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Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro Cases (2008- Remedial Law

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GENERAL PRINCIPLES

INTERPRETATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE RULES OF COURT

A final and executory judgment, under the doctrine of immutability and inalterability, may no
longer be modified in any respect either by the court which rendered it or even by the Supreme
Court. However, as rules of procedure are mere tools designed to facilitate the attainment of justice,
their strict and rigid application, which would result in technicalities that tend to frustrate rather
than promote substantial justice, must always be eschewed. Thus, in the absence of a pattern or
scheme to delay the disposition of the case or a wanton failure to observe the mandatory
requirement of the rules on the part of the plaintiff, courts should decide to dispense with rather
than wield their authority to dismiss. - PCI Leasing and Finance, Inc. vs. Antonio C. Milan, Doing
Business Under the Name and Style of "A. Milan Trading," and Laura M. Milan, G.R. No.
151215, April 5, 2010

Procedural rules were conceived to aid the attainment of justice. If a stringent application of the
rules would hinder rather than serve the demands of substantial justice, the former must yield to
the latter. - City of Dumaguete, herein represented by City Mayor, Agustin R. Perdices vs.
Philippine Ports Authority, G.R. No. 168973, August 24, 2011

JURISDICTION

In cases where a COMELEC Division issues an interlocutory order, the same COMELEC Division
should resolve the motion for reconsideration of the order. - Eddie T. Panlilio vs. Commission on
Elections and Lilia G. Pineda, G.R. No. 181478, July 15, 2009

As a general rule, the defense of lack of jurisdiction may be raised at any stage of the proceeding.
However, it admits an exception where the party fully participated in the proceedings. A teacher
cannot raise want of jurisdiction when she has availed of the remedies in the proceedings. - Civil
Service Commission vs. Fatima A. Macud, G.R. No. 177531, September 10, 2009

Court has full discretionary power to take cognizance and assume jurisdiction of special civil
actions for certiorari and mandamus filed directly with it for exceptionally compelling reasons or if
warranted by the nature of the issues clearly and specifically raised in the petition. The Court may
suspend or even disregard rules when the demands of justice so require.

No court, aside from the Supreme Court, may enjoin a “national government project” unless the
matter is one of extreme urgency involving a constitutional issue such that unless the act
complained of is enjoined, grave injustice or irreparable injury would arise. - Department of
Foreign Affairs and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas vs. Hon. Franco T. Falcon, In His Capacity as
the Presiding Judge of Branch 71 of the Regional Trial Court in Pasig City and BCA
International Corporation, G.R. No. 176657, September 1, 2010

Administrative agencies, like the Energy Regulatory Commission, are tribunals of limited
jurisdiction and, as such, could wield only such as are specifically granted to them by the enabling
statutes. In relation thereto is the doctrine of primary jurisdiction involving matters that demand

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the special competence of administrative agencies even if the question involved is also judicial in
nature. - BF Homes, Inc. and The Philippine Waterworks and Construction Corp. vs. Manila
Electric Company, G.R. No. 171624, December 6, 2010

The rule is settled that jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case is conferred by law and is
determined by the allegations in the complaint and the character of the relief sought, irrespective of
whether the plaintiffs are entitled to all or some of the claims asserted therein. Once vested by law,
on a particular court or body, the jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature of the action cannot
be dislodged by anybody other than by the legislature through the enactment of a law. - Bernabe L.
Navida et al. vs. Hon. Teodoro A. Dizon, Jr., G.R. No. 125078, May 30, 2011

A party cannot invoke the jurisdiction of a court to secure affirmative relief against his opponent
and after obtaining or failing to obtain such relief, repudiate or question that same jurisdiction. -
NM Rothschild & Sons (Australia) Limited vs. Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company, G.R.
No. 175799, November 28, 2011

It is a rule of universal application, almost, that courts of justice constituted to pass upon
substantial rights will not consider questions in which no actual interests are involved; they decline
jurisdiction of moot cases. And where the issue has become moot and academic, there is no
justiciable controversy, so that a declaration thereon would be of no practical use or value. There is
no actual substantial relief to which petitioners would be entitled and which would be negated by
the dismissal of the petition. - Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company vs. Eastern
Telecommunications Philippines, Inc., G.R. No. 163037, February 6, 2013

A.M. No. 04-5-19-SC, entitled “Resolution Providing Guidelines in the Inventory and Adjudication of
Cases Assigned to Judges who are Promoted or Transferred to Other Branches in the Same Court
Level of the Judicial Hierarchy,” actually recognizes that both the transferred judge and the new
judge can decide the case but gives consideration to the preference of the parties, but the lapses in
the observance of the rule by the judge which was not chosen by the accused does not invalidate the
decision due to violation of due process when the accused was sufficiently given the opportunity to
be heard, to defend himself and to confront his accusers on the offense hurled against him. - People
of the Philippines vs. Giovanni Ocfemia y Chavez, G.R. No. 185383, September 25, 2013

DOCTRINE OF EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES

Petitioner wants this Court to recognize the rights and interests of the residents of Sun Valley
Subdivision but it miserably failed to establish the legal basis, such as its ownership of the subject
roads, which entitles petitioner to the remedy prayed for. As petitioner has failed to establish that it
has any right entitled to the protection of the law, and it also failed to exhaust administrative
remedies by applying for injunctive relief instead of going to the Mayor as provided by the Local
Government Code, the petition must be denied. - New Sun Valley Homeowners' Association, Inc.,
vs. Sangguniang Barangay, Barangay Sun Valley, Parañaque City, et al., G.R. No. 156686, July
27, 2011

It is settled that the non-observance of the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies results
in lack of cause of action, which is one of the grounds in the Rules of Court justifying the dismissal of
the complaint. - Addition Hills Mandaluyong Civic & Social Organization, Inc., vs. Megaworld
Properties & Holdings, Inc., Wilfredro I. Imperial, In His Capacity As Director, NCR and

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Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, Department of Natural Resources, G.R. No. 175039,
April 18, 2012

CIVIL PROCEDURE

CAUSE OF ACTIONS

A judge is not an active combatant in proceedings where the order he had rendered is being
assailed. As such, he must leave the opposing parties to contend their individual positions and the
appellate court to decide the issues without his active participation. Being a nominal party to the
case, he has no personal interest nor personality therein. Thus, he has no legal standing to institute
a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. - Hon. Hector B. Barillo, Acting
Presiding Judge, MTC Guihulngan, Negros Oriental vs. Hon. Ralph Lantion, Hon. Mehol K.
Sadain and Hon. Florentino A. Tuason, Jr., The Commissioners of the Second Division,
Commission on Elections, Manila; and Walter J. Aragones, G.R. No. 159117, March 10, 2010

The nature of the cause of action is determined by the facts alleged in the complaint. Three essential
elements must be shown to establish a cause of action. In this case, the legal rights of the petitioner
Bank and the correlative legal duty of LCDC have not been sufficiently established in view of the
failure of the Bank's evidence to show the provisions and conditions that govern its legal
relationship. - Metropolitan Bank And Trust Company vs. Ley Construction and Development
Corporation, G.R. No.185590, December 03, 2014

PLEADINGS
Initiatory Pleadings

Since the alleged misconduct falls under indirect contempt, proceedings should be initiated either
motu proprio by order of or a formal charge by the offended court, or by a verified petition with
supporting particulars and certified true copies of documents or papers involved therein, and upon
full compliance with the requirements for filing initiatory pleadings for civil actions in the court
concerned. It is clear that private respondent has missed out on all of the above requirements as he
filed only a motion rather than a verified petition. - Bases Conversion Development Authority vs.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer of Pampanga, Register of Deeds of Angeles City, Benjamin
Poy Lorenzo, Lavernie Poy Lorenzo, Diosdado De Guzman, Rosemary Eng Tay Tan, Leandro
De Guzman, Benjamin G. Lorenzo, Antonio Manalo, and Socorro De Guzman, G.R. Nos.
155322-29, June 27, 2012

FAILURE TO FILE AN APPELLANT’S BRIEF

Liberality is given to litigants who are worthy of the same, and not to ones who flout the rules, give
explanations to the effect that the counsels are busy with other things, and expect the court to
disregard the procedural lapses on the mere self-serving claim that their case is meritorious. - MCA-
MBF Countdown Cards Philippines Inc., Amable R. Aguiluz V, Amable C. Aguiluz IX, Cielo C.
Aguiluz, Alberto L. Buenviaje, Vicente Acsay and MCA Holdings and Management Corporation
vs. MBf CARD International Limited and MBf Discount Card Limited. G.R. No. 173586, March
14, 2012

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DEFAULT

While it is desirable that the Rules of Court be faithfully observed, courts should not be
obsessively strict over the occasional lapses of litigants. Given a good reason, the trial court
should set aside its order of default, constantly bearing in mind that it is the exception and not the
rule of the day. - RN Development Corporation vs. A.I.I. System, Inc., G.R. No. 166104. June 26,
2008

SUMMONS

A case should not be dismissed simply because an original summons was wrongfully served as it
would be difficult to conceive that when the defendant appears before the Court complaining that
he has not been validly summoned, the case against him will immediately be dismissed. - Spouses
German Anunciacion and Ana Ferma Anunciacion and Gavino G. Conejos vs. Perpetua M.
Bocanegra and George M. Bocanegra, G.R. No. 152496, July 30, 2009

The Regional Trial Court failed to acquire jurisdiction over the Republic by service of summons
upon the DPWH Region III alone. The applicable rule of procedure in this case is Section 13, Rule 14
of the Rules of Court, which mandates that when the defendant is the Republic of the Philippines,
the service of summons may be effected on the Office of the Solicitor General. The DPWH and its
regional office are simply agents of the Republic, which is the real party in interest. - Republic of
the Philippines represented by the Department of Public Works and Highways, through the
Hon. Secretary, Hermogenes Ebdane vs. Alberto A. Domingo, G.R. No. 175299, September 14,
2011

DISMISSAL OF ACTIONS

PILTEL filed different actions to different courts thereby declaring it by the court as guilty of forum
shopping. Forum shopping is the act of a litigant who repetitively avails of several judicial remedies
in different courts, simultaneously or successively, all substantially founded on the same
transactions and the same essential facts and circumstances, and raising substantially the same
issues either pending in, or already resolved adversely by some other court, or to increase his
chances of obtaining a favorable decision if not in one court, then in another. - Pilipino Telephone
Corporation vs. Radiomarine Network, Inc., G.R. No. 152092, August 4, 2010

Defenses not pleaded either in a motion to dismiss or in the answer are deemed waived. It also
allows courts to dismiss cases motu proprio on any of the enumerated grounds (1) lack of
jurisdiction over the subject matter; (2) litis pendentia; (3) res judicata; and (4) prescription
provided that the ground for dismissal is apparent from the pleadings or the evidence on record. -
Heirs of Domingo Valientes vs. Hon. Reinerio (Abraham) B. Ramas, Acting Presiding Judge,
RTC, Branch 29, 9th Judicial Region, San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur and Vilma V. Minor, G.R.
No. 157852, December 15, 2010

Rule 45, Section 4 of the Rules of Court indeed requires the attachment to the petition for review
on certiorari such material portions of the record as would support the petition. However, such a
requirement was not meant to be an ironclad rule such that the failure to follow the same would
merit the outright dismissal of the petition. In accordance with Section 7 of Rule 45, the Supreme
Court may require or allow the filing of such pleadings, briefs, memoranda or documents as it may

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deem necessary within such periods and under such conditions as it may consider appropriate. -
F.A.T. Kee Computer Systems, Inc. vs. Online Networks International, Inc., G.R. No. 171238,
February 2, 2011

It bears stressing that the sanction of dismissal may be imposed even absent any allegation and
proof of the plaintiff's lack of interest to prosecute the action, or of any prejudice to the defendant
resulting from the failure of the plaintiff to comply with the rules. The failure of the plaintiff to
prosecute the action without any justifiable cause within a reasonable period of time will give rise
to the presumption that he is no longer interested in obtaining the relief prayed for. - Philippine
Charter Insurance Corporation vs. Explorer Maritime Co., Ltd., Owner of the Vessel M/V
"Explorer", Wallem Phils. Shipping, Inc., Asian Terminals, Inc. and Foremost International
Port Services, Inc., G.R. No. 175409, September 7, 2011

RES JUDICATA

Conclusiveness of judgment, one of the aspects of the concept of res judicata, requires only the
identity of issues and parties, but not of causes of action. Hence, facts and issues actually and
directly resolved in a former suit cannot again be raised in any future case between the same
parties, even if the latter suit may involve a different claim or cause of action. A case involving an
issue of whether or not an instituted civil case was dismissible due to forum shopping committed
by petitioners, which eventually was dismissed based on that same ground, constitutes as res
judicata to a petition with the same issue between the same parties albeit on a different ground of
failure to prosecute. - Ley Construction & Development Corporation, LC Builders &
Developers, Inc., Metro Container Corporation, Manuel T. Ley, and Janet C. Ley vs. Philippine
Commercial & International Bank, Ex-Officio Sheriff of the Regional Trial Court Of
Valenzuela, Metro Manila, and Clerk of Court and Ex-Officio Sheriff of the Regional Trial
Court of Pasig, Metro Manila, G.R. No. 160841, June 23, 2010

Besana filed complaint for illegal dismissal but the court decided that he was not illegally dismissed.
However, he failed to file an appeal which therefore attained finality of the decision. NEA issued
another resolution including his dismissal and he appealed to such resolution. The court ruled that
he is already barred by Res judicata. Res judicata or bar by prior judgment is a doctrine which holds
that a matter that has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction must be deemed to
have been finally and conclusively settled if it arises in any subsequent litigation between the same
parties and for the same cause. The doctrine of res judicata is founded on a public policy against re-
opening that which has previously been decided, so as to put the litigation to an end. - Engr. Job Y.
Besana, Hon. Ronaldo B. Zamora et al., vs. Rodson F. Mayor, G.R. No. 153837 July 21, 2010

Literally, res judicata means "a matter adjudged; a thing judicially acted upon or decided; a thing or
matter settled by judgment." It lays the rule that an existing final judgment or decree rendered on
the merits, without fraud or collusion, by a court of competent jurisdiction, upon any matter within
its jurisdiction, is conclusive of the rights of the parties or their privies, in all other actions or suits
in the same or any other judicial tribunal of concurrent jurisdiction on the points and matters in
issue in the first suit. - Heirs of Maximino Derla, namely: Zelda, Juna, Geraldine, Aida, Alma, All
Surnamed Derla; and Sabina Vda. De Derla, all represented by their Attorney-in-Fact, Zelda
Derla vs. Heirs of Catalina Derla Vda. de Hipolito, Mae D. Hipolito, Roger Zagales, Francisco
Derla, Sr., Jovito Derla, exaltacion pond, and Vina U. Casaway, in her capacity as the Register
Of Deeds of Tagum, Davao Del Norte, G.R. No. 157717, April 13, 2011

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The annulment of the sale of share in the subject property and the legal redemption and the claim
for damages should not be mistaken to be the causes of action, but they were the remedies and
reliefs. The cause of action is the sale of the entire subject property by Basilia, et al. to Selga spouses
without Sony Brar’s knowledge and consent, hence, depriving the latter of her rights and interests
over her pro-indiviso share in the subject property as a co-heir and co-owner. Therefore, Civil case
before RTC-Branch 56 should be dismissed, being barred by res judicata. Any error committed by
RTC-Branch 55 in the Decision in Civil Case No. 276 could only be reviewed or corrected on appeal.
- Tobias Selga and Ceferina Garancho Selga vs. Sony Entierro Brar, represented by her
Attorney-in-Fact Marina T. Entierro, G.R. No. 175151, September 21, 2011

A judicial compromise has the effect of res judicata. A judgment based on a compromise agreement
is a judgment on the merits.

Only substantial identity is necessary to warrant the application of res judicata. The addition or
elimination of some parties does not alter the situation. There is substantial identity of parties
when there is a community of interest between a party in the first case and a party in the second
case albeit the latter was not impleaded in the first case. - Rizal Commercial Banking
Corporation vs. Dolores Hilario, Teresita Hilario, Thelma Hilario Ochoa Eduardo Hilario,
G.R. No. 160446, September 19, 2012

LITIS PENDENCIA

As regards identity of causes of action, the test often used in determining whether causes of action
are identical is to ascertain whether the same evidence which is necessary to sustain the second
action would have been sufficient to authorize a recovery in the first, even if the forms or nature of
the two actions be different. If the same facts or evidence would sustain both actions, the two
actions are considered the same within the rule that the judgment in the former is a bar to the
subsequent action; otherwise, it is not. - Philippine National Bank vs. Gateway Property
Holdings, Inc., G.R. No. 181485, February 15, 2012

INTERVENTION

Jurisprudence describes intervention as "a remedy by which a third party, not originally impleaded
in the proceedings, becomes a litigant therein to enable him, her or it to protect or preserve a right
or interest which may be affected by such proceedings." "The right to intervene is not an absolute
right; it may only be permitted by the court when the movant establishes facts which satisfy the
requirements of the law authorizing it." - The Board of Regents of the Mindanao State
University represented by its Chairman vs. Abedin Limpao Osop, G.R. No. 172448, February
22, 2012

Although Rule 19 of the Rules of Court is explicit on the period when a motion to intervene may be
filed. This rule, however, is not inflexible. Interventions have been allowed even beyond the period
prescribed in the Rule, when demanded by the higher interest of justice. Interventions have also
been granted to afford indispensable parties, who have not been impleaded, the right to be heard
even after a decision has been rendered by the trial court, when the petition for review of the
judgment has already been submitted for decision before the Supreme Court, and even where the

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assailed order has already become final and executory. - Deogenes O. Rodriguez vs. Hon. Court Of
Appeals and Philippine Chinese Charitable Association, Inc., G.R. No. 184589, June 13, 2013

JUDGEMENTS AND FINAL ORDERS

Supervening events refer to facts which transpire after judgment has become final and executory or
to new circumstances which developed after the judgment has acquired finality, including matters
which the parties were not aware of prior to or during the trial as they were not yet in existence at
that time. - Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) vs. Group Management Corporation
(GMC) and Lapu-Lapu Development & Housing Corporation (LLDHc), G.R. No. 167000 &
169971, June 8, 2011

DEMURRER TO EVIDENCE

A demurrer to evidence is defined as an objection by one of the parties in an action, to the effect that
the evidence which his adversary produced is insufficient in point of law, whether true or not, to
make out a case or sustain the issue. - Nilo Oropesa vs. Cirilo Oropesa, G.R. No. 184528, April 25,
2012

FAILURE TO FILE AN APPELANT’S BRIEF

Liberality is given to litigants who are worthy of the same, and not to ones who flout the rules, give
explanations to the effect that the counsels are busy with other things, and expect the court to
disregard the procedural lapses on the mere self-serving claim that their case is meritorious. - MCA-
Mbf Countdown Cards Philippines Inc., Amable R. Aguiluz V, Amable C. Aguiluz IX, Cielo C.
Aguiluz, Alberto L. Buenviaje, Vicente Acsay and MCA Holdings And Management Corporation
vs. MBf Card International Limited and MBf Discount Card Limited, G.R. No. 173586, March
14, 2012

MODES OF APPEALS

Under Section 1, Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, an appeal to this Court by way of a
Petition for Review on Certiorari should raise only questions of law which must be distinctly set
forth in the petition. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. Thus, the Court may be minded to
review the factual findings of the CA only in the presence of any of the following circumstances: 1)
the conclusion is grounded on speculations, surmises or conjectures; 2) the inference is manifestly
mistaken, absurd or impossible; 3) there is grave abuse of discretion; 4) the judgment is based on a
misapprehension of facts; 5) the findings of fact are conflicting; 6) there is no citation of specific
evidence on which the factual findings are based; 7) the findings of facts are contradicted by the
presence of evidence on record; 8) the findings of the CA are contrary to those of the trial court; 9)
the CA manifestly overlooked certain relevant and undisputed facts that, if properly considered,
would justify a different conclusion; 10) the findings of the CA are beyond the issues of the case;
and 11) such findings are contrary to the admission of both parties. - Romulo Tindoy vs. People of
the Philippines, G.R. No. 157106, September 03, 2008

Petitioners assertion in their motion for reconsideration of the dismissal of their petition that (a)
the foregoing documents/pleadings were not material to the issues they raised and (b) anyway, the
records of the case may be ordered elevated by the CA, cannot excuse them from failing to comply

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with the requirement of a petition for review under Rule 43. We reiterate here that the right to
appeal is neither a natural right nor a part of due process as it is merely a statutory privilege and
may be exercised only in the manner and in accordance with the provisions of law. Save for the
most persuasive of reasons, strict compliance with procedural rules is enjoined to facilitate the
orderly administration of justice. Thus, one who seeks to avail of the right to appeal must comply
with the requirements of the Rules. Failure to do so often leads to the loss of the right to appeal. -
Pedro Gabriel et. al. vs. Murmuray Jamias et. al., G.R. No. 156482, September 17, 2008

The Court disagrees with Standard Chartered that the conclusion drawn by the CA from the
evidence based on record is a question of law. This is the opposite definition of a question of law. Its
reliance on the ruling in Commissioner of Immigration vs. Garcia that when the facts are
undisputed, then the question of whether or not the conclusion drawn therefrom by the Court of
Appeals is correct is a question of law is misplaced. In the present case, the facts are disputed.
SCBEU claims that there is an existing company practice entitling Standard Chartered’s emplo-yees
to outpatient medicine reimbursements and spouses of its male employees to maternity benefits
while the latter argues the contrary. - Standard Chartered Bank vs. Standard Chartered Bank
Employees Union (SCBEU), G.R. No. 165550, October 08, 2008

Moreover, it is the Court’s advice to lower courts, under exceptional circumstances, to be cautious
about not depriving of a party of the right to appeal and that every party litigant should be afforded
the amplest opportunity for the proper and just determination of his cause free from the
constraints of technicalities. - Republic of the Philippines vs. Heirs of Evaristo Tiotioen, G.R. No.
167215, October 08, 2008

As a general rule, appeals on pure questions of law are brought to this Court since Sec. 5 (2) (e), Art.
VIII of the Constitution includes in the enumeration of cases within its jurisdiction all cases in which
only an error or question of law is involved. Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure constitutes
an exception to the aforesaid general rule on appeals. Rule 43 provides for an instance where an
appellate review solely on a question of law may be sought in the CA instead of this Court. In the
case at bar, the question on whether Santos can retire under RA 660 or RA 8291 is undoubtedly a
question of law because it centers on what law to apply in his case considering that he has
previously retired from the government under a particular statute and that he was re-employed by
the government. Thus, he availed of the proper remedy which is a petition for review under Rule 43
of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. - Jose Santos vs. Committee on Claims Settlement, and
Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), G.R. No. 158071, April 2, 2009

The right demand arbitration is predicated on the existence of an agreement to arbitrate between
the parties except when arbitration is expressly required by the law. Also, the party who demands
the right of arbitration must be privy to the agreement upon which he invokes his right, otherwise,
he has no legal personality to pursue a claim. - Ormoc Sugarcane Planters Association, Inc.
(OSPA), Occidental Leyte Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Inc. (OLFAMCA), Unifarm
Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Inc. (UNIFARM) and Ormoc North District Irrigation Multi-
Purpose Cooperative, Inc. (ONDIMCO), vs. The Court Of Appeals, Hideco Sugar Milling Co.,
Inc., and Ormoc Sugar Milling Co., Inc., G.R. No. 156660, August 24, 2009

The Supreme Court respects the findings of the Ombudsman because it is an independent body
tasked to investigate complaints against public officials and is meant to be free from influence from
the judiciary.

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The decision of the Ombudsman on a complaint involving the finding of probable cause in criminal
cases involving public officials may be reviewed by the Supreme Court via Rule 65 and not Rule 43.
Petition for review under Rule 43 as mode of review only applies to decisions of the Ombusman
over administrative cases. - Ernesto Francisco, Jr. vs. Ombudsman Aniano A. Desierto et al., G.
R. No. 154117, October 2, 2009

There is no violation of the doctrine of hierarchy of courts where a decision of the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) is appealed to the Supreme Court by petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45,
raising only questions of law.

Dismissal is not the remedy for misjoinder or nonjoinder of parties.

The owner of the property is not an indispensable party in an action for expropriation. Failure to
implead an indispensable party is not a ground for the dismissal of an action—the remedy is to
implead the nonparty claimed to be indispensable

A declaration of heirship cannot be made in an ordinary civil action such as an action for
reconveyance, but must only be made in a special proceeding, for it involves the establishment of a
status or right; While the appropriate special proceeding for declaration of heirship would be the
settlement of the estate of the decedent, nonetheless, an action for quieting of title is also a special
proceeding, specifically governed by Rule 63 of the Rules of Court on declaratory relief and similar
remedies. - Republic of the Philippines vs. Hon. Mamindiara P. Mangotara, in his capacity as
Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 1, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, and Maria
Cristina Fertilizer Corporation, and the Philippine National Bank, G.R. No. 170375, July 7,
2010

Under Supreme Court Circular No. 562000, in case a motion for reconsideration of the judgment,
order, or resolution sought to be assailed has been filed, the 60-day period to file a petition for
certiorari shall be computed from notice of the denial of such motion. - Coca-Cola Bottlers
Philippines, Inc. vs. Angel U. Del Villar, G.R. No. 163091, October 6, 2010

It is the inadequacy, not the mere absence of all other legal remedies and the danger of failure of
justice without the writ that must usually determine the propriety of certiorari. - Land Bank of the
Philippines vs. Spouses Joel R. Umandap and Felicidad D. Umandap, G.R. No. 166298,
November 17, 2010

Section 1, Rule 45 of the Rules of Court categorically states that the petition filed thereunder shall
raise only questions of law, which must be distinctly set forth. This rule, however, admits of certain
exceptions, one of which is when the findings of the Court of Appeals are contrary to those of the
trial court. - Cebu Bionic Builders Supply, Inc. and Lydia Sia vs. Development Bank Of The
Philippines, Jose To Chip, Patricio Yap and Roger Balila, G.R. No. 154366, November 17, 2010

When a party adopts an improper remedy, his petition may be dismissed outright. Nevertheless, the
acceptance of a petition for certiorari, as well as the grant of due course thereto is, in general,
addressed to the sound discretion of the court. The provisions of the Rules of Court, which are
technical rules, may be relaxed in certain exceptional situations. Where a rigid application of the
rule that certiorari cannot be a substitute for appeal will result in a manifest failure or miscarriage

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of justice, it is within our power to suspend the rules or exempt a particular case from its operation.
- Spouses Ruben and Myrna Leynes vs. Former Tenth Division of the Court of Appeals,
Regional Trial Court, Branch 21, Bansalan, Davao Del Sur, Municipal Circuit Trial Court,
Branch 1, Bansalan, Davao Del Sur, and Spouses Gualberto & Rene Cabahug-Superales, G.R.
No. 154462, January 19, 2011

In a special civil action for certiorari, the Court of Appeals has ample authority to receive new
evidence and perform any act necessary to resolve factual issues. - Spouses Rogelio Marcelo and
Milagros Marcelo vs. LBC Bank, G.R. No. 183575, April 11, 2011

The petition under Rule 45 must not involve the calibration of the probative value of the evidence
presented. In addition, the facts of the case must be undisputed, and the only issue that should be
left for the Court to decide is whether or not the conclusion drawn by the CA from a certain set of
facts was appropriate. - Republic of the Philippines, represented by the Chief of the Philippine
National Police vs. Thi Thu Thuy T. De Guzman, G.R. No. 175021, June 15, 2011

The appointments made by respondent Loyola could not be considered grave misconduct and
dishonesty. There were vacant positions causead by the creation of positions and these vacancies
should be filled up. There is misconduct if there is a transgression of some established and definite
rule of action. In the case, evidence show that respondents Loyolas did not transgress some definite
rule of action. Had there been a transgression in the creation of positions and appointments, the
Civil Service Commission should have so stated when the appointments were submitted for
approval. - Eloisa L. Tolentino vs. Atty. Roy M. Loyola et al., G.R. No. 153809, July 27, 2011

The rules of procedure are mere tools designed to facilitate the attainment of justice. Their strict
and rigid application especially on technical matters, which tends to frustrate rather than promote
substantial justice, must be avoided. Even the Revised Rules of Court envision this liberality.
Technicality, when it deserts its proper office as an aid to justice and becomes its great hindrance
and chief enemy, deserves scant consideration from the courts. - Heirs of Rodolfo Crisostomo
(Euprocinia, Royce and Irish Crisostomo) vs. Rudex International Development Corporation,
G.R. No. 176129, August 24, 2011

The basic rule is that factual questions are beyond the province of the Supreme Court, because only
questions of law may be raised in a petition for review. However, in exceptional cases, the Supreme
Court has taken cognizance of questions of fact in order to resolve legal issues, such as when there
was palpable error or a grave misapprehension of facts by the lower court. - Gemma
Ong a.k.a. Maria Teresa Gemma Catacutan vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 169440,
November 23, 2011

A question of law arises when there is doubt as to what the law is on a certain state of facts, while
there is a question of fact when the doubt arises as to the truth or falsity of the alleged facts. For a
question to be one of law, the same must not involve an examination of the probative value of the
evidence presented by the litigants or any of them. The resolution of the issue must rest solely on
what the law provides on the given set of circumstances. Once it is clear that the issue invites a
review of the evidence presented, the question posed is one of fact. Thus, the test of whether a
question is one of law or of fact is not the appellation given to such question by the party raising the
same; rather, it is whether the appellate court can determine the issue raised without reviewing or
evaluating the evidence, in which case, it is a question of law; otherwise it is a question of fact. -

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Felimon Manguiob vs. Judge Paul T. Arcangel, RTC, Branch 12, Davao City and Alejandra
Velasco, G.R. No. 152262, February 15, 2012

Like all rules, procedural rules should be followed except only when, for the most persuasive of
reasons, they may be relaxed to relieve a litigant of an injustice not commensurate with the degree
of his thoughtlessness in not complying with the prescribed procedure. - Spouses Jesus Dycoco
and Joela E. Dycoco vs. The Honorable Court of Appeals, Nelly Siapno-Sanchez and Inocencio
Berma, G.R. No. 147257, July 31, 2013

Time and again the Supreme Court has declared that the right to appeal is neither a natural right
nor a part of due process. Anyone seeking exemption from the application of the reglementary
period for filing an appeal has the burden of proving the existence of exceptionally meritorious
instances warranting such deviation. - Rhodora Prieto vs. Alpadi Development Corporation,
G.R. No. 191025, July 31, 2013

It is already a well-established rule that the Court, in the exercise of its power of review under Rule
45 of the Rules of Court, is not a trier of facts and does not normally embark on a re-examination of
the evidence presented by the contending parties during the trial of the case, considering that the
findings of facts of the Court of Appeals are conclusive and binding on the Court.

This rule, however, admits of exceptions as recognized by jurisprudence, to wit: (1) [W]hen the
findings are grounded entirely on speculation, surmises or conjectures; (2) when the inference
made is manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible; (3) when there is grave abuse of discretion; (4)
when the judgment is based on misapprehension of facts; (5) when the findings of facts are
conflicting; (6) when in making its findings the Court of Appeals went beyond the issues of the case,
or its findings are contrary to the admissions of both the appellant and the appellee; (7) when the
findings are contrary to the trial court; (8) when the findings are conclusions without citation of
specific evidence on which they are based; (9) when the facts set forth in the petition as well as in
the petitioner’s main and reply briefs are not disputed by the respondent; (10) when the findings of
fact are premised on the supposed absence of evidence and contradicted by the evidence on record;
and (11) when the Court of Appeals manifestly overlooked certain relevant facts not disputed by
the parties, which, if properly considered, would justify a different conclusion. - Republic of the
Philippines – Bureau of Forest Development vs. Vicente Roxas and the Register of Deeds of
Oriental Mindoro, G.R. No. 157988, December 11, 2013

The accused, arrested through a buy-bust operation of the police, is questioning the non–
compliance with the rule on chain of custody of seized illegal drugs but the accused only raised such
objection on appeal at the CA. SC ruled that 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. -
People of the Philippines vs. Joselito Morate y Tarnate, G.R. No. 201156, January 29, 2014

A question of fact cannot properly be raised in a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of
Court. This petition of the union now before this Court is a petition for review under Rule 45 of the
Rules of Court. The existence of bad faith is a question of fact and is evidentiary. The crucial
question of whether or not a party has met his statutory duty to bargain in good faith typically turns
on the facts of the individual case, and good faith or bad faith is an inference to be drawn from the
facts. The issue of whether there was already deadlock between the union and the company is

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likewise a question of fact. - Tabangao Shell Refinery Employees Association vs. Pilipinas Shell
Petroleum Corporation, G.R. No. 170007, April 7, 2014

PERIOD TO APPEAL

Jurisprudence has settled the “fresh period rule,” according to which, an ordinary appeal from the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) to the Court of Appeals, under Section 3 of Rule 41 of the Rules of Court,
shall be taken within fifteen (15) days either from receipt of the original judgment of the trial court
or from receipt of the final order of the trial court dismissing or denying the motion for new trial or
motion for reconsideration. Ermelinda C. Manaloto, Aurora J. Cifra, Flordeliza J. Arcilla,
Lourdes J. Catalan, Ethelinda J. Holt, Bienvenido R. Jongco, Artemio R. Jongco, Jr. and Joel
Jongco vs. Ismael Veloso III, G.R. No. 171365, October 6, 2010

EFFECT OF DEATH PENDING APPEAL

The death of an accused pending his appeal extinguished not only his criminal liabilities but also his
civil liabilities solely arising from or based on the crime committed. - People of the Philippines vs.
Domingo Paniterce, G.R. No. 186382, April 5, 2010

The death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal liability, as well
as his civil liability ex delicto. - People of the Philippines vs. Anastacio Amistoso y Broca, G.R.
No. 201447, August 28, 2013

EXECUTION, SATISFACTION AND EFFECTS OF JUDGEMENTS

Respondent sheriff departed from the procedure prescribed by the Rules in the collection of
payment for sheriff’s expenses in implementing a writ of execution. Respondent as an officer of the
court should have shown a high degree of professionalism in the performance of his duties. Instead,
he failed to comply with his duties under the law and to observe proper procedure dictated by the
rules. - Jorge Q. Go vs. Vinez A. Hortaleza, A.M. No. P051971. June 26, 2008

“It is also well­settled that the court is authorized to modify or alter a judgment after the same has
become executory, whenever the circumstances transpire rendering itsexecution unjust and
equitable.” - California Bus Lines, Inc., vs. Court of Appeals, et.al, G.R. No. 145408, August 20,
2008

It is settled that when a final judgment is executory, it becomes immutable and unalterable. The
judgment may no longer be modified in any respect, even if the modification is meant to correct
what is perceived to be an erroneous conclusion of fact or law, and regardless of whether the
modification is attempted to be made by the court rendering it or by the highest Court of the land. -
Government Service Insurance System vs. The Regional Trial Court Of Pasig City, Branch 71,
Cresenciano Rabello, Jr., Sheriff IV, RTC-Branch 71, Pasig City; and Eduardo M. Santiago,
substituted by his widow, Rosario Enriquez Vda. De Santiago, G.R. No. 175393, December 18
2009

It is settled that a writ of execution must conform substantially to every essential particular of the
judgment promulgated. Execution not in harmony with the judgment is bereft of validity. It must

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conform, more particularly, to that ordained or decreed in the dispositive portion of the decision. -
University Physicians Services, Incorporated vs. Marian Clinics, Inc. and Dr. Lourdes
Mabanta, G.R. No. 152303, September 1, 2010

Sheriff Pascua totally ignored the established procedural rules laid down under Section 9, Rule 39
of the Rules of Court when he did not give Juanito the opportunity to either pay his obligation under
in cash, certified bank check, or any other mode of payment acceptable to Panganiban; or to choose
which of his property may be levied upon to satisfy the same judgment, Sheriff Pascua immediately
levied upon the vehicle that belonged to Juanitos wife, Yolanda. - Yolanda Leachon Corpuz vs.
Sergio V. Pascua, Sheriff III. Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Trece Martires City, Cavite, A.M.
No. P-11-2972, September 28, 2011

To justify the stay of immediate execution, the supervening events must have a direct effect on the
matter already litigated and settled. Or, the supervening events must create a substantial change in
the rights or relations of the parties which would render execution of a final judgment unjust,
impossible or inequitable making it imperative to stay immediate execution in the interest of
justice. - Spouses Jesse Cachopero and Bema Cachopero vs. Rachel Celestial, G.R. No. 146754,
March 21, 2012

Section 21, Rule 70 provides that the judgment of the RTC in ejectment cases appealed to it shall be
immediately executory and can be enforced despite the perfection of an appeal to a higher court. To
avoid such immediate execution, the defendant may appeal said judgment to the CA and therein
apply for a writ of preliminary injunction. In this case, the decisions of the MTCC, of the RTC, and of
the CA, 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. - Air Transportation Office (ATO) vs. Hon. Court Of Appeals
(Nineteenth Division) and Bernie G. Miaque, G.R. No. 173616, June 25, 2014

PROVISIONAL REMEDIES
Preliminary Injunction

The doctrine of non-interference is premised on the principle that a judgment of a court of


competent jurisdiction may not be opened, modified or vacated by any court of concurrent
jurisdiction.

The purpose of a preliminary injunction is to prevent threatened or continuous irremediable injury


to some of the parties before their claims can be thoroughly adjudicated and to be entitled to an
injunctive writ, the petitioner has the burden to establish (a) a right in esse or a clear and
unmistakable right to be protected; (b) a violation of that right; (c) that there is an urgent and
permanent act and urgent necessity for the writ to prevent serious damage. - Jimmy T. Go vs. The
Clerk of Court And Ex-Officio Provincial Sheriff of Negros Occidental, Ildefonso M. Villanueva,
Jr., and Sheriff Dioscoro F. Caponpon, Jr. and Multi-Luck Corporation, G.R. No. 154623, March
13, 2009

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Although as a general rule, a court should not by means of a preliminary injunction, transfer
property in litigation from the possession of one party to another, this rule admits of some
exceptions. For example, when there is a clear finding of ownership and possession of the land or
unless the subject property is covered by a torrens title pointing to one of the parties as the
undisputed owner. In the case at bar, the intervenors Valdez and Malvar have established a clear
and legal right of ownership and possession and the alleged TCT of the defendants spouses dela
Rosa is non-existent. - Sps. Gonzalo T. Dela Rosa & Cristeta Dela Rosa vs. Heirs of Juan Valdez
and Spouses Potenciano Malvar and Lourdes Malvar, G.R. No. 159101, July 27, 2011

Writ of injunction would issue: [U]pon the satisfaction of two requisites, namely: (1) the existence
of a right to be protected; and (2) acts which are violative of said right. In the absence of a clear
legal right, the issuance of the injunctive relief constitutes grave abuse of discretion. Injunction is
not designed to protect contingent or future rights. Where the complainant’s right is doubtful or
disputed, injunction is not proper. The possibility of irreparable damage without proof of actual
existing right is not a ground for an injunction. - BP Philippines, Inc. (Formerly Burmah Castrol
Philippines, Inc.) vs. Clark Trading Corporation, G.R. No. 175284, September 19, 2012

For the writ to issue, two requisites must be present, namely, the existence of the right to be
protected, and that the facts against which the injunction is to be directed are violative of said right.
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.

The determination of the completeness or sufficiency of the form of the petition, including the
relevant and pertinent documents which have to be attached to it, is largely left to the discretion of
the court taking cognizance of the petition, in this case the Court of Appeals. If the petition is
insufficient in form and substance, the same may be forthwith dismissed without further
proceedings. That is the import of Section 6, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.

In petitions for certiorari before the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals, the provisions of
section 2, Rule 56, shall be observed. Before giving due course thereto, the court may require the
respondents to file their comment to, and not a motion to dismiss, the petition. Thereafter, the court
may require the filing of a reply and such other responsive or other pleadings as it may deem
necessary and proper. - Palm Tree Estates, Inc. and Belle Air Golf and Country Club, Inc., vs.
Philippine Bank, G.R. No. 159370, October 3, 2012

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 this connection, a writ of preliminary injunction is
issued to preserve the status quo ante, upon the applicant’s showing of two important requisite
conditions, namely: (1) the right to be protected exists prima facie, and (2) the acts sought to be
enjoined are violative of that right. It must be proven that the violation sought to be prevented

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would cause an irreparable injury. - Solid Builders, Inc. and Medina Foods Industries, Inc. vs.
China Banking Corporation, G.R. No. 179665, April 3, 2013

STATUS QUO ANTE ORDER

A status quo order is merely intended to maintain the last, actual, peaceable and uncontested state
of things which preceded the controversy, not to provide mandatory or injunctive relief. In this
case, it cannot be applied when the respondent was already removed prior to the filing of the case. -
Bro. Bernard Oca, et al., vs. Laurita Custodio, G.R. No. 174996, December 03, 2014

SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS

DECLARATORY RELIEFS

Petitioners Erlinda Reyes and Rosemarie Matienzo assailed via Declaratory Relief under Rule 63 of
the Rules of Court, the orders of the trial courts denying their motions to suspend proceedings. This
recourse by petitioners, unfortunately, cannot be countenanced since a court order is not one of
those subjects to be examined under Rule 63. A petition for declaratory relief cannot properly have
a court decision as its subject matter. - Erlinda Reyes and Rosemarie Matienzo vs. Hon. Judge
Belen B. Ortiz, G.R. No. 137794, August 11, 2010

PROHIBITION

While it is desirable that the Rules of Court be faithfully observed, courts should not be
obsessively strict over the occasional lapses of litigants. Given a good reason, the trial court
should set aside its order of default, constantly bearing in mind that it is the exception and not the
rule of the day. - RN Development Corporation vs. A.I.I. System, Inc., G.R. No. 166104. June 26,
2008

Before resorting to the remedy of prohibition, there should be "no appeal or any other plain,
speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law." - Spouses Alvin Guerrero and
Mercury M. Guerrero vs. Hon. Lorna Navarro Domingo, G.R. No. 156142, March 23, 2011

MANDAMUS

Mandamus is employed to compel the performance, when refused, of a ministerial duty, but not to
compel the performance of a discretionary duty. The legal right to the performance of the particular
act sought to be compelled must be clear and complete. Otherwise, where the right sought to be
enforced is in substantial doubt or dispute, mandamus cannot issue. Thus, the issuance by the LRA
officials of a decree of registration is not a purely ministerial duty in cases where they find that such
would result to the double titling of the same parcel of land. - Fidela R. Angeles vs. The Secretary
of Justice, The Administrator, Land Registration Authority, The Register of Deeds of Quezon
City, and Senator Teofisto T. Guingona, Jr., G.R. No. 142549, March 9, 2010

FORECLOSURE OF REAL ESTATE MORTGAGE


Service of Notice of Sale

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The written notice of sale to the judgment obligor need not be personally served on the judgment
obligor himself as it may be served on his counsel, or by leaving the notice in his office with his
clerk or a person having charge thereof. - Sps. Elizabeth S. Tagle & Ernesto R. Tagle vs. Hon.
Court of Appeals, RTC, Quezon City, Branch 97, Sps. Federico and Rosamyrna Carandang and
Sheriff Carol Bulacan, G.R. No. 162738, July 8, 2009

FORCIBLE ENTRY AND UNLAWFUL DETAINER

It is settled that for the purpose of bringing an ejectment suit, two requisites must concur, namely:
(1) there must be failure to pay rent or to comply with the conditions of the lease and (2) there
must be demand both to pay or to comply and vacate within the periods specified in Section 2,
particularly, 15 days in the case of land and 5 days in the case of buildings. - Charles Limbauan vs.
Faustino Acosta, G.R. No. 148606. June 30, 2008

SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS

SETTLEMENT OF ESTATE

Although matters relating to the rights of filiation and heirship must be ventilated in a special
proceeding, it would be more practical to dispense with a separate special proceeding for the
determination of the status of the parties if it appears that there is only one property being claimed
by the contending parties. - Heirs of Teofilo Gabatan vs. Court Of Appeals and Lourdes Pacana,
G.R. No. 150206, March 13, 2009

GUARDIANSHIP

A reading of Section 2, Rule 92 of the Rules of Court tells us that persons who, though of sound mind
but by reason of age, disease, weak mind or other similar causes, are incapable of taking care of
themselves and their property without outside aid are considered as incompetents who may
properly be placed under guardianship. - Nilo Oropesa vs. Cirilo Oropesa, G.R. No. 184528, April
25, 2012

WRIT OF AMPARO

The constitutional right to travel is not covered by the Rule on the Writ of Amparo. The Writ of
Amparo covers the right to life, liberty, and security. A person’s right to travel is subject to the usual
constraints imposed by the very necessity of safeguarding the system of justice. - Reverend Father
Robert Reyes vs. Court of Appeals, Secretary Raul M. Gonzales, in his capacity as the
Secretary of Justice, and Commissioner Marcelino C. Libanan, in his capacity as the
Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration, G.R. No. 182161, December 03 2009

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

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SUFFICIENCY OF COMPLAINT OR INFORMATION

In rape cases, the accused cannot capitalize on the inconsistencies in testimonies of the witnesses
when such inconsistencies cover inconsequential details such as the time or place of commission
because they do not form part of the elements of the offense. He cannot also bank on the delay of
the filing of the offense because it is established in jurisprudence that the delay is justified due to
victim’s fear of public stigma. - People of the Philippines vs. Richard O. Sarcia, G.R. No. 169641,
September 10, 2009

In cases of rape, the discrepancies in the testimony of the victim as to the dates of the commission
of the offense do not negate the finding of guilt. What is material in the offense is the occurrence of
rape and not the date of commission. - People of the Philippines vs. Alberto Buban, G.R. No.
172710, October 30, 2009

The Information is sufficient if it contains the full name of the accused, the designation of the
offense given by the statute, the acts or omissions constituting the offense, the name of the offended
party, the approximate date, and the place of the offense. - People of the Philippines vs. Joseph
Asilan y Tabornal, G.R. No. 188322, April 11, 2012

DESIGNATION OF OFFENSE

In a case of murder, qualifying circumstances need not be preceded by descriptive words such as
qualifying or qualified by to properly qualify an offense. Section 8 of the Rules of Criminal
Procedure does not require the use of such words to refer to the circumstances which raise the
category of an offense. It is not the use of the words qualifying or qualified by that raises a crime to
a higher category, but the specific allegation of an attendant circumstance which adds the essential
element raising the crime to a higher category. It is sufficient that the qualifying circumstances be
specified in the Information to apprise the accused of the charges against him to enable him to
prepare fully for his defense, thus precluding surprises during trial. - People of the Philippines vs.
Rene Rosas, G.R. No. 177825, October 24, 2008

PROSECUTION OF CIVIL ACTIONS

Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal liability as well as
the civil liability based solely thereon. Corollary, the claim for civil liability survives
notwithstanding the death of the accused, if the same may also be predicated on a source of
obligation other than delict, in which case an action for recovery therefor may be pursued but only
by way of filing a separate civil action and subject to Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on
Criminal Procedure as amended. - People of the Philippines vs. Jaime Ayochok y Tauli, G.R. No.
175784, August 25, 2010

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 insenso strictiore. - Dante Hernandez Datu vs. People of the Philippines, G.R.
No. 169718, December 13, 2010

Olacos death during the pendency of her appeal, extinguished not only her criminal liability for
qualified theft committed against private complainant Ruben Vinluan, but also her civil liability,

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particularly the award for actual damages, solely arising from or based on said crime. - People of
the Philippines vs. Juliet Olaco y Poler, G.R. No. 197042, October 17, 2011

PREJUDICIAL QUESTION

The court in which an action is pending may, in the exercise of a sound discretion, upon proper
application for a stay of that action, hold the action in abeyance to abide the outcome of another
pending in another court, especially where the parties and the issues are the same, for there is
power inherent in every court to control the disposition of causes on its dockets with economy of
time and effort for itself, for counsel, and for litigants. Where the rights of parties to the second
action cannot be properly determined until the questions raised in the first action are settled the
second action should be stayed. - Sta. Lucia Realty & Development vs. City of Pasig, Municipality
of Cainta, Province of Rizal, Intervenor, G.R. No. 166838, June 15, 2011

ARREST

Settled is the rule that no arrest, search or seizure can be made without a valid warrant issued by a
competent judicial authority. Nevertheless, the constitutional proscription against warrantless
searches and seizures admits of certain legal and judicial exceptions. On the other hand, Section 5,
Rule 113 of the Rules of Court provides that a lawful arrest without a warrant may be made by a
peace officer or a private person. - People of the Philippines vs. Nelida Dequina y Dimapanan,
Joselito Jundoc y Japitana & Nora Jingabo y Cruz, G.R. No. 177570, January 19, 2011

Without valid justification for the in flagrante delicto arrests of accused-appellants, the search of
accused-appellants’ persons incidental to said arrests, and the eventual seizure of the shabu from
accused-appellants’ possession, are also considered unlawful and, thus, the seized shabu is
excluded in evidence as fruit of a poisonous tree. Without the corpus delicti for the crime charged,
then the acquittal of accused-appellants is inevitable. - People of the Philippines vs. Rolando S.
Delos Reyes, alias "Botong," and Raymundo G. Reyes, alias "Mac-Mac," G.R. No. 174774,
August 31, 2011

The court shall not order the arrest of the accused except for failure to appear whenever required.
When two cases involve same accused, proceedings in one case, such as the issuance of a warrant of
arrest, should not be extended or made applicable to the other.

Moreover, a case which has not been previously referred to the Lupong Tagapamayapa when
required to for conciliation shall be dismissed without prejudice. A motion to dismiss on the ground
of failure to comply with the Lupon requirement is an exception to the pleadings prohibited by the
Revised Rule on Summary Procedure. - Gerlie M. Uy and Ma. Consolacion T. Bascug vs. Judge
Erwin B. Javellana, Municipal Trial Court, La Castellana, Negros Occidental, A.M. No. MTJ-07-
1666, September 5, 2012

Non-flight does not connote innocence. - People of the Philippines vs. Ramil Mores, G.R. No.
189846, June 26, 2013

Any objection involving a warrant of arrest or the procedure by which the court acquired
jurisdiction of the person of the accused must be made before he enters his plea; otherwise, the
objection is deemed waived. Nevertheless, the illegal arrest of an accused is not sufficient cause for

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setting aside a valid judgment rendered upon a sufficient complaint after a trial free from error. -
People of the Philippines vs. Roberto Velasco, G.R. No. 190318, November 27, 2013

RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED


Illegal Search and Warrant

In Microsoft Corporation v. Maxicorp, Inc., this Court held that the quantum of evidence required to
prove probable cause is not the same quantum of evidence needed to establish proof beyond
reasonable doubt which is required in a criminal case that may be subsequently filed. We ruled in
this case that the determination of probable cause does not call for the application of rules and
standards of proof that a judgment of conviction requires after trial on the merits. As implied by the
words themselves, “probable cause” is concerned with probability, not absolute or even moral
certainty. The prosecution need not present at this stage proof beyond reasonable doubt. The
standards of judgment are those of a reasonably prudent man, not the exacting calibrations of a
judge after a full-blown trial. Taken together, the aforementioned pieces of evidence are more than
sufficient to support a finding that test calls were indeed made by PLDT’s witnesses using Mabuhay
card with PIN code number 332 1479224 and, more importantly, that probable cause necessary to
engender a belief that HPS Corporation, et al. had probably committed the crime of Theft through
illegal ISR activities exists. To reiterate, evidence to show probable cause to issue a search warrant
must be distinguished from proof beyond reasonable doubt which, at this juncture of the criminal
case, is not required. - HPS Software and Communications Corp. and Hyman Yap vs. PLDT, G.R.
No. 170217 and G.R. No. 170694, December 10, 2012

Where the accused is charged of illegal possession of prohibited drugs and now questioning the
legality of his arrest as the same was done without a valid search warrant and warrant of arrest, the
Court ruled that the accused was caught in flagrante delicto and had reiterated that warrantless
searches and seizures have long been deemed permissible by jurisprudence in instances of (1)
search of moving vehicles, (2) seizure in plain view, (3) customs searches, (4) waiver or consented
searches, (5) stop and frisk situations (Terry search), and search incidental to a lawful arrest. The
last includes a valid warrantless arrest, for, while as a rule, an arrest is considered legitimate [if]
effected with a valid warrant of arrest, the Rules of Court recognize permissible warrantless arrest,
to wit: (1) arrest in flagrante delicto, (2) arrest effected in hot pursuit, and (3) arrest of escaped
prisoners. - People of the Philippines vs. Donald Vasquez y Sandigan, G.R. No. 200304, January
15, 2014

ARRAIGNMENT AND PLEA BARGAINING

It is not enough to inquire as to the voluntariness of the plea; the court must explain fully to the
accused that once convicted, he could be meted the death penalty; that death is a single and
indivisible penalty and will be imposed regardless of any mitigating circumstance that may have
attended the commission of the felony. Thus, the importance of the courts obligation cannot be
overemphasized, for one cannot dispel the possibility that the accused may have been led to believe
that due to his voluntary plea of guilty, he may be imposed a lesser penalty, which was precisely
what happened here. - People of the Philippines vs. Joselito A. Lopit, G.R. No. 177742,
December 17, 2008

DEMURRER TO EVIDENCE

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Respondent Mayor Henry Barrera was charged for violation of anti graft and corrupt practices for
ousting the vendors in the market however he filed demurrer to evidence. The court granted
demurrer to evidence for elements of such crime was not present in the case specifically manifest
partiality. For an act to be considered as exhibiting manifest partiality, there must be a showing of a
clear, notorious or plain inclination or predilection to favor one side rather than the other. Partiality
is synonymous with bias which excites a disposition to see and report matters as they are wished for
rather than as they are. Evident bad faith, on the other hand, is something which does not simply
connote bad judgment or negligence; it imputes a dishonest purpose or some moral obliquity and
conscious doing of a wrong; a breach of sworn duty through some motive or intent or ill will; It
partakes of the nature of fraud. - People of the Philippines vs. The Hon. Sandiganbayan (4TH Div.)
and Henry Barrera,, G.R. Nos. 153952-71 August 23, 2010

SEARCH WARRANT

The Director of NBI may delegate his duty of signing the authorization to apply for search warrant
to a subordinate. Such delegation of duty shall not make the application or the resulting search
warrant null and void. Furthermore, the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure did not repeal A.M.
No. 99-10-09-SC which authorized the Executive Judges and Vice Executive Judges of the RTCs of
Manila and Quezon City to act on all applications for search warrants involving dangerous drugs
which may be served in places outside their territorial jurisdiction. - Spouses Joel and
Marietta Marimla vs. People of the Philippines and Hon. Omar T. Viola, RTC Judge, Branch 57,
Angeles City, G.R. No. 158467, October 16, 2009

Tuan was charged with Illegal possession of dangerous drugs and contended that the issuance of
search warrant was not justified for the Search Warrant did not describe with particularity the
place to be searched. The court ruled that a description of the place to be searched is sufficient if the
officer serving the warrant can, with reasonable effort, ascertain and identify the place intended
and distinguish it from other places in the community. A designation or description that points out
the place to be searched to the exclusion of all others, and on inquiry unerringly leads the peace
officers to it, satisfies the constitutional requirement of definiteness. - People of the Philippines
vs. Estela Tuan y Baludda, G.R. No. 176066 August 11, 2010

EVIDENCE

ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE

In resolving the admissibility of and relying on out-of-court identification of suspects, courts have
adopted the totality of circumstances test which considers the following factors: (1) the witness’
opportunity to view the criminal at the time of the crime; (2) the witness’ degree of attention at that
time; (3) the accuracy of any prior description given by the witness; (4) the level of certainty
demonstrated by the witness at the identification; (5) the length of time between the crime and the
identification; and, (6) the suggestiveness of the identification procedure.

It is settled that an out-of-court identification does not necessarily foreclose the admissibility of an
independent in-court identification and that, even assuming that an out-of-court identification was
tainted with irregularity, the subsequent identification in court cured any flaw that may have
attended it. - People of the Philippines vs. Gerry Sabangan and Noli Bornasal, G.R. No.
191722, December 11, 2013

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The accused cannot claim that the evidence obtained from a search conducted incident to an arrest
is inadmissible because it is violative of the plain view doctrine. The plain view doctrine only
applies to cases where the arresting officer is not searching for evidence against the accused, but
nonetheless inadvertently comes across an incriminating object. - People of the Philippines vs.
Medario Calantiao y Dimalanta, G.R. No. 203984, June 18, 2014

CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

This circumstantial evidence constitutes positive identification of Gil as the perpetrator of the crime
charged, to the exclusion of others. She was the person who had the motive to commit the crime
and the series of events following her threat to cause chaos and arson in her neighbourhood – the
fire that started in her room, and her actuations and remarks during, as well as immediately before
and after the fire – sufficiently points to Gil as the author of the said crime.

A well-entrenched legal precept, the factual findings of the trial court, its calibration of the
testimonies of the witnesses and its assessment of their probative weight are given high respect, if
not conclusive effect, unless it ignored, misconstrued, misunderstood or misinterpreted cogent
facts and circumstances of substance, which if considered, will alter the outcome of the case and the
said trial court is in the best position to ascertain and measure the sincerity and spontaneity of
witnesses through actual observation of the witnesses’ manner of testifying, demeanor and
behaviour while in the witness box. - People of the Philippines vs. Julie Villacorta Gil, G.R. No.
172468, October 15, 2008

Circumstantial evidence is sufficient for conviction if the following requisites concur: (a) there is
more than one circumstance; (b) the facts from which the inferences are derived have been
established; and (c) the combination of all the circumstances is such as to warrant a finding of guilt
beyond reasonable doubt.

In assessing the probative value of DNA evidence, courts should consider, inter alia, the following
factors: how the samples were collected, how they were handled, the possibility of contamination of
the samples, the procedure followed in analyzing the samples, whether the proper standards and
procedures were followed in conducting the tests, and the qualification of the analyst who
conducted the tests. - People of the Philippines vs. Alfredo Pascual y Ildefonso, G. R. No.
172326, January 19, 2009

The Trial Court correctly convicted the accused of the crime of qualified Carnapping based on
circumstantial evidence, when the combination of circumstances are interwoven in such a way as to
leave no reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused. - People of the Philippines vs. Renato
Lagat y Gawan A.K.A. Renat Gawan and James Palalay y Villarosa, G.R. No. 187044, September
14, 2011

The accused was convicted of rape with homicide. The accused on appeal raised the issue of the
absence of direct evidence and the credibility of the witnesses. In this regard, the Supreme Court
held that circumstantial evidence may be resorted to establish the complicity of the perpetrator’s
crime when these are credible and sufficient, and could lead to the inescapable conclusion that the
appellant committed the complex crime of rape with homicide. With respect to the appellant’s
contention that the witnesses presented were not credible, the Court reiterated the jurisprudential

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principle affording great respect and even finality to the trial court’s assessment of the credibility of
witnesses especially if the factual findings are affirmed by the Court of Appeals. - People of the
Philippines vs. Bernesto De La Cruz @ Berning, G.R. No. 183091, June 19, 2013

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. - People of the Philippines vs. Ex-Mayor Carlos Estonilo, Sr., et al., G.R. No. 201565,
October 13, 2014

PRESUMPTIONS

The fact that a deed is notarized is not a guarantee of the validity of its contents. The presumption
of regularity of notarized documents is not absolute and may be rebutted by clear and convincing
evidence to the contrary. - Vicente Manzano, Jr. vs. Marcelino Garcia, G.R. No. 179323,
November 28, 2011

QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE (Substantial Evidence)

This Court has consistently held that substantial evidence is all that is needed to support an
administrative finding of fact where the decision of the Ombudsman is not supported by
substantial evidence, but based on speculations, surmises and conjectures, as in the present case,
this Court finds sufficient reason to overturn the same. - Marita C. Bernaldo vs. The
Ombudsman and The Department Of Public Works and Highways, G.R. No. 156286, August
13, 2008

The burden of proof rests upon the party who asserts the affirmative of an issue. And in labor cases,
the quantum of proof necessary is substantial evidence, or such amount of relevant evidence which
a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to justify a conclusion. - Wilfredo Y. Antiquina vs.
Magsaysay Maritime Corporation and/or Masterbulk, Pte., Ltd., G.R. No. 168922, April 13,
2011

Administrative proceedings are governed by the "substantial evidence rule." Otherwise stated, a
finding of guilt in an administrative case would have to be sustained for as long as it is supported by
substantial evidence that the respondent has committed acts stated in the complaint. Substantial
evidence is more than a mere scintilla of evidence. It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable
mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion, even if other minds equally reasonable
might conceivably opine otherwise.

As a general rule, only questions of law may be raised in a petition for review on certiorari because
the Court is not a trier of facts. When supported by substantial evidence, the findings of fact of the
Court of Appeals are conclusive and binding on the parties and are not reviewable by this Court,
unless the case falls under any of the following recognized exceptions. - Office of the Ombudsman
vs. Arnel A. Bernardo, Attorney V, Bureau Of Internal Revenue (BIR), G.R. No. 181598, March
6, 2013

JUDICIAL ADMISSIONS

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It is well-settled that a judicial admission conclusively binds the party making it. Acts or facts
admitted do not require proof and cannot be contradicted unless it is shown that the admission was
made through palpable mistake or that no such admission was made. Viola Cahilig et al., vs. Hon.
Eustaquio G. Terencio et al., G.R. No. 164470, November 28, 2011

BEST EVIDENCE RULE

Although the best evidence rule admits of exceptions and there are instances where the
presentation of secondary evidence would be allowed, such as when the original is lost or the
original is a public record, the basis for the presentation of secondary evidence must still be
established. - Heirs of Teofilo Gabatan vs. Court of Appeals and Lourdes Pacana, G.R. No.
150206, March 13, 2009

PAROLE EVIDENCE

A CBA is more than a contract; it is a generalized code to govern a myriad of cases which the
draftsmen cannot wholly anticipate. It covers the whole employment relationship and prescribes
the rights and duties of the parties. If the terms of the CBA are clear and have no doubt upon the
intention of the contracting parties, the literal meaning of its stipulation shall prevail. However, if
the CBA imports ambiguity, then the parties intention as shown by their conduct, words, actions
and deeds – prior to, during, and after executing the agreement, must be ascertained. That there is
an apparent ambiguity or a failure to express the true intention of the parties, especially with
regard to the retirement provisions of the CBA, is evident in the opposing interpretations of the
same by the Labor Arbiter and the CA on one hand and the NLRC on the other. It is settled that the
parole evidence rule admits of exceptions. A party may present evidence to modify, explain or add
to the terms of the written agreement if he raises as an issue, among others, an intrinsic ambiguity
in the written agreement or its failure to express the true intent and agreement of the parties
thereto. - Flavio S. Suarez, Jr., Renato A. De Asis, Francisco G. Adorable, et al., vs. National Steel
Corporation, G.R. No. 150180, October 17, 2008

The Parol Evidence Rule provides that when the terms of the agreement have been reduced into
writing, it is considered as containing all the terms agreed upon and there can be, between the
parties and their successors in interest, no evidence of such terms other than the contents of the
written agreement. A party may not modify, explain, or add to the terms in the two written Deeds of
Absolute Quitclaim since he did not put in issue in his pleadings any of those allowed by the Rules. -
Maria Torbela, represented by her heirs, Eulogio Tosino et al., vs. Spouses Andres T. Rosario
et al., G.R. No. 140528, December 7, 2011

AUTHENTICATION AND PROOF OF DOCUMENTS


Public Documents

As pointed out by the trial court, the Restructuring Agreement, being notarized, is a public
document enjoying a prima facie presumption of authenticity and due execution. Clear and
convincing evidence must be presented to overcome such legal presumption. The spouses Tiu, who
attested before the notary public that the Restructuring Agreement "is their own free and voluntary
act and deed," failed to present sufficient evidence to prove otherwise. - Union Bank of the
Philippines vs. Spouses Rodolfo T. Tiu and Victoria N. Tiu, G.R. Nos. 173090-91, September
7, 2011

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Notarized documents (e. g. the notarized Answer to Interrogatories in the case at bar is proof that
Philtrust had been served with Written Interrogatories) are merely proof of the fact which gave rise
to their execution and of the date of the latter but is not prima facie evidence of the facts therein
stated. The presumption that official duty has been regularly performed therefore applies only to
the portion wherein the notary public merely attests that the affidavit was subscribed and sworn to
before him or her, on the date mentioned thereon. Thus, even though affidavits are notarized
documents, we have ruled that affidavits, being self-serving, must be received with caution. -
Philippine Trust Company (also known as Philtrust Bank) vs. Hon. Court Of Appeals and
Forfom Development Corporation, G.R. No. 150318, November 22, 2010

TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE

The inconsistencies in the testimonies of the police officers if does not dwell on material points
shall not negate the finding of guilt. Also, the failure on the part of the police officer to issue an
official receipt for the confiscated items is not fatal defect because the issuance of the same is not an
element of the crime of possession of illegal drugs. - People of the Philippines vs. Randy
Magbanua alias Boyung and Wilson Magbanua, G.R. No. 170137, August 27, 2009

Mere inconsistencies as to minor details in the testimony of the witness does not affect his
credibility. It may also strengthen his position as the court abhors memorized statements. The
accused must prove ill motive on the part of the witness, otherwise, his statement shall be given
full credence by the court. - People of the Philippines vs. Arnold Garchitorena y Camba A.K.A.
Junior; Joey Pamplona A.K.A. Nato And Jessie Garcia y Adorino, G. R. No. 175605, August 28,
2009

Falsus in uno falsus in omnibus is not an absolute rule of law and is in fact rarely applied in modern
jurisprudence. It deals only with the weight of evidence and is not a positive rule of law, and the
same is not an inflexible one of universal application. Thus, the modern trend of jurisprudence is
that the testimony of a witness may be believed in part and disbelieved in part, depending upon the
corroborative evidence and the probabilities and improbabilities of the case. - People of the
Philippines vs. Jose Galvez y Blanca, G.R. No. 181827, February 2, 2011

The RTC observed that AAA was in the custody of the DSWD when she testified for the prosecution,
and was returned to the family of the Aniceto Bulagao during the time when SHE recanted her
testimony. Courts look with disfavor upon retractions, because they can easily be obtained from
witnesses through intimidation or for monetary considerations. Hence, a retraction does not
necessarily negate an earlier declaration. It would be a dangerous rule to reject the testimony taken
before a court of justice, simply because the witness who has given it later on changes his mind for
one reason or another. - People of the Philippines vs. Aniceto Bulagao, G.R. No. 184757,
October 5, 2011

Despite all these findings, Gemma has posited from the RTC all the way up to the Supreme Court
that she is not the Gemma Ong named and accused in the case. Positive identification of a culprit is
of great weight in determining whether an accused is guilty or not. Thus, it cannot take precedence
over the positive testimony of the offended party. The defense of denial is unavailing when placed
astride the undisputed fact that there was positive identification of the accused. - Gemma

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Ong a.k.a. Maria Teresa Gemma Catacutan vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 169440,
November 23, 2011

Delay in making criminal accusations will not necessarily impair the credibility of a witness if such
delay is satisfactorily explained. Furthermore, the positive identification of the witnesses is more
than enough to prove the accused guilt beyond reasonable doubt. - People of the Philippines vs.
Noel T. Adallom, G.R. No. 182522, March 7, 2012

Dulay points out that the prosecution failed to present the informant in court, alleging that the same
was necessary to corroborate the testimony of PO1 Guadamor, since it was only the informant and
PO1 Guadamor who witnessed the actual transaction. The Court disagrees. It is settled that the
identity or testimony of the informant is not indispensable in drugs cases, since his testimony
would only corroborate that of the poseur-buyer. The Court has repeatedly held that it is up to the
prosecution to determine who should be presented as witnesses on the basis of its own assessment
of their necessity. After all, the testimony of a single witness, if trustworthy and reliable, or if
credible and positive, would be sufficient to support a conviction. Moreover, in determining values
and credibility of evidence, witnesses are to be weighed, not numbered. - People of the
Philippines vs. Catalino Dulay, G.R. No. 188345, November 10, 2012

QUALIFICATIONS OF A WITNESS

A deaf-mute may not be able to hear and speak but his/her other senses, such as his/her sense of
sight, remain functional and allow him/her to make observations about his/her environment and
experiences; Thus, a deaf-mute is competent to be a witness so long as he/she has the faculty to
make observations and he/she can make those observations known to others. - People of the
Philippines vs. Edwin Aleman y Longhas, G.R. No. 181539, July 24, 2013

CREDIBILITY OF WITNESS

As a rule, appellate courts will not interfere with the judgment of the trial court in passing upon the
credibility of a witness, unless there appears on the record some fact or circumstance of weight and
influence which has been overlooked, or the significance of which has been misinterpreted or
misapprehended. The reason for this is that the assessment of the credibility of witnesses and their
testimonies is a matter best undertaken by the trial court because of its unique opportunity to
observe the witnesses firsthand and to note their demeanor, conduct, and attitude under grilling
examination. - People of the Philippines vs. Salvador C. Daco, G.R. No. 168166, October 10,
2008

The issue of credibility of witnesses is a question best addressed to the province of the trial court
because of its unique position of having observed that elusive and incommunicable evidence of the
witnesses' deportment on the stand while testifying which opportunity is denied to the appellate
courts. and absent any substantial reason which would justify the reversal of the trial court's
assessments and conclusions, the reviewing court is generally bound by the former's findings. -
People of the Philippines vs. Domingo Dominguez, Jr., alias Sandy, G.R. No. 180914,
November 24, 2010

The victim’ s delay in reporting the rapes does not undermine her credibility. In a long line of cases,
the Court pronounced that the failure of the victim to immediately report the rape is not necessarily

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an indication of a fabricated charge. Moreover, Jurisprudence teaches that between categorical


testimonies that ring of truth, on one hand, and a bare denial, on the other, the Court has strongly
ruled that the former must prevail. Indeed, positive identification of the accused, when categorical
and consistent, and without any ill motive on the part of the eyewitnesses testifying on the matter,
prevails over alibi and denial. - People of the Philippines vs. Roger Tejero, G.R. No. 187744,
June 20, 2012

The purported inconsistency between the testimonies of AAA and her mother BBB merely refers to
a minor detail. The central fact is that Batula, by means of force, threats, and intimidation, and use
of a bolo, succeeded in having carnal knowledge of AAA. Whether AAA was able to name Batula as
the perpetrator immediately after the rape or AAA was able to identify Batula as her rapist at a later
time, does not depart from the fact that Batula raped AAA. We have said time and again that a few
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. Instead of weakening their testimonies, such inconsistencies tend to strengthen their
credibility because they discount the possibility of their being rehearsed testimony. - People of the
Philippines vs. Jerry Batula, G.R. No. 181699, November 28, 2012

In People v. Paringit, this Court has declared that not all blows leave marks. Thus, the fact that the
medico-legal officer found no signs of external injuries on AAA, especially on her face, which
supposedly had been slapped several times, does not invalidate her statement that Mangune
slapped her to silence her. But, even granting that there were no extra-genital injuries on the victim,
it had been held that the absence of external signs or physical injuries does not negate the
commission of the crime of rape. The same rule applies even though no medical certificate is
presented in evidence. Proof of injuries is not necessary because this is not an essential element of
the crime This Court, in a long line of cases, has ruled that “the absence of external signs of physical
injuries does not negate rape. The doctrine is thus well- entrenched in our jurisprudence, and the
Court of Appeals correctly applied it. - People of the Philippines vs. William Mangune, G.R. No.
186463, November 14, 2012

Alleged inconsistencies do not detract from AAA’s credibility as a witness. A rape victim is not
expected to make an errorless recollection of the incident, so humiliating and painful that she might
in fact be trying to obliterate it from her memory. Thus, a few inconsistent remarks in rape cases
will not necessarily impair the testimony of the offended party. We reiterate the jurisprudential
principle of affording great respect and even finality to the trial court’s assessment of the credibility
of witnesses. In People v. Arpon, we stated that when the decision hinges on the credibility of
witnesses and their respective testimonies, the trial court’s observations and conclusions deserve
great respect and are often accorded finality. The trial judge has the advantage of observing the
witness’ deportment and manner of testifying. Her “furtive glance, blush of conscious shame,
hesitation, flippant or sneering tone, calmness, sigh, or the scant or full realization of an oath” are all
useful aids for an accurate determination of a witness’ honesty and sincerity. The trial judge,
therefore, can better determine if witnesses are telling the truth, being in the ideal position to
weigh conflicting testimonies. Unless certain facts of substance and value were overlooked which, if
considered, might affect the result of the case, its assessment must be respected for it had the
opportunity to observe the conduct and demeanor of the witnesses while testifying and detect if
they were lying. The rule finds an even more stringent application where said findings are
sustained by the Court of Appeals. - People of the Philippines vs. Felix Morante, G.R. No.
187732, November 28, 2012

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Estoya likewise makes much of the inconsistencies between CCC’s Sinumpaang Salaysay and his
testimony in open court. Said inconsistencies do not at all damage CCC’s credibility as a witness. It
is doctrinally settled that discrepancies and/or inconsistencies between a witness’ affidavit and
testimony in open court do not impair credibility as affidavits are taken ex parte and are often
incomplete or inaccurate for lack of or absence of searching inquiries by the investigating officer.
We also add that CCC was only 10 years of age when he executed his Sinumpaang Salaysay and
testified in court. It is not difficult to imagine that CCC was also overwhelmed by the circumstances,
young as he was when these all happened. The important thing is that CCC was consistent in saying
that he saw Estoya with AAA in BBB’s house; he saw AAA crying; and he immediately ran to ask
help from their neighbor, DDD. Moreover, as we pronounced previously herein, AAA’s testimony
alone already established the elements of rape committed against her by Estoya. At most, CCC’s
testimony on the events that occurred in 2006 is merely corroborative. - People of the
Philippines vs. Radby Estoya, G.R. No. 200531, December 5, 2012

The issue raised by accused-appellant involves the credibility of witness, which is best addressed
by the trial court, it being in a better position to decide such question, having heard the witness and
observed his demeanor, conduct, and attitude under grueling examination. These are the most
significant factors in evaluating the sincerity of witnesses and in unearthing the truth, especially in
the face of conflicting testimonies. Through its observations during the entire proceedings, the trial
court can be expected to determine, with reasonable discretion, whose testimony to accept and
which witness to believe. Verily, findings of the trial court on such matters will not be disturbed on
appeal unless some facts or circumstances of weight have been overlooked, misapprehended or
misinterpreted so as to materially affect the disposition of the case. - People of the Philippines vs.
Welvin Diu y Kotsesa, and Dennis Dayaon y Tupit, G.R. No. 201449, April 3, 2013

In a prosecution for rape, the accused may be convicted solely on the basis of the testimony of the
victim that is credible, convincing, and consistent with human nature and the normal course of
things, as in this case. There is a plethora of cases which tend to disfavor the accused in a rape case
by holding that when a woman declares that she has been raped, she says in effect all that is
necessary to show that rape has been committed and, where her testimony passes the test of
credibility, the accused can be convicted on the basis thereof. Furthermore, the Court has
repeatedly declared that it takes a certain amount of psychological depravity for a young woman to
concoct a story which would put her own father to jail for the rest of his remaining life and drag the
rest of the family including herself to a lifetime of shame. - People of the Philippines vs. Edmundo
Vitero, G.R. No. 175327, April 3, 2013

When the issues revolve on matters of credibility of witnesses, the findings of fact of the trial court,
its calibration of the testimonies of the witnesses, and its assessment of the probative weight
thereof, as well as its conclusions anchored on said findings, are accorded high respect, if not
conclusive effect. - People of the Philippines vs. Abel Diaz, G.R. No. 200882, June 13, 2013

Inconsistencies and discrepancies in the testimony referring to minor details and not upon the
basic aspect of the crime do not diminish the witnesses’ credibility.

The testimonies of police officers who conducted the buy-bust are generally accorded full faith and
credit, in view of the presumption of regularity in the performance of public duties. - People of the
Philippines vs. Mercidita T. Resurreccion, G.R. No. 188310, June 13, 2013

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Jurisprudence is consistent in reiterating that the trial court is in a better position to adjudge the
credibility of witnesses especially if it is affirmed by the Court of Appeals. - People of the
Philippines vs. Gary Vergara y Oriel and Joseph Inocencio y Paulino, G.R. No. 177763, July 3,
2013

Where the ten-year old son of the victim was able to witness the death of his father and was the
lone witness to testify in the case, the Court ruled that when it comes to the matter of credibility of
a witness, settled are the guiding rules some of which are that (1) the appellate court will not
disturb the factual findings of the lower court, unless there is a showing that it had overlooked,
misunderstood or misapplied some fact or circumstance of weight and substance that would have
affected the result of the case, which showing is absent herein; (2) the findings of the trial court
pertaining to the credibility of a witness is entitled to great respect since it had the opportunity to
examine his demeanor as he testified on the witness stand, and, therefore, can discern if such
witness is telling the truth or not; and (3) a witness who testifies in a categorical, straightforward,
spontaneous and frank manner and remains consistent on cross-examination is a credible witness.

Furthermore, Jurisprudence also tells us that when a testimony is given in a candid and
straightforward manner, there is no room for doubt that the witness is telling the truth. - People of
the Philippines vs. Joel Aquino y Cendana, G.R. No. 201092, January 15, 2014

When the accused questions the credibility and demeanor of the victim as witness, the recognized
rule is that the "assessment of the credibility of witnesses is a domain best left to the trial court
judge because of his unique opportunity to observe their deportment and demeanor on the witness
stand; a vantage point denied appellate courts-and when his findings have been affirmed by the
Court of Appeals, these are generally binding and conclusive upon this Court." Furthermore,
inaccuracies and inconsistencies in a rape victim’s testimony are generally expected. Since human
memory is fickle and prone to the stresses of emotions, accuracy in a testimonial account has never
been used as a standard in testing the credibility of a witness. - People of the Philippines vs.
Bernabe Pareja y Cruz, G.R. No. 202122

ADMISSIONS AND CONFESSIONS


Estoppel

The mortgagor is already estopped from challenging the validity of the foreclosure sale, after
entering into a Contract of Lease with the buyer over one of the foreclosed properties – the title of
the landlord is a conclusive presumption as against the tenant or lessee. - Century Savings Bank
vs. Spouses Danilo T. Samonte and Rosalinda M. Samonte, G.R. No. 176212, October 20, 2010

One who claims the benefit of an estoppel on the ground that he has been misled by the
representations of another must not have been misled through his own want of reasonable care and
circumspection. A lack of diligence by a party claiming an estoppel is generally fatal. If the party
conducts himself with careless indifference to means of information reasonably at hand, or ignores
highly suspicious circumstances, he may not invoke the doctrine of estoppel. - F.A.T. Kee
Computer Systems, Inc. vs. Online Networks International, Inc.,G.R. No. 171238, February 2,
2011

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In the interest of justice and within the sound discretion of the appellate court, a party may change
his legal theory on appeal only when the factual bases thereof would not require presentation of
any further evidence by the adverse party in order to enable it to properly meet the issue raised in
the new theory. None of the above exceptions, however, applies to the instant case. As regards the
first exception, the issue of jurisdiction was never raised at any point in this case. Anent the second
exception, the Court finds that the application of the same in the case would be improper, as further
evidence is needed in order to answer and/or refute the issue raised in Ramos’s new theory. -
Ramona Ramos and The Estate Of Luis T. Ramos vs. Philippine National Bank, Opal Portfolio
Investments (SPV-AMC), Inc. and Golden Dragon Star Equities, Inc., G.R. No. 178218,
December 14, 2011

HEARSAY RULE

Under the doctrine of independently relevant statements, the hearsay rule does not apply where
only the fact of such statements were made is relevant, and the truth or falsity thereof is immaterial.
- People of the Philippines vs. Jesusa Figueroa y Coronado, G.R. No. 186141, April 11, 2012

A witness can testify only on the facts that she knows of his own personal knowledge, or more
precisely, those which are derived from her own perception. A witness may not testify on what she
merely learned, read or heard from others because such testimony is considered hearsay and may
not be received as proof of the truth of what she has learned, read or heard. Notwithstanding the
inadmissibility of the details of the rape which BBB merely heard from AAA’s narration, we
nevertheless find no reason to disturb the findings of fact of the trial court. - People of the
Philippines vs. Leonardo Cataytay y Silvano, G.R. No. 196315, October 22, 2014

DYING DECLARATION

The RTC admitted Aurelio’s dying declaration to prove the identity of his assailants and the
circumstances that led to his death because it qualifies as an exception to the hearsay rule with the
concurrence of all four essential requisites, to wit: One of the most reliable pieces of evidence for
convicting a person is the dying declaration of the victim. Courts accord credibility of the highest
order to such declarations on the truism that no man conscious of his impending death will still
resort to falsehood. The requisites for admitting such declaration as evidence―an exception to the
hearsay rule―are four, which must concur, to wit: a.) the dying declaration must concern the crime
and the surrounding circumstances of the declarant’s death; b.) at the time it was made the
declarant was under a consciousness of an impending death; c.) the declarant was competent as a
witness; and d.) the declaration was offered in a criminal case for homicide, murder, or parricide in
which the decedent was the victim. (People v. Sacario, 14 SCRA 468; People v. Almeda, 124 SCRA
487).The four requisites are undoubtedly present in this case. - People of the Philippines vs.
Dante Edjillo and Gervacio Hoyle, Jr., G.R. No. 187732, December 10, 2012

Under the rules, statement made by a person under the consciousness of an impending death is
admissible as evidence of the circumstances of his death. The positive identification made by the
victim before he died, under the consciousness of an impending death is a strong evidence
indicating the liability of herein Rarugal. It is of no moment that the victim died seven days from
the stabbing incident and after receiving adequate care and treatment, because the apparent
proximate cause of his death, the punctures in his lungs, was a consequence of Rarugal’s stabbing

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him in the chest. - People of the Philippines vs. Ramil Rarugal alias "Amay Bisaya," G.R. No.
188603, January 16, 2013

ENTRIES IN OFFICIAL RECORDS

Cash examination report contains entries made in the performance of official functions and is, thus,
sufficient by itself to establish prima facie the truth of the facts stated therein without the need of
presenting other evidence following the rule laid down by Section 44, Rule 130 of the Revised
Rules of Evidence. - Narciso C. Loguinsa, Jr. vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 146949, February 13,
2009

EXPERT WITNESS

The trial court may validly determine forgery from its own independent examination of the
documentary evidence at hand. This the trial court judge can do without necessarily resorting to
experts, especially when the question involved is mere handwriting similarity or dissimilarity,
which can be determined by a visual comparison of specimen of the questioned signatures with
those of the currently existing ones. - Vicente Manzano, Jr. vs. Marcelino Garcia , G.R. No.
179323, November 28, 2011

RULE ON EXAMINATION OF CHILD WITNESS

It should be remembered that the declarations on the witness stand of rape victims who are young
and immature deserve full credence. Succinctly, when the offended parties are young and immature
girls from the ages of twelve to sixteen, courts are inclined to lend credence to their version of what
transpired, considering not only their relative vulnerability but also the shame and embarrassment
to which they would be exposed by court trial if the matter about which they testified were not
true. - People of the Philippines vs. Ronaldo Saludo, G.R. No. 178406, April 6, 2011

Liberality is given to litigants who are worthy of the same, and not to ones who flout the rules, give
explanations to the effect that the counsels are busy with other things, and expect the court to
disregard the procedural lapses on the mere self-serving claim that their case is meritorious. - MCA-
MBF Countdown Cards Philippines Inc., Amable R. Aguiluz V, Amable C. Aguiluz IX, Cielo C.
Aguiluz, Alberto L. Buenviaje, Vicente Acsay and MCA Holdings And Management Corporation
vs. MBf Card International Limited and MBf Discount Card Limited, G.R. No. 173586, March
14, 2012

Testimonies of child victims are given full weight and credit, for when a woman or a girl-child says
that she has been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape was indeed
committed. - People of the Philippines vs. Ricardo Pamintuan y Sahagun, G.R. No. 192239,
June 5, 2013

Testimonies of child-victims are normally given full weight and credit, since when a girl,
particularly if she is a minor, says that she has been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to
show that rape has in fact been committed. - People of the Philippines vs. Ricardo Piosang, G.R.
No. 200329, June 5, 2013

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In rape cases, where the victim was only a child and was able to narrate how the accused had been
raping her since 2003 and describe in great detail the last rape that occurred on September 12,
2004, 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. - People of the Philippines vs. Roel Vergara y Clavero, G.R. No. 199226,
January 15, 2014

OFFER OF EVIDENCE

While it is a basic procedural rule that the court shall consider no evidence which has not been
formally offered, evidence not formally offered may be admitted and considered by the trial court
provided the following requirements are present, viz: first, the same must have been duly identified
by testimony duly recorded and, second, the same must have been incorporated in the records of
the case. - The Heirs of Romana Saves, et. al. vs. The Heirs of Escolastico Saves, et. al., G.R. No.
152866, October 6, 2010

OBJECTIONS

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. - People of the Philippines vs. Emily
Mendoza y Sartin, G.R. No. 189327, February 29, 2012

Objection to evidence cannot be raised for the first time on appeal; when a party to 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. - People of the Philippines vs.
Roselito Taculod y Elle, G.R. No. 198108, December 11, 2013

CHAIN OF CUSTODY IN DRUGS CASES

Sonny Padua was charged with Illegal Sale of Dangerous drugs and thereby contended that the
Officer has failed to comply with the process of chain of custody of the drugs and thereby absolving
him to such crime. The court ruled that Non-compliance with the stipulated procedure of Chain of
Custody, under justifiable grounds, shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody
over said items, for as long as the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items are properly
preserved by the apprehending officers. - People of the Philippines vs. Sonny Padua y Reyes,
G.R. No. 174097, July 21, 2010

Non-compliance with Section 21 of Republic Act No. 9165 does not render an accused's arrest
illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible. What is of utmost importance is the
preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the same would be
utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused. - People of the Philippines
vs. Reynald Dela Cruz y Libantocia, G.R. No. 177324, March 30, 2011

The failure to conduct an inventory and to photograph the confiscated items in the manner
prescribed under Section 21, paragraph 1 of Republic Act No. 9165 cannot be used as a ground for

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Arrisma’s exoneration from the charge against him/her. - People of the Philippines vs. Nelly
Ulama y Arrisma, G.R. No. 186530, December 14, 2011

Marking of the seized drugs must be done immediately after they are seized from the accused and
failure to do so suffices to rebut the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duties
and raises reasonable doubt as to the authenticity of the corpus delict. Marking of the seized drugs
serves to separate the marked evidence from the corpus of all other similar or related evidence
from the time they are seized from the accused until they are disposed of at the end of criminal
proceedings, obviating switching, "planting," or contamination of evidence. - People of the
Philippines vs. Reynaldo Nacua, G.R. No. 200165, January 30, 2013

Consistency with the “chain of custody” rule requires that the “marking” of the seized items — to
truly ensure that they are the same items that enter the chain and are eventually the ones offered in
evidence — should be done (1) in the presence of the apprehended violator (2) immediately upon
confiscation. - People of the Philippines vs. Reynaldo “Andy” Somoza y Handaya, G.R. No.
197250, July 17, 2013

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