appellant committed the crime of rape

HELD: Yes, the court in its promulgation cited their previous ruling on the case of People v.
Caoile differentiating deprived of reason and demented as follows:

The term demented refers to a person who has dementia, which is a condition of deteriorated
mentality, characterized by marked decline from the individual's former intellectual level and
often by emotional apathy, madness, or insanity. On the other hand, the phrase deprived of
reason under paragraph 1 (b) has been interpreted to include those suffering from mental
abnormality, deficiency, or retardation. Thus, AAA, who was clinically diagnosed to be a mental
retardate, can be properly classified as a person who is deprived of reason, and not one who is
demented.

In the case at bar, AAA was clinically diagnosed to have mental retardation with the mental
capacity of a seven-year old child. The prosecution and the defense agreed to stipulate on the
conclusion of the psychologist that the mental age of the victim whose chronological age at the
time of the commission of the offense is nineteen (19) years old x x x is that of a seven (7) year
old child. Accused-appellant is therefore criminally liable for rape under paragraph 1(b) of
Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code.

Since the accused-appellants knowledge of AAAs mental retardation was alleged in the
Information and admitted by the former during the trial, the above special qualifying
circumstance is applicable, and the penalty of death should have been imposed. With the
passage, however, of Republic Act No. 934636prohibiting the imposition of the death penalty, the
penalty of reclusion perpetua shall instead be imposed.

18. People of the Philippines v. Arnel villalba y duran and randy villalba y sarco
G.R. No. 207629

[Murder]

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FACTS: In the Instant Case the accused-appellants are charged with the crime of murder for the
killing of Maximillian Casona y Lacroix. The information filed by the prosecution is as follows:

That on or about the 29th day of April 2006 at 2:30 o'clock in the morning, more or less, at
Capitol Avenue, near Gaisano Mall, Butuan City, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this
Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring and confederating together and mutually
helping one another, with intent to kill, with treachery, evident premeditation, and abuse of
superior strength, did then and there willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously, attack and stab one
MAXIMILLIAN CASONA Y LACROIX, with the use of an ice pick, hitting the latter at his left
breast and left portion of his stomach, which directly caused his death incurring damages which
maybe proven in Court.

The accused-appellant testified in their own defense. Accused-appellant Arnel, while admitting
his presence in the crime scene at that time narrated a different version of the circumstances
surrounding the victims stabbing.

ISSUE: WON both the accused-appellants are guilty of the crime of murder.

HELD: The Court, after a meticulous review of the records of the case, finds bases to downgrade
accused-appellant Arnel's crime from murder to homicide and to absolve accused-appellant
Randy of any criminal liability for Maximillian's death.

The honourable court in its promulgation ruled on three points. On the issue of possible
conspiracy between the accused-appellant the court explained that Jurisprudence requires that
conspiracy must be proven as the crime itself. Conspiracy exists when two or more persons come
to an agreement concerning the commission of a crime and decide to commit it. Proof of the
agreement need not rest on direct evidence, as the same may be inferred from the conduct of the
parties indicating a common understanding among them with respect to the commission of the
offense. It is not necessary to show that two or more persons met together and entered into an
explicit agreement setting out the details of an unlawful scheme or the details by which an illegal
objective is to be carried out. The rule is that conviction is proper upon proof that the accused
acted in concert, each of them doing his part to fulfill the common design to kill the victim. In the
case at bar however, There is no clear evidence that accused-appellants had a common design to
kill Maximillian.

For his part, accused-appellant Arnel admitted stabbing Maximillian but asserted that he used
only a barbecue stick which he found in the area. A barbecue stick, with a sharp end, could cause
a puncture wound consistent with that which killed Maximillian. That accused-appellant Arnel
used a barbecue stick he found in the area as weapon shows that he acted instantaneously and
spontaneously in stabbing Maximillian, thus, further negating the possibility that he conspired
with accused-appellant Randy to commit the stabbing.

Anent the presence of a qualifying circumstance for murder, the court likewise ruled that the
prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt any of the alleged circumstances.

With regard the respective criminal liabilities of the accused-appellants, the court ruled that with
the absence of conspiracy the criminal liability of the each of the accused would depend on the
precise participation of each in the crime.

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Accused-appellant Arnel had already admitted to stabbing Maximillian with a barbecue stick,
which eventually caused the latter's death. Unless he is able to prove to the satisfaction of the
Court his claim of self-defense as a justifying circumstance, accused-appellant Arnel's conviction
for the crime of homicide becomes inevitable. The court explained that it is a hornbook doctrine
that when self-defense is invoked, the burden of evidence shifts to the appellant to prove the
elements of that claim, i.e., (1) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim, (2) reasonable
necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it, and (3) lack of sufficient provocation on
the part of the person defending himself.

Absent any evidence that accused-appellant Randy acted with criminal intent in holding
Maximillian's hand/s at about the same time that accused-appellant Arnel stabbed Maximillian,
the Court absolves accused-appellant Randy of any criminal and civil liability for Maximillian's
death.

19. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ROLANDO LAS


PIAS, JIMMY DELIZO AND MERWIN LAS PIAS, accused-appellants.

[Murder, Frustrated Murder, Treachery]

Facts:
Renato, Rolando, Armando, Gilberto, Merwin, Freddie, Salvador, all surnamed Las Pias, and
Jimmy Delizo were charged with frustrated murder and 3 counts of murder. Of the eight accused,
only Rolando Las Pias, Merwin Las Pias, and Jimmy Delizo were apprehended and held for
trial. The rest remained at large.
From the testimony of Roger, the only survivor of the incident, the prosecution established that
on the night of May 1, 2001, he and his brothers, Edgardo and Benjamin, and their cousin, Carlito

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Lasala, were at Edgardo's fishpen located within the coastal waters of the town of Castilla,
Sorsogon.
At around 2:00 a.m. of May 2, 2001, while Roger was on guard duty and the rest were sleeping,
the eight above-named accused arrived on board a "sibid-sibid," a long wooden boat mobilized
by paddles. The accused then climbed up the platform and opened fire at the Aringo brothers and
Carlito.
Specifically, Roger narrated that he saw accused Armando and Rolando shoot Edgardo and
Benjamin, while he witnessed Jimmy, Merwin and Freddie shoot Carlito. He likewise witnessed
Armando slash the throat of Edgardo after the latter was incapacitated, and throw his (Edgardo)
body into the sea. As for himself, Roger testified that his assailants were accused Renato,
Salvador and Gilberto; and that he sustained gunshot wounds on his right cheek, left chest, and
left buttock. The carnage finally ended when the accused thought that the three Aringo brothers
and Carlito were all dead; and then they boarded their boat and left towards Sorsogon. Roger
recognized all the accused because they used to be neighbors at Sitio Dulungan, Brgy. Libtong,
Castilla, Sorsogon.
Of the four, only Roger remained alive by daybreak and was eventually rescued by a passing
fisherman. He was brought to the Sorsogon Provincial Hospital for treatment. Initially, only the
bodies of Benjamin and Carlito were recovered from the platform. But four days later, Edgardo's
body was found floating in the water.
The lower courts held the accused were guilty of the crimes charged. The accused-appellants pray
for the reversal of the judgment of conviction in the criminal cases on the following assignment
of errors: (i) that the trial court gravely erred in finding the accused-appellants guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of the crime of murder despite the insufficiency of evidence for the prosecution;
(ii) granting arguendo, that the accused-appellants committed an offense, they can only be held
liable for attempted murder
Issue: WoN the accused are guilty of the frustrated murder of Roger Aringo and the Murder of
Benjamin Aringo, Edgardo Aringo, and Carlito Lasala.
Held:
To successfully prosecute the crime of murder, the following elements must be established: (1)
that a person was killed; (2) that the accused killed him or her; (3) that the killing was attended by
any of the qualifying circumstances mentioned in Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code; and (4)
that the killing is not parricide or infanticide.
In this case, the prosecution was able to clearly establish that (1) Edgardo, Benjamin and Carlito
were shot and killed; (2) the accused-appellants were three of the eight perpetrators who killed
them; (3) Edgardo, Benjamin and Carlito's killing was attended by the qualifying circumstance of
treachery as testified to by prosecution eyewitness, Roger; and (4) the killing of Edgardo,
Benjamin and Carlito were neither parricide nor infanticide.
Paragraph 16, Article 14 of the Revised Penal Code defines treachery as the direct employment of
means, methods, or forms in the execution of the crime against persons which tend directly and
specially to insure its execution, without risk to the offender arising from the defense which the
offended party might make. The essence of treachery is that the attack is deliberate and without
warning, done in a swift and unexpected way, affording the hapless, unarmed and unsuspecting
victim no chance to resist or escape. In order for treachery to be properly appreciated, two
elements must be present: (1) at the time of the attack, the victim was not in a position to defend
himself; and (2) the accused consciously and deliberately adopted the particular means, methods,

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or forms of attack employed by him. These elements are extant in the facts of this case and as
testified to by Roger above-quoted.
To emphasize, the victims, Roger, Edgardo, Benjamin and Carlito, were caught off guard when
the accused, including the accused-appellants, in the dead of night, arrived at the fishpen and
climbed the same, and without warning, opened fire at the sleeping/resting victims to disable
them. Upon disabling the victims, the accused and the accused-appellants continued shooting at
the victims accused Armando and accused-appellant Rolando shot Edgardo and Carlito;
accused-appellants Jimmy and Merwin and accused Freddie shot Benjamin; and accused Renato,
Salvador and Gilberto shot Roger. Accused Armando even slashed Edgardo's throat after
shooting him and threw his body out to the sea the stealth, swiftness and methodical manner
by which the attack was carried out gave the four victims no chance at all to evade the bullets and
defend themselves from the unexpected onslaught. Thus, there is no denying that the collective
acts of the accused and the accused-appellants reek of treachery.
In the same way that the murder was proved, to establish frustrated murder, the prosecution must
show that the accused performed all the acts of execution which would kill the victim, but which,
nevertheless, did not produce it by reason of causes independent of the offender's will. Here, the
only survivor, Roger, recounted that accused Renato, Salvador and Gilberto shot him on the face,
chest and buttock using a .38 gun and then left him for dead. Had it not been for the timely
medical treatment of his injuries, they would have been fatal.
Thus, the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that frustrated murder was committed. In
view of the preceding discussion, there is no more reason to entertain the issue raised by the
accused-appellants that the charge of frustrated murder be downgraded to attempted murder.

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Remedial Law Cases

1.PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. HERMANOS CONSTANTINO,


JR. y BINAYUG, a.k.a. "JOJIT,"accused-appellant. [G.R. No. 199689. March 12, 2014.]

[Criminal Procedure; Evidence; Chain of Custody ]

FACTS:
On January 20, 2005 a buy-bust operation was held, in the City of Tuguegarao, Province of
Cagayan and within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Court, the above-named accused, without
authority of law and without permit to sell, transport, deliver and distribute dangerous drugs, did
then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously sell, transport, distribute and deliver two (2)
heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing 0.14 gram of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride
commonly known as "shabu", a dangerous drug to a member of the PNP, Tuguegarao City who
acted as a poseur-buyer; that after receiving the two (2) plastic sachets, the poseur-buyer
simultaneously handed to the accused the marked money consisting of one (1) piece of FIVE
HUNDRED PESO BILL (P500.00) with Serial No. QP278070 and five (5) pieces of ONE
HUNDRED PESO BILL with Serial Nos. SM989053, PS724429, XM484584, BB048002, and
EK6900025 or a total of P1,000.00 and this led to the apprehension of the accused and the
confiscation of the dangerous drug together with the buy-bust money by the said apprehending
law enforcers of the Tuguegarao City Police Station who formed the buy bust team in
coordination with the PDEA.
Constantino denied the accusation against him and asserted that he was merely framed-up. He
contests his conviction, averring inconsistencies in the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses,
particularly, on the circumstances of the marking of the two plastic sachets
containing shabu allegedly confiscated from him. Different people claim to have made the
marking "NBT" on the two plastic sachets and gave various explanations as to what the initials
"NBT" stand for. In short, Constantino argues that the prosecution failed to establish a crucial
link in the chain of custody of the shabu in this case.

ISSUE: Whether or not broken chain of custody is material for a conviction in a buy-bust
operation.

HELD:
RATIO: Yes.
In a prosecution for the sale of a dangerous drug, the following elements must be proven: (1) the
identity of the buyer and the seller, the object, and the consideration; and (2) the delivery of the
thing sold and the payment therefor. Simply put, "[in] prosecutions for illegal sale of shabu, what
is material is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place, coupled with the
presentation in court of thecorpus delicti as evidence." And in the prosecution of these offenses,
the primary consideration is to ensure that the identity and integrity of the seized drugs and other
related articles have been preserved from the time they were confiscated from the accused until
their presentation as evidence in court.
Article II, Section 21 (1) of Republic Act No. 9165 lays down the procedure to be followed in the
seizure and custody of dangerous drugs:
Section 21. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated, Seized, and/or
Surrendered Dangerous Drugs, Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs, Controlled

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Precursors and Essential Chemicals, Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or
Laboratory Equipment. The PDEA shall take charge and have custody of all
dangerous drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and
essential chemicals, as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory
equipment so confiscated, seized and/or surrendered, for proper disposition in
the following manner:
(1) The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall, immediately
after seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of
the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her
representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ),
and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be
given a copy thereof[.]
While police officers are enjoined to strictly comply with the procedure prescribed by law, the
IRR also explicitly excuses non-compliance under justifiable grounds, but only if the integrity
and evidentiary value of the seized items have been properly preserved by the apprehending
officers. The integrity and evidentiary value of seized items are properly preserved for as long as
the chain of custody of the same are duly established.
Section 1 (b) of Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 1, series of 2002, defines "chain of
custody" as follows:
Chain of Custody means the duly recorded authorized movements and custody
of seized drugs or controlled chemicals or plant sources of dangerous drugs or
laboratory equipment of each stage, from the time of seizure/confiscation to
receipt in the forensic laboratory to safekeeping to presentation in court for
destruction. Such record of movements and custody of seized item shall
include the identity and signature of the person who held temporary custody of
the seized item, the date and time when such transfer of custody were made in
the course of safekeeping and use in court as evidence, and the final
disposition.
Thus, the following links must be established in the chain of custody in a buy-bust
situation: first, the seizure and marking, if practicable, of the illegal drug recovered from the
accused by the apprehending officer; second, the turn over of the illegal drug seized by the
apprehending officer to the investigating officer; third, the turn over by the investigating officer
of the illegal drug to the forensic chemist for laboratory examination; and fourth, the turn over
and submission of the marked illegal drugs seized from the forensic chemist to the court.
After a careful scrutiny of the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, the Court finds glaring
inconsistencies affecting the integrity of the shabu purportedly confiscated from Constantino. The
inconsistent testimonies of PO3 Domingo, PO3 Hernandez, and P/SInsp. Tulauan as to who,
when, and where the two plastic sachets of shabu were marked lead the Court to question whether
the two plastic sachets of shabu identified in court were the very same ones confiscated from
Constantino. The doubtful markings already broke the chain of custody of the
seized shabu at a very early stage.
To recall, the first crucial link in the chain of custody is seizure and marking of the illegal drug.
In this case, PO3 Domingo, as poseur-buyer, received two plastic sachets of shabu from
Constantino in exchange for P1,000. However, PO3 Domingo himself did not put any markings

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on the two plastic sachets of shabu. Instead, upon arrival of the buy-bust team with Constantino at
the police station, PO3 Domingo turned over the two plastic sachets of shabu to the investigator,
SPO2 Tamang, who was also a member of the buy-bust team. PO3 Domingo testified that it was
SPO2 Tamang who put the marking "NBT" on the said sachets of shabu.
Herein, the prosecution is completely silent as to why PO3 Domingo, the poseur-buyer, despite
having immediate custody of the two plastic sachets of shabu purchased from Constantino, failed
to immediately mark the seized drugs before turning over the custody of the same to another
police officer. This lapse in procedure opened the door for confusion and doubt as to the identity
of the drugs actually seized from Constantino during the buy-bust and the ones presented before
the trial court, especially considering that three different people, during the interval, supposedly
received and marked the same. To clarify the matter, the prosecution could have presented as
witness either SPO2 Tamang or SPO2 Taguiam to directly validate the marking in court, but
unfortunately, the prosecution chose to dispense with the testimonies of both officers. This
omission diminished the importance of the markings as the reference point for the subsequent
handling of the evidence. As a consequence, an objective person could now justifiably suspect
the shabu ultimately presented as evidence in court to be planted or contaminated.
The failure of the prosecution to establish the evidence's chain of custody is fatal to its case as the
Court can no longer consider or even safely assume that the integrity and evidentiary value of the
confiscated dangerous drug were properly preserved.
In light of the foregoing, Constantino is acquitted of the crime charged, not because the Court
accords credence to his defense of frame-up, but because the prosecution failed to discharge its
burden of proving his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

2. METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, petitioner, vs. LEY


CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION and SPOUSES MANUEL
LEY and JANET LEY, respondents. [G.R. No. 185590. December 3, 2014.]

[ Civil Procedure; Rule 45 ]

FACTS:
This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking the reversal
of the Court of Appeals' Decision dated September 4, 2008 in CA-G.R. CV No. 75590 dismissing
the appeal of petitioner Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company assailing the dismissal of its
complaint by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City, Branch 56, and the
Resolution dated December 5, 2008 denying the Bank's motion for reconsideration.
This involves an action for recovery of a sum of money and damages with a prayer for the
issuance of writ of preliminary attachment filed by the plaintiff Philippine Banking
Corporation against the defendants, namely: Ley Construction and Development Corporation
(hereafter "LCDC") and Spouses Manuel and Janet C. Ley (hereafter "[defendant]-spouses").
The complaint alleges that: Defendant LCDC, a general contracting firm, through the oral
representations of defendant-spouses, applied with plaintiff, a commercial bank, for the opening
of a Letter of Credit. Plaintiff issued, on April 26, 1990, Letter of Credit DC 90[-]303-C in favor

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of the supplier-beneficiary Global Enterprises Limited, in the amount of Eight Hundred Two
Thousand Five Hundred U.S. Dollars (USD802,500.00). The letter of credit covered the
importation by defendant LCDC of Fifteen Thousand (15,000) metric tons of Iraqi cement from
Iraq. Defendant applied for and filed with plaintiff two (2) Applications for Amendment of Letter
of Credit on May 3, 1990 and May 11, 1990, respectively.
Thereafter, the supplier-beneficiary Global Enterprises, Inc. negotiated its Letter of Credit with
the negotiating bank Credit Suisse of Zurich, Switzerland. Credit Suisse then sent a
reimbursement claim by telex to American Express Bank Ltd., New York on July 25, 1990 for
the amount of Seven Hundred Sixty[-]Six Thousand Seven Hundred Eight U.S. Dollars
(USD766,708.00) with a certification that all terms and conditions of the credit were complied
with. Accordingly, on July 30, 1990, American Express Bank debited plaintiff's account Seven
Hundred Seventy Thousand Six Hundred Ninety[-]One U.S. Dollars and Thirty Cents
(USD770,691.30) and credited Credit Suisse Zurich Account with American Express Bank, Ltd.,
New York for the negotiation of Letter of Credit. On August 6, 1990, plaintiff received from
Credit Suisse the necessary shipping documents pertaining to Letter of Credit DC 90-303-C that
were in turn delivered to the defendant. Upon receipt of the aforesaid documents, defendants
executed a trust receipt. However, the cement that was to be imported through the opening of the
subject Letter of Credit never arrived in the Philippines.
The prompt payment of the obligation of the defendant LCDC was guaranteed by [defendant]-
spouses under the Continuing Surety Agreement executed by the latter in favor of the defendant.
The obligation covered by the subject Letter of Credit in the amount of USD802,500.00 has long
been overdue and unpaid, notwithstanding repeated demands for payment thereof. Plaintiff,
therefore, instituted the instant complaint for recovery of the following amounts: Twenty[-]Three
[M]illion Two Hundred [F]ifty[-]Nine Thousand One Hundred Twenty[-]Four Pesos and
Fourteen Centavos (PHP23,259,124.14) as of June 15, 1991, inclusive of interest and penalty,
plus additional interest thereon of Thirty percent (30%) per annum; attorney's fees equivalent to
Twenty[-]Five percent [25%] of the total obligation; and costs of suit.
In support of its cause of action against defendant, plaintiff presented the testimony of Mr.
Fenelito Cabrera, Head of the Foreign Department of plaintiff's Head Office. (T.S.N. dated June
16, 1995, p. 4) There being no other witness to be presented by the plaintiff (Order dated June 27,
1997), the plaintiff filed its formal offer of exhibits dated July 18, 1997 to which defendant filed
its comments/objections to formal offer of evidence dated February 23, 1998. In an order dated
March 4, 1998, Exhibits "A" to "N" to "N-4" including [their] sub-markings were admitted for the
purposes they were respectively offered. However, on defendants' motion for reconsideration
dated [March 30,] 1998 that was duly opposed by the plaintiff in its opposition dated June 3,
1998, this Court partially granted defendants' motion for reconsideration. Consequently, Exhibits
"D", "E", "H", "I", "J", "K", "L", and "M" and their sub-markings were not admitted for not being
properly identified and authenticated by a competent witness. Only Exhibits "A", "B", "C", "C-1",
and "N", "N-1" to "N-4" remain admitted in evidence. (Order dated September 9, 1998)
Defendant filed a motion to dismiss by way of demurrer to evidence on the ground that plaintiff's
witness Mr. Fenelito Cabrera was incompetent to testify with respect to the transaction between
the plaintiff and the defendant and that the plaintiff's documentary exhibits were not properly
identified and authenticated.
The trial court found that the Bank's only witness, Fenelito Cabrera, was incompetent to testify on
the documents presented by the Bank during the trial. Cabrera was with the Bank's Dasmarias
Branch and not with the Head Office from March 1990 to June 1991, the period the transaction
covered by the documents took place. Thus, he could not have properly identified and
authenticated the Bank's documentary exhibits. His lack of competence was even admitted by the
Bank's counsel who did not even ask Cabrera to identify the documents. As the documents were
not identified and duly authenticated, the Bank's evidence was not preponderant enough to
establish its right to recover from LCDC and the spouses Ley.

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The Bank insists that it has been able to establish its cause of action not only through
preponderance of evidence but even by the admissions of LCDC and the spouses Ley. It
maintains that its cause of action is not predicated on the improper negotiation of the letter of
credit but on the breach of the terms and conditions of the trust receipt.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court sought
for is the proper remedy.

HELD:
No. The Bank's petition suffers from a fatal infirmity. In particular, it contravenes the elementary
rule of appellate procedure that an appeal to this Court by petition for review on certiorari under
Rule 45 of the Rules of Court "shall raise only questions of law." The rule is based on the nature
of this Court's appellate function this Court is not a trier of facts and on the evidentiary
weight given to the findings of fact of the trial court which have been affirmed on appeal by the
Court of Appeals they are conclusive on this Court. While there are recognized exceptions to
the rule, this Court sees no reason to apply the exception and not the rule in this case.
The issue of whether or not the Bank was able to establish its cause of action by preponderant
evidence is essentially a question of fact. Stated in another way, the issue which the Bank raises
in this petition is whether the evidence it presented during the trial was preponderant enough to
hold LCDC and the spouses Ley liable.
Even the legal rights of the Bank and the correlative legal duty of LCDC have not been
sufficiently established by the Bank in view of the failure of the Bank's evidence to show the
provisions and conditions that govern its legal relationship with LCDC, particularly the absence
of the provisions and conditions supposedly printed at the back of the Application and Agreement
for Commercial Letter of Credit. Even assuming arguendo that there was no impropriety in the
negotiation of the Letter of Credit and the Bank's cause of action was simply for the collection of
what it paid under said Letter of Credit, the Bank did not discharge its burden to prove every
element of its cause of action against LCDC.
This failure of the Bank to present preponderant evidence that will establish the liability of LCDC
under the Letter of Credit necessarily benefits the spouses Ley whose liability is supposed to be
based on a Continuing Surety Agreement guaranteeing the liability of LCDC under the Letter of
Credit.

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3. SOLIDBANK CORP. vs. GOYU & SONS, INC. [G.R. No. 142983. November 26, 2014.]

[Civil Procedure]

FACTS: Respondent Goyu & Sons, Inc. (GOYU), with individual respondents as guarantors,
incurred various obligations to Solidbank Corporation (SOLIDBANK) in connection with the
financing of GOYUs business as exporter of solid doors. As additional security, GOYU obtained
several fire insurance policies issued by respondent Malayan Insurance Company, Inc. (MICO).
On January 10, 1992 and February 11, 1992, respectively, GOYU endorsed two of these policies
in favor of SOLIDBANK to answer for all the obligations incurred by GOYU to SOLIDBANK.
On April 27, 1992, fire gutted one of the buildings of GOYU. GOYU filed a claim for indemnity
with MICO, which was, however, denied by the latter on the ground that the insurance policies
were the subject of writs of attachment issued by various courts or otherwise claimed by other
creditors of GOYU. Respondent-Intervenor Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), one
of GOYUs creditors, also filed with MICO a claim for the proceeds of GOYUs insurance
policies. MICO likewise denied RCBCs claims.

On April 6, 1993, GOYU filed against MICO, RCBC, and two RCBC officers a complaint for
specific performance and damages in the RTC of Manila. The complaint was docketed as Civil
Case No. 93-65442.

SOLIDBANK filed an action for collection of sum of money with prayer for a writ of preliminary
attachment, which was docketed as Civil Case No. 92-62749.

In Civil Case No. 93-65442, judgment was rendered by the RTC in favor of GOYU and against
MICO and RCBC. All parties filed appeals with the Court of Appeals. MICO and RCBC
contested their liability, while GOYU was unsatisfied by the amounts awarded. The Court of
Appeals, in its decision dated December 18, 1996, increased the amounts awarded to GOYU. The
cases eventually reached the Court. On April 20, 1998, the Court rendered its decision reversing
the decision of the Court of Appeals by ordering the Clerk of Court to release the amounts earned
to RCBC instead of GOYU.

In Civil Case No. 92-62749, the RTC rendered a decision in favor of SOLIDBANK and against
the guarantors of GOYU. The RTC ruled that the endorsements in the two insurance policies
made SOLIDBANK the beneficiary in the said policies. According to the Court of Appeals, in its
resolution, dated November 6, 1996, SOLIDBANK had the legal authority to withdraw the
amount by virtue of the final and executor judgment rendered in its favor by the RTC. However,
on June 23, 1997, the Court of Appeals issued the first assailed resolution setting aside its
November 6, 1996 resolution and ordering SOLIDBANK to restitute the amount withdrawn by it
with interest. The Supreme Court issued a decision, dated April 20, 1998, which ordered the
Clerk of Court to release the amount including interests earned to RCBC instead of GOYU.
SOLIDBANK filed the petition assailing the Courts decisions dated June 23, 1997 and April 20,
1998.

ISSUES:
5. Whether or not the Court departed from accepted and usual course of judicial
proceeding in allowing RCBC to intervene in the appealed case and in admitting
RCBCs intervention despite the fact that RCBC is not a party to Civil Case No.
92-62749.
6. Whether or not SOLIDBANK has the right to withdraw from the amount in
custodia legis in Civil Case No. 93-65442.

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.

RULING: The petition is denied for lack of merit.


1. The Court disagrees with the postulations of SOLIDBANK. The Court cannot pass upon
the conflicting rights of SOLIDBANK and RCBC with respect to the insurance proceeds
as it was not a review of the decision in the merits, but is a review of merely an
interlocutory order in Civil Case No. 92-62749. RCBCs right to intervene stems from its
right as a party, and now as a judgment creditor, in Civil Case No. 93-65442.
Accordingly, neither the Court, nor the lower court, should receive new evidence on the
conflicting rights of SOLIDBANK and RCBC with respect to the insurance proceedings.
2. SOLIDBANK has no right to withdraw from the amount in custodia legis in Civil Case
No. 93-65442, not because SOLIDBANK is bound by the judgment therein (which it is
not), but precisely because it is not a party in said case. The property garnished is under
the sole control of the court in Civil Case No. 93-65442 for the purposes of that civil case
only. This is true as long as the property remains in custodia legis in Civil Case No. 93-
65442, regardless of even whether this Court has rendered a decision in the appeal of said
case. The Court have held that property attached or garnished by a court falls into the
custodia legis of that court for the purposes of that civil case only. Any relief against such
attachment and the execution and issuance of a writ of possession that ensued
subsequently could be disposed of only in that case.

4. PP VS DADAO, SULINDAO, EDDIE MALOGSI (DECEASED), AND ALFEMIO


MALOSI CASE: (G.R. 201860):

[ Evidence]

FACTS:
Appellants were charged with murder. The Information stated that the accused in this case,
conspired, confederated, and mutually helped each other to kill, by means of treachery, armed
with guns, and bolos, a certain Pionio Yacapin. The prosecution witnesses corroborated each
others claims with testimonies leading to reasonable suspicions and conclusions, that the accused
shot the victim, Pionio to death.

The defense witnesses testimonies negated prosecutions claims, but the RTC convicted accused
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murdering Pionio Yacapin. Also, it is noted that the first
witness, Police inspector Armada, that he conducted an examination for paraffin test on all four
accused, yielding a negative result.

The accused elevated their case to the CA, but dismissed their appeal.

The accused later on appealed to the SC.

ISSUE:
WON the eyewitness testimonies presented by the prosecution specifically the 2 stepsons and the
widow of the victim are credible enough.

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HELD:
Yes.

Jurisprudence tells us that where there is no evidence of bad faith by the prosecution witnesses, it
is presumed that their testimonies are done in good faith. In the case at bar, bad faith was not
established.

Accused further contends that the prosecution witnesses made inconsistent and improbable
statements in court, which supposedly impair their credibility. However the Court held that these
inconsistencies involve matters not material to the case.

Accused further counters the accusation made against them putting forward the defense of alibi.
However, jurisprudence has held that positive identification prevails over alibi, since the latter
can easily be fabricated. Hence, it has to be supported by credible corroboration by disinterested
witnesses.

ISSUE: WON the paraffin test, which yielded negative, could lead to the accuseds acquittal.

HELD: No. Paraffin tests are not conclusive proof that a person has not fired a gun. It was
established previously in the prosecution that only Eddie and Alfemio Malogis held firearms
which were used in the murder of Pionio Yacapin, while Dadao and Sulindao only held bolos.
Thus, it is but obvious that the latter two would test negative in the paraffin test.

Nevertheless, it was established that all four accused shared a community of criminal design. By
their concerted action, it is evident that they conspired with one another to murder Pionio
Yacapin, and should suffer the same criminal liability, regardless of who fired the weapon, which
delivered fatal wounds that ended the life of the victim.

ISSUE: WON the act of accused of bravely reporting to the police to answer for the serious
charge of murder militates against a finding of any criminal liability, especially in light of the
dubious evidence presented by the prosecution.

HELD: No. Human Experience as observed in jurisprudence instructs us that non-flight does not
necessarily connote innocence.

ISSUE: WON it was erroneous that the aggravating circumstance of abuse of superior strength
despite not being alleged in the Information, was used by the RTC to qualify the act of killing.

HELD: Abuse of Superior Strength was not appreciated as either qualifying or generic
aggravating circumstance. However treachery was alleged in the Information, thus it qualified the
act of killing to murder.

Lastly, even if the CA did not rule on the effect of death by Eddie Malogsi during the pendency
of the case, there being no final judgment being rendered against him at the time of his death,
whether or not he was guilty was already irrelevant. Even assuming he did incur criminal and
civil liability, these were totally extinguished by his death following Article 89 of the RPC and by
analogous jurisprudence. Thus, the present criminal case would be dismissed only to the deceased
Eddie Malogsi.

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5. People vs Calantiao y Dimalanta, GR 203984

[Admissibility of evidence ]

FACTS:
Police officers were alerted of a shooting incident during a traffic mishap, and so they
responded to the complaint. When they approached the vehicle of the shooters, two armed men
alighted from their vehicles, fired their guns toward the police officers, and ran away. The police
officers were able to subdue them, and recovered from Calantiao (one of the armed men) a black
bag containing 2 bricks of dried marijuana fruiting tops. Calantiao was charged with violation of
Sec. 11, Article II of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Calantiao questioned the admissibility of the confiscated marijuana. The RTC found them
admissible in evidence, as it was discovered during a body search after Calantiao was caught in
flagrante delicti of possessing a gun and firing at police officers. The CA affirmed the lower
courts decision.

ISSUE:
WON the marijuana found in his possession is admissible as evidence against him

HELD:
Yes. The CA decision is affirmed.

Ratio:
This Court cannot subscribe to Calantiaos contention that the marijuana in his possession
cannot be admitted as evidence against him because it was illegally discovered and seized, not
having been within the apprehending officers "plain view."

Searches and seizure incident to a lawful arrest are governed by Section 13, Rule 126 of
the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, to wit:
Section 13.Search incident to lawful arrest. A person lawfully arrested may be searched for
dangerous weapons or anything which may have been used or constitute proof in the commission
of an offense without a search warrant.
The purpose of allowing a warrantless search and seizure incident to a lawful arrest is "to
protect the arresting officer from being harmed by the person arrested, who might be armed with
a concealed weapon, and to prevent the latter from destroying evidence within reach. It is
therefore a reasonable exercise of the States police power to protect (1) law enforcers from the
injury that may be inflicted on them by a person they have lawfully arrested; and (2) evidence
from being destroyed by the arrestee. It seeks to ensure the safety of the arresting officers and the
integrity of the evidence under the control and within the reach of the arrestee.
When an arrest is made, it is reasonable for the arresting officer to search the person
arrested in order to remove any weapon that the latter might use in order to resist arrest or effect
his escape. Otherwise, the officers safety might well be endangered, and the arrest itself
frustrated. In addition, it is entirely reasonable for the arresting officer to search for and seize any
evidence on the arrestees person in order to prevent its concealment or destruction.
Moreover, in lawful arrests, it becomes both the duty and the right of the apprehending
officers to conduct a warrantless search not only on the person of the suspect, but also in the
permissible area within the latters reach. Otherwise stated, a valid arrest allows the seizure of
evidence or dangerous weapons either on the person of the one arrested or within the area of his

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immediate control. The phrase "within the area of his immediate control" means the area from
within which he might gain possession of a weapon or destructible evidence. A gun on a table or
in a drawer in front of one who is arrested can be as dangerous to the arresting officer as one
concealed in the clothing of the person arrested.
The prosecution was able to establish the chain of custody of the seized marijuana from
the time the police officers confiscated it, to the time it was turned over to the investigating
officer, up to the time it was brought to the forensic chemist for laboratory examination. This
Court has no reason to overrule the RTC and the Court of Appeals, which both found the chain of
custody of the seized drugs to have not been broken so as to render the marijuana seized from
Calantiao inadmissible in evidence.
Furthermore, unless it can be shown that there was bad faith, ill will, or tampering of the
evidence, the presumption that the integrity of the evidence has been preserved will remain. The
burden of showing the foregoing to overcome the presumption that the police officers handled the
seized drugs with regularity, and that they properly discharged their duties is on Calantiao.
Unfortunately, Calantiao failed to discharge such burden.
Also, the defenses of denial and frame-up have been invariably viewed by this Court with
disfavor for it can easily be concocted and is a common and standard defense ploy in prosecutions
for violation of Dangerous Drugs Act. In order to prosper, the defenses of denial and frame-up
must be proved with strong and convincing evidence. In the cases before us, appellant failed to
present sufficient evidence in support of his claims.

7.Ching and Andrew vs Subic Bay Golf and Country Club, Inc. (SBGCCI), GR 174353

[Civil Procedure; Derivative suit]

FACTS:
Petitioners Ching and Andrew filed a complaint with the RTC on behalf of the members
of SBGCCI against said country club and its Board of Directors and officers, alleging that the
defendant corporation sold shares to plaintiffs at US$22,000.00 per share, presenting to them the
Articles of Incorporation which contained the following provision:
No profit shall inure to the exclusive benefit of any of its shareholders,
hence, no dividends shall be declared in their favor. Shareholders shall be
entitled only to a pro-rata share of the assets of the Club at the time of its
dissolution or liquidation.

However, on June 27, 1996, an amendment to the Articles of Incorporation was approved
by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), wherein the above provision was changed as
follows:
No profit shall inure to the exclusive benefit of any of its shareholders,
hence, no dividends shall be declared in their favor. In accordance with the
Lease and Development Agreement by and between Subic Bay
Metropolitan Authority and The Universal International Group of Taiwan,
where the golf course and clubhouse component thereof was assigned to
the Club, the shareholders shall not have proprietary rights or interests over
the properties of the Club x x x.

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Petitioners claimed in the Complaint that defendant corporation did not disclose to them
the above amendment which allegedly makes the shares non-proprietary, as it takes away the
right of the shareholders to participate in the pro-rata distribution of the assets of the corporation
after its dissolution. According to petitioners, this is in fraud of the stockholders who only
discovered the amendment when they filed a case for injunction to restrain the corporation from
suspending their rights to use all the facilities of the club. Furthermore, petitioners alleged that the
Board of Directors and officers of the corporation did not call any stockholders meeting from the
time of the incorporation, in violation of Section 50 of the Corporation Code and the By-Laws of
the corporation. The complaint further enumerated several other instances of fraud in the
management of the corporation.

The RTC dismissed the complaint, and held that the action was a derivative suit. As such,
the plaintiffs should have exhausted all administrative remedies before coming to the courts for
redress.

The CA affirmed the RTC decision.

ISSUE:
WON the case filed by plaintiffs is a derivative suit.

HELD:
Yes.

RATIO:

At the outset, it should be noted that the Complaint in question appears to have been filed
only by the two petitioners, namely Nestor Ching and Andrew Wellington, who each own one
stock in the respondent corporation SBGCCI. While the caption of the Complaint also names the
Subic Bay Golfers and Shareholders Inc. for and in behalf of all its members, petitioners did
not attach any authorization from said alleged corporation or its members to file the Complaint.
Thus, the Complaint is deemed filed only by petitioners and not by SBGSI.

On the issue of whether the Complaint is indeed a derivative suit, we are mindful of the
doctrine that the nature of an action, as well as which court or body has jurisdiction over it, is
determined based on the allegations contained in the complaint of the plaintiff, irrespective of
whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all or some of the claims asserted therein.
We have also held that the body rather than the title of the complaint determines the nature of an
action.

Suits by stockholders or members of a corporation based on wrongful or fraudulent acts


of directors or other persons may be classified into individual suits, class suits, and derivative
suits. Where a stockholder or member is denied the right of inspection, his suit would be
individual because the wrong is done to him personally and not to the other stockholders or the
corporation. Where the wrong is done to a group of stockholders, as where preferred
stockholders rights are violated, a class or representative suit will be proper for the protection of
all stockholders belonging to the same group. But where the acts complained of constitute a
wrong to the corporation itself, the cause of action belongs to the corporation and not to the
individual stockholder or member.

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While there were allegations in the Complaint of fraud in their subscription agreements,
such as the misrepresentation of the Articles of Incorporation, petitioners do not pray for the
rescission of their subscription or seek to avail of their appraisal rights. Instead, they ask that
defendants be enjoined from managing the corporation and to pay damages for their
mismanagement. Petitioners only possible cause of action as minority stockholders against the
actions of the Board of Directors is the common law right to file a derivative suit. The legal
standing of minority stockholders to bring derivative suits is not a statutory right, there being no
provision in the Corporation Code or related statutes authorizing the same, but is instead a
product of jurisprudence based on equity. However, a derivative suit cannot prosper without first
complying with the legal requisites for its institution.

Requirements for derivative suits:


(1) He was a stockholder or member at the time the acts or transactions subject of
the action occurred and at the time the action was filed;
(2) He exerted all reasonable efforts, and alleges the same with particularity in the
complaint, to exhaust all remedies available under the articles of incorporation,
by-laws, laws or rules governing the corporation or partnership to obtain the
relief he desires;
(3) No appraisal rights are available for the act or acts complained of; and
(4) The suit is not a nuisance or harassment suit.

With regard to the second requisite, petitioners failed to state with particularity in the
Complaint that they had exerted all reasonable efforts to exhaust all remedies available under the
articles of incorporation, by-laws, and laws or rules governing the corporation to obtain the relief
they desire. The Complaint contained no allegation whatsoever of any effort to avail of intra-
corporate remedies.

8.FELICIANO B. DUYON, substituted by his children: MAXIMA R. DUYON-ORSAME,


EFREN R. DUYON, NOVILYN R. DUYON, ELIZABETH R. DUYON-SIBUMA,
MODESTO R. DUYON, ERROL R. DUYON, and DIVINA R. DUYON-VINLUAN vs.
THE FORMER SPECIAL FOURTH DIVISION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS and
ELEONOR P. BUNAG-CABACUNGAN (G.R. No. 172218, November 26, 2014.)
[CA HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER CRIMINAL CASE DECISIONS OF OMBUDSMAN]
FACTS:
Herein petitioner Feliciano B. Duyon (Duyon), on August 27, 1979, was issued Certificate of
Land Transfer (CLT) No. 0-005224 over the 6,358-square meter parcel of land (subject land) he
had been tilling since 1957. Apparently, the same parcel of land was also covered by Transfer
Certificate of Title (TCT) E.P. No. 44097 under Emancipation Patent No. A-347307, which had
been issued to herein private respondent Eleonor P. Bunag-Cabacungan (Bunag-Cabacungan) on
June 6, 1989.
Sometime in November 2002, Duyon discovered the double registration and filed a complaint-
affidavit for misconduct or abuse of authority (administrative aspect of the case) and for
violation of Republic Act No. 3019 and Falsification of Public Documents under Article 171 of
the Revised Penal Code (criminal aspect of the case) against Bunag-Cabacungan, who was an

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employee of the Municipal Agriculture Office of Nueva Ecija under the Department of
Agriculture, and her husband, Eutiquio Cabacungan (Cabacungan), who then worked at the
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), for allegedly taking advantage of their official positions
to cause the issuance of the TCT in favor of Bunag-Cabacungan. Duyon further asseverated that
Bunag-Cabacungan misrepresented herself in her application with the DAR by stating therein that
she was single despite having been married to Cabacungan since 1979.
Cabacungan and Bunag-Cabacungan denied Duyon's accusations and alleged that he was never
deprived possession of the subject land. They claimed that an error had been made in the issuance
of the Emancipation Patent, such was not their fault, and that the DAR Office in Nueva Ecija had
already requested for its correction.
Finding that the Cabacungan spouses flaunted unlawful behavior and intentional neglect, the
Office of the Deputy Ombudsman (OMB) for Luzon finding the spouses guilty of simple
misconduct. The same OMB for Luzon recommended in OMB-L-C-03-0125-A, the filing of an
Information for Violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019 against the Cabacungan
spouses in its Resolution dated December 11, 2003 for causing undue injury to Duyon by evident
bad faith.
However, acting on the Motions for Reconsideration filed by the Cabacungan spouses and the
Partial Motion for Reconsideration filed by Duyon, the OMB for Luzon modified its December
11, 2003 Decision and Resolution by dismissing the charges filed against Cabacungan, and
reducing the suspension imposed against Bunag-Cabacungan.
Accordingly, Bunag-Cabacungan filed a Petition for Review on Certiorari before the Court of
Appeals, seeking the reversal of the OMB Decision and Joint Order with respect to the
administrative aspect of the case; while Duyon filed his own Petition for Certiorari before the
Court of Appeals, assailing the Joint Order and a motion to consolidate CA-G.R. SP No. 87325
with CA-G.R. SP No. 86630.
The Court of Appeals dismissed Duyon's petition for certiorari for failure to avail of the proper
mode of appeal (with respect to the administrative disciplinary aspect of the case) and for lack of
jurisdiction (with respect to the criminal aspect of the case) and deny his motion to consolidate
the aforementioned cases.
Duyon filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Court of Appeals' Resolution, claiming that a
Petition for Certiorari would best serve him. Verily, the Court of Appeals denied such motion for
lack of merit.
However, notwithstanding that the issue raised in Bunag-Cabacungan's petition was limited to the
administrative aspect of the case, the Court of Appeals promulgated a contrary decision which
reversed and set aside the assailed Decision and Joint Order and dismissed Duyon's complaint
against Bunag-Cabacungan for violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019.
ISSUE:
WON the CA acted with grave abuse of discretion in acting upon and dismissing the criminal
aspect of the case.
HELD:
Yes. Duyon was correct in his insistence that the Court of Appeals has no jurisdiction over the
criminal aspect of an Ombudsman case. "The Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over orders,
directives and decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases

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only. It cannot, therefore, review the orders, directives or decisions of the Office of the
Ombudsman in criminal or non-administrative cases."
In Kuizon v. Hon. Desierto this Court clarified:
The appellate court correctly ruled that its jurisdiction extends only to decisions
of the Office of the Ombudsman in administrative cases. In the Fabian case, we
ruled that appeals from decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman in
administrative disciplinary cases should be taken to the Court of Appeals under
Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. It bears stressing that when we
declared Section 27 of Republic Act No. 6770 as unconstitutional, we
categorically stated that said provision is involved only whenever an appeal
by certiorari under Rule 45 is taken from a decision in an administrative
disciplinary action. It cannot be taken into account where an original action
for certiorari under Rule 65 is resorted to as a remedy for judicial review, such as
from an incident in a criminal action. (Citations omitted.)
Bunag-Cabacungan's argument that the Court of Appeals now has appellate jurisdiction to review
both the administrative and criminal aspects of orders and decisions of the Ombudsman because
of the September 15, 2003 amendment to Rule III of Administrative Order No. 07 of the Office of
the Ombudsman deserves no merit at all.
Section 7, Rule III of Administrative Order No. 07, as amended by Administrative Order No. 17,
reads:
SEC. 7. Finality and execution of decision. Where the respondent is
absolved of the charge, and in case of conviction where the penalty imposed is
public censure or reprimand, suspension of not more than one month, or a fine
equivalent to one month salary, the decision shall be final, executory and
unappealable. In all other cases, the decision may be appealed to the Court of
Appeals on a verified petition for review under the requirements and conditions
set forth in Rule 43 of the Rules of Court, within fifteen (15) days from receipt
of the written Notice of the Decision or Order denying the Motion for
Reconsideration. (Emphasis supplied.)
Bunag-Cabacungan's contention that the phrase "in all other cases" has removed the distinction
between administrative and criminal cases of the Ombudsman is ludicrous. It must be stressed
that the above-quoted Section 7 is provided under Rule III, which deals with the procedure
in administrative cases. When Administrative Order No. 07 was amended by Administrative
Order No. 17, Section 7 was retained in Rule III. It is another rule, Rule II, which provides for the
procedure in criminal cases. Thus, the phrase "in all other cases" still refers to administrative
cases, not criminal cases, where the sanctions imposed are different from those enumerated in
Section 7.

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9. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. RENATO DELA CRUZ(G.R. No. 192820, June 4,
2014)

[ EVIDENCE; Testimonial evidence ]

FACTS:

The accused-appellant Renato dela Cruz was charged with two counts of rape allegedly
committed against his daughter AAA. During trial, the prosecution presented the testimonies of:
(1) AAA, the private complainant; and (2) BBB, the elder sister of AAA. For the defense, only
the accused-appellant took the witness stand.

The first incident (Crim. Case No. 3254-M-04) happened on October of 1999 where AAA, 11
years old at that time, was roused from sleep after she felt a touch from somebody who turned out
to be her father. Out of fear and shock, she was not able to do anything while her father kissed
and touched her private parts.

The second incident (Crim. Case No. 3253-M-04) happened on 09 September 2003 where AAA
was awakened by the touch of her father and forcibly held her hand to stand up and led her out of
the room where she and her sisters were sleeping. Her father laid her in the sala and inserted his
penis in her vagina. Moments later, BBB, AAAs sister woke up and saw that her father was on
top of her sister.

The accused denied all the allegations and said that the reason why her daughter filed a case
against him was that she got mad about his wrongdoings to his wife.

The RTC found the accused guilty of Acts of Lasciviousness in Crim. Case No. 3254-M-04 and
guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Rape in Crim. Case No. 3253-M-04. The CA
affirmed the trial courts decision.

The accused-appellant now appeals to the SC contending that the prosecution witnesses ill
motive to falsely incriminate him and the inconsistencies in AAAs testimony should not have
been disregarded by the courts a quo. The accused-appellant argues that the admissions of AAA
and BBB that they harbored ill feelings against him for having another family affected their
credibility as witnesses. The accused-appellant also avers that AAA stated in her direct testimony
that he merely kissed and touched her in October 1999. However, in her cross-examination, the
accused-appellant points out that AAA testified that he was able to rape her at the said time.

ISSUES:

1. WON the lower court erred in giving credence to the testimony of AAA despite its
inconsistencies.
2. WON the lower court erred in giving credence to AAA and BBBs testimonies despite
the ill motives of AAA and BBB.

HELD:

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1. No. As regards the alleged inconsistencies in the testimony of AAA with respect to the
sexual abuse incident that occurred in October 1999, the same also lacks merit. During
her cross-examination, AAA was confronted with her seemingly conflicting statements
on whether or not she was actually raped during the said time. AAA was able to clarify,
however, that she was not. Verily, we also held in Dizon v. People that:

In rape cases, the testimony of complainant must be considered and


calibrated in its entirety, and not in its truncated portion or isolated
passages thereof. The true meaning of answers to questions propounded
to a witness is to be ascertained with due consideration of all the
questions and answers given thereto. The whole impression or effect of
what has been said or done must be considered, and not individual words
or phrases alone. Facts imperfectly stated in answer to a question may be
supplied or clarified by ones answer to other questions.

2. No. Anent the accused-appellants argument that the alleged ill motives of AAA and
BBB destroyed their credibility, the same is utterly unconvincing. The Court of Appeals
was correct in holding that ill motives become inconsequential if there is an affirmative
and credible declaration from the rape victim, which clearly establishes the liability of the
accused. In this case, AAA never wavered in her identification of the accused-appellant
as her abuser. We had occasion to rule in People v. Balunsat that it is unlikely for a young
girl and her family to impute the crime of rape to their own blood relative and face social
humiliation if not to vindicate the victims honor. Indeed, no member of a rape victims
family would dare encourage the victim to publicly expose the dishonor tainting the
family unless the crime was in fact committed, more so in this case where the offender
and the victim are father and daughter. Contrastingly, the accused-appellants bare
defense of denial deserves scant consideration. The same cannot overcome the positive
identification and affirmative testimonies of AAA and BBB.

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10. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. JOSELITO MORATE y TARNATE(G.R.
No. 201156, January 29, 2014)
[ Evidence; Chain of Custody ]
FACTS:
The accused-appellant Joselito Morate was charged for violation of Section 11 and Section 5,
Article II, Republic Act No. 9165. He was arrested in a buy-bust operation conducted by the
Philippine National Police (PNP) in Tabaco City.
The RTC found the accused-appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the charges against him.
He appealed his case to the CA and questioned the conviction on the basis of non-compliance
with the rule on chain of custody of seized illegal drugs. The CA denied his appeal and rules that
there was substantial compliance with the requirements of RA No. 9165.
ISSUE: WON the prosecution to failed prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt on account of the
prosecution's non-compliance with the chain of custody requirement under Section 21 (1) of
Republic Act No. 9165 and its implementing rules and regulations.
HELD:
Initially, it must be emphasized that accused-appellant's defense of alleged non-compliance with
Section 21 of Republic Act No. 9165 was raised belatedly and for the first time on appeal. Failure
to raise the issue of non-observance of the chain of custody requirement during trial is fatal to the
case of the accused-appellant.
As explained in People v. Sta. Maria:
The law excuses non-compliance under justifiable grounds. However, whatever
justifiable grounds may excuse the police officers involved in the buy-bust
operation in this case from complying with Section 21 will remain unknown,
because appellant did not question during trial the safekeeping of the items
seized from him. Indeed, the police officers' alleged violations of Sections 21
and 86 of Republic Act No. 9165 were not raised before the trial court but were
instead raised for the first time on appeal. In no instance did appellant least
intimate at the trial court that there were lapses in the safekeeping of seized
items that affected their integrity and evidentiary value. Objection to evidence
cannot be raised for the first time on appeal; when a party desires the
court to reject the evidence offered, he must so state in the form of
objection. Without such objection he cannot raise the question for the first
time on appeal. (Emphasis supplied, citation omitted.)
More importantly, the accused-appellant's counsel himself has dropped the bomb that demolished
the accused-appellant's defense. He admitted the identity and integrity of the specimens.
These two circumstances (1) the omission of the accused-appellant to raise the issue of non-
compliance with the chain of custody requirement on time, and (2) the admission of the accused-
appellant as to the identity and integrity of the seized items that the PNP Tabaco City submitted
to the Crime Laboratory, subjected to examination by the forensic chemist and presented in court
as evidence are sufficient to defeat the claims of the accused-appellant. Nevertheless, even the

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consideration of the compliance with the chain of custody requirement calls for the denial of the
accused-appellant's appeal.
The chain of custody is basically the duly recorded authorized stages of transfer of custody of
seized dangerous drugs, from their seizure or confiscation to receipt in the forensic laboratory for
examination to safekeeping to presentation in court for destruction. The function of the chain of
custody requirement is to ensure that the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items are
preserved, so much so that unnecessary doubts as to the identity of the evidence are
removed. Thus, the chain of custody requirement has a two-fold purpose: (1) the preservation of
the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items, and (2) the removal of unnecessary doubts
as to the identity of the evidence.
The law recognizes that, while the presentation of a perfect unbroken chain is ideal, the realities
and variables of actual police operation usually makes an unbroken chain impossible. With this
implied judicial recognition of the difficulty of complete compliance with the chain of custody
requirement, substantial compliance is sufficient as long as the integrity and evidentiary value of
the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending police officers.
In this case, the Court of Appeals correctly ruled that the chain of custody requirement has been
substantially complied with. The police officers duly recorded the various authorized stages of
transfer of custody of the dangerous drugs confiscated from the accused-appellant.
Contrary to the contention of the accused-appellant, the marking and inventory of the seized
items at the police station did not contravene the procedure laid down in Section 21 (1)
of Republic Act No. 9165. The said provision provides:
Section 21.Custody and Disposition of Confiscated, Seized, and/or
Surrendered Dangerous Drugs . . .:
(1)The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall,
immediately after seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and
photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom
such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel,
a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and any
elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory
and be given a copy thereof[.]
On the other hand, the relevant portion of the implementing rules and regulations of the law
states:
SECTION 21.Custody and Disposition of Confiscated, Seized and/or
Surrendered Dangerous Drugs, . . .:
(a)The apprehending officer/team having initial custody and
control of the drugs shall, immediately after seizure and
confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same
in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom
such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her
representative or counsel, a representative from the media
and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and any elected public
official who shall be required to sign the copies of the
inventory and be given a copy thereof; Provided, that the
physical inventory and photograph shall be conducted at the
place where the search warrant is served; or at the nearest

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police station or at the nearest office of the apprehending
officer/team, whichever is practicable, in case of
warrantless seizures; Provided, further, that non-
compliance with these requirements under justifiable
grounds, as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of
the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending
officer/team, shall not render void and invalid such seizures
of and custody over said items[.]
The seizure and confiscation of the prohibited drugs from the accused-appellant was a warrantless
seizure resulting from a buy-bust. The law, as carried out by its implementing rules and
regulations expressly authorizes the taking of the inventory of the seized contraband "at the
nearest police station or at the nearest office of the apprehending officer/team, whichever is
practicable," in case of warrantless seizure. Thus, this Court has ruled that marking upon
immediate confiscation contemplates even marking at the nearest police station or office of the
apprehending team. In this light, the marking and inventory of the seized items at the police
station immediately after the arrival thereat of the police officers who conducted the buy-bust
operation was in accordance with the law, its implementing rules and regulations, and relevant
jurisprudence.

11. AIR TRANSPORTATION OFFICE (ATO), vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and BERNIE G.
MIAQUE [G.R. No. 173616. June 25, 2014.]
[Injunction]

Facts:

Air Transportation Office (ATO) was able to obtain favorable judgment for a complaint for unlawful
detainer against Miaque. The MTCC ordered Miaque to permanently vacate the premises, and such order
was affirmed by the RTC. Miaque questioned the RTC decision in the Court of Appeals by filing a petition
for review, docketed CA-GR. SP No. 79439, and in a Decision dated April 29, 2005 , the CA dismissed the
petition and affirmed the RTC decision. When petitioner was able to obtain a writ of execution from the
RTC on March 20, 2006, Miaque obtained a TRO and the subsequent writ of preliminary injunction with
the CA enjoining the enforcement writ of execution, dated March 29, 2006, and May 30, 2006 respectively.
Petitioners now question the Order and Resolution issued by the CA.

Issue:

Whether or not the Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion amounting got lack or excess of
jurisdiction in issuing the Resolution dated May 30, 2006 which granted petitioners application for the
issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction.

Ruling:

Section 21, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court provides the key to that question:
Sec. 21. Immediate execution on appeal to Court of Appeals or Supreme Court. The
judgment of the Regional Trial Court against the defendant shall be immediately executory,
without prejudice to a further appeal that may be taken therefrom. (Emphasis supplied.)

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This reflects Section 21 of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure:
Sec. 21. Appeal. The judgment or final order shall be appealable to the appropriate Regional
Trial Court which shall decide the same in accordance with Section 22 of Batas Pambansa Blg.
129. The decision of the Regional Trial Court in civil cases governed by this Rule, including
forcible entry and unlawful detainer, shall be immediately executory, without prejudice to a
further appeal that may be taken therefrom. Section 10 of Rule 70 shall be deemed repealed.
(Emphasis and underscoring supplied.)
The totality of all the provisions above shows the following significant characteristics of the RTC judgment
in an ejectment case appealed to it:
(1) The judgment of the RTC against the defendant-appellant is immediately executory, without
prejudice to a further appeal that may be taken therefrom; and
(2) Such judgment of the RTC is not stayed by an appeal taken therefrom, unless otherwise
ordered by the RTC or, in the appellate court's discretion, suspended or modified.
The RTC's duty to issue a writ of execution under Section 21 of Rule 70 is ministerial and may be
compelled by mandamus. Section 21 of Rule 70 presupposes that the defendant in a forcible entry or
unlawful detainer case is unsatisfied with the RTC's judgment and appeals to a higher court. It authorizes
the RTC to immediately issue a writ of execution without prejudice to the appeal taking its due course. The
rationale of immediate execution of judgment in an ejectment case is to avoid injustice to a lawful
possessor. Nevertheless, it should be stressed that the appellate court may stay the writ of execution should
In connection with the second characteristic of the RTC judgment in an ejectment case appealed to it, the
consequence of the above distinctions between discretionary execution and the execution of the RTC's
judgment in an ejectment case on appeal to the Court of Appeals is that the former may be availed of in the
RTC only before the Court of Appeals gives due course to the appeal while the latter may be availed of in
the RTC at any stage of the appeal to the Court of Appeals. But then again, in the latter case, the Court of
Appeals may stay the writ of execution issued by the RTC should circumstances so require.
To reiterate, despite the immediately executory nature of the judgment of the RTC in ejectment cases,
which judgment is not stayed by an appeal taken therefrom, the Court of Appeals may issue a writ of
preliminary injunction that will restrain or enjoin the execution of the RTC's judgment. In the exercise of
such authority, the Court of Appeals should constantly be aware that the grant of a preliminary injunction
in a case rests on the sound discretion of the court with the caveat that it should be made with great
caution.
A writ of preliminary injunction is an extraordinary event which must be granted only in the face of actual
and existing substantial rights. The duty of the court taking cognizance of a prayer for a writ of preliminary
injunction is to determine whether the requisites necessary for the grant of an injunction are present in the
case before it. In the absence of the same, and where facts are shown to be wanting in bringing the matter
within the conditions for its issuance, the ancillary writ must be struck down for having been rendered in
grave abuse of discretion.
In this case, the decisions of the MTCC in Civil Case No. 01 (38), of the RTC in Civil Case No. 02-27292,
and of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 79439 unanimously recognized the right of the ATO to
possession of the property and the corresponding obligation of Miaque to immediately vacate the subject
premises. This means that the MTCC, the RTC, and the Court of Appeals all ruled that Miaque does not
have any right to continue in possession of the said premises. It is therefore puzzling how the Court of
Appeals justified its issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction with the sweeping statement that Miaque
"appears to have a clear legal right to hold on to the premises leased by him from ATO at least until such
time when he shall have been duly ejected therefrom by a writ of execution of judgment caused to be issued
by the MTCC in Iloilo City, which is the court of origin of the decision promulgated by this Court in CA-
G.R. SP No. 79439." Unfortunately, in its Resolution dated May 30, 2006 granting a writ of preliminary
injunction in Miaque's favor, the Court of Appeals did not state the source or basis of Miaque's "clear legal
right to hold on to the [said] premises." This is fatal.

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In Nisce v. Equitable PCI Bank, Inc., this Court stated that, in granting or dismissing an application for a
writ of preliminary injunction, the court must state in its order the findings and conclusions based on the
evidence and the law. This is to enable the appellate court to determine whether the trial court committed
grave abuse of its discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction in resolving, one way or the other,
the plea for injunctive relief. In the absence of proof of a legal right and the injury sustained by one who
seeks an injunctive writ, an order for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction will be nullified.

There is grave abuse of discretion when an act is (1) done contrary to the Constitution, the law or
jurisprudence, or (2) executed whimsically, capriciously or arbitrarily out of malice, ill will or personal
bias. In this case, the Court of Appeals issued the Resolution dated May 30, 2006 granting Miaque's
prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction contrary to Section 21, Rule 70 and other relevant provisions
of the Rules of Court, as well as this Court's pronouncements in Teresa T. Gonzales La'O & Co.,
Inc. and Nisce. Thus, the Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion when it issued the
Resolution dated May 30, 2006 in CA-G.R. CEB-SP No. 01603.

12. Heirs of Cornelio Miguel vs. Heirs of Angel Miguel


G.R. No. 158916

[Res Judicata]
FACTS: This an appeal from the Decision1 dated January 31, 2003 of the Court of Appeals in
CAG.R. CV No. 50122 dismissing the appeal of the petitioners, the heirs of Cornelio Miguel,
and affirming the Order2dated March 21, 1995 of the Regional Trial Court of Puerto Princesa
City, Palawan, Branch 51 in Civil Case No. 2735 which dismissed the petitioners complaint for
the nullification of deeds of donation and reconveyance of property.

The petitioners are the surviving children of the deceased Cornelio Miguel, while the respondents
are the widow and the children of the petitioners own brother, Angel Miguel.

Cornelio Miguel was the registered owner under Original Certificate of Title No. S14 of a
93,844 sq.m. parcel of land situated at Barrio Calero, Puerto Princesa City in Palawan. He had the
property subdivided into ten smaller lots which were designated as Lots A to J of Psd146880.
Cornelio sold nine of the lots to his children, with Lot G going to his son Angel, predecessorin
interest of the respondents in this case. The remaining lot, Lot J, Cornelio kept for himself and his
wife, Nieves.

The spouses Cornelio and Nieves were the registered owners of another property in Calero,
Puerto Princesa City with an area of 172,485 sq.m. It was designated as Lot 2 of Psd146879 and
covered by OCT No. G211. The land was subsequently subdivided into nineteen smaller lots.

Angel accepted the donation in the same instrument. The donation of the property described
above became the subject of various suits between Cornelio, Angel, and Angels siblings, and
also between Angels siblings and Angels children.

ISSUE: WON the petition will prosper considering that the cases assailed by the petitioner
already attained finality.

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HELD: No, In denying the petition of the Heirs of Cornelio Miguel the court ratiocinated that
Under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, res judicata embraces two concepts: (1) bar by prior
judgment as enunciated in Section 47(b) of the said Rule and (2) conclusiveness of judgment as
explained in Section 47(c) of the same Rule. Should identity of parties, subject matter, and causes
of action be shown in the two cases, then res judicata in its aspect as a bar by prior judgment
would apply. If as between the two cases, only identity of parties can be shown, but not identical
causes of action, then res judicata as conclusiveness of judgment applies.

Anent the claim of the petitioners that Civil Case No. 1185 was dismissed not because they have
no cause of action but because they failed to state such a cause of action is wrong. The dispositive
portion of the Order dated January 31, 1986 is clear: the amended complaint was ordered
dismissed for lack of cause of action.

With regard the contention of the petitioners against the validity of the deed of donation executed
by the spouses Cornelio and Nieves in favor of Angel. The court however ruled that such issue
had been settled with finality in Civil Case No. 1185. The petitioners who were parties against
Angel in Civil Case No. 1185 cannot resurrect that issue against the privies or successorsin
interest of Angel in Civil Case No. 2735 without violating the principle of res judicata. In other
words, Civil Case No. 2735 is barred by the conclusiveness of the judgment in Civil Case No.
1185.

13. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ROLANDO LAS


PIAS, JIMMY DELIZO AND MERWIN LAS PIAS, accused-appellants.

[Evidence, Alibi as a defense]

Facts:
Renato, Rolando, Armando, Gilberto, Merwin, Freddie, Salvador, all surnamed Las Pias, and
Jimmy Delizo were charged with frustrated murder and 3 counts of murder. Of the eight accused,
only Rolando Las Pias, Merwin Las Pias, and Jimmy Delizo were apprehended and held for
trial. The rest remained at large.
From the testimony of Roger, the only survivor of the incident, the prosecution established that
on the night of May 1, 2001, he and his brothers, Edgardo and Benjamin, and their cousin, Carlito
Lasala, were at Edgardo's fishpen located within the coastal waters of the town of Castilla,
Sorsogon. Where they were attacked by the accused at about 2:00 a.m. on May 2, 2001.
On the other hand, the defense relies on its alibi that the accused could not have been the ones
who committed the crime.

Gilberto, the chief barangay tanod of Barangay Bitan-o, Sorsogon City, testified that he and
accused Rolando were with the other barangay tanod doing patrol duty on May 1, 2001. At
around 11:45 p.m., Rolando asked permission to leave to unload the truck containing cargoes of
shellfish locally known as"badoy" that arrived from Naga City. At about 12:45 a.m., they came
upon Rolando still unloading the cargoes with the other workers.
Blandino, the barangay captain, testified that at 11:00 p.m. on May 1, 2001, he saw the accused
Rolando in the barangay hall and then left after 30 minutes. He later learned that he was
unloading cargoes from a delivery truck.

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Rodel testified that he was in the business of buying and selling cooked "badoy." He stated that at
around midnight to 1:00 a.m. on May 2, 2001, there was a delivery of "badoy" from Naga City.
When the delivery truck arrived at his house in Barangay Bitan-o, his supervisor and all around
caretaker Rolando woke him. In turn, Rodel woke up Merwin, who was the designated cook. He
said that Rolando and Merwin never left the premises until they were arrested. Lito, another
cook, corroborated Rodel's testimony on Rolando and. Merwin's whereabouts in the early
morning of May 2, 2001.
Serafin, who testified for accused Jimmy, stated that he, Jimmy, and their companions went
fishing in the morning of May 1, 2001 until 4:00 p.m. After getting their respective shares, they
decided to have a drinking session in his house at 7:00 p.m. and ended at midnight of May 1,
2001. According to him, Jimmy was so drunk that he needed to be escorted home. Jimmy's wife,
Leonora corroborated Serafin's testimony and the two of them brought Jimmy home.
When it was their turn to testify, accused Rolando, Merwin and Jimmy corroborated the
testimonies of the defense witnesses.
Issue:
WoN thetrial court gravely erred in not giving credence to the accused-appellants' defense of
alibi.

Held:
The twin defenses of denial and alibi raised by the accused-appellants must fail in light of the
positive identification made by one of their victims, Roger. Alibi and denial are inherently weak
defenses and must be brushed aside when the prosecution has sufficiently and positively
ascertained the identity of the accused as in this case. It is also axiomatic that positive testimony
prevails over negative testimony. The accused-appellants' alibis that they were at different places
at the time of the shooting, and that family members and or their friends vouched for their
whereabouts are negative and self-serving assertions and cannot not be given more evidentiary
value vis--vis the affirmative testimony of a credible witness. The accused-appellants and Roger,
at one point, resided in the same barangay and, are, therefore, familiar with one another.
Therefore, Roger could not have been mistaken on the accused-appellants' identity, including the
five other accused who remained at large.
Further, it has been held that for the defense of alibi to prosper, the accused must prove the
following: (i) that he was present at another place at the time of the perpetration of the crime; and
(ii) that it was physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime during its
commission. Physical impossibility involves the distance and the facility of access between the
crime scene and the location of the accused when the crime was committed. The accused must
demonstrate that he was so far away and could not have been physically present at the crime
scene and its immediate vicinity when the crime was committed. Here, the accused-appellants
utterly failed to satisfy the above-quoted requirements. As held by the Court of Appeals,
"[j]udicial notice was taken of the fact that Barangay Bitan-o in Sorsogon City where the accused
claimed they were at the time of the shooting and the area of the sea adjacent to the municipality
of Castilla where the incident took place are neighboring sites that can be negotiated with the use
of a banca in one hour or less." Certainly, the distance was not too far as to preclude the presence
of accused-appellants at the fishpen, and/or for them to slip away from where they were supposed
to be, unnoticed.
Finally, the defense failed to show any ill motive on the part of the prosecution's witnesses to
discredit their testimonies. Absent any reason or motive for a prosecution witness to perjure
himself, the logical conclusion is that no such motive exists, and his testimony is, thus, worthy of
full faith and credit.

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Legal and Judicial Ethics Cases

1. PRESIDING JUDGE JUAN GABRIEL HIZON ALANO, MARY ANNABELLE A.


KATIPUNAN, SUZEE WONG JAMOTILLO, ANALIE DEL RIO BALITUNG, EDWINO
JAYSON OLIVEROS AND ROBERTO BABAODONO vs. PADMA LATIP SAHI,
COURT INTERPRETER I, MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURT (MCTC), MALUSO,
BASILAN. [A.M. No. P-11-3020. June 25, 2014.]

[Gross Inefficiency and Gross Insubordination of a Court Employee]

FACTS:

Complainants filed an administrative complaint against Respondent for Gross Inefficiency, Gross
Insubordination, and for being Notoriously Undesirable.

Complainant Judge Alano argued that from the day he resumed office, respondent Sahi never
prepared any court calendar or minutes. He further alleges that respondent Sahi does not know
how to speak the Yakan and Visayan dialects, which is necessary for her position. Complainant
Judge Alano also argued that in all cases he heard since 2004, he was the one who would usually
interpret the testimonies of the witnesses into English, to avoid inconvenience and delay in the
proceedings. He also claims that respondent Sahis performance deteriorated to a point bordering
to recklessness, resulting in her consecutive unsatisfactory ratings for the first and second
semesters of 2008.

Respondent Sahi vehemently denied the charges against her and asserted that the allegations in
the Verified Complaint are maliciously concocted lies which are just part of complainant Judge
Alanos scheme to get back at her for earlier filing a complaint for grave abuse of authority
against said Judge. Respondent Sahi further argued that she did not expect a good performance
rating from complainant Judge Alano since the said Judge already disliked her from the very
beginning.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Respondent Sahi is administratively liable for Gross Inefficiency, Gross
Insubordination, and for being Notoriously Undesirable due to the alleged acts in the complaint

RULING:

Respondent Sahi is administratively liable. She is FINED an amount equivalent to her two
months salary, to be paid to the Court within 30 days from receipt of a copy of this Decision.

[N]o other office in the government service exacts a greater demand for moral righteousness and
uprightness from an employee than the judiciary. The conduct and behavior of everyone
connected with an office charged with the dispensation of justice, from the presiding judge to the
lowliest clerk, must always be beyond reproach and must be circumscribed with the heavy burden
of responsibility. Public officers must be accountable to the people at all times and serve them
with the utmost degree of responsibility and efficiency. Any act which falls short of the exacting
standards for public office, especially on the part of those expected to preserve the image of the

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judiciary, shall not be countenanced. It is the imperative and sacred duty of each and everyone in
the court to maintain its good name and standing as a true temple of justice.

In this case, Respondent Sahis general denial carries little weight. As the preceding paragraphs
will show, there are specific charges against her, supported by documentary evidence, which she
had the opportunity to directly address and explain, but she merely glossed over. Her allegations
that complainant Judge Alano was merely retaliating against her after she filed an administrative
case against him; that the other complainants are mere stooges, subservient to complainant Judge
Alano; that Judge Alano had been pressuring employees to leave the court; and that complainant
Judge Alano gave her unsatisfactory performance rating because he did not like her from the very
beginning, are all uncorroborated and self-serving.

Thus, Respondent Sahi is administratively liable. She is FINED an amount equivalent to her two
months salary, to be paid to the Court within 30 days from receipt of a copy of this Decision.

2. RAUL K. SAN BUENAVENTURA vs. TIMOTEO A. MIGRIO, CLERK OF COURT III,


METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 69, PASIG CITY. A.M. NO. P-08-2574.
JANUARY 22, 2014.

[Responsibility of Clerk of Court]


FACTS:
The decision in favor of Complainant San Buenaventura for a case for unlawful detainer
had become final and executory on April 3, 2006. Complainant San Buenaventura filed on
August 17, 2006 a Motion for Issuance of a Writ of Execution requesting it to be heard on August
22, 2006. According to complainant, respondent Migrio set the hearing on October 13, 2006 and
refused to grant his request for an earlier setting. On October 30, 2006, the MeTC issued an Order
informing the parties that the motion had already been submitted for resolution. However, on
December 18, 2006, the MeTC issued an order deferring the resolution since an Annulment of
Judgment on the Supreme Court Decision was filed by respondent in said case.
When Complainant made inquiries, respondent Migrio claimed that the MeTC had not
yet received a copy of the Supreme Court Decision but further inquiries later on revealed that the
MeTC had received copies of the decision as early as August 7, 2006. Based on this, complainant
made repeated follow-ups on the motion for issuance of writ of execution. It was only on July 20,
2007 that the motion was resolved, but it was only on November 14, 2007 that the writ was
belatedly issued after several demands and follow-ups.
Complainant maintains that respondent Migrio should be administratively sanctioned
for setting the hearings of various motions in their case over long periods of time and for unduly
interfering in the case. Migrio claims that the Acting Presiding Judge only conducts hearings on
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and that August 22, 2006 was a Tuesday, a non-hearing day,
which is why it was reset to October 13, 2006 without objections from the counsels. As to the
issue on the motion for issuance of writ of execution being unacted upon or was delayed, Migrio

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reasoned out that issuance of judicial orders was not part of duties and responsibilities as a Clerk
of Court.
ISSUE:
WON respondent Migrio is guilty of gross neglect of duty for undue interference on a case.
HELD:
Respondent Migrio is found guilty of only simple neglect of duty.
RATIO:
Simple neglect of duty is defined as the failure of an employee to give proper attention to
a required task or to disregard a duty due to carelessness or indifference. In the instant case, it is
incumbent upon respondent Migrio as the Clerk of Court and the administrative assistant of the
judge, to assist in the management of the calendar of the court, particularly in the scheduling of
cases and in all other matters not involving the exercise of discretion or judgment of the judge.
Respondent Migrio showed carelessness and indifference in the performance of his duties. He
cannot simply reason that he had nothing to do with the resetting and the setting of the
hearings. That is an unacceptable excuse, especially in light of Section 1, Canon IV of the Code
of Conduct for Court Personnel which requires that court personnel shall at all times perform
official duties properly and diligently.
Respondent Migrio was guilty of delay in scheduling the Motion for Issuance of the
Writ of Execution particularly when the subject decision in Civil Case No. 6798, an unlawful
detainer case that is governed by the Rule on Summary Procedure, had already become final and
executory. As such, respondent Migrio should have given preference to complainant San
Buenaventuras motion which was filed on August 17, 2006. Granting that the requested date for
hearing fell on a Tuesday, a non-hearing day for the Acting Presiding Judge, respondent Migrio
should have set the date of the next hearing well within the 10-day period mandated under
Section 5, Rule 15 of the Rules of Court.
It is important to stress that as clerk of court, respondent Migrio should take charge of
the administrative aspects of the courts business and chronicle its will and directions, keep the
records and seal, issue processes, enter judgments and orders, and give upon request, certified
copies of the records of the court. Thus, it is clear that respondent Migrio was remiss of his
duties when he failed to supervise his subordinates well and to efficiently conduct the proper
administration of justice.

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3. [A.C. No. 4697. November 25, 2014.]
FLORENCIO A. SALADAGA, complainant , vs. ATTY. ARTURO B.
ASTORGA, respondent .

Principle: A Lawyer Who Drafts A Contract Must See To It That The Agreement Faithfully And
Clearly Reflects The Agreement Of The Contracting Parties
by The Lawyer's Post March 28, 2015 0 Comments

Facts: Atty. Arturo Astorga (Arturo) and Florencio entered into a Deed of Sale with Right to
Repurchase a parcel of coconut land covered by TCT No. T-662 for P15,000.00, with a right to
repurchase the property within two years, and represented to Florencio that the property is free
from any liens and encumbrances, and that he had perfect right to dispose of the property as
owner in fee simple. The two-year period having lapsed without Arturo exercising his right to
repurchase, Florencio continued to possess the land until 1989 when he received letters from the
Rural Bank of Alguerra (RBAI) that the property was mortgaged to it; had foreclosed the same,
and that Florecio should vacate the property.

Alarmed at this development, Florencio proceeded to the Registry of Deeds, where he learned
that TCT No T-662 was already cancelled by TCT No. T-3211 in the name of PNB; TCT No. T-
3211 was eventually cancelled by virtue of TCT No. T-7235 by virtue of a deed of sale between
Arturo and his wife; and Arturo then mortgaged TCT No. T-7235 to RBAI, and when the
property was foreclosed, it was cancelled and TCT No. TP-10635 issued to RBAI. Florencio lost
possession of the property to RBAI. Because of this, Florencio filed a case for Estafa, and an
administrative complaint for disbarment against Arturo. In his defense, Arturo denied entering
into a deed of sale with a right to repurchase with Florencio, and averred that it was merely an
equitablele mortgage, and if complainant would render an accounting of the produce from the
property, he would have gained more than P15,000.00 After investigation and report, the IBP
recommended that Arturo be suspended from the practice of law for two years with a warning
that repitition of the same would merit stricter punishment and for him to return the P15,000.00 to
Florencio with legal interest; the IBP found him liable for commission of unlawful acts especially
crimes involving moral turpitude, acts of dishonesty grossly immoral conduct and deceits merit
the punishment imposed on him.

Issue: Whether or not Atty. Astorga violated the Code of Professional Responsibility and
committed acts of dishonesty and grossly immoral conduct.

Ruling: The Court agrees with the recommendation of the IBP Board of Governors to suspend
respondent from the practice of law for two years, but it refrains from ordering respondent to
return the P15,000.00 consideration, plus interest.

Respondent does not deny executing the Deed of Sale with Right to Repurchase dated
December 2, 1981 in favor of complainant. However, respondent insists that the deed is not one
of sale with pacto de retro, but one of equitable mortgage. Thus, respondent argues that he still
had the legal right to mortgage the subject property to other persons. Respondent additionally
asserts that complainant should render an accounting of the produce the latter had collected from
the said property, which would already exceed the P15,000.00 consideration stated in the deed.

There is no merit in respondents defense.

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Regardless of whether the written contract between respondent and complainant is actually one of
sale with pacto de retro or of equitable mortgage, respondents actuations in his transaction with
complainant, as well as in the present administrative cases, clearly show a disregard for the
highest standards of legal proficiency, morality, honesty, integrity, and fair dealing required from
lawyers, for which respondent should be held administratively liable.

When respondent was admitted to the legal profession, he took an oath where he undertook to
obey the laws, do no falsehood, and conduct [him]self as a lawyer according to the best of
[his] knowledge and discretion[1]. He gravely violated his oath.

The Investigating Commissioner correctly found, and the IBP Board of Governors rightly agreed,
that respondent caused the ambiguity or vagueness in the Deed of Sale with Right to
Repurchase as he was the one who prepared or drafted the said instrument. Respondent could
have simply denominated the instrument as a deed of mortgage and referred to himself and
complainant as mortgagor and mortgagee, respectively, rather than as vendor a retro and
vendee a retro. If only respondent had been more circumspect and careful in the drafting and
preparation of the deed, then the controversy between him and complainant could have been
avoided or, at the very least, easily resolved. His imprecise and misleading wording of the said
deed on its face betrayed lack of legal competence on his part. He thereby fell short of his oath to
conduct [him]self as a lawyer according to the best of [his] knowledge and discretion.

More significantly, respondent transgressed the laws and the fundamental tenet of human
relations as embodied in Article 19 of the Civil Code:

Art. 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act
with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith.

Respondent, as owner of the property, had the right to mortgage it to complainant but, as a
lawyer, he should have seen to it that his agreement with complainant is embodied in an
instrument that clearly expresses the intent of the contracting parties. A lawyer who drafts a
contract must see to it that the agreement faithfully and clearly reflects the intention of the
contracting parties. Otherwise, the respective rights and obligations of the contracting parties will
be uncertain, which opens the door to legal disputes between the said parties. Indeed, the
uncertainty caused by respondents poor formulation of the Deed of Sale with Right to
Repurchase was a significant factor in the legal controversy between respondent and
complainant. Such poor formulation reflects at the very least negatively on the legal competence
of respondent.

Under Section 63 of the Land Registration Act[2], the law in effect at the time the PNB acquired
the subject property and obtained TCT No. T-3211 in its name in 1972, where a decree in favor of
a purchaser who acquires mortgaged property in foreclosure proceedings becomes final, such
purchaser becomes entitled to the issuance of a new certificate of title in his name and a
memorandum thereof shall be indorsed upon the mortgagors original certificate[3]. TCT No.
T-662, which respondent gave complainant when they entered into the Deed of Sale with Right
to Repurchase dated December 2, 1981, does not bear such memorandum but only a
memorandum on the mortgage of the property to PNB in 1963 and the subsequent amendment of
the mortgage.

Respondent dealt with complainant with bad faith, falsehood, and deceit when he entered into the
Deed of Sale with Right to Repurchase dated December 2, 1981 with the latter. He made it
appear that the property was covered by TCT No. T-662 under his name, even giving

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complainant the owners copy of the said certificate of title, when the truth is that the said TCT
had already been cancelled some nine years earlier by TCT No. T-3211 in the name of PNB. He
did not even care to correct the wrong statement in the deed when he was subsequently issued a
new copy of TCT No. T-7235 on January 4, 1982[4], or barely a month after the execution of the
said deed. All told, respondent clearly committed an act of gross dishonesty and deceit against
complainant.

Canon 1 and Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provide:

CANON 1 A lawyer shall uphold the constitution, obey the laws of the land and promote
respect for law and legal processes.

Rule 1.01 A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.

Under Canon 1, a lawyer is not only mandated to personally obey the laws and the legal
processes, he is moreover expected to inspire respect and obedience thereto. On the other hand,
Rule 1.01 states the norm of conduct that is expected of all lawyers[5].

Any act or omission that is contrary to, prohibited or unauthorized by, in defiance of, disobedient
to, or disregards the law is unlawful. Unlawful conduct does not necessarily imply the
element of criminality although the concept is broad enough to include such element[6].

To be dishonest means the disposition to lie, cheat, deceive, defraud or betray; be


untrustworthy; lacking in integrity, honesty, probity, integrity in principle, fairness and
straightforwardness. On the other hand, conduct that is deceitful means as follows:

[Having] the proclivity for fraudulent and deceptive misrepresentation, artifice or device that is
used upon another who is ignorant of the true facts, to the prejudice and damage of the party
imposed upon. In order to be deceitful, the person must either have knowledge of the falsity or
acted in reckless and conscious ignorance thereof, especially if the parties are not on equal terms,
and was done with the intent that the aggrieved party act thereon, and the latter indeed acted in
reliance of the false statement or deed in the manner contemplated to his injury[7].

The actions of respondent in connection with the execution of the Deed of Sale with Right to
Repurchase clearly fall within the concept of unlawful, dishonest, and deceitful conduct. They
violate Article 19 of the Civil Code. They show a disregard for Section 63 of the Land
Registration Act. They also reflect bad faith, dishonesty, and deceit on respondents part. Thus,
respondent deserves to be sanctioned.

Respondents breach of his oath, violation of the laws, lack of good faith, and dishonesty are
compounded by his gross disregard of this Courts directives, as well as the orders of the IBPs
Investigating Commissioner (who was acting as an agent of this Court pursuant to the Courts
referral of these cases to the IBP for investigation, report and recommendation), which caused
delay in the resolution of these administrative cases.

In particular, the Court required respondent to comment on complainants Affidavit-Complaint in


A.C. No. 4697 and Supplemental Complaint in A.C. No. 4728 on March 12, 1997 and June 25,
1997, respectively[8]. While he requested for several extensions of time within which to submit
his comment, no such comment was submitted prompting the Court to require him in a
Resolution dated February 4, 1998 to (1) show cause why he should not be disciplinarily dealt
with or held in contempt for such failure, and (2) submit the consolidated comment[9].

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Respondent neither showed cause why he should not be disciplinarily dealt with or held in
contempt for such failure, nor submitted the consolidated comment.

When these cases were referred to the IBP and during the proceedings before the IBPs
Investigating Commissioner, respondent was again required several times to submit his
consolidated answer. He only complied on August 28, 2003, or more than six years after this
Court originally required him to do so. The Investigating Commissioner also directed the parties
to submit their respective position papers. Despite having been given several opportunities to
submit the same, respondent did not file any position paper[10].

Respondents disregard of the directives of this Court and of the Investigating Commissioner,
which caused undue delay in these administrative cases, contravenes the following provisions of
the Code of Professional Responsibility:

CANON 11 A lawyer shall observe and maintain the respect due to the courts and to judicial
officers and should insist on similar conduct by others.

xxxx

CANON 12 A lawyer shall exert every effort and consider it his duty to assist in the speedy and
efficient administration of justice.

xxxx

Rule 12.03 A lawyer shall not, after obtaining extensions of time to file pleadings, memoranda
or briefs, let the period lapse without submitting the same or offering an explanation for his
failure to do so.

Rule 12.04 A lawyer shall not unduly delay a case, impede the execution of a judgment or
misuse court processes.

Respondents infractions are aggravated by the fact that he has already been imposed a
disciplinary sanction before. In Nuez v. Atty. Astorga[11], respondent was held liable for
conduct unbecoming an attorney for which he was fined P2,000.00.

Given the foregoing, the suspension of respondent from the practice of law for two years, as
recommended by the IBP Board of Governors, is proper.

The Court, however, will not adopt the recommendation of the IBP to order respondent to return
the sum of P15,000.00 he received from complainant under the Deed of Sale with Right to
Repurchase. This is a civil liability best determined and awarded in a civil case rather than the
present administrative cases.

In Roa v. Moreno[12], the Court pronounced that [i]n disciplinary proceedings against lawyers,
the only issue is whether the officer of the court is still fit to be allowed to continue as a member
of the Bar. Our only concern is the determination of respondents administrative liability. Our
findings have no material bearing on other judicial action which the parties may choose to file
against each other. While the respondent lawyers wrongful actuations may give rise at the same
time to criminal, civil, and administrative liabilities, each must be determined in the appropriate
case; and every case must be resolved in accordance with the facts and the law applicable and the
quantum of proof required in each. Section 5,[13] in relation to Sections 1[14] and 2[15] Rule

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133 of the Rules of Court states that in administrative cases, such as the ones at bar, only
substantial evidence is required, not proof beyond reasonable doubt as in criminal cases, or
preponderance of evidence as in civil cases. Substantial evidence is that amount of relevant
evidence which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a conclusion[16].

The Court notes that based on the same factual antecedents as the present administrative cases,
complainant instituted a criminal case for estafa against respondent, docketed as Criminal Case
No. 3112-A, before the MTC. When a criminal action is instituted, the civil action for the
recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged shall be deemed instituted with the
criminal action unless the offended party waives the civil action, reserves the right to institute it
separately or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action[17]. Unless the complainant
waived the civil action, reserved the right to institute it separately, or instituted the civil action
prior to the criminal action, then his civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the
estafa committed by respondent is deemed instituted with Criminal Case No. 3112-A. The civil
liability that complainant may recover in Criminal Case No. 3112-A includes restitution;
reparation of the damage caused him; and/or indemnification for consequential damages[18],
which may already cover the P15,000.00 consideration complainant had paid for the subject
property.

WHEREFORE, respondent is hereby found GUILTY of the following: breach of the Lawyers
Oath; unlawful, dishonest, and deceitful conduct; and disrespect for the Court and causing undue
delay of these cases, for which he is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of two
(2) years, reckoned from receipt of this Decision, with WARNING that a similar misconduct in
the future shall be dealt with more severely.

Let a copy of this Decision be furnished the Office of the Bar Confidant and the Integrated Bar of
the Philippines for their information and guidance. The Court Administrator is directed to
circulate this Decision to all courts in the country.

SO ORDERED.

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4. [A.M. No. RTJ-11-2287. January 22, 2014.]
OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, complainant, vs.
HON. CADER P. INDAR, AL HAJ, PRESIDING JUDGE and
ABDULRAHMAN D. PIANG, PROCESS SERVER, BRANCH 14, both
of the REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 14, COTABATO CITY ,
Respondents.

[dishonesty and gross misconduct]

Facts: This concerns the anomalous compliance by respondent Process Server


Abdulrahman D. Piang (Piang) with the requirements for the facilitation of his initial salary,
particularly his Daily Time Records (DTRs) for the months of February and March of 2010.
Piang was appointed Process Server of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 14 of
Cotabato City on January 25, 2010. He assumed office on February 15, 2010.

On January 26, 2010, the Office of the Court Administrator, Office of Administrative Services
(OCA-OAS), required Piang to submit several documents, which included a complete DTR or
Bundy Card, verified as to the prescribed office hours by the Presiding Judge/Clerk of Court,
one month from the date of his assumption.

On February 22, 2010, Piang submitted the requirements to the OCA-OAS, including two
DTRs with detailed time-in and time-out entries for the months of February and March
2010. 2 The DTR for the month of February 2010 reported Piang's time-in and time-out
from February 15, 2010 to February 26, 2010, when it should only validly cover the period
of February 15, 2010 up to February 21, 2010, the day prior to its submission to the OCA-
OAS. In addition, the DTR for the month of March 2010 already contained complete time-in
and time-out entries for the entire month even when the same had not yet transpired and
become due. Thus, Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez (Marquez), in his 1st
Indorsement 3 dated April 5, 2010, required Piang to comment on his anomalous DTRs for
February and March 2010.

In his explanation letter 4 dated February 22, 2010 addressed to the OCA-OAS, Piang said
that it was an honest mistake caused by his lack of knowledge of the policies being
implemented by the office. He claimed that he understood the OCAOAS directive to submit
"complete DTR or Bundy Card verified as to prescribed office hours by the Presiding
Judge/Clerk of court, one month from the date of assumption" to mean that he should
already submit DTRs for the remaining days of February and of the whole month of March
2010 even though he had not yet worked on those days. He further explained that he had no
fraudulent intention and that the error was due to sheer inadvertence on his part alone,
being too excited to perform his duties and to have the documents signed by former Judge
Cader P. Indar (Indar). He simply forgot to seek advice from Judge Indar. Piang adopted the
same explanation in his subsequent Comment 5 dated May 24, 2010.

In the Agenda Report 7 dated May 9, 2011, the OCA found sufficient reason to hold Piang
administratively liable. The OCA opined that the punching of the remaining working days
for the month of February and for the entire month of March 2010, even for dates that were
not yet due, is an outright violation of OCA Circular 7- 2003. Failure to submit true and
accurate DTRs/Bundy Cards amounts to falsification which is punishable by dismissal, and
under Civil Service Rules and Regulations, it is dishonesty. The OCA, however, took into

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consideration the mitigating circumstance of Piang acknowledging his infractions, as well as
the fact that this is his first offense.

Thus, the OCA submitted the following recommendations:

1. That the instant administrative complaint be RE-DOCKETTED as a regular administrative


matter;
2. That respondent Abdulrahman D. Piang, Process Server, Regional TrialCourt, Branch 14,
Cotabato City be found liable for Dishonesty; be immediately SUSPENDED for one (1) year
without pay; and WARNED that a repetition of the same offense shall be dealt with more
severely;
3. That the salary of respondent Abdulrahman D. Piang for the months of February and
March 2010 be FORFEITED in view of the fact that he doctored and falsified Daily Time
Records covering said months; and
4. That Judge Cader P. Indar be required to submit a COMMENT within ten (10) days from
receipt hereof with notices sent to his last known residence and to the Regional Trial Court
of Cotabato City, Branch 14, otherwise he will be deemed to have waived the right to file the
same and the matter shall be decided based on the records at hand.

In a Resolution 11 dated February 8, 2012, the Court required Judge Indar to show cause
why he failed to comply with the earlier Resolution dated June 29, 2011 of the Court and
directed him anew to submit the required comment.

Issue: Whether or not Piang is guilty of dishonesty and gross misconduct and
insubordination against Judge Indar.

Ruling:

The charge of dishonesty against Piang

OCA Circular No. 7-2003 clearly states that court personnel should indicate in their bundy
cards the "truthful and accurate times" of their arrival at, and departure from, the office. As
we have ruled in Garcia v. Bada and Servino v. Adolfo , court employees must follow the
clear mandate of OCA Circular No. 7-2003. Piang's entries in his February and March 2010
DTRs for dates that had not yet come to pass were a clear violation of OCA Circular No. 7-
2003.

Section 4, Rule XVII (on Government Office Hours) of the Omnibus Rules Implementing
Book V of Executive Order No. 292 and Other Pertinent Civil Service Laws also provides that
falsification or irregularities in the keeping of time records will render the guilty officer or
employee administratively liable. There is no other way but for the Court to view Piang's
falsification of his February and March 2010 DTRs as tantamount to dishonesty. He cannot
claim honest mistake as he was fully aware when he accomplished his DTRs for February
and March 2010 that there were dates that had not yet even come to pass and for whichhe
could not have reported for work yet.

The charges of gross misconduct and insubordination against Judge Indar.

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It took three directives and three years for Judge Indar to submit his Comment on the
present administrative matter against him and Piang. In a letter dated April 20, 2010, Court
Administrator Marquez required Judge Indar to comment on why he signed Piang's DTRs
for February and March 2010 even if these were not yet due.

In a Resolution issued more than a year later, on June 29, 2011, the Court likewise ordered
Judge Indar to submit his comment on the matter of Piang's anomalous DTRs. Then, in
another Resolution dated February 8, 2012, the Court already required Judge Indar to show
cause why he failed to comply with the Resolution dated June 29, 2011 and directed him
once more to file his comment. Despite being given notices of the aforementioned letter and
Resolutions, Judge Indar filed his Comment only on October 7, 2013, and even then, he did
not offer any apology and/or explanation for his long delay in complying with the
directives/orders of the OCA and this Court. In fact, Judge Indar has still not complied with
the show-cause order of the Court contained in its Resolution dated February 8, 2012.

It is worthy to note further that Judge Indar, at that time, was already suspended pending
investigation of another administrative case against him, 21 and Judge Indar failed to file his
comment and compliance with the directives/orders of the Court in said
other case. The conduct exhibited by Judge Indar constitutes no less than a clear act of
defiance, revealing his deliberate disrespect and indifference to the authority of the Court. It
is completely unacceptable especially for a judge.

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Court hereby renders judgment:


(1) Finding Abdulrahman D. Piang GUILTY of dishonesty and imposing upon him the
penalty of SUSPENSION for six (6) months to take effect immediately upon receipt of a copy
of this judgment;
(2) Giving a STERN WARNING to Abdulrahman D. Piang that a repetition of the same or
similar acts shall be dealt with more severely; and
(3) Finding former Judge Cader P. Indar GUILTY of gross misconduct, insubordination, and
negligence, and imposing upon him a FINE in the amount of P40,000.00, to be deducted
from the monetary value of his accumulated leave credits.
SO ORDERED.

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5. OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, vs. JUDGE BORROMEO R. BUSTAMANTE,
MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES, ALAMINOS CITY, PANGASINAN [A.M. No. MTJ-12-
1806. April 7, 2014.]

[gross inefficiency of judges]

Facts:

An administrative matter arose from the judicial audit of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of
Alaminos City, Pangasinan, then presided by Judge Borromeo R. Bustamante (Bustamante). Judge
Bustamante retired on November 6, 2010.

The OCA (Office of the Court Administrator) found that:


Judge Bustamante had decided 33 out of the 35 cases for decision in his court. Of the 33 cases decided by
Judge Bustamante, 13 were still within the reglementary period while 20 were already beyond the
reglementary period.
Judge Bustamante had also resolved 6 out of the 23 cases with pending incidents in his court, all of which
were resolved beyond their respective reglementary periods. As for the 17 other cases with pending
incidents in his court, Judge Bustamante reasoned that (a) the motions require further hearing; (b) there is a
need to await the resolution of other cases pending before other courts; and (c) oversight. The OCA noted,
though, that Judge Bustamante failed to submit any order setting the pending incidents for hearing or
holding in abeyance the resolution of the same until the related cases before other courts have already been
decided. 2 Cases have also not been decided by Judge Bustamante because of the lack of TSNs.

Judge Bustamante also tried to justify the delays in rendering decisions because of the heavy volume of
work in the court.

The OCA was unconvinced by the explanation of the Judge and held him liable for gross inefficiency thus
subjecting him to pay a fine of P20,000.00, to be taken from his retirement benefits.

Issue:

Whether or not Judge Bustamante is guilty of being grossly inefficient.

Ruling:

Thee Court agrees with the findings and recommendation of the OCA.
Decision-making, among other duties, is the primordial and most important duty of a member of the bench.
The speedy disposition of cases in the courts is a primary aim of the judiciary so the ends of justice may not
be compromised and the judiciary will be true to its commitment to provide litigants their constitutional
right to a speedy trial and a speedy disposition of their cases.

A judge is mandated to render a decision not more than 90 days from the time a case is submitted for
decision. Judges are to dispose of the court's business promptly and decide cases within the period specified
in the Constitution, that is, 3 months from the filing of the last pleading, brief or memorandum. Failure to
observe said rule constitutes a ground for administrative sanction against the defaulting judge, absent
sufficient justification for his non-compliance therewith.

A member of the bench cannot pay mere lip service to the 90-day requirement; he/she should instead
persevere in its implementation. Heavy caseload and demanding workload are not valid reasons to fall
behind the mandatory period for disposition of cases. The Court usually allows reasonable extensions of
time to decide cases in view of the heavy caseload of the trial courts. If a judge is unable to comply with the
90-day reglementary period for deciding cases or matters, he/she can, for good reasons, ask for an
extension and such request is generally granted. But Judge Bustamante did not ask for an extension in any

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of these cases. Having failed to decide a case within the required period, without any order of extension
granted by the Court, Judge Bustamante is liable for undue delay that merits administrative sanction.

Equally unacceptable for the Court is Judge Bustamante's explanation that he failed to decide Civil Case
Nos. 1937 and 2056 because of the lack of Transcript of Stenographic Notes (TSN). These two cases were
allegedly heard when he was not yet the presiding judge of the MTCC

Lack of transcript of stenographic notes shall not be a valid reason to interrupt or suspend the period for
deciding the case unless the case was previously heard by another judge not the deciding judge in which
case the latter shall have the full period of ninety (90) days from the completion of the transcripts within
which to decide the same

The OCA reported that contrary to his claim, Judge Bustamante substantially heard Civil Case Nos. 1937
and 2056, until the two cases were submitted for decision on November 20, 2009 and February 27, 2010,
respectively. Even if it were true that the two cases were heard by the previous presiding judge of the
MTCC, there is no showing that from the time the cases had been submitted for decision until Judge
Bustamante's retirement on November 6, 2010, Judge Bustamante made an effort to have the TSN
completed. Although technically, the 90-day period would have started to run only upon the completion of
the TSN, the Court finds Judge Bustamante's lack of effort to have the TSN completed as the root cause for
the delay in deciding the two cases. DTIACH
Least acceptable of Judge Bustamante's explanations for his delay in deciding cases and/or resolving
pending incidents was oversight. A judge is responsible, not only for the dispensation of justice but also for
managing his court efficiently to ensure the prompt delivery of court services. Since he is the one directly
responsible for the proper discharge of his official functions, he should know the cases submitted to him for
decision or resolution, especially those pending for more than 90 days.
There is no dispute that Judge Bustamante failed to decide cases and resolve pending incidents within the
reglementary period, and without authorized extension from the Court and valid reason for such failure,
Judge Bustamante is administratively liable for undue delay in rendering a decision or order.

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